Sunday, August 30, 2009

Family Photo before their son left for college

I did a photo shoot for a family today. Their oldest son is going off to a college and wanted a family photo before he left.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmers Market - apples

You know it is fall when the apples starting to show up at the farmers market.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Antique scale and coffee beans

Strong cup of Coffee is what I need this morning. Polcaris's Coffee in Boston can give you exactly what you need.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Peach Cobbler

I bought these beautiful peaches at the local farmers market and made peach cobbler for my hubby. But he went out of town so, I guess I am left alone to eat this luscious cobbler with sweet crunchy top.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Purdue university All American Marching Band

I took another road trip to Indiana. This time I drove down to Purdue University to see the All American Marching Band end of the band camp concert. After only 5 days of practice, all of the new comers has learned their steps and they sounded really great. Here is a video clip taken by Jim the Band Fan on the YouTube. Enjoy AAMB

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burberry Clearance and outlet store in Michigan City Indiana

After wine tasting yesterday, I drove further Northwest to Michigan City, Indiana to visit one of my favorite outlet store "Burberry" It is in the Light House Place Premium Outlets
and about little over an hour drive from Chicago. They have their traditional Burberry coats on clearance at about 1/2 to 3/4 reduced, and their cashmere scarf are just Divine. They also stock 2nd -- which are garments that has little defects and stains for greatly reduced price. What I like are the little clutches and purses that are little defective in materials or constructions but hardly noticeable, but are really cute with right price. I have also bought Burberry polos in white and black with little trim. If you like this brand I would highly recommend visiting especially at holiday season where their merchandise are further reduced. I am thinking about going back to get nice winter coat for my son.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Anderson's Orchard and Winery

Anderson's Orchard and Winery is the second of my Winery visit to Indiana. It is about an hour drive from Chicago and near the Indiana Dunes. I recommend combining the two.
Anderson's started out as an Orchard and added Winery back in 1994. The store is charming country store with counter filled with baked goods and home made fudge. They also carry Beer & Wine making supplies, I understand that Beer & Wine making supplies makes up 1/3 of their sales.
Wine tasting is free, and the counter is well stocked. Only complaint I had was that they did not use wine glass for the wine tasting, they used little plastic cups. Well, I learned that when you are tasting wine, it is very important to smell the bouquet of the wine as well tasting, and today it lacked this experince. But the lady behind the counter was really knowlegeable, and it almost made up for the lack of wine glasses.
I tasted three different white wines... Chardonel, Seyval Blanc (white estate-bottle), and Adnerson's vineyard white. I really liked the Anderson's vineyard white, it is a sweet wine made from Niagara Grapes and it reminded me of the Ice Wine I had in Niagara fall area winery. Seyval Blanc was a nice semi-dry wine on sale for $5.00 Chardonel I decided not to purchase something about the fact that it was aged in new European Oak that did not agree with me, maybe in few years.....

I will be going back at the end of Sept. to pick three different kind of grapes to eat. These grapes are nothing like ones you get at the grocery store, they have so much flavor and I just can not get enough.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Chicago Botanical Garden

Today I went to The Chicago Botanical Garden to photograph flowers. I took only one lense 70mm-200mm and used very shallow depth of field to bring the eyes to the flower. It was such a bright day that I put circular polarizer filter to tone down the glare. Result? well what do you think?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

College Marching Band --- Purdue vs. USC

Well, my dream has finally come true. My boys are now both in the college marching bands, Purdue and USC. Very different style but they are both awesome marching bands and I am really excited !!! I can't wait for the football season to start.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Maria's Pastry Shop in Boston

Maria's one of many beautiful cookies.
Chocolate tipped Cannoli are filled with cream only after customer purchase it so the shells stay crunch.
Beautifully made fruit Marzipan
Inside the Maria's Pastry shop. It is simple and plain with chairs and tables
This is one of religious holiday decorated pasty. I believe this is for Easter.

Maria's Pastry shop located on 46 Cross Street, Boston has been around the North End Market for quite a long time. Maria Merola the owner had to endured 10 years of highway construction right in front of the store where most of the neighbors had to close do to lack of customers, but she just kept making her pastries and people just kept coming. From outside it is not much, few lawn chairs and table, but while we were there old timers and regulars kept coming in one by one purchasing goodies.
Inside the store is just like outside, plain with shelves on one side and refrigerator (only store personal are allowed to open) with glass case at the back, where most beautiful carved marzipan were located.
Have you ever heard of lobster tails? no not the crustaceans kind the pastry. It is huge and the fold of the pastry looks like a lobster tail. I had heard on the food network show, but I got to see and taste it for the first time. Yuummmmyyyyyy.......
Special Products include sfogliatelle, lobster tails, toto, egg and pepper taralli, scalatelli, zuccherati, cannoli and many others.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight Hydrangea's beautiful white cluster of flowers are so huge that it is almost 12 inches long. Flowers has shade of lime color which is more prominent before the flowers open up. I purchased this bush this spring at Morton Arboretum and planted next to the house and hoped for the best. Now it has several huge clusters of white lime shaded colored flowers and it is just gorgeous. I guess others thought so as well, while we were gone for few days, someone came and clipped several branches. I hope they are enjoying it as much as we are.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Surrounded by rainbow colored bubbles, Bride and Groom celebrate their new beginning. Congratulations K.C. and Scott.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Boat that sails in Good luck --- I hope

I have been looking for a picture or figure of a boat for a week or two. I read somewhere that I need to put it by the front door to bring in the good energy into the house. I really don't believe in things like that (well not too much) but looking at the images of beaches and boats on water does make me happy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The New Old South Church

This is the one of the most beautiful church I have ever been in. Look at all of the Dark woods in the Italian Gothic design and with 15th century English-style stained- glass windows. I read that it's members included : Benjamin Franklin, Phyllis Whealey, Samuel Adams and even Mother Goose to name a few. Located on the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth. Hours Mon-Fri 9am-5pm 617-36-1970

Boston Public Library

This is the largest research library in New England and was the first one in America to permit the borrowing of books. At first when I walked by this building with it's massive stone structure with flags of different country flying, I had no idea what this place was. I walked in and and this is the view I was hit with. I still had no idea this was a library at this point, as matter of fact I never did see any books on shelf. This building was build in 1852 in style of Italian Renaissance Revival, with huge arched windows and massive inner bronze doors designed by Daniel Chester French.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Atlantic Fish Co. Restaurant in Boston's Back Bay Neighborhood

The Best Seafood I had in Boston was the first night out to Atlantic Fish. It is rated as one of the top seafood restaurants in Boston, and it did not disappoint me. We were in a group of 15 and we sat in a private room filled with dark wood panels, crisp white table clothe and napkins and beautiful wine glasses. I ordered Island Creek oysters which had nice brine, clean taste that I could of had dozen more, next salad of crisp green baby greens with fried goat cheese, and my main course of lobster ravioli. I am not a pasta fan, but it was light with basil cream sauce and it was just Divine. Many of the guests had local caught lobsters, either shelled or they cracked it themselves it was served with corn on the cob and new potatoes boiled in the same waterc. Of ourse the dessert was infamous Boston Cream Pie. It is not an actual pie, but rather it is a layered cake with custard cream filling with chocolate glaze on the top. It was THE best moist delicious cake I have ever had.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Public Garden in Boston's Back Bay Neighborhood

The Public Garden is a wonderful place to visit. It is in a Back Bay neighborhood and just south of Beacon Hill. There are many lovely statues and a pond with six swan Boats that has been in operation by the same family since 1877. At the time bicycle was really popular and the inventor decided that if he combined the peddle power with a boat he will have something special. Even now, high school boys are hired to peddle the swan boats.

The bronze Ducklings were installed in 1987 to commemorate Robert McClosky's 1941 "Make Way for Ducklings" I remember reading this book to my boys when they were small. I waited and waited but the bronze Ducklings are so popular with children that there were not a moment when someone was not on this cute Ducklings.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dolphins off Boston

Catamaran was about 15 min. from Provincetown (see yesterdays blog) when we ran into the school of Dolphins. They were riding the bow of the Catamaran, and just stayed with it and gave us quite a thrill. They were so close at one point that I can hear them squeaking to each other. I was told that every once in a while boat will come across a whale and dolphins but this was quite unusual as the number of dolphins were about 30 to 35 and stayed with the boat for quite a while. We were all thrilled and just enjoyed these lovely creatures escorting us to the harbor.