Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten of 2012

 Nothing makes you look forward to a new year like looking back over the past one - whether it was wonderfully special and rewarding (like this last year was for me) ,  or a disasterous mess that you cant wait to put behind you and forget, (I've had a few of those in my lifetime also),  nothing says "bring it on!' like a look backwards to propell you into the new year.

Last year I rang in the new year with a wonderful, amazing man that I had recently started dating,
[December 31, 2011]
and this year I am so incredibly blessed/happy/excited/overjoyed to be ringing in the new year with that wonderful man - who is now my loving husband ;)

I also enjoy reading all the "Top Ten" posts that pop up all over during this season of nostalgia and reflection. I especially love seeing which of my li'l ol' posts were your top favorites!
So in spirit of the season, here is yet another the list!
 Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 :
1. For Really Big Mistakes ....
2. Broken Glass
3. Project 52: Now Here's the Kicker ...
4. Dealing With Disappointment
5. Project # 49 - Christmas Lights
6. Project #16 - Waterfalls
7. Project #25 - The Steam Engine
8. Holy Hot-Pink-Butterfly-Pen, Batman!
9. DIY Room Makeover: Part 1
(Which just reminded me - I lost the part 2 post!  I will post that before the end of this year, hahaha!)
10.  Starting New and Project 52 ....

I also follow of few blogs regularly that I wanted to share with you, take a peek - you may find yourself adding them to your own personal favorites also!

Top Ten Blogs I Follow :
1. The Life of Mrs. Miles ( my mentor's blog - love her!)
2. Kandee the makeup artist (she has tutorial videos and vlogs on youtube also)
3. Kevin & Amanda (my newest addiction)
4. 1000 Awesome Things
5. A Beautiful Mess
6. Huge Love  (the talented sister of Kandee the makeup artist, from #2 )
7. The Velvet Doe
9. journey.  (my cousin's blog - love her!)
10.  I Am Photograph ( good tips for photographers)

What about you?

Are there any good memories/traditions or routines from that past year that you're committed to continuing on into the year ahead? 
Any bad habits, negative attitudes or destructive patterns you've resolved to leave behind and begin a fresh new year without?

Do you have a "Top Ten" list to share also? Feel free to make your own and post the link in the comments below, I'd love to read it! ;)

I wish every single one of you a SAFE & Happy New Year,  and I'll see you all next  year! ;)

I'm outta here  and gone like 2012,
-J  ;)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Deck The Halls With Christmas Cupcakes ......

Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-laaaaa!
I'm not exactly a closet cupcake-fanatic, I don't try to hide my lunacy deep appreciation for these tasty little treats AT ALL haha. 
So my friend Melanie was spot-on when she surprised me with these adorable, delicious-looking tree ornaments this year as part of her christmas gift to me. I was tickled to be able to 'deck the halls" with festive cupcakes.
With so much going on and a house packed full of family and friends this Christmas, I knew it was gonig to be a challenge to remove myself from the holiday festivities long enough to take a few shots of the action - bit I managed to snag a few....
Here's what our Merry Little Christmas looked like through a lens ....
The kids the morning of their school christmas concert - and one of the rare moments you'll catch Zach wearing a tie....
Decoration above the kitchen cabinets... I decorated everything but the kitchen sink. I'll get to that next year . . .

Mr.Nutcracker stood guard ...

over the yummy holiday treats my mama baked and brought out for us. Mr. Nutcracker did a terrible job guarding them, I got away with far too many, haha
 I set the canera timer and set it down on the back of the couch to catch a few impromptu candids of our family and friends at dinnertime (so that I could be in one too! (farthest to the right) It was only once I downloaded them that I noticed they were a bit blurred, I should have reset my shutter speed to freeze the action better.

Merry Christmas to all of you out there, and I wish I could have had room for every single one of you to be sitting at our table with us!
Warmest Hugs Like A Pumpkin Pie Right Out Of the Oven,


Friday, December 21, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside . . .

One of my li'l monchkins YEARS ago, all bundled up. Look at those kissable CHEEKS hey? haha  Well,  to quote a buddy of mine from facebook this morning, "what??? the world didn;t end???!  I was not expecting this. I better go do some Christmas shopping..."   Ha! 
Well,  I'm all prepped for christmas in the gifts departnent thanks to my friend and mentor BARB who so graciously gave of her time, effort and ingenious crafting skills to help me MAKE all of my gifts this year!!!

Check it out...
a delicious rosehip tea blend concocted by Barb herself!  ( you can go to her blog  HERE to see more, and I think she will be posting a DIY soon if you want any recipes or packaging how-to's)

Vanilla-scented sugar, (made with natural whole vanilla beans) for when you're feeling "fancy"!  It tastes as heavenly as it smells!  ( What? I had to try some - quality control, you know)  

(photos by Barb)

Speaking of COLD though, we didnt just sit around making sugar and tea and sweet little treats like a couple'o' suckers, OH NO, we did quite a workout too.
This is why I beleive that most people ( myself included)  NEED a workout partner - someone to keep you accountable, someone you can rely on to MOTIVATE you on the days that you just feel like skipping your 4k run in favor of a warm blanket and a book on the couch by a fire.
To add a festive "tune" we tied bells to our ankles so that we jingled along as we ran, hahaha! It was hilarious but we got smiles and waves from everyone we passed, hahaha. See how easy it is to spread chrsitmas cheer?

And I can tell ya, a good workout like THAT makes the blanket and the book and the fire that much more enjoyable afterwards!

But there is still the matter of FOOD for the holidays, so I'm headed out to pick up all the fixin's and put my name on the reserveed list for a  gi-normous turkey!
If I don't post again before Christmas, I wish each and every pair of eyes reading this a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and I'm sending you all hugs through the computer right now!
Gone like the last of the vanilla sugar in the jar on my countertop,
-J, xoxo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You Still Remember Me, Right?

Is is sad that this is the most revent photo of me? Taken back in the summertime? ACK! 
Ahhh, the joys of being a photographer, you spend all your time behind the  lens taking pics of everyone and everything else so much that ya kinda forget about actually being in any photos yourself!
Quick photo update then of the past few months ..
A backyard bonfire party with friends, that resulted in a housefull of hyped-up, happy children with sticky-marshmallow faces and exhausted parents, and a slightly scorched patch of grass in the backyard, hahaha ( it;s all mostlygrown back now, thankfully)
Ridiculously delicious pizzas made primarily by my ridiculously talented husband
Helping this lovely lady prep for her successful craft fairs. She had such beautiful gifts to sell, all original, handmade lovelies that were so thoughtful. I especially loved her paper "Mistletoe-to-Go" crafts. I hung mine from the headboard above our bed.
 Not exactly subtle, I know, but definitely effective, hahaha!
We're getting all ready for christmas, here is our son Zach with his Operation Christmas Child Shoebox gift that he put together bimself (he spent his own saved money to fill it) before sending it out  ;) Such proud parents we are!  (not proud of the pic quality though, sorry folks!)
My next challenge is to try to snap a pic of hubby and I at the gym. We both love to workout so we plan "gym dates" together ;) I love that they have a good sturdy heavy bag there for me to work my marital arts on, and my honey does bodybuilding so he's impressed with their weight room selection and is more than happy that he now has a permanent workout partner who will always be there to spot him! 
I'm also working on some homemade gift ideas in the coming weeks so I will be posting those as DIY's so y'all can get'er done like we are, hahaha!
Homemade Everything This Christmas,

Friday, October 5, 2012

What I’m most thankful for:

In light of the holidays, I decided that instead of my usual “Friday Favorites” post I decided I’d share with you What I’m most thankful for: . . .
My amazing husband I love him even more every single day . . . . 

My totally awesome kids they brighten my whole life, my li’l mama heart is bursting with love for them . . .
OUr families . . .

And our friends (we have far too many dear friends and photos of you all for me to post here, sorry.! I just found these few in a facebook album) We love you all!  . . . .

(photo above by Shelley Hunt)
Our lovely little home  . . . .

Our little town an valley oasis in the middle of the desert . . .
Holidays that bring everyone together and remind us of our many blessings in this life . . . .

I'm also espcially thankful for all of my blog followers and readers, for your comments, your encouragement and your support. My heart is forever thankful for each precious one of you!  

From our thankful hearts to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-janice, xo


4 simple goals for thanksgiving

This is a particularily special Thanksgiving to us this year, as it is our very first thanksgiving together as a newlywed couple, awwww! [insert schmoopy stuff here]. We are looking forward to creating our own personal traditions as a couple and make some lovely memories to share for years to come.
 Here's my simple goals list for this weekend:

1. learn to play squash tonight with my hubby ;)

2. work at the office tomorrow (I'm working in lieu of a day off that I'm taking NEXT week for a road trip!)

3. find a special way to show my family and friends how thankful I am for them in my life :)

4. make a delicious turkey dinner with my husband and enjoy the yu7mmy leftovers in the weeks to come!

What's on your list for the weekend? What kind of Thanksgiving traditions do you have?

P.S. I will post a recipe for my homemade turkey soup too! I make it all from scratch, stock and all!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful thanksgiving weekend being thankful for all the wonderful blessings in your life! 

Turkeys with extra stuffing, pleaseandthankyou!

- J  xo.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I recently joined Pinterest due to the peer pressure  insistance of many of my friends and I have to confess: I don't really "get" what all the hype is about. Which leads me to conclude that I must be "doing it wrong".  Oh well, maybe one day I'll take the time to actually navigate the site and have some kind of an awakening revelation to the Pinterest world, who knows. I have yet to pin my own work on the site as well. Thankfully, Artist Rising already has some of my work for sale,. so I''m content that while I learn how to pin properly, haha.

Other random confessions this week:

 -  I got sick and tired of my cellphone service provider overcharging me on every bill , so  I cancelled my contract with them. I've been cellphone free for about 2.5 weeks now, and I haven't even missed it all that much!  I KNOW!!! [Who'da thunk it?]

 - The only thing I DON"T like about my fave fall season is the inevitable disappearing act of all of these:

The richness of the turning leaves  - the stunning golds, rich ambers and brilliant reds don't last nearly long enough for me, Everything always seems so dreary once the grasses and flowers and leaves start to shrivel and turn a dull shade of brown.... until the snow covers like a perfect glistening canvas for illuminating christmas lights.  Then our lovely little town looks almost magical ;)

 - Yes, that was me belting out christmas carols in my car the other day. Don't judge me! I have already imagined our house all decorated for christmas in my head . . . .

 - I want to redecorate my studio/workspace area in these lovely colors

 Last confession for today:

  - My baby portrait session I photographed last night went so well!  Despite the precious little one's teething pains she gave us some beautiful still-toothless-for-the-moment-grins, and I think I can say with confidence it was some of my best work to date. As soon as her parents choose the photos they want and sign the release I will post them here ;)

Shamelessly belting christmas tunes and still in need of pinterest lessons,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Candy Apple Autumn

This was our dessert last night! So yummy!   I will post the recipe under the "foodie" tab for anyone who wants it.
Yesterday was a home day for me, which is rare these days. I was actually kind of forced into it because I had somehow driven over a nail and popped my front drivers side tire, so my poor "Thumper" ( my aptly-named car) is hobbling along on a doughnut tire until I can get a new one, and I have to limit my driving severely.
All in all it was a productive day though, my oldest son helped with trimming the hedges and raking as I mowed the lawn.
Then once the kids were in bed for the night , my husband and I sat down with our laptops, working quietly away, and I was finally able to finish an editing project that was on my mind for some time.
They were some vintage-era inspired photos for a friend of mine, Lou Lou.
Check 'em out:

I had a ton of fun doing that shoot, she has a larger-than-life personality and she is such a character - love it! 

The rest of my weekend is back to busy again, but it includes a baby portrait session so I'm looking forward to that ;)
Candy apples and vintage dresses,