My Photography

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Another evening, another walk

We've been having some rainy days here, but the girls and I have really been enjoying our park walks in the evenings when the other kids are all off working. It's been some good sister bonding time. =]

Maria posted about this same walk in her blog, but I loved the pics and wanted to also. On her blog the photo editing was done by her, but I redid some of it for this post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oat pancakes

These little guys have been a staple in my diet for about 6 months now, and it's rather a surprise I haven't blogged about them yet. When I'm craving a bread-like thing that I can hold in my hands and bite into, these pancakes are perfect. They can be savory or sweet and they're SO easy to make. They served as my lunch this spring a bit more often than I'd like to admit!

I originally got the recipe from the back of a oatmeal package that Othman's cousin got for me during our Christmas in France. I hadn't been eating oats since they're not GAPS but since she had bought them for me I decided to see if I could re-introduce them to my diet, and was thrilled when the result was successful! I adapted the recipe a bit into what's below.

This morning I ran out of coconut milk and was poking around in the fridge and saw some organic raspberry jam, and a big ole craving hit. I can't eat bagels or toast, but oat pancakes? Sure why not! So without further ado:

Easy Oat Pancakes (Wheat-, lactose-, nut-, sugar- free)
(This makes a good size lunch/brunch/breakfast for one person)

-2 big tablespoons of plain yogurt
-1 egg
-2 tablespoons oat flour (just take oats and ground them up in a food processor or coffee grinder for 10 seconds or so)
-another tablespoon whole oats for texture
-pinch of salt
-if sweet think about adding: a teaspoon honey/sugar, vanilla extract, cardamom (my favorite spice in these), cinnamon, berries, bits of peaches/apple... whatever you want
-if savory: olive bits, a bit of shredded cheese, oregano... be creative!

Beat the yogurt and egg with a fork until homogeneous. Add the oats, it should be lumpy and have a similar texture to oatmeal. Add whatever spices you want.

To fry, put a generous amount of coconut oil on a skillet and wait till it's HOT. Test with a tiny piece of batter to see if it sizzles immediately. If so, it's good. You don't want it to burn but they'll  be impossible to flip if the skillet isn't hot enough when you put them on.

Make small pancakes by flattening out lumps of batter, and let cook for 2 minutes or so. Flip and let cook for 1 more minute. I like putting a lot of coconut oil so they almost fry in it, but that's just me. 

Enjoy with jam, honey, peanut butter, or use as wheat-free sandwich ends!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A change...

About a year after the fact... but better late than never!

Just a walk in the park

Bia, Tess and I took a walk after dinner today (during which I got to eat Domino's gluten free pizza--having a REAL pizza for the first time in years was amazing) and they showed me a cute little playground they walk to sometimes. It was an adorable place and we had all sorts of fun on the elementary school equipment, while of course taking pictures thanks to an old iPhone.

I love how long sunset/twilight is here! The perks of living far from the equator...

I've always LOVED playgrounds and really miss them in Morocco, so I had all sorts of fun climbing and remembering how much of a monkey I used to be.

 It was warm and muggy today, but lovely out.

Swings have always been my favorite. Tessie and I had a competition to see who good go higher... Bia judged me the winner.

My view from atop the spiderweb.

Another fun sisterly evening.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Someone was talking to me recently about my yearly visit home, and asked why I come so regularly and for so long. The answer was immediate and very true: I come home for my sisters. Isa is 7 years younger than me, Bia 10 years, and Tessie is 12 years younger... if I don't make the effort to be here for them now, then I'm gonna lose out big time on having real relationships with my sisters. I don't want superficial relationships with them, and infrequent Skype chats + occasional emails are not enough to foster deep bonds. So summertime comes and I turn into a kid again under my parents' roof, eating mom's homemade dinners, shopping, getting ice cream, and tanning, all without a care in the world take up most of my days here. Well scratch that no-cares part, but basically I come home to have fun. Not for my benefit but for OUR benefit. Cuz I love those sisterlies of mine, and I want them to love me back, not as some idea of a sister in a far-away land, but as a very real person, who steals clothes from them, annoys them, can be counted on for a bra-shopping partner and does all those other great things sisters do.

At Applebee's, where I could bother waitress-Isa with my food
allergies and not feel bad at all!

Today, on a trip an hour South to Sioux Falls.


Bia and I don't work in the garden, but we can pose cutely in front of it!

That last game, before we started crying....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


While in South Bend I visited my friend Ashley for what was a WAY-too-short visit. It was lovely to see how she has blossomed into a fantastic mother to her two boys. Hopefully we'll see each other again before too long! While I was there I took advantage of her adorable little ones to snap some portraits.

This next little guy was moving around so fast, showing me his toys and playdough and being a robot inside his cardboard costume, that the only time I got unfuzzy pictures of him was while supermom was holding him.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


As a preface to this post I have to admit something.

I  LOVE  the fourth of July. 

Really. I really do.

It has always been my favorite holiday... spending a summer night playing with pretty fire, eating barbecue, listening to music, catching fireflies, maybe drinking a bit... what's not to love? The smell of gunpowder, the pretty sparklers, the opportunities for pretty photos, huge firework shows, scaring parents with roman candle fights (and desperately holding in laughter when you best friend gets a chunk of her hair burned off...), introducing little siblings to the fun of twisting the wicks of different firecrackers together... seriously, I love this day of the year. 

But even though I come home for a nice long visit every summer, I hadn't spent a real Fourth in the US since 2009. That was the summer after my freshman year of college. 5 years is a long time to miss out on your favorite holiday!

So this year I was understandably very excited to be in the US, and wanted to make this Fourth a really great one. I was in Chicago but Patrick and Isabel were heading up to spend the Fourth with some of their friends, so a very good friend of mine from college, René, said I could spend the Fourth chez lui! He even picked me up from Patrick's apartment in Chicago and drove me down to South Bend (home to our university... for which I felt zero nostalgia... I've never been an exemplar Domer...) where he and his lovely Brazilian wife are living for the moment. 

It was really great getting to know Nathalia better, she's a gem. Well done René. =]

Being Brazilian, she had never experienced a real Fourth before, so I had all sorts of fun introducing her to the beauty of fountains, snakes and roman candles!

René was laughing a bit at our excitement, but had fun joining in a bit too.

Later we watched the firework show put on by South Bend which was small but nice, and Othman was enjoying the mini Whatsapp videos I sent him! 

At the end of the day, I realized that it really just was nice to be back in the:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chi with sibs!

There has been some blog silence lately... but that's because I had some week long travels to this place:

My first stop in the US was Chicago, where I stayed with big brother Patrick and lil sis Isabel met us for a fun sibling few days! Pap is a wonderful big bro and took us to a super nice Sushi/French (...?) restaurant. The food came with instructions! Isa and I loved it. See our happy faces??

We even all got dressed up! 

She requested a Chi-photo shoot (I need a new profile picture!) and I happily agreed, so we wandered and shopped and photoed!

Isn't she pretty??

We even snuck in a halfway decent picture of me in there:

This one is her favorite, very city-like and glamorous:

I love her skeptical face:

Later on we met up with big brother outside the Sears tower or whatever they call it now, because that's where he works. They then got a train to spend the 4th in Milwaukee and I headed down to visit friends in South Bend-- more of which you'll see next post!

Awwww sibs. ^___^

Next post-- the 4th!