Baby Ana – Donnelly Family | Seattle

We first met the Donnelly’s when Monica was pregnant for her maternity photo session. They were kind and collected and we knew they would make great parents! A few weeks after their daughter was born we were invited to their home for a newborn session with Baby Ana, who is oh so tiny with a grand head of dark hair! She was cuddly on her parents and didn’t fuss hardly at all. We can tell Monica & Steve aren’t just going to be great parents, they will be amazing and are already totally in love with Ana that you can tell she completes their family. We are so happy to finally meet you Baby Ana!

Thank you Donnelly Family, we can’t wait to see Ana grow in the months and years to come.

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Paleo Blueberry Recipes | The Ciccarellis

We’ve talked a bit about how we eat Paleo, basically no processed foods, like a “caveman”. What this means in real life is that we eat a ton of fresh vegetables and fruits. We eat meat that hasn’t been processed or marinated (we marinate on our own). We buy as much organic & local as we can. Breakfasts are a lot of eggs, egg & veggie casseroles, leftovers, and bacon – our favorite!

Items we’ve switched in 2013 to be even better Paleo eaters:

milk —> coconut milk

peanut butter —> almond butter

butter —> bacon grease/coconut oil

pasta —> zucchini or squash pasta

desserts —> Paleo desserts

*If you’re trying or going to try any of these changes just FYI, it takes a bit of getting used to! You have to like the taste of coconut, for one. Almond butter is a bit strange at first when you’re used to peanut butter, but now we love it! We save the bacon grease in a jar from when we cook bacon and use it for most of our cooking, except when we use coconut oil or sometimes olive oil. The coconut oil comes in handy for baking, plus it gives the extra flavoring of coconut!

My mom (Susan) gave us a fantastic cookbook called Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, where we get a lot of our recipes. One of the hardest things to switch and eat Paleo is dessert, but alas there are many ways to still enjoy a sweet treat! Below are 2 blueberry treats from this cookbook (a must read!).

 Blueberry Lemon Muffins

6 eggs

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup grade B maple syrup

1 lemon, juice & zest

1/2 cup coconut flour (hardest to find, try Whole Foods)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the eggs, butter or coconut oil**, vanilla extract, maple syrup, lemon juice & zest together in a large bowl. Sift in the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Stir until well combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined muffin cup (natural parchment muffin papers work best for lining), and bake for 35-40 minutes.

*We made mini muffins because we had the linings for them and just baked them for a bit less. Next time we will add more lemon!

**If you’re using coconut oil, melt it COMPLETELY, then stir it in last and QUICKLY sift in the dry ingredients and put it into the cups RAPIDLY. If not the coconut oil starts to harden back up (this happens really fast with coconut oil). It happened to us and we were disappointed because we thought they’d be ruined. We had to scoop out hard chunks of oil and try to get a bit in each cup. We probably had unevenly-oiled muffins but they all tasted great and turned out fine! (So if this happens don’t worry.)

Fresh Blueberry Crumble

2 pints of fresh blueberries

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup almond meal/almond flour

1/4 cup chopped walnuts/macadamia

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pinches of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Place blueberries in a 9 in. x 9 in. baking dish and squeeze the lemon over them. Toss slightly to coat. In a mixing bowl, combine the almond meal/flour, nuts, melted butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Spread nut topping over blueberries and bake until fruit is bubbly and the topping is golden brown (approximately 30-40 minutes).

To see more from author Diane Sanfilippo go to her website to find recipes, podcasts, and articles.


~Erik & Marissa

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Brand New! – C.P. takes on Boudoir

That’s right…Ciccarelli Photography is joining the boudoir party! I (Marissa) am super excited to announce that I will now be offering boudoir photo sessions, as add-ons to weddings or just for fun on their own. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but it wasn’t until one of my friends, Hannah, asked me to do one for her that I truly considered it. I was worried what it would be like, but honestly we had so much fun! It happened that Valentine’s Day last week was free for both of us during the day so we planned a session, both of us pinning to Pinterest like crazy for ideas. Hannah’s make-up & hair artist was just finishing up so we got to chat and I prepped the room for light (it was ideal for an indoor photo shoot with huge windows on two walls). We had the best time coming up with natural, but fun & sexy poses that she felt comfortable with and we discussed outfit changes to give her different looks. Even though Hannah said she wasn’t good at being serious it didn’t matter because we got amazing laughing shots (my favorite) and a few serious ones stuck in between when she could keep it together. You look Amazing Hannah!

Lisa Henry - Great pictures!

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Fun Day – The Ciccarellis | La Push

Part #2 of our Adventure last week…

One of our favorite beaches to visit is just around the corner on the peninsula, La Push, or rather First Beach. We trekked out there last week on our continued adventure of showing Erik’s parents the northwest, figuring we had to show them some evergreen-forests and beaches, and knowing that the Olympic National Forest was where we had to go. We happened to make it there just at sunset to exerience some amazing views as the sun dipped behind clouds and ocean. 

The beaches on the coast are littered with huge pieces of driftwood, which is just amazing to think that the waves pushed them there.

We were taking pictures and a swell came in! Erik’s mom didn’t make it to high ground because she ran into this driftwood and got stuck!

Right by the beach are some fantastic hikes where we felt the quiet and calm of nature as we hiked and breathed in all the fresh air.

It made us want to watch Twilight…

Hope to be back soon!

~Erik & Marissa

Lisa Henry - Just so everyone knows…they were all laughing at me! I could have died! ~ Erik’s mom! ❤

Erik Ciccarelli - Haha, theres only one person I know that laughs when danger is happening.

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Fun Day – The Ciccarellis | Seattle & PNW Tourists

Last week Erik’s parents came for a visit, which meant we got to be Seattle tourists for a day! We love taking guests around to the local highlights because it means we get to experience them all over again too. On this particular day we hit up all the usual touristy attractions Seattle’s known for…Space Needle/Seattle Center to the waterfront for lunch at Elliot’s (one of our favorites) to Ye Old Curiosity Shop to Pike’s Place Market. The weird thing about Pike’s Place was that since we were there mid-afternoon on a weekday it was really quiet compared to what we are used to on the weekends. It was a totally different experience being able to stroll through and talk to the artists and fish throwers about their day without being shoved around. Admittedly, we do love the hustle of Pike’s Place on a Saturday morning but it was great seeing it on a totally different day.

Views from the top of the Space Needle…all photos courtesy of our Instagram (yes, we forgot our camera).

We found these must-haves at Ye Old Curiosity Shop. Erik complains that his name is never anywhere spelled “correctly” so he was pumped to find this.

The following day we ventured over to the peninsula by ferry, always a fun experience! Erik took this shot in daylight by pointing his iphone towards the sun…cool effect below.

After driving through the dense, still-green-even-in-winter forest, passing the cutest town (Port Gamble, we’ll be back), and skirting by Lake Crescent, which would be amazing to camp or rent a cabin by during the summer, and wondering if we’d see any vampires we crossed into Forks for the famous sign photo opportunity.

Post #2 from our week of adventures coming soon…


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