FALL TO WINTER FINDS WITH VERA BRADLEY

Baby it’s cold outside. Sort of, I feel like my version of cold is so different from real North Carolinians version of “cold”. Since I’m originally from Massachusetts, cold has a whole other meaning to me. Between the endless winters and blizzards, a North Carolina winter is basically a walk in the park. And while I’m still waiting for things to cool down here in NC, I’ve been on the hunt for fall to winter items that make a smooth transition into the holidays.

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram page, then you know Vera Bradley has been a brand fave of mine lately, meeting all of my needs as an on-the-go mom. I always said I wouldn’t be that mom with many bags, and here I am, I’m the mom that has many bags, many bags in many prints because apparently, Deidra as a mom means finding super cute Vera Bradley pieces to truly compartmentalize my life and as you all know, October is breast cancer awareness month, so I was gifted some darling Vera Bradley pieces that satisfy my obsession with prints and bags. Check them out.

You can shop all these new October arrivals and more by clicking here.

Vera Bradley is also serving up a bit of plaid early this year to get you in the spirit of the holidays coming up. Now you all know how obsessed I am with plaid and mixing all the plaids around this time of year. Vera Bradley plaids are no exception to this rule and as with every VB piece, I love a good backpack because as a mom, being hands- free is the way to be. I’ve styled this bag three different ways using different accessories to give you some inspiration for the transition to winter. Check it out:

Hope you’ll love the new fall arrivals as much as I do. Check out my plaid backpack here. Here’s to a VB fall ya’ll.

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TAKE PICTURES WITH A TODDLER

Okay, so, the title of this blog post was clearly click bait, lol, figured I might as well confess and keep it honest from the jump. Let’s be real, there is no right way to take a pic with a toddler and there is no successful way to take pics with a toddler. For toddlers, it’s a whole new world for them. For Charlee, she just started walking on her birthday and she’s been on the move ever since. She wants to see the world, touch things, taste things, look at everything and do it all over again the next day. She’s curious, she’s energetic, and persistent; I’m sure some of these adjectives fall in line with many toddlers out there.

Look, I have no magical secrets to getting content with my little one, but here are 6 tips for getting what I would consider to be decent, instagramable shots. I’ll be the first to say, I’m no expert, I’m learning as I go, but so far I think things are working and though I’d do a dedicated post sharing some tips and tricks to make pics with your little just a bit easier .

KEEP SNACKS ON HAND

Kiddos, are still growing, which means when they are hungry, they need to eat right away. In Charlee’s case, she eats every few hours. What this means is that when they are hungry your photoshoot is not important, period. I like to make sure Charlee is fed prior to a shoot or has had a hardy meal an hour or so before a shoot and I always keep snacks on deck just in case. In fact, for this shoot, she scarfed down a half a PB&J right before and was happy as a clam and ready to party afterwards.

NAPS ARE ESSENTIAL

Plan your content days with the little one around their nap time. When they are fully rested, you’re more than likely to get better pictures and a kiddo who is more cooperative, full of energy and ready to take some pics. This can be hard sometimes with all of life’s other demands, but a full rested kid will make for a much easier shoot day.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION

Some little one’s don’t like to be in the car seat a long period of time, so try to plan shoot locations well in advance or shoot closer to where you live. Additionally, pick locations that couple as a fun place for kids to explore and entertain themselves. Those candid shots of them taking in this big new world make for perfect content and it’s even better when it’s a location that is specifically for kids.

KEEP IT CANDID

Sometimes, the best shots are the ones you catch off guard. This polka dot shoot was mostly a liter of candid shots, because Charlee just started walking, she looks down at her feet most of the time. I just embrace that and try to capture pictures of her enjoying this new found skill of hers. Most of the time, Charlee has no clue what’s going on when we are shooting, she just wants to explore the new location and the shots we often capture of her enjoying the new space are always the most enjoyable for me to edit and share with family and friends.

DON’T FORCE IT

Kids are more intuitive than we think. If they see you stressing, they’ll stress too. Just be natural, smile, laugh, play with your kiddo, enjoy the space and help them and join in on exploring the location with them. They want to be free to wander, but they also want you to share in the adventure too. Most of the photoshoots I have with Charlee involve me helping her discover all our shoot locations have to offer. When it’s natural and you’re just spending time with your kiddo, you’ll forget the camera is there and that’s when the real magic happens and you truly get authentic shots I think your audience will enjoy. When you force it, it really will show in the pictures. Have patience with your little one and remember that not every shot will be perfect, but when you’re being yourself and letting your kiddo be themselves, every shot will always be you!

PLAN OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME

Getting a toddler ready takes a bit of time, getting a toddler ready for a content day takes even more time. I like to get my outfit(s) and Charlee’s outfit(s) out a day or so before the scheduled shoot and I always bring an extra outfit or pieces that can mix and match with what she is wearing just in case she spills food or has an accident. There is nothing worse than having a cute outfit for your little one and then it gets ruined right before it’s time to shoot so with a backup, you’ll always be prepared.

So there is no right answer for how to take perfect pics with your toddler, but I hope my tips are a great way to at least avoid a complete photoshoot disaster. Just remember, no shoot with a little one will be perfect, in fact, it might flop, I’ve had a few of those if I’m being honest, but just know, your kid is learning, growing and exploring and what better way to reimagine the world by learning and growing with them. I always look at content days as an adventure, it’s so rewarding to see Charlee grow and smile and learn about all the new things around her. Shoots are different these days because of it and it only makes motherhood that much more enjoyable. 😃

P.S. big shoutout to Chris Dalton the lovely muralist responsible for this lovely colorful polka dotted walk located in downtown Sanford, NC. Thanks for making Sanford so colorful! 🙂

Till next time.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie


COLOR ME CHARLEE

There were a lot of first happening this past weekend. Our sweet Charlee turned 1 on Saturday and she started walking! Can you believe it because I’m still in shock that I’ve been momming for 1 year and to put the icing on the cake Charlee is officially walking now! She’s been taking small steps here and there for the past month, but started full blown walking at her birthday celebration. These milestones never get old. My little mom heart is completely full at this point. I don’t think I have room for anymore, LOL 😂.

We threw a big colorful Color Me Charlee birthday bash for her first birthday on Saturday as well, Keep scrolling for a few pics, I’m lying, keep scrolling for 5,000 pics of the big day.

Big shoutout to Kelly Jean Photography for the lovely images. You can find her and all her lovely work on Instagram: @kellyjeanphotographyllc or check her website out at: kellyjeanphotographyllc.com

Stay tuned for some fun upcoming blogpost! Talking about some of my fave Vera Bradley finds and summer to fall transition style tips this September. 😊

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie

Charlee with her strawberry whipped cream churro cake. Yummy 🤤