Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018…

2017 was a great year for my family. We had our last baby, paid off a ton of debt, and went through so many changes. Gained new friends, lost some fakes.

Leaving LLR was one of the hardest thing I have done, that business was my baby. I loved (most) of my customers and for the first time I felt like I had worth. I loved my team, I loved the live sales, I loved paying off my debt, I loved all of it. It was literally the first time I felt like I was worth a damn. Every goal I set, I hit it. It was friggin life changing for me.

However, I completely lost myself. I hadn’t touched my camera in a year, and photography is my heart and soul I had been working hard before this to try to get better as a photographer and I had not touched the one thing I loved most because I was dumping 100% of me into my business. There was no family birthday party for my kids. I had not sewn anything and that is another thing I absolutely love. I had lost touch with my kids and my husband. Yet NONE of this was the final straw that made me leave.

About a week before my birthday I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I have said for YEARS I do not want to be pregnant into my 30’s. If I wasn’t pregnant before my 29th birthday, I was going to get my tubes tied, and wouldn’t you know, a surprise positive DAYS before my birthday. That was the final straw. My anxiety while being pregnant was beyond out of control and I knew for a fact this was my last baby, which was later confirmed DURING my C-Section when I had a “giant hole” in my uterus. I needed to be done, and I shut down my shop. It killed me, it really did. 7 months later, I miss it. Walking away was something I’ll forever question.

All hell broke loose in my ‘friends’ life when I left. At that time, it felt like my world was crashing down around me and it continued to stop me from doing things I loved, like this Blog. I locked down my Facebook, and stopped writing here, because why the hell would I fuel the fires of people talking about me? But this year? I’m done with that.

2018

This year, is the year for me. I am turning 30 this year, I can medically no longer have kids, which was pretty devastating for me. I was told flat out, I will die. Period. I’ve been pregnant and having babies since I was 16 years old. What now? Who am I now? This year is going to be for me re-discovering who I am, hell, figuring it out all together. I am going to become the Photographer I know I can be. Keep on being the mom I know I am. Become the best wife that I can be and fall in love with my husband again. My health is going to be a priority, and I’m very likely going to start a new business. I am going to take pictures every day, craft more, travel, and learn to love myself. I am completely done giving a fuck what other people think, and I am going to live for what makes me happy, and what is best for my family and myself, and it’s all going to be documented here. Less social medial, more face time. No more saying yes to shit I hate. Fear is not going to stop me from doing a damn thing. Here’s to a new year!

How to Plan the BEST Staycation Ever!

If you know me, you know I’m all about the travel. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, so Staycations are where it’s at! Wether it be due to finances, work, prior obligations, the weather, whatever. So I’m basically a pro at planning both staycations, and day trips! This post will guide you on how to plan the best staycation ever!

Decide how far you wanna drive…

This can change based on SO many factors. Are you going for a day trip? How many kids do you have with you and how old are they? I like to start with about an hour in any direction and then go from there. But seriously, adding 30 minutes really broadens your horizons on things to do and places to go. ALSO remember your drive home. In my case, more than once it’s been with over exhausted kids and at rush hour. Bad plan. Trust.

Consider investing in a hotel for the night!

If you are on a budget, this might be the last thing on your list or the first thing you want to cut, but hear me out. If you are going somewhere with a water park, or have little ones, highly recommend splurging for a room for the night. It doesn’t have to be expensive, especially with bed sharing like a slumber party and deals online. If you get a hotel for the night it also opens up your travel capacity since you don’t have to worry about the drive home. A hotel will also make it feel a bit more like a vacation versus a staycation.

Post in Town Specific Facebook groups!

Search the name of the town or towns you have decided to travel to. Search the specific town name, the towns around it, and the county names. More often than not there are Facebook groups associated with the specific places and you can get tons of information there on local hidden gems. Ask what the best parts of their area are, the best places to eat, where they like to go for day trips, etc. You will get so much more information this way versus a random Google search.

Check TONS of Travel Sites.

You’d do this when going further away, check it for local places as well! Places like Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook ratings, Open Table (for restaurants) and straight up Google Reviews are the way to go. But please, do yourself a favor and read the reviews. I’ve seen great places be discounted because it rained that day. Or because a person wasn’t a senior and couldn’t get the senior discount. Read MANY reviews, on MANY sites! keep your options open!

Make a List with Multiple Options!

Will the weather change that day? Will your kids suddenly hate water? Will it take way longer than you anticipated or way less? Will the food be awful? Will it actually be lame? Who knows. Have multiple options of where you can go, and also jot down a small note of how are apart they are from both your original location and your home! Also write down the hours that they are open! On this list I also like to write down the addresses of any restaurants I want to try, and places where I can get things quick, like CVS/Walmart/etc.

Pack and Plan like You’re Really Going on a Vacation!

ESPECIALLY if you have kiddos with you. Extra outfits? Check. Snacks? Check. Lovey for the way home? Check. All of it. Way better to be over prepared than under prepared, trust me on this one. Plan your trip, truly plan your trip! This will ensure for a way easy, fun day.

So where are you going?! I want to hear all about it!

Want more travel tips? Go here!

3 Fave Apps for iPhone Photos!

I swear to you, I have downloaded more iPhone apps specifically for photos than any other kind of app, and these are my 3 fave apps for iPhone Photos! Probably because I’m addicted to photography and the new new. I’ve spent money, and I’ve downloaded free ones, like literally hundreds. THESE apps are GOLDEN. You want them. They are easy to use, which I’m telling you some are harder than Photoshop and ain’t nobody got time for that. Let’s dive right in!

Word Swag 

1st fave app

Yes girl yes lemme tell you. I learned about this app through some friends of mine and I promise it’s amazing. You can type your text over your image, or over one of their stock images and change it based on the font/color without having to re-type it 150 times. Super user friendly and makes really cute stuff. It’s $4.99 and absolutely worth every penny. Here are two completely different examples, so you can see the versatility of the app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic Stitch 

2nd fave app

Out of ALL the apps I’ve downloaded I swear I’ve downloaded more collage apps than ANYTHING. I’ve paid lots and this free one is the BEST of them all. They do have a ton of in app purchase options, and I have purchased more collages, worth it. Just drag and drop, easy peasy. Even allows for super simple re-sizing! This app is so ridiculously fast. I threw together this collage from my husbands birthday dinner the other night is legit less than 20 seconds. The other is a fave of mine which is a completely unedited photo of me and Timothy.

 

Fuzel Collage 

My most favorite of them ALL. This app is adorable. I use it ALL the time for some cute finishing touches on my photos. They have one ZILLION options to add on and are constantly coming out with more. You purchase credits and then buy packs of ‘stickers’ to add on, but they’re seriously beyond adorable and have them for every occasion. I use them on everything. They also give you the option to earn free credit with photo challenges, and they’re fun, and it’s a great way to learn how to use the app, tho it’s already pretty simple. The possibilities with this app are literally endless.

 

Thoughts?! Which ones do you like? I’d love to hear your thoughts and see what you do with these apps! Contact me here!

Want more Photography posts? Go here.