>Lovely Cape Cod

>I’ve been quite busy shooting real estate lately and thought I’d share a house that stood out for me.  Well, a little bit.  While there’s nothing too special about this house and I disliked more things than I actually liked about it, I still thought it was delightful.  This house lasted only one day on the market and sold for the asking price of $199,000.  And I should add that the buyer was sold solely by the online photos.

Newly remodeled in a quiet neighborhood of New Britain with views of the Glastonbury Hills.
The car garage situation just sucks as one would have to back into it every time.
Spacious living room with plenty of windows on three sides of the room.
Nice sized kitchen with brand new cabinets, counter tops and appliances.
View of the dining room from the kitchen.
Love the hallway and its tiles.
Two half bathrooms
One full bathroom on the second floor.
Another view of the full bath: I could totally see myself doing my business here.
Large master bedroom with plenty of windows and two small closets.
One of four bedrooms.
Second floor hallway.

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>Lazy pierogi

>I was craving cheese pierogi tonight but was also disinterested in spending hours in the kitchen inhaling flour.  Polish meal known as the “lazy pierogi” came to mind and it seemed like the perfect alternative to the real thing.   So I called mom and got the recipe because of course she has them all memorized in her head. 
And I made the lazy cheese pierogi. (Which by the way, is often misspelled as “pierogies” because pierogi is already plural!) And though they were considerably less time consuming to make, I would not call them lazy. The good thing is that this dish captures the flavor of pierogi, and yet it takes about an hour to prepare.  But if you’re feeling really lazy and have to eat some pierogi, your best option is to just go out and buy some.

My “lazy pierogi” served with vanilla yogurt and raspberries.

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Hello and welcome to my new blog.  I have decided to pack my bags and move from blogger.com to wordpress.com. In the next few days, I’ll be figuring out how to move all of my blogger content onto this blog, and making it look more personable.

In the meantime, feel free to check me out at: twiingallery.blogspot.com



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>Bella: 21 months

>Same child, same swing … One year later; 10 pounds heavier, 10 inches taller.

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>This is one of my all time favorite foods!  It’s kind of like a pizza with a Polish twist: it has butter spread instead of a tomato sauce.  And toppings go in reverse order: mushrooms, shredded cheese and ketchup on top. I like mine nice and simple, and with lots of mushrooms, but bacon works very well and can be added, as well as any other pizza-type toppings.  This time I used mini Portuguese rolls so they are great as an appetizer or party finger food.  I love it so much that I make it at least twice a month. 

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>Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Nowruz, the celebration of the Persian New Year. The word Nowruz means “new day” and the holiday is observed annually in a number of countries, including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbajian and Tajikistan.  

Persians living abroad such as U.S. attend a Nowruz party to celebrate the season of hope and renewal.  I was invited to a my first Nowruz celebration at the Rome Ballroom of UConn. campus by a good Iranian friend, Bernadette.  The party started slowly with the welcoming address from the Iranian Association of UConn., followed by a brief poetry reading and a classical Persian music performance on the acoustic guitar.

But when the DJ played the Persian music, it’s the women (and kids) that came onto the dance floor first.  The Persian dance itself is highly individualistic and heavily relies on solo improvisation.  And it is totally normal for women to dance with women.  In fact, it wasn’t until much later and the lights dimmed that the men joined the floor in a group based ensemble setting.  And well into the night, the dance floor resembled one big dance circle with everyone dancing together.

I had such a great time, completely immersing myself in the Nowruz celebration; eating delicious Persian pastries, taking photos and whirling away Persian-style.  Although, it took me by a huge surprise when I was approached by several Persians throughout the night and spoken to in Farsi.  Perhaps it was my comfortableness with the surrounding that led them to believe I was one of them.  Now that I think about it … it must have been my dancing. 

Here’s a slide show of the photos and videos I captured during the party. 
It was really difficult to divide myself between photographing and dancing. 
I wished I could do both at the same time.

Haft-sin, a traditional Nowruz table set up at the party. Each item on the table has a symbolic meaning.
Lit candles are for enlightenment and happiness.
Holy book.
Tulips represent Spring.
Painted eggs are the symbol of fertility.
Dried fruit of the lotus tree symbolizes love.
Bernadette with her parents.

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Did you see it?  Saturday night’s “supermoon” made its closest encounter to Earth since 1993. It appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.   
Below is a photograph of the moon as I saw it on March 19th, through friend’s super telephoto lens.

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Noisy rattles? Squeaky ducks? Bella would look at them for a second, only to drop it on the floor in animosity. So when nothing worked to calm down my toddler’s tantrums, my cell phone always came to the rescue.  When she was a baby, she found comfort in chewing on the rubber case, later punching in the 4-digit pass code so many times until she locked me out of my own phone and now at 20-months, she operates my iPhone like a pro. Last month I showed her a cool baby app and she has demanded access to my phone ever since.  
“Ce-ce-mone!” she exclaims, signing the word for please.  
She has learned how to send a kl;klj9erqe9re]]] message to my contacts, dial numbers, flip through the app pages, take blurry photos, and mess up my alarm settings. But what amazes me the most is how she navigates the phone to find her baby games and knows exactly how to play them.  I’m stunned at the intelligence that my child has at such young age. She is still in diapers, for crying out loud! It makes me wonder what she will be capable of in the next few months. At this rate, she will probably demand her own smart phone for her second birthday.

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>Product Photography: Take Two


As they say, “practice makes perfect”so that’s what I’m doing. I’m practicing still life photography in anticipation of landing a product photography job.  I’m experimenting with different objects, backgrounds and lighting techniques.
My watch wrapped around a real meteorite rock.
Same shot, different crop.
These chocolate covered pretzels were a home-made Christmas gift from Courtney.  While shooting I went into the kitchen in search of a sweet snack and found them.  I can’t believe I haven’t tried them until today.  They were so good! Were.
Flintstones Gummy Vitamins have been around forever. I remember taking them when I was a kid.  Now I take them again as my toddler refuses to eat them.   I eat one of every color every day.
I sniff baby powder everyday. Unintentionally, of course.
Shoes are fun to photograph.
Two different products that claim to solve one common dog problem: excessive barking. 
One works wonders, the other doesn’t do squat. 
Unfortunately, it’s the more abrasive method that works.

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>Product Photography: First Try

>I’m trying my hand at product photography and this is my very first attempt.  For this purpose, I’ve created a light box out a Pampers carton and regular desk laps.  Then I photographed a few random objects found in the house.  Did some minor post-processing and here are the results …

I think I need a bigger box.

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