Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Maternity Photos

There is something about photographing maternity photos that makes me entirely happy. Everything about them makes me smile, from the love that is found in each shot, the conversations between shots about the dreams and hopes for the little one to be, to the sweet embraces that make me melt behind the lens. Two weekends ago ... I had the privilege to photograph the sweetest of couples. Their little one is due in June! Marc and I scouted our location a week prior and settled on one of my favorite college campuses and then some shots at a quaint community garden.

The community garden was a perfect spot to shoot as daffodils, tulips, and other Spring blooms were alive and everywhere. The weather the day of the shoot was anything but ideal ... cold ... really, really, really cold, scattered showers (but somehow we caught a lull in the storm) and a bit windy. BUT, I came prepared with a huge mug of lavender tea sweetened with honey and two umbrellas. I actually do love shooting when it is overcast as it makes for great photos. After a morning of lots of laughs, smiles, and love we parted with our couple but not for long. I am going to be photographing their sweet little bundle of joy for my first newborn shots ... and I can not be more excited. After the shoot Marc and I did what any caffeine deprived photographers would do ... we ordered a cap and a red velvet latte at one of our favorite cafes, sipped and reflected on the shoot, and when our cups were empty ... we hopped in the car ready for our next photography adventure. BISOUS.

Monday, March 26, 2012

the weekend and hummingbird cupcakes

My weekend was filled with:
a trip to a classic donut shop where they set the standard for glazed donuts (more on this later)
a road trip where we stopped at one the cutest cafes ... Sideboard (in Danville, Ca) where Marc and I ordered the best black bean burger
a late night baking session where I baked hummingbird cupcakes for my grandma
a meet up with the cutest couple where we chatted about their wedding that I'll be shooting in July
a 75th surprise party for my grandma ... she was beyond surprised and so happy
and a trip to my local library where I finally got a library card ... I went wild and checked out 8 books

The cupcake details:the hummingbird cupcakes were a hit. They literally remind me of Hawaii ... think a pineapple, banana, and coconut cupcake garnished with a dried pineapple flower and a sweet cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are perfect for Spring and best served with tea or a glass of refreshing lemonade. You can find the recipe here and I have to give thanks to Martha as this cupcake recipe was flawless. *Note I sliced my pineapple flowers thicker than suggested*


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

chocolate chip cookies and milk

Sometimes I crave homemade chocolate chip cookies served with a nice cold glass of milk. Last week, I found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that made for sweet success. The cookies that I made came out slightly crispy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside ... the perfect combination if you ask me. I found the recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit and the recipe is now torn from the magazine, stained with cookie dough, and slightly wrinkled ... I showed it some love. So, I made two batches of cookies, layered them between small sheets of parchment paper, and filled my cookie jar with them. And let me tell you, by mid week I was ever so thankful to have dessert already made. All I had to do was reach into my cookie jar, grab a cookie, and pour some milk. Sometimes, you just have to go for that cookie.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

at home ...

apricot jam and rosemary bread

croque madame ... my version

the perfect size dessert

a sweet meal at home ... 

The rain has come ... and we've needed it. I love listening to the light pitter patter of raindrops, the low but ever so powerful howl of the wind, and relishing in ... the stillness of the air after a good rain. Lately, I've been craving quiet time at home ... nothing fancy, but simple sweet things such as; green chai tea served piping hot in my favorite mug, meals at home that remind me of being in France... croque madame served with a bed of greens, and desserts that simply make me smile and leave me satisfied after two bites. On Coeur de La I often write about the places I've been, the restaurants I love, or the coffees I've consumed but what I also want to show you is that a good meal and a peaceful sweet morning, can be found in the comforts of your home. Take a moment to enjoy the sweet things ... at home.

sweet things ...
right now: tea is brewing on the stove
enjoying: the smell of fresh air
loving: sweet little macarons
trying: yoga at home ... I've turned my spare bedroom into a yoga studio
lunch (ing): at home
eating by the spoonful: apricot jam from the farm in France
can't get enough of: homemade rosemary bread from one of my favorite bakeries
excited about: our starter is started ... more bread

today: I am thankful for new beginnings, lovely endings, and those moments caught in the middle like a good tea slowly steeping


Monday, March 12, 2012

Mondays and Cupcakes

I'm over on Cake today sharing one of my favorite recipes ... chocolate stout cupcakes with a bailey's cream cheese frosting. There's no better way to start off a Monday than with a little cupcake. Bisous.

Cupcakes and Monday:
first off: the time change + Monday = not so nice
cupcakes: keep them simple and sweet
frosting: I like frosting I can actually eat ...
Mondays: sometimes I love them sometimes I don't
this week: dabbling with making bread and shooting with film
listening to: birds sing
mini cupcakes: the perfect size

Thursday, March 8, 2012

blackberry rosemary muffins

blackberry rosemary muffins

tea and muffins

good things

This week I was inspired by the current issue of Bon Appetit and decided to get my muffin on.  I could not believe the delicious recipes that were in the latest issue of Bon Appetit ... blackberry lemon and thyme muffins ... really?? So, being that I had a basket of blackberries, buttermilk, and lemon I decide I would take a dabble at this recipe. But, I substituted the thyme for rosemary and my decision was well worth it. The muffins were perfect and tasted like a warm summer's day. These muffins pair incredibly well with a hot cup of tea particularly a green chai tea.  Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend filled with sweet things, lovely things, and good things.

This weekend
looking forward to: a day trip to one of my favorite places
reading: the third and final book in the Hunger Games
scouting out: new photography locations
excited about: maternity photos for the sweetest couple
training for: a half marathon ... bring on the miles

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

morning picnics

morning picnic essentials


a selection of goodies

scones and parfaits ... oh my

yes please.

better than lunch ... brunch

always eat your fruit

the sign of a good meal.

A couple of weeks back on Cake I shared my tips for planning the perfect picnic brunch. The weather was crisp and cool and ideal for a February picnic. So ... I seized the day and packed our picnic basket with all of the necessities. When it comes to breakfast I usually have something light like yogurt served plain and simple, a cappuccino, or juice. But, we went all out for this picnic brunch and it was nice to indulge in a scone or two. I made a some maple date scones, brewed our coffee, assembled our yogurt parfaits in mason jars (quite handy and cute), and put together our breakfast sandwiches. When our basket was filled to the brim with morning goodness we headed out to our local rose garden for a morning picnic. The garden was quiet, still, and beautiful. We did get some strange looks from the occasional passerby as I am not sure they had ever seen people on a picnic at 9am.  So, the next time you plan a picnic bring your brunch with you! Happy Wednesday Bisous.

Monday, March 5, 2012

scenes from the weekend ... by the coast

savoring a tasty galette and wonderfully sweet mocha


Santa Cruz


the coast

 garden walks


a beautiful weekend

The weather was perfect this weekend. We went to the park and drank wine, took a day trip to Santa Cruz where I did some research for this site, got some vitamin d and admired the coast, took a stroll in one of my favorite gardens (I hadn't been back since graduating), and met a wonderful lady whom I will be collaborating with in the near future. Oh .... and last but not least ... I  had the sweetest galette paired with a delicious mocha that made me entirely happy ... more on this later. Stay tuned for some fun recipes this week and a story or two. Happy Monday and Bisous.

weekend roundup:
meal of choice right now: salmon with brown rice and sauteed kale
enjoying: a green chai tea
embracing: change
making: all kinds of goodies this week
wanting: to go to Yosemite for a good hike
cherishing: solid advice from family
reading: Catching Fire and savoring the latest issue of Bon Appetit
addicted to: fresh homemade bread with rosemary

Feel free to post your own weekend roundups as I would love to read them.