Sample Wall Portrait Sale 30% off for October only at Susie Gilmore Photography in Raleigh, NC. September 2011 Blog

Dear friends,

I hope you are off to a great fall season!  My family had a wonderful summer and my children are enjoying school. Grace is in the 5th grade and Micah is in preschool. Grace has learned to crochet and she watches Youtube videos to learn different stitches. She makes newborn baby hats for my photography studio. Her work is lovely and we are SO proud of her.

Micah keeps us laughing with his 4-year-old thoughts and comments. Just the other day he found a small book from his closet and he said, “hey mom, I found a book we haven’t read yet. It’s about a water pump” I looked at it and it was a breast pump manual that I had stored in there.  🙂 I smiled and read him a few pages. It was details about how to put it together, so it was not very interesting and definitely NOT about a fireman’s water pump like he expected.

David and I made a few dietary changes over the last year and the results have been great! David lost 15 pounds and I lost 11. We read Jorge Cruise‘s book, “The Belly Fat Cure” which showed us how to reduce hidden sugar in our diet and substitute it with a better kind of sweetener.

The two major things we changed were switching from Skim milk (12 grams of sugar per half cup) to Almond Breeze Milk (with 0 sugar)  and started using a natural form of sugar from the stevia plant (truvia) or (xylitol) a naturally occurring sweetener in fruit and vegetables (with 0 sugar!) So I still get to have my sweetened coffee in the morning and desserts made with a better type of sweetener. My  system doesn’t have to work so hard with insulin spikes trying to remove all the sugar. This is also great for kids because they don’t get the hyperactivity that comes with regular sugar. We also stopped drinking juice because it has 28 grams of sugar per cup. Yikes! (Truvia or Stevia in the Raw do not taste good in recipes). Truvia is perfect in coffee or tea.

I’m adding a new recipe section to my blog. This month features my mom’s Custard recipe adapted to work with our new way of eating. It is so delicious, you can’t even tell it has ZERO grams of sugar in it! And it’s good enough for breakfast or a dessert.

Julia’s Custard. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 12 eggs, 6 cups of unsweetened 40 calorie Almond Breeze milk, 1 TBS of Vanilla, 1 cup of Xylosweet (whole foods) or Ideal (grocery store), pinch of salt, 1 1/2 TSP Cinnamon & Nutmeg. Pour into ramekins or custard bowls in a large pan surrounded by with 2″ of water. Bake for 45 minutes. If you don’t have custard bowls, pour in a large dish at least 3-4″ high and bake for 1.5 hours. Serve warm with whipped cream (with <1 g sugar) and toasted pecans. Seriously guys, I make this all the time in the fall and winter. It’s THAT good!  🙂

I have been enjoying some quiet time when the kids leave for school and before my clients arrive. I have many dear friends who are dealing with serious health problems and career issues and I’ve enjoyed playing my keyboard & praying for their needs.  Playing instruments and singing have always been a part of me, but it seems that life got so busy with work, family, and kids, that I stopped playing on a regular basis.  But a few weeks ago, when my heart was heavy with the needs of my friends, I decided to sit at my keyboard and play and sing my prayers to the Lord and it was like medicine to my soul. Turning my concerns into prayer is something I look forward to every day and it has greatly enriched my life.

When you think about what is REALLY important in this life… it’s not our possessions, homes or busy careers. It’s people. You are so valuable to me, I appreciate your friendship and take great joy creating works of art of the people you love, year after year, to decorate your home and business. If you ever have a prayer need, please don’t hesitate to call or email me (662-5541 or

P.S. I have an update on Charlotte Cavanagh, who was diagnosed with Propionic Acidemia when she was an infant. Her mom shares her struggles and successes. The article is listed after “Here’s what is coming up this Fall”  It also includes some of her darling portraits she had created during her first year. (Click continue reading below for the rest of the story)

Here’s what is coming up this fall…

Sample Wall Portrait Sale 30% off for October Only!!

Wall Portraits are one of the BEST investments you can make in your home or business.  An adequately sized portrait will enable you to see and enjoy the facial expressions of your loved ones, EVERY TIME  you enter the room. My sunroom, just off my kitchen, is where I display my favorite wall portraits of my children and I enjoy looking at them throughout the day. I can never get the time back when my son and daughter were so little. But I can remember all the details in a fine wall portrait.

I have decorated many local businesses since 2005 and have accumulated quite a collection of gorgeous wall portraits and paintings. I need to make room for new samples, so I am offering the 58 people featured in the sample portraits below an AMAZING discount for the month of October only.

Now is the perfect time to take your portrait home where it belongs. Your Fine Portrait is even more valuable than the day we photographed it because your child has changed so much since then. What a wonderful gift it will be to your family. Portraits help us remember and tells your unique story to the next generation. Payment plans can be arranged and credit cards are accepted. Call today before the best frames are taken! 662-5541


If you are one of the fortunate 58 people who have been displayed in the community…

You are eligible to purchase this piece of art for 30% off.

Check to see if your name is listed below…


1. Jessica Augustine   2. Charwyne Baker  3. Dawn Bannister   4. Lacrecia Bell  5. Livija Boerema  6. Lisa Byrd (painting)  7. Kathleen Cavanagh  8. Dick & Carolyn Cobb   9. Carol Colborn  10. Jim & Amy Cox  11. Samantha Crowe (painting)   12. Carol Edwards  13. Amber Ellis (painting)  14. Meredith Dorman  15. Jane Flanagan  16. Arlene Francis  17. Brenda Galaski  18. Liz Gallaher  19. Michelle & Josh Gardner  20. Leslie Garofolo  21. Nomy Grant  22. Ray & Fran Guthrie  23. Michelle Harrison  24. Jody Hess  25. Isla Hinckley  26. LaTisha Hunt  27. Valerie Ionadi  28.  Rebecca Jacobsen  29. Michelle Johnson  30. Tina Jones  31. Bruce & Yvonne King (painting) 32. Karla Kornegay 33.  Colleen Leonard  34. Frankie MacKenzie (Beach)  35. Dawn Manzaro (painting)  36. Huong McClamrock  37.  Carol Merola  38.  Sherry Mitchell  39. Vicki Nizen (Painting)  40.  Kristie Overton  41. Tami Poland  42. Amy Poteat  43. Vimal Patel  44. Scott & Rachel Priestley  45. Marci Rains  46. Jean Ross (painting) 47. Bob & Donna Rossi 48. Jessica Rothstein (bridal) 49. Elsie Ruehle  50. Shelly Sanders  51. Raquel Simons  52. Marketa Smith  53. Suzanne Stevens  54. Kris Sykes  55. Bikan Tan  56. DeAnna Wahler  57. Leah Williams  58.Takisha Word

Need help Planning your Wall Decor? 

Preston and Madison Chamblee are the featured dancers

Susie  has a new INTERIOR DESIGN TOOL which allows YOU to see how your Susie Gilmore portrait will look on your wall…. ALL to PERFECT scale, BEFORE YOU BUY! So if you are having trouble visualizing what it will look like, photograph your walls & email them to Susie looks forward to helping you design your decor featuring your loved ones. There are more detailed instructions in the About Us page at Call today to get started 662-5541

Preston and Madison Chamblee are the featured dancers in the trio canvas wrap


Time is Running out to get your 2012 Senior Portrait!

School is in full swing and time is running out for you to schedule your Senior’s Photography Session. Your Senior will be leaving the nest before you know it and you’ll treasure the portraits from this important session. Each image is perfectly retouched, so you’ll have no worries if a blemish appears on the day of the session.The DVD and Facebook slideshow is a must have… it’s ALL YOUR SENIOR’S IMAGES SET TO MUSIC. You can choose a studio session, location session or a combination session with both. Contact Susie at 662-5541 to get on our schedule. Hurry, sessions are limited.

Would you love an updated Bridal Portrait…. after all these years?

 Introducing Bridal Portraits by Susie Gilmore Photography. Haven’t you always wanted to get back into your wedding dress 5, 10, or 20 years later and get an updated gorgeous portrait? The exquisite dress, the intricate veil, the jewelry, the heels, all are a large expense. It doesn’t seem right that it is enjoyed only once. Why not celebrate your marriage with an updated bridal portrait? Call Susie today at 662-5541. Hurry, sessions are limited.


Little Angels Sessions 

Susie Gilmore introduces “Little Angels” Photography Sessions.

(For ages 6 months- age 12)

This perfectly color tinted canvas wrap will hang beautifully in your children’s bedrooms. Choose from one to multiple image collections. We supply the wings, clouds, instruments & tutus and you supply the angel. My children are featured in this portrait and we had so much fun capturing this.

Hurry, sessions are limited 662-5541.

Christmas Cards

Now is the time for photograph your children and family for Christmas Cards! Hurry, The deadline for ordering Christmas cards is Nov. 21st! (We have less than 8 weeks left!) You can also use images from a previous session this year. Call today for more information or to plan your session 662-5541. 


Little Runaway sessions                                         

Raleigh Photographer Susie Gilmore introduces “Runaway Sessions”.

These doors are gorgeous!! My son Micah is the adorable four year old

in this new urban set.

We supply the Teddy bear, suitcase and leather jacket, you supply the runaway.

Schedule your session today 662-5541.


Referral Program

Good news travels fast! At Susie Gilmore Photography, I am honored to have your business and aim to exceed your expectations every time you visit. Now, when you refer a friend who books a session, you can receive an expertly retouched 5×7 portrait mounted on salon board- a $63 value. For new sessions only. Expires May 31, 2012.


Mark you calendars for October 16th at 2pm 

Greg & Jody Brannon are raising money for orphans in China in a 5K Walkathon on October 16th at 2pm.

“Dear Friends, Please join us once again raising funds and awareness to orphans around the world. This year we will once again be raising funds to help some children left behind in China. Last year we raised enough money to fund 15 cleft palate surgeries. These surgeries are literally life changing for these children. Of course this is near and dear to our hearts. We have three daughters from China, two cleft affected. One is still waiting for us in China, two are already home with us. The date is set October 16 at the beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheater In Cary, NC. Please click on the link above to find out more details and how YOU can change a life!”

Looking forward to seeing you,
 Greg and Jody Brannon


Charlotte’s Story by Chris and Kathleen Cavanagh

My dear friends and clients, The Cavanaghs share their story in their own words along with baby portraits they had made at Susie Gilmore Photography during Charlotte’s first year.

On January 17, 2011 our darling daughter turned 1 year old. The past year has been be the most exhausting, frightening, yet wonderful year of our lives. Charlotte has taught us so much and has brought so much joy to our family. Charlotte is our first child. Like so many of the Propionic Acidemia (PA) families, we noticed that something wasn’t quite right with Charlotte just a few days after she was born. After our doctor expedited our newborn screening results and a subsequent confirmation of the PA diagnosis, our journey began. Over the past year, Charlotte has been hospitalized twice for metabolic acidosis.

The first hospitalization occurred a few days after her birth and the second hospitalization occurred when she was 9 months old. We have also made a few visits to the emergency room to flush elevated ketones from her system. For the first 6 months of Charlotte’s life, her amino acid levels and ammonia levels were stable and within the normal range. However, when Charlotte was about 7 months old, her ammonia levels became elevated and stayed elevated despite medical management. Of course, this just added to the stress and anxiety that my husband and I felt in trying to keep Charlotte healthy. Not only were we constantly concerned about acidosis and ketosis, but now we became more concerned with the effect that elevated ammonia levels may have on Charlotte’s brain development.

Charlotte with an antique bicycle from Susie Gilmore Photography

In December 2010, two things happened that changed our lives. First, Charlotte started taking Carbaglu to decrease her ammonia levels. I was so thankful that my insurance agreed to cover this drug. In the few months that she has been taking Carbaglu, Charlotte talks and interacts with us so much more. As of today she says “mama”, “dada”, “dog” and “cat.” But her favorite word is “cuckoo” (mimicking our cuckoo clock). It is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

The second thing that changed our lives was our decision to get Charlotte a g-tube. The best advice I could give a family dealing with a new baby with a metabolic disorder is this: If you are going back and forth trying to decide whether or not to get your child a g-tube…then it is time to get a g-tube. The mere fact that you are considering this type of surgery means that you have had trouble getting the required calories and fluid into your child. Trust your intuition – get the g-tube. After having the surgery, we have no problem making sure that Charlotte gets all of her nutrients and fluid. This surgery has increased our quality of life 10 fold. We are all able to get a full night’s rest and we no longer have the added stress of constantly trying to get Charlotte to take her formula.

In preparation for Charlotte’s first birthday, a day that we were not sure we would ever see, we wanted to do something special. In some ways her first birthday was a victory. As a family we made it through the toughest year we have ever had to go through. Having made it through the first year of this journey, we thought it was important to give back to all of the PA families. We downloaded donation cards from the PA Foundation website and sent them to our family and friends. We asked that in lieu of presents for Charlotte’s first birthday, we would like for donations to be made to the PA Foundation. We plan to make this a birthday tradition. Not only will this increase awareness among our family and friends while raising money for a good cause, we hope it will also teach Charlotte how important it is to give back to a very important cause.

Growing up, I was taught that we have an obligation to give our time, talent and treasure to worthy causes. This maxim is now more important to me than ever before.

-Kathleen Cavanagh     Fuquay Varina, NC

MISSION: The Propionic Acidemia Foundation is dedicated to finding improved treatments and a cure for Propionic Acidemia by funding research and providing information and support to families and medical professionals.

VISION: To create a future where Propionic Acidemia can be prevented and any affected individual can be cured and live a productive life.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation toward this worthy cause, phone: 1-877-720-2192 toll free, e-mail: or to find out more about PA, go to


Here’s a recent update on Charlotte:

Charlotte wearing a Kaiya Eve shirt and Pettiskirt from Susie Gilmore Photography

Charlotte  is doing really well. She still has the feeding tube and is eating some by mouth as well. She is growing so fast. At 20 months old, she is 30 lbs and 34 inches. She can count from 1 to 5 and knows the letters B, P, C, and D. Right now, her favorite color is orange (which she loves to say). She also attends Little Gym once a week – she tends to get tired more quickly than the other kids due to low muscle tone
(from her low protein diet) – but we think the exercise is good and she really enjoys herself.

Medically, she is also doing very well. No hospitalizations and good reports from her doctors. The most recent evaluations indicate that she is normal cognitively and developmentally. However, because her disease is progressive, we will monitor her development frequently to make sure she doesn’t need physical therapy or occupational therapy.  

8 month old baby in awe of bubbles at Susie Gilmore Photography

To hear more about the Cavanaghs, click blog and scroll down to older posts. The beginning of their story is in Susie Gilmore Photography’s April 2010 Blog 

Kathleen shares their story with newborn and 3 month portraits.

I feel very blessed for the opportunity to record Charlotte’s darling milestones and to get to know the Cavanaghs. Their family is precious and have been through so much. You would never know from Charlotte’s portraits that she has PA. I am so glad she is doing well and the g-tube has helped her.

By the way, if you are a patient of Dr. Brannon, you can see Charlotte’s Wall portraits  in his office. In the lobby, She’s the newborn with the angel wings and by the checkout area she is sitting in a hat box with a pink fluffy tutu.

Charlotte made the cover of my upcoming book (that I am still working on). It’s called “Baby’s First Year”. It’s a collection of images of all the milestones from newborn to age one.

Have a great month everyone!!!
I look forward to photographing you soon. I only have 11 more sessions available for those who want portraits in time for Christmas. This blog went out to 272 people + Facebook, so reserve your session before it’s too late. 662-5541 or

Susie Gilmore is an international award-winning Photographic Artist who has received the highest honor a professional photographer can receive: her work was chosen to be published in the prestigious Loan Collection Book featuring the best photographic images in the world.



Member of the Professional Photographers of America

Member of the Professional Photographers of North Carolina

Member of the Photographic Society of the Triangle





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