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Actually, Samantha was technically three when she shot these, but for all intents and purposes  she was almost four. A good friend of mine suggested giving Samantha a camera and the freedom to take any photo her little heart desired. Genius right??? I gave her my iPhone and let her go wild. I was extremely impressed. I mean, yes there were a few hundred i had to sift through to find her gems, but if I’m really honest, I take  a million photos of the same thing until I get the desired ONE photo lol. Below are my favs that she snapped…and I even threw in a few of my own to try and imitate what she saw through her eyes.

Oh, and PS…. my mama heart melted when her very first picture ever that she wanted to snap was of me, her mama. <3<3<3


Amazing right?????? Ok, now the next few photos below are the ones I took inspired by a few of her photos.



So we are full steam ahead in homeschool. Thankfully the content is somewhat familiar to Samantha due to her ipad apps she’s played with, but now she gets to sit down and learn how to follow instructions from an adult and hopefully learn new things to challenge her little mind and have fun along the way. I’ve been enjoying myself prepping for her school days. The laminator is my new favorite toy. Anything that can be laminated…. I attack. A friend recommended a blog called Confessions of a Homeschooler that provides the curriculum for pre K. The website allows for all documents to be downloaded so you can print them out yourself  for free or you can buy her CD for $15 for more convenience and send them to Kinkos to get printed (which is what I did). I’m using her Letter of the Week Pre-K edition. There are a few things I may wait on since Samantha is a little young for pre-k, but for the most part she’s done really well with everything that I’ve given her. I’m so happy I have the opportunity to stay home with this little one watch her learn and develop right under my nose.


vintage-press-doorbellJust a little teaser for things to come. We are still deciding on a front door color. I say yellow (like any blogger would), hubs says red, so we’ll probably end up with either black or green lol. The house is coming along slowly but surely. This White & Black House is my inspiration at the moment.

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So… party details. Like I mentioned before, once we arrived at our downtown loft in LA that I found on airbnb, we got settled in, relaxed, then went out for a tasty ad scenic dinner (Perch has some of the BEST views around). Afterward Brad kept talking about hanging out at Perch and relaxing, but I kept wanting to go relax at the loft. He suggested we go get some dessert over at Bottega Louie, which I of course agreed upon. I mean who can say no to Bottega? NOBODY WHO’S SANE. So we walk over there and he again suggested we get a drink there at their bar and I, totally clueless, whined about my feet hurting from all the walking and just wanted to go back to the loft. Being the smart fellow he is, he basically walked me around in circles until he could no long hold it off. We arrive at the loft and as he’s opening the door for me, I realized that the loft was stuffed full of all our closest friends and family!!!! They all had that deer in headlights look on their faces because I guess we were a little early and they were JUST about to hop on our bed and scream SURPRISE. But honestly it was the best way to be surprised anyone could ever ask for. Our room we rented had a british flag arm chair and, my friend Delia knowing how much I LOVE the UK, suggested they run with a british party theme. My friend Kali organized most of the decorations and pretty drinks, and my amazing sister-in-laws took care of feeding everyone. Brad even made a FB invitation group  so it would be easy for everyone to coordinate. Brad and my brother also made a slide show for me highlighting some of my best memories. Tears were definitely shed. We sipped our cocktails, played around in the photo boot, goofed off on the roof top with the LA skyline as our backdrop, and just sat around and visited. None of you who attended will ever know just how much it really meant to me having you there. I felt so so loved, and I definitely will cherish this memory in my heart forever. I only hope I can be as good to you all as you’ve been good to me. Thanks for being in my life <3

Confetti and photo booth props made compliments of Paper Cut OC

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Sensory Bin: Goodnight Moon Theme

I’ve mentioned before that we will be homeschooling the kids. Samantha is at that preschool stage. I’ve been looking up fun ways to introduce school to her and sensory bins have been catching my eye. Especially book themed sensory bins. They are a great way to get kids involved with learning and encourage creativity. Plus it gives them a free pass to (somewhat) make a mess lol. I stumbled across THIS ONE on pinterest the other day and fell in love with the idea. I wanted to make my own personalized version and the above inspiration board is what I came up with. I can’t wait to show Samantha! I also can’t wait to incorporate other book themed sensory bins too.

To Assemble:

Fill plastic bin with the black gravel (the night sky), place all the pieces in desired order (I’d probably do it in the order the books introduces each object), When you give the bin to your child read the book first or have your child go through the book locating each object as you read. Then let your child play as long as their little hearts desire =) Have fun!

outdoormovieSo, this post has a compilation of photos. Samantha’s original date for her birthday party got rained out so we held it indoors with some family. A week later I hosted the original idea of a DIY outdoor drive in movie party. So below are photos of both events. Samantha saw her first movie in a theater a few months ago and I haven’t seen her enjoy an experience as much as going to this movie. Anytime she talked about it she got so animated and excited. When thinking of her 3rd birthday, I wanted to do something fun with some personal touches, but nothing too crazy. Especially since a few months prior I threw Sean’s 1st birthday party…which was exhausting. I decided not to serve a meal, but keep it to popcorn, candy, cupcakes, and drinks. I figured  I was playing a dangerous game of possibly losing our sweet new friends we’ve made up here in the bay area by hosting a party where their kids stay up late and eat candy lol. But the kids had a blast. So much so, that I found myself enjoying the moment more than hiding behind a camera all night taking photos. Great for the evening, not so great for photo options. But that”s ok. ;) Below is a quick list of Samantha’s party details…

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Sean Bradley Hettervik. You are now a one year old. I can hardly type this in disbelief. The year has gone by too fast. Double the kids means double the speed that first year goes by. Breaks my heart and makes me proud all at the same time. My son, you have the ability to look into someones eyes and give the impression that you can see right through them. You are very inquisitive and curious who marches to the beat of your own drum. You love your older sister who toughens you up daily. You are very easy going and don’t complain much, but at the same time have no problem vocalizing your opinion. Currently you prefer mama over anyone else which pleases me more than it probably should. You don’t give out your special smiles to just anyone. We have to earn those sweet smiles, and when we do it lightens up a room and makes all the ladies swoon. I love you my dear little man and look forward to a lifetime of love and fun!

24The LORD bless you and keep you; 25the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. – Numbers 6:24-26

We hosted Sean’s party at RINCONADA WADING POOL in Palo Alto. The weather was perfect for a summer pool party. Set up was a little crazy, but once everything was on the table and my photos were snapped, the party became a good start to our summer. I went with a beach ball color pallet and kind of merged a beach and pool party theme together. Smash cake was a tin can cake with graham cracker for sand (trying to make it look like a sand bucket sand castle). I made my cupcake umbrellas, I water colored white paper bags for the sack lunches I packed for the kids (which the parents loved), and wrapped up subs for the adults. I did pencil erasure dot art on wax paper pastry bags for the goody bags which consisted of a mini beach ball, sailor hat, sunscreen stick, and other age appropriate fillers for the kids. I was able to some how go under budget by doing a lot of diy and using items from past parties. I am VERY pleased at the outcome and I hope to share more details on my blog on some of my diy projects.

Click HERE for Samantha’s first birthday party and HERE for her 2nd.
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