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About Me

Single tired mom of four. Lover of chocolate and coffee - not necessarily in that order. Lover of Jesus, photographer by trade, Photoshop junkie and crime TV watcher.


RSS Hallie Westcott Photography

Organizing in 2010 with OneNote

December 31, 2009

Anyone who knows me will tell you I struggle with organization and because of that, I have always envied those people who are really good at it.   Yeah, you know who you are.

They are organized and well put together in every area of life and able to discuss their ten page, mentally stored to-do list without even breaking a sweat.   Of course, I am way on the other end of the spectrum.  My mind is usually a fractured mess of ideas and tiny fragments of who knows what, which in the past, were either forgotten or lost in the abyss of gray matter.  Such is life.

Until now.

I was browsing through Clickin’ Moms some time ago and came across a post from Amanda at Finn Rose Photography, about organizing with Microsoft OneNote.  And let me tell you…it has changed my life for the better.

For business, I use it to organize my client workflow, client email templates, shooting locations, track my job profit, organize ideas, bits from the web, links, addresses, marketing ideas, to-do’s and so on.  You can even add audio, video and screen clips.  OneNote organizes all your information in a digital workbook format, with tabs that make it easy to find everything.  And if that’s not enough, you can locate your information with tags.

For personal stuff, I use it to create shopping lists, keep track of medical information, recipes and so on.  It even comes with built in templates, to help you get started.  However, I like making my own templates that I can reuse for each occasion.  I have only just begun to realize the potential of OneNote.

So here’s to better organization in 2010!


I am Lego Challenged

December 28, 2009

I see nothing more than a wall when I look at Legos, but not my children….they have vision.


A New Year’s Blog Evolution

December 25, 2009

New Years Evolution

As I sit here trying to muster up the makings of a new post, I can’t  help but wonder where this blog is going.  Much like a photograph, a blog should have a focal point and at some point, this blog’s focus was lost.

There was a time, which seems like an eternity ago, that I posted regularly and with total enthusiasm.  Always finding the humor in the midst of the mundane and a filled glass where most would see (ehem…excuse me,) only backwash.  Of course, that’s when life resembled something that looked more to me like normal…or whatever my perception of normal was.

At that time, I (we) were largely defined by the fact that we were homeschoolers.  I was a struggling single mother who had opened a bookstore to stay home and homeschool my children, while being the caretaker of a mom with an acquired brain injury.   I had spunk and durability, having withstood many an injury to my spirit, I maybe felt a little too good.

But things are different now. So much has happened since then, it would be really hard to nail it down in only one sentence, but since I have resolved to start the new year with transparency and authenticity, there is no time to start like the present.

The overview…I am still a single homeschooling mother, which may or may not be a surprise to those of you who have grown to know me online over the years.  I will not go into detail, but it has been an ugly year to say the least.  I am recovering from a serious burnout of sorts, I now help care for *two* ailing parents, I finally put my youngest in nursery school to give us some time to regroup; even put an end to a chapter in our lives that needed to come to a quick termination after the closing of the bookstore.   This of course is only scratching the surface; however, I will spare you the gory details and hold tight to the fact that we are the mend and only Jesus will bring us through this difficult season.

I have since started a photography business, out of necessity, spent loads of time getting to know my children, and taken more time to nurse my ailing soul, which needed a great deal of nourishment.  I have come to realize, when faith is put to the test, there are really only two possible endings.

My point is, I am no longer the same person I was when I started this blog.  And therefore, it cannot continue as it was.  I have struggled with this fact for sometime; not wanting to stop blogging, but not able to articulate the changes occurring in my life.

But I digress.  As time permits I will still continue posting, but my focus will be more about photography.  I will still enjoy and freely share more personal things, because first, I want to, and second, I feel that a measure of transparency is needed between a writer and a reader for a personal connection to be made.  However, I need to write with a purpose, or writing becomes a task and a burden and I have felt that for long enough.

So there it is…..and it only smarts a little.

Here’s to a joyful New Year.

Image size screwy

December 19, 2009


And Yet Another Test Post

Maybe I’ll get it right this time.

Or maybe not.

blog test image

Just This Size

December 18, 2009

I’m not ready for her to grown up yet.  I like her just this size.