Sometimes December birthdays get a little overshadowed by the holidays, so to make sure my husband’s “after Christmas” birthday was special, we held a Beer Tasting Bonanza to celebrate. Fun Fact: I have not had a beer since 2004. I do not like beer, and after this party, I still do not like beer but I know a heck of a lot about it now. I was surprised to learn that beer tastings were a hot party trend for 2012. We have held a few wine tastings in our day but never a beer tasting. They can be as sophisticated or as casual as you’d like and they even have cheese pairing (pdf version) suggestions which we did as well. 

I learned that if beer is bought cold, it should remain cold and stored in an upright position. (it should also be consumed within 2 weeks which I was sure was not going to be an issue) I made sure we cleaned out our fridge before the big trip to Wine and Beyond and had plenty of room for our tastings. I had these labels personalized by Owl and Toad on Etsy They were fantastic to work with and turned the labels around to me within an hour. I love the masculine and clean look of these labels and they looked great concealing the different varieties of beer.

My next trip was to Dollarama to pick up enough glasses for each of our guests. It is suggested that you use glass for all of your tastings, but with 13 guests and 5 tastings each that is a lot of glassware. So I went with these beer inspired plastic glasses. They are dishwasher safe and will be stored and used again at our next event. I printed out numbers on 2″ circle labels and placed them under each glass to keep things organized.

To help me with the tasting I ordered this Beer Tasting Tool Kit from Amazon. It contained enough tasting notes for all of our guests, along with beer-tasting terms, tasting 101 and bags to conceal the labels. There are a few kits that can be found at your local Chapters.

Because this was a Black & Gold party we busted out the fancy gold flatware we received from our wedding many moons ago.

Oh you fancy huh?

My version of beer googles. I downloaded the beer subway art from Could Be Interesting and fashioned them into some lovely beer googles for my hubby.

I tried to incorporate beer into most of my party decor including the food. These are Guinness cupcakes in adorable cupcake liners and straws from Sweet Social, topped off with free “Drink Up” labels from Bringing Home Ezra.

A Beer Tasting Bonanza is pretty easy to pull together and can be done on short notice. This is a great way to get friends together and celebrate a birthday, New Years, Father’s Day, etc.

While this party was super fun, I’ve started my no beer drinking streak again and don’t see it ending anytime soon.

The end.


December marks my 2nd Anniversary in business, and to celebrate I hosted a 2nd Anniversary contest. Fans entered their best (and worst) pictures of Santa with their children for a chance to win a $200 studio gift certificate with Stephanie Pasutto Photography. The entries were both hilarious and touching. You can appreciate the overwhelming emotions these children experience as they are meeting one of their holiday idols, some of them for the first time. Santa has a tough job and I think he deserves a BIG rum and coke (but only  if he doesn’t have to drive his sleigh :)

I truly loved receiving every one of these images, and this one really touched my heart. I think this image embodies the true spirit of Christmas and captures the feeling of complete happiness that every child should feel at this time of year. Congratulations Allison H you are the winner of a $200 studio gift certificate!

There were so many “not so joyful” images with Santa that made me smile (mean I know, but I’ve been there with my boys and can relate), but this one really had me in stitches. I am in full holiday spirit mode and am giving Nadine H a $100 studio gift certificate as well!!

Thank you to everyone who entered. I wish you all a merry and happy everything!


There are a lot of days when just 2 kids seem like a lot to manage, nevermind four of them. But this mom does it with ease, and her children were all so well behaved and great in the studio. Getting kids to sit still for photos can sometimes be a challenge, and to get them all looking at me with nice smily faces is a whole different ball game. So when I say these kids were great in the studio, I meant it. We were able to capture many different images of 2 or more of the siblings together (along with individuals as well) and one with Mom in the picture during our  30 minute Miniac Monday shoot, so I would say that was a great day in the studio. Thanks Boon clan!


It’s hard to believe another year has flown by and it’s time for my 2nd Annual Winter Cover Model Search Contest! If you’d like to take a peek at last years winner you can catch all of the goodness here. This year I have opened up the age group and children between the ages of 3-18 years of age are welcome to enter. Entries will be accepted until November 16th. On November 19th I will have an album created on my Facebook page with all entries and the voting will then begin. I would hate to be the one to choose from all of the adorable images, so I am putting it out to friends and family and let them decide. The image with the most “likes” will win an in studio mini photo session with me and 10 digital images. How nice is that for an early Christmas present? The entries are already starting to pour in so please get yours in today. Good luck!!