Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fun with Photos...

So - like I said last week - the AE Photography is in town and we're having a blast. Last night we went to Manny's Steakhouse and spent about $435 between the 6 of us. Worth. Every. Penny. (More details on that later) And today has been a "we were up WAY too late playing games, and slept horrible" kind of lazy day - involving emails, editing, and blogging... YAY!

So Ashley posted an AWESOME blog post last week called "Critique Me" where she is gunna post tutorials to her awesome editing tricks... so naturally, since the master is sitting across the table from me, I started practicing... I had snapped a picture of her & Finn earlier in the day and this is what I came up with.

After Edits:
 And another batch of edits:
Whatcha think? I know they're not perfect... but they're still pretty cool... now I should make Ashley do her own spin and see what SHE would do with it :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

"OUR" wedding Photographers, AE Photography are in town for a week!!

Check it out - i stole this from their blog so you can share in the deals... to ANY of you in the Minneapolis area - i urge you to JUMP at this deal :)

do you live in or around minneapolis?  would you like a session done by ae?  day after, trash the dress, fashion bridal, senior, boudoir, engagement, family, baby, maternity, child, loveshoot, product, business, or just a fun portrait shoot??  well, you're in luck!  since we will be there already, there will be no travel fees (within a reasonable distance from minneapolis), and we will be offering shoots at the discounted price of:
$250 -- which includes a full photo disc with every image and release rights to print whenever and wherever you would like!
*1-2 hours of shoot time
*full photo disc
*complete editing + retouching for every image
*online gallery for you, family & friends to view and order prints (if you'd like)
*$50 print credit to be used within 1 week of your gallery being fully posted.  good for prints, products & albums.
sessions are typically $499 with your choice of photo disc, prints or an album--and you may add on all 3 at an additional charge... so this is a great deal.
why are we doing this?!
because we are dying to shoot in this lovely spring weather.
because we LOVE shooting in new locations.
because we will be on a mini vacation, so we will be in extra good moods!
because we have a lot of new, fun ideas we are just thrilled about bringing to life!
because we love taking pictures... all the time, simple as that.
SO -- if you're interested in booking a session from the 21st of March to the 27th, email us RIGHT NOW (because it's, like, next week!) and let's get your scheduled!   limited slots available. more details will be sent out when we hear from you.  feel free to email us with any questions you might have before actually booking.  we look forward to hopefully having fun photographing some of you!!
happy spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: MIssing my boys.

Boys left on Sunday... 3 days down... about 18 to go... *cries*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mentoring Monday: One day at a time... Week 8

Hey all! Another day in the life... sometimes I'm sick in the morning... sometimes in the evening.... sometimes if I'm REALLY crazy lucky - not really at all! But... mostly just sick, haha. Hoping it will pass soon... The boys are off at nana & papa's as of yesterday, so its giving me some time to balance relaxing & working - which is already helping a ton... Its hard though, I miss them like CRAZY! I caught myself watching a bunch of their baby videos... made me sad, but even more excited about the new baby on the way... ugh, babies are so fun!! And cute, and messy, and they don't talk back like toddlers do, lol
Either way... I love and miss them OODLES! But I know they're having a great time... Yesterday they went to the library, and hung out at grandma cookies house... and played with their Auntie Ashley & Uncle Austin... So, even though Im a little whiney about it, I'm so glad they have the opportunity to be there... I hate that we're so far from our family, so it's times like this that we have to take advantage of. Hopefully, at the end of the 3 weeks I can go spend a few days back home so I can see the fam too... and maybe even let this rub on this quickly growing belly. As of right now I have lost 3 pounds since I found out I was pregnant, and I just keep getting bigger!! Zaq says Im gunna be huge this time, i think he's right :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Swinger Sunday: Just your everyday semi-crisis.

An amazing Swinger Sunday post by someone I love dearly. I just can't tell ya who! Fun right!? Totally. Either way, leave her some lovin :)

Just your everyday semi-crisis.
By: Anonymoussss.

Holy moly, thank you to the outrageously awesome Amber for having a Swinger Sunday and for letting me treat it as a place to do a little decompressing to a group of readers that I think are just the bomb.

So its springtime…. And I am 26. And unmarried. And getting ready to finish graduate school. And kidless. And business-owning. And big-dream-having. And, well, unsatisfied, semi-unhappy, and totally freaking out about it.  

For me, springtime always brings this sense of compelling change, a freshening and excitement for things to come.

But not this year. This year its bringing me nothing but daily anxiety attacks.

Age 26 might not seem ancient to you, but it sure seems like it to me. Well, its more that I just think that its too old to not have anything figured out in your life, not have anything solid and stable and something you can rely on to be good and true and unchanging.

For starters, I am in graduate school and own a business.  I worry every day that I am succeeding at neither and really messing up both.  I get medium good grades due to the fact that I can hardly pay attention to class, due to the fact that while I am in class all day long, I also have to be dealing with a ton of things for the business. My business’s growth is 100% dependant on, and often slowed down by, my ability/inability to focus on it, due to my school obligations.  So, therefore, every single day of my life I am freaking out about being behind on this, forgetting that, and just not be able to do the things that both typical business owners and typical students do correctly and on time. It makes me just feel like a failure all day every day. Always apologizing to someone for effing SOMETHING up.

Also, I am in a 3.5 year long (and currently long distance) relationship. It used to be great. But, unfortunately, seeing him once in the last six months and having our conversations only magnify the characteristics of him that I really have major issues with and am not sure I can get over has been really difficult for me and for my happiness level with the relationship.  I am also very social with a lot of friends and that has given me occasion to meet other guys. Ones that are fun, kind, funny, (really sexy/hot,) and think I am the bees knees. Turning down men (that I would typically be falling at the feet of) because I am in a relationship that is only questionably healthy at this point SUCKS. And its giving me a ton of anxiety. Because I am a super crazy and fun and goofy human and want to be having fun at all times. So why am I shutting out these guys that I have a lot of fun with and that could be the perfect person for me? It sucks and I feel like I am in a lose lose situation.  

Now that I am back in the state of Ohio, I also have occasion to see my parents more often lately. They struggle to say ANYTHING positive to me or about me. No, really, I am 100% serious. They put me down, mitigate my achievements, and scream at me for minor things. Now, it’s taken me all of my 26 years on this earth to be able to type this in such a matter of fact nature. This used to kill me before I realized that it wasn’t a matter of me perpetually messing up and sucking, but more of their own suckiness. It feels good to be an adult and know that as I grow and make decisions about friends and life, that I will be able to include or exclude that part of my life as much as I see fit. Its an enormous weight off my shoulders actually. They really beat me down sometimes.

I am also moving back to California in May to complete my final internship before I graduate. I am excited to get back there, but feel so incredibly sad to be leaving a ground op friends that I have had for 20 years and that I have REALLY loved reconnecting with while I was spending a year back in my hometown (as I finish school.) I was able to be there when their babies were born and see them for a casual beer or coffee whenever we were free. Being around loved ones is a priceless feeling and is truly the most important thing in the world to me. So the thought of leaving really guts me.

This then brings me to my general lifestyle panic. In the past 4 years, I have been a bridesmaid in 10 weddings. I am now Auntie to the 8 babies that have already been born from these wonderful relationships. My friends own homes and have stable jobs and wonderful, loving, cozy, and inspiring lives.

And the fact that I have none of these things is reallllllyyy starting to get to me. Is my hyperactivity and moving across the country and around the world every 6 months to do new things and build orphanages and try to save the world now sabotaging my ability to chill out and enjoy the only things that ACTUALLY and truly make life worthwhile? I feel like the answer is yes and I don’t know how to fix it.

And now, here we are in springtime, I have all of this change and uncertainty in front of me, and I can’t help but just panic every minute. And it all compounds onto each other. The needing-to-settle down anxiety increases the love life anxiety which increases the work/school anxiety when I then realize that is my only shot at doing something correctly at the current and then I remember that I am doing quite the opposite. So, that is just the play-by-play of my daily freakout, which takes place over deep breathing with my head in my hands at my desk.

So each day I do this. And each day I tell myself that it will all work out and that I should just keep calm, keep my chin up, and spend the day like I would any other day, with a positive and happy outlook on my life and the people in it and a determination to be a good person and make the world a better place.

But my springtime daily freakouts are just… DRAINING. And I am totally trying to work on getting rid of them.

Do you all have any tricks for any of this? Or calming down about it at all?

Thank you for your ears. I really can’t tell you how much it means to me able to just VENT and unload sometimes. (:

Overwhelmed in Ohio.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mentoring Monday: Another Chapter - Belly Week 7

Aymee & Adam used to write this post - but they have gotten crazy busy between Maddie, School & Work... and perfect timing, why? Because now I am pregnant again... so I guess its my turn to take over :)

This week has been brutal. The first few weeks were great... I felt great, I was a little tired but that was all... this week - totally different. I wake up trying to keep my mouth shut for fear of what will come out of it... I rush to the kitchen to try to plug my nose and swallow anything that I can manage to choke down... the stand there and just... breathe..... and hope for the best. I have been OH so sick. Nothing sounds goood... and even when I do eat, its a challenge to keep it down... I was never like this with the boys so its a totally new pregnancy chapter for me. MANY of you have given me some great tips to try... and the top choices so far are #1: Preggie Pops...  I rushed and ordered these right away... Can't wait to try them! Hopefully they will bring be some releif... #2: Tip - Ginger... apparently ANYTHING with Ginger seems to be a hit... Ginger Tea, Ginger Ale and I hear Dried Ginger is like Candy! WOo Hoo! #3 of course is crackers... I guess its a good idea to keep some by the bed... some be the couch... some by in the kitchen, in my purse and in my car... for whatever reason - they seem to help when I can't eat anything else... and last but not least, my only hope is to NOT get hungry... morning is bad because I havn't eaten in over 12 hours. Once I get some food, i feel a little better, then I eat a bagel an hour or 2 later... then some lunch... then a cheese stick... and some Wheat Thins... and then dinner... thats my secret. Over ALL the other things - that is the most important one I have found... if I can keep myself from being hungry I feel 100 X's better... not perfect, but at least functional. If any of you have any other tips,  I would love to hear it... anything to help is worth a try!

So that is my week 7 in a nutshell... sickies, tired & pretty crabby but staying positive... why? Cuz there is an amazing baby Z #3 growing inside of me... and I couldn't be happier about it :)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Swinger Sunday: Take some time off!

Everyone say hi to Rhiannon - the brains behind Rocky The Zombie... She's amazing and were so glad she stopped by the blog today!

Ok so the idea behind this is to remind everyone to take some time off from everything,  you work hard and you owe it to yourself.. let your mind and body rest, write down some thoughts/plans/ lists if it feels like things are getting too much (a cute notebook and a pen is cheaper than a shrink... my pen is pink and bubblegum scented. yep! simple pleasures)

This is to remind you to at some point to turn off the computer, and turn off the email notifications on your phone! Ok.. ready?

I know I'm not alone in my bad habit of not knowing when to take a break. I work at my day job 5/6 days a week, and the rest of the time I'm working on Rockythezombie. Some of my best etsy friends do all of this and take care of an entire family too... and I think I'm tired!? ha!.. I'm sure they could show me TIRED.

I get up in the morning and finish orders, pack orders, and post orders.. and this is all before I start work at 11am. I then get home around 8pm and go right back to it until the early hours. I wouldn't change it though, I LOVE it.. it's who I am. Of course there is ONE thing I would change.. the day job, if it were financially possible I'd get rid of that. Maybe one day I'll be able to... I've done it before, so I can do it again right? I'm gonna work hard and wait and see...

Don't forget to make time for your friends, I am soooo guilty of this.. I'll not see anyone for weeks, and because I'm so busy I'll barely even notice. In my mind I only saw them last week when actually an entire month has gone by and I've spent it working.

This year I made a resolution to STOP every sunday.. and just do nothing, but this didn't really work.. I discovered I simply can't just do nothing. So instead I bake.. I bake cakes, cookies, pies, and anything else I feel like! It's fun, and makes my house smell amazing, and who doesn't love freshly baked goodies? I've also made a promise to myself that at least once a month I'll go out for dinner with friends, and I'll go to an out of town show with Hud.. I almost forgot how much fun it is to grab some beers, take a road trip to see a band you love, and meet up with old friends you just haven't found the time to see. Uh-mazing.. and totally relaxing, even if it does take another day to recover afterwards ;)
I have to admit that by sunday evening I'm feeling quite recovered and am itching to get back to work on the shop, but that's cool... moderation.. Find your perfect balance :)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Note to Self-Saturday: 10-things...

10-things I love about Zaq :) (my hubby)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Favorites Friday: Cameras!

There's no doubt that we love photography... we love taking photos, editing them, and can sure appreciate the people that are WAY better at it than us, like AE Photography, StoopidGerl & Beki Dawn Photography... So this Favorites Friday is dedicated to all the fun of photography :)
(click to enlarge)

#1: TooFashion2010 - Pretty Retro Silver Black Camera Pendant
#2: BarrelofMonkeys - I shoot with a *camera* button
#3: LuckyStraps - Damask Camera Strap with Minky Lining
#4: MoonFaces - Vintage Camera Carnival tickets
#5: Jillein Photography - Vintage Damask Camera Brownie Target Fine Art
#6: TimeLessThings - Vintage camera note cards
#7: MaddieBee123 - Damask Lens Case
#8: AForestFrolic - Camera Gift Tags
#9: Snugglens - Ready to Ship Dslr hobo Camera Bag

If any of you awesome sellers would like to host a review & giveaway please let us know, we would love to have you!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Thursdays Tunes: You and Me

I <3 Ingrid Michaelson... you will too :)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Ms. Maddie Modeling :)

You've all met Aymee's little lady, Ms. Maddie :) She's my fav... and boy does she make a good model. Today you see her rockin' our new "Tree" onesie, and our brand spankin new wooden teething ring & holder! Its already been a huge hit, and as you can see here, Maddie loves it :) So far its been nothing but raving feedback about how much kiddies love it, and how universal it is!! You can take off the ring and attach it to a pacifier, toy, or anything else that you can think of...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Giveaway Tuesday!! Boudoir session from AE Photography!

This ones for the ladies! Every mama/lady deserves the chance to really just FEEL beautiful... and AE Photography is giving you that chance and capturing it forever :) 

Ashley is offering one FREE Boudoir Session to one special lady!  You must be a fan of ae and leave a comment on our fanpage to qualify.  Entering requires a message to me (either through the blog,website, email –, or facebook) explaining why you would like a Boudoir Session by ae and why the discount would mean so much.  You must also include a photo.  The main requirement is that you are fully open to giving Ashley the create freedom she needs to produce the shots she is looking to create.  We are also doing a promo video for ae, so short video clips may be taken (modest ones, of course) throughout the session to be included in our 5 minute promo.  We will also be using them to feature on our site, fanpage & during meetings.  A contract/model release will be signed before the session stating these details.  You will be notified of our favorite shots and when/where we plan to showcase them.

The style of ae | boudoir has always been described as “natural sexy.”  We are not Hustler or anything even remotely close to it.  We keep our photos tasteful and showcase your beauty in a very natural, expressive, sexy way.  We will have a phone, email, or online chat discussing everything so we are fully comfortable and excited for our session together!  I will also have you do an online search to find images you really love, because this session is for you, too!  Poses, styling, coloring, etc. are all things that make each session different from the next.  While I have many things I plan to do, I definitely want you to be able to select some of your favorite poses and looks!

The session will be done in your home to create the most organic feel.  This is definitely good if you are having this session done for you man.  It makes it much more personal!  If for some reason you home will not work out, we can discuss other options.  Upscale hotels (or anything unique & modern) make great options, however the client will be in charge of arrangements & payment.  Travel within 40 miles of 61049 is included free of charge unless otherwise approved by ae.  Standard travel fees apply after that!  A stylist is also an option as an add-on for an additional charge.  Let me know if you are interested in that!   Albums, products, prints, full photo discs, etc. are available at an additional charge.  This free session will include a private Online Gallery to view  an order prints & products.  I will also send you websize, watermarked versions of the photos we use for promotional purposes for you to keep and share.    I will email you our full pricing guide,which gives you more insight into what our boudoir sessions are like.  I can also email those who enter a password to our private boudoir gallery featuring sample photos from many boudoir sessions.
This is going to be great fun!  Think feeling laid back, dressing up, playing model for the day and, most of all, feeling extra beautiful and having some great shots to hold onto forever!  Don’t worry if you’re shy or think you would feel uncomfortable–we will make you comfortable, and you will have FUN!  These sessions are “no boys allowed” in the shooting space, so don’t worry about Eric!  The session will take place within the next 2 months–possibly fairly soon.  I will keep this giveaway option for a little while–no specifics as of now.  A post will go up when it is closed.  I look forward to your submissions! Contact us any questions!
By the way, our Self Portrait Contest will be up and running very soon now!  This will be like no other contest that we have done before.  We will be offereing gift cards as a fun gift for the winner, and that’s not all!  The gift card amounts will go up with every set of entires in the specific amount!  Check back for that!  I really can’t wait to get it started and see all of your self portraits.
***Thanks to our wonderful client for these sample photos she took of her custom boudoir album we created for her man!