Boudoir Myth Buster

As a photographer that is passionate about photographing women, boudoir is my sneaky way to get women in my studio. They think it’s this gift to their boyfriend or husband but really it’s an exhilarating experience to help them feel SEXY again.

boudoir, beautiful, sexy, white sheet

Flawless

Sure it’s fun to photograph a beautiful model. It’s like doing a paint by number- the result looks amazing but you know that you just colored in the lines. Photographing a woman that can’t see her beauty is like sculpting this giant intricate masterpiece. Sure it takes time and more work but the result is what I’m proud of. THE FEELING!! I want women to FEEL sexy, beautiful, and WORTHY !

So I will gladly send all the 20 year old size zero bombshells to someone else, I want the moms, the cougars, the empty nesters, the busy working woman, the stressed out stretched out beautiful women!

 

This is the second annual boudoir marathon with http://www.warpaintinternational.com 

The reason this works so well is very simple. My mission and Jessica’s mission are the same! Breaking body image issues, creating confidence, preserving beautiful women. That’s why we offer this ridiculously low marathon for women to come get their hair and makeup done professionally, get 45 min shoot with my crazy ass, and have 10 beautiful images to show off forever. (Trust me when you’re 90 you’re gonna wanna show everyone these images because then you’ll see that you really were gorgeous)

Sexy should not be shameful!

Beauty is not a size!

Confidence is not arrogance!

Step into your greatness !

A few spots left for this weekend January 13th and 14th

$395 boudoir special!

https://www.warpaintinternational.com/valentines-boudoir-photography-minneapolis

Music is ALIVE!

My brother is a musician and an entepenure. He somehow makes it work while holding a full time job. So I’ve seen the struggles of paying to pursue your passion. It tears me apart knowing how corrupt the music industry is. He started a website that turned into this huge thing. http://www.musicinminnesota.com/

Photographers and writers volunteer to capture the event and write reviews about performances here in Minnesota. It’s brilliant! The website has brought people together in such an amazing way. So one night he posted an event and I volunteered to photograph it. Here’s my take on the event…..

crowd, fans, concert

Reunion show

“Lower your expectations, all the way to the ground” that’s exactly what I did when I read the ridiculous cover charge of $5-$10 for this show.

 

Holiday Reunion

The Role Call

The Picture Perfect

Love Out Loud

Give it up

It was weird!

 

I was waiting to get in and everyone was embracing each other, so many bro hugs!

 

Luckily, I didn’t just stumble into this venue and stay confused as hell. I had a personal narrator to understand this nostalgic reunion. The artists performing were formally in bands together. They performed in garages, basements, stages, and even toured together. Their loyal fans/family came to welcome them back for the holidays.

 

So… these bands aren’t bands anymore….lower your expectations.

 

Well known names and great musicians but they haven’t been together to perform or practice in how long?  I knew it was going to be a shit show. I imagined sloppy music, awful production, I started planning a reason to leave early.

My narrator filled me in on all the impressive backgrounds and accomplishments of each artist. They were no longer just artists, they’re husbands, dads, entrepreneurs, activists, leaders.

It was quite amazing to me that these people went their separate ways but came together for an intimate performance as if it were a Christmas gift, or a “thank you” to their fans.

 

The music starts and I’m blown away! They actually sound great! The lighting, the music, the performance, everything was outstanding. I would have never guessed they weren’t performing on a regular basis together.

I couldn’t help but feel the family vibe. They were all so happy, hugging on stage, grinning ear to ear.

 

One band took a break to annonce all the merch was free and donations could be left in the box for the guitarists’ family as his dad was fighting an illness. The bands after that announced their merchandise was free and to donate to the family as well.

 

Ah Come on, I was so ready to hate on this show. You’re making it impossible.

 

Sneaky guest performers hop on stage, my narator fills me in as everyone goes crazy.

I found myself liking the fans just as much as the music. Usually a photographer has to budge their way to the front and piss everyone off to get some decent shots. The front row fans saw my camera, smiled, and made

 a hole. I wish all concerts were like this.

 

“Who are you here to see?”

“My son is the lead singer up next.”

 

His mom was beaming to see him on stage, soaking up every moment of him on stage. I’m sure her phone was full of pictures and video.

 

“He misses this. I’m so happy to watch him performing again”

Ahh my heart!  

 

A wife of an artist said

“This is so fun to see him in this light. I met him after his band days”

 

I was talking to another musician that “grew up” and now works highly respected job. I asked what he’d rather be doing for a living

“This, I’d be doing this”

 

As much as I enjoyed this show, I had a heavy heart knowing they were all going their separate ways again. They sounded amazing, everyone was having such a good time.  They loved this, the music, the people, the stage. It was like a dream they had to wake up from eventually.

 

It’s a bittersweet production but there was a lesson that I took away from it all.

 

Music isn’t just chords and beats. It’s a vessel!  These bands might be history but they created a tight knit family with so much diversity. The music they put into the world created this group. The old and young, the strange and mainstream, the suits and piercings. They were all together and so… fucking…. Happy! Music connects humans. We need more music, more love, more happiness.

 

#encore

What is a Veteran

I was asked to speak at a Catholic school for veterans day. I hope you didn’t just spit out your wine, I mean coffee, like I did when I read the request.  4 valid reasons I should not speak at a Catholic school:

  1. I’m not religious
  2. I have colorful language
  3. I’m not a public speaker
  4. I’m not good with kids

So I told one of my friends and she said “no way”… instantly the ass hole competitive side kicked in and said “watch me”.

I agreed… had no idea what to say… I looked to my daughter for inspiration… And realized that simplicity is key.

“We thank veterans for fighting bad guys”

That was my message for the elementary kids.

11 Reasons Deployments are Awesome

Of course it’s easy to list all the things that suck about deployments. Trust me! I’ve heard and seen every annoying social media post, meme, cheesy photos, countdown, banner, etc.  So I vowed not to be that girl… here it is… my list of the 11 reasons deployments rock. And as Maui would say “You’re welcome”!

  1. No Rush Hour- or rush 5 mins when you try to put the house back together the way you found it this morning to appear as if you have your shit together. You don’t have to do it. No one is coming home to see it and the only people who can see it are the ones that created the mess.
  2. Chef’s Choice- Since I’m the only adult and I don’t care what we eat.. it’s cereal and mac and cheese! Everyday.. every meal… and life is good.
  3. Bed Space- Finally you can get that restful sleep without snoring, fighting over blankets, and tons of bed space. Well… you would if you didn’t have children to take over the bed.
  4. Happy Hour- since you’re waking up at the butt crack of dawn, 10 am is a pretty good time to start happy hour. You don’t have to hide your wine in a coffee mug anymore. No one is around to see it, judge you,  or count how many times you fill your glass. Cheers!
  5. Climate Control- We have never agreed on a comfortable temperature. FINALLY the house is a comfortable 76 degrees. Take off the layers- no one is around to see your booty life is good!
  6. Money- All that hazard duty, separation, double dippin, tax free MONEY!! It’s going straight into everything that’s breaking while he’s deployed but it’s extra pay right =)
  7. Gifts- The people that know you and care about you will bring/send you the best gifts… like Cheetos and wine =)
  8. Hers and Hers Sink- Yep this means you can now take over the entire bathroom guilt free! Makeup, hair spray, blow dryer, curling iron, straightener,  perfume, jewelry, clothes, everywhere! It’s a beautiful thing!
  9. Bye Bye Side Eye- This actually should have been number one maybe. When you drop off your kid at school and you can feel people judging you for looking like a disaster. Then someone asks how you’re doing and everyone understands you’re a single parent with young children while your husband is deployed… and BAM! Suddenly the judgy side eye becomes a sympathetic “hi”.
  10. Strange apparel- I let my daughter wear whatever while my husband is gone because that battle just isn’t worth it. And I feel like we can get away with it since it’s the deployment. Especially when she wants to wear ABU’s to target.
  11. Justice- Ok so you are rocking this deployment, kids are alive, house is… there. You earned something really special. Start searching pinterest, amazon, priceline, home depot for your reward. Do you need a bathroom remodel, a new wardrobe, some fun shoes, a cool vacation? You deserve it, the sky is the limit. After all… see #6

There were more that didn’t make the list because they didn’t go with my vibe for the video. I will have to add on when I’m not so distracted keeping children alive.

No! I Don’t Need Pills!

I posted this video about how I was struggling with this fussy baby. I explained how mad I was at the world and that I decided to instead focus on those around me that were showing up and helping me. I got emotional as I talked about feeling so loved as I realized how many people cared about ME! Amongst others, my brother was the last person I expected to be helping me through this, but he has been showing up without hesitation week after week.

 

https://youtu.be/1zMUkNPaEbE

So many of my friends loved the video, they appreciated the emotional raw mess that I showed all 900 of my social media “friends”. I rarely cry in front of people, so this is a pretty big deal to let others see me this way. I’ve always viewed tears as a weakness. But the general response was praise for being so “brave”. Not at all what I expected.

My friend Dajon has helped me embrace my sensitivity and use it. My friend Melissa helped me focus on stepping into my gifts. She talked about how we couldn’t possibly all be the same, nothing would get accomplished. My friend Rocky convinced me to start documenting my life, good and bad. My friend Kim helped me understand that there are others just like me that need to hear “you’re not alone”.

Multiple people (some I have never talked to or met in person) reached out to me with gratitude for saying what they were afraid to say. Some had the same struggles with a colic baby and the emotions and chaos that comes with it.

After fighting to capture an audience for more than 18 seconds with these business videos, I was shocked as how many watched my 5 min video.  I also didn’t expect people to misunderstand what the video was about.

I received “cheer up” – I’m not sad, I’m stressed, I’m beat down, I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I’m crying in the video because I’m so grateful and feeling so loved.

I received “Here’s some resources”– I’m not sad, I’m stressed, I’m beat down, I’m physically  and mentally exhausted. I’m crying in the video because I’m so grateful and feeling so loved.

I received “You need to talk to a professional”– lol yes tell me what I need bystander! I’m not sad, I’m stressed, I’m beat down, I’m physically and mentally exhausted.

My least favorite (please don’t be offended if you mentioned this to me, I heard it too many times for this to be personal)

I received “Have you thought about a prescription” – Yes, I thought about how numb it made me feel 4 years ago when I tried it with my first unplanned pregnancy. I thought about all the awful side effects. I thought about how it would be a “quick fix” rather than dealing with the emotions, struggles, pain. While I have plenty of friends that have great success with prescriptions,  I don’t need a pill! I need 8 hours of sleep, a healthy meal, a night of free babysitting!

I apologize if this comes off rude. I’m trying to be assertive in how I’m feeling and how these suggestions come across to someone who is struggling with a tough situation.

This is my therapy- angrily typing on my keyboard, creating silly videos about my shit show of a life, and venting about the chaos. We were all made differently. You can judge or you can accept.

The Worst Job I Can’t Quit

I’m broken! I hate being a mom! And this keyboard is the only one that will listen. This is hands down the worst job I’ve ever had. From being a waitress at a shitty restaurant to deployments.. .This is the worst!

colic crying fussy baby

I never wanted kids. My sister had children at a young age, I knew that wasn’t for me. I was curious what my kids might look like but that was as far as it went. So when I got pregnant on birth control- No I’m not an idiot, I realize how babies are made and I took birth control VERY serious. We used MULTIPLE precautions especially after returning from a deployment.

 

My mom had an abortion before I was born and she was still working on forgiveness and healing 20 years later. Her story and some scare tactics from the pregnancy crisis center were why I chose this life. Maybe I would change, maybe this would be great, maybe I would enjoy being a mom and letting go of my career goals.

 

I had a colic baby that looked nothing like me. I was devastated! A fussy scrawny little girl. I was so sleep deprived, malnourished, defeated! I was mad!

I was mad at the clinic,

I was mad at my friends and family,

I was mad at this baby,

I was mad at my husband,

I was mad at God,

I was mostly mad at myself

How could I make such a huge mistake? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I love being a mom? Why can’t I just be happy and enjoy this baby?

 

So fast forward 4 years and we have another birth control baby. I’m telling you this is more common than you’d think. I hear it alot! At this point our relationship is already at a breaking point and the thought of doing it all over again..FML. Not to mention, I was finally gaining momentum with my business and my husband was leaving for a deployment….. Fucking awesome.

I had so much faith and hope that this baby was going to be different. No one I had talked to had TWO colic babies! EVERYONE said this one will be so different. They were all wrong! He’s EXACTLY the same! So here I am, frustrated with two kids doing it alone.

I hate my keyboard,

I hate my friends and family,

I hate my husband,

I hate God or whoever is in control of this shit show,

I hate myself.

How did I make this mistake again!?! Why me? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I love being a mom? What am I doing wrong to make this baby so miserable ?

 

I want to run away, I want to clock out, eat, sleep, do something other than deal with kids who seemingly hate the person that keeps them on this earth.

 

I’ve finally realized after lots of drinking and crying-

I love my kids, I hate being a mom!

Yes you can judge me all you want, I get it all the fucking time. Why does everyone think they’re so righteous to judge and criticize ? I’ve been bullied more as a mother than I’ve ever experienced in my 30 years of life. Your kids are nothing like my kids! You are nothing like me! At the end I can list all the things we tried.. So you can stop with the unsolicited parenting advice right now.

“You should be happy”

  • Yes, please tell me what I should be. That is extremely helpful for a stressed out broken woman to hear what they SHOULD be feeling. I would love to instantly change how I feel… it’s just not that easy. This is a traumatic event for me. Much like grieving, there’s no “one size fits all”  “just deal with it” “Suck it up buttercup”

“Do you know how many women would love to be in your shoes?”

  • Yes, I have friends right now that want a child more than anything in the world right now. Just like that is a struggle and an emotional roller coaster for them.. It is also for me. Other women wanting children doesn’t make me love being a mom. Does that make sense? I would use an analogy comparing two totally different wars if I knew anything about history. 

“There are so many parents praying for a child, do you realize how selfish you sound?”

  • Yes, I’m selfish! That’s exactly why I never had a desire for children. I was completely content in my selfish debt free world!

“They’re healthy, you should be grateful”

  • Yes, they are healthy. That’s how they were given to me. I can’t take credit for their health. Their very existence came from something bigger than myself that I will probably never understand. Whoever is in charge of all this knew I couldn’t possibly handle an ill child. Being a mom is enough of a challenge.  I am grateful that they are alive and healthy. I’m not grateful for my struggle as a mother.

“You’re going to miss this”

  • False! My 4 year old was so fussy and awful. On a regular basis we would say how we hated the baby phase and that we were so glad it was over. I will not miss this baby stage at all. I will not miss being a single parent.

 

My friend said these kids willed themselves into this world, that they chose me because they’re so powerful they needed an easy going mom.

 

I feel like the worst mom. I can’t even get my infant to stop crying- something so natural. My poor 4 year old is left to fend for herself. I’m pretty sure she’s surviving off candy that she stashed away in her toy room. I miss my 4 year old, she’s just a fog in this whole experience.

 

While I love my kids so very much, I absolutely fucking hate being a mom! I’m a bad mom. I’m telling it like it is because I’m sure there’s at least one other lost crying mom with the same feelings right now. And we need to stick together because this mom shit is HARD!!

 

List of things we tried for our fussy babies that didn’t work

Gripe water

Holistic bead Necklace (4 of them because they kept breaking)

RX for reflux

Gas drops

Weird herbs

Baby tea

Chiropractor

Reiki healing (worked better than anything)

Massages

Pumping legs

Expensive formula

Swings

Rocking

Bouncing

Teething products

Probiotics

Rock n play

Essential oils

Baths

Sitting upright and burping more

Tummy time

Holding them 24/7

Cry it out (hours)

Strollers

Car rides

Saging the house

Music

Vibration bouncer

Dryer

Praying

Screaming

Any over the counter product that advertises “colic” or “fussy”

 

I checked my Analytics so doubt anyone will ever read this or know it exists.

 

Dajon Ferrell “When I enlisted no one actually thought I would make it.”

Dajon describes her parents as hippies and says that no one actually thought she would make it in the military. After spending 13 years in the military she struggled fitting into the civilian world like most do. She needed to be part of a bigger mission, a team, serving others. She has since found strength in veteran groups like The Mission Continues and Wounded Warrior.

Dajon found her purpose in helping others feel valued and important. She has lead groups and meetings and was always struggling to find a place to meet up. Coffee houses aren’t always the best place to talk about PTSD and intimate problems.

She found this house in the twin cities. She hopes that the community will decide what the space will be used for. Many have already collaborated with the Light House using the space for spiritual work, healing, gathering, and networking.

 

This is the shortest type up. I’m discouraged by this whole project I’ve started. No one has seen these posts and to add to it my infant will not stop crying. FML!

 

Cheers!

You’re a mom.

You work hard.

You deserve a drink.

Cheers!

#NationalVodkaDay

National Women’s Health and Fitness Day With Tiffaney Styles

F.I.T. With Tif

Tiffaney Styles talks about how she overcame an eating disorder and how she uses her story to connect with others who are wanting to transform.

She started her journey with Beach Body 2 short years ago and credits God for helping her find this new passion for helping others. She describes how she takes it one day, one meal, one workout at a time. Tiffaney is raising three daughters and hopes to instill strong values in them while being the best role model she possibly can. As a mother, wife, business woman, veteran, and coach she admits that everyday brings new challenges. Watch the entire video for the full inspirational story.

I met Tiffaney through a friend and we connected instantly. We had so much in common before realizing we both served in the military. It started as a simple follow on instagram. One of the many things I admire about Tiffaney is her authentic social media presence. You will not find her posing in front of a mirror before a workout and trying to get the cutest angles. She’s on the floor sweating her ass off with a dog photo bombing her action shots. This woman has taken her vulnerable story and used it as fuel to help others. She continues to serve others after her time in the military. She has already had such an impact on so many lives. I hate direct sales/ Multi level marketing BS more than anyone on earth, but I highly encourage anyone that is feeling a bit stuck to reach out to her.

 

Email :

Tifstyles4@gmail.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Tmtad 

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/f.i.t._w_tif/

 

Watch this inspiring brief interview

American Business Women’s Day with Kay