3.15.2008

It's time to . . . PARTY ON!

{ *** This is a "sticky" . . . brand NEW posts below!! One of them being about photography and my work space! *** }


Finally it's blog party time again at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Last year was my first year participating and it was one of the best times in my blogging life. I met so many wonderful blogging women, many of whom I became close friends with, and one of whom I MET IN REAL LIFE just this past October. So I really do consider it a party with other women . . . a way to connect with other stay-at-home work-from-home mommies . . . and a way to find friendships with these super-fabulous women. They're blessings in my life and I am quite excited to meet more of these amazing women starting TODAY! It's a blast of a time not to be missed.

Oh, and apparently I don't know all the rules! You are suppose to tell about your 3 favorite things you'd like to win, among others, so here they are in order:

#12 - $50 gift certificate to Happy Panda
#15 - $50 gift certificate to Kids Magical Wonder
#20 - $50 gift certificate to Paperlicious

I also adore the following prizes, too!
#34, #50, #70 (yum!), #76, #88, #100, #101, #103, #107, #114, #117, #126, #140, and #151.


Phew, okay, so about me!

I will be thirty-two (I don't like seeing the actual numbers!) in 8 days, I have been married 9 years to my amazing hubby (we've been together 15 years!), have two spectacular (miracle) children, Noah (almost 4-1/2) and and Maia (almost 2-1/2). We live in central Illinois. I love where we live because we are within 2-3 hours to Chicago, St. Louis AND Indianapolis so I easily can enjoy the city life while still living up the small-town life as well. I am a stay-at-home mommy, but also a work-at-home mommy. I have had my photography business for almost SIX years now. I am absolutely amazed by that. I never ever EVER thought I would be able to say that. It really does put a huge smile on my face when I think about it. (And I thank those who have helped me get here. I'm so so blessed!)

Let's see . . . I grew up on a farm (corn, beans, alfalfa) and loved every single minute of it. I miss it desperately at times. I have one brother (also amazing) who lives in Kansas City right now. I have a sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are our best friends. Michelle is the sister I never had. I have 4 very special precious nieces. We have a dog and 3 cats. I love love love animals. I also have great passion for photography (obviously, hehe), my friends, graphic design, gardening, traveling and God, of course. I love ketchup, the colors red & turquoise, coffee, dark chocolate, sushi, Oprah, fashion, interior design, coffee table books, old Disney movies, magazines, oh how the list can go on and on. These passions, including my children I will talk about more in the coming week. :c)

With that said, I thank you for coming to my blog and giving me the opportunity to share my life with you. I met a dozen amazing women last year (Erin ~ who I met in real life last October!, Amanda, Jen, to name a small few!) and hope to do the same this year. Getting to know mommies who blog is such a rewarding experience and it's became a huge part of my life.

I have four blogs (1, 2, 3, and this one) and hope you have the time to come visit me at all.

Now for my exciting part . . . I would like to offer a fun little contest called "Things I've Learned About Val". I have these 5 cards with 5 questions on them (click on them to read the questions easier) and some of you will already know a few of the answers, but most of you might not know any. But at the end of this blogging party week, I hope you will have answers to all of them and know a lot about me ~ enough for you to want to stay with me here :o)

So the actual contest . . . next Friday, the 14th, the first person who can email me the answers to all 25 questions will win a . . . drumroll . . . 8x10 canvas gallery-wrap of any personal photo you choose! It's approx a $100 value!!! These canvas-wraps are one (of the many fabulous) thing(s) I offer at VWC Photography.

So just for keeping up with me at my blog for 1 week, you can win one of these!!! (I love them - I have them all over my house!)

I need to have (correct, hehe) answers to me by noon on Friday (as I am leaving that evening for a [my!] birthday getaway). Please email them to me here ----> [ valeliz @ mac . com ] no later than noon (central standard time) Friday March 14th. I will tally the answers and have a winner for you by Friday at 5:00 pm! If I have more than 1 person who answers all 25 correctly, I will put the names in a hat and draw THE winner. Yayyyy!!! This will be sooooo fun! Answers to all 25 questions will be posted throughout my blog entries all throughout the week starting today!

* Oh, and one more thing, you have to have a blog to qualify to win, so when you email me, please attach your full name and name of your blog. Have fun, and thanks again for stopping by! Party on! :c)

The "Things I've Learned About Val" Quiz:



And while you are here, check out Kidazy.com. They are giving away a $100 Toys R Us gift card! I had never heard of Kidazy, but now after looking around, I have added it to my bloglines. I've found some great gift ideas and ideas for my own kiddos. I love ideas for new unique gifts. Check it out!! Hopefully one of us will win!

90 comments:

Erin said...

Val...I can't believe it's been a year since I met you online! What a year. You've become one of my best friends in the whole wide world and I'm so lucky to have stumbled into you that day. I know now that it wasn't a coincidence, but God's hand in it. You rock my world, girlie!

it's me, Val said...

Oh definitely! I have never believed in coincidences :):)

it's me, Val said...

P.S. you are the sweetest EVER. xo

oh amanda said...

This is how we met, too! How fun!

I have totally forgotten it was coming up so soon! I'm not sure what I'm going to *do* for it!

Jean @ Penny Lane said...

Hello just stopping by.
Hope you enjoy all the party times!

Erin said...

ooh, ooh, I'm gonna win, I'm gonna win... ; )

Minimalist Mommy said...

Val, nice to meet you. My brother and father are amateur photographers but I do have a good friend who does it professionally now. My two kids who are miracles as well (ivf babies) had an opportunity to do a sitting with a well known photographer here and it was amazing. I am going to sit my butt down tonight and tour your blog in detail. I love photography and way to go on owning a Nikon.

Becoming Me said...

What a creative contest and blog you have. Your photography is beautiful. It's so nice to meet you.

it's me, Val said...

Hi minimalist mommy...so great to meet you! I love love love meeting other photographers :)

Erin, you probably *will* win this just because no one else will want to learn THAT much about silly ol' me!! Ah wellll . . . :)

wondermommy said...

This is my first year participating in the party, and I'm having so much fun meeting new moms.

Have a fun party!

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Val! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing your Halloween party story. Erin - Val bragged about you and how happy she was to meet you in person.

This is my first time participating too. Actually, I've only had my blog for a couple of weeks. And you've got 4?

Happy Birthday! (a little early)

TCC said...

Thank you for swinging by my corner. Those canvas wraps are gorgeous. I just might have to make some time this week and work on those questions. :)

I cannot get over you women that have more than one blog. Oh my!

The Chocolistas said...

Thanks for partying with The Chocolistas!

ValleyGirl said...

Hi, Val!! Thanks for popping by my party! I've actually been here a few times in the past through Erin's blog. I'm always impressed by all things photography and the pictures you post are always wonderful. I really like the ones you took of Erin in fall, too. and I LOVE your contest idea -- very clever!!

The Cabrelli's said...

Hi Val - so nice to meet you and I really enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for stopping by my Bahama Party. I will be back!

Nadine said...

Hi Val. I remembered that I stopped here last year. I also visited your other blog about your grandmother.

I will be back again and won't a whole year go by. Have fun at the party and thanks for stopping in.

Candi said...

Val, what a great giveaway. I'll be back to learn more about you!!

I've got a giveaway as well if you get a chance to stop by.

Jesse said...

Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad you did because I've enjoyed your party. Your pictures are amazing!

Aimee said...

I am so excited for your little contest Val!! How fun!!

eastcoastlife said...

Hi Val!
Nice to meet you. Greetings from Singapore, Asia. Just drop in to say hello!

Happy Mama said...

cute blog! Thanks for visiting min!

Jenny 865-53oh9 said...

Hey Val! Sounds like your living right...

I never realized the friendship I would make while blogging and now I wish I would've started sooner!

Have a great week!

Melanie said...

I love your blog, I'm so glad I stopped by.

4 blogs? I can barely keep up with 2!

Enjoy the party!!
Our Happy Happenings
Livin' With Me

Melanie said...

Thanks for stopping by and visiting me! It's so nice to meet you!

Morning Artist said...

Thanks for stopping by at my party. Great blod and writing, definitely worth coming back!

Karen said...

Greetings Val! We're practically neighbors! Well, okay, so I'm in the southern portion of Missouri, but hey, our states are close! *grin"

Congratulations on keeping your business up for six years! That's incredible! Keep up the good work.

And happy (early) birthday! Have a great time celebrating.

It was so great to meet you. I've enjoyed reading over your blog. Enjoy the party!

Write From Karen

Sheena said...

Hi Val, LOVE your blog header. We're in Southern Illinois, 5hrs from Chicago BUT we will be moving closer this summer so that we can be closer to family who reside in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Thanks for the congrats and thanks for partying at Mommy Daddy Blog!!

Who has time to scrapbook?!? said...

Hello! Hope you are having fun with the UBP! I used a similar photo to yours in my blog header :)

Have a great weekend and hope you enjoy the party!

us 8 said...

You like our photo - we love your crafty work! Mum does too and she's adding you to her faves so she can come and have a really good look later on.

Happy Panda said...

First of all I would like to thank you for stopping by to give thanks. I really appreciate it. Second, is it bad to be jealous of that super fabulous camera in your header? LOL - Your page loaded up and all I could say was "Oh WOW!" Have a great time party hopping!

A day in the life of Heather said...

I wish you were closer to GA so we could use you to take our photos! They are so good! It was nice to "e-meet" you and I'll be back!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

thanks so much for stopping by my party. :)

it was so fun to learn more about you. i had a photography business for a short time, but gave it up after my son was born. might return to it one day. it was a lot of fun. :)

Alexis Jacobs said...

Do I get to enter :) Ha ha

Love ya girl. Cool party!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful contest you are having. I will be sure to check back all week to learn more about you! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Debbie Yost said...

Hi Val!

I'm so glad you found my party! I love photography but it's only a small hobby of mine. I'd love to get better at it, but can't find the time right now.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you better!

Deb at Three Weddings

Casey said...

people think I planned having my kids birthdays so close so I could cheap out on the parties! lol. I didn't, guess that's just a bonus! I'm glad to meet someone else with birthdays so close! our december's are busy, so many birthdays, grandpa, 2 cousins, a friend and my kids all in the same week. I was planning on bookmarking your site anyway! your giveaway is a big bonus! I hope I win, it's a beautiful prize! and I have the perfect picture :) hope to talk to you again!

Amanda said...

Thanks for stopping by Val. I loved your party post and your photography is gorgeous!!!! =0)

Cassie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...I love to look at other photographers sites...so I will be heading on over to your photo site now...I haven't had any classes either...just love to take pictures....

Cassie said...

just saw the personalized sharpies!!! So cool!! I am definately ordering some of those for myself!!!Love them....

Designer's Notion said...

hey Val, thanks for stopping by my blog...I have visited your many times!
Kris

jimaie.marie said...

oh wow, i am LOVING your blog! thanks for stopping by (my now seemingly lame) blog party! LOL!!
I have an obsession with capturing life's moments thru pictures and video and am ALWAYS looking for inspiration and mentors to learn from! I'm so excited!!

I can't wait to learn more about you and will def be back to keep on reading, i've added you to my faves list already!

And oOo! we have 4.5 yr old boys in common!

TheChinaPainter said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind compliment.
I don't know how anyone does more than one blog! I am enjoying visiting around on your blogs. Beautiful pictures! I admire photography - an ability I lay no claim to. I do have 2 granddaughters who like photography. One is a blogger, Hannah. http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/PhotoJournalist/
Check #33 give-away.

Stacy said...

You have a great blog! Thanks for stopping by mine. You definitely have an eye for photography. My brother does as well, but unfortunately the gift skipped me.

Mel's World said...

Val,

Seriously girl, you are ultra talented...I popped over here from a comment you left on someone else's blog.

You have so much creativity, fun, and energy...I love it!

If you get some time come on over to visit me in Mel's World...it would be an honor for me to open up my bloggy home to you!

Melissa

mama2dibs said...

I am so glad we met as well! I love keeping up with your life and watch Maia and Noah grow up. We kind of met through the paty. I met Alexis through the party and she did a post about you later and that's how we met. :) Crazy that I remember that!

mama2dibs said...

I am so glad we met as well! I love keeping up with your life and watch Maia and Noah grow up. We kind of met through the paty. I met Alexis through the party and she did a post about you later and that's how we met. :) Crazy that I remember that!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Your pictures are amazing! And I wanted to thank you for your kind comment over at my birth post... thank you so very much!

Steph

Jai said...

Your blog looks like fun! I will be back! Thanks for stopping by my party! As soon as I get a camera I can use daily, I hope to add photos to my site.

I love taking pictures, I just don't like the way they come out! (hehehehehe)

See ya REAL soon!

katef - www.picklebums.com said...

Oh your photos are just gorgeous!
Happy Blog Party!

JujuBoo said...

Totally awesome blog! I have bookmarked you and I hope to come back and find all the answers to those questions!

Berezay said...

Sign me up!!!!! How cute are your pictures! Very creative!!!!

Melanieshea said...

Awesome blog party!! I will be bake looking for answers so I can take the quiz..;o)
Happy blog hopping!

Gina said...

Nice blog! I LOVE dogs too. Party on!

Jessica_in_Rome said...

Hi Val! Beautiful blog and awesome photos! This is my first year participating in the party and I am so glad I did! There are hundreds of wonderful blogs I have been missing out on! I will definitely be back to your blog, err, blogs!
ciao,
Jessica

Tonya said...

Great party you have going on. I would love to win that canvas but I'm not sure I will have enough time to check out other parties, take care of 4 kids, blog on my blog and answer all those questions.

My Melange said...

Val~

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Love, love your blog! You are so talented! I could just eat your baby photos!!! What a give away prize!!!

My sis lives in Chicago...and loves it!

I'll come back to visit. Keep partying on!!! And Happy Birthday!

Gillian Gauthier said...

Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog! Yup, I'm a Nikon shooter too and no, I don't just shoot kids - I shoot lots of stuff but I am drawn to the wee ones, for sure!
Where is your photography site link? I would love to see your work!

Keep on bloggin! :D

oh amanda said...

OK, so apparently I didn't read your whole post last time. (What is wrong with me?) I LOVE your contest. I'll link to it next time I post. And when I get a real minute, I'll play! Yahoo!

MisbehavinAngel said...

Thanks for stopping at my blog. Your blog is amazing and I sure will check in again.

What a great party!

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I love your blog! One of our old youth group kids is all grown up and starting her own photog business, so your site resonates with me. I also love the pics of your office since we're in the middle of re-doing ours. Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. Even though you didn't get to pick the color, I think you will like it. I'm one of those getting organized in my old age people, too. I've got almost a whole year on you though...I'll be 33 in May.

Gray Matters said...

Man, you are one talented lady. I am off to read now and try my luck with your trivia game. With a baby on the way that would be a great prize to win.

Thank you for visiting my blog and all your wonderful comments. We do seem to have a lot and common and I look forward to reading more.

Have a great birthday getaway weekend.

Emily H. said...

Love your blog and your photography. Beautiful photos! Thanks for visiting freshly baked as part of the party!

duchess said...

Great blog. Thanks for stopping by my site, it was great "meeting" you.
I love your photographs & the crayon project.

Gotta run - lots of partying to do.
Happy Birthday early!

Jennifer said...

Hey thanks for dropping by my party earlier.
We DO have so much in common, you forgot that we're both March babies!!
I will definitely be back to see you again too!!

Heidi said...

Those stretched canvas portraits.....I LOVE them! My whole house would be full of them if I could! :)
Thanks for the comment- my Etsy store is my unofficial goal for the first part of this year, so we'll see! :)

Tami said...

I read your comment over at my blog and my hubby won't watch any of the shows I love (with the exception of AI). I decided to check you out. I am very jealous of your office space. Our office space is a corner and it is very cramped. We are trying to come up with a new solution but until then,, I admire others and only dream. Thanks for the comment. And I'll definitely be back.

Sheila said...

I'm sooooooo honored that you stopped by my new little blog and left such a sweet comment about my simple little cards...THANK YOU!
Your blogs, your photos...you're a gifted mommy!
I'll be adding you to my bloglines for sure and I'll be back often!

IT's great to meet you and I hope I get all the answers right and win!!!

Bless you!
Sheila@ encouragHer.blogspot.com

Impoverished Preppy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Love your post re: old mags and catalogs. I remember that exact J Crew and I LOVE Sassy. I was so sad when they sold out and went all Teen Magazine. I have read the recent book on the phenomena that was Sassy - it's definitely worth a look if you were a fan.

After a cup of coffee said...

I haven't commented here in a while! Sorry! Party on :)

MandyPoo said...

Hey Val - thanks so much for visiting my blog! This is my first ever "blog party," so I'm new to the whole idea, but so far I'm loving it!

I looked around at several of your blogs and let me just say that your photography is AMAZING! I wish you lived nearby so you could photograph my son!!!

I'll definitely keep stopping by for more updates...and maybe a chance to win an amazing canvas!

Dimple Queen said...

Hey Val, thanks for stopping by my party...I really like you site! LOVE the other one too...I am a "family" history buff!!! LOVE IT! I just wish I had more time for it.

And for the teaching....it's not as bad as I make it sound...I think I was just having one of those days yesterday! But there are moments when I start surfing the web, thinking, what could I do from home to make this money!!! :)

Thanks again, hope to see you around!

Angela

An Ordinary Mom said...

What a fun and exciting blog you have! I can't wait to take some time to look around more.

And Happy Birthday soon!

Kara S. said...

Hi Val! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. We live in W.Va. which presents its own challenges for farming, but is still incredibly beautiful. I love your photos and you have amazing talent. Over the years I've done some photography but I'm not skilled nor experienced enough to make a living of it! :) Your office also gave me inspiration for how to decorate our new home in a few months - love the color (yay! can't wait for an new house!). I'm also going to spend some time reading Grandma's Diary. I adore old things and particularly diaries. What a treasure you have!

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Stopping by for the party - great meeting you and thanks for visting me, too. I'll be back to read more!

Stephanie @ Figments said...

Hi...just passing through the party ciruit. Love your blog! Definitely coming back to read more. Come visit me!

ThePearLady said...

Val, you seriously rock...thanks for the invite to the party. I've loved looking around your place today! :)
(Happy UBP)

Amy said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! Your game sounds like fun.

Jen said...

Oh Val! YES YES YES I would love to win that. It's on missy. Give me some time tonight to do the answers. You know I'm in love with your work too. I'm so glad I "met" you last year as well.

(((HUGS)))

Jen @ One Moms World said...

That was me above ;)

Fruitful Vine said...

Hi Valerie
Nice meeting you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. When I lived in the Virgin Islands people found it funny that I had a first name for a last name so I joked and told them that I had a perfectly good last name(James)until my husband came along and decided to change it. I love the name too. As a matter of fact my husband had an appointment with a young lady named Valerie this morning to share the gospel with her. It's amazing the 'coincidences' that life brings. Hoping to get to know you better. This party is really fun. I was partied out yesterday so stopped early but I'm back today feeling better. Have a great day!

lil ole' me..... said...

Hi Val!! :)
Happy Early Birthday, btw!

And yes, I would LOVE for you to do my maternity pictures! You know I don't trust any other photographer to capture our memories but you! :)

Happy Blog Party!!!

Angie (Angelica Grace Designs) said...

Great blog with great shots! Love your pictures. We also have the same shootsac. LOVE IT! Happy partying and much blog love!
Blessings, Angie Seaman
www.angelicagracedesigns.com/blog/
www.angelicagracedesigns.com

lil ole' me..... said...

Oh, I hear that you are going to see Simon Cowell?!?! I can't wait to hear all about your trip! Take pictures of Harpo Studios if you can!
Lucky duck!

mommiedaze said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog party. Nice to meet you.

Terri H said...

Just stopping by during the party. nice meeting you and your site.

Have a great day!

stacey said...

thanks for stopping by! you have a great place!

Joanna Weaver said...

What a great idea. You have a wonderful blog...thanks for visiting mine.

Servidores said...

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Daria - Boutique Cafe said...

What an AWESOME blog you have here. I'll definitely be back and I have bookmarked you to make sure that I do! Thanks for having us at your blog party.
Cheers!
Daria
www.boutiquecafe.com
PS -
Thanks for stopping by my website as well, that was so kind of you!

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