October 29, 2013

Give me all the coffee.

All of the traveling I've done in the past few days has finally caught up with me and I'm letting myself ease into things today. It doesn't help that the gloomy/rainy days have followed me all the way from Juneau and all I want to do is curl up on the couch with my hot cup of coffee.

Travel // Home is with You
The Canadian Rockies from my plane, they go on forever!

All that said, I'm so thankful to have this time with my friends and family! We had a lovely bridal shower for one of my best friends since 3rd grade this past weekend and it was so much fun having all of our close friends together for a weekend. We stayed up late giggling like we were 14 again, and I loved every second.

Travel // Home is with You
Gorgeous sunrise over Ketchikan, Alaska.

Now I'm excited to dive into photographing the people and events I have scheduled here in Wichita and Kansas City! I'm feeling so blessed to be booking up so fast, if you're hoping to schedule a photo session with me while I'm in Kansas email me at dreamingwillowphotography@gmail.com.

I already miss Dave like mad, but I'm hoping that by staying busy with work and time with my family/friends, this time apart will fly by. Thank goodness for facetime! I don't know what I'd do without it.

Follow along: Bloglovin' // Photography // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter

October 23, 2013

Banana Oat Smoothie with Dates Recipe

I've been trying to incorporate smoothies into my morning routine, because I know they're a great way to get in a lot of healthy things my body needs. Of all the smoothies I've tried in the past few weeks, this one takes the cake. It's super sweet, without incorporating any sweeteners other than the natural sugar in fruit and is packed full of health benefits.

I found the recipe here, but as always, I added a few ingredients to make it even healthier. Here's my take on this delicious smoothie.

Ingredients ≫≫
4 Medjool Dates, pitted and pulled into little peices
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Banana
1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Tbsp Hemp Protein Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds

Banana Oat Smoothie with Dates Recipe // Home is with You

 Directions ≫≫

Pulse the dates with the almond milk, until it's nice and smooth. Throw in the banana in a few chunks and pulse until the mixture is smooth again.

Add the oats and let soak for a few minutes. Add in protein powder, chia sees, and flax seeds and pulse/blend until your smoothie is the desired consistency. I like mine a bit chunkier than Dave cares for, just find what works for you!

Also, in case anyone is wondering, I use a Ninja to make my smoothies. It's not the Ninja blender, but this set. I've said it on here before and I'll say it again, we love our Ninja. And no, I'm not getting paid to say that. Promise.

October 22, 2013

Bears on our porch!

I know a lot of you saw the picture I posted on my social media accounts last night of the Mama bear and her cub on our porch, so I thought I'd tell the full story here. It was pretty comical, freaky, and awesome all at the same time. In fact, I have pretty mixed emotions about it, and about them coming back again. The photographer in me loves it and wants them to stay so I can take a million pictures, while the more practical side of me wants them to go hibernate so I can take my walks without having to think about what I'll do if one pops out at me.

Ok, so, last night Dave and I were hanging out in the kitchen, talking about what last few things we needed to pick up at the store to make our dinner. We heard what sounded like something on the deck, but we both kind of shrugged because we've been hearing it lately and never see anything. Then, there was a loud boom and I see the big black figure with it's paws on our shed. I start whisper shouting (didn't want to scare them off just yet, pictures first!) that there's a Mama bear on our porch.

Of course, pretty much the first thing out of my mouth is "Get my camera, get my camera!" as I'm pointing to my Canon with one hand and taking pictures with my iphone with the other. As Dave is reaching for my camera, the Mama bear RIPS OFF part of the door to our shed and starts crawling in! At this point, we're half freaking out, half in shock. She is on the ledge of our shed with her big butt hanging out and Dave and I are just looking at each other like, "Is this really happening?"

Bears on our porch! // Home is with You

Meanwhile, her two cubs come running onto the deck and watch her jump into the shed. Now, there was a fresh bag of trash in the shed, but no food was in the bag. I should explain that we don't have trash service and were told by our landlady it was ok to put a bag or two out there in between trips to the dumpster. We're always extra cautious not to put any food or something that might smell tasty outside. Anyways, food or no food, it wasn't going to stop that Mama bear. She thought she'd found something good and she was on it. They ripped the bag to shreds and took the remains with them to the bushes by our Jeep when Dave finally scared them off with the car alarm.

Bears on our porch! // Home is with You
"Who, us?"

Bears on our porch! // Home is with You

So, we're still in shock with adrenaline running and watching the bears from our bedroom window. We couldn't really see them, since they're so dark, but we could see the trees and bushes moving like crazy and every once in awhile a little nose would pop out. I kept watch while Dave went out to put a few things in the car, he said he heard the cubs making hissing noises at him, like they were trying to growl but didn't know how yet...cute, but scary. 

I watch them run across the street and so I figured we'd be good to go to the store, I kept my eye on the window and never saw them run back our way, so we started to make our way to the Jeep. Luckily, I peeked out at the shed before we opened the door...and there she was again! The Mama was about to jump in our shed again, who knows why, a park ranger from Haines told Dave she might be looking for a warm place to hibernate...umm, no thank you.

Bears on our porch! // Home is with You

We got her away from the shed, but she wouldn't leave our Jeep alone for a bit. We are sooo lucky and thankful she didn't scratch our pretty new car! Dave was concerned when she had her hands up there, he was certain she was going to leave claw marks. And now that I look at the pictures, I see just how close it was.

Bears on our porch! // Home is with You
Bears on our porch! // Home is with You

Very long story "short", we finally got them to stay away long enough that Dave was able to go to the store. He went without me because they had been in the trees on the side I would have been getting into the car, so we didn't want to take any chances. Now every noise I hear I have to look out to the shed, and last night I didn't sleep so well. Multiple dreams of bears on our porch and waking up from every little noise.

Oh and, sorry for some of the weirdness in the pictures, I took all of these through our windows...because although I'll do just about anything to get the shot, I'm not that crazy. ;) I'm just glad I got pictures this time. And if you'd like to see the Mama bear in action, check out my vine here.


October 21, 2013

Mendenhall Glacier Lake (from above).

Last week, Dave and I had a lot of fun exploring Juneau a little bit more with my Dad while he was in town. We waited all week for the perfect day to hike up West Glacier Trail next to Mendenhall Glacier and the lake. Finally, the second to last day, we had a gorgeous sunny day. The weather couldn't have been any more perfect for this long hike, and the view was completely worth every step.

Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You
Mendenhall Glacier Lake // Home is with You

We hiked for a few hours and the trail would have taken us much further, if we wanted, but the sun was setting and we were ready to head back for dinner. Seeing the sunset from up there was breathtaking, you can see a short video of it here.

October 14, 2013

Time Away.

Hey loves, I just wanted to write a quick post and let you all know I might not be around here as much in the upcoming days. My Dad is visiting Alaska for the first time (he'll be here in about an hour, as I'm writing this!) and we're so excited to have someone to show around Juneau! We have a full week planned of exploring, eating out, brewery touring, etc. Although if I could have planned some posts ahead of time, I know I won't be on the computer much and won't be able to respond to your sweet comments and send things out.

Time Away // Home is with You

I may pop in to share some pictures once or twice throughout the week, but you can join us over on instagram to see all of our fun "vacation" pictures of the gorgeous Juneau, Alaska. You can find me here and Dave here.

October 10, 2013

Wichita bound (soon)!

Hey Wichita, I'm headed back home for the months of November and December! I still have some open dates and would love to chat with you about booking a session. This will be perfect timing to get your Christmas card pictures taken, and I also offer card designs!
Email me at info@dreamingwillowphotography.com as soon as possible so we can reserve a date that works for you!

Dreaming Willow Photography

I'm talking with a few people about putting together another trip down to Dallas and Austin in November to do some sessions, so if you'd be interested in hearing more about those events, shoot me an email!
Dreaming Willow Photography

And, if you have any friends in the area that might be interested, I'd really appreciate it if you could share this on Facebook and/or Twitter! I'll even offer you a 10% discount on a session as a thank you for helping to spread the word.

October 8, 2013

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup Recipe // Home is with You

Dave and I have been talking recently about how we'd like to make more homemade soup. It's one of our go-to meals in the winter and the store bought varieties are always good, but I know I can make more for less and healthier versions if I make some myself. Yesterday, I had an idea to incorporate the last can of pumpkin in my cupboards into a soup, we have tons of black beans waiting to be used and since we love this soup, I thought I'd give the combo a try.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup Recipe // Home is with You

I hope you all try this delicious Fall/Winter soup! I made it so it would be ready to go once Dave got home for work, he was all excited just from the amazing smell coming from the kitchen, and I'm happy to report he went back for seconds and is still raving about how good it was.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup Recipe // Home is with You 
This recipe is really easy and makes a huge batch of soup to last you throughout the week or to freeze for later.

Ingredients ≫≫
3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatos (no salt added)
1/4 cup unsalted organic butter (or oil, if you'd like to make this recipe vegan)
4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups veggie broth
1 can of pumpkin puree (I use Libby's)
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tbsp organic sugar
2 tsp mojito lime seasoning (or chili powder)

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup Recipe // Home is with You

Blend 2 cans of drained black beans and the can of unsalted diced tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth, set aside.

Melt the unsalted butter on medium heat in a large soup pot, add in garlic and onion. Heat until the onion has softened a bit.

Stir in the bean and tomato mixture, remaining can of beans, veggie broth, can of pumpkin, and spices. Mix and simmer for 25 minutes. Add extra sea salt, if needed.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup Recipe // Home is with You

Enjoy!


October 2, 2013

Juneau Coastal Drive in the Fall.

I think I've established that living here in Juneau is like living in a dream. There is so much beauty here that is like nothing I've ever seen. So it shouldn't come as much surprise that the Fall colors are on a whole new level here.

I know there are some extra gorgeous places in the rest of the states to see the leaves change, but the colors in Juneau are so vivid. Combine that with the view and it can truly take your breath away.

This past weekend, Dave and I took a drive up the coast, it was one of those rare sunshine-filled days here and we weren't going to let it go to waste. We hadn't been that far North in Juneau yet, and it was worth the wait. Prepare yourselves for picture overload, I couldn't help myself...

Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You
Juneau in the Fall // Home is with You

If you make a trip to Juneau and are able to take a drive up North along the coast, I highly recommend it. So many people just hop off the cruise and only see a tiny piece of downtown Juneau, which is gorgeous, but there is so much more to this city!

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So, The Paper Mama, Project Alicia, Live and Love Outloud, and Naptimemomtog.

October 1, 2013

Favorite Fall Recipes.

Fall is the best time to bake and cook, thanks to the temps cooling down and making us want to spend a bit more time inside (and not feeling like we're going to melt when we turn on the oven). Plus, the recipes we tend to make in the Fall are always my favorites, how could you not love a time where it's socially acceptable to throw some pumpkin in all of your recipes and comfort food is beginning to make a comeback.

I've shared a lot of Fall recipes since I've been writing in this space, so today I thought I'd compile a few of my favorites, enjoy!


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