Merry Everything

Although Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have long past and Christmas is still around the corner (not to mention all the other holidays of the season) , I wanted to wish you, whatever and wherever you celebrate, a Merry Everything…and a happy new year!

Merry EverythingCinder would also like to pass on the holiday cheer, except she’s too mesmerized by all the pretty lights. Cinder Merry Everything

On Spanish time

It’s been more than two months since we returned from our glorious trip to Spain with my family and I am thrilled to finally share some photos. This is really just a drop in the bucket, but it captures the people, place and fun times that made for a perfect vacation.  It was a week of great food, sunsets, wine, dance parties, soccer, rugby practice, water balloon fights, laying by the pool, wandering the olive orchards and just spending time with family. I feel pretty lucky to be apart of this crew and to have had the opportunity to gather in the idyllic Spanish countryside for Dad’s 70th Birthday. Thank you to my parents, brother and sister-in-law for making it happen, and to the rest of the family for a week full of great memories. Time to start planning the next trip!

Family Vacation

The Ironwoman

My sister is an Ironman Champion. She has won three women’s pro races in the last two years and yesterday placed 13th at the world championship in Kona (not to mention her many other great finishes). Incredible!

While I was busy sleeping and eating during our trip to Spain this summer (yes, more photos coming soon!) she was in full training mode for yesterday’s race. Happily, I was able to capture a few shots of her hard at work amongst the olive trees. Go, Jessie, go!

http://www.jessie-donavan.com/

The Ironwomen

A Trip for the Senses

I just got back from two glorious weeks in Europe. We spent the first week with my family in the Spanish countryside and then my husband and I continued on to explore the wonderful cities of Barcelona and Paris.

From the second we arrived my photographer’s eye was on high-alert. I wanted to photograph everyone and everything, from my beautiful family, to the olive grooves, to the fabulous food, to the historic cities. I have many posts planned for the next few weeks of our adventures, but first I will start with a photo of my family. My nieces and nephews are the reason I became a photographer in the first place. I’ve been capturing their smiles since the oldest was a baby and loving every second of it.

PS. I would like to give a shoot out to the Gorilla Pod for this photo, it’s clinging to a pile of furniture so that I could be in the family photo too. Amazing tripod, especially for travel!

A Trip for the Senses

Got Tomatoes?

Got Tomatoes?

Got tomatoes? Sadly, this is an actual question and not just a commonplace slogan. I certainly HAD tomatoes. Delicious orange sun-gold tomatoes. And tons of little green buds full of tomatoey potential. Just yesterday I was excitedly photographing the first few ripe berries to prove that I did it! I grew something!

And then today, I come home to the plant on its side and the pot smashed. Thank you, wind, for messing with my gardening dreams.

I am off to the gardening store to see what I can do to save my plant. Hopefully a simple repotting will do the trick. Keep your fingers crossed!

One year ago

Boards_Anniversary Bouquet

One year ago yesterday I married the love of my life.

To celebrate he gave me a bouquet of sunflowers (a main piece of our wedding decor) and then we went to the zoo. Yes, the zoo. Perhaps a strange place to spend your anniversary, but we had a lovely day walking around, checking out the big cats and laughing at the gorillas eating lettuce. I decided not to bring my camera, because sometimes it just nice to be together.

Afterward we went to the Walrus & the Carpenter for dinner (great name, right!). I think we have found a new favorite Seattle-area restaurant. Now this is a bit of feat as we consider ourselves a bit of food snobs, but this place was fantastic. From the atmosphere sitting at the bar, to the perfect oysters, to the beautifully crafted dishes. I’m just sad that I was too full to eat more than three. Guess we’ll just have to go back. – And side note, I am absolutely obsessed with the building they are located in, a newly-renovated, old brick, marine supply store, I dream of living/working in a place like that some day. It makes me happy just thinking about it –

We ended the day back at the house with some chocolate covered strawberries, sprinkled with Heathbar crunch pieces. I wish I could say we came up with this divine concoction on our own, but I must give the credit to the Wicked Spoon buffet in Vegas (another must try spot for you foodies out there).

Overall it was a pretty nice day.  A little calmer than last year’s hoopla, but very nice!

Boards_Anniversary Strawberries

The Sweetness of Early Summer

The Sweetness of Early Summer

Today is simply a sweet day; it’s beautiful out, all the windows in the house are open letting in the smell of freshly cut grass, and we have a kitchen full of farmer’s market goodies all ready for a delicious dinner with friends on the patio. Plus, the sweet peas we picked up smell delightful and the strawberries are positively mouthwatering. I’m not sure how I managed to photograph them without devouring the entire bowl.

My Sweet Cinder

My Sweet Cinder

Hello blog, meet Cinder! She is the bestest kitty in the whole wide world. I, of course, am not the least bit biased on this matter. Seriously though, I love this cat, she makes me smile everyday…especially when she gets in the middle of one of my photoshoots.

The Gardening Gene

gardening

My paternal grandparents are renowned gardeners, known worldwide for their extensive cacti collection. It is nothing short of incredible to wander through their gardens at any season, whether it’s fields of daffodils and tulips, giant rhododendron trees, or delicious vegetables. (If you have a moment to marvel at the impressiveness of my grandparents’ gardens and greenhouses check out this you tube video: Horticourt Stories: Dr. Gerald Barad)

My mother grew up on a farm and is no slouch in the garden herself. I’ve learned in my adult years how I took for granted all the fresh berries and vegetables that I always had at my fingertips.

I, however, have yet to keep a plant alive for more than a season. (Although, my husband did manage to salvage last year’s sage, which was all but dead, and is now thriving again).  So far, gardening has not proven to be an innate ability passed down through the generations. Still, I will continue to try. This weekend we planted our first tomato plant and have a new set of herbs growing on the windowsill. It’s a start; maybe someday we’ll have a garden half as impressive as my family.