Now that SNOW finally arrived last week, it’s time to play! One of my family’s favorite winter activities is to hit the slopes and spend the day skiing. Sharing this winter past time with my kiddos is such a joy. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to going skiing with the whole family, so I’m sharing them with you! I have tips from helping your kids get started with skiing to how to help the non-skiers in your family have fun during a day on the slopes.
My Best Tips for Skiing with Children Near the Seacoast
1. FIND A GREAT SKI SCHOOL To be totally honest, even though you may be the best skier out there, teaching your own child to ski can be frustrating. I recommend paying for ski school to get your child skiing on their own faster and to ditch the frustration. There are some great local programs for kids to learn to ski as well as some of the bigger mountains offer day lessons.
Here are a few of my favorite:
MCINTYRE SKI AREA – Located in Manchester, NH – they have great seasonal programs and are just a short 35-minute drive from the Seacoast (all of my kids did their ski programs)
SUGARLOAF – Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME – WORTH THE DRIVE – Sugarloaf is MY FAVORITE! After working there for 4 years, I fell in love and so have my kids. Their Perfect Turn Programs are great for all ages and each year we spend at least a long weekend skiing this amazing mountain. The kids’ programs are in my opinion the best on the east coast.
Pats Peak – Located in Henniker, NH – This is where we have had our season passes for the last 3 years. Just a short 1 hour from the Seacoast – it makes for great day trips. My daughter who is just 5 loves being able to ski from the top with me using her Ski Harness (a MUST HAVE to save your back).
2. FIND PROPER SKI GEAR Having your kids dressed and ready to go in the RIGHT gear is key! You want them warm and comfortable. Besides the obvious, skis & ski boots, you will need the proper gloves, base layers, socks, and a HELMET. Not to mention, hand/feet warmers are a must-have when they are little. They will help to keep them warm all day. Always pack extra gloves as they are sure to get wet when your little one falls in the snow.
My favorite local shops for ski gear for kids (and adults) are:
Fire on the Mountain in Dover, NH – they have a wonderful boot program where you can get your kids the next size up year after year without investing in new boots every year. Last year my boys even went in the middle of the year to exchange their boots after a growth spurt.
3. TEACH THEM TO CARRY THEIR OWN GEAR Even at a young age, I made a rule that we don’t ski unless you carry your own gear. There is a LOT of stuff to carry and, as a mom of 3 who has done solo skiing with the kids A LOT, I needed them to learn this early on.
4. HAVE FUN AND BUILD IN BREAKS Remember that skiing is about having fun, BUT it is physically demanding. Your kids will need lots of breaks. Try to build in some breaks throughout the day so everyone rests and refuels before heading back out. Playing games like pizza/french fries (use an Edgie Wedgie to help with the pizza) and Red Light/ Green Light will help to keep your toddler/child engaged. If you notice your kiddo getting tired, take a break, get some hot chocolate, and make a snowman. A day on the slopes is all about making fun memories!
5. FIND YOUR SKI TRIBE Hey, just like anything with parenting, having a tribe is important. I have a handful of families who we ski with and I am always grateful for them. Some will take the older boys off on their own and then I have a few who will tough it out on the bunny slopes with me when my 5-year-old is practicing her skills. My ski tribe is a BLAST!
6. BONUS FOR NON-SKIERS For YEARS my husband was a non-skier (he just learned last year) and we had to find activities for him while the kids and I skied. Snowshoeing was one of his favorites. We would also end the day with family tubing – like sledding but WAY BETTER! Ski resorts have so much to do OTHER than skiing you just need to check out their websites. Who knows… maybe your non-skier will want to join the fun someday. 😉
I have a good feeling that this 2020 holiday season will be the most magical yet! As I write this post, I’m gearing up for my Red Truck Holiday Sessions this weekend, making my personal holiday gift list (and checking it twice), and promoting my Black Friday Specials.
Actually, I’m already seeing how magical this holiday season will be because folks are purchasing truly thoughtful and personal gifts this year! Best yet? I love seeing how many family and friends are shopping LOCAL this year.
Today, I wanted to share 3 ideas for a personal and loving gift with your portraits and I highlight my 5 favorite local shops with some gift ideas for you.
Check ‘em out!
Three Thoughtful Portrait Gift Ideas
The Torn Edge Solo & Trio Framed Prints
This is a client favorite! Start with your image, combine it with beautiful fine art watercolor paper with hand-torn edges, and complete it with float framing! This product comes complete with the fine art torn edge print, floated-print feature, double mat, and glass – printed, framed, and ready to hang right away. The featured image above shows you what the trio framed print looks like! You can look at my Art Products page for other great ideas.
Session Gift Certificate
Give the gift that will last a lifetime by giving your loved one a gift certificate towards a photography session or product! Depending on what you’d like to do, you could purchase a gift certificate to cover a portion of the session and product or the full session.
Who Would Love This?
Newly expecting mama for her birth or newborn session
Grandparents who would love a professional family portrait
Even better!? I have amazing Black Friday Specials all this month, so you can give even more to your loved one and book your own portrait session for a great price. I have special deals on my mini sessions, portraits, newborns, and even birth photography. Click here to get the details and to book.
These are perfect for your loved ones who would cherish a professional photo of your family! Gift prints are printed on the finest archival paper and mounted on a matte board. The beauty of these prints is that they will stand the test of time and last for many years!
5 Gift Ideas From Local Businesses
Small Business Saturday is November 28th! Below some of my favorite local businesses to support and with a great gift for anyone on your list.
Vernon Family Farm | Newfields, NH)
This awesome farm store is open daily, year-round. They offer products sourced from over 30 local farms and small businesses! You can purchase a CSA gift card for the 2021 season for your loved one. How cool is that?
The F+A Shop has an incredible selection of hand-picked, one-of-a-kind pieces sourced from trusted vendors! They have furniture, accessories, art, kitchenware, and more! Their online store has lots of great gift ideas.
Looking for a great gift for a child in your life? Puddlejumpers has clothes, toys, and accessories. There’s something for every personality here! The friendly staff can help you find the right gift for your children, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren.
This incredible organization provides comprehensive care and supports parents through each stage of parenting. They offer relevant classes for today’s parents, playgroups for babies, childcare on-site for when parents access practitioners located in-house, rooms to rest in, and so much more. Visit their website to learn more.
If you haven’t been to this shop, it’s a must! Meet Exeter’s Premiere Gift Shop for 35 years! A gift for everyone on your list from children to grandparents. Great prices and super friendly customer service.
While the world had stopped due to COVID-19 back in April of 2020, here in Newfields, NH we put on one heck of a parade for a special little 4 year old who had just beat cancer!!!! Jack’s mom Rebecca had posted in the local community page asking for a special favor from her “tiny town” and boy did the town STEP UP!
“We would love to give him a parade to celebrate this milestone,” she wrote. “He doesn’t quite understand what this means, but our family would appreciate marking the day with something that makes him happy.”
The response from the community was overwhelming.
A parade of more than 100 cars drove by the Winter family home on Exeter Road Tuesday, honking, holding out balloons and signs like “Jack you Rock” and “You did it.”
As a family photographer in Newfields, NH, these types of events touch me to my soul and after meeting Jack and his family back when he was first diagnosed, I knew that I had to be there to capture this amazing event. There was not a dry eye in the whole town. The Newfields Fire & Police Departments did an amazing job helping to coordinate this “super hero” parade and people as far as Massachusetts drove to be a part of it!
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again this year White Wave Photography will be donating 10% of ALL SESSION FEES AND SALES booked in the month of September to childhood cancer research! Today, we will be sending a check for $833 to theJimmy Find Clinic and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in honor of Jack Jack and fellow Newfields Cancer Warrior Super Joe.
Thank you to all of the amazing WWP Clients who have made this donation possible!
To learn more about White Wave Photography or get information about booking a family session please contact Jennie today. I would LOVE to chat!
Capturing your birth story does not have to mean capturing the actual act of giving birth. As a Portsmouth NH Newborn Photographer it is important for me to capture the journey of meeting your baby in the way that YOU want. Whether that is a full on birth story where I am at the birth of your child or if you prefer a more private Motherhood Session. The Motherhood Collection is a great way to get those last images as a family of 3 before a new little brother or sister arrives. It includes a Fresh 48 Hospital Session or Welcome Baby Session at your home to capture older siblings meeting their new baby brother/sister AND then two weeks later, I come back for a lifestyle newborn session with the whole family (including the fur babies). All of our Birth and Motherhood Collections include a beautiful custom created heirloom album for you to enjoy each year on your child’s birthday or when the sentiment strikes.
Great Island Common in New Castle shares so many special memories for this family so it was only fitting that we have their maternity session here. Incorporating locations that are important to families is one way to ensure that families have an amazing experience and memories to cherish for years to come. Rhett is an amazing big brother and welcomed his little sister with open arms at Portsmouth Hospital one year ago today! Capturing those first few moments of siblings meeting for the very first time is something that you will never regret investing in. If you would like to learn more about Birth or Newborn Stories please contact me today to set up a free consultation.
Wow…that escalated quickly. Over the past few weeks we have all needed to make some serious adjustments in our everyday lives to accommodate working from home, remote learning for our kids and keeping the kiddos busy all while practicing social distancing. If you are anything like me – the first week was full of unknowns and the first thing you did was google Kids Activities to do at Home. Well, let me save you some time and highlight a few of our favorite things.
#1 GET OUTSIDE & EXERCISE(NOTE: The beaches are now closed here on the NH Seacoast but many hiking trails are still open – these beach images were taken BEFORE the beach was closed)
Whether your are just in your own backyard or choose to hike one of the many trails here on the Seacoast of NH, it is essential for everyone’s mental health to get outside and enjoy nature together. We love to play with bubbles, kick the soccer ball around, draw with sidewalk chalk and hike the local trails. Side Note: I busted my foot a week in and am in a boot – YUCKY – but STILL GETTING OUTSIDE daily for sanity:)
If you are looking for virtual fitness classes to do at home, check out the Exeter Area YMCA .They also have virtual art classes and STEM programs for the kids.
Building projects are a great way to not only keep the kids busy but it helps them to problem solve. Legos are a HUGE hit in our house and this is a great way to keep older children occupied while you jump on that conference call at your day job:). Plus, if you get a big enough kit – they can do it together FOR DAYS ON END! #MOMWIN
Kiwi Crate– A science and learning subscription box for kids.
Let’s be honest, keeping those youngest kiddos occupied is a challenge and expecting them to have the attention span of the older kids will lead to frustration. Finding activities that they can do while just hanging out next to you while you work is key. When we first got the word that daycare would be closed, I made a list of things that my daughter does on a daily basis and we stocked up on those supplies. For example, I bought a big clear tub and filled it with orbeez and some sea creatures (and unicorns OF COURSE)…BOOM, instant sensory table.
Art is a BIG hit in our house. We paint, we color, we draw and we take photos cause well duh…MOM IS A PHOTOGRAPHER. This “Stained Glass Door Project” is something I saw people doing on Facebook and thought it was cool so this was our art project this week. Yes, there was paint all over the floor; yes, I got frustrated with the mess; BUT you know what – THEY HAD A BLAST and it looks pretty cool too.
NOTE: We just used what we already had which was washable paint and painting tape but some people say that 1/2 dish soap and 1/2 acrylic paint work really well.
Coloring – A coloring book and some crayons can be all you need for fun. Don’t have a coloring book around the house? Download over 1000 Free Disney Coloring Pages.
Finally, one of our favorite things is to bake – I mean heck we are in the house all day so NEED TO EAT. Just yesterday my daughter got an easy bake oven and made me some chocolate cookies. No, I will not be skinny by the end of all of this but cookies definitely make me smile (especially when baked by a 5 year old).
Now, let me be real – I am NOT a Pinterest Mom and I SUCK at baking but we are all doing things these days that we may not normally do. Give yourself grace, enjoy as much as you can and just love on those babies!!!
Documenting this time is also going to be really important so that we can look back on some of the fun we all had while social distancing so I encourage you to snap pictures of your kiddos (and fur babies) along the way. I am starting a 30-Day Photo Challenge to Celebrate Life this weekend and would love for you to join me. There is not pressure – it is just a fun way to help find the joy in all of this. If you would like to participate, head on over to join my private Facebook group to learn more and join the fun –White Wave Photography Moms Group. Post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram and tag you photos with #wwpjoyful30.
YOU (mom) need to mentally prepare…to HAVE FUN! Kids (and dads) may not always cooperate and that is ok – I HAVE YOU COVERED. If you are stressed, the kids will be stressed so just relax and have fun. Going with the flow will ensure that we have a blast and capture those amazing memories. Typically, men don’t enjoy the photo session, but a bad mood can spoil it for everyone. Emphasize how important these memories are to you. Dads are great at playing with the children and that’s what they should be prepared to do. It’s the same fun they always have, but just all dressed up. Once he sees the photos with his real smile and the smile that he can add to those sweet faces, he’s sure to fall in love. Try This: Have him help you come up with some fun ideas for the session or choose the jokes for the kids. The more invested he is in the experience, the better.
#2 CHOOSE A FUN LOCATION
When choosing a location it is important that you choose a place that your family will enjoy. Whether that is an apple orchard, a park or your own backyard, it should be a place that means something to you as a family. Some of my favorite locations for fall sessions are Wagon Hill in Durham, Vernon Family Farm in Newfields and Fort Foster in Kittery. The beach makes for an amazing backdrop in the early fall since the crowds have left and the temperature is still warm but cool enough that you are not sweating in the photos.
#3 DRESS IN LAYERS
Fall in New Hampshire can be very unpredictable. One day it is 75 and warm and the next day there are morning flurries. By dressing in layers, your family can be prepared for any changes in the weather. Add a scarf, vest or jacket that coordinate to add pops of color to your wardrobe choices. View the full What to Wear Guide.
#4 GIVE BREAKS & Ignore the kids (say what?!?!)
We play a LOT during my sessions and kids love it. We will warm up with some games and I promise to get those sweet smiles you are looking for. The key is to IGNORE THE CHILDREN. I know, it sounds crazy but when parents are looking down trying to get little Johnny to smile, they end up ruining the shot. Kids love this rule and when I say it – they tend to LOVE ME and I promise I will get them to look when needed. Have fun and enjoy your kids – even when something unexpected happens…do everything with a smile:).
#5 THINK AHEAD: How can you use these photos for presents?
Fall Portrait Sessions are a great way to get some of your holiday shopping done early. Grandparents LOVE photos of their grandchildren and they make the perfect Christmas Gifts. One great idea is to split up a wall gallery into one to hang in your own home, one for Grandma and one for Nana. Get some ideas for gifts here.