Friday Favorites!!!

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday! Woohoo!

Today, we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea!  It’s a 3 day weekend for our crew, and I am so pumped for all of the Easter celebrating and fun!

I’m taking the day off to be with my family and for some much needed rest, but I will be back here on Monday to share about all of our fun!   Happy Easter, y’all! XOXO N

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Workin it’!

Hey, y’all!! Today, I am so happy to be linking up with two of my girls, Shay and Erika, for their fun LINK-UP….Workin’ It Wednesdays!!  And, yes, it’s Thursday, but you are just going to have to roll with me on that.  This week has been all kinds of crazy over here. 🙂

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Truth be told: I am a busy girl….I manage three precious kiddos, their commitments, a photography business, this blog, a fun Stella and Dot gig, and much more.   I can’t wait to share what’s worked for our little family and read about your awesome tips, too. 🙂  My best ideas always come from my friends, so I am excited to plug into this set of topics!

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Today, we are sharing about how we do Spring Cleaning!!  I can’t wait to read everyone’s tips about this one! 🙂

So, I actually LOVE Spring Cleaning and decluttering, but the rest of my family….not so much. 😉

I like t keep the house pretty clean on a day-to-basis, but the closets, drawers, and such tend to get a good clean out at the beginning of each season!    Here’s my Spring Cleaning Check List

Spring Check List

-pull down drapes and fluff them in the dryer with a wet towel (the towel attracts the dust)

–dust EVERYTHING….wall-hangings, ceiling fans, etc.

–clean cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms really thoroughly, inside and out

–clean outdoor furniture, replace cushions if need be

–have carpets and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned

–have windows professionally cleaned (I am awful with windows, but you could totally do this on your own!)

–deep clean drawers and closets

–declutter playroom and toys

–clean baseboards and all molding

Make a list, and pick a task whenever you have free time

So, I like to make a master list  and slowly knock it out as I have time!   This helps me not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks!  So whenever I have downtime,I pick a task to start!  Also, I try not to have unrealistic expectations on a timeline….Since I work and don’t have a ton of free time, I like to give myself a few months to get through my whole list!

What are your favorite Spring Cleaning Tips?  I can’t wait to hear all about it!  Leave your tips in the comments!  Happy Thursday, y’all!! XOXO Narci

In case you are new here :)

Quite a few of you have mentioned recently that you are new to the blog!  So, I just wanted to say a big “Hey, y’all!” to my new friends, and “Thanks for coming back!” to my old friends!  Here’s a little re-introduction in case you were curious about the girl behind the scenes!  Here we go!

Hey, y’all!  My name is Narci, and this is my little piece of the Internet!

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I am a mama and Dallas-based family and newborn photographer.  My husband and I have three precious kids and a tiny little puppy named Dixie who has a penchant for mischief.  😉

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I am a Texas girl, born and raised, which means that I say things like “y’all and fixin’ to” and Siri doesn’t always understand me when I ask her something.  😉  I am partial to sweet tea, SEC football (Hotty Toddy!), monograms, and big porches with rocking chairs. 🙂

Robert and I met after college.

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He grew up in a small town in Michigan, and loves the outdoors and his family.  After we got engaged, my parents’ recommended that we forego the traditional wedding, so we hopped on a plane and were married in Las Vegas by Merlin the Magician.   (True story!)   Robert works in engineering, and is easy going, hardworking, and the kind of guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.  He’s real, true to his word, honest and I love him to pieces.   These days, we do exciting things like binge watch on Netflix and  catch sunsets on our back porch.

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We have 3 children: Jackson (13), Luke (8), and Presley (7) and being their mama is  such a joy to me!

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I am so thankful for our story, and I credit it all to the grace of God and his redemptive love for us all!  When Jackson was 9 months old, we were in a car accident that we probably shouldn’t have walked away from.  The force of the collision totaled the car, landed me in the hospital, and had my entire left arm in bandages for weeks.

Two months later, I was saved by the transforming power of Christ, and I like to think that accident opened my eyes to where I might spend eternity when my time really did come.  If you want to read about my faith journey, you can find my testimony here.

In between our boys, we experienced 4 years of secondary infertility.  Luke was born 5 years and 5 days after Jackson, and we were thrilled and shocked to find out that we were pregnant with Presley (naturally) exactly 7 months after Luke was born. God is so good!

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Our little family loves Tex Mex, anything competitive, and movie night cuddles in mom and dad’s bed. Our happy place is the beach…we are noisy, imperfect, and love each other BIG.  I’d love for you to stay awhile!

To find me on Instagram, you can go here, Grace and Love Blog Facebook here, or  visit my photography facebook page here.  And as always, you can email me at narcidphotography@gmail.com if you have any questions or want to chat.  Have an amazing day!

XOXO–Narci

Easter Breakfast Tradition

Hey, y’all!! Today, I am sharing our favorite Easter Breakfast traditions (Homemade Quiche and Blueberry Muffins)  along with my sister-in-law’s crowd pleasing Easy Breakfast Casserole!   I love to have something special on Easter morning for our family!  Enjoy!! Xoxo Narci 🙂

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 9 inch homemade or refrigerated piecrust, fitted to a 9 inch glass pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.
  3. Layer the spinach, bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set.

To Die for Blueberry Muffins

  • INGREDIENTS:
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg
    1/3 cup milk
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup butter, cubed
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven

Easy Breakfast Casserole

INGREDIENTS:
  • 24 oz. frozen hash browns (about 8 cups)
  • 16 oz. cubed ham
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the frozen potatoes, ham, and cheese to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper (I use the same bowl from step 1).
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the hash brown mixture. Pat everything down with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Bake for one hour. The center should be set and the edges should be golden brown.

Weekend Wrap-up: A Winner and a Thank you! :)

Hey, y’all!! I hope you had an amazing weekend!!  I saw this on Facebook this weekend, and it made me laugh so hard.  😉

This is me at the gym, but you can sub in push-up or jumping jack instead of sit-up!  I don’t know why, but a jumping jack just makes me angry, and my chicken arms were not designed to hold up my body during a push-up!   ha!

On Friday morning, we did our best to show some Friday love!   Some of us were up for hugs, and some of us weren’t! 😉  

We had pizza with friends

and lots of fun playing outisde!

followed by sports and games on Saturday!  It’s hard to believe that this boy is heading to High School next year!  I am so excited for him!

I love seeing my babies do their thing, but these before bed cuddles are always my favorite part of the weekend! 

On Sunday morning, I wore my favorite dress for this Spring and summer!   It is moderately priced which is so nice (and on SUPER SALE!!)

and the detailing is amazing!

Followed by more soccer for our favorite number 8!   🙂

After a very crazy few weeks, it was such a treat to be with my family for the whole weekend!

And, in other news, I am so thrilled to share the winner of our sunglasses giveaway!!

Tara Vera

You can email me at narcidphotography@gmail.com to claim your sunglasses!

Before I wrap-up, I just wanted to touch on something..about a week ago, I shared my video testimony with y’all…and, your response to that has been simply amazing.  Your encouraging words, emails, and comments mean so much to me! 

So, thank you so very much…from the bottom of this girl’s heart to yours! I appreciate y’all!

Happy Monday! XOXO N

Friday Favorites

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday, and we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea!  I am so happy it’s the weekend!  Coming up, we have baseball, soccer, volleyball and lots of family time.  It’s going to be a great weekend with our crew!  Today, I am celebrating the release of the Spring and Summer line of Stella and Dot with a Giveaway!! Woohoo!!  Before we do that, here are a few of my favorites from this week!

Fun at the Zoo

Yesterday, I went to the zoo with Presley’s class, and we had so much fun!

Feeding the giraffes is our favorite part, and they did not disappoint at all! 🙂

This Tank Dress

I have been wearing this dress on repeat!   It is really soft and comfortable and made of a thick material which is nice when you are a busy mama!  Mine is black and doesn’t photograph very well because of the color, but I just ordered this pink as well!  I usually pair this dress with converse for a sportier look!

Our Giveaway

And, finally, Giveaway time!

I love all of the new items at Stella and Dot, but here are my favorites from the summer line! SO pretty!  I see days at the pool  with that coverup and those studs!  You can find them by shopping the trunk show here!

And, today, we are giving away a pair of Stella and Dot Wesley Sunglasses!!! ($120 value!)

You can enter by commenting on this post, and one entry will be randomly selected to win!

Talk about being ready for Summer!  These Sunglasses are darling and so on trend!

 

Happy Friday!   Don’t forget to link up with your favorites and enter our giveaway by leaving a comment beloq!  XOXO Narci

What’s Happening Here

Happy Thursday, y’all!! There’s just a little bit of this and that happening around here these days!   I saw this meme on Facebook, and it totally reminded me of myself.  ha! #guiltyascharged

These days, I am appreciating the cozy, quiet moments before the kids wake up. 🙂

And, pretty flowers for Teacher Appreciation week!   

We’ve been enjoying the pretty weather!  I heard we have less than 40 school days left until summer, and we aren’t sad about that!

This week has been all about the kids’ sports, and we had a really cute visitor at Luke’s soccer game on Saturday!

God has been showing off with our sunsets here lately!   Isn’t He amazing??

Yesterday, we talked about creative Easter basket ideas, and here are ours from last year! 

I used Beach bags for their Easter baskets! In each bag, I included a few new Spring clothing items, 1-2 small toys or books, special snacks, and bubbles!  So fun! 🙂

Today, I am heading to the Zoo with some precious first graders, but I will see you back here tomorrow with our Friday Favorites and a FUN GIVEAWAY!!!  Woohoo!!

XOXO Narci

Creative Easter Basket Ideas

Hey, y’all!!  Today, we are talking about all things Easter Baskets!  Instead of filling the kids baskets with candy,I love to brainstorm more practical or useful ideas on what to include!

 Before we get started, I just had to share these darling Easter treat ideas! And, these pancakes.  Oh my heavens, are they cute!

I love these little Easter fruit Kabobs!  So cute and colorful with the Peeps!

If you need some other darling Easter treat ideas, check these out!! Shay has the most precious and tasty ideas!

Now, on to the baskets!  I love the idea of using umbrellas as baskets!  Umbrellas are always disappearing in our house, and this is such a fun idea with a ton of presence!

In keeping with the Spring theme, aren’t these rainboots darling???

And, this is such a precious idea with the pool goodies!  Goggles, swim toys, swimsuits, new beach towels, and more!  My kids would love this…I’m thinking about doing this for our Easter baskets!

And, I LOVE this idea for boys!   

Wouldn’t this be cute as a baseball themed basket for your favorite baseball player, too? Think new baseball gloves, a new ball, or even sports sunglasses!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!!   If you have Easter basket ideas, leave them in the comments!  I’d love to hear them! XOXO Narci

Blue Bell in the Bluebonnets

Sometimes during the busy season, I can forget to pick up my big camera and focus it on my three sweethearts. 🙂  Maybe you can relate? Presley and I have a little tradition of going out to the Bluebonnets, but I wasn’t sure that it was going to happen this year  between my schedule, her schedule, and both of our allergies…But our sweet girl asked if we could go, so we pushed through and made it happen! And, I am so glad we did. 🙂 

Presley is a top-level fan of Blue bell Ice Cream, so we thought it would be fun to include this in our set up this year!  I should stress that this is not a sponsored post, but feel free to send me a check if you want to Blue Bell! 😉  The look of a girl in love! 😉

What a fun date with my best girl!  These are the days! Happy Tuesday, y’all!! XOXO N

Photo 101: Taking great pictures with your iPhone

Today is our awesome monthly feature, Photo 101, which is all about photography!  It has been a big hit with you gorgeous ladies, and I am so happy to be answering your photo-related questions again and sharing a few tips along the way!!     Each month, we will talk about various topics, such as: being a mom with a camera, where to print you images, photo storage, and much more!

This month is all about taking pictures with your iPhone!  So, here are my top 5 favorite pro tips for getting better or even GREAT pictures with your iPhone!

Tip 1: Position your subjects in Open Shade

Lighting is everything when photographing, and open shade is always best if you want a high quality image!   🙂 If you have noticed, I do this with my kids in a lot of my Instagram pictures! 🙂

Tip 2: Clean the lens of your iPhone camera before you take the picture

So, I know this sounds simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked to take pictures of someone with their phone and their lens is so dirty!  This affects the crisp looking nature of the image, so remember to clean your lens. 🙂  This is so simple, but it can make a huge difference in how your images look!!

Tip 3: Open the Blinds or Shutters to let more light in an Indoor Space

Your camera operates best when it has light, so open up the windows for a better quality photo.  Also, move closer to the window for a stronger source of light.  🙂

Tip 4: Face your subject toward the source of light, so the picture isn’t too dark

Speaking of light, face your subjects toward the light!  If your light source is coming from behind the source, your image will look too dark. 🙂

Tip 5: Use the Adjustment Settings on your phone to fine tune any Errors

On most iPhones, there is an adjustment button when you pull up a photo in your camera roll.  You can adjust the Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation using this.  So, if your photo needs a little help, you can play with it here!

What questions would you like for to answer in future Photo 101 posts?  Leave your ideas in the comments!

To see past Photo 101 Posts:

Printing and Framing photos

Photo Storage on your Computer

Happy Monday, y’all!! XOXO N