Giveaway: Photo Shoot with Freedom Dreamer Photography

Happy Monday, mamas! The winner of this week’s giveaway is going to see herself in a whole new way. We’re sending one local woman to a 5-hour photo shoot experience courtesy of photographer Marsha Foster of Freedom Dreamer Photography. The winner also gets one free 8×10 print of her favorite image from the photo shoot. This package would normally cost more than $500!

freedom dreamer 3Marsha specializes in boudoir photography, which can be as conservative or as bold as you want it to be. (Click HERE to read an earlier article we wrote about Marsha’s work.) The client decides what to wear — which could include a range of outfits like a fabulous dress, your favorite jeans or the kind of lingerie that would make your husband’s head spin. (Many of Marsha’s clients give some of their photos to their husbands as an anniversary, birthday or Christmas gift.)

If there are certain areas of your body you’re not too crazy about, don’t sweat it. A professional photographer knows how to position you in each shot so that your best features are emphasized and your not-so-favorite features fade away. Marsha is in the business of photographing REAL women and mothers — not stick-thin twenty-somethings who have never wrangled a toddler in their lives.

Boudoir photography captures images that help you see yourself the way your husband sees you — as that beautiful, feminine and, yes, even sexy woman that you are.

freedom dreamer 4At least two weeks before the photo shoot, Marsha will meet with the photo shoot winner for a consultation. She’ll get to know more about you and your personality and what freedom dreamer sportytype of feeling you want your photos to convey. (Flirty and sporty in a sports jersey, jeans or a tank top? Soft and feminine in silk or lace? Bold and edgy in a leather jacket?) She’ll give you tips on the kind of outfits that photograph best and show you plenty of photography Pinterest boards where she has collected great ideas to help inspire you.

On the day of the photo shoot, all you have to do is arrive at the studio with your outfits and a make-up free face. Marsha’s makeup artist and hair stylist Ashley Gregory will do the rest — including eyelashes, hair extensions, professional makeup — the works! After a couple hours to relax and get gorgeous, the 3-hour photo shoot begins. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the full supermodel treatment, this is your chance. Marsha calls it the “Full Day of Sexy.”

After the photo shoot, Marsha will meet with you to review more than 200 shots she will capture during the photo shoot. She’ll help you review the shots so you can narrow down your favorites. CLICK HERE to see a short video of what a photo shoot in session looks like. Click on any of the photos shown here to visit the Freedom Dreamer website and get more info.

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat for the complimentary photo shoot and print, click the words “post a comment” below and tell us what makes you feel beautiful. Is it a certain dress? The way your freedom dreamer legshusband smiles at you? A killer pair of stilettos? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning the Freedom Dreamer photo shoot, just email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell. The email is giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll tell the winner the good news via email at the end of the week, so watch your inbox. Good luck, mamas!

Devotion in Motion: Befriending the unfriendly

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. 

1 Peter 1:22   (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

“Well, the Bible says I have to LOVE him, but it doesn’t say I have to LIKE him!” You’ve heard someone say that before, haven’t you? (I’ll bet it was one of your aunts.) The opening quote is a common (Southern) utterance expressing exasperation at having to deal with an irritating person.

Those who say it indicate that they’re willing to extend the bare-bones-goodwill of Christian tolerance to people who bother them — but absolutely nothing more than that. They base this upon their understanding of the Scriptures. And although it is a statement that is often spoken, my study of the Scriptures has led me to believe that it’s not entirely true.

Look at today’s Bible verse (at the top), and think about it carefully. Did you notice that St. Peter uses the word “love” two times? He is twice giving us an cat friends2exhortation to love other people — using a different Greek word (with different shades of meaning) for “love” each time.

If I were making a translation of the verse, I would say something like this: “You already have Christian love for others. Now, go past that. Love them some more. And then be friends with them.”

So, the next time you hear it, (gently) tell your aunt or friend or neighbor that she is mistaken. And charge right ahead and love that person who is so difficult to love. And then ask the Lord to fill your heart with love and touch your heart with grace so that you can begin to “like” that difficult person.

After all, isn’t that just the sort of thing that Jesus would do?

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the weather has been gorgeous the past few days.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Procrastinator, heal thyself

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Like most writers, I have a dance partner whose name is Procrastination. I hate his guts. What a slacker. And yet we keep on dancing. We side-step and disco-delay until I’m up against a wall and have no choice but to kick him out and get down to work.

So in an effort to “know my enemy,” I’m reading a book about procrastination. (And yes, I’m fully aware that reading a book about procrastination might just be another way I’m procrastinating doing the actual work. But I’ve already admitted there’s a problem, so give a girl some credit.)

I’m about halfway through the book, which is titled The Now Habit, by Neil Fiore. It promises to not only explain how to stop procrastinating but also offer insight on why we do it in the first place.

Most people think procrastinators are sprawled out on the sofa watching the Kardashians get weirder by the second, while their work goes untouched and obligations get ignored. But that’s a misconception. Because a lot of procrastinators are a whirlwind of activity. We are what I’d call “productive procrastinators.”

It’s amazing the amount of work I can get done on other chores when there’s a more important project I’m actively avoiding. If my kitchen is spotless, it’s because I’ve been seeking escape at the bottom of a sink of sudsy dishes. If the pantry is pristine, it’s because I’m looking behind cans of green beans for the willpower to start that looming project.

I’m not alone in this, right? Please tell me I’m not alone. There are more than 1,700 books about procrastination on Amazon, so apparently many of us struggle with this push-pull between work and distraction. If you, like me, are sick of waiting around for that magical, extended block of inspired time to tackle a project, here are three things I’ve learned so far:

should graphicShoot the “should.” Most of us spend a large part of the day thinking about what we “should” do. But that’s kind of like carrying a cranky, finger-pointing school teacher around in our head all day, and our response is to resist the authority. The book advises us to recognize that what we do – or not do – is our choice, regardless of the consequences. So “choose” to do something or not to do it. Shoot the should.

Aim for half. Not half the project. Just half an hour. You can do almost anything for half an hour, right? Set a timer, work for 30 minutes and then stop or switch to something easier. That half-hour of time is long enough to get started (which is always the hardest part) but not long enough to feel like drudgery. Then (and this part is important) give yourself credit for that short burst of focused work. Write down each half-hour and total them up each week.

Nurture your inner toddler. When my kids were little, I’d often get them to clean up their toys by promising that we could go outside and play afterward. It made it easier for them to do the boring stuff because they knew fun stuff was coming up next.

Similarly, the book advises procrastinators to schedule our own version of playtime, like lunch with a friend, a trip to get coffee or some time to sit and do nothing. Knowing you’re carving out time to relax makes it easier to focus during work. And free time feels a lot more “free” when you’re not mentally beating yourself up about what you “should” be doing.

Finally, here’s a great line from the book, which speaks to the heart of any perfection-loving procrastinator: “Work for an imperfect, perfectly human first effort.”

Projects can’t ever get better if they never get started.

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

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