29 May 2008

Ok, I’m Addicted

I, honestly, just cannot stop taking pictures. Having a photo studio in your home is the greatest thing but also quite dangerous. If you haven’t heard from me in awhile…that’s where I am. Look at my little babies….


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Sweet Little Guy


I just have to give my little Ollie some credit cause he is just the sweetest. He asked for some more milk this morning, which he did by holding out his sippy cup and saying “smore?…smore?” So, I took it and he softly put his head down and said “Tang koo” (thank you) as he walked away.

Then he watched me pour the milk and apparently I did an awesome job cause he threw up his hands and shouted “Yay! You did it!”. hahaha. Such a supportive little sweetheart. It made my morning. :)

I Got Tagged

Ok. So, I got “Tagged” by my friend, Marisa. Not really sure what that’s all about…but I am playing along.

Five things on my to-do list today
1. Complete and send passport renewal application
2. Go grocery shopping
3. Finish making Traffic-Free Chocolate cards
4. Respond to emails from chocolate companies, etc.
5. Get dressed, drop kids off at grandparents, and go on date with husband…woohoo.

Snacks I enjoy
1. Pastries (turnovers, danishes, cinnamon rolls)
2. Baked goods (cookies, muffins, cupcakes, brownies)
3. Cheese & crackers (especially Dubliner’s Aged Cheddar lately…mmmm)
4. Chocolate (slavery-free ofcourse)
5. Cherries
(gosh…you’d think I weigh 1,000 lbs…good thing those cherries are on there.)

Things I would do if I were a millionaire
1. Buy my mom a house with an awesome garden (even though I love having her living with us)
2. Buy a Mazda CX-9 for every mother I know (it’s the perfect car)
3. Get a professional organizer to ‘fix’ our his/hers office. I’m drowning in it.
4. Donate a crazy amount of money to the International Justice Mission.
5. Go on a romantic trip to Paris with my husband (I’m gonna dream about that one tonight)

Places I have lived
1. Phoenix, AZ
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. Boston, MA
4. Como, Italy (a semester)

Bad habits I have
1. Starbucks Drive Thru (I’ve been known to buy lunch for 3 at the drive thru)
2. Piling mail (record breaking piles I tell you…but I hide them in the cabinets when people come over…heh.)
3. Staying up too late
4. Mixing up the names of my children (I call Noah Ollie all the time…he doesn’t seem to mind yet)
5. Calling my husband to bring dinner home (thanks honey, you’re great)

Jobs I have held
1. Video store clerk at “Big Video”
2. USC Copy Store worker
3. Architect
4. Professional dancer (Star Search, Fiesta Bowl Parade, Miss Arizona Pageant dancer…oh yeah baby)
5. Catering waitress

Now apparently I am supposed to tag others. It is unclear to me whether those people are supposed to have blogs or not, but either way, I am tagging Joe, Brian, Kathleen, & Cecilia. Get on it people!

28 May 2008

White Background Test


So…I tried out a white background. It went pretty well. I still have some tweaking to do, but all in all a good run for a first try. The kids were really bad. heh. They wanted nothing to do with me and my camera…but somehow it worked. I really was amazed I got what I did with all the crying and shouting and fighting. haha.

Go to this link to see the rest of the set:


Enjoy! And sign up for Pictures for a Purpose if you live in the Seattle area and like what you see. :)  (I’ll post more about this event later)

26 May 2008

Home Studio


Yay. We have a home studio! Two Alien Bee B800 lights, a softbox and a backdrop stand. woo hoo! Now we’ll have plenty to do on a rainy day. Joe and I were playing around with it the other night. Noah was a perfect subject. He got so excited when all the lights would flash at the same time. :) I have Noah leaning on an ottoman here and that worked really well. Ollie was in bed, but I’ll get some shots of him soon. I’m going to play with a white background next so stay tuned.

18 May 2008

What does your poop look like?

So, my 3 yr. old son had to go to the potty, and when he says he has to go we don’t waste any time. We drop everything and go straight to the nearest potty. Well, this time we were upstairs and the potty seat that sits on top of the toilet is downstairs. But I can hold him so he doesn’t fall in, so we went ahead and used the upstairs toilet and I held him. What I didn’t realize was that this time, he also had to go poopies. Bummer fo_DSC4156r me, cause usually he takes his own sweet time to go poopy downstairs as I go about my business elsewhere. This time I was stuck. Forced to squat there holding my child up watching his poops come out.  Lovely. And there is a strange phenomenon that happens when you help your child pee. Suddenly you also feel the urge to pee. Great.

So, as I was hoping (and praying) that he does his job quickly as possible so I don’t pee on the floor, the first poops come out. Oh, and as if this wasn’t already a weird post, I should describe our position a little more. Because he is a boy, when he sits on the potty he has to lean towards me so his “special item” is angled properly. If that makes any sense. So, because of this, both he and I are able to view what comes out. Isn't that wonderful. Anyway….so, the poop comes out and he says “That looks like a car.” And I paused and said "What did you say?". He repeated "That looks like a car." I had to laugh, but really didn't want to cause, remember, I had to pee. Then the next one came out and he said "That one looks like Cranky the Crane." Oh man....now I was dangerously close to peeing. Then the next came out (which was a bit smaller) and he said "That looks like an airplane (pause) but it is a hook for Cranky." haha. (It really did look like a hook for a crane) Thankfully that was the last, and I was able to then get on the potty myself. Oh, I love my son and the fact that he can be creative with his poop shapes. I never knew pooping could be so entertaining.

14 May 2008

Boots for Cocoa Farmers!

Well, I came across an awesome organization called Project Hope & Fairness. They do all kinds of good work helping African cocoa farmers, but there was one thing they did that really inspired me. Apparently, Green Mamba snakes are venomous snakes that live in the cocoa fields. In Decembegreenmambar, a team went and distributed rubber boots to the cocoa farmers. Read the story here. The village was so touched they asked if more boots could be bought for the neighboring villages.

The boots cost $10, which seems like nothing to us, but to them it is 13% of their annual salary. I’m not joking. A cocoa farmer makes roughly $77 a year. Buying a pair of boots themselves to protect their life is simply out of the question.

So, guess what? A team is going in August and if we raise the money, they will buy and deliver the boots! They will purchase them  in Accra and Abidjan and take them in t heir van to 10 villages. The goal is to provide each village with 40 boots. Think we can do it?! I do! (I know…I’m totally on fire for this project, it’s ridiculous) :)

It gets better. While I was researching traffic-free chocolate a few days ago, I came across the name Tom Neuhaus. He owns a company called Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates, and I thought he was remarkable because he travels to Africa each year to visit the cocoa fields and really cares about the people. (not to mention his chocolate company is one of the best for ethically traded chocolate) The articles I read about him basically turned him into a celebrity in my eyes. When Ernie, from Project Hope & Fairness replied to me about the boots, I couldn’t believe it when he told me Tom Neuhaus was the guy that gets boots for the African farmers! I was star struck. He cc’d him and Tom wrote directly to me! As if he already doesn’t do enough, he is donating chocolate for us to use in our efforts and giving us an awesome deal to purchase chocolate to sell! Thank you so much, Tom! You’re awesome! 

Here is a great article about their trip last year. A man by the name of Stan Thompson joined them on the trip, but sadly passed away a month later. This story is truly inspiring. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/northcoast/story/357564.html

So, if you’d like to buy a pair of boots for a cocoa farmer, view my profile and email me. We’ll also be taking donations at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market on May 24th. Tell all your friends too. If we all help out a little, we’ll reach our goal in no time.

13 May 2008

The Kingdom Project


My church has decided to do a little project/experiment in radical generosity. They have given 12 people $100 each with the instructions to multiply it and use it for good. I am one of the 12 and given my recent emotional outbreak over child slaves in the cocoa industry, I’m going to use my $100 to start raising awareness and funds for the people suffering in Cote d’Ivoire.

We are going to sell cups of fair trade coffee at Farmer’s Markets while educating people about human-trafficking and the cocoa industry. We also will pass out “Chocolate Guides" listing traffic-free chocolate and non-traffic-free chocolate that people can keep in their wallets. I’m hoping to also have some samples of traffic-free chocolate for people to taste.

Then I’m planning to throw a chocolate party using only fair-trade chocolate and we will take up a collection from people who would like to support the cause.

If you would like to help or donate, let me know. We need all the help we can get. In the mean time, only buy fair-trade chocolate and check out these links for more information:





08 May 2008

Fair Trade



I was reading a restaurant review and it casually mentioned how they sell fair trade coffee. Well, the next thing I knew, I was hysterically crying. My mind was instantly aware of the meaning of  that phrase, fair trade, and the fact that there are thousands of children who are being abused and forced to work under unthinkable conditions to produce coffee and chocolate. I am part of a group called Women of Purpose and we are working hard to fight human trafficking around the world, but it is such a big issue.

I recently attended a conference at my church, where Rani Hong, of the Tronie Foundation, shared her story and spoke of a child who was harvesting cocoa beans and being beaten daily. The child and others working as slaves said they had never even tasted the chocolate that they were working so hard and risking their lives to produce. (I honestly cannot stop crying.)

I walk around the supermarket and I see the phrase “fair trade” here and there and think nothing of it. But behind that small phrase are people’s lives. CHILDREN’s lives. Imagine not being able to run and play but instead being beaten because you didn’t pick enough cocoa beans that day. I mean, honestly. It is horrifying what is happening and people aren’t even aware of it. 12,000 children have been trafficked to Cote D’Ivoire to work on cocoa farms. Stop the Traffik is trying to do something about it. You can download cards to handout when you buy fair trade chocolate.

It’s SO important that we buy traffic-free products. Marisa has a post on her blog about 963 Coffee. I found a Seattle chocolate factory that produces fair trade chocolate called Theo Chocolate.

My husband and I, with some friends, are going to an Int’l Justice Mission benefit dinner tonight. It’s a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. I’m really excited to see what I can do to help, but in the state I’m in now, I better bring a whole box of tissues.

07 May 2008

Odd-shaped head


So, Joe got a wide angle (10-20mm) lens for his birthday from his parents. It’s an awesome lens, but sometimes when the kids run up to me, I’ll take a close up and look what happens. So funny. The edges get stretched and distorted. This one is pretty subtle compared to the others. I couldn’t post those cause they would give you all nightmares.

And for those of you that haven’t met Noah. His head is extremely round. Almost perfectly spherical. I guess that is rather odd, actually. Perhaps the lens makes his head look normal. hmm. Maybe I chose the wrong title for this post.

Oh…I’m also experimenting with Windows Live Writer image borders. This one is called “Photopaper.” Pretty nice.

02 May 2008

Ethel Gloves

glove Ok….gotta be the cutest gardening gloves ever. Their website is fantastic also. Shipping is FREE! And the gift wrapping is out of this world cute. I can’t stand it. I’m going to bed dreaming of these gloves. Ok, yeah…I’m a gardening nerd I guess. That’s lame since I’m not even a good gardener. heh.

Update: So, I got my gloves! They are awesome. Although, I’ve kept them in a gift bag since they are a gift from the boys for Mother’s Day. Can you believe they picked out such a perfect gift for me?  (haha) Anyway, just wanted to say that they are at Lowe’s, but they only carry them in Medium and Large (fyi: a Medium fit me fine and I have fairly small hands). The company is getting a new shipment May 7th, so if you can’t find the size you need on www.ethelgloves.com, they probably will be available there soon. (I know that because they emailed me. Their customer service is wonderful. Such a great company.)

01 May 2008

Siberian Bugloss ‘Jack Frost’



So...I'm very excited cause I have this one plant in my garden that is sooo gorgeous and it has managed to stay alive! Since it was here when we moved I had to do some sleuthing to figure out what it was. The answer: Variegated Siberian Bugloss. I know....crazy. But it's nickname is Jack Frost. This is the most amazing plant cause it looks fairly normal but then all these beautiful blue blossoms come out of nowhere and it really glows in the garden.  So...if I could I would buy 10 of these. I really recommend them cause they are slugproof and well, what else do you need. heh. If anyone knows where to find them on the Eastside, please let me know.

And we have Joe's brother, Jon, to thank for the wonderful macro lens that allowed me to take a photo like this. It really is all about the lens. Really great. Thanks Jon. (and thanks Joe for having a birthday...heh)