Black and White Wednesday - "Snapshots From the 18th Hole"

June 30, 2010

Dad Looking Out BLOG

This weekend my Mom and I took the kids to meet up with Pat and my Dad on the 18th hole!!

They were playing in a golf scramble that my Dad puts together every year!! He picks a day and then invites all the guys who wrestled for him when he was the head wrestling coach at Muhlenberg College.

It is a day of fun on the course, followed by a visit to what I like to refer to as "The 19th Hole" for drinks, dinner, and lots of walks down memory lane......which usually means lots of laughs!

My Dad had asked me to come out and take some group shots and of course, I was more than happpy to oblige:)

Mom and Dad BLOG

Just as we were walking onto the course, my Dad was making his way down the path to the green. I made my Mom jump in the cart with him so I could get a picture of the two of them together. I love this picture of them! Anyone care to take a guess where I might have found my love of big chunky jewelry? Yes..... My Mom taught both my sister and I that the accessories make the outfit. Her favorite things to shop for are shoes, jewelry, and handbags. BTW, Pat thanks her (insert sarcastic tone) every chance he gets on that one...... just kidding:)

I need to get pictures of my parents more often..... we see them all the time because they are always here helping us out, so I have no excuses. We would be lost without my them..... we are thankful that they live so close and that they are always willing to help out with the kids when we ask. I try not to take them for granted and really do appreciate all that they have done and continue to do.

Leaning on the cart BW BLOG

Here is my Dad....often refered to as "Coachie" around here. He does not go by Grandpa, Poppy, Poppop, or Pops.... He is called "Coachie" by all of his Grandkids. It started with Nick and the name just stuck!!

As you can tell from this photo, "Coachie" is in terrific shape!! He is the only 66 year old guy I know that works out with weights and runs three miles every day.....and I mean every single day!!!

As part of his workout routine, he does "handstand push ups" You have to see it to believe it, but he does them in the middle of the floor, not resting up against the wall. It takes considerable strength and balance. He has done this as long as I can remember. I always loved to be in the wrestling room when he was working out with someone for the first time. The look on their face when he would do them was priceless.

Me and My Daddy BW BLOG

Not too long after my Dad arrived on the green, we saw Pat's cart coming down the hill. Sarah got so excited when she saw him and the second that cart came to a stop, she lept in to sit with her Daddy:) I have a feeling this photo will end up in a frame on Daddy's desk at work....... If you cannot tell, Miss Sarah is a total Daddy's girl!!

How does this work BW BLOG

Once the guys hit the green to "sink their putts" Eddie, Nick and Sarah took control of the cart! I was a little concerned that I was going to turn around and see them driving wrecklessly down the path, but everyone behaved.....and only pretended to drive....much to their dismay.

When the last foursome finished, I took a few group shots as promised. Once I was done with the pictures, Pat and my Dad took the kids for a short ride and then drove them back to the little club house.

My Mom and I walked back and met up with everyone so we could have dinner!! It was the perfect way to end such a fun family day.

Ruffles and Roses

June 28, 2010

Running bridge BLOG

We have had a busy weekend!! We picked up our cousin Eddie on Saturday morning and he is going to be here with us until next Tuesday. Nick and Sarah are so excited........ Nick and Eddie have always enjoyed their special time together each summer, as this is tradition for them to go back and forth for a week at a time.

This year it has been fun to watch Sarah interact with them...... although I am not sure the boys feel the same way:) The minute she wakes up she is asking for Eddie....everytime we sitdown for a meal she screams "I want to sit next to Eddie" He is so patient with her and it is so cute to watch!

I am short on time this morning, but wanted to post these pictures before I get to buried and backed up again.

This pettiskirt and beautiful rose came in the mail last week...... It is actually for one of my photography workshop models to wear in a few weeks, but a certain someone could not wait to slip it on and give it a twirl.

By Thursday night, I finally gave in and let her try it on. As soon as she pulled it on, she squealed with delight and started twirling and running through the house. She smiled from ear to ear and ran in to show Daddy how "beautiful" she looked.

Holding her skirt BLOG

Stop in your tracks BLOG

On the tracks BLOG

Defeated BLOG

Sitting Pretty BLOG

Our girl is growing up so fast..... It is such a bittersweet feeling. She is at such a fun age, and everyday she amazes us with the things she does and says, but at the same time we look at her.......and wonder where our baby girl has gone.

A special note: Thank you Kimberley for your wonderful customer service and for keeping all of our girls looking so stylish and frilly!! If you are looking for tutus, pettiskirts, personalized t-shirts, hats, or hair bling, check out her beautiful boutique by clicking HERE.

Black and White Wednesday - "The Vineyard"

June 23, 2010

Walking BW BLOG
Saturday night after dinner we decided to take a walk up the street to the local vineyard!
{Love this picture, hate the powerlines...but didn't have it in me to try to photoshop them out}

Grapes BLOG
Where we live we are pretty much surrounded by cornfields, but less than a mile away is a local winery!! I thought it would be fun to go and check out the rows and rows of trees that are growing the grapes that will eventually be turned into wine!!

For Grandma 2 HAZE blog
I thought it was smart to wait until after dinner to head up there, but it was brutally hot and humid so we decided to "cop a squat"{I always loved that line in Pretty Woman}in the field about half way there. It was the perfect place for a little water break.

Looking at each otherBLOG
By the time we made it all the way up to the rows and rows of beautiful trees, someone was a little grumpy and did not want to stand up on her own two feet......she was tuckered out from our walk{Even though I carried her a good part of the way}

Looking at each other BW TEXTURE BLOG

He makes me smile GLARE BLOG
I didn't plan to have a whole barrage of photos of Nick and Sarah sitting in the same place, but they looked so cute, I couldn't help but continue to capture the interchange between the two them.

He makes me smile GLARE BW TEXTURE BLOG

It was hard to narrow down my selection this week, so I just decided to post them all in color and black and white{By now, I am sure you figured that out}


Silly Faces BLOG
They both gave me the "Mom, please put your camera away" look:)

Sarah Up Close LB BLOG
And while big brother was fixing her sandals, I got one very big and beautiful smile before I slipped the camera back in my bag for the trek back home!!

The whole time we were up there, I kept looking at Sarah in that ruffly dress and the flower in her hair and all I could think of was the "I Love Lucy" episode when they were in Italy. Do you remember that episode?

Luckily all the grapes remained on the trees and none of them were under their feet.......although they probably would have loved to stomp the grapes like Lucy did when she went to visit the winery!!

Black and White Wednesday -"Through The Eyes of a Child"

June 16, 2010

Sarah on the Railing2 BLOG

Through the eyes of a child
By Ann Gibson

If you look at the world through a child's eyes
Everything will look different
Maybe even a little distorted at first
But then, you understand,
It starts to make sense
Little by little

An imaginary friend
Someone only they can see
Someone only they can understand
But you always go along with it
You pretend you see them too
But you don't

A castle made of blankets and chairs
To you it's only a mess
To a child it's their own creation
It can entertain them for hours
You get bored within minutes
Through their eyes
It's different
It's special

A tea party with stuffed animals on the lawn
At first it looks like a child sitting in the grass
Talking to no one in particular
You ask, they tell
It's a tea party and you're invited
You play along but you don't understand

A doll, a truck, a car, a spoon
A favorite that can't be left behind
It's a tragedy when it's not there
The world stops spinning
The sun stops shining
They will never see another living day
Through A Child's Eyes

But then
You come to the rescue
The world begins turning again
The sun begins shining again
And they will live to see another day

Through a child's eyes
Everything is bright and happy
Even when the sun isn't shining
The sun in their hearts is
If you ever have a bad day
Talk to a child
Not about your problems
But about your joys
It will make a difference
When you look at the world
Through a child's eyes

On The Lighter Side

June 14, 2010

It has been a long time since I have posted a recipe..... truth of the matter is that now that the warm weather has hit, I have not really been in the kitchen as much. Like many others, this time of year we rely heavily on our grill.

Well, after a couple weekends of burgers, dogs, chicken, and steak on the grill........well, it gets old and boring. I was feeling like we needed to try something a little different.

I was in the mood for seafood and mentioned something to Pat about making crab cakes......... he said that sounded good, so I searched for a recipe and founder a lighter version.

Dinner Plate Again BLOG

Baked Crab Cakes
Recipe Courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 scallion, including green top, finely chopped
1 pound lump crab, picked over for cartilage
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Smarter Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl mix together the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce. Stir in the bell pepper and scallion. Gently fold in the crab, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste. Put the remaining bread rumbs in a shallow dish.

Divide the crab mixture into 8 mounds. Shape 1 mound into a round and coat in bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and flatten the crab cake to form a patty about 1-inch high. Repeat to form the remaining crab cakes.

Bake until golden on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Gently flip the crab cakes and cook until the second side is golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Smarter Tartar Sauce:
6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped sour pickles
1 tablespoon chopped capers
Spoon yogurt into a small bowl lined with paper towels. Place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour until some of the liquid from the yogurt is released. Scoop thickend yogurt into a small bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine

Orzo Salad BLOG

As soon as I found the crabcake recipe, I immediately knew the perfect sidedish to go along with them........

Orzo Salad
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired

Crab Cake Close Up BLOG

We gave this meal a double thumbs up!!
The crabcakes were light......not a lot of filler, lots of crabmeat and very tasty:) The orzo salad......SOOOO GOOD....and it complimented the crab cakes beautifully!! I loved the fresh herbs.....especially the mint! If you are looking to spice up your standard picnic pasta salad.....give this orzo salad a try..... I bet you will love it and so will your guests:)

Black and White Wednesday - "Bethlehem"

June 9, 2010

Today I am mixing it up and taking you on a little "tour" of one of my favorite neighboring towns.

I know this might seem a little odd and out of the ordinary, but I promise you it is not as boring as it sounds....there is an exciting end to this post, just bare with me:)

The silo BLOG
If you have ever heard of Bethlehem, PA you probably already know that it was a HUGE steel town back in the day!!!

Steel Building BLOG
There are a lot of vacant buildings or frames of buildings still standing in the old mill area.

Street  shot BLOG
Recently they built a BIG Casino and they are slowly but surely working to revitalize a lot of these old buildings that surround it.

Church and Main BLOG
In additon to being known as an old Steel Town, Bethlehem is also the home of Lehigh University and Moravian College! I absolutely love the area just around Moravian is the historic section of town.....and it is GORGEOUS!!!!
{yes, those are cobwebs hanging from the street sign...too lazy to photoshop them out}

Let me show you some of my favorite things......

Flour Mill BLOG
Just behind main street there are some old brick buildings.....I believe this was a flour mill at one time.

Garden Blog
Just on the other side of the old flour mill is a very inviting and BEAUTIFUL garden!!! Some of you might rememeber this was one of the locations where I took pictures of the kids for our Christmas Card this past year:)

Moravian Star BLOG
You will see these pretty stars all over the downtown area.....they are called "Moravian Stars".....they are synonomous with Bethlehem. When I say they are everywhere, I am not kidding........

Moravian Cook SHop BLOG
AHHH...THE Moravian Book Store.....HANDS favorite store on the street!! And btw, if you are looking for a Moravian Star, you can find them right inside this store. It is a book store with so much more....I could get lost in there for hours and then go to the cute little cafe in the back of the store and eat a great meal!!

Reflections BLOG
Just across the steet is a fantastic hotel......THE HOTEL BETHELEHEM. It is not your average is filled with lots of old world charm and beauty.

Front of Hotel BLOG
Here is the actual entrance to the hotel and a view up main street!!

I love so many things about this neat little historic town......... but do you know want to know what I REALLY, REALLY LOVE ABOUT THIS PLACE????


This is going to be the place where I am going to hold my very first.....

VISIONS, A Lifestyle Photography Workshop!!!

Even better than that...... I already have 15 AMAZING LADIES that are signed up to come......and one incredible friend that is willing to jump on a plane to help me out with this many students{thanks Marla, you rock}!!!

These ladies are traveling from all across the US and one is coming from Canada to spend the weekend learning about camera settings, proper lighting, composition, and post processing.

I am beyond THRILLED that I am going to have the opportunity to meet each one of these wonderful ladies that I have been blogging with for the past few years, and also teach them how to take their photography skills to the next level!!!

In just six weeks, we will all be together in this cool little town to learn a lot and have some fun along the this point I am not sure who is more excited, them or me........ I think me:)

My head is spinning, but in a VERY GOOD WAY!! I am already knee deep in workshop plans..... and if you know me, you know that I will not sleep until every detail is covered and everyone has an agenda that will guide them through the entire weekend.

Last Sunday morning I sent out an email to those that were on my distribution list for photo editing classes to see if there was any interest in this type of workshop. By Tuesday morning the workshop was filled.
If anyone is interested in future workshops, and you are not on my email list, please let me know. I am considering running maybe one more before we might have to make a "little trip of our own"

Have a great week!

{I Heart Faces} Philly Photowalk

June 7, 2010

On Saturday morning approximately 30 serious photo enthusiasts took the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia by storm!!! We invaded their streets, parks, storefronts, alley ways, and parking lots. Everywhere you looked in the 8300 block of Germantown Ave.....there were cameras a blazing!!!

The Camera Crazies BLOG
I "borrowed" this photo from our fearless leader, Becky!! She did a fantastic job of arranging the event and making sure we had FABULOUS models to work with for the morning:) I love that she was able to capture us in action....... this picture reminds me of one of those "Where's Waldo" pictures...... Anyone able to find me in the photo?? We all kind of look the same behind those big lenses don't we:)

I am still going through many pictures..... I took so many that I was completely overwhelmed when I kind of makes the selection process a little difficult. So I just picked a few {well a little more than a few...sorry} that stood out to me.......

He makes my heart sing BLOG
This is our lovely married couple!! They were absolutely amazing.......and so natural in front of the camera. You could just feel the love they have for one another!! A truly beautiful couple inside and out.

Jess Looing Down BLOG
I loved watching people as they walked by.....everyone thought that this was her real wedding day!! We had to explain that it was was a set up for a photoshoot!!
Bride On Angle BLOG

Beautiful Baby Blues BLOG
I am not sure if a baby is in this couples immediate future, but she sure took a liking to Becky's niece, Brook.........isn't she just the sweetest little baby? I am bummed I didn't get more photos of her!!

The Look BLOG
These two really knew how to work it.... you can tell they both had A LOT of experience modeling and acting. They were so much fun and INCREDIBLE to work with. The expression and emotion that comes through on their photos just blows me away!!
Isn't She lovely BLOG

Fierce BLOG
I really loved this has "FIERCE" written all over it...... I just wish I would not have cut off her left foot.....oops!!!

Grace BLOG
This adorable brother and sister team were too cute for words!!! Big sister posed and posed away......but little brother had another agenda! I still managed to steal a few!!
Brother and Sister BLOG

Lexi From Above Close BLOG
This beautiful young lady....well, she was not only a model, but an attendee of the workshop as well. You got that right...when she wasn't posing, she was snapping away and taking pictures!! Not many can stand behind the camera and in front of it......but she sure can:)
Jumping With Balloons BLOG

I believe the day was a success.....I for one had a fantastic time and cannot wait for next years walk. Thanks again to Becky for making all the arrangements and to I Heart Faces for all that you do for this photography loving community!! Looking forward to next years walk and lots of other contests and events to come!!

Hope everyone has a great week!!

Black and White Wednesday - "Grace"

June 2, 2010

It was a very busy, but fun Memorial Day Weekend.......

We were lucky enough to have Aunt Mary Pat visiting from Upstate New York.....we were all super excited and so happy that she could make the trip. We only wish she could have stayed a little longer because the weekend just went way too fast.

On Monday morning my Mom stopped by say hello and bring some donuts before Mary Pat had to leave. We were all drinking coffee on the deck and it was already blazing hot, so Sarah ran in and changed into her bathing suit so she could play in the water and keep cool!!

We got the biggest kick out of her in the little ballerina bathing suit.

When I think of ballet or a ballerina, I always think of someone elegant and full of grace, but somehow "Grace" really doesn't come to mind when I look at these pictures.......

The determined ballerina Blog2

Aren't those some really funny faces?

She means business with that water gun!!!

After our morning on the deck we packed up and headed out to a poolside birthday party:) It was the perfect day for a pool party, and the kids had a complete blast. The only time they got out of the pool was to eat!!

This was our first swimming adventure of the season and Sarah was a little hesitant in the water. Last year she was so brave by the end of the summer, but I guess after a long winter season, it all felt a little too unfamiliar.

Hey Nicky blog
Don't Dump Me Off BLOG
Looking over her shoulder blog
Ready Set Go Blog
Blast Off Blog
She's doing it blog
We make a great team blog

Yes, Nicky totally rocks!!!
Even though he was swimming and hanging out with his good buddy, Anthony, he spent some time with his little sis. He definitely makes his Momma proud:)

I realize I kind of cheated this week..... These pictures were too colorful and fun to post in black and white, so I just converted one!!

Hope everyone has a great week!
We are in the home strectch and approaching the final two weeks of the school year.......Nick is counting the days until his summer fun begins:)

the long road