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Ballerina Birthday Party

I LOVE parties! It is an artistic expression for me to decorate for a party, the table, being my favorite! I gave a hint last week with my daughters Ballerina Photo Shoot, but now I share with you the Ballerina Birthday Party!

Ballerina Birthday Party by KristenDuke.com

This cute girl loves to dance and twirl, and we decided 2 months ago that we would go for the tulle and pink, and I added a little silver (slightly to her chagrin) to her theme. I collected all sorts of fun stuff, making sure to keep the receipts to what I got at our local stores. Hobby Lobby had a great selection of party supplies by color, which I LOVED!  Here is a little snippet of our FUN!… Continue Reading

Mother of a Teenager

It’s official, today, I am the mother of a teenager! My oldest turns 13 today, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience easing me into the teen years. He is such a kind hearted boy, who makes me laugh more than pretty much anyone.  I know when he walks up to me and starts playing with my hair, that he wants something–he’s smart!  I have really loved relating to him on more of an adult level the past year or so–not a kid anymore. I enjoy our conversations, and I’m trying my hardest to give him space, not be too nosy, not as SO many questions, while still showing interest and encouraging him to share things that may be uncomfortable for him. An open dialogue is important to me, and I’m tip toeing into this stage–cautiously optimistic–knowing it can change. But I’m fighting for it, yes I am. I’ve found that back scratches give me a pretty good advantage.

In 7th grade this year, he started on the Cross Country team, playing community soccer with his brother on the same team and dad coaching, in the Honor band for tuba, and is on the road to achieve his Eagle Scout in just over a year. I’m not the bragging type (thought that was a bit braggy), but I’m just impressed with him, how responsible he is, still getting amazing grades at school with all on his plate. Trying to figure out how to reduce the load, so I can see him more, but I think it’s the beginning of the inevitable–the busy teenager. I wish he wasn’t so hard on himself, but it may be part of the role of the oldest/part personality. He is his fathers son, and I remind myself of that when I see traits that are different from how I would do things. I drive him to school each morning, and when he gets out to walk away, as he closes the door, he looks back with a grin…because he knows I want to make eye contact and give a final farewell smile. I love that…he could just walk away, but he looks back, he gives me that moment.

Teen Pictures

… Continue Reading

Pirate Birthday Party On a Budget {Jake & the Never Land Pirates}

A few weeks ago when I took my fam to visit my brother, and we had our day at the beach, we also got to celebrate my nephew’s 4th birthday. He loves Jake and the Never Land Pirates, so my sister in law planned a fun Pirate Birthday Party. They’re just out of school, so it was all done on a budget, which thoroughly impressed me. I tend to go all out on my parties, and try to stick within a range, but try not to think about it as I collect ideas. I really loved the simplicity of this party, the details were perfect, and the games were fun.

Pirate Birthday Party

First, there was the awesome Canon and canon ball cake:… Continue Reading

It’s my Birthday!

Today is my 35th birthday, I’m officially in my mid thirties. I’ve never concerned myself TOO much with the number, haven’t felt too much sadness about getting old—yet! I feel young, and that’s all that matters, right? I’ve always loved my birthday, it’s my one special day, and I like celebrating, and I think everyone should feel the same.

I had a fun idea to do a giveaway for my birthday, so asked my good friend and photographer, Jennifer Polson, to take some pics of me with balloons and confetti, then we ended up doing a whole bunch of other stuff in the shoot (check out her blog today to see her fave pics of our session). Why not share my 35 year old shoot with you all? Then…the 7 giveaways…

There were a lot of pics, so I asked my handsome hubby to pick out his favorites, this is what he chose:

balloons birthday  confetti

camera

cookies jump

I often take my kids on a small shopping spree on my birthday each year, I deprive myself of the joy of  buying them all the latest and greatest all year long (even their birthdays, I do the parties and that’s all) except Christmas I indulge. So I see my birthday as a time to make ME happy by getting them a little something…a little Christmas in July. They like this idea, too.

Today, I’m going to give some gifts to YOU!! Because it’s 7-7, I’m going to select 7 winners, check out the fabulous prizes below from some of my favorite companies!

Kristen Duke Birthday Bash Giveaway

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Winner #1: Ryobi Power Tools 18V Drill and Impact Combo, LOVE THEM!

Winner #2: FotoStrap, sleek, trendy, and sturdy,camera straps. A monogramming comes with it. See my review about it here.

Winner #3: Vintage Rose Wraps, $100 gift card to some of my favorite accessories

Winner #4: The Handbuilt Home by Ana White as well at $100 gift card to Home Depot

Winner #5: Jo Totes Camera bag of your choice as well as a photography Skype mentoring session with ME!

Winner #6: 2 months of Kiwi Crate shipped to your door (see my review) as well as each of my printed photography books

Winner #7: Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook as well as $100 Gift Card to World Market!

Now, don’t get overwhelmed with the steps below…IT’s my birthday (and I’ll have a lot of entries if I want to). Ok, just kidding, but really I want to have options for everyone that is plugged into different social media, AND I want my fabulous sponsors who donated all of these items to make some new friends, too. So please take a minute and follow them on facebook!!

Notice there are different points for different entries, the entry that counts for TEN is to pin images from yesterday’s post, click here for that info, or the link is in the entry form below, too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway