travel | disneyland


There is something magical about Disneyland. I have always loved going there, even as an adult to recapture the magic that lives inside those gates. Maybe it has to do with my childhood and visiting there when things were very magical for me, or maybe it is just the experiences I have had there, but I love Disneyland. My mother-in-law has cancer and has made a great bucket list. One thing she wanted to do was visit Disneyland for the first time. So of course we said yes! So last October we travelled with her, to the land of wonder. (I secretly have to post this right now because I want to be at Disneyland, but I can’t go to amusement parks until April — thanks fetus.)





We spent the days inside the park to the fullest, taking full advantage of the hours we could get in. I love going in October because the park is dressed to the nines with Halloween decor. And Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday so of course I was over the moon about being there.


If you haven’t been during a holiday, you need to go! I haven’t been there during Christmas yet, maybe one day.. But they decorate everything, down to the streets and light posts. And during Halloween the villains rule the park, so you get to see charcters that aren’t normally out.



Do you love the movie the Nightmare Before Christmas? It is a favorite of mine, I watch it every halloween, Disney turns the Haunted Mansion into the Nightmare Before Christmas ride. I will admit to riding that ride 4 times last year, and 3 of them were in a row. Yes I love it that much.


My favorite rides in there are the following, so make sure you go! Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion (even not during halloween), Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin, Goofy’s House, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Mad Tea Party, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Snow White’s Scary Adventure.




Let me give you one of my best found secrets of Disneyland. Go to Space Mountain first thing, that one always fills up the quickest and Tomorrowland is one of the first parks you encounter. Second, ride all the ‘grown up’ rides during the day. The little kids aren’t likely to be in places other than Toon Town and Fantasyland. So when 7-8 rolls around go to those areas and the lines are SHORT. All the kids have gone home for the night.


Now for California Adventure make sure you hit the following : The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Carsland, Soaring California, Monsters Inc Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, and California Screamin. We rode California Screamin 5 times in a row. It was awesome! Visit Carsland both during the day and at night. However go there first thing in the morning, the ride Radiator Springs Racers always has the longest line. 

What is your favorite ride in Disney? Do you have any tips?


baking | cherry cobbler



I have a small collection of recipes from my grandma. This one is a favorite and can be made any time of the year. It tastes like a cherry sugar cookie, pretty dang good. And not to mention that it is really fast and easy to make.

Here is what you need.


2 cans tart cherries (1 qt), drained

1 cup sugar

1 tsp almond

1 1/2 TBS cornstarch


topping :

1 cup flour

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c shortening

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt


Start by turning on your oven to 350. Grab a 9×13 pan, or one close to this size. Start with the filling first. Mix the cherries, almond, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. You need the cornstarch to keep the filling semi-thick. Otherwise it will be a runny mess. Pour your filling once mixed into the bottom of the 9×13 pan.


Mix your topping ingredients together, they don’t have a certain order on this one. It should make a cookie dough consistency type dough, but slightly crumbly. Crumble or flatten out the dough to cover the top of the filling. This dough does expand a little bit, so having small blank spots are okay.


Bake for 30-35 minutes. You want the topping to be lightly browned. Allow it to cool slightly, it tastes good when it is warm not hot. Top with ice cream or go for it straight. Try and have just one spoonful, I dare you!


inspiring | quote

I love looking for quotes, there is something about quotes that seem to resonate with my soul more than anything else. I think because it is a short set of words that every time you read it, the meaning seems to change and fit more into your situation. And since I am a photographer, I am finding myself constantly changing and on the lookout for inspiration anywhere I can find it. Often times a quote can be the drive behind a new project or how I view my next shoot. So I thought I would share one that has hit me lately.


What if you Fly

[via The Inspired Room]

There have been a few things in my life lately that are changing. Big changes that I am not sure I can stomach or handle. Things that I am terrified of failing at, or letting someone down because of it. It seems that whenever a new change comes along there is that fear that you can’t escape. Something that just nags at you, until you really try and see where you land. This quote gave me a push to try those scary things and realize that if the people around me don’t like my choice, that is okay. It was my choice to begin with and I am the only one who really has to answer for it.

travel | San Francisco



A favorite of ours and a regular day trip place we make is to San Francisco. We can hop on a flight and be there before lunch and have time to walk around and eat at our favorite places. This place is awesome, and I really love the art feel it has. Here are my favorite photos and places to visit while you are there!


Here are my top 10 places

. The wharf

. Boudin Bread Factory

. Baker Beach

. Ocean Beach

. Gott’s

. Ghiradelli Factory

. Chestnut Street

. Pier 39

. Fog Harbor Fish House

. Trolley Cars


. The Wharf . This place is just fun. There are fish vendors all along the street, a smell of the ocean, hilarious bum signs and a bunch of shopping. I go there mostly for the atmosphere, there isn’t a place I have found that is quite like it. I enjoy watching people interact and I love reading the bum’s signs they get pretty clever.


. Boudin Bread Factory. I am a hard core sucker for sourdough bread. And pizza. And Boudin has a sourdough pizza. Sign me the crap up! It is so good! They have a restaurant there but you can also buy bread, or mixes, as well as supplies to make your own bread at home. It is a staple for us, I have to have my pizza.

. Baker Beach. This beach is pretty great. You get an amazing view of the golden gate bridge from here and it usually has pretty tame waves. They also have a pier that you can go out on and walk around. Often times you will catch a fisherman out there and he will show you his catch. But be warned, there is a nudist half of the beach. I found this out the hard way.. not pretty.



. Ocean Beach. This is a bus ride away, but it had the best views. It seemed to be less crowded with people and still was pretty. This is where I got the inspiration to start my roadkill project, Confrontations, when I found a decomposing seagull on the beach. This is worth the ride.

. Gott’s. This is the best joint in town. It is on the water and serves up amazing food. The last time I was there I had panko breaded chicken strips and fries. The hubs had a hamburger. Their food is A++ and the fries, you can’t stop. I am serious. They are in the Ferry House near the wharf.


. Ghiradelli Factory . Those who know me, know I am a sucker for chocolate. So naturally I would tell you to go to an amazing chocolate factory. This place is like the mecca of chocolate on the west coast. They sell all their chocolate there, often times in bulk, and they even let you sample one. They also have a restaurant that serves up desserts and milkshakes. Delish.

. Chestnut Street . This street is a neat little stop, it is filled with non chain restaurants. It is fun to walk around and try out a new place. A lot are mom and pop local shops and really are so much better than most chain places. So if you are in the mood to try something new, check out Chestnut Street. It won’t disappoint.

. Pier 39 . This place is just a fun spot to hit. They have a bunch of places to eat and then some little stores and shops. A favorite of ours is the magic shop, the hubs is into magic and they often will show off a trick or two. They also have a fully functional carousel at the end that is fun to go for a ride on. If you head to the outer ring you will find a seal zone, they have floating docks for them to lay around on, and a boat harbor. You also get a great view of Alcatraz. If you need to blow an hour or so or want to walk around I would go here.



. Fog Harbor Fish House . This is a slightly fancier stop. This is a sit down place and serves up fresh seafood, including one of my favorites clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. They are a good spot to eat at if you are searching for fresh fish, and it is right at pier 39 on the upper level.

. Trolley Cars . These you have to do at least once! They are fun to ride up the hills or down to the wharf, depending on your destination. If you take the Powell – Hyde line you will go right past lombard street, the crookedest street in the world. And of course you can hold on and lean out of the car like a true traveller.


The last time we were there we timed it just right so we could see the air show, or maybe we planned our trip for the air show.. I would very much recommend the air show to any one who likes watching planes. It is right on the water, and when they need a break the America Cup, sailboat, competition is happening in front of you. It was the best air show I have been to.
BlueAngelsWe got to see the infamous blue angels, they are pretty amazing I am not going to lie. So loud but their stunts are out of this world.
CloudPlaneThey had a airliner do a fly by, and happened to go right into a cloud. Pretty dang awesome.

And one of our highlights was seeing our friends and their adorable kids. We had a blast playing around with them and listening to the giggles. They were truly so much fun to spend time with.




Where do you hit when you go to San Fran? Is there a place I have to go to??

travel | how i pack

So if you don’t know yet, traveling is one my all time favorite things to do. I love to see new places and explore places I have never been. And since we fly so often, we don’t really like checking our luggage. I have become the master at packing two weeks worth of items into one roll carry on bag. Seriously no joke. So I thought I would share my tips to traveling today.



. Roll pack your clothing. Rolling your clothes not only helps reduce space a ton but it also can keep your clothes from getting terribly wrinkled. And you can roll sets together if that makes it easier to keep things together.


. If you take a camera and want to put in your bag (let’s be honest they can be bulky) I roll my camera in my clothes and put it in the top 1/2 of my bag. This way when the bag is upright it won’t get smashed by the other items in my bag.


. Wear your bulkiest shoes the day you travel. They take up a lot of space in your suit case, so the biggest things you can wear the better. So when I travel somewhere and I know I am going to walk a bunch I wear my tennis shoes on the plane and then flats in my bag.



. Use your other shoes as storage. You can put your liquids, medicines, belts, scarves etc into your shoes. It takes up less space that isn’t being used in the first place.


. Use travel size everything if you can. You can pack at least 2 weeks worth of shampoo, conditioner, soap etc in to a smaller bag which takes up less space.


. If you travel with a carry on, put your liquids in the front pocket. This way at security all you have to do is pull out your baggie and the rest is good to go.


. Always pack your medicines in your carry on bag. There could be an instance where you are separated from your roll on bag, and you are just left with your purse / backpack. I always put my medicines in there, so if my luggage doesn’t make it at least I can stay on top of my horrid allergies.


. Liquid medicines don’t count against your liquids in your carry on. I have a epi-pen that I have to carry all the time, and it contains a liquid. About 1.5 ounces of it. They don’t ever make me place that in my liquid bag, so don’t try and squish those in there.


. Pack snacks in your bag. I have found that there are a lot of times where I want a snack and the pretzel / cookies on the plane just don’t do it. But packing some snacks can be a life saver on long flights or when you can’t get to food quickly.


. Pack an empty water bottle. Water inside the terminal is always like $3. So expensive! But the water fountain is free! And a lot of airports now a days have a water bottle spigot next to the fountain. I pack an empty one and then on the other side of security fill it up!



What tricks do you have for traveling? Do you pack a different way or have something that works for you? I would love to hear! I am always looking for a new way to do things!

design | baby shower invites

With babies in surplus in my family (we have 3 babies coming before march!) there is some serious baby showering going on here. I threw a shower for my younger sister when she was expecting her first sweet little boy. It was a fun thing to design and was even more of a blast to have fun with her.

At the time we didn’t know the name of her baby, she hadn’t decided yet. So we decided to do the whole shower with a circus theme. That way we could refer to the baby as a ‘peanut’. It was a fun and neat challenge to create a cute invite that was circus themed. But I think we nailed it.




I drew the elephant, let’s just say it isn’t my strongest trait :) And then we added the color dots with an ink pad. It was so easy, I did them with pencil erasers. It seriously was the best.

What fun theme’s do you use for baby showers? I have another one to do in the future months.


* I do design work! If you are looking for a fun invite, christmas card, or just about anything really shoot me and email and let’s get to work!

inspiration | colors


I remember while back in art school one of my favorite topics we talked about was color and how it affected us and our senses. Being a photographer, I can use those colors to help convey a feeling or emotion that I want my audience to have. So I thought today I would talk a bit about colors.




Reds :  These colors are known for aggitation. They make you feel agitated or bothered. They stimulate your heart, increase your strength, increase your stamina and of course your circulation. So naturally it is no wonder that a bull rages at the color red, it makes him aggitated.




Pinks : This color is associated with love and romance. It is known to have a calming effect on those around it. Pinks are a gentle stimulus and are known to help you relax your muscles. Did you know that sometimes in prisons their ‘drunk tanks’ are painted pink to help the arrestee stay mellow and calm?




Oranges : Orange is most associated with fun and security. But this can also lead to immaturity issues. But since it is from the red family it does cause stimulus which helps with your digestive system and stimulates your immune system.




Yellow : Yellow has a tendency to effect our emotions more than others. When we have short bursts of it it brings feelings of confidence, self-esteem, and creativity. When we interact with yellow too much it causes fear, depression and irrationality. Strange what a color can do. Obviously yellow stimulates your brain and nervous system.




Green : Green is our balance color. It falls in the middle of the color spectrum and since that is the case it gives us a balanced sense of reality. Since it works on our balance it is no wonder that it balances circulation, helps disorders, helps with colds, hayfever and liver issues. It also works a bit on your heart.




Blues : Blue helps with soothing. This helps us feel calm with a sense of reflection and trust. Since it relaxes you it effects your liver and thyroid. It can also have a cooling effect on you, as well as lowering your blood pressure.




Violet : Violet is unique in that it effects your spirituality. It helps you reach a better state of mental awareness and helps you when you are wanting to meditate. Since it works on your awareness it is no wonder it balances your metabolism and helps your brain.


Of course there are many other benefits to colors and many other effects that work their wonders on you. So I guess the moral of the lesson is.. live a colorful life so all of you and your well being can be in good working order!

wallpaper | fall

It is that wonderful time of year where the leaves are changing, you can wear boots and scarves and hot chocolate is back in season. It also means time for beautiful photos of the landscapes, and family time is nearing. I recently took a drive up the canyon to get some nature photography in, and found some beautiful leave changes. So I thought why not make you guys some fun wallpaper?



iPhone   |   iPad   |  Desktop

This is one of my all time favorite quotes, helps me remember to let go of things in the past cause I can’t change them. This is a good reminder especially when a large life change happens or you’ve made a mistake. What is a favorite quote of yours?

places | Living Planet Aquarium


A few weeks back we attempted a day trip to Seattle, and the flight was full. Bummer, but we decided to do something fun in our state that we had never checked out. We visited the Living Planet Aquarium. Of course I had my camera and had to snap some photos of those lovely fish and seahorses. I mean they are such neat animals. If you are in the area and need something fun and educational, this is a great spot!




This moray eel followed us around the whole time we were in the shark tank. They have a neat Shark tunnel where you can walk through their enclosure and see a bunch of fish and sharks. And that jellyfish was such an awesome shade of pink, I loved just watching them swim around.


They had the coolest seahorse enclosures. There were a bunch in there and often really close to the glass. I loved watching these two interact with each other, the way they swim near each other and communicate is quite a experience.


These mini seahorses are an inch tall. An INCH! They were so cute, who knew they came in that size. And that fish has teeth, like human TEETH. It was crazy to watch him from each angle.



The sting ray enclosure is one to check out for sure. You can pet and feel the stingray as they swim around, there are about 6 in there so you get a good chance of touching at least one. They are slimy and slick but really cool to feel.



I had to put another jelly picture in there, aren’t they just fascinating? And who doesn’t love penguins. It was fun to sit and watch them all pile on the rock and then time their jump into the water and then back out. Those things are FAST in the water too!


All in all the aquarium was neat, even for adults, since we don’t have kids :). There were a few exhibits that weren’t open or still under construction which was kind of a bummer, since we wanted to see them all! But what we could see was awesome.


To check out there website and get more info click here.

deal | back to school special



Back to school, Back to school to prove to Dad I’m not a Fool… It is that time of year again! And since that is the case, I thought I would give you a deal! From September 7-30th, you can get 15% off all portrait sessions. This would be a PERFECT time for senior photos, family christmas card pictures, or even to update that family picture on the wall. Email for pricing and booking. 


*Sessions must be booked in the month of september, but can be used at a later date.