{App} Cupcakes and Katelyn

Over the weekend, well the last several weekends, my niece and I have been working on some cupcakes that she wanted to bring to her friends at school on Halloween.  She's in middle school so she assured me that it was ok to bring sweets to school {I know, gullible Aunty!}  Anyway, she had an idea to make "app" cupcakes, cupcakes with "app" boxes on the top made out of fondant {like something you might find on an iPhone 4s}.  

Although it took several days, I am so proud of her and how she carried her vision through to completion!  She truly is my god daughter {ok, so the artistic side might, just maybe, come from her Dad...shhh but I'm claiming her all for my own!} 

Oh, and just as a side note, I've hit over 650 downloads on my Media Fire account and have created another custom order birthday banner! Woo-hoo!  I'm login' it.  I've always been interested in graphic design and am thinking about taking an Adobe Illustrator class.  I'll keep you posted on my future endeavors!

Until next time, 

{photo} editing & Christmas Cards

This past weekend my hubby & I had such a great time at our friend Martha & Joemax's baby shower!  Blessed with a sweet, handsome & charming little boy, they're due with a little girl!  I'm over the moon excited for Martha!  Nothing is sweeter than a little baby girl!  

We had such a great time catching up with friends and dancing the night away!  Thanks guys for such a great time!  While at the party one of my girlfriends asked me if I could edit a photo for her, one she got on a photo shoot with a "professional."  I was immediately up for the challenge and since I had never really gotten to look at a professional's SOOC shots, I was excited to get to seen what shots a "professional" would get. 

Ok.  So, I got the photos.   Thank goodness this family is the most {adorable} family E-V-E-R and I don't think you could make them look bad if we put them in matching hotdog-on-a-stick uniforms!  Let's just say, the pictures I got made me feel like I'm done taking classes and my photography skills are way above par if this is what I have to compare them to.   Anyway, I wanted to share with you the before and after and what I did with the photo to get there.  

So...this is the {BEFORE}

The first thing I did was open the original file in LightRoom3.  Then I cropped in just a bit to take out some of the blacktop in front of their toes.  Next I took the head of the little girl and swapped it with another picture.  (The Mommy though her eyes were just a tad bit more open)  Then I ran a LightRoom preset from Willette called Kelly's Preset D3 {love, love her presets by the way}.  Next I whitened their teeth, smoothed skin tone, brightened their eyes...all in Lightroom3.  I'm so hooked on my new program.  If you don't have it, you can download it for a {free} 30 day trial here.  {Kelly's presets are a freebie too ~ joy!}  

Here's the final photo:  

Here's a sample of the Christmas Card I thought they would love:

Am I the only one who hasn't even begun to think of Christmas/Holiday Cards yet?  How about you?

September {2011} a month in photos

Rebecca over at Simple As That is having her A Month in Photos Party so today I'm posting my September Month in Photos.  

 1, 2 and 3) First day of School  4) San Diego Zoo 5) Coronado Island

Hope you have a great week!

{free} Halloween Photo Card

Getting down the Halloween decorations, talking with the kiddos about what Halloween costume they would like to don this year and rainy, windy, cold weather has really sparked the nostalgic mood in me!   I though I'd make you a little treat, from me to you, of course for {free}!  I hope you like the design.  Download the png file here.  Open it in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (you may be able to use other programs, I'm just not familiar with those).  Add a "layer" under the single layer you have after opening the file.  This is the layer you'll drag your photo onto.  Then just size your photo to fit and save as a jpg.  This is a 5x7 card.  

I really hope you enjoy!  Oh, and if you like it, could you pretty please leave me a little note and maybe forward this post on to some of your friends?  

Happy Halloween to you from Me! 

Linked up here:

Creative Kristi DesignsA Crafty SoireeThirty Hand Made Days

her first {TOMS}

Emme just got her first pair of TOMS and she is so thrilled. She's so excited that when she gets a pair, TOMS donates a pair to a child that has no shoes!  I just had to post a picture to show you the excitement on her face!  So cute, so adorable.  Melts my heart!

Also, her's a great source for {free} templates here.   Right now she has some adorable editable templates with frames and embellishments that I just wanted to share with you.  

Check out Pretty Presets her Lightroom & Photoshop presets too.  One of my favorites is {Fall in Love}!  

Here's one I used to send a little thank you to a friend on FB. 

Happy Tuesday!  

{fall} my favorite time of year!

Okay, so, first off, I have to say I didn't mean to leave my little blog for so long and all of you out there who are kind enough to come and visit me!  My life got a little hectic and our family is gearing up for a little move, so I'm really trying to get things organized!  We're going to be leasing out our home, which to me is like another one of my little kiddos!  We purchased it when it was still a little dirt field and plans on a paper and have watched it become a wooden "skeleton" to our very own home!  This was the first house I brought Emme home to and the only one she has ever lived in, so to leave this home is very emotional to me.  I know we're not getting rid of it, only leasing it out for a season of our lives, but it is still hard for me to be leaving it for any time at all!

Well, enough of that!  I'm back and wanted to share with you some little signage I made just for you!  Since the Fall brings the beginning of my favorite time of year, I thought I would make you one sign for Fall and one for Halloween!  I hope you enjoy!  They're 8x10 pfd files so if you send them to your local printshop (Staples, OfficeMax, etc) you can get great color copy prints for just pennies!  

Download it {free} here or just click on the image. 

and another {free} signage here for Halloween

I really hope you enjoy the new printables...oh, and if you do....please spread the word for me, ok?

Happy Fall!

linking up here:
Somewhat Simple

{sniff}{sniff}....why me? why now?

The other day was the first day of school, as you all know.  And what do I do {every} year on the first day of school?  Why take a picture of the kiddos, of course!  {every} year, {same} place!  Only this year, as I was changing lenses, I chose to set my new 50mm portrait lens on my hubby's truck.  It was convenient and besides what could possibly happen?  Right?  Well let me tell you....

Hubby comes out, of course, to make my photo session with the kiddos a little bit crazier!  Always razzing the kids!  That man ~ man-o-man ~ he is always joking and kiddin' around!  But today he happens to notice his truck's window is down.  He {never} leaves his window down!  And in the blink of an eye, overnight, he had gotten his iPhone stolen out of his truck!  I felt so terrible for him!  He was so distraught over loosing it!  Poor guy!  He was so distraught over it that when I asked him to hand me my lens, he picked it up, reached over behind him to hand it off....only he didn't quite hand it off....it kinda' just touched the tips of my fingers and.......SMASH!  all over the ground in tiny little pieces was my new lens {sniff}{sniff}..I'm so sad =(

Any why me?  why now?  I was so excited to take this online photo session over at Willette Designs.  It's her new {joy} series, family {joy}!

willette family joy

So keep your fingers crossed for me, ok, pretty please, that I get my lens back from the Canon Repair Center before family {joy}!

Me from { a-z }

I've been visiting a few blogs recently and one I've come across is One Happy Mama by Kristina. Great read by the way!  She had this little game on her blog and I thought it would be fun to play along so you can get to know a little something about Me!  So here goes:

Me from {a-z} 
{a} age :: 43.
{b} bed size :: Queen {i love snuggling}

{c} chore you hate :: doing the laundry {hence my hubby does it!}
{d} dogs :: My Max {in heaven}
{e} essential start to your day :: coffee {preferably Starbucks…..i know….i know} 

{f} favorite color :: pink!
{g} gold or silver :: uh, silver all the way!
{h} height :: 5’1
{i} instruments you play :: OMG, I am so not musically inclined!
{j} job title :: Official 9-5 job, Official Superior Court Court Reporter; job title in my mind, Party Maker extraordinaire, yummy cake/cupcaker baker and Super Duper Fun Mommy!

{k} kids :: Randall {23} Connor {12} & Emme {9}
{l} live :: Sunny Southern California
{m} maiden name :: Gianformaggio {john-4-ma-joe} I know, right?  Who would ever change a name like that?? **sigh**

{n} nicknames :: None.
{o} overnight hospital stays :: Only overnight stays have been when I’ve had my babies.
{p} pet peeve ::  When someone says, “I’m sorry.”  Please show me, don’t tell me!

{q} quote :: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”
{r} righty or lefty :: Righty!
{s} siblings :: Two brothers: Antonio & Nicholas; and One Sissy: Karen
{t} time you wake up :: Around 5:00 am.
{u} university attended :: Cypress College

{v} vegetables you dislike :: brussel sprout {yuck ~ green little brains}
{w} what makes you run late :: As much as I hate to admit it, getting the kiddos out the door {one down in this category though…he’s out of college and onto his career so I think he’s pretty much on his own in this department =) }
{x} x-rays you’ve had ::  back/neck area
{y} yummy food :: Mexican food.  Yum-O!  & CUPCAKES!!

{z} zoo animal favorite ::  funny this is on here since we just went to the zoo last weekend and I can’t think of which would be my favorite!!  Probably the Orangutan…they we so hilarious!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little about me.  Now it's your turn.  Leave me a little comment letting me know something about you =)

(to find the comment box, click on the title of this post and you'll find it down at the bottom)

Linking up here:

Zebra & Pink {birthday} party and {free} printables

OMG!  Ok, I was trying to link up to a linky and somehow I completely erased my whole post!  Arrrgh, very frustrating, but hopefully I'll be able to recreate it.

It's September!  Yay!

September brings my Goddaughter's birthday and I am so excited to show you her beautiful birthday candy bar I created for her b-i-g 13 birthday party!  If you like it, you can download the party printables here!  And, as always, if you'd like something custom to go with the printables, like invites, banner, or other party accessories, just send me a little email here!

We are so alike, her and I; both love computer design, being creative, party planning and executing!  She's truly my little soulmate!  Last year we spent five months in cake decorating classes over the summer and beyond.  That by far was one of the funnest summers I've had in a long time.  Thanks Katelyn!

Isn't she so adorable!  Yah, I know, I'm kinda' partial, but such a sweetie pie!  That's my sister, her Mom, standing next to her.  And yah, I'm kinda' partial to her too!  

Until next time,

linking up here:
A Crafty SoireeSomewhat Simple

school is here, enjoy these {free} lunchbox notes from silverbox

Well, it's inevitable, school is starting and it's starting soon (if you haven't already started).  I get so nostalgic around this time of year!  I worry my kids, now entering the 6th and 4th grades, will get lost in the shuffle, one of so many kiddos leaving their nests to feed their little noggins.  
So, I had a little idea: that I would try to make their days a little less frightening and let them know wherever Mommy is, I'm thinking about them.  I found the perfect solution: {free} printable lunchbox notes from Silverbox Creative Studio.  I stumbled upon these little cuties while browsing the net in search of inspiration for my idea.  Please pop on over and tell them I sent you!  They have even offered to create a custom set with personalized notes and images!  Just drop them a note!

Now go & spend as much time with those kiddos before school starts!  I sure know  am!

{wordless} wednesday

Linked up here:

{sun flare} Photos

A couple weekends ago my friend Trina (her blog is They All Call Me Mom) and I took a photo workshop from Jennifer McKinney (Her website is here) down in San Diego.  I tried my best to catch a perfect sun flare, but wanted to show you some of my results.  I'm just getting the hang of my new nifty Canon 60d, so no critiquing allowed...hee hee.  

{miette} my weekend

This weekend I wanted to spend some time baking with the kids and I just wanted to share with you a fantastic little pastry shop I {love} in San Francisco, Miette.  The owner is fantastic, Meg Ray.  She's so amazing in her attention to detail.  Finally, she's come out with an adorable book with lots of  yummy recipes that I thought I'd share with you:

and now a word from Meg...

Hope you enjoy your weekend, I know we are!

{letters} to my littles

With school starting so soon, and with a little prompt from mailbox moments, I have a whole head filled with memories of my little ones and how fast they are growing up.  

My oldest has already graduated from college and because of the {definitely not planned} space between the first and second kids, I still have the other two under my wing!  
It seems like just yesterday that my oldest was in kindergarten, then my second and then Emme, they baby girl gone from my side.  Every year around this time I have a very unsettling feeling, one of loss, of missing something in my life and our home.  And although I am not always home, and daddy is, the thought that you are not safe by one of our side's saddens me.  

This year our middle son goes into middle school, growing up and moving forward.  But all I want to tell him, all I want him to hear is how much I want him just to stay home, stay by our side.  But I know to tell him this is unacceptable. So to him I would say, go my son, go and thrive, go and hang with your friends, go and feed your hungry little brain, but when your day is done know that we will be here, waiting, craving for you to return to our side. 

And to our baby girl, Emme, there is no words that I could tell her that would impart to her my emotions that well up in me at this time of year.  Thank God she has this unfathonable connection with me where sometimes I think she just knows how I feel, knows just the right words I want to tell her.  She's such an old soul and for that I am grateful!  

Just moments ago when I sat at my computer to write this blog post, I fully intended to write a letter to my two youngest, give them my words of wisdom, share with them that they will be all right at school and that I will be home for them when their day is done.  But emotions just well up in me and I am glad I got them off my chest, because now I can sit and write them a letter, one I will put on the breakfast table the first day of school, one that might even bring a smile to their cute little faces!