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{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 :

3-packs for $9 : 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 : greeting cards.

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.

 

{DIY bath soak – with himalayan pink salt!}

4 Dec

i love a good soak in the tub!

… it’s so relaxing and comforting. i especially love to enjoy a hot bath when i have sore muscles or if i want to fight off icky feelings possibly related to a cold or germs, or LIFE, etc. i make time to enjoy a hot bath at least once a week, but i prefer to do it twice a week. it’s a crucial part of my self-care routine, and one i look forward to enjoying as frequently as possible.

i’ve been making my own bath soak for a while now. i choose to use himalayan pink salt because it is extremely mineral-rich. sometimes i add in epsom salts or magnesium salts for additional benefits.

soaking for about 20 minutes in a rich salt bath has many rewards. of course, it’s very relaxing but it’s also detoxifying and soothing to both the nerves and the skin.

i like to play around with different ingredient mixtures depending on the season or how i am feeling. sometimes i will make an oatmeal bath for extra moisturizing.

it’s very simple and easy to make your own bath soak, and you can get creative with the ingredients. there are a lot of different recipes out there, but this is my favourite go-to that i’ve been making for quite some time now.

——

  • 2 cups himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2-3 drops vetiver essential oil

optional ingredients :

  • ginger powder (for detoxification)
  • dried lavender (for relaxation)
  • dried flowers
  • dried sage

Continue reading

{cool cabbage – the sequel}

19 Nov

badass back-lit cabbage leaf… because, why not!

{an autumn stroll through historic yates mill county park}

22 Oct

in the mid-morning hours of a brisk and blissful sunday, in the glory of a charming and colourful mid-october, in a pleasant little nook of north carolina, i took myself {and my camera} on a spontaneous date with nature…

… and we both needed it.


{foto friday : cool cabbage}

12 Oct

the details on the leaves of plants such as cabbage completely fascinate me!

 

{homemade gummy bears}

9 Oct

i have been making my own homemade gummy bears for a while now, and i have been meaning to write a post about it…

i have always loved fruit snacks, gummy bears, et al. however, the ingredient list always detoured me – even the natural ones are full of mostly sugar.

so, i did some research and realized that i could be making my own gummy fruit snacks! and not only that, but i could make them GOOD for me!

my curiosity was piqued when i started looking for a clean source of gelatin to help with collagen production and joint support.

…which i don’t have pictured here because i typically transfer everything i buy into a glass jar… {no shame in my game}…

anyway, i wanted to incorporate gelatin into my diet and that’s when i got super stoked about the idea of making my own gummies! so i found these silicon molds on amazon {along with the gelatin} and looked up a few recipes to get me started.

as usual, i like to keep things as simple as possible. some recipes call for honey or a sweetener, but i like to avoid added sugar where i can {so i can guiltlessly enjoy a candy bar from time-to-time}.

so – here is my very simple {2-ingredient!} homemade gummy fruit snack recipe – which yields about 200 gummies and the ratio can be adjusted accordingly :

  • 1 cup fruit juice {i usually opt for concord grape}
  • 3 tablespoons gelatin powder

you could add in some honey or agave for sweetness, but i find the concord grape juice to be sweet enough on its own.

sometimes i’ll add in some elderberry syrup for additional health benefits during the cold-season months. Continue reading

{it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day}

17 Sep

a little sunrise beach pano to start your day…

{summer’s final moon}

28 Aug

i just never tire of experiencing the ocean… the sight, the smell, the sound… the feeling, the energy all around!

i also never tire of experiencing the moon… equally as much wonderful energy to behold!

i went down to the shore over the weekend for some {much needed} vitamin sea and to admire and enjoy the ocean and the full moon. by the time i got to the beach, the moon was just coming up over the horizon… and some hazy clouds initially obstructed the view.

still… breathtaking, right?!

it wasn’t long before the moon peeked out of the ombre sky and shared her beauty with us one again, in her final appearance of summer.

i walked around for a good hour or so, gazing in wanderlust as the moon took place high in the sky, illuminating all it touched…

… listening to the crashing waves, my senses engaged with the salty air, my toes wiggling in the soft sand…

feeling humbled and grateful for all that has been before me and all that is around me now. for all that will be, for all that i am, for all that i have, and for all that i have yet to experience.


{i am a ritualist}

12 Jun

what can i say?! … i am a creature of habit.

i believe i have always been this way, but i don’t believe i have always lived this way…

over the last couple of years i have been particularly adamant about creating a healthy routine in my life… i have found myself purposefully setting intentions of a grounding “ritual” in my daily life from which i could draw strength.

at the very core of those routines and rituals is my desire for overall well-being.

i’m talking about wellness – inside and out – a sense of harmony… and i do believe that all starts within.

the more within myself i look, the more i realize that i absolutely THRIVE in routine. i believe part of that is because i recognize that all living things are in routine… and all living things exist by “obeying” certain laws of nature, many of which we as human beings are more removed from than i would prefer. nature is cyclical, and it is {for the most part} pretty predictable… therefore, nature also thrives in routine.

think about it…

all that to say, the more in touch with nature i’ve become, the more i’ve realized that i am as much a part of nature as nature itself. my body thrives in rhythm and routine, just as nature does.

one of the things i have been wanting to adopt as part of my healthy routine was including a daily vitamin supplement. although i generally eat a very well-balanced healthy diet, i’ve frequently struggled with finding a vitamin supplement that fit my desire for harmony and also fit my standards for well-being… which, i admit, are pretty high. 😉

and so it is with great enthusiasm that i say – I FOUND THAT!

which brings me to my purpose for creating this blogpost… my new best friend :

my ritual vitamins.

these wonderful vitamins came into my life serendipitously… as do most things that are “meant to be.” 🙂

as i said, i had already set the intent of finding a vitamin to add to my daily routine that would give me what i was looking for… an extension of my already healthy lifestyle choices, and SIMPLICITY.

what i love most about ritual is their simplicity. they have taken the guesswork out for us. instead of stuffing a tablet with unnecessary fillers and/or many of the nutrients that come from an already healthy diet, they’ve only included the 9 nutrients that most women lack or are deficient in… basically, it does what i have always believed a vitamin supplement should do… supplement, or as they say – “fill in the gaps”…


the 9 essential nutrients in ritual are :

  • vitamin K2
  • vitamin D3
  • vitamin B12
  • boron
  • iron
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • folate
  • omega-3

so, instead of buying upwards of 4 or 5 bottles of different supplements, many of which include unnecessary fillers, you get all you need in 2 daily capsules. part of the allure for me is that it truly epitomizes the concept of “less is more.”

another reason i love ritual is the transparency – literally and figuratively speaking. the capsules are literally see-through… and the company is transparent by allowing the consumer to trace the source of each ingredient on their website.

ritual vitamins are made for women. they are non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and the company was founded by a woman. these vitamins are designed specifically for women. for one dollar a day, you can invest in your health by supporting an outstanding company that is truly revolutionizing the vitamin industry. plus, you get bioavailable nutrients that help you look and feel your best.

i have chosen to be an ambassador for this incredible brand because i believe in their mission and i am an advocate for voting with your dollars, as in putting your money where it matters. the $30 a month investment is one that provides a wealth of health.

please visit this link to start your ritual today : food and foto loves ritual

and stay tuned for my personal review on how this vitamin supplement has affected my overall well-being.


 

{foodie/foto/flashback friday – spring/garden fever}

9 Mar

seriously, though… is it time to garden, yet?! i am so eager to get out and play in the dirt!

i definitely want to grow some {organic} cabbage again this year!

here’s a little flashback friday for ya : to that ONE i grew last year and turned into delicious sauerkraut!


hope you have a great weekend!

{old school typewriter}

12 Feb

a friend of mine generously donated this {fully functional} old-school typewriter to me a couple years ago, and it’s mostly just been in storage. lately i’ve really been feeling the desire to use it and express my feelings on paper.

in today’s world of over-stimulation and instant-gratification, it’s kind of funny that i feel the need to put it in “reverse” and go back to classic ways of communication… like letter-writing. sometimes i think i’ll end up writing my memoirs on this typewriter. it seems a little odd {especially in today’s world} to have only ONE copy of something versus saving it to the cloud or a usb drive… but for me, that’s the basis of its appeal. i love the idea of only having one copy of something… seems to make it more romantic or sacred.

i can’t wait to find a place to have this tuned up so i can use it!

oldschooltypewriter-2

oldschooltypewriter-1

oldschooltypewriter-3

oldschooltypewriter-4

isn’t it cool?!

{seriously obsessed with spices}

5 Feb

everyone knows i love to cook.

for the most part, i keep it super simple when making meals. and my philosophy is :

quality in = quality out.

in other words – if you start with good ingredients, you generally end with a good meal…

i have only recently begun experimenting with spices in my cooking. i have been collecting spice jars over the last few years, as i was gypsy-ing around the country… and when i settled in a place i feel at home in, i felt super excited to finally display my spice jars.

i received these cool 3-tiered bamboo spice racks as a christmas gift, and i was so eager to get my spice jars out of the cabinet and onto the counter.

it’s the little things, right?!

something about seeing this beautiful rainbow collection of spices just makes me feel so happy inside. and it’s really been fun to experiment with the different aromas/flavours.

of course, in true audrey michelle form, i alphabetized my spices.

here’s what is in my collection :

  • some kind of awesome spice my friend brought me from argentina 
  • all-spice
  • bay leaves
  • celery seed
  • chives
  • cilantro {homegrown and dried}
  • cinnamon
  • comfrey
  • coriander 
  • cumin
  • curry powder
  • dill {homegrown and dried}
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • herbs de province 
  • kelp 
  • lemon peel 
  • marjoram 
  • nutmeg
  • old bay seasoning (can’t live without it)
  • onion
  • oregano 
  • parsley
  • paprika
  • pickling spices
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • sesame seed (black)
  • salt (black)
  • tarragon (LOVE THIS STUFF!)
  • turmeric
  • saffron 
  • vanilla 

 

 

 

 

{foodie friday : vegetarian buffalo cauliflower bites}

2 Feb

i kind of made these by accident… as in, i-got-super-hungry-and-didn’t-have-much-in-the-fridge-to-eat-but-got-creative-and made-these-buffalo-cauliflower-bites-which-accidentally-turned-out-to-be-ahhhmazing!

…and so i just had to share the recipe. these {veggie} buffalo cauliflower bites would make a great game-day snack for superbowl sunday! and they are a great vegetarian alternative to the classic buffalo wing. {i would devour both!}

i was inspired to make this dish because i was scrolling through instagram and spotted a recipe for cauliflower florets that were battered & fried, and served with buffalo sauce and ranch – like a chicken wing! and i was thinking, “that’s probably sooooo delicious!” 

then i remembered that i had frozen riced cauliflower, and i created my own version based on what i had in the fridge…

very simple ingredients : 

  • frozen riced cauliflower
  • chopped celery hearts
  • buffalo sauce {i opt for franks!}
  • ranch dressing {i use brianna’s!}

i began by chopping the celery into approximately 1-inch pieces…

next, i sautéed the cauliflower with a little butter over medium to high heat, adding a little water as i went along to soften the cauliflower a bit more…

then, i added in some buffalo sauce to taste, and cooked until almost al dente…

finally, i scooped some of the cauliflower mixture into the celery bites and drizzled a little ranch dressing on top. it can be a little messy, but that’s what buffalo sauce is all about, right?! 😉

these little buffalo cauliflower bites are soooooo yummy and i will definitely be making them on game-day! it’s always funny to me when i cook something on the fly and it turns out to be my new favourite thing ever.

this was one of those recipes. 🙂


by the way, i didn’t watch one single football game this season, and i could care less about the patriots or the eagles… but it should still be a fun day full of snacks and silliness!

{what’s in my refrigerator}

28 Jan

on sundays i like to do my meal-prepping for the week. i have lots of containers and jars for storing my dry goods as well as my make-ahead meals.

here’s what i created to eat last week :

  • raw spinach salad
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sautéed veggies for an asian-inspired dish
  • blanched broccoli
  • citrus baked salmon
  • roasted garlic israeli cous-cous
  • my famous mashed potatoes
  • raw celery sticks
  • curried lentils with ham and veggies
  • sauerkraut (not homemade)
  • garlic dill pickles (homegrown and homemade)
  • roasted tomato soup
  • homemade beef bone broth 
  • potstickers (to go with asian dish)
  • turmeric tea w/ coconut milk

do you like to make your meals ahead of time? batch-cooking has been something i’ve adopted into my lifestyle over the last few years and it’s really helped me save money and keep my diet in check.

{homemade soap}

24 Jan

i made soap for christmas gifts last year. it’s so fun to make! the soap block, which i got from michaels, was made with mango and shea butter – super moisturizing! these soaps create a nice, rich lather. they would also be perfect for a bubble bath!

i made a few different kinds :

  • fragrance-free oatmeal 
  • orange cinammon w/ rose petal flakes
  • lavender oatmeal
  • lavender rose 
  • orange peppermint

people go nuts over the soap whenever i give it as a gift. 🙂


have you ever made your own soap?!

 

{snowy tessellation}

19 Jan

i remember this being an assignment in one of my classes during college… creating a photographic tessellation.

at the time, it seemed so difficult… but today i have a different understanding of the digital composite images. when i was a photography student, the digital / social media world had not yet become what it is today… and a lot of my colleagues and i were not too keen on the idea of switching from film photography to digital photography. we were purists in love with the romance of black and white film photography and ansel adams’ zone system… and we also thought it was lame and pointless to do anything digital. it took a lot of convincing from my professors to get me to invest in a digital camera… but i finally {begrudgingly} bought one just before graduation. another hilarious truth – when i purchased my first apple laptop, they asked if i wanted to add built-in wifi and i remember being like, “ppffttt, why would i need that?!

ha! – it’s wild to think about how much has changed in such a short time.

anyway, i think this snowy tessellation turned out pretty cool – what say you?!

{snowtography – volume 2}

18 Jan

 

figure-8s appear as the snow melts…

 

and snow dust sprinkles down from the trees…

this foto was taken by mistake. and even though it’s nothing special, i kind of love it.

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