Friday, October 24, 2014

Need a quick dessert? Learn to make simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fudge.

Chris made the easiest fudge I ever did see. Not only that, he's been experimenting with it quite frequently much to the joy of my students, and our friends.

This latest concoction included peanut butter and marshmallows. I'm still a fan of his s'mores version using the basic recipe adding in whole marshmallows and crushed graham cracker to the fudge as it cools.

The ingredients are simple: butter, chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk.

For the full recipe and steps on how to make it, watch the One Pot Chef Show:

Once you've made the basic recipe, you can mix-in a tbsp or two of natural peanut butter, marshmallows that have been microwaved to be soft to mix-in, and anything else you can dream of. There is no end to what we'll try to put in this decadent dessert!

We usually make it ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge after the 1-3 hours of cooling time. We've also been known to put it in wax paper in the freezer and take out a bite or two when we're experiencing low blood sugar ;D

Enjoy your weekend!

- kn -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday | Moments shared.

Be thankful for the moments in life that you get to share with your pets.

I'm thankful that this little gal came into my life over eight years ago. Her name was "Ears" at the time, and she "wasn't good with men or children" - but boy did I prove them wrong.

I wouldn't change a thing about our experiences together. She cuddled frequently, we learned hard lessons and happy lessons together building our common language, and she protected us when we needed her to.

I only wish she could spend more time outdoors in her new backyard, soaking up the sun and really seeing all that is around her. She can't see. She can barely hear, but she still has her moments when she looks, moves, or snuggles that remind me of her younger self. She's the most awesome Chihuahua I've known.

Bambi, I'm thankful each day that you've been in our lives and continue to be... you are my baby girl.

- kn -
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Did you know it's National Cookie Month? @Larabar

Don't forget to check-out my Fall Mini Portrait Session Special!

I had no clue it was National Cookie Month until I received these darling little treats in the mail from Larabar!! The Snickerdoodle was so yummy, and half eaten when I remembered I hadn't taken a photo yet. I am super excited to try their Gingerbread soon, too.

I have enjoyed being a Larabar Ambassador this year, even though I didn't write about it a zillion times on my blog. I instead chose to share them A LOT in person with colleagues, students, running buddies, family and friends which makes a big statement by standing behind something, sharing them and others telling me they bought them and love them now, too!

I'm hoping to continue sharing the Larabar love next year, but if not, I've definitely found a healthy go-to treat that I believe in for it's simple ingredients and straight-forward options (when I don't have time to make my own). No added junk works for me.

- kn -
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not sure what to make for dinner? Don't let fast food win again. Try the easiest spaghetti bolognese you'll ever make.

Around here, we don't always plan out every step of a meal we've thought up. Often times, we suggest something and then just use up what is around the house. While this recipe is super simple, it's full of flavor. It's not magical, but it sure gave us a meal we couldn't wait to eat the leftovers of.

Chris' Scrumptious Spaghetti Bolognese

1lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
32oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 large green pepper, diced
1/4 c white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onions and garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add the ground beef and cook thorough until brown. Drain the mixture and put back in pan. Add the green peppers and cook until bright green. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until simmering. Remove from heat and place over your favorite pasta.

That's it. Enjoy!

- kn -
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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Computer Programmer has a huge crush on the Librarian.

Don't forget to check-out my Fall Mini Portrait Session Special!!

Miles was invited by his Aunt Jenn and Uncle Bryan to attend a Disney store Halloween event Saturday morning. He had a ball and the photos are just too cute.

They got him his favorite breakfast.

Awe, he's the cutest lion I've ever seen. Thanks UB and AJ for taking him out :)

The night before we were invited to our newlywed friend's, Keith and Colleen's, house for a tasty homemade dinner. Keith made pizza! Score, my favorite. And Colleen's specialty was a fresh salad, dressing, and then a informercial demonstration of her shredder (can't remember the name!) and her vacuum sealer. My Dad would have loved her and all of her kitchen gadgets. I even gave her my Dad's old Food Saver bags - -which she was thrilled to have :)

Don't we look like the nerdiest couple? I love my nerd.

We also spent time on Staten Island seeing JoJo and Tam's new house...

Reading through their Lego book, I came across the "Computer Programmer" and apparently he has a huge crush on the Librarian... hmmm, sounds like a couple I know ;)

The Grandmas playing iPad with the kiddos.

And about 1.5 seconds later, the kiddos disappeared, but the Grandmas kept playing Handy Manny's matching game (and were quite excited at their wins). Too cute.

My little gal pal, Gianna! She loves to cuddle with me, ahhhh.

JoJo made awesome sandwiches: roast beef smothered in provolone on top of garlic bread.

After dinner, the children played, the adults laughed, and then it was time to go home and head to bed. Don't worry, no one was injured in the making of this photo.

How was your weekend?

We spent the rest of the weekend painting, Chris built a few more things out of 2x4's (which I need to photograph and share) and then did some shopping.

I didn't run. Gah, I'm having a hard time feeling it these days. A stomach bug blew through me, so maybe this week I'll feel quite a bit better to get out there. I'm going to pack my bag ahead of time and change before I head home from work in order to make sure I get out and crush it.

- kn -
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Miles picked out his pumpkin.

Don't forget to check-out my Fall Mini Session Special!

We took Miles to pick out a pumpkin at Battleview Orchards. When we got there, it had started to rain, so we decided to pick a pumpkin from the store and get a donut to go.

Miles wasn't too interested in sitting next to the pumpkins, but more into lining them up on the ground to count them. He didn't believe me when I said we're getting only 2 pumpkins.

Miles and Daddy took a cart ride to get some fresh apple cider. We missed apple picking this year.

The line to get donuts.

Yep, pumpkins double as nice seat cushions.

Or not. I think the pumpkin Chris picked is almost bigger than Miles!

After braving the rain for a few pumpkins, Miles convinced us to go to Jose's for dinner (again).

He doesn't have to twist our arms much to go get some chips and salsa.

Miles mid-sentence... is he ever not telling stories?

And his favorite spot to hang out right after we eat... the side of the building. That's my boy.

And a random photo from the mall last weekend. Miles convinced Mar to get in the car with him. She loves him soooo much, that silly Mar.

Hope you had a nice week. I'm excited for a weekend where we have no "official" plans. Whew! It's been almost two months without an invite in the mail, but we're still keeping busy seeing family, friends and doing house projects. I'll have to share all of those one of these days...

- kn -
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday | My Men.

I know I am grateful often for Chris and Miles, but when I am in the midst of fearing failure and fear of life itself, I know I can always count on these two guys to keep me smiling. It's the little moments in life that matter so very much, and I'm thankful to be here to capture them. It's these two guys who keep me waking up each day and choosing to tackle the troubles and be thankful for the successes.

Miles is growing so fast, I hope I don't see him shaving for real any time soon, but boy is this cute.

I love you, my men.

And Chris is loving his razors from Harry's b-t-w.

- kn -
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Potatoes and Eggs. Sausage and Peppers.

Over the weekend, we had our friends Steph and Alex for dinner. Chris made his family's recipes for potatoes and eggs and sausage and peppers sandwiches. I was horrible about capturing the evening photographically, as Alex made the most awesome Cheeseburger Dip I've ever had... but we ate it all before I thought to take a photo.

Hey, Alex, don't forget to send me that recipe, okay? When Alex sends it, I'll share with you because I'm awesome like that.

For the sausage and peppers, it was sweet sausage, green and mixed peppers, onions, and tomato sauce. I will have to get you the recipe from Chris if you'd like it just let me know.

For potatoes and eggs, I know he cooked the potatoes ahead of time and then cooked the eggs separately and mixed them together. Want the recipe? Leave me a comment :)

Both sandwiches were put on huge loaves of Italian bread and then cut them up for our guests. Miles enjoyed both in a bowl.

And for dessert: chocolate marshmallow peanut butter fudge. Say that ten times fast.

Chris has been into making fudge a lot this fall. So far, his S'mores fudge and this fudge have been huge winners. It's a basic recipe from the One Pot Chef Show. That guy's recipes are awesomely delicious and bad for you :) We use the basic recipe and then add in all sorts of things. I guess I'll have to write a post about it...

What are you eating?

- kn -
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Mini Session Portrait Special!

I'm currently offering a Fall Mini Session Portrait Special on my website! Mini sessions aren't something I offer regularly, and they are a great way to get some beautiful fall images without breaking the budget.

This session will be open to book until through November 15th (sessions may be scheduled for after that date). I have a limited number of sessions I'll be offering at this price, so contact me soon if you're interested!!

Hope to see you soon!

- kn -
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Overcoming fears and finding joy.

Fear is an amazing force and it can completely take over your life if you let it.

For many years I've been afraid of my business, of people, of photography. I've always felt the excitement during the session and often loved my work afterward, but the anticipation and nervousness got to me at times when I knew a big day or even a mini-session was approaching. I'd always hope to please my clients to the best of my ability. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people, even with family portraits, and I hope to have them love what they receive!

I've often let this fear creep in and take over my thoughts and actions. I've often wanted to throw in the towel and give up. It would be far easier to do so. Countless times I've told Chris that this session or that wedding was going to be my last. And after going through the photos and editing that "last" time, I start to feel overjoyed and want to keep going... of which he'd ask, "what do you want me to support you in again?" the poor guy.

This past year, I thought I was done. I posted this on my website:
I am very grateful you are here and welcome your interest in my photography. At this time, I am allowing my business to appreciate some quiet time. I am accepting a limited number of sessions this year. I feel a strong calling to make my family and other passions my priority.
To my surprise, I actually booked several sessions with clients who really were excited to work with me. It was amazing, fun, and inspired me to reconsider completely giving up and giving in to my fears of failure.

I hadn't shot many weddings (or a ton of portraits) in the past few years since having Miles, and this past month I was super nervous for what was to come with two weddings in a row. I wasn't sure if I'd remember what to do, what to capture. I took tons of notes, I reviewed books on techniques, I talked with my brides and I got a feel for what was important to them.

And then I took a deep breath and showed up to do the work.

I was super nervous to get it "right" even though being right in photography is so subjective. Every person has a different style; no wedding would be shot the same by two different photographers. The only right is for who I'm shooting for and that they love my vision to begin with.

I am more than just pleased with the images I captured the past month, and truly brought my "A" game. I wanted to not only give what was expected, but to go above and beyond, and learn something new in the process.

I chose to have fun instead of fear...

I overcame those big windows with the bright afternoon sunlight brightly backlighting the ceremony that kept me up at night.

I follow a lot of full-time photographers who's work is amazing, but so varied from each other even so. It's said "comparison is the thief of joy" and it's true. All these years, I've wanted to be those I follow and who inspire me. Their work is perfect! I've ignored my wins and took the failures to be complete truths. I beat myself down, instead of lifting myself up.

What I learned this past month is that I am capable. I've got a lot of the technical aspects down. I've even got some of the "shot ideas" ingrained in my brain permanently. I've come a long long way since that first wedding I shot six years ago this month. A loooong way. Longer than I ever could have imagined.

There will always be more to learn, and I finally feel confident to get myself out there to learn more. I'm not giving up on myself. I'm giving in to the change, quieting the fears, and going with what I love to do - and that's to meet new people, photograph in new places, and keep trying.

In honor of moving past my fears, tomorrow's post will be a Fall Mini Session Special just for you!

- kn -
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