Thursday, November 28, 2013

The BIGGEST {itty bitty} blessings; Cyber Monday SPECIALS from Oliverblue to YOU!; photo + food recipes!

i remember it clear as day.
my little sister had picked up some wine for me
and had come over to drop it off.
as we were chatting, she teared up - 
as she had many times in recent months -
because another month had come and gone without being pregnant.
she had been trying for nearly two years...
she said "we might as well drink this"
and i said to her:
we will drink this wine
AFTER you have that baby.
i stuck the bottle of wine in the wine fridge and there it sat
patiently month after month after month...

three weeks ago - on november 1st, 
i met my sister and her husband at the hospital 
to witness and photograph the birth of their new baby boy.
we all waited patient{ish}ly 28 hours
before he arrived.

as the doctor laid beautiful baby FINN
on my sister's chest
and tears streamed down the faces
of everyone in the room - 
i thought to myself

we can FINALLY drink that bottle of wine!


i thought to myself

God. is. SO. GREAT.

and His GREATEST, BIGGEST blessings come in itty bitty form...

days after sweet, healthy, perfect baby finn arrived,
i found myself at his home photographing him in his proud mama's arms
(my sis and i each with a super special, long awaited glass of wine on a table nearby)...

is he a sweet little muffin 
or what?!!!
crazy about him.

 this holiday, and every day -
i feel overwhelmingly lucky to have so many
amazing {little and big} people in my life...

my family
my friends
my clients

bring overwhelming JOY to my heart.

i've been blessed. beyond measure.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.



"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" 
- James 1:17

ps. - in the spirit of the holidays...
CYBER MONDAY deals from Oliverblue to YOU!

NOW THRU Midnight, Monday December 2nd:

$100 off Oliverblue portrait sessions!
book a session for YOU or purchase a Gift Certificate for a FRIEND
and save $100 off the regular session price!!!


sign up to attend my January 11, 2014
and your family/friend can sign up for 50% off! 
sign up here.
{hurry! just a few spots left!}
these workshops are awesomely FUN + inspiring! -
the perfect holiday gift to give yourself!!!
start 2014 with CONFIDENCE!

3 ways to get the discount:

when you and your friend sign up seperately for a workshop, you each put your friend’s name in the comment box so we can cross reference your deal. {first+last name.} use the coupon code: cyberfriendday (copy and paste if you’d like!), and you will get your half of the 50% discount! that way you AND your friend both get to split the 50% off between you! 
if only one of you is paying - simply register for two spots, put your friend’s name in the comment box, and use the same coupon code: cyberfriendday. this will automatically take 50% off one of your sign ups, and you will both be set!
**if you are wanting to sign up a friend that will attend a different workshop in another city {my fellow teachers from across the country are fabulous!!!}, and get the 50% off for them, email our team at  we'll get you and your friend’s registration set up via phone or email.   


i have 2 holiday portrait sessions left!
call me if you've not yet gotten new {super rad} photos
for your holiday cards!!! 
lets take advantage of the forecasted sunshine next week!

and speaking of holiday portrait cards -
ALLOW ME to introduce MJ!

i am so excited to be partnering
with the mega talented + creative {and super fun} MJ Phelps
to develop custom photo card templates
exclusively available to Oliverblue Photography clients!
these new templates will be rolled out in the new year!
if you've not yet found your perfect holiday card this year
look no further than {right here!!!} and have
one designed/customized exclusively for YOU!
{MJ is also crazy talented with web/blog/logo/branding design! be sure to contact her if you are thinking about giving your brand a fresh look in the new year!!!}


leaving you with recipes for my three favorite
easy-peasy turkey day {finger-food approved} appetizers:

1 cup packed fresh parsley
3/4 cup EVOO
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 1-lb pieces flank steak

1 french baguette, cut into 40 thin slices

Blend parsley, 3/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper in processor until smooth. Place meat in large glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush meat with 2 tablespoons chimichurri sauce. Cover steaks and remaining sauce separately and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place bread slices on large baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Bake until just firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large platter.
Preheat broiler. Transfer meat to rimmed baking sheet and broil until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut each steak along grain in half. Cut each half crosswise against grain into 10 slices. Top each bread slice with 1 piece of meat. Spread each with some chimichurri sauce; place on platter. Spoon remaining sauce into small bowl and place in center of platter. Serve warm or let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature.

mozzarella stuffed chicken sausage balls -

2 lbs hot or sweet fresh chicken sausage
1 tub bite size fresh mozzarella
EVOO for liberal drizzling
fresh pepper

simply roll chicken sausage into balls (roughly 2 inches) and stuff with fresh mozzarella.  place on foil lined baking sheet about one inch apart. stick a toothpick or skewer in each and drizzle with olive oil. bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until cooked through and browned. 

40 baby tomatoes, sliced in 1/21 fresh buffalo mozzarella sliced into 40 cubesfresh basil, larger leaves torn in 1/2sea salt and freshly cracked black pepperextra-virgin olive oilgood aged balsamic vinegar

using a skewer, put 1/2 tomato, cut side up, followed by a piece of mozzarella, basil,  and finish with another tomato half. Season skewers with salt, pepper, oil and vinegar.

** i like to add some (cooled) sautéed garlic to the olive oil before drizzling...

i love a macro lens when shooting food - to get in super close with a sharp focus! for this shot, i used a nikkor 105 mm, f/2.8 lens. settings: shutter 1/80, f 3.3, ISO 250

shoot WIDE open to draw attention to the object you are shooting, while achieving a blurry, buttery background! i shot this with a nikkor 50 mm, f1.4 lens. settings: shutter 1/320, f 1.4, ISO 125

enjoy! ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Growing CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop:: In Review

good morning lovelies!

grab a cup of joe and head on over to {my dear friend, mentor, cohort} Me Ra Koh's blog this morning! I am thrilled to be featured this morning in a guest post reviewing my 

i had the most INCREDIBLE time teaching this workshop and am SOOO excited for the next one. 
please be sure to check out the full review {here}


TREAT YOURSELF to an awesome holiday gift! I would love for YOU to JOIN ME in the new year for my next Growing Confidence WorkshopSaturday, January 11th. only 8 spots! Get yours now and SAVE 20% with the early bird special (discount valid through November 30th. Use code: EARLYBIRD).  Purchase your spot {right here}.

Live Creatively! ;)

connect with me at and SHOW ME SOME LOVE {well, LIKE} on my Facebook page to be the very first to know about giveaways and promotions from Oliverblue Photography!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

november blog circle: THANKFUL (that oliver put mommy in check) + photo tip: shooting in low light! + 10 fabulous holiday hostess gifts!!!

oliver put mommy in check last week...

i have been guilty {on far too many occasions} lately
of getting the legos down to play...
and then sitting next to the boys + the legos
while on my laptop, editing or writing or marketing -
piping in on the lego action on occasion,
{typically after one of them had called my name about 20 times in a row...}
pushing oliver on the swing
with one hand,
the other hand busily responding to 
text messages and emails

turning on the tv for my babes {for hours}
while i worked.

after a good solid week of WAY too many superhero tv shows
and partial attention to lego time,
guilt started creeping in. 
so i decided to turn off the tv.
oliver was so excited when i told them it was time do some art with mommy! 
we gathered up supplies
and set them on the coffee table...
right next to my laptop.
i started out invested in art time.
but within a few minutes,
i went back to working.

in an attempt to appear involved in art project time
i said to my son, "i love playing with you."
he looked down at the table - at my laptop, my iPad, my iPhone (all three in use at the time),
looked up at me - and then asked
"but are you playing with me mommy?"

and my heart sank.

i put my computer away.
i grabbed a large bin full of matchbox cars -
and my babies and i spent the next two hours 
racing them two by two down the hallway,
laughing (miles with his perfect toddleriffic belly laugh),
cheering, and laughing some more.
at one point, oliver grabbed my cheeks, gave me a big kiss
and said "mommy, i love you. you are always the best. and you are so pretty."
and so we have spent two hours doing the same thing
EVERY day this week.

i am so thankful for my sweet babies.

and i am thankful for the brilliant ways they remind mommy
of how lucky i am to be doing the work i love
while having the privilege of spending my days
at home with my sweet lovies while they are itty bitty
and changing so much from one moment to the next.
they remind me that sometimes, the most productive 
(and certainly the most meaningful) days are, thankfully,
the ones spent exploring an old army fort,
riding our bikes,
splashing through rain puddles,
making a giant mess with a bin of sidewalk chalk,
catching up with dr. seuss,
or racing hot wheels cars down a hallway.

this week i renewed my promise
to be intentional in the time i spend with my babies
and to always remember what a luxury it is
to have hours every day to play with them.
my coffee table will be meant for paper + crayons + play dough
rather than a laptop.
and although the TV is the one constant thing
that oliver thanks the Lord for EVERY day,
i know he'll be thankful
to watch less of it ;)

 PHOTO TIP: shooting in LOW light!
{above} i wanted to capture sweet miles playing with the cars we
had recently thrown down the hallway. although there are windows
in all the outlying bedrooms, the hallway is still not well lit.
rather than turning on any artificial lights,
i opted to shoot at a low aperture (f1.4) AND a slightly higher ISO (640)
in order to capture the shot with natural light!
take advantage of these rad camera settings to get great exposure in low light!



ps. - going to dinner/to a party
this holiday season?
10 gorgeous holiday hostess lovelies
from the loveliest store ever:

from the current gift collection at

top to bottom, L to R:

pps - read more on "thankful" from
one of the loveliest ladies around,
{seriously, she's amazin}
Cathy Mores {here}.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

gussied up in COLOR: fall family portraits

one of my first and foremost tips for super rad 
family portraits: COLOR. {!!!} 

a sampling of colorful photos from three of my
favorite family sessions this fall:




are those sweet families super fun or what?! love. love.

if YOU are shopping for color for your
family portraits -
here are a few of my favorite colorful finds this fall -
found at my most fave sites to browse...


and NO outfit is complete without some lovely bits from 31BITS:



MINI BODEN: cable cardigan; {to die for}spotty fifties dress ; ballet flats


there you have it. a nice summary of what i have most recently been drooling over on-line. 

i have a handful of sessions available this month.
book your family portrait session prior to november 22nd
to have portraits for your holiday cards!



ps - "write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year." 
- ralph waldo emerson

pps - next post: a review of my recent growing CONFIDENCE photography workshop.
it was so. much. fun.