Cowboy Studio Lighting

In a creative rush just weeks before Grayer was born, I decided I would like to have newborn portraits. I also decided I was going to take them myself. So I pulled out my camera and did some boring-schmoring manual reading. I read my Sony Cyber-Shot manual from front to back. (I am going to totally recommend you all do this. Not only is the dauntingly thick manual about 1/3 of the length you think it is because it’s written in at least three languages, but you will learn globs of neat stuff you never imagined that little device could do.) I wanted to fully understand the symbols and settings so I could trouble shoot if my photos weren’t coming out as planned.

I also needed to find some good umbrella lighting. The mornings can be fairly gray in New Orleans this time of year and I wanted to be prepared for anything. I did some reading on lights and found an array of beautiful photos on Pinterest that served as inspirational fuel for the project. Check out my picks on Pinterest – I devoted a board to newbie photos that will make you smile and say “awww.” These babies are melt-your-heart adorabs.

Anticipation ensued. This project was going to be fun!

One of the keys to nice photographs is good lighting. So I thought I would share a link to the super thrifty, good quality umbrella lights from Cowboy Studio I found good reviews on. I ordered these bad boys a few days before I went into labor and had them just in time to take some shots for keepsake books. They really did just the trick I think. Here’s a look at what you will get in the kit. (I didn’t have the lights for the photo below, obviously…)

Lights and Tripods

When the baby finally arrived (seven days past due) the hubs and I were so wiped that taking photos was the last project we wanted to get into. But with Kevin’s encouragement and support, we made it happen when Baby Grayer was just five days old.

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2012 In Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. How cool is that?

What’s more is that if 1/4 of those viewers were subscribers, we’d nearly hit a community of 1,000! Thank you for all your support in 2012.

Cheers to a bright and healthy New Year. And, Happy Birthday, Mom M!

Click here to see the complete 2012 report.

Petite Treats from Starbucks

So, I went to one of my offices the other day (Starbucks, Midtown Plaza). I am surprised they’ve never thrown me out because I am there all. the. time. But, I find great focus there; I feel creative and energetic all while sipping my fave drinks made by some of the best barristas in Florida. I have even met a few very nice people who are happy to share a business story, a conversation or their favorite places to frequent in town.

That particular day, Starbucks was hosting a giveaway (how generous!) of the adorable, fanciful “Petites,” as they are called. They are new. And delightful to look at. And inexpensive. And, believe me when I tell you, I was more than excited to sample them.

I will let you in on a little, itty-bitty secret. They let me sample TWO! Here they are:

Birthday Cake Pop

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie




The Birthday Cake Pop was pink, so of course I had to try it. The outside is a chocolate dip with white sprinkles and the inside is a dense vanilla cake. I first heard about cake pops on (love you Bakerella!) Seeing the pictures (which are really awesome) and reading the blog (such innovative baking techniques) is not quite like tasting the actual treat. It was sinfully delicious…

It was really nice to sample two, especially since these Petites are all very cute looking and tremendously tempting. The Red Velvet Whoopie Pie, which you have witnessed went by in three mouth-watering bites, was sugary, chocolaty and creamy all at once. The small red velvet cakes sandwich a dollop of cream cheese that is smooth and satisfying. YUM!

Now I am thinking I must hit the gym…Although it was totally worth it!

Thanks Starbucks Midtown!!