• Project 365 Week 30- Summer Heat

    Day 180- June 29, 2013 Our precious Ryker in his crib Day 181- June 30, 2013 Love his squishy nose Day 182- July 1, 2013 Summertime and the toddler living in easy Day 183- July 2, 2013 Today we met some friends at the Maryland Zoo. I blogged all about our adventures with the animals… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365 Week 30- Summer Heat
  • Behind the Moment: Self Portraits with Drea

    As part of Catch the Moment 365 we are featuring participants of the project monthly. Drea of The Maiden Metallurgist has been particpating in the project since it started at the beginning of the year. I’m so happy to share Drea’s photography journey with you today.  Not only does Drea have a passion for photography,… [Continue Reading]

    Behind the Moment: Self Portraits with Drea
  • Project 365: Week 5

    Wow, one month of my very first Project 365 complete and I am loving it. I love that I am forced to pick up my camera everyday, even when I don’t feel very inspired. Winter is a challenging time to feel creative since nothing is growing outside and it’s just darn right cold. It also… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365:  Week 5
  • Project 365 Week 42 & 43: Catch Up

    The past two weeks I have been incredibly busy between work and writing for Everyday Family.  Plus we were away two weekends ago, so last week I was playing catch up around the house at night. Really though I never completly feel caught up on housework these days. The nice thing about doing Project 365… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365 Week 42 & 43: Catch Up
  • Project 365- Week 51

    Wow, it’s the last full week of the year and I’m proud to say my project is coming to an end. I have had such a blast stretching my photography skills. So much so that I will be participating in a second year of P365, as well as joining forces with my friend and co-host… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365- Week 51
  • Project 365 Week 32: Life Lately

    Life lately has been full of common moments that I am just soaking in. As my blogging friend Candice wrote in a post this week, life is full of little moments, which are actually the big moments. The everyday moments that are special if you step back and enjoy them. After all these boys of… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365 Week 32: Life Lately
  • Catch the Moment: Week 25

    I feel like a broken record here but this week was INSANELY busy and flew by. It was the last week of school for me and I had a million and one deadlines to meet.  Then in the weekend we enjoyed baseball and Adrian had his ceremony for his promotion to Major.  We are so… [Continue Reading]

    Catch the Moment: Week 25
  • Project 365 Week 35:

    Day 222- August 10, 2013 Noah and mommy enjoying Virginia Beach Day 223- August 11, 2013 Lunchtime with this cutie, who all of a sudden started eating trees (broccoli) Day 224- August 12, 2013 I rarely put Ryker down for a nap in his crib, but when I do it’s a sweet sight. Day 225-… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365 Week 35:
  • 5 Tips for a Successful Project 365

    According to the statistic brain it is estimated that 45% of American’s make resolutions, yet only 8% reach their goals. Last year, I set out to complete my first Project 365 and am happy to say that I succeeded. I have learned so much and have enjoyed expanding my photography skills.   During the past year,… [Continue Reading]

    5 Tips for a Successful Project 365
  • Project 365 Week 21

    Day 116- April 27, 2013 Today we went to A Day Out with Thomas at the Baltimore Railroad Museum. I left my DSLR at home for once and enjoyed the challenge of capturing the light and angles with only my IPhone. This is one of my favorite shots from the day. Day 117- April 28,… [Continue Reading]

    Project 365 Week 21

Celebrate Photography with Catch the Moment 365 Giveaway ($650.00 of prizes)

Here we are beyond the midway point of the year and Catch the Moment 365.  It’s quite incredible!  I love the community we have built and the new blogging friends I have made through this awesome project.  I love that I have a group of women who “get” the photography thing and cheer me on along the way.  Most of all, I love all the wonderful images I have captured during the first part of the year.  In celebration of reaching the midway point of Catch the Moment 365, the hosts of CTM Sarah, Stephanie, and I are bringing you an amazing photography giveaway. Please enter and share the giveaway with your friends!


THEITThe Lula Bag

THEIT creates camera bags for photographers that value both style and substance. With designs that aim to capture classic modernity with a sense of playfulness, this philosophy exemplifies the essence of the THEIT customer: someone who is independent, inspired, and full of life, who cannot help but to capture the beauty in her world through the lens. An homage to the well-known fashion term “the it” bag, the brand represents more than the most coveted piece for the season, but a new wave of design enabling style, function and versatility for the fashion-minded photographer. Inspired by the runway and the streets, THEIT’s vision is to uphold a fashion standard that helps photographers live their dreams in style.

Canvas on Demand16×20 Canvas PLUS free shipping

Capture your favorite moments in pictures and create spectacular wall art for your home. With Canvas On Demand, your treasured memories suddenly transform into smile-coaxing masterpieces…that you can appreciate every day, large as life, in beautiful canvas form.

Professor Kobre’s Lightscoop

Ken is the inventor of Professor Kobré’s Lightscoop®, a camera accessory that instantly and dramatically improves indoor photography by bouncing the light from the pop-up flash. Bouncing the flash eliminates red eye, unflattering shadows and that deer-in-headlights look so common with indoor flash photography.

Picture KeeperPicture Keeper PK16

We have developed a simple photo backup solution that we made easy enough for our moms to do without needing our help. We load our Picture Keeper software onto custom USB drives – simply plug it in and click “Start Backup” to get started finding and savings your digital photos. Picture Keeper software works on PC and Mac and can be used on multiple computers – also great for moving pictures to a new computer. When one Picture Keeper fills up, just plug another one in and it picks up where the last left off. Did we mention that we skip duplicate photos also?

Camera CoatsA Camera Coat of your choice!

Protect your camera with a padded, waterproof, stylish Camera Coat! Our recently patented design keeps your camera safe whether its around your neck, in your carry-on, or stuffed into your diaper bag! All of our products are made by local women & each item is packaged and shipped by adults with disabilities. 
-Strong Velcro closure to ensure a snug fit.

 -Sturdy buckle attaches directly to your camera straps so you won’t lose your Camera Coat while you shoot!

 -3 pockets on the back are perfect for your lens cap or extra SD card.

 Camera Coats come in 5 sizes along with matching camera straps! With over 20 styles to choose from you are sure to find one that your camera will love!

Shop today and get 30% off your order!
Code: Celebrate25
Expires: July 31, 2014

Ink and Elm Backdrops: 5ft x 5ft Backdrop of Winner’s Choice

As photography junkies, we found that there were a few aspects of photography that were toilsome to control; location, lighting, and weather. After many exhausting photo sessions, we decided to come up with a way that would enable us to have direct control over lighting, weather, and location! And so, Ink and Elm Backdrops was born, bringing the location, controlled lighting, and perfect weather into your home! Ink and Elm backdrops are extremely user friendly and can be set up in minutes! You can go from standing in front of a barn to sitting in front of a beautiful damask patterned wall to leaning against a vintage worn down fence all in one photo session and all under one roof, regardless of weather and lighting! Ink and Elm backdrops are printed on strong, durable, tear resistant vinyl using the longest lasting inks and state of the art technology. Backdrops are printed on matte, waterproof material and are great for cake smashing sessions! The best part? They are easily portable! When you’re done with your photoshoot, simply roll up the backdrop and stick inside the packaging tube they are delivered in for simple and easy storage!

Janie Lane Studio: Camera Strap Cover of Winner’s Choice 

I’m a wife and mom to two young boys who absolutely love dirt and trucks and Legos. It makes me so thankful for nap times when I sneak away to my sewing room to design and create bags, scarves and Bloomin’ Headwraps. My shop, Janie Lane Studio, has been the feminine and creative outlet I need to balance all the boys in life. I’ve been making and selling locally for a few years, and this year I’ve focused on growing my Etsy shop and online presence. A few years ago a photographer friend asked me to make her a camera bag. Designed to be a beautiful and hardworking partner, the “Claire” bag has become a bestseller in my shop, both locally and online. Camera strap covers are a natural addition as I seek to serve photographers. Stop by Janie Lane Studio on Etsy and Facebook or find me @janielanestudio on Instagram. Leave a comment – I’d love to get to know you!

Pop of Happy$25 Shop Credit

Hi, I’m Laura, owner/creator of Pop of Happy. Pop of Happy is an Etsy shop filled with pom garlands, paper garlands, letter banners and fabric garlands perfect for any photography backdrop, birthday party or happy home decor. Pop of Happy also offers paper mobiles and custom designs made just for you! As a mom of two, I understand how busy things can get so let me take care of your birthday, baby shower or nursery decor for you!

Crafty Staci: DSLR Camera Strap and Lens Cap Holder

I’ve been sewing and crafting for as long as I can remember. My Etsy shop, Crafty Staci, focuses on accessories for photographers and I happily fulfill custom orders for everything I make. I enjoy mixing fabrics, and I love how excited my customers get that they can design an item that reflects their personality. After making thousands of camera straps, lens cap holders, memory card wallets and other photography accessories, it still makes me happy to see the final finished item and to hear my customers talk about how they’re using it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Bucket List Vol 2: Annmarie Sculpture Garden

Last Sunday Ryker and I explored the picturesque and tranquil Annamarie Sculpture Garden. The garden features 30 acres of sculptures, flowers, fields, and paths among a forest. The arts building is a 2 story 15,000 square foot facility that houses artwork and an artLAB where you can create your own masterpiece. I love that the garden features hands on activities and plenty of open space to explore and get lost in nature.

My absolutely favorite area was the butterfly garden, which is small yet when I was there filled with several different types of butterflies and moths. The bumblebees were buzzing around, as well.



swallow tail butterfly



Ryker enjoyed exploring the dirt and twigs in the Fairy Garden.  How adorable are these tiny houses and his dirty feet?
DSC_8261fairy house boyDSC_8237nature boy
I loved this piece called A Surveyor’s Map, which is a boardwalk in the woods. It was perfect to capture this little squirt crawling

baby crawling on bridged- leading linesDSC_8271DSC_8285DSC_8287

The Women’s Walk on display from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution in DC was quite pretty in the middle of the forest.

Annmarie Scuplture Garden

sculpture garden

There were also plenty of lazy susan flowers to enjoy too.




The arts building’s theme for now is the beach, which I absolutely loved. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but did get some shots of a few of my favorites.




If you are in the Washington DC area and need a break from the hustle and bustle, be sure to check out The Annmarie Sculpture Garden. It’s located in southern Maryland on Solomons Island, which is about an hour from the city.

What’s your favorite garden to explore in your area?

Ryker’s Elephant First Birthday

Elephant First Birthday
Finally here is the very last post for Ryker’s first birthday.  I had a lot of fun planning and decorating for this party, especially since it was my first party using the Silhouette CAMEO.  From the party invitations to the elephant cupcake holders, I loved pulling together all the decoration details and then watching the birthday boy enjoy his special day.

Elephant First Birthday Decorations

Just like previous birthday parties, I decorated the entry way table with photos of the previous year. I also threw some peanuts in a glass jar and decorated it with a ribbon- simple and cute.


Instead of my typical themed paper lanterns in the entry way, I decorated the dessert table with paper fans that I customized with cardstock using the Silhouette CAMEO.


Elephant first birthday dessert table.jpg

I cut out different size elephants, taped them to cake pop sticks, and stuck them in the various food dishes.

silhouette decor-2

For the fireplace mantle, I repurposed the chalk art and birthday banner I used for Ryker’s cake smash photo session. I found the adorable mama and baby elephant statue at Burlington Coat Factory. The amazing chalk art was done by my dear friend Kayle.

first birthday elephant theme fireplace mantle

first birthday chalk art

First Birthday Keepsake

I wanted the birthday guests to create a canvas piece that could later be hung in Ryker’s nursery. I used the Silhouette CAMEO heat vinyl transfer paper to apply the elephant and number one to the canvas. I then had all the guests do thumb prints for the balloons. This was a very inexpensive and fun way to create a first birthday keepsake.

Canvas Heat Transfer First Birthday

Ryker had a blast at his party and even sat with the big kids to eat his lunch. When did he suddenly become such a big kid? We are thankful friends and family joined to celebrate his special day.

Stavish boys.jpg



Ryker's smash cake

more friends-2



mom and dad

And now he is one….

Project 365-Day 165

What a fast year it’s been.

I received the Silhouette CAMEO along with all the mentioned Silhouette products to review. I did not receive any other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Toys Stavish Boys Like: Spy Gear

Last month we attended the SpyGear Kids Father’s Day event at the International Spy Museum hosted by EvanTubeHD and SpyGear. My husband is a James Bond fanatic, so he was quite excited to teach the boys about spies. After mocktales and appetizers, we were provided with our night goggles. Each family was provided with a mission. Our task was to search the museum for answers to clues about various spy gear and famous spies. Xander and Noah were over the moon excited about their goggles.

spy gear

We had a set amount of time to complete our mission, or we would be locked out of the spy headquarters. Highlights from the museum included the air duct you could crawl through to listen for an answer to a clue, seeing James Bond’s car, and learning about all the different spy gear. The boys loved learning about the Spy pigeons. At the end of the mission were “debriefed” and provided with a fun spy recording pen.

The pens kept Xander and Noah entertained during our hour drive home. They had a lot of fun carrying out their own missions even days after our trip to the Spy Museum. Xander even felt the need to write his own cryptic message with his pen…on the back seats of my van! Needless to say this spy gear item was quickly confiscated by mommy spy.

best spy gear

Looking for a birthday gift for your child or a friend? SpyGear products are a perfect option! SpyGear offers a whole range of products from a Micro Motion Alarm to a Spy Phone Cam. SpyGear can be found at various retailers including Target, Amazon and Toys R Us. If you and your little spies are ever in the DC Metro be sure to check out the International Spy Museum.

What’s your favorite Spy Gear?  

Beach Trip 2014- Cape May

While on vacation we took a road trip to Cape May, New Jersey.  This was our first time exploring the Jersey shore and we had a blast.  We stayed with the Seiders at their beach house.

Thursday night when we arrived it was raining, but after dinner the rain had let up. We headed down to the beach in hopes to catch a pretty sunset. While it wasn’t the most spectacular one, it was great to feel the sand in my toes and breath in beach air. I know I have mentioned it before, but I really miss living within driving distance to the ocean. It’s my happy place.

Project 365-Day 191

The next day the weather was amazing and we enjoyed a fun filled day with the Sieders at North Cape May beach.




Perhaps the best thing about the beach as a kid is that it’s the world’s biggest sand box filled with treasure waiting to be discovered. These boys certainly went hunting and digging.

Xander Cape May

Noah Cape May

Ryker Cape May

Project 365-Day 192

After Ryker crawled around for quite a bit I nursed him to sleep and he took a beach nap under the umbrella. At that point, I could have curled up next to him and drifted off to sleep too. Instead I soaked up time at the beach with Xander and Noah and enjoyed chatting with Natalie.

beach nap


beach friends.jpg
Natalie’s youngest son enjoyed his beach nap too.



After Ryker woke up, we all played in the sand, lounged, and dragged the boys into the water.


Stavish family photo Cape May 2014

When we all grew hungry we packed up our beach gear and headed back to the beach house for lunch. Then our family headed to Morey’s Peir in Wildwood to experience the boardwalk and be beach tourists.



The boys enjoyed the simpler things like huge ice cream bars, Laffy Taffy candy and skee ball. Can this easy to please stage last forever, please?




As we grew hungry we dragged our tired bodies back to the car and headed for home, stopping for dinner about 45 minutes outside of Wildwood. With a minivan full of sand and a bucket full of smooth beach stones, our brief trip to Cape May this summer will remain in our memories forever.

I’m already looking forward to our next beach trip next year….

Is the beach your happy place?