5 Secrets for Photographing your Toddler by Alexa Zurcher

January 23, 2015

I am over the moon excited for the sponsor post of mine today!
Alexa is a dear friend to me and I love her sweet little family.
She blogs over at "He and I" and she is incredibly talented.
I am always loving photography tips so here you go!

5 Secrets for Photographing your Toddler

Hello! I’m so excited to be here today! I’m Alexa, blogger, designer, wife, and mom to an active, adorable, constantly on the go, two year old. Have you ever tried to take pictures of a two year old? It can be…exhausting! Let’s face it, toddlers rarely (if ever!) sit still and don’t always love having a big camera in front of their face. Who can blame them? Regardless, I feel the need to take a million pictures of my daughter, and I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. Here’s five secrets to remember for photographing your toddler. (And none of them include bribery! Though, that works too ;)

How to take photos of your toddlerHow to take photos of your toddler

Always Have Your Camera Handy : Whether you have an iPhone, a point and shoot, or a big DSLR, keep it nearby! It’s really hard to capture that split second, picture perfect moment when your camera is tucked away in your bag…all the way upstairs. Or better yet, when the battery isn’t even charged. :)

How to take photos of your toddlerHow to take photos of your toddler

Let Them Play : Toddlers are wiggly and active, so one of the best ways to get natural, candid shots is to just let them play! Let them run and jump and dig and swing and twirl. You’re not only getting a great photo, but also capturing their personality. Bring your camera on your next adventure and let them run wild!

How to take photos of your toddlerHow to take photos of your toddler

Try Different Angles : For awhile, I noticed that all my photos were the same. I was so set on getting a good, smiling picture of my daughter's face, that I forgot to move around. My photos were starting to look….boring! To avoid making the same mistake I did, remember to move around. Try crouching down to your toddler’s level for a few photos, then standing on your tip-toes and have them look up at you.

How to take photos of your toddlerHow to take photos of your toddler

Capture the Details : Don’t forget to photograph those little things that you love about your toddler. Perhaps it’s her long eyelashes and tiny toes, or his favorite, worn out shoes. All those tiny details are worth remembering. And though it may take a little practice, try to photograph the messes too. These make hilarious photos to look back at, but require a bit of patience in the moment. :)

How to take photos of your toddler

Get in the Photo, too!  Sometimes, it’s hard to get us mom’s in the photo too! I frequently would use the excuse that because there was no one home during the day, I could never get photos of me and my little one together. (I probably used the excuse simply because I was still in my sweats…from a few days ago :) Don’t get caught using the same excuses! There are plenty of ways to get in the photo, even if you don’t have anyone at home to play photographer. Invest in a remote for your camera and a tripod. Don’t want to spend any extra money? The self timer on your camera is free! It takes some practice to get the hang of it, but it’s totally worth it. Your kids want to see their mom in their photos,
 Thanks Alexa!
Side note...

 I'm slightly convinced that her little girl and Ryan are soulmates.
Here's to crossing our fingers our set up works one day!
Happy Friday! XO

Last 2 weeks in the Powell household.

January 21, 2015

Packing and decluttering.
and packing. and packing. and packing.

It actually feels really good.
And I haven't minded the whole process... YET.
( Knock on wood )

I'm one of those people that loves to organize and LOVES the feeling you get after taking a load of trash to the dumpster knowing you just got rid of all that extra STUFF laying around your house.
( I'm a little weird )

( "where's Ryan!?!?" ^^ )

I have come to realize that I am NOT sentimental about many objects.
( I'm pretty fast to throw things away to avoid having extra "STUFF" laying around )
However, when it comes to clothes,
I have to admit, I am a bit of a hoarder.

I finally took my mom's advice- to take Opera's advice HA
and get rid of everything I never wear and every clothing item I think to myself, "one day I may wear it".
Because chances are, I won't wear it.

My mom is the queen of getting rid of things that don't need to be kept to take up "space".

10 trash bags to Goodwill later and some money made from selling stuff to Plato's closet and I feel so fresh and replenished!
I told Aaron I was going to make money and buy decor for our new house HA.
I don't think he actually thought I really would.

In the middle of all packing chaos,
we all came down with the flu.
I am one that is an AVID vitamin taker and health nut and I do not remember the last time I got sick like this!
2 weeks of sickness is just NO FUN.

Lots of soup ( Thanks to my mother - in - law ) and cuddles and we somehow made it out alive ;)

Today was the first day Ry and I actually got out and went somewhere ^^
We have been little "sickies'" cooped up!
And it felt so good to be outside again.

House. House. House. House.
Gosh we are so excited.
We have our final walk through in a week and then we close the week after that.
I will be talking more on the process later.. but it has been a dream process. we have loved every minute of building our first home.

I put our family room furniture on Craiglist 2 days ago thinking to myself, "hopefully it will sell in the next few weeks before we move"
( All furniture we have had since being first married but a little different style than our new house will be - hence the reason for selling )

Little did I know what would happen that day...

5 minutes after I put my couch on, I got a call from someone.... SOLD.
Coffee table and end tables - SOLD 30 minutes after listing it.
The sweet man that came to pick up the coffee tables asked if I was selling any decor...
He ended up buying everything - decor wise - in our family room - Clock, florals, lamps, etc.
then asked if he could buy our kitchen table.
Why not?!
( we were going to sell the table eventually, in the next few weeks, just maybe not right there and then but oh well! )

HAHA so moral of the story...
we have NOTHING on the bottom floor of our town home!

No couch, no table, everything is off the walls,
and we still have 2 weeks in this place.

It's a blessing it all sold so fast.. but now what? HA

Aaron made quite the bed of blankets on the floor the other night to watch a movie,
and we will somehow make meals work on the floor for the next 2 weeks HA.
( It's slightly pathetic! )

We did get a new couch and it will be arriving at our new home the weekend we move in.
As for the kitchen table, I guess we need to find one ASAP.

It's crazy over here, and so busy but we are trying to soak in the whole process.
I apologize on the phone picture post.. my big camera is probably wondering where I have been for 2 weeks :)
We are just pretty excited us little sickies' made it out of the house today - OHH the little things!

P.S. if you have emailed me lately - SO SORRY between sickness and packing, I promise I am getting to them as I can!
P.S.S. have you seen THIS music video? Ry and I are loving this new song - Ryan has asked to dance to it every morning for the past week.

A "KEEP YOU WARM" giveaway!

January 20, 2015

PINK beanie / BLUE beanie

While visiting my family in Utah,
I couldn't get enough of the snow!
Growing up in Snow every winter and then moving somewhere like Houston where snow is none existent makes you totally miss that white fluffy stuff!

And with all the white prettiness comes some coldness --- BRRRR!!!!

Even down here in our neck of the woods, for Houston standards, it's been one COLD winter.
I have teamed up with some cute ladies to bring you a $100 Starbucks gift card and hopefully help keep you WARM until Spring hits!

(( I am not a coffee drinker but Starbucks Salted Carmel hot chocolate is TO. DIE. FOR! ))

Here's to keeping Warm!! XO
( and hoping YOU win! )

Enter using the rafflecopter below and make sure you go say hey to all the other awesome bloggers sponsoring this giveaway! Must be 18+ and a US Resident to win.