Arbonne skincare will be there giving makeovers and there will be a Glamour photographer, too! Join us!
Arbonne skincare will be there giving makeovers and there will be a Glamour photographer, too! Join us!
For those of you who know me, know that I am a NOVICE gardener and am in the stages of prepping our gardens for family/pet photo session. What I did not know was that our pets come in contact with hazardous materials that we use to make our gardens look beautiful. Below is a copy of the latest ASPCA blog on this very subject which merits its content on this blog for all my wonderful families and pet owners. Please take time to read.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) experts field tens of thousands of calls each year involving animal companions who’ve had potentially hazardous contact with insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants. While gardens and yards are lovely for relaxing, they can also prove dangerous for our animal companions.
Our experts recommend you watch out for the following:
When designing and planting your green space, it's a good idea to keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs. Sago palm and other members of the Cycad family as well as mushrooms can cause liver failure, while rhododendron, azalea, lily of the valley, oleander, rosebay, foxglove and kalanchoe all affect the heart. Please visit our full list—and pics!—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your garden.
Just like you, plants need food. But pet parents, take care—the fertilizer that keeps our plants healthy and green can wreak havoc on the digestive tracts of our furry friends. Ingesting large amounts of fertilizer can give your pet a good case of stomach upset and may result in life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and observe the appropriate waiting period before letting your pet run wild outside.
Many gardeners use cocoa bean shells—a by-product of chocolate production—in landscaping. Popular for its attractive odor and color, cocoa mulch also attracts dogs with its sweet smell, and like chocolate, it can pose problems for our canine companions. Depending on the amount involved, ingestion of cocoa mulch can cause a range of clinical signs, from vomiting, diarrhea and muscle tremors to elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and even seizures. Consider using a less-toxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark, but always supervise curious canines in yards where mulch is spread.
Like fertilizer, herbicides, insecticide baits, sprays and granules are often necessary to keep our gardens healthy, but their ingredients aren't meant for four-legged consumption. The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, systemic insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide and most forms of rat poisons. Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas—and read the manufacturer's label carefully for proper usage and storage.
You're doing the right thing for your garden and Mother Earth—you're composting! Food and garden waste make excellent additions to garden soil, but depending on what you're tossing in the compost bin, they can also pose problems for our pets. Coffee, moldy food and certain types of fruit and vegetables are toxic to dogs and cats, so read up on people foods to avoid feeding your pet.
Fleas and Ticks
Since fleas and ticks lurk in tall brush and grasses, it's important to keep those lawns mowed and trim. Fleas can cause excessive scratching, hair loss, scabs, hot spots and tapeworms as well as anemia from blood loss in both cats and dogs. Ticks can cause similar effects and lead to a variety of complications from tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Babesia.
Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet's body. Rusty, sharp tools caked in dirt may also pose a risk for tetanus if they puncture skin. While cats don't appear to be as susceptible as dogs to tetanus, care should be taken by storing all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly strewn on the ground.
Ah-choo! Like their sneezy human counterparts, pets have allergies to foods, dust and even plants. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can even cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock if the reaction is severe. If you do suspect your pet has an allergy, please don't give him any medication that isn't prescribed by a veterinarian. It's also smart to keep your pet out of other people's yards, especially if you're unsure of what kinds of plants or flowers lurk there. Keeping your pet off the lawn of others will make for healthy pets and happy neighbors.
REMEMBER: HAPPY GARDENING MAKES FOR HAPPY PETS!!
To all the beautiful women who are reading this:
YES, you are beautiful!! I know that you probably don't think so, and why is that? What is it about us that says we don't like to have our photos taken? Is it because we gained a few pounds, look a little older, don't feel so good about ourselves? Is it because this is such a fountain-of-youth society? Isn't it time to stop the noises in our heads and think about existing in photos for us and for your loved ones? Isn't it time to look in the mirror and say, "Yes, I am beautiful!"
We joined a movement and call it, "50+ and Fabulous ~illuminating the beauty of the mature woman~" to celebrate women who have lived life, faced challenges, are self-confident and downright sexy!!! To illustrate, I have included a storyboard of women from different walks of life to show you how strikingly beautiful a mature woman is and why it is so important to exist in photos for your loved ones!!! These women range in ages from 59-64 and from my vantage point excude true beauty and redefine "sexy!"
Would you consider being a part of this wonderful journey and beautiful reveal? All you have to do is call Linda at 410 626 7474 to set up your complimentary consulation. Let's chat over a cup of coffee in the warmth of our lovely farmhouse and talk about your concerns, your needs, and your wishes to create a lasting memory to be enoyed by you, your family and generations to come! I look forward to hearing from you soon.
"When Linda first mentioned that she wanted to photograph mature women, I thought what an awesome idea! However, when she asked if I would be one of her subjects, I thought oh no, not me. I was fearful of seeing images of myself in my aging glory including being photographed by a professional. However, I know Linda is passionate about her craft, is passionate about this idea and her photography is exceptional. I trust her.
On the day of the shoot, I was feeling nervous and vulnerable. I took great pains to look my best but was not convinced and thought oh God I hope I don’t disappoint! It helped to have my cousins as subjects too. We had so much fun in sharing the experience from beginning to end. When the session started, I felt very tense and very nervous. Within seconds, with Linda’s encouragement and dynamism, I soon forgot about the camera and was focused on Linda. And thinking wow what an opportunity at my age in a photo shoot and I am loving it!
When I first saw my images I said “ wow is that really me?” and Linda said “I only photograph what I see my dear”. What surprised me about the images of myself and my cousins is how Linda captured the beauty of our “perfect imperfections” (John Legend) that make each of us unique. That is a rare talent!
To mature women, have Linda do a portrait session. Linda captures that “something” that you may not see of yourself and you, your family and friends will be very happy you did." ~Nancy
"Would just like to say thanks for that great suggestion you had about the "Mature Ladies" photo session. Was kind of nervous about your idea at first. The day of the shoot I was kind of anxious. However once we had applied our make up, I had an excited feeling. You made me feel quite comfortable and relaxed during the shoot. With the short period of time that we had before the driving rains started you did a great job. It was really a fun time for us girls. Loved the photos. I wouldn't hesitate having a portrait session of myself done by you! Thanks again!" ~Shirley"
Not only does Linda's photo shoots and resulting images demonstrate the beauty of women over fifty, but the experience showed us that our own beauty has intrinsic worth. The photo shoot helped us appreciate what otherwise we might take for granted; that our beauty is real and inspirational. And it was fun!!!!~Barbara
To be totally honest when asked to participate in a Photo Shoot I was somewhat skeptical. In recent years I have gained a "considerable" amount of weight & in all honesty I did not feel " Sexy" & not overly anxious to be the subject of a professional photographer's photo session.
On the day of the shoot I had to be up very very early and weather wise it was not a nice day as it was raining. Once Linda arrived, her confidence, professionalism and friendly manner quickly made me feel comfortable, glamorous & happy to be part of this adventure.
I am overwhelmed with my photo as she captured my true persona. My son was very impressed about my picture & thought I was beautiful!! She was right when she says "exist in photos for your loved ones." I was so consumed about what I thought of myself (and not always in a flattering way) that I never gave thought to what my son would say. He loves the images and that makes me so happy that I took the leap of faith! ~ Betty
It was time to find a new dentist and thus started the tedious process of finding who is in network. If you had to go through that procedure, you know the feeling. I have been through three dentists since moving here in 1988 and have never, ever felt comfortable with any of them. I am not fond of dentists for various reasons so embarking on finding a new dentist was a daunting exercise.
After days of trepidation, I finally set out to find the in-network dentists and it wasn’t long before I saw a familiar name, Dr Val Bauer. Of course!! I photographed his daughter's wedding some years ago and remembered him as a wonderful, compassionate man. He comes with many, many wonderful recommendations (no surprise there!) so I immediately made the appointment.
I arrived early and the first person I met was Stacey who works at the front desk. Her smile and her relaxing demeanor put me immediately at ease; a very good sign!! I was soon ushered into the dentist chair and it was there that I met his team. They were amazing! They did not know me nor I them but after a mere five minutes in their presence, I felt like I was in the company of old friends!! Then, Dr. Bauer arrived and we were immediately transported back to his daughter's wedding reminiscing about that wonderful magical day; a beautiful bride and a proud daddy. It was then that I realized I had come full circle. I was his choice to photograph his daughter's wedding. He trusted me to capture those precious moments to last forever and now it was my turn to trust him with my dental needs. After the consultation, I knew I would be in great hands! Extensive work lay ahead and it would be up to Dr Bauer and his team to lay the foundation to make this writer feel comfortable. I have experienced THE worst anxiety attacks in the past so I relied heavily on them to get me through that first session which took up almost 2 hours in the chair. They had no idea of the depth and scope of my fear and if they knew of my anxiety, they never let on. Score bonus points for that!! I was made to feel very comfortable throughout the entire process and after three appointments, I am so happy to report that not only was it smooth sailing, I have to say I have the best smile in Maryland!!!
If you, too, are like me and dread going to the dentist, please do yourself the favor of meeting Dr. Bauer and his team. Check out their website! Going to the dentist can be a pleasant experience, after all!
Thank you Dr. Bauer and his team for making the process seamless and stress free! You all had me at “hello!”
She signed up early because she wanted to give back to NICU. We met to photograph her newborn son and she has a story to tell. Not so long ago, she gave birth to another son; a beautiful, sweet, angelic little boy who left us altogether too soon. He was only 9 days old. She got to hold him, to cuddle him, to love him and to finally say “goodbye" to him. She told me that she was so angry. Why me? Why him? Why did this have to happen? Why only 9 days? And then one day, she woke up and said to herself, “Why not me?” "I am one of the lucky ones.” "You know why I am lucky?” "I got him for 9 whole, wonderful, days!” "9 days!!!” "Some never get that experience, but I did!” "And, then after weathering the unimaginable storm, look what happened!” "Look at my beautiful miracle baby who has now come to me and has filled up my world with love and happiness." I cried. I cried tears of sadness for her immense loss and cried tears of joy for her sweet beautiful baby boy she brought in to be photographed. Her love for NICU knows no bounds; she is forever indebted to them and knows and loves the nurses who now have become her close friends. She tells of a story of a nurse who herself has gone through the unimaginable pain of losing a child, who after her long shift would come to this mom’s side and simply sit with her for awhile. Just holding her hand, crying with her and just being there for her.
I was spellbound by her story, by her strength, by her tenacity, by her beauty and I was truly humbled by her. Why, people ask me, do you fund NICU? Did you have a personal experience? No, I did not, but how could I not raise funds for NICU after hearing these compelling stories. How can I not when I hear stories of what these beautiful, brave, moms go through and what NICU means to them. You can’t put a price on that. But, you can, with a community, help raise funds for NICU so that they will always, always be a state-of-the-art intensive care unit for the most vulnerable patient at AAMC. And, that’s why I do what I do and why I love every minute of it.
This is one personal story of many that I learn about; I would never have known but for the Lil Angel Calendar fundraiser. Many people give me the credit but my job is to be the vessel that brings together the wonderful community spirit with our own wonderful team at AAMC NICU and to raise funds. They are the people I applaud! The moms who have personal experience with NICU and the moms who do not but generously want to give back.
It warms my heat that these strong, beautiful, compassionate mothers trust me to create beautiful images for their babies and they in return do everything they can to make sure that NICU is fully funded. Indeed! We are a community of strong women (and men!) banding together to make a difference. We are the movers and shakers who make a difference in the life of the most vulnerable patient at AAMC. Without your support, I would not be able to do this. You have changed me in a way that only you could! You are treasured, you are valued, you are loved!!
As I sat at my desk yesterday, l was looking out the window watching the snow pelting against the pane and I thought, “Oh, boy, here we go again. Will it ever end?” Not very positive, I admit. And sometimes, we take that thought and run with it during our storms throughout our life. We think, “This is it”. “I can’t go any further”. “I give up”, "I quit!" And just when you think the storm will never end, something beautiful happens.
I am so blessed to live and work in a farmhouse that lends itself to the most beautiful and sometimes not-so-beautiful views. But today’s views can show you what a difference a few hours can make in a day.
In this first image, I took this photo on my iPhone from my bathroom window at the height of the snow storm, thinking it would be like this all day long.
So, you can imagine my surprise, when later in the day I was walking in my kitchen, saw this view, grabbed my iPhone to capture its beauty. Who knew???
Just when I thought it would be bleak and dreary, the most amazing sunset appears. This tells me that when challenges come your way (and sometimes, they come in droves, don’t they?), don’t despair. Don’t give up!! There is something magical waiting to happen. You just have to be patient.