Valentines Freebies Day 1!

I am so happy to give away some fun printables to make valentines a little easier to plan for all of you out there. Today’s freebie is for the kiddos if they love Olaf from frozen they will love this!

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There are 3 files

1. Large prints 3 per page. frozen valentine large

2. Small prints 8 per page. frozen valentine small

3. Treat Bag topper prints 4 per page.frozen treat topper

 

All can be printed at home on regular paper or card stock. The treat toppers are formatted to also work with avery double sided labels .

 

Love and High 5’s,

Tog

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February Sensory Bin!

Hi guys it’s Tog. February is a special month in our house not just due to Valentine’s day but it is also little darlings birthday month. She is turning 2! Which is such a great age for sensory bins.

One of the questions you might have before even reading the post below is why or what are sensory bins? Well, they are a great play prompt for young minds.

They help develop so many fundamental skills, fine motor, sorting, transferring, classifying, just to name a few.

And they are just a really fun engaging alternative to screen time when you need something to occupy your little one while you get work done! (personal experience )

Our February bin has a very girly feel as it is v-day and Little Darlings b-day month. I went with rainbow rice as the base hoping that once it is all mixed up it resembles confetti or sprinkles. But if you have a little boy you could just color your rice what ever colors you like or leave it white if you want to make it a super simple set up.

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The supplies above are just a sample of what you can do with a rice bin. I purchased funnels, measuring cups, and little toys at the dollar store for a total of $3. The ice cube tray is one of little darlings favorites for all her bins so I always throw it in. I included a wand for her to dig with rather than a little shovel this month since it is her b-day bin. I also put in some candles which turned out to be a huge hit. I find that anything that is not meant for kids is usually what she loves the most. Look around your house and use items you already have. Once you have made the investment of about $6 for a bin at target and your rice or other fill options it becomes a really cost effective learning tool.

For instructions on the rainbow rice check out our previous post here.

Our finished bin!

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She Loves it! It occupies her for around 45 min to an hour each time we take it out. I love it because when I need time to get something done I have an engaging and educational option ready to go.

I hope you give it a shot with you little one. If you have any questions or want any other tips about sensory bins please comment and I will be sure to reply.

After February I will be posting a themed bin every month from outer space, to bugs, to the ocean.

Love and High 5’s

-Tog

DIY Boudoir Photos

OK so if you are like Mrs. Tog you really wanted to get your special someone some hot photos this Valentines day but then the calendar got ahead of you and now you are thinking maybe I could snap a couple myself! It can be tricky but it can be done. I took some today and overall they came out pretty good. I included one below and the rest of the poses are from clients. Definitely not what I would have gotten if I managed my time better and made an appointment with a photog. It is a goal I have for 2014 to get really nice boudoir photos done for myself not even for my man. I want remember how good I look after all the hard work I have put this body through.  I hope that all you lovely ladies get inspired by this tutorial to give it a try and maybe after seeing how good you can look DIY style I really do hope you all consider getting a pro to do them for you at least once in your life!

Camera: Digital cameras are pretty much the normal these days, which is great because you can take as many pictures as you want and upload them straight to the computer. The one thing that is a must have is that your camera is capable of being set to a self timer. The longer the better most give 10 seconds at max. I personally use a wireless remote most of the time but last week when my battery was dead I was still able to get some really good selfies with the timer.

White sheets: White sheets create great contrast against your skin tone and your can use them by hanging them from the wall and running them across the floor or you can hang them off your headboard and across the bed, or just cover your normal bed set with them for a super easy set up.

What to wear: Honestly wear what makes you feel sexy. My best shot was me wearing a pair of cotton panties with a cute print. I highly recommend heels to add that extra sexy touch.

Makeup & Hair: Go all out if you can. Get out the curling iron if you are going for a soft and sexy look or grab the flat iron if you are looking for an edgier feel.

It’s time to take those photos!

Give yourself at least an hour for a successful DIY photo shoot because it takes a little bit to figure out lighting, focus, and posing.

 Background: Keep the sheets bunchy, don’t try to iron them perfectly or you’ll be fighting a never ending battle.

 Setting up the camera: If you have a tripod use it, if not try resting the camera on side table, a chair a stack of books you name it. For an overhead shot I discovered that if your camera has a strap hang it from your ceiling fan…..trust me it works, just make sure it’s secure :)

 Lighting: There are two types of lighting, natural and artificial light. Natural light is hands down the best light to use , so open all your windows and let in the sunshine just avoid eye contact with the neighbors for a few days! If you don’t have enough natural light then use your ceiling light and lamps for additional light. I strongly recommend using lights in the room before using the built in flash on your camera. A built in flash straight at you is incredibly harsh and will highlight flaws.

 Focusing the shot: Most cameras have a focus lock which is when you push the shutter button down half way you can hear it focus. For your photos I recommend placing an object like a book, stuffed animal, etc. in the shot, in the location where you will be in the picture. Then set your self timer, focus on your prop…..then jump in the pic and throw the prop out. If you don’t place a prop in the shot for the focus you will most likely end up with unclear photos. This can feel like it should be declared an Olympic sport when you do it over and over again but trust me it’s worth running back and forth!

 Posing: It can take a while to figure out what your best angles are. But honestly most women look great being shot lying down on their back with their bodies diagonally across the bed looking towards the camera. I have included a photo of this pose.

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Other easy poses are

Sitting on the edge of your bed reaching down to slip on your heel or adjust your stocking

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Facing the camera lying on your belly but with your body slightly angled away.

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Always be aware of your hands! I ruined a few of my shots having mine looking really awkward.

After you have your images I really do recommend trying to convert a few to a soft black and white I have found I may not love an image in color for one reason or another when it comes to boudoir but converting to black and white can add a softness and make me fall in love with it. Check out www.pixlr.com for a decent online editing tool to take your photos to the next level.

Rainbow Rice

rainbowrice

 

 

 

Hey hey Tog here. I’m gearing up to create Little Darlings February Sensory bin and create a post about it but first things first RAINBOW RICE!

It is super simple with just a few items most of us already have lying around.

You will need Rice, Ziploc bags, Food Coloring and Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer.

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I knew i was going to be making a lot of rice since it was my first large batch for my huge sensory bin. I went to costco and got a 25lb bag of mandalay long grain rice for $10. This was hands down the best price. But once you have it you can reuse the rice over and over for other bins. you can choose to only color some or do single colors and keep them seperate in ziploc bags. This makes for easy change outs of sensory bin themes each month.

Step 1. put rice in a seal-able bag (my preference) or even a large mixing bowl

step 2. for about 3/4 full ziploc freezer size bag Put in 8-9 drops of food coloring. you can always add more if you want the color to be darker.

step 3. ad 4-5 pumps of hand sanitizer into the bag.

step 4. close the bag and shake it like crazy. really get the rice moved all around and the color spread out evenly.

step 5. open the bag and set somewhere the kids can’t reach it and let the rice dry. the alcohol both helps the color to stay on the rice and not on hands and also helps it dry quickly.

Step 6. Use in your sensory bins!

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Pretty easy and makes the bins just a little more special.