Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sneak Peek: Harkness Family

Last winter, I donated a portrait session for the Bradford Elementary auction.  Kristen won!  Now that summer time is here, she decided to cash in on her winnings.

I met up with this wonderful family at Bear Creek Lake Park.  It was one of my favorite sessions.  Their family was fun and relaxed and reminded me of my own boys.  They were funny, crazy, and spunky....just like little boys should be.  We had a great time running around!  We got so many good "brother pictures".  These boys loved hamming it up for the camera and they are some of my favorite sibling pictures.  Why won't my boys look like this together in pictures?  Perhaps because their mother is behind the camera!?

Kristen, I am sure glad that you won the auction and that I got to meet your zany family!

For more pictures of this family or other families, visit my Facebook page or my website.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sneak Peek: Adley

I have this great gig that I get to snuggle with newborn babies.  Usually babies are best photographed when they are less than 2 weeks old, so I was a little nervous to work with Adley when she was almost 7 weeks.  Boy did she prove me wrong!  She was OUT like a light for most of our session.  She was so sweet and I loved that she wasn't so wrinkly, her skin tone was amazing and her little eyelashes had grown in.

Take a look at this beauty.

 I love the hand in front of the face!

She loves her changing table.  So happy there!
I am thrilled that Adley is going to be one of my Baby's First Year kids and I that I get to see her 3 more times in the coming 12 months!  For more pictures of this little gal check out my Facebook page or my website.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sneak Peek: K Family

Meet the K family.

Aren't they the cutest?  These little boys melted my heart (although I tend to have a soft spot for little boys).  Little Ethan was so patient and loving to his little brother.  I love to see that (I wish I saw more of that at my house......it is summer time and there is a fair amount of fighting going on at the Lord house).

These little guys had a blast roaming around the park, playing on the railroad tracks (the little train was not going while we were there) and splashing around in the creek.  I love that their mom was willing to let them get wet and splash around.  Kids give genuine smiles and delight when they are allowed to play during the photo session.

Awwww....giving mom a flower

Love his little feet up on this one

I love working with new families and getting to know their little ones!  I also love how "summery" these pictures look.  Love the bright colors and green trees and grass.  Yeah for summer!

For more pictures of this cute family visit my website or my Facebook page.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 26: Light Painting

I actually learned how to do this last year at a free workshop I went to.  But, I only did it once and couldn't quite remember how to do it.  So I found this pin and thought I would try it out with the kids.

Ligh Painting Guide by Christopher Hibbert

We tried this on the night of the 4th, but it was still a little too light outside.  I had to play with the settings and try to get them just right, but by the time it was really dark out, the fireworks had started.  I wish we would have had more time to do this, but I will try again soon.  The kids LOVED it.  If you have DSLR camera, you should really try it out.  Don't forget your tripod (or have a place that you can set the camera so it will be completely still).  You just have to set it for a really long exposure and work quickly with a flashlight (or glowstick).  Make sure that you cover the flash light when you are in between letters or parts of your picture.  It also helps if you wear dark colored clothes.

Man getting eaten by big fish in water

M for Makai
We will try this again soon to get more images.

Here is an image from the workshop that I did last October.  It is better when you work in complete darkness.  And don't forget to write your letters backwards so they appear correctly in the picture.

Here is a link to the free monthly workshops called night photo walks.  I have only done one, but it was fun and free.  How can you go wrong with that?

You can find this pin on my "LiLo" board.

Pinterest Challenge Day 23-25 (4th of July Pins)

I'm back.  Did you miss me?  I have been working on my Pinterest Challenge but I am just now getting around to blogging about it.

Be prepared to get Patriotic!

Day 23:  Firecracker Licorice

I saw this on Pinterest a LONG time ago.  In fact, it was one of my first pins when I joined Pinterest.

Cute idea! Perfect for watching fireworks!

This one was really easy and the kids enjoyed helping me!

All we did was cut some scrapbook paper into small strips.  Then we grabbed 5 red vines and wrapped the paper around them.  One piece of tape and Viola! they were done.  We took these with us everywhere we went before during and after the 4th of July.  We handed them out at the Clement park fireworks, the parade at my parent's neighborhood, and even swimming lessons!  They were a big hit.  We still have a few bundles sitting around and the kids love grabbing one and scarfing them down.

(warning: I got a new camera and I am still learning the settings and fine tuning my skills so some of these pictures aren't as perfect as I would like them to be).

Day 24: Sparkler Shield

When I saw this, I thought "genius"!

Sparkler Shield... keep those little hands safe this summer.

Little kids (especially my little kids) are always afraid that the sparklers are going to burn them.  So I had to try this out.  All of the kids LOVED this (even the big 10 and 12 year old).  It made sparklers even more fun as they didn't have to be worried about it burning them.  I will definitely being doing this again next year.  All you need is a red solo cup (cue song) and something to poke a hole in the bottom.  Slip the sparkler in the hole and light it up!  Easy peasy.  This would be great for really little kids too.  The big kids kept pretending that they were Captain Hook.  It was a HIT!

Don't mind the cyclops eye on JJ.  He took a fall a few days before and got a nice big goose-egg!
Day 25: Patriotic Strawberries

Haha!  I saw this one on Pinterest, but never pinned it.  I had pinned this one instead, but it is the same concept.

Confetti Strawberries

I just used white chocolate and blue sprinkles to make it patriotic!  These were fun, festive and easy.  I wish I had a better picture, but it was getting dark outside (and you know how I do just about anything to avoid using a flash) and I didn't have them in a pretty dish.  I had to snap a quick picture before everyone dug into them.   They were very delicious (despite the horrible way they look in this picture).  Very sweet, but very delicious.

We had a lovely, but crazy busy 4th of July. I love 4th of July.  It is one of my favorite holidays.  Most of all because there aren't any huge expectations and we usually just do things spontaneously.  On the 3rd the kids rode their bikes 4-5 miles (mostly uphill) to my parent's house.  They had a blast even though it was a really hot day (and they were riding in the hottest part of the day).  Then we set up the tent in my parent's backyard.  Next we headed to Clement park for the fireworks show there.  It was a good time with friends, family and thousands of little gnats (better than misquitos).  After the show (around 10:30) we headed back to the grandparents to "camp out".  All 10 Luebckes and Lords hanging in the tent.  A good time was had by all (although it was a short night).

We then got up to decorate our bikes/tractors and get set for the Bear Creek Ranchettes annual parade.  It is a great parade with bikes, tractors, atvs, old fashioned cars, horses, etc.  The only thing it is short on is spectators.  Everyone in the neighborhood gets out and participates in the parade, but that leaves no one to watch it.  No matter, everyone has fun.

After the parade, the kids rode their bikes back to our house and then headed back for some swimming.  We swam with all of the cousins and had a great time.

We then headed to Mimi's house for dinner and more fireworks.  Are you exhausted from reading this?  Trust me, we were exhausted after 2 REALLY full days.  All in the name of fun.

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our great country and that you maybe had some time to try out something from your Pinterest boards.

These pins on my "Holiday" and "Recipe" boards.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Days 19- 22

This weekend was full of Baseball, swim meets and BBQ's.  Makes for a fun, but insane weekend.  I had the house perfectly clean in anticipation of our busy weekend and after 2 days of only coming home to drop something off and pick up something new, the house was trashed.  Does anyone else have this problem?  House clean on Friday.....start over on Monday.

Our boys have been in baseball for 6 years now (Makai 3 and Tanner 3).  Five of the six years, the boy's team made it to the championship game.  They have always lost.  Always the bridesmaid.  Until yesterday!  Tanner's team finally WON!  They beat an undefeated team and played an amazing game.  Way to go Storm!

I did manage to do a few Pinterest things over the last few days.  But I am still playing a little bit of catch up! The kids are really into it now (and have used the fan-fort every single day) and can't wait to see what we are going to do next.

Day 19:  Lens Friend.
I do a lot of photo shoots with little kids.  Sometimes it is really hard to get them to look directly into the lens.  So I found this on Pinterest.

@Leia Everett Reeves - red scrunchie, some felt, and buttons!

I thought I would take a whack at it and make it myself.  Here is mine.

I think the nose could be a little bigger.  I made this at baseball practice so I couldn't use a glue gun, but next time I think that will make it lay better.  It is still really cute and will totally help when I am working with the littles.

All it took was a red scrunchie ($5 at Target, but it came with 8 scrunchies.  I couldn't buy just the red one, but I needed some new ones anyway), some white and orange felt ($.25 for each one), black buttons (which I already had in my button stash) and some thread.  It literally took me about 10 minutes to make it.

I would highly recommend this for any photographer or mom of little ones.  It is a great way to get them to look directly at your camera.  Another hint is to ask them to watch your camera wink at them.  They can see the camera wink when the shutter closes.

You can find this pin on my "Prop Ideas" board.

Day 20: Couples

Couples are sometimes hard to get to express themselves.  Many couples (especially guys) tend to feel shy in  front of the camera, especailly when asked to be affectionate.  I did a shoot on Saturday with some newlyweds.  They eloped a few weeks ago and wanted some "formal" wedding pictures.  I like this shot on Pinterest (for two reasons).  The picture is by sylemepretty.com.

chalkboard love

Initially, I loved the chalkboard and how it is almost forgotten because they are so into each other.  I recreated this shot last year with a cute couple for their engagement pictures.

However, I like this one even better.  It is just slightly different, but so much more expression!

Beyond the obvious cuteness of the chalkboard, I like the way the guy is kissing the girl on the forehead in the Pinterest picture.  So I had my couple this weekend do that.  This is what I got.

Cute, hu?  For more nice ways to pose couples, look at my "Couples" board!

Day 21:  French Dip Crescents

I actually did this one a little while ago.  I have been saving it for when I had a busy day and didn't have time to do anything.  Well, now it is time to pull it out.

Here is the recipe on Pinterest.

French Dip Crescents: packaged crescent rolls, deli roast beef, Swiss or provolone cheese, Bake!

I thought this looked fun and easy.  The kids are starting to like french dips (except the picky little one) and they all love crescent rolls so I thought I would give it a whirl.  All you do is take a crescent roll and put some roast beef in it and roll it up.  I also added some cheese.  I didn't have any sliced cheese, so I used a string cheese.  Use what you got, right?  Just bake it at 375 for 12 minutes or so, just like you would with

It was really easy to do and I was excited to try it.

We all liked them, but they were nothing spectacular.  They were easy, which was nice, but I am not sure I will make them again.  I like french dip with a big ol' hoagie attached.  I would skip this one if I were you, unless you are looking for an easy recipe to incorporate roast beef.

You can find this recipe on my "Recipes" board if you are interested in trying it.

Day 22: Watermelon Frosty (Today!  Finally I am caught up)

In the summer it is always nice to have a sweet treat to drink.  For me it is usually an ice cold fountain coke (the best being from McDonalds).  But today I decided to make a frosty treat for the boys and some of their friends that were over.

My mother in law gave me a watermelon that she wasn't going to use, so I thought this was a perfect way to use it up.

I even thought ahead and cut it up and stuck it in the freezer it this morning!

watermelon frosty

This afternoon when it was hot and the kids were starting to get bored, I pulled out the blender and got to work.

This is what I used.  Frozen watermelon cubes (I only used 2 of the 6 bags of watermelon), applesauce (I didn't have a banana as she suggested and I hate how banana tends to overpower), maple syrup and some lemon juice (I didn't have any real lemons).  I am lucky that I had all of this stuff.  I avoid going to the grocery store at all costs with three kids in tow.  Maybe I will go tonight when the kids go to bed because I am out of everything!

This is the finished product.  It made a lot.  Enough for glasses this size for 5 kids and a little left over.

Here is the behind the scenes of what most Pinterest posts don't show you....

The aftermath
This recipe sounded good, but was REALLY sweet.  Why do you need to add maple syrup to sweet watermelon?  Tanner is the only kid who finished his.  One kid didn't even take one bite and the other 3 got tired of it after a few minutes.  I didn't love the flavor.

I think I will use the remaining watermelon to make fruit smoothies and add other fruit like strawberries, oranges and blueberries.  Now that sounds delicious!  I do like the idea of frozen watermelon and now I am pretty excited to have 4 more baggies of watermelon in my freezer.  I had run out of large ziplocs (see, I really need to go to the grocery store) so I put them in little baggies and now I am really glad.  I can use them one at a time!  I love it when things work out like that.  Who knew you could freeze watermelon?  I will remember that when I have tons of watermelon left after a party.

If you want to look at the full recipe (and maybe tweak it to your own liking- the consistency was really good with the frozen watermelon) you can find it on my "Liquid Refreshment" board.

Happy Pinning Everyone!  Stay tuned for some 4th of July ideas coming soon!