Category Archives: Personal

The Legend of the Candy Cane

I was surprised to open my door to a group of carolers last night, who were dressed in the style of early 1900’s clothing. I was delighted by their beautiful voices and the traditional music of the season. That was gift enough, but when they were done, I was handed
a candy cane attached to a card and that’s when I learned something about the candy cane that I never knew. This is the Legend of the Candy Cane.

The legend of the candy cane

The outside of the card read, “The greatest gift of all came one night in a lowly manger…”

The inside read, “According to the legend, there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ. The result was the candy cane. First of all he used a hard candy, because Christ is the Rock of all ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble either a J for Jesus or a shepherd’s staff.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Hope for a Happy New Year! 2015 had its highs & lows for me.  In life, there are times when you’re on a high, feeling celebrated and appreciated. Then there are times when you just feel like giving up.  And by YOU I mean ME. Although I am sure there are many out there that have experienced those same feelings.

Sometimes we may wonder what our path is. Are we on the right path? Whatever path you are on, just remember there is hope. Hope for something good ahead. A new year comes with much hope and anticipation about what the year will bring.

Hope that this year you will indeed lose weight and eat healthier. Hope that you will find that special someone to share your life with. Hope for a world with more love & less hate. Hope for loved ones who are sick, or hope for a better job.

Whatever you’re hoping for, may this next year be filled with wonderful surprises, fulfilled dreams and of course LOVE. Because whatever our hope or whatever our path, LOVE is what makes the journey worthwhile.

Happy New Year!  xoxo

Happy New Year!


Using my Right Brain

Using my right brain attributes & how they influence my business.

I believe I was designed by GOD to “create”. He infused me with major right brain functions: uses feeling, imagination rules, fantasy based, spatial perception, believes, appreciates, risk taker. Growing up I was always creating something (we won’t talk about the toilet paper pot holders, not one of my better creations). Then I found photography & fell in-love! The rest is history. To understand more about how I use my right brain attributes, these are my thoughts on the matter.

“Feeling” I use my “feeling” to connect with my subject on a much deeper level which allows me to bring out their true and BEST self. People comment frequently that my images are “full of life” and that they feel they’ve connected on a personal level with the subject. My “feeling” nature causes me to emotionally connect & genuinely care for people.

Retouched 0637Image by Blue Kiss Studio

“Imagination rules” Why yes it does! It takes massive amounts of imagination to keep producing images that are unique & beautiful. And album designs that continue to amaze & delight my clients!


Bumpity, bumpity, bump! (re-post)

Memories of a loving uncle.

I fondly remember the random trips in his old pick-up truck, which always included driving over the rail-road tracks near his home. To turn this noisy event into something fun, he would sing a silly song which included the words, you guessed it; Bumpity, bumpity, bump! He always made me smile and have fun no matter what mundane activity we were doing. When we were together he made me feel like I was the most special little girl in the world and that he enjoyed every playful moment with me.

I was 10 years old when he died of a heart attack, only in his forties at the time.  He was too young to die and I felt I would also die of a broken heart from my loss. My deep sobs of pain would not comfort me or return my beloved uncle Raymond to me.

This photo is not of me, but this image is a great representation of my memory.  Photo credit Caitlin Elizabeth Photography

Girl in old truck

They say, “you won’t remember what someone said, but you will remember how they made you feel”.  It’s true, I don’t remember much of what my dear uncle said to me, but he was one of the people in my family that made me feel really loved.


Saving money, saving lives.

Saving money and saving lives, were both easier than I thought.

I remember when I was a child, whenever I would get money for my birthday or Christmas, my mom would always tell me that I should save some. Save, Smave! I was not thinking about my financial security at the age of twelve. I was thinking of all the things I wanted to buy! And any money I got would burn a hole in my pocket until it was gone!

How different my childhood was from these children below. water for life

Many years ago,  I worked for a financial planner. He also encouraged me to save (on more than one occasion).  I made an attempt and started a money market account that was earning some decent returns. But…something came up as usual and I liquidated my account. However, in my defense, I was a single mom raising two boys. So money was not flowing like milk and honey in the promised land!


Motherhood, the greatest gift!

Motherhood is the greatest gift & my ultimate joy!

Growing up my mom didn’t seem to enjoy motherhood very much. She viewed children as a burden. Hugs & I love you’s were so rare, I barely remember a one. Home was not a “safe” place of unconditional love & acceptance.  It’s been 22 years since my mother and I have spoken.

When I found out I was pregnant many years ago, understandably, I feared motherhood. What if I am not a loving mother? What if I see children as a burden? After all, my Grandmother (my mom’s mom) didn’t seemed to like children either. What if it’s hereditary to not like motherhood?

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Mr. GQ

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I can’t believe my boy is all grown up (well he’s legally an adult at least)! At 18 he is already a real estate agent! I’m so proud and know he will be a success at something he loves so much! I have been photographing Luke since he was little, but I thought it would be fun to have my associate and amazing photographer Dee Her, do a GQ session of him.

Thanks Dee, you did an awesome job! I love these images of my handsome guy!  Luke you look all cool and stuff!!

Merry Christmas!

 Wishing you all a Merry Christmas filled with love, laughter and treasured memories with family & friends!


If you had to pick ONE WORD to characterize Christmas, what would it be? For me it’s LOVE. It’s the time of year we focus more on loving others. It’s when we are reminded of God’s love for us.

This year especially I am so thankful for the love of God, family and friends. Because LOVE is truly the best gift we could ever give or receive. I pray that I continue to learn to love others better than the previous year. Because in the end, will I care how successful I was? Or how much “stuff” I accumulated? Or how popular I was on social media? I THINK NOT. Because the true meaning of life  – is to love God and love others.

Love is an action. Kindness, respect, generosity, forgiveness, putting others before ourselves…


Big dreams…Whoa Nelly Budget?

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My landscape journey.

If you’re like me, you want to get the most bang for your buck! Growing up there wasn’t a lot of money, but I always liked nice things. I was willing to work hard for the things I wanted, but also wanted to make my hard earned dollars give me the most return, so to this day, NOTHING makes me more happy than getting quality  things on sale!! I get a huge sense of accomplishment when I am able to create a “look” for less. Weather it’s decorating, fashion, home projects, etc., I’m always looking for a way to go big on a less than big budget.  I’m a huge DIY person, which really helps save money.

I wasn’t thrilled with the landscaping or lack of, that was here when I moved in. It was okay, but my hope was to someday transform the “Plain Jane”, outdated landscaping with something that was really beautiful.  A design that would welcome & delight guests and clients alike: with sights, sounds, scents and textures as they made their way to the front door. I wanted them to get a feel for my love of design, beauty and nature, even before they meet me.

When I set my mind to something, I usually find a way to make it happen. And this endeavor was no different.  My budget kept telling me one thing, but my imagination and desire to create something beautiful was telling me whoa Nelly, how are you going to pull this off?? So, I persisted to find a way. My bright idea was to have a designer design a plan based on my vision, which was a more loose English cottage garden feel, with lots of textures colors and blooming flowers and of course a fountain. Okay, so how was I going to save money? By planting everything myself!! Right…And had I ever undertaken such a huge project before? Well, no. Did I really know that much about what a project of this scope would take? HECK no!! But I couldn’t let my dream get buried there, pun intended 🙂

After much internet research, emails and phone calls, I was lucky enough to find a truly talented landscape designer. Eric, owner of The Landscape Design Guy. He really listened to my vision and created a  design that was PERFECT and he was extremely reasonable, especially given his talent and comprehensive approach. When the final design was finished, I realized that I had no business trying to attempt a DIY installing it. There was too much at risk.

I had gotten to know Eric over the months that we had been working through all the details. He knew how desperately I wanted to do this project and how far I still was from meeting the budget. Thankfully, through his kindness, I was able to save on the plants and he also recommended a great installer that charged a few hundred dollars less than the installers I had planned on using. I also negotiated  deals with other vendors and found the fountain for 50% off!!  Although my original budget doubled to complete the project the right way and not compromise the design, I still ended up with landscaping that would have cost twice the amount than it actually did. So in my mind it’s a still a win!

After a successful install, I stood there viewing all the beautiful plants, where only dirt had been before… listening to the fountain soothe me with it’s lovely water sounds…imagining all the beauty of blooming flowers to come next spring…Joy, peace and contentment filled my heart.

Interestingly as I watered the newly planted garden, I thought about all the brides planning their weddings. How their situation was probably similar to mine in many ways. A dream to create a beautiful wedding but with a “Whoa Nelly”, budget! (more…)

Let’s Get Acquainted!

Inspiration & Design Photography

I apologize for my absence.  I’ve been busy with several behind the scenes projects and then got sick with the flu and was in bed for two weeks. It never fails…when my shooting schedule starts to lighten up and I actually have time to work on important winter projects…I get sick.  I feel like I have let my readers down, just when my readership was booming (in spite of my less than super frequent posts). However, with my recent absence my readers are fading away. Like Rose calling to the returning boats, who were searching for survivors when the Titanic sank, I call to you, “come back, come back”!

I want to thank the thousands of you who come weekly to my blog. Although I don’t know who you are, it’s nice feel connected in some way to people all over the world. Even though I will never be one who posts everyday, thank you for coming anyway. When I see my statistic chart with readers from all over the world, it always makes me stop and ponder who you are…why you come to my little space on the blog-ous-sphere…what is your life like in your part of the world. The I thought I would try a “Let’s get acquainted” post!!  PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF!

I’d love to get to know and connect more personally with my readers. Tell me… What is your name? Where do you live? What is your profession? Why do you come to my blog? Tell me anything you feel like sharing!!

Let’s get acquainted! Just click on the “read more” below to leave me a message!