These are crazy times we’re living in, and I think I can say with confidence that life during a global pandemic has taken its toll somehow on each and every one of us. Since you’re here reading this blog post, you likely want to hear my two cents – so without further adieu… after 5 full months of anxiety, lockdown, uncertainty and paranoia, I’m here to advocate for living your life as normally as possible while still complying with the rules and regulations in your state. Our physical health is important but so is that of our mind and spirit. If you haven’t loosened the restrictive reigns yet, I urge you to let that weight lift off of your weary shoulders as you allow yourself to see glimpses of normalcy and let the fear of the unknown drift off to the back (or even middle) burner of your brain. This doesn’t mean you can be reckless or disrespectful of the rules – but the rules are in place for a reason, and I’m here to say that we all have permission to take them at face value and not overboard.
Here in New Jersey, we’re in a decent patch where our numbers remain trending low even after outdoor dining, indoor shopping and larger outdoor gatherings have reopened. Our “Stay At Home Order” has long been lifted, without significant spikes and with a death rate that continues to drop (even though new daily positive cases remain). We can have indoor gatherings of 25 people or less, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 250 which actually opens a lot of metaphorical doors for us Jersey locals! Masks are required indoors, and outdoors they are only required if you cannot remain socially distant. Things can change real quick if we’re not all respectful of each other’s space, but with this in mind and the confidence in the facts reported daily by our Governor, my family and I decided to take a “staycation” to a home right on the shoreline of New Jersey’s southernmost region – the seven mile island of Avalon and Stone Harbor. While the warm weather is still sticking around, if you live here in NJ – now is your chance for a mini getaway and below you’ll find some inspiration on places to go and things to do all varying by your current comfort level!
So excited to be writing a “real” blog post right now! Lately it’s been a whole lot of milestones and just about nothing else…. but with this lockdown lasting so much longer than I think all of us really expected, we’ve had to get creative with how we’re spending our time at home. 90% of it is ultimate procrastination, laziness and boredom… but when the urge sparks to do something crazy, I answer the call! Last week I put Indie into our very own sink/milkbath photoshoot! On my weekly trip to the grocery store (mask and gloves included) I made sure to pick up a grapefruit, a navel orange, a half-quart of whole milk, and a very simple bouquet of flowers. All from your average grocery store. The supplies were about $12 total, and the photos turned out so fabulous! So I’m going to list out some DIY steps for all you mamas out there looking to get creative at home!
- Envision your scene! I decided to work with citrus and flowers, but really anything goes. An instagram friend of mine @stacymaeandco recently did an incredible sinkbath (sans milk) that was Easter egg themed! Get creative!
- Clear the entire area around your sink, because you will inevitably get clutter in the background. I pulled nearly everything off of my counter, and arranged all of my windowsill plants around one corner of the sink for aesthetic.
- CLEAN your sink!!! I gave it a real good scrub down before putting Indie’s naked little tushy anywhere near where we keep our dirty dishes!
- Prepare EVERYTHING before getting your child involved. I pre-sliced the citrus and cut all the flowers off their stems and kept them at the side of the sink. Then I filled the sink about half way with water, and “topped it off” with the 1/2 Quart of whole milk. Believe it or not – for a milkbath shoot, it’s mostly water! That ratio will cloud the water just enough!
- Microwave your milk for 30 seconds! It won’t do much but it’ll take the edge off so that the bath is room temp or warmer for your little one.
- If possible, swing your faucet away from the shot.
- Have a step stool handy and position it so that your subject is facing the nearest light source. For me, it was the window directly above the sink as well as the door that was behind where I stood.
- Have an assistant handy too! Things get messy real quick. I would absolutely try this with a significant other or even an older child who can be there with a towel or using something shiny to capture your subject’s attention!
- Once you place baby in the bath, quickly set your props. For this bath, I scattered the citrus first and filled in the space with the flower heads.
- Keep in mind, this is a FAST shoot and you will have to stop once or twice to rearrange your bath props. As baby moves and splashes, so will your set. So be ready to snap! I stood on the top rung of my stool and then Stephen (my trusty assistant) helped me onto the counter for a few pictures. I took most of these on my Sony A6000 camera but a few were on my iPhone at the last minute – if you can, try to snap some with both! The iPhone (for me) naturally has a wider lens and was able to get more of the surroundings… it was nice to have that diversity of perspective in my final batch of photos.
- The last tip (and probably the most important) is to relax and let whatever happens unfold! This is something I’ve been practicing a lot in general lately. I find these pictures to be active, sweet, and a real representation of one-year-old Indie. It’s not all about getting the perfect pose or the toothy smile.
I hope this has inspired some of you to try this at home! After we finished Indie went straight into a real hose-down, so you might want to do this just before your kiddo’s regular bath time (as long as there’s ample natural daylight). Don’t be discouraged by your kitchen. I resisted this project for the longest time because I don’t have a white farmhouse sink and butcherblock countertops (goals!!!) but now that I see these photos, the bath itself is so prominent and everything looked perfectly in-place!
If you’ve been itching to be a better hobby-photographer (even if you shoot on your phone!) there’s no better time than now to take the plunge and try something super cool. The last thing I can recommend is to download Photoshop Lightroom for your cell phone and choose a pack of presets that speak to you to make editing a breeze! Personally, I’ve been using both of Lindsey Badenhop’s packs and I’ve been thrilled with them!
That’s all folks! Currently taking suggestions for the next fun and crazy at-home photoshoot ideas to help pass the time! What would you put inside a milkbath? Is this something you think you’d attempt? We had so much fun! More happening over on instagram so be sure to follow along!
i’m baaaaack! i’ve taken quite the blogging hiatus since becoming a mom. your every waking moment is spent focused on this tiny person (and most of your moments are, unfortunately “waking” moments!) so thanks to all my consistent readers for bearing with me while i focused on family! indie will be three months old on saturday, and we’re finally in more of a manageable routine. we get out a bunch, we’re enjoying the weather, and i’m having a much easier time navigating life with a little sidekick. read on for my first post in months! Continue reading “back to blogging! my spring collab with letote, and why it fits into my lifestyle!”
fourteen days ago i gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. fourteen days ago my life changed forever. i wish i could say it’s been rainbows and butterflies, but my reality is one that i’m eager to write about because there’s beauty in every birth story and ours has truly been one for the books. i’m really getting into the nitty gritty with this one, so this is your official trigger warning. this post contains sensitive subject matter. read on to hear about my labor, delivery, and what’s happened since. Continue reading “indie’s birth story”
this is easily my favorite blog post that i’ve EVER written!!!! i don’t think i realized how long i’ve been waiting for this moment, but decorating my baby girl’s nursery and bringing a vision to life has made me so happy, proud and excited. read on to hear about my inspiration, the products i went with to create her aesthetic, and of course to see wall-to-wall footage of my little lady’s earthy oasis! Continue reading “she is a wildflower: baby e.’s nursery reveal!”
it’s approximately 6 weeks to baby girl and i am THRILLED to flaunt our recent maternity session, shot by melissa batista photography! read on for details on my looks, the studio space and melissa’s work – plus 25 of my favorite final picks!!! how will i EVER choose which to share on instagram?! Continue reading “6 weeks to go: our maternity shoot by melissa batista photography!”
oh em geeee you guys…. it’s been over a month since my last (physical) blog post. i wish i could chalk it up to all things pregnancy related, but i think i’ve just been slacking, if i’m being honest. it’s a wonky time to blog, because so many women will benefit from hearing about maternity clothes (if not now, then eventually!) but so many of my existing followers are probably not on the same page, so i’ve been keeping the maternity fashion to instagram and only going into great detail when i feel it’s really necessary. in this entry, i’m killing three birds with one stone, discussing a few of my recent favorite pieces that i’ve added to my mom-to-be wardrobe! Continue reading “the home stretch: transitional winter maternity faves”