Category Archives: my life

Birthday cards

January just seemed to fly by! February is on warp speed.  And I just celebrated a birthday in February which brings me to the title of my post…”Birthday Cards”.

My favorite birthday cards always come from my kids. You can count on them making me either smile and melt or smile and laugh at loud! And this year, I both melted and laughed out loud. =)

My first card was handed to me by my little buddy.

“This is for you mommy! Happy Birthday!”  I immediately said thank you and held him on my lap as I proceeded to read the paper he handed to me.

It’s a card made from computer paper that’s usually found atop my printer. It’s folded in half.

Front page reads…

From: Your Buddy (with 2 stick figures…one taller and the other smaller)

I  open the card…

“I love you so much.”

Back of card…


Melt my heart! I gave him a big hug and he gave me the biggest smile! These are the moments that makes being a mom all worth it!

My daughter gave me a birthday card too.

Front of the card reads…

To: somewone special (Mommy)   Note: “somewone” is not a misspell.  She wrote it exactly as is! =)

From: M&M

smiley face =)

I open the card…

Happy Birthday Mommy your “20″ wow you look young to be “20”!!!! :)   And no, i’m not 20 but you get the picture! ;)

love, M&M

p.s.  You’re the best! 

I had a BIG smile and was laughing out loud inside!

That’s why I love homemade cards…you can’t buy this kind of love and laughs! =)

Do you love home made birthday cards as much as I do?

Well, I hope you enjoy “your day” this 2012 and I hope you get to enjoy some homemade birthday cards too!

Until next time…

Learning to love vegetables…

I think i’ve shared this before but one of my hopes for this year is to eat more healthy. My diet’s not terrible but it’s not great either.  I just know I can do better and one of the ways I’ve decided to improve is by eating more vegetables.   In my quest to do that, I’ve decided to try at least one new vegetable recipe a week hoping to learn to love vegetables while doing something I already love…taking pictures.

The first recipe I decided to try is Baba Ghanoush.   I decided on this recipe since i love dips (one of my favorites being hummus) and this recipe only called for 5 ingredients! I just love easy recipes! The star of this recipe is the eggplant.  Did you know…

::  Eggplant is a fruit;  actually, it’s botanically classified as a berry.
::  It’s native to India and
::  85% of all eggplants are produced in 5 countries (China, India, Turkey, Indonesia and Iraq)

So eggplant isn’t really a vegetable? Well, it’s botanically a fruit but culinary wise, it’s considered a vegetable since it isn’t sweet.  Anyway, I’m glad I can consider it a vegetable considering my title post. lol! Well, enough culinary knowledge…time to share some photos with you! =)

So I got all of my 5 ingredients together…


turned my oven to broil and broiled the eggplant while turning it every 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.


I let it cool for just a few minutes then peeled the skin back.  This was so easy to do since broiling made the flesh of the eggplant pull away from the skin.  I then just basically scooped the inside of the eggplant onto my cutting board.


I decided to chop the eggplant as well as the other ingredients rather than put everything into the food processor. Of course, the food processor would have made everything super quick.  Chopping is just the more traditional version.


I then combined all the ingredients into a bowl.


And voila!…


It was all done and ready for me to eat!

Honestly, this was so easy to make.  I really loved the overall flavors but thought I could have used less garlic.    The next time, rather than 2 cloves I’ll probably be using only 1. Of course, I should have known, the first clove I chopped looked larger than normal and could have really counted for two.  Anyway, lesson relearned… You can always add more of something but you can’t take anything away.


If you’d like to try this recipe here it is…

Baba Ghanoush (from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook by Carol Gelles)

1 medium eggplant (1 pound)

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (basically 1 lemon)

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced*

*The actual recipe calls for 2 cloves but I modified this so you can add accordingly.

1.  Place whole eggplant on a grill or under a broiler. Cook, turning about every 5 minutes, until charred all over (about 20 minutes).

2. Cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and discard the skin. Let cool.

3. Place the eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor container fitted with a steel blade. Process until the parsley is finely chopped. Let stand at least one hour for the flavors to meld.


With my first attempt being a bit more garlicky than  I’d like as a dip, I’m thinking it would be perfect in a Greek style hamburger. Hmmm…a burger with lettuce, tomatoes, few slices of thin red onions, this baba ghanoush spread on the bottom (or top) layer of the bun, and some feta? I’ll have to eventually try my crazy idea sometime. But that will have to be for another future post! =)

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m really excited to share more of my journey into the world of vegetables through photos and recipes with you!

Until next time…

Changes and more photos of course!

If you’re a regular on my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve recently made a few changes! There’s been an addition here, a little subtraction there, and there will probably be a few more changes along the way.  Why?   I figure change is always good…or is it never good? Well, I’m hoping it’s good!  =)

Anyway,  I finally cleared the house of  everything Christmas this past weekend.  Yay!!!… for life moving in the right direction! =)

So before too much more changes take place and since I did use the word Christmas on this post, I thought I’d sneak in a few more photos from that December holiday shoot I shared with you on the post “A Christmas Extension”.

The shoot and kids were just so much fun I’d hate to miss sharing these with you…

Bye, bye Christmas!

Until next time…

A Christmas Extension

For some, Christmas has come and gone. I am fully aware that there are many who have already packed up the holiday ornaments soon after December 25th in preparations for the new year. I’m not so inclined to put the decorations away yet; in part because it wasn’t until a week and a half before Christmas that I finally got our tree up this year.  Anyway, our Christmas decorations are only a few of the pretty and tidy things I have around the house right now! Since going on vacation right after Christmas and having been back for only a couple of days, our house is currently under clean up from the annual tornado that hits our home sometime during the holidays.  And if you’ve already read my previous post, you know I’m working on  “BEING” in the moment and so I’m trying very hard not to succumb to the pressures I personally feel with having to get myself in some kind of order for the new year and that order points to having to get the Christmas decorations down and put away!

I know I’m not the only one who feels this pressure around this time of year.  Am I? My husband said to me earlier today, “We have to take the Christmas tree down today!” to which I immediately but calmly replied, “Why?”. He reminds me it’s January. January? What made January 1st (or even December 31st) as the day Christmas officially ends?

I just have to ask…Why are we so quick to put away the decorations? I’m sure there’s a possible number of reasons for the need to get the decorations out of the house.  Is it crazy to want to have the decorations up just for a little bit longer?

If you are one of those who’s already put the decorations away I hope this doesn’t bother you at all! I wish my life would allow for such organization at the moment!  There’s definitely nothing wrong with having your decorations put away.  I’m just wanting to say that there’s nothing wrong with having decorations up past January 1st ( probably an attempt at convincing myself that it’s okay that I have nothing put away).

So I’ve decided to allow myself a little Christmas extension.  I’ll eventually get those decorations down but for now, they’re still up in my house. And who knows…it may actually be a week or two before I can get them down. But I’ll get them down.  I am absolutely sure I’ll have all my decorations down before Valentines day! ;) Now if you happen to come over to my house next month and see cupid along side decorations on a tree…PLEASE help this girl out! lol! =)

Finally, on the topic of Christmas, here are a few photos from the north pole (a fun Christmas session I did in December)! =)

I’ll be sharing more from this session in the next post so check back soon!

Thanks for reading!

It is a wonderful life!…Really!

It’s December! Christmas is right around the corner and I’m trying to not get caught up with all the hustle and the bustle that this holiday season brings.  It’s a fight for me to remember what this season is really about.  I have to let go of my desires for the beautiful decorations, perfect gifts and even family traditions and hold on to remembering Christ, his life and what he desires from me…Love God and Love others.  And no, it’s not LOVE through the presents under the tree…the immediate tangible things but the intangible…love, kindness, joy, peace and the like…things that take so much more of ME and my time to give.

Having said that,  we’re excited to find ways to give LOVE together as a family. We’re looking to find ways to give love other than giving money and/or buying something for someone though this is important to do too. It’s just that I want my kids to understand they can give to anyone even without having money.  And it’s more than just the actual action of giving (handing someone something) but it’s making sure their heart is in it as well. I want my kids to learn that it’s not giving just to make themselves feel better or not feel guilty for not giving, but it’s about seeing and understanding that we do have a wonderful life and so out of a full & grateful heart, we give (money and more)!

This week, we’re starting out with helping at a local non-profit’s end of the year celebration for one of their programs/activities.  My kids are really excited to do something.  What are we going to be doing exactly?  I’m not sure. But I am grateful that our family gets to join together and help out an organization I know does amazing work.  I’ll let you know how it goes. =)

Until next time…

Thankful for my ya-ya sisters!

Today, I felt overwhelmed! There’s times when I’m riding this journey called life on a straight and smooth road.  Then there are other times, like now, when the once smooth road has somehow turned into a curvy, bumpy one.  I’m so thankful for women that know what it’s like to be a woman, a wife, a mom and whatever else I’m needing to be at the time. I love that they can totally relate to what I’m going through. We all need friendships and I’m so grateful for the group of women I consider not only friends but sisters in this journey.

No matter how your journey is going…I hope you have that same feeling of encouragement & love from those around you!

Until next time…

Thankful for quiet moments

As a mom of 3 ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months old, life is ever so busy! I’m a wife, homeschool mom of 3, I love photography, crafts and cooking when I have the time.  Life is never boring…that’s for sure! I love my life and I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it! But I am thankful for those quiet moments…when I can basically hear a pin drop. Today, these moments are few and far between but when they come (usually by surprise)…I take a deep breath and try not to do what my mind tells me which is to hurry and get more things done but instead…I’m learning to be still and enjoy the simple but awesome gift of quiet. =)

What do you like to do when you get those quiet moments?
Please share, I’d love to know!

Well, until next time…

Thankful Thoughts

With the month of November and Thanksgiving around the corner,  you can probably guess why I have Thankful Thoughts in mind.  For the rest of this month, to help me blog and not over think things too much (a usual occurrence for me when I’m thinking of what to post & share), I’ve decided to share at least one photo a day with a small blurb of what I’m thankful for.  I can’t believe we’re already almost two weeks  into November but better late than never I say!

So with today being Veterans Day & me being a mom,  I think about the things I do everyday, my daily struggles and I’m in awe of my mom, a military wife who held the fort down when my father was serving this country.   She made things look easy when I know it couldn’t have been!  Whenever you can, thank the wives, husbands, grandparents, aunts and uncles that care for the families that are left behind keeping life together at home while their loved one(s) serve us.

Thank you to all our Veterans & their families!

Until next time…

{Just sharing} They love their daddy!

I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you that I took of my husband and kids one evening this past June. My husband had just come home from work. After heading upstairs to get out of his work clothes, he usually comes back downstairs and grabs a hold of our little Jelly Bean and the other two will crowd around him wanting to spend time with daddy! They’ve missed being with daddy all day.

I was sitting at my computer (as usual) when my daughter exclaims “Take a picture of us mommy!” And as soon as I turn around, this is pretty much what I saw! The kids all gathered around daddy.

I love these photos!!! I love photos that totally capture our daily expressions of life! My kids love their daddy! If they could, they’d be around him 24/7! =) I know we often hear that a little girl could have her daddy wrapped around her little finger but in our house, I think daddy’s literally got the kids wrapped around him! =)

Until next time…

Bright & Vivid: I Heart Faces {Challenge}

Having started over with a new baby in our home, it’s been a bit harder to keep up with blogging (and photography for that matter) but I’m so grateful that there are people/sites out there that make it easy for me to share some pictures with you without thinking to hard about what to share! This week’s  I Heart Faces (IHF) challenge is Bright & Vivid.

I found this photo I took a while back for a people photography class.  This photo was shot for the topic of environmental portraiture, portraits taken of people in a situation that they live in (work, rest or play) and/or a place that says something about who they are.   After one of my son’s usual haircuts, I asked the hairstylist if she wouldn’t mind taking a photo for me.  This was the shot I got…

I love environmental portraiture!  Whether it’s photojournalism or environmental portraiture, these are the kinds of shots I love…shots that capture my family/friends or clients life and will later be photos that remind them of what life is like and/or who they were at this particular point in time of their lives.

If you’d like to learn a little more about environmental portraiture, there’s a simple but great post from Digital Photography School that discusses this very topic. Check it out HERE.

To check out more photos from the Bright & Vivid Challenge, click on the IHF’ button below…

Thanks for checking out my post and blog!

Until next time…