Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

{Happy Spring Equinox!} Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

March 28th, 2012

Last week was the Spring Equinox! In the PNW, we had a gorgeous weekend full of sunshine and temperatures reaching almost 60! But then, the real Seattle spring set in, with grey skies, lots of wind, and intermittent showers. So bring up my mood, here are some pictures I took last year at the Skagit […]

 

Last week was the Spring Equinox! In the PNW, we had a gorgeous weekend full of sunshine and temperatures reaching almost 60! But then, the real Seattle spring set in, with grey skies, lots of wind, and intermittent showers. So bring up my mood, here are some pictures I took last year at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. We go every year since it around our oldest’s birthday, and I love getting a picture of him in the tulips. These bright, colorful flowers would cheer up anyone’s mood and put you in the mood for spring. Happy Equinox!

 

 There are so many varieties of tulips, I couldn’t pick one as a favorite!

Fields of tulips

 

It was a wee bit cold and windy when we went up, hence the layered scarf and hat look he’s sporting.

 

It had been raining all spring, so there were lots of mud puddles. I saw a lot of this.

 

Accompanied by a lot more of this.

 

I love this – a perspective of my oldest throughout the years. That first year, he was barely taller than a tulip!

 

My, how times have changed.

 

I think the kids were way more interested in the mud than the tulips.

 

So. Much. Mud!

 

We adults spent time checking out the beautiful fields and fields of flowers.

 

The kids spent time checking out the really big tractor. Flower vs. Tractor? TRACTOR WINS!

 

See? It was a pretty impressive tractor, i do have to say.

 

We were able to get a family shot out in the flowers, however!

 

But by the end of the day, most everyone looked like this.

 

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{May the Force Be With You} Seattle Area Childrens Photographer

March 7th, 2012

My boys love Star Wars. For Christmas a couple of years ago, my husband kindly bought me Lego Star Wars, which I deemed safe enough for the kids to watch. Besides, LEGO!  Have you seen how cute those little LEGO figurines are of Han Solo, Obi Wan, and Yoda? Now, my kids haven’t even seen […]

 

My boys love Star Wars. For Christmas a couple of years ago, my husband kindly bought me Lego Star Wars, which I deemed safe enough for the kids to watch. Besides, LEGO!  Have you seen how cute those little LEGO figurines are of Han Solo, Obi Wan, and Yoda? Now, my kids haven’t even seen any of the Star Wars movies, but my oldest became obsessed. For his birthday, we did a Star Wars theme. I scoured the internet for days beforehand, trying to find the best ways to have a low budget yet still cool, Star Wars themed party. (For future reference, there are actually Star Wars Party Book, and a Star Wars Craft Book which I did not know about until after the party. Hopefully these links will help another hapless parent out in their party planning.). A few weeks of planning, some sleepless night, and 31 kids plus a very happy birthday boy later,  seemed to thoroughly enjoy all our hard work.

This year, we told him he had to limit the amount of people to how old he is turning.  🙂

So onto the party pictures! I included links to everything, and hopefully this can help some other parent with a Star Wars obsessed kid. **WARNING** This post is long and picture heavy!

1. The Invite

I just used evite, but I found some cute wording and the invitation stated this:

In a Galaxy Far, Far away… A boy of destiny was born. The Jedi council named him {NAME} and they knew that he was the chosen one.

In the six years that has followed his birth, he has been learning the powers of the force. Recently though, the Jedi knights have called upon young Padawan {NAME} to seek out Future Jedi.

Your presence is requested on sunday May 1st for Padawan {NAME} birthday party! The trials will begin promptly at 11:30am at the Jeidi Training Academy (aka our home). Please Advise the Jedi council as to whether you will be accepting the challenge of the trials. Future Jeidi siblings may also partake in the trials. May The Force Be With you!

 

2. The Lightsabers, aka what I used instead of giving out goody bags.

I will admit, I kind of hate goody bags. My kids have food allergies, so if it’s candy often they can’t have it, and if it’s a toy it just ends up broken in the car on the way home from the party. So I found instructions on how to make foam light sabers, and made them as party favors. Simple and inexpensive! Cut a pool noodle in half, slap on some duct tape and electrical tape, and you’re golden. Bonus is, they don’t hurt when your kids beat the tar out of each other in preparation for Jedi Training. 🙂

Seriously, who doesn’t love a lightsaber?

I put them in buckets for the kids to grab, along with some neon colored labels and a sharpie to make name tags. 

 

3. The Imperial Decree

I wanted to make sure the kids kept the lightsabers OUTSIDE so we made up this sign, one by the lightsabers, and one by the door at parent-height. I downloaded the Star Wars Font to make the sign.

 

4. The Padawan Robe

I googled around, and this Star Wars Robe tutorial was the easiest one I found. For 3yards of fabric, I was able to make two small robes (one for each of my kids) for less than $5 total.

my son loved it so much he would wear it everywhere, even to tae kwon do.

 

5. Death Star Pinata

We couldn’t find an actual Death Star or Star Wars themed pinata, so here is what we did instead. I bought a baseball pinata (any round pinata shape would do, actually), and my husband spray painted it silver. To cover the hole we had to cut in it to put in candy, we put an upside down coffee lid.  He added on details with a black sharpie, and it turned out pretty well!

 

6.  The Cake

The cake was extremely cool. I found this tutorial on how to make an R2D2 cake. My fabulous friend Auntie Heather’s Fancy Cakes made the cake for us.  I made the inside cake (dairy and nut free!) and she put it all together. It was glorious and oh so amazing.

 

Details of the cake.

This thing was incredibly awesome. People couldn’t believe it was cake! Here’s a picture of the cake cut apart, poor R2D2 is getting devoured by my youngest.

CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

 

7. Star Wars Cooler

My husband’s coworker graciously loaned us his R2D2 cooler, which we used as a prop and to store “adult” beverages. My kids loved it and kept hugging it.

 

 

8. The Games

We played Jeidi vs. Bubbles (I had two parents with bubble machines, and the kids were fighing all the bubbles), which the kids really enjoyed. I made an obstacle course the kids had to run in, where I had parents holding lightsabers out either above head level, or low enough so the kids had to duck or jump over it, which they all LOVED. We also had Star Wars Bingo and a Pin The Lightsaber on Yoda game, but we didn’t get around to either of them. Mainly, this is what the entire party looked like.

 

 

Overall, I think everyone (parents, kids, birthday boy) had a great time, my son thought we were the coolest parents ever, and all the kids of all ages had a ton of fun chasing each other with their lightsabers. I hope if you’ve read this through, you got some good ideas for your own Star Wars themed party!

 

Shared at Spaceships and Laser Beams Boy Party Ideas!



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{Baby W. Three Weeks Old} Seattle Area Newborn Photography

February 21st, 2012

Baby W was a dream baby. He pretty much slept and let me pose him any which way for the entire session. The family was so laid back and go with the flow, even when we had the inevitable accidents which happen when you hold a naked newborn. I also captured one of my favorite […]

 

Baby W was a dream baby. He pretty much slept and let me pose him any which way for the entire session. The family was so laid back and go with the flow, even when we had the inevitable accidents which happen when you hold a naked newborn. I also captured one of my favorite sibling poses ever in this session, with Baby W. and big brother. Thank you for letting me into your home and capturing these sweet moments with Baby W!

 

Meet Baby W.

He was a looooooooooong baby. So adorable and squishy though.

Contemplative baby.

These cute hats were knitted by Baby W’s aunt.

Adorable frog baby!

The sweet daisies were placed there by big brother

Big brother and Baby W.

He slept through pretty much the entire session and let me pose him

A sweet storyboard with dad and Baby W

The entire family!

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{Two Sisters} Seattle Area Child Photographer

January 31st, 2012

I’m a out loud talker. If I’m in the grocery store, I’m the person talking about what’s on my list, and where can I find the red wine vinegar. My husband makes fun of me for doing this, but even he concedes that when you ask for something, you have a better chance of someone […]

 

I’m a out loud talker. If I’m in the grocery store, I’m the person talking about what’s on my list, and where can I find the red wine vinegar. My husband makes fun of me for doing this, but even he concedes that when you ask for something, you have a better chance of someone answering your question than if you never ask aloud. The age old adage, “ask and you shall receive”. Along that vein, a friend of mine was posting on a social media site that all her parents wanted for Christmas was a picture of both her girls together in the dresses they received from grandma. There were several problems with getting the picture as a) my friend works out of the house, b) the girls are both under the age of three and dragging them to the mall seemed like a chore and c) it was about a week before Christmas. I offered to come over to her home and take pictures of her girls for her. I’m way behind in my blogging, since these pictures were taken last month, but it was a win-win situation for everyone. Thank you for letting me photograph your adorable daughters!

 

Meet Older Sis. She was a hoot to capture on camera, and was so fun!

 

Ok, sit primly in this chair? I can do that for you, Ms. Photographer.

 

Little Sister was a tougher nut to crack to get to smile at me.

 

Look at those eyes! So soulful.

 

Older Sis was a dream, she pretty much did anything I asked. I love her expression here! It came out a lot.

 

But oh so adorable.

 

I finally coaxed a real smile from Little Sister

 

Oh look, I got them both into the same frame! Aren’t those dresses just precious?

 

And a last picture of a pretty pretty pink princess.

 

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{Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow} – Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

December 16th, 2011

One thing about living in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t get a lot of snow precipitation during the year unless you go up to the mountains (we get cold, and we get rain – just rarely together at the same time).  Usually when it does snow, everything shuts down and we get to stare outside […]

 

One thing about living in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t get a lot of snow precipitation during the year unless you go up to the mountains (we get cold, and we get rain – just rarely together at the same time).  Usually when it does snow, everything shuts down and we get to stare outside at all the pretty pretty flakes. One of my favorite things about being a parent is having family traditions. I love looking back on my childhood and remembering the special things my parents did to make the holidays special, and most of them involved a lot of time with my parents and very little money. One of my favorite traditions now with my boys is making snowflakes to help decorate our home. We have made ours out of paper, and for the younger kiddo, we do popsicle snowflakes as well. It’s really fun, it’s a way to bond with my boys, and I hope when they’re adults, they’ll be making paper snowflakes with their own families as well.

 

These are really simple to make, but the 3D effect makes them stunning. Here’s a link to a step by step tutorial. I made mine with six instead of eight pieces.

 

Here’s a good step by step tutorial on how to fold a six sided snowflake. This is what you end up with after the folding.

 

I made designs for my six year old, and just had him cut out the dark parts of the snowflake

Little kid scissors weren’t heavy enough to cut through the layers of paper, so we opted for adult scissors

And here’s our snowflake gallery! We put them on our slider door so we could admire them and pretend it was snowing outside.

Why yes, that is a Darth Vader snowflake

We glued big and little popsicle sticks together for the painting snowflake craft

Who says snowflakes need to be white?

No craft at my house is complete without glitter.

Waiting to dry! We ended up putting these snowflakes on the penguin footprint picture we made (yes those are my feet in the picture)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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{Santa at the Space Needle} – Seattle Area Child Photographer

December 10th, 2011

I was at Starbucks the other day and saw that they had a “Rocket to the Top of the Space Needle” coupon. You buy one adult Space Needle ticket, and you get one adult ticket OR two youth tickets FREE. Adults tickets are $18, youth tickets (ages 4-12) are $11, and 3 and under are […]

 

I was at Starbucks the other day and saw that they had a “Rocket to the Top of the Space Needle” coupon. You buy one adult Space Needle ticket, and you get one adult ticket OR two youth tickets FREE. Adults tickets are $18, youth tickets (ages 4-12) are $11, and 3 and under are free so the buy one, get one free was a great deal. In addition, Santa Claus would be up there in his rocket ship as well. Here is the blurb from the website:

Seattle’s Coolest Santa and his Out-of-this-World Workship

December 10-11 & 17-24: 11am – 5pm* 
*Santa will only be here until 4pm on December 11
The coolest, hippest Santa Seattle has ever seen will be chillin’ out with a couple of his elves at the top of the Space Needle this holiday season. Eager to show off his super-sleek WorkShip, Jolly St. Nick will be on the Observation Deck to meet and greet guests and take pictures in his shiny ride.

After telling Santa what is on their wish list, kids are invited to visit the arts and crafts station on the Observation Deck to make and take home a complimentary holiday keepsake.

My boys have never been a huge fan of Santa Claus. They love the abstract idea of Santa, but when faced with the real life Man in Red, it’s another story. I’m pretty sure I have the only kids who have cried and ran away from Santa, who dared to wave at them from 20 feet away. Last year, when my oldest was five, he surprised us by actually asking to go visit Santa and having his picture taken with the Man in Red. My younger son, who was two at the time, was not a big fan. This year, he’s six, and been all over the whole Santa thing. My youngest…still not so much interested. But, they both love space, and rockets.  Plus, my husband had not been up to the top of the Space Needle since he was a child, so we planned a family outing to the Space Needle. It was one of the rare, sunny, and clear days in the Seattle winter, and we had a gorgeous view on top. It was also super windy and cold, so we did not spend a lot of time on the observation deck. Rocket Santa was as awesome as he promised to be, and my oldest son was enchanted by his visit with Santa in the rocket. My younger son…not so much. In fact, he outright refused to make eye contact with Santa, or take the candy cane from Santa’s elf helper. Oh well, maybe another year.

In all, if you are looking for a different Santa experience, I would suggest going up to the Space Needle!

 

At the observation deck on top of the Space Needle. Please note that two out of three photo participants were cold and grumpy. 

Waiting in line for Santa Claus

Someone was a wee bit excited

They were really nice and gave parents photo opportunities as well. I’m a little sad my oldest is out of focus but he was way more interested in getting back to talk with Santa rather than look up for pictures.

My youngest wouldn’t even get in line with us.

He was much more vested in checking out the view from the telescopes

Older brother wanted a turn as well

As a bonus, we found an actual mound of actual SNOW in the Seattle Center. King of the Mountain!

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{Penguin Footprints} – Seattle Area Child Photographer

December 8th, 2011

Back before I had kids, I use to waste my time online looking at celebrity gossip sites and entertainment news sites. Nowadays, I get sucked into crafting sites such as Pinterest and Craftgawker. I particularly love Pinterest because I’m able to organize everything I find online into great boards such as “kid crafts”, “photography”, or […]

 

Back before I had kids, I use to waste my time online looking at celebrity gossip sites and entertainment news sites. Nowadays, I get sucked into crafting sites such as Pinterest and Craftgawker. I particularly love Pinterest because I’m able to organize everything I find online into great boards such as “kid crafts”, “photography”, or just simple “things I like”. I found this great tutorial on making a penguin footprint picture. It was so fantastically simple, I had to try it out with my boys!

 

First, you take some children. I have these two on hand all the time. 

Then, you strip them down to their toesies. I actually had the boys do this in their underwear and had my husband directly deposit them in bath afterwards, to make clean up easier.

Then, you paint their feet black.  I did it using it a paint brush on their feet.  I used acrylic paint, as we were going to be stepping onto canvas instead of just paper. For easier clean up, I highly recommend using washable tempara paint

Then I had them step onto the canvas. My canvas was sized 11″x14″. I did it one foot at a time, having them hold onto a chair. I then pressed their toes and feet down to get a good impression. Then have it dry overnight.

Once dry, paint on black wings, a white belly, an orange beak, and some googly eyes for fun. Aren’t they adorable? For more fun, you can also paint their toes orange to make orange feet, but we were not that ambitious.

 

Here’s our finished product! The snowflakes were popsicle stick snowflakes we had made earlier this week which I thought made a nice background. The ones on your left are my youngest son’s footprints. The ones on the right (with the bigger googly eyes) are made by my older son, who is the one doing the hammy smile in the background.

 

I hope you guys can make penguin footprint art with your kids too! Happy crafting!

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{Book inspired crafts} – Seattle Area Lifestyle photographer

December 7th, 2011

I’m grateful that we live in an area with a fabulous library system, with some awesome childrens’ programs. We go to the library weekly and get new books, and my kids love choosing and picking their own books for reading at home. We also love going to story time and listening to the great childrens’ […]

 

I’m grateful that we live in an area with a fabulous library system, with some awesome childrens’ programs. We go to the library weekly and get new books, and my kids love choosing and picking their own books for reading at home. We also love going to story time and listening to the great childrens’ librarians read, sing songs, and tell great stories. I get inspired by both the storytelling and the repeated reading of of the boys’ favorite books, to do interactive crafts with them. It helps promote literacy, pre-reading skills, and also is very hands on and fun. Sometimes when the boys are being super wiggly and can’t sit still for a story, they’ll still listen to it if they can follow along with their own crafts.

Here’s one of our favorites, and a must have book for any house. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

 

I got the idea from The Crafting Chicks for this craft. Toilet paper tubes, some green paper, and foam stickers I had plenty of in stock! The boys loved finding the different alphabet letters as we read the book, then putting them up to climb on the “tree”.

My youngest took finding space for all the letters quite seriously

I covered the toilet paper tubes in brown paper to make it more tree like.

Chicka chicka boom boom!

 

Here’s another book we love in this house. My Heart Is Like A Zoo

In this book, each letter in the alphabet is represented by an animal. And all the animals, are made up entirely of hearts. So here are some of our animals made of heart drawings. We have a heart frog, and a heart lion.

Then, we cut out a bunch of different sized hearts out of scrapbook paper.

And we glued them together to make animals. Here is my younger son’s bunny (he had some help with the glueing and pasting)

And here is my older son’s blue heron. He did this one all by himself.

 

And another fun book to turn into a craft.  Dog’s Colorful Day.

 

 

For this craft, I just cut the dog out of paper, then gave them colored markers. As we read along in the story, they put colored dots on their dog. Later, I cut the dots and dog out of fleece to make this fun read along craft we could do over and over again. Here is my youngest son’s colorful dog rendition

And my older son. Please forgive the awesome face he is making for the picture. 🙂

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Smiling Like Sunshine

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