Spring break is coming and with it…BORED kiddos! With all this amazing weather we have been having I wasn’t even thinking about what we would do if it rained! Then as I was making our plans, I remembered one of the best memories I have with Ella came from a really rainy spring day. We were home and she was sad she couldn’t go outside to play because it was just POURING. I was going stir crazy too that day so we put on our best rain gear and went on a “puddle hunt” together. I packed up my camera (thank goodness for Nikon weather-sealing their professional cameras and lenses!) and we just drove around looking for the best puddles we could find, taking lots of photos of her splashing about in them getting soaked.

During this upcoming spring break, it’s almost inevitable that the kids are going to drive you crazy and I’m sure we’ll have a rainy day or two in the mix. PLEASE don’t pass up a good puddle hunt opportunity! We still talk about that trip to this day and Ella is always asking to see the photos we took. Grab your rain gear, a few spare towels and a dry change of clothes for getting back in the car afterwards and maybe some spare change for a hot chocolate on the way home. Get outside and let the kids get MESSY!

“Life is meant to be lived, and if you’re offered the chance to experience things with an extraordinary person, then there isn’t one reason in the world to say no.” ~ Amber L. Johnson, Puddle Jumping

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I wanted to share a list of the top 10 tips and products that helped us make it through Lennon’s first year! I’m not paid by nor have I been asked by any of these companies to share, but I do hope that they will help lots of you survive the early years with your little ones too!

1. Drying Rack. First on our list is this drying rack by Boon. We have the Grass version, but I would highly recommend the larger Lawn version. There is NOTHING better out there for drying all the bottles and pump accessories you will be washing every day. Anything else leaves condensation in the bottles and you end up with a stinky mildew smell to them. YUCK!

Boon Grass

2. Poop explosion tip. This tip is incredible and unfortunately discovered too late for us, but could perhaps help some of you mamas and mamas to be. Did you know why there are envelope folds on a baby’s onesie? Click here to find out!

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3. Bottles. With Lennon I was exclusively breastfeeding although most of the time it was via pumping exclusively. When we were ready to transition her to formula we realized the Medela bottles wouldn’t take formula. I then discovered these Life Factory bottles which are reasonably priced compared to the Medela ones and will go through so many life stages with her! They go from bottle, to sippy cup to plain water bottle just by changing the top out! Ella loves the larger one for water in her school bag and I love that they go in the dishwasher too with no damage!

Lifefactory Bottles

4. Nursing Pillow. At first we had a few challenges with nursing Lennon as she was so long and I’m not very large. We ended up both being really frustrated until we got our nursing pillow from Westcoast Baby. Is it expensive? Sure. Is it cheaper than formula? HECK YEAH! I LOVE this pillow and so do the new mamas who use it in the studio. It has the perfect height and “squish factor”.

Nursing Pillow

5. Gates. When it’s time for baby gates, these ones from Retract-A-Gate cannot be beat! We had just moved and didn’t want to damage the posts in our new railings by drilling gates into them. Also, with two large dogs we had lost a few gates to bulldog roughhousing in the past. I opted for these and am SO in love with them. We get compliments on our baby gates…who can say that!?! I also love that you can mount them in one spot and add a second set of hooks so they can close off two different areas depending on what you want at the time. They also can be left open after the kids are in bed so unlike other gates you won’t always be fighting with them even when your kids aren’t around. These things are just AMAZING!

Gates

6. Diapers. Yes, I know many of you will brush this off and think I am crazy but I LOVE the Bum Genius cloth diapers. We used them off and on admittedly due to our move and lacking a diaper sprayer but these Bum Genius really are the BEST. When we are in it and using them consistently I really do find them easier than disposables. We never “run out”, they never seem to have those poop explosions we get with disposables and no diaper rashes! At the newborn stage, you just toss them in the washer with an extra rinse cycle and a free and clear soap, then lay on drying rack to dry. When poop is more substantial you will need the sprayer they sell to rinse before washing but the savings are ASTRONOMICAL! Check out this blog about the savings!. We saved at LEAST $1500 and that’s not accounting for the fact that in my experience, cloth diapered babies feel when they are wet better and potty train faster. Ella was 100% potty trained by 2. The average now is 3-4 so just that extra year or two saved us enormous amounts in diapers! I highly recommend getting them at New & Green Co. because you can buy bundles there like THIS one we purchased. We got 12 to start and bought another 6 pack after we knew we were committed. The other good news? We resold some we had from Ella that were an old style which required stuffing and got a really good resale value on these too! They also have a newborn size rental program if you want to use them for the newborn stage.

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7. Nursing Tank Top. The Glamour Mom Tanks These tank tops were my uniform for the first several months after Lennon was born. As any seasoned or new mom knows, there is a lot of growing and shrinking going on as you settle into breastfeeding. Glamour Mom tank tops account for that and allow for discrete nursing anywhere. They are comfortable and look good when paired with a nice sweater and jeans too! I grabbed 3 to start and then added some as I settled back to my regular size after the first few months. (Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this and it has since moved on to a friend who had a baby, but there are lots of photos on their website)

8. Child locks. We had these with Ella at our old house and are just getting ready to install them again. The Tot Lok system is the BEST! Installing them is a pain, but once they are in you will have the easiest baby lock system around. I love that there is also a switch to turn these off so once the kids are asleep I can clean my kitchen without having to wrestle each cabinet open all the time.

Baby Locks

9. Baby Carrier. There was a lot of research done into baby wearing since I had Ella and I am so glad for it. We ended up finding Tula Baby Carriers and they are AMAZING! They hold the baby in a correct position that is safe for their hips, are made of great, sturdy material with FANTASTIC designs, and they maintain resale value for when you are finished with them! I actually have two of these (one for the home and one for the car). If she won’t nap I will often wear her on by back in this while I work around the house and she can sleep that way. When we are out I rarely even take a stroller because I like being free to use a shopping cart or use both hands just by wearing her in this.

Tula

10. Diaper Bag. This took me a LONG time. I went through several bags with Ella and a couple more with Lennon until I bit the bullet and bought one of these Petunia Picklebottom bags. This bag is everything. HAHA! They have other designs which look equally great too. I will likely use this one as a purse for day to day as well once my little one is out of diapers. I thought they were way too pricey when I had Ella but I can tell you now it would have saved me a LOT of money to just start with this instead of fight it and keep buying different bags that didn’t work.

Petunia Pickle Bottom

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Miss Lennon Rose is turning ONE on February 5th! She is a funny, sweet, gentle and curious little observer and we can’t believe how lucky we are to have her as part of our lives. The first year isn’t the easiest that’s for SURE, but she made it as easy as she could on us.

To celebrate this milestone we are offering mini cake smash sessions for $450 when booked in February. This includes:

-30 minute photo session in studio
-Cake in blue or pink (the same as shown but blue cake will not have bow on it)
-8-10 High resolution images on USB
-25 Birthday Invitations using your baby’s images and digital version

Please be sure to book your session at least 1 month before you need to SEND your invitations so we can have them back to you in time! You can book anytime for 2015 but this offer is only valid when pre-booked and paid for in February so book now to avoid missing out! Email or call us today! info@ashleighwellsphotography.com 778-228-7387.

Jan 01, 2015
posted in Uncategorized with  0  COMMENTS

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when it is time for clearing out the old and ushering in the new! We have a new program we are excited to share with all of you. We have found that while some of you would love to hang your images on the walls, it’s hard to get around to actually ordering, or hard for some people to envision what their images will look like on THEIR wall. Well, this is not a problem anymore! We have the BEST program to help you decide on the perfect arrangement for your space! If you send us a photo of the wall you would like to put your images on with a standard size paper taped to the blank wall (doesn’t need to be fancy, just an iPhone photo will do) we can create a custom wall arrangement just for you.

Each arrangement is customized for your space and each comes with its own discount depending on how many canvases you will be hanging. We have been busy creating these for some of you as a trial run and here is one of our latest samples. Here you can see the before and after of our preview system.

Take your wall from this:
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To THIS!
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Or we can create something for a room based on one of our stock backgrounds. We have been working on some for our new home this way too.

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If you would like to order one of these custom arrangements at a discounted rate we will be running a sale for the first week of January so please email us at info@ashleighwellsphotography.com or call us today at 778-228-7387 to order your custom wall arrangement!

Our Lennon Rose turned 6 months old a couple of weeks ago and because our studio wasn’t yet ready, I took her 6 month shoot to our new bedroom. She is all about the toes right now and can’t stop inspecting her newfound toys. She can sit up on her own and she sticks her tongue out to the side when she’s really concentrating. I find that so funny because it’s a habit I have had all my life and something my husband makes fun of me for endlessly because I never know when I’m doing it until it’s pointed out haha! I find it so interesting how babies get out little quirks from such an early age. A good reminder that they are always watching us…

6 Month Old

6 Month Old

6 Month Old

6 Month Old

6 Months Old

6 Months Old

6 Months Old

6 Months Old

6 Month Old

6 Month Old

I am so sad at the state of our government vs. teachers situation. I stand behind the wonderful teachers of our province and I hope they can reach an agreement in time for back to school September 2nd. Both for my own sanity and theirs. I have set up some back to school mini sessions as I did last year. I make chalk boards that say what the children want to be when they grow up and what grade they are going into so that we can watch how it changes from year to year. I do them for my own little girl since she started Kindergarten last year and plan to do it every year so here are the dates and details. If anyone would like a spot please email or call soon to avoid disappointment. If school doesn’t start as planned I might be able to add one more weekday mini session date in there too if there is enough interest. Please email me at info@ashleighwellsphotography.com or call 778-228-7387 to book your time slot.

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BTS 2014 Back

I have been doing some of the cover photography for Black Cat White Dog News for a while and they needed a cover photo of a cat on a hot day. Luckily I had a friend who was happy to volunteer her cats as models and they were up for the job! Cats can always be a bit tricky to photograph but I find it best to catch them in their home or around it if they go outdoors where they are most comfortable. I had such a great time on a beautiful evening capturing these little fur babies with an old friend. Thank you for lending me your kitties!

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I had a colleague ask if I could mentor her on newborn sessions and so we put out a model call and got the PERFECT little newborn to come and see us for our session. What an adorable little girl she is and so pretty in pink! I had just ordered some new pink props and was so excited to use them! She was the sweetest little thing and did the BEST job as a model for us that day it was hard to show my mentoree what I do when facing a more challenging baby! Thank you so much for coming in guys!

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It’s been a while since I have updated the blog because I have been so busy trying to keep up with our own little baby girl and getting sessions rolling out to people. I am going to be working on posting more recent sessions here to keep you all up to date and up first is this little cutie pie who was the last newborn to visit me in our old studio before our move. I must have been in moving mode because I even had to put the baby in a box haha! We are now in Port Moody and construction just finished on the home studio a couple of weeks ago. Sessions are back on and in full swing now!

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It has been WAY too long since I wrote a blog post, but I have good excuses, I promise! I mostly keep people up to date with our newsletter and Facebook page, so if you’re on one of those you probably are aware of all the new excitement. Just in case you’re not here are just a few of the big and exciting things that have been going on with us!
First off, if you have been here before you may notice we have a new website! We are still working on adding more photos to our galleries and setting up a client cart system but it’s almost complete. We have also introduced NEW, extremely simplified pricing and will be setting up a product guide to help you find ideas for what you would like to do with the images from your sessions with us! We have several new products to offer so we will be sure to let you know once our product guide is live!
Last year I had a very long and difficult pregnancy. I was very sick for the first 20 weeks and off and on modified bed rest to help with that as well as some cramping issues. I was able to manage my sessions and editing and that was about it. A month before I was due there was some concerning issues with contractions and preterm labour that then (luckily) came to a halt. I ended up carrying 15 days OVERDUE and having to be induced! On February 5th, 2014 Miss Lennon Rose Wells joined our family. When her heart rate dropped and we nearly had an emergency C-Section it gave all of us quite a scare, but then miraculously when we got to the OR we were okay to deliver naturally AND I was already frozen for a C-Section so the best part was I felt nothing haha! It’s a good thing too because she was a big’un at 9lb 12 oz.! We were so VERY fortunate to have my good friend and colleague Jill (of Jillian Kirby Baby) there to capture some INCREDIBLE images of Lennon’s birth day!

CLICK HERE to watch her slideshow (nothing gory here I promise haha!)

We had our newborn session for Lennon with Jill too and we were just THRILLED with the way our images came out! Since Lennon was born, my days have been filled with nursing, cuddling, gazing and cooing at our little bundle of joy who since the moment she was born was nothing I expected and yet somehow…EVERYTHING I needed. In the midst of all that I have been back to work taking sessions on the weekend when Bryan can be home to watch the girls for me AND…WE ARE MOVING!!! We are moving to our absolute DREAM home in Port Moody June 15! We still have 2 sessions left for June if anyone wants them and after that we are booking mid-late July and those spots are filling up fast now!

Birth announcement with family photos for Ashleigh Wells Photography

Birth announcement with family photos for Ashleigh Wells Photography

I take monthly photos of Lennon on the 5th of each month so here I will leave you with her most recent one from May 5th. I can’t believe it’s almost time for her 4 month photo session already!

3 month old baby nude photo session on beige fur and beige backdrop