Friday, January 25, 2008

Photo Classes for Moms and Dads

A few of my photography colleagues have photography workshops geared towards Moms and Dads. These photographers create outstanding images. I thought I'd share the links where you can find out more about their workshops. If you have the opportunity to take one of their workshops I'd highly recommend them.

Check 'em out and prepare to be wowed.....

The fabulous Sarah Quiara can be found at: (p.s. she has some really cool t-shirts as well!)

The talented Me Ra Koh can be found at: (can't make it to a workshop?? she has dvd's...yea!!!)

The fun-loving Carey Schumacher can be found at: (Carey is lucky enough to live in Southern California and photographs many families at the beach---ahhhh...what a life)

Hope you find these links useful :D


My random act of kindness was done for someone in another state, a person whom I'll probably never meet. Exactly what I wanted this goal to accomplish. I'm not going to share the details out of respect for this other individual. You'll just have to trust me on this one ;) It feels GREAT being able to do something like this. No matter how busy your life is I challenge each of you to do a random act of kindness for someone this week. The payback is wonderful :D

Thursday, January 24, 2008

#26--Learn to Cook Something New

Well, I had a few extra minutes tonight and decided I would try to make some yellow chicken curry. My sister Dee brought me all the ingredients when she visited during Christmas. I figured it was about time I gave it a whirl. Except for the soy sauce all the ingredients you see below have never been in my house before. This was a whole new experience for me---exactly what I was looking for. I thought the curry would be beyond my capabilities but, suprise, it was fairly easy. The brown lump on the cutting board is palm sugar, I had to scrape off 2 tbsp worth. I think I have enough yellow curry paste to last a year or two so if you find you need some give me a call and I'll hook ya up. Btw, I only used 1/2 of the curry paste that the recipe called for and it was still HOT (imo).

Coconut milk being brought to a boil:
The finished product:
It was so yummy!! Here's the recipe if anyone wants to give it a try:

1 1/2 cups chicken breast
2 cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
4 tablespoons yellow curry paste
2 medium potatoes-peeled and cut into small cubes and then boiled in water for 5 minutes.
(sweet potato, taro root or pumpkin can be used instead of potato)
2 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mushroom sauce

Put half the coconut milk into a wok and when it starts to boil add the yellow curry paste and the yellow curry powder. Fry for 1-2 minutes and then add the chicken and potato. Stir together and add the palm sugar along the side of the wok until it melts and then add the soy sauce and mushroom sauce. Stir again and add the rest of the coconut milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.


Cooking Class

Two Girl Scout Troops attended a cooking class at Blackberry Rose. The girls had a lot of fun making potato pie and ice cream sandwiches. I had a lot of fun shopping :D I love kitchen gadgets and Blackberry Rose has lots plus, oh so much more! If you're ever in the area stop by Blackberry Rose and check out the great selection of items that Carol has available for her customers.

The girls took turns preparing different parts of the recipe. Here the girls are dicing potatoes.
Here's Em cooking the ground beef.....
Thanks to Chef Mary and Blackberry Rose---the girls had a fabulous time!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cadillac Gymnastic Team

The Cadillac Gymnastic team is having a great year. The girls are so much fun to photograph. I really enjoyed capturing these images for them. Watch this blog for more photos from meets....


A big thank you to the Quists for
me to photograph
their beautiful family.

Paco had to watch the fun from the deck.....

#73-Hang Artwork

Yep, it's finally on the walls. Alan hung up 7 pictures/artwork for me the other night. The biggest issues was deciding where in the house to hang them. It's so nice to have it displayed.

Chunkster Reading Challenge

I decided to join a couple reading challenges this year. I thought it might be a good way to discuss the books I already read with other people. I'll list my challenges and reviews here (I like keeping everything all in one place: photography, books, life, etc, etc....) in case there are any other avid readers out there that may be interested. If you are interested in joining this challenge just click'll need to sign up by March 1st.
The goal is to read 4 books that have more than 450 pages in them by the end of the year. Should be easy to do. That's only one per quarter. The books I'm reading for this challenge are:

1. The Emperor's Children-Claire Messud
2. Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy
3. The Terror-Dan Simmons
4. Tea Rose-Jennifer Donnelly

This list may change, if I start a book and it is just unbearable to read I'll switch it out for another.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

#41-Take the family to a Detroit Pistons game

Actually only Alan and Dylan attended the game. Emma informed me that she had no desire to go watch a basketball game. Alan and Dylan had a really good time. Dylan took these pictures at the game (from very high up ).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

101 Things To Do In 1001 Days

I kept seeing blog and forum entries about "101 things in 1001 days" and decided to research it. I really liked the concept so I decided to take the plunge for myself. In essence, this is a list of goals you set for yourself that you want to accomplish. A 1001 days is just under 3 years so plenty of time to complete the items on your list. If you want to read more about it click here.

The mission is simple: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The criteria: Tasks must be specific (no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable, or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie: represent some amount of effort on your part).

Sounds easy right??? Well, I have spent the better part of three weeks putting my list together. I've heard of some people that created their list in a day, but for some reason it took me a really long time to think of 101 things.

So, I'm posting my list here in the hope that it keeps me motivated to complete all my set tasks. I'm going to try to photograph (if possible) and blog tasks as they are completed. I found a handy dandy calculator on the net that helped me figure out when my time would be up. My deadline for my 101 things is: OCTOBER 13, 2010.

Drum roll please......... ;)

1. Have family photos done by a photographer I admire.
2. Create family photo christmas card for 08
3. Create family photo christmas card for 09
4. Anniversary pics for Alan & I
5. Passports for Dylan and Emma
6. Send bday cards to arrive by bday
7. Help Emma earn GS Silver award
8. Do "Day in the Life" photos for Dylan and Emma
9. Frame a piece of Dylan's art work--hang it up
10. Teach Dylan and Emma sign language alphabet

11. Improve handwriting
12. Attend yoga at least 1x a week for 3 months
13. Scrapbook a book about me
14. One date a month for 3 consecutive months (yes, with Alan unless Pierce Bronson stops by--ha ha)
15. Give up coffee
16. Donate blood
17. Print/scrap all family pictures for '07
18. Print/scrap all family pictures for '08
19. Print/scrap all family pictures for '09
20. Stop being a wimp, take the plunge, and have Lasik eye surgery
21. Be grateful for five things every day
22. Stop multi-tasking and learn to be "in" the moment
23. Create another 101 list near the end of 1001 days

New Experiences
24. Learn, at minimum, tourist Italian
25. Take a wildlife rehab class
26. Learn to cook something new
27. See the Northern Lights
28. Make a Red Velvet Cake
29. Learn to scuba
30. Learn how to make polaroid transfers.

31. Go whale watching
32. Drive over the Hoover Damn
33. Take a random 3-day trip
34. Visit Sanibel Island, FL
35. Visit Italy
36. Visit Chicago Art Museum
37. Long weekend away with just Alan
38. Take family to a Red Wings game
39. Go to a zoo we've never been to before
40. Go back to Hocking Hills, OH with Thompson Family for Thanksgiving
41. Take family to Detroit Pistons game

Just for the Fun of It
42. Find a Petosky stone
43. Find a Lake Superior Agate
44. Buy a wine cabinet and stock it
45. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger
46. Find a morel mushroom
47. Find 100 geocaches
48. Find a Herkimer diamond
49. Take a photo a day for a month
50. Kayak at least once a month (during spring, summer, fall)
51. Have yard classified as a wildlife habitat
52. Train family dog, Kira, to stay in the yard!
53. Learn to identify 10 birds and photograph them.
54. Watch a butterfly hatch.
55. Identify 10 wildflowers and photograph them.
56. Finish snowman quilt that has been sitting in basement for 8+years
57. Host dinner and outdoor movie for friends
58. Photo document my completion of each of these goals
59. Find a bright orange or red piece of beach glass

60. Prepare at least three meals a week from scratch
61. Write a will
62. Write a living will
63. Finish office space (ie: furniture, desk)
64. Organize computer area
65. Organize household paperwork
66. Have friends over for dinner at least 4x
67. Clean out basement
68. Fix front steps
69. Make dog-type run out backdoor
70. Make a household inventory with pictures and serial #'s for insurance purposes
71. Organize loose recipes into a binder
72. Write down all phone numbers, addresses, birthdays into a real address book
73. Frame and hang photos/art work
74. Help Alan organize the garage

Going Green
75. Recycle ALL paper/cardboard (no cheating!)
76. Recycle all glass.
77. Recycle all plastic.
78. Cut down on toxic housecleaners
79. Buy at farmers market during summer

80. Organize business paperwork/filing system
81. Contract family photo shoots in three other states.
82. Promote photo parties.
83. Attend four photo education opportunities
84. Have a photo published in a major publication
85. Volunteer as a photographer for an event.
86. Enter prints into a competition-win.
87. Get 20 photos accepted on stock photo site
88. Get another 20 photos accepted on stock photo site
89. Order 2 large canvas prints
90. Improve photoshop skills
91. Improve lightroom skills
92. Master off camera lighting
93. Organize pictures
94. Order sample album
95. Create price list
96. Book two family sessions/month for six consecutive months
97. Figure out how to make changes to the website
98. Change blog to have clickable pages
99. Get business insurance
100.Buy a wide angle lens
101.Buy a telephoto lens for wildlife shots

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Book Club

Once a month I get together with a group of girls to discuss our book of the month. The girls are mostly teachers or work within the education system somewhere. Not sure how I landed in their group, but I'm sure glad I did...they are A LOT of fun. Thought I would start sharing what books we have read or are reading. I would appreciate any comments/opinions about the books.

January's book was Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. Cute book about a football player that can't cut it in the NFL and goes to Italy to play ball....I'm not going to tell you any more (nope, not even if you beg!) It's a good book, quick and light read. If you want to get your own copy here's a link to amazon.

The book for next month is The Emperor's Children. You can check it out here. I haven't started the book yet, but it looks good. Has anyone else read it?? Thoughts/comments??

Hair Cut

My hair was getting long...past my shoulders and just kinda limply hanging around so I decided to get it cut. Here's the new do. I have to say the first day or two it was really odd having such short hair, but now I'm really liking it ;)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New England Pics (finally....)

I wasn't able to post pictures during my stay out East, so I'm finally posting some now. These are in no particular order. I was able to visit Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The time went by way too fast and I didn't get to see nearly as much as I wanted to, but here are some highlights of my trip.

North Conway, NH. We took a hike in the woods so I could take these photographs. It was a dreary day, but it still looked so cool. I would love to go back in the summer.

Portsmouth, NH. This is a beach we stopped at so that I could say "hello" to the ocean (one of my favorite places). Set the camera on self-timer and shot this picture of my sister and I. I had to run for the photo, but it was fun. It was cooold, but we stayed for a while and beach combed (found lots of little shells to bring back to the kids).
Boston, MA. Highlight of going to Boston was the Samuel Adams tour. Highly recommend this tour--it comes with free beer at the end and a souvenir glass you can take home.
Newport, RI. On my last day my sister took me down to Newport. The scenery is beautiful there. We drove along the shore where I was able to capture lots of photos. Here's one of my favorites.
Historic home along the shore in Newport, RI. When I go back I'm taking the tour inside the house. It was closed the day I was there :(
Jackson, NH. Covered bridge--this part of NH has quite a few covered bridges. It was fun to drive around to them.
Jackson, NH. We heard about a waterfall near Jackson so we started driving around looking for it. It wasn't a large waterfall by any means but the view from the waterfall area was spectacular.
The drive home from North Conway, NH looked like this the entire way.... It took us 4 hours to go 75 miles--oh the agony.
Overall, I had a great time visiting the New England states. I look forward to going back out there this summer and spending more time.