Guest Post: Planning Newborn Photos – Clothier Imagery

Planning Newborn Photos by Kaitlynn Clothier of Clothier Imagery:

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I am so guilty of this, and I really should know better since photography is my profession. While I was pregnant, everyone told me how fast things would go, and of course I responded with some sort of understanding. But really, I had no idea!! Before I was a mom I didn’t quite understand how frightening it is to schedule baby’s first big photoshoot in the first ten days. I mean, you have over a week, right? But since two to three days of that is spent in the hospital, and then when you get home, your baby probably has night and day confused (like my baby girl did). So I often wouldn’t even get the call to schedule a session for my clients before the baby was ten days old.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had big plans. I was going to do creative weekly photos, and keep up with what I was thinking and feeling. I was going to save up and get the best maternity and newborn photos done. Pictures are my thing so it was important to me! Then the exhaustion set in, the nausea, and the busyness of life. When I reached my third trimester and realized I hadn’t even started my weekly pictures, in fact I had only a handful of photos of me pregnant at all. I started to panic as time continued to slip away. I knew I was going to do better with my daughter, if all else failed I could do pictures of her myself, right?

After being induced which ended in a c-section we finally made it home when Elena was three days old. I hadn’t arranged her photos. I kept putting it off since I thought I could just do it myself. We took so many pictures of her with our cell phones; she was the star of instagram! I didn’t find myself feeling up to much, especially wrangling my newborn into creative poses for photos. I just wanted to soak up the snuggles or get some sleep. So that’s what we did, until I realized she was eleven days old and already changing so much! How could she be so different already? Time needed to slow down! I was in a panic again, what would I do if I didn’t have pictures I could hang on my walls of this sweet newborn baby? I just kept thinking she will never be this small again, she’s just going to grow up faster and faster. In the midst of my panic I got her scheduled with a photographer and she made us beautiful photos and I was able to relax.

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The great thing that came along with my beautiful daughter, is that I had a whole new understanding of my new parents. I have now been there, done that, and it changed my business completely. I tell my clients to let me know how things are going, I like to stay in the loop and get babies in the studio right away. When I get started with a new client I don’t just find a spot on my calendar and write them in and move on. I know the excitement and anticipation leading up to the birth of your child, I’ve been there! My desire for your session is to give you timeless pieces of art you can treasure forever, whether that be framed portraits, albums, or canvas wraps. I meet with my clients when they reach out to me, before we even book anything, for a consultation and planning appointment. I sit down with you and listen to your hopes for your photographs, and we get to know each other. This makes picture time easy, and you know you are getting everything you want out of it! We also start planning your newborn session while you are still pregnant. Giving me time to get creative and personalize your session is a huge part of the process. When we meet in person we get a chance to discuss your home decor, and the nursery specifically. I then go out and shop around and pick some things that will work perfectly with what you already have planned for your little one, a session uniquely tailored to you!

This luxury full service experience isn’t possible when rushed, and it doesn’t stop after the photos are taken. After your session I go through and pick the best of the best and eliminate any unflattering images or duplicates. I fully edit and retouch all of them. You won’t see anything other than a fully finished image so it will be easy to imagine the final products on your wall! Next, I come back and sit down with you in the comfort of your own home for an ordering appointment. We look through all the pictures, and sort through physical proofs. You are able to touch and feel samples, as I walk you through the entire ordering process. By the time we are done we have created the art you dreamed of, and you don’t have to do a thing. I hand deliver your order and everything is ready to hang or display.

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Looking back on it, I wish I had invested in that kind of full service experience. That’s why I offer it to all of my clients. Having someone who knew what they were doing to take control when I was tired and moving a million miles an hour preparing and then caring for a newborn would have made my life easier! I’m so excited to be able to offer this service to my clients.

Kaitlynn Clothier

Clothier Imagery
www.ClothierImagery.com
214.334.0703

Pregnancy Allergy Remedies

Being pregnant and having allergies can be absolutely miserable. Many of your go to over the counter and prescription meds are likely not deemed safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Here are a few remedies that may help to alleviate those miserable allergies while you’re rocking your bump.

  1. The Neti Pot: Though this little devise may freak some of you out, it can work wonders for sinus congestion. You put a saline solution in the pot and tilt your head to one side and rinse out your sinuses with the mixture. The saline solution helps to flush the mucus out of your sinuses through your opposite nostril. As I mentioned it is a little uncomfortable at first and can take a little getting used to but it can be a lifesaver when nasal congestion is making you uncomfortable.
  2. Steam: Inhaling hot steam is another natural option that can help to relax and open up your nasal passages. Taking a hot steam shower or carefully putting your face over a bowl of hot water while draping a towel over your head & breathing deeply can help to clear out sinuses and open blocked airways.
  3. Water: Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated helps to keep allergies in check and congestion to a minimum. Though this may not help your already weak pregnant bladder. :)
  4. Local Honey: Using local honey in foods, hot teas, or with hot water and lemon can help to relieve allergies. Eating honey produced by bees in your region can help because the bees transfer pollen from flower blossoms to honey, so if you eat a little honey every day you’ll gradually become inoculated against the irritating effects of pollen.
  5. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods such as chilies, horseradish, wasabi and sriracha can have a temporary decongestant effect and open your sinuses. Of course all these spicy foods might also send you in to labor so eat with caution! :)

 

 

Mommy To Be Must Haves

As many of you know I am pregnant with my second daughter and due in 4 weeks! Being pregnant while chasing around a toddler and working full time is extremely tiring. Here are some of my Mommy To Be Must Haves that have made my maternity experience more enjoyable:

  • Pedicures: Schedule regular pedicures keep your poor swollen feet looking and feeling good.
  • Chapstick: Plain old drugstore chapstick works wonders for the havoc that pregnancy will wreak on your lips.
  • Water & Sleep: These two may seem obvious but staying hydrated and sleeping while you can will help you to look and feel so much better while pregnant. Naps are a pregnant ladies best friend!
  • Coco-butter Lotion: This may be an old wives tale but it has worked well for me. Using coco-butter lotion on your stomach and legs can help to keep your skin soft and keep the stretch marks at bay.
  • Prenatal Vitamins: In addition to being healthy for your baby, prenatal vitamins have the added benefit of helping with hair and nail growth.
  • Pamper Yourself: Before your new little one arrives take time out of your busy schedule to do nice things for you. Go get a massage, or have your hair done. Go have lunch with girlfriends or get your favorite treat. Enjoy some downtime before your precious little one gets here.

 

 

 

10 Great Things About Being Pregnant

From our hilarious friends over at the Pregnant Chicken Blog. Here are 10 great things about being pregnant:

“I don’t feel up to it” is a valid excuse to get out of almost anything.Don’t feel like going to your co-workers karaoke debut, seeing a documentary about the social habits of chinchillas, or volunteering at your child’s school to organize the fun fair? “I’m just not feeling up to it” when you’re pregnant is up there with “I have diarrhea” because nobody want to venture into the details.

People want you to sit down all the time and offer their seats. Sure this one can get annoying (especially around older men who seem to think being upright is a detriment to you and your unborn child) but how awesome is it to go to the family picnic and not have to scan for an open lawn chair. “Sorry Aunt Mary, go rest your shiny new hip somewhere else, I have to eat cake.”

People offer to carry stuff for you. This somehow never applies to screaming toddlers – but with groceries, bags of dirt, and 50lb bags of rotini from Costco, someone will often step up and ask if you want help. Again, some people will insist they help you with that treacherous bag of cotton balls, but that’s a small price to pay for getting a giant bag of dog kibble lifted into your car. Just be sure your trunk is not full of embarrassing crap like empty bags of McDonald’s, Sour Patch Kids and Pop Tart boxes with a roll of random toilet paper from when your nose was inexplicably running for no reason.

You are expected to eat a lot. I especially love old, European Ladies in this area. They just keep handing you pasta, pastries and perogies and say, “eat, eat, yu nid to eat”. They are also the same women that told you not to be too smart or no good man will want to marry you, but they are awesome cooks so you let it slide.

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You can blame crying on the pregnancy. Phone commercial? Episode of Grey’s? Preview for Kung Fu Panda 14? Feel free to burst into uncontrollable crying if you are so inclined because people expect this kind of outbursts from you. Plus, I feel it’s important you let this kind of emotion out so it doesn’t turn into gas.

You can blame forgetfulness on the pregnancy. There have been many studies that have discounted pregnancy brain but I think those people are just confused and need a tall cool glass of shut-the-hell-up. People find this annoying trait quite endearing when you’re pregnant so skip a few meetings and birthdays while you’re gestating to take advantage of this loop hole.

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You can blame violence on the pregnancy. Some women feel all soft and nesty through their pregnancies and some women want to jump on the hood of the car that cut them off, and plunge their fists through the windshield like the Terminator. I tried to find any pregnancy hormone legal defense but all I found was the PMS defense where a woman got off the hook for killing her boyfriend. So I’m sure you could mount a good case with “the rage” as a defense if you take out the guy who ate the last cookie at the weekly status meetings. Perhaps seek legal council before proceeding with this one though.

People are friendlier. Perhaps being pregnant signifies to some people that you were deemed nurturing and nice enough to be impregnated because strangers will find you more approachable and will therefore be friendlier to you. This also lays a nice foundation for crying, forgetfulness and batshit crazy rage because people assume that at you are good at your core so they’ll let a lot of stuff go.

You don’t have to suck it in. Ah, stretchy pants. Mmmmm, tacos. Go for it honey because no one is going to notice or care that you added to the bulge. Hopefully some old European women are helping you with this endeavor.

People smile at you. Strangers love pregnant woman and silent newborns but they hate kids. Sorry, it’s a fact so you should take advantage of all the people that smile at you in the aisles of Walmart while you’re shopping for mammoth mamma panties because they’ll be that same people that give you the hairy eyeball when you’re three-year old launches into a Linda Blair froth when you won’t buy him Skittles.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Of course there is always the point that you’re growing an awesome little person in there but how boring is that? Now go on, forget the Christening you were supposed to go to and have something to eat while screaming at telelmarketers.

If you haven’t already checked out The Pregnant Chicken do so here!

Tall Pregnant People Problems

Finding extra long pants for a woman is challenging. Finding extra long pants for a pregnant woman is next to impossible. Most maternity brand that carry “long” lengths only go to a 34″ inseam. For giants like myself this is a problem. Finding a 35″ or 36″ inseam maternity pant can be difficult, expensive and super frustrating. Fortunately for me, about half way through my first pregnancy I found that Gap Maternity carries extra long Maternity Pants. The down side is that these pants are only available online and range around $60 & up. The good news is that Gap constantly has sales and all orders of $50 or more ship for free. Most of their Maternity pant sizes run a little large so I usually wear a 6 even though I am typically at least an 8 in non-maternity clothes. They probably do this intentionally to make us pregos feel a little better about ourselves :) or that is what I tell myself at least. If you are not sure what size to get, find a Baby Gap near you that carries maternity and try the regular length pants on for size and then go online to order the extra long length for your fabulous Amazon woman self. Here are some new additions I got this week for my maternity wardrobe!

Tall Skinny Maternity Cords in Beach Plum 

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These are a great fall/ winter pant. They hit right at the ankle so they are slightly shorter than a normal skinny but would look super cute with flats or tucked in to boots.

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These skinny maternity jeans are darker and a little bit dressier than the other pairs of maternity I own. They are a great staple to any Maternity wardrobe.
Where is your favorite place to shop for Maternity Clothes?

Quiche

I think I am trying to will it to be fall with my cooking efforts. Fall to me is baking. I love making pies of all kinds. Dessert pies, meat pies and breakfast pies. Quiche is a great pie for any meal. You can pretty much throw anything you like into it so it is very adaptable to what you’re in the mood for and what you have available in your fridge. Tonight I made a spinach and pork sausage quiche that turned out delish! Recipe and image below:

Spinach and sausage quiche:
Ingredients:
– 1 refrigerated ready made pie crust
– 7 eggs
– 3/4 cup fage Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 lb ground pork breakfast sausage
– 1 small white onion chopped
– 1 tsp butter
– 1 cup fresh spinach
– 1/4 shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First cook your pork sausage in a skillet and then set aside. In the same skillet cook your onions in the butter and wilt your spinach. In a bowl whisk eggs, yogurt, and milk. Then add a little salt and pepper. Roll out your pie crust and press into a deep pie dish. Add your cooked pork sausage. Next add your onions and spinach. Pour your egg mixture into the pie crust over the pork, spinach and onions. Bake for 40 minutes or until fluffy. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

I originally found this recipe on the Texanerin blog back  when I was pregnant with my first child. Since I developed gestational diabetes I could not eat processed sweets or things that were high carb low protein. Having the insatiable sweet tooth that I do I was on the hunt to find some kind of delicious treat that would not send my glucose levels through the roof. Then I found these cookies. I use the term cookies loosely because although these cookie bites taste like peanut butter chocolate chip heaven they do not have any flour, oil or white sugar! The main ingredient in these “cookies” is chickpeas. Don’t let that scare you though because these cookies do not taste like hummus they taste like desert!

Here is the recipe for these amazing treats:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

  • Prep Time: 
  • Cook Time: 
  • Ready in: 
  • Yield: 14 1″ cookies

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butterSunButter Natural or almond butter – room temperature
  • ¼ cup (80 grams) honey 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips 

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
  2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

For more information on the cookie bites or other awesome recipes visit http://www.texanerin.com

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Enjoy!

 

Mini Me Maternity End of Summer Sale!

Summer is coming to an end, but the savings are just beginning. All of the maternity fitness tops at Mini Me Maternity are now on sale! Stock up on your maternity fitness wardrobe essentials before they’re gone. Sale runs July 29th – August 16th.

Styles Include:

Classic Racerback Tank

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Katherine Maternity Tank

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Jayne Maternity Halter

Zobha Jayne Maternity Halter