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

Diet Shmiet

After the gym is usually the time when the cravings start. My stomach rumbles and at that point, my body needs sugar. This is apparently normal, though each day it feels like the end of the world for me to NOTEATABROWNIE. I like to announce it to our house when I make a healthy choice. Usually–that consists of announcing it to my dogs because they’re the ones who listen.

Monday’s craving was particularly bad. Cravings + empty cupboards = cranky Colleen. I searched and searched for one tiny piece of chocolate or anything to satisfy my craving so that I could make it to dinner. All throughout my search, I’d call out my findings to Sean in the other room working.

“We have fruit! Fruit’s sweet…but not what I’m looking for exactly!”

A disinterested grunt was his response.

“We have protein bars! Those have sort of fake chocolate. Focolate!”

“Something you’ve named ‘focolate’ will satisfy you?”

Hm, noted.

At that point, I saw sitting in our cupboard–oatmeal. Normally, oatmeal is my least favorite thing EVER. EHHHHHVVVVEEEEEER. I think it’s pretty disgusting. But at this point, I was desperate. And I knew I could doctor it up so I barely tasted the oatmeal. I made it with soy milk, added a teaspoon of honey and fresh berries and lucky for me, it worked. It was good enough that it got me through until I could make a healthy dinner choice.

I stood in front of Sean’s office eating my oatmeal.

“I chose to eat oatmeal.”

He grunted again. This is his typical means of communication while drawing. I’ve gotten used to it. “Good for you,” he mumbled.

“It’s healthy.” I like to point out the obvious. I was looking for a pat on the back, a parade in honor of my healthy choice.

Instead, he tossed his brush in the ink to rinse and looked up at me. His lip curled back, always a sign that Sean has a sarcastic retort coming. “What do you want a cookie or something?”

I paused. “Yes. But I chose to eat oatmeal instead.”

Strong is the New Skinny

I’m pretty sure we’ve been over this before, but–I hate exercising. I mean, I do it, but rather begrudgingly. Over the past 6-7 months, I’ve really started boosting up my work-outs. I mean, if I’m gonna half-ass it at the gym, why go at all? Getting motivated to get out my door is always the hardest part for me, so once I’m there, I should make it count.

Prior to 6-months ago I would do things like the elliptical machine and the bike (usually both while I was reading or knitting–clearly I wasn’t building up enough of a sweat if I was able to knit loop after loop flawlessly!). But, then I decided to start running. Every woman I had talked to who trimmed down said one thing: RUN! AND NOT JUST TOWARD THE ICE CREAM TRUCK. At first I started running outside because it was just as the weather was just turning and it was perfect. Then as a couple of months passed, the air became thicker with humidity and heat, and I decided the treadmill was just as good and it’s got AC. And a tv attached to it. And a built in fan. SOLD!

When I first started running, I could barely do 15 minutes without cramping. I stuck with it even though the cute girls in the expensive running gear would pass me with their iPods strapped to their arms, throwing smug looks at me huffing and puffing over their shoulders. And while now, I still don’t have the cute running clothes or the perfect ponytail that stays smooth and straight even while running, I can successfully run for 40 minutes and I fluctuate between a 10 and 11 minute mile.

I still hate exercise. I have had no major epiphanies about how much I love running, or the process, UGH–absolutely not. It’s miserable. I’m dripping sweat after and I’m sore ALLTHETIME. But, I see results. Not in the sense that ‘I’ve miraculously lost all this weight!’….in actuality, I’ve gained 15 pounds (most likely muscle, but I guess you never know).  Overall, I’ve just trimmed down. Things are tighter and my jiggly parts don’t jiggle nearly as much…which I guess could be a bad thing depending on what ya like.

The other important thing for me in establishing my routine was finding an alternative for those days that I was just too busy to get out to the gym. And…I’ve always rolled my eyes when people mention this video, but OHMYGOD were my legs sore after doing this. Jillian Michaels. Annoying? Yes. Slightly Terrifying? HELL YES. But there’s a reason I would never want to run into her in a dark alley–the woman is ripped. And she knows what she’s talking about. Her 30-Day Shred video is perfect for those days that I only have 20 minutes before having to run out the door to start my slew of errands and photoshoots.

Just one more note on this video–turn off the sound and put on your own music. I mean, what IS that? Why is the music so so so terrible in workout videos?


(Walking to the gym for a very reluctant workout)

Me: It’s raining!

Sean: It’s just drizzling.

Me: Even so. I wish I had my umbrella.

Sean: Don’t be such a baby.

Me: But what if it’s raining even HARDER when we’re leaving the gym.

Sean: Then we’ll stay and work out longer.

Me: (Long pause) That’s a terrible idea. We could just turn around and forget the gym altogether.

Sean: That’s an even worse idea.

Two Shiners

Sean goes to the gym a lot. I go to the gym occasionally. And by occasionally–I mean 2 to 3 times a week. This is the absolute maximum that I can convince myself to get motivated for. I despise it. I despise working out….though I despise gaining weight even more. So…the gym it is.

Several months ago, Sean and I were doing partner ab exercises together. You lay on that slanted bench thingy and throw a weighted ball back and forth as you crunch up. I use a 5lb ball. Sean uses a 12lb ball. There are universal hand signals…like holding a hand up means: STOP THROWING. Holding a finger up means: Pause, let me catch my breath. Holding a thumb up and pulsing it toward the sky means: Throw the ball higher.

Well, despite the fact that we had been using these exact hand signals for almost a year, Sean got a bit confused. When I held my index finger in the air, he apparently mistook my “PAUSE, I NEED A BREATH” signal for “throw the ball higher.”

Time slowed down. I first notice Sean’s confused face as the ball bounced from his fingers into the air. I watched as the weighted ball came closer and closer to my face. Before my hands could react to the signals my brain was sending (CATCH THE BALL! CATCH THE BALL), it smacked me square in the nose.

Tears streamed from my eyes and a trickle of blood dripped over my top lip and onto my tongue. Sean, of course, rushed to my side apologizing.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” He tried to put an arm around my shoulder.

“Just…” I held my hand up, “give me a moment.” I stood up from the bench and paced for a bit, walking off the pain. I grabbed a paper towel and wiped the blood from my face. After a few minutes, I felt slightly better and returned to my extremely concerned boyfriend.

“I’m sorry…” he said again quietly.

“If it’s broken, you’re paying the hospital bill.”

He nodded.

“And if I need a nose job because my schnozz is crooked…you’re paying for that too.”

He nodded again. “Want to punch me in the arm? It might make you feel better.”

“I think punching you in the nose would make me feel better…with a 12lb ball strapped to my wrist.”

Luckily, my nose was not broken. Just bruised…giving me two black eyes.Two Shiners