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After 12 years as a full-time lifestyle photographer, I decided to stop photographing families. I felt it was time to change my focus and start spending more time with my own family. I love photography and this doesn’t mean I will stop taking beautiful photos. This will allow me to focus on photography even more and remember why I started in the first place. Something that not all people realize is when you start a photography business, the business side can be a little demanding. My photography business is a one woman business with shooting sessions, book keeping, running a website, customer service, marketing and editing deadlines. I really want to focus more on teaching, branding projects and personal work next year. After running a successful full time business, I feel like I have something to give back. I want to teach others how to grow their own businesses. Challenge: There is Never Enough Time Trying to run a photography business, pick kids up from school, get kids to choir practice and concerts takes a balancing act. I am a family photographer, so my busy season is right when all the fun holiday stuff begins. I would try and schedule around all the activities but ALWAYS ended up missing something. As my kids get older, I realize those moments will not always be available. I want to cherish these times more than ever. I don’t want to look back and regret not being there for all the important moments. New Focus Photography was not always my only passion. I remember as a kid spending hours in my room just writing in my journal. I love to write so much I started this blog. I have BIG dreams for this blog as well as my Monat business. I feel like these things will not take so much time away from my family. I can work on creating classes and new content while they are at school and work. I don’t have to skip dinner to run to a session, just to spend the rest of my night uploading photos. Will I miss photographing families? of course!! I loved meeting so many young families through my photography business and growing with them. After 12 years, this was probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. It just made sense to me to me and I felt relieved after talking to my husband about this change. I knew at that moment, it was for the best. This is what my next chapter will be… A New Chapter I have an interesting perspective on life from past experiences. My life has had many ups and downs and turn of crazy events. I believe those experiences could inspire and help a lot of women. I want my blog to be just that, inspiration. A place you can come and find great advice, how to love life, yummy recipes, follow our travels, be inspired and maybe someone who can relate to what you are going through. I can’t say I won’t miss photography because I will still be taking photos, just not of families. End of an Era It’s time for me to say goodbye to an era and embrace a new chapter. I am so excited about this new adventure and season of life. I hope you follow along with me, get to know me better and find some good reads. Let me know what you would love to read about!! I am an open book.
New TraditionsLast year we started a new tradition, no Christmas Presents. We decided to start going on family vacations instead. We felt like time together as a family was more important than all the gifts on Christmas morning. So we planned a trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios.We went to Disneyland on Christmas Eve and Universal Studios on Christmas Day. The kids have never been to Universal Studios. My husband and I took a trip just for our 10 year anniversary and loved it. We started off by getting there super early to get in line. There was SO MANY people. I think Christmas Day may possible be the busiest day of the year. Once we got into the park, the first thing we did was head over to the Harry Potter world. My nine year old has read all the books and watched all the movies. She is a huge fan. We ended up at the book store to get fitted for a wand. That’s when the magic all started. Brylee was dressed in her Gryffindor costume and she got chosen to be fitted for a wand. They asked her to come up to the desk to try a few out. The first wand she was asked to cast a spell and the flowers died. The second wand she was asked to cast a spell and a bell started ringing and lightning appeared. BUT, the third wand she picked up and wind blew her hair back, music played and she was in a spotlight. The librarian told her that the wand had chosen her. It was just like a scene out of the movie! Brylee got to keep her wand and go around casting spells around the park and that’s pretty much where she wanted to stay the WHOLE day. We grabbed some butter beer while we were there, which is the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. I highly recommend trying the frozen butter beer. Must See & DoI think my favorite part of the trip is also the studio tour! I recommend taking the tour after you have been standing a while because you get to sit and ride a train. The 4D movie clips were really awesome. My daughter thought they were too loud and scare and just closed her eyes and covered her ears the whole time. There was some things she thought was really cool though. We drove by the VOICE stage which we are BIG fans. Also, we drove by where the show, The Good Place, was filmed. Seeing it in person and then on TV is really weird to me. Desparate Housewives Street Whoville Jaws Wish List One thing I wish I could have done is the Walking Dead attraction. My girls didn’t want to go through it and it was on my wish list. So, we settled for the Grinch attraction. We got to send letters, meet Max and stay for the Christmas tree lighting and witness the snow fall. The snowfall was magical and really does put you in the Christmas spirit. I included a short video below. TipsI do NOT recommend going on Christmas day because it is SO busy. I would go before everyone is on vacation. We did bring a bag full of snacks and drinks to have between lunch and dinner. We ate lunch at the park ($80 for corn dogs!) and then at Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner on the Walk. I recommend getting to the park early if you want to do ANYTHING Harry Potter because the ride alone was a 3 hour wait. The bookstore fills up really quick as well. Take breaks in between rides and enjoy the shows. Show up early to get seating to rest your feet. We loved all the shows and the studio tour. Universal Studios Hollywood was amazing. We purchased our Disneyland and Universal Studio tickets through Get Away Today which saved us a little bit of money as a packaged deal!
Does it Matter?Does it really matter what hair dryer you are using on your hair? I really didn’t know the difference until I started using a high quality hair dryer. I just used a simple Conair hair dryer from Target that I had picked up. Did you know that using a good hair dryer can help eliminate frizz? Help prevent damaged hair? Speed up drying time? Give your hair more volume? Have healthier looking hair overall? It’s all true. Temperature & SettingsI recently got a professional hair dryer, the T3 Micro Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer. I didn’t realize how bad my current hair dryer was and how it was damaging my hair. First thing I noticed was that it wasn’t hot! A professional dryer can eliminate frizz and damage because it offers innovative digitally controlled heat. It’s important when looking for a blow dryer that has heat setting options. The T3 also had a wide, gentle air flow stream maintaining body, volume and shine. Proven to leave hair healthier than when air drying. My hair has always taken SO LONG to dry creating damaged hair by exposing it to heat for long periods of time. The DifferenceProfessional hair dryers have advanced technology that utilizes ceramic and negative ionic energy to style hair and keep it healthy. This type of technology allows your hair to dry in half the time using less heat. These dryers are the best for your hair but do cost more than your grocery store hair dryer. If you are drying your hair with every wash, you may want to look into a hair dryer that won’t damage your hair. It’s worth investing the extra money if you want less frizz and healthier hair. I still recommend using a heat protectant in your hair to protect it when drying. Extra insurance is never a bad thing. You should also be using non-toxic products in your hair to prevent chemical damage as well. I use the T3 dryer and Monat hair products to protect my hair fully from damage.