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Bright Autumn Sun » Bright Autumn Sun | A South Florida Life & Photo Blog | Photography | Lifestyle | Motherhood

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Saying goodbye to our sweet girl.

We lost our beloved little dachshund, Maya, back in June. I haven’t been ready to write anything about this devastating experience, as our whole family took her passing very hard. She was an amazing, wonderful dog, and I always dreamed of her having a much longer life.

Unfortunately you can’t predict if someone you love will get sick, and Maya got sick. The week that she passed away, her health had gone down hill very quickly. We went from thinking that perhaps she was improving to realizing that she just wasn’t.

Today would have been her 11th birthday.

Eternal thanks to my friend Jamie of Jamie Lauren Studios for coming to take these photos when we knew that Maya’s time was near. They will be loved and treasured forever and ever!

Here are some of my favorite photos that Jamie captured from this mini family session she did for us. I’m so glad that I will always have photos of us here, in front of our home, with our two sweet little boys who Maya loved and adored with every fiber of her being. We were so lucky to have Maya as our little dog. She was so unique, beautiful, and loving. She had the softest fur and sweetest, most gorgeous eyes, and she was always there with a lick.

One day she will be there to greet us at the Rainbow Bridge…

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

Family Portraits by Jamie Lauren Studios - South Florida

We love you, Maya! Happy Birthday in Dog Heaven!

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JudySeptember 1, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Maya will always have a place in our hearts. She was beautiful and sweet. I thought she was the “Elizabeth Taylor” of dogs. She was a wonderful member of the family’s dog pack. Maya was a loving Grandpup!

jamie laurenSeptember 1, 2014 - 12:46 pm

What a special honor it was to capture these images for you and your beautiful little family. Maya was clearly loved and cherished until her last breath and she knew it. It was hard to see her struggling during our session and I was so proud of you for making that tough, selfless decision to let her go and let her be at peace. I hope she’s getting lots of extra birthday treats today in dog heaven!

Want thick, dreamy lashes? Get Younique’s 3D Mascara!

What’s in your bag of holy grail beauty products? When it comes to mascaras, I’ve tried several throughout the years, and while I have one that I like well enough for daily use, it doesn’t really give me that extra intensity or length that I always desired.

I am a huge makeup collector and love trying new products, but with most high end mascaras costing well over $30, I never imagined I would find something that I consider to be both cost effective AND high quality.

My friend Lauren Savino, who is a presenter with Younique, offered to send me a package with their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara to try out.

Lauren recently joined Younique earlier this year as a presenter and is a true believer in their products. I’ve been seeing her posts on Facebook & Instagram and I knew I had to try this natural fiber mascara myself to see if all the talk was true. I was delighted to find that it was!!

Here is a comparison shot of my eyes, with mascara applied to the top lashes only. Picture #1 is me with no mascara, Picture #2 is me with my regular brand, and Picture #3 is me wearing Younique! I absolutely love the difference!

Very excited that I had the opportunity to try out #Younique #moodstruck #mascara

In your package, you receive Younique’s Transplanting Gel as well as the Natural Fiber applicator. You will need both of these, along with your regular mascara (to use as a base) to get the full 3D Lash Effect!

The mascara is very easy to apply. First, you put on your regular mascara as a base. Then, doing each eye separately (this is important – you must do each eye one at a time), use the Younique Transplanting Gel and apply the fibers. After applying the fibers, you use the Transplanting Gel again to seal it. Super easy! The best part is that depending on your look, you can layer the fibers to have a lighter or heavier/lengthier look.

Now, since I want to show off more than a cell phone pic of my eyes, I had Adrian take some photos of me wearing the Younique 3D Moodstruck Mascara. It looks amazing!

Younique Fiber Lash mascara

I swear, my lashes have never looked so long and thick before, and I’ve tried loads of different mascaras through the years. Younique is fantastic! Best of all, it does not feel heavy on my eyes like other mascaras do. It also comes off very easy with makeup remover or facial cleanser.

Younique Fiber Lash mascara

I promise you will love Younique’s Fiber Lash Mascara just as much as I do! Please visit Lauren’s site to purchase your own mascara! This mascara is only $29 and worth every penny. Younique offers more than just mascara- they have a natural line of eye shadows, skin care products, and makeup, with new selections coming out on September 1st, just in time for fall and holiday shopping!

Stock your makeup bag with your dream mascara plus a multitude of other products & get free shipping when you spend $100!

Click here to purchase: https://www.youniqueproducts.com/laurensavino/
Click here to join Lauren FB group and learn about all of Younique’s new products and specials: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lauren.fabulash/

Disclosure: I received a sample package to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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JudyAugust 29, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Just beautiful. So very rich and nourishing looking mascara!

AmyAugust 30, 2014 - 9:58 pm

Beautiful! The mascara looks great, but you are gorgeous no matter what you do!! XO

First Day of School 2014

Today is the first day of school! William is back at his wonderful preschool, and Zachary is starting an amazing, big adventure with his first day of Kindergarten.

Zachary was very excited this morning, with a good dose of nervousness, as you’d expect, but no one would have ever known. He ate his breakfast and got dressed faster than I’d ever seen him do before! We snapped a couple pictures, and then it was time to walk down the street to the bus stop! He made a friend while we waited, a little second grade girl. I reminded him twice of all of the things he had to do when he got to school. Then the bus came. A quick hug later, he boarded the bus confidently, and the bus headed off to school. I could not have been more proud of my big boy!

As his mommy, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous this morning. I was worried that he would be okay to get on the schoolbus. I was worried that he would find his way into the cafeteria and get to his classroom. As I write this, he should be sitting in his classroom now, only 20 minutes away from lunch time. I hope he is having a good time. I hope he’s having fun and making friends. I hope he wasn’t too scared this morning. I hope his classmates are nice. I could go on for another paragraph with my list of worries, but it’s nothing that any other mom hasn’t thought before on their child’s first day of Kindergarten. I’m pretty sure I was way more nervous than he was!

Here is Zachary on Friday, when we attended the Meet & Greet at the elementary school. His classroom is large and inviting, and the teacher seems very nice. Zachary is lucky that he gets to go to the same school that I attended as a child! I think that is super special! I told him that if he gets worried, he can always think of his mommy walking around the same hallways as a little girl.

First Day of School 2014 © Karen Ziemkowski - BRIGHT AUTUMN SUN

Here is Zachary this morning! I was so happy that we had a gorgeous day for the first day back to school. I can’t wait to hear about everything he did when he gets home!

First Day of School 2014 © Karen Ziemkowski - BRIGHT AUTUMN SUN

We took a selfie at the bus stop to commemorate the special event:

Me and my big boy waiting at the bus stop! He was such a grown-up boy as he got on the bus this morning to go to kindergarten!! I'm so excited to see how his first day of school goes. #kindergarten #kids #school #busstop #firstdayofschool

Here’s William! This picture is from the Meet & Greet with his teachers on Thursday, last week. As soon as we walked into his classroom, he made himself at home playing with the toys. I know he is going to have a great time this year! His teachers are both so sweet and loving, too.

William had fun checking out his new #preschool classroom this morning at meet the teacher day! His teachers are wonderful. So excited for school on Monday! #toddler #toddlerlife #preschooler

William is going into the two year old classroom and he was SO HAPPY to be back at preschool this morning. He ran right in like he owned the place! He just loves school. I know he is in great hands and look forward to seeing his sweet smile when he is finished with his day.

First Day of School 2014 © Karen Ziemkowski - BRIGHT AUTUMN SUN

Here he is after I dropped him off at school. As you can see, he was so absorbed in playing with the dinosaur toys, he barely even noticed me. I love that he has so much fun at school that he doesn’t cry when we leave, and he loves to stay and play with his teachers and friends!

William had fun playing dinosaurs in his new classroom! He didn't even notice me leaving! What a big boy! #kids #firstdayofschool #preschool #preschooler

Are your kids back at school this week? How did they do on their first morning back?

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JanetteAugust 18, 2014 - 11:35 am

They are so adorable!! You must be one proud momma :)

JudyAugust 18, 2014 - 11:41 am

What an exciting day! A universal moment for the children and parents. The First Day of School is a wonderful rite of passage!

JenniferAugust 21, 2014 - 11:26 am

These are great pictures! I can’t believe our babies are going off to school! It’s so incredibly surreal.

And on another note, 3 days ago I would have told you how brave you are for being able to put him on the bus. Buses make me so nervous. But now, after braving the car drop off line at Greenleigh’s school (and spending a whopping 24 minutes in the line only for her to STILL be late), I say you’re smart. Very smart.
Jennifer´s last blog post … Game Day Food: School Spirit Jell-O Jigglers

Amanda @TheMommyMixAugust 21, 2014 - 12:53 pm

My son goes back in two weeks… Grade 1. Like you his first day, first week of Kindergarten actually I was a worried, he takes a school bus and I think I called daily for a week straight to make sure he got to class alright. After that the secretaries knew my voice lol.
Amanda @TheMommyMix´s last blog post … How to Clean Your Kids Closet