Caught In Between

So…I just had a baby a couple of weeks ago and as much as I’d love to be one of those girls who is back in their skinny jeans a hot minute after giving birth…I’m just not.
Instead there are two problems at hand: 1. I do not want to wear my maternity jeans anymore.  I just feel like I’ve graduated past that, I’ve moved on! The day I got home from the hospital I packed them up and gave them to my freshly pregnant sister….and 2. I know I’ll be losing this weight before too long so I’m not dying to buy jeans that will only fit me for a short time. I’m a cheapskate like that.

So…Leggings. Baggy shirts. Cardigans. Baggy dresses.
I teamed up with Nordstrom to get myself outfitted because they always have the best quality Ts and Leggings without being super expensive.

postpartum

(I should have gotten a shot of Nick taking this photo while wearing the baby in my Solly Baby Wrap. Turns out Will and Christian are excellent assistants:)

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Layering Tank | Leggings | Cardigan | Shoes (Similar) | Lips Clinique Black Honey

Wanna hear something really weird? When I was pregnant I got a really mild form of the “pregnancy mask” which is basically melasma (dark spots on the skin) on the top of my cheeks, my forehead, and my nose. That isn’t the weird part, lots of ladies get it – it’s totally normal. The weird part is I didn’t realize I had it until AFTER I gave birth. I mean, I have been noticing it in videos and photos through the pregnancy but each and every time I just blamed myself. I kept thinking, why did I do my makeup so blotchy? or Did I just spray the tanner really unevenly? It wasn’t until I got home and didn’t touch my skin with makeup or tanner for a week that I actually realized what it was!
Anyway I generally just use IIID Foundation exclusively but it’s coverage on the cheeks is very light so I was glad to finally identify the problem so I could start my makeup routine with some light all over face foundation to even everything out. (My latest favorites for a sheer undercoat are the YSL Touche Éclat- It’s super sheer and makes your skin glow & Laura Mericer Tinted Moisture - One thing I had to learn with this is to use a light hand but when you do it’s gorgeous light coverage with a great kick of moisture.)

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PS I have brown hair again….I know. I can never stay in one color for very long! I just get antsy!

Video makeover – Debra

This is My SIL Debra, you may remember her from THIS post.
She’s a mom of 5 with one on the way so we felt it was really important that she have an everyday look that can be recreated in just a few minutes.
debra

 

Excuse the light in this video. I really wanted to have it close enough and bright enough that you could see detail but it is a bit yellow and harsh…I’ll master these videos one day!

What I used:

Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 120
Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
Colour Pop iheartthis Gel Shadow
Milani Bella Caffe Gel Shadow
Dior Lash Primer
MAC Brun
NYX Liner in Taupe
Loreal Lip Color Doutzen
Urban Decay All Nighter
* All of the products I used to HAC are from my IIID Foundation second Generation that’s launching so soon:)

Happy Hump Day!

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Nick & Cara. A love story.

Today is our 2 year anniversary (yay!!) so I thought it would be fitting to reshare this post. I still can’t believe how lucky I am.

Nick and I met about 7 years ago.  Typical boy meets girl, they fall in love and then…he dumped me.

I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
It all started with this photo:

me

I was living in San Francisco but visiting my hometown (St. George UT) for my little sister’s wedding when I went to lunch with a good friend. On our way out of her office we stopped to talk to her coworker, Bevan. He said he had a son named Nick, who was playing golf at BYU (about 3 hours away) and swore that if he sent a photo of me he’d be here in a hot minute to take me on a date. So I awkwardly posed for a photo and didn’t really think much of it afterward. Apparently, Nick didn’t either because he ever showed up.

Although, a few weeks later I received this email:

I know emails from complete strangers are a little creepy, but I wanted to make sure it was ok that I was given your email address.  Im sorry if my Dad weirded you out a little…. I can’t believe he made you pose for a pic….. gotta love parents.  So I have your email and now you have mine.  I just wanted send a quick message to say hello and…… to see if you really exist…  So email me back sometime, I think it would be cool to talk some, either internet or phone or whatever.  I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Nick Killpck

From then on were pretty much inseparable (by phone of course) if we weren’t talking we were texting. A million questions, conversations and stories.

us

{another photo by Nick’s dad, who joined us on our first date!}

I loved how easy he was to talk to. I loved that he seemed genuine. I loved his understated charm.

We met in person a few weeks later when he was on a Golf trip to San Fran and things only got better. I was planning to move to Salk Lake City when I was done with my nanny job, which was ending right about that time, it worked out perfect. We had so much in common and got along swimmingly. We became boyfriend & girlfriend officially and dated for a few months. Everything was going great…or so I thought. He pretty much blindsided me one day when he said, “I think we need to break up.”

I was devastated.

I went over every moment in our relationship 1000 times, where had it gone wrong? Why hadn’t I seen this coming? What could I do to change his mind!?

Generally I am pretty good at coping. If I don’t get something I want I can convince myself pretty easily that it really wasn’t so great in the first place.
Nick was a huge exception to this. He was such a great person. I just couldn’t figure out a way to believe that my life could be better without him in it.

I always tell people who are trying to get over a breakup to “fake it ’till you make it.” The only way I could get over him was to pretend I already was.  Eventually I lost hope that he would magically change his mind and was finally able to move on.

About a year later I started dating another guy and we ended up getting married. A couple of years after that Christian was born.  Sadly, it was an incredibly unhealthy relationship and I knew as soon as I had Christian I did not want him to live like that. As hard as it was I knew what I needed to do. When he was just a couple months old, I became a single mother.

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{photo by Blaire Florang}

For a long time I pretty much hid out at my parents house. They were wonderful and so helpful with Christian and for the first time in a long time, I felt happy and safe. I was pretty sure I’d never date again. I never wanted to be with someone who didn’t love that little boy like I did and I didn’t know if finding someone who did was even possible. On top of that it felt like dating was such a drastic conflict of interest with being the mother of a baby. I was breast feeding for heavens sake!

Thank goodness for my blog followers. I put all of my extra energy and thoughts into blogging and even though I never talked about what I was going through, every comment and every new friend made me feel like I had a purpose (outside of 24/7 colic patrol) and made me feel like a normal person. I really don’t know what Id have done without you guys.

Meanwhile guess who ran across my blog? Nick.
He was single, living in St. George and in addition to playing golf professionally, he was starting to get into a multilevel marketing healthy chocolate company. He thought I might be interested in the chocolate and maybe blog about it so he gave me a call and see if I was interested. I wasn’t and didn’t but we talked and caught up for a while. When he found out I was divorced he got so awkward. I assume he was thinking about all those years he regretted dumping me and knew I was the best girlfriend ever and he’d never find another girl quite like me. I’m sure that’s what it was:)

It took a few months but we started dating again. (I had to give him the cold shoulder for a while, ya know?:)

I found out he was still the same guy that I loved and looked up to. Only better. It didn’t take long for us to become best friends again.
I knew he loved Christian like I did one night when he put him to bed. He had been pretty fussy and Nick had been with us all day and yet within a few minutes of him being asleep he pulled out his phone to pour over photos of him. He was in deep:)

About a year later he took me back to San Francisco and asked me to marry him.

There were so many times along the way that I thought my life was damaged beyond repair. SO many days that I felt hopeless about my future.

I knew that my life was not a fairytale and I was not a princess…

but on a sunny day in September in a big white castle, Nick convinced me otherwise.

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My friend Cassy took these photos, she is incredibly talented. She also had the BEST blog. It’s definitely one of my favorites. She talks about motherhood, fashion, photography and just whatever. You’ll love her instantly. Enjoy! CLICK HERE to check her out
PS these photos make me miss my dark hair. Just a little.

Best kept secrets for looking good in photos!

photogenic

After being a portrait & family  photographer for a few years and then spending the next few posing for photos myself I feel like I have learned some really valuable info on working the camera!
I posted on this subject about a year ago, but after 12 more months of taking more photos I’ve stumbled on even more conclusions… and since I know many of you are gearing up for family photo season again, I thought I would share my findings.

Here we go…

prepare

prep

Exfoliate: Dead skin is going to KILL your IT factor by making you look drab and colorless. Get rid of it.
Get rest: Baggy under eyes are not your best look. We both know that.
Water: Cause I can’t make any kind of a beauty list without adding this stuff…

The other thing that is REALLY important is that you don’t procrastinate anything else you have to get done before the photo shoot. Picking out an outfit, your kids outfit…whatever it is make sure you can have as much as possible done before hand so that you’re not stressed to the point of murder by the time you get to the picture taking part. Stress photographs TERRIBLY.

 

wear

There are a million fashion blogs you can go to and get much more information than I can offer on this one but I am going to talk sheer logistics here-
as a photographer I can tell you the number one thing women didn’t like about their photos was when their body wasn’t flattered.

Sometimes the camera really does add ten pounds!

But there are ways to avoid this.

Proper undergarments are crucial.  (you know.. bras that fit, no panty lines…that sort of thing can be overlooked by the mirror but NEVER by the lens)
I like to pick flowy fabrics that don’t hug me too tight. I know if I feel like I need to suck in the whole time my photos are going to look…pained and if I have a muffin top I’m not going to be super stoked about it. (peplums are pure muffin camouflage!)
Oh, and heels, for obvious reasons.

(More on flattering posing)

outfit

shoes: steve madden (similar)  | pants: forever21 (similar) | top: forever21 (similar)

 

hair

My hair ALWAYS looks flatter in photos so I amp up to volume to compensate, I do that by starting my curls at the root instead or half way down the shaft and by adding clip-ins.
If I’m taking photos outdoors I like to pick a style that can move around and not get ruined. Highly hair sprayed or perfectly coiffed styles are bound to drive you crazy if the wind makes an appearance.
Don’t be afraid to get generous with shine serum! I mean, you don’t want to look like a grease ball or anything but I’ve noticed you can use more serum than you normally would and it just makes your hair look so luxurious!

>>>>Here<<< is my favorite hair tutorial for photos.

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makeup

I am always SHOCKED at how different makeup is in person vs. on camera. For me it can be so frustrating because I want to teach makeup looks that look gorgeous in person and then try to photograph it and it just doesn’t show up like it does in person. This makeup is the opposite, it looks good in person but it looks much better in photos.

I compiled all of my best makeup tricks in this video:
Beware when you watch it at certain points you are gonna be thinking: that is too much color or that doesn’t look right but the proof is in the pudding! These photos are unedited and were taken right after I filmed the video. (well I guess if you don’t like the makeup in the photos then…touche… :)

Product list:
Tomas Airbrush Tan
Loreal Perfecting Base
Make Up Forever HD Foundation
Maskcara Blush in Jem 
Loreal True Match Powder in Deep Warm
Anastasia Brow Genius in Brunette
Loreal Gel Liner in Blackest Black
NYX HD concealer wand in Glow & Yellow

Milani Color Satement lipstick- Best Red

Sephora Collection Fushcia Gloss
Ardell Lashes in Wispies on top & individuals in short for the bottom

photogenic

Being photogenic is ALL IN YOUR HEAD!
It’s a vicious cycle. You see a bad photo, decide you look bad in photos, the next time the camera is out you get all awkward trying not to look bad, you look worse….etc.
Photographing well is all about being comfortable and confident….or at least convincing yourself you are.

Here are some ways I use to shake out my nerves and fake supreme comfort and confidence:

Eat some  food. You don’t want to take hangry photos…ever.
Bring some fun music to lighten the mood.
Pull out one of your old elementary school tricks and “shake your wiggles out” – really a little wild shaky dance will help loosen you up

laugh

When I used to take photos I would always tell strained smiles to laugh out loud.
I’m not that funny so I’d make them actually fake laugh. With the laugh sound and everything or it doesn’t work.
For some reason this A. Makes you actually laugh or B. Brings out a totally genuine smile.
The above photo was taken after such a laugh.
Nick is so embarrassed for me when I do this…but he is admittedly not photogenic so…maybe he should try it sometime:)

Hope this ends in you having the sexiest photos of your life:)

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