Sunday, August 30, 2009

Make offer?!?!

Yep, our 2009 garage sale has come and gone! Whew...
It was kind of a last minute thing. I had planned to have my annual sale the first weekend in September, until it dawned on me that would be Labor Day weekend. I decided that wasn't a good idea since Justin will be on-call for work, and I wasn't sure what our family would be doing for the holiday.

So, Thursday morning I began the "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" routine, to prepare for the sale. I always pack "sale" stuff up in boxes throughout the year and keep them in the attic, but I still wanted to do a full sweep of the house (closets, drawers, cabinets, nooks, crannies) and get rid of some more clutter! I L.O.V.E. getting rid of junk! Ahhh...feels so good.

Have you seen the show on A&E, Hoarders? Oh my goodness...Justin had it on the other day and I was getting sick to my stomach watching how these people lived! If you're interested, this is a clip from the show I watched, a lady that was a food hoarder. She didn't see a problem with keeping a bag of shredded cheese that had been sitting in juices from rotten food & meats! She claimed the cheese wasn't expired, and it was in a sealed bag! Uck! Hoarding is a disease, and I really don't think the majority of these people will ever change. It's sad that they don't see a problem with living that way. I go crazy if a dirty dish sits in the sink overnight...these people let dishes sit all over the house for months!

So anyway, back on subject...I am in NO way a hoarder, but watching that might have been just the kick in the butt I needed to get rid of some junk. If it's just sitting around collecting dust, I don't need it, and it deserves a better home!

My sweet little niece, Kylie, was my AWESOME helper all day today. She loves counting money, and she's mature beyond her years, so I totally trusted her to help me add up totals and count back change. She did great! It was also fun for Barrett to have her here to play! I was excited that we made over $500.00! I'd be the happiest girl in the world if I could use that money to buy a NEW lens, but I'm sure it will be used for Bluegrass and other necessities instead.

Barrett enjoyed an early morning donut

I didn't sell my DELL 3100cn color laser printer...
So if anyone is interested, let me know! You might remember my post awhile back about having to get a new version of the printer. The 3100 still works fine, if you just need a color/black & white printer. It will occasionally make a single thin line on your printouts, but I think with a new drum, that problem might be fixed. I just have to have perfectly flawless printouts for paying clients, so it had to G-O! I'm asking $70.00 and it comes with a new black toner cartridge.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

These girls...

Aren't they so beautiful?

They belong to her.

They're my nieces...

I'm just a little bit proud.

We had some picture fun this morning, and you can see more of it HERE!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Mom and I made a trip up to El Dorado last week to visit my Aunt Clara and her boys. She had been on a major cleaning streak, and was ready to hand down some of the boys' stuff. Gannon, her youngest, said he was "giving his toys to baby Barrett." He called them his "baby toys." It's great to get hand-me-downs! As soon as my aunt found out I was pregnant, she started giving me seats, bassinets, pack-n-plays, potty chairs and clothes.

We came home last week with the back of the jeep {jam packed} full of brightly colored plastic toys! Mom and I joked that there was hardly room for for the two of us and Barrett. Because of all the rain last week, I had to wait a couple days to get it all unloaded, sorted through and cleaned up. Barrett has had a blast with everything since!

His favorite thing is certainly the little red and yellow "car car" that he drives all over the back driveway! He has developed a major obsession for this thing, and always demands that he have keys when he's in it! He's too funny!!!

Another treat was this big plastic toy box that used to be my little brothers. I remember putting toys in and out of this thing with Brandon, like it was yesterday! It is perfect to keep under the carport for all of Barrett's little outside cars. He's already got the hang of pulling the lid off and pulling things out. He's great at picking up too!

Since acquiring all of these fun new outdoor toys, we've been spending a lot of time on the back patio. The weather has been perfect for it too! Here was my set up the other morning, so I could work and have the perfect view of Mr. B zoomin' around!

Thanks for all of the hand-me-downs, Aunt Clara...and Garrett, Tanner and Gannon, too! Barrett is loving it all!

p.s. I know some of these pictures are blurry, but this is not my photo blog :) it's my family scrapbook, and life is too short to edit all of my day-to-day pictures. They are what they are {real}, and I love 'em that way! Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

{get REAL} Out to Dinner

{get REAL} sharing snapshots of your own simple. everyday. life. moments

This week :: Your favorite place to go to dinner

My current favorite place to go out to dinner is a little Mexican restaurant here in town, El Maguey's. You'll hear it pronounced all sorts of ways. I usually just call it EM's. It's been open for several years now, but we really started liking...ehem, became addicted to it, right before Barrett was born. It's a great place for dinner with the family, or to meet up with friends for a margarita! Lately, we've enjoyed picking up dinner and bringing it home.

So, you want the {REAL} story about this picture? On Thursday morning, I gave myself a "mental note" to swing by and get a picture of EM's for my blog post, so I could get it up Friday morning, and everyone could join in the fun. Didn't happen. So, this morning at 8:20 am, I told Barrett we were going for a little ride. We did a quick drive-by, Mommy got the shot, and we headed back home. That's why the parking lot is one eats Mexican during the 8am hour! AND that's why the sun is glaring into my lens. HA! Good thing we only live a few blocks from the joint!

Okay, I hope some of you will join in this week! Even if you DON'T have a picture or can't get out to take one, you can still link up and post about where your favorite dinner spot is! OR, just leave a comment about your favorite spot and you can play next time!

* I guess they've changed Mister Linky a bit...Just click on the image below and a separate window will open to add your link.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

fresh out of the oven...

We celebrated Barrett's 19 month milestone with COOKIES!! Chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. Ummm...I think he liked his celebration treat!


Then we took our monthly monkey pictures! My independent little 19-month-old demanded that he wear his cowboy boots for the pictures.

I let him wear them for a couple, then ask if we could take them off.
He was not happy.

So, I let him put them back on. Of course, he wanted to do it all by himself.

You are such a {JOY} at 19 months, Little Bear! Continuing to make Mommy and Daddy smile everyday. You love to play with cars, and have the best "motor boat" sound around! You get more and more loving and cuddly everyday. Snuggling with you on the couch before your morning and afternoon naps is irresistible. I can already tell you are going to be just as laid-back and kind hearted as your daddy. I have always loved how much he respects his Mommy (your Grandma Sandy), and what a close relationship they have. I hope you will be just like him in that way.

I can hear you waking up from your nap now...Happy 19 months, Little Bear!
I love you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Booking sessions NOW!

After a few weeks of planning, my 2009 {holiday collections} are finally up!
Go check them out HERE

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making a comeback...

That's right, ladies...gentlemen are invited to! The {get REAL} challenge is making a comeback! Now that I've finally gotten my photo blog up and running, I'm ready to get back to some random fun on here.

I'm giving you a little heads-up, so you'll all be ready to post and link after Friday.

This week:: Your favorite place to go out to dinner

You have all week get your pictures ready! I can't wait to see where you guys go for a yummy dinner! Come back on FRIDAY, and link your own {get REAL} post. This is a great way to meet new blogging buddies!!

If you're new to the {get REAL} challenges, here are some previous ones, to give you an idea of how we do it:

{get REAL} Bedding
{get REAL} Time
{get REAL} Spring Style
{get REAL} Where do you blog

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lucky me!

Look what I WON the other day......

You're already lookin' at it!
I won this beautiful new blog design!

Many thanks to Rita, from Coffeeshop Photography. She is so talented and sweet! I've had fun working with her the past few days to get my blog design pulled together. I have some work to do adding all my menu bar links, but she makes it so easy! I never knew blogger had so many options!

If you're interested in a photo style blog of your own, with larger pictures and fun features... visit her blog design page HERE!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chair: $1.00

Who doesn't love a garage sale?!?! Okay, maybe quite a few of you don't...but I have always gotten a little giddy at the prospect of finding that {perfect} treasure. Something someone else thinks is no longer useful, or possibly even "trash." Don't get me wrong, I also LOVE to find things at garage sales with store tags still on them! It happens pretty often, actually. Since my love of photography has grown, I get even more excited for garage sales. They are the perfect place to find awesome props!

Around lunch today, I noticed lots of action (as in cars parking everywhere in front of my house) in the driveway across the street. A garage sale was in full-swing. After I put Barrett down for a nap, I decided to stroll over for a quick look around. I almost didn't go, since the only cash in my wallet was a single one.dollar.bill. I was afraid I would find something, and have to ask to come back to pay and get it later. Embarrassing!

So, it was fate, when I saw this lonely 'ol chair just waiting for ME to claim it, and take it home!! Oh yes, my husband will be so excited. I can already hear his first question..."where in the heck are you going to keep that"? I don't know, but I had to have it!!

I have been looking for a little wooden chair at garage sales all summer (although I've only been to a few this year), one that I could paint and distress. Well...this one is already distressed for me! Okay, who wants to step up and be my first victim...ehem, I mean model, in this chair?!? I have big plans for him...the chair! You'll have to keep an eye out on my {photo blog} for more of this handsome fella!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Exciting Announcement!!!

I think we have a winner with design B (or #2)
That was the one I was leaning towards as well. I might see if I can make the font a tad thicker.
THANKS to everyone for your feedback! My readers ROCK!

NEW: Elephant Juice Designs & Photography Blog

My business is *blooming* and I am looking forward to a busy Fall season full of amazing portrait sessions. Before all of that begins, I want to announce my new photography blog! As you can see, I'm revamping my business branding. The possibilities for the future of Elephant Juice Designs are endless. Go check out the new digs, read more about it ,and let me know what you think! Don't forget to bookmark me!

I'm still keeping this blog, just as it is {but I might change the name, as to not get it confused with my business blog and sites}. Only it will now go back to being mainly about me and my family...the reason I started it! It is a digital scrapbook of our lives. Although I love to showcase my photography on it, I'm ready to get back to my random "favorite things" posts, {get REAL} challenges, and stories about my baby boy!!

Any ideas for a new name for this blog?!?

I think I'm pretty happy with the new colors and logo design...but I'm still open to suggestions and feedback. I'm not sure about the font though. Please give me your vote!

Design A:


Design B:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anyone need a caddy?

Well, he might run off with your with clubs and balls,
but he'll keep you entertained!

Barrett Russell::18 months

We finally did it...Barrett's 18-month portrait session! Things have been so busy since his 18-month milestone on July 18th, that we had to put it off. On Sunday evening, we grilled out, had dinner as a family, and then gave Barrett a bath. I told him at dinner that he was going to have his pictures taken by a "nice lady," and he needed to be a good boy. I told Justin the same thing :) It was after Barrett's 3-month pictures (the last time we paid to have them done), that Justin told me I did a much better job, and we were never paying anyone else to do them again. Thanks, Honey! So I told them at dinner that we were taking this seriously, and acting as if we'd paid for the session...AND we needed to be there at 7:30 sharp for our appointment.

It was a beautiful evening when we headed out to the 12th hole at Quail Ridge Golf Course. We'd already been out the night before to scope out the greens and pick an area for the shoot. Unfortunately when we got there, a couple was playing the 12th hole, and someone else was behind them on the 11th. So we got some shots on another hole, and along the dirt road beside the course until we could get onto the 12th green. This is my most {favorite} green on the course...I had always hoped we could go out there before our wedding for some fun shots in my wedding gown, but it didn't happen. The green sits right along the dirt road, and is surrounded by trees. It is always so beautiful in the evenings as golden beams from the setting sun peek through the trees.

Here are some of my favorites from the evening:

This was the only picture we got of me with Barrett...
and he was mad because I took away his golf club!

I knew I wanted some pictures of Barrett in this rocking chair,
and the dirt road was the perfect spot. This was my chair when I was little.

Here is the miracle family shot!! I set my camera up on a tripod with the self-timer, and would run to sit down with Barrett and Justin before it went off. Amazingly, we got this shot on the 3rd try! I have no idea how we managed to get Barrett looking right at the camera and saying "cheese," but it happened, and I LOVE it!

In all honesty, we were hot and worn out by the time we left the golf course at 8:30. It was getting dark, or I would have pushed for a few more shots. Barrett was being a little maniac most of the time, running around swinging golf clubs and throwing golf balls. Justin and I were both worried we hadn't gotten any good shots. I guess that's the way most of my clients always feel at the end of a session. Apologizing for their child's behavior, and giving me that nervous look of "did we get at least one shot"? I reassure them we've got plenty, and they are always surprised at how many they love when they get their proofs! I too was pleasantly surprised with these!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Baby Mason::Newborn

I was honored last month, when an old friend ask me to do a newborn session with her precious baby boy. Rachel's little man, Mason, was just over a week old when I captured these {sweet} images.

Remember the images from baby Sutton's session a few weeks ago? Well, Sutton and Mason are cousins! Thieir mommies are fun that they will get to grow up together! I was excited to see that the boys were dressed in matching outfits when I showed up for Mason's session, so I took advantage of that! They are so adorable, and I couldn't believe how much Sutton had already changed!

I was excited Rachel wanted to do birth announcements:

Congrats, Rachel and Kevin, and thanks so much for the honor of photographing your new addition! You two are going to be amazing parents, and Mason is one lucky little fella! I'm excited to see how much he's grown, when we do your family portraits in November!
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