Thursday, October 16, 2014

Taking A Break...At The Beach!!!

My beach trip with five of my favorite girls couldn't have come at a better time!
I've been working 60+ hour weeks the past month and I'm literally soooo tired and sooooo worn out. So needless to say, I am so happy that the next week will be spent taking a much needed break by RELAXING ON THE BEACH.
Sippin' on some drinks, sticking my toes in the sand, getting some much needed sun, reading a book (although I haven't even had time to go BUY a book - so I'll probably buy one at the airport), maybe another cheesy photo session...and best of all - I get to spend five amazing days with five amazing girls. It can't get much better than that!
Today, my friend Alison and I are driving down to Nashville to have a fun dinner and spend the night with her sister...and then we will be up bright and early for our flight to FL.
(Driving & flying out of Nashville was like $300 cheaper than flying out of Cincinnati!)
Candice and April are meeting us at the airport and flying with us....and then Natalie and Kimberly will be shortly behind as they are driving from TN & AR.
Candice wasn't there for the first girls get together - so here's a picture of us in Austin TX a few years ago! :)
I can't wait!!!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

NOT doing it all...

When I first started my photography business, I was pretty eager to photograph everything and everyone who was willing to hire me. I really didn't know what exactly I wanted to photograph - because well, I had NO experience in photographing anything yet.
But now, and in the 20 months I've been in business, I've photographed children, families, extended families, proposals, newborns, bridal portraits, parties, engagements, events, maternity, seniors, couples and weddings.
Phew - that is a lot of different offerings.
And I can honestly say, some of these categories I absolutely LOVE photographing.
But there are some I don't necessarily love to photograph.
I've known this about myself for a while now...but when someone calls and wants to hire me for X amount of money...and I'm free that day. It's really hard to turn down the money. (Even though that "gig" isn't necessarily what I really want to be photographing.)
But if I want to be happy as a photographer...I need to only photograph the things that I WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH. I mean, this is my SIDE business by the way.
 I need to remember NOT to take jobs for the money, but to take jobs because I truly enjoy doing them. I don't need to do it all!
Soooooo, with that being said.
This month I'm taking a dive into my current photography offerings and removing the categories that don't give me that extra special feeling when I get booked for a job.
So stay tuned.
As this might be the last time you see any wedding photography from me...
....or is it???? :)
*Thanks for checking out all my sneak peeks from the past few sessions! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Ugliest Kitchen (OURS!!)

Welcome to my (ugly) kitchen!
(Picture from realtors website)
This is our current kitchen. 
It has seashell wallpaper, rustic country hardware, yellow square tile backsplash, an original 1960's oven/stove
and the fridge is probably that old too. Bulkheads line the top of our cabinets (which are also lined with sticky
paper inside), the floor tile is squeaky, the dishwasher is broken and don't even get me started on the countertops. 
It doesn't have a pantry. It doesn't have any counter space...and it is all topped off with a huge florescent light.
(Picture from realtors website)
We've been in our home for 7 months now...and I am happy to say it is FINALLY time to update our kitchen!! Woooohoooooo!!
We are getting new lights / flooring / cabinets / hardware / appliances / farm sink / countertops / and tearing down the bulkheads / moving the fridge to the opposite wall/ and adding a real pantry! :)
Basically the only thing we are keeping the same in that room is the window! :)
Ahhhhhhh, I can't wait for a BRAND NEW kitchen!!!
Glad I got to share what my current kitchen looks like...before we tear it all down!
Have you ever completely renovated your kitchen??
If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Say Cheese

Photographers (at least not me) never say "Say Cheeeeese" to my customers!
Instead, I have a variety of things I say instead..."look off into the distance without smiling."
(P.S. Aren't these trees AMAZING!!! I am so happy that this senior wanted to climb into the trees
- they just made the most perfect photos!!)
"Look directly at the camera and smile"
"....and put your hand on his chest."
"Put your hands on your belly/Put your hands in your pocket,"
"Wrap your arm around her and look into each others eyes."
"Hold your flowers down and cross your arms "
And sometimes I don't say anything at all! :)
There is a lot that goes into creating a good picture - being in charge of telling people where to look/when to smile/how to stand/where to stand/what to do with their a small part of the photographers job to get you the best photo. (there's a lot more too!)
Just wanted to share some of my recent photo sessions! See more on my FB here!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

While in Michigan...

I took a little road trip to Michigan this past weekend for my cousins wedding.
CV couldn't come with me due to being busy with work...
so I made my sister & this little nugget (my niece) be my date!
My sister & niece flew in from Memphis, so it was great to see them! 
I haven't seen them since May.
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and started off by acknowledging the people in their lives that have passed that have affected their lives. My dads name was one of them that was called.
They also displayed his picture at their reception. (A picture from my wedding - and one of my favorite pictures of him!)
Although it was emotional, I'm so happy they included him in their wedding day!
Then ofcourse there was dinner/cake/dancing/photobooth picture taking and goofing off! :)
(me with my cousin Annette) and (Madelyn and I being goofy)
All and all - it was a great wedding and I'm so happy for my cousin, Jamie!!
The next morning, we snuggled in bed, ate at Cracker Barrel (or as my niece calls it "Barrel Cracker"), and then I hit the road to drive back to Cincinnati.
It was a great little 24-hour trip to MI to see my family! :)
Now...back to another fun filled weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Bucket List

Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year. 
I love the colors of the leaves, wearing layers, scarves and boots, smelling pumpkin spice candles...and doing fun fall activities!
With being so busy with photography this season, I wanted to put together a little bucket list for Fall, so when I do have some down time...I know exactly how I want to spend it.

2014 Fall Bucket List
+ Build a wood fire in our fireplace!
(We started a fire last week with our gas fireplace, but I definitely want to build lots of fires in our wood burning fireplace too. I like to hear the wood crackles, don't you!?)
+ Tailgate for the Bengals
+ Take a nature walk
+ Visit a pumpkin patch (see last years here)
+ Buy some new Fall candles
+ Attend a chili cookoff (and win the golden spoon, like we did last year!)
+ Decorate our front porch with pumpkins and mums
+ Carve pumpkins
+ Hand out Halloween candy
+ Dress up for Halloween
+ Bake a pie
+ Make Fall cookies
+ Buy fall decorations for our mantle
+ Rearrange my closet! (I do this everytime the seasons change!)
and the biggest bucket list item of them all:

It's happening people....stay tuned for the before and after!! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's starting to feel like Fall!

This weekend was a very busy one.
So busy that I'm left with a stiff neck that I can't stretch or move around too much! :(
But regardless of my sore neck, the weekend had a lot of great highlights!
It started on Thursday night with a super long walk around our neighborhood.  CV & I usually walk the same trail every day, but we decided to switch it up and walk a different way...and guess what we found?! This amazing park with fountains, tree trails, a dock with wooden swings, and plenty of fun things to sniff for Paisley! I'm super excited I found this little gem, and can't wait to convince future photography customers to meet me there for a session! I just love our new little neighborhood!
On Friday, my coworkers and I volunteered for our "Change the World" campaign. We volunteer at a local community every year around 9/11. This year we chose Redwood, which is a center in Northern Kentucky that specializes in children and adults with multiple and severe disabilities. We helped them by landscaping, building educational learning programs and helped clean up and make their play ground safer! :)
Definitely a great day with my coworkers.
Friday night, CV & I met our friends A&A for dinner and caught up on life! It was pretty much three hours of straight chatting and laughing! I just love double dates! :)
Saturday, I photographed a wedding reception, as you probably saw from my Instagram sneak peek!
And I woke up early on Sunday and photographed a senior session and family session too!
(Then, spent 4 hours in front of the computer trying to get a head start on editing!)
Shew - I'm exhausted!

Sunday night, CV and I treated ourselves to a delicious dinner at Desha's, then we came home, started a fire...watched some TV and hit the sheets!
I'm definitely loving that it's starting to feel like Fall and we can get cozy in our home by lighting some pumpkin scented candles, while having a fire going in the fireplace! :)
Mmmmmm cozy!!
Hope everyone had a great weekend!! xoxo!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Busy Jax

Incase you're wondering what I'm doing this month/next month/the rest of the year.
It's this:
No, not laying down in the grass enjoying the beautiful weather...
...but taking lots and lots of photographs just like this.
 In the next month, I have 4 weddings to photograph!
(Including this gorgeous couple who's wedding is this weekend!!)
 And about 6 handfuls of family photo sessions.
 I'm not really sure how many are in a handful, but I do know all my September & October weekends are completely booked and my hands will definitely be full until Christmas!
 {So if you want to be on my books for better act fast!}
So if I'm not around the ole blog very know what I'm doing...
But you can always find me on Instagram here.
And follow me on my photography facebook page here, to see the rest of the photos from these sessions. :)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

{Before/After} Our Guest Room

I posted a little sneak peek of our guest room about two months ago, but since so much has changed I wanted to give a new and improved update on my favorite room (so far) in the house.
And I wanted to show you before and after you can really appreciate our hard work! :)

Here is the lovely BEFORE picture...straight from the real estate listing:
You can't see the blinds in this picture because they are tucked under that ugly
window treatment, but the blinds were BLUE!!
 And now here is what it looks like AFTER:
Doesn't it look cozy?!
Mirrors: Wal-Mart // Lamps: Hobby Lobby // Clock: Tick Tock Clock via Anthropologie

Curtain Rod: Umbra Square Rod via Target // Curtains: Navy block-out curtains via IKEA
Blinds: Levolor 2" Wood Blinds via Blindsaver
Rug: Circle Shag Area Rug via Target
Bed Linens: Duvet & Duvet Cover: Alvine Stra via IKEA // White Sheets: BB&B
White Bed skirt: BB&B // Polka Dot Pillow Cases: IKEA // 
Coral Pillow Shams: Trina Turk via BB&B
Green Square Geometric Pillow: Trina Turk via BB&B // 
Small Abstract Pillow: Trina Turk via BB&B

The other side of the room is not as pretty...soon these brown wood things will be replaced with pretty white things! :)
FedEx Abstract Painting: Gift from my BFF:)
 Blue Picture Frame: HomeGood Stores
Teal Specks Vase: Crate & Barrel

Want to know what we did?

+ Painted three walls white & an accent wall navy blue
+ Removed old window treatments & installed new curtain rods & curtains (after I hemmed them on the sewing machine!)
+ Removed blue blinds & installed new blinds
+ Bought new furniture, bed linens, lamps, d├ęcor, etc, etc, etc.
+ Hung mirrors and artwork

Although it looks finished and I'm truly happy with it....there are still some things I'd like to do down the road:
+ Add overhead lighting
+ Paint trim & ceiling
+ Update closet doors with white french doors
+ Update bedroom door
+ Update dresser

Oh, and always wonder what people put inside their guest room nightstand drawers??? Well, here's what's in mine!
Left Side: Magazines, Tissues, and some Matches for the candle that sits on the nightstand
 Right Side: Notebooks, Pen, and Bibles
...because we are pretty much like a hotel around here! :)

Hope you liked visiting my little guest room...
Be back soon with more of our home tour! :)