Friday, October 30, 2015

7 Ways to Save Money and Live on One Income

Hey!  I am Sarah at Liza in the Lou. Stasia and I went to college at UGA together and have stayed in touch through blogging.  We both have adorable little girls-- and I would be remiss if I didn't include a picture of my Elizabeth:

As the mom of a now almost 5 month old, I am LOVING being at home with her.  The decision to leave my job was a very hard person decision but not difficult from a financial perspective. My husband is a resident and is by no means making the big bucks (his salary is online in case you're curious).  Why is this you ask?

In the almost 6 years we've been married, we have never lived off of more than one income.  For the first four years of marriage, he was a student and I was our sole income provider.  This past year was the first year in our marriage that we both worked.  We made the decision to continue living like we were living on one salary. 

Consider this: It was just one generation ago that couples and families lived comfortably on one income. And while the cost of living has increased, so too have wages.

When I think back to how we've made one-income living work for us it is NOT because I am a budget-spreadsheet woman who line by line itemizes each expense.  Instead we've used the principals below to stay on track:

1. We keep our housing expenses low. In our 3rd year of marriage when many of our friends started buying 4-5 bedroom houses, we downsized from our rented ranch-style brick home into a 900 square foot, 3RD floor condo we lovingly referred to as the "tree house". Not only was the rent cheaper, but the decision to live on the 3rd floor saved us approximately $3000 over a two year period ($120 a month in energy utilities X 2 years = $2880 ). I think my husband and I would agree that not only was that a smart financial decision, it was a really fun time in our marriage!

2. Every expense has always been up for discussion.  For example, in year #2 of marriage, we needed to free up room in our budget in order to save more.  We looked at our fixed expenses and decided that the $39.00 a month that we spent on internet needed to be eliminated.  For an entire year we exclusively used internet at work, the library or if we needed to work on a project late at night, we went to the Taco Bell down the street for free Wi-Fi (you can laugh at our frugalness, but we saved almost $500 in one year doing that).

3. We really save up for big purchases.  For example, both of our cars have over 170K miles on them (2002 Honda Civic and a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner).  Sure, I would love a newer car, but I also love that I am not making a car payment every month.  Instead, are socking away money into a short term bond fund with the intent of using the money to pay cash for a car when one of our rides finally dies.

4. We pay ourselves first. This commonly used phrase refers to the practice of automatically making a savings contribution or investment with your income before it can reach your wallet. You “pay yourself first” when you contribute a percentage of your income to your retirement plan or savings account each pay period. The transfer to your savings or investment account is done automatically, before you receive the rest of your income for paying your monthly living expenses. When you pay yourself first, you ensure the specified amount of money you want to save really does make it into your savings account or investment, since it happens before you have the opportunity to use the money for something else.  We also use this same concept for tithing to our church. 

5. We try to buy everything used. One of my favorite blogs, the Simple Economist, does a really great job of explaining the Irrational Gap in Price Between New and Used. The point of his post is that products have a dramatic and irrational drop in price as soon as they are purchased. For the savvy individuals, this provides a window of opportunity between the time when an objects’ price has been devalued but the useful life is still strong. My husband and I literally buy ALL of our clothes at Goodwill.  Every piece of furniture in our house is either 2nd hand or was purchased off Craigslist.  We even buy unusual things at places like Goodwill... unopened boxes of diapers, unopened jumbo boxes of Hefty trash bags, Christmas lights, etc all at significantly lower prices than from a Big Box store.

6. We get creative. For example, I recently took my daughter to a class at Gymboree Music and Play.  She had such a great time interacting with the other babies! At the end of the class, I inquired how much it would cost us to join.  I was shocked to learn that 4 classes a month would cost us $65 ( annual cost of $780).  At that point I had three options, 1) pony up the money and take a class  2) save the money and not take a class 3) start my own class!  Guess which option we are going with?  I found a really talented high school senior who is going to college to major in theatre and arts.  This summer she is going to lead a group of my friends and their babies in a music and play class that is very similar to the classes at Gymboree.  Each mom is going to pay $3.00 to cover the high school students "salary". It's a win for her, and a big win for us!

7. Surround yourself with other frugal-minded friends. One of the most helpful things we've done is surround ourselves with thrifty friends.  When your friends are conscience about how they spend their money, you will likely feel less pressure to spend as well. A fun Friday night for us involves grilling hamburgers, playing Settlers of Catan and great conversation (for a grand total of $10).

If you have any questions about how we've reduced our overhead expenses or as I like to call it, our "glamorous frugal lifestyle" (because I never feel like I am having to miss out on stuff because I am too poor)-- feel free to contact me!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Starting Solid Foods: What to Eat and When

Every couple of months, a good friend will call or e-mail me to ask my opinion on when they should start feeding their baby solid foods and what they should offer.  Because this is a topic I care about, I usually end up writing a very lengthy e-mail response.  I am by no means an expert on this subject and did not major or master in dietetics or   nutrition—so please consult with your pediatrician before accepting my advice.

Before my daughter was born, I read a lot of parenting books and knew the basic 5S’s. I knew that the first few months were going to be challenging, but I really did not know what to expect post-swaddle. I assumed that my child was going to be a Gerber-baby—because I was one—and because I did not know that there was an alternative.

At playdates I started hearing moms talk about a feeding philosophy called “Baby-led weaning” (BLW). The name confused me at first because I associated the buzzword with breastfeeding—but it really references a term popularized by Gill Rapley, a British public-health nurse and mother of three — babies skip spoon-feeding altogether and parents let baby self-feed at 6 months using finger foods like softly cooked vegetables, soft fruits, avocado slices, strips of meat/cheese, or toast strips. Basically, baby eats what the family eats, with the exception of honey and fluid cow's milk (but other dairy like yogurt and cheese is OK as long as it’s tolerated by baby). Allergenic foods are introduced around 6 months as well, as the American Academy of Pediatrics now states that introduction of allergens around the 6 month mark actually decreases allergy risk. Introduce allergenic foods one at a time to watch for reactions. Allergenic foods include wheat/gluten, nuts, dairy, shellfish, non-shell fish, soy, eggs, and peanuts. (Source:
My toddler with veggie sushi (no raw seafood included)

I read a lot about BLW and decided it was great for my family because:

1.      I am lazy.  I don’t want to be a short order cook and make one meal for my kids and one for my husband and myself.
2.      I am cheap/poor.  Baby food in pouches and jars is really expensive. (supportive article here)
3.      I think parents have an important role in helping their children create a healthy relationship with food. (One of the many supportive articles here)
4.      One of my parenting goals is to inspire my children to be curious about the world and to become globally aware. Eating foods from other cultures and discussing the country’s customs and beliefs at the dinner table is—according to literature-- the #1 way to raise globally aware kids. (More on this below)

Baby Led Weaning is NOT for everyone. It’s easy for me to share the benefits of BLW, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share that it is a controversial feeding philosophy. I have many dear friends who have also followed this method with great success. However, one friend—a pediatrician—had a terrifying encounter when she had to administer the Heimlich maneuver on her child. There is a lot you can read on the risks (or not) of choking and BLW (Great article here).  We fortunately never had any choking scares—but I also would only allow my baby to eat pureed foods when being supervised by anyone other than my husband or myself (i.e. the babysitter). 

I carefully followed my pediatrician’s instructions when introducing solids and only introduced one new food every three days so that I could carefully watch for an allergic reaction in the form of diarrhea, rash or vomiting. I modified the BLW principals and started with purees for the first two months and then moved to soft solids.

My husband and I decided early on that we were not going to “assume” that our daughter would prefer “kid-friendly” foods like hot dogs over more nutritious and flavorful meals like stir-fry or curry dishes.  Many toddlers start rejecting new foods at around 18-24 months so parents really only have a 1-year window to challenge or push the child’s pallet.

I am a big fan of introducing textures early on. I put Quaker rolled oats oatmeal in the food processor and used it as our very first food (cheaper and less processed than baby cereal). The second food I introduced was quinoa cooked in the microwave at 75% for 30 seconds with breast milk.
Then I introduced one new purée every three days. For example: sweet potatoes + quinoa + BM. After I determined my child was not allergic, I introduced another food ( avocado and carrots were early favorites). Once I went through all of the traditional firsts, then I started making combinations of foods. For example: broccoli+ lemon juice + quinoa + carrot was a favorite. Around 8 months, we started eliminating purées and gave her small, soft bite sized bites of foods (like broccoli). Around 9 months I started giving her modifications of our dinner.

Other fun simple puree recipes:
Sweet potato and cinnamon – Roast whole sweet potatoes until tender, remove skin, and puree with 1 pinch of cinnamon per sweet potato, working up to ¼ tsp. Thin with water or plain yogurt. Other add-ins: ground ginger, nut butters.

Avocado and cumin – Mash 1 avocado with 2 pinches of ground cumin. Thin with water or olive oil. Other add-ins: squeeze of lime, cilantro (baby guacamole!).

Butternut squash and sage – Halve a butternut squash, scoop out seeds, rub with olive oil, and roast skin side up until tender. Puree squash flesh with ½ tsp finely chopped fresh sage. Thin with water or olive oil. Other add-ins: parmesan cheese.

Quick advice:  One time I thought I was being “ambitious” and made a stock pile of freezer pureed baby food.  I made way too much and most of it didn’t get eaten because my daughter wasn't as interested in being fed as she was feeding herself.

Sample “Daily Meal” Plans:
10-12 months
 6:30 a.m. breastmilk (on tap)
8:30 a.m. toast and fruit with breastmilk in sippy cup.
11:00 a.m. chicken pot pie with veggies and fruit with a sippy cup of breastmilk
2:30 p.m. goldfish crackers and sippy of breastmilk
5 p.m. Breastfeed
6:00 spaghetti with meatballs and peas
7 p.m. breastfeed before bed.

Global Babies:
In many countries, babies are not fed bland rice cereals as their first foods rather, they introduced to spices from the start. In India for example, they think nothing of adding a bit of curry spices to baby's foods at a very early age. Thai families often incorporate coconut milk, lemongrass, tamarind and even chili when feeding their babies solid foods. Latino babies are exposed to taste of wonderful herbs and spices such as cumin, cilantro and even chili peppers!

I have a heart for internationals who transplant in the US.    My daughter has been such a fun “American Ambassador” by genuinely loving food from other cultures.  When she was around 11 months old, she impressed my friend Manal from Saudi Arabia with her love for dates and hummus.  When my dear friend Nihal from Turkey’s mother came to the US and made us a special traditional Turkish breakfast, Elizabeth ate two very generous helpings. She’s tried and loved Ethiopian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Italian, German and Indian foods (probably others!).
My toddler eating Korean dish with chopsticks

My daughter at 16 months eating traditional Ethiopian food

On Marketing to your Children:
Companies like Kellogg’s and Kraft spend millions of dollars (maybe even billions) annually marketing food to kids.  If it’s OK for them to do it—why can’t parents do a little branding of their own?  Even though my daughter is a very good eater, she has picky moments.  It’s during these difficult times that I get creative.  Here are a few examples:

  •           I made something for dinner and my daughter decides she doesn’t like it (even though she liked it the last two times I made it).  I then ask if she would like for me to add “magic sprinkles” to the meal (also known as chia seeds) and instantly the meal is transformed into something desirable and edible.
  •           The oatmeal I made for breakfast doesn’t taste good (even though it’s the same recipe I often use and she loves). Instead of forcing her to eat it, I double the recipe, add an egg white, put it in pink polka dot muffin tins and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  If I offer her the “cupcakes” thirty minutes later she is asking for “more, more”.
  •          I re-brand food items with more fun names.  For example: homemade granola bars=cookies
  •         I bought a spiralizer recently and made homemade macaroni and cheese using zucchini instead of noodles
  •          “Dessert” at our house is often berries
  •           To encourage more milk drinking, my husband makes my daughter “lattes” or lightly warmed milk that he steams.  She feels like such a big girl!
  •          We occasionally invite “Minnie Mouse” (stuffed animal) to eat with us.  Minnie LOVES (insert food toddler wont touch) making it more appealing.
  •           I always serve my toddler food on my real (everyday) china. I treat her like a “big girl” at the table and expect her to have big girl manners.  By treating her like a big girl, there is a sense of pride and privilege. Presentation matters to her—if I just put food on her high chair tray, she would feel like a baby.
  •           I always serve food in courses starting with the vegetable item when she is most hungry.

Books or resources I recommend: The best BLW Facebook group moderated by a friend of mine who happens to be a dietician and mother. Great resource by the American Academy of Pediatrics for breastfeeding mothers on infant nutrition

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sarah's Favorite Things

Do you ever wish you had deep pockets like Oprah?  I would love to invite all of my favorite people to a big auditorium and hand out iPads, cars and pashminas. Her "Favorite Things" episode was always THE best.  I don't know why I like it so much... it's pretty much a 45 minute commercial.

Here are some of my 'favorite things' right now (and I am not receiving any compensation or good vibes for endorsing these items.  I just genuinely like them!):

1. Revlon Age Defying Targeted Spot Concealer
I am a big fan of Make-up-Forever concealer.  It's the best hands down.  However at $42 a tube (even though it lasts a really long time) I needed to find an alternative. I'm a casual CVS couponer and was able to get a tube of the Revlon (after coupons) for around $3.50.  I've been so surprised by how much I like it! It's quite creamy and the coverage is almost as good as the Makeup Forever foundation.  The concealer dries really quickly and goes well under other makeup.

2.  My Home Soda Maker

When the Soda Stream came out like 5 years ago, I saw an ad for it in Sky Mall magazine and thought it was the dumbest concept ever.  Why would anyone want to make their own soda when you can easily buy a 2-liter or cans at the store?

Then I got really hooked on flavored sparkling water.  La Croix Lime is my favorite and at $3.99 for a 12-pack, I was adding on at least $15 a month to my grocery bill.  I was able to purchase a discontinued "Primo" Soda Maker for $20 and I LOVE it.  I make tangy soda water at home all day.  Sometimes I get creative and cold brew herbal tea and add carbonation.  It's truly helped me stay more hydrated and drink lower calorie beverages.

3. Etsy

I love supporting small businesses.  Entrepreneurs are some of the bravest, most creative, hard-working people I know.  Etsy is full of creative entrepreneurs with really unique products. 

One of my favorite fashion blogs ( introduced me to one of my favorite sellers:  The owner of the shop is SO kind and goes out of her way to make happy customers.

4. Albion Bathing Suits

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a cute bathing suit company, Albion Fit.  They make beautiful, well-made modest bathing suits.  After having a baby, the last thing I want to do is parade around in a bathing suit.  Pace got me the Show Stopper for Mothers Day  and it's definitely lessened the blow.

5. The Public Library

You might be thinking... "REALLY?? The library?  The public library doesn't belong on a list with Swarovski earrings and sparkling water".

Trust me, the library is one of America's true hidden gems.  Next week, I will have a special post dedicated to (drumroll, please)... the awesomeness of the public library.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bedtime and Sleep Articles and Links

As I come across interesting articles on baby/kid sleep I will post them on this page for reference.
Free Online version of the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution"

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Solution to the World's Problems: Book Review and Call to Action

I have about ten pages left in the New York Times bestseller,  "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character" by Paul Tough.  The book is about two things: first, an emerging body of research that shows the importance of so-called non-cognitive skills in children’s success; and second, a new set of experimental interventions that are trying to use that research to help improve outcomes for children, especially children growing up in disadvantage. It's been FACINATING!  It left me with more questions than answers and made me hopeful about the difference that we can make in the lives of those with limited opportunities.

I was especially struck by the section (starting on page 31 if you own the book) on attachment.  He referenced the work of a neuroscience researcher from McGill University named Michael Meaney.

(Hang with me on this... )

"When baby rats got stressed out — when they were handled by lab technicians, let's say — there were some mother rats who would lick and groom their baby rats and others who would not. And so the scientists got interested in this one particular behavior, and they tried to figure out what kind of difference it made. As they did a series of experiments, they found out it made a huge difference. The rats who as babies were licked and groomed did much better on all sorts of things when they reached adulthood. They were braver, more curious; it had actually changed the shape of certain parts of their brains.

"I think there's a real parallel there for humans — we don't know for sure that our brains work exactly like rat brains, but I think there's a lot of parallels between that and research on attachment. Psychologists who have studied attachment have found that when human kids have that same kind of licking and grooming-style bonding with their parents, especially in the first year of life, it gives them all sorts of psychological strength, confidence [and] character that, when they reach school age and even into adulthood, will make a huge difference in how well they do."

On page 37 of the book, Tough references the research of Byron Egeland and Alan Sroufe.  In 1972 they recruited 267 pregnant women to participate in a study.  All of the women were first time moms, all had incomes below the poverty line. They studied and tracked their children for thirty (!!) years and found that for most of the children, attachment status at one year of age (as measured by the Strange Situation) was highly predictive of a wide range of outcomes later in life. Children with secure attachment early in life were more socially competent throughout their lives: better able to engage with pre-school peers, better able to form close relationships in middle school, better able to negotiate the complex dynamics of adolescent social networks.

The researchers found that they could have predicted with 77% accuracy, when the children were not yet four years old, which ones would drop out of high school.

With this new knowledge, I've been thinking a lot about my role as a new mom and the importance of the bond I have with Elizabeth. I've also been thinking about how I-- as a mother-- can encourage mother-baby attachment with other new moms.

What if... by just reaching out to ONE struggling new mom I could change the outlook of her child?

(Call me idealistic, but the reason I've written this long--and maybe boring post-- is to inspire you to think about how you too can encourage this in new mothers and potentially change the outlook for a future generation)

Ideas on Encouraging Attachment

1.  Be Pro-Baby Wearing!  (10 Benefits)

2.  Learn infant massage and be willing to demonstrate to others
3.  Volunteer to mentor new moms through a non-profit Pregnancy Center like Augusta Care.  They are ALWAYS looking for volunteers.
4. Be mission-minded when attending playgroups at the library or out in the community.  Invite moms (who may not fit my typical friend description) for a walk or a play date at the coffee shop with the intent of encouraging her.  
5. Sit down with pregnant friends and share honestly experiences breastfeeding.  It's hard. It takes work. But isn't it one of the sweetest experiences? Breastfeeding is considered one of the most important psychological ways a child bonds with their mother. 
6. Don't chastise or alienate moms who have made the decision not to breast feed.  Formula is not the "F" word and these moms need support and encouragement too. Encourage baby bonding through meaningful eye contact at feeds.
7. In the 1950's, a researcher named Erik Erikson shared his theory that if you hold a baby too much they become over dependent on their caregivers and become "spoiled".  Last week, I had a pretty heart breaking conversation with a new mom, who happened to be my waitress, about this antiquated theory. She and I bonded over the fact that we both have babies around the same age.  She proudly told me that she never holds her baby because she is afraid that she will spoil him. Because we had been talking for a while and we seemed to have a good rapport, I gently told her that new research shows that it's impossible to spoil a baby by holding and loving it and encouraged her to do it as much as she wanted. In some communities, this outdated theory is still a best-practice.  We can strengthen attachment by educating moms and restoring mother-baby bonding time.
I would love to hear from you as I think about this very important topic. What are some other ways we can encourage mother attachment?  How have you bonded with your baby in a special way?
I found several national organizations that have a mission of supporting new mothers.  These include:
Help a Mother Out
Help a Mother Out is a nationally-recognized public organization raising diapers, awareness, and promoting for long term change in the social safety net. They are committed to increasing access to diapers for families in need. Their vision is a day when every single baby has a healthy stock of diapers.

Their leading “diaper bank” is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, having issued diapers and other hygiene supplies to over 22 agencies in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties. They have sister chapters in Southern California and Arizona. To know more, please visit their site:
The Restoration House
At The Restoration House (TRH), they are working to help return single mothers and their children back to God’s good purpose for their lives. By way of transformational housing, team mentoring and familysupport, TRH is helping single mother families end phases of poverty and distress. In turn, TRH's Participating Families are encouraged to build brighter futures for themselves and their families.

At TRH they trust that God did not create us to besolitary. TRH envelops the whole family, offering them with networks of support and answerability. So instead of feeling isolated and powerless; each family feels a motivating sense of fellowship while also earning the benefits of a network of support. To know more, please visit their site:
Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon is the leading victims’ services agency in the United States, changing the lives of more than 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. They provide support to victims through 57 program locations, including shelter, in-person counseling, legal services, and more.

Right from 1978, Safe Horizon has offered victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, rape and sexual assault, as well as homeless youth and families of homicide victims, with a broad range of comprehensive support. Their programs also associate with governmental and other community agencies to extend further assistance, including locating resources for those residing outside New York City.

Safe Horizon also promotes for policies on a local, state, and national level on behalf of those distressed by violence and abuse.

To know more, please visit their site:


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On Being a "Gramma"

The mother of one of my very dear lifelong friends, Noah Harrell, wrote a touching guest blog post for Liza in the Lou on being a Grandmother.  I think that it will resonate with many of you as you reflect on your relationship with your own mother or mother-in-law.


My daughter called me from Italy to tell me I had “jinxed” her. In less than two seconds flat I screamed so loud she could have heard me in Verona without the phone! She and her husband were barely 23 and I was 47…and we were all starting into a journey that would forever change our collective lives.  She was pregnant.

When she was about 8 weeks along, I flew to Italy for a week to visit.  She was beautiful and she still had a flat stomach, but every day I talked to the little “bean”. I told him how much I loved him and that I was his Gramma. She laughed at me and said he could not hear…but I knew he could. The connection was made and we were forever entangled in this messy, beautiful place called love. 
When they got back, she was in her 6th month and I spent quite a bit of time photographing her bump.  She told me that she wanted me in the delivery room but her husband had not decided on it completely, so I would have to wait and see. I was as patient as I could be but when she was in labor and going into transition, and he still had not decided if I was in or out, I figured I needed to bring it up. I simply told him that she was getting close and I understood if he wanted me to leave but he would have to tell me...soon! Instead, he asked me to stay and take pictures because he realized he could not be with her and photograph the birth too. I was ecstatic, but just kept on trying to help until it was time. I grabbed my camera and witnessed the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.
 I had four kids, the first (his mom) was born by c-section and I was asleep…so I missed that one. The others had the rear view mirror thing to look into but I was too busy to notice what was happening, so this birth was a first for me in many ways. When thy put him in the warmer, and put the gook in his eyes, I was right there. He held my finger while I talked to him and took a million pictures of his first few minutes. When he cried, I whispered his name and cooed to him that everything would be fine. I told him how much I loved him and I stayed with him until they could wrap him up and give him to his mommy and daddy. To this day I tell him I was his first friend, while the doctors and daddy were tending to Mommy, I was with him. 
I spent the first week with them to help out and for a year, I came every Friday and stayed the weekend so they could get some sleep and have a date now and then. I still think about those Saturday mornings when he was so tiny. I got to get up with him and just talk to him (and take more pictures) until his parents got up.
 I loved being a grandma, but it took a while before I figured out why I loved it so much. I loved him but it was not the same intense love I had for my own children. I kept waiting to feel THAT feeling…but it never came. One day, I watched my child with her child and I figured it out. Loving him, gave me another way to love HER! Through him, I could continue to be a mom to my daughter, teaching, helping, sharing and growing with her as she learned the very things she had taught me about motherhood and unconditional love. I could show how much I loved her by giving her a night off every now and then, by clapping every time he hit a new milestone and by cheering her on every step of the way as she chartered the murky waters of first time motherhood. Mostly I could be a support in the way that only I could be. She knows I understand everything she goes through as a mom…because she remembers me going through it all those years ago as I navigated first time motherhood with her.
I now have three grandchildren and I can honestly say that the love I have for them is completely unconditional. It is not the same love I have for my own children, but it is pure and sweet and honest. I love watching them run from their parents to me and back again. I delight in their screams of joy when I come in their homes and when my oldest asks me if he can spend the night on school nights, I wish with all my heart he could. I can take it when they cry and I can tell them no when I have to. I spend my weekends and my summers and my vacations watching them, playing with them, taking them places and helping their parents as much as I can…because six years later, the same thing is still true. My love for my grandchildren is another way to show love to the people in my life I love more than anything in this world…my children.
The author of the post, Dana Harrell, is a super "Gramma",  Athens, Georgia resident, teacher, musician, photographer-extraordinaire and occasional blogger. You can find her blog here or her photography page here. If you just want to look at pictures of her beautiful grandkids, I took the liberty of posting one below!