Experimenting with Film (Black & White Edition)

A while back, probably a good three months by now, Antoine and I woke up early one Saturday morning and, struck by how gorgeous it was outside and having an unreasonable amount of energy for us first thing in the morning, we decided to take Cheese to French Park for a walk.  With the beautiful sun shining down and the dew on the grass I decided to grab my film camera and loaded it with some black & white film my sister had given me.  I've never shot with black & white film before, but I figured what the heck and gave it a shot.  The finished product isn't anything to write home about, but it was a fun little experiment for me and taught me a couple things.
This one and the next one are my favorites of the batch.  I love all the little droplets of water shimmering in the sunlight.
I can never resist snapping a photo or two of this guy!  He's just so handsome.


Xmas in Instagram

Happy Holidays everyone!  I know I'm a day late, but oh well.  I was just enjoying my time off from work and relaxing in my pajamas too much yesterday to worry about blogging.  I hope everyone had a great couple of days off with family/friends/furry creatures.  If you're one of those lucky bastards who has today, and maybe even tomorrow, off...I hate you!  Just kidding, I'm just envious. Anyway, here's a little glimpse into my holiday.

Antoine and I started off our holiday plans by driving to my parent's this weekend to spend sometime with them.  While we were up there we were lucky enough to have lunch with my bestest, Amanda, and her boyfriend!  We also got to spend some time with my grandparents with it always nice.  And I even managed to get my haircut by one of my oldest friends.
I got about 6 inches chopped off!  It feels so much lighter and healthier now!

 Usually when we go to my parent's house and we bring Cheese with us it's like a non-stop wrestling match between my parent's great dane, Lacey, and Cheese.  It's a little intense!  However, this time things were a bit different...they wrestled for a little bit and then they just stopped!  And then they just laid there like this!!  It was magical.  Let's hope that trend continues the next time we visit...

 Cheese enjoying the view from my parent's guest bedroom.  There's some cows that live next door and Cheese was fascinated!

We got home from my parent's late Sunday night, so Monday morning (since I had the day off) I made a batch of challah.  This time for us, not to give out as gifts.  I then took half the loaf of challah and made this scrumptious creme brulee French toast casserole.  Talk about delicious!! Mmm.

 Cheese being adorable with our tree in the background.

 It's official, Guillermo is a murderer!  In no time at all he completely destroyed one of his Xmas mouse toys!  It was funny, Antoine and I came downstairs and Antoine said, "There's been a murder!" in his best Savannah accent.  And then we proceeded to say that nonstop for the rest of the day...we're dorks!

This is what my Xmas was like...surrounded by balls of fur watching HGTV on our new Roku. (I love this photo of Gui!  I call this "infinity cat")

 Antoine and I have our own little tradition for Xmas, steak for Xmas dinner.  It started a couple of years ago and we just keep doing it every year.  We usually get filets to make it extra special and then we generally have some creme brulee for dessert, because Antoine makes killer creme brulee!  This year I made this sweet potato casserole (although I added cinnamon to mine), which was tasty, and I sauteed some green beans in some garlic and butter.  It's a delicious way to end Xmas!


Life Lately (via Instagram)

Life's been a little hectic lately, but it's all my own doing.  I feel like I haven't had a second to really just relax.  I'm either at work usually skipping all or portions of my breaks, standing in the kitchen for hours on end baking Xmas gifts, or passing out on the couch from sheer exhaustion (only to wake up at 3am, stumble upstairs and actually go to bed for real).  But the end (vacation/Xmas) is near!  Last night was my last scheduled night of baking (WOOOHOOO!) and tonight I get to hang out with my sister and our dear friend Helene to celebrate Michelle's birthday!  Then, after work on Friday, I am officially on vacation until next Thursday!  So that means I'll probably be AWOL a while longer, but here's a peek into what my last couple weeks have looked like for me...
As of last night I've made 15 loaves of bread in the last two weeks!  Eek!  I branched out this year and didn't just make my challah (or rather Smitten Kitchen's challah) which is pictured above, I also made some classic white bread and some whole wheat.

And since I literally spent the entire past weekend in the kitchen, Antoine was sweet enough to put up our Xmas tree (a task I usually do).  Then this adorableness happened and Antoine, because I was too busy either cooking or passing out, took this photo and shared it with me!

In addition to baking a ton of other stuff this week, one evening I cranked out 72 of these brown butter pecan sandies!  Thankfully I had a couple leftover for Antoine and I to share. YUM!

Meanwhile, I think this guy might have missed me or something.  He's a diligent helper in the kitchen (anxiously waiting for me to drop something), but I think he might have missed some precious couch time with me the last couple weeks.  Because when I finally sat down for a second last night he got right up in my face and put his paw gingerly on my lap!  It was so cute! 

I hope everyone has a happy, safe holiday!  


Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve

After our little visit to the farm my parents went back to the cabin because it was just too cold outside.  But us "kids" decided to head over to Conkle's Hollow for a very small hike, basically until we couldn't stand the cold anymore.  Michelle and I had been to Conkle's Hollow for the first time this past March when we had our girls weekend in Hocking Hills, but neither Christian or Antoine had been so it was an obvious choice!  On the way we stopped by the visitor center to use the restroom and check out the Pencil Sharpener Museum; seriously, it's a thing!  Just to give you an idea of how cold it was that November weekend in Ohio...
This was a small mill wheel outside the visitor's center that froze.  But at least it made for a pretty picture.

A tree outside the visitor's center.  Look at that crazy blue sky!

After our short little stop we headed toward Conkle's Hollow, which was just 15 minutes or so down the road.  The nice thing about Conkle's Hollow is, as a hiker, you have options.  You can either take the easy, paved 1 mile trail (wheelchair accessible) to the waterfall or the more complex, 2 1/2 mile rim trail.  Since it was so chilly we decided to stick with the easy trail, though I really really want to go back and do the rim trail sometime, the photos of it online look incredible (especially in the fall).

We had a nice little hike, but we were certainly happy to get out of the cold and back into the car.


Weekend in Instagram

I don't know about you, but I had a delightful snowy weekend.  It all started when my work closed at 1pm due to predicted snow in the forecast.  I ended up using the extra free time to address our holiday cards and finalize who's getting what for Christmas.  So, time well spent!  Then, on Friday evening Antoine and I took Cheese for a walk in the snow, which he loves.
His favorite is catching and eating snowballs!  It's so cute.

Our front porch may or may not still be adorned with pumpkins that are now covered in snow.

On Saturday I spent most of the day in the kitchen.  First, I made a batch of the Novice Chef's wonderful peanut butter dog biscuits to give as holiday gifts.

And lucky for Cheese I accidentally broke a couple of the biscuits during baking, so he got the broken bits.

After I was done with the dog biscuits, Antoine and I busted out our new Dyson that we got ourselves for Xmas this year!  We got a really great deal on it, thanks to a friend of his.  It's insane how much it picks up!  And it's so light and so easy to push, we love it!

After our fun with the Dyson, I whipped up a batch of these brown butter pecan sandies.  I was making them for a Christmas party we were supposed to on Sunday but ended up not going to because of the weather/roads.  But they turned out well and were quite tasty, so I was happy to have a couple extras to munch on!

Later on Sunday, after the roads were cleared, we decided to take Cheese to the dog park.  There weren't many people/dogs there, but he still ran around like a psychopath.  And of course Antoine made non-yellow snowballs to toss at him...and I lucked into this killer shot of him mid-devour!

We spent the evening watching Breaking Bad and relaxing.  The animals did the same.  I love this photo because it totally shows the hierarchy of the animals in the house.  Cheese might occasionally chase after Guillermo, but Gui is definitely calling the shots!

How was your weekend!  I gotta say, I love that we got snow before Christmas.  It always feels weird when Christmas comes and goes and we still haven't had snow.  Here's hoping for a white holiday, I'm a sucker for a snowy Xmas, even if I have to drive in it!


On the Farm

Snowmageddon, it's coming!  Apparently.  I was kind of hoping UC would close today so I could stay home and read all day, but it did not.  Still, here's hoping I get to go home early...before it gets too bad.  If it even gets that bad, you can never trust the forecast!

Anyway, back to Hocking Hills.  While my family was celebrating our early Thanksgiving there, my lovely sister sweet talked the friendly proprietor of the cabin we were renting into letting us come by his farm and moon over the animals.  My sis is like me and will take any opportunity to pet some cute farm animals!  So after filling up on a big breakfast we bundled up and headed over to the farm.  Lucky for us it was beautiful outside, well, minus the fact that it was freezing...
The goats came right over to us, but were disappointed when they realized that we didn't have any food for them.

On of the newest additions to the proprietor's farm was a group of eight alpacas.  They were still a little skittish around people, but made some pretty adorable/comical faces!
This one is my cracks me up!

Of course there were some horses, though they didn't want to have too much to do with us for some reason.

By far the best part of the farm?  All the cats!  He had nine super affectionate cats that were following us around and were either being adorable/hysterical. 
These were some of my favorites, Snowball (top right), Fuzz (bottom right), and their mom (left), whose name I can't remember.  Fuzz was definitely Antoine and my favorite, though Snowball was pretty hilarious!

Oh, Fuzz!  I would have taken him home in a second if I could have.  He was so sweet!

Snowball was such a clown!  He was going around attacking the other cats' tails, and then he started chasing his own.  So cute!

Cuteness overload!

Alright, I think that's enough cute for one day!  I hope everyone has a killer Friday and a wonderful weekend!  Stay warm.



I know, I've been slacking on blogging Antoine likes to remind me!  Things have just been busy and hectic lately, though I'll admit I didn't do anything over the long holiday weekend except watch Lost and snuggle up on the couch with Cheese.  But can you blame me?  It was chilly and technically I was on vacation.  Anyway, I'm still working on my photos from my family's weekend in Hocking Hills.  But to tide you over here's some shots of a monarch butterfly who decided to hang outside our house for a couple days in October.  We initially found him lounging around by our front porch looking a little wary, so I put him on a leaf and transported him to a safe, less windy portion of our porch.  Then after I took far too many photos of him, I moved him to the basil plant on our back porch.


Family Cabin Weekend in Instagram

This weekend my parents, sister, brother-in-law, Antoine, and I went to Hocking Hills for our annual Thanksgiving cabin weekend.  It's a weekend of fun, food and wii dance battles.  Good times!
Before I woke up Antoine on Saturday to get ready and hit the road, I snapped this photo of Gui being adorable!

What's the first thing we did when we got to the cabin, after putting the turkey in the oven, Antoine and I whipped up a batch of potent margaritas!  Delicious.

My sis was very happy that it started snowing, though it was only a dusting.

After our early Thanksgiving feast and more margaritas we had a wii dance battle and I took a picture of the ceiling...that's where the rest of the night was headed.  But it was good times.

Surprisingly I woke up Sunday without a hangover, by some miracle.  Antoine and I whipped up some breakfast and then we headed over to the cabin owners farm to play with his barn cats and check out his assortment of animals, which was tons of fun.  Then the kids all went for a little hike in Hocking Hills State Park while my parents took it easy.  For dinner we had leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches...
...followed by some more margaritas.  Antoine and I then decided to do a couple shots of tequila because I never head before.  I'm a fan!  Love the combination of the salt and lime with the tequila.

We finished off the night with more Just Dance and bowling on the wii.  Then Monday morning we packed up and all headed home.
I spent the last bit of my day off making scones for a work party. (Made with jams that I've made and canned myself!)

And of course I had to snuggle up on the couch with Cheese, while enjoying my favorite ginger ale!

That was my weekend!  How was your weekend?