Sunday, February 22, 2009

Model Search! Time to Vote!

We are excited to currently have four BEAUTIFUL children entered into the National Charity Model Search and we need everyone's help to vote for them as Jacksonville's Cutest Kid (and America's Cutest Kid) and to raise money for an awesome organization.

In just a few short weeks, this National Contest has raised more than $13,000 for the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization.

I know each of these children's parents would appreciate any votes you would like to give them and feel good knowing that each dollar goes directly to the charity! Please click each of their names below to go to their entry.

Miss Kelsey
Miss DarienBrianna
Mr. AlecZander
Mr. Keyan

To see how each child is currently doing in the contest, please click here.

Click the graphic below to enlarge:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yummy Pizza with Food Processor Crust

If you're anything like me, when you read the title of this, you thought that a Food Processor Crust sounds very odd.

Yes, it is a bit unusual, but I can honestly say that this is the BEST TASTING PIZZA CRUST ever and so simple to make! It's a great family project as you can make two larger pizzas or 4 individual sized and let the kids create their own pizza masterpieces.

Pizza Crust Instructions

One 1/4 ounce packet of yeast (abt 2 1/4 teaspoons if using jarred yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Combine 3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F), the yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; let stand five minutes.

Add 1 3/4 cups of the flour, the salt, and oil; process until a soft dough forms. Add as much of the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, as necessary to make the dough manageable.

Shape the dough in a ball, place in an oiled bowl, turning so an oiled surface is up.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 35 minutes.

Use as directed in a recipe or refrigerate for use up to one day later. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before using.

Makes about 4 individual sized pizza crusts or 2 large pizzas.

For two larger pizzas, split the dough in half and gently spread the dough on a slightly greased cookie sheet. For 4 individual pizzas, divide dough into 4 and spread out two on a cookie sheet.

Top with tomato sauce, then sprinkle on garlic powder, basil, oregano and then top with your favorite toppings (mine are below) and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

My Favorite Pizza Toppings:

My favorite pizzas are veggie pizzas with little or no cheese and include all of the following of my favorite toppings:

Sliced Plum Tomatoes
Green Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers
Sweet Yellow Onions
Artichoke Hearts
Black Olives

Yum! I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does! Tell me what your favorite toppings are!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Operation Love Reunited Information

The word is getting out about Operation: Love Reunited and we've been receiving an increased number of calls from military families wanting to take part in an OpLove session. That's awesome news! It's such a wonderful organization and I know that I can speak for all OpLove photographer volunteers, that it is our honor to photograph these sessions for our military.


As of this post, there are currently six local photographers who are volunteers for OpLove. Most of us run full-time studios so we can only accept a limited number of OpLove sessions a month. As soon as you think you may want an OpLove session for pre-deployment or mid-deployment, please contact our studio or any of the others for the greater Jacksonville area and we will accommodate you as soon as we are able to schedule you in. If there is a homecoming coming up soon, please call our studio or visit the OpLove website to find the other photographers in our area as soon as as you have finalized dates. Unfortunately, we need to accommodate our paying clients and it isn't possible if we're on a holding pattern for the span of a week. Having been a Navy wife myself, I know dates can change, so when you believe you have actual dates, please contact us!

Number of Sessions Per Year

Since OpLove is still gaining recognition, this may be something that many military families are not aware of.

OpLove only permits two sessions a year for each family - (1) session pre-deployment OR (1) session while deployed of family AND (1) Homecoming session when soldier returns from deployment, upon photographers availability. Using the same photographer for both types of sessions is not required.

If you have called and scheduled a pre-deployment or mid-deployment session with one OpLove photographer OR you have scheduled a homecoming session when the ship or squadron arrives, please don't also call the other photographers unless the photographer you first contacted is unable to accommodate you. We have found that some families have contacted two or more of the area OpLove photographers and we have all put you into our schedule.

Each session that we are contacted for, goes into a database at the time session is scheduled. Taking the time to sort through the confusion when multiple photographers are called means fewer families that can be accommodated. If one photographer commits to photographing your family or homecoming, then they have committed to it. The other photographers are then available to photograph these special moments for the other families. With this being such a huge military city, and a limited number of OpLove photographers, this is of great importance! So, please help us help as many families as possible by only scheduling with one photographer.

If you or your family are in pre-deployment, mid-deployment or have a homecoming in the near future, please contact our studio at 904-403-9553 for more information or visit the OpLove website for other OpLove photographers in our area.