Monday, January 9, 2017

Nature walk with some of my favorite kids

The other day my sister had an appointment and dropped off all three kids. With my renewed enthusiasm to get healthy, I decided to take a walk. I told Mikey that I had a brilliant idea, his big eyes lit up. 
"You do?" He asked.
"Yep," I replied "We should go outside!" 
"I have an even better one, we should go on a NATURE WALK."
He was right, his idea was better, so we went with it. 
Dear neighbor, I'm sorry Baby Girl loves flowers so much that she claimed your mailbox flowers. 

Buttercup didn't much like the sweet gum balls

My definite favorite. Gotta cover those ears! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Late night honesty

Yogi brand skin detox tea.
Last night I stood in front of my mirror and cried, I guess I just needed to get it out. In my defense it was a long day. I spent from 9 AM to 4 PM trying to finish up the process to begin volunteering at the VA (mostly lost wandering through the hospital). It was all on an empty stomach except for coffee and some jalapeƱo cheetos, and you don't want to meet me hungry let alone when I've had to smile at everyone for hours. Add to that I had a cystic acne breakout right beside my nose, making me feel hideous, and when I stepped on the scale after starving all day, I was the same weight as days before.

Having PCOS is hard sometimes. Gracious, being a female is hard, but let's stay on topic. After a very symptomatic few months (weight gain was one of those symptoms), I decided to buckle down once the holidays were over. I visited the farmers market and Aldi and stocked up on good food to start, but now I'm left with choosing how I want to get active. Yoga is supposed to be really good for PCOS because of the stress link it has, but I loved when I used to work out and the trainer included kickboxing. I'm struggling so hard with the business(es) and all this health stuff, and even though I decided I would be brave this year, I am wondering about my ability to. 

I recently heard someone say that when you're trying to accomplish something by looking at the negatives you want to change, instead find the positive reasons. The idea is that if you end up reaching a goal that you were only doing because of all the bad feelings, you'll find that there were no positive ones and you won't be satisfied even when you reach it! I'll admit I'm not always a glass half full kinda gal, but I'm gonna try. I want to be healthy because of how much more active I can be with my nieces and nephew, because I want to be able to focus for my business, and because I want to show my little sisters that being healthy is worth working towards. 

So, yes, I cried in front of the mirror last night. But I'm gonna be just fine; it was just a speed bump. I hope you will join me in making positive changes this year! Oh, and happy new year a few days late!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Life is too short for...

When I was little, we used to visit an older lady that lived near us. My mom liked to stop by just to check on her because she didn't really have family or friends, and she wasn't physically able to get out a lot. I remember her being a very sweet talkative lady, and how she sponsored a child in another country that she loved to talk about. Sadly, the biggest thing I remember is the huge couches covered in plastic. In the heat of Georgia summers, my three sisters and I would file in behind my mom and climb up onto the huge seats, and when the conversation was over we would peel the backs of our legs off of the couches and leave. I hated those things. I always wondered what their point was, and when mom answered by saying "To keep the fabric clean." I was only left with more questions. From what I could see, this lady never hosted other people in her home. Whose dirt was she so afraid of that she would encase her sofa in that uncomfortable, shiny, protective covering?

Although as I child I asked these questions (the deep thinker developing in me), I have found myself doing the same thing in life. In preparation of the possibility that something bad would happen, I have wrapped certain talents in plastic. They can be seen, but not touched and no one wants to mention them or use them in the way they're meant to be used.

Even when I announced that I wanted to be a photographer professionally, I only posted about it on my blog and Facebook, I didn't say a word about it on Instagram (where I get the most responses to what I post) except to mysteriously point them here. I'm afraid of failure. I'm scared of what people will think or say. Well y'all, this year I've decided to live bravely. I'm going to gleefully unwrap all my dreams and prepare to have them possibly torn, poked, laughed at, and muddied, but mostly enjoyed.
Because life is too short for plastic-wrapped couches. Don't you agree?  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Capturing Memories...for You!

Since I was a teenager, I have been the one with the camera. When someone is putting together a slideshow for their wedding, graduation, or even when a family member passes, they come to me for recent pictures. This has always been an honor for me because my goal when taking pictures is to capture life as it is to remember later.

This is my sister and her family. I went over to visit one day and wanted to capture the beautiful chaos of her life. I know that time passes quickly, and soon enough the memories of life as a toddler mom will start to fade. In some ways the situation wasn't ideal, my brother-in-law was working a weird shift and had just gotten home, my sister was heading out to get groceries, the kids were all full of post-breakfast energy vying for daddy's attention...

And we won't even mention granddaddy coming for a visit.

On the other hand, this is regular life at her house: unplanned and full of surprises!

These unposed moments bring smiles to the faces of those who have spent time with kids-especially active ones like these!  

This cute sharing moment ended in juice spilled all over the floor.

I hope you enjoyed that little sneak peek! This whole time I've been gathering my nerve for some news that may be of interest to you! I am now booking family lifestyle sessions for 2017! If you're in the Jonesboro or surrounding area of Georgia I would love to discuss with you what packages I offer. Sessions start at $150 and I'm so excited to bring you beautiful photographs you will cherish for years to come. Contact me HERE (hello[at] if you're ready to get more info or grab your slot. If that's not up your alley and you just want to be friends forever or be a part of my crazy life, follow me on Instagram (@elisabetharona) or even sign up for a monthly letter from me HERE.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I changed the blog. Same place, different address! What do you think?

Until next time,

Friday, December 9, 2016

Starting the shop up...Again

So I have added a couple things to my shop! I read a quote in a book that said "Don't wait until everything is perfect to start, just start!" It's really hard for me, and without even realizing it, I've been struggling with that for a long time. It tempers my creativity so much when I start worrying what people will think, and how silly the shop will look with only a few things (who am I kidding, it looks sillier empty.) I've spent too much time paying attention to others and what they're capable of, and downplaying what I can do, that I crippled myself! Ugh, but enough focus on that. Here are some of the recent pictures, I'm gonna kinda let them stand alone and hope you come visit my shop!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Cats Who Claim Businesses

On the way home from running errands (meaning visiting the library and Chick-Fil-A) we stopped for some chips at CVS and saw a strange sight. This plump kitty was dozing by the entrance of the door. I'm not sure what popular opinion is about feeding strays, but I shared a bit of my breakfast burrito with it. I wonder what people thought of me taking pictures of the sweet thing.

If I didn't have a very opinionated cat at home already, I probably would have carried it home with me. Although I regularly see families of cats at the post office and even some restaurants, this was the first time one claimed a place in such an obvious way. Does anyone know what the protocol is for stray cats?

Post edited to add that I went into a favorite restaurant, and the owner (my friend) was complaining about a cat that got dropped off behind the building. I don't even know the gender, but the cat is beautiful bright white and very friendly. If anyone in GA wants a kitty too adopt, let me know! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Seasoned with Salt and Speaking to Strangers

If you have ever read my blog, you know that I have never made a secret of my struggle with acne and the resulting hyper-pigmentation; however, I'm not sure if I have told about the many times I've been approached about it by friends and strangers alike. 
As you can see, the hyper-pigmentation is pretty obvious. 
I was at Lowe's with my family. The purpose was to take my 2-year-old niece to get some pink flowers so she'd have her own garden (she's been claiming gardens as her own and picking the pink flowers.) Anyway, as we headed to the register, I was waylaid by a black lady I would guess to be in her 50s. Since I had a camera hanging around my neck, I assumed she was going to ask about it. Instead, she simply said, "Your face, what do you use on it?" 

I groaned inwardly. I've had too many of these experiences to be shocked, and yet I worked at Chick-Fil-A long enough to feel I have to be polite to everyone. I opened my mouth to answer. 
"My grandson has that same problem." she stated.

I again took a moment, and thinking a little more of her now that I knew she had a point besides selling some products or nosiness, I replied, "It was worse than this. I have a hormone imbalance, and it causes acne, but once the acne is gone it leave these marks behind. They take awhile to go away."

 "You should try cocoa butter." She said.

"I haven't tried that," I answered "but I'm supposed to be wearing sunscreen, and I didn't all summer. Almost everything that helps the marks makes your skin sensitive to the sun." I admitted. 
She thanked me for that tip, because black people still neglect sun protection for the most part.We were settling into the conversation, and she started asking if I knew anything about eczema and when I told her yes, she wanted me to write down what I suggested for it. 
 Somehow, this lady managed to make me feel chastened (for not doing what I know to do for my face), and yet uplifted. This is a rarity when it come to discussions about my face, it is a very tender subject for me! With that being said, I would suggest that she start off the conversation in a different way next time, And I won't lie about wanting to go straight home and slather on sunscreen and makeup or just hide under my covers... but I could tell that her heart was in the right place and I'm gonna try that cocoa butter! 

We are so quick (me included) to get upset because we think we know where someone is coming from, but sometimes grace and a hearing ear are called for. My verse of the week is from Colossians 4:6 and says "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
What experiences have you had with strangers approaching you? Have they been mostly negative or positive? Tell me below in the comments!