Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.



I didn't think much of this picture when I first uploaded it from my camera after our fantastic beach vacation. But then after taking a second look I saw it…the thing that makes this picture so special to me and shows what a loving family I have.

Each person is touching or holding hands, even the brothers!


Bike Wheel Wall Decor

My wife and I were looking for a creative way to display cards and pictures that we receive from friends and family throughout the year. The yearbook pictures, the Christmas cards, the drawing our son made at school…all of it was living on the front of our fridge. We grew tired of the cluttered looking, overcrowded fridge and yearned for a different solution.

My wife and I enjoy going on long bicycle rides, so it seemed a perfect solution to use a bicycle wheel to adorn our wall. I spray painted the wheel a fun blue and we attach the pictures to the spokes using silver binder clips. It has been the best conversation piece when people are over for dinner.

Upcycle a bike wheel for your house!

I've received a few emails asking how I attached the bike wheel to the wall. It was really simple! I used anchors and two screws. I'm a big fan of EZ Anchors, that is what I used for this project. Here is a close up of the bike wheel on the wall.


Healthy To-Go Lunch

Are you finding yourself struggling to make healthy food choices in 2014?
You aren't alone! Try a greek yogurt, apple slices with almond butter and edamame.
Fill up on healthy choices to reduce your sugar cravings.



Try something new this year!
Expand your horizons and be open to new possibilities. 



Roasted Beets and Pear over Quinoa

Beets have become one of my favorite root vegetables lately. Try roasting beets with a pear at 450 degrees for 40 minutes, serve over quinoa and sprinkle with sesame seeds. It's a perfect side dish to any meal.



Laughter is the best policy. Surround yourself with people who bring you JOY!


Why should you hire a photographer?

The most important reason for hiring a photographer should be to get everyone in the family in the photo. Not one of those pictures where the camera is on a timer and one person runs into position and everyone has a plastered smile on their face….those never turn out authentic.

Often times the mom is so busy taking the photos that she never puts herself in front of it to capture her with her children. Or else the parents take turns taking the pictures of family events but you never see the parents together. Is this you?

Capturing family memories is so important and that is why I started my photography business, CocktailMom Photography. I adore capturing families just as they are…laughing, crying, and full of endless love.

I often get asked why photographers charge what they charge verses going to one of those photo places in the mall. Well first of all, location. Outdoor photographers don't use a back drop, nature provides the best view. Another difference is the quality of the pictures, the amount of time that the photographer spends with you to capture your family to get the best possible shot verses feeling rushed because there is a waiting room full of other restless children waiting their turn.

But the biggest difference is photoshop!
I spend hours after the photo session editing pictures in photoshop and here is an example  of a "before" picture- Straight out of the camera verses an edited picture.

Now the girl in this picture is gorgeous! (she's also my niece.) On this day she had a wee bit of acne on her chin and a random stray hair across her forehead, nothing major but a tiny amount of editing to even out her skin and pop the color of her jacket to really enhance just how gorgeous she is in person.

Make the investment in capturing your family by hiring a professional photographer each and every year. Our children grow so fast and these are the pictures that we will cherish when we are older.


Jumpstart Breakfast- Almond Butter and Banana

Do you need a quick breakfast to jumpstart your day?
This protein packed half sandwich will get you started and ready to face your day!
Whole grain bread with almond butter and a banana sliced on top, drizzled with honey. So simple yet so delicious.


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