Monday, April 30, 2012

The last day of April.

This was the day I found a new app that made my photos dreamy and dramatic. And I love both of those things.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This was Monday night this week. In our office. At around 11pm. (We burn the midnight oil every night around here.) Sometimes we listen to music. Sometimes we watch episodes of current TV shows on Sometime's we're goofy.  Sometimes we don't talk to each other for an hour because we're so focused on our projects.

Sometimes it's hard to be night people. It makes being have-to-wake-up-in-the-morning-to-make-it-to-work-on-time people quite difficult sometimes.

Jack and Sawyer Present: The New Toy

Two things:

1. I got the cats a new toy yesterday.
2. SocialCam now has captioning and music. We're going to have a lot of fun in videos to come.

And here we go!


1. I just love Sawyer's awkward pouncing skills. The Little Prince wouldn't last a day in the jungle.
2. I also love that he catches me videoing him at the end and nuzzles the camera.
3. Techno music makes cat videos much more epic.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twelfth Graders

I wrote my first letter of recommendation today. One of my students needed a letter for his senior portfolio; luckily he's always been a great and sweet student so it was easy to write. I loved that when I slipped it to him this afternoon, he immediately flipped it over to read it and started grinning.

Since I started working at the charter school three years ago, this year is the first that students of mine are graduating. This year's twelfth graders were my new tenth graders three years ago. Half of them have moved on to other teachers in the classroom since, but I still see them quite often. I spent all of today helping one of them finish Geometry to she can graduate on time.

This year's graduation will be much more personal for me. It will be the first year I'll see students I've personally invested in walk across the stage and get their diplomas. That's nuts. I guess the kiddos have to grow up and become respectable members of society sooner or later, though.

Oh, baby!

Tilted photo courtesy of Instagram's inability to correction crop post-photo taking.

A glimpse of our shoot with the Santone twins. I just love his little face, his expression, and his clasped hands!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Evolution of a Green Smoothie

Weekend days are awesome for green smoothies for one important reason: if I mess up the smoothie, I can fix it. On, say, a Friday morning, if I happen to add too much water to my morning smoothie and it ends up a bit soupy, tough for me- I gots to go teach kids some math. But on Sunday morning? Just chop up some more apples, throw in some more baby carrots, and stuff the thing with a couple more handfuls of spinach.

The evolution of a smoothie:

1) It started out with that top left picture. I had acquired a lot of oranges, apples, bananas, and grapes from leftover lunches, so I decided to put them to good use. I don't usually put oranges in smoothies, since it takes longer to get the skin off, but, as it was Sunday morning, I wanted to add those in. Can't get too much Vitamin C, right? The rest of our tropical mix frozen fruits from Costco went in as well. I also threw in some carrots, which I've never done before because I was too afraid. But yesterday we happened to stop at Jamba Juice and tried their green smoothies with carrots, and it wasn't bad. So I took a risk.

2) The second picture shows the smoothie with all those orangey and yellowy colors mixed up. I almost wanted to drink it like that, instead of adding the greens which would inevitably turn that beautiful light color, well, green. But I also want Chris and me to get as many greens into us as possible, so in went the spinach and the bok choy on top of the orange.

3) Normally I add water to help the blender break up the frozen fruits, but since there were mostly fresh things in this smoothie so far, I really hadn't needed to. My smoothie at this point was pretty thick, though, so I knew I needed some kind of liquid to make it more smoothie and less something we needed a spoon to eat. Sometimes I add in almond milk, but ours was expired. (Those things don't really last forever, apparently.) But we did have a few mouthfuls of V8 Splash left, so I dumped that in there and gave it a whirl.

   Way. Too. Much. Liquid. Dang it.
   But lucky for me, it was Sunday, and I still had plenty of room to pack the blender with some more liquid absorbing items. In went another apple, another banana, another handful of spinach, and a whopping amount of carrots, way more than I'd put in originally. (I was throwing caution to the wind at this point. Plus I figured with the V8 Splash, it would probably taste pretty yummy even I threw some cauliflower and green beans in there.)

4) And the last picture shows the final product. It was the perfect texture and absolutely delicious. I didn't even have to add any Stevia thanks to the V8 Splash, and that thing had quite a bit of veggies in it.

So what did we learn today?

1) Carrots are not to be feared in smoothies.

2) A little V8 Splash really livens up a green smoothie.

3) Use liquids sparingly, unless you want a giant vat of green smoothie. (It was okay today, since Chris and I both wanted one, and I poured the rest in a eco cup to take with us to our newborn shoot today.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Look at that determination. It's like he's scaling Mount Everest or something.

Sure, he only scratches if we coax him, and then we don't see him at it again all day, but it's something....

The Haps: April 2012

She spent her spring break organizing the house and learning Adobe Captivate via

He only got a Good Friday break.

They did the recycling, got the car washed, and hit up the La Mesa farmer's market on his day off.


She is on her third Master's class. And is kicking it's behind, thank you.

She loves that there are zero essays and plenty of technological projects.

He has his own homework: keeping track of all the business expenses.

He is also a wiz photo editor. (Four week turnaround? Try 1.2 weeks. He's just that good.)


They have been making lots of green smoothies lately, because they are trying to be healthier.

She is getting good at making salads, but almost smoked the house out making a curry last week.

He is getting good at eating whatever she makes. (Even if it has eggplant in it.)

He texted her today that she should be proud: he ordered a veggie sandwich for lunch.

She didn't text him back that she'd gotten a $.69 coke from McDonald's that morning.


He is a craigslist stud and found two of the cameras they wanted, in amazing condition, for amazing prices.

He is currently reading up on the D700 manual before bed.

She hasn't gotten to play with her D700 yet. (Sunday's newborn shoot will be the first play date.)

They finally came to a compromise on their new logo and website. (It's going to be awe-some.)

They have booked six weddings so far this year. (It would have been eight, if it weren't for everyone getting married on August 11.)

They are planning a road trip vacation before all the weddings start.


She had an interview for a teaching job on Tuesday.

He brought her their wedding flowers on Wednesday.

(She hasn't heard anything, but the flowers are bright and cheerful.)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smoothie Update

I've been getting requests for my smoothie recipes on Instagram- definitely motivating me to update the daily green smoothie here on the blog. Seriously, though, I just kind of wing it depending on what's in our fridge, what may go bad soon, or how much time I have in the morning.

This morning happens to be Saturday, so I had plenty of time to not only sleep in, but make a fully packed smoothie, too. 

Today's Smoothie:

1.5 cups of the Tropical Frozen fruit mix from Costco (mangos, papayas, and pineapples, I believe)
3 fresh strawberries (from yesterday's farmer's market)
1 banana
Handfuls of spinach and kale (sorry, no real measurements today)
Small scoops of flax seed and chia seed
Teensy weeny amount of stevia for some extra sweetness

The tropical mix is all yellows and oranges, so it doesn't hide the green coloring like the berries do, but the flavors are excellent. We've found that our favorite smoothies usually have the tropical fruit mix as a base. Luckily we were able to look past the green coloring early on in our green smoothie explorations. :)

And on an unrelated note, we're trying out a new scratcher for the cat babies. Since we got them, Sawyer refuses to scratch on anything meant for cats. He'll only scratch on the couch, sigh. Jack, on the other hand, has scratched on every single thing we've gotten them, mostly because he's ridiculously smart and knows that's what we want him to do, so he'll do it every time we're looking to get some praise (and maybe a new hair tie). But he doesn't really love any of them.

While we were morally and aesthetically opposed to getting one of the carpeted stand-up things, we've run out of textures and types to try. And this one was cheap. So far so good- they've been lounging around it since it appeared in the living room this morning, though Sawyer still hasn't scratched on it that we can see. The thing's filled with catnip, which they love, so we've got high hopes he'll come around. (The catnip's also why Jack is staring off into space here. He's been lounging a little too long on the carpet...)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On the third day of spring break...

Yes, I am finally getting back around to blogging. Man, I wish I could blog more often. I hate not being able to look back and see what was going on. For the month of March, I had a whopping two posts! Two! Who the heck knows what we did in March of 2012 now?

Actually, I've come to realize that with Facebook and Twitter, I can easily tell what was going on, albeit in smaller increments. Too bad I can't just link everything into one feed! That would make life easy and keep the blogging guilt at bay.

So here's the haps for spring break:

I have four main goals this week. One, purge the house of stuff we don't need, and organize the stuff that stays. So far, I have done the bathroom cabinets (almost completely) and the spice rack and a few cabinets in the kitchen. Threw out an entire garbage bag of unnecessary junk yesterday, and it. felt. good. (Even though doing it at the time is painful- what if we did want the probably-long-expired bottle of nutmeg?) 

Second goal is to pad my portfolio with tons of stuff to show on my official, final interview next week. I'm excited to show off all the stuff I've been doing, and so nervous that I won't have enough time in the interview to get to show it off. :( I'm also going through all the tutorials for Adobe Captivate, which is a presentation software that pretty much is like PowerPoint on steroids. You can actually create flash files that are interactive for the viewer. Love it! Totally want to make quizzes and tests with it! (Yes, I am a nerd.)

Third goal is to get us eating some good, healthy foods. Chris and I decided to try to start going casual vegan/vegetarian. Casual as in, we're laying off the meats and dairy, but not to the point that we're cutting out completely. As Chris notes, we both love Mexican food too much to cut out cheese. Milk, sure, but not the cheese. Unfortunately for this goal, we've been having either lunch or dinner with friends the last three days, so I haven't been able to actually put any recipes to use. Hopefully today I'll make a trip over to Sprouts for some quinoa. I'm also trying to only buy what we need as we need it (even if it means more trips to the store), because we throw a lot of produce away before we get to it. And this makes me sad. I threw out an entire head of broccoli yesterday; we hadn't chopped off one little stalk. :( Sprouts is right down the street anyway, so it's not too big of a deal. So we're pretty psyched about eating healthier and cutting out the junk that's in processed foods. 

Fourth goal is editing. I've got a spring portrait session with our favorite (five-year-old) client Adalyn and her baby sister, then a six month shoot from the Santone twins! Super cute shots for both, and I'm excited to get to that part of my week.

So those are my goals! I can't believe it's already Wednesday though. Why do breaks go by so fast? If this were a regular week it would be dragging on. I would be saying, "Geez, it's only Wednesday," instead of, "Ah! It's already Wednesday! I'm running out of time!" I was kind of freaking out on Monday with all the stuff I had to do, so I decided to make smaller daily lists to check off, too, which has helped.

Today's list:
Finish the bathroom organization
Organize the office (specifically my craft space)
Update the blog (check!)
Decide on a recipe for dinner tonight
Go to Sprouts (get a 69 cent coke on the way)
Finish our voter registration cards (we hadn't re-registered after we moved)
Watch two more chapters of the lynda Captivate videos
Vaccuum bathroom (per Chris' request)
Do Chris' laundry (per Chris' request)
Make my daily green smoothie (and check again!)

Let's talk about the smoothie thing. We've been doing green smoothies for awhile around here, and I'm super lucky that Chris got me the Ninja blender for finishing my credential program. That thing is amazing! I read somewhere that daily green smoothies can do wonders for energy, not to mention you get about six servings of fruits and vegetables from one smoothie (and even more, depending on what you put in it). 

Today I kept things simple:
1 cup of strawberries
1 banana
3 cups of spinach
2 cups of kale

I was trying to really pack the greens in there, as you can see from the photo. Spinach and kale are perfect for this, because they really don't have any taste, whereas strawberries and bananas are perfect in the opposite way for masking out any other flavors. I was also trying to make a Jordan-sized smoothie, not a Chris-and-Jordan-and-some-extra sized smoothie, but I got a little more than I bargained for with this one, about one and a half full glasses. Took a while to drink the whole thing. 

And we can't have a post without these little stinkers. They had just finished up their breakfast and were waiting for me to toss a hair tie out in the hall for them to chase. They have quite a routine in the morning.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April the third

Well, my pictures uploaded backwards, so we'll start with the end of the day! Chris and I met his co-worker Jasmine for appetizer and drinks at the Riviera. We talked photography, work, and tater tots.

Earlier that day, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to finally load up on some much-needed spice containers. Our cabinet had become filled with little bags of spices from Sprouts that had no permanent home. (And I still had a bunch of 20 percent coupons to spare, as you can see.)

I also got rid of tons of old spices we had. I hear spices are bad after like six months, and I'm sure most of the spices we had in there were at least 3 years old. I won't ever buy in bulk again, unless the jar it comes in is super cute. (Like the organics brand at Sprouts. Love those glasses.)

Got a new pair of sunglasses. I apparently left mine in the abandoned field near Courtney and David's house last night. Sigh. I totally broke the 'No Dumping' rule!

And to start off the morning, we had Jack's wake up call. It's hard to escape it.

And there we have it: April 3rd in reverse!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Photographers Shooting Photographers

These are our friends Courtney and David Matranga of Day Photography & Co. We like hanging out with them. On Monday night we went to their place for a delightful dinner and some quality time, but before we went out to this abandoned field near their house in Lakeside and took turns photographing each other. Surprisingly, I think Courtney and I found it weirder to be back in front of the camera than our guys did. Chris and David seemed to jump right into the fun poses and nose nuzzles, while I felt a bit odd (and I think Courtney did, too) trying to be cutesy for the camera. It's been awhile since we haven't been the ones wielding the cameras, and it's definitely funny to hear someone directing you with the same stuff you're constantly telling people: "Brush your hair out of your eyes." "Tilt your chin down a bit." "Look up at him even though you can't really see him." Etc. 

Anyway, it was super fun. I was excited to download the snaps we got and start editing them a bit, and I'm also excited to see what they got of us. Fellow photographer friends are awesome!

Before our shoot, I took some time to dye a dozen eggs, thinking we could use them as props. We only kind of did, so it was a bit of a waste of eggs. But it was fun all the same.

Mmmmmmmm... not the same kind of egg, but even better.