Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forgive me for I have skipped ....

I'm a little off my game this week - not at home - working extra days - so apologies for the skip and being off schedule.

Tomorrow will be a fun new exciting post - I'm going to share some of my favorite Etsy shops and a series of photos ....

See you tomorrow ...

Monday, June 10, 2013

And Snap I Did.

Fog Rolling In

We honeymooned in San Francisco. It was far too short (as any good honeymoon is). I hadn't been in years and we had never been together. I planned the heck out of our days. My idea of a holiday is to really explore - none of this lay in the sun for 7 days straight (Why pay good money to sleep? I'm too much of a fussbudget). Five days in a bustling city with Mr. LWP all to myself was just what the doctor ordered. We must have walked almost the entire city.

One of the outings I wanted to do was biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. The website said it's a great excursion and beginners love it - nice and leisurely. Perfect. I mean, I can ride a bike but I wanted to snap photos more than practice for the Tour de France.

Snap. Snap. Gasp for air. Snap. Snap. Dodge traffic. Snap. HONK! Pee my pants. Snap. Snap. Continue gasping for air. You get the idea.

The website was a little liberal with the word *beginner*. And I was not about to fall over and collapse in front of my paid-to-be-healthy-and-full-of-wonderful-dreamy-muscles-brand-new-husband. Not a chance. I have my pride. Besides, collapsing would inevitably damage my camera.

My main objective was to snap photos of the bridge - lots of angles - lots of shots - more is more when it comes to memory cards and quick trips. And snap I did.

When I see this photo, I relive lots of thing. The chill of the fog, the immense size of the landmark and just how tiny I felt under those giant suspension towers, the brightness of the orangey-red of the paint,  the wind on my face as we raced down the hill to Sausalito, a pained bum (stupid bike seat - I mean, I have enough padding), car whooshing past me, the view of my new hubby riding just in front of me, the taste of the cold beer when we finished. Sigh. It was a very good afternoon.


This is a popular image for Loud Waterfall Photography. I get all gooey and happy inside when someone decides to add my image to their home. Just above my head, right now, is an 11x14 print.

Tryptic of our adventure - love the lines!

Golden Gate


Love the pillow!

We are going back in November and I have even more vantage points on my list. I cannot wait!

See you tomorrow ....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Is there an app for this?

It's June 9th. Wow. This getting into a new routine is hard. Finding time every day to get all 864 things that need to get done is hard. I know I'm lucky to get through half - that's ok - it's more about prioritizing what can fit into each 24 hours. I'm older and wiser than I was 9 days ago, not by a lot, but still.

So what has this first week of my new leaf accomplished? I worked out almost every day. I did manage to post every day (though my timing was rather haphazard). And I even jumped into some Summer Cleaning (it's a little late in the year to call it Spring ....). New routines are hard.

So, what fell through the cracks? My camera didn't move all week. That makes me sad. I even have a brand new lens that needs playing with! I have new products for the shop that I haven't listed. I adore - I mean adore - my new night lights and the coasters are so fun! But would anybody know that? No, because I haven't taken the time to list any of them. That makes me sad.  Naps. Naps definitely fell through the cracks. That always makes me sad ... and a little bit tired.

So, how do I fix this? How do I make everything fit? What do you do when trying to get accustomed to new routines? Do you have any tips or tricks? Is there an app for this? There's one for everything, right?

Have a great night!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

An anything day

It's Saturday. It's anything can happen day. Daddy and Sadiecakes already ran out to grab doughnuts (Mom just stared .... ). Trying to see what we are going to do this afternoon. My vote for *naps* was quickly outnumbered. Red Sox have a double headed today in Boston. Just a quiet, lazy day. We need these more often than we think or allow. Jammie day (well, I stay in my jammies Sadie usually changes between 3-4 different princess dresses). Puttering around the house day. Playing in the yard day. Recharge day.

What do you do to recharge? Clear your head. Rest your mind and body.

A little bit of zen from the aquarium
Have a great day --

Friday, June 7, 2013

Do Good: Sports Friends

If you caught the backstory on June 1st - I mentioned that I went to Ethiopia with a mission organization. May I introduce you to Sports Friends, a division of SIM. Sports Friends is a "church owned sports ministry"that has soccer camps on four continents!

Heading to the field in style

Evening entertainment

Future musician

Heading off the ball - Go Issac!!

What kid camp experience is complete without the Chicken Dance?

Yes, that would be me, rocking out to ... something ...

Last day goodbyes

One more good bye hug

For 8 weeks during the rainy season, Camp Langano is teeming with kids in brightly colored shirts. Full bellies. Smiles from ear to ear. Cheering for their teams. It is a sight to behold.

Scrub! Scrub! Scrub!

Please take a moment to check out Sports Friends and explore for yourself what an amazing organization SF is. Their summer camp campaign is in full swing. Make a kiddo's day and send him/ her to camp this year -- it's good for your heart and theirs.

Good bye Bisrat!
See ya tomorrow,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tasty Thursday ...


Operation: Bikini Season 2014 is nicely underway. I love the My Fitness Pal app! Sure, I have to take the time to actually input stuff but it saves my foods and workouts so each time I open the app, I'm halfway done. Are you using My Fitness Pal? I have it on my cell and on iPad - love it!

There is a recipe section so you can create a meal and then have it portioned out for one touch entering. I'm sure the rest of the free world knew such technology was out there but it's new to me. I'm more conscious of what I eat (when the glaring pie chart tells me today was a little carb heavy or not enough fat) and the impact my meager little workouts have - I've lost 5.6 pounds over the last few weeks - not too shabby for sharing a Hersheys bar with my toddler yesterday.

Pinterest has also really gotten me motivated too - fun workout ideas (different strength workouts based on what commercial is on! Genius!) - mantras and encouraging quotes - and recipes and meal ideas (which brings me to today's post).  At Trader Joe's yesterday, I picked up TriColored Quinoa. It was so pretty and I thought it would be perfect for my first adventure into the seed.

I had a few staples on hand and concocted this tasty meal -
1 cup TriColored Quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked ground turkey

I made the quinoa as directed but used stock instead of water and added the frozen pea to have them cook together. In hindsight, I would add them just before the quinoa is finished rather than have them in the pan the whole time. I cooked the lean ground turkey separately with just spices to taste. When the quinoa and peas were finished, I added 2 cups of turkey to the pan and viola!

According to My Fitness Pal, it's pretty good for you ...

For dinner, I kind of expanded the concept. I put half a cup of quinoa mixture into half of a whole wheat pita with romaine lettuce and some avocado. It was quite yummy! Apologies for the lack of photos - I was too hungry. You understand.

What are you eating today? Have a good one ...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spreading the Love - Team Style

Good morning!

I jumped on the blog-a-day bandwagon a little quick and did not get a chance to interview shops for my first Spreading the Love promotion post. I thought I would take a minute to introduce you to two of the teams I belong to and tell you a little about them. Both are comprised of incredibly talented and amazing small business owners who are just so creative it kills me.

I joined Female Photographers of Etsy soon after launching my shop. This group of women is beyond words. Talented, smart, capable, true superwomen. There are members from all over the globe and every single one has each other's best interests at heart. There is very much a team spirit and effort - it's not a competition - which blows me away. Every morning you can find the new #fpoe Pin of the Day on Pinterest - one new beautiful image that we then send all over the Pintrest-phere. For your daily dose  of wow, I really encourage you to follow the board! Now, fPOE is a closed group and you must apply to be a member. That being said, I would encourage any and all of you women-owned Etsy photography shops to check the group out. I have found it to be a great resource for encouragement, advise, inspiration, giggles, and all around enjoyment.

Last year I joined The Artisan Group. Wow. This is a celebrity gifting group, comprised of every art and craft. You know those drool-able swag bags celebrities snag at awards ceremonies and other fab parties splashed all over the pages of People and other society magazines? Well, TAG is one of the groups that contributes to these events. One of my goals when I opened my shop was to be able to join TAG - I was quite nervous about applying (also a closed group). I mean, this is pretty big league for my little shop. I was delighted and ecstatic and then nervous when I was accepted. I started upping my game -- new products, new images, new branding. I am planning on gifting later this year - I will keep you posted. The Artisan Group can also be found on Pinterest. It's early in my experience with TAG but the encouragement and support and advise is wonderful with all the members. I also like that it's such a diverse group - jewelry, spa products, clothing, accessories, pet goodies, photography. It's nice to have the interaction and variety of both products and business approaches.  It's very much a learning experience for me and I am so excited to be a part of this group.

I hope you will take a minute to click on the links to these wonderful groups and explore some new shops - some new goodies - some new ideas. You will be so glad you did.

Have a great day -- see ya tomorrow!

Monday, June 3, 2013


"A picture is worth a thousand words" 
-Arthur Brisbane
(thank you Wikipedia!)

You know when an event / a moment / a something changes your life? Profoundly? Well, for me that *something* was a series of somethings. That something birthed Loud Waterfall Photography. That something made me passionate about eradicating Malaria. That something is behind every image I now take.

2008 was a wild year for me. Total roller coaster. I filed for divorce. I traveled to Ethiopia. I spent 6 days in the ICU before doctors realized I had Malaria. I made a miraculous recovery (woo hoo!). I met the man of my dreams (woo hoo!!). I began an amazing new adventure in my life and I have never been happier.

Ok, let me introduce this week's photo. Then I'll catch you up.

This is one of the first images I took in Ethiopia. We were on our way to Lake Langano. Paved roads and cities and anything remotely commercial was well behind us. These were the first village boys I encountered. They ran along side the van as long as they could, yelling "Highland!" (the bottled water company - they wanted any empty containers we had for recycling money. We didn't have any.). The moment they saw my camera pop up it changed from a recycling mission to a photo shoot. They posed. They smiled. The laughed. Then we sped off. I would go on to take over a thousand images in the next week but this (series of) photo leaps out at me and grabs my heart every time I see it.

So we fly home and I resume my life; but sure, I see excess and vanity everywhere. I vow to return to Africa the following rainy season. I can't shake the jet lag. Turns out I actually had malaria but no one could figure it out. I only got 3 mosquito bites and I downed every single awful Doxy pill I had. We were only there 10 days and our cabins were netted. How on earth was I, not only sick, but this sick?? What about every other single person on the continent who was not afforded all the preventive care that I had? After my recovery, I began researching Malaria. I very quickly learned that prevention is by far the best and mosquito netting goes a long way in achieving that. And sending a net to Africa (and other countries) only costs $10. WHAT?! Wait, really? I go through all my photos of all those sweet faces and all I can think is "whether you live or die could hinge on a ten dollar bill". It made me both nauseated and hopeful all at once. So little money could wield such long lasting and life saving change. This very quickly becomes my personal mission. When LWP was actually opened in 2011, a dollar of every sale is donated to Nothing But Nets to help eradicate Malaria.

And wouldn't you know it? This photo was also my first sale. There was something kinda serendipity about it all.  I am giddy every time I can log on to and send another net (or two! or three!). I know I'm helping those kiddos grow up healthy and safe. I know that I am making a difference in someone's future. Every client of mine is helping me accomplish that, and I am ever so grateful.

Have a great day!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

I'm your gal

So, you may be asking yourself - why should you tune in here everyday. It's ok, I'm asking myself the same question.  Every waking moment is precious. Sure, in the *greater-good-make-the-most-out-of-life* sense - but also in the *my to-do list has 974 things on it for today and it's only 7am* kind of way too. Your time is valuable. You are the one who gets things done. You are the one that makes sure the little ones are fed and (reasonably) clean. You are the one that makes sure the bills get paid. The dogs are fed. And the one who makes sure everyone gets a good night kiss. You even find time to carve out a few stolen moments with the one who still give you butterflies and goosebumps - swoon.

My family ! ! !

Your time is worth A LOT. So, I ask again. Why should you spend 3 minutes (or 10 ... no need to gulp that hot latte) reading my posts? I want to be your cyber-gal-friday, in a way. Need a few minutes to take your mind off of a kerfuffle? I'm your gal. Need something a little warm & fuzzy and feel good without needing to redo your make up? I'm your gal. Need someone to remind you that your kids/ family/ home/ job/ life are not the only ones in a state of quasi-organized chaos (but that you secretly love it that way)? I'm your gal. Looking to broaden your horizons? I'm your gal. Feel like you are the only one that Pinterest has duped? (Oh my many Pinterest fails ...) I'm your gal. A new charity to explore? I'm your gal. An idea about where to go on your next holiday? I'm your gal. Ok, technically, I can't help you turbo clean the family room before the in-laws ring the bell. And I probably won't be able to dash to Trader Joe's for you when you realize you just ran out of quinoa.  But I can remind you that you rock. And I will. Because, let's face it. You really do. You keep your world afloat and still manage to find time to get the occasional pedicure.

My honey and me


I'm just a regular gal. Wife to an amazing man who is my hero on a daily basis and still gives me goosebumps when he looks in my eyes. Momma to a 3 year old who will tell you she's 6 and has a new found addiction to all things ballet. Momma to 2 giant dogs who think they are teacup size and one ailing kitty who still loves to cause a ruckus just for the heck of it. Photographer who loves to document the incredible places I've been and capture the moments in my life and the beauty around me. I'm that friend you haven't seen in a while but four sips into a cuppa, we both forget that it's been ages since we've gotten to catch up.

So, wanna join me on my adventure?  Are you embarking on anything new and exciting?

Tomorrow morning we will explore one of my images - I would love your thoughts and insights.

See you tomorrow,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

New Routines. New Paths. New Resolutions.


It's June 1st! Sure, most people start their resolutions in January, but I've never been one to follow the crowd (entirely).  Okay, to be honest, I had a few minor resolutions earlier this year ... we will get back to those later.

June 1st is my new leaf. My new chapter. I'm jumping into 30 days of blogging AND trying to get a handle on SEO-ing (SEO's? Clearly, I have a lot to learn). For my sweet little blog I have sorted out a bit of a schedule ...

Sundays - a day of rest. I will use this quiet day for a bit of introspection and assessment.
Mondays - every photo has a story. I will pick a different LWP image each week and give you the *thousand words* that created it.
Tuesdays - it takes a village. Tuesdays are going to be promotions days - I will introduce you to some of my favorite Etsy shops and entrepreneurs.
Wednesdays - shhhh .... Wordless Wednesdays will just be a feast for your eyes.
Thursdays - one cannot live by bread alone. I will dish on my fave recipes and current yummy whims.
Fridays - do good. I will introduce you to my favorite charities, one by one.
Saturdays - anything can happen. Kind of a freebie, maybe it will be about the book I just started. Maybe about a photo walk I just took. Maybe I just tell you a few jokes to make you smile ...

My California Girl

It's June 1st. Summer. Days outside. Wading pools and SPF 3000. I'm currently honing my baby ravaged body for Bikini Season 2014 (not a typo). We might have a family vacay this fall to somewhere beachy - so we will see how much of a jump I can get on my diet. I have the MyFitnessPal App - are you on there? You can find me: minimalmomma. I would love to follow you back and be a cheerleader for ya!

Bikini Season 2014! Woo Hoo!

It's June 1st. The year is about half over. How is that possible? We only just packed up the last of the Christmas decorations loitering in the garage. Literally. 2 days ago. It almost seemed silly to do it. It was cheery to see the yule tide remnants each time I fed the dogs or tackled the laundry. I used to be so much more on the ball. My OCD seems to have gone the way of my skinny jeans and the Dodo Bird. Sigh ...

Proof I was tiny once!

It's June 1st. And my journey through the month - blogging, learning, dieting - has begun. Ok. Gotta go and pop in a work out DVD before the kiddo wakes up!

Have a great one and I will see you tomorrow ...

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's A Small World After All ....

I have to share a story with you.

I am always amazed at how teeny our great big world is. Every time. Running into someone you know when you are on holiday. Or finding out your new friend is next door neighbors to a long lost friend of yours. It knocks me over every time. But this story is beyond incredible.

I went to Ethiopia in August 2008. We (Mom + I) went with a mission organization that supports a soccer camp during the rainy season. So, there we were, deep in the heart of Ethiopia - 4 hours from Addis Ababa and 2 hours from the nearest paved road (and bottle of cold Coca Cola).

I was so giddy to be there - I was snapping photos like crazy - soccer kids, baboons, village people, trees, rain bouncing off the lake. Basically, if it held still for 1/8th of a second, I snapped it. I can home from a 10 day trip with over a thousand images.

After we got home (and I recovered from my parting gift, Malaria), I opened my Etsy shop. I filled it with Africa images and then lots of other goodies I have. For some reason, I kept this one particular image of a village family in my shop. It never sold but it was sweet. I had been meaning to remove it but never got around to it.

A couple weeks ago, I got a convo on Etsy (that's an email through Etsy). A woman in Canada wanted to know more specifics about that image. Where exactly was it taken and when? Not the normal client questions but I was more than happy to respond to her. I explained where Lake Langano was and that it was an image of a village family.

Ok, hold on to your socks.

She writes me back : their son was adopted from that area and given the information she had, there was a very good chance that this was an image of him with his biological mother and brother. Did I have any more images of the family or other villagers?

Langano family ... !

I immediately scoured my archives and contacted my aunt who works for SIM and Sports Friends (they took us to Africa and still go every year). My new Canadian friend also sent me images she took of her son and his biological father. I immediately recognized the father - he's distinctive - but I could not find an image of him. I was sure I had one. I was positive. Then I remembered we were introduced to the village elders but I was asked not to take their picture. He had to be one of them.

So, as the story goes now. My wonderful aunt is going to take copies of my photos and copies of the photos my Canadian sent me when she goes back to Langano in June. And my family snap shot is on its way to Canada.

I am so excited to see if anything else develops. But, as I told my new friend/ client, something made me not remove the photo and in my heart it is her son.

Have a great holiday weekend!