I’ll be Home for Christmas

Christmas tree, Christmas lights

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
and presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

—Bing Crosby

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photo credit: weheartit.com

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The Sweetest Footprints Ever

Unique baby shower ideas
They are cute little buttons with sweet feet. Everything is just so precious and perfect about babies. A simple button, bow, plus sign, tummy, or footprint takes on a completely new and magical meaning when it comes to babies.

After a baby is born, a traditional keepsake that parents love to receive is the baby’s first footprint on a button or card. A baby’s first teeny tiny little footprint is truly a timeless gift that parents will hold on to forever.

When it comes to baby showers and other celebrations, there are some tiny footprints designs that make sweet treats for everyone to eat.

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View these unique baby shower food and gift ideas featuring baby footprints: baby shower cupcakes, cakepops and more!

‘Baby feet’ courtesy of Johnathan Fitch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Bundle of Baby Shower Ideas

Unique Baby Shower Ideas

This past week on my Bella Blog I talked about creative baby shower ideas found on Pinterest.  Parents obviously need an abundance of diapers. There are some very artistic and clever ways to present the parents with a bundle of diapers during a baby shower: Six Super-Creative Baby Shower Diaper Cakes.

Common at any baby shower, birthday party or other celebrations is having a variety of delicious fruit for guests to enjoy. I found some extraordinary fruit displays that are wonderful for any baby shower or celebration: watermelon carvings, fruit baskets, fruit in a mini-bassinette, fruit in ice cream cones, a garden fruit display, and fruit in plastic or decorative cups and placed on a cup cake stand. Also, there are ideas on how to use children’s books to create a fruit display that centers around a particular book.

Baby shower cakes and cupcakes are often the most memorable and talked about features of a baby shower. If you’re looking for some creative ways to impress your guests, check out these these creative, charming and stunning baby shower cakes and cupcakes. Some of them are just too pretty to eat!

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I am in somewhat of a rush. Miss Megan and I are supposed to be heading ‘over thr bridge’ to spin a night with 5 of her cousins. She always has such a blast! I’m sure that it will be a chore to get them to sleep as usual. Looking forward to a great weekend! Please visit my Bella Blog & like post over there. Sign up for the Newsletters. Great things are to come. Enjoy your weekend!

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photo credit: Image courtesy of africa from freedigitalphotos.net

Spring is being a bit shy this year.

Doesn’t Spring know how much we love and miss her? It has thankfully warmed up a lot, but last Friday was so gray, colorless, windy, gloomy and cold. Hopefully we won’t see another one of those days for a few months.

The weather is much more pleasant than what it has been previously, but it’s still fluctutates so much; and it’s a day-by-day thing trying to decide how to dress my baby for the day. Don’t get me wrong, we have brutal summers here on the Gulf Coast so I am in no hurry for that type of dangerous and miserably hot weather. Spring (and Autumn), already usually very very short, is usually the best time of year for outdoor activities.

 

flower photos, spring, gift of nature

Vibrant colors, pleasant temperatures, gentle breezes, sun kisses, and dancing butterflies–We love Spring and hope to see more of it very soon!

 

My Baby is 2 Years Old!

(3-7-11).

On March 7th our darling turned 2-years-old!

Time is really zooming by. Looks like it has been 5 months since I’ve posted here. Well a 5-month gap isn’t too bad (lol). I’ve been super-busy with so many things. Who isn’t super-busy these days? I really do long for simpler times.

For my daughter’s first birthday, I made this post: My Baby is One Years Old

Here are some photos from that post:

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So what I am using my business blog for is to not only post gift ideas, baby shower ideas and birthday party ideas, but to also provide the information where various gifts and products can be purchased.

(These photos below are courtesy of a partner site)

butterfly party cookies, birthday party food Butterfly-Birthday-Party-Favor-Boxes butterfly party decoration

So for anyone looking for (butterfly-themed) birthday party ideas, this post on my other blog gives a great place to start and shows you where the party decorations above can be purchased.

Mother’s Day Ideas!

 I love Mother’s Day!

As I mentioned in this post, Happiest Little Girl in the World, I had a magical, wonderful childhood thanks to my wonderful parents. And of course, we just happen to live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, and a great location that provided us many opportunities to have so much fun.

Mother’s Day is an important day for me. I may let Christmas gifts and Birthday gifts slide, but Mother’s Day is that day where it’s important to make sure mom feels very special and appreciated as you look back on the years she has given so much to raise a family in this challenging world that is about everything but family.

Ideas

1)I’m in the process of starting my own (online) photography gift shop. I’m starting off by offering photo books and 4×6 and 5X7 prints as part of a gift package. My 1st photo book is Rainbow-themed. It will have rainbow photographs that I have taken, as well as prayers, quotes, cooking ideas (How to make a rainbow cake), a photography article (how to photograph a rainbow), and rainbow lesson ideas for teachers and parents. I will like to give my mother (and my motherinlaw) the first copies of my book that I hope does well. More on all of this later.

2)So I will basically like to have an entire table set up for mom with all types of little things, such as:

3)Colorful flowers, something to match the very slight rainbow theme I am going with. Of course this will be a joint effort of my sisters and me.

4)A CD with some family videos of her grand kids. Also will be the Easter speech videos from her grand kids. She saw the Easter speeches on my cell phone as best she could. She asked for these to go on a CD, so what better way than to make it for Mother’s day.

5)I’m thinking of putting together a little booklet where each grandkid write something for her and draw something. Gotta get the rainbow theme in here somehow.

6)A Giftcard for her to, I guess her favorite store.

7) I will need to have a photo of all of the grand kids on it.

8)She has already asked us to cook for her. (Why didn’t we think of that). So for dessert it will be the layered rainbow cake.

Photo Credits:

 http://static.tastykitchen.com
http://chella.typepad.com/
 

My Baby is One Years Old!

I loved planning our baby’s birthday celebration. Everything went great! I loved having all of the family together, and the kids had a blast. When it comes to kids, all you need is some food and enough room for them to run around and play! The adults were all smiles and enjoyed themselves as well. Everyone absolutely loved the decorations and ideas!

Megan wouldn’t let anyone hold her. She cried & fussed with her little pink tutu on. It’s funny at first, she and I were taking pictures, she was so happy and playful. As soon as the first guests walk through the door she starts fussing. If she doesn’t see you everyday she doesn’t know you at this point. She always loves the kids though.

This was the inside of the birthday card for everyone to sign:

Those are the lyrics from one of my favorite songs called “Black Butterfly” by Deniece Williams. I used to listen to this song all the time when I was a teenager. The song’s full lyrics were posted outside of Megan’s bedroom door. My baby gonna set the skies on fire! What beautiful lyrics…makes me cry.

I’m very picky (extremely!) and am usually very much against invites where you hand write anything, but it really didn’t matter as these weren’t mailed out. They were just given out for fun and keepsake:

I wrapped a computer desk with red paper and made it the ‘Red & White Table’ with peppermint favors at the top…

….And at the bottom, in between these 2 hearts  was a pearl necklace which had “The name Megan means pearl” written near it. There was a label that said “Butterfly Kisses” because the hearts had Hershey’s Kisses in them.

Each of the kids that were invited had to choose a butterfly picture to color. I framed them and put them in an “Art Gallery” for the party. The one below is from my 6 year- old nephew Will. Bless his heart; okay bless his parents’ hearts because he was so excited about the party that he didn’t sleep at all the night before!

This poem was also in the gallery. I didn’t care about the ink getting low; it was readable so I didn’t reprint it. I try hard to stop being a perfectionist so I was proud of myself for letting this stay just like it was. That’s paper I bought during my teaching days.

The display table had this book on it.  Of course none of the kids touched the book, but of course they grabbed those noise maker things. I love my babies.

Below is one of the poems that was displayed. .As I read a lot of butterfly poetry to decide which ones to choose, I noticed that the poems were all so beautiful. WOW. I usually do not like poetry because I usually don’t get it & had to interpret it in High school and my interpretation would always be wrong. Like how am I supposed to know what the authors meant when they wrote their poetry? All of the butterfly poems were so straight forward, deep & powerful I would have made a “Megan’s Book of Butterfly Poetry” if  I would have had time.

Display table. I adore bows and tulle.

Sunflowers. I can’t begin to explain how much I LOVE flowers and especially these sunflowers. Goodness! At first I was going to use Crazy Daisies, but then I saw the sunflowers. I would ask the floral people if the flowers would be in bloom on her party date and was smiling a mile wide when they said yes.

I found information on how sunflowers relate to butterflies and I printed it and displayed it.

These things are hard to photograph because they are very dark in the center but then the petals are very light. Especially since I only have a pop up flash, I try to use natural light & avoid flash most of the time, but that just didn’t happen this time. I had to use flash to get the (somewhat) detail of the center/head.

The jar kept tipping over so I had to position them in a certain way.

Below is natural light coming in from the balcony. So when it was time to take photos of Megan and other people….their movement caused the photos to be blurry as my camera remained set for still life, no flash, so basically wide aperture and slow shutter speed.

As I was reading a critique of someone else’s blurry photo, lol, I was supposed to: 1)Increase shutter speed to freeze motion 2)When you alter one setting you are trading off something else. So since less light would be coming in by increasing shutter speed, I would need to increase ISO. I shoot in Manual Mode and am thrilled with how far I’ve come with understanding how to use available light. However, it’s time to also focus on decreasing motion blur.

partay 0655

My husband took this photo; and it’s a good one! My little handwriting can be rough.

From the Mouth of Babes

My niece (age 9) goes: “Ummm so we’re at a party and we still have to do school work?”

My other niece (age 10) called after the party saying she loved how their pictures were framed and she was giving me some ideas about the Butterfly Kisses & Hershey’s Kisses.

I was so rushing by this time, the day before the party. I was like…ok, 2 pink flower photos of mine plus the green paper fit into the pink & green color scheme. I doubt anyone picked up on that detail. My husband already told me I was quite “special” when I was mentioning how the balloons’ designs and colors need to be a certain way. He said no one will notice. I know that’s true, but I love being super-detailed. This Photo Shop section was for parents & grandparents to pick out past years photos of their kids and grand kids, as well as some tutu photos of Megan. There was a black and white photo of Megan in a gray frame that said “Bless this Child.”

Butterfly jewelry

The paper it’s printed on has jewelry on it. That’s some cute paper I bought during my teaching days.

I made sure I had the silver one. I’m so attached to it.((Heart)) When my mother-in-law came back later that night she still had on her necklace. My best friend said she’s keeping her bracelet because it’s so sentimental. Indeed it is. (Blurry photo)

These are the (common) names of different butterflies. They were placed throughout the party area.

A cupcake cake….also called Pull Apart Cake. There was also some little debbie cakes called Butterfly Cakes because they were shaped like butterflies.

Fly Away…

We had a balloon on the balcony with butterflies on and it, and the kids counted down so that Megan (with my help) can release the balloon into the air. It floated up and behind the building. Awwww, man, we didn’t get to see it float way. We’ll pay attention to the wind’s direction next time.

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For an update, view this post: My Baby is 2 Years Old!

Why I Love Living on the Gulf Coast

..because I love being around water. Whether it’s a small pond or whether it’s the ocean, I love the peaceful feeling when around water as well as the art of water: The reflections, waves, ripples, colors, etc…

I have to admit though, I’m no fan of driving over bridges & that it can be unnerving driving in certain areas where it’s basically like the road is just sitting on top of the river. You’re literally about 10 feet from the river on either side of you. If it’s windy, the water blows onto the street.

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We don’t have much of a Fall/Autumn Season here. Rarely do we get to see any autumn colors & the few fall colors we have last just a few days. When I travel further North I am in awe of the autumn colors.

couple watching sunset

A Graceful Lady

 

 

My mom (like many old school moms :)) has a bunch of figurines in her home. I want to photograph them, but only had time to quickly snap this shot.

I am working in Manual Mode to control the lighting better. I have trouble with focusing though.  I’m in no rush to work with manual focus. I’m recently learning to experiment with white balance after someone posted a great post explaining it.