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,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adventures in Blog-land

The fact that this post is happening on a weeknight is a small miracle in itself, but given that I am typing this from my dearest friend and mentor Barb's  basement, as she teaches me all sorts of new blog tips is SUPER EXCITING to me.

 Barb's task isn't an easy one, she has to reign me in and pull my dreamer head outta the clouds -

 -  long enough to teach me how to effectively link and network with other blog sites - in particular we are "focusing" on photography sites ;)

Sorry.   It was right there.    I had to.

The first site we visited was kevin & amanda . I particularly liked this post here about her fave camera strap.  I've been looking for a hassle-free way to haul around my camera(s) for years! Every strap I've ever had was stupidly annoying. Either it was too thin and dug uncomfortably into my shoulder after just a few hours, or it was heavily padded and slip off my shoulder every time I'd lift the camera to frame a shot.  None would rest properly at my side, and my poor camera would flail out awkwardly with each step. I was constantly in fear my lens would get bumped too hard and do one of two things: crack the lens, or the poor weight distribution caused by the awkward angle the camera hung at would cause the entire lens to pull away from the body and destroy both the lens and the body.  I'm so thankful to have finally been pointed in the right direction. (she had me at the point she mentioned  "cupcake" - don't judge me)  I have a feeling I can learn alot of handy tips from this site, and it's always nice to find other fellow cupcake-lovers blogger-photographers like me. (I know, priorities, right?)

 The next site was pioneer woman  This lady blows my mind with her constant creative inspiration. I have yet to find something she can't do.

On the more serious side, we visited ilovephotography, which had some phenomenal , inspiring shots as well.

I'm off to post comments on these and others' blogs who catch my interest, and get a running start to the world of networking opportunities!

Hope your day is inspiring and a little bit magical!

Hunting for good photo blog sites (and maybe a cupcake)


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favorites are back, baby!

This week has been, in the words of my fellow blogger Elsie Larson  a very "un-photogenic week" haha.  I don't think i picked up my camera even once!  Now before that news gives you a stroke,  I will tell you that it's only friday (week's not over yet".. Actually, it's pretty well done. Nevermind ;)

This was a busy week for us  with the kids in school, their taekwondo classes, my business meetings, a wedding rehearsal dinner ( my husband is officiating a wedding today and the bride invited us all to attend the rehearsal dinner last night at Walnut Beach Resort - which is the same place my husband and I got married ourselves in May!)  so that was alot of fun ( and really yummy) .  Tonight is Date NIght so I'm going to make this post a quickie, hahaha ;)  Only 2 faves this week that really stand out

Favorite   - been watching Season 7 of this show ( and YES, I'm quite aware that we're a season behind, thankyouverymuch  NO spoilers please! ;)   It makes me laugh SO hard. ( You know when you're laughing so hard that no sound comes out and you just winding up silently clapping your hands together like a seal? ya, that's me)
 Favorite - My next new haircolor??   
I'm currently obsessed with rich dark shades of brown for autumn again, (think Rachel Weisz aka. "Mrs. 007" or Angelina Jolie back in her "Lara Croft: TombRaider" days) . Plus, I liked the contrast between my green eyes and the deep, cool-hued browns  It's been awhile since I had my hair this dark, so I'm gonna have to make sure that I don't let myself get too pale this winter or I'll wind up looking like  Kristen Stewart's Twilight character  . And let's face it, nobody wants that!
My weekend to-do list is to enjoy our Date Night tonight, try to get some canning done ( peaches & pears), stain the patched-up part of my coffee table leg,   My self-comissioned photo challenge is to try to snap a few photos of my camera-shy husband I together (which is alot easier said than done!) 
In better-than-paparazzi-stealth mode,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

100th POST!!! (brought to you by "Think Pink" TicTacs)

  This photo, and this post really, are actually to turn your attention to my friend Barb's blog today, which you can get to HERE to read a very inspiring, and important subject she posted this morning.
 I "m sure we all have been touched in some way by breast cancer, and while it's not such a fun subject to bring up, it's relevant in the day and and we live in, it impacts everyone in our world, no matter who you are or where you come from.
So with that in mind, please do m ea favor adn hop on over to her blog page and show your support?
Thank you all so much and I hope you remember to "think pink" today!
This post marked my 100th Post milestone. Funny, cause I had built myself up to this moment for so long that I really didn't know what I would write about for it.  (#toomuchpressure!)  Then I read my friend's blog and PERFECT - that's  what I'll post about. Milestones are great and all, and celebrating them can be fun (cupcakes!)  but I think this milestone post was MUCH better used as a reminder that in life , along with milestones  come obstacles and difficulties  - and cancer is a devastating one that leaves in it's wake a ripple effect of pain and destruction. The more we can do to aid in finding a cure the better right? Please hop on over to this blog site now and do what you can to keep hope alive in th elives of those touched by cancer today. CLICK HERE
100 Posts and Pink Tic Tacs,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Ninety-Nine Blog Posts Later" or "I Can't Beleive I'm Still Writing ...."

Right from the very first blog post I ever wrote, I knew I'd fallen in love with it  - hard. I had finally found a creative little hub of my very own, a quiet little corner of cyberspace that I could stretch out in and give my"dreamer" side a chance to grow a little.  

That was back in November of 2010, a very hard month, year, time for me, and I found sharing my heart amidst my pain with the hope of reaching others who were hurting to encourage them would somehow help to heal not only other's pain but somehow my own as well. Time of course is necessary for healing but I felt truly blessed at the opportunity to encourage others with my words, and I felt the healing process already beginning. The dawn of a new day.

Well, 99 blog posts later I find myself staring at the screen in awe, wondering how on earth so much could have changed in only 2 years? It feels like a lifetime ago, and I think it's because my life now hardly even resembles anything close to what it looked like back then. So many big changes!

The first change was that I began an online course through the New York Institute of Photography, which was a promise I had made to myself and I finally made myself take the time to make this investment. As a single mama who already worked a full time job I had my reservations but I made myself step out and accept the challenge and I'm so glad that I did. While I am still slowly plugging away at it ( life alway seems to get in the way, haha) I have to say that the course material and textbooks have proved to be invaluable tools and I have already learned alot!
The second change being that I met my friends Kendall and Neil. Kendall got hired at my office to do the bookkkeeping/accounting and we became friends quickly. When we discovered a shared passion for martial arts ( we both did taekwondo and she was already a 2nd degree black belt)  I offered to help her open her own martial arts school and therein became her business partner and co-owner of our town's very first taekowndo gym, and corporation Outlast Taekwondo Ltd. (you can check out our  taekwondo blog HERE)
The third and biggest change was of course meeting the man of my dreams. We met and married within only 6 months' time and I have never been so happy.  Since the day he came into my life I have felt as if I'm floating on cloud nine and yet securely grounded - all at the same time.  He's amazing and he inspires me daily. He is a man of integrity, 100% the Real Deal.  I love so many things about him that I could list at least 99 of them righr here and now. However I'm writing this post at 12:34 a.m. and I've nearly fallen asleep 98 times so based on my current narcaleptic progress rate  it would take too long.  I will say though that I feel incredibly blessed to have caught the eye of someone so authentic, smart and  kind,   He is  talented, fun, motivated, generous, determined, fearless, logical, quirky, responsible, dedicated, reliable, bold and charismatic and always true to himself. I love being around him and I am beyond excited to share the rest of my life wirh him.

There have been a great many smaller cbanges as well, which have all added up and snowballed into these three "hum-dingers" as I like to call them, and all of these combined have made for a sigificant change in my life. As always, all credit goes to my Lord God and true Savior, without Whom I would be SERIOUSLY lost and undoubtely headed down a very destructive path.  He saved me from myself, to be sure and brought me instead to a place of healing.
In only 2 short years, my life has radically changed so much. There have been so many ups and downs and twists and turns to get me to this place I'm at now and I thank God for every good thing in it ;)
Thank you for letting me share, thank you for letting me encourage you.  I hope this next year will allow me even more opportunities to encourage and inspire you all. I hope to fill each and every one of your hearts with words of love and plant a seed of hope that will grow strong
love, -J

P.S. Just to leave you with a smile on your face and a sweet dream in your heart ;)


Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Week In Photos

As described, our week in photos.   I am embarrassed  to admit that I have recently caved into the pressure of all the iphone users out there. I'm looking into one for myself. I have to thank all the cool features of Instagram for tipping the scales for me hahaha.  My "days/weekends in photos" posts  could start to get real interesting real soon!  (and my poor husband thought I was already too snap happy before . . .hahaha! ) 
In the meantime, here's how our week went:
here's the Before

and then primed, with the first coat of paint on (most of) the walls, haha

Then with the accent color...

Then, a baby shower,

the tiny guest of honor, Theosha-Rae ;)

I never did get enough time (or supplies) needed for my cupcake tree the way I intended it to look, (its just on a traditional cupcake tiered 'tree') but my ever-creative friend Barb made a fantastic suggestion while she was here for the baby shower, and it only required using something I already had in my house! SO EXCITED TO TRY IT! If I get a chance this weekend.I will try it out and take a few pics!) pumpkin cupcakes anyone?

Editing these pics of this lovely lady....

And now as we head into the long weekend (without kids) it's time for my Mr,. and I to spend some quality time together before the onslaught of schedules in our daily life threatens our sanity, hahaha!

Happy September 1st! 
Pumpkin Spice Latte's for everyone,