Keepsake Folders

Needing a unique baby shower gift for a new mom in your life? These keepsake folders and gift vouchers from My Own Little Story are the perfect present for the first-time parent or the parent who already has everything.

All of our gift vouchers come with a complimentary “Keepsake Folder” perfect for storing ultra-sound photos, birth announcements or shower invitations.  In addition, we have included and labeled vellum envelopes for enclosing your child’s hospital bracelet and first hair clippings- complete with double stick tape for securing your treasures in a printed book. Finally, we couldn’t resist sharing two of our most popular stationery designs- they make a perfect thank-you note or gift enclosure.  Be sure to enter the coupon code: GIFT to receive $6 dollars credit on your shipping!

Shop all the Keepsake Folders here!

Unique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.com

Unique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.com

Unique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.comUnique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.comUnique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.comUnique baby shower ideas from the only online baby book that sends email reminders. MyOwnLittleStory.com

Watercolor Onesies

If you haven’t had a chance to check out these sweet little onesies, go take a look. The images are from Our illustrator, Devon Galusha, original watercolor images she created for My Own Little Story.

Our 100% cotton vintage screened onesie is so soft and durable, you might wish we made adult sizes. Packaged in a reusable organza bag complete with gift tag. Available in long sleeve and short sleeve styles.

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Four Tips for Taking Better Pictures for Your Baby Book

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1. Don’t say CHEESE (give them a task)

In many of my sessions you will RARELY see me say sit together and smile.  If you have an older sibling, set them down where you want the photo and have the younger ones run to the siblings and hug them.  Usually it’s fun and they run and hug their older sibling and laugh and when I call their names they are laughing AND looking at the camera.  So the photos are so posed but more like everyday life.  You can have them peek-a-boo around a tree (that is a great one that gives big smiles and laughs).  Plus the tree or wall adds color or texture to your photos, and more of an artsy look.  Younger kids think anything stinky is funny.  Have them find the baby’s feet or bottom and pretend it’s stinky.  I always like to get them into a conversation… about their favorite superhero.  Then YOU take that superhero and have him doing something funny.  Does Superman wear pink shoes?  Nooooooooo, trust me, they think it’s hilarious. Simon says is the BEST as well.  Have them jump, twirl and close their eyes, and when they open them do something funny.  Just be silly. Telling young children to sit and smile or say cheese… fake smile alert.

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2. Add props! (give them a task)

Bubbles, leaves, favorite books and stuffed animals.  I never want to forget that my littlest had 5 lambies when she was little and how much she loved them.  They are stained, and dirty and missing various eyes or ears, but still she snuggles up to them every night.  Incorporate them into your photos.  They will love to look back at those photos because they will remember what was important to them.

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3. Use sports mode! (give them a task)

(The icon with the little guy running in your mode settings)  It doesn’t mean they have to be playing sports.  Sports mode is intended to capture them in motion.  Essentially it increases the shutter speed so you can “freeze” them in action.  Many times the camera will shoot in continuous shooting mode (take several pictures in a row).  This mode will avoid blurry photos.  If you have a DLSR, there is the same setting or you can bump up your shutter speed. (This is a great time to pull out your manual if you are not sure how to do this).  Kids run, they play and they are movers, but these are the pictures that you will remember too.

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4. Focus on the eyes! (give them a task)

If you look at some professional portraits, the eyes are what usually draws your attention and brings you into the photograph.  These are from the catch lights!  They make the eyes… and your photographs sparkle.  Catch lights are a reflection of a light source.  Here is where it gets tricky, but so rewarding.  You always want to face your subject TOWARDS a light source, except in full sun.  So what that means is face them towards a window, open door, the sky, a white wall, or if you are in a shady area look and see where the sun is and face them that way.  Walk around the block with your camera and keep looking at your child’s eyes… when you see those beautiful reflective catch lights, look and see where the light is coming from.  No catch lights will give you very dark eyes and you definitely don’t want that!  If you do not have a light source, you can always use your flash.  Flash tip for getting rid of the red eye or reducing that harsh “flash” light?  Tape ½ a cotton ball over your flash, less if you have a point and shoot… it gives you beautiful diffused light for your photos.​

BONUS TIP: Timing is everything! (give them a task)

If you are looking to take great pics of your kids, think about when they are best… are you excited about a photo session at the end of the day?  After a long day of work… or for them… school, missed naps or missing you?  Look for a time that they are well-rested and happiest.  Usually for most people that I schedule sessions with, it’s in the morning.  Always plan around THEIR schedules, not yours if you can, you will be so much happier with the end result.

ABOUT HEIDI WALTER: (give them a task)

I am a Southern California natural light photographer and specialize in newborns, children and families.  I love  to capture those little moments of everyday life to remember.  I am strictly a natural light photographer, what is that?  It means basically I travel on location and use whatever light is given at the place we are taking pictures.  I use the sun, the shade, reflections, window lights, & doorways, always looking for that beautiful light.

YOU CAN FIND HEIDI’S AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS AND MORE HERE: http://www.heidiwalterphotos.com/

Copyright © 2015 My Own Little Story, All rights reserved.

Find us at: www.myownlittlestory.com

14 Fun Ideas for you and Baby

Need some fun ideas to add to your baby’s book?  Each of the activities below is worthy of a story and a photo.  Just get your camera ready, and then record your memories.  Remember, just a few words can tell a story.  These ideas will definitely eliminate any chance of writer’s block!

1. Write a note to your child- save it in their baby book.

Channel your “new” energy into a thoughtful note for your child to read several years from now.  You can create a custom page on MyOwnLittleStory.com and give it special title like: A Note from your Parents.Just click here!

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2. Take a photo of your baby bundled for winter.

No matter where you live, snap a photo of your little one bundled for the cold.  Nothing says “snuggle me” like a baby buried in winter gear.

3. Introduce your little one to something new this month- depending on their age, consider pulling out finger paints, crayons or an easy to solve puzzle.

These kinds of jumbo knob puzzles are just as fun to complete as they are to use for teething!

4. Play music.  Don’t forget to dance too!

Here are two great tunes to get you started:
American Authors- Best Day of My Life
Michael Franti & Spearhead- Sound of Sunshine

5.  Make your own music.

Pots and pans, Tupperware and wooden spoons are fun for music-making.  Don’t let the lack of an actual instrument stop you from making some music.

6.  Blow bubbles.

Do this while they are bathing or at the park.  Simple, inexpensive and fun.

7. Make a fort.

Children of all ages enjoy making a fort, or just sitting in a fort.  No need to get fancy, a sheet and two chairs can make the most basic of forts.  Even a 5-month old in a bouncy seat can appreciate this age-old practice.

8.  Make soapy jars.

Use plastic jars (think recycle bin) or securely closing Tupperware, along with dish soap and food coloring (only if your jar seals tight) to make a great toy to shake and observe.  If your child is too young to shake it up, do it for them and let them watch to bubbles appear then pop.

9. Include your tot in your exercise routine.

It’s hard to imagine the new year without adding a little exercise into the mix.  Whether you jog with them in the stroller or do calf raises with them sitting on your knees, your little one will be happy to know that they were part of your healthy routine.

10.  Set aside your electronics for one night a week.

Instead of being tuned in to your email or the internet, pick one night a week to set your computer, tablet and phone down.  Use the time to play a game, or engage in some of the suggestions above.

11.  See something new: modern art, automobile museum, historic landmark.

Depending on your baby’s age, they may or may not understand the experience fully, but teaching curiosity and exploration is a valuable lesson.  Be sure to snap some photos of the experience, to create a lasting memory for the family.

12. Say “no” to something you don’t want to do- instead spend the time relaxing with your child.

Be selective in how you volunteer your time.  Free time with your baby is a valuable commodity and will be more rewarding than being over committed!

13.  Make the most of the weather.

Cloudy?  Take the time to watch them move.  Snowing?  Go outside and catch a flake.  Raining?  Take your baby outside to feel the rain on their face.  Sunny?  Get some fresh air and enjoy the warmth.  Sometimes the most obvious things can get overlooked on a busy day.

14. Enjoy your year!  Laugh often, love deeply, and live fully.

Two Stories That Will Warm Your Heart

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Over the course of the year I will be sending out monthly newsletters.  My goal is to reach out to parents and share thoughts and stories that have motivated me to follow my dreams,  parent with inspiration and treasure every moment with my family and friends. This month I want to share stories of some inspiring kids.   Kids who took action to make a difference.
  Remember, everyone’s story is important.  Don’t forget to record you child’s story today.  Kristin Coons, Founder MyOwnLittleStory.com

Jessie Rees- Jessie’s Joy Jars

Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate 12 year old girl who bravely fought two brain tumors (DIPG) for ten months and two days. On January 5, 2012 Jessie earned her angel wings.  But before she died, she did an amazing thing.  Jessie created JoyJars®.

The idea came to her one day early in her fight against cancer as she was leaving the hospital, she asked her parents when the other kids in the hospital would get to go home.  Her parents explained that some kids have to stay at the hospital for treatment and care, unlike Jessie who got to go home after her initial treatment.  When they returned to their home, Jessie got right to work decorating brown lunch bags with stickers and encouraging words and filling them with toys and stuffed animals.  After checking with the hospital, they loved the idea but told her she would have to put her “treats” in plastic jars, thus JoyJars® was born.

Before Jessie passed away, she distributed over 3,000 JoyJars®.  Since her death, many more jars have since been distributed.  The most amazing thing about her story is how in the midst of her awful battle, she was able to think of others.

Jessie’s motto was to NEGU (Never Ever Give Up). This message of hope, strength and perseverance has made its way around the world inspiring both young and old to stay strong and reach for your goals. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit herFacebook Fan Page, or visit her website: negu.com

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The Burrito Boyz Serve Up Free Breakfasts for San Diego’s Homeless

By Ken Lee
While most teens are impossible to rouse at the crack of dawn, the Burrito Boyz of San Diego, Calif., are out of their homes by 6:30 a.m. every Sunday.

Their mission: Making breakfast burritos for the city’s homeless, something they’ve done for 167 consecutive Sundays since November of 2010.

Comprised of a core team of seven high school boys and a small army of volunteers, they’ve given away more than 51,000 burritos and counting.

“We show the homeless community that we’re not giving up on them, so they shouldn’t give up on themselves,” explains Alec Johnson, 15, who started the Burrito Boyz nonprofit with his father, Michael, 49, and best friend Luke Trolinger, 16.

The nonprofit began after Alec, then 12, presented his Christmas wish list to his parents in 2010: an iPhone, MacBook Air and other pricey items.

“I thought, ‘Holy cow. My son’s growing up quick, asking for such mature items,’ ” explains Michael, a former sports marketer. “My wife, Mehrnaz, and I instead decided to teach him what’s important in life,” he says.
The very next weekend, they handmade 54 breakfast burritos in the family kitchen – paid out of their own pocket – and greeted the less fortunate on the downtown streets with the hot meal, bottle of water and a touch of dignity.

“It felt like punishment at first when my dad told me the idea,” Alec says with a laugh.
“But to see human beings sleeping on the cold ground outside, it really touched me,” he says. “To realize how much they don’t have, and how much we do. It’s a huge part of my life now.”  To read more, click here.

 

 

Welcome to My Own Little Story

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HOW INSPIRED MOM KRISTIN COONS CREATED MY OWN LITTLE STORY

As a busy mother of three, I have laid in bed numerous nights plotting how I’m going to create a picture-perfect baby book for each one of my boys. I want to remember the first time each one of my children rolled and crawled, walked and talked; I don’t want to forget when my oldest got his first haircut or when my youngest cut his first tooth. But let’s face it – our world is busy, chaotic and fast. Who has the time to put one baby book together…much less two or three? Between careers, parenting and life’s obligations, there hasn’t been an easy way to document each magical moment – until now.

I created My Own Little Story to make baby booking as easy as responding to an e-mail and as fun as talking to a girlfriend. With My Own Little Story, all you have to do is register online and we will walk you through the rest. You’re expecting? Then please register while you’re pregnant and get a head start on making those memories last a lifetime. We will prompt you for photos and fun facts, all you have to do is register. As soon as you’re ready to hold your baby book, just click and order.