FAMILY CHRISTMAS PHOTO SHOOT UNVEIL!

It’s the most wonderful time...yes – it’s our annual family Christmas photo shoot unveil!! I take a gazillion pictures of my kids…I can’t help it, and I make no apologies for it.  Their faces change on a daily – and scrolling thru my 20k+ photos on my iPhone proves that!  But I really love when we do our professional family photo shoot.  I enjoy coming up with themes and ideas – or stealing ideas on Pinterest. 🙂

I look forward to seeing my kids and family personalities play out in front of the camera, and it’s always that moment to officially get us in the holiday spirit.

This year – we wanted to capture some nice family shots – but to also focus on the fun of the holidays!  I loved our prison line up shot – and the kids are the perfect age to pull off the naughty looks.  We ended up with 300 amazing photos so it was hard to narrow it down to about 20.  These are just a few of my highlights.  Special thanks to Toni Lowe for styling us as only she knows how…and Erica Melissa for always capturing our best moments.

one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot

Metelus Christmas Family Photo Shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot

one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot

AJ: LIFE OF A TWO-YEAR OLD TODDLER PHOTO SHOOT

Ahhhh….the excitement of turning 2!!!  August 6th. Part of me was a little sad knowing that I no longer have a baby anymore – I have a full blown little boy…and he plays the role to the tee!  “AJ” (Amarii Joseph) was such a calm and low key baby.  I thought…“this is good..I have balance between him and Miss Bobbi.”  But not so fast!  In the last few months – its like he turned on the switch and is now operating on ALL cylinders.  He has such a bright personality to match his big and bright smile.  He’s super affectionate, very independent, makes his voice heard – and is willing to battle for some shine when he is around his big sister.  He started pre-school in May, and that has really helped to accelerate his communication skills…he can now speak in full sentences, knows how to count from 1 – 13 (he’s stuck…he thinks every number after 13 is…13)..he knows his ABC’s, loves books, and loves identifying animals and their sounds.  We’re still working on his colors 🙂

As has been my tradition – I once again partnered with Erica Melissa to shoot AJ in all of his glory.  She has captured every key moment including our birth journey and his first year photo shoot.  For this shoot, we went back to the location of Miss Bobbi’s two-year old shoot in Miami Lakes. FL, a shopping area that has become our little photo shoot playground…we just used different backdrops.  I also (smartly) enlisted the help of my friend/stylist, Toni Lowes to help create the looks, and we bought along his favorite bike, his favorite toy – a football…balloons…and his favorite bear…I’m in love with it all!

Amarii Joseph; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

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Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post
Amarii Joseph Metelus; Two-year old photo shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog post

Check out photos from AJ’s Bubble Guppies Birthday Bash!

LINE UP LINE UP…IT’S BUBBLE GUPPIES PARTY TIME!!

What’s every two-year old’s favorite cartoon??? BUBBLE GUPPIES!!!!  Well, its one of many…but since AJ’s birthday falls in the summer – I love having his parties outside.  (Besides, who doesn’t love being out in all of the heat and humidity that Miami has to offer??)  In fairness to all attendees – I do plan it around some type of water activity – and this year’s venue had plenty of that.  We celebrated at TY Park’s Castaway Island where they offered something for everyone!  I rented out two funbrella’s – which perfectly shaded all of our guests (about 60 people).  Kids were able to spend time in the splash pad zone or join in the fun at the swim lagoon.  There’s even a slides area for the older kids.  There was limited décor since the pools and slides were enough to keep the kids entertained.  But I still managed to find ways to incorporate the Bubble Guppies theme.

It was a perfect summer day to gather friends and family to celebrate AJ turning two. Sharing some of the fun!

Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
What’s a party without the perfect invite!
Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
Cake designed by Divine Delicacies…they nailed the Bubble Guppies theme
Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
Even though I had cupcakes…and cake…I still got the custom cake pops – kids love these!
Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
I know Finding Dory isn’t the theme, but its all ocean based stories – so we rolled with it!
Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
I always find custom labels on Etsy to tie it all together…and the beach pails from Party City was a perfect touch to the décor.

Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;

Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;

Amarii Turns Two! Bubble Guppies Party; One Balanced Mama Blog Post
Fun shots of AJ enjoying his birthday party with friends and family…he had a blast!

 

Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;

Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;
Amarii Turns Two! Birthday shoot; One Balanced Mama Blog Post;

Happy Birthday my love!!!

A GETAWAY TO THE KEYS

I was exhausted…even before I knew that I would spend the day before our anniversary trip being delayed in a DC airport for 8 hours – coming home at 4AM…I was exhausted.  The month of March was crazy for me.  Work trips.  Conferences.  A week long family cruise (more on that later).  A week without my nanny, who was on vacation.  I was done.

I had big plans for our 5th Anniversary originally…but I was also dealing with low energy, very limited time, and definitely no desire to jump on another flight….even to a gorgeous island.  So my husband and I decided to do a quick getaway for 2 days, right in our backyard.

I’ve lived in Miami for close to 35 years…and I’ve never truly experienced the Keys.  I remember going to Key Largo a few times with my parents – but I really don’t remember its beauty.  Well, that changed on this trip. But even the 4-hour car drive all the way to Key West was too much for me to bear.  We decided to head to Islamorada, which was a short 2 hour drive from Miami.  The Keys was exactly what I needed.  Peaceful, tranquil, laid back and charming.  I just wish we had more time to spend…but we will be back soon.  I’m sharing a few of my favorite photos from our trip – shot by my personal photographer…my husband.

The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
Let’s start here. I can’t get enough of this photo. It just makes me want to breathe! And this was our backyard…literally….Our view in the morning and all day…just steps away from the amazing house we stayed in.
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys
We stayed at The Mooring Village and Spa in Islamorada. Its a beautiful collection of 18 cottages and homes – some beachfront…some not. Thankfully we had some friends that got us into the Blue Charlotte – which is the largest home on the property!
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
THIS is the Blue Charlotte…we walked in wishing we had our friends with us. Its a 3 bedroom; 2 story home right on the beach. With charming decor and a full wrap around balcony…this was a piece of heaven that came right on time!
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
Front view of the Blue Charlotte
Islamorada; The Mooring Village; Florida Keys
Front Porch Life
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
I am taking it all in…enjoying my breathing space.