Archive for 2007

Meal plan Monday 9/17/07

This week is a no frills kind of week. I’m choosing each dinner based on what we have in the cupboard, neglected for long enough.

Monday…Baked salmon and veggie side (this meal is not out of the cupboard, of course)

Tuesday…Taco soup

Wednesday…my mac n cheese


Friday…pizza night

Saturday…probably breakfast for dinner

Sunday… baked potatoes, beans and broccoli

Flash or go home!

My biggest photography goal this year was to get comfortable using the flash. Not the on board flash, but a speedlight that attaches to the hot-shoe on top. The manual has read like another language up until now, but my string of awful (personal snapshots) photography in low light situations has given me the nudge I needed to try again.

Another advantage is it can be used as a second light in my studio, which I badly need.

The past two nights have been spent taking snapshots inside, after the kids have gone to bed and testing the different settings. The manual is actually starting to make sense! Event photography may be in my future. yeah! LOL but its still baby steps.

You can see my starting point here…

First night, I finally figured out why the flash wasn’t exposing properly and finally got a subject. One of my usual metering modes does not work with flash.

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Changed it up again the next night and got an even bigger range of exposure. Who would think I had only the tiny bedside lamps on here? But still quite flat lighting. Maybe firing remotely will be just the ticket.

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and tonight I took dragged the kids into the studio to try using the flash remotely as a second light. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the settings right and will have to try again.

I’ll end up getting two more lights some day. I need a second light on the right, and a hair light/backdrop light. A little too dramatic at times with the single light and he disappears into the backdrop.

Ugh..having trouble getting it to look right on the web.

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Meal plan Monday 9/10

Monday…was meat lasagna, salad, bread

Tuesday…vegetarian split pea soup (crockpot)

Wednesday…Tuna pasta salad

Thursday…Crockpot chili, not so heavy on the chipotles this time (I’m the only one that appreciates a good sinus cleansing dish)

Friday…homemade pizza (I think I may actually be getting tired of pizza. babe?)

Saturday…I have to work, and I don’t want to plan.


Happy Birthday to my Honey

Jason turned 37 today. Wow. This feels big time for some reason. Getting into major grown up territory.

I sensed a little indifference from Jason toward the vegetable lasagna I made last week, even though I thought it was the best lasagna I’d ever had. Lasagna is Jason’s favorite dish. So I had to make it up to him with a nummy birthday dinner. It was a meaty, cheesy lasagna without a stitch of vegetable (except the mushrooms in the “hearty mushroom” spaghetti sauce I used).

Than I went wild in the kitchen and made a lemon cake from scratch. I’m just going to come right out and confess where I got the recipe, although I am a bit embarrassed.

Its like when I used to listen to nothing but Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Grateful Dead, etc and started to secretly listen to Toni Braxton in my dorm room. Next thing you know, I was full on singing hip hop/R&B in my car at the top of my lungs.

Anyway, I’ve never been much into cooking and have only recently started these weekly menus and taken more of an interest in making things from scratch and getting creative. And here we go…I got the cake recipe from the Paula Dean cooking show on the Food Network. After watching her show, I looked it up online for the birthday dessert. ack!

The frosting was delicious and the lemon filling was good, but the cake was a little dry. waaah!

Play by play candle blowing action…

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Beer goggles in town

This is why I don’t shoot weddings. I cannot figure out the flash and if I can’t find the good light I’m a fish out of water! I’ve read the manual for the mounted flash over and over and it is still like a second language.

Anyway, we ventured to Portland to see March4th play at a new gallery opening. Its a traveling marching band with dancers and stilt walkers. I was a bit skeptical about a “marching band” but a guy from my college days is one of the stilt walkers and I had to see what it was all about.

These are not the band geeks from high school! This band ROCKED!!! The music was great and the entertainment was fun. Here’s a video from their site that shows what they all about…

I tried to get some photos, but we walked up as they were already getting started and the crowd was spilling into the street.

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Like I said…beer goggles. Impressionism, we’ll call it!

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Then we walked through the gallery. The kids loved looking at the art (me too!). There was an entire room of paintings showing a single naked woman and a some sort of barnyard animal, not interacting, just on the same page. I’m not sure what the artist was going for there. Very interesting stuff.

We stopped in a brewery and Jason had a couple drinks, we all shared a couple desserts and someone surprised us by picking up the tab anonymously. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen!

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Its getting cold!

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And late! Time to find the car and go home. I like how Xander is giving me the karate chop or something. He is such a goof ball.

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Everything is BIG at Costco

Ever since the new-kitty-potty-training-transition (that left no surface safe), our dog Luke has been without a dog bed. He cannot stand sleeping on the floor and will find any piece of cloth to put between him and the floor, even on the cushy carpet.

I’ve seen these beds at Costco, and the price really can’t be beat for the quality but DANG!!! That’s a lot of bed for a little dog. I had to coax him on it a few times but, hopefully, he’ll get used to the new digs.

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Meal Plan Monday 9/3/07

Update…I had to add in the link to the vegetarian lasagna. absolutely delicious and going down as Zoe’s lasagna from here on out! Thanks to “Mille” whoever that is.

Monday…was BBQ at my mom’s house

Tuesday…enchiladas and spanish rice (turning into a favorite for Jason)

WednesdayVegetable lasagna

Thursday…breakfast for dinner

Friday…pizza night

Saturday…spending the day out for Jason’s birthday (actually on the 10th) and eating out!

Sunday…improv night

I tried to squeeze in my lentils, navy beans or split peas somewhere in the week, but Jason gave the scoff of disapproval. Its almost his birthday, so he picked the dinners this week. I could seriously binge on the lentil loaf it is so yummy, especially with the hot sauce. Unfortunately, the the rest of the family does not feel the same way. waaaah! Its going to be a cheese filled week. Yikes!

A little late on the 5 month weight loss photo

I am officially back to my pre-Simon weight. Go me! Unfortunately, that still leaves me with the 20 extra pounds I was having a heck of a time getting rid of before the surprise party favor; and it seems to be the point at which I have to work harder than my lazy self wants to yet again. But, damnit! I don’t want to settle here.

I’m still dragging myself to TOPS every week, so maybe the humiliation of not having a loss at the meeting will at least keep up a slow weight loss to the finish line.

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Simon! Look over here at Mommy! No? Okay.

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Who’s going to donate their piggy bank to buy me a second studio light? How about Xander, who still thinks a pile of pennies is better than a dollar bill. Yes, I think we have found our victim. Muwaahahaha!

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a few more wedding photos…

Weeded through some more…

A couple more from Aundi, while I was kayaking. I thought this perspective was a hoot! He seems so big, but his face peeking out shows how little he still is.

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The source of my 8 new pounds. Burrito Beach at the Chicago O’hare airport. It was my emotional support on three separate occasions. 🙂

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Aaron and his best man “relaxing” before the wedding at the cabin I stayed at.

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It was a beautiful view.

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And look how close the river was to the front door. I sorta fell off the porch and into a kayak with my pajama pants still on. I’m on vacation damnit! I can’t be bothered to get dressed!

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And the back view.

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Sam, rockin’ her vows. I managed to hear them over my mom wailing in my right ear. Okay, I was tearing up a bit myself.

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I had a little trouble with my color, but that’s what I get for sneaking in a shot while the photographer was distracted with something else.

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The barn…fabulous!

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We don’t mess around. We owned that food table!

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Meal Plan Monday 8/27/07

Monday…Tuna pasta salad

Tuesday…Jason wants to grill on the barbie. Veggie burger for me and BYOB for the rest;) Veggie shish-kabobs.

Wednesday…Pancakes with the Canadian maple syrup I got as a wedding favor

Thursday…Lentil loaf

Friday…Homemade pizza

Saturday…I have to work. Maybe a kid friendly mac and cheese? I’l try this crock pot version with some tweaking. No salt and a tad more milk to avoid drying.

Sunday…Momlettes? Those things were GOOOOOOD!