Archive for life iluli photography

Three Plus Models Join New Parenting Web Site! Are You a Momma? We Would Love You to Join Our New Community!

Posted in Confidence, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Models, Parenting, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Liz

Hi, everyone!

Elizabeth just started another website called Secrets of Moms Who Dare to Tell All (www.secretsofmoms.com).

Plus Models Angela Jones, Kate Tunnell, and Cheyney Barrieau are contributing as well as several other fabulous women! It’s going to be a great and a wonderful place for mothers to go to share their stories and advice and will discuss both light and serious issues!

This website is for all you parents out there who want to hear the real ins and outs of being a mom. We will discuss the moments, days, feelings, and experiences that most moms don’t usually share with anyone but their closest friends. Almost every mom I’ve met has said that no one ever told her what it’s really like to be a parent. You hear about how wonderful, fun, and lovey everything is (and that’s true), but people don’t tell you about the craziness, unpredictability, and all-encompassing reality of what it’s like to raise kids. I wish I would’ve known the truth sooner, so that I never would’ve felt like a failure for not being perfect. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore–what is perfect, anyway!?! I am perfectly unperfected and so are you. Let’s help all the mom’s out there feel good about themselves and their children, by being real.

This is a place for EVERYONE to have honest, direct dialogue without judgment. Secrets will be told and almost anything goes. We will cover every topic imaginable–the good, the bad, and the funny. Let yourself be heard! Dads are welcome too. Please share your stories, send us comments and pictures, and tell the truth. As long as you are speaking your truth, you are welcome here. Please be kind to each other, interact, and ask questions.

Liz Nord is the creator of www.secretsofmoms.com. She is a wife and mother of two daughters ages six and nine. She loves family, running, reading, seeking knowledge, baking, laughing, innovating, traveling, in-depth conversations, sunshine, and outdoor adventures. She earned a B.A. in Communications, and completed graduate editing courses at the University of Washington. Liz has published articles in a number of magazines, newspapers, and on numerous websites. She has been a guest on the Leeza Gibbons talk show, Hollywood Confidential, and serves on the Editing Certificate Advisory Board at the University of Washington. She is also the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite.  Liz is passionate about promoting positive self-esteem, healthy body image, and confidence.  She believes in cultivating who you are truly meant to be and embracing your unique self.

We are an eclectic, intelligent, fun group of women, who are all here to share our parenting experiences.

Cheyney Barrieau is a mother of two beautiful children – Lulu, 18 months, and Max, 3 months. She is born and raised in New York City and now resides in West Hartford, CT with her college sweetheart hubby, Gib. Cheyney was a straight-sized model with Wilhelmina Models and moved to WCurve after having two children back to back. As well as being a full-time mom, she finds the time to continue her modeling career, showing young girls it’s perfectly fine to show off those curves!

Andrea Dodd is a fully domestic homeschooling mom of a newly blended family; two girls of her own, ages 10 and 7; and inherited son, 8. When Andrea is not teaching, you’ll find her coaching and playing volleyball, baking, reading with a glass of red, or behind the lens, growing her budding photography career, Life iluli Fotography, which has been featured on Plus Size Models Unite.

Andrea went to a Seattle Junior College, and then off to Arizona State University, studying Nutrition. She’s passionate about family (including those sisters by choice), health, positive living, and relishing those glimpses of momentary bliss mothering bestows.

Angela Jones is a wife, mother of two children, a model, and an eating disorder survivor. She is also the co-creator of the website Plus-Size Models Unite, a contributor to Healthy is the New Skinny, and a speaker for the Perfectly UnPerfected (P.U.P.) Project. Angela enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, she loves to take walks, run, dance, bake, or spend time at home. She is passionate about promoting healthy living, confidence, and self-love to girls and women around the world.

Janell Kaufman is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English Literature and Communications. She is a stay at home mom of a ten-year old girl and a, recently adopted, seven-year old boy. She over volunteers at her children’s school, is highly emotional (read: cries all the time), and often puts her foot in her mouth. Janell has been an avid journal keeper for over 25 years and is currently working on a fiction novel, when she can find the time.

Cassandra Mack, MSW is a trained social worker, national girls’ empowerment expert and the founder of Strategies for Empowered Living Inc., a New York based human development company dedicated to helping people succeed and grow. She has written over ten highly successful books including: “Cool, Confident and Strong: 52 Power Moves for Girls,” “The Busy Woman’s Little Book of Motivation,” and “Say It, See It, Believe It: The Affirmation Activity Journal for Girls and Their Mothers.” For more information about this contributing writer go to: www.strategiesforempoweredliving.com.

Molly Pitts grew up in a small town outside of Seattle. She attended Western Washington University looking to graduate with a degree in communications, but transferred to The Art Institute of Seattle to follow her love of filmmaking and video production. After graduating, she worked in the industry for a few years ending at The Gates Foundation where she was a video editor. Molly is now back in that same small town being a mom and laughing as much as she can at the craziness we call parenting. She has three girls’ ages five, three and 8 months. Her oldest and youngest are biological and the three-year old was adopted from Ethiopia. She joined their family when she was just six months old.

Kate Tunnell is a new mom to a nine-week old son and a nine-year old stepson. She is a plus-size model who is originally from New Jersey—yes, the Jersey Shore. Kate worked in NYC, and then moved to Texas after meeting her husband on a model search tour. She loves making a home for her family and enjoys all the adventures of having a new baby. Kate loves telling young girls and women that it’s okay to have curves, embrace your body, and don’t think you have to be thin to be beautiful!

Come visit us at www.secretsofmoms.com! Thank you.

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What Do You Love About Yourself? by Andrea Dodd

Posted in Art, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Family & Friends, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2010 by Liz

That was the premise of our evening. Angela and I – giddy to induce an awakening, or enlightening at best; planned the second event of it’s kind, for Plus Size Models Unite. Our lovely guests offered their vulnerable hearts in the truths they imparted on the topic… what they love about themselves. What they would tell their 13-year-old selves. How do you define beauty?

Looking around the table, I was amazed at the purge of innocence. We all seemed to struggle with the first question… but allowing time to let it resonate offered real definition. If only this event was nationally recognized… what a beauty movement it could be.

As our evening progressed, our purpose broke the surface. Walls fell. Honesty rose from depths… some harder and darker than others. But, the climate was safe, radiating with an energy of feminine confidence. An understanding. We are all susceptible to the societal and cultural biases of the way a woman’s body “should” look. Some able to see through the noise. Some, if affected at just the precisely impressionable moment; are left forever fighting for clarity. So many factors shape a woman’s paradigm of beauty. Consequently, a softening of current “beauty” standards must occur. What we love about ourselves has to become the topic–not what we despise. Let the change we fight for be noble, not superficial.

Our daughters are watching.

I propose acceptance and truth. It’s there that we will find peace with our perfect imperfections and embrace our natural beauty.

Andrea Dodd

What do you love about yourself and why?

My face tells you exactly what I’m thinking~ my eyes really are the window to my soul. My smile is my truth. I love the physical strength of my body, and my endurance of my soul to obtain peace and live there ~ gratefully basking in my blessings.

How do you define beauty?

Confidence. Grace. Healthy mind and body. A strong laugh. Good posture. Defining best attributes in style and make-up. Never excusing flaws.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

Be a little more daring. Don’t worry so much about your frizzy curly hair and crooked teeth. You are strong and loving. Your body is exactly as it should be and you’re loved because you’re YOU. And, one day you’ll have a fame-worthy smile, so say’s your best friend you just met, 12 years later.

Heidi Brager

What do you love about yourself and why?

I like my eyes. They link me to my family. I can express my moods with my eyes and how I make them up. They can be innocent or they can be smokey and sultry. They can be tired and sad or delighted. The eyes are the windows to the soul.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is how you feel. How you carry yourself. I love seeing women discover their own beauty when they see themselves in a new way or through a new perspective.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

Stop trying to be something you’re not. Own who you’re feeling you are. One day you’ll be happy that you are you. And, don’t get in that tanning bed!

Jill Kramer

What do you love about yourself and why?

I love that I know I’m a good person. 🙂 I’m real, honest, and I laugh a lot and I pay attention to the little things. I listen when people talk, and I believe that day+day+day=your life. The little things matter. I want to make sure the people in my life know how amazing they are and how happy & lucky & blessed I feel to have them in my life. I want to make them feel unique and special.

How do you define beauty?

Real, true, honest beauty shines from within. Real beauty is honest and real. Good, sincere, genuine people are stunning. With a sense of humor, and passion are beautiful. Be passionate about what you believe in and who you are. Beauty follows.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have goals, be curious-but enjoy and savor each and every day along the way. Take time to find beauty, happiness, laughter & joy in the smallest, most simple things. Worry is the misuse of imagination. Laugh. Be trustworthy. Have integrity and be true to yourself. Seek wisdom in the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child…see its beauty.

Kelsey Schalock

What do you love about yourself and why?

I love my freckles!! I think what makes me unique and special is my ability to make people laugh. I try to find the best in any situation.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is something that can only be found in the eye of the beholder, but to me, a beautiful person is someone who is down to earth, full of life, caring, and courageous.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

I would tell myself the sky is the limit.

Cortney Covert

What do you love about yourself and why?

I like that I’m compassionate, sensitive and I like that when I put my mind to something…I can do anything. I’m a good mom and very loyal.

How do you define beauty?

Being confident, and secure in who you are and just truly be a good person.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

Don’t sweat the small stuff and embrace your body. Don’t worry what other people think and be confident in who you are as a person. Always love yourself.

Nicole Firestone

What do you love about yourself and why?

I love that, as I get older, wrinklier, and flabbier, I become more content with who I am. I trust my instincts more. I like my eyes. I think their honest and patient. Special ~ I have an insatiable desire to understand the human soul.

How do you define beauty?

Confidence. The willingness to take chances knowing you’ll look like a fool. Admitting your mistakes and imperfections. Humility mixed with reason.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

No matter where you go–you’re always there! Sooner or later, you have to really dig deep and face yourself. Also, be kind to yourself. You are your own worst enemy and the best friend you’ll ever have.

Trust yourself.

Sarah Howell

What do you love about yourself and why?

I love my eyes and arms. Why? My eyes were something I grew up hating and my arms…I grew to love my arms. They are like my grandma’s big and buff and it reminds me how hard of workers we are. My eyes are from my mom. When I see them, I think of her. I’m a survivor. I’ve been strong my whole life.

How do you define beauty?

Your soul! What is in your heart. Everyone is beautiful in a different way. Whether it is your eyes, lips, butt, etc. Everyone has something that makes them unique and beautiful…everyone.

What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

Stop worrying about what other people think you look like. Love what you have been given. We are all beautiful!

*Thank you, ladies!

**Elizabeth and Angela have previously published two other “What Do You Love About Yourself” pieces. If you would like to read more, here are the links:

What Do You Love About Yourself?

What Do You Love About Yourself? Part II

*** What do you love about yourself and why? How do you define beauty? What would you tell yourself at the age of 13?

****All photographs taken by Andrea Dodd, owner of life iluli photography. Nicole Firestone of Sunshine Charlie Photography assisted Andrea.

The Amazing Maizie Project by Stacy Chapin and Andrea Dodd

Posted in Plus-Size Modeling with tags , , , , on December 19, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Andrea Dodd from life iluli photography

If this story doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will. This is a story about Stacy Chapin’s daughter, Maizie. What an amazing girl!

Here is the story…

Photographed by Andrea Dodd from life iluli photography

Our amazing eight-year-old daughter Maizie, with a heart ten times her size, resolved this Christmas to comfort her grandma by donating her hair for a wig. Grandma is currently in her second round of cancer treatment. The hair, which was cut two days ago, will be used in a custom wig that grandma will wear for Christmas. This gesture from the soul of an eight year old has had an incredible impact – the simple comfort and confidence a lovely side sweep of bangs – especially when it’s your own granddaughter’s locks.

We found only one wig maker – a gentleman that has been making wigs since 1952. He said that he has never worked on this kind of a project. The cost is staggering – between $1400 and $2500 dollars to have a custom wig made. Maizie decided to raise the money for her grandma’s wig after reading a book at school called, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, which is a book about a little girl with cancer who raises money to find a cure.

Because of the cost and the reaction by grandma, Maizie has dreamed up ‘The Amazing Maizie Project’, which should be a foundation for cancer patients to receive the incredible gift of hair, specifically from a loved one. We believe this is a story that might intrigue you. If for nothing else, the true gift of an eight year old for her grandmother this Christmas.

Photographed by Andrea Dodd from life iluli photography