Category Archives: Motherhood

Self-Portrait of the Photographer {Portrait Photography, San Jose, CA}

Ewa "Mom Photographer":

Who’s up to a challenge? :)

Originally posted on Ewa Samples Photography:

Taking pictures is my passion. It is a passion of every photographer out there, at least this is what I believe in.

We spent hours on end shooting, editing, thinking about locations or location hunting, visualizing sessions with clients, browsing the Internet and organizing our Pinterst boards. Everything for one purpose – to become a better photographer and to serve our clients better. Many of us have mastered and memorized all the techniques of encouraging our models to feel comfortable in front of the camera. We know a lot about posing, how to make people look good, how to use the light and how to use every bit of space as a good spot for a photograph.

We take tremendous amounts of pictures weekly… Don’t we.

But how many pictures of ourselves, with kids, with spouses or without them, do we have?
How many times when somebody said, “hey you’ve…

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Are you germs friendly family?

We do not live dirty, nor do my kids walk dirty all day long. Our house is relatively clean. Still, I do like to expose my kids to some friendly filth and I let them eat from the floor.

To the day I got to United States I had never heard about 5 seconds rule. Neither my kids will ever hear about it :)

What about you? 

Coconut flour Coffee Cake aka I can’t believe I made gluten free cheesecake and I loved it!

So, my last adventure with coconut flour was a disaster. 
I made pancakes and they were actually awful.

So the rest of the flour there was left had been sitting in my kitchen for months now, until last week my husband went to the store and bought 3 dozen eggs. Yes, this is what happens when you send a guy to the store and write “eggs” on the shopping list – you get 3 dozen of them. Too bad it doesn’t work like that when I write “ice cream” or “chocolate”.

Anyway, in order to use up those eggs I remembered about the coconut flour which always requires a lot of eggs.

I found a perfect recipe to try. Gluten free cream cheese coffee cake

I did made a few changes. I didn’t have pecans or maple syrup. And I used greek yogurt in place of the regular one (I think that what they meant in the original recipe). 

I think I found my new favorite cake and I do not feel guilty feeding it to the kids, also. 

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INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces queso fresco whole milk cheese ( I used it not because I wanted but because I didn’t have enough cream cheese)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) – 8 oz (or more) if you don’t use queso fresco! 
  • 4 TBSP raw honey (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP dutch cocoa 

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mix dried cranberries and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Beat together all ingredients for cream cheese filling. Set aside.

3. Combine the first five ingredients for cake then add the dry ingredients through the salt. Mix well.

4. Pour cake batter into pan and drop cranberries and raisins on top of the batter.

6. Top with cream cheese filling and use a knife or tooth pick to swirl it around.

7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before slicing.

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After one bite hubby described it: “well, it tastes different“, and he didn’t eat any more. The thing is that if we all ate by his taste buds we would be eating cheeseburgers, BBQ pulled chicken, chilli and apple pie for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That meant that the whole cake is for me and the kids only, and I shouldn’t be so happy about it, as my pants are getting surprisingly smaller on me lately.  

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Have a great weekend my friends.

Southland Sightseeing

It feels like ages since I wrote my last post.

Well, it’s been a rough road that last month. Lots of ups and downs and something close to an aversion towards blogging. Nothing personal, just too little energy and too much in my head. 

No.1 turned 3

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I managed to have two photo sessions. One is already on my blog here. For that session I had the opportunity to try a wonderful lens: 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S. As I got used to it “Oh” ‘s  and “Ah” ‘s were coming out of me all the time. I was simply in heaven.

My second session was with a pregnant, beautiful mamma and her family. I didn’t have much time to post them on the blog, though.  Will do it shortly.

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I have two newborn sessions in front of me so starting tomorrow I am getting back to the hats making mode. 

Last Saturday we came back from Orange County where we had gone for husband’s business trip. We did some sightseeing but mostly just from our car.

 

We visited my husband friend and his pets

 

There was a lot of coffee involved

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Not as much as I thought of crocheting:

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And two nights in hotels. I was very surprised how good our kids dealt with that. 

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Before we had left the house we planned the trip so I could see the “Hollywood” sign. I was very excited about that but it actually didn’t happen, and I am not heart broken.

We drove by the place where we suppose to stand in order to see the sign:

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but when we got there, there were cars on cars parked on cars. Cars to the left and cars to the right. In addition the kids just fell asleep after a quite long time of screaming. I did not feel like I want to spend my time looking for a parking and then climbing up the hill to see some big letters – and just for that waking up the kids. It felt so good to ride in silence. They wake up pretty soon anyway. Go figure.

At least we stopped to see the “Walk of Fame”. I really enjoyed that. 

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I got lucky to find my favorite star within a few minutes from where we get out of the car. 

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Then a few more:

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And just as we were packing everybody to the car the husband spotted this place:

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On the way back we saw a sand storm, or a beginning of one.

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Oh… and we finally left our young doggy where she belongs – with a trainer.

 

and we picked up our Old Lady who during the last year has gotten so old, and blind, an deaf and oh… so disoriented. We got very close to actually not having her, but my crocodile tears had changed it. Not that I did it in purpose, but I just couldn’t stand the vision of not having her back. Simple. 

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She still is the very loving and patient dog I remember. She always has been. 

No.1 has already taken good care of the Old Lady.  After a few times of trying to ride the dog we finally told her that the dog is sick (which is not far from the truth at all), so she shouldn’t be doing it anymore. It worked. Now she is very carrying and loving towards the dog. She brings her blankets and pillows. 

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We are all happy to have her back. I can’t describe how happy I am. She is back where she belongs! 

warm hugs,  

Photo Art Friday, b-day girl and spiders

First of all…

No.2

is

ONE

YEAR

OLD

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This young lady origins from the grumpy kind (my blood).

Very recently she has learned to climb on mom’s bread machine.

She walks like a pro, but sometimes she still prefers to get on four – mostly when she has to keep up with her Big Sis.

She loves to blink at mom and dad. 

She wears sunglasses like a real star. 

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And not like her sister, she eats almost anything

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She makes a great bunny

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and she loves to be her Big Sister’s partner-in-crime – or it’s the other way around… (probably).

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This week’s theme for Photo Art Friday is “shadows and/or light”. I’ve missed last few weeks :(
I dug out this picture from my archives:

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and this one is from few days ago:

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I finally finished my shawl, something I wanted to make for a long, long time, but always thought it is too complicated to make. 

And I must share with you those few shots of baby spiders we saw the last weekend. What an awfully great experience ;) 

Photo Art Friday: Self-portrait

Well, I feel a little bit challenged. This week’s theme for Photo Art Friday is: “self-portrait”
I bet, many of you expect of me something great here, but I have been feeling a little (or a lot) under the weather lately, and all my plans for some real self-portraits photo session that I had in mind went to hell… 

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Today I’ve decided to get a little creative with those few shots I managed to take this week and this is what I ended up with:

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In addition I took a few self-portraits for my giveaway that is going on my facebook page, and this is one of them:

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oh… and how could I not share the latest news with you.
No. 2 is walking:

Hope everything is going well in your corner! 

Photo Art Friday – Portrait

Good Morning from my dark (in light, not mood - thanks god) and quiet corner, 

This week’s theme for PAF is “portrait”.

Well, I’ve got many of those! ;)
Every single day there is a new portrait. 
Every single trip to a park – new portrait(s). 

So I had a lot to choose from. 

No.2 is a very moody girl. She can change her state of being from very, very grumpy to very, very happy within 5 seconds. And she just switches from one to another all day long (just like her mamma, by the way!). 

Happy

Mad

Happy 

Mad

Happy 

Mad

…. 
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No. 1 LOVES balloons. 

This girl doesn’t need a lot to be happy but balloons made her exalted. 

mom-photographer-kid-with-balloons

I’m in process of 3 projects.

2 sewing project (one already done) and 1 crochet project.

I’m actually stuck as I do not have the materials to finish the second sewing project and the crochet one, well, there is more unraveling that crocheting now, so I am very discouraged.

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Anyway, 

we’ve got a little piglet growing here. 
Nothing like her Big Sister who after her very picky father is a picky eater herself, No.2 eats almost ANY DARN THING! 

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and a few latest shots of her:

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I had many more PORTRAITS to share but I don’t want you all to get bored with all the kids stuff, and I need to start the day myself, as the magic word (or two): IN-LAWS!!! is/are circling around our home like a fly… 

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend

Photo Art Friday on Thursday, and ALL my kids (minus No.4 – the husband)

I’ll try to make this post very short today.
Simply because No.1 just went down for her nap and I am able to become a couch potato for an hour or two.

Starting with my submission for Photo Art Friday:

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because Bath-Time-Fun is not for kids ONLY

Following with some shots or my darlings who drive me crazy lately.

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Finishing with No.3 (I call her My Special Needs Child  – the one with ADHD).
A few week ago she had a professional photo session with Black Newf Photography (click the link for some awesome shots).
This dog is a separate topic I am getting ready to write about (but not yet). I am waiting for the right mood to do so. Believe me or not, it is a hard topic for me to talk about. Not having two very young children but this dog is the main reason I get up at 6:30/7 am every morning. She is the cause of my weight going down. While those two are relatively good things the third one is not -she is the main reason of my new grey hair, a lot of them!

But I don’t want to go that road today…

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Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Dance and Play like nothing else matters

So far, I am very lucky when it comes to taking pictures of my kids.

Sometimes No.1 gets tired of it but for the most of the time she is VERY cooperative.

I just need to say: “smile!”

and if there is music playing, well… then I have the perfect situation:

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 Photo Art Friday

I tried to make this picture more “vintage” for Photo Art Friday theme (vintage) but all the textures and things I’ve tried beyond this point looked awful.
  

Taking an advantage of one day without a headache, yesterday I went with the kids to the park and later that day I put together this cute movie (my new hobby – making movies)


Today, I’m back to normal, what means the headache is back and I feel like I want to shoot myself in the head to stop it!

Hope you all are feeling way better than I am!

warm hugs from my corner!

Tutorial: “How to take self-portraits”, Part II – Focus without a remote and a tripod

While creating this video I was working with about 20 minutes of pictures and short movies. I knew that making one video out of it is going to be way too long, so I’ve used only part of it to make the one I’m sharing today, and the rest of it I’ll use later.

I say it again, achieving a reasonable good focus when taking self-portraits wouldn’t be such an issue if I had a remote, but I don’t have it and that’s why I want to prove and show you that YOU DON’T HAVE TO own one to take good self-portraits.

I know that many people get discouraged when it comes to self-portraits just because they don’t have a tripod or a remote or because they don’t want to deal with all that stuff all together. And I totally understand that.    

Sometimes the best opportunity comes spontaneously and having a camera with you should be the only thing required to take on that opportunity. No tripod unfolding and folding. No looking for the remote in our already cluttered bags…

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

btw, if you haven’t seen it HERE is PART I of this tutorial.

Have a wonderful day, my friends.