How I Learned How To Shoot Like a Woman at #Blissdom {Photography Tips!}




It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve been back from Blissdom and I can hardly believe it! I’m still processing everything I learned, who I met and more!

I was excited to learnt that this year Blissdom was going to have photography sessions. I recently got a Nikon D5000 and while in Auto Mode I can take some pretty good pictures, I wanted to learn MORE. I was even more excited when I learned that Me Ra Koh was one of the photographers that was going to be speaking.

Photo Credit: Blissdom 2012

Me Ra Koh is inspirational, gorgeous, enthusiastic and a talented speaker and photographer. I only got to spend a total of 3 hours listening to her share and I’m wishing that I could attend one of her weekend workshops!

While at Blissdom, I attended two sessions called Shoot Like a Woman Part I and Part II by Me Ra. I wish I could share with you everything she told us, but here are some of my notes that I took!


Camera Settings

- Turn off your flash! Buy an extended internal flash.

- Use the center focus and then reframe.

- Be willing to change camera settings quickly, especially when you’re shooting children!


“Be willing to miss shots to get great shots” – Me Ra Koh


- If you’re taking pictures of people, go to a parking lot not a park! Grass will suck up light!

- Turn off all the lights in your house and let the natural light come in.

- If you have a point and shoot, you can still get those cool photos where there is a blurry background. Switch to Portrait Mode!

- Don’t edit after, try and fill the frame as you are taking the picture.

- When getting pictures taken of you, wear something you feel beautiful in.


At the end of the second session, Me Ra had us do something that I thought would be silly, but actually turned out to be very emotional. I can’t tell you how many times I cried during her two sessions!

Try doing this:

Stand up with your camera in your hands and close your eyes.

Lift the camera above your head, up and down.

Bring the camera to your heart.

Feel that the camera is an extension of you and not just an awkward piece of technology.


Pictures mean so much to me and I love capturing my daily life, my family and all of those special moments. I’m so grateful that I was able to attend and hear from Me Ra and her husband!

Thanks so much to Rug Doctor, who was my sponsor to Blissdom 2012!

Be Prepared for Blogging Conferences: Do you have your Business Cards?



It’s already February and that means that the blogging conference season is kicking off! I am headed to Blissdom in Nashville Tennessee in just a few weeks [so excited to be going on behalf of Rug Doctor!}.

Blog conferences are so much fun! Not only do you get to learn a lot, you get to meet people in real life that you have became close to online and it’s also a great time to recharge and have some “me time”.

I was lucky enough last year to attend 5 blogging conference in 2011 – Blissdom, Disney Social Media Moms, Midwest Moms, BlogHer and the Show Me the Blog Conference in St. Louis. Each conference was unique and I was able to bring away something different from each one.

One of the most important things to have when you head to a blogging conference are business cards!

I’ve been looking around and I am in love with the business cards from Tiny Prints! There are so many different ones to choose from. You can create a business card using one of their cute templates or customize it even further with photos!

When choosing a business card, I definitely recommend making yours unique! Whether it be with a photo of you or colors that pop, you’ll want to make sure everyone you meet remembers you! If you can, leave a little bit of blank space on the business card. This will be great for people to make notes or for you to add additional information to the card!

Here are just a few cards from Tiny Prints that I love:

{This was my very first business card!}

A question I got is what to put on your business card. Everyone is different, but I just like to get the basics. I’ll put my blog name and URL, name, email address, Facebook URL and Twitter handle. I don’t include my phone number or address.

Are you headed to any blogging conferences this year? What’s your best conference tip?

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in writing this. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mom’s Fashion Files Makeover at BlogHer!


Just weeks ago, I had one of the most amazing opportunities at BlogHer.

Back in May, I wrote a post called Help Me, Mom’s Fashion Files. The amazing ladies over at Mom’s Fashion Files were going to give 12 lucky bloggers a makeover while at BlogHer. Seeing as I wear pretty much the same “Mom” outfit every day, I jumped all over this!

To my surprise, I was actually picked to receive a makeover and be revealed at a Secret Style Suite Party!

The makeover was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. We were being treated like rock stars, as the makeover suite was on the rooftop of the San Diego Hard Rock Hotel. There were amazing views!

The suite was buzzing with energy and I while I was super nervous, I found it hard to stay nervous. Excitement took over and all of the ladies that helped me get really were so sweet and so fun!

I got to take some fun “Before” pictures and give a little interview on why I was excited to be made over.

My “Before” Picture


I was able to choose from 3 beautiful dresses at Kiyonna, with the help of lovely Alicia. I tried on two different dresses, but we all instantly agreed that the Black Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress was the one for me.

Ciaran from Momfluential helped pick out some gorgeous Stella & Dot jewelry to pair with the dress.

Then, I was off to get my makeup done by celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler, who was there courtesy of Johnson’s Baby. Tia and I instantly clicked. She definitely made me very relaxed as I get very panicky when people come near my eyes. For the first time in my life, I wore  false eyelashes. It was a very strange feeling, but the after effect? WOW! So many people were telling me that evening that my eyes were popping!

Getting makeup on!


Then it was on to hair, thanks to San Diego’s hottest salon, Detour Salon!

Then, I got to choose some unbelievably high heels, thanks to Payless Shoes. See my face? I don’t wear high heels often!

Checking out the Payless Shoes!


We were also treated to manicures from Scotch Naturals, handbags from Namaste and an AMAZING goodie bag from Land’s End.

Scotch Naturals Nail Polish

Namaste Handbags

Land’s End Bags


So, are you ready for the big reveal?

My “After” Picture


Don’t mind the blinding white legs, which I talked about in a recent “What I Wore Wednesday” post. Why didn’t I think of a spray tan before coming to California?!

But what do you think? I am going to have to say that I look fabulous! ;-) They did an AMAZING job with my makeover!

Before and After



Later that evening, I attended the Secret Style Suite party! It was outside, on the rooftop of the San Diego Hard Rock Hotel, and this is where myself and the other 11 lucky bloggers had our “big reveal”.

I was incredibly nervous to walk the Pink Carpet, but I had an amazing pep talk from Andrea and then she pushed me out there!

Walking the Pink Carpet


I really shouldn’t have been nervous. I should have had more faith in my fellow bloggers, because they clapped, screamed and whistled for me as I walked the Pink Carpet. That made me feel amazing!

The party was amazing! Classy, yet FUN, we had delicious food, yummy drinks and I even got a feather in my hair!

I also won a Windows Phone! Yeah!

Xenia from Thanks, Mail Carrier and I



A huge thanks goes out to the amazing sponsors of the makeover and the Secret Style Suite Party!

Thank you to the amazing ladies of Mom’s Fashion Files: Mom Trends, Savvy Sassy Moms and Sassy Moms in the City!

Also, thanks to Bella Diva Photography for being an awesome paparazzi!

Disclosure: During the course of my makeover, I received a dress from Kiyonna, undergarments from Bali, a handbag from Namaste, nail polish from Scotch Naturals, Johnson’s Baby Products, Payless Shoes, and a bag from Land’s End filled with amazing products like swimsuits and more. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thank You Serta Mattresses!

Just 2 weeks ago, I was able to attend BlogHer 2011 for the first time, thanks to my amazing sponsor Serta Mattresses.


I had fun carrying my new best friend around, the Serta Sheep.

Everyone wanted to get a picture with him too!

Alissa from Fun Finds for Families

Cents Less Deals


But don’t worry, we weren’t counting sheep at night! The mattresses at the Marriott were all Serta Mattresses! In fact, there are many hotels that feature the super comfy Serta Mattresses!


Since becoming a mother, sleep has been very precious to me. When I partnered with Serta Mattresses to review their new Perfect Sleeper Mattress, which was designed with the National Sleep Foundation, I fell in love with sleep again.

Serta Mattresses and the National Sleep Foundation have helped me get into a good sleep routine- something I didn’t do at all before.

Now, I look forward to slowly winding down for the night and getting into bed. We have the Plush Mattress, which is perfect for my husband that loves a firm mattress and myself that loves a super soft mattress. It’s a perfect mix of the two!

Make sure to check out Serta Mattresses to read more about the Perfect Sleeper Mattress, the official mattress of the National Sleep Foundation!

Disclosure:  I received a Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress for review purposes only. Serta is also sending me to BlogHer and sponsoring my conference pass, accommodations and transportation.

The Cheap Sally Dance Party Recap


I am back from BlogHer in San Diego! It was such an amazing time and I can’t believe how fast it went! I learned a lot, met some amazing people and had some fun partying! Winking smile

The best party that I attended, and MANY people told me so, was the Cheap Sally Dance Party at the Stingaree Nightclub.

When arriving at the Stingaree Nightclub, attendees were able to walk the red carpet and get their photos taken!

Cheap Sally Dance Party Ambassadors


The bottom floor and the second floor has open bars and tables of delicious food like pasta and sliders with fries.

Bar and Swag Bags


The rooftop was where the party was rocking! The DJ that played nonstop music that kept the party going.

Rockin’ DJ


There were Brand Cabanas set up where bloggers could lounge and connect with amazing brands like Smarties, SearsStyle, Gordon Ramsay Everyday, ViX Swimwear, Lifetime Moms, Kmart, Big Fuel and udi’s Gluten Free Foods.



I had the chance to greet bloggers as they came through the doors of the Stingaree Nightclub and the enthusiasm of everyone was infectious! Telling everyone about the delicious Sally Sauzaritas, the yummy food, the brands looking to connect and the big announcement of the “Bring Home the Bacon Contest” was just too much fun!

Top Chef Finalist Brian Malarkey, who is also the Head Chef at local San Diego restaurant Searsucker, made an appearance and riled up everyone!



The “Bring Home the Bacon” Contest excited all of the bloggers! This contest will give one winner the Best Blogger Job in the World!

The winner will receive $100,000 for the year 2012! They won’t have to quit their current job or relocate! All they are looking for is someone who has a passion for saving money both online and in retail stores. The winner will be chosen by popular vote and a money-saving challenge in December.

What an amazing job! I already filled out my profile and you should too!



I had such a great time hanging out with friends that I finally got to meet in person! Talking to Sears about the new Kardashian line, dancing to Justin Timberlake and putting Smarties in cocktails… will be a night to remember!

As we were leaving, I had so many people tell me that the Cheap Sally Party was the BEST party of BlogHer. A party where they actually stayed the whole night and connected with so many different brands and bloggers!

Everyone also loved the Swag Bags filled with amazing items like Peets Coffee, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Cheap Sally Aprons and SO much more!


Were you at the Cheap Sally Party? I would love to hear what your favorite thing was!


Thank you to Organize with Sandy for the amazing photos of the Cheap Sally Party!


Disclosure: I have been provided a stipend to participate as a Cheap Sally Ambassador from Collective Bias. All thoughts and opinions are my own!