Hello Friends, 

Its been awhile. 

Over the past few months I hit a low. My Anxiety hit an all time high. I justified my anxiety because of the unpredictable events, house having mold, (or falling apart as Ryan would say) having to be flexible about the whole thing, being defeated by my children’s school, and the social behaviors they were dealing with, (Actually, still are dealing with) and then Work…

How did I juggle it? I dropped all the balls. There was no certainty in my little world, everything was swirling around me and I stood and watched while all the clouds came rolling in. I didn’t know which way was out, which way let the floods came in, or even how to be safe. Or keep everyone else safe.

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So I froze. And then froze some more. Instead of coming up with sensible solutions, I internalized everything, and outwardly put on a persona that was FINE by society standards. My goal was just to get through the day to day. To practice being easy going about the whole thing until I really believed it. But there were a few times I was like, when is the next crap thing going to happen? 

 When the clouds finally subsided, I thought I got this. I have been dealing with anxiety since age 6 and honestly I’ve been through much harder crap. Certainty is what I really longed for. In an uncertain situation I made matters worse, then I remembered my therapists saying, you will never have certainty. The world can’t give you that. REALLY?? At first I thought NO. HELL NO. My heart said, there has to be another way. The only way to get certainty is to make your own. Why not channel my inner survival mode instincts? Use them for good, not to fuel my anxiety. Maybe this is the best idea I’ve had in a long time…. Its time to get back on the horse stop looking left or right and plow straight ahead. 

Letting go “game plan”. The plan includes the things I am in control of; ME+ MY actions…

1.  Let go. - Life is unpredictable. Letting go isn’t easy, but when you do it feels so freeing.

2.  Truly be easy going. (No matter what) - As “cheesy” as it sounds, it’s an opportunity to learn when unexpected life events happen. Showing your kids you can stay calm when shit hits the fan is a true gift. Best part, they become easy going people too.                                                        

3.  Health (mental and physical) - Talking to therapist is always a good idea.  Exercising has done wonders for my mental health, subsides anxiety, and makes you feel SEXY!                                

4. Parenting - Committing to teaching my children to socially interact, defeat bullies, to make the world a better place, and WIN AT LIFE.                                                                                          

5. Home- Being Patient. Doing what we can in our time with our house AND BEING OKAY WITH THAT.                                                                                                                                          


Thanks for listening folks; I’m excited to be back in the swing of things. And for this new uncertain chapter called LIFE. Leave a comment below, would love to hear from you!! 







Hey you guys! Happy New Year! It's great to be back. May I introduce my dear friend and all time business gal Malorie.  

Malorie Maeva, is something special my friends. I was fortunate enough to have met her last year while assisting the AMAZING Kym Ventola with a wedding she was photographing. Instantly I thought wow this girl is the Brains behind Hoot and Holler / and Noir Floral? She is one talented lady, and been killing it in the floral industry for sometime now. I had been following her for some time on instagram and couldn’t help but instantly be inspired by her floral designs, esthetic and boldness that she was putting out into the universe!

I was honored when she let me photograph her doing her thing, designing and crafting floral arrangements. Here is a peek inside what she does and our time together, enjoy friends!




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Arizona Florist : Malori Maeva http://www.noirfloral.com/

Jacob's Applesauce Recipe

Who doesn’t love applesauce? You can eat it plain, spread it over vanilla ice cream, and add it to yogurt. Add it to baked recipes. The list is endless. My 6 year old came home from school so excited to share he had learned how to make applesauce in his first grade class. He then of course wanted to teach me how to make it right away, so we did.

I would say cooking with my children is something we always have done. Its something I wanted to include them in, and make them feel apart of things. When they were crawling they would be banging on pots and pans in the kitchen while I danced around and cooked. As they got older we started giving them real jobs, stirring a sauce or making the scrambled eggs. Sometimes Jacob (my 6 year old) comes up with his own recipes, for example, peanut butter with honey on rice cakes, or the not so popular, mustard peanut butter sandwiches.

So this applesauce recipe seemed like the perfect thing to add to our recipe book, and do something well just fun together!

Cheers Friends, Happy Cooking!




Jacob’s Applesauce


4lbs apples cored and sliced (about 10 apples)

A mixture of red, yellow and green

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon Juice

1-cup water

1-tablespoon vanilla paste (preference only)


In large Dutch oven, bring the cup of water to a simmer, add in the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and vanilla. Give it a good mix with a large wooden spoon. Let this simmer until the apples are good and mushy, about 12-20 min. If needs more water add in about a half cup at a time.

Once the apples are good and cooked, remove from heat and blend in a blender or food processer and pulse until combined. The consistency you are looking for is slightly smooth, slightly chunky.

Then transfer mixture to bowls and let completely cool (about 1-2 hours)

When cooled you can store in a container / Mason jar for up to two weeks.

(If it lasts that long!) 

Dinner for two - Charleston food photographer Nicole Mendicino

Date night.  I am having trouble digesting the date night concept. What is date night? Is it shared meal, dress up, putting your best foot forward to please one another for one night only? Why can’t relationships be as simple as doing life together, walking side by side with each other? Maybe always being your best self all the time instead of once a week during date night.

Call me crazy, but I kind of hate the idea of “date night”. The pressure to come up with something adventurous, find a baby sitter, go out, to then end up at a restaurant that is so loud you can’t here yourself think, which leads to pressure of coming up with something interesting to chat about. In the end you sit across from your partner on this forced evening both thinking “we should have stayed home, made dinner and watched Zombies attacking each other on the T.V. I just think the idea of one night a week to make sure to connect with your partner seems odd. Why not be connecting all the time? It doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking hour with one another. But there has to be more than date night to a relationship.

Relationships feel as though they are based off fairytales and sometimes I think that this whole date night thing is right along side it. Do you know what I am talking about?

The prince, the night in shinning armor, saving the girl, the damsel in distress. The prince rescues the princess, his one true love. Disney did a great number on me with those stories. Now it seems all of us women and men have certain expectations on how the other should be, should look should act like. Then what? I mean after prince charming rescues you, because as women we sure can’t rescue ourselves. (“Right”)  Now what? What do you do after the prince rescues you? Fairytale Wedding, Fairytale love, so on and so on. Then you have a wonderful few months. All of a sudden the birds stop chirping. The music fades. Shit gets real. The prince doesn’t seem like a prince anymore, the damsel doesn’t need rescuing, so now what are you supposed to do?

Have kids? Go on date night to spice it up?

Lets take a few steps back now from all the pink lace and tool. Lets take a break from Date night. Lets start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start. (Cue Julie Andrews from the sound of music.)

What attracted you to that person in the first place? How did you act when you first met them? Did you poop in front of each other? I’ll bet you didn’t. You were the best version of yourself! Everyday. You wanted the other person to like you. You thought his jokes were funny and laughed. Like REALLY Laughed. He didn’t open the doors for you or maybe he did either way you didn’t mind. Date night wasn’t a thing, hang outs, road trips just fun being together, enjoying each other. That is where the love is. So what gives? Lets say you go back to that and do those things all the time. How would that change things? Maybe give being your best self a chance, EVERYDAY. What does that look like? No excuses here, the kids aren’t getting in the way, the job isn’t. It’s a choice.

Relationships are actually quite simple but yet we complicate them by putting pressure on the other person to get what we want. That’s messed up. Or forcing things like date night so I can feel like my partner is pursuing me like Prince Charming pursuing his damsel. Say WHAT?

I have a crazy Idea. Do life together. Be partners to each other. Find what it is you liked about each other in the first place. BEE YOURSELF! I’m no expert here. I am a little awkward, maybe a lot awkward at times. I’m not an expert on love. But what I do know is He is No prince Charming, I am no Cinderella and we don’t need date night. Normal boring life is much more exciting, I’d take dinner for two at home watching Zombies attack anytime over a forced anything.


Black Rice With Garlic and Cilantro 

What you will need: 

Wild Black Rice - You can find this at your local grocery store. Cilantro, Garlic about 1 clove. Salt. 

Follow directions on package for rice, use a rice cooker or stove top to make . It will take the longest so make sure to throw the rice in the pot first before prepping the other food. Also add salt to the rice while it cooks. About a 1/2 teaspoon is enough. 

Alaskan Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, Olive Oil and shallots.  

What you need:

- 2 Wild Alaskan Salmons Fillets, 1 lemons, 1 bunch of garlic (4 cloves or 5 depending on how much you like garlic), High quality Olive Oil, 1 Shallot, salt and pepper. 

-To Make :

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees 

Prep a baking pan with Olive oil or Non stick cooking spray. Clean the Salmon Filets, smash garlic (keep shells on) with a knife, slice lemon, and shallots. Place the Salmon on the baking sheet, place smashed garlic, lemon, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper on top of the Salomon Filets. 

Then bake for 10 min. You will know when the fish is done by placing a fork over the top, if the salmon piece are sliding off, the color has gone from bright pink to pale its done. Also Fish cooks very fast and will keep cooking once you take it out of the oven. Over done the fish will be gummy or tough when you are eating it. 

Radish Spinach Salad with Goddess Dressing  

What you will need :

-3 0r 4 Radishes, Fresh Spinach , Lemon, Cilantro, Garlic, Olive oil , Lemon, Lime, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Vegenaise or Mayo works great. Salt and pepper. Ground Ginger or Fresh. A bowl, whisk, knife. mortar and pestle. 

For the Dressing: Roughly chop the Garlic, Cilantro, place in the mortar and pestle add a pinch of salt, and ground ginger to the mix and grind up until combined into a paste. Set aside. 

Cut the lemon and lime in half. Set aside. 

In a bowl Mix together about a tablespoon of Olive oil, tablespoon Vegenaise, teaspoon liquid Aminos, Squeeze in the cut lemon. (use the whole thing, then add in about Half of the lime) Add in the cilantro, garlic mix. With a whisk throughly mix all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. As well as more olive oil, lemon juice if too acidic. 

Slice the Radishes and Place in a bowl with the spinach. 

Add Dressing and toss together. 

That is simple meal Dinner for two. Enjoy. 



Asher - Portraits - Nicole Mendicino /

Motherhood is the most “interesting” thing. I got pregnant with my first child when I was just 21. I mean it was my birthday and 3 weeks later I found out that I was pregnant. Now to be honest, reacted instead of feeling warm and fuzzy all over. I cried a lot. Then I took 3 pregnancy tests and went to the doctor and didn’t believe it was actually real until she confirmed it.

Yes I am that person. The person who didn’t know what to do with the information in front of me, so freaking out seemed like the best option at the time.

The problem was that it really interfered with my plans. I was taking film photography classes at college along with some other art classes and thought well shoot, what am I going to do now. In fact I may have said “ oh sh*t what am I going to do?” So I dropped the classes because I didn’t want my child to have 3 heads from the chemical exposure.

At that time I was newly married, trying to figure out what I was doing with my life, still caring for my father and thought to myself how am I going to bring a baby into all of this?  Now to be fair I always wanted children, I always wanted marriage. But that was when I turned 30 not at 21. The plan changed. I hate when plans change.

So back to motherhood, I will have to say I’m no natural mother.  Do you know what I am talking about? The women who just know everything, what nappies are, what diapers are, how to breastfeed, when to breastfeed, how to parent, how to be a soft mother and nurture your child. I have some AMAZING friends who are like these women. That the things in motherhood come natural to them, or maybe it just seems that way to me.

I studied motherhood like it was a photography class. Except half the books were contradictory to each other. So at times it just made learning how to be a mom more difficult. The worst part was I thought I had to give everything up. Photography, fashion, being myself, boy was I wrong. I swore and still may never buy a minivan, but at least now I understand why people purchase them. (They’re so roomy)

The day I stopped calling motherhood a Job I was free. It’s a choice.

It’s a choice to show up everyday even if you don’t have all the answers,

It’s a choice to be kind and nurturing



To breastfeed or not to breastfeed

To be consistent, I mean with everything. If you say no, mean it.

It’s a choice to HAVE FUN, Be playful

It’s a choice to take a moment before reacting to ALL THE Paint on the WHITE Walls.

It’s a choice to take time for you and not feel guilty.

It’s a choice to work, or stay home (no judgments here I did both)

It’s a choice to admire and think your KIDS Rock

The best part I learned these things. These simple things that honestly have made parenting much better than I have ever imagined. They didn’t come natural, because although Motherhood may be “natural” to some, everyone is learning. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Cheers Friends 


Source: www.heydear.co/blog

Stella Mae - Portraits Nicole Lee photographer - Charleston SC

Today I thought I would share some personal images of my Stella Mae. Without a doubt I am glad a started this project over a year ago, I know one day I will look back and be thankful I took portraits of my children. 

Would love to hear thoughts and share some love if you'd like. 

Happy Friday Everyone!