Category Archives: Goals

What I Learned in February

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Owen’s 100 Day Shirt. He had to bring in a shirt made with 100 things. Michael + Owen went to the Crabtree Lego store and brought home just enough pieces to design and glue his shirt. 

1.Pulling your IT band is no joke. My legs go inward anyway and my legs tend to over straighten (like, really) so it’s no wonder this problem headed my way. I know it’s super common but it was frustrating as it can take forever to feel better. The IT band presses on your knee so it can feel like excruciating knee pain. I had a few friends who gave me advice, which I think the best was to just rest. I took almost two weeks off and did nothing, and I was able to go right back to working out. I started slow and worked back up, which helped, too. I was just so happy to be able to go down stairs without pain. I linked an article above, which I think had a lot of great advice. I definitely needed new shoes, and love shopping at Fleet Feet because I get such great help so quickly. They watch you walk and suggest shoes. Harrison and I were in and out with a pair of shoes I love. That article also suggests warming up/cool down. A friend of mine and I were laughing about how old we are and how much stretching etc, we need to do just to workout.

2.Owen can swim. He has really rocked his last few swimming lessons, and I’m just so proud of him. I’m feeling a lot better about him being in the pool this summer already.

3.I’m going to have to order Harrison his own Batman cape. The boys have recently started playing together a lot, which is adorable. Harrison LOVES batman and is constantly running around in Owen’s cape. There are a lot of things I have avoided buying two of and having them share, but I think this one is going to be non negotiable. (One of the things they love sharing is the plasmacar like best toy ever if you have hardwoods and it’s a rainy day or any day really!)

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4.The 100th day of kindergarten was absolutely amazing. I may have shed a few tears. I used to be a second grade teacher – I taught for 5 1/2 years, and I have never seen anything like this. We are so lucky to have the most amazing room moms who have made kindergarten just so special this year. I try to avoid going to too many places. Like, I really just love being at home when at all possible since I’m always in carpool, working, etc. But, this year I have learned about the dollar stores and how for so cheap you can make a day just so special for kids. So, I will make the extra trip to one more store – ha! You can stop laughing at me now – online groceries, Amazon, etc make my life so much easier.

5.I cannot stay up until 2 AM and function normally anymore. It’s no secret that I love sleep..since I was pregnant with Harrison, I have had to go to bed earlier. I went to such a fun Mom’s Retreat and we ended up staying up until 2 AM, and yeah, I was a wreck the next day – ha!

6.I have had sinus problems since having Owen and finally found something that works – more on the blog later this week!

7.Barre socks. I reallly love going to barre, and I feel like it took me forever to feel like I wasn’t dying the entire class. (Just maybe like 3/4 of class?) One of the most important parts of class is the socks, really! My friend Michele sent me some awesome sparkly socks last year, which I have lovvvvvved. I will have to say, I just tried this brand’s socks with the toes, and I think they are my absolutely favorite. They are just so sticky, they got stuck in my boots!

8.Photographing siblings meeting is one of my absolute favorites. (more on the blog soon!) I photographed this little one meeting his big sister, and it was just too precious. I think my favorite day ever was the day Owen and Harrison met.

9.Making mickey pancakes is my new fave. I have talked about this a few times, but the kids just love them. Michael and I made a huge breakfast for the kids Saturday morning, so I just made a ton of waffles and froze them. (Why was I making them every single time before? ha! Oh, the freezer, I love you!)

10.Fuller House. Oh, nostalgia. Definitely a show just for the parents to watch!

11. I am not the only one that doesn’t know how to iron well. I mean, women’s clothes don’t need that much ironing, right? I really didn’t spend that much time tied to the ironing board growing up, and may still use the dryer for last minute wrinkles. I did not have experience with the tediousness of Men’s dress shirts like my husband. So glad to find out I am not the only one when speaking to so many friends about this! And I now have three dress shirt wearing men in this house.

Books I read this month..

1.A Man Called Ove.This was such a great read – I pretty much read most of it the day of the awful tornado warnings. I had no idea when I started the book how much I would love it. It was predictable and fun, in the best way possible, and of course, I ended the book sobbing. Love, love, loved it.

2.The Fringe Hours.I am definitely going to recommend this book for every Mama, whether you stay at home full time, work full time, or work at home. There are so many good truths in this book for Mothers. I wish I could mention every single great thing in this book, but there are just too many. This is one of those that I think I should read again and again for reminders. I can’t imagine that you would read this book and not be encouraged. The author works full time, has kids, and runs a blog, so she has a lot on her plate and also great advice for Mamas. Highly recommend it. Let me know if you read it + what you think!

3. I didn’t finish this book all the way, but I did find Spark Joy a lot more effective at explaining her method of tidying. If you are a big Marie Kondo fan, you will love this book. I have gotten rid of a lot of things that definitely did not spark joy, and needed the push from her books.There have been a lot of great blog articles out there to read also that show how others are organizing and tidying using her method.

Also, super excited that a friend told me about Rated Reads. I hate when picking out a book if I know if it’s going to be clean or not. Usually the friends I get recommendations from aren’t going to recommend anything terrible, but this is also a great resource for other recommendatins.

What are you reading this month?!? Let me know in the comments!

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Rebecca Keller is a Cary NC Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including the Bump. I do chat a lot about my personal life on the blog and recommendations for things that I love, and I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

Everyone was just so excited on facebook this morning about the new Amazon Prime Now coming to Raleigh that I had to check it out. There are days when I think about something I forgot to get at the store, but with two kids in the car or going out in the rain and trying to put on two rain coats, etc, it’s just probably not going to happen.

I will say, we have had the Harris Teeter delivery option for a while. I have never used it, since it’s pretty expensive. I’m also not sure how far in advance you have to reserve a time spot or can reserve something pretty quick.

At 8:03 A.M. this morning, I downloaded the app.It looks like you have to order the app because I tried to check on the Amazon webpage for what is offered in Amazon now, and Raleigh has not been added to their list yet. I had a session this morning, but I really wanted to check it out, so I quickly browsed through and picked a few things. I noticed Hallmark valentines cards were an option, which was nice.

The gift guide actually has some pretty great ideas. And there is so much candy available. (Need to stay away from that – ha!) Some of the gifts for her included a Kate Spade bracelet. Of course you know I love my Fitbit Charge HR , (see post here) that was also an option on the gift guide. You can even order ice cream. I could see this being very dangerous if I was pregnant. There are lots of books, dvds, game day snacks, tablets, baby gates, and kindles in case you need one quickly.

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I took a few screenshots on my phone – at 8 A.M., these were my delivery times options. You only pay 7.99 if you want it within an hour. I was super impressed with the service, and if I realllly need something, I’ll definitely use it. This service could definitely be helpful if you have just had a baby.

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A few things I learned

  • The minimum order is 20.00. There is a code right now for 10.00 off – 10PRIMENOW
  • It looks like you can change the tip amount but I ordered pretty quickly and didn’t notice that.raleigh indoor mini session photography_0306P I N this to pinterest

Here’s a few examples of the categories so a lot to pick from!

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Everything from Raleigh Amazon Prime Now was delivered at 10:48 on the front porch. It’s kind of overwhelming – all of the books and things to choose from. (I don’t need to be able to shop this easily, right? It kind of needs to be a challenge to load up the kids and actually go in a store, ha! It will keep me from spending money!)  Who else tried Amazon Prime Now in Raleigh today, and what did you order? Was it worth it?

Rebecca Keller is a Cary Family Lifestyle Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including the Bump. I do chat a lot about my personal life on the blog and recommendations for things that I love, and I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

 

I do love February, oh, Valentines day! My business to do list is overwhelming today, so I’m going to try to make this quick. Tomorrow is also the 100th day of kindergarten, so I have a few last minute errands to run. We finished our shirt – can’t wait to share tomorrow! A few photos from the boys playing in the ice/snow.Harrison lasted all of 60 seconds since he refused to wear his gloves.

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    1. Finish shopping for my sweet Mama’s birthday present. (She has a Valentine’s day birthday!
    2. Finish planning our little Valentine’s party when the cousins will be in town – so excited
    3. Books to read this month – I need to finish Spark Joy. I already like this book much better than the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I feel like it has a lot more practical advice for those who want to use her method of tidying. Some other books that are on my list this month are Let Your Life Speak,A Man Called Ove, and a few more I haven’t decided on just yet.
    4. Finalize everything for Spring Break. So excited about getting away with the boys during Spring Break!
    5. Ericka and I have been working on several fun blog posts for this month – I need to finish + get those on the blog!
    6. Finish editing our 2016 Clients Valentine Minis.
    7. Announce our next client event/date and start booking! So excited for these!
    8. Finish the RKP Image of the Year Contest. (Round two voting is going on right now – make sure to stop by and vote!)
    9. Use my heart pan a few times this month. So excited about this super cute pan + even made muffins last night.(see here)raleigh wake forest family lifestyle photography_0238P I N this to pinterestRebecca Keller is a Raleigh photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including The Bump. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Raleigh Wake Forest Family Lifestyle Photography and travel sessions.I do chat a lot about my personal life on the blog and recommendations for things that I love, and I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

What I Learned in January

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Looking for snow

It’s been a big month – realizing I ate too many Christmas cookies, losing our downstairs heat, an ice storm, and our first client event of 2016. (Previews coming soon!)

A few things I learned this month…

1.For some reason running gets easier halfway through. I’m on the treadmill at the gym, and I’m hating miles 1-2 but for some reason 3-4 are easier. Does this make any sense? Maybe because I know I’m almost there. Working on a post about a few things that have helped me with my fitness goals this month.

2. I know I photograph with it all the time, but I really just love natural light.I love opening all the windows and having the light pour in, it’s calming, and just so pretty. One of the first things I do in the morning is to open all the blinds and let the light pour in. I hate when it starts to get dark + I have to use overhead lights + lamps.

3. Losing heat is no joke, and it can take several days to get a new heater. We were without our downstairs heater for about five days while getting a new one during the week where it was twenty degrees everyday. (Right before the ice storm) Because of our two staircases + just how cold it was, there was maybe one room upstairs warm enough to be tolerable. Thankful for a dear friend that took us in during those cold days. The heater was installed the evening before it started snowing.

4.I’m still in shock that Harrison is staying in his crib. Like the very instant Owen turned two, he jumped out and screamed at the top of his lungs that he was not going back in. Savoring every second that this little one wants to stay in his crib. (This image was taken while staying with friends during our no heat week. He actually stayed in their toddler bed, too. #miracle)

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5.Ice really is not that fun to play in, especially with a two year old that will not keep his gloves on. Playing in the ice lasted about 60 seconds because Harrison was not interested in keeping his gloves on. (I’ll post our ice/snow photos tomorrow)

6.Losing 9lbs this month wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. The fall just gets so busy, and I needed to be disciplined and focused in January. (Read my post about my fitbit and how it’s been helping me here) I’ve also been running + going to barre, which helps, too. I just saw these which are interesting and pretty cool since I have some friends that can’t wear any jewelry while working.

7.No one should ever be embarrassed when having their kids photographed. Harrison absolutely does not like for me to photograph him (as seen here)

8.Gilmore Girls is coming to netflix. So excited!

Books I read this month:

Ok, so I was so excited about reading this month, because the last few months of the fall are usually so busy that I don’t pick up a book too often.

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette A friend of mine recommended this book, and it was just so cute, I read it all the way to New Bern and back on New Year’s. A great fun fiction read. (I always love recommendations for good books, so if you’ve read a great book lately, please let me know in the comments!)

2.Rising Strong I realllly loved the first two chapters and thought they were really encouraging for anyone starting a business or dream. After the first couple chapters, I didn’t find it an easy read. I asked another friend who had said she was reading it and she was having the same struggle.

3. A book for creatives – Big Magic. I heard Elizabeth Gilbert speak at a convention a few years ago and was curious to read this book. It is very encouraging for creatives, especially if you run your own business. I did not agree with everything she said, but there was a lot of encouragement definitely in the book. I still have never read Eat, Pray, Love or watched the movie, but I enjoyed her speech a few years ago.

4.One Thousand Gifts – Loved this book, and a reminder to be grateful and thankful for what we have, and all the little things. Definitely noticing all the little things during the day that I am so thankful for after reading this book. Highly recommend it.

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Rebecca Keller is a Cary Family Lifestyle Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including the Bump. I do chat a lot about my personal life on the blog and recommendations for things that I love, and I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

 

 

I know I have a lot of other work form home Mamas that read my blog so I thought I’d share some things that help me organize my day hoping that I can send some encouragement your way.Working from home, as in, my little ones are with me most of the day. (At least one is here while the other is at kindergarten) I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me with balancing running a business and being a Mama. I totally admit I’m not perfect at these all of the time, but when I stick to them, it makes my life a lot easier.

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1. Doing one of the hardest or most important things first. This kind of goes with having an organized schedule, but I have found this to be really important when working from home. Depending on the week, I might also have different priorities. If I am going to squeeze in exercise, I try to go ahead and get it done. If I need to get a session edited that day, it’s important for me to finish that first. Also, if I am dreading something, it’s better if I go ahead and get it out of the way first thing. (Dentist appt – 8:30 A.M. always!)

2.An organized schedule is super helpful. If you read this post, then you will know that I spent 5 1/2 years teaching and planning out every second of every day. Yes, I had planning burnout. It also taught me the importance of having a plan for the day, and organizing blocks of time with what I had to get done. Every night, when I write out my to do list in my planner, I love that it has a section each day for Morning, Afternoon, and Evening so that I can write out my schedule and what needs to get done. And what’s most important or something I’m dreading, always early in the day.

3.This goes along with 1 and 2 but having set working hours is super helpful. This actually used to be easier for me before kindergarten. (Doesn’t make sense, right? You would think kindergarten would give me more time to work!) Before kindergarten, the afternoons were strictly for working because everyone was napping, and it was time I had dedicated to working. Afternoon carpool kind of breaks that up a little bit, but I’ve learned how to adjust my hours, and get help on some days during the week.

4.Limit caffeine and take care of yourself. It’s easy to drink a lot of caffeine when you are always on the go with the kids, or trying to answer emails, edit, sessions, get packages in the mail, etc. I use to drink a lot more caffeine and now I only have one in the morning. It really makes a difference in how I feel during the day. Also, during the fall, things get so busy around here that I don’t get to workout much, but it’s important to me, and something I strive to squeeze in even when things get busy.

5.Make time for your kids and try to schedule special days with them. When you work from home, you spend a lot of time doing the daily routines with your kids, focusing on your office hours, etc. I often work weekends so I am not taking a big chunk of time to go to museums, etc on the weekend. (And it’s so super crowded.) I try to plan trips to life and science or go get ice cream, just something special on a weekday afternoon. I have to plan and work so that I can take the time, but it’s important for me to plan that time with my little ones. I also try to plan out vacations ahead of time and edit, edit, edit, so we can take the time off. During Harrison’s first year, there were also days that I got a babysitter for him, and spent some time with just Owen while he was getting used to the adjustment. I also try to squeeze in a library trip with Harrison when I get a minute so the whole week isn’t focused on just our routines, and we also have a little fun. I try to plan one day dedicated to my little ones + resting.

6.Secure flexible childcare according to your budget. It doesn’t make sense for me to work really if my childcare eats up all my profits. I have several different options I use, depending on the session time/day.

7.Things that can make your life easier – online grocery shopping. A lot of days, I’ll order early in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon right after carpool on our way home so that I save time. I try to read or answer emails during carpool. Try to look for those little pockets of time that you can get a little bit of work done.

8.Try to plan all scheduled events on one day. Volunteering at Owen’s school, swim lessons, etc. It’s all on one day, which makes it easier for me to schedule sessions. (It doesn’t always work out this way, but I try to keep it to one day!)

9.Get up early. Several of my clients told me they wondered if I was pregnant (when pregnant with Harrison) because I stopped posting on facebook after 6 PM. Ever since his pregnancy, I have gone to bed a lot earlier. I was staying up until 11-12 or later most nights. I really love waking up early, and again this does not always happen. It helps me get focused, read and have my quiet time, and plan out my day. There are a lot of websites and books and so many suggestions to get up early, and I really recommend it. I also love and need quiet time every day. If I don’t get a little bit of quiet, I get cranky – ha! It recharges me, and I love the time just to think.

Any other work at home Mamas want to chime in on what helps them schedule their days? I hope these tips help someone who is struggling with balancing working and taking care of your little ones. Some days are really hectic and some have some breathing room – everyday is really different!

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Rebecca Keller is a Wake Forest Newborn Family Lifestyle Photographer. As Seen in People Magazine and The Bump. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about family photography and travel sessions.