... Please come visit my new blog at http://girlparker.com.
Hope to see you there!
JP took me for a drive over to North Bend and Mount Si to break in my new camera.
love, Love, LOVE.... except sometimes I don't know what I'm doing, so I'm looking for a local class to take. In the meantime, here are some favorites, the before and the after. I'm in a sepia mood today.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Yeah, you're right. Too cheery. How about we all just sit quietly and sip our coffee?
We took them to a Family Fun Center that included miniature golf AND rides AND popcorn, then went home and ate ice cream (and spaghetti if their mom is reading) in front of Shrek.
It was beautiful.
Don't forget to click the button and browse the other blogs participating in Heidi's Black and White Wednesday. Thanks again, Heidi!
Heidi at Me as a Mom hosts Black and White Wednesdays. What a great idea! Thanks, Heidi. And seriously, folks, check out her site. It's chock full of hilarious photos of her everyday life with three little chickadees under foot. Feel free to join up and show us your B&Ws.
Today, I'm posting two photos, one from each of my "homes."
Yes, you should pity JP. His life is hard. He accepts donations toward his cause. That cause isn't really solid yet, but I think it involves a Harley...
It's a classic ploy -- Ask your man a direct question about yourself. You know he doesn't know the answer. You count on him feeling bad that he hasn't paid close enough attention to know this fact about you, his beloved. You present him a way to remedy the situation -- which was what you wanted all along. Only, sometimes I forget JP might throw a monkey wrench in it.
Me: "Honey, what's my favorite dessert?"
Him: Blank stare.
Me: Blank stare.
Him: "Umm. Does movie popcorn count as a dessert?"
Me: "Some nights, yes, but I'm talking about my favorite, order in a restaurant, dessert."
Him: Shifts uncomfortably in his chair.
Me: "It's German Chocolate Cake." Pause to let the moment, the-new-found-knowledge-quick-rescue-the-mood feeling, sink in. "So I was wondering if we could go out..."
Him: "I'll bake you a cake!"
Me: "Aww, that's sweet, but I was hoping...."
Him: "No. It will be the best cake ever. We should make two and we give some away." He immediately fires up the Food Network website, a man on a mission. I drift away, supposing he'll change his mind, hoping I still might get to go to B&O Espresso.
The next day, he shows me a recipe. German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Cajeta Frosting and Chocolate Ganache. Clearly, we're not going the doctor-up-a-Betty-Crocker-Mix route. And I'm not being taken out.
But this was SO MUCH BETTER. The next day, we scoured the upscale market for things like goat's milk (check), vanilla bean (check), and muscavado brown sugar (well, C&H will just have to do).
For the next five hours, this is what we did. I was on cake duty. JP took the two frostings. It was a blast.
Coconut frosting taking shape.
The kitchen smelled like toasted nuts and caramel.
Coffee and Hershey's Cocoa and Butter... three of the four food groups, right?
It's hard to applaud and snap a picture at the same time.
Forget dinner and a movie.
Make a total mess in the kitchen. I'm talking a two-loads-in-the-dishwasher mess.
I promise, you will have the best time ever.
Also, if anyone out there is a food photographer, you are really pretty, and really gifted, and quite the ARTEEST.
I never truly appreciated your work till now.
Me and my point-n-shoot are humbled.
Coffee on a Budget -- Both of the time-saving and dabloon-counting variety.
But this weekend, I just couldn't make it happen. The clock and the to do lists conspired. I'm sure you can relate.
So, at the Parker Ranchero, we have a few coffee traditions that keep more duckets in our pockets, but allow for sipping time with a good book.
Have you tried the Bay Blend coffee at Trader Joes? I love opening a fresh canister. The aroma, the rich color... I can't describe.
On Sundays, I forego our regular coffee pot for the richer flavor of our french press. And I always pull out our initial mugs, a wedding present I'm trying hard not to chip. And I splurge with real half-n-half...
Hello, happy morning. Hello, free refill.
Earlier this week, Bella, of One Sister's Rant, posted a few photos of her coffee. Sounds simple, right? Except that these were Coffee Art! No joke, they're beautiful.
Many of us felt the urge to try it ourselves, as she explained over her at blog. So, here we go!
You'll notice an immediate difference between Ms. Bella's lovely shots and my own. Most of mine are all in a paper cup. Beautiful coffee, but where's the atmosphere?
And you know why? Most Americans, myself included, get our coffee on the run. We don't stop, sit, linger at a cafe with a friend, and enjoy. Well, we do occasionally, but that's a treat. In my opinion, we all need to SLOW DOWN.
In fact, a large Italian barista shook his head and finger at us girls when we were in Florence. (Ahhh, the trip of our fresh-faced youth.) "Americans always running. This is very American. You will stop and speak to us." He gestured to their standing bar. They had a huge, empty sitting area, but the standing bar was packed. When we pointed to the chairs, he shrugged. "Yes, you sit, but it is extra..."
So we lingered, we chatted, and we stood with our morning lattes in real cups.
Also, we admired the view. Hello, handsome Antonio Banderas look-alike.
More coffee photos over the weekend.
I will sit.
I will order mochas by the mug.
I will sip lattes gently from glass cups.
I will make this great sacrifice in the name of art.
I'm giving like that.
So, I'd like to be The Pioneer Woman when I grow up. When I first started this blog, I aimed to be like her, posting every day, often in multiple categories. She made it look so easy! But I quickly learned that's like chasing Wonder Woman in her fanTABulous invisible jet.
AND she has red hair. I mean, aren't we JUST alike?
(Minus my living in a city, having two cats and zero children, not being published, and getting my cows in patty shapes under plastic wrap... small details)
Oh, I forgot to mention, she's now a regular on the Food Network. I mean, it's like we're twins!
She also hosts fabulous giveaways and contests. Her last photography contest was a call for black and whites or sepias, one photo day for a week, and she chose roughly 50-60 finalists. Mine were not amoung those. Yes, there were about 30,000 entries, but still I checked her website each day with bated breath.
This was possibly not the biggest confidence builder on the same week I entered a writing contest...
But here they are, my babies, my losers.
Taken at an old mission outside of Tucson. This lovely lady was frying up homemade tortillas for us tourists.
Her husband (I think) brought us napkins.
The winning photo is posted on her site, The Pioneer Woman.
And I love the winning photo. It's gorgeous and textured and emotional. But if you wanna tell me my babies are pretty too, that would be kind. I'm fragile, people, and perhaps a touch needy. Ha!