Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Soap & Soap Clouds

Ah, Pinterest. What can you not teach me? I have found so many great tutorials and ideas on Pinterest it's just unreal. Many of the ideas on our Summer To Do list came from Pinterest, including this great tutorial on homemade soap and soap clouds.





I'm not sure what we did wrong, but out soap was kinda chunky so our soap ended up with white pieces that didn't take the food coloring. It was still cheap, easy and fun!

If you do this, be careful when you take your soap cloud out of the microwave! Ours was pretty hot in the middle so I made sure to let it cool before letting Amelia dive into it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Clickin' Moms 4th Annual Scavenger Hunt

I'm a member of a super fabulous photography forum called Clickin' Moms that seriously changed my life and pushed my photography to whole new levels. If you are a photography enthusiast and love awesome ladies who share your passion, I can't recommend CM enough!

www.ClickinMoms.com
This is my first year participating in the Clickin' Moms annual scavenger hunt and I am so super excited! If you find and photograph at least 110 of the items on the list (with a 'Clickin' Moms 2012' sign in the image) you get entered into a drawing for some really amazing prize packs. I would DIE if I won one. Die! I wanted to share the list here because I plan to do some little updates with my photos because some are too fun not to share...

1. pic of someone wearing a striped sock and a polka dot sock
2. photo while getting your hair cut/colored/styled
3. a kid hula hooping
4. someone running through a sprinkler
5. identical twins
6. a cat on a leash
7. a fire hydrant that is NOT red
8. kids playing double-dutch jump rope
9. someone jumping on a pogo stick
10. you wearing a prom dress
11. someone riding a unicycle
12. an adult eating a blue popsicle
13. someone getting their ear pierced
14. a house with solar panels on the roof
15. a foot with a second toe that's longer than the first
16. a hooters t-shirt
17. sea monkeys
18. someone mowing their lawn
19. a lobster
20. salt water taffy
21. someone eating a cupcake
22. a kid jumping in a puddle
23. a library card
24. someone building a sandcastle
25. a firetruck
26. a self-portrait in the highest heels you own
27. a man in a dress
28. someone baking cookies
29. an adult on a swing at the park
30. two elderly people holding hands
31. someone barbequing
32. a baby in a diaper
33. a dog wearing clothes
34. someone reading a book
35. a kid in flip flops
36. you wearing sunglasses
37. someone washing a car
38. letters in a mailbox
39. someone balancing a spoon on their nose
40. an adult riding in a little red wagon
41. a child picking a peach
42. someone tubing on a river
43. you holding a snake
44. an adult doing a belly flop
45. someone ice skating
46. you on a motorcycle
47. a train ticket
48. someone eating Vegemite while holding the container
49. a bowl with 5 dyed eggs in it
50. someone eating a pavlova
51. kids playing hopscotch
52. someone playing Monopoly
53. a meat pie with sauce
54. someone wearing an Akubra
55. an adult hula hooping
56. kids playing cricket
57. a kid painting an adults toes with nail polish
58. kids playing with legos
59. someone in a dentist chair
60. a child sleeping
61. a border collie
62. a welcome to {insert state} sign
63. a racoon
64. fireworks+ or sparklers
65. someone performing on stage
66. someone on water skis+
67. a beachfront home
68. nighttime ritual
69. panning shot+
70. a tattoo
71. silhouette of child holding a balloon+
72. sandcastle
73. kid on a swing
74. s'mores at a campfire
75. food fight
76. a group of 6 or more motorcycles 
77. a redheaded girl
78. a woman with a shaved head
79. a group of firemen (oohh...yes!) LOL! 
80. someone playing the bongos
81. people around a campfire
82. a photo of the movie ticket from the last movie you saw in theaters
83. your workspace
84. someone blowing a bubble with bubble gum
85. a cat and dog together
86. feet buried in sand
87. a broken window
88. someone shooting a bow and arrow
89. a mermaid*
90. someone wearing a lei drinking a tropical drink
91. a mullet
92. a tie dyed shirt
93. "Sonic" drink showing the ice
94. the drive in
95. a love note
96. a rich tea biscuit and a cup of earl grey tea 
97. a souvenir from the Queens diamond jubilee
98. somebody eating twiglets
99. somebody walking into a Pub
100. an aran sweater
101. a cast iron chestnut roaster
102. somebody doing a cartwheel
103. a cowboy wearing his hat
104. a pregnant belly
105. someone making a 3 leaf clover with their tongue
106. a pierced tongue
107. a naked mannequin
108. a self portrait wearing bright red lipstick
109. a receipt for something that cost EXACTLY 75 cents
110. someone sitting backwards on a horse
111. someone with a black sharpie mustache on their face
112. someone with a missing front tooth
113. a child in front of the frozen foods section
114. someone reading People magazine
115. the odometer in your car
116. a picture from inside your car while in the carwash 
117. Lightening McQueen + Sally*
118. someone in a flowered apron
119. you and your significant other on date night
120. the last image shown on your LCD screen
121. a baby wearing a wig
122. kids at a lemonade stand
123. a man wearing a t-shirt from Clickin Moms
124. 3 children doing headstands/handstands in a row
125. person blowing a bubblegum bubble that's bigger than their face.
126. a dog's painted toe-claws
127. a cat having a bath
128. a man shaving their leg hair
129. eggs benedict
130. A Volkswagen Rabbit
131. someone in the back of a police car
132. your country's flag
133. you watching the Olympics-(pretrials, qualifiers)
134. a waterfall
135. a grocery checker
136. construction workers
137. a tire being changed
138. children dancing
139. child playing in the rain
140. someone climbing a tree
141. a postal carrier
142. someone in a Santa suit
143. a pack of Big League Chew
144. five different pieces of fruit lined up
145. a row of carrots in a garden
146. a colored light-bulb - not white or clear
147. yourself browsing the CM forums
148. vintage camera
149. Cabbage Patch Doll
150. keys on the CM camera keychain

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bidness!

I have been in the planning stages of this since April, but have failed to mention it on the blog. I guess because, like I mentioned in my last post, I was afraid it was boring. In early April I made the decision that I wanted to open my own photography business.

I sent out a Facebook message to all of my nearby friends and family offering them free sessions and discounted prints to build my portfolio. I was pretty happy with the response and my portfolio looks nice. I still have a few holes, but I should have them filled within the next couple months. 

I am officially "launching" the business on July 1st. I have been working almost every night on my marketing calendar and materials. I'm working on my senior rep program and two mini sessions for the fall. My website is a constantly evolving work in progress: www.elliesmithphotography.com.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Blogging for Myself

This picture isn't relevant, but this post needed a picture!

I have come to the conclusion that the reason I don't blog much is because I think I'm boring. I think I feel like if I'm going to write something, it has to be interesting to make it worth writing. And that sucks. Truth is, my life is boring. I mean, it's awesome and I love it. To me, it's great...but to anyone else I'm sure my day to day is boring. 

I need to write for me. I need to blog for myself. And so that is what I intend to do, boring day to day and all. 



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Custom Pony DIY

Amelia is CRAZY about My Little Pony. OBSESSED! This is the most obsessed she has been with anything her entire life. Problem is, I also love My Little Pony, so I'm vicariously collecting My Little Pony toys through her. There are so many new toys coming out as the Friendship is Magic series grows in popularity, but there are still some special ponies that Amelia loves that aren't out yet. I decided we just had to have DJ PON3 so I custom made one by repainting an existing mini figure.

  

I used acrylic paint and applied two top coats of Mod Podge. Amelia was super excited and I love how it turned out. Problem now is that she expects me make her tons of custom ponies!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Last Day of School-ebration!

To celebrate the first day of summer (and the last day of school!) Amelia and I decided to hang some crepe paper over the front door before we left to pick Oliver up from school. When we got home we unlocked the door and let Oliver burst through!








Not one to be left out, Amelia busted through the rest of it!




I asked Oliver to show me his face of how excited he was for summer, but he told me he wasn't excited because he missed Ms. Mattingly (his teacher this past year) already. Melt my heart!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer To Do List


Tomorrow is the last day of school for Oliver. I can't believe my two biggest littles are going to be a third grader and a kindergartner. Bananas! Since Oliver's Dad lives out of state and isn't able to see Oliver every other weekend, Oliver spends half of his summer break in Indiana. While this really stinks and we miss him like crazy, I still try to make the entire summer fun for Amelia. I've been compiling my summer to do list of fun things we can do together that will keep Amelia (and Violet!) entertained and keep me from losing my mind. I've included links where applicable.

2. Make Microwave S'mores
3. Make a Bird Feeder
8. Go to a Matinee
9. Summer Reading Program at the Library
10. Put-Put Golf
12. Go to the Fair
13. Ride the Horse Drawn Carriage
14. Buy a Sprinkler and Play
15. Make Soap Clouds and Homemade Soap
16. Vacation Bible School
17. A Sleepover with Friends
18. Glow Sticks in the Bath


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Tunes

I am completely in love with this tune! I could listen to and sing it all day! Enjoy!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Violet is One!!!!

My sweet baby V turned one on May 5th. It's bittersweet since we aren't having anymore kiddies, but I'm so proud of what a beautiful little toddler she's growing into. She has 4 teeth, walks like a champ and has already started saying more and more words. She likes to imitate everything we do, give kisses (we call them candy kisses), and loves going to the park and swinging. She says, "weeeeeeeeeeeee," when she swings and it's just precious. I could gloat forever about this wee one! We had a rainbow themed party for her and it was a hit! It was a total labor of love, but worth all the effort!

The Rainbow table!

Violet's highchair complete with rainbow bunting!

Cake time!

Om nom nom!

Cakey face!

This was my first layer cake ever so I was suuuuper proud!

Opening presents with Daddy and Millie

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I have been so busy this weekend with two family photo sessions and then some whirlwind editing to get the images to my clients quickly so I am just pooped! It's been raining all day so it has just been one of those lazy Sundays. I did manage to wrangle up with kids for a few shots with their Mama!





Sunday, May 6, 2012

Macy's Heart of Haiti




 This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

My Mom with Violet and my niece, Madeline


I was provided with two handcrafted necklaces made by Haitian artisans and chose to give one to my Mama for Mother’s Day. My Mom has always been one of my best friends in the world. She is always there for me and now that I’m older I love always being there for her when she needs me, as well. We share a special bond that has been concreted by my becoming a mother myself.

It’s so tough living in a different state than my Mom. Thankfully we have cell phones, Skype and Facebook to keep us connected across the miles. I was planning to give my Mom her necklace when she came to Violet’s 1st birthday party yesterday, but she was unable to attend to attend due to health reasons, so I’m dropping it in the mail tomorrow. I hope she loves it as much as I love her.


What is Macy’s Heart of HaitiHeart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.

Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.  


Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rainbow Inspo!

Violet's 1st birthday party is this Saturday and I am super excited! To get myself into a bright, cheery mood I decided to hunt down some rainbow inspo!


















Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where I've Been & Where I'm Going

I've been off doing all sorts of soul searching these past few weeks deciding what I want to do with my life over the next few years. One big thing I've decided to do is get myself into shape.

I'm not overweight, but I'm out of shape and unhappy with the way I look. Violet's first birthday is coming up so I don't feel like I can use the "I just had a baby" excuse anymore. I started working out on Monday and I love it so far. I wanted to track my progress so here we go:

I'm currently 140lbs.
35" - Bust
31.5" - Waist
41.5" - Hips
23.5" - Thighs
10.5" - Arms

I also took some before photos, but I'm going to save those until I'm at my target size. I don't really have a target weight; I just want to be happy with my body and I'm so willing to work for it. I'm doing the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, some jogging and crunches. I'm throwing in the jogging and crunches daily just because I like to push myself a little further and I want to track my growth through how much longer I can jog and how many more crunches I can do. 

I have other news about upcoming changes, but I'm ironing out some details before sharing. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Daffodils

Sadly the daffodils have already all wilted away in our part of the country, but I was able to capture a few daffodilly (totally a word!) photos a few weeks ago. I looked all over for some daffodils that weren't in someone's yard and I managed to find some blooming outside a broken down house on the edge of town.





I had to basically force them to pose together. This was as close as I could get to smiles, which quickly dissolved into this...


I cannot look at this photo without laughing. Oliver's face KILLS ME. KILLS!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday Tunes


This week's tune is brought to us by the lovely Rural Alberta Advantage. I'm pretty sure I featured another one of their songs in the past, but I just simply adore them. This song is a great post-break up song. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Project 365


Another catch-up post of my Project 365 photos. I've been sticking with this, huzzah! Now I just need to start posting my photos again every Sunday. 


Paint Hands!


Water Baby!


Just a little post bath crazy people time!


Amelia on picture day at her preschool. This makes me laugh every time.


Violet looks so confused!


An excellent eye roll, if you ask me.


Our windowsill garden. We're growing daisies and sunflowers.