Thursday, April 26, 2012

{Mid - April Recap} Dinosaurs and Photography....unrelated.

Last week we took Christian to see the Dinosaur Exhibit downtown.  I wasn't sure how he would react since his recent ear tube surgery....noises are new and louder to him, so I prepared myself for an early exit.  (Oh, and we were both sick with allergies - lots of coughing and stuffy noses) 

Let's just say he was very timid :)  Basically, we got a lot of extra hugs and squeezes, which I never mind.  I know soon enough he will be too big for that kind of stuff, so I try to enjoy it while he's still willing to give them.

Here is a picture of a picture.  It was the photo they took as soon as we walked in :)  I wish we would have looked scared or like we trying to fight the dinosaur, but my first instinct in front of a camera is smile :)

My favorite shot of the night :)  He didn't want to leave, but he sure didn't want us to let go eiher.  I'm not going to lie, I loved  it. 

Wedding Shoot

Also over the weekend, I had a wedding photo shoot!  I was so nervous...cuz it was the first wedding I didn't know the bride :)  Luckily, the bride was Super sweet.  It was a small wedding in a beautiful location.

Tyler Family Shoot

I also photographed the Tyler family.  Um, she also happens to be one of my besties :)  This was the first shoot I had where there were more than 2 kiddo's and I'm not going to sugar coat was kinda hard!  4 kids dressed up, posing for an hour, of all different ages - they actually did really well.


By far, my favorite shot. Presley always photographs so well - love the curls. I'm still working on edits, so I'll post more later.

{Photog News}

Tonight I recieved a call from our family hair stylist. She is looking for some local photographers for their salon grand opening next month. It's going to be a red carpet like event. It's a Paul Mitchell salon, so Robert Cromeans will be attending. She saw my photos on facebook and asked if I would be interested in being one of their photogrpahers for that evening :) How awesome right?! Honestly, my stomach hurt as soon as I said yes - I'm so nervous! Luckily, I have some wonderful friends in the business giving me pointers and advice.

I also recieved an email from a bride that saw my website and wants me to photograph her wedding in October :) How exciting!

{April Milestone}

Christian got his first skinned knee!


This weekend is my monthly girls night out - much needed. I just need to see my girls more than once every 3 months.

I also need to start planning my kiddos 2nd birthday!! I'm thinking Elmo and Monster Truck cupcakes :)

Oh, remember my phone vibrated into the toilet? Well, I now have the iPhone 4. I forgot how much I love the iPhone. I definitely prefer it over the Droid. Sorry Droid.


When things move too fast in our lives, our first instinct is to slow it down...take some time to process it...but sometimes it's more fun just to ride it out and see where it might take you.  Venturing into the world of photography has been a bit nerve racking - it's my nature to second guess myself or tell myself I'm not good enough yet, but at the end of the day I know a few things - I know that I'm always willing to learn and practice,  I absolutely love capturing THAT moment for someone, and I'm going to get there.  We've all gotta start somewhere right?  If you think I don't know what I'm doing, you'e probably right!  But I'll get there :)  I feel blessed that I've been given opportunities and friends and family that support me and give me constructive criticism.  How else will you get better?

I've said this before and I'm saying it again - You have one life - Live It.  If there is something you've always wanted to try, try it.   Who cares what others think...if they are better at it, know more about it for you.   I never want to look back on my life and regret all the things I didn't do. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life...maybe didn't always follow the straight and narrow, but there is little I regret...well, maybe a couple of things, but every girl has the right to her secrets right? ;) 

Alright - goodnight!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{Slightly Reduced Fat} Pioneer Woman's Meatloaf

My new favorite meatloaf recipe
Crash Hot Potatoes

So, I Loooooove the Pioneer Woman's recipes - they are hearty and deeee-lish...BUT they are far from healthy, so I only whip up her recipes every once and awhile. 

I've seen her meatloaf recipe on her website for months now and this past Saturday she made her meatloaf on her show on The Food Network. Here is the link to her recipe: "My Favorite Meatloaf"

I also made her Crash Hot Potatoes.  I made these the same, but instead of rosemary I used an Italian Seasoning and Garlic Seasoning.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices WHEAT Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground TURKEY
  • 1 cup (heaping) QUICK COOKING OATS
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon

  • Sauce:

  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard

  • Pour milk over the bread slices and let it soak for a few minutes.

    Place turkey meat, milk-soaked bread, oats, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

    With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)

    Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

    Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
    Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

    SRIRACHA Hot Sauce (aka Asian Hot Sauce) - Adding this to the sauce really gave it a unique spicy taste - Mmmmm 

    Great Dinner :)

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Let me catch you all up...Birthdays, Elmo, Easter Oh My!

    Why is it the older I get the more I CHOOSE to pile on my plate?  You know, because being a full time working wife and mom isn't enough for me to do (sarcasm?)...let's add on Sunday school teacher, quilter, {amateur} photographer, and a regular at Zumba class . When I was in my 20's {pre-domesticated} you couldn't pay me enough to do all those things...well, at least not all at the same time. 

    **Oh and to start my frazzlefest post, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet this morning.  I left it on top of the toilet and jumped in the shower.  I then hear "Valerie," my 3rd alarm ring tone.  So I'm singing along and then all of a sudden I hear a plunk phone had vibrated right into the toilet.  *sigh*  It's sitting in rice right now.  I'm shocked how completely dependent I am on it!  I keep checking to see if it's dry...pathetic? Yes...yes it is, but most likely your dependency to your cell phone equals or exceeds mine ;)

    So here is the skinny on what's been going on since my last post.

    The End of March

    We celebrated Avery's 1st birthday! 

     Avery is the daughter of my bestie Casey.  She is absolutely adorable with such a chill disposition.  We're hoping one day Avery and Christian will date, fall madly in love, and get married...then we can officially be family!  Yes, because it IS about us, lol.

    1 Year Ago 

    Happy Birthday Avery!

     Sesame Street Live!

    Christian is OBSESSED with Elmo or "Mo-Mo" as he likes to say.  So, I bought us all tickets to see Elmo Live!  You know those old clips of teenage girls screaming for the Beatles (or if Matt ever met Paul McCartney)?  His reaction was sort of like that.  I would post the video, but my phone....

    He wears his Oscar the Grouch shirt every Monday - it's fitting...believe me.

    Honestly, if no one would have noticed me carrying this huge Elmo cut out off to my car, I totally would have taken it.

    The show was cute, but a bit long.  There was an intermission!  Toddlers don't do intermission - you could hear all the kids losing it in the 2nd half.

    Someone's getting sleepy :)


    Easter Sunday

    We did the usual Easter Sunday routine - we went to church and then headed over to Aunt Sam's for lunch and fun :)  I feel very blessed to have married into such a wonderful family. 

    Cousin Kavi helping Christian with his eggs :)

    Found one!

    My B-E-A-UTIFUL Sister in Law

    My model lookin' nephew Ash :)

    My nephew Kavi - he's under all those locks of hair :)

    Big Rig(by)!  :) 

    Grandpa Ted playing a little golf...

    Cousin Casey and her beau - Possible wedding bells in the future? :) heehee...

    Aunt Sam taking the boys for a ride

    My hotty husband

    Fitness Shoot

    I was asked to snap a few photos of the trainers/trainees down at my work fitness center.  One of the girls I work with is in a fitness competition, so she needed some shots of her posing all buff and stuff :)

    Coach Sara

    Coach Gia

    News not photographed:
    • Christian had his hearing follow up and he checked out with flying colors!
    • Matt and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary!! He planned a night out - reserving a hotel room where we stayed on our honeymoon ;)  Comfy bed, champagne, good food - exactly what I needed.
    • Christian stayed the night for the first time with my parents!  Complete success!
    Okay, I think we're caught up now.  Have a good day!!
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