There were a lot of firsts for me this week. Twins, 3 brothers and this happy blended family of 6!

I truly enjoy receiving my “Getting To Know You” homework back from my clients. It is really interesting and special to get a sneak peek into their lives before I ever get to meet them. The one I received from Gwen was no different. When asked “what they hope to convey to your children through these images” she answered “how truly awesome they are and how very much they ALL mean to me.” Some of the other words she used to describe her family were full of life, sweet, kind soul and wise beyond their years.  How’s that for an awesome family unit?! This was a fun session for me and I think they all had a good time too!


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I LOVE what I do. I get to work with amazing people and everyone is happy.

Capturing these times for families is priceless and very special to me.

The “N” family was no exception. We had SO much fun together. With 5 wardrobe changes and as many props, Abbie (8) and Aidan (6) pulled their session off like seasoned runway models! Their fur brother Buddy got in on the action too. This family has a lot of fun together and don’t take themselves too seriously which I love!I have to admit, up until this year I had no idea what Bieber Fever was, or how you got it for that matter. But after watching the movie Never Say Never, I gotta say I  got a serious case of the “Fever” (in a motherly sense of course :)).

Abbie also has the fever (different from mine ;) )and this is her doing her best Bieber pose. So cute!!
“Dance of a salesman”

Aidan’s mom noted that he is a “spirited entertainer”. I just couldn’t get that out of him during our session ;)Buddy is a 10 month old Golden Retriever and a huge part of this happy family.


Bella is quite honestly the sweetest and friendliest one year olds I have met. Right from the door she came into my arms and we became fast friends. Her parents celebrated her first birthday with a huge birthday bash with 60 people in attendance! This family definitely knows how to party. They picked up this amazing cupcake from Hey Cupcake in Sherwood Park and we had a lot of fun watching her “smash” it. Bella, thank you for bringing so many smiles. I wish you a very happy first year!

This is one of the only times as a parent that we want our children to play with their food. Sometimes they need a little encouragement :)

  • April 6, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    Valentines Day Portrait Event - […] still as friendly as ever and such a cutie pie! Catch up with her first birthday photo shoot here. Bella Turns One. Marina, Michael and Carson have also changed a lot since we last saw each other. Carson was just […]ReplyCancel

I’m a planner at heart, so when our family celebrates a special occasion I get a little excited. Ok, a lot excited. This past April we celebrated our youngest son’s first birthday, so naturally I started planning early….January early. I chose a monkey theme after I fell in love with an adorable monkey he received as part of a welcome home gift. With the theme in place I started to research monkey themed birthday parties online for inspiration. A few of my favorite places to go for party eye candy are Hostess with the Mostess, Pizzazzerie and Amy Atlas. There are many wonderful sites to pull inspiration from and many offer DIY projects. I love DIY projects as they can really help personalize your party and take it to the next level all at a reasonable cost.

My son’s “Aqua & Orange” dessert table cost was just under $50. That includes EVERYTHING except for the splurge on chocolate covered Oreos by Sweeties by Kim and aqua sour candies. After all, the devil is in the details as they say, and they matched my party colors perfectly so how could I resist?

Next was color. I chose the aqua & orange colors in the monkey to use as an accent. I carried the monkey with me for a MONTH as I visited my local fabric and Michaels stores just so I could get the right shade of fabric and paper.

This was going to be my first real crack at an Amy Atlas inspired dessert table so color and texture were going to be important in achieving the look. I knew I would serve cupcakes and wanted something unique as a topper. I was instantly smitten when I came across the DIY Fabric Flower Cupcake Toppers from Paiges of Style. They are labor intensive but were a huge hit at the party and were made for under $10/dozen.

To incorporate more color I added some orange DIY paper treat cones and aqua and orange colored San Pellegrino drinks with blue and white striped paper straws I purchased from Fort & Field on Etsy. I picked up some blue swirl lollipops and aqua colored sour candies from Sweet Sues Candy in Sherwood Park and finished off the table with an aqua colored DIY no sew table runner.

 The “kids table” was decorated with DIY fabric birthday hats, and to help keep the little ones entertained I added a paper tablecloth with crayons.

One of the reasons I prefer to have my birthday parties at home is because of the food. Good food is a big deal in our household. Like many one year olds, my son loves pasta so it was an easy decision to serve penne and sausage with Nonna’s sauce as the main course. It was quick and inexpensive to feed our large group. To tie in the monkey theme, I made peanut butter and banana monkey sandwiches for the kids. I came across the idea from the Funky Lunch Bunch who make unbelievable sandwich creations.

The adult’s table was decorated with an aqua tablecloth, orange gerbera daisies and a DIY monkey place card I made with my Cricut.

These awesome chocolate covered Oreos are custom made and can be printed with just about anything with enough notice.

I think it is nice for the birthday boy to have a special first birthday t-shirt. So I picked this one up from the Gap and cut out the letters in left over matching party fabric and ironed them on.

After all is said and done I like to send personalized notes to each of our guests thanking them for celebrating with us. I created a 5×7 collage in Photoshop of 12 images capturing our son during his first year and had them printed for less than $10.

All birthdays deserve to be celebrated but the first birthday is extra special. The cost for this party was low, the time involved was great, but the memories are forever.

A special thank you to Urban Infant for featuring this birthday in their fall issue!

  • October 19, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    Nicki - What an amazing job you did for your Son’s 1st birthday. Very inspiring….. Congrats on being a Mom! You take the job serious lolReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    Narissa - Steph, you are amazing at whatever you do. Very creative and it looked like so much fun. Hugs to you and your adorable boys!ReplyCancel