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.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Presents Everywhere

 I said I wouldn't go overboard with presents this year.

Maybe next year...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Leverage thinks mom bloggers are dorks

Did you watch Leverage this week? The story line was about a guy that comes to them to help him try to stop a toy company from launching a new toy that is hazardous. Part of the plot entailed them to launch a fake toy instead.

Part of their plan was to market this toy to make it the must-have for Christmas. They got the brilliant idea of contacting mom bloggers to help market it. I was a bit insulted by how they portrayed such bloggers.

They met up with a fictional (I hope she wasn't really a blogger) mom blogger at a park with children playing.

Come on, people.

I understand that while most bloggers would handle a review request via email or phone, maybe for visual effect, they  needed to talk to the mom in person. BUT, this could have been handled by meeting with her at their office, not at a park.

This just rubbed me the wrong way. There are many "mom" bloggers that provide income for their families and some make six figures. Are they meeting with their clients at parks? How about at the mall?

No, they are not.

When will bloggers be taken seriously?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Janitor

Everyone makes fun of hot lunches, but I used to love hot lunches as a kid. Am I strange, or just have no taste buds, I don't know, but I looked forward to lunch time to see what yummy food was the pick of the day. To this day, I still get happy if I get a chance to eat at my daughter's school.

My kids are a different story.

They hate having to eat hot lunch and my youngest begs me to let her take her own lunch at least some of the days of the week. I continually ask her why she would want to pass on hamburger day, or chicken patty sandwiches (yum!) and she just rolls her eyes and calls me a nerd. So, we compromise and she gets to take her lunch two days a week, unless we are super busy in the mornings and I forget. 

Lately, she hasn't been asking to take her lunch and I really haven't been giving it a second thought until I noticed her lunch box on the shelf and decided to ask her why.

She looked down and just muttered, "Because of the janitor."

Curious, I asked, "What does the janitor have to do with lunch?"

"Somebody puked in our classroom the other day and he cleaned it up with his hands. Then, I saw him cleaning the bathroom one day and picking up garbage outside."

Confused, I asked, "Again, what does that have to do with lunch?"

Emily let out a loud sigh and said, " Because, I always have to ask for help to open my packages and when I raise my hand, he comes over to help."

"And?" I asked.

"I don't think he washes his hands," she answered quickly.

I tried not to laugh as our Smelly Cat episode came to mind and then said, " I'm sure he does, or lots of people would be getting sick."

"Well, I'll just take hot lunch until he isn't the helper anymore."

I used the moment to praise hot lunches and said, "I wish I could eat hot lunch every day!"

"Whatever, Mom."

Lucky kid.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wordpress headaches

If you even noticed, I've been away. Learning, that is. I've decided to switch over to Wordpress. I'm excited, scared, anxious and stressed. I picked up copies of Wordpress and Wordpress Design for Dummies and bookedmarked YouTube learning videos. I was going to save time and hire someone, but the cheapest I've found was $500-ouch! I just don't have that kind of cash right now.

I figure that if I can teach myself Blogger code, I can do Wordpress. Just takes time to learn everything over again. Argh.

I'll keep you posted and sorry for lack of posting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Social Moms For Good-Save the Children REAL Awards

Save the Children has announced the launch of The REAL Awards, a first-of-its-kind global awards program designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States. The REAL Awards is made possible by the support of presenting sponsors Medtronic Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation, and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare, and supporting partners GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Time Inc.

The REAL Awards are a first-of-its kind global awards program to honor health workers! How cool?!

So, if you know someone you want to nominate, there still is time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thyme Maternity Yoga Pant

When I was pregnant, I remember the one thing that I hated; finding clothes that fit and looked cute too. I mainly stuck to sweat pants and sweat shirts because I really couldn't find anything.

Nowadays, there are more choices for moms-to-be. One such company is Thyme Maternity. They offer a styling line of maternity clothing for women. A fellow pregnant reviewer on our team got the chance to try out the Thyme Maternity Yoga Pants.  She gave a thumbs up on comfort and ease to put on these cute pants.

These pants feature a belly panel that can be worn folded down or up. The comfortable jersey fabric hugs your tummy and is perfect for lounging or staying active.

 I love yoga pants whether pregnant or not!

They support your growing tummy and work well for almost all stages.


Fabric Content:

95% Cotton

5% Spandex







Where to buy:

And in select Babies“R”Us locations

in the U.S.

You can also find Thyme Maternity here:
Facebook page (
 Twitter handle (@ThymeMaternity)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Making Money Monday-I mean, saving Monday...

Instead of the usual Making Money Monday, I've decided to let you know about where to save today since it's Cyber Monday.
I don't know if you went out on Black Friday (Thursday). We went out on the actual Friday and just had fun hanging out. It was dead compared to past Black Fridays, so it was nice. I got to see my sister and hang out at Starbucks.

Today, it's online shopping time-my favorite. Shop in your PJs and drink your coffee.

Now, I hope before you start off shopping, you sign up over at Ebates. I try to remember to shop through them, but sometimes I forget and I kick myself afterward.

My first pick is Amazon. You can usually find everything at Amazon if you can't find it other places.

Shop Amazon - Cyber Monday Deals Week

Learn how to use that camera over at Photography Concentrate. All tutorials are 40% off!


Walmart is a great place for cyber Monday shopping. I already got my deals from them last night!

I hope you have a fun Cyber Monday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving to remember...

We had a loss in our family, but a forgiveness between two siblings. I have to be grateful for that.

Now, on to some other news...

We spend yesterday trying to make our tree work. I lost a part of the stand last year, so I spend an hour putting it in a regular tree stand (yeah I know, like THAT was going to work). So, I finally gave up and drove to Menards and bought a new tree. Which, ended up being huge!

Doesn't look like it in the picture, but it totally takes over room. 

Then, I find out that JCP isn't giving out the globes this year. Now, I have no reason to go out on Black Friday...

Just kidding. I heard there are a lot of people upset about this. They even have a petition out to bring them back. It was a tradition in our house to get up early and get one for our collection. We even stayed and bought from JCP afterwards. I think they made another marketing mistake.

I'm also not thrilled about the whole Black Friday starting on Thanksgiving. It's not Black Friday anymore, people. It's Black Thanksgiving.


So, I need to go now so I can run and get a paper and then put the turkey in the oven so I can watch the parade.

Eat lots and then burn it off tomorrow as you fight for that great deal on that blue sweater you want to get Uncle Fred.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You Will Be Missed

Today we will say good-bye to my aunt, Lil. She was a spunky lady who was my biggest fan, showing up to every book signing and encouraging me to keep writing. She will be deeply missed.

We never know when we might lose a loved one. Please try not to put off what you can do today!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Money Monday-Tis the season

Around this time of year, I try to think of some ways to make extra cash for gifts. I like to keep it to online so I can do it around my other work and not have to worry about babysitters, etc. One of my favorites is affiliate programs like Squidoo . It's easy to sign up and you can be writing your first lens in five minutes!

This is a great way to incorporate online gift shopping with profitable sales-even when you aren't on the computer.

This time of year, I do gift guides. Gift guides bring in readers by using popular keywords that people are searching for when looking for ideas for gifts.

Types of Gift Guides

Product Review – This is the most common slant for shopping-related content. You pick a product and give the pros and cons to purchasing. Though you want the end result to be in favor of the item, you still want to point out any common issues to build trust with your reader and avoid returns down the road.
This or That – Product face-offs are a great way to make affiliate sales.  Point out the features and drawbacks of each to help your shopper make their final decision.
Top 10 – Always popular is the Top 10 list. You can go in so many directions with this one; Top 10 Gifts for Kids, Top 10 Gifts Under $10, etc.
Wish List – If you are not comfortable with writing reviews for products you haven’t personally used, a Wish List Lens may be more up your alley. Write about items you want and why.

Where to Get Ideas

Items Around the House
  • Sale Ads and Christmas Catalogs
  • Online Merchant Websites
  • News

Even if you don't get paid until right before Christmas, at least you can make your money back from what you spend on gifts!

Squidoo sign up here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Emily

I can't believe you are already 8! It seems like just yesterday, you were crawling around in your little footie pjs, with your blonde bouncy curls falling in your face. Now, you are so big and so grown up.

I look at you and I see me in you. Then, all of a sudden, I'll see your dad in you. Of course, all the good stuff comes from me.

Remember that next time you get in trouble.

You've taught me so much too. Just recently, you've made it very clear that I can't dance and I have no fashion sense (two posts on their way).

I miss that you aren't a baby anymore, but I treasure the age you are now. I know you won't be little for long and I want to savor every moment and memorise everything about you that makes you you.

So, as I type this, you are running around with your slumber party buddies (first slumber party-I'm SOOO tired!) and having fun. I will try not to cry as I still miss being able to hold you all wrapped up in your little blanket 8 years ago today.

 I know, I'm a big sap...

Now, I'm going to prepare for birthday party number two today-yes, you still get three birthday parties every year. Have a great birthday weekend, you little dork!

Love you,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Perfect Time for Photo Books

Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Have you thought about giving something personal like a photo book? How about a custom planner?

As a photographer, I do a lot of photo books- a lot. I've been given the chance to try out many different photo book companies and while the books are okay, the design programs and prices aren't. Many are hard to be creative and only let you use their templates. Others are just plain confusing!

And then enters Blurb. The pricing is competitive, the quality is excellent and the program to make your photo book is user-friendly while at the same time allowing for the more detailed touch or professional to make minute changes.

Below are screen shots of one of my wedding books.

You can see on the bottom is all the pages. You can choose from their templates, or upload your own. I choose to make my own because of the style of books I do.  Booksmart is the program you download to your computer so that if you don't have Internet, you can still work on your book, or create your own layout.

Blurb Custom Planner's

Right now they just added Planners too!

 Love it!

 This is the perfect time to get started at Blurb for the holidays. These would make a perfect Christmas gifts to clients and family. Love it!

Shipping is super fast unlike other photo books I've ordered from other companies. You have the option of even faster delivery too. Another reason to make a planner or photo book for family this year for Christmas!

I've been with Blurb for probably 5 years now and I wouldn't go elsewhere. My clients love them and I use them for my personal use too.  I would so be their spokeswoman if they would let me. ; )

Until then, I can let you know that if you order now from Blurb you can save 15% off! Use the code FALLTHANKS when checking out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eco Smart- Be Smart and Get Some

In our house, we always seem to be dealing with  bugs. Each season brings some kind of bugs. Ants and fleas in the summer,  spiders in the fall, flies in the spring. I hate it! The worse are the fleas. We used to battle with fleas every year.

 Harsh chemicals are not an option. I hate spraying anything around the kids. So what to do? How about a SAFE, all natural Organic Home Pest Control that is plant- based yet really works. EcoSMART is completely safe, non-toxic and all natural. It isn't harmful to people or animals, and it doesn't smell harshly or strongly at all!

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review several of EcoSMART's products! The first product that I had the occasion to try was EcoSMART's Organic Insect Repellent.

The smell is wonderful, not only does it NOT smell like chemicals, but it actually smells GOOD! Even though it's getting colder, we still have to worry about bugs outside. This handy travel size is so conveint and I also like to keep a bottle in the car because sometimes we even get fleas in my car.

I also highly recommend EcoSMART's Home Pest Control Spray. Made from organic plant oils, it kills over 100 home pests naturally.  I really like that EcoSMART allows me to get rid of pesky bugs. I spray all the baseboards and window sills inside and out. It really helps with spiders. I HATE spiders! 

Unlike most organic products, EcoSMART products are affordable! They offer a large variety of products to keep your home, yard and garden pest free! They also carry value bundles that allow you to bundle some of the best selling products for a low price to save money!

 Stop using toxic, smelly chemicals to kill bugs and start buying EcoSMART!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Spending (too) much time with the Grand Babies

I love the grand babies. Really, I do.Those cute chubby faces just make me want to kiss them to death. But, I will be the first to admit that they can be a bit of a handful.  Maybe I'm just getting to the point of my life that I can't handle the screaming and fighting for very long.

After a couple of hours with them, I want to stick them out on the doorstep with a FREE-TAKE US, PLEEEEASE! sign stuck on their heads. Did I tell you that I love them?

This last week, they've been around (alot). I guess I had casually mentioned that I would watch all three for my daughter could go out on "date night".

Was I drunk at the time?

So, of course she jumped on that and I found myself babysitting the three little boogers while they went out to eat. Three hours later, the house looked like a tornado swept through it and I aged five years. I found myself listening for the sound of her car pulling in every five minutes. When I finally heard that familiar sound, I think I might have done a cartwheel off the sofa.

Last night, I was thrilled for it to be Friday. All kids gone and time for some me time-well, with the hubby. We planned our evening and were ready to leave, when Jess stopped by with the kids for a minute. She mentioned that the baby wouldn't eat all day and acted funny when she gave him his bottle. I knew something was wrong. I watched his reaction to the bottle and how he gagged when he tried to drink it.

My first thought was that maybe he had something stuck in his throat. We looked and couldn't see anything but he still acted like it bothered him. I told her to take him to the emergency room because even though he could still breathe, if something was stuck there, it might move. She agreed and then asked if I could watch the other two.

Soooo, we entertained the babies again while we waited for them to return. Two hours later, we found out that there was a piece of plastic stuck on the roof of his mouth! Glad we went with our gut feeling.

We packed the kids up and sent them on their way and finally got going. We had a quiet dinner and came home and watched movies. The house sounded so quiet, it almost didn't feel right.

Was I missing those little #$*#*'s ??

Oh brother. Here we go again...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Over the months I've felt so popular. I've never had so much mail come in my name, or so many visitors show up at my door. I felt wanted and needed. I felt like somebody!

What? You say it's because it was election season and I'm the only registered voter in my house?


Here I thought that they love me. They REALLY love me!

Well, I'm depressed now.

I guess there's just one more thing to do...VOTE!

Happy Voting Day!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making Money Monday-Success Story

It's Making Money Monday, and this week, I'm featuring a success story!
 Kimberly Gauthier from Keep the Tail Wagging is going to share a bit about herself and her journey.
Please tell us what exactly your business is all about.

Keep the Tail Wagging is an online magazine for dog lovers that shares tips on dog training, behavior, health, nutrition, safety, and new pet products. I've always wanted to create a website about dogs. I saw that so many magazines have an online version and I thought it would be fun to morph my blog into an online magazine that appeals to people like me - people who are nuts about their dogs.

What made you decide to work from home?

We adopted a third dog and it's a lot of work. I want to be a stay at home Fur Mom, spending time with our cool dogs, going on walks and hikes, spoiling them like rotten, and connecting with others who understand. I got the idea when my boyfriend and I took a trip with the dogs. We rented a lake house for several days and it was heaven. Mornings on the beach, afternoons on the computer, evenings watching movies. I realized that I wanted every day to be like that so I got to work

How many jobs/businesses did you try before you found what worked for you?

I started out trying to building a photography business and worked at it in various ways for a few years, before giving up. I have so much respect for photographers today, because of my experience with trying to launch a business. Through this experience, I discovered a love of writing and social networking, which lead me to Keep the Tail Wagging.

How long did it take to earn your first profit?

Not long at all. I started blogging 2009, so when I launched Keep the Tail Wagging in January 2012, I was receiving checks from Google Adsense within a few months. Owning and managing a blog isn't very expensive and I was able to break even pretty quickly and started making a profit within the first 6 months.

What challenges did you have to overcome when you first got started?

The biggest challenge was not knowing what I wanted to do; what message I wanted to deliver. I love dogs, I support dog rescue, I wanted to promote reputable breeders, quality food, inform about health and recalls. And I wanted to do all of this in a fun, honest way. That turned out to be a tall order, but I got there.

There are so many pet blogs out there and I needed to find a way to stand out in a crowded niche. I also was learning as I was going along. It's taken a lot of confidence and patience. When I have moments of frustration and insecurity, I take the dogs for a walk and listen to the Adam Carolla podcast. That's my way of grounding myself so that I can hit the ground running when I return to my computer.

Have you realized your income goals yet?

No, I haven't. But I know that I'm on the right path now to realizing my income goals. I'm connecting with big brands in the pet industry, I have advertisers on my site now, and I have a clear direction and passion for my magazine that I didn't have with my photography business.

What are some of your biggest challenges now?

1) Finding people who will commit to writing for me regularly. Many people express interest and may even submit one article, but people don't realize what a commitment even one time a month is; it's easy for me, because I love writing, but it's not easy for everyone.

2) Rejecting guest post submissions. I get several submissions weekly from people who simply want to park a link on my site. Although I have guest posting guidelines, some people don't read them or simply don't care. It takes a lot of my time to review guest posts only to reject them; it's kind of a bummer, but one of the tasks of a blogger.

3) Explaining to small businesses that I can't promise them customers or traffic. I get emails from people weekly who want me to write about their business, their product, or their rescue group. That's not what Keep the Tail Wagging is about - the site is about sharing dog care tips. Sometimes these requests do fit in line with my blog's mission, but most times they don't and I have to explain that to people. The bonus is that I can invite them to write an article sharing dog care tips to my readers and include a mention of their business/product/rescue group in the bio and people respond well this this.

What do you love most about your business?

I love when someone responds to an article. I love when I'm able to help someone. Whenever I write an article, I always keep in mind "how is this helping?" I also love when an article prompts a back and forth with dog lovers who share their own experience with the topic. It's all about community and I love it.

What would be your advice to someone just getting started?

Be passionate, be patience, and have fun. I love many things, but my passion is our dogs. I feel like my purpose in this life is to honor the love and loyalty of dogs and there's nothing like knowing that I'm on the right path.

Success does happen overnight; we hear about these stories. But I bet if we dug deeper, we'd hear that the person worked for years to gain that "overnight" success, so be patient.

And definitely have fun. When a part of my business isn't fun, if it makes me miserable, then I cut it out. Granted there are things that I like to do more than others, but every part of my business rocks and I'm happy to do it and can't wait to see where it takes me.
Thanks, Kimberly!
If you want to share your success story, contact me with your name and url and why you should be featured! : )

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stay tuned...

I'm excited to announce a series called Making Money Monday. Every Monday, I will post something work at home related. This could be tips, success stories, freebies, etc.
This Monday, I will feature a success story about someone that I admire and hope to follow in her footsteps!

Check back tomorrow and see who the mystery guest is!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall-love it!!

This is my favorite time of the year. I love when the leaves start to turn and the air gets colder. We bake breads and cookies and drink hot apple cider. I love to wear my favorite sweaters and just relax on the couch and watch my favorite movies. 

I so want to try some new recipes I've found on Pinterest this fall. Oh, I so hate you, Pinterest for making me spend hours looking at all the cool things.

This would be fun to serve at Thanksgiving.

I want my bathroom to look like this.

I want to eat this.

See what I mean?
I could go on forever.

 My wedding season is coming to an end as well, so I've finally been able to get back to my writing.

I've been trying to do this for some time now, but it's just been too hard. But, I'm determined to be on it all this fall and winter. I miss my blogging community!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Trick-or-Treating for the greater cause

I love Halloween. I admit it. Each one of my children have been brainedwashed to thinking Halloween is the best. We watch the scary movies, decorate the house and go trick-or-treating until the last piece of candy is handed out. This year, I would like to add a little more to the fun and teach them we can give back as well.

Starting it's 63nd year, UNICEF is hosting Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF encourages kids of all ages to help raise funds for their peers in developing countries by going door-to-door on Halloween night or participating in other festive fundraising activities
You can request free collection boxes for your kids and they can ask for donations for UNICEF either on Halloween as they go door-to-door or during other times during the festive Halloween season. As the largest youth volunteer initiative children have raised over $167 million through the years.
Want to request the collection boxes? Click here to place your FREE order.

First-Ever Box Design Contest! Also new is the Create-a-Character contest. For the first time in campaign history, those trick-or-treating for UNICEF are invited to submit original designs for their own collection boxes.  

Submitted designs will have a chance to be part of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’s 2013 limited edition collection. A winning design from each category (children ages 4-8, 9-12, and 13 years and older) will be chosen and announced on Halloween, Oct. 31. The contest will run from September 1 through October 26.

Learn more at You can also connect via social media on Twitter @UNICEFUSA on Facebook at UNICEF USA.
DONATE: If you would like to make a donation you can text the word “TOT” to UNICEF (864233) to make a $10.00 donation to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Global Giving-End 7

When living in tropical and subtropical regions of the world people are susceptible to diseases from malaria to hookworm. One of the seven most common neglected tropical diseases is elephantiasis, or lymphatic filariasis.

Elephantiasis is caused by female mosquitos biting on its victims and releasing larvae into one’s skin. Those larvae grow to become millions of micro threadlike worms and invade the lymphatic system of those who have been infected. The worms can live in humans for up to six years. Hard, bulbous, inflamed skin grows in the lower extremities including feet, legs, and genitals.

How can Elephantiasis Be Treated?

While there is no cure to elephantiasis it can be treated and prevented. A single dose of ivermectin and albendazole can treat elephantiasis.

In fact, you can give as little as $12 to our partner End 7 through Global Giving to protect 100 working adults from getting infected with lymphatic filariasis and five other neglected tropical diseases or give $30 to treat 250 children infected with lymphatic filariasis. $12 is all it takes to change a person’s life.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Farty Friday

With school only three weeks in, I hate to have the kids already missing school. Unfortunately, both kids have already caught some bug. First, Jordon-now, Emily.

She woke up this morning with a bad sore throat and a warm forehead. I told her to go back to bed and then I called the school. I know that her teacher this year is very strict-we've been lucky so far with teachers (she's in 2nd grade now) meaning, they've been laid back and not sticklers. NOT that strict teachers are bad, it's just that it's less stress on her.

I'm wondering if all the pressure this teacher has put on her just might of lowered her immune system. I'm afraid we might be in for a tough year!

Anyway, after working on some editing, I checked in on her to see if she needed anything. When I opened her door, I found her dancing in the middle of her room with earphones in her ears and holding her ipod.

I guess not being in class today was enough to perform a miracle cure!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5 sites that pay you to blog

If you are a blogger who has struggled to make money, you may be wondering how other bloggers do it. Most of my blogging income comes from affiliate programs, but I do pay posts on a regular basis as well. I don't mind doing them because I get to be creative in my writing.

There are many web services that pay you to write and market their product. I belong to some, but I'm really picky who I sign up for. I've compiled together five sites that I recommend.

1. Sponsored Reviews

Earn cash by writing reviews about advertiser’s products and services. You can choose what advertisers you want to do reviews on. Pay depends on how high your PR is.

2.Get Reviewed

Get paid $20 – $200 to review products and services on your site. I like that you have the opportunity to make more per post.

3. Shvoong

The more abstracts you post at Shvoong, the more chances to attract readers. Create link to your abstract elsewhere(on blogs, forums, your personal homepage, or other sites).

4. Blogvertise

My favorite! The higher your PR, the higher you get offered.

5. Pay U 2 Blog

New to this one, but average payout is $5-I'll post more later about this program.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new route

When I started blogging, I started a couple of blogs because I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I've found over the years, though that it can get very tiring trying to keep up with all.

With the overflow of photographers over the year, I've decided that I really need to go back to building my blogging business to where it was because I fear that the competition will be too stressful among photographers. Not that blogging is any better, but I love it more!

So, I decided that I would blend a couple together that would still work with same audience and easier to build my business.

I've also been banging my head against the wall trying to decide whether to go to Wordpress. I think that I'm partially scared that it will take forever to learn and I don't really have the time to relearn a new blogging platform.
There are things that Blogger does that drive me crazy (hate the new interface, how the pictures load, etc.) and that I could lose all my work if they decide so. But, I really think it would be a good move career wise for the future of my blogs.

Anyway, my plan is to move my work at home and blog building topics to this blog. I think that it will be a nice blend for my audience and easier to work on one blog for all three.

I will still keep my photography community blog separate, so if you want to learn about photography, you will have to go there.

I hope you still stay with me on my blogging journey and if you are a follower, you switch over when/if I switch to Wordpress. : )

Friday, August 24, 2012

Get your discount on!

The folks at knocked on my internet door to let me know they are offering a special coupon code
(BC3OFF)!Barker Creek voucher for site-wide use (value:
$50)Deal Price: $25With coupon code BC3OFF: Only
$22!Find the deal here:


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School time again

We survived getting the kids off to starting a new school year and settled into our old routine. I can't wait for fall to arrive, with the leaves turning orange and the air getting crispier.
Emily was sad to not have her favorite teacher again this year, but I'm hoping that there won't be any story telling to her new teacher-something I've feared every year since kindergarten when she told her teacher I had a baby over the weekend (because another child's mother did). You never know what will come out of that little girl's mouth! : )
The grandchildren have been coming over more and I have had to resist eating them up whole because of their cuteness. Little Avrie is becoming more and more adorable (if that was even possible). She reminds me of my two daughters when they were her age. Zach is such a little sweetheart, he's going to be a lady's man. Kayden is the gentle one. He just sits back and observes. Jess makes perfect kids. Cuteness!!!
My son is a big junior this year and getting so tall. It's nice to have a son around. Especially when you have a pretty boy for a hubby who doesn't like to get his fingernails dirty.
How has your school year starting out?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Avrie's Birthday

Oh how I miss blogging. I try and try to get to the computer to type up a post, but something always gets in the way. I decided to start my blogging again with announcing my granddaughter's second birthday. Yep, she's turning two!
We went to the park the other day and got photos of the kids and boy, THAT was fun. Why is it always easier to take photos of stranger's kids then your own family?
Anyway, here are some photos I managed to get before she was covered in rock candy from bribing her.
In case you were wondering, yes, that face DOES get away with alot...
Happy Birthday, Avrie!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Window boxes to improve your windows

I love plant flowers around the house. Something I would like to do is put Windowbox Planters up on our windows. We want to put our house up for sale and move to something bigger, so I really think that would make our home look better.

Look at these beautiful window boxes-so pretty!

Window box planters come in so many styles these days, there's a style for every type of house. I think that putting colorful flowers will brighten up a drab looking house too. Did you know that they come in different types of material as well, like vinyl, metal, fiberglass and wood?

You might think it would be hard to install one, but it's quite easy and won't ruin your window. Instructions come with the window box you purchase.

So, after I get done with our landscaping, I'll be checking out what window box will look good on our house!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I love my spices

I love spices! I put spices in every meal I cook. My favorite spice to use is garlic. It's good for your immune system and other things.
One thing I would love to have is a spice rack. I'm always misplacing my spices in my cupboard, or they fall off of my crowded shelves. I think spice racks can look beautiful a kitchen wall, or on a counter.
This is a beautiful wall spice rack that would look great on my wall-hint, hint.
If you rather have a counter spice rack, then how about this beauty?
So, if you love spices, then you should invest in a rack for them. You won't be sorry!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A grant-a dream come true

I stumbled across a blog that mentioned a small business grant "contest". I quickly clicked on the link to find out that it is legit and sponsored by Chase.

Sooo, I decided to apply!
I have a business plan with a great idea for my area. I don't want to give out details, but if we can get a bigger place and marketing money, I know it would be a hit!

The only thing is, I need 250 votes to even be considered-haaaate thaaaat....

Now, I need to ask all of you if you would mind voting for me?

I R E A L L Y appreciate it if you could!

Just click to here:

You will need to type in Tess Moody Photography to find me.
Thanks again!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wipe that...

Our house is always stocked with wipes. When you have little ones in the house, there's always a need for a wipe. I admit, I try out different brands and even take advantage of sales. Sometimes, I get what I pay for; a semi-wet wipe, or one that is rough. We also have to be careful about breakouts from the chemicals in off brand wipes.
When trying out Pampers Soft Care wipes, I found out these wipes are hypoallergenic, which I love. With my grand babie's sensitive skin, it doesn't hurt them.
Now, they even come in fashionable packaging too! Check out this design:
So cute, right? They are portable too, so they can fit right into your bag. Oh, how many times I wish I had wipes handy while out running errands.
I know you would like to get yourself a supply of Pampers Soft Wipes.
How about 2 months worth???
Heck yeah!!!
Well, then try to win it!
How to enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win. (one entry)
Follow me. (one entry)
Post a link on your blog to this contest (5 entries).
Contest ends June 30th.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Leaking ceilings, hardwood floors and a new look

We are in the process of remodeling our house. Yeah, I know. RIGHT THE MIDDLE OF WEDDING SEASON?? We sort of don't have a choice-the bathroom has a leak some where, so we probably have to tear it all apart.

One thing I would like to do is put hardwood flooring in there. I know there are many different hardwood flooring prices depending what type of hardwood we want. I would like for it to match the other hardwood in our living room.

I really would like to redecorate our living room as well, since we lost the studio we had and now I'm meeting clients in my home. I would like our home to look classy and show my taste which reflects my style in photography.

I think that part will be fun, but I'm not looking forward to the bad news about our bathroom, though it would be nice to have a new one-I'm SOOOO embarrassed by ours. I cringe when people ask to use it.

So, wish me luck and I'll post photos soon!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Like a first date

I haven't been out on a girl's night for as long as I can remember. After I got married and had another baby, the years just flew by. The promises of getting together with old pals became more and more empty. The new business (photography) took up more and more of my free time, and when I did have it, I felt obligated to spend it with the hubby and kids.

My old friends moved on without me. I was ok with it most of the time, but I did miss good old girl talk and being crazy together, letting off steam that only a night out with the girls could.

Sure, I have online friends, but it's just not the same hanging together online and it looks funny clicking a Bud Light with the computer monitor. So, I decided to drop everything and plan a girl's night out and not feel guilty about it.

I invited a lady that I've befriended at my daughter's school and we are planning on painting the town with my oldest daughter and her friends. I'm actually very nervous. It's been so long that I've forgotten how to be just a girl. To hang out with other females and have fun.

I've tried on ten outfits, bought new make up and made sure I have a purse full of breath mints. Will I know how to act? Do I let them know that I'm a light weight, and two Pina Calida's later, I'm dancing on the table?

Yep. It feels like a first date. I'm hoping to get lucky.

Wait-you didn't think I meant THAT did you?

I hope I can remember how to have fun again. Not as a mom. Not as a wife. Just as a girl hanging out with other girls on a girl's night out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Someone up there mad at me?

After the week I had last week, I'm afraid to get out of bed today.

My week started with having a bride email me out of the blue and say they were cancelling their contract for their September wedding. No explanation whatsoever. Hmm. Ok.

Then, I find out that one of my credit cards was being cancelled. One that I've had forever and wasn't behind on or even had a balance on. What the...?

After that, I find out that my oldest was contacted by her potential boss only to find out that she wasn't getting the job she was promised after all, because the person that was going to leave decided not to quit. Oh my!

And after that, I have more problems dealing with weddings, like a bride scheduling her hair appointment so late that we will only have an hour to do 3 hours worth of photos. Or, another couple are still putting their details together when their wedding is right around the corner. Grrrr...

Oh, did I mention that my printer broke down right before a client was coming to sign a contract? !$#@&

If THAT wasn't enough, on our way to shoot a wedding this Saturday, a deer jumped out in front of us and smashed the left side of my car....

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back under the covers until next Tuesday...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do you have a shoulder?

As May approached, I knew that I would be super busy. I have the more weddings this year then I ever had. I knew this meant weekends booked with weddings or engagements, and weeks filled with editing and writing. Its only half way through May and I'm already wanting to pull my hair out...

The thing is, I'm feeling that mom guilt. I can handle staying up late and being busy, but I can't handle how it effects the kids. I don't like having to say, "Dad will have to take you" or, "Can we play tomorrow?"


I applaud those moms that figured out how to balance it all. Sometimes I do, sometimes, I don't. Does that make me awful?

I do plan on taking a vacation at the end of June after the bulk of my first batch of weddings will be done. Will it make up for all the lost time? Maybe not, but I do have a goal for all this hard work and missed time from my children. This goal will eventually allow me to spend more time with them when I . When I get sad, that's what I think about and it keeps me going.

So, kudos to all you hard working moms-please don't feel guilty for providing for your family. I know how you feel and I'm there for you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The best Mother's Day ever

This has been a great weekend.

Now, before I go into detail, if you are not a long time reader, then you do not know about my kids. I love the little boogers , but I have to say, they are very selfish children. Is it my fault? I don't want to take the blame, but I might have spoiled them just a bit too much over the years.

So, it started when my son (age 16) said he wanted to make me a dessert for Mother's Day. He went to the store and bought the ingredients (spent his own money!) and started working on it Friday night. He spent two hours mixing and baking. He even cleaned up his mess.

Now, if you knew my son, you would have fallen over. He does not part with his money. He does not clean. Heck, he doesn't even acknowledge our existence unless he's hungry, or needs his clothes washed. Yes. He's a teenager.

I was so happy that he did that for me-I'm still smiling.

Next, my youngest stepped up. Ok, to let you know a little bit about her personality, I'll tell you this...


It doesn't matter whose birthday it is, she expects to get something too. Every weekend should be a shopping weekend for her. She finds it very hard to give the attention to someone other than her.

I blame her dad.

Anyway, she went out with her dad to go Mother's Day shopping. I was very anxious to find out how big of a fit she threw to have to get me something instead of herself. When they got home, the hubby said everything went well-she didn't throw a fit at all.

"Hmm," I said to myself. "This should be interesting..."

So, when I opened my gifts this morning, I was shocked. She got me a movie I had wanted, a tart for my scent warmer, and a Square Card Reader for my iPhone. I had to ask if she got any help. Hubby said nope, she had remembered me saying I wanted those things.


I think a tear actually formed in the corner of my eye.

There might be hope for my kids after all.

The hubby did take me aside later and told me that he did have to buy her a Monster High outfit that day.
Okay. It's a baby step.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is Photography Your Passion?

Being a photographer, I love to find helpful books or products photography related. A great source for learning how to take great photos is DPS. They are always adding new ebooks on lighting, camera equipment, etc.

When I found out that they published another awesome ebook, I was quick to find out about it!

As the title says - this eBook is all about learning to observe and harness natural light to take beautiful images. I was just thinking about natural light the other day and how photographers should use it more. Images just look more beautiful and natural.

I understand that sometimes it's impossible to use natural light, but when you can, wouldn't it be great to know just HOW to take advantage of it?

What's in the book:

-Learn to understand the essential qualities of natural light
-Master the technical components you’ll need to work with natural light, including exposure, metering, and the histogram
-Learn expert methods to control natural light to suit your creative needs
-Grasp the potential of harsh light, diffused light, fog, twilight, and other settings
-Learn to sculpt light, create light interplay, reveal silhouettes, and more
-Practice professional post-processing techniques to enhance natural light
-Harness the countless creative possibilities that natural light affords

Lots of detailed photos and great advice for photographers wanting to bring natural lighting into their world.

Because it’s packed with real-world advice, Mitchell has built a successful photography career by learning to harness natural light in any situation. His hard-won advice will save you years of trial and error, and help you get more from your photography, starting today.

Natural Light- Mastering a Photographer's Greatest Tool covers all aspects of photography using natural light. It gives you the skills you need to conduct your own experiments with natural light—to breathtaking effect. Mitchell’s hands-on advice leads you from the essentials to more advanced aspects of natural-light photography. His field guide to natural light is supported by detailed case studies, tips and tricks, and clear illustrations to help you build up your skills super-fast.

Here is the great part...

You don’t need an expensive camera, high-end equipment, or stunning subjects to get real value from this ebook. Mitchell targets his advice to the photographer who wants to use natural light to maximum effect in every image they make

Wait. There's more!

It's 25% off - normally $19.99 we're launching this for 14.99!!
(for a limited time - 2 weeks)
If you were wanting to learn how to use natural light, now is a great time to purchase this!

Click here to view more details