Friday, December 31, 2010

i heart faces- "best face of 2010"

"Keep your face always towards the sunshine- and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman

To ring in the new year, i heart faces is looking back at the last year in photos and asking for the best face photo of 2010. This was a difficult task as I think back to my year in photos. I have pictures of my children and other people that I think are fabulous and, really, how could I ever choose between those?  
The more I thought about it, the more this one particular picture kept coming back to me. I fell in love with it back in July and I still am head over heels for this particular capture. I chose it, not just because of the handsome subject whom I love dearly.  While I do love this picture because of the just out of the pool messy hair, the freckled nose,  sparkly blue eyes, perfect lips and his beautiful soul shining through.  I  also love it because it represents the evolution of my photography. And that is why I chose it.
I had just completed two fabulous online photography workshops and was at a point where I was extremely comfortable shooting 100% in manual. I had finally grasped where I wanted my focus to be and was able to nail it, most of the time. This picture also represents how far I have come with my editing. This picture was actually a full-length view of my son that I cropped in for compositions sake. I edited it in Lightroom creating my own black and white conversion which I was thrilled with. Then to make the photo more interesting I added a Florabella texture. When I was done, I could not stop staring at this beautiful picture of my beautiful boy.
I am still trying to figure out what my "photographic vision" is. I know I want to capture people being who they are but in an artistic way that brings out their most beautiful, inherent self. I think I have always been working at that and if this picture represents anything, it represents the fact that I am on my way to that particular "photographic vision". 
I look forward to the year ahead in pictures. Capturing life as we see it, live it and love it. xo

To view some beautiful faces of 2010, click on the link below!

new years resolutions...

I am not one to make New Years resolutions. I don't necessarily like the idea of making promises to myself that I know I will eventually break. However, this year,  I have a resolution and I hope to keep it going for as long as I possibly can. My resolution is to do a 365-photo project which will get me taking pictures daily and blogging more! Creatively, I am falling into a rut. I feel the creative juices flowing, but am not really releasing that energy as much as I would like. I know the only way to become a better photographer, writer, blogger, artist, whatever, is to get to it! So I shall!! Starting tomorrow, I resolve to be a more creative me and express it daily, no matter what!

Happy New Year to all. May this year be the year you become the person you have always wanted to be! xo

Monday, November 8, 2010

i heart faces- "orange"

i heart faces is all about orange this week, head on over and check it out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Fall

Yikes! I have neglected the blog far too long now...  Last post we were languishing in the end of summer and now we are in the midst of fall! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

sweet august...

I love August. It is most definitely one of my favorite months of the year. I love the cool breezes, warm ocean and that faint smell of fall in the air. Our August has been beautiful, but not more so than the past few days. Maybe it is because we are all clinging a little tighter to our together time as we are all aware that it ends as soon as that big, yellow bus pulls up the street. I will miss the unproductive days, the late breakfasts, lunch by the pool, the smell of their sunscreen, their tan lines, their sun bleached hair and sun-kissed faces. I will miss the flip-flops, the sundresses and the bathing suits. The silly car games, the jokes, the summer songs they love. I will miss THEM as they load their backpacks and get on the bus. Longer days ahead filled with school, homework, activities and all the routines in-between.  There are still a few days of August left, so for now we will be rushing to fit in that last bit of sun, ice cream, freedom and time together.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

summer almost over

We are so sad summer is coming to a close in less than two weeks. Now we are in a mad rush to squeeze in every last bit of summer we can!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Swim Team

Because my boys are two years apart, there aren't any teams they can participate on together. This summer they finally play on the same team, swim team. Both boys are doing awesome and loving it. 

the eyes have it

When it comes to photographing eyes, these chocolate brown ones are my favorite. My other two children have beautiful eyes; my oldest has beautiful blue and my youngest has stunning green. But still, these are they eyes I live to photograph. The catchlights are always amazing on him. His dark eyelashes provide such a beautiful frame for those peepers. Beyond the camera, those eyes get me all the time. Not sure if it's the rich warmth in them or the glint of mischievious charm. As I see it, these eyes have it. 

Photo Op

The series of pictures I took for this photo op did not pan out as I expected. For weeks I had visions in my head of how I wanted these pictures to come out. The idea in my head did not translate well, so we improvised with other angles and lighting. I was pleasantly suprised with this shot, especially after cropping in. Just goes to show, we should always just keep experimenting with angles. 
Had I stopped at what I thought would be a good shot, I would not have gotten this shot. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Miss You

"In some motel room there'll be a radio playing,
And you'll hear me sing this song.
Well, if you do you'll know I'm thinking of you and all the miles in between.
And I'm just calling one last time, not to change your mind,
but to say I miss you..." -Bruce Springsteen

For me, the best and worst part of summer all occur all in one week. The best part is when my brother and sister-in-law arrive from Florida for their week-long stay. The worst part is when they leave.
My brother and I have not lived in the same state for nearly 18 years, but saying goodbye never gets easier. The week usually flies by and I am no more prepared for it to end than I was the last time. I will look forward to the next visit, but for now I am just writing to say, I miss you....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Days...

Too busy enjoying the summer to update the blog lately! Will try to post soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i heart faces- "Over My Head"

Wow, two posts in one day! This is my entry for this week's "i heart faces" challenge, "over my head". For lack of creativity I chose this picture of my two boys with their heads over each others. Sometimes I do believe they share they same head/brain, so why not?

Go out of your head looking at awesome pictures at i heart faces!

Vanilla Ice Cream...

The Reluctant 8-year old chef

The reluctant 8-year old chef and I embarked upon some ice cream making this afternoon. We chose to make Vanilla ice cream as a base and then added chocolate chips, because everything tastes better with some chocolate! We have made various ice cream recipes in the past, but this time we used one from the The Last Course: Desserts of Gramercy Tavern cookbook. Other than the fact that Gramercy Tavern (in New York City) is my absolute favorite restaurant, their desserts are incredible! So naturally, their ice cream should be! Added bonus: My kitchen smelled so wonderful from the vanilla bean cooking in the custard mixture.!

Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: About 1 quart

3 cups of milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream 
1 1/2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, pulp scraped
12 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of sugar, the heavy cream, and the vanilla pods and pulp and bring to simmer.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and add a little to the egg yolk mixture to warm it, whisking constantly to keep the yolks from curdling. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture, whisking the milk constantly as you pour.

3. Return the custard to the stove and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon., until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, about five minutes. Remove the custard from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Let cool completely.

4. Strain the custard through a fine sieve, then stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Chill until thoroughly cold, at least four hours.

5. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Four hours later, wouldn't you know we suddenly had helpers....

The finished product! SO good!!!!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Girl

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Reading

I have been an avid reader all of my life. I can remember sitting in front of my Dr. Seuss bookcase, reading the day away as a a little girl. I loved escaping into a world where people ate green eggs and ham. I read every Disney fairy tale over and over again until I started wondering where I in the world I put that pesky glass slipper! As I got older I would stay up past my bedtime just finishing up those last few chapters of Sweet Valley High or Babysitters Club. It was my escape, I could pretend my friends and I were in the middle of a babysitting caper or I was one of the uber-popular Wakefield twins of Sweet Valley High.

Then the unthinkable happened. The summer before eighth grade my mother went to the library and brought me home a tall stack of books that I did not want to read. They were the suggested reading lists by the school and library. How boring, I thought! I did not want any school suggested reading to interrupt my summer of non-academia reading. My mother insisted, no, she enforced it. I did not have a choice. I had to read these horrible books. I took the stack of books into my room and looked at the aged covers with titles I had never heard of. All of the covers had pictures or photographs that seemed to have been written in another time. Things I should be forced to read at school, not at home. Certainly, nothing I could or would relate to. Or so I thought. My mother turned on the timer (yep, she timed my reading hour) and I had no choice but to throw myself into the 1930's deep south in "Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry". When the timer buzzed, letting me know my reading hour was over I continued to read on and on and on. I read the whole book that day. I then eagerly opened up the next book, "I Am the Cheese" and gobbled that book up almost as quickly as the first. And then onto "Summer of My German Soldier". There were more books; books I don't recall the titles to any longer. I read them all and went to the library looking for more suggestions. My whole world opened up wide. There were so many other perspectives, lifestyles, struggles, time periods, etc. I do believe that was the summer I truly became a reader. 

Every summer I pick up a childrens classic or two and read them aloud to my children. We have read "James and the Giant Peach", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Matilda", "Alice in Wonderland" and so many more. We are now tackling the first book in the "Harry Potter" series. It's fun introducing these classics and rediscovering old favorites. 

The other day my kids and I went to the library and signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge. We had summer reading lists in hand and borrowed a few books from each list. I set the timer  and they read away. My oldest reads beyond the timers buzzer now.

Happy Reading!