{foto friday : farmers market flowers}

15 Jun

just another reminder to stop and appreciate the flowers.

{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.


 

{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!

{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.

{snowtography}

18 Jan

composition, light, contrast, details, depth, patterns, aperture, bokeh, simplicity, mood, moments…

these are some of my favourite things about fotography, no matter the subject…


anyway, happy 2018! is it snowing where you are?!

 

 

 

{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… 

 

{corporate headshots – new client, miss k}

12 Dec

i’m having a lot of fun fotographing corporate headshots, lately. miss k took me on a pleasant walk around north carolina’s state campus on a warm but crisp afternoon.

here are some of my favourite shots :

i think miss K sort of resembles hillary swank… would you agree?!

we both agreed that these were our two favourite shots of the day… at least for what she wanted to use the images for. i am always very pleased when a client is happy with their results. particularly when they are a tad bit nervous in the beginning.

{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…

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{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 ❤

       

{beautiful lilies}

21 Aug

in today’s hectic and fast-paced world, i believe it is very important to remember to stop and smell the flowers… as often as you can. breath them in deep!

particularly if they are stargazer lilies – they are so intoxicating!

today is my mama’s birthday, and always think of her when i see lilies… so these are for her 🙂



happy birthday, judi!

 

{mercury retrogrades tonight!}

12 Aug

time to slow it down…

{corporate headshots – new client, mister PD}

8 Aug

my latest client, mister PD was effortless in front of the camera, which i’m also super grateful for.

i’ve recently been getting commissioned to do more corporate headshots for social media sites like linkedin. since i don’t have a studio and shoot primarily on location, i haven’t really been marketing myself as a “corporate headshot” fotographer… but i think that’s all about to change.

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