Saturday, April 30, 2016

Recipes | Tiramisù

If you know me, you know that I LOVE anything sweet. Desserts are just my thing... bring me anything chocolate and I'll be the happiest girl ever. Well you know until it finishes that is ;) 

I've been growing more and more in love with food and keeping my Italian culture alive so whenever I have a chance to combine it with my work and any project... it makes me love it even more.

It's funny how the older we become, the deeper into our roots we go. It's sort of like you grow into the person you have always been... but more vivid and alive. 

Here is my family's recipe for Tiramisù, an Italian dessert that can be made various ways... but I have found that sometimes the simplest turns out to be the most delicious ;) Enjoy! 

3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound Mascarpone Cheese
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Rum or Limoncello
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Ladyfinger Cookies
Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Salt
2-3 cups brewed Espresso  


1. In a mixing bowl beat egg yolks with the sugar.
2. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they become stiff peaks. 
3. Bring both mixtures of eggs together. 
4. Add the Mascarpone cheese into the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Add the Vanilla Extract and  1 tbsp. Rum or Limoncello. 
5. Make Espresso coffee and set on side. 
 6. Dip Lady Finger cookies in Espresso and layer them side by side adding the Mascarpone in between. 
7. Sprinkle on Cocoa Powder or grated dark chocolate. 
8. Freeze for 4 hours. Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lifestyle Portraits | Sweet 16 : Daniela & Valeria

It feels like just yesterday when I took these two aside and snapped of few of their photos. But can you believe it--- that was 3 years ago! And in a few weeks they will be turning 16... and how beautiful have they grown up to be! 

For their Sweet 16 shoot, they wanted to go all out, so we planned to go to one of my favorites parks and bring along some things that best showcased their unique personalities. Cupcakes, ginormous balloons, confetti, books, guitar... we lugged it all in the car and had were on our way. 

Funny story: the balloons were sooo big that they didn't both fit in the trunk (we should've known that was a sign!) So we decided to take photos with them first, lest they ahem fly away.

We posed them a few times and just couldn't get get them to stay in place with the wind... and you guessed it... all of a sudden the number 1 balloon started to float away!

Oh I wish I caught it on camera the way my totally awesome cousin (and assistant!) ran after that balloon and lunged for her life to save it! But sadly... it betrayed us. But no worries, we were full of laughs the entire day and had already gotten some awesome photos with the balloons. 

Side note: If you ever have balloons in your photos: PHOTOGRAPH THEM FIRST... you have been warned! Haha ;) 

I can't wait to celebrate at their party coming up in a few weeks, here are my favorite photos from their shoot. Oh and a HUGE thank you to my amazing hair stylist and make up artists/balloon catchers/outfit changers etc...  Giulie and Netta. You girls were amazing and the absolute best!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Moment in the Clouds

I walked down the tight aisle as people flung their bags into the overhead bins, and found my window seat which I already had picked out when I booked my ticket from the Pursuit Conference in Georgia. Being alone on a flight makes you wonder who you will end up sitting next to.

I settled into my seat and looked out the window when a woman came by the empty seat next to me. Checking her ticket number she smiled and introduced herself. "What's your name? Barbara... oh I'm Barbara too!!"

The rest of the flight Barbara told me about her travels, her family, grandchildren, all her years of being a teacher. We shared our love for travel and all of the beautiful places we wanted to visit. 

I shared about my trip and my hopes and dreams, and we stared in awe out the tiny rectangular window at the immense height the plane was able to fly. 

No matter how many times we both had flied, we just couldn't get over the wonder and amazement that an aircraft with that much weight... could hold us up in the air thousands of feet in the sky.

Living in a society that everyone keeps to themselves on their phones or preoccupied in something doesn't exactly allow you to meet people on the road, much less hold a conversation. 

And yet somehow on this flight home, I put away my book, my iPod and anything else I had... and just enjoyed being present with someone I had just met. 

We walked out the terminal together and right before we parted paths, we hugged each other and exchanged a few words of how wonderful it had been to talk, and she wished me well with everything in my life. 

Two complete strangers formed a short but memorable friendship over a two hour flight. It amazes that if we really paid attention to those around us... we can see just how similar and yet uniquely beautiful we are to one another.

Our struggles, triumphs, hopes, dreams, loves, family... we are all people with souls.

Barbara, if you ever happen to stumble upon my little home on the internet... I want you to know how grateful I was to have had that little time by the small plane window as we sailed across the sky. 

Your passion for life showed me that despite our troubles and fears... the power of kindness and friendship is always only a few words away. Thank you for that.

Sometimes God has certain people come into our lives if only for a moment in time to show us that despite our differences... we need each other. And that kindness is an act that forever stays with you, long after the moment has passed.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Way In The Wilderness | Pursuit Conference 2016

I began to cry the first time I watched the promotional video for the Pursuit Conference. It was something I had never seen before, a gathering for women who loved to create but more than that, women who loved the Lord.

I decided to take a jump and one year later I was off to Rome, Georgia on my own for the first time. The night before, I sunk myself into my Mom's arms and we prayed. 

Despite my fears of not knowing anyone, and flying on my own for the first time... the next morning I boarded an early flight to Atlanta, Georgia.

We arrived as strangers from all parts of the world, and held quick get to know each other conversations. But by the next day, we began to share our hearts, who we were... and the bond we all shared with Jesus. 

The days were filled with dining together, singing worship songs, speakers who poured out their hearts to us. I saw that these people whom I admire for their amazing work and talent, whom had a grand following on social media.... had a much more powerful story behind that all, and had a lot more in common with me than I thought.

I took a lot of things with me from this conference, but there is one thing that truly struck me. 

I'm almost ashamed to admit that for some reason I always thought God only chose some people to do really amazing things with. That only some got incredible stories that could be used to inspire and show how grand He is. And that I wasn't one of them. 

But as each speaker went up and showed their quirkiness, their story that shook the whole room, their brokenness that didn't leave one eye dry... I realized I fell in love with each unique soul.

But they were all different. Different backgrounds, different career, different life situations, different personality... but all had Christ woven beautifully into their lives. 

And I thought, if I can love each one these unique people and cheer them on... isn't God big enough to love each one of us and our differences too?

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing that according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them... // Romans 12:4-7

Of course He can! God had been trying to show me that He purposely created us all different because He himself has all of these different, funny, sad, strong, and yet all uniquely beautiful traits.

Our God is SO big that He put pieces of Himself in every soul that has ever and will ever walk upon this earth. And He needs us to be just as we are... not like someone else, because it's a reflection of who He is. 

Isn't that amazing?!! The fact that God made me specifically to shine His light in my own way that no one else can. I get it God.... I finally get it. 

We just need to remember that it's not about me or you.... it's about being us, what He gave us and use it for His glory.  

I had the most amazing experience that I'll never forget, and got to meet and spend time with beautiful ladies inside out. Here is my week in photos and all of the beautiful things I got to hear, see, and do. Have a beautiful day!!

Winshape Retreat
My photo was chosen for the cover photo of the Pursuit Magazine!!
The food was so delicious!
I got to meet and spend time with the sweetest girls.

Art of Celebration Community Dinner

Some of the amazing goodies they spoiled us with!
The morning we left had the most beautiful fog and sunshine.