Prom & a Butterfly Fairy

Had two prom shoots the weekend before last.  One with my cousin on Friday and the other with my friend’s daughter on Saturday.  Strangely enough, I’d never actually had any prom shoots before this.  They were each also some of the fastest shoots ever.  That evening I also did my first boudoir, but we won’t be posting any of those.  So instead, I’ll first show you a pic of my little butterfly girl.  She had a birthday earlier this month and got the butterfly wings from Grandma and Sarah and they just so happened to match the tutu I’d won that week in a charity silent auction.  We threw together a little photo shoot on a rainy day and she actually cooperated!

my little butterfly

Ariel and CJ:

Ariel & CJ


Mackenzie and Zachary:

Mackenzie and Zachary


It’s that crazy/busy/fun time of year!



Hosting a Child’s Backyard Birthday Party

content_marketing_opi_photo1233504-26-2013If you want to make your child’s backyard birthday party extra special, start out by thinking about a theme that could work well for your child. For a young girl, a Disney-themed party could work well. All the girls could dress up as their favorite princess, and boys could dress up as male Disney characters, and they could role-play some of their favorite scenes. After the children have played outside, you could bring them in to watch a Disney film.

When you are hosting a children’s backyard birthday party, you should carefully watch the children’s exposure to the sun. There are cases where parents will only pay special attention to the children with fair hair and fair skin, and then those with a darker complexion end up getting burned. You should have the children line up, apply sunscreen, and then give them a treat at the end. Possibly it could be a bag of goodies, or even just a can of soda. You are probably planning on giving the kids something, so use it to your advantage.

Parenting has a list of healthy kids snack ideas, some of which are perfect for a backyard party. These include baked sweet potato fries, which “are healthier than regular French fries (and taste great dipped in ketchup).” The same article suggests tortillas with cheese, which children love. “When I asked a friend with two young daughters what they like to eat she answered in just one word: ‘Cheese!’” The article instructs that you should “mound a little salsa and cheese on each tortilla. Cook on foil-lined tray in toaster oven until cheese has melted and is brown at the edges.”

You might be understandably concerned about whether or not a lit firepit could pose a risk to children during the party. This really comes down to how many adults will be there on the day. If you will always have an adult in your backyard, then it should be OK, but be careful, and be sure to warn the children about the dangers of getting too close. You should also consider checking out this post on how you can revolutionize your firepit. It suggests using firepit burners, which is a great idea, because they’re much safer, and you have full control over the flame. The fire can be extinguished immediately and there are no air pollutants that come off it.

Many parents worry about what to do if a child misbehaves at a backyard birthday party. Children have a tendency to show off in front of one another, but they also tend to feel uncomfortable misbehaving in surroundings they are not familiar with. Children typically worry that you will tell their parents if they misbehave, and this worry will tend to keep them on the right path. But if the worry of you telling their parents isn’t enough, have a quiet word and that should work. In the worst-case scenario, you need to call their parents.

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Making Your Child’s Dental Visit More Comfortable

DentistDo you have to bribe your kids to get them to the dentist? Are car rides to the dentist full of kicking and screaming? Unfortunately, for many parents, these questions are usually answered yes. It’s no secret that kids are terrified of going to the dentist, which is why you need to take steps as a parent to make those dentist trips don’t leave long lasting scars on your children.

There are lots of ways that you can make the dentist trips more friendly for your children. Dental checkups don’t need to be a terrifying experience, and in fact can be fun for some kids that like how clean their teeth feel after visiting the dentist. If you’re looking for ways to make the dreaded dentist visit a bit less scary for your kids, check out these tips.

Start Early

The sooner you start taking in your children for dental checkups, the better. Your kids will feel safer if they’ve had a dentist that they’ve been visiting for a long time, and if they go to a dentist’s office that they recognize.

Comfort is key when it comes to the dentist, and there really is no better way to have you kids be comfortable at the dentist than to start early. You should schedule your child’s first dental appointment when you spot his or her first tooth, around the age of one.

Be Careful What You Say

Going to the dentist is traumatic for people of all ages, but it is especially for kids because they usually don’t understand why they’re at the dentist. As a parent, it’s important to calm your kids before they visit the dentist. Be careful as to what words you use when taking your kids to the dentist.

For example, try to avoid words that invoke fear in your children, like “shot” or “pain” as this will make your child terrified of going back to the dentist. Instead, use positive words and tell your children that the dentist is going to count their teeth and look at their smiles. The dentist is there to protect your child’s teeth, and you should explain that to your children in a way that they understand.

Understand It Won’t Be Easy

As a parent, you should prepare for the inevitable. And that inevitable is lots of crying, screaming, and general fussiness. It’s totally fine and natural for your child to be terrified of the dentist, and you should be as comforting as you can.

Do not discipline your child because he or she is scared of the dentist, as this will only make the experience worse. Instead, give your child as much positive encouragement as he or she needs to have a better experience at the dentist.

One idea is to go into the back room with your child to comfort him or her if there’s a bad experience happening. Holding your child’s hand can do wonders to help him or her feel more relaxed. Additionally, you can send in an older or younger sibling for comfort, too.

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Refresh Your Kitchen With New Glassware

content_marketing_opi_photo590104-05-2013It is only natural to get bored with a room over time and feel an urge to re-decorate. But sometimes it isn’t the room itself that needs a facelift. Rather, it is the decorative and functional items that need to be replaced. The trick is to find something that fits the space and that compliments other items. Furthermore, it must stay in style for years to come while being unique.

The kitchen is the most common room for people to change. But if your kitchen is less than 10 years old and it still feels dull and drab, try adding some items to the space that are both practical and decorative. Buy some new glassware.

There is something about wine that just adds playfulness and warmth to a space. In fact, just seeing a bottle of wine sitting on a coffee table gives one a calming feel. Artists know this, for there are many decorative things ranging from chandeliers to candle holders made from wine bottles. When showcasing glasses from wine bottles on your table, you are taking artistry a step further: these glasses play on our minds via association. Wine bottles contained fluid for drinking, and now the vessel has been transformed into something completely different, yet it holds the same purpose.

Finding the best glasses
As wine is trendy and always will be, there are artists and crafters who make and sell wine bottle glasses online, at farmer’s markets and in the malls. Make sure you are paying for a quality item. True wine bottle glasses will be thick and properly cut, while the fakes will be thinner and all look identical (real wine bottle glasses will have slight pitting in random places). Furthermore, real wine bottle glasses will only come in colors used to make bottles. These colors include green, gold, clear, light blue and amber. If you see a purple or red glass, you aren’t buying a genuine wine bottle glass.

Fun drinks to serve in fun glasses
There are several wine-based beverages you can serve in these glasses that will delight your lucky guests. When it is July 4th put your glasses in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill, and make an American Glory for every patriotic friend. These simple drinks call for 3 oz of champagne, 2 oz of orange juice and 2 oz of lemonade.
If you return home from church annoyed that you sat through a dull sermon, mix up a Purple Jesus # 3. This sanctified beverage calls for 4 oz of Faygo grape soda and 2 oz of Irish Wild Rose wine.
Finally, if you have a book club meeting serve your guests a Hemmingway. This delicious drink calls for ¾ oz of Pernod licorice liqueur and 4 oz of champagne. Just don’t drink too many or you may have a ‘Death in the Afternoon’ (pun intended).

Drink up in style
These wine bottle glasses will be the talk of your parties. They are fun, creative and great for any occasion. Display them in your kitchen and enjoy the new vibrant ambiance they will create.

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Studies Reveal Chinese Green Tea Linked To Good Health

content_marketing_opi_photo600604-04-2013Chinese tea isn’t just a warm and refreshing drink – it can also be surprisingly good for your health. Technorati writes that Chinese green tea is being linked to an increasing number of health and well-being benefits, cementing generational evidence of the benefits it can bring.

According to studies into the effects of green tea on the human body, those that drink regular volumes of the stuff put themselves at much lower risk of developing both mental and physical conditions than controls. Some have even suggested that its unique properties might make green tea the healthiest drink in the world.

Cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension – green tea drinkers reduce their risks of developing all of these conditions, often to levels of less than one third compared to the average. The effects of green tea are surprisingly potent. The evidence is becoming increasing strong that those who consume green tea are left considerably healthier as a result.

Perhaps one of the most heavily publicized health benefits of green tea is its ability to increase metabolism in weight loss. Green tea effectively acts to stimulate the metabolic rate of the dieter, allowing the body to chew through more calories simply staying still. This means that green tea can make weight loss a much smoother process, compounding further the effects of diet and exercise on your waistline.

Aside from the direct health benefits that come from consuming green tea, there are also physiological effects to be taken into account. Green tea serves as a muscle relaxant, which helps combat stress and tension, while also sharpening focus and attention span thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine. This makes green tea a good choice for work or study, or for when you need to especially focus and concentrate – in fact, preferable to drinking water.

While water can provide immediate hydration, it lacks the same degree of antioxidants and satisfaction that comes from drinking green tea. To leverage all the health benefits, you need to go green. Luckily, it is now being marketed and sold in more innovative and convenient ways.

China Mist Tea Suppliers suggested that tea is a particularly versatile drink which can be consumed at any time of day. “Our iced teas are popular with those that want a healthy drink on the go, while our flavors help keep it interesting without sacrificing the tremendous, proven health benefits it brings. However you’re feeling, both hot and cold teas can pick you up and leave you feeling refreshed and healthy.”

Teas are central to traditional Chinese culture, and play an important symbolic role in the country’s history. Green tea is reported to have been discovered by the Chinese around 3000BC, through a coincidental tealeaf dropping into boiling water. The infusion that was born improved the taste of the water, and sparked a multi-millennial love affair with the many different flavors and variations of tea which persist to this day.

Chinese teas are reputed for their anticarcinogenic properties, while supercharged with antioxidants to replenish and rejuvenate the body. They have found significance in Chinese culture as a pseudo-medicinal drink, and generations have come to rely on their properties and flavors. Now, with increasing scientific validation it’s possible green tea will become an even more mainstream option for improving health and assisting with healing processes.

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