Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue

Our friend Lauren nominated us for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge last week and Mayhem was more than excited to participate. (while I was happy to make a donation Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | )

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | I thought it was really important for Mayhem to understand WHY people were dumping the ice buckets on their heads, so we sat down and watched the Pete Frates story together. And then we talked about it. She had LOTS of questions and I did my best to answer them in a way that a four year old can make a some sense of.

After that we did a little research and discovered that the ALS awareness ribbon is blue and white striped. Which inspired us to create a paper dress for the occasion.

Then it was time to get down to business.

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comWhen Keith asked if she was really going to do it, she simply hoisted her bucket and dumped. Without any hesitation.

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comYou’ll notice that as soon as the water touched the blue crepe streamer paper, the dye began bleeding out…

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comAnd then there was the priceless look on her face…

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comFollowed quickly by a celebration.

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comWhich was cut short by the realization that she was turning blue…

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comShe was not impressed…

Ice Bucket Challenge Turns Mayhem Blue | FashionByMayhem.comIt took a hosing down, followed by a shower, followed by a bath (with LOTS of scrubbing) to even make a dent.

I worked on the Mayhem while Keith scrubbed our driveway and the sidewalk. Both of which were victimized by our “blue fiasco”.

Word to the wise: that crepe streamer paper, when went, will bleed, and stain!

Mayhem told me that creating a dress for the ice bucket challenge was my “WORST IDEA EVER”. I disagreed and offered that her ice bucket story is clearly “WAY MORE BETTER” because she turned blue at the end.

Bottom line – make a donation. Every little bit helps.

PS – We have a Facebook page we’re going to start using for additional content – if you’d like to follow along you can like us HERE.

#GoBucks! – The Outtakes

This morning I posted this image to our Instagram account:

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

Because one of Mayhem’s BFFs is headed to Ohio State this weekend to start her college adventure. (Good luck Elizabeth!!!)

But the “outtakes” from this little session were just too good not to share.

Some of my favorites ever, actually.

So without further ado, here’s a peak at what our paper dress “sessions” look like. (Although we don’t normally take THIS many … but she was having too much fun so we kept going.)

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

Her “poses” were cute.

But the action stuff was better…

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

This next one is far and away, one of my all time favorites…

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes | FashionByMayhem.comI can’t EVEN…

#GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes | #GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

She’s not even a little bit dramatic #GoBucks!   The Outtakes |

Go Bucks!

Back To School Paperwork Hack

Back to school paperwork got you feeling a little crazy?

Back To School Paperwork Hack |

Here’s a quick hack that may work to alleviate at least a little bit of the trauma (especially if you have more than one child).

Back To School Paperwork Hack |

Use address labels on forms instead of painstakingly filling out the forms by hand. Or better yet, create new labels with the “extra” info required (email address, phone number, etc.).

As a bonus, the people who have to process all that information will put you on the “genius list” rather than the “can’t decipher this fool’s handwriting” list.

This I know for sure Back To School Paperwork Hack |

Happy Back to School!

PS – Need some lunch packing ideas? Be sure to visit Lunch It Punch It for some great ideas.

Weekly Wrap Up

Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

Weekly Wrap Up  |

We started our week dancing in a fountain. Which is awesome.

Especially when it’s not planned.

Weekly Wrap Up  |

We attended the local National Night Out and Mayhem got to check out the inside of an ambulance. I keep warning her to stop jumping off the couch or she’s going to get to take a ride in one of these. I’m hoping the discomfort you see on her face means the idea isn’t all that appealing to her anymore.

And then there were the selfies….

For some reason, she’s been all about the selfies this week. It started on Tuesday when she opted for a selfie with one of the seniors we photographed at our studio. (If you want to follow along, we’ve decided to post Mayhem’s “selfies with seniors” over on our studio Instagram account.)

Weekly Wrap Up  |

And a family selfie was requested as well Weekly Wrap Up  |

Weekly Wrap Up  |

We’ve also spent hours on Cute Girls Hairstyles this week. Hours. We both have a mild obsession.

Each time I finish a hairstyle, she requests a pic so she can see it. Because, of course.

Weekly Wrap Up  |

And then the week ended in the same dress it started in. I’m pretty sure it was clean. But I don’t sweat the small stuff ….

Weekly Wrap Up  |

It’s CRAZY season at our studio, and between August 1 and August 15, we’ll photograph about a billion high school athletes. Or so it will seem.

That means all hands on deck. Including Mayhem. She’s excellent at yelling “Who’s up next?” and collecting order envelopes.

But that also means she gets to do cool stuff like hang out on the turf and perfect her end zone dance.

And take more selfies with seniors ….

Weekly Wrap Up  |

It’s Saturday night and we’re exhausted.

Very happily exhausted Weekly Wrap Up  |

About Yesterday’s Instagram Post…

When I posted this:

With the caption: This morning she made ME a dress. And insisted that I post it. I negotiated the right to not post my dirty hair and make-up-less face. Because I’m teaching her that business decisions should always be win-win or no deal About Yesterdays Instagram Post... | #fashionbymayhem

…. I was not prepared for the comments it would spark about societal beauty issues, my insecurities, or the hope that Mayhem doesn’t become dependent on clean hair and make-up.

I thought about defending myself a little.

But sometimes more talking is just that. More talking. And over-thinking. And making issues (for our kids) that aren’t actually issues for them (yet).

I felt pretty sure that Mayhem (who is perfectly confident wearing clothing SHE constructs out of paper and tape!) isn’t developing an unhealthy view of beauty, but I decided to go ahead and have a conversation with her instead of the peeps over on our Instagram feed.

So I asked her, “What do you think makes a person beautiful?”

And she actually paused for a good ten seconds before answering “A smile.”

So then I asked her, “What do you think makes a person not so beautiful?”

And almost immediately she replied “A bad attitude.”

I like her answers.


Let’s all be beautiful today. It’s easy …. just put on one of these About Yesterdays Instagram Post... |

I Found My Lower Half on Amazon Today

Yesterday we were working with a long time client of our studio. As in, more than 20 years, long time.

We were shooting new photographs for a product that Dr. Amis developed several years back, called the One StretchI Found My Lower Half on Amazon Today | We created the images for their website a few years ago and it was simply time for new ones.

After the shoot, I posted this image to my Instagram account:

Because I thought it was funny.

And then, another funny thing happened.

A few people asked about where they could find the product and I was all “Hey, I think you can find it on Amazon”. But then I figured I should probably confirm that kind of information before continuing to spew it. So I hopped on Amazon and did a quick search for One Stretch.

Lo and behold I was right. (And no that’s not the funny part.)

This is the funny part:

I Found My Lower Half on Amazon Today |

That’s me! Or at least part of me on the One StretchI Found My Lower Half on Amazon Today |

It’s not that I don’t remember standing in for a few photographs, because I do. We photographed quite a few people using it.

It was just a surprise when I did a search on Amazon and found myself.

Or at least half of myself.

And when you stumble upon something like that, it’s also awesome to find the product has a 4.5 star rating I Found My Lower Half on Amazon Today |

Not sponsored. Just funny. To me, anyway. But if you or someone you know is having issues with heel pain or plantar fasciitis, I’d highly recommend you head over to the One Stretch website to learn more. Dr. Amis knows his stuff, and his wife is the owner of the impressive boot collection you see in the top image (which everyone on IG gawked at). It’s an awesome product, developed by awesome people who actually care about HELPING people not just feel better, but to “make it easy to for patients to take control and eliminate foot pain for good”. This post contains links to their website as well as Amazon affiliate links. Because I wanted to. Over and out.

The Thing About This Week’s Dresses…

The Thing About This Weeks Dresses... |

Is that they’re 100% Mayhem.

Meaning she constructed them entirely on her own. All of them.

The Thing About This Weeks Dresses... |

Sure, she asked me to help her put them on. And tie that bow.

But I was no part of the design or construction this week.

The Thing About This Weeks Dresses... |

It’s been a pretty emotional week for me as I’ve watched it unfold.

I have so much pride in her independence. And so much difficulty too.

She’s not a baby anymore. She hasn’t been for a very long time. And I know that.

The Thing About This Weeks Dresses... |

It was only 14 short months ago that we sat on the floor together and she watched as I pieced a paper dress together. Now, she goes in and creates more interesting things on her own than I could ever fathom.

But when she looks at something we’ve done together and wants to recreate it on her own, it’s extra special for me.

The Thing About This Weeks Dresses... |

So today Mayhem and I are going to celebrate.

Her first week ever of creating dresses solo.

My help (and input) may not be required (or requested) as much anymore, but I’ll always be her biggest fan and supporter.

I’ll always be cheering the loudest. And the first to jump at the chance to help.

Because I’m OK with my new position as “assistant paper dress maker”.

I think.

This whole parenting gig is slightly more complicated than the pamphlet implied…


Special Friday News: We’ve decided to open up a limited number of sidebar advertising opportunities on our site as of today. You can get the details HERE (or over there on the left under Advertise With Us). All ads will be subject to approval.

Bloggy Conference 2014 – We’re Going!

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

And speaking!

And if you’re on the fence about going, Mayhem and I want to tell you that we think you’d really enjoy it too!

First things first, Cedar Point is the host with the most and I’ve never attended a conference that was MORE perfect for families to attend!

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

Sure the rides are intense. (Even intense looking!)

But so are the views….

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

And things will be pretty spooktacular too at Hotel Breakers…

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

But truthfully, I’m an alum of Bloggy Conference. I’ve been attending since the inaugural year in 2011 and cannot begin to explain how valuable the information and relationships built at BloggyCon have been for me.

I served as the official photographer the first year. And came back as a speaker the past two years.

And with as crazy as this year has been for us, I was excited to put Bloggy Conference on our calendar again this year. It’s honestly a bit like coming home. I’ve met some seriously incredible people over the past few years and SO MANY of them have gone on to do amazing things with their blogs.

That’s Erin. She’s one of the sweetest gals you’ll ever meet.

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

And Nedra … she’s by far the most adventurous!

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

And Sharon – she’s an incredible photographer AND person!

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

Then there’s the speaker line up.

Good gracious, just go have a look for yourself.

My only request is that Tiffany not schedule my session at the same time as Dan. Last year I spoke at the same time as Dan, and I’m convinced that’s the reason no one wanted to hear me chat about Instagram.  (Not true. I had an audience, but Dan had a PACKED HOUSE. Rightfully so, btw.) Besides, I want need to sit in on some of that good stuff.

Also, do you know Amiyrah? I don’t have an image of her, but as long as she’s there and not delivering that baby she’s due with, I’ll remedy that Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! | I could go on and on and on and never mention ALL the wonderful and talented people you’ll meet.

Long story short, get off the fence and buy your ticket. And book a room.

You’ll learn SO much, build so many relationships, and even have a great opportunity for reflection.

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

And your family will love it too, regardless of age. There is literally something for everyone at Cedar Point.

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

I have a personal goal this year of getting on a ride that scares the hell out of me.

There are plenty to choose from at CP, so that shouldn’t be a problem. But since Keith will be on Mayhem-duty, I need one of you to go with me.

Who’s up for the challenge?

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

In case it’s not painfully obvious, I’m REALLY looking forward to this.

Having been pushed completely out of my comfort zone this year has been awesome, and at the same time, I’m feeling the need for some familiarity.

I need to catch up with friends and I need to sit in rooms soaking up the knowledge that gets shared so freely in a space like Bloggy Conference.

Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

So if you’re looking for a conference: where you’re guaranteed to pick up great new skills that you can put into use immediately, in a setting that’s absolutely perfect for bringing along the family (or not if you just want to hang with friends), and the size is much less intimidating than one of those BIG conferences …  then my pumpkin headed skeleton friends are pointing you in the right direction Bloggy Conference 2014   Were Going! |

See you in September!


Worth A Visit – Babyland General Hospital

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

I remember the day my mother-in-law mentioned that when Mayhem was old enough, we should take her to the Cabbage Patch Hospital.

“The what the what?!?!”, I remember saying.

Mayhem was a baby at the time, and that was the day I learned that such a place actually existed. It’s called Babyland General Hospital and it sits on 650 gorgeous acres in the mountains in northern Georgia. And it’s less than an hour and a half drive from where my in-laws live.

Fast forward approximately four years. To yesterday. We’re visiting and decided now was as good a time as any.

So we packed a lunch and the grandparents, and hit the road. About an hour and fifteen minutes later we pulled up to this:

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

My first reaction was Yowza – this is probably going to be nicer than the hospital where Mayhem was born. And it kinda was.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

We were greeted at the entrance by a lovely nurse who asked us to sign in and then explained that we were free to explore as we like. Have I mentioned that admission to this place is absolutely free? She also told us that we were welcome to take photographs throughout and that any of the dolls throughout the hospital were available for adoption.

Except this one Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

We snapped a few photographs in the lobby while we were waiting for the men to join us and before we even started our walk through, the nurse at the front desk alerted us that Mother Cabbage was in labor and about to deliver if we wanted to head back and watch.

Yes, you read all of the above correctly.

And because curiosity had the better of all of us, we couldn’t NOT check it out.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Suffice it to say, it was a ten minute production in which the cabbage patch baby was born and named. I will say that I found the “birthing” to be a little bit strange. Especially when the nurse announced that Mother Cabbage was a full ten leaves dilated (after measuring her with what appeared to be giant salad tongs). Mayhem was completely weirded out by the whole thing, burying her head into Keith’s shoulder, but nearly every other kid around seemed to be just fine. Different entertainment strokes for different folks, right?

Needless to say, we declined the offer to follow the newborn to the nursery for baby’s first check up. Instead, we went around exploring the other rooms and areas in search of the perfect doll.

Which happens to be incredibly overwhelming for a four year old.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

But after many many MANY laps around the entire space, Mayhem finally made a decision.

Which is about the time that I was required to pull out my credit card.

For the record, I had EVERY intention of buying her a Cabbage Patch doll going into this little trip. And I had researched before we left so that I had an idea on prices. I will tell you that there is honestly a doll for every budget. I don’t remember all the different classifications or features of each different line, but there were dolls that I saw ranging in price $14.99 to nearly $300. I knew which dolls were out of budget for us and so we simply guided Mayhem to which dolls she COULD choose from. But a purchase is not required to visit Babyland.

After paying our “adoption fees”, there was still a little more work to be done.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

We sat at a desk and filled out our adoption paperwork, where Mayhem chose the name Grachel, and gave her a birthdate.

After that, another nurse took us into an adoption office and filled out Grachel’s birth certificate and then sent us on our way.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

To be perfectly honest, I think the entire experience was a little overwhelming for Mayhem. Not in a bad way, just that she wasn’t saying a whole lot, which is HIGHLY unusual for her. I was wondering if she really had enjoyed the experience and I got my answer as we exited the hospital…

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Thumbs up from Mayhem is a very good sign.

Oh, and I surprised her by adding a stroller to the purchase which happened to be an excellent $15 decision (if I do say so myself). Because I’m confident she’d get sick of carrying that doll fairly quickly, but I’m pretty sure she’s already pushed that stroller about five miles in the past 24 hours.

Outside the hospital we took a few photographs.

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

And then we took our packed lunch to a picnic table on the shaded back porch and enjoyed a some family time looking out at the stunning views.

It was pretty much a perfect little half day “field trip” and we’d definitely recommend a visit. Especially if you’re a kid like me who remembers all too well the mass hysteria in the early 80′s over Cabbage Patch Kids. I had two of them myself growing up, but never actually got to choose one. So it was kinda sorta awesome to take my own girl and watch her search for just the right one.

And her smile was kinda sorta worth it too…

Worth A Visit   Babyland General Hospital  |

So if you happen to find yourself near Cleveland, GA, be sure to stop in. Or at least drive up and take a look at the grounds as they’re absolutely spectacular!

Thank God It’s Not Yesterday

Thank God Its Not Yesterday |

They look happy, don’t they?

Lemme explain.

Yesterday was a Monday. And not just the “day of the week kind” of Monday. But a MONDAY … I’m sure you’ve had one of those.

I’m gonna tell you about ours. But first….

Lemme count my blessings. (You thought I was gonna take a selfie?)

1. We got this dress finished:

Thank God Its Not Yesterday |

2. I got a shower before Monday turned into MONDAY.

3. Our drinking bottles were all filled with clean water at the start of the day.

4. We had band aids on hand.

5. Keith is one of those super smarties who thought to turn off the circuit breaker to the hot water heater before we had to dump the entire contents, as to save us on the heating of water being flushed through.

6. Tracey. Tracey works with us at our studio and played the entire afternoon with Mayhem making paper (MERMAID) dresses and catering to every request Mayhem made from the Cute Girls Hairstyles website. (Side note, visit at your own risk – be prepared to lose hours of your time because you JUST can’t turn away!)

Thank God Its Not Yesterday |

7. Everything else. I’ve got more blessings than we have time to list, so let’s just say number seven is ALL OF IT.

So here’s how it all went down.

Fresh from the shower, I brushed my teeth. When I went to rinse my toothbrush (and my mouth) I found yellow/brown water coming from our faucet. And I narrowly missed sticking my toothbrush in it. So I grabbed my water bottle and finished the job.

Then I confirmed that yellow/brown water was now coming from every faucet in our house.


Then I decided to not turn on the washing machine. Or wash the breakfast dishes.

Because, right?

So we went to the studio two hours early. Because killing two hours at Target would have cost a lot more. Guaranteed.

Six hours later, we returned home and I turned on all faucets. Same nasty water.

Mayhem promptly gets a nasty paper cut and blood is dripping down her hand. I grab her (and a bottle of water) and head for the bathroom.

Keith yells “DON’T PUT HER HAND UNDER THAT WATER!!! REMEMBER THAT STORY LAST NIGHT!!!!” Referring to the story on the local news the night before about a man who swam at a local-ish lake despite a sign being up about elevated levels of something or other. He also had a cut on his leg. And then got a MRSA infection and is basically lucky to have a leg.

So I yelled back “I’VE GOT BOTTLED WATER, FOOL!” Except I didn’t say the fool part.

And then Mayhem screamed her head off because she thought the water was going to hurt her, and I held her down and dumped water over it anyway, and said “SEE, TOLD YA IT WOULD BE FINE!”, and then I slapped a band aid on it.

In the meantime, our water has been running for about 30 minutes and is finally running clear. FINALLY.

Until we turned on the hot water.


So while it looked like the water running into our home was now clear, we still had a hot water heater tank filled with the gross water. Another 20 minutes later and the most of the water in our house was looking decent.

We decided we should probably go ahead and replace those water filters under our kitchen sink. Just in case. And also pick up a palate of bottled drinking water.

So we went to Home Depot. Which is also the ONLY place on the planet that Mayhem will get into a shopping cart. Even when we clearly don’t NEED a cart. She demands it.

And then we stopped by the grocery store for water.

And wine. Red, red wine.

And then we went home to dirty dishes, dirty clothes and leftovers for dinner.

Capped with a meltdown of epic proportions by Mayhem.

We were all three pretty much in a foul mood by the time bedtime rolled around.

My first thought when I woke up this morning was thank God it’s not Monday.

At least not for six more days Thank God Its Not Yesterday |