Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas from Braden & Gavin!!

A few days before Christmas I had a session with a little baby.  After he left, the props were still out... which gave Braden an idea (Mom are you smiling yet?!)  Braden wanted his own Christmas shoot, with costumes and all.  He planned the outfits, set all the poses and checked each shot to make sure it was right!!  

Anyway, we hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very HAPPY New Year!  With Love.

2010 Hart's Christmas Card

Last year my good friend Brandi told me, in so many words, I needed to step up my Christmas Card Game (of course in the nicest way!!!)  I mean... cards are a huge part of my job and for the past several years I have printed small{ish} cheap{ish} cards.  The designs were cute, but she was right it was time send something out that really represented me!!

Anyway, you've probably already seen it, but for "journaling sake" here's our 2010 card.  It's a miracle it all turned out, but I AM glad we went all out!  Thanks B!

By the way... a HUGE shout out to all of you!!  I got so many cute, fun, amazing cards this year... seems as though everyone was on top of the card game!!  KUDOS!!  I LOVE it!


Friday, December 24, 2010

And This is Why I LOVE Disney...

If you follow my blog at all, chances are you've seen me in my favorite {knock off} burberry hat MANY TIMES!!  I bought this in South Beach right after Blake and I got married and it has history!!  I wear it all the time!!  Anyway, I was sooo bummed when I realized I left my hat on the Mt. Everest roller coaster ride in The Animal Kingdom on the last ride of the day before the park closed!!  I heard Disney's lost and found is phenominal but I thought it was gone forever (I know, dramatic, but I really like this hat!)  On the off chance someone was going to turn it in, I called the L & F services the next day and reported it.  I also left my name and address in case!!

Low and behold last week, I received a package in the mail with my HAT!!  Yay!! And that is why I love Disney :) 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grove Park Inn Getaway...

On the heals of our wonderfully, busy Thanksgiving "break", Blake and I had an amazing 4 day getaway to the Grove Park Inn... JUST the 2 of us!  Blake is the VP of the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association and planned the entire conference... in turn we got hooked up with the Presidential Suite!!  AND, Christmas came early for me!  I got to spend an entire day at GPI Spa, which is world renown... I mean it is AMAZING!!!!!  I did have to work/edit a good portion of the trip, but it was so NICE to relax in such peaceful, serene, surroundings.  I would HIGHLY recommend a stay there... especially around Christmas!

My BIG-FAT-EPIC Thanksgiving Post!!

I have put this post off for nearly 3 weeks now... just too many fun pictures and too little time to actually post about them!  I am, however, finally getting my life back this week, since I have officially finished all my client photo sessions, print/card orders, disk hand-off's etc...  Yay!!  I can focus on my own family and enjoy the Holidays and start crossing things off on my own to-do list! 

#1: Blog about Thanksgiving.

This was an amazing trip.  And I'm blogging all the pics/details mainly for myself.  I love to be able to looks back at my "online scrapbook" and remember the fun :)

This trip was a bit of a "working trip" you could say.  I was hired on by "Wild Florida" to film and edit a 10 minute mini movie of their picturesque surroundings via an airboat ride?!!  My new Canon 7d films in high quality HD video mode, so hey, why not!  (of course now I am reminded why I got out of videography and into photography... but it was a great job nonetheless).  I spent a lot of time on that project as well as time on several photo shoots (including my own family... finally!!!) and making Christmas cards for Mom, Tiff, Cami and my family!  Lot's of computer time :)

BUT there was also a lot of fun time... here are the pics.

Miniature golfing with the crew!  I love B&G's pirate scowl pic...

Getting ready for the main event.  Doing the "bawk bawk" dance with the Turkey... a Clark fam tradition

The day after Thanksgiving we headed to airport to pick up Tiff, Benton and Zoe from the Airport.  They traveled 18 hours from Dubai... GO TIFF!!  This was the first time meeting little for almost all of us!

The THREE amigos... actually got along pretty well!

Saturday night we hit "Old Town Kissimmee" a precursor to our Disney day!  Mom and Camille even did the Human Swing... the highest in the world I think!  I did that once and still have nightmares about it... but they had a great time!  The pictures aren't that good, but the boys had a blast!

MONDAY we had a fabulous day at Disney!!  We were there 15 hours and the kids did awesome!!  I LOVE the bottom right pic in this collage... look at the kids (get us out of these strollers and on to a ride!!)
Buzz light year... the crowd favorite! (what up w/ my pose?!!!)

Naps, melt downs and cotton candy... just part of the whole experience!!

The lighting of the castle had to be a highlight!  We were racing to get back from the Animal Kingdom and just made it!  It was SO FUN to be at Disney with all the Christmas Decorations up.  I would highly recommend it.  Our good friends the Copes (from NC) were are the Magic Kingdom that same day, but we never did manage to meet up!  We also saw some good friends from our San Diego days -- Brian Perkes cute family!  "It's a small world after all"!!

Had to include this funny set of pics!  Gavin is obsessed with cousin Zoe... he LOVED her.  He wanted to be sitting beside her any time we were in the car, and wanted to hold her any time he could get his hands on her!!  She was such a good sport!!  THIS IS THE BEST LITTLE BABY!!!  She goes with the flow, never fusses... even when G has his hands all over her!

To end the trip WE ALL took a road trip back to Charlotte.  Tiff and her kids, myself and the boys, Mom & Ash.  All 8 of us packed in the suburban and drove back (Blake had come back 4 days earlier to get back to work!!).  The trip went pretty smooth... not gonna sugar coat it though... there were some brutal parts!!  After being spoiled at Ahmas for 10 days it's always a little hard to get back into the routine of things.  Plus I think all the kids were at their limit w/ cousin time... BUT, it was a great memory and I'm so glad we made it.  We tried to visit Santa at the South Park Mall and then hit up the Branch Christmas Party... always a memorable evening!  

I LOVE MY FAMILY and I'm so glad we were able to spend this precious time together!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A FABULOUS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!!  We are here in Sunny Florida... 82 degrees and GORGEOUS today!  I am so grateful to be surrounded by those I love most!  Time to jump off the computer and go EAT EAT EAT!!  Enjoy your traditions whatever they may be... sending lots of love and a cyber oreo turkey... gobble gobble!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I just can't think of a good title for this post so I guess it will remain unnamed for tonight!!  That is the downside of blogging at 1am, nothing witty comes quickly!!  On the upside though, the house is quiet so I'll take it when I can get it!

WOW, what an incredible 6 weeks it has been.  I once heard that nobody cares or wants to here about how tired, busy and stressed you are (b/c they probably are too!!) but thankfully, my blog can't talk back!  THINGS HAVE BEEN CRAZY BUSY!!  I must first say, I am grateful for it... the work part.  It is so nice to be booked solid.  Whether I am managing it well, is still up for question!  I think the hardest part of the past few weeks (actually the past 7 months) has been juggling Blake's car issues.  Since the accident in March we have been up and down getting a new car for him.  Anyway, over the past 6 weeks while his car was getting a new engine put it in, we had to juggle one car, only to find out THE VERY DAY we got his back, that my thermostat was shot?!  It was tough getting up, getting the kids in the car every morning, taking him to the train station or all the way uptown and then juggling how to work out my photo sessions and the kids each evening, but at least I could always count on MY CAR!!  When it rains, it pours right!!  Thankfully, I think we are getting past our car problems... never take 2 cars for granted again!!

This past week was also a rough week for my little guy Braden.  We are still dealing w/ the repercussions of the accident monthly!  This month, he was referred to an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) practice to see what we can do about his nasal passage that was fractured and is full of scar tissue and obstructions.  It is something you would never notice by simply looking at him, but it makes it hard for him to breathe at night, causes snoring and basic obstructed airways... NOT FUN!  We had his initial appt.  Then a CT scan..... SO TRAUMATIC (though after much screaming and crying he decided it was cool, b/c he felt like an Avatar... leave it to Braden and his imagination!!)  Then we were referred to an ENT Plastic Surgeon specialist that will have to perform yet another surgery to repair/scrape out scar tissue from the nostril.  I feel so bad for Bray.  He hates Doctors (even though they are truly great doctors and it will help him in the long run) and it feels never ending.

In the midst of all this, I was ON CALL this week to photograph ANOTHER live birth!!  Yes, things were hopin' here at the Hart House.  I had 10 photo sessions in 13 days and a pending birth that made me jump every time the phone rang!!  Here's how it all went down yesterday:

Wed. my "birth client" texted me to let me know her water had broken!!  This meant it was close.  I crossed my fingers it wouldn't coincide w/ my photo session and a few other things and we made it through the day and night.  Thurs. the contractions were sporadic... I had a neighbor on call in case it happen... BUT NOTHING!  Later that afternoon I had a 45 minute photo shoot at BCP (minutes away from her house).  Contractions were still sporadic around 4pm when I left for my shoot!  I shot for about 45 minutes and then noticed her text: you should probably come soon... contractions intense!  I raced over right after my shoot around 5:15 and MISSED the birth by 10 minutes!!  DANG... I was so bummed.  It was a home birth, after all, so it would have been amazing.  It still was, however, incredible to be a part of documenting the first few hours of this little babies life.  Definitely a different feel then shooting at the hospital!

I AM BLESSED WITH AMAZING EXPERIENCES AND OPPORTUNITIES.  As I said, despite the STRESS, LACK OF SLEEP, crazy balancing of schedule and priorities, I know I will make it through these last few sessions/days and I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to do what I love.  {click there for H2H session sneak peeks}.  Okay, I really better get some sleep!  2 more sessions tomorrow and then I am taking all the youth from our church to a barn dance at night. GOOD NIGHT!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 Minute, $10 DIY Photoshop Silhouettes

I was feeling a bit crafty today!  After hanging out in the Doctor's office with the boys all morning, I decided we needed a fun  project.  Plus I have been wanting to hang silhouettes of my cutie pies for a while.  Now when I get crafty, I know I have to be quick, but a bunch of the DIY Silhouette blog explanations involved too many steps with cutting and paint and other things I didn't have time for!!  So I came up with this quick and easy way to get a silhouette in photoshop.

Here's the tutorial...

Start with a photo that shows a great silhouette.  I purposely set my camera setting to be dark so I could trace the outline easier.  Open your image in PS

Grab the quick selection tool and select the "head" portion you want to silhouette

There are many ways to do this next step.  I simply went into Hue/Saturation (control U) and scrolled the "lightness slider" all the way to the left to -100

This completely darkens the area within the quick selection

From there I created a copy of JUST the selection

I then opened a new 5x7 layout.  This was the size of my frame opening... you can customize your settings depending upon your need

I pasted my "selected" area and WAHLAH my silhouette is DONE and READY TO PRINT.  That was easy.  I printed my finaly silhouettes on bright white cardstock and framed them in black oval frames I bought for $5 each.

And I love how they turned out!!

It makes the perfect addition to this wall collage.  Now that was 10 minutes and 10 dollars well spent!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Best Halloween Yet!!

It really was!  The boys were totally into it this year and even though we waited until the last minute to find costumes, everything turned out great!!  I was BOMBARDED with photo sessions in October (in a good way, of course) so I'm glad we were able to pull everything off... decorations and all!! *** Must give an honorable mention to our "Halloween Cats".  My Dad was so pumped to make these with the boys.  He found the idea in a good housekeeping magazine, tore it out, brought it and thus the creation began!!  I honestly had not had a FREE SECOND in Oct. so it was fun to have them here to help out with carving pumpkins and getting into the spirit of things!!  THANKS GUYS :)

Earlier in the week, the festivities started w/ Braden dressing up for preschool.  He FINALLY narrowed it down to one costume (other possibilities included an avatar, batman, other super heros etc...)  The preschool program was awesome!!

Thursday Ahma, Ahmpa, Ash and Camille came into town.  We had a blast the entire weekend!  We hit the pumpkin patch...

The trunk or treat at church.... Are we just lovin' that walrus!!  Seriously such a random costume, but I LOVE HIM IN IT!!

And had a great time doing a little trick or treating in our neighborhood on Halloween.  We have the BEST neighborhood for trick or treating!  You don't have to go to far or to too many houses to have a great time.  Of course we didn't get home from church until 6pm (Blake until 7p) but it was still a FUN night!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

October or BUST!!

October is a happenin' month here at the Hart house!!  All my boys have October B-days, so it seems we are celebrating something weekly!!  It starts with Blake on the 7th, G on the 10th and Bray on the 20th.  These are our family party pics.

After rescheduling Gavin's party due to a stomach virus, we finally had a fun little party at the house one morning for a few of his neighbor friends.  We decorated cupcakes, ate mini pizzas and enjoyed an impromptu visit from Papa.  Perfect for a 3 year old!!

This year we decided to do Braden's party at his Tae Kwon Do studio.  It fell on the same day that he tested for his orange belt... can you feel the excitement!!

This is him testing...

Now, let the party begin!!  I got SOOOO many hilarious pictures of the kiddies.  Posting all 137 was not an option, so here are a few fun ones!

This is my "Gavin Montage".  The age of THREE is proving to be a bit of a rollercoaster for him.  I mean, the 2's were a breeeeze compared to this!?!  He is up and down and back up and down... moody toody.  So, at the party he was no different.  He started out hiding in the waiting room... would not even enter the studio.  BUT, little by little he warmed up (never mind the fact that we are there 3 days a week?!)  Anyway, you can see the progression... my Mom helping to ease him onto the mat and into the exercises and FINALLY him participating!!  Tooo funny.  All I can do is laugh and cross my fingers he grows out of it soon!!

What a great party and a great month of celebrating!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Vampire & A Walrus

Gave the kiddies 100% say over their costumes this year!!  I LOVE what they came up with... especially my Walrus... I mean who dreams of being a Walrus for Halloween?!  Guess my little Gavy does AND I LOVE HIM for it :)  More pics to come when I can blog at a decent hour....

An Interview With A Five-Year Old...

Braden turned 5 two weeks ago {ooops... a bit behind in posting!!} .  To commemorate I asked him for an interview.  He politely obliged - mostly b/c he was bored.  So, w/out further adieu here is my BIG BOY of 5 years in all his glory!! 

BRADEN RUSSELL HART - a.k.a, Bray Bray, Bro, Muscle Russell etc...
October 20, 2005


Food: pizza, chinese dumplings, carrots, broccoli, popsicles, frosting and of course biscuits and gravy (and I promise I did not prompt on those veggies!!)

Colors: blue & purple

Friends: Sean, Asa, Ethan & Edwin

Movies: Avatar, Karate Kid, Marry Poppins, Robots, Scooby Doo, Living Scriptures

Things to Do: shoot bow & arrow, play on the monkey bars (w/ gloves on of course), play with toys, tell knock knock jokes, go to tae kwon do

Toys: power ranger car, batman, bakuguns

TV Shows: Disney Playhouse, Sonic, Curious George

Things at School: doing the monkey bars, his teacher Ms. Pam 'cause she reads lots of books!

Place to go: Monkey Joes, school, toy store, Ahma's House

What is Daddy's job: "to make money"
What is momey's job: "take pictures"
What to you want to do when you grow up: (in this order) "be a missionary, go to high school, go to BYU
What job do you want to have: "costume seller or pumpkin patch owner (Can you tell we were days away from Halloween!!!!!)

I love my Braden and can't believe he is FIVE YEARS OLD?!!  He is such a creative, charismatic, smart little boy.  He LOVES to read.  He and Blake have recently finished Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, and the Long Cold Winter to name a few.  He just tested for his orange belt and loves being active through Tae Kwon Do.  He is also such a great older brother to Gavin. Wherever we go he puts himself in charge of making sure G stays in line and is right there with us (i.e., no wandering off in the grocery store... Bray would be all over that!!)  I'm sure we will look back on this some day and get a kick out of it.  Happy B-day to my own Karate Kid!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hart to Hart Digital is Sponsoring a GIVEAWAY!!

You know I love me a giveaway... so when the charmingly witty Ms Tara, of the "Do these kids make me look crazy" blog (formerly known as the Daily Nusz) approached me about giving away a little somethin' somethin' this month I WAS IN!!  To get the low down on what you could WIN and to see a SPREAD of gorgeous photo's from their family session last week, click here

Here's a sneak peek and a hint at the giveaway....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photography with Hart Session Post

Just posted the whole story about my session with this cute little guy here.  Thought I would share/post the link on this blog too...

Monday, October 18, 2010


I L.O.V.E. reading beauty/product reviews by "real" unbiased people {which are hard to come by} So, when I find a product I am happy with, I feel it my duty to give a shout out!!

For my birthday last month, I decided to splurge a bit on some really great skin care.  It seems my face wash never matches my drugstore moisturizer and after a sun-filled summer, my freckled face was dying for a little TLC.

ENTER ORGINS.  Used the product a bit in college, but hadn't ever bought a full line.  SERIOUSLY ladies, after my first wash with "Modern Friction" {an exfoliate} I could literally see the dead/dull skin coming off my face.  The frothy face wash alone, is enough to make you a believer.  You need only a pea size amount to get some major foam... that bottle is going to last me a year!!   It took a few days to get things in motion, but I must reiterate: I AM IN LOVE WITH THE PRODUCT.  I know we all have different opinions/product lines/beauty rituals we swear by... just thought I share my new {an improved} facial regimen!!  In fact, here's the detailed list I whipped up in photoshop (on an editing break... a girl's got to have some fun).  

I would love to hear what works for you... don't be shy, leave a comment!!