{local love} free weekend fun

Hilarious! This just goes to show, even when you try to be organized, you can still be way behind!!  In trying to catch up this week, I’ve been trying to clean out the closets of My Favorite Everything, and came across this post in my drafts.

I’m not even sure when these were taken, but I know it still stands true! If you need a little simple weekend fun (or anytime fun with a girlfriend) with Little Ones (who are up very early in the morning). Head to Fashion Island, before it opens.

Obviously we go rain or shine! What we love about it is that the stores are CLOSED early in the morning (which I’m sure stand true for any mall, I just love that Fashion Island is outdoors and pretty much contained). No Littles can dodge in and out of the stores.  Mom and Dad can grab a latte and a few treats for the kiddos at Starbucks, then walk behind those running, wild kids leisurely, knowing they can’t get into trouble.

I’m pretty this was in early January sometime (or at least I think it was). The kids love the Koi pond, but there are also lots of places to play hide and seek. As well as a lot of running back and forth between Build-a-Bear and Russo’s Pet Shop peaking in the windows in anticipation of them each opening. (Read lots of running between 2 stores = good naps later). We usually stop into each right after they open (and before they get too busy) before leaving.

If this was a Sunday when the stores open at 11:00, you would probably see me there at 10:00 running around with the kids for an hour, then heading to the pet store and a quick lunch after….and home for naps and quiet time.  No big crowds, kids got to run & play, mom & dad got a bit of a break. Perfect start to the day!

So what are you up to this weekend?

{family fun} photo booth fun!

Normally this post would have fallen under {home & garden} for parties, however, I happen to think this would be fun to do even for a play date or weekend activity, or even a family photo shoot. So I decided to post it in {family fun}.

One of the activities I chose to do at the girls Three Ring Circus Birthday last year was a Photo Booth. I checked into renting one of the machines you see at county fairs and such, but everything I found was a little more than we had in mind.

So instead I enlisted the help of my most favorite Orange County kids photographer, Sandy Heit.  We decided to use the girls playroom as the “booth”.  My sister drew some fun circus artwork on the chalkboard as a backdrop.  Then with a few great props ~ giant glasses, rainbow wig, mustache, clown noses, pink glasses, party hats, colorful balloons, a great red chair, and of course any toy in the playroom….and we were in business! Below are a few of my favorite shots….

{Click on each thumbnail for a larger image}

{Images: Sandy Heit}

It was a fun activity for the kids, and I absolutely love Sandy’s work with kids! Plus I was able to send each family a thank you note along with their photo. (Albeit I sent them over 6 months after the party…KID YOU NOT ~ 6 MONTHS, that’s how off my life and days were this past year!!)

Whether you hire someone, enlist a friend or family member, or just do it for a play date, Photo Booths are definitely a FAVORITE IDEA!

{family fun} what do you want to be??

Who do you want to be when you grow up??

I love the stage the girls are at right now.  It is just one big playtime of imaginary fun! And these costume sets by Melissa & Doug are AWESOME!

All three girls received them from my very “in the know mom” sister.  The girls had played with some on a visit to their cousins last fall, and the kids were entertained forever!  I immediatley put them on my reminder wish list for Christmas when I got back home.

But as luck would have it, the girls received them from their sweet aunt for Christmas!!  We now have a budding Police Officer, Chef, and Veterinarian (though they think it’s a Doctor – either way works with me!)

They were so excited to receieve these under the tree, and they continue to pull them out almost daily to dress up. Super cute!

These costumes are favorites for sure. I’ve aslo seen a Construction Worker, Doctor, Fire Fighter, Knight, Hair Stylist, Train Engineer, Waitress, Princess, Fairy, etc.  So many fun choices. I’ve bought a couple recently for birthday gifts, and Amazon seems to have the best prices {$19-$25} which is where I’ve been buying them.

Hayden, are you heading into the kitchen to bake us a cake??

Seriously, I love that it entertains them so much! The conversations they come up with are priceless!

Be sure to check them out. Great gift to give your own kids, or for an upcoming birthday gift! Definitely on my Favorites List!