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2013 February | Smiling Watermelon
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by Juliemara


This weeks pictures are a special for me. I got a new lens! It’s a 50mm fixed zoom lens. It’s the special lens that makes backgrounds blurry and subjects pop. I love it! The only trick to taking nice pictures is to focus on your main point then move the camera to capture the frame you want. Take a look at this professional photo by Elizabeth Messina,  the focal point is along the bottom horizontal line and the mom and baby are both off set from center towards the right vertical line.


The focal point of a great photo is almost never directly in the middle of the photo. That’s on purpose. The eye is more interested in images where the most interesting point is father to one side or the top or bottom.

In this photo of Talia her face is the focal point, towards the top, not the center of the frame. I should have done a better job focusing her face rather than her shirt as well as placed her body along the vertical line to the left rather than in the center.


I cropped the above photo of Jordan to show what a better composition would have been, with her face at the intersection of the top and left third lines.


I’m no professional photographer but I am trying to get better with every click. Grab your camera this weekend an make a point not to center your subject, see what happens. I’d love to hear about it on Monday or share your captured treasures on instagram and tag me @smilingwatermelon so I can see too!



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A little hand holding

by Juliemara

We’ve started checking out pre-school options in the area for the fall. As the girls get older they are getting so curious about everything including other children. When we get together with friends and their children of similar ages the girls play so nicely and have a great time every time. A few hours of pre school each week will be a great introduction to school for the coming year.

We learned a lot about toddler development just from visiting the different school and speaking with the administrators. We also learned that holding hands with an adult and another child is an important skill for even the youngest students primarily for navigating through the halls day to day and more importantly for fire drill execution. They did assure us that if a child doesn’t want to hold hands and walk as a group in an emergency they will be carried to safety, but having the skill can’t hurt.

I tried to show Talia and Jordan how to “hold hands” by clasping my own hands together. This is what I ended up with.

Next I showed Talia how to hold my hand then asked her to hold Jordan’s.

They’ll get the hang of it. And be skipping around the house hand in Han before we know it.







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Little moments, big changes

by Juliemara

It really does just keep getting more fun. Talia and Jordan learn at the speed of light these days. Some of their new favorite things to do are “wash hands” after dinner. I save this activity for only after dinner because next is bath and since washing hands turns into soaked toddlers getting straight into bath rather than having to change outfits is just easier.

The girls are all about climbing these days. Pushing chairs around our great room to see what they can get access to. Like the kitchen island, the upper bookshelves and over the sides of the couch. Of course I am constantly worried that they will fall and get hurt and most of the time they do. I try to remind them that chairs are for sitting but the truth is kids climb and they will always climb and I really love that they have this sense of adventure. I just try to make sure that there are no sharp corners to fall on. I can deal with a bump, a cut, on the other hand gets me a little worked up.

There are a few other changes that have happened in the past month or so, the girls switched from liquid vitamin D, we have used poly-vi-sol since the girls were born, to chewable fruity multi vitamins, we get the whole foods 365 brand, plus a chewable fruity vitamin D3 supplement. The girls now sit in boosters at the table with us rather than in their high chairs. We still have the high chairs handy since we only have four dinning chairs we need them available when we have guests. And a new favorite activity is play dough! The girls will cut and mush and break the homemade play dough from this Pinterest link for a good twenty minutes before they get bored.

Winter cold and the sicknesses that have come with it are starting to get old. As the start of March approaches we are getting excited to spend more weekend days hiking on the great trails around our city. And being able to play on the deck in the mornings early hours before we head to work.
And to leave you with a 6 sec video from my vine. You can follow me on Vine by searching username smilingwatermel


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Happy Purim – Chag Sameach

by Juliemara


The Girls nanny finished their Purim Costumes in the nick of time. Here’s my little double rainbow!

Chag Sameach – Happy Purim

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by Juliemara

I’m trying to keep up with this portrait a week project, this week is the 8th week of the year. I titled last weeks post 8/52 but it was actually the 7th week, I have since fixed that.

I have such a hard time choosing photos to use for this project. I always want to show pictures of their beautiful little faces, but some times pictures of feet or bellies are just as important in remembering what life was at that moment. I also make it hard on myself because I feel that the two images I choose have to compliment each other or have the same feel, luckily I have forty four more weeks to try out new ideas for portraits.


Here’s this week! 498 days old

I decided to try out some black and white filters this week, What do you think black and white is fun or color is better?





I couldn’t choose just one of each this week so here are some bonus pics of my little ladies.






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Lately on Instagram

by Juliemara

I post random pics most days on Instagram. I love getting instant feedback and getting inspired to take different kinds of photos of my kids. Here are some of my recent posts,

Sunrise at home


Busy bees just like me


Always trying something new


I’m free!


A pretty table where I enjoyed dinner


Tutu’s and a dancing pig


Weekend shopping




Food Coma


New hooded towels


New best friend


Too many toys


Pretty in pastels


eating with a fork


Brushing Teeth


Tada, I can stand on the chair

If you want more of the girls, especially on the weekends, follow me on Instagram!

And please vote for us for Top Baby Blogs! You can vote once every day.

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My children are teaching me…

by Juliemara


My children are teaching me how to be a good person. I will be the first to admit, ok maybe not the first, but eventually I will admit that I can be a little crazy, controlling, self centered, rushed, among other things. My strong personality has been an important part of the amazing life I have lived. But now that I am a parent, things are a little different, it’s not about me, I can’t always control the situation and patience is about the only trait you need to parent successfully.




I am pretty good at being patient with Talia and Jordan, working on my patience with my husband and always remember after my burst or road rage that I should be more patient.


Being a working mom I savor my mornings with my girls, an hour or so of precious moments that melt my heart. I want to be that way about all the moments in life, not just the ones with my kids. It may be the end of February, but it’s never to late for a resolution.

Happy Tuesday, and please vote for us for top baby blogs! Thank you!

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The first sleepover!

by Juliemara


My sister offered a while ago to keep the girls for a night so my husband an I could have a date and a full nights sleep for sure. We took her up in the offer last night. They were happy when we left and to top off the evening my brother in law wrote about it for the blog! Thanks Sammy!

You can read the post here.

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by Juliemara

Week 7 of 2013 Portraits of my children

Talia eating a gogurt
Jordan in prints52-project

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Happy Valentines Day

by Juliemara


I hope that today is special for you, however you want to make it special. If you like a dozen long stem roses I hope you get them, if you like diamonds, I hope you get those, if you like Chocolate (like me) I hope you eat some and if you like heart shaped candy with cute sayings I hope you get lots. I like valentines day because it’s another reason to tell the people in our lives how lucky we are that they are in our lives.

I love my husband, he is my cool dude. We may have our not so loving moments but I never stop loving him. He is so good at little surprises. One of my favorite things he does is set up my coffee mug in the morning, so sweet. Thanks Baby.

Then there are those sweet little people that make us smile and laugh every single day. It seams almost impossible to love them as much as we do, but we do, every day more and more.The Girls helped me with our very simple but very festive Valentines decoration this year, paper hearts garland.


And is it really Valentines day without a heart shaped food, I think not.

I made it, well actually my husband did, using a heart shaped cookie cutter, please note you must spray the inside of the cookie cutter with non stick for this to work, cooking tip is also thanks to my sweetheart. Thanks Babe.

There are a few people that we want to send a big loving hug to today…Nana, Grandaddy, Safta, Saba, Doda Cilla, Dod Ben, Aunt Tracey, Uncle Sammy, Aunt Mindy, Uncle Bryan, Liliah, Elizabeth, Jacob, heather, Baxter, Colby, Guage, all of our aunts, uncles and cousins and all of our dear friends who are always there when we need their support and friendship and who always amaze us with their generosity and loyalty.

  Here’s our virtual Valentine for you!

Vintage Heart Valentine’s Card
Create personalized invitations and announcements at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Happy Valentines Day We Love you.

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