Since getting my first "big" Canon for Christmas from my Dad I hardly leave home without it.  If not on me, at least it is in the bag near by.  Who knows what I might miss if I don't have it with me.  Taking pictures gives me a high that comes close to resembling the  euphoria I have experienced after completing a race.  And looking back through the photos I just took and seeing one or two or three (if really REALLY lucky) that blows my mind is such an amazing feeling.  

I love the outdoors and spending time in the sunshine.  One of the most beautiful things in nature is the sky and how quickly it can change.  It is often a reminder to me that time does not stand still and will continue to pass whether I am ready for it to or not so I had better appreciate as much of the moment as I possibly can.  

The first two photos here are pictures of a summer sky right before a storm.  I have seen a many gorgeous skies from our back deck.  I happened to see this sky while I was throwing away garbage (yes, we keep our garbage outside so it does not stink in the house).  I quickly ran back inside, most likely forgetting to throw away what I had meant to, to grab my camera to capture these moments:

I love the opening in the clouds.  Like there is hope. 

I edited this one a little more to get he blue-ish color
As some of you know, I work in Beaver, PA.  On my commute every morning I have to cross one bridge (surprising i know) to get there.  And there are many times where I have almost wrecked looking at the sky instead of paying attention to merging traffic to my right as I cross the bridge.  I am one who would much rather get my sleep but decided one Friday morning to get up an hour earlier than usual to photograph sunrise.  And boy, was it worth it don't ya think? 

I love how you can see the sun's rays

this one was taken from the dock at a park in Bridgewater.  I like how you can kind of see the dock's cleats.  

LOVE reflections!
I don't consider myself to be a religious person but how could someone not be moved when seeing something like this?  

Take care


Kale Salad w Avocado & Hazelnuts

For those of you who know us, Chris (my husband) and I have always (well since we have both known each other) been interested in nutrition and healthy eating.  And for those of you who know Chris, the word "moderation" does not exist in his vocabulary.  When he does anything he has to give it 110%.  For him, there is no taking baby steps to accomplish anything.  He goes through what I have come to call "phases."  It is one of the qualities I do admire and love about him though.  To give you one example:  We both started taking Vitamins recently.  One of the vitamins we were taking consistently were Vitamin D.  As with the other vitamins we were taking them every day.  All of a sudden Chris started to feel dizzy after his work lunch-break walks.  Turning to Google, he discovered too much Vitamin D can make you dizzy.  See?  No moderation.  Silly boy!

Anyway, Chris' new "phase" is eating a gluten-free diet.  Ever since I have known him he has complained of feeling "foggy brained" (at least that is his excuse for not listening to me when I ask him to do anything).  He is not one to turn to medications for a quick fix to any of his problems but will change his diet instead.  Insert gluten-free diet.  Consequently, he purchased Primal Blueprint: Quick & Easy Meals by Mark Sisson & Jennifer Meier for gluten-free recipes.

One of the first recipes we tried was Kale Salad with Avocado and Hazelnuts.  YUMMMMMMM!  I am not sure about y'all but I get sick of eating the same thing over and over (and over) again.  This was a nice change up to my usual spinach salads.  The best part, it takes all of 15 minutes to prepare!

Ingredients include:
  • Juice from half an orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup of hazelnut oil
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, roughly chopped
(please excuse our messy table)
We went to the relatively new Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson Twp to get everything.  They did not have hazelnuts (at least not that we could find or a worker could tell us) so I used almonds instead.  Worked great though.  


  • Whisk together the lemon and orange choice with the hazelnut oil (olive oil works just fine if you don't have hazelnut oil around).  This is your salad dressing. 
  • Remove the chewy stems from the kale leaves then thinly slice the kale leaves.  
  • Toss the the kale, avocados and dressing together into a bowl adding salt and pepper for taste. 
  • Sprinkle hazelnuts (or almonds in my case) on top. 
...and Voila
picture really does not do it justice. 
The first time I made this I made it all at once.  Needless to say, the avocados turned brown around the 2nd day.  However, this past week I made enough for just my lunch the next day.  Instead of 2 avocados I used 1/2 of one and either saved the other half for the next day or Chris ate it.  Liked it much better that way.  The citrusy and nutty combination of the dressing was delightful.  And to be honest, I had no idea how much I loved avocados until now!  I highly recommend this for all you vegetarians out there as the nuts and avocado add a log of healthy fat and protein.  

I hope you give it a try.  If you like kale and avocados I promise you will not be disappointed.  

Happy Friday everyone!!!  



what if...

"'Everything happens for a reason' 
is no reason not to ask myself
If you're living it right." 
-John Mayer : Why Georgia-

Last night Chris and I got to talking about what ifs.  You know, the what if this would've that happened kinda question.  He asked me if I regretted getting my undergraduate degree in Psychology.  Where did he think I would be if I had gone to school for say, photography?  He happened to ask me on a good day so my answer was "no, I do not regret it."  Is it any different today? No (and it wasn't necessarily a good day). I love people and have always found them to be fascinating.  Would I change a lot of things from my past?  Absolutely.  But would I be the person who I am today?  Probably not.  

If I had a chance, I would tell my 18 year old self:
  • Do not take life too seriously.  Laugh A LOT!
  • Girls make fabulous friends and will always be there for you when you need them.  Keep in touch with them. 
  • Study abroad - otherwise, who knows when you'll ever get over there.  
  • Study period.  There is a lot of interesting stuff in those text books and in what your professors tell you.  
  • You will disappoint your parents and yourself but everyone will get over it.  
  • Love yourself.  
  • Learn to enjoy cooking.
  • 28 years old is NOT old.  Not everything will turn out as you imagined when you were 8 but it does work out. 
Do I think I would have discovered my passion for photography without my love of people and Psychology?  Maybe but who knows.  I think my interest in people and Psychology has helped me to see others through the camera lens differently.  And for that I am more than grateful and would not change a single thing.  I believe I am living my life exactly how I was meant to live it.