Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Love

I made cupcakes for Valentine's Day! Chocolate with cream cheese icing and sprinkles. Yummy!

And here's a photo of me and my valentine. This is one of the engagement photos made by our friend Michael Johnson.

photo by Michael Johnson Studios

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Loud Shoes + Silent Snow

Another snowy afternoon, another blog post.

The snow began falling late this morning, and the roads quickly went from normal to an icy, slippery mess. And since we southerners (myself included) tend to go a little crazy when we have to drive on snowy roads, I decided to go home and take cover this afternoon. I spent most of my afternoon snuggled up on the sofa under my electric throw blanket with Rowdy watching television with him and Chad. It's been a good day.

I wandered out into my yard this afternoon (armed with a scarf, warm hat and convertible mittens), camera in hand, to capture some of the beauty that God had been sprinkling all over like powdered sugar. Here is what caught my eye.

My yellow boots...my favorite shoes. I fell in love with yellow boots when my friend Brittney got me a pair for Christmas 6 or 7 years ago. I finally wore a hole in one of them, so I got a new pair this past Christmas, and I LOVE them. They are actually Crocs, and they are super lightweight and warm. They make me look forward to rainy and snowy days!

 Snow-covered still-life photos always seem so peaceful. You can almost feel the calm silence just looking at it. In warmer weather, this birdbath will come alive with singing, splashing birds. And this summer, friends will gather in our yard on the 4th of July and play horse shoes. But for now they are still. Silent.

Another peaceful snowy scene. This bench was given to Chad and me as a memorial when his dad passed away in September. 

This is just a fun self-portrait taken while I was freezing my fingers off. My friend Shaun said this picture makes me look like a happy ninja!

Happy snow day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Delicious Super Bowl Sunday

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

For football-indifferent people like myself, Super Bowl Sunday is a day devoted to hilarious commercials and delicious junk food. But since I have been successfully counting calories and eating healthier lately, today was a challenge for me!

Most of my friends are not big football fans, but we all love having an excuse to have a party, so each year for the Super Bowl we gather at someone's house, watch the game and pig out! This year Andy Whitaker graciously hosted the party and made baked potatoes and ribs (yummmmm). The food table was piled high with chips, dips (bean dip, salsa, guacamole, cheese dip, you name it), cookies, cupcakes, a ham and cheese roll... All amazingly delicious, and packed full of calories.

While I won't even pretend that I didn't partake in these yummy treats, I will say I tried my best to be good and not overdo it. And to help myself out, I brought a tray piled high with fruits, veggies, and cocktail shrimp.

This way, when I couldn't help but go back for seconds and thirds, I simply grabbed a few more strawberries and baby carrots rather than a plateful of Doritos and cheese dip. Though I'm sure I still went over my calorie goal for today (I'm not even going to bother adding it up today), I did much better than I normally would've done.

 A few things to note:

1) I used this acrylic rotating tray (from The Lower Deck) that I got as a wedding gift. It is AWESOME, and I've been dying for a chance to use it! It has 3 removable sections (each divided into two smaller sections), plus a bowl in the middle. You can remove each section and put ice in the tray below to keep the food cold without getting everything soggy! Also, each section has its own lid (so you could keep the shrimp covered if you didn't want to smell it all evening).

2) I used a mandolin slicer from The Pampered Chef (also a wedding gift) to slice the apples and cucumbers. Not sure if they sell it any more, but this tool is wonderful for getting perfect, equal slices. It is also absolutely amazing for slicing tomatoes for sandwiches, and if you like peanut butter and apple sandwiches (one of my new favorite foods), it gets the apples just right every time.

3) On a separate platter, I had ranch dip (made with light sour cream), cocktail sauce, Anthos Greek-style hummus, and fruit dip (which I made by mixing 8 oz. marshmallow cream with 8 oz. fat free cream cheese...so easy and delectable).

4) The green flower-looking thing in the middle of the tray is the base end I chopped off the celery. As I picked it up to toss it in the trash, I stopped and thought, I never realized how cool that thing looks! My original plan was just to put toothpicks in the middle bowl, but this was much more eye-catching and fancy-looking! Here's a close-up.

That's all I've got to say for today. Hope this blog post made your stomach growl.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Lens + The Hunks I Live With

So my new lens is here!! I had a little fun with it earlier, and I am totally loving the sharpness and the shallow depth of field it offers.

Since I was just hanging out at home with Chad and Rowdy tonight, they were my subjects. I was shooting at f/1.8, so I wasn't sure if I would be able to focus easily on Rowdy's eyes since he didn't want to sit still very long. I thought the pictures ended up turning out quite nicely, though!

My mom has been wanting a picture of her "granddog" to put in a frame, so this is probably going to be the one! He was staring intently at the treat in my hand, and that was the ONLY way I could get him to sit still.

Here is my husband looking handsome as he slaves over a hot stove making dinner. Er, well, he put can of soup on the stove for dinner. Guess he didn't think the popcorn I was eating for dinner was going to satisfy his real-man appetite!

Anyway, I'm thoroughly enjoying my new lens and looking forward to finding more excuses to use it.

On a completely separate note, I am well on my way to making my first real estate sale of the year! I have been working with a really nice young couple looking at houses for a couple of weeks, and we now have an accepted offer on a house. The sale should close in about a month, and I am super excited for them!