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Trader Joe’s Tuesdays – Italian Chicken Casserole

Ahhhh.. casserole. I know some of you are loving these TJ Tuesday posts and I’m really loving your feedback because it keeps me going back there and giving them all my money. Here is another super yummy dish with about 5 ingredients. I’m not the biggest casserole person, but once again,

Zero-Waste Sewing

Evening! Ive got a bit of a later evening tutorial for all the lovely crafters out there. This is a beginner level tutorial that takes an advanced level of patience. Bias binding is the perfect way to finish off project edges (i.e. sleeveless shirts/dresses/skirt hems etc.). In this tutorial

Where Will You Live?

Written by: Gicky Soriano (AKA:

Don’t Give it to ‘Em Blind!

Written by: Elyse Sinsay When I had my second child Liam I had the benefit of having the ability and the knowledge of knowing what to do this time around. I knew which diapers worked, what mommy stuff I needed. What formula I liked and so on. And I now know more people who have kids so I get asked,

Adventures Don’t End When You Have Kids! Our Travel Tips

Written by: Louann Walker If you and your significant other live an adventurous lifestyle, I’m sure you heard this from well meaning friends and family several times before little ones were even a thought in your mind. And if you’re like us, then from the day you found out you were pregnant you

Whine With Me Wednesday – Changing the Way We Treat a “Hook Up” (Video!)

Ohhhh here I go. I attempted doing these last October of 2014 .. recorded a few and then felt all kinda of weird putting my thoughts and opinions out there.. with video. Blogging is one thing… VLOGGING is quite another. But at the end of the day I said “what the hell, PUBLISH.” I

Trader Joe’s Tuesdays! – Shepherd’s Pie with Pot Roast!

Back from Manila and I took the first whole day with my family. By Day 2 you know I just had to check out my favorite: Trader Joe’s! Okay so I get there super excited because you know, it’s been almost a month and ohhh what have I missed! I don’t ever want to go straight for the

Be The Change That You Want To See In The World

Written by: Naomi Goodale It was about eight years ago now when I had to get out of my own skin; my own romantic breakup and personal set of emotional “problems” in life. I had to see the real, ‘bigger’ world out there and go beyond the comforts of my own four walls. I had flown solo on a volunteer

Succulents: The Un-Killable Plants

Saying I love succulents, would be a severe understatement. Saying I’m obsessed with succulents is a more accurate portrayal of my feelings towards them! It could be that after years of killing every living plant I got my hands on I’m just elated to know that succulents give me a chance to right my

The Difference Between Someone Who Wants Advice, and Someone Who Wants to be Heard

There’s a quote I heard recently from Paulo Coelho: A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. Those who know me best know that I am not one to spend too much energy dwelling on a problem. There’s a problem? Let’s solve it! Sometimes things cannot be solved, but this

The Working Class Sacrifice

Written by: Elyse Sinsay Everyone always asks me, “Oh, you must be so spoiled. Do you eat well at home? Does he cook for you all the time?” I always smile and say, “Well, I am a chef too, so yes we do eat well but just as well as anyone else. I guess our holidays are just a little better.. ☺”

Trader Joe’s Tuesdays! – Best Crackers EVER!

Another “TJ Tues with Talia Cruz” for ya! This one is super simple… I think the longest part about this little appetizer is picking out which red wine would go best with it. Can’t go wrong with a cab or pinot if you ask me! I can’t ever leave Trader Joes without

Livelihood Project: Bars to Bears

WHAT has Natalia Soriano Cruz been up to in Manila? I know it’s been quite vague for most of you. I only had 3 weeks off this summer. I moved around a couple engagement sessions (with clients who were happy to change dates) to get these weeks cleared so I can be in the Philippines working on

Forever Boiling Bubbles: A Guide to Making Your Own Tapioca Pearls

Good morning! I’ve got a great lil’ recipe/tutorial for you! Today’s lesson is in tapioca balls. Aka bubble tea. Aka the most amazing little pearls of joy. It’s wayyy too easy to write a bunch of ball jokes rn so early in the morning so I’ll spare you. Ok so grab your

Trader Joe’s Tuesdays – Fish Taco Night!

It’s Talia here! And on Tuesdays we highlight our local Trader Joe’s and their awesome sample station! This fish taco night recipe is so easy and so yummy, since trying this out in June I’ve had to make it at the house about 6 times. The kids love it, and the husband too. Super


One of my fondest childhood memories is of my parents, siblings, and I gathering the crop in our  garden, picking peas, watermelons, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra. These were all the fruits of nothing more than our own hard work. As much as we complained about the scorching Louisiana heat,

Meet Elyse! ~~ Date Night Review: Bellamy’s

Jello, to my fellow sisters! I am so excited to share my stories here with all of you. Let me tell you they will be good! First though, let me tell you about me… Elyse Sinsay. Originally I am from San Diego, Lemon Grove to be exact. When I was around 6 or 7 we moved to Vista, CA and I grew up there

Meet Alli!

Hello to all! My name is Alexandra (friends often call me Alli) and I want to start by saying I am so very happy to be a part of such a wonderful blog that celebrates strong and thoughtful women. I am 26, live in Escondido, California and will soon be celebrating my second wedding anniversary. I

(Meet Preston!) Boys Can Wear Dresses: The Dangers of Gender Roles

Growing up, I knew that I was different from other girls. I wasn’t really interested in dolls or playing dress up. The games that I liked to play as a young child were very physical; chasing, jumping, wrestling. If I played pretend, I was never a princess, but a knight fighting “evil”. As I

TJ Tuesdays – Sprouted Red Rice and Chicken Curry

I think by now everyone who knows me knows of my love for Trader Joes. I mean, I love that place. I am there perhaps 4 times a week. Usually it’s my go-to since I think they have the best organic milk for the kids, and Seb goes through a few gallons weekly. So I tell my husband I’m off

Here’s Looking at You, Babyface! A Post Dedicated to Those “Suffering” from Babyface-itis.

Some throwbacks to this post indeed! Not just of yours truly, but anyone who experienced high school in the 90’s and early 2000’s will be able to get a little bit of nostalgia, it might leave you longing to watch timeless movies like “Clueless” & “Bring It

Our Toughest Client Yet! (Bridezilla Promo Video)

Ohhh the promo videos! I’ve had a few in the past 8 years for TaliaStudio and they’ve all been very similar. When the whole trend started for photographers to have promotional videos on their websites there was an industry standard it seemed: Introduce yourself to the viewer Show clips

Discomfort Now, or Disaster Later? HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Sorry I Make You “Uncomfortable”.

Ohhh America! Everyone is out celebrating 4th of July today, and like with most holidays in this country, the vast majority of people don’t quite get the significance. Well, in a brief note, the 4th of July is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on

2015 Del Mar Fair

Biiiiz! A bit of a lighter post today. This week has been especially grueling. Wrapping up June weddings, prepping blogs, had to drive to Santa Monica – twice, back and forth, 2 engagement sessions and good grief.. I hardly saw the kids. Jeff made sure we spent all day together yesterday

Dear California Warriors—Don’t lose hope!

It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life, just LIVE and LET LIVE. In the past few weeks especially I’ve seen and read nothing but hate and anger posts. Pro-vax vs anti-vax. Gay pride vs the Christian values/church. People fighting over whether guns should be stripped away or

Reasons to Do A Maternity Shoot

Written by: Victoria Rogers I didn’t realize how much I needed (yes “needed”) maternity photos until I got pregnant with my second baby. While pregnant with my son back in 2012, Talia asked me if I wanted to do maternity photos. I  told her I would consider it but in the end I

The One Thing to Ask After a Child’s Birthday Party

Becs! Amelia’s birthday came and went! We were able to celebrate with close friends. This year was especially hectic with being right smack in to our wedding season. We debated up until 2 weeks ago if we should even have a party since we had no weekends free. We decided that the guilt would

The Deets is Five.

My darling Amelia, Why do I feel like this birthday greeting to you should start with an apology? It seems as though your mama can only think of things to tell you “sorry” for and make promises to try harder to be the best mother possible.. and while many I know might argue with me and

Music-Lover Mondays

I have always known Naomi to have a guitar (or two or three!) by her bedside. Music has been a huge part of her life. She blew me away when I found out that she not only sings but writes her own lyrics as well. It doesn’t surprise me that she is bringing up her daughters to love music as

Trumped Up Charges – Let’s Look at This “Wall” Everyone Is Freaking Out About.

Let’s preface this, shall we? In a world where so many are quick to be offended and do nothing about it but “be offended”, I can brief you a little on my own family’s history. In 1991, when I was six years old, my father moved us all from a very privileged life in the

Your Need For Acceptance Is Making You Invisible in this World.

“I do not believe in HOPE. HOPE is a beggar. Hope walks over the fire while FAITH and hard work LEAP over it. You are ready and able to do beautiful things.” (-Jim Carrey) Needing some positivity in my newsfeed this morning! Too much sadness and whining. There is a video that I’ve

That 40th Week .. The Final Stretch and Finding Zen.

All of us mamas have been there… that FINAL stretch! They tell you after 36 weeks you’re full term and the baby can come whenever and you can expect a healthy and smooth delivery! We’re all guilty of it… wanting that baby out once we get that green light! It was always a

Roasted Candy Veggies & A Happy Friday

“You are what you eat” We’ve heard it all before. It’s like that annoying little voice inside that says “look, just look at that extra layer of cheese on that pizza…is that really what you want sitting on your ass-cheeks?”  …. “come on now, do you really need to go for that third donut?”  .. I can

First Teenage Jobs and Homemade Banana-Berry Smoothie Recipe!

Let’s talk about first jobs, shall we? I couldn’t wait to start working in my teens. Mom and Dad were of this “if you want something you have to work for it” way of thinking.. wish most parents would’ve stuck to that. Motivation? I was 16 and had no phone. Neither of

The Toots Turns Two!

Two years ago today I was on my way to a hospital, contractions were coming in a 5 minutes apart. Within hours (that I will not get in to detail about), YOU came in to my life. You, along with a hefty appetite, came in to our world with a thunder. Who knew that this little babe would grow even more

Lady Buggin’ Out

How was your Mother’s Day weekend Biz? I had a wedding all day Saturday and got to bed quite late that night. I woke up yesterday close to 10am though! I got to sleep in because Jeff is one of the best. He took the kids downstairs and got them set up with their milk, cartoons and breakfast.