After such a snow-filled winter this year, which immediately turned into a blazing summer spring, I think we were all a little terrified of what summer would bring weather-wise!  I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised!  It’s almost as if spring & summer switched with each other this year.  Sure, it’s hot, but not nearly as bad as it usually is, and this past week has really cooled off and brought some amazing weather for sessions!

We were very thankful for the nice weather with these two little ones!  They are one & two years old and had really great attitudes for us.  Their momma somehow found the time to make an adorable little fruit stand for the pictures as well!  Our daughters are close to the same age & I can’t even imagine how they begin to juggle two so close in age, but they do it well!  Photo sessions with little ones can be super stressful, but these two held it all together as if it was the easiest thing in the world!

I love including outtakes for families who purchase the digital session!  There are some pictures that, while you don’t plan to hang them over the mantle, you still very much treasure them.  Little girls and their faces just crack me up!

Look at these two!  Ow ow!  And she has a gorgeous singing voice, as well!

Oh my goodness… can this mom & daughter combo be any more gorgeous??
Eeeee- so sweet!
And this, folks, means the session is done!

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A few weeks ago we showed you these pictures from the coolest sweet 16 I’d ever seen, and today we’re sharing the video!  We can’t even say how much we love covering photo and video for a wedding or event.  It really brings everything together and makes it a total package!

Venue: Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center // DJ: Astro Entertainment
Balloons: Hi-5 Balloons // Cupcakes: Just Cupcakes // Photo & Video: Fowler Studios

Sara & Jeremy’s Birthday Bash from Fowler Studios on Vimeo.

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A few weeks ago I was at a Peninsula Pilots game with my church and the lady in front of me introduced herself.  “Hi, I’m Wendy.  You’re doing my family pictures next week!”  Let me tell you– that is the coolest thing ever.  I knew we went to the same church, but I’d never met her & we’d been chatting through online message for months now to set up this session.  I love how being a photographer allows me to meet so many people and get to see a glimpse into their lives.

Wendy took advantage of our Black Friday special last year.  I do one each year & let me tell you– they are definitely the best deals all year!  Mark your calendar to look for it.  :)  This session is the result of that special, and I loved getting to know their unique family.  The parents started dating in 9th grade and have been married for 15 years!  Their kids are respectful, talented & smart– it was truly a joy to get to know them!  Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom– I saved the most incredible pictures  of their talented daughters for last!

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Last night I posted this picture on Instagram while in the middle of a paleo freezer meal frenzy.  Since then I’ve been inundated with messages & posts asking for recipes & how we went about it!  I started writing a post a few months ago but I ended up too overwhelmed & never finished it.  This will be short & sweet & to the point!

If you want to make freezer meals with friends, here are a few tips:

1) Find one friend that eats very similar to you.  I’ve done it with one friend & I’ve done it with four.  It can totally be done with four, but for starting out, just stick with one.  It’s important that they eat like you so the recipes & ingredients can be shared.  Instead of making a batch with organic meat & one without, you can make a double batch & then split it.  In this case, both our families eat mostly organic & paleo (don’t worry, my two year old doesn’t eat paleo).

2) Find 4 recipes, and block out about 6 hours.  Most likely you’ll be done much sooner, but at least you won’t be rushed.  It took us 3.5 hours and we made 4-8 batches of each.  It’s easier to pick fewer recipes & make 8 of each.

3) Split the shopping list.  This can go several ways.  Yesterday, we each picked two recipes and shopped for each other on those recipes.  I’ve also done it where we each buy enough for our own end result.  It depends on how expensive each recipe will end up being.  Or you can shop together… or one person can shop & split the bill.  Don’t forget pans or freezer bags if you need them!

4) Figure out which recipes to start with.  Since we had each picked out two recipes & shopped for those recipes, we each ended up preparing those recipes ourselves.  She had one that needed to cook, so she made all batches of that & as they were cooking she made the other recipe.  That way you’re not waiting on everything to cook at the very end.

I’ve included links below to each of the recipes we made last night.  If this all looks too hard, or you want to test the waters first without heading it up yourself, then you might want to check out the Pampered Chef Freezer Meal Workshop!  One of my good friends totally rocks them & does a few each month.  She does all the hard work of planning & you show up with the supplies & put it all together!  You can call or text her at (seven five seven) 952-4199 or check out her website here!Here are the meals we made last night!  We got all the recipes from Once a Month Meals.  They are fantastic with freezer meals and offer meal planning as well!  They have special menus if you have allergies or choose to eat paleo, low fat, etc.  But they also have traditional meals & even baby food menus!  Every one of their recipes that I’ve tried have been delicious & cooked well.Paleo Bacon Wrapped MeatloafPaleo Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast CasserolePaleo Crock Pot MeatballsPaleo Taco SaladWhat do you think?  Have you tried freezer meals before?  What are your tips?

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For the last 15 days we’ve had various family members in town.  Most people would be pretty worn down at this point, but we absolutely love having family visit us!  All of our immediate families live close to each other so it’s more practical for us to visit them on holidays and such.  But… it’s SO nice & such a treat when they come to visit us!

Let me tell you– we soaked up and appreciated every minute of having family in town!  The first week Josh’s grandmother & her friend came to visit.  We went on picnics to the park, lounged at the beach, and hit up Chick-fil-A more times than we should probably admit!  The next week my parents, sister, and nephew were here.  My nephew & Hazel are 6 weeks apart, so we pretty much spent all our time keeping them entertained & out of trouble. :)

Being a business owner, it’s hard to put work down.  It’s not just work, it’s my life- and something I love. For the first week I had a few deadlines I had to make, but for the second week I made a point to not let myself do more than 30 minutes of work each day.  Basically, I was just checking & responding to emails.  My clients waiting on images knew that it would be a longer turn-around than normal, and they were okay with that.

And the second my family pulled out of the driveway, I brought my computer out & got to work. It wasn’t disheartening– it was planned.  I planned to enjoy my family time, I planned to check emails through the week, I planned to work.  I learned that from Amanda Hedgepeth– if I plan it, it will happen.  If I just sit back & hope I have time to edit & spend time with my family, then I’ll attempt both but not be successful with either. But today?  Today is editing & mailing out packages day… so I better get to that!

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