Saturday, December 28, 2013

Playing Dress Up

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to help with pictures of her daughter. She had been on Pinterest and saw photos of a little girl in her mothers wedding dress and wanted to give it a go.

We decided we wanted to try creating the pictures with a dreamy soft feeling so we decided to use her mother-in-law's house which has a larger window in the front room which gets quite a bit of light. 

Leslie is naturally very creative and when I arrived, she had a number of props and jewelry to use in the shoot. That is super helpful for a photographer. If I were to ever decide to do this professionally, I would need to get her help to get the studio setup with really cute props and backgrounds. 

Liv was super excited to get to play dress up in her mom's dress that day. She's a bit of a goofball, but we were able to get some really great shots. Below are some of my favorite. 

Thank you Leslie, Don, and Liv for letting me help make some memories! I can't wait to do it again with Ella!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What I love about Phoenix

There are so many things I love about Phoenix - the beautiful scenery, the red-orange Sonoran sunsets, the cost of living - the weather!!  But tonight, I want to talk about one of my favorite things that most people don't realize about Phoenix - there are some really great restaurants.  Below are a few of my favorite restaurants:

Cornish Pasty - this started out as a small hole in the wall restaurant but they've since opened a larger location about a mile from the house (lucky me!) and now they're opening in Las Vegas as well!

Chelsea's Kitchen - beautiful atmosphere in the Camelback corridor of Phoenix.  They've recently opened a location in Terminal 4 at the airport - it makes me want to get to the airport a whole lot earlier.

Cibo - a downtown Phoenix staple.  Great for lunch (I highly suggest the Pulled pork sandwich) but they also do a nice pizza for dinner.

Grazie - My favorite pizza place in Phoenix (actually Old Town Scottsdale) and there are a ton of very good pizza places in the Phoenix area so this is saying alot

Chino Bandito - Chinese Mexican fusion.  Need I say more?

City Hall - Yummy, yummy steak and the lobster mash potatoes have actually lobster chucks that they add in right at your table.

These are just a few of my favorites - you should visit Phoenix to experience all of the great food options!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hubby Lifting: Part 3

We're continuing to work through our honey-do list. One of the major items on the list is the fireplace in the living room. I've never been a big fan of it but I've never been sure what to do.

We're in the process do redoing a lot of the house and specifically the living room. So I decided to tackle the fireplace. I decided I wanted more light in the living room so I decided we were going to paint the fireplace white! I was nervous about this decision. I don't want to impact the value of the home but I couldn't stand to look at the ugly brick anymore.

I talked Adam into starting the project on a Saturday afternoon thinking it would just take a couple of hours. I was wrong. We did the first coat on Saturday but then we had to finish it up on Sunday.

I am very happy with the fireplace now. It really brightens up the room and it makes it look much more modern. Now I just need my new furniture to get here, decide on a new rug and paint the walls!

Original Fireplace
Updated Fireplace

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Little Girl Brooks Turns 2!

One of my favorite little girls turned 2 years old this month!  It seems just like yesterday that we were doing her 1 year old pictures.

Gabby has been going through a phase lately where she doesn't want to have her picture taken.  If you pull out a camera, she makes a face at you and covers her face with her hands.  She really does not like having her picture taken.  So Kim and I were fully prepared for a break down and were trying to find ways to keep her entertained.  Thankfully though, Gabby was a trooper!  Not only did she smile for the camera, she was posing for me.  I'd call out to her and she'd look over her shoulder at me and give me a look.  She could be a little model if she wanted to be!

Below are some of my favorites from the session!

Flying Lessons

Note: I found this in my drafts from months ago. I'm traveling to LA now, which isn't quite as bad but this is still applicable. 

The title of this post may be a bit misleading.  I'm not learning to fly but I've found that flying every week across the country on a US airline is teaching me lessons in patience, kindness, and gratitude.

On Sundays, I take a 2:45pm flight from Phoenix which gets me into Harrisburg at around midnight.  This week, when landing in Charlotte, NC for my connection, the flight was diverted to Knoxville, TN and then promptly cancelled.  Two weeks ago, on the Friday I was supposed to have off from work and supposed to be driving to Las Vegas, my flight out of Harrisburg was so late that I was originally told that I wouldn't get to Las Vegas until Saturday afternoon.  Six weeks ago, I spent the night in Chicago b/c my plane sat on the tarmack for over an hour and I missed my connection.  Not to mention the number of times my flight has been delayed and I don't get home until midnight Phoenix time and have to be up at 6am to work on east coast time.

Traveling in the US isn't easy.  And in each of those instances, I was more than angry and a little sad - it meant less time in my home with my husband.  But I think I'm getting better about it.  In each of these instances, I watched other passengers yell and mistreat the ground crew of the airlines.  The delay or cancellation is not the ground crew's fault.  They're trying to do the best they can.  And I've learned, kindness in these situations really will get you farther.  There's a gentleman that works for American Airlines in Harrisburg who knows me.  And each week when I fly with them and my flight is late or delayed, he sorts me out first.  I like to think it's because I'm friendly and I don't blame him.

I've also learned that patience is immensely important in these situations.  Getting it fixed isn't going to happen quickly and if don't have patience, you're just gonna be angry and forget to be kind to those people trying to help you get home.

But I've also learned to be grateful for the opportunities I have.  I work for a good company who thinks highly enough of me to want to fly me out to a project every week.  I've amassed an obscene amount of frequent flyer miles and I'll be able to use them to visit my family and friends in Australia or Colorado.  There are alot of people who don't get these chances.

Saying all this though, I would love to have more time at home. Maybe one of these days I'll be ready to move on from my company but that isn't just yet. In the meantime, I'll just amass lots of status points with US Airways and Hilton and Avis!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hubby Lifting: Part 2

With Adam not being able to work, it's become like I have a live-in handyman. We have a list of things that need to be fixed and he's slowly working through them. It's fantastic!

One of the items was to paint the cabinets in the laundry room. I don't know if they were original to the house or not but they were very old looking. The laundry room doesn't have any windows so it's very dark. It's In desperate need of some brightness.

So I told the hubs what colors I wanted and then left it to him. One week while I was in Harrisburg (yes, I know I'm late posting this!), he sorted out the laundry room for me. It looks so much better now!

PS what you can't see is that he also painted the walls a very happy yellow.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Traveling Pet Peeves

Since my return from Australia, I've been traveling across country each week for work. Because of this I've become intimately familiar with how to get through security quickly.

I've also discovered I have no patience for people that don't travel regularly. The Denver airport has multiple lines in security - one for families, one for casual travelers, and one for experienced travelers. I think that is the best idea ever. It's so frustrating when you do security every week and you're stuck behind a family with four kids who have packed a million bottles of water.

So below are my pet peeves. If you don't travel much, maybe this will help the next time you go to the airport. In the meantime, I need to watch In The Air again to get George clooney's suggestion on how to get through security quickly.

1. Listen to the TSA at security. Take off your shoes and belt. They will make you go back through the X-ray machine. Don't have any fluids - unopened or not. You also no longer have to take out your iPad or hold your ticket through the scanner. So don't fuss if you forget.

2. On the other side of the scanner, there is no need to redress at the X-ray machine. Take your shoes and belt to the benches they've provided. This will open things up much quicker for the people behind you. Also, take your suitcase off the belt immediately. Again, it moves things along faster for the people behind you.

3. Don't bunch up around the ticket counter during boarding. If you're not first class, you're not boarding immediately. You're there - they won't leave without you.

4. At the luggage carousel, there is absolutely no reason to stand in front of another person that has been standing there waiting. There's lots of room and your bag isn't going anywhere. Respect people's personal space.

There. I've vented. Now I just need to get approved for TSA Pre so I won't have to deal with people at security. Keep your fingers crossed that the US government thinks I'm a safe traveler!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Welcome to the family Charli-Anne Watts

We have fantastic news! We've decided to expand our family!

Her name is Charli-Anne and we couldn't be happier! We found her through Halo Rescue which is a not for profit shelter which does not euthanize.

She's a beautiful grey and white long-haired tuxedo. When we found her, she was very docile and sweet. She's 6yrs old and she was given up by another family so we knew she was litter box trained and we wouldn't have to deal with kitten craziness.

When we got her home, she was immediately curious and exploring the house. We had taken her from the shelter in the middle of dinner time so we decided to feed her. She ate an entire can of food! That's a lot of food for a 7 lb cat! She loves her food and she's teeny tiny so we're trying to fatten her up. She loves her food and will eat whatever we give her. In fact, we have to fight her off from our dinner!

She's already settled into the house and has made herself at home. She snuggled us last night and has claimed a spot on the couch.

We're so excited to have her in the family!