Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's Little Helper...NOT

I got this wild & crazy idea in my mind the other day that I was going to be like Santa's little helper and bake my heart away. My mom does this every year and makes it look so easy. So in an effort to stop mooching off her greatness and put a few tips Martha Stewart has taught me along the way to practice I gathered ALL my ingredients. I couldn't have just been happy with making a few dozen of one kind of cookies to give out to my loved ones. NO I had to make Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Sugar Cookies, Ginger Snaps, Lemon Cookies, Brownies, Pumpkin bread and muffins. I started at 4:00 in the afternoon and did not turn the oven off until 4:00 am. I was saving the Oatmeal cookies to do last since they are Tony's favorites and I never even got to make them. How sad is that. :( He even stayed up with me all night. It was heart breaking when he came into the kitchen to taste an oatmeal cookie and they were no where to be found. He thinks I have lost my mind. I think he is right. Let's just say that this will not be becoming a tradition. Sorry to disappoint mom. Another case and point of your amazingness. Looks like my mooching days are here to stay.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Card Designs

This is the winning design the Kross Family chose for their Christmas cards.

Here is a few more cards that I ordered recently...

One of my favorite times of the year is shooting family portraits and then later getting to design their Christmas cards. If you are interested and would like more information please contact me at or {714} 454-7497.

On another note I wanted to wish my favorite father-in-law a Happy, Happy Birthday today! We love you so much.

Love, Tony, Danielle, Mac & Jonas

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Principal's List

This morning I went to a special award ceremony for a special girl in my life. She is not only my niece but Kiana is my buddy. I adore every last minute I am blessed to spend with her. She truly is an amazing girl. This award is extra special because Kiana has started her last year of elementary at a new school, in a new town away from all her friends. Nothing can stand in the way of this girl. She is going to change the world. Kiana, we are so proud of you. Keep up the great work! We are always here for you. Love, Uncle Tony & Auntie Danielle

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Struggles and Butterflies...

One day a little girl found the cocoon of a butterfly with a small slit at the end. She sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body though that little hole. Then it stopped, as if it could go no further.
So the girl decided to help the butterfly. She took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
She continued to watch the butterfly because she expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its shortened life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.
What the little girl, in her kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings. And once the butterfly achieved its freedom from the cocoon it would then be ready to fly.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Cynthia Martinez with Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise asked if I would like to photograph a special day for the Marines. I was honored to take part. I called my buddy Sara Kross to see if she wanted to tag along with me.
The event was held at Camp Pendleton. This is the 4th event I have covered and it never ceases to amaze me all the volunteers that come out to support the men and women who are sacrificing their lives for our freedoms. The freedoms we so often take advantage of. Sara and I were touched by so many lives and look forward to the next event.
Churches banned together and set up booths with food, games, free services, massages, jewelry, desserts, etc. There was a bounce house and slides for the kids to petting zoos and pony rides. There was entertainment throughout the entire day along with amazing raffle prizes (which were ALL donated). Karaoke sing off contest, line dancing contest, watermelon and pie eating contest to volleyball tournament and Tug-A-War. It turned out to be a huge success. They rolled out the red carpet for their grand entrance to the event. The hundreds of volunteers were shouting "thank you" and shaking their hands as they came through. It is hard to describe those moments in words. The Trabuco High School Cheerleaders came out to show their support. It was so awesome to be standing up on the stage looking down at the huge crowd as the ceremonies began they opened up in prayer. Heads were bowed, the beach was still. It was a very special moment one I am very thankful for. I was reminded of all the freedoms we are blessed to have.Petting Zoo and Pony Rides...Tug-A-War...Watermelon eating contest...Pie eating contest... Cynthia has devoted herself to these men and women. She is always looking for volunteers. Whether it is a service you provide, funds, gifts for raffles or you would like to come out and help at one of her events be sure to visit her website for more information and contact her anytime throughout the year. She is doing amazing things but she cannot do it without our help!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kross Family

I love family portrait time. It is always a challenge getting large groups together with all the different personalities. Some have big ones, others are shy, others who hate being in front of the camera, some are goof balls. All of these dynamics are what make family sessions so much fun. It is my job to not only get some great shots but to have the family work together and most importantly to have FUN!
The Kross family is all of that and more. They were up for anything and just happy to be all together. I treasure this family. The love that starts from the top and trickles down to the siblings and on to all their other relationships is truly a blessing. I love how each sibling looks out for each other and still enjoys spending time together. God definitely had our paths cross for a reason. We will forever be touched by this beautiful family. I often look through magazines for different ideas and poses to keep things interesting and have been anxiously waiting to try out a bubbles idea. I knew the Kross family would be the perfect candidates for this so we started off with bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles. It was the perfect thing to loosen everyone up. I cannot wait until next years session or maybe even an engagement session. wink, wink! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkin Squares

My favorite time of the year is Fall. The smell of pumpkin spice in the air gives me the warm and fuzzies. To kick of the season I decided to put my apron on and bake one of my favorite recipes.
For those who know me they know it is going to take a lot of practice to ever become like my mother in the kitchen but I am going to start trying to have fun doing it. I know I definitely need to keep my day job though!
Baked and ready to be cut into squares and served with a cup of hot tea. I made the recipe card in my Creative Memories Storybook 3.0 software. Stay tuned for a fun project I am working on.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Bear Retreat

I love traditions! Life can be so full of changes that holding on to a few things that we do year in and year out gives me the warm and fuzzies inside. One of these traditions is our annual Scrapbooking Retreat to Big Bear. Even though I am working, (my part time job as a Creative Memories Consultant) I look forward to this weekend so much. It is a jammed packed weekend of fun, food, friendships, fellowship, relaxation, projects and goals, oh did I mention food?
We stay at an amazing Bed & Breakfast called Apples. Barbara, her family & staff take such good care of us we never want to leave. For those of you that scrapbook you can understand how we can work around the clock for three days on our precious albums. If you aren't as hard core as some of us then you can take a break and head down to the lake, go shopping downtown, get a massage, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, or just simply hang out. The weekend is all about YOU!
The food is all handmade with love by the amazing staff at Apples. They wait on you all weekend long. You never have to lift a hand. Oh, and don't plan on coming with any kind of diet agenda because you fail it in a big way! Their food is so delicious. In fact, they even came out with a cookbook you gotta have. Check it out here.
My favorite part of the weekend is getting to spend time with all my favorite gals and powering through like 75 pages. What more could a girl ask for? Traditions, Traditions...This is my 10th year coming to Big Bear! I love it!JoAnn, Elaine, Belen, Emily, Jeri, Debbie, Brenda, Sara, Maureen, Tessa, Katya, Vivianne and Tiffany thanks for coming. Can't wait for next year!