Friday, December 28, 2012

Meal planning made easy

eMeals, the online leader in meal planning, offers weekly meal plans that offer families a way to save money on their grocery bill. eMeals offers over 50 delicious meal plans and corresponding grocery lists every week based on food style preferences, family size and the current sales at selected grocery stores. Dinner menu plans include classic family meals, low-fat, portion control, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian, clean eating, paleo, and the natural and organic plan. For more information, please visit Prices as low as $5 a month! Breakfast & lunch plans can also be added.
How It Works:
How Icon 1Pick Your Plan
To start getting eMeals, just choose a meal plan
based on your eating style, your family size
and even your favorite grocery store.
How Icon 2Get Great Recipes
Every week, your meal plan arrives in your inbox
complete with seven simple, creative, family–friendly
dinner recipes. Each includes an entrée and side dishes.
How Icon 3Shop and Save
Along with the meal plan, you'll receive a detailed
grocery list organized by section and coordinated
with the weekly sales at selected stores.
How Icon 4Relax and Enjoy
We take care of the meal planning, the grocery list and
the budgeting — while you take credit for making healthy,
home–cooked meals
that your whole family will love.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

$75 in gear from Babylegs for under $20!!

BabyLegs Leg Warmers, Baby Socks and Girls Tights
The BabyLegs Winter Clearance Event is here!
Take 75% OFF $75 Before Discount on all styles on our clearance page! You'll get $75 in BabyLegs for just $18.75, no limit - stock up!
Sale includes warmers, tights and socks!
Starts 12/15/12 and ends 12/31/12.
Coupon code: WINTER75OFF
Start shopping here!
BabyLegs Leg Warmers, Baby Socks and Girls Tights
These work awesome for winter potty training, adding extra winter layers, and super fun ways to wear shorts or skirts - even in the cold!
And yes, they have great options for boys as well!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Win hockey tickets!

Inaugural “Three Rivers Classic” College Hockey Tournament featuring Robert Morris University, Penn State University, Ohio State University and Miami University.

Three Rivers Classic – NCAA Division 1 Men’s College Hockey
Two day men’s college hockey tournament at CONSOL Energy Center on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29.
Day One: Friday, December 28
4:30pm: Robert Morris University vs. Penn State University
7:30pm: Ohio State University vs. Miami University of Ohio
Day Two: Saturday, December 29
4:30pm: Consolation Game
7:30 pm: Three Rivers Classic - Championship Game
Two day packages start from $25.
CONSOL Energy Center will host the inaugural Three Rivers Classic on December 28 and 29, 2012. The two day men’s college hockey tournament will feature the Robert Morris Colonials, Penn State Nittany Lions, Ohio State Buckeyes and Miami University Redhawks.
Tickets on sale at, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center.
We have two family 4-packs to giveaway!
Tickets are for the games on Friday, December 28.
4:30pm: Robert Morris University vs. Penn State University
7:30pm: Ohio State University vs. Miami University of Ohio
Go here to enter.
Winner chosen at random. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected. Contest open for entries until Tuesday, December 17th, 2012, 7pm.
Good Luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Great promo with Stella & Dot!

In December, it pays to shop with Stella & Dot! For every $50 you spend you will earn $25 in Dot Dollars to redeem for yourself in the new year. This is a great way to get gifts for friends and family while also shopping for yourself. You can apply the $25 Dot Dollars for every $50 you spend between Jan. 3rd-10th, 2013. Don't worry about forgetting your Dot Dollars because on January 3rd you'll receive an e-mail with your Dot Dollar promo codes and each code will represent a $25 Dot Dollars award. Below are some favorite pieces and gift ideas . . .

Stella & Dot Metropolitan Mixed Chain Necklace is beautiful and is made up of mixed metal chains that are accented with four unique vintage inspired brooches. The Jacqueline Necklace was inspired by a vintage bracelet and was transformed into a modern look that can be worn with a simple top or can be used to accessorize dressy attire for benefits and galas--the options are endless! Go in style with the gorgeous Stella & Dot Felicity Hoops. These earrings feature turquoise and lapis gemstones which adorn a shiny 12k gold plated brass hoops. Be sure to check out Stella & Dot today and start earning your Dot Dollars! Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Save $7 on Harlem Globetrotter tickets!

The Globetrotters play at the CONSOL Energy Center, Dec. 26, 7pm.

Looking for an awesome event the whole family will enjoy? Get your tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters brand new "You Write the Rules" tour. Your family's smiles will start before you even get to the game as the Globetrotters take kid participation to a whole NEW level. Your family can vote at and decide rules for the game that could affect the final outcome. With rules like double the points for every basket, and two balls in play at the same time, there's an exciting rule that every kid will enjoy. After the game, Globetrotter stars will stay on court to sign autographs and take photographs with your kids. The only thing better than finding an awesome event for the whole family, is getting a great deal on it. 
Use the promo code "USFAMILY" when you buy tickets for your family to save $7 on each ticket purchased*. Get ready to experience the show your family will remember for a lifetime!
*Discount available on select seating levels "

Monday, December 3, 2012

Breakfast Express @ Carnegie Science Center

Saturdays, December 8, 15 and 22

Climb on board for a piping-hot breakfast, The Polar Express: An IMAX Experience, loads of family fun, time in the Miniature Railroad & Village®, and a chance to meet a special guest.
It's a holiday tradition!
$25 member / $30 non-member (adult)
$20 member / $25 non-member (child or senior)
$10 (all children 1–2 years)
Register by calling 412.237.3400, then press 7.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Colortime Crafts and Permanent Fabric Markers

Since 1990, over 5 million children and adults have loved creating t-shirts, pillowcases, backpacks, tote bags, bandanas, and more for parties, slumber parties, and scout meetings with Colortime Crafts and Markers permanent fabric markers.  They have provided their customers the opportunity to entertain guests with a creative activity that becomes a permanent keepsake. They are also a licensed vendor of the Girl Scouts of America. Check out their wholesale program, great for organizations.
They also offer free downloadable coloring pages  and a "Birthday Club" with special incentives.
Get 15% off all orders Promo Code: 15USFG when you check them out at .

Harlem Globetrotters giveaway!

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26, 2012, 7pm
2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour brings unprecedented fan participation to
CONSOL Energy Center.
Known as innovators of the game of basketball for decades, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters are again introducing something unparalleled in the history of sports and family entertainment, taking kid participation and fun to a whole new level when the Globetrotters come to CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
For the first time ever, during the Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour, your family’s smiles will begin before you even get to the show. Fans will decide the rules for the game that could affect the final outcome. This could be anything from playing with two basketballs at once, to getting double the points for each basket made.
Go online with your kids to to vote for which ground-breaking rule you want to see implemented in the game. Then, get your tickets, and see the winning rules in live action at the Globetrotters’ world championship game.
Tickets, starting at $19.00, are on sale now at,, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, or by phone at 800-745-3000. Information on group and scout tickets can also be found at

Before the game, take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family where you get to actually spend time on the court with the Globetrotters one-on-one – shooting, trying out ball tricks, autographs and photos. The unique 30-minute pre-show, “Magic Pass,” will create memories of a lifetime.# After virtually every game, Globetrotter stars remain on the court for autographs and photographs with fans.
This year's Globetrotters roster features stars such as Hi-Lite Bruton, Dizzy Grant, Ant Atkinson, and female star Mighty Mitchell.
The 2012-2013 World Tour will carry on the Globetrotters’ tradition of:
* Displaying amazing basketball skills and wizardry, with a focus on family entertainment.
* Featuring an autograph session at the end of the game, allowing fans a chance to get autographs and interact with their favorite Globetrotter.
We have 4 ticket vouchers for this game on Dec. 26 at the CONSOL to giveaway!
{Tickets vouchers to be exchanged for tickets at the box office at CONSOL}
What a great little stocking stuffer!
Go here to enter.
 Winner chosen at random. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected. Contest open for entries until Tuesday, December 11th, 2012, 7pm.

Catch a piece of the tour here:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tiny Prints sale through the weekend

Still looking to get your holiday cards in time for Christmas?
Head to Tiny Prints for their extended sale!
Friday, November 30 - Sunday, December 2 11:59pm PT
Tiny Prints is keeping the Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sitewide Sale through the weekend - get 25% Off! So you still have time to get a great deal on the best personalized holiday cards, Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, holiday party invitations, custom photo gifts, and everything else on their site.

For the rest of the weekend, when you checkout, just use the promo code WKDSALE1112 to get 25% whatever you just created.

If you're a Tiny Prints regular, you don't need me to tell you how great their stuff is. If you are not familiar with them, now is the time to check them out. Their site is easy to use and you can personalize all of the cards, invitations, gifts and more with your own text, pictures, and personality.

There has never been a better time to buy from Tiny Prints and this sale ends Sunday at midnight Pacific Time, so
check them out today.

And here's another weekend promotion!
Friday-Sunday: 35% off all gifts
Code: CYBER1130
Expiration: 12/2/12 11:59 pm PT

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Tiny prints one day sale!
Thursday: 35% off mugs
Code: CYBER1129
Expiration: 11/29/12 11:59 pm PT

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tiny Prints - still 30% off!

Tiny Prints Cyber Monday
Great news...if you missed the Tiny Prints Cyber Monday/Tuesday 30% Sitewide Sale, they are extending for another two days! You can still get a great deal on the best custom holiday cards, Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, holiday party invitations, custom photo gifts...everything on their site is on sale for two more days, today and tomorrow, November 29.

Just use the promo code CB12 when you checkout to get this awesome deal.

If you have used Tiny Prints before, you know how great their products are. If you have not, you are missing out on the best custom cards, invitations, and gifts. Their site is super easy to use and you can personalize everything by writing your own text, uploading pictures, and making everything uniquely you!

There has never been a better time to buy from Tiny Prints and this sale ends tomorrow at midnight Pacific Time, so
check them out today.
Also, check out today's deal of the day!
Wednesday: 35% off Stamps & Embossers
Code: CYBER1128
Expiration: 11/28/12 11:59 pm PT

Monday, November 26, 2012

Treat Card Club Packs

Treat 30% Off Treat Card Club Packs For one day only, you can save up to 60% on Treat greeting cards with the Treat Card Club.
  For Cyber Monday, if you use the code CYBERTREAT, you can save 30% on their already discounted card packs.   You can literally do all of your holiday greeting cards with Treat, and make each one of them completely personalized!

What is the Treat Card Club?

It's a really cool way for you to get major discounts (Up to 60% off on Cyber Monday) and save a ton of time at checkout by pre-ordering greeting cards in bulk.

Here are the Cyber Monday Prices:
18 Card Pack: $1.39/card, 60% Off Regular Card Price12 Card Pack: $1.57/card, 55% Off Regular Card Price6 Card Pack: $1.74/card, 50% Off Regular Card Price

The more cards you send, the more you save with the
Treat Card Club.

Treat offers three card packs (6, 12 or 18 cards) which provide significantly greater value (personalized card) and lower cost per card than what you could expect to pay for a generic greeting card at retail.

You can use the cards in your packs to create and send any card from the Treat collection any time you want. And, redemption of cards can be applied during any current or future card purchases. Once you use up all the cards in the pack, Treat makes it easy for you to replenish your card stock if you'd like.
Treat's card plans take the hassle out of buying and sending cards, and they make it super easy, crazy fun, and totally personal to create a card for someone special. Treat takes care of the rest.

check them out today to take advantage of this amazing deal.

Tiny Prints Sale

It's time to buy your holiday cards, invitations, and more!
  Just in time for the season,
Tiny Prints is offering 30% off everything on their site. Tiny Prints Cyber Monday
Custom holiday cards, Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, holiday party invitations, custom photo name it, it's on sale for two days, today, Monday November 26 and tomorrow, Tuesday November 27.

Just use the promo code CB12 when you checkout to get this great deal.

If you have used Tiny Prints before, you know how incredibly awesome they are. If you have not, you are missing out on the best custom cards, invitations, and gifts. Their site is super easy to use and you can customize everything. You write your own text, upload pictures, and make everything uniquely you!

There will never be a better time to buy from Tiny Prints and this sale ends tomorrow at midnight Pacific Time, so
check them out today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Huge sale @ Babylegs!

It's that time again, BabyLegs Cyber Monday sale! This is the biggest sale of the year with over 60+ New and Exclusive Styles just for the sale!!! This year they're offering Build a Bundle, 3 for $12!
Only styles on the Cyber Monday page are included.  A ton of great new styles (60+) that are only for the sale. Once they're gone, they're gone! Mix & Match, no limit! It's 3 warmers for the price of 1!
Ends 11/26/12
Coupon code: BLCM12

Cyber Sunday/Monday Sales at One King's Lane

One Kings Lane is presenting The Best of One Kings Lane sales including great gifts, holiday decorating, favorites in home decor, and more!

Monday, 11/25- Wednesday, 11/28
Bold is beautiful! These prints, ranging from inspirational quotes to subway signs, have a colorful, larger-than-life energy. Try giving one of these cool graphic signs as a gift. Full of inspiration and humor, they're sure to be appreciated.

The Finished Porch

Sunday, 11/25- Wednesday, 11/28
These bold, bright pillows, ranging from chic damask designs to graphic geometrics, won't let a little rain dampen their style. Add one to your outdoor space and see how it instantly feels a little more like home.

The Cheerful Cook
  Sunday, 11/25- Wednesday, 11/28
When it comes to the kitchen, a little color adds a lot of style. What better time than now to perk up your pantry and countertops with this assortment of bright appliances and accessories.

Top Sales for Monday, 11/26

The Toy Box Sale 
 Monday, 11/26 - Thursday, 11/29
No matter the age, a child's playtime is all about discovery, learning, and of course, fun.

The Gentleman’s Stock Sale
Monday, 11/26 - Thursday, 11/29
No matter how difficult the men in your life are to shop for, you're bound to find something unexpectedly perfect for them here.

Gifts For The Spoiled Chef Sale
Monday, 11/26 - Thursday, 11/29
From colorful retro-inspired toasters to sleek flatware and copper cookware, these giftable pieces stock your favorite cook’s kitchen with the best of the best, while allowing his or her personal style to shine through.

Sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Abe's Market - 25% off + free shipping!

Abe's Market is the online marketplace for great natural products.

Abe's Market decided to reinvent Black Friday, turning it in a Better Friday for all green-conscious consumers! One special page with 25% discount on hundreds of top healthy products!
 And don't miss their Cyber Monday sale - still includes free shipping!
{This should say expires 11/26}

And their site is offering free shipping through 12/31!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get a personalized card for FREE!

Your holiday checklist just got shorter. Create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat for FREE. Whether saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat lets you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress.
Go here to get one free Treat card!
Offer good only on Monday 11/19 & Tuesday 11/20.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gifts for all things Girly + 15% off

Have you heard of Rock the Tea?
Shopping Just Got Easier at Rock The Tea! Girls shopping on-line store. Rock the Tea offers crafts, dress-up clothes, make-up and jewlery for young girls.
Go here to print a coupon for 15% off merchandise at Rock the Tea
Take 15% off all merchandise over $20.00 on your purchase.
Use RTTHOL12 as your coupon code
Expires: 01/10/2013

Check them out for all the girls on your shopping list this season!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

City Dining Cards - Giveaway!

Deck of cards offers 50 $10 discount cards to locally owned restaurants.
Proceeds to benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Grab some local grub, help fight hunger, and save a few bucks—all with a deck of cards. City Dining Cards has arrived in Pittsburgh and its hyper-local focus is encouraging people to support their community by eating locally.

The concept is simple. Each deck of City Dining Cards contains 50 $10 discount cards with savings to locally owned restaurants —each worth $10 off a food bill of $30 or more (tax, tip, and alcohol not included). Restaurants include Pittsburgh favorites such as Root 174
Industry Public House, E2, Nine On Nine, and Round Corner Cantina. Two wildcards hidden in the deck offer freebies at Church Brew Works and Espresso A Mano.

“We wanted to create an easy and affordable way for people to discover new restaurants while helping to support and build their community,” says Patrick Finan, founder of City Dining Cards. “City Dining Cards provides a great opportunity for Pittsburghers to discover those flavors and experiences you can only find in locally owned restaurants.”

Demonstrating their pro-community mantra, City Dining Cards will donate five percent of all sales of the Pittsburgh edition to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, which collects and distributes more than 27 million pounds of food and grocery products per year.
A deck of City Dining Cards costs $20 and can be purchased online at and Pittsburgh-area retailers including Marty's Market, Pavement, and Whole Foods. Cards are valid now through December 31, 2013.

City Dining Cards is a pro-local marketing company that’s passionate about building relationships between small businesses and locally minded customers. Started in Buffalo, New York in 2010, they have grown into eight cities across the Northeast. Find out more at, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

The largest anti-hunger organization in southwestern Pennsylvania, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank collects and distributes more than 27 million pounds of food and grocery products per year to 400+ member agencies and affiliated food banks in 11 southwestern Pennsylvania counties that in turn serve tens of thousands of people at risk of hunger each month. Learn more at
We have one pack of City Dining Cards to give to one lucky winner!
Go here to enter.
Winner chosen at random. Winner has 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected. Contest open for entries until Thursday, November 22nd, 2012, 7pm.
Buying a pack of City Dining Cards would make a great gift idea for those that are hard-to-buy for this Christmas season!

1947 Tavern
Abay Ethiopian Cuisine
Alchemy N' Ale
Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen
August Henry's City Saloon
The BeerHive
Bites and Brews
Blue Dust
Bossa Nova
Brasserie 33
Buffalo Blues
Caffe Davio
Caliente Pizza and Bar
The Church Brew Works
The Common Plea
D's SixPax&Dogz
The Elbow Room
Espresso a Mano
Fat Tommy's Pizzeria
Fez Grill
Frankie &Georgie's 4 Wood Grille
Harris Grill
Industry Public House
James Street Gastropub& Speakeasy
Las Velas Mexican Restaurant
Le Brew House Restaurant & Taverne
Lot 17
Melange Bistro Bar
New Amsterdam
Nine on Nine
Olive or Twist
Osteria 100
Osteria 2350
OTB Bicycle Café
Palazzo Ristornate
Pi Coal Fired
The Porch at Schenley
Root 174
Round Corner Cantina
Shiloh Grill
Square Café
Tambellini Downtown
Taste of Dahntahn
Tin Front Café
Village Tavern &Trattoria

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

13th Annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive

Mr. McFeely Kicks Off
The Children's Museum’s
13th Annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive
 At 11am, Thursday, November 15 the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh kicks off its 2012 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive in the Museum’s Theater with a visit from everyone’s favorite speedy delivery manMr. McFeely.  Guest Maker Susan Radford will be presenting knitting demonstrations from
11:30 am – 1:00 pm.
 Thursday, November 15, 2012
Sweater Drive Kick Off (Theater): 11:00 am - 11:30 am
Knitting Demonstrations (MAKESHOP): 11:30 am – 1pm
 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children's Way
Allegheny Square, North Side
Neighbors sharing with neighbors has been the overriding theme of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive over the past 13 years. Since 2000 the Museum has collected over 28,000 sweaters from individuals & families to share with families-in-need throughout southwestern Pennsylvania “neighborhood”.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s 2012 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive is again presented in collaboration with the United Way of Allegheny County, the Presbyterian Churches of the Tri State Area.
The public can drop off new and/or gently used adult and children sweaters to help warm up the winter for a family in need in the Museum's lobby from November 15 through December 16, 2012.
Sweaters collected will be distributed to families and children through local United Way of Allegheny County nonprofit agencies, Tri State Area neighborhood Presbyterian Church USA missions and, this year a portion of the sweaters collected will be distributed to families and children in the New York City and New Jersey areas recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Take Better Family Photos

It's time for a guest post! This comes from Danielle over at Tiny Toes Portraits with some advice on how to improve your own family photography.
It’s that time of year again!! The time of year that you get the kids dressed up in their fanciest clothes (or maybe their cutest pajamas) and drag them to the local photo studio. Of course everybody else is dragging their kids there too and the studios are scheduling everybody 5 minutes apart and it’s a mad house. You wait for approximately one hour past your session time, your kids are whining (you might be whining a little too), the people who work there couldn’t care less that you’re unhappy (cause they are too), the baby has spit up on himself, and you can’t find your other kid among all the craziness.

Sound familiar??

But it’s the holidays and you need to get your pictures taken, right?? Of course as a professional photographer I’m going to tell you that you should certainly get your pictures taken and you should do it by calling ME … but I also know that it’s not in the budget for everybody. I mean WHY ELSE would you go those chain studios? I honestly can’t think of a single reason.

So what’s a family to do? Take your own! Will they look as good as the ones I would take? Most likely not.  :-)  Although they might look better than what you’ll get at Walmart! So using these wonderful little tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a decent picture for those cards.

1. Get down on their level

Artistic angles aside, portraits just look better when they’re taken from the level of the subject. So when you’re photographing your toddlers, get down on toddler level! Yes that might mean kneeling in the snow. Or you could work on your squatting abilities.

2. Relax!! Sometimes the best pictures aren't the posed ones.

Most of my customers know before they hire me that I’m not the posey-posey type. I’d rather let a child run free and photograph him having a blast, occasionally attempting to capture his attention, than to make him sit still and give me a stiff boring smile. That’s easier with only one kid. But if you’ve got more than one you can plop them all down together and have them sing a funny song, play games, or anything that will make them crack up laughing. They might not be looking at the camera, and they might not be perfectly posed, but you can’t beat genuine moments!

3. Sunrise, sunset.

There are two times of day that are best for photography. Sunrise and sunset. I typically schedule my sessions for an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. You can find the exact times that this happens in your city by googling it. The light at these times is less harsh and has a golden quality to it. Beautiful. But if these times just don’t work for you then find some shade! That’s the next best alternative. Right on the edge of the shade, but still in it.
This was taken about an hour after sunrise.
4. Pay attention to sun spots

Right along with the theme of lighting … pay attention to your sun spots. That is those little spots of light that are bright on your subject when the rest of your subject is dark. They stand out like a sore thumb, especially when they’re on your subject’s face. It’s most common when your little subjects are in the shade of a not-so-leafy tree. So just move them around until they’re in solid shade and then take the picture.

5. The evils of flash

I personally hate on-camera flash. That is the flash that comes built into your camera. I’m not sure I’ve EVER used mine. It simply is not flattering. So if you can avoid it at all, don’t use it! This means that usually your outdoor portraits will be better than your indoor ones. So bundle up and go out!

6. Never put the light directly in front of your subject.

I see people do this ALL the time and it drives me nuts. Pet peeve I guess. But never put the sun directly in front of your subject! Off to the side or behind (although DIRECTLY behind at sunrise/sunset will give you a silhouette). Otherwise you’re going to have a bunch of very bright squinty kids!

The sun is to her right. This is also taken right around sunset so the light isn't harsh.
7. Have an assistant and glue them to your head

That might sound a little silly. But if you have somebody who’s willing to come and dance around like a fool to make your kids laugh, then take them on … but make sure they are either RIGHT next to you (glued to your head) or directly behind you. You don’t want the kids looking far to your left or right. You want it to appear they’re looking at you even if they’re not.

8. How to focus with a point and shoot camera

I’ve heard this so many times. “My camera is so slow! By the time the camera is ready to take the picture, my kid is gone!” So true. I can’t say I use a point and shoot camera all that often but before I became a professional I used one ALL THE TIME and I had a trick. In fact I was an expert at it so I’m hoping this will still work with the modern day point and shoot cameras. As far as I’m aware, all cameras have the focus lock option. That is you push the shutter button half way down and it locks your focus. Most point and shoots don’t exactly have stellar depth of field abilities so even if the kids are moving around a bit it shouldn’t make things blurry. So what I always did was to lock my focus and wait. And wait. And wait for that moment. And the SECOND it happened, I pushed the shutter all the way and the picture takes immediately. You see it’s the focus that takes so long. Give it a try!

9.  Fill the frame

Fill that frame!! Something I see a lot in non-professional photography is that people want to center their subject’s head right in the middle of the frame … that means leaving the top half of the picture well … empty. Fill it up! Zoom in! Don’t be afraid to chop off the top of their little heads! Seriously the most important aspect of a beautiful portrait are the EYES. And the more you zoom in, the more you can see them. Fill that frame!

Look at those eyes!!
10. Turn the camera

Last but not least, don’t forget to turn the camera! This is so simple. But don’t forget your camera takes both vertical and horizontal images. And while there may be a crazy fad for crooked pictures right now (you’ve seen them … taken on an angle) don’t go nuts over it. It’s nice for a few but really … they don’t frame well. Picture it on your wall. You want a crooked kid on your wall? So yes, be creative, but think about that end result.

Wow that was a lot of advice!! I hope it makes you a better photographer. But if it doesn’t … call me! My name is Danielle and I own Tiny Toes Portraits which is an on-location studio here in Pittsburgh (that means I come to you). You can find me on facebook too!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Layla Grace - Gift Ideas

Fall in love with the all new Layla Grayce!
Layla Grayce has recently launched their newly redesigned website. In addition to a fresh and inspiring new look, Layla Grayce has added some bells and whistles just for you. You can now check customer reviews to read firsthand information on product experiences and weigh in on your favorite purchases. Test drive a new look with the brand new design board, where you can mix and match different products and perfect your look before you purchase. When you seem to lack inspiration, visit the redesigned and revamped Backroom Blog. There you'll find ideas that inspire and inform you to get a jumpstart on your next project. Be sure to visit the newly designed Layla Grayce website today! 
Boatman Geller's collection of personalized cell phone cases in bright and preppy patterns lets you "live your style" anywhere and everywhere. A fresh combination of robin's egg blue, crimson and white adds pop to the Moroccan-inspired design of the Kate case
. Your name, monogram or initial is centered inside a rectangular box against its ogee motif background. Delight your tech savvy mother, sister or best friend with this colorful customized gift. Available in three models with your choice of font and text.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank the Troops

In light of Veteran's Day this Sunday, November 11th, please take a moment to join in Shutterfly's Thank the Troops campaign.
It’s more than a card, it’s thank you for our freedom.
Over 1.5 million troops serve our great nation. Many of them will be overseas, in harm’s way, and away from their families over this holiday season. Their mission is simple—to send a thank you card to every American hero. To succeed they need your support. Just select a card from 4 different designs, add a personal message (or photo) and click send. Shutterfly will print and ship your card to the troops at no cost to you.
I encourage you to create a card for the troops, and if you can please share this with your Facebook family and friends (There is a share option when you complete your card). Please take this opportunity this weekend to thank those who sacrifice so much for our country. We know their families share in this great sacrifice. If you know a military family, take a moment to thank them too.
Go here to send your card.