Maddie is 4!

This little beauty of mine turned 4 in February, I took photos in March and now I'm finally editing them.  My personal photography projects these days are making sure to do at least 2 creative shoots with both of my girls, one for their birthday and one for Halloween since I tend to get a little crazy with their costumes:-) Since they are older now, I decided to photograph them doing something they love (plus some pretty outdoor ones for me:-).  Maddie loves to help cook anytime we are making anything in the kitchen and her favorite color is purple.  So, I got this fun kids cooking set on Amazon and we made chocolate cookie cups with mini marshmallows.  This little lady is hilarious, loves making "big eyes" with those brown eyes of hers and is just a beautiful little soul through and through!!!  

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite things to do every year is come up with fun Halloween costumes for my kids.  It accidentally started when they were 1 year olds and I made them mini granny costumes now I have to do something cool each year:-)  They're 3, so they love candy and sugar and parties so I figured why not make them cotton candy and a gumball machine.  Maddie's favorite color is purple and Evie loves anything with sparkles.  I of course went on pinterest for some how to's.  I love when they show you photos of what, and how they did it so if you look below I'll show you exactly what I used and how I made these.  I never do anything difficult because I don't have the patience for it, so anyone can do this!  Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Gumball Machine Costume

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How To:
With scissors I cut the metal pie crust pan so just the lip was left and then painted it red. Trace the plastic part on the red paper and cut in a circle. Put all the pom poms in the pie top and the red circle on the back and then seal it like you would a pie. Cut the felt to a square and draw on the 25 cents.  To attach it the "gumball part", I used red thread and tied it around the edge of the metal so I could tie it on the straps.  Voila! You're done!

1 Bag of 1 inch Pom Poms - Michaels
1 Sheet of Gray Felt - Michaels
Red Craft Paint for Metal - Michaels
Small Paint Brush - Michaels
Red Sheet of scrapbook paper - Michaels
8 in Pie Crust - Walmart
Red outfit - Amazon
Red Shoes - Walmart
Red Thread, Scissors, Black Permanent Marker

Cotton Candy Costume

How To: 
This one was a little trickier, I wasn't seeing a way to do it that I thought totally looked like cotton candy so made this one up.  The poly fill is in layers so I laid it out in a single layer on trash bags outside.  Hold the spray paint about 2 feet away and cover the top with a layer of color and let it dry for an hour or so.

1 large bag of Poly Fill - Michaels
2 3 oz cans of purple fabric paint - Michaels
1 Can of Krylon Spray Glue - Michaels
Large Piece of White Paper - Michaels
Purple Hair Spray - Walmart
Purple Shoes - Walmart
Longer t shirt - Walmart

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Take the shirt and place put it over a pillow so you can put the fill on it.  Spray the surface directly and place the fill on it and hold for a couple of seconds.  It holds really well!  Wrap the layers to get the look you want and then make holes for the arms.  Let it set overnight.  Take the white paper and make a hat that looks like the paper cone that cotton candy comes in.  I used double sided tape to hold it.  Staple ribbon to each side to tie it on.  Spray hair with the hair color and you're done! 

Evie is 3!

I'm not a crafty go all out pinterest-y person, with the exception of my kids birthday parties! Every year I saw I'm going to do low key and simple but I just can't help myself!  My youngest, Everly, turned 3 in June.  With it being so hot here in Florida in June, and the fact that this kid loves ice cream, we did an ice cream sundae theme.  The fabulous cake (by the Cake Zone) which looked like it was an upside down melting ice cream cone was the best part:-)  Each year I do photos of the girls on their birthdays separately and together to make sure I photograph them for real at least twice a year.  Evie loves baby dolls and our pets, especially Abita who's a pretty patient little pup!  

Maddie's 2nd Birthday

I like doing fun creative personal projects just to mix it up, and these days those projects usually have something to do with my little kidlets:-)  Our oldest, Maddie, just turned 2 and like all mom's I of course, got on Pinterest to find a theme and ideas.  If you know me, you know I absolutely hate doing anything crafty, like really hate it!  So, my goal is always to find an idea and literally make it as simple as possible for a non crafty person like me.  I landed on the hot air balloon (up up and away) theme with a pink, coral and aqua color palette.  There's all kinds of complicated ways to make or buy hot air balloon looking decorations so I made it super simple.  The lanterns, bunting flags and chalk board signs I ordered from Paper Lantern Store, they literally have every size and color you could possibly want for a great price.  I needed them to be really light so we could tape them to the ceiling.  For the basket, I cut off the top of brown paper lunch bags and then stapled string to each size and then tied it to the metal part of the lantern and voila!  My 12 year old niece, Emma, helped me put them all together and my wonderful hubby who always knows he's getting roped into helping out someway hung them all from the ceiling over the sweets table, foyer, and out front.  For the sweets table, I melted and color chocolate and dipped vanilla and chocolate oreos and put sprinkles on top.  When I was a kid, my mom would make cupcakes in ice cream cones for our birthday treats for school, so I made those and frosted sugar cookies (yes the ones you break apart and bake:-).  The finishing touch was a little hot air balloon cake topper from Pleasantview Parties.  We had such a fun time with family and friends! Thanks to my friend Andi for taking some of us blowing out the candles! I did Maddie's 2 year old photos on a different day, and made a hot air balloon with the biggest balloon I could find at Party City and a white laundry basket.  She was much more into having the balloon tied to her arm than my idea lol!  Now on to ideas for Evie's 2nd birthday in June.......

Maddie by Month

You would think as photographers, we are really good at photographing our own lives and families but we aren't! Now that I have kids, I really have to be intentional and come up with personal projects to capture them how I do for our clients.  I am not a crafty person and I hate scrapbooking, but I wanted to have something for my girls to remember the little details of especially their first year.  I saw this idea (on pinterest of course) where a photographer had done photos of their child's face each month and next to it written about what they had done each month as well.  Our oldest daughter Maddie just turned 1 and so I finished hers!  This will be a 6x6 sized album and each of the spreads are below. It's crazy to see how much she's changed over the last year and I'm so she'll have it to read someday.  Our girls are both adopted, and I gave both of our birth mom's a little album and each month I print out these photos so they can stick them in the album and know how beautiful and big they are getting.  Life is always busy and time flies by so quickly, so I thought this was a fun little personal project to share:-) 

Eli being 2

My little nephew Eli isn't a chucky monkey anymore!  He's 2 already and growing up SO fast.  I love this age because they say the funniest things and are so trusting and want to learn everything!  He loves riding his red tricycle, dinosaurs, and "ackers" which happen to be any type of construction vehicle.  So we just let him run around and do his thing these are some of my favs:-) 

Sophie turns 2!

This is my favorite way to photograph children, a fun colorful place and just letting them do their thing!  Sophie just turned 2 and we did her portrait session at the Children's Garden in Sarasota.  The colors were amazing!  She could run around and chase butterflies, swing, and climb up tires.  It doesn't get any better than this.  The first one is my very favorite from this session:-)

Tumblebus Tampa!

What is a Tumblebus you may ask?  Basically a kid's dream school bus:-)  It's an actual school bus transformed into a mobile gym with monkey bars, balance beam, slide and lots more!  Their goal is to promote physical fitness, self confidence and fun!  Lindsay and Tennille are the owners, and they literally just got the bus so we did a fun shoot to showcase what it looks like.  Check out for more info!

Pete, Andi & Ethan

Here's a few little sneaks of our family portrait session with Pete, Andi and Ethan.  Little Mr. Ethan is 4 and a half years old so he's at the stage when you never know what he's going to do next:-)  Andi happens to also be a photographer Andi Diamond Photography, and a fabulous one at that!  It's always an honor to capture the life of another photographer and I really have enjoyed getting to know her and her family!

O'Leary Family

Grethel and Stephen have become some of our closest friends in Tampa, which made our session all the more fun!  Their little boy Tristan is one of the most smiley little boys.  He's almost 2 and loves to run, play, and mow the lawn:-)  I so enjoy capturing families just enjoying life and doing the things they would normally do to spend time with each other. Here's a little sneak of our session!