D.Stone is back from holiday!!
I vowed not to have my Canon plastered to my face during this long over due vacation. And I stuck to that, experiencing great things in real life, not behind the lens or cell. It was hard, everywhere I went, I kept echoing " I wish I bought my camera". But I love that we have these secret memories, that no one else can view! I did venture out with my canon and sigma on one day of the trip...
Going on vacation with a child, is not a vacation... I love my kid to the end of the earth and back, but I needed one day of pure relaxation. No tieing shoes, or wiping tushes, or chasing beasts through elevators. The day after mothers day, my son was going on a 6 hour dolphin excursion in Anguilla. I was prepped and ready to go, camera in tow, to document the whole thing, but last minute decided to venture off on my own. A little selfishness on my part.
I had the best time! Moonshine, speed boats, cat smuggling...... don't ask, don't tell. What happens in Grand Case, stays in Grand Case.....
Our tour began by splitting into two groups and hoping on board a set of bright yellow speed boats. Of course I was late, and ended up on the second half of the tour group, which incidentally was the better half. Sorry yall. We had the better boat, fun tour guides, and most importantly the stronger Rum Punches...
We sped around the Dutch side of the island, and landed in the French side, as the tour guide Pierre exclaimed, "isn't the air fresher over here". Kinda like us when we leave jersey, and head back to NY.
We headed to Creole Rock, near Anguilla, for some snorkeling.
With gorgeous weather, an empty dive area, and many fish/sea creatures under foot, we had a great time
After rubbing my flipper onto a bunch of very large sea urchins, which we were blatantly warned not to touch, I decided I was ready to hop back into the boat for a cocktail, or 5.
We took off after everyone had their fill of tropical fish, and rum, and ended up on the shores of Grand Case.
I had quickly researched the area before we left, and found a large number of tourists raving about a Perfumerie in town. I asked around and found out it was walking distance, maybe 1 minute, from where our guides left us off.
Rum induced I traipsed around solo, with a very expensive camera dangling off my arm. Passed the "grilled lobster" sign like I was told, and stumbled upon an unassuming white stucco building.
I asked the girl who greeted me, if she had a "quick" class that I could partake in. I hate cruising, I'm leisurely by nature, and dislike any kind of rushing around that Cruises abide by. But Milie, who greeted me at the door, was gracious enough to offer me a 30 minute perfumerie class.
Walking in, there were so many scent options. Parsley, tomato, wisteria, yarrow, maple pecan, tobacco...
I learned that intoxicated me, really enjoys musty, aggressive fragrances, and proceeded to choose, Neroli, Patchouli, Cedar wood, and Lavender Sage.....
I donned a lab coat, and watched as Milie determined which fragrance out of the bunch I chose, would be my main component in the mixture. She had me go outside, with each scent, and choose which one I liked best. When I came back in, she expertly mixed my fragrances in sequential order, creating my signature scent. I helped of course, but left most of the work in the hands of the professional!
We added the water and alcohol, and Milie reminded me to store my fragrance in the fridge for 3 hours. I was able to choose from 2 glass bottles, and she printed my fragrance name on a label: D.Stone.... This was a great option while Island hoping! Fun to get away from hair braiding, and sea urchins for a while!
Total cost for the mini class was 68 euros, they also accept USD, and Dutch Guilders.
I cannot wait to go back to Grand Case, and make a sober scent.
Click the link below to check out Tijon, Thanks Milie for a great class!
These cute chocolate eggs are so yummy, and look great all packaged up in Easter baskets.
Mess factor was about a 7/10, until I came up with a little trick to keep the melted chocolate in line!
16 oz good chocolate
Melted peanut butter
Step 2: Melt the chopped chocolate in a double broiler, or a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add any other fillings the kids like. I used chopped pecans, and melted peanut butter in the milk chocolate eggs, and dried cherries in the dark chocolate batch.
Step 3: Take a Wilton icing tip, I used 2A, and place it into the hole of the eggs. Spoon the melted chocolate in, filling to the top. 8 ounces of baking chocolate filled 3 large brown eggs.
Step 4: Chill the eggs in the fridge for 3 hours
Comment below if you tried any other flavored eggs!
I love anything DIY, especially beauty DIY's!
In the summer I make a lime/coconut/seasalt scrub, it's always such a big hit as a hostess gift or birthday present.
With multiple parties and birthdays coming up this month I was about to trek to Wild By Nature & pick up some coconuts for a big batch of my scrub, when I came across an awesome recipe for a Seasalt/Coffee version. With a special added ingredient, this turns into a great cellulite reducer too! & who doesn't need that?!
This recipe is super simple!
Start with good quality ingredients, organic, non gmo is ideal.
I'm lucky to have multiple health food stores available locally, but the ingredients I used for today's batch all came from HomeGoods!
1 cup coffee grounds
1 cup Sea Salt (or you can sub with coarse raw brown sugar)
1/2 cup melted, not boiled, organic coconut oil
If the mixture is too "wet" or settles with a layer of oil on top, add more dry ingredients.
Mix well, and store in an airtight glass jar. Or a super freakin cute jar, like the one I used!
Click the Read More button below for the secret cellulite busting ingredient.
Playdough surprise eggs. Hobby Kids Tv. SaltBae. and now Butter Slime.
What do these things have in common? My son, and most kids his age are obsessed with them all! Every night he grabs my phone, goes on insta and watches "slime videos" (bizarre to say the least) before bed. I tried to figure out these obsessions way back when he would watch random people on YouTube opening toys. What's the allure???? I'll buy you your own toys, why are you watching GROWN ADULTS open them for you??!! Technology.....
But if it gave me a few moments of sanity, and a quiet house for an hour, who was I to judge his tastes, watch away......
I'm an indulgent parent, I take responsibility for the Mama's boy i'm creating. I wanted to surprise him with a jar of his favorite "slime Girl's" Slime.
Apparently there is a very high demand in the underground slime trade, every site was "sold out" of the illusive Butter Slime.
A quick google search gave us a basic recipe for Butter Slime. After 3 attempts, and a few alterations to the original, we got the perfect Buttery texture. A $20 trip to CVS & you can have all the slime your heart desires......
Saline Solution for Contacts
Elmers White Glue (no substitutions)
Barbasol Shaving Cream (any white non gel shaving cream is fine)
Model Magic Clay (preferably white)
Click below to get the recipe
I love Halloween, it's my number one holiday, followed by Christmas, then Valentines Day.
I've passed my love for all things Halloween-y to my son, and on his fourth birthday I made him a chilled monkey brain cake for our Indiana Jones themed dinner (which also included real dried crickets at his request!). I didn't think much of it until a friend of mine, with a shocked look on her face, said "wow, he's pretty advanced for his age"... I took notice of all the Paw Patrol-Mickey Mouse b-day cakes that the other 4 year olds had, and thought maybe i'll dial it back next year!
Or maybe not!
I love to cook, and you know what they say about good cooks..... they can't bake!
I like to throw a dash of this, an extra cup of that (mainly wine) into all my dishes, my brain does not compute exact measurements. Baking is not my forte, but I wanted to do something special for our yearly mommy & son v-day dinner date. And because my kid has half my genes, something special = something gory and/or disgusting.
What better than an anatomically correct heart cake?!
I called some local bakeries, thinking naturally I couldn't be the only one wanting such a thing for Valentines day....but I was.... straight to youtube I went and searched for bloody heart cake videos.
I found a great tutorial on HowToCakeIt.com, but me being me, I wasn't going to go out and buy all the extra tools and I certainly wasn't going to make homemade ganache for the filling. I'm not that ambitious, so this is my simplified version of the Anatomical Heart Cake. You can find the original in the link at the end of the post
I used a box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Red Velvet cake mix, with a 1/3 of a cup of Amaretto, because why the hell not, and filled each dome about one quarter of the way. Baked at 350, for aprox 22 minutes.
I let the domes chill in the fridge, while I prepped the fondant.
Once the cakes were cooled all the way through, I used Betty Crocker ButterCream frosting to sandwich them together, then started carving the heart. Sloppy AF but thats my way.
I crumb coated the heart before adding my veins.
You want to make the veins thick enough so they give texture to the heart after you place the next layer of fondant over them. My son did the red side..dunno if I should be proud or scared!
I mixed a small bit of red fondant into the white, to create a pink hue. Then smoothed it over the heart, pressing lightly around the veins. I used the extra fondant to roll tubes that would become the Aorta on top of the heart, and also added one or two more red veins to the outside for more texture.
In the original HowToCakeIt tutorial, she made congealed blood by using jelly and red food coloring. I used a mix of Bonne Maman cherry and blueberry preserves then added a few drops of food coloring to give it that super gross bloody membrane effect.
Et voila! How could anyone resist
We're so lucky to live in an area that's community focused. I say it all the time, Long Beach, Lido, & Point Lookout are one of a kind places on Long Island, and you won't "get it" if you don't live here. We came -just- for the summer a few years ago and never left!
I love that the whole Barrier Island feels like Cheers. I always need a full face of makeup, even if it's just to run a quick errand because everyone knows your name....everywhere!
One of the great things about this area is the vast amount of activities, and classes available for kids (&Adults).
Family run Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Point Lookout, is one of the best places for keeping kids active. The Fitzpatrick brothers are so great with kids of all ages, and they really care about the children enrolled in their classes. The Gracie Bully Proof class is essential in this day and age for kids to not only gain self esteem, but also learn how to defend themselves, using verbal negotiation before physical force.
I scoped out a handful of other places and programs before choosing Gracie Bully Proof, and after a few months of group and private classes, I know this was the right place for us!
They deserve a separate blog post, in the future, so for now i'll just say if you're on the fence about where to send your kids, locally, just do it!
The Polar Bear swim has become a popular tradition in many towns, in many states.
The Long Beach Polar Bear Swim is HUGE! People come from all over the island to partake. This year we came to support the Fitzpatrick brothers of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
My son was adamant, he wouldn't get in the water, but maybe next year we'll entice him with bagels and cream cheese.
After some pumping up, the kids ran into the water, under the watch of Ryan & Kyle of Gracie.
Everyone enjoyed themselves!
We love LB!
Since starting the Slow Carb Diet, I've become Cheat Day obsessed.
Even my 5 year old (unprompted), will tell random's "It's my moms cheat day, were eating like pigs" Thanks kid.....
My designated Cheat Day is Saturday, but we've been battling miscellaneous colds and virus's, so this is my first real cheat day in over a month! I had to make it count.
After hearing about Costa Nova Waffles in Mineola from friends who work in the area, I knew this was going to be one of our stops.
Costa Nova is a very small store front, close to the train station. We passed it twice before we saw it, then had to loop a few blocks to get a spot on a busy Saturday. With two hungry kids in tow we needed waffles, stat!
There's a public lot a block from Costa Nova, with plenty of free parking on the weekends. The shop itself is very cozy, and cleanly decorated. A few stools lined the wall, & two girls were behind the counter pumping out these fluffy, fully stuffed, pieces of cheat day heaven! We ordered two soft waffles, one plain, one with Nutella and strawberries, and a hard waffle with Nutella and bananas. The soft waffles come folded like burritos, and stay piping hot through the last bite. The hard waffles are large, folded twice, and reminiscent of Pizzelles.
It was a little busy, and the waffle irons were still heating up for the day, keeping a handful of hungry guests waiting.
WELL WORTH THE WAIT!
The kids loved each one they tried, and we finished off whatever they couldn't eat.
CNW is a family run operation, with a sweet and knowledgeable staff. They gave us a quick history of Costa Nova, and explained the waffles are beach side treats in the Portuguese city. She also mentioned their imported coffees, and we watched a few locals come in to order cappuccinos, every one left satisfied.
We can't wait to go back next weekend to try the Ovos Moles filling, an egg custard which is a specialty from the Aveiro region in Portugal. It looked amaze! Check them out on the link below!
I'm a sun bunny. I dislike winter. A lot.
Living on long island my whole life, you'd think i'd be prepped and ready for any kind of snow storm, but I never am. In the beginning of the season with three feet of snow on the ground, there I am on amazon buying my son snow boots, a little late to the party....
The only good thing about this season (other than my second love: oysters) is the opportunity to create some beautiful images of the perfect snowfall. I'm still waiting for that moment this year, but in the mean time I've been working on some seasonal crowns.
I love anything DIY!
Especially props for shoots.
I have a few other floral crowns I bring out in the warmer months, for girl-y shoots, but wanted to create a winter appropriate crown.
And these couldn't be easier!
I headed over to Michael's, browsed the floral department. & found these great winter berry garlands by Ashland. The garlands already have wire inside which makes it much easier to form the circle. I used my son's head to measure (sorry kid) and wrapped a piece of brown floral tape around the loose ends. A little hot glue will keep it closed. I added a few pink crystals, green leaves, and white babys breath from a spring crown I had, and viola!
Super simple. Less than $10 in supplies, cant get better than that for a prop junkie!
I felt like Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump googling "what is isis?"
We'll not quite that bad, but still "how do I blog" isn't very far from that scenario!
I have a few mommy blogger friends, and a few food blogger friends, but I wanted to do this one on my own. Jesus take the wheel!
I just committed two newbie blogger offenses, according to my guru.... 1) Dont talk about Trump and 2) Dont mention Jesus
I started this blog to document my photography follies, and since I don't take massive amounts of bathroom "selfies" I feel like a blog is just the right amount of narcissistic behavior that is so common in 2017......
So follow me, love me, re-blog the s*** outta me!
And welcome to D.Stone Photography!