Saturday, December 25, 2010

When in doubt, glitter it out!

Come Christmas time I start seeing sparkly treasure popping up all over my moms home.

really really cute stuff. Makes me envious!

Finally I got her to take me to her secret store filled with magical wonder!

It's not really secret, just so happens I've never been there before. But it really was oozing with sparkling holiday cheer.

It's up in Mesa, it's called the Orange Patch. Incase you wanted to check it out :)

love this guys stubby little arms...

Kassidy made me a new tree topper this year out of twigs and leaves from our Ash tree. It's really cute actually. We've had flying Santa topping it forever! Come to find out Santa look great where ever you put him on the tree!! Which is good because I <3 santa.

My kids LOVE these little plastic horses! Pretty sure it's all they actually cared about getting for Christmas.

What you see here ain't even half of their collection.

Kassidy cracks me up. I swear these guys are real to her. She sets them up with such care.

Lets pretend these ones have a history together, she'll say

and then goes on and on with the most amazing horse story you've ever heard.

the aftermath...

there is always an aftermath!

Hope you all had a merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Luckily I hate egg nog

but sadly I do like apple cider!

oh shoot. The trouble with writing a blog post on Christmas eve is well...

A. theres no one out there to read it. Because you're all out there having fun at your family christmas parties.

and B. I'm not.

because I'm sick. *wimper wimper*

let me guess...

you didn't get my Christmas card.

So few did. And the tragedy is that I usually don't do Christmas cards. This year the stars aligned perfectly! (I mean until it was time to give them out and i got deathly ill)

We finally got a family photo of sorts. We went on a little road trip and pulled off the side of the road to take these. Hooray for tripods. (please note, Natalie was a bit ill that day)

BTW... I accidentally killed my tripod on this trip. *sheds a tear* I've been awesome at killing things lately. Especially photographical type things.

anyhoo, as you can see family photos with the Ison's are kind of a joke.

We have no clue what were doing. Did I mention this is the first family photo we've had since Kassidy was 1? Do you realize she's 12 now? and a half!!!!!!!


My real intent for this trip was to take some black and white film photos. But I am thankful for the family photos we got out of it! Though by no means perfect still quite dear to me.

here's what Came out of my lens.

You wanna hear something funny? This morning I went to the bathroom as per usual and I got all shaky an went into a fit of cold sweats and nausea and the next thing i knew i was slumped up against the wall. Did I pass out on the toilet???!!! Oh my. Thank goodness no one walked in on that horror scene. No sugar plum fairies dancing around in your head tonight! haha!

Even though I'm sad that I'm missing my family party I do hope you're all enjoying yours! Have a Splendiferous Christmas all!

and if you get my card a bit late you'll know why ;) !!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

cat bowl night at the Isons!

When the food gods speak, I listen.

and what do they say?


Eh I don't know what's gotten into me but I am in a recipe sharing mood tonight soooo...

lemon chicken.

A much healthier lemon chicken than the one you know!!

because I know you need a delicious new recipe to get you out of your boring dinner rut. I also happen to know it needs to be easy, preferably with minimal ingredients and that is exactly why i am sharing :)

5 ingredients!

4 chicken breasts
1 C chicken broth
3 T sugar
4 T lemon juice
4 t corn starch

T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

cube your thawed chicken. Sauté over med/high heat until the chicken is cooked through. Light brown is nice. Charred brown is welll... charred!

sauté= high heat, low oil.

in a saucepan add the chicken broth, sugar, and lemon juice.

take a little of this very mixture and stir it into the cornstarch in a separate little bowl until its soupy sans lumps.

add the cornstarch mixture to the chicken broth mixture and bring to a boil.

pour over your chicken.

voila! See that didn't take long at all!

oh you know what goes perfectly with this lemon chicken??????

My delicious fried rice recipe.

7 ingredients

3 eggs
1/2 an onion, small diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
5-6 C cooked
LEFTOVER rice. Can i just stress the importance of the rice being leftover??!! its needs to be cold thru and thru... and thru some more :)
variable amt. of soy sauce
1/2 t chili paste (optional, adds spice)
1 C frozen peas and carrots

first your gonna need to whisk the eggs pretty good. get your non-stick wok piping hot. Drizzle it with olive oil. Pour the eggs in and then pick the wok up! Yep with your hands and possibly some oven mitts. Then tip it so the eggs get swirled around the edges and it makes a thin flat circle off egg. Slide it out onto your cutting board. I usually fold it over and then slice it in thin strips. Set aside.

Then in your already hot wok :) add a little more oil. Toss in the onions. Sauté the onions for a minute or so then add the garlic for a brief minute.

Add the cold LEFTOVER rice to the pan. let it cook in there for a few minutes stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl mix the soy sauce with the chili paste, I eye ball it but I'd guess its around 5-6 T of soy sauce??

Pour over the rice. stir it in real good.

Toss in the peas and carrots.

Woot. You're done.

The rice isn't hard but it does require thinking ahead a bit. What I do is when I make a dinner with rice I just cook twice as much rice as I need and refrigerate the rest for fried rice later in the week :)

and now for my next trick...

a photo of a bug.

that looks like a leaf.

and has nothing to do with anything.

p.s. asian style dishes taster better in bowls with cats on them. Give it a try!

Friday, December 17, 2010

it's good morning time!

That is what Lucy says to me and Chad every morning as we try to sleep through the commotion around us.

But it was Natalie that woke me this morning.

Mom, Emma didn't answer her door

I am one of those moms. You know the kind that doesn't get up and see to it that their kids are well fed and groomed with their school bags all packed up good and proper.

Morning person is definitely on my list of wants for my next life.

Natalie and I had been out till after 10 last night trying to get some Christmas shopping done. Christmas shopping wears me out on a good day, letting it drag on well into the night is brutal.

We were tired.

ok, get in the car.

I grabbed my warmest p.j. pants which happen to be like the ugliest things you ever seen plus they don't stay on very well because they're missing a button... aaaaand yesterdays shirt. Glanced in the mirror. Wow, crazy hair. fantastic.

jumped in the car, reached for the sunglasses (because we all know these babies do more that just keep the sun out of our eyes... they also block the sleep face from being clearly and completely seen) you know its true.

dang! The sun wasn't out! ok fine never mind lets make this quick!

This my friends is how the morning began.

and then something kinda wonderful happened!


It was sooooo perfectly magical!

And I could feel the giddy welling up inside. isn't that the best?! I ran back home and grabbed the camera so I could share the beauty! Man it was a gorgeous morning.

then there was the shift...

I went from totally embarrassed to leave the house like this even within the confines of my vehicle, to happily prancing around the cold wet neighborhood looking like a creature of the deep. haha!!!

I don't regret a single second of it :)

Fog is a rare thing for Arizona, add sleeping late to the mix and you may never see such a sight.

So what I really want to say is

THANK YOU Emma, from the bottom of my heart for not answering your door this morning! You made my day magical :) !!!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

attacks of the dustiest kind

let me tell you what I miss.


I've printed almost 225 black and white prints at school and man alive am I itching for some color.

Dad's got some new toys on the farm these days. and they're GREEEEEEEN!

(and don't you LOOOOVE how you can see that they're green?)

two of my most favorite men on the planet right here.

Lucy getting her pout on :)

I realize it's hard to tell but this is exactly what it looks like. A ten year old girl operating heavy machinery! She likes to scoop the dirt and dump it in a pile 3 feet away. Kind of like that little shovel scooper toy at the park only it's not at the park and it's most definitely not a toy.

and then sometimes black and white just works. Don't fight it. embraaaace.

See all that dust?

I was standing in that giant dust cloud.

I do unfortunate things sometimes. Like for instance how I just stood there wearing not one but TWO (yes two!) cameras amidst the bajillions of dust particles that LOVE to attack cameras and their attached lenses... instead of running for the hills.

oh I'm no dummy, I covered the lenses with my hands. oh wait, still dummy huh? yeah. I think I killed one lens for sure. which means I have exactly one lens left. ho hum.

Dear Santa Clause,

I would LOVE some new lenses for Christmas! I promise to always run for the hills hence forth :) !! Also the #1 key on my keyboard is acting wonky. I could use a new #1 key. thx!

your ever so cool bff, Jill


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pilgrims vs. Indians

So serious question for you all...

When is the last time you sported a bonnet?

because for me it was like three days ago.

My mom is so cute. She LOVES Thanksgiving. This year she got it in her head we should all dress up for our Thanksgiving feast.


here we all are with our best 'back in the day' faces on. Apparently we weren't ALL participating... *ahem Lucy and Logan!

Of course we did a smiley one as well. Which apparently we weren't all participating in that one either! haha!!!! *ahem... Savannah, Brent, Kathy, Chad and Mia aaaaand well, me. I'm at least half participating :)

Lucky for the indians we're a peaceful people! Clearly the pilgrims have the upper hand here. Thanks to Lori for volunteering Jeremy and meems to be indians. and thanks to Logan for wearing meems feathers when she refused.

Lucy was in a very silly mood.

She was telling jokes to the kids while they ate. They were having the best time.

truth: she wants that pie.

It was a really beautiful day here in AZ. My dad fell asleep out by the pool. I snuck out with the film camera to snap one of him sleeping... Chad got me!

Now isn't that just the perfect end to a perfect day?

Lucy, you crack me up.

How was your turkey? not too dry I hope.

Did you dress like pilgrims and indians? if no, then do you think you might consider it for next year?

Is it because this post was sooooo inspiring?????

... thought so!

thanks mom! For making us all bonnets and what nots. and also for cooking some of the stuffing not in the bird so I could eat it this year. It was a little bit crunchy but I found that I quite like it crunchy.

Stacey, next time come eat with us ok? Now we may never know what you would look like in a bonnet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winner's circle

Ok so first of all

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who participated in this photoshoot giveaway.

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect having never done one before. You guys were amazing and totally came through for me!


Me and Chad and Lucy went out this morning and had some fun making a little video. This is my way of trying to creatively announce the winner of the photoshoot contest.

I try. I really do :)

Just so there's no confusion...

The first name chosen is the name of the person who nominated the family that will win the photoshoot. Congratulations to Karen Spahar. I will email you and get some details from you!!

The second name chosen is the winner of the apron! Congratulations to Amy Greer!!!

And once again thank you to ALL who participated!

I think I may do these photoshoot giveaways periodically, what do you think??

Jill has good ideas?


Monday, November 15, 2010

the old switcharoo. but in a good way.

It's funny because every time I looked over at my blog archive in October I was feeling a little vexed.

Like ZING you lose. But truth is, October's got nothin on November!!!

YAY first post of the month!! Is November really half over?!?

In regards to the photoshoot giveaway...

at the very last minute I'm changing the rules on you!!

This will be better I am pretty darn sure!

ok so remember how I was going to post the stories of all the families nominated? oh and btw... A fantastically huge thank you to everyone that nominated a family. I loved reading all your heartfelt words. Lots of love going on here :)

That was supposed to be today. And you all were going to vote (something about democracy?) haha!!

Guess what else I'm a big believer in??


So we're switching over to the random side of life. Ahhhh that actually feels SO much better!

Mostly because when really thoughtful people write really thoughtful words about people they believe in, well there tends to be lots of those thoughtful words. Which I love, but it's alot to ask of cool people like you to read through.

so new plan...

I am going to set up a random drawing that will be either video'd or photo'd extensively.

One for the photoshoot, and one for the apron!

{ btw... no one asked to see that apron!! you're all sooooo trusting } haha!!

The apron is very Heather Bailey meets Amy Butler!!! Two of my favorite designers!

I'm shooting for a Thursday posting, but don't hate me if it's Friday :)

in the spirit of randomness...

random lovely?!!

<3 Jill

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photoshoot Giveaway

it's amazing what a little perspective can do...

film work | she's so proud

I have to tell you the truth. I am writing this for the second time. I deleted the whole first post. I was working so hard to get it posted by Thursday as per my 3rd attemped goal date :) and it just wasn't thrilling me. When you set a goal and miss three times, lets just say it's painful.

just one day, and a dose of perspective... makes a difference you know!!

It started with a simple idea.

I want to give away a portrait session to a family in need this holiday season.

overthinking. debating details. inner struggles. possible concerns. all these things had me fretting for weeks. When a friend asked me what my original intention was I responded with ' I just want to be a rad person', to which she responded with 'then go forth and be rad'

well alrighty then!

So I'm just going to put it out there all willy nilly like and see what comes of it :)

and then I'm going to beg like crazy for your help! (and maybe promise you the world or just a silly handmade apron)

Sooooooo. Here's the deal...

I need you {my amazing friends, all of you, even the ones I didn't even know I had} to nominate a family that you feel could use a little help getting family portraits done this year.

How this will go down:

You can email me a little blurb about your amazingly awesome family of choice. with the subject 'giveaway'

Then on November 15th I will go through and compile all the many entries *thinking positivly* which will then be posted to my blog where all you beautiful people will be encouraged to vote... because we believe in democracy, what ever that is :)

Some things to keep in mind:

PLEASE don't use names.

try to keep it fairly short. just say no to 2 page essays.

all entires must be in by Midnight November 14... arizona time (of course)

and it's kind of important that the family is local to the Phoenix,AZ area.

So what exactly does your family get if they win? excellent question!! They will recieve my $350 fall package which includes...

There's just this one more little thing...

I really really really want this to be awesome. I recognize that I've been blessed with so much. Probably more than I deserve and I just really want to be able to give of my time and talents SO if by some miracle we can get atleast 20 nominations I will give a second photoshoot away randomly.

As in a random drawing :)

because random is good.

So lets just sweeten this deal just a teensy bit more :) For every person that takes the time to nominate someone I will throw your name into the hat to win an apron, handmade with lots of love by me... I know, it's not the world or anything. But it is pretty cute.

and if you just can't think of anyone perhaps you could be of help by linking this post on your facebook page and/or blog.

Now you all know I LOVE comments, so feel free to comment away but PLEASE remember the entries MUST be emailed to me at by midnight Nov. 14th Arizona time!!

now let us go forth and be rad together!

<3 jill

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is, and what may never be

There is this incredible photographer that I do not know. Not personally anyways. I like him on facebook. I try to follow his work but quite honestly he doesn't post it all that often. What I am left to enjoy is his words. I don't know where he gets his quotes. What I do know is that his words (where ever they are derived from) make me think deeply, and I get this sense of amazing spirit. A truly humble soul, he is. A few days ago he posted this...

the Seeker journeys a thousand miles to say 'I have arrived.' the Finder never stops arriving.
{ Jesh De Rox }

Simple as it is... this one especially stuck out to me as thought provoking. You see I am going through what I can only explain as a photographical identity crisis.

Where is this going for me?

Where do I want it to go?

Why haven't I done 'this or that'?

Why am I delving into film?

Am I going to make film a part of my photographical journey?

How far can I take this? How far do I want to take this?

Why can't I just stop searching for perfection? What even is perfection? Can I make my own version of perfection?

That's it! I want to find my own version of perfection. I don't want to fit into anyones pretty little pre-made box. I haven't yet fully discovered myself as a photographer. I haven't found my 'place'. Where you think I should be is perhaps not where I will choose to go. I am not afraid of the unknown path I am on.

It is this path that keeps me excited intrigued and invigorated to peer around the next bend of MY journey.

I am on a journey of my own choosing. I don't know where it will take me. I take pleasure in not knowing the outcome. I will not limit myself by putting up such a road block as 'a destination'.

My photography class has been incredibly encouraging for me. Amazing people have entered my life. I have been wanting to share some of what I have been working on at school.

Maybe you think I love to post photos of my bed. haha! No, not really. I was telling Carly on gchat about how I hung some of my work above my bed. She asked when she could see it. She saw it last night, and today I share with you!

This is a glimpse of one photo I particularly love.

Bless Kelly for dressing up all vintage and indulging my silly ideas. This comes from my shutter speed assignment. I call this one "extra credit' :) !!

The spectacular view is something taken in Sedona for my first assignment. It fulfilled the earth capture.

I got my first assignment back from Mr. Williams on Wednesday. This is what he wrote to me regarding said assignment. I made clear for you the part I found particularly fabulous.

"so boring it's great"


You see?! That is exactly what I am talking about! That something so incredibly boring can be made great by one. Not by me, but the person that can find beauty in the boring. ( Thank you Mr. Williams ) Perhaps I will print this one to share with you later so you can decide if boring is beautiful.

P.S. please note... an A+ is not the rule in my life. it is the exception.

I am cooking up something for my next post that I hope will be wonderful for all who choose to be involved. please check back as I will need the help of many to pull this one off :)

<3 !!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I took a moment from my day...

wrapped it up in things you say...

...and mailed it off to you.

I have totally been holding out Newport Beach photos on you!

Oh I know... the nerve of me eh?

A little something someone has tried to convince me of recently...

overwhelmed= lazy.

needless to say... I have been so overwhelmed lately :)

Aaaaaand one more thing! (well technically about 7 more things)

Occasionally some giant hearted people like to flatter my soul by passing on a blog award to me.

*falling to the floor in shame*

and usually I fail at posting/passing along. But not today folks!! My friend Hayley over at Capturing Sunshine passed the 7 Random Things Kreativ Blogger Meme on to me.

What does that mean for you??? Excellent question! You get to read 7 of the most randomest things I can think of about me.

*cue out clicks* haha!

un. Once I bought a pretty chandelier to hang in my closet. Chad did not approve. it instead hangs over my bed, which i LOVE, and so I am left to wonder if Chad really is more brilliant than me... like he proclaims.

deux. I love not camping. and why jill, do you so love not camping?? because because because, not camping is just what it sounds like... not camping. yay!!

trois. I never tell Tommy what to do to my hair. Only to just make it pretty. If he says shall we go a smidgen darker and add some violet... well yes of course we should I would say. As was the case last week.

quatre. I took french in highschool. I went by Claire in my class. My friend went by Bernard. I got an F. I don't know what he got. I wish he were alive to ask him today.

cinq. My kids are watching scary movies right behind me as I type these lovely randoms out. It is 8:28 pm. 28 minutes past Lucy's bedtime. I feel some bad dreams coming our way.

six. Who wants to do the Napoleon Dynamite dance with me?

sept. I still really want a volvo C30. But I want it in that sporty blue color... which it does not come in. Chad says 4 seats is not enough for a family of five. what-EVER! it's fine.

and that's a wrap!

I found this really old absurdly horrible photo I took of my bed forever ago. You can sorta see said chandelier! The kids like to shine the flashlight on it and make rainbows on the walls and ceilings :)

and now for passing the torch...
(this means you have no choice but to share some majorly random fun facts about yourself with the world!)

Randomly picked out of a hat (not) but in no particular order... Kelly. Lori. and Kristi. :)

Sweet dreams my friends.

Truth is, I'm still holding out on you. i can't help it, I'm just so dang overwhelmed :) !!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I {heart} Earth.

last week the sky was amazing. Tell me you saw it!

every week Kassidy is amazing.

... ... ...

I'm feeling very moody at the moment.

and by that I mean... in the mood to make a video with the flip.

serious. as in a seriously awesome minor motion picture.

I've been brainstorming.

occasionally good does come from using my brain.

very occasionally.


Friday, September 24, 2010

and here I sit...

a face full of oatmeal.

You would die laughing if you could see me right now.

oh man, I have a homemade oatmeal paste slathered all around my eyeballs and lips. If I get snackie I just give a little lick. ooh lala yummy. haha! when its gets all crusty and stiff I give it spritz of water so i can crinkle my brow again.

Soooooo I have to tell you about this because as Dr. Phil would say...

This is going to be a changing day in your life!

I actually had to look that up because I am not the Dr. Phil fan I would currently seem to be :)

A couple days ago my sister-in-law Kristi posted how she had given her daughter an oatmeal bath to help her with her eczema.

this was her exact post... Grind 2 cups oats in the blender, dump it in the bath, soak for 20 minutes and it helps relieve the itching from eczema. What the book doesn't tell you is what a mess the bathtub will be after the water drains! (I've been reading "Ezcema-free for Life" to help my little Chloe with her itchy, rashy skin.)

By the way, Kristi has no clue I went on her facebook page and copied her status to share with you all :) I think she's soon to find out though!

Kristi if you're reading this I must tell you that this is like a huge breakthrough for me. THANK YOU!

I feel like the leper that's been cured of leprosy! yes yes it's that good!

So do you know eczema? it's a horrid never ending disease which does not go away. ever. I assume most people know what this is even if you don't have it, BUT just incase its this dry scaly itching peely yuck skin.

My eczema is extra painfully annoying as it is mostly on my eyelids and above my lip.

oh? you thought I wore pretty pink eye shadow because I think it looks all rockstar? Ha! hardly. And I bet you think I drink way to much kool-aid too? n.i.c.e, but no.

that my friends is my lovely eczema. And that is on a good day when I've been very careful not to wear eye make-up. Especially eye shadow. and mascara.

I could show you my collection of ointments that have been prescribed but I think you would find it highly uniteresting especially because they don't work worth smelly old beans. they might tame it but IT IS ALWAYS THERE.

and then I met oatmeal.

I love oatmeal. I used to eat it when I was smarter. I mean for breakfast not just in cookies :) and now I wear it. I grind it up in my vitamix then add a little purified water until its pasty and then its just me and the oats slathering away in perfect harmony! I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

I like how i can smell it on my face. Smells all earthy and wholesome. But most of all i like how I have my eyelids back!

I even wore eyeshadow for the first time in forever! WOOT!

Try it.


you will love Kristi forever too.

<3 you Kristi!!

P.S. - Katie sung this song to me in my car tonight... so this ones for her :)

and what is this you ask?

Dare I say sunrise? I woke up at 5:30 am to photograph the moon. Decided I liked the sun better.

and here is just this one more swirly photo of Kassidy that somehow only made it onto facebook. Well, until now :)

<3 !!!!!!!