Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to shoot engagement photos.
Jim and Brenna were stunning and styled to perfection.
I love functional photo shoots. Pictures taken and Christmas tree chosen.
Today was the perfect day to celebrate LOVE. Black Friday had nothing on these two.
Can't wait to get my hands on the rest of their pics...the first few were a breeze to edit thanks to reflective show and an overcast day.
Looking for an amazing place to cut down your Christmas tree? We highly recommend the Stacy Tree Farm. They've got it down to a "tree."
It's been a while since I converted a photo to Black and White. I've been enamored with color, texture and blur. After taking this picture of the kids this morning – 3° and insisting that they take OFF their coats (mother of the year) – I couldn't help but make the whites whiter and eliminate the clashing colors that took away from their expressions.
This year I'm thankful for healthy kids – one destroyer and one thespian – may they stay healthy and strong to unleash their talents on the world.
I know...I know...it's tradition to wait until after Thanksgiving to bedazzle your home and Christmasize your surroundings. I could have waited just a few more days but when I was stuck inside the house on a foggy?? awful November weekend it seemed like a great idea to drag a bunch of bling into our already cluttered and messy house.
As I began to open boxes, searching for the decor that was displaced and never replaced during our basement remodel, Oliver dove in head first. He will MAJOR in "Breakable Things" in college some day.
While playing 1:1 defense against the beast, Axel was searching and searching for something up in the kitchen.
Just as we were knee deep in tinsel I remembered the tree! We had found a "tree for free" roadside last summer...never opened the box and stuck it in the shed rafters. Because I can't stick with one task until it's finished I decided that I should leave the mess I was standing in and head to the shed to see if the box actually did contain a tree and not a dead body...we never did look inside.
Standing atop the ladder (yes...the very top because I had to lean over the lawn swing) I thought I could simply slide the box down a bit, climb down the ladder and lower it the rest of the way to the floor. Five seconds into that brilliant plan and my calculations proved to be completely off (thank you new glasses) and the box plummeted the remaining 9 feet with zero resistance. It hit the ground like...well...like a christmas tree falling from the ceiling.
I dollied it into the porch and finally got a visual on what Axel had been doing...making a list...for me...of things I needed to do.
In a new fangled "Christmas Font" - Axel detailed what needed to happen for Christmas to come to our house.
Seems pretty simple. In the basement another crash and I grab the vacuum before even heading down.
Happy Christmasizing. Make sure a qualified list-maker keeps you on track.
Axel and I have an awesome new tool! With a few special projects in mind, we ordered our first (likely not our last) button maker.
After searching the internet for about a week I discovered that an Etsy seller was an authorized Tecre dealer! While many internet sites carried similar quality machines, after years spent doing business on Etsy I feel most comfortable making a large purchase through their marketplace.
Here are the details of the package we ordered:
- 2 1/4" Tecre Button Maker Model #225
- Button Boy Fixed Rotary Cutter (cuts 2.625")
- 100 of each: magnet, mirror and button sets
Tecre machines come is several diameters, I can find a purpose for all of them having played with this for a while.
I'm seeing wedding favors, parade handouts, Christmas present toppers, class Valentines, marketing tools, birthday party activity...YOU NAME IT!
After the initial investment of the machine (which they don't give away...but once it arrives you can see that it's worth it's weight in dollars) the cost of buttons/magnets is something like $0.20 or less. AWESOME!
Axel immediately dove into design work and came up with this idea to bring to school.
He's making "Be Kind" magnets for his 22 classmates which I think is a great mantra for 1st graders.
Need more info on the button makers? Contact these guys as they are the experts: BUTTON BOY.
Have a button maker yourself? I'd LOVE to hear your ideas and projects you've completed with it!
Have a fantastic week,
Awesome 3-in-1 senior session last weekend at the Walker Sculpture Garden. Yearbook photos are due before winter break in most cases and what an awesome opportunity to take photos of Seniors in the natural Minnesota habitat – COLD.
I had a blast with these guys. One future Gustie, one Sailing Captian and a Rock Climbing Novice – 2 out of 3 fraternal twins.
Of course we couldn't resist a few "buddy shots."
Need last minute pics for a Senior? The snow makes a wonderful prop!
Macy's has their "Santa Mail" station out already and it's Axel's FAVORITE Holiday tradition. We searched the 3 floors of the Roseville store and found it hiding in the lower level – they're not quite ready to shout "CHRISTMAS" from the mountain tops and put it near the mall entrance like it will be later.
15 minutes is how long it took for Axel to write his first letter. I'll translate for you below:
"This is Axel. I have been good. Here is what I want for Christmas and my little brother too. I will do my brother. Ollie wishes for Mickey Mouse Club House. I want my own iPad. Love, Axel"
In the box it went as I marveled at his fluency with letters. His spelling is usually better than the example above but he cranked it out with such confidence I couldn't help but ignore the haste.
In some ways I hate Macy's for making them mail their wishes in store. They should say, "Bring it home and have your Mommy put it in the mailbox." That way I could keep these precious treasures. Macy's donates $1 for each letter placed in the box which seems like a "Spirit of Christmas" gesture...however I'd rather put a $ in the box and take on the responsibility of North Pole delivery myself.
In other news, after 3+ months of waiting, Oliver pooped in the toilet. It could have been an accident, something that fell out without effort...not sure. Either way, last night at 7:40...because that's when you poop when you're trying to delay bedtime...we were on the way to Target for "Squinkies" which has been the promised bribe and he wasn't about to go to bed empty handed. If you're looking for Squinkies by-the-way – don't go to Target. Maybe too many kids choked on the tiny fruit-snack-reminiscent toy, but the only thing even close were Lalaloopsy dolls in the girls section. LUCKILY Oliver bought their authenticity hook-line-and-sinker.
It's the most wonderful time of the year folks.
Lost a front tooth on Halloween. Kind of a big deal.
Just a friendly reminder to get fresh pics of your kids as their smiles change!
As the Holidays approach and your shopping list starts to develop you might be finding some holes in the kid department. It can be so darn hard to purchase for kids that aren't yours...and for that matter...kids that ARE yours.
Boys vs. girls? Is this toy age appropriate? I've compiled a list above of gifts that will hit it out of the park this year!
These are just a guide and brands don't necessarily matter. I'm not suggesting that my readers in California purchase a Minnesota Zoo membership, but am merely saying that a membership to a local museum/zoo/indoor playground is a GREAT place to start for a gift that will last all year!
Here's what's on the list (all prices are averages taken from Amazon):
1 - Design and Drill - May look more geared to boys, but the pattern cards that come with it suggest GIRL. $20
2 - BOOKS - I'm always tired of reading the same books. My kids (2 and 6) are obsessed with seek and find books like "Where's Waldo". Other great titles this year are "The Day the Crayons Quit" and the "Busy Car Book (series)" is fantastic! $10-$20
3 - MEMBERSHIP! My kids LOVE memberships to museums and zoos. Places we can go year round an pay nothing. Here are the places in MN that you can purchase a membership for about $100:
SeaLife Aquarium (Mall of America)
Children's Museum (Ages 1-6 are best suited)
Science Museum (Ages 4+)
Bakken Museum (Ages 4+)
Edinborough Park (Indoor play space in Edina)
Minnesota Historical Society (our favorite...multiple locations)
4 - Bounce and Sport Ball. Large muscle activity that is relatively safe indoors...WINTER SAVIOR. $10
5 - Plasma Car. Have hard floors in the house? GET ONE OF THESE! $45
6 - Camera. This one claims to project the pictures as well. Kids love cameras of any sort. I would suggest getting them a "REAL" camera (cheap adult camera) because then the pictures will have a decent megapixel count and you can print them!
7 - MAGIC SET - this one is new for Melissa and Doug and seems to be age appropriate for kids. Axel would LOVE to unwrap this for Christmas! $25
NEW - I'm searchable!
Grab my button: