20 February 2015

I've Moved!

Dear Beautiful Fans,

I am changing venues and will be working under a brand new domain. 

Come on over, browse the lovely images, and book your unique lifestyle session with me.

I promise I will still add some recipes and design posts too.

Thank you for the journey over here at blogger and I hope to see you as the adventure continues!



19 January 2015

CY365 12 January - 18

CY365 12/365 Frost/Ice/Chill

Bourbon on the rocks; warms you up on a chilly night.

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” 
― Mark Twain

CY365 13/365 Pop of Color

Is there anything more bold, more sensual, and more classic than red lipstick? Next to pearls, it is my absolute favorite accessory

CY365 13: Be Positive

I have a love affair with coffee. It's my beginning of my day, my pick me up, and my escape. There is always a story to be shared with a cup of coffee and even in the darkest of roasts, there is always a subtle sweetness that emerges through.

CY365 15: First Taste

Prepping dinner for tonight. First time making and trying Spaghetti Squash.

CY365 16: Snowflake

No snow here in 60 degree Texas today. Thankfully I picked up some of these snowflake pieces that fell off of my MIL's outdoor Christmas decor. My little man was kind enough to take 5 minutes from his playtime so he could pose for me :)
17/365 Off Prompt as I was out all day and left my camera at home. We decided to enjoy the beautiful and unseasonable weather at a local park and I nearly kicked myself for forgetting it when there was the most amazing lighting and a plethora of trees and trails. Snapped a few with my iPhone but just can't capture it like I can with my trusty Canon 60D. So no powder or DSLR but enjoyed the challenge (and scenery) never the less.

18/365: Balance

My dog Kona is as sweet and as spoiled as can be. Her favorite napping place when we are running around the house going about our day is perched on the back of the couch. A safe spot from little hands but a good vantage point to keep an eye on the rest of the household in between zzz's. I am fairly certain her Beagle/King Charles Cavalier mix has a dose of cat in there as well.

11 January 2015


#CY365 11/365 White
Pearls adorned with my wedding dress. The pearls were an anniversary present and always a favorite accessory.
"Pearls are always appropriate"- Jackie O

This also won the CY365 Photo of the Day!  It is such an honor as there are so many talented photographers on this site.  It has been fun learning and sharing with them.  

10 January 2015


CY365 10/365 Habit

My IPhone and FB. I am a mindless scroller. I check my FB or email multiple times a day for no particular reason. My husband actually mentioned today as I'm getting ready and taking a peak at FB land on my phone "I see why it takes you so long to get ready". I would be so efficient if I could just part with this thing.

09 January 2015


CY365 9/365 Multifaceted

I love the simplicity, weightlessness, and dimensions of this sculpture. I was drawn to it immediately have have it placed in my favorite room in my house

08 January 2015

Solitude: Coffee Break

Solitude.  A necessity in life but sometimes only a luxury of a Stay at Home Parent.  This was also the prompt of my CY365 daily photo challenge.

On most days this would have been a problem as it was a non school day meaning both kids home. But on that day, I woke up and knew exactly what I was going to do.  My wonderful MIL watches my kids most Wednesdays so that I can have Mommy Time (or work time, or catch up time, or errand time, etc).  This was the first Wednesday being back from Winter Break and I thought I would take the opportunity to go see The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1.  A movie by myself midweek in an empty theater sounded life heaven, the perfect solitude I was looking for.  I got dressed, had the kids ready to go, and then realized I forgot to call my MIL to confirm today (it had been a couple of weeks after all).  I called the house, no answer.  My Father In Law sometimes works from home and ties up the line (did I just say that in 2015) so I called his cell.  Held my breath, he answered and I could tell he was in the car, and my dreams were crushed when I learned they were on their way to an appointment.  Why did I not think to call the day before?!  I was bummed.  Kids were dressed and by a miracle ready to head out the door at the exact time I wanted no yelling involved, and I was wearing something other than my classic leggings and tunic sweatshirt ensemble.

Emma, on cue started to get cranky and Jude was anxious to see his Mima.  Put the little one to bed, read some stories to Jude, and he even read some sentences to me.  I went downstairs to drown my sorrows in a cup of coffee.  It was then I realized that aside from a bathroom break, this is my way to escape when I'm home with my kids.  Coffee.  Sweet wonderful elixir that gets my day started and again gets me over the hump before it is deemed appropriate to indulge in a glass of vino.

After a week of this photo challenge which purpose is to help stir up some creativity, I imagined how I could incorporate this sweet escape in a way a parent of young kids could relate.  Hence, this image was born.

Now, I usually do a reveal at the END of the post but I had some interest so I wanted to show you how I came about this.

First of all, I'm a Photographer not a "Photoshopographer".  Photoshop is what I use to fix a blemish, turn it b&w, or to bring life back into my photos as sometimes digital images run flat.  I see some amazing work with filters and dreamy effects which I might play with throughout the project but for now, I like to stay as true to SOOC as much as possible.

I tried to do this the old fashioned way with a super slow shutter speed and a tripod.  I told my son to jump off the couch and hoped his sister would follow him around.  Unfortunately this is what happened.
f/25 1.6sec ISO 100

Two things wrong:
1. It didn't have the wow effect I was looking for.  A bit of a blur but not much more.
2. It is REALLY hard to stay completely still while your child is jumping around you and then for some reason POKING you in the eye after you've had your eyes closed for a bit.

After multiple attempts, he was done and Emma was hungry.

We switched gears and I began to think of how to get the effect I wanted.  I realized I might have to learn, or relearn, a new action in PS.  So, how did I solve this issue.  Simple: A Composite image.

I ended up taking these 6 images.

Starting with me solo on the couch
F13 1/10sec ISO640*
*I was having issues getting a fast enough shutter speed and narrow aperture so without over pixilating my picture and using a super high ISO (although higher than I wanted), I opted to hold my breath for a bit without kids jumping on me

Then I narrowed my aperture even more to F25 2.5sec ISO 100

I opened up these 6 images in Photoshop and started with the image of me solo as the background. One at a time, I placed one of the other images above my background image, added a mask, and revealed the portion of the picture I wanted to show. Repeated until I used all of the images I wanted.

No clue what I'm saying. Well, I'm not a teacher but this link explains it beautifully.  Totally ironic that she is on the couch as well.

So there you go.  A day that might have not been all to myself ended up being a great spark in a new photo challenge and a fun project to do with my kids.  It was an escape into a creative side I've so desperately needed, and I got to enjoy it all with a hot cup of coffee.

My Gear

CY365 08/365 

I took a "What's in your Bag" approach to today's prompt. Natural lighting wasn't ideal but I did come home from an amazing day to myself. Wanted to be credible for the project so this was a quick shot.