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Friday, March 30, 2012

Caitlin's Senior Portraits @ Meredith College

I had such a wonderful afternoon photographing Caitlin's senior portraits at Meredith College. The weather looked like a rain storm could blow in at any moment. But fortunately the rain held off and the overcast day made for some beautiful, natural lighting. 
I hope you enjoy these image from Caitlin's senior portrait session...

(and if you're stopping by from P52 just scroll down a bit for my Details shot for this week's challenge) 




This image was taken in front of the Johnston Hall Rotunda, a place Meredith College girls get to know very well beginning with their high school visitation days. 


The onyx, an important symbol of the Meredith experience. It's a special ring students receive their junior year which includes a week long celebration known as "Ring Week". 

The walkway through the glass behind Caitlin is turned into a runway at the end of the school year when fashion students have the opportunity to showcase their designs.



Details.
Caitlin wanted to incorporate her new found love of taking photos into her senior portraits.












Monday, March 26, 2012

Week in Review: Vegan Cakes, Daisies, and Juicing

Here's a look at the (birthday) week in review...

My birthday kicked off right with a sweet surprise from my students and fellow teachers. 
Inside the card each student made a creative contribution. Explaining hers, one of the girls described her picture:
"That's you, Mrs Schniiiiider. And that's me with 100 feet. And that's a trombone." (a hot pink trombone I might add)
No explanation on that one. 
Oh how I love these kids!


Birthday flowers from my husband. 
He explained the choice of a single pink gerbera among the white daisies,
"because you're the one for me". 

 For birthday dinner with the hubs I wanted to do something really different. We grilled out and I found these grass-fed, family farmed, organic hot dogs, a brief hiatus in my meatless lifestyle. 



I made a vegan cookie dough cake to which my husband added 24 sparkler candles. Good thing I've been practicing a little breathing in yoga lately 'cause they took some major breath to blow out. 
The cake was a variation on this recipe. I replaced the brown sugar with agave nectar and replaced some of the chick-peas with whole wheat pastry flour and ground flaxseed meal for a more cake-like texture. 


Oh. My. Goodness. The vegan chocolate blackberry cake a friend made for me the day after my birthday, delicious! 
I had some the following every day for breakfast.
And lunch. 
And afternoon snack. 
And after dinner.
I could keep going...


Saturday evening was our scheduled family birthday dinner with my parents. It's a family tradition that you get to go out to eat the week of your birthday and pick the spot. I picked Whole Foods Chapel Hill and no one was surprised by my health nutty choice.
It was my parents' first time eating there and they seemed to love it, especially the wide selection of food bars. When you've got a salad bar, pizza bar, BBQ bar, hot foods bar, sushi bar, taco bar, and trail mix bar how can you go wrong? 

I chose my usual favorite: vegan veggie pizza with a smorgasbord spinach salad. 

And here comes, you guessed it, another vegan birthday cake.  This one I based off this homemade Lara bar recipe that I made in cake form. It took all of 5 minutes to measure the ingredients and blend them in the food processor. No cooking required!

Thanks for bringing me into the world, mom & dad. 
Was that awkward to say? 

Birthday gift from mom...a juicer. Needless to say as soon as we got home from church Sunday afternoon we began to juice up a store making green juices.

Thankful for the family, friends, students, and co-workers who made this birthday week one to remember. I love you guys! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week Recap: Golfing, Green Eats, and Great Deals

Here's a look at our week in review...

The Food Truck Rodeo at Durham Central Park of course meant a stop by Only Burger for the best burgers, we shared the veggie burger. Hmmm- mmmm good!!

 I spotted a most unique food truck, Raw to Go! by Triangle Raw Foodists. After asking about a billion questions about each different entree (the lady was so nice to answer all my questions graciously!), we settled on the nori rolls. 

While the hubby spent the better part of the week on business in California, I enjoyed the Virginia Tulips he left behind for me. 

I couldn't count the days till his red-eye flight back fast enough. When he was back home we headed to Earth Fare to pick up one of my favorites, Cranberry Mock Chicken Salad (aka vegetarian, no chickies). It was so nice to have him back for dinner. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
A breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 cereal and raisin bran cereal was served in the Schneider home with a side of a green monster smoothie in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. I wore green AE cargo pants and wondered...do you think my green eyes and strawberry blonde hair gave me extra Irish points on St. Patty's Day?

Saturday after a quick trip to the Durham Farmer's Market (picked up some local cheese from Celebrity Dairy) my hubby indulged me in a DSW trip. I hadn't been there in over a year, but was quickly reminded how much I L-O-V-E this store.
$10 spent for a $100 pair of Asics running shoes. 
Yes, ma'am!
I need to be visiting DSW more often. Much more often.  Maybe don't tell my husband I added that much in there. 

Saturday evening we headed to the driving range for my first golf experience. (Not counting that time I worked a golf-fundraiser in high school in which I spent all day driving around on a golf cart with my best friend while asking the occasional golfer to buy a raffle ticket and munching on a catered boxed lunch. Bliss!).


As St. Patty's Day was the theme for our meals, vegan mac & cheese with peas and baked potatoes made for a suitable dinner. 


And did I mention this week is my birthday? I picked cooking at home with the husband for our just us birthday celebration, but have yet to decide what we'll make. Recommendations on anything from appetizers to cupcakes and anything in between? 



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Green Eyed Monster Smoothie Recipe


I like to call this the Green Eyed Monster smoothie recipe because when you start drinking it you'll encounter the green eyed monster. People will begin to wonder why your skin looks clearer and you have more energy (bye-bye breakfast donut sugar crashes). Call me a hippie, but I really think there's a little touch of healing in green drinks...


Green Eyed Monster Smoothie Recipe
Serves one 

- 1/2 very ripe banana
- one small apple, sliced
- 6 ounces Naked Juice Green Machine, more if you like your smoothies even sweeter
- 2 heaping handfuls of spinach

Blend well, enjoy!

What are your favorite smoothie recipes? 



Friday, March 9, 2012

Photography: Mini Portrait Session

Mini-Portrait Session. (min-ee pawr-trit sesh-uhn) noun. 
1. A portrait session that is shorter than the time that is typical.
2. A photography term referring to a meeting between a photographer and model or client in which photographs are taken in a short time frame.
3. Camera. 15 minutes. Fun. 

Be still. 


New possible default photo for sure. 




I don't pretend to be a professional photographer. In fact, I'm really just starting out with this whole photography thing. But as one of my photographer role models, Sandy Puc, has said "In order to make footprints in the sand, you have to get your butt off the ground." Consider this session and the next couple portrait sessions I've got in store, me getting my butt of the ground.




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Green Drinks, Kale Chips, and Homemade Larabars



{Breakfast} Green Monster Smoothie in my new Starbucks re-usable cup. Long story short I used to use a to-go smoothie container that was so hard to open sometimes I couldn't get the lid off resulting in a brief episode of me banging the said smoothie container again the stove in the staff kitchen in a failed attempt to get that lid off. 

{Lunch} Amy's non-dairy burrito with homemade sweet potato fries followed by a whole grain fig bar courtesy of the bulk section at Whole Foods

{Snack} stealing plenty of bites while making homemade Larabar chocolate cookie balls

{Dinner} mini-pizzas made on Ezekiel English muffins topped with diced tomatoes, pizza sauce, and lactose-free cheese w/ a side of homemade kale chips.  Another green monster smoothie too. For dessert, homemade Larabar chocolate cookie balls...so delicious!

{Snack} raw almonds with raisins

What's on your plate?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Cookie Balls (that taste like Larabars)

These taste just like LaraBars only better. Promise. I shared them with family yesterday and the reaction was overwhelmingly "yum!" followed by requests for more.


Healthy Chocolate Cookie Balls

Total prep time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: easy, as long as you can press a button on a food processor you can make these

- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pitted dates
- 1/6 cup raisins
- 1/6 cup prunes
- 1/8 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1/8 cup raw unsalted almonds
- 2 tablespoons milk alternative (I prefer to use a chocolate milk alternative)
- 1.5 tablespoons semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Foods because they're dairy free) 

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until mixture begins to clump together.
Roll into bite sized balls and enjoy!
Store in refrigerator. 








Thursday, March 1, 2012

Food Review: Justin's Maple Almond Butter

In honor of National Peanut Butter Lovers Day I'm posting about...

...almond butter. 

Does that count at all?

I've always been a peanut butter addict huge fan of peanut butter. But never been a fan of almond butter. That is until I met Justin...

 I've seen these Justin's Nut Butters individual serving size packets before and after spending too long contemplating which new peanut butter to try I grabbed a Justin's Maple Almond Butter instead.

Several squeezes later I was finishing the last bite of my Maple Almond Butter & Strawberry preserves sandwich and grabbing my car keys to head back to Target for a jar of this unbelievably delicious butter.


Now I want to try every flavor of Justin's Nutter Butter. 

What are your favorite nut butters and what do you like to eat them with? Sandwiches, apples, baked in cookies...?