• I love capturing that moment.
    That moment when fleeting light attaches itself to an object in a magical way.
    That moment when surprise turns to tears or smiles turn to laughter.
    That moment when you feel you have the world in the palm of your hand.
    That moment when you realize you don’t.
    That moment when you delight in your youthful
    spirit no matter what age you are.

  • It might be a moment I’ve intently planned and
    choreographed or one that I stumble upon as it
    unfolds in front of me. It can be when I am surrounded
    by a world of people or when I am alone with my
    thoughts and wandering camera in hand. I love seeing
    those moments through my lens and hearing the shutter click.

    In that moment I know I have captured something wonderful.

  • LET’S GET SOCIAL!

So for the fourth night in a row we failed to sit down and do our taxes. My husband got caught in a YouTube black hole that he couldn’t pull himself from. While it wasn’t productive, it was quite entertaining. We spent the evening reliving our time in Europe by listening to and watching video of the top European songs of the late 90s and early 2000s. Man, how things have changed. So many songs never made it across the ocean for Americans to enjoy. I use the word “enjoy” loosely since most of the songs would be used for comedy relief, even back then. Imagine thick accents covering American classics sung by men with very big hair. And not “good” big hair (is there such a thing?).

We capped off the night watching one of our favorite videos from that period. It’s from a Swedish band called Alcazar. They had a song called “Crying at the Discoteque”. While it wasn’t a huge hit, their video seemed to get quite a bit of play. It’s fabulously awful–which I think they were going for. It’s got it all: a fake outer space set, awesome silver hot pants paired with enormous knee pads, cut backs to the band being nonchalantly too-cool-for-school, film crew members doing voice overs, and finally back up dancers with large animal heads. Wow! I totally think the guys who made “What does the fox say”, were inspired by this video.

Ok, without further ado, here’s a little Throwback Thursday for you. Enjoy!   http://youtu.be/7CiOWcUVGJM

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 8.49.09 AMPIN IMAGE

 

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I was going to post this yesterday for Throwback Thursday but decided that since today was Valentine’s day I would wait. I just love these images of my little ones. Yes, I know that Merek will probably hate that I used this picture of him–but look at it–isn’t he the cutest little Cupid! 

They are growing so quickly and I am happy that they both still love celebrating their Ohana and friends today. It brings back happy memories from my childhood of decorating shoe boxes to take to school to be stuffed with notes and candy from friends. Kaia ran off to school this morning with that same headband on, adorned with pink and red hearts. She’s still not too big for holiday headbands<3. I hope that spirit stays with them both for a long time.


Happy Valentine’s day to you and your special loved ones!
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It’s 10 on 10 time again. Welcome back to our little blog circle. Since it’s Christmas time and everyone is pulling out their holiday sweet recipes I thought I would do a blog post on that. 

Let me just say that I normally don’t pay attention to dishes on the holiday dessert table unless they contain chocolate. Those plates filled with concoctions lacking that one key ingredient are literally invisible to me. No offense. I appreciate that people take the time to make them and I hear they are good. But I don’t waste my time on invisible, highly-caloric food. 


That is, and except for, my friend Mandy’s Mincemeat pies. When she first made them a couple years ago I heard declarations and exclamations as to their absolute deliciousness drifting through the party air. Alas, as they contain no chocolate, I didn’t see them. Hours later and deep in my holiday jubilee I was told that I HAD to have one or I would die a very sad person. Funnily enough, I had been told a moment prior that “I would just DIE if I had one”. Quite a pickle…what to do…in the end I cheered everyone one last time and decided to try this invisible and deadly holiday dessert. Oh. My. God. Who knew that chocolate-less Mincemeat could taste so good. I was hooked.


Since the unveiling of these treats, Mandy has been consistently badgered to divulge the recipe. She is a wonderful cook and is always more than willing to share recipes. When asked about a recipe, she will instantly tell you in her delightful British accent that said recipe is “dead easy to make”. She will then rattle off the recipe from the top of her head leaving you breathless and baffled. When your head has cleared you realize that you are still not quite sure what the recipe is. This year, we decided to just take over her kitchen and force her at spatula point to show us how to make these wonderful pies. 




I’ve included the recipes for both the Mincemeat and the pie crust at the end of this post. Believe me, you’ve never had Mincemeat like this. It’s not that mealy store bought stuff that you might have tried. It’s full of fruit and flavor and quite a bit of alcohol. And although there is not even a pinch of chocolate, you should really try them.

Don’t worry, you can thank me later. 

 

 

 

You can add whatever dried fruit you like. We added cranberries, cherries, pomegranate and a dash of raisins. 
 
 

 

 

The “real” secret ingredients;) We made three different types of Mincemeat which had Grand Marnier, Brandy and Amaretto. They all contained Port as well since that is what is used to cook the fresh cranberries. 
 

 

 
Taste testing with some fresh, whipped cream. 
 

 

Bonus picture–a rare image of the lovely Mandy (on the left) and one of me in front of the camera. Kim and Brenna were the real spatula-wielding culprits behind this kitchen takeover. Great idea ladies!
 
 
Cranberry Studded Mincemeat 


Makes approximately 600 ml–enough for 50 mince pies.


60 ml Ruby Port

75 g soft dark brown sugar
300 g cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
75 g dried cherries
75 g dried pomegranates
30 g dried cranberries
1 box of candied cherries 
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 clementine/satsuma
25 ml Brandy or Grand Marnier or Amaretto
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-15ml tablespoons honey

1. In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the Ruby Port over a gentle heat.

2. Add the fresh cranberries to the saucepan.
3. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves, dried fruit, candied cherries and zest and juice of the clementine.
4. Simmer for 20 minutes or until everything looks pulpy and has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan. 
5. Take off the heat and, when it has cooled a little, stir in the Brandy (or whatever alcohol you choose), almond and vanilla extracts and honey and beat once more, vociferously, with your wooden spoon to encourage it to turn into a berry-beaded paste. 
6. Spoon the mincemeat into sterilized jars. 
 **You can store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month. If you add a bit of Brandy on top at this stage helps prevent Mincemeat from going moldy. 

Unbelievably easy pie crust


225 g cold butter, diced

350 g plain flour
100 g sugar
pinch of salt

1. Rub the butter into the flour then mix in the sugar and pinch of salt. Combine into a ball. It will be fairly firm like shortbread dough. 

2. Taking a walnut-sized amount, press the pastry into individual spots of a mini muffin pan.  
3. Spoon the Mincemeat filling into the pies. 
4. Bake at 400 for about 20 mins or until crust is golden brown. 

*****************************************************************
10 on 10 blog post from Jennefer Vazquez 
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I was fortunate to have some new clients for my holiday season this year. It was another great family moving to The Woodlands from Chicago. I’m doubly blessed because they happened to move in next door to us and we get to enjoy them as neighbors. I see these cheerful faces daily and know what fun kiddos they are. You surely can see their happy spirits in these images. Since it was their first holiday season in Texas we weren’t quite sure what direction to go for their pictures. In the end, we decided to meet at The Waterway and have fun playing around the water features. They both had great outfits–bright and merry–but I absolutely loved the way the images looked in black and white so I thought I would do a full blog post of them. Their faces just pop against the background textures. I love it!

 

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Every so often clients come to me with a very clear vision of the style they want for their session. I absolutely love these people. If I am to be honest however, they also keep me up at night. I love them for the challenge they present of creating a particular aesthetic, but I also worry because as we head into the session knowing exactly what we need from the clothes, the accessories, the props, the location, the lighting, the weather…sometimes things just fall short of our expectations. And yet, when the universe is working with you and all these variables align, you can capture something extraordinary.

Isabel came to me with pictures from a blog she found. The images were gorgeous. A sun-soaked field with a family playing and laughing in the fleeting light. It was country and classy and just plain delicious. The mom was the picture of femininity and her boys, both big and little, were snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. Isabel explained how she wanted to create a memory like that with her boys. She too is the lone lady amongst the men in their family. Even the dog is a boy. Isabel finds so much joy in her boys though. She seems to appreciate everything that comes in that male package and is such a nuturing mom and wife. 


All of this in mind, we set about preparing a session in a wild, woodsy place where they could all run and play and just let the boys be boys. Isabel was able to find the perfect delicate dress and styled her hair in a soft wave to the side. Abi and the boys wore jeans and tailored shirts with stylin’ shoes. For my part, I prayed for beautiful light, packed bubbles and made a fun little patchwork kite for the boys to play with. 


What resulted for them was purely wonderful. We had a rare November Sunday here in Texas with temps in the low 70s and that “Oh my!” kind of afternoon light.  They took full advantage of it all and made a really great family memory. The pictures make me smile. I can hear their laughter when I look at them. I hope the little ones remember that fall day and how much their parents loved on them and just let them be their perfect boyish selves.  


       And since Toby is a big part of the family, we had to have a picture with him back         home. 


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