sharing some love

The past week or so, I've had the opportunity to enjoy some really fabulous times -- and for this, I am feeling a whole lot of gratitude.  So, because I'm feeling so good, I thought I'd share some love by telling you about a few additional things that have been putting a smile on my face lately.

First of all, irises.  They're all over my supermarket these days, and they always remind me of my mom.  So I bought a couple of bouquets to shoot (above) and to place in my entryway.

Secondly, I've mentioned to you that I have a deep and abiding love for the works of Bill Bryson.  So last week, before I left for Washington, I ducked into a local bookstore and picked up one of the few books of his I haven't read -- In a Sunburned Country, his book about his travels throughout Australia.  Dude.  While I've been known to laugh out loud at a sentence or two that Bryson has written, this book has series of pages that have left me weak.  I'm pretty sure that I alarmed the couple sitting next to me on the flight back to Houston (and more than once I think I noticed from the corner of my eye the wife trying to read over my shoulder).  I'm only about halfway through this puppy, and still, I can quite unreservedly recommend this book. Seriously, go buy it, especially if you're in need of some hysterical reading material to take with you on a flight (or to enjoy while you take a quiet bubble bath). I promise you won't be sorry.

Thirdly, speaking of good books, yesterday I received a copy of my friend Hélène Dujardin's brand new book, Plate to Pixel:  Digital Food Photography & Styling.  Hélène is the creative mind behind one of my favourite food blogs, Tartelette, and she is, hands down, my very favourite food photographer -- she undertands light and texture like no other.  So, not surprisingly, this book is breathtaking.  It features everything from photography and camera basics to how to light your food so that it appears more appetizing -- and to be honest, while it's definitely geared toward food photographers or anyone who would have a need to photograph food, the entire book is perfect for anyone who is interested shooting any still life subjects.  I'm thrilled to have it.

And if that's not enough, Hélène has agreed to give away a signed copy of her book.  Simply leave a comment below, wherever in the world you might be, and I'll pick a commenter at random to win a signed copy.  Even if you're not a photographer, trust me, this would make a great gift for anyone you know who is.

And finally, I've been seeing the video below all over the internet lately, and it also reminds me of my mom:  she's a pianist, and Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is a work I grew up listening to her play.

Of course, I'd never heard it quite like this.

And with that, for those of you who have ever cared for another, no matter who you are, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Because the way I see it, all people who show concern for the welfare of others always deserve a bit of honouring.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  (Don't forget to leave a comment!)