-Set-up baby’s nursery and sleeping areas (bassinet, crib, swing etc) a few weeks before baby is expected to arrive! This will give pets time to acclimate to new items and surroundings in the home.
-Once baby is born, take a shirt and swaddle blanket from the hospital home *BEFORE* you come home from the hospital to get pets used to Baby’s smell. This will help decrease stress and surprise from Baby coming home! You can lay the blankets on Baby’s sleeping areas, swing, sofa etc. Lay it so it dangles down where pets can give it a sniff!
-Once Baby is home, make introductions slowly and when baby is calm/asleep at first.
Once pets are comfortable with their new sibling the crying and fussing should be easier for them to cope with.
We live in the ever fast and changing digital world these days, constantly moving and on the go. Rushing from commitment to commitment. Lacking a moment to stop and truly be present in the life we’re living in. Year after year many families carve out the time for a family photo session of their growing kids in hopes of preserving their children at this age. But, what does everyone do with these photos? When you walk into your friends homes what is on their walls? Do you see their family? Or are the walls almost bare?
Family Photo Experiences
Growing up I remember my own Mother snapping photos left and right. Every time we celebrated a birthday, a wedding, a holiday, kids sports events the camera was out and snapping photos. Once the roll of film was full we’d drop it off at the grocery store and pick it up a week. We’d flip through them all right away and she’d add them to the family albums. I always enjoyed flipping through the albums and looking at all the pictures. Seeing myself, my brothers and my parents as the family has grown since my parents got married.
Each school year our newly updated school photos would be framed and up on the wall they went until the following year’s replaced them. We had a couple family photos throughout the year by professional photographers, mostly the company that came to the church every few years to update the member directory and even those photos were chosen, framed and hung upon the walls. I don’t honestly recall the “memories” with these photo sessions, but I remember the photos. I don’t actually believe that the photo sessions were memorable, we weren’t making any memories we were simply preserving the look of our family at the time.
The Memorable Experience
We had a family session with my friends Mom when I was about 12. Her Mom was a local, well known fine art photographer, she wasn’t like other photographers, she provided an experience. The day of our family portrait session we arrived to her studio, there was laughing, even a smile or two from my begrudging oldest brother. We weren’t there necessarily to make memories, but we did. We walked around the property and saw the animals, the sheep, chickens, ducks and goats. It was an enjoyable time for everyone.
My parents went back a few weeks later for a reveal of their photos, my Mother was thrilled with the seemingly natural look of our family members, no one looked miserable, genuine happy faces were all she could see. She watched as candid shots were added in as a small and silly but memory sparking reminder of the emotions of the day. Then she chose her favorites and ordered the prints and frames she wanted to display in our home.
These portraits are still some of my Mother’s favorite photos. They’re from many moons ago now as my brother’s and I are all grown and have families of our own, but she still has these small pieces that remind her of that day, where everyone got along, if even for just an hour. This experience lead us to this same photographer for my senior portraits in high school. A well created and customized portrait experience that told the story of who I was at that time.
The difference between a full experience versus the digital gallery is this:
When I remember each of my sessions with my friends Mom, I can remember the details. The smell of the barn, the warm air breezing by, people honking their horns at us sitting in the barn doors. I remember the animals that were present and how the day went, and I can even recall some of the conversation.
This is also true with the family portraits I’ve had with my husband and our son the last three years. I can remember, even without looking at the photos, the giggles from his session as a 4 month old baby, the feeling of joy and pride at watching my husband walk him around our property and show him the trees and flowers with our cocker spaniel out in front of them. I can remember the chocolate and vanilla cone with the sprinkles at the ice cream parlor in OCMD for our second family session and how excited our son was when he saw the dinosaurs at the neighboring mini golf course and how intrigued he was when we showed him the crab in our crab pot off the dock.
THESE are memories that we created while the photographer documented that moment in our lives. Moments I will remember and share with my son as he gets older. The printed photos and albums that I can look at to be transported back to what I loved most about that time in our lives.
And that is the difference between creating a photography experience that creates meaningful family memories and captures them in motion and a family photo session that creates a photograph.
Graduation is right around the corner for many High School Seniors (and college grads too). The hustle and bustle of prom, finals, SATs, college prep, college choices, or maybe trade school choices or heading straight for the job force! Whatever your path is point you, we’re ready to capture the finale of your senior year in High School!
Senior Portraits are 100% customized to truly paint a portrait of the graduating student and their accomplishments. I love capturing students with their passions, hobbies and even in their prom attire or team uniforms and jackets. Senior sessions with Denna Kline Photography are completely designed with the student and parents to make sure we’re getting everything right to show off who you truly are!
So far for our month of wedding planning we’ve covered, budgeting (an ongoing theme here, with our DIY and small budget wedding focus), choosing vendors while staying inside your budget and WHERE to find them. We’ve also discussed negotiating rates with them as well (within reason of course). Last week we discussed how to specifically choose your wedding day photographer, being sure to stay to true to who you are as a couple, your individual style and your wants and needs from wedding day photography coverage!
This week we’re covering that daunting guest list! It’s OK. Keep Calm! This does not need to be as stressful as we make it. Yes, you read that right; as stressful as WE make it. WE being the brides/grooms. Let’s dive in.
Wedding Guest List
Look at your budget. Your budget will have determined how big of a guest list you can comfortably host. If you can only afford 50 people. Stick to 50 people. Those that aren’t invited are not going to hold a grudge for a lifetime because you didn’t go into debt to invite them. It’s ok. Stick to the number of guests your budget can comfortably host.
Then, listen to your heart and your gut. As soon as you sit down to create your guest list you can easily ramble off 30 to 50 guests that are MUST HAVES. Be it that they are family, long time friends or their presence will simply just make your day. In the other realm of things, if your budget says you can host 250 guests, but you’re struggling to come up with 100. Lower your number of guests to those you truly want to share the day with. You do not need to invite every person you know or have met.
Do you want children to be included in the general population of guests?
Start your list with family members of each person, then add in your respective friends. Once you have a list of each of these groups, count everyone up. If you’re under, that’s great! If you’ve gone over it’s time to slim the list down. Start by highlighting each person that MUST be there. No if, ands, or buts they have to be there. Then start going over those that aren’t your must haves. Again, if someone isn’t invited it will be OK.
Mom’s this one’s for you; your children do not need to invited Aunt Susan and her kids families if your children do not feel connected to them. Please remember, that this is your child’s day, and it is more usually than not your child’s budget. Not yours.Be Supportive and Full of Love.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list to meet your budget and your personal preferences, it’s time to decide if you’re going to design or purchase save the dates (we love the creations hidden on Etsy & the custom creations at Fry Side Design) and choose your wedding invitations.
When deciding on your guest list, it is important to follow your hearts. This is a momentous ocassion for you both and it is important to make sure those you love most are there (or at least requested) to be there with you. While I know our parents can have the power of persuasion over some of us, we are not required to invited every single far off family member or friend of the family (aka friend’s of your parents). Try your best not to fall into this, it really is OK to say “No, we really need to stick to our budget and we don’t have the ability to invite everyone we know”.
Stick to you budget. Follow you hearts. Have a great time!
Ahh. Wedding Photos. The single most important part of your day (besides you know, your spouse, a minister and the rings). Selecting your wedding photographer may seem like a super easy task, go online probably head to your site at wedding wire or the knot and search “wedding photographers near me”. flip through a couple and pick Nancy Drew Snaps to cover your day because she’s close, looks like she covers weddings and she fits into your budget. Easy Peasy, yeah?
Nope. Please, I beg of you, do not do that. Honestly, my artistic photographer soul could not handle it.
There are a few things to remember when looking for a photographer:
1. Your Location – where are you getting married, indoors or outdoors. Is the photographer you like local to that location OR do they travel? 2. Budget – Your personal budget for photography obviously needs to be a factor. Some photographers charge a lot, but let me tell you; You pay for what you get. These upper level, absolutely amazing photographers are worth every penny. If you can swing it, swing it, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you can’t and you’re working with a small budget choose what you’re comfortable spending on photography services and find someone whose style you love, whose personality fits with yours and someone who is reliable. 3. Do you want just one photographer or would you prefer having two so you don’t miss anything?
Have Coffee with your photographer;
Before hiring a photographer, make sure you speak with them. Seriously, actually pick up the phone, dial the number and have a conversation or meet up and have coffee . Make sure that your personalities mesh well and that what you’re looking for is something they can 100% achieve. If you want light and airy but they’re a high contrast artist your photos are not going to be what you imagine them to be.
Searching for your Photographer
So go to google, the knot, wedding wire or where ever and flip through the portfolios and websites of the photographers. Search by budget and location and find a handful that you really like. Then slowly reach out to each one, have a conversation and explain what you’re looking for from your wedding photographer. If everything lines up and it’s a match say “I do”!
One last note; if you have the time/money to do an engagement session with your hired wedding day photographer – do it. This is a great opportunity to work with your photographer in a photo setting, view their work with you in it and rate the experience. Plus, you’ll have some fun photos to hold you over until wedding day!
I’m Denna (pronounced just like Jenna but with a “D”)!
I’m the woman behind the lens & computer here. I’m a wife, mother & equestrian on the daily, spending my days balancing growing a business, a family & our little farm. We’re always “back to choring” around here (if you’re a letterkenny fan).
I am passionate about preserving the legacy of each person & family through photography and heirloom prints or family albums. Family photo albums are my favorite, I love flipping through them.
I am also *super* passionate about pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and everything in between. I love supporting & promoting #dogrescue and #horsesrescue especially for #seniorpets
Here at @dennaklinephotography and @theequinetographer I photograph a variety of different subjects, but mostly humans and their animals.
I love micro weddings & they are so much fun and I’m excited to continue adding more to my schedule!
I also love coffee can’t live without.
I’m so glad you’re here & hope to meet you for a photo experience soon!!
I thought we could celebrate with an adorable collection of little Archer’s first modeling gig. He was adorable, cuddly and distracted by all the smells. buildings and people we passed during his walk. But, he’s SO cute!! He really sets off those “I need another puppy” feelings.
Archer was even kind enough to share the spotlight with his human parents Mr & Mrs Anderson. I know, he’s such a nice puppy to be so kind as to share with his parents. How adorable are these guys? I’m so glad that Archer found his way into the Anderson Family and I know he’s going to love every moment of his life with them!
Spring means there are a lot of happy couples fully emersed into wedding planning, last minute craziness leading up to their special spring day or heading into the home stretch for their summer weddings. But, it also means that those of you newly engaged from the winter are setting out to explore all the wedding world has to offer – and boy is it *OVERWHELMING*.
Over the next four weeks I’m planning on diving into different aspects of wedding planning for those DIY’ers out there trying to keep their budget small but their wedding day as exciting as any other (even in this COVID era). We’re going to dive into some of our favorite go to shops, websites and idea boards to bring you closer to the wedding of your dreams, while sticking to your smaller budget! Just because they say the average wedding costs $30k does not mean you need to spend that, to have a day as beautiful and unique as you!
First thing first, SET YOUR BUDGET! This is important, set the budget that YOU are most comfortable with and stick to it. The best way to stick to your budget is by allotting certain maximums to each category of your weddings, i.e. Clothing & Accessories, Photography/Videography, Reception including music & food, stationary (save the dates, invites, place cards, menus, etc). Once you have your MAX comfortable budget you can start picking away at the different venders and venues. My suggestion is to start with the items you want to spend the most on, in most cases these items tend to be the Reception items, Photography/Videography and the Dress.
Let’s start with vendors!
Taking your theme and feel of the wedding that you’re looking for into account, search out different places in the area of your wedding destination (home or away). Look for smaller places, local parks, barns, historical locations managed by the county or township. Many times, these places have a smaller rental fee to use the facilities for a few hours and to lower the cost you can always plan a Sunday wedding as this is a less popular day!
After choosing your location for ceremony and reception (if you’re having one), food is usually the next choice on the list. I highly suggest choosing food that is very much YOU and not so much the food that would be served at Cinderella’s ball (unless you’re into that sort of eating). For our own wedding we had an amazing (I cannot express how good it was) dinner of comfort food. Fried Chicken, Pork BBQ, Mashed Potatoes. You know. The good home comfort food. I’ll label this as “Normal” food, Normal food is easier to come by, cook and serve and can end up saving a few bucks per person than the traditional steak and seafood menus. As always, try to negotiate the price and ask for ways to bring the cost down a smidge, good vendors are willing to work with you. As for the cake my best suggestion is to have a smaller cake for you to cut and to look snazzy for photos and then do the sheet cake or two to slice for guests! Honestly, our cake was a yellow box cake mix made by my Mom and decorated by my cousin’s two young girls. Talk about budget friendly!
Flowers are a beautiful addition to all of your wedding details. I have two suggestions for budget flowers, the first are the silk or fake flowers! I have seen BEAUTIFUL wedding bouquets simply made from the artificial flowers purchased from craft stores. The benefit of the artificial flowers is you can purchase them in advance when they’re on sale or you find a store discount and you can play around with the arrangements until the big day and they won’t die, while also saving you money on your budget!
My second flower suggestion for budgets is finding cut your own flowers if they’re in season or to pick up flowers from your local grocery store or wholesale flower shop. Flowers at these locations tend to be a little more budget friendly for those DIY’ers. Obviously, if you’re not into creating your own bouquets maybe spending the money on a florist to arrange is a better idea for you. In this case, maybe reach out to friends or family and see if they have a talent for choosing and arranging flowers for you, help them pick the flowers and then you can pay them for their talent instead of the florist!
Usually, and I’m sure this differs depending on circumstances, but normally the wedding party purchases their own outfits so we’re going to assume that’s the situation here. The Bride & Groom can surely save some budget money in the realm of attire. Personally, my husband purchased his wedding attire from the Perry Ellis Outlet near us. Everything was on super sale, and he ended up getting other everyday clothes the same day for less than a suit rental. Depending on your dress for the big day, options like outlet stores or even online shops can have exactly what you need for a significant discount!
The dress can be a slightly different story, wedding dresses tend to be exceptionally higher in price than a suit or tux rental. But, there are a few rent a dress options online that have emerged in recent years. You can also shop thrift stores, consignment or standard department stores as well to find a deal on a dress that is perfect for you. No one is going to know if your dress came from Kleinfeld’s or Target. Additional options for dresses are to make your own (I know a bride that created and made her own dress and it was beautiful), you can have someone you know make your dress and it will be perfect for you! Our friend Briana over at Fry Side Designs, had her lovely and super talented Mom make her wedding dress and it was divine!
Have you ever dreamed of waking up on a hilltop farm, looking out your windows and seeing nature surround you and watching frolicking lambs in the morning sun. Or maybe you’re a homeschooling family that is always looking for new and exciting experiences to enhance your homeschool curriculum. November Farms is your place!
November Farm is owned and operated by Kelsey & Ben Kemmerer and their family. The farm is located on a hilltop in East Greenville Pennsylvania, offering beautiful views of the surrounding towns & countryside. Residing on the farm are friendly horses and ponies, an absolutely adorable flock of sheep with frolicking little lambs in the spring time as well as a cow and the cutest donkey you’ll ever meet.
The farm offers an Air BnB to enjoy a weekend get away to the country while also being close by to many modern day necessities (grocery stores, adorable small town shopping and restaurants) or stick around the farm and enjoy time swinging while the sunsets and enjoying the peace and calm that comes from being removed from all the hustle and bustle of town and city life. Turn off your phone and take the time to enjoy a few days of much needed R&R!
November Farms also offers learning experiences for homeschool families & Co-Ops! I loved learning about this from Kelsey. Within the last year of COVID many families have opted for online or full homeschooling. Homeschooling children if families have the ability offers a large amount of flexibility and creativity in teaching our children about the world around them outside of a text book! Kelsey offers different days at the farm learning about the animals, the production of goods from the animals as well as care of farm animals! Through hoof trimming and sheep shearing days at the Farm Kelsey offers the opportunity for local families to visit the farm and learn from the farm’s farrier about the horses hooves and how proper care and trimming of the hooves is important to the overall health of the horses! Sheep shearing days also offer the opportunity for families to see how sheep are sheared, why and what we do with their wool after shearing!
Kelsey and her Family also have a small farm product stand during the spring through the fall. Offerings goods and products from the animals at the farm, a local dairy which they sell the Raw Milk, yarn and handmade items from the fiber of llamas and sheep as well as local honey products including honey and handmade candles!
November Farms is a quiet and peaceful place to recharge and recenter ourselves, especially during this time of COVID and often times struggling to find places to socially distance but also give ourselves experiences and rest. Stop by for an hour or a few days and you won’t be disappointed with your decision.
Welcome back to our Monday feature of our COVID19 Photography Project!
Rise and Grind Café and Market is a vision come to life by owner Christina Rushton. The café opened in December 2019 as a full service Café offering dine in and take out. The Café was doing well in their first three months of business when the COVID19 pandemic forced them to shut down their in person dining options and move strictly to take out. The pandemic originally created much less foot traffic to the café and resulted in the difficult decision to furlough all additional staff leaving Christina and her manager to handle all of the day to day take out orders as well as the Meals for Front Line Workers they were preparing for 17 weeks. In June, the Café made the difficult decision to close for good, but that wasn’t the end of their story, because Perkasie Burough & all of their adoring patrons refused to give up on this cherished piece of town. Pulling resources, ideas and working together with the borough and community the Café decided to close for three weeks to renovate the middle portion of their space, creating a beautiful and welcoming market shop. The Market offers different selections from local area businesses such as:
While the pandemic forced the discontinuation of full service dine-in at the Café, Christina feels that it allowed the change to a Coffee Café and Market benefiting local small businesses, that she said is very much true to her.
The Market also opened up different opportunities to offer holiday gifts & gift baskets created with different items featuring the local items within the market.
Rise and Grind Café is following all State Health Department and CDC mandates and guidelines, including cleaning/sanitizing high touch areas, cleaning and disinfecting after using machines and of course wearing masks. They have small seating available in the back of the café to sit and enjoy your food and coffee, or make it your office for the day (the smells coming from the kitchen & coffee bar are to die for!) or you can swing in and pickup your favorite drink & snack to go!
Something that Christina learned going through the pandemic as a small business owner? That she is stronger than she ever thought she was and that she doesn’t need to handle it all alone. She learned that her staff & community were there to support her through this unprecedented time and she was able to rely on them to help her!
*If you’re stopping by Rise & Grind Café definitely try one of their latte’s or coffees, and you cannot go wrong with a single one of the baked items! I tried the Peanut Butter Bar, because I’m a sucker for anything chocolate and peanut butter!