Category Archives: Creative Living

One Word Project: Uncharted

One Word Project: Uncharted

This word for the One Word Project is “Uncharted.” When I was back home in Indy over Christmas we had a huge snow storm roll through. My family lives in a beautifully wooded area, so snowy weather always makes for gorgeous scenes. As soon as the trees were covered we headed out to frolick in the snow and I grabbed my camera to capture the “Uncharted” winterwonderland.

Taking photos of snow can be really tricky because of the high contrast with the snow, so I used a gray card and I’m really happy with the results.

These photos look up the hill at the back of my parents’ house…Love it!

Now go check out Shelly’s version of “Uncharted” HERE

One Word Project: Home

One Word Project: Home

This next One Word Project is “Home” and I was really excited to get to take these at my childhood home back in Indianapolis! I took these during one of my favorite times of the year to be home: Christmas! My family has so many Christmas traditions that Matt and I both look forward to each year, so here are some of our traditions captured on film.

The two photos above, Matt and my sister Sara baking Christmas cookies.

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is this little candlelit manger Carousel that acts as our dining room table centerpiece.

Every year we select a 9 foot real Christmas tree. We bring it home, string over a thousand white lights and hang hundreds of ornaments collected by all or us over the years, each with memories and stories behind them.

This is our Christmas dinner feast in action…all of us in our festive outfits, eating our traditional American Christmas dinner.

In a lovely historic area in Indianapolis there’s a little neighborhood where every Christmas Eve the residents line their neighborhood sidewalks with candlelit lanterns. Every Christmas Eve after our church service we drive up and down the streets admiring the beautifully lit sidewalks and yards.

This particular project was a challenge for me because these were all low lighting situations, but again this project just reminds me how much I love the rich quality if film!

Now go check out Shelly’s version of “Home”

One Word Project: Unpolished

One Word Project: Unpolished

The One Word Project for November was Unpolished. In November Matt and I went on a road trip down to a family reunion in Missouri and stopped to stay with Shelly and Andy in St. Louis. I brought my 35mm camera along and Shelly and I went out early one morning in search of this coffee I love from the local brew in Benton Park. I took these photos along the way. Quite a few seriously ‘unpolished’ and a few just slightly ‘unpolished’ buildings that shine with a beautiful history and a rich note to the beauty that once was. You can’t walk through these historic streets without wondering what once was, as these lovely brick structures undergo complete overhaul (most of which thankfully preserve the historic nature) as the gentrification of the various neighborhoods has slowly transformed and restored. As you see in these photos, some of these areas have been more restored than others. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out Shelly’s ‘unpolished’ at





One Word Project: Stranger

One Word Project: Stranger

This One Word Project word is ‘Stranger’. I took a bit of a different approach to this one. These photos are of my good friend Mary. As you can tell, she’s 9 months pregnant here and glowing! One Saturday morning Mary and I met up for brunch and I happened to bring my camera along. I gave her no warning what-so-ever, as it was a last minute thought, and fingers crossed I asked if she would graciously model for me. Being the good friend she is, Mary was happy to do so.

Although Mary has been a friend of mine for years, her little one is a ‘Stranger’ for now but not for much longer. Looking forward to meeting this little one soon!




Now go check out Shelly’s version of ‘Stranger’

One Word Project: Close

One Word Project: Close

The focus for the One Word Project for September was the word “Close.” I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for this one and then it dawned on me…ping (light bulb)…I should take a roll using my telephoto lens. I was kind of excited about this one because one of my favorite qualities about photography is the ability a camera has to capture an ordinary object in a new light.

I enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of a camera lens because it gives me the ability to focus in and also to crop out. I enjoy seeing the beauty that the things in our everyday lives posses and to me a camera captures that beauty so well.

So, here are some things I see in my everyday life. I walk past them all the time and rarely take time to notice the beauty they really do hold…from a worn out volkswagon bug to sunflowers in my garden, here I’m taking a “closer look” at the everyday.





The black and shots of the peppers below is my ode to one of my favorite photographers, Edward Weston. He’s well known for his series of black and white images of peppers. Love the form, shadow, shape, and all those lovely elements of design that are displayed in the little guys in these images.



Shelly’s is coming soon!

One Word Project: Shadow

One Word Project: Shadow

The One Word Project continues and for August…yes August (Shelly and I are a little behind, but September is already coming along) the word is Shadow. I was really excited when I heard that it was shadow because I’m so drawn to high contrast compositions and a composition with an emphasis on shadow, in my mind naturally thinks of high contrast. For these shots I decided to take a trip down the street to the small down town of West Dundee on a sunny afternoon (the perfect makings for shadowy shots).

The photo above is what I would call my classic style of shooting…not so much about what I’m shooting as the composition that is created through the lens of my camera, one full of pattern, line, and a highly contrasting range of shades and tones.

While shooting for “Shadow” a new revelation popped into my head, as my ordinary eyes put on their shadow-finding-filters. The realization was that shadows really are like mini alternate realities of everyday objects. Shadows are beautiful compositions in of themselves as they are an altered version of the objects they mimic. With this realization you can see how my view shifted from focusing on the shadows pouring from an object, to focusing on the world of the shadow and the object as a secondary character in the story. So, hence the shots below of the table and chair sets.


Above: One of my favorite photos of this shoot.

Below: I love the way the shadows play on the facade of this old building.

Some of my favorite subjects are old buildings…it must be the architecture side of me coming out. I really enjoy how classical buildings have beautifully thought out detail work that truly is illuminated and made more pronounced when put in daylight that allows shadows to both shade and highlight these details all at the same time.

Hope you enjoyed these Shadow photos! Please check out Shelly Goodman’s photographs for Shadow this month at Shelly is shooting with medium format film and I can’t wait to see what she has!

One-Word Project: Ordinary

One-Word Project: Ordinary

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’m back and kicking off this new blogging season with a monthly photography spot called the “One-Word Project.” I have a passion for photography that started when I was in high school, where I had a great opportunity to take several black and white film photography classes. Over the course of 4 years I got pretty good. I successfully used the film camera on fully manual settings and developed all my own photographs. I even won some portfolio competitions. Then the digital camera came into my life and I was more concerned with capturing the moment and just used fully automatic settings. But, my love for film has remained.

I’ve been wanting to relearn using my 35mm film camera, but just haven’t had the push to do it until now. My best buddy and roomie from college, Shelly Goodman, is a wonderful wedding photographer and came up with this wonderful idea to start the “One-Word Project.” The concept is to have one word a month that is left up to the photographer to interpret and post on their own blog. Each individual photographer sets their own rules. My rules are that my photographs for the “One-Word Project” will be taken on fully manual settings on my 35mm camera (and its completely old school, my parent’s from way back when). So follow along as I relearn my 35mm camera and recapture my love of film!

The word for July (yeah, we’re a little behind) is Ordinary. And in July what I think of as ordinary are lazy days on the beach. Whether its the ocean, a lake, a river bed, or an old quarry filled with water, in America days in July seem ordinarily filled with laying around on the beach on a weekend with friends or family vacations on a shore. Some of the best summer memories for lots of us are on a shore somewhere and what a blessing that these days are ordinary and common to us.

My photographic focus (even from the start) has always gravitated toward finding the beauty in the ordinary and everyday. Above I tried to capture the beauty and elegant contrast of a fun sun hat against the earthiness of the sand.

A lifeguard’s post is found at every beach and pool, but beauty is found when this ordinary structure is contrasted by an organically painted backdrop of small waves and spotty clouds.

This is my handsome hubby, Matt, posing for a photograph on the beach. As usual, he was a good sport as I was bugging him to let me take photographs of him while he was trying to enjoy his time. You can faintly see my reflection with my camera in his sunglasses…an ordinary sight that you’ll see once more in this post.

Once again, just an ordinary day at the beach with some friends (who shall remain nameless :) and I’m so thankful it’s an ordinary event to just hang out!

Ordinary was really the perfect word for me to jump on board with this project. Because regardless of straying from film for a while all my friends and family will tell you that any ordinary event I attend, I’m always peering one eye through a camera lense. So, now I dive back in and rediscover my photography roots: film!

A little background on the photographer who started this endeavor:
Shelly Goodman, like I said my best bud and college roomie, started this “One-Word Project” as a way to encourage herself and other photographers to just create for the sake of creating and developing skills. Shelly and I spent many late nights in the dorm painting, drawing, and designing as we were both design majors (Shelly: visual communications and my self: architecture). We went through design school together, critiquing each other’s work and encouraging each other to strive for excellence and throughout the years we’ve continued to spur each other on to create and design. Shelly is an amazing wedding photographer out of St. Louis and for this project specifically will be using medium format film. We hope you’ll follow us on this journey!

Please check out Shelly’s version of the One-Word Project…you’ll love her work!

Appetizing Appetizers Part 3: Super Spread

Appetizing Appetizers Part 3: Super Spread

Got to say over the last couple weeks there were many occasions where I sat at my computer to blog and got completely distracted by what Matt now calls my version of video games, Pinterest! Ladies you know what I’m talking about guys and video games…when your guy picks up that video game controller its like he gets totally wrapped into the video game world. Well, Pinterest has totally wrapped me in. So, forcing myself today to blog first and then Pinterest. Glad I got that confession off my chest now. (And by the way if you haven’t heard of Pinterest you’re completely missing out, so Google it and check it out).

Anyway, my Superbowl party a few weeks ago was a blast! Just me, Matt and the fam, but we really had quite a Super Spread. Check out the photo above. We made our Superbowl Appetizers our dinner. We served everything on a giant, low coffee table in front of the TV. No fru fru cut glass serving ware, as my mom called it. This spread definitely had a masculine touch as seen by the heavy serving ware and the mass amounts of meat. Just thought I’d share the spread with you:

First are the Buttery, Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers (recipe shared in last post). Count it type of meat #1.

Next was the miniature hotdogs in BBQ sauce (required by and made by Matt) and the slowcooker chicken breast in Italian Dressing made by my dad (Papa G). Count it types of meat #2 and #3.

Wrapping up the last meat dish: there were the Bacon Wrapped Dates (recipe featured 2 posts ago), but this time I made half Bacon Wrapped Dates and half Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. This made a great contrast of salt, sweet, and crunchy! Count it type of meat #4. Yep, four varieties of meat…and we all enjoyed it!

And the whole Spread was balanced out with a veggie tray and Artichoke Dip (which I can’t eat, unfortunately, but I did load up on veggies).

Last, but not least were the fried pickles…yep, fried pickles (seen on the edge of the table below). These are allergen free and have a special story so that will be for another post to come. Hope this may give you some ideas for your next party!

Appetizing Appetizers 2: Buttery Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Appetizing Appetizers 2: Buttery Grilled Shrimp Skewers

I’m generally not into football or the Super Bowl, but this year’s a little different because Super Bowl 2012 is in my hometown, Indianapolis! I’m home visiting with my fam and just came back from Super Bowl Village. What a rush to see that many people packed into lil’ ole Indianapolis. I’m quite proud of my hometown for hosting in such great style. So, I guess you could say I’m into the Super Bowl and football for at least the weekend. I’m really enjoying all the hoop-la! Here’s me, my mom and sis at Super Bowl Village:

Super Bowl Village

So, I’m a little bit pumped and am even having a little party tomorrow with Matt and my fam. We’re cooking up some Appetizing Appetizers and I thought I’d share one that we find quite succulent. I’m not normally a huge shrimp fan, but this one’s done well and I really enjoy it. Its garlicy, buttery and grilled…yep, even in the chilly weather we grill. This one is super easy (recipe looks longer than it actually is) and tastes like you really worked at it. Hope you enjoy!

Shrimp Skewers Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, I use dried
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Shrimp Skewers Directions:
1. In a large, non reactive bowl stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and black pepper. Add the crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little kick.
2. Add shrimp to the mixture and toss to coat. Let the mixture marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat grill to high heat. Skewer shrimps on wood skewers that have been soaked in water for at least half an hour. (Skewer the shrimp, threading the skewer once through the tail end and once through the head end). Discard remaining mixture.
4. Lightly grease the grill. Grill the shrimp skewers 2 to 3 minutes per side or until they turn opaque.

Buttery Garlic Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
8 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons minced chives

Buttery Garlic Dipping Sauce Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan add garlic, lemon juice and water. Bring liquid to a boil.
2. Add butter (cut into several pieces) into boiling liquid.
3. Add chives and serve alongside Grilled Shrimp Skewers. Enjoy!

*Recipe Serves: 4 to 6 people
*Recipe Source:

Happy 1st Birthday Madindy!

Happy 1st Birthday Madindy!

I can hardly believe it, but I’m happy to announce that Madindy is celebrating its 1st Birthday today! That’s right, I started Madindy last January 1st, 2011. Hard to believe but true my friends…one year, 135 posts, lots of cooking, lots of crafting, lots of photography, lots of research, and God’s rich blessings has brought Madindy to where it is today.

If you follow Madindy or have enjoyed reading it at all this last year would you please consider clicking the “Like” and or the “Subscribe” button at the top of the page on the right hand side. The “Like” button is through Facebook and the “Subscribe” button will send you emails every time there is a new post on Madindy. This just let’s me know that you’re enjoying Madindy and support it. Also, passing your favorite posts onto friends and family that you think would enjoy or benefit from them is also greatly appreciated!

It’s been an busy year for me and Matt as we’ve been further discovering what the Lord has for our lives. From job loses, to new jobs, to moving, to traveling it’s not always been easy to keep up consistent posts, so I thank you for all who persistently follow Madindy. I want to thank all of you who follow, comment, post on facebook and twitter, and tell me how much you enjoy Madindy. You keep me inspired to keep writing, cooking, shooting photos, crafting, and researching. Thanks for all who branch out with me to try new foods, cook new recipes, and research healthy lifestyle habits…keep it up!

When I started Madindy last January I really didn’t know where it would go. I just new that I wanted an outlet for my interests (Healthy and Creative Living) and wanted to be able to help others enjoy Healthy and Creative Living as well. I didn’t know what I would really want to run with and what I would get tired of writing about.

Honestly, when I started writing Madindy last year I didn’t enjoy cooking. It felt cumbersome and was something that I had to do because of my restricted diet (no gluten, no dairy, no eggs). I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy, but cooking was just not all that fun for me. But, I’m happy to say that over the coarse of the last year I’ve quickly developed a joy for cooking, which has reflected in the number of blog posts about recipes. From kale to quinoa to coconut bonbons (shown above) to soups to chili to slow cooker recipes, I’ve learned a lot cooking such a variety of recipes and I hope you’ve enjoyed the variety too.

As my life unfolds into new stages I suspect that Madindy will follow. But, I can assure you that I will continue to post Tips for Healthy and Creative Living. I hope that you will continue to follow me on this journey into 2012 and I pray God’s rich blessings on you this year! Happy New Year and Happy 1st Birthday Madindy!