Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Fun

Yesterday the sun was shining, the fall colors were bright, and it was the perfect fall day. We took time out for a family field trip of sorts to the pumpkin patch and the farmer's market. I wanted to share this (mostly) wordless post of it. 

I love to see the trees turn so brilliant. I wish that it could last longer...

My favorite pumpkins are the ones with perfect stems. The pumpkin doesn't have to be can be bumpy or lopsided or a little bit scuffed up...the stem is what catches my eye.

The farmers market had lots of pumpkins too, as well as lots of other beautiful fruits and veggies!

I loved this scarf...may have to visit this vendor again!

What a wonderful fall afternoon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

One of my favorite fall flavors is definitely pumpkin! Pumpkins are full of anti-oxidants and vitamins so you can feel good about all those pumpkin treats you'll consume between now and Thanksgiving (at least we can tell ourselves that, right?) If you have never had the combination of pumpkin and chocolate that I highly recommend this recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips (to taste - I use the whole cup)
(Yields 1 dozen muffins - I often double the recipe so that I don't waste the extra pumpkin.)

Mix the eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin and beat together. Mix all dry ingredients and then combine with the pumpkin mixture. Stir until well-mixed and fold in chocolate chips. The minis seem to work best because they don't sink to the bottom of your muffin.

Spoon the beautiful orange batter into your muffin tin or cupcake liners and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes. These muffins are great for breakfast or a dessert. A perfect flavor the holiday season.

And speaking of the holidays...I was pinning Christmas ideas on Pinterest last night until far too late, and I browsed my Pottery Barn catalog again today. My mind is already whirling with holiday ideas. Just to give you fair warning - once Halloween is past I start to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas as one big holiday so it may be the most wonderful time of the year early at Leah's Priceless Memories. Before that though, I have a lot of fun fall plans to cram into this last weekend in October. A trip to the pumpkin patch, Trick-or-treating with the kids, and finally my first Tennessee game this season. I'll update with lots of pictures next week! Love fall.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Look For Less - Girls Night Out!

This post will be a two-for-one because I want to talk about another way to get a new "look for less" and I'm also going to share about another great place to go in Knoxville! Every few weeks some girlfriends of mine try to get together for a girls night out. This month I had a little bit of birthday money so I wanted to get something new to wear to our dinner but didn't want to spend more than $20. For my birthday, my cousin, Elizabeth, gave me this necklace. This is from her "La-Te-Da Libby" collection which she makes and sells. (If you're interested in looking at her work or ordering one of her pieces click this link.) I loved this necklace and I wanted to build an outfit around it. The most inexpensive way to put together a new outfit is to use pieces and accessories that are already in you closet and buy a dress to coordinate. This way you only need to buy one thing! I found the perfect fall dress at Forever 21 and came in under budge at $15.50!

Add what you have - cardigans are my solution to so many outfits! Buy a dress that is either very multi-colored or a simple solid. That way chances are good that you can match it with something that you have. Then add a great belt. If you don't have a great belt then add $4 to your total at Forever 21 - love all of their belts! Jewelry is key. Add your favorite accessories. Last but not least - a cute pair of shoes!

Boots were my choice but they great thing about a casual dress is that you can wear almost any kind of, flats, heals, etc. Be creative and have fun! I really felt like I had a whole new outfit and I loved it. All of the colors and textures were just right for fall. I got some self-portraits...once again my neighbors may think I'm crazy, but that's okay, I had fun.

So now that I had the perfect look, it was on to our girls night out. Every few months The Melting Pot actually hosts a girls night and offers great discounts on their four-course dinner.

You can sign up for emails to notify you when these will be held. If you've never been to The Melting Pot, I highly recommend it! Its really special and different. You get salad and three fondue courses: Cheese served with bread, veggies, and fruit; Meat and veggies with specialty sauces which you cook at your table in your fondue pot; and my favorite - dessert which is fruits, cheesecakes, brownies, etc with chocolate fondue!

I'm so thankful to be able to enjoy things like this! Good food, good friends, and great memories. I am blessed. Oh, and one more thing. Since The Melting Pot is a nice place, we were completely behaved and serious the entire evening... ;)

Tim, Traci, and Ryleigh

Click here and check out these photos of Tim and Traci with their sweet baby girl, Ryleigh. I'm sure that you'll be able to see how much they adore her. I love these photos and this family!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where a Kid Can Be a Kid

I'm double posting today. For some reason I had this rule for myself that I shouldn't do that...but this my blog, after all. I can change the rules. I've been so busy with my photography business and my blog has been full of gorgeous pictures, but it feels a little impersonal to me because I haven't been able to babble on or post pictures of day-to-day things. So this post is just a few snapshots from my day with the kids on Monday. On Sunday, you see, we had family portraits made ourselves. The next day I followed through with my bribe reward for my kids effort to smile and behave. (Savannah didn't succeed but its hard to take one without the other!) So we headed to one of Landon's favorite places - Chuck E Cheese! 

To be honest, Chuck E Cheese can be a nightmare. When its crowded and kids are running around everywhere I tend to lose track of mine and get overwhelmed. However on this weekday it was quite nice. We met our friends Julie and Rylee there. 

 After some pizza we took our tokens and tried, rides, you name it.

Savannah decided she wasn't fond of the monster truck. (Don't worry I grabbed her immediately after capturing this priceless face.)

Here is Landon riding a little coaster simulator. The ride? The Gemini at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. I had a lot of good memories there...and a few horrible ones (I'm not much of thrill-seeker but I rode.)

Savannah finally found a ride that she was okay with.

Skee-Ball! My favorite.

Look out, Savannah and Rylee throw overhand!

After all the fun and Chuck E Cheese we stopped in one more of our favorite places which happens to be right next door - The Puppy Zone. If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.

A fun start to the week! Being a mom is the best job ever. 

Hannah - Class of 2012

This senior session was an absolute blast to shoot! Combine a beautiful subject, perfect fall weather, and just the right light and the results are magical. Hannah is family and I am so glad I was able to take her senior pictures! You will definitely want to follow this link to see her gorgeous photos.

I am also proud to share that you can now share my Facebook business page with a web-address:  Thanks to so many of you who have liked my page and made this possible. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to do this job.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Walker Family

This past week I had a great photo shoot with the Walker family! Its always an adventure when you do a large family shoot. Everyone was great and this gorgeous family makes a beautiful picture. Click here for more from their session.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Waiting for Parker...

Check out these gorgeous pictures of Peabo and Wednesday who are expecting their littler girl, Parker, in January! Both of them are beautiful and I can't wait to see their meet their sweet baby girl. They were great to work with and as a result we got so many good shots. Click here for more of this story from behind my lens!