Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby J

Baby J turned the big O-N-E on Saturday and I got to share in the celebration! He is such a cutie! Mom grew up here in Broward County, but now lives in Atlanta. Nothing like spending a weekend at Grandma's. (Which is just a mile away from my house!!)






Oh, What a Beautiful Sunday!

What a great way to end a weekend!! A beautiful Sunday afternoon with a beautiful family! Albeit, a little windy! The entire session was so relaxed and fun, complete with sand toys and football! They were up for anything! Which I definitely appreciate! We met at the Dania Beach Pier! It was the first time I had done a session there. I think it's my new favorite place. Thanks guys! Hope you enjoy your sneak peak!!!!

How many five year olds do you know who are into "The Doors"? Gotta love it!





I love sun flare!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My new blog

Ok, I've decided to keep my business blog for just that: BUSINESS! So if you would like to read any of my further musings you'll have to check out my new blog: " A Mother's Musings: My Wacky Interpretation of the World Around Me."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peter Bober 4 Mayor & Sara Case City Commission Dist. 1

I have to tell you that I'm really genuinely excited about this whole election process. I've been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I've received from friends and total strangers who read about my encounter with Mayor Mara Giulianti. It's crazy!! David Mach, the owner of the building at the center of the eminent domain controversy that I wrote about in my previous entry was sent my blog. He wrote to me as well! Even Mara herself responded! I will have to post that! It would only be fair of me! This week could very well be my 15 minutes of fame. If Mara's not careful, I might jump into the election arena in the next few days! haha

But really what's so interesting, now that I'm "in the loop", is all the information I've taken in the last few days and the connections I'm able to make between events and facts. For instance, last night I massed mailed an article that was published in the Sun Sentinel yesterday "Group's Backing of Hollywood Mayor Raises Ire." Now I should've elaborated more on why I was mailing it out at the time, but really, I didn't make all the connections until much later. (I'm laying in bed trying to sleep, but can't because I have a million and one thoughts sprinting..through my head!). So anyway here's how I understand it.....we've all been receiving what seems like numerous negative flyers about Peter Bober in the mail. Frankly, my neighbors and I are tired of them. I know that all candidates, regardless of what office they're running for, resort to some sort of negative campaigning. I think you have to. But the number of negative flyers we've been getting about Peter Bober borders on the ridiculous and absurd. I'm sure that negative campaigning does work in some instances. But enough is enough here! I truly think that it's having an opposite effect in this case. Quite honestly, Mara could be running against my 14 month old son (completely unqualified to hold the position for mayor, I mean he still poops his pants!), but he would have my vote if we received the same number of negative campaign flyers. So ridiculous right!?! So these flyers are being sent out by a group named "People for a Healthy Broward" run by a lobbyist. Now I'm not saying that I understand completely what a lobbyist does. I know they make alot of money, I know that they give away alot of money to politicians to make decisions in their favor which, if I'm not mistaken, alot of big wigs in Washington have gotten in trouble for. tsk tsk tsk! This group, "People for a Healthy Broward" was formed to protect the hospital district. Ok, when I read that in the article that I sent out to you yesterday, "Memorial Hospital Expansion" immediately came to mind. Bells and whistles went off in my head!!!! Soooo, that's one of the reasons why she voted in favor of hospital expansion!! Sure sure sure she loves the kids and the cancer patients, but here you've got this lobbyist group with lots of cash, who are trying to push for the hospital expansion and need the support of the mayor. So what do you do? You send tens if not hundreds of thousands of negative flyers against the mayor's opponent at no cost to the mayor. (I know you've seen them! They're quite beautiful really. All color, glossy! Let me just say "super duper expensive." These are by no means cheap!) In fact the mayor doesn't even have to put her name on them. She doesn't. She is quoted as saying in the paper, "I purposely kept my distance." Yeah, I'm sure she has. It's not like there are other candidates running for the same office. If the flyer is against Peter Bober, then it can only mean that it must be in support of.......(drum roll please.....) MARA GIULIANTI. (gag me!) She gets all of the pleasure with none of the guilt! It may not have her name or face on these flyers, but they are covered in her stink! For someone (Mara) who preaches ethics and morality, she could have at least approached the "People for a Healthy Broward" and asked them to halt their negative campaign efforts. She could've asked for them to instead send out flyers that supported her and her accomplishments, a list of her strengths! Which actually in her defense, I did receive on today. It had a quaint picture on the front of her and her husband along with her "two Hispanic grandchildren." It was entitled "Why Hispanics Should Vote For Mara" and is endorsed and paid for by her campaign. Although it got me to thinking....why just Hispanics? Why not Romanians, and Haitians, Canadians, African Americans? (just as a side note, the last negative Peter Bober flyer listed all of his campaign donations given by developers. I received a spreadsheet from David Mach detailing Mara's donations from developers. Overall developer total: $122,325.00. 51% of contributions from developer interests. Alright Mara and "People for a Healthy Broward" I'm starting to see alittle hypocrisy here! What's good for the goose is not good for the gander???? Pot calling the kettle black are we????)

(These are my own personal understandings! I'm not claiming them to be fact, but it's the way I see them! If under any circumstances I am wrong or incorrect in any of my interpretation of this, please let me know and I'll change them right away!)

I can't help but think of the old Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live Skit, where he's sitting alone in a dark room telling the audience, "If I had one wish for this Holiday season..." (I know you've all seen it!) Where he starts off "If I had one wish for this holiday season it would be for all the little children of the world to hold hands and sing together in harmony and peace." He then goes on to change the list and reprioritize so that includes 30 million dollars a month, a month long orgasm, all encompassing power, and then ends with "Oh yeah, the crap about the kids!"
I can just picture the Mayor pushing for hospital expansion "for the children" but really twiddling her thumbs "but yes, I also get tens of thousands of dollars worth of free anti-Peter Bober ads without any responsibility or ethical/moral backlash! AH HA HA HA HA HA!"

As I said at the beginning of this little blog entry of mine, I have received lots of emails from various residents most in support of Peter Bober and giving me a pat on the back for "standing up to that little troll." (yes, that is a direct quote! hehe) Now I did get one interesting email from a gentleman who is a "considerable property owner in downtown Hollywood." He wrote to me and said "that he shares the same feelings about Mara as well" but for his own reasons is still supporting her in her quest for another term. (whatever!) He goes on to say (and these are direct quotes, I'm cutting and pasting here!) "I think what's happened too her is that she been in the game too long. She certainly is not Ms. Congeniality and has really got me very annoyed on a couple of occasions." Ok, I'm just going to have to stop right here!!!! Is it really too much to ask, as a citizen and resident of Hollywood, for a mayor with a bit of congeniality? I'm not asking that they win the interview portion of the Miss America pageant, but our mayor should really have a bit of sparkle in their eye and a slight spring in the step. I don't know, I could be going out on a limb here, but our mayor is a direct representation of who I am, and where I live. Of who WE are and of where WE live. Many of you shared stories with me via email and phone of encounters with her in instances of where she was brusque and rude.

Boooooooo Boooooooo Boooooooooo Mayor Giulianti! She's today's "WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!"
(alright all you Keith Olberman watchers out there! you get it don't you!!)

Let's all get out there and vote on January 29! Peter Bober for Mayor and Sara Case for City Commission District 1

Lastly, I want to send a shout out to Joan Baez, the lady who was accompanying Mara on her walk Monday afternoon. I want to apologize for referring to her as Janice Joplin. Apparently it was very rude and mean of me and I hurt her feelings. It was wrong of me to characterize her as Janice Joplin. We all know that Janice Joplin was an alcoholic and drug addict who died a young and tragic death. She looked nothing like Janice Joplin. I know Mara really appreciated her efforts on that chilly rainy day. She was quite pretty actually. I liked her glasses. A little on the argumentative side, but I forgive her for that!

Last thing I promise! For those of you who don't know me, I'm a local family/children's photographer. Check out my website As a special promotion to all of you blog readers out there. Book a session with me, and mention that you read my recent blog entries and you'll receive a $50 print credit!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Candids by Courtney Endorses Peter Bober for Mayor!

It's election time!! As we're trying to get a grasp on all the new amendments and candidates out there to be voted on here in Florida on January 29, let's not forget that in Hollywood it's time to vote for a new Mayor!!! With this being said I have to say that I Courtney Ortiz of Candids by Courtney Photography solely endorse candidate Peter Bober. Now our incumbent mayor Mara Giulianti has been mayor of Hollywood since 1986. I turned 10 that year, and I'm 31. I find it ironic that there are such strict term limits for the Commander in Chief of the United States, but Mrs. Mayor can run until she's voted out (fingers crossed) or she drops dead. Although I do think that the Mayor does have the best interest of our dear little city at heart. She has done alot for the revitalization of our quaint downtown area. Although now most storefronts on Harrison are empty. The by-gone skeletons of businesses that just didn't quite make it stare at you from bare windows. Mayor Giulianti has even gone so far as to attempt to use eminent domain as a means to her end. What is "eminent domain" you ask yourself?

The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.

Alright, I'm by no means a lawyer, but I understand that to mean, that the government can take away your private property for public use. Public use meaning they're going to need your space to build a hospital, road, school........etc......
Ok, she was going to TAKE away a building (someone's private property) that housed successful bustling local business, pay them grossly below market value, to build ...............CONDOMINIUMS (with retail space underneath)!! The crazy thing is (and I could be completely wrong here) that the developer had said that he could go forward with the project without this particular building. But our mighty mayor insisted! Luckily for the owner of the building and for all of us who own property, be it a business or residence, justice prevailed and the building is still there intact and the businesses there are still "in business." Now I'm a fair weather newspaper reader and local news watcher, so I'm sure my facts are skewed, but the eminent domain series of events was something that Lenny and I did try to stay on top of when they were occurring. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that she's done that's questionable, but I'm not going to try to pretend that I know details about it.

Though I can talk about what transpired at my front door today. This was the icing on the cake, the nail in the coffin......... This morning I was outside of my house with my son walking up and down the sidewalk. (He's learning to walk and loves to push things). Walking down the street are two young girls, probably early to mid-20's going door to door campaigning for Mara Giulianti. I was very straightforward in my stand that I would not be voting for our incumbent mayor and that I wasn't in need of any additional literature or flyers. They were just happy that I was voting and off they went. This was at about 10:00 am. Fast forward to 2:00 this afternoon. I'm sitting on the couch just getting down to work as Owen is peacefully napping, and three cars pull up in my front yard. A small army of people get out, one of which is (ta da!) Mayor Giulianti. I recognized her immediately. I should being she's been our mayor for 22 years now! (I did mention that right!? 8 Terms!) I quickly put the dogs out back, because had Owen woken up, Mara was going to be the one to get him back to sleep (and she doesn't have "the goods" if you know what I mean). So she comes to the door to ask for my vote. I politely say "no", and she proceeds to ask why. (Now before I proceed, let me paint a picture of the scenario for you. I definitely DON'T look my best, no shoes on, red toenail polish that should've been removed weeks ago, no make-up, frizzy hair, red knit dress on. I'm standing in front of "The Mayor", a distinguished looking older gentleman in a "Vote for Mara" T-shirt, an older hippie looking lady who just might have attended the first Woodstock, and a scraggly looking man who come to find out is from the firefighters union). I digress...Mayor Mara proceeds to ask me why I am not going to vote for her on January 29th. Now granted this is not a conversation that I was ready for. But I have to say for the most part I was able to hold my own and sound pretty psuedo-educated. She wanted to know specifics from me as to what Peter Bober has done as compared to what she has done and so on and so forth. But I was able to say that I did know enough about what she has done that I feel is questionable and that the negatives during her time in office overshadow any sort of positives. I continued to tell her that I was disenchanted with the job that she has done, and felt it was time for a "Change." (Thank god, the word "change" is one we're hearing alot of these days.) She, and her entourage just couldn't stop. It was "Peter this.. " and "Peter hasn't done that", and "Peter voted against the hospital expansion, a new children's wing and cancer center. He voted against it just because some people in the audience didn't want it." And that's when I had to stop her because lucky for me this is something that I do know just alittle about. I used to work at Hollywood Hills Elementary which is in the same neighborhood as the hospital. In fact, this mega huge hospital is smack dab in a residential area. I know for a fact, that many of the residents in the surrounding area are against the hospital expansion. Sure a new children's wing and cancer center would definitely be an asset to our community, but if the residents, "the people", your constituents don't want it, then maybe it's not the best thing. And isn't that what we want our Mayor to do?????? LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE! If the residents in the surrounding area don't want the hospital expansion, then the Mayor should too have voted NO (not "yes" just because she's getting some kick back from a developer! I just made that up, but it's not outside what she's known to do!). That's really what's best for our community, a leader who hears and acts upon the needs and desires of it's residents. A new children's wing and cancer center are wonderful, but Johnson St and 35th Avenue just isn't the place for it. And I told her this!!! :)

The conversation at my door ended with Mayor Mara making the comment to Janice Joplin, "If she (me) doesn't want to get involved in our government, then she doesn't have to." I thanked her for her time, and told her that I appreciated the fact that she personally came to visit and she was gone. I went inside my home and started to get angry. Mayor Mara was insulting and patronizing. I should've just left it at that, but to the embarassment of Lenny, I proceeded to chase her down the sidewalk to tell her that I thought she was insulting. That in fact, I'm very involved in our government. (here's my resume......volunteer on the Sara Case for City Commisioner Campaign, volunteer for Hillary Clinton, and an active member of the Hollywood Women's Club), and I thought it was a very presumptuous of her to assume that I don't want to get involved in the government just because I didn't agree with or want to vote for her. But she spun it (good little politician), to say that she meant that if I wanted to vote for someone who doesn't want to be involved in government (Peter Bober), then that was my right. So that was our official final end of my first, only, and hopefully last meeting with Mara Giulianti.

Through it all Mara Giulianti never said to me, "You should vote for me because I've done "x", "y", and "z." It was vote for me because Peter Bober is "x", "y", and "z". I, as well as many of my neighbors, are not won over by her attempts to smear Peter Bober's name. Mara should think about selling herself based on her own merits. Maybe the word pathetic and desperate can be used to describe her last ditch attempts to win over voters.

I want to end on this final note. Does Mara visit everyone's home who she knows are not supporters? When three cars pull up in front of your house (a Porsche, a Mercedes, and some Chrysler I might add), and a bevy of people get out and approach your house, is this supposed to be thought of as welcoming? It borders on intimidation, a bullying type of approach. We've had people on two different occasions come to our door campaigning for Mara Giulianti, and both times my husband and I have politely told them that we were not supporters. So really the Mayor coming to my house today can almost be seen as a desperate attempt to win over voters. I think placing a phone call would've been a much better campaign strategy. Coming to my house with a group of people, during my son's nap time, to discuss local issues isn't the way to do it. Pick your battles Mayor Mara. You can't win everyone all of the time!! And you definitely did not win me!!!! I wonder what the ACLU would say about this!!!!

I'm surprised I haven't seen her at a Hollywood Women's Club meeting. She told me she was a "lifetime member." I wonder when the last time she's been to a meeting that wasn't for campaign purposes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lil' Leonardo...

Now please note, I am not making reference to his father or the Ninja Turtle, but to the famous Renaissance painter. Now ever since Lenny read in Parents Magazine (he reads it more than me), that large crayons are a great toy/activity for 1 year olds, this has become their Saturday morning activity. They sit together at the little red table and color.

It's "Rah Rah Red"!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Haircut Hangout

Like I said in my previous post, Owen had his first haircut. We took him to what is the coolest salon ever, The Haircut Hangout. It is something right out of the movies. Picture it........vintage airplane seats for the kids to sit in, lime green walls, purple floors, and an inventory of really cool toys and clothes. It's a salon/boutique. Denni has really created something very special for her clients. And I'm sooo excited because this Saturday, the 19th, I'm going to be doing complimentary photo sessions for all her clients that have booked appointments on that day!!! Not only that, but she's offered me up wall space to display some of my work. Woo Hoo!!!! Awesome!

First class ticket on the "Sky King". Each seat is equipped with it's own TV and Playstation (for the older kiddos). Owen occupied himself with "Elmo's World" on dvd. (Denni has a great selection of DVD's to choose from!)


Just a small sampling of the very unique toys and games!

She even sells a line of professional hair product for kids!! (and I'm the sucker parent who will buy it!)
What a great way to remember such a special "first".
storyboard colorflickr
A storyboard similar to this can be created for all those lucky kids in need of haircuts!!

If you want to take advantage of the complimentary photo sessions this Saturday, don't delay and make an appointment. The Haircut Hangout is open Tuesday-Saturday. Call Denni @ 954-923-9003. See you Saturday!

Owen's First Haircut

Last Saturday, Owen went for his first haircut. Not that he desperately needed one, but while I was away in North Carolina I noticed that the cold weather made his cute curls look like clown wings coming out from each side of his head. So down to the Haircut Hangout (more about that later!) to visit Denni and get his first cut. She trimmed it ever so slightly and now his curls curl up in the back even more and make him look more cherubic than ever!!


she even put "product" in it...

Monday, January 7, 2008

(A correction) Forever Family.....NBC 6

(The previous link posted was incorrect)

This weekend the Forever Family segment that I photograped was aired on the news. The producer mentioned that she might use some of my photographs in the segment. Well not only did they use some of my photographs, but the news anchor mentioned my name as photographer at the end. I can't even begin to tell you how surprised I was to hear it! It really caught me off guard! An extremely proud moment for me!

So here it is. Check out the video clip from our local NBC affiliate!

First Session of '08!!!

Happy New Year!!!! December was a crazy month here at Candids by Courtney. So now after a nice break, and a trip to North Carolina to visit family, I'm ready to get back to work! Things have definitely slowed down a bit so I'm using the time as an opportunity to get organized, come up with some new marketing materials (like the new blog??!!), and actually write a business plan. But all of this stuff wouldn't be necessary without photography sessions! Soooo without further ado, here's the first session of '08, The Roberts Boys!!!! What fun! We spent the afternoon at TY Park playing football, climbing trees, and feeding ducks! t was an awesome way to spend the last afternoon of Winter vacation! The boys and their mom are back to school today!