Small Business Saturday 2012 + CC Models {TTT}

{Shop Small}
Today's little tip from the Toad is to remember those little small businesses when you're out shopping this Season! And I mean "little" small businesses because you'd be surprised what qualifies as a small business these days!  I'm talking about the little guys who make great stuff but aren't in the big shop stores.  You can find them online or at your local farmer's market.  Love them.   

Shop Camera Coats:  Of course I'm biased when it comes to Camera Coats (since they are my 3rd baby), but if you know anyone who has a camera these really are a great gift. Not only because its super smart, but because odds are they will be surprised when they find it under the tree!

(Click on the photo and it will take you to the FB page so you can "like" us! Yay!)

And Camera Coats will be joining Small Business Saturday this year!  It is a day that is starting to be recognized for people to "shop small" and it is this Saturday November 24, 2012.  Many small businesses will be participating and offering great deals/discounts in their shops!

Check out Camera Coat's Facebook page for more deals & be sure to register your American Express card to get a $25 credit when you spend $25 on their approved Small Business vendors!  (Camera Coats has applied to be a vendor, but we have yet to be approved...hopefully soon!)

And if you haven't visited lately shame on you.  Ha! Just kidding. But really, if you haven't been to the shop lately you may not have seen our new Perfect Pouches!

These are not only padded & waterproof but super cute & perfect for a camcorder, small camera, or lens! Just stick your gadget in the pouch and throw it in your diaper bag or purse! TahDah! Protected and ready to go!

 Someone on your Holiday Gift list is sure to need one of these.

{Good Friends=Great Models}
And introducing the new hands/face of Camera Coats.  You should count yourself lucky if I haven't hit you up to be a model for Camera Coats.  No really.  And if our paths ever cross you'd better be ready to model your little heart out just like these great friends of mine...

You see, being a little small business means you do most things yourself...including taking product pictures.  One day I hope to have a PR department, but until then you all better watch out!

1st: Jenn.  Our latest seen in the 1st picture of this post. (Isn't she pretty and JCrew like?!)  Not only is she cute, but she is the owner of The BlueBerry Hill hat company... and actually twisted my arm to get me to start Camera Coats.  Yes, she actually twisted it.

Bless her heart.  I'm not sure if it was worth the lunch I bought her afterwards, but she was a trooper I tell you during this photo shoot I tell you.  There's nothing like having a friend take your picture while holding a camera in a park near your home.

Wow. Nice job Jenn.  Thanks again!

Next up: The Camera Coats Logo sister in law Tanya.  Some of you may know her from the amazing blog Trey and Lucy ...and she has been another Camera Coat supporter from day one.  In fact, after I created my 1st Camera Coat-ish type covering she loved it and made me promise to do something with it.

Without her there would be no Camera Coats.  Without her there would not be this awesome picture.

(The picture was taken on our way running out the door to an adventure with the kids while we were in Oregon last summer.  Bless her heart.)

Oh, and see that cute baby leg? That would be Charlotte.  I had to cut out her face because if you saw it you wouldn't even look at the Camera Coat. :)

Thanks for all of your support Tan. Couldn't/Wouldn't have done it without you. 

Next: The Man Coat brother Travis.  This was on of the 1st pictures I took and it may always be a part of the Camera Coat photo collection.  Travis is Tanya's wife.  And I'm sure he is thrilled that I'm not only point out that he is a "model" but that I'm still talking about it. Love ya T. Thanks again.

My favorite...on the cell phone, Camera Coat in place, walking by my parents raspberries bushes. I'm giggling just looking at it.  You are a great brother Trav...a really great brother.:)

Next up: The Marge. My sister. Another super model and great CC supporter.  She is actually better at talking about and selling them than I am.  Seriously.  Thanks Marges.

And "go-to" dear friend Heather.  And I say "dear friend" because not only does she let me take pictures of her arm, but she let's me borrow her camera when I get a new Camera Coat and need to take pictures of it.  Her camera is in almost every Camera Coats photo you see.

Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you Heather.  And you have a rockin' arm too...

Want more about the behind the scenes of Camera Coats?  Maybe in the next post you'll get to see the models faces!  (If they promise to talk to me afterwards...:)

Well, this turned out to be quite the post!  Don't forget to Shop Small and spread the word about this Saturday...the little guys will love you for it.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Inside Snowman: A Busy Mom's Dream

{Warm is Wonderful}
Next time your little ones begs you to make a snowman with them the answer is, "YES!" 

If you've had a little bit of this going on...

but you don't have enough time, man power, or hand warmeres to run out and make a full fledged snowman, here is your answer!

What do you think?!  Our 1st big snowfall hit here in Utah and Aidan was begging me to build a snowman.  We had to pick up Ethan in 15 minutes so building a real snowman wasn't an option...then I quickly came up with this!

Aidan happy...check!  Mom happy...check!

Don't have snow?  How about a marshmallow or popcorn ball? I bet they'd work nicely too!

{Winter Wonderland}
There's nothing like being a kid in the snow.   Nothing...including frozen fingers or toes...holds you back from having the time of your life.  

There's also nothing like watching kids play in the snow!  Having that cocoa ready when they come in is one of my favorite moments as a mom.  I love it.  

Happy snowman making!

Lego City Birthday Party

{Short Flight}
Lego City here we come!  

When Ethan {8} decided he wanted to have a "Lego City" birthday party I wasn't sure what in the world we would do!  Lego City? Really?

So we put on our creative hats and decided that we would actually GO to Lego City for the party!  

Ever been?  

Well, if not here's quick run down of how to get to Lego City and then what to do once you get there!

{This was the invitation.  It was super easy to make!  Just click here and you fill out a template that turns out like this plane ticket! Super easy and so fun.} 

{Great Flight}
If you can get yourself to Ashby Airport the rest is a breeze.  

You won't find another airline that is more customer service oriented. Hands down.:)

While waiting for your flight there is plenty to do!  Lego books, magazines, coloring pages, and of course legos to play with!

Once the flight is ready to board you will receive your Boarding Pass with your name and seat assignment.

{In Flight Service}
Once in the air you'll have the time of your life.  The in-flight movie is Lego's "Clutch Powers", snacks are grand, and the Flight Attendant is amazing.

Upon arrival to Lego City you will not be left alone to get lost!

A Visitor's Guide makes seeing all of Lego City informative and fun!   You are able to go from one place to the next at your own pace.  However, be sure to visit all of the places because you can trade in your card at the bank for a prize! (Goody-bag!)

{I just whipped this up in PhotoShop. Here is the Lego Font I used. }

{While the kids were "flying" we quickly decorated for Lego City!  I ordered a few Lego City supplies via Party City, printed signs using THIS FONT, and made a picture list for the Mini-Figure Hunt.}

The Library: Complete with Lego Books, magazines, and a couch to hang out on.


The Bakery:  Frost your own Lego cookie! (And come back later for some singing, cake, and ice-cream!)

The Building Zone:  This includes the Building Contest (creating with Legos) and Creative Zone (color pages & Halloween crafts)! (The Building Contest was so fun & the kids loved it! Towards the end of the party Ethan judged each creation and each guest got to pick out a prize from the prize box.)

The Recreation Area: Bobbing for apples. 
(Totally Ethan's idea...he really wanted to Bob for apples at his party. It was the 1st thing he did in Lego City and he loved it.:)
The Game Zone: "Put the Shark in the Water"...(ordering via the Party Store.)  Lego version of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". I love the yellow mask that came with it! Ethan even used it for his Halloween costume when he was a Lego man!

The Mini-Figure Hunt: Ethan hid 8 or so mini-figures (that he had created) for our visitors to find!  As they found each one they could check it off the list. (He loved making these and hiding these for everyone...and in return they loved finding them!)

The Bank: And at the end of visit to Lego City guests traded their cards in for a fun party bag! Yay!

{Back to the Bakery}
Singing, cake, ice-cream, and presents are a great way to finish up a visit anywhere!

(Found these lego candles at Target! Yay!)

Remember these little ice-cream cups!  I LOVED these!  I had to get them for the party...although I had to laugh when I gave them each a wooden spoon and they didn't realize that they were suppose to eat their ice-cream with it. :)

Pick Up:
And once the party was over guests hung out on the plane watching Clutch Powers until their parents picked them up!  
Sidebar: This was especially fun for the kids whose parents don't let them watch much TV! Wink, wink.

{Behind the Scenes}
Party prep is actually one of our favorite things to do!  This Lego City party was actually very simple and getting things ready early helped it run pretty darn smoothly.

Making these Lego shaped cookies was a blast.  We didn't have any lego cookie cutters but just used cups to make circles and cut "L"s and lego with a knife.

{Lego City: Check}
Overall, it was a great trip for everyone...

Especially for the most important person of the day!

We love you buddy!  Happy 8th Birthday!
Mom, Dad, and Aidan
+Emily Ashby

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