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Another day, another naptime hustle project! As a boy-mama to two busy toddlers, I’m always looking for ways to streamline our everyday. The days go much smoother with kiddos when we’re prepared and organized — do you agree?? With back-to-school season approaching (next week!), I wanted to create a “drop zone” space for my family to organize all things preschool, work, bills, charging dock, shoes, jackets, and on-the-go must-haves.

Since we don’t exactly have a good mudroom space inside our house — plus I didn’t want the extra clutter on display — so, space was created in our garage! We are loving our freshly painted staircase!! I couldn’t wait to start decorating around it to make it feel more homey! I fell in love with the idea of a garage mudroom! Such a great space-saver option to keep the clutter contained before coming inside the house. Since the garage is the primary way we enter/exit our house… this was a no-brainer decision!

I carved out a corner right next to our garage steps — easy access! What once was a spot to hold a stroller and a few random items (see before collage below!!)… has now transformed to an ultra-functional storage space! After a quick trip to Marshalls — I had all things for the bookshelf! Both of my boys have their own designated basket to hold their go-to shoes and must-haves for on-the-go. Ryan and I have our own cubby for clean masks, sunglasses, and other personal items. Shoutout to my neighbor and bestie, Missy, for her white bookshelf hand-me-down. It’s anchored to our staircase and we love it! The media table was purchased at HomeGoods a few years ago and we used to have in our playroom before we rearranged that room (more on this later!). This table holds some cute seasonal décor, our keys, a charging dock station for devices, storage for family games, and me/Ryan’s go-to shoes. I added a cork board for pinning photos, invitations, cards, etc. I installed black hooks to the staircase for additional storage (hats, purse, gym bag, etc.). Back in March, I put together a sanitization station at the top of our garage staircase — All things Lysol, hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, thermometer, and more!

I’m getting the boys involved with our new space and they love it too! Each morning before we get in “mama’s car” we gather our things and off we go! When we come home, the boys put their things in their proper place (bags/shoes/etc.), we each sanitize, and we walk inside the house. Hope this inspired you to spruce up a “drop-zone” area for your family! I’ve provided affiliated Amazon links below to link you to most everything you see below!

Click below for Amazon LINKS!!

 

Before we dive in to the details!!! Here’s what it looked like BEFORE…

Annnnnd…. AFTER!!!

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Back again with another DIY Naptime Hustle project! If you follow me on Instagram then you already know… our garage recently got a quarantine makeover! Our garage is a space our family uses often, like every single day. We primarily enter/exit our house thru the side garage door, it has it’s usual garage storage stuff, it’s our office space, tool storage, fridge/deep freezer storage, gym space, craft corner, and a custom floor (installed by prior owners) for the occasional dance party!

I’m always looking for easy DIYs to spruce up our home sweet home. Last year, you may remember my idea to paint my garage… best decision ever!! After scrolling Pinterest for a few minutes to gather inspiration for another DIY… I decided to paint and stain our garage staircase. And… WOW! What a difference it makes! I love a good high impact, low cost project! I’m OBSESSED!

While this staircase looks small… it was tedious work! Those spindles were not fun. We chose black stain for the stairs (paint would’ve chipped over time from being a high traffic area) and white for the banister to match our checkered custom floor. We moved into our home 8+ years ago and the black/white checkered custom floor was installed by the prior owners. We had dull, dirty, boring stairs all this time in the garage and now… this little upgrade (along with the painted walls) gave this space a boost of curb appeal and a fresh finished look.

Our boys LOVE the new look!! They were in the garage (watching a movie) when Ryan and I got a head start on the painting. Now, every time Thomas goes down the stairs he says “Oooo! Nice!”.

Hope this motivated YOU take an afternoon to give your home a fresh look! See below for my DIY steps and materials. Stay tuned for a new blog post about my newest drop-zone station in the garage for our beautiful chaos!

Here are my DIY steps…

  • Clear, clean, and tape the area
  • Add wood putty to all knots/nail holes/cracks in the wood
  • Painted the staircase banister and spindles white (2 coats)
  • Stained steps black (1 coat) and let dry for at least 24-hours

Here are the materials I used:

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BOOK NOW

Hi, friend! 2020 has been quite a year for all of us! Can you believe it’s that time of year again to book your Fall Family Mini-Session?! I look forward to these mini-sessions every year! They are the perfect way to capture your beautiful family in this season of life, check holiday cards off the list, refresh the wall art in your home sweet home… and of course, update your Facebook profile pic (LOL!).

Booking is now OPEN with limited timeslots available… first come, first served. I’m grateful that these timeslots sell out quickly every year! The location will be announced two-weeks prior to your mini-session date (surrounding Richmond area). Regarding the rain dates, you must also be available for the selected time on the rain date.

The Details:

  • 20-minutes of photography coverage
  • Maximum of 5 individuals photographed
  • Digitally enhanced editing to images
  • Online gallery & print release

COVID-19 Safety: It is of the highest importance to ensure that we keep everyone safe during our time together. I am taking all precautions advised by the WHO and CDC, to maintain a sterile portrait session environment to protect my valued clients. More details will be shared prior to your session.

*** Please note: Due to the timing constraints of a mini-session, group family sessions (5+ people) are encouraged to book TWO back-to-back sessions (i.e., bring your grandparents and/or siblings along!).

I look forward to the opportunity to capture your family!

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In the midst of this time of fear and uncertainty while quarantined at home I wanted to offer some JOY! Introducing… “Stay Home” Spring Mini-Sessions! After careful consideration, I plan to offer social-distanced 15-minute mini-sessions in May (at a discounted rate!) to support my local community. Limited timeslots for select dates in May — first come, first served. These sessions will take place in the beautiful outdoors of your home sweet home. We’ll explore where there is beautiful natural light and landscape (front porch, side yard, backyard, etc.). My hope is our time together will help ease stress and anxiety as you take full advantage of your time safe at home with your family. My lifestyle approach for these sessions is to capture true connection, finding calm in the chaos. Because life, your life, is beautiful.

Once booked (YAY!), I will email over an electronic contract to make it official. To put my clients at ease, I also share a 20+ page Client Guide filled with session prep tips, outfit inspiration (with links!), and more. You can always go the “Quarantine Chic” look to truly capture this (hopefully once-in-a-lifetime!) season in your lives.

BOOK NOW

What a unique season for all of us right now. As governments around the world enforce national and city-wide lockdowns to “flatten the curve” of this coronavirus pandemic… families all over the world are self-isolating at home (going on 8-weeks now!). How is quarantine life treating you?

Back on March 30th, our Virginia Governor issued a “stay at home” order. While many businesses have slowed down or stopped altogether… As a motherhood and family photographer, I had a full calendar of portrait sessions that needed to be postponed at the time. It was heartbreaking but necessary. Now more than ever, my clients level of comfort with me as their photographer is of extreme importance. I take public health seriously and strive to provide the safest environment for my clients. I’m staying updated on the latest information from the CDC, the WHO, and local and state authorities. As you know, this virus is rapidly changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour as more information on COVID-19 becomes available.

To ensure the safety of myself and my clients during our time together, I want to ensure we’re abiding by the following COVID-19 precautions…

  • Upon my arrival and throughout your session, we will remain outdoors and well beyond 10’+ social distance
    • I do NOT plan to touch your doorbell, front door, fence door, and/or any other shared surfaces while on your property
  • If you, or someone in your home is sick (i.e., fever and/or any flu-like symptoms), let’s please reschedule
  • I ask that you do not have any extra people at your session

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If you’ve been following me for a while now… you know my love and loyalty to AMAZON. Can I get an amen?! Now, I’m all about shopping and supporting local small businesses… but when it comes to time-saving shopping with quite literally any product available at your fingertips… it’s Amazon all the way! I joined Amazon Prime back in 2013 and it’s been a game-changer for all things in life and business. It’s safe to say that the UPS driver and I are besties due to what feels like weekly deliveries. I keep waiting for an invite to the Amazon Christmas party, c’mon! Over the years, I’ve ordered Amazon products that have truly been lifesavers that I cannot live without. Now I have an Amazon storefront to share these products with YOU!

Because I’m always in hustle mode (who doesn’t want to find loopholes to earn extra cash??)… a few years ago, I joined the Amazon Affiliates Program. The Amazon Affiliate program, or Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program. It’s free for website owners and bloggers (like me!) to become Amazon Associates. Over the years, I advertise products from Amazon on my blog and various social media sites by creating links. When customers click the links and buy products from Amazon, I earn referral fees. While it’s no additional cost to you as the customer I get a small commission for the product referral. Because I was too legit to quit there… I’ve taken it a step further!

In efforts to improve my followers shopping experience… I recently pulled the trigger and applied (and got approved!) to be an Amazon Influencer. The Amazon Influencer Program started in 2017 and is an extension of the Amazon Associates (affiliate) program, but with more tools and features. They key difference between the two programs is that now as an Amazon Influencer… I have my own page on Amazon with a URL to showcase the products I recommend to my followers, giving me an additional way to direct traffic to Amazon (this is especially useful when promoted verbally or in an environment where hyper-linking is not possible).

It’s important to note that “influencers” are able to independently determine whether to recommend a product — Amazon does not modify or edit content. Similar to the Amazon Affiliates Program, content creators participating in the Amazon Influencer Program earn affiliate commissions from Amazon for qualifying purchases. I should’ve joined this program years ago!!

SO! I now have my own Amazon Storefront I can personally customize and curate. I have my own special vanity URL… so official!… which allows me to promote my Amazon presence verbally to my followers. This profile page of mine will be a one-stop-shop for followers and customers to view and purchase my must-have recommendations. All things mom-life, lifestyle, business, for the home, gift guides, and more! Shopping categories are listed in order of most recently updated. Be sure to click “follow” on my page to stay in the loop!

To kickoff my Storefront launch… I scoured through all of my previous years of Amazon purchases and added my favorite finds into various shopping categories. I did this primarily because I want the bulk of the products in my Storefront to be items that I myself have purchased, tried, and love. I’m SO excited to be your personal referral shopper! My hope is to make your life easier by you browsing and shopping my recommendations.

Here are a few shopping categories thus far on my Storefront

  • Baby Registry Must-Haves
  • Family Portrait Prep
  • Fashion Finds for Her
  • For the Home
  • For the Hostess
  • For your Car
  • Maternity
  • For Photographers
  • Gift Guide for Her
  • Gift Guide for Him
  • Gift Guide for Toddlers

While browsing you can “heart” my various shopping lists. Also, please feel free to share my Storefront! I plan to update my Storefront frequently to keep you in the loop with my latest finds (be sure to follow my Stories on Instagram). Happy shopping!! 🙂

Shop my Storefront

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To say I was excited yesterday morning would be quite the understatement! I photographed my first motherhood portraiture session in my recently renovated in-home studio. This new light and airy space has been a dream of mine for quite some time. To photograph the art of being a mother… in all seasons of life. Now that this room is open for booking my heart is so happy!

This past Sunday morning Ryan took our boys to the gym so I could have a quiet (and clean!) home. I had one-hour all to myself before my clients arrived. I prepped the studio and my gear (see Insta Highlights for behind the scenes on this!), lit a candle in the hallway, and turned on the Sonos surround sound to my favorite Pandora station for morning tunes (Skinny Love Live Radio). I then sipped on some warm coffee while gathering inspiration for this shoot.

For my studio sessions… my vision is there is very little “posing” involved as this session is meant to be more lifestyle in nature. I’m drawn to the “unseen” moments of your family snuggled up… the close-up detailed in-between moments where the raw emotion is. I go into each session documenting it as if it were my family… what moments I would want captured. I jotted down a “shot list” to ensure I captured everything… My goal was to have seamless transitions between “posing” so the session flowed nicely and my clients could get the most out of our time together.

I’ve had the honor of photographing the Wiles Family through their 3 pregnancies! Dana and TJ invested in The Motherhood Collection with their daughter Quinn which captured their maternity, fresh 48, newborn, 6-month, & 12-month milestone sessions. With Bauer, I photographed his maternity and Fresh 48 sessions. And now… baby #3… another BOY is on the way!! Due February 8th! Yesterday we photographed their maternity session and I’m counting down the days to their Fresh 48 session!! GAH!! Photographing siblings meeting for the first time… what a monumental moment to be a part of!!! Not only are these sweet humans amazing clients… we’re also in the same circle of friends (+ our hubbies once worked together). Love watching our kiddos grow and play together!

So… I may be a bit biased about their recent studio session but I absolutely LOVE every single image in their 200+ image gallery!! The warm, morning natural light poured into the double windows. We really explored all areas of the room where I mixed up the posing and image variety. Shooting in a confined space certainly challenged me as the photographer and I loved every minute of it! I was completely in my element… our time together flew by!

Since my goal in 2020 is to actually BLOG more of my sessions so y’all can see more of my work… I’m so behind on blogging, YIKES! So… I give you a 24-hour turnaround on editing, gallery delivery, and the blog post feature is UP… boom!

Interested in booking a studio session? I would love to hear from you! Inquire here.

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Ladies!!! The booking site is LIVE to my first mini-session series in my newly renovated in-home studio… I can now host various lifestyle “holiday minis” in the comfort of my home sweet home! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner… let’s create the ultimate gift for your hubby (or someone special!)… raw and beautiful images of YOU!

As a motherhood photographer, I document the art of being a mother… in all seasons of life. As mothers, our bodies are a temple… life-giving miracles! It’s time we celebrate our inner rockstar (!!), slip into whatever we feel beautiful in, and capture the one and only beautiful YOU!

My soft and serene in-home studio is painted Repose Gray which is a super neutral paint color, classic and crisp, that tends to go with almost everything. These mini-sessions in my studio will be a “white sheet series”… Paired with a comfy white herringbone queen-sized bed and soft white bedding… this cozy space is filled with warm, natural light and is waiting for you.

Regarding outfit inspiration… Boudoir sessions are about making you feel (and look) your best in whatever you feel most beautiful in. Pinterest is great for ideas! Clothing that is lace, chiffon, silk, or soft knit is all beautiful. Not all boudoir sessions are filled with sexy lingerie… the “non-lingerie look” is SO stunning too! For example, you could wear a classic white button down (or a favorite shirt or jersey of his?), or an off-the-shoulder cozy sweater paired with knee-high socks for a sexy/cute girl-next-door look. Or… go girl!… and rock that bra and panty set… simple and classic in black or white lace, fun and sporty Calvin Klein, or rich velvet retro high waisted. Boy short undies, thong, thigh-highs… your call! Pair with a cami and robe. Customizable and authentic to you.

What to do with your images?? Your non-watermarked high-resolution images will be delivered to you via a discreet online gallery. You could print your images and put your favorites in a little “look book” for him or sneak a few to him sporadically (anniversary!). Hide one in his briefcase/travel bag. Store them in a nightstand or lingerie drawer.

While I’ve photographed boudoir sessions before… this is the first time I’m offering a marathon day of boudoir mini-sessions (limited availability!). I have a helpful Client Guide filled with tips on session prep, outfit inspiration, what to bring, arrival details, etc. Complimentary bubbly (and dance party music!) provided!

BOOK HERE:

https://squareup.com/store/allison-shumate-photography/

Not my images above. Inspiration mood board via Pinterest.

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Hands full, heart full! Today is 3-year milestone for me that I’m proud of! 3 years ago I said farewell to the corporate world… traded in my daily business attire for “Costco casual”. Being home full-time with my boys has been such gift… beautiful chaos in our house!

Raising 2 little boys has been a wild ride thus far… our days are filled with loud shenanigans, bottomless snacks, strong coffee, cheap wine, tears of joy, superhero dress-up, deep breaths, toddler tantrums, time-outs, snuggles, dinosaur roars, outdoor adventures, blowout diapers, lots of laundry, and trucks galore… all while being a Boss Babe hustling two thriving businesses! Daily ups and downs of emotions… adrenaline, excitement, exhaustion, overwhelm, mom guilt, all the things… any other Mamas feel this?? 🙋🏼‍♀️But I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I’m learning to give myself grace over perfection, to embrace the chaos, to appreciate the little things, that it’s okay to grow slow, to find joy in the everyday, and that tomorrow will always bring a fresh start.

So very grateful for my hubby that continues to support our family. Thankful for my tribe of ladies that get me through the tough days. Thankful for nap-time & gym day care (LOL!) annnnnd Disney+!

Cheers Moms… y’all are all rockstars!!!

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Oh, friends! I am SO very excited to introduce to you the grand re-opening of my in-home studio. Now booking… Petite Studio Minis.

Located at my light and airy in-home studio offered for expectant mothers, babies three months or older, and growing families.

Lifestyle, simple, cozy, and barefoot… beautiful, organic, authentic moments preserved with your littles. When less, becomes MORE. Because as mothers we know that time is too fleeting not to soak up this season of life that your’e in.

This soft and serene in-home studio is painted Repose Gray which is a super neutral paint color, classic and crisp, that tends to go with almost everything. Paired with a comfy white herringbone queen-sized bed and soft white bedding… this cozy space is filled with warm, natural light and is waiting for you.

This quiet space will offer mini portraiture sessions for Mommy & Me, siblings, holiday pajama minis, maternity, boudoir, breastfeeding, and baby’s monthly milestones.

Warm, solid, neutral tones are best! Whites, creams, and other neutrals are always a great way to go for you and your littles. You feeling lovely, relaxed, and comfortable in what you’re wearing is key!

Petite Studio Minis are available Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, & Sunday mornings by appointment only.

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This is THREE. Young, wild, and THREE!!!

Today my little Michael is THREE and this boy-mama heart cannot believe how quickly the time goes! All I ever wanted was to be a mom and for years I patiently waited with those that still wait their turn. This sweet, spunky boy answered my prayers and made me a boy-mom! Since the day he entered into this world he’s challenged me physically, mentally, emotionally… he’s made me exhausted at times but has filled my heart with so much love! Watching Michael and Thomas build their brotherly bond is something I cherish daily.

Michael is in preschool, he’s potty trained, and sleeps in a big boy bed! He occasionally still sucks his thumb and his lovie is his crib sheet, called “Sheet”, and it goes almost everywhere with him. He loves dinosaurs, swimming at the rivah, playing with his cousins, chasing his DaDa, tickle traps, chocolate chip pancakes, all animals, trains, and reading books. He learns a new word every day and talks nonstop! He’s full of energy, curiosity, and has a bold loud personality.

As a motherhood and family photographer… you know that we had to do a smash cake session! I’m typically not a fan of props but for Smash Cake birthday sessions… bring it on! The other day I setup everything during nap time in my driveway. I was worried that I set the bar too high in getting carried away with the various props I wanted to use… surprisingly he cooperated throughout the entire 9-minute session! He read through his favorite dinosaur book, we sang “Happy Birthday”, and roared like dinosaurs!!!

Looking forward to the fun-filled celebrations to come this week for this THREE-Rex! Stomp, chomp, & ROAR… Let’s party like a dinosaur!

» OPEN POST »

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