How To: Take & Edit Bright, White Photos

Flatlays and white backdrop photos are one of the biggest trends on instagram right now. When posted regularity they create a great, bright aesthetic to your page that draws people in.

I’m too big on outdoor shots to stick exclusively to an exclusively indoor, white aesthetic. However, I still love the way the look as an addition to my page anytime!

I’m going to share my tips on one of my latest photo projects to help you achieve that look for yourself!

Items needed-

If you’ll be photographing a newborn, or flat laying products I’d recommend buying a photo backdrop online. Here’s an example of one from amazon.

If you’re into family lifestyle shots or have older kids, shooting still in front of a small backdrop won’t be best. We got a great fluffy white comforter that has been great for these types of photos.

I love to use my Nikon for these photos to ensure I get crisp photos. If you’re using an iPhone, turn up the sharpness when editing.

Run into Hobby Lobby or Michaels if you need some easy photo props to add. I love to buy the wreaths or anything floral whenever it’s on sale so that I always have some cute things on hand to throw into a photo!

Photo technique-

Make sure you are directly centered above or in front of your subject.

If shooting a sleeping newborn/child add all props quietly around them once they are asleep. If the child is awake, have your area ready and be prepared to take your photos quickly so as not to irritate them.

You’ll also want to (attempt to) remove unwanted distractions like lumpy blankets or binkies.

Editing-

The quickest, easiest tip to instantly improve your photos without an app is to make a few adjustments in your photos app.

First, adjust orientation and cropping so photo is straight, and centered.

Second, turn up the shadows! Instantly lifts your photos brightness without washing out the subjects.

If you need any blemishes removed or lumps/wrinkles blurred out, I would recommend editing with the (free) Airbrush app.

These type of photos don’t need any heavy filters, that will just distract from the white aesthetic you’re trying to create.

Instead focus on adding clarity with sharpness, brightness with shadows, and saturation if more color is needed.

BeforeAfter

I hope that this will help you all to create some great photos!

Baby Breathing Monitors|Review

If you ask almost any new mom to be what their biggest fear entering motherhood is, it’s usually SIDS. As a first time mom, I had no idea what this even was, which scared me more. I feared every single time I tried to sleep.

Mamas, sleeping well whenever you get the chance to during the newborn phase is SO important. If you’re like me, and you’re worried about your tiny little babe’s breathing every time you go to sleep, luckily there are now devices we can use.

I am so passionate about this, like a lot of mamas that have bought one. That is because of just the one night at a couple weeks old where Ellie’s breathing alarm went off, and I saw her face pushed up against side of her bassinet. We had a little bassinet that went in between my husband and I in bed, and we didn’t realize that my husband’s side slightly dipped down causing her to roll and have her side pressed against the side of it. Needless to say we moved it out of our bed after that night! I can’t say for sure whether the monitor saved her life that night but I can tell you that $80 was beyond worth it to me.

So as a first time mom, I did plenty of research when considering which breathing monitor to get, and there was a wide array!

The first I considered was the Owlet monitor. This is a smart sock that not only monitors breathing, but oxygen levels. This information is then sent to your phone. This sounded absolutely incredible to me, however the price was just too steep for us when considering the long list of other baby products we still needed to buy. I also read a lot of reviews saying the sock either fell off easily, or gave their baby a slight rash. We ended up with a squirmy babe with sensitive skin so I’m happy we didn’t go with this one. However if you have a baby with breathing issues or a preemie, I’m sure this one would be worth the extra money and peace of mind.

The next product I looked into was the Angelcare movement monitor. This one monitors the movement of baby with a sensing pad that goes underneath them. This one is closer in price to the one I got so I heavily considered it. However, many moms said after about three months old their babe started rolling off the pad and they started getting a lot of false alarms. I also read it was quite hard to install and I am NOT tech savvy.

I could not be happier with the one I got.

Snuza go!

There are different types of Snuzas. The Snuza Hero has a feature that gently vibrates to try and stir the baby if no movement is detected for a certain amount of seconds. I felt this feature was unnecessary to me, I just wanted to be alerted if breathing movement stopped so I could try to rouse or just check on my baby. The Snuza Go! Is the less expensive version which was also very helpful to me and my budget!

The Snuza is a small clip that goes on the edge of their diaper, and the sensor feels their breathing from their stomach moving up and down. First of all, Ellie never noticed it was there and it never left a mark on her or anything. Secondly, I never had to change the battery! I used it EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. from birth until about 9 months. At 9 months I started getting false alarms as she became really active, rolling and wiggling and also able to take it off on her own. By then, I was naturally ready to stop using it and so was she. Third, and most importantly, it gave this super anxious mama peace of mind. I got so many more hours of sleep thanks to the Snuza. When she had bronchiolitis at 4 months old and I was terrified to sleep every night for weeks, knowing I had the Snuza on was the only thing that made me allow myself to get the sleep I needed.

*Please note, no breathing monitoring devices can prevent SIDS.

Getting a Lash Lift|Review

Here we go, guys. *Sigh*

Among the millions of beauty enhancements we can now make is the lash lift. It’s gaining more popularity lately in the wake of the eyelash extension trend.

A lash lift is essentially, an eyelash perm. It curls and lifts your whole natural lash line. A technician took about 30 minutes to apply and remove the potion to my lashes.

So here’s what I do like:

  • The cost. While the results are less drastic than eyelash extensions, this is a GREAT alternative to extensions price-wise. In my area it’s about a quarter, to a half of the price of eyelash extensions.
  • Takes a short amount of time. Shorter time= easier to get a sitter.
  • No upkeep or maintenance. In this way these are very friendly to my mom life. I didn’t need to go in for a “fill” or a “touch up.” The affects gently started wearing off in about 6 weeks.
  • Genuinely improves everyday mascara. I loved that every day just putting on my mascara it looked better than it ever did before. My lashes looked longer, thicker, and more curled and lifted.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • The process of getting it done was uncomfortable. Your eyes have to remain closed for the duration and the solution felt itchy. Your lashes are basically stretching upwards and attached to your eyelid, it’s not painful but definitely made me feel a little squirmy.
  • The first few days my lashes were over-curled. When your lashes are over-curled instead of shooting upwards they curl back in towards your lid. This gave me a great curly effect, but initially it looked like I had less length. Luckily, this period didn’t last more than one or two days. After that it was 6 weeks of pretty lashes.

My before, after, and after with mascara.

I say, why not?! The pros do outweigh the cons in my opinion. It’s worth a try!

Gender Reveal Party!

Baby number two is a girl! We are so excited to have another beautiful little girl and give Ellie a sister. 💕

We chose to do a silly string reveal, after we chose smoke bombs that didn’t arrive in time for the party. 😐 I did pastel pink and blue nails with ombré glitter for the party. Gender Reveal Party NailsWe used streamers to create a little photo booth wall complete with a Polaroid camera, and pink and blue props. The dessert table included baby cake pops, mustache and lip candy molds, colored dipped golden Oreos, and Hersey’s bars I decorated and wrapped with mustaches and pink glitter.I wore a gorgeous PinkBlush maternity dress.

Ellie/15 months~Mama/18 weeks pregnant

Ellie- Everything about this age is my favorite thing yet. I can’t believe how much more personality she comes up with every single day.

Ever since we slew trained her she does a solid 10-12 hours per night and a 2 hour nap during the day. The good sleep has helped her keep growing well, and to lower the amount of fits she was having a couple months ago. She eats NONSTOP! She decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore about two weeks ago, and hasn’t asked for it or noticed it was missing from her day at all.

At her 15 month well-check the doctor was blown away that the amount of words she says is at almost 30! He said the average is between 4-6. Not only is she so smart and talkative, but also extremely friendly. Strangers can’t help but smile and wave and say “hi” and “bye bye” back to her when she walks past them.

She’s an absolute dream. She becomes more of my best friend every day. She pretends bumping her sippy cup into my face while she drinks is an accident, and then laughs super hard when I say, “HEY!!” She lifts up my shirt whenever she’s on my lap and kisses the baby in my belly with a big, loud “MWAH!” Every night before I put her in the bath, I used to sit and breastfeed her for a couple minutes. But now, while we wait for the bath to fill up, she snuggles into my chest and lets me cuddle and rock her.

Mama- Physically, I am beginning to feel better. The morning sickness at the beginning of this pregnancy had me saying, “I literally don’t know how many more days like this I can take.” Now, I only get occasional sickness. But generally, I feel a strong fatigue that can be hard to ignore some days while wrangling a toddler.

Cravings this pregnancy- sausage, bacon, jerky, cheese-it’s, mint flavor, and extra SOUR sour candy!

My feelings have been a little bit overwhelming some days at this stage. The pregnancy hormones contribute a lot to the emotions I feel over Ellie quitting breastfeeding. I struggle with wrapping my mind around how I will do this all with two babies.

I also struggle with a guilt over getting pregnant again so soon. Pregnancy made the taste of my breastmilk change, which led to Ellie not wanting it anymore. But more than that, I just want to really be present for each stage she is in. Some days I feel like being sick/fatigued/pregnant hinders that now, and that it will only be worse once the next baby comes. I know that my hormones make me think too emotionally about this, but it still isn’t something I can change.

But still every day- Ellie never fails to bring a hundred of the most heartfelt smiles possible to my face, and to keep me trying to be my best instead of giving up.

Pink Blush Clothing Review

I’ve waited in reviewing this brand until I had tried out and added a few different pieces of theirs to my wardrobe. After every item from them I wore, I just wanted more! I got a few pieces before I was pregnant, when nursing, and into my second pregnancy.

My absolute favorite thing about this brand is that almost all its pieces can be worn during any stage. Whether it’s pre or post or during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. I HATE spending money on expensive maternity clothing that I will never wear again after pregnancy. But with this brand it was never a concern, I know I’ll rock these at any time. Not to mention the material is absolutely amazing, very soft and stretchy!

I would recommend PinkBlush as one of my favorite maternity and regular fashion lines of all time!

This dress turned out absolutely stunning in our family photoshoot.

This dress is one of my favorite comfy, casual , any-day wear dresses.

This kimono goes with all kinds of different outfits and always gets complimented when I’m out!

More PinkBlush for our second pregnancy reveal! This dress is so comfortable (and has pockets!)

Here it is, my all time favorite dress. Doesn’t get any cuter, or more comfortable for wear during uncomfortable times in pregnancy. It’s just so gorgeous on, and so soft, I just want to live in it!

Another favorite maternity dress of mine, but I’m sure will still be worn when I’m not pregnant anymore. This dress makes me feel good about myself on days when my belly is trying to sabotage that! 😂<<
st but not least, my last PinkBlush order was this super pretty one for my gender reveal party. As with every other item, I would wear this every single day and will wear it after pregnancy as well.