She's captured cherished moments in my life...Meet the Lovely Justina...

I met my next Guest Blogger when Noal was 1 week old...We had our first family shoot & Justina was amazing...So talented, creative & has the ability to make you feel so comfortable...Even the hubs who normally finds photos in general awkward at best, was put at ease & she got some great shots...Ones I will cherish my whole life...



She also took some of my favourite shots of Noal to date & I cant wait to see how she captures moments in the future of my little family...




Justina has also photographed a lot of my friends weddings, engagements & cute family shoots...To see more of her work visit http://www.justinaphippen.com/ & or her blog http://photographybyjustina.wordpress.com/...



Hi everybody! My name is Justina Phippen, a friend of Tara’s, and a professional photographer!
I was immensely flattered when Tara asked me to be a guest blogger – I love reading all of her posts, the Letters to Noal inspire me to do something similar when I have my own little one.
I met Tara and Craig (and newborn Noal) when T asked me to come and shoot their very first professional family photos at their gorgeous home.  I always love it when clients ask me to shoot at their own home, as you can incorporate all the personal touches and familiar places in the photographs. Tara and Craig’s house is absolutely gorgeous inside, with all the elements that a photographer craves in an  “in-home” session.  We incorporated their dog Deacon in a few shots, spent some time hanging out in the bedroom with a sleepy Noal, and I snapped my last few photos outside in their backyard just as the sun was setting.




It ‘s such a great thing to be a photographer sometimes, and meeting new people, and learning about their lives.  I remember when we were doing our shoot, T was chatting to me about how it was to be a new mom, how their lives had changed immensely,  and I could see just how happy they were…I hope we will have many similar sessions in the future, and I can watch Noal grow up too! J

Now being a photographer, I am rarely in front of the lens! This all changed a few months ago when I booked an engagement photoshoot session in North Bay with my fiancé Eric.  We made a whole weekend out of it, travelling down to stay at a wonderful hotel near Callander called Terrace Suites, went out for supper,  did some “photoshoot outfit shopping” and had a great night’s sleep before out session in the morning.

Let me tell you, I loved it! We did two hours in the session, our photographer was absolutely wonderful in giving direction, and it was pretty relaxing after we got into it. I find being a photographer helped, as I knew the shots she was envisioning as she was setting it up, so I maneuvered myself to help achieve it.

My poor Eric, he was pretty overwhelmed with the whole thing, he’s very shy, and being in front of the lens for two hours was a real stretch, but in the end we achieved some adorable shots, and I can’t wait to blow some up and display them at our wedding next September.

I just wanted to include at the end of this little blog post that having family photos documenting your life is a MUST in my eyes (I know I am a little biased!) but it really is important to capture those memories. You want to be able to remember the times you are engaged to the love of your life, your wedding as you walk down the aisle, your pregnant “baby bump”, your newborn baby sleeping, your baby’s first steps, etc, etc.

Life is meant to be captured J

Thanks for reading – until next time!


Justina Phippen


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t5- I think my hubs looks like a front runner on the Bachelorette...

Talking Bachelorette hereI definitely am rooting for Arie, Sean & Jef in that orderIm a bit stuck on Arie as he reminds me of my hubs
Sean obviously is a sweetheart & cute to boot and she seems to be like act like she has a teenage crush when it comes to JefI think Chris is too much- way to emotional & probably a hot head in real lifeI like that shes weeding them out faster than most in the past have done...I like her style

Now before you judge me on my love for bad telivision remember everyone finds joy in different things in life...Mind is trashy tv...I realize most people probably think the Bachelor/ette is garbage tv...I however find it entertaining, ackward & a pure joy to indulge in

On to another guilty pleasure that is absolutely ridiculous to watchThe Real Housewives of Vancouver- that Jody & Mia are outta this worldjust unreal reallyFriends you watching it???
And since its summer & tv world shuts down I personally cant wait to get these Olympics started & Big Brotherweird combo I know

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No fast food for 6 months- Of course this isn't about me...

So, as I gallivanted across the West indulging in everything from sushi to the Cheesecake Factory, my lovely friend & guest blogger has changed her life...In Laurs first blog she talked to yall about her year off from fast food... I am so proud of her- she has changed her world & below you can read all about it...So inspiring Laurs...

No Fast Food for 1 Year Update:  6 full months in and going strong!!!

So Tara asked me to give you a bit of an update as to how we are doing with our no fast food for one year family challenge!!  Here it is folks…..6 full months in and not once have we had fast food!  Thoughts have definitely crossed my mind when we’ve been out and it would be convenient to just pick something up quickly.  Or definitely when I heard Wendy’s has come out with chili cheese fries and poutines!!!!  That nearly killed me knowing I can’t try them….so what did I do?  I sent a little message to my best friend, Tara to make her try them for me and give me a verdict on how delicious it was!  Of course she was already all over that and had tried it before I even asked her too!
I’m still making some of my favorites at home that I miss so dearly and have added a few new ones to the list, such as fries supreme made with low fat oven fries, extra lean ground beef, fat free sour cream, and nacho cheese…..the Windsor Famous Chicken Delight! I found a sweet little recipe that is super similar and delicious…..and a poutine made with low fat oven fries, shredded low fat cheese and a gravy mix from a pack that’s only 80 calories for a full cup and so delicious!! 
Obviously I don’t eat like that all the time, I normally have more balance meals with lots of fruits and vegetables but I definitely need to fill those cravings.  I just do it with a lot less fat, calories, and better portions.

Along with this challenge I have also been on a weight loss journey. I decided that I want to lose weight (for the million time) but this time it’s different.  I want to lose weight to be healthy and fit, look my best and be the best mom, wife that I can be with lots of energy to live my life daily!  So far I have lost a little over 30lbs since January and am aiming to lose another 25lbs to be at my healthy weight.  I haven’t been this current weight in 10 years and it feels so good!
In doing so I have learned how much I actually love to exercise!  I started running last September but really have gotten into it since January.  I have pushed myself harder than ever before and have achieved so many things that a year ago I could only wish that I could achieve!  I have run 3 official 5K runs and run 6 days a week on my treadmill at home.  I have gotten as far as 10K and am so proud of myself.  I also watch my calories daily by inputting them into myfitnesspal.com which is a sweet little tool I was introduced to and could honestly say without the support and accountability of a few people on there I may have given up like so many times before…..this time is different!  I’m in it for the life change and I’m loving the new me:)

So that’s my current status with the fast food challenge and the weight loss endeavor and I look forward to updating you in another 3 months with great reports of no fast food and more weight loss!  I hope you find this inspiring and encouraging that you can do it to!  Thanks so much for listening!
Laura

And we're back...

Hiya Friends...

Feels like Ive been gone for awhile...Had the best time and Bubba & I had quite the adventure...A lot of first for my little man...First plane ride, first time at the zoo, first carousel ride, first time at the beach & first time meeting a lot of his cousins & my friends...Our adventure started with a 6 hour car ride to the airport {one of the major negatives about living in a remote location} & then a 4 hour flight to Calgary...thankfully I had two nice grandmas beside me who were more than happy to entertain my busy little 10 mth old who only slept for 10 bloody minutes...The flight back I was not so lucky & was seated next to men in all directions- made breastfeeding not so comfortable...

Our time in Calgary was amazing...Getting to spend so much time with my family was beyond lovely & I was sad to leave...I definitely miss city amenities- things like bringing Noal to the zoo just because and not having to plan a weekend trip out of it was nice...
~Noal LOVED the penquins~
My cousin had a little boy Jacob who is only a few weeks younger than Noal- so watching the two boys interact was entertaining to say the least...It's so interesting how you can already see their little personalities emerge at such a young age...I definately got a firecracker on my hands...
Heres some more pics from our little trip out west...









We also spent a few days in Toronto with friends, Noals Aunt Ash & surprised the hubs on his first fathers day with Blue Jay tickets & a good friend to go to the game with...All in all our trip was fabulous...





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One suitcase for a Mumma & a Babe...

The Bubs & I leave tomorrow to go to Calgary...I am beyond excited for our little trip, eager to spend time with my family & a bit worried about the flight alone with a 10 month old... Last year when we went to Calgary for my cousin Kristens beautiful wedding in the mountains, I was very pregnant with Noal & my new cousin Rachel {she married Kristens brother} was as well...


This year it will be amazing to watch the two little boys interact & see my mum & her twin sister {my favourite Aunt in the universe & really my second mum} in their grandma glory...I always get so excited before  a trip, Ive been packed for days & raring to go...Packing alone for me is a challenge but to include ALL of Noals stuff in one suitcase with my stuff- near impossible...

Anyways, dear friends, I will not be able to blog for a while so this is good-bye for a bit but I promise I have some surprises coming up...I have a whole weekend of surprises for the hub's first Fathers Day & Im sure some cute pics of the boys from our trip...So have a good few weeks...

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The beautiful, talented & creative Mrs. Birnie...

Ive been so lucky in life with the lovely friends I have had... Honestly, I have been so blessed with friends who love me, I can trust & who just are an absolute joy to be around... One of these dear friends who I only met a few years ago but have since come to cherish our friendship is the beautiful, talented & extremely funny Sarah Birnie... She will be sharing creative DYI & design ideas with you and Im always in awe of things she comes up with... I also like to tease her because shes known to go into the Salvation Army a few times a week to find treasures- shes a proud Sally Anner for sure... Anyways, she makes my heart happy & Im so glad to be sharing her with yall... Enjoy...




Hello lovely "Pin Me" t... followers!

I’m Sarah. I met T a couple of years ago now (wow, time flies…) when I moved up north to the same little town as her. I’ve got to thank my lucky stars for that - she’s one of those people who you meet and you feel like you’ve known forever. Such a huge comfort and a true friend. You’re awesome T J

Though both my husband and my home are still in that town, I’ve recently gone back to school in Toronto so can either be found in the city, up north, or on the highway somewhere in between. Life literally seems like a highway lately (Tom Cochrane shout out).

This busy life, by the way, is my excuse for not having guest blogged on "Pin Me" t... yet. I have however been enjoying keeping up with T’s trials, tribulations and stories on here while I’ve been away and am excited to finally get to contribute!

Segway into what exactly I’m going to be writing about…my passion is Interior Decorating. Kind of always has been in one way or another. You know how they say that whatever you do when you’re procrastinating should be the work you do for the rest of your life…well I’m lucky enough to be working towards just that. I can’t get enough of creating inspired spaces, often via DIY projects and lots of blood, sweat and tears. It’s important for people to surround themselves with beautiful things that have meaning to them. Your home is your little piece of the world – I think you should walk into wherever you live and feel like the space embraces you.  I dream about helping people achieve that. Also- I just love pretty things, so this is a great way to spend my time…

Like I said before, I’m into DIY’s…I’m also into creative decorating via vintage/salvage/thrift shopping. It’s definitely possible (and for me lots of fun) to find a real gem buried in a pile of giveaways. I truly believe that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure- pieces with history just feel so much more warm and interesting to me. To top it off, it’s green to re-use/recycle stuff rather than always going out and buying new! Of course I know that none of this is revolutionary…there are a million DIY/upcycling/thrifty décor blogs out there – in fact I think I have most of them Bookmarked on my laptop! Even Nate Berkus even has a segment called Trash to Treasure (http://www.thenateshow.com/videos/detail/1871/trash-to-treasure/).  But I thought it would be fun to document some of my little adventures on T’s blog. That, and she asked me to…hehehe.


Here are some of the things I’ve done around my own home and condo that have cost very little but I think have had a lot of impact. BELIEVE me- not everything I try works out. I’ve been known to buy something at a thrift shop, take it home and try to sand/paint/stain/fix it up only to re-donate it later on the same day. Recently I painted our kitchen pendant lights black. This did not turn out well, so my husband took it upon himself to make a weekend job of paint stripping them and restoring them to their original Rona splendor. Yep- mistakes happen, and it’s part of the process.


You know those hexagonal tables that your grandparents had all over the house?


I painted one that we inherited white. Sprayed the hardware gold, and voila, a cute little updated side table!

A couple of years ago I was seeing the beginnings of the whole industrial home décor wave- and really loved the look of vintage industrial shelving. So, off I went to Canadian Tire and bought 2 of these for my dining room. Dressed them up with vintage accessories and voila- a pretty decent take on the trend if I do say so myself!

I had an empty wall that was begging for something interesting…so I hit up my favorite salvage shop (the one in Latchford, for those who know the area) and picked up a vintage milkmaids yolk. Nothing like a little bit of original sculptural art to spice up a room!
I LOVE GALLERY WALLS! It’s such a great way to create a big impact if you don’t have large pieces of art to take up a big wall space. It’s also a great way to use various pieces of art, photos, mirrors, etc. that wouldn’t necessarily have that much impact on their own.



Here are some other creative ways to dress up your walls if you don’t want to invest in art.
  • How about a group of interesting baskets? I spray painted these gold and they line a hallway. They won’t be there forever but they serve the purpose for now.


  • Another project that took about half an hour but that makes a big impact is below- I grabbed a large canvas from an art supply store, some black paint and a regular paintbrush that you’d paint a wall with. A few big strokes, some splattering and a glass of wine later, I had a big graphic painting that I love!


Next up is a simple wall art project that I dreamt up this past weekend while at my husband’s parent’s cottage. I found a bunch of vintage Penguin Publishing novels that are an awesome shade of green. Using these book covers as art is actually a bit of a trend right now, but I think it will be a timeless piece that would be great in a kids bedroom one day. I’ll show you the finished product when I’m done!


Till next time!

Sarah


Amazing eh? Shes so bloody talented & I cant wait to see all that she accomplishes as a Decorator... Proud of you my friend...


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Operation Ellen ~ Video Four

Dear Ellen,

Your bad paid for tattoo segment might be the answer...


Please call...

Love t...

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Baby Sleeping is quite the rollercoaster...

Mummy~Hood: I thought Id update you, dear friends, on the sleep battle or as I like to call it the Sleep Rollercoaster...We got really good there for a few nights...When I put him down hed fuss for a few minutes but then be out for both naps & night time...I thought Id conquered the battle but then it took a turn...Naps became a nightmare & night time he'd go down without a fight...So it became opposite of what we started with...That happened for about a good week where he wasnt having it at naptime & it would take ages to get him down...Now, this week hes been pretty good about going to sleep for both naps & night time- a little fuss but then down...Problem now, is hes waking up between 4-5 am ready for the day- wants outta that crib...Now, this Mumma is not a morning bird to begin with but this is ridiculously early...I've tried putting him down a bit later the night before, bringing him into our bed & he'll sleep longer but then fuss more the next nap because he wants to be in our bed, I've even tried putting a blanket beside the crib & bloody sleeping on the floor with him just to catch a few more hours...This tired Mumma needs more sleep...Any advice friends?

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