I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee


For Adelynn’s birthday, my sister and Adam got her a tricycle. But not just any tricycle–my sister’s and my first tricycle from back when we were kids. Back then of course, it looked very different. It was red and didn’t have any tassles or anything. Bridget had our old tricycle completely restored and repainted so that she could give it to Adelynn. You must be thinking where could they possibly find a place to restore a tricycle in Ayden, NC? Well, they took it to a body shop…where a mechanic specialist (I don’t know the proper term) sanded out the rust, replaced the foot petals, replaced the tires, added tassles and restored the bell.  And apparently, the cost of all this made no sense to the man at the body shop. He mentioned to Adam as he picked up the tricycle, “You know–you can buy these things for like $50.” To which Adam said, “This has sentimental value to my wife.” “What about a sentimental value to the kid’s college fund?” At which point, he handed Adam the bill.

In any case, it turned out super cute and the mechanic did an amazing job. I’m sure Adelynn will be grateful that mom and dad didn’t buy a random tricycle from Wal-Mart. Look at that smile…


Poking Holes

It was the week after my birthday–which meant it was Maddie’s birthday. Maddie’s 7th birthday. Which is ridiculous…because seriously? When did my baby girl niece become a kid. She’s no longer a squishy, cuddly baby that I used to want to pour BBQ sauce over and eat whole. No. Now she’s this kid who has thoughts of her own and draws conclusions based on her findings. Like for example, not too long ago Liza and I were sitting in her kitchen discussing grown up things (::cough:: Twilight ::cough::) and Maddie came running in.

Maddie: “Mom! I want to get my ears pierced!”

Liza sighed. Apparently, she had had this discussion before. “Not until you’re older.”

Maddie: “But moooooom,” The word mom was dragged out to be at least 4 syllables long, “every other girl in school is doing it on their 7th birthday.”

Liza: “Really, Maddie? Every girl in school? Every single girl in school got her ears pierced on her birthday? So if I went around to every girl in your class next year, all of them would have pierced ears?”

Maddie faltered for a minute, but got her stony expression back almost immdiately. “Yes.”

Sighing again, Liza rolled her eyes toward me. “I told you already, I was 13 when I got mine pierced. You have to wait until you’re at least double digits.”

Maddie then turned her efforts toward me…the sucker. “Aunt Colleen, when did you get your ears pierced.”

Liza glared at me. “You were at least 10, right Colleen?” Her eyes narrowed.

“Er—” I looked back and forth from Maddie’s hopeful eyes to Liza’s “I’ll-kill-you-and-eat-the-remains-if-you-answer-incorrectly” eyes. “Well…actually, I was 8. So maybe wait until next birthday, Maddie?”

Liza’s glaring became a full on scowl. And Maddie started whining even more. “See mom! What’s a year? It’s nothing, I may as well do it NOW, THIS YEAR so that I don’t become an outcast.” And then she stomped out of the room making a face.

And seriously? When did 7-year olds start using words like ‘outcast’? That’s just crazy…

So, anyway…it was now the day of Maddie’s birthday. And due to a series of events that I don’t think I should share with the internet, Liza caved, allowing Maddie to pierce her ears.

We met at the mall at the Piercing Pagoda. Liza was there, Liza’s mom, me, and Maddie’s best friend Zaley and her mother. Maddie excitedly picked out a pair of diamond studs–yes, diamonds. I have to admit, there was a pang of jealousy that this 7 year old got a pair of diamond earrings before her 26-year old aunt did.

But as the employees were preparing the ear gun–Maddie got freaked. Apparently, she hadn’t thought about the specifics of what getting your ears pierced meant. It meant that a gold rod was going to PIERCE through your EAR. AND OH MY GOD, IS THERE ANYTHING SCARIER TO A 7 YEAR OLD KID?!

She began clinging to my jeans, moaning and whimpering everytime the employees would take a step near her. I bent down, brushing the hair from her eyes. “Maddie, hun…it doesn’t hurt that bad. I promise.”

“What does it feel like?” Her eyes watered.

“Well, it feels like this.” I pinched her lightly on the earlobe. And I’m not kidding–you would have thought I had just shot the child with a bazooka. She screamed, falling into my arms crying.

At which point, I stood up and chose the cheapest pair of titanium earring they had in the case. “I’d like to get my ears pierced a second time, please.”

Maddie stopped screaming and looked at me, the residual tears still falling off her jawline. “What?”

“WHAT?” All the adults said together.

“I’d like to get a second hole please.” I leaned back down to Maddie. “But if I do it…then you HAVE to do it. And you’ll see…it doesn’t hurt that much.” Maddie nodded…still unsure if this was some sort of trick.

As I sat in the chair, I started wondering if it actually did hurt to get my ears pierced–maybe I was in denial about the level of pain I had felt at age 8. My hands gripped the chair’s armrest harder and harder with each passing second. Liza came over and whispered, “You realize that if you show any ounce of pain, she will never get her ears pierced. Ever.”

No pressure at all. I shut my eyes, held my breath and squeezed my hands together. I could feel my eyes welling up as the first ear was pierced and the second one hurt slightly more. It definitely felt worse than that little pinch I had given to Maddie’s earlobe, but nothing unbearable. I opened my eyes to see Maddie and Zaley staring at me…waiting for a reaction. I tried to blink away the tears adn smiled wider than any normal smile. “See? Totally fine.”

At which point Maddie and Zaley started cheering and dancing around the store. It still took some cajoling to get Maddie in the chair. I just kept saying, “Diamonds, Maddie. DIAMONDS. You have no idea how exciting that really is just yet, but trust me. YOU WANT THOSE DIAMONDS.”

And she did it. My brave little 7-year old niece. And it just goes to show that I will do just about anything for that kid. Including putting an extra set of holes in my ears.

Poking Holes

A Gilmore Girls Birthday

I realize this post is ridiculously late, but last month on July 2 was my birthday. When the clock struck midnight, I didn’t even realize it was my birthday until Sean came running over with Red following at his heels at 12:12 yelling “IT’SYOURBIRTHDAY!IT’SYOURBIRTHDAY!IT’SYOURBIRTHDAY!” He was clearly more excited than I was.

And I just have to point out for the record, that Sean is terrible gift-giver…not to say he doesn’t get GOOD gifts. His gifts are always thoughtful and awesome and totally spot on. But he’s just always so excited to give them to me, that I end up opening them no where near the actual birthday/holiday. He’s all: “Can I give you your gift now?” And I’m all: “No. It’s not my birthday yet.” And then he’s like: “How about now?” Me: “Nope. Still not my birthday.” Sean: “How about…” And then after the 4th, 5th or 60th time, I end up throwing something at his head. It works every time.

So, the first 15 minutes of being 26 years old was already off to a way better start than last year’s birthday…otherwise known as “that day we no longer speak of.” And just then in the kitchen, I opened his second gift to me (the other one he gave me, I shit you not, 3 months ago. In his defense it was a Spring coat, so it made perfect sense to receive it early. But still. Case in point.), this Luke’s Diner mug that he designed and made through cafe press. For anyone who doesn’t watch Gilmore Girls, you clearly have no idea what this is. But it’s one of my favorite shows ever. And this mug is huge…more like a carafe really which couldn’t be more perfect.

So after I put a pot of coffee on, just to try out my new mug, Sean took my hand twirling me around. He stopped me, looked into my eyes and said, “You look great…” And just as I was about to throw my arms around him and give the biggest hug ever, he added “…for 26.”

Moment gone. But I rolled my eyes and hugged him anyway. Because I’m so totally mature now, being 26 and all, that I can ignore little slams like that.

And, let’s face it–I still get carded for R-rated movies. So I don’t have to worry about looking too old. Not yet at least.

A Gilmore Girls Birthday

A Special Day

A Special Day

Today is Maddie’s birthday. My dear, sweet niece is 7 years old. 7!! It feels like only a couple years ago that I met her whiny tush (she was colicky…I’m not just calling her whiny without reason).

So, I’m taking today off and Maddie and I are going to get manicures. After that, we’re getting her ears pierced. After that dinner. And then I’m going to go home and cry because I’m officially considered old. And I don’t like it at all.

Saturday night, Liza and Maddie came down to Brooklyn to visit and we hung out at a coffee shop for a bit. Maddie became a little fixated on this clothesline that had old found polaroids hanging from it. I so badly wanted to buy the piece for her, but clearly I don’t have $800 to spend on art. The way I see it, I can find a few polaroids at stoop sales, stick them on some clothesline and secure them with clothespins. And Voila!–”Art.”

The Birthday Without Hysterical Crying

Yesterday was Sean’s 28th birthday. Do you know how hard it is to arrange 28 candles on a sugar-free cupcake? Yeah, neither do I. Because I gave up.

It was a fun day yesterday…and not only because I love it when other people get older. It makes me feel younger…leave me be, my self-esteem needs this. It was fun mostly because Sean did not have a complete nervous breakdown as I did on my birthday. But just you wait, mister–your 30th will be a bad day, I’m sure.

We began the day opening gifts at his favorite diner for breakfast. Then we headed uptown and joined the raffle to get $20 Ave Q tickets. We didn’t win. But luckily, they had a deal going for $30 tickets. So we got those and saw the hilarious show that I intend to one day be in. After we bought our tickets we had over an hour before the show started, so we walked around uptown and eventually came upon Rockefeller Center, up where we used to live before moving to the awful part of Brooklyn that shall not be named. Nostalgia set in and we stood at the railing holding our cups of coffee, watching tourists and families ice skate below us. I turned to Sean, a content smile on my face and said: This reminds me of Serendipity.

Him: You mean the John Cusack movie?

I nodded.

Him: The horrible, cheesy Cusack movie about destiny and fate?

Me: Er….yeah?

And right about now is where Sean would usually tell me how much my taste in movies sucks and drag me away from the scene so to avoid promoting any further terrible film choices. But today, on this 28th birthday, he simply shook his head and smiled.

Him: Yeah, I guess it is similar to a scene or two.

And then he took one glove out of his pocket and tossed it in my direction.

(it only makes sense if you’ve seen the movie)