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Adjusting to life as a mother of a newborn has been anything but easy. Yet another one of those surprises no one really prepares you for, or maybe they just can’t. People tell you, “Oh your life is going to change”, “Things will never be the same”, etc. but they almost seem to say it in jest. Like they think it’s funny. Like HAHA you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.
That is totally the wrong way to go about it. I honestly wish someone would have seriously sat me down over coffee or something and said something like, “Look, this is going to be seriously hard. You’re not going to sleep, like, ever again. Daily showering is a thing of the past. Consider it a bonus if you get to eat and your food is still hot. Running short errands with the kid will take weekend vacation type preparations. You will be tired, and sore, and cranky and it’s going to suck. But you’ll have this precious little person and even though she’s the bane of this new existence, you’ll keep going, because you love her more than you could have ever imagined. You’ll cry. You’ll second guess your decision to be a parent. You’ll second guess your ability to be a parent. All of this is OK and completely normal. Your boobs will hurt in a way you’ve never imagined. You’ll cry some more. But then she’ll smile at you and it will all be worth it.”
They’re tricky those babies, with their cuteness and tiny toes.
So yes, it has been difficult. But she’s so freaking amazing and incredibly worth it. And we’re learning, all of us, Bill, Issa, Sam and myself. We’re all figuring each other out and what life now, looks like. Did I mention she’s incredible?
I officially went back to work last Friday. I did my first photo session. It felt good to be back. And I have to just thank all of my clients who are booked this month and their incredible flexibility and love as we make adjustments. Like I said, we’re still figuring all this out. I honestly thought working from home would be easy, but it takes so much more planning and dedication than just dropping your kid at day care and heading off to the office for 8 hours. The trade off however is I’m sure those folks miss their kids. I get the advantage of spending time with her all day, and not missing things. But I also have to work at 2am, or between feedings or naps, or not answer the phone call from a client who’s been trying to get a hold of me for days, because every time they call my kid happens to be screaming all while trying to keep the endless piles of laundry going. How does such a small thing produce so many dirty clothes?
All this to say, we’re getting there. The fact that this blog post is written and live is proof. I’m excited about what is to come in both our personal lives and our business. It’s changing, and it’s changing for the better. And seriously, friends, family, clients thank you so much for all of your support, love and flexibility. We could not do it without you.
For a daily dose of cute baby photos follow me on instagram.
1. 3DCAMP- Last Saturday was 3DCAMP! I’ve shared a lot about how we’ve been helping them out with a logo design and marketing and how they were on the news. But seriously the event went splendidly. And it was incredibly fascinating to see all the vendors and have chats with folks making strides in 3D technology and using it daily in their work. Most people don’t know that you can print 3D objects in metal and glass and plastic and all sorts of substances. I feel like all that may be better shared in it’s own post but I just can not share enough about how great 3DCAMP 2012 went, with all the sponsors, vendors, volunteers, committee members and attendees working together it was a great conference. I can’t wait until next year.
2. Hummingbird- It’s hummingbird season here in Houston and I’ve been seeing them in droves. I hung a home made hummingbird feeder (wine bottle, plus feeder stopper, plus wire) right outside my office window so I could watch them and sneak photos. Here’s my favorite.
3. Eclipse- Last Sunday we took a private tour of Minute Maid Stadium (where the Houston Astros play). Yes I am a huge fan. Yes I realize they may have just played their worst season ever. Still, I love them. They’re my team. And there are lots of changes coming- switching to the American League, new owner, new GM, lots of new blood. It’s going to be an interesting season. Anywho…whenever I visit a stadium I take a feet shot right off the grass. This shot however had a bit of a baby bump eclipse in it. It wasn’t intended but it makes me smile because it’s where we are in life right now. AND our kid was in the Astros stadium first so it has to be an Astros fan. Not a Phillies fan, much to Bill’s dismay.
4. Whole Foods- Months ago, probably over a year ago I wrote about Trader Joe’s coming to the Woodlands. I may have mentioned how dumb it was that Whole Foods had zero plans to expand out this direction (Woodlands, Spring, Tomball) but were instead going to build in the Katy area. I projected that Trader Joe’s was going to steal a lot of the market share out this way. Well guess who is NOW building a location out this way…Whole Foods. What’s excellent is that it’s 5 minutes from my house (literally just down the road) and will actually become my closest grocery store. I’d like to think that they read my post and chose a location close to me just to make me smile. So welcome to the area Whole Foods, it’s about time, we’ve been waiting.
Note: According to the Houston Chronicle the store will be 40,000 square feet and is slated to open sometime in 2014.
5. Quilt- The baby quilt is coming together, the top is 1/3 of the way done and I’m hoping to knock out the rest of it sometime this weekend. Here’s to sewing!
My dear wonderful friend Jo does this grand thing on her blog called Five Things Tuesday. Go check out her blog and her etsy shop cause she’s amazing. She covers five things that are going on/have gone on/will go on in her week in five short little bursts. Last night during our skype date
until 4am I expressed my love for this part of her blog and asked if I could totally copy her. She said yes. My heart was happy.
That said this is not an original idea. Jo came up with it and I want to give her lots of credit (did I mention you should go check out her blog and her etsy shop?). I love five things cause there are often times things I’d really like to talk about on the blog/think you might find interesting but I don’t feel like it warrants an entire post. I don’t think it will be on Tuesdays cause that’s her day, so for now, my five things will be floating and since The Photography Chronicles has tuckered off this year I think it’s only fitting I find a new themed post.
That said, here’s my first ever five things.
1. The Hunger Games
So I haven’t read hunger games. Bill has. 90% of our youth group has. I borrowed the first book but haven’t
made time for myself had time to read it. We’re going to see it tonight at midnight. And since I haven’t read it I’m going in a complete Hunger Games virgin. I refuse to listen to conversation, read reviews, watch the movie preview. I have no idea what it’s about or the story line and I think I’m equally excited as the largest of the Hunger Games fans. I did the same thing with Twilight, after the movie I read all four books in three weeks. I have a feeling Hunger Games is going to walk the same path.
2. The Tangible Kingdom
I don’t talk about my faith here much on the blog. I’m sure some people would say that makes me a bad Christian. I think mostly I stray away from it because there’s all these stereotypes that go along with Christians that I prefer not to be associated with cause I don’t relate to them at all. To be honest, those stereotypes, when they’re true, make me a little bit nuts. But my faith is a huge part of who I am and blogs are all about sharing life (right?). So we’ve started going through this book/workbook called The Tangible Kingdom with a group of friends. It’s pretty great, talking about community and loving people and basically how I prefer to live my life. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more on this later.
3. I’m Going To Tulsa Soon
Not this weekend but next I’m going to Tulsa. I’ve been SO busy with work that I haven’t really had time to think about the trip/get excited about it. But I am INSANELY excited. I’ve got a lot planned:
-Hanging out with/learn from my good friend and amazing photographer/person Brenda Horan for a day
-Shooting an engagement session in down town Tulsa (such a fantastic location)
-Staying with the lovely Joel and Bethia
-Do quick lunches, coffee, margaritas with some of my best friends in the world
-Visiting Andrea over at The Organic Bloom, a friend and also my amazing frame company supplier
-It’s in the works, but I’ll hopefully be doing some product shots for The Bridal Couture Girls
-Going to some of my favorite places there
-Having a BBQ with and taking pictures and product shots for Peanut & Pistachio
-And finally (because I’ve been wanting to forever) visiting The Vintage Pearl
4. Busy Busy Bee
I’ve been insanely busy and I’m extremely thankful. When you do what you love it doesn’t feel like work. I’ve been doing my best at balancing life: business, family, friends, managing a household, etc. I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty decent job (if I’m totally delusional please let me know).
5. I Listen To Obscure Music / Matisyahu In Houston
I listen to an obscure broad range of music. My iPod on shuffle can go from She & Him to Dixie Chicks to The Doobie Brothers to The Postal Service to Ray Charles to Prince to The Shins all in one session. Bill won’t let me listen to my iPod when he’s in the car cause he says I listen to weird music. Boo on him. I like my music.
On Sunday Matisyahu is going to be in Houston for a free show at Miller Outdoor Theater. I keep checking the website cause I can’t believe it’s true (it’s not listed on his touring dates on his site). But I’m pretty sure that it is and I’m going. By Myself. And I’m like 1000% ok with that because I like his music. It’s not like I have no friends but all my obscure music loving friends live in other places like LA, France, Tulsa, and Nashville. They’ll be there with me in spirit as I thoroughly enjoy the Jewish reggae stylings of Matisyahu.
And that’s my first five things post. Thanks Jo.
Here at Diliberto Photo & Design we do a lot – portrait photography, wedding and event photography, business branding and marketing, and event and party design.. Today I’d like to focus on our party printables and party design and how we make that all come together by showing you what we did for Bethia and Joel’s wedding.
We started by sitting down with the bride and talking about her vision for her wedding, the color scheme, the look and feel, the style of the event. She wanted colorful and fun so we went with it and came up with an over all graphic design theme for her wedding.
The Wedding Invitations
I was lucky enough to be able to do a For The Love of Couples engagement session with Bethia and Joel and we knew they wanted to include an image or two on their invitation. Even though the invitation would be seen by guests months before the wedding I knew I wanted it to coordinate with design elements we’d use later in the wedding decor and accessories. So I created their own wedding seal, which we used on their invitations, party printables, and their photo guestbook.
What else is great is that if we replaced the date with their home address created awesome return address labels for their custom thank you cards!
The Decorations and Printable Decor
We had a lot of fun working together to create Joel & Bethia’s custom printables and wedding decor. Bethia was a very hands on bride and did a ton of crafting with friends and family to create her perfect wedding. Her boquet was probably my favorite of all time!
She created it using antique broaches she found on ebay and local antique stores. It was beautiful.
Anyways, back to the printables. Bethia knew she needed 2″ Circles for cupcake toppers, food labels, and 2″ thank you circles. At first she had planned on doing adorable colorful bags with different artisan sandwiches in them so we created these to stick onto the colorful bags:
Last minute they changed the food menu so we scrapped these awesome food labels and went a different direction. I still love these labels and hope I can eventually find a way to use them.
Bethia planned on making tons of cupcakes and using them on tiered platters for the centerpieces. She asked if I could create 2″ party circles they could attach to lollypop sticks and use at cupcake toppers. We utilized their personal seal as well as elements from their invitation to create the 2″ circle cupcake toppers.
We also created 2″ thank you circles with the phrase “thank you for sharing in the merriment” as their thank you circles. In the wedding invitation wording that Bethia wrote “to be followed thereafter by merriment, dinner, music, and cupcakes” which is where we got the thank you for sharing in the merriment line. The cheers wine glasses were from their invitation.
While the whole wedding was AMAZING, and Bethia did a great job of bringing everything together, one of my favorite things was their photo guestbook.
It’s an exclusive item from Diliberto Photo & Design, we explained the whole thing a while back on this blog post. Basically we used photos from their engagement session and left space for people to sign. In my opinion it’s way better than a book of people’s signatures.
To top it all off, we also used their custom wedding seal on the back of the book.
It was SO fun to be at the wedding and watch people look through the book and sign it. Most people wrote wonderful message to the bride and groom and I hope that this book becomes a cherished piece in their home that holds tons of memories and love from family and friends.
The last and final thing we created for Joel and Bethia’s wedding was the little instructional signs which were framed in inexpensive frames. Signs like these need a bit of planning but they really bring it all together and helps guests know what to do. For Bethia and Joel we did a sign the guestbook sign and a few other instructional ones as well as two quotes that really summed up who they are together. The one below by Dr. Seuss is probably my favorite:
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
And that’s how we bring it all together. For Bethia and Joel’s wedding I had the pleasure of working directly with the bride but we love working with wedding planners too. These custom wedding collections are some of my favorite to create and the most exciting part is seeing them in use, among all the other elements of the wedding and decor.
Are you planning a wedding or party? What kind of theme are you doing? Is there anything we can do to help?
This weekend I attended the Woodlands Civic Ballet production of The Nutcracker. I got to attend their dress rehearsal so I could shoot some photos of these lovely ladies. I LOVE shooting dance photography. It’s definitely a challenge on my part, I have to click the shutter at the exact moment. I’m also fascinated by dancers, the movement, the poise, the athleticism. It blows my mind every time.
I’m also a huge fan of Edgar Degas, a painter who did quite a bit of dancer paintings. Bill and I got to see an art show of his complete works in Philadelphia last year and it was extraordinary. Some of my favorites of his works are not his completed paintings, or even the most popular ones, but his sketches and unfinished drawings are some of the ones I find the most interesting.
I also have this feeling about dancer photography, that it should always be in black and white. Maybe it’s because the first dancers I took photos of I shot with black and white film. And there is something about developing your own photos and black and white and dance that makes my heart happy. Here’s a few black and whites that I really like.
We did our first run of the live photo booth at the Upside Down Christmas Tree Party and Art Show last weekend here in Houston. It was a grand success because people love photo booths and they love to be silly. I love that I still get to interact with people and that folks feel like they are a movie star walking the red carpet (you know that, plus silly fake mustache props).
So in the honor of this being a new service from Diliberto Photo & Design, and of everyone being so thrilled about it, we’d like to do a three hour photo booth session at a New Year’s Eve party this new years. Did we mention we’d like to do it at no cost? Yeah, that means FREE.
But, “why would you do it for free?” you may ask…well it’s new service and we feel with any new service we need to test run it a few times and work out all the kinks before we feel like we can honestly charge people for it. Even with how well it went on our first run at the Upside Down party, we learned a lot and we feel like we could learn some more, so why not do it on New Years Eve for free.
So here’s all the details:
What You Need:
1. People, aka a New Years Eve Party expecting 50 or more guests. We want to take A LOT of pictures so unfortunately for this round small parties are out. The more guests the better, but we’d like to top it off at 175-200, any more than that and we just wouldn’t have time to take everyone’s picture in three hours.
2. Your party has to be in the Houston area. While we’d normally be totally willing to travel, this time we’d like you to be local. (We might consider Galveston too, just let us know).
3. A space where we can set up, we need about a 8′x8′ space at the least. In a corner or against a wall is great, it can even be outside. Believe it or not, the photo booth at the Upside Down Christmas Tree Party was outside at night.
4. A desire to have fun. We want to do some insanely fun photo booth pictures!
What You Get:
1. A FREE live photo booth for three hours (roughly a $600 value). Live mean’s its more of a back drop with lights and a person with a camera running it, think red carpet event photos, rather than your traditional teeny photo booth.
2. Lots and lots of props. We’ll bring all the props, this includes the fun lips and mustaches you see in the pics above as well as some special New Years Eve themed props.
3. All the photos are posted on facebook within two days of the event for your guests to share and download. We bring little cards for people to take that have all the info for downloading.
What You Need to Do:
1. Check out the pics from the Upside Down Christmas Tree Party on our facebook at www.facebook.com/dilibertophotoanddesign. While you’re there we’d really appreciate if you’d “like” our page, it makes us smile a lot. And please share this with your friends!
2. Leave a comment on this blog post with the time of your party, general location (ie. area of town), number of guests expected and e-mail address (to prevent those pesky spam bots from stealing your email, feel free to type it like this: info at dilibertophoto and design dot com).
3. Make sure you leave a comment by Tuesday, December 28th. Because on Wednesday we’ll be picking a random party. We’ll contact you via e-mail to work out all the details.
We’re looking forward to it!!
I promise by blog hasn’t become all about the organic world. I’m still working, doing photo sessions and designing things.
This weekend I did a photo session with Natasha at her dad’s lake house on Lake Livingston. I’m so glad we did the session here. There was great scenery and she looked gorgeous, my job was way easy.
It’s also rare that I get to do a college senior session. Sometimes it’s like there is this void in my client’s photos. We do high school senior portraits and I don’t see them again until they get married. I’m pretty sure this is completely ridiculous. What about when the graduate from college, or get a dog, or buy a house, or heck just for fun?
Anyways that was a total tangent from the subject at hand, which is Natasha and her Lake Front College Senior Session.
Why An Organic Produce Co-Op
While on this little adventure of going all organic (which has been shot to the moon over thanksgiving while eating at friends’ houses and entertaining guests at great restaurants here in Houston), I found a little organic produce co-op called Rawfully Organic Co-op.
Bill and I are in love.
Here’s how a organic produce (or any kind of co-op really) works:
A group of people all go in together and purchase bulk amounts of produce direct from the grower/supplier and divvy it up amongst themselves (called shares) splitting the price in the process.
And that’s it.
While the explanation is pretty simple, the benefits are endless:
-You’re getting fresh produce straight from the grower. Bill has been insanely amazed at the difference in taste compared to what you buy in the store which can sometimes travel over 1500 miles to get to your plate.
-We’re saving money over grocery store costs of organic produce.
-Items are in season so they usually travel less and taste better.
-We’re supporting organic farmers (and local farmers too).
-Picking up a share is like Christmas, it’s exciting to go through and see what you’ve got.
-We get to try new things like kale and persimmons. It’s thoroughly challenged my cooking and repertoire of recipes.
I could go on and on but I’ll leave it there and get to telling you more about the Rawfully Organic Co-op and how to purchase a share.
The Rawfully Organic Co-op
Like I said before we did a lot of research and there are several co-ops in Houston. We had originally planned on trying each one and then deciding on which one to use on a regular basis, but once I met Kristina (the brain child behind Rawfully) and saw their whole set up I was pretty much sold.
Kristina started Rawfully in her living room with 12 neighbors and it has grown to over 2200 participants in the Houston area. What I love is that it still feels like 12 people in a living room. When you pick up your share from one of their three pickup locations Kristina is there, and her smile and pure energy fills the area. The whole thing is run by co-op members and volunteers. It just feels right, sharing delicious wonderful fresh food with your community. She also does it completely free because she loves it and the people it touches. I’m incredibly honored to be a part of it and to have Rawfully be a part of this journey Bill and I are on.
How It Works
There is no fee to join Rawfully Organic Co-op. (Many co-ops have a yearly fee to be a member.)
1. Visit their website www.rawfullyorganic.com, and learn more about who they are. There will be a general list of what should be in the shares that week (sometimes it varies, but be flexible, its totally worth it).
2. Order your first share on their website. Bill and I order a half share which is a ton of food (lasts well more than a week) for $48.50. After your third share you can pay at the pickup location and save a few extra dollars.
3. Choose your pickup location/day. There are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday pickups. I highly recommend going on a Tuesday or Saturday to one of the main pickup locations, you’ll get to meet Kristina and see the whole thing in action. Thursday pickups are neighborhood based.
4. Go pick up your share. You’re welcome to trade things out if you like and you get points with your box that allows you to choose some extra items. I also love that you can buy extra items on top of your share while you’re there.
5. Enjoy your delicious fresh produce!
As we walk this “granola” road as promised we’ll be sharing what we learn and any resources we can. We’ll also be adding to the series with what’s in the box posts about what we get and how we plan to eat the items. And as promised we’ll share recipes, both good and bad.
Has anyone else joined an organic co-op? What was your experience like?
You hear in Texas, everything is bigger and its true, the hair, the bling, the trucks, the houses, yep pretty much everything. I never really appreciated Texas, or Houston for that matter, until I moved to Oklahoma. Oklahoma is an odd place, land locked but rumored to have more shoreline than any other state (I know, weird).
Focus, this post is not about Oklahoma. It’s about Texas, errr, Texas homecoming.
I grew up here in Houston, in the great state of Texas but for some odd reason (maybe it was private school for a few years, or that my public school was a magnet school for the arts with no sports teams) but I never went to homecoming or had a mum or did that whole court thing. Even in college it was kind of a forced event, we didn’t have a football team so we had homecoming in the dead of January winter during basketball season. Even still, there were no mums.
The only mum experience I can recall is I had a friend who was a few years older than me growing up and she had mums hanging on her bedroom wall. That’s it.
So when two of my friends said, “I have to make a mum for my son’s date, I have no idea what I’m doing can you help?” I thought, neither do I but I’m crafty so sure, why not.
I knew two things.
1. There was some kind of white flower attached at the top.
2. The bigger it was and the more crap that was attached the better.
Number two gets my brain reeling, gaudy things get me excited, because I prefer to go above and beyond. Through out the planning and shopping stages for the mum I offered the following suggestions: we should put one of those fake birds on it, no a real bird, no a chicken (which offers the benefits of fresh eggs). My friend said no. Then I said, OOO there’s that fake fruit and vegetables in the floral section, NO, a loaf of fake bread. She said no to that too. I did get feathers in there, and some zebra print ribbon. But had she said yes to all of my suggestions that mum would have been
So after a trip to every craft store in town we ended up with this for mum #1:
And there WAS a picture of the table with all of Mum #2′s stuff, but it seems to have gone the way of lost sock matches and children’s pencils.
It was about 9 hours of glitter, yards of ribbon, tulle, feathers, staples, high level planning, hot glue and hot glue gun burns. Basically it was awesome, and I felt like a real Texan.
At the end of the 9 Hours we ended up with these:
I now know more than two things about homecoming mums.
1. see above
2. see above
3. The mums should be personalized to the girls with their names, hobbies, accolades and favorite candy attached or represented.
4. Freshman and Sophomores get mums in school colors, Juniors get Silver, Black and White, Seniors get Gold.
5. They should hang around the girl’s neck.
6. Reinforcements are important.
7. Build it up in layers.
8. High temperature hot glue on your skin will leave giant painful blisters (I may have known this before).
9. Start with a less expensive item in the back, we used tulle and cut it into strips. You could barely see it by the end but it added a lot of girth and puffiness.
10. Get creative and go away from the “mum” section of the store. We got stuff from the party, scrapbooking, christmas, floral, and fabric sections.
11. Making these things with three other women is an insane amount of fun.
Is it silly to say I’m already looking forward to next year?
I recently had the honor of creating this custom invitation for one of my loyal etsy clients. I love doing custom work, it gives me a chance to be completely creative and artsy. I’m very happy with how this one turned out, I was going for a 1950s “wish you were here” postcard type feel. My favorite part is the boat silhouette, which I created of the actual boat they’d be cruising on.
Thank you for the awesome job, and happy sailing!