Potty word photoshoot


Potty word photoshoot. That's what I call it. Yes, it's vulgar and inappropriate, but it gets me the money shot.

Yesterday I wanted to change out our family photo wall but I didn't have 'the' picture I wanted of my most mischievous of the three. Let me clarify, I had plenty of photos of her with obnoxious poses or ridiculous 'glitterati' outfits, but not the kind of photo I want to see on a daily basis.

Summer photos are my favorite since our winter and spring are so long and soggy in Seattle. It's the summer photos of healthy, happy, tanned kids that get me through the dreary months.

Hence, the potty word photoshoot. Anyone with kids knows that from about 4 years old, potty words are inevitable, annoying and usually result in uncontrollable giggles. Our house rules forbid potty words (as if a rule can really vanquish a childs desire to whisper, blurt or giggle-spit out these super hilarious words). So, I use it to my advantage when I take pictures of my kids.

I use potty words. It shocks them. They look at each other as if they are holding their breath and their look says 'can you believe what she said?' Then they either collapse in hysterics, or I get the money shot. When my tactics are successful I feel like I have conquered them and their annoying potty word habit.

There is a bit of work ahead to reign them in after a photoshoot like this, but over the years they've learned...it does have to come to an end. Eventually. Usually two days later it dissipates, but I still got the money shot.

In the end, I win.

Big Top Birthday Party Gift!


There's only one baby, other than my own, that I love this much! And he just turned ONE! His super creative mom put together a cheerful circus themed party for her little man - so I couldn't resist personalizing his gift...Big Top style.

Here's the short story, longggg.

This smiley giggler is downwind from 3 older brothers so he has never really needed clothes, and he definitely didn't need any more toys...but he L.O.V.E.S. balls (and I know how bad his mom wanted me to draw his silhouette - wink, wink K!). The circus themed birthday party seemed to be the perfect time to hit all the high points for my friend's one year old to be.

Once I spotted it, I knew I could transform the giant cheeseball tub from the junk food isle into the perfect container for the cart of whiffle balls I hoarded back at the party store. Then, I swear I heard angels singing when I reached the clearance toy section at Target (shhhh) and was face to face with an adorable tiny elephant whose trunk was curled up as if it was begging me to glue a yellow ping pong ball to it. The ball, I wrapped with a slim blue ribbon to make my circus elephant come to life.

My plan was coming together beautifully. Cheeseball containers have the perfect red top to glue a circus elephant to (plus it is a durable plastic, and at $4.99 can you really beat it?).

Next, I personalized it with a vintage circus poster inspired label!

The process...there's always a process.

First, I researched old time circus posters. I settled on a few to help inspire me to create a personalized label for the birthday boy.

Second, I cranked out his silhouette...so sweet. It was late night as I was drawing and it hit me. I have known this baby since the day he was born, traveled across the world with him (to Finland - an impromptu trip just for moms and babies - leaving behind 5 others between us) and seen him at least every week of his entire life. We are undeniably bonded. (sigh...so sweet)
Third, I started looking around for the fonts I needed for my project to come together. 
Free fonts? Free fonts! Free circus fonts!
Puh-lease. I love free fonts. I found these safe free font downloads from www.dafont.com.
You can click on the examples below to go straight to the download page for each font.

Lastly, I thought about all the words and phrases that I would use to describe this very loved little boy. And here is what came of it all!
Normally, I would be horrified if I made one of my friends cry - but it was the sign of success when my friend realized that it was her little boy on the label and that this was definitely a keepsake from his first birthday party - Big Top style!

Before & After | log cabin to beach house


I'm not much of a DIY'er, but I admit, I'm a sucker for a good before and after project, especially if it involves spray paint.
Before and afters are my favorite blog posts, pinterest pins and I can't stand it when the before/after project is documented in long form...meaning I have to wait! One of my favorite boards, aptly named "crafty" on Pinterest is overflowing with before and after projects.

Clearly there is a quiet obsession lurking somewhere in my subconscious. It was bound to come out this summer, given that the kids are out of school and we have slid nicely into the "summer schedule" (more like a crash landing of sleeping in and wearing our bathing suits 'round the clock). There's plenty of down time, a McLendons hardware located way too close to our house and a Ben Franklin within walking distance. It's a powder keg.

I loved the idea of the log cabin at first and I was happy for the kids to have somewhere to play and imagine (or maybe get out of my hair for a minute!), but the colors were just grinding on my nerves from the very second we put it in the yard. The lack of a single sleeping bag combined with our obscene bathing suit and beach towel collection might tip someone off that we may be more of a 'beach people' than log cabin people.

Luckily, Krylon makes a brilliant spraypaint that adheres to plastic and can be found in many colors. It's called "Fusion" for plastic and best of all, it dries within 15 minutes. Along with my gold acrylic professional spray paint by Montana.cans in "Malachite Light", this log cabin was history!

And in reverse...here was the process. A hot 86 degree day made the water dry fast and the paint dry even faster - perfect for the impatient.
Thumbs up for our first before and after of the summer!


July 4th recap


This year we were surprised and excited to be invited by close friends to drive down to their beach home in Ocean City, Washington, for the July 4th celebration on the ocean! As if spending the holiday with friends wasn't good enough, we also scored some of the most beautiful and unexpected weather conditions! 
We (the adults) took a quick look outside and tried to drink it all in as fast as we could -  by 8 am on July 4th, my friend and I were already staring down the barrel at many, many pairs of excited eyes.  Despite the fact that our kids see each other every week at least twice, they were counting the minutes to reunite, and plot their coup d'├ętat.
We were outnumbered 7 to 4.
It was hopeless.
So off we went. To be tourists (in our own state) and to have F.U.N.
We did the traditional things like visiting the firework stand and buying way too many explosives (courtesy of our over generous hosts). We went to the tourist-y but infamous "Shark Store" for shark tooth necklaces and then to the t-shirt shop for matching souvenir sweatshirts. Then we headed back home to run through the sand dunes and count the minutes until dark!
While the kids ran along the wrap around deck and hid in the tall grasses waiting for the sun to go down, we enjoyed the view.

Finally, sunset.
It was an amazing firework display and I know our kids will never forget this fourth of July at the beach house.
There are many days I go to bed wondering how I will ever have the energy to get up the next day because 'my people' exhaust me so. But in reality, their innocent excitement and persistant nagging to do something fun every day is what keeps me going. July 4th recap reminded me of this little fact.
As I write this, I am grateful for my friends and family, my health, and a wonderful trip that leaves amazing memories!
Thank you  K & D and especially P & C, for a memory making July 4th!
Now...to document using my favorite book maker, Blurb.



by mlekoshi