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Project 365 Smalls: March Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

Project 365 Smalls is in full swing. I have gotten so much better at remembering to take a photo a day for this challenge and love putting together these collages each month. The Smalls are great about reminding me that I haven’t taken their photo each day (they do love the camera, most days)!Check out our March recap for Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge Click To Tweet

 

Week 1: March brought the return of soccer and soccer practices for Noble. Gray insists on going to practice with him and sometimes wishes she had stayed home where it was warm and not dark, thank goodness Daylight Savings changed that. The Smalls had Donuts for Dad’s one morning at school, which they obviously enjoyed! Holliday now climbs on everything, no place is safe and I fear for her safety daily. Gray continued with ice skating, found out braiding her hair gives her waves, loves the banana phone joke and started “borrowing” my high heels (which is fine, seeing how I rarely wear them). Brad and I enjoyed a ski weekend with friends and on the very day we left, Gray fell on the sidewalk as she was running to the car. She was so excited that Grandma was picking her up, she tripped and scraped her poor nose from her eyebrow to the tip of her nose. Which happened to be right before picture day, so we will always be able to remember it. She was a trooper. The Smalls were spoiled by Grandma that weekend and we had a great time away.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

 

Week 2: This week construction on the home next door began and Holliday is fascinated by all of the big trucks and workers. It was really feeling like Spring, we played outside as much as possible and the Smalls are ready for the pool to be open. Holliday has got the hang of the Plasma Car and is pretty fearless. She is in full toddler mode with tantrums and getting into everything. Brad was traveling so Holliday had to go to drop off each morning and wanted to have a backpack like the big kids. Gray had a project on Pocahontas, she created a Power Point and at the last minute decided to dress the part too – which pleased me, my little girl is still there. While volunteering at the school library, we had a fire drill and I was lucky enough to witness Noble in action. He seems so grown up, not at all like the timid kid I took to the first day of Kindergarten.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

 

Week 3: St. Patrick’s Day, Soccer and the start of our 3 week Spring Break! Holliday had a sick day, which meant lots of cuddles for me. She never stops moving, so I cherished the moments I was able to hold her while she slept. Gray enjoyed cooking breakfast for everyone. She’s a pro at eggs now! While Spring brought some cold temps and lots of friends up North had a dusting of snow, we made our own snow in the bathtub. We had so much fun Painting at the Peach again, all three decorated an egg and enjoyed some frozen yogurt!

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

 

Week 4:  Onto week 2 of Spring Break! Gray and Noble enjoyed a day of Farm Camp, they fed animals, went on hayrides, rode ponies, painted pots and planted sunflowers. They had a blast and had to introduce Holliday and I to every animal on the farm when we picked them up. Spring was in full bloom. Easter was laid back, we decorated eggs (you can see how that went here), had many egg hunts inside due to rain, and a great visit from the Easter Bunny! We were able to catch up with friends at the park on a beautiful day and spent a few mornings at the library. It was a great week to wrap up the month.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

 

Three months down, 9 more to go! You can catch up on Project 365 Smalls January and February. And join the fun on Facebook where I share my random thoughts, love of coffee and share cool things from around the blogosphere.

 

xoxo,

kate

 

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Try It: Shaving Cream Easter Eggs {My Pinterest Fail & Redemption}

Happy {almost} Easter!! If you have kids, I’m sure you are dying eggs and going on many Easter Egg Hunts this weekend. I wanted to try something new this year, so The Smalls and I attempted Shaving Cream Easter Eggs, we failed miserable but were able to redeem ourselves.

 

Shaving Cream Easter Eggs {My Pinterest Fail & Redemption}

 

Like any modern day mom and procrastinator, I turned to Pinterest. There were tons of options, shaving cream or whipped cream, with vinegar or without, dye the eggs first or go natural… decisions, decisions. **We ended up with a combo – because we needed to do this whole process twice. So learn from our mistakes!

 

Here’s what you will need:

  • hardboiled eggs (cooled)
  • shaving cream
  • food coloring (liquid or gel)
  • vinegar (for more vibrant color)
  • disposable foil pan or rimmed cookie sheet
  • toothpicks
  • paper towels
  • disposable table cloth or newspaper
Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
First attempt supplies. After our Pinterest fail, we added vinegar and LOTS of paper towels.

 

How to:

  1. To avoid a big messy clean up, I put down a disposable tablecloth we had left over from a birthday party.  I hard-boiled the eggs the day before, so they were cold. Spray shaving cream into foil pan or cookie sheet. You’ll need an inch at most – I learned that the hard way. Attempt one had too much shaving cream.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Explaining the directions before letting The Smalls dive in.

     

    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Our 1st attempt fail. We kept 3 and re-dyed the rest

     

  2. Drop in a generous amount of food coloring. Our first attempt did not have enough color, so for our 2nd attempt we loaded up on the color. **We added a few drops of vinegar and food coloring in a small glass, then used a straw to drop into the shaving cream.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    2nd attempt with vinegar added for more intense colors

     

  3. Drag a toothpick through the droplets to create a marbled look. **We kept the colors separated a bit to avoid making everything gray.

    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Mixed the colors with a toothpick a little more for round 2
  4. Now for the messy  fun part! Slowly roll the egg through the shaving cream. Making sure to get all of the egg. **On our 1st attempt we had way too much shaving cream, so the color didn’t adhere to the eggs very well.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    The fun part, rolling the eggs in the colored shaving cream.

     

  5. Remove egg from shaving cream and place on a paper plate or paper towel. I used a paper towel inside a casserole dish and the lid to the disposable foil pan to avoid rolling eggs. Let sit. **1st attempt we did 10 minutes. 2nd attempt we did 30 minutes – we really didn’t want to have a Pinterest fail twice!
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Let eggs dry on paper towels for 30 minutes before wiping off

     

  6. Wipe off excess shaving cream until eggs are dry. This will require a lot of paper towels. **1st attempt directions said to rinse the eggs and then dry. When we tried this most of the color was washed away.
Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
The finished product! Happy Easter!

 

It may have taken us two attempts, but The Smalls loved it. They didn’t have quite the marbled effect I was hoping for but it was a different method and we all had fun. And in the end we still had pretty Easter Eggs to hide. Hopefully my Pinterest fail and edits help you. Happy Easter from our family to yours!!

 

xoxo,

kate

p.s. To see more Pinterest fails and a few wins, follow kate and smalls on Facebook and of course on Pinterest!

 

 

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Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge

So it’s already the middle of March. How did that happen? Here’s a late recap of my February Photo A Day Challenge.

 

Week 1: Much to my liking, February started off with beautiful weather. We played outside as much as possible.  Holliday had her 18 month check up, she is growing and changing each day. Our daily dance parties continued. Super Bowl Sunday was a blast, except when Gray mistook Blue Cheese for Ranch… Noble thought it was hilarious! Noble lost his first tooth during the Super Bowl, so we had a visit from the Tooth Fairy!

 

Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 2: Another dose of cold weather brought on colds for almost everyone. The Smalls were getting excited for Valentine’s Day. They made their Valentine’s boxes and I tried my hand at Working Mom Magic’s 5 minute cake pops… they were a success and delicious! Holliday was able to party with Noble’s class, she loved sitting with the big kids. Fun at a bounce house birthday party, nightly dance offs and more ice skating. Gray gave everyone a lesson about Anger Mountain with acceptable ways to let it out (that’s why they are all screaming into pillows)!

 

Project 365 Smalls: February Picture A Day Challenge

 

Week 3: More amazing February weather. Holliday is obsessed with belly buttons (and not just her own). The boys headed to Charlotte for LEGO Kids Fest and had a blast while the girls and I stayed home and enjoyed all things girly. Princess movies, tea parties, manicures and I introduced Gray to Full House. I was on my own for the rest of the week while Brad was on a business trip. A week of earlier mornings, packing lunches, and drop off with all 3 kids had me exhausted by 9am! I married a morning person for a reason;) Noble had another visit from the Tooth Fairy and Gray took up permanent residence in my bed each evening to watch Full House… I have created a monster.

 

Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 4:  We have another budding artist on our hands, Holliday and I enjoyed an afternoon out Painting at the Peach. She loves to color and write with her brother and sister. Now I have to keep the markers under lock and key. Noble has been reading non-stop, he reads on the way to school, as soon as he gets home and before bed… I love it! Holliday sees the big kids reading so much that I caught her reading to her baby (cuteness overload!) Noble and Gray  spent a Sunday out with Dad, they went bowling and ice skating… but the only pictures were of them eating!! In an effort to declutter, I asked Gray if she was ready to pass down her dollhouse (she hadn’t played with it in months) she proceeded to clean it out and has played with it every day since. Which secretly pleases me so much, she is growing up so fast so I cherish each remaining piece of my little girl. <3

 

Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge

 

And that’s it, the shortest month of the year is over and we are well into March! It’s crazy to see how much The Smalls have already changed since I began this challenge in January.  Join me in the challenge, it’s easier to capture everyday moments than I thought! I love that the pictures haven’t be perfect, but they have been perfectly The Smalls! Make sure to join my Facebook page for behind the scenes stuff, fun activities to do with your kids and random ramblings… which is how my mind works;)

 

xoxo,

kate

 

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Project 365 Smalls: January Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January

I did it!! I successfully completed the first month of my Project 365 Smalls: photo a day challenge. Taking one photo of each kid EVERY SINGLE DAY in the month of January. It wasn’t exactly hard, but there were some days that I remembered right at bedtime – note sleeping and/or pajama clad children.

 

Week 1: We were getting into our groove of taking a photo a day. The Smalls were still on Winter Break, so I had all day to snap a photo. We were getting ready to go back to school, so they needed haircuts. And the only way to entertain the littlest one during those haircuts was to feed her, notice those chipmunk cheeks! Holliday started giving hugs this week and I was able to catch that sweet moment with her brother! We did a packing night at NourishNC, a local organization that helps feed hungry children in our area. I love that they willing to have the Smalls help and the Smalls enjoy doing it and can’t wait to go back.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A photo a day challenge

 

Week 2: Our last few days of Winter Break, we enjoyed lazy movie days and playing at home. Gray went to a sleepover. Back to school and our regular routine. Holliday certainly missed them those first few days, she kept checking their rooms. She kept herself busy with many games of Peek-A-Boo and playing with all their toys.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo a Day Challenge

 

Week 3: This week it was Noble’s turn for a movie and a sleepover. While he was gone, Gray and I had a spa night. Holliday has been getting into everything!! Welcome to toddlerhood where everything is a challenge. Football ruled our weekend. Gray and I were disappointed our Steelers didn’t make it to the Championship and Noble was bummed Green Bay didn’t get there either.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 4: This was the week I was reminded how fast they are growing up. Another sleepover for Gray, Birthday party for Noble and Preschool registration for Holliday!! Noble learned how to tie his shoes. Gray and I had a great girls day, she really is a little lady and a pleasure to take out. I need to be better about taking the older two out on special adventures more regularly. We enjoyed a few days of warm January weather with lots of time outside.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 5: January went by really fast. The last week was pretty normal, thankfully we were able to stay outside a lot. Noble helped rake leaves… and was actually a big help! Holliday figured out how to climb onto the Lego table, much to the dislike of her brother. And we enjoyed a weekend without any plans!! Which happens so rarely, we were able to have lots of family time and enjoy the amazing weather.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

One month down…11 to go!! I am really enjoying capturing these moments and can’t wait to see what the finished project looks like. It’s not too late to join me and challenge yourself to a photo a day in February (it’s the shortest month, so why not give it a try) use #365smalls to let me know you are in!

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January

 

xoxo,

kate

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Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A photo a day challenge.

I love a beautiful photograph, there is something so special about catching a fleeting moment for all time. I love the looking at all the photos of my childhood. They contain a lot of memories and my favorite people. I love teaching my kids their family tree through photos. But I am awful about taking pictures of my own family. And that needs to change. So, I am challenging myself this year.

 

Each year I look forward to having our family photos taken. I try to have them taken at the end of Summer each year. My smalls are Summer babies (September still feels like summer here in NC) so I love capturing them as they turn another year older. This year we chose to have them taken at the beach, a first for us even though we have lived here for 10 years. And they turned out better than I could have imagined!

 

Out takes make some of the best family photos
My favorite from the whole session. It’s their personalities in a picture.
Pretty baby on the sand
I’d like to hit the pause button right here!
The girl who owns the world
I love everything about this picture!
Kissing couple at the beach
One of the few photos of just the two of us <3

 

I know everyone is tired of seeing perfectly posed family photos posted all over Fakebook Facebook, but I love seeing everyone coordinated, smiling, being silly or even pouting. I also love them because the whole family, including Mom, are in the picture. We all know it’s not how everyday looks, we all have our own mess. And as much as I enjoy the “real” pics of day to day life I appreciate the effort and the beauty of my friend’s family photos. So keep them coming!!

 

Every parent knows what it took to get that one great “everyone is looking at the camera, most of us are smiling, no one is blinking/sneezing/hitting/yelling” shot. The picking out of the “right” outfits that coordinate enough without being matchy-matchy and went just right with the location. I’m sure someone was making crazy noises to keep the kids attention, there may have even been a bribe or two to get a toddler to sit still… and the magic of it all, a great photographer.

 

Family Beach Photos
As close to perfect as we will ever get!

One that can capture that precious moment in time, a split second of beauty in all the chaos. A moment that you will want to look back on and cherish the time when your kids were those ages because by then the trauma of the day-to-day struggles will have worn off.

 

Luckily we found an outstanding photographer, who was able to capture the personalities of our family.  If only she could follow my family everyday… but not in a weird paparazzi way.  And Mother Nature was finally on our side (after having to reschedule 3 times due to weather) and provided an amazing backdrop with a breathtaking sunset that I felt honored to witness.

Sibling fun
#reallife
Beautiful sunset at the beach
The colors of the sky were breathtakingly beautiful.

I love photos, so why am I so terrible about taking them? I’m not even trying for amazing/good/decent, I just want to remember to take the dang photo in the moment! Not say to myself “that would’ve been a cute pic”!

 

I am serious. I have a handful (and that’s being generous) of photos during my 15 years with my husband. I have hundreds of photos of our first born, before she could move then they really drop off. My poor son, totally the middle child and will probably require therapy due to the lack of photos during his early years. And the baby… well she will be happy that cell phone technology advanced and the cloud existed during her life.

 

Inspired by Project 365, I am challenging myself to take a photo of each child, all 3 of them, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY of 2016! And wouldn’t you know it, the year I decide to do this… a leap year!! So 366 x 3 = 1098 photos!!

Project 365 Smalls: A photo a day challenge. Taking a picture of each kid everyday this year.

I can’t wait to see how it goes and what a treasure the final album will be! I’d love for you to join me in taking a photo a day. Any subject matter or combinations of subjects work. (I’m just focusing on my smalls, because I need to make up for the HUGE gaps in their baby books!) Share them with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #365smalls.

 

Follow along on Facebook to see my progress on Project 365 Smalls!

Photo A Day Challenge: Taking a photo of each child every of the year.

xoxo,

kate

Oh, and if you are vacationing near the Cape Fear Region of North Carolina…I highly recommend Megan Hsu Photography!!

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Happy Birthday

the start of something new

Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of our third, and very likely last, child. It was a bittersweet occasion, but I tried to soak in every moment… its what I’ve been doing this whole last year. I did my very best to find joy in all the moments or phases as the year passed in the blink of an eye. The exhaustion that comes with 4 am feedings for 11 months (I was spoiled by my other two kids, who both slept through the night by 8 weeks… don’t hate, I got mine!). That intoxicating smell of a new baby – seriously why haven’t they bottled that yet? The massive amounts of laundry a family of 5 can produce. The sweet smile that debuts just as you start to feel totally defeated, like they know you need a little something in return. Dragging out all the baby gear that we had been finished with for years. That first, and oh so infectious, laugh (my answer to James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio “What sound or noise do you love?” Absolutely a child’s laugh. The. Best.)! The first tooth… and all the fun that comes with teething. The amazement that comes as a little person learns to navigate their world by rolling, sitting up, crawling, cruising and walking! Not all of the moments were joyous, but they were all moments that I will treasure as she grows… for all of her firsts, may be my lasts.

 

If only I could stop time... just for a little while.
If only I could stop time… just for a little while.

So I hold her a little tighter and a little longer, because I know how fast the years go. And I quelch my baby fever by focusing on my new baby, this blog… Happy Birthday kate & smalls!!

xoxo,

Kate

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