Mom Fail // Nicole Lee - Photographer

How did your weekend go?

Lots of Drama around here, three bloody noses, numbers of meltdowns, with the exception of some beach time. This is how everyone else’s weekend went right?  

This weekend was Dramatic. I mean Really Dramatic. First our oldest Jacob (5yr) was playing teenage ninja turtles in the backyard then proceeded to hit our middle child Asher (4yr) in the face with a large stick, which made him bleed heavily in the face. Then we had another blood in the face incident, which I will get to later.

So Asher comes screaming and crying into the house, blood all over his face. I have two options; succeed by the good mother. Or massively fail and drop the ball. The way I see it is: A. I am supposed to stay cool calm and collected. B. Lets face it I am horribly terrified when it comes to seeing blood, ANY type of blood. When my sister used to get vaccines I would cry in pain for her while she took it like a man. Why I always had the weird obligation to feel other people’s pain is beyond me. Maybe it’s anxiety? Maybe I am crazy? Both are equally relevant. Mom Fail #1.

So our middle child comes into the house screaming bloody murder. Here I am. This is my moment to be soft mom, not cold-hearted mom. So I take him and tell him it’s going to be okay although I want to throw up but try to hold back the vomit because I am being STRONG MOM.

He survives, the blood stops. I clean the wand with tea tree oil. I get it in his eye. The screaming continues. Mom Fail #2.

Finally the ordeal is over. We proceed with having a fantastic day at the beach, followed by long naps when we get home. (Fist pumps and high fives here)

It is Sunday. Ryan and I are talking together in the living room. The kids are playing in the kitchen. I hear a large thud followed by crying, followed by me rushing into the other room. There is Stella with blood down her face. Here is another moment where it would be good to be soft, I grab her, which then proceed to think, “its time to ruin your shirt and hold her tight”. (Are these normal thoughts?)

So I ruin the shirt and again stop the bleeding. She fell off the chair and hit her face.

That’s a lot of blood for someone who doesn’t like to see it.

Finally the kids are settled in bed its about 10:30pm Ryan and I are watching cooking shows on Netflix. (Chef’s Table, check it out)  All of the sudden we hear a huge thump followed by screaming. We jump up, Ryan first then me. Stella walks out of her room with the biggest bloody nose I have ever seen. I grab her, try my best to comfort her and then proceed to check her out, make sure its not broken, or cut or whatever. As I am investigating I find a huge piece of what looks like “Bone” coming out of her noise. I grab it. I am feeling squeamish again, maybe even a little queasy, why? Stella is the one in Pain, not me. Why am I feeling as though I may vomit? (Maybe I should get this checked out.) I tell Ryan lets look up what to do I think we should take her to the ER. Which we never do! We are the parents who wait it out. But the blood, I mean this looks serious!

We get her cleaned up, the bleeding stopped. Put the “bone “ into a class jar. Get her into the Car and Ryan takes her to Urgent Care. I am shaking, I run into the bathroom, and vomit. TMI? (I know I went there.) I clean myself up.  Mom fail #3.

I call Ryan and ask him how it’s going. He said its going well they just finished. Wow that was fast! The doctor said it was a piece of Rice, What? Yes, actually 2 pieces of rice dried and stuck together.

You are kidding me? We both start laughing. This is hilarious and ridiculous all in itself. Our 3 year old chose to stick to large pieces of rice up her nose which the impact of the fall caused her to bleed horribly and it wasn’t a piece of bone in fact it was RICE.

The doctor also informed my husband that there is actually no way she could have broke her nose because children aren’t developed fully yet. Well doc good to know. That’s why we pay you the big bucks. I ‘m too dumb to tell if its bone or rice up my child’s nose, and you need to inform me otherwise. Mom fail #4

Dramatic? Yes, necessary? No. 

I guess we all have moments where life gets messy. Mine seem to happen on a weekend basis. Maybe the kids would be better off at school full time it seems like they are doing better in the care of their Teachers!

Cheers Friends


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 



Self Portraits - Charleston, SC Photographers - Nicole Mendicino

When we were little girls my mother would dress my sister and I up to have our photos taken. You know the ones I’m talking about, when you go to SEARS Portrait studio and have a cheesy background and some creepy guy is taking your picture. Those ones. Well my mother would dress us real “nice” with curled hair, red lips and lace dresses for days. We ended up looking like pageant princess’ by the time she was finished. Not to mention she put us in matching outfits, (except shoes). I had these shiny red ones like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, (because I was obsessed of course).  So every year she would dress us up for Christmas, Birthday’s, School, etc., and go get our photos taken. As I got older it would get more embarrassing because the photos were all over the walls. Its as if our parents worshiped us. I bet there are a few of you out there that just might have some of these around, or at least something similar.    

These memories and photos really got me thinking. They were just photos of us, but I have a slight feeling they had something to do with my outlook on life. I mean in the sense of how I perceived myself, or to the more pressing fact that I hate getting in front of the camera. It’s a pain, and I get these flash memories of my mother curling my hair while I sat there for an hour bored out of my mind.  So the last thing I wanted to do was get in front of the camera, seemed awful.

So I wanted to go change things, it was time to go back and explore being in front of the camera. To take some images of what is typical standard, makeup hair, so on, in contrast to well the opposite of natural and raw, no make up. I wanted to explore this not just for myself but also for others. How do we see ourselves?  To what is the standard of your own perception?

As women we often are told that we need to look a certain way in order to gain respect, power, equality, a boyfriend even. But as I get older I realize why the hell do they teach us this, why are we teaching our daughters and sons this, and mostly, lets do something about it!   Why should our value be measured in weather we have blonde hair, long hair, weight and makeup or not? 

Maybe people would say I am optimist for hoping that we could come together as a community, instead of working against one another. I still have hope for us, that slowly we make the world a better place and join as one. It only takes one. Will you with join me?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by – below are my self-portraits, leave a comment below, would love to connect!





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6378 Self Better *** .jpg

Egg Yolks / Charleston, SC food photographers Nicole Mendicino

A few months back I started some food projects. I wanted to continue my food investigation so with that in mind I started photographing eggs. Eggs have been photographed many times. Its a subject I actually had to photograph in my first digital class, you are supposed to take a white object and photograph it against a white background. I kind of broke the rules a bit and wanted to take this to a different level. I decided I like the white background but wanted to keep with my style and make a huge mess, so here is what I came up with. 

Also I entered it into PDN's TASTE contest,I made it to the online winners Gallery! Fist pumps, jump up and down with excitement! When I found out I literally laughed and cried at the same time. Thanks guys for stopping by, leave a comment below with your thoughts, would love to hear from you! 


Bronte - Charleston,SC Photographers

I have know Bronte since she was 11 maybe 10 years old. I used to babysit her and her sister, which was seriously fun. I mean we watched high school musical, made mac and cheese and just hung out. Good times, good times. Then she grew up and I grew up. I had kids of my own and then sure enough she started watching them. This girl is seriously something special, more than just a girl I used to babysit but has a special place in my heart. Seriously, I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. I am honored that she asked me to take her portraits. Have a look for yourself. 



Food and Lifestyle Photographers Charleston, SC - Nicole Lee

Hello, Lets Get acquainted.

My name is Nicole Mendicino. Some People call me Mendo for short, or Nic. Mendicino is my maiden name. Then I got married and now lots of people know me as Nicole Lee. I feel like its the first day of school when you have to go around to each person and say your name out loud. Remember how embarrassing that was? Right now is definitely the first day of school all over again. But Once you get through it it's not so bad. So back to names. You can call me Nicole, or any of the above I will answer. Whats your name? I'd like to know if any of you out there have names. 

Welcome to my new blog, HEY Here you will find my personal and professional photography work. Here I am on this new adventure making a go at becoming a real professional photographer. You are welcome to join me and comment, encourage or disagree, I would love to have feedback along the way. 

Again welcome. Cheers folks. 

Until next time,