Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Featuring products made and supported by women!

1. Planet Jill  2. Stitch Fix 3. Minted 4. Grace Langdon 5. KatieDid Productions 6. Noonday Collection 7. Genfiore
Thank you to friends old and new for helping me put together a this special treat for Mother's Day! 
This post features some sponsored material as well as some affiliate/referral links.

Mother's Day will be here before we know it and if you are anything like me, online shopping is pretty much the only way I get anything done these days! As a busy mom myself, I am always searching Pinterest and my fellow blogger's posts for inspiration and unique ideas. So, I hope this post will bring you a little inspiration and maybe you'll find the perfect gift for the special mom in your life...or maybe treat yourself for mother's day this year. 

Each of these companies, big and small were founded by women. Many of the artisans creating the beauty seen here are women and moms. Let's support and celebrate each other this Mother's Day! Also, maybe I just wrote this so my husband would get the hint! ;)

Here's a little more about what each of these great companies have to offer this Mother's Day!..

Founded by stay-at-home mom, Jill Schiff, PlanetJill specializes in designing one-of-a-kind sterling silver elegant treasures with the faces of loved ones inside their handcrafted charms. Choose from a beautiful line of designs, or use PlanetJill's Charm Builder to design your own unique necklace or bracelet. PlanetJill is the perfect Mother's Day gift, something that Mom will truly cherish for a lifetime.

Use the code PJMAMA at checkout to get $10 Off your first order! And follow PlanetJill on Facebook for a chance to win weekly giveaways all month long!

While working as a consultant in the retail industry, Stitch Fix founder and CEO Katrina Lake was inspired by women in her life who always looked put together, whether they were out walking the dog on a Saturday morning or working a late night at the office. She wanted to help busy women like herself by creating a new shopping experience that would help women look and feel their best, not by dressing them in the latest trends or high-end brands, but by finding them the right pieces that best fit their lifestyle and flattered their bodies.

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service with only a $20 styling fee which is always applied towards your purchase! Did you know that when you fill out your Style Profile they ask specifically if you are a Mom?! Visit Stitch Fix to schedule your first Fix OR a gift card that Mom will LOVE! 

Minted is the world's premier marketplace for independent design. Their mission is to find exceptional artists and designers all over the world and bring their work to consumers who appreciate great design.

Customize the perfect gift for Mom and enjoy 10% off Mother's Day Gifts. Code: MOMDAY14, exp 5/4.

 Peronalize Family Tree via Grace Langdon on Etsy

Grace Langdon's passion is taking found objects that ooze character and give them a new life in a home that is looking to add to it's family story. Each product can be customized to your individual liking with names and dates, or design something completely unique to your family! Surprise your mom this year with something hand made and unique to YOUR family! 

Get FREE SHIPPING this Mother's Day with coupon code MOTHERSDAY

KatieDid Productions specializes in non-slip headbands, handmade with love by owner Katie Clark who founded the shop based on her own need the product. These affordable and practical headbands are perfect for runners, athletes and gym goers as well as labor and delivery or a busy mom on the go. 

Let KatieDid Productions help you celebrate mom in style this Mother’s Day. Now through May 11th, use coupon code THANKSMOM to receive 10% off your order. Like KatieDid Productions on Facebook for the latest styles!

This Mother's Day, shop with purpose and give a gift that will help mothers around the world. Not only are Noonday Collection's pieces stylish and handmade with love by their artisans,  but they are also empowering women around the world. When you purchase from Noonday Collection, you are giving hope and dignity to mothers everywhere!

Featured in the collage at the top of this post are the Bone Carved Leaf earrings on sale now for $24 hand-carved from bone with love in India! 

Choose healthy beauty products for Mothers Day!  Pamper your well deserving Mother or that Mother to be with some great non-toxic beauty products.  At Genfiore Cosmetics we sell makeup and eye care products that are made with quality and safety in mind.  All our products are formulated without parabens, using only natural and organic ingredients.  Get your Mother to look and feel beautiful without the toxins!

Use Promo Code ‘FIORE’ to get 15% off all orders PLUS get a FREE makeup bag using promo code ‘FREEGIFT’ at checkout.

You can follow Genfiore on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the lastest in beauty!

Thank you to all of today's contributors for your allowing me to feature your great products for Mom and for the generous specials and discounts! Now head over and support these ladies who have done your shopping for you this year or pin your favorites and leave it open on your computer for when your husband walks by! ;)

Happy Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Confetti Egg Gender Reveal!

 So, you all probably know by now that we have known the baby's gender since last week. We were not expecting to find out at our last appointment BUT when the Doppler wouldn't pick up a clear audible heartbeat, my nurse sent me down for an Ultrasound. No waiting - straight in. Thankfully, after much heart pounding anticipation on my part there it was nice and strong. Baby was kind of twisted around to the back just snuggling. It actually looked a lot like Jonah's sleeping position and there was that nice strong heartbeat. Whew. So, I turned to my husband and attempted to ask him if he wanted to find out today or maybe see if they could see gender and write it down. Since becoming pregnant, I have kind of wanted to do something special for a gender reveal. We didn't do that with Jonah and since I think this might be my last pregnancy, I wanted to do it this go around, BUT that dang husband of mine completely ignored my voice and stared at the big tv screen in front of us, using his knowledge of what to look for and said what he thought the sex was before the US tech could even say anything. So, all that planning - out the window. Oh well! It was still exciting. We left the doctor and I texted my mom and sister who was in town visiting from Colorado that we knew and that I wanted to have a little gender reveal that night and Skype with my in-laws, etc. So, they threw together a little family get-together that I'll share pictures of in a few days.

Since that little reveal was impromptu (but wonderful) I got it in my head that I really wanted to find something cute to do for a photo shoot even though we and our family already knew. I'd seen the idea of confetti eggs on The Paper Mama and suggested it to my sister for my nephew's Easter Birthday party this weekend. She happened to find some premade while shopping for supplies. When I saw these at her house this idea just kind of hit me. I hadn't seen it before (doesn't mean it doesn't exist) and wanted to give it try. The rest is history. Which you can see in the many photos below! We did it twice and I couldn't help but share both sets of photos - there are NOT two different babies - just one little....drum roll please!


So, I just solidified my place as a boy mom. We are so happy that he is a baby boy and Jonah already talks a lot about his "baby brudder". I never thought I'd be the mom of two boys, but God has a plan and it might just include a minivan full of sporting goods, dirt and fishing poles. It could also include a lot of other things and I am open to whatever paths my BOYS want to take.

Now comes the task of naming this little fella. . .

Monday, April 14, 2014

STITCH FIX for the growing bump?

Since finding out I was expecting my second child back in early February, I've gotten two fixes. Before it was time for the first one to come, I updated my preferences and left my stylist a message regarding the pregnancy, hoping they could accommodate. After all with my last pregnancy, I wore so much that was not maternity during the summer months and even after. So, I felt pretty confident that, at least early on, I could get what I wanted from Stitch Fix and be able to wear them for most of the pregnancy. The first fix they sent, I kept a maxi skirt and a dolman top that I have since worn more than once. This time, I actually kept three items, but really all five would have probably worked with a little work. However, I only kept three.

  • Cardigans are like my uniform for work. I feel like I can throw on a cardi and a necklace with pretty much any top and make it work. I wasn't sure about this color on me, but decided to keep it because it's so soft and comfortable! Plus, it's good to mix it up every once in a while! 

  • This is my first scarf from Stitch Fix and I really see myself throwing it on with a cardigan or even a maxi to dress it up a little. I think it even works with my Target maternity tee. right? 

  • I decided not to keep the next top, I loved the color, but it just didn't make me feel great when I put it on. Comfortable for sure, but I one top in this style and just decided it wasn't for me. 

  • I did keep the tank below. I'm not sure about the fit right now. If I weren't pregnant, I'd probably say it was too big around and make me look pregnant, but I can see myself wearing it this summer with a pair of white shorts or maybe pairing it with a white sweater for work. I absolutely LOVE the colors and the style of the front. 

  • This maxi I loved and if it weren't for my ginormous growing chest, I probably would have kept it. I LOVE the color, but I would be really self conscience about the top even with something under. Plus it was a little too long. I also really hate this photo of me and of course all of these clothes would look WAY better for summer if I had a hint of a tan. I need to work on that!

Overall, I'm really happy with how they styled me for early pregnancy and all of the pieces I kept will fit throughout. I updated my profile with requests for more accommodating tops for the very large chest I will be sporting for possibly the next year or more. I plan to get at least one more fix to get me through the summer and then I may slow down for a while so I can buy more baby clothes of course!

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? They seem to be growing all the time welcoming new stylist and brands all the time! It's also a great time of year to spruce up your wardrobe a little and try new things. If you are interested here's how it works taken straight from the Stitch Fix FAQ page:

  1. 1. Sign Up and Complete Your Style ProfileAfter signing up you can start immediately on your Style Profile. We need to know your size, shape, style, budget, and lifestyle to get your Fix right. The Style Profile will take about 10 minutes to complete.

    2. Schedule a Stitch FixPick a shipment date, and we’ll send you a box of 5 clothing and accessory items we’ve hand-picked just for you. You can even opt to schedule a monthly delivery if you'd like.You pay a $20 styling fee when your stylist selects the items in your Stitch Fix. This $20 fee will be applied as a credit toward anything you keep from your shipment.

    3. Try On All Of Your ItemsTry on everything we send you—you never know what you’ll like until you see it on. Pair each piece with items already in your closet to try different outfit options. Each item includes style cards with ideas and inspiration on how to wear it.

    4. DecideTake 3 days to decide what you’ll keep. Return the items you don't want in our pre-paid mailing bag at any USPS mailbox.

    5. Check OutLogin to your account and pay for those items you kept. If you buy all 5 items you save 25% off the entire shipment price.Don't forget to give us feedback on your Stitch Fix shipment—our secret (styling) sauce gets better over time if we know what did and didn’t work for you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Catch the Moment 365: Week 14

92|365 Just simply capturing the beauty of the real world around us is beautiful. Year after year, as the seasons change new life appears here and there and after nearly three years of living in our house I don't think I've ever captured this particular beauty. I have been pretty obsessed with capturing the little bits of foliage around our yard this spring. For a long time after I gave birth to that cute little boy I skipped those types of photographs, but they were really one of my first loves. 

93|365 That's not to say I haven't also been obsessed with capturing the genuine cute and squishiness of this little fella. I even blogged about how much I love dressing him for spring yesterday. 

94|365 We spent a lot of time at my parents house and with my immediate family over the last week since my sister was in town from Colorado and for now (for the most part) we can kind of sit back and watch all the rugrats as they play and just witness the funny little moments that make their personalites and relationships really shine. This is my niece encouraging her little brother "Come on Ben, I'll catch you". She's such a little Mama. He on the other hand is happy to be at the top of the slide and very capable at almost two years old of sliding own his own. It's still pretty sweet though and I'm glad I got to capture it!

95|365 My first bump photos appeared on the blog this week with a Bump Update. 

96|365 This is one of those last minute... I really need to go to bed photos. Since becoming pregnant, I have become intolerant to almost every type of drink. My reflux issues give me a bad taste in my mouth - even after I brush my teeth - so I've taken to drinking lots of Crystal Light. I'm thankful they make several flavors, but I'm obsessed with Strawberry Kiwi right now. 

97|365 I've been keeping a little secret from you... We be chance found out the gender of baby no. two on Monday at our doctor's appointment. The nurse couldn't clearly hear the baby's heart beat on the handheld doppler, so she sent us down to get an ultra sound. I talked about this a little on my bump update the other day, but lets just say she could clearly identify mine and it got faster and faster. My husband on the other hand was as cool as a cucumber and couldn't stop chatting about the gender. As soon as the heart beat was confirmed and going strong at 165 bpm, I was relieved enough to agree to take a look. So, we had an impromptu reveal that night, BUT you'll have to wait until next week for the official announcement. This might be my last pregnancy so I want to drag out the excitement juuuust a little longer. Feel free to make your wagers in the comments section though! 

98| 365 My newly planted azaleas are blooming and I'm pretty proud of them. Tiny beauty everywhere!

I hope everyone had a wonderful week! If you'd like to participate in a 365 project join in with Catch the Moment 365 at anytime! Here's how!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

In His Closet: Toddler Style for Spring

In true southern style, Jonah is rocking smocking and seersucker. In my opinion there is nothing more classic than the two of these combined. I find in the warmer months, I am particular drawn to a more preppy style for my boy. I know I'm a little biased, but he sure does look handsome. 

I found this smocked turtle polo from Smocked by Stellybelly of Facebook for just $12.50 and his shorts are Kelly's Kids which I purchased when he was about nine months old at a warehouse sale for $5. 

I'm trying REALLY hard not to shop too much for this boy because his closet is exploding with clothes from last summer that didn't quite fit him yet and things I'm pretty sure he can still wear. However, when I see a good deal on something it's hard to hold back.

Lately, I've been browsing Etsy and auction sites for those few special outfits I want to buy him for Spring/Summer. In Mississippi our warm months span from mid-April well into October so he gets plenty of wear out of what I do buy. 

Here are some things I've had my eye on lately. 
 on Etsy: Haley Ruth Boutique // St. Ann Sewing // Little Partridge Boutique 

This post is not sponsored by any of these companies or shops. I just really like cute boy clothes!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bump Update: 14/15 Weeks and my first belly photos!

I have to preface this post by saying, this is totally superficial, but I really need to work on my "bump pose". I'm not a huge fan of photos of myself anyway, but making this 14+ week belly look like a baby bump requires proper arm positioning and head tilt that I just don't have down yet. . . 

Baby's Gestational Age: 15 week on Friday (April 11). Approximately 4 inches long and about the size of an Apple. 
Symptoms: Reflux, but it's much more manageable these days. I just feel kind sick after I eat, so I am keeping to smaller meals. I have been having a hard time getting enough protein - it tends to make the reflux worse - but I have to have it because of my gestational diabetes diagnosis. I am open to suggestions! Other than that just some back pain and a few other unmentionable gi issues. 

Maternity Clothes:  Starting to wear them more! I just REALLY want to be comfortable, so I'm mixing them in with some of my more loose fitting clothes for work. I also got a new Stitch Fix this week with some new stuff I can wear! I will probably post more about that next week. 

Gender: All will be revealed sooner than later! Stay tuned...

Sleep: Pretty good so far. I have trouble getting comfortable and falling asleep but that's not all that new for me. I plan to break out the Snoogle soon. It was a life saver when I was pregnant with Jonah. 

Cravings: I've been wanting to eat more the past week but still no strong cravings for specifics. 

Thinking Names: I still can't even go there yet! 

Laughable MomentsIt's funny how pregnancy brings up conversations you just don't normally have with people. Like the very serious and not laughable at all discussion that happened on Monday night about my GI issues... with multiple family members.. in my mom's kitchen. 

Hard Moments: At our appointment on Monday, the nurse couldn't get a good reading on the handheld doppler needless to say she could get an excellent reading on my heart because it was pounding so hard. Thankfully, we quickly went down to the ultrasound room and found a hiding baby with strong heart beat!

Nesting:  Starting to think about things we are going to need this go around. New crib mattress, a better rocking chair or glider, carrier/wraps and car seats are on the top of my list! 

Best Moments this week: Feeling better! 

Looking Forward To: Sharing our gender reveal with all of you! I am hoping to do something special to capture this weekend and would love suggestions from you all! 

Movement: On and off I feel little jabs and flutters, no consistent patterns yet!  

On Mommy's Heart: Today, I have been talking with a friend who is due with her second baby next month. She's having this baby in Boston, her first was born here in Mississippi. Needless to say depending on where you are in the country, labor and delivery practices can vary greatly. So, we've been talking birth plans and I have been actually thinking about this a lot lately. Jonah's birth was great, but knowing what I know now, I may have asked for things to be done a little differently. So, I have been asking questions here and there and coming up with my list of questions to talk to my doctors about when it gets a little closer to time. I am in no way an all natural, holistic birth kind of person, but there are simple things that I'd like to avoid and some extra medical steps I'd like to be taken that I didn't really know to ask for last time. So, I'm thinking of coming up with a written birth plan if for no one but myself to be reminded of what I feel is best for us and so I don't forget what I want to ask while I'm still in the fog of giving birth. I realize that at any point a birth plan can go out the window and I am fine with that. A lot of what I want to put in it is postpartum anyway. 

Did you have a written birth plan? How was it received?

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Catch the Moment 365: Week 13

Capturing our days, just the little moments has been so gratifying. Being able to see them organized here week after weeks feels good. Even though the time still passes too fast, we are able to look back week by week, day by day and see our little mundane, every day moments, just as they are. I have to admit that my goal with this project was just that to capture the mundane and learn how to see beauty through my lens everyday. However, many days I feel little inspiration. I have chocked this up to morning all day sickness the past ten or so weeks, but I have the moments every now and then when I love what I capture....even if it's just with my iPhone. I told myself I wouldn't put too much pressure on myself throughout the project but try my hardest to capture our moments with my professional camera and that's what I'll continue to do - try. What struggles are you having your photography projects? 

85|365 My nephew Benjamin. Each morning I drop Jonah off at my parents house and my sister drops off this little dude. Some mornings he loves on me, some mornings..he does not. This particular morning, he was a bit of a grump, but I love him just the same! =) black and white version here

86|365 Outside play at NaNa's is always so much fun especially when there are diggers involved.

87|365 My nephew Connor, the train enthusiast. On Thursday night my sister and her family arrived from Colorado for a visit. We had a little get together on Friday night that included loves of t-ball and train riding. 

88|365 Saturday was a pretty lazy day, daddy headed to the store and took the Jonah man along with him while I got to do a little sewing. . . after a morning of puzzle play of course. 

89|365 Sunday morning, Wesley let me sleep in a little late and I work up to them making breakfast. Jonah was going to make me peanut butter toast, but instead decided he'd just eat the peanut butter from the knife. ig capture here. 

90|365 Jonah & Connor picking flowers on a beautiful afternoon at NaNa's.

 91|365 Tuesday, I came down with what I thought was the return of the worst of my morning sickness. I was so discouraged and only made it to work for less than two hours, after I came home and slept for several hours, I realized I most likely had a stomach bug. So, needless to say I did not pick up my camera... I could barely pick up my head, so I took a make up shot.

Early last week I noticed that our azaleas were about to explode with blooms, so I had to capture one of the few that have opened.

I hope you guys had a wonderful week and I can't wait for you to share your photos! If you'd like more information about #catchthemoment365 or want to grab the button and join us click here

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