April and Pat Engagement Shoot

I LOVED this engagement shoot! I’ve been in Union Station a million times but have never taken photos there.. first of all Union has a very strict no photo policy so I just never considered it. Pat and April were given permission from Union to take their engagement pics there and they turned out BEAUTIFUL! I love the gold tones the station provides and the wrought iron outside is such a classic look. Pat and April will be married this summer.

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Alex is One!

This shoot was so much fun for me for multiple reasons! First, fall and the start of winter is my busiest time of the year. The majority of my shoots are focused on family shots for holiday cards,which I love doing. BUT, sometimes its nice to have a little variety! Which is why Alex’s smash cake shoot came at the perfect timing for me. Second, I photographed this family at my own house, which iv’e never done before! Usually all of my shoots our on location chosen by my client, but I really wanted to experiment with a brick wall backdrop in my kitchen so this was the perfect opportunity. Lastly, not only did we celebrate Alex’s first birthday but he has a baby brother on the way!

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Thanksgiving Stuffing!

A few years ago I decided to make my thanksgiving stuffing homemade and im NEVER going back to the box (yuck). I searched through what felt like a 100 recipes until I found one I liked (actually on buzz feed). Below I included a digital illustration of the ingredients as well as the recipe! Enjoy!

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Serves 8

1 loaf crusty white bread (french bread, ciabatta, etc)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. finely chopped sage

1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

2 large eggs

2½ cups chicken broth

Tear the bread into large bite-sized pieces (crust and all) and place on a baking sheet. Let it sit out at least 6 hours, preferably overnight (if you don't have time for this, don't panic: just throw bread in a 325° oven, and toss occasionally until croutons feel pretty dry but are not toasted, about 30 minutes).

It's important that the bread is dry so that it will absorb the liquid without falling apart.

So, once your bread is ready:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the celery, garlic, and onions. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook, stirring pretty frequently until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and rosemary and cook another few minutes, until everything in the skillet gets to know each other.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and pour the stock into another bowl. Whisk a little bit of the broth into the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Honey roasted butternut squash soup..

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I visited Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg Wisconsin and drove past a farmer who was giving away FREE squash! I had never made butternut squash soup before and am now hooked! below is the recipe I followed! It was a great way to use up some of my herbs from the garden before the firsts frost. Even better its vegetarian AND gluten free!

Cook Time

1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 medium butternut squash halved, lengthwise

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the soup base

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • 4 large carrot finely chopped

  • 3 celery spears finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves crushed

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 cups chicken/vegetable stock/broth (1.5 liters)

  • ½ cup cream/coconut milk

  • salt to taste

  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. 

  2. Generously drizzle the cut-side of the butternut with the olive oil and honey then season. 

  3. Place cut-side down in a roasting pan then add 1 cup of water and cover with foil. 

  4. Roast for 45-60 mins or until the butternut is completely tender and starting to caramelize. 

  5. Remove from the oven then scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin and seeds. 

  6. In a large pot fry, celery, carrot and onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil/butter until soft and fragrant then add the garlic and herbs. 

  7. Cook the soup base for 5-10 minutes until the vegetable just start to caramelize then add the roasted butternut and chicken stock. 

  8. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the vegetable are cooked through and the stock has reduced slightly. 

  9. Remove the herbs and transfer the soup to a blender then blend until completely smooth. Pour back into the pot and add the cream. 

  10. Bring back up to a simmer, cooking for another 5 minutes then season to taste and serve. 

Why I didn't bring my DSLR to Europe..

I recently spent two weeks in Europe traveling to Copenhagen Denmark, Rome, Posatano Italy and Palermo Sicily and I didn't bring my camera... on purpose. Before I left on my trip lots of people were telling me "its a great photography opportunity!" and asking if I was going to bring my camera. Here was the problem.. I knew if I brought my camera I couldn't bring just one lens.. That also meant I would be lugging around  a ton of camera equipment. If your anything like me, when I have my DSLR with me im taking tons of photos, and that's what I was afraid of. I recently watched a interview of a National Geographic photographer who talked about how photographers get so caught up taking photos they forget to make memories because they are constantly seeing the world threw a small camera lens. I didn't want that to happen to me.. so I ditched my large camera!But I couldn't go with absolutely no camera! I decided to invest in a GOPRO HERO 5. This camera is waterproof and fits in your pocket! I never had to worry about it getting wet and it took awesome photos, of course I had my phone too. In the end I still took a lot of photos but they were just snapshots, I wasn't focusing on taking the best shot with the best lighting. Now that the trips over im happy I left my camera home and still got some cool shots to look back on! But most importantly I have amazing memories. Here are my favorites! All shot on the GOPRO HERO 5 and an I phone 6s.