Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Every day I sit back and listen to my husband talk about hunting and/or fishing. Any one that knows him would tell you the same thing. {sorry veggie eaters} He never stops! I know that sounds kinda mean but he talks about it non stop! 

It may drive me a little crazy to hear about this new gun he wants or that he wants to be able to spend Sunday in the woods and how he is getting there and who is going with him and what he plans on doing once he is there and what kind of animal is going down. {get my drift!?} But I love that he is so passionate about something.

My kids have always been what makes me happy but since opening my shop and starting this blog I feel like there is a place that I can be me! Don't get me wrong I am "me" every where but I get to be creative, say what I feel, share things that I love and make pretty things. {even if sales are slim}.

I think about blogging all day! Crazy yes, but I look at things and think "I should blog about this!" haha. I know a lot of us here in the blogging world are like that to. I want to share my life and all things that are in it!

So for now I couldn't be more happy that I have found something I am passionate about and I to, can now bug my husband with all things that will surely drive him crazy. ;)

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Monday, January 30, 2012

How to take a pretty picture!

I have a really special treat for ya'll today. I asked my sisters friends Megan who is a photographer to share some tips for us on how to take pretty pictures. I'm excited to say that she said "yes" and that she is here today. So I will just let her take it away!!

Hi everyone!
The number one question I get from budding photographers is, "How do you make the background blurry?"  so I thought it would be fun to share some pro tips with you!

Let me start this lesson by stating that a beautiful photograph is much more than expensive equipment or a particular setting.  It's about lighting, emotion, background and lots and lots of practice using the gear you have.  It's taken me years to achieve this look so don't be too critical when you're getting started.

Secondly, I'm a stickler when I give camera lessons, because I usually only teach in Manual Mode (M), because this setting gives you absolute control over the outcome of the image, however I understand that it's taken me years to master this technique so here are the very basics to get you going.

1.  Basically, the technique to achieve this "blurred" background is controlled by the Aperture setting (AV).

2.  Instead of shooting in Auto (or green square) mode, switch the camera to AV (or person) mode.

3.  Dial the aperture down to the lowest setting (refer to your manual).  For most off-the-shelf cameras this is about 4.5.  If it can go lower keep dialing down!  For instance the above images were taken at an aperture between 2.8 and 1.6.

4.  The average lens will stop at 4.5+/- and you'll find it frustrating because you'll want a softer background. Here's what I tell everyone... you're going to have to pony up about $400-500 for another lens, but I promise it will be one of the best investments!  Canon's 50mm 1.4 is my all-time favorite lens.  You can also find the similar style for Nikon.  While you're at, get the lens filter to protect the lens - a wise investment!

5.  Purchasing quality is always the best choice, and I always recommend purchasing the name brand, not a cheaper brand.

6.  Just start playing around.  Experiment around the house; dinner table, kids playing, flowering plants, etc.  Have fun!!

7.  And let me know how it goes!

Thanks Megan! I can definitely use these tips! 

You can also find Megan blogging with my sister Kristin over at The Cardigan & The Cook. Be sure to stop by there to see more of her amazing pictures and be sure to tell her Hello!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012


 I have been surely but slowly decorating my house for 4 years and I feel like just recently I know where I want it to go. I have recently become obsessed with the color teal. I would like to incorporate it into my house. The problem is and always has been, is finding the money to do it. My house is fairly small so it wouldn't take much but I'm still finding it hard to get done. 

My walls are yellow and that isn't going to work with the look I want to achieve so that will be the first to go. I would love your help with picking wall color because every time {no joke} I paint a room I hate the color. I would love light colored slip covers for my very brown couches and some beautiful pops of teal and maybe some coral thrown in there to. I love a light and happy feel when you walk in to a house and I do live in Florida so I want it to feel that way.

Here are some pictures from Pinterest of what I am liking.... how I will put it together is beyond me!

I am in love with this colored door. I would never think to pain doors anything other then white. 
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This is seriously like my dining room, at least the set up and size. I can honestly say I have never put curtains up but I really like the look of this. I don't like the lack of color but if I added a brighter curtain and put some pretty wall art up it would be awesome! Oh, and my husband would die if I told him I wanted antlers on the dinner table just for looks. {All his dead animals go in the hallway that goes up the stairs... not in my living room!} But I love how those look just sitting there.
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This next one looks like a disaster to put my crazy ass baby in right now... but when he is bigger and not into everything so bad I would copy this whole look if I could.
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This one may be a little to islandy but the colors are auh may zing. Things I do not like in this picture is all the wicker and the trees.
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I really like the chicness of this hutch.
i have wanted an aqua hutch forever!

So you get it right? Now I just need the money to buy all new stuff and redecorate everything!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

uhhh what was i doing?!

If you Like Party Of Four on Facebook you may have read that I was thinking about sponsoring 2 blogs for next month to see if I can get a few extra hits. But with Creative Estates coming up I'm saving every penny just to get on the plane. But that's not exactly why I decided not to do it. 

I think that sponsoring can get a little out of hand some times. OK I take your money and then buy a spot on a bigger blog so that person can turn it around and get a spot there and some where along the bloggy line some one is rich!  It kinda makes me crazy! I will sponsor a page because I like what they say, take Ilene from Much Love, Illy. I love her blog so I will pay her to keep up the good work! Does that even make sense? I'm not sure...

Here is the thing. I have huge plans for this blog one day but right now I can't seem to get any of what I need done right now accomplished. I want the over all look of my blog to be a little more me but with my lack of imagination  that takes money. I want to be able to have pretty pictures on here but till I can hire a photographer or get someone that can operate my camera to take them you guys are crap outta luck. 

I don't want this blog to turn into a popularity contest because that isn't what I'm here for. I want to be able to share my story... my life in hopes to make someone else's life better.
 So till I really decide where this bad boy is heading... I guess I will keep my money in my pockets.{or not ask the hubs for any!}

sorry about the Friday rants peeps. Love ya!


I'm not real sure what has been going on this week but for some reason I haven't been real chatty. I guess thats why I'm short a few posts. Well I'm sure you guys will make do with out me here and there right?

This week has actually been pretty productive with out being on this computer at every nap time. I stocked my shop with items that I am really loving and having fun making. I sold a bracelet yesterday!!! So happy to be able to start some where. {thanks Cerrisse!} 

I started a photography class last night to and it took us almost the whole class to go around and introduce our self's and share what kind of camera we have.... I sat up front and was the first to go then almost everyone laughed when I said I have a Nikon.... I don't get it. What is wrong with my camera? And here is another thing. Don't laugh at me because I don't have extra lenses.... this is a beginners class right? Why does everyone have fancy shit? Sorry but I was a little embarrassed and mad. The class did get better after a few others had no idea what they had.... or they just had a point and shoot. See guys my stuff really isn't that bad so poo on you.

I'm also happy that people are linking up their blogs on the creative estates blog so I can find out who's going to be there. I love stalking new blogs. ;) 

I hope everyone has a great weekend. The kids are going to Grammy's tomorrow and I am determined to go though every closet and cabinet in this house and throw away every thing. I am ready to have "room" in this tiny house again.

Here is a funny to send you off....
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lol, this may be a lot like my weeks. Lets not tell the hubs.

Happy Friday Friends,

{and if the language offends so in this post.... oh well}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If you were to...

If you woke up in my house this morning a and spent the whole day by my side
 you would have seen....

-Pouring way to much chi latte creamer in my coffee

-Taking Brad to school in my p.j's minus a bra {and if you could read my mind you would know that I was terrified the whole way of being in a fender bender and needing to get out of the car dressed like that on the side of a busy road}

-Giving Gauge a Gerber Grabers and a hand full of Cheerios for breakfast so I can check emails and see what I missed on Facebook from the night before VIA my phone

-Drinking more coffee and playing with Gauge while trying to watch the news.... hoping the weather man will tell me next week won't be 80 degrees out so I can go back to wearing jeans

-Laying Gauge down for his morning nap

-Trying to take photos on my front porch so I can hurry and list in my shop and post the new Facebook giveaway before the baby gets up

-Getting Gauge before I was done and then holding him in my bed till he went back to sleep so I can finish up my "work"

-finally eating something now that it is 10:45

-Heading  down to The Villages {a retirement community that is GINORMOUS} to go find more bracelet supplies because I loooove them and want to make more

-Waiting 45 minutes in the car line to get Bradley because if I went home I would sit there for 15 minutes and then load Gauge back in the car and then drive right back from the same area I was 30 minutes ago

-Laying Gauge down for a nap again {he's a sleepy head} then me laying on the couch thinking about napping but not actually getting to sleep

-Taking my daily trip the the grocery store because yet again I forgot to take meat out of the freezer and knowing that Jason can NOT have dinner minus meat

-My dad stopping by with arrows for Brad so he can teach him to shoot his bow now that he is strong enough to pull it back {scary!!}. but loving the fact that my dad is spending time with him! {so cute}

-Pleading for Jason to take the baby out side so I can empty the dishwasher in peace

-Jason keeping Gauge outside longer then expected and me hurrying to repaint my toe nails {almost got them done}

-Frying pork chops for dinner, me eating while Jason showered, me giving Gauge a bath while Jason and Bradley ate.

-Bathing Gauge, getting him his warm sippy of milk and then holding him in my arms rocking him and humming "you are my sunshine" till he fell asleep so I can lay him in his bed.

-Me showering 

-Me sitting here writing this oh so boring post!!!

-Getting Brad in bed

-Laying on the couch with Jason making him watch Jane By Design

-Brushing my teeth and going to bed {while laying there thinking about the next day for way to long}

There you have it! A day in the life of Katie. Exciting right?  I may have forgot all the times I smooched the baby, checked my Facebook on the phone {I have a problem} tickled the baby, and got caught up on all my favorite blogs via my Bloglovin' app. 

I hope everyone is having a great week thus far, no outfit post for me this week... I'm sure that breaks your heart right?!{teehee} I hope you guys check out the new items in my shop and if you do, let me know what you think. I love feedback....bad or good.

want to win this???
Head to my Facebook page!!

use coupon code *NEWSTUFF* to get free shipping.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Man Candy Monday and another *WINNER* {HintHint}

I have seen these "man candy Monday" Posts and think that they are.... for lack of better words AWESOME!!! {hehee} So today pick for you is "my Man" 

Ian Somerhalder

I will be the first to admit that I am a little bit nuts for vampires. Well he
takes the cake on Vampire Diaries. It may be the one reason I really love this show. His facial expressions are the best. Has anyone seen it? Do you know what I'm saying when I say he has some weird "sexy eyes" look?! At least that is what my hubby calls it. And yes he watches the show every week with me. ;) don't tell him I told you that!

....and let me just put this out there, if you watch the show....why can't he just get
 the girl all ready!!! arrrg!

Keep up with my "Woah Sexy" Pin board  HERE to see all the other hot guys!

And in other news yet again people never stop amazing me! I still havent heard from the winner of the last group giveaway.... and yes I could email them and tell them that they won but I don't think that is fair to the people who actually follow my blog. So I picked ANOTHER WINNER!

If you are Jennifer P. with entry #148 please send me an email because you are one lucky girl. one two peoples loss is your gain and  I am ready to claim the prize myself!!

A Guest Post : The Ellie Life

Happy Day loves! 
I'm Ellie and I blog over at The Ellie Life
Blogging about love, heartache, & all the messy stuff in between. 
I am so excited to be guest posting here at Party of Four
I mean just look around...this place is AMAZING. 

So now the big question. Why I blog? 

I'm a small town girl with big town dreams. 

& one day I am going to change the world. 
Okay so it's a long shot...
Did I mention I'm 15? 
(young? Yes. Impossible? Heck no) 

How do you plan to change the world? 
Simple. Very carefully. {kidding}
I plan to change the world with love.
 The Ellie Life is all about love. Because yours truly has enough to pass around. 
We are all good enough. & I will stop at nothing to prove it. 
Come one. Come all. 
I share my story in the efforts to connect to someone in this pretty little world and ultimately....make a change. 

My advice column opened in November and has since answered 2,500 questions. Eeek! That number even scares me sweet people. 

Often people ask me why I take the time to deal with other people's problems. 
I felt the need to go ahead a share exactly why I think everyone deserves someone to lean on. 
Stranger or not. 

I know what if feels like to have scars. 
& I know what it feels like to embrace pain. 
My daddy died of a heart attack. 
Since that dark December morning I have been fighting back
In the name of the love he gave me, the dreams he had, and the places he always told me I would go I plan to teach others how to heal. & through this lovely advice column I am doing just that. 

The Ellie Life isn't all heartache though. My goodness can we laugh over at our house. 
Making light out of even the darkest day. 
This here is the most adorable baby sis in the world. & my does she bring a smile to the darkest day. 
I've got a big mouth and a soft heart. 
I love pink. & all things Taylor Swift. 
When I started this blog 13 short weeks ago....I set out on a journey to discover myself. 
The girl I found....she's far more capable then I ever could have imagined. 

& she....well she has big dreams. 

Chase them with her. 

Heartache. Advice. Faith. Love. Laughs. & everything in between. 
Around here we like to mix things up. 
Drop in...stay a while. 
& embrace my story.

What's yours? 


*comments are turned OFF so you can go visit Ellie*

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Funday

This is kinda funny after just starting a "winter linkup". 

Today I got sunburned!! I was in my happy place all day. On the water, on a boat. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Don't forget to link up you "winter post" with us

and enter this weeks giveaway


.....seriously guys...Winter???

If you know me at all yet you would know I live in Florida. I may live in north central Florida but winter doesn't seem like much to me. It gets freezing here for about 2 days on then 5 days off, for about  2 months. 

When I think of winter I think of snow, cute outfits, drinking coffee all day and not sweating, not wearing shorts and flip flops like I did today. I wish I could do all the fun winter activities that people up north get to do. I'm sure that it isn't all fun and games but come on, people up north get snowboards! I took a trip to Lake Tahoe with my sister a few years ago and had a blast {thanks Grandma!!}. It was the only time I have been in snow. I spent a whole day by my self and took a snowboarding lesson and checking out all the cute boys with their fun warm hats and all the cute girls with their pink snow pants. All I can say is that I could totally do that every weekend. With that being said my husband will never move any where so I guess I will just dream about snow covered mountains and daily coffee breaks in between hittin' the slopes.

My outlet for everything winter these days is Pinterest. So today I have chosen to share some of my wintery pins. Hope you enjoy!

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Those are just a few. I hope that you come follow me on Pinterest and see all the 
other fun stuff that I love and that everyone enjoys the rest of the winter!!

P.S. Do some snowboarding for me!!

Winter Warm Up Linky Party

Our rockin' Winter Warm Up Linky Party is finally here!

Please join me and my awesome co-hosts
Jamie from Awesomely Awkward
and Cerrisse from the Posh Daisy

with your "coolest" winter posts!

Link up your warm & cozy outfits, yummy recipes, winter crafts or anything else winter related
and join in on the fun! 
Please make sure to visit others that have linked up too...
it's a great opportunity to find new blogs & make new friends!

We'll keep the linky open for a week, so please spread the word!

We'd love to see what everyone has been up to this winter!

linky party rules:
Please add a button to your post, anywhere is fine we are not picky!

Be kind to your hostesses and please become a follower of all four of us.

Have fun and leave comments for all the blogs you visit, after all what good is a party if nobody talks to each other!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This weeks rundown

I hope everyone has had a great work week, me? Its been kinda lazy. I haven't done my normal going out to lunch with my sister thing because Bradley had off of school Monday-Wednesday then had to go back yesterday. So we stayed at home trying to save money. 

Here is a list of some things that made me happy this week and some cell phone pics. {no iphone here so no instagram, just unedited cell phone pics!

Today I got two very cute packages in the mail from Much Love, Illy and Whimsy Lane

both of these girls are amazing for the same reason. They both threw a little something extra on my order for different reasons. I would have been happy regardless! But either way free extra pretties make me happy.

I went to the local drug store to find a gift for my gift exchange buddy and ended up adding to my ever growing supply of hair care products.

I have always known this but I have a super cute baby that likes to climb on chair on the porch.

just a few more things, I started a new giveaway HERE and picked a new winner for last giveaway. 
and I found out a few of my favorite bloggers will be at Creative Estates. You can read more about it here....and that my friends is how my week has been. 

I'm off! Happy weekend!

Moonbeam headband giveaway

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an Etsy shop with very affordable cute headbands. After talking to Tasha she decided to give one of my readers a 15$ shop credit. With her prices you can buy a headband for almost everyday of the week! Sweet right?

Tessa Elastic Headband - Grey and Green
Cloudy Day Elastic Headband - Tiffany Blue, Grey, White

A girl can't have enough headbands!! Want to win? There are plenty of ways.

If you are Amanda E. please email me to claim your awesome prizes because I didn't hear from the winner of the last giveaway.
If that is your name click  here  and see if it was you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet my new friend Abby

A week or so ago I was visiting sweet Casey's blog and she posted about a New Year blogger link up and gift exchange and I was like "Right On!". I knew for sure I wanted to participate. I love meeting new people! This gave me this chance to venture outside of my normal bloggy routine and get connected with another girl and her blog....and buy her something sweet. 

There is something so special about getting a letter or gift though the good old post office. How do you go about picking out something affordable for someone you don't even know? Well after reading her blog for a few minutes I knew what would be good... I hope she thinks its good to! 

Abby is the sweet new friend I have made though this adventure. I hope you guys 
take a minute or two to get to know her too.

1. Tell me about yourself in one sentence.
 I'm Abby and I'm happy and hopeful, and I believe with all my heart that happiness is a choice.

2. Why did you start blogging?
I don't scrapbook and I'm terrible at keeping up with photo books. I wanted a way to keep record of my daughter's life and I'd heard that you could print a blog pretty easily so I started a blog. I had no idea what I was getting myself into- I had no idea how inspiring/impactful/challenging blogging would be. All I can say is that I've never been more grateful for my complete lack of scrapbooking skills.

3. What do you like most/least about blogging?
 I love connecting with, and being inspired by, so many amazing people. I don't love the competition that exists among bloggers. I'm also not a fan of bloggers who do tons of giveaways and promoting just to gain readers. If all you ever do is promote your blog, you won't have much of a blog to promote. I want people to follow my blog because they love it, not because they might win something.

4. Where do you live? I live in Herriman, Utah- a suburb of Salt Lake City. I love it here. It's so much more diverse than outsiders might think (despite the fact that I'm a mom blogger that lives in Utah, I'm not Mormon, just so you know).

5. What is your favorite movie?
Funny Girl- I'm a shameless fan of Barbara Streisand.

6. Who is your heroine and why?
 Ellen, because she is so much more than a funny person. She is smart and giving and uses her platform in our society really well by fighting for human and animal rights.

7. Any resolutions this year? How are they going?
You may read about my resolutions here. So far, they are going well. I believe that every day is an opportunity for growth. Every day is a chance for us to give/love/smile more. I use my resolutions to work towards becoming better every day.

8. What is your favorite quote?
In the words of Buddha: "All that we are is the result of what we thought." I am a big quote person. See my favorites here.

9. What is your favorite way to spend an afternoon? Doing something fun with Harper (my daughter). I love taking her out for a treat or for a walk at the park. She is by far my favorite person in the world and I love spending time with her because everything is new and exciting to her.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Naps... and nachos. I could never choose between the two. I'm guiltlessly addicted to both. Ideally, I'd have an enormous order of veggie nachos followed by a nice, long nap.

*Thanks Abby!*
Want to see how I answered the same questions?  Be sure to go by Abby's blog and check it out and tell hello! 

I am in need for some serious inspiration.

Do you ever lay awake in bed at night for way longer then you want to

thinking about all the things you want to do the next day? 

Thoughts swirl around in my head every night when I would rather be sleeping. I think about all the cool things I can make and then list in my shop. Something that will be original, new, fresh. 

Then I grab my coffee as soon as I get up, grab some fabric and start making what was imagined in my head the night before. The only problem is that what I imagined is turning out to look more like a pile of dog poo then a beautiful work of art. 

So this morning I am kinda getting down on my self and need a few encouraging words. Hopefully I can take these to heart and whatever kind of encouragement you may have for me.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A guest Post : Our Reflection

Hello! I’m Laura from Our Reflection “The
Hernandez Family”. I’m super excited about being guest posting today for the lovely Katie at Party of 4.
My blogging journey started a few months ago (yes I’m a newbie) while
creating a blog for my photography business
Laura Hernandez Photography.
Wanting to keep my professional page separate, I created
Our Reflection. It started as a way for people to keep up with our crazy busy schedule, ended up being a page of memories, likenesses, and many tears. {Happy tears that is.} I really do pour my heart into all my posts. I just started my blog on New Year’s Day with the goal of posting 2-3 times a week. Let’s see if I can keep it up!

I’m a full-time working mom of two
amazing daughters and an admirable, encouraging husband who are my life.
 I am, regrettably, a bit addicted to social media. I
have a constant connection Facebook and Twitter wherever I am. I love Starbucks, the colors pink and yellow, mountain biking, foot massages, and listening to the piano. My new addition seems to be blogging!
When I’m not working my 8-5 or being “mommy”, I’m a lifestyle photographer based out of Monterey, California. In my mind, I am ALWAYS thinking about photography. It never ends. My brain takes
snapshots everywhere I go. 
My photographic passion is people. Couples, families, and children. I'm wanting to venture into maternity, newborn, and senior portraits. Nothing brings me more joy than capturing those unforgettable moments that will be treasured for a lifetime. Check out my photography page by clicking here.
I’ve been asked how I find time to so much. All I can say is be VERY organized! Maybe over-organized {my poor kids}.
Here are some random
facts to get to know me…
I do…
  • give my husband a love
    note everyday
  • go to church every
  • love ketchup {probably
    too much}
  • drive a truck
  • love to watch scary movies
  • divide up my M&M’s
    by color before I eat them
  • enjoy reading the Bible
  • have a passion for cooking
  • love to Shop
  • have a weakness for
    McDonald’s Oreo McFlurry’s
  • love black licorice
  • wake up at 4:30am Monday-Friday

I do not…
  • like asking for help…. {For
    anything} But I love helping people!
  • wear high heals {I’m
    already a bit taller than the hubby}
  • enjoy public speaking
  • dance or Sing in public
    {but with my kids, YES!}
  • like tomatoes {but LOVE
  • eat my popcorn until the
    movie starts
  • exercise enough

I have…
  • started my own
    photography business
  • sold our dining room
    table to make room for a piano
  • worked in the print and
    promotional industry for 13 years
  • the most amazing in-laws
  • had nearly all of my
    childhood dreams come true
  • flown across country
    with my mountain bike
  • always wanted to become
    a fireman

I wish I…
  • could be a stay at home
  • had more patience
  • could play the piano
  • had a Canon EF70-200 2.8L
    IS Lens

I hope you enjoyed
getting to know me just a little bit better. Remember I am still very new to the blogging world and am always looking for “tips”. Any suggestions are welcome. Please head on over to Our Reflection where I talk about parenting, faith, photography and SO much more.
Thanks again Katie for
letting me guest post today.

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