Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birthday Bash Countdown- Week 3

Hello Friends!!

Here we are again- talking birthday!!

So, circus/carnival... Hmm, let's refresh ourselves as to where we are at in this whole process:

Theme- Circus/Carnival antique

Location- Grandpa's house

Colors- Red, Blue, Mustard

Budget- $250

Inventory of what I have- ridiculous

List of Games- fun!

That brings us to Week 3!

So, now what- we have a whole lot of ideas, not very much money and time is ticking away!

I want to start concentrating on food.  I've allotted myself $100 for food and I want to stretch that AS FAR AS POSSIBLE- obvi.

How does one do that, you ask?

As I've pointed out several times so far- refer back to rule #1: PLAN AHEAD!

Since I have been planning in advance, I knew what foods to look out for and knew that Memorial Weekend BBQ foods tend to be on sale.


What are we going to eat?

I'm wanting to have a whole carnival/fair food vibe going, PLUS, B's favorite food is hot dogs... SO the main dish is pretty obvious: 

Well, fortunately for me, all of America eats hot dogs on Memorial day, and all of the grocery stores sell them for SO CHEAP!

Off to the grocery store!

2 huge bags of chips

10 pkg hot dogs

1 huge ketchup

2 containers lemonade powder

Woop Woop!

I am now left with $82!

But, there are still a lot of food items I need- cupcake stuff, cake pop stuff, buns, etc.  So I will be keeping an eye on my local adds to see where the best deals are!

Speaking of cupcakes, this would be a good time to decide on a cupcake menu for the party, so that I know what I'm looking for when I shop!

Cupcakes are my favorite part of the party and I like to make special cupcakes to match the theme of the party.  Just my personal OCD and, in no way, necessary!  I just think it adds a fun touch!

For this party, as I mentioned, I want a carnival/fair-like feel to the food.  When thinking of sweet-treats at the fair, I thought of:
*Chocolate-covered bananas
*funnel cakes
*deep-fried everything
*Cotton Candy

SO, with that list, I've narrowed it down to these cupcakes:

*Twinkie cupcake with a cream center and a deep-fried twinkie bite on top

*Boston Cream Pie Cupcake (vanilla bean cupcake with vanilla custard center and chocolate ganache topped with cotton candy)

*Funfetti Funnel-cake- (funfetti cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a funnel cake piece on top)

*Dipped Banana Cupcake (banana cupcake with chocolate center, peanut butter/cream cheese frosting and a chocolate dipped banana piece on top)

Drooling?  Ya, I love cupcake-ing!

While step one is imagining the perfect cupcakes for a party, step 2 is finding a recipe to match the dream!

Here are a few of the recipes I've found so far to match up with my dreams:

You get the idea- pinterest is your best friend!  I am amazed at things these people come up with- and then post!  THANK YOU!

Well, I feel accomplished- do you?  We have a good dent put into our food section and a very sweet list of cupcakes!  Whew- and all without breaking a sweat! ;)

What cupcakes would you concoct for this event?  Have you seen any good deals on fair-ish food?  Or are you secretly wishing you were 3 and Boston's friend so you could get down on this goodness?

Let me know your thoughts on the party-planning so far!!  I LOVE hearing your input and ideas!

One writer last week led us to discover Fortune Cookies for our Fortune Teller booth!!  Thank  you Alissa!!  We were able to pick up 2 HUGE boxes for $4!!!  YAYAYA!

So, keep your input coming- I always appreciate it! ;)

For now, I hope today is Looking great for you!!  I'll see you tomorrow for your week four dose (because I was lame and forgot to do week 3 last week) of birthday planning!

Also, keep spreading the word about our Senior Rep Shoot coming up!!  We're picking the seniors THIS Saturday!!  (read more here)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Hello Loves!!!

Here I am and back with something NEW and FUN!

This month, I teamed up with some amazing girls for THE MESSY PROJECT!

Hosted by MessyDirtyHair, the Messy Project is a fun spin on fashion, friends, and blogging!

Haven't heard of it??  Well, luckily you can read all about it here.

Here are the basics:

1 item

5 girls

5 different looks

1 huge blog day!

Sound exciting?

I thought so!  So, I joined... Not only because Kelly is one of my best friends, or because I love getting new clothes- but I really thought this sounded like a lot of fun!!

**disclaimer- by no means am I at all a fashion guru, but I did my best and had fun with it!

So, here we go--

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, I FINALLY got a package in the mail from messydirtyhair, and this is what it contained:

Ok, now what?  What crazy new re-invention of an outfit can I put together with this??

My initial self was screaming jeans and an infinity scarf- maybe white pants and coral shoes- ya, I was getting really deep.  Of course then Kelly texted and said to go deeper than white pants.  Lol, scratch that idea! ;)

So, I decided to go outside my comfort zone.  I scoured the internet for inspiration and to check out trends.  One trend I kept seeing that caused some cold sweats was color on color.  Really?  I like to match and all, but that seemed a little overkill to me.

Hmm, good place to start.

Now I have a color on color scheme, just need to add some accessories and a random pop- because I just couldn't commit myself to only using one color.  This is where I left my computer and went out on my outfit hunt.  Immediately entering Forever 21, I noticed one thing in about a million variations: jean vests.  Really?  Are we doing that again?  (I know, I'm a mom and totally out of the loop)

Ok, I guess we're doing this thing full force.

So, here you have it, the 2 trends I found most out of my comfort zone combined into one outfit for your viewing pleasure:

 I'm not going to lie- doing a shoot BY MYSELF was probably the hardest part of this whole process!  I am not a fan of being on this side of the camera and dreaded it!  My thoughts behind this shoot were easy- I wanted a background that let the outfit stand out.  Something simple with basic colors that the coral could pop off of!  What do you think?

It wasn't long into the shoot that I needed some company- I really don't know how people can be so comfortable taking pictures along- so I snuck in a couple with my boys! :)

My children really are my favorite accessory! 

On with the show- so, where did it all come from??

shoes: Just Fab- random, I know but I love this site!

 bangles- Forever 21

 jean vest and bow belt: Forever 21

headband: via a lovely local crafter named Sondra Williams

NOW, please go check out some girls who actually know what they're doing!!  This really is the best part- getting to see all the different ways the top can be worn!!

Kelly @ MessyDirtyHair

 Well, did you love it!!???  Are you bold enough to try some new trend???  ROCK IT!  To be totally honest, I LOVE this outfit and fully plan on wearing it again!  And the jean vest is fabulous!  Totally converted!  So, thank you, Kelly for pushing me out of my comfort zone!!

As always, have a wonderfully amazing day, loves!!

** Don't forget, we're picking our Senior Models THIS Saturday- email today to get in on the goods!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Party Planning Week 2

Hey friends!!

So, this was totally supposed to go up yesterday- but, the busy mama that I am, I totally forgot.

Or, I did not sit at my computer for more than 2 seconds all day.

Let me tell you, four kids under 5= not one spare second some days!

And, yesterday was one of those days- we had a family shoot- FOR US!

Shout out to Saulo Photography!!!  He was so patient with our "zoo!"  I can't wait to show you what we captured- there were old campers, random tin buildings, and pinky beachy sunsets... just to give you a taste!!

So, back to yesterday's post...

If you read my post on Monday, you know I had a giveaway going on- For a FREE Scribbles Printables Package!!

Well, the winner of that amazing prize is....

{drumroll please}



Congratulations, Alissa!  I've messaged my super-talented sister, so feel free to put your order in with her whenever you want!!  She will be anxiously awaiting it! :)

Now, on with the show!

Last week, I introduced you to Party Planning with LOOKY LOO.

Read more here.

We are 8 weeks out and I am going to show you step by step how I plan a party and how it all comes together, or doesn't.  You decide.

What we've got so far:

Theme: Circus/Carnival- antique

Location: Grandpa's house

Colors: red, blue, and mustard

Now what?

Now it's time to make the hard decisions.  Time to nail down that tricky thing that nobody wants to talk or think about.  Budget.

Yuck.  Just saying it is no fun!

But, the best party planner knows her budget and sticks to it.  No.Matter.What.

We are in the business of having fun- not going broke.

So, what you ask is my outrageous, ridiculous budget for this carnival extravaganza??


I will beg barrow and steal, but I will not cross that number.

How are we going to break that down?

$100 to food.

$150 to decorations and party favors.

Not too shabby.  It doesn't seem like a lot- but, trust me, I will be stalking garage sales for the next 7 weeks to get every item on my list.


Next step.

So we talked about getting a notebook and writing down all of  your ideas and dreams for the party.  Every fleeting thing that passes through your subconscious.  Now, it's time to take those ideas, combine them with everything pinteresting you've noticed, and start making a list.

What are your goals for the party?

What do you want to have at the party?

What do  you want the party to look like?

What do you want the party to feel like?

While we're making this list, let's start with the things we already have.

What circus-like things do you have lying around?

Ok, so here are a few things that I have lying around my house:
popcorn machine,
old buckets,
my converted lemonade stand with a red/burlap top
hoola hoop
big bouncy balls
suit cases
big top canopy
lots of gunny sacks
a pepsi crate
old wooden crates in different sizes
a ferris wheel cupcake holder
a cake pop holder
various blue and red sheets
chairs in party colors

Ok, now we're getting somewhere.

Start my list:

I want my guests to walk away having had a carnival-type experience.  Fun, entertainment and excitement.

My goal is to get most of the prep done ahead of time.

I want to stay organized and have a huge party without a huge amount of stress.

Mostly, I want my big 3-year-old to walk away having had the best birthday he could imagine!

I want to have various carnival games and activities at the party.

I want each member of my family to run a circus booth and be involved in the fun.

I want the party to be colorful and inviting.  I want it to look old-fashioned and exciting.  I want people to feel like they've stepped back in time to the old circus shows.

I want the party to feel like a circus.  The main attraction being Boston!

Not too much to ask right?

I promise, as we break everything down it won't be.  We just have to stay ahead of the game!

Last step for today:
Narrow down the carnival booths.

I want each booth to have a table, or station, and a colorful sheet behind it, to mimick the feel of a carnival or circus.  Bright colors everywhere!

So, obviously, carnival games could include a never-ending list of fun things.  But, today, to get things rolling, I need to narrow that list down and come up with a set of games that will entertain our guests.

Here's my list:

*Face Painting {enlist artist sister}

*Balloon Animals {enlist fun uncle}

*Fortune Teller {fish bowl filled with fortune cookies}

*Ring Toss {pepsi box with glass bottles and ring}

*Ball Toss {refurbished cans and baseball}

*Goldfish Toss {dollar store fish bowls and fish crackers and ping pong ball}

*Sack Races {put those gunny sacks to good use!}

*Balloon Pop {pallet with balloons taped on, darts}

*Photo Booth {strips of fabric hung up for a backdrop with fun circus props}

Don't worry, I have a lot of family! :)

Out of all that, all I need are balloons, face paint, goldfish crackers, fish bowls, fortune cookies, and darts!

Not too shabby!

Look around your house and see what you already have that can be transformed into a fun game!

This is a great starting place.  Now time to shop around and see where I can get the best bang for my buck for all of these items!

Wow, I think we actually have the makings of a party on our hands.


Well, my party-goers.  This is the end of today's brainstorming.  Time to get to work and get my hands on some sweet deals!

Anyone been to a circus/carnival party lately?

What booths would you do?

Any tips?

Alas, my youngest circus animal is roaring for attention, so that is all for today! :)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Looky Loo Swag

Hey there, looking for a way to get your hands on some free swag from me?

Well, read away my friends!

First, I want to introduce you to my friend, Camille.

What's so special about Camille, you ask?

Well, besides getting to be the face of my Senior launch this year,
Camille was also my Sponsor Senior last year!

What does that mean?

Well, each year, as the school year comes to an end and we start to embark down Senior Portrait Lane, I choose a senior to represent Looky Loo Photography.

They get the totally styled shoot of their dreams- working with me one-on-one all the way through the process!  FOR FREE!  The trade?  She then tells everyone just where to go for these amazing pics--{if I do say so myself}

This year, we are upping the ANTE!  

Instead of just ONE Senior Rep, we are doing THREE senior reps!  One from each of the local high schools!


And, we may not stop there.  We're looking for 1-2 2014 seniors from Paso, Templeton and Atascadero to represent Looky Loo Photography.

You will get a lovely and totally styled portrait session, pass-along cards with your face on them, AND swag.... How could you resist!!??

Where do I go to enter?? 

Head over to and give me all of your info plus a pic.  I'm looking for a mix of girls and boys- but mostly, people who love to take pictures!

Winners will be selected THIS Saturday, June 1st and shooting will commence the second week of June (13-15, or whenever we get our schedules to mesh)!

Come one, come all!  Don't miss out on this AMAZING opportunity!!

Need more proof for your pudding?

Here are just a few of the portraits from Camille's complimentary session last year:

What are you still doing reading my blog?!!  Head on over and email me.... NOW!

Oh, and if you're closer to a senior citizen than a senior in high school, don't you worry- TUNE INTO JUNE is right around the corner- and I'm predicting some pretty heavy giveaways coming your way... of course, in the meantime, do feel free to pass this info along to those you know that would benefit! :)

Also, don't miss out on my giveaway going on THIS week----read here

Have a LOVELY day!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday MUST!!

Hello Friends!!

Well, here I am again, giving you your weekly dose of 


Or, not so weekly- occasionally maybe?


Here I am.  

In case you've been feeling lost and need some inspiration on a MUST in your life.  I'm here.  I take this moment every week to share with you something I LOVE.  And, if you know me, you know that when I LOVE something I have to tell EVERYONE!  

Why peruse through life blinded and alone?  We are all here to share and guide.

This week, I think it's time I tell you a little about my sister's lovely business:

We're talking a MUST try.

Whenever I throw a party, my first stop is her shop- she can do some AMAZING things with printables.  And yet, I still see people buying the crap from Wal Mart.

Alright, I've said it.  It's out there.

I feel there is NO excuse for lame invitations.

So, you're not Martha Stewart and can't make a flower out of paper?  Fine, there are super talented people out there who have taken out ALL the work.

Order invitations and goodies, print at Office Max, cut out- DONE AND DONE.

Completely personalized and created just for your party.

Trust me- she can do anything- from gatsby to an over-the-hill "prehistoric" party and everything in between.  

Well, instead of blabbing all by myself this week, let me introduce you to the woman behind the screen, my sister and let her explain just how one would go about using such things.

Mandy Freeland
of Scribbles

Here's the scenario: you have a party to plan, and you want it to be simple and fun.  You have a theme chosen.  You want to serve those fabulous little goodies you saw on television.  You want to have special little touches that make it unique and amazing.  And, you don't want to spend a ton of money at the party store, buying cheesy plastic decorations that you'll never use again and aren't that cute anyway.   I have a great solution for you - party printables!  You can have a professional graphic designer create party decorations that you can print from your house or take to a commercial printing store (i.e. UPS Store, OfficeDepot, FedEx-Kinkos, etc.) OR upload to a printing store that will mail you the finished product. 
This is where I come in!  I am a graphic designer that specializes in creating event products for people like you!  Whatever your next event is, be it wedding, birthday party, bachelorette party, or just a simple {July 4th} barbeque, you can make it amazing with invitations and decorations that you can print yourself {meaning you can print as many as you need} for a low price. 
So - what are printables, exactly?  Printables are digital files (PDF or JPG) of invitations or decorations that are letter-sized and ready to print.  They can be printed on your home computer on cardstock paper or specialty label paper.  Then they're cut out, and if needed, assembled.  It's quick, easy, and custom!
How are printables used in parties??  The possibilities are endless!  Banners, cupcake toppers, and goodie labels are the most popular, but I also create water bottle wraps, bottle labels, cupcake wraps, candybar wrappers, favor tags, cone party hats, popcorn cones, party signs, coloring mats, and even party games!  Each item can be customized, too!  The colors and graphics used are selected to reflect your theme.  Once the printables are cut out, they are assembled using craft items that you probably have around your home {toothpicks, ribbon, tape or glue are just a few}. 
I love the idea of crafting your own party!  Printables are a great way to add your handmade special touches to your event!  And they can be inspirational to your party features.  Let's say you're looking to spice up a barbeque.  Why don't you add a S'mores Station?  You put together the ingredients to make your own s'mores and add printable labels and signs to add a little cleverness!  Whether you're throwing a grand event or a backyard family gathering, adding some themed printables can take your party from bland to amazing!

Check out her stuff here!!


Well then, let's get party planning!

How would you like your own custom printables package??

Well, lucky you, because I'm giving one away- TODAY!

How do I enter-might you ask??

Well, head on over to the Scribbles Facebook page and give her a thumbs up (as in, like the page), comment that Looky Loo sent you.  While you're over in facebook land, be sure and give my page a like, here.  Then head back over and comment below letting me know that you've done those 3 things.  Winner picked on Friday at noon pst.  


What's something you love that you MUST tell me about??  

Have you used printables for your parties yet??

Thanks for stopping by!!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Has Anybody Told You?


What a wonderful day to celebrate!!

In my opinion, it's really a day to celebrate women as a whole.  I believe that women are born with a beautiful gift: to nurture.

But, hey, what do I know- I've been a mom for whopping 4.5 years.  While sometimes it feels never-ending, really it hasn't been that long and I am definitely no guru on the subject of mothering!  To be honest, most days I'm happy if, by the end of the day, we're all still alive to tell about it.  It's the little things- right?!

I do know that I could not be the woman or mother I am today without the example of so many women in my life.  Not all of them have been mothers, but they have been nurturing and loving of my not-so-cuddly self.  Helping me grow to the less-thorny version I am today.

And for that, I am truly grateful!

So, to women young and old, I salute you!  I thank you for your time and commitment to those people in your life.  For your love and affection.  

A woman is a beautiful thing.  And, sadly, I think that gets lost somewhere in translation.  When do we stop twirling in the mirror loving everything about ourselves?  When does the world tear down our defenses and leave us vulnerable and afraid?

My wish for you on this woman's holiday, is that, for one second, you see yourself through my lens.

I cannot express in words how beautiful you are.

Go ahead, twirl in the mirror.  Yes, you.  Go on, DO IT!

You are beautiful, you are wonderful, you are so special.

Nobody was designed quite like you.  Embrace those beautiful eyes!  Run your fingers through that gorgeous hair!  Pucker those beautiful lips!  Swing those tiny hips!

Today is not a day about flaws and imperfections- today is a day to embrace the beauty you have been given!!  If only for one second, see that beauty in yourself!

So, as I was thinking about the earth-shattering message I would share with you for mother's day, I kept envisioning all of the wonderful women in my life who have touched me.  I started thinking about the characteristics they have that have helped me to grow in my life.  I then found a list of all the important characteristics that a mother posses- and with that list I built this:

Has Anybody Told YOU, You're Beautiful?

Today, I'm telling you.

You might agree if you could see what I see!

Have a wonderful weekend FULL of celebration and happiness!!

All my love to you and yours!!

I leave you with a few pictures from our lovely Mother's Day Little Looky:


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Burger Wedding

Dum, Dum Da-Dum!

Well, I think you've heard enough of my ramblings lately...


As I've mentioned lately, I am SO behind on blogging, so I won't waste one more second sharing this BEAUTIFUL country wedding with you!

Meet MR and MRS Burger:

I hope you enjoyed reminiscing through this wedding with me!!  Be sure and leave some love for the lovely bride and groom and their GORGEOUS wedding!!


Have a lovely day!!