31 May 2009

Trip to PA - Part 1 - the drive down to Scranton

My Mother in law (MIL) and I went to Pennsylvania for a long weekend over Memorial Day. We left on the Thursday night after getting a pedicure...one must always have nice toes when wearing sandals! The pedicure lady was quite interesting...she told MIL that "she too old be mother in law" so MIL asked how old she thought she was. Pedi lady said "fity-two" (52). MIL laughed and said, I'm 47. Pedi lady thought that we were sisters, at the most friends, but never MIL. We had a good laught at that.

We didn't leave NH until 8pm and finally made it to our hotel in Scranton, PA around 2am. But we would have made it there sooner if I hadn't been pulled over by a statie in CT. Yeah, around 1130pm thursday night I was caught doing 77 in a 55 - not too bad...so the police man came to Barbie's side of the car (I was driving and this was on I-84 southbound) and Barbie said to the policeman "Wow I've never seen a police office come to the passenger side of the car." and he responded "We like to think we're high tech in these parts." I gave him my license, registration and proof of insurance (eventhough in NH we're not required to have auto insurance) and he asked all sorts of questions like if I had any necular weapons, had any warrants out for my arrest, was on America's Most Wanted (but all in good humor). He then told me that he wasn't going to give me a ticket for going 77 in a 55 speed limit zone (a $290 fine) but rather a ticket for disobeying a traffic sign (a $75 fine).

Ok great - I'll still get a ticket, but he's saving me $215 - wonderful! I was speeding, I'll admit that, but really 12 miles over the speedlimit isn't worth the cops time - I was honestly not going with the flow of traffic...everyone else was going faster than I was. Oh well, I'll take the hit.

So he goes back to his car, another state cop car pulls up behind the original car and he gets out and starts talking with the original officer. No idea what they were talking with but after like 10 mintues, the cop comes up to our car, he gives me my fine and says that he's glad to find out that we weren't part of the Taliban or had any warrants our for my arrest. He then says "So you heading down to Penn State?" (My license plate says PEN-ST8) and we said that we were. Apparently he had a buddy that went to PSU. Awesome.

My MIL then asks the officer if we looked like sisters and the office didn't quite know what to say...and so we told him the story about the pedicure lady. He laughed and MIL showed him her toes.

We honestly believe that I got out of the $290 ticket because MIL was wearing short shorts. Nice.

30 May 2009

Bar Mitzvah today!

I am attending my first Bar Mitzvah today and I get to photograph it!

I'll post pictures of this event when I get a chance...but for now, let's all learn about this Jewish Ceremony!


29 May 2009

First Photography Assignment Part 4 - The Reception

The first 2 pictures of this post aren't mine. I give credit to the other photographer for sneaking into the reception room before the Hindu ceremony for the cake picture and the table set up...

Their cake was beautiful! Take a look at the larger picture (just click on the image) and look at the piping details (the white icing above each red ribbon). My hand isn't that steady but I would love to make a cake like this.

The table set up were so simple - they handed out Coconut Curry Chocolate bars which were placed on gold chargers. The center pieces were glass bowls with floating candles all circled by red rose petals.

But the rest of the reception pictures are mine - and they really don't need much explanation. I'll put down a few notes as they are needed.

The couple's first dance as a married couple!

These kiddos danced the entire night!

Tom's sister and her husband.

Tom's parents.

Tom's other sister and husband.

Umm, this is what my husband looks like when he dances. I didn't take this picture on purpose, but it turned out really well showing the Indian version of my hubby!

I LOVE her bangles! They played lots of Indian music during the reception.

And this little girl danced all night long - she didn't care if it was a slow song or not...she danced and moved her body like she was made to dance! She was ALWAYS in the middle of a circle of dancing adults.

Tom and his buddies.

So that is the end of the dual ceremony wedding - Jennifer and I worked very well together and I will be helping her out more in the future...so stay tuned for more pictures.
Up next - my trip to Pennsylvania!

28 May 2009

First Photography Assignment Part 3 - Hindu Wedding Ceremony

So I wasn't able to be part of the Hindu ceremony as I had the daunting task of downloading all the images from the photographer's memory cards so she had more space for the reception.
But I am able to share with you some pictures that the other photographer took of the Hindu Ceremony.

I don't have any pictures of the Barat, when the groom rides either a horse or elephant (in this case, a horse) with his family dancing around to impress the bride and her father.

I do not know much about a Hindu wedding ceremony so I'll share some pictures maybe someone will be able to enlighten us all about the Hindu wedding ceremony!

Wow this turned into a post about everything I don't know or don't have - well the next post is about their reception, which I know lots about and have tons of pictures!

Tom waiting for Namrita in the Hindu Ceremony.

Here comes the bride (walked down the aisle by Tom's sisters, sister in law and Namrita's sister in law).

Look at the henna on her hands!!! Amazing!

The priest (not sure what the man in the white is called, but he presided over the Hindu ceremony) made 7 small piles of rice that the couple had to walk around.

Everyone involved in this ceremony had to take their shoes off...but we do get to see the henna on Namrita's feet!!!

21 May 2009

Engraved Uniques by KK's Kreations

I love personalized items and when I saw that Engraved Uniques is giving away 3 of her tiles, I had to share it with all 3 of my readers! Maybe one of us will win?

Isn't that tile just amazing? Even if I don't win this contest, I think I may order this for right inside our front door, whenever our house is built.

Check out KK's Kreations blog here, and her store here.

What talent!!!!!!

20 May 2009

Wish Bone

So I have been reading Busy Mom's blog for a few years and really enjoy all the antics of her family. She is having this awesome give away on her blog - you could win a $100 grocery gift card and a Wish Bone pack (valued at $46.10). Click here for more information about her giveaway and also check out her blog...you will so enjoy it!

The reason why I want to win this Wish Bone gift pack is because my husband will only use Wish Bone Italian dressing on his salad - nothing else. No other brand will do, only Wish Bone Italian (and the regular italian, not the robust italian dressing). So basically we go through this stuff like crazy. But I also LOVE to marinate chicken in italian dressing (although husband won't eat chicken that is marinated in italian dressing - even though I would use the exact same dressing he uses on his salad.

On Busy Mom's blog, she posted a picture of Busy girl (Busy Mom's daughter) making some recipes from the Wish Bone website. One of them included the Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad which I MUST try!!!!!

I'll post the recipe here and when I get back from PA next week I'll give it a whirl!

Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 20 Minute(s)


3/4 cup Wish-Bone® Italian Dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 ounces twist pasta, cooked, rinsed with cold water and drained
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, sliced
1 can (6 oz.) pitted ripe olives, drained
4 ounces sliced pepperoni, halved


Blend Wish-Bone® Italian Dressing, parsley and black pepper in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

19 May 2009

Tempy My Tummy Tuesday - Kelly’s Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is another special one. My dear middle school friend, who moved to ABQ right before we started high school and then a year ago she and her hubby moved to Salem, Oregon, made this recipe for us on New Years Eve 2006!!

Kelly and Nathan were in PA visiting her oldest brother and decided to drive to State College for a quick visit with me and my family while we were in town for New Years. My Mom wanted to have a taste of New Mexico to go along with the PA Dutch food we were having that night.

This recipe has since been an old stand by and Danny LOVES to make it!!

Kelly’s Chicken Enchiladas

  • 4 Chicken Breast Halves (Boneless, Skinless)
  • 2 Medium White Onions (Quartered)
  • 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 cups (or more if you want) Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
  • 12 Corn Tortillas
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 Small Cans Chopped Green Chile (Optional - I HATE spicy food and these green chile's are NOT spicy at all, they add wonderful flavor. Also we use 1 large can instead of the 2 small cans.)
  • Milk


  • Boil chicken in a large pot with onion, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper for approximately 1 hour or until chicken falls apart easily when pulled.

  • Shred chicken by using two forks and pulling in opposite directions (set aside).

  • Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and fry each tortilla one at a time for about 20 seconds on each side. Place tortillas on paper towels to drain.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine both cans of soup with the green chile (if using) and enough milk to slightly thin mixture to a sauce. (We don't drain the cans nor do we add the milk and this turns out just find).

  • In a 9”x13” pan, first layer 6 tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan followed by a layer of sauce, a layer of chicken, then a layer of cheese. Each layer should use about half of each ingredient. Once the first layering is complete, repeat the process for a second time to use the remaining half of the ingredients.

  • Bake in a 350o oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted across the top of the dish.

  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes to set ingredients and enjoy!

15 May 2009

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Rip n' Go

The Friday night before the wedding shoot in Boston, I headed out to Walmart (we all know that I prefer Target, but Walmart is in my town and I didn't have time to get to Target, sigh) to grab a few things for my B-I-L's and Gram's birthday celebration that would be held on the Sunday morning/afternoon.

While in Walmart I came across Quaker Chewy granola bars on an end cap. Normally I would have walked right past them, but these granola bars weren't in a box. Nope they were all stuck together by 2 stickers and you basically just "rip" them apart "n' go"! What a cool idea - no box to throw away...just tear off the bar you want and eat and then throw away the wrapper. They come in packages of 10 bars (in chocolate chip and chocolate chip with peanut butter chips I think) and the entire package of 10 fits into one of the side pockets of my camera bag. Perfect snack for the wedding photography job! Easy to eat, yummy and kinda sorta not really good for you. But I knew I'd need something easy to eat and not messy.

I searched all over the internet and I couldn't a picture of them...I know they exist because I have 2 bars left in the package sitting next to me...so if I took a picture of that, it wouldn't really show much.

But I did find this youtube video...it's not that great quality, but it shows just what I tried to explain!

I haven't seen them in any other stores except Walmart - so maybe it's a Walmart exclusive??

12 May 2009

First Photography Assignment Part 2 - Boston's Public Garden

Boston's Public Garden is just that, a public Garden. It was a BEAUTIFUL day so EVERYONE was outside enjoying the spring flowers, soaking up all the sun and gawking at Tom and Namrita walk by:

The photographer that hired me to assist her took lots of pictures but I managed to take a few with my camera...but it was a little hard as I was carrying 2 camera bags, a tripod and a duffel bag full of other photography stuff. We never used the stuff I was carrying, but we needed it just in case.

The trees were in full bloom and we really lucked out with the weather!! It was raining on our way down to Boston, so glad it cleared up in time for the outside pictures!

Trying to get "the" picture!

As my Dad would say, kissy kissy wooo wooo!

Her dress was simply amazing! Later I'll give you a close up look at the Henna on her hands and feet!

Just look at the way they look at each other - such a beautiful picture and you can just feel their love for one another!

The best man, Mike (Tom's brother) smelling Namrita's bouquet!

Mike and I had lots of time to hang out and chat. We were even part of the crowd control so we could try to at least get 1 photograph without the public in it. But I think pictures of the couple and the public makes it so much better...after all we were in the Public Garden!

Part 3 - The Hindu Wedding Ceremony!

Happy Mother's Day!

I know this post is 2 days late, but I have a good reason. My Mom's present for Mother's Day was delivered yesterday to her office and she sent me pictures of it last night!

Every year I struggle finding something to give my Mom - her birthday is 1 month after Christmas so I spend the entire year thinking up things I could make or give my Mom.

A few weeks ago Danny and I were at a Church party and one of the guests brought a HUGE Edible Arrangement. And that was when I found my Mom's Mother's Day present.

My parents LOVE fruit and I wasn't sure if she had ever seen a fruit bouquet before. So I ordered her this simple Bloomin' Daisy arrangement. You can get the fruit dipped in chocolate and attach other items to the package, but I wanted a simple arrangement.

Here's the arrangement all wrapped up for delivery.

The arrangement unwrapped and ready to eat!!

I think my parents had fruit last night for dinner!!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Nana's Wacy Cake with Peanut Butter Icing!

**UPDATED - I just learned from my Mom that my Nana spelled it Wacy Cake, not Wackey Cake**

This is my entry for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!!

My Nana (paternal grandmother) was a baker from what I understand. She died when I was very young so I don't have many memories about her, or my Pop-Pop but I do have her Wacy Cake recipe and my mom has Nana's handwritten recipe - which I hope to someday have a copy of!

I am using the spelling Wacy because that is how Nana wrote it on the recipe my Mom has - I know it's wrong, but this misspelling makes it all the more special for me!

I made Nana's Wacy cake with peanut butter icing to celebrate my husband's Gram's birthday a few weekends ago. And she LOVED it!! She said that the icing tasted like her peanut butter fudge.

Now, i have to share this recipe. I hope that this SUPER easy cake and icing makes you feel all warm inside, just like it does for me and did for hubby's Gram!

Nana's Wacy Cake
3 c flour
2 c sugar
6 T cocoa
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2/3 c oil
2 c water
2 t vanilla extract

2 T vinegar

Spray a 9x13 pan and preheat the oven to 350. Mix all the ingredients together, except for the vinegar. Once everything is mixed, add the vinegar, give it a quick stir and quickly pour into the greased pan. It's OK if the cake batter starts to turn colors, it's the vinegar and baking soda reacting which will make the cake rise! Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Peanut Butter Icing

1 store bought tub of vanilla icing (I use Betty Crocker, but any brand will work)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Jiff, but again any brand will work)

Place ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined. Spread on cooled Wacy cake and enjoy!!

11 May 2009

First Photography Assignment Part 1 - The Catholic Wedding Ceremony

It's been over a week since I photographed the dual ceremony wedding in Boston, but I have been super busy, and this week will be even busier for me (chorus concerts, plus 2 three hour dress rehearsals and some babysitting and chorus parties thrown in the mix)!

Anyway, since this was a dual ceremony wedding, I'll share pictures of the Catholic ceremony, pictures in Boston's Public Garden, try to describe each step of the Hindu Ceremony (along with a few pictures) and the reception.

So welcome to Part 1, the Catholic Wedding Ceremony.

We've all been (or participated) in a Catholic wedding ceremony, so I won't explain anything with this, just show a few pictures!

Mike, the best man, pinning on his brother's (the Groom, Tom) boutonniere before the ceremony.

Tom making sure that Mike's pocket square was just right!

Mike, Tom and their Mom!

Some of the guests entering the chapel - these women both read during the Catholic ceremony

There were a lot of little kids involved in the ceremony - all dressed in traditional Hindu outfits!

The Bride's Parents

The Groom with his parents

The bride walking down the aisle with her father!

Ariel shot of the Mother's lighting the candles on the alter

The wedding party

Ceremony musicians

Just about time to say the vows!

Tom putting on Namrita's ring!

Namrita putting on Tom's ring!

Lighting the Unity Candle

Singing after exchanging rings. This chapel was on the edge of the Boston Common and just beautiful. I really enjoyed the sculpture on the back wall. Just below it is a baptismal pool!

The kiss!

Ceremony #1 is done, now onto the Public Gardens for pictures.

Part 2 will be in the Public Gardens!