Monthly Archives: October 2012

7 tips for multitasking a photo shoot–a Winner & shop news

good Monday morning everyone!  Did your weekend go as fast as mine?  If your family is anything like ours with the holiday approaching rapidly I might add…we all

know the dreaded family picture for the Christmas card is approaching.  Trying to get everyone color coordignated and hairs just right a fussy kiddos while mom is running like a rabid dog

trying to get everyone and everything to look just well…perfect right?

Here are a few not professional tidbits that may help you multitask a photo shoot

What motivated me to kill a few birds with one stone is Dakota’s senior year

Nana needs updated pictures of the kids…like seriously..last I looked they were toddlers…and I am in need of the capturing Dakota and Grace for my mantle collage…

cause you wanna know why?  I threw away all my pumpkins last night!  I was sick of them…I am ready for a change and I love photo collages don’t you?

( now remember I don’t have little kiddos and the grand babies are in Florida so I didn’t traumatize anyone….he he)

 here is what we did that worked for us…you can always tweek it for your family needs

(1)  I knew I wanted the photos to compliment our home decor…colors and such.  SO when  choosing clothes keep that in mind.

(2)  Often we don’t think of that and we have everybody in red and green and our color palette of our home is aqua and yellow

(3)  If you have a special place you are wanting to do a wall collage like the examples below you might need to get shots with one child looking to the right and the other child looking to the left

( our inspiration for our mantle collage found here )

so when placed on the wall they are facing in…does that make sense?  I will show you what I mean when we do our wall.

(4)  PRE – PLAN…make a list on your ipad or phone when out shooting.  Shots you want.  When all is crazy you can always refer to your list.  It can help keep the flow going.

(5)  Be spontaneous!  Nikki saw a few places as we were walking that she had the kids sit down and snapped a few.

(6)  Snap away at the silliness too…the kids going crazy…people laughing VERY often those end up being my favorites!

(7)  take an emergency bag filled with props, lipgloss, blush, scarves etc.

With our session yesterday we captured one scene for Dakota’s senior pictures.  The outdoorsy field look.  We are taking him this weekend to the West Bottoms down by where our shop used to be to capture the ugly pretty of the old buildings and then to the school and football field in his jersey for that look.

We also got one of Dakota and Grace alone that I am using above our fireplace in the collage we are putting together.   Neither of them cooperated–sitting close to her brother was ewww and just a pain… still didn’t get one that I LOVED yet:/ The same pictures I am using of them individuality we are giving Nana AND we got some really nice pictures of Dakota’s girlfriend Elise.

Nikki and I were pretty darned pleased with the fiasco.  We put on our big girl panties and asked a complete stranger to use their barn and land.

The weather was perfect…the light was golden… the sky a pretty blue.

**I want to show you in another post some before and after edits.  Nikki has often been asked often about Graces eyes etc.  No she does not change the color of Grace’s eyes at all:)

and yes..her eyelashes are obviously false..she loves wearing them for photo shoots…silly girl!

I would say we accomplished a lot in one photo session.

Hope these tips from our crazy little family help you in your upcoming photo antics.

If you have some tips we would sure love to hear them…always open to learn:)


and the WINNER of our Isaiah Christmas sign is…….#2 miss Jackie!  I will be emailing you to get your address girlie…congratualtions;)

here is miss Jackie’s favorite Christmas memory…

Spending time with my family & celebrating the birth of our king! I love going to Christmas Eve service to worship & truly focus on the reason for the season.

yes…another GIVEAWAY coming

:::Here is a sneak peek at some sweet ruffled curtains I am giving away this week that my momma made!! so be on the lookout!:::



We are closing the shop this Sunday–be sure to get your orders in.  We will be painting our little fannies off and get everything shipped out by December 16..our last ship day!!

Use our coupon code Farmgirl for 15% off!!

Be on the lookout for a special promo code for our RE-OPENING in January that I will be sharing over at Thistlewood Farms on November 1st…..EEKKKK:))

my friend Becky is offering my friends 20% off this month…



a free printable..when you find yourself in need of direction


 you know what I love about God and His Word?  

Click HERE to print your own Lead me to the ROCK:)

it speaks and makes clear a hazy window and

how I am able to see life begin to fall into place like missing piece of a puzzle.  13 loooong years ago God spoke to me

much like Abram.  He told me something that was to didn’t seem right and try as I may to understand it I couldn’t and I became like Jonah

and while a big ol’ whale did not swallow me…my circumstances did.  I swam around in the belly of despair for years

every once in awhile I caught some fresh air as the whale would come to the surface for air.

oh but God was always at work behind the scenes..never once leaving my side..waiting patiently for me to get tired enough

to do something different.

You see..when God speaks..sometimes we cannot understand it..rationalize it..and honestly it sounds crazy

and surely when we tell our friends they are going to think we’ve gone a bit mad in the head..mental if you will.

I’m sure Abram’s friends thought he was too when they asked him where he was going and really

all he could say was
i don’t know..God told me to leave and go to a place He would show me

He didn’t give Abram a specific place…Abram had to put one foot in front of the other and journey

building alters along the way…taking a detour or two

but in the end it boiled down to a human being listening to a Holy God..his maker

and living by faith even though no one else around him had the exact same circumstances

and God had not told them to do the exact same thing.

Abram had to trust God

and so did I

so I say all of that to say this….

if you are in a situation where you have absolutely no idea where God is leading you — you have gotten to a place where you are ready

to be spit back up onto the shore of life again and listen to what God is telling YOU…no matter what people think OR if the dots don’t all connect right now

Go back and read Abram’s story ( Genesis 12 ) and Hebrew’s 11.

and sit there..let it sink in…give God time to talk to you..don’t just do all the talking

This morning I had a epiphany..

part of the beauty of looking back over my map of my journey is getting to see the fingerprints of God in hindsight.

I don’t know the outcome of this adventure…I might not live to see the promise

and I really can’t even begin to share it with many people…they wouldn’t all!

  I’ve struggled with wanting people to understand and they just couldn’t.

I have come to realize that people aren’t going to necessarily understand my situation.  People

 can only know what they see through their own broken eyesight…clouded by their own judgments and woundedness.

We can’t let people ultimately make our minds up for us for they do not know us completely like God does.

I just have to keep going the direction He is leading..trusting the words He gives me

building the altars

because there is a promise to me..and I can’t tell you what it will look like

but I can tell you this

It was truly truly like the holy moment when God knew my heart and that I was serious this time and real doors began to open.
It was the craziest thing…I STILL cannot believe it!

God can do the unimaginable in your life.  Things you could not even think of!

and trust Him…to let go of human rocks, my own self as a rock and do the scariest thing known to Tiffini

is trust Someone…even when I had a fear that He was not going to let good things happen to me and if they did

they would be taken away.  That is what I thought…really!

Sasha shared this little study in a post and for whatever reason…God:) I had to buy it.  I was kinda making myself do another study and it is a good one

but nothing would ever jump out at me..ever been in one of those?  Other people can be moved by just wasn’t where God wanted me

but this was

I am only into the first pages and I am lit up like a Christmas tree…overflowing with someone else is like me!!

going around and shaking peoples shoulder’s…I’m not a crazy girl…Abram went through the same thing and so did

Sarah and Noah and Enoch and Rahab and Moses and on and on.  Real human people who were not perfect but got back up and followed hard after God.

They didn’t let their brokenness keep them down.

and the coolest thing right now is imagining them all in the arena of life…surrounding me

and you sweet friend

cheering us on in the race of life we are running.  And we are running….time is going by faster and faster and before you know it we are gone.

I don’t know about you sister — but I’m rejuvenated to run harder…NOT work harder or do more harder but trust God…

abandon my whole heart to Him

and lets see where the next leg of the journey takes us.



store closing…explained:)

hello all of you delightful hearts:)  how has your Tuesday been?  I’m going slightly mental but I am sorting it out.  It is a good mental..if there is such a thing.

here is to hoping I make sense….

I have had lots of questions on the shop closing and I wanted to clarify — here are the main points

:::YES – we are still open and accepting orders until the end of October…so get em in!  This includes custom orders too.  Don’t forget our 15% off coupon over at Becky’s


::: Our last ship day is December 16

:::Believe it or not we have trouble with customers reading that these are hand painted signs…they literally take 6 to 8 weeks.  I cut, prep, paint and build each sign by myself.

I haven’t changed over to vinyl or stencils yet.  Not sure if I even want to.   I am a single mama for the most part but am blessed to have my oldest daughter Nikki with me who I swear we are two people that make a darn good “person”;)  I still have my home to-do’s like laundry, cooking, cleaning and kids to take care of and go see their activities and I enjoy and desperately need time to spend with Jesus everyday AND I am starting to fit exercise back into my day.  ALL of these things need to come before my work and to be honest …. they have not.  I put so much of my life on hold to paint.  I am literally working from the time the kids go to school and often in bed painting while I watch DVR’s of The X Factor and such.

I am working on balancing out all of the above so everyone is happy…you the customer included:)) YOU support our family in a big way.  Much like Sasha I’m sure you do so much for us you will never ever know this side of heaven.  Someday I am going to write I book…not kidding!  and I want to mention every single one of you!  I think that is why I am so consumed with working.  I’m thankful and honestly…a little fearful.  Honestly I want to give each sign my special attention.  Yes..there are 30 orders ahead of you and I don’t think customers realize that:)

:::We are in process of creating our Winter Collection .. yet to be named .. for January 1 and I need some time to create and wrap that up so it is ready to go without worrying about orders.

:::The reason I want to be done on December 16 ( last day we ship ) is so I can concentrate on my family only!  Kiddos are off school those couple of weeks and I just want to be a mama

make memories and just enjoy the holiday.  I KNOW all of you totally understand this–

my Conundrum!

Do I still take orders through our off time knowing those customers will be first in line when we re-open in January?

 My fear is they won’t read and know we are not working on new orders until we re-open and then be upset?


I hope this helps a bit explain the shop closing for two months.  


Pinky Promise that we are re-opening with some amazing new creations…I wish I could share but I can’t…yet!  you will have to wait for it.

We will be offering some sort of coupon…or something fun for the new collection as it draws closer.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints

don’t forget….start checking off your Christmas list early!

Isaiah 9:6 Christmas sign GIVEAWAY– there is still time to enter

click here to enter

gotta take little miss Grace for a highlight today…geesh!

We have another giveaway in the next week or two from my momma!!

so be sure to sign up via email and follow on Instagram @houseofbelonging to be the first to know.  Happy fall Tuesday…hugs and squeezes!


I’m GIVING away one of our Isaiah 9:6 Christmas Mantle sign…& shop closing

thinking of Christmas this year we knew we didn’t want to do lots of Christmas signs but one for sure we wanted to recreate was our Christmas mantle sign from last year.


It is meaningful to me because God has shown Himself to be all of those names to my family over the last years.

It is painted on a 2 foot x 4 foot sign on a black background with white lettering and a white frame and we both thought it would be

super fun to give one away.

Now here is the kicker….We are only making 10 of the Isaiah 9:6 sign not including the giveaway sign.  We’ve listed 10 in the shop and thats it.  You are welcome to use the

15% code that Farmgirl Paints has going on our signs right now.  Use the coupon code HOUSEOFBELONGING when ordering

***REMINDER–you can order your sign customized just for your home meaning…color of lettering/background/framing

and a different size if needed…as long as the wording will look right:)  Just leave in the notes on your order:)

Super Simple!

 :::SHOP CLOSING @ the end of OCTOBER :::

We will be closing the shop until the first of January at the end of the month due to the overwhelming sign orders we have.
We are beyond incredibly blessed and thankful…pressed down and overflowing with gratitude for all of your support this year as we stepped out into the 
unknown and dared to dream big.  We have an exciting new year planned that I think will knock your socks off!!  We know each and every order and those of you
who have Thanksgiving deadlines etc. we are aware of those as well.  

SO…be sure to place your orders by the end of the month to receive them for the holidays!!

…to WIN THIS SIGN simply enter your email below (if you have not already) to receive updates via email and leave a comment letting us know your favorite Christmas memories/traditions…

Enter your email address:

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PSSSS…our sweet friend Becky @ Farmgirl Paints is giving our readers 20% her cuffs all month long!  Go get a few and give a few for gifts as well….wink wink!



Farmgirl Paints & a Discount & a winner!

GET down spin AROUND and let’s have a PARTY!!  It is FRIDAY!!!:)

I wanna share one of my girls..Becky over at Farmgirl Paints..with you all today.

She paints smiles and love all over the place.  She has a raw authenticity about her that immediately drew me in.

Do yo wanna know how I came to know Becky…I thought so;)

isn’t she a cutie? someday I’m gonna squeeze that neck–and I Looooove that crusty truck your sittin on!

Not long after I first began blogging I did a Word Women Series on Wednesdays where I asked special women who I felt led to share a little of their stories.

When I hit send on Becky’s email I just knew she would never answer me back….heck she didn’t know me from a man in the moon!  

To make a long story short she DID answer back and graciously shared a piece of her heart .. you can read it here.

If you have never met Farmgirl Paints and her sweet family you MUST go sign up to receive her posts via email..

She doesn’t mince words.  She shares the ups and downs that hit at the heart of real life struggles of us real women…her heart for Jesus..#operationzipyourpants on Instagram..her hot hubby

her crazy awesome gifted little mini Becky photographer Big the way follow her on Instagram @bigchick7  and you will see what I mean

and the baby of the family Little Chick…who is growing into a sweet little lady.

oh..and you can follow Becky on Instagram @farmgirlpaints

Becky is my go to girl for cuffs and necklaces.  She is able to bring to life the words of my heart and puts it on jewelry to remind me who I am…

and who I am becoming.

Go see Becky so she can bring to life the words in your heart not only for YOURSELF

but for those on your Christmas list this year.

Becky is offering my readers 20% off her Etsy shop for the month of October!

Enter coupon code HOUSEOFBELONGING

this is a necklace she created just for me….

and this is a cuff Nikki bought me for Christmas…

and this cuff Becky sent as a sweet gift for my Grace..she hit the nail on the head with this one:)

Ok girlies…go get some Christmas shopping done and tell my sweet friend hello will ya?

love ya…xotiff

:::::::::::::::::::::::and the WINNER is:::::::::::::::::::::::

the winner of “one” book that changed my life is #7 my other sweet friend Tara!…yeah!!

I will send you a gift card for Amazon via email ok?  awesome girl…::))

from Tara…oh, i love hearing what the Lord has shown you about himself in this book.
i love that he is peeling back the layers and reteaching you the truth about himself.
we all have things to unlearn. believe me….i’ve spent years in counseling unlearning.
favorite makeup essentials?
my bobby brown mascara and my bobby brown eye cream (it’s like an eye shadow…stays on ALL day!!)