Saturday, December 31, 2011

twelve photos for the twelve months of 2011













Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

new york cheesecake and blackberry sauce

I love cheese.  I also love cake.
So one would naturally assume that I love cheesecake.
And I do, sort of.
Only, most of the time cheesecake is way too rich for my tastes.
If cheesecake comes my way I usually share it with Leif.
I just can't often eat an entire piece on my own, which is why
I hardly ever bake it.

An entire cheesecake in the house is a whole lot of cheesecake.

But Leif, who normally doesn't have a sweet tooth equal to my own,
really likes cheesecake and so for Christmas I decided to make him one.
In order to cut some of the sweetness I also made a quick 
blackberry sauce to drizzle on top.

It turned out pretty well and was a very easy recipe to follow

It was not, however, low-calorie
Should you want to make a lower calorie version, I'm sure
using light cream cheese would still work.

For the cheesecake:

Crush 15 gram crackers
Melt two tablespoons of butter
Combine the crackers and the butter

Place gram cracker mixture in the bottom of a greased, round springform pan
Press so that it makes a firm layer

Mix 4 (8 oz) boxes of cream cheese together with 1 1/2 c sugar until smooth
Mix in 4 eggs, one at a time, until incorporated
Mix in 1c sour cream
Mix in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix in 1/4c white flour

Pour mixture into pan
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for one hour
Turn off heat and let cheesecake sit in oven for 5-6 hours

Chill in refrigerator before serving

For the blackberry sauce:

Mix 16oz fresh or frozen blackberries with 1/4c sugar (or water)
Simmer for 5-10 minutes
Strain mixture through a sieve
Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

Chill in refrigerator before serving

Learn from my mistakes:

Don't over mix the eggs, sour cream and flour
This causes bubbles and will lead to cracking
Do not cook over an hour
It may not look done but it will continue to cook after the oven is off

recipes from:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

I must have been very good this year because
this morning I woke up to find
a stocking full of these
tiny chocolate bears.

I hope you all had a lovely day
full of your own little chocolate bears 
and other things that make you smile.


I learned a little something about myself Christmas Eve.
With an old ratty sweater and a striped t-shirt that is now too small for me 
(thank you 12 punds of baby weight that won't come off...alright...
12 pounds of chocolate and ice cream that won't come off)
I can make something in a few hours using my sewing machine
that someone more skilled than I can do in
20 minutes
with one eye closed.

No matter.
It got done.
With a little help from Leif
and a little break to play with Clio on the hammock 
and a little entertainment from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Clio got a very homemade stocking after all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I'm feeling not so great today.  Sick with a cold and having to still take care
of a 

She's asleep right now, which means for the moment
I can lay on the couch and eat a popsicle.

Leif and I are working on finishing up our New Years card.
It started out as a Holiday Card but...
we've just been so busy and time kind of got away from us.


I'm looking forward to sharing it here later on this week.

But in the meantime, here is a couple of the outtakes from our family photos.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

four months

Clio turned 4 months old last week.

She has two bottom teeth.
She can roll from her back to her tummy, but only to the right.  
Just like this guy.

She likes to fake cough, blow raspberries, and shriek like a banshee.
She loves to fly in the air like a plane and spend time on her tummy.

Her favorite toys are, in the following order;
My Hair
My Boobs
My Glasses

Sleeping is a favorite pastime of hers.  
She sleeps ten to eleven hours a night and likes to nap a couple of times during the day too.

Almost all her dark, dark hair fell out
but it is growing back in strawberry blond.  
That's the Irish Finley in her.

She is still learning how to really laugh a deep belly giggle 
and not the cute half-giggle thing she's been doing for weeks.  
I've only seen her do it twice.  
It is the most awesome thing I've ever seen.

It is crazy how in just four months our girl went from this tiny little thing in the hospital 

to this inquisitive, drooling, boogery, ball of energy.

She is so very, very loved.

Edited to add so I never forget...

at four months:
weight: 13 pounds 14 ounces
length: 25 inches

at birth:
weight: 8 pounds 4 ounces
length: 21 1/2 inches

Saturday, December 17, 2011

los angeles county museum of art

Leif works near the LA County Museum of Art and since he has a membership he gets to go wander around during his lunch hour.  Clio gets a free membership through their NexGen program, which also means that I get free admission when I take her.  All this means trips to bring Clio by her dad's work on my days off are very fun.

Right now they have an exhibit called California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way"  If you like mid-century design and you happen to live in the area, it is definitely worth a trip.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

canon T2i video


Bay Islands, Honduras from leif on Vimeo.

Copán Ruinas from leif on Vimeo.

Bakersfield Strays from leif on Vimeo.

Brooke asked on my last post asked about specific camera recommendations.  We use the Canon T21 and the main reason we bought it was so that we could take high-def videos.  
These are all videos Leif shot on our camera and then edited himself.  
He's pretty awesome,  my husband.
So is our camera.  I highly recommend it as a mid-range digital SLR.  

Also...kittens are super adorable.  I want one with a round tummy to scratch right now!

**That first one in the Poppy Fields Leif made just three weeks after George died.  It is weird to watch that now.   I look at it and see how sad we were while trying to fake being happy.  So sad but still really beautiful.

Monday, December 5, 2011

photography tips

I'm in no way a professional photographer but somedays I like to pretend that I am.  Over the years I've taken a few classes and spent a lot of time taking a lot of bad photographs to learn how to take a few good ones.  That's the cool thing about photography and especially in the age of digital; you don't have to be a professional to take good, ar at least above average, photographs.  

Here are some of the things that I've found have had the most impact on the quality of my photographs.

Anyone else have other tips?  Feel free to add.  I am always looking for ways to improve on my photography skills.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

hot air balloons and rain clouds

On Saturday morning I went to Michael's Arts and Crafts specifically so I could get materials to make my own snow globes like these for Christmas.  I meandered, along with a largely middle-aged group of women, through the aisles looking for what I needed only to, after twenty minutes, not find any of it.  When I asked the teenaged boy employee where I could find glycerin he looked at me dumbfounded and went to ask the slightly-older teenaged boy employee.  Aisle 10, I was told, in the cake decorations. This didn't seem right to me but I went to look anyway and sure enough, no glycerin.

What do teenaged boys know about snow globe making anyway.

So I gave up with only ever finding the glitter that I needed.  I figured I would just put our Amazon Prime account to task and buy the stuff online.  Online is awesome.  But I couldn't leave without something to do over the weekend so I bought some paper mache balls, some wooden dowel-ish things, and blue and white clay.

This is what I made:

A miniature mobile of hot air balloons and rain clouds to go over Clio's cabinet.  My mom is currently in the process of knitting hot air balloons to go over the crib so I though it would be fun to make my own (much less cool and labor intensive) version.

I also finally finished Clio's room so I could enter a contest on Apartment Therapy's Oh Dee Doh site.  Of course, I submitted it on the last day and I'm not sure if I'll get accepted.  Sometime this week I'll post the entire finished product.  It only took nearly four months to complete.