Pssst. Can I let you in on a little secret? I love scouting for photo shoot locations/the best spots in Long Beach. I’ll be driving around pretty much anywhere in Los Angeles, see something awesome, and slam on the brakes (slash) quickly pull over to document the details.
This park in Long Beach (technically it’s Lakewood) has been a favorite for awhile. And in the past, I’ve been a little secretive about my locations because I work really hard to find some of them. But, honestly, I’m not the child photographer that keeps going back to the same spot over and over. I get bored. I like to switch things up! So, while I’ll still hold some locations as ‘new’ for my clients (because I believe that’s part of why you hire me), I wanted to start sharing a few spots that I think would be fun for those of you that are looking for new photo shoot locations.
We started off this week with a full table and ended up with an even fuller table! Monday night was a big pot of white bean chili with some family and friends…
Later in the week, I was working on a dip-dyed project for the blog. So, my sink was filled with pink dye! It turned out really cute, I can’t wait to share with you guys.
I did some location scouting last week and found this little gem. If I like the iPhone capture, I know it’s going to be off-the-hook-awesome with my real camera!
Brent had Friday morning off, so we started off the morning at Starling (LOVE this Long Beach breakfast spot), and then looked for an outfit for him to wear Easter morning. Of course I have no photos of what he actually wore, but he told me he liked this mannequin look, so I snapped it for future reference. Mixed prints for the win!
Speaking of Brent, have you notice how many skating pictures we’ve been posting!? Our friends put a ramp in their backyard and Brent has been teaching the boys to skate. It’s been fun and I’m secretly hoping this new hobby doesn’t end with any broken bones!
Saturday. I was a little stressed to start the day. I had a LOT to do. Then, my friend asked me to go to boot camp on the beach. I decided the to-do list could wait and I got my work out on instead. Everything got accomplished and my legs felt like jello the next day!
We open Easter baskets on Saturday, because Sundays tend to be crazy busy around here. My kids still get excited and the contents are super simple! Usually everyone gets shoes, a new Easter outfit, a bathing suit, a movie and a TINY bit of candy. This year I could find the big sand buckets, so everything got scrunched inside the small ones.
Saturday also involved making cinnamon rolls for the morning and arranging flowers for the tables. So, here’s my dough hanging out with all those flowers.
Brent had to leave at 7:30am on Sunday and doesn’t get home until almost 1:00, so I had to enlist these three helpers to get me set up for all 21 (!!!) of us for lunch. They were awesome and did everything from set the table to making lemonade for our guests. And they’re exceptionally cute!!
I ended the week with a full heart. I love my family and friends and it means a lot when we can all celebrate our risen Savior together! Oh and if you want to hear Brent’s message from Sunday, it’s on the church website- click here.
Hey y’all! With Easter coming up this Sunday, I wanted to share the mini photo sessions that happened a few weeks ago at Rascals to Rebels. If you haven’t been to this children’s boutique (in Rossmoor) yet, you need to go check it out! They have a great selection of clothes and toys…plus their staff is some of the nicest people you’ll meet!
On to the photos! Check out all these cuties…
Do you recognize these twins on the right below? They play the baby Christine Angela Booth on the show, Bones. They’re adorable!
My friend Marcus, just started his own business making custom clothing for kids. I offered to shoot one of his pieces on Cooper, so I wanted to share it here! Marcus’ attention to detail is perfection and he has great style too! Here’s the link to his etsy store…so go check it out!
This is the first year I’ve tried an activity advent with the kids. I think we did a chocolate one at some point during the toddler years, and there’s this amazing interactive one on the computer by Jacquie Lawson that my mother-in-law buys the kids every year. But, we decided to try something different this year. There are no chocolates and no gifts in our advent. It’s about family time and making memories together. We are on day 17 and I’m so excited about the things we’ve been able to do and the last week we have before Christmas.
Some of the activities are very simple, like stringing popcorn or making a sweet treat. Other have naturally happened and are a bit more exciting. Like going to Disneyland for a Brad Paisley concert! (Friends invited us, so I planned it into the advent.) We’ve also done some service projects together, like working a food booth at church and making cards for shut-ins and shopping for gifts for others. Along with the sock project I’ll tell you about soon.
The Christmas season is exciting. And I want my kids to know it’s not just a count-down to opening presents. It’s a time to really focus on others and remember what we are celebrating. This amazing moment when God gave us the most important gift, Jesus. Heaven coming to earth.
I hope you and yours are enjoying the month of December. And, in light of the recent tragic events, I hope you are focused on family and the things in life that really matter.
Guess what’s coming up the day after tomorrow? I’ll give you a hint. It only comes around once a month and it inspires me to wake up at the crack of dawn…the Long Beach Flea Market! It happens to be just down the street from our church, so I like to wake up super early and get all my shopping done every 3rd Sunday when all those tents roll into town with their junky goods.
Laura, my friend from Ascot Friday, introduced me to this flea market. After moving from the Bay area, I was lost. I used to have my round of thrift stores that I’d hit once a week. I ALWAYS found something good. Consistency is key. And when you’re a photographer, you NEED junk props like water. I tried thrifting here in Long Beach, but I just couldn’t get into. Plus I don’t have the time, as my business has taken off. So, this once a month trip to the parking lot of the Veteran’s Stadium fills my house with a never-ending supply of old chairs, pottery and collectibles. Yay for junk!
On my last trip, I added a little ‘arm swag’ to my collection. There was a seller with piles and piles of bracelets from all over the world. $5 later I was peacing out. Oh and collections. I’ve started a little collection of old cameras. They are such fun props. Here’s my newest addition…
All these photos are taken with my iphone, because bringing my big camera out would distract from the shopping! I hope you can make it out to one of the best flea markets around. Here’s the link to all the info: Long Beach Antique Market (fancy website name, but it’s really just a flea market
Ever since moving to Long Beach 3 years ago, I’ve commiserated with friends about the lack of good eateries. When we want to go someplace special, we drive south or to LA. Long Beach is full of chain restaurants, but when you’re not feeling like Outback Steakhouse or Mimi’s Cafe, you’re hard-pressed to find a way to spend your date night. Then came Starling Diner. I know it’s been around a long while, but we just discovered it. It’s convinced me that there’s an underground of locally owned restaurants just waiting to be found.
On the recommendation of Yelp, we ordered the stuffed french toast with brandy butter apples along with a applewood bacon, tomato and cheddar scramble the first time we went. It was a sunny morning and as much as I wanted to enjoy the inside of the tiny restaurant, we ate outside on the orange laquered patio tables. Neighbors walk by with their dogs and it’s quite charming. You know what else is quite charming? And delicious and amazing? The french toast. I liked the scramble, but I fought for the last bite of the french toast. It’s a piece of baguette stuffed with some sort of mascarpone and crème fraiche combination. Then. Then it’s topped with apples sauteed in brandy butter. Did I have you at stuffed? I should.
The menu has a little info on the back about the owner and how she came to open Starling. My favorite part was when she talked about how as a child she would open a restaurant in her parents garage every summer for the neighbors. I can’t wait to explore more of Long Beach and find restaurants where people are living their passion. And it shows through the food.
That’s right! I’m back at the best children’s boutique…Rascals to Rebels! This time I’ll be at the Rossmoor store on March 9, 10 and 11. It’s a Friday, Saturday and Sunday with morning and afternoon time slots. Here’s how it works…head over to the store and make a purchase (like a super cute outfit for Easter!). You can sign up in the store for your FREE 15 minute photo session when you spend a minimum of $50 at the store.
This event is for kids only (the backdrop just isn’t very big) and once you see your photos, you only buy what you want…there’s no minimum purchase requirement.
Here’s a few sample pictures on the spring backdrop with the adorable Addison and Jillian!