Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips

Achievement // Cooking! {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash ChipsIf you would’ve asked me as a young teenager and young adult to make you something to eat, you would’ve received either top ramen or chili cheese dogs! That was about all I knew to make for too many years.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips

Then, while in college, one of my roommies and I worked at a little Italian cafe. We ate like queens! It was a wonderful family run business and not only did the food have wonderful ingredients, but so much heart, love and tradition was put in it that it changed how I saw food.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips

Fast forward a couple years, and I was living with my besties at the beach, while also taking a great wine pairing class. Learning about flavors found in wine, and experimenting with pairings, opened my eyes to a whole new world of flavors. Around the same time, my now husband and I were dating, and I quickly found out that the way to his heart was definitely through his tummy! Luckily, I had learned a few tricks along the way on making yummy pasta dishes 🙂

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips

So why do I consider cooking an achievement? Because as a young teen, I really never planned to cook! I had zero interest and was perfectly happy having someone else cook or eating out. The domestic duty of slaving away in the kitchen offered not one iota of interest to me. I’ll never know exactly when the tide shifted, but I’m thankful for the shift and the path I’ve been on! I’m able to offer my family tasty dishes, made with lots of love ❤

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips

And I’ll even go as far as considering food photography a double achievement! Ha! These shots were actually part of the “Practice!” class I’ve mentioned before. I get so much inspiration from Capture Your 365 to photograph everyday moments, and cooking is definitely one of those everyday bits and pieces! By the way, I’ve been asked to join the Creative Team at CY365! Woot-woot! Be sure to check out the daily photography inspiration over at CY365!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Oh, have you stopped by my Etsy or Society6 stores yet? I’m happily sharing my creative projects, as well as photography via prints, phone cases, pillows and a myriad of other products! If you check either out, be sure to let me know what you think?!

Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!

Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

PS. Here’s the link if you’re looking for the recipe on these yummy Garlic Parmesan Squash Chips!

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Pinterest Inspiration in Action {Feeling Crafty}

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Back in high school (waaaaay back in the late ’80’s) I would clip magazine ads I liked and glue them to a poster board. It may have been the fashion, or the hair, or the destination, or the words. Whatever it was, it was inspiration. In the ’90’s, I had a notebook I would tape magazine or catalog clippings into. I included wedding ideas, travel destinations, home design and decor. Again, inspiration. Today we have the internet, and more specifically, Pinterest to corral all those beautiful finds!

Do you use Pinterest? I love checking it out for inspiration and ideas in a variety of areas: crafts, recipes, party planning, photography posing, photo angles / POV, clothing ideas for clients, and loads more!

I’ve been wanting to share these ideas with you since last summer… crazy how fast time flies! Over the last year, I used these inspirational finds to create goodies: 1. treats for my kindergartener’s last day of school and for my pre-schoolers graduation, too; 2. invites for my sister’s baby shower; and 3. a card for my sister’s baby shower. I love how all three projects came out… what do you think? Take a look below and let me know in the comments!

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I was a bit short on time (as usual!) so the graduation caps I made last year are a far cry from what they could’ve been, but the kids gobbled them up and loved them nonetheless. The caps made this year had a little more TLC as I allocated a little more time to make them.

ClickyChickCreates.com // graduation cap candies with step-by-step instructions

Graduation Cap Candies

They’re pretty simple to make. You’ll need:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Reese’s PB cups miniatures
  • Ghiradelli chocolate squares
  • M&Ms or Skittles
  • Twizzlers or sour string type candy for tassel
  • Wilton melting chocolates
  • Florist foam (Michael’s or Vons florist sells them too!)
  1. Cool Reeses’s cups in fridge before removing wrapping (cleaner/less chocolate sticking to wrapper)
  2. Let cups come to room temp then place lollipop sticks in center of top/wider section
  3. Melt Wilton chocolates.
  4. Add dab of melted chocolate to center of flat side of Ghiradelli chocolate square, add tassel and M&M
  5. Add thin layer of melted chocolate on bottom of PB cup and stick to Ghiradelli square.
  6. Graduation caps are ready for festivities!

I get florist foam at Vons, size it to a glass bread pan, cover foam with colorful gift tissue and stick it in the pan. Voila!


Baby Shower Invites and Decor

The invites were so much fun to make last summer. I can’t believe my nephew is turning one so soon! He is such a sweetheart and absolute cutie pie! We went with the ever trendy and popular mustaches for the theme. Cute, right?!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower invitations using stencils, distress ink, embossing, stamping and more!

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations

ClickyChickCreates.com // mustache baby shower treats and decorations


Baby Shower Card

As mentioned, I’ve been wanting to blog about these Pinterest inspired items for so long…  I actually already blogged about this card! Check it out HERE.

ClickyChickCreates.com // Sweet Blessing baby boy shower card with onesies on a clothesline

Have you found any internet or Pinterest inspiration lately that you’ve put in action? I’d love to see it! If you’d like to check out my Pinterest boards, check them out here. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on photography inspiration I found on Pinterest and how I use it before heading out to photo sessions with clients!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! And if you haven’t signed-up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list yet, whatcha waiting for? Besides getting updates anytime a new blog post goes up, you’ll also get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you! Sign up here. {Password is sent via email when you sign up for the email list 🙂 }

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes

Room for One More? {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes

Every May, the MOMs group I belong to at church hosts a phenomenal annual Mother’s Day Brunch for it’s members. It’s a fantastic event, with great food, friends and fellowship. We usually have a guest speaker, fashion show, decor and/or lifestyle advice with lots of great tips and tricks.

Throughout the year, many of our meetings are focused on parenting, marriage, finances, charity, and more, so the brunch truly is a fun meeting, focused on celebrating us not just as Mom’s, but as sophisticated modern women girly girls!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes

One of the beautiful aspects of the brunch is that members will volunteer to decorate a table and it’s simply gorgeous to walk in and take the beauty and design of each tablescape! Each table is as unique as the mom who has volunteered to decorate it. Some will have china, some will have party ware, some will have fresh flowers, others will have balloons. I’ve seen a table as formal for a queen to dine, one with a beautiful religious motif, one that was quite tropical and you felt like you were in Hawaii on vacation!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // brunch tablescapeConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // brunch tablescapeConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // brunch tablescapeConnie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // brunch tablescape

But one of our mom’s, Karin, always spoils her table guests with her handmade sweet treats! Honestly, she shares her talents with us throughout the entire year (we’re blessed!), but the MOM’s Brunch, people get there early to stake out a spot at her table. I’m always running late and have yet to secure a spot at her table!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sweet tablescape featuring handmade sweet treats, fresh flowers, mini root beer floats, cameo chocolate covered strawberries, cameo cupcakes

I think Karin’s sweet treats table and the other tables are absolutely amazing! What do you think? Do you do anything similar with any sort of club or organization you belong to? It really is a treat for the eyes to take in all the decor!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! And if you haven’t signed-up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list yet, whatcha waiting for? You’ll get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you 🙂

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

PS. The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Room inspired this post. Be sure to check out all the “rooms” being shared this week! Curious for more? Check out my previous photo challenge entries!

Parfaits! {Photo Fridays}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

My daughters absolutely love berries. Mostly strawberries and blueberries, sometimes raspberries and blackberries. And they love making smoothies or parfaits with berries. Who wouldn’t?! They are quite tasty, after all!

Today we actually made strawberry and mango smoothies, but truth be told, the girls were not willing to be patient and wait for me to get some photos! They just weren’t having any of it, and inhaled them before I could grab my camera upstairs! I think I even heard my little one say “ugh, brain freeze!”

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

But while we were making the smoothies, I remembered these shots of parfaits we made. I started thinking about some of the food photography posts I’ve written here and here, and how I’ve truly taken to heart the lesson I learned about getting so close to food shots that it’s like you’re about to take a bite!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // parfaits with strawberry, blueberry, yogurt, granola and honey

As I was looking at these photos, I realized I took three very different shots – one at eye level, one at an angle (coming in for the bite!), and one (mostly) overhead. So my tip to you today, is to take 3 shots of your favorite subject – food, kids, flowers, toys, pets, etc – all at different angles. Above. Below. Behind. Eye-level. Sideways. Whatever it is that is out of your norm, try it! You might surprise yourself with what you find and be inclined to try it again!

If you end up getting something you love from this tip, please share a link in the comments below – I’d love to see! Thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. To make these, we just layer from the bottom up: Fage Greek yogurt (plain that’s been mixed with a dash of vanilla and honey), cut berries and granola. Repeat. Yum!

Red, White and Blue!

I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks… between moving (from a home we’d been in for 13 years, so lots and lots of stuff!), celebrating baby showers for my sister, paper crafting like crazy for one of the showers, end-of-school celebrations for my daughters and keeping them entertained while unpacking… let’s just say I’ve missed the quiet, calm, solitude of writing! So, since tomorrow is a big celebratory day in America, I thought I’d come back and write a post with a bang! Or at least I thought I had some fireworks photos, which I’m realizing I don’t. So, I’ll write a post filled with red, white and blue!

The fourth of July is a definitely a family favorite, just steps behind Christmas, Easter and birthdays. Celebrating with friends, food, fun, and fireworks, what’s not to love?!

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic breakfast waffle with red strawberries, blue blueberries and American flag

My girls like to start the day with a patriotic breakfast, so this easy (frozen) waffle with strawberries and blueberries usually does the trick. Add a little flag on a stick, and my girls are ready to kick-off an all American day!

{I once learned to get good food shots you’ve gotta get close, like you’re ready to take a bite. Um, I guess I really took that tip to heart considering I noticed all my food shots are really up close and personal!!}

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic platter of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and marshmallows

We usually meet up with friends and share in a potluck of yumminess. Red, white and blue food? Absolutely! More strawberries and blueberries, and throw in some marshmallows for eventual roasting, and we’ve got our patriotic platter. And what 4th of July celebration would be complete without cupcakes? I swear that pack of toothpick flags was completely worth the few bucks!

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic cupcake with red white and blue sprinkles and an American flag

We’ll be celebrating America’s birthday tomorrow, and my goal is definitely to capture some fireworks photos. My friend Katrina Kennedy offered some great tips on the very subject. I plan on studying up tonight and can’t wait to see what I can capture tomorrow!

What do you love best about the fourth of July or other summer holidays? I’d love to hear!

Happy early birthday, America!!!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. I’m loving My Four Hens new presets (Life Inspired) on these photos. That Sarah, she’s pure genius : )

Travels through the Senses

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Cafe au lait at Le Cafe Marly in Paris
1/2000 sec at f/4.5 ISO 100

You know those moments when your senses transport you to a different place, a different time? You smell a familiar scent and you’re transported miles and miles away, or taste a treat that takes you back years or decades? I had one of those special flashbacks this morning, with my first sip of coffee. It took me back to my childhood, back to spending time at my grandparents house, back to the sweet coffee my grandfather Papa Elias would have everyday. Cream and sugar. Light brown coffee. White china cup with tiny pink flowers. Teaspoon resting on the saucer. Creamer and sugar bowl just an arms length away.

That first sip made me remember getting little sips of Papa Elias’ coffee every now and then. It made me remember his laugh. It made me remember his loving and kind ways. It made me remember his smile, his hugs, his wit, his sweet demeanor. It’s been over a decade that he’s been gone, but I miss him all the time.

It’s amazing what a taste, a smell, a sound can do to us. I’m sure I’ll be creating a layout about him soon. Here’s a photo of us at my wedding in 2000, the year before he passed. I cherish this photo and look forward to scrapbooking it soon.

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Photo by Dawn Mamikunian, dawnsphoto.com

I had a completely different post in mind for the coffee photo above, as that was from my trip to Paris earlier this month. I had planned to talk about the delicious coffees we had every single day! Café au lait, café viennois, chocolat viennois, café crème, And the bread: the croissants, the *chocolate* croissants (pain au chocolat), the raisin brioche (le pains aux raisins), the palmiers, the baguettes. All of it was divine.

But that first taste of coffee this morning transported me, and took my mind and heart in a totally different direction. What sights, sounds, tastes have transported you recently? Are you documenting them? Please share links in the comments – I’d love to see and read where your senses have taken you!

Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c