Sunday, August 31, 2014

Snippets + Snapshots | August 2014

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
gym progress | spoiled pups | pool party | golfland sunsplash fun day | new workout tank | love notes | sweet daisy | halfway to cpr certification | silly gatsby | little lexi lou | certification complete | trying new things | ahhhh! | sunday night yoga | with my partner | cuddle bugs | broken limbs | silly zoe | rain drops | a couple of sweet peas | goodbye gift | anniversary card | cotton candy clouds | night out with friends | zoe, you're doin' it wrong | kitty babies | new dishwasher | good read | yum yum | handsome hubby | silly pups | baseball game fun | playing tug | pooped pup | gym time

Since I had so many photos from August, I didn't include any of the photos from our Anniversary Trip to Prescott, Arizona earlier this month. You can find the rest of them in a special anniversary trip edition post here.

If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, August 25, 2014

Self-Portrait | August 2014

If you've been a blog follower for the past few years then you've probably seen a theme slowly creep its way into my posts - namely that I'm trying to improve my health by changing my diet and exercise habits.  It started back in May 2013 where I declared that I was going to start training to run a marathon and needed to change my eating habits.  (I didn't end up running the race for a lot reasons that I won't get into here.) Fast forward to October 2013 where I talked about giving up pop and other beverages in lieu of healthier options.  And finally, last month where I talked about joining a gym and starting to exercise regularly again.

All of this has been leading up to the major life change that I have started this month: I am giving up sugar.  I am, and always have been, a self proclaimed sugar addict.  And I do mean addict.  I crave the stuff with an intensity that is terrifying, and no matter how many days, weeks, or months I've gone without it, one taste can send me headlong into a sugar binge where I find myself gorging on a bag of cookies for dinner and craving my next sugar fix.

Not only is this sugar addiction bad for my waist line.  I've also start realizing it is bad for my health in ways I never imagined.  I've been reading a lot of research lately talking about just how bad for us sugar really is, and how doctors are beginning to think that it is the underlying cause of most of the major health conditions in this country.  People are starting to call sugar poison, and the more I read and learn, the more I have started to realize that I completely agree.  So I've decided to cut it out of my life as much as possible.

And I don't just mean that I'm giving up pop and desserts.  I mean.... I. am. giving. up. all. sugar.  Let me tell you, this undertaking is not for the faint of heart or weak willed.  Sugar is in EVERYTHING! It's rather scary once you start actually reading the labels and begin learning all the other names for sugar that the nasty stuff is hiding behind.  I've slowly been working up to this change for several months, so by now all of the prepackaged processed foods have been eliminated from my diet and my kitchen.  A dessert hasn't passed my lips for 5 weeks, and I'm entering my 2nd week of total sugar elimination.  As the final step in this major life change I went through the entire kitchen a few weeks ago and got rid of every remaining item in the house that contained sugar and replaced it with non-sugar varieties where I could find them.

So, for this month's self-portrait, I thought it was only fitting to show myself pouring out the rest of the nasty white stuff...


If you're interested in learning more about the change in the way doctors and scientists are viewing sugar this video, this article, and this article are good places to start.  This book is a surprisingly entertaining, yet insightful read on the topic, as well.  I have a few more books on my list to read to learn more about this subject.  If you are interested in learning more as well, give me a shout and I'll pass my reading list on to you.

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Saturday, August 23, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Watch, Read, or Listen to 40 Things Suggested by Others


#10 WATCH, READ OR LISTEN TO 40 THINGS SUGGESTED BY OTHERS

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

I love movies and books, and I'm always on the look out for my next favorite music artist. I thought seeking suggestions from others would be a great way to expand my horizons and experience some new things that I would never have been exposed to otherwise.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

It was actually better!  Most of the suggested movies, books, and albums were things that I never would have chosen for myself, yet I found myself pleasantly surprised by how many of them I really enjoyed. This was such a great experience that I think it will show up again on a future bucket list!

The details...

In order to get as wide of a variety of suggestions as possible, I turned it into a contest on my Facebook page.  I asked fans to submit up to three suggestions for a chance to win a drawing for a $25 amazon gift card and kept the entry open until I received at least 40 suggestions.  I was fortunate enough to receive many more suggested materials than I needed for my list, so I've held on to the rest of the ideas to check out in the future. (There is a list at the bottom of this post of the remaining items.) There was no rhyme or reason as to why I selected the items that I did.  I basically just started searching for them in the order I received them. I ended up watching more movies and listening to more albums simply because of time constraints.  Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding a lot of the books at our library.  You'll also notice a lot of the items were suggested by Kevin.  I wasn't trying to play favorites, I just wanted to include some albums in the mix and he is the one who suggested 99% of the options.

Here is the list of the movies, books, and albums that I watched, read, and listened to:

1. Read: River's End by Nora Roberts suggested by Jenny
2. Watched: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas suggested by Kevin
3. Listened: Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks suggested by Kevin
4. Read: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness suggested by Keegan
5. Watched: Shaun of the Dead suggested by Jamie
6. Read: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell suggested by Kim
7. Watched: Persuasion suggested by Sydney
8. Listened: Airbourne - Runnin' Wild suggested by Kevin
9. Read: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black suggested by Chantel
10. Watched: The Color Purple suggested by Chantel
11. Listened: Ellie Goulding - Halcyon suggested by Kevin
12. Watched: My Sister's Keeper suggested by Kim
13. Watched: Auntie Mame suggested by Elle
14. Watched: Rear Window suggested by Elle
15. Read: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg suggested by Kristin
16. Watched: Amelie suggested by Jess
17. Watched: House of 1000 Corpses suggested by Christina
18. Listened: Florence + The Machine - Lungs suggested by Kevin
19. Read: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison suggested by Jenny
20. Listened: How to Destroy Angels - Welcome Oblivion suggested by Kevin
21. Read: Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden suggested by Jenny
22. Listened: Kanye West - Yeezus suggested by Kevin
23. Listened: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular suggested by Kevin
24. Read: The Trouble With Paradise by Jill Shalvis suggested by Jenny
25. Listened: Mumford & Sons - Babel suggested by Kevin
26. Listened: Mumford & Sons - Sign No More suggested by Kevin
27. Watched: A Room with a View suggested by Sharon
28. Read: Vision in White by Nora Roberts suggested by Jenny
29. Listened: Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory suggested by Kevin
30. Watched: Swimming with Sharks suggested by Kim
31. Watched: Four Rooms suggested by Kim
32. Listened: Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris suggested by Kevin
33. Listened: TV On The Radio - Dear Science suggested by Kevin
34. Listened: TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes suggested by Kevin
35. Listened: Rush - Moving Pictures suggested by Fred
36. Listened: Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend suggested by Kevin
37. Listened: Vampire Weekend - Contra suggested by Kevin
38. Listened: Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City suggested by Kevin
39. Watched: The Devil's Rejects suggested by Christina
40. Listened: Wolfmother - Wolfmother suggested by Kevin

The Remaining Items:

High Society suggested by Elle
Blackfish suggested by Fred
Fear of a Black Cat suggested by Kim
Suicide Kings suggested by Kim
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling suggested by Alex
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving suggested by Kara
Divergent by Veronica Roth suggested by Kara
Metamorphoses by Ovid suggested by Alex
The Green Mile by Steven King suggested by Jamie
The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett suggested by Elle
The Art of Happiness by Howard C. Cutler suggested by Kristin
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson suggested by Sydney
First Person Plural by Andrew W. M. Beierle suggested by Holly
Nordie's at Noon by Patti Belwanz suggested by Holly
Into the Wild (Book 1) by Jon Krakauer suggested by Petria
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby suggested by Jess
A Room with A View by E.M. Forr\ester suggested by Sharon
Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain suggested by Sharon
Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke suggested by Heather
Under the Dome by Stephen King suggested by Fred
Joyland by Stephen King suggested by Fred
Smart and Sexy by Jill Shalvis suggested by Jenny
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley suggested by Jenny
Not Without Risk by Sarah Grimm suggested by Jenny
Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish suggested by Jenny
Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden suggested by Jenny
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole suggested by Jenny
Dark Nights Dangerous Men by Elisabeth Naughton suggested by Jenny
Halfway to the Grave By Jeaniene Frost suggested by Jenny
Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis suggested by Jenny

Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Friday, August 22, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Kick My Caffeine Habit


#24 KICK MY CAFFEINE HABIT

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

As the stress in my life was on a steady increase, my sleep habits were on a steady decrease, and I'd turned into a walking zombie fueled by caffeine the past few years.  It. had. to. stop.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

I wasn't expecting this to be a fun item to check off the list, but it was a necessary one.  I actually do feel a lot better since cutting caffeine out of my life, and it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be.

The details...

I gave up pop for 30 days in October, which started me down my path of kicking my caffeine habit.  I did eventually end up going back to drinking it, but then I gave it up again recently when I decided to go to a sugar free diet.  Even though I'd been drinking quite a bit of pop, it wasn't necessarily for the caffeine like it was in the past.  My stress level hasn't necessary tapered off any, but my sleep habits have significantly improved and I stopped feeling like I needed the caffeine just to keep functioning.  Most of the time I feel like I am able to stay awake without the caffeine boost, and on the rare occasion where I do feel extremely tired I'm learning to just suck it up and deal with it.  It's not worth it to go back to where I was slugging down coke after coke and feeling like a zombie!

Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Snippets + Snapshots | Anniversary Trip {August 2014}

Our anniversary was August 17, and we decided to celebrate by returning to the same cottage that we rented last year.  This time we decided to get out and explore the area a little more and spent most of the trip hanging out in downtown Prescott, which we both adored!  The more time we spend in Prescott the more we love it. It was a great little getaway weekend to celebrate together.

So I give to you Snippets + Snapshots from our trip...

snoozing in the back seat | beautiful landscape on the drive | almost there | we made it | the cottage outside | and in | dinner date | yummy wine | relaxing afternoon in downtown Prescott with the pups | pretty sunset from the hot tub | sushi dinner -yum | game night



If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome to the World, Baby Romel {Newborn Session}

I seriously have the most awesome clients ever! I am often humbled by their trust in my abilities to photograph huge moments in their lives. This session is a perfect example! Griselda and Phil contacted me to take photos of their newborn son, Romel, a few weeks ago.  I told them that I would love to take photos of their sweet boy, but that I don't do much newborn photography and don't own any newborn props, so another photographer might be more qualified.  I sent them a link to the only other newborn session I've done and they booked their session after one look.  All I can say is a a huge thank you for being such awesome clients, and having so much confidence in my abilities!

So, let's meet baby Romel, shall we?

This first photo is one of my favorites from the session!  Romel decided he couldn't wait to meet his parents face to face and made his grand entrance a month early, and he is so tiny!  I just love his little fingers curled around his mom and dad's...


So sweet!...


Melt!...


I just adore how happy Phil is in all of these images.  He was so excited to become a dad, and you can just see his love for his son in every photo...


Big yawn for such a little guy...


This is another favorite.  I just can't get enough of those tiny fingers...




There's just something about a mother and her baby bonding during meal time...


Those toes!...



Just look at all that hair!...



Baby lips!...


I just can't get over how tiny and perfect he is...


Neither can Phil :)...




Griselda, you are GORGEOUS!  Are you sure you just has a baby a few weeks ago?...


Starting off right, reading to him already...


That is one very loved little boy...



Griselda and Phil even went out and purchased a few props so we could do a few cute posed photos of Romel.  It did take us quite a while to get him to sleep to capture these images, but they turned out so cute it was well worth it...



Wearing Daddy's glasses.  I hope they make me as smart as he is...


I especially love this last one with Phil's records and the microphone.  Phil is a huge music fan and he's already passing his love on to his little boy.  I see many concerts together in their future!...


Phil and Griselda,  Seriously - thank you for your continued trust and for allowing me to capture these precious moments for you guys.  Congratulations on the newest addition to your family.  I can't wait to see what the future has in store for all of you.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Go Social Media Free for 48 Hours


#21 GO SOCIAL MEDIA FREE FOR 48 HOURS

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

These days it seems like there are so many things on my to do list that I never have time left over for the things I want to do. (Hence the reason for my birthday bucket lists, which force me to stop and take a little time to do the things on them.) I constantly find myself longing for years gone by (especially the days before cell phones and the internet), when life felt simpler.  Several times a week I daydream about chucking my computer and my phone out the window so I can truly disconnect and take a break.  Unfortunately that's not real life these days, so I figure the least I can do is give myself a few days off.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

It was my intent to take one weekend a month off of social media during this year, but sadly that didn't happen.  I started off with great intentions but I only made it through one month before I fell off the social media wagon.  Sigh.  Maybe I'll give this another go on a future Bucket List because I did enjoy the two days I was social media free.

The details...

My 48 hours of no social media was Saturday October 26 12:00 PM - Monday October 28 12:00 PM, and it's pretty much just like it sounds.  I didn't get on my computer or phone for 48 hours (except for phone calls or texts).  The two days wasn't long enough to change my habits so I just found myself reaching to check my social media outlets multiple times a day and then remembering I was on my social media fast.  It was pretty eye opening to see just how often I mindlessly check them.  Just like most of America, I truly am addicted!

Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC
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