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Werifesteria~ (v) to wonder longingly through the forest in search of mystery

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Costa Rica 2018

March 18, 2018



My Lovie and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Costa Rica for 3 1/2 days. This year (in July) will be our 20th anniversary. I really did not want to go at first. Were really busy. I felt uncomfortable leaving my son ( he's almost 18 btw...but still!!) I felt guilty and I could not justify why. I kept thinking if my kids need me I'll be too far away, it will be too hard to get to them, especially in an emergency. I almost pushed for not going. As we tossed it around we both realized that our last trip like this without kids was 20 years ago lol, before we got married. So... We started to pack!

Costa Rica is an amazing country, I always feel blessed to meet new places and people. I thought you would call people from Costa Rica "Costa Ricans" but the locals are called ticos ( feminine tica) Probably more amongst each other. I think as a visitor saying "locals" was the proper thing to do.

We went with a group from my husband's work, kind of a work-related trip. The organization had a bus ready for us to go from the airport to the resort  The Westin Golf Resort And Spa, Playa Conchal ( totally would recommend!!) I was impressed by our guide, super friendly, very proud.  I actually learned a lot in that one hour drive. Costa Rica has no army, has free education, the kids wear uniforms (awesome!) Costa Rica has a wet and dry season. It's either really hot and super dry or crazy wet literally for 6 months at a time. The dry season is their biggest tourist season. I think I actually would like to revisit during the wet season, I think it would be amazing to see the jungle that way.

If anyone has visited Costa Rica I'd love to hear from you. We were only there  3 1/2 days. Not quite long enough to immerse ourselves in the culture. But long enough to leave the world for a few days ( and not feel too guilty )



I did bring my camera and a few lenses but believe it or not (and this would come to a shocker for people who know me well) I hardly used my professional camera, Most of the images you see in this post are from my phone. I really did not feel like dragging my camera around my neck in 100-degree weather, which surprised everyone including me. After all, it was a vacation!






Ahh, the beach!! When we left Michigan it was 30 degrees and still had snow on the ground, 95 and dry was a slight shock to the system. I have to say the Beach was my favorite part of the trip.  ( and ok....beach pics real camera) I could have stayed on the beach for days, but we only had three full days and tried to squeeze a lot into them. The locals offer massages for $20 on the beach ( I recommend) and sell tchotchkes on little tables. I found this adorable ceramic monkey whistle, I love it!!! 



I  wish I found more of the monkey whistle, They had ceramic birds as well, but only one monkey ...I just fricken think it's adorable! I found him a home amongst all my Cacti on my coffee table. 
( matches perfectly)   





Speaking of monkeys, The Mantled Howler Monkeys are everywhere in Costa Rica, They migrate from one side of the resort to the other every morning and evening, so they were always easy to find. They travel in groups called "troops"  about 6 together at a time. Howler Monkeys have a deep kind of " grunt-howl" and when they do make noise, It's letting other monkeys know of there territory. It was definitely a sight to see and probably one of my favorite things to watch.  (Now remember this is a phone pic, so all my photog friends...no judging!)

Another thing I did not know Costa Rica was popular for was ziplining. We did this our second day in......started at the top of a very tall mountain and nine lines later you reach the bottom. It was fricken hot!!! But fun. A big reason I did not want to bring my camera for this....... 



....Ziplining upside down is tricky enough!!


I definitely recommend this if you're physically up to it.


I got to meet a lot of great people my husband works with, but this awesome couple here (especially Vanessa to my right) Definitely two new good friends for sure. Vanessa is amazing and funny as hell!!) I love meeting new people!!


It's probably hard to tell unless I point this out, but there are monkeys in the tree in front of me,   
( phone camera people!) My Lovie and I are sitting on a deck drinking AMAZING COFFEE!!!!!  watching the monkeys migrate back to the other side of the resort. Even if you are not a big coffee fan, you have to try the coffee!! Seriously, I wish I could bring buckets home. Better than Starbucks!  Drinking a fancy cup of cappuccino watching monkeys go by...pinkies up people! pinkies up!)


It was tricky trying to find gifts for people that looked "authentically from Costa Rica." We went to this little shopping town in Tamarindo our last day in search of finding cool things to bring home. I did find these adorable looking "tiki" statues ( one for each of our kidos) I love these too...could not find any more of them so I think I got lucky finding three. We did not have time to venture too far. If anyone has had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica and can suggest places to find unique things, I'd love to hear from you. Tamarindo was like a dirty Key West with too many Americans lol. I felt like I was shopping at Pier One half the time.


 Although we didn't see any Sloths, they're big in Costa Rica as well...A fluffy fake one had to do.



Some of the shops were cute in Tamarindo, this reminds me so much of my favorite cartoon



This was the little town walking distance from the resort.


 The Cacti is super tall and skinny ( Emil showing the scale)


The palm trees on the resort were beautiful...only on the resort. The rest of the area being the dry season looked dead or dormant.


I called this the "praying tree" It was one of the few that was lit up at night at the resort. The picture does not do it justice. The trees are really neat, lot's of the roots grow above ground.


OK...glad I went, the kids are fine, the house did not burn down, and no one missed me for three days! As much as I hesitated about the trip it was really a nice little break. Twenty years with this guy! (yes, it's bragging time) It went by so fast. This beautiful soul I wake up next to every day. This amazing person I adore so much. I can't believe in a blink of an eye that twenty years have gone by. How lucky am I to be with the most beautiful person I have ever encountered in my life. Emil and I have something I wish everyone had, everyone deserves to have the love of your life in your life! I'm so lucky I have him. I admire him, I'm in awe of him and I look up to him.... he is what makes my world so beautiful ( Cheers to 20 more!)

SEEDS Studio Shout-Out to Janna Coumoundourous of LilacPop Studio

January 15, 2018
Main Event 20 Photo Courtesy of SEEDS Studio

Have you ever meet someone who really hustles, who inspires you, who is truly by definition a trendsetter?  That would be my good friend Janna Coumoundourous of Lilacpop Studio. Janna shines in a class all her own and in my eyes is an Iconic Figure in Detroit Fashion. Not only is she an amazing photographer specializing in real estate for over the span of 15 years, her award-winning fashion and commercial photography have been featured in online magazines like Italian Vogue and Detroit's very own Styleline Magazine. She photographs food, fashion, events and more, but Janna's talent does not end there.




Janna creates stunning and unique jewelry that has been featured in Dateline Detroit, Fox 2 News, and NAIAS 2012. Her amazing work is sold all over Metro Detroit. Janna's design inspiration arises from a desire to discover the beauty in everyday objects, such as vintage machines and car parts, which she disassembles, repurposes, and combines with her own metal work to create her own amazing one-of-a-kind pieces.  








If it isn't enough that Janna Creates stunning jewelry, she also designs and brings to life dresses made from nonother than Inteva Inteather automotive material. who she has been commissioned by 3 years in a row to create unique automotive dresses for the North American International Auto Show's Charity Preview held every January in downtown Detroit. The material can be found in many brands and cars used on panels and sunroofs. She adds other elements of surprise such as shredded seat belts, vintage machine parts, and delicate beaded lace to create completely unique yet beautiful and wearable gowns.  

Last year's dresses were featured in publications and websites all around the globe including USA Today, The Associated Press, ABC News, U.S. & World Report, and more. Janna's automotive dress collection was on display last year at the Detroit Historical Museum alongside creations by Anna Sui, John Varvatos, Tracy Reese and other native Detroit fashion designers.   


 Detroit Singer/ Songwriter Josie Pace  Photography by Janna Coumoundouros at The Conserva 



Models wearing 4 of Janna's Dresses using material from Inteva at the North American International Auto Show's Charity Preview



This year Janna is designing a dress using Inteva Material specially made for  Kim DeGiulio From Detroit Channel 4 News. If you do attend the 2018 Charity Preview Show you will not only see Kim DeGiulio sporting this amazing one-of-a-kind dress but Janna her self along with other models will be walking around all wearing previous dresses and jewelry made out of Inteva material and custom automotive parts.   





Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live

You would think I'd be concluding, now wrapping this up and commenting on all the amazing accomplishments and hard work Janna Coumoundourous has put in over the years. The numerous fashion shows she has participated in, the many interviews not only with local news but in magazines all across America, you would think after having not only her self and her fashion photography on billboards and busses around the Metro Detroit what else could I add, what else can this woman possibly accomplish? 


    Mushroom Photo by Janna Coumoundouros can be purchased here: LilacpopPhotography

Well......Last Year Janna alongside her Husband Chef Matt Baldridge opened their restaurant The Conserva located in Ferndale Mi. She helps create the advertisement,  photographs the food, helps with the website and much more. She is also in charge of coordinating monthly featured artist at the Conserva. Each month, a local artist has their work displayed on the walls, starting with an opening night celebration,  followed by 2 weeks of the featured artists work on display and for purchase. Detroit's Art, Fashion and Culinary are growing because of people like Matt and Janna. Their love for the city an dedication to the arts is inspirational.


Janna tweaking a dress in her Ferndale Studio Photo courtesy of SEEDS Studio 

Janna has accomplished so much just within the past 5 years I have known her, it's a whirlwind to write about. I can say that this little SEEDS Studio Shoutout (#seedsstudioshoutout) doesn't do justice to the determination and inspiration Janna has shown not only through her work but to women everywhere. If you meet her she's hilarious and never takes herself seriously.  She sees the beauty in everything and lights up a room when she walks in, Her talent always amazes me and her hustle has no end. If this story does anything, it should be inspiring. This wife and mother of two who started out as a DNR outdoor ranger has transformed her passion into reality with nothing but hard work and determination. If you do attend the North American International Auto Show's Charity Preview this year I encourage you to find Janna, chat with her and maybe if your lucky get her autograph. She is a Badass Girlboss, a true inspiration and I'm honored to call her friend.

Detroit Fox 2 News  The showcasing of Janna's new dress airs tomorrow morning 1/16/2018
To find more of Janna's work visit the links below:

This is a SEEDS Studio Shoutout, to share this story on social media use hashtag  #SEEDSStudioshoutout

Thank You Lensbaby!!!!!

January 10, 2018


I am so geeked to Have  the Texture Légère Rêveuse Collection featured on the Lensbaby Blog......thank you so much for the honor. Check out the article, blog, and website here: https://lensbaby.com/scottie-magro-texture-legere-reveuse-collection/
A huge part of my dreamy look is because of My use of my Lensbaby Composer Pro With Double Glass Optic. It is my go-to lens for almost everything artistic. Any photographer who loves the dreamy artistic look, You definitely need to check out Lensbaby.com 

~Take a mini class~ Let's create beautiful images together with Scottie Magro Of SEEDS Studio

January 09, 2018

I'm a big believer that capturing a moment is way better than a posed image. If you feel the same then I would love to teach you how to capture better memories of your kids, your family, your hubby, your dog. Lots of people tell me that my camera must be amazing to have the kind of results I do. It's not the camera, it's the person behind the camera. No matter what kind of camera you have I can help you see your world in a new light. If you are excited to take the next step in your photography, then join me for my mini class  # SEEDS Studio Beautiful Images



What you get:
A PDF of info and homework ( that's right homework) You need to learn the basics of your camera and understand "Camera Terminology " This is important ( and doesn't hurt that much!)
A 90-minute hands-on class located at the 100-year-old Howell Opera House in Howell Michigan. Here you will learn how angles are your friend, light makes the world of difference and a whole lot more





Fill out the small questionnaire here: http://www.scottiemagro.com/classes If you have any additional questions you can leave all questions and comments here on the blog or after the questionnaire.












Holiday Glitter Love 2017

December 20, 2017
Hi there, Scottie Magro of SEEDS Studio Photography here today to share a quick little last minute project using a little bit of glitter and prints from Parabo Press. The holidays snuck up on me once again. In the midst of helping my clients get their holiday cards ready, I did nothing card wise this year. I have prints from parabopress . Lots and lots of prints. ( I have become quite the printaholic) but have nothing holiday oriented. I needed a quick fix with what I had handy and happen to stumble across some glitter glue I had tucked away in a drawer. I decided to try something wonky! At first, I did not like where this was going but as I used different prints I think things ended up looking kind of cute.


Gotta have glitter!!! ( Michaels, Joanns, Hobbie Lobby)


I use "frogs" often for holding little prints ( Michaels floral department) This one I spray painted gold.

This looks cooler in person. The glitter is subtle, especially from a distance away.


Free Softcover Photo Book



At first, I thought this may be cheesy, but I actually like it. Like I mentioned...this is close up and angled so you can actually see that there is glitter. Setting them for display looks great, And it was fun. I think I'd like to find more grown-up glitter with a better nozzle for future attempts, but this was fun, quick and it's cute....enjoy!

@SCOTTIE.MAGRO