Tag Archives: blogging

{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.

{cool cabbage – the sequel}

19 Nov

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

{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

{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.


 

{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… 😉

{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! ❤

{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

{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.

{nyc – through the eye of my camera phone}

17 Jul

i am working on a new volume of “memories in manhattan” and will post one next week… in the meantime, here’s a post about new york to keep the theme going 🙂


i took a trip new york in june… i had been wanting to go back for a visit for quite some time, as it had been about 5 years since i had been there. often times, i think part of me wants to live there again, so i was eager to experience the city once more to see how i felt about being there.

i had a wonderful trip, as i figured i would. the weather was a little ridiculous – as in sweltering hot. but outside of that, it was nice to feel the energy of that amazing city, again. new york has a way of making you feel on top of the world; as if the whole place belongs to you. as an introvert, it’s strange to me that i can be surrounded by people but still feel like i’m in my own little bubble. the “hum” that is always in the background doesn’t feel distracting to me… it’s a strange dichotomy that i have always appreciated.

all that said, i think i realized that i do not wish to live in a place like new york again. i long for a country life – on a farm somewhere, growing food and having lots of animals. of course, that may change – after all, we are human and our desires come and go as we move through life.

it was wonderful to be in new york once more and to walk around and take the subway and just feel the energy… i immediately settled back in to the “way of life” there and even had people asking me for directions – and i knew them! that’s also a good ego boost.

i didn’t pick up my camera too much… i guess because since i lived there for so long, i took so many pictures already and this time i just wanted to kind of experience it in a different way. of course, i did have my camera phone with me – so i captured a lot of snapshots with it.

here is a gallery of fotos from my trip – i hope you enjoy! :

 

until next time…

 

{throwback thursday : manhattan henge}

13 Jul

apparently it’s manhattan henge time… i heard on TV that the big night was last night and tonight it will also be visible.

when i lived in new york, i didn’t think about the fact that you don’t really see sunsets. i guess it didn’t occur to me at the time… but after living in denver and seeing some of the most amazing sunsets ever, i started to realize that i don’t have very many memories of sunsets while i lived in the big city.

anyway, in honour of this twice a year event that happens in new york, i thought i would share these fotos for throwback thursday. i’m super grateful i actually got to experience this… for those of you that may be unfamiliar – only twice a year does the sun line up just perfectly in between the concrete jungle so that it sets right in between the buildings. one can only see this on 34th street, 42nd street, or 57th street… i think i fotographed these images from 34th…

enjoy!


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