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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.

 

{praying mantis egg case : part 2}

3 May

garden season is finally here! which means my happiness meter just skyrocketed! 🙂

i recently gave my praying mantis egg case an apartment upgrade by relocating it to the community garden. i {safely} tied it to a trellis in my plot.

the praying mantis serves as a wonderful addition to any garden, since they are a beneficial insect. they prey on other insects that may otherwise be harmful to crops and soil.

plus, they are totally fascinating to admire and watch! and i am hoping i am able to witness the case hatch and capture it on film!

i will be checking on it regularly, so stay tuned for more updates!


#farmeraudrey

{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

{child portrait photography : sister sister!}

29 Sep

some favourites from a recent portrait session –

how adorable are these two?!

———

 

{gracefully coffee roasters}

8 May

i have this on again/off again thing with coffee.

mostly, we’re on.

i love coffee, and i especially love espresso! but sometimes, i don’t like the effects of the caffeine associated with coffee and espresso. and drinking decaf just doesn’t appeal to me… nor does it have the same complex flavour {in my opinion}, which is the main reason i love to drink coffee.

i prefer dark roasts for the robust flavour and lower{ish} caffeine content, and i drink it with a {generous} dash of heavy cream. when i worked as a barista, i would sip on an iced cortado just about every day. over the years, i’ve learned how to strike a balance with it and ultimately listen to my body as to when to be “on” coffee, and when to be “off” it.

do any of you have a similar experience?

anyway, this post is about some super yummy coffee made in small batches by an equally yummy and awesome company : gracefully coffee roasters.

i got this TOTALLY DELICIOUS coffee as a christmas gift last year and i wish i still had some because it was out-of-this world amazing! this particular batch was a medium roast with hints of peanut butter and chocolate. now, i don’t know if it was just the power of suggestion in their awesome marketing description or what – but i’m telling you, that first sip of coffee tasted like a creamy chocolate peanut butter cup.

gracefully coffee roasters are true masters of their craft. one easily gets a sense of how much passion and care they pour into their coffee roasts. they offer monthly subscription boxes so you can try new coffee all the time! they also have yummy tea!

check out their website and show a little love… 😉

{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!

{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 

 

 

 

 

{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?!

 

{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.

{twinkles}

24 Dec

happy holidays from me to you! ❤

{the most delicious holiday chocolate!}

18 Dec

i am so grateful for fellow foodie friends who get me! and who send me delicious treats like these decadent holiday-inspired chocolates… that look like logs for a cozy christmas fire! aren’t the beautiful?!

and my goodness they were delicious! 

i’m not certain, but i believe the flavours were :

  • dark chocolate almond
  • dark chocolate w/ sea salt and peppermint filling
  • milk chocolate w/ peanut butter filling

needless to say, they didn’t last too long… 

 

{thirsty thursday – octoberfest time!}

12 Oct

hey friends!

it’s been a while… and i have lots to fill you in on. for now, i wanted to share some of my favorite beers with you. i’m discovering more all the time, as north carolina has some great microbrews!


although you can catch me drinking sam adams’ octoberfest beer pretty much all the way through thanksgiving, i have a few other kinds of beers i like to drink this time of year…

flying dog does a great belgian-style IPA, which helps me transition from summer to fall…

this was an interesting ale… i haven’t seen it since this one time i tried it…

Continue reading

{total solar eclipse}

22 Aug

i drove down to columbia, south carolina to watch the total solar eclipse yesterday… and i’m so glad i made the trek! admittedly, i did not do as much preparing as i would’ve normally done… particularly because it kind of came together last minute. originally i had wanted to go to greenville, sc – which is where i was born {and supposedly where the highest totality and visibility would be}, but it all worked out rather nicely and i’m thankful to have been where i was… especially because it was also my mama’s birthday yesterday.

i didn’t have time to make a pinhole camera, which i really wanted to do, but of course i had a camera. if you follow me on instagram, i hope you saw the story… it was fun to create.

it was important to me not to get too caught up in taking fotos, because i truly wanted to enjoy the moment {two minutes, 36 seconds to be exact} 🙂

i shot these images with a 50mm lense… which, of course, isn’t ideal for something so far away… but i kind of liked showing the sky and having the tiny sun and moon fill up a tiny amount of space. i didn’t have a special filter, so i simply put my eclipse glasses over my lense. i thought about using my zoom lense, but like i said, i was more concerned with being there to truly witness the moment… it’s a hard balance sometimes, as someone who loves to take pictures… but i have been challenging myself to “capture the moment with my mind,” from time to time. this was one of those moments.

i took a few pictures of the crowd as well, but i wasn’t super thrilled with most of them. i think i was just too caught up in the experience to really take very many fotos… and i’m okay with that.

it was a truly incredible event and the sky was perfectly clear for the duration of {almost} totality. the crowd was wonderful, the vibe was awesome, the beer was delicious {i drank a special ‘black ipa’ aptly named, “blackout”.} i feel very fortunate to have been where i was during the eclipse. we reached totality around 2:30 p.m. in columbia, south carolina. the temperature dropped, the moon inched in front of the sun, making it as dark as night… the crowd went wild, people screamed and hugged and kissed… it’s kind of hard to truly describe how marvelous it was to see it all happen. the energy felt very intense to me… and as someone who has always admired and been in awe of the stars, it was a lot to take in… something for the history books, indeed.

i’m still buzzing from it all ❤

       

{brunch!}

30 Jul

a perfect cortado paired with a yummy nutella crepe.

nom nom!

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