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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How To: World Map Covered Name

When Wes and I first found out we were having a baby, we had a name picked out for a boy and girl right away. I couldn't wait to find out the gender so we could start using our little one's name. I think putting up the baby's name in the nursery was the thing I was the most excited for in the room. It was so fun to think that our little girl had an identity and we'd get to meet her soon and show her her very own room

The day after we found out Joslynne was a girl, my mom and I went shopping and I bought the materials for her map covered name. It was so surreal to think that we were going to have a little girl join our family! 

We knew we wanted to do a travel and adventure nursery for her, so this map wrapping paper was perfect for her name wall hanging! 

You will need:
Wooden letters
modge podge

1. We found our letters at Joann Fabrics, but you can find them at any craft store in several different styles. 

Lay out the sheet of wrapping paper, and lay the letters in order to spell the name on top of it. Leave enough space between each letter to trace them. Having all the letters lined up in order and going the same direction will keep the coherency of the map when the name finished. 

One map sheet of wrapping paper was enough for Joslynne's name which is 9 letters. If your name is longer, you may need a second sheet. 

2. Trace each letter with a pencil. 

3.  Carefully cut each letter out. 

4. Using a paint brush, cover the back of the first letter with modge podge. Immediately, line up the paper onto the wooden letter and carefully press it down. Smooth it down from the middle going out to make sure there are not air bubbles. Repeat with each letter. 

5. Once the letters are dry, go over the top of the letters with modge podge. If there are any corners sticking up, add a little dab of modge lodge underneath and press down one more time, before painting the top layer. 

6. Allow all the letters to dry completely. Use photo velcro command stripes to hang the letters on the wall. Place one command strip on each letter with the velcro attached, but the adhesive backing still on. When you are ready to hang, peel off the adhesive backing to stick the letter to the wall. 

Using the crib is an easy way to make sure the letters are lined up straight and centered. You can also add a piece of painters tape as a guide and peel it off the wall once the letters are hung. Start with the center letter or 2 letters and work out to each side to ensure the name is centered! 

You can check out Joslynne's entire Adventure nursery here

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bunny 1st Birthday Party

We can't believe our baby girl is ONE! And, her first birthday party has come and gone. We had such a great day celebrating with family and friends. Our house was packed, and we were thankful to see so many people who love and support our little Josy!

We decided on a bunny theme for the party when we found these invitations designed by June Arbor Designs! 

We planned the color scheme from this little bird cake topper from Joann Fabric. 

I cut the number "1" and word "one" from glittered scrapbook paper for the other cake toppers. 

Our flowers were from Albertsons! They have the best selection of market bunches every week. My sister in law Abbie made pretty little arrangements in like 5 minutes for us! 

I was so excited to find a new Etsy shop Northwoods Daisies with custom embroidery hoops! This initial hoop turned out so lovely! Stay tuned to see more about it and how we used it in Joslynne's nursery later this week on Instagram. ;)

In May, Wes and Josy sent me to a Cookie Decorating class with Me Oh My Couture. I couldn't wait to try the skills I learned for the party. :)

The cloth backdrop and cake plates are DIY's I have shared on the blog in the past! 

We made goodie bags from paper bags. You may have seen bunny goodie bags like this on Pinterest that are tied. We left ours open so each person could add piñata candy later. ;) 

I have always LOVED honey sticks. I couldn't pass up these flavored ones I found at the farmer's market that matched the decor!

Joslynne didn't mind everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to her, but she wanted nothing to do with her cake! After one taste of icing, she refused it. So, in all her photos, she's eating grapes! Haha! At least she's healthy. ;)

I hot glued silk flowers onto tulle to decorate Josy's highchair! 

I made this scalloped Photo backdrop from scrapbook paper for photos of Josy and a photo of each couple with her! Tutorial coming soon!

Joslynne's bib and velvet bow were handmade by my mom! She makes the most gorgeous bandana bibs! I love how they look like part of the outfit. :) Send me a message if you'd like more info on how to order one!


Cloth Back Drop- Tutorial
White and blue cake plates- Tutorial
Bunny Piñata- Tutorial

Custom "J" Initial Embroidery Hoop
Bunny Invitations
Mylar Number Balloon
Gold letter Banner
Dark Pink Cake Plate
White Eyelet dress
Ombre Eyelet shirt

Party Hats- Similar
Party word confetti- Similar
bird cake topper- Similar
dark pink vase- Similar
Mint clip board- similar
Gold polka dot straws- Similar, Similar

It was a perfect day! I think Jos had a great time, she wouldn't stop partying to take a nap all day! ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

GUEST POST: 7 Tips Photographers Wish Clients Knew

Hi!  My name is Elissa Egan and I have been dabbling in photography for the last year and a half. Pictured below is me, my husband and my sweet baby girl. I thought I would share the perspective of the photographer - client relationship to help make the shooting process easier. 
(our family photo below credit: Abigail Whigham)

Tip #1 Use a photographer you feel comfortable with. 
We know there are tons of personalities and different personalized styles. You don't have to be best friends but it will definitely make the shoot easier if you and your photographer can laugh and chat between shots and make the photos seem a lot more relaxed and less posed. 

Tip #2 Make sure you know the style the photographer shoots and you like their previous work. Don't expect a photographer that has a grungy vibe to shoot bright whimsical family photos - most photographers see their work as art so they use it as a medium to express themselves (similar to a painter.) Yes, we want to keep the client happy - but we also want to be appreciated for our creative eye. 

Tip #3 If you have kids, help the photographer get them engaged in the shoot. Usually the photographer will bring an "eye-catcher" to help the kids look at the camera. I have taken balloons, toys that make noise, bright objects for babies to look at to shoots. It's good to make family shoots like a game and really enjoyable for the kids so you can capture sweet moments of laughter and joy in the photos. 

Tip #4 Don't be afraid to communicate your ideas with the photographer. Personally, I love knowing the ideas the family or parents have for the shoot. I like to help you capture special moments that you want to keep forever. If you have a pose idea or props you want to use - that's great! I like when the family is involved in the creative process. 

Tip #5 Trust the photographer when they pose you. We try to make our clients as comfortable as possible but sometimes there are some poses that feel awkward. Trust your photographer when they have a specific pose for you to do - it will translate beautifully in the photo!

Tip #6 Be patient after the shoot to receive your photos. Editing takes time. It's easy for me to over edit if I feel rushed or miss some important things if the client has an unexpected deadline. It is good for photographers to take breaks between editing so they can have a fresh eye on the photos and I guarantee you the photos will be much more beautiful. 

Tip #7 Remember this is business - not a hobby! Don't expect free shoots from friends and family. If the photographer is generous with their rate, offer them a "gift". I've given a shoot for a fraction of the price and my clients have always been sweet enough to make us dinner, or give me something for free. I,  personally, don't mind trading things like that for a shoot. But just be sure that you are professional in ALL aspects of payment. 

Follow along with Elissa and her find more of her gorgeous photos on Instagram