Lately

Posted Leave a commentPosted in photography

I was in Vegas last week for work, and while I didn’t do anything that falls under the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” motto (….at least not that I remember), I am so tired.

Me in the hotel elevator after a work reception. This was one of the nights I managed to make it to my room by 10:30. Actually, I think it was the only night, lol. And I still went to bed after midnight.
Me in the hotel elevator after a work reception. This was one of the nights I managed to make it to my room by 10:30. Actually, I think it was the only night, lol. And I still went to bed after midnight.

I came back Thursday afternoon and have slept 9-10 hours every night to catch up on the little sleep that I got while there. I’ll be caught up soon enough. Anyway, thought it was time to unload the photos off my memory card and share a few images of life lately.

This one is getting cuter (There was a period where strangers would approach me to say that I must have my hands full with “two boys”, so it’s nice that people are starting to see a girl when they look at her, ha):

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She’s also more defiant (maybe independent is a better word?).

This is her drinking out of her sippy cup - without its lid. I told her not to do it, but hey, I'm just the mother. I'm supposed to be challenged. ;)
This is her drinking out of her sippy cup – without its lid. I told her not to do it, but hey, I’m just the mother. I’m supposed to be challenged. πŸ˜‰

One night, I thought it’d be fun to take pictures of the kids playing in the living room.

...which The Kid thought meant to sit on his sister.
…which The Kid thought meant to sit on his sister.

We had also placed a tent in his room just because we thought it’d be fun.

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We didn’t realize he’d sleep in it.

So yeah, lots of crazy from the the two of them…

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It all works. πŸ™‚

Flower Power & other random tidbits

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Cinemagraph/Stop Motion

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Hi hi!

Hope everyone had a great 3-day weekend. We took it easy around here and met up with friends on Saturday and Sunday. The Girl – in all her 1.5 year old glory – was a little rough but I’m starting to feel us exit the baby stage of our lives. And it’s a pretty good feeling, I won’t lie. (I’m saying this but she screamed for a good five minutes while we were out at dinner on Saturday night, and on Sunday, she wouldn’t let anyone – but me and The Hubs – hold her. My ears are still ringing from the screams.) I took a bunch of pictures, but haven’t gotten around to taking them off my camera. Basically, I don’t have anything visual to share. However, since this is a blog, here are a few random things I want to put out into the world:

  • I stumbled upon a documentary covering Italian Vogue’s editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani’s life and career on Sunday afternoon. Watched it. Loved it. And the fact that it was directed by her son was just – wow. Afterwards, I googled Franca (as I wasn’t familiar with her before the documentary) and was crushed to learn that she had passed in 2016. I suppose that gives me another reason to watch the film again. It’s called Franca: Chaos and Creation – look it up.
  • Speaking of magazines, I subscribed to Vanity Fair. Hoping I’ll make the time to read it asΒ I appreciate their stories & photography (check out the photos on their Instagram page). I figured this was my small way of supporting the magazine because I refuse to let print die in my lifetime. (I have a thing for magazines and books in non-Kindle formats, I’ll admit….) On that note, I may have to consider subscribing to Italian Vogue….
  • I have two books on my nightstand – The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett and The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg.Β The Creative Curve was something I saw on Twitter and thought sounded interesting. I’m currently about 1/2 way through. So far I like it, but it seems like regurgitated information I’ve read from other business books. (If you’re looking for a business book recommendation, I recently read and enjoyedΒ When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink.) And I’m very much looking forward to starting Rick Bragg’s book. After that, I’m going to go straight into Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret (any Crown fans out there?) by Craig Brown. Then, perhaps I can enjoy my new Vanity Fair subscription. πŸ˜‰

Behind The Lens

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family Life, photography

For a Caribbean cruise, a few years back (pre-children) I bought a waterproof point-and-shoot camera thinking it’d be cool to take pictures under water.

under water photo
See? This is cool, right?

I used it a few other times, including the time my SIL came into town:

My SIL is always up for whatever nonsense I cook up
She’s always up for whatever nonsense I cook up

Long story short, The Kid had an interest in take pictures (I have no idea how or why this came about – ha), so I let him use the camera and he pretty much enjoyed himself.

kid with camera
Here he is with the camera.

The Girl was also a big fan of this camera and made many efforts to swipe it away from her brother. (I don’t have any pictures of her using the camera.) I think the interest in the camera was pretty high that we all know what happened next – the camera broke. I don’t know which kid did it, but the camera is legit broken. It’s a big time bummer, but hey, it happens. Kids break things. Which kinda scares me as The Girl now has a vested interest in Daphne.

This is me with Daphne (yes, I named her).
This is me with Daphne (yes, I named her).

….and er, here is The Girl with Daphne:
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The Hubs freaks out whenever he sees her around poor helpless Daphne. But man, The Girl looks so cute when she (is trying to) shoot away. (I know I’ll be eating my words when Daphne’s fate ends with her.)

"I'm so good with Mama's camera!"
“I’m so good with Mama’s camera!”

Apple Holler (Sturtevant, Wisconsin)

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Family Life, photography, Travel

The correct thing to do if you’re from Chicago and heading north into Wisconsin is to stop at Mar’s Cheese Castle. I think most people have intentions of picking up cheese curds, but there is also craft beer, pastry items and dried meats. Oh, and you can stop there for lunch as there’s a concession-like stand and a tavern. We did the concession-like stand.

Mars Cheese Castle
Here are the kids waiting for their food

Afterwards, we went on our merry way thinking we’d go straight to The Osthoff to meet our friends. But I kept seeing signs for Apple Holler and curiosity killed the cat….

Apple Holler sign

So yeah, we made a little detour to see what the Apple Holler was all about. Honestly, I thought it was going to be an apple stand, and we’d just drive past it.

When we got out of the car, this was the first sign I saw. Naturally, I made the kids take a picture in front of it:

Apple Holler

I didn’t realize that this was an apple orchard, and when I did realize it, I was pretty much into this place. There was a shop selling food (hello, cider donuts) and like other orchards, there was a corn maze…

Apple Holler
…which we got lost in

There was also a pretty big slide that the kids really loved going down:

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The best part of the Apple Holler though are THE GOATS!

goats at apple holler

 

goats at apple holler

 

goat at apple holler

 

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Since it was July, we were one of the few people there so we each had our time and space to feed the goats with the food that the people on site gave us. The Girl was very much not into the goats (she’s pretty much afraid of animals that aren’t Giada) and The Kid had to be eased into it (“The goats lick me!!!”).

feeding goat at Apple Holler

And then there were baby goats!

baby goats at apple holler

 

baby goats at apple holler

[I can pretty much tell you that if it pops up on the menu, I won’t ever be ordering goat again. These guys – or kids I should say – were too cute.]

The Hubs and I were pretty happy about this accidental find. We’re hoping to come back again this fall (because you know, apple donuts…).

Vroom vroom!
“We’ll be back! Vroom vroom!”

Alexa & Happy August

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Life, Stop Motion

“Alexa – you scary, guuuurl.”

It’s been a pretty eventful July. (How are we already at August?) I met up with a friend who was in town earlier in the month, stayed local for the 4th of July, caught with a few other friends, cooked a lot, finished up swim classes for the kids, did an annual vacation up at The Osthoff with my college friends & their families and my mom came into town (!!!) to spend time with us (and the kids…and my brother & SIL). Oh, and the job is going great! (Yay.) I’m typing this and realizing that I have a lot of pictures I want to share. I’ll try to make that my priority this month.

In the meantime, Happy August. πŸ™‚

Before their swim lessons
Before their swim lessons. (Slow down, summer!)

Skull dress

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Stop Motion

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How cute is this dress? My friend C got it for The Girl, and it’s perfect for her.

I have a pile of pictures that have to be edited. One of these days I’ll sit and share them here. I also have to throw them into a photo book so that I can look back on this year – it’s been a good one so far. πŸ™‚

Ciao for now.

Stop Motions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Design, Stop Motion

Hi there,

It’s been a hot minute. Not sure what my explanation is except life. Nothing crazy or over the top. The Hubs is embarking on a few home repairs this summer (replacing the A/C and throwing in a new garden/bay window in our kitchen) & I’m trying to keep the kids out of his way – it’s kind of reminding me of two summers ago when he redid the kitchen himself. When the PTSD wears off from that, maybe I’ll share pictures of that….but we both are still traumatized by that summer, lol.

Here I am in the kitchen last month.  No idea what I'm doing. Probably about to clean up someone's mess? The Kid took this picture - he's very much into taking pictures with my point & shoot camera. I need to talk to him about not leaving smudges on the lens though.
Here I am in the kitchen last month. The Kid took this picture – he’s very much into taking pictures with my point & shoot camera. I need to talk to him about not leaving smudges on the lens though.

Anyway, I do want to get back to sharing my work here, and I seem to be in my stop motion phase. I do share them on my Instagram page, but I’m suppose I should share them here too. So here they are:

Stop Motion Hard Day's Night

 

Liz Johnson's black and white cookie recipe from Food and Wine magazine

 

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Gotta watch out for those office weirdos –
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That’s all I have for now. Over and out! πŸ˜‰

Weekend Tidbits

Posted Leave a commentPosted in photography

Hi hi,

The Girl had a fabulous weekend....how about you?
The Girl had a fabulous weekend….how about you?

I pass two Starbucks in the morning on the way to work, and I’m not sure what it is about Fridays but last Friday, both drive-thrus were super long. When I approached the second Starbucks, I decided to park and walk inside. Figured it’d take less time.

Wrong.

The place was nearly empty. Except for the lady who was putting in her order. I stood behind her and waited another 15 minutes while she put in her 2 drink order. I kinda expected her to pull out her checkbook at the end of the transaction. (Miraculously, that didn’t happen.)

This was me many, many, many minutes later outside of Starbucks:
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(This was fun to do, by the way. And the hazelnut soy latte was muy bueno.)

On Saturday, I took Giada on a walk post-lunch. We passed a bride posing for pictures in front of her house with her bridesmaids. “Congrats,” I said. She said thank you while the party stared at Giada and smiled. In contrast, her next door neighbor was sitting in his driveway picking his nose.

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have pictures of that.

We went to our friends’ place later that night for their son’s third birthday. I think I need a bubble maker.

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suburban summer
The suburbs aren’t so bad. πŸ˜‰ Also, it’s refreshing to take pictures of people other than my roommates. (Don’t tell Giada.)

As I’m typing this, I’m ending Sunday in the best way – New Girl on Netflix and going through cookbooks for recipe ideas. Hope everyone has a great week!

Weekend Recap [in photos]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family Life, photography

We work very hard to have low key weekends around here – it helps us to regroup as a family and more importantly, it’s good for our sanity. πŸ™‚ It started with an egg breakfast on Saturday morning (scrambled for The Girl and me and sunny side up for the other two).

The Girl eating breakfast

After breakfast, I gave the kids slices of watermelon while I put dishes away. I looked up at one point to find The Kid trying to share his watermelon with his sister:

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He’s doing pretty good with the sharing things these days. She – yeah, not so much. LOL.

After breakfast, we went to a fire station open house near us.

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They loved hanging in the driver seat.

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They didn’t like posing for me so much though.

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The Hubs and The Kid looking like they’re having a moment. In reality, they were arguing. πŸ˜‰

Later that night, the four of us went to Salsa 17 with The Hubs’ BFF. It was such a busy night that I didn’t get too many pictures. But I’ll share one:

Salsa 17
This is the salsa recipe I’m trying to chase. I can’t figure it out completely yet, but this recipe from Cookie and Kate is pretty close. (I’ve made it 3 or 4 times now when people come over for dinner – each time, someone has commented about how good the salsa is.)

The food was awesome at Salsa 17 – as was the one mojito I had. I was tempted to order a second, but the kids kept me busy all night. The Kid had to go to the bathroom twice. The first time, he did his thing and flushed the toilet. The flush was pretty loud that he screamed. The second time, he was prepared for the noise. So much so that after he flushed the toilet, he dived under the locked door to bolt out of the stall. Screaming, of course.

And The Girl….

Oh man, she was was overstimulated in the restaurant, so I took her outside to see if it helped. It did. I came back inside to see The Hubs’ BFF sitting alone at the table. “After you went outside, The Kid ran down the aisle and into the kitchen,” he said.

OMG.

When The Hubs returned with The Kid, I took both of my sweet angel children outside.

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That helped a lot.

The Hubs said he’s never going out to eat with the kids again. LOL. (I don’t know why I’m laughing because I’m pretty sure he’s serious.)

Sunday involved Domesticated Fun. I cooked. The Kid helped me make won tons – some of which we had for lunch and the rest we froze.

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His and mine. πŸ˜‰

And then, I watched the two kids eating lunch quietly as The Hubs researched bay window options (we’re getting one in the kitchen – yay!). It was a nice Sunday.

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Actually, was a pretty good weekend.