Friday, July 30, 2010

I am a winner! Who says you can't get paid to blog!

I just won a giveway sponsored by Polka Dot Moon! I won a $50.00 gift card. Maybe I will quit my job and just enter giveaways all day. What do you think? :D I think it sounds productive and maybe kind of fun.

and per a special request here is the colored version of Madison for her Grandpa.
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and here are some shots from the pool yesterday. My kids are fish... they could live in the pool if I let them.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

I am in blog land tonight... I should be sleeping, cleaning, or doing laundry... actually I should be working on my clients photos... but I want to play. This girl just WANT TO HAVE FUN! So I found this really cool site tonight called Black & White Wednesday. And since I don't have enough to do already I decided to start participating in their site. I took this photo for purple theme this week and then decided to use another photo. But here is my beautiful baby girl Madison. She grew up behind the lens which makes being a photographer so easy when she will turn and strike a pose for me on que. XOXO Madison!


the long road

Check out my new camera bag!

It's the newest thing to have a homemade camera bag. I have seen these bags on Etsy ranging from $50 - $200. They are soooo cool and I new I "HAD" to get one of my own. I found out a friend of mine just started her sewing business called "SEW N LUV". It was great to catch up with an old friend and also be able to help support her growing business. This was her first time making a camera bag and it was so fun helping her to design the bag and to put it all together.

When I designed this bag I wanted something to be able to carry all of my wedding folders, envelopes, business cards and contracts in when I meet up with my clients. I also wanted to be able to use it to carry my camera gear in during photo shoots. So Alyssa came up with this bag design. She has two pockets to hold my lenses securely inside and also an area to place my camera in safely. A front pocket on the front of the bag for my receipt book and pens. She even surprised me with my logo on the bag!! Which is also a great marketing idea to help promote your business. It turned out perfect! I was so impressed.

It is comfortable around my shoulders and I feel safe with my equipment inside the bag. I love the ability to use it as a camera bag and a business bag. I feel all professional now! :D She also will have a smaller bag available for everyday use. Who wouldn't want a camera bag that looks like a purse. It sure does look so much cooler then my huge Tamrac bag. If anyone is interested in a camera bag email Alyssa about getting one custom made. She did such an amazing job and I highly recommend using her. She also has many other great items. I already have some more items I plan on ordering from her in the future.

Thanks Alyssa... you are wonderful! P.S. Alyssa... we need to start you a blog and an Etsy Shop! :D
I will let the pictures show you the quality of this bag

Here is my logo. I cannot sew for the life of me... I would be lucky if a button I sewed stayed on to a shirt after a wash cycle. So I am so impressed that she sewed my logo onto this fabric and the font and colors are exactly as my logo is on my website.

An extra pocket on the front of the bag for all the miscellaneous items you want easy access too.

Here is the inside of the bag. You can see the pockets for my lenses. She asked me what lenses I had and got the measurements via internet to make sure they would fit nice and snug into the bag. And they fit perfectly! She also hand picked my fabric to make sure it would match up to my logo. She rocks!

And the little things do matter. Here is a close up of the padded shoulder strap. It is moveable to adjust to your shoulder. It really does make a huge difference for comfort.

Thanks again Alyssa! This is perfect.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Time for Some Magic! Here are my party planning ideas!

My boys are turning 5 and 7! Can you believe that!! My son Jacob is huge into magic right now, so we decided to do a magician party for him. So in case your wondering why I don't blog these days... well its cause I have been photographing all the other adorable kids in Boise Idaho and not my own kids! In fact I accidentally erased a memory card of my son's 7th birthday, and some other pictures of my kids :( I cannot believe that.

So you all know I am a huge party planner and I spend way to much time putting together my children's birthday parties (Remember the Mario and Luigi Party here). I guess I have nothing better to do... that or I enjoy staying up til 3 in the morning decorating dollar store buckets and making fondant cakes... In case you ever wonder what kind of weird party planner I am... I will admit to you that I have already planned and purchased the materials needed for my daughters 3 year party and that isn't till the end of December... and yes I am also the kind of person that has bought about half my Christmas presents already. But in my defense... I am also a "frugal" person and cannot pass up a good bargain... so if it is a price I can't resist then it usually ends up in my shopping cart.

So here are some of my party ideas that I wanted to share.

Here is the cake I am making. It is actually already pre-done for the event and it turned out ADORABLE. This was my inspiration Only my cake will say Ryan (5) and Jacob (7)

Here is my cake that I will complete the day of the party

Invitations already sent and the boys helped make these

So for game ideas to entertain about 20 - 25 kids we are going to do a carnival set up. We will have ring toss, a row of 7 buckets with bean bags and the kids have to try and get them into the buckets (which were purchased from the dollar store and then converted into top hats... they are sooo cute!) All I did was take black cardboard paper for the top and used masking tape to tape on. And for the areas around the bucket just red cardboard paper taped on and since it didn't completely stretch around the buckets I made a black circle center piece and then taped on a yellow felt star. Since there are 7 buckets each star is labeled 1-7 except for the ones #5 which will be Ryan's name since he is 5 and then #7 will have Jacob's bucket instead!

We will also do a jar of black jelly beans and the kids will have to guess how many are in there. They will win the jar of beans if they guess correctly. And another game is bowling. Since it is a carnival set up I hired on my older nephews to run the booths and each kid will win tickets for the games. So if they play ring toss and get 4 out of the 6 rings around the sticks they will win 4 tickets. They will then put there names into a hat and I will draw for prizes at the end of the party for a chance to win these. I found these amazing boxes of magic tricks brand new never opened at Goodwill for .99 each! Can you believe that!

and of course goody bags filled with a magic wand (must have) silly glasses, chinese finger traps, bubbles and a noisy toy (because I know how much parents enjoy these things). I think I will add some candy too.

But the highlight of the event will be the real live magician from Furry Tales Magic Company. We are ecstatic about that! What we will do is set up a stage and then chairs for the kids with some popcorn bags and each kid will have a home made top hat, magic wand and cape. It will be so cute! I am going to make my own hats too. I found a way to make them online. Take a black paper plate and cut out the middle. Then glue on black cardboard around the middle that you cut out and wa-la instant hat. I should have just bought some... but they are a dollar each which gets expensive if you have 20-25 kids!

Oh my gosh am I so excited for the party! We have made other decorations like cut out stars and banners. I am thinking of setting up my backdrop stand that I use for my photography and putting it in an entry way and hanging a bunch of strands of stars from it like a curtain and the kids will walk through it.

So if you are in need of a magic party idea here you go! It was so fun to plan and the boys are extremely excited for the magic show. It was kind of expensive cause the magician was a hefty price... but you can't put a price tag on your kids happiness right!?!

I am also entering my bucket craft idea into Trendy Crafter Contest this week. You must use tape... and I used masking tape since I wanted to be able to re-use these buckets after the party for toys.

Trendy Crafter Button

Why I Love My Grandpa

1- Because he visits once a week and brings us apples and bananas everytime... and once in a while... cookies!

2- Because he lets us sit in his lap and reads us books

3- Because he makes us homemade Jello Bread.... (It's a secret Roper Family Recipe) :D

4- Because he lets us come over and pick all the cherries, carrots, plums and grapes we can find in his backyard to bring home to mommy.... so she will make homemade pies!

5- But most of all... because he gives us tractor rides and even lets us drive sometimes!

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Even I couldn't resist sitting in the trailer! That is why we love our Grandpa...
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Just imagine the worst... and mulitiply it by ten!

That is how I felt. From the very beginning our camping trip was a disaster. My husband was out of town for almost a week and asked me to meet him up in McCall for a camping trip. With lots of hesitation I agreed and somehow managed to pack by myself for my family and headed for the hills.

BUT along the way we faced many obsticles... and I guess if my husband and I are still married after this weekend then maybe we will get through anything cause he didn't get to see my inner beauty this weekend at all and neither did our fellow campers! And really that is an understatement.

Our list of disasters in order:
1) my son threw up in the car on the way to the mountains... said his tummy hurt
2) got to Cascade and met up with my husband and we headed for Stolle Meadows/Warm Lake area expecting to find this. Photo courtesty of Mike Huston

But instead found this... (Also I must note this photo was taken from the web? Not sure who photographed it but it wasn't me. I was no longer in a photographing mood at this point.

I guess there was a huge fire in 2007 that burned down this area that we drove an additional 2 hours to go see. So we stopped and let the kids roam in the burned down trees and had lunch. The mosquitos were insane, it was hot, and they were working on the roads so there were tractors everywhere. My husband begged us to just stay there for the night... but there was no way I was staying so I said no. I said lets find a spot back in Cascade....

So my husband being a sweet and patient man... agreed.

Get to Cascade around 3:30pm on a Friday afternoon and not a campsite in sight. Packed.... full... went to spot after spot and everything was gone... Drove up to the area where my husband proposed... I was so excited because we hadn't been there since then and same thing... EVERYTHING was taken. We found a spot FINALLY and my husband counted on me to wind this huge stupid toy hauler that was probably the size of a mobile home through this windy hilly road. And then "BAM!" I backed it into a tree root that seriously ripped the bottom corner of the toy hauler.

I so expected my husband to yell at me and he looked at me and said "Can you still get us back to that spot!" LOL he really said that. I am almost in tears cause I just ripped up the camper and I was so mad at myself and all he can think about is "Can you still get us back there?"

So after about 30 minutes of trying to back up this camper into this spot that was nearly impossible, two fellow campers from another camp site took on the responsibility of trying to get us back there. Finally my husband put aside his manly pride and determination and realized there was no way in "heck" we were ever going to get back there. So we spent another 45 minutes trying to get the stupid thing back out of that spot.

Thank God for kind people cause the two fellow campers who stopped to help us invited us over to there camp grounds. They had about 15 people and a great location so at this point... we decided to burden them cause our only other option was to go home!

So the rest of the night was great. Had a little to much wine that night, but I had a bad day so I sinfully justified it. :D The next morning Jacob decided to bathe in an entire bottle of mosquito spray... no kidding he really did and so we had none left. So my husband went up to get some at the nearest town. I decided to take the boys on a 4 wheeler ride. And guess what... it wouldn't start. Yes the kids left the keys in the ignition and the battery died. Husband gone... dumb blonde chick doesn't have a clue what to do so I had to ask for help... I hate asking for help. So I had to ask these campers for help again!! Although I do think the men there felt a little thrilled that they could show off all their man skills... so they jumped started our 4 wheeler. They also made sure I knew "NOT" to turn the 4 wheeler off after I left.

So the boys and I headed up for the mountains and finally took some of our first pictures up camping. I got to use my brand new Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 lens. Which is amazing by the way. I still need to get used to it but I got some pretty great shots. Most of these are SOOC. Some of them were slightly over exposed with the sunflare so I made some adjustments, but still getting used to the lens so all things considered I was happy with the photos.

There is some lens distortion on these but i left it cause I really don't have the energy right now to fix the photo! But great sun flare!

So we are having fun on the 4 wheeler and enjoying the scenery. Found a trail and followed it up the mountain for awhile.

Saw a few cows on the 4 wheeler... Adda chased them

THEN... dun dun dun... Adda (stupid dog) runs out in front of the 4 wheeler and then stops. I slam on my breaks. And I guess the brakes lock up sometimes and I guess i am supposed to know to use the wrench inside the tool kit behind the 4 wheeler to release the pressure in the brakes. So the brakes are jammed and I cannot get them to release. I remember thinking maybe the gears jammed up at one point so I tried to go forward and the 4 wheeler literally will not go and then all of a sudden jumps foward and the kids and I almost went over the side of the mountain on the 4 wheeler. Despite what I was told I turned the 4 wheeler off and headed back down the mountain. We hiked 2 miles back to camp and we were missing about 3 hours. No one new where we were or where to look for us so we had no choice. I felt like this at the time

only angrier. I was so mad I was in tears. I was done with camping... I wanted to go home. My husband begged me to stay and said it couldn't get any worse plus the kids were still having fun. And he was right they were... here are a few pics from later on in the day.

The kids playing in the sand getting dirty and swimming in the creek.

My sweet little Madison always puts a smile on my face

And God and his majestic beauty!

But my husband was SO wrong about the camping trip because then our hot water heater stopped working and we had to boil hot water to give the kids a bath which took forever. Then the stupid carbon monoxide alarm wouldn't quit going off and it didn't run on batteries so we had to cut the wires. Josh and I got in a fight cause I was the biggest "B" you could have met at that time. I went to bed early... I was done. Oh did I mention my husband who is an extremely patient man... waited until I was sound asleep before he even attempted to go to bed cause he just flat did not want to be around me!

I was looking forward to waking up Sunday morning and enjoying a cup of coffee and then heading home. And our coffee pot broke Sunday morning and I woke up with a 102 fever. I had a headache the whole way home down the windy bumpy roads back to Meridian Idaho. And it was at that point that I decided that I am done with camping for the year.

And after I get home and I download all the photos I took which was maybe only like 30 images... I realized I didn't take one photo of my son Jacob... and that is now my biggest regret.... :(

I think that this may have officially been the longest blog ever... and wouldn't this make a good movie? Only my version of the movie I would be sweet and proper, and patient and not yelling, and not crying, and not being a not so nice person... Have you ever had a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day? oh and please excuse the word stupid which I used over and over in my blog... LOL! Just thinking about this camping trip makes me cringe.

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