Monday, August 27, 2012


Anyone who truly knows me, knows how I love to ham it up in front of a camera.  I don't know why, but around age 11 or 12 I decided I should never take a serious picture of myself again.  I think it was my way of coping with my extremely awkward phase I was going through.  I figured if I tried to purposefully make the picture look funny or ridiculous, then I wouldn't feel stupid if it turned out to be so.  (You can't blame me, I had lost 12 teeth in a year, I looked like a chipmunk!)

Anyway, more recently I noticed the need for some more professional looking pictures to represent myself on my website and social media outlets.  Some of my clients were unaware of what I even looked like (aside from the drawings I have done, of course)! So I sent out a message to see if any of my photography friends were available on such short notice to do a little shoot for me.  Luckily my friend Kay Figueroa Stasinos, whom we knew way back when in the Glenwood, was willing and able!  It was especially fun because she shot some pictures of me back when we were in college.

Here they are!

 Awesome, no?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A brief interruption

I intend to finish off our California trip posts, but I thought I'd post a few recent things.  Here are some pictures of recent events.

Playing with cousins, of course.

Going to 6 Flags.  They are watching the Kids Dance Party with Tweety.  Ruby goes NUTS for this.

I wanted to capture Penny's cute Sunday outfit, and new $3 H&M shoes.

I don't know what this is... she just did it.

Cute hairstyle experiment.

Pen is getting ever so big.

Pen often requests a "mazazine" while she does her business.

Lots of fun girly nights.

More 6 Flags!


Aw, friends.

One day we picked Jeff straight up from the metro and headed to Six Flags for a little swim.  It is hard to squeeze in a time to go since the water park closes at 7, but we had a good hour to splash around.  I can't believe the summer is nearly over.  It will be a shame to not have a pool to swim in any more, but I will appreciate having less crowds to push through in the park.

It's also fun that we live so close to Sandy Point Beach.  Perhaps it doesn't boast crystal clear water, or fluffy, soft sand, but it is a beach these little babies had ever so much fun.
Sandy Point Beach

Emily was helping out with the surprise shower for our friend Cortney who is with child.  Em had the great task of providing a cake, and asked me to help by making some graphic elements to go with it.  What a grand cake she made!  It was very artistic, with a nice gradient feature in both the frosting and cake.
I was given the task of cake-holder.

The artist

We made little baby flags to go in the cookies.

Surprise!  Hooray for babies!

The interior.
 Lately Penny has become this crazy, quirky little girl.  She's suddenly making jokes and sassing back, it makes me want to squeeze her so tight because she is growing too quickly.  There are hard things about having a toddler (who knows how many times in the past few weeks I have told Pen to quit hitting her cousins...) but the good times are much more prevalent.  I just love snuggling and playing with my little friend. There is nothing that can make me happier than waking up with her big smile right in my face, asking if I'm awake.  Or when I get her out of her nap, and am greeted with the biggest, tightest hugs ever.

My favorite thing to do is take Pen to the thrift store on Monday (when everything is 30-50% off) and let her pick out a fun toy.  Normally we end up spending less than a dollar on brand new games and toys.  It's also great to watch our collection of toys grow, since that is an area that we are seriously lacking (if only we had the space to hold them all!).  So far, we have found Simpson Scene-It, Guess Who, Sorry, Cootie, and Marble Works, all for dollars and cents.  The thrift stores around here are awesome! (As long as you don't go at night...)

Penny also obviously loves her daddy very much.  He is just a huge source of relief for me at the end of the day, and will play with Penny until bedtime.  Though, I usually can't refuse a good game of hide-and-seek or chase and end up joining in.

The other night Pen woke up crying in the night.  I went to see what was the problem, and in her half-asleep state reached up to feel my face.  When she realized there was no beard on my chin, she started crying again, demanding Daddy come take care of her instead.  Ha ha.  No complaints from me there.  Penny thinks Jeff's beard is pretty funny and tickly.

 Jeff decided to make some delicious food lately.  This is bacon-wrapped roast with yorkshire pudding.
 Another night Jeff make some amazing, fall-off-the-bone ribs  dripping in his homemade pomegranate sauce.  My dinners pale in comparison.

As for me, everything is great!  I have had a big influx of business and have gained some solid clients.  I LOVE being my own boss and choosing my own hours.  I find myself looking forward to work every day, rather than dreading it like a lot of my previous jobs.  With every job I do, I'm learning so much more and expanding my abilities further and further.  It really helps that Jeff is very savvy and informative about the graphic design work.  He helps me stay fresh and hip.  He even encouraged me to open a shop on Society6, an online store that prints and ships your artwork, and you get to determine your profit.  Currently I only have one print up there, but I have a little series of digital paintings in the works that I'm really excited about.  We'll see how well they are received.  You can see my prints here:  I have also added an FAQ and Testimonial section to my website.  Check them out at  Those 3 or 4 hours a day that I have to myself to design really helps reboot my system.  Plus, I am getting more orders for custom illustrations which makes me so happy, since that is what I have working for my entire life.  While I enjoy graphic design, my real passion is drawing.  So, getting paid to draw makes my brain explode with happiness.  Sure, it's a lot of work sometimes, but it is work I enjoy doing.

Going back to Jeff, what a talented designer he turned out to be!  I always knew he had an eye for creativity and given the proper tools he has been able to produce some impressive things.  Govloop just hosted their annual conference, NextGen, which Jeff single handedly branded and did all the design work for, including designing a website.  Check out his site here: and be sure to take notice of the awesome logo.  The conference over all was a huge success, and his creative work really looked cool.  His t-shirt designs were the talk of the town!  Our common love for design has been such a fun and interesting part of our marriage.  It's awesome to be able to spout out font jokes and design lingo to a receptive audience.  I think it's rubbing off on Penny.  She has quite a talent for logo recognition, I'm so proud.

Jeff also worked really hard on this infographic, which I think is very impressive:

That's our life lately. I can't help but be so grateful for all the blessings we have.  Sure, our lodgings are humble, I wouldn't complain if we had more cash and there certainly are bumps along our road, but it's hard to complain when I have a hardworking, loving husband and an adorable little girl at my side.  And so many other wonderful things that make me happy.  Like living by Emily, eating good food, finding a good bargain, drawing on my tablet, taking a nap, the Atonement, God's love, I could go on.  My point is that even though life is hard sometimes, there is so much more to be happy about.