Big Sister Kisses and Dancing with Dad | Highlands Ranch Lifestyle Newborn Photos

I'm so excited to write another post about this beautiful family from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  (See their lifestyle maternity photos here.)  It was great going back so soon after meeting Rachel, Andy, and Elsa, for their maternity shoot.  We all knew what to expect and that helped us all just go with the flow. 

Sweet Elsa was the proud older sister and has transitioned herself into her new role with ease.  And little baby Lucy was a dream to photograph. 

A family gazes down on the newest family addition during a Highlands Ranch Lifestyle Newborn Baby photo session with Kristiina Craven Photography.  #denvernewbornphotographer
Lifestyle newborn photos in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with Kristiina Craven Photography.

The image below is one of my favorites because it feels like a typical Saturday morning event and baby Lucy is along for the ride.

A little girl twirls on her parent's bed during her new baby sister's newborn photo shoot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  With Kristiina Craven Photography in South Denver, Co.  #denvernewbornphotos

The "love" art in the photo below was a happy accident (along with their sweet dog, Isabelle, who was watching the action).  Dancing and jumping with dad was a time-filler and a moment I'm glad we captured!

A father and daughter play as their dog looks on during a newborn photo shoot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with Kristiina Craven Photography.
A newborn baby girl is swaddled in an Aztec printed baby wrap during a Highlands Ranch Newborn Baby Photo Shoot in South Denver with Kristiina Craven Photography. #denvernewbornphotographer

Aside from the shots of just baby Lucy (like the one above), I do almost no posing during newborn photo shoots.  Andy naturally holds Lucy this way, and I made sure I snapped the shot below when I had the chance. 

A father snuggles with his newborn baby girl during a Highlands Ranch Photo shoot in south Denver, Colorado, with Kristiina Craven Photography.
A mom walks with her toddler and newborn baby girl in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, during a lifestyle newborn photo shoot.  #denvernewbornphotos

I love making sure to capture a family's life even if the newest member of the family is napping or simply not in the frame.  Rachel and Andy (and especially Elsa!) will look back and love seeing the way they played together and that her parents had her undivided attention, when needed/wanted :)

A little girl serves "tea" to her parents during a lifestyle newborn photo session in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with Kristiina Craven Photography. #denvernewbornphotos

This shot below is still one of my favorites--despite not being perfect, I think the imperfect-ness adds character to the shot.  Things move fast during lifestyle shoots and sometimes making sure you capture the moment is more important than everything being tack sharp!

Three girls--a mom and new big sister gaze at a newborn baby girl during a photo shoot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with Kristiina Craven Photography.

I know this beautiful family will cherish these photos and they are happy they will have them forever.  Baby Lucy has already changed so much and life makes it hard to remember all of the details of those early days home from the hospital! 

Cheers!

-kristiina

Denver Baby Shower | Lily Rose | Fashion and Beauty Bloggers

I had the great opportunity to photograph my first baby shower recently.  And bonus: it was for the gorgeous fashion blogger, Lily from With Love Lily Rose, and planned by her friend, Natasha, from Polished Avenue.  Natasha found me on Instagram and asked if I would join in the fun which, of course, was an easy request to fulfill. 

I wasn't sure what to expect:  a group of beauty and fashion bloggers from around Denver?  I thought I would feel so out of place.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  They each welcomed me with open arms and treated me like I was one of their gang ;)

Denver beauty and fashion bloggers gather to celebrate fellow blogger, With Love Lily Rose's baby shower at JustBE kitchen. 
Bloggers and friends gather to celebrate With Love Lily Rose's baby shower in Denver, CO.

Natasha kept the baby shower games short and sweet...and come on, how cute is this pregnant belly?!  I guess I should expect that from a fashion blogger :)

Denver baby shower for With Love Lily Rose at JustBE paleo kitchen in Denver, CO.

The food at Just BE Kitchen was SO GOOD.  We had a dairy free (tapioca?) pudding with this amazing nut and seed mixture that was to.die.for.  And he "Wonder" was insane!!  I wasn't sure what to expect from "seasonal veggie hash," and I'm not even sure what I ate, but I practically licked the bowl.  (Lucky for me, one of the other bloggers couldn't make it, so I got to have her seat!)

The Wonder breakfast dish at Just BE kitchen in Denver, Co.

Natasha really outdid herself on the decor.  The colors were incredibly unique for a baby shower--so classy and bright and happy.  She had a little help from Swoozies, an online personalized gift shop and Manofatto Giftboxes, which delivers handmade giftboxes with flowers and other gifts from American artisans, both located in Denver.  Both of these businesses were new to me and I'm thrilled to have them in my gift giving arsenal going forward!

The colors for the baby shower were so vibrant and unique thanks to Swoozies and Mannofatto shop in Denver. 

Look at how beautifully it all came together! 

Lily Rose here at her baby shower in Denver, CO.

This was my first baby shower to photograph and it was a total blast!  Plus, it was so fun meeting new people and rubbing elbows with Denver's best beauty and fashion bloggers :)  Just look at how much fun they had together!

Fashion and beauty bloggers in Denver, Colorado, gather for With Love Lily Rose's baby shower at Just BE paleo kitchen.
So much fun!  Bloggers celebrate at a baby shower at Just BE paleo kitchen in Denver, Colorado. 
Denver bloggers celebrate With Love Lily Rose's baby shower in Denver, Colorado.

Left to right:

Maria Laura from Beauty Tips from ML | Allison from Peach and Pepper | C.J. from Everyday Chiffon | Lily Rose from With Love Lilly Rose | Natasha from Polished Avenue | Jen from Very Truly Yours Jennifer

And I love this shot of Lily Rose with her cake (from Whole Foods Colorado)..this is what a baby shower with Instagram stars looks like LOL

What a baby shower thrown by fellow fashion and beauty bloggers looks like!  #denverbabyshowerphotos

Cheers!

-kristiina

Denver Businesses: Get to Know Teething Treasures

Welcome to a new series on the blog where I showcase and/or interview local Denver businesses.  I absolutely love getting to interview people and find out the backstory to their business journey.  Maybe I missed my calling as a journalist! 

Today I’m bringing you a firecracker of an entrepreneur, Ashley Lutz, of Teething Treasures, a silicone jewelry teething necklace boutique.  She makes teething necklaces for moms that double as the modern, chunky, and colorful accessories that are all the rage these days.  (You may remember seeing one of her teething necklaces included in my Colorado-Themed Baby Shower Gift post.)

The owner of Teething Treasures is making a teething necklace for mom by hand, as she does for each item in her store.  Silicone teething necklaces for moms are the perfect accessory to add when you have a baby on your hip! | Kristiina Craven Photography | Denver Newborn Photographer

I met Ashley at the Everything Baby Expo a few months ago and we instantly hit it off.  You can’t not like her!  I was drawn to her exhibit/booth because of the bright and happy colors of her jewelry/accessories/baby teethers and once she explained their purpose and how awesome they are, I was more than intrigued.  She’s really on to something!

She designs the teething necklaces with moms in mind.  She wants moms to feel good about wearing them so that they don't just sit in the accessory drawer.  And when you wear one, your baby (who spends a lot of time on your hip!) has easy access to a teether or simply a play toy.  And! Your purchase helps local babies to receive infant essentials--Ashley elaborates on that aspect in the interview below.

She runs Teething Treasures from her home in Broomfield, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, Brad, and adorable son Benjamin (who kindly modeled some of her creations).

silicone-jewelry-denver-colorado.jpg

Let’s find out more straight from Ashley!

How long have you been in business?

Since mid March of this year (2017)! Teething Treasures is a new little treasure trove! Technically, I sold my very first necklace to a very good friend of mine in mid-February (shout out Erica & Stella Bella!). Or maybe the real "technical" date is late May / early June when I finally established my LLC, my FEIN, and all the behind the scenes important stuff!  Either way, Teething Treasures is sure full throttle now! :)

Did you always know you’d run your own business?

Oh, gosh no! I am definitely an accidental mamapreneur!

Before I was promoted to Stay-At-Home-Momma, I was a high school science teacher (chemistry & environmental science)! And even that was a surprise for me.

When I was an undergraduate, I also volunteered in high school ministry. I had the intention to pursue Physical Therapy, and while I did graduate premed, I realized I loved spending time with those students.  So much so that I decided against medicine and I went back to school to receive my Masters in Education. (I obviously chose teaching for the money. . . :)

How does being a mom influence the materials you use in your products?

As a Momma, I have designed this necklace to be attractive for you, but enjoyable for your teething child!

Ashley of Teething Treasures holds her son while he plays with one of her teething necklaces in Denver, Colorado. | Kristiina Craven Photography | Denver Newborn and Family Photographer

As a craftswoman, I take pride in quality and safe materials. All my necklaces are handmade and many are one-of-a-kind! But every single one is made with much love, attentive care, and abundant joy!

Why/How are your products different than other teething necklaces on the market?

Teething Treasures are Fashionable for Momma, Functional for Baby, and 10% of profits are donated to charities supporting the needs of babies in our community!

(1) Fashionable for Momma: The physical market for Teething Jewelry and Accessories are limited. And much of it looks like its a toy around your neck. I create boutique style pieces that mommas can feel stylish in!

(2) Functional for Baby: Teething jewelry and accessories are so much more helpful than just for soothing teething pain!

Before you think, "Oh my kiddo isn't there yet..." Bright colors are great visual stimulation for littles who aren't reaching yet! Or, for those kiddos who are grabbing, the different sizes, shapes, and textures serve as an additional means of tactile stimulation and exploration! Encouraging fine motor movement development!

Or! Does your baby breastfeed distractedly? Wearing a necklace can capture their attention and keep them closer to you! (One friend found it helped her little girl to not scratch her so much during breastfeeding!)

Also do not be too quick to think, "Nah, my toddler isn't teething anymore." Did you realize it typically takes 2 years to get all those toofers in? Babies tend to grab hair and jewelry - at least feel confident that its okay for them to chomp away on

(3) Donating Infant Necessities: By purchasing Teething Treasures, you are helping provide for infants in need! You can feel fashionable, your little can be entertained, and another baby has been given infant essentials!

Two of the handmade teething necklaces made by Ashley of Teething Treasures in Denver, Colorado.

Furthermore!

(4) In-Person "Make & Take" Events I have a whole treasure trove of precious gems But! I also host Make & Take Events where Mommas (or Grandmas or Aunties or Nannies or Fraunties) can get together and make their own Teething Treasures!

(5) NEW! Norwex Travel Microfibers I am introducing Norwex Travel Microfibers to my Teething Treasures Boutique. The one (and only) complaint that I receive is that silicone gathers lint. Norwex microfiber is unique in that it contains BacLock which is their "micro silver antibacterial agent" and works to "self-purify and inhibit bacterial odors, mold and mildew growth within each cloth" (Norwex). So! Not only does this awesome cloth easily wipe away lint off my Teething Treasures (simply with water and the cloth), but it sanitizes it too!

(6) Knotting Variety I have introduced knotting variety! When you go to big box stores and check out their variety, you'll see that the beads are each individually knotted. I can do that, I can knot simply on the ends, or leave the beads loose on the strand. I prefer the latter as it is another means for which your baby can manipulate the necklace.

Ashley Lutz of Teething Treasures makes one of her handmade teething necklaces in Denver, Colorado. | Kristiina Craven Photography | Denver newborn photographer

Do you offer customization/special orders?

Absolutely! To make it even more unique to you, I love designing treasures tailored to your tastes! Allow me to custom create a necklace or pacifier clip or what you have imagined! Or let's put our creative juices together to construct your dream teething accessory! 

Simply message me! Message me on Etsy, on Facebook, and even my cell phone! (contacts provided below!)

Please allow extra time for custom designing your perfect Teething Treasure! Keep in mind I may or may not have the inventory on hand to make your dream Silicone Teething Necklace a reality. I can order a wide variety of colors (over 50 shades!), an array of shapes and sizes, accent beads, wooden teethers, a variety of satin cord colors, etc... But I do not have all of these at all times. If I need to order, I will do so, happily! But this will add to both the cost and the time necessary to craft your jewelry.

Your final price will vary based on time spent designing, complexity, sample pictures, number of beads, shapes of beads, etc... Final total cannot be given at the start of the order. Estimates can be given, but is not exact nor guaranteed. Additional customization fee starts at $5.00. (Simply requesting a color change for an already existing design starts at $1.00)

Above: Ashley shows a customer one of her treasures at the Teething Treasures Pottery Barn Pop-Up in Lone Tree, Colorado recently. 

Above: Ashley shows a customer one of her treasures at the Teething Treasures Pottery Barn Pop-Up in Lone Tree, Colorado recently. 

What can we look for in the future—can you let us in on any secret products or projects?

Ha! I would LOVE to give you a sneak peek into a future project and future off shoots! I currently offer necklaces, bracelets, teether rings, teether rattles, pacifier clips, teether clips, and interchangeable teether / pacifier clips.

My next brainstorming product is a toy catcher! My son's favorite game is how-many-times-will-momma-retrieve-the-toy-I-just-threw... *eye roll* Ha! Right now, I often clip Teething Treasures teether clips to the grocery cart belt, stroller strap, car seat, etc...

This allows him to throw and retrieve on his own. But how great if I can make something that I could attach some of his favorite non-Teething Treasures toys!  Keep your eyes peeled, Treasure Hunters!

I also see two more demographics that I can serve well with Teething Treasures! Right now I design for Mommas with infants and toddlers!  But I think this would be great for school aged children and also special needs kiddos!

(1) I have so many parents who think that their little girls would love to wear their own Teething Treasure! Think about it! A lot of children gnaw on their shirt collar, chew their pencil / pen, twist their shirt, and fidget! Nervous Nellie & Nervous Neds can discretely munch on their necklace and twist and manipulate them! Yep. Nervous Neds too! Think like an individual silicone shark tooth or lego pendant. Now it doesn't look like a girly necklace! And! With so many schools having banned fidget spinners, I recently had a custom order for a teether clip (of course we didn't call it that) for a young boy's backpack! Definitely a future avenue I want to pursue!

(2) I have also had a huge request for children with Special Needs. Having been an educator, what a valuable resource this would have been! I even have a family therapist, MS who sought me out asking if he could use my company as a resource for some of his clients. He is specifically trained / experienced in Play Therapy and Sandtray Therapy with children, with Autism, and with Special Needs individuals.

Tell us more about what you mean by "By purchasing Teething Treasures, you are helping provide for infants in need!"

By choosing to wear Teething Treasures, you are also choosing to support Colorado infants in need! Teething Treasures, LLC provides diapers, wipes, formula, infant medicines, and other baby necessities to local food banks and homeless shelters! I donate 10% of monthly net profit in the form of these donations!

Keep in touch! Happy Treasure Hunting!

shop: www.TeethingTreasures.com

write: Ashley@TeethingTreasures.com

friend: facebook.com/TeethingTreasure

follow: @teethingtreasuresboutique

pin: pinterest.com/TeethingTreasures

call: 720-877-5025 

Thank you, Ashley!  I can’t wait to watch your business grow and see what new products you bring us in the future.

Cheers!

-kristiina