Farewell Facebook, leaving yall with photos :)

This month Aug-Sept… I plan to take a HUGE leave from Social Media… well facebook mainly. I have done this in the past… just not for this length of time… so we shall see how it goes…

Lately I have just been a bit tired of facebook. Streaming the feeds brought nothing but harsh feelings for me… often times I saw people speaking in ways I knew, without any doubt, they would never speak or say things in that manner, in person. I saw people post on there every few moments it seemed… and it just got me questioning the wisdom in always being connected. Every 4 post is a random video from youtube… and an inappropriate ad.

While I for one see the great use and pro’s to social media… esp. for those who use it for any sort of business…. the constant need to be known and seen by those around us, is consuming and often times not the best.

You can’t help but get drawn in….

On evenings when my husband would be at work on a special holiday… Id log into facebook, only to be faced with feelings of loneliness and envy. Wishing my husband would be there… envying what others had… lonely… and questioning why my friends weren’t calling… or reaching out, when I needed it. I would put expectations on people, who really didn’t deserve that. My brokenness only seemed to be magnified by the constant desire to feel important and seen, heard…

While I do plan to try and keep up with my facebook messages… as it is tied into my business. Groups I am a part of who stay connected and tie into my business, can’t be put off for a month… even if I wish it could some times… I cant just abandon it completely… I think the damage of social media comes though not from those things… but from the streaming…. and obsessiveness of it.

I deleted facebook from my iphone… to avoid temptation
(shame that you feel tempted by social media huh?)…

I will not stream feeds….

I have a few friends due with babies soon …. that do not live near me… so I do intend around the time of their due date, to check on them… and look at “their facebook page” only…

So here is to the break… yall want to take the challenge and take it with me?? if so, comment letting me know – Id love to know who’s following and who plans to do the same. I btw will still be on Instagram and blogging. So if you follow me on Instagram you will see updates there. Far less drama on instagram than facebook :) – @dreawood – is my handle.

To end… I very rarely post lots of photo work on my personal blog. I kinda leave all that for my photography blog… but for some reason tonight, I was looking through some photo work of mine… and felt like posting some. May as well, leave facebook for this time with a shout out to all my amazing clients from the last year or so.

I have been a bit burned out with my photography these days. A little bummed by a lag in business… and a little stressed over the fact we depend on my business… with Travis’ current job situation, my income is a must for us… We never ever wanted it that way though. My main responsibility was to be with our 4 boys… not working. While some don’t seem to mind working full time… for me, its not a desire… and often times very hard to balance motherhood and work… not to mention schooling children.

Thankful for the clients I have that are loyal… encouraging. So amazingly generous and kind. I may not have as many as some photographers… but the ones I do have, are the best. Thank yall for all the great memories and fun.

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*instagram photo shooting the above shot*

Shot the beautiful @Jessie Faucette today while in nc. She was beautiful carrying her twin boys. So fun to photograph people from wedding to baby births :) I love that part of being a photographer. #atlantaphotographer

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For those curious in what gear I am using…
(although I think most who have read my blog for a while, know this…)

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III
My lenses rotate around a bit, typically always a Canon 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8.

Those are my favs! :) Would love more gear… but moneys tight… so you use what you got and you MAKE IT WORK. Gear doesn’t make the photographer… the photographer makes the gear. So work with what you are using and press on.

Editing software I typically use, Lightroom 4.

Faces

He may have chocolate on his face… but I could look at him all day.

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Bug Off – 2 Ingredient Bug Repellent Recipe

ED9A5147 copyI have posted bug repellent recipe’s before.

This however is by far the easiest to whip up.

What you need:

All you need is NAN’s BUG OFF essential Oil
A GLASS Spray bottle (4 ounce)
Filtered Water

THATS IT!

To make it just put 15-25 drops into the 4 ounce bottle of water. Shake well before each use. Apply as needed to skin. You can also just apply this neat (undiluted) to your wrist… maybe the back of your neck. Ankles. Any place like that… it is VERY STRONG and should deter the bugs just by itself. For me though, spraying it onto kids is way easier than dabbing it onto ankles and wrist :) – so spray bottle it is. **It btw was brought to my attention you should not apply most oils neat to children. I DILUTE all my oils. If you as an adult wanted to use this one neat though, you could. I still suggest diluting all oils with a carrier oil before any use.**

For those curious the ingredients in BUG-OFF – here they are: Citronella, Cedarwood Himalayas, Lavender (Hungary), Peppermint, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus citriodora Thyme, and Lemongrass.

Many NATURAL Bug Repellent recipes I see call for all the essential oils listed above separately… So if you are rather new to essential oils and like me don’t have all those listed ingredients… just buy Bug-OFF and it will take care of that recipe for you all by itself. A little goes a long way. This has also been said to be used to treat lice as well. I’ve never had lice though so I cant vouch for that.

Enjoy!

Oh and be sure to use “wood10″ at checkout over at Native American Nutritionals or Rocky Mtn. Oils (same company). I love their oils! To see a list of oils I recommend CLICK HERE.

To end… wanted to list off some information that some may not be aware of… or just try to ignore. I for one have tried to ignore the facts… because its just easier to…

Most outdoor bug repellent contains something most of us are familiar with. DEET. We spray it all over our kids and most of the time, don’t think much of it. After all, its better to spray a chemical on us, than be eaten alive by mosquito. Right? While I am not totally knocking the use of deet… I am sure in the amazon jungles or 3rd world country jungles, the use of a SUPER STRONG chemical filled deterrent, is appreciated. However, on our young children…. we should look into this “deet” a bit more, before using it.

Here are some stats for you all:

Significant Toxicity caused by Deet in children reported symptoms of lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions

….. In cases of significant DEET ingestion in children, impairment of gait, loss of muscle control, loss of consciousness, hypertonia, tremors and seizure.

….an 18-month-old girl ingested an unknown quantity of Mylol® (10% DEET), she was admitted to the hospital. She was irritable and in an opisthotonic posture, suffering from periods of shaking and crying. Her muscle stretch reflexes were depressed, and her head control was poor. She was in the hospital for 6 weeks, in which her condition improved slowly.

An 18.5-month-old female who was sprayed with Deep Woods Off!® (20% DEET) daily for 3 months developed weakness, ataxia, uncontrollable tremors and increased drooling. DEET was found in the child’s urine, and her white blood cell count was elevated. She improved after treatment with corticotrophin 3 times a day, and her condition improved to full recovery within 3 months

A 6-year old girl was admitted to the hospital with periumbilical tenderness, ataxia, and brisk reflexes of the ankle and knee. She had been exposed to a spray containing 15% DEET over extensive areas of the skin on more than 10 occasions. On the fourth day of her hospitalization, she became agitated, combative, and increasingly disoriented, with increased serum ammonia levels. Her condition deteriorated and she died 8 days after admission. Autopsy revealed that the child was a carrier for congenital OCT deficiency, which could have predisposed her to toxicity as a result of extensive exposure to DEET.

A 34-year-old expectant mother, while working in Africa, applied a lotion containing 25% DEET daily to her arms and legs apparently throughout her pregnancy in addition to taking chloroquine. She did not suffer complications during pregnancy. When the child was born, however, an antimongoloid slant of the palpebral fissures, hypertelorism, thin lips, poorly developed philtrum and a broad nasal bridge were observed. The child developed statomotor retardation, muscular hypotonia, central hearing loss and strabismus in the first months of its life. It was concluded that the use of DEET might have played a role in the occurrence of the reproductive effects.

In another study of DEET use during pregnancy, two mothers who were sisters gave birth to two male infants within 2 weeks of each other. About 8 weeks into their pregnancies, the women went on a camping trip with their spouses. The group used large amounts of insecticides and the insect repellent Off!® to control flies and mosquitoes. Both children had heart problems which led to congestive failure and diagnoses of coarctation of the aorta. One of the boys died after 38 days, and the other survived.

Source

So…. even though deet works at warding off the bugs… for me, its not worth it.
Id rather use something natural… that may not be AS GOOD as chemical filled repellents, but is a heck of a lot better for us. Check out the reviews on BUG OFF when you go to the website. Lots of great success. Enjoy! :)

Small Statement Pieces

Can you believe that Christmas is only 5 months away? Time goes faster and faster each year.

For our family, Christmas is kept pretty minimal. With four children, we just have to be a bit frugal in our spending… and we find that less is much more come the Holidays. A lot less chaotic with less gifts… and the children seem a lot more appreciative of what they get too.

When it comes to yourself. You tend to as moms, not worry so much about what gifts you may get. Still, ever woman’s husband, almost always wants to get their wife a nice gift. Even if you do the whole “No gifts for us.” thing. We’ve tried that and seem to always break that rule hah…. If you have a husband like mine, you have to prepare them a bit…. give them little hints and ideas along the way… hoping they get you something you wanted or at least like.

My husband honestly looks to me for these tips often :) – as his gift is not in the area of giving gifts. No shame in that, it is just how he is. While that may have bothered me in year 1-3 of our marriage.. now at almost year 12, not so much hah….

One thing that is often times on ladies list… is a nice piece of jewelry. I have found with young moms however, many of us, don’t want much in this area. We have small hands pulling and tugging on us. Our hair, our ears, our necks… that having a lot of jewelry on, is often times not the most ideal thing to wear.

However. As a very modest jewelry wearer. I may not wear much… but what I do love, are simple pieces… esp those with meaning.

One thing I have always wanted was a necklace to symbolize motherhood.

ED9A4593I recently found a company called SHANE CO. That I am sure many of us are familiar with, had a great number of pieces geared towards moms. Some way out of my price range… but a few within it.

Shane Co. wanted me to take a few photographs of my visit and trip to their store. Originally the plan was to go on a nice date night with just my husband to the store… so we could take our time and look. However, with the cost of sitters adding up. We chose to go with all four boys and make a night of it. It ended up being fitting in the end… since what I purchased was all about them ;-) – and being their mom.

My husband prepared our boys for the trip. Telling them that they needed to dress nice. That tonight was a special night for mommy…. that they needed to be on their best behavior…. and prepare for a date night to treat me. Sweet huh?

So my boys got dressed and we made our way to Shane Co.



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I have only been in a handful of Jewelry shops… some give a feeling of stuffiness for me… However. Shane Co. greeted our brute of boys and my husband and I with very open arms. Offering our boys cookies (score!) and offering to help right away.

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The experience was great and the employees all very helpful. The main lady who helped us was so sweet. She even let me boys touch some of the sapphires and explained the refining process of all their gems. The boys found that so interesting. It was interesting to learn all about how sapphires come naturally in all sorts of colors.. not just blue… and that all of Shane Co. Jewel’s are their natural colors and not artificially dyed. So they will never fade or change color.



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ED9A4612On this visit I ended up choosing the Mother and Child Piece. A simple sterling silver piece with a 5mm cultured pearl in the center. I got the chain custom made to be a little bit longer too. I really liked how they gave you the ability to adjust those small details if you wanted to do so. In the images shown here, the chain is the original length. I had to go back a few days later to get the new chain extender. I am wearing the piece in this INSTAGRAM photo if you would like to see how it looks longer. I think it looks much better with 2 inches added to the length.

All of Shane Co. pieces come with a life time warranty as well. While it may not be as cheap as some etsy. pieces…. these jewelry items are beautifully made and something that will last a life time. I look forward to passing this down to one of my boy’s wife (daughter in law) or if I have my own daughter, to her one day.



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So here is to finding those pieces, that fit your fashion side. My personal style. Sterling. single pearls… and small gems. I’m not much for glam but love to dress up a casual outfit with a nice piece of jewelry from time to time.


Simple Mom Look

So what’s your favorite summer accessory?

Have you tried Polyvore yet? I just discovered them. Used them to create the fun fashion board above. Great way to put together outfits.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I am not a huge dessert person… not keen on ice cream…. milk shakes… pies… cheese cake… yea. Im pretty picky with my sweets… but one thing I do love, is a good chocolate chip cookie. So I am often on the look out for great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes.

I have my GO TO one here. Made with Organic Hard White Wheat. I thought though yesterday, to try something new. So I went to Pinterest and found one that looked appealing… and sadly I did not save the pin!! So I cant credit the original :( – if I find it again ill update this post and link to her version at the end of this post.

So, lets get started.

ED9A5167Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat if you want… or reg. all purpose flour… I almost never use all-purpose white flour, but decided to on this one. Not sure why… but either way would work. Just look up proper conversions from white/wheat flour before doing so)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp real salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, at room temp (not melted!!)

1/2 cup honey granules (or light brown sugar)

6 TBS sucanat (or white sugar)

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups (yes 2) semisweet chocolate chips (its a lot of chocolate!!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Plan to bake these on a seasoned baking stone or put parchment paper down on 2 normal baking sheets.

In a bowl, SHIFT (this is important) the flour, baking soda and real salt together.

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In a larger bowl use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat the room temp butter and room temp egg. I read through many comments on the original post on this… and people said if the eggs and butter were not at room temp it would result in flat cookies. So be sure to follow this rule.

Mix the butter with the sucanat, honey granules until smoothe… about 2 minutes.

Then add in the egg and vanilla at low speed until blended.

Slowly add in flour mixture until well mixed…

Once that is done, you then use a wood spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

For BEST RESULTS, put the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow it to cool a bit. This makes for a better cookie. Having all the ingredients at the same temp. just seems to make things work better. This is totally optional though.

Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto the baking stones about 2 inches apart.

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Bake them for 10-13 minutes until edges are lightly brown and tops feel firm when lightly touched.

Let the cookies cool on the baking stone for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

ENJOY!!

This made about 25 SMALL cookies. FOR a family our size, I will DOUBLE this recipe… one batch of it just doesn’t last :) -so for me, I make more than enough for a few days… otherwise its not worth my time.

MY KIDS LOVED THESE as well as my husband. We without a doubt will have these again.

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*The Glass Cookie Display Piece I got at a yard sale this week for $3.00!! I love it. My bestie Shannon use to have one very similar. Was always nice to go to her house and see a display of cookies in hers. So I had to get it when I saw it. If she visits I may give it to her ;-) – since hers was broken this year.*

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