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Friday Photoshare – Introducing Nunez Photography!

Hello and welcome to another Friday Photoshare! I typically take this time to discuss a recent self portrait, but I’ve decided to do something different today. I’m officially introducing Nunez Photography! I wrote some about our new photography business on Tuesday, but that was kind of a long post and filled with other things! So here’s the official announcement – my husband and I are building a photography business! We’re currently focusing on lifestyle family portraits, and we’re also looking to build a “contemporary glamour” portfolio. Nunez Photography has its own website and can be found at www.aenunezphotography.com.

Unlike many photographers who’ve gone the purely digital route, we’re focusing on creating printed images. All too often, digital photos are never printed and then are lost in a hard drive crash or server failure. I’ve heard it said that more images are taken each day than during the first 100 years of photography as a medium, but where will most of these new images be in 50 years? 100? 200? I’m sure only a relative handful will still exist. That’s why we believe in printing photos. We put a lot of effort into sourcing beautiful, handmade folio boxes and finding a professional printer with papers and inks we love. We recently had the pleasure of photographing a family who’d been putting off portraits for years. It sounds silly, but when I unpacked their prints from the lab, I almost cried because they are so lovely and I know the family will treasure them for years.

Each folio box is 14″x11″ and holds 20 matted prints, and the prints are on a deep matte, archival paper.

Probably the most fun thing about the way we’ve structured our business is the “photo reveal.” We have one basic sitting fee for the actual photography session and the client is not locked into buying any images. After we have everything ready, we have a “reveal” where clients get to see and hold their images, make their selections, and head home with their treasures that same day. All prints also come with the digital version of each image purchased, so clients have a backup and the option to share online. It is so rewarding to show people their photos in person! It’s difficult to say what’s more rewarding; Getting to see the look on a mom’s face when you show her a sweet image like this of her baby girl:

Or her daughter and husband:

Or showing a woman who just told you she ‘has no figure’ and believes she doesn’t photograph well just how beautiful she is:

We are so excited about creating this rewarding business together! If you’re living on Oahu or planning a vacation (I know a couple of my Etsy teammates have been here before!), please get in touch. We’d love to show you just how amazing you truly are.


Cinnamon Latte Whipped Sugar Scrub Recipe

Alright, so I’ll admit it doesn’t actually get cold in Hawaii (except on the mountains where it snows, but they’re on other islands), but it does get cool. When your home isn’t air-tight and there are 20+ mph winds on a regular basis, mid 60s starts to feel pretty chilly! Anyway, whether or not anyone else would feel chilly, it’s been cooler and more dry than usual recently, so I decided to create this cinnamon latte whipped sugar scrub recipe! It smells amazing while exfoliating and moisturizing dry winter skin. I hope you enjoy!

cinnamon latte whipped shea butter sugar scrub recipe recipe

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Transformational Gratitude

I know I’m always bringing up gratitude, but that’s because it works! Building a consistent gratitude practice, even something as small as looking for three things to be thankful for and just remembering them to yourself each day, has such tremendous power. While gratitude is not the focus of Re-Story Your Life (though, of course, you know there is some gratitude in there!), I am planning for another 5 day gratitude challenge this spring. Gratitude is on my mind!

While looking for quotations to include in the courses, I came across this gem and knew I had to create a printable for it:

Free printable on the power of gratitdue

As usual, it’s a free printable in the members’ area for newsletter subscribers! Being a subscriber also gets you access to a printable 31 day gratitude journal, so if you aren’t already on my weekly email list, use the box below this post to subscribe and get immediate access to a lot of neat things!

Speaking of Re-Story your life…

My mom is visiting next week and we’re headed to Kauai with her. I’ve been too busy working on Re-Story your Life to set up a full schedule of blog posts, but I will have a launch date announcement for you! Please check next week for a launch date announcement and video telling you a bit about the course and what you can expect from it. =)


2016 Thoughts and 2017 Goals

This month’s Blogging Business Artisans team challenge relates to expressing what the past year meant, sharing hopes/goals, and reliving memories. It’s still January {depending on your time zone :-p }, so I thought I’d better hurry up and post! I also have a free printable goals sheet to share further down the post.

I’m just going to go ahead and not link up with my 2016 goals. 😂 While I get get things more organized at home, many of my 2016 goals went unrealized and it’s totally okay. Looking over them, many of the things I didn’t achieve stopped being goals at some point in the year. For example, adding more wood items to my Etsy shop fell off the radar. Shipping changes made it impossible for me to get boxes I need to mail larger wood items I was working on, so that stopped being a reasonable goal. Additionally, I didn’t see the Etsy shop growth I thought I wanted, but I realized that I actually didn’t want that level of growth. I consciously did not make as many holiday items this year and didn’t try to get the same number of November/December sales. Instead, I closed up shop for several weeks during the ‘holiday sales’ period! I realized that taking the time off so we could spend time with family and friends was more important to me. Ultimately, I devoted a lot of time and energy to different things throughout the year than what I imagined in January. Overall, I’m very satisfied with things I accomplished, learned, and did in 2016.

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Free Blog Planner Printables for February

It’s almost a new month, so that means it’s time for free blog planner printables for February! Well, more accurately, printable – no s. If you’d like the month by month calendar, please stop by this post where I shared a printable calendar for the entire year. If you’re looking for a social media stats tracker and analytics tracker for February, read on!

Before I link up the printable, I’d like to take a moment to say THANK YOU!! to all of my wonderful readers, especially the several folks who’ve reached out to me in the last week. I’ve received personal messages from individuals explaining how they found my blog and ways resources I’ve shared help them. I love teaching and sharing and it fills me with joy to know I’m able to help people around the world. Thank you so much for being here – I am honored to be on this journey with you. I am working on so many additional resources and I can’t wait to share more about them soon!!

As usual, this month’s stats tracker page is hosted on Google Drive. You can download it by clicking on this link.

The colors in the smaller image are more accurate that what you see in my photo – I need to replace my yellow ink! If you don’t have the 12 month printable calendar and post idea pages, stop by this post to snag them.

If you like free printables, be sure to stop back by tomorrow! I’ll be sharing some of my “New Year’s” goals and a lovely printable goals page for staying on track. =)


Wow – it’s the final Friday of January already! In this week’s Friday Photoshare, I’m taking you behind the scenes of “We Write our own Story” with not only a photoshoot video, but also a quick look at the basics of my compositing/editing process. I hope you enjoy!

As you might guess from the title, the message of this image is that we write our own story.; life is a blank book we fill. The theme of life as a story is on my mind right now because of the new course I’m creating (you can read more about that here!). To see the photoshoot and a bit of how I created the final image of the subject out of three separate shots, please check out this video. =)

As you’ll notice in the video, the dress I wore is blue in real life. I always intended to change it to green for the final image because green has connotations of new life and rebirth, signifying the power of re-storying your own life. While I played with the idea of a totally abstract background, I ultimately decided that being on a path was more meaningful. The forest greens in the background were overwhelming the dress’s visual power, so I changed the background greens to purple. For the image overall, I pushed the shadow tones towards blue and the highlights towards yellow in order to create a more painterly, surreal feeling. I’ve frequently hesitated to manipulate images “too much” and have been afraid to create things that seemed to “fake.” One of the things I’m working on this year is allowing myself to view my self-portraits as art and not, strictly speaking, photography. Yes, I use photography and I want my images to seem at least somewhat plausible, but I’m trying to be more okay with having finished products that feel more surreal/painterly (at least some of the time!).

As always, I hoe you enjoy this look into my creation process. If anyone is interested in a tutorial showing some basic compositing, please let me know! Or maybe a tutorial showing how to make a basic levitation image?


Shallot & Onion Greek Yogurt Dip

Low-quality filler ingredients, non-nutritive sweeteners, and chemical additives do not agree with my stomach. Unfortunately, these silly and, in my mind, unnecessary, ingredients are in so many grocery store products today. The good news is many of these items are easy enough to make yourself if you have a few minutes! I really love onion dip, but all the commercially-available version I’ve seen are packed with nonsense, so I just make my own. I brought this shallot and onion Greek yogurt dip to a friend’s house earlier this month and returned home with a completely empty bowl, so I know I’m not the only one who enjoys this homemade dip!

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Be Patient

Do you remember back when you’d write a letter to a friend and then finally get a reply days or weeks later? Or how sometimes you’d call someone and they wouldn’t answer and you had no idea if it was because they were in the bathroom or if they’d gone on a month long vacation? Now we start to stress when someone doesn’t immediately reply to a text or email! Amazon has same day delivery programs running in several cities and movie production companies are thinking about cutting the time between release to theater and in-home viewing options. We live in the age of “now.”

Unfortunately, for all its convinces, this era can also be, I believe, deeply detrimental. We look for quick fixes – “Fit in your skinny jeans by Friday!” programs or get rich quick schemes. Then, when these efforts inevitably fail to work within the promised week, we become discouraged. We think that because we didn’t learn to love our bodies, fill our bank accounts, or tidy our homes forever in just a few days, the goal is permanently unachievable.

It’s pretty heartbreaking when you think about it.

Today I want to remind you to be patient with yourself and take a cue from nature:

I hope that you remember nature’s lesson and take the time to be patient with yourself.

As always, this is available as a free printable for newsletter subscribers! If you’d like it on something a bit larger than an 8×10 you print yourself, you can also find this image on a variety of products in my Society6 store. And, of course, I hope that everyone who comes across it enjoys, regardless of whether or not you download a copy.  🙂


We Become the Stories we Tell Ourselves

As newsletter subscribers learned on Friday, I’m working on a new e-course! Today I’m letting the rest of the world in on the news, too.

We become the stories we tell ourselves, even if those stories would make very little little sense to anyone else.

A person’s personal narrative style, how they explain their life events themselves, has an enormous, far reaching impact on his/her life.

Everyone experiences setbacks, but optimists tend to pick themselves up more quickly, dust off, think about lessons learned, and move on. Pessimists tend to see the defeat as a sign of their personal, unsurmountable failures and are more likely to linger in a funk, or even fall into clinical depression, after a perceived failure. While unbridled optimism is not always the best policy, optimists tend to live longer, healthier lives and perform better. Optimistic students earn higher grades, optimistic political candidates and sports teams are more likely to win, and optimists do better in high-stress occupations.

The good news is that it’s entirely possible to change your personal narrative style! You can train yourself to think more optimistically. When you think more optimistically, it becomes possible to re-story your life and literally rewrite your life’s story, past, present, and future. (Yes, actually your past, too, because of the way your brain changes memories each time you access them. But more on that in the actual course!)

That’s the focus and title of the upcoming e-course: Re-Story Your Life, rewrite your future.

Changing the entire way you think doesn’t happen overnight, but there are ways to keep yourself on track and it truly isn’t as difficult as you might imagine.

I don’t have a release date set yet, but I plan to set one within a week or two and I’ll keep you posted! Also, this will be a paid course, but a very affordable one, and everyone on my email list at the time of launch will receive a sweet discount code. If you haven’t enrolled in weekly newsletter yet, now is a great time to sign up!

I cannot wait to share the life-changing amazingness of altering your personal narrative style and re-storying your life soon. 🙂




There is something so luxurious about using an extra creamy, deliciously scented bar of soap. It can turn an everyday necessity into a delightful experience! Plus it’s so nice to walk away from the sink with hands that feel soft and conditioned, not dried out and completely stripped by harsh chemicals! That’s why today I’m sharing this soothing lavender soap recipe with frankincense. It’s fantastic for everyday use, but it also makes a nice non-food Valentine or a great DIY wedding favor!

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