Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Heart Faces: Props

A package arrived in the mail from Grammy this week, and had this cool Mardi Gras mask in it, I took some photos of Flower Child just for fun, and later that day, IHF announced their next theme! How cool!! So head on over to to check out some other entries! (Sorry about the obnoxious water mark, unfortunately it is necessary due to recent circumstances)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Best Way

To clean your room, according to dad is to simply dump 2 giant bins of toys and all of the lego bins into the middle of the floor. Not sure how destroying the room makes it better? But We shall see how it goes.

I guess the logic is simply that you can then see everything....I dunno? I still haven't figured it out...
Maybe it's just fun to sit in a pile of hard, colorful plastic toys. This is however the first time Flower Child has voluntarily helped with the cleaning, so maybe it's a good thing?
Anyway it makes for a colorful photo and I have a brilliant idea that came from these photos....stay tuned.

{This Moment}

Inspired by Soulemama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Recipe: Easy Gumbo

This is a family favorite in our house, I have been asked for the recipe several times (even when I messed it up last time when our good friends came to visit and accidentally used a different brand of chicken bouillon and it was a lot saltier than usual, LOL!). I learned it from my good friend in North Carolina who was from Louisiana, and adapted it more to our family's taste..her's was a bit too spicy for us:)


2-3 large chicken breasts
(optional-1 pound uncooked shrimp, tail off and/or 1/2 pound smoked sausage cut into 1/4 slices)
6 cups chicken stock
one medium onion chopped
1 large can diced tomatos
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic
1 cup frozen chopped Okra
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
prepared potato salad (optional)
4 cups cooked rice.
(If you add the sausage or shrimp, reduce the chicken to 1-2 chicken breasts)

Bring the chicken to a boil in the chicken stock, add onions, garlic and bay leaves. (you can add a few shakes of Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning if you like it a bit more spicy and sausage if you choose). Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (about 30-40 minutes), add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and Okra (add shrimp now if you choose), simmer 20-30 minutes longer. Add a spoonful of rice and a small scoop of potato salad to your bowl, (some people don't like to add the potato salad, but it gives the gumbo a creamier taste in my opinion)  top with Gumbo and serve with beverage of your choice (Pictured is iced tea, a summer favorite). If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it or how you modified it:)

This feeds our family of 6 with ample leftovers for lunches or to freeze.
(*pictured without Okra, because I ran out, lol!)

{This Moment}

Inspired by Soulemama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A little summer fun

It started off innocently enough, Crayola makes colored bubbles...I was at the store and Mimi wanted some, so I let her pick out four colors. She was so excited to get them home and share them with the rest of the we headed out to the backyard and opened them up....OH BOY! They were soooo bright. The kids squealed in delight! J got blue.....
The Boy got Green... you will see why later...but for now, he got the green just because. Already you can see a little of the fun yet to come...

Flower Child got Orange, the evidence is on the boys face....when these things pop, they let the world know!!!

But still, they make beautiful bubbles that are slightly easier to photograph than the regular kind.
I am loving the reflections these all make...Look, theres me:) and the HOT AZ sun!

Mimi picked out the red just for herself, they match her boots ya know?

 Yet I was still partial to the blue...hey look ma I'm on TV....well sorta, I'm in a bubble...the bubble girl perhaps??
The boy was still digging the green despite the other kids wanting to trade....

Yep, there it is....the fun, see it all spaltted on the ground, although J said it was a scene straight out of a Smurf Village murder scene... "RUUUUUN, theyre gonna SMURF you!!!!"
My kids are definately not afraid to get down and dirty......they are just at this point starting to discover they are covered in smurf, I mean bubbles.
Whoa, daddy....look at those bubbles...not for the feint of heart...or neat freaks, or germaphobes...or anyone not wanting to get messy....fair warning.
That's my boy, notice his Chic haircut, he did that himself....I could take him to get a haircut, but I would rather just take a zillion photos for blackmail at a later date....
Mimi just noticed I saw her smearing paint on her sister...she is giving me that know the one.....the one where she isn't quite sure if she is in trouble or her crazy mama is gonna laugh....
Her crazy mama threw her an air kiss, and then the Bean knew she was good, and flashed mama a peace sign..
Where there are Orange Bubbles.....there must be a........
Flower Child.....covered in bubbly goop.
Oh yeah, did I mention, meanwhile.....J was getting a makeover...I think Mimi did a great job, it matches her hair.
Oooh, look, me again!
And just because he is so adorable, and hard to capture on digital, Here's The Boy again!!

Who needs a bath when you can just dive into the pool for a refreshing swim????

Yep, SO much easier and more fun! Clothes and all....See, I'm a fun mom, the neighbors always yell at their kids for getting their clothes wet....

The patio took a hit.....a BIG hit, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder:)

Oh yeah, the reason the boy wanted green? He has visions of becoming the son of The Hulk....I think he is well on his way, but maybe he needs to brush the fungus off of his teeth first??

And we left the scene of the crime and left it exactly as we found it, it's prettier that way!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My first Photoshop Action: FREE!!!

I have created my first photoshop action to share with you:) I call it 1985 because it reminds me of my old photographs from that era. Feel free to download it and tell me what you think. If you use it, please link your photos here so I can see how it works. It is completely customizable by just changing the opacity of the layers to acheive the look you want. (you can turn off the Contrast for a softer look). I believe this action will work for PSE and PS, however, I do not own PSE so if someone could run it and let me know, that would be awesome.

You can download the action here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer, summer, summertime...

Summertime is officially here, and has been for a while here in the most Southern Part of Arizona. My kids are working on their 2nd pool of the season, the first one withstood a whole lot of abuse, hopefully the new one will last a bit. On any given day, you can find them here, splashing in the pool, eating Popsicles and trying to keep cool, it reminds me of growing up in Vegas, I did pretty much the same thing, but sadly had no brothers or sisters to play with. So, in honor of my childhood past, I gave these photos a kind of retro 80's feel.
I am happy to say that my kids are the best of friends, I am a firm believer in large families, what we lack in finances we more than make up for in lasting memories, friendships and lifelong camaraderie. I am so glad they get to grow up together.

Hope your summer is off to a good start:)

Texture Tuesdays

 Texture Tuesdays over at Kim Klassen Cafe is all about the number 3. Here, Flower Child has 3 big daisies on the front of her favorite shirt:) I cannot remember what texture I used for this, but it was a freebie from Love That Shot. I thought it went nicely with the strange lighting in this photo. There was an odd golden light before a rare thunderstorm here in Southern Arizona the other day and I wanted to capture a few photos in the light. The lighting on it's own was not ideal for portraits, but works nicely with this texture.

I Heart Faces: Red, White and Blue

 My little Firework:

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gunna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own
~Katy Perry~

We had a very quiet (well besides the fireworks) 4th of July this year. We let the kids play with sparklers in the backyard and headed to the country club to watch the fireworks show. We are used to the huge fireworks display on Camp Lejeune in NC where we were stationed 2 years ago. Nothing can beat that one and we are always a little disappointed each year afterward. It's a little strange to us that the air station where we are stationed now doesn't have any kind of festivities for the 4th. I mean we sacrifice everything for the country, but we don't get a celebration? How unfair! Anyway, despite all that, we had a nice little holiday. Here are a couple of pictures from our weekend. Flower Child is the only one of the 4 kids who loves the camera, I tried to get a photo with all four kids in it, but they seemed to have better plans, such as running around the house screaming like banshees. So FC and I had a nice little photo session in the backyard. Then we headed to the Country club, and I captured some pretty cool fireworks that kind of remind me of flowers.
Head on over to for some other fabulous 4th pics:)

Friday, July 1, 2011

{This Moment}

Inspired by Soulemama : {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.