Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I made Soufflé

Ever since I was a kid I loved standing next to my mom, watching, "helping" her bake. I loved to stare at the mixing bowl as it turned and turned and all the ingredients went from a mix of colors and shapes, to one big yummy, creamy, paste or doe. I used to wait for the moment she'd press the "Eject" button and set the beaters free, and hand them over to me to clean them... Yummy!
In later years, when I was the master of my own kitchen I started baking myself. I used to make cakes for all my friends' birthdays, deserts for dinner parties, and cookies just to have at home for whenever I get the sweet tooth.
There is nothing more pleasing to me then to make something from scratch, that I have never done before, and then watch the reaction of whom ever gets to taste it.
Over the years I have collected recipes for sweets from my mom, my friends, over the net, and from books. I have a selective collection of recipe books that I absolutely adore, and I use them as guidelines, as I tend to make changes here and there to the recipes and make them my own.
I've always wanted to learn Pastry Making and one of my biggest fantasies is to one day open my own little coffee shop with yummy cakes, and pastries. Of course there will be a photography gallery there to display my works... Dreams might just come true one day...
Last night I came home from work and felt the urge to make something sweet. I browsed through this recipe book I had received for my last birthday, and found an interesting recipe for individual warm chocolate and pear Souffle'. I made two. Here is the result & the recipe (with my little tweaks of course)

Chocolate & Pear Souffle' (Makes 8 individual souffle's)

4 pears cut in halves
40 gr. butter
4 spoons of Whiskey
4 spoons brown sugar
For the filling
250 gr. flour
a dash of salt
1.5 cups powdered sugar
20 gr. baking powder
70 gr. cocoa powder
0.5 cups brown sugar
2 cups milk
170 gr. melted butter
4 eggs bitten
2 tea-spoons REAL vanilla extract
For the topping part
120 gr. brown sugar
35 gr. cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water

Heat up the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
To prepare the pears, heat up a non-stick skillet. Add the butter and wait till it melts. Add the pears and let them soften. Add the Whiskey and brown sugar and fry them for another minute.
Combine the flour, salt, powdered sugar, baking powder, cocoa, & brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, butter, eggs, & vanilla extract, and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
Place each of the halved pears in separate individual souffle' dishes. Divide the mixture and pour it over pears. Place the souffle' dishes in an oven baking pan.
for the topping, mix together the sugar and cocoa, and spread the mix evenly over the 8 dishes. Gently pour the boiling water over each dish.
Now bake for about 20 minutes, until it rises and darkens a bit.
If you'd like, add whipping cream or powdered sugar on top.

Bon Appetite!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekend Favorites- Coin Purse/Clutch

I used to think that coin purses are for grannies (no offence to the lovely grannies reading this blog...). Maybe it's because my granny had them, or maybe it's because as a kid you don't really walk around with loose change, and once I started carrying around my own money, I bought myself a "proper" ladies wallet with lots of compartments, including one for change.
Well all this has changed recently, when I discovered some unique vintage looking purses on Etsy's front page. I started looking for more, and discovered a world of joy!
The choosing part for this blog post was VERY hard, and there were so many fantastic options! I decided to focus on specifically the ones with the clasp closure, as these are definitely my favorites.
Between you and me, if I could I'd buy them all and then some!
I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I do.

1. Poppy Chic Design- Poppy coin purse- Apricot dots
3. Jilly Designs- Poppy coin purse
4. Non Such- Green apple purse
5. Yuni Sacs- Small frame purse
6. Krafty Kirsty- Kitty coin purse
7. Heidi Creations- Small dotty clutch purse
10. Melo Supermarket- Coin purse
11. My Strawberry Dreams- Strawberry clasp purse
12. Holland Fabric House- Cute mushrooms & deer purse

Since there were a million amazing options to choose from, here are the honorably mentioned:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oh The Beach!

Sometimes life can be a bit moody. Sometimes there are ups and downs. Even my imperfectly perfect life has days that can bring me down.
So what does one do to be lifted back up? I guess we each have our own ways and things that assist us with this, sometimes not so easy, mission...
I am lucky enough to be close to the beach, I can escape there whenever I need. All I need to feel better is a stroll on the warm sand, to bask in the blazing sun, or to just sit there and watch strangers enjoy their beach day experience- I look at the children running half naked in and out of the waves, giggling, screaming from joy. I see the elderly men with their out-dated swimwear, doing their form of exercises on the beach. I whistle at the dogs that run around the beach looking for new friends, treasures, holes to dig, and what not. I glance at the surfers catching waves, competing with each-other on who gets to ride the next one, falling off their boards, and climbing back up again.
And no matter how hot and blazing the sun can be, you feel the breeze. That cold breeze that comes from way beyond what we can see, that carries with her an intoxicating scent of salty, fishy water.
But if that wasn't enough to lift up the spirit, there are all those colors at the beach! That blue- the deep blue of the water, and the bright blue of the sky. That blazing yellow from the sun, that sometimes makes the sand look almost white. Those bright bold colors of bathing suits, hats, umbrellas, and such.
I spent my Friday morning at the beach. I am rejuvenated and up!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Five Happy Things- Inspired by Hey Harriet

Harriet of 'Hey Harriet' who is a fellow team-mate of mine on the POE team (Photographers of Etsy), has posted a new blog entitled 'Five Happy Things'. In her blog she posted 5images of the things that make her happy. What a brilliant idea!
So here it goes, the 5 things that make me the happiest on earth:

travelling the world
Photographing Soon-To-Be mothers
Looking at the sky (especially if there are clouds!)
Amazing sunsets (The most amazing sunsets I've ever seen were at the dessert)
A real good cup of coffee!

Thanks Harriet :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Favorites- Jewelry

I am somewhat of a shopaholic... But since I can't really afford to buy everything I want, I have piles of favorite lists... I do settle for the "window shopping".
With that in mind, I have decided to create a new blog feature called "Weekend Favorites", featuring 12 of my favorite Etsy finds in various categories. Hopefully I will keep this up every weekend...
First in line, the Jewelry category. I have to say that there were a lot of them in my favorite list, but these are the 12 I would absolutely love to have (hope my hubbie's following this blog... hint hint)
See list and links below.
1. Shlomit Ofir- Oval Branch Earrings
3. NiuTaller- Circles Ring
4. Pirilampo Riscado- Fall Story Necklace
5. Wild Women Jewelry- Earrings Just A Little Bit Retro
6. StephieMc Designs- The Linda Necklace
9. Star of the Sea- Eye of Shiva Shell Ring
10. Maria Cavallero- Childhood- Textile art- Brooch
11. Pure Joy by Joy White- Hand Stamped Charm Pendant

One last item (I know, this would be 13... but I just had to) This is a custom made pair of earrings I had ordered from Yael Frankel. I just LOVE them!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Favorite Subject to Photograph

Over the years of my photographic growth I have shifted my interests... I am a big believer in the notion that things happen to you in life for a reason, and you meet people, go places, see things that lead you to the path you're supposed to be on.

I started my whole photographic love, interest, journey (call it as you may) while travelling, so naturally, in the beginning of my path, I wanted to be one of National Geographic's photographers (I wasn't shooting high at all, aye?!). That didn't go very far, since after my 9 months of travelling, I kinda' settled down in places...
Then in Los Angeles, when I had just began my photo studies, I was dating a surfer, and as a good girlfriend I'd go down to the beach with him whenever it was possible, and sit down with my long Tele-Photo lens and try to capture his moves on the board. I'm not sure if it was my idea, or the idea was put in my head by someone else (hmmm... I wonder who...), but I then decided I was going to be a Sports Photographer.
But as time went by, and I was progressing with my photo studies, I began to realize I was much happier in the studio, controlling my scene. So, as soon as the surfer was out of my life, so was the need to shoot sports.
I studied photography for 3 years in total, trying out different fields, cameras, mediums, shooting environments, and at my last semester, while focusing on my desired field, I created a portfolio of products. Those were my pride and joy!
I graduated college and with my head up high, and a lot of hopes, I began my search for work in the field. But I quickly hit a wall. I was not allowed to work in the States unless I was hired by a company to sponsor me, and in that field of work, you don't usually get permanently hired, rather work on projects as a freelance. I was shuttered! There I was, with my professors just waiting to refer me to various clients, and yet unable to do so because of the work permit issue. I knew my only chance was to find a company that would hire me while sponsoring me for a work visa. I kept searching all over and finally found something... I had found a job at a local clothing company. I was their product photographer. Sounds exciting? Well, not really. The company was online-based. The clothing were plus-size (and mostly floral print!). The model was a plus-size mannequin (!!). My job consisted of steaming the cloths, dressing the mannequin, adjusting the lights, shooting, undressing the mannequin, steaming the cloths... and at the end of it all, Photoshop corrections, and upload to the website. EXCITING! not...
The one good thing that I had there, was a coved studio. When I was hired I had convinced my boss to create a cove-like connection between the wall and the floor, and so I had this great space in a huge warehouse where I could shoot, and the best part was that I could use it for my own needs outside of business hours (!!)
Around that time a good friend of mine was expecting her first born. She was 9 months in, and so beautiful & glowing, I just had to capture that on film (actually memory card, as this was a digital shoot, but you get my drift). I invited her and her husband to "my" studio and we had the best time! Those photos came out brilliant, and I suddenly fell in-love with the whole concept of photographing expecting parents.
After that I started photographing a few more expecting couples that were referred to me by friends, and with each photo shoot I did I realized THIS was what I wanted to do!
I continued on this path in Canada, until times were hard (money-wise) and I had to shift gears away from photography in order to live a decent life.
Now, as I am back home in Israel, and finally settling down in a comfortable place in my life, I am ready and excited to get back in to business- Photographing expecting moms and dads, brothers, sisters, and anyone who smiles!

a few of my favorite product shots

my amazing friends, and first expecting couple I have ever shot

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Feature On Me

I am so humbled by this amazing blog feature, that Gwen, of Everyday Fairytale has written up about me and my photography work.
Thank you Gwen so much!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Story of My Hubbie & Me

To those of you who know me personally, you have probably heard this one before...
My husband and I grew up 2 years apart, in the same little city in Israel, called Ra'anana. I first knew of him when I was in high school. I was a Sophomore and he was a Senior. I was in my click of friends, and he had his, and they didn't mix.
For me, it was very hard not to know who he was, as he was a handsome 1/2 part of a twin set. Every girl in the 2 year range bellow and above them (the twins) knew who they were. But as I said before, we were in different clicks, different grades, and we simply never made contact. (though in my fantasies we talked a lot...)
High-School went by, so did the army years, the travelling, and 7.5 (+/-) years in L.A. and Canada, and destiny brings us in contact again... OK, not really destiny, more like, me helping destiny...
I was still in Canada at that time, preparing for my upcoming return home to Israel. It was just one of those nights with nothing else to do but Facebook checkups. People who know me, know how much time I spend on Facebook (what can I say, I've got friends all over the globe and this is a great way to keep in touch...). Well, at that specific evening I had found my future husband on Facebook. He had become a "facebook friend" of a mutual friend, and when I saw his name I just had to send out a friend request. I honestly thought he wouldn't even react to it, but I was wrong. He had accepted.
Well, to make a long story short, after he had accepted I started writing to him, and he wrote back. We talked about my home-coming, about our families, about his life so far, and mine. It didn't take too long (a few days maybe) for us to realize we were hooked! We soon began utilizing every communication source that was available to us, so we could keep in touch and get to know each-other better. So it started with Facebook emails, and then MSN chatting, and then Skype conversations, and phone calls. We would talk 2-3 times a day, chat when one of us was at work, text "good night" and "good morning" messages on our cells... we were two people falling in-love btwn two very far apart continents.
This had to last two whole months, as it took me that long to get my life organized for the big move from Vancouver back to Israel.
The day I arrived back in Israel, was also the day we first met in person. He had come to the airport to pick me up! And from the airport we went back to his flat, which was now also MY flat- he had opened his home to me, and we moved in together!
We were in cloud 9. Finally together, and in love. And if that wasn't enough, the cherry on my cake came only 3.5 weeks later-
He Proposed To Me!!
I of course accepted, and 6 months later we were husband and wife!
Now, married almost a year, we are still mad about each-other. He is my "Happily Ever After"!
These are a few pages from our wedding album, which I designed (check out my album on Etsy.com). Photographs done by Adi Eyal Photographers
The makeup and hair prep

Couple shoot

More couple shoot

...and then they were three- The twins & me

Our gorgeous wedding venue

The ceremony

best man speech

The first dance as Mr. & Mrs.

Dancing the night away

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The City I live In

From as early as I can remember, I wanted to live in Tel-Aviv. As a kid growing up in Israel, you realize quickly that there's a "cool" factor attached to certain cities, and an "uncool" factor attached to others...
But as long as I was a kid in my parents home, I was to live where they decided to...
For a few years we were living in the "uncool" cities, and then for most of my teenage years we lived in a fairly "cool" one...

So what's so "cool" about Tel Aviv? Well, let me put it this way, this city is a combination of NY, L.A., and Paris all wrapped in to one.
It's the city that never sleeps, with the beaches that are always full, with a million little coffee shops, and little boutiques and shops; It's a city with many parks, doggy parks, and car parks; There are great high-rises where the wealthiest reside, and low shacks where the true urbanites and struggling artists live; There's magnificent boulevards like Ben-Gurion and Rothschild, and fantastic artsy, hip streets like Sheinkin, Bugrashov and Nahalat Binyamin; There's the quiet north of Tel Aviv, where the Crème De La Crème prefer to live, the busy hectic center of Tel Aviv, where most of the action happens 24/7, and then there is the old-renewed south, where you'll find neighbourhoods such as Neve Tzedek, The American Colony, and Florentine.

And there's Jafa, or Yafo as we call it in our native tongue.
Yafo is part of Tel Aviv, it is a city connected to a city, and to be completely correct, one must call it Tel Aviv-Yafo and not just Tel Aviv. I am fortunate enough to be living in very close proximity to the heart of Yafo. It is always alive with people- tourists, surfers, beach-goers, market shoppers, and vendors. Walking in Yafo you get a mix of scents- the smell of fresh sea water, the smell of the fish from the old Yafo port, the smell of food from restaurants and street corner sellers, and the smell of fresh Turkish coffee from the little cafe's.
To me Yafo is a true gem!

Here is just a tiny little glimps at some of Tel Aviv-Yafo images. I promise more will come soon!

old South Tel Aviv
The American Colony neigbourhood
The beach
the old & rustic in South Tel Aviv
The coffee shops

Violin player at a street coffee shop

Yafo- the port

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My new treasury on Etsy.com on the Treasury West Section

Past, Present, & perhaps the future

I was born 31 years ago in Montreal Canada, to an Israeli dad and a French-Canadian mom, and though I could have grown up in Canada, my parents had other plans... My parents decided to move to Israel, and so the family- mom, dad, my older sister, and myself (only 4 months old) had picked up and moved to the land of milk & honey.
I grew up in Israel, went to school here, and even served my mandatory time (and a bit more) in the Israeli Army. But my feet were always itching to move around, to explore the world.
At 21, after my release from the army, I finally got my chance to "scratch that itch". I packed a bag and went back-packing through South & Central America. That's where I got my Passion for photography!
9 months later, and a million priceless adventures & memories, I was back in the Holy Land, and though I was happy to be back home, my feet were itching again, and without realizing it, I was constantly searching for that next adventure.
And so it came! Circumstances (which I won't elaborate on at this point) have brought me to visit L.A. California. The intention was to stay one month, but life had other plans, and that month turned into 4.5 years.
Life in L.A. wasn't always on the up side, but all in all I loved it. I studied there, I worked there, I struggled there. I've made life-long friends there, bought my first car there, lived on my own there. I had my heart jump for joy, skip a bit, fall to the ground, and climb up to the sky there. To sum it all, I LIVED there.
But as it was bound to happen sooner or later, the itch had come back, and I had to scratch.
It was off to Vancouver, Canada from there. I packed up my car, loaded the camera with film, and the CD player with good music, and with tears of joy and sadness, I got on the road up north.
I reached Canada 3 days later, and was overwhelmed by it's beauty. (I was also overwhelmed by how freezing it was up there!!). It wasn't an easy beginning, as I knew absolutely no one there, but I somehow managed to build a life for myself in my new surroundings.
I stayed in Van (as we call it...) for 3.5 years, and I loved (nearly) every minute of it! I travelled around beautiful British Columbia, climbed a few mountains, swam in some gorgeous lakes, drove around, walked around, took buses and sky-trains, I got wet, and dry, and frozen cold. I experienced life to it's fullest in Vancouver, I really did, and though I could see myself living there forever, that constant itch was starting to burn up
With a heavy heart and mixed emotions, I decided it was time to move back home, to Israel.
I arrived in Israel in mid-March 2008, and although I miss Vancouver, and although I've had a few disappointments and culture-shocks since I've been back, coming home was the BEST decision!
Since I've been back I had moved in with the love of my life (my crush from the 10th grade), then married him in front of all our friends and families. I had reconnected with old friends, and have made quite a few new ones. I have started my own business, designed my new website, opened shop online, and reinvented myself career wise.
I am content. I am HAPPY!

As for the future, well you can never know, but one thing's for sure, the itch will be back, as I am a gypsy at heart! The question is where would it want to take me, and will I follow...?

Here's a glimpse of photos from my years in L.A. & Vancouver

Mammoth Mountain, California

Body, Death Valley, California

Somewhere in Oregon State, USA

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

The Burrard Bridge, Vancouver, BC

Midnight Fog, Vancouver Port, East Vancouver, BC

And so it begins...

I finally did it, I am writing a blog!

Well, to be perfectly honest, this is actually my second time around... My first try was about 6 months ago, but that didn't turn out to be a success story, as I ended up not writing a single word, and the blog was deleted 15 minutes after it's creation.
What brought me back was the need to prove to myself that I can do what millions are already doing- blog, and although I kinda' blog in my head all day, with a million thoughts running back and forth, it's difficult to try and put it in to writing. But so far so good. Trust me, this is way more than what was here last time ;)

So hello world. This blog is me, it's about me, it's about my world, and what I see.
This blog is intended to be a place for me to let you try and see life as I see it, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have one life to live, and I intend to make the most of it. It isn't perfect, but in a way, that's what's perfect about it!

Last note before I sign off for now, I am dedicating this blog and all it's content to my loving mom, who has always been that pole to lean on, gain strength from, and feel an immense love from! I love you mom!