We Have a Love Hate Relationship.

Have you ever loved something so much, you couldn’t dream of being without it? What about the old saying, “All that looks good isn’t good for you?’ Such a cliche, but I hate to tell you it’s true.

Why is the world so full of things that aren’t good for us, God?  Yeah I’m talking to you, but make it known I’m not yelling at you. You’re the almighty.  It’s frustrating to say the least. You allow others to make so many guilty pleasures and the we have to make a choice. Think of the outcome. It sounds to much like life. We have choices; to either choose door number 1 or door number 2.  Besides life is what you make of it. Right?

It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve been clean. I walk pass them all of the time, sometimes I contemplate having them in my life just one more time. My mind tells me it will not hurt, but my blood says , no. I can think better, have more control and I am worrying less about my well being. Sure, it makes me feel good for the moment.  That’s what hurts so good. No more hiding and indulging with you.  I have comfort and control on a dreary night.  No more  guilt, I’m no longer sluggish and my body doesn’t has to work harder to eliminate it.  I owe my kidneys an apology.

I love you, but I can’t keep doing this to myself.  The longterm affect isn’t worth the doctor visits. When I see you, often times I opt to go the other way. Everything that looks  good isn’t good. I’m sorry but I can’t …

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Our First Thanksgiving Together

I’m so elated to bring you this blog! It took me a while to calm down and get my thoughts together. I’ve been pretty consistent with writing blogs , but so much has happened in the last few days. My birthday is this month, a day later was Thanksgiving and six days later was my wedding anniversary ! November is a busy month for me in deed.

Normally I make a big feast at home for thanksgiving and beg everyone  the rest of the week to please finish the leftovers. No matter how much I beg, It doesn’t work. I eat as much as my little body can handle  and the garbage can gets the rest. Each time I throw food in the trash, I can hear my Dads voice from heaven. ” Do you know there are people in the world starving, while you’re putting food in the garbage.” Not this time,Dad.  I did a great job this year.  I prepared enough food for one meal.

You’re not here to read about the small meal I made this year. You want to know where I went for the first time. Right? In my head, I can see you nodding in agreement. Well, my daughter has been dating this ” Mommy Approved Guy, “ for three years now . I finally met his family. I’ll tell you in different  blog  why it took so long to meet his family.

I didn’t actually meet them alone . I was accompanied by my wonderful husband and son. We were greeted with open arms. They all felt they knew us, because my daughter talks about us  and she shows pictures and videos of us all of the time.  It was at least 15 of us in the house between the two families. Everyone was chatting amongst one another while, my son – in – law -to be’s mother,   was  prepping the food. Everything was already cooked and she had everything looking scrumptious and gorgeous . As a Mom I wanted to help, but I was forewarned that she doesn’t allow anyone  to help. It was tough for me to watch her do everything alone; but I managed by holding a baby. This kept my hands busy for a while.

As we all gathered in the kitchen in a circle, we all held hands and said a prayer before eating. Then we proceeded to the dining room to a beautifully decorated dining table with such lovely dinnerware. The ambience was perfect.  Candles were lit and it was so cozy.   It was amazing to see all of the smiling faces at the table from the youngest to the oldest. The joy’s of watching  families form. All because of our children deciding to get together. My Dad would be so proud of his granddaughter.

It isn’t like me to miss out on capturing moments on camera . Then again I wasn’t sure how anyone would feel with me creating photos. In lieu of  possibly making anyone uncomfortable  I decided to enjoy the conversations that were so easily developed. No one seemed as if they were forcing themselves to get to know one another. We talked about our favorite actors and movies we’ve watched; while the youngsters taught us about snapchat.

Here is a sneak peek from a video my daughter shot.Daralynn

I’ll always remember this day. It was very special because it’s the new chapter to my daughter’s life. It’s the possibility of extending our family. Hopefully  we’ll see one another more often. The little one’s have already grown attached to me and have invited me to their soccer games. I’ve always been a child magnet.  Here is our video .

 

 

 

It’s Time To Fall For Cornbread Dressing

As a child it was simply known as, Dressing. Everyone knew what you were speaking of. Often times dinner would be at my parents house. The late comers would always call to verify if there’s any Dressing. It was the staple for a true fall family gathering. If there weren’t any left, it just wasn’t the same.

There are so many variations of dressing. Some people add sausage, mushroom broth, or carrots to name a few ingredients . There isn’t a wrong or write way to make it. It’s all in personal taste. My two main have to have’s is it must not be dry and whole cranberries on top. untitled-1891-1.jpg

Have You Had Your Salad Today?

Eating  a salad everyday should be a normal part of life.  As you know its a way to work in a couple of fruits and veggies.  Instead of cooking up so much elaborate food, that may not be healthy in the first place, make a salad. It goes along with anything. like my favorite salmon and a salad. A salad can be as filling as you want. From english peas, pineapples, apples, cranberries, tuna, carrots, pico de gallo, grilled chicken,  nuts and the list goes on.

Should the salad be your only meal? It really depends on whats included in your salad.  If your have your fiber, that lowers cholesterol and prevents constipation, your’e doing a great service to your gut. Did you know fiber fools the brain into thinking you’re full? Therefore if you have a weight problem you’ll shed some pounds. Also fruits and veggies contribute to overall health. Eat your leaves and fruits!

I eat a salad almost daily. It’s literally becoming a habit. My brain tells me salad, salad, salad. Ok ok…geesh!  I ate one today and it was yummy. Often times I make a salad with whatever is available in the fridge . This way the pressure is off to make a salad I see in a book or something. My salad usually includes nuts, berries, veggies and of course lettuce.

Here is a salad I had recently . Make sure you drink enough water daily …

Yummy Salad
Made from leftovers in the fridge.

Don’t Think; Just Drink

I’ve been making smoothies quite a bit these days. Actually I’ve lost track of how long it’s been. It is the healthiest, easiest and cheapest thing to make.  It also saves time, thought,   and pots and pans. Let me explain before you get too worked up. Give me a chance before you go to someone else’s blog ok?

Yes, I said cheap. You don’t think fruits and veggies are cheap? It depends on how you look at it.  If I had to buy sausage, bread,  grits and flour for pancakes all of the time, this would cost more in the long run . Let me break it down a bit more. A large bag of fruit for $12.00 will last nearly 1 month. I’d purchase 3 -4 cartons of Almond milk. This is only the basics. Sometimes I have kale, with peanut butter. For 1 month this would come to about $32.00 for the month. The items I mentioned before . The sausage …ect. It would be about $17.00 and would only last 2 days  depending on how much you eat or if you bought large quantities.

The smoothie will provide raw veggies and fruits that are essential to getting unprocessed uncooked foods to ensure I get all of the nutrients without the dangerous additives. You can’t get that from a pack of processed sausage.  It’s ok in moderation, but I think you’ll be surprised at how much punch ( energy) you’ll gain from drinking smoothies. Stay away from the store bought smoothies. No, not those. They are full of sugar and other preservatives. smoothie-1884-1

Benefits of drinking smoothies is to drink without thinking of what you’ll eat every morning for breakfast.

Other benefits of  drinking smoothies:

  • Improves digestion
  • Lower inflammation
  • Improving heart health
  • Prevent or treat constipation
  • Help liver function
  • Provides energy
  • Clear up your skin
  • Prevents cancer
  • Prevent nutrient deficiencies ( Ex. low iron)
  • Maintain healthy body weight

 

 

 

Organic vs. Regular Apples

At some point you really have to do your own research. I’ve always heard an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Did anyone ever specify if a regular apple or an organic apple mattered?

Apples contain nutrients that are friendly to the skin. The benefits of eating apples include antioxidants ,  fiber, vitamin c and potassium. According to experts the peel of the apple contains anti growth fighting activities against cancer. It’s weird there isn’t a cure for cancer, but somehow experts no exactly what to eat to help prevent it. Huh…

Have you noticed the shiny pretty apples that has a longer shelf life than the dull apples? They are usually filled with pesticides to coat the exterior of the fruit. However, that pesticide enters the apple. This means you’re ingesting pesticide. By which you are trying to eat healthy. How backwards is this? Guess what? According to experts pesticides cause cancer.

Buy the ugly dry dull apples. No, they don’t last long on the shelf. They aren’t meant to be a display on your kitchen. Eat them. Get a quality apple slicer, because some are flimsy and will break after a few uses.  It’s not just the dull apples, make sure they are organic.

Things you can eat to include apples in your diet:

  1. If you eat toast, eggs,   chicken apple sausage with apples slices
  2. Peanut butter and apples slices for snack
  3. Wheat crackers, dairy free cheese and apple slices
  4. Oatmeal with apple slices
  5. Pancakes and apple slices…you get the gist

Eat organic apples. A healthy diet begins with fruits and veggies. I hope you love my pictures. I love photography and I always try to use my images for every blog. untitled-4658-1.jpg

 

Step outside the box: Create Unique Food Shots

What is the likelihood  of seeing food photography where the food has been bitten? Slim to none. Let’s take a step outside the box. The yummy blueberry muffin looks great, but what if someone wanted to see the inside of it? Sure you can slice into it. How about biting it! This is such an awesome shot. It’s in rare form. It’s not perfect, but it is looking pretty appetizing.

 

Recipe:
Oven : 375
1 cup sugar
2 large eggblueberry
2 cups of flour
Mix 12 large muffin cups
Mix butter til creamy
Add eggs one at a time
Add vanilla , baking powder and salt
Fold in half of flour, then half of vanilla almond milk
Fold in blueberries

 

Don’t be afraid to take risk. This shot may not be suitable for every situation, but it would surely look awesome in a bakery shop. If you’d like to use this image for any wall art or business, please contact me first. I’d love credit for my work.  Thanks so much!

Why Candid Photos Are The Best.

One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It’s what I would call still video, because it adds so much life to an image.

Here are a few tips that will help you magnify  he effectiveness in your shot.

  1. Always have your camera cued up before you find a subject
  2. Keep your camera on the appropriate settings
  3. Being still and making observations is most important
  4. It’s imperative that you have your subject in viewing range while not paying attention.

A great example is this is exemplified in the shot I created. I was in Whole foods grocery store. I had my camera on hand; when I captured one of the most moving images of a mom and her five children. She gave the boys  instructions on where to find items she wanted. They were listening very carefully . I’ve held on to this photo for many years. Often times I wish I could have sent her a copy. It is just a precious time spent with her little ones.

Capture your children while there sleeping , having a conversation amongst one another or at play. Don’t let them see you. The best shots are the natural expression and mood.  Honestly anyone can shoot candids, because there is so much freedom. As a photographer I take it to another level looking far and wide,  for that one in a million shot. Like this one. Most people would have been afraid to be this up close and personal without any awareness. That’s what makes a great candid shot! Get out there and try it. You’ll create better images. noname-2

Don’t be Afraid to Try The Wedding Cake Alternative

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People are becoming more practical when it comes to weddings. Often times the wedding cakes aren’t eaten. They range in price from $100.00 to a neighborhood price of $500.00. This is average and of course based on how many slices, the number of tiers and how fancy the cake will be.  Shut the bakery door! My goodness a wedding cake can really put a dent in your wallet.

There are many alternatives to cake for a wedding, but lets talk about the little bite size cake.  Your wedding should be customized to you and your groom.  You don’t have to serve wedding cake if you don’t want too. Today bakers have become very creative with cupcakes. They can be simple to down right elegant.

 

You can mix and match flavors so theres something for everyone.  Don’t just sit them on a tray. Make a cupcake tower. Most people expect to see the cake slicing photo.  Grab one of those cupcakes from the tower and take a big bite for the picture. It’s cute and you don’t need a knife. How about that! Talk about a conversation piece for years to come. The cupcakes are easy, delicious and often times there will never be any left to take home.

The Origin of the Word Flap Jacks

untitled-4603-1.jpgHere is another excuse to show you a photo I created; one morning after making flapjacks.   The first time I ever heard that word is when I was a little girl knee high to a sidewalk. My dad would talk about how he ate so many flapjacks growing up.

Have you ever thought about where the name flapjacks originated?  Flapjacks dates back to the 1300’s when ” flap” was used in place of “flip.” The jack was used to refer to something smaller than normal. No one really knows why flapjacks was used to describe pancakes, but there isn’t any difference than today when a named is tagged on to something and you never really know why.

I can only eat just one because I normally make them huge. It’s tough for me to order flapjacks  from a restaurant , no one seems to understand my love for the  charred, crispy edges. Never drown them in syrup. It will soak up regular syrup and you’d find yourself pouring more and more. Now you’ll find yourself eating a bowl of sugar.  It’s best with pure honey or agave nectar.   It’s delicious with a strong sweet taste. The taste is so strong until you only need  very little for flavor. Not to mention agave is derived from a plant. Which is much healthier than refined sugar.

Flapjacks are often  served  with syrup, chocolate chips, whip cream, blueberries, bananas, cherries, apples, powdered sugar, chicken, candy sprinkles, jam, honey , agave nectar, applesauce, oranges, nuts, caramel sauce, yogurt and shredded coconut.  If you have tried anything different . Share it with me. I’d love to know.