script async src="//">, pub-0949974396517105, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Photo Gifts that Combine Retro & Modern Design – at HUGE Discounts for Mother’s Day!

I Heart Paper Coterie!

I am so incredibly in love with the photo products at Paper Coterie – seriously. I ordered a few months ago when they had the free $40 in credit for new customers, and was BLOWN AWAY by the totally gorgeous selection. Everything is so pretty – like a really cool combination of retro/vintage style, but still totally modern and fresh. How can that be? Well, you’ll have to check them out and see it yourself –

Shop Paper Coterie Today – Mother’s Day Sales and Birthday Bash!

I love the products, and the quality is as good as it gets. Like, perfection. But – the other thing I totally love about them is that they LOVE you back! My order came with a pendant necklace, as a thank you for my first order. They are always running really amazing specials where you get free gifts, totally free credits, or super sweet discounts. Right now you can get –

  • Free Mother’s Day printables, that are totally pretty.
  • $20 Memory Keepers {this is a beautiful box that you personalize with photos, and fill with great memories.} – plus a free gift.
  • Mother’s Day specials – express shipping, and gifts at 60% off!

Check them out, and stock up on gifts for the special women in your life – and for yourself. This is now my #1 go-to shop for any type of photo or paper products. If you want to stay updated on their promotions and unique new photo products, check them out on Facebook!

What are YOU getting your Momma this year?

Do you ever purchase photo gifts? {If so – seriously, you MUST check these out. You’ll probably never shop anywhere else again!} Do you do the traditional flowers and a card? Jewelry? Or are you a DIY type?

You’ll find more Mother’s Day Celebration and Gift Ideas on my Pinterest board – and I”d love to hear your creative tips too!


Worse than the Flu – the “Bieber Fever” is Spreading to Weddings…

The Bieber Fever is Spreading…

You’ve heard of the Bieber Fever, right? You know, Justin Bieber, that little mop-headed doll with the catchy songs on the radio? If you’ve got a teen girl in your house, then you know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t have a teen girl in your house… Well, you still probably know what I’m talking about. This kid’s everywhere these days.

Surprise Wedding Dance

This video is the greatest thing I’ve seen all week. Even better than the Swagger Wagon. Here’s why –

  • This kid has got moves! Holy heck – did you see him jump over the groomsman’s head during the Ludacris part? Impressive.
  • The put in some hours of practice! I didn’t see any real mess-up’s. Do you think these dudes choreographed it themselves, or had some help? Either way, rocked it.
  • LOVE the wigs on the groomsmen. And I love watching these dudes with big beards dancing to Bieber. So great.
  • Dancing a fool at a party? Funny stuff. Dancing a fool on the biggest day of your life, in front of every single person you care about, while being video taped and shared on the ‘net? Priceless.

Have a favorite funny video?

Share the link in the comments, or post it on my Facebook page! {Family-friendly on Facebook please, no wild surprises, lol}I have piles upon piles of work to do, and I don’t wanna. If you post your links, then I’ll get to watch them and call it work….. Have a great weekend everyone!

Have Funny Old Family Videos?

Bring decades of your favorite family images to digital – Send them your old home movies, films, and photos, and they’ll send them back as DVD’s with amazingly brilliant digital detail. This is so awesome, and I can’t believe we didn’t start doing this sooner – My nephews think I’m extra old when they see me on the old VHS tapes. lol. Creating an account is easy and free – choose the “send them in my own box” option, then you’re logged in and can check out all of the cool editing tools. Love this – Click Here to rock YOUR old videos too!


4 Easy Steps to Saving Family Memories


“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” – From the television show The Wonder Years

You already know I’m a big photo junkie. I’m the person in the family that collects our pictures, videos, and keepsakes – I make scrapbooks and photo books, personalized cards, and other fun projects to preserve those great memories. We have a ton of old VHS tapes, of Christmas and other holidays from when I was a kid. They’re starting to show their age – {so am I, so it’s not surprising… Lol} – and I’ve been trying to find an option to upgrade them. This week I found one, and am excited to share it with you guys – This is totally a Smart Solution – check out!

Old tapes converted to new dvd

“We do not remember days; we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese

Did you know that it only takes 10 years for your old home movies on video to start fading? Ours are a little over 20 years old, and are getting pretty rough in spots. And it would be kind of devastating to lose those memories! iMemories is like your own Super Hero – they have a “Digital Mastering Technology” that they use to digitize your videos by hand, to preserve those memories, so they can be enjoyed by the next generation of your family. Awesome, right?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Gather up all of the movie films, videos and photos that you want to save. Then head to, and set up an easy peasy FREE account.
  2. After you enter your name and email, it’ll give you options to choose how you’d like to send in your products – for now, just click the FREE, “I’ll send them in my own box” option, and print a label for later.
  3. Now, you have an account! Simple, right? You can get a quote from them after they receive your box, with options on what you can create!
  4. Place your order – it’s easier than I had expected. Then enjoy totally amazing, custom made DVD’s of your favorite old home movies and pictures. These would make awesome gifts for your family this year too!

iMemories will convert and preserve all your aging home movie films, camcorder videotapes, slides and photos from any past decade into a crystal clear modern digital format. Only $9.99 per videotape or 50 ft. film reel and $.49 per photo to digitize + $9.99 per DVD.

Browse around the site and check out the cool features. I’m a big fan of the iMemories Studio – Once you set up an account, you can use this to organize, edit, and label your home movies and pictures as well as create custom DVD’s with your own media. Plus – it’s super simple to use!

What do you think?

Do you have old family movies that you’d like to get onto DVD’s too? What do you do to preserve your family memories? If you’ve ever used iMemories, leave some comments with your tips, creative ideas, and experience here to help other readers!

Let’s be Friends – I’d Love to Connect with you!  – Join me on Facebook!


My Sunshine, and my Diamond in the Rain…

Diamonds in the Rain Quote

My Sunshine, and my Diamond in the Rain

A year ago, when I was planning this blog I wanted to create, I totally struggled with finding the right name. I went through sooo many, but nothing seemed seemed “right”. So I made a list of things that filled my days – which at the time were pretty crazy. I was a brand new, first time, totally unprepared mom. As I looked through that list, the words Sunshine and Sippy Cups popped out at me – This little girl had instantly become the total sunshine of my life.

Sparkles Make Me Smile

So – She is my sunshine. She is my motivation. She makes me smile when no one else can. This picture makes me think of her, and will hang in on her wall when she moves to her “Big Girl” room later this year. I have always said that Sparkle is my favorite color – and she is a little treasure that definitely sparkles!

Better than a diamond

It’s fitting that this site is named after her – She is the reason I started it. I was laid off while I was on maternity leave, and I had no idea what I’d do. I was a full time college student, with an infant, looking for a job in a terrible economy. So, I figured I’d jump into this new adventure on the web – I love sharing the “Busy Mom Solutions” that I’ve learned along the way, the things that have helped make my life easier. I hope that some of my posts have helped you too. And I love that doing this new job that I absolutely love allows me to stay home with her, and be here every day to watch her grow and change. I treasure those moments more than any diamond I could ever own.

Who takes away your rainy days and fills them with diamonds?

Linking up on Pretty on Pinterest on Sassy Mama in L.A. – Join us!

{This image can be found on my “Quotes I Love” board on Pinterest. Are you a Pinterest addict too? Leave me your link so I can follow you!}


Want Great Family Photos? Read this!

“Photography is the beauty of life, captured.” – Tara Chisholm

I told you guys about my passion for family photos in this post – Don’t let your digital memories become distant memories – earlier in the week. Capturing those special family moments is always important – but especially so during the holidays! So, to help you get some new favorite photos of your family this season, I’m excited to share some tips from one of my favorite photographers – the totally amazing Amber Miller, of Amber Miller Photography!

“A photograph is the pause button of life.” – Ty Holland

Don’t rush children! Most kids are uneasy around strangers, especially strangers who are holding a large camera with a bright flash in their face, screaming “say cheese”. In my experience, the session goes much more smoothly if the child is comfortable and able to be themselves! I always ask children that I’m photographing what their favorite food is, who their favorite character is, their favorite song or tv show. For example, at a session last week I was having a hard time making a 2 year old laugh, I danced, made funny faces, used squeeky toys and nothing was working. I found out from mommy that he LOVES breadsticks from the Olive Garden. All I had to do was say “breadsticks” and he cracked up! I got some wonderful shots after that!

Be Patient! Children don’t want to be rushed or scolded into smiling. I understand that sometimes we as parents, just want to get those memories and it’s frustrating when children don’t want to cooperate. A great thing for parents to do before a session is to offer a treat for good behavior and cooperation during their session. For example: “Bobby, if you listen to the nice lady and smile really big for your pictures, I will take you to get an ice cream when we’re finished” That works beautifully!

Most important – GET PHOTOS TAKEN! “Everyone has excuses about why they want to wait to get them done, whether it’s losing weight, or waiting for their hair to grow longer, etc…photos are such precious memories! Even if you aren’t 100% happy with the way you look, you should get them done just so your children have something to remember just how you looked at that stage in their life. Photos are precious memories, even when our loved ones are gone. Stop hesitating! Do it, you’ll be happy you did!”

Amber Miller Photography Logo

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty

If you’re a local reader – you definitely need to check out Amber Miller Photography! She is just the sweetest thing, with loads of patience – and her photos are totally gorgeous. When we showed up for our holiday photo shoot, poor Abby had a terrible cold – a sticky, runny nose, and red, watery eyes – but Amber did such a great job of capturing her character! Check out some of her work on Facebook –

Amber Miller on Facebook – “Like” for fun photos, updates, promotions, and more!

Are you already a fan of hers? Share some comments – what was your favorite part of the shoot? – Mine was that she is so great with kids. Abby did NOT want to cooperate at all, but Amber was a total sweetie, and helped Abby have fun so we could get a few good pics!

Love these tips?

Feel free to stop by Amber Miller Photography and leave her a comment with a big THANK YOU for sharing some fun tips here – she’d love to hear from you!

Share your favorite Holiday photo!

Stop by my Facebook page too, and share your favorite family photo! I can’t wait to see some of your great pic’s – Happy Holidays!


Don’t Let Your Digital Memories Become Distant Memories



“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty

Photographs are important to me. I had a few concussions when I was in my early 20’s {long stories, for another day…} and my memory just isn’t as strong as it used to be, or should be. But photographs help me really hang on to those special moments in life – silly faces, baby toes and fingers, fancy occasions when we’re all actually cleaned up and dressed up – I love looking back at the photos that capture our lives.

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.” – Author Unknown

If you love photographs like I do, you’ve probably got a TON of them saved on your computer too. I worry sometimes – what if something happens to my computer? What would I do if I lost all of my photos? That would be devastating, seriously. I’ve got thousands of photos saved in this thing. That’s where Sandisk comes to the rescue – “The SanDisk Memory Vault is a photo album for the digital age that allows consumers to preserve images in one reliable location.” What is it? Well, it’s a little gadget that hooks up to your computer with a USB cable, and safely stores every single one of those precious photos for up to 100 years!

Most Consumers Would Not Destroy Their Family Photos for One Million Dollars

SanDisk also issued results from an online survey conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive from July 28-August 1, 2011 among 2,294 U.S. adults aged 18 and older2. The survey found that 79 percent of U.S. adults with digital photos plan on passing them down to future generations. Photos are so precious that 64 percent of U.S. adults would not consider destroying their family photo collection for any amount of money, not even for one million dollars.

“If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.” – Linda McCartney

Sandisk makes a ton of my favorite products – you can see a few more of them in this great Holiday Gift Guide video. And like they mention in the video – the Sandisk Memory Vault is super easy to use, and you can store your photos AND videos! So someday you can hand down videos of your wedding day, adorable baby photos of the kids, videos of first steps, family reunions, and more – all safely preserved in one durable device. What more could you ask for, right?

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham

To preserve all of your yesterdays and tomorrows – Head to the Sandisk site to learn more about how the Memory Vault safely preserves your family photos for up to 100 years, for the next generation of your family to enjoy.

Buy the Memory Vault today on Amazon – Get the SanDisk Memory Vault 8 GB
for $49.99, or if you have loads of photos like me, upgrade to the SanDisk Memory Vault 16 GB for $89.99 – both with FREE shipping.

{Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of SanDisk and received a product sample to facilitate my review, and coupons to giveaway.}


{Photo Week!} 35 FREE Photo Card Templates!

Free Cards Templates

Amazing Collection of Free Photo Card Templates!!

Visit a super fun site, Too Much Time on My Hands, and check out all of the great free photo card templates that she has found and put together! Thirty-five different choices you can use to create the perfect set of Christmas or Holiday cards for your family. I love it! Make sure to leave her lots of comments with big THANK YOU’s for putting together such a super-helpful resource!