Guest for a day

I have a guest post over at Bugaboo, Mr, Mini & Me today!  You'll remember her from the Sew and Tell challenge earlier this year because she was our fabulous winner!  She has some wonderful ideas and tips, so head on over and check her out if you haven't already.

The post is a simple post about picnics with some fun ideas for you. 

 Click on over and check it out.


Maxi Dress

Do you love Maxi dresses as much as I do?  LOVE them! 

The downside, if you have boobs that are bigger than an A cup, you can't buy many maxi dresses from the store.  Well, you could if you're comfortable revealing the girls to the world.  I, on the other hand, prefer to leave a bit for the imagination... and sometimes for my husband.

They're just so low cut and the ones that are not so revealing don't allow you to wear a bra.  Which of course, those of us WITH boobs, can't pull off!

So, I'm on the hunt for a dress that has straps wide enough to cover bra straps and is more modest than a deep V.  Truth is, I'm pretty sure my best bet is to make something.  However... every time I make something for myself, it's a craft fail!  we'll see.


Chalk Paint

In between all of this rain, I set up a little craft for the kids.  They loved this one!

Chalk Paint!  I've never bought it because I've heard it stains the sidewalk.  So, We made our own that does NOT stain!!!  WooHoo!

What you need:
food coloring

Mix equal amounts of cornstarch and water.  In this case I used 1 cup of each.

Add a few drops of food coloring.

Stir it up.

Mix a few colors and get out some brushes.

Then, have some fun.

When you're done, spray it clean with the hose.  If you live in Wisconsin, just let the rain do the work.  Who needs a hose in June (stupid summer weather).


kitchen mishap

I have a funny story for you, but no pictures.  You'll understand why there are no pictures after you read the story.

Dan and I decided to redo our kitchen table because of sentimental reasons (my grandfather made the table and I grew up doing my art work on it).  It was very beat up.  Dan rebuilt it and had it all ready to be sanded and painted.  Yesterday, I decided I didn't want to wait for the weekend and in a crazy moment decided to start spray painting it right in the kitchen.  That right there was my biggest mistake.  I used old sheets to cover the kitchen in the direction I was spray painting.  Apparently, that isn't enough!

All those warnings people tell you about NOT spray painting in your house... yeah, there are reasons for it!

Well, the spray paint was ALL over the floor... EVERYWHERE.  Not on the walls, not on the appliances.  Just the linoleum.

I ended up scrubbing to death trying to figure out how to get it off.  

If you are ever stupid enough to paint in your house, I have a tip for removing spray paint from linoleum that is non toxic (most of the other methods I read about were nasty... like ammonia).

Sprinkle borax on your floor and WITH A GLOVE ON (!) start wiping your floors with your hand.  The borax powder will turn grey and with a little elbow grease, your ugly linoleum will be back to it's original ugliness.  There is one spot I can't clean up though.  It was a discolored, yellow spot that is now a black spot.  It's big too.  Good thing our kitchen will be getting redone soon!!!

So, big lesson, DON'T SPRAY PAINT IN YOUR HOUSE!!!  If you have a moment of insanity and impatience, use borax to remove the overspray.

The reason there are no pictures is because I was freaking out trying to figure out how to get the paint off the floor before my husband got home.  I had kids dumping crackers all over my living room carpet.  When I tried to vacuum the mess, the vacuum so wonderfully broke.  So, I swept my carpet and scrubbed paint off my kitchen floor.  Pictures were not an option!


Summer Reading

On my quest to have an activity packed summer, Caden is going to be doing the summer reading program at our local library.  He wins incentive prizes along the way and needs to read 20 hours this summer.  We will be making weekly trips to the library, so I'm going to make the kids some library bags.  Why not something fun to help keep us motivated?

I haven't made them yet, but here are some inspirational tutorials I found.

This one from Beeper Bebe even has a little pocket on the front to hold your library card.  So cute!  Find the tutorial link here.

Here is a very simple tutorial from Anna Maria Horner.

Kitschy Coo has a super cute drawstring backpack tutorial that might work well.

Not sure what I'm going to do yet.  Suggestions?


"I'm Bored" Jar

What is an "I'm bored" jar?  It's genius.  That's what it is. 

For those of you with school aged children, this is something I HIGHLY recommend doing this summer.    The idea is simple.  You cut out a bunch of summer activities to that your children can do or that you can do with your children.  When they are bored... pick out an activity from the jar.  Then, do it!  Summers in our house are incredibly busy and hectic because of our photography business.  It is so easy to let the business get in the way of spending quality time with my children.  That is exactly what happened to us last year and I am determined not to let that happen again.  So, I made up a bunch of activities for the kids that mostly included some effort on my part.  You can find a list of activities below.

What you need:
pen (or print from your comp)

That's it!!!

Write out or print your activities into small strips.  Cut them out and fold them in half.

Put them in a cute jar (you can decorate this if you choose).
And you're done!  That's it.  Simple and so cute!

Here are a list of activities that we will be doing this summer.

1. go to possibility playground (the best park EVER!)
2. water pinata - fill a plastic grocery bag with water and hang it outside.  Let the kids hit it with some bats.
3. bike ride
4. obstacle course  - for older children, make a bike course.  for younger children, make a fun running or jumping course.
5. geocaching - use a gps for a fun hunt. more info at geocaching.com (SUPER fun!)
6. beach combing - (craft ideas for this coming after our first trip this summer :)
7. play hide and seek outside
8. go to the zoo (we have a family pass.  So, it's virtually free!)
9. go to the elephant park (another family favorite)
10. make an edible necklace - get creative
11. lollipop hunt - hide lollipops or other treats in your yard for your kids to find.
12. lemonade stand - maybe even for charity!
13. go to the beach
14. make sidewalk paint - more on this later this week
15. have a friend over
16. quiet time with books on a blanket outside
17. mining for gold - spray paint some rocks gold and bury them in a sandbox or other place in your yard. give the kids shovels and let them dig. (We use cheap dollar store toys for this too).
18. picnic at lions den (A really cool place nearby).
19. make a frisbee from recycled items (pizza boxes for example)
20. squirt gun wars with MOM!
21. set up a tent in the yard
22. sun fondue - put chocolate into a bowl and set it in the sun to melt.  Once it melts, dip strawberries, marshmallows, bananas, etc.


I know some moms add chores to their jars.  It's kind of fun to see if your kids are bored enough to take a risk at picking something fun or something not so fun. 

That just defeats the purpose for us though this summer.  But if it works for you, give it a try.  You can find more on that here.


Doodle Dinner Mats

While blog stalking a few sites today, I found this really awesome crafty idea I wanted to share with you.  The beauty of it is the minimal effort it would take to make because the hard work is already done.

KiKi Creates made these ADORABLE placemats that will make your family dinner time more personal by opening up great conversation with your children.
 This one is perfect for little ones who can not write yet.  Just draw pictures that explain their day.

This is such a great way to help teach your children how to set the table.  I've seen these before, but I love this one!

This would be great to bring to a restaurant or to let your children play while you are finishing up the final touches to your dinner.  Of course, it SHOULD curb the fighting, unless they are competitive, that is.

This one is great for older children who can write.  This would be really fun!

You can find the free downloads here!  ENJOY!


wedding season is here!

I had an email in my inbox this morning from a faithful follower asking if I would be posting any time soon.  I have a few summer craft ideas I really want to post since Caden's last day of school is friday.  And remember that quilting bee I was doing... yeah - WAY BEHIND!  (Sorry Ladies.  I'll get those caught up this week!)  So, yes, posts are coming... or at least, I'd like to think they are.  But in the mean time, here is a bit of what I have been doing.


 Wedding season is in full swing and we are cranking this business away.  We have turned down so many brides because we are already booked and because of that, we may be expanding the business by doing some hiring in the next couple of weeks (something I have been prolonging for a long time due to fear.  But, Dan is pushing hard and I'm following reluctantly).  This business is crazy busy... and we love it! 

 So, that explains my lack of crafting, which I don't love. :(

But check this out... Last week we shot at the Pfister.  Those of you who are from the area know how fabulous and top notch this venue is for weddings.  Well, we had a blast and made friends with the right staff.  We got to shoot ON TOP of the hotel!!!  That's right 26 floors above the streets of Milwaukee... something most photographers just do not get to do at the Pfister.  ahhhh... beauty!  I can't wait to get those pics posted!  You'll have to check out my business blog in the next few days for that.  We even saw 'Crazy' Brian Wison (the Giants closer) 10 feet away, but we were too afraid to take a photo out of fear he may bust our camera gear (actually, we just didn't want to be rude).
 But in the mean time, here are some of the photos we have taken recently.
This one was taken at the Pfister this last weekend.

 This is the Gesu on the Marquette Campus