Yep, little ol’ me got a little feature in this months issue of Women’s Day Magazine.  Remember this tutorial from back in the day?  Well, some of WD’s people thought it would be the perfect summer craft, and I didn’t argue.  You can check out the feature here, or at your local newsstand.
Pretty neeto.
BTW: the corn on the cobs on the cover of the magazine are actually cupcakes. How cute is that?!
P.S. the new blog design is coming along awesomely…stay tuned!


Homemade Taquitos Recipe
Never dry, always crunchy, with a touch of salt.
Seriously better than any taquitos you’ll order at a restaurant.
Mmmmm, Mmmmm good.
Since as far back as I can remember, this has been one of my all-time favorite comfort meals. When my Momma makes her yummy taquitos, I turn into a teenage boy–as in I eat about a dozen. It’s not pretty, but it sure feels good.
My grandma {Dad’s Mom} taught my Mom how to make these way back when my parents were newly weds. 

Vegetable Oil
Canned Roast Beef
Corn Tortillas
First, open the roast beef and break apart the clumps with a fork until their are no large pieces.
Next, microwave about 10 tortillas at a time until soft enough to roll without breaking. Be sure to wrap them in paper towels or cover them with paper plates before you microwave so they don’t get rubbery.
Spread a heaping tablespoon worth of meat onto the edge of a tortilla.

Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in a cookie sheet seam side down.
Continue this step will all your tortillas {make a lot, trust me}.

Once all the taquitos are prepped, you are ready to start frying them.
Pour enough vegetable oil in the pan to cover the bottom.
Turn the burner onto medium/high heat and wait for the oil to get hot.


Use tongs to place the taquitos seam side down in the pan.

Taquitos should take approximately 5 minutes to brown on one side (takes longer for a larger pan). Once brown on one side, flip with the tongs.
Sprinkle salt to taste while they finish cooking.

Remove the taquitos from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess grease. And of course, top with cheese.


We’re Moving.
And we’re pretty excited about it.
We like change around these parts.
The hubs and I get the “itch” to move,
to try out a different neighborhood,
get a fresh start,
go on new adventures.
So we’re giving up our backyard,
in exchange for a quick walk from a back patio and down a greenbelt
to my favorite place in our little town.
The Lake.

And while I’m excited today,
I know that once all the pictures are off the walls,
all the boxes are packed
and our house is empty,
I’ll get all mushy gushy about leaving behind
the home where we started our little family.
The home where our son took his first steps,
got his first boo boo,
had his first visit from Santa
and said his first words.
The home where I burned my first turkey,
discovered my decor style,
and hosted my first BBQ.
This home marks our beginning,
and it will hold a special place in my heart forever.
Here’s to embracing the adventure that is change.


Dear Ga-Ma,

I love you because…
you have more patience with me than anyone.
you give me your undivided attention every second that we’re together.
you smell like baby powder.
you give my tummy kisses.
you always let me wear my comfy clothes.
you let me sit on the kitchen table to eat my lunch.
you have that really cool mole that I like to pinch.
you pick out the BEST toys.
you let me use your body as a jungle gym.
you slept the whole night in my race car bed with me–even though I kicked you in the face 100 times.
you change my poopy diapers even though it makes you gag.
you make me 10 different meals in an attempt to get me to eat, even though I never take a bite.
you always give my Mommy a break when she really needs it.
you taught my Mommy how to be awesome at it.
you give me presents.
you give me hugs.
you give me kisses.
you wake up at the break of dawn with me when you visit, so Mommy and Daddy can sleep in.
you let me watch what I want to watch on tv.
you are the prettiest grandma in the world.
you have a smile that makes me smile back.
you make me feel like the most important grandson in the universe.

Love, Baby W


So here is the 411 on my day-to-day beauty care products. 
Nothing special here, all super affordable, and all used daily. 
I feel it is important to note that I have NO idea what I am doing when I pick out personal care products. In fact, my skincare regimen should be taken lightly, considering I still breakout like a teenager on a regular basis.  I would love to be one of those girls who just slips out of the house in jeans and a t-shirt with nothing on but vanilla lip smacker–but that is far from my reality.  I must where at least some makeup, or else…Well, let’s just say it’s not pretty–I’m serious.
1. Matrix Amplify Shampoo and Conditioner:
smells amazing, gives volume without causing tangles.
2. Kirkland Make Up Remover Wipes {from Costco}:
not sure what I did before I found these puppies.
3. Bare Minerals Prime Time, foundation primer:
just introduced to me by my Momma, and I am now hooked. This primer totally fills in large pores, wrinkles and other irregularities so that your foundation doesn’t look caked on.
4. St Ives Apricot Face Scrub:
having been using this since I was 16.
5. CO Bigelow Mint Lip Gloss:
Always, always have one in my purse–can’t live without lip gloss, and this is the best.
6. Neutrogena Healthy Skin face lotion:
I have an oily t-zone, and this moisturizes without being greasy.
And here is my latest little not-so-secret secret.
Someone who is very special to me introduced me to this product, and it is basically a miracle to anyone with thinning hair.  Believe it or not, Joan Rivers is selling this magic powder on QVC, and because of its awesomeness, I can wear my hair down in public without the stress of people staring at my secret.

 For some reason, since becoming a Momma, I never ever have my nails painted. I think mostly because even if I find the time to paint them, I certainly don’t have the patience to let them dry before smearing them on my jeans zipper or my kiddos Legos.  Well, this season, I am determined to paint them fun, young summer time colors. mark.my.words.
For the scoop on my makeup products, click here.
And for my hair tutorial, click here.
What is your can’t live without beauty product?
Particularly a face wash,
I’m ready to try something new.
Congrats to comment #80
Danielle, you won the Mod Tots $100 Giveaway.
Whoop Whoop!


Tips for Getting Kids to Smile for Pictures
by: Kristen Duke Photography
{we love her}

Hello friends! Ashley asked me to do a post on some photography basics, so I thought I’d share something that would help the momma’s out there trying to get their kids to just LOOK AT THEM for a picture. I know a lot of you can feel my pain when you get blank stares or grumpy frowns or just plain ignoring your requests. As a momma myself, I have to have a LOT of tricks up my sleeve to get my own kids to smile at the camera (no, they aren’t used to it and happyily comply, I have to work for it). Right now in my family, I am dealing with my hardest client ages–the 2 year old and the 10 year old boy–Neither want to do what you ask when it comes to picture taking! Luckily my 6 year old daughter loves the camera!

My dad said if you want people to remember something you are teaching, give them a set of three points and it will stick better (Did you notice that with my e-book?) So I’ve got 3 tricks for the young ones and 3 tips for the older kids.

3 tricks for getting young kids to smile:

1. One word phrases
“Cheese” is SO overdone…the kids are tired of it and by now they’ve heard it so much that they move their lips in a straight line and show some teeth but their eyes are totally annoyed and rarely even make eye contact. Change up those one word phrases you have them say. Some of my favorites for kids or groups: “Yee–haw” or “happy” or “Hooray!” or “pizza.” Throw out any words for them to repeat. It can be anything from their favorite treat to their favorite cartoon character to their favorite toy. Have them repeat what makes them happy and they will think happy thoughts.
2. Sing a song
We want to get the children to a place that brings happiness in order to capture happiness. As the momma (or aunt or grandma), you know their favorite song, start singing it! If they don’t sing along, they will surely smile as they hear it. Twinkle Twinkle or Old McDonald or Wheels on the Bus are standard favorites, but I often ask kids (if I don’t know them well) what shows they like to watch and I am finding myself singing about Dora or Elmo or even Barney. Singing the words wrong can actually be pretty funny as well. The little ones will correct you. One time, I kept singing it wrong even after correcting, and I got a grumpy face. I think I just took that one too far;)
3. Have a bag of tricks
First, I pull out a little yellow hair scrunchy that has been converted to a duck. It wraps around my lens and I tell the young kids to look right at the duck and quack. I try to wait until I am desperate when I pull out a ball or a rattle to get their attention. I do this because often the little ones want to hold it and my plan could backfire. I throw the ball up in the air, or put it right by the camera and say I am going to throw it at them. The anticipatory smile is all worth it. I have a silver bell ornament from Christmas that I like to bring out because in the event that the young child wants to hold the ball, it isn’t too ugly to stay in his hand for the pic. A stick or book can “bonk” the photographer on the head or leg and you can actually yell “OWW” and that brings on the laughs as well. This requires an extra person doing the “bonking.” This shot below what my head getting “bonked” by my reflector as I pretended to get hurt.

3 tricks for getting older kids to smile:

1. Have a conversation
Show interest and have a chat about life. Ask about school, friends, sports, skateboarding, vacations, birthday wish list, their favorite show, etc. By asking questions and getting them to talk, they forget about the grumpiness that surely presented itself when you pulled out the camera.
2. Have some music at the ready
Teens love their music and it usually puts them in a good mood. Whether you ask them to bring their ipod, or tune the car radio to their favorite station, you are sure to get a happy face. You may even get to capture a dance move. Seriously, I love those kinds of candid shots!
3. Ask about their girl/boy friend.
They may not have one, but the idea of this brings a “no way” or a big smile as they think of that person they are crushing on. Whether they try to deny it, or paint you a picture of all of their loves’ exquisite details, you will get a smile.
If you have some suggestions on getting kids to smile, please share! I can always use new ideas…especially for my own kids!
P.S. Ashley mentioned my Say NO! to Auto e-book and workshops on here last week. I want to mention that I had a location change for my July 23rd California workshop. It was going to be in San Diego, but it is now in Huntington Beach. So if that is closer to you, please let me know if you’d like to attend! If you aren’t close to there or my Texas locations, look up my skype mentoring info for some one on one Q&A!
Oh, and if I haven’t given you enough links to pass the time, com
e on over to my facebook page and become a fan because each Friday (today!), I have a Facebook Freebie where I give away full resolution files of landscape images I have taken. Print as you please.
Have a great Friday!


´╗┐Dear Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake,
We cannot be friends.
I do not trust myself alone with you.
I knew you would be good, but I didn’t know you would be that good.
But I suppose a recipe that calls for four sticks of butter and a pound of powdered sugar is bound to be life altering.
I will never be able to enjoy a Costco chocolate cake again.
Thanks a lot.

No worries, I washed my hands after I licked the bowl clean.

What’s that, MORE butter you say…

And a mountain of powdered sugar surrounded by a mote of boiling chocolate…Willy Wonka, eat your heart out.

I suggest immediately filling the bowl with water, as to prevent you from devouring every last drop of cake batter. Maybe throw in some dish soap just to be sure.

Then check on the baby to make sure he isn’t standing on the back of the couch. Yep, pants removed, just as I suspected. 

Make these. You won’t be sorry.
Getting closer to checking #89 off my life list.
Off to make her Comfort Meatballs and Home Style Mashed Potatoes,
and then hop into a pair of pants with an elastic waistband.
BTW: Did you know you can find me on facebook?
I fb about all sorts of totally riveting topics like what I ate for lunch and my favorite TV show quotes. You should visit, its good stuff.