Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kid Tested, Mama Approved!

I had the opportunity to participate in the Mama Vox Box by Influenster this past month and in it were 4 products that I would not have other wise purchased but I ended up liking all of them!

By far, our favorite was the microwaveable Annie's Homegrown Real Aged Cheddar Mac and Cheese, and by our, I mean my 3 year old son and I.  The second he saw the Annie's packaging, he claimed it as his and could not wait to try it!  Lucky for him, it was lunch time.

We are already a fan of Annie's products, the mac and cheese in particular but we had not tried the microwave version.  I have always been skeptical of microwave mac and cheese but had high hopes because of our love of the brand.  I followed the directions and threw it in the microwave.  When it was done cooking, I gave it a stir and I had to admit that it looked and smelled pretty good, you could really tell that it is made with real cheese!  Once it was cool enough for Levi, I handed it over and requested a few photos before he dug in.

He devoured it and when I asked him how it was he replied with a very enthusiastic "yuuummy!"  I would definitely purchase this to have on hand for a quick meal for my mac and cheese loving kids and I love that it is made with organic ingredients and real cheese.  It was a hit!  Thank you Influenster and Annie's Homegrown!

I received this product complimentary from Influenster but all opinions, as always, are my own.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Photographer's Baby Shower

This past weekend I had the honor of helping to throw and attending a beautiful photography themed baby shower.  It was a day full of love for the mama-to-be and her little girl.  The lucky mama-to-be is none other than my best friend, Lauren (of Create Something Out of Nothing and Lauren Bodwell Photography).

Since she lives about 3 hours away from me, and the shower was near where she lives, I decided to pack up myself and my baby girl and spend the weekend with her.  We have been making monthly dates to see each other for a while now, so this worked as our monthly meet-up.  I am so excited to meet her baby girl and to see our babies grow up together.  I am really looking forward to our monthly dates once our girls are old enough to enjoy them with us!

I designed the invitations and put together a guest book.  The invitation was made with a clip art baby that I purchased on Etsy and added an Amy Tangerine clip art camera that I purchased from the Silhouette shop.  All the shower information was printed on the back of the invitation.

For the guest book, I got a Project Life Mini Album in Kiwi and cut out polaroid photo shapes (also purchased from the Silhouette shop) in a 3"x4" size using white and black paper.  In the larger white space at the bottom, I prompted the guests with either "I wish I knew..." or "Wishes for baby" and they could then choose to fill out one, or both, using a white pencil in the black space.  As they were filled out, they could be added to the album.  Since she is the photographer of the group, I decided to take over the photo taking responsibility for the day.  My photos might not be up to her level of ability but I did my best and I think I did ok capturing the day for her.  I will be getting my photos printed and will add them to her guest book along side her family and friends words.

The image from the invitation was even used on the cake!

I also had a little fun with some photos of Lauren and her husband and let people try to guess what their baby might look like.  I had Lauren send me a head shot of both her and her husband and then used Photoshop to manipulate them until their heads were about the same size.  I then printed them as 5x7's and cut them at the hairline, just above the eyes, just under the eyes, at the end of their noses, just under their mouths, and just under their chin.  This made 6 puzzle pieces of each face that people could then use to make composite pictures of their baby, dads hair, moms eyes, etc.  It was both funny and slightly disturbing but we had fun with it.  Here are a couple of the babies that we made:

The shower was beautiful, the gifts were many and this mama-to-be was really showered with love!  If you would like to hear about the shower from her point of view and see more of my photos, check out her blog post.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Oh no, cocoa...

That's right, this sweet little girl managed to get the cocoa powder out of the pantry while I was putting groceries away yesterday.  It was everywhere!  It was on Daddy's recliner, her rocking chair, the floor, her hair, her feet and everywhere in between!  The bonus was that it cleaned up really easily and she smelled like chocolate for the rest of the day!

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Live and Love...Out Loud

Little by Little

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Watercolors

A little rainy afternoon painting...

This has been the most successful art project that I have tried with the kids!  Who knew that watercolors would win over finger paints and crayons...

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Live and Love...Out Loud

Little by Little

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: Before and After

I have been working on my post processing skills this week and have had fun playing with this picture of Lily.  It is not a typical picture for me but I kind of love it!

SOOC (Straight out of camera):

Color edit, I'm still not sure that I have her skin color just right but it's getting there:

Black and white edit:

This photo was taken with my Nikon D3100 and my 35mm 1.8 lens.  My settings were f/1.8 1/1000 and an ISO-3200.  It was edited with Photoshop Elements 10.

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Ni Hao Yall

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Fireman

This past weekend we went to a Touch-a-Truck event and it was a dream day for Levi!  He loves all things truck and it was all he could talk about during the hour long car drive there.  I took a ridiculous amount of photos while we were there, but these 2 were, by far, my favorites.  They were giving out play firemen hats to the kids (you can see a couple of them in the background of the first picture) but Levi was nervous to go up to the fireman to get one.  Another fireman in the area saw that, and asked if he would like to try on his hat.  Levi got a huge grin on his face and shook his head yes.  The finger in his mouth is his nervousness showing but he loved it!  I am so glad I had my camera ready :)

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Live and Love...Out Loud

Little by Little

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: Fishing

Our weekend was every little boys dream come true and we all enjoyed it as a family!  One of the highlights of the weekend was taking Levi fishing for the first time.  He was beyond excited to go fishing and it was all he could talk about on the 30 minute ride to the lake.  My brother-in-law gave him a fishing pole for his first birthday and we just recently found it again.  Once Levi saw it, and found out that it had been from his uncle, he started asking us to go daily!  He has been specifically asking for his uncle to take him but since he lives a few hours away, that will have to wait until later this summer.  The kids were both so well behaved despite the fact that it was a long day with no naps.  It was a great start to the summer!

I really could not have asked for a better weekend with my family!

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Ni Hao Yall

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday's Letter

Dear sun, Thank you so much for showing up today even though it was supposed to rain all day!  You allowed me to enjoy a picnic lunch on the porch with my kiddos followed by a little fun in the sprinkler (it was much warmer than it appears in these pictures)!  Dear Katie,  We had so much fun playing with you guys at the playground this week!  It's fun watching our kids grow up together and learning how to play with each other.  Dear hair, Why do you have to be so frizzy and unruly?  I really want to do something besides a ponytail or messy bun everyday without having to do a lot of work!  Dear Little Brother, Happy Birthday!  I hope you had a great day and we will see you soon!  Dear Friday, Thank you for being such a great way to end the week!  I am looking forward to a weekend all about the Moms in my life!

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