Kage Imagery » Wedding Photographers based in the Twin Cities, MN. Available for world wide travel.

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KAITLIN + JOSH :: KILKARNEY HILLS WINTER WEDDING

I’m happy to present Kaitlin & Josh’s Christmas wedding! Both the ceremony & reception took place at Kilkarney Hills in River Falls, WI. I was so excited when I saw the horse drawn sleigh, I knew we had to use it for their “first look”!  We lucked out to have bright blue skies which made for some dramatic photos. Yes, it was a bit cold but I’d say the photos were worth it!

I met with Kaitlin & her mom prior to their wedding to discuss the details and loved hearing about their plans to turn the ceremony and reception area into a winter wonderland. They had so many creative and fun ideas and they certainly pulled them off!

As always, a wedding is a collaborative effort between many talented vendors!
Cupcakes: Family Friend

PHOTOS ON THE FARM :: SPRING GREEN, WI

If you’ve spent any time on my blog you may recognize this family! Both their engagement photos and wedding photos have been on this blog. Well there is a new addition to the family since the last time I photographed them. I was excited for little Marshall to make his debut in front of my camera!

Aron always has great outfits and themes for her photos, and this year we did farm photos featuring my grandpa’s Ford Fairlane! I had no idea the car was still in the family so I was very excited to see it.  Enjoy a few photos from their session.

I’m sure you will be seeing more of this family on my blog in the future!

CATHERINE + JOSH :: ENGAGED!

I’m SO excited to shoot this wedding next month! I met up with Catherine and Josh last night to finalize the details for their wedding day and I guarantee their day is going to be amazing. Last summer, we road tripped to Nisswa to take their engagement photos. Catherine’s family has a cabin up there so it was perfect for a Saturday afternoon session. We did photos around the cute little downtown and then headed to the cabin for some sunset photos near the lake. Enjoy!Kage-001

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Like I said, we’re really looking forward to their June wedding at St. Cate’s and the reception at the James J. Hill Library!

 

Monday Nutrition :: Chipotle Inspired Salad

Happy Monday, friends! First, I have to share my new favorite vegetarian cooking/clean eating blog Thug Kitchen. If language offends you don’t click through. I laugh at every post though!

Now, onto the subject of this week’s health & nutrition post. You may have heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym” and I fully believe this is true. Obviously, you need to exercise to build and tone muscle and to keep your heart healthy and strong. But when it comes to loosing weight, changing what you eat needs to be the majority of the equation.

When I made the choice to change my life and improve my health I slowly started changing up what I ate. I did not do it all over night. I started juicing and that led to other healthy habits. My daily lunch of a grilled cheese sandwich and a coke changed to a salad and lemon water. I spent a lot of time combing blogs and reading about nutrition. I started a “Be Healthy” Pinterest board to keep me inspired and give me ideas for the kitchen. Feel free to follow it if you’re looking for new ideas to try.

Sometime along the way I discovered Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinagrette and it changed. my. life. ohmygosh is this stuff GOOD! Asian/Thai food is my favorite and this gives my salads that thai flavor I crave.  I always have a bottle in the fridge and it goes on nearly every salad I make. Until last night. Long story short, yesterday after I got home from the gym I was craving a monster salad. But, I was out of my favorite dressing. I panicked for a minute until I realized I could improvise. And the results were so good! So I decided I would share with you my chipotle inspired, dressing free salad that I made last night. This bad boy is loaded with protein, iron, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, B….you get the picture. Perfect for a post-workout refuel and healthy dinner. It was inspired by Chipotle salads but this one blew Chipotle out of the water in my opinion.

Bare with me, I have never written a recipe before so here’s what I did:

3-4 handfuls spinach

1 big handful organic broccoli slaw

1 baby red pepper

1 baby yellow pepper

3 green onions sliced

A little red onion sliced

A handful of fresh chopped cilantro

Then I mixed up 1/2 can of black beans, only partially drained

1 cup of frozen corn, partially thawed but still cold

1 cup of salsa, any kind you like (I LOVE the pineapple salsa from Trader Joe’s or Newman’s Own)

Mix this all together with the salad and squeeze a 1/2 of a lemon or lime over the whole thing.

This made a big enough salad for two people to share, but if you were making it as a side you could probably feed 3-4 people with it.

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Now, I’m off to my Monday morning BodyPump class. I’m a little nervous because they’ve launched a new release over the weekend and I’m doing it for the first time today. I’ve heard that it is no joke. Wish me luck!

LET’S TALK FITNESS

I’m going to take a break from juicing this week to write about my all-out addiction. It’s called BodyPump. And it is awesome. BodyPump is a strength training program created by Les Mills and is offered at thousands of gyms around the world.

Last November I got the urge to amp up my workout routine. I had been working out five or six days a week on my own and had had recently taken some group classes through Community Ed. They were fun, motivating, and I was seeing results at only two days a week with those classes. I also did my own workouts either running, walking or biking outside, or some sculpting DVDs that I had. I thought I was a hard-core workout queen. Wrong. After falling in love with the group exercise concept, I investigated gym memberships and decided on the YMCA because there are several locations and you just cannot beat the variety and quality of their classes. Since I knew that would be my primary purpose of joining a gym and not using machines on my own I was sold. Over the next few weeks, I started attending as many classes as I could, just to try them out. I met with a trainer to have an assessment and have my body fat measured. I was in good shape with an average body fat. As my dear friend Katie calls it I was “skinny fat”, aka not overweight but not toned either (for the record she did not say that about me, we were just discussing it the other day and the term fit me perfectly). And anybody who knows me knows I don’t like the word average. I was on a mission.

I went into my first BodyPump class knowing absolutely nothing about it. I felt it best if I did not because otherwise I would talk myself out of trying it. If you haven’t done BodyPump before, here is the jist. It’s ten tracks, each one focusing on a different muscle group and including a warm up and cool down. You basically work each group to fatigue by using light to medium to sometimes heavy weights. You have to choose a weight that you can sustain for at least three to six minutes of constant work. So you may easily be able to do bicep curls with 20 lb weights or more but try doing them non-stop for an entire song. It’s tough. There is a cardio component built in due to the pace of several of the tracks, especially on squats and lunges. After my first class I thought I’d never go back, it kicked my butt and couldn’t understand why anybody would willingly do that to themselves. Yet there I was the next week ready to feel the burn again. And after my second class I was an official addict. It is true that once you fall in love with the gym there is nothing that can keep you away from it. The key is to figure out what it is that will make you fall in love. For me it is definitely not stair steppers or elliptical machines. My BodyPump classes which I do every Monday and Wednesday is full of regulars, men and women of all ages and abilities. There is something very energizing being in a room with 40+ people who have the same mission as you.

So after doing this program combined with several other classes (which I’ll write about later) and keeping up with my clean eating, I lost six more pounds and have built noticeable muscle for the first time in my life. I’ll take it. I set little monthly goals to increase my weights so that I continue to build muscle and endurance. My advice is if you try a BodyPump class and aren’t sold right away, try another one. And another if you have to. Find an instructor that inspires you. After two or three classes you will be amazed at what your body can do.  

And, because every post needs a photo, here I am after my BodyPump class this morning with of two most inspiring people I know!! Seriously, these people motivate me and push me beyond what I ever thought my body can do. Sometimes I hear Mark yell “Yes . You. Can” when I’m doubting myself and my abilities. And Linda looks so sweet (and she is) but this woman is my body inspiration. My own personal Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels. So inspiring! I try to go to any class I can that these guys teach. Highly, highly recommend them!
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Thank you for reading this far, I realize I wrote a lot but I am super passionate about this. If you are a BodyPump addict like me, or any other workout program, I’d love to hear about it. And I’ll be back with a regular photo heavy post very soon. On deck later this week is a fun summer engagement session from up north—these cold spring days have me in the mood to share some lake photos in the hopes that summer will return again. SOON!

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