Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Miss. M - 16 Months!

Yesterday I photographed one of my favorite little toddlers! Miss. M is a busy little 16 month old who I have been trying to photograph for a few weeks now. Mom & I were able to catch up yesterday and I finally got to take pictures of this beautiful little girl. Miss. M has the most beautiful blond hair, stunning blue eyes, and as I learned yesterday, has quite the little appetite for twizzlers.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hugs & Shrugs

HUGS: 1) Family members who offer you their old cell phone because they heard you ‘allegedly’ dropped your phone in your driveway and your husband ran over it, 2) Preparation for my favorite day on the calendar – the 4th of JULY!! 3) The crunch/hot fudge layer in a Dairy Queen cake; we spent a lot of time together this weekend and I have the back fat to prove it.

SHRUGS: 1) People who can’t do a-n-y-thing for themselves 2) Those pesky little rings in a 3-ring binder that don’t line up correctly making it impossible to flip any more than three pages at a time, 3) Bills; someday I will get a paycheck I can use towards something I WANT, someday...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lemon Gingertini - The Recipe!

My friend and I attended a Pampered Chef party back in February where the host served us a fabulous liquid concoction she called a “Lemon Gingertini”. This alcoholic beverage tantalized the taste buds with a hint of lemon, a touch of ginger, and a splash of vodka.

Since February my friend and I have been on a quest to find this recipe. We have googled, binged, and asked a million people with no luck (even the host had misplaced the recipe). Until today! I FOUND IT!! I am so excited I have to share this refreshing little drink recipe with my bloggidy readers.

Alas, I present to you the elusive Lemon Gingertini Recipe:

2 lemons, divided
1 2½-in. piece fresh ginger root (about 2 oz), peeled
¼ cup sugar
1 can (12 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate
4 cups (1 L) chilled club soda
1 cup lemon-flavored vodka (optional)
½ cup lemon sorbet

1. Zest lemons. Cut lemons in half crosswise. Cut two thin slices from one lemon. Cut slices into quarters and cut one slit into each quarter; set quarters aside for garnish. Juice remaining lemons to measure about ⅓ cup.

2. Finely mince ginger root. Combine lemon zest, juice, ginger and sugar; cover loosely with lid. Microwave on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

3. Place lemonade concentrate into a large pitcher. Pour ginger mixture through strainer into pitcher; discard ginger. Add club soda and vodka. Place lid onto pitcher and stir.

4. To serve, place 1 small scoop of sorbet into glasses. Pour beverage over sorbet. Garnish glasses with reserved lemon quarters.

yields: 8 servings (about 7 glasses)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sing Along

This may come as a surprise to some of you, and to others no surprise at all;, I love to sing. I didn’t say I was good at it; I just like to do it. I sing along to commercials on TV, about what I am doing or will do next (my daughter loves it when I do this, although she can’t talk to tell me she hates it, so let’s assume she loves it), and I lurrrve to sing in my car. In the privacy of my car is where I can really belt it out!

Some of my all time favorite tracks to sing include, but are not limited to: Bob Seger - Sunspot Baby, Salt-n-Pepa - Shoop (old school BABEEE), Kid Rock – All Summer Long, Jason AldeanShe’s Country, and during Christmas I love get my festive on to Bruce Springsteen’s – Santa Claus is Coming to Town... Okay, I am going to stop now, because this is getting a little embarrassing.

Sometimes, most times, I try to so hard to mirror the notes, I crack up my throat, end up choking/gagging, and have to avoid crashing as I search my car studio for something to drink. Don’t hate, you know you do/have done this too.

psst, I included links to the lyrics of my favorite songs so you can study them and be able to channel your inner Amy next time you are driving to the store.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Power of a Coupon

Cheap, chintzy, frugal, call me what you want; I love a good bargain. Whether picking $9 dresses off GAP's clearance racks, purchasing Puma shoes from Marden's, or buying in bulk at Sam's Club (although you have to do your homework and compare, because sometimes, bulk is not better), I get a rush of excitement when I find an item at a severely discounted price.

I know a few other people who share my passion for mark downs. I work with a man who is the King of coupons. Tell him what you are looking for, make-up to marinade and he is on the case. He will clip coupons and study the Sunday sales flyer's and never disappoints. He will buy bags upon bags of good deals all while spending next to nothing, sometimes nothing, and sometimes the stores have to PAY HIM, although they never do!

Last weekend I was on a quest for wipes. Armed with seven $2 off Pampers coupons, I headed into my all time favorite retail location, Target. By-passing the purses, shoes, and sunglasses (and I desperately need a new pair), I charged into the baby section. To my surprise I saw those darling little price cut markers under the PAMPERS WIPES! When I saw the cut back price of $1.97, I may have let out a squeal of delight and there may have been a fist pump or two, but thankfully no one was counting.

I loaded up my basket, immediately regretting not getting a cart and strutted to the check out. The cashier rang in the wipes one by one and before she hit the button to total it up, I nonchalantly said, "oh, I have coupons for those" all the while knowing I was not going to leave that place spending more than $1! HA! So one by one deducted my $2 coupons on my $1.97 wipes.

"AMY - What was the total? What did you spend? Tell me, tell me, tell  me!!" Calm down, I am not going to tell you, I am going to shoooow you.

Look closer:

Yep, that's right $.69!

And a look at the loot:

Tap, tap, that was me patting myself on the shoulder (because I can't reach my back).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Make me a sandwich

Can you make me something to eat? ‘Yes, I could do it myself, but it tastes better if you do it’. I caught myself saying this the other day and had to wonder: Why is that? So I went on a quest to discover the answer. I performed extensive kitchen table research, questioned a few co-workers and reached the conclusion I knew all along: food tastes better when someone else makes it. period.

When I was a kid, I remember my cousin and I making sandwiches, we would use the exact same ingredients, slice the wich the exact same way, then I would hand her mine and she would give me hers. Why you ask? Because hers tasted better! And what about all you coffee drinkers out there (you know who you are), how much money do you spend on coffee a year? And I am not typing about the coffee you make in your kitchens, but coffee you pay someone to make for you? I am not afraid; I would say I spend, on average, $8/week on coffee, some weeks more. That is over $400 a year (GULP!, pun intended). I have tried buying the exact same coffee and even bought (dare I say) heavy cream to mix with it, and nope not the same.

Another example, my Mom makes a killer; I mean mouth watering hurry up and finish this plate so I can get some more, potato salad. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched her make this culinary master piece. Several times asking' how much of that', 'what brand is that,' did you peel the potatoes vertically or horizontally'? But can I replicate the recipe on my own – HellllllltothaNOOO! I just can’t do it.

And copykat.com, yeah you say you have the Olive Garden’s alfredo and lemon cream cake recipes, but I beg to differ. I am pretty sure the Olive Garden paid you to leave out a few ‘key’ ingredients as I have tried both of these so-called "recipes", following each to the “T” and what do I get, another catastrophic disappointment.

But there is hope, there are some recipes out there you (me) just can't mess up. Here is one of them, get a watermelon, a pineapple, grapes, and strawberries, chop them up and throw them in a bowl - whoolaa. It doesn't matter who makes it, it still tastes (and looks) guuuud.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Some of you may have noticed that I added a "Reactions" section to the bottom of each post. After you are done viewing a post, feel free to check on one of the boxes so I know what you think.

If my post had you belly laughing at your desk, or in tears because my photos were so breathtaking, or if you simply cannot wait to read my next post, check Love it!!

If my post was eh, okay and you are thinking of all the things you should have been doing instead of reading my blog, click Like it!

If you have no idea what I just posted and think I should keep my day job, don't click anything HAHA, Just Kidding - click What?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Ripley Family

This morning I got to photograph the Ripley family. They were so easy to work with and let me position and take them any where I wanted, even in a wet field with super high grass.

Here are a few of my favorites from the day:


Friday, June 11, 2010

All Organic! Or not...

Where does the food you eat come from? If you open your refrigerator do you know where that milk came from, that lettuce, hamburg, what about your ketchup, and let’s not even open that drawer and inquire about that sandwich meat (truuuust me, you don’t wanna know).

For most of my life I never gave a woot-toot about the food I ate or thought about where it came from, what it ate, or the conditions in which it was raised, all I cared about was ‘does it need more salt’ and ‘will there be any left for seconds’. But then I read books like Skinny Bitch, watched movies like Food Inc., and saw that commercial with the dreaded footage of a fork lift driving OVER a live cow (ugh). Those words and images are permanently burned in my brain.

About two years ago, right after I found out I was pregnant, like most first time preggers, I vowed to eat better with more fruits and veggies and for one shopping trip I declared an all organic diet. I shopped for dry goods in the two organic shopping isles at Hannaford and bought an organic chicken, the milk and cheese products I have bought for years already claim to be natural and use no artificial hormones. Then I got to the check out – HOLY, I had maybe a half a cart of food and the price tag was almost double what I normally pay with a rounded shopping cart. So needless to say, my all organic phase petered out quickly.

I realized not only can I not afford to eat all organic, but let’s be honest, it’s not realistic either, we love our Velveeta, Doritos, and Pepsi way too much. But what I can do, and have done, is pay more attention to what I buy and feed my family. For example, a few weeks ago, we bought half a cow that was fed all natural and wasn’t run over by any forklifts! When I do groceries now, I buy at least one chicken/pork item that is organic, my vegetables I grow and can in the summer and when those run out I buy one or two frozen veggies that are organic, yogurt - organic. I figure if I can make one meal a week that is all organic and throw in a couple all natural side dishes once in a while, I am doing better than I was before.

SOO, although I can’t tell you where everything in my refrigerator came from, ate, or where it was raised, I can tell you that this little freezer here is full of all natural beef, born and raised right down the road and in the door there is organic deer meat which was born and lived on an undisclosed location of a small island in Maine.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hugs & Shrugs

HUGS: 1) Birthday’s; it’s that one day a year that is truly all about YOU! When people complain about them, I point out ‘they sure beat the alternative’ 2) John’s Ice Cream; I have proclaimed my love for this ice cream before, but here I go again, this week I am in heaven with their homemade peanut butter crunch, a T.B.O. to the tenth power!! 3) Ice Water; you are cheap, refreshing, fat AND calorie free, and are always on tap.

SHRUGS: 1) Hang nails; you are ugly and when I try to rip you off with my teeth you go on and bleed all over the place (eye roll) 2) A rattling exhaust; you remind me of my first car and instead of fixing you, you drive me (pun intended) to look for a new car, 3) BP Oil and their “back-up plan(s)”

If you are ever driving down Rt 3 in Liberty and see this sign, PULL IN!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Somebody Loves... my blog!

Toot Toot! Yep, that is the sound of my own horn.

If you look to the right, you will see a list of Blogs I Love, it's more than love really... I sort of stalk them. I look at each almost daily. All are blogs with a purpose (unlike this one), two are about photography, one is about sewing, one has sewing and inspirational posts, and one is just fun to look at!

So imagine my surprise when within one of those blogs I saw MY BLOG listed under blogs she loves!! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I will have the Hot Hamburger Plate - PLEEEZE!

This past weekend my family and I ventured to Rockwood, Maine for some much needed R&R. On Saturday, the weather was less than ideal, so my Mom, baby E and I packed up the diaper bag and headed into the great Northern metropolis known as Jackman, Maine!

Mom said we would go “shopping” and having never been to Jackman, except on a 4-wheeler eons ago, I envisioned a mini-strip mall and perhaps a delightful trading post full of unique gifts. The shopping we did was at a “The Famous” Jackman Trading Post (even their web-site puts quotes around the famous) which had one of the most; let's call it eclectic, inventories I have ever seen. They had sweatshirts, a lot of sweatshirts, wigs, flip flops, walking canes, a stuffed laughing dog, books on wild flowers, whoopee cushions, and estate jewelry, all under the same roof. Oh, they sold soft serve ice cream too. Needless to say, I left empty handed, a little disappointed and was even more disappointed when we got in the truck and I asked 'okay now where?' and Mom said 'that was it'.

Feeling a sense of sadness and longing to get back the 53 minutes it took us to drive there and the 9 minutes we spent in the store, I looked up and saw a sign that read: Four Seasons Restaurant. Now for anyone who ever said the way to a WOman's heart is through her stomach, should probably write my obituary too, because they obviously know me better than anyone. I looked at my Mom and God luv ah, she was already pulling in the parking lot.

We walked into the restaurant which turned out to be a quaint little diner complete with family style tables, a few booths, friendly wait staff, and two shelves circling the entire restaurant holding up one of the most impressive coffee cup collections I have ever seen. Okay, it is the only coffee cup collection I have ever seen, but trust me, there were A LOT of cups!

The menu had everything from cheeseburgers to shepard’s pie. But what caught my eye was a fancy little number titled: Hot Hamburg Plate. The description read a hamburger and hand cut fries smothered with gravy and topped with peas. Now some of you may have said “EWWW” after reading that and I am willing to bet that you are also one of ‘those’ people who don’t like the food on your plate touching. You spend minutes carefully sorting each item on your plate and spend more time worrying about who’s touching who, than enjoy the food before you. You people make me want to reach over with my fork and mess up your plate!!

I on the other hand, am one of those people who just loves food, touching or not, I will eat it. So I ordered the Hot Hamburg Plate and this is what I got:

With a sprinkle of salt and a dash of pepper I devoured one of the best hamburgers, the best side of fries, the best brown gravy, and okay peas one big fork full after another.

So the lesson of the day is next time you are in Jackman, skip the Trading Post and head to the Four Season’s, order a Hot Hamburg Plate and sit back and enjoy the deliciousness!!