New Camera Fun!

I got my new camera (Canon Rebel XT) in the mail on Thursday, and since then I have been wearing it around like a necklace! I just can’t get over how amazingly clear and focused all the pictures are, and how much I have to learn!

I have been dreaming about buying a DSRL for quite some time now, I just did not want to drop the several hundred dollars necessary to purchase one. However, when my old camera suddenly died on me a couple of weeks ago, I just could not survive without a decent camera. At first I thought about getting buy for a few more pay checks with a cheapo point and shoot, but once I went to amazon and saw the DSRL’s I could buy for only one hundred more…yeah, it was over.

I bought my camera used from amazon, and have not regretted it thus far. Yes, the camera body is a little scratched (which was noted on the description), and it is not the newest model, nor does it have all the high tech features. But it is a huge upgrade from my canon powershot (a camera that I absolutely loved, and will probably buy again just to have the convenience of a point and shoot), and the price was reasonable for my budget.

While I love making healthy meals, and the community and friends I have gained from blogging, I think the biggest enjoyment I get from the whole process is the photography. I love taking pictures of food! I think it is so much fun to manipulate the food, lighting, and accessories to produce a picture that is good enough to eat.

Shooting in manual mode is a lesson in patience and trial and error right now. I definitely still have a looonng way to go in improving my pictures, but I can also tell such a big difference from where I began only a few months ago.

Here are some of my favorites from this weekend:

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Farmer’s Market

Yesterday I checked out two farmer’s markets in Charlotte. A couple of my coworkers recommended Kings Street market and the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s market, so I made the trip to both. The Charlotte Regional market was huge, and had a much greater variety of North Carolina produce than the King’s Street Market.  However both had great selections, and I have really enjoyed the produce so far.

Before we get to the pictures, I will say that the markets were packed with people and it was difficult to take decent pictures. Every time I slowed down or knelt to get a shot, I blocked people trying to pass through. I also felt a little awkward photographing produce without buying anything, especially when the farmers stood three feet away watching my antics (tilting, turning baskets, trying not to get my shadow in the shot). As a last resort, I tried to take some covert walking-while-snapping pictures, but none of them looked all that interesting.

Oh the trials of being a blogger 😉 Despite all of the mishaps, I managed to select some shots that are reflective of the markets and their produce.

Between the two markets I ended up with five tomatoes, four cucumbers, a bunch of basil, a pint of cherries (which I inhaled in under two hours), a pint of peaches, two jalapenos, and several ounces of a locally made dill cheese.

Look forward to lots of exciting vegetable based recipes this next week!

Weekend Events

Not from this weekend, but a really cool picture from rehearsal for the show photo credit: Celeste Cowan

This weekend was anything but relaxing! However I really enjoyed being able to perform and spend time with some friends and family. I had a show on Friday and Saturday night, as well as an out of town wedding for my cousin on Saturday afternoon :). I regret not taking more pictures of my cousin’s wedding (by that I mean I regret not taking any pictures at all). But Claire served as the photographer for our two  hour road trip to Farmville and back on Saturday, and I managed to take/steal some pictures from the show!

Mini road trip to the wedding

Luna bar and green tea for the road

Destination: Farmville

masked co presidents in one the signature poses from the dance

photo credit: John Bowden

Company and Alumna(us?) with Marian after the show

the not so crazy after party

Snacks on the Go

celery and carrots chopped up and ready for on the go snacking

One of the hardest aspects of eating healthy is that it requires a bit more prep work than just swinging by a drive through/vending machine. Since I am an avid snacker, I try to have several different options on hand going into the week. This coming week is going to be a busy one for me, so today I dedicated a little time towards making sure I have everything in order for a week’s worth of snacks. Here’s what I’ve got:

I love these little (clementines/baby oranges/ tangerines?) fruits! I usually throw a couple into my bag for rushed days

quartered radishes to add some spice to the veggie bag

cooked quinoa ready to be throw into any dish for a little extra bulk and protein

My nut love 🙂 I try to keep a little bag of almonds in my purse at all times

...and I usually throw a handful of cranberries in the mix as well

If all else fails, I can stick a spoon in my almond butter jar and call it a snack!

Happy Birthday Default!

Today I wanted to take a moment to wish Kathleen a happy birthday 🙂

When we first met freshman year, we both knew we would be friends. But since all of our other friends are so loud and chatty, I don’t think we managed to talk to each other the first four or five times we were together. Nonetheless we bonded over eye contact and making faces while everyone else was talking.

Since then she has been my roommate, apartment mate, study buddy, church friend, career counselor, fellow foodie, and the only person who doesn’t look at me weird when I talk about kombucha, kale, and 27 different recipes in which bananas and oats are the main ingredients.

Of our group, she is the main party planner, and always makes sure that everyone else’s birthdays are fabulous.

She is my go-to person if I am going to try and be crafty-which usually ends up with her making all of my ideas look waayy better than anything I could have ever accomplished by myself.

She is always willing to discuss/dream about/shop for Old Navy, LOFT, Banana Republic, Target, and J Crew’s newest styles; and also serve as the other half of my closet on days in which I just don’t like anything I have, or have been eyeing one of her cute cardigans.

Us in front of Lush Cosmetics-love their stuff!

She is always ready to play win any game. Ever

Thanks for being one of my best friends, Kath!

I love you so so much!

Tomorrow I am going to share the oat-free dessert I made her!

Three Ingredient Crepes

Hello, old friend. It's been a while

I have not made a smoothie in ages! Which means that I also have not seen my Magic Bullet for a while. I decided to pull him out and try Allie’s Three Ingredient Crepe recipe.

It seemed like a perfect fit for Recimplicity: only three ingredients and minimal prep time. The only item I was a little apprehensive about was the oat flour, but grinding the oats turned out to be a very simple process in the Bullet.

I did have to tilt the Bullet in order to achieve an even blend

The three ingredients

Into the pan

I didn't get too creative with fillings, just almond butter and bananas-but Allie has some tasty ideas in her recipe.

The crepes turned out light and perfectly thin! I just wished I saved some for breakfast this morning.