Besides the Legos and Hot Wheels, here are some gifts Brayden has had his eye on!
1 – Oliver Jeffers Books – We love Oliver Jeffers. They are fun books and are fun for parents to read! Our favorite is Stuck. Both of my kids laugh hysterically when this book is read to them!
2 – Pinhole Press Memory Game – Brayden loves games and I think he will be so surprised to see his pictures on this custom game of memory. He will think it’s so fun and I love the print quality of the pictures!
3 – Pinhole Camera Kit – I might have bought this present more for me than for him. I thought it would be a fun project to work on together.
4 – Kiwi Crates – Brayden got a subscription to Kiwi Crates last year for Christmas and these things keep him entertained for hours. He’s old enough where he can follow most of the instructions on his own and I love the fun and unique crafts that get delivered right to our door.
5 – Tegu Blocks – I recently discovered these magnetic blocks and I am so excited for Brayden to open these on Christmas morning. I ordered the small starter kits for both kids plus a set of wheels for Brayden. I love the story behind this company and how they support reforestation in Honduras. In 2012 Tegu planted 983 trees for every tree that was harvested! I’m hoping we can take these out to a restaurant and have a nice, quiet meal for once. Is that asking too much?
6 – Q & A a Day – I came across this book for kids at Anthropologie. It asks 365 questions for 3 years. Since Brayden is just starting to write I thought this would be a fun project. To see how his writing progresses and how his answers change.
7 – Yubo Lunch Box – A lunch box for Christmas? I know. I think it’s kind of boring. But, Brayden was up late one night watching Shark Tank with us and saw this lunch box and he was so excited about it. The plates are interchangeable and can be personalized. All of the parts pop out and can go in the dishwasher so it’s easy to clean. Brayden’s lunch box is always so gnarly. I’m excited to get this and try it out. And I love that when his interests change we can just order new plates and don’t have to get an entire new lunch box!
8 – Micro – Fone – Who needs cell phones? I love this retro toy and can just imagine Brayden having so much fun with it in the backyard. Restoration Hardware is currently sold out, but I was able to score one on Ebay.
Just some of
my Kennedy’s favorite things plus some of the things Santa will be bringing her this year.
1 – Pippy Lou Boutique – Kennedy is obsessed with dresses. Obsessed. They have to have the right amount of twirl and girliness to them. Both Kennedy and I love the dresses from Pipppy Lou Boutique. They are fun, pretty, and affordably priced. If you have a tall girl like me order a size up. Kennedy’s 2T dresses are already a bit short on her!
2 – My Mom Snaps – I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you have a kid who hates having their pictures taken get this book! It is beautifully illustrated and it will help get your kids excited about taking pictures. Love this book!
3 – Gothic City Blocks – I had this same exact set of blocks when I was a kid. Or maybe they were my brother’s. I don’t remember. What I do remember was playing with them for hours on end. Kennedy loves blocks. She loves stacking them as high as she can. It’s the only thing that keeps her attention for more than a few minutes. I know both of my kids will have fun building with these blocks.
4 – Very Chic Baby Princess Dresses – Kennedy is not just obsessed with normal dresses. She is also obsessed with princess dresses. Or, “lella” dresses as she calls them. I am not so obsessed with the shiny material and cheesy pictures of the princesses on the store bought dresses. I first bought Kennedy a dress from Very Chic Baby for Halloween 2011. I love the halter style of the dress. It grows with her and she can still fit into that dress from last year. Santa might be bringing her Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland this year.
5 – Petite Creature Cubes – Puzzels also do a good job of keeping Kennedy’s attention. Blocks + a puzzle are sure to be a winner. Plus I love this sweet vintage design.
6 – Strider Bike – My girl loves being outside. Brayden had this bike when he was her age and while he’s not quite as an outdoorsy of a kid as Kennedy is he loved it. Kennedy is going to freak when she sees this under the tree in pink. I should probably buy her some knee pads too…
7 – Sweet Littles Handmade Dolls – I started a collection of redhead dolls for my redhead girl and the doll from Sweet Littles Handmade is by far my favorite. My only regret is that I would have ordered the Heirloom doll where Katy can incorporate a clothing item from your child or even from a parent or grandparent into the doll. How sweet is that?
8 – Flatout Frankie – I love toys where my kids can use their imaginations. These animal heads (they come in a unicorn and a dinosaur) are perfect for just that. I love that they are eco friendly. And what girl doesn’t need a unicorn?
I am a firm believer of doing one holiday at a time (and I’m just too darn busy to be able to multi task this time of year). So, now that Thanksgiving over I can finally start thinking about Christmas! This week I’ll be featuring some gift guides for all the important people in your life. First up is us, the Mom*togs! Because we really are the most important These are some of my favorite photography related gifts this year!
1 – Joby Ultrafit Sling Strap – No, this strap is not pretty. It doesn’t have some cool design. But, it’s functional for those who carry their cameras around with them a lot. No more smacking your kids in the head with your camera when you bend over. You can have your camera on you at all times so you are ready to capture those moments at a moments notice. It’s comfortable and made for women’s curves. I love, love, love my Joby Sling Strap and won’t ever be going back to normal camera straps again!
2- MotoX - If you are looking for an alternative to iPhones this is it. Earlier this fall, AT&T sent me a code to customize my own Moto X. While it took me some time to get used to using an Android phone I really liked it once I did. My favorite feature by far is the twist and take. You can twist your wrist twice and the camera appears without having to unlock your phone! How many times have you missed a moment because you couldn’t get to your phone fast enough?
One of my least favorite features of the iPhone is Siri. I just turned her off. So, I was reluctant to try the Google Now voice feature on the MotoX. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked and how easy it is. It can even recognize my voice when my kids are screaming in the same room! It’s great for driving and keeping your hands free and you and your passengers safe.
Lastly, I love how I could customize everything about the phone. The back, the buttons, even the wallpaper were all customizable. And it’s even assembled in tthe US. It’s a great phone!
3 – Canon 50 1.4 – This is the go to lens for Mom*togs. If you don’t have it in your camera bag put it at the top of your list. The 50 1.4 is great for shooting in low light with no flash. While it’s more expensive than the 1.8 you will be very pleased with the difference in quality. And, if Santa has the extra cash go for the 50 1.2. It’s my favorite lens.
4 – Ona Camera Bag – I came across this camera bag recently and I love how comfy it looks. And I love how it doesn’t look like a camera bag. Looks like there is plenty of space to throw in a couple of diapers and sippy cups as well!
5 – Mpix Thumbprint Photo Box – Do you love Instagram as much as I do? I love the Thumbprint Box from Mpix to display my Instagram pics, although it can be used for your normal prints as well. I opted for the 10 mounted prints versus the 50 normal prints. The mounted prints were much better for displaying. The box comes with 4 small easels to display your pictures. This is great for Mom*togs and also for grandparents!
6 – Artifact Uprising – Speaking of Instagram, I finally got Kennedy’s Project 365 book printed and I LOVE it. Artifact Uprising has books specifically made for Instagram prints. The interface is SO easy and I was able to make the whole book in less than half an hour. No Photoshop involved!
7 – Click Magazine – Click Magazine is the magazine for photograpHERs. It is specifically made for Mom*togs. There are tons of helpful tips and tricks from all of your favorite photographers. You will be so excited each time you see a new issue in your inbox!
8 – The UNmanual – I have to add in a shameless plug for my UNmanaul. This guide covers everything from aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to how to find the light and make it work for you in a clear and concise way. This is everything I teach in my Mom*tog Mentoring Sessions as well as at Camp Mom*tog. And it now includes access to our private Facebook page where you can ask questions related to the guide and post images for critique (if you’ve bought it in the past and would like an invite just shoot me an email!). With over 1000 copies of the UNmanual sold, I am proud that it has helped so many Mom*togs capture better images of their families! Last day of the Black Friday weekend sale going on until Monday 12/2 at midnight! No code needed.
I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous! We started off our day with a Turkey Trot 5K where we missed our goal time by just 8 seconds! Then brunch at my parents. Followed up by some one on one time with Katniss Everdeen (I have such a girl crush on her). And we finished the day with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of enchiladas (I am not a fan of Thanksgiving food).
I have SO much to be thankful for. My crazy kids. My supporting and loving husband. My thriving businesses. My amazing clients. And for all of you who continue to read my little blog. To say thanks I wanted to offer my traditional Black Friday sale. 40% off templates and manuals and, for the first time ever, 20% off online and in person mentoring sessions!
What’s also new this year is access to the private Mom*tog UNmanual Facebook page where you can post questions pertaining to the UNmanual and get critiques on your images! If you’ve purchased the UNmanual in the past email drew at drewbphotography dot com with the name you purchased the UNmanual under and the email address linked to your Facebook account!
You know you live in Southern California when you think more about how good an umbrella will look in pictures rather than how well it will function in the rain. Because it seems to rain so little here that we have to do a little puddle splashing shoot every time it does.
*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 2.8, 1/1600, ISO 800
*** I definitely could have lowered my ISO here and then, in turn, lowered my shutter speed. Sometimes when you are capturing a moment you forget about your settings to make sure you get the shot!
Love these umbrellas I picked up at Target. I actually bought one in Indiana when I was there for the Mpix shoot, but couldn’t get it home. So, I had to go to Target and buy two more for my kids. Love them for shoots because they don’t cast any weird shadows or color casts since they are clear. The look good and they actually function well
Hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are!