Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Salt Water Printable | Free Printable

A reader shared this quote with me when I wrote about taking a trip to the beach as we were going through losing my grandfather and as the sea often does it spoke to me and stuck with me.

Feel free to pin it or print it as an 8x10 by just clicking on the image to open it in a new window. 

Please do not use the image as your own or reproduce for commercial use without my permission. 

My kid(s) and hair!

I started to write a whole different post about Jonah's hair and his recent hair cut and how I have a love/hate relationship with haircuts. Then I realized it was so much about me and how I identify with my own hair - so I'll save all that for another time and make this short and sweet!

In my opinion Jonah is adorable with his shaggy hair. Yes it can be frustrating and he started to complain about it being in his eyes, but there were some days that I just loved it! I'd even consider letting it grow longer, but it's really hard to figure out WHAT to do with his hair. He doesn't have a defined part and just like his mom and dad there is a LOT of it. On a side note - I have now had two ultrasound technicians comment on how much hair baby brother has! (aaahh!) 

Jonah hates to brush his hair most of the time. I send him to his mirror to look at his crazy hair and he always laughs. His hair is thick and it's not fine like it used to be. So obviously brushing it does take a little effort. This is especially rough just after his back and after he wakes up in the morning. A few weeks ago, Influenster sent us some full sized samples of No More Tangles products and I literally had never thought of using those products on Jonah's hair. I guess I just always associated using them on long girl's hair. That's probably because I've never had a boy before (or any brothers for that matter) but the spray worked really well for after bath time. Wesley always towel dries Jonah's hair right after which makes it really tangled (when it's longer) and it can be hard to make him be still long enough to get a brush through all of it. This sped up the process exponentially. I used it for about two weeks and was very happy. So conclusion on No More Tangles... not just for girls! FYI boy mamas. 

Then I made the executive decision to cut his hair shorter. We decided to go for longer on the top but short all around and blended really well! Jonah's hair is thick and chunky like mine so he easily looks like he has a bowl cut or something out of the 90s. I really love how it turned out. 

He still has a lot of hair and it still sticks up everywhere, but the No More Tangles Spray and the leave in conditioner help with that too on the days I choose to care about what it looks like - which is more often now because he's started back to Mother's Morning Out.

Maybe we'll stick with a little style or maybe we'll just let it grow again until Christmas. At least it'll be a little more manageable in the mean time.

Now I can't help but wonder what baby brother's will really looks like? Jonah's was very dark when he was born, but I'm kind of wondering if #2 will get a dose of the redhead gene! =) Anyone want to start a hair color pool?

* I received the products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. No compensation was given for this post. 

Catch the Moment 365 | Week 33

What a great and challenging week we've had! Jonah has made a lot of improvement in his potty trials and I am so proud of him! You can see a few rewards in the photos below. He also got his hair cut and is no long my shaggy haired boy. I have some real before and afters to post this weekend, but I really like his new do. On Tuesday, we got to meet his new teachers for Mother's Morning Out. He goes twice a week at my parent's church (my mom still keeps him the rest of the time). He was so shy when we went in on Tuesday, but I'm sure that will soon pass. He's been showing some signs of anxiety lately, but with Wesley traveling a lot over the past month, our routine being totally upside down the past two months, and his vague understanding of why we have to wait so long to see baby brother - I totally get it. 

Before I share my photos, I also want to mention that Allison of Home and Never Alone did a great piece on her experience with doing a 365. Please check it out! 



 227|365 Just a couple of super heros giving high fives!

 228|365 Bathroom Selfie at my cousin's wedding shower! 33 Weeks 1 Day here. 

229|365 Felt Balls outtake from the tutorial I posted earlier this week!
original post and tutorial 
 230|365 I have to admit, it's been a little hard while my husband has been out of town. Everything takes so much effort for me these days and bathing a two year old is downright exhausting when you are 8 months pregnant!

231|365 I don't know if I can even handle this picture. Such a perfect grin from my boy before we went to meet his teachers on Tuesday morning!

There you have it! Our week in photos! Thanks for stopping by!

Every Friday SarahMindi, and I host a place for photographers of all kinds to share, explore, grow and connect. Our common goal: one photo, every day, for three hundred and sixty five days. Whether you are using a fancy smancy professional camera, your first DSLR, a point and shoot, or your ever-so-handy phone camera, we want to see your photos! We want to see the moments you caught each day. How amazing will it be to see each of us accomplish something that seems so big? For more info on how to join in start here. 

Behind the Moment: 365 with Allison

As part of Catch the Moment 365 we are featuring participants of the project monthly. Allison of Home and Never Alone has been participating in the project since it started at the beginning of the year. I’m so happy to share her photography story with you today.  Follow her on facebook, twitter, and instagram to learn more about her journey. 

When and how did you discover and fall in love with photography?  I've always liked taking pictures - I have albums of photos I took as a kid on family vacations and school trips. Like many people, I caught the photography bug in earnest after my children were born. As they've grown from tiny newborns to busy kids, the challenge to capture them in pictures has grown - and thanks to Catch the Moment 365, so have my photography skills.

What's in your camera bag? What's your favorite piece of equipment? Go to editing software/actions/presets etc? Photography is my hobby, and my equipment reflects that - we upgraded from a pocket sized point and shoot camera after our son was born and now I use a Nikon Coolpix L310. It's a definite upgrade from our last camera but less of an investment than many other cameras out there! I also take a lot of pictures on the go on my iPod, and I love the PicTapGo app for making those quickie pictures look their best.

What has been the most influential technique or tip you learned to help you improve your own photography? The best tip I've gotten came from our Catch the Moment 365 group - the right camera is the one you have at hand. Would I love to capture every special moment on my "good" camera? Sure. But this project has really taught me to appreciate the small everyday moments that I might not have otherwise photographed, and sometimes that means letting go of the perfect shot and taking what I can get with what's at hand.

If you could take a photo walk anywhere in the world where would you go and who would you bring with you? I had the chance to do this over the summer! Our family took a long awaited vacation to Charleston, SC, a place my husband and I visited on our honeymoon. We'd talked about going back with our kids for years, and the trip kept getting postponed. I've had a picture in my head of the kids on the steps of the City Market, and in June I finally got the chance to make that picture real. Taking part in Catch the Moment 365 definitely honed my skills and helped make the pictures I took even better than the ones I'd been imagining!

Who/What are your favorite photography subjects? My kids. They grow and change so much from week to week, and I love catching their funny little expressions and gestures before they outgrow them and move on to the next thing.

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in regards to photography in the next year? I'm looking forward to completing a year in photos with Catch the Moment 365, and I hope to continue to improve my photography skills.

Here's what Allison had to say about how doing a 365 project has improved her photography:

I've always loved taking pictures. As a little girl, I loved to get a disposable camera and fill it up with family vacation memories, clicking the shutter and winding the film along as I went. As I got older, I got my very own camera - how fancy it felt to load the 35mm film in myself! In college, I took endless pictures of fun times with friends. What a disappointment it was to get my pictures back and realize this one was a little too dark, and that one didn't quite fit the whole group in the frame!

When my husband and I got married, we got our first digital camera, and it was a revelation. No more waiting until the pictures came back to see if I'd captured the image I was hoping for! We filled up photo albums with vacation photos, and when our daughter was born in 2009 we took hundreds of pictures. Her little brother arrived in 2012, and I think we're on volume nine of kid photo albums now.
I've always thought of myself as a decent photographer...but I've never studied photography or pushed myself to test my skills until I heard about the Catch the Moment 365 project from my friend Mindi. I thought it would be a fun way to catch more of our everyday life on camera. I completely underestimated how the project would change my photography skills!

Taking a picture a day has pushed me to get the camera out on days I wouldn't normally consider photo-worthy. After eight months, I'm seeing more beauty in Legos spilled across the carpet and paints splashed on the dining room table than in posed portraits, which made up so much of my "before" photos. My pictures are more clear and my sense of perspective has improved dramatically - I don't hesitate to drop to the ground to catch my kids on their level now. The only downside to the project is wishing I could go back and retake their baby pictures - how sad it was to realize how many are just slightly out of focus!

I've loved challenging myself to rethink what makes a good picture and watching my skills change over the last eight months - and I can't wait to see where I'll be by the end of the year. 

Be sure to check out Allison's 365 Project every week on her blog Home and Never Alone.

Completing Our Connection with Lyve Home | #LyveHome Giveaway

Thank you LyveHome for sponsoring today's discussion and helping me protect my precious memories! #LyveMoments #LyveHome #Lyve #LyveApp 


 Every day I take a least one photo. Truthfully, most days I take way more than one. Part of our morning routine is getting a snap of Jonah before we head out for the day. Capturing the every day little moments are what makes me happy. I look back at those photos a hundred times while I'm at work, share them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even occasionally text them to family. This keeps us connected throughout our busy days like never before and I'm so thankful for technology for that very reason. Through those little devices we get to see each other's kids grow up. We get to be a part of those every day moments in real time. What a gift!

Last Fall my husband bought me a combined birthday, anniversary, Christmas gift and I got a 64 GB iPhone 5S. I was filling up my old phone so fast with photos I couldn't hold anything else. I'd find myself deleting apps just to make room. Even though I could technically clean off the phone and save them to my computer (who has time for all that?) I still enjoyed having lots of photos on my phone that I could easily access. To think for even a minute about losing all those captured memories... shudder. It happens though... all the time. It's probably happened to a lot of you and I'm so sorry.

The good news is, now it doesn't have to happen to anyone. Lyve has created something unique and absolutely necessary for people like me. Lyve is the solution for collecting, protecting, and rediscovering your photos and videos. You can keep on capturing those moments knowing your photos and videos are automatically protected on your LyveHome from wherever you are. We all know life doesn't stop. There's no pause button, but now you can look back on those moments that went by so fast all in one place.


 All you have to do it connect your Lyve Home and download the app to your device (iPhone, Android, Laptop, Desktop, iPad, etc.) Lyve works on Android and iOS operating systems. You can also download to your laptop/desktop computers. One log in and your whole family can share photos right to the LyveHome and on the Lyve App. So, if I forgot to tell my mom about the cute thing Jonah did last week at the pool, all I have to do is pull up Lyve on my phone, iPad, laptop and go to that date and there is that memory captured!


I can also show off my photos right from the Lyve Home on my dresser. Thousands of pictures (2 TB of space). I actually catch myself watching the screen saver because my photos right now go back almost a year and I keep seeing photos I'd forgotten. Love that feeling! Also, it looks pretty good sitting anywhere in my home.

My absolute FAVORITE thing about Lyve though... the connection my husband and I have now with our photos. I, of course, am the big photo taker, but if I don't post a photo to instagram one day or sometimes even when I do, I get a text from him asking "did you get anymore pics this morning?" and of course I did so I wind up sending him the rest of the photos via text or he wants to save a photo to his phone that I have shared on instagram or facebook and he wants the best quality of course. Now, since we both have the Lyve App he doesn't even have to ask. All of my photos are right there for him to see, download, send and save because what's on my app is on his and it's all stored on the Lyve Home. This just makes his connection and mine that much closer when we spend so much of the day apart. I can only imagine this will be even more useful when the new baby gets here.

Thinking LyveHome is just what you need in your life to keep you and your loved ones connected and protected? Well guess what you can win one of your own right now. It's sitting on my kitchen counter just waiting to go to one of you!


 To win your own LyveHome (valued at $299)

1. Visit Lyve  and watch the video, tell me what you would enjoy most about Lyve.... or which part of the video made you tear up! (Do this daily for more entries)
2. Tweet one of these messages (not both):

  • Have you ever wanted to store all of your photos in one easily accessible place? Now you can with #LyveHome 
  • I would love to keep my family connected and protected by winning a #LyveHome from @LyveMinds + @stephaniesclark! (Do this daily for more entries)

Leave a comment telling me what you've done. I will be announcing the winner on 9/3/14. 

Can't wait to see if you win? Go ahead enjoy free shipping on your Lyve order with code "LyveUneashed". 

Happy Capturing!

Lyve Minds was connected with Behind the Camera and Dreaming through Linqia

Felt Ball Garland Tutorial |Creative uses for soap! #Palmolive25Ways #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #Palmolive25Ways #CollectiveBias

#crafting #felt #feltcrafting #garland #diy

I have been wanting, for a long time actually, to craft more with felt. I have come across a few tutorials here and there and when I heard Palmolive was looking for creative soap uses, I immediately thought of making felt balls! Plus, I have the perfect excuse to add a little more creative decor to my bedroom because we are adding a little baby in there in less than seven weeks. I love adding personal touches to the boy's space. When looking around Jonah's room, I love being able to say that I or someone in my family created almost everything in it! From furniture and curtains to quilts to the prints hanging on his wall. Making a felt ball garland is something we've never done, so it was about time! I invited my sister over to help and I'm really happy with how it turned out! She even took some purple felt home to do some garland making with her daughter. 

  • Felting or Roving Wool
  • Scissors
  • Dish Soap 
    • I chose Palmolive and suggest using one that will be gentle on your hands. I found Palmolive Soft Touch with Aloe on the top shelf at Walmart. You will get your hands very soapy so the added softness is a must!
  • Warm and Cold Water
  • Bowl
  • Towel
  • Embroidery Thread and Needle for stringing as garland


  1. Gather your supplies and set up a work space. Rolling the balls actually take a little while, so you'll want to be comfortable in your work space. You could technically stand by the kitchen sink and do this but I'm eight months pregnant and that's not happening. I also wanted it to be a time to sit and talk with my sister while we created. This would be a great activity to do for a craft night with girls! 
  2. Separate your wool into even amounts if you'd like your felt balls to be the same size. You may have to do a few test balls to make a decision on how large you'd like them to be. Ours were about 1/2 - 3/4 inch balls and a 1 oz bag made about 12 balls. 
  3. Fill a bowl with very warm water (about 4 cups) and add 1-2 tbsp of dish soap. 
  4. Fill a second bowl with cold water
  5. Begin forming your wool into a ball by wrapping thin layers around itself until you have about twice the size of what you want your final product to be. 
  6. Dip slightly into warm soapy water, cup your hands and begin softly shaping your ball. Do not squeeze. This starts like you are really gently making a snow ball.
  7. When you feel the ball cooling, dip it back into the warm water. Continue this process until your feel the ball firming. Then, you can start rolling more firmly. 
  8. When the ball is about the size you'd like dip into the cool water and roll even more firmly to get a nice firm ball (when dry - they will bounce). This will also help to take some of the soap off. I used the towel to wipe my hands before starting a new ball.
  9. Lay ball aside to dry
I used an embroidery needle and thread. These are thicker but still pretty easy to string. Just try to get them in the center of your felted ball. Embroidery thread comes in any color you could dream of and only costs 30 cents!  The balls do not slip on this thread, but are easy to slide when pulled. I chose gold for this garland to accent the room I was intending to use it for! I love how it turned out! I did space them apart but I also love the look of having the close together with about 3 times as many balls. This garland was made from 18 balls. 

There are so many uses for felt balls including jewelry, vase filler, christmas ornaments and decor. The options are nearly endless! Head over to my crafting pinterest board where I pinned several inspiration photos because I WILL be doing this again!

Palmolive is hosting a Sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $2,000 Walmart gift card and weekly prizes.

Catch the Moment 365 | Week 32

This week just flew by! How is it Friday already? You GUYS! I am 33 weeks pregnant today. I need a pause button...just to catch my breath (figuratively and literally). I wanted to blog about so much stuff to catch up this week, but I guess it will happen one day at a time. Here are this weeks amazing, exhausting little moments.








Toddler Boys Fashion | Embracing my Super Hero!

Bow Tie Raglan c/o Urban Stone Apparel 

It has been a while since I've done any kind of fashion post and even longer since I've done a toddler fashion post, so I thought I'd show off a few shots of Jonah wearing his UCbyJ Super Hero Bow Tie Raglan.

Since solidifying my place in life as a boy mom, I've decided it's probably time to embrace the side of boy's clothes that I've kind of always dreaded. . . characters. As I wrote about in yesterday's post, I am constantly learning every day from this boy how to be a better parent and part of that is embracing what he likes. It's a lot easier to let him wear his Rescue Bot t-shirt when his eyes light up when he sees it clean and folded. Nothing makes you happier as a parent than seeing their little hearts swell with joy. For that reason, I let him wear the hand-me-down super man shirt with attached cape more often than I'd really like. So, when we received this shirt from Ms. Ashley and I showed him that the bow tie was made from super man fabric - he asks to wear it now too! Ummm.... okay! I can easily get on board with character t's that are this cute!

Obviously we not only paired it with my favorite chambray shorts from Good Boy Friday and red toms, but also a box of bandaids, unbrushed hair, and a beagle bagel sticker.. ha! To top it off - some sweet super hero moves! 

How are you embracing what your kid's like when it comes to fashion?

Urban Stone Apparel occasionally provides us with clothing in exchanges for photos of jonah rockin' it! Find US on Instagram for some great discounts. I'm pretty sure this shirt is on sale this week! Jonah is wearing a size 2t and has growing room.

"To the rescue!!"