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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Social

Sunday Social
I am now going to start doing Sunday Social, brought to you by Ashley Lately Before I begin, hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! The cold I had seemed to have settle in my ear, but did not stop me from enjoying my son's 6th birthday party. Check out this adorable cake that a dear friend of mine made for him :)

Kody loves anything to do with firefighting! We chose to have Sabine put on it because not only does his uncle by heart work there, but Kody wants to grow up and be a part of Sabine Volunteer Fire Dept.

Now, onto the Sunday Social Q&A:

What is your ideal way to relax?

I have several ways I like to relax. Whenever my husband is at work and the boys are at school, I turn up our radio and listen to Pink. I always find her music to be fun and motivating. As the music plays, I will often edit photos that need it or just need to be redone. Sometimes, I will play around on Facebook.

Who do you consider your biggest role model?

My older sister "K", most definitely. She is a strong, independent, and focused person. K is a devoted mom and wife, who is always about putting her family first. She has endured many obstacles in her life, but she refuses to have any self-pity. When I need advice, she is my go to person because she will tell it like it is.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Galveston! We visited for the first time nearly a year ago, and I long to go back. I love the old history of the downtown area. It was great being able to browse the shops. I highly recommend the salt water taffy from La King Confectionery! And, of course the beach. If I could, I would sit and watch the waves for hours.

What does your life look like in 3 years?

Hmmm....I'm not really sure, but I don't think anyone is 100% certain. I definitely see myself still doing the photography. Hoping this house can be renovated some more at that point, and would love to be able to add on another room.

If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?

I rather not look back and wish I made a different decision. It really don't fix anything that is in the present. Instead, I try to think a little more before I react.

What is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?

Being a mother! I am raising two little men to be respectful and to always try their hardest. Teaching them they will always have their daddy and me to come to for advice, help, and love.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mini Session Time

Mini Sessions at Synergy Park in Kilgore on Feb. 23rd from 10 am to 4:30 pm. This park has been very popular for a majority of my photo shoots. It is also known as Elder Lake. The park is gorgeous with trees, a walking trail, wooden railings, and a stone wall. You will see photos below the ad of past sessions done here.

4--5x7 Photos and 1--8x10 Photo--You will be able to select the photos you like from an online gallery.
CD of edited images

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Feeling Human Again...

Ever since Monday, I felt like I was a zombie...would not be surprised if I looked like one, too. I rarely ever get sick, but when I do it just hits me hard! Sunday evening was when I was going to blog about my weekly photo challenge, and Monday was going to be all about a wonderful photo session I had on Saturday. So, I am going to combine the two into this one post. As for my adventures in cooking, which I usually post on Thursdays, it will most likely be once or twice a month.

Let's begin with the weekly photo challenge! Last week was the letter "P". I was going to go on a mission to find things that formed the letter 'p' such as leaves, maybe fencing, etc. I decided it would be easier to go with things that start with 'p'. My husband had a microwavable peach pie that I tried to convince him to heat up so I can take a photo of it. As always, he smiled and shook his head at me....the pie is still in the freezer. Luckily, I was in the mood for pizza from my favorite pizza place so it all worked out perfectly.

Two adorable children ages 4 and 5, running and playing, then when asked to stop and smile for the camera equals a priceless photo of them posing.

And now we move on to the photo session I had at Synergy Park on Saturday. This family was just amazing and super sweet! We were a bit chilly, but the younger girls managed to put on a smile. They really loved it when I asked them to be "sassy". And the way they just looked up at their parents as they gazed at each other shows the great amount of love this family has for each other. Another plus to this photo session, is she is a photographer as well. I loved that she voiced her ideas! One particular photo she wanted was with her husband leaned in to kiss her with his hat covering them both. As their girls put it, it was a great "mushy gushy" moment!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rock the Shot Photo Challenge

Rock the Shot

Rock the Shot Forum is having a photo challenge for "Favorite Photo of 2012". I spent the past few hours going through all my photos, trying to decide exactly which one I should enter. Finally, narrowed it down to my Top 5 then Top 3 and a #1 favorite....at least for this challenge :)

For this photo, I went a step further and challenged myself. It was actually more full of white so I went for my favorite actions, and just had fun with it. I just loved the look in Heather's eyes. I love the way she just looked far off into the distance towards the sun, as if she were daydreaming. Whether she was thinking of her two adorable boys, her baby on the way, or her sweet fiancee, I'm not very sure. It was just a moment I had to capture. She also is very special to me. I always call her my daughter by heart so being able to spend the day taking photos was just very special to me. We are looking forward to another day of a session, and hoping the next time we can get her fiancee in on the photos....he will be a fun challenge :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 2--Innocence

Photographer's Connection Week 2 of the 52 Week Photo Challenge is Innocence.

When I think of innocence, I think of sleep. Children do have pure and innocent hearts, but as they are drifting to a land of dreams their innocence just seems to really show. It is that moment when they are snuggled up in my arms when I just admire those sweet faces even more. A moment to feel so blessed to be their mommy. My oldest son Kaden fell asleep on our bed a couple nights ago, still in his clothes from the day. One thing he seems to enjoy doing his tormenting his little brother. I often wonder if he torments him in his dreams, too? Seriously, chances are he is dreaming of playing on a day full of sunshine, friends, and riding his bikes to anywhere he pleases.

My darling 13 year old cat Bubbles, who is a sweet and well behaved cat who I swear has manners. I call her my little queen diva. The only water she will drink is from the bathroom faucet....right from the faucet. She will stand on her back legs and wave her front legs when she needs loving, drink, or food. One her favorite spots to lay down is on my desk. If another one of our cats dares to jump on here, she is quick to hiss at them. She will not attack them, but give them a warning hiss. Bubbles is a kitty full of innocence and love...the perfect pet.

Now, for my niece by heart who I call Bumble Bre--she prefers Butterfly Bre. Enjoying a beautiful December day, just innocently gliding in the tire swing. After I took the photo, I asked her what she was thinking about. She replied she was "just relaxing". Decorating cookies and playing is, after all, a lot of work :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Adventures in Cooking: Week 2

With the rain, then not feeling too well, and a photo session, I either did quick fix dinners or take-out. This recipe I tried was a huge hit with my family so I made it two nights in a row. It is absolutely delicious! A majority of my recipes come from Life as a Loft House This one is Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Fried Rice
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

Coating for Chicken

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, rinsed and cubed
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet & Sour Sauce

3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cooking dish with cooking spray. Heat your canola oil in the pan. Dip the chicken breast into cornstarch then egg and fry until golden brown. Do not heat all the way through. Place in cooking dish.

For the sauce, mix all ingredients together and drizzle over the chicken. Cook for one hour, turning chicken every 15 minutes.

Fried Rice

3 cups cooked white rice
3 tbs sesame oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the peas and carrots, garlic, and onion. Stir fry until tender. Add your eggs and scramble together. Next, add your rice and soy sauce. Stir until heated through. Easy!

My version did not have the peas and carrots or the sesame oil. These were items I failed to get at the store. Instead, I used canola oil and just had the onion and garlic powder for seasoning. Still turned out really yummy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 1

Last week, I decided to start doing the 52 Week Photo Challenge at Photographer's Connection I know I am a little late on posting the photo for week one, but I am still proud I managed to get Week One done, which is New Year's Resolution. Usually, I am not one to make resolutions. The fact that I made two is a miracle in itself...one of them cooking more recipes and the second one...
Organize my personal photos! I wish I could say this was the only stack; in fact, that is not even all my 2012 pictures. Those sit in my desk drawer waiting to be put into a photo album. In my room on shelves are two baskets with photos. I have an extra filing cabinet that has photos. My husband teases me that we need to build an extra room just for all the photos. Sometimes he says we just need a whole extra house. Please know he does love to exaggerate! All I can say is that it is a good thing I have a whole to complete my resolution. We shall see where I am on December 31, 2013. In the meantime, I do have some put on a neat little photo mobile I got for Christmas :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Session of Love and Family

Yesterday, I had a remarkable session with someone who is an old friend from high school. I was honored when she chose me to be the photographer for her and her family. She stated she hardly has any updated photos, and her expression of excitement showed when I arrived. We had the session at Callie's mother-in-law's place which is located by a golf course. It was absolutely gorgeous out there! It is always an adventure whenever I get to photograph in a new area. This family has an incredible bond, full of fun and laughter, and just being able to capture those moments of love was truly amazing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Valentine Mini Sessions

Love is in the air, and we will soon be upon Valentine's Day. Pursuing Eden in Longview, TX will be the place for mini photo sessions that will include vintage props. Photos will actually be with props and without props. Limited spots available! All sessions will be done outside.
30 minute session CD of 15 edited images with print release 25 Valentine Cards 1--8x10 Photo Online Gallery $60

Payment due upon booking. Please email me at kathrynbaker76@gmail.com to reserve your time slot. Payment will be made via PayPal

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cooking Adventures

As of the first day of 2013, I vowed to get brave and try cooking new recipes more often. I wish I was more creative and be more like the chefs on Chopped. Still amazes me they can cook some fabulous dish from grape juice! So, I decided to venture to my somewhat neglected Pinterest. From that moment, I was lost somewhere in the depths of pinning, pinning, pinning. Now, not all--wait--two meals cooked this week were from Pinterest. One out of the two were from my little head :)
Country Fried Pork Chops

This is something I decided on my own a few years ago when I had no cubed steak, but I wanted country fried steak. I opted to use boneless pork chops on hand. Very simple! Whisk together eggs and milk (sorry no measurements) and put your favorite seasonings in with some flour. Cover chops in flour, dip in egg, back to flour and heat in a skilled with hot canola oil. Approximately 8 minutes on each side.

I served this with mashed potatoes, mustard greens, and Velveeta Shells and Cheese.

Barbecue Cups

These are so simply easy to make! Justin and I actually used to make these quite a bit when we were newlyweds. A quick and easy meal after a full day of work! Over the years, I managed to forget how to make them, so I was delighted to find the recipe at Life as a Lofthouse (Food Blog.

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 12 oz. can refrigerated biscuits (I used Honey Butter Biscuits)

1 cup BBQ sauce

1 cup cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook ground beef then add BBQ sauce and heat through. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Separate biscuits and pinch up along the sides of the muffin tins. Add beef and BBQ mixture to each biscuit. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

No cooking for me tonight! After running errands all day with my boys, it was a simple meal night with pizza. Tomorrow, I plan on trying Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Race. Each Thursday, I will post any new recipes I have tried.