Monday, December 29, 2008

30 years Oooooooooold!

Since it is my birthday, my only request is that you leave me a comment, a blurp, a tidbit of advice, whatever it is, just leave your mark on my blog today. So all of the blog stalkers out there, or the faithful commenters, PLEASE grant me this one wish and leave me something to mark this moment in my life.

Having shamelessly begged for your comment, I will now leave my "I am 30 years old, I am trying hard not to sulk about feeling old, so here is my best attempt" Post.

Those of you who know me well, know that I often have a 'to do' list, an agenda for the day, week, or month. Here is my agenda for the be completed in any order.

1. Drop 16 pounds of left over baby weight
2. Run 1/2 marathon with Mark
3. Drive up to Washington and take pictures of the Hammerstads
4. Buy the 70-200 2.8 Nikkor lens
5. Read with George, Henry, and Teddy everyday
6. Go back to School (wink wink peggy)
7. Landscape my backyard
8. Create a patio for the backyard
9. Have a great spring yardsale
10. Have an even better late summer yardsale
11. Start teaching at the Photography School
12. Be a good friend to my friends
13. Help when I am asked
14. Always have time for Mark
15. Earn enough money to buy a new computer
16. Go to the Aerobic convention in Colorado
17. Make a Christmas Quilt for me this year
18. Go to Chicago and see WICKED
19. Plant a better garden this that lives
20. Enjoy the bulbs I planted in the fall
21. Disneyland?!?
22. Visit the Weavers in Washington
23. Take a trip to the Grand Canyon
24. Walk out over the glass bridge in the Grand Canyon
25. Keep teaching Aerobics
26. Run, run...and more running (hopefully with a mp3 player of some sort)
27. Keep my blog updated 4-5 times a week
28. Take beautiful pictures of people
29. Train Bubba to stop jumping on everyone and everything

There you have it, my to-do list for the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


WORD UP!!! Mark, my totally awesome and fabuloso dancin' hubby is throwing me a NEW YEAR'S EVE BIRTHDAY DANCE BASH to celebrate my turning the big 30! Since we are doing this last minute, I wanted to send word out through my blog to let you know you are all invited.
If you are going to be in Utah for New Year's Eve, then I want you to come BOOGIE DOWN at my 30TH BIRTHDAY NEW YEAR'S EVE BASH!

WHERE: The lds Church by my house (email me at erinsummerill(at) for specific directions...I am leaving out exact directions for safety precautions)
WHAT: The best dance party ever.
WHO: You, your friends, your family, your kids. Everyone is invited to come!

Please: If you come I would love for you to bring a great appetizer or dessert to share!

The party will be DJ'd by DJ Beau "P Diddy" Diamond! Check out their awesome Party Site:

The above pictures are from Diamond audio's most recent bash...ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM TO ROCK OUT? If you have a song you want to request, put it in the comment section and I will make sure it gets played at the party.

ASK THE AUDIENCE: Please respond in the comments section or email me so I can plan on you coming!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a little somethin' somethin' to brighten your holidays!

I hope your Christmas brings you great surpises as well!

Monday, December 22, 2008


It is not everyday that you come across truly inspiration content...but today was miraculous! My dearest (and now most favored) friend Kristine sent this to me today:

Feel free to post this and a link to my blog on your blog...or simply save it as your screen saver! hahahahahaha

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 weeks old!

Here is my sweet ruby baby! Isn't she adorable. 6 weeks has gone by so fast. I love this picture because it shows her ruby red lips...what a doll!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jump for Joy

I have a new toy! Nothing is more exciting to me than a new pair of shoes or (drum roll please) a NEW LENS! Thanks to another wonderful photographer, I picked up this very expensive lens, for less! Yes I am a bargain hunter through and through. Here is a very fuzzy picture I picked up off the web, needless to say, here is my holiday joy (it came a little early).
Photographers Note: It is a Nikkor AF-S 24-70 2.8G (a real beauty...and a must have for group shots)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

EMBARASSING MOMENT #3269: a moment at the gym

A few years ago I used to teach quite often (5-7 times a week) at at a well known local gym. During that time quite a few men started attending my Pump class (a group weight lifting class). After that class grew in popularity, I encouraged the men to broaden their aerobic insight and try some of my other classes, in particular, my interval training class. In this class I often had the participants step up on a bench and do a jumping jack and then step down and do a jumping jack in sequence to the music. This is an excellent move to vary your work out and keep your heart rate up. While leading the class, I yelled out "Jack up." A few of the men where having a hard time following with the rest of the class. So I continued to yell out more leads. I kept calling out commands and realized that a few men in the back of the class had completely stopped what they were doing. They just stood and stared at me, looking a little awkward.
A wave of morbid realization rushed over me as I realized that I had just yelled over the microphone, "Jack up...JACK OFF!"

Moral of the Story: When you attend one of my interval classes, ignore what I say.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SHOT of the Day

I love this shot...such a cute family!
Hey thanks Sievert Family for the great fall shots! You were a blast to work with. Luv, erin

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's FIT TIP MANIA!!!

Last night a good friend came over to teach me how to make home made caramels from heavy cream...yum! They turned out awesome, a little too awesome. I cant seem to keep myself away from the pan of caramels. I'm sure some of you out there know what I am talking about. It's as if the pan of caramels is talking to me, taunting me, trying to lure me to eat more and more and MORE! I decided to heat up a bowl of vegetable chicken soup, drink a glass of water and munch on an apple. Surprisingly, after I filled my tummy with the warm fulfilling soup, my will-power has revved up. (kung foo chop) Back off CARAMELS!

TIP OF THE DAY: If you find your self mesmerized by the sweet Christmas treats lying around your home, fill your belly with something warm and satisfying (a chunky soup) and drink a glass of water. Just having a full stomach will help you walk away from those treats having only eaten a few instead of the entire pan!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I love to see the lights at Christmas time. I remember lying under the tree staring up at the twinkling lights until my eyes went blurry. I still feel that awe when I see the beautiful Christmas lights on homes and especially at temple square! I shot this picture two weeks ago when my family went up to see the nativities and lights in Salt Lake City. Beautiful!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Does this video sum up your past Christmas memories?

SON OF A *($#@!!!

YES, I AM PEEVED! I just burned away the last 3 hours and 2 phone batteries in a useless effort of obtaining WICKED tickets.
After 3482 phone calls (I held a phone in each hand)
234 page re-loads (accessing arttix with my toes)
and 2 dead phone batteries (both phones died),
I am feeling a wee bit upsent that I DON'T have WICKED tickets.

Now they are sold out and I am SAD, sad, sad.


So, today tickets for WICKED went on sale at the Capitol Theater at 7am. They also go on sale online at 10am.
ASK THE AUDIENCE: Who else out there is dying to see this hit musical? If you have seen it, what is your take?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scene II Act III: Yet another embarassing moment of my life

The Setting: The lights are brightly lit in the multi-purpose room of the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center. The walls are a barren reddish cinder block and the floor is covered in a rubber matting for multi purposes. Chris Brown tunes blare out of an 94' sony boom box as a dark haired, sweat drenched, aerobic instructor lay prone on the floor directing the class in a 'great bum' move.

Erin (Dark haired, sweat drenched, aerobic instructor): Lay flat on your back, bend your knees bringing your feet closer to your bum, but leaving them on the floor, and lift your hips up squeezing your butt. Raise your hips up and down.

(The women in the class follow, some grunting in exertion)

Woman 1: Aggghhh! My butt hurts...I feel like I have a charlie horse in my butt.

Erin: Isn't that great! Good times at Aerobics!

Woman 2: I feel like I cant lift my butt any more.

Erin (raising her voice for the class to hear): Keep it going ladies. Pulse to the beat, FASTER! (Erin starts singing the next song on the cd to the music)Your butt loves this! "Push it, Push it, to the limit, limit..."

Setting: As Erin is singing at the top of her lungs, and women in the classroom are grunting and groaning. Erin hears the low chuckle of male voices. She turns to notice a group of community league basketball players mulling around the door staring at the women working out on the floor.

Male Player: (feeling awkward and turning shades of beet red) Uh...I don't think this is the room for us.

Setting: Ladies turn bright red, and Corbin Bleu can be heard singing, "Push it, Push it, to the Limit, Limit...".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The time has come to admit the truth...

Many years ago I sat on a hard vinyl covered bench, waiting for my mother to pick me up. I was a 7th grader at Wheeler Intermediate School, a small school in central Oahu, and I had made my way to the nurse's office because I didn't feel good. I felt hot and sticky and leaned my head toward the open window, hoping to catch a cool breeze. That wasn't very likely in the middle of September in Hawaii. Between the unbearable thick heat and my rising flu-like symptoms, I felt TERRIBLE!
Across the room from me sat another dark skinned girl. Now that I think about it, she probably didn't look that different from me, long dark hair, deep brown eyes and red dirt stained feet that hung over her slippers. She nodded to me and asked, "You sick or wat?" Nani, was her name, I knew her from my English class.
"Yeah, my mom's coming." I volunteered the extra info.
"oh, I got da ISS." She offered back. ISS stood for 'In School Suspension', and I wasn't surprised Nani was detained for it, she often was the center of attention...and not in a good way.
I just nodded back to her, and laid my head back down by the window. Within minutes, the door swung open and in walked a tall, haole lady. "Erin, I'm here." She said to me as she walked over to the counter to sign me out. Nani perked up. "Eh, who dat?" She asked in her think pidgin.
"Oh, it's my mom."
Nani looked at me confused, so I added, "I'm adopted. She's not my real mom."
"Ohhh" Nani said, "She's real haole, yah?"
With a small smile, I replied, "yah."

It's been over 15 years since I told that story, and since then I have probably misled quite a few more people. But I would now like to admit that the 'tall haole lady' is actually my REAL MOM! Yes, I know, she is fair and tall and thin...I, on the other hand, do not seem to posess those same attributes; but, let the truth be known, she is my mom. I love you mom!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I wish...

Now that I am trying to fight the after baby bulge, I have added jogging to my weekly fitness goals. The problem is, I HATE TO JOG...without some rockin' music. Because I have taught aerobics for so log (12 years) it seems inconceivable to have a good workout with out something to rock out to. I have decided that I WISH I had an IPOD.

-Do you have an IPOD?
-Is it worth the money?
-If I simply cant afford an IPOD, what else could I do?

Monday, December 08, 2008

GOOD EATS: fast festive gingerbread

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I know today is Monday, thus I normally post on Fitness...if you want to read that post, it is below this post. But if you need another holiday pick me up besides fitness, then here is some easy to make comfort cookies!

Are you in the mood for a timeless holiday treat, but you don't have the time or energy to slave away in the kitchen? This recipe is the solution. With almost no preparation time, these sweet treats are done before you know it!

fast festive gingerbread
Cook Time: 8-10 min.
Bake Temp: 375 Degrees

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or with a light greasing.
2. In a mixer, combine:
1 spice cake mix
2 large eggs (at room temp.)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
3. Mix until ingredients are wet and no cake mix remains dry. 4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch in thickness.
5. Using your favorite holiday cookie cutter, cut out shapes in dough and place 1" apart on prepared cookie sheet. 6. Bake, and promptly remove from oven. Let cool on a cookie sheet. Cookies should be slightly chewy...and very yummy.

*Optional: To add some festive flair, dip cooled cookies in dipping chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy cane.

Monday's Fit Tip Mania

HOW is the HOLIDAY HUSSLE going? Or are you lacking that Hussle in your bustle? (Really I have no idea what I am saying, but I thought it sounded catchy.) I will keep today's tip short and simple since I seem to be at a lack for coherent things to say.

TIP OF THE DAY: PROCRASTINATE! The holiday season can be so wonderfully stressful. Am I right or what? If you are anything like me, you probably have a food/stress reaction. I feel like one of Pavlov's dogs. As soon as the stress in my life starts heating up, I start salivating for the Junk Food. So, to ward off those night time munchies (or in other words, chocolate craved binges) take a load off. What you don't finish today can always wait for tomorrow. There is no need to stress the big stuff. And really, a year from now who is going to remember that you forgot your potluck dish for the company party, or your kids wore pjs to church? RELAX...take a load off and kick the stress eating in the gut!

Friday, December 05, 2008

to BEFRIEND or not to BEFRIEND...that is the question

After having launched myself into the world of facebook I found myself giddy with all the reconnections I have made. People I haven't talked to since high school have been coming out of the wood works to become my 'friend'. All of a sudden I feel so warm, fuzzy, and welcomed in the cyber world; however, I am left with quite the quandary.

Ask the Audience:
What do you do when someone you don't know (or simply cant recall where you know them from) wants to add you as a friend?

I have mulled this over in my mind and have come to a crossroads. I can either befriend the unknown cyber person who is seeking my friendship and feel utterly flattered. Perhaps this person is in need of my friendship because he/she saw my info page and felt a connection to my flamboyant personality that must have oozed out of the brief 4 lines of vague personal info I allowed to be viewed online. I feel so elated, so thrown back into high school when I was the nerdy girl and a cute boy would wave in my direction...and really who cares if he was waving at the hot popular girl behind me.
I am led to wonder if this unknown cyber person is merely seeking to add me as a friend because he/she collects 'friends' like one gathers clutter. Am I simply to be added to their list of friends and then cast off and never spoken to (wall to wall) again?
What is really going on here (confused 13 year old girl stuck in Erin's 29 year old body)...


Here are two of my favorite shots from a shoot I did a week ago. Michael and Brianna are such a great couple...thanks for the fun shooting. To find out how I took these shots, see below for the recipe!

PICTURE RECIPE: For shot number one I took the couple off center to show the depth of the bridge, then I blurred out the bridge by shooting at 80 mm and dropping my f-stop to 3.5. My shutter was at 250 and it was overcast outside and in the late afternoon. In post editing I used Totally Rad Actions: Boutwell magic Glasses (50 %) and Prettyizer (80%).
TIP: to add a little flair and excitement to your shot, change the perspective. Who says your subject needs to be in the center. Try random angles...don't be afraid to lay on the ground.
For the second shot I had the couple in front of a great old barn. I kept my f-stop about 5.6 and shot them with the same 80mm lens. I had fun in the post Editing and used (TRA) 'green with envy' only on the barn, the grass, the weeds and their jeans. I stayed clear of their faces, hands and hair so they still looked natural. I finished with Boutwell Magic Glasses (60%) and Prettyizer (20%).
For more questions email me at erinsummerill(at)hotmail(dot)com.
Have fun shooting!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Have you seen this woman?

This is my oldest sister Leslie, who resides in Washington state. She made a suprise stop in Utah for Thanksgiving! I was so happy to spend Thanksgiving with them. Then on Thanksgiving night, Leslie and I went to the MODBOD sale and (shhhhh) we cut in line! We had such a blast grabbing clothing and worming our way through the crowd. Then on Sunday, I finally was able to get some shots of her and Troy. Here they are in all their fall glory. The fall picture was taken in the road in front of my house. I love this one below the most!

HOW TO: I shot the above pictures in natural light (no flash). My settings were: ISO 400, F-Stop 3.5-5.6, Shutter 125. I shot right before it got dark, so I had to keep my shutter low and I played around with my F-stop to let enough light in. In POST EDITING, I used Boutwell Magic glasses on all of the shots. The for the first I used: Old School Fast, for the second shot: Lux (soft), for the third shot: boring B&W, and for the fourth: Lux (soft) and Yin Yang around the edges. Have fun shooting?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

For the LOVE of Reading

I LOVE a good, on second thought, I like a good book, I LOVE a great book! I recently read the wittiest, humor packed, irony laced novel that I truly think you should read too. Shannon Hale's novel, Austenland is engaging from the start, playing off of the well known, Pride and Prejudice. Have you ever completely fallen in love with a character from a novel? Does Edward in Twilight ring a bell? If that fantasy love is a plague in your life, then this novel is for you. Austenland combines a theatrical look at how a modern day woman would fare in a Pride and Prejudice setting. This cunning novel is more than meets the eye and the reader is left utterly surprised and pleased with the brilliant outcome.
If you love a great romantic comedy, this book is for you. And, the best part is, it is a short read. I know you are busy this holiday season, but don't miss out on the joy of Austenland!

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? Please share, because I am always in the mood for a good book!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Shot of the Day

I shot this over the weekend in my front room using my studio lighting. I used an umbrella light as the primary light (see the round light in her eyes), and a soft box as the secondary. I purchased material at Joanns and used that as the back drop. Then in post editing, I used photoshop and TOTALLY RAD ACTIONS. For this shot I used: Boutwell Magic Glasses, Lux, Prettyizer (at 20 %) and then Boring Sepia. If you are ever interested in how I got a certain look to a shot, feel free to email me and I will share some tips! Have fun shooting...and more fun editing!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday's Fit Tip MANIA!!!


Need I say more? If you are like me, you gorged yourself on stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pie; and right about now you feel bloated, tired, and pretty uncomfortable in those jeans. But hey if you don't fit this description, then ROCK ON, but if you fell into the Turkey trap that I did, this post is for you.
With Christmas around the corner, why not spend the next three weeks feeling better than you have in a while? Give yourself the early gift of fitness. This weeks tips will help you stay on track and get all that busy holiday business done.

1. EAT BEFORE YOU GO -During the holidays I get up, get out and get shopping and realize halfway through the day I am starving. Crud, then I am left to pig out on fast food! Not only does my pocketbook take a hit, but so does my figure. Then a week later when I am trying to shove on that black holiday frock, I look like a stuffed sausage! I say, to curb those crazy cravings, eat a healthy breakfast, and pack some carrots for a day of shopping. Just think, while you are shopping you could be dropping...pounds that is.

2. EXERCISE EARLY - No matter what your normal routine is, when the holidays are around justifications like I will work out later just don't cut it. By the time 5pm rolls around you are either too tired or too bogged down with festive plans to take time out to take care of yourself. So get up, run over to the gym, go on a walk, or pop in a great 30-60 minute fitness video and get it done! You will feel so much more confident throughout the day if you have checked that one off your list early.

Stick these two tips out for the next few weeks and you wont be looking like a stuffed sausage when you pull on that great little holiday outfit!