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New Year’s Eve Countdown for Kids

by Guest Contributor | Jennifer Wyeth
I did this last year and my kids had SOOO much fun!
Here’s how it works:
We start at noon.  I write it all out with times so I stay on top of things and they’re in bed at a normal time.  Enjoy!
I put little pieces of paper with the name of each activity inside a balloon.  Then I numbered the balloons and hung them up.  I’ve seen them strung on strings across a room.  I just taped them to the wall in order.  When planning, you have to be conscious of the time that you do certain activities.  If it needs to be dark or if it’s a dessert or sorts I make sure I do those at times that works with my kids.
Here’s what I did last year via Instagram photos & text: 
Celebrating New Year’s Eve. Each balloon (by the family pic) has a fun activity to do together:
First balloon: paint the snow (which turned into just playing in the snow):
Balloon Activity #2: tim tam slams. Getting all warmed up after playing in the snow:
Balloon #3: make cookies. I convinced them to do no bakes (thank goodness!):
Balloon #4: silly snapshots:
Balloon #5: a year in review and goals for 2013:
Balloon #6: games! We did the balloons tied around our angles and tried to pop each others. My youngest did NOT like the idea of people popping her balloon.
Balloon #7: root beer floats! My kids aren’t fans of root beer so we did orange soda… Turns out they don’t like those either. #fail:
Balloon #8: Star Wars limbo (using light sabers). Spoiler: we aren’t a very flexible crowd:
Balloon #9: popcorn and a movie:
Balloon #10: ring in the new year!!! We watched a countdown on the iPad and made lots of noise and then toasted to a great 2013!
Here’s the balloon activities I am doing with the kids this year:
  • Fun rice Krispie Treats (putting sprinkles in them or make them out of fruity pebbles)
  • Blind mans bluff (played in the dark where you try to find other people also in the dark.  I may get glow in the dark necklaces and do hide and go seek in the dark instead… depends on how wimpy my kids are :))
  • Orange soda floats (or root beer)
  • Guess the food.  I’ll blindfold them and have them guess everything from a hershey kiss to oranges
  • New Years shakers:
  • Silly Snapshots with these New Year’s Photo Props.  I just use my phone to take the pics.
  • Year in review.  We will go over our goals and review last year and then do these papers:
  • Chocolate fondue.  You can look on pinterest for a crockpot recipe or a stovetop recipe if you don’t have a fondue maker.
  • Party Crackers.  It’s an old english tradition…. you pull the ends and there’s a little prize inside.
  • Hot Chocolate with yummy toppings
  • Ring in the new year.  I have annoying things and hats and stuff for the kids, we find a countdown on YouTube and ring in the new year with those people.

What You’ll Need:

Free Printable Photo Props from I Heart Naps:


DIY New Year’s Shakers from TheCentsibleLife:



Printable New Year’s Resolutions for Kids from Thirty Handmade Days:


DIY Party Crackers filled with candy instructions from Free Happy Holidays:



BioPic  Jennifer Wyeth is a Mama of 3 and a Senior photographer in Colorado Springs.

She was also featured as Chic Critique’s recent Monthly Mentor. | Facebook




Happy Holidays to all our Chic fans! We will be out of the office until Thursday, January 3rd.




Then & Now, Part 13 | See How These Photographers Have Evolved

We asked our blog readers to send in Then & Now photos to see how they’ve evolved. The slides below show photos of photographers’ photos from when they first started out compared to where they are now.

We wanted to show how much you can improve with hard work and persistence. Thank you everyone who was brave and sent in photos for us to use.


Simply send your Then & Now images to chiccritiqueforum (at) We’ll be featuring different photographers each week. If you want to include a description or statement with your photos you can include that too!

TRACI RYANT of 2013-12-21_0001

SARAH BRANAGHAN of 2013-12-21_0002

SHANNON DEANS of 2013-12-21_0003

Simply send your Then & Now images to chiccritiqueforum (at) We’ll be featuring different photographers each week. If you want to include a description or statement with your photos you can include that too!



Holiday Party Outfit | FASHION FRIDAY

by Kelli France | Editor-in-Chief

I loooove this outfit because it’s SO chic, yet secretly comfy! In my opinion, every girl should invest in a pencil skirt. They are flattering on almost any figure and I love the way this one hangs lower in the back. Plus, it’s faux leather AND it’s on clearance so you just can’t go wrong! I wear this to Church but it’s also perfect for any holiday parties you are attending.

P.S. Yesterday was my Birthday! Here’s what I want: To help bring water to those in need. Donate my age in dollars to charity: water and I’ll give you my video on “Video Fusion” ($79 value) as a thank you.


©kellifrancephotography-6_WEB ©kellifrancephotography-4_WEB ©kellifrancephotography-3_WEB ©kellifrancephotography-5_WEB    ©kellifrancephotography-7_WEB



faux leather pencil skirt | target

red floral blouse with leather trim shoulders | target

heels | lilly’s closet | similar

bullet necklace | consignment | similar

ring | chicos | similar



It’s my Birthday!!! Guess How Old I am

by Kelli France | Editor-in-Chief


IT’S MY BERFDAY!!! I’m not usually excited about getting older, but this year I’m really thankful to have lived another happy, healthy year. I recently learned that nearly 800 million people live without access to safe, clean water. Everyday, millions of women and children walk hours to get water from muddy ponds and rivers. The health risks are abundant for these families.

We can help change that.

Wanna find out how old I am? CLICK HERE and while you’re at it, donate my age in dollars to Charity Water instead of giving me presents or writing on my Facebook wall. Every penny of the money raised will help bring clean water to people in need.

Please give generously! And for every donor of $34 or more I’ll send you my “Video Fusion” video {$79 value} as a special thank you for your support.

Join me.




2 responses to “It’s my Birthday!!! Guess How Old I am”

  • fairydust says:

    HI Kelli Firstly happy Belated birthday and secondly where did you get your super pink pants from :)

    December 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm
    • admin says:

      Thanks Girl! I got them at Target :)

      December 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

FLASH SALE | Brittney Kluse’s Editing Video Today Only!

Did you miss the AWESOME Celebrity Secrets Live event with Brittney Kluse sharing her editing secrets? No worries!

Get the video recording download TODAY before the price goes up to $79 FOREVA!

Here’s what peeps are saying about it:

“It was AWESOME (in my singing voice!!!) I highly, highly recommend it!” -Julie S. Leonard

“It was so amazing I just love Brittney and Chic Critique! Taking my images and business to the next level!! I highly suggest getting this video for those who missed it!!” -Brenda Crandall

“The celebrity secrets by Brittney was amazing, learned so much. Already using her clean, colorful edits!” -Robin Simmons


In this 90 minute LIVE web event, you will learn:

  • Tips and settings for best in-camera SOOC shots geared towards color
  • How to use ACR or Lightroom for pre-editing steps preparing your image for a colorful edit
  • Step-by-step editing techniques for a BRIGHT color photo and for a MATTE color photo
  • How to make ready-to-post blog boards of top images for posting to FB/blog

Video Recording Download:

$39 for forum members. Price will increase to $79 on 12/19

(must join forum first)

$59 for non-members. Price will increase to $79 on 12/19

You can check out more of Brittney’s work at: and on Facebook here.

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1 Comment to “FLASH SALE | Brittney Kluse’s Editing Video Today Only!”

  • Chanelle Hunt says:

    I’m patting myself on the back for attending and purchasing this web event. I’ve been so lost in my 2 year photography journey as far as finding my voice and my editing style. I had no intention of buying this event until Brittney started speaking and editing. At that time I realized that she had the outline, the core components of my editing voice and I was ready to expand upon it, personalize it and make it mine! I’m over the moon and feel sooooo confident! I received my copy of the event today. I watched it as I edited my first image in my new editing style and I wanted to run down the street screaming sweet nothings! I showed my Husband (who is a different type of artist and my personal critique coach) and his face lit up. That was all I needed to see. I’ve grown so much since joining this forum and it hasn’t even been a month yet! THANK YOU Brittney! and Thank you Chic Critique!

    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm