Monday, January 31, 2011

Emi Beth Giveaway Winner

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway. The winner is....
who said:
"I like the queen of everything."
January 25, 2011 4:33 AM


Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo of the Week

I thought it might be fun to post my favorite photo from the week here on Fridays. They might be personal or professional, who knows. My favorite from this week is most definitely this picture of my son, Ashton.
Taken with my prime 50mm 2.8 lens
4.0, 1/125, ISO 200

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun Etsy Finds: The Rainbow

Did you know that you could search etsy based on color? Well, you can. This would be a great idea if you are gift hunting for someone. When you are short on ideas you can just search by their favorite color to get inspiration.
I did a search of the colors in the rainbow, as in ROYGBIV (you know- the acronymn for red orange yellow green blue indigo and violet). Check out what I found:


Daisies and Damsels- A cute red rosette headband
Nevita- Fabulous orange chunky cowel scarf
Moon Spirit Studios- Look at this adorable yellow quilt! So cute!
Fabric Junkie- Super graphic green pillow cover
MGM Artisan Accessories- Simple and elegant blue hairpins
Cocos Jewelry- Stunning indigo saphire necklace
Me Art Design- Original violet filagree tree print
Enlightened Platypus- Ah-mazing red ruffle coat. I cannot get over the design and detail of this. It is a work of art!
Early Bird Creations- Funky orange bead necklace
Tippy Thai- Cute and functional yellow tote
Sammis 2 Shoes- Retro inspired green notebook
Bombshell Studios- Beautiful blue drop earrings. I really really love these.
The Headband Shoppe- Stunning indigo peacock fascinator.

Murwati- I love this violet ruffle clutch. Super cute. 

Now, go search for your favorite color.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Silly Jaylee

I got to photograph my friend and her daughters last week. I got the most from Jaylee, who just so happens to be my daughters best friend so I know her pretty well. She is an absolute hoot!
Again, the lighting was not ideal, but I worked with what I had. Here are a few of my favorites.
 Is this hat not adorable?
 Love this one!

Mommy and baby sister. Sweet and un-posed.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Has your shop been solicited for promotions?

I got the following question from a reader and thought I would address it here in case any of you were wondering the same thing.

"I get a lot of offers for different things...countless offers from photographers offering to trade services (I send them clothes that they keep, in exchange for photos of the clothes to use in my shop).  Or mom-blogs offering to review an item and keep it in exchange for featuring it on a review post.  Have you ever found things like this to be beneficial? Have you seen any success with things like this?"

My answer is simply, that it depends. Let me explain.

First of all, when you are thinking of having your shop written up in a blog review you need to remember one thing. You will most likely not see an increase in shop sales right away. It is rare that you are featured somewhere and that a reader sees the article on the exact day that they are looking for an item you happen to sell.

What is more likely is that you will see an increase in your sites traffic (which you can track through google analytics) and also an increase in your shops hearts. Sales come later. The point of these articles is to get your name out there and in peoples minds for the future. When they are ready to buy a baby shower gift you want them to remember that cute shop they read about a few weeks ago on so-and-so's blog. Insert your sales increase here.

Okay, back to answering the question...personally I think the product/review trade off is not a good idea. If someone offers to write a giveaway or feature your shop for free, that is one thing. Never pass on free press.

However, when someone wants to review and keep your item in return for an article written up...I can't help but think that the reviewer just wants free stuff. Now, there are certainly exceptions to this. If the blog has an enormous following (say more than 1,000 followers) then I would consider it. Blogs of this size have a huge following for a reason. If you have a chance to get your name out to that many people then I would not pass it up.

Another exception to this rule would be a customer who purchased your product for themselves and they just happen to want to feature your shop on their blog. In that case, absolutely go for it!

Yet another situation that I would consider is when the reviewer wants to see your product in person but then does not keep it but gives it away to one of their readers. That also seems like a good situation and that you would be able to trust them as someone who is not just out for free stuff.

Photography offers are an entirely different situation. It is common for shop owners to encounter photographers wanting free stuff in return for professional pictures of said free stuff to use in your shop and on your website. Whether this situation is worth it for you or not depends on several things.

First of all, are you a decent photographer or do you need help? If you are completely helpless behind the camera then this is probably a great option for you. As I have mentioned many times before, the pictures that you use to list items in your shop are what get customers to look around. If your pictures are bad, then you are not getting customers and therefore not reaching your shops potential.

Secondly, how much time does it take to make your items? If you are flooded with offers and it takes you several hours to make one item than you should absolutely not accept all the offers. You don't want your free stuff to take away from your paying customers. In this situation ask to look at the photographers portfolio and pick the one you like best.

Overall, whether these offers are good ideas or not is really relative to your specific situation. These situations can certainly benefit your business when done with the right people. If you have any other questions that you think I might be able to help with, feel free to shoot me an email.

And just because...look at this precious face! My adorable son Ashton at 4.5 months.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Featured Shop: Emi Beth Boutique

I have a cute new shop to share with you this week! Emi Beth Boutique is full of fun things for your little one. Here is what Tonya, the owner, has this to say about herself:

"I'm a working mom of two beautiful girls and wife to a hard working husband. We live a very simple life out in the land of dirt (West Texas.)  I started sewing and embroidering when my 6 year old was a baby.  I love to make boutique children's clothing and embroidered items for all ages.  I started on ebay and then discovered etsy and now am launching my own website:  I love to hear from my customers what they are looking for and am always looking for models as my photography skills leave a lot to be desired!"

Seriously, look at some of her adorable creations!

Tonya has generously offered to give away a custom embroidered tee or onesie to one winner. The winner can pick any design or have one custom created!

To enter the giveaway, visit Emi Beth Boutique online or on etsy and come back here to share your favorite design in a comment.

The giveaway will remain open until Friday, January 28th at midnight. 

In addition, Tonya has a coupon code for Noodles & Milk readers. Use "Noodles15" to get 15% off anything in the EBB etsy shop. The coupon code is valid until February 7th. Enjoy! 


Friday, January 21, 2011

Sweet Caroline

I had the chance photograph a friends sweet little girl, Caroline. She is seriously precious. This was my first attempt at a real shoot and I did a terrible job. Just terrible. I blamed it on poor lighting (it was the most rainy overcast day of the year), but really it was a bunch of amateur mistakes on my part in addition to poor lighting. I walked away completely disappointed and angry with myself. Mostly I was angry that I thought I was ready for a real shoot when I clearly wasn't. Oh well. You live and learn. And luckily I did capture some cute shots.
Here are a couple of my favorites.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

stream of consciousness

Inspired by this blog, I decided to post the occasional random thoughts post. Just because. I feel like if we want to get to know each other, then you might as well know all the "stuff" that fills my head from time to time. Feel free to comment. Or not. Whatever.
Speaking of comments, thank you so much for your support over this post. It really, really, really means a lot to me. All of the comments and emails that I got in response were overwhelming and so very thoughtful. It is great to know that what I am going through is normal and that I will make it to a better place.
Anyways, right now I am sore. As in, my muscles ache. A lot. I have been doing this crazy boot camp workout for the past week. It is my first week back into workouts since having the baby and it has been hilarious. Really challenging even for athletes of the group. Oh, and did I mention that the workouts are outside. No matter the weather. My first night out it was 37 degrees. The stuff they have us doing is insane. But it is what I need to do to kick myself into gear. Especially if I want to lose 25 pounds this year.
We have been letting our baby cry a little at night in hopes of creating better sleeping habits. Overall it is working. With my daughter, the progress was super fast. She was sleeping all night after 4 days. My son is proving to be a little more stubborn. We take about 2 steps forward and then 5 steps back. Needless to say, I am really, really tired.
All I have been able to think about lately is photography stuff. It has really been consuming my thoughts lately. As in keeps me up at night. Which is great seeing as when I do fall asleep it isn't for long:) I have been reading this book and learning a lot from it. I highly recommend it. That being said, I have been taking lots of pictures for friends. They certainly have not been my best efforts, but they have turned out okay. The girls were happy with the results and that is what matters most. I will be sure to show some off really soon.
Speaking of pictures, just for fun here is my adorable three-year-old.
Love her to pieces!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun Etsy Finds: Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day. Seriously, I love it. I know, I is an over-commercialized excuse for a holiday, but I still love it. I mean, it is all about chocolate, flowers, pink, red and love! Why wouldn't you adore this holiday? Another reason I love it is because February 14th happens to be my sweet grandmother's birthday. More reason to celebrate!

If you are as into celebrating this ridiculously commercial day as I am, here are some fun things that I found on etsy to honor Saint Valentine's holiday.

 Beach House Living: Adorable His and Hers spoons.
 Bear and the Honeybee: Heart on a string necklace. This would be perfect for the office or out with your honey.
 Brookie Cookies Bows: Look at this adorable headband! The entire shop is filled with cuteness!
 Bugaboo Gifts: Cute polka dot garland to decorate your home for Valentine's day. 
 Chic Couture Boutique: Don't forget your little man! 
 Eco Bling Couture: Talk about a statement piece! This entire shop is created from recycling old things into new jewlery. Gorgeous stuff. 
 Crowes Nest: Adorable clippies for your little one.
 Giddy Up and Grow: This headband is absolutely adorable. Seriously. I love it.
 Teddy's Tiny Tutu's: There are not words to describe this cuteness. 
 Happy Family: This robots in love tshirt cracks me up. Perfect for your techie lover! You heard me, I said lover.
 Inspirational Banners: Wouldn't this be great on your mantel or entry way?
 Jewelry Deli: Another piece of jewelry that would be perfect for date night.
 John W Golden: This shop has lots of cool art for all occasions and is currently running a sale- 14% off your entire order! Check out their shop for details and the coupon code.
 KB Originals Etc: This shop has all kinds of gorgeous handmade pottery. I can't get over how pretty the handle is on this mug and how it is the perfect shade of red. 
 Pink 2 Blue: Are you kidding me? Are these not to die for?
 Satin and Birch: These soaps (and the entire shop for that matter) are simply stunning. The details are amazing.
 Shop Gibberish: Cute geeky stuff! I love this card. cracks. me. up.
 Slippin Southern: If you are from the South, this shop is for you. Southern sayings made into wooden signs. So cute. And this shop is brand new, so help them get going! 
 The Career Scrapper: Gorgeous needle work art.
 The Vintage Chain: This love birds necklace would make a sweet gift. I love the font.
 Three Sassy Sisters: Catnip toy for the little kitty in your life.
Two Little Doves: I am enamored with this necklace. Completely smitten. I am seriously having to restrain myself from purchasing it as a gift. for myself.


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