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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale" Flier

(Click on the image to enlarge.)
So, things are coming together. I'm emailing businesses and finding more women who would be interested in having a booth. My goal is to have at least 25 vendors and so far I think I have 3. Please pray that the word gets out, I advertise effectively, I keep learning, and that many are blessed by this event and opportunity. Off to do more...! Happy Tuesday, all!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Feel Pretty!

You won't believe what you're about to read; you'll be skeptical and possibly worried about my sanity. Take heart, I still have all my marbles and haven't sold my soul to anyone. Read on and learn what has changed my life. Seriously.

I woke up this morning a new woman. I felt so good I didn't even want to shower, afraid the glow would wash away. One shower later, I'm still feeling radiant. So, what's new? I discovered how to take care of my skin -how to maintain it with products that have balanced my PH levels, changing my very oily complexion into healthy skin; repairing with super charged cell helpers and microderming the dead cells away; protecting my fresh, new, baby skin with Texas' #1 rated sunblock.

Am I a walking advertisement? You bet I am. I daily see the difference in my skin because of the Maintenance, Repair and Prevention regimen from BeautiControl. And I LOVE IT!

Battling acne and blackheads since I was 10, I finally went on Accutane -the heavy duty, "we ain't messin' around no more" acne medication- this past year. It treated my adult cystic acne and, truly, my breakouts now are much less severe and only occasional. Being off Accutane since February, I was (gasp!) washing with hotel bar soap and a store brand, oil free moisturizer. My blackheads were still with me and, though my complexion was for the most part clear, my face remained as oily as a teenager's.

I attended my friend, Jen's, BeautiControl spa in mid-August. I liked the products, but felt it was unnecessary to invest in facial care since -hey- I'm a bar soap gal. Realizing, though, that I did need to step up my facial care program (30 is just a few months away...) I decided to get the very basic maintenance pack -and get 40% off by booking a spa with Jen. Sounded like a deal to me! I used the cleanser, scrub, alcohol free toner and moisturizer that night and again the next morning...and I couldn't believe my eyes.

Note: I am NOT a product hound -on anything (except Dove chocolate -the best cheap chocolate you can get, dollar for dollar.) I am particularly skeptical of things sold at home/hostess parties. They must be scamming you, right? And you always feel guilted into buying something even if you don't want or need it. I was taking all of the BeautiControl stuff with a grain of salt. And then I saw the results...

The very next day I noticed a major difference in the balance of my skin tone, as well as the lack of oil that typically left me glistening by mid-day. What does this stuff have IN IT?! Whatever it was, it was working magic and I loved the results! I used the maintenance pack for over a month; the results stayed the same: less oil, more balance, healthier skin than I had seen since I was -say- seven.

I finally decided to sign up and be a consultant -I was already basically selling the product to others, I might as well have some on hand to share. Plus I couldn't wait to get the repair and prevention products, as well as all the other Spa Goodness BeautiControl offers. I cannot begin to go into detail on how much I love the various foot treatments, instant manicures, the intense hand lotion that lasts through 3 washes, etc. My raving goes on and on. Brian is about to grow mammary glands listening to all my gushing on how wonderful my skin feels and how much fun I am having.

Our master bathroom is literally Spa Heaven. Friends and family can attest to that. You should come over! It's too much fun -detoxifying mud masques, herbal foot creme, acid peels, microderm abrasion, instant face lift creme and serum that are basically botox in a bottle. The prices are ridiculously reasonable and the products are out of this world.

Every woman needs to take care of their skin AND take time for themselves. BeautiControl has it all and because of their pharmaceutical-grade products (that rival Lancome and Clinique) at Mary Kay and Avon prices, I am experiencing a whole new side of me -a more confident, healthier and younger looking me. You have GOT to try these products. Let's do a Spa!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Woah! It's Actually Happening!

Recently I've had my doubts as to the fulfillment of An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale, scheduled for November 7th. I thought it was a fabulous idea and a great way to promote the businesses of Uncommon Women (the women participating in UW, that is) plus have a rockin', festive event! It's a long story and I'm running out the door right now, but I wanted to show you the final details for the Holiday Show & Sale -and to tell you that God has answered many prayers recently. I can't wait to share the particulars with you. For now, here's the link. Have a beautifully blessed day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aravis!

Happy 1st Birthday, Aravis! May a sweet niece have a sweet party!
Sending lots of love,
Aunt Jo, Uncle Bebo, Wilder and Dumpling!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting Down To Business

Front of photography business card.

Front of, obviously, Uncommon Women card.


It was fun and challenging designing these business cards and I can't wait to get them in the mail, or to start handing them out to people! I've already met many women I've shared Uncommon Women with, and others I've wanted to, but it takes a long time to explain what UW is about and being able to hand a card out with the mission statement on it will help tremendously.

I was struck today by something I'd forgotten to do. I forgot to ask God to bless my new endeavors -the photography business and my new venture as a rep for BeautiControl (more on that soon!) Talking with my mentor, Gina, on the phone today she relayed that a few weeks ago she asked God to provide financially for her and -wham- God blessed her with business (she's now a full-time artist creating watercolor paintings on silk in various forms -it's beautiful.) I had been asking God for direction and discernment plenty, but I hadn't asked for blessing in the form of fruit or profit.

Brian is getting out of the Army in the spring and will be a full time student as he pursues becoming a paramedic (about 2 years of additional schooling.) He'll be working part-time in an EMS role, gaining experience while he learns, but it will be necessary for me to help out in any way I can, at least for the next two years. God has truly blessed these past few months, opening up ways for me to use my gifts and passions and create them into business endeavors. (As a side note, Uncommon Women is a non-profit and the culmination of what I believe my ministry is.) I'm excited to see how God will answer my prayers (and please join in) of provision for our family in this new stage of life. He is always faithful, so I have no doubt. I was just encouraged by the reminder to ask God for what we need -so simple, yet somehow I missed it.

I am so full and satisfied right now -with life (though I did just have some delicious dessert.) I thank God for the beautiful friendships I have been investing in and the exciting events, projects and businesses I am involved in. I feel very rich right now. Very rich, indeed. Thank you, Lord, for a full life.

The Office

Those of you who have seen our home know that central command is the kitchen. It's where I have my "office" and where life generally gravitates towards. With so many new undertakings (more on that soon) I became desperately aware of the need to organize the area I spend the majority of my time. Here's a sort of before and after series to illustrate where my new sense of order originates from.

Pictured above is ALL the crap that was hiding in the cabinet under my work area in the kitchen, as well as all the extra papers, etc. on the counter. I wish I had taken an untouched "before" picture of my chaos, but you get the idea that is was bad. Really bad.
*Sound of angelic choir, "AAAAAAHHHHHHH!"* 'And, lo, there was an organized work space. And God said it was good.'

It's a thing of beauty. Though I do need a laptop stand with more stability, but you use what you've got -and this organizer was previous crammed full of old receipts and catalogs in the cabinet.Holy Toledo. Space! Lots of space! Hm... now, what can I cram in there? Maybe....NOTHING ELSE. We'll see. I will put my stationary collections/files in there, but other than that I think this is staying as is. For awhile.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Press Your Reset Button

Overwhelmed? Check out the latest post on Uncommon Women for a little help shifting out of high gear and finding peace.

Sometimes we just don’t know when to stop, do we? Ambition, enthusiasm, guilt, responsibilities -all these things push us to keep going and take on more “to dos.” Think about where you are right now. Is your plate overflowing and your stress level ridiculously high?

Read more on uncommonwomen.net

Sending lots of love,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kelly Cameron Photography -Official Website!

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I now have an official business website! Yes, it may just be a free wordpress page, but it's strictly for business purposes and I am so excited to be showing some of the best of the best on it. It also frees me up to make this blog a bit more casual, which will also be linked to the site for prospective clients to see.

Are you a prospective client? Of course you are! Who wouldn't want some great memories captured for a ridiculously fair price and have the opportunity to shoot in their own home or outdoor location of choice? Email me and we'll get you set up for a photo session!

The site is still under construction, but the pages that are up and running are so fun -please take a peek!

Thank you for your support and I hope I get to work with you soon!

Kelly Cameron

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Business Name Short List

Alright, I've gotten some feedback (though I'd love some more!) and here's the updated list of photography business names in the running:

Kelly Cameron Photography
Donavan Covey Photography
Three Stones Photography
True Iris Photography
Open Nest Photography

Suggestions? Votes?

No Nap Nick

So Wilder has been napless the last two days, and not from lack of me trying. Did any of your kids stop napping at 23 months? So far I haven't been able to get him to even have quiet/playtime in his crib, but he has been rather good about playing by himself so I can still get some things done even with him awake -constantly awake.

In my google researching I read that toddlers who get 12 hours of sleep a night may not need naps. Wilder is getting that much sleep, so perhaps that's the answer. I'm trying not to hyperventilate knowing that in 4 months I'll have a baby and NEED naptime and it's already out the window. But women have had it much worse and I won't be the first in this situation. Something will work out, I'm sure of it.

The little dude has started exhibiting signs of cuddliness, something that was a total rarity before, and has also been severely clingy. The latter is not a good thing, especially with baby coming soon (what a shock Wilder will get to not be the center of the universe) and also since my back isn't doing so hot right now. I talked with my sister last night about Wilder's current 'tude and she said that kids go through stages of extremes. Right now everything is an extreme for Wilder, and, in return, for me. I'm trying to exercise EXTREME patience. Lord knows I need it. But I'm embracing those cuddly times and enjoying the next few months that it's just Brian and I with our short man.

Sigh. Oh, what an adventure. I'm happy, I'm content, I'm enjoying life. And, man, is this life hilarious.

Help! Name Me!

I'm trying to come up with a good name for my new photography business, and it's a toughy. What I'm looking for is something that has little or no web presence already (so googling like crazy,) a name that isn't too cheesy or cliched, and a name that doesn't pigeon hole me. I am not interested in doing fashion shoots, but I'd be up for doing weddings. My main focus at this point are portraits -family, children, babies, candid, semi-posed, etc. All with natural light and in natural atmospheres -outside or in the home, not a studio.

Here are some ideas I've had:

Cottage Hearth Photography
Chez Moi Photography (a bit on the cheesy side, but I DO work from home...)
Three Stones Photography
Captive Heart Photography (major syrupy, though)
Shoot The Moon Photography (though a gal in IL has this already with a great site)
A Lot Like Home Photography (too wordy)
Sweet Pickle Photography (too cutesy, but I do love it. Couldn't really do weddings with it.)
FoxWorks Photography (too industrial?)
Renaissance Mama Photography
Kelly Cameron Photography (A little obvious and rather bland.)

You wouldn't believe how many good names are already taken -and when I say taken, I mean taken by dozens of artists. Examples: Barefoot Photography, Briarwood Photography, Kismet Photography, Blink Photography. Just a few samples of names tried and passed by. How to find a good name that isn't popular? I'm not sure, but I'm working on it.

Help me out -vote on a name or send me a few more ideas of ones you like!

Here's a link to my Flickr photos if you want a tad of inspiration from some of my recent shoots.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HiiiiiYAH! (sound effect for karate chop)

A few snaps of the fruit of my labor, conquering my September goal. Here is my pretty, girly room -reclaimed! No toys (well, Wilder keeps throwing random ones he drags from upstairs behind the furniture) and all froofiness. Just looking at this room has a calming effect.
Yes, yes, they are totally crooked and too close together, but they're staying that way until I can stomach popping more holes in the wall (it's pretty swiss cheesey thanks to my highly accurate "eye balling" technique.) I have had this window box sitting in a closet unfinished for over two years. Now, it's DONE and hung.
Previously my craft area, the bookshelves were stocked with gross looking disorganization and a melange of crafting crap, cds, books, and sheer randomness. Along with the closet on the opposite wall (not pictured) which was packed with stuff that kept begging me to weed through, these two areas are now transformed into lovely pockets of order. *Sigh* It's good to tackle these kinds of projects.

Now all I need to do is finish my closet, dominate the guest room (which is full of gifts and picture frames,) and tackle two cupboards in the kitchen that are housing mini civilizations of chaos and disorder. Come on, September, let's keep rocking this house!

Oh! And we're having our first ever garage sale this Saturday. The garage shall be reclaimed!

Monday, September 14, 2009

September Goal

Why is it that halfway through the month I finally figure out what my goal is? It doesn't really bother me since I believe I've trained myself pretty well the last 9 months to tackle things on a regular basis, and I've certainly been aggressive this month.

Most days I've spent large chunks of time working on Uncommon Women. It's been so rewarding and very exciting! I'm happy with the start up of its web presence. Last night I bought the domain name "uncommonwomen.net" and have it linked to the blog (.com and .org were taken.) I'm organizing a Holiday Show & Sale for November 7th and I'm trying to figure out what October's event is going to be.

Yesterday I conquered my craft/crap closet and area, organized it all and turned it into a playroom. It was an undertaking I'd been meaning to get to for nearly 2 years. Yikes. But it's FINALLY done!! I'm excited about getting some colorful educational posters to put up on the walls and going to Ikea for a couple bean bag chairs to fill the area in a bit. I moved all of Wilder's toys from the downstairs living spaces upstairs to his room and the playroom. He's had so much fun hanging out in his room playing away and it's WONDERFUL reclaiming my peaceful areas in the house.

September's goal is basically kicking butt. I would say it's organizing my life, but that's a little too specific. I've already decided October's goal is going to be about cooking and I'm looking forward to that one! It's great getting a handle on some of the areas and items in my life that need to be whipped into shape.

Today I'm going to take it easy, at least that's what I'm telling myself. Taking a small hiatus to recharge and rest a bit. All this conquering and excitement has made me a bit exhausted. Plus Wilder got up ridiculously early and I'm still not quite awake (nor do I want to be.)

I pray that you would seek and receive refreshment today, too. I am so thankful for the wonderful things that have been happening in our lives despite the major unknowns we're still facing. I have full confidence in God's provision and guidance.
Peace be with you today.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Uncommom Women" A Success!

Thursday night's Uncommon Women Kickoff Event was wonderful! Thank you all so much for your support and prayers for the development of this group and it's first event. The ideas and energy generated by this initial gathering of women are a testament of awesome things to come. I can't wait to plan October's event plus a few other gatherings I have in mind in support of this group. Thank you for your continued prayers! Please click here to see fun pictures from the event and read what UW is up to!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

19 Weeks

Woah, talk about a blast from the past. At least it's not my school picture sophomore year. Knowing I had a 19 week pregnancy shot from Wilder's incubation I thought it'd be fun to compare it with one I took yesterday. Oooooh, babies! I am so excited for our little "dumpling" to arrive. I've been eating up (not literally, of course) my friends' infants, basking in the knowledge that soon we'll have a new addition swaddled in our arms. True, I'll be exhausted and have no time for anything but surviving the first few months with an infant and a toddler, but that will pass and I can't wait for more family fun and precious moments to come!

Sweet baby, I love you! Just recently her kicks have gotten strong enough to feel outside my belly, though Brian hasn't caught one yet -there's time, plenty of time... Wilder was sitting on my lap this evening and dumpling started kicking like mad. An omen of things to come? :) Naw, they'll be partners in crime!
Oh, dear.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Holy Cow, Would You Look At THIS!

Wonderful! I have your attention!

Uncommon Women, the group/organization that I've started, got a move and make-over. Here's the NEW SITE, with fresh posts that will inspire and invigorate your day! Check out all the neat pages and stay clicking for many more enriching posts!

Have a truly wonderful day!


A Note on Letters

With the convenience of email and the rise in stamp prices, writing letters is not something most of us opt for in regular correspondence. While this is sad in a way -the art of letter writing is a wonderful thing to practice and share- it is also a fact of the times. But writing letters or not writing letters isn't the point of this post. Instead, I want to raise the issue of the generic photo card that is now becoming scarily prevalent in today's mailboxes.

The past few Christmases an increasing percentage of cards have arrived in the form of the photo card, a long envelope-length photograph picturing a family with their season's greetings and names printed beside it. These are lovely to receive with a personal note scrawled specifically to the addressee on the back or even an annual family newsletter, but there is little more insulting than receiving one of these completely blank. How utterly rude. It takes less than 30 seconds to write a short personal note and if you are already spending the time and money to find the perfect family photo from the past year, have them printed, address and stuff the envelopes, and buy the stamps, an extra 30 seconds per card is not that much more of a sacrifice. Insurance companies send out more personal holiday greetings than 50% of the cards received from friends I hold near and dear.

If you don't have the time to write a short note on a mass produced greeting card, then send a mass email. It won't cost you a thing and it will only slightly annoy folks as opposed to insult them by your complete lack of tact. If you feel obligated to send out a greeting in the mail I encourage you to make it count by being personal.

Now, I am far from being perfect at correspondence. I need to get on the ball and remember people's birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, -you name it. I am notorious for forgetting these special occasions and I need and want to change my lackadaisical habits. It's selfish of me to expect others to remember my special days when I easily brush theirs aside. So, you see, I am in vast need of improving my thoughtfulness and correspondence as well. But, please, do take that extra few seconds to write a personal greeting, share some encouragement, write some family news and/or inquire after the receivers well being. After all, it is what sending the letter is all about in the first place.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More of Not Much

Wilder has always been one for accessorizing, but recently he's insisting that I adopt his style. Finally, pictured (poorly) here, Wilder began wearing this scarf a la the way he was commanding me to do so all weekend. I can't wear it around my neck, shoulders, bulging pregnant belly, but must wear it on my head. He found his reflection in the oven door and greatly enjoyed admiring himself and chatting to himself. Each new discovery of his brings great amusement, that's for sure.
Ah, the widdle old woman.
I was able to snap so very treasured photos of my two most favorite men on the planet. These are definitely getting framed.

At 19 weeks into my pregnancy, I am still feeling great. Having this weekend to relax and do very little but sit and enjoy my beautiful family, I have been able to feel our little girl's strengthening kicks more often than I usually get to. I have been cherishing this time of family solitude and am so thankful for the chance to get away and simply "be" together.
I find myself wondering if a kid could get any cuter, but this one eventually does and I am continually astounded. Becoming a parent, the metaphor of God loving us as a father/parent has blossomed more richly than I ever imagined. If I love Wilder this much and God loves me (and all of us) with more passion and persistence than I can love my son -wow. Just, "WOOOOOOOW!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Getaway

This weekend we tucked away in a cozy cabin just minutes away from the heart of Austin, but you wouldn't believe it if you closed your eyes and magically appeared here. We're surrounded by trees and have a beautiful, open, wooded view from a spacious deck. It's my sister-in-law's place they rent so they have a quiet spot to stay on visits from their home in Houston. It definitely makes one want to downsize, as well as live in the woods. What peace. Well, what peace when Wilder's in a mellow mood, like these photos show. What wasn't captured was the rest of the time when he was either bouncing off the walls (and couches,) throwing toys at our heads (he has quite an arm, we're rather in awe of it,) or throwing tantrums on the floor. But I have faith and a strong feeling that tomorrow will be a calmer day and all three of us, plus the dog, will thoroughly enjoy this wonderful retreat.

A few new developments. On Monday at work Brian was told he had basically two options for his future in the Army. 1) Reenlist and serve as a drill sergeant for the next 3 years in SC, or 2) Make Special Forces. He immediately marched over the the Special Forces recruiting office and signed up for the November SFAS course. And he is currently researching many civilian job options with great zeal. So, several more months of training for him and another 20 days of hell, but he feels confident that armed with the knowledge and lessons he gleaned from his first time around he can charge through this next course with much less difficulty.

Last night we had a fellow Brian went through this past SFAS course with and his young family over for dinner. It was heartening hearing Brian and Troy rehashing their experiences together and exchanging tips. As Brian has shared with me, the mystery is gone from the whole Special Forces Assessment and Selection. He knows now how to really prepare, despite the 30 odd books he read trying to glean the information before his August testing, and he can train more efficiently. It seems we are both at peace with this next step. And, heck, it's nice having a plan even if it's short ranged.
We're keeping our sense of humor and focusing on the important stuff -like squeezing our heads through the banisters while singing in Pig Latin. Okay, bad example. But it's good to regroup and readjust after several months of heightened anticipation and exhaustion (the latter was mainly on Brian's part.) Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone! We're definitely not laboring, and hopefully neither are you. Many blessings to you and your family from me and mine.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To Celebrate Baby

To celebrate our little baby girl I followed my small ceremony of joy from our last pregnancy. I bought a first outfit, made a nice dinner and had a cake to celebrate. This year, though, I actually made the cake -and WHAT a CAKE! Here's the recipe for this decadent and truly scrumptious Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake. It's amazing. We paired it with a few scoops of Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Happy Gender Day, Baby Girl!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


With a 95% surety on gender, we're ecstatic to announce the upcoming arrival of our little girl. Due date is still January 30, 2010. We're happily focusing on our girl names now and I've decorated a refined list to prettify the refrigerator. We'll celebrate today by buying our first little outfit and, hopefully, making a cake. Hooray for our pretty little dumpling!


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