Pinterest Projects ~ Choose Joy Sign

Pinterest Projects ~ Choose Joy Sign

It's been a few months since my last Pinterest Projects post. That's probably because I have about 4 projects that are only half done.

Today I wanted to share my new Choose Joy sign. Not because it's anything special, but because of the trace-on technique that I used to make it. If you hate cutting out letters or using an exacto knife, you need to see this stencil technique!

Date Night ~ Make Your Own Sushi

I've mentioned before that Ryan and I started making our own sushi. It's so delicious and yummy and really not that hard! Now granted, our knife skills need some serious work and we can't make the wide variety that you can order at a sushi restaurant, so we'll still be going out for sushi a couple times a year. But making our own means we can afford to have sushi a little more often than if we were going out for it every time.

I think we spent around $30 on all the basic supplies - siracha, wasabi, nori sheets, sushi rice, bamboo mats. And then we just pick up the filling ingredients that we need: crab, cucumber, avacado, fish, etc. And about every 2-3 times we make it, we'll have to buy a new bag of rice.

There are plenty of tutorials on the internet that show you how to actually make the sushi, so I'll just give you my tips for beginners.

- We follow the basic directions they give you on the sushi rice bag (not the complicated process that I found all over Youtube). Just make sure you get actual SUSHI rice and not a different kind. And then we add a few teaspoons of rice vinegar at the end.

- Do all your filling prep while the rice is cooking and cooling.

- Keep the filling simple, especially the first time you make it. We usually do crab and 1 kind of fish and a roll with just veggies. We don't bother with the fish roe, sesame seeds, and other things they use for the outsides of the rolls. And we usually use dipping sauces instead of topping the rolls with spicy mayo. Simplicity is key for the first couple times.

- Making sushi isn't a quick process. We usually start the rice about 90 minutes before we intend to use it so that it has enough time to cool down. And making the rolls usually takes about 30 minutes or so. But making the rolls is part of the fun.

- Keep the rolls tight and the filling small. They'll probably be a bit bigger than at a restaurant, so you'll probably want to make about 2 rolls (12 pieces) per person. Don't go crazy, because it's just not as good the next day. The rice gets kinda crunchy. (Not to mention you have to be careful with the raw fish and you shouldn't eat it the next day.)

- If you're going to eat any raw fish, it HAS to be sashimi grade. Just go up to the seafood counter (at a nicer grocery store) and ask them what they have that's sashimi grade and take that. It's usually tuna. If they don't know what you're talking about, just walk away. it's not worth it. We use a quarter pound for 3-4 rolls. 

- Have a bowl with water and a little rice vinegar l in it. You'll want this to rinse off your hands and the knife, because the rice is really sticky!

- Branch out little by little. Add one new technique every time you make it. Inside out rolls, rolls topped with raw fish, tempera fry a roll, etc. Just don't try to do it all at once!

Yum! Is it time for another sushi date night yet?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

I hope you're swimming in boxes of chocolate and flowers by this evening! 

I always feel bad for people who work in restaurants on weekends like this. I'm sure EVERYONE is going to be eating out this weekend.

We're not. And Ryan and I never have. The last two years we've made steak at home. But this year... we're making SUSHI! Don't worry, we've done it before so this won't be a complete experiment.

And unfortunately all of these yummy macarons are gone, but we'll be enjoying an old favorite, Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. Maybe I'll even make them in the shape of little hearts!

Christmas Waaaaaaay Early

One thing about being both a photographer and a blogger is that you have to plan ahead. Some of my blog posts are finished and scheduled 3 weeks in advance. Some are a bit more last minute. But usually I like to think ahead. Sometimes way ahead. And ironically, I got the idea for this blog post last Christmas and jotted it down on my calendar for this year.

Anyway, this working ahead gets even more awesome at Christmas time. I get to shoot family sessions for Christmas cards as early as October, and I have every excuse in the book to get my Christmas shopping and crafting done early so I can blog about it before the holidays have flown past. So I am thankful that the stores have already exploded with tinsel and glitter. In fact, this past weekend, I snapped up a few red and white knitted stockings so that our future family will all have matching stockings hanging from the mantel. No announcements. No concrete plans. I just want matching stockings.

But I have standards when it comes to Christmas this early.

First rule: No Christmas decorations out until after Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm working on a few crafts. Yes, I have already dug through our boxes of decorations. But the official decorating day is Black Friday.

Second rule: Enjoy fall before it's over. We're having a bonfire this weekend and I hope we're able to squeeze a few more fall festivities with all the busyness of the next few weeks.

Third rule: No Christmas music until at least close to Thanksgiving. Last year I think I made it to around this time before we succumbed. But this year I'm hoping to get all the way to Thanksgiving. Thanks to Pandora, I'm not stuck listening to whatever the radio stations choose to play.

Fourth rule: No peppermint desserts until after Thanksgiving. Caramel, apple, and pumpkin are all acceptable (and delicious) fall flavors, but peppermint has to wait.

So the countdown is on.... 15 more days until we host Thanksgiving dinner at our house (crossing our fingers that it's a success) and then all the Christmasness can be fully enjoyed!

Life Right Now

Just keeping it real....

Life right now has been crazy. I have a calendar overflowing with reminders. I have a business to do list, a personal to do list, a moving to do list, and a new house to do list.

Life right now is boxes and bubble wrap everywhere. And laughing at Ryan's attempts to use a tape gun. What can I say? I'm a trained professional.

Life right now is dinners eaten in front of the TV. No, it's not the greatest idea ever. But our kitchen table gets buried every time I clear it off. We're moving. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Life right now has two little furry companions. Check my Instagram feed for my adventures in cat sitting.

Life right now is lots of fresh fruit and eating at weird times. I had a peach for lunch yesterday. I just wasn't hungry. Too much breakfast I guess.

Life right now is just the two of us. (For those of you who thought the above was a hint!) Just us and a couple fishies. We're still duking out the pet situation. (In case you hadn't noticed, I'm pro-cat and he's pro-dog.)

Life right now is work hard so you can play hard. I finally made it to the beach. :-)

Want to read more Life Right Now posts?
July 2018
March 2018
November 2017
May 2017
March 2017
October 2016
July 2016
March 2016
August 2015
June 2014
August 2013


A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That ~ Finding Balance

I'm a one task at a time kind of person. Sure, I love to multi-task when I can, but I hate being interrupted. And distractions like Facebook can lead to 30 minute rabbit trails.

So sometimes life really throws me for a loop, because it's not possible to focus on just one thing at a time. It's a little bit of everything every day.

A little bit of marketing education. A little bit of insurance research. A little bit of session planning. A little bit of home organization. A little bit of gardening. A little bit of laundry. And dishes. There are always dishes.

Ryan and I are going through the house buying process right now and some days I wish I could bring the rest of life to a standstill while we get everything straightened out and packed up. But there are so many other exciting things going on that I wouldn't want to miss out on.

The only time crazier than wedding season to look for a house would be tax season. Boy, would that be a nightmare!

So welcome to my life right now. It's a jumbled mess. Paint samples, boxes, and floor plans mixed with Lightroom, blogging, and album samples. Basically I'm living off of three to do lists right now. Eeeep!

But don't worry. I still have a good grip on my sanity. For now.

Speaking of sample albums, here's a peek at a couple spreads from Jordan & Paige's wedding album. I'll be sure to show it off here when it comes in!

 (Side note: Moving means that I won't be able to take as many sessions in August and September, so if you've been thinking about a session, email me ASAP to snag a spot!)