Life captured beautifully.

Company is coming!

Well, actually the company has already came and went by now, but I thought that didn’t sound like a very fun headline.  LOL!

My good friend, Jean Black, from Dear Charlie Photography in Clinton, IA came to visit for a couple days and we had a blast.  If you go to her website, check out her Actor Headshots section of her portfolio.  These are my favorites of her work.  So classic and timeless, but yet I feel like she has a very distinct, consistent style.  Jean knows her lighting!

We have so much to talk about every time we get together, although we tend to speak on the phone for hours at a time, it’s so much more fun in person.  We hung out in the studio, I showed her some of my fun new backdrops and props – then my home and my family.

The best part was that she stayed overnight and I told her I didn’t have an extra bed, but she could sleep in Collin’s if she liked and I guess she had visions of a little matchbox car shaped bed, but I could immediately sense her hesitation – plus I wanted an excuse to get away, so I suggested we stay at the Country Inn and Suites attached to the Diamond Jo Casino, only 7 miles from my house/studio.  The room was great!  And only $59 for the night.

I talked Jean into being my date at the Woodfire Grille in the casino and she loved it just as much as I do.  (I’ll share a secret, once and a while, I make Andy watch Collin himself while I go there by myself… it’s my own little night of luxury and Andy doesn’t mind because it’s not really his type of place).  I totally recommend dining there, it’s a slice of big city dining, right in the country… and if you go, try the Woodfire Chop Salad, the Cedar Planked Salmon, and the Creme Brulee.  They are to-die-for!

I indulged in a little gambling, and then it was off to the hot-tub for a little much needed tlc for my tense neck and shoulder muscles.  Carrying around those cameras are a chore!!!  It’s not the camera, but the lens that adds all the weight.

Today we did a little scenic drive to tour Northwood and Albert Lea, stopping at Ben’s Floral and Design and eating lunch at the always awesome Lakeside Creamery and Cafe.  I LOVE that place!  That’s where I get all my framing done too, and they do the best job!  They also are a good place for me to find high-quality but reasonably-priced props and decor items and Jean scored big today when she bought a Treenware (hand-crafted wooden) bowl.  I must say, I was jealous.

I just wanted to write this post, to let all my readers know how nice it is to have a day off and for us moms (and dads) to pamper ourselves once and a while.  I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to do that and I hope you’re able to try them out.

Have a great day, I know I did!  🙂


P.S. Enjoy this cute picture of Jean and I.  Collin took it for us (my 3 year old)… I asked Andy to, and he took one, but Collin’s turned out better!  🙂 LOL!

Collin's work

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