My Mini Studio

This fall I decided I needed to try and build my own at home mini studio. I have a great space in my garage and could see potential but I was never brave enough to go for it. One morning I woke up with a client who needed a space to do a specific kind of session and I was inspired once again to create that space for myself. 

This was my garage before:

My husband and I cleared out a substantial area and then we went shopping for some supplies. We bought two bike hanger hooks, some PVC pipe and caps and a roll of seamless backdrop paper. Then we installed the hooks on the garage wall. 

 

Then I hung the roll of seamless paper on the PVC pipe and used the hooks to hold it. When I unrolled it I used clamps to hold the paper in place and painters tape to secure it to the flooring. My backdrop roll isn’t very wide so I put up some white cloth behind it on the wall and laid some out on the floor beneath my staging area.  I used the lighting I already owned, purchased on amazon. 

It only takes up about 1/4th of my garage space, and I can roll it up and have it out of sight when it’s not in use and park my car inside again.  But this small mini studio has the potential for so many creative sessions. 

before editing:

after some very basic editing:

I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this low cost, 2 hour project (including shopping time). I can’t wait to utilize it on many more projects!

My Everyday Must Haves

Good Morning! I wanted to share with you some of my go-to things I use on a daily basis that make me feel ready to tackle my day and feel happy and prepared for what’s ahead.

Kodiak Cakes!!! I literally eat these 6 times a week for breakfast. I am also that girl at Target who buys up the whole shelf because I HAVE TO HAVE MY KODIAKS!! This is basically a pancake in a cup. You can add milk, almond milk or water ( I use water) and heat it up in the microwave for a quick morning bite! I like to throw in a handful of fresh blueberries in mine for some extra antioxidants and yummy-ness. These little cups of flapjacks are 250 calories and use 100% whole grain and contain 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

 Starbucks Brand Mocha iced coffee. I drink this daily, usually in one of my many Disneyland mugs over ice. I don’t like hot coffee and I don’t like leaving my house for coffee so I discovered this at Target and fell in love. It is pretty sweet so if you don’t like sweet stuff I’d try something else, but if you enjoy sweet iced coffees this is one to check out. I drink maybe 4 oz of it daily only because I prefer a ton of ice. It’s also my only source of caffeine 90% of the time because I don’t drink soda unless we go out to dinner or something. They sell these drinks at Target and Savemart and have multiple flavors (mocha, caramel, and seasonally pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha).

Daily Vitamins!!! I love my vitamins an I think it’s important for everyone to get them. I take biotin for my hair, nails and skin. I have hair down to my waist and I love that is is still thick and healthy despite the fact that I have started coloring it. My colorist always tells me how healthy it is. I use Garlic for my heart health and immunity. I am not always the healthiest person and women need to be proactive about their heart health on a regular basis, especially when you have major issues with insomnia like me.  Insomnia has been noted in nearly 45% in cardiac patients in the US, so get some sleep and take care of your heart! I also take green superfood capsules which help in the veggie department….I hate eating vegetables and I am constantly failing at adding them to my diet so I take these to make sure I get some green in me! I have even thrown them in my fruit smoothies with a handful of spinach. I take selenium for its antioxidant properties, heart health benefits and and for my thyroid health. Last but not least I take  Women’s multi-vitamin when I’m going on trips and can’t pack my plethora of vitamins I typically take. These encompass most of the daily vitamins you should probably be taking normally, I got this bottle for $3 at Target.

 I am a mess without a To-Do list. I always have about 5 or 6 notebooks on hand to make lists or scribble notes in daily. I have daily chores, projects, shopping lists, calendars and budgets all in my notebooks. My family says I am obsessed with lists and I have to agree with them, but they work for me. I have a million thoughts and ideas running through my mind every day and I can’t always keep rack of it all so I I rely on my ability to write it all down. A woman with a plan is equal parts smart and dangerous.

 Nyx Jumbo Eye shadow Crayons in cashmere and yogurt shades. I have zero knowledge of what I am doing when it comes to applying makeup. I typically wash my face, lightly brush powder on my face, smear some of this amazing eye shadow on my eyelids and add some mascara and hope for the best. These are about $3 each and make me feel pretty. They’re very lightweight and simple and for someone who isn’t into wearing a lot of makeup I’d say they’re just right for me.

SPOTIFY IS LIFE. I can’t go a day, or even an hour without listening to music. This is my favorite app on my phone and laptop and my entire family has an account, even Ben (he made a playlist called Homework Jams and it is amazing). I have used Spotify since it came out years ago and have cultivated so many crazy playlists with it that match my moods. I use every single feature I can on the app and pay for a family plan subscription monthly. I have added my “Positive Mondays” Playlist for you guys to check out and help get your week going.

So this is what gets me through my busy days. What kinds of things help you get through the week? Do you keep it traditional and stick to the same go-to’s or do you switch it up to keep things exciting? Whatever you do, I hope you have an amazing week and get things done!

DIY Wooden Christmas Tree

So, we decided we needed to be crafty this holiday season an make our own Christmas tree. It actually ended up being pretty simple and fun.  We started with two pieces of plywood we had laying around in the garage and cut them into triangles. I have to stop here and say, please measure your wood…we didn’t really do that. We are also not people who make things using saws and wood typically so we just decided this didn’t need to look perfect, we just wanted to see how it would turn out.

After we cut the two large triangle pieces we had to cut out the slots that would line the pieces up to create a 3-D tree. It was kind of like a puzzle, but much simpler and with two crazy adults who don’t know anything about woodworking. 

We then painted the pieces a nice chalkboard green with a bunch of cold glitter stirred into the paint (both can be purchased at Target, but I think it’s a bit overpriced. Whatever, it’s Christmas. ). The color turned out great!

Last, we assembled the pieces and set it up in the corner of our living room. The top of the tree was so crooked we slapped a Santa hat on top and called it a day.  We got so excited by our little tree we went out and found some more scraps of wood in the garage and made ourselves a stocking holder to go alongside the tree. We used some fence boards and a couple of 2x4s.

 

Anyway, we had fun making these projects and if we can make them I am 1000% sure that anyone with scrap wood, a saw, sparkle paint and free time can make an even better version of what we created. It was nice to do something special as a family together. 

Friendship Club

Earlier this month my son and I started a Friendship Club at his elementary school. He has experienced bullying and had trouble making friends and I thought building a safe and creative space within his school would help him, and other children with similar issues, foster friendships and have some fun during their school day.

The school was kind enough to allow me to use a room on campus during lunch recess for the club one day a week. The first day of the club I arrived about 30 minutes before lunch recess and they gave me the key and I set up the little room by clearing off tables and setting out my homemade printable sheets and crayons and other writing utensils for the kids. The club hadn’t yet been “advertised” to the students by the school or PTA and I was a little nervous that no one but my son would show up. I had printed 30 of my little projects just in case and when the lunch recess bell rang I started getting pretty excited.

Lunch recess was between 11 am and 1 pm for all 7 grades (k-6) and within that time period I had roughly 50 kids come through the room and it felt like a whirlwind of excitement. My son showed up about 45 minutes into it as he is in 3rd grade and brought his own posse of kids from his classroom. I literally ran out of supplies and had to break out lined paper and had kids make me a list of some things they’d like to do during friendship club in the future. I was blown away by how kind and creative these kids were and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them interact.

We came up with one rule that first meeting, “Always be a friend to everyone.”

The second week came and I had gone to the dollar store and stocked up on supplies in preparation. This week’s project would be making bookmarks. I pre-cut 100 bookmarks from a rainbow of card stock and had more coloring utensils and hundreds of stickers.

I am happy to say that I ran out of supplies again during the second meeting of Friendship Club. There were so many kids I could hardly hear through the friendly banter. No one argued, and every single kid had a smile on their face. What really helped was the very kind donation for the club from my son’s teacher; she gave us a gigantic tub of legos. So the kids who couldn’t make bookmarks were able to hunker down on the carpet and play legos together. It was phenomenal.

I am truly excited to continue Friendship Club throughout the school year. I have a goal to get at least one other adult volunteer to help oversee the kids with me. Some of the kids have expressed a desire to have a board game day and possibly make friendship bracelets. I think that will be something we can do during January.

I am including some downloads of the printables I have made if you’d like to use them with your kids. If you decide to start a friendship club at your school let me know! I’d love to share my ideas with you.

Printables

 Download Buddy or Bully Printable

 Download Emoji Friendship Printable

 Download Turkey Hand Activity