When Biggest Brother was 18 months old we took him on a trip to China. Prior to that trip he slept in a crib, but we couldn’t really carry a Pack-n-Play to another continent (not to mention fit it on the train we rode once the plane landed). Once we arrived we figured we’d make due with whatever we had available in regards to where he would sleep. We stayed with some great friends and jimmy-rigged an area for him to sleep…nothing like a crash course in sleeping outside of a crib. So Chris and I held our breath with each nap and he made the adjustment. Once we returned home we threw a twin mattress on the floor and said goodbye to the crib. 2 years later Big Brother was introduced to his first bed and this week Littlest Brother was introduced to his. I always look forward to moving the boys to big beds – it is much easier to cuddle with them than cribs are! No, it is not a toddler bed. I am too cheap to buy a toddler bed and then buy a twin bed later, so we just go from crib to twin bed. I took advantage of the older boys being gone to let him take his first nap in his new bed….


With each of my kids there has always been something that stands out about them from the day they were born. For this guy it is his eyes. I love how he smiles with his eyes…oh those eyes get me everytime. I think when he becomes a teenager I’ll make him wear dark sunglasses – at least when teenage girls are around.1009nap-06


Notice the little scab on his forehead…one more facial wound in our house. When it happened Biggest Brother came running to me yelling, “It’s an emergency. AN EMERGENCY. There is blood EVERYWHERE!” There was blood everywhere, probably holds the current record for most blood from a wound in our house…only to be outdone in the future I am sure. Why do the smallest cuts produce the most blood?

Photo tip: I really wanted pictures of his first nap in a bed, so I waited until it was time for him to start waking up and I quietly opened all the blinds in the room. Then I got some shots of him still asleep, then slowly began waking him up to get some of that as well.

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  • christina larsen - Precious. I love that bed, it’s from IKEA, isn’t it?

  • Alba - waking up my boys is one the marvellous things in my life. the little faces half sleep, the peace they carry, those chubby fingers,… don’t let the girls go around him ;-) beautiful pictures, as always.

  • Kellyk - I am curious about the bed as well!! I see the slats on the IKEA site but I am not sure what they are sitting on or supported by! Great pictures! Any chance I get I try to take a picture of my little boy napping.

  • amanda torres - So adorable. By far your 3rd boy has my heart. From that pouchy tummy to those beautiful eyes to those precious lips. He is a little stud!

  • Martina - I have a scar in that same place on my forehead. I was having a pillow fight with my neighbor and one of the pillows had a zipper … I don’t remember if it bled a lot but I do still have the scar. Head wounds always bleed a lot, don’t they?

    I love the idea of not wasting money on a toddler bed. Don’t most cribs convert to toddler beds? I like the room for cuddling aspect, though, too. Things for me to keep in mind for my future babies.

  • mary - these are so precious…he is just an absolute Lovie.

  • meg duerksen - so cute!!
    makes me feel sleepy….

  • AshleyAnn - Yep…it is an IKEA bed. The slats are supported by the wire frame underneath…it was $40.00!

  • LoRae - HELLO, Handsome! If the eyes are the window to the soul, then you have one beautiful soul there. I love how you appreciate each child for who they are and make each one shine in your photos. Oh the joys of a good bargain from Ikea or any place for that matter.

  • Amnah - Wow, those eyes are pretty amazing. He should probably start with the shades in preschool. So cute. By the way, any quick tips on how to become such an amazing photographer as yourself? Haha, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  • the inadvertent farmer - I follow a lot of photo blogs and this series is my favorite I’ve seen in a long, long time. Something about the big ‘firsts’ that just melt my heart…not to mention those eyes. You are a wise mother, dark glasses are truly in order! Thanks for sharing you made my flu weary brain smile, Kim

  • Ang - The pack-n-play might actually have fit on the train (although I laughed out thinking about the five of us trying to get through the train station with everything!). I think the real reason you didn’t have room to bring it was due to the extra suitcase of stuff you trucked over for us . . . I’m remembering something about an OBU commemorative plate?!

  • Tiffany - What a great idea to capture this “first.” I love it! And I love the orange and gray bedding and polka dot pillow! You have such a way with colors that I just adore.

  • emily - these pictures are beautiful! all your pictures are so amazing. wish i lived closer to attend a snap shop. ever think of doing some sort of online class? so, once the blinds are open, what do you set your camera to? just wondering…

  • andy - those pictures are great
    he is precious
    love the bed too

  • casey - I love that bed where did you get it?

  • dana - man, pictures of your kids almost makes me want to have another. That’s a scary thought. Maybe I need to look at blogs with pics of kids whining and crying and moms pulling their hair out. :)
    kidding aside, your children are beautiful. And your blog reminds me why motherhood is wonderful. I love seeing my kids smile and enjoy life.
    I seriously love coming to your site!

  • Stephanie May* - I LOVE that bed as well – how do the wood slats stay on the frame? Are just sitting on top of them? Also, did you use a regular twin size mattress for it?

  • AshleyAnn - Stephanie,
    The slats are VERY secure. There are little holes drilled into the wood that fit over metal balls on the frame and then also little screw type things that you hammer in. The mattress is just the one from IKEA that went with it…just b/c I didn’t feel like shopping around. I think a regular twin mattress would fit, but I am not sure. The IKEA mattress was under $80.00.

  • Stephanie May* - Thanks so much for all the info! I love your blog – you inspire me so much! I am a young mother of three kids (ages 6, 4, and 2), and it’s such a blessing to read about your creativity and home life. Thank you! :)

  • Mirys from Brazil - Great pics!

    As usual! rsrsrsrsrs


On a recent trip to IKEA I picked up a couple of these wood bowls. I think they are pretty great just as they are, but since I had a few I thought I’d play around with decoupaging one. I couldn’t decide what to use and then settled on some scrap fabric I had. Here’s what I started with:


Step 2: I cut out some of the flowers with REALLY sharp scissors (so the edges didn’t fray much)1009woodbowl-02

Step 3: Applied Mod Podge to the back of the fabric. Had I been using my brain I would have done it the easier way and just put the Mod Podge on the bowl.

Step 4: Covered the area with 4-5 coats of Mod Podge. One coat over the entire bowl. Drying in between coats.

Step 5: Used wet/dry sandpaper to sand the entire surface…this gets rid of the paint brush ridges and makes a super smooth surface.1009woodbowl-03

Just a little bit of flair to a basic bowl…1009woodbowl-041009woodbowl-05

Now some of you reading this are thinking, “Did she really just do tutorial on decoupage?” and others are thinking, “I never would have though to do that.” I have discovered there is quite the array of DIY talent that reads this blog. And well the real reason I post this little tutorial is to share some other news. Drumroll please….I am doing a seminar at this year’s A Christmas Gathering called “You’ve Got it Made: DIY Christmas gift ideas”! Hard to believe Denise asked me back, but I am excited she did. For those of you that have no idea what I am talking here’s a brief description: “You have seen it on all the talk shows, now experience it for yourself! An HGTV special meets Oprah’s favorite things type event! A night of Christmas inspiration, ideas, shopping, and holiday how-tos all in one evening!” My seminar will include super easy DIY projects for any skill level (like the one above) and some for other levels as well. I am even learning to sew for a couple of the gift ideas…


If you are local, heads up that there are only 1000 seats available for each night. This event sells out EVERY year and tickets went on sale last week. This is such a fun girls night. It is a great time to spend with friends, as an office party, as a teacher’s gift, etc. If you come, be sure to say “HI”!

A Christmas Gathering is Thursday, November 19th and Friday, Novemeber 20th. You can purchase tickets online here or by visiting HERE.

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  • Kari - Are you speaking both nights?

  • Jeannette Swan - You don’t want to miss seeing Ashley and all her great ideas at A Christmas Gathering!! We are so excited that she is doing a seminar again! She will be speaking both nights.

  • christina larsen - Ok, I have never used modge podge so I appreciate the tutorial. It looks really cool. I love the bowl. Such a neat idea. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to come to the Christmas gathering.

  • Kari - Yay! I bought my ticket for Thursday night and put a note on my facebook inviting all my friends to join me! I’m so excited!!!

  • Kristin White - That fabric looks familiar! I’m glad you were able to make good use of it! What a creative idea…

  • pamela - BRILLIANT! of course i know how to decoupage, but sometimes i need a reminder of just how cool it is! i love your diy’s keep ‘em coming!

  • Ee Wen Ting - I love love love this! You are so talented!!!

  • Shannon Phillips - So excited! I can’t believe that it is that time of year already. Wohooo! I just bought my Friday night tickets.

  • Jo - I wish I wish I wish.

    I am so not that creative, wish i was!

  • Natasha Perryman - Hi,
    I guess I will have to call the church be/c I cannot find the times anywhere for this weekend event. This just happens to be the weekend that all the guys on Adam’s side hunt and all the gals to craft shopping and have a girls weekend. This would be so perfect but there is just not that much info posted. I am looking forward to it! Natasha

  • Mod Podge Amy - That is so wonderful! I love what you did. And I love that IKEA bowl!

  • Rachel - If we bring our own DIY projects to the Christmas Gathering, will you autograph them?

  • bopha - ha, ha to rachel’s comment, can we just bring the supplies and you make them for us.

  • Meagan - That bowl is so cute! I totally want to come to the Christmas gathering! I’m gonna tell my friends—I’m sure they will want to come too!

  • Cristina - Wow! Love the final result!

  • becky - Love it! Keep the DIY’s coming for those of us who are not local!

  • A.Livingston - I didn’t get the website with the instructions for the things you presented at The Christmas Gathering. Can’t seem to find them. Could you give me the website?

  • Cara - Ok…I am trying this out. But (maybe this is a stupid question)…how do I use the wet/dry sandpaper? Is there a trick to it?

  • Ev - what a great craft and so easy to do with the kids…

  • Clare Grobler - I just love the bowl. I do quite a lot of decoupage, but have never tried with fabric. Cannot wait to go shopping for wooden bowls.

  • DIY {decoupage scrap paper bowl} » ashleyannphotography.com - […] is basically the same project as the fabric bowl I posted a bit […]

  • The 5 Dreamcatchers - I love it!
    I’ve picked your idea for my post “Diy Scrap”.
    I hope you visit my blog and like it.



Here’s a few from those that attended the September SnapShop. I narrowed them down to 2-3…and a few of the students haven’t emailed me any…you can see more by visiting the Ashley Ann Photography SnapShops flickr group


Remember girls to send me a disk to give our models! Great job!

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  • Brittney Davis - These are really cool! Everyone did such a great job! I had a blast! :)

  • Susan - Thanks again for the great class!