Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Lupines in Lake Tahoe

July 14, 2015

A little personal post… my family spends a lot of time at Lake Tahoe in the Sierras.  This is one of my favorite peaceful places in the world.  We’ve enjoyed some time there this summer exploring.  My sister-in-law stumbled on this gorgeous field of lupine flowers, and I could not resist taking some casual photos.

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I’m too excited not to share here, even though this has nothing to do with babies.  My husband was in the wine business years ago and now he is a just hobbyist winemaker. We crushed a Napa Carneros Cabernet Sauvignon back in October 2013.  The day he brought a trailer full of grapes to our driveway was an eventful day.  He has a business trip planned, and had just hours to crush 1 ton of grapes in our driveway, while I was at the studio shooting a newborn session.  He finished the crush, into a very large macro bin in the garage, and left the mess on the driveway for me to clean up.  It’s ok honey, I forgive you!  The kids and I spent the next week checking the grapes twice a day and “punching down the cap”, or the dry grapes that make their way to the top of the bin during the fermentation process.  We added the yeast a few days into the process, and checked on them religiously those first few weeks.  Today, after 14 months on French oak in our garage, the wine went into bottles today. It has been a family affair, and will result in about 25 cases of a beautiful wine.  We still need to order the final labels, and put a silver foil on the bottle, but we’re almost done! I will create a blog post once all of that is done, but I had to share what we’ve done so far.  I created the artwork for the label and we’re getting them printed this week.

A few of these pictures show some vintage barrel staves from original barrels that my husband’s Great Grandfather coopered. We still have them, what a treasure.

Its been very rewarding and fun. And it tastes amazing too. We’re looking forward to our 2015 vintage starting in the Fall.  No babies today – Secondo Vento (Second Wind in Italian – husband’s heritage).

sacramento home winemaker

Loving my summer!  I cannot believe school starts again in just a few weeks.  We have been pretty much non-stop all summer, and I like it that way!  We’ve done several Tahoe weekends (tied in with Tahoe weddings).  We’ve spent some time with good friends and we’ve had some great family time also.  4th of July was a great time!  We usually spend it in Tahoe, and this year was no exception.  The kids always participate in the neighborhood bike parade.  It’s such a fun tradition for them, I love it!  We discovered a new activity that we have fallen in love with – kayaking in the lake!  It is so relaxing being out on the clear blue waters, seeing things from the water instead of the shore.

Forgive me, I’m not the most talented writer, but I am excited to share these monthly personal posts.  Instagram has been so great for me.  Believe it or not, I don’t usually bring my professional camera with me on most of our outings.  It’s large, and takes multiple lenses, and I don’t like to have to worry about having it stolen or losing it. Instagram allows me to capture and keep everything in one spot.  Loving it!  Hope you’re having a great summer too!


I am an Instagram lover, and have been using it like crazy over the last year for my personal photos.  Thought I would start sharing a few personal posts here and there, and what a great one to start with, our month of June.

The kids got out of school early in the month and we were non stop after that.  We have an amazingly productive lemon tree in our backyard, and the kids and I have been having such a great time making fresh lemonade so far this summer.  We spent a few days in the Bay Area visiting family, and took a few trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Capitola and Santa Cruz while we were there.   Weather was fabulous!  Hubby has taken up surfing in his old age (hehe), so I’ve been enjoying getting some shots of him while at the beach.  We have had some great days near home swimming with friends and a few local BBQs too.  We then spend nine days in Southern CA on a work trip for my hubby.  We took the kids to visit the Queen Mary and USS Iowa (my son is obsessed with ships of any sort).  We also spent some great quality time with sister-in-law, brother-in-law and my sweet nieces and nephews, visiting the zoo and lots of trips to the beach.  We then headed to San Diego/Coronado/Imperial Beach for our last few days of the trip.  It was MUCH needed down time, and the kids had a blast!

Summer seems to be passing by so quickly.  The kids are 7 and 8 right now, and I love keeping them BUSY, as that means less fighting between siblings.  I am blessed to be mom to these two, and to have a job that I love that allows me to take some time off over the summers in between summer newborn sessions and weddings.


Just a personal share… I’m totally behind on blogging, but I had to put this post together to share from my son’s 8th birthday party this past weekend.  He is into sharks in a major way right now.  I love putting on a themed party, and I try to do it for each of my kids for their birthday each year.  I grew up not celebrating birthdays, so I think I overcompensate with my own kids.  Crazy, I know… but I have so much fun doing it!

I design stationery in addition to being a photographer ( is my stationery site).  So I created the invites first… and then went to work on the rest.  I worked with my friend Christy, from Celestial Bites in Roseville, to design the cake.  I wanted the cake to be ombre in his party colors, with a cute little shark atop.  (You can find her at  I had the frame at home, and the chevron fabric at home to put on the table.  Added my “toilet paper” backdrop (that’s what my husband calls the pretty ivory and white garland in the back) and we were good to go!  He had a great time at his party, surrounded by his family and friends.  That’s what its all about, right?!  Happy Birthday A!!  XOXO.

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I signed up as a reseller of Organic Bloom frames in the Sacramento area last year, and I keep forgetting to put up a blog post about it! I had an inquiry this evening, so I thought I would add a post to talk a little bit about these gorgeous frames!  They come in a huge assortment of shapes and sizes, and in 54 colors!  They are hand crafted right here in the United States, by a small business in Oklahoma that exclusively sells them through photographers.  If you are looking for a reseller in Sacramento, I would be more than happy to help you!  Please email me or call me and I can forward an emailed catalog of colors and shapes, along with pricing.

I’ll add more images later, but here is just one of my favorite shapes – the “Lucy”.

where to buy organic bloom frames in sacramento

It is finally slowing down after a busy summer for me with weddings and portrait work.  I am very behind on blogging, but I wanted to share a fun fall afternoon that I spent with my kids at Apple Hill.  I love visiting this region, and I hope that my kids will never forget the fun day trips that we take each year.

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My son turned seven this last weekend… I cannot believe it!  I did a carnival themed party for him, and went all out this year!  It was a fun party at Funderland and he and his friends had a great time.  I created all of the invitations and party decorations.  I love party planning.  I think if I was not doing photography, I would be planning fun and festive parties!  I do sell the invitations at

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I stumbled upon this great brand of photo jewelry recently, and I am in love!  It is from Planet Jill.  I ordered a charm and engraved tablet necklace for a client, and a few for myself, and I think every mom deserves a piece of this lovely jewelry!  All of the pieces are sterling silver, and made very well.  They are dainty, and so beautiful!  If you have had a session with me in the past and want to order with any of my images, you can order directly through me.  I am offering free shipping for orders through 4/27.  Just enough time to receive the pieces before Mother’s Day.

Planet Jill Photographer's Jewelry

So I am a creative at heart.  I have been since I was young. I can remember doing tons of little arts and crafts projects with my mom when I was a small girl.  I would have girlfriends spend the night, and that is what I wanted to do – make stuff.  And I still love to make stuff!  I am always on the hunt for beautiful props for my photo sessions.  I buy a lot of things, but I also make things when I can.  I can’t knit, so any knit hats or bows I have purchased from other talented crafty women.  I came up with an idea for this gorgeous headband, and I have had a few other photographers ask about them, so I am going to sell a few on etsy!  If you’re interested, here is the listing.