While I was down and out with my kidney stone, my mom and sister took the girls ice skating. Well, ever since that day, the girls have been asking to go again. I convinced them to wait for a warm day. It is Oklahoma – I knew a warm day would randomly pop up.

The day arrived this week and they ran to their dad’s office, pulled him off his phone and out the door they went with a brother in tow. I followed along with my camera and a few lenses. I’m usually in the middle of things, so I rarely take more than one lens with me. It is fun every now and then to get to stand on the sidelines and watch them through my camera lens.

It has been a while since I shared photo settings. Since I used several lenses, I thought this would be a good post to share those again. I noted which lens I was using for each picture. That 70-200mm lens I bought back in my wedding photography days still comes in handy every now and then!

Lenses used: Canon 50mm, Canon 85mm, Canon 70-200mm

85mm lens, ISO 500, 1/1000, f/2.8

iceskating-0170-200mm lens, ISO 640, 1/250, f/2.8 ~ 70-200mm lens, ISO 500, 1/1000, f/2.8iceskating-02

70-200mm lens, ISO 500, 1/500, f/2.8 ~ 70-200mm lens, ISO 500, 1/800, f/2.8iceskating-0470-200mm lens, ISO 500, 1/320, f/2.8iceskating-0670-200mm lens, ISO 640, 1/320, f/2.8 ~ 70-200mm lens, ISO 640, 1/320, f/2.8iceskating-0770-200mm lens, ISO 500, 1/500, f/2.8iceskating-0950mm lens, ISO 100, 1/320, f/1.4iceskating-1070-200mm lens, ISO 100, 1/320, f/2.8 ~ 50mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.0iceskating-1150mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.0iceskating-1350mm lens, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.0iceskating-1450mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.0iceskating-15If you are considering a camera or lens purchase, I wrote a post full of my recommendations. It is a good jumping off point before you invest in equipment you may or may not use.


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  • Michelle - Tell you son he would make an awesome goalie with that flexibility! 🙂 My oldest daughter plays competitive hockey so I spend a lot of time at the rink, but it’s MUCH colder.

I shared the following story on Instagram this weekend and was asked about the recipe…below is both.

Last week my 8 yr old challenged me to a pancake eating contest. There was a bit of smack talking all week between the two of us. I’ve spent my life downing pancakes (my Great Grandma’s buttermilk pancake recipe). I didn’t train this week. Didn’t prepare. I was a shoe in for the victory. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetPride comes before the fall my friends. HE WON by 3 pancakes. The contest was just for quantity, but he was going for speed and quantity. He would take 2 pancakes, put a slice of butter in the middle, fold them together and stuff them in. Moms – let my defeat serve as a warning. If you continue flipping those pancakes and letting your kids eat them first, only leaving you a couple – you will one day know the bitter taste of defeat too. Save some batter for yourselves, keep those eating competition muscles strong.

If you need a delicious pancake recipe – I highly recommend my Great Grandma’s. It is a simple traditional buttermilk recipe and is my very favorite. I like my pancakes thin but you can easily make these thicker if you like them that way. We pour the batter into a Wilton cake decorating bottle and create various designs on the griddle.
buttermilkpancakes-03As a little girl my dad taught me the value of stacking round pancakes and cutting out the center to fill with syrup. It is still my favorite way to eat them.


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  • Steffany - Question. Do you like your griddle? When my husband and I got married we received an amazing griddle as a gift. When it wore out, we bought a new one, thinking they were all equally as good. So. Not. True. Ours burns the 1st batch of pancakes and then takes forever after that. It doesn’t heat evenly. Just isn’t a good griddle. Do you love this one? It’s a good price…seems easy to clean…so I’m curious. And we cannot wait to try your recipe. We are a chocolate chip pancake family, usually Saturday mornings 🙂 And yes, mom is always left to eat the burnt, odd-shaped, too weird pancakes! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • AshleyAnn - Steffany – I’ll be honest, I didn’t have super high expectations for this one because it was so cheap. So far, I’ve been really pleased. I had to learn what temperature to use so things didn’t overcook or undercook. I don’t have to use any oil on it…nothing I have cooked so far sticks and it is really easy to clean. We’ve only had it a month. I feel like we break griddles all the time, so I went cheap and this has been my favorite one so far.

  • AshleyAnn - I should also say I’ve never had a super nice griddle, so I don’t have that to compare to. BUT the ones I’ve had (more expensive than this one) I didn’t like as much.

  • Debbie C - Cut out a hole for the syrup! Your dad is brilliant!

  • Byron - So why not just make your pancakes with a hole in the middle on the griddle? The joy of food surgery, perhaps? 🙂

    I would definitely try this if I had a griddle. And ANY of the ingredients you listed in my kitchen (I may have milk…)! I may have to try them anyway!

  • Stephanie - My kids requested pancakes today so we are going to give these a try!! My mom’s pancake recipe is similar and it’s what she has made for 35 years:

    1 cup self rising flour
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 egg
    1/4 cup vegetable oil

    give it a try and let me know what you think! I have a feeling after we try the “hole for the syrup” my kids will never have them any other way. Brilliant.

I’ve been transferring pictures from my phone and camera to my computer and came across a couple I knew I wanted to have here too. While we were out of town for Christmas, we stayed with Chris’ family at a location with a pool. My youngest has so much hair. The only way she can swim without getting wrapped up in it is if I give her braids on both sides. One day we let her wet braids dry to she could have big, wavy hair a day.

I don’t ask my kids to pose for me very often. I’d say about 5% of the pictures I take of them are ones I ask them to pose, which directly increases their willingness to pose when I do ask (at least that is the case for the boys). My daughters both are always up for smiling for my camera.

My youngest was bouncing around with her big, wavy hair and I asked her if I could snap a picture or two of her. It was so cold outside, but I knew the light would be so much better than the low indoor light. We quickly stepped outside and took about 60 seconds to snap a couple pictures.

The first two are completely her poses. It cracked me up – she has obviously been watching her sister!

1-17-031-17-01I asked her if she had any other poses she wanted to do before we ran back inside to get warm. The first two are such beautiful photos of her and she looks far too old in them to me. Her final pose was much more reflective of her personality!1-17-02Happy Monday friends!

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  • Beth Dutton - I agree, Ashley! When I first saw this picture (on Instagram?) I thought, “Is she that old already?” SO beautiful, though.

  • Kathie M. - She is way too cute!! I used to have hair just like that and miss those days!! Gorgeous <3

  • Maureen - Oh my, she is sooo beautiful. Oh, my heart!

  • Debi - love the hair, she looks so grown up. she’s such a pretty girl.

  • Debbie C - I love these pictures of her! She is getting so big, becoming a little lady! Beautiful!

  • Byron Henderson - Crazy cute! (And crazy). 😉

  • Tammy - My stars, she could be a model! She is stunning.

  • Dena - Beautiful girl

  • ellen patton - She’s spunky!!