Halloween 2016 | Family Themed Costumes!

October 26, 2016
You might not know this about me, but the whole reason I learned how to sew in the first place was so that I could make Halloween costumes for my children. I grew up with home-made Halloween costumes every year. I have very fond memories of going to the fabric store with my mom and looking through the Halloween Pattern book until I found the costume I wanted. I plan on carrying that tradition on to my children, but my kiddos are all just young enough to be manipulated agree to the costumes that Mom picks for them. ;)

So what did we pick this year???


Picking the characters each of us would dress as wasn't too much trouble except when it came to Alexa. I had originally planned on making her an R2D2 or BB8 costume, but as soon as I imagined her in those Princess Leia ear-muffs? The droid idea was out. And I don't regret the decision one bit.

But the best part about the costumes is that I made them out of things I had around the house or purchased from the thrift store! Let me give you the run-down, because this may be my best money-saving DIY project ever.

 Shirt and vest - adjusted thrift finds
pants - old
gun holster - strap and faux leather from Hobby Lobby
boot coverings - faux leather from Hobby Lobby

PRINCESS LEIA (from the Forest Moon of Endor)
Poncho cape - blanket from Walmart,
Belt - old
Pants - thrifted, 
Boots - old

Arm and body wraps - old curtain left
shirt and pants - adjusted thrift finds
belt - thrifted
staff - curtain rod + strap
light saber - 50 cent gun scope and photoshop ;)

PRINCESS LEIA (captured by Darth Vader)
Dress, cowl, and belt - old sheet
shapes on belt - foam paper form Hobby Lobby
"hair" - brown yarn and old headband

Bear costume - purchased for $8.00 from Kid-Kid
hood - adjusted brown t-shirt from thrift store

Having our own little photo shoot in the morning ended up being a really good idea because I discovered a few wardrobe malfunctions that I was able to fix before the party that night! Just things like body wraps falling off shoulders and arm wraps being itchy and staff straps not staying on... you know. The stuff 4-year-olds complain about. But by the time of the party, I got all the kinks worked out so that she ended up wearing her costume all night and didn't complain ONCE! Although I did notice that she preferred the "inja's" sword over her own curtain-rod staff (which we ended up using in place of the baseball bat that the pinata broke instead of the other way around. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

Also, Chelsea and that little ninja right there are the BEST of buds! I love watching them run around and pretend-fight-each other and be silly together and what-not. It's adorable.

We had such a great time at the party! There were games, treats, delicious taco soup + bread sticks, and good company! I even got to use all my photo booth props from the year before! I loved watching everyone get out their phones to take pictures. So happy we got to go and have a good time!

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!!!! and man-oh-MAN that Han Solo is a looker! ;)

What are your costume plans this year? Are you dressing up or leaving that to the kids? Leave a comment!!!


Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Chandler, Arizona and surrounding cities. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

Tips for your Bedtime Routine | Mommy Style Monday

October 24, 2016
One year, when I was in high school, my gift on my dad's birthday was to get completely ready for bed and go to sleep at a decent hour. My dad asked me why the heck I took so long getting ready for bed more than once, so I'm pretty sure that was the best gift I ever gave him! ;)

Now I have kids of my own and I understand my dad's frustration! Some days I'm just really, REALLY ready for bedtime, and if you're kiddos aren't, that can kinda... drive ya crazy. Haha!

We used to really struggle with Chelsea and tantrums at bedtime, but as time went on, Andrew and I discovered the things that Chelsea simply HAD to have before she went to bed, and the things she just really wanted. As soon as we figured those things out, bedtime got A LOT easier!

Here are some of the things we've done to eliminate bedtime tantrums (for the most part.)

The first thing we discovered that really changed the "bedtime game" was that Chelsea LOVED it when I made up stories to tell her at night time! Sometimes they were silly, other times, they were adventurous or even a little romantic (her favorites were the ones where she was the princess and she ended up with the prince, they grew up and she had lots of babies. haha!) It was fun for her to become one of the characters in the story, and it was fun for me to get creative with a new story. every. single. night.

We used story telling as motivation to get her to do the necessities (get in your jammies, brush your hair, brush your teeth). We'd explain to her that we only had X amount of minutes before bedtime so if she took too long doing the other things, there wouldn't be enough time for the story. Natural consequences, right?

As she grew, Chelsea became more and more interested in books, too, and also liked to sing a song, talk with us, and play, but of course we don't have time for all of that, so we give her a choice now. She can choose a story, a book (or two depending on the length of the book), for one of us to lie down with her, a song, or to stay up a little later to play.

The most recent struggle with our girls is Chelsea getting out of bed and turning on the light so that she and Alexa can play. She used to just use the night from her nightlight to play with her toys (I secretly loved finding her toys and books surrounding the little light on the wall!) but she was waking up grouchy in the morning because she didn't get enough, so, we took it away. No more night light. But then she just started turning on the regular light. So guess what? Now I take the ceiling light out! That one works basically every time because you can't really play without a light, can you?

Sometimes when my kids seem especially riled up, I'll do stretches with them. Just something simple for them to follow and slow their heart-rates a little. It gets them to hold still for two seconds at least! 

Prayer is a necessity before bed! Not only does it give me a chance to hear about the kid's days, but it gives me an insight into what is really important to them (when they stop acting silly for long enough to say a really sincere prayer.) It's also a good transition from being a little crazy to lying down and going to bed. I love listening to their little voices talking to their Heavenly Father.

What has worked for you and your little one(s)? I'd love to hear your tips and ideas! Also, I didn't say much about Alexa and Barrett's routines because Alexa just follow Chelsea's suit and Barrett just eats and sleeps. I used to have to rock Chelsea to sleep, and sing to Alexa until she was out cold. Interestingly enough, those things still work for them. I guess they do carry some of their babyhood with them.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit these lovely mamas and read up on their Mommy styles! If you're interested in participating in the next Mommy Style Collaborative Post, click here or visit Kiana's and Madeline's blogs!

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand
Juli at Journey of J^3
Beverly at What a Day
Erica at Good Job Momma
Monica at It's All About

And hey! Are you considering bunking in your kids together? I have a post for that!

shared rooms
click here.  

Tips for Transitioning from 2-3

October 21, 2016
K C   F I L M  +  P H O T O

Obviously, adding somebody new to a family is a huge change, but there's something about adding that third baby that brings that look into a parent's eyes. You know that fearful, haunted look I'm talking about.

Being a former pregnant-with-my-third-child-scared-look-in-my-eyes-lady, I can relate to you, and I can tell you from experience that you can survive it! And you can love it, too!

Here are a few things you can expect to change/increase/decrease/etc. when you add that third baby.


A lot of these things (if not all), you could have guessed because they've been on your mind ever since the thought of a third child even crossed your mind, so let me tell you the things I've done that have helped me survive acclimate to the new changes that come with that third baby.

Obviously your top priority is to survive the day with healthy children and your sanity still somewhat in-tact. Here are a few ideas that may help.

There are some needs that are purely physical and some that are mostly emotional. Your baby's needs are mostly physical. Most of the time, these needs can wait while you meet the emotional needs of the other two.

Food is definitely a priority and there are two things I've done that have really helped make that priority convenient. Freezer meals and Slow Cookers. Also, planning out your meals for the entire week will help A LOT!

This has probably been the hardest part for me because I am a very productive person and tend to measure my success by what I've accomplished that day. So, I had to re-think my definition of productivity. So, instead of filling my to-do list with tasks that need to be performed, I fill it with deeds that need to be done. "Play with Alexa," "Paint with Chelsea," and "Snuggle with Barrett" have frequented my list.

If you can wait until the evening or get your significant other to go for you, do it, but sometimes, you just HAVE to leave your house during the day. My suggestion is to strap 'em on and strap 'em down! That translates to, "Baby wearing and cart/stroller restraints."

That one-on-one time is so important for you and your children (and husband)! If you have to find a babysitter to get some, do it. So many good memories are made with your children individually.

Make sure you make some time for yourself, too! Let Dad be Dad and allow him opportunities to take care of all the kids himself from time-to-time!
The sun will rise, the sun will set, and you'll take every day one at a time, just like you always have. Don't stress too much about it. You're going to figure it out.

Really encourage your children to play together. That way, you *might* get some quiet time that you need and it will build family relationships, even if that bonding happened over ripped sheets on the bed-slide they decided to make. #faceslap

Involve the older two in taking care of the babe! It's time they helped pull their weight around the house, and they'll probably like the feeling of responsibility and trust you're placing in them (sometimes.)

Movies are a GREAT tool. Getting home from outings is one of the most stressful times of day for me. If I can just get the kiddos inside and turn on a movie, it gives me just the break I need to get settled back into the house-groove.

Sleep? What is this thing you call, "sleep." Ha ha. I can't really give tried-and-true advice about this one, because I'm not great at it, but I do know this: It's important and I do a lot better if I've had some.

9 times out of 10, Barrett's crying when I lose my cool. The thing that works best for me is taking him out of the situation by putting him in his room for just a minute, and helping the other two.

Even though Chelsea doesn't take naps anymore, I've maintained that time during the day as "quiet time" where I can have some time to myself. It's good for my sanity and emotional well-being. She plays with toys in a separate room, watches a movie, paints, or anything else that is non-destructive and on the quieter side. Getting her to do this is easiest when I get her started, but that's a post for another day!

Of course I couldn't let this post go without saying something about how much love grows in your family when that third baby arrives. I truly believe that there is something special about that third child. They bring a special kind of peace and joy into your home and I think that everyone can feel it.

Hopefully these tips helped one of you out there. If not, hopefully this will:


"Pumpkin Patch"

October 19, 2016
Every now and then, I like to make a post almost entirely devoted to photos. In the words of Edna Mode from the movie "The Incredibles..."

"Yes, words are useless! Gobble, gobble, gobble...too much of it, darling, too much! That is why I show you my work, that is why you are HERE!"

So here you go! Photos from my latest excursion with the kiddos to the pumpkin patch, which was more like a produce stand with A LOT of pumpkins!

This slightly worried smile is what Chelsea calls her Princess smile.

Super fun and the man at the stand very kindly agreed to take a photo of all of us together! What a nice guy!

Really looking forward to Halloween soon! I've just about finished all of our costumes and you're going to love them!

Until next time!

Tutorial | Slouchy Beanie DIY

October 14, 2016
The following statement is 100% true: Slouchy beanies are the reason I wanted a baby boy. ;) That's not to say that girls can't wear slouchy beanies, but there's just something so juicy about a baby boy in a slouchy beanie, amiright?

As soon as fall time rolled around, I was more than ready to buy him one online, but then I do what I normally do and decided to make it myself, and you know what? It was SEW easy! And now I'm going to share how I did it with you so you can make the world a better place for anyone who sees your adorable babe wearing one of these!

*if you're not a sewer, stick around, because you're not going to want to miss the announcement at the end!

Basically, I used a fitted beanie that I already had and lengthened it a couple of inches. Just have confidence and be grateful this isn't a HUGE investment in fabric money!

For this tutorial, you will need...
Fabric (about 1/3 yard)*
Coordinating thread
Pattern beanie

*The key to making these slouchy beanies is the type of fabric you use. Find a nice, thick, soft, stretchy knit. I'm pretty sure I used a cotton spandex knit.

 Step 1 - cut

Use your pattern beanie (the one you already have) and lay it out on your fabric. Cut around the bottom and sides of the beanie with a half inch buffer (this is called seam allowance). If you're using a regular sized beanie, extend a couple of inches (about three or 4). Shape the top of the piece you're cutting out like in the picture above. Find the center of the beanie piece and cut a 2-inch heart-point, like in the picture above. Cut out four of these pieces.

Step 2 - sew
Pin two beanie pieces together around the sides up to the peaks at the top with right-sides-together. Use a straight stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance to stitch the sides*. Next, bring the side seams at the top (peaks) together to pull the opening closed. Pin in place, and sew the opening closed with a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with the other two beanie pieces.

*to promote good stretch in your beanie, lower the tension of your thread in your machine.

Step 3 - attatch
Turn one beanie piece-duo right-side-out, and slide it inside the piece-duo that is right-side-in, aligning the side seams. Now the two-piece-duos are right-sides-together! Pin around the opening of the beanie and sew with a half inch seam allowance, but leave a 1 or 2 inch opening! So you can turn the beanie right-side-out! Anyone getting dash-sick? AH! I did it - again... ;)

Step 4 - sew opening closed
Reach into that tiny opening  you made and pull all the fabric out so that the whole beanie is right-side-out. Tuck the interior of the beanie inside the exterior, pin the opening closed and sew.


A N N O U N C E M E N T !

One of my lucky Instagram and Facebook followers will receive not one, but TWO of these 6-9 month size beanies for... FREE!!! That's right friends! One for you and one for a friend! So hop on over to my Instagram and/or Facebook to see how to enter!


Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Chandler, Arizona and surrounding cities. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

Tutorial | Boots to Booties DIY

October 11, 2016

A couple of years ago, I purchased these boots off of Amazon and have loved them since day one. They're not the kind of boots you expect to last much longer than a couple of years, so when the zipper broke, I can't say I was too surprised, but I was a little bummed. Those boots were good to me.

I was literally on my way out to the garbage can to throw the old things away when it just hit me. Why throw them away when there is still so much potential?!

So before you throw out your old boots, give this a try first! It was so easy and all you need is some scissors, felt, and a hot glue gun!

You will need -
Scissors (I also suggest an X-acto knife)
Complimenting color of Felt*
Hot Glue Gun

*you could easily substitute a fun complimentary fabric or even pom poms instead of felt!

Difficulty level - very easy

Step 1 - cut
Decide what type of booties you want. My boots had a natural seam line that I decided would work perfectly for a peep-side type of bootie, so I just followed the seam line. An X-acto knife turned out to be my best option for my boots, but I know that I could have done the job exclusively with scissors.

Step 2 - felt
Cut pieces of felt that are about a half inch wide and heat up your glue gun. Line up the pieces of felt to measure the length of the section around the inside of the boot you're doing, then run the glue gun about a quarter inch away from the edge in the inside of the boot and stick on the felt. Do this around the entire interior edge of the bootie.

Step 3 - glue
The felt is glued in place, but now apply a second line of glue to fully close the opening you made in the boot with your scissors.

Then I just glued the belt buckle back on and voila!



Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Chandler, Arizona and surrounding cities. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.
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