Monday, March 29, 2010

amazing company with an amazing give away!

so, thanks to my fellow photog friend kathryn , my eyes have been opened to the beauty and functionality of Epiphanie camera bags. i am a bag whore. there, i said it. i own more purses/ diaper bags/ beach bags/ reusable grocery bags/ etc than i care to even admit to! what can i say, i can't pass up a cute bag! Some woman are shoes and jewelry, i am purses and bags. and when i saw these on kathryn's blog, i about pulled out the credit card and purchased one right then and there. then i read about the generous give away contest they have going on right now for a Canon Mark 5 II camera. only my (and every other photog's) dream camera. OR a $2,500 travel credit on southwest airlines. can we say wow! i would be stoked over either prize! the places i could go with $2,500 dollars free flying! my mind is spinning (does southwest fly to tahiti?)

while i know over 3000 people have entered the contest, and i don't really think i will win (i don't have the best of luck in raffles. i can put 5 tickets in a box that only got 6, and not win!) more than anything, i want people to check out this company and read about their mission.

I know what i will be asking for for my next gift, do you?!?!

things i love...

i'm doing my list a little early this week, we are heading off to palm springs for a few days, and i don't know if i'll have time, or an internet connection while we're out there...

this week was loaded with activities for us, while my sister and her family were in town, we found ourselves at disneyland, the zoo, playa del rey, and the parks in our neighborhood. even though it was all relaxed and not on any time constraints, it was exhausting running around everywhere. today is the first day since they left, and e woke up asking for his cousins. after he ran around the entire house and looked in every room, he says to me, "mama, but i love my cousins. where are they????" melt my heart and put it on a biscuit that was the sweetest thing i had heard come out of his mouth.

here are my loves:

1.handwriting. if i could figure out how to create a font out of my handwriting, i would. (and i'm working on it, i just am SO computer illiterate.) it's probably a lot easier than i realize, but i need someone to walk me through how to do it.

2. the pioneer woman from cooking to homeschooling, photography and gardening. this woman is my hero. if i could be like her, i would be. she has such talent and drive, and such a love of life that comes through in her writing and photos. i get lost in her website for hours at a time. if you haven't read high heels and tractor wheels, you better. it's addicting.

3. here's a shout out to another photographer who i admire: Candice Benjamin. she and i met at an la shootout event earlier this month, and since then, i have blog stalked her work and followed her on facebook. she is also new to the industry, but you would never be able to tell. she has such an amazing eye for detail and style, and i just love her! she has the sweetest disposition, and was so fun to shoot with. plus, she makes amazing head pieces, which she sells on etsy too.

4. snapple iced tea. lemon. not diet, not raspberry, not peach, lemon. and only lemon. i could drink it every day and never get sick of it. it was the only thing i craved while pregnant (that's not true, i also craved 7-11 slurpee's) every time we are driving and my hubs has to stop for gas, he comes out with one for me. i love him for the little things like that! forget the flowers, bring me a 12 pack of lemon snapple iced tea, and i will be a happy girl!

5. my mom's clam chowder. i've been craving it lately (even though it's 85 degrees out today). she makes it from scratch and it is so creamy and peppery and pure yumminess. i think i'm going to have to ask her to come down and make some for me...

and because it is almost easter, i'm throwing in a 6th this week: jelly belly jellybeans. YUM! nough said. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

just married- 16 years ago

16 years ago i stood next to my sister melissa in an off the doily covered shoulder, short teal brocade dress (with white panty hose on ). my hair was big and the bow in it was even bigger. It was 1994, and her wedding day. today, on their anniversary, james and melissa took a trip down to playa del rey with their children and we took some long over due pictures of the two of them, and of the whole family. after our session, the hubs and i brought the kids to our house, so mom and dad can enjoy a night away at the beautiful inn at playa del rey. i wish i had taken some photos of them there too, it is such a quaint and beautiful bed and breakfast. definitely on my list of places to stay within a 30 mile radius of my house!

congrats missy and james on 16 years of marriage! you two have been an example of lasting love and commitment to each other, and i pray my marriage will include as much fun and adventure as yours has! i love you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

things i love...

this is going to be a quick one, i've got dinner going and family in from out of town, but i didn't want to not get my second things i love list done!

1. the smell of our fabric softner (downey orchid allure). it is heavenly.

2. descanso gardens. gorgeous grounds to walk through, and everything is blooming right now

3. petunia picklebottom diaper bags. even after my kids are out of diapers, i will be willing to carry one of these bags around. (and the touring tote works great as a camera bag because of all the little bottle pockets)

4. susie cakes cupcakes. sprinkles who? if you haven't bitten into one of their red velvet cupcakes, you are missing out. THE best cupcakes i have ever eaten!

5. my husband. (i'm biased, i know) for allowing me to remodel our rental unit and not complaining how tired he is after working 24 hours then going to the house and working for another 7 hours. he is the best. only a few more work days and we will have the kitchen and bathrooms done!

thats it. quick and to the point. i' off to flip the pork chops now!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the first thursday favorite things list

i read quite a few blogs on a regular basis, and i always love when they do a weekly things they love. so i'm jumping on the wagon and starting one too. since thursdays (aka, grey's anatomy night) are my favorite day of the week, i figure i'll start today!

1. classic v neck t shirts. white, grey, yellow, black, my wardrobe consists mainly of these tshirts. if i had to live out of one thing for the rest of my life, it would be these. absolute favorite are american apparel so comfy and cute! a close second, i just discovered at target, mossimo has super cute and good fitting ones too! and for only $7.99, they don't break the wallet when you want to swoop up every color!

2. my signature lip color (as of yesterday). thank you target, again! jemma kidd is an amazing makeup artist who i have loved since my days as a makeup artist and hairstylist, and now she has her own makeup line carried at my favorite one stop shop.

3. since i'm listing so many items from the store, i might as well add it to my list: target. i love love LOVE target. when i was in college (mom, stop reading now), i would buy everything you could imagine from the store b/c it was one place my parents didn't question when they got the credit card bill. and i could always say it was cleaning supplies and food, not the purses, sunglasses, books, makeup, dvd's and cd's that it really was! thanks mama!! now, it's still the place i can go and buy stuff for the boys, the house, me, whatever, and my husband doesn't question. Except of course when it's my third trip in a week and i've managed to spend over a hundred bucks at each trip. on what? i'll tell you when i figure that out! damn red tag specials!

4. Sophie the giraffe. W's favorite teething toy. she is classic and modern all at once. and since giraffes are my favorite, when we received this gift, my heart melted with how adorable it is!

5. i have to thank my sisters for turning me on to this one, trader joes pizza dough. with how much i love pizza and how often we eat it in this house (every sunday. i know their number by heart. pathetic, i know), i thought it would be fun to start making our own. e loves to roll the dough out and get to decorate his himself, and i love how cost efficient (and yummy!) it is. for just a couple bucks, you get the dough in a plastic baggie. all you do is let it sit out of the bag at room temp for 20 minutes, roll it out, top it with whatever you please (mushrooms and pineapple for me, pepperoni and sausage for m, and e likes 4 cheeses), pop it on the bbq or in the oven, and 15 minutes later, you have a yummy, fresh pizza. they have a few different types of dough, i prefer the garlic herb myself.

that's it! my first thursday favorites list! look forward to next thursday, when i come up with 5 more of my favorite things to share with y'all!

Coco is 6 months!

the other night, my girlfriend lara posted a video of coco and her older brother colton having their first tea party together. it was precious! at that moment, i knew when we did coco's 6 month pictures, her little tea set would be included! on tuesday, we made the trek out of the valley down to her house in costa mesa. it was a beautiful day, the warmest we've had so far this year. while e and w played with colt, i stole coco away for her session. she is one of the happiest and most adorable babies i have worked with, and i adore my future daughter in law! after we took a few outside, we moved in to her nursery, where we did a quick costume change. to her mama's surprise, she stood all by herself holding on to her crib! how awesome it was for me to get to capture her first time standing! coco was so proud of herself, and it shows!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

just because

when i opened the mail box yesterday, i was greeted with a brown cardboard box. not a big deal, e's birthday was on saturday, and our out of town family had been sending him gifts all week long. but to my surprise, it was for me! i still wasn't sure if it was actually for me though, until i opened it to find a perfectly wrapped little blue box with a white ribbon. No, not THAT blue box with a white ribbon (although that would have been nice!) giddy as a school girl, i open the little note attached to see who it was from, and all the note said is "just because". automatically i assumed it was from my hubs, since i told him i expect a thank you on each of the boy's birthdays, for going through the pains of labor (he laughed at me). as i open the box, i see it is personalized note cards! now, i have a huge smile on my face! if you know me, then you know i am obsessed with hand written notes. i don't know if there is anything i love more than to take a moment and write a little note and pop it in the snail mail to a friend or client. beautiful personalized note cards, just for me! with one of my favorite flowers (ok, so it's a weed, but they are still pretty) dandelions! when the hubs walked into the room, i threw my arms around him to say thank you, and he had no clue what i was talking about. he said it must have been my mom. when i asked my mom today, she said it wasn't her, so i am left with no one to thank! I am putting it out there, whoever they are from THANK YOU! THANK YOU for thinking of me, and knowing me well enough to know how much i would appreciate the beauty of a not card! THANK YOU! and if you'd like to take credit for sending them to me, then i will send a hand written thank you back! So thank you whoever, for making my day!

the kaplan family

inge and i met through mutual friends. we have sons who are about the same age. she recently got a job offer out in iowa or ohio or one of those states in the middle of the country, and we are sad to see her leave. she approached me a few weeks ago asking if we could do a family session before her move, and i of course said yes. she and her lovely family will be leaving the beauty of california for wheat fields and flat lands (ok, i don't know that for sure, but it's just what i picture. i'm sure they will be in a city, in the 'burbs, but i like to think of them living on a farm, because that is all that the middle of the country is to me!) at the end of the week.

so inge, jeff, jason, william and i met up sunday morning at orcutt ranch. i suggested the sight, as it is one of my favorite spots up here in the valley, and jeff, who is born and raised in the valley, had never heard of it! it is definitely a place to come, if you've never been. we strolled through the orange and grapefruit groves, letting will lead the way. their family is so easy going, that is was easy to hold conversation with each of them. jason, who is 14, was maybe one of the most polite teenagers i have met. off the bat, he came over and introduced himself, without being prompted by either parent, and shook my hand. i was impressed! and will, who is four, was in his businessman attire and ready to pose. it was a struggle getting him to take his tie off, but we convinced him that even businessmen like to "relax and have a drink" for a few pictures!

We spent an hour wondering the grounds, in and out of the trees, the barn, and the old adobe home. it was a beautiful morning, and a great day to start day light savings!
Inge, Jeff, Jason and WIll, you will be missed! thank you for allowing me to capture your family before you move, i wish you nothing but happiness in the future!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

my son is three! i can hardly believe that three years ago, i was pushing a baby out (at this exact time). he was a month early, so we were hardly ready, but just like in hide and go seek, ready or not, here he came! we had just moved into the house 12 days earlier, his nursery didn't have furniture yet, we'd been working at painting it, and i didn't even have his coming home outfit picked out (let alone my hospital bag packed!).

m had been at work the night before, and had a funeral to go to in the morning. not a problem, i was going to head over to the social security building and finally legally change my last name. we'd both be back by lunch time to hang out and unpack some boxes. everything seemed fine to me. i took a shower, got dressed in my favorite pair of comfy black goucho pants, and started to drive to the SS building. as i waited to turn left at the light, i felt the rush. oh boy! did i just pee myself? i JUST got the tahoe washed yesterday, dang it! U-TURN back to the house i go. SS will have to wait. i try calling m, who normally always had his phone on, and it goes to voicemail. granted, he's at a funeral, so i understand. and i'm not freaking out. so i send him a text "think my water might have broken. not sure. call me when you can". no response. ok, i'll just try calling him when i get back to the house. nothing. for 2 and a half hours and 12 texts, i get NO response. i'm not in pain or anything, so really, i just thought it was false labor. what would i know, it was my first baby! finally, m calls me. he is in a panic, and felt so guilty he hadn't called me earlier. for the first time in history, he had turned his phone to silent instead of vibrate. it wasn't until one of the guys at the funeral suggested going and grabbing lunch that he checked his phone and saw all my calls and texts. he was on his way home. here's where the story gets interesting. m was only about 5 miles from our house, but it seems EVERYTHING you could imagine happening, happened in that short distance. Because of the funeral, he got stuck in the traffic from the precession. he had to tell the motocops that his wife was in labor to get past it all. after he does, a truck carrying railroad ties drops its load in the middle of the road. he is stuck now for another 15 minutes while they move them out of the way. after the ties, he hits every red light between here and there. when he finally gets home, he's frantic (although he doesn't admit it, he says he was perfectly calm). As he changes out of his suit, i'm loading the car with my bag, which i've calmly packed. i am zen at this point. almost giddy. and in disbelief that this could actually be labor. there was no pain. just a few cramps every few minutes. we get to the hospital, and since we haven't preregistered (PS, make sure you preregister) they make us go through and do all the paper work. seriously people, i'm in labor. can the paper work be done from my hospital bed after they check me out? of course not. so an hour later, they get me to a room and confirm, yes, i am in fact, in labor.
a few hours and some gorey details later, my son E came into this world. a month early, but still weighing in at 7 lbs 4 oz. he was admitted to the NICU for severe respiratory distress, and had to stay until his lungs fully developed, 13 days later. but that is a whole other story.

he is my miracle boy, and i can't imagine my life without him. and now, three years later, we celebrated his birthday with a super hero themed party complete with a cape making factory, masks, and spiderman jump house. he is a strong brut of a boy, and while he tests my patience with his terribles, he also never ceases to amaze me with how caring and sweet he can be. nothing melts my heart faster than the smile he gets on his face when he wakes up and says "good morning, good morning, good morning to you mama" in the same sing songy voice i said to him every morning in his crib. i love him more and more each day, and tell him that every night. happy birthday e!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


i had a new experience on friday. one that pushed me out of my realm and comfort zone, and got me thinking and doing. i joined a group of photographers, models, and a makeup artist for an Urban LA photo shoot on the streets of Hollywood. It was put on by a group called LA Shoot This! and works at networking, building portfolios, and just having fun while shooting together.

i'll admit, i'm not the most comfortable with directing people at how to pose (after all, majority of my clients are under the age of 3) but after watching and listening to Ken-Y direct for a bit, and then him making me jump in and do it myself, i started to build the confidence and began being able to vocalize what it was i wanted the models to do. m and i used to watch "fear factor" every week, and when it would be the couples, we would always say how awesome we would do, at every category BUT the blind folded obstacle courses. "it's over there, no, over THERE, no, by the thinga mawhoey. Dude, you are way off, i'll just get it myself" yeah. i'm not always the best at getting the right words out. that is why days like friday are so important for me. plus, i got to meet some pretty awesome people, and look forward to the next group shoot to hang out with them again!

here's a few of the pictures from the day. i was pretty happy with the out comes, the models were all great!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

i am a valley girl

yesterday marked three years of us being in our home. three years of living in the valley, which also means three years since living 1 block from the beach. it's hard to believe it's been that long. It took up until a few months ago for me to actually start decorating the house and make it feel like our home (and in all honesty, i think this might be the first time i have referred to our house as our home). but since i have, i am now more accepting that we will be here for a while, and i might as well enjoy the beautiful house we live in. so i'm going to list off my top 5 things i like about this house:

1. this house has AMAZING light. it could be the fact that our entire house is french doors and windows (we literally live in a glass house, so i have a strict no throwing rocks policy), and i love to lay on the couch next to the window and watch the clouds go by while the boys play in the family room. i've taken some gorgeous pictures using the natural diffused light that comes through, and when we do finally move, that is probably the one thing i will miss most about this house (and my office. i have an amazing office, again with beautiful light that floods the room.

2. my office. it's equal parts glamour and grit, and i designed the whole thing myself. you can check it out yourself!

3. W's nursery. a woodsey wonderland of greens and brown.

4. our master bath. glass enclosed steam shower, seperate jacuzzi tub complete with a candle chandelier. ultimate relaxation spot. if only i had time to use it!

5. the yard. We designed this house to be a gathering house (hence the use of french doors throughout) and the yard is an extension of that. it would take too long to describe it, so instead, i'll just invite everyone over for a gathering, and you can all see it yourself!

i have finally accepted that yes, we live in the valley, and i am a valley girl.

W is 10 months old today, and E will be 3 in 10 days, so we were out having some fun in the backyard



About Me

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wife of 1, mother of 2, the youngest of 3. a creative soul who expresses it through photography and sewing. (and baking, painting, writing, and anything else that would fall into a "fine arts" description)