Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brianna June's first professional photo shoot

Brianna had her first professional photo shoot!  Yes, she is 2 and this is the first time that we actually had professional pictures done, shame on me right??  Well since Mr brought me my Nikon a few years ago I thought I was doing something until Shanya from Ay'nah's Photography sent me the pictures that she captured of Brianna.  I absolutely loved them, all of them which made it so hard to pick and choose the final prints.  The shoot was wonderful but the morning leading up to the shoot was stressful as I left Brianna's outfits at home, on the table. I put so much effort into prepping that bag the night before and after driving 20 minutes to reach the studio my "Oh Dam" moment hit me and I realized that I left the bag. Talk about devastation. Mr thought it was funny and made fun of me. Shanya made light of the situation and told us to take our time and that everything is okay as she didn't want us to be stressed out during the shoot. I was also worried about nap time quickly approaching but never-the-less after a rough start we had a wonderful time.    I really enjoyed working with Shanya as she created a kid friendly environment which allowed Bri to really open up and enjoy herself.   I was not sure how Bri would act during the shoot but once she gave in to Shanya's welcoming personality we had a ball.  Our favorite set was with the water hose and rain boots!  Shanya simply gave Bri the hose and allowed her to do what she wanted except for get the camera wet of course.    
Hair: Washed the night before with Shea Moisture Products, Braided into 6 large plaits using Shea Moisture products and unraveled just before the shoot

Daddy is holding the water hose to create the rain in this pic! 

Floral Denim High Waisted  Shorts for Brianna and her doll Vintage Beauty 86 by Bianca Huntley
Chocolate tutu and Hair Accessory by Sharina Johnson

If you are in the Chicago or surrounding area and are in the market for not only some great pictures but a great session and a fabulous overall experience, please check out Shanya's facebook page and book a shoot.  She is a personable well seasoned professional and you will absolutely love your images.   

Ay'nahs Photography: www.aynahsphotography.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Expecting Number 2

Here we are half way through expecting baby # 2! I am excited, nervous, sad and scared all at the same time. Excited because our little family will be complete, nervous well because we are starting all over again, sad because Brianna will no longer be my only child and I sometimes get sad for her (it's weird), and scared because you just never know what to expect. I am happy that we have made it this far with this pregnancy and it is completely different than when I was expecting Bri. Morning sickness is down and close to none, my belly is nowhere near as big and I seem to have a bit more energy which is great because life is different this time around. I am working and I have a rambunctious toddler to chase after!

With Brianna we were both hoping for a boy but with this pregnancy it doesn't matter. As long as they are healthy is all we really care about. Brianna came out so perfect that we realized the sex doesn't matter. With that being said we do know what the sex of the baby is! We were going to do a gender reveal party but decided not to. I'd love to hear from you guys as to what you think baby #2 is. I need to come up with a cute little nick name for my bean but for now baby #2 will suffice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Brianna June Turned 2 (Part 2)

10 days until the party.. whoo-hoo!  I quickly tapped my weather app to check the 10 day forecast with so much angst and anxiety only to have it magnified once I saw 84 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain for Saturday, July 12th. In my mind, I just knew it would change within the next 10 days.  The only thing that changed was the percentage of rainfall. The day before the party we were expecting Severe Thunder Storms intermittent throughout the day.  I was truly bummed but still planning as if the forecast was so wrong!  I refused to cancel and I refused to hear what other people had to say about the rain.  The party was going down and the kids would enjoy the slide and no rain was coming our way.  Talk about an acute case of in denial!   The rain was supposed to start at about 1:00 am and to my surprise when we woke up at 6:00 am no rain had fallen, however I knew it was coming.  The sky was pitch black!!!  Mr. left for work and we both still had a glimmer of hope.  About 10 minutes after Mr. left and I laid back down the loudest thunder that I had ever heard came crashing in on my babies fun filled day.  A few minutes after that it started pouring down raining.  I mean raining cats and dogs as they say!  I was deflated and came out of my denial to start making back-up plans. Rain was in the forecast for Sunday as well so I did not postpone it.  I decided to move the party inside and keep it intimate with close friends and family.  So I sent a mass text message out to the parents and let them know that due to the weather the party was moved inside for close friends and family.  However we will arrange for a play date for all of the kids so that they can pick up their personalized beach towel favors and have fun on the slide. 

I began decorating the inside of the house and instead of the little decorations that I was planning on doing outside which included hanging balloons around the patio and throwing 15 beach balls all around the yard.   I ended up lining the staircase with balloons, and adding a little extra effort to the table inside. 

I had to run several errands to pick up items and games that would keep the few kids that were coming occupied or else we would be in for it! With all of the errands the birthday girl missed her nap time and before I knew it, it was already 2:00 pm. She seemed okay so I got her dressed and let her run around the house until show time. Boy was I wrong, she was so cranky and irritable that I had no choice but to lay her down and let her recharge. Luckily the family was fashionably late, so she got a full hour and a half nap in before I decided to wake her up.  She was much better and guess what my family came and the rain let up and they decided to move the party back outside!!  

Fresh from my nap and not feeling a picture right now mommy!

The rain let up enough for the kids to enjoy the slide for a few hours.  Brianna had a great time with her family and her cousins!  She is the only girl in her generation so far.  We shall see at my gender reveal party what the sex of baby # 2 is in September!!! 
Here are a few more pics from the party! 
My nephew Nasir!  He was the only one who would climb up the slide that day! 

Happy 2nd Birthday Brianna June!  Love you so much.  Brianna and her Auntie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brianna June Turned 2 (Part 1)

Her new pose that she does when I ask her to take a picture! 
Princess Brianna has turned 2!  The idea in my head for her party was a small gathering with 8-10 toddlers and a water slide!  I hardly put any effort and time into this event as I learned from last year, less is better.  I came up with a water slide splash party after recalling how hot July 13th was last year!! So I took to pinterest and my simple planning began.  I gathered some ides and put together a bash that was sure to be a hit! 

For the invite I wanted something cute but yet still simple.  I found a few invites on etsy that I liked but then I found one that said they could customize it to look like any child!  I was sold.  I sent over Bri's picture and of course she had two afro puffs! I absolutely love it.  When I showed Bri she said "Oooooo that's Bri Bri" and that made my day!  The invites were purchased from That Party Chick

My next goal was to purchase/order the water slide for the kids.  The idea was that if I purchased a water slide, I would not have to plan any games or figure out how to entertain the kids.  Normally the bounce houses are advertised as $99 to rent, so I thought that  I could just rent a water slide for $150...tops!!  Boy was I shocked when I discovered the cost to rent a water slide was anywhere between $300-$400 plus.  After that shock, I decided to research the slides and see how much they would cost to purchase.  The smaller slides cost about the same amout that it did to rent the slides!  I still did not want to pay that much money so I stalked ebay and craigslist for about 2 months.  I went on everyday and searched for water slides (waterslide). I found some nice reasonable slides but I waited. 
I found one slide on craigslist and I contacted the seller.  We agreed to meet the next day at a local Walmart.  The exchange was great.  We kept our contact information to a minimum and agreed to meet in a public location.  I was excited!!  The next day after I got the slide home I decided to inflate it only to discover that the slide  partially inflated and was full of holes!  No big deal...right.  I will just contact the seller and let them know I want my money back. 
I sent an email and received no response.  They were so fast to respond before the transaction took place.  So I did some research and found the happy couple on facebook and added them.  No particular reason might I add but to simply grab her attention.  A few minutes after I added her, I received a response to my email.  She basically said sorry it was working when it left my hands, now it's your problem.  I was furious but I still remained kind in my email communications to this woman.  I told her that the slide is for a toddler party and that with all of the holes it is simply not safe for the kids.  My daughter will be 2 and the slide did not even hold her up.  She insisted that the slide worked before it left her hands and pretty much blew me off.  So I responded and told her that I would pray for her and her family.  I strongly believe that what you put into the universe will return to you..good or bad!!  I sent her the last email and left it alone.  I learned my lesson on purchasing from private sellers on craiglsist and decided that I would just purchase the slide because my ego was a bit bruised!  However, that $400 price tag kept me lurking on ebay and craiglsist. 
A week before the party, I did a quick craigslist search on my phone and found a Little Tykes slide for $150!!  The seller said the slide was used about 8 times and they took really good care of it!  I was hoping that I was the first to respond because this is a great deal.  The water slide sells anywhere between $400-$500!!! I sent a text message and 10 minutes later she replied!  Yes, I was so happy. I asked the seller a ton of questions after learning from my previous experience.  This time Mr. said he would blow it up directly in front of the sellers.   We agreed to meet in 2 days to complete the transaction; however, I got a text from the seller the next morning asking if I was sure I wanted the slide because several people have expressed interest in the slide that morning and one person offered her more money!!  She didn't want more money but she did want to get the slide sold and I totally understood!!  I knew it was a great deal so I asked Mr. to drive 45 minutes away that same day to pick up the slide.  I love my hubby because he did just that and came home with this beautiful water slide that was in really great condition and I knew the kids would love.  We explained our previous experience to the seller and they gave us a guarantee that if it didn't work, we can bring it back with no questions asked!  The slide worked perfectly, was clean, well taken care of and I'm happy that I went with my decision to purchase this slide and give craigslist another chance. 
The birthday party saga will continue with part 2 and the severe thunder storms that hit on "The Day"!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brianna's Playland Part 1. The Sandbox

I'm on a mission to create Brianna's Playland in our backyard.  Mr. thinks it's too much and that I should just take her to the park down the street, however when my mind is made up to do something, I will do just that.  I am looking for ways to keep the cost down by finding hacks or DIY's on Pinterest.  The first DIY that I found was this sandbox...It just sang to me.  I thought it was cool, chic and more importantly could hold her attention for at least 30 minutes..that could be a stretch but I'm claiming it!! 
 This sandbox has way more detail for a crafty yet tool challenged individual like myself.  I can glue up some stuff, but when it comes to drills and saws I get a little intimidated which is where Mr. will come in.  I will gather the directions and supplies to get the project started, because if I wait for Mr. this will never get done!  I did a little more research and digging and stumbled upon this little beauty below which is more of our DIY speed and to top it off, she even included the DIY instructions!! 
As soon as we get past this rainy week and the weather is more spring-like temperatures, we will begin our DIY sandbox journey.  I'm really looking forward to the finished project. For now our yard is simply a blank canvas and yet still Brianna finds joy in running on the grass or just blowing bubbles outdoors. 
I can't wait to post pics of our final project.  Hopefully in 2 weeks we should have it completed!