An Italian Grandmother Would be Proud.

We have monthly dinners with a group of really good friends, and we have to make everything from scratch. It’s no joke, I even got in trouble once for bringing store made baklava to accompany my homemade Kunufe’ for mediterranean night.

This month we did Italian food and it was delicious. As I was planning what I was going to make the week of, I ended up having pasta almost all week because I really put myself into the character of an Italian Grandmother. I could smell the aromas of garlic, bread rising, and pasta dough kneading. I could hear myself talking a couple octaves higher than the soft spoken volumes I was used to.

A Simple and delicious dish we loved was a tomato cream sauce. You can serve over gnocchi (what we did) or regular pasta. (There’s a photo of the “dish” down below).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.



I feel old. I know I shouldn’t say that at 25 years of age…but when I took photography in high school and college we still had only the dark room courses available. Now when I go back to my high school alma mater the photo room is filled with mac computers and the dark room is used as an extra storage room.

Well, I can make myself feel better by saying they DID come in with digital courses in my later years of college, I was just so focused on my major classes in Public Relations at CSU Fullerton by that time, I wasn’t able to take another class.

In my college photo class I remember my instructor looked like santa clause with his long white beard. With jolly joy he told us we had this assignment: create a self portrait that shows something about yourself. I chose to show myself singing with a microphone in the forefront of the photo, and then I wanted an all black bakground. I thought this showed some of who I am: music, simple, hair down, passionate.

When I went home for the weekend recently from the overcast Monterey Peninsula to my parents house in Sunny  rainy! East Bay Area, I found the self-portrait assignment tucked away in one of my bedroom cupboards.

 I decided to try another self-portrait with my new Canon 60D 50mm 1.8 fixed lens. Here is what I came up with. It represents my coming back to the digital photography age and the start of going into the photography industry!! I sound so traditional with the “photography age” talk.

Who would have thought I’d fall in love with photography at this point in my life!? After all of the experiences I have had in marketing, teaching voice lessons, worship leading, gigging, and now as a Marketing Manager for Bradley School of Music-it seems hard to believe I am at this point. Or maybe it isn’t hard to believe???! I HAVE stuck my nose in Multiple, with a capital M, subjects in the past few years, so maybe it is predictable.

See that’s my problem. Or is it my problem? I used to tell myself that I was dabbling into too many different fields, and that I needed to master one. Mastering is good, but why not learn multiple? It seems as though I have come to a point where all of my experiences have all funneled into this point of my life. The hodge-podge of experiences seem to all be clear, even though when they are all mixed together they are a colorful heterogeneous mixture.God had all these different opportunities planned for me, and I have to trust that they all matter and they all will serve a purpose at this time.

I was listening to Jack Johnson in the early 8 a.m. this morning and he spoke to me in a lyric of his song “Upside Down”. He told me this:

“Who’s to say
I can’t do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren’t always just what they seem.”

To me this says (coming from a surf star turned music sensation) that we can “do” multiple things, we can create well rounded experiences, and why is that a bad thing? I love all kinds of different genres of life and IT’S OK. A friend of mine told me I love to create and share. My favorite aspect of a job is exactly that. I love creating and sharing…blessing…sharing an emotional response with someone. I love sharing lives and meeting people, all different people. Music-create and share.  Food-same thing. I have a feeling there will be more self portraits to come. I have dedicated myself to “doing” photography, but that doesn’t mean I won’t partake in other passions in my life. That is why I LOVE photography-I can create music, food, family, friends on a photograph or video. And then I can share.