Indulging in its ambiance – La Carafe

Believed to be the oldest bar in Houston and considered haunted as well, La Carafe Wine Bar is one of the places I absolutely LOVE. Of course, I’ve never had the privilege to experience the haunted side of this mesmerizing place. Hopefully one day that will change.

With its candle lit tables draped with red vinyl tablecloth, accompanied by the miraculous tunes of the jukebox that play selections from Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Bob Marley, Peggy Lee, and many more; it’s almost as if you could travel back in time! There is so much history here. You can see it, feel it, and its inside appeal gives off a cozy and intimate ambiance that is alluring in every way.

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Midday capture. Be sure to come at nightfall and capture the magic!

La Carafe is reasonably priced with a cheering selection of wines and assorted domestic and imported beers. There is a lovely view from their 2nd floor balcony, however, the upstairs does not open until after 9pm but do not, I repeat, do not forget to venture up there when the time comes.

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2nd Floor, midday capture.

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary or just something new to experience… this is an amazing place I’m sure your date or significant other will not only approve of, but enjoy as well. Ahem, you’re definitely getting brownie points for this one! 😉

As if it were the light of a million flames…

I recently had the privilege of being apart of something so spectacular! Something that only comes along once in a life time. A baby’s FIRST birthday. Coming from a mother’s perspective and a first time mother at that, just getting our beloveds through the 1st year IN ONE PIECE is a celebration in itself.

What they say is true. Time really does pass you by in the blink of an eye. So cherish your loved ones and savor every moment. Every laugh. Every cry. Every fall, scrape or bump. Every interaction through every new milestone and adventure. Because in what may seem like a blink of an eye, they will have grown from 1 year, to 3… 5… 10… 16… and before you know it, they’ll be off making new adventures of their very own.

As if it were the light of a million flames, let your innocent smile shine and brighten up the lives of all who surround you!

Happy 1st Birthday baby boy.

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If you have the power to make someone happy, do it.

Anabelle Drake, face painter and artist.

We hired Anabelle for my daughter’s 1 year birthday party. It was so cute; she turned my JoJo into Hello Kitty, hahaha! She’s so brilliant with children from ages young to old. So talented and artistic, even the adults got in on it! Well, this Saturday my daughter turns 3 years and we’ve hired her again. I can’t wait, it’s going to be awesome! So, if you have an event or party coming up and you are looking for a face painter who is both artistic and great with people of ALL ages, I’d strongly suggest Anabelle.

Actually, I feel so strongly about her that I asked if I could shoot some photos of her to which she happily obliged!

Anabelle Drake guys!!! Visit her page at: https://www.facebook.com/anabellesfantazeefaces

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SEPTEMBER 2016 ISSUE

MAGAZINE COVER - SEPTEMBER 2016

FAMILY PORTRAITS

When I’m feeling alone or troubled I reach to my family. And when I feel ungrounded, sometimes all I need is to visit with them. I may not visit them often enough, and I know that much is very true, but when I do, I find myself cherishing the time we have. I even wonder, “why ever don’t I come by more often? This feels great.” The feeling of family; it’s taken for granted and we all do it. Especially this day in age. But there is one thing I have learned, “Family is where our roots lie.” It’s what lives are built on.

Family is a strong word and an important one at that. What Is “Family”? What does the word “family” mean for you? Whom does it include? Do you see your pet as a part of your family? For me, having family is to feel complacent. It’s a feeling of security. To have someone whom you can rely on and whom you can confide in. It also means to have respect for each other and responsibility. By responsibility, I mean to take care of each other and be there for each other. And with the best intentions, to not hold back or steer wrong.

There once was a time that I did not think I was going to make it past 25. I did not think I’d ever find a husband, bare a child, or even gain a family of my very own. For me, my family is something very important in my life because they are people I know will never fail me and whom I will never fail. And yes, my pets are members of my family.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed. No one lives forever. So what is a better way to instill their memory than to suspend them in time? Why not invest in a family portrait? With that said, when was your last family portrait? Do you even have one? Life is full of great moments. A family portrait is not only something that can be displayed for decades but it’s also something can be displayed proudly.

Of course, when your like 75 and showing all the grand kids pictures of yourself, you’re gonna want them to see the best version of the younger you so I’m going to also provide you with a few tips on how to make sure you look SPECTACULAR in your family portraits.

1. Plan Wardrobe Choices with Your Family

You don’t want to dress in uniform but you also don’t want to stick out like a soar thumb. Decide on wearing clothing styles/patterns that haven’t changed much over the years. You know how fashion and time works. What is absolutely awesome to wear now might not be so awesome later on down the road. Avoid the dated and trendy for a much safer approach.

2. Wear Colors That Flatter Your Skin Tone

Choose a color that looks best with youGemstones Color Chartr skin tone. A helpful hint, gem colors look good on every body.

If you’re not sure which gem color works best for you, here are a few tips to help you decide. Look at your veins. If they appear more blue than green, you have a cool skin tone. However, if they look more green than blue, you have a warm skin tone.

Just keep in mind, warm with warm and cool with cool. Warm skin tones are best flattered with brown, tan, red, orange, gold and taupe. Cool skin tones look great with cool colors like charcoal grey, blue, purple and white.  If you still feel a bit undecided just ask your friends and family what colors look best on you. Most people can choose the appropriate hues instinctively. 

3. Wear Underwear That Keeps Your Outerwear Looking Great

Rest assure that the undershirt you are wearing beneath your best suit may in fact have a dramatic effect on your overall appearance. Yes, everything may look in place with the initial tuck-in but all that twisting, turning and bending is sure to have your undershirt wiggling its way back out. Baggy undershirts that won’t stay tucked in can add up to 15 pounds to your appearance, and that’s not counting what the camera adds.

Look for the best undershirts that fit properly and move with you. Your shirt will look neater, and because you’re outfit makes you feel all GQ you’ll feel more confident, your facial expression and smile may be more relaxed. Also choose outerwear that fits well on your frame. A common fashion mistake is to wear loose-fitting or overly-tight clothes. Don’t be afraid of tailoring your clothes for that perfect fit.

4. Dress Rehearsal

It’s your portrait; your style, but no matter how casual or how formal you are planning your portrait to be; just make sure that everyone is on the same page. To avoid last-minute confusion and bickering, plan a dress rehearsal the night before your appointment. No-one wants to feel like the odd man out.

5. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation significantly affects facial appearance. Be sure that you get plenty of sleep as you can before the day of your session. We may live in an era that is infatuated with zombie apocalypses and vampire folklore but the red-eyed undead look never works well in portraits… unless your going for a Halloween theme.

It’s Your Portrait; You Call the Shots

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Sports & Fitness

PUSH-UP VARIATIONS

Push-ups. A simple body-weight activity that targets and intensifies work on the upper body and core. An exercise that strengthens your triceps, biceps, pectorals, deltoids, abdominals, obliques, quadriceps and erector spinae. 

A while back I developed a new love for push-ups. Yes, that’s right, push-ups. Prior to discovering this new love of mine I couldn’t even do one single push-up and I’m being completely serious. I actually learned how to do a real push-up by doing Sean T’s Insanity workout. I figured, well, if I’m going to be doing push-ups now would be the perfect time to implement the full body version. I learned that starting out, it’s not about the quantity of push-ups that you can do. It’s about the form. If you don’t have the correct form you will not only cheat your results but you will look completely silly performing. So I made up a challenge for myself. Every day I’d challenge my number. If I did 16 today than tomorrow I’d do 17. Eventually I pushed myself even further. I’d time myself and count how many regular push-ups I could do, correctly, within 3 minutes. My highest count now is 97. Pretty impressive huh! I know, I’m quite proud of myself. When working out, I always try to incorporate at least 3 different push-up variations. I’m not so advanced that I can do a one armed push-up or anything but these 3 variations are my go-to.

  1. Regular Push-up: Start off in a plank position. Hands should be placed directly under the shoulders with feet together, if not slightly apart. While lowering your body down keep your elbows tucked close to your rib cage. If you can’t do regular push-ups, here’s a helpful tip to make things easier. Place your hands, only slightly wider than your shoulders and angle them inward. Now part your feet wide. This is not technically correct but it will help get you there for the time being.  
  2. Jack Push-up: Start off in a plank position and go down into a push up while bringing your legs out at the same time; kind of like a jumping jack. When you come back up, bring your legs back in and reset to plank.
  3. Oblique Knee Push-up: The hardest but my absolute favorite and I got it from Sean T. Your hands should be placed directly under or slightly wider than the shoulders. While lowering the body, drive your knee up and out towards your tricep. On your way back up extend the leg back into the plank position. 

Remember: Perfect form is key! Keep your head aligned with your spine. Your pelvis should be tucked in slightly; mindful not to sink down too low or raise up too high. Now have at it… and try challenging yourself!

If you are looking to challenge yourself and you’re 100% serious, I would like to open up a “Before & After Package” for you. If you’re about to enter into a lifestyle change or challenge and this is something that may interest you, please contact me for more details. 


Pin-up Tales: Skin Care

PRESERVE & PROTECT

A professional camera and lighting setup has an amazing way of showing the true condition of your skin. Pay special attention to your skin. Do you see any signs of aging starting to creep in? Is it dry?

The foundation to any skin care regime is having a good cleanser and a good moisturizer. Avoiding a moisturizer all together to evade having oily skin only results in your skin producing more oils to make up for that dryness. Use a quality moisturizer and start about a week before your photo shoot. If you have oily skin, take a few oil-blotting wipes to the studio to prevent a glaring forehead shine from ruining your picture.

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Here are some products that I currently use and recommend.


Pets

HEALTHY PET, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Is Your Health Reflecting Onto Your Pets?

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So I came across this article in Health magazine and it talks about how your pets share the same lifestyle as you. Not that we’ve really actually stopped to think about it in detail and duration but the fact remains whether our lifestyle choices are healthy or not, our furry loved ones are affected.

According to Health Magazine, our pets illness can be a reflection of our own health, especially when it comes to lifestyle choices. And in most cases we can correct the problem in both owner and pet by just paying attention to the details.

3 common animal symptoms:

Is He/She Anxious?

A study from the University of Lincoln in England and the University of Sao Paulo found that domestic dogs actually do have the ability to combine facial and vocal cues to perceive human emotions, which make them attune to your mood. Likewise, specific phobias can carry over to your dogs, noted by Stanley Coren, PhD, author of How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication.

A Change In Grooming Habits?

If your pet has been licking and scratching more than usual it could be signs of allergies. Visit your local vet to help find the culprit. To help minimize the amount of pollen, among other allergens:

  • Wipe off (with a wet wipe) the bottom of your pets paws and face when y’all get home after outside time.
  • Shower and change your clothes.
  • Bathe your pet regularly.
  • Vacuum and clean your pets bedding.

Is He/She Looking A Bit On The Heavy Side?

Its been said that from 2009 to 2015, obesity has risen in dogs as well by 10 percent. A healthier lifestyle for you means a healthier lifestyle for your furry little buddy. So if you won’t do it for yourself, will you at least do it for your fur baby?


Events

PLANNING EXCELLENCE

I used to be an event contact and coordinator. My experience wasn’t too much more than a year but I did learn quite a bit and I loved it. When planning an event, whether it be for business or pleasure there are certain steps that should be followed to allow yourself to plan in a budget friendly manner and above all, in a stress free zone.

PLAN OF ACTION

  1. Set A Budget – This is the overall amount that sets the bar to the maximum limit you (or your client) can spend. Keep it noted that you do not have to reach this max, it’s just a cap-off.
  2. Decide On A Budgeting Tool – Whether it be an excel spreadsheet or an online budgeting software, either one is a perfect candidate to keep you on track. 
  3. Setup Budget Items – Create categories. For example: Food would be listed as a category in one row and in the next row, Rentals.  
  4. Sub-categorize and Track Budget Items – Add items such as Cakes, Champagne, Tables, Chairs, Entertainment, etc.  Next to each item add the quantity, then next to that the item detail, and then the amount quoted. You can even add an additional column for notes (who you talked to, phone numbers, etc).
  5. Map It Out – Draw out your own blueprint of the event area and mark where everything should go so you can be prepared ahead of time. WAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM!
  6. Setup A Timeline – If there are multiple event or activities going down at your event have an idea of when everything should take place. What time will it start? Approximately how long will it take? What time should the next activity begin? Having an estimated timeline is better than playing the guessing game. Plus, you don’t risk your guests boredom by losing track of time. 

*Note: Ask vendors for quotes beforehand if you don’t have any idea for costs. It’s always a good idea to get estimates from multiple vendors before committing.

*2nd Note: Apply a 5-15% overage expense to your budget. Always be ready for the unexpected.


RECENT OEUVRE

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Thank you Jeremy Warren for thinking of me for your Headshots!


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In The Spotlight: Tesla Electrical Services Electrician, Michael DeAses

Why did you want to be an electrician?14202877_1808092479438332_525352475_o
I didn’t want to be an electrician I chose the trade thinking I was getting into electronics I was 17 didn’t know the difference. My stepdad encouraged me to stick to it he said there will always be need for electricians.

What overall experience do you have?
My experience I completed a 2 year electrical trade course in New Mexico back 1993. Then I moved to Houston in 1995 to work as a electricians helper was told about an apprenticeship school so I signed up for the 4 year course and completed it and got Journeyman license. I mostly did service work where you get exposed to a variety of electrical projects. I started to run my own truck in 2001. I do have some new construction experience as well. I keep up with continuing education that is required to renew our license. Also have been able to obtain my Master Electrician license through studying and passing the exam.

Are you licensed?
Yes
Are you insured?
We currently have shelved our company due to a project we’re working on out of state so to cut down expenses we currently are not insured and are not taking on any projects till we come back to Houston. We are passing along our projects to some of our fellow electrical contractors who we trust.
What did you find difficult to do as an electrician when you were an apprentice?
The most difficult thing was the environment; some of the people I worked with were not positive. Like the Journeyman I worked for as an apprentice was tough to work for nobody could work with him. I stuck it out for around 5 years as he was the best guy we had at the company and I knew I would learn a lot from him, which I did. Something he told me when I started working with him take the words “can’t do” out of your vocabulary or else we would have a hard time working together. Things are different nowadays. In the end, I appreciate him and who he was for me as a mentor in the trade.
How have you learned to do this without feeling challenged by it?
Well there was a time where I used to stress about some of the projects like, “how am I gonna do this,” and I would complain like, “why isn’t some one else doing this?”. So I had to make shift at how I approached these projects. My helper and I made this thing up where we would catch and correct each other if we started stressing about what we were doing. To me a good electrician is able to take any kind of electrical project without trying to get out of it or doubting themselves and admits his mistakes. To me being honest with customers is the most powerful tool that you can have.
What is the largest electrical project you have completed?
The most current one was when I was working for a company called Caress Stadium. It was a training facility and stadium for a high school. This was a tough one. I had never done a project like this or had the number of workers I had under me.
What kind of work do you do most?
Service work

What special training/experience do you have for this kind of work?
I have completed apprenticeship programs & keep up with continuing education.

What does your estimate include?
Estimates will have a description of work to be done inclusions & exclusions.
We do flat rate pricing.
We will have an expiration date for estimate due to fluctuations in price on some materials.

Do I need a permit? Who will obtain it?
Really all jobs should be permitted per the city. So we pull permits when necessary like major projects but not for a ceiling fan. Some customers don’t like to pull permits. The reason is, while we obtain an electrical permit and schedule an inspection the inspector will come out and find something not related to electrical and tell them they need a permit for other thing which will hold us back from passing our inspection.

Who will perform the work?
We have few great Journeyman Electricians we work closely with to take on our projects under my supervision. Sometimes I get in there too.

What will you guarantee/warranty?
We are currently working on what to offer for a warranty. Some of our competitors like to compete with this and offer a lifetime warranty and I think who’s lifetime the customer or the company.🤔

May I see a work in progress?
Not sure if you’re asking to watch the work being done. I will say this, workers usually don’t like it when someone is breathing down their shoulder. Most construction guys like to be themselves while working and it may not be very appropriate for customers.

Have you ever torn apart a computer or device to see how it works? Just curious.  
Well there wasn’t many computers around when I was a kid but I did take apart a lot of electronics even made tattoo machines out of Walkman parts I was taught this by some of my not so good friends.

 EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT

September 1 – 5               Labor Day Festivities (ALL WEEKEND LONG)

September 9                    Amazing Houston Comic Con 2016

September 10                 The Yoga Expo

September 17                  SHRP Food Truck Festival

September 23-25           Southwest International Boat Show

September 24-25           Houston’s very 1st Open Air Music Festival

September 29                  Houston Art Fair 2016

September 30                  2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions

 


FUN HOLIDAYS

Sep 2

Sep 5

International Bacon Day

Labor Day

Observance

Federal Holiday

Sep 9 California Admission Day Local observance
Sep 10 Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day Observance
Sep 11 Patriot Day Observance
Sep 11

Sep 12

National Grandparents Day

Chocolate Milkshake Day

Observance
Sep 16 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observed Observance
Sep 16 National POW/MIA Recognition Day Observance
Sep 17 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Observance
Sep 18 Air Force Birthday

National Women’s Friendship Day

Observance

3rd Sunday in Sep

Sep 21

 

Miniature Golf Day

 

Observance

 

Sep 22 1st Day of Fall

September equinox

Emancipation Day

Season

Local observance

Sep 23 Native Americans’ Day Local observance
Sep 25 Gold Star Mother’s Day Observance

 


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img_2250Thanks so much for stopping by. Please like and share with all of your friends. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’m all ears!

With much respect and appreciation,

AJ Chavez

Owner/Photographer

http://www.shortysshots.com

Email: aj@shortysshots.com

 

JULY 2016: CUE THE FIREWORKS!

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Cue the fireworks!

We are always looking for great ways to decorate our homes. Yeah, we can all go to an art gallery and spend a few hundred to a thousand bucks on a painting of fruit or flowers. And while that’s great too, the whole point of decorating our homes is to dress it in ways that reflect ourselves. In ways that scream character and individuality. So put on a unique display for all to see and choose something a little more personal and intimate; privileged. Like beautiful family portraits, portraits of your pets, accomplishments, etc. No need to wait for the 4th to roll by. Get ready cause the fireworks start now at Shortys Shots. 

BOOK NOW: Get 1 free 11×14 print of your choosing. Included is, your choice as well, of either a Glossy, Lustre, or Metallic finish. Look around your home and visualize where you could place this magnificent piece… Envision the kind of image it would be… Now tell me something. How gratified do you feel right now? How proud would you be to hang that up on your wall?

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Starbucks Barista Championship

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“No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.”

~Sheik Abd-al-Kadir


ENJOYABLE TEAM BUILDING PLACES

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FUN HOLIDAYS

July 3rd: Build a Scarecrow Day – Scarecrows are built to stand out in the garden to scare crows and other birds away. The crops are out growing in the field during the summer months. So, if you’re going to build a scarecrow for your garden, the time is now. Hence, a July date.

July 3rd: Compliment Your Mirror Day – Stand in front of your mirror with your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, relax your mind, and loosen your body. Now, open your eyes.  Take a good look at the person looking back at you. What an extraordinary view! Absolutely stunning. Do not let this special holiday be overshadowed by the 4th of July. Make sure to compliment your mirror for displaying this beautiful person. Love yourself.

July 4th:  Independence Day, the 4th of July – The birthday of our nation. This day, we celebrate and enjoy the freedom that comes with the event that made this day so special. Fourth of July is not complete without parades and fireworks. Fireworks are enjoyed by almost everyone. You should have your choice of several locations in your area on the Fourth, or even the day before.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!

July 4th: Sidewalk Egg Frying Day – It’s hotter than hot this time of year and everything seems to be sizzling. So hot in fact, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. (On a side note: try making nachos! I did this as a kid and loved it. We just lined a cardboard box with foil, threw in some chips and cheese, and waited. DELICIOUS!)

July 7th: Chocolate Day – Did you know? Chocolate is a vegetable. It comes from the Cacao tree found in tropical rain forests. There goes that guilty conscience. Eat chocolate!

July 11th: World Population Day – World Population Day focuses upon people under 25, reproductive issues, and health. This day is sponsored by the United Nations World Population Fund (UNFPA). According to the UNFPA website, the focus of this day is upon people under 25 and those at reproductive age. This day seeks to provide education and awareness to reproductive health, reproductive choice, family planning, and to provide a better future for young people. You can participate in World Population Day by playing a role in bringing awareness of these issues to the youth in your community.

 July 17th: National Ice Cream Day – In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month. He also established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month.

July 23rd: National Hot Dog Day – Hot diggety dog for National Hot Dog Day!!!! On this date, we celebrate one of America’s favorite summer sandwiches. Yes, sandwich, and it is only fitting that this dog gets its day. Summer in America equals pools, grills, picnics, etc. Hot dogs are center stage and the go to aside from burgers. They are at the ballpark. They are sold from carts on street corners in every city. It’s not hard to find them. We consume hundreds of millions of hot dogs on the Fourth of July alone. Enjoy National Hot Dog Day to the fullest. And, don’t forget to cook a few on a stick at the evening campfire.

July 30th: Father-in-Law Day – This day honors your loving, funny, and yes, sometimes a little grumpy and intimidating father-in-law. Regardless of his personality and charms, this day is dedicated to your spouse’s Dad. And, he certainly deserves a little recognition.

Good ways to celebrate this day are to send him a card, spend a little time with him, or give him his favorite snack. Important note: If you gave your Father-In-Law recognition on Father’s Day,  it’s okay to give him a little recognition and a show of appreciation this day too.

July 31st: Mutt’s Day – Mutts deserve their day in the spotlight, as much as a pure breed. If you own a mutt, or you are a mutt (reading this), then you know this day is for you. By definition a mutt, sometimes called a “Half-breed”, is a dog that is of mixed breed.  They come from two to several breeds. Purebred owners, and sometimes the public in general, view them as lesser in many ways. Mutt owners know better. They value the diversity and uniqueness of their mutts. Sure, a mutt doesn’t carry the expensive price tag that a purebred with papers has on its head. To the mutt owner, however, the mutt is invaluable. In addition, mutts don’t walk around needing to prove anything. You won’t see them strutting around any dog shows trying to prove they are the best.

To all mutts and and mutt owners, we hope you thoroughly enjoy Mutt’s Day. Spend the day relaxing and doing all the things you and your dog like to do. Do so with both of your chins held high. For your mutt is worth a million bucks!


EVENTS/ENTERTAINMENT IN HOUSTON & SURROUNDING AREAS

July 1st -4th:

July 4th:

July 6th:

July 9th:

July 13th:

July 14th:

July 17th:

July 29th:

July 30th:


THANK YOU

A big THANK YOU to all my clients, because without you I wouldn’t be this.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”

~Ralph Marston


323685_120042704782505_589167451_oUNTIL NEXT TIME 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please like and share with all your friends. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’m all ears!

With much respect and appreciation,

AJ Chavez
Owner/Photographer

http://www.shortysshots.com

Email: aj@shortysshots.com