curtis & christine- lovely wedding and reception at a ZOO! :)

Curtis and Christine laughed the entire day. They were so much fun!! In college, I lived in a historic house on Walnut Street called the Pea Pod. (It had no air-conditioning, 5 bedrooms, one shower, and …wait for it….eight girls. YIKES!) Since my time there, many more generations have lived there and then they tend to get married. I get REALLY excited when they choose me as a photographer. It ends up being a reunion of my past brides & grooms and I love it!!! Curtis and Christine interrupted their regularly-scheduled first dance and performed the most miraculous choreographed hip-hop dance I’ve ever seen. Enjoy this super-hot bride and groom! (Special thanks to second shooter and soulmate, mor-to-the-gan warner.)

Brief time-out: this is the first couple that ever paid me money to shoot their wedding. I STILL get referrals from them to this day. Thanks Kim and Charlie for taking a chance on a new photographer!!!
Past Pea-Pod-dwellers.Do I regret dancing? Never! Do I regret making this face while dancing. Ok, possibly…

Andrea - March 29, 2012 - 10:31 am

Beautiful Christine!! I love pea weddings :)

Player Family - May 31, 2012 - 3:05 am

What a beautiful family wedding and everyone is having so much fun, especially the bride and groom and their families. Thanks for sharing it

Gordon Family Picnic

I love it when photographers want me to photograph them! It’s such an honor AND they always know exactly what to do in front of the camera. In this case, the beautiful Taisia Gordon (who is the sweetest person and CUTEST mom) wanted to capture a sunny picnic with her family. I originally shot this session the same week as Callie’s first brithday, and I had been freaking out a little about how fast the time had flown. But this session ended up being therapeutic for me because I saw the beauty of the mother-daughter relationship and realized that it only gets better and better!

Chelsea - March 28, 2012 - 10:15 am

Those are darling!

Taisia - March 28, 2012 - 3:20 pm

It does get better and better! Katie, thank you for capturing this time in our lives so perfectly.

marilyn and nick – engagement

And now for the facebook-contest winners, Marilyn and Nick. These two are a GORGEOUS couple and so much fun! He lives in Connecticut and Marilyn lives here in Springfield. They hadn’t seen each-other since Christmas which makes my heart hurt for them. They had to part yesterday again for several months, so I wanted to get this post together as quickly as possible to hopefully brighten their otherwise sad week. The good news is that they’re getting married and soon they won’t have to be long distance ever again!!! What a blast they were! This might be my new favorite shoot. : )

Chelsea - March 27, 2012 - 8:11 am

Beautiful photos & a lovely couple!

Amanda - March 27, 2012 - 8:51 am

This is an unfairly attractive couple! Too cute.

Amari Shields - March 27, 2012 - 9:09 am

Wowsa! Beautiful couple and gorgeous photography. I love how you play with natural light so beautifully! Awesome!

Marilyn - March 27, 2012 - 9:53 am

Katie these are incredible. I had no doubt they would be fantastic, but you still blew my expectations out of the water. LOVE THEM!
Thanks so much. :)

Teresa Cole - March 27, 2012 - 1:14 pm

Wonderful pictures!!!! My daughter and soon to be son in law are so beautiful. These pictures show how fun of a couple they are and so in love. Thank you Katie for the great pictures!

Jill Reser - March 27, 2012 - 2:43 pm

These are beautiful! I feel the love betweeen them two!

Chronicles of a Glutton Volume 3: Ten Tips

If I get asked one question more than any other it would be, “Katie Day, how do you stay so thin?” *

*oh wait that has never happened. ever.

Alright, so I’m not the model of health/slenderness, but the good news is that I am 100% committed to learning and growing, and hopefully someday getting this whole food thing figured out. If you read my two previous posts on this topic, I talked about finding a happy medium between a skinny girl who obsesses over food and a chubby girl who eats whatever the heck she wants. I also talked about tithing my time and making running a priority.

Well, today I’d like to share with you a few tips I’ve learned over the last six months or so.

I’m a busy lady with a slow metabolism so these tips are catered to a working mom with kid(s) who has zero experience cooking elaborate meals and whose husband has the fastest-metabolism-known-to-mankind. But hopefully even if that doesn’t fit you exactly, you can relate to a few of these tips. (Oh…also, I’m a devout whatever-the-opposite-of-a-vegan is.)

Tip One: Pick one day a week to go grocery shopping.

If you aren’t going grocery shopping at least once a week, I have news for you, you aren’t eating very healthy. Fresh stuff rots. So plan on a weekly trip. I choose Monday, but I also work at home. The upside is that the trip usually goes really, really quickly. I like to buy a month’s worth of meat once a month and then pick up fresh veggies/fruits/bread, milk, eggs, butter once a week. It’s fast, quick and easy. Callie knows the drill and she gets a free cookie from the bakery at the end if she’s a good girl. We practice naming all the food as we pass, and she greets every old lady and baby she sees. (We will eat everything in the picture below this week.)

Tip Two: As soon as you get home, wash, divide and conquer.

As soon as you get home, wash, divide and conquer. Callie goes into her cage i mean, highchair, and I go into turbo-mode. All the meat gets portioned into freezer bags by individual dinners. So, a pack of 6 steaks become 3 bags of two steaks. Think in terms of what you want to thaw. Make your own 100-calorie packs. My favorite snack is red grapes. So into snack sized pouches they go. (Before you angry-green-moms start yelling at me, I always reuse the baggies, so chill out….hippies.) The baggies sit visibly in the fridge for me to grab quickly as I run out the door or sit down to work. The whole process takes less than a half hour, yet it is lasting convenience for the rest of the week.

Tip Three: Make a meal-plan for the entire week.

I’m not a chef. At all. So my meal-thought-process goes like this “What’s my protein? What’s my veggie? What starch should I make for my 100-pound husband?”

My friend, Allison (who I owe this entire tip to. It’s her tip and it changed my life) is more fancy than me and looks up elaborate 25-ingredient meals. I do not. I find the simpler it is, the fewer ingredients, as well as the fewer hidden carbs and fats. I pan-sear almost everything in olive oil. Or we grill-out. Or we crock-pot. I try to eat half the starch that Jared eats. Is it fair that he can eat a billion grams of carbs and lose weight and I look at a bagel and gain 5 pounds? No, it’s not. Get over it. I have to eat fewer carbs than him. Period.

Note: This is the plan for this week. I try to alternate meat-types. Beef, Chicken, Pork…repeat. Also, I know that I have a photoshoot on Thursday, so I made it a crock-pot day so that dinner’s waiting for me when I get home.

Tip Four: Eat fresh first.

You’ll also notice on my menu board, that the week begins with all the fresh veggies. If I run out of fresh stuff by Friday, that’s when I tap into the fresh-frozen bags. I steam them with a little bit of butter and sea salt. I’ve got a steamer. It’s nice.

Tip Five: Your kids should eat the same thing as you do.

What you won’t notice on my menu board is a second column for ‘Callie-meals’. That’s because I’d like her to eat healthy, too. If we’re having grilled chicken and broccoli, she doesn’t get her own mac-n-cheese. No way. Picky eaters are MADE not born. We all sit down together. We hold hands and say a prayer and then Callie shouts “AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


Tip Six: As you cook the evening’s dinner, set out tomorrow night’s meat to thaw in the fridge.

For some reason the number one thing that overwhelms me when wondering “what am I going to cook for dinner?” is when there isn’t meat thawed and ready to cook. I don’t really like to nuke it because i always end up cooking it a little. So, have it thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Boom. It’s ready. One less thing to think about.


Tip Seven: Set out fresh fruit where you can see it.

But, wait won’t it go bad faster? For me, personally the answer is no. If I keep my fruit in the bottom of my fridge closed in a drawer I NEVER EVER EAT IT. But when it’s in it its cute little wooden tray, I find myself grabbing pieces all the time, and more importantly, so does Callie. When we had Jared’s leftover b-day cake sitting out, all we heard was “CAKE! CAKE!!!!”. When it’s not there all we hear is “Or-ange??? Or-ANGE????” Yes, Callie, you may have an orange!

Tip Eight: Go out for ice cream. (Or Know your Weaknesses)

For me, it is ice cream. If I have ice cream in my freezer, it’s all I can think about. So I had to make a tough decision. Sometimes it helps to make a decree. Here was mine a year ago “From this day hence, we will not keep ice cream in the house!” If we want ice cream, we go out. To Orange leaf, to Andy’s. Then it becomes an event. A memory. A treat.


Tip Nine: Treat vs Snack.

And speaking of treats, let’s take a minute to define what that means. I learned this from one of my parenting books. A snack is something provided to feed your child between meals that promotes nutrition. Example: a piece or fruit, peanut butter and crackers, carrots. A treat is a special occasion food that has nothing to do with nutrition. Example: ice cream, cookie, JUICE! These are also excellent motivators. If Callie is good while grocery shopping, she gets a cookie at the end. If she behaves in Target, she gets apple juice in the check-out line. (And she KNOWS IT, when we pull up to Target, she shouts JUICE!!!!!!!!!!) And for future-Callie, If she has a really bad day/break-up/bully-encounter, that’s when it’s time to go out for ice-cream. And for future-FUTURE Callie, that’s when mama takes her out for margaritas. : )


Tip Ten: Start over next meal.

I used to be enslaved by “the diet starts on Monday” type of thinking. So if I screwed up on Tuesday, I could enjoy a long week of over-eating. Forget that! When you over-eat (and you will! just yesterday, I ate at Red Lobster and had carbs with a side of carbs) start over the very next meal. Forget it. Move on.

The main thing I’ve learned is that for people who are not naturally thin, then you HAVE to prepare. Prepare and plan. We don’t have the luxury to eat whatever crap is laying around. We have to make sure that there ISN’T crap laying around. It’s irrelevant that it isn’t fair. Take control! Also note that most of these steps for me are taken care of in 2 hours every Monday. Plan on one day, reap the benefits the rest of the week!

(As I mentioned I LOVE learning, so please leave any additional tips in the comments sections below! Thanks!)

Marlee - March 26, 2012 - 4:09 pm

I love this! I think I just found out what that big red bowl sitting empty on the bookcase is really supposed to be for…fruit! Good tips!

Kelly - March 26, 2012 - 5:23 pm

Awesome tips sis!!! Favorite healthy kid snacks right now are cheese sticks, turkey sticks, yogurt, frozen gogurt, granola bars, etc. it’s so hard to be healthy on the go with kids !!

Kenna - March 26, 2012 - 7:06 pm

Great tips Katie! Wish we were all as lucky as your husband. ;0)

Meaghan Graber - March 26, 2012 - 7:09 pm

Katie, these tips are great! I love reading about how to make real food work in busy lives. Thank you so much for posting! ps- you’re beautiful… and hilarious. :)

julie - March 26, 2012 - 8:14 pm

This is how I over come my ice cream cravings: Put waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Get a light yoplait yogurt. Spoon small bite sized dollops of yogurt on the cookie sheet and freeze. They are soooooo good and cure my cravings. One yogurt makes a ton so you can share!

Emilia Jane - March 27, 2012 - 6:45 am

Katie this is phenomenal! I am so seriously inspired by you right now :-D

[...] FROM Laying Of Hands source #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic [...]

Sarah - March 30, 2012 - 9:42 am

Thank you for posting this! I am LOVING these easy tips! You really broke it down simply and I’ve already shared it on FB and Pinterest! :)

kdp - March 30, 2012 - 1:48 pm

oh good!!! thank you, sarah!!

Kristi - March 31, 2012 - 9:00 pm


Maureen - April 1, 2012 - 8:41 am

You have some great tips! As a mother of five with my youngest turning 16 I would like to comment on one thing. I tried never to comfort my children using food – i.e. if my children had a bad day take them for ice cream. I tried to find other ways for them to learn from the bad event and give them plenty of loving.

Jen - April 1, 2012 - 8:42 am

You crack me up! Super great info! One tip that I have is that I am always raring to go in the morning, not so much by dinner time, so I like to prep all my food in the am (usually like 10), then when it is time to cook I just cook, not prep. Makes it less dreading too.

kdp - April 2, 2012 - 9:04 am

Good call Jen! I like that! I do think I’m happiest on crock-pot days when it’s all done!!!

kdp - April 2, 2012 - 9:05 am

Yeah, that’s a great point Maureen. As a recovering emotional-eater, probably not a good idea to associate bad food with comfort. Maybe we’ll go for a long walk instead. :)

Britt - April 3, 2012 - 1:23 pm

Couldn’t have put these better myself! I’ve actually been trying to make similar changes in my eating and cooking habits and its amazing the difference it makes.

One tip I’d combine with to #7 is I use my crisper drawers for yogurts and such, and use repurposed clementine/tangerine boxes or shoebox-size tupperware to store produce – one for fruits and one for veg. It started as a way to avoid mystery “what was this?” gunk in the drawers, but now I always know just what I have on hand and see the good stuff when I stop for fridge-grazing. Plus I like cold apples. Which may be weird…

Kristin - April 4, 2012 - 1:55 pm

Great list. I do a lot of these and they totally help me maintain my sanity. I also just started using this tool called plan to eat ( for my meal planning this week. Major timesaver. If you are a techie at all and spend a lot of time with iphone/computer, it just makes sense to do meal planning that way! You can pin recipes like pinterest, and drag and drop meals into different days and it generates your shopping list.

kdp - April 4, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Um LOVE this tip. Going to look at it right now!!

Mandy - June 13, 2012 - 4:51 pm

Love it!!! We always try and have brown rice done and in the fridge all the time because like you, I cannot eat a lot of pasta with out it showing up everywhere. Besides, I just feel better eating rice and veggies with my meats instead of lots of pasta. However, the other side of the coin, the 4 guys that occupy this house with me would not be happy eating rice constantly. They love their pasta! Finding a happy medium without going crazy!

Cori - June 17, 2012 - 4:30 pm

My day is Wednesday to shop. It is the day you will find double deals on produce. Also, I buy the ripe sale stuff for early in the week and ALWAYS buy fruit/veggies that isn’t ripe so I can set it in the window to ripen.

Also, when I wash my fruits and veggies I put them into pretty glass bowls so that I enjoy pulling it out and just sticking a fork in it to get a taste.

Great post with great suggestions!

Amanda Darlene Hill - June 17, 2012 - 6:50 pm

These are such good tips. I started doing all this when my boyfriend and I both got into graduate school and soon realized we have no time! It works out great and I find that I can focus my stress on my upcoming exam and not on trying to figure out what to eat. Now if I can get the boyfriend to stop sneaking in the ice cream and cookies we will be good to go. lol!

Kendra - July 30, 2012 - 1:50 pm

I live by tip five, even when they were babies and I pureed adult food for my kids. I do find that sometimes making adjustments to their servings helps. My six-year-old doesn’t like cooked veggies, but I can put some aside for her raw and she will eat almost veggie that way. Also, if the recipe is too spicy for my two-year-old, I scoop out a portion for her before adding the spicy ingredients. That way, they’re still eating the same balanced meal, only adjusted for their preferences.

happy birthday hubby!

Last year, our chubby little 6-month old held a sign for Daddy’s birthday.

Yesterday, our full-of-energy-18-month-old sat still for approximately .03 seconds while I got this photo. She said ‘Cheese”, but I don’t really think it was sincere.

I want to brag on a couple of character traits that I love about my husband. He is a High School English teacher and is passionate about classic literature. He’s about to begin To Kill a Mockingbird in his classes, and it’s his favorite. He’s even been to Harper Lee’s house for a tour. I found these BEAUTIFUL books at Barnes and Noble, part of their classic series. My gosh, I was DROOLING over that table. At one point I had a stack of seven that I was convinced I was going to buy all of them. But as they are $20 each (and as I mentioned my husband makes a teacher’s salary) I purchased only two. But, maybe we’ll collect a few every special occasion until we have them all. They’re just so lovely.

But back to how great my husband is. One of the cutest ‘new-dad’ moments I observed was when I walked into a room and he was reading the paper to newborn Callie. I asked him what he was doing and he said “Scout always climbed up on Atticus’ lap and he would read the newspaper to her.” Oh my heart. My husband has an old (beautiful) soul. There have been several times where I’ve caught him drinking whiskey, smoking a pipe, and reading Ernest Hemmingway. He always wears a tie to work. Always.

Our trip to Europe on our second anniversary was a perfect vacation because it combined my heart for art history (paris) and his love for classic literature and william shakespeare (london). We’ve also decided that the movie “Midnight in Paris” was created specifically for us as it brings to life all of the art and literary historical figures we love. I’d explain the artists to him, he explained the writers to me..”No, Katie, seriously that is EXACTLY how Ernest Hemmingway writes.” Basically we’re nerds. And we’re in geeky, nerdy love.

Another thing I love about him is how much he loves tradition. My dream for Callie’s childhood is that it would be full of family traditions and memories. Someday I’d like Callie to say to her friends,”We always make these treats for Christmas.” “We go fishing every Spring Break.” “My family went camping every fall and played guitar and sang around the campfire”. And hopefully “We never miss church. It’s a blast. I love Jesus.” (right, Callie…you’ll say that won’t you!!!???”)

Jared’s family is full of tradition and I attempted (KEY WORD ATTEMPTED) to bring one of those traditions to life yesterday. His Granny (the greatest cook who ever lived. We’re talking down-home-butter-and-oil-cooking) always made an exposed chocolate layer cake for all of her grandkids on their birthday. Hers are beautiful, lovely, and delicious. Mine was……delicious. It kind of turned out looking like a hot mess, but it was a moist-and-delicious hot mess and I figure I’ve got many more birthdays to perfect it. (I wanted to be sure I mentioned that my bestie, Allison is a teacher and on Spring Break this week and came over to help make this, but then I wondered if she would want to be associated with this. oh well. i’ve done it now.)

He was a happy, happy man. Though I’m pretty sure Callie thought it was her birthday. She sang “Happy-TO-you!!! Hott! Hotttt!”

Christy Cropper - March 23, 2012 - 10:08 am

So sweet!
I love his aspirations of be oping Atticus finch :)

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