The Amazing and Heroic Adventures of Super Smize Girl

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Mommy Shorts is running a contest with Method called the “METHOD POWER POSE-OFF” and it’s going to pit a bunch of kids’ superpower stances against eachother Justice League Vs. Avengers style. Seeing her pictures of Mazzy posing like a Super Hero, I was itching to do a similar photo shoot with little BB. They have a very similar sass and I had a feeling it would be a fun photo shoot. BB did not disappoint!

BB knows a fair amount about super heroes for a little girl who is Princess Obsessed. Her brother is all about superman, spider man, batman, and all the others (::cough:: Doctor Who ::cough::) and often talks her into playing Super Heroes with him, so she’s no stranger to Wonder Woman, but when I asked her what her Super Hero name was, she told me without hesitation, “Rapunzel” – she plays by her own rules, you know.

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BB’s super powers: her Super Smize and her Powers of Posing

I cannot  get over the fact that just casually taking snapshots of her running around the bus stop can often result in beauty shots that a Top Model contestant would kill for.

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“Why are you so obsessed with me?”

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Of course the most important part about being a super hero is looking the part. BB wastes no time tying on her invisible cape before running off to save the day!

I think my favorite part of the photo shoot was just listening to her narrate her adventures and to see the look of absolute joy in her face as she ran around saving the bus stop from invisible villains.

I also love that she continues to draw her own lines and live by her own rules. She can be a princess and like super heroes. She can wear baggy cotton capris, a ruffly leopard print skirt and a crisp white collared tee and golden sandals – and look fabulous!

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I know she’s going to grow up to be an amazing woman someday!

Taking pictures of children: the good, the bad and the blessed.

This week I was practically glued to my camera, taking almost 100 pictures a day of the kids as part of the month-long photoberfest challenge at Katie Evans Photography that I am participating in – this week’s theme was simply “kids” and I worked my DSLR butt off trying to get the perfect shot (you can still vote for your favorite picture here today).

I went into this challenge pretty cocky; being blessed with gorgeous children, a good camera and better than basic (but only just) photography skills, I figured I probably had this in the bag and submitted my first picture on Monday. It was a picture of MM enjoying a tootsie pop that afternoon on the walk home from the bus stop. A picture that still frankly takes my breath away and I thought it would be pretty popular. Cute expression, nice b&w processing, rich contrast, eyes that pop out of the picture. Maybe I’m biased though.

that gorgeous boy of mine

I got one vote. One sad, lonely vote. And it kinda took me down a peg. Is this picture not as beautiful to the rest of the world as it is to me and if so, how do I feel about that? Now, maybe this challenge is a popularity contest and not a true measure of our of skills – maybe I could have taken the most stunning picture in the world and still wouldn’t have gotten many votes. I don’t know.

But the point is, the low amount of votes was sort of a gauntlet being thrown down for me. I thought, “If that amazing picture of MM won’t render any attention, then clearly I needed to step up my game.” So I spent the rest of the week hell bent on getting a great picture but I never managed to take a picture that I considered better than the first one I submitted and thus I never entered any more pictures.

I had a few things working against me: like my very contrary morning model – a little girl much more interested in the work of play and the art of ignoring mommy than in getting her picture taken. I had messy faces that weren’t cute messy, just, “Man, how did I not notice that before?” messy. I had strange hair days, bad lighting, a camera hell bent on not focusing the second my children were being perfectly adorable at just the right moment and probably a lot of just second guessing myself in general.

And somewhere along the way, I kind of lost sight of the real purpose – that this isn’t about taking a picture worthy of winning a prize that in the long run doesn’t matter to me – but about learning to cope with all these basic truths of child photography and rolling with the punches and coming out on top with beautiful pictures of my children and beautiful memories, too.

But now that the week is over and the challenge is closed, I find myself with a week worth of pictures that I frankly love anyway. Maybe they are not perfectly composed, probably some bad lighting and messy faces are involved – but still they are pictures full of love and happiness and the most beautiful models a mother could ask for. And really, who needs votes when I have this?

The real prize: a life worth living and a family worth loving the heck out of every second.

She Knows 2010 Parenting Awards: Who Will Get Your Vote?

she knows 2010 parenting awardsHave you heard of the She Knows Parenting Awards? Each year parents are asked to vote for their favorite products, companies and brands. She Knows writes that the “SheKnows Parenting Awards are a direct reflection of our readers’ opinion on specific products. Our goal is to give our readers all the information they need to make the best informed decisions in their everyday lives. All products or companies in nomination are reviewed by our team and handpicked accordingly for each category. Each winners are determined via an organic voting process performed by our SheKnows readers.”

Some of my favorite companies and parenting products are in the runnings this year, like Barley & Birch – one of my favorite eco-friendly children’s clothing boutiques and the Kaboost portable chair boosters – such a unique alternative to a traditional booster seat! I hope you’ll head over to SK and support your favorite companies with a vote in the She Knows 2010 Parenting Awards.

Giveaway: Minimize Morning Madness with Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer! (CLOSED)

"Minimize the Morning Madness" gift basket from Scrubbing Bubbles and SC Johnson

I recently received this gift basket from SC Johnson promoting their Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer. My husband, the unofficially appointed Cleaning Guy in our home immediately ran through the bathroom to try it out. He’s been using Scrubbing Bubbles ever since his mother first taught him to clean the bathroom as a kid (clever momma!) so he knew what he was comparing this to. And while he didn’t necessarily find it revolutionary compared to the original Scrubbing Bubbles product, he was just as happy with the product as ever – it’s definitely a brand we know and trust to get the job done.

I think the whole idea of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean is genius. I’m all about anything that can make my cleaning routine (or my husband’s) easier and the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer is all about making it easier. Here are some quick FAQ’s on their newest bathroom cleaner:

  • Active cleaners work overtime to keep your bathroom cleaner, longer
  • Invisible grime barrier is activated each time bathroom surfaces get wet, working for up to 4 days
  • Power Sprayer provides better coverage for easier cleaning
  • Makes bathroom cleaning simpler, easier and more manageable

I love that it continues to clean up the grime a little more every time the surface gets wet, which is quite frequently in our home with a four year old who is constantly washing his hands after getting dirty doing all the things four year olds do! Now when he’s washing his hands, he’s also reactivating the cleaning cycle in the bathroom sink, too, without having to do a thing!

The gift basket they sent me has also been put to good use – especially the really cute coffee mug which I’ve been using for everything from hot cocoa to ice cream, just because I can. It is so cute and classic and sturdy – the perfect mug.

And that notepad you see in the picture? Totally not just a note pad – it’s called AquaNotes which means you can literally get it wet – like go ahead and put it in your shower and it will dry off and be just like new. They want you to get this sucker wet and make sure you never let another idea go down the drain again! Too cool!

WIN IT!

One (1) lucky reader is going to win a gift basket like the one I received (pictured above) including a Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer, Starbucks Via and a mug, a travel alarm clock and more. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Tell me: What do you do to minimize the morning madness in your home? 

This giveaway is open to U.S. readers only. It will end on June 4th at 12 pm Central Time.

Although I was not compensated, I did receive the items pictured above free of charge courtesy of SC Johnson for this giveaway and review opportunity.

i heart faces: SMILE

four blackberries can go a loooong way

My bloggy buddy Jen @ Our Daily Big Top encouraged me to enter this in the iheartfaces photo challenge this week. The theme this week is rather fitting – SMILES – little miss BB is certainly donning a big grin in this picture – blackberries are apparently pretty awesome in her book – AND the picture makes me smile, too, so that’s like bonus points, right?

Have you got the perfect picture of a terrific smile? Be sure to link up with it this week at iheartfaces!

i heart faces weekly photo challenge

Spring Photo Contest: A Perfect Spring Day

feel free to bask in her cuteness

When you think of Spring, what do you think of? Beautiful weather finally coming out to play? Flowers blooming? Sweet little babies? Yeah me, too. And I love that this picture kind of represents all of those things. I took it on one of the first “perfect” days this Spring when we were able to shed our jackets and go outside to play. It was also one of her first times getting to crawl in the grass and really touch nature (and taste it!) first hand.

Something about the angle of this picture really speaks to me and it’s the first one that came to mind when Karen announced this year’s Spring Photo Contest – so I hope you like it. If you’re participating in the contest, let me know so I can check out your picture, too!

Photo Contest at writefromkaren.com