It’s Been a While

It has been some time since I’ve posted, I know. I have taken many photographs in hopes to elaborate in words and it’s not as if there has been nothing so interested that I haven’t felt compelled to share,  just that I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with life. If you are interested in checking out the photographs most of them are uploaded to my Facebook page. Since my last post, I have experienced saying goodbye to my job, home and dear friends in Okinawa; visited with family in Sweet Home “Indiana” where I was introduced to three of our family’s newborn boys; reunited with my best friend I’ve had since I was 7 years old, Lara; temporarily lived in eleven different hotels and homes; experienced 8 different airports; driven over 4000 miles; successfully moved with a husband, three pets and over 5000 pounds of belongings from Japan to the panhandle of Florida; had my precious Doobie Boi go MIA for 12 days; watched Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Doobie Brothers, Fuel, Pop Evil, Josh Turner, Long Reef, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Better Than Ezra, 311, 30 Seconds to Mars and Stone Temple Pilots in concert; submitted approximately 40 job applications; met with one of America’s top modeling scouts, Linda Bennett, who has provided me with modeling contract opportunities at Wilhelmina Models and Ford Models; ate at many new and wonderful restaurants; watched fireworks blast off a barge on the Boggy Bayou, as patriotic music blared from a boat on the 4th of July; spent a wonderful Labor Day weekend in New Orleans as the Southern Decadence Festival went on; celebrated my 25th Birthday; explored Panama City from the back of a Harley; watched the sunrise and sunset on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico; experienced wild dolphin sightings while boating with new friends; and have embraced a new military community. As you can read, I’ve been extremely pre-occupied! I hope to get back into keeping up with my blogging as it’s a creative outlet for me. Also, I have hopes to keep all of you, my friends and family, up to date on the many exciting life changes that will be happening in the near future. You will have to check back often or subscribe to see what exactly I mean!

Thanks for reading, I’ve missed this!



Seth’s Photography

I have been teaching Seth what little I know about photography and he took me out on a small walk about shoot in our neighborhood. See for yourself but he’s done very well, especially for his first time. I still couldn’t persuade him to let me show him any Photoshop skills though so the photography is his work and the editing is mine.

It’s been taking me a lot longer to make posts than I’d like because of our upcoming PCS move. Shamefully I’ve got to admit these were taken at the end of February but I guess better late than never! Below are some of my favorites; you can also see a couple on the “About Me page”.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, I am a brownie freak! I love brownies! I had never tried using actual chocolate to make brownies before so I got searching for a new recipe where I could try it. They were so creamy and melt in your mouth rich! Needless to say, I’m in love!

1-1/2 sticks butter (6 oz)
6 0z semi sweet chocolate chips, about 1 cup *
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee**
3 eggs
1 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 c all purpose flour

*For an extra kick I used “Lindt Chili” chocolate bars.

**I omitted the instant coffee.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and Flour a 9 inch square baking pan.
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler. Stir in cocoa powder and instant coffee until dissolved.
  • Whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.
  • Whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture.
  • Whisk in flour until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan come out barely clean. Cool.
  • I also made a white chocolate version of these, or blondies! To make these I omitted the cocoa powder and used “Ghirardelli White Chocolate with Vanilla” squares.

    There was an article today on Yahoo about how your face can show signs of other bodily issues and I thought it was really interesting! Click below to take a look.

    Reading Your Face

    Preparing for PCS

    Of course, we still have not received our flight tickets and have no idea what day we’ll actually be leaving Oki. I only know it will be sometime in-between March 29th and April 7th, and that time will fly so we’ve really got to get on the ball!

    In attempt to help support our PCS move I will be doing a few select photography Mini-Sessions before we leave. I had started my own photography business two years ago and decided to quit once I started working full-time with Verizon. It’s been a year since I have done any paid portraiture photography and now that my work hours have been cut, I’m going to take advantage of the beautiful backdrops Okinawa has to offer. So if you or anyone you may know would be interested in doing a Mini-Session with me please send them my way!

    Being the peanut butter freak I am, I used peanut butter M&M’s. Also, I omitted the chocolate chips and added an extra bag of M&M’s. Yummy!

    M&M Cookies

    8 oz unsalted butter, cool
    1 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon and sweep)
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 cups plain M&Ms
    2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

    Dough requires chilling, so don’t preheat oven.

    Combine the cool butter and shortening in mixer. Beat until creamy. Add both sugars and continue beating on high for two minutes, scraping bowl. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Continue beating for another minute or until fluffy.

    Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add this mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until mixed. Stir in the M&Ms and chocolate chips. Chill batter for about an hour.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes (mine took 9 minutes on Covection Bake). Let cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

    Mangrove Kayaking

    I have really been neglecting my blog lately and I sincerely apologize. A lot has been keeping me preoccupied with us having less than two months left in Okinawa. I have a whole checklist of things to do and see before we get booted back to America. One thing that has been at the top of my list for a while was to take advantage of the eco-tourism up North and go sea kayaking. Take note, I typed “was” at the top of my list. That’s because several weekends ago we finally ventured back up to Higashi with the only purpose being to go sea kayaking on the Gesashi River. There’s a great, little school up there who offers all sorts of eco-tourism packages, see below for contact information and directions. We went on the shortest course which was kayaking along the mangrove forrest for 30 minutes. This plan it costs 3000 yen per person. I highly recommend going with someone who speaks some Japanese so you can take full advantage of the tour, as English is limited. Our short trip up the river was nice and relaxing but it would have been good to learn a little along the way.

    I also have to give an update on my friend, Kinjo-San, as many of you have been asking if I’ve been visiting him. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, see my previous blog post here. Kinjo-San is not who you would typically picture from America, hanging out in the same spots; he travels all over the island on his motorbike and could show up anywhere when you least expect him! On our drive back home from our kayaking trip on a busy highway we passed the silhouette of someone on a motorbike piled high with stuff. It was on the very far edge of the road and was so dark but I could barely make out the flowers sticking off the top of his helmet. It was Kinjo! Of course I would have loved to flag him down but as luck would have it there was a median and no where to turn around. Probably better that way; he seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere, maybe to his golden castle?

    Front and Rear View From the Kayak

    Yanbaru Nature School




    If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi. Turn right directly after crossing the Gesashi River bridge. Go about one “American block” off of H331 and Yanbaru Nature School is on the left. Watch for a large garage filled with kayaks, the school is on the second floor of this building.