A Cowboy Baby Shower

Last weekend I helped throw a baby shower for one of my best friends.
She is actually my "oldest" friend.
We have been friends since preschool!
We grew up together going to the same preschool, church, Elementary School, Middle School & High School and we were bridesmaids in each others weddings. She has lived in Santa Barbara since college graduation, so we don't get to see each as much as we would like. But, at least we are in the same state!
{me & Sue - friends for 28 years & counting!}

This is her first baby & It's a Boy!
We have been waiting for & praying for this baby for a long time & I am so excited for his arrival this August!
Here are the invites I made:
I also made the cupcake toppers, cupcake tower & cupcakes.
It is always fun to do boy themes/colors since I usually have girly/pink parties!
I am slightly obsessed with cupcake towers.
This was only the 2nd time I have made a cupcake tower.
The first one was for Kate's 3rd birthday in January. Check it out HERE.
I made 2 types of cupcakes.
Vanilla cupcakes & of course my favorite cupcake.
The shower was at her mom's house & she has a great backyard for parties because her yard doesn't have a fence (that is rare here in California) and it backs to open space.
The decor was very simple & classic.
I am all about yellow, red & green flower arrangements right now. So summery & happy!
How cute is this book some gave her called "Good Night Cowboy"
(The nursery is Vintage Cowboy, which is why the shower had a Cowboy theme)

Her sister in law got her THIS hysterical book:
It is so funny (don't let the title scare you!)
This is one of the pages, it says,
"I poured you a bath & here's your glass of Chardonnay. And don't worry...even if it gets in the breast milk, it'll just help him to fall asleep faster"

This is such a funny book for new moms!

I am so excited for this long awaited baby boy for my dear friend.
It is bizarre for me to think that Sue and I have been friends since we were 3, which is Kate's age! I hope & pray that some of Kate (& Claire's) current friendships stay strong until they have kids of their own!


Falling off the Wagon

In high school and college I was a Diet Coke addict.
I would have at least 2 a day.
After college it tappered off to about 1 a day.
When I got pregnant with Kate 4 years, I went cold turkey. No more Diet Coke for me.
After I had Kate, my Diet Coke addiction was gone.
I just didn't have soda any more.
I would *maybe* have 1 soda a month.
But, then a few weeks ago, I bought a case of Diet Coke & it was all over.
After 4 years, I have fallen off the wagon (or have I gotten back ON the wagon?)
And, it doesn't help that my neighbor gives me fresh limes.
My favorite way to drink a Diet Coke:
- A glass of half cubed/half crushed ice
-a squirt of juice from a fresh lime
-then fill the glass with Diet Coke & garnish with fresh lime
Note: I only drink Diet Coke, no Diet Pepsi (yuck!)
The perfect way to quench my thirst on a hot summer afternoon like today!
And, the caffeine pick me up is always welcome!
Oh Diet Coke.... I hate you, but I love you.
I can't wait to drink you all summer.
Don't be offended if I break up with you again this fall.


Before & After: Kitchen and Family Room

We are finally feeling pretty settled in our new house (although there are still a lot of boxes in the garage!) We are lucky that this house that it was pretty updated, but there are still some things that we did when we moved in (and we still have a bunch of things we want to do, but that will come in time, maybe when I win the lotto......)

Here is the BEFORE of the kitchen:
Left side:
Right Side:
Here is the AFTER:
Left Side:
Right Side:
What we did:
1. Painted the walls a darker color. (We painted them Spanish Sand by Kelly Moore)
2. We painted the french doors white (before they were a natural wood color)
3. Added a (move-able) butcher block island
4. We added 2 more cabinets on each side of the window. (I don't know why the previous owner never added those, we really needed the storage!)

Family Room/Kitchen Table Nook BEFORE:
Close Up:
What we did:
1. Painted it Spanish Sand
2. Added a light fixture (before there was no over head light above the table area)

Family Room BEFORE:
Family Room AFTER:
View #1
View #2
View #3
What we did:
1. Painted the area Spanish Sand (our whole downstairs is now that color, I love it!)
2. Painted the built in TV stand/bookshelf white (it was a natural wood before)
3. We also removed the door from the family room to the laundry room for now because that door was NASTY!

Oh, and to clarify, when I say "We" painted I mean we hired painters to paint. Kevin and I are THE.WORST.PAINTERS ever. This is the first time we have hired painters & it was so nice! I loathe painting! My edging is terrible & I always spill the paint. I don't have the patience for it!

So, there is our Kitchen & Family Room Area.
It was a pretty easy re-do because the kitchen was already updated.
(with granite & Viking appliances!!!)
Love the 6 burner stove!
I am not a big fan of the oven yet, I liked my my good old GE at our old house. Every time I bake/cook something in our oven here, it gets burned or is under cooked. I need to make sure the temperature is calibrated. Something is off and I refuse to blame the cook ;)

The re-do/update was mostly paint & a few cosmetic & functionality things that we improved!
The only thing left that we want to do in the Kitchen & Family Room is to add crown moulding, but that is not going to be anytime soon!


It's Jam Time!

The girls & I spent our morning making homemade strawberry jam with my mother in law.
We make it every June & make a year supply of jam for ourselves & to give as gifts!
We made over 30 jars this morning.
Tip: Use a few recycled baby food jars to give a small jar of jam (along with homemade scones, etc)
There is nothing better than homemade strawberry jam.
I haven't bought store bought jam in over 5 years. Homemade jam is so fresh & sweet.
It's perfect on a PB&J, Toast, English Muffin or homemade scones or biscuits!
Click HERE for the recipe so you can make some yourself!


The 2010 Summer List

Our first weekend of summer has been hot, busy & fun!

I don't know about you, but I love lists!
I especially love checking things off a list. It feels so good!
Kate came up with almost every item on the summer list.
The first thing she said to put on the list was to "Have Christmas in Tahoe" but I reminded her that Christmas wasn't until December, so she would have to wait on that. Last time we were in Tahoe was the day after Christmas & it was snowy. Kate thinks it is going to be snowy there this summer.
After I wrote them down, she added her own coloring touches.
Here it is:
I am so excited about having the summer off with my girls.
Let me tell you, that is probably the biggest perk about being a teacher.
If you remember my post in January, I wrote about THIS.
I think our summer list will make me very intentional with the time I have with my girls this summer! My goal is to do all of these things on the list. I have 70 days of summer with my girls and I want to make them fun & memorable!

What fun things do you have planned this summer?
I can always add to our list :)

And, I picked a winner for my note card giveaway!
Congrats Andrea!
Email me what note card you want from my shop!

If you didn't win this giveaway, don't be sad, I am doing another giveaway today over at Blessed Little Nest.
Head over there for her Blogger's Guide to Summer.
Heather is going to have guest bloggers & giveaways All Week Long!
My guest post & giveaway will be up sometime today!

I am humbled & honored to do a guest post and giveaway for her.
Heather & her blog are awesome, head over there to be inspired!

Happy Summer!


10 on 10 :: June 2010

10 on 10 : Take a photo once an hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a snapshot of your life and find beauty among the ordinary things of your day.

Today was a special 10 on 10 because it was the LAST day of school!!!!
So excited for summer!

Claire's new morning routine, taking off her pj's by herself when she wakes up:
Kate's new obsession: drinking milk out of a "big girl cup" with a straw:
The last day of school meant a day full of signing yearbooks!
Here is the cover of my school's yearbook:
The last day of school means teacher gifts! One of my students gave me this little plaque & the sweetest note ever. Her note brought tears to my eyes. It is students like her that make teaching worth it. (well, that and the Starbucks gift cards I got today.....)
After school, Kate & I cut some flowers off one of our hydrangea plants in our front yard:
Claire was a happy girl after her nap!
More flowers on my kitchen table:
We had a playdate with Sam & Becky today!
Playing with dirt in the front yard before dinner:
It is tradition for Kevin & I to go to dinner at one of our favorite local spots on the last day of school to celebrate the school year being over. Elyse, Rebecca & Jason joined us this year to celebrate the start of summer!
Cheers & Happy Summer!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway, it ends Friday night at midnight!


Charge your camera battery!

Tomorrow is 10 on 10!
Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month.
Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.

I highly encourage you to charge your camera battery tonight and take your camera with you during the day tomorrow so that you can participate in Ten on Ten!
It is such a fun way to document & take snapshots of your everyday life!
Yesterday, I was interviewed by Kristen of the Ten on Ten blog.
You can read it here!
Then after you read it, go charge that camera battery & join in the fun tomorrow!


A Name Change & A Giveaway

Do you like change?

Normally, I do not like change.
Change is scary.
But, over the years, I have learned change can be also be a good thing.

Right now, I have a lot of change going on in my life.
A new house, new neighbors,
the school year is ending, a new principal at my school next year,
and now I have decided to change the name of my little side business.

Previously, my etsy shop was named MKL Designs.
MKL represents my initials. (Boring & not memorable if you ask me)
I never really liked the name but I just kept it.

I have been wanting to change the name of it for a while, especially since I have been doing more photography on the side. MKL Designs just didn't cut it as a name for a photography business.
Word of mouth has been spreading about my photography & I have 6 sessions in the next month, I decided I needed a name to incorporate my etsy shop and my photography!

So, my official business name has been changed to:

Daylight Designs & Photography

My Etsy shop is now called:

It has the same web address as before www.mlarson17.etsy.com

So, if you have an old MKL Designs button on your blog, you might want to replace it with this one:

Which is found on the left side of my blog, near the bottom.

It is very exciting & I am excited to see how my etsy shop & my photography grow and change in the next year.

I have a TON of invitations. products & holiday card ideas that I want to create this summer & add to my shop like.....ladybugs, ballet, princesses, circus, dinosaurs, pirates & zoo animals!

Here are a few recent items I have added to my etsy shop:
Like always, colors & wording can be customized to meet your needs!

And, I have a new product, personalized note cards!
They can be customized to match any invitation in my shop, and customized with whatever wording you want! They are 4.5 x 5 inches & come with envelopes.
Here are a few samples:
I am loving the owl theme that is popular right now!
Baby Shower thank you:
Silhouette Note Card:

In honor of the name change, new products & a new season (Summertime!!!)
Let's do a giveaway!

How would you like a set of 25 personalized note cards?
They can be any color, with any graphic/clip art you see in my shop & have whatever wording YOU want! They can be personalized for yourself, one of your kids, or a friend!

Just leave a comment to enter!
Giveaway ends at midnight Friday, June 11th!


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