Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Does anyone else suffer from...

...the "I can totally make that" disease?  You know, when you see something really cute in a store, at a craft fair or online.  Like this....

(over at the Creative Crate)

or this...

(Crate Liners over at Ucreate)

or this....

(pettiskirts over at Martha Stewart)

and you say, "I totally love that, what a great idea, it's amazing....but I can totally make that!"  So you don't buy it, and you go home with the full intent of making it THIS WEEKEND...and sometimes you even buy all the stuff you need....and 4 years later its still sitting in your craft closet or in a box?

Yeah, I do.

Maybe we should start a support group.    Let's start it....this weekend!  I'll go buy all the stuff!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sweet & Sour Chicken

I was telling a friend of mine the other day that I can't get any Chinese food in Atwater. I can get all the great Mexican food I want, but no fried rice or chowmein. She on the other hand, living in the bay area is just the opposite. Great Chinese, no Mexican. It made us miss Modesto for about 5 seconds. Then we got over that.

Then, I found this recipe for Sweet & Sour Chicken. It was rated 4.7 out of 5. So I gave it a try. We made it last night for dinner and it was AWESOME! Served over rice, it was just what I had been craving.

Aaron also made some seasame seed lime chicken stirfry too. It was good too...but he doesn't remember what he put in it. Sorry.

and the Second Winner is....

Jami Schoettler !

I was a little dissappointed that I didn't get more entries into my giveaway. This morning I found out that Jami had commented, but her comment didn't appear. So, I decided to let her win too, because that's how I roll!

Jami contact me to schedule your appointment.

P.S. can win too if you want, but you have to bring cookies.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Times Up!

I didn't bother to do a drawing. I didn't even flip a coin. I made an executive decision.

Congratulations Laura!

Email me to schedule your appointment.

FYI-Hamlie is my sister. She gets all the free photo shoots she wants. So don't feel too bad for her.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Give Away Time

OK, enough with yard sale already! Because y'all had to sit through that for over a week I'm going to host an awesome giveaway. That's right, a give away! (I know, I'm not from the south but this is my blog and I reserve the right to use the word y'all whenever I please).

Diane Conn has been photographing children and families for over 10 years. She started when she was only 19 years old. (Can I stop talking in third person now?) While I do photograph weddings, events, seniors & family reunions, I specialize in children and family portraits. I love being able to capture in photographs the little & big personalities that come with every child. No mug shots or cheesy grins for me.

So today, I am giving away one custom portrait session with Diane Conn Photography and a 11x14 wall portrait to one lucky winner.

Also, from now until September 30, 2009, if you mention this blog post when calling to schedule your appointment, you'll receive a free wallet accordion album at your next session. That's a $65 value!

You will have 3 ways to enter this giveaway, don't worry, they are all pretty easy.

1. Enter a comment below telling me something cute your kids did this week (if your kids are in their 30's and stopped doing cute stuff a long time ago, just make something up). Don't forget to add your contact information.

2. Post about this giveaway on your blog, twitter account, local forum or facebook. Just link back here and come back and leave me another comment with a link to your post. (one entry for each post, that's a possible 4 extra entries.)

3. Cold call 30 people out of the Merced County phone book and let them know about my giveaway. Bonus if they have cute kids!...Ha Ha seriously, do it! Alright, you probably shouldn't do it. How about becoming a fan on my facebook page instead. Click HERE then come back and leave a comment letting me know that you're a fan.

The give away will be open for entries until Wednesday, September 16th. 11:59pm PST.

Session will take place in our Atwater Studio or on location within 30 miles of the studio. If you would like a session outside of that area travel fees will apply. A special discount might be applied if you have me travel somewhere cool, like Hawaii, or Florida or....Provo!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Updated Stuff For Sale

Someone should come buy some stuff, so I don't have to put it back in the garage.

One New Full matress & boxspring set - $100

2 twin sized New box springs - $20 each

Double jogging stroller ( you know you want it) - $45

A three piece SOLID WOOD dresser, mirror & night stand....we were asking $395, but would entertain all offers (hint hint)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Disneyland Yard Sale

I know, you all just got really excited. You are probably trying to come up with ways to run down to Anaheim and pick up a set of giant tea cups and maybe a spinning wheel in the back of your mini van. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but its not actually Disneyland that is having a yard sale, it is us. You see our truck broke last week and Tinkerbell did NOT come and wave her magic wand over it to fix it. We had to tap into our vacation fund so that we could get to work and stuff.

We've been planning a pretty cool trip for a while now, and I'd rather not cancel it. So, we are having a yard sale. The goal is to make 3 billion dollars so we can take you all with us. A thousand will get us by but you'll have to buy your own tickets.

We have alot of baby stuff like a high chair, some toddler clothes & toys. A double stroller too.

We have beautiful barely used 3 piece bedroom set. It comes with a dresser, mirror and night stand. We bought it for my parents, who decided they liked thier old one better so we took it back.

We have several matteresses and box springs. Most are new, some are used. (we used to own a mattress store)So, if you're in Atwater this weekend, stop by and buy some of our stuff. Email me if you need directions or an address. Or if you want anything that I've mentioned but don't want to wait until Saturday, please email me and I can "hook you up".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daddy Dollars ~ The new chore bribe

It may take me a few days to get the system of chore dollar value & what prizes they can earn, but I'm hoping it will motivate them to find thier floors.We've been using a point system, which worked for a little while, but I think it was kind of confusing for the girls. I think having something tangible to hold on to will help.

After they've earned enough dollars, they can spend them at the Mommy Store every Saturday. Its fill with junk, I mean treasures from the dollar store and knick knacks from that I've collected. I've heard of some families putting activities to earn in their store. Activities like video games, family outings, TV privilidges.

I'll let you know how it works out.

You can make your own dollers, rupples, pesos, etcs at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School Photo Tips

My kids started school last week. My daughter only made it one day before getting sick and she wasn't even faking it! Being the organized mother that I am, I didn't get a chance to take pictures before school. (It might have had something to do with the emergency trip to CVS to pick up cold medicine.) I did however get one shot of my daughter after school. (See the post below) Isn't she cute?

I thought it would be a good time to share a few tips on how to take some good back to school pictures .

-Get your children to stand in some open shade. Under a tree or awning, next to the house or right inside your doorway are usually great spots.

-Do NOT line your kids up in front of a wall, it makes it look like they are lined up in front of a wall. If the wall line up is your only option try having them sit or stand a few feet away to create some dimension. Standing in a doorway or sitting on steps are a great idea.

-Get down to your child(ren)'s level. Unless your kid is one of those teens who out grew you over the summer try sitting or squatting down. It will give you a better perspective on how big your kids actually are.

-Add some props. If your kids ride their bikes to school, try taking their pictures while standing next to or riding their bikes. If they are bus riders, take their picture at the bus stop.

-Get creative. Have fun. And don't stress out. If you don't get great first day back to school pictures, there's always second day back to school pictures! (In my case, third day back to school pictures or as soon as both kids feel better and are back to school pictures.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Raspberry Lime Layered Jello

Ignore the half missing plate...I didn't have time to take pictures of my gorgeous presentation before company arrived. I was just lucky to have a few left over at all.
This was so good! I made these little goodies for dinner the other night. I was inspired by Adventures of a Food Slut who used eight different layers to make her rainbow jello. I didn't have the time or more than four flavors in the pantry, so I stuck with just two.

I highly recommend trying this sometime soon!

Not the AFTER pictures I promised...

I know I promised you after pictures, but I can't find the card. Its really not that big of a deal. I can take more pictures, that just requires me to have a clean bathroom for about 5 minutes in a row....and that just hasn't happened lately!

*Edited to add to Homebody's Thrift store Thursday.

So, instead I'll post my latest Goodwill treasures.

My total for the trip :$17 even.

Guess how much I paid for the Bumbo chair...$3! I don't even need a Bumbo! I bought it knowing that my friend Karen might want it & if not, I could sell it on ebay. (She does, so I can cross one birthday gift off the list.)

The black & white thing is a skirt. Its for my sister. There's always cute stuff in her size, which can be a bummer when looking for stuff for myself. But atleast thats two birthday's crossed off!(Julie & Karen, just act suprised, k?)

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Bathroom - The BEFORE

I'm going to tease you a bit, just a little bit. Not because I like to make you wait, but because I forgot my memory card with the after pictures! So, after pictures will come tomorrow. Until then, take a look at the before pictures of our "new" bathroom. Now, I hope you're sitting down, because the following images are NOT pretty.

Bathroom window, not terribly awful, other than the fact that it leaked and the window casing (that was suppose to be repaired before we bought it) was rotting away.

Awesome mirror and medicine cabinet. Aaron was the only one tall enough to look in the mirror. Have you noticed our pretty green tile yet?

Doesn't this picture make you want to jump right in and take a soak in the tub?
By the way, its hard to see, but the edge of the vanity actually is sitting on the side of the tub. I've never seen that before.

The linoleum wasn't bad. There was some water damage to the floor, so the sellers were required to fix the floor before escrow would close. If any of you ever need to replace a floor like a professional, here's how you do it.
1) rip up existing linoleum.
2) cut out the bad parts of the boards, but only the bad parts.
3)replace them with scraps of wood and lay a sheet of whatever wood you have laying around on top.
4)not level? that's OK. Just pour on a gallon of level quick.
5) place down some nice linoleum...but heaven forbid you glue it down. Just use double sided sticky tape around the edges and call it good.
See, even a complete moron could do fact, I think one did!

This is the only problem we haven't been able to solve. We're thinking about putting in a bi fold door for the bathroom. Anyone have any suggestions? At least this way I'm almost guaranteed that my children will shut the door when using the facilities.

Come back tomorrow to see the 94% completed bathroom!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Nose Hurts

The air is so dry here in Atwater. Today, my nose is so dry that no amount of moisturizer is easing the pain. My skin screams at me daily to take it somewhere moist.

So, does anyone have any recommendations for a really GOOD moisturizer? What about a cleanser that doesn't dry out my already dehydrated face?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Portrait At Last ~ Even if its only one!

Sarah's bangs aren't all the way back & Lissy isn't looiking at the camera, but 4 out of 5 are looking at the camera...and that ain't bad! Aaron only smiled because I told him this one counted as our one family picture this year. Maybe next year I will hire a professional instead of handing uncle Mikey my camera.

Friday, April 24, 2009

No Family Pictures for Us This Week!

I was pretty ticked off a few weeks ago when Aaron brought Andrew home from the barber with a MOHAWK! I wasn't happy with his style choice, but especially because we had family pictures planned for the following week. (To be fair to Aaron, he didn't know that little piece of information.) So I postponed portraits a few weeks. He's starting to look like a normal kid again and...
...look what Sarah decided to do! ALL of her bangs are GONE! Completely GONE! I guess pictures will just have to wait....again.
I wonder what Lissy will do in a few weeks?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy st. Patricks Day

Do you know what happens at my house when I just want to take one nice snap shot of my 3 beautiful children?
They pose.

And make goofy, silly, cheesy grins.

Until I get frustrated and tell them to just look at me and smile.

And it still doesn't work.
Do you know how frustrating that is to a children's portrait photographer?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Its been 4 weeks?!?!!

I can't believe I haven't posted anything for 4 weeks! I'm such a slacker!..

Speaking of slackers, have you ever been to its a free online radio station. Its great, you can choose a playlist based on what you want to listen to, from country to Christmas. My favorite features are being able to skip songs that I don't like that much and I can block songs I don't ever want to hear again!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow Fun!

We were visiting some good friends earlier this week & my girls found a nice patch of snow in the front yard that had not melted yet.

Andrew was smart enough to stay inside, where it was warm and dry.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pay it Forward

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a handmade gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch though...Post this same thing on your own blog and then come back and leave a comment telling me you're in. Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sisters Are Nice

I was out side taking a few quick pictures for my etsy shop and the girls wanted a turn. So I let my "ragamuffin" children have a seat. My girls are little "posers." Its hard to get a natural smile out of either one of them, but we had fun trying.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Back Pack

I've been meaning to share this for a while. When school started this last fall, I couldn't find a decent backpack for a resonable price. Thats when I decided to just make my son's backpack myself.
I took these black cordoroy pants that my husband hasn't worn in at least 6 years and started cutting. I wish I had taken pictures as I went along, but didn't think about it aat the time.

I used one of the legs as the main part and the fly as the zipper to the smaller pocket. I made straps and flap from the other leg. I covered the inside of the flap with orange and blue fabric. Andrew drew out the design he wanted and picked his favorite colors.

And here's the finished product. If I were to do it again, I would use a nice snap instead of velcro.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Eve in San Francisco

Every year, except when I'm pregnant or sick, we venture into "the city" on Christmas Eve. It is Aaron's favorite family traditions. His family has been going for many years. Now, I usually drag my feet to get there, because going means missing out on my family's annual Christmas Eve traditions and forfeiting my place in the chocolate line, but I always have fun once we are there.

This year, we made our first stop in Ghiridelli Square. We went in to have their world famous Hot Fudge Sundae. We were NOT disappointed. We ordered the brownie sundae and a hot chocolate to share. That was, by far, the best dessert I've had in a long time.

We made our way down to Pier 39. On the way, we stop at a few art galleries and a barely missed the Maritime museum by 1 minute! We let the kids play on the giant anchor for a little while.

The name of the bread company escapes me right now, but there was a beautiful old building with a bakery. It had a full glass window, where we could watch the bakers shape the dough into crabs, lobsters, snowmen, and even a giant alligator! I got in trouble with my grand father the next day. Apparently I was suppose to pick up a loaf or two of sour dough bread, but I didn't get the memo.

We made our annual hat and glove purchase at Baby GAP. The kids all got to pick a pair of gloves, Sarah's gloves came with a matching hat.

Over at Pier 39, we had a nice dinner at Sweet Louie's. It was good, but I can never enjoy a meal when I know I'm spending that much money on it (shhhh...don't tell Aaron, he quite enjoyed it.) I don't usually let me kids play under the table, but I could tell Sarah was close to reaching her limits. The table cloth went all the way to the floor and she was quite, so I let her be.

Overall, it was a nice family trip. I'm glad I went, even if I dragged my feet all the way to the car.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

Have you heard about Scharffen Berger Chocolate? Its really good, especially if you like dark chocolate (I don't particularly care for dark chocolate, but this stuff is good). A while back, I found out that thier plant in Berkley gives out free tours. So, after visiting the Oakland Temple, I suprised Aaron with a little trip.

We had a great time. He said he was truely suprised, which I can't do very often.

Next time you're in the California Bay Area, check it out.