Sweet as sugar

We had such a nice weekend that as always it's hard to face Monday has come yet again. At least it's the beginning of a new month and the closer we get to spring the longer that daylight sticks around. I'll totally take it.

I had a super productive (for once) weekend and aside from all the boring non blog worthy stuff - laundry, cleaned the garage, sorted clothes for goodwill - we had some other fun stuff sprinkled in there as well.

Saturday I had a mini photoshoot early in the morning and then I got to spend the rest of the day doing whatever. David went out with a friend and I had the whole house (and television!) to myself. I was in the zone! I gave these cookies another try and did much better on the icing (skipping the whole stamping part). It was still a little too thick but I didn't want to risk making it too watery.


Little lady definitely approved and I don't even want to admit to how many I ate yesterday. Shameful.

I also crafted some felt flowers for a friend and made some new headbands for P. I honestly don't even know why I try! I don't think it stayed on her head for all of 10 seconds. Oh well, it's cute, here is to hoping she will want to wear them one day again.

I am excited for a new month we have some fun things in the works. A trip to Tahoe with friends and planning our "before two" trip to Maui. Also known as the last time we won't have to pay for Presley's seat on a plane. Sob.

Go big or go home right?

Happy February <3

12

FriYAY

Does anyone else feel like Friday took an eternity to get here? Well it's here and our weekend predicts nothing but a lot of rain. Which is good because my dry state needs it so bad but it also means a smidgen of cabin fever. (I know I should just shut it since rain is a walk in the park compared to snow).

I have a short photoshoot on Saturday morning but then I have the rest of the weekend free. I am going to give this recipe another try. The cookie portion actually was delicious I just botched the royal icing. Basically I just want another excuse to eat raw dough :) At some point on Sunday I am sure I'll wander into a mall, you know, to escape the bad weather and all.

Have a great weekend!

5

Remind Me

clip // jacket (similar)

Remind me of this face

When goldfish are being smashed on the floor
When she is frustrated because she doesn't have a vocabulary yet
When she screams during a diaper change

Remind me.

Of this face
These lips
This "give mama a kiss" expression

Remind me

When she refuses to eat her dinner
When she doesn't give a rat's ass about the word no
When she fights bedtime

Remind me.

One day my house will be clean
There will be no more diapers to change
Bathtubs will be void of toys

And all I'll have is memories


15

Loving Lately

You know that feeling when you just want all the things? I am currently experiencing it and attempting to tell it to shut the heck up. Last time I checked we didn't win the powerball so these lusts need to get under control. However there is (as always, per usual) so much stuff I am lovin' lately. So let's put it here instead of a virtual shopping cart.

Ashton Wedge Ankle Bootie
I'm in dire need of new black booties because my Target ones just aren't cutting it anymore. I like the rubber sole on these and think 3.5" high is just the right height.

You know I obsess over anything floral and this one fits the bill in both colors. I have this sitting on my Nordstrom wish list waiting for it to go on sale. 
I have a slight problem with crib sheets. I like to have a lot of options when it comes to deciding which one I am going to put on P's bed. This latest pattern by Lou Lou Handmade has me all heart eyed emoji!

Love this shirt because I think it would be great for work but I could also wear it out and still feel trendy. Like the model I think this would pair well with shorts too!

These are my absolute favorite pair of jeans. I own two pairs and that's because I have stuck my foot through the holes twice and ripped open the holes too big. (I know #idiot) I am so tempted to purchase a third pair - is that nutty? They are that amazing.

Happy Shopping!

10

Mini Style




It's no secret that my daughter's wardrobe is way cuter and more on trend than my own. I mean on her a love graphic tee would be adorable, on me it would look more like L      O        V         E. Ya feel me? So I will continue to look like a pauper while she looks anything but. 

Clearly I am already envisioning warmer weather but in reality I just want more daylight at the end of the day. Can I get an amen to that and some blackout curtains? Yes please. 

Have an awesome weekend!

 
9

Rifle Paper Co. Inspired Hand Painted Globe

I am so excited to share this little labor of love with you all. I had always wanted one of those adorable hand painted globes I saw at Anthropologie last year. But the price tag was woof and I mentally pinned it in my mind to try and recreate. Although globes are easy to come by I was on the hunt for one that had a stand I really liked. So when I spotted this little lady at Home Goods for $7.99 I was sold.
This is a before of the globe. It was just a simple sphere covered in a paper map. I considered peeling the map off but didn't want to worry about texture issues. So I just decided to paint over it.
I already had paints on hand from P's floral first birthday, so that is what I used for this project. First was painting the globe a light blue. I did two coats and let it dry overnight then I started on the flowers. Using my favorite Rifle Paper Co. flowers as inspiration along the way.
I must have painted over the quote I wrote ten separate times. At first I wasn't happy with the quote and then once I decided on a quote I wasn't happy with my handwriting! A friend of mine, Julia, pointed me towards the quote I ended up using. "Everywhere you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

There is so much I love about this saying, especially at this point in my life. I feel like it takes us so long to figure out the things that make us happy. So I hope that whatever my daughter decides to do or pursue she always does it all in, heart fully invested. Follow your heart but bring your head was a close runner up ha!
I used a regular gold sharpie (although in hindsight a paint pen would have been easier) and then I took a gold jellyroll pen and wrote over it. Like I said it took about 10 times before I was happy with the way it looked! Luckily I could just paint over it if it didn't look good! I wish I was a calligrapher because I can only image how cool that would look but my penmanship will have to do.
So there you have it! I am tempted to add one more section of flowers closer to the quote and spray the metal part gold. For now though that will do!
27

How to childproof your iPhone

I remember telling myself when P was little that I was going to hand her the phone as little as humanly possible. For one she is a baby so really she needs face time of the real variety as opposed to the Steve Jobs inspired variety. While I knew that we wouldn't be able to keep her away from all the apple loving items of the world for long I also knew at some point I would be desperate.

Because let's face it, if playing an app of preschool variety on my iPhone saves me from an all out temper tantrum inside of Target. So be it. Mom's happy, baby is happy and so is everyone else in the store.

When a friend told me that I could basically disable my touchscreen so P couldn't leave an app I sat and stared at her bug eyed and tongue out. If your children are anything like my child, well she likes to talk to Siri. A lot. Then when she doesn't want to talk to Siri anymore she gets pissed. A pissed baby with a $700+ iPhone is not a good thing.

Here is how to childproof your phone.

Under settings on your iPhone scroll down to General and then to Accessibility.
Once there scroll down almost all the way to the bottom. You will find a section called learning and underneath it will say Guided Access.
Swipe that bad boy on. From here enable Guided Access and as you can see from the screenshot below it will not let you leave an app without a password. You just triple click the home button three times and it starts Guided Access. I can even choose a part of the screen to disable (which is great when FaceTiming Grandma!) If I put on Bubble Guppies and she wants to talk to Siri. Guess what? Siri doesn't want to talk to you.

If I was a guessing woman I would think a parent is behind this idea! It's brilliant and why didn't' I know about it sooner!?

Want another iPhone tip? Check out Steph's post on how to save precious data.

10

Old, new, borrowed and blue

It's true that I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of neat companies because of this blog. However when I got an email from Melina at Petite Marin in my inbox I was pretty excited. Not only to have the chance to create an incredibly sentimental item. But also to be a cheerleader for a local company and one that I think is going to be doing big things.

First a little about Petite Marin
Petite Marin is a children’s line co-founded by two friends from Marin County, inspired to bring positive change to the textile industry with environmentally friendly practices and heritage craftsmanship. Petite Marin merges vintage fabrics with playful patterns to create unique, one of a kind pieces. The collection consists of classic basics that are each hand sewn by a family run sew shop.
To create your own custom children's garment; simply select your product and mail us a special button-down shirt (dress, flannel or military). Your shirt will be carefully transformed into the garment of your choice, a treasured gift passed from one generation to the next, with love.
Now I wish this shirt had some sweet sentimental value behind it - truly I do. My husband was not willing to let me use the shirt he wore in our wedding (apparently he was sentimental towards it!) So this was the shirt he was willing to part with.
It was a win/win because I always thought the shirt was hideous but in dress form it's magnificent! Even though the shirt had no sentimental value before I sent it to Petite Marin, it certainly does now. It's daddy shirt and I hope that P will be able to pass it along to her own daughter one day.
I cannot say enough good things about this dress. It was a perfect fit and the quality was superb. Plus it's handmade right here in California. Love that! It would make such a great outfit for any special occasion. I couldn't help but envision what a special dress this could also be for a mama. Maybe a mama who had lost someone special in their life - what a sweet way to keep a piece of them close to heart.

Petite Marin also caters to boys with their sweet line of hats and rompers.

Do you have a special shirt you would repurpose?

Check out Petite Marin!


10

Happy Birthday Finn

Most people have known someone or have something in their life they cannot live without. It ranges from the ordinary to the irreplaceable but ask most people what they can't live without and they can usually come up with an answer fairly quickly. I'm lucky enough to consider a lot of things in my life that I cannot live without.

However there is one irreplaceable thing I cannot live without and the sad truth of the matter is - one day I will have to. If life is good to me I will outlive him by many many years. So for every year he grows older we will celebrate him and cherish him.

Our dog, Finn.

If you have a dog it's easy to know they make a certain fold in your family that can never be undone. The loyalty, the companionship, the hair -- it all seems to never go away. He is more than "just a dog" (who ever came up with that saying clearly never had a dog) he is family. He could never fully understand how much of my heart is wrapped up into his. How he has sheltered and protected my own many times over.

One of my absolute favorite sayings about a pet dog is this - no matter how long they live it is never long enough.

Happy 6th Birthday to my heart of gold rescue. You are irreplaceable in every way possible.



16

You have a DSLR...Now what?

In 2013 I was gifted my DSLR for my birthday. It was shiny, new and CONFUSING. I was intimidated by all the bells and whistles and didn't find myself reaching for it as often as I should have. Fast forward nine months when I received Adobe Lightroom for Christmas and I realized it was time to learn.

I want to start this by saying I am still learning my camera (please let's hope that never stops) but these are just some tips that I feel have helped me along the way. Two years after receiving my camera I finally had the courage to embark on my own photography business so I hope if anything, I can pass along a little "you can do this" attitude.

First - take that camera out of AUTO! Sure your DSLR is an upgrade from a point and shoot. It naturally will take better photos. But I promise you that while your camera is smart, you are smarter. I tried to shoot in manual so many times and the pictures would be 100% black. I seriously had no idea what I was doing. So I bought myself a book and began watching YouTube videos on how to master it. These guys are some of my favorites.

There are three fundamental things you need to know to understand picture taking. I am going to give a super brief non technical explanation on all three - there are plenty of better more savvy explanations out there. Google your heart out.

Aperture / ISO / Shutter Speed 

Aperture is how open or closed your lens is. The smaller your aperture (also referred to as f stop), the larger the opening of the lens. Thus allowing more light into your photo and creating that blurred background we all love. The smaller the f-stop the more in focus your subject is and the more out of focus your background. Works well for portrait photography. The larger the f-stop the more in focus things will be, think group photos and landscapes.

50mm lens 1.8 1/250 1600
low light required me to crank the ISO
ISO

ISO is the sensor for light on your camera. The lower the ISO number (100, 200) the less sensitive it is to light. The higher the ISO number the more sensitive it is to light. So in a total simplified explanation think of it like this. When you are outside taking photos on a sunny day your ISO should stay relatively low. There is an abundance of natural light so you don't need to make your camera more sensitive to it. As you begin to lose daylight or head indoors you need to increase the ISO. The higher your ISO the more digital noise you add to your photos - basically they start to look grainy. General rule of thumb is try and keep your ISO low as possible.

50mm lens 1.8 1/125 800
(indoor photo with window as light source)

Shutter Speed

This is how long your shutter stays open to allow in light. A slower shutter speed (1/60) will allow in more light than say (1/125). However you have to keep in mind your subject. If your shooting something that is not moving like food you can probably go as slow as 1/60 (in my opinion anything under 1/60 you should use a tripod to avoid camera shake - and to make it more confusing different rules apply to different lenses.) For anything moving you need to use a faster shutter speed. Faster shutter speed equates to less light so you need to adjust your aperture or ISO to balance for this. 

The trick to all of this is that aperture, ISO and shutter speed all work together. In order to understand how they work together it's imperative to understand how they work separately. 

I also bought this book when I first got my camera and it helped to understand when to increase one value over the other, more importantly it told the why.

Another important aspect is white balance. A lot of cameras shoot in AWB (auto white balance) which I feel in general gets it pretty close. However it's guessing and why guess when you know since you're taking the photo. Familiarize yourself with how to get it right from the beginning to cut down on editing post production. Here is an example of bad white balance - please don't pay attention to any other details the photo was in my "I don't know what I am doing" stage.



See how the image on the left is way too cool (kelvin wise)? On your camera you can select your white balance (or completely customize it) but it has icons to give you a suggestion. Sunny, shady, tungsten (indoors), flash etc. Play around with it and you will get the hang of it. This is also relatively easy to fix in editing software. There are great tips and tricks HERE.

My biggest piece of advice is to practice, practice, practice. Every time I pick up my camera I learn a little more about it. I would suggest upgrading your kit lens to a "nifty fifty" which is a small investment to make on a lens. Most lenses will cost you hundreds but this is a good one to get if you only ever buy one. Nikon version here

Some other things I have learned along the way:

Discover your style and remain consistent.

Keep reading/watching/learning on ways to improve your photography - don't let it intimidate you!

Find other people whose photos you love and learn from them, I reach out to people for advice and questions all the time. Don't be shy, more often than not people are happy to help.

Most importantly HAVE FUN (gosh I am such a mom) but seriously, it's fun so have fun with it!

If you have a question I am happy to (try) and answer it!

Happy picture shooting!








19

Germ City

Keeping it short and sweet. My little P has been under the weather since Tuesday with a possible bout of Norovirus (no we did not eat at Chipotle). Fuuuuun stuff around here I tell ya! Hope you all have a great weekend and remember always wash your hands!

(Please keep your fingers crossed we don't get this highly contagious bug!!)

Because let's be real -- no one wants to use a sick day for an actual sick day.


Happy Friday!

12

The problem with babies

It's starting to hit me much earlier than I expected it to. The missing of the smells, cuddles, the newness. It has only been a little over 16 months from the first baby and yet here I am again wanting, wishing, dreaming of our next little one.

At times I want to yell at myself to enjoy this moment right now. That going from one to two children is a game changer. Not to mention more expensive, more time consuming, more energy. Two children in diapers seems daunting not to mention tiring. Did I mention I am still tired from the first one?

I am trying to keep the desire still, tell it "not now". But I can't seem to shake it and as the months tick by it has only gotten louder. The soft wavelike movements, the swell of my belly, the anticipation of labor. Who will he or she be? What will he or she dream?

This baby is nothing but a thought and yet I think about you as if you are already here. I can imagine rocking you as I did with your sister all those nights when it was just us. Alone together in a dark room, dad was the only one sleeping like a baby and it was just her and me staring at one another trying to figure it all out. We still stare and we are still trying to figure it all out.

The problem with babies as we all know is that babies don't keep. God willing, they grow, they become independent and you hope that when they leave your nest you have raised them to be confident and caring individuals. While I know this day is far away with my firstborn I am also acutely aware of how fast that day will come. Don't blink.

I am trying to shush the yearning. To enjoy these months with my rapidly growing toddler. Mostly because I know that the yearning will never really subside. While my husband and I are both children of families of five, we only wish to be a family of four. So this next hypothetical baby, is also my last baby.

l a s t  b a b y

This baby - who is nothing more than a thought - I am already thinking of him/her in terms of last. Last pregnancy, last birth, last first foods, last first steps. How ridiculous is that? You're not even here and I am already worried about time vanishing in front of me.

I'm not ready to have another baby - but that's partially in fear because I am not ready to say we're done having babies.

So today I will whole heartedly embrace my daughter and continue to dream of who you will be.

One day.




12

JORD wood watch review

When it comes to picking out gifts for men, especially my husband, I always struggle. I love him dearly but part of our connection together is that we like so many different things. Tools and camping gear are not my knowledge base at all. If I am being honest, half the stuff I buy him he usually returns. Don't even get me started on the kayak I bought him that he resold on Craigslist!

So when I was contacted by Jord to review one of their watches I knew just the man that would be a perfect recipient. David is extremely handy and knows how to wield a jigsaw so when I saw that these watches were completely made out of wood, well I knew my wife stock was about to go way up.
This watch has so many neat features one of which is that it is self winding and you can completely see all the insides from the back of the watch. Honestly as soon as I saw him put it on I was kind of bummed I didn't select one for myself instead!

David chose the Dover style crafted from koa wood - which immediately reminded us both of our honeymoon in Kauai where koa is a pretty coveted item. It's a sleek watch and contrary to what I initially thought, that it would be heavy, it's actually very lightweight.
There are a lot of reasons to love this watch but for me especially it fits so well with my husband and his personality. Not to mention it catches everyones's attention and is almost always followed with "that's made out of wood?!"
So if you have a man in your life that loves being unique, is a handy man or is a trendy man. These watches truly fit a lot of different personalities. Also wouldn't it make for the best 5th anniversary gift which is wood?! 
PS. Men can't have all the fun - the women's line is equally as neat!

Watch Gift Ideas

This watch was provided to me in exchange for a review. Always and forever the thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 
7

Remember

Happy New Year! Its been so nice taking time off with my family these past 10 days. I have never taken time off between Christmas and New Years before and now I think I have to every year! Things have been low key around here. I have basically been watching countless YouTube videos on how to improve my photography, attempting to get P to eat more than Mac & Cheese and an absurd amount of snuggles with Finn.

I have a shoot this month of 14 babies going after a smash cake - I am excited and slightly nervous! Indoor lighting is not my strong suit - particularly when the sun is high in the afternoon sky - aka right when this party happens. However after talking with one of the moms, who said "we want to support other moms" when I told her I was newbie. Just reaffirmed that hey I can do this.

Which brings me to my word of 2016. I know a lot of other bloggers pick a word that they want to represent the new year. This is my first time participating but I think I have a good one. It came to me rather easily and if you haven't selected your word yet - I encourage you to share mine.

My word is remember.

And I know -- it's a slightly strange word to choose but hear me out.

When I am doubting my skills as a mom, photographer, wife, daughter, sister etc.

Remember

that I am doing my best, trying my hardest and always pushing myself. To try new things, to have more patience, to be better each day than I was the day before.

Remember a year ago it was my first day back at work after having P, I didn't know how I was going to do it. But I did and I still am - and surprise! We are doing great!

Remember when I had my first clients and the shoot went downhill fast. Well that was a learning experience and each time I meet with someone I need to remember. I am good at this, people like my work - so be kinder to myself!

Remember how sometimes you feel a tinge of guilt when you're so busy wearing all your hats, the wife one, sort of falls to the side? That's when I tell myself to remember I have a husband that loves and supports me. Even if he occasionally rolls his eyes at me. In this house I am never too busy for hugs.

Remember when you feel guilty that you are a working mama? Or maybe you feel guilty you're not working. Whatever it is. Remember your baby is happy and loved. No arguments there.

In every moment of self doubt, remember. You got this!





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