Monday, November 21, 2011


I had such a great time on this last family session with the Wood family! They are an amazing family and so natural in front of the camera : )

I thought I would share my favorite picture from this session. This was such a great shot and fun moment between the kids and mom and dad.

Tips for a great Family Session:

-act natural! Posed pictures are great but the camera cant add something that isnt there, so if you are posing in a pose that isnt natural for your family it will come across as forced.

- be honest with your photographer! I always tell my families before we get started, Be honest! I will be asking you to hug, hold hands, lean into each other, laugh in natural poses but if at any time these poses feel like something your family wouldnt normally do or as if you are putting on an act, let me know!

- keep in mind that there will be times when mom and dad are getting pictures without the kids so bring something to occupy them during that time (a snack, game or toy). Also come prepared with items and jokes to make the kids smile when its their turn and the photographer just isnt funny enough ; )

- bring items along that define your families personalities! If you are a football fanatic family, bring jerseys and a football! If you love to go biking, bring your bikes. How about worst Christmas sweaters for the whole family?? Cute for a christmas card! What is it your family is known for?
I saw the cutest picture the other day of an entire family with their phones out texting, So funny!

- Parents, if you have to bribe your kids... DO IT! This is one of the few times you are getting professional pictures of your children and they are only this age once!

- A good photographer will get a few good pictures of your family no matter what. A GREAT photographer will take the time to get to know you and your family, will make sure to have an idea and theme in mind before the session and will be in contact with you several times before the session so that by the time you get there you already feel as if you know them and are comfortable with them. Never go into a session if you dont feel comfortable with the photographer!

If you have any other questions about making sure your families session is A-MA-ZING feel free to email me
or find me on facebook : )

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 8, 9 and 10

My computer had to go to the shop for a few days to get loved on so I have the last 3 days of crafts all rolled into one blog post.

Day 8: Flower Tutorial
I have made so many of these flowers I could make them in my sleep! They are so cute as hairbows and a great accessory to any project, dress or bag.

-alligator clips
- hot glue gun
- ribbon (grosgrain is the best for hairbows)
- fake flower bunch
- old buttons or rhinestones (you can buy a bag of medium size rhinestones in different colors from Walmart in the craft section for $2-$3.

When I started making these I would find several of my fake flower bunches for $2 or less at Walmart, Big Lots, Freds and the Dollar Store. Most of my ribbon I have always bought from Walmart.

Cut the flower off the stem and take it completely apart. Hot glue the layers back together one layer at a time. Add a button or rhinestone as an embellishment for the center of your flower.

Measure out a strip of ribbon, make sure that it will wrap over the entire ribbon. Hot glue the ribbon and place it on the clip. Once it dries glue the back of the flower to the top of the clip.

Day 9: Letter Canvas

I was inspired to do this one from this picture from Home Stores A 2 Z.

I chose Laugh, Love, Live for mine.

This is super easy! Take a blank canvas and either hot glue or spray adhesive glue and glue little letters (I found a bag of small wooden letters at Walmart for $2) to the canvas as a saying or favorite song lyric. Then once it dries, spraypaint the entire canvas a single color. I chose white like the picture I saw. Let it dry and hang it!

Day 10: Chore Chart
This one was supposed to be a cute crafty chart for chores for Carson and CJ, but Matt accidently bought a canvas instead of posterboard and I ran out of creative ideas. I will most likely be remaking this one after Christmas into a way more fun looking chart. For now this one will do.

Ha, also found out that trying to finish the chore chart at midnight isnt good for keeping my lines straight!!

The kids will get stars for each of the things they do daily and rewards for how many stars they get  per day and per week. I still havent come up with all my rewards, if you have any suggestions Please share!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7: Add a little love to your cupcakes

Let me start by saying I am not a baker. I rarely ever bake anything that doesnt come in a box so this was a REAL challenge for me!

I found this idea from Made with Love's blog which is amazing and has so many great cupcake recipes and ideas! I was looking through pictures of fun cupcakes to bake and this is the one Carson picked for us to do together.

I used a white cake mix (from a box of course) but I did experiment a little with some lemon zest and lemon juice to add a little something extra to the recipe.

Once the cake batter is mixed, pour 1/3 of the mix into a deep square baking dish. Bake it at the temperature directed from the recipe for about 20 minutes, or until the cake is thick enough to hold up while cutting out heart shapes. Use a heart shaped cutter (I didnt have one and couldnt find one so I just free-hand cut my hearts with a small knife).

Pour a spoonfull of batter into each cupcake case and place the heart vertically in the batter and hold it straight up while you pour batter around the heart. Let the batter fill up about halfway of the heart. Then bake them at the temperature directed in the recipe.

My directions arent the greatest so if you want to know the best way to make these, follow the tutorial at Made with Love by me.

My cupcake didnt turn out as pretty as the pictures in the tutorials but this was such a fun project for Carson and I to do together and we had so much fun making a mess of the kitchen.
I tried to thicken up my icing to make it pretty like the professionals but by the time I whipped the camera out to snap a picture the icing had started falling : (

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 5 & 6: DIY modge podge and 40 in 40

Whoops, I missed a day! I had a really busy day yesterday having a family day at the Pumpkin Festival and an impromtu double date last night with my mom and step-dad so the crafting didnt quite happen. BUT to make up for it I am doing 2 crafts today!

Day 5: Modge Podge

Great to have this around the house for so many crafts! I actually found a great do-it-yourself at home recipe for modge podge that is 1/3 of the price on Do It Yourself Divas blog.

an empty jar
elmers glue

Pour the entire bottle of Elmers glue into your empty jar.

Add the same amount of water so you have even amounts of water and glue.
Its as simple as that!! What a great stocking stuffer or Christmas gift for anyone who loves doing crafts as much as you : )

If you have any questions about the use of this verses modge podge, check out the Do It Yourself Divas Q&A here.

Day 6: 40 in 40

I found this idea from pinterest and you can see the original "list" right here.

Get rid of 40 bags in 40 days. Target 40 (or less if you arent a mild hoarder like me) places, drawers, closets, rooms etc. that need to be de-cluttered, and choose 1 of those places a day to go through and get rid of 1 bag of stuff that you dont need, dont use or is just plain junk. Who knows, by the end of the 40 days you could have a huge pile of stuff for a yardsale! 

This isnt a typical craft that you can sit down and do in a couple hours but it is a great do it yourself idea for your house to help declutter and organize. Im also looking at this as a challenge to evaluate what is truly necessary in my life. I get caught up with "my stuff" all too often. When we go through our house to "declutter" or buy something new and need more space, I tend to want to hold on to the old stuff "just in case". I want to use this as a way to force myself to really look at the "things" that I am holding on to. I hope that during the 40 days I can find several things that I can give up that can bless someone else and I also just really want to get rid of some of this clutter! I mean who really needs 6 frying pans anyway??

40 bags in 40 days!

If I break it down into days it totally makes this project seem like a piece of cake. I will keep most of thebag ideas from this list but I'll be replacing a few with my own drawers, closets and rooms that are in need of some serious de-cluttering.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4: Simple Edit Tutorial

I thought I'd try something a little different today so I put together a tutorial for a simple edit that can be used in photoshop or even some of the editing websites that are free online. 

 image SOOC 

Open your image in your editing program.
I really love this picture and there isnt much that needs fixing but I always bump up the contrast to give an image a little extra kick!

Bump up the contrast a tad to add some definition to your image. I adjusted the brightness a little lower because I tend to like a richer looking image.

Next open your saturation/lightness layer and adjust your saturation up to bring out the green in the background and the blue on his shirt.

Like I said I really like the richer edited look so I am opening my levels layer and adjusting the black and white sliders in towards the center just a little bit. This really brings out the color in the image.

The last step is to open another levels layer

Dont adjust anything

Choose soft brush blend.

And lower the opacity on this level.

Here is the final product!

This is a simple edit that that can add a little extra to any image!

Here is the SOOC next to the edit

Happy Editing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3: Crayon Hearts

I do have a craft for today but first I have to share a few pictures I took of CJ today, he just turned 19 months. I have a bad habit of always taking Carson out if I want to shoot somewhere for fun so today I made it all about him. These were taken with my new camera and Im still experimenting with all of the awesome new settings I have to play with.

I just love him so much!!

On to Day 3's craft! I decided to move onto a craft that is a little more challenging today. Here is a tutorial I found on Martha Stewarts website of these crayon hearts. Hers are much prettier than mine!

- crayons ($.47 at walmart on sale, I got 2 boxes)
- wax paper (around $3 at walmart and I got the name brand because I wanted to make sure it wouldnt rip)
- iron
-old towel or rag that you dont mind getting ruined
-if you decide to follow Marthas tutorail you will also need kraft paper (I didnt use it but I probably should have)
- super thin yarn, ribbon or string (I had tons laying around)
- decorative board to hang the hearts from (optional)
- handy dandy glue gun, or you could use tape

Set your work station up with all of your supplies. Make sure you put an old towel or rag over your ironing surface because the crayon will melt and stain the area if you arent careful. I also put down a piece of cardboard under the towel just to be safe. I placed the crayon shavings (I used all of the purple and pink crayons in the box) on the wax paper and then cut another piece the same size to place on top. I folded the towel over the top of the wax paper and started ironing until the crayon was good and melted and then ironed from the center out to the edges to get the melted crayon even all the way around. Once the entire paper was covered I let it cool (it only takes a minute).

From here you can either cut hearts free hand or you can trace out different size hearts and cut them out. Once you've finished you will need to cut as many strings as you have of hearts. To make it look really pretty cut the strings different sizes. Get your glue gun ready and start by dabbing a dot to the back of a crayon heart and attaching a string. Once you've finished all of them you can start to hot glue them to your decorative wood or item. I had an extra piece of wood left over from an earlier craft that I had already decorated but didnt know what I was going to do with it. It was perfect : ) I hot glued each string to the back of the wood piece making sure to spread them out and vary the lengths. I added some cute pink flowers and voila!! Its not quite the same effect as Marthas but its perfect for my little sweethearts room and she loves it!

I cant wait to put it up in her window and let the sunlight shine through it.
I already have a sheet of green and one of red made so I can make another that is Christmas themed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2: Canvas Love

Day 2 of crafting and Im in L-0-V-E with this one.

I am not a painter so I dont have much use for blank canvases, but I saw a really cool idea online for taking a blank canvas and some wooden letters and making a new piece of art for your wall.

Here is a link to the site where I found this idea from, Not on the High Street. I know I cant afford to spend $200 on wall art and I wasnt loving the seperate canvases so I made my own version. This is a cute idea for a baby girls nursery, girls room or in your own love nest.

White Canvas, I chose an 11x14 for this project. They came 2 to a pack (I will be using the other one for another project in a few days) and were on sale at Wal-mart for less than $7. Im sure you can find them cheaper somewhere like Michaels.
My handy Spray Adhesive
Pink Spray Paint that I have left over from yesterdays craft ($3 at walmart)
and my wooden letters at $2 a letter

I spray painted the letters with the pink spray paint, let them dry and then sprayed the adhesive to the back of each letter and placed them on the canvas. Very simple!

Have fun with this one and make it your own! There are several different ways to get creative by using fabric, different color paints etc...
If you make your own please share it with me, I'd love to see what you come up with : )