Dress Up

I love it when Roman wears my shoes! Or clothes, or anything that’s 10 sizes to big for him. It cracks me up! He’s been sliding around the house in these for the last hour with this little smirk on his face. Children are such soul savers. He makes me laugh when I feel like I’m sinking into LIFE.  Unfortunately I think we hit the terrible 2’s. Even though he’s almost 3, he hasn’t really the melt downs or attitude I heard so much about until lately. I’m not quiet sure what to do about it. I’m trying the Positive Parenting approach, but I’m not sure its right for him. He’s so smart, and I think he’s like a dog. He smells fear and he attacks! This is the first child I’ve even ever been around. I’m sure there will be many mess ups, since he’s my test child basically. I just hope I can figure it out along the way without screwing him up too bad. Haha!

On another note, we have a trip planned for the 19th, so hopefully I’ll get some cool pictures then. I really want to go take some landscape and nature photographs, but it seems impossible with everything.  Ill figure it out :). And….I have a photoshoot coming up in the next couple weeks too. I won a contest for best tattoo (check Gigi’s Phoenix out here) with the photoshoot as the prize. I’m sure the photographer wont mind if I link him or put a picture in the blog, so look out for that too. I’m really excited! I havent taken pictures by myself in a long time. I havent been in professional photo’s by myself since I graduated. This means tons of fun girly stuff like make up, nails, hair, the works!!! Shopping and pampering here I come!

What???? Im Not a Libra Anymore???

So big news today! The zodiac signs have changed! There seemed to be an uproar on the web today about it. People wondering if their tattoo’s were wrong, and thinking they’ve been the wrong sign their whole life. As you can see I have the scales of justice tattooed on my right calf, but I wasnt too worried. Even if it did change what my “real” sign was. I’m a libra through and through. Even the parts that aren’t so much me I like and try to emulate. Dont get me wrong, I’ve never been huge into “you are what your sign says you are a type of person”. That would take away free will, or as my dad says “agency”. I feel that we decide who we are, not our sign, or our background, or other people. They may influence, but ultimately it’s us who decides who we want to be right?

Anyways, the zodiac didn’t really change and here’s why if you were worried.

Time To Clean House

What a day! I have so much to say, but a lot I don’t want to say. So lets start from the beginning. When I got home last night I had a surprise waiting for me. Sal’s dad gave me his old Minolta! I am so excited. It has a macro lens and looks brand new. It also had a flash! The batteries had eroded and it wasnt working. So sal cleaned it up with this little concoction you see above and its as good as new. I threw it on my Canon and what do you know, it works! The cleaning solution seen above is said to be a Mexican secret. In all honestly, I think I’m probably the only one who didn’t know about it. Its baking soda and lime. I was amazed at how clean it got this bracelet. I will never pay money for jewelry cleaner when this works wonders!

Aww….look at my little man. Laying around in his underwear, in his favorite chair, watching cartoons. He’s on his way to being a full on grown man. Haha! I took this picture with my new flash. Yay! It washed him out a bit, but it’s so much better than the yellow I was getting from the rest of my pictures. And let me say this, because I have a flash now, does not mean I think I know what I’m doing. I know I’m “over my head” as a well-meaning friend told me today. I didn’t go out and purchase this, it was given to me, and I can’t help but play with it a little. I do not think my pictures are amazing or that you could hang them on a wall. I don’t want to learn Photoshop to fix my crappy pictures, I want to learn, so when I start taking good pictures I can add another layer of creativity to them. I’m not trying to go pro, I want to take good pictures of my family and surroundings. I just like it. Here’s a tidbit that will make it clear; if I am interested in something, anything, I jump in headfirst. I’m thirsty for knowledge, I’m hungry to learn, I’m excited about the possibilities. I have matured enough to know that those things don’t make you instantly or ever good at something. K. I think we cleared that up.

As usual we played in the dirt today. 🙂

Do you ever have those day’s where you feel like you need to clean out the negativity in your life? I’m sitting here after some negative remarks were said (nothing about photography), completely drained. Someone very close to me saw my finished Phoenix and said I thought it would have had this or that. I said no. Nothing else was said. When the person could see that their reaction upset me, the reply was “I don’t like tattoo’s, and I’m not going to lie about it”. I can respect the fact that someone doesn’t like tattoo’s. I can respect not lying about things. What I don’t have the ability to understand is why someone who is supposedly soo close to me, knows the reason behind the tattoo, and was there for the whole process of loosing Gigi, can NOT have understanding and/or appreciation for something so meaningful. All they can see is where they are coming from.  Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive. I know that a lot of people don’t like tattoo’s and even more, cant see past them, and that’s fine. That’s their opinion, but to be so close to me, and dismiss something so important to me because it doesn’t fit in with their beliefs or likes blows my mind. An open mind and empathy are beautiful qualities that I want to have, and in turn surround myself with people bearing the same. I’m recommending an amazing blog post about the process of tattoos. Not everyone does it this way, but maybe it will help someone who doesn’t understand why or how people get tattoo’s understand a little more, but it takes an open mind to read it. 🙂

Giovanna Phoenix Ramirez

I had another session with the amazing Kirk at Sleepy Lagoon today, and Im writting this blog today with mixed emotions.

You see, today was the last session. On one hand I am so happy to be done because Gigi’s Phoenix is complete and here to stay.  On the other hand the sessions were therapeutic to my soul and gave me some closure.  I’m only going to post a few pictures here today, but I will take a better photo and post in about a week when I’m done healing.

This is Kirk…

And finally me looking a hot mess as usual after a session, but in complete love!

A final thank you goes to Tommy Roberts for taking the pictures. Thanks Tommy!

Shades of Grey or Full Color?

What a long but good day! Roman and I were outside getting our daily dose of fun when I noticed the sunset. Sunsets are beautiful here, but not usually in the winter. In the winter, you get up early to check out the sunrise. I liked how the window showed how brilliant and bright the colors were in the sky, and by no means are my windows clean.  I didn’t do anything to this picture. It’s straight out of camera (SOOC). I was once critiqued on a picture I took of the sky here and the comments were along the lines of  “gotta love polarizing filters” “it’s a bit over saturated for my taste” etc. I had no idea what a polarizing filters was, and I had never done anything in Photoshop beyond save the pictures so I could post them and take the pictures off of the camera. The sunsets are really that beautiful here.

Sal got more work on his tattoo today. It is coming out soo nice. I’m amazed at how much detail Sal’s tattoo artist can achieve with shades of grey.  The talent that Sal’s tattoo artist has is amazing! It doesn’t hurt that he’s from here too, so when he comes home about every other week Sal get’s tattooed in the comfort of his own home. I’m totally jealous. To have such a meaningful tattoo and to be able to work on it where Gigi is, is simply special.


Let me start of by clarifying why I created this watermark.  I have been thinking about it for a while now, ever since I put my first picture of the Phoenix up. Through WordPress I can see when someone takes my blog and “re-blog’s” it. That unfortunately happened with the Phoenix. I knew writing this blog would put myself out there for the world to see and possibly take, and while I was uneasy with it, I thought that no one would have interest in a no namers crappy pictures. While that still holds true, the protectiveness has come out. It may be my fault for exposing my family but I would still like to have control over what is published and shared. I created the watermark as a way to deter fake blogs from taking my stuff (I don’t think any credible blogs would). I in no way consider myself a photographer, and grappled with the “photography” on the end. While I am still uneasy with giving the impression to real photographers that I think I know what I’m doing by having a watermark, I hope that they understand, and don’t laugh so hard that water comes out of their nose.

On to the fun stuff! This picture was taken last night after playing in the mud. I am a HORRIBLE baker. I guess I didn’t get that gene from my Grandma…darn you!!!! It’s okay though, it’s still fun…kind of. My problem with baking is how everything has to be exact. Um yeah….Im more of a recipe tweaker. Needless to say the cookies are hard and a little tasteless. Like those ones you get in the giant tins with big sugar crystals on them. Oh well. The train picture was taken today, as well as the first one. The train turned out pretty good. Probably because I didn’t have to cook it, and Roman decorated it.

As you can tell I am still trying to get the hang of this prime lens and the low f-stop, and yes I am still in love.

Gigi Round 3


I went to Fullerton today to get some more work on Gigi’s tattoo. I’m torn between wanting it to be done and wanting to keep working on it. It is obviously not done, but I’m sure if I could sit for longer we might have been by now. I was only able to sit for 3 hours today, not sure why. Probably not focusing right, my mind is all over the place. So I pulled my sissy card. Thankfully I have the best tattoo artist in the world who is so patient with me. I know I’ve said it before but it’s true. He’s got a client for life….if he’ll have me. Haha!

Phoenix Part 2

Today was a special day. Gigi was due a year ago today. To honor not just only her but also the actual date, I had more work done on the Phoenix. Kirk, my amazing tattoo artist, added her name and some reds and purples. I am amazed at how it looks and fall in love with it more and more every day. I am so excited to see her finished, but in some way it’s very therapeutic to have these multiple sessions to be able to physically remember and honor her.

Phoenix Part 1

Technically I’m a day behind, but as you can see I have a good reason. Sal and I made the trek down to Fullerton today to get tattooed. This isn’t a tattoo that we got on a whim, this is something that we’ve been contemplating for a long time. My tattoo is a Phoenix; Gigi’s middle name is Phoenix. The legend of the Phoenix goes something like this…The Phoenix has a 500 to 1000 year life cycle. At the end it builds a nest out of twigs that catch on fire. The Phoenix burns with the fire down to ashes, and from the ashes a young Phoenix rises again to live out another life, making her immortal. The cry of the Phoenix is said to be as beautiful as a song.

This is the first round for both Sal and I, and when were done I’ll post again. I’m getting color added. Sal got Giovanna tattooed on the top of his shoulder and his whole left arm is going to be a battle scene between angels and demons. It looks amazing too. We researched and researched because we wanted to go to the same shop, but we have drastically different styles when it comes to tattoo’s. A big shot out to Kirk and Edo at Sleepy Lagoon Tattoo in Fullerton. Amazing!