Africa in videos, and some notes on the making of

You guys know I’ve been having fun making little videos of my adventures and posting them over on Vimeo. Well, Africa was such a big, varying trip that I felt it warranted TWO videos – one about our time on safari and one about the work we did with Children’s Cup – and I’m so excited to share them with you here.

South African Safari from Leigh Anne Zinsmeister on Vimeo.

Children’s Cup Swaziland from Leigh Anne Zinsmeister on Vimeo.

I make my videos using a fairly new iPhone app called Cameo, which is actually run by Vimeo. I took some basic videography courses in college as part of my journalism degree, and all of my videos at the time were absolute garbage. I just couldn’t manage the heavy equipment, the sound, the lighting – and then all of the work that goes into uploading shots to a computer followed by tedious editing.

Cameo makes everything SO easy because I can do everything – from shooting to editing to uploading – right on my phone. These videos here are WAY better than anything I ever produced in college! And last week I had the honor of visiting the Vimeo offices here in New York City and chatting with some of the Cameo team, so I can now officially say that this company is as cool as they seem, and the people are fantastic. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to explore video-making, because I never thought it was something I could handle!

I swear they didn’t pay me to say any of this. I’m just a huge, huge fan of the company and their product! Thanks for helping me document my trip, Vimeo!

Lately on Instagram: 8/30/15

These posts were getting a little tedious to write every week, especially those weeks I don’t post as much on Instagram. Instead of scrambling every Sunday, I’m going to be posting whenever there’s enough content – probably closer to every two weeks – and supplementing with more Currently and Day in the Life posts. Sound good? That’s a real question – let me know what you think!

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Last week I was invited to an event in midtown where I didn’t know anyone. I’m a big advocate for saying yes to things, and it’s rare for me to be outside my comfort zone since I developed a close group of friends here in NYC. So I went, stayed about 30 minutes, and ducked out fashionably early (that’s a thing, right?) Luckily I was just a few blocks from my favorite part of the city – Rockefeller Plaza – so I wandered over to see it all lit up, read a book, and laugh at the fact that someone at the event called me brave. Would you ever have thought?!

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After over a year, I still can’t get over Bryant Park. It’s the most random park filled with suits and squeezed between skyscrapers just a few blocks from Times Square – yet it always feels like the most peaceful oasis.

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My church hosts quarterly gatherings for the whole team, and they’re always catered. Usually it’s mediocre Italian food but last week we had a taco truck! If you’ve read anything on this site at all, you probably know that tacos are one of my love languages. I made sure Emmie, Kelli and I got there 30 minutes early and didn’t even complain about sitting on the sidewalk. Because tacos!

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Brunch is forever my favorite meal, and one I indulged in twice this week – at Petite Abeille in Flatiron and at Colina Cuervo in Crown Heights. I’m partial to sweet, high-carb treats, as you can probably tell!

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Yesterday was a quintessential New York summer day, and it bums me out to think that summer is coming to a close. There was a rooftop barbecue in Hell’s Kitchen, followed by a spontaneous trip uptown (181st Street!) to see my friend Kelli’s place in Washington Heights. A solid hour away from my neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was like going on vacation – without even leaving New York City!

Follow me on Instagram here.

One year of A Genuine Delight

I spend a lot of time thinking about how lucky I am.

Many people in New York don’t like to be told that they’re lucky. They emphasize their hard work and the struggles that they face in between the rooftop cocktails and the Thai food that’s delivered to their apartments whenever they want it, even (especially) at 3 a.m. And while it’s true that I spend a lot of late nights with my laptop, that I occasionally spend $20 on a drink, that I spend more time than most staging photos to get just the right angles and lighting – I really am lucky. I’m lucky to get to do such cool, such delightful, things as part of my every day life, things like set sail at sunset after a long day at work. I’m lucky that I don’t need to have a car, that the train goes (pretty much) anywhere I want to, any time of day. But in particular, I’m lucky that I recognize these blessings and get to soak them in.

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A year ago today, my very first post went live and A Genuine Delight was born. Part of me is surprised that it’s still alive and flourishing – after all, I’m the girl with commitment issues, and it’s rare I do anything for a year straight with only myself to report to. But the photos are still being taken, the posts are still being written and I even have a fancy little content calendar. I started writing, honestly, under pressure from others – but I’ve kept it up for myself. It’s turned into a creative outlet, a project for me to focus on outside of my day job. It’s led to new friendships and to my learning fun new skills like video-making. It’s turned into something that I’m really quite proud of.

When I started blogging, I didn’t think about how it would change my daily perspective. I chose to write about the things that delight me because it’s broad, all-encompassing – this site can change with me. But I also chose it because I saw delight all around me, in the bright lights here at home and at the end of every car and plane journey I took elsewhere. But now, because so much of my life is focused on documenting the delightful, I see it even in the mundane. It’s in the crowded morning commute, which I can spend with my nose in a book. It’s in every astronomical rent check I write, which pays for a home that is more of a haven. It’s in the long, drawn-out work days, which always come to an end and often with friends.

Thanks for coming along for the journey. If not for all of you out there reading each post, this website would be meaningless. Rest assured that there is so much yet to come.

P.S. You’ll notice I bought my site a little birthday present – its own domain! Your bookmarks should redirect, but please let me know if there are issues. From here on out, you can find me at agenuinedelight.com!