La Sardina

Last week I had my first piano lesson. I was waiting for it to start so I picked up the Architectural Digest in the waiting room. I read about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s house which was quite spectacular. Then I flipped to a part about film cameras. It showed several but one really caught my eye- it was a fisheye lomo camera. I wrote down the website and looked it up when I got home.

I was opened to the whole new world of lomography! It’s this whole community that’s devoted to film photography with lomo cameras! What is lomography? Check is out! So I was browsing the website and came across some really cute cameras that takes pretty awesome pictures! I registered for an account so I join the world of lomography and received Piggy Points! Apparently they equal money off for lomo products!

I was thinking that I might want to buy a lomo camera in the future but…impulse and common sense told me otherwise! You know the piggy points I mentioned? Well they gave me $20 off! Also, lomography is running a promo with free shipping! Ahh! So I could either buy this lovely La Sardina camera for $68 later, when I have more money in my bank account and have thought about it more, or I could buy it now, after having thought about it for a day but save $28!

I got this camera for $39! I was so excited! It arrived yesterday and I immediately took pictures of it! Haha. What’s so special about this camera? Well it takes lomo pictures, is small and compact, uses 35mm film, and has a super wide angle lens! It also has the ability to take multiple exposures, meaning that you can take 2 different pictures on the same frame and see what kind of crazy effect happens! Oh it also has a bulb setting and 3 different levels of flash strength!

And check it out! It’s designed to look like a sardine can. Ironic, since I hate seafood. BUT I love the ocean and the nautical colors.

I’m just going to ignore this squid thing on the back. Hehe :) So I’ve been researching film and I’m amazed at this whole world I’m missing out on! I’ve taken film photography before, with my mom’s Nikon, and worked in the dark room at my school, but I haven’t really experimented with types of film! I’ve found a type of color film that I think would be great, I just need to save up to buy some!

So here’s my cute little camera :) Just thought I’d share.

Advertisements

Daniel Fast

Today I am starting something called the Daniel Fast. This is a fast I’ve done twice before and just felt led to do it again. The fast traditionally lasts for 21 days and you eat only things from the earth basically- all fruits and vegetables, nuts, and unprocessed grains. You can have spices but not sugar or any sweeteners like honey. The fast is modeled after the one that Daniel (from the Bible) did. Daniel did this fast when he was taken into the Babylonian king’s palace:

“Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the place staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, ‘I’m afraid of what my master the king would do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!’ But Daniel appealed to the steward…’Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.’ ” And at the end of the 10 days, they were healthier and better nourished than the other men.

It’s a challenging fast to do because it’s a totally different way of eating and it’s hard to do when you’re eating with people not on the fast. I’m the only one in my family doing it but that’s fine with me :) I’m actually excited to experiment with making Daniel Fast meals. So here are my reasons for doing the fast:

1. Spiritual. Fasting has a way of re-focusing you and you can grow closer and more in tune with God. When you stop focusing on food, you have more time to devote to God and you remember to talk to Him.

2. I have a bad relationship with food. Even though it’s gotten better this past year, I still hate how stressed eating can make me feel. Sometimes I eat way too much because I’m upset or I don’t eat because I feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty when I eat on this fast mainly because it’s healthy. Especially since I’ve been back from Haiti, I hate that I have this horrible relationship with food because I am so blessed to have access to basically as much food as I could want. I hope that this fast will help me relax when it comes to eating.

3. It’s healthy. Eating like this is seriously so good for you. Your body detoxes and gets rid of all the chemicals and crap that’s in the food you usually eat. When I’ve done this fast before, I’ve had a ton of energy and felt really good! So I’m looking forward to that.

4. I’m going to see if it helps my migraines at all. I don’t really think it’s going to…but I might as well try!

Here’s another verse I think of when fasting. “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” -Matthew 6:16. I think this verse is so important. Fasting can be a great experience but not if you do it for the wrong reasons. I think to get attention or to be admired are wrong reasons. To fast because other people are doing it is a bad reason. To do it to lose weight is a bad reason. I think your #1 reason for fasting has to be God, to focus on Him and get your strength from Him.

I’ll be updating how the fast is going for the next few weeks :) and posting Daniel fast approved recipes!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday was a busy (but good) day! I was really tired because my friend Jessica and I had been to the Hillsong United concert the night before (more on that later :). School was pretty boring..the best part was working on our coil pots in AP Art History. I wish we could just do art projects in there all year! I got home and immediately left to take Celina to her acting lessons and I had my first piano lesson with a new teacher. The lesson went well but it’s going to be strange to have a piano teacher again! On our way home we stopped by Kroger to get a couple of things. When I got home I worked out and showered and then baked cookies as a birthday present for my boyfriend :) He sent me a link to these Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Picky Palate a while ago so that’s what I decided to make!

Before I used to really enjoy baking cookies and it was what I made most frequently. Lately I just haven’t been in the mood to bake cookies but these super delicious over-the-top cookies reminded me how fun it is :)

First you have to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Any cookie dough would work but I followed the Picky Palate recipe which was pretty basic but used a tablespoon of vanilla. I liked the extra vanilla in the dough- it added a nice flavor.

I think this picture speaks for itself. 2 chocolate chip cookies. 1 Oreo.

It’s hard to tell how big these cookies are (and the picture isn’t that good…) but they are enormous!

Yummy! Oh a miracle happened…the oven stayed on the whole time I was baking! I was so excited!

I was really bummed that we didn’t have milk! We only had almond milk…and it’s really not the same. We’ll have to buy some milk today so I can enjoy these cookies to the fullest!

These were so good! I had dinner at Carrabbas with my boyfriend and his parents. I gave him the cookies afterwards and he said they were really good! My family liked them too. Success all around!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Picky Palate.

Ingredients:

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

1 Cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz bag chocolate chips

1 package of Oreos…they HAVE to be double stuffed. It’s the law.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (and pray that it will stay heated). Cream together butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop (ice cream scoop) take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of the Oreo. Use your fingers to press the dough around the Oreo until you can’t see it anymore. Put the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. I like to keep my chocolate chip cookies a little underbaked :) Take them out of the oven and stare and the amazing thing you’ve just created!

This makes 20-24 extremely large cookies! Make them today for someone you love and eat them with real milk! You know, the kind from the cows :)

365 Photo Challenge

My project for this next year is going to be the 365 photo challenge. Taking a picture every day for a year. That sounds pretty hard to me. But I think it’d be a really good thing. I love photography and this would force me to take pictures every day. To always be thinking about photos. I think it’s going to challenge me to see the world and document my life. Instead of 365 days, though, I think I’m going to do it a little differently. I’m going to start the challenge on the first day of my senior year- August 11, 2011 and finish it on the first day of college. I’m excited to start documenting my life and my world…as it undergoes many changes in this following year. I won’t be posting the pictures I take every day, maybe more like once a week. So yeah! I’m pretty excited about this idea :)

Ok so this paragraph above? I wrote it a couple weeks ago and was going to wait to publish this post until it was the first day of school. Well I forgot all about the post and the 365 challenge…whoops! I just realized today that I had forgotten about the post and the challenge! I was all upset until I realized that I have taken pictures (almost) every day since school started! Whew! So I will start the challenge officially now and I’ll post my daily pictures every week (possibly). I’m excited about this! I’m sure you are too :D Not all of my pictures will be good, I’ll be taking some with my phone I’m sure (ahhh! super envy for everyone who has instagram…)

I’ve been really inspired by some 365s I’ve seen on flickr…I think it’s going to start off rough (especially as I’m getting used to school and stuff) but I’m ready to start challenging myself with photography! Well that’s all for now :) School’s pretty ok…youth group kick off tonight!

Banana Bread…Finally!

The other morning for breakfast (well it was 11am…so late breakfast) I was going to have frosted mini wheats. They are one of my favorite cereals! I had it all poured out in the bowl and then opened the fridge and…no milk. Gah! I hate when this happens! And then after that I didn’t want to eat anything else because I had my mind set on cereal. So I sat and sulked for a while. And then I decided to make banana bread with the 3 very ripe bananas we had on the counter.

I love banana bread so much but whenever I made it, I was never pleased with the results. It was always too dry or not very flavorful. I had a lot of banana recipes saved that I wanted to try out and I finally did! I was so incredibly happy with the results! I will definitely look forward to making this again. Oh it was also super easy to make! And the oven didn’t stop working..I would have to say it was better than frosted mini wheats :)

This recipe is from 4littlefergusons on Tasty Kitchen!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1 stick butter, softened

1 egg

4 tablespoons sour cream

1 ½ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 whole over-ripe bananas, blended so that they’re liquid

Directions:

Cream together first 5 ingredients. Slowly add the flour and then the baking soda and salt. Add the blended bananas. Put in a greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. (How easy was that?!?) Then enjoy the super not-dry and tasty bread! Usually I always put butter on breads and muffins, but this really doesn’t need it! Which is kinda crazy because I love butter!

Alright…School.

I really truly had one of the greatest summers ever and I am so grateful for everything I got to do and experience. Even after I got home and wasn’t doing anything, I enjoyed just relaxing. I didn’t really want school to start because a lot of times it can be not so enjoyable and stressful. But school started again…as it does every year. And, you know what? It’s gone pretty well so far! For the first year in a long time, I don’t have a teacher that I sense is going to be bad- so far I like all of them!

It doesn’t really feel like school has started yet. This weekend feels like it’s just part of my summer vacation :) Thursday was my first day and it was a half day. After school, Celina and I went out and got pedicures! A pedicure was my birthday present for her (in June) but because summer was so busy, it hadn’t happened yet. We decided to do it for the start of school! It was a lot of fun and I love how my toenails turned out. Oh if anyone in the Spring Hill area needs/wants a place to get their nails done, I would totally recommend Luxy Salon in the Crossings. I’ve been there twice now and they’re always really nice and do a great job!

See my super awesome tan line on my feet? I know you’re jealous.

So that night, my family went to the fair! It was so much fun :) I had been planning on going to the fair just to take pictures and eat food. And that I did! I also caught part of a very interesting hypnotist show!

Mmm…funnel cake :) So tasty!

To see all my fair pictures go to http://www.amiliaphotography.com/?p=766 :)

Friday was our first full day of school…and it went well too :) Some things aren’t great yet…I don’t know where to sit in some of my classes and I don’t feel motivated to do any homework..but I’m hoping everything will start feeling more normal soon. Friday evening I returned to the fair with my friends and rode some rides! That was pretty awesome too :) Oh and I had a deep fried oreo which was super yummy!

Then on Saturday I baked banana bread and went and saw The Help at the movies. So yeah…still feels like I’m doing things in summer mode! Even as this year gets going and school becomes more hectic, I’m hoping to maintain a positive attitude. I would love it if I liked my senior year!

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an incredible book- one of my absolute favorites. It tells the stories about women we never think of…the maids who worked for white families in the 1960s…the black people who lived in constant fear in the south. I think the book does an amazing job of telling their stories.

The movie, The Help, just came out in theaters. I was apprehensive to see it because I didn’t think it could do the book any sort of justice. I went and saw the movie with my mom and sister and I thought it was spectacularly done. I won’t say it was better than the book but seeing it made it much more real in many ways. The actors were incredibly cast, almost all of them were just what I imagined. While watching, I alternated between laughing and crying. It was so well done…and it’s a movie that certainly makes you think about what you saw for a long time after.

I think movies and books like The Help are so important. They remind us of America’s dark past and how far we’ve come. But I think it also teaches us never to allow ourselves to grow complacent at the injustice and inequality we see around us. We’ve come a far way as a nation but there is still racism here. Living in the south I am continuously shocked at the prejudice I see here…towards black people, Hispanics, Middle Eastern People, homosexuals, atheists…and the list goes on.

We’ve come a far way. But that’s not an excuse to stop working and pushing towards equality for everyone…we must always remember the people who were forced to fight for their rights. Characters like Minny and Aibileen and Skeeter in The Help encourage us to never be complacent and to have courage to do what is right.

Previous Older Entries