Monday, October 31, 2011

at the pumpkin patch

I recently went with Emma G on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.  I love school field trips!  The kids roamed through the maze, listened to story time, and colored some pages.  The hay really bothered my allergies to the point where my eyes looked like they were barely open (it was so bad my husband said I looked like a zombie).  We've had a terrible drought this year, and farmers have really been affected.  The ladies working said they had to get pumpkins from Indiana because of the drought.

little pumpkins


too bright

a big pumpkin

I brought some pumpkins home, and I'm thrilled to have pumpkin in my freezer and toasted pumpkin seeds to toss on salad or eat as a snack.  Click here to see my All Things Pumpkin recipes on Today's Mama!

Linking up with Communal Global for Sneak Peeks Around the World.  Check out my giveaway for Tom's of Maine products!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

pumpkin bread

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin is definitely on the brain right now!  After carving pumpkins, visiting the pumpkin patch, and freezing 7 cups of fresh pumpkin and toasting the seeds, I can see why.  The other night, when temps dropped and it actually felt like fall, I made some pumpkin bread for an after dinner treat.  It was highly enjoyed by all.  I know that because only a sliver was left. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

my helper

Man, this guy is getting big!  His desire for crafting with his mom and posing for my silly photo shoots is diminishing slowly.  Instead he's growing up and wanting to know how he can earn extra money.

sitting on the train

I recently asked him if he wanted to earn a little moulah by coming with me on photo shoots.  His job would be to carry my camera backpack and just help wherever needed.  He loved the idea.  I also told him that he could ask me any questions he wanted to about photography.  I love being able to foster his interest and spend time with him one-on-one.  He's come with me twice and it's been great!  He's asked some really great questions.  My favorite part of it is grabbing a bite to eat after and just being together.  I really love this kid!

Friday, October 28, 2011

a chalkboard book

Oh, how I love my chalkboard paint!  I saw a tutorial recently on making a chalkboard book and I was inspired.  I pinned it to one of my craft boards on Pinterest, because I knew I would want to come back to it.

writing in the book

As I was brainstorming for a self-portrait shoot, I was reminded of this idea so I gathered my supplies.  I already had chalkboard paint, primer, and sand paper.  I found a board book (the exact size I wanted) at Big Lots for 50 cents.  Can't beat that!

i heart the kind

I love the idea of creating stories over and over.  What a great gift for the imagination!  My favorite page she wrote is the one, "I love the King."  To make sure we were tracking, I asked her who the King was.  In a duh kind of voice she said, "God!"  We were definitely tracking. :)

a story

Look for my self-portrait photos next week where I incorporated this fun little book!


Linking up with Jennifer @ Studio JRU for Sneak Peek Friday!  Enter my Tom's of Maine giveaway here!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

tom's of maine {giveaway}

Probably about 20 years ago, I discovered I was allergic to artificial sweeteners.  When you discover you are allergic to something, you also discover the many items that contain what you are allergic to.  Did you know that many toothpastes contain artificial sweeteners?  It wasn't until I became pregnant with my first child and my senses were heightened that I made this discovery.  I kept thinking, "Why on earth do I get incredibly nauseous every time I brush my teeth?"  As I read the ingredients, I found the culprit...artificial sweeteners.  So began my love affair with Tom's of Maine toothpaste.  It's been one of the few items that I always stocked my suitcase with every time we flew to S. Africa.  It's been the reliable friend that has kept my teeth clean and nausea far away.

brushing teeth
she gave me permission to put this on the web. :)

My favorite Tom's of Maine products are the cavity protection with baking soda peppermint toothpaste, the children's silly strawberry toothpaste, and now after reviewing it, the exfoliating natural beauty bar in apricot.  It smells wonderful and leaves your skin feeling so soft!  After using Tom's of Maine toothpaste for many years, I now have my husband using it also.  It helps to be able to kiss him without getting nauseous.  :)

The Giveaway

Tom's of Maine has provided me with some products to give away!  One winner will receive a travel size tube of Simply White toothpaste as well as an Energizing Beauty Bar!  Giveaway is open internationally and ends November 3rd at 9pm CST when random number generator will choose one winner!

tom's of maine giveaway


1st Entry  Leave me a comment letting me know if you've ever tried Tom's of Maine, and if so, what your favorite product is!

2nd Entry  Become a follower.  If you already are that's fine, too!

3rd Entry  Tweet and / or share on Facebook the following...

Enter to #win @TomsofMaine products from @jenprice77! A #giveaway of natural goodness!

4th Entry  Follow @jenprice77 on Twitter.

5th Entry  Follow @TomsofMaine on Twitter.

6th Entry  LIKE Tom's of Maine on Facebook.

Remember to come back here and leave a separate comment for each entry!

Disclosure: I received Tom's of Maine products in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Comments are now closed.  Congrats to #26, girlevolving, for winning!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

just ask bucket list

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that they want to enjoy in their lifetime as a reminder to be aware of their health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details.

1.  Write a book, about what I don't know, but someday...


2.  Take my mom to Sweden to see where her great-grandfather grew up.

photo credit tina jo

3.  Get in a Land Rover with the bare essentials and drive around Africa with my husband and kids. 

4.  Learn how to make curry that tastes like it came straight from India.

indian curry

5.  Have homes on multiple continents.

6.  Knit a pair of socks.

knitting project

7.  Travel internationally at least twice next year.

8.  Buy a new set of couches.

9.  Visit South America.  In all my travels, I've never been to S. America.

10.  Visit several more state parks with the kids.  We've visited a handful but there's lots more to go!

looking at the canyon

11.  Get to a point where I don't dread exercise

12.  Learn to speak another language.

13.  Plant a garden and live off of it.


14.  Learn to sew better and then make a quilt.

 15.  Win this incredible Today's Mama giveaway!

I've never really been one to make bucket lists.  Goals, dreams, desires, yes, but not bucket lists.  Around number 10, I got stumped...what else do I want to do?  I realized that I've been able to experience so much in my 34 years so far, and it's left me with an incredible sense of gratitude to God for the things He's allowed me to be a part of and do.  It has also left me extremely grateful for the three other people in this family that I've been able to experience life with.

Do you have a bucket list?  If so, what's one thing on it?  You can also enter the bucket list giveaway here!

      Tuesday, October 25, 2011

      staging a picnic

      When taking portraits, I believe the background is just as important as the composition of the photo.  When I was asked to take portraits at the Fall Carnival at church to benefit the mission trip going to India, I knew I wanted to incorporate a fun background.  I was totally blank until I scouted out the grounds.  When I saw the tall grass and willows at the back of the property, the inspiration came, and I started gathering my props.  A piece of material (I'm now on the lookout for a cool old quilt for future shoots), a basket of apples, a bowl of grapes, a tray of fresh bread, a juice bottle, long stemmed sunflowers, and teacups were the perfect pieces to stage my picnic!

      family picnic shoot

      cute kids

      enjoying the picnic

      cute sisters

      And since the area was already staged, I couldn't resist taking some photos of Miss Emma.  Cupcake courtesy of the cake walk!

      on the picnic blanket

      eating her cupcake

      Linking up with And Then She {Snapped} for Show {Off} Your Shot!

      Monday, October 24, 2011

      fall at the arboretum

      I was so excited when my photography friend, Laura of Water Lily Photography, asked me if I wanted to go with her to take photos at the Dallas Arboretum last week.  In the midst of a busy week, it was the perfect opportunity to squeeze in my goal of getting out there to shoot just for the heck of it.  These are my favs...


      soaring butterfly


      pretty in pink

      spider web

      dew on web

      flower strings

      bug on purple

      soft pink petals

      Ahh, I love the arboretum!

      Linking up with Communal Global for Sneak Peeks Around the World.  Check out my giveaway for a recordable story book.  It's so perfect for loved ones that live far away!

      Sunday, October 23, 2011


      Round 1 of canning is complete (only costs $7!) Round 2 will commence next week.

      My cooking lately has been almost zilch.  I'm in a serious rut, just barely getting by.  I haven't made many complete meals, but we haven't starved. :)  In the last couple of weeks, I've managed to put these meals on the table...

      buttermilk biscuits and eggs (more times than I can count)
      wheat bread (love this recipe minus the seeds for a simple wheat bread)
      apple butter and applesauce (so glad Sprout's apples were on sale so I could get a batch canned)
      beef tips over rice (great Sunday lunch)
      chicken broccoli rice bake (love this easy throw together meal)
      banana wheat bread (great breakfast to serve to guests)
      granola (this is usually a staple in our fridge)

      I'm hoping to get out of this rut soon and try some new recipes!

      Saturday, October 22, 2011

      the groupie

      Tuesday night at the local coffee shop, this was the scene...

      the groupie

      She was on the front row, almost the whole entire time, listening to these guys...

      jeremy singing

      taylor singing

      mike singing

      Yup, one was her dad.  The other two, Taylor Maxwell and Mike Murray, are friends of ours who are on the road playing in various venues.  I always love when people pass along new, awesome music, so I'm passing along some new, awesome music to all of you guys!  Please check out all three of these guys.  They're good.  Like really, really good.  You're welcome. :)

      Mike Murray

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