Monday, December 28, 2009

The McLain Family

I photographed my last family of 2009 today, and it was a great one. Funny how life comes full circle sometimes. Chris and I went to Junior High and High School together and then we went off to separate colleges and now we live in different countries but his wife's parents live in the metroplex so we got together to take some portraits of his sweet little boy while they were in the states for the holidays. I was carrying a camera with me everywhere I went in Junior High and High School and nothing has changed...I still have that camera with me all the time :) Only now I'm a much better photographer than I was in the 8th grade!

Alex and his cousins. This was a challenge but I think we got at least one good photo of the three of them together.
What a cutie! I love that rim light too!
The grandparents with the grandkids.
This is so pretty.
They have an amazing horse.
A sweet moment with dad...
...and one with mom.
What a gorgeous family. I love the Texas and just had to use it in a photo. Look at that baby smile!
Thanks for letting me spend a little time with you this afternoon. I hope you love your photos!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Recipe Cards

Christmas Eve we had planned to have 14 people over for dinner but we had our first white Christmas since 1926 and the roads were not safe to travel. I still cooked the food since it would spoil if I didn't and now we have lots of frozen leftovers for those nights when I just don't feel like cooking :)

Here are my new recipe cards. Three are going straight to the store and two you get for free! Get them now if you are collecting them because I'll move them to the store in about a week.


My first card is an appetizer. I make it often and it is so good. Even kids like it. They are so easy to make and taste like mini pizza!
buy the Crostini Recipe Card here.

This was the first time I made this Chicken Parmesan. It was a little more complicated than what I would normally make but it was so worth it. We've been eating the leftovers for two days now and it's just as good leftover as it was right out of the oven. I make the chicken and didn't put the sauce on top so we have had the chicken cut up in salad and on the leftover garlic bread as a sandwich. So good!
buy the Chicken Parmesan Recipe Card here.

Of course no meal is complete without dessert! This one can be made so healthy and you don;t know it. It calls for brownies which I make with applesauce instead of oil and then I use fat-free, sugar free pudding, low fat cream cheese, skim milk and splenda. You will be amazed at how great this trifle tastes with all those low-call ingredients! It's my own concoction and we love it!
buy the Cherry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe Card here.

Now for your free cards.

An appetizer that is quick and easy to make. I spread it pretty thinly on 4 tortillas but if you want a lot of filling you have to double the filling in the recipe. Another tip: don't spread the filling al the way to the edges on the tortilla, just make a rectangle in the middle so that when you roll it up yo can cut off the round ends and have pretty spirals.
sorry, download link is expired but you can still buy a printed card here.

Manicotti is one of my favorites but I don't make it often because it is time consuming to stuff all those shells. The shells are easier to stuff if they are not cooked but if you precook the shells it speeds up the cooking time. This dish freezes really well so I almost always double the recipe and freeze a pan for later.
sorry, download link is expired but you can still buy a printed card here.

Action Jaxon!

Meet Jaxon. He made his appearance on the 22nd and is four days old today! What an adorable little man and a perfect Christmas present!
A kiss from big brother.
Look at those eyes!
So sweet!
I love to play with the parents wedding rings :) We did some with their college rings too!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve so I thought I would finally post this year's Christmas Card. It was a challenge to get this photo of Annie. Mom was here and she helped out by holding the treats but Annie did not like sitting in front of the light on that fabric. Something about the sound it made when she walked on it totally put her off :) But I was persistent and she finally cooperated. I think I spent an hour trying to get her to sit still and look just the right way.
Cute, don't you think? I found the big bling "E" in the stocking section at Target. It's supposed to be a stocking monogram but I just used it to pin two ends of red ribbon together as a holiday collar. The background is just a photo of the fabric I used for the background of the photo and the letters and string are from my scrapbooking stash. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas 1972

So I tried out this new scanner made by Pandigital and it is fantastic. It's called the Pandigital Photolink One-Touch Scanner and it is so easy to use and fast! My husband named his "Gadget of the Year" in his column and I agree. I scanned like 300 old family photos in less than an hour. It took me longer to organize them on my computer than it did to scan them in.

Here are some photos from Christmas 1972, I was almost 1 year-old and we had a pretty cool silver Christmas tree :)

The stockings were hung...but there was no chimney in our house at that time.
I liked the tricycle I'm sure!
Yes, I got a top, some blocks, a rocking chair and Raggedy Ann. Do they still make those?
Funny, the dog we had back then, looks like the dog I have now!

Christmas with Mom

I'm hanging out with my family for a few days for the holidays and my nieces arrived today. Here are a few photos.

As soon as Brooke got here she dove under the tree looking for her presents. Too funny!
After dinner we went to look at the Christmas lights. I made a quick scrapbook page when we got back. We always went when we were kids so now it's something fun to do with my brother's girls. We were singing that old church song..."I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart, I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart today!" So I made it the word art on the page.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Last night's wedding

I photographed a cool Christmas themed last night. Here are two quick photos from the reception.
Cake that looks like a stack of presents. Who could ask for more!
Very cool red lighting...and an awesome spotlight during the toast make for a wonderful photo!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Graduation Photos

Today was my second graduation of the season. Here are my favorites from the day.
Sometimes I get lucky...the bokeh totally makes this photo.
A different angle.
This one makes me smile.
You have to love watching the Nursing School grads celebrate. It's a TCU tradition.
Such a nice moment!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Classic Christmas photos

So I was looking through my family archive for a photo for a Christmas present and I came across these photos from my childhood. I remember we had the greatest Christmas tree ever. It was in this GIANT box and we stored it on a shelf in the garage. That tree had a pole with holes in it and each hole was color coded to match a tree branch that went there. Putting up the tree was an entire evening project, not like it is now where you take the pre-assembled, pre-lit tree out of the box and fold down the branches and plug it in. My brother and I would put all the different color coded branches into piles and my dad would tell us what color to get him and he put all the branches into the tree. Funny though...I bet if I saw that tree now the box isn't nearly as big as I remember and the branches are probably not as full and beautiful, but memory is a funny thing - that was the greatest tree ever!

This is me and my Dad in 1974. I was almost 3 at the time.
Here is me and my brother in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, 1979. Aren't his Dallas Cowboys PJ's awesome!
This is what Santa brought me in 1979. Such cool stuff! A canopy doll bed with a doll, a barbie with a barbie car, a cool was that! Some craft caddy with paint and see that record player in the back, yes a record player, my guess is that there was a Donnie and Marie or Captain and Tenille record in there somewhere since they were totally my favorite at that time. By the way, I still have the Story Land book on my bookshelf.
Santa was good to me! What did you get for Christmas when you were a kid?

J is for Julia!

Yes. Julia. And for Jake. I took the Garcia family photos a few weeks ago and I've finally had a little time to edit and post them. Here's the story, Julia is six years old and I've been taking her Christmas photos for as long as she can remember. At one point during our shoot she says, "Mom, I've been doing this for 6 years!" She's a great kid: funny, smart and beautiful. Taking her holiday photos is always a joy. Her mom has lots of great ideas. She's been wrapped up in a box like a present, she's been wrapped in lights, and she's been covered in fake snow. We've decorated a small tree with candy canes and we always read a new holiday book at some point during out photo session. This year we wanted to jump out of the studio and take some photos outside but mother nature did not cooperate. I think the day we had scheduled for Miss Julia's photos was the coldest day we've had all year!

So since we had originally planned to take the photos outside and get some holiday lights in the pictures we tried to make the "look" in the house. We did this photo in their livingroom. Magic!
These are some sweet kids!
Something a little different and fun.
Gotta love Daddy!
The whole wonderful family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fun Family Photos!

The Thomas family was so much fun to take photos of. I can't even choose my favorite family picture.
This park is right off the road but it looks like we are in the middle of nowhere. So nice. Dave scouted it out and we met just before sunset.
The sun was just starting to set here and I love that golden light. So pretty.
This is in a little patch of woods. It was the last spot we stopped to take photos and we had perfect "magic" light.
Just the the kids. This photo makes me smile.
Tyson is awesome! I kept calling him Tyler to make him laugh and it worked. We had a great time being silly.
Ashlin. Isn't she gorgeous?
David and Sally are wonderful! I love this photo of them.
I just can't which one's you favorite?

More places i was published

Here are a few more newspapers who likes my photos this week :)
I love this photo they used in the Ventura County Star. It might be my best end of the game coach photo ever...yes that is my favorite part. Running out on the field to get that shot when the coaches shake hands after the game is such a challenge...what a great expression on Norv Turners face. I got knocked around a little bit but I held my own and it was worth it!
The Chicago Tribune.
The LA Times.