Questions from a 20-something: Vol 4

Hey guys!! It's been a long time! But, as always, I've been doing a lot of googling & I think it's time to bring this series back.

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

Ian the cow

How can I get my fresh flowers to last longer?

Trim the stems and change the water every other day. Am I the only one that didn't know this?? The bottom of flower stems get really brown. That's bacteria, guys, and it blocks your stems from drinking water. If you just trim the stems a quarter inch every time you change the water, flowers will last much longer! Bonus tip: stems die at varying times. Pick them out as they die so bacteria doesn't spread to your other stems. Bonus tip #2: make sure your stems are naked below the water line. No leaves or buds, just stems!

Is it possible to be emotionally abusive.... to yourself?

YES. It is actually very, very common. Often we are the most abusive person in our lives. It does a lot of harm, including preventing yourself from ever reaching your full potential. Emotional self-abuse usually stems from a place of low self-esteem. It takes a lot of time to change the conversations with yourself, but it is very important to do. Try writing one thing that made you happy, or one thing you did well, every day for 100 days, as an easy way to start changing your mindset. 

What happens to a zit if you don't pop it?

The body takes care of it! Your body treats a zit like an infection – because that's what it is – and will attack. Eventually the zit will dry out! This is not true for black heads though... you have to get rid of that ish on your own.

Why do some medications make you gain weight?

While I can't say why your specific medicine is causing weight gain, I did find a few common answers. Some meds increase your appetite and cause you to eat more. Some meds can slllllooow your body’s metabolism. And some meds affect how your body stores and absorbs sugars. Woof-nation. I started taking a medicine two years ago that contributed to a twenty-pound weight gain – in one month! It was bananas! But I guess, just keep on keepin' on, right? You're taking the medicine for a reason. 

Are the calorie counters at the gym accurate?

Short answer: no. Long answer: some machines are better than others. *Assuming you enter your weight and age into all machines* The elliptical's counter is the least accurate, often overestimating calories burned by 40%. Yikes. The other machines really depend on your technique. If used properly (i.e. without relying too heavily on the handles) the stair stepper, treadmill, and stationary bike are closer to accurate. 

Have a question? I'll look it up :) Just shoot it my way!

Photo by: Diana Lustig // Location: Heath Home

Life After the Wedding

Sydney Marie Photography

Well, guys, we're two months in. As of this week, I've been "Annie Heath" (in name, if not in legality) for eight whole weeks. Time for a life update: Jake and I are back in San Francisco. After a quick three days in Vancouver, we came straight to SF and jumped back into our life.

It was really hard coming down from our seven crazy months of wedding planning + whirlwind week as bride and groom, but more on that later.

In June, I accepted a new job (in the city, woot!) & Jake got a promotion. We took a week off for the Fourth of July and relaxed in Kewanee, Wisconsin. Ever heard of it? Neither had we, ha! It was a fun and quiet way to spend a few days together before we celebrated the wedding of two close friends at Elkhart Lake. We partied till the sun came up (lolz - til I took a red-wine-fueled nose dive into the basement bedroom at our VRBO) and spent the rest of the weekend on a rented pontoon boat with Jake's best college friends.

Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography

So, life after the wedding has been, overall..... good!
I think that's because our life before the wedding was good, too.

That's what I've learned, anyway. Because, for all the hoopla and emotion... and money... that goes into a wedding, it really means nothing for the rest of your marriage. Life after the wedding is only as good as life was before the wedding. 

After all the guests leave, and the presents stop coming in the mail, and you start attending weddings that aren't your own.... your partner is the one thing you can carry with you.

Lucky for me, that leaves Jake. 

Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography

But, here's the real question...
How did we end up with these magnificent photos? 
Answer: Luck. & super talented Instagram friends.

A few years ago, I met the incredible Sydney Norberg over Instagram. She was coming to shoot photos in Cincinnati the week I was leaving it. I introduced her to my bestie, sighed – because, well you take a look at Sydney's Instagram handle and tell me how you'd feel missing the opportunity to shoot with her – and moved to SF. 

Fast forward two years, and Sydney is HERE! Just for a vacation... but she squeezed in some time for a couple's shoot at Sutro Baths. & BONUS.... her uber-talented, incredible videpgrapher-friend, Ben Maurice, was traveling with her from New Zealand. 

Sydney Marie Photography
Sydney Marie Photography

& that's how Jake and I received the very sweetest two month-a-versary gift that we could ever imagine: a styled shoot in the place where we began our life after the wedding.

Our real life.
In San Francisco. 
Where we truly became "The Heaths."

P.S. Good luck trying not to melt while you watch Ben's video, below.

// photography: Sydney Norberg of Sydney Marie Photography.
// video: Ben Maurice of Sink or Surface.
// on Annie: coat (on sale!) & similar dress & similar denim & similar booties
// on Jake: pantsshirt & shoes.

Questions from a 20-something: vol 3

We’re young. We’re learning. There are still some life skills that need to be fixed. Which reminds me, my skirt just ripped -- is there any way to fix it?

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

SF view of China Beach

Can you post emojis from your mac keyboard? 

YES! From the new macs, anyway. Press control + command + spacebar inside a text field (tweet, Facebook post, etc) to open up an old version of the emoji keyboard that is on your iPhone. Warning: the emojis will probably change to the format of your platform. ie: in gchat they change to the gchat emojis.. which are equally awesome and sometimes animated.

Can I freeze glass

Food expands when it freezes, so as long as you leave room for it to expand, your glass should be fine. To be safe, go with tempered glass or canning jars. My glass storage containers from Bed Bath and Beyond are freezer safe. Or you could also freeze individual meal portions of soup (or whatever) in plastic bags for easiest future dinner options. When you’re ready to eat, simply run warm water over it for thirty seconds or so, cut the bag and warm in a soup pan! 

How do you "Hand Wash" clothes?

I have an embarrassingly huge section of my closet filled with dirty clothes that are waiting to go to the dry cleaner or are marked "hand wash only." Now. Sometimes I risk it and wash these clothes with all my other gear. But, this weekend I'm going to try to hand wash. Here's what to do (I just looked it up): Fill up your sink with warm water (or what it says on the label). Add a teaspoon of detergent. Submerge and gently swish around the clothing . Drain the sink and refill with cool water. Push the item up and down until the soap is gone. Done. <source>

my tiny apartment is so damp, what can I do?

Hi there, El Nino. How long are you planning to hang out? Guys. My apartment is old and DAMP. I'm not kidding. Usually, I can keep the windows open and things are fine, but when it's raining for 10 days in a row...... buy a dehumidifer. It is the only answer. I got this little guy on Amazon and haven't turned it off for about 6 weeks. No joke. I have to empty it out about every other day, but when it's raining outside and my windows are closed, this little puppy keeps things dry.

How do I add line breaks in my instagram bio?

Omg, I have been SO jealous of the people that do that:


#hastags #allunderthecaptionbreak #line.

So how do you do it? NOTES! Yea, go on your iPhone Notes app and write out your hashtags how you want them to appear. Copy and paste to Instagram and your line breaks will hold. Also works in your insta bio 😉. <source>

Have a question? Let me know! I bet I can figure it out :D & in the meantime, let me know if you found any of these useful. 

Photo: Nikond3200 zoom kit lens / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Co-Wrapping Gifts or... When you have a Huge Family

Fun Gift Wrapping

I have three sisters and one brother. Christmas is the only time every year we get to see each other. In fact, just this morning our brother flew in from Washington DC -- and shortly after he woke me up, I asked him to pose with our Christmas gifts. 

Why? Because this year we came up with a great idea: co-wrapping. This is how it works: each of our family members picked a wrapping paper. Then, we wrapped each of our gifts for our siblings in that paper. BUT, as a truly millennial clan, we've been emailing and online shopping for weeks, and many of our gifts were joint purchases. For example:

  • Jack, Colleen and I bought a gift together for our sisters Katie and Claire.
  • Claire and Katie bought a gift for me.
  • Jack, Claire and I bought a gift for our mom.
  • And we all went in on a gift for our dad. 

So for those purchases: we co-wrapped. The epic wrapping job below is our masterpiece. It's like our dad is receiving two gifts.... because the wrapped package is a gift in itself, don't you think? ;D

Fun gift wrapping for big families
Co-wrapping Christmas Gifts

Anyway, I'm signing off to pop open a bottle of wine with my sisters and sit by the fireplace. I wish you all the most wonderful, warm and lovely Christmas and I hope you are spending it with the ones you love most. xox

Photography: Annie Butler / Model: Jack Butler / Creative Director: Claire Butler
^^^ It's a family affair 😂

Questions from a 20-something: vol 2

We’re young. We’re learning. There are still some life skills that need some tuning up. Which reminds me: does Wd40 work on all metals? Does it stain?

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

peaceful kitchen

How long does it take to cool a room temperature diet coke in the freezer?

A can of coke should cool down in the freezer in about 20-25 minutes. It will take half that time if you put it in a bucket of ice instead. It will half that time if you add water to the ice and half that time if you add salt to the water. So you’re looking at a perfectly cooled soda in 25 minutes in a freezer or 2 minutes in a salted-water-ice bucket. via 

Can a sinus infection cause your teeth to hurt? 

Yes! My recent sinus infection put me out of commission all week. To top it off, I thought I had a cavity in addition to my symptoms! Turns out it's all related. Phew.

What's the right amount of time to keep a toothbrush?

3-4 months. But also replace it after every illness, regardless of how new it is. I've heard of people re-catching their own germs from their toothbrush after being sick.

What are the best podcasts to listen to on a commute?

Gimlet media's Start Up and Reply All. TED Radio Hour. Serial. PBS Newshour. I listen to each of these every week :D

Shoot. My eggs are expired.. can I still eat them?

Check with the float test! Place your eggs in a bowl of water. If they float -- don't eat them! If they stand on the bottom, they're still good. If they lay on their side at the bottom, they're very fresh. Via.

Got a question? I'll look it up! Just shoot me a note. Photo: Nikond3200 / Edits VSCO Filters for Lightroom.