Perfect Water Bottle for Kids

I came to realize that not all cups or bottles work for my kids and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve got a whole section in my cabinet designated for sippy cups, kid cups, small cups, big cups, cups with straws, cups with soft tops and some with hard plastic tops and disposable cups. Yikes! After 3 1/2 years I’ve found the perfect cups for BOTH my kids. My oldest is 3 1/2 and youngest is 15 months old. The Camelbak Kids’ Bottle is the perfect size, had lots of fun designs and colors and being BPA free is always a plus. You can find them at REI, Target and websites like Sunny Sports and Amazon. Sunny Sports has the best deal at $7.49 on select bottles. I would highly recommend these bottles to anyone.

Just the Right Bite
Combining the patented CamelBak Big Bite Valve with a stem tube and shut-off valve, this detachable one-piece component is simple for kids to use and simple for parents to clean.

Never Spill
Easy for small fingers to operate, the clever cap flips open at the touch of a button.

Safe and Easy
Simplified stem and straw are child-safe yet easy to remove for cleaning. All parts are dishwasher safe.

Thanksgiving / Birthday

This year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving. Not such a bad deal considering I get to hang out with my family and feast on yummy food all day. The other bonus is that I get to sleep in because my husband has the day off. Extra sleep is one the best gifts he can ever give me.

Just as I expected, the entire day consisted of food, food and more food. Gotta love it! Luke made me chocolate chip pancakes in the morning and we started our Thanksgiving feast at 2pm. Needless to say, we were stuffed. The sad thing is, but 8 o’clock we were starving again and made quesadillas for dinner. Funny how that happens…you think we can’t eat one more bite and then a few hours later your hungry again.

What is love

Kaleo Church Sermon

What loving is not

Loving is not only sex

Loving is not getting only what you want

Loving is not winning an argument

Loving is not giving in to her ungodly desires

Loving is not lording over her

Loving is not speaking negatively about her to friends

Loving is not comparing her to other women

What loving is

Loving is giving yourself in all ways to her that honors Christ

Loving is gentle

Loving is kind

Loving is forgiving

Loving is not rude

Loving is peaceful

Loving is forgetting wrongs

Loving is seeing her difference as a blessing and not a curse

Loving is seeking to best understand and model the gospel

Loving is wanting to provide and protect her

Loving is wanting to spend time with her, not under guilt or compulsion

Loving is delighting in and desiring your wife

If men and women who are married spent time cultivating their love for God and submission to Christ’s Lordship, they would find themselves less in distress over submission and sacrificial love. When a woman love’s Christ above her husband, she is able to submit freely and willingly to Jesus first, which then empowers her to submit freely and willingly to her husband whom her Father in heaven has blessed her with. If a man loves Christ first, he is then able to receive the love only Christ can give. This then empowers and frees him to live in response to this amazing love and thus share it in abundance with the wife of his youth whom his Father in Heaven has bless him with.

It is only through the gospel of grace that we are able to possess and exercise these two great relational virtues. It is only through Christ’s submission and his faithfulness in love that we are able to submit and love as we ought.

Top 10 Lies told to Naive Photographers, Artists and Designers


Mark W. Lewis wrote a wonderful little article called Top 10 Lies told to Naive Photographers, Artists and Designers where he covers the top ten ways to give away your work when you should be getting paid big bucks.

I’ve only listed the lies but he has some great commentary to help put things into perspective.

1 “Do this one cheap (or free) and we’ll make it up on the next one.”

2 “We never pay a cent until we see the final product.”

3 “Do this for us and you’ll get great exposure! The jobs will just pour in!”

4 On looking at sketches or concepts: “Well, we aren’t sure if we want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk to my partner/investor/wife/clergy.”

5 “Well, the job isn’t CANCELED, just delayed. Keep the account open and we’ll continue in a month or two.”

6 “Contract? We don’t need no stinking contact! Aren’t we friends?”

7 “Send me a bill after the work goes to press.”

8 “The last guy did it for XXX dollars.”

9 “Our budget is XXX dollars, firm.”

10 “We are having financial problems. Give us the work, we’ll make some money and we’ll pay you. Simple.”

Now, as a new photographer just starting out, you may want to do a few freebie sessions with friends and family to get comfortable with the process. Shooting a friend’s wedding for free isn’t wrong. But then you’re doing them a favor. Eventually, you’re going to have to charge people just to keep from getting burned up. Even if you don’t feel you’re good enough. But when you go from amateur/hobbyist/enthusiast, to trying to make a living at photography, you better well be good enough to charge for your services.

In the end, working commercially, being a terrific artist is about 25% of the task. If that is the only part of the task that you are interested in, do yourself a favor. Don’t turn “pro.”

Tips and Tricks

One of the things I wanted to do with this site (aside from flaunting Julia’s mad Skillz) was to offer tips and tricks we learned as we grew. With that in mind, I wanted to share a couple things I found via Stobist. First is a video of a behind the scenes photo shoot involving everyone’s favorite – ninjas!

This behind-the-scenes video details of one of my recent photo shoots involving crazy stunt men, hot and scantily-clad stunt women, smoke machines, weapons, trampolines, and a dilapidated warehouse. – Chase Jarvis

Also found this cool DIY Background Stand by Basically, a couple of extending painting poles, plunger heads and clamps = cheap, portable, easy to adjust background stands.

DIY Background Stand

When at the till, make sure you have some explanation ready, because you will get funny looks standing in line with a 4-12 foot toilet plunger. I just mumbled “the toilet in the basement keeps plugging up”. I’ve rarely seen a more confused look on a store tellers face as she tried to figure out whether she was dumb and not getting what I was talking about, or if she thought I was a serious idiot. I had a good chuckle on the way to the car and congratulated myself on my ingenuity.

New Favorite Site

Stobist has become one of my favorite sites. Mostly because I have no idea how to use our new flash. If you’re interested to learn more about flash photography, check them out.

At Strobist, our goal is to promote more effective use of small, shoe-mount flashes. To teach you to use your small strobe to get results like the professionals get. Photographers from around the world have been bitten by the bug, and it’s about to happen to you.

Also, you can add PhotoJulia to your Technorati Favorites.

More Power

With the addition of the Speedlite 580EX it occured to me that we needed more power to unleash the full potential of our new toy, I mean tool.

The new external Compact Battery Pack CP-E3 improves flash recycle times significantly and increases the number of firings before batteries need to be replaced.

The pack takes optional rapid-change magazines that can be loaded with 8 AA-size batteries prior to a shoot to ensure fast, smooth transitions from one battery set to the next – important in critical shooting situations or to keep up momentum in the studio.

The Speedlite 430EX does not have a high voltage port, required for the CP-E3. High voltage packs (Turbo, Jackrabit, CP-Ex) all require the high voltge port found on the older 430EZ & 540EZ, as well as the newer 550EX & 580EX. This battery pack reduces full power recycling time from about six to 1.7 seconds and increases the number of full-power flashes per charge from approximately 100 to 432. this is one of the reasons we went with the 580EX instead of the less expensive 450EX.

Hot Flashes

We’ve been asked to photograph the wedding of some good friends in a few weeks. The challenge for us has been that the wedding is scheduled for dusk – which means low-light photography. To photograph in low-light you need either a faster f-stop or added light. of course, a faster lens still requires a steady hand but even the steadiest of hands will still come out blurry. Therefore you would need a tripod. but a tripod at a wedding is like putting on makeup while on a rollercoaster. Therefore, the only reasonable solution is using a flash.

Typically, the built-in flash on any camera is only good for casual use. The light doesn’t go very far and is usually more distracting than effective. Plus, the recharge time is too long for taking lots of pictures. What you want is an external flash. Enter the Speedlite 580EX II Flash.

Further development of Canon’s flagship Speedlite has led to the production of the 580 EX II. This is the premier Speedlite for all photographers, including professionals. Newly designed to match with the EOS-1D Mark III in terms of improved dust- and water-resistance, body strength, and the ability to control flash functions and settings from the camera menu (EOS-1D Mark III only). Other features include improved communication reliability through its direct contacts, and recycling time is both 20% shorter than the 580EX and is completely inaudible.

Speedlite 580EX II Flash Highlights
Approximately 20 percent faster recycling time compared to 580EX
Superior build quality, including a metal foot for higher rigidity
Max Guide No. 58 at 105mm setting (GN 190, feet)
Auto conversion of flash coverage with compatible digital SLR cameras
White Balance info communicated instantly to compatible digital SLR cameras
Full swivel, 180 degrees in either direction
AF-assist beam, compatible with all AiAF points on every EOS SLR
Dust- and water- resistance to match the EOS-1D Mark III

Unfortunately, the new Speedlite 580EX II Flash doesn’t come out for another few weeks and the previous version of the Speedlite 580EX is not easy to find. So we considered the Canon 430EX Speedlite Flash instead but as Ben, from BKM Photography, pointed out –

I think I remember reading that the recycle time on the 430 is 7 seconds… If that’s right, you may want to re-consider getting the 430 for wedding work. 7 seconds is an eternity when shooting weddings

7 seconds would be an eternity so I am probably going to get the older 580EX from Circuit City this afternoon. Either in store or online depending on price and availability. After all, we’ll need time to play with our new flash before using it at an actual wedding.

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