Author Archives: Photog McSmith

About Photog McSmith

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain I'm adventurous, laid back & down to earth, your average fun-loving person but I'm anything but ordinary. I'm creative but organized...sometimes. I love the whimsical & the philosophical. I love to laugh & make others laugh as well.

but first, coffee…

A few firsts have happened so far this year.

James and I stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park for our 6 year anniversary.  Always wondered how the hotel looked on the inside. It’s SO old! And beautiful! No ghost interaction. But there was an awkward all ages New Year’s shindig! I love Estes Park. It was a great anniversary.  #year6

I took Nuka Behr to see Dad in February. It was our first long trip together. Nuka does SO good in the car. She’s the best road trip buddy. She’s exactly what I asked for in a dog. Love her so much! #TeamNuka

First girl trip! Albeit short, it was awesome that James and Leyna found a way for her and I to hand out in thew mountains for a weekend in the woods. SO fun! Hung out in Breckenridge, thought about tats, drank wine, jumped in feet of snow… fun! #heybear

I finally got my sciatica/back looked at and went to physical therapy. It was a miracle, ha! I wish I had gone sooner, but here we are. My therapist worked out the kinks and I feel like I’m back to normal. #finally

I was able to attend the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle! #DreamComeTrue #BucketList This was the first coffee expo where the former SCAE & SCAA came together. It was my first time volunteering/attending. It was my first time visiting Seattle. Kenya was the Expo’s portrait country this year – I got to watch some warrior dancers; hug one; have a photo taken with one; bought a necklace handmade in Kenya. I met some of the coolest people in Seattle – both at the Expo and just in the city. Can’t wait for next year! #CoffeeExpo2018

A week later, James an I flew to Houston with festival gear in tow for Middlelands – a rave held at our beloved Texas Renaissance Festival faire grounds! D’uh, we HAD to go! Houston was it’s hot during the day, but freezing at night…?! Didn’t expect that, but then I’ve never been camping in Houston.  Made some new friends in Arizona! I got hella burnt, yaaaaaay.  :/  Heard some amazing music though, which was the point. It was our first time to see #SevenLions and the boy did not disappoint. Dropped in hard & didn’t stop until he was threw with us. A night I’ll never forget. A weekend we wont forget. Pure love and needed release. #plur

I walked out on a job. It was supposed to be a manager job. It was a lead bus boy job. I had to clean shit off of a toilet on Mother’s Day. I was called a janitor. Nope. #Iknowmyworth

I trained/worked at one of the cutest coffee shops in Denver for just one day. #opportunityknocked

After almost 2 years of flailing about in the coffee scene of Denver, I finally arrived at my destination. I now work at Novo Coffee! I couldn’t be more excited about this job and everything it will hold for me. Now this is the adventure in coffee I’ve been waiting for! Knowing about them for years. Enjoying their coffee for about 2 years at close proximity. Their relationships, quality product, standards…etc. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity in the industry. This is it! I’m in love. I feel complete. #home

Let see what else I can get into this year.


❤ L



and more on it later…. [Hello 2015! *waves*]
She let go.

She let go without a thought or a word…she. let. go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision

within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

 She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ Rev. Safire Rose

lucky 13…

Insert a belated “Happy New Year!” here…


also, a Happy 2 Year Anniversary to my boy James <3…


Later this month, we’ll be celebrating the 2 year + a bucket list item by attending the 2013 Winter X Games!  😀 I…cannot…wait! I’ve wanted to attend this event since I was 21 and fell in love with the X Games. Plus, the added bonus of being in Colorado (fave state!) and being surrounded by snow couldn’t hurt.


So, just as this new year and first month have started there are quite a few things I’m excited about. There is, however, one more thing that pulls at my heart strings a little more…

A new act, which happened to pass Congress on my birthday last year recently became a law. formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, the president made history on Jan. 3 in the fight against pancreatic cancer by signing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act into law!!!

(courtesy of The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network)

I’m sure anything to progress cancer research & cures would make anyone happy, hopeful and maybe even give someone peace. So why would THIS particular law sing to me, and why now?

It’s 2013. In 2003 my mother, 56, became very ill. It wasn’t until March of that year that we would learn it was a certain tumor that was causing her pain; a tumor that encompassed the majority of her pancreas. A cancerous tumor that would take her life just 4 months later…

4 – currently the number where pancreatic cancer sits on the list of deadliest cancers, though rapidly creeping up that list to possibly No. 2 by the year 2020, maybe even 2015!

Why? Because this cancer is a bitch! (not that any other cancer deserves a miss congeniality award, by no means!) “Pancreatic cancer currently has the lowest five-year relative survival rate of all major cancer killers, at just 6 percent. Because of the lack of early detection methods and effective treatment options, pancreatic cancer is the only one of the current top-five cancer killers for which both the incidence and death rates are increasing in recent years.” – PanCan

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard this act became law. This legislation requires the National Cancer Institute to examine its current research efforts on cancers with very low survival rates and work to develop early detection methods and better treatment options to help improve outcomes for those diagnosed with the most deadly forms of cancer, including pancreatic and lung cancer.

*Hey Mom, did you hear that?!*

Victory…sweet, sweet victory will be for those who now are kicking this cancer’s ass, and even those who may have lost but didn’t go without a fight!

I wish with all my heart that Mom didn’t have to leave the world the way she did. It’s literally like watching the Rocky Mountains crumble to dust – to see the strongest person you’ve ever known in your life disappear in such a frail state. It’s both mind boggling and eye opening too. I definitely wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

Now that we have a law in place, we can finally figure out how to stop this beast. Finally, all the tears that have fallen due to losing loved ones, from having to personally go through the surgeries/medications/therapy, etc. will not have fallen in vain!

Words cannot express how hopeful I am for this new legislation, and for all the lives this will personally touch.

So here’s to KNOWing it, FIGHTing it and finally…ENDing it!

And, of course, here’s to seeing what this brand new year has in store for all of us.

Happy Lucky 13!  🙂



…Walking for a cure

[Tammy, me, Karen & Tracy on my wedding day, Jan. 1, 2011]

Two years ago my sister Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer … and two years ago she kicked it’s ass! 🙂 On Oct. 20 I will be walking with her, friends & family and many, many others who are bound and determined to keep kicking this cancer’s ass and find a cure! Help us out by making a donation today!

Though this is not my first walk for cancer, it is my first walk for Breast Cancer.

Cancer is cancer and it all just needs to stop.

I’m interested to see how much of my goal & our team’s goal we reach!  🙂

Every coffee drink EVER…

…courtesy of  Co.Design @ Fast Company
This, THIS, I miss and everything/everyone that ever came with it!
I am grateful, but…I miss…

…25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters

Mary Lattimore McReynolds

Aug. 21, 1946 – July 21, 2003

…courtesy of Diapers & Daisies

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.
2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself.
3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.
4. Be present. Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that woman can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself- not just your husband or children.  Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.
9. Give her good role models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman- friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors.  Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.
10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.
11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.
12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.
13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.
14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.
15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.
16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.
17. Teach her how to love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.
18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if it sounds or looks horrible.  Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy’s feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life together.19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.
21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat- let her know she does not have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect- she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be the bigger -the better- person.
22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words: she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.
23. Mother her. Being a mother—to her—is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children.
24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets- no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her…she may just whisper, “I need my mommy.”

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you: welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news: embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you: find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends or an outfit: tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor- where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile: be home.

2012 Summer X Games…

…courtesy of ESPN

Skateboards, rally cars, BMX bikes, moto X…the list goes on, and so does the tradition.

I’ve been interested in extreme sports since i was in high school, and I’ve been watching X Games (summer & winter) since i was 21. I finally tried snowboarding when i was 22 and I’ve been hooked.

Then, I made James jump on the bandwagon a few years ago while we were dating.  🙂

Though I haven’t moved passed the realm of snowboarding, just to watch those guys & gals fly through the air and do sick tricks gives me such a rush – as if i was right there with them.

James and I have talked MANY times about going to see the Winter X Games since it happens to take place in one of our most favorite places ever – Colorado! One day…ONE Day!

I’m ready for this year’s summer X Games to start, and it’s just a mere 2 days away.

And what’s great, about the days this year’s games happens on is that it will end on July 1 – this marks 1.5 years James and I have been married.  *blush*

So let the celebrations and traditions continue!



…Scarborough Faire, our 2nd home

Scarborough Faire has been my favorite place to visit for YEARS now. I fell in love with the commercials when I was in 2nd grade, and after a school trip in 6th grade I was hooked!

The Faire opens this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited!  XD

I brought James there a couple of years ago and he was hooked instantly too.   🙂   It’s so great to introduce people you love to things you love.

It’s going to be a rough summer, but hopefully we’ll be able to tough it out and have a great time over the next 8 weekends. Last year was a blast. Here’s to another great year at Faire.  😀

Irish Coffee Gobs with Baileys Filling…

…courtesy of The Sweets Life

Irish Coffee Gobs with Baileys Filling
from the Gobba Gobba Hey cookbook
*makes about 30 gobs (sandwiches)

for the batter-
-4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
-2 tbsp espresso powder
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups sugar, sifted
-8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
-2-3 tbsp sour cream

for the filling-
-8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-12 tbsp cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-2-3 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
-1-2 tbsp Irish Whiskey
-2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients until they’re well-mixed.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-speed. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture and mix on medium until incorporated. Add the egg whites and the vanilla, and mix on medium-high until the mixture looks like dense pudding.
4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the egg mixture, mixing on medium speed after each addition. Then add the sour cream and mix well.
5. Using a tablespoon or a pastry bag (I recommend the pastry bag if you want perfectly round gobs), drop 1 1/2 inch rounds of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between each. Bake the sheets (separately) for 8 minutes, or until the gob domes have risen. Remove the gobs to a wire rack to cool.
6. To make the filling, cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed. Add the vanilla, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp Baileys, 2 tbsp whiskey, and the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on medium-high, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add another tsp of lemon juice or an additional tbsp of Baileys or whiskey after tasting, if needed.
7. To frost the gobs, add 1 tbsp of the filling to the flat side of a gob and pair with the flat side of another (evenly sized) gob. Refrigerate gobs on a baking sheet for 30 min to an hour to fully set. When ready to store, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.


…love this

So this fit bitch used to be fat…