Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Party Planning WEEK 7... delegate and accept

Hello party people!!

So, this has become the most dragged out party of the century- sorry!!

But, we are getting SO CLOSE to the big reveal {tomorrow}

This week, we are getting down to the wire- crunch time, with the party ONE WEEK AWAY!


Week 1:
Theme {circus/carnival}
Location {grandpa's ranch}
Colors {red, gold, and blue}

Week 2:
Budget {$250-strict}
Inventory {I have way too much stuff}
Activities {super fun games}

Week 3:
Food {hot dogs}
Cupcake List {4 delish carnival-inspired choices}

Week 4:
Semi Homemade {buy carnival stuff from amazon}

Week 5:
Invitations {Scribbles}

Week 6:
Birthday Shoot {adorable, if I do say so myself}
Carnie Assignments {you know you want to!}

Now, on to WEEK 7!!

Whew, we have a lot done, but we still have a LONG way to go!  And, I have to get everything I need and everything prepped, because I have a reunion to go to during week 8!  YIKES!  Doesn't summer just get SOO crazy-hectic!!

speaking of reunion, I thought I'd show you the crazy bunch I come from.  Jk, they're adorable and I love them to pieces- seriously, I have the best family!  Don't believe me- well, check out those sweet flower children- {necessity to maintain their privacy}.. so, when I offered to take a pic sans my lovely girls- you know, in case they aren't apart of our family in the future, just trying to help everyone feel comfortable- well, they not only refused but were revolted by the idea- "WHAT, no matter what happens, they are apart of our family NOW!"  Hence the flowers, because my family is so awesome I was not allowed to take another pic minus the girls.  Oh, and don't even get me started on all of the blankets and goodies they brought for them- see, AMAZING!  Sorry, folk, they are taken! ;)

This is when you need to swallow your pride and DELEGATE and ACCEPT.  Delegate simple tasks and, by all means, if someone offers to help- TAKE IT!

First task for week 7 that's being delegated:
decorate tin cans for the baseball throw.

I wanted the tin cans mod podged with some coordinating paper (bought at michael's- 5/$1).  I put my stepmom in charge of this, which she happily accepted.

Great- one less thing to worry about! :)

Second task: Beverage Station

via [tutorial]

My kind brother-in-law saw that I pinned this and OFFERED TO MAKE IT FOR ME!


This is one of those things that I thought was really cute- but, if I was short on time, was definitely going to get knocked off of the list of "to-do's!"  So I was VERY grateful that he offered to make it for me!!  Now, all I had to do was buy some soda and accessories to fill it with- thank you, Target, soda- 12 packs were 4/$12 and I found cute, cheap napkins and cups at Wal Mart- done and done!

Speaking of shopping, the time came to get ALL of my shopping done.  Leaving only the details for week 8.  First, I went through my cupcake list, and found all of the lacking ingredients, then the decor list, and finally the random list- you know, fishing wire, red and white string, etc.

After buying all of my last-minute necessities, this was the break-down:

cupcake goods: $45
{cake boxes, lemon flavoring, marshmellow fluff, twinkies.. the usg}

Other Food: $30
(buns, soda, fruit, animal crackers)

Which, from our $82 left over, gave us a whopping $7 remaining in the food budget.

For the decor/extra: $42
{string, root beer bottles, small fish bowls, ping pong balls, etc}

Which, from our $82.77 we had, left us with 40.77

I'm not very good with having left over money- so, I took myself down to our local antique shop, REMINESCE (obsessed), and found a cute vintage tool box in blue ($15) and an old little red ladder ($20).  Which brought the remainder down to 5.77.  Enough to grab a couple bags of ice on our way to the party! :)

With the remainder from the food money, I printed up some cute pictures of Boston for party decor.

Done and done- all that was left was assembly- no big deal, right?!?!

Well, tune in tomorrow to see the last minute preps


The blog reveal of


As for now,

Here's looking at YOU!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Just Another Manic MONDAY MUST!

Well, hello there friends!

This is not your average Monday!

Something BIG is happening!  What, you ask??

I'm getting to it- you don't want to ruin the suspense, DO YOU!?

First off, this week I came across a lovely quote I thought was appropriate to share today:

 "Friends...they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams."
~Henry David Thoreau

This is absolutely how I feel about friends and dreams.  It happens to be one of the thoughts behind MONDAY MUST!  To share with you my friends and help lift up their dreams!  Nobody can reach success alone, we all need each other.  And, the thing about dreams is, there is PLENTY of room in the airy-neverland that houses our inner-most desires for all of them!  

This is a wonderful transition point where I can introduce you to MY friend:

Mrs Alissa Bright.

This lovely author is the star of the show on this lovely Monday Must!

What did she do that is so MUST-WORTHY to find itself on my blog?? (because we are pretty exclusive over here...)

Oh, nothing, just write an AMAZING book that hit the electronic shelves TODAY!

Were you one of those people who was YEARS behind the times when it came to Twilight, Hunger Games, and every other trendy series???  Had everyone around you "read it YEARS ago!!"  (I hear that every time I read a book- who cares!?)  Well, this time, YOU can be ahead of the trend- heck YOU can start the trend!  Grab the book, read it, love it, and tell everyone about it!

Like the cover picture? Thanks, I did that! {shameless plug for myself, check}

So, where might one buy said book you ask?

Simple, I've got the link RIGHT HERE for you!

Your MONDAY MUST-READ this week is HALE'S STORM by Alissa Bright

Let's take a quick peek at the author before you go running off to buy your copy- because I know you are!

Don't you just love her??  

Get the inside scoop about the book from the author herself AND enter to win your own SIGNED copy, HERE!  

So, what do you think of the book so far?

Do you have an Monday Must-Reads for me??

Thank you for stopping by-

Here's Looking At YOU!


Friday, July 26, 2013


Hello Friends!!

How is your summer going??!

I CANNOT believe that July is almost at an end! :(

Hopefully you have enjoyed every sun-shiney morsel so far!!

We sure have: TONS of swimming, water-parking, reunion-ing, fair time, concerts, oh and taking pictures- OF COURSE!

Before I show you more pictures, let me back up--- wasn't there some sort of CONTEST going on??

Oh, ya, some SUPER special person has won themselves a FREE Looky Loo Photoshoot!

Gosh, how exciting!

First, I would like to thank everyone for participating!!  We had SUCH an outpouring of love on the blog and fan page this passed week, it's been lovely!

Without further ado, the winner of this years TUNE INTO JUNE photoshoot is....



{more applause}

Ok, ok... you get the idea, I'm pretty pumped!!

Didn't win?  Don't worry your little head too much, we like to keep things hoppin' around here and try to have frequent giveaways, so make sure you're following the blog and the fan page and stay tuned for more fun stuff in the months ahead.

ALSO, getting a great deal is the NEXT best thing.. so be sure and book your shoots NOW, because starting August 1st, our rates are going up... read more about that, here.

Now, on to more exciting things...

If you've been following the blog for a while, then you know that each year I like to pick a senior rep to be the face of Looky Loo for my senior clients.  

This year, I decided to kick it up a notch.

Not just one rep, BUT THREE- one from each of the local high schools.

And, not just a photoshoot, but hair and make-up AND an outfit AND brag cards.

Holy moly, these girls got the royal senior treatment!  We had a BLAST working together and I am SO excited to show you what we did.

This week, I'm focusing on MISS ATASCADERO.  She will be the face of my timeline on the fan page, have her own Senior Mag cover shot AND is the star of today's FOTO FRIDAY.

Without further ado, 

Representing Looky Loo this year, we have

hair/make-up: Jackie 
styling: LooWho of Looky Loo

There are SO many fun trends out right now, I could have gone in a million different directions!  To narrow down my choices, I consulted with Kelly, from messydirtyhair- a fashion guru.  I asked her for her 3 favorite trends RIGHT now.  I then let each girl pick a trend from the list and off I went to shop.  The girls didn't get to see their outfits (clothing and shoes) until the day of the shoot--- talk about pressure!  Can you imagine showing up to your senior portraits not knowing what you're going to wear?!  I love these girls and am so grateful for the good sports they were with the whole process.  To top it off, they each LOVED the outfits I bought.. WHEW!

Trend #1 that Kelly gave me was: Lace

I got Miss Atascadero a jean jacket with a fun lace cut-out in the back.  I matched it with a fun and flirty polka dot dress and  some super-cute tan shoes.  The perfect outfit for looking girly with a little edge!

Do you like it?

Don't worry, as you can see from the pictures, we also had another outfit put together from their own closet that we put together during their consultation, so if I was a total fail, they were safe! ;)

Thank you for stopping by the blog- be sure and give Miss Atascadero some love this week!  And, if you're looking to book with Looky Loo- BOOK TODAY!  Spots are filling up quickly!

As always,

Here's Looking at YOU!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Looky Loo UPDATES!!

Happy Saturday, Loves!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, so far!!  

As for me, I'm blogging and sprucing up my garage (I do not want it to get back to chaos, so I spend some time each month to make sure things get put in their proper place!)

First up, the winner of the bow ties...



Congrats!!  I will email you shortly to see what colors you want your new bow ties in! :)  

Thank you to everyone who has been participating in our giveaways so far!!  I look forward to this every year and really take a lot of time to think about what fun things I will give my fans!  I love you guys and am so grateful for the business you have helped me create!!!  A business is only as great as your fans, and, thanks to you, I think Looky Loo is pretty great! {if I do say so myself}

While we're on the subject of giveaways, I want to clarify a few things, it seems some people are having a hard time  with the new rafflecopter!

1.  just follow the links- they will lead you to the places

2.  If you already follow me on that media, that counts and it will let you have the points

3.  To follow the blog, head up to the top of the page and hit "join this site."  You have to follow publicly, otherwise I can't tell and you don't get credit for it.  If you're curious, just click on followers and if you don't see your name there, then you haven't followed.

4.  To leave a blog comment, go to the bottom of the post (just a couple paragraphs lower), and comment in the big white box.  You don't have to answer the question I asked- you can just tell me how much you love Looky Loo, but you have to leave a comment to get the points.

I check the entries and erase points that haven't been earned, so that everything is honest and fair.  Obviously, the more items you complete, the more points you have and the more likely you are to win. Although flattery gets you everywhere, I am not in charge of choosing the winner- rafflecopter keeps track of all the entries and chooses a random winner.  {finally, something off of my plate}

Now, onto more business updates..

As each year rolls around (June is what we consider to be our anniversary month), I take the time to re-evaluate the business, go over our assets, the amount of shoots we do, and take inventory on our goals and accomplishments.  With this information, I am able to assess how we are doing, where we need to improve and what changes need to be made.  I also contemplate A TON about our current pricing and how it reflects the time and money we put into the business.  

It's never fun to raise prices, but, alas, it is a necessity for a growing business.

However, I always like to give the opportunity to my clients to book at the current rates before they jump up!  {good news!}

So, as of August 1st, we will have a whole new price point, be offering amazing new packages and changing pretty much every session we offer.  We want to offer you the BEST!

With that being said, you have 11 DAYS to book at our current rates!  You can book up to a year in advance.  Payment is full is due at the time of booking to ensure your spot and rate.  You can even just buy a gift certificate if you're not sure on the exact day, but you know which shoot you want.

Keep in mind that August is almost completely booked, with only ONE remaining Saturday open and only TWO weekday shoots available.  Starting in September I will be limited to only Friday and Saturday shoots as El Jeffe starts his masters program.  THESE WILL GO FAST, so booking early will not only ensure a better rate, but will ensure a spot in our busy schedule!

We love all of our wonderful clients and hope to see all of your smiling faces this fall!!  I can't tell you how lucky I feel that such amazing people decide to hire us- it really is a privilege to be apart of your lives, even if only 1 hour!

**Don't forget about our FREE shoot giveaway going on here!**

Before I sign off, I will leave you with some pictures, since that is what we do around here! :)


Here's Looking at YOU!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Party Planning Week 6, Boston's 3 yr Photoshoot

Welcome back to the party planning committee!

Let's recap:

Week 1:
Theme {circus}
Location {Grandpa's house}
Colors {red, mustard, blue}

Week 2:
budget {$250}
inventory {have a ton}
activities {way fun}

Week 3:
buy food {didn't break the budget yet}
cupcake list {delicious}

Week 4:
buy stuff for booths {still under budget}
organize what we still need {tons}

Week 5:
invitations {by scribbles- AMAZING}

Now what?!

Now that the invitations have been decided, and the guest list made, I need one more insert: a picture of our sweet little ring leader.

Conveniently, I double as a photographer on my spare time!  ;)

When planning this shoot, I had a TON of ideas.  Circus/carnival can lead you in so many directions!

At first, I thought: full-blown circus... EVERYTHING even remotely resembling a circus act thrown into the ring.  But, then, I decided against it.  A: I had already done a shoot like that, and B: All of that stuff would be decorating his party, so it seemed a little redundant.

While driving home from Target, I noticed the PERFECT backdrop: an old, circus-y train cart perched on a hill.  Right theme, right colors.  LOVE IT!  Now, what props to add and what to wear.  After debating for a while, I decided I wanted this shoot to be simple- just a ring master and his cart, a boy and his dreams.

I love when inspiration just HITS you out of nowhere.  As we were on our way to the shoot, I thought a finger mustache would be PERFECT- I love how it added to my ideas about imagination and dream- a play-like feel.  And Boston was TOTALLY on-board!

Well, why don't I stop talking and let you see for yourself:

Isn't he so charming?  There's something about the mischief in his eye that tugs at my heart strings!  

So, now the invitations are COMPLETE and ready to be sent out!  

Come one, Come all to the main event... and all that jazz!!

Next, up- secure my Carnies.

In case you didn't notice, the budget did not leave room for hired-hands.  So, enter in family-hands- my loyal and loving volunteers!

Oh, how I love my family and their willingness to participate in all of my shenanigans!  Accordingly, everyone said yes to the positions.

My brother even took it one step further and found me a hot-dog machine to borrow, and my step-mom got her hands on a sweet popcorn machine!  DOUBLE SCORE!!  Carnival food MUST COME FROM A MACHINE!  Aroma therapy carnival style-CHECK!

Whew!!  Party planning can be SOOO tiring!!

How about a GIVEAWAY to cool off??!

FIRST, let's announce the winner of the SIMPLY PUT giveaway......


GO GIRL, get your organization on!!  I will email you shortly with all of the details and get you that gift certificate asap!  CONGRATS!!

As our grand finale giveaway, we are GIVING AWAY a PHOTOSHOOT!  One hour, unlimited people, anywhere in San Luis Obispo County {**unless you want to pay for the travel fees, then it could be anywhere your heart desires**}  Just follow the directions below and start dreaming away, because it's quite possible it could be YOU with a brand new shiny photoshoot!  Giveaway is open from today [July 19th] until next Thursday [July 25th] at 9pm, winner announced Friday on the blog!

Get Going!

I hope you enjoyed another day of planning and another sweet giveaway!!  I sure appreciate you!!  

here's looking at YOU!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Tinker... Bow Ties

Here we go!  Gettin' back in the groove!!

2/2- takin' it one day at a time!!

Last night, as I was cooking dinner for some guests, I decided to splice open my left ring finger.  Interesting choice in fingers, I might add.  Since, if you know the tradition behind the whole wedding band, you know that the ring finger on your left hand contains a very interesting vein- one that, I don't know, leads to your heart.  One that, perhaps, if one were to miss the watermelon and puncture, would cause a cascade of blood erupting in every direction.  

In the five grueling seconds it took me to turn from the island to the sink, I managed to create what looked like a murder scene in our kitchen.  Totally sanitary.  Yum. Yum.  Well, luckily all the food {except the fateful watermelon} had already been placed on the table!  

Why am I telling you this really dramatic rendition of my pretty lame knife wound?  It wasn't the cut, the blood, or my hysterical calm and collected reaction that hit me- it was my son's reaction.  As my husband sat my shaking, babbling, crying and ghost white self on the couch, my son rushed over and calmly repeated,

"It's ok, Mom.  You are going to be ok.  You know, Jesus will take care of this.  He can heal you, you just have to calm down and trust Him."

Wow.  Is he really four-years-old?  Did my tiny little man really give me the reassurance I needed that everything was going to be ok?

The saddest part is, that had the roles been reversed and he been on the couch bloodied and crying, I still would have been hysterical!

Where did this kid come from?!

Amidst all the chaos and eruptions in life, it's nice to be reminded that..

Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright!!

So, now that you've gotten my two cents for the day, let's rush on to TUESDAY TINKER!!

If you have ever met me, you know that I.LOVE.BOWTIES!  It's an obsession, really.  And, back when my first son was born, they were not so readily available.  So, as any rational mother who NEEDS a bow tie would do, I found a way to make my own!

Just look at these:

Want to learn how??  I am sending you right on over to this lovely site {remember life is full of chaos and not all of us have time to do tutorial posts} to get the inside scoop.  These are the exact directions I follow when producing the lovely bow ties that adorn the necks of my sweet little dream boats.

What do you think?  You just need a little fabric, some felt, and some velcro and you're in business!  You can thank me when you're up until midnight the night before your husbands graduation making green and gold "mustang" bow ties.  YOU.ARE.WELCOME!

Since we are continuing on with TUNE INTO JUNE this lovely week of July, why not spare you the time and hassle and offer you your own SET OF BOW TIES!

That's right, I know you- I know you didn't even click on that link because you thought, "I do not have time for that!"  Well, friend, lady luck is on your side.  Simply fill out as many entries as you can, keep your fingers crossed- CROSS 'EM- and just maybe, I will be the one staying up until midnight making bow ties for YOUR little dream boats!!

Winner receives TWO bow ties in the color of their choice!  Giveaway runs from NOW until Friday at Midnight EST.  And this giveaway is totally mail-able, so all US residents are welcome to enter!!

Don't forget about our other giveaway going on now for some much-needed organization from Simply Put!  Go HERE for more deets on that...  And because I love you so much, I thought I would give you my simple tip for organization:

I am a list-writer.  If you go through the drawers of my desk, you will find endless note-pads and notebooks filled with lists.  It's how I keep all the crazy in my head organized.  So, when it came to organizing my household chores into something manageable, I knew I needed a list.  I tried coming up with my own schedules, but I couldn't quite find anything that I could stick to or that worked.  Then it happened, I stumbled on the most perfect list on Pinterest! {DUH}  Is there anywhere else to go for all of your earthly needs?!

Here she is, my household chores organized into a daily list that I can check-off...


Isn't it beautiful??

Well, stay organized and get bow-tied!  Oh, and take a deep breath, because although summer can be fun and exciting, I know there are times you are wanting to pull your hair out in frustration!  Hang in there, kid- you're doing great!

Until next time friends, Here's Lookin' At You!! ;)


Monday, July 15, 2013

MONDAY MUST!! AND, a giveaway!

Hello Friends!!

Well, I finally have my life back in order, after a crazy-hectic month.

So, I'm just going to pick up where I left off and continue on.  Don't worry, at some point, you WILL get to see how the big birthday party turned out! ;)  I PROMISE!

But, today, we are getting back into TUNE INTO JUNE (I am fully aware that it is July, but I feel the need to give more things away!!)

First up, the winner of the first TUNE INTO JUNE giveaway, my lovely headband, is...


Woo hoo!  Email me your address, and I will get your loot headed your way!! :)

Now, time for some Monday Must!!

I have been waiting a while to share this JUICY must-try thing with you!! 

About a month ago, I hired the lovely and talented Christine Coons of Simply Put to organize my garage.  To say this task was daunting would be an understatement!  There was a time, long ago, where my garage was organized and I could find whatever I wanted, when ever I wanted.  Well, that was short-lived.  Enter in 6 months of piling, prop buying/storing, re-piling, crafting, and shoving things anywhere possible.  Which left us with, well, a small cove to enter in and no way to manuever around, let alone find anything useful.  Let's just say getting ready for shoots was less-than a pleasant experience!


I was in need of help!

Enter in: SUPER ORGANIZER, Christine Coons.

She took one look at my disaster and ran calmly devised a plan where we would have in fully-functional and organized in FOUR HOURS.  4 hours?  Are you kidding me?  I'm not going to lie, I was a little skeptical.



But, I followed along and did everything she asked.  First, pulling everything from the garage and creating a GINORMOUS pile of crap stuff on my driveway.  As we pulled it out, we organized and cleaned as we went, prepping ourselves for the re-placement.  

There were so many amazing and magical things that happened.  Once emptied, Christine used the shelving and storage I already had and repositioned it in a way that made so much more stuff.  Things I utilize all the time were placed next to the door to the house for easy access, like things were stored together, and all boxes were labeled and stored away based on use and need.


4 hours on the dot, and what did my garage look like?  HEAVEN!  So beautiful, clean and organized!

Now, when looking at this picture, take into consideration that I have to have a TON of props on-hand,  but she found a way to keep it all and organize it in a way that it is on-hand and ready to use!  

NOT an easy task!


So, what do you think?

My husband was in awe when he came home!  We both walked through it over and over to take it all in- it was just so amazing!!

I'm sure you have a room or two that could use some help.  

Well, I think I can help you out.. Today, I'm giving away a $50 gift certificate to SIMPLY PUT!!  That's good for up to 2 whole hours of Christine help in your cluttered area (depending on size of room and degree of clutter)!!!  


Then get on it- I've finally joined the tech age and made entering SUPER EASY!

(sadly, Christine is located in Paso Robles, so this giveaway is limited to locals- but don't worry, we'll have more good stuff for everyone tomorrow!)

Giveaway starts today and ends at midnight Thursday night- So get going!!

Just a little tip from Christine of Simply Put to send you on your way:

"When you are ready to reorganize, ask yourself: are the things you are holding onto a tool, a treasure, a toy, or trash?  Identifying your stuff will help you determine where it belongs and what priority it has in your daily life.

"Seek to Simplify!"

-Chirstine Coons

As always, have a BEAUTIFUL day!!  Be sure and tell me what your Monday Must is!!  Maybe, just maybe it will wind up starring on here! ;)