My Mini Studio

This fall I decided I needed to try and build my own at home mini studio. I have a great space in my garage and could see potential but I was never brave enough to go for it. One morning I woke up with a client who needed a space to do a specific kind of session and I was inspired once again to create that space for myself. 

This was my garage before:

My husband and I cleared out a substantial area and then we went shopping for some supplies. We bought two bike hanger hooks, some PVC pipe and caps and a roll of seamless backdrop paper. Then we installed the hooks on the garage wall. 

 

Then I hung the roll of seamless paper on the PVC pipe and used the hooks to hold it. When I unrolled it I used clamps to hold the paper in place and painters tape to secure it to the flooring. My backdrop roll isn’t very wide so I put up some white cloth behind it on the wall and laid some out on the floor beneath my staging area.  I used the lighting I already owned, purchased on amazon. 

It only takes up about 1/4th of my garage space, and I can roll it up and have it out of sight when it’s not in use and park my car inside again.  But this small mini studio has the potential for so many creative sessions. 

before editing:

after some very basic editing:

I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this low cost, 2 hour project (including shopping time). I can’t wait to utilize it on many more projects!

Quick update!

Hello Friends! I am so sorry I haven’t been very active on my blog. I have been focused on school, work and family…all very important (albeit time consuming things). I hope you have all been great.  I will be resuming blogging very soon, just need to get my life a little more organized…until then feel free to catch up with me via Instagram: Eventful Magic   DizCactus (Disney account)

 

Hope you all have a fantastic week, and don’t forget to vote!!!

also, be sure to check out my latest photography special for the holidays:

Disney Halloween Trip!

Early this month my family and I took a trip to Disney to enjoy The Disneyland Halloween event. My in-laws were kind enough to gift us with Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets and we were all able to go together! We have been to Disney several times during the Halloween season but have never been able to attend the actual party, so we were really excited to see it all. The kids had such a great time in their costumes while they were trick-or-treating in the parks! They give you SO MUCH CANDY!! And there were so many rare villains out at the end of the night for the parade. Villains are Ben’s favorites and he was able to meet and interact with quite a few while we waited for the parade to begin.  They had the Headless Horseman in the parade and dancing ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, it was really awesome. I didn’t bring my good camera that night because I was trying my best to take everything in and not distract myself from making memories. 

The next morning our group met up for breakfast at this really fun spot called Pann’s Diner. It was a really neat old school style diner with REALLY yummy food. We enjoyed our big family breakfast and then the boys went with the grandparents for the Hot Wheels Convention!! My Father-in-Law collects Hot Wheels and the boys were stoked that they got to go to their first convention together. While they did their thing Chris and I met up with our Disney Family! We have met so many amazing people through my Disney Instagram account and now we look forward to seeing them and spending time together each trip. Our group met up and we went on a bunch of rides and just spent time goofing around and doing some photography and Instagram stuff together. They even talked us into going on The Incredicoaster! Chris and I are huge chickens when it comes to the big fast rides so we were really nervous but it was so fun! You can even smell cookies in one of the tunnels on the coaster. I am definitely planning on going on it again. I don’t really know how to describe all these people, but I can say with 100% confidence that they are accepting of all kinds. They didn’t have to hang out with us and put up with our awkwardness but they have been amazing. They really make me feel like apart of their circle, and I am a better person for having met them. 

Our final day of the trip was really neat! I took my camera into the parks to get some shots for myself, and of some pins for a company that  I Brand Rep for (CastelBabeCo). Then later in the morning i met up with some other Instagrammers for the first time. It was very fun to host my own little meet-up! I had goody bags for everyone with Halloween treats and I was fortunate enough to have 5 ladies show up and come hang with me at Disney. We went on some rides and took some cute castle pics and even spotted a Backstreet Boy while getting off The Jungle Cruise! It felt great getting to know these girls and spending time with them, and I hope to see them again soon. I am not able to get back to the parks for a few months so I am in the process of planning a Central Valley Disney Meet-Up here in Fresno and I am excited to see who shows up! Later in the day Chris and Ben joined me and we went on our all time favorite family ride, Pirates and then did a little shopping before getting back on the road and heading home.  Ben wanted me to include that he was extremely happy he got to eat at Burger King on the way home.

We had such an amazing time and I miss everyone already, but we made a lot of family memories and I feel so fortunate to be able to do things like this. Until next time, have a great week!

If you’d like to see more on our trip: IGTV TRIP VIDEO

It’s Been Awhile…

Hey there! I have had a very long month away from blogging and honestly it has been a huge help. I don’t always feel inspired to create content and when that happens I feel like a hiatus is necessary.  I have talked before about taking a break from social media (currently 9 months and counting from having a personal Facebook or Instagram account) and I have been using this break to reconnect with MYSELF. 

 

In this last month I have been trying work more and to do more photo sessions but have only had a few clients, which is ultimately a struggle. There is always a new bill or a new thing we need to get for the house or Ben grows out of another pair of shoes. I’d love to be growing my business and making extra money towards these things but there’s only so many options for promoting and finding clients. I know a lot of you can relate and understand what I am going through. I obviously didn’t expect to become a millionaire with photography but I am still hopeful I can use the money I make with this job to pay for some essentials. I am currently taking October and November clients if any of you in the Central Valley are interested, feel free to email me and we discuss price and booking dates: Robyn@EventfulMagic.Org

Since August I have been going to classes at Clovis Community College and I really enjoy being in school and starting my path towards a future career in education.  I am currently taking a course about Child Development and I am happy to be focusing on something so interesting and learning about the science of growth and development in kids. I am evening starting to use this information with the kids in Friendship Club. We started FC up again and it has been going great. There are new faces and returning kiddos who have been so kind and ready for the new school year. I even have new adult volunteers who are genuinely ready to help progress the project further for the kids benefit. Having additional support has been really great. 

Benjamin has been thriving in school and recently joined Band. He is in percussion and I am very excited to see his progression with learning an instrument and how to read music. It is also great motivation for him to keep good grades throughout the year so he can stay in Band.  I am really proud that my son has an interest in the arts as I am an artist by trade and have been involved with music and theater as well as other artistic mediums throughout my life. I can’t wait to see what he will do with his abilities and knowledge.

Chris and I recently celebrated 6 years of marriage. We went out for dinner and a movie and just had a nice night out enjoying each others company. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life with. We tried some new foods on our night out and we have been doing well with our pescatarian diet so far. I feel like I could probably be doing a little more research for recipes and trying out new dishes though. I am going to work on making a list of different dinner recipes this weekend. 

Last weekend we went to Helendale to visit our best friends who moved away in March. It was a quick trip but we were able to celebrate my BFF’s birthday and the kids got to go swimming and play together. It was kind of amazing how quickly we all just fell into our little routine together, I missed them all so much. Tedra took me to her favorite spot where she lives and we got to have some time to talk and reconnect. I wish we didn’t live so far apart, but I ma really happy for them. They are headed in a positive direction and they are only getting stronger as a family. I am thankful we live in the age of technology that allows us to talk and video chat when we want to. 

I am turning 32 tomorrow and I can feel a change in me. I am still trying to figure out where I fit, and how to love myself even on my worst days, and how to maintain my clarity when the world around me often seems to be falling apart. I am also remembering what drives me and motivates me, who values and loves me for who I am, and what it takes to have continuous improvement in myself. I know there’s ten thousand things I could be doing differently or better, but today, right now, I am pretty happy with ME. 

I hope you all have a great weekend and fin something enjoyable to do with the people you love. 

 

Monday Morning Ramblings W/Robyn

Hello and good morning! I hope you have all been doing great and are off to a great start to your week. The last couple weeks here have been exciting. Our family has been running around and getting things done and trying to stay sane in the process. All in all it was a great week though, so I am not complaining. I really enjoy the fact that we are busy making memories on top of busy getting things done. As long as I have some iced coffee and a good playlist on spotify I am ready to roll.

I picked up Ben last week and we both started school on Wednesday! He was off to fourth grade that morning with a great attitude and he even set some goals for the school year; He wants to focus more, make new friends and improve his writing skills. I know he can do it, especially since he has lots of love and support to help him work on it. He came home from his first day and we went to get him a haircut, which was fun. I have been letting him decide what kind of haircuts he likes for awhile now and he has gotten very confident about his personal style, although he does let me pick his outfits once in awhile still. That evening I left for my first day of school. It was exciting and I am already looking forward to this weeks class. I was one of the oldest students, but it definitely didn’t make a difference at all and I am really happy to start working on assignments and get used to the college routine. I might be the only person in that class looking forward to our first exam, haha!

This week I also finished a very small but fun woodworking project. I did the entire project myself start to finish; I cut the wood, sanded the edges, stained and painted it and ended up with four cute, albeit unequally sized, wooden coasters. I am going to continue practicing until I build up my skills and confidence for more interesting and detailed projects. I really loved the fact that I don’t need anyone’s help to do any of this and really spent some time learning something new. Also, I am getting tired of my coffee table having water rings from mugs and cups, so there’s that!

Friday started off great with the return of Donut Friday’s! Ben and I stopped off at Judy’s Donuts before school and had our breakfast treat on a table outside and talked about our plans for the next week. He was so positive and self aware that morning, and it made me feel very proud of myself as a parent. I often feel like I am being very hard on myself and overly critical but it is mornings like these that remind me I am doing a good job and it is ok to own that feeling. I love being a Mom and I should remind myself that I am good at it once in awhile. I mean, Ben likes me so that should count for something, right? That afternoon I hit up Barnes and Noble for some new AR books for Ben and I have to ask, am I the only one who HATES AR? I love getting Ben interested in reading, but do we really need to test kids on everything? I wish they would allow the kids to do oral presentations or projects based on their books to show the reading comprehension or something. Also it feels impossible to find books that fit all the criteria for AR sometimes. 

The weekend consisted of me laying on the sofa, knocked out from a single dose of benadryl after dealing with the excitement of allergies. I do NOT fair well with any medications that cause drowsiness so I was down for the count and missed an entire day of my life. Sunday I basically just cleaned and got my life reorganized, kinda. I always feel like I’m a load of laundry or sink of dishes behind and have no time to catch up. Monday is here and I’m thriving anyway, so whatever! We have a very busy week planned, dishes and laundry be damned, and I am ready for it (I think).  I hope you all have a good one!

Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all doing well. It has been a really intense week for me and I am definitely ready to tackle the rest of this month. 

So last week Chris and I were just starting our official life of pescetarianism. We have been doing a lot of cooking and trying new things. We have been better about making fresh breakfasts like greek yogurt with berries and granola. We have also been trying more seafood like scallops, fish tacos, and clam chowder. The both of us love mexican food so we recently made some awesome burritos with beans, rice and potatoes. I have an entire list of foods I want to try making and I am so happy we have broken out of our boring food cycle to try and get a little more healthy and happy. Making food makes me happy!

Last Thursday was Art Hop and it didn’t go how I planned at all. I had a great set up and Root Access was stocked with drinks and snacks but I didn’t get any customers and only 3 people came in the shop to see the art. The night was still really fun though! Ben and his friend made slime and played with clay and the adults all hung out and chatted about art and projects. It was nice getting out of the house for sure.  My photography will be in the shop for the entire month of August if you’d like to see it definitely head over to the Hackerspace.

Friday was a very awesome day for me. I am officially going back to college and went to enroll in my first class. I went to college right after high school but ended up having to drop out because my life got extremely crazy. I never thought I’d be able to go back. I am taking classes at Clovis Community College and plan to go into teaching. I am 31 and feel like maybe this is an insane idea but every time I am with the kids at Friendship Club my heart aches because I want so badly to help them more than just one afternoon a week. I want to invest in the future of our world, and that means investing in kids! Ben came with me to the college to enroll and pay for my class and parking permit and meet with my counselor. He was so excited to see where I’d be going to class and he kept talking about how he wants to go to college someday and that really made me feel great. He is 100% a motivator for me. He left Friday evening for his last little block of time with his other family before summer is over and I hope he is having an amazing time before he has to go back to school.

Saturday morning started out ROUGH. Our dishwasher broke and we had some leaky pipes and it was stressing us out. Chris and I ended up in a big argument and after we calmed down and talked it out I decided  we needed to get the heck out of the valley for the night. We hopped in the car and drove to Monterey. I can honestly say that sometimes all you need is the ocean to heal your soul and de-stress. I can tell Chris has been working too hard and I have been handling a lot of personal stuff and we needed to literally chill out, and the temp was mid 60’s so it worked! We ate seafood on the wharf, and I was able to do a little photography. We even saw a HUGE school of jellyfish and a bunch of cactus plants. Then we headed to Cannery Row to walk around and sit on the little beach there at sunset. We found a nice little motel in Salinas and headed back home the next morning. I am so happy we were able to spend some one on one time together in a nice beautiful place. I am always down to go on an adventure with the love of my life. It was a reminder that while life can be stressful and we have to deal with boring adult crap we will always have each other and that’s really all we need. We have a plumber coming out today to help with our dishwasher and we both feel recharged for the week, so life goes on!

Monday I had a private wood shop lesson with Andrew runner of the Root Access Hackerspace. My Dad left me his wood shop equipment after he passed and I want to learn how to use it all properly so I can make my own projects. Andrew covered quite a bit in a short amount of time and I feel like I know more about the saws I have now and even started working on a small project of making my own wooden coasters for my coffee table. I will let you know how they turn out. My goal is to eventually get good enough to build Chris a custom computer desk and a new dining room table. I hope my Dad would be proud of me trying to learn how to do this on my own. I miss him and I feel connected to him when I am creating new things. I worked a little on my upcoming art piece for The Strangers Stop-N-Shop Pineapple Express Art Show. If you’re in the Merced area August 25th head over and check out the local artists for yourself! Monday evening I met with a new client, and now a new friend, Diedre Curry, a local blogger! I was so happy to meet her in person and work on some photos with her for her upcoming blog. I love meeting new people and connecting through art. 

I hope you all have an amazing week and thank you for catching up with me!

Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Hello, happy Wednesday! Hope you have all been doing great and enjoying your summer. We had a lot of very exciting things happen in the last week and a half and I am so tired from it all, but very happy. 

Ben came home on the 22nd and we were so glad to see him again. Two weeks can feel like an eternity with this kid not around. Chris’ parents had a really cool surprise planned for him and his younger cousin at their house. They had rented the boys a bouncehouse style water slide and did a treasure hunt with them! They even made them a cute little sign for the day, “Camp NonPop”, after their nicknames of Nonnie and Pops. while the boys were at their little camp adventure I took Chris to his favorite Barber shop, Grizzly Barber in Merced. If you live in the Merced area definitely check them out! They’re a combo shop with haircuts and screen printing. They frequently put on art shows and I am very excited to be participating in the next one.  After Chris got a trim we went home to set up for Benjamin’s birthday party that was happening the following evening. 

I cannot describe how insanely lucky we are to have such amazing friends and family. They all came to hang with Ben and celebrate his birthday at our place. We grilled burgers and hot dogs and Ben even got to smash his face in some cake. The kids had fun breaking open the donkey pinata and attacking each other with silly string (we even found environmentally friendly kind!). We got to see some friends we haven’t been able to visit in awhile, and one of his friends from school was able to come, and he received a lot of very special gifts that he really loves. He ended up having a couple of the kids sleepover and we made s’mores and watched Disney movies all night. He said it was his best birthday ever! I had such a nice time just being around all the people I love, it reminded me how rare it is to have so many people around who care about our family. I know that not every day can be a party, but when you get the chance to spend time with people you care about it makes the days you are with them feel like one. 

The next few days were a little wild. We had our new washing machine delivered after our old one finally died on us. I hated spending the money on a new one, but it is pretty awesome. We found it on Amazon Prime and it included delivery and installation! I also had a biopsy done of a lump my OBGYN found in my breast. I have had this happen before, same side and it was nothing. I am happy to say that it is benign and I am doing great. I HIGHLY encourage you to see a doctor if you find a lump, always put your health first. It may be scary to wait and see, but it is better than doing nothing. Our family went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp finally! Happy to report that it was eve better than we expected and we are really excited to see what happens next in the Marvel universe. I also want to address the fact that I previously talked about MoviePass and the fun we were having using it. That has changed. I am sure a lot of you have heard about the issues and updates, as well as horrendous business practices this company has been involved in. If not, please look into it. We will most likely not be using our MoviePass any longer and we are very disappointed in their company overall. I realize most things like this are too good to be true, but we had hoped that wasn’t the case with this. Live and learn. 

This past Saturday we headed out to our family Disneyland trip with my Mom! It was so much fun. We had a really nice stay at the Motel 6 Maingate near the parks, the staff and management there are amazing, they go above and beyond for their guests. I used Booking.com and got a great deal on two rooms there. If you’re looking for a hotel this summer feel free to use my Code and get $25 off your next booking: r0chrs16 . Our first day at the parks was fantastic! We got to ride a lot of rides before we had a nice lunch at Cafe Orleans. My Mom had her first beignet and tried the pomme frites. Then we headed back to the hotel to swim and rest before hitting the parks again. When we went back that evening we were able to meet up with Disney friends and it was very cool to spend more time with them, and even meet some new friends. We did group ride of Big Thunder Mountain, which was exciting because  there was 11 of us! It was especially cool to see the fireworks going off while we were on-board the wildest ride in the wilderness.  The next day my Mom got to experience the changes to Star Tours and It’s a Small World. We also had a nice dinner at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney. Finally, Monday was Ben’s actual birthday and in honor of him turning 9 my Mom treated us to a special breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen, which is Ben’s favorite place to eat. We had a giant buffet style breakfast while the characters stopped by to see Ben and say Hi. It was a great way to end our family trip before we headed back to the valley. 

Since we’ve been home we have been pretty motivated around here. Chris and I started early on our new Vegetarian….ok maybe pescatarian for now….meal planning.  Yesterday we did a family trip to the grocery store to pick up some smoothie prep stuff and Ben asked to try some vegetarian stuff as well once he saw the stuff we were buying. I am happy to report that he had plant based ‘chicken’ nuggets and ‘hot dogs’ and really enjoyed them and said he would love to have them in his school lunches this year, so that’s a win in my book! Chris grilled some scallops in the shells last night for dinner and we looked up different recipes and lunch prep stuff for the future. I am excited to start eating healthier and not DIET. I have always struggled with over-eating and fasting in response to it and even our very small venture into weigh watchers was ultimately just stressful. I just want to start eating more delicious healthier options instead of limiting calories and denying myself things that taste amazing. If you have any vegetarian recipes send them my way!

Tomorrow I will be at the featured artist at Root Access Hackerspace here in Fresno.  If you have time come check it out! I will have some prints available as well as some Disney small shop merch, including my newly released Thunder Mountain Goat pin! 

Hope to see you guys there. Have a great week and stay cool!

Friday Morning Catch Up w/Robyn

Life has been crazy lately! I feel like everything is so rushed in the summer for some reason, but I finally found a moment to write. Today I am in full on preparation mode. I am picking up Ben for his two weeks home with me this afternoon, and I am cleaning my house top to bottom for his impending 9th birthday party. Still in denial that I am about to have a 9 year old young man for a son. 

I am getting way ahead of myself though, let me catch you up on the last week and a half. My friend Fernando, who recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz, came to have dinner with us. It was so much fun catching up with him and planning future hang outs. Chris and I made a vegetarian dinner in his honor,  which was also fun. We have been talking about going vegetarian for awhile and finally decided starting August 1st we would make the switch for a healthier lifestyle. Can you tell how old we are feeling yet? Honestly I feel like we will have fun making new things and learning new recipes together, as we already enjoy cooking as a family. Benjamin, however, will probably not be as excited. I am not going to force a vegetarian diet on him, but I will continue encouraging him to choose healthier options. But he is at the picky eater age so only time will tell.

Thursday if last week I was lucky enough to take some pictures of my all time fave, Tawona! She debuted a summer vacay look that I had so much fun photographing. She did a blog of the look on TheWellDressedCurl.com and I have to say I am eyeing those accessories. check it out if you have a chance.  I am learning so much about style from her. 

Over the weekend I did my Coffee & Convos on my Disney Instagram account and had a great time talking with my Disney friends. I went over a cool guide map from 1993, discussed upcoming products for my Etsy shop and the re-manufacturing of my Thunder Mountain Goat fantasy pin. I honestly feel so lucky I have gotten to meet and connect with people from all over the world who share the love of Disney. I can’t wait to go back and show my Mom all the exciting changes made in the last decade and celebrate my son’s birthday at the happiest place on earth! 

Chris and I got out of the house as well this past weekend. We did some window shopping at the mall and looked for back to school supplies for Ben’s adventures into the 4th grade. We also went to target and Old Navy for the billionth time and found some cute pieces for a Disneybound I have been working on. We had a nice lunch together and we came home and watched scary movies and just enjoyed our air conditioning honestly. I am so over the triple digits! There are some days where I wish I could run away to Monterey or somewhere nice and cool, but until then I will enjoy the comforts I am fortunate enough to have at home. 

Some less exciting things happened this week, unfortunately. Our washing machine of 6 years finally died on us. We got her used and she was a great washer but we finally had to shell out for a new one, via Amazon. Fortunately they deliver and install which is included in the price, so that’s awesome. Taking the old one out and cleaning up the laundry closet was a pain but it reminded me that I am a real adult and I can deal with the things life throws at me. I washed a ton of towels in the bathtub and dried them on the line out back, fingers crossed that my dryer lasts 6 more months.  Thankfully I was able to book some clients to help cover some of the costs of a surprise washing machine purchase, and it helped me focus on the positive. I am excited to meet new clients and take their photos and share my art with the world. I have 2 more spots available for my special, email me if you’re interested in booking. 

Upcoming stuff: Some of my  Disney Small shop items will be included in the next Blind Box from The Mouse Merch Box! I am really excited for people to see my small shop stuff and I love being in a collab with other Disney inspired small shops.  I am also going to be a featured artist at the next ArtHop here in Fresno! You can find me at Root Access Hackerspace in Tower District The first Thursday in August (8/2/18) and I might be having a special guest with me, so stay tuned for more info on that! There will be an upcoming look into the July Target Beauty Box which looks Amazing!! And much, much more.

I hope you all have a fantastic week, and thanks for catching up with me.

Amazon Prime Sample Box

I have been trying out new beauty products lately and found several sample or monthly subscription boxes that are in my budget. I recently received the Amazon Prime women’s Skin and Hair Care Sample Box and tried out some of the stuff inside.

First I’d like to explain the info on the sample box process.  You need to be a prime member, they’re exclusively geared toward prime member and obviously have free shipping.  They have boxes from $4.99 to $19.99 and many varieties of boxes. I did the women’s skin and hair but they also have men’s, babies, sports nutrition, dog treats, vitamins, snacks and more in terms of box themes. So you select the box that’s geared toward your needs and then you order it. It takes some time to receive it, not always two-day, but still free shipping. They are truly sample sizes, although my box did have a rather large package of facial wipes included and they removed my makeup amazingly well.  The best part is that once your box is shipped to you, you receive sample credits AKA Amazon credits to use on the full sized products from sample box! I will be using mine for sure.

First I tried the 3D Crest White strips, which need to be on for an hour. I figured I could hop in the shower and use some other samples while I whiten my teeth. I have never used whitening strips so I didn’t know what to expect. I genuinely hated the way they felt and the weird taste in my mouth. I couldn’t do the full hour and took them off about 40 mins in and brushed as normal, but I did feel like my teeth looked a bit whiter.

Next I tried the Carol’s Daughter shampoo and Conditioner samples. They were TINY, and my hair is thick and down to my waist, so I wasn’t expecting a miracle. The shampoo is sulfate-free and both were black vanilla scented, smelled amazing. The conditioner was great, a little went a long way and that is awesome for my hair. I let my hair air-dry and only brush it when I ABSOLUTELY have to, mostly just finger comb through. I love the way my hair feels today after using it. might need to get myself some with my sample credits.

I used the Roc multi correxion 5 in 1 moisturizer on my face and neck. I like that it has 15 SPF in it and it went on my face and felt nice and light, but I didn’t like the scent.  I also tried the Aveeno skin relief lotion on my legs, it is coconut scented and I like it. I have used this brand before and the scent was pleasing.

The box also had some facial wipes, more lotion, floss and some shampoo and conditioner that I have used before and I am going to take on vacation later this month. Travel sized is the best! For ten bucks this box was nice but I was hoping for more hair care stuff and less teeth and skin stuff. I wold recommend it though just to try for yourself.

Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Good morning friends! I hope you have all been well. I am having an amazing week so far, feeling very motivated and excited for the future.

Last week we celebrated 4th of July and my Mom joined us in Fresno. It was really chill, did some grilling and we watched Captain America (he just turned 100 and still looks great! I need some of what he’s having), and then we did some fireworks in the driveway. As always, I found a way to use the celebration to work on my photography and even got Ben and Chris to do some shots as well. It was really fun. We worked on long exposure shots and light painting.

Long Exposure shot

My cousin Katy and my Uncle Lee came to visit us last week and Katy gave me

a makeup tutorial while the guys played video games. I am a very low maintenance person when it comes to beauty products, but it was really fun to get a makeover and get a peak into Katy’s day-to-day routine.  I commend all of you out there who commit to this process daily because it was WORK. I have adapted a few things of what she taught me into my new daily routine but I can’t imagine doing it every day on top of having my insane amount of hair.  I have been trying to incorporate

more skin care and hair care into my life, though. I tried for weeks to order the Target Beauty Box but it was sold out for June. I did, however, get Chris a Men’s Beauty Box! He has been trying the products and so far he loves them all.  I managed to get an order in for the July one, so I will be posting my review soon.

Target Men’s Beauty Box

Ben has mostly been spending his summer in video game heaven, which is not as expensive now that we did a GameFly subscription, and we got the first month free! I like to be a little more family oriented with gaming though, so I let Ben pick out a board game to play with everyone and he chose Monopoly Cheaters Edition. Essentially it’s Monopoly but you get to steal money and skip out on rent and break out of jail.  It was pretty endearing to learn that our son is NOT  good at cheating and being sneaky whatsoever. I am hoping that is the case in his teen years as well. In the end Chris won because Ben gave him all of his money and said, “Dad never wins at Monopoly so I’m trying to be nice.”.  He really is a good kid.  He left Friday for two weeks with the other side of his family and I know he is going to have a blast. I am currently planning his birthday party because when he comes back home he will be turning 9!!! I can’t believe this kid is halfway to adulthood.
Chris and I have been working a lot but once the workday is over we have been going to see more movies with MoviePass. We recently saw The First Purge, which is the origin story of the film series. I am really into trashy scary movies and Chris hates them so I appreciated him going to see this, despite the fact that it was awful. We also recently went to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which Chris loved but I don’t really enjoy the Jurassic Park series as much.  I was pleased with myself for figuring out the plot twist, and the surprise T-Rex scenes are always fun so I can’t complain. We are waiting for Ben to come home before we see the new Ant-man movie because we always watch Disney films as a family.
Chris also hung up some plants for me! This may seem like an insignificant thing to most, but I have been trying to incorporate some plant life into my home and it just makes me feel happier to have living things around me, especially after losing my Father.  House plants have been known to help the depression process and with insomnia, which I struggle with.  I have also been getting back into yoga again. My friend Brooke joined me for Yoga Nidra at Perfect Balance Yoga and it was extremely calming. I have also been doing a little of it each morning before I eat.
I did a little online shopping as well recently because I am planning a DisneyBound for our next family trip later this month. We are taking my Mom to Disneyland for the first time as a family and it’s her first return in 15 years so we have a lot to experience together. I am really into DisneyBounding but I always end up more focused on what my son is wearing or helping my husband pack to really bring it to fruition at the parks, so this time I am pre-gaming and getting my essentials ready.  If you don’t know what the term DisneyBounding means don’t worry, I will help you understand. It is when someone plans an outfit based on a character or Disneyland theme. It isn’t quite a costume, more of a subtle ode to a character using color schemes and accessories. I am going for Winnie the Pooh so I recently found a shirt at HundredAcreHood.com and have been slowly gathering accessories. I am excited for this trip for so many reasons and I can’t wait to show you my DisneyBound, hopefully I can convince Chris to take a picture of me while we are there.
I have some fun projects happening right now! I recently did a poll for Coffee and Convos and Instagram voted Sundays at 930AM PST would be ideal so I will be Live on Instagram to chat, have coffee and answer any questions you guys may have. I will post the video later on here and on Facebook if you are unable to join me Live.  CLICK HERE to send me your questions.

I hope you all have an amazing week! thanks for catching up with me.