…but I had to share any way. Ben snapped this for me with his camera phone. They installed the pictures I took way back in October. I think it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen my work! I’ll be going by to check it out soon and will take more pictures to share.
Fresh Foods Cafe opens in January at Catalina Landing in Long Beach…so go check them out! If their food is anything like what Ben makes at home, it’s going to be phenomenal!
Now is the time of year when we are able to pack: 4 parties, a job, bake a cake, write a Christmas play, send out the rest of your cards and shop for presents. All in a single day. It’s crazy! Today, has been one of the those days for me.
I started out the morning with breakfast on the water (love that about long beach!) with good friends, then headed over to Jillian’s preschool Christmas performance (or sperborbans as she calls it) and 2 parties in the boys’ classrooms. After that I came home to clean my house, do some photo editing then head off to Rascals to Rebels for more Santa pictures. After that it’s time to make dinner and prepare for a chocolate fountain feast for 20 or so college students. All in a day???!??
So, as you can see my blogging has had to take a back seat, but I will fit it in for the day. I had to share one of my Santa pictures from today. Here he is with the cutest dogs ever! They were wearing matching sweaters with pom-pom trim and had rhinestone collars on. I can’t image what they told Santa they wanted for Christmas!
I just got off the phone with a client, telling her about how I’m constantly driving around looking for the perfect locations. I have a mental file of what locations fit the needs of my clients. This time I was looking for a pale, sort of blurred out background. The portraits will be hanging in a home with mostly white decor, so I wanted something really soft.
Jillian came with me in the hunt. Of course she’s wearing all dark colors…woops. It would have looked better with a lighter color palette, but cute nonetheless.
Today was rainy and mushy and all around yucky. I had to go out in it because it was my last chance to do Christmas shopping. Jillian’s home tomorrow and the kids have a half day on Friday, so today was it! All that I wanted to do was curl up at home with a cup of cocoa and a good book. After all my shopping I had a bit of time, so I decided to make a batch of toffee. I only make this recipe at Christmas-time. I grew up with my mom making it at Christmas, so it makes me feel all nostalgic.
Before I get to the recipe, I’ll share some pictures of the kitchen. Like I said before, we knocked down walls and Danny took the support beam that hung across the kitchen and tucked it up in the attic. It made the kitchen seem so much bigger! We also kept the existing cabinets, but painted them white. We went back and forth on the countertops and ended up splurging on a pale gray granite. It looks really nice with all the white. Oh and to balance things out, I got all my stainless steel appliances through craigslist. That saved a lot…and I got to meet lots of “interesting” people. Each appliance has a story!
One more note about the kitchen…I put all my baskets on top of the cabinets, but I’m not quite so sure about it. I don’t have a lot of space, so it does solve that problem, but I don’t want it to look too “country” or too cluttery. Any opinions on the baskets? Should I leave them or store them away somewhere??
Alright, on to the toffee…. Like I said, I make this every year. It’s so good and remarkably easy to make. Take one cup of pecans and crush them with a big knife.
Then melt 1/2 cup butter with 3/4 cup packed brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then stir constantly for about 5 minutes. This is the only tricky part…don’t let it burn. If you start to small a hint of burning, pull it off the heat…even it it hasn’t been 5 minutes. And make sure you stir it the whole time…again, the whole burning thing is no good! Spread the mixture over the nuts on a cookie sheet.
Finally, take a big handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread them over the toffee. I usually make a little tinfoil tent over the cookie sheet to make them melt faster.
Once they are melty, spread it around with the back of a spoon and let it cool. Once it’s completely cool, take a big knife and chop it into small pieces…enjoy!
When we moved to the area, I came across Rascals to Rebels in Seal Beach. They have the CUTEST clothes and the nicest sales staff. One of the times I was in the store, I met the owner and we started talking about working together. Fast forward a few weeks and I was photographing all the children that showed up to meet Santa and help raise money to fight breast cancer.
I had so much fun meeting families that I’ll hopefully photograph in the near future. This is such a great community and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!
Here are some of the cuties that came to see Santa…
So, if you’re local…you must go check out the store. And if you are booking a session and need some help with clothing choices, I’ll even shop at the store for you!
I must admit newborn photo sessions top the list as my favorite things to do on a weekend. You see, there will be no more Eldridge babies so I have to enjoy everyone else’s newborns. Which is a perfect arrangement!
I met Jenna Grace and her parents out in San Juan Capistrano yesterday for her photo session. With a little extra time on my hands, I decided to make a u-turn to check out the “barn sale” along the side of the road. We don’t get a lot of barn sales in southern CA! It was a total jackpot. The owners bought an historic barn and were clearing out all the junk that was jammed packed inside. Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for Brent) I was driving the camry and had literally no cash on me. BUT the owner swung me a deal to buy this antique wire basket along with a great rustic wood bowl for about 75 cents in change.
I was smiling ear-to-ear as I showed up at the session with my new finds and even more thrilled to find out that Kim was totally up for my ideas. So, here is the sweet little angel inside my new basket!
And a little more traditional baby shot…
Another of my ideas was to cucoon Jenna in a little crocheted cap. And she already has such fabulous hair, we couldn’t resist putting a bow in it.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering where Jenna gets her good looks and you’re about to find out.
Kim and Jared…you guys are already such great parents. It was really sweet to see the way your hearts are just overflowing with love for this precious baby girl.
It was fun to take some pictures with vibrant colors for my new orange album. I love the way these colors just POP!
When I’m helping clients choose what to wear, I tell them I love bold, bright colors and these photos are a great example of why. Kids can totally pull off wearing colors that would never work on adults. The right colors make their skin tone look even better than it already does and makes theirs eyes pop.
The other day I was tagged by Megan to do a meme. I had to go look up her blog to see what a meme was! And I’ve never been “tagged” before either…I guess there’s a first for everything. So, a meme is going into your photos folder and choosing the 6th photo of the 6th folder and writing about it.
Here’s my 6th photo in my 6th folder:
Her name is Dacia and she’s one of the child models I photographed for Models, Inc. Talent Agency. It’s actually a very appropriate picture for me to blog about because I’ve had customer service on my mind.
Let me back-track…the other day I got my bank statement and noticed I’d been charged for checks. The checks were accidentally ordered for me, so I returned them to the bank and they shredded them…telling me it was all taken care of. Long story short, the bank refused to refund the checks that THEY ordered incorrectly, that THEY told me were destroyed and taken care of. I decided to try a different branch and met an extremely nice employee who took care of it right away and even refunded the next batch of correct checks I ordered. Then to top it off, she gave Jillian a quarter (who had been begging me for a quarter-that I didn’t have-for a gumball machine). I walked away happy in sharp contrast to the day before when I was losing sleep over the $75 that the bank was refusing to refund.
Soooo, that got me thinking about how important it is for my clients to walk away happy. To feel like they are important. I try to do little extras for my clients and am always on time with my orders. Zipping back to the importance of Dacia’s picture. That morning her mom’s GPS had led her to the wrong location and she was not only late, but very frustrated. I stopped by Starbucks on my way over and picked her up a coffee to sip on while I photographed Dacia. It made a huge impact…and she walked away happy instead of frustrated.
When I share client’s photos on my blog I always have a hard time picking which ones to choose. I tell my clients I’ll show photos that make me smile. As they are waiting for the whole gallery of pictures, sometimes they want to know if the ones that make it on the blog are the “best” from their session. But, again…it’s a complicated process…the ones that make me smile at first glance make it on.
After I go through and edit all the images, other photos will stand out and I’ll wish I had posted those too. So, today, I was driving through Seal Beach and wanted to share a few images from under the pier that never made it on the blog.
As a little tidbit for the non-professionals…I look for light that’s coming in at a 45 degree angle to my subject. That means I like using the side of a building, the entry way of a house, anything that will bend the light and create soft/even lighting. The pier is perfect for this…the lighting is gorgeous.