Monday, February 28, 2011

Angela Conventry Photography

Creative. Fun. Energetic. Comfortable. Patient. Professional.....the list could go on and on.  Angela is one of a kind. She has been our family photographer for almost 3 years now.  She has done 2 of my kids newborn pictures, which people just rave about, she has done our family photo, and is going to be doing another one for us, and she has also done a personal photo shoot of myself as well.  Angela is so patient when it comes to her photo sessions.  She amazes me how relaxed she is, and how she listens to her client's wishes.  She is flexible and professional.  And when I say that she is patient, she is also understanding, which I experienced first hand when my newborn had an "accident" during one of her photo shoots!  I was so embarrassed and all Angela said was, "no worries, it's to be expected with newborns". Wow!
I have referred so many people to Angela because I know they will not be disappointed. 
Angela is the Owner/Photographer of Angela Coventry Photography. She is
located in Auburn Hills, MI and is available in studio and on location
throughout Oakland County - Metro Detroit - Southeast Michigan.

The pictures that you see here are of my daughter's newborn sessions thru the years. Melt.
You HAVE to check out her website and blog site, you are going to be impressed!

No one has permission to use these photo's for anything. They are the trademark and property of Angela Coventry Photography

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Photographer to check out

Introducing Emily Hutson Photography:


I am really happy to introduce Emily to you.   She is not only a great photographer, but a wonderful friend.  What I like about Emily Hutson Photography is that she truly enjoys all different kinds of photo sessions.  Emily is currently in the process of opening an in-home studio and will offer a bunch of promotions in the next month.  Once everything
is underway, I will be sure to update you all and give you all the new promotions! In the meantime, check out her blog/website at
You won’t be disappointed!

, here are some samples of a session she just did.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kids Bowling Theme Party

Alright, within the past 2 weeks we have been invited to 2 different bowling parties.  My 4 year old daughter went to one of the bowling parties already and totally loved it!  When we got the second invite for the boys next door’s birthday party, her eyes lit up with excitement.  It has inspired me to do a little post on throwing kids Bowling Themed Birthday Party!
This first part is for parties actually being held at a bowling alley, it can be expensive, so I will also have idea’s how to have a home bowling party on a budget! Let’s get started:
1.       Contact a local bowling alley at least 2-3 months in advance to secure at least 4 lanes (5 kids on each lane).  Find out what is included in the package price and if you can bring in your own cake.  Most bowling alley parties run about $11.95-15 per person.  My suggestion is to call a couple of bowling alleys and find the lowest price and start to ask for deals.
2.       You should not have to worry about the food since the package price should include food, find out if its pizza or if it’s different items the guests can choose at the concession stand.
3.       Send invites out at least 3 weeks in advance, you can make your own or check out this really cool site.
4.       Make bowling shirts for each kid, complete with their names on the front and on the back, put something as simple as “Jake’s Striking Birthday Bash”
5.       Most of the time at bowling alleys they will give the birthday child a bowling pin to be signed by guests, wishing the child a happy birthday.  If not, you can buy your own here for $8.95 and put a picture of your child on the pin using some mod podge glue and then have guests sign it.
6.       Decorations, use lots of balloons, and check out this site to help make decorating easier.
7.       Cake: you must go with a bowling ball, bowling pin or a combo of both.  Here are some suggestions:     Bowling Lane Cake, Bowling Pin Cake, Bowling Cake.

Bowling Party at home on a budget:
1.       Send out invites at least 3 weeks in advance. You can either buy store bought invites or make your own.  Here is a super cute suggestion I found online:
[Your child’s name]’s birthday party is right up your alley!
The king pin is turning [age]
Strike the date [give party date]
Spare the time [give party time]
Bowl on over to [give party address]
Get in the frame and RSVP to [your phone number]
2.       Pick up this super fun giant bowling set from either Amazon or Toys R Us. If you are having an outdoor party, use a large enough piece of plywood and paint a “bowling lane” onto the plywood and set the pins up!
3.       Décor: You can buy 2 of the bowling sets mentioned above and use them as décor on the tables.
4.       Make bowling shirts for each kid, complete with their names on the front and on the back, put something as simple as “Jake’s Striking Birthday Bash”
5.       Put a picture of your child on a bowling pin using some mod podge glue and then have guests sign it.
6.       Use this site for added décor if you wish.
7.       Food: Think of food that is served at a bowling alley:
*Bowling Alley Pizza: Have pizza in various flavors.*Hotdogs*Nachos*Hamburgers*Ice Cream

8.       Cake: you must go with a bowling ball, bowling pin or a combo of both.  Here are some suggestions:
a.       Bowling Lane Cake
b.      Bowling Pin Cake
c.       Bowling Cake

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

St. Patty's Day Dinner

Glazed Corned Beef - I got this receipe off of All - love, love this site! Enjoy!

Prep Time:
2 Hrs 45 Min
Cook Time:
25 Min
Ready In:
3 Hrs 10 Min


  • 1 (3 pound) corned beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish


  1. Place corned beef and contents of seasoning packet in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Add onion and celery. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Drain and discard liquid and vegetables. Place beef on a rack in a shallow roasting pan; set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Brush over beef. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


  • TEST KITCHEN TIP Slice corned beef against the grain for the most tender slices of meat.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oscar Time = Party Time!


Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 27th and get ready to have an over-the-top Oscar party with all your friends!  Here is a few tips on how to have a fun, budget-friendly, over-the-top Oscar Party.

  1. Use Evite to send out some Oscar Themed awesome e-invitations for free!
  2. Roll out the red carpet - or some red fabric, if you do not have either of these, try cutting out some large stars from cardboard and then using glue and glitter, write the names of those
    actors/actress's that are nominated for an award.  Place the stars on the ground like in Hollywood or get small wooded dowels (Michael's or Joann's for $0.59) and place them in ground every few feet as signs directing guests up to the door.
  3. Use large ostrich feathers in a tall glass vase and light the vase with battery operated Christmas lights.  Hide the battery box by dressing up the outside bottom of the vase with either black, gold, or red satin fabric.
  4. Place small Oscar statues around tables, and use small mirror's with votive candles on top to create glamorous lighting.
  5. Use any movie decor items you might have around the house or visit this site if you choose to purchase some.
And now the Food:

The simplest way is to create a small appetizer table and place popcorn, nuts, and mints around the tables and bar areas.  Here are some appetizer ideas:
  1. Classic Shrimp Cocktail and Sauce
  2. Cheese and Crackers
  3. Veggies and Dip
  4. Pretzel Rods dipped in chocolate and sprinkled in candy
  5. Cut out Rice Crispy treats with a Star cookie cutter and place a Popsicle stick in the bottom of them and then add a red or gold bow to it.
  6. Remember it's OKAY to ask guests to bring a small dish to pass to help keep costs low

  1. Oscar Bingo
  2. Bet on each category
  3. Have a little movie trivia

And don't forget to have your guests arrive in their finest attire! Break out those gowns and tuxes or suit's and have a night to remember!

Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter's Bone
Actor in a Leading Role: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco
Actress in a Leading Role: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams
Directing: Black Swan, The Fighter, The King's Speech, The Social Network, True Grit

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tips on Planning

I know it's been awhile since I last posted, I am sorry, things have been a bit crazy around around here. We had 3 parties within 3 days and now that the weekend is over, I feel as though I can breath again!

Now onto some quick tips for kids birthday parties.  Although my kids birthdays are not for another 5,7 and 8 months away - I have already started planning. 

Tip #1. - Plan Early - this way when you are out doing your regular shopping, do a quick "run through" of the store. Check all clearance aisle, end caps, and in the back of the store.  You can find GREAT deals and really stretch your budget this way.  Look at everything from plates, napkins, and balloons, to craft projects for the kids, games and invitations.

Tip #2. - Dollar Store - Here you can find great deals for your little one's party, it's amazing what you can find and if you are crafty, the possibilities are endless!  For those of you in the Macomb, Mi area, check out the Dollar Castle next to Hobby Lobby on the corner of Schoehner and Hall Rd. GREAT STORE! MANY selections!

Tip #3. - Sale, Sale, Sale - My rule of thumb, if it's not on sale, I don't buy it! It goes back to planing early. If you have a general idea of what your theme is going to be, you can start looking at things in the stores and keep checking to see if they go on sale or clearance.  It's amazing how much you can save! Plus, if you become familiar with your local stores, especially small local stores, you can ask them to call you when things go on sale or when they get new items in!

Tip #4 - Online Stores - There are so many great websites to check out and unique items you can obtain on line that will be sure to set your party out from all the others!  Get familiar with sites like Vista Prints, they have free products give aways, which you only have to pay for shipping.  They have everything from invites to save the date and thank you cards. I already have my invites for my daughters 3rd birthday and it's not until July! But Vista Prints had what I wanted for free, so I snagged them up while I could!  Oriental Trading is another great site to get items on a budget.

Tip #5 - Shop your House - So many times I buy things because they are on clearance and then shelf them.  So check to see what you have before you go shopping, sometimes, it's amazing what you will find!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let's Think Summer...
I love this table cloth idea, it's so simple and so much fun!  It's from the Aesthetic Nest and what I love about this idea is that you can get your kids involved by simply having them help pick out the colors.  If you want to dress it up a bit, think about adding some fringe to the bottom or perhaps just a bright colored ribbon...get creative and have fun!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Too Cute not to Share

So I had a couple of minutes to actually sit down today and scroll through some emails and blogs I follow - I saw this and just had to share with all of you. It comes from the ladys over at the crafting chicks blog.  I hope you all enjoy this super cute cake/candy stand, it's simple, easy and cheap, just the way I like it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Mailbox

While picking up my daughter from school the other day, I was informed we needed to make some sort of Valentines mailbox for our child to take to school for their Valentines Party and it needed to be large enough to fit even the biggest valentine! So I began to think what we could make that would be large enough for big homemade valentines and small enough for her to carry without much effort.  Here is what we came up with:

This idea came from Artists Helping Children with a few modifications that I made.  First, I did not make the mail slit on the front of the box ( it may not be big enough for some of the homemade valentines), instead, I only made the flap on the top of the box and secured it closed with 2 Velcro dots under the buttons I sewed on the ribbon.  We called our craft time, "Our Pre-Valentines Day Party" and we finished the night by baking heart shaped cookies!
Total time to do this project = 15 mins - start to finish, watching my daughter get excited as we created her masterpiece and display her foam hearts to stuck on = priceless!