Sunday, November 28, 2010

Purty Picshures!

Soo....I recently went Blonde, which you can see if you compare my profile picture to my header.

And I'm doing this Christmas concert and I needed a new headshot.

DIVA-NITION: Headshot: Noun,  A photograph used by anyone in the entertainment business, like the DivaMommy, to submit to a casting director to represent your likeness in the best possible light, including generous use of makeup and surreptitious use of photoshop to change, alter and or manipulate said artist to look thinner, younger and more attractive than they really do in person in hopes that the casting director will forget how you looked in person and remember only your beautiful, angelic headshot. Also used in theatrical programs with the same purpose in mind, this time with the intention on duping the audience.

Fortunately for me, I happen to have a sister in law who's a photographer. DramaDad told me to call her, but I didn't want to bug her. But, the next day she happened to text to see if she could come over to my house and have me take photos of her family for their Christmas card!  EUREKA!

So, I got all purdy and took some quick shots.

How many photos does it take to get a good one? In this case, 70. I think I'm a pretty good model, but I wasn't really feeling the vibe this time. I did end up with a few good shots, one I'm really happy with!

Tah Dah!!

Why is this a good one? Because I look pleasant, friendly and easy to work with. I like the interesting porportions, but it also crops nicely to an 8x10.

8x10 - the industry standard! does one arrive at this photo? Well, first you sort through the 70 shots taken. Avoiding ones like these:

Hello, chins. 

DIVAFACT: My chin/neck is my least favorite feature. 80% of my 'bad' photographs are made bad because of my neck/chin. I'm sure if I lost that pesky 10 lbs that my last baby left me the problem would diminish. But no...I'm a little to fond of the drink. Dr Pepper, that is. And the dairy...cheesecake, cheesecake bites from Del Taco, sour cream, cheese, cheese enchiladas with sour get the picture. HA! You get the "PICTURE" - get it? Sigh.

The "trying to stare off into the distance but just looking 'touched' pose"

The Sexpot Sandra. Oooh, baby!

The SOOO close shot. If I would have just "smized", Tyra would have been proud.

And then you find this one. This is the one I picked in it's raw form.

Can you see the potential?

As you can see, it is not without flaws. The color is a little weak, the eyes are a little baggy. It's PHOTOSHOP TIME!!!!!

First, I adjust the exposure.

Then adjust the brightness and contrast. Helps to pop the colors.

With a paintbrush tool, blur and smart fix, I brush over my blemishes.

And fixed my tooth!

Once I have a good, raw image, I start to play! I use all sorts of fun things, most of which are PHOTOSHOP Actions and processes to alter and make the photo artistic!

This one's called Dragonizer. It's DramaDad's favorite.

This one is called Sepia Midnight. I really like this action.

And this is one I got from my blog obsession, the DAYBOOK!

And of course, black and white.

So, now that you're sick of looking at me, at least you know the process that it takes to have a good headshot.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This year....I'm thankful for THANKSGIVING! Why?

Well, for the first time in 3 years, it was just our family.

Our own personal economy tanked before the real economy about 3 years ago, so we lived with the in-laws for a while. It was a wonderful thing for us and I couldn't be more grateful to my husbands family. We did end up staying longer than we had hoped and I'm sure they weren't sad to see us go - no house is big enough for two households. But it afforded us the ability to make a career change and though we are far from financially prosperous, we are spiritually prosperous and financially stabilizing in our own cozy yet spacious rental home, just down the street. Which is in and of itself another blessing, but I'll share that story at another time.

My joy started with the dining room table. DramaDad in all of his thrifty goodness, found us an amazing table for $12 at the local goodwill. It's HUGE! It fits perfectly in our dining room and for the first time in my life, I have a formal dining room. Way cool.

Now, we've had the table for a while, and he even re-finished it some time ago. Our landlords left some rather shabby iron furniture on the patio, but we brought them in and the 4 chairs have been sitting around the table, also for some time. DramaDad also picked up 2 more chairs at another thrift store for the ends.

But the 4 iron chairs needed completely new seats - wood, cushioning and fabric. We found some fabric about 2 weeks ago and I told him I wanted my dining room ready to go by Thanksgiving. And my man DELIVERED! It looks beautiful in there...I'll be posting about the room on his blog later this weekend.

So...Thanksgiving day...I didn't want to have 2 Turkey dinners in a row (we were planning on attending dinner at his parents house that evening) so I decided on my favorite dish...CHIMICHANGAS!!! Kind of a family tradition from my side of the family. Not for Thanksgiving, just for special occasions.

They are a bit of an involved process. I put a rather large pork roast in the crockpot the night before and let it slow cook all night long. In the morning, I shredded the meat and made the "meat mix" which is basically salsa, onions, green chile's and some seasonings with the meat. But the flavor combinations are AMAZING! And, I have like 5 more bags of it in my freezer for future meals. GOOD DEAL!

I also whipped up some cheese enchiladas, another of my favorites and some mexican rice.

Sitting at the dinner table with my WHOLE family - my 4 beautiful kiddos and my rather hot honey, eating my favorite meal -well, it was just perfect!

(You should know that the table in my kitchen nook only seats 4, so family meals until this point have not really ever happened, which is sad.)

After dinner, I took a little breather because I had been in the kitchen all day, and looked through the black friday ads. I had ferreted away a little money for some deals that weekend. Unfortunately, some of it had disappeared over the weeks, but at least I had something!

BuddyBoy quickly found a pen and started excitedly circling everything in the ads that he wanted. It was rather endearing, but we had to have the discussion that Santa will bring you a few things on that list, but not everything. He seemed ok with that.

Then I stepped back in the kitchen to prepare the sweet potatoes and the veggie plate. In honor of BuddyBoy, the veggie plate consisted of yellow, red and orange bell peppers, carrots and celery. I also brought black olives and pickles. See, BuddyBoy LOVES LOVES LOVES bell peppers. He eats them like candy. Really, he would if you let him. If you tell him to pick out a treat at the store, he goes right past the candy to the peppers or apples. I don't know why, he certainly didn't get that from me.

I finished perusing the ads and we headed over and had a lovely dinner with the family. We really do have a great time when we get together, laughing and telling stories.

Back home, I got ready to head out to the Black Friday events! Luckily, Toys R Us was opening at 10pm and Walmart was starting their sale at 12:01 am. As I was getting ready, my sister in law called to tell me that the line for Toys R Us was going out to the street. Great. Oh well, mama needs some Bargains!

So...I head over to Toys R Us. Park. Far away. Start to follow the line back...and I see it the FREEWAY! Which is somewhat close to the store if you're in a car, but I was like...NO WAY!

Well, it's early and Walmarts already open, so I head over there. Where I guess they decided not to wait until 12:01...I had my cart full by 11:20, when lines were starting to form at the checkout. So, I got in line. Good thing, too. They couldn't ring anyone up until midnight because the prices weren't in the computer until then.

Fortunately I was surrounded by really nice people...and ended up giving out a bunch of business cards! Yay me.

By the time they could start checking us out, the lines were to the back of the store. I was like 6th in line. Again, yay me! I was out of there by 12:20.

And decided to head over to Toys R Us. When I got an email. Saying I had a PayPal payment.  I was SOOOO confused! Until I scrolled on my little phone screen to see that someone had purchased a Katy Perry California Girls costume! I had plenty of stuff leftover from the first one I made, so I listed it on Etsy on a whim!!! Which meant I had a WHOLE bunch more money than I did a few moments before!!!! I have rarely felt so blessed. :)


So, the kids are getting a few more things than I had planned. And I get to do another candyland costume, which was really fun and I even found some better stuff to put on it.

I went home, went to sleep, got up around 11am and went back out - to Target, Hobby Lobby, Kohl's and JoAnn.

But then my hubs called to tell me our computer moniter, which has been acting weird, bit the dust. :(

So, we grabbed the kids, hit up Cane's for some Chicken - YUM! And headed to Best Buy. Where they happened to have some computer monitor doorbusters left. If we had to replace it, at least it had to be on black Friday.

Thanksgiving dinner around my own dining room table, shopping in the middle of the night at black Friday's all so normal!! I like it. :)

Now, a sampling of things I'm grateful for, in no particular order:

DramaDad and the DivaMommy players: Mowgli, PrincessPrettyP, BuddyBoy and Lollies. They bring me joy. Plain and simple.

The opportunities to perform a lot this year and 2 shows in the next 2 weeks!! YAY!

My Sister, Liona, and her family. I LOVE THEM!!! And I love that we have kids the same age...cousins who LOVE to play together. It makes my heart warm. (I have no cousins my age and have never lived near family and it's one thing I always wanted)

Our amazing landlords and our old but beautiful home. I love it here.

Even though I hate it because it's falling apart, my car still gets us around unfailingly. Oh great, now it's going to breakdown because I said something. :(

Sleep, which I should be doing but I'm blogging.

Air Conditioning and Heating

Amazing friends who are like family

Self Discovery

My blog readers. Both of you. I love you very much!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Well, I declare! I have some things to get off my chest.

1. I'm obsessed. With THIS BLOG. I don't even remember how I found it, but I LOVE IT. Sidney is super cute...reminds me of my newly wed days. Ya know, all 4 months of it before I got pregnant. Le sigh. Anyway.

2. People tell me all the time how talented I am. Because I do lots of things that are pretty flashy and cool. And I won't deny that I have some awesome talents. While I agree that I pretty much rock at singing and sewing, I think my only other major talent is this: I can pretty much figure anything out enough to do it well enough to pass. Like graphic design and web design and music editing and writing and hair and makeup and wigs dumb little crafty things and stuff. I think it's 'cause I'm cheap and don't like to pay people to do things. Although I would pay someone to clean my house in a hearbeat if I could.

3. There are a lot of things I'm untalented or just stink at. Here's the top 5.
#1 - Art. I can't draw. Or Paint. Or anything artistic that comes from my hand.
#2 - Color. DramaDad always makes fun of how I don't know what colors are what and how they should go together. He is pretty much the king of that, so I always defer to him in matters of color.
#3 - Saying the right thing. It is a talent. Trust me. Because I say stupid stuff all the time, especially when I'm nervous. And I try. I try SOO hard and that makes it worse.
#4 - Cooking and cleaning. There are a few things I make that are purdy tasty,  but for the most part, my food is just ok. Edible. Again, DramaDad excels here. I wish he'd cook more. But he doesn't read my blog, or his own for that matter, so I guess that little ploy won't work. And I wish to keep things clean and tidy, but then I feel like I don't have time for anything else. It's a vicious cycle because I'm just not good at keeping up with things nor am I good at developing good habits in my kids. It's my #1 nemesis in life. Well, that and earwax.
#5 - Focus. I'm always scattered a million places at once.

4. I was just thinking about how much DramaDad and I have changed since we met/got married. I guess that's what happens when you get married so young and start a family so fast. Seriously, we have changed A LOT.

5. Because I can't end on 4, I confess that I'm blogging and chatting on facebook to avoid housework. But I have a friend coming over, so I should get to it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's TUESDAY...that means..GLEE...and...WHAT'S ON MY PHONE!

CONFESSION! There are no new pictures on my phone. But, a lot I didn't share last week.

This is a linky to JESSICA!!!

First up, this is from Fresh & Easy. But, I had forgotten my phone. So, I used my backup. My real camera. I know, weird.

BuddyBoy and some special cheese...HA!

Ok, now to my real phone pics!

Ya'all know I'm a princess, right? It's my weekend job. I made all new, super fancy costumes last year and here's one of 'em that happened to be on my phone!

Some of these are old - this is my CINDERELLA dress over a year ago when I just finished it. Pretty, huh!

This is what I looks like in it!

The first Sunday of every month, DramaDad's side of the family gets together for family dinner.

This is PrincessPrettyP, BuddyBoy and Lollies and their cousins at family dinner last summer.

Oookeey. Sometimes I get asked to do these really random things. I was asked to do this cruise ship like show for a friend and got my first taste of sangin' country music. I did Dolly Pardon's classic 9-5. And then they made me wear this awful wig.  And then I screwed up the finale number because I'd never done it before with a micpac on and I had to lean back and it hurt and I really messed up the 'ography. Yeah. DivaFAIL.

Can you tell how much I love the wig? The top was super cute, though.

So, went to the midnight showing of New Moon last year and were stuck outside in the FREEZING COLD (it does get cold here) for like HOURS. Ok, maybe 45 minutes. I was stuck with my groovy pal Valinda (who is really annoying to watch the Twilight movies with 'cause she's always like "that's not in the book. Ugh. Shut up you stupid girls swooning over Robert Pattinson, I'm trying to watch this terrific (gag) piece of cinema") but I LOVE LOVE LOVE her.  As much as I loved the shirt on the guy in front of us. 

I so get you, dude!

My kids love to steal my phone and take random pictures and videos. LOTS of videos, very annoying actually. Most of their pic's are random photos of feet or the tv or something. But PrincessPrettyP was very proud of her "miniature adult dress" as she calls it, so she had to take a photo of her FABULOUSNESS!

PrincessPrettyP is our little fashionista!

JESSICA! This one's for YOU! My husband spent 4 weeks in Hawaii last month and on this night, he was sending me photos of the BEAUTIFUL BEACHES he was stuck with. I wanted to freakin' STRANGLE him. But he was in Hawaii, so that was pretty much impossible. However, he was on a cruise ship where they charge ridiculous amounts for any drinks except for water, iced tea and milk. Needless to say, he was pretty Dr Pepper deprived. So, I happened to be at a restaurant with my FABULOUS sister with a FULL glass of yummy, delicious DR PEPPER. Touché, my love.

Mmmm.....Dr Pepper. Mine and not yours. 

So, about a week before he was going to come home, we were feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. We were stuck at home while DramaDad was "working" in Hawaii (and by working, we mean cruising for 4 weeks straight, performing 2 whole nights a week.) and their cousins/grandma/aunts and uncle were heading to Disneyland. So, we got a picnic lunch and went to the park. Where it started to rain. Yeah. On the way home, there was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen, so I tried to get a photo. With my awful camera phone.

It was SOOO way cooler than this.

Well folks...that's all she took. Seriously, those are all the somewhat interesting photos on my phone. So I'll have to actually take some this week. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Hubby ROCKS!

Opened and Etsy store for my hubby today. See!  Matches his blog...which is technically mine, too because I'm the blog author. Yup, keeping my typing fingers in shape.

Anyway, at first he was reluctant, but then he decided it would be ok to have an Etsy shop for his goods.

Well, within 15 minutes of posting his first item, it was featured in a treasury - see here! 

Within an hour, I had a convo (message) asking about shipping. Answered the question and BOOM! Our first sale. Seriously?

Then, just after it sold, ANOTHER convo asking about it. I promised we'd find another one (or 7) and list it for her.

HOW AMAZING!!! I'm so happy for him. It's validating that other people like his stuff and are willing to pay for it and have it shipped to Oklahoma. Yeay!!!!

I will miss it. It was lovely in our entry way!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The DivaMommy is the DealQueen!

So, I must CONFESS! In the last few months, I've developed an unhealthy obsession with Savers. For those of you who don't know, it's a thrift store set up very much like a department store. The clothes are well seperated - by size, then color and in wonderful categories like long sleeve knit, short sleeve knit, sleeveless, sweaters....etc. Very easy to navigate. And, they are HUGE! Lots of great stuff.

Today all CLOTHES and ACCESSORIES and SHOES were 50% off. DramaDad and I are costuming a show for a high school in SoCal, so we took advantage of the sale to knock out a big chunk of what we needed. We are really good at finding great stuff at Savers. And, were picky.

But, I took advantage of the sale to pick up some much needed schtuff - like jeans for my precious 4 year old buddyboy who's too tall for his 4t jeans. Had to shop in the boys section, not the toddlers. That SUCKED! But got some cute, cute, CUTE jeans for $3-$4 a pop. Some for Lollies and PrincessPrettyP, too. And some cute sweaters and shirts for Lollies, everyone got shoes (BuddyBoy & PrincessPrettyP's were only $1.50!) and both were practically new. The girls (I call Mowgli and PrincessPrettyP the girls, just so you know) both got 2 church dresses, Lollies one and BuddyBoy got church pants and a shirt.

DramaDad added to his never ending supply of Jeans. Yeah, he probably has 10 times as many as I do. At least 5 times, I don't have many pairs, mostly because I hate trying them on!

It's getting chilly, so both girls picked up coats and I grabbed some long sleeve shirts and sweaters. I love sweaters!

But, the bargain/treasure of the day goes to....drum roll please....


Shown here, on DramaDad's AMAZING DISTRESSED CHEST OF DRAWERS , I have been in search of boots for some time to go with one of my character costumes....maybe a certain fashionista doll type....anyway, I bought some white ones and was going to paint them or cover them, but that's hard, boring work, so I never got around to it. I got some pink shoes instead and the costume was fine. But these....THESE are practically brand new, just my size and only FIVE DOLLARS!!!!! It does mean I'll have to re-tool the costume a bit, but it will be worth it for my beautiful pink boots. 

Anyway, we're all on a limited budget (and who isn't nowadays) and although I can't be bothered to add up how much we actually spent on our clothes and accessories, I know I got some great deals. And don't get me wrong - I'm picky! I won't take anything that looks worn or is stained or torn. Pretty much everything I get is either brand new or slightly used. I love to find brand name stuff, too. And I find it all the time. And, it's important to edit yourself - don't just buy something because it's cheap. If you won't use or wear it, it's still a waste of money. Oh, and be patient. We spent 8 hours in 3 different Savers (only a small portion of the time was spent shopping for our family. Most of it was for the show) so it does take diligence to find what you really good stuff - especially on sale days. Finally, it works best if you don't have something specific in mind. That can make it hard. But, you just never know what you'll find. 

But this is the first winter season in a while where I feel prepared with lots of great options for the kids to wear to stay warm and be cute...and I'll be rockin' the sweaters! 

I will DEFINITELY take some photos of the kids in their new outfits and show off!!! They'll have fun doing a fashion show.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's on the DivaMommy's phone?

This is inspired of my friend Jessica, over at the Lowe Family News. I "met" Jessica when she used to buy princess dresses from me, and we've just stayed in touch ever since. She is now quite the blogger chick, all popular and stuff. So, Hey Jessica! I've got a new blog and I'm stickin' to it. :)

So, what's on my phone? Well, first I just disclaim that my phone takes AWFUL pictures, so it doesn't get used very often. So this could be a fun walk down memory lane...

Ok, what do we have first...

Ok, this is me at the eye dr's, trying on glasses. DramaDad wasn't there, so I had to send him photos. These are the ones I went with...

These are the one's I didn't. Good choice!

What else....hmmm.....

DramaDad in L.A. trying on a Leather Biker Jacket for our a production. Cute!

Retro-PEACHES AND CREAM BARBIE! If only I could have justified spending $45 on a Barbie for myself....because there's no way it would have stayed in that box. 


PrincessPrettyP in costume (and character) for her musical theatre class recital - ANNIE!

Mowgli also ready to get her HARD KNOCK LIFE on!

DramaDad filming a scene if a friends movie. He played an abusive, drunken father to our friends 8 year old son. Good times!

The kids, waiting at the airport to pick up Daddy after a trip.

Flynn Rider from Disney's Rapunzel....he looks like DramaDad. No, He really does.

And finally, me backstage at the Ovation in Green Valley Ranch - in full Rockstar mode for the concert of 

What?  You want to see a video? Well, it's not from my cell phone, but ok. I mean, I am the DivaMommy afterall. But you'll have to wait because I've edited it 3 times now and it keeps freezing on the same frame. I'll figure it out...someday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Doin' it for ME!

2 months ago, Damn Yankees closed. It was the last in a long line of productions that I worked on. (See previous post!)

For the last 2 months, I have been taking on MY OWN PROJECTS solely. I have never been so happy in my life.

I don't say that to sound greedy or selfish, but I was just in a situation where I didn't realize how unhappy I was. You know how Oprah always talks about "The Authentic Self" or whatever that is, I never really knew I was missing my authentic self. I guess I just thought I was fine.

What I didn't realize was that I was giving myself away. I was being taken advantage of, but I was allowing it at the same time. And although money was an issue, it wasn't the only issue. I'm not suddenly rich now that I'm doing my own projects, but I am working towards it. But, pardon the bad cliche, my soul is full. It just really is. It's like I'm actually valuing myself for the first time in my life. People would always compliment me on my work, and I would never allow myself to believe them. NOT cool.

And those I was doing work for, I let go a bit. I still care, but I don't let it define me. I made some poor decisions this year, and some really unfortunate things were done to me. But, in a way (except for the downright mean words that were spoken of me behind my back) I am grateful. Because it FORCED me to make a change, to only do things if they are what I WANT to do and if there will be some benefit to me. Not saying I can't be charitable or kind, but only if I FEEL good about it.

I'm working on forgiving some things that have happened, and I recognize my own imperfection. I also recognize that others are imperfect and much of the time did not intend harm I do tend to hold on to things, but I also have to give them a chance to work their way out.

Now, if they want me, I come at a price that's worth it to me. Take me or leave me. And it feels good. I feel strong for the first time in my life. I get up every day eager to go to "work" - whether it's creating a blog for my husband's new business or working on a new costume for myself or working on music for an upcoming performance or marketing my businesses. I'm even doing a better job at keeping my house cleaner (still a lot of hurdles to overcome there) but I'm making progress. I wear makeup and do my hair (which I have changed to BLONDE and I LOVE IT!!!) and I actually have a positive outlook on life.

Earlier this year, I thought I there was seriously something wrong with me - maybe bi-polar or pmds or hormone issues - I even took one online quiz that said I had boderline personality disorder. Turns out, it was just stress and allowing other peoples issues to affect me far too much. It's funny, because I'm having some of the same symptoms physically as I go through my month, but the depression, anxiety and uncontrollable mood swings have all but disappeared. I don't feel like a freak anymore, wondering what's wrong with me!

So, if you made it through all of those should be rewarded! With halloween photos!!
I love to make halloween costumes for my kids and my niece and nephew. Woody was a joint effort with me and my sister.

Buddy Boy as Leo from Little Einsteins, PrincessPrettyP as a Masquerade Dancer, Lollies as a Pirate and Mowgli as a Vampire Soceress. Yes, my girls are creative in costume and character.

Lollies, Mowglie, Cousin Ariel, Cousin Woody, BuddyBoy and PrincessPrettyP 

I even had time to whip up this little beauty!

From Katie Perry's California Girlz video. I had only 3 days to do it, but it turned out pretty cool. Oh, not for me, for a client in NY.

Ok, enough for today. :) To quote Mondo (Project Runway) I feel better. I feel free!