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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

Hotels and Bebop

Having a small dog like Bebop is such a different world than when I had Luna. If Bebop starts to growl at another dog, all I have to do is pick her up by the scruff and yell at her. With Luna, it was a battle of who was stronger each time–and IF I won, it was just barely.

Similarly, Bebop can come on almost any trip with me. She travels easily and she loves hotels–she makes friends with all of the maids and hotel staff everywhere we go. Mostly because they know to give her treats. The only downside is that she is like having a child on vacation. She is so excited to be somewhere other than home that her sleep schedule gets all out of whack. She likes to wake up at the crack of dawn and look out the window, bugging me to wake up too so we can go for a walk and smell all the new smells the city has to offer. If she wasn’t so darn cute, it would be really, really annoying.

These photos were taken with the Hasselblad at approximately 6am. If they’re not quite focused, it’s because my EYES WERE NOT FOCUSING THAT EARLY IN THE MORNING!

Hotels and Bebop

Hotels and Bebop

Hotels and Bebop

Dogsitting

Dogsitting

Sean watches Luna for me when I go out of town. She’s a pain in the ass 90% of the time–but the other 10%, she loves to cuddle as shown.

For the record, two seconds after this photo was snapped, Luna jumped up, her head colliding with Sean’s cheek. If he wasn’t doing me such a huge favor, I probably would have laughed. But I held it in…cause I’m nice like that.

Broken Walls

Broken Walls

Another one of the incredible sights of Ireland….I’ve got a million of ‘em. But, God, they’re gorgeous.

I loved the stone walls in Ireland. They were everywhere…like on huge maze.

I Forgot to Look For the Pot Of Gold

I Forgot to Look For the Pot Of Gold

This photograph was taken outside our window at the Shalom Bed & Breakfast in Carlingford, Ireland. The rainbow is 100% real and this photo hasn’t been enhanced in Photoshop at all. Sean and I rushed out with our cameras around our necks and literally had two minutes to photograph before the beauty faded and disappeared all together.

I don’t know that I have ever seen such a beautiful rainbow that arched in a perfect 180 degrees. Nor do I know if I’ll ever see one again.

Oirland!

Things I’ll Miss About Ireland:
1) The way the Irish say words like “Pub” (Poob) and “Pint” (Point) and “Ireland” (Oirland) and “You” (Yeh). So very charming.
2) The beautiful scenery of rolling mountains and rocky coastlines. It was a photographer’s dream. (Photos will be posted soon).
3) Sheep!! Or more accurately Black faced horny rams (that’s their official name). They were everywhere! Chillin in the roads and just hanging out, chewing on some grass. I wanted to take one home…and I did…in the form of a scarf.
4) The town, Carlingford. Greatest little village EVER. Every single citizen of this town was friendly and welcoming. It’s also home to King John’s Castle (You know, King John…from Robin Hood). Apparently, he loved this town as much as we did. Possibly more since he had a castle built there for him to come and visit frequently. But ya know what? If I had tons of money to blow, I would totally build a castle in Carlingford. And I’d call it Commoner Colleen’s Castle. And in a few hundred years, tourists would be snapping pictures of my old castle, marveling at how beautiful it was.
5) The radio station that we could never figure out. We titled it “Random FM.” It played everything from Mozart to an Irish cover of “I Will Survive” to some other Irish song we had never heard before with lyrics like this:
Kick me and lick me and spit on me corpse
Punch me and hunch me over in a hearse…
Well, those aren’t the exact lyrics, but it’s pretty close and absolutely hysterical. The song was stuck in our heads all week.
6) Irish coffee. And NOT the kind with whiskey in it. For some reason, Ireland has the best brewed coffee I’ve ever had. And I’m not talking about espresso or cappuccino or anything. Just a regular cup o’ joe. Every morning it was the part of breakfast I looked forward to the most….and now it’s gone. Since I’ve been home, I’ve attempted to recreate the frothy tan foam that collected on the top of my coffee, but it’s proven impossible. Perhaps with a French Press?
7) The Flake candy bar. Made by Cadbury (Yes, the makers of the eggs)…why the fuck don’t they market these in the US? And why does the chocolate over there taste so much better than Hershey’s? Oh that’s right, because Hershey’s SUCKS.
8) Pear Cider. So delectable. It was my lifesaver since there’s not a whole lot else to do but travel from pub to pub, and I don’t like beer all that much.
9) Rainbows. Yes, the weather was shit for most of our trip, but a couple of times when the rain ceased and the clouds parted, the most glorious rainbows would appear. Unfortunately, there were no pots of gold that I could find. Damn those tricky leprechauns.
10) (Most) Irish men. (Most) are very attractive in burly ways.

Things I Will NOT Miss About Ireland:
1. Lasagne. Last time I checked, Ireland is not known for its Italian cuisine…so why do so many cafés, restaurants and pubs serve it? And no—the lasagne I had did not taste good.
2. The price of, well, EVERYTHING. The Euro to US Dollar ratio is not good people. Want to know what else is not good? The fact that dinner at a pub will easily run you 16-25 Euro. EURO! That essentially means you’re not getting a burger and fries for less than 20 US Dollars. Oh, the insanity.
3. Tiny, curvy roads where people drive like nutcases at 120kpm.
4. Speaking of kilometers….the metric system. I know it makes perfect sense…but I had serious troubles converting metric into something I understood. Damn your totally sensible and easy to learn units of measurement proving how stupid Americans are for creating a system that is WAY more complicated than it needs to be.
5. Potatoes. I actually love potatoes—but not for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Seriously? You’re offering me sweet potato pie after I had the lamb stew casserole topped with mashed potatoes and a side of French fries? Has Ireland never heard of these wonderfully crunchy and delectable things called vegetables?
6. The morbid death of the apostrophe in Ireland. Did St. Patrick chase those out too along with the snakes? (McCarthys, Whelans, Wards, Flannerys…) It seems as though the apostrophe has disappeared from all facets of Irish life.
7. The town of Nenagh where we stopped for lunch briefly. It has all the attractions of a funeral parlor and most certainly less life than one. If there is a bleaker or grimier town in all of Ireland…please let its existence be known to me.
8. The “tour” of the Titanic shipyards in Belfast. Belfast: I love you dearly. You were by far one of my favorite places to visit…but, you’ve had almost a hundred years and the shipyards look like one big island of junk. Turn this site into something worth seeing, PLEASE!
9. The Northern Irish accent. I could not understand a LICK of what they were saying.
10. (Most) Irish women. Let me just thank my mother profusely for not marrying another Irish man (Hi, Mom! Love you!). My genes would have been fucked.

Going to get me some Lucky Charms!

In about a week, Sean and I are jet-setting to Ireland! I am extremely excited about this trip…not only because I have been waiting in anticipation since the day Sean mentioned it as a part of my Christmas and Valentine’s Day gifts, but because this is the first time I have ever stepped foot off of American soil.

That’s right, I have never been outside of the country. Seems odd, no? Travel is SO important for young people in this country. The cultures you are exposed to and the experiences to be had contribute greatly to creating a culturally sensitive society…something very important and rarely valued in America today. Fewer and fewer young adults are traveling abroad these days due to high gas prices, inflated plane tickets, the value of the Euro, and low entry-level salaries. Regardless, as a result of the reasons listed above, I have never managed to leave the country.

When I mentioned this to the boyfriend! he seemed confused.

Him: But, didn’t you go to the Bahamas once?

Me: Yeah…but that doesn’t count as an international trip. I was working the whole time and hardly left the boat. Plus, it didn’t require a passport.

Him: Neither did Mexico or Canada until just recently, but that would count as an international trip.

Me: Yes, but I haven’t even been to Mexico or Canada either…(these points all seem valid in my mind)

Him: But the Bahamas is British territory. Therefore, you technically have left the country.

Me: Ok, maybe TECHNICALLY, but we all know that technicalities don’t count.

Him: What? Why don’t technicalities count?! They should count the most!

Me: They just don’t!! I wasn’t exposed to any new cultures! There’s no stamp in my passport! It wasn’t even a vacation! I could have been in Key West and it would have felt exactly the same!

Him: Fine. I agree that maybe the experience wasn’t necessarily an “international” one, but you have technically left the United States.

Me: Fine. (under my breath) But not really…

Him: YES, REALLY!

So what, dear internet, do you think? Is Ireland my first true trip outside of the United States, or does the Bahamas Cruise count as a worldly and international experience?