Archive | September, 2011

Traditional Wedding Photography

I have a lot of people ask me what my “style” is for wedding photography.  I always hate to answer this question, because I don’t know that I have a particular “style”.  But when I pulled pictures for this post, I noticed a lot of similarities in my shooting style.  I often tell people that I’m not an old fashioned traditional photographer.  I like to try new poses and step out of the box as often as I can, but living in West Michigan I find that most of my brides and grooms want a mix of fun, new and traditional.  I don’t have a lot of requests for a complete photojournalism look, but I do like to document the day.  And almost all of my family shots are very traditional.  Following are what I would call traditional wedding portraits.  I love the clean, crisp look to these pictures.  Enjoy!


New Family Pictures for the Wall

Here are my choices for the family picture wall at my mom’s house.  We last did family pictures about two years ago, so it was time to update.  My mom has a wall where she showcases our coordinating family pictures.  The last time we did this, we did one big family picture with all of us.  This year, because of the ages of our kids, it was easier to do each family separately and do more of a collage look.  Sometime, when we get all our kids together, they act up and get wild, not allowing for a very productive photo session.  I did my own family pics last week and I was able to do my sister’s family yesterday.  We were hoping to get a picture of my sister’s two kids together, but it just did not happen.  The baby is a little too new, and we were a little nervous having big sister hold him on the cement.  Now, I just have to get my mom and dad out to this location and update their shots.  But here are my picks for mom’s wall.

Owl Always Love You

I borrowed this cute little owl hat from a photographer friend of mine intending to use it on my nephew, Henry.  It fits his little head perfectly right now, so I ran to my sister’s house this week and borrowed baby Henry.  Unfortunately, he was not into my planned photo shoot and boy did he let me know it.  I don’t think he liked me taking off his clothes, laying him down or putting the hat on him.  He was awake for the entire shoot, this shot was a just a lucky shot when his eyes were closed.  I thought I’d post a couple pictures so you could all see the adorable hat and my beautiful nephew.  Enjoy!

Wedding Themes: Red

In honor of it being a wedding Friday for me today, thought I would throw up a wedding themes post.  Today I chose red, one of my favorite colors!  Enjoy!

First Day of Preschool

OK, I’m a little late in the day for this post.  I normally try to post something in the morning, but this morning just got away from me.  But I wanted to throw these pics up of my two little guys going to preschool for their first day.  Yesterday, I actually stayed the whole time they were there so tomorrow is the real test.  I will drop them off and leave.  They think I will be staying with them every day, it could be interesting.

When I first found out we were having twins, I cried.  Yup, right there in the ultrasound room at the doctor’s office.  I honestly do not remember their entire first year, I really think my brain has blocked it out completely, kind of like my body’s way of dealing with something traumatic.  Because the first year was traumatic for me.  There were many, many, many nights of tears and prayers.  And most of my prayers were me begging God to just get me through one more day.  Then it was to help me get through the week.  Then, through the month.  Finally, I could see a sliver of light at the end of a very long tunnel.  I prayed for God to just get me through to their 4th birthday.  I figured by 4 they would be sleeping through the night, eating normally and potty trained.  Their 4th birthday came in May and here they are finally starting preschool.  I have been thanking the Lord almost daily since May for getting me to this point and it’s only been by His grace that I am clinging to the sanity I have.

So on that note, here are some fun pics of their first day.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

I found this salad on Pinterest one day and thought it sounded good.  I love quinoa, black beans, avocado; pretty much everything in this recipe.  I threw this together this past weekend and it was easy to make.  It is also beautiful.  When I tasted it for the first time, I really felt like it was missing something.  I debated even posting this on here, but I’m going to ask that if anyone makes this or has any ideas of something I should add, please let me know!  I feel like it needs something added to the dressing.  And maybe it was just my taste buds this day…Let me know your thoughts!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans:

1 c. quinoa

1 T. olive oil

1 3/4 c. water

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, chopped into chunks

handful cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 red onion, diced

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 red pepper, diced

small handful cilantro, diced

1 lime, juiced

1/2 t. cumin

1/2 T. olive oil

salt to taste

Warm olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once hot, add quinoa and toast for about 2 minutes.  Add water, stir once, cover and simmer with lid on for 20 minutes.

While quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients.  Prepare the dressing by combining lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt.  Whisk aggressively.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

When quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat and fluff with fork.  Add black beans and toss to warm through.  Let quinoa cool for about 5 minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including dressing.  Mix.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

My Family

Every year I dread doing my own family pictures.  Especially trying to get a picture of the boys for the Christmas card.  But this morning I woke up with nothing planned for the entire day.  And for those of you that know me, that is really saying something.  Heaven forbid we just stay home and relax.  So I dug through everyone’s closets and came up with somewhat matching clothes, we all got dressed and were out the door before 9:30am for family pics.  We headed downtown Grand Rapids to one of my favorite little spots.  I also grabbed my tripod.  Everyone was so well behaved (I’m sure the bribe of a trip to Target for toys afterward helped some) and I feel like I got a ton of fun shots.  I already have my Christmas card designed and waiting to be printed at the lab 🙂

Click HERE to see a slideshow of the complete shoot!

Cola Chocolate Cake

I found this recipe on Pinterest one day.  I saved it to my “Yummy Foods” board and waited for a time to try it out.  My husband does not like chocolate, so to make a 9×13 size pan of these for no reason would be a bad idea, as in bad for my hips but oooohhh so good for my lips 🙂  It tastes a lot like Texas sheet cake, very moist and flat.  Yummy, delicious and very chocolatey!  Enjoy!

Cola Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan.


2 c. flour

2 c. sugar

1/2 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. cinnamon

In a saucepan over medium-high heat bring to a boil and stir well:

1 c. butter

1/4 c. baking cocoa powder

1 c. cola

1/2 c. buttermilk

Now take off the heat and add to flour mixture.  Mix well.  Then add:

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

Mix well, put in pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.  When cake is almost done, in a saucepan mix:

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. baking cocoa powder

1/2 c. cola

Once this boils, remove and slowly stir in 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar until nice and smooth.  When cake comes out of the oven, pour this warm frosting glaze right on top of the hot cake.  Enjoy!

Family Time Putt Putt Golfing

Sooo, today we decided to try to do one more thing as a family before school starts next week.  Karl thought it would be fun to take the boys out miniature golfing.  Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned.  It was about 89 degrees and muggy, which is my hubby’s favorite type of weather (not really).  Justin had stayed overnight at a friends’ house the night before and he was a total crabby patty.  He also lost two balls somewhere along the way, he was really happy about that.  Brendan just took his ball and put it about two inches away from the hole and tried to putt it in from there.  He also tried climbing every rock on the course.  Jordan was the only one that had fun and the only one to have a hole in one!  Way to go Jordan!  I did get a few pics, you can see the excitement on everyone’s face.  Gotta love spending $30 when everyone just wants to get home 🙂

Scentsy Party

My sister-in-law asked if I would like to co-host a Scentsy Party with her and, of course, I said yes!  We had a fun time last night thanks to our fun consultant, Jennifer.  We are leaving the party open until the middle of September.  Feel free to click on the link below if you weren’t able to come last night and check out their great product.  Thanks to all who did come, it was great seeing you all!