Johnson Creek Wisconsin
It's probably totally obvious but we have a formula we like to follow. Very Wise, Super Talented and Charming Local + Lots of Love for Hometown + something new for the mix. The Local: lovely Wedding Photographer, Blogger, & Watercolor Artist Jenna Kutcher @jennakutcher Location: Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. The part where we keep you on your toes: technically it's a village, just 3,000 people and by far the smallest place we've visited so far. "The best part of Johnson Creek is the slower life. From the fields to the epic sunsets to the constant outbreak of block parties and cook outs, everything here screams small town and I absolutely love it." Before the craziness of the holidays kick in, it's a perfect time to slow things down a bit.
Hey world! It's me, @jennakutcher coming at you from the hopping metropolis of Johnson Creek, Wisconsin! What's that? You've never heard of Johnson Creek? Well, I hadn't either, until we moved here a few years ago. I am a wedding photographer, blogger, and watercolor artist nestled in our cozy ranch home in our sweet little development in Wisconsin. It's actually not a city, or even a town, the booming population of 2,851 people makes it a village! It's a farm town nestled between Madison and Milwaukee and home of a wonderful premium outlet mall. I can't wait to share more over this week, lose your expectation of perfect lattes (we don't have a coffee shop) or gourmet eats (we don't have a ton of food options, either) and open your mind to new scenery that inspires me, reminds me to slow down, and proves that country living is more than just alright. (Ps. I drive by these cows every morning on my way to the gym. Sometimes I slow down and say hello, they always stare back!)
Happy Monday, everyone! @jennakutcher coming at you from the couch! Welcome to my favorite coffee shop with the comfiest seating... ahem, welcome to my home. Living in a tiny town without a coffee shop can be challenging for a caffeine lover like myself but let me tell you, I make a mean cup of java. I used to spend so much money at Starbucks but since relocating here, good lattes are a treat and something that I truly look forward to (and even drive a good ten minutes to get one if I'm really in the mood!) We bought our home a year and a half ago and have truly loved making it ours! I'll be sharing more about our little community soon but just wanted to start the morning off with a little dose of small town reality and share the space where I sleep, eat, and work most of the time!
What does small town Wisconsin mean to me? It means tiny newspapers with only town news in it, waving to everyone you pass when you drive by, hand delivered cookies, Packer parties on Sunday's and girls nights spent in pajamas sipping wine. Sure, we don't have hip night clubs but we have real and true friends who would rather have you show up in slippers than stilettos and who would rather stay in on the couch than go out. There's something about small towns that offer a sense of true community that can be challenging to find in city life! Today I am spending a few minutes paging through The Jay, our village newspaper and am reading updates on our new school! Want to see more of my country living life? Hop over and follow: @jennakutcher!
I work from home. Those are four words I never dreamed would come out of my mouth. I used to work in corporate America and finally took the leap of faith into full time wedding photography a year after I began dreaming about it. Working from home is filled with freedom but with that comes isolation and sometimes loneliness. Living in a town where there isn't a great creative culture isn't always easy! The transition from my office job to full time entrepreneur was anything but pretty and my bold move to stare potential failure in the face fueled my decision to chase my dreams than continue a ladder claim that frankly, I hated. Three years later, I still work from home (most of the time from my bed or the couch) and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Johnson Creek has some awesome old abandoned buildings and empty brown stones sitting vacant and sometimes I find myself dreaming about buying a space and making it a @jennakutcher studio to work out of. This old peach building is my favorite, partially because it doesn't fit in (like me) along the old stone offices and partially because it reminds me of my messy journey that led me to live a life fully alive. Every space has potential, every dream is valid, when you actually dive in and start to believe that you can is the moment the miracle happens. Maybe someday I'll snatch up an office space in this quaint little village but until then, I'll just dream.
This last weekend held the first real snowfall for us. The first snow that actually stays on the ground is always beautiful and we sit in awe that this place where we live holds four beautiful seasons, each that try to show off to the other. Let's be honest, at the beginning of winter we are always convincing ourselves that we will survive and all will be beautiful and not all that cold but the temp is already in the single digits and the snow is making the roads slippery! Regardless of the downfalls, Wisconsin winters are a bit milder than the ones I experienced growing up in Duluth, Minnesota and the snow usually signifies the beginning of my @jennakutcher wedding photography off season! Aren't these snow covered trees absolutely perfect, though?
Grain and flour mills are a huge part of our little farm community! Large grain mills are every few miles and I am always fascinated with them! Our town often smells like popcorn because of the process the grain goes through! It was so frigid out today that the steam coming from the mills was surreal!
Instagram is such a powerful connector! Today I finally met one of my insta friends in real life. I grabbed a long brunch (eggs benedict, yum) with my friend @karlareed at a tiny diner in Janesville, Wisconsin! We had planned to do a mini photo session but the Midwest weather made it impossible to shoot outside without freezing so we swung into an empty laundromat and made pretty portraits. Sometimes you are forced to think outside of the box as a creative and sometimes doing so produces the coolest photos! So thankful for the people this platform have connected me with and thankful to live in a place with empty laundromats when winter is unbearable! Follow me at: @jennakutcher to see more of my Wisconsin photography!
Bloody Mary's are a @jennakutcher fave! I once started a Bloody Mary blog and was convinced that I would try one from every bar in Wisconsin and tell the world how they ranked... I got about three posts in before I gave up and just decided to drink them, no questions asked! Brunch spots are limited to a sweet truck stop in our town, The Pinecone (where they have cinnamon rolls the size of your head and amazing Eggs Benedict) so if I want to get really fancy for the perfect brunch and Bloody Mary combo, we head to the city! Sardine in Madison is always a winner, I'm drooling just thinking about it!
(at Sardine - Madison, Wisconsin)
Every year we do anniversary photos. I didn't want our story to stop when we got married and I wanted to document each year, even if it was mundane or seemed ordinary! We have photos from our old condo, the year we adopted our pup, our empty first home, and our space that we made our own! Each year holds something different and something I cherish, even if I hadn't thought it was important at the time! Here is one shot of the field in our backyard from our fave @chloeannheckman and I am so glad we captured this because weeks later, this field was bulldozed to start building our new school! The referendum finally passed in our town and everyone is so excited to build a new space for kids to learn in! We will look back on these images and remember our favorite sunsets in the empty field out back before it is filled up with school kids and new buildings! If you want to see more of Drew and I, head to my page at @jennakutcher!
Drew and I are wicked obsessed with sushi and were super bummed to move to a small town without a sushi restaurant. We always said Johnson Creek would be the perfect place if they added some sushi! Well, two years late the Sake House opened ten miles down the road in Watertown and we get take out once a week! The perfect night is take out on the couch with a glass of wine! If you want to see more sushi photos, follow me: (I'm obsessed) @jennakutcher
(at Sake House - Watertown, Wisconsin)
Wisconsin is home to thousands of lakes! Right up our road is a beautiful beach and a place called the Hering's Sand Bar and Grill that we love to hang out at with friends! Margaritas, apps, and the beautiful lake views. Wisconsin summers are to die for and they are far too fleeting, this scene makes me yearn for some summertime sunshine!
One of my best friends owns a hair salon and it has the cutest little boutique in it! Crimson Salon and Spa is my go to for hair, makeup, massage, and facials and they also are one of my favorite places to browse one of a kind goodies! My watercolors are even sold in here, how crazy is that?! I love this little necklace display, I'll take one of each! Follow @jennakutcher for more adventures and musings!
The snow is here and it's here to stay! I shot this last weekend out the bar window on our way home from a weekend up north with our college roomies! It was right after the first snowfall and it was so stunning outside! It's so easy to tire of the cold and the snow but images like this remind me how seriously beautiful Wisconsin can be! Follow my snowy adventures over at: @jennakutcher if you want more!
(at Warrens, Wisconsin)
Staring contest, ready? GO! These sweet cattle gathered around at a recent engagement session and wanted in on the shoot! We were shooting on the grooms family farm and these cows were excited for their modeling debut! Most of my photography sessions take place in the country so fields, farms, and rustic settings are the perfect place! Let's be honest, the Midwest can be pretty beautiful and the farm land is everywhere so it works quite well! To see more of my photography, hop to @jennakutcher!