Archive for September 2017

How to Take an Instagram Photo, in 21 Easy Steps

September 25, 2017


Ever wonder how much effort it takes to get a cute Instagram photo of not one, not two, but three kids? 

It's easy, right? 

First, sweat through your shirt trying to dress your kids in the outfits you need to photograph. 

Give up on the cute coordinating outfits. It will be fine.


Find a spot where the lighting is just right. Bright but not too sunny if you are outside. Bright and not too crazy of a background if you are inside. 

Decide that you can't take another photo on your lovely white blanket because you just did that. Bust out an old quilt instead. 

Use your nice camera, NOT your phone. Because there is nothing "instant" about Instagram. 


Put your kitchen stool right by the kids and go up and down on it approximately 50 times as you try and get the right angle for your photo. 

Bribe the big kids with candy.

Talk in your high pitch sweet voice and beg them to look at the camera. 

Wonder to yourself if this is worth it. 


Next, take one hundred and sixty two photos that look like this. 


Or this. 

Keep your cool. I repeat, keep your cool. 


Decide that you don't have enough patience to get all three kids to cooperate, so settle for a photo of just two of the kids. 


OMG freak out because you just love that baby so much and she's your favorite of all time. 

Suppress the urge to squeeze her and smother her with kisses because she is perfect. 

Don't let the big kids see she's your favorite. 


Edit your photo to remove distractions, like the leg of the chair you are standing on (my favorite is the app Retouch). 

Realize you aren't going to get a cute photo of all three kids looking at the camera.


Decide this crazy one is a more accurate depiction of real life. And it's adorable.

Edit your photo (on your phone, because who has time for photoshop?). Make eyes pop, smooth out out their skin, and lighten things up (I like VSCO, Facetune, Snapseed, and PicTapGo.)


Finally, post to instagram. But only at a time of "high engagement". Or whatever that means. And use  relevant hashtags. Whatever that means. 

See? Easy, right?

SHARE:
 photo facebook_zps8d483e9e.png
 photo twitter_zps1a2a45e0.png
 photo pinterest_zps549d2941.png
4 Comments »

The Magic of Bath Time

September 20, 2017


Bath time with Belle is my most favorite time of the day. 


My husband takes the older two kids outside to play while I get to soak up some one-on-one time with my littlest lady. It's the best.


And Belle LOVES the bath. She's just about growing out of her infant bath tub and is almost ready for the big leagues. She's not too stable yet, so for safety reasons she still uses the infant tub. Once she can sit up comfortably I'll move her in to the normal bath tub. I have a feeling she is going to love taking a bath with her siblings. She loves splashing around...and so do they. So I'm in for a giant mess times three someday soon. And I can't wait!


But for now, I'm loving this time with just my gal. I told a friend the other day that I wish I could freeze time and keep her just as she is. I mean, can you blame me? Third babies are pure sweetness, and this lady is no exception. I can't imagine life without her.

Did you know that September is National Baby Safety Month? Bath time safety is essential for all young children. Some of the things I have done to keep our bath safe is I NEVER leave the kids alone in the bath. Not even for a second. Also, we have slip grips in our tub to prevent falling. I also installed a soft protector over the faucet, so that kids can't bump their heads on it. It's a good idea to have your plumber adjust the water temperature on your hot water heater so that it doesn't have the ability to get too hot....which eliminates the chance of your child burning their skin accidentally. What do you do to keep your child safe in the tub? 


Last night at bath time I used Baby Magic products in Belle's bath. And they smell so good! My favorite is the Calming Baby Bath. It was a nice addition to our bath time routine and helped her calm down and get ready for bed. And she seemed pretty happy about it too. 


Baby Magic is a family owned and operated business that's been making products for over 65 years. They focus on baby care products that do what they say they’re going to do – while cutting out the bad stuff. So I feel confident using it on my little love. 


After bath time I rubbed Baby Magic Gentle Body Lotion on Belle's skin....and it smells so amazing. I just want to sniff her, ha! It left Belle soft, moisturized, and ready for bed. Baby Magic products are known for being gentle, tear-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. I only trust her sweet baby skin with the best, and love that I can feel good about using Baby Magic products in my home on all my kids.



This post is sponsored by Baby Magic.

SHARE:
 photo facebook_zps8d483e9e.png
 photo twitter_zps1a2a45e0.png
 photo pinterest_zps549d2941.png
5 Comments »

DIY Obstacle Course for Kids

September 18, 2017






This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Primrose Schools; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


Hudson has been really into racing activities this month and gets a huge kick out of me timing him as he completes a task. He asked me if we could do a fun project together one day and I had just the perfect idea: a backyard obstacle course!


I found a bunch of pool noodles marked down and bought them knowing we could use them to make something fun!


The rest of the supplies were things we already had at home, plus a few little things I picked up at a hobby shop and the dollar store. You can totally get creative and use whatever items you have on hand for a fun kid-friendly obstacle course!


We used wooden sticks from the hobby store to hold our pool noodles in place. I taped two noodles together to make archways to duck under, and used two noodles as obstacles to jump over. Hudson loved helping me put everything together and map it all out. We used cones to zig-zag through and I made a finish line with a crepe paper curtain. It was SO fun!


Hudson has had some big changes this month. He recently turned 5 and started a “young fives” program at school. We debated back and forth about whether or not we should send him to kindergarten. If we sent him, he would have turned 5 during the second week of school. And due to a regulation in our school district, he would most likely be the youngest in the class. Hudson is smart, and funny, and loves school. But I knew in my gut he just wasn’t ready. I wanted to give him the chance to learn and develop a little more at home before jumping in to full-time school. We knew this decision was coming and spent a lot of time trying to decide what was best for him.


Ultimately it came down to this: I will never regret giving Hudson an extra year to grow, both emotionally and physically, before starting school.


So, since we get an extra year at home, I want to help both Hudson and Sadie be successful as they grow by encouraging a few simple skills at home. Primrose Schools has an excellent resource of ideas to foster skills in your children while they are at home. They encourage kids to develop in six areas of executive function skills, all of which can be learned at an early age: teamwork, adaptability, self-control, critical thinking, problem solving, and working memory.


For this obstacle course activity, I really tried to focus on three of these areas: problem solving, teamwork, and self-control.


First up: creative problem solving. I set out all of our supplies for the obstacle course and then asked Hudson questions that encouraged him to think through different solutions. I asked him things like “what could we build with this?” and “how could we make this stand up?” or “how tall do you think we should make this piece?” as we went along.


It was great to watch Hudson come up with creative ideas and solutions for the obstacle course. The second skill, teamwork, really came in to play as Hudson helped me construct each piece of the obstacle course. We talked about how fun it is to work on a project together. He loved helping me make the decisions of where items should go and how they should all fit together. He even had some great ideas I hadn’t thought of! Each time I praised him for coming up with a great idea, he would always get this huge smile on his face!


I had a rough idea about how the obstacle course would be put together, but Hudson really used some creative problem solving to add in his own thoughts and opinions….and I loved it! I originally wanted the hula hoop to be something to jump on while it was laying on the ground, but Hudson had the idea to make it a ring to jump through. I loved watching his brain work as he thought out each section of the course.


Next, I tried to focus on helping my kids learn self-control.


Both of my kids struggle with self-control…but what kid doesn’t? My kids sometimes have little arguments with each other or outbursts when they don’t get their way.


It’s normal for them to feel this way as they learn how to control their emotions and behavior. So we’ve been working on this skill at home, and listening and following directions in our obstacle course has been great for both of them.


Sadie really picked up on how to complete each obstacle by watching Hudson run through it first. She started off running around most items, but after watching her big brother she really got the hang of it! Both kids demonstrated great teamwork and self-control. This obstacle course was a win-win for everyone! Plus it tired them out….which was a win for me!


I love that doing these simple and fun activities with my kids while they are home with me helps them learn, grow, and achieve big dreams in the future. If you would like to learn more about the executive function skills, be sure to check out Primrose Schools’ website for lots of fun and creative ideas you can do with your kids at home! Primrose Schools is my new go-to source for early education and childhood development content.


And right now, you can subscribe to Primrose Schools’ newsletter for a chance to win a Primrose Prize Pack consisting of a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card and 5 children’s books!

SHARE:
 photo facebook_zps8d483e9e.png
 photo twitter_zps1a2a45e0.png
 photo pinterest_zps549d2941.png
2 Comments »

Belle at 6 Months

September 14, 2017



This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


I seriously cannot believe it, but this little lady turns 6 months old tomorrow. Wasn't she just born? I blinked and she's a half a year old. Half way to one. Which is almost two. Then five. And then before I know it she'll be 18 and leaving me. Someone hold me now. 


Annabelle is a total mama's girl and isn't afraid to let anyone know it. She does not like to be away from me. She'll let Jon and my mom hold her for a little bit but is constantly searching for me. 


 She loves to watch her big brother and sister play and is begging to join in the fun, I can just tell. She saves her biggest smiles and giggles for them.


I can't help but think about how last year we didn't know if we should expand our family by having another baby. We were SO surprised by news of this sweet girl. And now we can't imagine life without her. She completes our family so perfectly. She brings light and laughter and smiles wherever she goes. She's the happiest baby (if I'm holding her of course) and loves throw smiles around like confetti. Her middle name is Joy and it suits her well. 


She has all sorts of nick names these days. Before she was born we were convinced we would call her "Belle"...we even almost just named her that. But now Hudson calls her "the baby" and sometimes uses her full name.....and Sadie has started calling her "Ann-Bell"  or "baby Belle" and it is the cutest thing EVER. I call her Belle or "the baby" or "baby sissy". So who knows. I hope she's not "the baby" forever. 


But take a look at those thighs. I could eat her up. 


Belle is a great sleeper at night and has been from about 2 months old. I don't know how I got a kid that so easily sleeps through the night, but I'm so grateful! Of course now that I've put it out there she'll probably keep me up all night long. Because she sleeps all night she's a terrible napper...and prefers I hold her for all her naps...which obviously doesn't happen because I have two other kids to keep tabs on. Belle is a great eater and loves to roll around! I can put her on the ground, turn my back for a second, and she's rolled halfway across the room. She grabs every toy in sight (much to her sister and brother's dismay) and loves to give sloppy kisses.


We are working on one of my favorite milestones...sitting! She's not quite there yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. We will probably start working on my least favorite milestone now too....eating solid foods. I know from experience that the mess and work is totally not fun.


I also know from experience that Carter's makes the cutest, softest, and best clothes for little ones. Carter's has always been my go-to for each of my kids. Some of the bodysuits and outfits I've purchased from Carter's are items I know I'll be keeping forever because I have so many fond memories of my kids wearing them. Isn't Belle's "hi" Carter's bodysuit adorable? I couldn't pass it up.


Right now Carter's has a great sweepstakes going on. Post a photo of your baby in a bodysuit using the hashtag #bodysuitsweepstakes on Instagram or Twitter from 10am - 6pm EST today for a chance to win! Five winners will be selected to receive a $100 Carter’s gift card each hour and one lucky winner will be selected to win the grand prize of Carter’s bodysuits for 1 year (in the form of a $625 gift card)! Complete rules can be found here.


Are you a Rewarding Moments members? I am and love it! Rewarding Moments members will earn double points on their bodysuit purchase today too. Carter's has such cute boy and girl options. It's a great time to stock up!  

Carter’s is hosting a Bodysuit Day Twitter chat from 1-2p EST today! RSVP today here and join in the fun using #cartersbodysuitsweepstakes for even more chances to win big! So many fun things!


SHARE:
 photo facebook_zps8d483e9e.png
 photo twitter_zps1a2a45e0.png
 photo pinterest_zps549d2941.png
3 Comments »
©2008-2016 The Girl in the Red Shoes. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.