Style Me Pretty – Grandma’s Favorite Recipe Contest

Last week I received some great news! My Cherry Galette recipe made the top 10 finalist on the Style Me Pretty Living blog “Grandma’s Favorite Recipe Constest.” Say that 10 times… As a wedding photographer Style Me Pretty is kind of a rock-star! Knowing that my humble recipe inspired by the lessons and stories that my mom shared with me when I was a little girl is humbling and amazing! Please head on over to Style Me Pretty and vote for me! I promise that it will not take longer that half a second. All you have to do is leave the word V O T E. The person with the most votes wins!

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21 Day Detox – Gluten Free Pancakes

Well I am on day 7 of my 21 day detox. Let me tell you it hasn’t been easy the no coffee part has been killing me just a “bit” seriously caffeine withdrawals are serious folks! But that is not to say that I’ve been miserable throughout this journey it’s actually been pretty amazing, getting to know my body better and learning that there are foods that I can simply do without, is helping me become a better me, can I get an Amen! This journey is pushing me in so many many ways and I am excited to share it with you all! Remember this journey is being shared via images from my iPhone, my usual images will be back after the detox!

This week I made gluten – free pancakes two times and the first time I didn’t enjoy them as much because I really missed the agave sweeter that I usually drown them in. But this morning they tasted amazing!!! Could it be that my body and mind are starting to ween of sugar? Or was I just really hungry!

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Much of what I put in my body is out of habit and breaking the coffee habit hasn’t been easy. Yesterday I almost broke but instead I had an Evolution Fresh Carrot/Orange juice with Raw protein powder. The barista at my local Starbucks was awesome enough to blend it for me frappe style! Better yet I have been saving money since the husband and I have not been making coffee stops every day…

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Gluten Free Pancakes
– 2 cups Almond Flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tbsp of good vanilla or
– 1 tsp of pumpkin spice mix
– 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
– 2 eggs
– 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
– 1 to 1 1/2 cups of almond milk or water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Then add in the already whisked and incorporated wet ingredients. Whisk dry and wet ingredients thoroughly, until batter is smooth. The batter should not be thick. If you feel that your batter is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water or almond milk at a time until the batter has smoothed out.

Heat skillet on medium-high heat and add organic coconut oil for greasing, enough to grease entire pan generously. I use a stainless steel skillet.

Test the skillet with drops of water. If it sizzles, your skillet is ready.

Pour about 3/4 cup of pancake batter on to the heated skillet Repeat.

Add some blueberries.

Once tiny bubbles form in your pancake, carefully flip with a thin metal spatula. Cook a minute or two. Do not over cook! Overcooking gluten-free pancakes will make them tough.

If the batter thickens as it stands, add a few more tablespoons of water to thin it out.

Serve with fresh blueberries and almond butter.

Make sure you eat these right off the skillet, gluten-free pancakes will get tough after awhile.

Happy Birthday Boo

Today the boy that I started dating at 16 turns 28, he was 18. You might say we grew up together and that our lives were destined to be perfect, the kind of perfection that you only find in the hashtags of social media #sohot #marriedup #maritalbliss #lucky blah blah blah! No one ever tells you what marriage is going to look like after you say, I do. After the vows are exchanged, unity candle has been lit, and you walk down the aisle as man and wife. I will tell you one thing marriage is hard I truly believe that God intended it to be that way, everything worth having is hard. That is the truth. But in the midst of challenges beautiful things are made and the love that I have for this guy is one of those things. I love you Johnny! I am glad that we are doing this thing called marriage together! I am so happy to be able to share one more year with you. On your 28th year I hope we keep growing. That we learn from our mistakes, that we continue to pursue things that frighten us, that we keep working hard, that we keep learning how to say “no”, and that we keep working on each other! Every birthday lived is a milestone, and I think it’s crucial that we keep having perspective –its my hope that on your 28th Birthday you continue to rejoice in the things you’ve accomplished, but also that you continue to acknowledge future goals and aspirations. Babe I hope that your 28th b-day is the best yet! You are a sweet and amazing man, incredibly talented photographer and all around creative, the best puppy dad, and my biggest cheerleader and for that I am so grateful! This year I encourage to pursue God and his plan for you. Now let’s go explore, drink coffee, and enjoy your day!

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The Garden that Keeps on Giving & New Year Resolutions

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I think I am slowly starting to find my green-thumb my garden has kept on giving and giving. I love being able to walk out to my front yard and pick all sorts of beautiful greens – kale, rainbow chard, ruby chard, salad blends, spinach, etc. Everyday I have an excuse to go out and explore. The garden gives me the opportunity to see life happen to pick the perfect radishes, eat tender pea shoots, saute fresh bok-choy. The giving doesn’t stop and for that I am grateful. This morning I decided to tug at the carrot tops and to my surprise I found that I had these beautiful carrots. They taste delicious raw but toss in olive oil and roast at 350 degrees and they become sweet and slightly spiced. Roast and top with fresh herbs and you’ve got a wonderful meal. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians, paleo, or anyone looking to eat something healthy yet tasty!

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The last few weeks where hectic to say the least…we spent lots of time with family and loved on each other as much as we could, we are blessed and we enjoyed every-minute of it but it’s nice to return to a slower pace of life – to have time to think; yes really think! I needed this time of silence to re-charge and re-focus my vision for both 2013 life/business. You can read more about our business goals, achievement, failures, and expectations here. Needless to say, 2012 was amazing in every way, we had a lot of changes and blessings; realizing how good God is makes me feel unworthy. This past year was busy. Our business is taking off and we’ve been blessed to meet with and call friends some of the coolest people around. But it has also been A LOT of work. Whoever said that Self Employment was easy LIED… So for 2013 my goals are simple

  •  In HIS name
  •  With HIS power
  •  For HIS glory

Sounds simple but I know it wont be as we’ve discussed on here before, I have a hard time letting…I’m somewhat of a control freak. Declaring that I will trust, depend, on the Lord to guide and carry us into a fruitful future is one of the bravest things I’ve ever done… To say that I will do things in his glory is even harder…see sometimes I don’t want to behave like a believer. None the less I am so excited and ready for this journey and the challenge! I hope that this will be a year like none other…no year is ever the same but I pray that this be the year in which I grow wiser and mature in the Lord.

Portland Farmers Market

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On our recent trip to Portland we managed to experience the what the city had to offer in many ways, I of course had to visit the Portland Farmers Market. I love Farmers Markets you all know that, I delight in the sights, sounds, textures and aromas of a morning farmers market day; something special happens in me the minute I see tables covered with kale, rainbow-chard, carrots, and and colorful squash. Often, the vendors’ trucks are still rumbling into their market spaces and others are still busy piling tables with mountains of fresh produce. Portland_trip_web-33 Portland_trip_web-35 Portland_trip_web-32

Farmers markets are vital to local economies, small family farms, and small artisans, many of whom rely on the direct sales that take place at the Farmers Market as their main source of income.  Farmers Markets are growing in popularity, consumers are beginning to demand locally sourced and produced food in other outlets, too. Restauranteurs, chefs,  and avid foodies large and small have begun to seek out local, seasonal produce. Many restaurants and grocery stores (Whole Foods for example) proudly feature farms’ names on their menus and in their aisles. These small connections are creating an economy, vital for the farmers and artisans, these economies are fueling the businesses. Remember that when you shop at a Farmers Market your purchase is directly impacting the livelihood of the vendors! Portland_trip_web-34 Portland_trip_web-36 Portland_trip_web-38 Portland_trip_web-40 Portland_trip_web-41 Portland_trip_web-43 Portland_trip_web-42

Marriage – 2 Years After…

Johnny, today we celebrate 2 years of marital bliss…

When days turn into nights and weeks turn into months and months into years, mile-stones are made. Today we celebrate 2 years of marriage – some things remain the same. My tempered frustration and my fierce love co-exist. There are moments when I feel like I’m going insane because I said I do to a man much different from myself – but it’s in those moments that I am reminded of the vows I made to you. I already knew how different you are from me, I declared it to the 220 guest at our ceremony, you have video to prove it. Yet I feel like the  structure was too tight, the commitment to love you until death do us part too impossible.

But then—in those hard moments of pain—you challenge me to trust (you & I both know how I feel about trust) in the Lord…to trust in his promises because we serve a God who cares about all the things big or small that our hearts desire. So when life gets complicated, decision too obscure,  work too hard, when money is too thin, when life is not as predictable as I would like it to be. You know that all I want to do is scream and retreat to a “happy” time in life…I completely disconnect because I am too afraid of the monsters outside and don’t realize that the monster I become – tantrum throwing, closet hiding monster isn’t any better, in fact sometimes it’s worst. But you push me to connect and simply see the good in all…

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So today, two years, 730 days after I vowed to be your wife, I know this to be true…

When life seems too hard, too overwhelming, there is a God
When I’m confused about life decisions you encourage me
When I feel like a shadow you remind me of the strong force that I am
When I am scared and feel like running back to the safety of my parents home you promise we’re going to be great
When you drive me crazy, make me angry, resent your every being, you manage to make me love you again
When you fail me, hurt me, and pain me, I know you’re human and the grace that you constantly extend to me suddenly becomes a challenge that I must meet

Can you believe that two years ago today, I promised to love you, to do life with you, to stand under the same umbrella on rainy days, to savor your sweetness and tame my spiciness,  to keep you, to honor you until death do us part. Two years later we have faced many challenges, shared many adventures, laughed until our bellies hurt, and experienced life together. We moved into our first home and started a new business… life has been good! God has poured blessings and grace upon us. Two years later I am still honored to be your wife and keep that vow to love you!

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Happy anniversary, Johnny.

I love you!!!

Let’s continue to remain faithful and in LOVE for many years to come!!! 730 days have flown by…

Road Trip to Portland – One Coffee Shop at a Time

Two week ago the hubs and I decided that it was the perfect time to have a road-trip. We had just finished our last wedding of the season and we did not have any shoots scheduled for a week, so we decided to head to Portland! “Where the dream of the 90’s lives” ;-). We headed to Portland without an itinerary and only one mission in mind, to visit the best coffee shops along the way…and that we did! After-all we love coffee at times it seems like coffee is the reason why I get out of bed at some very odd hours. Coffee and Portland just  made sense.

If you’ve never been to Portland, you must add it to your bucket-list! it was my first time there, my husband and I had been dreaming of what it would be like for a while. It was even prettier than what I had imagine, episodes of Portlandia don’t do it justice. There’s something so cozy +whimsical+ beautiful about Portland…maybe it’s because I live in the land of eternal summer and find any place that has all seasons whimsical. If I could be described as a state I think I would be Portland… the amazing coffee culture, architecture,  the pretty landscape, and the raddest bookstore ever – powell’s book store 

On our way out there we spent some time in Sacramento and found it just as charming. We were lucky enough to stumble on a magazine of the best coffee shops in Sacramento, we kicked-off our trip with Insight Coffee Roasters– this place makes you want to stay awhile, things seem to move slower in there. Grab a house-made dark mocha and sit by the window enjoy the view and people watch.

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Part 2 coming soon…

Why Supporting Local Farms Matters: To Me

I am an absolute farmers market junkie, farm wanderer, want to live in a farm dreamer.

I was not always like this, as I child I had the opportunity to live in Honduras and witness first hand the lives of harvesters, livestock and dairy farmers.  Although I enjoyed it and enjoyed their harvest I stayed away mainly because farms attract flies! Gigantic flies! yes! I dislike flies a LOT.  Fast forward 20 years and here I am, a huge proponent of buying locally raised food and supporting urban farmers. My husband and I are well on our way to turning all of our landscape into edible landscape. I think that will make me a “mini-urban-farmer”. I am happy to report that thus far I have not encountered gigantic flies…maybe this is a Central America thing.

But if you ever get the opportunity to visit a farm or to hang out with an urban farmer jump at the opportunity. It will change your life. It changed mine literally it put me back in touch, with my food and where it comes from.  So much work, dedication, and patience goes into an organic farm that uses holistic approaches. Many of us can’t imagine it because we have lost touch with our food source.  It’s important to support people who are doing this work for us, since many of us aren’t doing it ourselves. We need to buy from those who are taking this amazing burden of feeding ourselves into their hands, with pride, and showing us how they care for our health and that of the land by raising food properly.

Visit farmers markets and  meet your local farmers, ask about their work, how they care for and raise your/their food. I find that the more I ask the more I want to learn and put into practice the entire process. Their enthusiasm and passion for what they do is contagious. Long gone are the days when we had to work to get food on our plate, and by work I mean grow raise our own food.  We no longer have to wait for the seasons to enjoy certain fruits and veggies, grocery stores offer summer produce in the dead of winter. Yet more than ever in our history people cook less and less at home. See a problem? I encourage you to source local, in season produce and cook! I guarantee  you will see food differently.

People like the owners of Rolling Hills Herbs & Annuals are undervalued. Most of us don’t understand the amount of work and commitment that it takes to grow food! Thank you Carrie-Anne.

Love Food & Photography

Why do we snap photos all the time? Why do we like taking pictures? Between Johnny and I the amount of cameras we own both recreational and professional is staggering! Seriously! I’m addicted to Instagram and the Fuji Instax Mini Polaroid Camera! All of this has a purpose though. We like taking pictures  – of people, emotions, adventures, places  and all fleeting moments in life. Life goes by way too fast to not take photos, and we love to document the important and awesome stuff. Weddings give us the chance to photograph some of the most awesome and fun parts of life all in one day, and although it’s fast and crazy we love it because to us it’s SO MUCH FUN. It also give us the chance to work with crazy amazing people and give them photos they cherish…and few things in life are better than that. The cook in me who one day will own a rad cafe thrives in making food that is beautiful and tasty and snapping photos allows me to remember the smell, texture, and the amazing process that cooking is! Here are a few of my favorite shots from instagram!

Coffee making at our home 🙂

Simple breakfast and a Chia seed White tea combo

We have been spending tons of time outside!

Iphonenography (Iphone Photos) causes many of us to geek out specially when talking about our favorite apps. So here are some of my favorite iPhone editing apps  (I love to hear your favorites):

  • Instagram
  • Diptic
  • Hisptamatic
  • VSCO Cam
  • Snapseed
  • Filter Storm

Loving my Birthday gift! Fuji Instax Mini

A little obsessed with Terranium making 🙂

Decisions…

This post is a very last-minute, unplanned, UN-thought, collection of my feelings and motives. My husband and I recently left sunny Newport Beach ( a dream location to many) and moved to the Inland Empire…gasp… I know! Many have asked the “what were you thinking” question… we left our home and jobs and moved to the Inland Empire to set roots and start a business. Many don’t understand and I understand that. It’s ok.

The ties and pull of family are stronger than any dream location or career  for me. As adults we are expected to move away from the nest and start our own lives. I’m not the type to do what’s expected so instead I moved back home and bought a home 5 minutes away from my parents home. It’s perfect for us.

I understood very fast that visiting our families a few times a years for the holidays was not enough for me… for us.  One day my loved ones will leave to meet with Jesus…I will leave to meet with Jesus. I believe that my last thoughts when that day comes wont include the dream zip code or the career. I believe that my thoughts in those last moments will be filled with what seemed and did not seem important.

I never want to be in a situation where I miss my family…all the details and beauty in my life even the things that appear to not be important are made up by them. I know that the day will come when Jesus will start calling on all of us, and on that day I don’t want to think of all that I missed out on…them…us!

I know that I have been blessed with a family that I love and loves me back. Sadly this is not something many can say. I love the family that God chose for me. They love, support, and pick on me all the time… I would not have any other way. There in nothing in this world that can make up for my them. I love them all more than words can ever explain…that’s the way God has made it. I create community around my family…God sent me into this world without anything and when I pass I will leave with nothing…all that will be left will be the memories that I made with all of them.

P.S Many of you wont understand and that perfectly fine… 🙂