[Product Review] Stroller : Thule/Chariot Cheetah 2

Guys.

I’m in love. Again.

 

So a couple of months ago, I realized that when we move, preschool will be a bit more work to get to. It will be a 45 minute walk, 45 minutes on transit or a 15 minute bike ride.

Insert a lightbulb emoticon here.

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My big boys comfortably fit side by side!

After convincing my husband that yes, I DOOOOO need another stroller, I started the search for a bike trailer.

I found various trailers but nothing that really stuck out as a stroller that would be great for unhitching from the bike and using in the mall or out and about.

I bit the bullet and bought a Chariot. It was more than I (husband, let’s be real here) wanted to pay for a bike trailer but I have been in love from day 1! It was worth every penny.

I’ve decided to sell my single jogging stroller and use the Chariot as my every day stroller. It’s a bit wide, as a double, but I’ve only found one door that I can’t fit through – this is after many adventures! (And hey, so long as I can fit into Starbucks, life is good!!)

 

 

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Thumbs up from my coach for a good run today!

Not only is this stroller fabulous for cruising around the city, but this is great as a jogging stroller! I’ve just started running last week, but in the five times I’ve gone running, I find myself enjoying the jogging set up more and more.

I may only be 5’2″ tall and a slow pace, but I apparently have a long stride. I’ve tried various jogging strollers and have found myself kicking the wheels or the bottom bar. I haven’t had any issues with this one.

 

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Enjoying a snack after drop in before we head home (all downhill – booya!)

As a bike trailer, it is equally impressive.

While I was towing the trailer with 65lbs of child, I was so happy that it is a lightweight bike trailer! The trailer feels stable while going down ramps or off curbs. The kids are happy and secure in their five point harnesses and, thanks to the bright green colour, I know we are easy for cars to spot.

The axel mount ezHitch is easy to put on (or so my husband says – he’s the one that has been changing it back and forth between our bikes) and I love that it’s flexible enough that if the bike falls over, it leaves the stroller with precious cargo, untouched. The stroller is very stable in bike trailer mode.

I learned the hard way that the cover that goes over the stroller isn’t just for rain – my kids can attest, it’s meant to be used when used as a bike trailer. We went for a 35 minute bike ride last weekend and when I went to get the kids out of the stroller, I found them covered in dirt! #momfail at it’s finest! Whoops!

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Photo from Thule

I love that the stroller folds flat – we took it on a trip to Vancouver Island a few weeks ago, along with two carry on suit cases for me and the boys, a suitcase for my SIL and my MIL’s bag. It was a three day trip in a Nissan Rouge and it worked terrific for us.

The pockets inside the sitting area are perfect for the kids water bottles, snack and some toy cars. I love how the kids can reach their pockets – even Sammy, while buckled in.

The back wheels are BIG. They provide a smooth ride while in stroller, jogging and bike mode. They tackle cement, pressed dirt paths, bumpy paths, rocks and sand with ease.

While the stroller is wide (needed for helping with stability in bike mode), it still fits onto transit. I have been taking this on our local skytrain. Due to the pole in the middle of the area by the doors, we don’t block any more width than with a single stroller (even moved to the side, people can’t slide between the stroller and the pole anyways) And it’s not as long as some singles, or at least the ones I’ve been using in the past couple years, so I actually take up less room from front to back. I haven’t taken it on the bus as of yet, but I have been told by someone that it does fit on board. I’ll hopefully try this out soon – I’m actually surprised that we haven’t taken the bus in THAT long!

 

I am loving my Chariot! it’s the jack of all trades but is also, truly, a master them all, too.

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Photo from Thule

Now, for the nitty gritty details :
(Information taken from Thule.com)

Children : option for one or two children
Weight Capacity : 45kg
Stroller Weight : 12kg
Shoulder Width : 59cm
Sitting Height : 68cm
Dimensions : 115cm(L) X 80cm(W) X 107cm(H)
Folded Dimensions : 107cm(L) X 80cm(W) X 27cm(H)
Seat Belt : five point padded harness
Dual position handlebars
Mesh upper seatbacks and side vents for airflow
Front wheels store upside down on the VersaWing while in jogging or bike mode
Storage compartments : two small pockets inside by the seats, large pocket and small pocket on rear
EzFold Technology make it fast and easy to fold for strage

 

If you’ve ever considered getting a bike trailer, I highly recommend this one.
It’s been a fabulous family addition. It takes us everywhere we need to go and has been great motivation to get back into running and biking!

 

The views in this post are entirely mine. I have not received any product from them in order to do this review.
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[Service Review] [Product Review] Norwex – Anne Whitmore

Want to know a secret? A few days ago, I was actually pretty excited to clean my house.

Yes, you read that right. I was excited.

 

Want to know another secret? I cleaned my house without a single chemical.

I only. used. water.

Norwex has special microfibre that can remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface. No spray, no soap, no chemicals. Just water.

 

When I first heard this, I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t really believing that it would clean much with only water. I figured there had to be some kind of catch – a lot of elbow grease, maybe?

I’ve tried a few of their products before and have been happy with them but I have been very curious about the mop so knew I wanted to get my hands on her lending kit to test it out myself!

 

The kit included :

  • EnviroCloth
  • Dusting Mitt
  • Window Cloth
  • Mini-Mop System
  • Rubber Brush
  • Samples of Cleaning Paste, Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent, Odour Eliminator, Blue Diamond All-In-One Bathroom Cleaner, Dishwashing Liquid
Enviro Cloths Rainbow Package
EnviroCloth (photo credit : Norwex)

First thing I tried out was the Dusting Mitt. I used it *everywhere* I could reach and get my hands on. I used it on the hard to reach places that I save for once a month. And I used it on the places that I had used another duster on just an hour earlier. It was picking up so much dust and dirt! I loved how it was soft and smooth on my hand and that it was very comfortable to use. It glided over the surfaces with ease. I could slip it in to certain small areas to get cracks and crevices.

The second, and real reason I was dying to get my hands on the kit, was to try out the Norwex Mini-Mop System. I’ve heard many different opinions on it and had to try it out for myself. It’s very lightweight and the handle adjusts height (as someone who isn’t much past five feet tall, this is wonderful!) I love that it’s just water that I use to wash the floor. I use a steam mop and I always have to time my cleaning around the kids bedtime – vacuum as close to bedtime as possible so that I can then mop after the boys are in bed because the steam mop gets hot and leaves water that takes a bit of a time to dry. The kids leave footprints all over if I mop while they are awake… Ugh! I also have to plug the mop in.. Which doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, except our house has a serious lack of outlets and the cord is about three feet long. Total pain. Well, with the Norwex mop, I didn’t vacuum and I didn’t have to wait for them to get to bed in order to mop! I used the dry mop pad and gave everything a sweep. I used to rubber brush to pull all the hairs and dirt off the pad and into the pile of dirt which I then used our handheld Dyson to suck up. Then I ran the wet mop pad under some hot water, rung it out and slapped it onto the handle to get to work. Sammy was on the couch with a bottle, eyeing me the entire time, while Dean was on the couch playing an iPad game. I got the living room done in record time with very minimal effort and rinsing out the pad once halfway (which I don’t think I needed to do but I did it anyway!) Sammy, the second I paused to admire my work, hopped off the couch and ran right through the freshly mopped floor. He left footprints but once dry, I couldn’t find them anymore, unlike my steam mop.

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Cleaning with just water means that this little man can help me and I don’t have to worry about his sensitive, baby soft skin. Sammy loved helping me with the Window Cloth!

There’s so many reasons to avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your house. My kids aren’t licking the floor anymore (on a regular basis, at least) but they do spend a lot of time sitting or laying on the floor to play. I don’t want their skin, the largest organ of their body, to be absorbing residual bleach. I also don’t like having strong smells, even if many people associate it with “clean”, overpowering my house. While we aren’t “scent free”, we don’t really use anything that have scents. We’re doing more harm than good by using disinfectants and sanitizers. Not only are we leaving a huge carbon footprint by creating and introducing these chemicals into our water systems, we’re also killing off a lot of good bacteria, as well as keeping all the little bad bacteria that keeps our immune system working and evolving. And well, water is free. Skipping the endless cleaners that are around nowadays, you’ll be saving money.

I was very impressed with everything that she had in the kit. I enjoyed testing things out but was quite sad that I didn’t have more time to clean! It was amazing how easily everything came clean!

 

But don’t just take my word for it – check out the photos below!

 

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One room down… The rest of the house to go!
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After a quick vacuum with our Dyson, I tossed the Dry Mop pad on and gave it a whirl around the house…. I still got dirt, fur and junk off the floor!
PicMonkey Collage
Before and After – Just an EnviroCloth and water after a long winter in the yard!

Interested in ordering or looking for more information?
Contact Anne on her Facebook group or browse her online catalogue!

[Service Review] [Product Review] Edibles : Steeped Tea

A few weeks ago, I met this wonderful lady at the park by my sons preschool. We chatted and hit it off. We found out that we were both part of the same Facebook mom group and exchanged names.

A few hours later, I was browsing Facebook while getting Sammy to sleep and saw that she was looking for people to sample tea.

DUDE! Sign me up!

Steeped Tea
Steeped Tea

Chelle sent me a list of all the flavours and I spent far longer than I should have dwelling over which flavours I wanted to sample! It was a very hard choice! Naming my children was easy in comparison (honestly, but that’s because I’m a nerd)

I received my package of three samples in the mail and it was CHRISTMAS! And well, it kind of was… Because there was the Egg Noggin’ tea in my envelope. I also got samples of Creme Caramello and Chocolate Pumpkin Chai. SO DELISH!

It’s taken me a few weeks to finally get a chance to savour all three of my samples. I love tea and would drink it all day long if I could but with two little monsters demons boys, I rarely get to finish my tea before it’s cold. And well, this tea deserves to be savoured. Because Oh. Em. Gee. This tea is amazing quality!

I made the swap from the grocery store teas to an actual tea store recently. But this? This deserves to be stashed away and hidden and never shared. Ever. Even if the Queen came over and asked for tea. She can have the cheap grocery store brand!

An added bonus? By buying my tea through direct sales, I am helping support a local mom in her business venture!

I’m getting my order ready to submit to receive it in time for Christmas. A little something for me and a couple of Christmas gifts to cross off my list! Ordering is so simple – choosing the flavours, on the other hand, take a bit of work! Life’s big decisions!

Egg Nogging - HELLO Holidays!!
Egg Nogging – HELLO Holidays!!

If you are looking for some tasty tea, check out Chelle’s Steeped Tea page! She’s been a dream answering my questions and giving me suggestions for flavours!

http://www.mysteepedtea.com/TASTETEA/
https://www.facebook.com/tasteteawithChelle/
Check out her Facebook page and follow it – she does various deals and discounts and even FREE prizes! (Seriously, free tea… How awesome is that?!)

*  I received free samples to review this product. The opinions are entirely my own.

[Product Review] Little Acorn

I love local mom businesses, that’s no lie!

Sammy is a MAJOR drooler. He would soak through two or three shirts in a day, to the point of me having to change his shirt AND undershirt because it was drenched…

I came across a mom in Vancouver posting about her bandana bibs she makes on a local Facebook buy and sell page. I couldn’t help but to get excited and buy three of them.

They’re amazing. No more drool soaked shirts.. These stood the test of a slobbery Sammy.

There’s plenty of cute designs to choose from. They are double sided so mix and match your favourites!

The bandana bibs are so well made. They are thick enough to keep him dry but not bulky to be annoying to him. The snaps are strong enough to stay closed with a certain baby yanking on the bib.

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Rosalind is a mom of a 17 month old little guy who, along with her husband, occupy most of her time. She is passionate about sewing and many of the items she makes are inspired by her son. She loves making baby related accessories and clothing. She also enjoys crocheting, painting and making cards and jewelry. In her spare time she can be found on the North Shore mountains for a day hike or grabbing a coffee with her family.

Check out her Facebook page here! She’s got an awesome selection of patterns.

[Product Review] Stroller : Baby Jogger – City Select (Part:2 Doubles Mode)

Just over a year ago I wrote up my product review of my favourite stroller in single mode.

Today, after nearly six months of using it as a double, I’m ready to do a review of it again!

 

I still really, really love this stroller. It’s fabulous!

Numbered modes CS BLOG
I’m just covering the doubles features but will include single seat with glider board attachments (and discussing the ones I have tried, so things like two car seats and two bassinets are out)

Mode 1 [with glider board] : This set up worked pretty well but I had to put the bassinet on the lower of the two upper settings (if you have the stroller, you’ll know what I mean) because with it on the upper of the top setting, Dean was really squished trying to stand on the glider board.

Mode 2 : Haven’t tried this mode.

Mode 3 : Wasn’t a fan of this mode. The bassinet was right in Dean’s face and it was hard to access the basket for larger items.

Mode 4 : This is one of our favourite modes. Sammy doesn’t last too long facing forward as it’s a bit overwhelming after a while, but it works great with the two of them. Sammy has to be one click reclined as he can’t sit fully upright while awake without tipping to the side but the seats still fit together. I put Sammy on the bottom if he’s awake but if he falls asleep, I can’t recline him further than that one click unless I turn the upper seat around to face backwards (mode 15)

Mode 5 : Again, not a fan. Dean really doesn’t like facing backwards in the bottom position. He likes to see the world… Or at least not the back of his brothers seat. I’m also not a fan of him in the lower seat with his seat backwards as it takes away a lot of the storage space for his long legs.

Mode 6 : We liked this mode, but not quite enough to make it a favourite. Sammy would ride down below and Dean would ride up top. If Dean was too squirmy, it was a tangle of feet in seconds. Both boys are decently tall and with Sammy having to recline that one click, it made it hard to keep them from squishing each other. They enjoyed facing each other though! Maybe once Sammy can sit more upright, which will make the seats have more space between the leg rests, then this will be a favourite.

Mode 7 : This was our go-to for when Sammy was really little. We used the car seat on the stroller more than the bassinet before Sammy could go into a seat. This made Dean have a view, kept Sammy close by within reach while we walked and also made it easy for Dean to climb in and out of the stroller on his own. Definitely a favourite for the first couple of months.

Mode 8 : This is a good set up for when we have to take transit or if we need to make the stroller work as a triple (with the glider board attached) Dean would ride up top, facing me, and Sammy would be down below. It worked great for reclining Sammy if he fell asleep (and honestly, he doesn’t care about the lack of view – in fact, it helped to keep him from getting overwhelmed while out and about) Not a great match with Dean below and Sammy above with the view and storage basket issues mentioned above, as well as having Sammy reclined one click made it a bit squishier for Dean.

Mode 9 : This set up seemed totally silly to me. Why would I want my infant facing outward with my toddler facing me? Maybe I’m alone in thinking this is a weird set up but it just didn’t jive with us. We made it about a block before I switched it around. Not a fan of this one at all!

Mode 10 (with glider board) : This was our go-to when we didn’t need a second seat. Until the past month or two, I always brought a second seat for Dean, just in case, unless it was a walk to the park. Now that he’s 2.5 years old, he’s walking a lot more. But I also liked to have a backup in case Dean got tired. The glider board made this set up work for us. It was also good for at the mall or on an outing that we drove to in case it got too chaotic or little legs got too tired.

Mode 11 (with glider board) : This is our new go-to for when we don’t need a second seat but I want to be able to get both kids on the stroller to dash around if needed. I also like this mode the most as a Single-And-A-Half-Mode (not quite double mode) because I can strap Sammy into the carrier and Dean in the seat if needed.

Mode 12 : We never put this mode to an active test, but I did put the bassinet and car seat on to see how it was. Not really sure why you would put one baby in a car seat and the other in a bassinet (I guess for acid reflux?) I found it hard to see baby in the bassinet.

Mode 13 (with glider board) : Not a huge fan of this one with the ages I have for the kids. Dean sits in the seat like this all the time as a single stroller and I like it, but I haven’t really used it for Sammy in the seat facing forward and Dean on the board due to Sammy’s age. Also, needing to recline it too far squishes Dean off the board.

Mode 14 : See mode 9 and 12. Not actively tested out.

Mode 15 : This is one of our favourites. Dean sits in the lower seat facing out for ease of climbing in and out and also to see the world, Sammy sits up top facing me so I can keep an eye on him and reach him easier to settle him, talk to him etc. I can recline Sammy one click with this set up *IF* I take Dean’s canopy off. Seeing as he never uses it, I have no issues with that.

Mode 16 : Not a fan of this set up. I liked that I could chat with Dean but I wasn’t a fan of the bassinet out of view. It worked the few times we used it this way, and was better than mode 3, in my opinion, but wasn’t super happy with it.

 

Not shown : A mode that sort of worked was Dean on the top facing forward with Sammy in the car seat facing towards me. Dean liked to be able to see Sammy and I liked that I could see him, too. But it was a bit squishy and not the easiest to get Dean in and out of the stroller. Was good for a few times we went for a walk when both boys were sick but needing fresh air and they just wanted to ride.

 

One of our favourite set ups!
One of our favourite set ups! (mode 15)

 

The bassinet wasn’t a hit for our household. Sammy was rolling early and also didn’t like to lay flat which made it a flop. He preferred the car seat most of the first three months. Around 3 months, I moved him to a seat with an insert I bought. I kept the seat 2-3 clicks reclined until he was starting to sit up more solo. Now, at 5 months, he is in the stroller with the seat only reclined one click (two if sleeping) without any inserts / rolled blankets. The stroller manual says babies can use a seat at 6 months. While I wouldn’t use it from birth, I definitely don’t think you need to wait until six months old before using the seat!

We are rarely using the car seat adapter now – Sammy is getting too big for the car seat and doesn’t find it comfortable for longer periods so we tend to put him in a seat when we use the stroller, even if it’s just a shorter trip.

The glider board is really worth the $100! We use it often and I love how quick and easy it is to attach and remove. It doesn’t take up space – though it does limit the ease of reaching into the basket from that spot if it’s folded up.

 

The storage basket is still amazing in doubles mode. I can fit my LARGE diaper bag, a big lunch bag, my Tula, a blanket and other baby gear in there and STILL stop at the grocery store to grab a few things on the way home.

This is my “car”, as I don’t drive, so I needed a stroller to be able to get us to where we want to go (and we go to a lot of places!) This stroller is living up to my expectations and my families demands. I like that I can change the set up to accommodate our days plans – and that  I can even change the seats while out if one kid is tired or another needs some time to talk while we are walking or if one is not using their seat and it’s now become storage.

With the car seat and D's seat on, I STILL managed to get D's strider bike in the basket to get us to the boardwalk for a ride!
With the car seat and D’s seat on, I STILL managed to get D’s strider bike in the basket to get us to the boardwalk for a ride!

 

I am still in love with this stroller. I worried after getting it that maybe it wasn’t that awesome and I wouldn’t like it as much when we added Baby 2.0 to our family but six months later, I am still enjoying this stroller!

 

 

With two kids, just barely over two years apart, my current City Select stroller stash is :

  • Frame with seat
  • Second seat with posts/pegs
  • Car seat adapter
  • Bassinet
  • One snack tray [*1]
  • One rain cover [*2]
  • Parent console
  • JJ-Cole infant insert
  • Glider board
  • Mommy hook
  • Skip Hop diaper bag [*3]

*1 – I had bought a second tray but decided that due to the ages of the kids that I wouldn’t need a second tray. Once Sammy is older and needs one, Dean will be pretty much done with the stroller.

*2 – I’ve been meaning to buy a second rain cover and days that it’s absolutely pouring rain and we need to get somewhere at a certain time, I am kicking myself for not getting a second one. But I usually just wear Sammy in the carrier and D goes in the seat or Dean goes on the glider board with an umbrella / under my umbrella and Sammy goes in the seat.

*3 – I love this diaper bag because it can be hung up onto the bar, depending on the stroller seat mode (see the photos above) Again, not recommended by City Select, but totally functional and definitely doesn’t change the stability of the stroller!

I didn’t buy the rain cover for the basket, though at times I think it would come in handy. I usually just face the seat forward with the seat rain cover on and it keeps the things in storage dry enough.

 

This is THE stroller for a growing family!

[Product Review] Diaper Bag : Skip Hop DUO

I love purses. I have bags of bags of bags in the garage. But when I would go out (pre-kids) I would rarely leave the house with a purse.

A month before Baby Sammy joined us, I went out and treated myself to a new diaper bag. I wasn’t a huge fan of the bag I used with Dean. It was clunky, big and hard to access all the excellent pouches and such. It was also awkward when carrying it and felt heavier than it should have felt for the lack of stuff in it.

I *LOVE* this new bag. Not only is it more roomy and functional, I enjoy the pattern.

Skip Hop really outdid themselves with this bag!

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Firstly, the main compartment has a full zipper across the top. There’s no flap in the way, no magnetic closure which allows the little ones to access it and dump everything out. It has two pouches inside, along with the large open compartment.

On the main opening is a small somewhat hidden zippered compartment. It’s perfect for my wallet, keys, chap stick and phone. It keeps them handy but secure.

There is a pocket on the outside which is just the right size for a change pad (included) a couple of diapers and a travel wipes case.

On the sides are two bottle pouches. Neither is meant to keep bottles cold, but I never felt comfortable with the ones on my old bag to keep the milk chilled so never used it and because of the thermal layer, it was bulky and wouldn’t fit my coffee cup or water bottle. These ones do fit them and they are deep enough that even my Starbucks tumbler (a regular staple of outings) isn’t in the way or sticking up above the bag.

The front consists of three pockets. Two magnetic closure pouches (each are the size of a large pack of wipes, sans box) that keep things close at reach. And there’s a good sized zippered pouch.

 

Perfect wallet compartment!
Perfect wallet compartment!

 

The bag has three carry options.

There’s two handles for grabbing it by hand.

There’s a carry strap for cross body or shoulder carry. I love the strap because I can take it off. My husband always hated me with our old diaper bag because I would make the strap as small as it goes because I never wore it and it was always in the way. Now, I can take the strap off completely and REALLY annoy him (hey, the amount he uses the diaper bag compared to me, it’s only fair that I take it off and make it convenient for me)

And then there’s the awesome patented shuttle clips which make attaching it to your stroller a breeze! I can clip it onto the stroller anywhere I want without having to attach it to the clips that stay on the stroller. The clips are handy and remain on the diaper bag. I really love this feature. Depending on the stroller set up, the bag is sometimes tough to reach but I can unclip one side, pull it out from hiding under the seat and grab what I need from the large compartment before clipping it back on – all while holding Sammy. I also use the clips to attach the diaper bag to the stroller while it’s in the basket if we are out and about where I am leaving the stroller off to the side so that it’s harder to pulled out by someone looking to steal bags or by innocent little ones that are emptying stroller baskets at the local drop in.

 

I like to think that I don’t carry a ton of crap in my diaper bag. I feel like it’s all important things that I should keep on hand… Realistically, I overpack for every vacation, so I am sure it’s overpacked as well.

Want to see what’s in my diaper bag? Check back soon – I’ll be posting my stash in a few days.

[Service Review] Photography : Affordable Child Photography; Surrey, BC

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In the summer, just before Dean’s birthday, I decided I wanted to get professional photos of us as a family for Dean’s first birthday. I had tons of photos of just him, but nothing of the three of us worth framing.

I began searching photographers. And felt like I would never be able to afford one! I wasn’t looking for 50 photos of us – I just wanted a handful. I’m not big on the huge, long photo sessions. I find that it’s exhausting but also don’t like having 15893 photos of us from the same day, wearing the same outfits, in very similar poses. I want just a snapshot of that moment in time, not an entire album of an hour that day.

I came across recommendations for Affordable Child Photography. Her minis were beyond reasonably priced and her portfolio showed exactly the kind of photo styles I was looking for.

She met us at a local park and we spent a quick 30 minutes getting photos the day after Dean’s birthday. She kept him interested and amused. He was at the age that he would rather be crawling around, trying to walk, than sitting still but she worked around him and got some great photos.


Picture

She holds many “themed” mini sessions throughout the year. Anything from Christmas with and without Santa to fingerpainting to Mothers/Fathers Day shoots. I got Dean signed up for the Teddy Bear Picnic themed photo shoot, as I thought he would be more open to a stranger, in a new environment, if he got to bring a very cherished teddy bear with him.

We arrived at her apartment building and waited in the lobby while she finished up with the previous clients. Dean had a blast running up and down the ramp, climbing the stairs and just causing a ruckus in the lobby while we waited (perfect to get out his burst of energy so he would be more cooperative for the photos) Tina met us in the lobby and we went up to her apartment where she had her “studio” set up – backdrop, flooring and lights all set up in her living room with everything else pushed aside. Dean spent a few moments exploring while we chatted. He wasn’t too sure what to make of what was happening. He was a bit nervous and just ever so slightly (read : super) clingy but Tina was great about letting him warm up to her on his own level.


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When we started taking photos, I started to get worried. Dean didn’t want to be “on stage” in front of the backdrop. He wanted to be on my lap… And I didn’t want to be in the photos! Panda to the rescue though! I started tossing Panda to the other end of the set so he would run over and grab him then scurry back to me. Tina was able to catch a few quick shots doing so. He is at the fun stage where he is starting to understand “stranger danger” so it’s a hard stage to have someone he isn’t familiar with focusing on him in an unfamiliar surrounding. But after me and him played the throwing Panda game, and I brought out some crackers, he was warming up to Tina. He even offered her his beloved Panda… And that’s the equivalent as giving her a huge hug!

I was nervous at the start with his hesitation but Tina knew exactly how to make him feel comfortable and open up. She has such an amazing talent behind the camera and with children!

I’m looking forward to our next photo shoot – possibly in October after we welcome our second child and do some newborn shots.

You can contact Tina though her Facebook page or her website.

A bit about Tina :


My first love, when I was much younger, was my little brother who came into the picture when I was just turning 10. When there’s that big of an age difference you find out very quickly that you’re expected to be the helping hand. But I really didn’t mind… well yes, I had my teenage “I don’t want to have anything to do with my family” stage, but really, I enjoyed helping out with my little brother and I’m assuming that’s where my love of children began. When my little brother was still young, he was diagnosed with high functioning Autism. I found that I was interested in learning how to deal specifically with him, as he was unlike any other child I had been exposed to. When I was in middle school, I decided to volunteer in the kindergarten class in my school during breaks and lunch. Children always naturally took to me and I seemed to always have a knack for reading a child to figure out what would work while dealing with them. My love of children continued through my whole life, and now I have a little boy of my own. He is currently 4 years old and I feel blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom.

My second love was photography and when I was younger I was often fascinated by photos. I would spend hours digging through old photos even when I had no idea who was in them! I guess there was always a part of me that was interested in photography although I didn’t realize how much until I picked up my first SLR. I fell in love with my first Nikon the first day I owned it and I haven’t turned back. My husband often jokes with me about how I always act like a tourist because of the number of pictures I take. I still enjoy learning new things with my camera all the time and I am always looking for ways to improve my work. I feel very passionate about finding what works for each family, as no two families are exactly alike!

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*Disclaimer : The above views and opinions are solely mine. I did not receive any product or service for free.*