Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It all started because I was reading In Style magazine. Never read fashion magazines, they are bad for your health. (Do as I say, not as I do.) There was an entire article Consumer Reports style about mascara. Some random women tested over 50 brands of mascara to find the best tube. Each one was rated on volume and length and thickness and blackness and how pretty the package was. Mascaras priced any where from $2.50 per tube to $250 per tube were tested. It was the most in depth mascara article I'd ever read, and reading it changed my life because it introduced me to Dior Show mascara.

This is hands down the best mascara I've ever used. Lancome comes in a close second, but there is just something about Dior. Give me an eyelash curler and a tube of this stuff and I'm in eyelash heaven. I love it. It's wonderful. The only problem is it costs $30, and it loses its power in 2 months. Kind of like Cinderella, at midnight it goes from creating Lucious Lashes to making Plain Peepers. It turns back into your average drug store mascara.

With that said, I'm looking for an average drug store mascara that will make me bat my eyelashes without breaking my bank. So help me out, Internet, what is your favorite mascara? I wish I weren't quite so interested in this topic seeing as it makes me seem quite shallow, but I love mascara, so I'm going to blog about it.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I love my cousins. They are adorable. If I had to choose one group of people to spend every day of the rest of my life with, my cousins would probably be that group. (Notice that I said probably. I'm not ruling out the cast of The Office.) I've grew up being best friends with one of my cousins, baby-sitting my cousins, and playing all sorts of board games with them at holidays or just anytime we all ended up at my grandparents' house - which is more often than you realize. 

This year I have 2 cousins that are officially seniors in high school. I can't believe that next year at this time they will be living in dorms and having fun in college. It's just too much. They were supposed to stay little and cute with big cheer bows in their hair forever. Well, they're both still quite cute and one still rocks the cheer bows, so I guess the main change is that they've grown older. I don't remember giving them permission to do so. Oh well, the good thing is I got to take one of their senior photos last night.

Paige, or as I tend to call her, Paigeroni, has not been looking forward to this day. She doesn't like to shop or be photographed, so senior photos were the equivalent to a medieval torture device in her mind. Lucky for her, she had Kristen and I right there with her. I was so proud of her. There was no complaining or even an odd "really, you want me to pose like that?" face. (Okay, maybe a couple of those faces, but not nearly as many as I usually get from her.) I am going to give Kristen credit for dancing behind me while I was photographing, and Paige credit for doing her best to make her momma and the rest of us happy.

Kristen and Paige grew up together. They're what I call cousin-friends. They even go to the same high school and church, just like Natalie and I did. It's a family thing.

I have to get this quick photo of Kristen out of the way because I just think she is so darling. 

The main reason behind this shoot was to get the yearbook shot for Paige. Studio shots are not my favorite, but I'm happy with what we got.

After we got the formals done, we drove down the road to a cool field with a gravel road and twisty trees. The girls said it seemed like a super secret location which is how we like it.

Paige loves her cowboy boots, and I love her plaid shirt.

This photo reminds me of when she was little.

Paige, I know I keep saying it, but I can't believe you are a senior in high school! It's been such a blessing to watch you blossom into a beautiful young woman. God has HUGE plans for your life, and I can't wait to see what they are. Keep your heart hidden in Christ. I love you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weight Loss Episode 7

I'm not going to lie, I thought by now I'd have lost about 25 pounds, in reality I've lost......well, I think you have to get on a scale to figure out that number, and I haven't been on a scale in weeks.

I was watching the season opening locker room chat for the football players at the University of Alabama the other day. In the video, the coach was talking about how it's the little choices that are going to make the difference in their season. He used the example of water vs. soda after a work out. Even though the obvious choice is water, it's up to the players to make that small choice everyday. With enough small choices, a big change will happen.

So often I think there is going to be a major fix for weight loss. That maybe eating zero carbs will work, or cutting out all saturated fats, or eating organic, or completing a certain work out. In the end though, it's just a matter of choices. I choose to be the size I am by eating McDonald's for dinner, or drinking 3 sweet teas a day, or being too busy to work out. It's my choice. This is such a hard concept for me to grasp because I think if I got to choose I would be a size 6. The good thing is, I do get to choose. I don't have to be overweight. It's so easy for me to blame my family genes, or society (isn't everything society's fault?) or my busy schedule, but the truth of the matter is it's my own doing. There is no medical reason for me to be heavy, so the only reason I am is because I've chosen this path.

I try to think about this at 4:50 am when my alarm goes off. The last thing I want to do is get out of my cozy bed and get to the gym, but it's one choice that will aid me in my journey. (Side note: I made it to the gym twice last week, and so far every day this week, so please don't think that I am Super Woman making it to the gym 5 days a week.) So I'm turning over a new leaf in weight loss and making healthy choices. I know it will be hard, but if I don't do it now, when will I?

"Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do." -Shaq

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mud Room Episode 4

The other day my cousin, Kristen asked to see my kick room.
"What's a kick room?," I asked her.
"You know, that room you're re-doing in your house."
"Oh, you mean my mud room?"
"Yeah, but don't people call them kick rooms?"
"I've never heard of that," was my reply to her.
"I think they do because that's where you kick off your shoes."
"That's why it's a mud room. So you can take off your muddy boots."
"Oooh, so what's a kick room?"
"I don't think there is such thing as a kick room, Kristen."

So here is my kick room update, just for Kristen.

Here is a quick recap of Episode 3. The floor was raised and covered in hardwood, everything was studded in, and the closet doors were in place. Since then, Dad has added sheetrock and a little half wall to hide the dryer. Additionally, my BFF Craig found just the right set of cabinets on his list for only $50. Score!

I know you all really only care about the photos, so here you go.

My new cabinets! They will have a shelf underneath just like my kitchen cabinets.

If you look into the mud room from the kitchen, you can't see the washer and dryer thanks to this nifty wall. Usually I hate half walls, but this one is perfect.

And the room is already being used for it's purpose!

I can't believe I just put a photo of my dirty laundry on the internet. I always hate it when people air their dirty laundry in public!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is my 100th Post!!

I'm sure you all are jumping up and down right now since it's my 100th post. I'll wait a minute while you finish.

I just wanted to apologize, Internet, for not updating about my mud room when I promised I would. It's coming. Maybe even after this post. Why not make 2 posts in one day? Today I had so much fun photographing the Brown family. They might be my favorite family. In fact, if I had to choose a new family, they would definitely be on my list of choices. They are so much fun, and they are hilarious, and they are pretty much the nicest people you'll ever meet. They were good enough to put up with me marching them all over downtown in the afternoon sun just for a few cute photos. (I have to come up with better vocabulary. You should hear me when I'm behind the camera, all I say is "cute", "beautiful", or "fabulous.")

My favorite thing about the Brown family is how I met each of them differently. Luke and I met in high school, maybe even middle school. He was good friends with my good friend, Steven. (I'm shooting Steven's wedding in a few weeks! I'm so excited!!) Put Steven and Luke together, and you are promised a lot of laughter. Years later I met his sister, Rachel while teaching Sunday school. It took about 3 months for me to realize that they were siblings. Rach and I saw each other every day for 22 days straight this summer. It was so much fun. I met Barb and Jerry during choir practice at church, and I don't know how I met Jesse. (Sorry, Jesse, I still think you're great!)

This is Jesse, Rachel and Luke.

This is the entire family. I love how Rachel is laughing. I'm not sure if you'll believe me, Internet, but I'm pretty funny, you can ask Rachel. Just don't believe anything she says about me talking in my sleep at camp. It's not true.

They also invited Rachel's boyfriend and Jesse's girlfriend to the shoot. Interestingly enough, those two are also siblings.

Dear Browns, Thanks for letting me photograph your family. Let's do it again in 2 years when Luke gets back from Cambodia, or better yet, let's all go to Cambodia and do a photo shoot there. Just give me a date, and I'll get a plane ticket!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fansher Family

You know that heat I've been complaining about lately? Well, we woke up yesterday morning and it vanished. Over night the hot, sticky, moisture-filled air was replaced with cool, refreshing, normal air. The high today was 86 degrees. It was pure bliss. (Knock on wood that is stays this way!)

During the blissful evening, I got to photograph my friend Christy's family. Christy and I work together, and we even survived summer school together this year. She is beautiful and has a beautiful family. Her baby girl, Presley, goes to Kindergarten this week. Her teacher requested a family photo which motivated this session. 

Along with the traditional family pose, we also got a few fun shots.

I love how this one shows their personalities. 

I promise another mud room update for my anxious readers, so check back tomorrow!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nicolette and Jordan

When I was in college, I was part of a Christian Sorority. During rush, each pledge was paired with a member, the member was called the big sis. I was so lucky to have a fabulous little sister named Amanda. She and I were perfect for each other. In fact, I remember when we were being assigned little sisters, and I begged for her. She is just darling, and I love her. Thanks to Facebook we've been able to somewhat keep in touch with each other through the years. Anyway, the real reason for this post is  Amanda's real-life little sister got married yesterday, and I got to be the photographer.

Nicolette was a stunning bride, and Jordan was a smitten groom. They are so cute I can hardly bare it. They took the heat and humidity in stride, and we got gorgeous photos despite the fact that we were all sweating like pigs glistening.

The ceremony and reception took place at A Frog Prince in Harrisonville, MO. It was a fun venue with a ton of photo opportunities! The best part was the bridal suite had a sun porch off the front end, which acted like a giant light-box for me. It was wedding photographer bliss!

I love the juxtaposition of the rings to the bride's tattoos.

I adore bird cage veils.

Her look was so classic. She could have stepped right out of 1942.

My 'little sis' with her little sister.

The girls were so gorgeous!! I loved the big, blue flowers in their hair.

Jordan, the groom, is in the navy. We were all complaining about the heat, and it didn't bother him at all. In fact I told him he could take his jacket off for one of the photos, and he said he was fine. So this is Jordan, in 96 degree weather, in a full tuxedo.

This is one of my faves from the day.

Nicolette and Jordan - Thank you so much for letting us be part of your incredible day!! You are both such kind individuals, and I wish you lots of happiness in the coming years. I pray that God blesses your marriage!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Weight Loss Episode 6

It's not Monday, but I'm going to do a weight loss post anyway. If you haven't noticed, I have skipped the last 3 weeks, maybe 4. That's because I skipped dieting (I'm sorry life style changing) for the last month. I just decided to stop. It wasn't a conscious decision per say, it was more of a I'm-too-lazy-and-I'd-rather-eat-Wendy's-than-take-the-time-to-cook-at-home decision. Four weeks of making that decision = 5.5 pound gain bringing my total loss to 2.8 pounds.

It's funny how weight goes on so fast, but comes off so slow. Actually, it's not funny. It's kind of depressing, and a bit discouraging. Never the less, I'm back into a routine with school, so I'm back on the weight loss (oops, life style change) journey.

Things to be positive about.....
1. I finally joined the gym - don't you dare ask me how many times I've gone. I had a pulled muscle last week from a very strenuous water stunt, aka back flip in the pool.
2. I went back to Weight Watchers
3. I drank a ton of water today

Things to work on....
1. Say yes to the water, no to the sugary drinks. (Dear Sweet Tea, I'll miss you. Maybe I'll send you a post card. Love, Jenny)
2. Get to the gym
3. Start counting points again

So I guess this post is my way of saying, I'm back, and those 5.5 pounds better watch it. If I were those 5.5 pounds, plus the other pounds I'm planning to lose, I'd be sleeping with one eye open.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Kansas City is a hot place to be in the summer. We experience temperatures well into the 90s, if not 100, and we have humidity that makes the air swimmable. Usually the first week of August is one of the worst weather weeks for the summer. This year has not disappointed. To put it short and sweet, it's hot. Really, really hot. So when most people are lounging by the pool or lounging in the air conditioning, the Iseman family and I went out for a photo shoot. Yes, Internet, I am a bit crazy.

Thankfully the family was so good natured. We were all glistening (or sweating profusely depending on how you look at it) and wilted within minutes, but we made it, and we have beautiful photos to prove it! Want to see?

Aren't they are cute family?

Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mud Room Episode 3

This post is for my friend Meredith. She stalks my blog and then gets on to me when I haven't posted what she wants to read. :) Saturday she told me that it was time for Mud Room Episode Three, and she is very right.

The reason I've been procrastinating with Episode 3 is it look like not a ton has changed since Episode 2. In reality, Dad spent 2 days working on wiring, 1 day insulation walls, and a few random days doing random things, so a lot has changed, just not cosmetically.

The best part is the hardwood floors are now finished!

I've already started decorating, much to my dad's chagrin. I just had to put that little white chair in there once I saw the floors. It just looked too perfect!
Do you see the vanity in the bathroom? That was an antique dresser my grandma found at a garage sale. Unfortunately it isn't going to work, so it's back to the garage sales.

We had to put a closet around the hot water tank and furnace. I like the big doors, although I doubt I paint them green to match the kitchen door, but you never know.

In the next few episodes, you can look forward to finding out why I'm searching for vintage yard sticks, what vanity I choose, and my plans for a 25 cent basket from a garage sale.