Dez and Tam – Orange County Photographers for your Holiday Photos

If you are looking for the perfect photographers for your holiday family portraits, look no further.  Dez and Tam have a special deal for you but you better act fast!  In order to ensure that your cards can be printed and ordered, you must book your session for before Thanksgiving.  I have worked with Desi several times before and am truly amazed at his skills each time.  Remember when he shot my son’s 5th bday party?   
Most recently, I got to hang out with him when I put together a little local blogger meet up/photo shoot. He is a consummate professional, fun guy and AMAZING photographer.  Tammy, his wife, is also a talented photographer.  They make a great team although you may not get to meet her at your family session as they just had their second baby boy!!!  Yeah for them!  
See Lauren leaping?  That is how comfortable Desi makes you feel.
I tagged along on the photo shoot to try to learn as much as I could about photography.  While I like to take photos, it is a hobby.  Some people just get it and Dez and Tam are a few of those people.  I can’t wrap my head around lighting, but Desi just maneuvred around the park and knocked out amazing photos in no time at all. 
Desi knew how to work with each personality to get the best shots possible and used other resources to make the models feel comfortable (I may or may not have whipped out some tap dancing from when I was 8 to elicit some giggles).
This was a super fun afternoon.  My favorite part was when Desi would set up and take a shot and then share the image in the viewfinder.  It was always absolute magic.  Another reason Desi and Tammy are the best people to shoot your family photos is they are also parents.  They know how to handle crabby, fast moving children and get the shots, stunning shots of your little angels.  Here is a sneak peek at some of the shots taken of my local blogging friends:
by Dez and Tam
Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop – How gorgeous is this picture?!  That color is so amazing on Kristin!  
by Dez and Tam
Wendy of Wendy Will Blog – Wendy was an absolute natural and got her shots done in only a few frames.  I loved her pretty ease in front of the camera. 
by Dez and Tam
Lauren of A Fabulous Fete – Lauren’s hair was magical in the light and did some really artsy shots with Desi throughout the shoot.  I can’t wait to see all of them! 
So hurry and book your session with Dez and Tam!  Email
They are also available for weddings, parties, maternity and any other kind of shoots you can think of.  I was beyond impressed with the work he did at my son’s party.  He captured the details that meant so much to me and our guests enjoying themselves.  They are memories that I will always cherish. 
I heart Dez and Tam!
All images are mine except for the last 3 courtesy of Dez and Tam 


Guest Posting on – Part 3 {Drink up!}

I’ve really enjoyed sharing some tips with you guys over on!  Today they are sharing my ways to keep bar costs down while entertaining.  Check it out here! 
In case you missed them, see all the posts here:
Part 1 {simple diys and ways to jazz up your decor with things you already own}
Part 2 {a dinner buffet, easy dishes that everyone will love}
Part 3 {A budget bar, how to stretch your drink dollar}
photo is mine

Guest Posting on! {Fall Entertaining}

In case you hadn’t heard about it over on Pizzazzerie, Sterling Vineyards is hosting the “Ultimate Hostess” contest.  The first challenge was to create a party for friends including the wine for no more than $75.  I love a challenge so I decided to see what I could put together.  I was super happy with the overall party I designed (note:  should there be a party girl episode of Hoarders I will surely be on it…). BUT  turns out that due to some dumb California law, I couldn’t enter the contest!  So instead, I decided that I would share tips on entertaining on a budget with you via  Check out part 1 today and then check back there tomorrow for part 2!
Head over to now to check out the post.  And let me know what you think of the party! 
all photos are mine. 

Pink parties are the coolest

Anyone out there sign up to host a dinner party through 1,000 Cooks for the Cure?  Did you know that it doesn’t HAVE to be a dinner party?  Why not make it a fun girl’s night out and do a dessert potluck with rose champagne.  The images above are from a styled shoot/tiny party Lauren and I hosted in December for New Year’s Eve (how gorgeous are these images by Up Imagery!?!).  But I think it could be used throughout the year as well.  All these treats were provided by Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop for the shoot but her ideas are totally (for some – I am not one of those people) easy to DIY.  If a professional baker is not an option, I probably would buy store bought items and then jazz them up to make them cuter.  You can’t go wrong with pink rock candy, pink tinted white chocolate “suckers”, or a 3 layered strawberry shortcake cake.  Keep checking back for more recipes and entertaining ideas.  
Have you entered the contest yet? 
All images by Up Imagery
All treats by Meringue Bakeshop
Styling by Myself and Lauren of A Fabulous Fete

Photo Shoots – Behind the scenes

I like doing photo shoots.  You can really showcase your design aesthetic and get your ideas across.  The finished product is often refined and gorgeous (if you are lucky enough to work with a fantastic photographer).  But do you know what goes on behind the scenes during a photo shoot?  Let me share with you what my Easter shoot with Amy’s Kitchen Table was like.  Here is a math equation for you…2 adults making all the food for an Easter brunch, decorating and taking photos + 4 children under 5 = ?????
First, you have to play defense.  The kids will constantly try to leave their mark on your design.  I have to say I am not completely against the blue truck.    
Watch your backgrounds.
Be willing to reset the table.  You turn around for one second and there is a toddler wielding cutlery.  

 Juice should probably be consumed in cups with lids. Keep the decorative straws for another time.

Kid’s want to make their own centerpieces.  Styling must run in their blood. 
This is what our day looked like.  Our two sons wrestling feet from the buffet table.  Amy’s darling daughter, who started the day in a fabulous Easter dress, only to ditch it VERY early on and rock a diaper with patent leather shoes.  And notice there is one child missing which probably led me to a brief panic and a search party. 
I’m so happy that Amy, of Amy’s Kitchen Table asked me to be part of her Easter project.  I hope we get to work together again very soon.  Please support her as she is truly a talent in the kitchen and has so much to share with you and your family!  
All photos are mine.

Easter – Kid’s Waffle Bar and Crafts

Kid’s love to feel special so for Amy’s, of Amy’s Kitchen Table, Easter brunch, she wanted to set up a special waffle bar for the them to dress up their own delicious waffles.  I need to take a second right here and tell you that these waffles smelled AMAZING (and of course tasted that way too once I finally stole one).  The little bit of cinnamon that Amy added to the batter rocked my world.  Again, we kept the table really simple (and totally forgot to put the maple syrup on the table…)  And instead of blood orange mimosas for the kids, we kept out the champagne and replaced it with a little Sprite.  The kid’s were crazy for them.  Super easy.   

I wanted to keep the yarn theme going on the kid’s table so we added a yarn egg.  And I knew I wanted to do some kind of straw embellishment but didn’t want the yarn to shed in to the drinks.  I took small lengths of yarn, taped them to a piece of paper and then scanned it to make my own yarn-like paper and created the flags from that.  

Amy wanted to have activities for the kids.  What is an Easter party without an egg hunt I ask you?!  Also, I found a free “font” on Da Font with Easter graphics and created this quick coloring book for the kids.

Amy put together this really cute butterfly craft.  She printed and cut out different butterflies, let the kids paint them with watercolors.  And when they were dry, she attached them to pieces of empty toilet paper roll which acts as a cuff for their arms.  The kids had a blast running around the yard with their butterflies.  Yes, that last picture is of my new 5 year old BOY.  He has made it clear that he will not be cutting his “rock star” hair for “100 years.”  And it doesn’t look this girly normally.  Only whilst frolicking.  
Be sure to check out Amy’s post on the kid’s food and activities
Tomorrow I will share some out-takes from this shoot.  
All photos mine.