love. LIFE.

Hello Friends!

Over to the left you'll see all of the categories that you can check out.

If you're a photographer make sure to check out the For Photographers page.  I just launched the new Family GTKY kit and the NEW Insight Kits Blogsite!!!  Click here to see the new site!

    LOVE. LIFE. TIPS.  These posts will help anyone who is trying to keep or get back all of the things that they love in their life and/or business. The tips are packed with ways to manage a hectic life, kids, business, meaning, love...and more. Also, make sure you check out the new Women and Business series! (Click here)  Also, see how Day with Davina can come to you. (Click here)

My favorite pricing guide (that I wish I had when I started my business over 8 years ago).  You need this guide!


Easy as Pie.  Click here to visit Served Up Fresh. (affiliate link)

Thanks for stopping by...and don't forget to leave a comment...or two...I want to hear from YOU!

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Entries by Davina (749)

Family GTKY kit: Coming Soon

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 08:08PM by Registered CommenterDavina in | CommentsPost a Comment


coming soon!

To sign up to be the first to know click here:

Super Dog.

Posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 08:11AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | Comments4 Comments | References10 References


Top 10 reasons your dog may be Super Dog (like Cocoa).

Take the following test to find out if your dog is a super dog.  For each super power answer this way:

0=my dog doesn't do this

1=my dog does this sometimes

2=my dog does this all of the time


Is your dog a Super Dog?  


#10-Super-sonic Ears:  

Too caught up in working on the computer?  She can hear the school bus pull into the neighborhood a 1/2 mile away at exactly 2:18pm.


Need her to be friendly? She can shake your hand AND high five you.


A hamburger that got left under the van seat 2 days ago? Got it.


Was that a bee?  With precision and stealth-like skills she can snatch a bee out of the air and eat it.


Need your table cleaned off in the blink of an eye?  She will wag her tail so that all things within a 2 foot radius will be knocked from the table, whip someone in the face, or maim the nearest passerby.


Wish you had someone that would chase the squirrels from your yard?  Never fear!  Cocoa is here!  She'll bolt after them quick as lightning.


Wish that someone would worship you?  Just stand near Super Dog and every time she gets up from a nap she will stretch her front legs. At which point you can loudly proclaim, "Bow to your Master!"


Running during the day is not enough.  While sleeping the Super Dog can run in her sleep, bark in her sleep, and wag her tail ferociously in her sleep.


Wish your arms had more tone?  She'll pull you with her leash and her super-strength around the neighborhood so that you can be strong like her.


It's a bird.  It's a plane.  Able to leap over barricades in a single hurdle.  It's....SUPER DOG!


#1 reason your dog may be SUPER DOG:

She'll let you dress her in an 8 foot red blanket (that doubles as a cape) and a long sleeved blue shirt with a handmade 'SD' crest pinned to her chest.  Then she'll walk around with the cape trailing behind her acting like she's all that and it's no big deal.  Which will elicit laughter from children far and wide.



**Super-loyal: This is a bonus 10 points for those dogs who have the extra power of sticking by you through thick and thin.  Cocoa is a puppy so she's workin' on this one. :)  If your dog has been with you for more than 5 years this 10 points is for her...or him.


Is your dog a SUPER DOG?

0-5: Not really.  But don't give up on your pooch...someday she too can be as cool as Cocoa.  Cocoa will let her come to her Super Dog workshop.

6-13: Getting there...with a couple more super powers she'll be a Super Dog like Cocoa. She may need a mentor.  Cocoa would be glad to help her out.

14-20:  Congratulations!  Your dog is a SUPER DOG like COCOA!!  Maybe we should have a doggie playdate.


How did your dog rate on the SUPER DOG test?

super. LIFE.

It went a little like this...

Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:23AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | Comments2 Comments

an earthquake and hurricane...almost.

*on the verge of sleep at 1am

*sudden noise outside, wind that sounds like it may blow the house over

*I leap out of bed:  Mike!!  We have to go put the umbrellas down or they are going to be like missles through our table (and windows)

*Mike has no idea what I'm talking about or that it's a hurricane outside but sleepily follows me downstairs anyway being the good husband that he is...even at 1am

*Me (running down the stairs): I hope light bulbs haven't started breaking

*We look out our back door onto our deck...or try to look at our deck through an onslaught of sheets of rain.  Monsoon.   I'm not kidding.  

*I go to open the door and Mike pushes it closed:  We need to get ready to go out there, Davina.  We can't just open this door.

*We were getting ready for a little war.

*We put on huge winter jackets to protect us against the drenching we are about to get.  I put a blanket over my head.  Ummm...that's going to help...sure...

*We open the door and it's like the Red Sea parted...and flooded into our house.  It's too late to look back and assess the damage a 5 second open door has done.  It feels like we're in a hurricane movie.

*The wind is howling.  I have no idea how many mph but it has to be 500mph...or at least 50mph.  The lightning is putting on a show that could rival a country singer's concert and the thunder is so loud that even when are yelling at each other we still have no idea what the other person is saying.  We work in silence.  

*Quickly we unplug our edison lights, put down the umbrellas, unscrew light bulbs (we've already lost 15 in storms this season) and put them in our pockets, we grab the cushions off the chairs (big mistake), look at each other, give the nod, and we rush back into the house. 

*We are outside for a grand total of about 90 seconds.

*Soaked to the bone; we are now standing in about an inch of water. Rain water gushes like Niagara Falls off the chair cushions we saved from the tidal wave outside. There's a river from our back door to our garage door from the dripping chair cushions that rushed to the garage.  

*We are still at yelling volume to each other even though our house is quiet and the kids are in bed.  We suddenly realize this and then in whispers wonder how in the world not one of our kids has woken up and come to see what is happening.

*I get a mop and try to get the lake of water now on our kitchen floor coaxed into one of our strawberry picking buckets.  Every time I squeeze out the mop it seems like the water on the floor multiplies.  The rain is playing tricks on me.

*Mike goes upstairs for some towels.

*We lay the towels on the ground and start skating around on them laughing, wondering if the power is going to go out...

*The power goes out.

*We light a candle.

*We find flashlights.  None of them work.  Thank you kids.

*There have to be batteries around here somewhere.  Yes! Ten batteries in the back of the drawer.  Jackpot!!

*Two batteries work.

*We make sure the doors are locked, hang up all of our sopping wet clothes on the kitchen chairs, and trek back to bed.

*We are warm, dry, and cozy in our blankets.  Thunder shakes the house for 20 seconds straight.  Maybe it was an earthquake.

*We laugh about how the kids have slept through the whole ordeal.

*We drift almost off to sleep.

*And then I hear it...

*"Mom, I'm scared"

Once again sleep has just taken a turn down a different road.  I scoot over to make room for Grace to climb in bed with me.  I wrap my arms around her shaking little body and I pull her close and whisper in her ear, "It's okay, the worst of the storm has already passed."  She relaxes a little bit.

Soon she is sleeping soundly.


...and before I know it Emmett is standing at the foot of my bed saying loudly: "Mom!! Wake up we're late for school!"  

Me in a very hushed whisper: is cancelled.  

Emmett (loudly because he's mostly still asleep):  What did you say about school??!!

Me:  Shhh....there's no school.  (I'm hoping that his-I-don't-realize-I'm-practically-yelling-because-I'm-mostly-still-asleep-voice doesn't wake my still dreaming girls)

And on cue I hear Miriam: What?  There's no school?!

Within a few minutes everyone is awake, excited at the prospect of freedom from school...bye, bye, sleep. 


Super Dog coming tomorrow.

surprise. LIFE.


The Bump Maternity Boutique: The Farm

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 11:52AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | CommentsPost a Comment | References4 References

baby bumps and baby goats.

Every chance I've gotten to work with Clair at The Bump Maternity Boutique has been so much fun!  She is this incredible business woman who has everything figured out.  She adores being a mom to her two girls and devotes at least (probably more) as much time to them as she does her one year old shop.  She knows when, where, and how to spend her time to make the most of everything.

We planned a couple of months in advance for our shoot of her spring line that is now in her store.  We wanted the chance to work with local models who would bring some personality and fun to her website.  After a call for models it was pretty difficult to choose from all of the gorgeous wome who signed up for the opportunity.  I'm so excited that the women we chose were a dream to work with!

The day of the shoot was on a really beautiful farm in Rock Hill.  The days before the shoot had been rainstorm after rainstorm.  The sky literally opened up for the day of our shoot and for a few short hours up until our shoot was finished and then the sky darkened and rained again for days afterwards.  It felt like our own little miracle.  When Clair and I would talk we would wonder if the forecast really knew what it was talking about with only one sunny day in the middle of so many rainy days!

We had so many things that needed to be lined up in addition to the planets aligning for good goats, baby chicks, scheduling, etc.  And by a lovely miracle they all did.  Yay!

Thank you to all our fantasitc models who were willing to venture into pastures where unknown surprises were lurking, holding baby chicks, wrestling baby goats, changing clothes in a barn, 4-wheeling in mini vans, dodging mud puddles, feeding horses, walking among chickens, looking into the sun, standing on shaky porches, and running through fields.  What a great time to hang out with women who were so fun, enjoyed laughing, and were so happy to be part of this project. 

farm. LIFE.


Women and Business: Kiran Dodeja Smith

Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 12:57PM by Registered CommenterDavina in | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

four kids under 7.

Kiran and I had chatted back and forth through email for quite awhile when we finally met.  We wanted to meet up for some time but schedules just weren't working out.  We decided to do a photo shoot of her hanging out at home with her girls before her next baby was born.  I had no idea when we started talking that we would end up doing the shoot and meeting for the first time the day before she was induced!  

Kiran is amazing; juggling being the co-publisher/editor of Little Ones Magazine, three fun little girls, a sweet new baby boy, and many other little projects.  She is living a very full life.  After hearing about everything she has going on I have a feeling I'm not the only that's wondering how she does it all!  Kiran, thanks so much for being part of this series and taking the time to share.


You have a lot going on both in business and with your family.  What does a typical day look like for you between family and running your business?
Gosh; my days are absolutely crazy these days with a newborn.  My little guy still gets up a few times in the night - so I'd say that I'm up around 1 a.m., 4 a.m. and again at 7 a.m. My husband helps me get our first grader off to school, and then I tackle getting the 4- and 2-year-old to preschool (3 days a week) or spend time with them til our sitter comes. On our "sitter days", she is here for 5 hours. Working out of the house allows me to focus as needed without added interruptions.  I feel I get lots more done working out of the house vs. an office and am thankful for that!  After the sitter leaves, or on preschool days after everyone is up from naps/home from school, I spend the late afternoons with the family running kids to extracurricular activities, etc., making dinner, baths, etc. - you know, the general routine. My evenings always consist of a few more hours of work after the kids are in bed.

What have you learned is the most important aspect of running a business?
In my case, it's flexibility.  Running a business while managing a household with 4 kids under the age of 7 takes quite a bit of multitasking. Always focus on what you are working on - when it's work time, it's work time - no personal phone calls, errands, etc.  When it's play time, focus on fun and let your work go.  By the way, I'm still working on this part!


What do you think is a vital part of the day with your family that you try not to miss?  
As crazy as it is, dinner time and thereafter is very important to me.  My husband is not always home for dinner, so I try to engage the girls in conversation and share thoughts from the day. Putting the kids to bed is also a cherished moment - not because they are headed off to sleep, but it's a great time to connect with them and share thoughts from the past 24 hours. The hugs and kisses are an added bonus!

With so much going on, what keeps you organized?
Sadly enough, I keep most things in my head.  I've had an organizer but have transferred over to my iPhone/calendar on my computer.  But I generally store things in the good ol' brain which is not a great thing when you are suffering from baby brain.

What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of starting a publication from scratch and making it successful from day 1. We have been very fortunate to have weathered the economic storm, and for that I am most thankful to loyal advertisers and readers. I can't tell you happy it makes us to bring our readers something that they enjoy while at the same time bringing our advertisers the awareness they are seeking.

What top five pieces of advice would you give women business owners?
1. Look to your audience/clients for direction. They will help you understand how to make your business better with their desires. In our case, we initially started off as a publication for 0-6 year-olds.  Our readers basically told us that they have kids up to the age of 9 or 10, which helped us tailor our product to them.  It was a win-win.
2. Customer service, customer service.  This is an integral part of the equation!
3. Learn from your mistakes.
4. Don't be afraid to take that initial leap; you'll only find out if you try.
5. Seek other women and/or local business owners.  We're all in this together and can be stronger by supporting each other.


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