Friday, November 2, 2012

Shutterfly - My GO TO Picture Print Company



Back in the day, taking a a picture on your camera was a special moment to be captured, you probably only took one or two pictures of the occassion as cost for printing those pictures could add up.  There was the phase of the disposable camera... and which you can still buy, although they seem to cost close to a real camera.  All that aside, today most of us own smart phones that have those handy little cameras built in and no need to carry a camera anymore.  But wait... all is not lost, there are those camera totin' folks out there that still want to capture the best of the best with all attributes included - love these folks!
 
My Grandma Teen took pictures in her day as if she had a smart phone - click, click and more clicks - every where she went, she would capture those moments on film.  I believe that is where I got my love of pictures and photography.
 
I am by NO MEANS a photographer, I am a fan of pictures and capturing that "IT" moment, but I am not a photography.  Once in a great while I can take a really great picture and feel proud... it shortly ends there though.
 
One thing is certain, I dont let my pictures stay on my devices, I LOVE TO HOLD A PRINTED PICTURE - kinda like turning a book page... {I dont own a Kindle, Nook or other reading device}.  I love paper and how it feels, picture paper is no different, love it!
 
Shutterfly has been my GO TO source for most of my printing.  Their customer service is amazing and I just love their products.  My picture always come out great and they are really fast at returning your orders.
 
In addition to printing pictures, they have one the best software programs to building photobooks out on the streets, with a ton of backgrounds and designs to choose from.
 
This past week I took Little Bird and her cousin Maddie to a local Pumpkin Patch - Willamette Valley Fruit Company to have a little harvest time fun!  They played on the toys, searched for the PERFECT pumpkin and swaggered out with a candy treat from the onsite retail market.  The rain had stopped, the clouds and sunshine appeared in a most beautiful way and I had my camera out clicking away!
 
Last night, while the dear husband was out hunting... yes I am a hunting widow this time of year, I uploaded my pictures to Shutterfly and they conveniently showcased them to me in a photobook - yes you read it right, they created a book for me to review of the photos I had just uploaded -- now that is customer service!  I chose to do a more advanced setting/layout and chose that option, but for those who just wanted the pictures in a book - one step away from a photobook!  Within no time, I had created a photobook that I am proud of and excited to see in print!
 
Check this out:    Happy Harvest 2012 - my adorable photo album I created for our trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

Groupon, Living Social and other deal groups often offer special deals for Shutterfly - so try it out today (I used a Groupon I had purchased for this book)!

Happy Harvest - Count your Blessings,  

The Little Birds Mamma


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Doc McStuffins



Little Bird has such a vivid imagination right now, it is a lot of fun to listen to her sing, dance and talk to her toys while she plays - I must admit that I just love this age of little children - being three must be magical with all of its new discoveries!

I dont think we will ever get over loving Pirates in our home, especially Jake and the Neverland Pirates - Little Bird loves watching this show as well as a few others on Disney Junior.


Last year we celebrated Little Bird's third birthday pirate style and even though I am already in the works of planning her 4th birthday party, we almost had to make a change in plans for the newly found favorite in the house... Doc McStuffins.

Doc Mc Stuffins is the cutest little six year old television with the just right amount of sweet and smart to have every little child wanting to be a doctor when they grow up!

Her mission is to help all the toys she encounters that may have a boo boo or two.  In a kind and carrying way, with the help of her stuffed animals aka clinic staff, she can fix almost anything!  Getting and receiving hugs is one of the main prescriptions for well-being.

The show talks about going to the doctor, going to the hospital, eating well, treating your body right and enjoying life - great show!  I catch myself enjoying the episodes as well.

Recently, they combined 5 episodes and made a DVD {Brilliant... in my opinion}!  Here is a link to purchase the DVD on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Doc-McStuffins-Friendship-Medicine-Stickers/dp/B0087NJ7WE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1349283734&sr=8-3&keywords=doc+mcstuffin  I purchased the DVD at a local store, it had a coupon attached for $6 off if you bought another Disney movie, and so it turned out to be Little Bird's lucky day and she got another movie to add to the collection.   I have a sense that old man winter will be treating us to a few snow days, and we will be ready - armed with great movies for those wintery days.

This DVD is Little Bird Approved and Little Bird's Mamma also approves - giving it a double -thumbs up!  Get your copy and check it out today!

For your convenience, I have listed a couple of links that you may enjoy:


Link to Doc McStuffins on the Disney website:  http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior/doc-mcstuffins

Link to Jake and the Neverland Pirates on the Disney website:  http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior/jake-and-the-never-land-pirates/jake-and-the-never-land-pirates-videos-episodes

Coloring pages:  http://disneycoloringpages.net/jake-and-the-neverland-pirates-coloring-pages/

Doc McStuffins Coloring Pages:  http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior/doc-mcstuffins/doc-mcstuffins-coloring-create

Stay Sweet - Little Birds Mamma

This review was conducted by Little Birds Mamma and she didnt receive anything from anyone to do the review :)

Cute Couples Make for the Best Celebrations

Over the summer I had the opportunity to help a couple coordinate their river-view wedding.  Todd and Amanda are the sweetest couple to start and working with them to see that their day was nothing short of amazing was a treat! 

I loved every aspect of the wedding and most important, the vibe that exuded from this couple, it literally spilled over and embraced the guests - the day was perfect!  Take a peak at this adorable wedding and all the special touches, you will be in love - I promise!

Congratulations to Todd and Amanda, best wishes and love always!



Here is a link to the adorable couple's wedding pictures:  http://thegemmersblog.com/amanda-todd-have-a-lovely-wedding-at-the-lake/#comment-112



Friday, September 14, 2012

Shake and Make...Butter

Little Bird loves to help in the kitchen.  Her exacts words are, "Mamma, watching isnt a job, I need a job!"  So, often, this Mamma is scrambling for "jobs" the Little Bird can do in the kitchen.

When I was younger, my Aunt must have had the same dilemma... on occasional family gatherings she used to hand my two cousins (her children) and the three of us (my brother, sister and me) a small mason jar filled with heavy whipping cream and tell us to show us how fast we could shake the jars while jumping at the same time! As I recall, we would giggle and think it was so cool to watch the white liquid not only change to a creamy yellow color but also in form, into... yes....BUTTER!  A tasty treat that we also got to enjoy with our meal that was being prepared while we shaking our tail feathers!{It was during Thanksgiving holiday :)}

Was she the most brilliant Mamma ever... ha ha ha.  Think of the energy we burned up jumping around and shaking mason jars, just the memory of it makes me giggle.

Recently, it came to me that Little Bird just might need enjoy such a great "job" in the kitchen :)


Picture above is proof that this is a great kitchen, Little Bird approved "JOB" in the kitchen! 

And...  the sweet taste of this butter is just as I remembered as a child.

All things sweet to you and yours,

Little Birds Mamma

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Black & White Photoshoot Birthday Party




You know that friend in your life that you have known forever and would do anything for?  Well, I am very blessed to have just one of those kind of friends - Tiffany {isnt she beautiful}!

Well, when she asked me to help her daughter design her 12th Birthday Party, how could I say no!  And, um... who would want to say no - I was over the moon and honored that she asked me.

Miss Macie is quite creative and imaginative so getting to collaborate with her was nothing short of a blast.  She already had a lot of ideas of what she wanted so planning was simple.  She wanted her friends to come over get their hair and make up done, get dressed up in black and white and have Sandi {another amazing friend - yes, I am super blessed!} take pictures.  Check out her work here, you will be so amazed at her talent - unbelievable!

Tiffany and I decided that a photoshoot birthday needed a little swag.  We gathered travel size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand sanitizer, perfume, hair bows and various other small items.  Sephora was generous enough to provide the "SWAG BAGS" for the girls to gather their swag as well as provided a few of the perfume samples.  Thank you Sephora - we love you!



A set up of black and white decor was used for the food and beverage table which also served as the cake table.  The delicious spread included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a vegetable tray, oreos - the official black and white cookie, chocolate covered strawberries, goldfish crackers and sparkling cider with picks of frozen raspberries.


































Each young lady had their hair styled by the uber cool stylists at LUSH Hair Cocktails

 And while some of the girls were getting ready, others enjoyed a glass of sparkling cider and a few light appetizers as well as a candy buffet.   The chocolate covered strawberries were as delicious as the picture illustrates - Just sayin'

I used a black and white swirl clip art as the main image for the party - from the invitations to the table food tents and signage.  The birthday invitations included a stage pass (the details of the party) and an extra insert to instruct the girls about the dress up and the hair stylist and photographer information.

After all the hair do's were done and the make up applied, the girls headed down to the river for their early evening photoshoot. As always, Sandi created her magic - the captured moments of this special birthday party are priceless and I imagine that every girl's parents will be buying multiple prints!

 After the photoshoot concluded, we loaded up the girls and took them back to the house to have cake, sing happy birthday and open presents.  The girls also filled their swag bags.

I loved getting to do the design work for this special little lady's 12th birthday - a day I wont soon forget!  Happy 12th Birthday Macie, and to my bestie - job well done, you have an amazing daugther.

 Below are some pictures that Sandi also took of this special day, there were so many and it was difficult for me to refrain from posting every single one (160+).


 Oh yeah, I forgot to mention... most of them are cheerleaders!




Photo by Sandi Elle Photography - do not copy without permission

 Miss Macie






 Little brother Crew working his magic with the ladies :)




 The yummiest birthday cake!  Chocolate cake with cream cheese mousse filling and black and white butter cream frosting.  Our local grocery store made this cake - they were amazing to work with and made it exactly as we wished- Thank you Roth's Fresh Market!



Twelve candles take a while to light - ha ha!



As well as a little time to blow out!



And this is THE Miss Sandi with Miss Macie - FABULOUS photographer and even more FAB Friend.  As Little Bird says, Sandi is my picturer taker - yep little bird, she sure is and we are proud!

This post is clearly dedicated to the power and gift of GIRLFRIENDS!!!



Friday, April 20, 2012

The Sweet Peach Paperie: Push Up Pops by Courtney Dial Whitmore

The Sweet Peach Paperie: Push Up Pops by Courtney Dial Whitmore: Last fall, Mallory's 2nd Birthday and the County Fair Collection were featured on Pizazzerie , a wonderful website of party ideas and inspi...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Sweetness

courtesy of Oprah.com/style
























When I was younger, I thought A-Smile Gelati Jeans and overalls were the best thing since Bubbalicious!  I am not alone, check out http://fashionredemptionvintage.blogspot.com/2010/05/smile-gelati-overalls-holy-grail-of-80s.html who refers to A-Smiles as the Holy Grail of the 80’s :)




I just returned from vacation in La Quinta, CA and had the pleasure of indulging in copious amounts of magazine reading!!!!  Instyle, Vanity Fair, Allure, People, Phyllis Hoffman Celebration, House Beautiful, Veranda… just to name a few.


Low and behold, my 80’s fashion favorite seems to be making a return.  Cheery and bright-colored jeans are one of this year’s hottest trends! Even Kate is wearing the hot trend for spring – colored jeans!  Check her out here: http://news.instyle.com/2012/03/15/kate-middleton-red-pants/


So, I couldn’t help but begin to reminisce, much like http://stefaniewildertaylor.com/2009/04/these-were-few-of-my-favorite-things/ and started to think about all the things that I used to love in the 80’s!  Bubbalicious Bubble Gum, Sticky Finger Jeans, San Francisco Riding Gear Jeans, James Jeans, Baby Soft perfume, lip gloss – thick and glossy; and on and on.  It was a great trip down memory lane.  What are some of your past favorites that may have had a little influence on who you are today?



Have a sweet Day!



Little Birds Momma

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Me Beauty Turned Three

Ahoy Mateys!  Our Little Bird turned three in November.  As you can imagine, big day for her and even bigger day for Mom and Dad!  Time has gone by so fast, it seems yesterday, we were looking at her with “deer in the headlight” looks and Oh Emm Gees of “what do we do with her?” And now… she is telling us “Happy Birthday to Ashlee, happy birthday to me!”  So blessed!

 Earlier in the year, Little Bird started to really engage and enjoy watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates on the Disney channel.  She started using terms:  gold doubloons, swashbuckler and yo ho ho – I quickly knew a pirate party was in store for us.  What a great party theme for children, boy or girl, any age – a pirate is where it’s at!!!

 Without further ado, I went to work, researching pirate parties, pirate treasures and all things that make a pirate party fun!

  I found my pirate girl on a clipart website and immediately knew she would be the perfect “anchor” for my party!  I was able to use her on all of my party goods, invitations and will be able to use her when I get to scrapbooking this major event.

 I reached out to my fellow Twitter and Facebook communities to help me with the design elements of her party.

 I contacted Sweet Mady’s and she helped me with a design board – what a sweet lady, and when you get a chance, check out her site!  http://sweetmadys.com/ - she has some really cute stuff!

I also worked with Bella’s Bowtique to create a hair bow that a lucky little girl got to wear at my party… and no it wasn’t the birthday girl.  It was a friend of mine’s daughter, Jaiden.  Since then, her other daughter has been modeling for Bella’s Bowtique… oh the power of networking with powerful and creative women!

Speaking of talented women, Myriad Cake Design was the baker I chose to work with for this party.  I met with Marion at her shop to discuss the theme of the party and my desire for a pirate cake that represented all of the party aspects.  Within in moments she made my vision come to life… and what I loved most was she said, “Normally I have colored pencils so you can see what it will resemble… “ okay, who doesn’t love the idea of getting to use colored pencils in your every day work setting!   That rocks!!!
 As you can see from the pictures, she rocked it like a pro and the cake was delicious so who could ask for anything more!

 So what’s a party without a little fun… a boring party… and we will have no boring parties on this momma’s watch!  Break out the balloons and face paint please!  Face painting at any age for any reason is a fun thing and this facepainter was amazing!  Painted sleeves became the trend of the night and I bet some kids didn’t want to wash it off when they got home.  My niece Regan told her Dad she couldnt sleep the night before because she was so excited to come to Ashlee's party - now that is what every event planner wants to hear!!!

Our balloon maker is a dear friend that I recently found out about her amazing talent.  The kids went absolutely crazy about her balloons – anything they asked for, they got!  So a very sincere thank you to Misty Hill for your amazing talent and sweetness to make so many children happy!!!

 Party favors are important too!  Normally, a small gift or treat is given out at parties to thank guests for coming.  This year, I chose to lay out all the favors on a table and treasure chest and let kids pick what they like.  I offered bandanas (pirate scarves) for everyone that came.  I also had eye patches, swords, tons of candy, temporary tattoos and trinkets alike, all pure swashbuckler treasure!



I made the birthday banner, pirate ship sails, water bottle labels, party invitations and thank you notes.  I purchased gold coins in massive quantities from Trader Joes.  There were candy bars to load up on as well as soda's and more sweet treats!

Another favorite element of this party was the pirate cut out.  A very good friend, Jordan designed, painted and constructed the pirate cut out for me!  All the kids took turns getting their picture taken behind the Whimsical Pirate, it was so cute to see their happy faces peeking out.

I also ordered a cardboard pirate ship that everyone could color and play with.  This was a bigger hit than that I ever thought it to be.  All ages colored and all the little ones took it for a sail around the room!

From these pictures, you can clearly see that 72 people had a great time celebrating Captn Ashlee's third birthday.

From Momma and Daddy to Little Bird, we love you more than one could ever imagine.  You are the most prized treasure that we love and will always be proud of!  Happy 3rd Birthday Ashlee Jae, may you have many more and may all your wishes come true.

A huge thank you to Sandi Elle Photography for capturing these priceless moments and now treasured memories.  Sandi is a kindred friend with amazing talent that she graciously shares with me, I am blessed to be surrounded by such amazing talent.

In closing, it is my mother and father that I thank the most for loving me with all their heart and providing me a foundation of life built on love and now I am paying that forward to my daughter.