Gina Rau’s Ebook and Food Guide

I might have mentioned a time or 2 that I have been working on a crazy–sort of secret project. A fun filled labor of LOVE project.

It’s for my friend, Gina Rau, of Feed Our Families and it’s DONE and ready to go.

You can read more about the book here:

You can buy it here.

I have been following Gina since the dawn of my time and entry into the world of blogging, social media, and facebook. She is the wife of an old high school friend. I found her to be such an inspiration and go to person for all things KIDS + FOOD. I pretty much have followed her religiously and rave/recommend her to the World.

I was thrilled when she picked me to help her launch her new Ebook, polish it up and bring it to life.

Here is a sneak peak at the goodness…..


Gina’s story is an amazing one. And as a mom of a child who has sensitivities/sensory issues, I can feel her emotions as she cooked her way through this process.  The world of socialization, schooling, food, and life in general for these kids is a lot of work—I can relate to everything she talks about in her blog and her life. Gina, for me, is a true role model. She is the mom who works hard and believes in her KIDS. She is a MAMA. A protector of her children. She is the kind of mama I work hard to be every day.

Her guide book is so amazingly resourceful, passionate, and chock FULL of delicious recipes. Trust me, I made EACH and every one of them and each new one made me more impressed than the last.

This resource and guidebook will be such an amazing help to SOOO many other families so please SHARE this info with anyone you know who might be out of answers and looking to make a change in their kids life. Please support Gina, Justin, Patrick and Marci as they have opened up their hearts to share their stories and HELP others.

Gina is offering a limited discount through tomorrow in honor of her book launch. You can use this discount code through tomorrow.

Special thanks to my friend Stacey (who let me use her kids for my hands shots and for watching mine when I was in a bind.), Laura who cooked with me along the way, and my husband for accepting when I take on big projects/tasks.  Also, special thanks to Jenny and to Kelley for being my go to help with ID questions!

Thanks, Gina for letting me help you on your journey and for being so PATIENT. 🙂 Good luck with your book and well wishes for continued success!


Free to be Five….

We all feel it this time of year. The sense of urgency for so many things. The wanting of Spring, Spring cleaning and organization, getting kids organized for Summer, making Summer plans, birthday parties, end of school year activities, and of course—for me–work. The Spring is in full swing! And it feels like I am going to blink and Summer will be here and next thing you know Fall and the year all starts over again.

I feel the sense of urgency that I am losing time. This short time of their little childhood. I long for it to slow down. Stop. Freeze.  I don’t want to let them grow.  Although my girls are so close in age, this one is still my baby.  But all she can’t wait for is turning 5.

Sigh. Next week is her birthday. The big one.  The next step.

Send the tissues my way. I am having a hard time with this transition.  Trying to let her go and be free to be five. It just ain’t easy.


Creating Moments and Capturing Memories–aka CM²

I once read one of the most fantastic articles I have read in a while (so fantastic that I can’t remember where or when I read it—ha!) about why the author loves photography. So perfectly written and it struck a chord. I was thinking about the type of photography I love and why I do it.  My photography varies, is still budding, and developing in style.  One thing I can be sure of though, is that I love to photograph PEOPLE.

I love traditional shoots. Love them. Love to find the perfect location, love to see families get dolled up, love eye contact and great smiles. It’s all wonderful.

I love going home to California and reconnecting with a cousin or an old friend, chit chat–shoot. Pose, shoot. Chat, laugh, catch up! The best time.

I love shooting for a kids camp. Watching the groups move about their day, kids participating in sports and swim activities. I love sharing the parents a glimpse into the day.

But there is another type of photography that I love more than anything else.  It’s what similar to what I do everyday.  Just hanging out in our everyday clothes, no fuss, no frills doing what we love to do. Making pancakes, going to the park, hanging in the family room, playing with mommy and daddy, exploring. All of these things are what I truly 100% love to do.

But lately I have thought about how to take this simple day to day thing and take it up one more notch. Taking your child’s every day loves—music, library, ice skating, gardening, soccer skills, the list goes on and on and freezing it in time via photography. I call it CREATING MOMENTS AND CATCHING MEMORIES otherwise known and shortened as CM².

CM² is about capturing your child doing something they love.   The possibilities are endless, but I will suggest appropriately themed props (or welcome you to use your own) and locations that together create a personalized photo shoot capturing your child in their element. From music or science themed shoots to reading or baking, CM² is about creating memories of your child and their passion.

This is what I want to do more of. You can call it lifestyle shooting, photojournalism, whatever you would like. But what I want to call it is CM².

Preserving a short time in our kiddos life, cause it flies by.

Here is a recent shoot I did with twins–who at 6 years old already have a huge love for music.

We captured just that.


Interested in dreaming up something for your little? Shoot me a line and let’s make it happen.


iPhone: Part Deux

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I wrote a post about what camera people should buy–when they ask me what to buy.  The iPhone.

You can read about that post here:

I promised a follow up. But as with all of my blog posts, my follow up never came. I know, I am the WORST blogger ever.  Sigh. Don’t know what to say, except maybe…Sorry?!?!  Smiley Face. 🙂

So as promised here is my follow up post.

Yes, I still think that if you are in the market for a new camera but are like many, many others who will not know what to do with that fancy DSLR, then you should save your cash and USE your iPHONE. We are getting ready to head back to our favorite place in all the land (Disney) and I plan on repeating what I did last year and using just my iPhone for vacation.  (Well, maybe…I am still deciding but leaning towards that).  I challenged myself last year and LOVED it. I had friends who asked me what to use on their recent trip to Disney,  and I told them the iPhone. But did they listen? Nope. They went out and bought a fancy point and shoot to take on their Disney trip, hated it and had to return it. Came home to hundreds of photos, that they took time to sort through and share. At the end of it all, their share site wouldn’t let them isolate their photos—so they ended up posting their entire trip of 400+ photos on FB. Ugh, don’t you hate when that happens?

So again people, use your iPHONE!

It’s convenient (always on you), it shares quickly (because you are on FB, IG, and every other social media site). You don’t have to come home and upload hundreds of images, edit, sort, etc.

It’s SO easy.  You can text your family and friends. You can email your family and friends. Again, the iPhone is your go to tool —–hands down!

So what do you need?

Let’s start with apps?! I was going to go into detail about which apps to buy and how to use them but it changes to so quickly. So instead I am going to direct you to THESE posts–part 1 and part 2 and part 3. My friend, Mendy at Black Room Photography is a genius with her iPhone and offers a phenomenal tutorial series on how to use my/her favorite APP–VSCO.  So go there (when you are done with this post) and follow along with her series. You won’t be sorry. I will say that I do differ slightly in how I shoot with my iPhone but more on that below.

So what do I have to offer here?

A couple of things.

1.  First off, if you are on and use your iPhone as much as I do then you probably have the same problem I have.  Dead battery. Like, ALL. The. Time.  It drives me insane.  And, well we don’t want dead batteries in the middle of our favorite vacation so BUY this. ONLY buy this though if you are going somewhere where you will be using your phone to shoot all the time. Everyday life, I never ever use.

Trent Battery Backup

This thing will change your life and save you on vacation. My honey-do and I tagged team photographing our vacation and when a phone went low, we plugged into this thing, put it back in our backpack and let it recharge. We would then rotate phones for photos, etc. It worked BRILLIANTLY.

2.  2nd–use your APPS.  Again, go see Mendy’s tutorial. The only thing that I do slightly different is I shoot with camera+ and I then I edit with VSCO. I love camera+ for one reason only. I can lock in my focus but shift my exposure to get exactly what I am looking for. I haven’t figured out how to do that in VSCO, though Mendy mentions her thoughts on this in her tutorial.

3.  Next-the ollioclip is a MUST have on vacation. I do not use this thing everyday. But for vacation. AWESOME–(said in my best Jersey girl accent.) This thing is fabulous for those wide angle shots –where you want the whole background. It made a HUGE difference! The only negative thing is that you have to take your case off to use it. So BE careful, please. I don’t need anyone yelling at me cause they dropped their iPhone without it’s protective case.

4.  Tripod—This thing works so well when YOU want to be in the shot. LOVE, love. Again, you can’t use it with your case, it’s comes with it’s own. But unless you want only photos of your kids and husband, buy it and use it!  The camera+ app has  self timer, works fabulously! ***Make sure to buy the one that works with your phone.

5. Underwater/LifeProof—we have an underwater point and shoot which we love. But I do own this case too. If you want to shoot with this underwater, it works great!  This year, I am going to probably rent an underwater case for my DSLR–case in point on why we may still take ours on the trip. But again, for ease and use of iPhone only, if you add Life proof to your arsenal, the convenience of the iPhone is really unbeatable.

6.  Sharing—I personally LOVE Instagram. It’s so easy to use. AND if I want to share on IG plus FB, IG has a great link up feature. Perfect!
So my friends, get that iPhone out. Shoot with it. Own it. Love it. Embrace it. And again you mamas—get yourself in the shot!

So, save yourself the money. Get your iPhone and use it, use it, use it.

The end.