When you know better, you do better

“When you know better, you do better,” I heard a wise woman once say. It stuck with me.

For the most part, my family has tried to shop organic when we can, avoid GMOs and eat relatively healthy foods. I thought we were doing pretty well. But the more I learned about the cleaners and other things that I’ve been bringing into our house, the more it made me pause.

Wait. So. Even the Mrs. Meyer’s soap under my kitchen sink rates a 9 (10 is the worst) on the Think Dirty app? Mayday.

There are ingredients in everyday things that we use with ingredients that are all linked to cancer, infertility, and disease. YUCK. Things like:

+ baby lotion

+ laundry soap

+ candles

+ sunscreen

+ face moisturizer

+ plug-ins

And the list goes on and on.

I knew we could do better than this. So I researched for months and months, and I finally found a company that I trust completely. They use the purest ingredients around, and that company is Young Living (+ where to buy). We are slowly replacing things each month with their products, and it just feels right.

Dish soap? Check.

Laundry soap? Check.

Household cleaners? Check.

Room by room, we’re making small changes. As we run out of a “toxic” product, we replace it with a Young Living product. Doing it this way has taken an overwhelming task and made it not-so-overwhelming. It’s actually been fun.

Now that I know better, I am trying to do better for my family. And it feels so good.

Wanna do the same? Call me, text me, email me, wave me down in Target, whatevs. We can chat, and I can break it down for you into small, easy steps. I love community and I love connecting with people. Seriously. I would LOVE to help you help your family. 

Hit me up HERE and let’s meet for coffee? Or even better, wine. Wine is ALWAYS a good choice with friends. 😉

 

 

Nothing turns me into crazy mommy faster than this

I’m upstairs brushing my teeth, watching the clock. I lean over the railing. I’ve been doing the countdown.

You know. THE ONE.

Where you tell your kids 12 times that we’re leaving in 20-18-15-12-9 minutes. Or something like that.

“5 minutes until we get in the car! Please put your shoes on!”

Half of them echo back, “Okay, mom!”, and I pray that the other half is already headed that way.

I trip over a Barbie on my way back from the bathroom and then step on a lego. That’s my favorite.

“Okay guys. Here we go! Let’s head to the car!”

I get downstairs. Nobody has shoes on. 3 haven’t brushed their teeth. 2 are in their rooms with the doors shut. 1 pooped and needs their hiney wiped. NOBODY IS READY TO GET IN THE CAR.

Jesus, take the wheel.

Nothing turns me into crazy mommy faster than this.

My kids are GOOD KIDS. They really are. They’re all pleasers and rule followers. They respect authority (unless it’s their parents when it’s time to go). They’re sweet and kind and a pleasure to be around.

But they don’t listen when it’s time to go (there’s one of them that consistently does, and that is the one who’s name rhymes with Billy. And silly. BLESS HER HEART).

How often are we going places and I need them to be in the car? OH. ONLY 12 TIMES A DAY.

So, mamas, if you’re on the Struggle Bus, too. Here’s a little something for you, today.

Let’s make it our goal to send our kids out the door full of peace, alrighty? As crazy as I feel every day, I know that this is just a season, this part of my life. And when that season is over, I’ll wish it back. I’ll wish for the days when I had 4 little humans running around, pressing my every button. AND NEVER GETTING IN THE CAR ON TIME.

So. Here we go, school year 2017-2018! Godspeed, darlings. I’m rooting for us all.

 

Need help choosing a photographer that’s right for YOU? Here are some tips!

Choosing a family photographer can be downright HARD. Am I right?

You google. You google some more. You have 14 browser tabs open. You’re on your 3rd glass of wine when you realize you’ve been sitting at your computer for 2 hours and you still have no idea what you want to do. Sound familiar?

Let me help you, darlings. Stick with me here, and I think I can make it easier for you.

Typically a photographer falls into one of two categories: Either a “shoot and burn” photographer or a “full service” photographer. Some photographers are a hybrid of the two. But understanding the differences will help you decide what a good fit for you would be.

What’s known in the industry as a “Shoot & Burn” photographer is one who offers to do a photo shoot and then gives the client a disc of images. Typically the S+B photographer is someone who doesn’t have much contact with the client, other than the actual session. She wishes to deliver the final images and not hear from that client again until it’s time for their next session. This is what fits her schedule and business model.

The second is a “Full Service” photographer. This type of photographer takes a different approach and strongly believes in excellent customer service. She is in contact with her client throughout the entire process, educates clients on their options, helps with their selections and creates beautiful finished products. Usually full service photographers have been in the industry for many years and have created a different type of experience.

Neither business model is right or wrong. They’re just different. You have to choose what you want based on YOUR needs.

I’ve been doing this for 10+ years, and I’ve changed my business model many times, until I’ve found what is the best fit for me and for my clients. My process isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. But for some people, it’s the best thing EVER (and I would have to agree).

So how do you know where to start and if a photographer like me is a good fit for you?

You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What do I want to do with my images and how will I display them?
  2. What value do I give to having my photographer help me through every step of the photo process?
  3. Would I like help deciding what images will look best printed larger for wall art? And how those images will look in various sizes on my own walls (I have a nifty ipad app that will show us EXACTLY what YOUR images will look like on YOUR walls)?
  4. Will I know how to create an album where images flow in just the right way, so that the album itself tells our family’s story?
  5. Is it important to me that I can look back on my photo years from now and remember what my life really felt like?

When I am your photographer, I offer so much more than just photographing your session and offering prints. I start with really getting to know you and what you love about your family. I will meet with each of my clients before the photo shoot, if they would like that. Each family is unique, and each session is unique. I take the time to help plan your session so that I can create the images that are most important to you.

When I am your photographer, your family will feel connected with me during your session. Since I love taking the time to get to know you, our time together never feels awkward or forced. Nothing is rushed or hurried, and we do lots of playing and chatting and just letting the kids be kids. If they need a snack, a break or just time to be held by mama, that’s what we do (and I love documenting those details).

When I am your photographer, you get meticulously and professionally edited photos. As an artist and a creative, my job doesn’t stop when the session is over. I go through each image one by one and set aside the ones that make me light up. These are the ones that I am able to further enhance and present to you, printed, at our ordering session. I have high expectations for myself, and I aim for excellence with every client.

When I am your photographer, my job isn’t finished when the photo shoot is over. Instead of handing over a flash drive and waving good-bye, my job is still only half done. Once the session is finished, we will meet 2 weeks later and look at all of your finished photos together. You get to look at them all printed, hold them, touch them, and this allows you to be able to choose the only the ones that you really love. Seeing them printed is so much better than on a phone or computer screen. You are able to take your time as I guide you through your selection process, as well.

When I am your photographer, you don’t get high-pressure sales. There is no obligation to purchase. You only invest in the images and artwork that you love. Some clients spend $800 and some spend $8,000. What you purchase is entirely up to you.

When I am your photographer, you get your artwork hand delivered. After your favorite prints, albums, canvases and keepsake boxes have arrived, we set up a time for me to deliver your products to you. If you choose, I will be happy to stay and help you hang your prints and canvases, in the way that looks best.

When I am your photographer, I will hold your hand through every step. I believe that the best family photography experience is one where the client is walked through the entire process. And my promise to you is whether you’re building forts, making cookies or just hanging out on the back patio, it will be an experience that you will never forget.

Let’s chat! Wanna meet for coffee? Wine? A Target shopping date? Call or text me here: 513-919-6239.

Until next time, darlings!

These got me like whuuuut?!

I keep hearing this quote by Sarah Harnisch in my head: “Every oil you use is a chemical you’re not using.” Yeeeessss. Gimme all the oils and none of the chemicals all day. It’s becoming my habit to go to my oils instead of my medicine cabinet, and it’s rocking my world. My mama heart feels good to be slowly turning our house into a toxin-free place for my family. When you know better, you do better. Thank you Young Living for helping me to take baby steps toward cleaner living.

 Now. Let’s talk about what these 3 oils can do. They’ve got me like whuuuut.

Are you serious? No way.

Yes way. For real.

LEMON + LEMON VITALITY:

+ skin care | acne, cellulite
+ detox
+ heartburn
+ feet | calluses, athletes foot
+ constipation
+ cleaning | clean air, stinky laundry, adhesive remover, degreaser
+ kitchen | drink enhancer, food flavoring
+ sore throat
+ UTIs

DIGIZE + DIGIZE VITALITY: a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli essential oils

+ indigestion
+ heartburn | one drop under the tongue for instant heartburn relief
+ nausea | rub directly on stomach
+ gas
+ bloating
+ morning sickness
+ car sickness (my kids get car sick, so we keep a roller ball in the car always)

PEPPERMINT + PEPPERMINT VITALITY:

+ nausea, indigestion
+ headache
+ weight loss
+ focus
+ fever
+ energy
+ acid reflux
+ healthy bowel function
+ enhanced gut function

Add a drop of Peppermint Vitality to a glass of water for a refreshing drink that will also help with acid reflux. Take a drop right onto your tongue to help with focus – and freshen your breath at the same time! Roll diluted Peppermint onto your temples and neck to help with headaches. Add it to your favorite brownie recipe and it’s yummmmms.

I mean, you guys. My only regret in purchasing a starter kit is that I didn’t do it sooner. You get these 3 oils plus 8 more and a home diffuser (+more!). Message me if you want to chat about it, k?

I ran in the house screaming | Cincinnati + Dayton family photographer

It was just another rainy summer morning here at the Traster abode. I poured myself a coffee, put on my mud boots and went out to pay the animals a visit. I went to the chicken coop and opened the door to say hello to whomever of my friends might be hanging out in there. I saw Luna and picked her up, and 2 baby chicks ran out from under her wing. 2 BABY CHICKS, I TELL YOU! I ran in the house screaming. The kids probably thought I was out of my mind.

She was broody, my friend Luna, and we knew that it was possible that she would hatch chicks. But we didn’t think it was likely.

So, what is a broody hen, you ask? Well, there is no exact science to exactly what makes a hen go broody. It can be a combination of her hormones, instinct and maturity. I’m learning as I go, and what I’ve learned about broody hens is this: When a hen’s prolactin level goes up, her body knows she’s ready to lay an egg. She lays the egg and her prolactin level returns to normal. For some reason, if a prolactin levels gets “stuck” on high, the hen will become what’s known as broody.

A broody hen can get straight up CRAZY. She will sit on top of her eggs (and others that she’s stolen) all day long in attempt to hatch them. If there’s no rooster on your farm, the eggs won’t be fertile. That little lady can sit on top of those eggs for the rest of her life, but they will never hatch. Poor thing. She has no idea. Anyway.

It seems we always have a broody hen or two around here. Every day, I go out to the coop, pick up the broody babe, set her down on the ground and scoot her along. I gather the eggs and take them inside, so there’s no chance of cracking open an egg at some point and seeing a developing embryo. Ew. I know. I don’t even want to talk about it.

This time we decided to do an experiment. We thought we would let Luna sit on her eggs for a few weeks and see what happens. Every day I checked. And then today?? 2 BABY CHICKS RAN OUT. Pinch me. They’re so stinking cute.

Can you even?! We’ve had day old chicks that we’ve gotten from the hatchery many times. But having for real chicks that hatched naturally at your house? I’M GIDDY.

Just look at Luna and her 2 little chicks.

I’m so in love with this farm life. It’s a lot of work and it’s messy at times (actually, a lot of the time). But to experience this? It makes it all worth it.

Until next time, friends! I’m off to swoon over the new babies.