SoCal here we come!

Written on 11/07/2010

Vin and I are currently sitting in the airport waiting at our gate ready to board our flight to Orange County! This morning was comical. In a nut shell, we missed our flight but did get another 5 hours later. We know the PDX airport pretty well now. More blogs to come once we land in the OC. Pray for a safe flight! I hate flying!!!!!!

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A small epiphany.

Written on 11/06/2010

So this is somewhat random but also I felt I needed to share while my thoughts are fresh in my mind and heart.

Most of my life (since puberty) I have had bad self esteem. I was teased as a child. Most of us were. I was teased for having red hair, teased for my name, but the most damaging was being teased for my weight. I was teased so bad that it sent me home crying as a child. Soon I became very aware of my body and the fact that I was not “skinny” in the worlds eyes.

This has haunted me throughout my adult life. I can’t recall many times I’ve felt confident in my skin. I’m lucky to have married a man who assures me of my beauty on a regular basis. He is very outspoken about how he feels about me and how he finds me to be beautiful. This has helped me but I still have battled that peace in my heart about the body God has given me.

Throughout the past month, God has been working HUGE miracles in my life when it comes to how I see myself and the way I treat my body. He’s shown me the things that I am missing out on when I waste time worrying about what size I am or what food I am eating. He speaks to me in so many ways to convince me that I am so blessed to be who I am.

I am so blessed.

I’m whole. I’m not missing anything. I am exactly who God designed, physically. He thinks I am beautiful and He found great joy in creating me. Shame on me for trying to change something God made perfect.

I ask myself, Why do I want to look like someone else? Isn’t this a crazy idea? Aren’t we all created equal and unique?

Today as I sat in my room, staring at my bikini that I love, but hate wearing I thought, “Try it on” and so I did. I stood in front of the mirror and stared at myself for a long time. I tugged and pulled at the extra “this” or “that” and then I began to speak truth to myself. Out loud.

“I’m really beautiful”

“I’m so lucky to be healthy”

“My body has helped create and deliver TWO beautiful perfect babies into this world”

” I NEED to be a good example for my daughters”

“No one is perfect but everyone is unique and special”

“I like what I see (for the most part :-)and I will take care of this body God has given me”

“I am only young once”

“I’m actually in better shape after two kids, I need to appreciate this!”

Thank you, Jesus for this moment today. I needed it and I hope someone else did too.

So, call me conceited or whatever for posting this photo. I’m not. I’m not a flashy person. In fact I am a very modest person, but I am proud of this body I’m blessed with and if I can find some kind of peace with myself, I know anyone who is struggling with their body can to.

My bold photo. I think I am beautiful and when I think otherwise, I will give it straight to my creator.

I remember a photo of my Mom when she was young in a bikini and I LOVED it. I carried it in a little memory box and was so proud of how beautiful she was. I want my girls to see this and be proud of me!

Here’s another great blog of a woman who inspired me to live a healthy life and give my body issues to God.

The Dashing Dish


If it’s not one thing. It’s another

Written on 11/06/2010

Busy is an understatement. We’ve been going, going and GOING for the past month or more! Blogging, unfortunately has taken the back burner because of it. I’m always thinking about it, and I miss it but it just isn’t happening lately! So. Here’s a blog to give a nice recap of the past few weeks.

Cohen has been LOVING school. It’s been a nice chance for me to have a little one on one time with Isla. Every Tuesday and Thursday we race around our house, scarfing down waffles, trying to find clothes to wear, barley making it out the door on time and speed walk through those preschool doors. Huffing and puffing. That’s just the way we roll around here.

Halloween was a blast. We had a MASSIVE amount of little kids (not JUST little kids, about 12 little girls) running around our house while all our friends enjoyed some good food and conversation. Later we headed out to collect candy and show off the cute costumes. It’s always a great time.

I’ve been super busy with my photography. I’m loving it to pieces and I am learning a lot about people with each photo shoot. I’m hoping to start doing about 2-3 shoots a month. More than that sends my world into a whirlwind and I find myself neglecting the other things that are important for me to do in life. Such as, be with my babies, make sure we have dinner on the table, making sure we have clean clothes and have baths, little things like that.

Here’s a few recent photographs.

Some other big news. Vin and I are heading to Disneyland together. I can’t really express my excitement as I have never been to Disneyland. It’s pretty much a dream I’ve had ever since I was about 5 years old and Cinderella was my alter ego. I have a feeling Vin will see a very different side of me while we’re on our little post Anniversary extravaganza. The ONE thing making me want to ditch my plans is leaving my girls! I don’t know why this is so difficult for me. I’ve done it before and they were great. This time we will both be gone and I just pray God keeps us and them safe and happy.

No, it’s not really me and Cinderella. It sure does look real though doesn’t it?

Since my blog is extremely drab and boring, I would like to lead my readers to this post. It literally changed my life after I read it. You wont be disappointed  and if you are I will pay you a million bucks. (ok not really but I will give you a dollar via paypal for your time)

So GO read this. I’d love to hear back from you on this blog, what emotions you felt and whatnot.

Lots of love,


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Written on 10/18/2010

Love is what they got! Here’s the fun engagement shoot I did Sunday evening. Enjoy!

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A family filled with love!

Written on 10/16/2010

So yesterday evening I ventured out with Jess as my photography helper and did a beautiful family photo shoot! Tracy, the winner of my last photography contest and her beautiful family of boys met up with us in a heavenly spot in the country. It was surrounded by rustic beauty, barns, vineyards, fields and tons of character! I’ll be using this place again in the future!

This family loves The Lord and it shows. Tracy and Brett, her husband of 17 years, are like teenagers in love. They have two beautiful sweet boys, Chase and Isaac. I had a great time photographing them at sunset. The sun was glowing and the fun was flowing (don’t hate for those mad rhyming skills)

Here’s a few photos!

Ahhh. True love!




The Food Soulmates Blog

Written on 10/12/2010

Be excited about this new blog! If you love food, you will LOVE this blog! Vin and I were invited to the “Food Soulmates Launch Party” last Sunday and it was amazing! Some of our great friends have decided to jump on the blog bandwagon and share their amazing journey through discovering, experimenting and mastering delicious gourmet recipes that WE can make in our homes! Haven’t you always wanted to step up your cooking a notch? Now is your chance. They are very detailed and thorough about explaining their recipes, just about anyone can follow along with them.

Check it out and make sure to subscribe. They have lots of great recipes brewing up!

Here are a few photos of the fine event!


Comfort Foods Recipe: Meatloaf and Garlic Feta Mashed Potatoes

Written on 10/10/2010

I grew up eating meatloaf. I remember how often I had it and how I ate it as leftovers. I just simply love.meatloaf.

Since I’ve been married I’ve tried to create easy recipes for dinner. I had a few things in my fridge and decided I had enough to create my own version of one of the world’s most comforting comfort foods. It’s always a huge hit in our home. This meatloaf is hearty, full of flavor and makes amazing leftover meatloaf sandwiches!! Also, this time I added some amazing mashed potatoes with fresh garlic and feta cheese. I imagine you wont be disappointed! So go grab your comfy clothes and prepare to indulge in this comforting meal!

Ps. I used local organic beef in my meatloaf. And let me tell you…. nothing compares. I’m totally serious. If you can I would recommend organic free range (as local as possible) beef. What a difference!

Meat Loaf.

Here it is.

What You’ll Need:

First, pre-heat that oven to 350 degrees.

For optional sauce for the top of the meatloaf see photo below for ingredients.

  • When combining the ingredients, you’ll only use about 1/3 of the seasoning packet per 1 lb of beef used. (this recipe calls for 1 lb of beef, so use 1/3 of the packet)
  • Chop your fresh basil and oregano well.

  • Sauce is optional. It’s delicious but not everyone wants it :-)

  • If you’re choosing to sans the sauce, just place the meatloaf into the pre-heated oven and bake until center is fully cooked (approx 1 hour)

  • For the Garlic Feta Mashed Potatoes
  • You’ll need 4 large Russet Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk (depending on your personal choice)



Our night!

Written on 10/09/2010

Vin and I had a great Anniversary. We got to have dinner together without the girls, thanks to my Mom! We met up in Portland and dined at The Melting Pot. It was nothing short of delicious (and extremely fattening)  but it’s ok. I’ve had two kids, gained 40 lbs with each one and lost it after each one. I think I deserve a little fondue! It’s so funny how ONE night out with your husband is like a little slice of heaven after you’ve had kids. Our dates are few and far between these days so this was very special to both of us. We had a blast together as usual. I love being married to such a funny guy. I can blame him for the new wrinkles who are calling my face their home. That’s just what happens when you laugh a lot! Or yell a lot. Yell? What? Who? :-)

So here are some pics of our wonderful evening together!

Sorry I’m kinda lame tonight. I’m not feeling 100%. I have a recipe ready to blog as well, so check back soon! Or just Subscribe to my blog so you never miss a moment!

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It has come!

Written on 10/06/2010

My 5th year wedding Anniversary is here. I remember sitting with Vin after we were married. Probably on our honeymoon, exchanging words that went something like, “I can’t wait for our 5th year Anniversary!”

Here it is. I can’t really begin to write about everything we have been through together in the past 5 years. We’ve been through a lot. More than the average couple in 5 years.

When we first married we were both unemployed. Living on faith. Living in what I still consider my favorite home yet, our little Maplewood apartment. We were driving one car. We were moving about every 6 months.

Now here we are. A beautiful home, a stable position, two beautiful girls. It’s pretty amazing to see how far things have come for us in such a short time.

We’ve experienced many and I mean MANY disappointments and hardships in each other and in our lives. We both know we can’t love each other right apart from Christ. We’ve gone through the fire and God has only begun His refining in us. We still have much to learn about what mariage is and how to best love and serve each other, but it’s a sweet place to be, with someone you love and with someone who supports you when you don’t have the strength to stand.

I pray for Gods grace DAILY in my marriage. I know when I “try” to make my marriage or myself better I only fail. I know when I surrender and let God have control the blessings come pouring in. I’m so thankful for a man who loves me and wants to be my best friend until I leave this world.

I’ll never stop letting God work.

Vin, I took you to be my wedded husband.

To have and to hold, from this day forward and until the end,

for better,

for worse,

for richer,

for poorer,

in sickness or in health,

to love and to cherish ’till death do us part.

And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.

I love you.



Bright Idea: #1

Written on 10/01/2010

I needed to get this thought blogged before it left my mind. I will randomly think or come across an idea that either saves me some of my sanity or money. Both are very valuable. I’ll share a couple of them just to make this world a better place.

Bright Idea #1: I recently purchased some Scentsy, which I LOVE, but noticed the scent is amazingly strong the first few days it’s burning and soon after I don’t seem to notice my house smelling like fresh baked cookies anymore. Which is usually bad because my brain is no longer being fooled and I will end up actually baking cookies and probably eating all of them too. So this morning as I was replacing the wax in my Scentsy melter I thought,

“I can buy some concentrated scented candle oil, add a bit to my old wax and make it like new again!”

So off I went to my computer to search Etsy for this product. There is a plethora of scented candle oils on etsy. I purchased two 1oz bottles of a yummy Vanilla scent and an Orange Cake scent and will be getting it in the mail shortly. I’m pretty confident it will work but I will confirm after I have tried it. So, this will save me quite a bit of money if I can actually just recycle the wax from my Scentsy. (Scentsy wax doesn’t evaporate, so you will always have the actual wax left)

Hope you try this and let me know how it works for you!!



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