Hula As I See It

Saturday I joined The Hula Halau for their annual family and friends performance at Dobson Ranch Park. They had a great turnout and I got a front row seat at an amazing show! Since I took so many, I've decided to post my top 11 favorites, starting with number eleven: When I look at this photo, I see a lot of passion - I love how she's just totally rocking out and having fun.


10: One of my favorite portraits of the day
9: Everyone all day was saying, "Make sure you take some of Candice!" She seems to be an important part of the Halau. Isn't that great that they're all thinking about EACH OTHER rather than about just themselves? I love this group.
8: I usually don't tweak the colors that much but I kind of did a lot with this shoot. Once in a while, you have to do something a little one the artsy side like this one
7: And this one... wasn't it a beautiful day? And this was the first time I saw Marilyn dance and it blew me away!
6: I LOVE this one. The dance pose, the background and the pink flower - everything is adorable!

5: The glow in this one is totally not Photoshopped :P I also really like the orange of her dress.
4: I almost faint from cuteness overload with this one. Grandpa and... What's her name again, Loren?? ;-)
3. Mandi should be a model. I ALWAYS get the best shots of her, so no wonder 2 of my top 3 faves are of her...

2. There's nothing better than a baby hair swirl ... except maybe a mama's love for her little one... and this picture shows BOTH!

1. Mandi again... Seriously perfect picture, right? :-P

Thanks to all for letting me point a camera in your faces all day long! You are all so talented and beautiful! Let me know what you think, and to see the rest of them and to get info if you're interested in ordering prints, click here.


Big Day... Tomorrow

Tomorrow is jam packed. From begining to end. Look for some more new photos of my hula girls soon - but for now, here's ANOTHER one of my sweetest and littlest - Kayden laughing at his dad today.


Big Lots, One Dollar

I usually don't like bargain shopping with Eric (who LOVES it) but today, we went to the new GoodWill and to Big Lots together. I found these completely cute placemats for ONE DOLLAR! So exciting. So I came home, cleared off my dining room table and put them in their proper place. Then I dug out these awesome napkins I bought in Africa (for a LOT more than a dollar) and they went perfectly. What a good day.


22 Months

I saw a t-shirt the other day that made me laugh. It said, "No one cares about your blog." I'm a blog-stalker of many and I have to say that the most annoying blogs I hit out there are the ones where the author posts nothing but a bunch of pictures of their kids. NOTHING. ELSE. This is Timmy in his new bed, this is Timmy on his first day of day care, this is Timmy in the kitchen, in the hallway, in the dishwasher. Today, I kind of feel like I'm running one of those blogs. And then I think, "How could I NOT post photos of this? He's PERFECT and so so cute." And that's what EVERY mom thinks of their own kid. I do have a good excuse though. My little one is twenty two months old today.


Have you seen Juno? I just rented it yesterday and I have to say, I LOVE IT. It's the best new movie I've seen in a LONG time. I never thought an ending could be so extremely sad and so extremely happy at the same time. Get ready to cry, homeskillet.


Picky Eaters

A few months ago, I tried to give Kayden a strawberry. He made a face, set it down on the floor, and ran away. Then, weeks later, I was eating a strawberry and he wanted to try it too. So I gave him one and he ate it, followed by three more. Parents with toddlers are constantly dealing with the "picky eater" problem. From what I've read online, we're not supposed to push the new food. Just try again later and introduce in small portions. Or try to pair the new food with one they already like.
I found a good article on Mayo Clinic that gives you 20 tips for working with a picky eater. To read more, click here. Don't forget to snap some shots of your little one getting messy with their new favorite food too!



Eric turned thirty today. For his cake, I made a 3 and a 0 out of chocolate and tried to use them as cake toppers, but the three broke so it didn't look as cool as I wanted it to.
Even though he didn't want his picture taken, I insisted and he gave me this creepy smile. This isn't really the way he smiles, but this is what I got... thanks, sweetie.
I hope you enjoyed your day, Eric! I love you!


Glitter Candles

Birthdays aren't really a big thing in our house. We usually just go out to dinner or do something small. Since Eric is turning thirty tomorrow, I thought I'd put a little extra effort into his day. Kayden and I each picked out a gift for him and I went to Aj's today and got a cake as well. While I was there, I saw these ADORABLE glitter candles and thought, "Why not?" Aren't they so pretty? I can't wait for tomorrow!


Water Baby

With Kayden growing so fast, our sink baths will soon be at an end, so I thought I would capture a couple bath moments this week. He's always been a fan of splashing around and playing with his bath toys, which I am grateful for. I know a lot of moms I've talked to have toddlers who loathe bath time, so I did a little research and found out a few things...Usually toddlers develop a fear of bath time because they've gotten soap in their eyes recently or water up their nose - some type of unpleasant experience. Other toddlers connect bath time with bedtime - "If I take a bath, I have to go to bed - if I DON'T take a bath, I DON'T have to go to bed!" Aren't our kids the smartest?

From reading through, parents are saying to take a bath WITH your child - especially if they're afraid. Other parents have found bringing in toys that are up to date with your child's interests. If your child is digging letters, bring in some of those foam letters to stick on the shower walls. If your child likes coloring, bring in some bath crayons. Parents usually get a "you're taking a bath weather you like it or not!" attitude, which is only going to create a traumatic experience for your baby (and frustrate you even more). Put in a little effort to make bathtime enjoyable for your little one and the phase will end soon... hopefully...


Aloha! (part 2)

Remember Kaden? He and his family made an appearance at Saturday's festival in Gilbert!
He brought his new baby sister Aria (sorry if I got that wrong... I think that's right?)

She was a cutie and I was glad to finally meet their mama!
I love the colors in this one. The background gives it a funky feel. The dancers watch each other's performance to show support, which I think is so sweet! There were a lot of mother/daughter teams there too - if you have a daughter and are thinking of ways to connect/bond/spend more time together, look into hula lessons - these girls were so talented and were all ages!

One more of the boy. He was the lucky one that got to do the shell horn thing.
It took me forever to figure out what to do with this one and I'm very pleased with the final effect!
I can't believe this is the only one of Marilyn that I took! She's the instructor. I've known her since October and have heard about her Hula classes but this was the first actual show I'd seen. All the dances were beautiful!
And one more of Mandy who is so photogenic! I added some leather texture to this one to give it more of a western feel and really like the way it turned out.
Thanks again to all of you for being so great on Saturday! Some of these will probably go up on Marilyn's website after your next performance so if you weren't on here very much, remind me to get more photos of you next time!




Aloha! (part one)

I had a blast today at the Gilbert Spring Festival at Freestone park. My friend Marilyn teaches hula and she asked me to take photos of her performance. I had no idea what to expect from a hula performance, but this. was. awesome! I had no idea my friend or her students were so talented and now... I kinda wanna learn hula! I started out with this cutie who gave me some perfect shots.Aren't their costumes the best?
The little details like coordinating bracelets and anklets were my favorite.
I think this little one was the youngest... and the most energetic! :)
This one is my new best friend... they call her "cookie." :) I was actually feeling sick by the end of the day and she went and got a snow cone for me - the sweetest!
Another little dancer - check out those lashes!
If I ever see a bumper sticker that says, "Real men dance hula", I'm getting it for this guy. He was the only boy in the bunch and did a great job at the performace.
Pat was a total laugh - I liked her right away - definitely a funny one :)
Mandy was SO CUTE in her costumes - they did a cowboy hula that I loved and I had to get her in her straw hat!!
They used hula instruments as well. I think these are called Uli Uli's - a gourd rattle with colorful feathers.
And this one is an Ipu - a gourd drum. I actually love this photo - I added some texture and really like how it came out.
the park had set up the stage in front of a ton of wires - so I didn't get the best dance shots, but they have a performance later this month, so I'll try to get more then. For now, I put these two together.

That's it for aloha part 1 - get ready for part 2 coming soon from the rest of the day!

I enjoyed meeting all of you so much and can't wait to see you again. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! And if you picked up one of my cards at the festival, be sure to leave a comment or send an email as well - I'd love to hear from you!!