Candace McKay Image & Design: Blog en-us (C) Candace McKay Image & Design [email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Mon, 02 May 2022 19:37:00 GMT Mon, 02 May 2022 19:37:00 GMT Kennedy is 6...A Magical Birthday! Our first birthday party since Covid and it had to be magical!  My girl loves unicorns and asked for a Unicorn Tea Party!  Here are a few snaps from our special day!



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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Birthday Kennedy magical six unicorn Mon, 02 May 2022 19:37:15 GMT
Disney 2021: Kennedy turns 5! After two cancelled trips and a year and a half of covid, we finally made it to the happiest place on Earth to celebrate Kennedy's 5th birthday!  It was MAGICAL!!!!

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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) 5 birthday disney five kennedy Mon, 02 May 2022 18:41:03 GMT
Reese is 10 Can’t believe my sweet girl turned 10 this weekend! She asked for a DONUT party.  We added a photo booth so the girls could take some fun selfies in their party dresses.  I added an extra surprise for her and her sweet friends and luckily the stormy weather cleared out just in time! 


Wanted to share a few party pics (please give them a few minutes to load)!


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The girls had an amazing Scavenger Hunt around town and they loved it!

A special thank you to: 

Kademi, Old Mexico, WHOC Radio Station, Sonic, the Ellis Theater and the Depot!





A special thank you to some fantastic vendors:

The Prickly Hippie-cake and fabulous “boho donuts”

City Donuts-wonderful assortment of donuts

Beason Dairy farm-milk and chocolate milk


[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) 10 birthday Candace Donut limo McKay Mississippi party photographer year Mon, 13 Jan 2020 20:55:14 GMT
Hear Ye, Hear Ye...Kennedy is Three! Our tiny princess has been in love with Cinderella since our visit to Disney last year.  When I asked what she wanted her birthday party to be, she exclaimed…CINDERELLA!  When I sat down and really listened to the “A Dream is a Wish” lyrics, I knew that this was the party for us this year!  So many emotions when the last baby turns three…no more babies in the house.  A lot of heart went into this one as we celebrated such a special time in this little one’s life.  Sweet memories…here are some highlights from her special day…

Invitev2Invitev2 Invitev22Invitev22 Invitev23Invitev23 Invitev24Invitev24

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A special thank you to some wonderfully talented folks:

Cake: When it Really Matters-Edible Art by Natali

Cookies: Deep South Sweets

Napkins, Cups and Balloons: Custom design by Natalie Chang

Cinderella's Royal Table wands and swords: All the way from Cinderella's Castle at Disney World...lovingly gifted by friends from their Disney trips!

Thank you to our Royal guest, Cinderella, for stopping by!

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Birthday Cinderella Mississippi Party Princess Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:35:45 GMT
Reese is 9: Painting in the Land of Sweets Such a sweet day to celebrate our big girl turning NINE!  I can't even believe it!!!

A special thank you to: 

  • Bailey Landscape/Wonderfully Made-you made everything perfect and we appreciate you so much!
  • Carol Fanning for the gorgeous cake and cupcakes!
  • Deep South Sweets for the amazing cookies!!! 

Here we go...

Reese bday inviteReese bday invite

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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) nutcracker painting party Reese is 9 Mon, 14 Jan 2019 18:45:28 GMT
Reese is 8: American Girl CMC_9889CMC_9889 CMC_9895CMC_9895 CMC_9907CMC_9907 CMC_9912CMC_9912 CMC_9922CMC_9922 CMC_9916CMC_9916 CMC_9925CMC_9925 CMC_9929CMC_9929 CMC_9948CMC_9948 CMC_9957CMC_9957 CMC_9960CMC_9960 CMC_9955CMC_9955 CMC_9963CMC_9963 CMC_9970CMC_9970 CMC_9979CMC_9979 CMC_9928CMC_9928 CMC_0012CMC_0012 CMC_0049CMC_0049 CMC_0225CMC_0225 CMC_0129CMC_0129 CMC_0082CMC_0082 CMC_0089CMC_0089 CMC_0169CMC_0169 CMC_0185CMC_0185

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) American Girl birthday Candace McKay eight Mississippi photographer Mon, 14 Jan 2019 18:21:58 GMT
DISNEY 2018 OH, the magic of Disney!  Have I mentioned that I am available year-round for family vacations???  Here are way too many images from our trip in's just the best place to capture through the eyes of a child! 

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Here are a few snapshots and memory maker shots...

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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Candace Disney McKay Mississippi photographer princess Santa Tue, 08 Jan 2019 18:58:58 GMT
Kennedy is Two: Bonnets & Bows CMC_9262CMC_9262 CMC_9263CMC_9263 CMC_9269CMC_9269 CMC_9270CMC_9270 CMC_9272CMC_9272 CMC_9273CMC_9273 CMC_9274CMC_9274 CMC_9290CMC_9290 CMC_9295CMC_9295 CMC_9296CMC_9296 CMC_9302CMC_9302 CMC_9303CMC_9303 CMC_9304CMC_9304 CMC_9310CMC_9310 CMC_9313CMC_9313 CMC_9314CMC_9314 CMC_9348CMC_9348 CMC_9390CMC_9390 CMC_9416CMC_9416 CMC_9417CMC_9417 CMC_9444CMC_9444 CMC_9470CMC_9470 CMC_9487CMC_9487

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Mon, 07 Jan 2019 20:44:52 GMT
Holiday Ideas for 2018  

So many great ways to share your photos as gifts this holiday season!  Here are a few of my favorites!

Gift print checklist:

  • 5x7s and 8x10s prints are great framed for desks and shelves
  • Large fine art prints and canvases make wonderful centerpieces for your brings happiness all year to see our family canvases hanging in our breakfast nook!  These also make wonderful gifts for grandparents!
  • Christmas cards are a great way to let clients, family and friends know you are thinking of them!
  • Our gorgeous coffee table books are sure to be at the top of YOUR own list!  These 8x10 books are stunning and every client LOVES them!  Family heirlooms for years to come!


We have also added two new gift ideas this year!

Canvas ornaments! 

These are adorable! They come in several shapes and are printed on both sides.  Available in sets of 4 for $75



HD Video of your favorite still image! PUSH PLAY!!!!!!

Just breathtaking!  $35 for an HD file!  Can be used on your favorite device or social media.


Also, please use our MINTED site to order cards and personalized items such as custom wrapping paper using your images!  You can use photos from any session in 2018 (just email us to upload for you) or your personal photos that you can upload on your own.  Here's the link:

Here’s a coupon for 20% off of holiday cards:

And 15% off everything else:


Happy shopping!!!





[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:22:13 GMT
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Kennedy is One Our sweet little pink rainbow turned one last week!  I still can't believe it.  Just wanted to share a few pictures from her big day!  


Lots of photos to follow, so please give them a few minutes to load...


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A special thank you to Carol Fanning for another gorgeous birthday cake, Claudia's Creative Cookies for the beautiful cookies, Brother and Sissy's boutique for Kennedy's special birthday dress, and Prop Shop Boutique for the perfect birthday banner and hat! 

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) baby Birthday Candace First McKay Rainbow Fri, 05 May 2017 01:12:04 GMT
Reese's Camp Glam Calling all campfire cuties!  Are you ready for an evening under the stars?  Let's go glamping, girls!

Here are way too many pics from our birthday...they may take a few minutes to load for you...


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Venue: Bridges, The Venue {Philadelphia, Mississippi}

Cake: Carol Fanning {Brandon, Mississippi}

Cookies: Palestine Painted Cookie {Palestine, Texas}

Flowers: Uptown Flowers {Philadelphia, Mississippi}

Party Décor: Sweet Shoppe Lulu, Hobby lobby, Michael’s, Target, and AMAZON!


Menu: A Camp Glam lunch box with your choice of hot dog or PB&J or chips....and lots of assorted sweets and goodies! Of course!!!


Here's a peek at a few other parties if you love to party as much as we do... 

2016:  Reese's 6th birthday {Spa Soiree}

2015:  Reese's 5th birthday {Tea for Two}

2014:  Reese's 4th birthday {Under the Sea}

2013:  Reese's 3rd birthday {Bubblegum Boutique}

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) candace mckay glamping glamping birthday party Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:05:14 GMT
Reese is Three: Bubblegum Boutique Here are a few pictures from Reese's third birthday party...


Reese Three webReese Three web


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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Wed, 13 Jan 2016 18:59:14 GMT
Reese's Spa Soirée Reese's Spa Soirée

First, let me say, that I had entirely too much fun with the birthday party this year!  It just shouldn’t be allowed!  When we decided on a Glam Spa soirée, my mind started turning and turning!  Just wanted to share a few vendors with you, I know it always helps me when I have a starting point for inspiration.  Besides, these folks are the best of the best and you guys need to look them up!  

***LOTS of pics, WAY too many, so be patient while they load for you***

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Cake: Carol Fanning {Brandon, Mississippi}

Caterer: Amy’s Place {Philadelphia, Mississippi}

Cookies: Palestine Painted Cookie {Palestine, Texas}

Cupcake toppers:

Flowers: Uptown Flowers {Philadelphia, Mississippi}

Party Décor: Sweet Shoppe Lulu, Hobby lobby, Michael’s, and Target

Party dress:

Sequin lips banner:

Cupcake flavored lip balm and lotion:


Menu: Glamburgers, Soiree Strips (chicken tenders), Mud Bath berries (chocolate covered strawberries), Pimento Puffs, Ham & Cheese sandwiches, and lots of assorted sweets and goodies!


Craft projects:

  • Tutu vanity: two coats of spray paint on my childhood vanity along with 200 yards of tulle and this little project came together quickly.

  • Mini clawfoot tub: purchased from a photography prop supplier and painted (y’all know I love pink and gold paint).

  • Hollywood mirrors: made by a friend of a friend.

  • Frou-Frou bath salt bottles: So, I found these on etsy for like $45 apiece and decided that I would just craft them at home.  I ordered the mini champagne bottles from a brewing supply company, painted them and then got out my trusty hot glue gun to finish them off with bling and feathers!  We filled them with bath salts….I wanted the girls to be able to drink from them, but after adding the details, I decided they wouldn’t hold up being washed.

  • Perfume bottle vases from new containers: I found this tutorial and modified it to use as a vase:

  • Perfume bottle vases (from old bottles):

Seriously, birthday parties are my favorite!  TOO much fun!  Here's a peek at a couple more in case you need something to do while your husbands watch the championship game tonight. 








[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) birthday candace glam mckay party photographer soiree spa Mon, 11 Jan 2016 23:21:48 GMT
Disney Christmas Vacation ***Warning...way too many pictures, so it may take a minute for them all to load.***


If you have never experienced the magic of Disney at Christmas, please add it to your bucket NOW!  I will say, it took a lot of extra effort to vacation for a week in the middle of December (work, shopping, etc. all had to be done a little earlier), BUT it was SO worth it!!!!  There is just no comparison in visiting during the holidays versus our spring time trips.  Don't get me wrong, Disney is always spectacular with attention to detail like no other, but the Christmas season just brings another experience.  Just wanted to share some of our highlights.  It always helps me plan our trip when I have someone to share their favorite stops, so maybe this will help you plan your holiday trip next year!


Christmas Season highlights:

  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party-MUST DO!  We loved it and MAGIC was in the air.  Literally. It was 75 degrees and snowing on Main Street. The parade was INCREDIBLE...complete with hot cocoa and cookies!
  • Visit Santa at Magic Kingdom-a special memory to make while you're here for Christmas.
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios-we learned after we arrived that this is the last year for this event.  If you happen to be there in the next few weeks, be sure to check them out!  AMAZING!
  • The Candlelight Processional at Epcot-beautiful and very touching.  Celebrity narrators read the Christmas story accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir.  Our celebrity narrator was Meredith Vieira. We absolutely loved this show!!!
  • Resort hop to look at all of the decorations!  We could not believe how detailed the decorations were.  Every ride, every event, just decorated to perfection.  Our hotel was home to a {HUGE} Christmas tree and a life-size gingerbread house!  Very impressive!!!


And of course, we filled our schedule with character meals and meet & greets. The way her face lights up when she interacts with them is worth the trip in itself! The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is always a must on our list, and all of our favorite rides.  We also made another memory on this trip.  She lost her first tooth.  Side note, if this happens on your trip, please let a cast member or hotel staff member know.  They went out of their way to celebrate this milestone with us. Tinkerbell came to visit and left a gift, and the next day at our meet and greet, Tink talked about the missing tooth!  What a magical memory!!! 


Here are a few pictures from the many more I wanted to share, but these are some of my favs!

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Merry Christmas to all of you!



[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Candace Disney McKay Mississippi photographer princess Santa Vacation Tue, 22 Dec 2015 03:16:51 GMT
When it rains, look for rainbows... rainbow1pngrainbow1png 08.22.15

I saw the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen. It was a double rainbow and stretched as far as you could see from north to south. So stunning that I took a picture and posted to Facebook. Ryan even laughed at me "hanging out the window" to get a picture. We were on a trip to pick up a couch that I bought in January and just never had the time to go get. That day was our divine appointment (there can be positive outcomes to procrastination). One of my Facebook friends even commented, "just for you."  It's true, my friends, the Lord spoke to me that day in a way that He often does...through beautiful skies, gorgeous light, sunsets and even rainbows. He has even gone so far as to tie his gorgeous gift of light into my profession. 


Travel back a few months with me...



My darkest day as a mother. A miscarriage. I will never forget the tears that were shed or the heaviness that came over me in the months to follow. I was wrecked. After a couple of months, I felt the Lord speaking to me. I felt Him calling me to be a mother again. I had moments of clarity and purpose that led me to believe that I was meant to love another child. I was meant to care for another little one. More than a life of work in my career (which I adore), I desperately wanted to be a mommy again. There was one problem though. I didn't trust my body. All of this coupled with the pressure of turning 35 just overwhelmed me. I had a plan and becoming a mother again after 35 wasn't part of it. Or so I thought. 



A positive pregnancy test


One hour later, I remembered the double rainbow we had seen exactly one week before. 


A baby born after a miscarriage is often referred to as a "rainbow baby."  I know this because in those days home after surgery, as I scrolled through my FB newsfeed, one of the photographers I follow posted a photo of a baby swaddled in a rainbow assortment of cheesecloth wraps. It grabbed my attention. She talked about rainbows after the storm.


Ezekiel 1:28

"Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking."


Genesis 9:16

"When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."


In the weeks to come, we were literally surrounded by rainbows. Every. Single. Day.  From friends posting pictures after storms to rainbow stickers that Reese brought to me, to the rainbows that suddenly appeared in her artwork from church and coloring pages at home or school (almost daily). I never made a big deal about her drawing them and she continued to bring them to me.  I even had a dream with a sky full of vivid rainbows and a flash of lightening with a baby's face (like a 4d sonogram image). Were these coincidences?  Nope. What the Lord showed me is that we are always surrounded by His promises. It's just that we don't see them until we are desperately seeking Him. Until we are so scared that we are literally clinging to His promises to get through the hard days...or my most recent struggle, the first trimester. I have worried every single day. We all do as moms. It's part of the gig. 


We worried about telling too soon. At the end of the day, this little life is to be celebrated. And we would have never made it through those dark days earlier this year without the love, support, hugs, and encouragement of our family and friends. We needed your prayers then and we need them now. 


Has the Lord promised me that this baby will be born healthy and happy and that I won't have any complications? No. Although I like to claim it. What He has promised me is that He is a good father and that He loves us. He has a plan for us. He knows what's best for us. I can trust Him and know that He will take care of us.  


I sat in my hairdresser's chair the day I turned 7 weeks. She talked about seafood for 20 minutes and I almost had to share my news with her because I almost shared my saltine cracker breakfast at the thought of the smell of seafood, but I didn't and our conversation (thankfully) turned to another subject. She was sharing one of her personal trials with me and she said "the Lord says He will give us double for our trouble."  The double rainbow. He's a good father and He loves us and if you seek Him and listen carefully, you will find His love and promises surrounding you everyday and everywhere. 


To say we are over the moon (or maybe rainbow) over this baby is an understatement!!!  We love our sweet Reese more than words can say and I am so excited to watch her become a big sister. I have said a million times that I would love to have another one just like her!  We can't wait to welcome our next sweet baby GIRL due May 2, 2016!!!!!'s a GIRL! 


Thank you for your continued prayers!!!

Candace (Ryan and Reese)

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Fri, 16 Oct 2015 02:47:49 GMT
Tea for Two Well, my sweet baby turned five and we celebrated with a Tea for Two party. All of our little guests were invited to bring their baby dolls with them to the party.  We had so much fun!!!  The girls were the sweetest with their dolls...the dolls enjoyed cookies and tea while the girls picked their favorites from a pink and gold spread of tea treats which included pink chocolate covered strawberries, fairy bites, hand-painted cookies, cake and ice cream, pb&j sandwiches, pink tea and pink hot chocolate (yes, pink hot chocolate...recipe below).  

I am always amazed at the talented vendors out there that help me pull these parties together...I have made some great friends over the years and I love the creative process of planning all of these details with each of you. I always like to say thank you and share your fabulousness with friends and family!!!  So, here are some party pics and a list of some of my favorite vendors!  

PS: Since there are so many, give it a few minutes to load before you scroll!

tea_party_illustration_pinktea_party_illustration_pinkGorgeous watercolor for our invitation by Emily McLain

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A special thank you to some super talented folks!  Look them up, they are all amazing!

  • Cake: Carol Fanning
  • Cookies: Palestine Painted Cookie
  • Pottery painting/teacups: Wonderfully Made-Morgan Bailey Jay
  • Catering: Amy's Place (Philadelphia)
  • Flowers: Uptown Flowers
  • Watercolor Illustration for Invites: Emily McLain
  • Party Décor: Shop Sweet Lulu, CakeGirls, and a local craft store
  • Teacups and Teapots: Every antique store and flea market in the state of Mississippi...just kidding, but it was more of a hunt than expected!  A few borrowed pieces from family members, and a few hand-painted pieces to finish it off! 
  • The doll chairs were purchased unfinished here and then I spray painted them to match. 
  • The doll party hats were from an Etsy vendor and I crafted the big girl hats. (purchased plain party hats and added ribbon and pom poms to match the party colors).
  • The tiered teapot stand were a community effort!  I purchased the hardware on etsy and Morgan and I painted the pieces and then her sweet dad drilled the holes and we assembled. I was so pleased with how they turned out!  Tutorial here.

Two new menu items that I tried (they were both crowd favorites):

  • Pink Hot Chocolate {link here}.  I also added about 6 tbsp. of Nesquick on the fly because I am just a crazy good chef like that (LOL).
  • Fairy Bites {link here}

And yes, that is edible glitter on the strawberries and various other items (I used a whole bottle...again, culinary skills are unmatched). You can purchase it here if you want to put it in your cereal everyday or whatever!

That's all of the details I can remember at this point, but I am still in a fog after this party...maybe next year we need to have a party at the movie theater...that sure sounds easier!  If you guys have any questions, let me know!  It's always easier when someone shares details...makes things easier to find sometimes! 

I loved this girly girl party!  I am so thankful that my baby girl will still play along with all of these fun little girl themes!  All of her little friends were just the sweetest with their babies!  It was so precious and so worth all of the planning!  I'm off to enjoy a piece of leftover birthday cake!  Enjoy!!!



[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Tue, 13 Jan 2015 03:04:35 GMT
A Little Disney Magic... Unpacking from our Disney trip this year, it hit me.  She won't always love princesses...she won't always feel swept away by the magic of Disney (at least until she has little ones of her own).  In a few years, these memories will be distant.  I am thankful for the gift of photography in times like these.  Being able to capture the details as I remember them and as she will treasure them is a tremendous blessing.  Enjoy, my little one, for one day you will be too big and too busy for moments like these....


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We love you, princess!!!

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) candace disney mckay photography princess vacation Tue, 27 May 2014 20:29:07 GMT
Beauty Shoppe! {Limited Edition Sessions} I adore this age with my little girl!  She is so "girly" and so FUN.  She loves dress up and loves to play in makeup.  These are the things I want to remember about her when she's older (and not so into playing with mama).  So, she's the reason for the next round of limited edition sessions.  The goal is to capture as many girly moments as possible!  These sessions will be held on Thursday, February 20th. These spots are super limited!!!!  Only taking a handful of clients.  The session fee is $150 and will include an 11x14 canvas (which will look FAB in a playroom or bedroom)!!!  You can order extra prints, of course!  We recommend these for ages 3-6 (and they will need to be pretty cooperative, so be sure they're on board).  Sitting babies between 6-9 months would probably work well too.

You can grab a spot here:

 Here are a few peeks from this fun little session!  Enjoy!


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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:29:05 GMT
Reese is Four: Under the Sea Party I can hardly believe my sweet baby turned four this weekend!  She decided in May of this year that she wanted to have an Ariel birthday party.  Glad she told me early because a mermaid party in January is no easy feat!  Just wanted to share a few photos (actually a ton) from the party!  A special thank you to some amazing vendors and dear friends who helped make this all come together!  I think I had as much fun planning it as she did partying....almost!

PS: Since there are so many, give it a few minutes to load before you scroll!


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 Getting ready to welcome our last and VERY special guest!  Our most favorite princess, Ariel!  She was in shock!!!!!

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A special thank you to some super talented folks!  Look them up, they are all amazing!

Cake and Cupcakes: Tanya Hopper

Cookies: Palestine Painted Cookie

Face painting: Jamielee Breland

Catering: Amy's Place (Philadelphia)

Thank you to my sweet friend, Ariel!  You are amazing and have a big heart for making my princess feel so special!

Party Décor: Shop Sweet Lulu, Michael's, and a local craft store. 

Various hand-crafted items (tutorial links added):

  • star wands-couldn't find a tutorial for these.  I painted dowel rods with two colors and blended them in the center to create the ombre effect.  The toppers are made from two sequin stars hot-glued to the rod.  Tied with ribbon and voila....times 12!!!
  • sequin hangers  *these were a labor of LOVE!!!!!!*
  • gold crowns
  • ombre glitter bottles-my mom did these for me
  • mermaid necklaces -my mom is the mastermind on these-I just helped
  • oyster cookies- same as tutorial except I used Pepperidge Farms Lemon Cookies


They danced away to the Little Mermaid soundtrack and enjoyed dressing up and getting their faces painted....we had a room full of little princess mermaids!  We all had a blast and I wouldn't change a thing!!!!  So proud of my sweet four year old, proud to be her mommy and thankful to be able to celebrate her in such a special way!!!  Thank you to all of our family and friends for loving on my girl!  We love you all:)



[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Ariel Birthday Candace McKay Mermaid Party Sea the Under Mon, 13 Jan 2014 01:05:38 GMT
Dear Santa... I was thrilled when our elf, Chippy decided to bring Reese a happy straight from Santa this week!  His note told us to write a list for Santa and that he would deliver it back to him on his next North Pole flight!  How exciting!!!  I decided to grab my camera to document this special memory for my girl.  It was so precious, I had to share these many adorable expressions with you:)  She really put lots of thought and excitement into her letter (which I wrote and she signed....she learned to write her name this year).  Hope you are all enjoying this special season with your loved ones!!! 


CMC_5988CMC_5988 Thinking....this is very important after all!!! CMC_6013CMC_6013 CMC_6019CMC_6019 CMC_6024CMC_6024 CMC_6027CMC_6027 CMC_6032CMC_6032 CMC_6045CMC_6045 CMC_6046CMC_6046 CMC_6050CMC_6050 CMC_6063CMC_6063 CMC_6070CMC_6070 CMC_6072CMC_6072 CMC_6074CMC_6074 CMC_6088CMC_6088 CMC_6105CMC_6105 CMC_6109CMC_6109 CMC_6112CMC_6112 CMC_6127CMC_6127 CMC_6130CMC_6130 CMC_6131CMC_6131 CMC_6140CMC_6140 CMC_6143CMC_6143 CMC_6148CMC_6148 CMC_6150CMC_6150 CMC_6161CMC_6161 CMC_6163CMC_6163 CMC_6179CMC_6179 CMC_6182CMC_6182 CMC_6222CMC_6222


Merry Christmas!




[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Candace Christmas Dear letter Letters McKay Santa to Thu, 19 Dec 2013 03:53:33 GMT
Disney: Party of Three! DISNEY: PARTY OF THREE!

Thanks for letting me share our recent Disney trip with you!  Not only was this our first Disney trip as a family of three, it was our first real family vacation.  There have been beach trips, but no vacation of this magnitude until now.  This trip was so special to me!  As moms, we spend countless hours planning, preparing and packing trying to make sure that the experience is the very best it can be.  I’ll share with you what worked best for our family for this trip.  Hopefully, as you plan your next Disney trip, some of the things I learned will help you along the way.  I’ve received tons of questions from clients and friends, so here’s my attempt to answer them all at once!

First, we have a little girl, so I knew that this would be a princess centered trip!  She was not impressed with the other characters at all.  The only one she cared to get close to was Minnie!  So, I’m very glad that everything was planned around her favorites at the time.  So, this agenda is super girly!!!

When did you plan the trip?
I started planning our trip in January and was able to make appointments for all of the places on our list.

Did you fly or drive?
We flew.  She did great!  I hate to fly, but it was pretty easy!

Where did you stay?
We chose the Grand Floridian for convenience.  With a three year old, I wasn’t sure what to expect with her regarding naps and how much she could handle.  I wanted to be close for naps, just in case.  We actually napped two of our three park days.  It’s on the monorail which was important to me on this trip with her being so little.  I will say, to us, it was totally worth it!  This hotel was very quiet and absolutely beautiful!  Also, Disney’s Magical Express takes your bags from the airport straight to your hotel room(not the front desk…directly to your room).  You never touch your bags at the airport….awesome!

Did you use a travel agent?
YES!  She was the biggest help and she even saved us money!  I will be happy to share her contact info.  Just shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you!

Did you rent a stroller or take one?
Again for convenience, we rented a stroller from a stroller company (not from the park….I can’t imagine not having it to and from the hotel).  They delivered it to our hotel the day we arrived and we left it with bell services when we left…..easy peasy!  Done!

Did you purchase the dining plan?
YES!  Well worth it…just do it!  Super super easy and plenty of food!

Favorite character meals?
We only planned two character meals…again, first trip with a three year old.  For us, that was perfect!  The big one, Cinderella’s Royal Table, was absolutely wonderful!  She adored it and thought she was one of the princesses!  So special and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything! The second one was a breakfast on the day we left at our hotel (perfect time for a character meal).  The restaurant is 1900 Park Fare.  It features Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh.   Note: Tigger is a hot mess!  He “jumped out on” Reese (as she says it) and scared her to death….I thought she was going to wet her pants….seriously!  She was not a Tigger fan, but LOVED Alice and Mary Poppins.  She actually “told on” Tigger to Mary Poppins, and I am quite sure she took care of Tigger for us;)  Great meal…the pancakes were wonderful!

How many days did you spend in the parks?
We spent three days in the parks.  I heard once (cannot tell you where, I may have even dreamed this) to plan the number of days based on their age (two years=two days, three years=three days, and so on).  Again, no idea where that came from, but three was the absolute perfect number for us!!!  It was just right.

Which parks did you visit?
We spent two days in the Magic Kingdom and one day at Hollywood Studios.  Again, perfect for us!  We almost didn’t do Hollywood Studios, but I am SO glad we did.  It was a full day!  Great shows and the Toy Story Mania ride was awesome (get a fast pass first thing in the morning, they’re gone by lunch)!!!   Of course, there are parades and shows along the way, but here are some of our favorites from our trip:

Magic Kingdom Must Do’s:  Enchanted Tales with Belle, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride, Visit Ariel at the Grotto, The Carousel (think we did this at least 10 times), Peter Pan’s Magic Flight (I could’ve done without this one), It’s a Small World, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Princess Meet and Greet, Mickey Meet& Greet, ***Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique***, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Disney’s Electrical Parade (night parade), and Wishes (fireworks and animation)!  

Hollywood Studios Must Do’s: Toy Story Mania, Muppet Vision 3D, Beauty and the Beast Live, Disney Junior Live, Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show, and Fantasmic (night show…it’s a little scary for the littles, but still a good show). 

What camera equipment did you take?
In addition to my camera, I took an external flash and three lenses.  I took a 50mm 1.4 (a must for all of the crazy low light indoors; also great shooting wide open to eliminate the crowd distractions), a 24-70 2.8, and a 70-200 2.8.  I used the first two the most.  I only used my telephoto lens once.  Next time, I will most likely leave the heavy telephoto at home.  If you aren’t comfortable shooting manually, or don’t want to haul a camera, Disney’s Photo Pass would be a great option!  There are photographers everywhere and you can easily grab one to capture a moment for you….they are literally always there!  Some of the lighting conditions are unpredictable or they may not allow flash.  It would be well worth the money to have them snap some for you. 

A little added magic:
Each night, a princess left a gift in our room which was themed for the next day’s agenda.  For example, Ariel left a gift the morning we went to Hollywood Studios with an Ariel nightgown, Ariel light up wand, Ariel lip gloss, and an Ariel doll.  Cinderella and Snow White left a gift on Magic Kingdom days.  Belle left a special gift on the day we went to the boutique (since she dressed up as Belle).  I hear that the princesses stock up on gifts at the Disney store before your trip (wink…wink).  Those light up toys are about $15 more on site, so it was nice to hand her a $3 light up wand as she pointed to the extravagant cart that wheeled by!  Don’t worry, she got everything she wanted and more…lol!

Capture the moments!
It’s so important to pull out your camera or not be afraid to get the shot.  So many times, I almost put my camera down because I didn’t want to be in the way.  I am so glad that I took the time to either wait my turn and get the shot or run like a maniac down Main Street to race to the front of the castle for my treasured Belle picture.  It’s your vacation; a lifetime of memories will be made in that park!  I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  Be sure to get plenty of pictures….maybe not 1300 like crazy paparazzi mama here, but get the ones that count….the ones that melt your heart into a puddle!  I have 300 that I will print and treasure forever.  I have looked at them countless times already!!!  Here are a few of my favorites.  It was so hard to pick!  Again, thanks for letting me share.  Happy planning!!!

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[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Disney Planning Princess Trip Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:57:24 GMT
2013 TENTATIVE DATES Mommy & Me Mini Sessions (Philadelphia): April 13
On Sale March 1

Lemonade Mini Sessions (Philadelphia):June 1
On Sale May 1

Fair Mini Sessions (Neshoba County Fair): TBD
On Sale June 7

Sunflower Mini Sessions (Philadelphia):
Around August 4 (Depends on Bloom Schedule)
On Sale July 1

Fall Mini Sessions (Jackson): October 7 (Columbus Day)
On Sale September 2

Fall Mini Sessions (Philadelphia): October 19
On Sale September 2

Christmas Mini Sessions (Philadelphia): November 9
On Sale October 1

[email protected] (Candace McKay Image & Design) Sun, 24 Feb 2013 17:08:27 GMT