Archive for category Random

Happy Labor Day, Y’all!

Finally sitting on my deck :)

It really truly honestly IS as quiet as it looks :) :)

Much love to everyone!! Xoxo!


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It’s that time again.

By “that time,” I mean “Build-A-Bear Time.” Yay…not. You mamas feel my pain.

My credit card has had about a four year reprieve from that joint since Belle a) had too many of those bears to even count, b) never EVER played with them anyway, and c) outgrew asking to go.

BUT, like the crazy people we are, Belle and I let Will talk us into it today. I was happy because he was so excited to “Build a Alvin.” Ha.

He liked it but kept trying to convince the girl to let him get INTO the stuffing machine. Omg. And he’s not really the type to take no for an answer. Yikes. And then he wanted to put two hearts in instead of one, which was just weird.

The good news is that Will built the $15 Alvin and was ready to roll out!?! Belle always roped me out of about $100 in bear clothes. She did try to convince me Alvin needed pajamas, slippers, sunglasses and a giant car but Will wasn’t hearing it so neither was I. She is such a good big sis <3

Here's a pic taken prior to him trying to weasel his way into the machine. My baby <3 <3


Here is Alvin with his giant cardboard house:



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How sad it is that I have not blogged SINCE APRIL!? For real!? Blogging is my favorite past-time next to shopping, matchmaking (I’m super successful at matchmaking…trust me on this one)…and going to sweet photo retreats.

Hope everyone had a great summer! I am sooo sad it’s over! Having a bambino, I haven’t spent much time on the deck this year of record temps. Suckkkyyy. I am all about the 100 degree days with 100% humidity, however. Hence, the reason I need a pool post-haste.

Let’s kick this baby off with a little throwback to my old blog by sharing some LOVESSSS AND HATTTTESSSS:


#1: Speaking of the pool, I have Kurt whittled down from, “You’re out of your #*&^ing mind if you think I’m buying you a pool…” to an annoyed “Yeah, a pool would be nice but…[insert excuses I’m not trying to hear].” I think this is MUY BUENO progress! Yay for pool parties!


#2: Skinny jeans. Horrifyingly, I’m like three years (or four?) behind this trend but I jumped on the bandwagon this spring and became obsessed. I hear boot cut is back in style, which is probably for the best. Holla!

#3: Reba (the show) and also Ebay. OMG, it’s soooo hilarious. I know this sounds insane. Lifetime decided to cancel it in the a.m., so I promptly went on Ebay and ordered all 6 seasons. Now, it’s non-stop Reba whenever you want around here.


#1: Fitnessless on the Farm. Hello, with three kids, I don’t even have time to put ice in my Diet Coke. And we all know how much I love the Diet Coke. I’ve been slacking on my gym time for like four months due to these kids asking me for something every .35 seconds. This needs to change because I really miss chatting with my peeps at the gym (amongst other reasons). ha!

#2: WHY is every single road I take under construction? I mean, seriously!?! I am not a great driver anyway so weaving in and out of barricades is not my insurance company’s idea of a good time.

#3: Late summer => Box Elder Bugs! GROSS!!!!! I don’t mind the japanese beetles ladybugs but the box elders need to have a little visit from Babe’s Pest Control. I do feel badly about this but those things creep me out majora!! *shudders*

Much love to you all! xo!
Ann :)

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Hot Scoop

It’s true, y’all. Ann Steward Photography now has a REAL studio. *Sigh* And it’s so beautiful.

Thank you times ONE MILLION to my awesome husband (who has worked his tail off on this project), in-laws, several amazing friends and some rockin’ companies Kurt hired, it’s almost done. I wanted to take some photos before we put all of the furniture in and it gets filled with all of my backdrops, props, soft boxes and stands.

OMG so in love…

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Sorry about the bathroom photo. I just love the purple so much I couldn’t resist. And many apologies about the no editing and bad text layers and writing. I HATE vignettes but then lens I used has a natural vignetting and like I mentioned, I didn’t edit these so it’s still in there (argh!).

You might be thinking, “OMG, Ann, you have the greatest taste EVER in paint, lighting and rugs. Everything matches so great.” All of the credit for that goes to the super-creative and rockstar decorator, Mrs. Stephanie Rudd. She helped us immensely and I can’t thank her enough. I’ll be posting ALL of the vendor information just as soon as the studio is decorated and done. :) Everyone did such a fabulous job so I want to give them props on the blog!! :)

Looking forward to seeing Miss Chloe and Miss Teagan for my first two studio shoots in the new studio NEXT WEEKEND!

In the meantime, much love to all. Have a great weekend!



Happy Fall!


Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to Fall 2011. Yes, I am still alive and yes, I’m still shooting lots and lots! So sorry I’ve been Facebooking and blogging not lots and lots. I have a hard time FB’g and blogging while editing awaits. Not sure why…blogging doesn’t take me too long since I type about 2,767 words per minute. The good news is, if I ever WHEN I get caught up, I’ll have about 75 adorable sessions and five weddings of fabulousness to blog. Yay!

I’m ever-so-thankful for the beautiful weather as of late. It’s been awwwwwesome for my fall children/family sessions and especially all of our recent WEDDINGS. PLEASSSSSSE STAY UNTIL AT LEAST OCTOBER 23RD!! Our last wedding of the year is October 22 and we have majorrrr plans for outdoor photos. Dreading the looming demise of the warm afternoons and evenings. Ugh.

Farm fam is rocking through the harvest. It seems to be going bueno so far but as s*xy as the tractors and combines are, it’ll be nice to have my husband back in the house once in awhile. Seriously.

No worries, I haven’t converted to the barefoot/preggo farm wife; more like adorable fall flats and cute (is there such thing?) maternity jeans. Although Kurt did make me cook a roast the other day. Waaaahhh!! I’m still being all Zsa Zsa and creating farm havoc. Whoops. Thursday, my M.I.L. had me drive her out to the tractor. I’ve done this before but this time it was seriously like a ten minute drive through their random corn fields. I’m like, “Do you own all of this? I feel like we’ve gone really far.” She laughed but I was completely serious. So I ask her, “What if I get lost on the way back?” She like, “What?! You won’t get lost.”

Normally I’m not one to freak out for being lost (IN A CITY!!!) but in the case of blue sky above me and corn maze all around me, I admit I was getting a little concerned after the tenth (or so…) dead end. Even Will was laughing and shaking his head wondering where we were going. Uhhhh…20 minutes later, I’m frantically texting Kurt a photo of a tree saying, “Do you recognize this tree? Let me know ASAP!!!!!”

He’s all, “Oh yah, that’s the Linden tree.” As if it’s some type of landmark I’m supposed to know? We know no “Linden’s.” They like to call farms they’ve bought over the years by their original owners that we don’t even know anymore. For example, “Go behind the bin site, turn right on the water way, turn left at the bean field, go straight past the Stanlick farm, until you get to the Linden tree. Just meet us there.” These are all directions through fields where nothing is marked, there are no houses or buildings and everything looks the same. I don’t know any Stanlick’s either, btw.

All’s well that ends well. Husb called and gave me detailed directions (when you see the bean field ahead and picked corn on the left with standing corn on the right, turn left. Etc. Ha!) and informed me even Belle knows her way back from the tree. I confirmed this with her after school. Yikes. Oh well, I’m just trying to keep it real out here ;-)

Miss everyone muchhhhhoooo. Chat sooooon! xoxo!


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This morning my Yahoo page suggested I read “The Top 10 Most Depressing Careers.” I already knew photography wasn’t one but of course, I had to read it to verify accounting was on there. It was. Haha. In accounting’s defense, the bi-weekly deposits are not depressing. Whatsoever.

Then, I logged into Facebook and my status update from two years ago popped up on my screen:

On This Day in 2009:
Ann Steward It’s jeans day at work tomorrow, omg. This means I need to go to the mall and buy some jeans that actually fit (i.e. maternity!) Ew!

What a difference two years makes! Here’s what that pregnancy looks like now:

Eastern Iowa Children's Photographer

Love this little farmboy DESPERATELY!!

ANDDDDD, two years later, if it’s “jeans day at work,” that means I either have a photo shoot, I’m meeting a client somewhere or Will and I are headed into town to go shopping. :)

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! I’m working on finishing Charlotte and Doug’s wedding pics and LOVING THEM!




Again, let’s throw it back to my old-school blog days with another edition of my loves & hates!

Let us mix it up and start with the hates:

Hate #1:
I hate it when summer ends, don’t you? I don’t have too much of a genuine issue with the fall, per se, except that it means winter is coming so I’ve never liked the season. I can’t believe I still live here and to solidify my icy life, I married a fabulous farmer who will never, ever, never, ever move away from Iowa. Awesome. I lovvvve the holidays, though…lovelovelove. But I would love them even more if I lived in a climate closer to the equator. For sure.

Hate #2:
Not a fan of Borders closing! I love that store! Argh! I finally joined their RIDICULOUS exclusive program, too, ONLY because the Davenport checkout girls are MEAN MEAN MEAN and it was worth the $25 to not have them pestering me any more about it. So I won’t miss them, or their little card club that I just joined…but I’ll sooo miss the store and the books.

Hate #3:
That instant when you’re out in the cutest pair of brand new heels and you realize, “OMG, I can’t walk another step my feet hurt soooo bad.” I swear it always sneaks up on me. It was worth it…they were super cute!

Now for the lovvvvves:

Love #1:
In the past, I’ve raved on my h20 body products. My newest love came in the form of a Christmas gift from my bro and SIL. The Milk Body Lotion. Never something I would have picked out since I always go for the berryish or waterish scents of fabulousness BUT I am so glad they did! I am obsessed obsessed OBSESSSSSSED! Must try! Von Maur and Ulta both stock it or you can buy it from h20 online (click here). Granted, you may think $19.50 for a 12oz bottle of lotion is ridiculously expensive but you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Love!!

Love #2:
Jersey Shore Italy. Still lovvvve that show even though I usually forget to watch it. I have managed to watch the first three shows, though, however! Yay! (Hopefully there have only been three so far…ha.) :)

Love #3:
OK, not to go all “Beyonce at the VMA’s” on everyone but for those that don’t know…

Due Christmas Day!! Yay!! Cannot waaaaaaaiiiiit!! <3 <3

Hope everyone has a FABULOUS WEEKEND!


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Hola! It’s been so long since my last LOVVVVESSS/HATTTTESS update, I thought I’d post one :)

Love #1
iPads. OK, I admit I (kind of) made fun of Kurt for getting one. “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong…” I was convinced he’d rather just have a new laptop. Now I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve the thing and I will diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie if I don’t get one in the very near future. I love the guy dearly but two things we don’t share: closets and electronics. He keeps his things wayyy too neat and tidy. ME + (my own) iPad = LOVE!

Love #2
Now & Laters. They are soooo good. LOVE!

Love #3
Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. Someone with extensive good product knowledge told me to acquire this last year! I always meant to but kept forgetting. Mistake! Now I bought some and I looooovvvvvve it!!!!! It is supposed to (and actually does!) make your hair LOOK like you just swam in the ocean. LOVE!

Hate #1
The road construction on 53rd. OMG, it’s bad (for Iowa)!

Hate #2
Packing! I always wait until the last minute and then forget stuff. Kurt’s already packed of course. Maybe I will post a photo of his suitcase for fun : ) Remember in Sleeping With The Enemy when Julie Roberts opens the cabinet and all of the cans are in order, labels out. It’s pretty much : )

Hate #3
Twitter post-Casey Anthony trial. It’s so boring now!

Hope everyone is having a great week! Mucho love to all!!
Ann : )

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Not That Anyone Cares…


I think I shall throw-back to my old blog of randomness and make some random Ann facts:

1.  I love mustard.  Like, a lot.  All kinds.  Lot lot lot.  I DETEST ketchup (catsup, etc) because my dad used to work at the Heinz plant in Muscatine back in the day (pre-moi) and would never eat it, even twenty-fiveish years later.  Eventually, I put two-and-two together.  I would continuously (I’m talking over the course of several years here) ask him what was it he didn’t like about ketchup and he would just say “because some things slip through the cracks,” “not everything bad makes it off the conveyor belt,” etc, and wouldn’t tell me.  Finalllllly, FINALLLLY, like four Thanksgivings ago, after I said “Like what?  Bad tomatoes?” about three times he just goes, “Like snakes.”  We haven’t talked about it since.  ::shudders::  ::ughhhh::  ::hate snakes::

2.  I was a Psych/Soc double-major for 3.5 years before I decided to make some real money and switch my major to accounting.  Moral of the story:  Don’t do what I did.

3.  My first concert was Boyz II Men in like ’87 in Iowa City.  My dad got tickets for him, me and two extras so I could invite two friends.  I was only in fifth grade.  Now that I’m the mom of a fourth grader, I can appreciate how awesome that was of him to do for me.  Does this mean I’m supposed to buy 4 tickets to Taylor Swift for Belle and her friends?  =(

4.  I went from a Canon Rebel to a Canon 7D to a Canon 5DMkII in a matter of three months.  Moral of the story:  Don’t do what I did.  I am sensing a pattern here involving me making quick decisions.  Just go for the MkII and buy two of them.  The 7D is a fabulous camera but once you start rollin” a full-frame, using a crop is weirdddd.

5.  I rock Calligraphy.  I took it in college and got 100%.  For my final project, I wrote all of the words to Montel Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” on the hugest piece of paper with the curliest baroquesty font EVER.  OMG, embarrassed.  However, my grandma (R.I.P.!!!!) had bought me a professional calligraphy set from an art store when I was like 7 with real inks and whatnot so I taught myself back then.  I think those skills really added to my Montell masterpiece.   HAHA.

6.  Right now Kurt is five years younger than me.  It’s his favorite two months of the year.  :)

7.  I lived in Seattle.  I was supposed to take Belle for her tenth birthday but she decided she’d rather have a slumber party instead.  While it’s sad to know my place in the heirarchy, I am happy to save a grand. 

8.  My true dream is to have a southern accent.

9.  My three favorite movies:  Dirty Dancing.  Breakfast Club.  Legally Blond.

10.  I love the song Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf.  There, I said it.  Because when I arrive – I I bring the fire.  Make you come alive.  I can take you higher.  (etc)

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Tuesday!!  Love to all!  xoxo!


P.S.  Whenever I’m totally M.I.A. you can bet I’m working on a photography project, researching something photography-related to buy or have a sick little farmboy on my hands.  All 3 in this case  = /

P.P.S.  Mini-sessions went awesome!  Thanks everyone who came out for them!

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Baby, I Like It!

::Cues Enrique:: 

“Baby, I like it!!!”  I thought I’d share the love of that song since it’s been in my head for the past four hours.  Thanks, Molly McNall!

Photography trip ROCKED IT.  Anyone reading this blog knows Thee Husb is building me the pretty much the coolest studio EVER – THIS YEAR (Yay!).  It was muy bueno to visit a studio I clicked with and I felt matched my style to see how their studio looked, the layout, their props, equipment and how they operated.  Blair and Suzanne Phillips are the coolest…and Adam, Tiffany and Dustin.  OMG, AWESOME.  The only way this week could possibly be any cooler is if I win the lottery between now and tomorrow and the studio can be done in about a week with only the finest of materials.  And I could order all of the gallery wraps, prints, frames and collages I wanted to decorate the studio, in any size, and not worry about “my accountant” putting a hit out on me.  And I could stock it on up with numeroussss Larson softboxes.  ::Swoooooon:: 

When I traveled for Deere, we’d hop in a car with four or so people we’d NEVER met to do an audit.  Being at the same table all day and spending evenings and weekends with these people led to what…?  Life-long friends of fabulousness.  Literally.  Soooooooo many of those people have become friends I CANNOT imagine my life without.  They all know who they are…xo.  You make up for lost time REALLLLL quick when you have a fifteen hour drive together and proceed to hang out together constantly for weeks.

Same thing happened on this trip.  Such a small group.  Together for fifteen+ hours per day.  Seriously, I love these people.  One of them happens to be my long-lost sister.  Ha!  The studio hooked us up to share a car and we got lost like 42,000 times!  Hahahaha!  If you’ve been on an audit or road-trip with me, you’re laughing right now.  Sometimes, we’d just be chatting so much we’d forget we were supposed to exit (15 miles earlier).  Deb’s husband said, “What is this?  The blind leading the blind?”  Hahaha.  Pretty much.

Yesterday, Deb and I were trying to return the rental car to the airport and we ended up lost in the Charlotte landfill and almost missed our flight.  We were so late we couldn’t get gas, so we had to pay $5.39 per gallon on an almost-empty tank.  Whoops!  Luckily, the guy felt sorry for us so only charged us half a tank (it was like on EEEEE, which is what we would have paid at the gas station anyhow.  Enterprise, they hook you up! 

 As a side-note, we strolled it through the airport for awhile (with our luggage cart – haha) and there were some pretty sweet Swatch watches for sale.  If you think I won’t be ordering one of these online, I am sorry but you are wrong.  I may or I may not rock the two-watch look this summer.

 Thanks everyone who emailed, facebooked or left me a voicemail this week!  I will be returning calls, emails, etc ASAP! 

 Mucho love to all! 

Peace & love ~


P.S.  Deb, Calvin, Kent, Matt, Susan and everyone else, too ~ thank you for everything.  I am a better photographer and a better person from having known you.  Let’s stay in touch…for sure.  xo.

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