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Returning the super squishy drooliness

My husband and I have decided that two boys are all the kids we need.  We love them mightily and are desperately trying to cherish as many moments as we can with them until they start to like girls, grow facial hair and only need us for the car.  We get glimpses of these older-kid moments now when they whine and roll their eyes.  However, I can still put my eight-year-old in time out.  {I haven’t figured out what I’ll do with a 14-year-old.}  Alas, I have a few more years to cross that bridge.

This digression is leading somewhere… it’s to other people’s babies.  I love babies, but I don’t want to house, diaper, feed, discipline and send to college any more than the two I have.  So, I love taking the opportunity to snap some photos of other people’s kids; I can appreciate the darling, super squishy drooliness and then return them and the tuition payments to their parents.

Here is a particularly squishy, university-bound boy that I had the opportunity to love and then return.

Enjoy my tuition-free snaps.


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free printable luggage tags

Are you packing your bags to go somewhere this summer?  Is your luggage the same black rolling bag that everyone has?

Yes or no, make your stuff stand out with these new printable luggage tags.  This printable is FREE.

They fit nicely in the standard luggage tag laminating pouch.  I have created six colorful and whimsical designs for you.

Click on either image to go to the download.


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a day for Pops and a freebie

Hats off to single parents!

I don’t know how they do it.  I live in a military town where spouses can be gone for six months to a year at a time and I am whining when my husband comes home late from work.  But, it just proves how much I need and depend on my babydaddy.

I really do have the best guy out there {at least the best one for me.}  We celebrated ten years of marriage this year.  And I couldn’t imagine having spent that many years with any other person.  If you’re married, think back to that guy or gal you dated just before your spouse; it probably wouldn’t have worked out, right?  Well, I don’t know your situation, but I definitely wouldn’t have lasted with the penultimate guy.   Last I heard,  he’s on his second wife anyway.   Whew, I dodged a bullet there.

So, even though Hallmark invented all of these ridiculous holidays to make us spend money on cards, Father’s Day is worth celebrating.   I am bucking the system here and giving you a freebie to honor your favorite daddy-o.  Download the newest ghd printable here.


And while you’re at it, book a photo session before June 19th

and get 20% off the session and prints.

Enjoy.  SPL

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hooting my own horn {sic}

So, I’d prefer to be more humble, but sometimes I am just so excited about what I did that I have to share.

I hope that you appreciate the fact that I am not a cake decorator and that I am not meticulous when I cook or bake.  So this large confectionery/baking endeavor was a labor of true love from me to my 5 year old son.  {And I employed the much over-exploited loyalty of my best cheese-arranging* friend, Stephanie, to keep me on task and finish the d@$^able thing before dinnertime.}

*Cheese-arranging, you ask.  (adj.) Yes.  It’s an adjective of endearment that I have used to describe the wonderfully OCD quality that would make someone artfully arrange the cheese on a grilled cheese sandwich so as to have no cheese overlap nor overflow.  It’s opposite would describe me.  I have no desire nor skill to prevent the cheese from either overlapping nor overflowing.  Dare I say that I prefer overlap AND overflow.  But, I love everything about Stephanie.  So, I will raise a glass now (even though it may be 10am) to her “disorder” (yes, pun is intended)!

Enjoy, Hedwig!

{to also be noted, the Harry Potter craze has taken over my children since our trip to Universal in March.)

Here is a detail of the finished work.  Mon chef d’oeuvre!

Assembly of the pieces.  I made a chocolate cake and a butter pecan one.  Both moist and yummy combined with the homemade butter cream frosting.

Crumb coating.

Doodles from

Almost done.

They can’t wait.

Ahhh.  The candles.  Happy Birthday, C-note!

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Slimming Valentine’s gifts

It’s the SECOND most wonderful time of the year…  Well, sort of.

I feel like I just finished my gift giving holidays and now I am expected to give something for Valentines!

My husband and I have stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional cards and candy sense.  Neither of us wants those things.  I am not a particular fan of heart-shaped things, flowers always die and candy {well, it makes me fat, right?.}  So, we invest in each other for Valentine’s Day.  During that week sometime, we turn off our cellphones, TV, iPads, etc. and spend quality time together.  If you know my husband, you know that that is a better gift and a harder one for him to give than a box of chocolates.

SO IF YOU’RE WATCHING YOUR WAISTLINE this year and looking to  give that special someone a thoughtful low-calorie  gift, consider a child or family photo session or silhouette session as a GREAT way to show them that you care.

Book your session between now and FEBRUARY 14th and I’ll give you 25% off session fees and prints!

Like me on facebook and I’ll give you another 5% off {you’re up to 30% off now}

Signup for the newsletter and I’ll give you another extra 5% off.  {That’s 35% off!}

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FIF #84

I almost didn’t do this one, but I couldn’t resist the challenge.  The women at iheartfaces have come up with a real editing challenge for this week’s Fix It Friday.  Check out all the entries at their site

Here is the original SOOC (straight out of the camera) version.

Here’s what I did.

I played with the saturation, the levels, and added touches of light and dark to even out the shading.  I sharpened her face a bit and cloned out the spit.   And then I ran Pioneer Woman’s 70s action on it (but changed the groups opacity to 75%).  I also needed to crop out the feet, while leaving a hint of the cute little piggies below.

Here ‘s a bonus black and white version.

Let me know how I did.  Enjoy.  SPL

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a fabulous b-side

After the dinosaurs went extinct, a baby boy was born in Bethlehem and nearly 1900 years later Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph.  As the recording medium grew in popularity, record companies began to produce small 7″ albums often called 45s (the rpm at which they were played.)  There was an A-side and a B-side.  The A-side was reserved for the popular hit, while the B-side was usually a lesser known song or even an outtake or joke.

However, many b-sides in have become great.

“Into the Groove”  Madonna

“I’m Free” the Rolling Stones

“Murder by Numbers”  the Police

“Pink Cadillac”  Bruce Springsteen

“The Sweetest Thing”  U2

“Be-Bop A Lula”  Gene Vincent

“Yellow Ledbetter” Pearl Jam

“Rain” the Beatles

“Don’t Worry Baby”  the Beach Boys

“Unchained Melody” the Righteous Brothers

So why am I fixated on B-Sides? Well, I have two boys, my A-side and my B-side.  My husband is a B-side (second and, even worse, a middle child.)  My second child is unbelievable and I am determined to make him feel just a special as his A-side – first-born brother.  I knew that I had to take a ton of photos of him at his birth, because as in my husband’s family and in many other families, there are albums chock full of photos of the first born and only a small smattering of second-child photos.

So the other day, I had the opportunity to photograph a fabulous B-side baby boy.  He is beautiful and already a huge hit with his parents and family.  Take a look.

Enjoy.  He’s no one hit wonder.  SPL