Recently

So… I haven’t checked in as often as I thought I would. In fact, I haven’t posted since June 9! What the…

Well, I’ve been seriously busy. Camp is camp: 12 hour days, super-active girls, fun field trips, the usual.

The whole pescetarian summer is going better than I had anticipated! In addition to that, Adam and I have a “nothing fried” pledge, so we’re both feeling pretty darn good. I wish I had more fun recipes to show you, but honestly it’s been a lot of tuna salad, sushi, and salads.

I’ve done four photo shoots: one newborn (my friend John and his adorable baby girl)

Baby Katherine-029.jpg

Baby Katherine-234.jpg

Baby Katherine-073.jpg

Two family shoots: One with my friend Missy (who you’ve seen here) who just had a baby, and one with my college friend Wendy, whose daughter has the most remarkable hair.

Vallicelli Summer 2013-52.jpg

Brutt Family-198.jpg

Brutt Family-224.jpg

And one maternity shoot with my friend Jodi, who is pregnant with twin boys!

Brutt Family-349.jpg

Brutt Family-393.jpg

I had a fun day with my mom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and their new butterfly garden exhibit, and I got to take the most amazing photos of surreal butterflies… I can’t believe these colors exist in nature!

botanic-051.jpg

botanic-060.jpg

botanic-100.jpg

So, that’s about it. Hope you’ve survived the Google Reader crumble, and that you’re still reading.

I’ll try to check in more often!

xoxo

signature

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Posted in Photo Gigs, photography, random | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Recently

So… I haven’t checked in as often as I thought I would. In fact, I haven’t posted since June 9! What the…

Well, I’ve been seriously busy. Camp is camp: 12 hour days, super-active girls, fun field trips, the usual.

The whole pescetarian summer is going better than I had anticipated! In addition to that, Adam and I have a “nothing fried” pledge, so we’re both feeling pretty darn good. I wish I had more fun recipes to show you, but honestly it’s been a lot of tuna salad, sushi, and salads.

I’ve done four photo shoots: one newborn (my friend John and his adorable baby girl)

Baby Katherine-029.jpg

Baby Katherine-234.jpg

Baby Katherine-073.jpg

Two family shoots: One with my friend Missy (who you’ve seen here) who just had a baby, and one with my college friend Wendy, whose daughter has the most remarkable hair.

Vallicelli Summer 2013-52.jpg

Brutt Family-198.jpg

Brutt Family-224.jpg

And one maternity shoot with my friend Jodi, who is pregnant with twin boys!

Brutt Family-349.jpg

Brutt Family-393.jpg

I had a fun day with my mom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and their new butterfly garden exhibit, and I got to take the most amazing photos of surreal butterflies… I can’t believe these colors exist in nature!

botanic-051.jpg

botanic-060.jpg

botanic-100.jpg

So, that’s about it. Hope you’ve survived the Google Reader crumble, and that you’re still reading.

I’ll try to check in more often!

xoxo

signature

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The Pescetarian Summer

First of all, thank you so much for your positive feedback on my last post. I was nervous to post it, and so many of you were so supportive…I remember why I do this. It’s the community, the friends, the sharing parts of me and my history and weirdo brain with other people who “get it.”

So yes, posts may be more sporadic, and they’ll definitely feature more healthy recipes and fewer treats. It’s probably a good thing… after all, this is “What’s for DINNER” not “What’s for DESSERT”.

201306091037.jpg

Ok, about that challenge I mentioned: I’m self-imposing a challenge for the summer. I’m going pescetarian. You know, vegetarian while still eating fish. Not Nemo, of course, but here’s my rationale:

  • Giving myself the smaller box of “no meat but fish” will require a larger intake of fruits and vegetables, which is much healthier than what I’ve been eating.
  • Fish is expensive. If I can’t afford it, I won’t eat it. That means we’ll really be eating mostly vegetarian.
  • Why not all-the-way vegetarian? Or even vegan for that matter? I love sushi, and at camp we order grilled fish from a local restaurant on Tuesdays, and that makes me happy.
  • I’m actually really excited about this, which will keep me motivated.
  • I’m forced to plan for lunches rather than relying on quick fixes. Planned, homemade lunches = healthier choices.
  • Seafood and veggies are quick to cook after a long day at camp. I can handle 6 minutes for some shrimp or veggies.

So, I’m revisiting some old favorite recipes: Black bean burgers, baked tofu, veggie-full pasta dishes, seafood stew, and of course coming up with new stuff too.

We’ll be eating black bean burgers, tuna casserole, shrimp kebabs, and spinach salads this week for dinner, and I’ve got a fun salad with apples, pears, sunflower seeds, and feta for lunches.

Anyone want to join me with their own challenge for the next 10 weeks? We can check in on Sundays, plan for the week, and share ideas!

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On Feeling Burnt Out…

I’ve been writing this blog for almost five years now, and I’m honestly amazed at how long I’ve kept it up. I figured it would be something I did for a year or so and didn’t think it would turn into something that I loved. I’ve made some truly amazing friends through blogging, and I’m by NO MEANS writing this post as an “I quit” post.

I’m just going to vent/blabber/yammer about feeling burnt out by the whole blogging thing.

I’m proud of my photography skills in current posts. Case and point:

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Same dish, five years apart. Crazy.

I’m super-proud of that photo on the right. Never mind that FoodGawker and Tastespotting claimed it had “composition” problems and was “too tight”. I love it. The world of food blogging has changed so much in the last five years. When I started, it was all about the community. Posts would go up, and within minutes, discussion would begin in the comments, with either a comment on the recipe or even just a “hope you had a great day!” comment. I loved that. I’d interact with people here and on my Facebook page, and I thrived on the community.

But here I am, five years later, with some amazingly close friends made through this blogging community, and all I feel is disdain for this little piece of internet I’ve carved out. I still love cooking and baking, and I love when I come up with new recipes…but I’m finding that I’m making things FOR the blog, as opposed to making things for me and then posting them on the blog. Does that make sense?

At first, a fun recipe that I came up with for Adam and I to enjoy as a healthy dinner would make a great blog post. Now, I’m constantly trying to come up with something new for my readers, and when I come up with something that I think is AMAZING, I get absolutely no response. Nothing. Weeks upon weeks of posts with no comments. It’s discouraging, and I know I can’t judge a post by the number of comments…but do you get what I’m saying?

The burnout feeling started about two months ago when, for the zillionth time, I started to attempt to lose weight. I found myself not making the healthiest of recipes because I’d “already posted it” or “it didn’t photograph well.” Needless to say, the weight loss attempt didn’t go all that well.

About a month ago, I started posting fun things that I did for me that I thought would make a fun blog post: the What I Love Wednesday posts, the Freebie Saturday posts, and the few photography gigs I’ve had. I crave the interaction that used to happen. Still nothing.

So here’s what I’m saying: I’m going to stop blogging for the sake of blogging. When I make something new and fantastic, I’ll post it. It might not always be food, but I think you’re all ok with that. I’ll still post Wednesday in Numbers for the Summer, and I have a self-imposed challenge I’m beginning Monday that I’ll be sure to keep you updated on.

But, I’m no longer going to make ridiculous rich recipes “for the blog” at the expense of my health, hoping that someone, somewhere will interact.

Here’s what I will be doing: I’ll still be cooking, photographing, eating, and going to fabulous restaurants. When I feel like there’s something worthy of posting, I’ll post. Wednesdays will still be things I love and number-filled, and I’ll keep up Freebie Saturdays, mostly because it’s an excuse to crochet. I’ll still make fun treats (at least one a month, thanks to Adam’s birthday present!) and if worthy, I’ll post them. No more posting to post, but rather posting when good.

I hope you choose to stick with me, but if not, I understand.

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Freebie Saturday (On Sunday!): Drip the Droplette {free pattern download}

Having Memorial Day off of work, as lovely as it was, really really threw me off for the rest of the week. So, Freebie Saturday got moved to Sunday. Never fear, I have cupcakes slated for tomorrow.

Sometimes, in a caffeine-fueled frenzy late at night on a weekend, I start randomly crocheting shapes and kind of see what they turn into. Once, I made a tiny penguin. Another time, a baby seal. Last night? Well, last night this cutie took shape before my eyes and I had to share her with you.

crochet cutie-1-2 copy

It’s been a bit rainy here in the last few days, with everything from drizzle to major thunderstorms so I had rain on the brain. Drip the Droplette is a cute and positive take on rain… complete with a pom-pom headdress!

She’s pretty small…

crochet cutie-3.jpg

And she’s much happier when in brighter climates… my Vera Bradley Kindle cover made her very happy.

crochet cutie-2.jpg

I whipped her up in about an hour, and I can’t wait to gift her to her new home. The pattern for her is below, or you can download the PDF here. If you need help with crochet stitches, check out Crochet Pattern Central for tutorials.

If you make her, please share your pictures with me! I love to see my patterns at work!

This is an original pattern for a cute little creature, nicknamed a Droplette. Feel free to make as many as you wish, and you may sell the final products; please credit Whats for Dinner (Mara Rosenbloom) as the pattern creator.

Supplies Needed

Worsted weight yarn in two colors

Two 6mm safety eyes

Small bit of embroidery floss for mouth

Fiberfill

Yarn needle

3.75 (F) crochet hook

stitch markers

Main Body Pattern

Round 1: ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd stitch

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc (12)

Round 3: (1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next stitch) around (18)

Round 4: (2 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (24)

Round 5: (3 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (30)

Rounds 6-8: sc around (30)

Round 9: (dec 1, 3 sc ) around (24)

Rounds 10-12: sc around

Attach safety eyes between rows 6 & 7, about 6 stitches apart.

Round 13: (dec 1, 2 sc) around (12)

Rounds 14-16: sc around (12)

Fill with fiberfill at this point,

Round 17: dec around (6)

Round 18-21: sc around (6)

finish off, bend the top to make the droplet effect.

Feet:

Round 1: ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd stitch from hook

Rounds 2-3: sc around (6 st.)

Finish off, sew to bottom of Droplette

Make the pom-pom top

Wrap cream-colored yarn around your first two fingers about 15-20 times.

Slide the yarn off and tie in the middle with another piece of yarn.

Cut all the loops, then sew pom pom to the end of your droplettes head.

Enjoy your new friend!

See all the other Freebie Saturdays.

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