Category Archives: Our Everyday

August 16th and I just sent Owen back to school yesterday- can hardly believe summer is already over. Summer really is my favorite. (I reallly realllly realllly do not like carpool. ha. ) It is going to be a challenge to continue to get up early and make real food breakfasts but it’s important to me so I gotta make it happen. I also spent a lot of time at Starbucks last year, I’ll admit it. So making coffee in the Vitamix takes a little bit more time, too.

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Favorites for August

I just love all these pretty flower ideas

Paint color ideas

Our favorite back to school books. (see here)

Eggs in the pressure cooker? You know I love, love, love, my instapot. Never even thought about it for eggs.

I tried pacifica nail polish this month – loooooved.

A few things I want to read/tackle this month:

I need to learn how to use instagram stories. I tried when making this video behind the scenes from a recent shoot with Ericka, but I gave up and just took a plain video. I’ve heard good things about this tutorial so I need to dive right in and learn alllll about it. I know everyone loves snapchat, but can I handle one more social media account?

Saving to read. Last year I pulled my IT band and it was such a bummer. Now that I’m trying to start running again..(but I’m going back and forth between running and swimming…)

These are super fun. Please no one have a session on the side of a cliff.

Since organic all beef hotdogs are whole30, these have inspired me to try a hotdog wrapped in bacon. Oh my.

So, what your favorite candy says about your personality.

Just for fun…

A session around this time last year – I have lovvved photographing this sweet little one’s first year and just got to see him at our Coastal Minis. 

A session in August two years ago – eeek! what a perfect session at Holden Beach!

Pretty stuff

Loving how long this shirt is (and inexpensive, too!) When I’m out shooting, I love wearing long shirts.

Totally crushing on these boots. This heat has me ready for fall!

Love these hair clips!

Also, as Ericka mentioned here, this necklace…it has the coordinates of Holden Beach. (You can find it here at Sugar Britches in Holden Beach.

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Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Children Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including The Bump and Let the Kids Dress Themselves. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

 

 

 

Children’s Book Recommendations

What We’re Reading in August 

 

It’s back to school already, so our house has been loaded up with back to school books among other things. Sharing a few of the boys favorites on the blog today. This Jedi was super ready for first grade yesterday morning. (after days of telling us he was just going to stay home)

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The Day the Crayons Came Home

Owen is a huge fan of The Day the Crayons Quit, so he was super excited that there was another book this year. He has poured and poured over this book. My favorite is the green crayon off to see the world, and the fact that yellow and orange finally settled their fight over who was the color of the sun. Both Crayons books are so super cute!

Monsters Love School

Eeek! A must read about what happens at school. All the bright and fun monsters tell the story about what to expect during school. Great read for kindergartners, too!

 

Blue Boat

Red Truck is one of Harrison’s favorite books, so when we saw another book by Kersten Hamilton, we swooped it up. Cute story about an ocean rescue. Blue boat saves the day!

 

If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t!

We love, love LOVED this book. It is absolutely hilarious. I love how Mom tells you if you want to bring it, you’d better not lose it. And of course, your piano might just float away. So much silly in this book, and we spent a lot of August at the beach, so it was perfect. Another book by Elise Parsley,If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! is so so cute, too, and perfect for back to school. After reading the piano book, the boys loved it so much, we had to order the alligator one, too. They love it!

Pete the Cat’s Got Class

This is a Pete the Cat story about math and it comes with some super cool math flash cards. One of Pete’s friends is struggling in Math and Pete figures out if they use cars to help it will all work out.

 

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Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Newborn and Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including The Bump and Let the Kids Dress Themselves. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

My Review of the Gizmo Gadget

When I first heard about the Gizmo Gadget, I was super excited to try it out. I wasn’t sure it would be as good as it sounded, but I have totally loved using it when Owen has a babysitter, I use drop in child care, or I’m at the gym and he’s in childcare.

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What is the gizmo gadget? It’s a watch for kids where they can send and receive calls + messages. There is a great app that you put on your phone that syncs to their gadget. You decide the contacts who can call them and who they can call. (I believe it’s nine people) Only the people who you have authorized to have the app can message them. Michael and I are the only ones who message him but he has a list of family that he can call/and they can call him. You also have to sync the phone to the app when downloading so grandparents from out of state would have to be in town when you sync if you want them to be able to message them also. The phone calls have been great when I’ve been driving and need to ask Michael a question, “Owen, call your daddy and ask him…”

Messaging – In the app, you can set up some canned messages that they can pick from. Otherwise, they can send you a voice message (there’s no typing out words on the phone) You can send text messages straight to the phone that they can read. So if Owen’s done playing at the gym, he can pick the “I’m ready to be picked up” message from the list or send me a voice message. He also loves using the emojis they have in the app.

GPS tracking. I love that I can GPS track where he is and I can also set it up to send me updates at certain times or if he leaves a certain location. When Owen stayed at my parents and I was meeting my mom at Southpoint to pick them up, I just tracked on my phone to see when I needed to leave – ha!

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The app also gives you a history of every little thing they do, if they are calling people, etc. (As you can see, he likes to change the volume a lot)

Other features of the app

-It shows you how much battery they have left

-You can set the phone to auto answer your calls

-You can give them a to do list that shows up on their watch

-You can turn off their watch from the app (but you can’t turn it back on)

-You can change the display/sounds. (They can also do this on the watch)

-You can set up step goals – there is fun activity tracking/games on the watch. Owen loves the jumping game.

Is it waterproof?

It is supposed to be waterproof. Owen wore his watch in water for about five seconds before we realized, and so we are on watch number two. So you do have to be careful about taking it off, etc, but Verizon replaced the watch for us.

We don’t use it all the time, mostly when we are going out or he has a babysitter. (I love when he sends me voice messages asking for permission – ha!) I just love if I know we are going to be at a big park, etc, that we can GPS track him. Overall, I’ve loved having it, and he has too. It just tickles him so much when he hears it ringing on my nightstand (where we usually keep it when he’s not wearing it) and it’s one of his grandparents checking in.

Verizon has two watches for kids, and we have the gadget.We bought our gadget mid summer and have love, love, loved it!

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Rebecca Keller Photography | As Seen in People Magazine + On The Bump | Verizon Wireless Gizmo Gadget Review

 

 

 

Holden Beach Family Photographer | What I Learned in June

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Memorial Day celebrating the cousins May/June birthday

1. June was a brave month for me. Honestly never having a c section or any kind of surgery, I was terrified to have a procedure on my heart. (see the whole story here) I did e-mail all my newborn clients before having this done and found a backup in case the recovery ended up being worse than it was. I am so thankful for such patient + kind clients. I did quite a few newborns the week before and then the two I did first after my surgery just happened to be born at a great time to wait a little over a week. (thank you sweet babies) The recovery was not bad at all, and I’m thankful for my husband and mom taking such good care of me + the kids that week.

2.I’m so thankful for my neighbors. Honestly, I could cry. I have been so blessed by them. They brought me awesome whole30 food after the surgery and checked on us. One of my neighbors taught me how to make her homemade lara bars because they are just amazing. You feel like you’re eating dessert.

3.That being said, if you are having any procedure done, I learned to plan a crazy busy week right before. I did not have a lot of time to think about it which was great. Owen’s birthday party was the night before so I honestly didn’t even have a second. And I’m so thankful to Ericka for helping me out so much with his party. So much cuteness – more to come soon.

4.Renting bikes at the beach is my favorite. We spent a week at the beach in the beginning of June, and oh my, I love the bikes. Harrison can still fit in the baby seat bike (like this one here– holds up to 40lbs) and we used the tagalong bike with Owen. (see one kind of like it here) They both loved it soooo much. We haven’t rented bikes until this year because you have to book them so far in advance, but I finally was able to get them. (See our favorite place to rent bikes and all our Holden Beach favorites here)

5. If you’ve been following my love of whole30, I can now drink coffee again without worrying about a racing heart…So, I thought I would add in one cup a day when I feel like it. So I have tried quite a few things..almond milk, etc. I just haven’t found anything exciting or worth even drinking the coffee. (I am super picky about coffee.) After trying bulletproof coffee, I am super impressed. I made it in the vitamix with grass fed unsalted butter, coconut oil, coffee + vanilla. It was realllly yummy. I’m sure I’ll cheat every now and then at my favorite coffee place, but I need something for everyday.

6. I discovered Nom Nom Paleo. This website might be a little life changing for my whole30 meals. I did download the app, and I am sooo excited about all the recipes. Cauliflower fried rice and the bacon guacamole sammies – such great ideas. She has a lot that are specifically whole30 although whole30 and Paleo are not very different.

7. My favorite summer dress here, and I am also loving the skort trend for the gym. (I got this one + love it)

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Rebecca Keller is a family photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because we chat a lot about our personal lives on the blog, we may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Holden Beach Family photography + newborn sessions.

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Picking Tips Raleigh NC

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Article by Ericka of Little Apple Styles

My kids love any and every fruit.  We are so lucky to live in between so many farms! The Little Apple family has surely taken advantage of the strawberry season.  We stop by at least twice a week, in between carpools, to kill some time and Ethan is quite popular. I soon realized he is known by name  because I tend to call him a million times while we are there…Ethan come here, Ethan stop, Ethan do not eat that, Ethan we have to pay for it first, Ethan NOT THE FLOWERS….three year olds!

While growing up, Mr. Little Apple spent most of his summers on Alabama Farms helping his grandparents/uncles in their fields.  He has mad fruit picking skills!  He can pick the sweetest and juiciest strawberries like nobody I know.  He has been teaching our kids – and I have been trying to learn by osmosis.  Recently I compiled a list of tips for a friend – and decided to share them with you.  If you are a novice like me – it will come handy specially when going with kids!

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– Check the weather before you leave.  April AND May showers bring the flowers in NC for sure!

– Bring extra cash, most farms will have knick knacks, plants or snacks to purchase while in there.  Our favorite purchases are homemade Ice Cream and fresh strawberry preserves.

– Don’t pick berries with green tips – those are not ripe.

– Strawberries are delicate fruit and bruise easily.  Be gentle when placing in your basket. They will last longer if they are unblemished

– Do not pick the flowers.  Strawberry flowers turn into strawberry fruits.  Farm attendants will get mad at you if they see flowers in your basket, or in your hair.  Do not ask me how I know this!

– Do NOT wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them.  Unwashed strawberries store better and longer.

– Strawberries store great in mason jars while refrigerated.  The mason jar lid creates a tight closure.  If you want a fresh flavor consume within a week.

– Lastly, my best kept secret for picking the best strawberries: Bring a small basket, let your kids pick 5-6 strawberries each… and buy the ones pre-picked by the Farm staff. There, I said it!

While we had been enjoying our strawberries in between errands, the rain did not let us document our adventures as often as I was planning too.  I was able to convince Becky to join us one afternoon. The weather app was giving us a 30 minute window of no rain, and the light looked perfect…until we arrived there. The sun decided to welcome us in a very hot and bright way.  The sun was blinding us and we were sweaty messes – but we were determined!  Becky managed to get fantastic photos regardless – but it was definitely an adventure.

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Ericka Jimmerson is a busy mom of two who runs Little Apple Styles, photography + event styling. Contact her at littleapplestyles@gmail.com if you need help making your event picture perfect!

Rebecca Keller is a family photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about family photography and travel sessions.