My Everything.....

My Everything.....
My 3 children at our latest beach excursion!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My First Photo Shoot!

A couple of weeks ago my new niece was christened and my brother asked if I would mind taking a few pictures for them. Of course I said I didn't mind! I love taking pictures and I love that one of my siblings (I have 4!!!) has finally made me an aunt! So, after dropping off my 3 kiddos at the church nursery I sat back and took a few pictures before the service and then right after (and helped rock baby girl to sleep after she was christened). I was in my element! Something about rocking someone else's baby to sleep and knowing you can hand them right back over when you are finished..... So much less stress than when it is your own!!

Anyway, I edited the pictures and emailed them over. My sis-in-law and brother were both very pleased and said I should try to have a side business (as if I need another -LOL!!) doing photography. I told them I didn't think I was good enough but thanks for the compliment. They begged to differ and asked if they could hire me to take baby girl's newborn pics. I agreed on one condition.... they had to be brutally honest with me and if the pics didn't turn out how they hoped, they don't have to pay me. End of story.....

So, today was the day for baby girl's photo session. Didn't really know what I was doing and neither did baby girl. She really just wanted to eat and sleep!!! We got through it....242 pictures later. Baby girl got to go back to eating and sleeping and I went on with the rest of my day taking care of my 3 munchkins. I just finished editing several poses (did I mention I took over 200 photos???) and sent them on to my brother and sis-in-law. Waiting to hear their feedback. Will wait to finish editing the rest after I hear a positive, yes keep going!! So, I thought I would pass along my favorite shot of mommy and baby and see what my blog followers think! My sis-in-law wasn't even intending to be in any of the photos, I was just shooting away as she was trying to caress and calm baby girl during one of her "unhappy" moments. It just happens that those are actually my favorites! I have always been a big fan of photojournalistic type of photos.....

What do you think? Are these any good? Should I try to actually pursue this?? It certainly was a lot of fun and I'm having fun editing the photos too..... Honest feedback only!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Crazy Life!!

 Have I told you how crazy my life is lately???  We all have hectic lives, but some days I wonder if mine is a little more abnormal than most!!  Some of you know that I moved back to my hometown last year in hopes of getting lots of help from family since my husband's new position at work put him on the road 26 days out of the month.  I only needed the help because I was having medical issues and needed surgery.  So, I didn't want to be living alone with three kids and no family (and no husband) nearby to help during my hospitalization and recovery time.  So, we made the decision as a family to pack up our belongings and "settle down" once and for all in my hometown so we could be near family.  And.....when I say near family, I mean across the street from my parents!!!!  Please note, I haven't lived in my hometown for nearly 17 years.  When I left for college, I only came back a few times a year to visit during the Holidays.  Needless to say......this has been a HUGE adjustment!!

Well, my family was great for the first few weeks.  If I needed someone to help watch the baby (my youngest was 7 months old when we moved here), they came right over.  If I needed someone to drive one of my kids somewhere, they were here in a flash.  The eagerness and happiness to help seemed to dwindle after about week 3.  First, I must tell you that I am NOT one to ask for help.  I would rather do it myself because I am a bit OCD.  So, it was hard for me to ask for the help in the first place.  My parents practically begged me to move back home so they could help me. **Side note - I was put on bed rest and couldn't lift anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks after my surgery.  Well, about 4 weeks after my surgery I stopped asking for any help and just got whatever needed to be done -DONE!

Fast forward about 9 months.......I'm completely healed and feel better than I have in years!!! However, I'm miserable without my husband!!!  My kids are suffering without their dad everyday, I'm suffering without my husband everyday.  We were a much better unit when we were all together.

saying good-bye...... we go.....the Traveling Gypsies will be on the move yet again!!!  This time we will all be going together!  My husband has an opportunity to take a job with another company which will move us out of the country for 13 months (but we will all be together!!!) and then the company will move us (all together) to one of their Regional offices for my husband to head up.  They offered him a position to run the Western Region office, which means he would be based in one place and travel only 2 nights a week!!!!  So after 5 years of moving (we have lived in 4 states in 5 years!), it looks like we might actually end up having somewhere to call home!!

Not sure how I will react each June/July (when we usually get the orders for our next post) approaches and there isn't the anticipation of where will we be moving next!  Am I being too hopeful?  Not sure. My husband isn't being as optimistic as I am.  His wheels are turning in the back of his mind.....he can't quite grasp the feeling that we could possibly be stationed in one location -for good!  We'll thing is for sure (if he accepts the new position) we will at least all be together for the next 13 months!  I don't think I could stand another year without him!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I know, it is June and it is HOT!!!!  So how could I possibly be writing about Thanksgiving??  Well, in the world of fashion, we always have to be about 3-4 months ahead.  SO, here is my post to get all you mommies out there excited about getting your Smocked Clothing for your kiddos this Fall Season.  Tonight, I'm showing you the smocked design for Thanksgiving.  In the next few weeks, I will send out our Basic Fall (I'm thinking about Owls and Falling Leaves maybe).  Aren't these little turkeys precious?  The smocking is of two turkeys in pilgrim outfits standing next to pumpkins.  This is the only smocking we will have for Thanksgiving, but we will be offering several styles of clothing as well as several fabric choices.

Shortalls - $38
Longalls - $40

A-Line Dress w/Cap Sleeve - $38
2pc Pant Set (Bishop Top with Pants, Ruffled Hem) - $42
Bishop Dress - $40

Fabric Choices:
Solid Orange
Solid Ivory/Cream
Solid Chocolate Brown
Brown/Cream Gingham

Shipping is always FREE!!! 

Please be sure to visit us on facebook and become a fan! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

~Mommy's Moments~: Blog Bash 2011 ~ Baby Boy Prize Pack {$100}

~Mommy's Moments~: Blog Bash 2011 ~ Baby Boy Prize Pack {$100}

Enter to win this fantastic Baby Boy Prize Pack, worth $100!!!

Please be sure to stop by Ladybugs & Bumblebees on facebook to become a fan and to earn your way to FREE CLOTHING!! That's right, become a member of the L&B Smocked Club by purchasing 9 items (not all at once of course!!) - the 10th item is FREE!

Be sure to check out the new Thanksgiving Collection - PRE-ORDERS going on now!!!

Ladybugs & Bumblebees Smocked Clothing

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bed & Breakfast - 10% off Deal

Are you looking for a long weekend getaway? Maybe to a remote area? Or maybe a quaint little town with lots of charm and character? Something for just you and your honey to get away for a weekend without the kiddos? If so, is offering a special of 10% off when you purchase a giftcard of $100 or more. This is a great deal and is welcome at over 4,000 B&B's in the US and Canada. Be sure to use code BBWED10 to get 10% off.

Save 10% on a gift card from!

Monday, June 6, 2011

ULTA BEAUTY ~FREE SHIPPING for orders over $50~

Have you been to an Ulta Beauty store?  Well, if you haven't it is worth giving it a try.  When we lived in Florida, we had an Ulta store just minutes away from where we lived.  I had never been in one until we moved to South Florida.  I was amazed at how large it actually was.  It was filled with all of your beauty needs!  From cosmetics & fragrances to hair care products and beauty supplies such as cosmetic applicators, etc.  It was really a lot of fun browsing all of the aisles, smelling the samples and seeing all of the latest gadgets out.

Here is a coupon for free shipping on orders over $50, if you can't make it into a store, well this is the next best thing!

Free Shipping over $50

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 1 of our Hawaii Trip

Romantic Getaway in Hilo, Hawaii
View of the Pacific Ocean from our private lanai

Thought I should say a little something about our first day in Hawaii since I jumped into Day 2 last night.  The first two nights of our trip we stayed in a private bungalow near Hilo.  When we arrived it was late at night so we couldn't really see anything, but the sounds were amazing.  We could hear faint sounds of waves nearby and beautiful singing from what sounded like some sort of tropical bird.  The weather was perfect, a little misty and warm with a slightly cool breeze.  We rented a one room bungalow and slept with the windows was refreshing.

Another angle of the view from our bungalow
When we awoke the next morning, I was in awe!  The view was simply breathtaking!  Our bungalow was right on the ocean and even though it was a somewhat rainy morning, it was still magnificent!  We were staying near Hilo, the rainiest side of the island.  However, because it was the rainiest, it was also the most abundant with greenery and was beautiful!!   This is the side where you will find most of the amazing waterfalls as well.

Here is the link to view the details of the vacation rental.  I highly recommend staying here for a romantic getaway.  The owner of the property was a huge help in letting us know about local cuisine and what attire was needed on the volcano hike and trek to Mauna Kea.  The room was great!  It was one big room with a modern bathroom, walk-in closet and small kitchenette (sink, mini- refrigerator & coffee pot only).  There is a wet bar and grill to cook on outside.  My only suggestion would be to bring your own coffee and filters if you are an avid coffee drinker like me!  I would have loved brewing a pot of coffee and soaking in the calming sounds of the ocean each morning while sipping my coffee, but there weren't any filters or coffee available.  That is one thing the owner did not think of, everything else was perfect!

Bungalow in Hilo, Hawaii

View of the salt water pool and neighboring bungalow

The Beginning of our Volcano Hiking Trip!!!

The very beginning of our hike, walked around looking at the steam vents and then off to make our 11 mile trek!!!
Steam coming from the vent of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.  It was an amazing sight at night, the crater glowed red and you could see flashes of red blinking off and on from this new vent.  Unfortunately, my camera didn't have the right lens to capture the amazing sight.

I have lots more pictures from our first day....we drove down Crater Road and saw all the amazing lava flows.  you never really appreciate what nature offers you until you get up close and personal!  It was amazing to see how the lava flowed down into the ocean.  We actually got out of our rented jeep and walked on the hardened lava and to the edge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Here are just a few below.....

My husband walking on the lava flow down to the Pacific Ocean.  He is a big man (6'4") so you can see how  enormous the land is!

Looking down over the edge into the ocean, gave me butterflies!!!

After we spent over half of the day viewing and hiking the National Volcano Park, we ventured back to visit Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm/Factory...yum!!!  It was on a Sunday, so we weren't able to do an official tour of the facility, but we did get to drive through the farm and see all of the Macadamia Nut trees and did get to shop (more importantly) in the Factory Store.  We picked up several boxes of Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts and several bags of Roasted Macadamia Nuts.  Most of these were given away as gifts, but I hate to admit.....I think I might have eaten 2 boxes of the Chocolate covered ones all by myself.....not in one sitting though!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our Hawaii Vacation....a Celebration of 10 years of Marriage

Day 2 of our trip......yes, I know....I should start with day 1, but day 2 was an interesting day.  We started out that day at Sea Level, visiting the waterfalls and black sand beach, basking in the sun in Waipio Valley and ended up on Mauna Kea at elevations of 13,000+ ft and surrounded by snow!

My husband surprised me back in October with this fabulous vacation package to Hawaii.  I have never been to Hawaii and have always wanted to go, so it was a great and exciting surprise.  However, I was secretly very nervous about getting on a plane.....make that 3 plane changes there and 3 plane changes back!!!  I was also VERY worried about leaving our 3 children with anyone for the 10 days we would be gone.  You know, no one is going to care for your kids like you do! Plus, I have never left my youngest two for more than one night!  I am so glad I fought back the urge to say no!  This was the most fabulous 10 days I have ever spent with my husband.  We really got to reconnect and act like we were young again (you know, like before we had kids!!).  

It was an absolutely amazing trip and so thankful my husband brought me to Hawaii and we got to experience all that we did.  We were up and out almost everyday making it a huge adventure.  We wanted to see all that the island and its culture had to offer.  We did get to get a little (much needed) relaxation in 2 of the days!!  We have only been back now for roughly 2 weeks and I miss it already!!!

Our footprints in the black sand beach of Waipio Valley

Black Sand Beach in Waipio Valley

My husband and I enjoying our time together in Waipio Valley

Me, amazed at the snow (Mauna Kea) in Hawaii in May!!

Driving 13,000+ ft up a mountain isn't exactly what I had pictured when my husband said we were going to Hawaii!!!

Yes, we are above the clouds here.....

One of my friends asked me if the trip was worth the 14 hour flight time.  She wanted to know if it was worth it or if I thought a trip to Europe would have been more rewarding.  My answer was.....ABSOLUTELY worth the 14 hour flight time.  It was beautiful, amazing, relaxing, rich in culture and history.  If you like to get out and venture your surroundings like we do, it is well worth it!  If you are a type of vacationer that likes to sit by the pool or relax on the beach the whole vacation (which I needed for at least one day!), then maybe not.  You might want more of an all-inclusive type of vacation or at least something that doesn't take an entire day of travel.  But for us, we say it is worth the time! Oh and our kids survived (so did we!!). It was a long time to be away from them, I don't think I will be able to leave them that long again (at least not for a long time).

Check out the book below to help you plan your next Big Island vacation!!  It is a HUGE help in planning out your trip.