Verner takes a ride....

You know those days where you are just wondering "DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN??" 
(you are semi curious if you are being punk'd and looking around for cameras)
Well I ask that a lot, like last week when out of no where our oldest pooped his pants
in the car. Like really? We haven't had an accident in over a year and now you decide to do that? 
Or when every kid is screaming at once, in those moments you just wanna scream "COME ONNNNN!" but in reality you are just laughing at the madness of it all....
because sometimes the best thing to do is LAUGH. 
Laugh it all off.
It is so much easier than getting mad.

Well yesterday I had posted about our wonderful dog who likes to escape.
I posted about the fact that I bought him a bowtie collar so when he got lost he would look classy.
Well I did not really think that would happen. 

Until about 7:30 pm, Vincent and I were in the kitchen enjoying some milk and oreos 
soaking in some alone time because Luke passed out during the rosary.
The phone rang and it was a number I did not know, but for some reason I answered.
The conversation went a little something like this:

Police: Hello Miss Darr, this is the police. One of our officers picked up a german shepherd in your neighborhood and we have you in our records as having one lost last month"
Me: Yes we have a german shepherd but I do not think he is outside. Let me check around the house. 

((me checking the rooms realizing that Verner is indeed not here))
Police: Could you tell me what his collar looks like to confirm it's him
Me: ((giggling and shaking my head)) Umm...he is wearing a light blue BOWTIE!!!!
Police: Yes, that is him! You can come down to the station and get him!

I hung up laughing my butt off. I took Vincent along for the trip to the police station in the dark pouring rain. The officers were great about the whole ordeal. I bet when they caught him and saw his obnoxious bowtie they could only imagine who owned the damn dog! 

Welcome to my reality, it is a common thing for moments like this to happen!
It just cracks me up, that the reason I bought his bowtie was for him to look classy if he got lost.
It did the trick, our dapper dog was riding high and mighty in the back of the cop car in his chevron bowtie.
Keeping it classy up in here!:)

Only one song comes to mind for this ordeal...
"They see me rollin'
They hatin'
Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin dirty"
xoxo

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

New collar for our classy dog who likes to escape! ;)
(he escaped 2 times since we moved in!!) 
I figured a bowtie would make him look more sophisticated when animal control arrives!
(we bought this and an additional lock for the gate)
Oh Verner, you drive me crazy but I still love you!
PS. The bowtie has an effect on you, makes you less mad at your animal when they snatch your toddlers lunch or pee on the floor. 

Hey there....ya, YOU!! HI!:)

I saw this on a couple of blogs and I have long thought about doing this. 
I know I am totally this person on a lot of your blogs, and I want to get to know you guys!

Therefore, INTRODUCE YOURSELF. 
Tell me about yourself. I want to get to know who is reading my blog.
I have already made so many amazing friends through this blog and I would love to know who else is out there. I have gained a ton of followers in the past year and I have been somewhat of a blog slacker, so I do not want you guys to get pushed to the sidelines. 
You obviously know who I am, if not I will refresh your memory!

This is my blog about our life, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, it's all here. 
I am a momma to 3 little boys and happy wife to my hot hubs, Jordan. 
I am a lifestyle photographer outside of being a momma, I love to capture precious moments not only of my family but for others, it is such  passion of mine. 
I do a local weekly segment on our news with two of my great mom friends called Moms On The Go, this year we are teaming up with a ton of local places for a huge charity mission. Giving is what life is truly about so I am so grateful to be a part of something that will be helping others.
Other than those 2 ventures, I am first and foremost a momma, like I said to 3 little men!
Our house is NON STOP 247!
We have a lot going on this year with the boys growing older, I will be starting the journey of homeschooling with Vincent and Luke (a little) but please pray for my patience. 
I love to cook and do crafts when I get a hot second to myself. 
We just bought our dream vintage home (you will see us on HGTV House Hunters this spring!) and we are very BUSY with getting it to where we want it. There is a lot of work that goes into an old home that we are slowly learning the ins and outs of. Lots of renovations and projects ahead for us. 
Things I love: Reality TV, frappes, chocolate, my husbands body ;), scalding hot showers, chicago popcorn, sleeping, the color yellow, warm weather.
Things I despise: Liars, fake people, fish, cold weather, the smell of mustard and ketchup, when my dog pees in the house, changing diapers. 
I think that pretty much sums me up. Mom. Wife. That's me!

So now it's your turn.
COMMENT and let me know who you are! If I am not yet following your blog, leave your link! I know a good chunk of you guys already but if you are one of the people that just read and don't comment, please do! Let me know who you are, what do you do? Do you have kiddos? Whats your life like? What makes you happy!?! Gotta make sure your not a creeper! haha! In return I will stop reading and not commenting on your blogs! xoxo

Photography 101 with Allie

Alright ladies, welcome to the first of many photography tips with yours truly. I, in no means would ever refer to myself as a professional but I have started a pretty successful Lifestyle Photography business this year and I am in love with taking pictures so I want to share the knowledge I do have with you guys! I am still a work in progress but so much has changed since I began and I know these tips will help you all! If you want to see my work you can visit my photography facebook page
Happy shooting, now onto the post!:) 
So many mommas are hoping on the DLSR bandwagon and amen to! Best decision and investment you could have ever made (in my humble opinion) I am a proud owner of a Canon Rebel XS and I love it, I got rid of the kit lens that came with it (you can easily sell it online on amazon) I shoot primarily with a 50mm 1.8 lens but that lens does not zoom, it is stationary so I use it for close ups and portrait shoots. The other lens I have does zoom, it is the 28-135mm and I love it for family pics and all purpose pics, it is a heftier lens but I have gotten used to it. Alright so here we go, I will probably break this up into multiple posts because there is a lot of info. My personal biggest tip is.....

TURN OFF THE FLASH 
I remember hearing that shooting in auto with the flash ruins pictures and washes the people's faces out, which is so insanely true, but if it's dark in the room and you want to just capture the moment then snap away. I chose right off the bat to shoot with the "flash off" setting, mainly because I did not understand manual. The button should look like this:
((ps. I know you are all thinking what the frick do allllll those other buttons mean....))
With the flash off you really learn to work with the natural light, which is why my camera is most active during the day. The earth and sun work in our favor to create beautiful pictures, but the sun can sometime create very harsh shadows so try to avoid the sunniest spots, I actually prefer when it is very sunny out to use the shade for pictures. You will find your happy spots that work for you. But shooting in the no flash zone will help you to find these spots. You will notice if it is too dark your shutter speed will be very slow which means it is trying harder to pull all the light in, when this happens it is not the most optimal time to be shooting on that setting, which is where manual comes in handy. But that is for the next post. Work with the no flash setting for a few days, weeks however long it takes you to find your groove. I shot in no flash mode for a long time until I switched to manual and sometimes when manual irritates me and I just want to capture the moment. But that is my first advice....turn off the flash. 
Here is a comparison of what flash does to your picture vs not using it. 
This one is clearly with the "no-flash" setting, notice how natural it looks.
This is taken right after the other with the auto flash setting. Notice how harsh the flash is 
on Vincent's face and the entire area of the picture. 
So, work on it, turn that flash off and use the natural light that is all around us during the day. You will find there are certain hours of the day where the lighting is just perfect! I hope that was informative, or at least a little. I do not want these posts to be LONG bc then they will be borrrrring! 
So I wanna keep them short and sweet! 
If you have any questions or something you want to see in the future posts, leave a comment and ask away.
If the questions are over my head I have an amazing friend who can probably guest post!:)
xoxo

Leaps of Faith....


At times we all take leaps of faith, whether big or small, sometimes we fail 
and sometimes it leads us to amazing places. 
Jordan and I have made a few leaps of faith in our time together and I must say we have been overly blessed. Jordan was working as a chemist and I was a nanny when I found out that I was pregnant with Vincent. It was terrifying to say the least because we were only engaged and Jordan was supposed to be starting his MBA. We had a lot going on and becoming parents was not on our radar, at least not yet. Jordan had said he was going to just work extra and postpone his MBA, I told him there was no way in Gods green earth that he was going to give up on his MBA that easily. So he threaded on, working 40 hours a week and doing his MBA at night, i continued to work as a nanny and then we had Vincent and before he was one we were pregnant with Luke. After Luke we made the decision that even though money would be tight we could make it on just Jordan working and continuing to finish school, so I then became a stay at home mom. He was so determined to get school done and find a new job that he finished school a semester early. 
The job search was anything but exciting, it was in the midst of all the companies downsizing and having hiring freezes, so Jordan opened up his options and looked outside the realm of where he envisioned to be working, which was a 8-5 office higher level manager job in the town we lived in. One day he was approached for a job in sales, not exactly what he had pictured as his dream job but he applied, after 3 rounds of interviews he was offered the job! The risk was we had to move to a new city 2 hours away and he would take a job he had never done or envisioned doing, we rolled with the punches and took a huge leap of faith. We rented a house in our new city for 2 years just to be sure he liked the job and all that jazz. We had no idea what to expect. We had to make all new friends and create our lives in a new place. 
Well here we are 2 years later with another beautiful blessing and we just bought our dream vintage home. I had never in a million years envisioned our life going this way. 
Jordan was also recently named Sales Rep of the Year at his company. If we had never taken either of those leaps of faith we would never be here in this city, surrounded by so many amazing new friends. If you have a chance to do something, do it! Never throw out your dreams and always be open for something different. Jordan never envisioned being in sales and now he is kicking butt at it, I have always been proud of my husband but seeing him be recognized by his peers and company makes me even more proud. They get to see a small part of the amazing man that I get to call my husband! Plus hello, his killer good looks don't hurt! ;) We are very blessed and God is very good and the center of all of this God has been our rock and I know nothing would be possible without our relationship with Him. Keeping God in the center brings everything together. We are a prime example of this! So take a leap of faith if you have the chance!
Happy week friends.
xoxo

I could not resist this....

I got my indoor studio set up yesterday and I have been jonesing to get Jude in there to take a picture with kisses all over him! (PS I am going to do a few photography posts coming up which will include a lot of my tips for beginners and also a DIY indoor studio setup!) Anyways let's get to business! I am not a lipstick person and I did not feel like taking all 3 boys to the store so I had to brainstorm how the heck I could get red lip marks all over Jude....
I went over to the kids craft area and found a red marker and thought to myself "that will take way too freaking long, no thanks!" then I spotted the washable finger paint. I busted out a paint brush and painted my lips and smooched my hand to see what it looked like. TOTAL SUCCESS. It worked amazing because it dried quick so I knew it would not smudge on his skin! When he woke up we went to town on a little mini session! Here are the results! I am obsessed! You guys have to do this ASAP! Perfect for Valentine's Day cards!:) 
 Trying to escape...haha 
 Umm why are there kisses ALL over me mom?
 Making the hilarious parrot noise....
 These eyes....I die! 
 Saved my FAVORITE for last! I just love it! 
Hope you guys are all having an amazing week!
xoxo

DIY Nursery Art

I have decided now that we are in the new house that I want a new updated nursery. We have had the same nursery stuff since Vincent was born and I am wanting something new and modern. I am giving myself a few months to decorate each room and I chose to start with Jude's first. I have TONS of ideas but I wanted to show you most importantly what I made for his walls yesterday! I am obsessed....
This little gem was so easy and CHEAP to make!
You will need:
16x20 Canvas (Hobby Lobby has 2 packs for 8 bucks)
Bold Alphabet Stickers (I bought like 5 packs just in case for like $10)
Craft Paint, your choice of color.
How to make it:
Stick on whatever saying you like...this saying is my all time favorite...
Make sure to press the letters on very securely, I ran my fingernail over them a few times. 
Once the letters are on, paint that bad boy with one layer. 

Once it is covered allow it to dry. I let mine dry for a few hours. 
 Then start peeling the letters....
After the letters were off I added a heart to the top and an "xo" to make it a little more personal from me to my little man Jude!:)
His nursery is going to be yellow and grey and other pops of color but doing just this one canvas made me so excited to get this room done! My fabric also came in this week for his curtains...
and I ordered a rug last night to help tie the room together. 
I will clearly be taking before and after pics because I am going to be repainting his dresser and side table along with adding new hardware to add more character. I am hoping to have this room done by the middle of February or so!!! Hope you love the nursery art as much as I do! 
xoxo




Holiday Recap....

The holidays were a hot mess in these parts and we are still on the mend.I literally feel like I have been hit by a truck and Vincent who is still asleep near me sounds like an old man breathing and snoring from congestion. We are not a pretty sight. Aside from the sickies, we had an amazing holiday. I did not take many pictures but I did get a few....
 Luke got a train table from Papa...he is uber obsessed. He still refers to them as "Dot Dot EEEEE's" I still have no idea when and why he started that but he will only refer to them as that even though he can CLEARLY say train! He also can pronouce Jude quite effectively but still calls him DODEN? Things I will never understand hahaa
 I got pinteresty and made Vincent a felt tree, he loved it for about 1 day haha
 We took the kids to see Santa...they look so thrilled...
 We froze our behinds off but did lights at the zoo. 
 That darn carousel is their favorite thing! 
 I found out you can do birthday parties at the zoo right beside the carousel, might be on the agenda as I look ahead to 3 parties this year. Oye! 
 Jude even loved it! haha
 The giraffe that sparked TONS of questions on FB. I am going to do a post on this! This beast is in Jordan's dad's house. It is real, he killed it in Africa because it was terrorizing a village. Jordan's sister said I should do a vlog on his dad explaining the story. I agree that might be the most entertaining option! bahaha 
 Presents!!! 
 In true Jude fashion he blew up his diaper right before presents were handed out. In true mother of the year fashion I did not have another outfit BUT I did have a bowtie (makes sense right???) so here is my shirtless Chippendale baby with Santa at Jordan's dad;s house! 
 Here is proof that Vincent liked Santa....
 Until we sat Luke down with him....then they both gave this HAPPY look!:):) 
 Here is JuJu Bean on Christmas, I loved this little cableknit outfit I got him! 
 Little monkey! 
That is really all the pics I took over the holidays, I did not even get a family picture! I guess that is what happens when your kiddos are sick!:( 
As I look forward to next year my main goal is to start homeschooling for the boys, to see if I can handle it! EEEEEEK!
My other goal is to also get back to my roots with photography, I noticed since I started my business that I stopped taking pictures of my kids and our family so my goal is to get back to that and hopefully that will get me back to blogging. I miss blogging so much and reading about you guys, but things have literally been insanity. Now that we are in the house and settling slowly I can get back to it!:)
Here's to my family getting healthy and back to blogging!:)
xoxo

Goodbye 2012....HELLO 2013!

I must say 2012 was a good year for us! Here is a look back at our year!
January 2012
We enjoyed the snow and played as much as we could in it! 
February 2012
We celebrated me turning 26, Jordan bought me my dream car that fits 7 and it was our last month as a family of 4! 
               
March 2012
We welcomed our third son, Jude into the world, his birth story is nuts, he arrived so quickly! 
April 2012
We celebrated Vincent turning 3 and Jude was baptized along with Easter fun! 
I also followed my dreams and started my own photography business!
May 2012
We welcomed spring, I finally finished Invisalign also! Wahoo! 
June 2012-
Jordan turned 27, we celebrated Father's Day and we enjoyed the summer heat and our garden!:) 
July 2012-
We traveled to the horse ranch and had a BLAST!
My friends and I also started a weekly morning segment show on our news station called Moms On The Go
We are loving the show and doing a ton of charity work with it!
August 2012-
Jordan and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, Luke's 2nd Birthday and a mommy & daddy vacation to England!:)
September 2012
We spent a lot of time with our friends and family 
Jude and I also escaped for a weekend in NYC where I fulfilled all my reality show dreams bahaha! 
October 2012
We started the house search for our perfect dream home and started packing all while celebrating fall and Halloween! 

 The crew from the movie UP! 
November 2012
We celebrated Jordan's brother's marriage, started filming for HGTV's House Hunters and picked our dream home! 
December 2012-
We moved in to our house and celebrated Christmas, and my best friend's wedding
 
2012 WAS AMAZING CLEARLY!
I am not sure that any year will be able to compete with this one but we will surely give it a try!:)
We are SLOWLY settling into the house and getting things in order.
I hope to be back blogging a lot more now that we are finally settled.
I cannot wait to update you guys on the house and the progress we have made thus far!
Hope you guys have an amazing 2013!!
xoxo