Tag Archives: life


I’m back!!! Again! As they say, just do it! So here I am…doing it…trying to share/write again.

So I just had to share about one of the biggest changes I’ve made in a long time.
I haven’t had any meat since the beginning of the year. Crazy to think about but I’ve managed to do it so far.
My husband and I started this meatless, dairy-free journey with just an interest in kick-starting our wanting to getting healthier in 2014. We thought we’d just go ahead and go for it…at least up through mid-February. I’m really loving the results of my changes so far so I’m seriously looking beyond mid-February and thinking I’d like to see if I could eat like this for as long as possible. I guess I’ve just got to take it one day at a time, as i’ve been trying to do, and just see how it goes!

Right now, the blender is one of my best friends. I love smoothies! It’s so easy to make and they can be packed with so much good stuff.
Here’s one of my staple recipes for a yummy smoothie…

1 cup almond milk
1 whole banana (I sometimes use 1/2 a banana when I want to cut the sugar content down a bit)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 oz of spinach and/or kale
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Sometimes, I also add 1/2 cup of carrots to this recipe. I told you my smoothies are nutrient-rich! =)
If you want to make it sweeter you can. It’s up to you. For me, as long as the fruits are ripe, it’s usually sweet enough for me.
But in case you need additional sweetness, you can always add chopped dates, honey, raw agave, or maple syrup.

Anyway, this meatless life has not been an easy task. I can’t live on smoothies alone so I’ve also been scouring the internet in search of recipes to help me get creative with my fruits and vegetables. I’m looking for the yummy stuff. So if you’ve got any suggestions, please send it my way!

Well, I’m looking forward to sharing more with you about my life and loves this 2014!

For now, I leave you with this interesting, fun, and smart video that’s been circulating the net. You may have already seen this but I thought I would share here since it somewhat relates (or at least I think it does). Also, since I’m a homeschooler, I love seeing children share what they’ve learned.

Until next time…

Stepping Out in the Rain

Last week, we headed outside. We headed outside just as the rain was beginning to pour! Usually, I’m not a big fan of rain! Rainy days make we want to stay in, curl up on the couch and just “veg”! Did I just use the word “veg”! Anyway, that’s what I would have wanted to do but some days you’ve just got to step out of the usual and do what you typically wouldn’t do.

So I’m not sure why my husband and I felt like it…but we did…we decided to go out and just enjoy the rain!

The kids geared up with their rain gear and mom & dad with their umbrellas.  There was stomping and splashing! It was so much fun!

I was laughing inside as I smiled and waived as neighbors pulled out of their driveways!

We must have been a hilarious sight as we were all marching along the side of the road…in the rain! Fortunately our street dead ends so we don’t have a lot of cars driving through our immediate neighborhood.

I don’t know why we don’t do this more often! It was such a blast! And we had a great time together as a family…even if for just a little while.

It made me think…I’ve got to find more times of letting go of my usual schedule (or should I say agenda) and just enjoy the life that’s happening around me…even if it’s raining!

Do you make efforts to step out of your usual? How do you make sure you’re enjoying life as it’s happening around you?

Well, I hope we make more time to step out & enjoy the life that happens all around us! And when you can, remember to capture some of those moments of life and love!

Until next time…

A Dreamer of the Day…

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. – T.E. Lawrence

My little buddy doesn’t always take a nap unless he’s really, really tired. This particular day he asked to go upstairs and said he needed a nap. After a little while I head upstairs to check on him.

I found him asleep and wearing his train engineering cap (he definitely wasn’t wearing it earlier).

I think he wanted to dream about trains! =)

Embracing 2011…

I’m not sure  how to exactly start this post since I’ve been absent from my blog for some time now.  I can’t believe my last post was about my daughter’s birthday party back in October 2010.  It’s 2011!!! It’s a new year!!!  I wish I could share with you all of the posts I’ve attempted to write so you could see that I haven’t been trying to neglect my blog.  No, it’s not neglect. Honestly, I’ve probably spent TOO much time thinking about it rather than just sharing what I do.  It’s just not easy for me to come up with words to fill up a post I feel would be worthy of sharing (and lack of time in the holidays is a big factor too!). Since my wonderland posts, I actually have numerous photos that I’ve been hoping to share with you.  So rather than continuing to allow the lack of words to prevent me from sharing pictures with you, I’m deciding here and now that no posts helps no one (and at the very least doesn’t help me) and so it’s got to be all about the photos (I’ve just got to share all the amazing lives and loves I’m having the pleasure of capturing through my lens).

It’s ironic how my last post was called Embracing the Camera: Taking hold of Wonderland.  I didn’t call my embracing the camera a resolution at the time but it basically is.  And honestly, it’s more than just about the camera. I truly believe that life is short and it’s so important to LIVE life and love everyday.  It’s about me becoming more conscious of and making the actual effort to “embracing MY part” of the life, love and memories I want to give to my husband, kids, family, friends and people I get the opportunity to meet everyday.  One of my desires (I think a better word than resolution) for this year is taking hold of this wonderland of life God’s given me!  =) With that, I think more pictures and fewer words will be okay. Also, there may be stretches of time I’m not able to post since I’m trying to enjoy this wonderful life I have been given and I’m learning (growing) that that’s okay too. =)

So here are a few of the pictures I’ve been hoping to share with you from the past couple of months…hopefully I’ll be able to post more pictures from some of these different sessions later.

oh…and here’s me embracing the camera! =)

I hope 2011 is filled with many expressions of  your life and love!! Remember to capture them as they come!

I know it’s not Thursday but I wanted to share this button with you anyway since embracing the camera was first inspired by Emily Anderson and her blog.

Until next time…

2 Brothers & a Sister: Always a life of love, laughter & crying…I mean fun!

What do you get when you have two older brothers and a younger sister getting together with their baby cousin for part of the day? Isn’t it always a party? =) Well, the same day we had Baby C’s pictures taken (previous post), her cousins were also over the house to hang out with family and to sneak in a few pics too.

Here are some of the shots of the cousins together in the house…

Not sure how one of the boys ended up wearing the flowered headband…but as I was reviewing the pictures, I was definitely laughing out loud and smiling at how hilarious these kids are. These are kids of one of my closest friends and here are more pictures that totally express their colorful personalities. They are so much fun! And no, little sister isn’t disgusted…that’s her “smile for the camera” face! =)

After some fun in the house, we headed outside.

First, I asked little sister to sit on the chair and for her brothers to go around her for pictures.  The first shot…

…okay. But then, the kids started loosening up…sort of. =)

I loved these series of shots! For some, it may be the imperfect shot…meaning not everyone is smiling and looking at the camera all together at one time…but that’s probably why I love them even more.  I don’t know about you but I don’t think anyone in my family can be found looking at the same thing at any one time unless we’re watching the TV or big screen. And even then, what captures our attention may be totally different.  So I do love these shots since, to me, they capture what really happens behind every camera…and probably, what real life is like with 2 brothers and a sister. =)

N-O-W these kids are being real with me. =) lol!  Hopefully mom and dad find this as amusing and fun to look at as I do.

Of course, I’ve got to share some of the “normal shots” too…=)

Little sister was so cute. I couldn’t help taking a few more pictures of her with the pink balloon.

I just love these guys!

Hope you enjoyed the pics C!

Her Little Prince

I hate that I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog. I just got back from vacationing in San Diego last week and I think we’ve finally started to get back into the swing of things here at home.  I’ll probably share with you what’s been going on with me in another post but it’s been a busy summer. ..fun and awesome but BUSY! Since I’ve been back, I’ve been trying to catch up with some photo editing. I’m also preparing to get the kids back to school.  My oldest daughter is starting kindergarten this year and we’re venturing out into the world of homeschooling. Yes, I’ll be a homeschooling mom.  My daughter will be attending a “school” where she’ll be taught by a teacher for about two days in the week and I’ll be teaching her the other 3 days of the week.  I could talk on and on about this but I’m digressing.  You’ll probably start to read about this new venture in our lives as we get started next month.  While my daughter is in kindergarten, my son will be in preschool 4 days/week.  Back to school is quickly approaching but as of now, we’re still on summer vacation and trying to enjoy these days left of summer.   Anyway, back to the reason I’m blogging….

These photos were taken while I got to visit a great friend (before I left for my San Diego trip).  You may recognize her because I have taken pictures of her before and shared them on this blog.  Though we didn’t get to take pictures for too long, I did want to get a few pictures of her preggo while visiting her.  She’s beautiful…such a great mom…and will soon be a mom to 3 boys!

I loved that she had this cute sign that her mom gave her to put in the baby’s room.  I thought it was perfect for the pictures.

This bed is actually in one corner of the baby’s room. I loved this too!

The second heir in line to the throne couldn’t resist and had to jump in bed with mom and be part of it all! =)

Although this photo wasn’t a crisp shot, it really caught my eye because it seemed to capture the moment in a mom’s day when our kids bring us utter joy and laughter.  It just makes me smile. =)

My fave from this session…

…a mom’s sweet kiss.

And the final look from a usually happy 5 year old that basically let me know “Lady, if you aren’t done taking pictures…we SHOULD be done…PLEASE!” (lol!)  =)

Until next time…

The Beautiful Mama

I previously posted a sneak peek of this beautiful mama and I am finally getting to share more pictures from her session here.  She’s on baby #3 and expecting in just a few weeks days! I loved getting a chance to take her pictures!  But since she’s a photographer too, I was a bit nervous about how these would turn out and if she’d like them at all.  It was a relief to get an encouraging message from her after my last sneak peek post! Thanks J!

By the way, for those of you who aren’t familiar with my style, I’m aiming to take photos that express you and your life.  Anyone who has me take pictures for them will be able to take a look back and remember what you did and how you felt at at that point in time.  With that said, you’ll notice that what I capture from one shoot to the next is totally different because each person, family, or event is different.

So let’s get to the pics…here’s a good friend and a beautiful mama!

J shared with me that she’s been craving milk, powdered donuts and Fruity Pebbles with baby #3.  So I had to take a photo break and let J enjoy some milk and powdered donuts! =)

This is a picture of big brother showing his little sister some love!

You can tell from this picture that mommy’s got a great helper and baby sister is going to have the sweetest big sister & best friend.

If you can’t tell by the picture, J is reading “Guess How Much I Love You!” to her little princess #2, the same book her and her husband had often read to their kids K and A.

This baby is going to be SO LOVED! A beautiful mama and family!

The princess cracks me up!

I just had to post this picture I recently took of my daughter (the princess) during our trip. We weren’t at the pool or the beach but in the middle of my father-in-law’s family room just hanging out when she approaches me wearing her brother’s swim mask and says “Mommy, look at me!”   She just cracks me up! She’s a beautiful princess with a great sense of humor! She always puts the biggest smile on my face!

Note*** Here is the (unedited/raw) shot from my camera. =)

I hope she makes you smile too!

Until next time…

The beginning of Summer 2010

The summer has officially started! We’re in Orlando, Florida enjoying some time away. On our vacations, one of the things we love to do is sample the local foods. It’s a MUST DO on all our trips away from home. As you’ll notice if you read my blog, not only do I love photography, but I L-O-V-E  FOOD!!! And more than any kind or type of food…I love desserts.

So we tried 2 new spots (new to us since we haven’t ever tried it before)…first, we went to check out the Sweet Shoppe (from a family member’s recommendations) off  Lake Mary Blvd. in Lake Mary, Florida which is just north of Orlando.  It’s such a cute ice cream shop!

Photo taken from The Sweet Shop Facebook Page

We had gelato and a few other treats! I’m not a gelato expert so I can’t tell you it’s the best you’ll ever have. But it was good enough to satisfy my sweet cravings.  The gelato line-up that night included cioccolato (chocolate), vanilla, creme brule, caramello, key lime pie, lemon, mango, straciatella (hazelnut chocolate), coconut, gooey chocolate brownie, tiramisu and a few more flavors I can’t even remember.  In addition to gelatos, the shop also sells frozen yogurt (like Red Velevet Cake … YUM!) and soft serve ice cream. Man…the list goes on. Definitely a yummy place to be!

Note**** Since I’ll be posting away from home, the posted pictures will basically be limited to unedited raw pics from my camera.

The second place was Tijuana Flats, a tex-mex joint we ate at for lunch after church Sunday. Though you wouldn’t think much from the look of the place on the outside…

it’s actually a fun with funky atmosphere andgood place to eat.   There were cool little things about the place.One of the fun things about it is their “Hot Bar”. The Hot Bar has over 12 different hot sauces to choose from ranging in heat measured by these cute faces appropriately named sissy sauce, middle weight, tear jerker, and death wish.

Definitely a great little joint to enjoy some very good tex-mex food, and at the very least, sample some varieties of hot sauces!

So what would you recommend as “must eat” places in and around Atlanta? I guess there’s a difference between  “a must see and eat” kind of place like Varsity that is part of the Atlanta experience and just a “must eat” kind of place because you love the food and think it’s one of the best of its kind in Atlanta (and possibly any other place you’ve tried too!).  Either way, please share your thoughts. i’d love to know! I’m always looking for new things to eat and do in Atlanta! =)

Until next time…

Choo…Choo…All aboard!!!!

Earlier, I posted a sneak peek from the 3rd Annual All Aboard for  a Cure.  This walk was held in Thrasher’s Park located in Norcross, Georgia. If you haven’t been to this park before, you have to come check it out. It’s a great park! My kids loved the playground and as a photographer, it has great places to take pictures.  And for those who have kids that love trains like my son, there’s a nearby railroad track that often has trains rolling by.  My son loved this!

I have to share that the night before the walk, thunderstorms began. Even my kids had woken up in the middle of the night (or early morning really) to the crashing thunder that rolled overhead.  The event was going to happen rain or shine so I was just hoping the rain would go away by morning.   Amazingly, though it was a rainy day, it didn’t stop hundreds of people from walking in downtown Norcross to help raise awareness and money for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. As you’ll see in the pictures, even under tents and umbrellas, there was a lot of excitement, joy and fun to be had and people’s hearts truly shined that day.

So here are a few more pics from that day…

Baskets of fun being raffled off that day.  I bought a few tickets to try my luck but as usual, I didn’t win. I don’t think I ever win these kinds of things.

These are some of the beautiful people that help to make this wonderful event happen.

This little man just stole my attention when I first saw him. He was such a cutie and I LOVED his shirt.

Beautiful family, right?

Lisa (pictured below) as a mom, is already super busy but how she is able to handle planning an event like this on top of it…well, let’s just say she’s simply amazing!

I had to take pictures of these siblings. They were SO CUTE!!! I took this after the walk officially started.  Here they were sitting near the Park’s entrance patiently waiting for the walkers to make their way back to the park.

Love the colors of these bags!

This is HBO Crew that were performing that day. You’ve gotta love it when you can ask someone if you can take their pics and they immediately know what to do.  Thanks for an awesome pose guys!

These were a group girls from the Gwinnett Ballet that were filing off stage after a fun performance for the crowd.

What kid doesn’t love face painting! Such a great activity for any event.

Here’s mito man again!

And this is one of my faves of faves because this little angel, with the help of her parents, got off her wheelchair and walked through to the finish line.

There were so many more pictures. Stay tuned…as I said before, i’ll be adding a gallery from the walk. Also, I just posted a short slide show for this event.

If you find yourself in one of these photos and would like a copy, you can simply email me at ayphotodesign@gmail.com and i’ll send you the jpeg file of the photo(s) for free.

Until next time…