Time for Real Blogging

I said I was going to transition into more personal blogging a few blog posts ago, but that was also a few months ago. I’ve been thinking more about it and hope to add more updates on life. Most of the pictures I’ll add will be simply phone pictures, and completely unedited, but I’m sure that will bother only me!
My most recent focus has been on entertaining and budgeting and meal-planning/trying new recipes. I don’t plan to be a blogger who shares new creative recipes.. I’m not the creative cook, I just like exploring other people’s flavors. I can’t help but make a few adjustments, but that’s typically to make the meal easier or faster. The first thing I want to share is my favorite app that I have been getting more and more use out of every day: Pepperplate.

www.Pepperplate.com

Ok, since I don’t remember how to do a screen shot of the website, the link is the best I can do right now. :) (I love my mac, I just forget how to use it occasionally)… Regardless, click, look, try.. it’s completely free, and while it takes some time to set up, once you are set up there’s no going back. There’s a website version, and app versions for both Apple and Android, so I have access any way I want. I input all my recipes and can cook with my iPad beside me using the timers or changing the ratios, I can make a meal plan for the week or a menu for an important event, and I can add whatever recipes I plan to make to the shopping cart, quickly go through and check off the things I already have, sync it with my phone, and have a quick touch-screen checklist in my hand at the grocery store. The only thing it doesn’t do that I wish it did was add up the items at the store for me so I knew how much my grocery bill was at the end (the only app for that is called a calculator). You can also input categories for your recipes. Mine, for instance, include things like “fast”, “grilled”, “dessert”, “gluten-free”… label it as many ways as you like, in the end you can filter your recipes by a certain category and narrow down your options.
It’s genius, really. At least I am happy. It is currently helping me out with a few projects: trying new recipes, trying to cook healthier, and trying to keep in a budget. As I sit down on Saturday morning and pick the meals for the week (which now takes all of 5 minutes) and plan my shopping list, I can actually buy things that makes sense together and save some money.
I get it, most of you have done this for years. I’m a slow learner.
Whatever, in the process I’m rocking some pretty awesome meals. Tonight was this Chicken Pita with Tzatziki.. Mmm. (Or to see it in Pepperplate form, click here).Getting my husband to eat cucumber is tough. This was filled with it and he was a happy camper.

Even this guy liked it:

 

Speaking of my husband’s dislikes, we have had several break-throughs. Somehow, believe it or not, he is not a fan of pork chops. But last night we had this:

http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/06/06/chili-rubbed-pork-chops-with-grilled-pineapple-salsa/

I didn’t manage to take a picture but man, was it good! I happen to love pork chops anyway, but he was pleasantly surprised, which is a big win in my book! There’s a saucy chili rub that gives it a smoky, rustic flavor, and then it’s topped with sweet pineapple and lime juice. Weird mix but heavenly.

Of course it was coupled with grilled corn on the cob and leftover sweet potato casserole which I made for our Gospel Community group. The theme for food that night was a favorite dish that has a story. Nate always begs for the casserole and he swears the first time he had it he knew I was the girl for him. Funny how food can be such an emotional thing!

On another note, anyone know how to get the allspice seasoning out of this tree? It’s an incredible-smelling allspice tree (yes, allspice IS a real spice not a mixture of spices, if you didn’t know. A replica can be made of a mixture, but allspice is a legitimate spice, named so because it was such an amazing combination of smells like cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves. How convenient that it blooms in the fall!). Last year I didn’t do anything with it but this year I’d like to make the most of it. If you want a little jar of it, message me!

 

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Taking a Break

It’s clear that I haven’t posted for a while and there have been many other things fighting for priority in my life. After much prayer and discussion, my husband and I have decided to pause Amy Copeland Photo as a business temporarily, with the hope of resuming/starting fresh in a few years. You all know there’s no way to stop me from taking pictures, and I may still do some shoots for trade, but if there’s anything I’ve learned through all of this is that I’m not a business-oriented person and it currently causes more stress than it’s worth, when I would much rather create pictures for art alone. This is freeing me up to do that while I hopefully pursue more education and make better business plans. The goal is to relaunch in a few years with more focus and expertise, and in the meantime, focus on this little guy:

Image

Thanks to all of you who are so very supportive of my work. I would have never have even started if it weren’t for so many people believing and speaking to my going forward. You all have given me the encouragement that you believe my work is worth something and that has been unspeakably huge for me. In no way is this me “giving up” or quitting. This is an effort to focus positive energies into this without getting dragged down with business. I have big dreams, and they require stepping back for a while to make them happen. 

I appreciate any thoughts you have, there is so much more I could say… but for now, I’ll stick to “Until next time!” and Aloha. :)

 

Jungsun & Eunice: Married!

This was such a special wedding for me to be a part of. Jungsun was a friend from church in Chicago and had enough faith in my photography to fly me back from Hawaii to shoot his wedding after I moved… a little extra pressure to get some great pictures! It was a special treat to be able to fly home and spend time with family and friends and have such an important part in their special day. Eunice was gorgeous and everything about the wedding was perfect! So much to take pictures of, here are a few of my favorites.

Sunrise Love

Okay, I’ve officially learned my lesson. It’s worth it to get up before dawn to catch the sunrise for a photoshoot. I suppose being at the beach and in Hawaii probably helps too. :) I did touch these up, but I didn’t feel like I really had to. I came home and literally did a “happy dance” (as my husband calls them) when I looked at them on the computer. Brian and Sarah were an awesome couple to shoot, super flexible and obviously so happy to be together. That makes my job easy!

A Letter from Malachi

 

Dear Pepa, Mema, Papa, and Grandma,

Aloha from Hawaii! Mommy has been telling me all about this airplane trip and how we are coming to see you. I can’t wait!

So Mommy got these suitcases for me to play with from a yard sale. Aren’t they cool? I’m just getting ready to fly in the sky. I can’t wait to see the clouds!

Did you know that I will be turning 9 months old while I’m there with you? I haven’t seen you since before I turned 4 months old! I am very much grown up now.

I can play with things so much better than I could before! And I think my family is so funny. I will tell you lots of jokes to make you laugh too.

Can you see I have four teeth? Actually, I’m showing off my tongue in this picture, but my teeth are way cool! I’m learning to eat finger foods too. There’s no stopping me now!

And I scoot everywhere. I don’t like to crawl because this floor is so hard. But maybe I will try at your house where you have carpet!

Can’t wait to see you. We will have so much fun.

Love,
Malachi

What to wear?

I don’t often cite other photographers on this blog, but this article on what to wear for photoshoots was too good to pass up. It captures perfectly what I try to express when people ask this question. Thanks to Laci Davis Photography for this!

http://lacidavisphotography.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-to-wear-for-your-family-photos.html

Mysterious Botany

One of the extra cool things God did when finding us a house was finding one that had an award-winning yard! There is so much beautiful Hawaiian creation growing in our yard, I thought I would share with you, and see if anyone can tell me what some of them are! I have been given several lessons on some of these plants and trees, but some of them are still a mystery. Have a look:

I'm awful at remembering names of plants but we have lots of these beauties.

Anybody know what this is?

We have lots of these. In Peru we were told they try to get rid of them because they grow like weeds. Still pretty!

Can we say coconut?!

Jack has to check out whatever I'm looking at to make sure it's okay.

A closer look at these guys, which actually is what prompted me to get my camera out. Anyone know what these are? Looks like beans on the tips of the flowers but I'm assuming they're not edible. Tried to Google it with no success. Anyone?

Mini tangerines. They are extremely sour, but look just like a regular tangerine inside. My landlord said they just use them for target practice. :)

This is my husband's contribution to the yard. I told him it had to be somewhere I couldn't see it all the time. Creeps me out. It's a coconut birdfeeder scary-face!

These are the flowers on the star fruit tree, which is sadly out of season. We enjoyed it for about a month and are anxiously waiting for it to start producing again!

I found one lone star fruit hanging on at the very top of the tree. The locals call this fruit "Five Fingers" and it is oh-so-yummy.

This tree produces a bunch of non-edible hard berries (I use them for decoration inside), and the sweetest smelling flower you've ever smelled. I think the flowers are at the end of their season too. Sorry, I didn't get a picture.

A view of the yard that runs along the side of our house. This is where our landlord suggested we start a vegetable garden if we start one. Apparently the soil there is excellent. (PS. Can you find Jack?)

Looking back across the back yard, the back of the house is to the left of this picture. Plenty of room for Jack to run!

Yes, those are the beautiful Koolaus rising up behind our house. There's nothing like seeing the mountains from your kitchen window.

Jack likes to watch the fish in the fish pond. I hate the fish, but I suppose the pond is nice.

We've been told this is a rosemary bush, and that if we want the perfect grilled steak or chicken, to just pick a few of these and sprinkle them on. We have yet to be so brave.

Another mysterious plant. Anyone know what this is?

Growing on the same plant as the previous picture, looks like the petals just fell off, but I'm not sure.

Cactus and other miscellaneous plants

And finally, a tree whose leaves smell just like cinnamon. I'm not sure if you can actually cook with it or not, but it sure smells good! Bring on Fall and this may be in several places inside our house.

That’s it for our plant tour. I would love to hear comments about what you think some of these plants are! It is really cool to see all these new (to me) creations God has made and learn about them, especially while staying home!

Just Another Lunch by the Ocean

We decided to grab lunch to-go on Sunday and enjoy some of the beauty God has put around us. It is so nice to be able to head to the beach without feeling like you have to make the most of it because you don’t come that often. No bathing suits or beach towels, just a picnic lunch and camera on a beautiful day!

Malachi and Mommy by the water

Of course everywhere is a photoshoot, right?

"When I grow up, I wanna be just like Daddy..."

Buds