Friday, January 29, 2010

Life Stuff

I just love this little girl and her squishy lips.
The best part about being a photographer is the images you take of your own little ones.
I've been wanting to take some pictures of her in her crib and finally got around to doing it. I love how they turned out. And I love that she's sleeping in them.
I've loved the time I've had to spend at home. I've been reading and learning so much about photography. I finally feel like I can call myself a photographer rather than just someone with a nice camera that happens to get some good shots here and there.
I've learned how to shoot my camera in manual mode and get the colors right pre-photoshop. I love when something you've been working so hard at finally clicks (no pun intended). It's like instantly everything makes sense. I'm shooting my first bridal session tomorrow and I'm so excited!
I wanted to get some good pictures of Nora in her blessing dress. It's been almost a month since we blessed her and she fills her dress out a little better than before. She's so tiny she still hardly fits into half of her newborn stuff.
I need to start working again, either doing more photography or more loans. I still spend the money like I did when I made it, and my savings is starting to slowly disappear.

Don't tell Darin.

Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Easy Chicken Alfredo

Really fast, really easy, really delicious.


1/2 of a 16 ounce package fettucini
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets
2 tablespoons butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Prepare the linguine according to the package directions in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the linguine mixture well in a colander.

Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned, stirring often.
Stir the soup, milk, cheese, black pepper and linguine mixture in the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another Recipe

I know I've been posting a lot of recipes lately, but who isn't looking for a new delicious recipe?

 I'm also aware that I've already posted a ravioli soup recipe but this one is REALLY delicious too, and even easier than the last one I posted. My good friend, Hannah, brought this over when we got home with Nora. Not only was I thankful then, but I'm even more thankful now because I have another fast,delicious recipe to add to my arsenal. Let me know if you enjoy the recipe posts. Would hate to think I'm wasting my time.

(Also, if you're looking for a recipe I've posted in the past, I've added a recipe label on the sidebar.)

Ravioli Soup

4 beef bouillon cubes
2 C water
2 cans green beans, drained
2 cans stewed tomatoes (crush in hands)
1 pkg Spicy Jimmy Dean sausage
1 package frozen ravioli (beef, chicken, cheese ravioli - whatever you prefer)
Italian seasoning

Dissolve bouillon cubes in water on medium heat. Add canned products. Brown sausage and add to soup. Boil ravioli in the soup until done. Season with Italian seasoning to taste.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. We're just relaxing around here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


There aren't many days where I even turn on the TV, but when I do it's all about Food Network, baby! I've gotten some pretty good recipes, and this one is no exception. I'd say it's an intermediate recipe, but definitely worth the time. So DELICIOUS!!

Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast

Recipe by Guy Fieri


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute until translucent. Stir in the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the salt, pepper and garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, deglaze with 1/4 cup of the white wine. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter, allow it to melt, then toss in the Parmesan and parsley.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before stuffing the chicken breast.
Rinse, trim and pound out chicken breasts to about 1/4-inch thick. Do not over-pound as holes in the chicken will make it difficult for the chicken to retain the stuffing.
Put 1/4 of the stuffing mixture at 1 end of a chicken breast. Gentle roll the chicken breast folding the ends in to help keep the stuffing from coming out during the cooking process. Secure the chicken roll with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and stuffing.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts, with the secured side of the chicken first, to insure the roll with stay together. Brown the chicken on all sides, add remaining butter, and deglaze with remaining white wine.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the toothpicks. Slice each breast on a bias into 5 pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining pan drippings, garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan and serve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentine's Day Mini Shoots!

Check out my photography blog for more details, and to see some REALLY cute pictures of my sweetheart!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Moo Moo

I can't believe my little baby is going to be 2 months old on the 20th. I can. not. believe it! Before I got pregnant I always thought it was kind of lame to read about people babies doctors appoitments and all their stats. That's kind of rude, I know. Now that I have my own baby I think that it's THE most important thing in the world, and I want all of you to as well. Just kiddin. I don't really care. Actually, I think you should stop reading right now, and just look at the pictures. She is pretty freakin beautiful.

Her shots were just about the saddest thing in the world. First I kind of laughed because they poke the needle in and it's a little bit of a delayed reaction and then she's screaming bloody murder. Then it just got really sad, and I almost started crying myself. Her little chicken legs are sure cute with her band-aids though. And she was such a trooper. She screamed bloody murder for about 10 seconds and then she was done.

My little heifer weighs 8 lbs 3 oz now. I realize that's the size most peoples babies come out at when they're born. I know in reality she's tiny (only the 3rd percentile!) but she seems so big to me now. She's gained just over 3 and a half pounds. Her cheeks are all chubby and stuff.

She's 22 inches (37th percentile). And her head grew an inch and is 15 inches (32nd percentile). I love her noggin. It's the most perfect little round head ever.

I know all of these pictures probably look the exact same to you, but to me, each one is so different. And I love them all. I couldn't choose just one. It's the first spit bubble capture, and that's pretty exciting when your days consist of feeding and poopy diapers.

I read the comment of a Mom on the website CafeMom. She explained how I feel perfectly. She said something like, "I love being home with my 7 month old daughter, but I feel like I have nothing to contribute to society anymore. It's not that I want to go back to work, but it almost feels like I've just ceased to exist." I thought that explained things perfectly. It's like, I could die in my house in the morning and nobody would even know until later that night.

A few days later, I realized there's nothing else that I should or would want to be doing. I'm supporting this little human being.

Every. Single. Day.

It's what I'm supposed to be doing right this moment. She counts on me. And I love that. It's a little scary, don't get me wrong. But there's nothing more rewarding than seeing those first little smiles.

 I want to cherish every day with her. Even if it means I don't get in the shower till noon. Even if it means I'm tired. Even if it means I'm a frumpy sweat wearing mommy. And even if it means I've become the blog that only talks about her kid.

I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ravioli Soup

I love a recipe that you have all the ingredients for in your pantry. No special trips to the grocery store (except for maybe the raviolis, but I usually have a pack in my freezer), just throw it all in a pot and let it simmer to delicious goodness.That's what this was for me tonight. Pair it with a salad and some bread and it's the perfect (and HEALTHY) winter meal.


1 pound ground beef
2 cups water
2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 14-1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese ravioli
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, parsley, garlic and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook ravioli according to package directions; drain. Add to soup and heat through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 235 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 542 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Thanks to everyone that commented on my digital scrap post. It's nice to know I have friends watching my scrapbooking back.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Do you digital?

I recently started digital scrapbooking. I really love it. No mess to clean up, I just pull out the laptop, scrapbook for an hour or so, and put it away when I'm done.

I've still spent a little bit on product, but nothing compared to walking into a scrapbook store where I leave 60 dollars poorer. I get so much more product and I get to use it over and over again.
The one thing I don't like is the fact that I haven't been able to find anywhere to print my pages for less than $6.99 PER PAGE. That would cost me hundreds of dollars just to print her first year scrapbook by the time I'm done with it. That's a little ridiculous.
Which brings me to my question. Do you digital scrapbook? If so, where do you print your pages? I know I could print them into a dedicated book but I don't really want to do that. I'd rather print pages and put it into a regular scrapbook. I can just see Nora ripping the unprotected pages out of a real book, in just a few years. Shout at me!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rub A Dub Dub

I was so sad when my Dr told me that I wouldn't be able to take a bath until 4 weeks after I delivered. I'm a bath person. Before Nora, I took a bath at least twice a week. So it was sheer torture going for 4 weeks without one. In fact, I must admit that I took one a day before I was supposed to. Don't tell my Dr though.

Anyway, when my mom mentioned that she used to take baths with her kids I was sold. Not only is giving her a bath in her little tub or the sink a complete nightmare, but it sounded so fun. So for the last few weeks we've shared an every other night bath. Nora LOVES it.

She can be screaming bloody murder beforehand, but the second she enters the water, she's all wide eyed and bushy tailed.

I just love holding her slippery little nakey body. And she always crosses her feet like she's just so relaxed. It's the cutest thing.

Mmm, I just love her.

I love her dressed up as a bear too. Even though her face is saying "Why do you feel it's necessary to dress me up as a pink bear? This is so embarrassing."

These three frames hung in my room for an entire 14 months before I finally put pictures in them. I can't tell you how accomplished I felt when I slid those pictures in the glass.

We got this memory wall up finally. I've been wanting to get this up for just as long, but luckily I didn't have these frames up for over a year. I feel like my house is more homey now. We didn't have any pictures displayed at all before, and it's fun looking back on the memories.

And last but not least, this is my new favorite treat. They are SO. TASTY. Thank you to Heidi for sending me the recipe. They didn't even make it out of the pan and onto a plate before I was eating the heck out of them.

Here's the recipe. Make them. Tonight. Even though it's 10:00. You won't be disappointed.

3/4 cup margarine
2 cups brown suger
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

mix together then add

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda

mix together and spread in cookie sheet pan

bake @ 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (they'll be really soft, almost liquidy, when you pull them out. Don't overcook them)

cool and spread with peanut butter lightly

then frost with pillsbury supreme milk chocolate frosting
Try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting. But I won't judge you if you do. If I wasn't trying to stay away from chocolate and nuts for Nora, I probably would have.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


(San Antonio River Walk in August)

My Mom left yesterday. She's been staying with us since I had Nora 6 1/2 weeks ago. It's bittersweet. Although it's nice to just be the 3 of us in our house for the first time, I miss her. I think her being here really kept me out of a slump I might have gotten into. It's easy to get depressed after a baby but having her here was such a help.

This picture was taken an hour after Nora was born. I called my Mom the minute my water broke and she sped here from Las Vegas in 5 hours. That's my mom. She's so supportive.

It's amazing to me that I'm a mother now. And I bet it's even more crazy to my mom who is a grandma 3 (almost 4) times over. Seeing her baby girl have her own baby was probably a bit surreal. We're all growing up now.

I think some people could say maybe I didn't have the best childhood. I was moved around a lot and taken in and out of different marriages. But I don't hold any of those things against my Mom. If anything, it's taught me to adapt to different situations and all life has to throw at me. Life is rarely stable, and you're always getting curveballs. She's taught me to take those curveballs and learn and grow from them. And no matter what she was always there for me.

She is a lover of life. There was numerous occasions where we would be sitting around the house on a Sunday, and she would pipe up and say "This is just the perfect day. I get to sit around the house while the snow is falling, working on a quilt. It doesn't get much better than this." She doesn't fail to notice the small things, and she's grateful for them.

Darin asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted him to say in Nora's blessing. I told him I wanted her to have a good temperment. I want her to be kind and accepting of those around her. This was something my Mom taught me growing up that I cherish now. Don't judge people. And I've tried to apply that to my life as I've grown up. I hope that Nora will always be kind to those around her. I hope that she will get to know people before she places an opinion on them. And I hope that she can be positive.

Mom, thank you so much for all your help. Doing the dishes in the morning, taking Nora when we both needed a break, just being here to support me. I'm extremely lucky to have you as my mom, even if you do get a little rambunctious at times. Pookie Bear misses you already and can't wait for you to come back.

I love you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wonderful Sunday

We blessed Nora yesterday. She was so beautiful. She looked like a little doll. This is officially my new favorite family picture.

The blessing was beautiful. Darin did such a great job. We couldn't believe our Naughty Nora didn't make a peep through the whole thing. We thought she would for sure be the screaming baby but she was so good. I think she likes church.

We jammed 59 people into our house afterward. It was a mad house. But the food was SO delicious. I salivate just thinking about Heidi's peanut butter bars. Heidi, please send me the recipe. I want to make them. Tonight. Scratch that. I want to make them right now.

 Nora is so lucky she has so many family members and friends that love her.
I love her. And I love Darin for holding the priesthood. It's such a comfort knowing that we have that power in our home. I'm so happy Nora gets to be raised in the gospel and with a Daddy that honors his Priesthood.

Ring out the old...

We had a blast at our disco themed family New Year's Eve party. My mom and I spent the morning at the DI looking for our costumes and I found some real gems. Let's just say I'm happy we aren't in the 70's anymore.

The pants do not do anything wonderful for my backside. I was going for the whole Jackie Burkhart look and think I pulled it off pretty well. So well, that I won the best female overall award. My life is complete.

Savannah's pants were pretty groovy.

The kids were absolutely adorable.

We busted some pretty wicked dance moves.

And my lamo husband won the Responsible Adult award because he wouldn't dress up.

And because I can't resist posting another picture of my totally rad flower child.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's Eve.

My new years resolution was to not make any, because I always end up breaking them anyway. What's yours?