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November Photography Contest

We love to show off the work of our amazingly talented photographers. Take a minute to enjoy the slideshow below. Check back each month to see more unique and beautiful photos. Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions!

To get your own Bella Life or Bella Baby photos, contact us to see if we are in your area!

 

Take the Best Holiday Photos: 7 Success Stories From Bella Photographers

Take the Best Holiday Photos: 7 Success Stories From Bella Photographers

The holidays are right around the corner which means it’s time to think about photos for your holiday cards and gifts. Avoid the stress of waiting until the last minute to take photos. The results will be far better with a little planning. We’ve sourced some top tips from Bella Baby Photographers on how to take the best holiday photos, whether you hire a professional or use your iPhone.

How to Take the Best Holiday Photos: 

1. Do not wear matching clothes – wear color-coordinated clothes. Don’t be afraid of color! Stay away from the all white or black shirts and jeans look. – Christina Kennedy

2. Solids in coordinated colors are awesome! 1-2 clothing items in a pattern is fine, but everyone wearing different stripes and plaid is less great. – Susan Howard

3. Have fun. Parents tend to stress to get the “perfect” pose and get kids smiling a certain way. Trust your photographer and let them work their magic. Kids don’t relax and enjoy pictures when mom and dad keep telling them to smile. – Carrie Ostreko

Take the Best Holiday Photos: 7 Success Stories From Bella Photographers

4. If you’re doing outdoor photos, don’t over layer. I’ve heard people complain later that they looked too puffy or heavy in photos but it’s often just the clothes they picked. Well fitting clothes are always better than bigger and too many layers. Instead… bring a blanket for in between shots if you’re cold and then snap some cute cuddle pics wrapped up in that too. – Carrie Ostreko

5. Maybe bring a little gift (depending on the kids’ ages) and let them hold them and take photos with those and then maybe getting some opening them. It’s a surprise for a great shoot and makes for fun images! – Carrie Ostreko

6. Warm up first! Don’t go for “the shot” right away when everyone may still be stiff. Get everyone relaxed, laugh, and to let their guards down… then their true joy will come through! – Beth Malonoski

Take the Best Holiday Photos: 7 Success Stories From Bella Photographers

7. Instead of looking at the camera, look at each other, interact with each other, make each other smile and laugh, hug each other and get in tight! This will result in a more relaxed, real, and natural photograph of your family. – Kim Hoessler Price

We recommend hiring one of our baby photographers as there truly is no replacement for a professional. Our photographers capture the beauty of your family with a natural, artistic style. Your photos will create memories and gifts that last a lifetime.

Have any additional tips to add? Leave us a comment below.

Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Your toddler is growing up, so now is the perfect time to introduce him or her to a few chores around the house. Here are some ideas for letting them help you, plus tips to keep your sanity.

Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Useful Tips for Letting Little Ones Help Around the House:

At this age, little ones want to do whatever you are doing. The goal is to let your little one help without losing your sanity and at the same time, actually get something done. It gets a little easier as they get older, but for an 18-month-old, keep it simple. It’s more about distraction than efficiency.

Learning tower is really useful step stool when your toddler wants to help around the kitchen. You can also DIY one with this Ana White tutorial. This makes it so much easier to get chores done without the safety concern of your child falling from a chair or stool.

Grocery store helper:

Inevitably, children end up running errands with you. Besides your goal of actually getting groceries, the second is keeping your child in the cart so you’re not chasing him or her around. A couple of quick tricks to keep them in the cart… give them “the list” and a highlighter and have them mark everything off as you put it in the cart. Stop in the produce aisle first and pick up some grapes or another favorite snack. Eating a couple as you move along can be a distraction to keep them busy. You can also use the “I’ll let you pick something out at the end if you stay in the cart” as a last resort.

Duster:

Buy your child his own little duster so he can dust at the same time you do and feel like he’s being helpful. While he’s “dusting”, you can actually get the dusting done! Another tip: you’ll find lots of kid-sized cleaning items at the dollar store.

Folding laundry:

Anyone who has folded laundry with an 18-month-old knows you end up folding the laundry multiple times. As they get a little bit older, let them help match socks or sort clothes (all of the shirts together, undies, etc), which is also a learning activity!

Vacuuming/mopping:

Most little ones love to help with vacuuming and mopping the floors. Try taking turns. You vacuum the room first and then tell your child it’s their turn. That way it actually gets done and they still feel like they’re helping. Same for mopping. Mops that have sprayers are huge hits with toddlers.

What great ideas have you found work for keeping your little one occupied around the house? Share your tips with other parents!  

….and is your toddler coming up on two? Here are some fun ways to celebrate a second birthday party for your active little person!

October Photography Contest

We love to show off the work of our amazingly talented photographers. Take a minute to enjoy the slideshow below. Check back each month to see more unique and beautiful photos. Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions!

To get your own Bella Life or Bella Baby photos, contact us to see if we are in your area!

How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

First of all, congrats! No matter what the circumstances are, a baby is still a miracle and a blessing. You probably feel a mixed range of emotions right now and that’s completely normal. These steps will hopefully relieve some stress and help you make the right decision.

Acknowledgement

First things first, you can’t go back in time and undo a pregnancy. So, instead of looking back, look forward. After you come to terms with your pregnancy, it’s time to weigh your options and consult others. While it’s a good idea to consult a close friend or family member, you absolutely shouldn’t feel like you need to make the news public. Your private matters can stay private, regardless of what you see friends oversharing on social media.

Confide in a Friend

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t something that you want to handle on your own. As with most things, sharing your situation with another is better than keeping it all in your head. You’ll obviously want to share the news with your spouse or significant other. However, an uninvolved party such as a close friend or family member can provide you with additional support and resources.

If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in a friend, a support group, therapist, or doctor can provide the same benefits. It’s always helpful to talk it out and get an outside perspective.

 How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

And, Remember That You’re Not Alone

About half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. It happens to the best of us, regardless of taking the right precautions. Recognizing this may give you some comfort.

Gather Information

If this is your first pregnancy, since it was unplanned, you probably don’t have a whole lot of information about the matter. Before making any decisions, do some research about pregnancy, newborns, and parenting. There are so many great resources out there.

Start on Google, but consider also consulting a first-hand source i.e. your mom. You might be surprised by how much insight she can offer. If you know a couple who went through an unplanned pregnancy, they will probably be a wealth of knowledge.  

Take time to learn about all your options. Adoption can be the right choice for many women. There’s no reason to make an uninformed decision out of fear. Experiencing that fear of uncertainty doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s a normal reaction that most women go through, even those who wanted to get pregnant.

Trust Your Instinct, Then Seek Support

Your gut instinct is there for a reason – it’s trying to tell you something! Others can provide guidance, but it’s ultimately you who has to make the final decision. If your spouse isn’t supportive of whatever that decision is, then find someone who is and keep them nearby during your pregnancy.

Our pregnancy resources are a great place to start your research. Remember that you’ll never be alone on this journey.