Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten Things to Smile About This Month

What made you smile in July?  Join me the last Tuesday of every month to look back and find 10 things, whatever they may be that made you smile.  I started this meme several years ago after a really tough month when I just needed to look back and find some good.

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The linky will be open for almost two weeks, so plenty of time to link up.

10 Things to Smile About in July

1.  An awesome family reunion in Yellowstone- there were 27 of us that all stayed together and we had so much fun! It had been a long time since we had all been together, it was so wonderful all being there together. (I will tell all about it soon)

2.  Our own little 4th of July firework show
3. Easy lazy summer days- several of which we didn't even get out of our pajamas

4. Making cookies!
See- they are in their pajamas 

5. Reading lots of books.. and doing puzzles..playing games and watching HGTV with my kids.  I like summer.

6. White water rafting!  Even if I do look totally weird in all the pictures- I was concentrating hard- and I totally stick my tongue out while concentrating.

7. Getting to have a sort of mini-Utah trip. We didn't have our usual big annual thing this year but it was still great to see lots of the family.
A couple of the cousins were missing this trip :(
8. This video- as not only does it show some of our Yellowstone fun, but it reminded me how much I enjoy making videos

9. Getting together with my bestie!

10. Sweet sleepy newborns

What made you smile this month?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Newborn Photography

I love photographing newborns and I have had a few people ask to see some more pictures from my recent photo shoot.  Before I show you the pictures, I have a favor. I have actually started an Instagram account for Emily Kathryn Photography.  I would love for you all to go follow my account. You will get to see lots of cute newborns, family shoots, etc. plus some behind the scenes and if you are local (Southern California) I am even going to be doing a giveaway here soon.

So please- go here or search for EmilyKathrynPhoto on Instagram and follow me.   Now for some cute pictures.

This little guy was born on the 4th of July; his big sister came to the shoot too.


Beautiful family
To celebrate his birthday
I love the look on his face, too funny!
So please go follow me on instagram and definitely come back tomorrow for 10 Things to Smile About This Month, look back over the month and find 10 things that made you smile. 

Emmy Mom

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday 5: Friends and Animals

It's Friday Five time! (#Friday5) Easy way to end the week by sharing 5 thoughts and 5 pictures.

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5 Things

1. This week I was talking with my sister Wendy, we were planning on a day to get together.  She asked what my kids would like for lunch.  I asked Ryder. "We are going to go to Wendy's on Thursday, what would you like for lunch."   He replied: "Chicken nuggets, root beer and a frosty"  When I got done laughing I explained it was the other Wendy's.

2. This is it, one week of summer break left!  We've got our school supply shopping done, some clothes shopping (still need shoes for Alex) and are getting haircuts this weekend.  I really can't believe it is almost here.

3. This week I finally got together with my bestie Lourie!  Actually it was last Friday- but still within a week.   The kids played and we hung out and visited, even made a pizza run just the two of us; don't worry we did bring pizza back and actually fed the kids too.

4. On Saturday we went through the recurring question of "what should we do?"  Eric found a groupon for an Exotic Animal sanctuary in the high desert.   It is a small place that rescues animals that some crazy people tried to have as pets and then abandoned (i.e. lions and tigers!)

5. Eric and I started a new/old show this week.  We started watching Prison Break on Netflix, loving it so far, and can't help but think of my blogging friend Jill- she loved this show and always talked about it and one certain actor :)

5 Pictures
Me and Lourie
He got a little messy eating his ice-cream -- notice the cone
I didn't take this this last week but I finished editing this cute guys pictures! 
Alex and Ryder performing a dance together

What is your Friday 5 this week?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pantry in Small Spaces

We all have a picture of our dream homes; for each of us that dream is something different. For me a big part of my dream revolves around the kitchen and a huge pantry.

I have a nice kitchen now but unfortunately no pantry; so I had to get creative and come up with a pantry in a small space.

If you have a two story home, you may have a space just like mine, you know that big almost seems like wasted space under the stairs?  In our last house, that area became a storage spot for winter coats, school supplies and just junk.

In my current house, it is our pantry.

I got a big heavy duty metal shelf that we placed in the under the stairs closet.


A friend saw a grocery store that was going out of business was selling the can sorters, so I jumped at the chance to get one.

I also added a small bookshelf, just a cheap $15 one at the end of closet area for extra food.

Our stairs curve, and so under the small area to the right (not pictured) is where our long term food storage is.  It isn't the ideal pantry, my husband calls it the dungeon, but it works and I now have a pantry.

What creative use of space have you done in your home or seen someone do?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back to School Checklist

My kids start school in less than two weeks! I really am in denial, but also know it is time to get everything ready, so I have created a back to school check list.
back to school supplies

3 Weeks Before School

  [] Go through your kids closets, take out clothes that are too small or too worn out.  Create a donation and a throw away pile.

  [] Check your school supplies.  Do you have any left over from last year?  Get a list ready and then start watching the ads.  If you shop around you will be able to find great sales and often even free items at stores like Office Max and Staples.

  [] Clean out your In-Box.  Do you have a place you keep school papers?  If not this is a great time to get some sort of bin/file system for all those papers that will soon be coming.  I love the Power of Mom's MOM Organizational system.  If you have a box- clean out any extra papers, ready to start fresh for the new school year.
School Success

2 Weeks Before School
  [] Clothes Shopping- now that you know what your kids have grown out of, replace the wardrobe basics.   Don't forget socks and shoes!

  [] School supplies- if you do not have a list from your teacher yet, just buy a few of the basics you know you will need and wait for the list.  This is also a great time to buy any markers, crayons, pens, etc. you may want in your home during the year as prices won't be this low again until next school year.

1 Week Before School
  [] Plan lunches- if your kids buy, sit down with your kids and look at the school menus to see which days they want to buy, or begin planning lunches to pack.

       You can check out my Easy School Lunch Ideas posts:

school lunch
what to pack for lunch

[] Plan any back to school pictures/interviews you want to do- browse through Pinterest or what you did previous years so you don't forget to document the new school year.

The weekend before School
  [] Have one last summer fun day!  Something fun on your bucket list you didn't do?  Or how about a Yes Day!  We have made it our tradition to have our Yes Day a few days before school starts.
back to school tradition

The night before school
  [] Set out first day outfits, backpacks, lunch supplies (that can be set out the night before), school supplies, and camera

  [] First day tradition supplies- do you have your kids hold a sign on the first day or hold some type of memento?  Print out your sign, get things ready.  You don't want to have to rush the next morning.

The First Day
   [] Set your Alarm!  No more sleeping in summer days.  Plus remember the first day everything always takes longer, so plan for extra time.

   [] Take some pictures!  Don't forget those first day of school pictures.

   [] Cheer/celebrate and maybe even cry a little-- it's a new school year with all it's ups and downs, enjoy the time and realize how quickly it all goes.

So ready or not, here school comes!  What is on your back to school checklist?