Posts with tag: "beauty"


Hi!  I'm Jen.  Teacher to teen girls.  Dorm mom to teen girls.  Photographer to teen girls.  And Mom to my own teen girl.

My mission is to help moms everywhere learn how to connect with and empower their own teen daughters.

I'm so glad you've joined me here.  I've got lots of great stuff for you!




Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day
Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day

 I think that Mother’s Day might be my favorite holiday of the year.   Not because all the attention in the house falls on me, (although that’s nice, too!) but because it’s a celebration of the greatest role I’ll ever take on.  It’s a celebration of the greatest and most challenging job I’ve ever had, a celebration of my babies and me, and a look at what we’ve created together. It’s also the day where I get to stop and look around at all the other amazing women crushing it as this motherhood thing, from my own mom who is STILL crushing it, to all the newbie moms out there, sleepless and elated over celebrating their first Mother’s Day as a mom. I just love Mother’s Day. However, while the concept of Mother’s Day is so precious to me, the gift giving has sometimes been… well, maybe a tad disappointing. Wait.  Hear me out! My husband is the BEST!  But when it comes to gift giving in our house, I run that show.  Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. It’s my job to consider, shop for, buy, and wrap the gifts.  After almost 20 years, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I love it. It makes me happy. My husband loves that I love it.  It’s one less thing on his own chaotic plate. So when Mother’s Day comes ...

Why Moms Need to Stop Hiding Behind the Camera
Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day

 There is one MUST HAVE portrait when it comes to every high school senior that I photograph.  It’s not the perfect headshot, and it’s not the one of her standing in a meadow at sunset. It’s not the classic smile, the thoughtful soul, it’s not the senior looking out towards her future. No, the one MUST shot I always try to get is beautiful senior with proud mama. BUT… knowing this, I know that I have to warn mom long before the session takes place.  And I also know that I have to be prepared to talk her down from protests and anxiety, from all the “Oh no, I don’t want to be in any of the photos.  I just want ones of her.” I need to let mom know why this is my MUST HAVE portrait, and why she’ll thank me for it someday- IF I do it correctly (and I always do).  ;)  So let’s unpack this today.   Let me share with you why we moms (and I say WE, because I am guilty of this, too) need to step out from behind the camera and join our daughters in front of it.  I’ll also share some tips on HOW to do this, but let’s start with WHY. WHY WE NEED TO STOP HIDING BEHIND THE CAMERA 1. They Need MemoriesOne of my favorite things to do when I go home to visit my parents, is to pour over old photos with them.  I love seeing photos of both my mom and ...

A Lesson For My Beauty
Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day

 My daughter does not love reading.  And that's putting it mildly.  Getting Brady to read has been a delicate balance of encouragement and enforcement since the first grade.  We believe part of that might have to do with a developmental or neurological issue, and we are working with her teachers to learn more.  But we also know that it does not help for Brady to be the sister between two brothers who happen to be voracious readers.  I can see any self-confidence  fade away whenever she hears her older brother going on about the latest novel he devoured, or when she watches her younger brother flip pages faster than a speeding bullet.  Scott and I have tried all sorts of things to encourage her to read.  Brady and I have had "snuggle up and read" sessions (which her younger brother always crashes!), and we've tried reading charts and rewards.  I've even tried reminding her that if she doesn't work on her reading, she'll never be able to read the love notes that her future boyfriends send her. (or are they text messages these days?  Goodness, I am not ready for that) We know that reading will be crucial to Brady's success in life- to all three of our kids' success- but it is a constant battle with Brady, not just to get her to read, but to build up her confidence when it comes to reading.  She's kind of a ...

Three Powerful Beauty Traits We All Possess
Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day

 As I began planning to write this blog post, the question occurred to me, “How in the world is this blog post going to help anyone?”  A blog post about powerful beauty traits that we all possess?  Really?  Who needs this? But see?  That’s my doubt, creeping in already, telling me that the things I have to share will make no difference to anyone.  And you know, maybe that’s true.  Maybe this is not the blog post to shatter all others, to revolutionize the minds of women everywhere.  Maybe it will just help one person to read through these simple ideas of mine and feel less alone, maybe a bit more comforted, empowered, beautiful.  Maybe that person is just me.  Maybe it’s you.  Either way, that makes the writing worth it.   So back to the point.  How many of us have moments where we look in the mirror and cannot, for the life of us, find one thing that we think is beautiful.  I have those days.  Ugh, what was I thinking with this haircut?  And when was the last time I got any sleep?  What’s up with those dark circles?  Good grief.  Some days, we are just not very nice to that poor girl in the mirror. Maybe today is that day for you.  Maybe you have that day more often than not.  Or maybe you do see the amazing and ...

The Workshop You Cannot Miss!
Five Fabulous Gifts To Give Yourself This Mother's Day

 The last month has been quite exciting for Avery and me, as we've partnered up to create Valley Girls Photography, and to bring you the first of what we hope are many workshops geared towards empowering girls of all ages through photography.Have no idea what I'm talking about?  Catch up on the blog posts HERE, HERE, and HERE. We are MOST excited about today, the launch of our VERY FIRST WORKSHOP! The Portrait Power Workshop is for girls, ages 10-13, and their moms, and we are preparing a jam-packed and powerful afternoon for all.  With an emphasis on photography, we hope to educate, encourage, and empower mothers and daughters to celebrate their authentic beauty.We're talking dynamic group activities, outdoor portrait lessons and application, even take home swag bags to continue the conversations afterwards.The cost is ONLY $50 for each daughter.  Mothers attend free as the guest of their girls.And if you register by FRIDAY, MAY 13, you'll enjoy a TWO FOR ONE GIFT!  Bring a friend and her mother.  Or bring two daughters for the price of one!   CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE OR TO REGISTER TODAY!