Same Blog-New Place

This is now my old blog address-I am now one of those Wordpress geeks and my blog now sits at . So, please visit me there and if you subscribe to it, you will be my new best friend and chocolate chip cookies will fall from the sky.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The week from hell

It seems since the weather let up a bit, everyone has come out of the woodwork for photos. This week has been crazy and I also have a wedding and a grandson's bday to deal with over the weekend.

I've been having the usual nightmares that I get about a week before I do weddings. You know the dreams- you show up at the wrong time, your camera won't work, you can't remember the couple's names. I also get an upset stomach that starts that Monday and lasts until the day after the wedding. I really don't know why I agree to shoot them-they are nerve wrecking.

I watched a clip the other day that was about a well-known newborn photographer. She talked about how passionate she was about taking photos of babies.

She mentioned that she probably would be good at shooting weddings, but that she didn't like to do them. She stated, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Love that.

I will now live by that rule.

No more weddings for me-except for the one I agreed to do in October.

I did a session with a nice little girl yesterday. She loves having her photo taken, so she was easy to work with.
Very cute!

Great smiles.
I also did some more of the new grandbaby with mom and "dad".

She just happened to pee on "dad" when we did the birthday suit poses-she must be trying to get on my good side. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aren't neighbors fun?

Sometimes, it's nice to have neighbors. Sometimes, not so much. Especially when it comes to arguing with them about the tree they planted years ago, not realizing that it would some day grow over their property line into our yard-and it's A WALNUT TREE.

Here is this lovely tree.
Did you know that walnut trees grow walnuts?

Did you know that walnut trees that grow walnuts drop those walnuts on to the ground?
Did you know that when you unknowingly park your car under a walnut tree that drops walnuts on to the ground, it does this to your car?
And this?
Then, when you talk to your neighbor about the... okay, I won't repeat it...he says it's our problem. Really? I don't think that's what the judge in small claims court will say.

In the meantime, I sure hope none of those walnuts that fall off that walnut tree end up flying horizontally across the yard and land on one of their cars.

I'm just kidding.

Or, am I?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another model for the business

I stole the baby away from Mama this weekend and did some newborn photos. She was a great little model.
She didn't stir a bit for most of the photos.

Look at that cutie! Don't you love the hat?

We'll be showing her friends these when she gets older.

Big brother isn't doing too bad with sharing. I still wouldn't trust him alone with her-he might just trade her for a cookie.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Now that the kids are back to school, decorate!

My readers know that I love online shopping. I've been wanting to change out a few decorations around the house from curtains to flooring. My living room was my first project. I've been wanting to bring in the natural light for better photos. I've been making our basement my studio and I hate the lighting down there, so I'm hoping that bringing it up stairs will be better. I've changing the curtains to just valances and love it!

With the kids in school and the grand babies back at home, I wanted to take on some more projects. I want to get the kids some new rugs and found some great kids rugs online at Love, love, love these rugs... has just about every home decor you can think of. I wished I would have checked out the teen bedding before getting Emily's comforter. I would of loved to have got this bedding.

My daughter still doesn't have a crib bedding for Avrie's crib. I totally have to let her know about this beautiful crib bedding. We love the pink and black and this would compliment her other things.

So, if you now have time on your hands to do a little decorating in your home, you really should do some research online. There are a lot of great deals right now for home decor. Especially on Right now, there's free shipping for purchases $89 and up.

Have you got your lockers for school yet?

Friday, August 20, 2010

The first day of school

My son started high school yesterday. I asked him how his first day in big bad high school was and all I got was an "ugh" and "I don't know" out of him. He's officially transformed into a teenage boy-enough said.

Today was Emily's first day of kindergarten. At the beginning of summer, she didn't want to go. But, the closer it got to the first day of school she started getting excited.

I, on the other hand, was totally sad and didn't want her to go. Having her gone during the day would feel like I was missing an appendage. She assured me that everything would be okay.

Our conversation on the ride to school went like this:

Emily: "Are you sad, Mommy?"

Me: "Yes-I'm going to miss you."

Emily: "Don't be sad. Do you remember when I was afraid to go to the dentist?"

Me: "Yep."

Emily: "Well, after a couple of times, I wasn't afraid anymore. Soon, you will be able to drop me off at school without being sad anymore. You will be okay-I promise."

Now, I'm really gonna miss her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The days of wearing halter tops and baggy pants to school

I knew that this week was going to be chaos with the baby scheduled to come on Monday and my other kids starting school by the end of the week. I am watching Zach while my daughter is in the hospital and I'm thinking that I should have taken the whole week off to handle everything going on in between.

Emily is starting kindergarten and Jordon is starting high school-a double whammy for me. We went school shopping way ahead of time since I knew this week would be hectic. While shopping at Gordman's (my past tense favorite store-a future post about THIS episode) Emily wanted to help in deciding on what we would get her to wear at school. I told her that she could pick out a couple of items, so she ran over to the clothing rack and spun them around, looking for the perfect outfit. She found several items and some of them were a bit too wild for school. We narrowed them down to a shorts outfit and a halter top black dress.

I wasn't too thrilled with it, but she insisted on getting it, so I put it in the pile of outfits we were getting. When we were done, I met up with the hubby and showed him the outfits. He wasn't too thrilled with the dress either, so he suggested that we "accidentally" leave it behind. I reminded him that Emily had the memory of an elephant-she could tell you what she had for supper on September 22nd last year-down to how many peas were on her plate, if it was a full moon, and what she was wearing at the time.

He chose to ignore me and quickly put the dress on a rack. As we headed for the checkout, Emily (who had been with grandma) joined up with us and excitedly told her dad about the black dress. Did you see my pretty dress, Daddy? Huh? Did ya? He looked over at me and I gave him the "I told you so" look and motioned for him to run back and hope that it was still there.

After we checked out, Emily told us that this dress would be what she was going to wear the first day of school. When I tried to tell her that I already had a dress picked out, she crossed her hands in front of her and wrinkled her nose.

Fine, I grumbled.

Later that week, we had registration for school and I came home with a pile of paperwork laying out the rules of the school and dress code, etc. Upon reading the dress code, I found out that halter tops weren't allowed to be worn to school- along with flip flops, baggy pants, and headbands-whaaat???

Oh great. Maybe they haven't met Emily-the boss of everything living and breathing? I did not want to tell her that her new favorite dress was going to have to be saved to wear on the weekends instead.

Telling her turned out to not be so bad. In fact, she took it quite well.

Although, the condition was she got to wear it at home for the next four days-straight.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The new grandbaby is here-born 8-16-2010


Avrie Skye-Ann Elliott!



19 inches long...

And the cutest...

baby girl...
in the...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My post has been featured!

Just letting you know that my post, Blogging is like high school-but, in a good way has been featured here on JDaniel4's Mom! Go check out her blog-it's a great read. :)

We're getting ready this weekend for the new baby to come. I'll be posting photos of course-if I haven't fallen over from the shock of being a nana AGAIN.

Friday, August 13, 2010

She's on her way

I've been so busy the last couple of weeks with business matters. It seems like just over night, my blog has been flooded with business offers. I'm not complaining, but I have many stories to tell you about and just haven't had time.

I did want to let you know that I'm excited to say that my daughter's c-section is scheduled for Monday morning and we are soooo anxious for the baby to arrive!

Last night, I was on Etsy looking at baby things when I came across this newborn cocoon.

OMG! How did I not know about this photo prop? This is adorable. Or, how about this hat?

Oh my! I just want to eat this up! Then, I found one of these. I've got to get me one of these.

Then, after I bought up enough Etsy items to take out a second mortgage, I saw this cute hat.

I feel sorry for the new baby because she's going to be wearing so many hats for photos, she'll probably be bald by the time she is one.

Dreams of a Masquerade Ball-Beautiful Masks

When I was little, I was always mesmerized by masquerade masks. A friend of mine parents collected masks and when I went to her house, I would always go into their bedroom to see all the masks hanging on the wall. I love how mysterious they are and beautiful. I always thought it would be fun to go to a Masquerade ball.

When I had the opportunity to check out 1001Venetian Masks, I was thrilled. They have beautiful Venetian Masks that are very colorful and beautiful. They even have Full Face Masks that really pop out. These masks make great decorations or if you do need a mask for an event, this site has many to choose from, like Galletto, Incas, Jolly, Velvet and Zanni-Nazo.

I even learned a few things about Venetian Masks:

Different types:

Bauta- mask covering the entire face

Columbine- half mask usually tied with a ribbon

Medico Della Peste- also known as the plague doctor has a long beak

Moretta- an oval mask usually made of black velvet.

You can visit their site and find out about the different types of masks and what they are used for. How cool, right?

So, if you've ever been curious about learning about Venetian and Masquerade masks or want to purchase one, visit 1001 Venetian Masks today!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Winter is coming-do you have your thermal wear?

I know thermal clothing is the last thing you are thinking of right now with all the heatwaves going on daily. The truth is, winter is right around the corner, and you may need to start thinking about how you are going to keep warm when the weather starts to turn chilly.

We have relied on thermal clothing under our clothes during the winter months. A great source for thermal wear is Damart online. They carry vests, tops, pants, hats, mittens and other thermal wear.

If I had to pick a favorite thermal wear, I would have to pick this:

A pretty way to wear thermal. Be sexy AND stay warm-is it possible? I guess so!

The hubby always wears his thermal pants during the cold months and I have to say, I love to see him in them. Okay, is this too much information?

Anyway, when you start getting your warm clothes ready for those cold nights, check out Damart for all your thermal needs-they also have other products available as well!

Help for your skin-Murad Evening Renewal Regimen Kit

I don't know about you, but lately I've been a bit concerned about-wrinkles. Argh! I just hate even saying that word! Not that I have many, just that those little ones are starting to creep up on me and I wanted to do something about it before they got out of hand. I have experimented with many skin products but really haven't found too many that I like and in my price range.

I've found that using Murad Evening Renewal Regimen Kit ($45) is a great way to combat dry skin and smooth those little wrinkles that sneak up on you.

The Murad Evening Renewal Regimen Kit is made up of four products, The Renewing Cleansing Cream, The Age Diffusing Serum, The Hydrating Toner, and the Age Balancing Night Cream. Using these products in combination, will help your skin to look younger and fresh and restore luster and stimulate cellular turnover.

About each product:

Renewing Cleansing Cream (1.5 fl. oz)When used daily, this product exfoliates your skin and protects your skin's moisture barrier. This cleansing cream preps your skin for the next anti-aging step. It really left my skin feeling smooth before even adding the next product.

Age Diffusing Serum (0.33 fl oz.) The next step is to apply this serum to your face to tone and firming of your skin. The active ingredients are supposed to stop collagen from breaking down and increasing skin elasticity. I did feel the firmness effect quickly.

Age Balancing Night Cream (0.5 fl oz.)Using this step causes deep hydration to increase the suppleness of your skin. This one is my favorite! Your skin will feel softer-it's like chocolate for your skin.

The Hydrating Toner (o.5 fl oz.)This product tones your skin to hold moisture and maintain softness. I actually used this after the cleanser.

Does this make you want your OWN Murad Evening Renewal Regimen Kit? Of course it does! So, I guess I better give a kit to some lucky reader!

Win it:

Murad has lots of amazing products! They are sure to have what you are looking for and something for all skin types. Visit and then come back and leave a comment telling me what you want to buy for any skin problems you might have.

Extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):

Follow me

Twitter it(leave a link)

2 extra entries:

Blog about it

While you are waiting to see if you win, they are offering a coupon to all my readers!

EXTRA20 : You get an additional 20% off everything store wide on orders $60 and over.

Contest ends: 9/2

"I was given a free Murad evening renewal regimen kit for an honest review."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words with a Blogger Wednesday!

It's Words with a Blogger Wednesday-are you so happy I've been keeping up? I'm trying!! :)

This week's blogger designs blogs. I am VERY picky about blog designs. I don't like too cutesy, or country, or too "cold" looking. Carolynn from I Love My Blog Makeover uses just the right combination of style and colors to create beautiful and eye catching blogs!

When did you start blogging and what made you decide to blog?

I started blogging at the beginning of 2008... I had no clue what blogging even was, my sister-in-law actually got me to sign up for one. I was pregnant with my first child at the time, and my sister-in- law and other family members used blogs as a way to keep in touch, share pictures with each other and so on. So I figured why not, and started a personal family blog. I didn't start my "My Blog Makeover" until February of 2009.

What kind of blog do you have?

I have a blog that offers Free Blog Backgrounds, Accessories, Tutorials, and Freebies. I have been working as a graphic designer for 7 years now and when I started blogging, I was inspired by "Cutest Blog on the Block", I really loved the idea of being able to customize your background. So I decided to making free backgrounds as an outlet for myself to do fun backgrounds and share them. I also used them as a way to experiment with other types of design that I hadn't before.

Do you make money from your blog?

Amazingly enough, I do make money from my blog, most of it coming from Custom Blog Design. In the beginning, I had no intention of making money or even trying with it. I did not even have the desire to do custom blog designs. I was slightly afraid of custom blog design because I was not very good with HTML and CSS. Most of my graphic design jobs consisted of print work, never web. I guess that people liked my backgrounds enough to contact me and ask me if I would do custom blog designs for them. I wasn't going to turn down the work and I really started to love doing custom blog design. It has since offered me the chance to be home with my kids 24/7, and I love it!

What do you do to network/promote your blog to bring in readers?

I don't really remember frankly how it started, just family and friends really. Actually my first follower (which seemed so cool at the time), was a young girl from Australia. I have no idea how she found me or anything, but it seems kind of like a chain reaction. When someone uses my background, someone else sees it, and so on and so on. So at first I didn't do much at all. Now that I have some traffic, if I am trying to promote my blog, I do giveaways, tutorials, freebies. Anything that I think someone would like. I mean who doesn't like free stuff ;)

How do you balance blogging and family?

Wow, this is the hardest part. It is really tough, I sometimes wish that I could throw out the blog, and give my 100 and 10% to my kids all day, but then I remind myself that my blog is the whole reason that I am able to spend all my time at home (with out it, I would have to get a normal job, and who wants one of those). To break it down though, when my life is not a hectic mess, like it is now (just moved, and I have a 2 year old, and a 3 month old), I try to spend 1 hour a day blogging, 5-6 hours a day designing, and the rest with family. I think that the biggest thing that helps me balance it all is just knowing how lucky I am to be a Stay at Home, Work at Home Mom.

How frequently do you post?

Like I said, when my life isn't totally hectic, I try to post every day, or at least every other day. The last 4 months though, it has been more like bi-weekly (ahhh...)

Do you own a business and blog about your business?

I do own my own business, it is called "Design Forte". It encompasses all the design work that I do, from the custom blog design, to all the other design I do for local businesses, and anyone else that contacts me. You can go to my website here: but it is kind of lame, because I never spend much time on it.

What do you recommend to blog about?

Blog about what you are passionate about! If you aren't interested in it, your readers won't be. Also family blogs are fun, I find that it is such a great way to keep in touch with my relatives, especially ones that I live further from and wouldn't keep in touch with otherwise.

Have your readers influenced you in any way?

My readers have completely influenced me! I am soooo grateful to them, with out them, I couldn't be home with my kids every day. Many many of my readers inspire me as well. I do custom blog designs for many different bloggers, and I really find that I am often inspired by their blogs and their journeys. It is interesting because sometimes I don't feel like I have much to offer, but blogging is fun, it is a way to share, and be shared with.

Has blogging changed your life in any way?

It has totally changed my life, just for the reason that I have said over and over, being with my kids!> Who are your favorite bloggers?This is hard, because there are so many! I love pretty much all the blogs that I have designed for, but here is a short list of my very favorites: (she has totally inspired me with her weight loss and outlook, love her blog) (I don't know how you couldn't love her blog, tons of freebies, fonts and fun ideas) (I am not sure if this counts, but this is my hubby's blog and he inspires me in every way :) (Cher has the FUNest blog, she has cheap date ideas, and so much more for keeping your romance alive with your husband, it is a fun read) (Her blog inspires me in so many ways, the design is beautiful and so refreshing)I could go on forever and ever....

Do you have any advice for newbie bloggers?

The best advice I have to give to new bloggers, especially if you are trying to earn money on your blog..... don't give up and give it time. No blog will be successful overnight, but if you have something to offer that is fun and unique, you will get readers.

Thanks so much Carolynn!

Please visit her blog and tell her "hi" and that you found her here. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blogging is like being in high school-but, in a good way

Upon reading blog post after blog post about how blogging is sooo like high school, I sat back and thought about it. Yes. It is like high school-but, this can be a good thing. Learning from when we were back in school can help us know what to do-or what not to do- to be a successful blogger.

Comparing blogging to being in high school.

Blogging is about journaling your thoughts and dreams. It can also be about telling wonderful, sad, and funny stories about your family and daily life. You pour yourself into your blog and just like when you were in school, you want to be popular and for people to like you (and your blog).

Don't be a wall flower.

To be successful at blogging, you need friends (readers) who come to visit daily. In order to have friends, you need to be sociable. Just like when you went to dances at school-you can’t hide in the corner and expect to get asked to dance. You need to get out there and be sociable and make friends. You can’t be anti-sociable and expect to be popular.

Being the good friend.

Think back to when you were in school. Being a good friend and a great listener attracts people like flies. Visiting other blogs is a must. Genuine comments will be noticed. Really caring about the person behind the blog is a great way to make friends. You won’t have faithful readers unless you ‘connect’ and are faithful to your readers.

Taking advice from the popular girl in school.

Remember when you were younger and the rich popular girl always had huge birthday parties with real ponies to ride and huge party bags for her guests? Everyone wanted to be invited to her parties. Well, you can do the same with your blog. Having giveaways that are worth people’s time gets people to your blog. It’s not like you are bribing them (not really), you are just finding a way to get them to your blog so they can see how wonderful and witty you are.

Don’t be the girl who stays home every Saturday night.

Blogging can be a lot of hard work if you are trying to make a brand for yourself. You can’t just ignore your readers and expect them to stick around. Just like you were in school, if you keep turning down hanging out with your friends, they’ll soon stop coming by. If you don’t want to be forgotten, you have to stay sociable with fellow bloggers. Go to events, do a contest together with another blogger-don't turn down offers or chances to get notice.

Blogging doesn’t have to be a competition.

There is no need for us bloggers to be in competition with each other. We are all equal and there’s plenty of popularity to go around. Finding your group of friends to ‘hang’ with is all you need to feel successful. There will still always be that one blogger that will seem to be the most popular-don’t be jealous of her. Take pride in your blog and be proud of your accomplishments. If you still feel a bit of the green-eyed monster coming out towards that blogger, maybe you can hope that her blog will get fat and bald 15 years from now, like all the popular people do after high school.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

If you have little ones, check out KidSafe!

Running a daycare in my home opens up alot of safety issues. I really need to childproof my home so the parents can feel that their children are going to be safe playing in my home. is a great resource for child proofing your home even if you are just wanting your home safe for your own young children.

Baby proofing your home can start with putting up a baby gate. Using KidSafe can help find the perfect gate. For instance, if you want to learn about the best quality Baby Gates, KidSafe can help. You can even buy them on the site. They offer Child Safety Gates and KidCo Gates is one the brands you can purchase.

I'll tell you, I didn't realize how many different types of gates there are out there. You can put up Pressure Gates, Pet Gates, Stairway Gates and even Extra Wide Baby Gates. So, you'll be set on keeping your child protected from dangerous falls.

Check out KidSafe and you can also follow updates from this company on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and the KidSafe Blog

My daughter's car

As you may know, I got a new car on my birthday this year. I wished I had known about Car is a site that offers advice on cars and reviews on certain popular cars. It also allows consumers to add their own comments and keeps the consumer updated with consumer news. So, if you were looking to find out about Volkswagen Jetta, you would just type it in the search box.

This time, it's my daughter's turn to be looking for a new car-actually, her boyfriend. A good car for them to research would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid . So, if they wanted to find out any reviews on it, price, and consumer opinions, they would. Everything is neatly organized on the site and very user friendly. I also would recommend Toyota Matrix if it was something they could afford.

When they are ready to buy, they can search the classified section to find a vehicle of their choice. You can search by price range, vehicle type, fuel type, location and year of car. You can also get an insurance quote on the vehicle of your choice as well. Something they really need to find out if they were interested in a Suzuki Kizashi.

It's amazing how you can find everything you need to know at one place. With the way every one's schedules can keep them too busy to find out the things they should know before buying a vehicle, can be a life saver.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Project Mom. A reality show for bloggers-Really?

I recently came across a blogger bashing Project Mom. I shook my head in agreement and then blurted out to my monitor, What the heck is Project Mom?

I looked into it further and discovered that I have been living under a rock. Apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a reality show out of bloggers. Really? How could this work? I mean, what would this half an hour (or hour) consist of-a mom typing away on her computer? Blogging is not a sport. There is no action. Or even sound. If they want to base it on blogging then it needs to be about blogging. Type. Type. Type. Type. End of show.

Other then that, it's basically about a mom (or moms), which we already have enough reality shows about moms caring for their children. I suppose if they included the mom blogger going to a blogging conference, that could be exciting since I've never been to one.
I visited the Project Mom Facebook page and found out that casting will only be held at Blogher conference-how unfair it this to bloggers who can't afford to go?

I also see a discrimination to the not-so-popular bloggers and the "big wig" bloggers stealing the show. I hear there is a hefty pay involved for anyone that the show picks-average bloggers should be given a shot and not have everything handed to the big time bloggys as usual.

Will I watch this if it does end up happening? Probably, out of curiosity. Then I'll jump back onto my computer and go back to my blogging-without a camera watching every keystroke I make.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Words with a Blogger Wednesday

This week I'm going to get you hungry by sharing with you some wonderful foodie blogs that I drool over. These are blogs that have wonderful and unique recipes, beautiful photos, and awesome looking blogs.
I've mentioned her blog before on here. She takes wonderful photos and her recipes are unique and look tasty. She combines products that I would never think of using together. I get lost in her blog and her dreamy photos make me feel like I'm having lunch in the country at a dear friend's home. She also runs great contests and has a book coming out.
Don't you love this name? Anything with chocolate in it has to be good, right? This Canadian has another winner food blog and by all the awards she has listed on her blog, she must be! Beautiful food photography and delicious recipes to match. This blogger also is a food photographer works for a food magazine-I'm so jealous.

Cook Sister!

A spunky blogger, this gal has a fun blog with fun posts. She lives in England-how cool- and talks about what it's like to live there. She's even nominated for best food blog, so make sure you vote for her. Who else could make a BLT look so elegant?

And Then I Do The Dishes

A down-to-earth blogger and mom of three, this foodie blog is pleasant and sweet. She shares her recipe creations and adds other photography as well. She lives in Canada and showcases beautiful Canadian landscape photos. Her yummy (and easy) recipes are a sure hit for anyone looking for what to make for dinner or a snack.

White on Rice Couple

I always knew food bloggers lived a romantic and exciting life. This blogging couple lives an adventurous life and document it on their busy blog. This food blog is actually a food, garden, travel and photography blog-whew, I'm already tired! They have wonderful photos to drool over and you will have fun reading about their busy and exciting life.

I could go on and on with all the great food blogs out there, but I will stop with these to tempt you to go visit them and get hooked on them as well. Write down a recipe or two while you are there, make it and send some to me-I'm hungry!