Thursday, February 27, 2014

Newborn Baby Pictures—Yay or Nay

Let’s face it, most parents fall head over heels when they meet their new babies.   All of the bad eating habits, crying and general fussiness is usually overlooked by their adorableness. 

Everyone has seen the Anne Geddes baby calendars that have been everywhere since the late 90s.  Newborn photography has gotten more exposure lately because of some of the awkward poses parents have put their newborn babies in.  With Pinterest being DIY central- most parents see a cute pose and think “Hey, I can do that” but most baby poses should not be replicated because frankly some of them are downright creepy. 

My case in point:  

Baby in a box surrounded by packing peanuts

 Scared baby about to start crying in a too-small wagon

And Finally some cute and not scary newborn pictures 

Baby almost sleeping with props reflecting his name, month and time of birth.

Another cute birth announcement! 

Bottom line: 

Don't squeeze your baby into a cowboy boot just because they fit 
Sometimes the simpler, the better
Don't make your baby wear ridiculous costumes-- no more headbands bigger than their heads

So my question to everyone-- are newborn pictures a yay or a nay? I would love to hear what you have done with your babies for photography? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tips

It might still be close to freezing out there but very soon springtime will come.  With spring comes less snow, more sunshine, and the ability to walk 
your dog without having to dress like a marshmallow.
 Since spring will be here before you know it, we have put together 
our favorite spring cleaning tips. 

Tip #1- Biting off more than you can chew
It can be easy to get overwhelmed cleaning your house come springtime. You haven't done anything all winter and now that you don't have cabin fever anymore, you want to start cleaning and doing your DIY projects you found on Pinterest.  Don't rush with this though.  If you start too many projects at once, you won't be able to give any of them your 100% attention. Instead make a plan for what you want to do and give an estimated timeline for that project.  This way if you know painting the fence will take 2 weekends, you can plan to do certain tasks at certain times. If all else fails, remember you have until October before it starts getting chilly again-- that is almost 7 to 8 months you have for cleaning! 

Tip #2- Be mindful of small changes
Renovating a room down to the studs can not only take a lot of time but it also takes a lot of money. To save time and money, here are some quick and easy decor ideas that pack a bigger punch than you would think. 

Throw Pillows like on the bed below add a fun twist to a plain guest bedroom or in a plain living room.  

(Photo from Apartment Therapy) 

(Photo from Apartment Therapy

Painting a wall with an accent design or color- give a kitchen or living room wall can create a visually appealing   

                                                         (Photo from East Coast Creative

Tip #3- Make It Fun

Kids can be taught to like cleaning especially if you do it in a way that makes them eager to clean. For example, most adults organize their closet by style (camisoles, tee-shirts, bottom- ups, and work blouses) if you let kids organize by color for a fun rainbow effect they might be more tempted to put their clothes away where they belong and not a pile on the floor. 
Connie from Smockity Frocks also writes about in her blog post below that in her house every Saturday is cleaning day. Everyone pitches in and gets the house clean.  All the kids get a score card, everyone gets a treat and the size of the treat depends on their score. The highest score gets the biggest treat.  This is a simple reward system and since everyone wins there isn't a downside. 

 (Photo from Connie at Smockity Frocks 

Tip #4- Make a plan 
On a random Saturday before you start diving into DIY projects get out a legal pad and make three columns. In the first column write and down every project you would want to get done before the end of summer. In the second column write down an estimated cost of that project.  In the third column give each project a ranking.  If you have 15 projects, there will be 15 rankings.  This ranking sorts your projects into priorities and only if you have time activities.  You might think everything you have on your list is a priority but if painting the dog house is it is number 13, it might not be as important as you think.
When you are planning out your weekend projects start with 1 through 5 first.  Once you finish those, then you can move onto the less important ones.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ice Dancing-- Is it really a sport?

According to this article from, Ice Dancing is not a sport.

I beg to differ. Ice Dancing is physically and mentally demanding.  Not only are the athlete trying their best on the ice, they have to do everything in tandem with their partner or else any trick they do do will been seen as only mediocre.  

The natives of Michigan Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first American gold medalists ever in Ice Dancing.  
So why is there backlash towards these gold medalists.  Did they not practice hours upon hours to prepare for Sochi?  If Luge, Bobsled, and Skeleton are considered sports which require the participants to be very athletic, why not Ice Dancing? 

Ice Dancing like gymnastics has to combine brawn with beauty.  They have to dance doing jumps that require the most careful preparation and strong skills. Then they also have to do it looking graceful and pretending that they didn't just break a sweat.  

Greg M. Cooper.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports. 

So is Ice Dancing a sport.  Yes, it is.  It is something that takes years to prepare or if you are White and Davis it takes 17 years to be exact. 
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