Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012. You were a great year.

2012 brought with it some great people and great photo sessions.

Here are a few of my favorites.

*Hit play on the Sigur Ros video, before watching the photo-slideshow, if you like mood music with your eye candy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

"I'm saving my wedding gown, in case my daughter wants to wear it, someday."

Someday may come sooner than you think.

To optimize your viewing experience, hit play to hear this familiar and fitting song.  Unless you want to avoid tears... in which case, if you have a young daughter, you should just not look at this post, at all.

Picture these photos on display, as this gorgeous girl gets ready for her own wedding day...  I get butterflies, just thinking about it.

In twenty-some years, if I have the privilege of photographing her wedding, I imagine my normal, professional exterior will crack a little.

{love this girl.  love this family.}

*Thank you, Fern Hall for allowing us to use your beautiful estate!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

{ialsolovehocolate} Saturday Sing Along Songs- Les Miserables "Bring Him Home" Encore

TWO Les Miserables happenings happened, this weekend!

1) Fred was brilliant and gave me the Les Miserables, 25th Anniversary Concert DVD, for Christmas!  Yay!!  Woohoo!!  Applause!!  Applause!!!

And 2) We saw Les Mis in the theater today!  Yay!!

In honor of these, today's- better late than never Sing Along Song is "Bring Him Home" the Encore version, from the 25th Anniversary Concert.

According to Wiki: For the encore, four Jean Valjeans sang "Bring Him Home": Colm Wilkinson from the original London cast, John Owen-Jones from the 25th Anniversary touring production, Simon Bowman from the current London cast, and Alfie Boe, who sang the role in the concert.

*Colm Wilkinson also played the role of the priest, in the Les Miserables, 2012 movie.   Ahhh... I love full circles.

And, let's just do one song more. 

"One Day More"  Polish flashmob style.  :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Photoshoot at Fern Hall, Part 1

When a client comes for photos, year after year, a) I am a lucky girl, and b) we have to put some extra thought into our planning, to ensure that the photos stay fresh & unique.  No repeat concepts allowed!

These cutie's mom had the fantastic idea of contacting Fern Hall, to see if we could use their estate for our session, this year.  

I was very excited!

Below are a few of the "regular" shots from our session.  While they are beautiful (how could I go wrong, with these two?), you may want to grab some tissues & hug your daughters, during the second portion!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

{ialsolovechocolate} Christmas Break- A thing of the past!

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!

With seven celebrations in nine days, our family... OK I, was poised for a stressful time of year.   Thankfully, an insightful radio show helped me put things into perspective, before the craziness began.

A simple change of words has given me a renewed spirit.  Instead of calling it a "Christmas Break", which conjures up images of rest and relaxation, I'm thinking of it as the "Christmas Visiting Season"

oooOOOOOoooh...  Why didn't I think of this years ago?? 

Now I'm excited about prepping for parties and seeing people that I don't get-together with, often enough!  Rest and relaxation may happen here and there, but this year, the emphasis is on the people we will get to see.  And I'm hoping that this will be enough to make the crazy... feel crazy good.  :)

Ask me next week, if it worked!  haha


And now a bonus sing along song!

We heard this for the first time, on Christmas Day.  It was a really interesting to think of the birth of Jesus, from Joseph's perspective.   Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tranquility. August 2012

This little girl has been waiting patiently to say hello.  Today seems like a good day to do so. 

*Planter tutorial to come, next spring.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

{ialsolovechocolate} Saturday Sing Along Songs! "At the End of the World"

I couldn't resist.

In my defense, I really am a huge fan of Ingrid's and this song.  ;)

"When the sun runs out  
And there's no one to save you  
Will you go to our favorite place  
And try to say goodbye?"

I asked my hubby about our favorite place to say goodbye and the conversation went something like this:

Me: So, if the world was ending and we didn't have phones or any way to communicate, where would our favorite place be, to meet and say goodbye?

Fred: Mohonk

Me: Well, yes it's a favorite place, but... {it's about 4 hours from our house}

Fred: Cape May

Me:  Oh another good one, but I was thinking of someplace more practical.

Fred: Home Depot!



Fred: Folklore.  Oh... also not a bad idea.  But...

Finally, I gave him some hints- I was thinking someplace romantic and within 20 minutes of our house.


Not counting your home, where would YOUR favorite place be, to say goodbye?

Friday, December 21, 2012

{ialsolovechocolate} Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies!!

Ahh... my favorite cookies are socially acceptable, this time of year!

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies!
Obviously, I wouldn't be satisfied with just photographing the cookies on a plain white plate.  ;)  So I propped out this wooden tray, to snazz things up.  As I did it, I thought- "Oh!  Wouldn't this make a nice surprise for my next door neighbors!!"

Rosemary tied with twine on the milk glasses.
Ornament in an egg cup.  Why not?!
Pearls and ornaments too feminine for your taste?  Keep it simple, with some rustic pinecones.

Be right back.  Cookie break time.


I originally discovered this recipe, from the untouchable, cooking guru- Martha Stewart.

However, I never actually read the recipe thoroughly and only today realized that I had been skipping some steps and altering some ingredients!  hah!  But they're still fabulous AND my version takes less time, so at the risk of peeving Ms. Stewart, I give thee... 

Kim Winey's Chewy Chocolate  Gingerbread Cookie Recipe.


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (don't over fill)
  • 1 generous tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  2. Beat together- butter and brown sugar. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. Mix together flour mixture, butter mixture and chocolate chips, till well blended.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.

    *This recipe only makes about 2 dozen cookies.  CLEARLY not enough.  I recommend doubling the ingredients, to avoid extreme sadness, at the site of the wee little cookie yield.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

{ialsolovechocolate} Rooster Street Provisions~ A Lancaster County Must~See!

If you've been following the Facebook event- Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday, you may recall my commitment to do my civic duty, and check out a new business in the area, called Rooster Street Provisions.

Poor me.  Go, look at vintage inspired wares, sample yummly food, buy Christmas presents, buy bacon, eat bacon.  This is what I am willing to do, to support local, small businesses.

Located on West High St, in Elizabethtown, this is how they describe themselves:  "Here at Rooster St we make handcrafted pork charcuterie (a term that encompasses the art of butchering, grinding, cooking, curing, and aging meat) with our own line of garden fresh canned goods. Our retail shop offers all kinds of other provisions and wonderful items to help serve, create and display your artisan foods."

And here is a bit of what you will see!

It was the original window display, back in November that brought this store to my attention.  Perfection!

Butcher paper.  It's not just for meat!  Read about their creative ideas- here.

These wooden serving pieces are beautiful!  Santa may or may not be bringing me a cutting board & cheese cutter!  shhh... don't tell me!

Infused olive oil and aged balsamic vinegars!!  They were amazing!

Any store that has BACON in large bold letters is a winner, in my book.

As I mentioned, we purchased bacon.  It was of the regular variety.  My apologies for having no photos of it.  It's in my belly.

Man on right not included in most Rooster Street Provisions visits.  Special appearances may be arranged, with prior notice.

Build your own holiday basket.  OK!

Scales.  Love.

Giant chalkboard.  Is this store not right up my alley!  Seriously, the only thing missing is chocolate!!

We purchased both the Peach Mostarda
{Italian style condiment, peaches preserved with mustard} and
Onion Agrodolce
{sweet and sour pickled onions} mmmm...

*Photos taken during Elizabethtown's Second Friday Event.  What a great turn out!

*Sampling = happy faces.
Not only do they provide great food and serving pieces, but they also offer classes and catering.  ooOOOooooh!

To learn more about the history and happenings of Rooster Street Provisions, check out their blog.

And to show them some Facebook love- "like" em!

Congratulations, to Elizabethtown for the classy & unique addition, of this fabulous shop!