December 20, 2016

white balanced bliss

My body is exhausted, my brain is foggy, my eyes are heavy & my puns are weak. (BUT I STILL TRY!) 

This is my afternoon diffuser blend to keep me focused, energized & frankly just to get me through until busy season is over. I thought of this post in a moment of trying to entertain myself. I had been working on color correction and thought "hey! you have White Fir & Balance in the diffuser, ha get it? get it? white balance" See, my puns are weak. 

WHITE FIR PROVIDES: Energy & supports clear breathing & thinking.

BALANCE PROVIDES: Relaxation, grounding & calming effects. This is the main ingredient in most of my blends. I have horrible anxiety and this is the key to all my potions.

CITRUS BLISS PROVIDES: emotional balance, it has stress reducing qualities, it's calming and invigorating. To boot, it helps to strengthen the immune system AND kills airborne pathogens. Can't be getting sick, especially this time of year!

All of these combine for a fresh and clean scent and are the perfect mix to keep my mind where it needs to be.


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December 13, 2016

things you shouldn't say


A typed out Facebook post that would piss off way to many people so it becomes a blog post. And it might still. But at least it isn't a public forum. so HA!

Here it is:

I read this article on the interwebs and it set me into motion. 

From the moment you email or call us until you walk out of our doors with your finished products it is an experience.  It is incredibly hard for me to keep my mouth shut when people comment on my pricing structure or get pissy because I will not give them a disc. You are paying for an experience. I am with you helping to choose your products and what will work best for your wants and needs every step of the way. From the moment my phone rings I am thinking about and asking questions to completely personalize your session and products. I refuse to send you out of my studio with a piece of plastic that you have to figure out what to do with yourself. Hell, I have toted my drill, level, and drywall screws to a few houses to hang gallery walls. With me, you get an experience.

While this price breakdown in the article doesn't exactly reign true to how my pricing structure sits, thats just it. We don't all price services/products the same. But believe it or not, we know what is best for our own business structure.

It's not even the article that upset me. It's the fact that it is so true. And if I'm being honest, I know from the second I read "I don't want to pay an arm and a leg," that this person I am corresponding with is not my customer. My customer values fine artistry and beautiful products. My client values a unique experience and building a relationship to last years.

I beg of you, before you say something TO A PHOTOGRAPHER about paying an arm and a leg think, would you like to go to work for free? Probably not. While yes, I love my job. My job is my dream and my passion. It is a gift that I have the privilege of doing something I love. And I love my clients & families. They make my life fun and enjoyable. But just because I love it does not mean that I am willing to give up other aspects of my life at the cost of doing business.

Just a little food for thought. Please don't be offended, I know I can sound harsh. That's why this isn't on THE BOOK

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December 10, 2016

a currently update vol. 5

Happiest of Saturdays to ya!
BINGING: actually nothing, I'm still on a Gilmore Girls low.
   I go back and forth between being disappointed and loving it. I need to watch it one more time, I think.
WATCHING: this is us. love. this show is everything.
   Again I only started watching this because of Milo Ventimiglia. And I am obsessed. It is a quintessential family show.
LISTENING: stuff mom never told you
   I've finally found people to learn from that share my views.
SIPPING: lots & lots of coffee
   and then wine. both keep me from going crazy.
SNACKING: lentil loops. believe it or not, they do taste like cheetos
WEARING: Christmas sweaters, of course!
PLANNING: a wonderful girls' day trip to St. Charles this weekend.
   there are apparently lots of cute little shops and restaurants. Along with characters dressed up in nineteenth century period garb and a parade. This is right up my alley.
READING: wild. so good.
   yes, I'm reading it bc of Gilmore Girls.
LOOKING FORWARD TO: finally being done with Christmas orders!


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December 7, 2016

self care is not selfish

DECEMBER 21ST.  The ever looming deadline. The final day for pickups. In all reality the ever looming deadline is probably the 17th. Because, let's be real. I need to have my shit together so people have several days to pickup.

I work fervently and relentlessly to get everything finished to perfection in time for Christmas gifts and so that all of my wonderful families can show off their beautiful new pieces. I initially typed out the lists at the bottom of this post. I'm going to leave them. But the lists are just aspects of my human doing that I ride this time of year. The point of this is so much more than that. I didn't want to lose an audience before I got to the real grit of it.

Today I did something different than merely my exercise of human doing. I ENJOYED.

I have planned for several weeks to take today off work. A Wednesday - insert shocked face here. If you can believe it, I went the entire day without going to or even driving past the studio. I didn't think about work once. And I didn't talk about work once. I didn't worry that I skipped the gym. I just spent the entire day with my best friend. We did some Christmas shopping. We talked about anything and everything. We had a solid girls day. Complete with sushi, burgers, and coffee. {not all consumed in conjunction}

It was a great day. We had so much fun. I haven't had fun like that, without feeling guilty, in a long time. As a sole proprietor if I'm not working, I'm not getting paid. It's very hard, but necessary to overcome that mentality. I am beginning to realize and understand that if I don't take care of me and take a day off every once in a while then my work begins to show it. I cannot afford that. Balance, is what I need. Balance is something we could all use more of. 

I can say with absolute certainty that I have never, before today, gone a WHOLE DAY without thinking  worrying about work. It was the most amazing feeling. Tomorrow I will be back and refreshed. Ready to take on the next 14 days. 

If you take anything away from this let it be this: self care is not selfish. Others will try to make you feel guilty. You cannot control them, you can ignore them though. Yes, easier said than done. You will try to make yourself feel guilty, stop it. Don't do it. You deserve time off. Self care is not selfish. 

This time of year you could compare me to good ol' Santa Claus:
I make lists.
I check them twice okay, 4 & 5 times.
I eat a ton of cookies.
Sub milk for copious amounts of coffee.
I bring mother fucking joy.

Then, imagine this:
September - December orders increase two fold as compared to the rest of the year.
I'm at the studio until 11 three nights a week.
I do not sleep.
I'm tired downright exhausted.
Believe it or not, I am extra cranky. BUT CAN'T SHOW IT. 
I think about work constantly.
It's really hard on my mind as well as my body.
It's hard on all of my relationships.
I go days without seeing or speaking to anyone but my dog. On the bright side, she doesn't get sassy, but I mean she doesn't talk either so I'm essentially talking to myself. 


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November 9, 2016

we have to have hope

As per usual, it's been a minute. As I've stated many times before this is my safe place to come and voice my thoughts. Comments will be turned off; because frankly, I am not looking to discuss at this time. I am writing solely to understand for myself. 

Last night I kept myself busy cooking dinner while watching the results roll in. At first, I was hopeful. But I found myself a nervous wreck; so I moved on to laundry and turned on American Horror Story: Murder House, seemed appropriate considering.

By the time I went to bed I was worried. Hopeful, yet worried.

I woke up at 3 with a sick feeling, I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. By 4 it was evident I wasn't going back to sleep. I opened my news tab to read what I have feared most the past few months.

I read the national news first. I felt defeated as I realized everything is red. I felt one last glimmer of hope before I went to my local news. And then it was all gone. Locally, there is red everywhere. Not exactly surprising.

I am not afraid of change. Change is welcome. Change is needed. What is the norm in this country hasn't been working.

What I am afraid of is that there will be no check and no balance. Which is the cornerstone this country is built on.

Around the interwebs there are memes and posts telling us to proceed with life as normal. But I'll have you know, I have worked incredibly hard for the life that I live to be my "normal." The life I live is normal because of strong, fierce, & capable women who came before me to break the mold. I can do things like have a bank account in my name, have a credit card in my name, own a home in my name, own a business in my name. 50 years ago, none of these things would have been possible.

Less than 100 years ago women gained the right to vote. It was the 1960s before black men and women were able to exercise that right.

Unfortunately, I live in a very close-minded area. In any given room, as a strong feminist I am alone; there are male elitists looking to man-splain their frankly, uninformed opinions. And unfortunately, it isn't only men.

I am not upset because the woman on the ballot was not elected. (Do you realize there were TWO women on this ballot?)

I am upset because this election has taught not only children, but adults alike, that it is okay to disrespect anyone and everyone. And that it is okay to use people like stepping stones to get to the top.

I am upset because those who were elected into office have voiced feelings and displayed actions of extreme hatred toward not only women, but black people, LGBTQ people, and disabled people, to name only a few. 

I am upset because women's rights are about to be turned back 100 years.

I am upset because as a woman, I feel I have the right to choose what is best for my body.

I am upset because as a woman, I am a daily victim of sexual assault & harassment.

I am upset that men think that it is okay to shout lewd comments and honk their horns as I walk down the street or through the grocery store.

And I am upset because I have two choices: take it or be labeled bitch.

I am upset because if I stand up for myself and others I am not labeled a strong, fierce woman. I am labeled a bitch, a twat, a whore, and even a cunt. 

When I realized my two choices would be Secretary Clinton or freaking Donald Trump, I was less than thrilled.

People think that just because I don't support Donald Trump, I support Clinton. This is not the case.

I am not upset because we won't have I woman in office.

I am upset because I don't want a misogynistic asshat.

Today, I am hopeless.

But only for today. Tomorrow is a new day; not that we can take back what we have done, but I have to have hope that people will lose some of their hate and start seeing the good in each other.

I am hopeful because if we have no hope, we truly have nothing.

September 10, 2016

a currently update vol. 4

a currently update

HAPPY SATURDAY! Apparently it's been a minute. What have I been up to? Lots of wedding activities. Lots of work.

BINGING: Grey's Anatomy. It's not great for my work day.
WEARING: All of the LuLaRoe. The Julia, The Cassie, The Irma. The leggings. YES.
READING: Such a Pretty Fat
LOOKING FORWARD TO: heading to my best friend's for girl date night.
WISHING: for fall weather. I am so over this humidity. 
PLANNING: nothing. finally. 
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May 18, 2016

I'm still a #girlboss

DO YOU EVER have those days when your brain is complete mush? Well, I have been having one of those days since Friday!

Last week was insane, the only night that I got home before 10 was Tuesday. And y'all, I go to bed at 9:30 most nights. By Friday afternoon I was done with meetings, appointments, and the computer. My brain was finished braining and my body was also rebelling. 

Unfortunately my brain is still feeling the effects of my sleep deprived week. This could also be due to the fact that I have not had a diet coke in DAYS. I'm reeling here. Despite the fact that my brain has be reduced to nothing more than goo, I have done some things this past week that deem themselves #GIRLBOSSMOMENT (s).

Last week was not only my highest grossing week this year, but also my highest grossing week ever! BOOM! I might have not been able to human by the end of the week, but I was a complete mogul while not human-ing.

I paid off my credit card yesterday. And while this is just basic good adult-ing behavior and routinely practiced, it's still something to be proud of because let's face it, not everyone participates in this particular activity every month.

Not only did I pay my cc bill, but I also added money to my savings account. (yay!) This used to be a routine practice, but home ownership has taken its toll on the ol' savings.

Not only did I pay the bill & add to the savings I ALSO sent a check to my IRA whoop whoop. If you don't look out for yourself in a small business ownership, nobody else will either.

I bought this dress, it is the first thing I have tried on in months that hasn't made me feel like a heifer at the fair. It's chambray, comfortable, cute, (the three c's) It also has pockets and an open back. It is a total win.
via Maurices
This past week has further proven to me that hard work certainly does pay off. What are your #GIRLBOSSMOMENT (s)

          #Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo           More Coffee Less Talky
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May 10, 2016

ten things you might not know about me

How is it Tuesday already? Where did my Monday go? It's been {and will continue to be} one of the busiest weeks I've had this year. Over the weekend I had a family of 20 and then an afternoon of May Fete kids. {maybe one day I'll do a post on May Fete. It's a hometown thing and whenever I tell people about it who are not from here the general response is: "so, it's a cult?" HINT: it's not.}

Any who, I have viewings for all of them and several others, along with a one year session {READ: CAKE SMASH!!!!} and a newborn {BABY!!}. AND I also have a ribbon cutting that I have to attend -- at 7:30 am tomorrow. eek! A BPW meeting tomorrow evening. A dress fitting I am attending for my best friend on Thursday. I think that's it. woof! as I said, long week! 

Today, I thought I'd share a few nuggets & tidbits you might not know about me. I am going to link up with KARLI for ten on tuesday.

1. I studied abroad in Italy. I lived in Florence for 4 weeks. I visited Rome, Milan, Venice and countless countryside vineyards.

2. as a result, my wine preferences include anything red & dry, as well as dry - semi-sweet whites.

3. chipotle > q'doba. this is not an open debate. you have your opinion, I have mine. and don't try to sway me with the guac thing because...

4. I do not like guacamole.

5. receiving gifts gives me anxiety.

6. strawberry cake is life.

7. when I order nachos at Mexican restaurants I oder them sans chips. I do not like soggy chips.

8. I'm mesmerized by foxes & owls.

9. if given the choice between a coffee or a diet coke I would choose the coke every.single.time. (blasphemy)

10. I collect globes.

There you have it. A few tidbits you probably didn't know about me! What are some random nuggets about yourself? Have a great day!
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May 8, 2016

a currently update vol. 3

a currently update
Good morning and happy Mother's Day!! You know how I have been super jazzed annoying about my sunroom lately? Well, it is almost done! I have everything in there except a day bed my parents are giving me! I wanted to watch the newest Grey's this morning, so I am currently writing to you from my couch while looking at it. Not exactly in it, but next best thing!

BINGING: Grace & Frankie

LISTENING: Lots of podcasts but right now I am loving: Ladies who Lunch. Music and I are having a rough patch in our relationship

WEARING: Mostly yoga pants and tanks.

PLANNING: For this moment nothing but only for like 10 seconds. A bachelorette party is coming up soon.

READING: still... as hot as it was you ought to thank me.

LOOKING FORWARD TO: spending the day with my momma. 

What have you been up to recently? Have a great Sunday, friends. 
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May 6, 2016

a letter to me vol. 1

FRIDAY. This evening I am lounging on my couch drinking wine, watching the new season of GRACE and FRANKIE.  The dogs are quietly (finally) lying at my feet. I made some of these pre-made pumpkin cheesecake cookies that have been in my fridge since like November. they still taste downright delightful. 

I can assure you a former version of myself would never believe this picture I have painted for you.

While sitting here, a Brad Paisley song came to mind. Letter to Me. I'm not really sure what made this come to mind other than the red blend in my glass; but I thought I might start a series of letters to me.

For this first one I think I'll send it back in time to myself at 23.


First off, look at you go. You opened a studio this year. You hought this day would never come. You're such a badass. It hasn't exactly been easy getting here, and it isn't going to get any easier. You'll get better at handling and dealing with things. It is scary. And things are hard. People aren't always going to understand. Unfortunately you will lose relationships over this adventure. But those who stick around are the real deal.

Now, we have some business to attend to. You cannot do your job to the best of your abilities if you continue to stay out drinking until one in the morning. Yes, I know that you bounce back like a champ. But I also know that one day, you will hit a wall. You will not bounce back. Start drinking more water and less beer. And stop going out on Thursdays. Those people who are your "friends" don't give a shit about you, your business, or well being. It isn't worth it. Just stop. see the last 2 sentences of first paragraph.

And another thing: I know you don't think so, but your REAL friends will get over the fact that you cannot go out every Friday & Saturday night. They won't disown you or forget you exist.  Yes, they might be upset that you bail out early or don't even go at all. As I said before, those who stick around are the real deal. They're not actually mad at you, they just miss you (as much as you miss them.) One day, you will be able to be more flexible. I know you've missed a lot, and you'll miss out on even more. But remember, you chose this. All of your hard work is paying off. They're proud of you.

Lastly: I know it's f*cking annoying. And frankly, sometimes hurtful, but everyone means well when they try to set you up. Don't overreact, you can be harsh. It just makes you look like an asshole. We're still not a fan of the idea of a setup, don't worry. But don't disregard them all.

Keep working hard on that business. You're going places and everyone knows it.

What would you tell your younger self? Have a great weekend. I'm hitting the sheets.
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May 4, 2016

confessions of the pillsbury dough girl

After this weekend this most accurately describes how I've felt since then. No skinny feelings, just busted.

Here lately my to-do list is compiled of several other subsequent to-do lists. BUUUTTT THIS IS THE ONLY TO-DO LIST I WANT TO ADHERE TO:

You're about to find out just how much netflix I watch. 3 WEEKS, 3 DIFFERENT SHOWS. I picked back up on Gossip Girl this week. 
#ibingewhileiwork #isntthatwhatipadsarefor?


NOTHING TOO SALACIOUS happening here. What do you have to confess this week?
          #Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo           More Coffee Less Talky   
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