Tuesday, May 31, 2016

bitter vs. sweet

one week old, post second bath.
I assume all newborns who are put in a mesh seat in the kitchen sink don't enjoy their first baths either. But he was so calm after I put my lips on his and wrapped him in one of his sweet hooded towels. this is, of course, my favorite. I've got a thing for bunnies!

There are a lot of sweet moments in life between all the bitter ones. Those are the ones I immerse myself in. They usually go extremely fast and they are easy to miss; but I am always on the hunt for them, stopping dead in my tracks when I spot one and usually do what I do best by freezing time with a bunch of photos.

Some people like to read books, take baths, go for a run....me? I like to take pictures...all of the time. I've been asked to just put the camera down and enjoy the moment. Though for me, capturing that moment is how I enjoy the moment! Sure, I wish sometimes I were able to take maybe a few less, but it's an unstoppable desire. Later, after days, months or years have passed and the memories have faded, I am aways grateful to stumble upon those photographs again, bringing tall 5 senses right back to a fresh memory. Being a photographer is bittersweet. Sometimes you don't get the shot and then you've really missed the moment, both first hand and documented. There's a bit of anxiety trying to get that great shot, so I am not able to fully soak up every sense of the moment. We all make choices and mine are undeniably out of my control. It's instinctual. It's who I am and how I breathe.
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Feeding off of bittersweet...I have a recipe I contemplated sharing with the world. I, of course, did not write it, nor am I the one who found it. Like most of my recipes, I got this one from my dear mum-in-law. This is for the fudgiest, richest, yummiest, diehard, unbeatable, bittersweet, chocolatey, unavoidable, go-to brownie recipe you will ever try and never go looking for another.
note: that heart in the batter just happened when I poured the chocolate in. happy accident! 

If you're like me, you'll wanna lick the kitchenaid bowl clean too! Per usual, I was running late to my party so I didn't get a photo of the finished product. But they always look so pretty and scrumptious in my heart-shaped polish pottery, lightly sprinkled with confectioners sugar to cover all the cracks and imperfections from cutting before they've cooled enough, again, because I am always late!

Artpark Brownies
2/3 cup butter
5 ounces unsweetened, best quality French chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup sifted flour
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Butter and flour a 9″ square baking pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, over boiling water. When melted, add vanilla and set aside.
3. Beat eggs and salt in mixer. Add sugar and beat at high speed for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is quite white.
4. Add chocolate and butter mixture and beat at low speed, just until mixed. Add flour and combine quickly, until there are no white streaks.
5. Pour batter into baking pan and put in oven. Immediately turn oven down to 350° and bake for 40 minutes. Note: the normal toothpick test will not work on these brownies, but if you want to try pricking them with a toothpick, it should come out not quite clean. Do not overbake; these brownies should be fudgy.
Makes 12 brownies. (mine make a lot more because I cut them tiny.)

There isn't a party that I go to without baking this puppies and likewise, there isn't a person that doesn't come running up to me with chocolate on their lips, telling me how amazing they are. If you like chocolate. If you like sweets. If you like GOOD brownies -- try these! Don't say I didn't tell ya so!
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Yesterday was Memorial day, and I'm always looking for an excuse to have a party. It was all thrown together last minute, but going to be perfect -- until....we checked the weather. For the few days leading up to it, The forecast persistently said it was going to pour 100% ALL DAY! My gut feeling was that it wouldn't. And it didn't! As the day came near, the percentage dropped until it eventually and finally said it would only rain until noon! It was hot and humid, but it broke enough with some sunshine to add for everyone to be outside. 14 adults + 11 toddlers between 2-3 years old. Everything started real pretty and it ended looking like a college beer pong party. *note to self -- kids love tortilla chips, water dispensers and red party cups!* I wouldn't have changed a single thing (except locking the sliding door and keeping the kids outside.) It was everything we'd hoped it would be to start off this season right! We are so lucky to have made an incredible and irreplaceable group of friends in the past year or so. I would be so lost without each of them and this was a way for me to thank them without actually saying thank you for the billionth time. But just for the hell of it -- THANK YOU! Thank you for being my friend, for teaching me something new every day we speak or get together, for being there for me, for staying there for me, for letting me in, for everything. This is just the beginning!
waiting for me not to look so he can push the water spout!
old warped post and orange strap gone. new post, all stained, pretty and straight is in!
he opened and closed the screen door about 30x in 1 minute when I took this photo.
practice makes perfect, I guess?
where papa goes, he goes. what papa does, he does. what papa has, he takes!
"what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine." - my mil
may I please eat all the cheese and fruit on your cheese board now? O:)
I didn't get to take many photos, but once the party started, it didn't stop for a few hours :D
 the morning after!
we went to the gym for 1 hour and he was asleep on our 5 minute car ride home by 1130a.
 living the life.
fake smile when I say, "say cheese!"
 not sure if he was playing w/ sound or the water in his ears? but he did this for a couple of minutes.
graham and kaylee!
every day that the sun shines at this time. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
g's hair has been extra curly with this heat and humidity -- a trim is needed.
he was so busy for an hour after we got home from swimming for 3 hours!
I even got a recording of him unknowingly beatboxing!
(humming and clicking his tongue at the same time!!!)

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