Grant, Party of Five: Family Photos

Saturday, November 9, 2019

It is that time of year again, when we need to renew our family photos. Since Nori-Ann was born, take portraits together has been a favorite past time of ours to gather, capture our family and our dynamic, and then have memories look back on. 
And each session, we sure have grown!
The last photo session we partook in was for our maternity shoot, in April of 2018.

Dress by Pinkblush

 I loved everything about these photos and my great friend, Sabrina (here) did a great job capturing our growing family beautifully. 


 Even though Noah was there gestational, our walls still felt bare (no literally they are after we painted the whole house and I said I wouldn’t put the old ones back up until we took updated family photos. And here we are one year late

These beautiful photos were captured by Dani of Dani Parada Photography. Though my personal style has changed a bit, I wanted the portraits to reflect the same. I’ve fell in love with rust, mustard yellow/turmeric’s and the like, and wanted to embrace the warmth and softness of my visionary lifestyle. 

Mommy Tip:
Bring your little ones favorite snacks so they can be comfortable.
 It's ok to let them roam and the photographer can get some candids of them.
Happy babies who get to frolic and won't become hangry, win win!   

I first started looking for inspiration on Pinterest. I tell everyone, all the time, it is a visual Google and perfect for inspiration! There’s ideas for poses, color palettes, locations and so much more. 
I went looking for color palette/outfit  ideas and I was not left empty handed.  
Outfit Inspiration by 100 Layer Cake-let

I’m already minimal/capsule style gyal with pops of boldness and with a tad of eccentric, but I knew I wanted denim for sure, white and gray as a base and went from there. I saw sage greens and olives, navy, black, and camel; which were all colors worthy of consideration. I would recommend sticking to 2/3 neutrals and 2 bolder colors and I did just that. 
For the bolder colors, I picked dusty rose (Nori-Ann’s dress ) and rust (Noah’s jumper ). 

 Outfit Details:
Norvaris sweater
Jeans: Old Navy 
Boots: DSW

My sweater
Cami: Zara 
Jeans: Levi’s 
Mules: Madewell (an investment piece I’ve been coveting and now that I’m not worried about keeping them pristine for photos, I can wear them mad, and I have plans to. Literally, a list of outfits just to wear them!)

Nori-Ann’s dress: (linked above) Zara
Boots: Old Navy 

Nathaniel’s Henley top
Jeans: Target 
Boots: Carter’s 

Noah’s jumper: (linked above) Amazon 
Shirt: Target 
Moccasins: Amazon (needed cheaper, hard bottom ones, quick, and these did the job). 

I got that out of the way, I did a quick Instagram search. Literally type in your city or county (or one you are familiar with and don’t mind driving to) and then photographer right after. So hashtag, slide all them letters together and boom! (ie: #fakecityphotographer).
Ask about their policy, get to know them a bit, and scope out who is within your budget and available for your schedule. 
*Please remember, these pictures, are an investment, so treat them as such and respect the photographers price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, but if you want JC Penney prices, go to JC Penney. They have to pay for their own equipment, fees etc. 
Ok, photography civil rant over. 

We found Dani, scoped out her work, I checked the tagged post to see what others said about her (reviews and accreditation) and how well she photographed not only different locations and event, but what mattered to me: families, outdoor, and people with my complexion as well. 



Next was location. I knew I wanted outdoor again, but wanted to have an abandoned road behind us. Dani found a park I’ve never been to, for us, but the day of, there was torrential rain and we had to change locations the day of! Yup, you read that right. 
We almost ended up at a coffee shop or museum, but we settled on a park (almost 2 hours away) but we were determined and was sticking to our scheduled plan. 
Make sure you check for fees, location safety and weather. Always have a plan b! 

 All in all, I hope you loved these photos as much as we love them and don’t be afraid to comment at the end which ones were your favorite. Now I have my work cut out for me, to go try and find  my “top 8” for our gallery wall. 

-xo Natasha 

Quick and Nutritious Breakfast Ideas

Monday, October 28, 2019

It seems like no matter what we do, time always seems to get the best of us and a disadvantage of that can be putting ourselves on the back burner. Wellness and self care should be just as important and that should involve a breakfast, even if it has to be quick, that’s healthy and your body deserves. 
Here are a few items I regularly fix for myself or feed my family that takes a little bit of time to make and has a whole lot of nutrition.

Hydrate First! 
Try to start the day with some warm lemon or key lime water. 
Warm up those systems and get your body hydrated and prepped first and foremost. Here are some benefits of warm lemon water. 

Always my favorite healthy fast food. 
A bowl of berries, 2 or even 3 bananas, some season pears or apples or peach and mango slices. Add some raw nut butter for added protein and healthy fat. 



One of my favorite quick and nutritious meals. You can make it sweet or savory and can take it with you. Sitting down and taking the time to eat is better for your digestion, but for transparency purposes, toast 
can go on the road with you. I prefer sprouted or spelt wheat bread over “bread” that’s bleached, nutrient zapped and replaced with artificial dupes, or has a way too long list of ingredients.

Photo by: Deryn Macey (@runningonrealfood)

Favorite recipes:
Almond butter honey or maple syrup

-topped with chia seeds, hemp seeds, or fresh berries 
Avocado w/sea salt and pepper, or hemp or sesame seeds
-topped with Roma tomato slices or red onion if time permits 
Chia preserves 

**Whether you eat eggs, or don’t eat eggs like myself, that’s neither here nor there. I know I can find nutrition elsewhere without eating an animal by product and the mister and children eat eggs. So you can 
boil and eat your eggs or skim over. 

Hard boiled eggs 
Crack and pack and ear on the go. 
I don’t eat eggs, but when the kids occasionally do, they always opt for hard boiled eggs. 

Waffles or Pancakes 
Nature’s Path waffles and cereal. 
I love that the ingredients are much better than conventional cereals, dyed with fruits and veggies and made with less sugar. 
Now for homemade, you can make extra one morning and freeze them for later. Then, homemade pancakes can be nutritious and quick. Make and freeze later French toast we’ll help as well. 
Here’s my favorite vegan recipe: Here

Light and Fluffy Vegan Pancakes by The Pretty Bee

Make little baggies the night before and have them ready to blend and go. I love smoothies for summer mornings, but in the colder months, I’d rather have them for an afternoon snack. 
Add in plant based protein from chia or hemp seeds, or even powder.


W/ granola and fruit. 
I like the So Delicious brand for yogurt (unsweetened) and then add honey or agave to your liking, fruit (berries are usually my go to and then some granola (homemade or store bought. Pay attention to ingredients). 


I prefer stove top, but if you are going to use prepackaged, check those ingredients. We want oats, real cane sugar; you can add your own cinnamon, pumpkin spice, minced apples, peaches or strawberries etc. 

Bake ahead of time and grab and go. The options are endless: banana, chocolate zucchini, carrot, apple, berries. 

Photo by: Eiliv-Sonas Aceron (@shootdelecious)

Trail mix
Mix up some raisins, Gogi or mulberries, with 3/4 of your favorite bits. Tons of healthy fats and packed with protein and will give you a steady bit of energy for the morning. 

My fav mix is raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts, and vegan dark chocolate mini chips. 

These are go-to meals for my family and I and don't be afraid to tweak it to fit your taste buds or satiety level. 


Natural Hair Care for Kids with Gryph & IvyRose.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I’m always eyeing bath time and hair products for the kids that are natural, smell great and accommodate Nate’s gluten allergy. Throw in vegan, and it’s a win win for all. 

This month I had the pleasure of being gifted items by Gryph & IvyRose. It seemed like the perfect timing because I was ready to purchase fresh new scents for the kids. And having something they could all use on their skin (from baby on up) and aroma is neutral, so that's a plus. upon receiving my products, I appreciated Gryph & IvyRose's swift and personable customer service, and they won me over with their ingredients. They are vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates (these ingredients can be harsh to the skin and can irritate the endocrine system). They offer vitamins and elixirs, additional bath and body products, and probiotics, but due to the kids sensitive skin and tummies, and Nate's eczema, their shampoo and detangler seemed like the best fit for our family. 

The Daily Embrace Shampoo and Conditioner has a very soothing scent and since the herbal blend includes lavender, I wasn’t surprised. The orange extract is very noticeable as well, and it’s a plus that it’s refreshing and boosting with cleansing and antiseptic properties. Sounds like a plus for putting all the babies to sleep in a calm and rejuvenated mood. I love me a good lather, so the pearl-like sudsy lather was mama approved and didn’t leave my little ones textured hair feeling stripped or lack luster. I was able to finger detangle their hair, and after rinsing, their tresses were shiny, manageable and even the baby’s hair that usually doesn’t curl much on the sides, had curl definition. A little goes a long way, so no need to get heavy handed to get a good cleansing of the scalp. Though this is a 2-in-1 product, I still followed up with a rinse out conditioner. The fact that it was moisturizing, detangled their hair to an extent, and defined their curls and coils, highlighted the conditioning part mentioned.

The product recommends, "Massage desired amount into hair and scalp,
let set for 1-2 minutes for maximum result and rinse thoroughly,' which the kids did with their bubbly mohawks. 

The Get-A-Detangler is easy on their kinky  curls and give their hair slip with no residue or a greasy touch. The real test is when I used it on my daughter’s hair, since it has real length to it, versus the boys hair, and her fine density and high porosity hair, loved the leave in. With her hair in sections, it helped me keep her hair moisturized and detangled for styling. With less time on my hands, getting her hair detangled in less than 10 minutes was amazing and very convenient. For some reason, I feel like it smells more like cucumber than pomegranate. Either way, it smells like the perfect cool and crisp scent for summer!

Applying the detangler to my son's hair as a leave-in before his styler. 

Now my only concern is the price for my budgeting mamas and families. I look at it as a self care investment for little ones and if we can make purchases for our skin care, nails and so on, for us adults, a little luxury one a week for the little ones is not so bad at all. 

Noah's super moisturized, hydrated, and defined curls with the detangler and a natural styler. 

So if you’re looking for luxurious products for your babies and little ones to treat them to  spa-like experience with green standards in kind, Gryph & IvyRose is definitely worth the buy for your home or as a baby shower gift.

They can be found at and their own site, where they are currently offering 15% off their bundles

-xo Natasha

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