Mar 172015

St Paddy's Day, holiday, green, spirit, family

Bring out your shades of green, it’s that time of year again. My family and I love St. Paddy’s Day, but really we love all holidays.  It’s how we roll- any reason to dress up, play games, stay out a little later, create smiles or reinforce the silly… we’re all in. That being said, this Guatemalan/ Irish (mainly Irish) gal celebrates it all the more primarilly for one reason- “cause thems my peeps!” My husband is Irish as well and though our dogs are not (1 Australian Cattle Dog & a Mexican Chihuahua), they feel the Irish spirit right along with us.

St Paddy's Day, holiday, green, spirit, family

So here’s to you this St. Paddy’s day, here’s to the green and the silly. I hope this day brings you much joy and loads of luck. If you’re wondering why we celebrate this holiday at all, here’s a quick history lesson for you:

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St Paddy's Day, holiday, green, spirit, family

Mar 112015

We’ve updated our Family Portrait Website!


And we’d love for you to check it out!

1.The website now contains ten years worth of chasing, hide-and seeking, story-telling, make-believing and captures hundreds of young and  unique personalities. 2.We’ve added four new portfolios to the site: Newborns & Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and a huge Family section.  3.The pricing is now posted with examples of our prints and albums. 4.We’ve also added a portfolio of love letters, from our clients over the years, as well as a “get to know Jen” section.

To celebrate the updated site we thought we’d throw out a new special…

easter special, family portraits, los angeles, photography, child, baby, family, ©JenCastlePhotography, new website

If you’d like to like to express your thoughts or ideas on the new site, we strongly encourage you to do so, especially if you’ve worked with us in the past!

You can write to us via our FACEBOOK Page, TWEET at us, review us on YELP or simply send an email at:

Feb 202015

So I created a GMO board within my house…. WTF and Why?! Well here’s the short of the long- GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, they are “plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.” In other words, they aren’t natural, it’s not real food and they will no longer be welcome in my home. I don’t like them, I don’t want them in my body and just like the 30 countries who have banned them prior to me, I’m taking a stand. I’ve made an effort in the past but have admittedly been a little on the lazy side with it. This time, I did some hard research and took a few notes, on my living room chalkboard, for all to see, just above the sofa and to the right of our door.  Anyone who comes into my home will definitely leave with an understanding of what a GMO is, at the very least.

gmo, genetically modified organism, food, safety, organic, no to gmo, shopping guide

So how does one avoid GMOs?

The basics:
  1. Look for the labels. USDA Organic & The Non GMO Project are just a few examples. If you see “USDA organic” or “Non GMO” then your GMO safe for sure. It’s always good to go organic but USDA organic is a sure thing. They prohibited the use of GMOs in the production and handling of organic products in October of 2002.
  2. Eat more nuts, fruits & veggies. It’s much easier to find produce that is GMO free, just check the most recent GMO crop list and buy accordingly. If you need something on that list, just make sure it’s USDA organic. An excellent website and ap for confirming which foods are truly organic is: The non GMO Project and the Non GMO Project Shopping Guide ap. Wikipedia also keeps an updated list within their pages. We printed a few out and left them on our board for people to take. It’s always good to have a copy on hand for reference.
  3. Research your sources on meat. Meat can be tricky as the animals are often fed GMO products. Research must be done to find out which of your local farms raise GMO free meat and which stores support them. Make sure to cover all bases- milk, cheese, eggs, chicken, pork and beef.
  4. Know your additives. Corn, Canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets can all end up as additives within packaged food. Be aware of things like corn syrup, various oils, dyes, flavoring, etc. 70% of packaged foods contain GMOs. There are many companies who refuse to use GMOs. A few of them can be found at GMO
  5. Keep updated on the GMO list (it grows longer & longer each year). Again, wikipedia is pretty good with the updates (see link above). Today the full list consists of: Alfalfa, Canola/Rapeseed, Corn, Cotton (cottonseed oil), Papaya (Hawaiian), Potato (food & starch), Rice, Soybeans, Squash (zucchini/courgette), Sugar Beet, Sugarcane, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Wheat and the newest addition- Arctic Apples.
Start these basics and create a plan that works for you and your family. At the very least, lets start the conversation.