Archive for March 2012


I'm SO excited. I'm going to be shooting one engagement and two weddings this summer/fall! One is for sure and the other I'm still working out with the bride. They are both low-budget weddings so it won't bring in a lot for me money-wise but I am excited nonetheless. I have only shot one whole wedding and I was the THIRD photographer. Besides that I've done mostly portraits of family members, friends or couples. So very exciting for me. :D

Just to be clear, the photo below is my cousin and her boyfriend - who are not engaged, just dating, I don't have any photos yet of the previously mentioned couples.

So the weather now is more spring appropriate for Chicago. It was about fifty degrees today, a sad drop from the eighty degree week we were having. My plants are still growing though - I have tiny little sprouts in the ground outside from my flower seeds and inside I have sprouts growing in containers. Soon they will be ready to transplant. Since we live in a rented apartment I'm planning on buying containers/pots for planting my herbs and flowers in, that way whenever we move I can take them with me. Plus, then I don't have to figure out what to do with the grassy, weedy mess of a lawn we have.

That would be from L to R: thyme, mint, oregano, basil and arugula.

On a gross and nasty note, while out in the garden a couple days ago I discovered a dead mouse. Possibly killed by a roaming cat - not really sure. But random and not fun.

A few days ago I made Spicy African Chicken-Peanut Stew. It was delish. Especially with fresh picked cilantro on top. I've made it before, although this time I swapped out a couple ingredients and left out some - mostly because I wanted to use some stuff we already had and didn't want to go out into the cold to buy sweet potatoes. So in this recipe I used regular potatoes.

Recipe adapted from here.

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Springrolls and Springtime

Tomorrow is officially the beginning of spring! Yay! Today I made tortellini pasta with tomato sauce. I got the tortellini frozen and the sauce was from two different jars but I always add in my own extras to make it taste better. I added in some onions, garlic, celery and carrots sauteed in butter, salt and pepper. As a result of that my fingers now smell like onions and celery. Not the worst smell in the world, but difficult to get rid of.

Today was another day of 80 degree weather in March! Crazy. Not that I'm complaining. Having spent seven years of my life in a country where the average temperature is eighty degrees - this isn't bad. However, I've been back in Chicago now for about four years so my body has readjusted to this usually cold city.

I've been taking plenty of walks to the park with my daughter, Aria, and she is loving it. Although, she's getting to that stage in life where she wants to explore independently - which usually means walking in the opposite direction that I want to go.

We went to the park the other day and saw the resident Canadian geese napping in the sun. Although it seemed like they were giving me the evil eye for waking them with my camera clicking.

I made springrolls a couple days ago. To me, springrolls are fresh and eggrolls are the ones that are fried. I like both but springrolls are just easier to make - plus I don't have a pan to use for frying. It's very easy to make, just a little time consuming because you have to prepare all the parts separately and then roll them up. It's at times like these when I'm glad I live near Chinatown and Asian foods are readily available at the nearby grocery store. These didn't turn out like ones I've had before - but this was the first time I've made them all on my own. I was mostly proud of how the sauce turned out, that is almost the most important part because basically all the flavor is in the sauce.

They are very easy to make. This is what I filled my springrolls with but you could really fill them with anything you wanted. 

-Spring roll wrappers
-rice or bean noodles, also called cellophane noodles
-chicken, boiled and shredded into small pieces
-basil leaves
-spinach leaves
-grated carrot

On a large plate filled with warm water, soak a wrapper until limp. Lay wrapper out flat. Place a couple tablespoons worth of each ingredient on the wrapper, just off center. Roll the wrapper tightly, folding over the ends in the process - just like rolling a tiny burrito. Place on a plate and continue rolling springrolls until you've used all your filling.

Spicy Sweet and Sour Dipping sauce
-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
-1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 to 3 limes
-2 tablespoons fish sauce
-1/3 cup white granulated sugar

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Let the bowl stand for half an hour or more to allow flavors to fully meld.


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Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Does this not look positively delicious? Well it is. I got the recipe from here: Pinch of Yum . Which I originally found on Pinterest. Incidentally, I am relatively new to this pinterest fad. I had seen it around but hadn't signed up for it because I thought it was just another social media thing. Finally I checked it out and it turns out that I like it a lot. Mostly due to the fact that I am a very visually inspired person and pinterest is all about photos. AWESOME. So I have definitely gotten into the swing of that thing. 

I still have a whole half a pan left of this because my boyfriend isn't really a fan of sweet things - but I am very much a sweet tooth. It works out for me. Although, when his friends come over, anything I've made is immediately gobbled up and gone.

So the signs of spring are here. Hooray. I love it when I start to see crocus' pop their colorful little heads out of the ground. It just makes me so happy. And it definitely feels like spring here in Chicago. It has been unseasonably warm all winter - we barely had any snow at all. All next week it is supposed to be in the mid to high 60s and wednesday it's supposed to reach 70. I love it. That means that I can begin spring planting soon.

I haven't done any planting of any kind in years. The last time I can remember planting flowers was when I was nine or ten years old. I distinctly remember planting Zinnias in our family's backyard. Right now though I'm living in a rented apartment and I got permission from the landlord to plant. We've only been living here since September and where we were before had no yard. I've bought several seeds already but I need to get more, as well as more supplies.

What I have already are Zinnias, mixed flower seeds for the shade and full sun, marigolds, basil and parsley. I need to buy more herb seeds and maybe some more flowers. I also need potting soil and some containers for my herbs. This past summer I bough herb seedlings from the local farmer's market and they fared okay. It was hard because I bought them when we were living at the old apartment and I didn't have a place to put them where they could get a lot of sun - so they didn't grow as much as they could have. Still, I really enjoyed having the fresh herbs to cook with. Hopefully this year it will work out better.

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The Beginning

First blog post here. This blog will be a hodge-podge of artwork, photography, food and diy projects.

I'm an artist and photographer trying to expand my reach to people - I want to share my art and gain more feedback as well as some more business. Hopefully.

I'm a stay-at-home mom to my beautiful daughter Aria Grace - who just turned one year about a month ago. She keeps me very busy - busier than I would like - she makes it difficult for me to work on any projects because she always wants to be included. Henceforth, many of these posts will go up at night when she's asleep.

I took this photo yesterday when I went on a walk with my daughter to the nature park by our house. It was such a beautiful day for March - today as well - 60 degrees, though very windy. 

Canadian geese at the park.

Well that's it for my first post, time to go to bed. 

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