Archive for January, 2010

Picture Perfect Pinboard | Maggie McDonald Photography | Dallas/Fort Worth

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

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Oh…isn’t THIS cute!!!???

I spend some time (actually, WAY too much time) looking for fun photography props, eclectic items to decorate my office, and, of course, things to purchase for my kiddos. I thought this “Perfect Picture Pinboard” from Pottery Barn Teen was just too cute! It would look awesome in the right girly room, wouldn’t it?

I’m considering the purchase for my office — it would be an awesome place to put inspirational photos from magazines — but I think that some fun digi photo frames might win out in the battle for the $80!

I love the colors & doodled frames (I’m a big fan of the whimsical look) and it’s on canvas!!!

Off to spend a little more time shopping online…

Have a lovely weekend!

~mm

oh, to love a pet! | dallas child photography

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

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This doggy of ours is a maniac.  And I say that in the most loving dog-mommy way.  He has quite the personality — more than any other dog I’ve met — and cracks us up daily.  Despite being allergic to everything a dog shouldn’t be (trees, grass, shrubs, etc), which results in annoying lick-fests, he is such a cute cuddle boy and loves to play.  He is so sweet and patient with the kiddos, which is a major bonus, too.

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{a typical “guilty” look}

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{Best buds} I love LOVE the nose-to-nose pic on the far right. They’re pretty darn cute together!!!

Have an incredible day!
~mm

The Dot | Children’s Book Review | Maggie McDonald Photography Dallas

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

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I am a MAJOR lover of books, especially of the kid variety.  I’ve always loved to read for myself, but when I became a teacher, I had this crazy urge to purchase every book in the universe and have a library of children’s books that was out of this world.  Lucky for me, my husband and his dad slaved in the garage several weekends building the perfect shelves for my second grade classroom.  I labeled and categorized everything, visited garage sales & Scholastic book fairs, I was a maniac!!!  I still have so, so many books, but lately, the kiddos and I have really been getting into the swing of reading and checking out books from the library.  We’ve been fortunate to find some amazing reads just by chance.  SO, this is where I’ll share some of those!

A long, long, long time ago when I first started this blog, I decided I’d love to have a section for recommended children’s books. Well, I got super busy and it never really came to fruition (except for this entry). It’s ALWAYS been at the back of my mind though! So, here we go. I’m going to try my best at reviewing a book for children once a week … PLUS, my pal Jess said she’d really love it. So, Jess, here’s the first one…{mwah!}

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The Dot by Peter Reynolds (it holds an Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children’s Literature award!)

The first time we read this book I got a little choked up.  It’s a beautiful story about a little girl who develops confidence through the gentle persuasion of a teacher and starts to believe in herself.

Vashti doesn’t think she’s an artist.  In fact, at the end of art class, she’s left at her table with a blank piece of paper.   Through humor and patience, her teacher encourages her to just make a mark on her paper and it truly changes her life.  Her teacher sees that “dot” as the work of an artist and the next day, her dot is framed behind the teacher’s desk.  This leads the young girl to see art in a new way.  Her eyes are opened.  Her confidence bursts.   Soon, she has a series of dot paintings at the school art show in all different sizes and colors.  Truly heartwarming.

The real beauty of the story, however, is when a young boy, with confidence that mirrors Vashti’s at the beginning of the story, approaches her and comments on her abilities.  This young child doesn’t believe in himself and Vashti suddenly feels the urge to pay it back — to let him know that it’s entirely possible to achieve greatness – you just have to look inside.

I hope you read it.  As a lover of the arts, this book really spoke to me.  I read this to Peach’s kindergarten classroom last week and EVERY STUDENT was wide-eyed and incredibly curious.  I could see their 5-year-old brains really processing the story.  They became alive as they saw Vashti blossom and believe in herself.  You’ll absolutely enjoy this story and the illustrations are super cute, too.

Hope you have a super day and thanks for stopping by!!!

~mm

iPhone apps for kids | Maggie McDonald | DFW Family Photographer

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

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Hiiii!  I'm back already.  :)

As some of you know, I recently purchased an iPhone and have been SO happy with this little baby computer in my purse (yes, I’m already addicted — that happened in about 2.5 seconds)….until today! :(

Oh man.  I was in the process of synching my computer and phone and BAM! the phone just stopped working.  It basically said on the screen that I needed to restore the factory settings if I wanted a working phone….SO I lost EVERYthing.  :(   Pictures, some fun quotes I was storing for the perfect day, and ALL my contacts.   Boo.

*   *   *   *   *

Anyway, back to positive thinking…I’m a stickler for all things educational for my kiddos, so I’ve done some research on apps for children and thought I’d share some findings here.  I’d like to also ask if any of YOU have some fun ones, if you’d comment and let me know some more.  My kids will thank you!

The iPhone for them is a special treat when we’re waiting in line at the post office,  or have a couple extra minutes when they need to be distracted.  :)   Because they play so little, it works WONDERS and keeps us all very happy.  The only problem is that I don’t have TWO — but hey…it teaches a good lesson in sharing, right?  :)

First, I found this New York Times article, which got me on the right track.   I purchased Wheels on the Bus and iWrite Words right off the bat and they’re both great.  I also took the advice of the author and rearranged the kid game icons so ALL those games were on the same page.  VERY helpful.  Now, I have two pages of games though…  Yikes!    You can find more apps here –  AND, I just found another blog for iKids {here}. {Here} are their top 20 apps (written in July ’09).

Games we also like:

Word Magic:  Perfect for my word-building kindergartner.

Peekaboo Barn:  Fun for really little ones…

First Words: Animals — there’s a LITE (free) version!  Here’s a review.

Cute Math:  Lots of math games to choose from.  I like that kiddos can “ask” for extra help if needed.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox + here’s a review. Although it’s easy for my 5 year-old (yeah, it’s a preschool program) she LOVES it.  The games are pretty cute (memory, puzzles, etc).

AND

Shape Builder (kids fit puzzle pieces where they belong) — there’s a LITE version for free!

Please let me know what you think!  Adult games or apps would be awesome, too if you feel like sharing!  I’m still pretty new to all this.

Have a lovely day!

~mm

Sleepless in Seattle | Dallas Family Photographer

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

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I just spent {five} lovely days surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and amazing pals.  I feel like a new gal because 2010 has been a little rough so far and this was JUST what I needed.  Here we are…

IMG_0686hFXweb{Image courtesy of Jen Fox, who set the self timer and had her camera literally hanging from a H-U-G-E nail in a fence — love it!}

This time away to reflect, discuss, laugh, talk shop, and just RELAX was perfect and I came home ready to hug my family for days and even welcomed the dishes, which I absolutely can’t stand…EVER. :)

::Some highlights:::

  • an evening massage AT the “Orange Door Cottage” where we were staying (seriously, a dream come true — the cottage AND massage!)

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  • a little flash talk by Jen of Jen Fox Photography — I really needed it!
  • a maternity shoot of Jen in downtown Seattle (Pike Place Market, a yummy doughnut shop, AND the infamous gum wall.)  :)

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  • eating clam chowder (the real stuff!) while watching ferries leave trails behind them through the water
  • taking portraits of my gorgeous, sassy pals (details and pics to come in another post, I promise!!!)
  • waking up to rain, seagulls, and the sound of waves crashing for two days…
  • shooting an engagement session with my 3 lovely pals and a couple willing to do fun, zany stuff!

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IMG_4219mweb{check out his HOPS!!!  da-hang!}

  • shopping at H&M and other fun stores in downtown Seattle WHILE drinking Starbucks, of course!
  • taking pictures of details and our lovely surroundings — focusing on the beauty around us, minus people!  <– I’m definitely not used to this…

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  • getting some portraits taken of ME!!!  yes, this is embarrassing…i don’t get behind the camera much, BUT it’s good practice and always good for a photographer to have a great portrait!  these ladies are pros and i got some good ones!  yay!

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Have a lovely day!  I’m going to TRY and start posting more often, so get ready!  Couple times a week — it’ll be fun!  Thanks for stopping by.  Can’t wait till next year, ladies!!!

~mm

the lollipop coat | boulder child photographer

Monday, January 11th, 2010

It’s obvious I have a thing for lollipops.

  • I love the color combinations — I’m a rainbow kind of girl.
  • I love that they’re sweet.
  • AND I love when I give them to clients and suddenly I see those REAL candid smiles that I’ve been working all session for. It’s hard NOT to smile while eating a lolli. :)

When I met {this family}, I immediately fell in love with this little wool coat. Scroll down and see the lollipop closure on the front? And check out the lollis on the sleeves! It was perfect for the frigid weather, perfect for little E, and fit the family to a “t”!

Here they are (in motion) all stylin’…
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And here SHE is modeling her too-cute-for-words smile and the lollipop coat…

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And to finish the shoot off, we had some fun with a caboose and some balloons. What a wonderful afternoon, indeed!

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Have a lovely Monday (almost ready to show you all your images, s!!!)!
~mm

…then comes the baby in the baby carriage… | Dallas/Fort Worth Newborn Photographer

Friday, January 8th, 2010

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Ahh…a sweet, soft, fresh-smelling, newborn. How lucky am I that several days after I’m back in Arizona, my kids and I got to spend some time with my beautiful girlfriend & her kiddos???! This little baby girl, also seen {here} was perfectly kiss-a-licious! :)

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During my last visit to Phoenix, I happened upon this little wicker stroller (my mom kindly kept it in her garage) and just couldn’t pass it up. The texture, the color, the size, the handle…it was love at first sight!!! ;)

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The momma and I love all things vintage and I was thrilled she was up for putting her little gal in the buggy for a couple minutes. Even though little N was a bit too long for it, she snuggled right in and started to sleep away…

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…even though her toesies were exposed JUST a little. ;)

Have a super, relaxing day!
~mm

{A little spunk!} | Colorado Child Photography

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

A couple more from this awesome bunch during our trip to Colorado!
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Like I said in my last post, it was SO chilly, yet these little ladies were just full of smiles and spunk. I just LOVE kids with spunk!!! :) I read last night on the mom’s Facebook update that the littlest lady poured an entire bottle of baby powder out in her room because it was just like snow. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought of her cute little face & voice explaining her latest mishap to her momma. And I bet her mom had to bite her lip a bit…to keep from smiling or laughing because this little gal is just TOO ADORABLE!!! :)

K & J — I’m SO super close to being finished…I’ll send you guys an email tomorrow with a slideshow and all your images. Yay!

Have a super day!
~mm

:::almost four::: | Boulder Family Photographer

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

LOVE THIS!!!

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This little cutie, her fam, & I had a fun little play date in the snow today. :) There were many giggles, accompanied by, of course, smiles, and our time together went by in a flash! I loved talking princesses and sharing silly stories. ALMOST four year olds are so much fun! :)

We leave back home to Dallas in a couple hours, so I’m off to get a little sleep…

MORE to come from the Colorado sessions soon!!!

Have a lovely day.
~mm

…Colorado sunsets… | Maggie McDonald Photography

Friday, January 1st, 2010

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Happy New Year!!!

We had a nice time sledding this evening as a family (+ uncle Jason), just as the sun set. Fella took a couple runs down the hill and then thought the prairie dog hole was much more interesting.

Only a couple more days in beautiful Colorado…

Have a great 2010 — we sure hope to!
~mm