WHY & WHALE UNBOXING + GIVEAWAY

I am so excited that we got our first Why and Whale Box this month and it is the happiest mail day ever! I never know what to expect with these types of subscription boxes but this one did not disappoint. I about died when I opened it to find shops that I've been drooling over since Everly was born but never took the jump on purchasing from, as well as some shops I had never heard of before! They discover the new and fun products in the baby world and ship them to your door monthly and it's always a surprise! That means I don't have to scroll endlessly through instagram looking for new products because they've already done the work for me and I get a fun surprise once a month to open with Everly. The best part about this subscription box is that it's not scary like every other subscription in the history of ever. You can start, stop or cancel anytime and there are no contracts or fees! 

With our subscription, we hope to inspire creativity, engage emotional and intellectual growth, and through dress up and play, we give kids space to explore their individuality to develop strong personalities!
— Why and Whale

 

She was excited to do the unboxing.

I mean.......all of the heart eyes for this.

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Look at all of these amazing goodies!

Scalloped Changing Pad in Gray - Gathre

"Courage Dear Heart" Box Tee - Rylee + Cru

Pom Pom Garland - The Whimsical Woolies

Raccoon Wobble Toy - Kid O

Wooden ABC Blocks - Bannor Toys

I'm obsessed. And guess what!?

We are doing a GIVEAWAY! Head on over to Everly's Instagram to Enter to win $60 to Why and Whale!

Truly I love everything that inspires creativity, play and individuality in both children and adults and I couldn't be happier with this company. So enter the giveaway and put a 3 month subscription on your Christmas List!

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My Favorite Photo Printers

It's weird that I'm a photographer and I'd never really had photos printed and hung before. That all changed when my daughter was born. We have zero photos printed and displayed from our dating, engagement or wedding but we have SO MANY printed of our Everly. Can you blame me? She's ridiculously adorable (yes I'm biased).  However, we are renting AND the walls are plaster so that means hanging photos with nails in the wall is a B-word. We have to hang decorations with command strips. So when I stumbled across these two printing companies I fell in love. 

The first one is Parabo Press. You can use their free app or desktop site to connect your Instagram to order square prints that are matte! Matte anything is my love language. You can get your first set of 25 square photos free here  Use Code: EGRAY

I ordered this washi tape from Amazon. If you don't know what washi tape is you're in for a treat. It's tape that is perfect for DIY projects and also for walls because it's easily removed and leaves zero residue! The tape I ordered came in a 3-pack and has little tiny cacti/succulents on them! 

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If you're not a fan of decorating with tape, then the Photage App is for you! This app is also free and lets you easily choose photos from your instagram to print. You pick the size and how many you want and they ship them to you! Then you just RIP + STICK them on your walls. It's so so easy. And the best part is if you accidentally stick 'em on your wall crooked like me (what are straight lines?) you just peel it off the with ease and re-stick! Watch in awe my friends.

I am so happy to have found these solutions for the walls in our rentals. The hardest part is choosing which photos to print! Once we move I will continue to use Parabo Press + Photage prints in the nursery and our bedrooms but I am looking forward to framing prints in the future as well! Do you have any favorite places to buy or order frames from? Hook a sista up!

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Because Babies Deserve Real Food Too

So before Everly was born I was determined to make all her baby food. We got a mixer,  the Infantino Squeeze Station, pouches and everything! I had so much fun making and freezing pouches of sweet potato puree, green beans, avocado...etc. But boy was it work. Now that Everly is a year old these pouches are no longer meals but SNACKS and she will down 2 at a time in 2 seconds flat! Needless to say, I can no longer keep up with her appetite or her refined palette (diva). One ingredient isn't cutting it for this chick anymore. So we moved onto pouches from the grocery store. Then I was back to reading labels, worrying about over processed food, extra sugar, organic or non organic, vegan..all of that jazz. Then I discovered Once Upon A Farm. These pouches are the answers to all of my pouch prayers. Seriously. They are Certified Organic, Cold Pressured Protected (more on that in a bit), BPA Free, Vegan (yay), Non GMO Verified, Gluten Free AND Recyclable. All of the ingredients come from Certified Organic Farms in the US. 

Okay so if you're anything like me you have no idea what Cold Pressured Protected means. 

Here's some info:

"High Pressure Pascalization (HPP) or “Cold-Pressure,” refers to the process by which fresh food products, such as juice and baby food, are preserved as opposed to heat. 
HPP is a method of preserving packaged food products using extremely high pressure. The process leads to the elimination of any potential harmful bacteria while maintaining a higher yield of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and preserving a fresher taste than thermal pasteurization." 

I'm a nerd, so all of this got me reallllly excited. We got our first box in earlier in the week and OMG. 

They arrived ICE cold and ready to go into the fridge.

Each pouch indicates in the right hand corner the age/stage that pouch is appropriate for. 

Now for the taste test...because lets be honest, E can EAT but she can also be kinda picky. 

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And the verdict is... THESE ARE THE BEST POUCHES EVER! 

Listen, I was not asked or paid to write this blog. I'm just so excited about these pouches and wanted to share the love! Also..I just found out that this company was started by another Entrepreneur Mama and I am ALL ABOUT THAT! If you want to try these they have a Free Trial!

You can order online, use the store locator or even sign up for a subscription (yes to everything automated, amen).

Melissa and Doug

BABY ESSENTIALS - part 02

Hi Ya'll!

As mentioned in my last blog, I originally wanted to do all baby essentials in one post, but it is a lot of info. I do not want to overwhelm you, so today we are only covering wipes & diaper cream. If you missed my post on diapers, you can find it here. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert, I am a first time mom who is spending every free moment of my time researching and studying to provide my family with healthier, cleaner options. I share because I care. I am - in NO WAY - judging any of you mamas out there that cannot make the switch. You all know what is best for your family and your household. I only share my findings and solutions as suggestions! I will never suggest products that my family doesn't or wouldn't use. All affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

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First I'm going to the baby essentials I had BEFORE I started this journey. Then I will share a list of solutions that I have found, and even some links where you can purchase! With each DIRTY product I will have 3 SOLUTIONS: 1. Convenient solution 2. Affordable solution and 3. a DIY solution.

DIRTY:

WIPES - PAMPERS SENSiTIVE BABY WIPES  /  5 (HALF N' HALF)

Ingredients that make these unsafe:

PHENOXYETHANOL- Health Impacts: Skin irritation. Potential Neurotoxin. FDA named Phenoxyethanol can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Allergy.

ETHYLHEXYGLYCERIN - Health impacts: Skin irritation. Sensitizing Effect. Possible allergic reactions. Mild irritation, itchiness, redness when contact with eyes and skin for some sensitive individuals. It is linked to contact dermatitis and has not been on the market very long so little safety data is available.

DIAPER CREAM - BUTT PASTE / 5 (HALF N' HALF)

Ingredients that make these unsafe: 

WHITE PETROLATUM - Health Impacts: Mild irritation, itchiness, redness when contact with eyes and skin for some sensitive individuals. Low Possible Carcinogen. Comes from crude oil which is a non-renewable source.

CLEAN SOLUTIONS:

WIPES:

CONVENIENT SOLUTION - HONEST CO. / 3 (CLEAN)

Honest Co is our go to! Like I said in the Diaper Blog, we get a box in the mail once every 2 months with 4 packs of wipes! Honest Co is not only convenient, but cost effective as well if you can afford a subscription service. This month I even added on a box of Honest Co tampons for cheaper than I usually would buy at the store plus I don't even have to leave my house. :)

AFFORDABLE SOLUTION - BABYGANICS (FRANGRANCE FREE) / 3 (CLEAN)

FIND HERE: Babyganics Wipes

I have a love/hate relationship with Babyganics Wipes. I love them because they are CLEAN and affordable, especially in the huge packs. A pack of 400 wipes is $14! But - and this is just me being totally picky - the smell is annoying to me. They are fragrance free which is good because fragrance and perfume is BAD, but they smell sort of vinegary to me. All that aside, we still use these if we run out of our Honest Co wipes before our next box!

DIY SOLUTION - BUM SPRAY

This Bum Spray can be used with cloth wipes if you are using cloth diapers. You can spray directly on babies bum, wipe with the cloth wipes (baby washcloths), and throw them in the wet bag with the diapers to wash together. It can also can be used with simple toilet paper and be tossed with the disposable diaper. OR better yet: flushed down the toilet!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

8 OZ GLASS AMBER SPRAY BOTTLE

4 FL OZ DISTILLED WATER

3 FL. OZ LIQUID ALOE VERA

1 FL. OZ WITCH HAZEL

2 TBSP JOJOBA OIL

5 DROPS LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL*

5 DROPS TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL*

TO ORDER ESSENTIAL OILS - EMAIL ME

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle and shake well before each use. This Bum Spray will keep in the spray bottle for 2-3 weeks.

DIAPER CREAM:

CONVENIENT SOLUTION - HONEST CO. / 0 (CLEAN)

The Honest Company Honest Diaper Rash Cream is a ZERO on the Dirty Scale which is amazing!!! This diaper rash cream is totally cloth diaper safe too (which means it won't ruin your cloth diapers!) It's regularly $9.95, but when you add it to your monthly bundle you save 25% making it only $7.46 for 2.5 oz.

AFFORDABLE SOLUTION - BURTS BEES / 3 (CLEAN)

The Burts Bee's Diaper Rash Ointment is $7.16 for 3 oz. It's only a little under the convenient solution price-wise, but still a fair price when we are paying for clean products!

DIY SOLUTION - DIAPER CREAM

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1/2 CUP SHEA BUTTER

1/4 CUP COCONUT OIL

1 TBSP BEESWAX

2 TBSP VEGETABLE GLYCERIN2

DIRECTIONS:

In a saucepan, melt the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax together. Do not boil - just melt!

Remove from heat. Add in the vegetable glycerin.

With an electric mixer, beat until the mixture gets creamy.

Pour into a glass jar or container and let cool. The cream will firm up as it cools.

The final product will be very thick, a little goes a long way!

Up next: Baby Wash/Shampoo + Lotion. If you have a specific product you would like me to research, just let me know in the comments and I will add it to a future blog or respond to your comment with the solution.

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

BABY ESSENTIALS - part 01

Hi Ya'll!

Since most of the responses from my original post were from other Mamas worried about the products they were using on their babies, I decided to do this blog first. I am sure I will be adding onto and editing this as I learn, but we can all learn together! Lets face it, I was bound to be a crunchy mom some way or another, but there is no shame in my game!

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert, I am a first time mom who is spending every free moment of my time researching and studying to provide my family with healthier and cleaner options. I share because I care. I am, in NO WAY judging any of you mamas out there that cannot make the switch. You all know what is best for your family and your household. I only share my findings and solutions as suggestions! I will never suggest products that my family doesn't or wouldn't use. All affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

I originally wanted to do all Baby Essentials in one post, but it is a lot of info. I don't want to overwhelm you, so today we are only covering Diapers! 

First I'm going to list all of the Baby Essentials I had BEFORE I started this journey, then I will share a list of solutions that I have found and even some links where you can purchase! With each DIRTY product I will have 3 solutions: 1. Convenient Solution 2. Affordable Solution and 3. a DIY Solution.

DIRTY:

DIAPERS - PAMPERS SWADDLERS / NO RATING*

*Diapers do not show up on the either of the apps because Diaper companies are not required to list the ingredients of their products...but have no fear, I have done my research!

We used Pampers Diapers and Wipes for the first month of Everly's life because the hospital used these products on her immediately after she was born. We trusted that if the hospital used them, they must be safe! We thought wrong. 

Pampers, Huggies, and everything else – all follow the same basic model:

The outer lining is made of polyethylene film, essentially the same stuff that’s in plastic wrap. The inner lining that touches your baby’s skin is usually made of polypropylene, a common material that’s also found in thermal underwear, among other things. Both materials are considered completely safe for young skin. Some brands enhance the inner lining with aloe and vitamin E, skin-friendly compounds that are often found in diaper rash creams.

The absorbent center contains wood pulp and super-absorbent polymers, usually sodium polyacrylate.

Are the chemicals in disposable diapers safe?

Sodium polyacrylate: According to various material safety data sheets (documents created by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration that list potential hazards of chemicals in great detail), the sodium polyacrylate in diapers is mild stuff. Inhaling small particles might irritate the airways, but it’s considered nontoxic.

Dyes: The dyes used in diapers are generally safe. But in rare cases, Disperse Blue 106, Disperse Blue 124, Disperse Yellow 3, and Disperse Orange 3 have been known to trigger allergic reactions in babies.

Perfumes: Some babies are sensitive to citral and other perfumes in diapers, although actual allergic reactions seem to be uncommon. According to a 2009 report in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, the amount of citral in a typical scented diaper should be about a million times too low to cause any trouble.

Dioxins: The wood pulp in diapers gives them a little extra cushioning and absorbing power, but it can also introduce other potentially worrisome chemicals, namely dioxins. This family of chemicals, created when wood pulp is bleached with chlorine, is known to cause cancer in humans.
— https://www.owletcare.com/blog/baby-diapers-are-they-safe/

CLEAN SOLUTIONS:

DIAPERS:

CONVENIENT SOLUTION - HONEST CO. / NO RATING

The Honest Company diapers have no harsh chemicals—they’re made without chlorine, latex, dioxins, PVC, heavy metals, finishing treatments (silicones), fragrances and lotions (usually made using phthalates). They’re mostly made with plant-based, biodegradable, and sustainable materials, and our super-absorbent bio-core significantly reduces the need for sodium polyacrylate (SAP) – the gel used in conventional diapers that gives them their absorbency. Finally, our designs are printed with lead-free inks and they’re fashionably cute.
— https://blog.honest.com/whats-inside-disposable-diapers/

Honest Co Diapers are our favorite, and are SO convenient. We get a bundle delivered to us once every 2 months that includes 6 packs of diapers and 4 packs of wipes. It's a little pricier but it's nice to have an automated package sent to our doorstep right when we need it. Also remember, you are paying for the quality of product and for the safety of your little babe's bum! 

AFFORDABLE SOLUTION - EARTH'S BEST / NO RATING

Comfortable and super absorbent, Earth’s Best® TenderCare Chlorine Free Diapers are made from earth-friendly renewable resources including corn and wheat starch. Latex-free, dye-free, and perfume-free. Your baby will love the premium fit and the breathable, stretchy diaper material.
— https://www.earthsbest.com

Earth's Best has the best quality chemical-free diapers in the lower price bracket. 

DIY SOLUTION - CLOTH DIAPERING / okay, DIY-ISH

We used cloth diapers for the first 7 months of Everly's life and we loved it! It is an investment on the front end, for sure, but totally worth it in my book! Plus, it's a HUGE money saver and is so much better for the environment! If my husband wasn't 'over it' we would still be using them, HA! 

If you want to buy new, our favorite cloth diapers were BumGenius Freetime All-In-One Cloth Diapers

If you are okay with using pre-loved cloth diapers (we did!) I see people selling them all of the time on Facebook Marketplace, Buy Sell Trade Groups, and on Craigslist! This means less of an investment for you on the front end, but still all of the money saving benefits!

If you are interested in the math breakdown that shows just how much money you can save by cloth diapering read this article.

I will be covering all of the Baby Essentials slowly but surely, so stay tuned! If you have a specific product you would like me to research, just let me know in the comments and I will add it to a future blog or respond to your comment with the solution.

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

*** The DIRTY ratings used in this blog are found on the Think Dirty App. I also love the Healthy Living App.

My Journey to Clean Living

Hi ya'll!

Yesterday I uploaded a video to Facebook that was about some of the realizations I had about my home and the products we were using in our every day lives.I got such an amazing feedback from others who are wanting to start taking small steps to make their homes chemical-free that I decided I would start blogging about my journey! I am a passionate person by nature, but when I found out that the Johnson & Johnson products I was using on my 8 month old baby (and had been using on her since birth) were a 10 on the Dirty Scale I lost it. I sat in the floor and I cried and then a fire was lit within me to finish what I had started. I went around the house scanning barcodes with my Think Dirty app and the more 'dirty' products I found the angrier I became. I was so distraught that I decided I could not keep this info to myself, but I needed to share it with my friends and family and other Mamas who may have no clue about the chemicals in our everyday products and what they are doing to our babies, our bodies (allergens, hormone disrupters) and even our emotions. So I picked myself up, grabbed a trash bag and all of the dirty products and filmed a video to spread the knowledge. 

My goal for 2017 was to create a clean, chemical and toxic free home and I while I am not all the way there I am well on my way. It's a long journey ahead but one that is worth it for the safety and well-being of my family. 

 

I am planning on doing more videos and covering going "Clean" in these areas of our lives and home:

Clean Bathrooms

Clean Kitchens Kitchen

Clean Laundry Rooms

Clean Nursery

Beauty & Self-Care the Clean Way

 

I will also be adding some of my favorite Vegan recipes here and there!

What do you think?

What would you be interested learning more about?

Tell me everything! I want to do this for all of us, to live better/more fulfilled and healthier lives.

 

 

 

 

REFRESH + RENEW

The end of 2016 was a whirlwind of gigs, first holidays with Everly, spending time with family and preparing for the new year. Thankfully the beginning of the year slowed down just a tad so I could catch my breath! It is only February but I have already taken some of my favorite photos ever this year! The new year really brought out a new confidence in me. I am less afraid to create what I desire (and to do so within the vision of the client). I am thankful for clients who give me complete freedom and room to create. I am thankful for new clients and friends and the impact they've had on my life. One of the things that I love about this business is that photography is such an intimate thing. You really have to trust the person photographing you and as the photographer its your job to make your subject feel comfortable and natural. I love the opportunity it gives me to get to know people, hear their stories, their fears, their dreams and their faith. It is such an inspiration to me and it fuels my passion even more. The new year has just been such a refreshing time. I am so beyond thankful for all of the work I continue to get and all of the lovely people I am meeting as a result of it!

Here are some of my favorite shots so far:

 

Thank you for reading and for being invested in me and encouraging to me. It means the world! Next blog I'm going to be talking about my journey thus far being VEGAN and a little bit more about my experience being a Mommy! 

 

XO,

Krissy

Hello November

Ya'll... October was CRAZY! It was quite possibly the busiest month, professionally, than I've ever had! Here are some of my favorite photos from just a few of the shoots that I had last month:

It has truly been such a joy to meet new people, make some new friends and some new clients! Thank you guys so much for being so supportive and for always referring me to your friends. In fact, if you have referred anyone to me please let me know so I can do something special for you :)

I've always loved October - it really starts to feeli like fall (only ever other day in Nashville) and we get to celebrate Halloween which is a personal favorite of mine. Costumes, make up and candy!? Are you kidding? THE BEST! This year was Everly's first Halloween and even though I'm sure I could've bought her costume at the Dollar Store for a buck I really wanted to make it myself. So I put her in her favorite romper/sleeper from Baby Breez (use code EVERLYSHIP for free shipping) - and made the wings + halo with goodies I got from Michaels. 

How freakin' cute is she? 

I'm so happy it is November. In just a few days it will be my birthday and I will be starting the LAST YEAR OF MY 20's. No idea how that happened! And then we have family coming to Nashville for Thanksgiving! ahhh! I love the holidays so much.

I'll be announcing Christmas Mini Sessions soon so stay tuned!

XO

Fall, Finally

The weather has finally cooled down and I am a little too excited about layering clothes, drinking hot coffee, long walks around the neighborhood, the smell of burning leaves and last but not least not sweating my tush off at photoshoots. Something about Fall is so inspiring to me - it gives my heart the flutters and makes me want to start goals not only in my work but also in my personal life, Something about the brisk air that makes me crave deep conversations with the people I love. I think Fall is my January.  A time to regroup, refresh, restart. I love it!

I have been researching Bullet Journals and am really wanting to start one. I hope that it will be something I can keep up with. I've always been that girl. You know the girl that has multiple (to put it lightly) partially filled journals that never gets done. I've always wanted to be a consistent journal-er but it has never been my forte. I DO, however, LOVE making lists and checking things off of lists so I'm hoping the Bullet Journal will help me reach that goal of starting and finishing a journal. Have any of you done Bullet Journaling? Any advice for me?

Here are two of my favorite photos of Nicole that I shot on the last day of September. This girl is so effortless in front of the camera. She makes my job so easy.

XO,

Krissy

Morning Struggles - Morning Snuggles

Being a Mom has changed me.

It has changed me in all of the best ways. I have NEVER been a morning person. I dreaded waking up and getting my day started - hated leaving the comfort of my bed and the the warmth of the blankets. I dealt with bouts of depression. I'm not good enough - My photography sucks - I'll never be successful - No one will want to hang out with me - I will fail at being a wife today. Those are the thoughts that I used to struggle with some mornings. I am a huge believer in "A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest." I was constantly resting because I think subconsciously I was so afraid of failure that I didn't want to even put in effort. I lived my life working 9-5 jobs to "support" my "dream" job but deep down inside I knew I couldn't be successful so I never even tried to go full time with my photography. 

Then my husband, the most wonderful man ever - saw more in me than I ever saw in myself. He made me quit my job, pushed me to take steps to follow my dreams and supported me in every way possible. Slowly I started building my business - and I wasn't failing! It was an incredible feeling. Being able to help support our family doing photography alone was so fulfilling. 

Then along came Everly. I can't even get through writing the rest of this without crying. 

Ya'll - children are truly the biggest gift from God. I will never be able to adequately put down in words how this baby has changed me and made me not just a better person - but the person I've was always supposed to be. She has helped me to completely step into my calling. I could go on..but I digress.

Let me say this - I've had the PAST TWO YEARS before her arrival to get my website designed and running and to really put my head in the game and yet I was still so scared to give it my all. Literally a week after she was born it was like a fire was lit within me. I needed to be everything I could be, to the best of my ability, not just for me but for HER. I wanted to be the best example of a successful, driven, kind and generous woman for her. I had to be. And so two weeks after she was born I sat down at the computer while she was napping and designed my website. In 2 days. BAM - it was done! 

She is my little muse. I have been more motivated, more inspired and more full of joy than I ever have been in my life. And now, I am busier than ever! I am no longer afraid to fail because I know that not trying IS failing and I don't want to be that kind of example for my daughter. I want her to know that she can run headfirst into her dreams and passions and that in itself will help her succeed.

So long are the days of my morning struggles. Now every morning I have a new little routine. I gently say good morning until she opens her little eyes and she smiles at me. I untuck her from her swaddle and slowly help her stretch out her arms and legs and she coos and wrinkles her nose. And then we snuggle - and let me tell ya'll something those snuggles are the most inspiring and life affirming snuggles you'll ever get. I no longer dread the day but look forward to it with joy and inspiration. All because of her - with her little hands and little feet - she's helping me be all that I can be.

XO,

Krissy

Hi there!

I am so excited to finally have my website up and running. Knowing me there will be lots of changes made to it pretty quickly but for now it's here and I'm happy!

I will also begin blogging again and will be writing about pretty much everything - not just photography. 

Since rebranding from Krissy Leigh Photography to Krissy Leigh Creative this past year I am now allowing myself to truly explore all of the creative things my heart loves. I will be sharing all of that with you here as well as my adventures of being a new Mom and much more.

Thank you for your interest and support!

 

XO,

Krissy