"Sprinkles in the Rose Garden" - Izzy and Ivy Designs Giveaway

June 30, 2011

Sarah in the skirt Front BLOG
Two weeks ago, I completed my third project for Izzy and Ivy Designs.
I have only been able to share one so far because the second shoot was for a new design that I am not allowed to show publicly until the fall, after it has been officially released..... but for this third project, I was given permission to share it here on the blog.

Each time I do a shoot for the ladies that own Izzy and Ivy Designs, I get some different direction as to the shots that they need. This session was originally only going to involve Reagan, but at the last minute they decided to ask me to get Sarah involved as well.

The Details Sarah's Skirt Outfit
They made Sarah one of their "Addie Jo" Skirts and an adorable shirt that had a tulle ruffle around the neck and sweet little butterfly applique! She looked so cute in this little set.

Reagan Looking Down Trellis in the back BLOG
Reagan got to model the "Ruthie Romper" and I have to say......

Touch Your Toes Reagan BLOG
that this design is one of MY FAVORITES!!

Reagan and Sarah With Label Collage
I love the way it ties on the shoulders

Reagan and Sarah on the bench Collage
and is shirred across the chest.....

Reagan One Leg Up One Leg Down2 BLOG
but the detail that knocks this design out of the park for me are those big ruffles at the bottom of the pant legs!!!

The girls looking opposite directions Collage BLOG
Both of these designs are so super cute, comfortable......and totally girly!!

Sprinkles Collage
In addition to all of the fabulous patterns that Izzy and Ivy sell, they are now in the process of launching their new labels and tags.....they have branded them as "Sprinkles". They did a fantastic job on the marketing side of these little creations. They come all pretty in a pink box and when you open the box, it looks like 4 cupcakes. Upon opening the "cupcakes" they are filled with beautiful, colorful labels!! My job this time around was to not only take photos of the girls, but to take photos of their new "sprinkles" as well!

Reagan Wlaking The Brick Path BLOG
That Saturday night after I had sent Shasta(one of the owners of Izzy and Ivy Designs)all the photos of the girls and the Sprinkles, she was so excited that she told me she was going to sweeten the deal with a giveaway for all of my readers and followers.

She is going to make one lucky winner a Ruthie Romper like Reagan is wearing in the size and fabric color of their choice, or the Ava Dress(which is the dress design the girls wore last time, you can see it by clicking HERE)also in the size and fabric color of their choice. (The winner will tell her the color they would like and she will give you a few fabric options to choose from)

We are not done yet.....we are going to pick two more winners and those winners will receive 2 patterns each, the Ruthie Romper and the Ava dress patterns and a set of Sprinkles that can be sewn into their new clothes!

All you need to do to enter, is leave me a comment here on the blog before 11pm on the 4th of July.
Winners will be announced by Friday, July 8th.

Good luck and hope you all have a happy holiday weekend.
We are off to Cape Cod!

Black and White Wednesday - "Nothing"

June 29, 2011

On Sunday, we made a quick trip to Connecticut to pick up Eddie, my cousin who is only a year older than Nick. He and Nick get along so well, but only get to see each other a few times a year.

For almost as long as I can remember, Eddie has been coming down to spend at least one week with us each summer and we all look forward to his visits.

Of course the boys were both very excited to see each other, but Sarah and Reagan were just as happy and excited to see Eddie walk into our house last weekend.

The boys are having lots of fun, but they contstantly have two little ones on their heels. Luckily, both Nick and Eddie have great patience with the girls and handle them very well.

Vintage Sarah and Reagan In Dress Up Clothes BLOG
I went into the kitchen to get them a snack just shortly after we arrived on Sunday and when I came back into the entertainment room, I found both Sarah and Reagan completely mesmerized by the boys.

Nick and Eddie were playing a video game and the girls had been playing dress up...... but the girls stopped playing and just sat down on the floor to watch them.

I cannot ever remember a time that they were both so still........ not even for a cartoon or a Disney movie would they both sit like this. I quickly ran to grab my camera and when I came back they were still sitting there watching contently.

Honestly, I did not really intend to do a post about Sarah and Reagan sitting still on the floor...a little boring I know. I feel like I am pulling a "George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld" who tried to pitch a show about "Nothing" to NBC......but when I saw this photo, there was something about it that totally captivated me and drew me in.

So I guess you could say, I felt the need to share my "nothing" today......in hopes that you too, see something:)

Berry Pickin' With the Girls

June 27, 2011

Holding her Hair out of her face2 BLOG
On Saturday we went to a local Berry Farm with my Mom to do some picking!

Schmidt's Berry Farm COLLAGE2
This was our first trip to Schmidt's Berry Farm, and I have to say that we were very impressed with how much they had to offer.......not to mention that the place was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

A berry and a basket BLOG
It is actually a little late in the season for Strawberries, there were not many left, but we managed to find some that looked good.

Sarah Walking Through The Berry Farm COLLAGE
Sarah was on a mission the minute we hit the fields..... it was game on for her and I have to admit, she was a very good and patient "picker".

Reagan Running Across the field COLLAGE
She even hijacked my Mom's giant basket so she could fit more berries....and then very happily passed off the tiny basket to Reagan....... who did get a little distracted from time to time and tried to dart across the field when she thought we weren't looking.

Reagan Picking Collage
We finally got her to actually pick a berry and she was very proud of herself. As soon as she realized what she did she started to giggle and gave us that little look where she scrunches up her nose....... we love that face:)

Blue Berries in the palm of her hand Collage
After we finished picking Raspberries and Strawberries, we were going to head to the Cherry trees, but detoured through the blueberry patch. They were not quite ready, but we had to stop..........

Reagan Eating COLLAGE
because a certain someone was starting to get hungry and blueberries are one of her favorite fruits! How many do you think she managed to stuff into her mouth in that first photo? I am guessing about 5..... She was eating them faster than we could pick them.

Reagan was in blueberry heaven......and we practically had to drag her away from that blueberry bush. Actually, my Mom had to grab a handful of berries to take along with us in order to get her to start walking...and it worked like a charm.

Sarah and reagan at the berry barn Collage
We made a quick stop back at the barn and traded our baskets for some boxes.

I didn't take too many photos by the Cherry Trees.... We could have used an extra set of hands. We were on a ladder looking directly up at the sun trying to reach the branches for the best cherries and watch the girls at the same time. Not an easy task by any means.

Bing Cherries BLOG
Even though it was difficult, we were successful in getting at least one big box full.

Freshly Picked COLLAGE
By the time we were done picking Cherries, the girls had completely hit the wall....and we knew it was time to pack it up and head back to pay for all of our fresh fruit.

We had such a great time on the berry farm.......and there is really nothing like fruits and vegetables that are that fresh.

My Mom and I have already made plans to go back after we return from Cape Cod. Blueberries will be in their prime by then and I love them.......almost as much as Reagan does.

So far the only thing that has been made with the berries, was a homemade sour cherry pie. My Mom made it yesterday and it was DELICIOUS! I am not sure what I am going to do with everything we picked..... I might need to squeeze some baking in this week. If you have a favorite recipe, be sure to let me know. I am always up for something new!

~Hope you all have a Happy Monday~

Friday Finds - Beautiful Handmade Dresses

June 24, 2011

We are heading up to Cape Cod next week for a quick 4th of July getaway and then we are going up again in August like we do each summer. We all look forward to the carefree days with our family sitting at the waters edge with the sun beating down on us and the sand at our feet. We have our annual traditions and the things we do each year when we visit.........one of which is the sunset photoshoot on the beach.

I started to think about what I wanted to dress everyone in a few weeks ago.
3 years ago, I chose the white dress look.
2 yeasrs ago, I went with light pink and lime green
and last year, I chose Denim and Khaki.

In my travels, I have kept my eyes open for anything that might work, but nothing has really struck me as a WOW.... I have seen a lot of maybes, but not "the dress" or "the outfit".

Then I saw on facebook that my friend Robin at Red Thread Stitches was sewing and taking new orders again, so I popped over to her website and really loved what I saw.....so I reached out to her and explained that I was looking to get the girls something coordinating, but not exactly matching.

Robin responded right away and said she would LOVE to make the girls something. I kind of had some specific colors and ideas in my head and Robin suggested that I go and search for a few fabrics. She sent me a link and suggested a specific fabric designer to help narrow the selection....... it is good thing she did because it is OVERWHELMING to look at 100's of tiny squares of colors and patterns and try to choose.

I think I hit the second or third page of fabric swatches and I knew I had found what I was looking for and started emailing the fabrics to Robin.
5 prints Blogs
She ordered these five beautiful fabrics.....

Caiti WINNER blog
and after a long night of deliberating back and forth via email{Robin, you are a saint to have put up with all of my requests and fabric combos}, we selected these three fabrics to be used in the dress combinations!

Sarah's Dress Collage
I chose Robin's new version of the pillowcase dress for Sarah in the damask print with the floral band across the bottom.

Reagan's Dress Collage
For Reagan, I chose what Robin calls her "Caiti" Dress......with an adorable pair of bloomers to go underneath!

Beach Dresses 2011 BLOG
The end result..... two beautifully made, coordinating dresses!
I practically screamed out loud the other morning when I opened my email and saw the photo Robin sent me of the two gorgeous dresses side by side. I was completely blown away by her creations and her talent. I am totally thrilled with the way they turned out and cannot wait to see Sarah and Reagan wearing them as they run around the beaches of Cape Cod.

If you are looking for something beautiful, unique, and extremely well made, then Robin is definitely your girl!!

If you like{or love}these dresses and want to place an order, you can email Robin at redthreadstitches@hotmail.com. You can also visit her website by clicking HERE to view more of her creations.

Robin is also a China Adoptive Mom and has spent the past few years of her life sewing to raise money to bring her children home from China. Trust me when I say that she is a remarkable woman with a heart made of gold.

Pretzel Cones

June 23, 2011

Have you ever had a pretzel cone?

They are all the rage around here{ok, maybe just with my family}and a lot of the local ice cream shops sell them.

There is something about the sweet ice cream with the salty pretzel cone that just takes your standard ice cream treat to the next level!

I have been eating pretzels with ice cream for years..... ever since I was a little kid.

My Dad came from a long line of ice cream addicts.
I can't ever remember a time that we went to my grandparents house when they did not have at least two cartons of ice cream in the freezer...... it was always Hershey's brand and always Vanilla and Chocolate. After dinner each night, my grandparents ate ice cream and my Nana would grab a bag of pretzles and dip them into her ice cream. I remember as a really young child thinking it was kind of strange......but she told me to try it, so I did......and I was INSTANTLY HOOKED!

A few years ago when they started making cones out of pretzels, I was in HEAVEN.
Whenever we take the kids out for ice cream, no matter what flavor I choose,(my favorite is rainbow sherbert)it is always in a pretzel cone........ so recently, Sarah decided to try it and now she is hooked too!

Last Saturday I took the girls to the Rose Gardens to do another commercial photo shoot for Izzy and Ivy Designs{photos will be coming soon along with an Izzy and Ivy Giveaway that you WILL NOT want to miss} and it was BLAZING HOT....so I promised pretzel cones filled with their favorite ice cream as soon as we were done!

Sarah Eaating Ice Cream Collage
Sarah's flavor of choice these days is Mint Chocolate Chip.
The ice cream was melting faster than Sarah could eat it.....and I have learned this the hard way, so I always ask them to flip the cone upsidedown and put it in a cup. This is a big help....and not nearly as messy...... although Sarah did manage to get some on her nose:)
Reagan Eating Ice Cream Collage
This was Reagan's first taste of a pretzel cone......and did she ever LOVE IT!
I bought hers thinking we would "share" it.....OH NO, she was not having that at all.
I was trying to feed her and she kept turning her head away, so I thought she didn't like it......but then I could tell she was getting really irritated with me and I realized that she didn't want me to feed her, nor did she want to share the ice cream me.

She wanted the cup placed directly in front of her at the table and she wanted to spoon it into her mouth and eat it out of the cone all by herself.
She won the battle very quickly......
I knew I had an abundance of baby wipes in my big bag, so I just let her go at it and figured I would deal with the mess later.

Well, she was certainly messy, but the smile plastered on her face was worth it...... she ate every last bite of that cone. She is unbelieavable..... I have never seen a child eat with so much "gusto". She truly enjoys her food!

So, do you all have pretzel cones where you live? or is this just an East Coast/Pennsylvania thing?
You have to try it if you can get them....... I promise, you will not be disappointed!

Black and White Wednesday - "Scenes From a Fun Filled Father's Day"

June 22, 2011

Putting On Mommy's Shoes COLOR BLOG
We had a lot of fun celebrating Father's Day with our family.
Since the weather was so perfect, we decided to spend the day outdoors and in lieu of an elaborate dinner, we kept things super simple by grilling out!

While we were waiting for my parents and my nephews to arrive, Reagan decided she needed to accessorize her pool look with my flip flops...... my shoes are her latest obsession. She LOVES to wear them and she is actually able to walk in them....very well I might add.

mommy's flip flop collage
I love how her toes are clenched in order to keep them on her itty bitty baby feet.........and how about those legs? OH MY....I adore her baby chub.

Reagan and Coachie Collage
If the flip flops were not enough, she needed to add her sister's princess helmet to complete her look. Seriously, Reagan would not take this helmet off....she was so sweaty yet she would not let us remove it from her head. She has been wearing it for the last three days. I am not kidding.... I walked in the door from work yesterday and she was running around the house with it on her head......LOL! If it is within her sight, she wants to wear it. I wish I would have had my camera...actually, I wished I would have had it on video. She gets so very proud when she gets it on her head and buckled under her chin.

My parents arrived and Coachie scored major bonus points by sporting the tshirt we brought him all the way from China. His shirt says "GRANDFATHER" in Mandarin. So very appropriate for Father's Day and I felt the need to get a picture of my Dad with Reagan:)

Colorful Bigwheel BLOG
After donning the flip flops and helmet, she decided to try to take the big wheel for a spin. There is something that we are quickly learning about Reagan...... when she gets her mind set on something, she does not give up until she does it......AND DO NOT TRY TO HELP THE GIRL OUT..... she will throw a fit.....

reagan has the hose COLLAGE
It did not take long for the fierce foursome to spring into action...... no doubt the screams could be heard for miles around as water flew in every direction.

Mmmmm This is Good BLOG
They eventually took a break from the pool and decided to dry off and get ready for dinner.

Monkey See Monkey Do BLOG
They shared some "appetizers" while they waited.....and the silliness continued!
Sarah is in all her glory when she is in the presence of her two cousins Ashton and Aidan.

Dinner seemed like a blur....and before long "The Kids" were back at it again.....but notice there are a few "Big Kids" in the next few sets of photos:)

Coachie Schools them all in Water Balloon Throwing COLLAGE
Coachie gave them a lesson in the art of water balloon filling....and throwing!

Water Everywhere Collage
Things got a little more than wild and everything and everyone WAS COMPLETELY SOAKED. Take a look at who was in control of the hose. He looks so innocent back there with that big smile on his face, but don't let that fool you. He was the instigator and had the four little ones screaming at the top of their lungs.....they LOVED it but as always, we had a few moments where someone was in tears. Can you guess who it was in this picture?

Save Us Daddy Collage
Eventually, we put an end to the hose and the water balloons.
The deck was getting super slippery and we were afraid that someone was going to get hurt.
Besides, the littlest one was starting to get tired.
Don't ya just love that picture of her with Pat and Sarah?
Such a tender moment between Daddy and his two girls.

The faces and expressions captured in these photos are priceless to me....and I hope that one day the kids will look back at these pictures and relive all the fun that was had on this Father's Day. With each year that passes, their Dad/Uncle and Grandfather get older, but they will always remain young at heart!

I Heart Faces - "Let's Hear It For The Boys"

June 20, 2011

Monkey See Monkey Do BLOG
Today we hosted a small Father's Day cookout for the men in our family.
The kids were getting a little antsy waiting for dinner, so we gave them a snack after they got out of the pool. As soon as they all sat at the table, the shenanigans began. My nephews Aidan and Ashton will do just about anything to get a rise out of Sarah!

This silly shot is just one of the many funny photos I took this afternoon, but I can only post one to enter...... so the rest will have to wait until Wednesday.

I had no idea what the theme was this week until about an hour ago. I had just downloaded my camera and was ready to head to bed when I saw the I Heart Faces feed come up on my facebook page. When I read it was "Let's Hear It For The Boys", I immediately thought of this candid shot. I figured if I am still awake at 2:30am, what is another 20 minutes to quickly put together a post and enter.

Needless to say..... I should have passed on the coffee after dinner tonight.

To see more fabulous photos or to enter yourself, stop by I Heart Faces by clicking HERE.

Slick Nick - "Sunday Snapshot"

June 19, 2011

On the last day of school, Nick and I always do something special. We usually go out for lunch and then spend the afternoon together. This year I had to be in Baltimore the last day of school, so I promised I would make up for it the next day.

Nick wanted to go to Lehigh Valley Grand Prix....it's an indoor race track where you can drive motorized cars, so we invited a few of his friends and off we went! He had been there once before, but I had not. WOW..... what a COOL place! I can see why the boys were so intrigued!
The Gear Collage
They had all the gear that a Race Car driver would need!

Tires Collage
And a killer track with lots of twists and turns....with lots of tires to support you if you get a little carried away going around the corner!

Gearing Up COLLAGE
Shortly after we arrived, the boys started to get all suited up!!
Helmuts were mandatory, but I could not convince them to wear the optional racing suits. I think they would have looked great in them, but they had no interest. After they were all geared up, they were given their slips that had their "racing names" and car numbers. My son is now known as "Slick Nick" and he was the proud owner(for the afternoon)of lucky #38. The excitemnet in the room was growing by the minute. They were itching to get behind the wheel..... you can see that Nick and his friend did a good luck "Head Bump" to kick things off. Boys..... they are funny!!!

Buckle Up and GO COLLAGE
Once we entered the pit, they got some brief instruction from the "pit crew" and they were ready to race!

Lucky 38 Collage
The second the light turned green, they were off....... It was pedal to the metal for all of them!!

The final Lap Collage
It's hard to tell from these photos, but they were REALLY FLYING super fast. The race went quickly and before we knew it, the "pit crew" was waving them in. It was all over in a matter of minutes........ so we let them do it, just one more time:)

It took me a couple laps before I could get the photos to come out without blur. This scenario is one that having a dslr came in handy. For those that are photography enthusiast, you will appreciate this.... my shutter was all the way up at 1/2000 of second and my ISO was at 5000 because of the poor lighting conditions inside. The setting resulted in some noise and grain in my photos, but at least I was able to capture the boys in all their glory:)

The boys had a terrific afternoon......and it was really fun for me to be there and watch Nick and his friends. Nick has changed and grown up so much this year. I really notice it now more than ever. He is busy going out with his friends and meeting up places....and he gives me the "just drop me off" speech. You know, it is not cool for him to be seen with his Mom.....but I still do get a big hug and the "I love you Mom, you are the best" on occasion.......and this day was one of them:) Regardless of being a teenager, my little boy is still in there deep down!

I hope everyone has a Happy Father's Day!

We are having a little cookout here at the house to celebrate. My parents are coming over and they are bringing my nephews.... the girls are very excited!

~Have a great Sunday~

Sunday Snapshot