Springtime through the Lens

I took some photos when Spring arrived in Chicago and the trees and flowers began to bloom. I love taking pictures on beautiful sunny days but I know I need to practice night time photos as well because that’s where I struggle the most. Through the rest of spring; summer and fall I hope to keep up with my photography and post my progress on the blog.

I shot these photos in aperture mode and when taking them repositioned myself to see what angles worked best in the light. When I uploaded them I did some adjustments to the contrast or brightness in photos on my Mac.

If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment! What’s your favorite subjects to photograph outdoors?


Sweet Potato Casserole

Happy Hump Day!

How are you doing? I hope your week is off to a great start and it’s already half over! My week is going well, especially with the nice weather we’re having. Today is going to be a little chilly but after the past couple of days I don’t mind. Last night Mike and I had a great 3 mile run. It’s hard to believe this week is week 1 of my training plan whereas when I was living in Columbus, we’re two weeks away from the race I normally ran in Spring. But, I’m happy my race is in June and not May because it was too cold to run outside in February!

This weekend I planted some flowers in hanging baskets that will eventually be outside. I know I’m a little brave and optimistic but I couldn’t wait any longer! For now we’re keeping the flowers inside until the threat of frost is gone. Aren’t they beautiful?
Petunias and Geraniums

Our Easter dinner turned out to be delicious! How was yours? What was your favorite dish?
Easter Dinner 2014

My favorite was the Sweet Potato Casserole we made. It’s my mom’s recipe and it’s so good that I had to share it with you!
Ham, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes

I cut the recipe in half but feel free to double it because you’ll be sad once it’s gone!

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 29 oz can sweet potatoes, drained and whipped
1/6 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c chopped walnuts (I went for it and used 1/2 c which is the original recipe amount)
1/6 c flour
2 tbsp butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix main ingredients and place in 9 x 9, 8 x 8 dish or pie plate.
3. Mix topping ingredients and spoon over potatoes. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 35 minutes.



Friday's Fab Five

Friday’s Fab Five

Hi there!

Congrats on making it to Friday! Mike will be out of town this weekend and I’m excited for some shopping with my friend Jessica. I’ll miss Mike but it’ll be nice to have alone time and girl time.

It feels like Spring has arrived aside from a mishap yesterday with cold temperatures and the threat of freezing rain. Luckily it was a weak threat and Thursday morning was dry as a bone. But I have faith that Spring will continue to peak through and so I purchased these lovely flowers to display in the apartment!
Yellow Daises

I was excited for the Pirates’ opening day on Monday even though I usually don’t follow baseball closely. I saw the final result, 1-0 after ten innings and boy did it sound like a slow game! Then I saw Wednesday night’s game, 16 innings! Glad the Pirates pulled out a win and I hope they do the same against the Brewers next weekend!

I hope you have an excellent weekend, try a fish fry today if you’re inclined, and enjoy this week’s fab five!

#5 Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe is a gluten free one and while I don’t need to be gluten free, I like the idea of these cookies because the comments say they are delicious. There’s more peanut butter flavor without the flour. More peanut butter plus chocolate? That’s my kind of cookie!

#4 French Toast Casserole
So I bought this loaf of bread Monday thinking it would be great, I only wanted about half a loaf of bread, and the kind I bought was ‘very thin’. How thin is very thin you ask? Super thin! I need about 4 slices to be close to a normal size sandwich. Plus I bought wheat bread when I usually prefer multi grain bread. I’ve decided to make this french toast casserole over the weekend to use up all the bread I don’t plan to make sandwiches with! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

#3 Fashion
I love this look, it looks comfortable and classic all in one.
Comfy Classic Fashion

#2 (un) corgi cuteness
I just love labs! I can’t wait to have my own puppy. :)
Black Lab Puppy

#1 Shin Splint Relief
I’ve been running outside and on the road pretty consistently now that the weather is nicer and my gym has closed. I haven’t experience shin splints (yet) but this will be something to remember for later!
Shin Splint Relief

Friday's Top Ten

Friday’s Top Ten, 11.22.13

Happy Friday!

Sorry for not posting a top ten last week, life has been busy and the holidays are fastly approaching make me feel crazy! I’m making a promise to myself to post some more recipes in the coming weeks and not just the top ten of the week.

Speaking of the holidays, can you believe Christmas is almost a month away?! And on that note it’s snowing in Southeast Wisconsin today. The temperatures are dropping and we’re going to have a chilly weekend which makes me want to sit by the fire and drink hot cocoa.

I hope you enjoy this week’s top ten and please check back for some delicious recipes!

#10 Thor: The Dark World
Mike and I went to see the new Thor movie last night and it was great! I did like the first movie a little better because that’s when you get the background for all the characters and the second one jumps into action right away. And if you dislike Loki currently, don’t worry, your feelings for him won’t change after this movie.

#9 Spaghetti
We made spaghetti and meatballs last weekend and I laughed out loud when I saw this picture on pinterest because it’s exactly what happened!
Spaghetti to End Starvation

#8 Salted Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
I wanted to make dark chocolate cupcakes for my birthday but didn’t get around to making any until this week. I made these salted dark chocolate cupcakes and they were awesome! The dark cocoa powder and coffee makes them delicious!

#7 (un) corgi cuteness
It’s snowing!
Snowy Golden

#6 10 Questions People from Pittsburgh Are Tired of Answering
Being from Pittsburgh and having lived in places outside of Pittsburgh, I’ve been asked every question on this list except #8. And of course I’m a Steelers fan!

#5 I Like To Party
I love this shirt! It’s hilarious and it’s so true for me. :)
I Like to Party

#4 Scallops
I had pan seared scallops for the first time this week and they were awesome! I can’t believe I haven’t tried them until now because I love seafood! I’m excited to cook them on my own now that I’ve tried them.

#3 My Nephew
My nephew is getting so big and he’s such a cutie! I especially love his pajamas in this photo!

#2 Fitz & the Tantrums
We have tickets to see Fitz & the Tantrums tomorrow night! Milwaukee is so different from Columbus in terms of the music scene and I certainly miss Columbus but at least I get to see one of the great bands I discovered while in Columbus in my new state!

#1 Flowers
I love getting flowers and Mike surprised me with a fall bouquet tonight, aren’t they pretty?
Fall Flowers

Friday's Top Ten

Friday’s Top Ten, 6.14.13

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you but this week has flown by!

This week’s Grilling Week was so much fun and I’m glad we were able to cook dinner on the grill almost every single night. Tonight we plan to enjoy some pizza at a local restaurant across the street from our hotel and hopefully see the new Superman movie. I read one review that the movie didn’t make sense or follow the other ones but it’s not supposed to. I’ve never seen any of the Superman movies so I’m ok with it not following previous story lines.

The rest of the weekend will be spent with new friends, checking out Polish Fest, and a fun trip to Whole Foods! I hope you have a great weekend and Happy Father’s Day to any dad’s out there!

#10 Starbucks
The unfortunate thing about our hotel suite is the WiFi is terrible. The bandwidth is slow and it’s hard to do any work on my laptop but thank goodness a Starbucks is located less than a mile down the road!

#9 Dave Matthews Band
Mike and I are going to see Dave Matthews Band with our friend Marti next month and ever since I’ve been in Wisconsin permanently I have heard DMB 5 times on the radio! I never heard him that often in Columbus, it’s crazy! But I love it!

#8 Birchbox
This month is my last month of prepaid birchbox unless I continue to pay for it myself. It’s only $10 a month and it’s something to look forward to when getting the mail. Usually I don’t know what samples I’m getting so it’s exciting to see and try them out. If you’re thinking about getting birchbox I would definitely try it out! My favorite sample in this month’s box is a neon green nail polish (not so neon in the picture).

#7 Mitchell’s Fish Market
I don’t know why we didn’t check to see if there were any Mitchell’s Fish Markets in Wisconsin but we found out there is one in Brookfield! I can’t believe it! I’m so excited to eat there sometime! The Fish Market is right by the mall in Brookfield which is a less crowded mall than South Ridge and much nicer.

#6 Grilling Week
I don’t mean to toot my own horn but grilling week on Roochel’s Randoms has been fantastic! My favorite day was the chicken drumsticks and potatoes. The chicken was so crispy and the potatoes were packed with flavor after adding some simple seasonings!
Drumsticks and potatoes

#5 Dining Week, Milwaukee
Wednesday night I went out with several girls who work at PPG with Mike for a Girls’ Night. We went to Vino 100 and the Hinterland. The Hinterland is participating in dining week where you can have an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $30 which is a really good deal for this restaurant. I had the steak and it was SO good! It had this red pepper/tomato sauce with it that was scrumptious.

#4 Corgi Cuteness
Oh my gosh! Look at this guy’s face, he’s so excited! Or he’s yawning. ;)
Corgi in the Car

#3 Caramel Apple &  Brie skewers
Oh my these look delicious!

#2 We have a place to live!
I can’t wait to move out of our hotel and into our new apartment! We’ve already called the movers and we may not have our stuff until July 4th but hopefully we get it sooner. Keep your fingers crossed!

#1 Gardening
Now that we have a place to live there is a cute patio when I could hang potted plants and set up planters and I’m so excited! I can use a watering can just like this one in hopes to keep my flowers alive. :)
watering can