Camera Chatter

Oh man, yesterday was kind of a big day. I had my first photo session that someone paid for. It was harder than what I expected, but I got a lot of really great pictures that I think they'll be really happy with. It's the first set of "professional" pictures that they've had take since their son was born over a year ago.

I definitely have a ways to go before I'm 100% confident behind the camera and in my editing abilities, but practice makes perfect - right? This year will be full of practice. I have a lot of photography related things that I'm looking forward to before the year comes to an end.

I'm getting this tutorial for my birthday, which I think will be incredibly helpful in teaching me the in's and out's of my camera. I'm also trying to decide on an editing program. I tried Lightroom a while back and hated it, but everyone I've talked to says they prefer it over Photoshop. Maybe I just didn't give it enough of a chance? I also really like Photoshop Elements, but I don't think it will have enough options, especially as Ellie Jaye begins to grow.

After all that jibber jabber, my question is - What editing program do you have? What made you pick it over the others? Do I need Lightroom and Elements? If you're wondering, I use PicMonkey right now. I love it, but it's just not working for me anymore since I'm editing so many pictures, instead of just four or five for my blog.


Winner, Winner. Chicken Dinner.

Congratulations to Ashley, who won my birthday giveaway! 

Today is just a normal day. I don't fell older, or any different, except I'm tired, I need a nap, and I'm about to beat down the neighbor's door for waking L by playing the drums. Are you freaking kidding me? Pissed nanny, right here. He's sick and needs as much rest as he can get. Hopefully I can get him to go back to sleep. He's pissed off and still super tired. He needs this sleep. 

I have my third night of school after I get off work today. Then a family shoot, and possibly a cake smash shoot tomorrow before J and I go out for date night. This weekend is going to be super fun and full of birthday meals with different family members.

On a different note: I'm going on vacation during 2nd week in September. If you'd like to guest post, please email me for further information. In your email, please include an idea of what you plan on writing about. :)


The Week of the Sickies

This week has been crazy. I woke up feeling like crap on Sunday, but thought maybe my allergies had just started acting up since the house I was staying in over the weekend was rather dusty. My allergies present themselves in cold- like symptoms: runny nose, congested cough, body aches, etc. I figured I'd take a Claritin D before bed and I would be good to go on Monday.

But low and behold, I am sick- for real. There are over 200 strains of the common cold, so going to the doctors is a waste. I got to work on Monday to find out that L is sick too. Well, it's Wednesday and we're still both sick. Needless to say, we've been doing a lot of movie watching and napping this week.

I also had my first night of school last night. It actually went pretty well. I volunteered my answer during class and got it right, which totally made me feel awesome because I suck at math. I'm also taking Biology Lecture. Both of the classes are repeats for me to bring up my GPA.  I took Bio Lecture my first semester at this school and got a D, and I'm pretty sure it's because I was taking Lab and Lecture at the same time and my brain just doesn't work like that. And math? I'm not good at. At all.

Fun Facts:
- I've never been well for both the first week of school and the week of finals since I started going to college. It's either one or the other. I'm that girl who is walking around in a hoodie and sweats because I'm sick in May.

- I can't take any sort of allergy or cold medication during the day because I will fall asleep. Even if it says non-drowsy. For me, it is. I've tried a few times before with different medications and I just end up falling asleep at inappropriate times, like in the middle of family get togethers. So when I'm sick or my allergies flare up I have to take something that lasts for 24 hours and take it before I go to bed at night.

I get to draw and announce the winner for my Erin Condren giveaway tomorrow! Go enter if you haven't already, before it's too late! There's only 12 hours left.
Happy Hump Day!


Making My EC Life Planner Work for Me!

If you create an account through a referral link, you'll receive a coupon for $10 off your first order! 

I've been an Erin Condren fan for a few years now and the Life Planner I purchased in June is my third one. I love them. The layout, what they have to offer me, the personalization; all of it works for me.

The first planner I purchased, I used the way it was laid out. I separated activities into morning, day and night. I did the same thing for the first half of my second planner. Then, I realized it wasn't working for me. I wasn't able to keep track of things the way I wanted to. So I switched it up and played with the layout for a month.

Then it clicked and it's been working for me ever since. I've decided to let y'all in on my secret because I know I can't be the only one who thinks and likes things better this way.

Now, unlike most people, I don't color code or write in pen. Plans can change and crossing things out messily drives me nuts. Plus, my writing looks better in pencil anyway. :) Ready to get to it?

This is my schedule for next week. Fall semester also starts on Tuesday, so I'll be adding more once I get my syllabi. Simple right? Pretty self explanatory. I divide my planner into rows, then columns by date. The top row is personal (including Ellie Jaye Photography), the middle row is anything for Work & School, and the bottom row is anything for my blog.

The Erin Condren Life Planner also comes equipped with a monthly view, which is where I write down birthdays. The way I do that is writing down the person's name with their age next to it under the correct date. For example, I will turn 23 on the 29th (hence the big crown) so I would write "Elise- 23".

This organizational format works for me so much better than the "normal" way. I love that I'm able to break things down in a way that works for me while still taking advantage of the layout that Erin Condren provides.

Do you want an Erin Condren Life Planner of your very own? One of my readers will win a $50 gift card to Erin Condren! It's my birthday and I can do what I want, right? :) Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! (:


Having a Full Plate

You guys, I think I'm crazy. Like seriously. Apparently I don't know what a full plate is.

Yesterday I started a Facebook page for my hobby photography "business" because my personal page is becoming over run with the pictures I take of other people. I have a family session, a cake smash, and two birthday parties before November 3rd. All for family friends. I would love for it to take off and become something real in the future. | Ellie Jaye Photography

Today I started a babywearing Facebook group because the group that I'm currently a part of has no intentions of becoming a Babywearing International, Inc. chapter and there aren't any around. It's still in the works, and I'm definitely going to need help. But I'm passionate about it and want to make it happen.

Oh, and I have work, school, my personal life, and this blog (and it's facebook page) to manage.
Like I said, I'm pretty sure I'm crazy. But I love every part of it and can't imagine not doing any single thing I've chosen to do.

Anyone else have a full plate as well?
What are you doing to keep yourself busy?


I'm Guest Posting...

...today over on Paige's blog, The Sticky Note Addict

You can find the direct link to my post, here. I hope you'll check out my tips for staying focused.
For me, the school year starts on August 27th, and I'm just ready to get the show on the road already. I'm really excited for the new start, with new classes and new teachers!

Are you ready for the new school year? What do you need before you'll feel prepared?


Boys Behind the Blog #3- Just Pretend It's Thursday

I'm here, late! See, it's an issue of mine. Being on time is not my forte. But I'm going to do this post anyway because I really like Joshua's answers to these five questions. If I can still link-up, then I will. If not, oh well! No harm, no foul.

1. What would you do with $1,000,000?
- Buy you a ring, then a house.*

2. What's your dream job?
- A firefighter.

3. Who is your celebrity crush?
- Selena Gomez.

4. what is your favorite sports team?
- Angels.

5. What was your AOL/AIM screen name back in the day?
- I never had one.

Previous Questions: Round Two


L Turns One!

Today was L's first birthday! My little bug is a year old.This day has been a long time coming, considering I landed the job with he was 10 weeks old, started unofficially when he was three months old and officially in January.

His parents celebrated his first year of life over the weekend, where as we celebrated with his friends today at a local park. Our afternoon included lunch, cupcakes, a splash pad and a tired, newly vaccinated one-year-old.

I decided to go with white cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Mostly because I don't like chocolate and L likes cake no matter the flavor. :) I used this recipe and they turned out absolutely amazing. Let's just say there are no leftovers and nothing went to waste. I ended up using store bought frosting because I was running short on time. They paired together incredibly well, something I was really worried about. 

I decided to do lunch bento box style for the kids and toddlers in attendance. Since it was at a park that included at splash pad, I figured it would be easier on all of us if everything was prepared ahead of time. For the adults, I prepped everything ahead of time and so we could grab-and-go. Mobile toddlers at a splash pad; you see where this is going. Everything served was something that The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate in the book. I went with salami, cheese, watermelon, apples, strawberries and oranges. 

I made the invitations on my computer in Word and added the caterpillar afterwards using a circle punch and a Sharpie pen. I only needed a few, so I decided to make them on my own rather than buying them on Etsy. I love the way they turned out. The font I used is called Olive Charming.

*Don't forget to "like" my Facebook page!*


My Goals for Nannyhood: Blogging with a Purpose

Today prompt is: My goals for motherhood. Well, seeing as how I don't have kids, I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to write about it. So, I changed it. I am a Nanny and I have goals for my Nanny career. Here they are...

I always want the children I care for to feel safe, secure, and loved. It's my job to protect and love these children as though they are my own. I will comfort the crying baby without feeling as though it's a hassle or burden, not because it's my job, but because I want to. I will wear the babies and toddlers that need to be kept close, because that's what they need. Their needs before mine, always.

I want to lead by example. To show them kindness, tolerance, and manners through all situations. Not just the easy times, but the rough times as well. To show that even if I don't like a situation or person, that they always need to be respected and treated with kindness.

I want to be teaching, always. To take every opportunity to teach and educate every second I can. I hope that I never pass up a chance to teach L, especially during this time in his life. His brain is a sponge right now. I hope that I always take advantage of that.

To be patient. We always joke that "omg, being one is so hard!" but to them, it really is. They are so tiny and new to this earth. They are learning every moment of every day, a lot of experiences are new, and their little brains are constantly processing.

I hope that I will always live up to these goals and expectations for myself. I will always do my best and work harder to be better than I ever imagined possible.


The Craziest Saturday

Wow! Long time, no talk- eh?
I guess I needed some inspiration. Well, today I got what I ask for, even though I wish I hadn't. Because it was the craziest, most interesting and eventful day, ever. Like EVER. Add in a dash of scary and scarring, and there you go. My day.

L will be a year old on Wednesday. So, naturally, his parents threw his party this weekend at a local park. It was awesome! There was awesome food, and we got to hang out and celebrate L. Well, said park is also dog friendly, so long as the dog is leashed. My bosses have a dog, his name is Beckett, he's about 16lbs and he was their first baby. He will be six later this month. We almost always keep him leashed outside the house, the exception being to let him outside to pee or if I'm going to get something from my car. Obviously he was leashed while we were at the park.

A little while before we were going to let L dig into a cupcake, another family came into the park with their large dog, also leashed. All was well. Their kid was playing, we were hanging out, all that jazz. Fast forward ten minutes. We put L in his Bumbo and give him a cupcake. Literally two seconds after we put the cupcake on his tray, we hear yelling, yelping and growling coming from behind us.

The other dog that was there snapped it's leash, and attacked Beckett, with the intention of killing him. Going for his neck, snarling, the whole nine yards. After the longest, and scariest 20ish seconds of my life, they separated the two dogs. It literally took seven people to peel that dog off Beckett, most of whom were grown men. That's how intense and aggressive the whole situation was.


After it was over, the other dog's owner was incredibly rude about the entire situation. Not only that, but she didn't leave the park immediately. Like, are you shitting me? Anywho, we are all very blessed that Beckett (and everyone involved) is okay, for the most part. Beckett had no broken skin and was acting normal, albeit nervous, after the ordeal was over. My boss' mom got scratched by the other dog. I'm sure there will be several people and one pup who will be very sore tomorrow.

After it was over, J told me that the leash the dog was on was not thick enough for a dog of that weight. His words were something along the lines of 'the two dog's leashes should've been switched, Beckett could've used that one'. Yeah, mhm.

That my friends, is what I call an irresponsible pet owner. To not have proper supplies? Oh hayl no. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was there who is scarred from that event, including Beckett. We will see how he reacts to large dogs in the future. After he's had time to heal, mentally and physically.

After that, L devoured a cupcake and took a nap.
Oh, the life.


Why didn't anyone say something!?

We've all seen this picture. The one where the Prince of Cambridge is being put in the car by his Royal papa. This is the picture that is driving me, as a CPST, absolutely nuts.

I understand that they were in a rush. That they are Royal. That they were just trying not to mess up in front of the many, many reporters outside the hospital. But they did. They didn't properly secure their son in his carseat. Carseats in England (and most other countries) don't have chest clips. but he isn't secure and the straps are so incredibly loose. Not to mention that he is still swaddled.

If I were William, it would've been my first priority. Because, you know, nothing like your mother dying in a car crash to make you more aware and cautious. But he didn't and it hurts my heart. I wish that someone in the hospital would've corrected their mistake. I wish they would've read the manual or chosen to be educated before the Prince's birth by a carseat professional. 

But alas, what's done is done. I hope they have learned from this mistake. We shall see.