Monday, 20 October 2014

Why I Love Being a Photographer

When I am not spending time with my family, blogging or fulfilling any of my motherly duties, I work in a studio as a portrait photographer.  My career consists of me interacting with people of all ages from 1 day old to 99 years old, I get paid to act silly, sneezing dogs and ducks off my head and saying funny words to make children and grown adults smile all day.  Most of all I help families capture milestones and create memories in beautiful portraits.

I made a mother cry today, not on purpose, I did not intend to to do this it just happened and I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my actions that brought this woman to tears, quite the opposite actually.  You see, on this particular occasion, I had a client come in to take her daughters 1 year pictures, which turned out not to be the regular annual birthday portraits that I am so accustomed to doing.  As I was talking to this mother trying to get a little more information on what her families needs were for the photo shoot, she surprised me by saying "I just want to apologize ahead of time if I become to emotional.  Little A is our foster child who we've had since birth and today she will be going back to live with her birth parents."  My heart dropped, I felt for this lady who although not biologically was a mother nonetheless to this sweet little girl, that she had to give up and I knew at that moment her heart was breaking and it would forever ache for this child that she would never see again.

 
Still, I put on my happy face, took them into the studio and worked my magic as best I could with this little girl, who even at such a young age must have sensed that her whole little world was about to change because she was not in the best of moods.  Nonetheless, we proceeded with the photo shoot, making sure to take a portrait of mother and daughter. Once we were done I started to enhance the images, I added black and white here, some soft focus there and than one of the images caught my eye...  in this specific pose, mom was kissing little A on the cheek as she looked at the camera with one of the few smiles that we were able to get out of her and I thought, "How can I enhance this moment and make it just a little bit more special?" and than I remembered one of my favorite quotes.
My mom is everything to me she's the one that I adore, I keep her love inside my heart because nothing matters more. - Unknown 
What happened next didn't really surprise me, I think I kind of expected it...  the mother started to cry, which was a given due to the already emotional state that she was in but it was not because she was sad, it was because I had caught one of their last precious moments together.  I may have over stepped my boundaries that day as I gave her, this woman who until that day I had never met before a hug and let her cry on my shoulder as I wept a little with her but at that moment all that mattered, was that she knew from one mom to another, although I had never experienced what she was going through, I felt her pain and she didn't have to keep apologizing for the way she was feeling.

As I watched little A wipe the tears from her mothers eyes and rest her head on her shoulders, I was sad for this woman but at the same time proud and happy to do what I do for a living.  I may have my days where I feel like sometimes it's just not worth it, the stress of the job gets me down and I feel like I can't take it anymore, something like this happens and my whole perspective changes. I know that for many years to come she will look at those portraits hanging on her walls, in her photo albums and even on her computer when she wants to remember this little girl and she will find comfort in the memories that I helped her create.  It is because of this that I not only love what I do but I feel honored that I get to help families like this one create memories that they will treasure forever and that will last for a lifetime.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Your Invited To Party With Healthy Family Expo #HFEsmallsteps #TwitterParty

I am honored to say that this year I am a Healthy Family Expo Ambassador which will be taking place at the Vancouver Convention Center.  Although, I will not be able to participate in person at the expo I am still very excited to be able to relay all of the wonderful information as well as work with the some of the amazing brands that will be there.  Some of which will be participating in the #HFEsmallsteps twitter party kick off on Wednesday, October 22 at 8 PM PST.


Please make sure to follow @HealthyFamilyExpo as well as all of the Co-hosts.  To be eligible for prizes you MUST RSVP. For more information visit the Healthy Family Expo website or follow them on one of their many social media accounts.

Cure Your Curiosity With Curiosity Box #SubscriptionBox #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Did you know...?
  • A large group of turkeys are called a flock.
  • The first Jack-O-Lanterns were made with turnips.
  • The most popular treat on Halloween are chocolate bars.  
Neither did I, until I read the Fun Facts on my Curiosity Box, I mean Lucas' Curiosity Box.  This is just one out of the many features that this fun learning subscription box has to offer.  The Thanksgiving Fun and Haunted Halloween box that he received was filled with lots of October themed fun, that we were able to enjoy together.  Our box was filled with three crafts as well as 3 crafts, a creepy crawly game, stickers and a few activities to be 'thankful' for.


The Turkey Tissue Paper was our favorite out of the 3, it was so easy to make that he could've done it all by myself (and probably should have since I ripped a piece), but seeing all of the pretty colors I just couldn't help myself and had to jump in on is fun.  Once we were done we put it on the window and watched what was left of the sun rays shine through.


As soon as my son seen the picture provided by Curiosity Box of The Haunted House, he said "Mommy, i don't want mine to look like that one,  I want it to be my own."  Of course, I am all about encouraging his creativity and originality, so after I glued the house together I let him do his thing.  He eve added his own GIANT pumpkins to guard over his spooky house.


"Batty" The Bat Sock Puppet is my son's new friend.  Batty thinks he's scary but his big googly eyes make him fangtastically adorable, don't you think?


Curiosity Box Crafts has a recommended age for children 3-7, but I can tell you that even you as the parent can have fun with the different themes and goodies that they have to offer.  The boxes come complete with all of the supplies you need for all of the crafts and activities they provide you with, including step by step instructions, for hours of enjoyment and family interaction.
Our mission is to provide you the convenience of having a collection of crafts and activities on hand at a moments notice… a rainy afternoon, a quiet evening after a busy day, or some quality one on one time! - Cassie Krygsman 
They have plenty of options all which contain different preferences depending on your needs, such as:
  • Single boxes
  • Subscription boxes in 3, 6 and 12 months
  • Party boxes with specific themes like Superhero, Rainbow Fun and more.
  • Fun Bags filled with goodies for your little ones party guests
  • KINDER Smile boxes for a limited time complete with a coupon for a FREE Kinder Surprise Egg.
Plus subscribe between now and December 8th and your child or any little one you would like to gift it to, will receive their first box in time to get crafting during the holidays.  For more information visit http://www.curiositybox.ca/ or connect with Curiosity Box on one of their many social media outlets.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

SKINN - Collagenesis Daily Defense #Review and #Giveaway

We all know that the sun can have some pretty harsh outcomes to your skin when you get too much of it...  sunburns, fine lines on your face sooner than they should be there.  These are just a few of the reasons why protecting our skin especially our faces, which the son hits daily whether we like it or not, is so important.  I recently had the opportunity to review SKINN's Collagenesis Daily Defense Sunscreen, although it hasn't been extremely sunny out or warm where I am from lately, I couldn't really tell if the benefits from the SPF 30 and broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection actually worked but I can say that it is not as greasy as most sunscreens.


Collagenesis Daily Defense is for all skin types including combination skin like I have; in the summer time my skin is oily and during all three of the other seasons extremely dry.  So dry to the point that a simple thing like changing my facial expression hurts, I have used this daily and it has  not made my face look oily, just smoother and I can smile or raise my eyebrows without cringing. 

SKINN's Collagenesis Daily Defense Sunscreen is a light and quick absorbing moisturizer with Vitamins A,C and E that provide protection against free radical damage.  It features Oat Beta-Glucan, a powerful natural ant-aging ingredient that compliments this formula by soothing any previously damaged skin tissues all while helping the formation of any more unwanted damage.  For more details on this and any of the other products they have to offer visit skinn.com.


**Disclosure - I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.**

$250 Cash Sweepstake

One winner will receive a $250 Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card (your choice).

Giveaway ends November 2nd at 11:59pm, open to US and Canada, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What To Do When Your 2 Year Old Is Scared Of Noises

I have been having a lot of issues lately with Colton being scared of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!  Dogs, the dark, if you can see or even hear it, chances are he will be scared of it.  We live in an apartment and anyone who ever has knows the amount of noise that comes from within is unavoidable...  the walls are pretty much paper thin that you can hear the person in the next apartments conversations, when someone enters or leaves their suite you can hear the door shut.  At first I thought, he's just trying to be silly and get my attention but his fears don't seem to be minimal.  He can be in the middle of playing with toys or watching his favorite shows and than all of a sudden something will get his attention and more often than not he will come running in tears, saying "Cat scare me." which is his way of saying "scaredy-cat". 

I don't recall ever having gone through this with Lucas, his fears were more common and something that I had seen more a lot more of, working as a photographer.  His fear was more of people, such as; doctors, dentists, hairdressers...  as long as there was no one around him, that he didn't know wanting to poke and prod or even come near him with something sharp or out of the ordinary to him, he was fine.  Therefore it was so much easier to just eliminate the situation, my husband started shaving his head and we went to doctors and dentists only when needed but to get away from noise is nearly impossible.


Here are some steps that are helping us get through this rough time until this "phase" (hopefully) goes away.
  • Press pause - we stop whatever it is that we are doing and investigate the situation, even if that means going around our whole place to find out where its coming from.
  • Explain - once we find out what exactly the noise is we tell him "It was just somebody closing there door." or " The person above us dropped something.", it doesn't usually make a difference yet but I am hoping that eventually his train of thought will just go back to those explanations and they won't startle him so much the next time.
  • Re-Enact - sometimes just showing them where the noise is coming from can help them get over that fear, for ex: a chair sliding across the floor or dropping a toy on the hard floor.
  • Reassure - it's okay to be scared and have fears but we make sure that he knows a noise, is just a sound and sounds can't hurt us.
  • Comfort - often just a little snuggle and kiss on the cheek helps him know that everything is alright and Mommy and Daddy would never let anything happen to him.
Does your child have a fear of noises?  If so, how do you handle it?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Game Night Just Got A Whole Lot Sweeter With Gamesformotion

Woohoo I won!  Now what... as fun as those words are to shout and rub in someones face (I'm not competitive at all, she says with a hint of sarcasm...), what happens after that?  Nothing, that's what.  Besides bragging rights and a fun evening, you really don't have anything to show for it...  There is no great big prize and unless you have made a bet ahead of time no consequences for the person or people who have lost.  Now, what if there was something to show for that win, wouldn't it make it that much more sweeter...  Now it can be, literally.


Gamesformotion is a Netherlands based company that has re-created some of my favorite classic board games, that bring such fond childhood memories back, most of them ending with my brother being a sore loser and flipping the board over when I was winning (keep in mind, he was like 5 years old), but fond nevertheless.  Games like: Monopoly, Memory, Pictionary, Guess Who? and so much more have just gotten a whole lot sweeter with REAL delicious Belgian chocolate pieces that you can actually eat.  Believe me when I tell you that they are so melt in your mouth, yummy that you are going to want to win even more than with the classic board games.


The rules are of course different, making for easy game play, even for a small child.  All of these games will be available for purchase as of November 2014, at retail stores just in time to stick in to a chocolate loving game players stocking.  For more information on all of the games available visit Gamesformotion website.

**Disclosure - I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.**