Monday, March 30, 2009

Go Dennys Go

I just don't have much to blog about people. This weekend was very uneventful. Shane and I both felt horrible and visited the Walgreens Take Care Clinic on different days. He has a sinus infection. I apparently still just have bad spring allergies for the first time. We moped around and blew our noses and let our families help us with Monkey Pants. Thank goodness for them.

On the upside no one asked me if I was with child. Although I did spend 90% of my time in my own home so I'm not sure if that counts.

If only I was a big sports fan, then I would have something to write about. Cuz its like sweet 16 basketball time or something like that, I don't know. I have tried to be a sports fan, just ask Shane. Its just not me. Don't get me wrong, I do like to go to a Cardinal's game. I like to look at all the people, sit in the sun,wear my pink Cardinal's hat, be with my husband, and even watch a little of the game. I like to pick a player each year to be my favorite and then root him on the rest of the season. This player is not chosen by skill or record, but solely by the sound of their name. You can knock it, but it works.

The first time I chose Tony Womack. Because, well he had me at Womack. He was a total underdog and I knew nothing about him and he went on to have a great season. Then I chose Skip Schumacher. His name is Skip, need I say more? And as it turns out he is very cute. After a rough start back and forth between the minors and the Cards has done very well also. I followed him for two seasons. I use the term followed losely here.

Shane just read me the roster for this season and I have chosen this year's player...
Dennys Reyes. I don't know anything about him except his first name is Dennys. Thats all I need to know. Trust me, he will go far.

Friday, March 27, 2009

don't ask

I worked out this week 4 days despite these wretched allergies. I have a bum knee that can't take too much jogging and that makes it harder to get a good workout. I have to be a little creative. Beth and I are trying out a few P90X workouts that we borrowed from a friend this weekend. We'll see how that goes.

It was weigh in day again. I lost .4 lbs. Its a little bit in the right direction. I wish it was more, but it is what it is. I'm not sure what the WW lady was smoking when she told me I was 1 lb away from my 10% goal because I wasn't. I just took her word and didn't do the math until today. It felt pretty defeating when I realized I really had another 1.5 lbs to go to that goal.

But do you know what was even more defeating? When I got asked if I was pregnant today for the second time in one week. I'm not kidding. I did what anyone would do and cried in my car and called my best friends.

People, in case you did not get the memo: Do not ever ask a woman if they are pregnant. Not unless she is wearing a shirt that says "Yes, I'm pregnant" or she is in a hospital bed screaming with a person coming out of her. Especially if said woman may have recently lost 12 pounds and has been ingesting a large amount of salad and vegetables and fiber bars.

You do not want to be there if another person asks me this question. I am losing my patience and I will most likely say what I really think to them. Which may or may not be "No, I'm not. Are you carrying two watermelons in the back of your pants? Oh, sorry thats just your butt."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monkey Pants

A few weekends ago we set out to get for a photo shoot with Monkey Pants to get her 2yr old pics. I had it all planned out. I wanted photos of her with an umbrella and some cute rain boots that I drove literally all over the city to get in her size. I should know by now that photo shoots of your own kid never go as planned but I'm still learning that with every shoot. Marlie loved her new boots. Loved to carry them around, give them kisses, show people them. However, she would not WEAR THEM. So, there went that idea. Oh well, her umbrella ended up matching her awesome new yellow Converse so it worked out.

But oh what a funny kid she is. She would not look at me. She totally knew I wanted to take her picture and she was having none of it. I was a little frustrated and disappointed that the shoot didn't go the way I wanted it to. I didn't edit them for a while because I thought they weren't going to turn out. Well, today I did and I am absolutely in love with them! They are so Marlie and it turns out they are pretty perfect. Here are some of my favorites...

I also bought some balloons thinking she would love holding them. This is pretty much how that went.

"I will not look at you, but I will point my toe in your general direction."

"OK, I'll look at you but I will not smile."
"You are funny, but I must look away!"

For those of you that are wondering how I made the image in the banner, I did it in Photoshop with some crazy layering techniques. Its not crazy, pretty simple really.

Oh I love that kid. I imagine when she is older we might have a conversation like this...

M: "So, why did you and Dad take me to the ghetto to take picture of me?"
E: "Because sweety, back then it was really cool to get photos with the textures and colors of old buildings"
M: "That's so lame. Now we just take gigabyte images on our intergalactic wii pods."

Something like that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

more minis

After yesterday's announcement the Kids for Kairos mini shoot is filling up fast. And to that I say Woo Hoo! There are a couple of afternoon slots left so email me if you want to reserve one.

I am offering several other themed mini shoot days throughout the the summer. Here are some details...

Bring your favorite person and join me for some romance in Lafayette Square. This would be a perfect opportunity for engagement photos or a great surprise date for your girlfriend (hint hint all you guys out there). Cost is $80 for the shoot and 10-15 full res images on disc.

If your toddler is like mine then he or she loves trains! Meet me at the Museum of Transportation near the trains outside for some great photos. Cost is $75 plus the cost of admission to the museum (children 4 and under are free!) and 10-15 full res images on disc.

Come explore the back alleys and buildings of downtown St. Louis with me. I'll take some photos of you that could be in a fashion magazine. Want just a few senior photos? This is the perfect opportunity for that. Parents, this would be a great birthday present for your teenage daughter! Cost is $80 for the shoot and 10-15 full res images on disc.

Bring the whole fam to Forest Park and update your family photos! Quick, painless, relaxed, and fun family photos that will make you wonder why you kept trying to go to a studio. Cost is $80 for the shoot and 10-15 full res images on disc.

Email me ( if you have any questions or want to reserve a spot. Minis usually book up fast!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kids for Kairos...take two

I have had a few people sign up for the Kids for Kairos shoot, but I am going to change things up a bit to try and raise more money for this great cause. If you don't know what in the world I am talking about then click here to read about the shoot and here to read about this awesome school.

Instead of the mini shoots having a set price of $100. You can choose your own donation amount. I'm serious, $20, $50, $100 its up to you! Just bring your donation and your kiddos and we'll get some great photos. Every little bit counts and it all goes to the Kairos Christian school in Antigua. Email me to reserve a spot (erin@justthething-originals) and please spread the word! Thanks!

Friday, March 20, 2009

build a bridge

Ah Friday. My day to work and relax and do things I have been trying to get done all week. It is also Weight Watchers day.

When you do WW you get to choose one week where you don't have to weigh in. I've decided to take my pass today. Not because I cheated this week, because I didn't. And believe me the girl scout cookies have been really hard to resist. The tagalongs have been talking to me I swear. I didn't cheat, but I also didn't get moving this week. I've come to the conclusion that this horrible cold must be spring allergies and I am just going to have to build a bridge and get over it and take my fat butt jogging across that bridge. So, this week's new goal... ignore the sinuses and get moving anyway. No weigh in today, but I will go to my meeting. It really does help. Helps you focus and is encouraging.

I am trying to convince Shane that buying PX90 is a good idea. He is not yet convinced. Have you seen the infomercial Shane? Come on, those people are ripped! Surely it must be better than the Shark Steam Mop that I convinced him to buy this fall.

This afternoon I have a visit with Mista Nug and his momma. Then a short shopping trip and some work.

I haven't forgotten about the other mini shoots so stay tuned. I am still waiting to hear if Toddlers and Trains is going to work out. Some changes may be coming to Kids for Kairos too so look for that.

Alright, here we go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

for Katie

On Sunday I met my sweet friends Katie and Matt and their little one, Sophia, at the Botanical Gardens. Here is a little sneak peak for you...

I had seen this red door in a magazine and just had to go find it. It is in the new(ish) Arabian Garden which is just beautiful. And so is this little family...

My personal favorite...

Thanks for the opportunity friends!

Keep spreading the word about Kids for Kairos. So, I hate to even say this, but as of right now 0 slots have been filled. I'm not sure what to say about it. I'm sad and disappointed and wondering what to do. Any ideas?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kids for Kairos

You may remember our friends the Armstrongs and their little boy Samuel that they adopted from Guatemala. A few weeks ago Emily posted a link on her blog about The Kairos Christian School in Antigua. The school was started by a local woman who's mission is to be able to offer a quality education to the children who's families cannot afford the traditional schools. When I clicked on the link and saw the sweet faces of the children I melted. I knew I wanted to do something to help. So this is the idea that I came up with. On April 18th I will be doing a mini shoot day for children of any age called...

The cost is $100. You will receive a 30 minute session and 10-15 full res images on disc. ALL of the proceeds from these mini shoots will go to the Kairos Christian School. Its a win win people! You get great photos of your kids and we can help this school help the kids of Antigua. The mini shoots will be held in Lafayette Park from 9:00 - 3:00. Call me or email me if you would like to reserve a spot. Lets fill up those slots and raise as much money for them as we can!

For most people in these tough economic times money is tight right now. I get that. I totally understand. So, to soften the blow a little I will be offering a series of mini shoot days throughout the spring and summer. Finding extra money in the budget for things like photography can be hard so maybe a mini shoot is what you need. I want to let this "Kids for Kairos" post sit here for a bit so everyone who visits in the next few days sees it, but pretty soon I'll tell you more about...

Love in Lafayette (for couples)
Young and Urban (for teens)
Families in Forest Park (for well... families)
Toddlers and Trains (still working out some kinks on this one)
Bring it on Brides (atypical bridal portraits)

Stay tuned for the details on those and spread the word about Kids for Kairos!

Friday, March 13, 2009

did you know...

That you can fix an old dry erase board with 2 random household products? Its true. I have finished up some projects around the house in the last few months that had been on my to do list for a long time.

We painted the kitchen a yummy sagey avacadoey green color and then I got to work on something to fill up the huge empty wall we had. I wanted a big dry erase calendar for the wall. I have an aversion to chalk so I chalk board was out of the question. I looked in to buying one and soon found that they were pretty dang expensive. Then I thought I would buy a huge blank dry erase board and draw my own calendar. Well, those are at least $100. So, being a thrifty decorator I looked on for a used one. I found a used one that was the perfect size and $40.

I drew on the calendar grid with a sharpie and the rest in with dry erase marker. Then I painted a black frame directly on the wall to make the edges look a little more substantial. I just taped it off, painted it hung up the board. I got some cute chipboard letters to spell out the month and added some paper flowers from some scrap paper I had. I was really happy with the way it turned out and proud of myself for doing it on a budget.

Then came the time to change it over to the next month. This is when I ran in to a big problem. Instead of the marker wiping off it smeared everywhere and could not fully be erased. I tried water, vinegar and water, and a few other things to get it off with no luck. I was bummed. All of that work and effort and it was ruined. Then I decided to google it just to see if there was a way to fix it.

That is when I found out that you can fix up an old dry erase board with toothpaste and car wax.

If you take the toothpaste and rub it on the smeared writing it will come right off. Then just wipe it down with a wet rag to remove the stickiness. Next take the car wax and apply it just like the directions say (wax on - wax off). It resurfaces the board so that it will erase easily again.

There ya have it. Take the old and make it new!

Its Friday so here is a Weight Watchers update...

Today I lost .2 lbs. Its not gaining, so I'll take it. I would be lying if I said Im not a little frustrated. I have hit a plateau. I know this because when I weighed in today the lady handed me a booket called "overcoming your plateau". So, there you have it. My goal to get exercising was curbed this week when I came down with ANOTHER nasty cold. Come on immune system, really? I am just going to keep on working the program and as soon as I can workout without coughing up a lung I will. If I can just lose 1 more lb I will meet my 10% goal. That will feel good.

Have a good weekend folks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

blog block

I'm having a bit of blog block so this shall be short. Um... I have a bad cold. I'm feeling OK during the day but in the morning and at night not so much. I currently feel like I have an open wound in my throat. Not good. I thought I was done with colds for the season but apparently not.

On the upside Marlie has been a total and complete angel this week. I have not been clawed at in several days. She has been chipper and fun and snuggly and its great. Oh I love her. Also Shane is on spring break this week so we get to have him around at night. Very nice.

Some sweet friends are in town this week from Texas and we got to hang out with them today. One cold Zoo visit and a nice dinner at our house. I love seeing old friends.

Things I am thinking about...

How its kind of nice when business is slow because I can relax more and play more and I'm sick anyway..but its also scary because what does that mean about my business and it means less moolah.

How if I could just soak my throat in chai tea latte I would feel much better.

How my goal for the week was to get moving so I can keep losing weight and then I got sick and walking around the zoo is as close to exercise as I have gotten this week. Boo.

How I love having Shane home at night and can't wait until school is over and this is the new normal.

How I am slowly making a ton of changes with my business (name change, new website, etc.) and I want it to be done now but it won't be for quite a long time.

How I have to get my tax junk all sorted out so we can file it and I hate that.

How I love my bed and the way it feels to crawl in here.

It is 9:55 and if I hurry I can go to bed before 10:00 and that is a rare occurrence. Nighty night bloggy people.

Monday, March 9, 2009


A few weekends ago I got to take some photos for my church at a family bowling event. Such a great idea. The place was packed and everyone was having such a fun time. There is just something about bowling.

The shoes..

The colorful balls..

And it doesn't really matter how good you are...

Its still a good time.

Look at that form...

Friday, March 6, 2009

weigh in day

Its weight in day again. This week I am up 1.6 lbs from last week. My first gaining week. I'm not upset or discouraged. Lets face it, last week's weigh in was a little atypical with the stomach flu affecting my weight. It was nice while it lasted. Not the flu, the subsequent weight loss :). This week my goal is to get exercising. I feel a plateau coming on and I need to get movin! Its going to be beautiful here this weekend. Woo Hoo! Hope you have a great one!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

to the zoo

The weather was nice again today and we took advantage of it. Monkey Pants and I met our friends Betsy and Cia at the zoo this afternoon.

These two are so cute together..

They like to spontaneously hug each other. Its adorable.

And so was this guy...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Today was much better. Monkey still woke up at 4:45. But 4:45 is the new 7:00 haven’t you heard? There were less tantrums and more fun today and it was warm here! Sometimes I think she is just as sick of being stuck inside as I am. It got up to just over 60 degrees and we got to go to the park. Ah spring, please stick around will you?

Kristal sent me some questions to answer for a blog post. Thanks Kristal! I feel low on blog material these days. So here we go…

1. What is your all-time favorite picture that you’ve taken – you can only choose one!

This was so hard! Oh my gosh, so hard. I had to take Monkey Pants out of the equation because well, she would have won of course. I choose this one...

Maybe its because I know them and the story behind their little family? There is just something about it. I love it.

2. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine and never do it again, what would it be?

I hate blow drying my hair, but if I let it air dry it looks like poo. If I could instantly have dried and styled hair that would be awesome.

3. What is one thing you splurge on…budget smudget!

Hmm. I haven’t done this lately but something I have splurged on in the past is designer jeans. Its so worth it. I’ve saved up and done that twice. I don’t care if my shirt is 10 years old and out of style, if I have my designer jeans on I feel like I can save the world. And my butt will look good doing it.

4. Would you rather always take a cold shower or always sleep an hour less than you need to be rested?

Gimme the cold showers. Sleep, give me sleep. I love to sleep. Can someone tell Marlie that?

5.You have to sum up your life on a bumper sticker…what would it say?

It would say “Thank you Lord. I’ll do my best.”

I'm so thankful for everything in my life and I give God all the glory. I've had some interesting things happen to me in the last few years. Some dark times. People ask me "Are you angry at God?" but the truth is I haven't felt that way. Its hard to explain without sharing too much, but instead I feel so very grateful. Grateful for the amazing things I have. I feel humbled and just want to do my best with what I have been given.

That's it! If you need some blog material and want to be tagged with this post then leave me your email and I'll make up some questions for you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

She's just being 2

Today was a tad rough. It was one of those days as a mom where I found myself thinking “I have no idea what I am doing”.

The last four days Marlie has been waking up super early. Like today it was 4:45 when she started banging on her wall. When she wakes up she cries and is in a really bad mood. We have tried letting her cry and seeing if she falls back asleep. No dice. She is up for the day. She has been really clingy and sensitive. She is like a little roller coaster, giving kisses one minute and then throwing things in anger the next. Her naps are really short and she wakes up screaming. Her eating habits are all crazy. She won’t eat the things she normally likes. She never wants dinner. Do you know what she wanted for breakfast this morning? Meatballs. What the ..?

I started to think maybe something was wrong. Ear infection, UTI, not quite over the stomach flu? So today off to the doctor we went. And you know what he said? “Nothings wrong, she’s just being 2.” And I’m thinking … “Seriously? Because this is so hard.”

I gave myself a pep talk on the way home about changing my own attitude and outlook and it will help the whole situation. I decided we should do something fun and light hearted to turn things around. I took her to McDonald’s for lunch. What kid doesn’t love a little Mickey D’s date with their mom right? Well, she took one look at her hamburger and fries and tried to push it off the table. Just a dirty look and not one bite. Nice.

The worst part is she is going through a scratching phase. She has never scratched anyone but Shane and I and only when she gets mad about something. Let me tell you, it stinking hurts. Her tiny nails are really sharp. It is a bit like having a kitten. A sweet little fluffy kitten that you want to snuggle with and an is clawing at your face. We both have some battle wounds that are still healing. Seriously Monkey Pants, you’ve got to quit.

The day is done. It ended on a good note with jammies and hugs and books. I know that it was just one of those days. One of those hard mommy days where you can feel the weight of responsibility to care for your little person…and it feels extra heavy.

This mom stuff is hard. I’ve got the scratches to prove it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

hello Monday

Well, the stomach funk successfully took the whole Duggin household down by claiming Shane as its last victim on Friday night. Ug. That was one week we had.

So, normally I hate Mondays but not today. It’s a new day, and a new week. A week full of who knows what, but hopefully not puke. And it’s a new month! March; now that sounds like spring to me and I like the sound of that.

This morning I am hanging out with these two chipmunks.

This afternoon I have some bookkeeping things to catch up on and name collages to get going during nap time. It’s a new week so let’s go!