5 Things

There's a few things making life a little brighter around here...

1. Plants I haven't killed. My mom gifted me this big lovely mix of succulents maybe 6 weeks ago and I thought for sure it would go the way of the dodo. But I've finally accepted that there are only a few spots that get enough light inside, so I put this on the front stoop and it's been very happy. It even bloomed! :)

2. You Must Remember This podcast. Found out about this one via Hello Giggles (their daily newsletter is awesome) and loved it from the minute I read the description. Chronicling the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood - I'm all over that! The Judy Garland episode was fascinating, and the Star Wars series is great.

2. A new taco meat recipe. For someone who makes Mexican-inspired recipes for 8 out of 10 meals, finding this deeeee-lish recipe over at Love and Olive Oil made me super happy. If I'm being super lazy I can always go back to "brown beef, dump seasoning packet", but this isn't much more work and a whole lot tastier. I use it for burritos/tacos and usually add a can of black beans into the meat once it's thickened up for extra protein. WARNING: if you're a pansy like me, cut the amount of chili powder in half (at least!).

Also, awesome dressing for everything = Ranch + salsa + lime juice + cilantro. You're welcome.

3. Shooting with an ExpoDisc. I'm SO GLAD I finally picked this up. It was a total lifesaver when I was shooting in a variety of lighting situations for my mom's projects and it saved me hours of tedious white balance adjustments in Lightroom. Plus it's so quick to set that you won't leave clients hanging.

4. Newborn snuggles. My boyfriend's third nephew came into the world a few weeks ago, all adorable and tiny and perfectly healthy. Photographing him was a dream.

5. Sense8Despite the spelling, which makes me twitchy, I blew through this Netflix show in less than a week. The biggest draw for me is how they actually film in all the different countries - a reminder of how we've become so used to green screen! The interaction between the characters is great, plus the cast is fantaaaastic.

What's been making you guys happy lately?


Here Comes Summer

Summer is pretty much here (it’s supposed to be 80 degrees again today), and I’m eagerly awaiting the deliciousness that is fresh tomatoes off the vines in my parents’ backyard.

Ellingsen Photography Moms Tomato Vine

Once they’re ripe (in the summer), I love to go pick a handful and throw them in a bowl with a Persian cucumber chopped up and some Vidalia onion vinaigrette. Yummm…

My parents are both amazing gardeners – mom has a magic thumb with succulents and the vegetable patch, and my dad’s roses are in full bloom all across the front yard right now.

Ellingsen Photography Moms Seedling Labels

Speaking of the front yard, I grabbed some shots last week of my parents’ decorations for Syttende Mai:

Ellingsen Photography Syttende Mai Norway National Day 2011 Decorations

Happy Huldra here (named for the Norwegian mythical creature) is a stone troll my parents had shipped home from Norway; she was made by a well-known Stavanger artist who passed a few years back. They’ve collected several of his awesome trolls – he used a formula that makes them slightly sparkly and I believe the story is the recipe died with him.

Anyway, dad dressed her up and of course put out as many flags as possible. Dante could care less. ;)

Hope all you US kids have a wonderful long holiday weekend! Any fun plans? I’ve got a crazy schedule going – a vintage sale Saturday morning (mistakenly thought it was last weekend), photographing a new pharmacy my mom helped design, the aforementioned day trip with the girls Sunday and then Monday we’re doing a joint Mothers-and-Fathers-Days BBQ.

Woohoo for the start of summer!