Hello and welcome!

Thanks for stoping by! That's me, and my super cute and spunky 1 year old, Nora. When we're not laying on the floor taking selfies, we also like to bake, take lots of pretty photos, and practice yoga. Aside from posting way too many pictures of Nora on instagram, I also take pretty wedding picures and make pretty baby items. So browse around, and keep up with all the latest.
More about me...
Nov
07
2011

My first week of the 10 week workout challenge went pretty well! I really wanted to focus on just getting into a routine of getting up before work, and spending 30 minutes each morning focusing on my workout. And I did really well! Greg even came for a jog for me on Saturday, which was so nice!

Here’s what my week broke down to:

*Monday: Rest day
*Tuesday: Yoga 25 minutes (online videos found browsing youtube).
*Wednesday: Elliptical 25 minutes. .8 miles, 150 avg. heart rate, 278 cals burned.
*Thursday: Whittle My Middle Core workout: planks, side planks, and squats 20 minutes.
*Friday: Yoga 36 minutes, DVD – Crunch Perfect Yoga Workout.
*Saturday: Running 3.51 miles (with Greg!) 10 min/mile pace, 368 cals burned.
*Sunday: Planned to run another 3.5 miles, but time got away from me and I ended up skipping this day, so instead I took the usual rest day from week 2 (Monday) and ran on Monday (Nov. 7) instead.

My thoughts: The yoga was AWESOME! I have only done yoga here and there a few times, but during week1 I actually followed a DVD that I found on Amazon, called Crunch The Perfect Yoga Workout.

I really liked it and plan on adding more days of yoga to the routine over the next weeks, especially after my cardio workouts. It’s a great way to get in stretching, which I tend to neglect because I find stretching so boring. I also, of course, felt great running again and plan to keep my schedule of running on Saturday and Sunday.

Other random musings:

I started juicing (stay tuned for a post on this really soon!!), and I LOVE IT. I got a Breville juicer for christmas last year and I’m embarrassed to say, since then we’ve used it maybe twice. BUT That’s all going to change. Today, I made a big batch of fresh juice that consisted of: kale, Swiss chard, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, sweet potato, apple, orange, banana, carrots, and beet (plus stem and leaves). Sounds totally crazy and gross right? IT WAS SO GOOD. Like, I want to go make another batch right now and drink it all. It made just about 32oz. and I drank 1/3 for breakfast and have been stuffed ever since. This stuff is nutritious and filling. <3 I think this will be a great post workout drink and I really hope to make juice every morning! I’m also experimenting with one day old juice. I know the vitamins start to breakdown as the juice sits, so I don’t want to leave it too long, but I know it would save me so much time to be able to make a couple of servings at once. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow morning! :)

Wish me luck this week, now that day light savings has ended, its dark and dreary and I’ll need all the motivation I can get to keep this workout challenge going strong.

How do you stay motivated to keep working out in the fall and winter, when its cold and dark and dreary?? I’d love some advice :)

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Nov
01
2011

I used to be a runner.

And I’m sad that I’m not, anymore. Somewhere between graduating from college and today, I just stopped running. Growing up, I used to run with my mom every day. EVERY DAY. We’d rarely miss a day, we loved running so much. And then I went away to college, and I still ran and kept up with it, but slowly, life got more and more busy. And now I just don’t run anymore. NOW, there’s rarely a day that I DO run. And, again, that makes me so sad.

So rather then sulking in my misery and remember the days that I used to be in shape (and when my butt did NOT shake and jiggle like a bowl full of jello), I’m doing something about it.

The other day I printed off 10 copies of a workout log that Angela Liddon, from OhSheGlows posted on her blog. Why 10 copies? I have no idea, it just seemed like the right amount. I didn’t even have the plan to do this 10 week challenge at the time… Maybe my body and heart knew what my mind took some time getting around to… that I’m ready to get back into shape.

In an effort to really make this stick, I’m posting about it. Here. On the blog. For everyone and anyone to see. Not only that, I’m also posting my measurements. ::gulp:: Yes, you read it, my measurements. I figure, with it all laid out here, in the open, I’m accountable. And that will surely help me stick to the workout regime I’m setting up for myself. At the end of the 10 week challenge, all that really matters to me is that I fall in love with working out again. We used to be so in love, working out and I… we’d spend hours together every day, and I’d pour some of my deepest and darkest hopes and desires out when we were together. And I miss that. And I want that back. So. Here it is. Week 1 of my 10 week workout challenge. It would be awesome if you wanted to start a challenge of your own!! Just head on over to OhSheGlows for the pdf of the workout Log. And any encouragement would be greatly appreciated, too, so don’t be shy!

Measurements:
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 136 lbs.
Chest: 34 in.
Waist: 26.5 in.
Hips: 37.5 in.
Thighs: 22.5 in.

There you have it. You can now make a wax figure of me :) I’ll measure my self again, at the end of the 10 week challenge and we can see if I was able to transform my body at all.

My goals are: To at least maintain my weight, as I stated in my 2011 New Years Resolutions post from earlier this year. Last summer, I started a healthier eating plan, and lost 20 lbs. Its pretty huge for me, because I’ve never been able to take the leap and actually put forth a weight loss effort like this before. And I’m so comfortable with my body now, and I just want to tone up the lose jiggly parts (like my butt. lol)

I also really really want to start running races again, as my mom and I also used to do that all the time, too! 5k’s were our specialty, because they were fun and pretty easy. And when I was planning my wedding, my mom and I even ran the Disney World Half Marathon!! It was amazing, and I so badly want to run another half marathon some day (hopefully soon!) I’ll be looking into this more in the near future!

At the end of this week, I’ll post a recap of my week, how my workouts went, how I felt, what I want to change for the following week, what I really liked, what I didn’t, if I skipped any days that I meant to work out on, and overall how I felt that week. I’ll continue to post weekly recaps on either Saturday or Sunday, every week, for the next 10 weeks. And then I’ll do a full, in-depth recap at the end of 10 weeks.

Okay, well, here we go! Wish me luck!

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Oct
31
2011

It snowed 8 inches on the 29th… Happy Halloween? It is so strange to see this much snow, this early in the fall… usually we don’t get snow until close to Thanksgiving. Weirdness aside, it was really pretty to see the snow falling in huge thick flakes all around the neighborhood’s skeletons, gravestones, ghosts and ghouls… Good thing its going to warm up to about 50 today for the kids to trick or treat!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Halloween 2011 Wallingford CT Photography
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Oct
28
2011

Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to second shoot with a bunch of really awesome local photographers who’s work I really admire. This all wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t have joined an amazing online community just for photographers, called the [b]school. The community there is warm, friendly, helpful, and most of all, supportive, which is so important for someone (like myself) who is just starting out along their path to a photography career. I have learned so much and have met some really great people through that community, and it is a place I will continue to be a part of because I believe that what Chris Becker has created is exactly what the photography community needs! If you’re a new or seasoned pro photographer and you haven’t checked them out, GO DO IT! It will be the best thing you ever do, I promise!

I was able to meet Kristen Schueler, of Kristen Schueler Photography, on the [b]school, and she invited me to come along with her to photograph the most sweetest and funnest couple, Morgan and Jorge, at a very intimate and insanely beautiful small wedding in Westport, CT. Head over to Kristen’s blog to see how she captured the day from the lead photographer’s point of view (and check out Morgan’s GORGEOUS shoes!!!

Jorge’s parent’s estate was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! For real… I’m talking drool worthy bed sheets, that how damn pretty and elegant this place was. Imagine getting married there! It was a dream! Morgan and Jorge were just so sweet, and so in love. They had a small intimate ceremony in the backyard with only their closest family and friends.

Here are a few of the pics I was able to grab during the day. It was really hard to narrow down my favs, as they were just so beautiful and so fun to photograph! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge


Their Reception was held at Le Farm Restaurant, in Westport. It was the cutest little place with the most devine food! And the cook really took care of Kristen and me. He made sure whatever they were serving, we got a great big plate of it also! Also, notice the little favors on the table? They were packs of note cards, the picture on them? It was the estate where they got married… how cute is that!? Enjoy all of the beautiful details…

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

Westport, CT Wedding, Le Farm Restaurant Wedding Morgan and Jorge

**And remember, check out Kristen’s site for her beautiful pics! Thanks again Kristen for letting me tag along and capturing such great memories!

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Oct
19
2011

Yeah. It’s one of *those* weeks.

The kind where you need all sorts of comfort foods to help you get by. And chocolate.

Oh, chocolate. How I love you, so. I crave you at all hours of the day and night. And you are always, *faithfully*, and delectably there for me. How I <3 you. And then, when you add in peanut butter, well. WELL. I don't think I have to tell anyone just how freakin amazing Reese’s peanut butter cups are!

They are pretty perfect all by themselves… so, why did I make my own PB cups? Well, its no mystery that anything made by Hershey’s isn’t exactly healthy for you… and whereas, my cups aren’t exactly classified as a “health” food, I did make them *healthier* then Hershey’s, and so really, you can’t feel guilty eating one, right? RIGHT??!

I’m kind of on this incredible kick of healthy eating. I like to think that I have *always* eaten “healthy” but I think I’m realizing more and more that there is really a science to being healthy and nutritious. It’s not just the lowest calories and fat that matters when you really really want to be healthy. And so I’ve been a cooking and baking machine over the last few weeks [which is why I’m posting more and more recipes on my blog, even though this is my photography blog… but hey, I’m all about being up close and personal, so I hope ya dig it ;)].

I’ve been discovering a wealth of information that I never new about nutrition, and I’m having SO much fun trying out new foods. Which lead me to these little wonders (8th wonder of the world?? maybe! Just maybe…)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This recipe calls for grain sweetened chocolate chips, which I found at my Shop Rite, and I think you can find them at most health food stores, like Whole Foods, or Trader Joes :). Grain sweetened chocolate is a bit better for you, because it uses natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar to sweeten them. This recipe also uses almond milk, which I’m totally in love with, in stead of cow’s milk, which I don’t consume (double score!). If you’re curious about the health benefits of almonds and why you should try and incorporate them into your diet, check out this awesome link!

The Recipe:

Ingredients (8-12 cups)

1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine (I used Nature’s Promise Margarine, and it was really delicious!)
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsalted) (I used smooth and I liked it!)
3/4 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares (I used 10 squares)
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar (brown sugar probably works too) (I used brown, since I dont have turbinado)
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips (I used vegan dark chips)
1/4 cup almond milk
2 T chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional) (I dont like my desserts with nuts, so I omitted these)
1 T chia seeds, for garnish (optional) (omitted)
1-2 T ground almonds, for garnish (optional) (omitted)

Instructions

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or reusable liners
2. Melt the vegan margarine/butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat.
3. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups. Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
4. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts and chia seeds. Place in the freezer for 60-75 minutes until firm.

You can find the recipe at this amazing vegan recipe food blog (Oh She Glows) that I recently discovered and have been glued to ever since! Angela is such an inspiration, and I’ve already tried dozens of her recipes, printed probably a hundred of them that I plan on trying at some point in the near future, and can’t wait to see what recipe she has to share next! She’s seriously awesome, and even if you aren’t Vegan, you can certainly adapt the recipes to suit your needs :)

I’m currently hooked on oat squares and have made so many variations of hot and cold oatmeal, I am practically bleeding oats! And I just can’t get enough :)

What are some of your favorite food blogs?? I love to browse recipes and dream of becoming an amazing baker some day :)

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Oct
10
2011

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had this incredible urge to make things. If I saw something in a store that I really really wanted, when we got home later on, I’d sneak into my mom’s craft room and try and make it. Backpacks, skirts, barbie cloths. You name it, I tried to make it. Even to this day, I make things whenever I can. I just like to craft.

So, yesterday, when I was cleaning out the hall closet for the 223,423,423,455th time, I realized I needed another shoe organizer. We already have a nice wooden one in there with little cubbies for shoes, but its filled to the brim. I’m talking 3-pairs-of-shoes-per-cubby filled.

So I went to write up a list of things I’d like to pick up from the store the next time I went out, and then thought, why not just make one? Which brought me to my favorite thing for October. As the weather (*tries*) to get cooler, one of my most favorite things to do this time of year is sew!

I whipped this little shoe cubby up in just a couple of hours, and although I could have just run to Wal-mart and bought one for probably 12$, there is something really gratifying when you make it instead. :) Now all my flip flops and flats have a happy home, and we have more room in the wooden cubby for the sneakers, boots, and all my fun high heels. Yea, I have too many shoes!

Sewing Project: Shoe Organizer

Sewing Project: Shoe Organizer

Sewing Project: Shoe Organizer

*Why, yes I made my shoe organizer out of cat fabric. Its really cute and I love it!*

** If you’d like to see some of my other favorite things, you can click on the category “favorite things” under the title of this post, or just click here. :)

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Oct
06
2011

At the end of the summer, my dad’s side of the family made a trip out from Pennsylvania for a little family get together/reunion. As always, there was too much delicious food and wonderful desserts (including a to die for red velvet cake that my Aunt Linda made!!!). We don’t get to see them very often, so it was so so nice to get together for the weekend. As luck would have it, the weather was perfect (both for pictures and swimming!), and we were able to sit for a really perfect family portrait! I know most people (photographers) cringe when they hear white shirts and blue jeans, but with this many people, I just thought it would look really clean and classic, and you know what, I love it. I love the 1992 feel the group photo has. And I love that everyone was able to make the look their own by throwing on some cute accessories.
 
 

Family Reunion August 2011

 

Family Reunion August 2011

 

My dad, with his two sisters, Cookie on the left and Linda on the right

Family Reunion August 2011

 

Family Reunion August 2011

 

Family Reunion August 2011

 

My parents are ga-rosssss (said in my best 15-year old teenager voice. :p)

Family Reunion August 2011

 

Family Reunion August 2011

 

Family Reunion August 2011

** For those of you waiting for the link so you can download your favorites, I just have to upload them to the private site, and then I’ll be sending out an email with the link so you can grab the high res images! That will be very soon!! :)

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Sep
29
2011

Here are some more photos from the engagement photo shoot I had with Kelly & Russ at Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT. The grounds are SO so beautiful and the afternoon was perfect! We walked around in the warm summer sun, chatting, laughing, and finding all kinds of beautiful light (and scenery!) to take photos in! It was a perfect afternoon and I had so much fun hanging out with these two and getting to know them a little bit! Thanks for such a great time, Kelly and Russ, I hope you love the rest of the photos as much as I do :)

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT

Kelly & Russ Engagement Photography Harkness State Park Waterford CT
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Sep
28
2011

Greg came home one night going on and on about The Elbow Room in West Hartford, and this amazing Black Bean Salsa he had with his burger. Its rare that he gets motivated to cook, but he liked it so much he decided he’d like to try and recreate it. So, after buying ingredients from the grocery store on his way home from work one night, and referring to a recipe from “Guy Ferrari”, he got to chopping.

Sunday Afternoon Baking:  Tilapia and Black Bean Salsa

Sunday Afternoon Baking:  Tilapia and Black Bean Salsa

Sunday Afternoon Baking:  Tilapia and Black Bean Salsa

He paired the black bean salsa with some fresh tilapia cooked with some Italian herbs and lemon juice on the grill. The dinner was fantastic! If you’d like to try the black bean salsa for yourself, you can find it here on the Food Network site. I’ve also copied it below for no reason specifically, but I just like to include the recipe in my Sunday Afternoon Baking series posts (and we always slightly modify a recipe to our taste, which is included below)

2 cans black beans, drained, about 30 ounces
1 cup frozen corn thawed, or fresh if you can cut it of the cob :)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch ground cumin

add all ingredients to large bowl, mix well, adjust seasoning to your liking, and enjoy! It is SOOOO good. Last night I made a variation of this as a larger, stand alone salad, to eat for lunch. IT WAS JUST as good!! I’ll be posting that recipe soon, as it includes some great greens that are normally super bitter and yucky by themselves (like broccoli and spinach), but in the salad, tastes fantastic! I hope you enjoy it if you try it. Any favorite salads or salsas that you just can’t live without? Share the recipe below in the comments, I’d love to try it out!!

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Sep
23
2011

Here is a super quick sneak peek of the little Miss baby O, the adorable newborn I had the privilege to photograph a couple of weeks ago! So much more from her session to come, just wait til you see how cute she is :)

Newborn Photography Connecticut
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