Handmade Cards

Over the past few weeks I have starting making my own cards.  I have always loved doing this and let the creativity flow with each creation.  Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to a card, and sometimes it is based on the person I am giving it to.  Either way, I have so much fun!  I wanted to show some of my creations.  Half of these have been sent out and received, and half have not been sent out yet....but they are already written and addressed.  So, someone reading this may be receiving a card soon. :-)
TJ let me use one of his little gadget organizers for all of my craft supplies.  This makes it SUPER easy to take everything out, make a mess, and then throw it all back in its little compartment in the storage bin.  I have all sorts of little random things to use and then every card has a personalized tag on the back that has my name on it.

This is what I have put on the back of every card.  They are fabric tags that my sister in-law gave me for Christmas.  I love them!

I have really been enjoying making these cards and blessing friends with mail!  I am trying to do a batch of cards a week.  I've been thinking about making some to sell on Etsy too.  I know there are so many shops on Etsy that sell Handmade cards.  But, maybe I will find some special people to sell them too. :-)  What do you think?  Should I start creating some for sale?

365 to 30: Day 30

Day 30: February 24, 2012
I have this sitting in my kitchen and I always smile when I look at it.  It's so cheerful looking.  Thank you, Jessica (Bohobabybump) for this great gift. <3

365 to 30: Day 29

Day 29: February 23, 2012
This is my beautiful Momma.  We, along with our good from Rebekah, enjoyed a lovely morning uptown Charlotte for coffee, shopping, and laughter.  To top it off, it was a gorgeous day full of warmth and sunlight!  

365 to 30: Day 28

Day 28: February 22, 2012
While outside capturing photos of the beautiful day, I turned around to see my two furry friends looking out at the great outdoors!  They are so cute.

365 to 30: Day 27

Day 27: February 21, 2012
I woke up from a great nights sleep to this really cool looking site.  I believe the bag came with some  balls that I got at IKEA.  I love that TJ used it for the grapefruits.  So creative. <3

365 to 30: Day 26

Day 26: February 20, 2012
This is my kitchen window.  I really love this view every morning.  Not so much what is outside, but the beauty that sits in the window sill.  We've got sweet potatoes sprouting and a few of my favorite vases.  I just love the purple and greens. :-)

365 to 30: Day 25

Day 25: February 19, 2012
I absolutely love going on road trips with the doggies in tote.  Zoe is always alert and making sure everything is good on the road. ha!  Finnegan could care less.  He is along for the ride! :-)

365 to 30: Day 24

Day 24: February 17, 2012
This is my beautiful friend, Nichole.  I enjoyed a nice morning with her in Myrtle Beach while our hubbys were running in the half marathon.  

365 to 30: Day 23

Day 23: February 16, 2012
This is Nix, a restaurant in uptown Charlotte.  We did a photo shoot there last week.  I loved how industrial  and creative the ceiling was!


It's a beautiful day at Belle Vive Spa!

For the past 2 years I have had the privilege of being a client at Belle Vive Spa.  I began going for my hair and the occasional pedicure and fell in love with it.  Then last year, around this time, I booked my first facial.  **Side note!  For almost all of my 20's I have battled with acne.  I didn't have much in high school, and had no scarring.  It has been such an on going problem and I could never find a cure.  You name it, I probably tried it.  It really affected how I viewed myself and I always made sure I covered up my face with as much makeup that was needed to hide my blemishes (not realizing that I was actually making it look worse).  If there were one thing I would have changed about myself, it would have been a better complexion.** I cannot remember who/what prompted me to call and get a facial at Belle Vive.  I already knew they were great and that they provided good healthy products.  After my first facial I felt really great.  Laurie (who's the best!) was able to really give me great information about my skin and get me started with a great skincare line (Eminence & also IMAGE).  She was very hopeful that we could get my skin from its current state of dehydration to a more balanced and healthy place.  Well, a year later I can testify that my face has never been healthier.  With a great esthetician, a few peels, and amazing products (that are organic), I honestly feel much more confident.  I still get breakouts, and I don't have the perfect skin, but i know its healthy and I don't feel like I have to go out with makeup on all the time.  I feel better about who I am.  Some ladies splurge on new clothes, shoes, etc., but I splurge on facials and good skincare.  :-)

These are the products that I have been using for a year.  It may look like a lot, but it's not all used at once.  What I also love is that all of this lasts about 6 months or more before I need to replenish.

Today was my scheduled facial and haircut/highlights.  Thought I would show off Belle Vive's great work! I've not had any color in my hair for a while, so I decided to change it up and get highlights while I'm growing my hair out. :-)

Belle Vive is not just fabulous because of their facials.  They have great stylists, massage therapists and the best staff!  We have had a chance to do photography for the owner and have really grown to love her and the lovely ladies she has hired.  I find myself so excited to go there and catch up with everyone.  If you are looking for an afternoon of relaxation, or are in need of a new stylist, definitely give them a call.  They always have fun monthly promotions as well.

Thank you, Belle Vive, for being such a great business and providing a wonderful service!

365 to 30: Day 22

Day 22: February 15, 2012
I really shouldn't have this many photos of myself, right?  However, I started taking photos of myself to capture the highlights that I just had put in my hair today in order to create a blog post about the spa I go to.  This photo came from those moments today, and I liked it.  Whew...that was winded.  You probably didn't want to know all of that did you?  ha!

365 to 30: Day 21

Day 21: February 14, 2012
Last night I looked over and saw both dogs passed out on the couch with TJ.  It was so sweet!

and because one photo isn't enough...

I love my little family!


Happy Valentines Day to my Love

Valentines Day is definitely a fun day, but I try not to get too wrapped up in it.  Yes it is advertised as a day of Love, but that is what I have every day.  I am so blessed to have a job that allows TJ and I to spend every day together.  Our Valentines Days are plenty more than just on February 14th.  Just how it should be!  Saying all this does not mean I am anti Valentines Day.  I did make TJ a handmade card and I made heart shaped french toast for breakfast.  It was a very sweet morning.

I have started making handmade cards.  I will be doing a post soon about these. :-)

If anyone has never read our story, I am reposting it.  So very glad that I was introduced to Thomas Jackson.  Our life is an adventure that I look forward to every day.

Our Dating Story

I really love when people ask me how I met my husband. As I begin to reflect on our first days together, I always get all mushy inside. :-)

4 years ago, this past June, TJ and I had a blind meetup at Pops in the Park. A mutual friend, Samantha, had spoken to each one of us about each other and just KNEW we needed to meet. It was a bit awkward knowing that we were meeting for the first time with all my family around and also knowing that we were meeting because a friend thought we should date. LoL. Yes, I did say that my whole family and even some close friends were there. TJ got a huge introduction that day. ha! I definitely thought he was nice looking, but I didn't know him at all, so my feelings were very mixed. After the concert, a bunch of us went to Cheesecake Factory. Conversations became very sarcastic and therefore I became very sarcastic, I know this made TJ think I was a jerk. haha. I'm sure he was wondering if he should even call me later in the week for a date. After that night I really did not know how I felt about him and I figured I would just wait for a call. Well, he did call and we had our first date at The Beantown Tavern in Matthews. **Sidenote: When TJ came to pick me up, he was introduced to my Grandma. (We had JUST found out that she was diagnosed with Cancer) She looked at him, smiled, and started to cry. I know it must have seemed weird to TJ at the time, but I really think she knew that TJ was going to someday be my husband. She passed away 5 months later and to this day I am so thankful that she met the man I would marry. She really loved him and even told him so.** I clearly remember being seated at our table and sitting across from him rather than next to him as I wanted to get a better look at him and see what he was like. LoL! After that night we had quite a few more "hang out" times with friends before he went on vacation to FL to visit his family. During that time I, too, was also going on vacation with family to Maggie Valley. TJ ended up cutting his FL vacation short by a couple days so that he and Samantha (the girl who introduced us) could come stay a night in the mountains with all my family. I remember being so nervous and excited that he was coming. There were like 12 extra family members he was going to meet (aunt, uncle, and cousins). That night that he came, we took a walk and he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. It was such a sweet moment. The very next morning he talked to my dad about us dating; I really respected TJ for doing that.

So that, my friends, is how our dating relationship started. He became my best friend over the next 2 years before we got engaged. 

Our Engagement Story
Lets go back to the year of 2008.  TJ had been talking to Mark Mathis, of Public Radio, and had heard they were going to be out in LA for a couple of showcases.  With us just beginning our photography business, he thought it could be a great opportunity to photograph them, see LA, and hang out with friends.  TJ ran the idea by me and of course I was super excited about the idea.  Never had I been to the West Coast before.  One of TJ's roommates at the time, Joel, also decided he would like to be apart of this trip.  So, we all booked our plane tickets, found some friends to stay with, and headed to LA ( it was the last week in September).
While we were out there we photographed the two showcases that Public Radio had, did some band shots for them, saw the sites of Hollywood, and just had a great time.  We saw a lot, took a ton of photos, laughed, and ate good food. All in all it was shaping up to be such a fun vacation.

We stayed with a friend who lives right on Malibu Beach, with one of the most beautiful views EVER from his condo.  I remember waking up pretty early on the day we were to fly home.  I began packing and making sure I had everything ready to go.  When I walked out the the living room, TJ asked if I wanted to take one last walk on the beach before heading out.  Of course!  How many times will I be able to see the sun rise in Malibu?  I wasn't dressed special at all, my hair was wet and pulled up, but I was happy and ready to go for a walk.

***Side note.
We had been dating for over 2 years, so I had no idea when we would get engaged.  I knew it was going to happen as we had briefly spoken about our future together.  He did know my ring size because we had been at Jared's with some newly engaged friends, and TJ thought it would be fun to try a ring on.  Oddly enough, I was the one freaking out inside.  But, i tried a ring on and we had both decided we liked the something simple as I have tiny fingers. LoL.  So, he knew my size and what I liked.....but, it was definitely still a mystery as that was 9 months prior to our trip to LA.

Back to Malibu beach.
We started walking on the beach, soaking up our last moments in CA and glad to be enjoying it together.  Being photographers, we obviously always have our cameras with us...actually let me rephrase that, TJ always has the camera with him. (why carry mine when he has his. ha)  So, TJ had his camera bag around his shoulder, we stop and are just looking out at the beautiful ocean, the sun is coming out, and it's so peaceful.  Oh, and I forgot that he had already taken his camera out and was snapping photos of me.   All I remember next is that he is kneeling and holding a rose.  Now this wasn't a real rose, but the kind of rose that was velvet and opened like a box.  (He had given me jewelry in it before, so it was very special.)  I stood in shock - the moment I had been waiting for was here!  When he handed me the rose he also asked me if I wanted to be his roommate!!  (FYI, I would always say that I wanted to be his roommate, which was me hinting at wanting to be married to him..ha.  So this was a fun and special way for him to propose) I immediately knew this meant he wanted me to be his wife and said YES!!!  My heart was pounding so hard as he put the ring on my finger.  It was gorgeous and I was glowing.  We then took lots of photos and walked back to tell everyone back at the condo.  I couldn't believe I was going to marry my best friend...it was my dream for so long, and now it was coming true.

After we called all our family and announced the news, we headed to the airport and enjoyed the excitement and let it set in.  On the plane, I remember the sunlight hitting my ring just perfectly that it reflected sparkles all over the wall and seats in front of us.  It was such a special moment! :-)

That is the beautiful story of how the man of my dreams asked me to be his wife.  I couldn't have imagined it any other way.  Best "Yes" I ever said.

Here are some photos from that week leading up to the engagement.  Can't believe that was 2 1/2 years ago.  Time flies when you're in love.

Here are a couple of the photos we took of Public Radio.  It was such a great experience being there for their label showcase!
We toured Hollywood on a double decker bus!  
The Special Day!
So happy and in love
So that is the story of how I became the fiance of such a wonderful man - or should I say how he snagged such a beautiful lady as his fiance. hehe!

If you would like to see photos from our wedding day, click here!

Happy Valentines Day!

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