Archive: ‘Families and Kids’

Five on Friday: Five DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts I Love

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Okay, I admit it…I’m a huge fan of the do-it-yourself movement, and as a result, I probably spend way too much time on Pinterest. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I got busy pinning all sorts of fun pink and red, heart-shaped craft ideas, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you today. Let’s get crafty this weekend! (For more Valentine’s Day DIY inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board.)

1. Every good craft day needs a yummy snack, so how about this Valentine’s themed popcorn from Gimme Some Oven?

Valentine's Popcorn from Gimme Some Oven


2. I can’t wait to try making these suncatcher hearts using crayon shavings and wax paper with the kiddos! (Thanks to for the inspiration!)

Crayon Hearts from Martha Stewart


3.  LOVE this hearts in a frame idea from Cozy.Cottage.Cute!

Hearts in a Frame from Cozy Cottage Cute


4. I can just see this ampersand thumbtack art (find the instructions from Life in Velvet here) on a gallery wall with your favorite engagement, wedding, or family photos. Can’t you? 

Ampersand Thumbtack Art from Life in Velvet


5. And one last quick, fun and easy craft ideas to try with the kiddos. Love this idea for little love bugs from No Time for Flash Cards.

Cork Love Bugs from No Time for Flash Cards



St. Louis Wedding Photographer | STL MO Wedding Photography

Big Changes Ahead…and a Giveaway!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Dear Bloggy-Blog,

I have something to confess. I’ve been keeping a secret. It’s a secret so exciting that I’ve been bursting to share it with you, but the time just hasn’t been right…until now.

When we moved back to central Illinois two and a half years ago, it sure was nice to be home. In fact, Dorothy said it best — “There’s no place like home!” After a couple rough years away and so many major life changes (two kids in diapers at the same time is not for the feint of heart, people), we were ready to be loved on. And that’s just what we found here in Charleston. The warmth and generosity of our amazing family. The friends — old and new — who have reassured us that we are indeed perfectly normal, because after all — crazy IS normal. The daycare staff who love our kiddos like they’re their own. And the incredible, wonderful, splendiferous Cheryl McKee, Kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, who has guided us through the wondrous (and at times mind-boggling) world of having a “school-age” child. Oh yes, Charleston — we’ve certainly felt the love, and this is where I’m proud to say we’ve built our first real home as a family.

But Kirk and I have always said that our stay here in Charleston wasn’t permanent. We needed some love, and we needed some time — some time to figure out how to be the best spouse/parent/sibling/daughter/son/friend/photographer/small business owner/etc. each of us could possibly be. I’ll admit, we still haven’t quite figured that all out yet, but I think it’s safe to say we’re well on our way. And today…TOGETHER…we’re better than ever. So it’s time. Time to acknowledge that stirring in our souls to get back to a more metropolitan area; time to move on and write our next chapter.

We’ve had countless conversations about the merits of Denver vs. San Diego…mountains vs. the ocean…St. Louis vs. Chicago…city dwelling vs. life in suburbia. But when we came down to it, the answer was really quite simple when you consider our top two priorities: 1) putting down roots near our family, so our kiddos can know their grandparents and cousins, and 2) access to a major airport, since Kirk is still doing lots of traveling for work and we both have a crazy case of wanderlust. So I’m happy to announce our next chapter finally has a setting, and that setting is… (drumroll, please)

 (ding, ding, ding…you guessed it!)

 St. Louis!!!

 (cue pyrotechnics)

My parents recently relocated to the ‘Lou thanks to a new job opportunity for my dad, and we’ve spent quite a bit of time down that way lately. We’re excited to get to know the city and make it our home — the place where we’ll set down roots and raise our family. We’ve hit most of the major attractions and fallen in love with the City Museum. We’ve had a blast taking the kiddos to the zoo and the Science Center. And the kids have had infinite amounts of fun hanging out at the Magic House with Grandma and Papa. It’s going to be wonderful to have easy access to these attractions and be able to say to the girls on a beautiful Spring day, “Let’s head over to the zoo and see what the giraffes are up to today!” And we’re also excited to find those neighborhood restaurants and coffee shops, boutiques, and music venues that make a big city feel like home. It’s going to be amazing, and I can’t help but do a little happy dance in my mind every time I imagine what life will be like for us a year from now, five years from now, or even ten years down the road.

(This is one of my all-time favorite images of our oldest daughter, taken at the St. Louis City Museum.)

But I think one of the things I’m most thrilled about is to get back to a world where there’s a Target…not an hour away from us, but just down the road. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Target…and I have very little love for the world of Wally, even though that’s all we have here in Charleston-Mattoon. So to celebrate our big news and upcoming move, let’s do a giveaway!

We’ll be giving away a $10 Target Gift Card to one lucky reader chosen at random. All you have to do is leave us a comment. If you’re in St. Louis, share your favorite local restaurant or shop; if you’re not in St. Louis, tell us where your wanderlust will be taking you next (be it a real vacation, dream vacation, or cross-country move)!

Target Gift Card Giveaway

We’ll choose a winner on Friday, March 15th, so enter now (and tell your friends, too). Can’t wait to hear from you!



Why Mini Sessions are PERFECT for Your Family!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Awhile back, Kirk and I made the decision to focus our energy on growing the weddings portion of our business, and while that decision was solid, I’ve found myself missing getting to interact with families and kids. After all, when you get right down to what this journey has been about for us, it all comes down to FAMILY. Families are what make this world go ’round, and while every family is different, every family is BEAUTIFUL! So I’ve set aside an entire day in April to spend with YOU and YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILIES! I absolutely cannot wait to photograph you hugging your kiddos, holding your sweetheart’s hand, telling your favorite “Knock-Knock” jokes, and loving just being together. Sounds like a recipe for awesomesauce, doesn’t it?

Here are the deets:

Mini Sessions - April 6, 2013 - Lincoln Log Cabin, Charleston, IL

PLUS, when you refer a friend, you’ll also receive a sheet of 8 wallet-size photos as a thank you from me (a $20 value). (Now your sister can stop bugging you for an updated family photo for her fridge!)

And here’s why a mini-session is PERFECT for your family:

–> 20 minutes is plenty of time to make magic happen and capture some great images — but it’s not so long that the hubs will spend the entire week leading up to your session dreading it! In fact, by the end of your session, he’ll probably say, “We’re done already? That was EASY!”

–> We only have to worry about keeping the kiddos dirt-free for a matter of minutes…not two whole hours. Totally doable!

–> Mini sessions are an affordable way to get your feet wet with custom, natural-light photography and document the essence of what makes you a family. Trust me, it’s way more fun, way more laid back, and way more AUTHENTIC than the photo stand at the big box stores.

–> Mother’s Day is May 11th. Imagine the smile on your mom’s face when you present her with a beautifully framed professional portrait of her favorite people on Earth. She’ll probably even shed a tear of joy…or two!

–> Multi-tasking is an art form, and booking a mini-session will make you a multi-tasking master artist! Seriously, in just 20 minutes, you’ll have Mother’s Day in the bag PLUS a great new piece of art for your home gallery. 10 more minutes = Christmas cards ordered! Once they arrive, you can even address them, stamp them, and set them aside to drop in the mail the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yes, my dear, you will prove you are master of multi-tasking…and we will ALL be jealous! 🙂

Call me — 217.508.9729 — or email me — — to book your session.

Can’t make it on April 6th, but would still love to book a mini-session? Ask me about HOSTING your own mini-sessions, and possibly even earning your mini-session for free!


What Says HOPE for the New Year Better Than a Newborn Babe?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

A new year…new beginnings. There’s something refreshing about January. I know, I know — for those of us in the midwest, January can mean snow and ice and freezing temperatures. But hey, each day in January we get a little bit more daylight than the day before, too. And for me, January also brings the promise of hope and excitement about what’s to come…this year especially. With that in mind, I thought it fitting to share with you these sweet images from a session I did last August with Baby V. After all, what could be a better symbol of hope than a beautiful, precious baby?

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
– Carl Sandburg

(See, I’m not the only one who thinks so?)  🙂

Baby V and Big Sis C

Sweet Baby V

All About the Details

Cryin' Eyes

Mama's Love

The Newborn Hair Swirl

Sleepy Baby


What To Wear for Your Family Photos – Fabulous Fall Looks

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Wondering what to wear for your Fall family portraits or mini-session? Check out these amazing inspiration boards whipped up by Corina Nielson. She described her approach to selecting a wardrobe for family photos in a recent blog post, and I just love the way she thinks! The following is an excerpt from her post:

Keeping your location and season in mind, start with one person.  Don’t try and think of everyone at the same time.  I find that mom or a little girl makes the most sense since they would typically be the ones wearing a print.  So mom will be wearing a floral print dress (small pretty pattern that is).

Now move on to the next person.  You will be pulling colors from mom’s dress so begin to think about who in the family would look good in what colors.  Dad doesn’t look so good in XYZ since it tends to drown out the tone in his skin.  Let’s pick ABC for him instead.  And so on.

Then start to come up with ideas to personalize the session.  A little boy may have a security blanket or teddy bear he never parts with…. be sure to bring that with you.  The little girl may like crafting so have her make a cute matching headband or clip for her hair.  Mom loves tulips… on your way to the session pick some up.  Make thoughtful choices and be sure to discuss the ideas with your photographer!  Believe me, most are full of ideas however, it’s always nice when the family helps and truly ensures a “custom” session.Ideas for What to Wear for Fall Photos

Ideas for What to Wear for Fall Photos

 Hopefully these suggestions will help you in your planning. Can’t wait to see what you come up with…Cheers!


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