Sunday, July 31, 2011

get your country on...

and I did...
cowboy boots and all!
at the Kenny Chesney
Zac Brown Band concert...
last night!

yep, it's ok!
you can be jealous...
 oh my.. what an amazing show!



Friday, July 29, 2011

ladies night out | the winery

recipe for a lovely {ladies night out} 

first, a chilled bottle of Relax

a toast to a great evening..

a winery, with a beautiful country side view

a bunch of lovely ladies, and a little more wine

homemade noodles...
a chef...

noodles, ready to be cooked

fresh veggies, straight from the garden

the sauce ingredients...

sundried tomato

my lovely siser in law.. in charge of chopping...
it needs a little salt, no garlic, how about jalapeno's??

and a lot of pepper...

the sauce making team

and voila, fine Italian cuisine... made by us...

 an enjoyable evening had by all...


Thursday, July 28, 2011

has it really been 4 years?

4 years?? since we have been to the beach??

sure has! Living smack dab in the middle of the U.S. makes it a little tough to see the beach... my last trip, to Cozumel {the best place on Earth} still seems like yesterday...

just the hubbs and me and our dear friends, before the baby, just us!  relaxing, yummy margarita's, sunshine, snorkeling, and pico... some great memories!

 I like mine frozen and strawberry, he likes his on the rocks no salt!

sand volleyball anyone?

cozumel, known for their amazing snorkeling...

we were sad to leave... {pouty face}

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

to the {little} love of my life...

my dearest baby girl...

everyone told me it would happen, "she will grow up before you know it."  I knew it would go fast, but never imagined this fast.  you still have so much more to grow and I am so excited to witness every second. 

I love you with all my heart!  21 months ago... I fell in love with you and never, ever did I know that a love this great existed. 

my heart melts every time you say, "I wuvv you!"  and each kiss you give and then say "one more."  a game I could play forever.. I love the way you say names of the people you love, and the way you adore your aunt lauren.  I love your facial expressions and the silly dances you always do whenever you hear music.  I love when you get in trouble and you know it and you go sit in "time out" without being asked.  I love when we walk into baby Gap and you pick out something, hold it up and say "ahh, cute." I love when you hair is in your eyes and the way you sweep it off your face.  I love that you beg {all the time} to brush your teets with your Dora toothbrush.  I love when your favorite cartoons come on and you know the characters and get so excited. and I love those pigtails in your blonde hair...  I never, ever want to forget these little things that make my heart grow bigger and remind me how lucky I am to have such a sweet little girl in my life.

I wuvv you baby girl!


Monday, July 25, 2011

lesson 8: portraits...

I may be a little out of order on my weeks, but then I thought, hey this is my photog party and I will {do} what I want, right?... so if your into details.. yes, I rearranged on purpose!

this lesson content found here, has to be beneficial to each and everyone of us.  most of the time, I would say, it is safe to assume we all are taking pictures of SOMEONE.. whether it be ourselves, our husbands, kids, friends, family.. I think you will find these tips helpful, and the fabulous Laura Winslow is here to help us take those shots from wow to wowza's...

first, meet the lovely LAURA!

tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with photography?
I am a custom portrait photographer in the Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona area with a modern and fresh style.

what is your favorite shoot? newborns? kids? maternity? ??
I adore everything that I photograph because it is such a fun creative process, but I simply adore photographing children.  There is just something just so special about capturing their curiosity, innocence and unique perspective on life.  I feel so fortunate to be able to capture children just as they are at that stage in life--drool running out of their toothless-grinning mouths, toddling toward their moms, timidly staring at  you from behind their father's legs,  zooming a car over the sidewalk or exploring nature. There is just something so simplistic yet very complex at the same time about little ones. I have a great passion for it.

{check out these AWmazing portraits Laura did for The Pink Jellybean}

how do you stay inspired and continue to shoot such creative pictures?
I love finding inspiration in the everyday and the ordinary. What can I take that I look at everyday and create with it? I also find inspiration in locations--the textures, the untamed and the rawness of overlooked locations draw me in and I find great inspiration in them.

any advice for those of us that are just using a DSLR camera for the first time?
Really it sounds trite, but practice, practice, practice!  Read some of the infinite number of tutorials online, find ones that work for you and have fun with it!  Photography is a continual learning process--once you have command over manual shooting, then you will want to add in more creativity with your shooting.  That is the fun in it--the possibilities are really endless. 

sum it up for us?  portraits?  any tips for better shots?
Once you practice to a certain point, you will come to learn what you really love to photograph and what you would prefer not to.  Your style will begin to develop--try not to get too caught up in the latest trends or what you think you should be doing.  Be confident and go with what you love.  Try not to become frustrated or discouraged by looking at the work of others that you think you should emulate.  Admire but be true to yourself.  As far as tips for better shots, some to consider:
1. Get off auto and learn manual
2. Pay attention to light everywhere and how it affects your shots
3. Be aware of what else is in your shot
4. Get on eye level with your subject--don't be afraid to move! I am quite the sight to see during my photo sessions! I am all over the ground and in crazy positions just to gain a different perspective!
5. Seek out new locations in the mundane.
6. Have fun!

talk about inspiring.. if only I lived in Arizona, right?  I love peaking at Laura's work through her blog, and find her words inspiring through her facebook.  She's got this whole photography thing down and is truly someone to be inspired by.  thanks Laura for sharing your insight!

you guys, check her out if you haven't all ready.. get ready to be blown away!

I did the challenge this week at my little brother's baseball game and here's what I came up with!

my portrait. of little brother's pitching sequence...

my group shot.. I love the perspective.. he had a big hit and the crowd was congratulating him

the littlest fan cheering on her uncle alex...with a fun outdoor backdrop

and a big win!  in black and white

so, until next time, and like Laura said.. practice, practice, practice!


Saturday, July 23, 2011


this week.  I am just exhausted.  I have hardly been on my laptop.  I missed all my fave linky parties.  I have unopened emails, etsy convos...  I worked extra at the hospital {in case you were wondering, this 100 + degree heat, yea, causes mom's, all of them, to go into labor}.  all because...

my house is officially for sale...
tiles scrubbed, cabinets polished, stainless steal buffed, comet cleaning, toilet washing, laundry folding, windexing, dusting, vaccumming fool... but all worth it, because there is a sign in my front yard that says "FOR SALE"  kind of a sad but happy thing.  we brought our baby home to this house, our first house as a married couple, the tree's in the back yard planted when I was pregnant, the holiday's, the love, the laughter.  many memories...

but now, it's time to make memories at a new place. 

It's been a great little house.. but time to move on!

catching up on emails and the like as we speak.  if you haven't heard from me. or haven't received an order.. just yell at me.. I will get to it asap!  today and tomorrow are about catching up!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

have you read it?

I stumbled upon this book by what I thought was an accident.  Although now, I am not so sure it was an accident...  over the past several months, I have really been having some inner struggles with my faith.  don't get me wrong, I believe in God, and Jesus, and Heaven but don't feel like I have the relationship with God that my heart is seeking... I have been having lots of conversation with those around me and their churches and beliefs and have been thinking about possibly attending some different churches to figure out where I fit in.  I read this book in a few hours, and felt moved.  It gave me the courage I needed to seek the faith that I want and I feel I am finally being proactive.  This Sunday, we are attending a new church and feel it is a huge step in this journey of "finding my faith." 

I really feel like I have some amazing influences surrounding me right now and that makes this desire for a stronger faith even greater.  Thanks to you! 

"Seek the Lord while he may be found: call on him while he is near."
-Isaiah 55:6-7


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

and the winner is...

shippe...  {per}

email me for your lovely shine necklace...

loved having this giveaway for you and especially loved having ashley over for the day!  I see many more giveaways in our future!!


if not contacted by thursday july 21 another winner will be drawn.

lesson 7: shooting outdoors. featuring Forty Toes Photography

sorry this is late friends...  let's just call it a "series of events" that delayed this post.

shooting outdoors. such a broad topic and a vast background, and probably my favorite place to take pictures.  check out the content here

within my little biz, I have been so lucky to meet and work with some AMAZING photographers.. I am beyond excited to have Jenn with Forty Toes Photography here today to give us some helpful hints on shooting outdoors...


tell us a little about yourself and how you came to love photography?
The GREATEST gift from my husband was on my 38th birthday! I didn't even know it at the time but he bought me a Nikon D40 which was a big deal because until then we only had the basic point and shoot camera. I was due with our fourth and last baby in April and he was hoping we would put it to good use. Little did I know that it would become a passion and a little side business for this SAHM!
I was already an ETSY addict at the time for my third child Stella Marie! After having 2 boys I LOVED finding the cutest handmade clothes on ETSY for her. I would post photos of her in her newest outfit on fan pages and my little business was born.
I kept getting emails from ETSY designers asking if I could shoot their up and coming designs and I was hooked.
I have spent the last year trying very hard to educated myself on the whole photography thing.
what keeps you inspired  or drives you to get those amazing shots?
My main model is my baby girl Stella Marie. I can't get enough of her. Every time I shoot a new design on her I just can't help but smile. She CRACKS me up with her little poses and most of the time she is singing as we shoot. I am always just so excited to get home and see just what we were able to catch for the day!

any advice to us rookie's who are just using a dslr camera for the first time?
I would say learn your camera settings. Oh my goodness,I have been so blessed with an AWMAZING mentor Willow from Willow's Photography. I can't tell you how many shoots I messed up this past year from lack of just knowing my camera settings. So take the time if you don't have a mentor or a class try and watch the DVD that comes with your camera or just google. I am always finding info just by googling it. 

any tips for shooting outdoors??
Since I am new to this whole photography thing I do not have a studio at this time and for me outdoors shooting just works for me. Most of the time I have the other three kids in tow while I am shooting Stella Marie in a commercial shoot. But I have learned to slow down and take the time to make sure I am not getting too much light or the shadows on the face. There is nothing worse than getting home and having the best picture ever but there is a shadow that you are unable to photoshop out. 

I am loving learning so much about my camera.  I hope you are too! 

thanks Jenn for stopping by... I would love to hear how you all are doing!  I know for sure I am feeling more comfortable with M and am getting faster at it. 

only a few more weeks left in our photography tutorials!  and then I have something extra special planned. I am so excited. Mum's the word for now!  let's keep practicing!

oh and if you haven't all ready.. enter this sweet giveaway. ends tonight!  good luck!!


Friday, July 15, 2011


last week, I shared my love for hitting up an antique store or 2.. I have always loved finding treasures and even more, the price tag that comes with.. It just makes you feel like you did a good deed when you find something you love for a few dollas$$ right?

when it comes to clothes.. I NEVER have luck when it comes to finding great stuff.. until now!  thanks to Ashley and her inspiration today to "thrift" and outfit.. I did some research.. and you know what I found.. my little town has some hole in the wall, amazing little consignment and thrift stores as well as vintage clothing stores.. so, I made a list and hit up a few of them... {keep in mind, I had a little with me} but was able to score this cute blouse... for only $6.. I have no idea what brand it is {no tag} but thought for $6.. yep, it's coming home with me...

hope to share more posts like this in the future, because I still have a TON of new little shops to check out!

happy Friday friends.. I am beyond excited for the plans I have tonight!  shh.. tell you later!!!

OH. don't forget to enter the giveaway featuring ashley...
you could win one of her shine necklaces!!!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I wanna soak up the SUN...

at the LAKE... 

 a little relaxing...
with  good company....

having a lot of fun...
{ photo credit 1234  }
and enjoying the view!

have you entered my giveaway???   


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