Mayabee Design & Photography: Blog en-us (C) Mayabee Design & Photography (Mayabee Design & Photography) Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:53:00 GMT Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:53:00 GMT Mayabee Design & Photography: Blog 96 120 Live Laugh Play  I fell in love with photos before I fell in love with photography. I used to spend hours looking through my parents photos as a little girl. I loved learning about the days before I existed as well as the ones that were a bit foggy for me to remember, and as I got older it was more about reliving the memories with a smile. For me taking a photo is freezing a moment in time so that it can be used to tell the story of our lives.  

Though I make my living taking family portraits, my real love is documenting life and the beauty of everyday living. I take at least 1 photo (more like  50) every day. I want my kids to feel the same way that I did as a child looking at the past through the books in the basement. The other day I caught the twins looking through one of the many albums that I have made since their birth. One said to the other, "we are lucky that mommy is a protographer (love the way they say it) because we get to have fun looking at our fun." My heart skipped a beat, and a tear dropped from my eye;  They appreciate me.

When I picked the twins up from school today we went to the park because it was a whopping 50 degrees!!!!! I'm not sure who was more excited to be there. I do not think any of us would have survived another afternoon cooped up in the house. To make it even better we were the only ones at the park which is still confusing to me... come on people it is 50 degrees and sunny... Why aren't you here too? 

We played for 2 hours and when I wasn't playing I was watching them play through my lens. When we got home and they had some quiet time I looked through the shots from the day and it put a smile on my face. I have been taking too many look at me photos, posed family portraits. I have not been following my own motto "Be as you are" I was reminded of why I love being a photographer. Capturing those moments that tell the stories of our lives. I need to bring this back to my sessions as this is what makes me the photographer that I truly am and want to be.

Here are a few from our afternoon at the park enjoying the sunshine, lack of frigid air, living, laughing, playing. 


These guys give me the best days, I love being able to give them back to them.

Get out there and live, laugh, and most importantly PLAY!






]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:03:39 GMT
Om at Home There is something about photographing siblings that makes me so happy, especially when the siblings love each other so.  This Polar Vortex is making it so that all of my January sessions have had to be indoors, as I said in my previous post, it is a nice change of pace.

These two darling blondes made my job so easy as they were silly and sweet. They are so cute individually and together.


On top of this frigid weather the twins have slight fevers and a symphonic hacking cough. Besides watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 multiple times we have made space ships, cars, and dog houses out of cardboard boxes along with snowflake garlands and lastly our saving grace, our Kiwi Crate. For those of you who still have not checked out Kiwi Crate, you really are missing out!!!

Since I do not have a daytime sitter and there has not been any school due to weather and colds, I have had to improvise and do my yoga at home with my iPhone yoga app. My kids have wanted to join in and it's been hard to explain the poses so I looked on pinterest and I found a great yoga with kids PDF called Animals in Winter Yoga.

Well it's time to make dinner and give the next dose of motrin. I hope that you are warm and well.




]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:42:23 GMT
Baby it's Cold Outside Brrrr it is so cold outside today. When I last looked it was -8 and that did not include the windchill.

Luckily for me our favorite 14 year old has come over to entertain the kiddos so that I can get some work done. 

With the weather being in the single digits lately it has not been ideal for outdoor shooting, Thankfully my living room converts into an awesome indoor studio with gorgeous natural light. I don't mind this change of pace because I love the simplicity of these sessions.

I'm so used to working with kids that I sometimes forget how to work with adults or teenagers. I felt like a deer in headlights the first 15 minutes of this shoot because I was at a loss for getting my model/client to give me the look that I wanted. Finally after warming up (both of us) I think that we nailed it. 

My favorite! Christina has the most beautiful hair but when I asked her to put her hair back, you see how beautiful she really is.


For any of you who are stuck inside today with restless kiddos and need a few ideas to get through the day here are a few of the things that we have been doing at Casa Tuttle. Enjoy!


Be Safe & Stay Warm.






]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 17:12:09 GMT
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone! 2013 was a great year for me and my family. Though there were some heartaches this past year like losing loved ones,  there were also so many magical moments that made me so appreciative of what I have and  more so knowing of how lucky I am to be able to do what I love; take photos and be a mom to the most amazing kiddos ever (biased I know). I am personally so excited for 2014. I have many friends adding new additions to their families, have some exciting adventures planned, workshops to give & take, photos to make, and with the older the twins get… the more fun we have together exploring the world around us!

Did you make your resolutions? I always resolve to be the best version of myself possible. This year I have added a few actual resolutions... I resolve to finally lose the rest of that baby weight that I gained 5 years ago by eating better and working out, I resolve to be more patient with people who drive me crazy and annoy me, I resolve to find more balance in my work and home life,  I resolve to get my house organized, AND I resolve to try new things out of my comfort zone and even take up a new hobby… guitar lessons?

Since having children my NYE plans have drastically changed. My husband and I used to always go see live music and dance the night away. Though that was fun, I really enjoy our new traditions. These days we celebrate as a family with other families and are home by 10 pm instead of the wee hours of the morning.  I have not toasted the New Year at midnight for 5 years! I tried so hard to stay awake last night, the last time that I looked at the clock and it was 11:40. Did I make it with 20 to spare???? NO!!! I was out like a light!

Being that I am so lame and can't even stay awake to toast the New Year, I have started to make New Year's Day my special day to celebrate. I love filling my table with my loved ones and eating a meal that is supposed to bring you luck in the New Year. What is this lucky meal you might ask?  Swine & Peas or Pork Tenderloins with Sunny's Money Salad. 

There’s an old tradition that says eating pork will bring you good luck in the New Year. Pigs are very round and they root their hooves forward, indicating you’ll have abundance going forward

Eating legumes has been said to bring wealth for centuries, predominately because they resemble coins, but also because they expand when cooked, symbolizing expanding wealth. In the south, black-eyed peas are the New Year’s bean of choice.

It is a nice tradition passed along to me by my mother. 

I hope that whatever you did last night that you enjoyed yourself and I wish everyone  a Very Healthy and Happy New Year! 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain





Sunny's Money Salad

What you need:

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and serve.


]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Money New Salad Sunny's Year Wed, 01 Jan 2014 19:42:51 GMT
Tis the season! for spreading Cheer! 

Here are a few of the cards that I was fortunate enough to make this season! So much fun! Looking forward to making valentines and of course next year's batch!

2014 is going to be filled with exciting new posts. Until then, enjoy the last few days of 2013. Kiss and squeeze your loved ones!

See you in the New Year!






]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) cards custom holiday Fri, 27 Dec 2013 00:04:21 GMT
Stopping in to say Hello! It's been a while, I know. I have been so busy with my Fall sessions that I have not had time to write. This Fall season has been amazing, so much fun, I cannot wait to share some of my favorites with you guys!!!! I have also made some of my favorite cards this season as well and am hoping that some of you have been able to receive them and smiled as I smiled while making them!

I'm still crazy busy editing the past couple of weeks but wanted to share this adorable engagement session that I did this past weaken. The bride to be is very special to me and my family so I was more than excited when she asked me to take these shots for her. We are excited for them and can't wait for the wedding this summer!

Here are Allie & Dennis!

Aren't they cute?!?!?!


I will be back soon with some of my favorites from the fall season as well as Holiday cards.


Until then enjoy this Meatless Monday recipe!


Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stew

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted, ground, see note

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low sodium chicken broth

1 package (10 ounces) frozen cubed butternut squash, or 10 ounces fresh diced

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Freshly ground pepper

Steamed rice, optional

1. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat; add onion, cumin and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt; cook until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

2. Stir in broth, squash, beans and sage; cook until heated through and sage becomes aromatic, 5 minutes. (If using fresh squash, cook 10 minutes before adding beans and sage.) Season with remaining salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.


XO, Maya

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:19:18 GMT
PCD & Jewish Penicillin I have a horrible case of PCD right now. I do love it here but being near so many of my favorite people and places filled with so many amazing memories has given me a serious case of PCD- Post Colorado Depression. Having a horrific cold right now does not help but editing all of the great photos from the week has me smiling. Here are some of my favorites from the week- I'm really enjoying going through these and can't wait to finish these edits!


Here is a taste of Colorado--- Enjoy!


Since I came home with some Colorado Koodies I have been surviving on an old family recipe that I call Jewish Penicillin-


Make it and freeze it! Best Soup ever!

Jewish Penicillin

4 Split Chicken Breasts

I lemon (sliced)


1 Onion (halved)

1 half bag of carrots

1 bunch of celery

Water pour over ingredients inch below top of soup pot.

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Cover and simmer for 3 hours.

Remove Chicken and let cool down to shred later. Leave all other ingredients in pot and continue to simmer for another hour.

Remove all ingredients- add shredded chicken, chopped carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips


Back to editing.... Post soon!




]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Fri, 18 Oct 2013 01:14:38 GMT
Slacker I feel like such a slacker! It's been a while since I have shared anything and I'm finding that it takes more time to blog than I thought it would. The end of Summer/Fall has been crazy busy with road trips, beginning of school, soccer, birthdays, anniversaries, fancy functions, and lots of amazing sessions. I catch myself wanting to share all of the time but never finding the time.

Last week I was approached by some friends who have the loveliest blog. They are also the ones who make those darling skirts that you see "E" wearing from time to time in my photos. They asked me to answer some questions to help families prepare for photo sessions. Check it out. I hope that the info will be helpful to any of you who have a session scheduled in the future.


I'll post some fun stuff soon, until then here are a few faves from the recent months... 

Be well! Post soon.



]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 22:51:25 GMT
Sweetness Between summer colds, mother nature and other random scheduling conflicts we were finally able to get a PERFECT morning for this family session. S & H are pretty darn cute! I'm so excited for the friendship that they are going to have as brother and sister. H is one of the funniest kids that I know and he loves his little sis so. He was so excited to tell me everything about her:) I cannot wait to watch these two grow up, it's going to be fun for sure. SWEETNESS!



]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Thu, 05 Sep 2013 03:04:09 GMT
Grapeseed Oil Salsa With Labor Day weekend just a few days away I'm sure that there will be lots of backyard, and pool parties out there. If you are like me you want to bring something that is quick, easy and absolutely delicious! Well here you go- Grapeseed Oil Salsa. The best and easiest dish that you can bring to any party and have everyone wanting to know your secret.

The secret is that you can survive on this salsa for a whole weekend or week. All you need is a spoon or a bag of scoops, it is that amazing!

Here you go, you can thank me later as I thank Mere & Ritter every time that I make it.

What you need:

1 can of corn  (fresh or frozen will do too)

1 can of Black Beans

1 can of Pinto Beans

1 can of diced tomatoes 

1 chopped red onion

1 chopped green pepper

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar


What to do:

Drain cans, chop veggies, and add to a bowl.

On stove top add oil, vinegar & sugar. Bring to a boil while stirring (about 2 minutes).  remove from stove top and let cool.

Once mixture is cool, pour it over veggie mix.

Try not to eat it all in one sitting, it gets better the the longer it sits!




]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Tue, 27 Aug 2013 01:02:06 GMT
Changing it up...Super A & Princess G- The Mastro Family I'm back! My summer ends this week as the twins start school on Wednesday. I will miss lazy mornings- but am so excited to get back into a routine!!! Structure is good, it helps me get things done. I have had so many wonderful sessions this summer and hope to share a best of Summer Sessions album soon for you to see.

Being that fresh school year starts this week, I thought I would start the new format for sneak peeks with the blog. For those who follow I will also be sharing a little bit more such as meals, crafts, and things that I think that you might like to know.

But enough about what I'll be posting in the future, I am so excited to share the Mastro Family with you right now! What a treat it was to photograph them!


I knew when I turned around and saw them walking toward me that it was going to be a wonderful session- they looked amazing! Cheers to "Mom" for great styling! I will definitely show this session to families who inquire what to wear. Super A was a ham and loved having his photo taken. Princess G as sweet as she looks made me work for it which I LOVE to do. It was a lovely Friday afternoon in the park with this darling family- here are some of my favorites from our session...

SO many more to finish editing, it's going to be hard making the final selection.

Thanks for stopping by!



]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 02:30:49 GMT
Mommy got a new toy! Love my Ikelite!!!

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) & design ikelite mayabee new photography toy underwater Mon, 15 Jul 2013 01:17:23 GMT
Kansas City I had a wonderful weekend in Kansas City! Great friends, welcoming new people, fun parties, good food and great sessions. Here are a few of my favorites from the weekend. I'm excited to finish editing the rest!

These adorable 5 are my husband's second cousins kids. a seven year old, 2 fives, and 2 twos! They were so much fun to be around!

Who doesn't like to twirl?

Just a couple of 2 year twins taking a walk on a bridge.

More twins! These boys belong to sweet friends! I was so excited to FINALLY meet them!

How sweet is this face? One of my little buddies for the weekend. Sweet is an understatement!

My other bud, such a great kid!

I can't wait to make another trip back to Kansas City. There is something to be said for the magic of the heartland. I now understand why so many people love it so much!


]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Mon, 01 Jul 2013 16:18:47 GMT
Spunky & Adorable! I have been taking MIss B's photo for the 3 years now and it gets more fun each time! This little one has such great energy and is always fun to be around. I love watching her grow and getting to know her as the years pass. She is a treat and I always look forward to capturing her sweet spunky smile:)

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:28:59 GMT
Cute is an understatement. Getting to watch a family grow is one of the joys of being a photographer. I have known members of this family since I was 16 years old. My friend "A" is one of the greatest friends that I have made in my life. I give her credit for helping me bring out my love for art & jewelry making and for always being supportive of my artistic ventures. She may not know it but I consider her the older sister that I never had!

She is a beautiful person inside and out and as you can tell from the photos below is an amazing mother to these two cuties. 

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) cute family how is it motherhood really Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:49:03 GMT
S is for Sweet  

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Thu, 27 Jun 2013 02:05:31 GMT
J+L June 2014 All you need is love! I am not a wedding photographer, in fact I am terrified of photographing weddings but I am trying to challenge myself so when asked I said YES! So grateful and honored to have been present for these nuptials. Such a lovely couple, their love was oozing! 

]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) All Park Shenley in is love need wedding you Wed, 26 Jun 2013 22:14:30 GMT
Stop Saying CHEESE! Being a photographer I struggle with taking "portraits" because to me a portrait is usually totally different than what my client is expecting. I want to capture life. I want to capture genuine emotions, the good ones and the not so good ones. Some of my favorite photos of my own children are of them having meltdowns. The raw emotion is so beautiful to me. I'm weird, I know.

My kids are definitely photographer's children. They love getting their photo taken but sadly they learned the word "CHEESE" from someone and now it's hard to get a photo of them where they are not making that horrible "CHEESE" face. I would like to yell at the person who thought saying cheese would be a good idea. I hear it all of the time and it makes me cringe. You do not look nice when you say cheese! I would rather you say nothing at all than say "Cheese". Glare at me, stick your tongue out, do anything but say "Cheese" it will be more genuine and real.

I'll be doing a session and the parents will say, "Say Cheese" I tighten up because it is hard to tell someone that the word that they are asking their child to say will more than likely make your child look like he/she needs to poop. Me saying "poop" is a much better option if you actually want a smile.

This past weekend we were at the park and my kids were having a ball on the tubular slides. They asked me to take their picture while on the slide. I looked up in the tube and was so happy that I had my fisheye lens with me. I started out laying in the slide and was slammed in to every time that they came down, OUCH! After being hit my fair share I figured that I could lay on top of the slide and take the photos. There were many strange looks that I got from parents who were playing and taking photos of their own kids but totally worth the looks as it as I bet none of them have any  pics like these of their kiddos!

Thanks E & W I had fun too and can't wait to blow a few of these up and give them to my hubby for Father's Day. 




]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Tue, 28 May 2013 17:43:47 GMT
Je ne se qua about Canada but I love it so much! I thought that I loved this country before but after my weekend away in Montreal, I am now madly in love. Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend...

The Jean Talon Marche (Farmers Market) was amazing. One of the prettiest markets that I have ever seen. The produce tasted better than it looked!

If anyone reading this is planning a trip to Montreal I feel like I should name a few do not miss items...

1. Stay in Old Montreal. So pretty by the river and so much history in the streets.

2. Cocktails on a rooftop at dusk. There are a few connected to the hotels in Old Montreal. Great views.

3. Coffee at Cafe Olympico. One of the best lattees that I have ever had and the patio is great for people watching, making new friends, and visiting with old ones.

4. MAKE A RESERVATION at Le Filet. Best meal ever!

5. Eat lunch at the Jean Talon Farmer's Market. The food is delicious! We could have spent the whole day eating.

6. Do not drink too much your first night there so that you have to take a nap on the second day. There is so much to do and see, you do not want to miss a thing!

7. Try to stay through Monday. Everyone kept mentioning the Tam Tams on Mont Royal on Sunday. Our flight was early on Sunday so we did not get the chance. No worries.  Just an excuse to return sooner than later!


Thank you Montreal for a wonderful weekend. I can't wait to return!


]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) Montreal Mon, 20 May 2013 18:36:28 GMT
Artifact Uprising For those of you who know me, you know that I have 4 true loves...

1) Family

2) Friends

3) Taking photos

4) Colorado

So I'm so excited to talk about this wonderful company from Colorado called Artifact Uprising. "inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible" and "driven by the belief that everyone has a story to tell", they use recycled materials to make lovely photo books and photo/memory boxes made from the trees that have been destroyed by the Pine Beetle. For those of you who do not know about the destructive Pine Beetle, here is a link to some info and a photo.

Just like almost everyone I know with an iPhone, I'm loving the instagram app and have been for years. I was printing my favorite instagrams on 6x6 metal sheets and have made this lovely family wall in our home.  Me being me, a mother and photographer, I have taken so many photos that it's impossible to continue with this method and I had no clue what to do with all of those other photos that were not worthy of the wall but special none the less. Needless to say,  I was so THRILLED when I heard about Artifact Uprising as they have designed books especially for us instagrammers! I just received my first book in the mail and it is so wonderful. All of my silly photos in a perfect little square book for me to put on the coffee table so that my family and friends can look at them for years to come!

With all of the new technology I feel like people forget to print their photos. You can't tell a story through the cloud, you have to make the photos  accessible for others to see them. The days of getting a roll of film developed and rushing home to look at the printed photos are almost gone unless you are a photographer. I shoot some film, and still buy disposable cameras for my kids to use. I try to print my favorite family photos every other month or so. I love making albums so that I can enjoy the memories and smiles. I can't stress enough how important it is to print photos to preserve history for future generations and for you and yours to enjoy today. Even though I offer digital files, I cringe when clients ask to buy JUST the digital versions of the photos because I fear that the images will either never get printed or get printed by a poor quality printer. There are so many amazing ways to reproduce digital images these days that it is a shame that some never see the light. I strive to find the most environmentally friendly and unique items to share with my clients, family & friends. I never offer something to someone without first getting my own. 


And just like every other person who has Colorado in their heart I mourn the trees that have been destroyed by this evil little bug. They say that the damage is declining and I hope that this is the case because now these forests are more susceptible to fires and these dead trees are like kindling:( They burn and they burn quickly. I am so happy that someone is doing something with these trees. It's Green companies like Artifact Uprising that are making a difference in our future. I'm so happy to have discovered them. I am excited to now offer books from Artifact Uprising to my clients and most importantly to share this wonderful socially conscious company with you! I can't wait to make more books myself and hope that you will make some too!

Thanks for stopping by!



]]> (Mayabee Design & Photography) artifact books instagram photo uprising Mon, 13 May 2013 20:46:18 GMT