Archive for February, 2011

Free MiaBella Template

February 22nd, 2011 , Posted in MiaBella Phtoshop Products

I just added this free scalloped card template to my MiaBella Boutique’s fanpage on Facebook. All you have to do to get your copy is click on the link below and follow the instructions. I hope you enjoy the template!

All of the text is editable…I just showed the card being used as a Spring Fling invitation. 🙂

feeding the birds

February 21st, 2011 , Posted in Bella, my family, Personal

Bella received this bird feeder kit from her aunt for Christmas and loved putting it together. She’s such an animal lover and this was the perfect gift for her age.

best chalkboard message ever

February 18th, 2011 , Posted in Bella, Personal

I melted when I found this on our chalkboard wall.

Lilly found her voice

February 17th, 2011 , Posted in Lilly, Personal

Over the last few weeks, Lilly has gone from soft coos to all kinds of screeches, giggles, screams, babbles, squeals, etc. I love it! She is fitting right in with my noisy crew and is certainly holding her own.

Here she is getting warmed up!

Photographers-would you like a chance to win Whimsy?

February 10th, 2011 , Posted in MiaBella Phtoshop Products

Like my MiaBella Boutique fanpage on facebook and when you comment on and share the Whimsy Album photo, you’ll be entered to win your own copy of the template. This is an 80.00 value and has been our most popular album yet. Get yours free!

it’s garden time!

February 10th, 2011 , Posted in Garden, my family, Personal

It’s that time of year! You know…the time when you spend hours poring over seed catalogs, dreaming and planning your garden, hoping and waiting for the weather to change. Before you know it the air will be warmer and the ground will thaw! Yep, it will happen.

Planting a garden is a big deal to me. About 7 years ago I had an epiphany. I don’t know what triggered it, I really don’t recall. But I wanted so badly to live as much off the grid as we could in this society. I wanted my own cow, (yeah, don’t laugh) chickens, a huge garden to feed my family with enough left over to store for winter. I wanted to know that the food I put into my little children was wholesome and I wanted to know where it came from. Well, my husband talked me out of the cow. But I did grow a massive garden, froze tons of veggies that lasted nearly all winter and we bought chickens that kept us in eggs most of the year. We switched to organic milk.  I did consider buying a share of beef, but never did that. I read books about growing your own food, about raising your own chickens. I was invested.

I did this for a couple of years, but after Bella arrived and I started my business it took back burner. I still bought as much organic as I could, but didn’t raise much myself. Some tomatoes and peppers and herbs.

Now that we have this new house with plenty of land, I’m back at it. I’ve done this before so I know it’s a massive commitment to raise our own food. But every grocery trip affirms that it’s what is right for us. I look at every label when I shop, torn between cost savings and healthy eating. It’s not cheap feeding a family of 6-especially with 2 always hungry boys! Even with coupons and sales the good stuff is pricey. We’ve been blessed and don’t have to worry about whether or not we can feed our kids, but honestly in this day and age, we’re all on a budget. And the more I can save on groceries means the more I can set aside for a rainy day or charitable giving or retirement or college or you name it! Growing our own will help us spend far less on food. And yes, chickens will be arriving this spring as well.

So the garden this year will be big. I know it will take hours to manage. But the reward of knowing where my family’s food is coming from, knowing where the seed came from, what was put on the plants, is priceless. Want your eyes opened? Watch The Future of Food and Food Inc.

The systems that are “supposed” to be set in place to keep us safe are failing us in favor of money.

Don’t have room for your own garden? Get a local CSA like my sister does every year. I loved watching all the delicious food come through her home last year. Buy from your local farmer’s market. Or partner with someone in your circle of friends and help them with their garden in exchange for some fresh fruits and veggies. I would welcome an exchange like that.

After all, when they start out this perfect, we can’t help but to want to put only good things in them.

Workshops and Mentorships

February 9th, 2011 , Posted in Bella, Photography Workshops

I have received several emails lately asking if I was planning on conducting any workshops or mentorships this year. I do not plan on holding any workshops in 2011 as of right now. I really would love to stay home and enjoy my family and our new baby during her first year. The workshops take an enormous amount of time to plan and conduct so as much as I miss the opportunity to meet you all I am taking 2011 off.

As far as the mentorships go, I will be conducting those this year. I love teaching one-on-one and feel it’s a great way for photographers to take their work to the next level. No worries about being lost in a crowd or wondering if you’ll get the shot you want. And the best part is that the learning is based 100% on what you want to focus on.

I am taking reservations for mentorships now so check out my teaching site here and shoot me an email if you’re interested.

sick days

February 7th, 2011 , Posted in Lilly, Personal

The flu came to our house a few weeks ago and slowly made it’s rounds. Blech. Lilly was the last one to get it (aside from Damian who so far seems immune). I hate seeing my happy-go-lucky little girl all subdued and pitiful. She just whimpers and tries to get comfy and of course, melts her Mommy’s and Daddy’s heart. I don’t like it when the older ones are sick, but it’s especially hard to watch a baby deal with it. Fortunately I think she’s on the mend.

Cuddling with Daddy

2011 ice storm

February 7th, 2011 , Posted in Personal

The storm wasn’t nearly as bad as the forecasters predicted, but it was still pretty impressive. My kids kept asking when the power would go off, but thankfully it never did.


February 4th, 2011 , Posted in Lilly, Personal

I have a gazillion pictures of Lilly from January and I have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never edit them all. But I’ll share what I have edited so far. 🙂

Happy girl practicing sitting (she just mastered it yesterday!).

I hope this hat still fits her this summer!

Pouty little chef.

Rock ‘n Roll baby!

No better toy then toes at this age.