DIY PHOTO SHOOT with new babies


As all you thrifty mamas out there know, photo shoots can get expensive, and new babies change so much. You want to capture all those special moments and you want photos that you can social media brag about but also that you can print and send to family and friends that looks professional. Well thrifty mamas have no fear its not that hard to do. You actually don’t even need to invest thousands of dollars now make it look good. With all the new technology out there sometimes the easiest thing to point and click is your iPhone or Android device. After all we’ve all seen the billboards with photos shot on iPhone 6.

Things you need for good professional looking baby photos:

Something to take photos with

Good Lighting – natural or studio

Easy baby props


White Blankets or Sheets (white is all the Instagram rage)

Heated room or heated blanket

Free OR good video editing softwarebasics

The trick here is to get your babies in cute poses with good natural lighting hitting them.

When taking photos of Adora, Brendon and I set up a white foam board backdrop by the window. We place a white blanket on top of our dog Benz’s bed and we place a heated blanket under the white blanket if its chilly. When babies are warm they will be more relaxed or fall asleep. If your doing a newborn photo shoot you want them the to fall asleep. Notice the foam board in the photo below make sure to get even shadowing.

We focus on Adoras eyes and make lots of noise and squeak her toys and sing to her.

Another option for photo shoots is to set up an area with a blanket backdrop.

See what we did above. With Adoras one top photo we used a white blanket on chairs and then edited it out. With the bear photos you can see how we edited out the background and made it look like she was in a white room. With Foresters set up you can see we used a bench and placed a white blanket and props on top. Alot of times you will have to use multiple photos to get a look you want.

Our theory is to take a bunch of photos and one or two will be the one you love. Babies aren’t always smiley and sometimes just taking 10 photos in a burst will be the best options.




What you really need when traveling via air with your baby – aka. WHATS IN MY CARRY ON!


Hey there ON THE GO MAMAS! 🙂 You came to the right place! After 3 LONG connections and 2layovers I think we have this airline travel thing MOSTLY covered! So let us help you.


There are a few things, 20 that we found, that we couldn’t live without when traveling.



We made this list because the day we left I had packed so much into my backpack I was overwhelmed; It was heavy, I couldn’t find anything. We didn’t use half the things I packed into our carry on the first go round. So I narrowed down what we found worked for us on the way home.

The Lulyboo travel changing pad has been my go to item since Brendon got it for me. I LOVE EVERYTHING about it. We stuff a diaper and wipes in the pocket, and I put money, my phone and hand sanitizer in the zip. Its a one stop diaper bag on the go without the bulk. Literally there have been so many times I JUST GRAB the Lulyboo to run errands or go out, it fits all the MUST have items. Thats why its #1 on my list of life products.

The Little Remedies Travel Kit is another life saver. It has gas drops, gripe water, baby meds, droppers and a nose bulb, and they are all safe natural products.

The City Mini GT is our favorite stroller. There are ALOT of strollers out there, some more affordable, some more expensive, but we love this one so much for our family. Its super easy to travel with. It has a middle pull that is easy to grab and a one strap pull system. So its really easy to fold. For a large stroller it’s really compact and fits nicely into small trunks and is easy to travel with because its light weight. It also has a seat that can go almost all the way down and back or up. Adora started using this at about one month. We also had the attachments for the car seat carrier so she could use it right away. The large front wheel makes it perfect for jogging or for just a stroll. The oversized wheels also make it great for traveling quickly and through different terranes. All in all we prefer this stroller to the Uppa Baby, the Stooke, the Bumble Bee, Britix and Chicco. Honestly we think its the best for the money and for what it offers. Its been a life saver for us.

I’m actually not a stroller mama. I would rather carry my baby but I knew with travel and not really knowing what we would be doing it makes a lot of sense to bring along the stroller. I almost checked it with my luggage but I am so glad I didn’t. Even with a carrier its nice just to have something to push with your stuff so you don’t have to get tired. Also since the seat folds down when we had a layover Adora took a nap in the stroller. I used the carrier to tote her around most of the time and the stroller to push my backpack.

We didn’t bring a car seat with us because we had one at my sisters. I couldn’t imagine traveling with one. Having to check it through customs and then lugging it around when traveling. I think, personally, it would be easier to rent one or to travel by bus and train if possible. I wouldn’t use one for the plane since I watched mamas that did this and they told me not to even try it.

Ok for those of you that read my blog about the poo on the plane, you get the disposable changing pads and the ziplock baggies, or the doggie poop bags. 🙂 I think the wipes and diapers go with out saying and the extra baby clothes. Also a bottle is probably a no brainier, but I almost didn’t bring one. Were breast feeding still and I thought she would just go to the boob the whole time, but on the plane after the extra long day we did a bottle. We brought a lot of toys and books for Adora to keep her entertained. I brought hand sanitizer and baby organics dish soap to clean her toys between flights you never realize how many times they are going to fall on the floor or touch the tray table or the side of the plane. I liked having the hooded blanket for the flight and layovers. We tried the baby muffs ear muffs for ear protection. I saw a few moms with ear protection, its just loud on the plane and I just felt more comfortable. For Adoras comfort I had boots, a sweater, and an extra hat. Adora didn’t use the boots or the extra hat, but you never know. Also we love to have our portable chair with us. Its cloth and folds up into your carry on, but it converts almost any chair into a baby chair, it just makes travel and the destination a bit easier! Don’t forget your zip binder for your documents. Check out our passport blog for more information but you will take out your paper work and boarding passes and passports at every stop and customs. So plan ahead.

Mamas you should totally plan ahead on this one. Comfortable outfits that are easy to nurse in. Your baby is going to want to go for that boob when their ears pop from pressure. Also a tired baby is going to want comfort even if they are weened. I really am into these cape sweaters for my life and they also make nursing so easy. We put them around Adoras head and she is covered but with the top open, so much better then a nursing blanket. I hate using the nursing covers that go around your neck, so the capes are perfect for us. Comfortable shoes goes without saying. All us smart baby carrying mamas know WEAR YOUR BABY while traveling. Its just easier and leaves you with 2 hands for everything else. I have photos below of at least 2 other moms carrying baby. Trust us on this one, especially if you are traveling alone like we were. Its just a life saver to have your LO on you and one hand for the stroller one for your luggage. For layovers I would suggest your lap top to watch your LOs favorite songs. We had a 4 hour layover and this helped alot. Brendon has also taught me to always bring a portable charger for your phone and other electronics with me everywhere and it has always come in handy.  babytravelmama

So there you have it – a full in depth whats in my carry on!


Poo on the plane – Theres a POO on the M* Plane


So this blog is for all you world travler mamas, and those of you that have had or will have a stinky monkey so bad Samuel L Jackson would say “eurrrybody strap in I’m about to open a window!” You know that you want to take advantage of the free or low cost travel before age two, sorry normal plane dwellers, I’m a mom now and you have to deal. So you have all these new worries and issues with infant and baby travel. You know what I’m saying ladies…. Well you have worked so hard to get this little munchie to have a good plane ride. You wear the boob top, you know the best top for breast feeding. You have the ear muffs for ear protection, the emergency bottle ready, the books, you have the back up burpie cloth, the toys – you basically look like a baby store. You’re babies-r-us express on a plane. You have fed, changed and literally burped a million times. Your layover was a quick trip to diapie changie land in a normal clean restroom and you feel prepared; you first rate travler mama.

Than you literally get onto the smallest plane possible allowed on a commercial jet and there you have it. The little stinker mun chi chi looks guilty and is oddly quiet. Next thing you know the entire plane is the stinkiest thing you have ever smelt and you know shoot theres a poo on the plane. You secretly freak out thinking ok this flight is what an hour … they can probably handle a dirty diapie an hour right? No mama they cant 😦 sadly we all know they cant. The entire plane knows whats going down. So you go into prepared mom mode! If your like us you brought bio-degradable disposable, organic changing pads(hi I’m a first mom) and you think I so have this. Then the flight attendant mentions theres no changing table on the plane… Excuse me?! no table what is this 1950! OK! Cool mama I can handle this we’re used to back seat car changing. Just not small crowded plane changing.

Mom have no fear this too is dooable for us super moms! Grab the wipes. Grab the clean diaper. Grab the disposable changing pad and the changing pad. Brace yourself and get ready for a plane changing. If your lucky theres no one in your row, if your not your doing an emergency lap change. My LO is 5months so we can lap change. Songs come in handy so do crazy silly faces ladies any face any noise you can make right about now.

Of course its a big blowout so you have to really focus. No worries however because you got this. Once the diaper blow out is handled use your nifty poop bags, yes the same ones for your dog, and place diaper and wipes in poop bag. If you had an extra special surprise then use two poop bags, if needed ask flight attendant for airline or barf bags. “Airline Sickness” bags also work if you forgot doggie bags.

Things that made my flight diapy change easier:

disposable changing pads (for use under your changing pad) or puppy pads for the thrifty mama

extra diapers (you cant have enough)

extra wipes

disposable poop bags like the ones you use for your dog

toys that make noise

silly faces and songs

Don’t worry about “germs” because they probably make your babies immune system stronger. Just take a deep breath – Good luck mamas may the force be with you 🙂


FUN BABY SILLY PLAY ART – bonus you get cool pics & videos!

As you guys all know I’m the mama on the go! I don’t like to sit inside with baby all day, plus Adora LOVES going out. Adora loves to hike, camp, go to museums, science centers, the lake, park and more… I’m glad that she hasn’t discovered shopping yet!!!! 

So a few of our favorite things to do is create art work. Tiger mom says she’s a budding Picasso!

For this activity you will need:

White Onesie & White Wrap

Poster Board Kit with Clear top

Homemade Finger Paint or non-Toxic (the homemade stuff is super easy)

Full size cork board for finished project 24 x 36

24 x 36 sheet of acyclic sheet  for DIY framing

adhesive strips and nails and glue


Adora LOVED this project since she got to be held and messy and entertained all at the same time. Sensory overload.

To set up this project we recommend setting up your art blanket under the poster board. Don’t forget water and towels. I had to run back inside to grab these to clean up while we were painting. Set your colors to the side and talk about color with your LO, bonus if you call out colors in another language! You can kind of just let your little one go crazy now with the colors, pick them up slide them around, let them get their onesie extra messy so you have better color mixing on the white onesie and wrap. You can take as long or as little as your LO wants with this project. If you don’t DIY your finger paints no worries were busy mamas and it makes clean up easier. 

Next step is to use the letters to put their names and date on the project. Or whatever you can imagine. I also added a photo to capture the moment. Then put your cling sheet on your poster board to seal the finger paint art. Here comes the fun mom art part. Use adhesive strips on the back of the poster board, I used 3m because they were at the 99cent store. Nail the onesie and the wrap to the opposite side of the poster board. Now glue the acrylic sheet to the top of the wooden cork frame to seal the whole project and make it hangable ready. YAY! My final goal is to attach a video screen onto the project to make it interactive art, but thats totally just reaching!


Baby Passport – the dos & do nots!


Well for those of us out there that want to take advantage of FREE or low cost international travel you came to the right post. However before you can travel you gotta get those docs!

Here is the official link to US department of state.

First thing you have to do is make an appointment at your local post office or passport agency 8weeks out! This will save you money and stress of having to rush. If you know your travel dates book the appointment when you book your tickets. If you don’t have time there are plenty of offices that will take you 2weeks before your travel date with a confirmed ticket and 60$ charge. Expedited travel passport agencies.

After you have your appointment put aside your documents.

a. Fill out the DS-11 form online and print it BUT DO NOT SIGN IT. You can also grab one of these at the agency, however it will make your process a bit longer.

b.You will need an official birth certificate.

c. Two parents in person with IDs or passports present.

d. Also a photocopy of your ID in color, some agencies may do this but it also ads time and sometimes they will charge you for it.  If one parent can’t make the appointment you can get the DS-3053 form notarized. (online there is more information for unique parental situations.)

e. Bring a Photo!

note* Some agencies require proof of travel outside the country in the form of a ticket.

To stay organized we kept all her information in a neat little binder. binder

For our little princess taking at home passport photos was the best option. When you have a baby everything takes longer so put aside an extra hour. If your LO is a squiggler like mine then its hard to get them in one spot for to long. You would think taking a snap of your LO for passport photos would be easy, however they are very specific.

Use a white background. Put your baby on a sheet or blanket that is plain white. Not fancy smacy fur or white with any touches, just a plain ol’ sheet or piece of paper. Use good lighting. You don’t need fancy lighting just the room and natural lighting is fine. A camera or camera phone works amazing. I6 brags about their amazing HD pics so why not just use something you LITERALLY have in your hand.

Here are a few of the pics we took. As you can see they weren’t all the pro-fesh ones she usually has. Some were blurry, some were to large, some were to bright, some weren’t framed correctly. We also didn’t know exactly how much of her cute lil’ face we should have in the photo. So we made two prints at home and brought them to the passport office and I’m glad we did because they didn’t approve our first take!

*NOTE – The photo has to have your baby looking at the camera directly. Your photo has to have their face framed and not take up the entire 2″x 2″ square. Your photo has to be in focus and not blurry. Your photo has to have proper lighting not dim lighting. White background, plain photo, no bows, no hats, no glasses etc…

Final Products!

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This was the accepted passport photo! (above)
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They didn’t accept this photo! Her face was too big (above) 

We used because it was the easiest to use. Honestly it was a pain to try to edit and capture that beautiful 2″ by 2″ on my editing programs. Even on photo shop it was taking forever to get a perfect image. On the website we used it was pick the output size upload the picture pick your country, frame the face, and your done. We had alot of 4×6 photo paper from buying ink cartridges so we printed at home. It was super easy as soon as we had the downloads. *NOTE* To down load the passport 4×4 you need to wait 90 seconds and then a DOWNLOAD blue word appears. You don’t have to click the green download button and download software, just wait the 90seconds and the WORD DOWNLOAD appears in blue under the picture, there is a blue arrow next to the word.

Once you have your completed photo put it in your binder with all other documents and walah you have a baby ready for world travel! 🙂 HOW EXCITING! 🙂