photo shoot: liam

I took these photos f-o-r-e-v-e-r ago of my friend's new not-so-little baby.  
Remember Claire?  This is her little brother.  
I've had a hard time getting them ready.  I think I was expecting to end up with newborn-newborn pictures.  Which I've learned, really only work when the baby is under 2 weeks old.  Liam was 1 month.  And HUGE!  So my *posing* was not great.  And then the editing.  I wanted to smooth him up a little, but I'm not the best at editing and every time I pulled some out and went to work, he ended up looking like a porcelain doll.  I wanted him to have this gorgeous baby smooth skin, but realistic looking skin...I hope I struck a good balance.

And of course some seventies action going on...  I think I love this action so much because it naturally smooths out the skin. ;)
Love this one... Yeah, I'm big.  And I'm tough.

photo shoot: the masons

Our friends asked if I could take some family pictures of them so of course I jumped at the chance.

And yes, the pictures are all very similar...;)

And I don't know why, but my pictures don't always post very clearly.  Kind of annoying...click on them to see them clearer.

So again, let me know what you think!


tea party feature

So a couple weeks ago I came across this blog, Honey We're Home.

I was in love.

Megan has an amazing to-die-for home, a super cute little baby and she herself is of course just beautiful.

And she found my blog.  And asked if she could feature Marryn's Tea Party

I was ecstatic.   

So be sure to check it out.  Or at least check out her blog.  I promise, it'll become one of your favorites too. ;)


this boy...

I need a good picture of Christian.
You know, one to send my grandmas.
So I'm begging him to just stand still and look up at me.
And smile.
That's alot to ask of a two year old.
(Let alone keep his shirt clean.)

So he's standing just inside our sliding door while I'm standing just outside.
And I'm clicking away...

Did you catch that?
He slammed the screen door on me!!
Although I should've seen it coming, with that mischievous little look...

He thought he was pretty funny.
{I did too.}

So his *punishment.*
Emptying the compost.

meet frankie

Courtesy of Reganne.

Who, by the way, also has not cooperated very well in my photo attempts...

Maybe she was just trying to get *in trouble* so she could take out the compost...;)


try a new vegetable

Here's a good reason to try a new vegetable.  And another.  And another.

According to an European study, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables may help defend against cancer.

Shocking, isn't it.

Here's some highlights from the study.

"Keep in mind that "wide variety" meant more than a banana with breakfast and a helping of peas and carrots with dinner. Think kale and spinach; berries and melons; cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant -- some 40 different fruits and vegetables in all.

But what is it about fruits and vegetables that may ward off the changes in cells that cause tumors to grow?

There probably isn't one "magic" compound in the fruits and vegetables, Bueno-de-Mesquita said, but instead many compounds that interact with each other and the body in ways that aren't yet understood.

It can be dangerous to put too much stock in any one substance, he added. A study in Finland found smokers who took the antioxidant beta carotene and vitamin E supplements actually had an increased risk of lung cancer.

Previous research has also linked fruits and vegetables with lowered risk of cancer.

[O]ther research has suggested eating a variety of vegetables can reduce the risk of other types of cancers, including colorectal, gastric, breast, oral and pharyngeal cancer and squamous cell esophageal cancer.

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can also help prevent obesity, which is a risk factor for certain cancers, she added."

Although this particular study relates to lung cancer and we normally think *smokers*, it's important to know that smokers aren't the only ones who develop lung cancer.  One of my very dear aunts passed away a few years ago suddenly from lung cancer.

She was not a smoker.

kale salad

So in light of this article (of this post), I'd like so share with you one of our newest favorite (and super easy) recipes.

Kale Salad

This is more an ingredient's list rather a recipe, the quantities are up to you, keep in mind that curly kale leaves make lots of volume.
Kale and/or Swiss Chard
crumbled gorgonzola cheese or parmesan cheese shavings

Remove the tough stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Do the same with the chard, leaving some of the stem. Wash and dry leaves well. Toast walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes over low heat. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss it with the vinaigrette (recipe bellow).

This recipe makes 1/2 cup of dressing, make more if needed, or store left overs in the fridge if it's too much.
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano (optional)

Place all ingredients in a jar, close the lid and shake it well. Alternatively, whisk it with a whisk or fork in a bowl until combined.

And did my kids, in fact, eat this salad made of kale?

Well, yes and no.  {Oh, and we only used the kale...  And Marryn and I were the only one with blue cheese.} 

Marryn- Loved dressing and blue cheese.  Did not like the raisins or walnuts.
Reganne- Hated the dressing and raisins and only somewhat liked the walnuts.  
Christian- Hated the dressing, LOVED the raisins and only somewhat liked the walnuts.  

So the next night when we made it again, Reganne and Christian got a more simple salad - kale and ranch.

They ate it right up.  

{And I used parmesan this time-equally good.  But then again, I love any kind of cheese...}

So even if you don't make this recipe (which I throughly urge you to do), substitute kale in for any salad green in your favorite recipes or just eat it plain with any dressing.  It has a great mild flavor, which I personally prefer over our standby romaine.  Hoping to try it with a chard next time.

And here's a trick I've found helpful in helping kids eat their leafy greens.  Cut it up.  Cut it up small.  It's easier for them to pick up (by hand or fork) and chew.  Christian will spit out the big pieces of salad, but if they're small, he eats them no problem.  Usually.  Especially if ranch is involved. :)  Which leads me to trick numero dos.  Find a dressing they love.  But only use it sparingly.  Don't drown their salad in it, you want them to learn to love the greens, not just eat them because they're no longer recognizable.    

But I guess if it gets the greens down... :)