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Monkey & Squirrel - Charlotte NC Photographer

Monkey & Squirrel - Charlotte NC Photographer: February 2011

Monkey & Squirrel - Charlotte NC Photographer

I'm Jenn, a stay at home/work at home mama to Penny, wife to Evan, and daughter, sister, and friend to a lot more. I absolutely love capturing beautiful every day moments from behind my lens, and I'm doing my best to do just that!

Monday, February 28, 2011

disney dream cruise 2011

hi friends! i feel like it's been forever since i've checked in. the week away was absolutely amazing, but it's certainly nice to be back home getting into the swing of things again. today i thought i'd share a little photo dump of some of my favorite pics from our vacation... enjoy!

setting sail

evan and our nephew

ahhh the sunsets...

hangin' in nassau

yummy glowing cocktails!

my stinkin' adorable niece!

kickin' it!

did i mention the sunsets?

so pleasantly surprised by the vegan options!



so how was everyone else's week? did i miss anything majorly exciting? it was so very nice being completely cut off from the world for a while. no cell phone, no computer, no news... i loved it! i may just have to make a habit of this more often!


Friday, February 18, 2011

a bit of this and that...

i have a new love, and its name is mood polish!

i had first heard about this polish over on the dainty squid (which p.s. is one of my absolute favorite blogs at the moment), and i new i needed it bad! i opted for this perfect pink/salmon combo, because it just seemed like such a cruise worthy shade!

i slapped it on last night...

and i'm totally stoked about it!

it's not too much of a drastic difference in colors, which is fine by me. just some subtle color changes throughout the day. oh and my middle finger definitely has some chunky gold flake polish going on. i can't resist it!

welp, evan and i leave for atlanta tomorrow where we'll stay with my parents for the evening. then sunday morning we'll all drive down to florida to meet up with my sister, hubby and kids, my brother, wife and kids, my sisters bff, hubby and kids (they've been part of my life since i was about 12, she's basically another sibling by now), and some other friends of family. it should be a jam packed with fun few days and i can't wait to get going! now i've got to go finish up a few work related goodies and finish up packing. i may be able to check in once or twice while i'm gone, but if not i hope everyone has a great week!

here are a few things from around the web to keep you busy while i'm gone...

is it iced coffee weather in your zipcode?

this made me want dessert bad!

a lot of folks have been talking about the back to the future project this week, but i personally love the chini project!

i would like to have this to hold a single vegan cupcake for me!

adios amigos... the fun and sun are calling my name!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

oh happy day!

you may remember me swooning over these shoes here. well i decided i just couldn't pass them up and i went ahead and ordered them. to my excitement, last night they arrived at my doorstep and they're perfect!

these bad boys will be coming on our cruise with me and by god i will find a time to wear them!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

caravan of dreams

i have spotted the traveling home of my dreams...

gypsy bowtop caravans originally spotted here...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

vegan reese's peanut butter balls

evan and i aren't really big valentine's day celebrators. we actually had absolutely nothing special planned for yesterday and we were both just fine with that. i went to yoga, evan worked late, and when we got home we ate some yummy dinner and caught up on 30 rock... a perfect evening in my book!

i did want to do one little special thing for evan since he's been so wonderful about me cutting sugar and carbs out of our dinners these past few weeks. so i got this recipe for peanut butter balls from our friend lia, who got it from our friend bryan, who i'm not really sure where he got it from. lia made us a huge batch of these for our wedding and they were a hit! evan loved them (as he loves anything involving chocolate and peanut butter), and i thought it would bring a little smile to his face to come home to such a fabulous sweet treat! they're so super easy to make and taste just like reese's peanut butter cups... which p.s. were my favorite pre-vegan candy so these really hit the spot for me! here's how to make 'em...

you'll need...

1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup softened margarine
dash of vanilla extract (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
chocolate chips

stir together peanut butter, margarine and vanilla in a mixing bowl. i was actually out of vanilla and didn't feel like going to the store, so i just left it out. i couldn't tell a difference. next add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. mix together starting with a spoon or fork, then use hands to knead it into a dough ball. add the remainder of the powdered sugar for a chalky (more reese's) consistency, or leave it out for a creamy filling. i added the extra!

melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and while that's melting make up your little peanut butter balls.

you can then either drop the balls in the chocolate to coat them...

or drizzle the chocolate over top for a fancy pants look! (note: i had to thin my chocolate with a bit of soymilk to get it to drizzle)

place on wax paper and let cool in the fridge...

these can be eaten while still warm and gooey, cooled in the fridge, or even as a frozen treat! evan loved them, and i even broke my no sugar for 21 days rule to enjoy one. how could i resist?

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Monday, February 14, 2011

weekend bits...

happy valentines day friends! what a lovely weekend it was here in charlotte. the sun was shining and it was around 60 degrees every day. i now officially have spring fever, so let's hope it sticks around! here are a few peeks at what my weekend looked like...

*sleepy puppy*

*signs of spring*

*trim ups*

*lunch with steph*

*cast iron hunting*

*sunday evening dog park trip*

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

getting back on track

this past week and a half i've been making a real effort to get myself back on the good health track that i was on before winter hit. for the past 4 months or so i had quit exercising, began eating all sorts of junky sweets, and just generally stopped taking care of my body. this is fully expected around the holidays, but come on, enough is enough!

i've gotten my butt back to the gym, and started hitting up yoga again. i forgot how much i absolutely love yoga and how it makes me sore in all new places when i haven't done it for awhile. definitely in that oh so good way though! in a grand effort to also get my eating habits back on track, i decided to completely cut sugar, simple carbs and processed foods out of my diet for 21 days. why 21 days you ask? well evan and i, along with my entire family, are bound for a voyage on this amazing ship! we booked this trip 2 years ago, before the ship was even built, and i can't believe it's almost here! i want to look and feel fabulous while sunning myself, hence the healthy boot camp!

this definitely isn't a crash diet to lose weight kinda thing, i would never recommend that! this is me making an effort to remove the harmful things from my diet, things that do nothing good for my body, and replace them with fresh, energizing, good for me things! in just the 10 days i've been doing this i already have more energy, i stopped needing caffeine in the morning, i'm sleeping better, i'm learning new recipes, and i'm generally just feeling good about treating my body with the respect it deserves. we only get one of these things, so why junk it up!

a lot of this was inspired by my purchasing the "crazy sexy diet" book. honestly i don't feel like it's fair calling it a diet book, because it's not. it should be called the "crazy sexy lifestyle" book. it's all about making daily choices to put better things into yourself, so as to get more out of yourself. it's really a great, informative, enjoyable read and i certainly recommend it!

so here's to our health!

(all photos grabbed from google images)

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dear creatures spring 2011

you've done it again dear creatures!

i'm absolutely in love with the sneak peaks at their spring lookbook. the 60's style mixed with a bit of nautical flair, it's just too good for words. swoon... drool...

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monkey & Squirrel... at bath time!

i thought i'd just share this little video of my blogs namesake. this is Monkey & Squirrel! Monkey is the black kitty on the receiving end of Squirrels bath. Squirrel is such a good little momma hen, she's always keeping Monkey clean and yelling at him when he gets a bit too crazy. these kitties keep life entertaining!

pardon the darkness of the video. we were having some evening snuggles when this occurred and it's the best i could get with my phone :)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

can't live without BFF's!

so so in love with these friendship badges from hillary bird!

such a great little gift for the BFF's of the world!

ps... have you heard about etsy's all day symposium going on right now? you can watch it HERE. you best believe i'll be listening all day and taking notes. one can never have enough shop improvement info!


Monday, February 7, 2011

music monday!

last night while browsing tunes for adam & stephs wedding, we came across this classic little ditty. you best believe it got added to the "must play" list.

go ahead, get yer dance on!


Friday, February 4, 2011

aging tastes...

lately i believe there is an old lady in me just dying to get out! take note of some of my recent etsy favorites and see what i mean...

if becoming an old lady is wrong... i don't wanna be right!
happy friday friends!!!

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

hair decisions...

steph, you're killin' me! for months and months i've had this pic saved as my hair inspiration. i've been growing and growing, trimming and shaping...

and then you go and post this pic...

and now i'm completely torn! i've still got a bit of growing to go before i can reach either of these, but it always helps to have an idea of what you're shooting for. let's take a little poll... hair one or hair two, which do you prefer...


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

vegan comfort cooking

one of the things that i'm striving for in life is to actually use all of the cookbooks that evan and i own. currently they sit in a cabinet and generally only see the light of day about 2 or 3 times a year. terrible, i know! i would love to be the kind of person that plans out meals for the week (or at least for that day) and isn't rummaging through the cabinets at 8pm wondering what evan and i should eat for dinner. i really love cooking, so this shouldn't be such a big task. it's just that i'm not that much of a planner. i'm kinda a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal.

anywho, for the past few days i've been going through our cookbooks and post-it noting everything that i wanted to try sooner rather then later. i made a list, went shopping, and got it all checked off. kudos to me! so without further adieu, i give you, last nights dinner!

chickpea broccoli casserole

admittedly it's not the prettiest of things, but it was so super delicious and yummy! the chickpeas take on a creamy mashed potato effect and it's like the ultimate comfort food!

and on the side we had...

garlicky kale with tahini dressing
-also from the VWAV cookbook-

these were knock my socks off gooooood! i've been craving kale lately, and i also have a love for tahini that just can't be described, so this really hit the spot for me!

i definitely recommend giving this meal a go. it did take a good deal of prep time, but it was absolutely worth it! i've also got enough casserole left over for another 2 dinners! gotta love that :)

here's the casserole...

3 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots grated, about 3 cups
1 head of broccoli chopped, about 4 cups
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 a cup of bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup veggie broth
1 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350

first, mash up the chickpeas using either a potato masher or a large fork. this takes a few minutes, but not every single chickpea needs to be broken down. think chunky mashed potatoes! next add the onion, carrot, broccoli, and chives and mix it up. then add bread crumbs, mix. add oil, and mix again. last add broth and salt and give it one last stir up. i also added a few splashes of braggs liquid aminos at this point just to give it a little extra nums! dump it all into a 9" x 13" casserole dish and press firmly. cover with foil and bake for 45 mins. remove foil and bake for another 15 mins. at this point it's all set to eat. i however put it on broil for just a few more mins to really get a good crisp on top. apparently a lot of people say that this is somewhat bland, but it can certainly be dressed up anyway you like. i thought it was absolutely perfect though, just the way it is! (evan added salt, but that's to be expected)

and now the garlicky kale...

2 or 3 cloves of garlic (they suggest 5 or 6, but i thought less was just fine)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped (remove stems from below the leaf and also if they're more then 1/4" thick)

saute garlic in olive oil for a few mins until it's golden brown. add kale and a splash of water. toss it around and get it all coated in the delicious goodness. i also added another splash of braggs here. i just love it! cook about 5 mins and serve with tahini dressing...

the dressing...

8 tsps olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 a cup of tahini
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
1/2 a tsp of salt
juice of one lemon
a bit of black pepper
1/2 tsp of paprika (which i was out of and it was just fine anyway)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup cold water

heat garlic in 6 tsps of the olive oil just until it starts smelling yummy. place the garlic, and everything else except the parsley, in a blender and blend until smooth. add parsley and pulse a few more times. stick it in the fridge for at least half and hour before eating. a little bit more water can be added if it's too thick.


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