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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Busy B Boutique, Carnival Party, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, DD Lish, DecoArt, DIY, Economical Activities, Family, Featured, Friends, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Homemade, Memories, painting, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Party, Photography, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Our daughter recently turned the big FIVE years old. Since we haven’t really given her a big party (most birthdays have been celebrated with family), we decided to throw her a big carnival bash to celebrate her wonderful self. A carnival seemed fun, easy, and affordable. In reality, it was! My husband & I made most of the games with what we had around the house as well as some inexpensive shenanigans I found at craft stores and local shops. DecoArt sponsored some of the artwork which I used to create one of the games as well as the face paint pens (um, hello?! These were right up my alley!). It helped to have a handy hubby who cut wood & nailed things together for me ;). More on this coming soon…

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In my quest to support handmade shops, I decided to incorporate different things into the party from both local and distant artisans. This is my new mission on this blog: To support handmade artisans.

Enter beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.

First, I found a phenomenal local photographer who was not only willing to come capture the party in all it’s glory, but she did so in such a swift and lovely fashion that we will likely have her photograph our family for years to come. Pamela Rayburn Photography is owned and operated by Pamela Rayburn herself. She is so kind and such fun to work with! But more on her later *hint, hint*. Just look at these gorgeous captures! (Locals, you should do yourselves a favor & look into booking her for your holiday photos!)

There were so many people involved in pulling this off properly (which happened just by the skin of our teeth!). My husband, as supportive as he is, allows me to get a little lot carried away. The kids were cooperative and had a ball dressing for the part on the day of the party and even lended a hand with decorations and games. My sister, Deidre of DD Lish yumminess, baked one heck of a cake that tasted even better than it looked, if that’s possible. My mom “voluntarily” was coaxed into cooking fresh, homemade tacos for everyone to enjoy (we did our best to serve healthy foods). My dad & best friend were roped into coloring in the signage I created that morning. My brother-in-law donated some grass seed bags from his company Crosman Seed Corp.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Then there were the shop owners, artisans who donated their craft to put the icing on the cake!

Did you get a peek at the perfect dress & headband our little t was wearing? That was designed by me, and created in collaboration with Precious Peanut Shop. Julie was incredible to work with. But again, more on that later.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In case you haven’t picked up on my *hints*, these beautiful shops and artisans will be featured throughout the next several months as part of our Fall Frenzy: Festive Fall Features. Stay tuned!

Then there’s the bowtie on our son & hairbow on our youngest daughter. Would you get a load of this?! Tiny Chaos made this set of bows to add to the festivities. She is amazing.

Bow by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bow by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We whipped up a photo booth with help from Busy B Boutique‘s Bethany Crocker and Nancy Topolski from Second Seed in Stitches. Bethany made some really fun photo props while Nancy crafted the “happy birthday” banner. Fantastic work-woman-ship from both ladies!! I can say it’s been so fun working with Bethany as we’re good friends as well as craft lovers. She even painted a few faces at the party. Talented Mama :)!

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

I think those that attended would all agree that C&C Bouncers stole the show with their hoppity-hooping bounce house! Shari & Ted, owners of C&C, are working on opening a great place for fun in the Finger Lakes area so locals, get ready!

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

It was just SO MUCH FUN and rose beyond expectations of our little ones. They had smiles all day long, as did their friends and family. It is always so wonderful and almost dream-like to have so many loved ones all in one place celebrating alongside us! I think we’re locked into throwing a party like this for each of our children’s fifth birthdays, and we’re totally fine with that. We’ll have to do a little more ourselves next time, but live and learn, right?!

I’m looking forward to showcasing these wonderful shops and artisans, as I’m sure you will, too. Just wait to see what’s in store for you!!

From deep inside our hearts, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this awesome celebration. We all appreciate it so!!

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Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Featured, Life, Memories, Motivational Posts, Philosophy, Summer, Thought of The Day, Weather | 0 comments

Enjoy The Now

Enjoy The Now

Did you ever look at a sweater in the middle of summer and wonder how winter seems so distant, so far away?

Or when you imagine flip flops and tank tops in the dead of winter, and you just cannot feel the warmth of the sun, regardless as to how hard you try?

Soak up the sun; feel the rays strike your skin and fulfill you.

This is simply a friendly reminder that summer is now. Enjoy the now.

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Children, Family, Favorite Things, Featured, Life, Memories, Moderation, Motherhood, Parenting, Random Thought Of The Day, Stay At Home Mom | 0 comments

Tonight

Tonight

These nights when nothing really happened, but everything did.

I will remember sitting here, clipping these tiny fingernails as the cacophony of young children’s banter and coos rang through the room like a lovely choir, sometimes.

I will remember our one year-old trying to place various beads from Mardi Gras’ past around her neck as her big sister does, only lacking the skill her big sister possesses.

I will remember snuggling into our son as he reenacts a car crash scene with his little race cars, hearing Jeff Buckley singing “Hallelujah” in the background.

I will remember begging and pleading with our four-and-a-half year-old to pick up her toys – her peg dolls and dress-up shoes, doctor kit and the journal that she sketches in from time to time. And the smile she gives as she attempts to barter, clever to strike a bargain.

I will remember watching those first steps that night. The first steps of our darling daughter, just short of fourteen months old. Oh how they disappear into big girl steps so quickly.

I will remember our oldest asking me to please undo the braid from her hair, the same hair that took four-and-a-half years to grow long enough to braid.

I will remember the kiss and embrace before bed, tonight, every night.

I will remember it all. I have to. I must.

For it will be only a memory.

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Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Children's Songs, Family, Favorite Things, Featured, infant, Motherhood, newborn, Parenting, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

I Love When

I Love When

I love when she falls asleep sucking her thumb then it slips out of her pursed little mouth.

I love when she makes cute little squeaky noises.

I love when she smiles so big and so real at her siblings. And at us.

I love when she has to burp but refuses to break her latch as she nurses, squirming and wriggling her chubby little body against mine.

I love when she reaches to grasp a toy, so determined, so new.

I love when she snuggles. With anyone who wants to snuggle back.

I love when she bats her barely-there lashes at her Daddy, flirting & wrapping him around her barely-there finger.

I love when she smiles in her sleep. When it’s not gas-related.

I love when she coos. And when she tries so hard to communicate with us.

I love when she shivers when we take her out of a bath.

I love when she stares at her hands and feet for what seems like hours at a time.

I love when she wakes hungry, yet only makes a few tiny sounds to let us know she’s ready.

I love when she figures it out.

I love when she tries to sing with me. ABC’s. The Hadley Song. Sing A Song Of Sixpence. Pat-A-Cake.

I love when she waits patiently to be dressed, always with a smile.

I love when she nuzzles her face into mine.

I love when she breathes.

Fifteen weeks old. Almost four months. I love this baby girl.

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