SANIBEL ISLAND | SUMMER BREAK 2014

Earlier this summer we went to Sanibel Island, Florida to shoot a destination wedding and we mixed a little pleasure with business! I was a little on the unmotivated side so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked, but here are a few shares. We had a wonderful stay and are so grateful for the summertime memories. Where should we go next? I think the mountains are calling : )

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AUGUST 7, 2014

If you're a local and happen to see me out and about, you might notice I'm a little rounder these days. Justin and I are looking forward to a little girl in December. : ) I've been preparing her nursery and these are a few of the pieces that will welcome her. I'm still obsessed with simplicity and soft neutrals - you won't find any pink frills here. My favorite picks so far are the baby animal prints and Aden & Anais moon leaf blanket. : ) If you have any nursery or baby trends you're loving right now, leave me a link in the comments! 

WEDDING GOODIES

About once a year, I feel the need to change up how I present client orders. Here's a little peek at my newest wedding packaging. My favorite is the 8x12 prints with a white border. Fun Fact: I wish 8x10's didn't exist, 8x12's are so much better! : ) If you have a question about where I got something, leave it in the comments below!

CARNIVAL BIRTHDAY PARTY

So to say these photos are over-due would be quite the understatement! They are from my son's 7th birthday party LAST summer and I'm just now getting around to going through them and posting. But at least I'm getting them up, right? : ) I have always wanted to throw a carnival themed party because it's something kids and adults can enjoy, alike! We had so much fun, that everyone in our family is still talking about this party. In case you're planning something like it, I'll caption some photos with notes for you to recreate! 

Crepe paper is such an easy and inexpensive tool for decorating. I purchased the large rolls at Hobby Lobby in red, white, and blue and tossed away.  

Crepe paper is such an easy and inexpensive tool for decorating. I purchased the large rolls at Hobby Lobby in red, white, and blue and tossed away.  

We made the ticket booth out of a refrigerator box that I requested to be put aside at Lowe's. I drew a window in the front and then cut it out with a box cutter. I painted it all over with red latex paint; once it dried I made the stripes with white duct tape. 

We made the ticket booth out of a refrigerator box that I requested to be put aside at Lowe's. I drew a window in the front and then cut it out with a box cutter. I painted it all over with red latex paint; once it dried I made the stripes with white duct tape. 

At the ticket booth, each guest received 3 tickets to use at the concession or prize booths. Guests could earn more tickets by playing our carnival games! You can get ticket rolls at the Dollar Store.

At the ticket booth, each guest received 3 tickets to use at the concession or prize booths. Guests could earn more tickets by playing our carnival games! You can get ticket rolls at the Dollar Store.

This is a piece of plywood from the scrap section at our local Menard's. I painted it with black latex paint. After it dried, I used white craft paint to brush on the design. It has the look of a chalkboard when you're finished. If you want to make a sign that's reusable, use black chalkboard paint and write on it with chalk. 

This is a piece of plywood from the scrap section at our local Menard's. I painted it with black latex paint. After it dried, I used white craft paint to brush on the design. It has the look of a chalkboard when you're finished. If you want to make a sign that's reusable, use black chalkboard paint and write on it with chalk. 

Here is our Fish Bowl carnival game! Everything for this game was purchased at the Dollar Store. This game uses: several clear candle bowls, aquarium gems, plastic/rubber toy fish or ocean creatures, and ping pong balls. From some cardboard scraps I had, I cut the background piece and painted on an ocean scene, and then placed it on a photo easel. Players who tossed a ball in the bowl with the shark, received some tickets to use at the concession and prize booths.   

Here is our Fish Bowl carnival game! Everything for this game was purchased at the Dollar Store. This game uses: several clear candle bowls, aquarium gems, plastic/rubber toy fish or ocean creatures, and ping pong balls. From some cardboard scraps I had, I cut the background piece and painted on an ocean scene, and then placed it on a photo easel. Players who tossed a ball in the bowl with the shark, received some tickets to use at the concession and prize booths.   

All of the signs you'll see throughout the party were created using free carnival or circus font I found online. I created them in Photoshop and printed them on 8.5x11 sheets of card stock, then taped them to a slightly larger piece of colored paper from Hobby Lobby. Some of them are taped onto the Dollar Store table cloths and some are staked into the ground with metal wire I found at Menard's. 

All of the signs you'll see throughout the party were created using free carnival or circus font I found online. I created them in Photoshop and printed them on 8.5x11 sheets of card stock, then taped them to a slightly larger piece of colored paper from Hobby Lobby. Some of them are taped onto the Dollar Store table cloths and some are staked into the ground with metal wire I found at Menard's. 

Here is our Lucky Duck game! Unfortunately, on the day of the party when we went to blow up the pool, the top ring was flat. :( But everyone enjoyed it just the same! I purchased 2 dozen ducks at Hobby Lobby and numbered the bottoms 1-12 with a Sharpie marker. Players who matched 2 ducks received some tickets to use at the concession and prize booths.  

Here is our Lucky Duck game! Unfortunately, on the day of the party when we went to blow up the pool, the top ring was flat. :( But everyone enjoyed it just the same! I purchased 2 dozen ducks at Hobby Lobby and numbered the bottoms 1-12 with a Sharpie marker. Players who matched 2 ducks received some tickets to use at the concession and prize booths.  

What would a carnival be without face painting?! For this booth, we of course had face paint, and also a mirror, paper towels, and I found a few simple designs online and printed them out for the kids to choose from if they needed ideas. 

What would a carnival be without face painting?! For this booth, we of course had face paint, and also a mirror, paper towels, and I found a few simple designs online and printed them out for the kids to choose from if they needed ideas. 

Our Fortune Teller / Face Painter! 

Our Fortune Teller / Face Painter! 

What a pretty butterfly : )

What a pretty butterfly : )

Our Ring Toss both used empty root beer bottles and flying discs from the Dollar Store. For fun, I painted a clown for the background of the booth. Players tried to ring as many bottles as they could!

Our Ring Toss both used empty root beer bottles and flying discs from the Dollar Store. For fun, I painted a clown for the background of the booth. Players tried to ring as many bottles as they could!

I was lucky enough to have an amazing artist friend who so kindly offered her talents as our Sketch Artist! If you don't know someone like that, maybe insert a polaroid booth here where kids can get an instant photo of themselves to take home. Or have someone make abstract or silly portraits of the children for fun. 

I was lucky enough to have an amazing artist friend who so kindly offered her talents as our Sketch Artist! If you don't know someone like that, maybe insert a polaroid booth here where kids can get an instant photo of themselves to take home. Or have someone make abstract or silly portraits of the children for fun. 

For our Shooting Range, I taped paper from Hobby Lobby to clean, empty cans. We stacked them in front of a bullseye I painted on cardboard and placed on an easel. I happened to find a Nerf ball gun that worked perfectly for this game at a thrift store! If you need to purchase one, Amazon has a good selection of different toy guns. 

For our Shooting Range, I taped paper from Hobby Lobby to clean, empty cans. We stacked them in front of a bullseye I painted on cardboard and placed on an easel. I happened to find a Nerf ball gun that worked perfectly for this game at a thrift store! If you need to purchase one, Amazon has a good selection of different toy guns. 

I found rubber cones at the Dollar Store that I set up at all of the game booths for kids to stand behind. 

I found rubber cones at the Dollar Store that I set up at all of the game booths for kids to stand behind. 

For our Bucket Toss game, I found all of the buckets and the tossing balls at the Dollar Store. I made the round numbers in Photoshop, printed them on card stock, and attached with tape. 

For our Bucket Toss game, I found all of the buckets and the tossing balls at the Dollar Store. I made the round numbers in Photoshop, printed them on card stock, and attached with tape. 

The game booth attendants gave tickets to players at their dissection. I printed out rules for each game booth, but in hindsight, every player had different skill levels. So I'm happy the game attendants made their own rules and let everyone be a winner! 

The game booth attendants gave tickets to players at their dissection. I printed out rules for each game booth, but in hindsight, every player had different skill levels. So I'm happy the game attendants made their own rules and let everyone be a winner! 

For the Photobooth, I attached and layered fabric with metal clips to a backdrop stand I already had. I found bails of straw at a local farm store and covered it with a blanket. For the photo props, I purchased a variety of fun fun items at both Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Store. I made the banner by filling an 8.5x11 sheet with one letter each. Then I cut them out and strung them on a laundry cord line from the Dollar Store. 

For the Photobooth, I attached and layered fabric with metal clips to a backdrop stand I already had. I found bails of straw at a local farm store and covered it with a blanket. For the photo props, I purchased a variety of fun fun items at both Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Store. I made the banner by filling an 8.5x11 sheet with one letter each. Then I cut them out and strung them on a laundry cord line from the Dollar Store. 

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We rented the tables and chairs pretty inexpensively from a local rental store. The same rental store had the cotton candy machine for us to rent too!

We rented the tables and chairs pretty inexpensively from a local rental store. The same rental store had the cotton candy machine for us to rent too!

For the table setup, I found the round table cloths and gold filler at Hobby Lobby. The animals were in the $1 toy section at Walmart and I spray painted them red, white, or blue. Don't forget the balloons and table numbers! 

For the table setup, I found the round table cloths and gold filler at Hobby Lobby. The animals were in the $1 toy section at Walmart and I spray painted them red, white, or blue. Don't forget the balloons and table numbers! 

Here's my sweetie, so proudly wearing those adorable slippers and suspenders : )

Here's my sweetie, so proudly wearing those adorable slippers and suspenders : )

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Once the games were finished, the kids got to turn in their tickets they earned at the prize and concession booths!

Once the games were finished, the kids got to turn in their tickets they earned at the prize and concession booths!

While the kids (and adults) are enjoying some concessions, we fired up the grill! 

While the kids (and adults) are enjoying some concessions, we fired up the grill! 

We enjoyed delicious Hebrew National dogs; you can buy them in bulk at Sam's Club. 

We enjoyed delicious Hebrew National dogs; you can buy them in bulk at Sam's Club. 

It's Hot Dog Bar time!!

It's Hot Dog Bar time!!

For our hot dog bar, we put out everybody's topping favorites: bacon crumbles, red bell peppers, avocado, sauerkraut, chili, jalepenos, pickles, sour cream, diced onion, shredded cheese, and a variety of sauces. To keep items food warm, I put them in foil pans from Sam's Club. The topping bowls, picnic plates, and other serving ware purchased at the Dollar Store. 

For our hot dog bar, we put out everybody's topping favorites: bacon crumbles, red bell peppers, avocado, sauerkraut, chili, jalepenos, pickles, sour cream, diced onion, shredded cheese, and a variety of sauces. To keep items food warm, I put them in foil pans from Sam's Club. The topping bowls, picnic plates, and other serving ware purchased at the Dollar Store. 

There's my dad! 

There's my dad! 

I spray painted some thrift store frames and placed them around the tables. For this one, I had Joey make up his own "recipe" for his favorite hot dog and name it. : ) He also did this for the Sundae Bar but I forgot to photograph it!

I spray painted some thrift store frames and placed them around the tables. For this one, I had Joey make up his own "recipe" for his favorite hot dog and name it. : ) He also did this for the Sundae Bar but I forgot to photograph it!

For the tables, I taped on kraft paper and labeled food items with a Sharpie marker. I found red and blue serving bowls at the Dollar Store and for fun I placed clearance fabric in some of them. The talk of the table was the homemade Bacon Ranch Potato Salad! I waited to put the bacon on last while it was warm and crunchy and it really made it special. HERE is the recipe. 

For the tables, I taped on kraft paper and labeled food items with a Sharpie marker. I found red and blue serving bowls at the Dollar Store and for fun I placed clearance fabric in some of them. The talk of the table was the homemade Bacon Ranch Potato Salad! I waited to put the bacon on last while it was warm and crunchy and it really made it special. HERE is the recipe. 

It's not really fresh-squeezed lemonade! I had plans of getting to that, but ended up running out of time. So this is Simply Lemonade mixed with some sugar and real lemons. It was DELICIOUS and I'm happy I skipped squeezing it myself. The sangria was a huge hit among the adults! I actually made enough to fill 3 of these pitchers, so since I wanted to let it sit overnight, I purchased some small storage containers and washed them out to put all of the extra batches in. They stacked really well in my fridge and now I use them only for that. HERE is the recipe I used for this Sangria. I did let all of my batches sit for 24 hours and that made them extra yummy! Just make sure to wait to put the Ginger Ale in until just before serving. 

It's not really fresh-squeezed lemonade! I had plans of getting to that, but ended up running out of time. So this is Simply Lemonade mixed with some sugar and real lemons. It was DELICIOUS and I'm happy I skipped squeezing it myself. The sangria was a huge hit among the adults! I actually made enough to fill 3 of these pitchers, so since I wanted to let it sit overnight, I purchased some small storage containers and washed them out to put all of the extra batches in. They stacked really well in my fridge and now I use them only for that. HERE is the recipe I used for this Sangria. I did let all of my batches sit for 24 hours and that made them extra yummy! Just make sure to wait to put the Ginger Ale in until just before serving. 

For the Concession Stand, I cut a refrigerator box in half and stood this up for the back of our booth. I made it the same way as I did the ticket booth. I found baskets, bins, and scoops at the Dollar Store. The concessions we served were: homemade cotton candy, homemade kettle corn, animal crackers, orange slices, peanuts, and IBC root beer. We rented the cotton candy machine and bagged it the night before. Be careful not to let it get hot while storing it, or it will completely melt away in the bag! For the kettle corn, I was lucky to find a gentlemen making some outside of our grocery store. I bought 5 large bags and then froze it since the party wasn't for another month. This works wonderfully, I promise! It comes right out of the freezer tasting just like it was popped fresh (except for the warm part). I actually preferred it out of the freezer because it made it a little crunchier. We bagged the cotton candy and kettle corn with glad bags that don't have the zippers and tied them shut with ribbon. 

For the Concession Stand, I cut a refrigerator box in half and stood this up for the back of our booth. I made it the same way as I did the ticket booth. I found baskets, bins, and scoops at the Dollar Store. The concessions we served were: homemade cotton candy, homemade kettle corn, animal crackers, orange slices, peanuts, and IBC root beer. We rented the cotton candy machine and bagged it the night before. Be careful not to let it get hot while storing it, or it will completely melt away in the bag! For the kettle corn, I was lucky to find a gentlemen making some outside of our grocery store. I bought 5 large bags and then froze it since the party wasn't for another month. This works wonderfully, I promise! It comes right out of the freezer tasting just like it was popped fresh (except for the warm part). I actually preferred it out of the freezer because it made it a little crunchier. We bagged the cotton candy and kettle corn with glad bags that don't have the zippers and tied them shut with ribbon. 

The cotton candy and kettle corn were attached to the booth with laundry line that I found at the Dollar Tree. I poked a small hole in the cardboard booth, then pushed the end of the laundry cord through the hole, and on the back I made a large knot so that the line would hang down in the front. The bags were attached to the cord with clothespins. 

The cotton candy and kettle corn were attached to the booth with laundry line that I found at the Dollar Tree. I poked a small hole in the cardboard booth, then pushed the end of the laundry cord through the hole, and on the back I made a large knot so that the line would hang down in the front. The bags were attached to the cord with clothespins. 

The prize stand was so fun to make! I purchased prizes from the Dollar Store and Hobby Lobby. The smaller prizes worth less tickets were on the table in misc. buckets and jars. The prizes worth the most tickets were strung up on the back of the booth. I hung the prizes the same way I hung the concession treats. I forgot to photograph the way I labeled how many tickets were required for each prize. I printed numbers on stickers using round Avery labels and stuck them on each container of prizes. The kids were given bags to write their names on and store their prizes for taking home. The concessions and prizes were everyone's party favors. 

The prize stand was so fun to make! I purchased prizes from the Dollar Store and Hobby Lobby. The smaller prizes worth less tickets were on the table in misc. buckets and jars. The prizes worth the most tickets were strung up on the back of the booth. I hung the prizes the same way I hung the concession treats. I forgot to photograph the way I labeled how many tickets were required for each prize. I printed numbers on stickers using round Avery labels and stuck them on each container of prizes. The kids were given bags to write their names on and store their prizes for taking home. The concessions and prizes were everyone's party favors. 

Here are some prize ideas! Bracelets, rings, gold coins, raisins, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a variety of candy, glow sticks, crayons, erasers, plastic/rubber animal toys, tiny wands, hot wheels, tattoos, stickers, small water guns, army men, bouncy balls, and the list goes on! For the bigger prizes, I looked over my kids list and made sure to purchase age and sex appropriate toys for everyone who RSVP'd. 

Here are some prize ideas! Bracelets, rings, gold coins, raisins, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a variety of candy, glow sticks, crayons, erasers, plastic/rubber animal toys, tiny wands, hot wheels, tattoos, stickers, small water guns, army men, bouncy balls, and the list goes on! For the bigger prizes, I looked over my kids list and made sure to purchase age and sex appropriate toys for everyone who RSVP'd. 

My lovely mother! : )

My lovely mother! : )

We hired a wonderful magician who also makes balloon animals! He arrived while everyone was still finishing up their meals and made the kids balloon animals they requested.  

We hired a wonderful magician who also makes balloon animals! He arrived while everyone was still finishing up their meals and made the kids balloon animals they requested.  

He made Joey a jet pack, which I also forgot to photograph, ahhh! Parties are hectic : ) 

He made Joey a jet pack, which I also forgot to photograph, ahhh! Parties are hectic : ) 

It's time to roll out the sundae bar! Everyone served themselves, choosing from large tubs of either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We put out every sweet topping we could think of including: skittles, marshmallows, sprinkles, m&m's, Oreos, chocolate chips, gummy bears, peanuts, cherries, reese's pieces, syrups, and root beer for floats! 

It's time to roll out the sundae bar! Everyone served themselves, choosing from large tubs of either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We put out every sweet topping we could think of including: skittles, marshmallows, sprinkles, m&m's, Oreos, chocolate chips, gummy bears, peanuts, cherries, reese's pieces, syrups, and root beer for floats! 

Happy (much belated) 7th Birthday Joey! 

Happy (much belated) 7th Birthday Joey!