Afternoon at the Ranch

I live right smack dab in the middle of suburbia, so it was fun to drive less than 3 miles from my house yesterday and be on a ranch.  It felt being out in the country! 

I’m just starting to go through these files, but here are a few for now!

Kid's photography, orange county,

Kid's photography, orange county, outside

kid's photography, orange county, outside, 4H



Peaches & Cream Smoothie [THM-E]

Ah, peaches. I love them.

And what better way to honor the peach but to use it in a healthy smoothy?

peach smoothy, peaches and cream, trim healthy mama, healthy, food, photography

I began my peaches & cream smoothy as you would expect.  Almond milk and peaches in the blender.  To that I added some vanilla and some stevia.  ( I was going for a creamy taste without the actual cream). I blended it all up nicely and added some glucomannan to thicken it up a bit. Then in went the ice. 

I took a taste it it was just right, but the color was more brown than peach. This was a not going to fly. 

vitamix, peaches & cream smoothy, trim healthy mama

I only care about color because my kids still expect peach foods to be peach colored, and the brown of the vanilla had taken over.  So the easy remedy for me, because I refuse to add artificial food dyes to my food, was to add in something orange and sweet.  So I scrubbed a carrot, chopped off the ends, and added it in.

Perfection.  And it made no noticeable change to the flavor, in my opinion. 

Peaches & Cream Smoothy, Trim Healthy Mama

If you’re following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating, this is an E smoothy. 

I’m attaching the recipe, and have it marked as serving one person, but this could easily be shared by two people. 

[yumprint-recipe id=’3′]
Follow my THM Pinterest board for more great recipies!

This post is a part of the Trim Healthy Tuesday Link-up hosted by and

You can also find it on the Slightly Indulgent Link Party featuring sugar free & gluten free recipes and gluten free recipes & Gluten Free Fridays.

Coconut Macaroon Muffin-in-a-Mug (S)


Coconut Macaroon Muffin in a Mug

The first time I tried a muffin in a mug, I was mesmerized.  How could I be this old and not have known about them?  I’ve made all kinds – and they turned out sooo many different ways.  Some were too eggy, some were too dense, some were not sweet at all, but some were deliciously sweet but oh-so-unhealthy (sweetening with a big enormously overflowing tablespoon of Nutella was yummy but yikes!).  Then I read Trim Healthy Mama, and learned about some great alternatives to my Nutella a.m. (and sometimes p.m.) indulgence.  I also became much more adventurous in the kitchen.  

This can be a bad thing. 

Or this can be a very, very good thing.  And in the case of my Coconut Macaroon Muffin in a Mug, I happen to think it’s a good thing.  Cake like. Sweet. Coconut goodness. If you’re following THM, this is an “S” muffin.

coconut, muffin in a mug, trim healthy mama, low carb,  As soon as it comes out of the microwave, I dump it out on a plate, slice it down the middle, and smear a laughing cow cream cheese wedge on it.

It’s almost like cake for breakfast, yet without the sugar cravings that normally come along with eating actual cake for breakfast.  Yes.  I’ve done that.  Not proud.  Please tell me I’m not alone…

If you try this recipe, please come back and let me know your thoughts! Enjoy!

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]

This post is a part of the Trim Healthy Tuesday Link-up hosted by and
 You can also find it on the Slightly Indulgent Link Party featuring sugar free & gluten free recipes & Gluten Free Fridays.

(These are afflilate links, and while I do benefit from your purchases through these links, if you’ve never tried coconut four or shredded coconut please find a local source to purchase a smaller amount. A single bag is a much better way to try something for the first time.)


Timeless Photography | Creating Treasures

I believe in timeless photography.  

And by timeless photography, I mean photography that gets to the heart of your subject, without over posing or using props. 

black and white, photography, kids, pets

While looking through some old files the other day I came across this series of photographs of my kids with Pepper, the first dog we adopted for our boys. The memories came rushing back to me about how they loved this dog. They were so thrilled when we brought Pepper home from the shelter. We had sworn we wouldn’t get a dog until the kids were old enough to care for it themselves, yet we caved because my little boys loved animals so very much.

This is why I love photography. I have my memories, but to see an image from years past is like turning on a light in a dark room. It brings me back to that time, and things I had long forgotten are fresh in my mind again. This, to me, is timeless photography.  These photographs represent a real moment in time – with true emotions.  Through these photographs I have a strong connection to who my boys were six years ago.

These photographs also solidify for me why I shoot the way I do. My preference is to avoid props that are foreign to a child. If these images contained props, they would have no connection to me as I view them now. Of course I would love the pictures, because they are of my kids, but by capturing a true moment that I can’t get back, I’ve created a treasure for myself. This shows my boys as they were in 2006; barefoot, playing in the backyard, sitting at their red and yellow plastic Playskool table, loving their dog. I know that their feet aren’t showing in any of these pictures, nor is the little table, but to me they are, because when I see these photographs, I’m back in time looking out my kitchen door, watching them play with Pepper. I see everything through the pictures.   

Recently I was looking at newborn photographs of my firstborn son. I was so exhausted after he was born (being a new mom has got to be the hardest job in the world) and I had chosen to take him to a photographer so someone else could do the work for me. I vividly remember that day, but for different reasons than I mentioned above.

The photographer was set up in a large retail baby store. I was shown to a card table where I could get my son ready, changed, whatever I needed before the photography session. I was a little uncomfortable setting my precious newborn on a rickety card table, but it seemed sturdy enough to hold his 8 lb body. Once my son was ready for his photographs, the photographer took him from my arms (panic set in but I tried to stay calm) and brought him to another card table to pose him.

The photographer set him in an upright sitting position while supporting his body and head with one hand behind him and one hand in front of him. Then he counted to three, rapidly raised both hands away from my son and triggered his camera and flash using a remote he held in one of his hands. He then quickly rushed his hands back down to catch my tiny baby before he fell over. I just about died. Not only was I not OK with this process, I wasn’t even told how it would happen ahead of time. And of course he had never bothered to ask for permission. You know what? If I had been told, I would have said NO. The photographer then proceeded to pose my son in resting positions with cute props – reading glasses with a book, a ball cap with a ball, etc. While I still love to see my son’s baby pictures, the memories that come back to me when I see them are of the process and stress I experienced to get those photographs.  I’d rather remember what it was like to have that tiny baby, like the pictures of my boys with Pepper. 

My goal is to capture moments rather than pictures. Years from now, I hope that my photographs bring a flood of good memories back to my clients. They can forget all about me, as long as the portraits I capture fill their minds with loving memories of their childrens’ younger years.

For related information on newborn photography safety, click here.