I’m in the market for a new camera lens. I am currently using a 50mm 1.8, which I borrowed from a friend. The lens is great; a super starter lens (let’s be honest, I’m still a starter), and really sharp. I’m toying with the idea of getting a zoom lens, but have also had great recommendations for another wider prime. Last week while out at the park, I was able to borrow a 28-75mm 2.8 and wow, what a difference.
Christopher’s sweet friend Owen was a perfect model.
You can tell this kid’s mama is a photographer. He can really work the camera.
What I loved most about the zoom was that I was able to get close shots like the one above, without having to be right up in Owen’s face. Trying to get a picture with Big Zoom looking at the camera is nearly impossible right now because he is just so quick!
Two of his favorite things: the water cup and the dump truck.
What a doll!
I’ve got a couple more lenses to try before I decide which one I’m going to purchase. Recommendations are always welcome!
There are so many little seemingly insignificant details that make up my day as a stay-at-home-mom. Unloading the dishwasher, loading the washing machine, wiping up spills, making peanut butter toast, practicing numbers and letters, watching Fireman Sam (on repeat x 10), changing diapers, matching socks, and most recently brushing teeth.
Yes, I realize that Big Zoom is almost two and we have JUST started brushing his teeth. In fact, this was the very fist time he wanted to do it all by himself. I happily obliged and allowed him 4 additional squirts of the Thomas the Train training toothpaste he picked out. Thank goodness for mass media marketing.
For some reason, I was never taught to brush my teeth both in the morning and at night and learned in college that the rest of the universe thought that this was superbly gross. I brush mine in the morning, that’s it. I just had my first cavity last year, at age 29. SO THERE. Mr. Zoom is bound and determined that the little Zoom’s will inherit his oral hygiene habits. I’ll let him tackle that, though it appears we’re off to a good start.
I think my favorite part of starting this blog has been that it’s really given me the motivation to catch moments like this. And with family and friends so far away, I hope these types of posts are helping them to keep up with our lives a little bit more (hi Mom).
Two summers ago, desperate for a few new mom friends, a pal of mine and I headed down to our local farmers market for a meetup.com stay-at-home-moms playdate. I think it was peach day, or blueberry day, or strawberry day; we went to each of those that summer. That day we met a really nice girl and her sweet daughter and got to talking about organic produce, local food, etc. She told us that they had just moved to our city from California and had opened a new restaurant called Market. Her husband was the chef and they strived to use only organic, mostly local, ingredients.
Though it sounded right up my alley, we never made it over despite many recommendations and accolades.
Until last Friday. After chatting with a friend who’d recently been there, I decided that we had to try it. The weather was so lovely and I was able to find a last minute babysitter, so I told Mr. Zoom to be ready by 5 for a surprise date.
Market did not disappoint. Their menu was plastered on a giant chalkboard wall on the side of the open air kitchen. I got to watch the chef prepare all the food and drooled as entree after entree left the window. The atmosphere was totally laid back, the waitstaff very casual, the drinks delicious, and the ambiance perfect. I can’t wait to go back.
Surprise, surprise. Right next door was a little gourmet chocolatier with possibly the best salted dark chocolate truffle I’ve ever tasted.
Impromptu dates on warm spring nights with delicious food and my main sqeeze are the best.
We’re doing a new sort of eating plan thing around here these days. I don’t want to use the word diet, but well, I suppose it sort of is just that. I get on these kicks every once in a while and start to freak out about eating non-organic produce, mass produced meat products, and too much boxed and processed food. And, memories of watching Food, Inc., turn me into a temporary vegetarian for a few days.
So I’m on one of these kicks again, and we’ve been eating some really, really yummy stuff! A couple of weeks ago I made this Rachel Ray recipe and it was delicious and so easy. Last night, I whipped it up again with a some roasted local potatoes and asparagus.
Roasted veggies are my most favorite.
Though we aren’t vegetarians, we really only eat meat a 1-2 nights a week. Hello cage-free chicken!
The “glaze” is made entirely with the following three ingredients. How easy is that?
Brown that bird. It’s quite amazing what a little olive oil, salt, and pepper can do to some chicken.
Plate and eat.
This was such a quick and simple dinner. All “whole” foods, perfect for a warm spring dinner, and so yummy!
Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus
any small potatoes (as many as you like)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the asparagus and potatoes and chop into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
In a large pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high to high heat.
Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot and ripples, add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, then flip. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the marmalade, balsamic vinegar, and chicken stock thouroughly. Add to the pan with the chicken and let simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add green onions during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
(Slightly adapted from Rachel Ray’s Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken)
Feeling super, super inspired this week and thought I’d share some fun stuff swirling around in my brain.
During the weeks that the Pottery Barn Kids catalog arrives I wish I was still under the age of 12 and could live in the “Harper Collection“. Today, I’m trying to figure out how I can convince Mr. Zoom to buy and where I can put this delicious chevron carpet.
I’ve been totally grooving to this album for the last 2 weeks. I cannot get enough.
The crazy hard instructor was subbing during my spin class last night. I hadn’t been in two weeks and she totally kicked my rear. When class was over and I realized I still had a heartbeat, I decided I’m probably good enough to become a professional cyclist and started looking into grabbing a pair of these.
Also, read this if you need some non-fiction in your life.Then come barefoot with me.
My teenage MacBook baby is getting a makeover! Ordered some RAM this morning and have an appointment with Guisseppe next week. Trackpad fixed, files sorted and exported, ready for Prom.
I read this post today by a blogger I’ve been following for a few years now. Sometimes I think I missed some sort of cautious mothering gene I was supposed to inherit when Big Zoom was born. Melissa definitely has it and I definitely don’t. Thankfully, for my kids, Mr. Zoom does and we’re all alive to prove it!
I am going to attempt to create this wreath for our front door this weekend. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll remove my dead and reblooming fall mums from their pots on the front porch. Yikes, that’s embarrassing.
If it’s sunny where you are go outside and play. Enjoy the weekend. Happy Spring!
Well, it’s offical. Big Zoom has his very first crush. We have a sweet 4 year old neighbor who our little guy is enamored with. He has recently learned to say her name, and shouts it out as soon as he sees her house each morning. We spent St. Patrick’s Day with her family and Big Zoom had a ball chasing her around the yard all evening.
This afternoon on our way home from some time at the park, we caught up with our neighbor and her friend playing princess on the sidwalk between our houses. Big Zoom got immediately excited and wiggled out of the stroller.
And so began an afternoon with the Princesses.
He’s happy to do whatever she says so long as she keeps pulling that wagon!
Possibly the very best thing about our neighborhood are the people. We are so lucky to have such great neighbors and friends close by, especially with our families so far away.
With a sweet face like that, it’s no wonder Big Zoom is in love.
I must admit that the theme of this weeks challenge confused me. I had to wiki “eyes of march” in order to find out the “ides of March” is really the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar. So, on this 15th day of March, I’ll share with you a couple of pictures I took, including one shot of Big Zoom’s eyes. I seem to have hundreds of pictures of his profile and the back of his head, but a good, well focused shot if his eyes is tough to come by.
First though, some growing shamrocks (er, weeds), in our abandoned flower pots. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner!
The ever elusive “eye” shot!
Riding the train at the park today. This was a HUGE hit.
And, a shot of his head. Seems to be my signature shot here. Loving the car in the background though!
Be sure to check out the rest of my P52 friends too!
Things are hardly ever still around here! Instead of traditional pictures, I thought I’d share some of my “still” Instagram shots from this week. I’m loving Instagram right now; almost as much as my Canon!
My sweet Big Zoom. He wasn’t actually asleep, I just happened to catch him with his eyes closed for .2 seconds. Though he’s never still, I feel incredibly lucky and blessed that he’s becoming so adventurous and inquisitive. His little personality is in full bloom right now. Sometimes I’d love for him to relax in front of the TV for more than 3 minutes at a time so I can get a break. However, investigating the backyard seems to be much more enthralling for him these days.
Finished my Frappuccino, happily slurped the whipped cream, sat back in the drivers seat of the car, took a deep breath, and was still (for the duration of the red light).
Yesterday, we took a walk to the park. On the way, I stopped the stroller to grab this shot of the beautiful blooming tree. Glad I slowed down for this one.
What could be more still than a tree trunk? The texture on this one was just too good to pass up.
The exercise this week was pretty eye opening for me. We are not even close to being a relaxed and “still” family right now. I’m sure at some point in time we’ll all enjoy more “still” moments. In the meantime, rather than focus on being still, we’ll focus on surviving the tornado!
Check out these curls! To die for. Love this sweet little guy.
Our dear friends came for a quick visit over the weekend, and I was so happy to be able to snap a few shots of their sweet 18 month old, Boone. When I say that this kid is a dream, I mean he is a DREAM. Son of insanely talented photographers, this guy smiled and cooed all day long. The weather was yucky and a little cold, so we stayed inside almost all day. Just before dinner, I kicked Boone and Big Zoom outside for a bit to run around in the mud. They were delighted and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the backyard.
I got Photoshop Elements last week and downloaded a few free actions today. Above is my first attempt at using actions and a storyboard. Next on my list: Lightroom!
When I got married, I inherited many things. Most of the things that come with Mr. Zoom, I adore. Some, like Saturday morning football matches on the TV, I could do without! When we were living in Ireland, I was introduced to Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. Basically, it’s the same as Mardi Gras, but with pancakes. Custom says that all rich and sweet food items should be used up before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.
On Pancake Tuesdays in Ireland, my mother-in-law would whip up a batch of the thinnest most delicate pancakes for us and we’d top them with the typical squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar. After we married and moved back to the States, I knew this was a tradition I’d always continue. Because really, pancakes for dinner is something I can get behind.
So this morning, I measured the last of the Bisquick and threw together some pancakes for Big Zoom. He helped me stir the egg and milk, and we wound up with just enough batter for a short stack for breakfast.
What’s for dinner in your house tonight?