Thursday, December 29, 2011

The birth of Caylee Danielle

Go here to check out my latest photo session.  Just thinking about it gives me chills.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Miss these days.

I miss these days.  A lot.  Something in me hurts a little seeing this precious photo.

But don't get me wrong.  I'm loving these days...

Monday, December 12, 2011

This is amazing.

I am so glad I have someone to feel this way about.

Please, stop what you are doing-and read this.  But grab a box of tissues first.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy, budget friendly meals.

I am honestly writing this post so I can "pin it" as a "go-to" for when I make my Sunday night meal planning list.  Sometimes I feel like...I know I cook, but for the life I of me I can't remember what I cook.  I wrack my brain for meal ideas and I can't come up with anything besides toast and cereal.  So I am writing down 20+ "go-to" meals that are SUPER easy, SUPER fast, and SUPER budget friendly so that come Sunday night, I can head over to my "dinner recipes" board and come up with a budget friendly meal plan for the week.

* Spaghetti with tomato & basil sauce, salad, & garlic bread
*Penne pasta tossed with sun dried tomato pesto, (or basil pesto) and pea's.  Serve with salad and garlic bread
* Spaghetti Pie, salad & garlic bread
*Mac N' Cheese (homemade & boxed)

*Home made pizza (with tomato pizza sauce, or pesto)
*Pizza bagels
*pizza English muffins
*Pizza muffins

*Vegetarian Taco's
*Mexican beans & rice
*Vegetarian Enchilada's
*Vegetarian Fajita's

Breakfast for Dinner
*Pancakes (sweet potato, chocolate chip, blueberry etc...)
*French Toast 

*Egg frittata's
*Egg & Sausage sandwiches on home made biscuits
*scrambled eggs
*Quiche (variations)

Soups & Stews
*White chili
*Lasagna Soup
*Potato Soup
*Canned Soup & Grilled Cheese
*Canned Soup & french bread

*Baked Potato
* Potato Casserole
*vegetarian chicken pot pie
Ham & Swiss pie

{I may be adding to this list in the future.  If you have ANY fast, cheap, and easy meals to add to this list (ideally they would be meat-free), then PLEASE share! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011



The biggest thing I have learned in the past 7 months is to be thankful.  Always.  

I have had to fight the feeling of pity daily because this year, things have not turned out the way I thought they would....or should.


A very serious cancer scare for my mom...

My husband's field of study still has very few job opportunities...

A lost pregnancy...

Numerous health scares for myself, and even my daughter...

~the list, unfortunately could go on and on~


This has all taught me to be grateful for how much I have been blessed with.  Because when you focus on the negative, hope slowly slips through your fingers.  Among the many, many things I have to be thankful for-my specific reasons for gratitude this season are...


My mom is healthy, and despite all the worries and two major operations-she's still kickin' it.

Michael has a great job that is flexible, and he works for people he loves.  We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear, and extra room to still have some fun.

Though I will always grieve the baby I lost, I have learned that I am not in control. There has not been a day that has passed where I haven't thought about and grieved for that child....for myself.  My mind knows I have one child, my heart knows I have two. My miscarriage story was scary and uncertain.  We loved that baby, "organized ball of cells" that he/she was.  I am so thankful that I am safe, healthy, and that I am beyond blessed with an amazing little girl.  What a privilege.  

I am so thankful that Laura DeMars Photography has experienced so much growth this year.  I have learned a lot, and I am so excited for what the future holds.


This year has been filled with some definite downs....but there are also a lot of up's.  I choose to focus on those up's.  I am so filled with thanksgiving for the life and family I've been blessed with.  

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-- Melody Beattie


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ingrid Nightingale

I used to love to take a million (literally) close up photo's of Ingrid when she was a baby.  I want to catch every little facial expression.  I swear I could just stare at the sweet face for hours.  I haven't taken pictures like that for quite a while, mostly because home girl rarely sits still.  But, yesterday when I got her up from her nap we snuggled on the couch -she was all warm and her cheeks were red, her hair was messy, and she had the distanct "just woke up" face.  

I love her.

{Looking at her painted finger nails}

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Okay, so I totally didn't get to the bubble mailers today-but I did check out all the "ingredients" that I will need at the store, and I think it will be way more cost effective than buying them!  That is project for another day, when Ingrid and I aren't sick.  Today, during Ingrid's very brief nap (which has been the story of my life the past few days while she has been so sick) I was able to make a headband for myself, as well as one for Ingrid.  I attempted taking a picture of the one I made for myself-but honestly, when do self portraits ever turn out good?  So instead I took a picture of the one I made for Ingrid-she is yet again wearing her princess shirt, and playing on the computer.  I think it's pretty cute!  

Half-ass instructions below...  

If you've ever made aT-Shirt necklace, then you can make a head band like this.  I had leftover material from the XXL men's t-shirt that I used to make my necklace a few weeks back-and I cut a strip from the arm & gave it a little tug to make it curl on the ends.  I then proceeded to hot glue it to fit Ingrid's head (which didn't need much of an adjustment, because after 22 hours of labor I can testify that girlfriends' got a big noggin).  After that I made a felt flower and hot glued it to the material.  Ta-da.  

(I told you they would be half-ass instructions)

Happy Tuesday!!

Bubble Mailers Tutorial

I am super thrilled to be fairly busy with photography.  This past summer I started using professional packaging to ship out my CD packages-and I love the way it looks.  I use a company called rebinder, and they have eco-friendly products that also have a great feel.  I mail everything out in a bubble mailer, but honestly-I hate the way the envelopes look.  Maybe I'm being too picky, but don't you love receiving pretty things in the mail?  I plan to at least make an honest attempt at making these bubble mailers. What a great idea! I think it will give my products a really nice finished look.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recipes & Hair-do's.

Fall is in full swing in the DeMars household.  I wait for this time all year, and when it finally comes-I wollow in a mixture of happy & sad emotions.  Happy, because it's the best time of year-everything feels right.  The air smells fresh (aka decaying leaves), the colors are beautiful, the clothes are awesome (seriously-I hate summer clothing), and the food is amazing.  Sad, because I know that it's so short lived, and that in a few short weeks I will be anxiously waiting next year's harvest.

In honor of this amazing time of year, I wanted to share two recipes.  One I have tried-consumed-and conquered.  The other I plan on trying tomorrow during Ingrid's nap time (which is often referred to as mommy-time).

Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips
{I made these yesterday, and they are half gone.  Granted, they only make about 18-20 cookies total.  Stop whatever you're doing and make these.  Now.}

Home Made Spiced Pumpkin Latte
{How AMAZING does this look?  and paired with a cookie and the newest episode of Teen Mom *Hey, don't judge-we all have our guilty pleasures*....sounds like I have my "mommy-time" planned for tomorrow}

I did it.  I dived in head first.  I let go of all my pre-conceived notions that long hair=femininity.  I cut my hair. The first few hours after I did it I totally panicked.  But now....I love it.  It's short.  It's easy.  It's totally different than anything I've ever done.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

T-Shirt Necklace Tutorial

So earlier this summer we were browsing the Farmer's Market, as we do every Saturday, and there was this little girl selling the cutest T-shirt necklaces.  I picked out a grey one to match my 11 grey sweatshirts (seriously, it's a problem-therapy is needed) and I have worn it almost every day since.  I found a tutorial online so I could make a really chunky one myself-and today I finally got around to it.  Sure it cuts of my air supply when I move my head forward, but no pain no gain, right?  Here is a picture of the one I made, and here is a link to do one up yourself.  Happy Thursday!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nutella Cupcakes

FYI:  I found this recipe on pinterest, and the cupcakes suck.  It's true.  But the idea is great!  So here is the recipe link, and if I were you-I would use your trusted vanilla cupcake recipe, and just add the nutella.  Can't wait to try these again with a better dough recipe!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Autumn Decor

This was my first attempt with felt flowers-and they were so fun!  I haven't used a hot glue gun since elementary school-and let me just say-It rocked my world.  I love hot glue guns.  So much power.  Anyway-here it is.  And this is the tutorial I used.  Happy Fall!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Pesto Pasta

Quick is the word!!  I love this recipe because it's healthy, inexpensive, and sooo fast!

* 3 cups of uncooked penne pasta (we always use whole wheat)
* 1/2 cup of pesto
* 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers
* 1/2 cup of frozen pea's
* 1/8 cup of feta crumbles

1.  Cook pasta as directed (I just throw my pea's in while the pasta is bowling).  Drain.
2.  Add pasta back to pot.  Add remaining ingredients.  Serve warm or cold.

I like fast and easy, just like my men.  ;)  

Happy Wednesday folks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A growing & changing Ingrid

It was my intention last week to write an in depth birthday monologue on the extensive change I've seen in our little girl over the past year, but alas-time has been my enemy the past 2 weeks.  Sickness, travel, teething, & parties were just some of the things on my to-do list, so a beautifully constructed birthday posting didn't quite make it.  Actually, today is the first day in 2+ weeks that Ingrid has actually been herself.  Plagued with molars & a nasty cold-my little girl wanted nothing else but to sit in front of the TV and watch Cinderella over and over and over (Rogers & Hammerstein version, of course).  Michael said he's been waking up in the middle of the night with the song "Impossible" in his head.  It's like the song-that-never-ends.   However, it's a new week-and I find myself having a few extra minutes to document some of the fun things Ingrid is doing & saying in her 2nd year.

Movies (I love her unique and mature taste in movies, with a few kid-approved exceptions):
-What About Bob-  She asks to watch "Bob" and repeatedly exclaims "I sail, I sail!!"
-Roger's & Hammerstein, Cinderella-  This is the version with Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood.  She knows all the words, all the actions-and asks to watch "Cind-na-na" over and over.
-Baby Einstein-She still loves some of the Baby Einstein movies, but thank the sweet Lord, that phase is coming to an end.
-Walk Away The Pounds, by Leslie Sansone- I had her do this work out video with me once, and it just stuck!  She asks to watch "Walk" a lot...

-The Office- She loves this show, and always has.  Even as a newborn it's one of the only things that would calm her colicky-self down.  Now, she asks to watch the "Off-ees" and loves "Jum, Pam, Wichael, and Daaa-wight"
-Gilmore Girls- If you know me, you KNOW I couldn't be more proud.  I am a Gilmore Girls fanatic-I own all 7 seasons and have seen them all the way through at least 50 times.
-PBS cartoons- (Sid the Science Kid, Super Why {or as she says "soo-why"}, Cat in the Hat, Martha Speaks etc..")

Food & Snacks
-"Gofish" a.k.a. Goldfish
-"Foot-Snack" a.k.a Fruit Snacks
-"Gapes" a.k.a Grapes
-"Appa" a.k.a Apples
-"Chups" a.k.a chips
-"P-za" a.k.a pizza
- "Pee-a-but sammich" a.k.a Peanut butter sandwhich
-"Jute-box" a.k.a Juice Box
{Girlfriend has a serious taste for junk food, this is seriously curbed by lots of fruit, whole grains, dairy, and purred vegetables-FYI}

-"Pee-a-no" aka piano
-"dwum" aka drums
-"chicken" her play kitchen
-"Bi-ci-cle" her tricycle
-"Buddles" her bubbles
-"Puttles" her puzzles
-loves books, especially interactive ones.
-loves to bake & cook, and knows the whole routine
-loves to color & paint (especially good at drawing circles!)

-MUST wear her "pee-cess" (princess) jammies every night.  It's tricky getting her to take them off.
-MUST have her "bebe, bankey, and teddy"
-likes to sleep with her fan
-generally sleeps from 8-7:30 and naps from 1-3:30 and rarely puts up a fuss-she is a great sleeper!

Talking up a storm!
{Some of my favorite things she says}
-"I hold you!"- when she wants to be picked up.
-"I hold hand!"-when she wants to hold our hand
-"Oh no! Wud-you-do?!"
-"Oh no! You okay?"
-"Where it go?!"
-"Don't you get it?!" (a line from Cinderella)
-"I need help peese"
-Says "peese & kank you" like a pro!
-"Daddy's home, Daddy's home!"
-"I see a-o-pwane!" aka airplane
"I hear a twane!"
-"Awe-sum!" aka awesome.
-loves singing ABC's
-Can recognize letter's, numbers, and colors (and very audibly points them out by shouting "FIVE!", "O!", "H!", "Bwack!" etc..)

Names for loved ones
-"Gampies" aka Grandpa
-"Gamma" aka Grandma
-"Aunt Mare-mee" aka Aunt Mary
-"BEN!" Does she ever LOVE her Ben (sister's other half)
-"GG!" Great Grandma Stiehm
-"Sa-na-na" aka cousin Savannah
-"SUM!" aka Sam, our downstairs neighbor-she has to run out and say hi whenever he comes home-God bless him!
-"Hi KENT!" she loves our landlord Kent!
-"Tee-na!" her beloved cashier at Wal Mart, they've struck up quite the bond.

Of course I could go on-and-on-and-on-and-on, but you get it.  I love her.  She's awesome.  I'm so blessed. I think having a 2 year old will be pretty cool.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ingrid Nightingale-My TWO year old!

It's been hard to find time to sit down and write a special birthday post-the past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, sickness, and more activity.

In a nutshell-it pretty much rocks having a 2 year old.  I can't believe it was really two years ago that I held my daughter for the first time, I blinked and all the sudden she is a walking, talking, kid.  I have been blessed beyond belief to be her mother.  I am so lucky. Here are a few pictures of her birthday.....

The day was a little extra special because my Grandma from Florida was able to come visit.  She hasn't been able to come to Minnesota for 20 years, and I haven't see her for at least 10 years-so to say it was awesome to see her is an understatement!  Her and Ingrid had a great time getting to know each other...and by the end of the week Ingrid even referred to her as Grandma!

More photo's to share....I did a photo shoot with Ingrid for her are her official TWO year old photo's!