Maternity Shoot

 

prego2Many women hate their pregnant bodies, these changes are not met with feelings of beauty and the glow that other’s talk about is not so much a glow as sweat from lugging around the extra pounds. A maternity shoot with a professional might help you see the new you in a more endearing light. I know the last thing you think you want to do is memorialize this image of the oversized you forever by getting it on film but when you look back you will be glad you did. A few weeks after baby is born and you look down and no longer see anything except the floor there will be a moment of joy then a brief fleeting moment of sadness for the empty womb you so carefully protected for the past nine months. Every women should have at least one great pregnancy picture. So you’ve decided to take the plunge and capture your bump for eternity, you’re going to do a maternity photo-shoot. Now what? Here are some tips to get you that great baby belly shot:

What clothing should I bring to my photo shoot?

  • Wear anything you feel comfortable in and LOVE. Normally you should avoid patterns, stripes and plaids unless you love them and they are a true representation of your personality, however for a maternity shoot sometimes stripes and chevron patterns help to emphasis the baby bump.
  • Pick solid colors: white, black, brown, gray. Avoid bright pink and yellow as the tend to wash you out.
  • Pants – jeans (any color), black pants (yoga pants work well)
  • Necklines – select v-necks, squarenecks, turtlenecks or deep scoop necks. Women should avoid manly necklines and stay away from crewnecks.
  • Sleeves – Long-sleeved shirts tend to be the most flattering, but sleeveless and spaghetti straps also work. Women should avoid t-shirt length sleeves as they draw attention to the arms unless they have beautiful, sculpted or very thin upper arms.
  • Fabrics – look for clingy, not necessarily tight, fabrics with a little stretch. Ruched clothing helps with this effect.
  • Shirts – big, white, button-down rumpled man’s shirt. Any shirt or cardigan that opens down the front works well.
  • Tanks – anything clingy, fitted or stretchy in solid colors (white, black, red, blue…)

What else should I bring to my photo shoot?

  • You can bring a stuffed animal, flowers, baby shoes or an outfit, ultrasound photo, maternity sash or ribbon. Really anything that has meaning to you and your baby works great.
  • Some more unusual items are wedding veils, belly buds or headphones, henna, native cloth or cultural dress items.
  • Check with your photographer to see what if any props are offered

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What preparations should I make?

  • Get a manicure and a pedicure a day or two in advance
  • Wear makeup! Some photographers offer packages that includes makeup, you’ll get the best results if you visit a makeup center prior to your shoot. Check out Make up ideas for photos for a better idea of how to prepare.
  • Don’t wear anything binding to the shoot to avoid marks on your skin. This includes bras with underwires, ribbed socks, sunglasses, hair bands or tight bracelets on your wrist.
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Notice the nails

 

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge just remember to relax and enjoy yourself the photographer will handle the rest!

Here are my favorite shots from being pregnant with Trinity and Ryder:

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With Trinity

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With Ryder

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Coming Soon!

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New handcrafted items from Pretty Little Tantrum!

I know it’s been a while since we have had items available from our shop but we are restocked and ready to get crafty! 🙂 Our fabulous tutus are back and here is a sneak peak at some new items we will be showcasing

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New photo card featuring a mustache design perfect for any little man’s birthday or birth announcement

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Front View

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Back View

Monogram Hair Clip Holder: Custom holder made to match your child’s room décor.

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Toadstool/mushroom stool cover. Inspired by Trinity’s upcoming Tinkerbell birthday these super cute covers will be available late September. I will be using these toadstools to play musical chairs at her party. They would also work great in a child’s play room.

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Photo Editing Made Easy

I’m obsessed! I have been using fotor to edit my pics for a few weeks now. It’s free and user friendly. I love it for easy photo edits! Here are a few examples of my before and afters using this program:

 

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 I Also LOVE it for making collages! Here are a few of my latest creations:

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Go on, try it for yourself 🙂

 

Hey Where’d Everybody Go?

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There was recently a post I read about Why Once We Become Parents We Don’t Want to Hang Out With You Anymore... and well a lot of what this blogger said rings true with me it doesn’t mean EVER! It seems that once you have a child when many of your friends are kidless you become an outcast. It’s like you caught a disease and are in quarantine. Almost immediately the invitations stop. It’s like the phone has died from the mysterious baby disease you apparently have. If you are lucky you may bump into a friend while running errands to stock up on diapers cause as childless people think that is all you do now days. They tell you they miss you and they would love to hang out but are “worried about calling and waking the baby” or “know you must be tired”. Really? That’s the best you got? Granted I am no longer putting forth the effort to make plans and round up the group to do something fun. I  mean I can hardly keep myself organized much less plan anything at this point but that doesn’t mean I won’t come out.

And then it finally happens you get invited to something! Of course its for something so ridiculous you have to say no.  This is not because you don’t want to go but what they’ve asked you to, which in their mind is kid appropriate, just isn’t. I will not take my 5 month old to the Zombie Pub Crawl sorry. (Apparently some people do, WOW!) pubWhile it does sound like fun I know with baby in tote it will not be. And sure leave the kid with a sitter, I could but the next morning after being sober 9 months and only drinking little amounts due to breastfeeding a pub crawl is not going to end well. (This was an extreme case but people without kids often don’t understand how certain situations with a child along are no longer fun so please check out this adorable video) So guess what? Now you have turned them down to hang out so next time they don’t even bother with you. It’s like they’re saying “Back to quarantine with you!” Uhg will I ever get out of here?

Being a mama is lonely business. It’s hard to imagine you are lonely when you have someone (you’re child) around 24-7 but it is. Please please if you have a friend who is the 1st in your group to be a new parent (dad’s need friends too) call them. Call them just to say hi, call them at 2 in the morning when you leave the bar (if they have a newborn chances are they will have the ringer off if sleeping but if they are up for a late night drink with baby you will make their day), call them when you’re at the store to see if you can pick up anything, just call! Even if you don’t hang out calling lets them know you care, you’re still friends, they still exist outside of parenthood and have not gone away to some foreign island isolation for infantitis. Don’t feel rejected if you invite a new mom to something and she says no. Sometimes it is impossible for others to understand why she can’t make time but she has her reasons so ask again and again and again. Chances are you will be the first one she calls when she is finally up to hanging out. Don’t think just because your friend has other friends with kids she isn’t lonely. Most likely their kids schedules don’t line up and she probably doesn’t hang out with other moms as much as you think. Motherhood is Lonely…It Just Is

And as for you mom, make an effort! Even if it isn’t easy sometimes you need to break routine and disrupt the kids schedules to get in a little social time. Babies go to bed early, have your besties over for a late dinner, card game, or movie. Make a point to have a sitter come once a month to go to ladies night with the girls. You can use a phone too, pick it up instead of using social media like Facebook that only makes you think you have a life. Just say yes, when they finally invite you just say yes! Even if the 4 am feeding is going to be incredibly miserable the memories from earlier in the night are worth it, just say yes.

How I Spent My Nights Before Baby  

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How I Spend My Nights Now

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New Take on the Sloppy Joe

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes Recipe


These Philly cheese steak sloppy joes take your favorite ingredients of a Philly cheese steak sandwich and combine them with a sloppy joe. What I love about this recipe is that it is so easy to prepare and is great if you are looking for a quick meal. The process to preparing these sloppy joes is easy. Ground beef is cooked in the pan with onion and bell peppers. The mixture then gets flavor from steak sauce, beef broth, salt and pepper. A provolone cheese sauce is prepared by combining butter, flour, milk, and provolone. If you don’t want to prepare the cheese sauce, using provolone cheese slices would be great as well. These Philly cheese steak sloppy joes make a great dinner for any night of the week. Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1lb ground beef
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 medium green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
¼ cup steak sauce
1 cup beef broth
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
4 hamburger buns
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone cheese (shredded)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook while breaking the ground beef up into chunks with a spatula or spoon until browned. Add the green bell pepper and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onions start to become tender. Drain an excess liquid. Stir in steak sauce and beef broth, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Step 2: While the meat is cooking, split the hamburger buns and butter each of the cut sides. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Place split hamburger buns cut side down into the skillet and cook until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Step 3: melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until it is melted and incorporated into the sauce.
Step 4: To assemble sloppy joes- pile the meat mixture onto the top of the bottom half of each bun, top with the provolone cheese sauce, and place the top half of the hamburger bun onto the sandwich.
(Makes 4 Servings)

Recipe via blogchef

IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES

Don’t wait for your life to start!!! The hard shit has taught me more than the easy road ever could. I have struggled, fought and sacrificed to become who I am and I love her. Life’s lessons didn’t come easy and most days were not beautiful but there is something beautiful in every day. We don’t get a promise that tomorrow will come and everything will be okay. That is not the way life works and if yours does then I would like to join your fairytale! My dad knew his tomorrow’s were limited and for that reason he lived more each day then most do their whole life.

He did what he wanted, he stuck up for himself, he didn’t care what people thought and didn’t have time for those who did, he didn’t sugar coat the bullshit, he didn’t take crap from anyone, he didn’t get caught up in other people’s drama, he didn’t expect tomorrow, he did do what’s right, treat people like he wanted to be treated, helped those less fortunate, appreciated what he had, saw everyone as equal, and never pined for things others had.

He was unique in that way. I have never in my life met anyone else who could purely be happy from other’s good fortune. He genuinely got excited for other peoples good news. I see pictures of friend’s vacations on Facebook and get jealous I haven’t been there or hear my cousin landed a dream job and feel that twinge of envy. These emotions didn’t exist in his body. Maybe he was so encompassed by other feelings like those of pain, exhaustion or illness he didn’t have room for feelings of jealousy. Or perhaps he realized what all of us need to, you have your own life and it’s perfect for you. It seems like it’s our nature to always want more when simply we have enough.

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“You can’t take it with you” was my dad’s favorite saying. Make memories not money because the thing everyone wants the most is something none of us can buy, time. When it is your time that’s it and in that moment you are not going to regret not having a bigger house you’re going to regret having a bigger house and not spending any time in it.

My dad taught me many lessons but this may be the most important pick people over things. He truly enjoyed people. He saw no difference in the homeless man begging for change outside the store or the Wall Street executive running to a meeting. Everyone is someone, a person, we are all just people. Every one of us has a story, a purpose. Lived a life, some better than yours some worse. Never judge it is not your place, you are not God. Don’t long for what they have because you don’t know the cost. “If problems were apples on a tree you would pick your own” is a saying that has stuck with me from my great-grandma. Maybe that vacation to the Bahamas I envied on FB threw my friend into debt and now they were not approved for a house or that job my cousin took cost her her relationship with the perfect guy. You don’t know others sacrifices because you have not walked in their shoes so be happy for them, stop wanting what they have and let the bitterness and desire go. You are not them they are not you, you are you and there is only one! Claim it love it live it.  

Now learning the lesson that wanting doesn’t do anyone any good and doing something about it are two different stories. There are days I still feel that ping of desire to be the one sharing the good news instead of my friend but I simply think it’s not my life, not in my cards, not my fate and my life is pretty great. I can be happy with what I have because I worked damn hard to have it. I may not ever be able to put the green-eyed monster to bed for good like my father but when it rears its ugly head I ask myself would you trade all the good things in their life for all the good things in yours? The answer is always NO! So knock it off and love wha’cha got because tomorrow it may all be gone.

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Etsy is dangerous!!

Anyone with babies and toddlers probably knows the cuteness than can be found on Etsy. With that cuteness comes extreme danger…to your wallet! I seriously need to stay off of there as far as buying is concerned….or maybe Megan and I need to get our shop, Pretty Little Tantrum, going again so we have some extra fun money.

Here’s some of my latest purchases:

A Glam Bag from SmileSunshineDesigns. It is a grab bag of goodies for teething babies and it’s all super cute as well!

Adorable crocodile stitch booties from Warmth & Whimsy

Personalized keychain from Sweet Aspen Jewels I got these as part of the godparent gift for Kenley’s godparents…which reminds me that I never gave Megan hers.

Rompers and bows from Lilly Bow Peep
20140710-094310-34990383.jpg I also got matching ones for Ryann to wear in a picture with Kenley but I haven’t gotten around to having that taken yet. (Photo of Kenley courtesy of Kristjen’s Photography)

A gorgeous custom gown from LilMamas

20140710-094519-35119623.jpg This was meant to be Kenley’s going home outfit but it was just too big so we waited and wore it for pictures at about 6 weeks old. (Photo of Kenley courtesy of Kristjen’s Photography)

Sibling shirt set from Zoey’s Attic They have soooo many adorable choices. They can do a lot of customization with names and almost any color you can imagine. Because Zakariah is getting too old for cutesy things, I went with these ones:

20140710-095654-35814522.jpg. This is another pic I haven’t gotten around to taking but really need to. I may have to call our favorite photographer soon!

I could probably keep going, and maybe I will at a later date, but those are just some of the awesome shops and cute items I’ve purchused recently.

*Besties was in no way compensated for this post. I am just passing along some great items from shops that have given good service

**feature image courtesy of blog.complete.com