July was an incredibly memorable month in more ways than one. Backpacking for the fifth annual July 4th Road Trip, a work trip to Chicago, photography projects for a couple of big clients, and…becoming an official homeowner!
July 2016 Stats
Monthly Highlights Series
Photo shoots completed
*13 less than June
Business miles driven
*125.3 less than June
Hours worked for the month
*17.78 less than June
*12.93 more than June
*38.7 less than June
What Went Well
Starting the month off with a 4th of July Road Trip
Ever since Independence Day in 2012, Martin and I have had a tradition of spending the long weekend doing a domestic road trip here in the United States. Past destinations have included Glacier National Park, Bend (Oregon), the Oregon Coast, Gabriola Island in B.C. This year, we stayed fairly close to home and embarked on a two-night backpacking trip to Eightmile Lake in the Alpine Wilderness of Eastern Washington. We had a great weekend unplugging from electronics, camping and cooking by a beautiful lake, and eating celebratory hot dogs in nearby Leavenworth before driving back home to catch the 4th of July fireworks in Seattle.
Doing official photos for The Butcher’s Table restaurant
The neighborhood of South Lake Union in Seattle has been seeing explosive growth lately, thanks mainly to the Amazon company headquarters that are in the area. Among the many businesses booming include a new culinary concept from the local company that is also behind Beecher’s Cheese. Dubbed The Butcher’s Table, this new space encompasses a walk-in deli counter serving fresh sandwiches, a bar and dining area on the top floor, and a private dining area on the bottom floor. I had the pleasure of working directly with the creative team at The Butcher’s Table to capture interior photos of the space right before their public grand opening.
Photography work with Bon Appétit Magazine
Another highlight of July was being able to explore editorial food and event photography once again with an opportunity to shoot the annual Kirkland Uncorked food and wine festival. The main focus of the assignment was on Pure Leaf Iced Tea’s new collection of bottled teas. Known as the Tea House Collection, there are three new flavors that are very lightly sweetened and actually taste quite amazing. Fuji Apple & Ginger would have to be my number one favorite, followed by Wild Blackberry and Sage. In addition to focusing on Pure Leaf products, there were also a handful of delicious eats to taste and photograph including a rich bowl of shrimp and grits, a steak demo from Chef Jason Wilson, and free ice cream scoops from Tillamook Ice Cream. The published gallery of photos can be found over on Bon Appétit’s website.
Photo Extravaganza at RBC Chicago!
For the second year in a row, I was invited by my friends and colleagues at Alabastro Photography to help photograph a conference in Chicago for independent pharmacists. Hosted by Cardinal Health, the annual event is held in a different US city every year and features thousands of attendees and their families. While the adults spend the daytime attending continuing education courses, workshops, trade shows, and group sessions, the children get to play tourist and explore landmarks throughout the city. I was fortunate enough to be the official children’s photographer and subsequently got to visit many iconic sights around the Windy City including Willis Tower, Navy Pier, and Shedd Aquarium, to name a few. There was also the opportunity to meet keynote speaker Michael J. Fox and photograph the conference’s customer appreciation night held at the massive Museum of Science and Industry.
Becoming an official homeowner
About a year ago, Martin and I began browsing and keeping an eye on local Seattle real estate listings, toying with the idea of possibly investing. Earlier this year, we embarked on a month-long trip to Asia to visit some of the world’s most modern cities, and we returned to Seattle resolute on becoming homeowners in this city in particular. In late July, just days after returning from Chicago, we closed on a home in the Queen Anne neighborhood of town, just two blocks away from our current place. While the prospect of being in debt is at times daunting, it’s also exciting and reassuring to know that we’ve locked in on a home and don’t have to fear being priced out of our city.
What Could Be Improved
Due to the last piece of news shared above, most of July was filled with either fulfilling day-to-day work activities, or preparing for our big move. In the process of moving, we donated at least two carloads worth of stuff to Goodwill, purchased a few new pieces of key furniture, and moved our remaining possessions to our new home while also cleaning out our old apartment for a new tenant to move in. The entire process took about two weeks and it meant that a lot of things like personal health and chores were neglected. However, it’s a good feeling to have a permanent home in Seattle and we look forward to enjoying quite a bit more stability going forward.