Father’s Day Gift Idea from the Kiddos

Every year, I search through Pinterest and Etsy, trying to come up with a creative and fun personalized Father’s Day gift.  We’ve done photo books, calendars, mouse pads, coffee mugs, yes, basically everything you can stick a photo on in addition to the typical clothes, ties and cufflinks.  🙂  This year, I wanted a more personal gift for Audrey to give her daddy.  She’s at that stage of “kids say the darndest things” so I wanted to somehow capture her personality in a gift.

15 minutes into my Pinterest search,  I found a cute craft called “All About My Daddy.”  It was just a list of questions or fill-in-the-blanks for your child to answer but once I started asking Audrey to complete the sentences, it really became hilarious.

Here are a few of my favorite responses.


~ His favorite movie is THE LEGO MOVIE.

~ My daddy’s favorite house chore is NOTHING.


~ I love it when my daddy and I FLY KEVIN, MY MINION KITE.

~ My daddy makes me laugh when he TICKLES ME UNDER MY ARMPITS.


While I’m obsessed with putting a photo on every possible gift, it would have been really cute to have Audrey draw a picture of the two of them at the bottom and have her sign her name.  Or put her handprints on the paper as a cute background.  There are so many options to personalize this Father’s Day craft.  But yes, I went with a really sweet photo of the two of them because I haven’t put this photo up in our house yet.

I hope you find a fun and crafty way to celebrate Father’s Day this year and would love to hear your crafty ideas to help me plan for next year!





Creating an Album from Your Phone Photos

My husband and I planned a much needed vacation for the three of us to Hawaii and I made a huge decision- I left my camera at home.  Now, I have a terrible memory and I rely on photos to remind me of all our wonderful family moments so I was a little worried about the quality of photos I would capture on my iPhone 6.

Fast forward seven wonderful days later, I had 103 photos on my iPhone from our most relaxing vacation ever and had a decision to make- save a few photos for our annual family album or make a vacation album.  I decided to make a small album from Snapfish (they had a great deal, 60% off albums) and I’m so happy with the outcome.  It took me about an hour to upload, organize my album pages and order it but you could speed up the process by having your album place photos automatically.  I chose an 8×8″ album so the photos would not be too pixelated from being enlarged since they are not the best quality images but I have to say I was impressed with the overall quality.

I encourage each of you to get your photos off your phone and print them out, make an album, anything!  Here are a few suggestions to make it even easier. 

– Wipe off your cell phone camera lens with a clean cloth (or your shirt if that’s what you have handy) before you take a photo.  I sometimes see blurry spots on photos and it’s most likely due to a little dirt/smudge on your little phone lens.

– Delete all but one photo of a specific pose.  You will never need more than one photo of the same pose so pick the best one of the bunch and immediately delete the rest!!!!

– If lighting is poor, do a quick edit on your phone.  You can even use the magic wand button in your Edit function if going into the separate fields (Exposure, Contrast, Saturation) is too much work.

– After you upload your images to a website of your choice (Shutterfly, Snapfish, MPix, etc), you can click on the “Auto-populate” tool and your photos will be placed for you in your album.  Ta da!  Done! Or you can place photos yourself and choose page layouts, number of photos per page, etc.  Just make sure you have a glass of wine or a cup of tea so you can cozy up and finish this project in one sitting.

I hope you complete one photo project this Summer and feel free to reach out to me with any questions!  Now that I’m in my third trimester, it is NESTING CENTRAL over here so I’m happy to provide any tips or suggestions to help you organize your photos.

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Hawaii Album 2015-1

Welcome, Xander!

I’ve known these adorable kiddos since Jack was just born and now he’s a big brother to baby Xander!  We always have a blast during our photo shoots and these kiddos keep it entertaining.  And just look at Xander smiling in his sleep.  He cuddled in and let us capture a ton of precious newborn portraits.  I’m already in love with their newest addition to the family and can’t wait to watch him grow.  Leslie Mills Moments 309 Leslie Mills Moments 308 Leslie Mills Moments 307 Leslie Mills Moments 306

Welcome Jeet!

I loved watching Neeva interact with her little baby brother, Jeet.  She is so loving and sweet with him and is already an amazing big sister.  And he is just so snuggly and adorable in the blue hat and fur.   It was such a pleasure to capture Jeet so small and sweet.  Leslie Mills Moments 301

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Welcome, Ethan!

Oh my cuteness!  Sweet Baby Ethan was just a dream to photograph and he snoozed away during our session.  Those precious little lips and button nose are absolutely precious.
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Welcome, Catalina!

It was such a pleasure to meet Baby Catalina and her family in the new year.  She is a sweet little love and cozied up in all my baskets and wraps.  And there is something so special and dear when watching new parents cuddle their newborn.  This is why I love what I do and cherish these first moments.

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Personalize Your Phone Case

I’m always trying to think of ways to display my family’s portraits in a fun and easy way and we’ve all seen personalized phone cases. So I thought, “Go ahead, Leslie. Just pick a photo and order a new case.” Easier said than done, right? I’ve struggled with committing to one photo for my phone and instead I end up using whatever case I conveniently find around the house. But it’s a new year and I decided to go ahead and choose ONE photo from thousands to print on a case.

And… I LOVE IT. Looking at my daughter’s face makes me smile and reminds me to stop and remember to take a minute of appreciation. And if I’m tired of this particular case in a few months (although I highly doubt it), then I can always order another one for $20 and put this one on my husband’s phone. Can you picture him answering a call at work with this case?! Now THAT makes me laugh!

So, moral of the story is to print out your family photos and use them however you like to make you smile. Wishing you a Happy Day!


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Create Your Own Photo Wall Gallery

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If you’re like me, you have a ton of photos on your iPhone and keep promising yourself that you will print them one day. I make a yearly album with all my iPhone and camera photos but I also wanted to display some of my favorites in my home. Since I take a lot of photos (and I mean a LOT!), framing a few photos on my walls is just not enough. So, I searched on Pinterest for a fun way to display a large group of photos and I was inspired to make an Instagram-like wall display.

Materials Needed
– 4×4 prints
– 4ft x 8ft soundboard cut down to a size that fits on your wall
– burlap
– staple gun + staples
– 1/2 inch pins

First, I ordered matte 4×4 prints from mpix.com. My board fits 77 prints but it depends how many rows and columns you create on your board. I did have to spend some time cropping my photos when ordering but it didn’t take too long. Then, I ventured to Home Depot and bought a ginormous piece of soundboard (4ft x 8ft) and begged an employee to cut it down for me to 3ft x 5ft. A square shape would also look beautiful but the space I have in my home needed to be a longer piece. My last errand was a trip to Jo-Ann’s Fabric Store for burlap material to cover the soundboard.

Once back home, I covered the soundboard with burlap using a staple gun to secure the burlap. My daughter “helped” me hold the burlap down but it’s easily a one-person task. Actually, it would probably be much easier if only one person did this step but Audrey was so proud to help make our photo board so I gladly accepted her help. 🙂 I double layered the burlap so the soundboard was completely hidden. Okay, now here’s where my perfectionist tendencies come out. You could eyeball the spacing of your photo placement by just putting them all out and moving them around until the rows and columns look even…but I couldn’t do that. Instead, I took yarn and made rows and columns to make sure my photos were as evenly spaced as possible. And even after all that, the photos are still not evenly spaced but I still love this project to pieces. The last step is to take pins and secure the corners of each photo. The pins allow you to change out the photos whenever you like.

I wasn’t sure how this project would look once completed but I just love it. It’s a Happy Place Board and just makes me smile every time I look at it. I hope you make your own Happy Board this year too!


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Reese ~ Crissy Field

Oh my cuteness! Look at Reese’s curls and sweet smiles. I can’t believe it’s already been six months since our newborn session and she’s a little baby now. It was a joy to take her family outside for our family session and capture the bridge (thanks, Karl the Fog) on a mild winter day. And I love that Reese’s dad hammed it up with his brother. This is surely a photo their mom will enjoy.

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Welcome, Joaquin!

What a special way to celebrate the holiday season with the arrival of Joaquin. I met this wonderful family when Leo was just born and now he’s a big brother. He’s also the most outgoing and friendly toddler ever. Once I exhausted Leo, he took a snack break and enjoyed a little Thomas the Train. Too fun! Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

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