Goats and Horses and Mermaids... Oh My!

It was a cold wintry evening in Pottstown that we carried our gear into an unassuming building in Pottstown.  The snow outside was pretty to watch from the huge windows overlooking the mini-golf course. But what was inside was truly magical!

The Historical Pottstown Carousel is the second oldest operating Philadelphia Toboggan Company wooden carousel in the United States.  It was originally built in 1905. Originally the animals were all stationary instead of the ones there now that move up and down as the carousel spins.  Originally installed at Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, OH it moved to Twin Grove Park in Pine Grove, PA in 1935. It was dismantled and parts sold at auction in the 1980s where they lay in storage.  

A volunteer group came together to rebuild the gorgeous carousel. Sadly, the original animals were lost to damage and decay while in storage.  The group commissioned Ed Roth, who was the master sculptor that carved animals for carousels...

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The Gypsy Soul with the Parisian Heart

I first met Jana at a networking meeting.  Sitting at the eatery in Wegman’s she blew in like a whirlwind… in a good way!  Her smile was instantly mesmerizing and made me feel totally at home. We chatted about the things we do … me the photographer and she the content writer and Intimacy Coach.  We shared about our kids and how proud we were of them. I will never forget the annoying chair squeals each time someone scooted their chairs in and out! LOL

I have always been fascinated by content writers and wondered how in the heck they were able to write for other people.  I mean… how could someone possibly write something that sounded like my voice? She explained it as best she could. She certainly seemed like she knew what she was talking about.  It was clear she had a love for the English language… and French. ;)

We stayed in touch as all good networkers do.  We “friended” each other on social media and...

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The Magic of Tea

about me tea Feb 20, 2020

I was 17 when I first developed a lifelong love. 

It wasn’t with a boy. It was with tea. 

Sure, I had been around tea before. I remember drinking Russian Tea as a kid. My mom used to make a homemade tea mix with Tang, Instant Tea and a few other things. It was so good that I can still remember the smell. 

But at 17, sitting at my best friend’s kitchen table after school one Thursday afternoon, I experienced tea in an entirely new way.

All the talk and chatter and nervousness of my teenager-filled day melted when I took that sip of Yorkshire Gold...known as the best spot of tea in England. Because my best friend’s mom was British, she knew how to make a good cup of tea. She gave us cream and sugar, and she added a few shortbread cookies on the side. The teacup was painted with pink roses, and it clinked after I lifted it up, sipped, and set it back down on the porcelain. 

I felt cozy, and at home, and in love. And I never turned back. I will love...

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Retro Builds in Modern Times

iron trap garage Jan 07, 2020

Let me tell you a story… of a Hot Rod Shop housed in a WWII airplane hanger!

When Matt Murray or Iron Trap Garage was looking for a home to purchase one of his requirements was that it has a garage large enough for him to work on his hot rods.  When he found a location in Boyertown that boasted an “extra large 3 car detached garage … great for the car enthusiast” his interest was piqued. Most people want to see the yard, kitchen, bathroom or other parts of a home when searching for a home.  I know I did. Not Matt. He wanted to see the garage first. Once Matt set eyes on what is now the home of Iron Trap Garage, he decided to buy the property immediately!

Jerry first learned about Matt Murray when he had his Pagoda City coupe (30s Model A Ford) on display at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles where he is a Board Member.  

Jerry:   “As soon as I saw this garage I just knew there was a piece of artwork waiting to be...

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The Secret Valley & The Perfect Date!

It was a sunny afternoon in Boyertown, PA when we left the kids home and embarked on our December Date Day.  The parking lot was full. The couples and families were taking photos in front of the festive tree next to the ticket office.  From the teeny tiny baby in the baby carrier on her daddy’s chest to the couple celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary! … we were all anxiously awaiting to hear the All Aboard! Signal form the conductor. 

We had tickets for the Snowflake Special on the Colebrookdale Railroad - The Secret Valley Line.   The conductor’s knowledge shared was fantastic. I enjoyed listening as we rode about the Manatawny Indian tribe that greeted William Penn near the railroad’s stone arch bridge.  We also saw the home visited frequently by General George Washington on his frequent trips to the Colebrookdsale valley to urge ironmasters to ramp up their production for the Continental Army.  It was fascinating to...

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My Generation's Sounds of Silence

9/11 memories Sep 11, 2019

Each generation has that moment that they can all tell you exactly where they were, what they were doing, how they felt.  

My generation has 9/11 ... a day I will NEVER forget.  Thinking about that day still makes me cry.  I feel such profound sadness.  My heart literally aches for what was lost.  I grieve for what our lives were like before that moment.

My daughter was 7 months old.  It was a momentous day for us.  She was getting her very first sippy cup!  She was the light of our lives and Jerry and I enjoyed and cherished watching her grow and reach these important milestones.

I always started my days with The Today Show.  I was getting things ready to head to BabiesRUs while watching that morning.  I saw that plane hit... I honestly thought it was one of those "oh shit" moments where a small plane had a pilot error or something and crashed.  Stuff like that happens.  It's believable.  I called Jerry at work and...

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Planning ahead makes the clie​​​nt experience better.

Have you ever been on a photo shoot and had something happen that threw a monkey wrench in everything? Stuff happens. That’s life.

Prior planning CAN help minimize those “oh crap” moments AND make the experience much better for your client. Better experience always equals better sales. A better experience will also give you more chances of having that client tell their friends about you. We all love good referrals!

When we’re doing a photo session outside, one of the things that we plan for is the location of the sun and how it will affect our photo session. We want to make the experience for our clients as best as possible, so planning these things ahead of times takes the stress off of us. We know what to expect. We’ve planned, we’ve accounted for it so our shoot can go much smoother and the experience on the client’s end is much better. One of the things that we use for planning for this is an app called the Photographer’s...

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#BalanceForBetter … the first woman to impact my life. My mom.

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2019

#BalanceForBetter. Today is International Women’s Day. A day where world citizens are called upon to stand up for gender equality across the globe. A day where we all celebrate the economic, cultural, political and social achievements of women for more than 100 years. What great achievements there have been! I could write about any of those fantastic things. I could write about hundreds of women who have achieved great things… but my mind keeps coming back to one.

The first woman to impact my life is my mom. As a kid, I learned from my mom that women can do anything they set their minds to.

Mom was a Stay-at-Home Mom most of my childhood. She was the epitome of the Air Force Spouse, helping raise 4 kids with low income while we traveled the world from Air Base to Air Base. (and before anyone says anything…I”m not in any way knocking the military. I loved my time as a military brat!). But mom did a lot with very little. Feeding & clothing 4 kids while...

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3 Things that happen when you WAIT for your branding photos.

brand business Mar 05, 2019

If you’re waiting for the perfect time, you’ll be waiting forever. Take ACTION, make a MOVE, DO something about it!

I was at a networking meeting this morning and heard a comment I hear very often. “Give me six months and then I’ll be ready for photos.” This got me to thinking. Why do so many people wait for branding photos? Our world would be so much better… People could be making much more money… So much stress would be alleviated… If people just ACTED instead of procrastinating.

YOU ARE YOUR BRAND! YOU! Right now! and six months from now!

Come on. You know you need them. We all do. But how many times have you pushed off getting that new headshot? or postponed your personal branding photography session a couple of months?

Is this you?

  • I need to lose weight.
  • It’s too expensive.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m too busy.
  • I look awful in photos.
  • I don’t know what to wear.

In all honesty, I’m guilty of saying...

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Martin Luther King, Jr = The Fearless Brand

brand business Jan 21, 2019

“Martin Luther King, Jr., was the conscience of his generation. He gazed upon the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. From the pain and exhaustion of his fight to fulfill the promises of our founding fathers for our humblest citizens, he wrung his eloquent statement of his dream for America. He made our nation stronger because he made it better. His dream sustains us yet.” – President Jimmy Carter on Dr. King being posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Martin Luther King, Jr = FEARLESS Brand. I remember being in high school when Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday became a national holiday. There were lessons about him in history class. People were talking about him on TV. We learned about his March on Washington, The Mongomery Bus Boycott, The March on Fear.

For most people my age and older, hearing the words “I have a dream…” invokes a lesson learned in history class or memory...

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