Friday, February 27, 2015

this is my brother todd

when we bought our land up north almost 3 years ago,
he and his family were some of the first 
visitors that came to see us and explore our
many acres of woods and trails.

nobody loves being in the wild more than
this guy.
he was full on "duck dynasty" before any of
us even knew who those guys were. 
i snapped this photo of him when we all went out
for a long walk on a cool spring morning.
it was misty and we'd had a lot of rain and i just love the
image of him with his walking stick and camo in this magic light.


cheryl strayed who wrote the book WILD is going to be
in eden praire to speak soon and i just bought tickets to go see her!

i loved her book and now her story-
her true story of growing up just miles from where i live, has been
made into a movie and she is hob-knobing with the likes
of robert redford (who invited her to speak at sundance) and
she attended the academy awards you guys!!
 she's just a regular girl from minnesota with stories inside her that
are sad, and compelling and redeeming and i can't wait to 
sit in a room and hear her tell them.

cheryl walked the entire pacific trail- by herself -
when she was only in her 20's, to try and find her way
back to life after heartbreaking losses.

todd, maybe you should come with me~
i'll bet you and cheryl are kindred spirits!

xo, me

(a girl who wouldn't dare spend even one night alone
in the wilderness).

Monday, February 23, 2015

found this, loved it and am
sharing it~

did you watch the academy awards? 
i did and i thought there was a whole bunch of weird parts,
but a part that i did not think was weird was 
jason blum's acceptance speech.

did you see it? he talked about how 
 important family is and in part, said: "if you are lucky enough to 
have parents on this earth, call them- and let them
talk to you as long as they want to."

he "gets it".

i get it too.... i haven't had parents
for a very long time. 
if you do,
please don't take them for granted.

nObody loves you like your parents. : )

xo, beth

Saturday, February 21, 2015

today i thought it would be fun to share with you some 
 products i've been using and loving.
first let's talk about food. i was looking for a salad dressing that wildfire restaurant
sells, but when i couldn't find it at the grocery store i took
a chance and bought this maple grove farms, lime-basil vinaigrette.
it's better than good- it's amazing!  the tanginess of the lime
is just perfect on a good spinach salad.

at the beginning of the year i decided to make a serious attempt to drink more water.
on a typical day i probably only drank one 8 oz. glass (if that).
i wasn't drinking much else either because i gave up my 
beloved diet coke about a year ago.

i started buying real lemon juice and lemons and i squirt a good spray of
the juice in my glass, fill it with water- (not real cold and no ice) and then drop in
one or two frozen lemon slices and i find myself slurping it down all day long.
now i typically drink at least 3 large glasses everyday.

*i find it helpful to buy a few lemons (and limes are fun to add too) and slice them
and have them readily available in the freezer.

now....have you jumped on the essential oil bandwagon yet?
well good for you if you have, and if you haven't 
tune your instrument (get it?) and join me!!!

i'd been hearing a lot about them on blogs, pinterest and from friends and family,
and had a couple kinds, but then during a girls weekend last fall, a cousin of mine
introduced us to young living brand oils, and taught us some of the many benefits.

below is the line-up of the oils i now use religiously.

peppermint oil~ i use this in the morning, and any time during 
the day when i need a little pick me up. the best usage for me
though has been the discovery that when my stomach hurts
rubbing some directly on my tummy gives me relief in about 20 mn. 

tea tree~ good for any breakouts and cuts on my skin.

valor~ this one is an oil blend and it calms me down and boosts my 
immune system.

thieves~ another blend, this one is my miracle cure. i've been around
soooo many sick people this fall and winter and i use this one a minimum of
twice a day and more if i've been out in public. so far so good and i've been 
dodging the sick bullet this winter. the true test is if i don't get the 
crud that my oldest and my hubbie have right now.

stress away~ i got this one to calm me and keep me from being bossy. (ha ha)
i will be bathing in it the week of my daughter's wedding. :  )

lavender~ this one is another lifesaver. i rub it on my feet at bedtime and it helps me
sleep well and the really great advantage for me is that i've found
when i have one of my frequent headaches, i just open it and take a few 
deep breaths and pretty soon the headache is gone- with no ibuprofen. nice!

if you're interested in trying essential oils, do your homework. there's a lot of
helpful information on the internet. i just know for me, that they are
working and making me feel better, naturally.

now this little gadget was a Christmas present (i hinted about). it's a battery operated
foot sander. you can buy them at walgreens and other local stores and
it is such an easy way to get rid of the callouses that build up on my feet.
~formerly referred to as hooves.

if you have stomach issues, probiotics may help. i think i
saw this tip on the dr. oz show and decided to try it.
omgosh!!! within a week, by body was happier and
i don't have as many stomach aches and the irregularity that i 
used to have. 

*sorry to be so graphic, but hey we're all friends here right?
i'm trying to help you!

and on a lighter note- this mascara rocks!
i've used the same kind for years, but switched it up a bit and 
bought neutrogena healthy volume (available at target) and i love it.
it doesn't clump and has a great brush and i won't be going back to my 
old standby. good mascara is worth it's weight in gold to me....

and lastly,
as a public service announcement, i also want to make sure
you know these two things:

1. flonase is now available in prescription strength OTC (over the counter)
what great news for those of us who use it!
2. the shamrock shakes are back at McDonalds. 
get thyself there- they are seasonal and just available thru march.
  i haven't had one yet, but i will.
(you're welcome).

well,that's a wrap!


it's colder than a witches titty here in the twin cities
wear a scarf, wear your boots, put on some wool socks-
do what your momma told you.

love you~ stay warm, stay well!
xo, beth ~*mother of 3

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

whoot whoot! look who's about to celebrate his first birthday,

i've had the pleasure of taking photos at this little fellas house
many times and like i told his momma tonight,
something magical happens when i shoot there.

it may be the fact that arlo and his brother are 
breathtakingly gorgeous children, or maybe it's the fact that their momma
just lets me play. she doesn't really seem to care what i do,
she just hangs out with us, lets me do my "thang" and lets what happens... happen.
*the light in their house is very pretty and soft too and that's a big bonus.

'howdy cowboy"

don't you love his little outfit? he's a ray of sunshine~

seriously?     i looooove him.

i guess both brothers love this hat...(me too). 

the tongue...  : p

oh, hi big brother~

don't you just want to smooch this little bare back?

now how about we smash some cake?

the little red tongue.

mr. A needed no encouragement to dig right in- he was on it.

all done.

next step~ a dip in the sink to clean up.
(love the box of wine conveniently located by the faucet-)

we snuck in a few shots of arlo's beautiful momma while i was there.
she tried to tell me she isn't photogenic.
ummmm -so obviously not true.
no wonder her boys are so darling!

you may have noticed that i haven't been doing posts with portraits lately.
that's because i now put most of them on either my face book page
(look for brown sparrow studio),
or on my brand new website. that's right, girlfriend has worked
her butt off and has her website up.
*the link to it is at the top right on my sidebar.

it's snowing like crazy here tonight. i've been up at our cabin since last week
but am back home now. there wasn't much going on and my oldest was
sicker than sick. i was kind of bored and am hoping and praying that i
didn't bring home "the bug". i miss my garden and having flowers to
tend and cut and bring in and enjoy up there. we haven't had enough
snow to snowshoe even once this year! if you follow my blog you maybe
remember me telling you about the last two snowy winters  and
some of the trouble we've had getting up our long driveway there.
several times we ended up getting stuck and walking alllllll the way
carrying our stuff. we have a little tractor now and wouldn't you
know it- we haven't even needed it this winter! haha
oh well, more winters are a'comin.

you may not believe this, but it's only
days till spring!
not even kidding~

have a super week-

xo, b

Friday, February 13, 2015


10  reasons why~ i love this guy~

                1. he will eat whatever i cook and doesn't even care if i cook. he'll just eat a bowl of cereal.

2. he has always supported and encouraged me to do whatever i want to do- career wise,

    and just in general. he believes in me even when i don't believe in myself.

3. when he puts his arms around me, we fit perfectly.

4. he always carries the heavy stuff.

5. he always jumps out to put gas in my car, even when i'm driving. and i don't have to ask.

6. he offers to drop me off at the door and then park the car. (being a gentleman is

    kind of a lost art isn't it?)

7. he usually asks me what i'd like him to wear if we're going out- (anything not camo- thanks hon).

8. he's really smart. the kids and i can ask him just about anything and he knows the

    answer. but he's not cocky.  he's also the most honest person i know.

9. although he's not exactly young anymore, he's strong, he can work allll

    day long doing hard physical stuff. love a man with some muscle.

10. he will listen to me ramble on and on and only give me advice when i ask for it.

oh he's not perfect, but since i'm so far from perfect myself
"most" days I consider myself very blessed.

 happy valentines day to
all of you!

*don't wait for someone to
bring you flowers~
-go buy yourself some and
make your own day!!! 

xo, beth

Monday, February 9, 2015

are you married?

an aunt?
Godmother, neighbor, friend?

this saturday is valentines day and i'd like to think
we'll all pause long enough to make someone feel loved.

have you heard how mcdonalds has a cool campaign going on
right now, where they are choosing random customers and asking
them to do something, like call their mom and say "i love you", 
or tell someone they are with, what they like about them, dance, etc...
if you do what they suggest you get your meal f-r-e-e~
what a grrrrreat idea!

i found some pretty images to get you in the mood
for love.

viva la monday dear ones,


Friday, February 6, 2015

a trip to the country

a friend called me a few weeks ago.
 she's one of "the mama's", at mama's happy in independence mn.
she lit a fire for me to bring some handmades out there to sell.
mama's happy is an occasional sale. if you're new to that concept~
it's what shops are called when they are open only one weekend a month,
(or once a season). i had been working on some sparkly hearts that very morning,
so i felt the creative burn and got busy. sparkly hearts led to message bricks and
then i hand dyed lengths of cheesecloth in beautiful organic colors to sell.

 last week i had all my goods finished, tagged and ready for drop off.  i loaded
up my (dirty) jeep and headed west. it's a beautiful drive from my 
house to independence. you go through a couple small towns and
past many beautiful old farmsteads.

i grew up on a dairy farm with a big white barn. i cannot imagine how sad
our rural landscape will be when these big old beauties no longer dot
the countryside. in case you haven't noticed, no one is building wooden barns
anymore. now they are all metal. in the last few years, i've watched the
magnificent old barn below start it's descent back to the earth.

amanda, who owns mama's happy, lives above the old creamery that houses
her business. she told me a year ago she was going to build a coop and
raise chickens. they're here!!! omgoodness it made me happy when i
crawled out of the car and saw these ladies (and glad i had grabbed my camera
as i ran out the door.)

hello ladies... warm enough? if you need a stocking cap, i've made some to sell~

here's some shots of the goods i delivered to mama's.

know what this is? it's the crushed blackberries that i used as i 
started experimenting with the dying process. 

i realized very quickly that i didn't have the patience for all the hoopala that
dying with all natural plant materials required, so it was off to buy rit dye.
(there aren't any ready made good colors of dye though, so if you think producing 
these yummy colors was a piece of cake- think again. it was a steep learning curve.) : )

some of the wrung out fabric, ready to be hung to dry.

these cloths look really pretty on tables, under a vase of flowers, in a basket,
on your dresser... the possibilities are endless.
(and if you bring me a newborn baby to photograph you better know that
i will be swaddling them in one).


*these hearts are what started it all. there just aren't a lot of great valentine's day
decorations to buy i don't think...i had this idea to make pretty hearts
for people to decorate with, or give as gifts.

a favorite blogger talked about giving someone a heart attack yesterday.
no,*not that kind of heart attack*. 
what she was suggesting was, this week leading up to valentine's day,
why not do some random acts of "heart work". 
like just knocking on a neighbor's door and surprising them
with a plate of warm brownies- made with love- from the heart.
or wouldn't one of these bags of glittered hearts work to 
"attack" someone with love this week?

i love the idea so much- just a simple way to say,
"you matter to me",  "i love you"
"how blessed am i to have you in my life",
"thanks for shoveling my driveway".

i'm going to try give a couple people heart attacks this week.

xox, beth

*all of the items above will be available for purchase next wed-sat.
at mama's happy at their independence location.