Christmas Card Photoshoot "Take One"

November 30, 2009

In his arms  Sweet VIntage WM
Since I decorated the blog for Christmas, I figured I would kick things off this week with a Christmasy post.....

Last weekend I took the kids out for what I thought would be our first attmept at the Chrismtas Card picture. Nick was not really in the mood and Sarah was pretty bushed from her bday party the night before, but I could not ignore that it was sunny and a very warm 55 Degrees. I told Nick that if we waited until Thanksgiving weekend, it would probably be freezing outside......better to do it on a warm day. Reluctantly, he agreed........

So here is a little preview. This was not what I envisioned for our Christmas Card......but sometimes you just need to be able to roll with it, so that is what I did:) I won't tell you which photos I used......or what the card looks like, that part will stay a surprise til later.

Sitting on the Railing  WM

Nose To Nose Front Cover WM

Up Close XMAS Sweet Vintage WM

Pouty Cosmopolitan WM
This last photo makes me laugh...... I almost deleted it as I went through trying to find a few keepers. I love Nick's expression and her pouty face....that bottom lip is hilarious!! This was near the end of the day....... I knew that Miss Sarah hit the wall and there was no turning back.

I jumped in the car thinking....We are going to need to reshoot this, cause I got NOTHING!!

Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and downloaded.... As I said, the pics were not exactly what I wanted, but I think they are workable:)

Hope Everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!! Ours was very nice.......we are still working our way through the leftovers:) One of the benefits of get all the leftovers!! I made a great Turkey Barbecue.......It is fantastic. I will share the recipe later this week. I am officially back to blogging:)

Have a great week!!

Officially THREE!!!!

November 25, 2009

Me and My Princess WM
Hello my bloggy friends:) I am still alive and well, just buried at the moment.......

I am having a tough time trying to find balance in my life. I look back on this past year and really don't know how I was able to keep up with my job, my family, friends, photography, and still have time to blog. Lately, I have not been able to fit everything into my day and I had to cut out some of my computer time:(

For most people the holidays are a very busy time of year, so I am sure you can relate to the anxiety that I am feeling at the moment. I hope to be back on the "regularly scheduled routine" as soon as the Thanksgiving Holiday is over. I am anxious to catch up with you all.

While we have been busy with a lot of the normal day to day stuff, we did have a birthday to celebrate last week......

Any guesses who might have turned three??

Yep......Miss Sarah.....or the princess as she now refers to herself.

The Glass Slippers WM
She got a cinderella costume for her birthday.....complete with glass slippers that light up when she walks.....or runs:) They are the cutest...... I secretly wish they came in my size.

Sarah and Mommy WM
Nick was nice enough to snap a picture of me with the bday girl after she opened some of her gifts.

Getting Ready wm
We had a small family party that night. Sarah stayed in costume all day long.....and Grandma brought the birthday cake. Of course she played right into the the whole princess theme and Sarah was so excited when she saw it come through the front door.

Happy Birthday to me WM
A little anxious to get through the happy birhtday song so she could dig into the cake. BTW, not the best pictures, but I wanted to capture the moment:)

Aidan's Corner WM
Ahhhh....cousin Aidan just couldn't wait to take a bite out of the cake:)

Let me at it WM
Sarah getting ready to dive in face first~

Diving in WM
Since it was just a small family gathering and we had more than enough cake.....we let them have a little fun...LOL! We are a classy bunch, aren't we??

Messy Face WM
Oh well, the kids had a blast. They ate their cake and then ran around the house with balloons until the sugar high wore off.

I still cannot believe that she is three. It seems like yesterday that she was placed in our arms for the first time. She is growing up fast........and she is no longer a baby:(

Well, I need to get moving here....I am off to work and then I will be coming home to prepare for Thanksgiving. We are hosting, so I will be busy in the kitchen getting things ready. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Be back soon......I PROMISE:)

A Little Something to Warm You Up

November 9, 2009

A little something to warm you up WM
Even though we have had some beautiful warm days, it has gotten very cold at night. It was feeling like a "chili" kind of weekend, so I went searching for a new recipe to test out.

Typically I make the standard beef or ground turkey chili, but I was really in the mood for something different, so I headed to and did a search.

After reviewing many different options, I landed on a Chipolte White Chicken Chili

Close Up - Chipolte Chili WM 2


1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Bunch of Scallions, white and green parts sliced
3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, chopped
1 Jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
2 tsp of Kosher Salt
6 cups of low-sodium Chicken Broth
2 Medium Baking Potatoes, Peeled and cute into cubes
1 Cup of Frozen Corn
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Chipoltes in Adobo Sauce, sliced
1/2 to 1 Rotisserie Chicken, skinned and shredded into large chuncks
1 19oz Can of Cannelini or White Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Cup packed Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, corn, carrots, and chipoltes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Stir to break up the potatoes, so that the broth starts to slightly thicken. Add the chicken and beans and stir occasionally while cooking an additional 10-15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.

I also opt to put out some fun toppings:

Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream

Another hint..... I usually double recipes like this because they freeze so well. It made a huge pot, so we could enjoy some now and freeze the rest for a day that I don't have time to cook a meal from start to finish.

I served it with some hearty whole grain bread and we were in business!! The family gave this one a double thumbs up, so it is safe to say I will be making it again:)

Sorry, no dessert this weekend......I am still paying the price for all the apple cakes that were made and consumed in the last couple of weeks.
Have a great week!!

The Perfect Place

November 4, 2009

the long road to china wm3
On Sunday, I took the kids to a nearby town to do a little shopping. We don't get to this little "town" often, but it is quaint and the street is lined with the most unique shops and little cafes......we should make it a point to get down there more frequently.

Our main focus of this little excursion was a trip to the bookstore. This is my FAVORITE bookstore in the area. Not only is it a bookstore, it is a cookshop, and a gift store as well. They really have it all, complete with a deli for a quick bite and a cup of coffee.

Nick was looking for a new book for his upcoming book report and Sarah said she wanted one too. We usually frequent B@rnes and Noble, so this was a nice change. Walking in kind of reminded me of the movie "Y@u've got mail"

We took our time and looked around taking it all in. After a little while both the kids picked out their books and we checked out. The kids practically skipped out of the store with their little red bags in hand. The cashier knew enough to ask if they each wanted their own bag.....of course they did:)

As we walked out, I glanced up and down the street and felt surrounded by old brick and cobblestown, I knew that this was the perfect place........

On an angle WM
I know what you are thinking.....

The perfect place for what???

Nick WM
It is the perfect place for our Christmas Card photo!

The Railing - WM
I don't know about you, but for me this is a stressful part of the holiday season......even more stressful than the shopping. It is nearly impossible to get both kids looking in the proper direction at the same time. I can't imagine dealing with 3, 4, or 5 children......

Last year was kind of trying and just when I was about to give up, I finally got the shot I wanted! When I saw my picture printed on the card, it was worth every minute of frustration and I was so excited to send them out to our family and friends.

I know I could make this task very easy on myself and just use one the hundreds of photos that I have taken over the last few months, but I would really like to go with something a little more festive....and in the moment.

face forward 2 wm
Even though I take lots of pics, I don't take many of Nick and Sarah together. It usually ends in disaster, so I am crossing my fingers and my toes that this all works out according to plan.

Daydreaming WM
The wheels are turning in my head.......and I have more than a few ideas floating around.

Nick on the fence wm
The coordinating outfits have been ordered.........

Anyone Home WM
and the scene has been set!!

Steps 5 wm
Now I just need a little cooperation with the weather{and my kids}and I hope that we will have success:)

I brought the camera along with me on Sunday because I have always loved this area. I kind of thought it might become a new hot spot for me......and now I am convinced!! I am getting really bored with some of the places I have been frequenting so it was in the back of my mind, but I wasn't sure until I walked the streets with my camera and the kids.

Nick and Sarah were in such a great mood, they did let me snap a few photos as they explored the new area. The street is filled with amazing buildings, wrought iron fences, and stone everywhere.....ALL perfect backdrops for any photo!!

I have only scratched the surface with these photos....this place has SO MANY possibilities. I did want to leave a little element of surprise for our card, so I conveniently left out some of my favorite attributes of this location.

The fun is just about to begin.......I am hoping we get "THE ONE" by Thanksgiving.

We'll see........

If You Wear Yours.........

November 2, 2009

I Will Wear Mine!
We got Wings!!! WM
After seeing her cousin Aidan wearing his wings, she agreed to wear hers:) It took some convincing, but she did wear them. We told her that no one would give her any candy without them. As soon as she heard that, they went on and stayed on:)

What's wrong with Him wm
After we convinced the princess that she needed her wings, we tried to convince "Woody" it was time to Trick or Treat.........but he was not having it. He wanted to stay at home where it was warm and cozy, so Buzz and Princess Sarah brought back some extra goodies for him.

What is hanging in my face WM
Aidan and Sarah standing in the neighbors yard. Sarah was a little shocked to see a big black spider hanging from the tree directly above her head. You can barely see it in the photo, it is just under the "V" in my watermark. I have to admit, it was kind of freaky looking. Aidan didn't look to thrilled with it either.

Rocker Dude wm
We had a little change in plans. I thought my other nephew, who is Nick's age, was going to be at my sisters house to come along with us, but he was not and I felt bad making Nick come along with the little ones. He went with a good friend instead and had a fantastic night. Before his evening started, he did let me get one picture of him:)

He is at such a tough age for a is either kiddy city or adult costumes. He said that we wanted to go as a rocker dude and we found the tattoo shirt at T@rget with the fake leather vest and "do rag" He also stuck a bandana in his back pocket. I think this might be the last year for him........he is getting ready to age out of the system if you know what I mean:)

Princess WM
One close up shot of my little pink princess!! I was kind of bummed.....we put glitter in her hair....A LOT OF GLITTER..... and you can't even see it. Of course it took me washing her hair three times to get it out and I am still finding it throughout the house.....but no evidence of it here:(

AbraCadabra wm
Had to put this funny one in.....She is infatuated with the fairy wand and her little furry purse complete with lipgloss! She has been walking around all weekend saying "Abracadabra Alakazam" We have all been turned into everything from a frog to a ham:)

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!
I cannot believe it is Novemeber already. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet??