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{i’ve always wanted one of these!}

29 Jul

i have some of the best people in my life! thoughtful, genuine, generous people… and i’m so thankful!

for my birthday last year, a dear friend gave me this awesome feather pen and quill ink stamp kit. i have always wanted one! i casually mentioned it to this person, and one day she brought it to me and i just shrieked in excitement! 🙂

i have since written several letters and sent them out to a select few people… it is just so much fun! i found this cool stationery that i had been holding onto for years, and it was just perfect for this kit!

my thoughts are like this – the internet and social media and all of that have great perks… but i also tend to be a little old-school… in that, i will always love sending and receiving mail! so this is just a perfect addition to my artistic studio!



would you like a hand-written wax-stamped letter from me? go to my about me page and fill out the form with your mailing address information and let’s be pen pals! 😀

 

{praying mantis hatching}

20 Jun

i thought this would be a good post to celebrate the summer solstice! 😀

i have always been somewhat obsessed with the praying mantis. for as long as i can remember, i just thought they were so cool, and when i was a kid i used to look for them everywhere i would go! i saw one giving itself a bath one time and it was just about the most amazing thing ever. until i saw THIS! something i have had on my “bucket list” for a while…

backtrack a bit – when i lived in north carolina, a friend of mine found a praying mantis pod {aka ootheca} and saved it for me. i, of course, totally freaked out about it and immediately went to read about how to care for it… then i took a bunch of photos of it and eventually put in my garden…

i did not get to see that one hatch at that time, but this year… i totally made up for it. i found at least a dozen of these in my garden earlier this year. and in late spring, they all began to hatch… and all of these baby praying mantids started to emerge!

IT WAS SO COOL!!!


fun facts :

baby praying mantids are called nymphs. they hatch by the dozens {or sometimes hundreds} a while after the mama creates her ootheca pod {which tranlates to “a place to keep.”} praying mantids are so good for the garden! they are beneficial predatory insects… which basically means they prey the harmful insects which would otherwise harm or eat plants! and i just totally adore them!

{strawberry full moon}

15 Jun

obviously i have a little theme going here, lately… 😉

all things strawberry!!!

upon waking {accidentally super early} this morning, i went down to the park and captured a few fotos of the beautiful full {strawberry} moon. while there, i made friends with a few ducks, and even finally got to see some baby ducklings for the first time this season!

please enjoy these lovely fotos!


i just love that gradient sky! good morning {and good night} moon! ❤

see the blue herring?!

i just love a pier on a summer morning…

mama and baby ducks… they followed me around for a bit… it was so cute!

baby ducklings splashing around…

aaahhhhhh, morning golden hour! the best!


how was your morning? have a great day!

{garden update – volume 2}

7 Jun

this update is a little late… so much has been going on at the garden! we had a lot of rain here, and so the plants are growing and thriving so well!

i typically plant seasonally. so i started with my cool season crops like radishes, peas, beets, spinach, kale, arugula, and lettuce… most of which i have harvested lately. i also harvested the garlic and onions that i adopted from last year. the peas are starting to produce fruit which is exciting, and the lettuce is still thriving and i planted more this week. i started planting my summer crops – cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and more lettuce. i also planted flowers this year, which is kind of new for me – nasturtiums, calendula, and coneflower.

here is a progress report on what my overall garden plot looks like. i currently have a lot of seeds in the ground, and i take some pride in having beautiful soil and very little to no weeds. i am so excited to continue to watch the growth and progress! 🙂

do you have a garden? what are you growing?


          
Continue reading

{garden update}

30 Apr

the weather here in Maryland has been so confusing for the last two months. i think we even had a frost last week! however, i do believe we are finally hitting that spring stride… and i’m so ready!

i’ve been steadily getting my garden ready, also! currently, i have lots of sprouts coming up, hooray! i also have a lot of weeds, boo! but i’m holding off on doing too much weeding just yet so i make sure not to pull any sprouts. typically i don’t have any weeds and i take pride in that… but i’ll just have to be patient for now. 😉

here are some pics to show the progress. {if you follow me on instagram, you’ve probably already seen these… and if you don’t, please do – here.}


Continue reading

{nature hike}

30 Mar

nothing like a stroll in nature to clear the mind, connect with the earth, and welcome the new season!

it’s been a little chilly here lately {boo!} but just recently, i took a little walk with my cousin through a beautiful trail nearby and we both had our cameras in hand.

here are a few of my favourite images from the day.

happy spring, y’all – hope it’s springing where you are!


stumbled onto this along the way!

had a little fun taking pics of it…

these trees kind of remind of me aspens

nothing like sunset over the water…


how’s the weather where you live?

{belated full moon post}

19 Feb

i took some pretty pictures of the moon a while back and never got around to posting them. since we recently experienced a full moon, i thought i would share some of those images here with you.

also – my favourite quote :

“to be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best to make you something else, is to fight the hardest battle you are going to fight… never stop fighting.” – ee cummings


{new garden season!}

15 Feb

hey y’all!

it’s a bit early in the year for such things, but this area in the northeast offered some nice weather this past weekend, so i was eager to get outside and get my hands in the dirt! as you know, there isn’t much that makes me feel happier than being in nature – and especially, being in a garden!!!

#farmeraudrey

it pleases me to say – that i finally found a community garden that is only about 15 minutes from where i currently live. i am so excited about it! i was also pleasantly surprised to discover that the plot i adopted is about 3 times the size of the last one i took care of in north carolina! this gives me so many ideas on what to plant, and i am feeling so grateful!!!

please stay tuned… as there will be more updates to come… but for now, here’s a brief overview of the work i did this past saturday when the temperatures were in the high 50s!

before…

during…

after…

the person who took care of this plot last season planted lots of beautiful garlic and onions… which apparently are mine now! and although i am very grateful to have them, i will have to figure out what to do with some of the crops since ultimately i will need to have access to the foundation before it’s time to harvest them…

also – i feel like it doesn’t look like i did much {haha}… and i still have a lot of work to do… but i was there for about 3 hours and i was able to clear out a lot of weeds, etc… i also brought a souvenir home, in the form of a slight rash on my arms from all of the random things i was pulling out of the ground and off the fence line, in my attempt to start prepping the soil {haha!} but fret not, my body and skin are just fine now… that said – next time, i ought to consider and/or be more conscious about wearing longer sleeves… sometimes i just get right into the thick of things, without thinking much… 😉


are you prepping for a garden this year? please comment and share what you plan on growing and any tips you may have! i love to hear from and talk with fellow gardeners! ❤

also – please follow me on instagram for more updates!

 

 

{maryland crab cakes – food and foto style}

5 Nov

a little ramble to preface this post…

i just love living in maryland once again! this is my home. i’ve traveled all around this country and lived in several different states, and yet i came back here… so i feel like there’s something to be said about that. one of the things i love most about maryland is the seafood! every time i lived anywhere else, i was always trying to recreate the seafood experience that exists in this region. i remember one time when i was in colorado, i actually paid to have some maryland crabs shipped to me because i was craving them so intensely! at the time, i was working for a specialty market that was able to hook me up, so that was awesome!

i swear i could eat steamed maryland blue crabs every single day… 24/7/365! during the summer months, i splurge a little and treat myself to them once or twice a month. now that the season is ending, i’m feeling a little sad and will miss enjoying them on the regular. that said, i was gifted some crabs last week by some loving and generous people, so i ate some {most!} and picked the rest and saved them for crab cakes. actually, i was going to save the meat and freeze it for making some crab soup over the winter… but i decided to whip up these crab cakes instead. i guess that means i should eat crabs one more time before the weekend so i can save the meat for winter! {do you understand my logic?! ;)}

did you know that late summer / early autumn is actually the best time for enjoying steamed maryland blue crabs? it’s mostly because they have beens swimming around and eating all summer and getting bigger and therefore more full and delicious!

i used to be so intimidated by making crab cakes because it is the ultimate maryland delicacy and i felt like there was no way i could make a good one. and then on a random sunday, i just went for it! i kept the recipe simple, as you know we like to do around here, and they turned out terrific! typically i don’t eat a lot of fried foods, but in this case i prefer the fried crab cake over the broiled or baked. at least when i make them at home… it just seams to taste better that way.

here’s a little foto story about my recent crab cake making journey…

i started with about 2 cups crab meat {that i hand-picked}, one egg, and roughly 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup mustard, and then i heavy-handedly sprinkled in some old bay…

i gently mixed the bread crumbs, old bay, and crab meat together… then mixed the egg, mayo, and mustard together…

i gently blended the wet and dry ingredients {don’t want to over-mix, need to keep it lumpy!} then put the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes…

finally, i created two patties and fried them in vegetable oil until crisp and golden brown on each side. i served with a mayo/mustard combo dip and old bay garnish.

may i just say i am SUPER proud of myself for doing this?! these crab cakes turned out so delicious and i am glad i got beyond my fear because now i have one other dish to add to my recipe repertoire and to share with those i love!


do you like crab cakes? or seafood for that matter? comment your favs below!

{homecoming portraits : mister C and miss R}

29 Oct

would ya just look at this adorable couple!

i had such a great time taking some cute and fun fotographs of them right before they went out for their first homecoming experience! {ahhh, remember those days?!}

these types of portrait sessions are my absolute favourite! i love spending time with the youth, they always make me laugh and bring out the best in me! i especially love it when we establish an instantaneous connection! the lighting and weather in northern maryland were just perfect on this late october evening just before dusk, with the colourful autumn sky and leaves changing and falling. this sweet couple were both full of personality and instantly connected comfortably with my camera. i just love it when that happens so naturally!

here are a few of my favourite images :

i loved fotographing these cuties!

i loved their colour scheme!

i loved their laughs!

i love the preset filter i used for this image!

i loved their spontaneity! at one point, i asked them for a “silly” pose and this is what they gave me – haha!

i loved this candid moment! the struggle was real – trying to pin his boutonnière on properly.

i loved this solo moment when i asked miss R to “twirl” for me!

i LOVE this image! it is my favourite shot of the day… i LOVE the light and the chicken coop in the background!


i loved this portrait session so much!

{DIY up-cycled candles}

25 Oct

i love to repurpose things! do you feel the same way?

i know from personal experience that so many items get tossed out and/or thrown away, unnecessarily. i spent a large portion of my career in grocery retail trying to educate people on this subject… but i still don’t know if most people are acutely aware of where our “trash” goes. i feel like our society tends to have this mindset of “out of sight, out of mind.” that said, it is known that some of the highest physical peaks in parts of this country are not something like a mountain-top, but actually more like the tip-top of a landfill.

take that in for a moment… isn’t that crazy to consider?!

all of that said, i love to find ways to “up-cycle” items that would normally get thrown away or would end up in a landfill. recycling is a great option, but sometimes i think we tend to forget about the fact that we can also repurpose things. it’s easy to throw a decent glass jar into a recycling bin… but have you ever considered if you can reuse it for something else?

case and point : i have been loving these yummy french yoghurts that i have recently been buying at my local grocery store. i like them for many reasons… yes, they taste great! and that’s a major selling point! but the main reason i like them is because they come in glass jars. i LOVE to support and also repurpose products that choose to use glass… i’m all about minimizing plastic consumption!

i’ll get off my soapbox for now, but i encourage you all to think about what you throw away… and perhaps {re}consider a creative way to reuse some of the items you may normally toss out or recycle.

and now… onto today’s blog. 😉

a friend of mine gifted me some old candles that had been stored for a long time. the wicks were no longer usable, but the candles were in good condition and still had a great scent! so – i decided to take them home and reuse them to make some DIY {repurposed and up-cycled} homemade candles.

as i mentioned, i had been saving these yoghurt containers. i also repurposed some old candle containers.

i used my double-boiler that i scored at a local antique store {YAY!} i purchased the wicks and wick-holders online, and then i simply re-melted the wax and allowed it to cool slightly before pouring. this is not exactly a perfect method. there is a bit of science to candle-making, which i’ve recently discovered. temperature plays a factor, and in this case my DIY at-home method typically created a ‘sink-hole’. however, i also discovered that in my case, this issue was easily rectified with a second pour. plus, i’m not generally aiming for perfection with this project. {wow – can’t even believe i’m saying that!}

so – overall, i think they look awesome and i am proud of myself and the dedication to creation!


have you ever made your own candles and/or repurposed old ones? i would love to receive your feedback!

happy creating!

 

{funky fungi}

6 Oct

speaking of mushrooms and fungi – check out this fantastic wild funky fungi that was recently gifted to me. apparently it’s edible, but it was just a little passed its prime when i got my hands on it. this amazing thing grows wild on a tree in a friend’s backyard. i wish i could remember the name. perhaps she will remind me before i decide to post this blog. another good friend of mine said it looked like a brain – haha. {he’s constantly saying silly things like that}

i love the golden colour! it reminds me of {yummy!} chanterelle mushrooms, but i was informed that this is technically a fungi. so now i’m curious about which is which… how to distinguish the difference, if there is one?! i think it may have something to do with the underside – the gills?! i’m going to do more research, and i welcome any insight from my amazing readers and/or forager friends!

so without further ado, here are some artistic fotos i took of this fascinating creation from our incredible earth.


update 03/17/22 : i am pretty confident that this is a “chicken of the woods” mushroom”… 


 

it does kind of look like a brain in this foto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{fantastic fungi – local edition}

30 Sep

y’all – i LOVE mushrooms! i always have. they fascinate me. i recently watched a super cool documentary that i highly recommend you check out – fantastic fungi. in discovering that film, i learned that mushrooms aren’t really a plant and they aren’t really an animal… they are like their own category. understanding that made me love them even more! i wish i could articulate just how amazing mushrooms really are. essentially they have an entire underground system in which they are all interconnected… and in some ways, mushrooms connect all of us, too! it’s just mind-blowing to learn and think about!

the weather has been just gorgeous here in maryland as of late. simply and purely perfectly autumn – warm sun, cool breeze, crisp air… the best! which means i want to get outside as much as possible! and so i went on a beautiful nature walk the other day and i must’ve seen at least 30 different kinds of mushrooms! i was constantly stopping and marveling at them. i snapped some pics with my phone and so i wanted to share what i saw.

i hope you enjoy and i truly encourage you to watch that film. i think i’ll watch it again and again!

{thirsty thursday – homemade komucha on tap}

22 Jul

i totally need to make a detailed post about this very soon.

i have been making my own kombucha for about 3 years now and i love it so much!

my favourite flavour is ginger, which is what is pictured in this batch.

are you curious about kombucha? it’s so easy to make and it is a wonderful health tonic full of minerals, amino acids, and gut-supporting probiotics. i’ve been consuming kombucha for almost 2 decades and a few years ago i finally started making my own.

stay tuned, and i’ll post more about my scoby {lovingly named “scooby”} and all of the other fun things that go into brewing kombucha at home 🙂

{sunday (funday) snacks}

18 Jul

speaking of eating seasonally and such…

on sundays lately, i’ve been curating a platter fully of yummy and healthy snacks to eat in leiu of lunch or dinner. i’ll have it out while i am cooking or relaxing or whatever else and just kind of graze on the snacks… basically all day.

here are a couple of pics of how i spent my last 2 sundays :

chianti-wine aged salami, garlic-herb wafer crackers, fresh avocado, fresh pineapple, locally-grown cherries, blueberries, & peaches, super thin pretzels, roasted mixed nuts, truffle parmesan crisps, dehydrated apples, apricots, dates, various chocolate, and a homemade kombucha spritzer mocktail

homemade tuna salad, organic mini toasts, garlic-herb salami, smoked oysters, mixed nuts, homemade pickles, fermented radishes, locally-grown broccoli & cauliflower, fresh avocado, dates, apricots, locally-grown blackberries & peaches, and a ginger tonic mocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{always look for the silver lining}

1 Jul

just a lil’ reminder 😉

 

and also, i had the best intentions of updating this blog more…

and i still do…

and i will again…

and i thank you all for your patience and for showing up, even when my presence is a little more vague and sporadic than usual as of late…

and it truly means so much to me that you continue to choose to follow along in my journey, and read my blog, and engage…

 

and i’m thinking of my sweet cousin tony today… ❤

 

and that is all… for now…

{homemade greeting cards by food & foto}

1 Jan

happy new year, friends, family, and readers!

2020 marks the 8th anniversary of foodandfoto.com! thank you for following along on my journey during all this time! it truly means so much to me to have you read, engage, comment, and support! i have loved hosting this blog and of course taking the fotos that go along with it. fotography is and always will be an outlet that offers my creative spirit tremendous amounts of joy!

i have missed you and missed blogging! sometimes time has a way of fooling us to believe that we are too busy to do things that really matter to us. i have been feeling this way over the last few months, and the holidays seem to have a way of exacerbating that feeling. in the spirit of the new year, i have been wanting to reconnect with my love of blogging and so i decided to start fresh today!

as you may already know, i make my own greeting cards which highlight some personal favourite images my eye {and camera} have ever captured. i have done this for years and enjoy it so much! it has been another fun way for me to continue creating, and people tell me they love to receive them as gifts for any occasion. in todays fast-paced world laden with gregarious social media, instant-gratification-induced text messages, perception-deceiving emojis, and the like… i find myself wanting to go back in time. perhaps i ought to use my typewriter to construct meaningful letters and perhaps one of those cool wax stamps with my logo on it, sent “snail-mail” style. my soul has always felt connected to a “simpler” way of life and that is why i still, to this day, send out greeting cards as a means of sending a simple “hello” or “thinking of you” to a loved-one.

don’t get me wrong, i love being able to blog and share things through this platform, but don’t you think there’s something to be said about a different means of correspondence?! for me, i believe it’s the idea of putting time and effort into something meaningful. i love hearing from anyone i care about via email, text, letter, face-to-face contact, smoke signal, or whatever… but i guess what i’m trying to say is i think the greeting card is something that should be appreciated and celebrated and that is why i continue making them. plus, it’s fun for me! ❤

though i am not generally very rigid about such things, as one of my new year’s “resolutions” i wanted to sort of “promote” my greeting cards a little better. i have never really done anything like this outside of selling them at art fairs. so, it is with {my introverted} humility that i ask for your continued support and consider investing in my art by purchasing some.

currently, i am offering my greeting cards as :

$6/each or $15/3-pack + $3 flat shipping cost

mix-n-match {pick your favs} or grab-bag style {let me curate for you!}

most of my collection includes some of my all-time favourite images and there are also some of my famous “door” images in the lot. some of my greeting cards are not yet featured, and if you choose to let me curate the package, you will receive some very special choices.

you can see some of the samples of my greeting cards at this link : greetings.

please contact me via email when you are ready to purchase and/or if you have any questions.

thank you so much for your love and support! here’s to the best year yet in 2020!

 

{a little fun at sunset}

15 Jul

where i live, there are many trees that often block the horizon line at sunset. i have been eager to get to a good vantage point in the evening to watch the sun setting.

recently i took a stroll with a friend at a park nearby that overlooks the city. it was a lovely summer evening and the hike to the top was worth it.

we captured a few images while also getting immersed in the beauty of the evening.

i love this picture because it looks like there is a line dividing the sky… do you see it?!

i love jumping shadow pictures.

fun times.

{a beautiful family portrait session}

8 Jul

i had the honour of fotographing this beautiful family a few weeks ago.

i love a good clean backdrop. nature provides the best, but so does a simple brick wall.

love that smile!

sometimes the “outtakes” are my favourite images… so candid and fun.

 

{stargazer stages}

3 Mar

stargazer lilies are one of my favourite flowers! they are not only stunning to look at, but the scent is simply intoxicating!

i appreciate the intricate details within every flower blossom of the stargazer lily. i love to watch each one go through every stage as it blooms and opens. it makes me think of the phases and stages we as human beings go through in life. it’s like a flower blossoming… our journey may start by feeling closed off to the space around us… unsure of ourselves or “hiding” from the world… then in a divine way, we slowly start to open up and reveal our true inner beauty… and ideally as we grow and blossom, the world accepts and appreciates that beauty and all that we uniquely are, and we are ultimately embraced in all of our glory.

but just like a flower, it doesn’t really matter if anyone notices or appreciates or embraces. the essence of a flowers purpose is to simply be. it is beautiful with or without the recognition it deserves. and if we are lucky enough to be in the presence of such beauty, it serves us well to pause, notice, admire, appreciate, and absorb all that which IS.

and we are given that opportunity every single day.

 

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