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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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

Ramen Noodles – Who Knew?

Since my dental work has left my pearly whites feeling a bit sore I was looking for something soft to make for supper. Low and behold since it has finally warmed up in the tundra grilling season is in full swing. With an abundance of meat and veggies in the fridge I hadn’t put much thought into filling the pantry with anything, but one lonely package of Ramen noodles remained. Since the idea of hot soup didn’t thrill me on this 90º day I went to search out other uses for Ramen and to my surprise people have experimented a lot with this 25¢ meal. Here are a few ideas, I think I’ll try the 1st super quick dish tonight since Trin ♥ spaghetti. 🙂

 

Super Quick Ramen Dishes

1. Pour heated marinara sauce over hot boiled ramen noodles for a meal reminiscent of spaghetti in half the time.
2. Heat your favorite Alfredo sauce and pour over hot boiled ramen. Stir in diced ham or cooked chicken if you have any on hand.
3. To one package of boiled ramen noodles, stir in a can of tuna drained, a can of cream of mushroom soup and a handful of crushed potato chips, if you wish.
4. Parmesan ramen is as quick as cooking a package of ramen and sprinkling on cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir in a bit of fresh parsley if you’ve got it.
5. Stir-fry a package of frozen vegetables with 4 ounces cubed firm tofu. Stir in boiled ramen noodles and season with 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and lime juice. Add Tabasco to taste.
6. Sauté a clove of chopped garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil. Stir in boiled noodles, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Stir your favorite pesto sauce into hot boiled ramen noodles.
8. Heat up a can of chili and serve over hot boiled ramen noodles.
9. Mix cooled boiled ramen noodles with three-bean salad and some additional Italian dressing.
10. Add of a chicken flavored seasoning packet, 1 tablespoon butter, and 2-3 tablespoons milk to a package of boiled drained ramen for a creamy side dish.
11. To one package of boiled noodles, stir in cup of salsa, cup sliced pepperoni or ham strips, 1 tablespoon pickle relish, and 1 teaspoon mustard for jail break ramen.

Ramen Desserts

1. Place three sponge cake dessert cups on a plate. Top with sliced banana, 1/3 cup maraschino cherries, package of fried ramen noodles and cup hot fudge sauce.

2. Chocolate ramen is for when you need a serious sugar fix. Boil ramen in 2 cups of water with cup of brown sugar added. Pour off most of the water and then stir in teaspoon of vanilla and cup chocolate syrup. Pour onto serving plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over it. Garnish with whipped cream if you wish. Wash down with a tall glass of milk.

3. Mix up one 3-ounce package of fruit-flavored gelatin according to package directions. Stir in a package of fried ramen and chill until set.

4. Place three scopes of ice cream in a bowl. Top with 1/3 cup hot fried ramen noodles and your favorite ice cream sauce. (Carmel works well.)

Ramen for Breakfast

1. Break an egg in with the ramen noodles while boiling. Add seasoning packet as directed and enjoy a filling breakfast soup.

2. In a medium saucepan, boil just enough water to cover a block of ramen. When water comes to a boil, add block of ramen and then a layer of onion and tomato slices. Top with a whole raw egg. Put the over on and cook until the egg reaches desired doneness.

3. Boil ramen noodles and one beaten egg for three minutes. Drain all but 1 tablespoon water. Stir in seasoning packet, cup shredded cheese and a dash or two of hot sauce. Wrap flavored noodles in warm tortillas for breakfast burritos.

You can’t really have it all, but you can enjoy what you have

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Shonda Rhimes gave an amazing commencement speech at Dartmouth, the typed version can be found here, or you can find the videos on YouTube….anyway, in the speech she talks about people asking her how she does it all and her honest answer to the graduates was that she doesn’t. If she’s rocking the work life, she’s missing the home life and vice versa. ObvIously I’m not some awesome and well known person like she is, but I definitely feel what she said resonates with me…and probably with most parents.
I’m in a professional position that has me working well over forty hours per week and also requires me to be on-call essentially 24/7. I miss a lot and absolutely hate that. When the kids ask why I have to work so much or ask why I can’t just take the day off, my heart breaks. “But mom, you’re the boss,” my daughter will say as she frowns and gives me puppy-dog eyes always. I pretty much always have the same reply, “yes, honey, I am…and that is exactly why I can’t take the day off.”
Missing things is taking on new meaning now that we have a baby again. When Zakariah, Dominic, and Ryann were babies, we were fortunate enough to have a schedule worked out so it didn’t require daycare and allowed me to be with them a lot. I didn’t feel like I missed out on too much. I can’t quite do that anymore and I think as Kenley grows this is going to really eat at me. I am grateful to be in a position that allows me some control if I need to rearrange coverage so I can get to an appointment, concert, etc. but it doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed.
Broken hearts aside, I worked to get where I am. It was never what I thought I would be doing but it’s where I landed and it has definitely grown on me over the years. As much as I want to stay home with my kids and enjoy every minute of their lives, I think I would also feel a bit of a void if I gave it all up.
Shanda also brought up a great point when she said she’s teaching her kids about work. That women work…that women can hold powerful positions. I truly feel my kids learn valuable lessons from seeing both parents work (and this really applies to men and women, just happens that her viewpoint comes from being a single mother). My kids have learned that when someone calls in sick it can really impact someone else. While it has been a painful lesson at times, I hope that sticks with them when they enter the working world. They also have a great sense of pride about their parents jobs…getting to come to mom or dad’s work is a treat they frequently request. I suppose they might not feel quite the same as they get older, but we will cherish that for now.
Mixed emotions are a frequent thing on parenting…..heck, in all adult life! There will always be times where you’re going to feel like you can’t do it and someone else does it so much better. But as you’re thinking that, remember that while they may be doing that one thing better, (as Shanda so eloquently put it) they’re inevitably failing at something else.

Nobody is perfect and we are all just doing the best we can. Live in the moment, do what you can and enjoy every minute wherever you are, be it the joys of home to the joys of your career.

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*apologies for how disjointed this post may have become…my minds kind of a jumbled mess these days and I’m just getting the hang of this blogging thing 😉