Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We can all be Champions for Kids! {and giveaway}

I have the exciting opportunity, through, to share details about Champions for kids!  These two organizations have teamed up along with Elmer's, Purell, Unilever, and Walmart to help get school supplies in the hands of those kids that need them most.  
Here are a few details about Champions for Kids before I get to the Giveaway:
More than 16 million American children live in poverty. For many, buying the items they need to succeed in the classroom can be a challenge.
Children with quality school supplies are better equipped to succeed academically and creatively, and that's why The Motherhood is joining Champions for Kids, along with Elmer's, Purell, Unilever and Walmart, for this Twitter party to spread the word about a SIMPLE Giving initiative that can help give kids the resources they need to thrive. 

The initiative is taking place in more than 3,000 Walmart stores across the U.S., collecting school supplies for children in need! Anyone can participate in the campaign simply by purchasing and donating a backpack full of school supplies at your local Walmart store from July 7 through August 1. In addition to the school supplies, each backpack contains a coupon booklet valued at over $50! Simply remove the coupon booklet from the backpack to use yourself and place the backpack full of supplies in the school bus donation bin - the money you'll save by using the coupon booklet will pay for the backpack you donated, and your donation will help a local child. For a full list of participating stores, click here.

For even more ways to give back locally with Champions For Kids' check out SIMPLE Service Projects.  You will find projects like the Lend a Hand Project, sponsored by Purell; and the Let's Bond Project, sponsored by Elmer's. SIMPLE Service Projects provide easy ways to help kids in your own community through four easy steps -- Gather, Learn, Give and Share! 

That gets me to my fabulous part of this whole project.  I was asked to run a school or craft supply drive here in my community.  Life has been more than crazy busy, so I have had a really hard time deciding where to focus my champion-type efforts.  Finally, after several days of stewing over this, I called my daughter's local school.  We don't start back until after Labor Day, so I don't actually have her teacher assignment yet, but I DO know a fabulous lady that works in the office of the school.

When I say that this lady is fabulous, it really is a gross understatement
 Never in my life have I seen a more smiley or inviting face sitting behind the desk in the front office of any building, much less the school.  Seriously.  In addition to her inviting personality, she knows me and my daughter after only a handful of times of checking my little student in or out of class.  Anyway, I called this lovely lady and gave her a very mumbled explanation of the project I had in mind.  She checked with the Summer School coordinator and came back with a list of things they need right now and a few items they typically run out of from the supplies donated by a local church.

I am so glad I called.  I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner!  So here is the deal.  With the summer so crazy for everyone, I am going to run a 48 hour school supply drive.  You all are my community too, so I wanted to open the opportunity up to my fabulous bloggies too!  The list given me was actually very meager.  They need pencils, spiral notebooks, and plain 2 pocket folders.  

If you would like to donate, I will take actual school supplies, or you can simply donate a dollar or two via this paypal button:

Even one or two dollars will help.  Just FYI, if you pay from a paypal balance or a debit card, there are no fees taken from your donation.  If you pay with a credit card there is like a 3% charge, so to have your full amount donated to the cause, please use a debit card or your paypal balance ;0}  But we will take your credit card payments too!

At the end of the 48 hour period I will have a drawing for this fabulous set
My studious little book worm and his apple-y snack.  
I will do a random drawing of all local and online donations, then I will be back Friday with the winner and pictures of us purchasing the supplies.

Please leave a comment or email me with any questions!!!
And don't forget to check out the Champions for Kids display at your local Walmart!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Oh did I have fun with this little lady!  Meet Emersyn.  Forget the curly locks of golden hair and her irresistible toothy grin.  This girl had me when they said I could call her Emmers :0}

I keep spelling her name with two m's thanks to MY Emmers.  

This little sweetheart was so smiley and bubbling with excitement.  She was so darling I had a terrible time picking pictures to share.

Adorable.  She loved the cake too.  Just look at that content little grin. 
 Happy First Birthday Emersyn!
You can see the full color versions on the V Photography Studios Facebook Page I just started.  It is a work in progress, so check back later to see more of my pics ;0}

Friday, July 18, 2014


Check out this little doll!  I got to take Carlyn's pictures for her third birthday and loved every minute!  

She was a little timid at first, but even her shy pictures turned out striking.  This little girl is going to be a heartbreaker Mom.  You better keep an eye on her.

I finally got someone to try out my crowns I made a few weeks ago!!!

I was more than excited to finally have a little girl with some hair ;0}
Carlyn was more than a little excited to put these princess crowns to use!

Had to sneak a picture of Mom in there too.  They think they hate it, but then they see the pictures and usually love them.

I try to do a mix of the traditional posed pictures, but always end with natural shots of the kids just being kids.  Those are the pictures I cherish most of my kids.  The photos caught of their cute REAL smiles.
And this girl, she has an adorable real smile!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Baaack!

Sew*CakeMaker family vacation is over!!!  We are home and napping 90% of the time today to make up for all that nothing we accomplished over our extended weekend up north.  Here are a couple pics of our adventure.  Be warned that there is very little useful information here, but we had the absolute best time ever!

Our first stop was our favorite place to eat of all time.  While there are locations closer to us, we have to go to the original location we stumbled upon more than a decade ago when we lived in Minnesota the first time.  This Space Aliens Bar and Grill is in St. Cloud, MN and just so happened to be right on our way to the cabin this past weekend.  We stopped in and enjoyed barbecue chicken baked potatoes and a gigantic ice cream sundae.  By getting the dessert, you get 25 tokens to play games while you wait for your food.  This place is a thousand times better than ChuckECheese, in bang for your buck and in taste!

After that, we took a quick trip to Crafts Direct.  This store is like Hobby Lobby on steroids.  I wish we weren't in the lower Southeast part of the twin cities.  If I lived over by my friend Jill, it would only be a 30 min drive to this store.  

My husband was complaining about stopping there, until he took his first step through the door.  Then I was following HIM from isle to isle.  He was more than amazed.  He didn't even complain when we left, at the time we spent there.

Determined not to spend too long, I only took just a couple pictures this year.  You can see last year's pics HERE.  I loved this saying.  Desperately wanting to get on some pallet crafts, this was perfect:
So many of my smiles begin with you

And this one... 
Everybody deserves somebody who makes them look forward to tomorrow

The kids were begging for these lighters.  There was a riffle and a fishing pole version for sale. 

How about this for a candy bar at your wedding:
Take a little, take a lot
Enjoy a Treat
we tied the knot!

Here are two different ideas for wedding centerpieces I thought were cute.  After last summer's wedding extravaganza, I had to take note.

The Fairy Garden section was adorable.  With fairy garden's a new obsession of mine and Emmalee's, we spent a long time looking over this area.  The little terrarium was cute.

I found the Red and Gold sashay thread I have been looking for.  My friend needs a red and gold scarf to wear while attending all her kid's games.  This roll has been on my shopping list forever.

We took off for Blackduck, MN after the craft store.  Apparently the craft store was so amazing Scott blew one lens clear off his sunglasses while driving.  That was fun.  I mostly enjoyed seeing him sit there like a pirate while he waited for me to find the other lens ;0}
Be glad I am not your spouse!

We finally made it to the cabin where so many aunts and uncles were waiting for us.  After a night full of card playing, Mads broke out her new book on arm knitting.  It took a while to figure it out {knitting has never been a favorite for me}.  But surprisingly, the arm version seems pretty fun!

Mad's had such success that she taught both the girl cousins how to make their own scarves.  She even bought some more yarn from the Ben Franklin up in Bemidji, MN to start a second one.

Don't ask me what is happening here...

But we took the rainy day as a chance to get into town and play around.

At the a-for mentioned Ben Franklin I saw even more things I had never seen before.  I don't go shopping often, cause I tend to spend every cent I have.  My remedy is to just stay home.  That means when we go on trips like this, my mind is blown in just about every store we go into ;0}

These are sippy cup and lunch box pieces for mason jars.  You just buy the lid or cup, put them in a mason jar, and there you go!  Fun in a jar.  So cute!

BF also had all these other jar accessories, 

And a complete line of glass paint.  I did NOT know that Mod Podge had glass paint!
Check out that rainbow of colors too!!!

Back at the cabin I caught my own frog.  I don't remember frogs being that pretty when I was a kid.  Maybe they have gotten fancier too!

Eli managed to cut two fingers, scrape one whole arm, run head-on into a volleyball net, pull his gluts, and pretty much lose the will to live over our short stay too.  He pulled through it all like a champion and lived to sit on the computer all day today, so don't feel too bad for him.

Lastly, I had to throw in a couple beach pictures.  Remember that lake beach pictures are nowhere as pretty as ocean beach pictures...but we had an awesome time on our one sunny day.

Those girls are paddle boarding.  I didn't know that existed either.  

Now, back to work!  Today I already spent hours of my day making this cover page for our youth trip to Nauvoo
Only 100 more pages to design by next week ;0}
I will be back soon with more photos from my recent shoots and hopefully a fun furniture re-do if I can get to it.  Have a great week!