One of the last things the mom in this session said to me was “I’ve never been so relaxed during a photo session!” Can you imagine?! A mom of a preschooler, toddler and newborn said she was relaxed at all, let alone while doing family photos! But this is really something I strive for – to make families feel comfortable and happy, at ease and yet capture their sweet, authentic moments as a family.
Check out this sweet family in their in home newborn lifestyle session in Winter Garden, Florida. You’ll see the love they have for each other immediately!
Help me welcome baby Charlotte! Congratulations to Mom, Dad, big sister and big brother!
Time passes in a weird way with a newborn. So little sleep. So much to do. The days feel long and the years feel short when they’re little. But it is so important to capture all those details of those first few years but especially the newborn phase.
Are you interested in booking a session? Available for all types of sessions in Central Florida and for travel, email me at email@example.com today for more information!
I recently joined a group of photographers who share 30 minutes of their ordinary life through their lens. Each month we share a little slice of our life with you as we see it.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m taking enough photos. Or perhaps too many.
But a dedicated time like this is perfect for me. I can let life happen naturally and document it.
I am reminded that there really can’t be enough documentation of these moments. She’s taller than last month. Her hair looks different. Her expressions have changed. And I’m so happy that I dedicate time to document these moments that just won’t stand still otherwise.
These photos were taken in the Dubois State Park, Jupter, Fl. with the Jupiter Lighthouse a week before Elodie turned two.
Thank you for joining me this month for 30 Minutes. This is a circle blog, so please take some time to visit my friend Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has to show you in her 30 Minutes this month.
I had the honor of meeting this sweet family of three with little George turning TWO at the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World.
George happens to have the sweetest eyes and smile, as you’ll see here.
And he’s a lucky little man with parents who love him very much!
When his parents contacted me, they told me that George was always moving and running and that I’d need my running shoes on for this session. This was 100% accurate! Haha. But I had so much fun chasing this little cutie all around and capturing him naturally.
Are you interested in booking a photography session in the Orlando, Florida area? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org today!
When I first saw that JORD made the most beautiful watch with Rose Gold and Koa wood, I absolutely loved it and knew that I wanted one to match my style!
My husband grew up in Hawaii and the wedding ring I got for him is made of Koa wood. Koa is a wood revered for its integrity and strength, making it an excellent wood gift for a marriage or anniversary. Rose Gold is the color of my wedding ring and it represents love. So truly, this watch is the perfect, meaningful gift for a loved one!
JORD also has many other beautiful keepsake timepieces as well as Apple Watch bands. The company is based in St. Louis where they are constantly developing new designs that you’ll love. One of the things I love about this company is that their watches are a sophisticated mix of natural and largely reclaimed materials, combined with quality movements and components. So you can feel good about your purchase knowing you’re supporting a great company and getting a quality item.
What I love about this watch:
I love to have standout accessories I can wear daily that are eye-catching and unique! This watch is definitely a beautiful watch that gets noticed!
Compared to other wood watches, this wood watch stands out due to its high quality, exquisite craftsmanship, and adaptable style. You can wear this watch with anything and it stands out!
The watch is beautiful. The color, the intricate detail, the wood, everything about this watch is gorgeous!
The self- winding feature is beautiful, mesmerizing and calming. It’s definitely one of my favorite features!
I bet you have some questions now, specifically if you’re looking to give this as a gift.
Here are some commonly asked questions and the answers to them:
Can this watch be engraved? Most watch back plates can be engraved! All Cedar Humidor boxes are can be engraved as well! Does the watch come fitted? The watches can be sized for the recipient. Are the watches customizable? Most watches have additional options for customization – mixing and matching faces and woods! Is there a warranty? Every watch comes with a one year warranty. How much is shipping? Shipping is FREE, worldwide!
I just want to say thank you to JORD for collaborating with me on this post, for sending me such a beautiful watch and hosting this giveaway! I’m so excited to wear this watch and have it be a part of my everyday wear!
There’s a new experience at Animal Kingdom that just started two days ago! It’s called the Animation Experience and it’s located in the Conservation Station.
Yup, that’s right! The train to the Conservation Station where you can pet the animals, see the vet area and experience a few other things is open again and it has a new feature: you can learn to draw some of your favorite Disney animals!
We were able to check out this area again last night and draw our own Timon. What I really loved about this is that they were, of course, very child friendly. There are picnic style tables with crayons in the back and a matching coloring page for kids. Or they can sit with the family and draw with a pencil. Elodie chose to do a mix of the two (and of course some running around, because she’s a toddler haha). I was actually impressed at how family friendly this experience was as I thought it would be more geared toward adults and my husband would be out petting the animals with Elodie while I got some mom quiet time – which would also be a nice option!
They run the Animation Experience at specific times, currently it’s around every 45 minutes from 10 AM to 4:45 PM as listed in the picture below. You can get a FastPass+ for it if it’s available although I’ve noticed they’ve been not too available yet. Yesterday, it wasn’t needed but I’m not sure if it would be worth usually getting one – it will probably depend on how popular this gets as there is only enough room as the seats allow. If you definitely want a good seat, it would probably be worth trying to get one. Otherwise, I’d probably opt for the longer wait rides like Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safari!
Overall, I loved this opportunity to learn how to draw Timon from one of my favorite movies of all time, Lion King. And I loved that it was a nice, relaxing, cool (love anything with AC in the summer) activity for the whole family!
Tell me… will you be checking out The Animation Experience at the Animal Kingdom? Are you excited that The Conservation Station and the train are open again?
I had the honor of meeting this sweet family for a newborn session in their home.
Here is Lucas, at 11 days new, along with Mom, Dad and big brother James. James mostly wanted to play and eat popsicles but we managed to get him into a few family photos as well. Some of them included popsicles because… if that doesn’t sum up life with a newborn and a toddler, I’m not sure what does!
Congratulations to this beautiful family!
Are you interested in booking a photography or videography session in the Orlando, Central Florida area? Email email@example.com today!
Swim Lessons. This is a topic that absolutely needs to be discussed. We’ve all read the horrific warning posts of parents who experienced the tragic accident of a drowning and many more who were able to come out alive. Drowning is the number one cause of death from age 1 to 4 and the number two cause of death through age 13. Swimming, especially in a location like Florida filled with lakes and pools, is a skill that could save your child’s life.
With all of that information, I knew we needed to be open to swim lessons. But we also practice gentle parenting in our house. Every day we make a conscious effort to practice a very gentle style of parenting. We focus on setting clear boundaries, especially for safety, but also often follow a Montessori approach for learning and an attachment style of parenting.
So, how do you be a gentle parent and survive some of the life saving or sanity saving aspects of life? It can be a difficult part of parenting to navigate for any family, especially things like swim lessons. They often NEED them, and sometimes they don’t like them. So what do you do then?
I realized we needed to make a decision when we met a friend at the pool and Elodie was consistently running away from me and trying to jump into the deep end of the pool. She was 22 months old and I realized it was definitely time for her to learn some swim basics immediately, for her safety and my sanity. My anxiety about her running away from me and if I could get to her quickly enough was just too much. I knew it was not sustainable to allow her to continue that way. Also, I didn’t really know what to do to help her quickly on my own.
I had done some research on local places last year so I knew that Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) is a popular self-rescue technique of learning to swim. It usually consists of daily swim lessons for about 6 weeks and the child can float and rescue themselves at the end. I also know that many people who practice gentle parenting are willing to do this type of swim lesson. Although kids can cry a lot and have a hard time, especially with a pool in the yard the benefit far outweighs any other issue for many. That makes sense to me. But the thought of these costly swim lessons and driving back and forth for short 10 minute lessons daily for 6 weeks just seemed extremely daunting. For reasons like health, other kids, or work, I could see this would be a challenge for many families.
So I sought out some other options and found a local woman who does swim lessons, Swimming with Staci. I was incredibly impressed with Staci. She’s a special education teacher and certified swim instructor and she provided the perfect balance of care, love, skill and education and in just 5 days of lessons. This style of swim lesson worked extremely well for our family.
Here are some tips on things to ask a swim instructor in order to find a swim lesson style that work for you:
1. How often are lessons? 2. How many lessons will need to be completed and what skill can you expect at the end of the lesson? 3. How does the instructor handle a child crying? 4. How is the parent involved? 5. What are the costs for lessons? Are there any discounts available? (For example, it may be more budget friendly for you to drive to them versus them coming to you.)
As a mom who practices gentle parenting at home, I just went in with a mindset of that I knew our limits. I knew when I would have to say we needed a break or there was too much crying – and we actually never got there! Also, I loved that Staci included us in the instruction and gave us skills to continue to work on our own at home.
Elodie is very strong willed and resisted some of the lesson part of things and she definitely cried. But I knew that her crying was a communication that she did not want to do this work. But I also knew that this work was extremely important and life saving for her. So I encouraged her to keep going as I acknowledged what she was communicating through her crying or complaining. Also, I chose a swim instructor who I knew would also do this for her and that helped a lot. In the video below, you will see that Staci gently sings and talks her through this learning, gives her play breaks and is very positive and encouraging throughout it all! Those parts were imperative for me.
This is not a sponsored post but I absolutely loved working with Staci and highly recommend her services if you’re local to the Orlando, Florida area.
I asked Staci to complete a short interview with me and below you’ll find that information.
Hey Staci, can you tell us a little more about how you got into swimming instruction and why you’re passionate about it?
“I started in the aquatic industry back when I was 18 years old. Although I don’t remember, at two years old, I was sitting on a pool chair waiting for for my mother as she was assisting my brother put on a towel. I wandered back into the pool without any knowledge of what to do. She ended up finding me on the bottom of the pool, unresponsive. If she didn’t know what to do I wouldn’t be here giving you this interview today. Additionally, my child fell into the water when he was 18 months old, fully clothed with shoes on. He had just completed his swimming lessons and was able to successfully save himself. It was a feeling I could not describe, from fear to absolute enlightenment. My son saved his own life. As an educator myself I am a firm believer that knowledge is power, and with any subject or aspect of life, education is something you could never take away from a child. Drowning is the leading cause of death of ages 1 to 5 as well as a silent killer and giving a child the knowledge to save their own life to be is priceless. Door locks, alarms, and pool gates are extremely important for safety around the pool, however, as we all know, things can break or malfunction. What cannot break or malfunction is education. Give your child the education they need to fight in any situation, and you have given them the gift that keeps on giving.”
What “style” swim lesson do you offer? How long, how often and what skills can parents expect their child to have at the end?
“My style of lessons is that of a five consecutive day program. My belief is that the continuity of the five days allows the child to grasp onto the skills. If you teach a new skill once or twice a week, it’s like starting all over. At the end of the five days your child will learn how to be able to independently swim to the wall or the steps by kicking their feet and be able to grab onto the wall and reach up but most importantly, if your child falls into a pool – how to find the wall closest to them. I also teach more advanced classes. From swimming technique to breathing techniques, my advanced five day program slows for distance swimming while being able to take a breath.”
What ages do you work with? “I teach ages from 10 months to senior citizens. Yes! I teach adults too! Many adults have lived with this fear their whole life, and I am here to help them through it.”
How can a family who is interested in working with you get in touch with you?
I recently joined a group of photographers who share 30 minutes of their ordinary life through their lens. Each month we share a little slice of our life with you as we see it.
For this month, June, Father’s Day, I decided I wanted to document this extraordinary man – my husband and daughter’s father: Josh. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a very serious and life threatening health issue. It was a scary time for all of us but having a positive, creative outlet through photography and blogging has been wonderful for me. But I owe a tribute to this man right here. He has taken over many family duties and house duties all while working full time outside of the house too. I’m one hundred percent sure it’s not easy for him but I’m also one hundred percent sure he’s nailing it. So, here it is, you get to see a little glimpse into our life where my husband is just doing his thing – being a man who shows up for his family in every way.
I’ve read that even though Millennial Dads are showing up more, doing more house chores and spending more time with their children, that they’re also happy to be doing these things and it makes them happier people. I think you’ll be able to tell that my husband is really happy through these photos. So I’d say it’s true. Is this true in your family?
Twirling with Dad
Playing in a hedge maze
Can I have a hug?I have to hop first!But, of course!
Let’s jump in a puddle
Check this out, Dad
Can I have another big hug?
And a big kiss too
Play and fly high in the sky
But also need cuddles and to be close too
You’re my little princessAnd your almost 2-year-old sassiness is part of your charmAl little Daddy Daughter date
So much fun togetherSo much love together
All photos were taken in the England Pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World.
Thank you for joining me this month for 30 Minutes. This is a circle blog, so please take some time to visit my friend Stacey Markel Photography and see what she has to show you in her 30 Minutes this month.
If you’ve been to Epcot in Walt Disney World, you’ve probably stopped in at Club Cool, a Coca Cola store and soda sample spot. At Club Cool, you can taste “flavors around the world” for free as well as buy Coca Cola merchandise and coke slushies. With Epcot’s renovations scheduled later this year, Club Cool may be changing so we wanted to document one of our favorite spots before it does.
My husband has always loved Club Cool and loves popping in there for a quick, sweet taste. So I did a Father’s Day photo session here at Club Cool with my husband and daughter for the “Best Pop Ever.”
If you’ve tried all of these flavors before, you’ll know all about the “Beverly Face” so be sure to check out Elodie’s Beverly Face! Haha
Have you been to Club Cool? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
This Alice dress is from Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2IpKlaS
Earlier this month Erin Mckenna’s Bakery at Disney Springs started serving vegan ice cream again just in time for these hot summer months. And it tastes like Disney magic!
Erin Mckenna’s Bakery is an all vegan, gluten free, soy free and kosher bakery based out of New York City with a location in Disney Springs. This is a hot spot for those eating a plant based diet and also for families that have food allergies. They offer a variety of bakery items such as coffee cakes, tea cakes (the raspberry chocolate is amazing), cupcakes, brownies, bagels, eclairs and more.
Recently, they started offering hand scooped ice cream. It is perfectly creamy and delicious! I have tried the vanilla with salted caramel in a cup and the ice cream cookie sandwich with both vanilla and chocolate ice creams. My favorite so far has been the vanilla ice cream cookie sandwich. The ice cream with salted caramel topping was also really flavorful and creamy.
When I used to go to Disney World with my family as a child, my mom and I would eat a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich together on Main Street from the Main Street Ice Cream Shop. It’s a special memory enjoying a special treat by the castle with family. This ice cream sandwich tasted just like my childhood memory of ice cream sandwiches on Main Street. Let’s hope they start offering this option in more locations like inside the parks! (Fingers crossed.)
Here’s the “scoop” on their current ice cream situation as this is written on June 15, 2019:
The ice cream is hand-scooped and coconut based (ingredient list for vanilla below)
You can get scooped ice cream in Small, Medium or Large cups
They have toppings available to make it a sundae
Both chocolate and vanilla flavors are currently available
They do sell out occasionally, so it may be best to check before going
Pricing list in photos below
I hope you’re able to try this “nice cream” and love it as much as I do!
And then be sure to enjoy your time at Disney Springs as well. Disney Springs is an outdoor shopping mall where it’s free to go and free to park! There are many restaurants and fun shops to check out. There is often live entertainment, usually in the evenings. You’ll even find some fun photo opportunities here!
Lastly, a couple money saving tips: 1. A cup and a cookie or brownie bite ordered separately would be less expensive than a cookie sandwich. 2. If you’re a Disney Annual Passholder, remember to ask for your discount!