October 30, 2013

Family Photoshoot with Michael Yenor Photography

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On a beautiful Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, my family and I had a family photoshoot with Michael Yenor Photography at Calico Basin, Nevada near Red Rock!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Calico Basin, Nevada- 2013

We had originally planned to do the photos at Mount Charleston. However, Mike knew that the fall colors I wanted wouldn't be there, so he suggested Calico Basin near Red Rock Canyon and it was a great recommendation!

We had never been there before and even though there were a lot of people there enjoying the weather and the sights, we were able to go off trail and find some cute spots to take our photos!

One of those spots was under the bridge area! There was a cute little clearing for us to pose for photos and, per Mike, "the lighting was perfect!" So, we took a few photos there.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Me and my Kaelyn <3
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Our beautiful little girl!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Me and my babies <3

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Kaelyn and her Daddy <3

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
My family - I LOVE this shot!
Mike was great with the kids and even made Elmo voices to get Liam's attention and to get my daughter to laugh! However, after probably 20-30 minutes into our shoot, our son Liam started to get cranky and didn't want to pose anymore. As you can see in the photo below, he started pulling on his sister's hair.
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Liam starting to lose focus. lol
So, because Liam didn't want to pose anymore, Mike suggested to just let Liam run loose and he was able to get some great action shots of him playing around.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Our happy boy!
And while Liam was running around trying to burn off the crankiness, Mike took advantage of the opportunity and took some solos of our Kaelyn and some shots of Eric and I!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Our pretty girl hamming it up for the camera!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Babes and me <3
All that running made our Liam thirsty so we gave him a bottle. That was probably the worst idea ever because he wouldn't let it go for anything! But Mike didn't let that phase him! He took some pictures with the bottle. They still were cute! lol

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography 
Liam wouldn't let go of his bottle! lol
 
Then we moved up to the bridge area and Mike was able to get some cute shots of Eric and I! I overheard someone asking if we were having our engagement shots taken. haha. No, but Mike does offer engagement shoots so make sure to contact him if you need any done! ;-)
 

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Over 11 years of love <3
Since our son lost interest in the photoshoot completely, he started wandering around on the bridge. Mike got some adorable action shots of him exploring! Poor Mike had to hustle and keep up with him! lol

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Our Liam being Liam.
Mike was also able to capture some precious moment of Liam with his big sister walking across the bridge.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Brother and sister bonding time. <3
After about an hour, the kids started to get hot in the afternoon sun, so we had a mini water break. During our break, Mike caught some cute photos of Liam and I.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Thirsty baby!
Mike even was able to capture this priceless moment of my son and I. He's definitely a mommy's boy!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Kisses for his mommy <3
After our water break, Mike found a nice little field with gorgeous yellows and greens! He did some practice shots with Kaelyn and Eric first.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Daddy and Kaelyn <3
Then it was mine and Liam's turn to join them! Liam wasn't liking any of it, until he saw a lady in the distance walking her dog. The lady was kind enough to stand behind Mike so that Liam would stay focused enough for Mike to get some shots of us! They turned out great!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Beautiful landscape!
Calico Basin is pretty much a giant loop, so while we were making our way back, Mike was able to capture some beautiful shots of us with the kids!

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Liam and his Daddy <3
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Me and our Kaelyn! <3
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Daddy's little princess <3
He was also able to capture this adorable moment between the siblings!
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
LOVE <3
Mike was also able to capture this cute moment of me kissing Liam and he wasn't too happy about it! lol. I still love the shot though! Great blackmail for when he's older! lol

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
I think this candid photo Mike captured is adorable!
Not only did Mike take some great group shots, he was also able to get beautiful close-ups of our babies! <3

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
Our Kaelyn and our Liam - 2013
And of course, we had to get a few more shots of Eric and I! They turned out cute!
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
I *heart* you!
After about 2 hours, this was our last family shot of the day!
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Yenor Photography
The end!
Well, there you have it! Our family photoshoot for 2013!
 
I just want to give a big shout out and thank you to MICHAEL YENOR PHOTOGRAPHY for taking beautiful photos of my family! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND him to everyone! Not only for family photoshoots, but he also does senior class photos, maternity, engagement, weddings, events, and modeling shots! He is very motivated, is passionate about his work, and works really hard to get "the perfect shot"!
 
As a parent, what I love most about Mike is his patience with children! He says that his favorite group to work with are children and you can definitely see it through his work! He is great with kids and knows how to make them laugh and get their attention. Even though I was worried that due to Liam's fussiness we wouldn't get any good shots, Mike proved me wrong! He was able to capture so many beautiful photos of my family and I, especially of the children! He had so much patience and understood that kids are kids! For example, when my daughter was complaining about her face hurting from smiling too much, Mike was able to goof around with her and get her to relax and deliver genuine smiles. And with our Liam, even though he was fussy and tired, Mike allowed him to just be his 1-year-old self and was able to capture some beautiful photos from it!

Now that holiday season is around the corner, I highly recommend that you contact Michael Yenor Photography to help you capture those beautiful photos for all your holiday cards!

To see more of his work, please check out his blog! Also, make sure to like his Facebook page. And you can contact him either through his Facebook page or through his official website at www.michaelyenorphotography.com

Let him know that Mabby sent you! ;-)

God bless!

October 27, 2013

DIY - Baby's 1st Pumpkin

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For those who are celebrating Halloween for the first time with your little ones, YOU HAVE TO DO THIS PROJECT! It's a great way to make your child's 1st Halloween a little bit more special!

We did this with our son last Halloween when he was 5-months-old! We used his precious little hands and feet as the template to create the face of his very 1st jack-o-lantern! It's a great way to make baby's 1st pumpkin customized just for them! It's a simple DIY project that can help you capture this special moment in their life! 

What you need:
  • Pumpkin
  • Marker
  • Pumpkin carving knife
  • Pumpkin seed scooper or a Spoon
Instructions:
  1. Trace your baby's hands and feet onto a side of the pumpkin to create the jack-o-lantern's eyes and mouth.
  2. With your carving knife, cut around the stem of the pumpkin to create a big enough opening to fit your hand in. Set stem aside.
  3. Scoop out all the pumpkin seeds inside and make the inside as smooth as you can.
  4. Once clean, cut out the hands and toes you marked on the pumpkin. Note: When doing their feet, make sure to cut out the toes individually to create a more distinct looking foot.
  5. Once face is all carved out, insert any lighting you want (optional) then put stem back on top.
Now you can take all the precious photos of your child with their one-of-a-kind 1st pumpkin! It would be especially cute to take pictures of them with it while in their costumes! Hope you guys enjoy this project and are able to capture some great photos to help remember your child's 1st Halloween!
 
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October 25, 2013

Easy Baked Shrimp

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Easy Baked Shrimp
Serves: 4 people
Calories per serving: 354 calories
Cook time: 20 minutes

I love cooking for my family! However, after a long day of work, sometimes cooking dinner for them is the last thing on my mind! On those days, "Easy Baked Shrimp" is one of my go to recipes for a SUPER EASY and SUPER YUMMY meal that I know everyone will love!


Ingredients
1 lb. of Shrimp (peeled and deveined, thawed)
1 Lemon (sliced)
1 stick of Butter
Italian herb seasoning
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt a stick of butter in a small pan.
  3. Cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  4. Pour melted butter onto cookie sheet and spread evenly.
  5. Slice lemon and layer all slices, except one, on top of the butter.
  6. Add shrimp on top of lemons. (Make sure the shrimp is THAWED. For a quick thaw, throw frozen shrimp into a colander and rinse under COLD running water for a few minutes. Drain excess water before putting on top of lemons).
  7. Squeeze saved lemon slice evenly over the shrimp.
  8. Sprinkle with Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes until shrimp is a light pink.
  10. While shrimp is baking, cook pasta, rice, veggies, or any sides you would like so that everything is done at the same time!
ENJOY!

Sides: I typically serve this over rice or pasta with a side of steamed asparagus or broccoli.

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October 17, 2013

25 Truths from a Modern Mommy

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All mommies enter motherhood with a set of expectations and assumptions of the kind of mother they would like to be, but there are times where we fall short. We are human. We aren’t perfect. But you know what, THAT’S OKAY. 

Being a mommy is tough and we put so much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect" or "super-mom", but I've learned that sometimes you just have to let go and LAUGH! We do silly things. We do things that we're embarrassed to admit. We have weird mommy quirks that not everyone can understand. So, today I'm sharing with you 25 of MY Mommy Truths to let you know, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! However, if you ARE a mommy who is NOT guilty of ANYTHING embarrassing, then at least you can have some giggles at my expense! :)

  1. Sometimes I let the TV babysit my kids so I can clean the house or cook dinner.
  2. When I’m exhausted and the kids pick a long book, I’ll skip multiple pages and paraphrase some sentences so that “the end” comes quicker. (But now it’s harder to fake it since my daughter can read!)
  3. On nights when I’m too lazy to cook, fast food it is!
  4. I pretend to use the bathroom to have some quiet time.
  5. I can stare at my kids sleeping and listen to them breathing for hours in a creepy, stalker-ish kind of way. But, one time my daughter woke up and it freaked her out, so now I mostly just do it to my 16-month-old.
  6. I wake up my kids when they are sleeping soundly in their beds and make them cuddle with me in mine just because I miss them or if there’s a thunderstorm.
  7. Every time my daughter asks me for a toy, I tell her that I’ll get it for her birthday. But that only works for so long because now she remembers EVERYTHING!
  8. Sometimes I bribe my kids with food and/or money.
  9. I eat my kid’s Halloween candy or goody bag treats after they go to bed.
  10. When I give my daughter a choice of 2 things and she ends up choosing what I didn’t want, I say things to convince her to choose what I really wanted. (I’m pretty sure I use this technique with my husband too).
  11. I eat my kids’ leftovers. Even if they’re cold and there may be a chance that they have been chewed and spit out beforehand.
  12. I dance silly in public to embarrass my kids. That's my excuse for dancing badly and I'm sticking to it!
  13. I have accidentally fallen asleep while playing with my kids.
  14. Chuck E Cheese is my worst nightmare.
  15. I'm the sappy mom who cried on the first day of school and didn't leave until she entered her classroom.
  16. I make sure my kids nap or have "quiet time" just to keep my sanity.
  17. I realize kids are a great excuse to get out of things I don't want to do.
  18. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I need a mommy time out.
  19. I'm so protective of my babies that I’ve thought about beating up the mean kid at the playground that pushed MY baby, but then I think “mmm… better not.”
  20. I tell my kids “mommy and daddy were just wrestling.”
  21. I sometimes have more fun playing with my kids' toys than they do!
  22. When I'm supposed to be "tough" mom or have my kids "cry-it-out", I sometimes sneak hugs and kisses to them so they don't feel bad.
  23. I will make my kids re-enact moments just so I can catch it on camera! (But to be honest, it’s never as good as when they first did it! Boo.)
  24. I like the way my kids smell. Sometimes I just like to sniff them.
  25. Changing a poopy diaper is the worst! I will never get used to it. EVER.

So, there you have it! Those are 25 Truths from a Modern Mommy! I am FAR from perfect and I am a bit embarrassed to admit many of these things, but so what! I don’t do these things all the time, but they are things I have done or thoughts I have had at least ONCE during mommyhood and there is nothing wrong with that! That doesn’t make me a bad mom! It just gives me some funny stories to share!


 If you are a mommy (or even a daddy) and have your own "Truths" to ADD, please COMMENT them below! (And you can be ANONYMOUS if you want!)

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October 15, 2013

Cajun Chicken Pasta

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Cajun Chicken Pasta
Serves: 4-6 people
Calories per serving: 531
Cook time: 20-25 minutes

This is one of my family's favorite meals! Everyone who has eaten it absolutely LOVES it! It is so simple to make and you can easily modify the recipe based on your taste! After a long day of work, I don't mind coming home and whipping up this easy but yummy meal for my family! It's even simple enough that my husband has successfully made this recipe as well! The only downside is that it does require 3 pots to cook, but with a prep AND cook time under 25 minutes, you can't beat that! Just make sure it's somebody else's turn to do dishes! Enjoy!

Adapted from Food.com


Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless, not frozen)
  • 1 box of Penne Pasta
  • 4 tablespoons of Butter or Margarine
  • 2 cups of Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning (depends on how spicy you want to make it)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes (unseeded and diced), for garnish
  • Scallions (chopped), for garnish
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Cook penne pasta per package directions, drain, and set aside.
  2. Combine Cajun seasoning and chicken (slightly moist) in a large, 1-gallon Ziploc bag, seal and shake until chicken is thoroughly coated.
  3. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and cook chicken, turning as needed.
  4. Once chicken is about halfway done, grab another large skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter, heavy cream, and the rest of the seasoning over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the chicken is cooking and the sauce is simmering, cut up the tomatoes and scallions (if you have not yet already).
  6. When the cream sauce begins to bubble, add the cooked pasta, mix, and turn off the heat.
  7. Once chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from heat, let it rest for a couple of minutes, then slice into strips.
  8. Spoon pasta onto a plate, put the chicken on top, and garnish with tomatoes, scallions, and Parmesan cheese.
 ENJOY!


Sides: I usually serve this meal with a side of Crescent rolls, garlic bread, or a salad.

Tip: Make sure to preheat the oven before you boil the pasta and then don't forget to pop in your bread dough right before you start the chicken so that you will have fresh baked bread by the time you're done!

And if you have leftovers, just save and refrigerate it! It still tastes just as yummy for the next few days! Just make sure to cut up some fresh tomatoes and scallions as garnish after reheating!

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October 7, 2013

Welcome! Please watch my video!

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Thank you guys for all the support! Don't forget to vote on my poll on the right side of the screen to help me determine what my 1st post will be about! Also, please check out my 'Ask Mabz' section and make sure to SUBSCRIBE with your e-mail address (located right above my poll) so that you can be notified FIRST when my 1st post is published! Take a look around and please leave any thoughts and comments! THANK YOU! <3