We welcome Haley to Stephanie’s Portrait Design

There are so many things I would love to blog about but I just do not have enough hours in the day.  I love being out there creating beautiful keepsakes for you and your families, and I still want you to be able to keep up with us.  So I am so excited to have Haley join me.  She will be writing blog posts to keep you informed about great things to do as a family, tips on all kinds of things, review products that are out there and can make your life easier, and so much more!  So if you have anything you would like to read about please let us know.  And look forward to fun and exciting things on our blog.  Haley will also be sending out the newsletter and keeping you informed of what is going on on facebook.

Haley grew up here in Virginia so she know about the fun going on around the area.  She and her husband live here with their adorable two year old.  And she is an amazing actress.  So she can definitely keep us informed about fun plays and things to do with the kids.  You may even get to see her on stage.

Thanks for joining us Haley and we look forward to all the wonderful ways you will contribute to our team!





Fun Things to do this Summer in Richmond

As you may have noticed, summer is here, in full force!  Summer is my favorite time of year.  I love the long days and warm weather.  We definitely have seen a few of those “warm” days the past few weeks.  I remember when I was growing up during summer vacation my brothers and I could get a little bored sometimes.  So I want to share some ideas to keep the kids occupied this summer and have some family fun.  And even if you don’t have children at this time or they have moved out of the nest, some of these things make for great date nights or things to do with your friends.  My husband and I do enjoy some of these fun activities now and are excited to share them with our children one day.

  • Build a Fort – I don’t know about you, but I love the adventure that comes with building a fort.  I know my husband and I look forward to building forts with our children one day.  Grab some blankets, use the furniture and your imagination.  You could even have a family camp out in the living room, sleeping in your new fort.
  • Have a family reading competition – Make learning fun this summer.  Challenge each other to read a certain amount of books either aloud and together or individually.  Reward yourselves with a fun family trip or other activity.  Make a chart to show your progress.
  • Host an Olympics – Get in the Olympic spirit and get together with other parents and create a Summer Olympics for all the kids on the block.  The kids can help create the events and races.
  • Make Real Lemonade – There is nothing that says summer like a glass of ice cold lemonade.  Try this recipe.
  • Go to a Drive-In movie –  Goochland Drive-In Theater is a great place to take the kids or have a date night.
  • Have a pajama day – The kids have had a long school year, enjoy a day of relaxation in your pajamas.  Make your favorite breakfast and watch cartoons.
  • Attend a festival – There are so many events going on around the area.  A festival is a great place where the kids can learn about a culture’s history, music, dance, art, and enjoy great food.  Check the local paper to find out dates and details. 
  • Enjoy a concert in the park – Grab a blanket or some lawn chairs, pack a picnic, and sit back and enjoy the show.  
  • Clean up a park – Grab some gloves, trash bags, a rake and head to a neighborhood park.  After cleaning up let the kids play and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
  • Star Gaze – Summer nights are perfect for star gazing.  Make it simple and just enjoy watching the night sky, or do a little planning and find out when there might be a meteor shower or a planet visible or look for constellations.  Go to stardate.org for tips and a calendar of celestial events.  June is also a great time to watch Fire Flies. 
  • Play with bubbles – Let the kids make their own soap with dishwasher soap and water and wands with pipe cleaner and coat hangers.
  • Play Uno – Uno is a great game for all ages.  Have a tournament that lasts all week, complete with bracket and elimination game.  This kids will enjoy playing with Mom and Dad and even beating them every now and then.
  • Eat homemade ice cream – Keep it simple with fresh berries and cream and enjoy sitting on the deck watching the sunset.
  • Experience your inner artist – Tie up large canvasses or old sheets, buy some non-toxic paint, and let the kids express their creativity.
  • Be a chef – Teach the kids to cook a meal.  It can be a simple as pbj for the younger kids, or a casserole or favorite meal for the older kids.
  • Go to the library and participate in reading time or find a good book to snuggle up with and read.
  • Volunteer at the animal shelter – Have the kids been asking for a pet?  Spend time at the animal shelter taking a dog for a walk or helping with what they are in need of.  Contact your local shelter for more information. 
  • Play night games – Let the kids stay up late one night and play games like hide and go seek in the dark and sardines as a family.   
Tell us the fun things you do this summer and maybe your activity will make our list next year.  Leave your comments below.
Happy Summer!