A Flytographer in Paris

Paris Flytographer - Krystal

Can you imagine having your own professional photographer follow you around on vacation, snapping candid photos of you and the remarkable scenery that surrounds? A professional photographer who captures exactly what you are seeing, while you stay present in the moment.

Well, my friends … have you heard of Flytographer? They are just that. A team of professional photographers you can hire for candid photo shoots in over 200 cities worldwide! My sister-in-law and brother just hired Flytographer to take photos of their recent trip to Paris. They had the best experience. Their local photographer, Krystal, took pictures on the streets of Montmartre – which is a scenic hill in Paris located in the artistic district. They also got some great shots inside Le Relais de la Butte (a charming cafe) and Patisserie Gilles Marchal bakery.

I was so impressed with how their photos turned out (although, I don’t think I’ve seen these two ever take a bad photo) that it’s inspiring me to start planning our next vacation! Here are some more of their photos that I just adore.

flytographer Paris krystal

flytographer Paris krystal

Flytographer Paris

Paris Flytographer - Krystal

I can’t think of a better way to capture your special moments. In fact, I’m kind of in love with their business model. Check our Flytographer the next time you’re on vacation.

The Real Life of Bloggers

I wanted to share a ‘real life’ blogger moment with you. About 2 months ago, I was styling products for Stowaway Cosmetics. I was hosting a giveaway on my mom blog and I wanted to take the perfect photo that would illustrate the size of the cosmetics (because that’s their thing, their cosmetics are just the ‘right size’ and not too large).

I decided my son was the perfect model to showcase the size of the product. So, I set up a little area in his nursery (it’s where I do most of my photo shoots because it has the best natural light) to photograph their products. I got the perfect shot (after about 50 tries) when suddenly, he puked!

Puked!

Baby puked all over the product and my backdrop. Ugh! I had to start all over. It was a real behind-the-scenes moment that I just had to share. Because, to this day, this photo still makes me laugh. Just know … nothing is what is seems on the internet with bloggers. There, I said it.

awkward blogger moments - many hats of a mom family blogger

awkward blogger moments - many hats of a mom family blogger

Thank you to all of my Families

Thank you to all of the families who chose me to take their holiday family photos this year! I am blessed, honored and so happy for the opportunity to spend time with your families. It was sure a treat getting holiday cards in the mail and seeing your photos in print. I can’t thank you all enough for letting me take your pictures.

Merry Christmas, guys!

phoenix photographer - family holiday photo sessions

 

8 Packing Tips + a Stowaway Cosmetics Giveaway ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED, WINNERS ANNOUNCED BELOW***

packing tips

I work for a hotel company, which means traveling is required. It’s fair to say that I’ve picked up some good packing habits along the way. In partnership with Stowaway Cosmetics, I’m bringing you my best packing tips – tips I hope you find useful. Plus, two readers will win a starter makeup kit from Stowaway in the perfect size for traveling, and there’s a special code below for one free mascara and eyeliner with the purchase of a Stowaway Kit.

Read on for all the details. It’s about to get good.

  1. Make a list – Write down everything you need to pack for your trip. A list ensures you won’t forget anything and keeps you from over-packing. Simple enough.
  2. Go bright! My iPhone charger is the #1 thing I leave behind in a hotel room. Purchase a bright-colored phone charger for your travels. When you’re doing a quick sweep of the hotel room upon departure, you won’t miss it.
  3. Seal it in style – I use this neon X-ray bag for all of my liquids/ travel-size toiletries. When traveling with clients or co-workers, this bag is much nicer to pull out during the TSA search than a Ziploc bag. My bag is $14 from shopbop.com. It comes in yellow too.
  4. Pack 1/2 your stuff in his bag. This tip is like insurance, let’s hope you never need it, but it is smart to do. When traveling with a partner, pack half of your clothes in your bag and half of your clothes in his (and vise versa). This way, if the airline loses your luggage (or his), you’ll still have clothes to wear on your trip.
  5. Carry your cosmetics – Ladies, always have lipstick and concealer within arms reach. Especially when traveling for work. A little dab here and a little dab there and voila – no one will know you just came off of a six-hour, over-crowded flight.
  6. Don’t pack athletic shoes – Instead, stay at a Westin hotel and take advantage of their Gear Lending program. For $5, they’ll give you New Balance shoes and workout clothes to use during your stay. This means more room in your suitcase + you don’t have to skip a workout while traveling.
  7. Family travel tip – If you’re traveling with little kids, pack their pillowcase cover in your bag. When you get to the hotel, put the case on one of the hotel pillows. This helps give your child a sense of ‘home’ while on the road.
  8. Maximize space – Here are some space-saving tips: Roll clothes instead of fold them. Tuck socks, tights and underwear into shoes. Wear layers of clothing on the flight.

DSC08780

Speaking of saving space, let me introduce you to this new cosmetics line by Stowaway. It’s my latest obsession. Everything you see above will fit into the palm of your hand. Its portable size means it’s the perfect fit (literally) for travel. Plus, these products are designed to be finished before they expire so no more wasting product or using makeup that’s passed its due date.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: Who really throws out mascara at the 3 month mark? I don’t. It’s too expensive to waste. That’s why I love Stowaway – the mascara was created in just the right size to run out before it expires. Admit it, that’s kind of genius. 

Stowaway Cosmetics MHOM blog 2 small 2

Stowaway Cosmetics MHOM blog small

If we are playing favorites, the lipsticks are mine. They are about the size of a AA battery and pack a mighty punch. They go on really smooth, so if you’re in a hurry like I always am, slow down when you put these on or you’ll apply way too much.

DSC08905

Just to give you a better idea of the size of Stowaway cosmetics, here is a photo of my one-month old baby, Nolan, with my makeup. I literally had to pry his baby hands open to get my eyeliner back. I think he was having just as much fun with the makeup as I was.

Now for the fun part: The giveaway

2 winners will be selected randomly to receive a Stowaway Kit (valued at $75). The kit includes six beauty essentials: BB cream, concealer, pot rouge, lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara! With everything from lips to lashes, this is your little black dress of beauty. Click here to enter! 

Update: Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Brianne B. and Corinne C. Stowaway will contact you by email to send you your Starter Kit. Thank you to everyone who entered! 

Special Offer! Free Mascara and Eyeliner


Stowaway is giving Many Hats of a Mom blog readers a special offer with your purchase of the Stowaway Kit. Click here to pick your colors and start shopping (just put the eyeliner and mascara in your cart) and use promo code MANYHATS at checkout. Offer expires on 10/26/15.

Teri’s Autumn Holiday Party

holiday party 9

Almost every year, Teri hosts fall party to kick off the holiday season (check out this one from 2011). She’s much better than me, because she actually waits until after Thanksgiving to dial up the Christmas decorations – so truly, this is an autumn party.

Ryan was home with a terrible cold (thanks, Colton & Kelsey) so I went solo. Teri is such a fantastic hostess – and I just loved catching up with dear friends (hi, Rachel) that I don’t get to see as often as I like. She had just the right amount of light, food everywhere, a local guitarist, bar station and all the fixings to make it feel like the holiday season has arrived.

Thank you so much for hosting, Teri! I just love your darling home!

holiday party 8

holiday party 2

holiday party 10

holiday party 5

holiday party 3

holiday party

holiday party 4

holiday party 6

holiday party 7

How cute is her house? I’m coming over one day and taking pictures of all the cute designs, little corners and personal touches that make her little bungalow in downtown Phoenix so perfect!

Museo Nacional de Antropología

Mexico city museum

Everyone said, “You’ve got to see the museums in Mexico!” So, we went. Now, I’ve never been one to love walking around looking at artifacts in a museum (just ask my family about when I was younger) but it was still amazing to hear about the rich history and to see all of the ancient pieces. Did you know this museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of archaeological artifacts from pre-Hispanic civilizations. Yep. Pretty cool to see.

The best part of the museum? The company. Our team split into thirds and went on private tours. Our tour guide was Nachi (as I write this, I’m not even sure if that is his name, but we’ll just assume it is) and he was hilarious. He kept us all in line … literally. Nachi also made sure to tell us about every. single. artifact. For two hours! As he was talking, he would slip in something totally random here and there that made you scratch your head. Like when he was talking about an old home and then somehow started talking about his hair and how its “a permanent and its real.” Why, thank you sir.

I may have wanted to throw an adult tantrum half way through the tour, only because it was sooooo long, but it’s all good. We had some great laughs and learned more about the culture that makes up Mexico. Plus, we had some downtime to just hang out and chat outside prior to it raining. Fun fact: I am from Arizona and rarely get to use my umbrella. It started to sprinkle and so in all of my excitement I grabbed my umbrella only to find it had three large holes in it. Lovely. The girls from Chicago looked at me like I was crazy for keeping it. But hey, it never rains in Arizona, guys!

mexico city museum

mexico city museum

Pizza I can’t stop craving

Last week took me to Mexico City for work. I stayed at the St. Regis Mexico City and couldn’t have been better taken care of. Out of all the luxury amenities at this resort, my co-workers and I were all a buzz over the avocado pizza at J&G Grill. In fact, I am STILL thinking about it. It was that good. Just look at it! Someone please find the recipe and share it with me.

J&G Grill Mexico City