Mirage

Mix of motherhood, writing, photography and homemaking

Circle of Mom’s Top 25 Photographer Moms

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Pink, that’s also what little girls are made of

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Weddings

The Rise of Online Shopping and the Wedding Industry

By on October 11, 2017




As we’re all aware, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. In the last 12 months, it was reported that an astonishing 87% of UK consumers had purchased at least one product online. Digital sales increased 21.3% in the year 2016, and this is forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017.

The wedding industry also appears to be operating comfortably online. Wedding planning has traditionally always been a very physical process, with brides needing to try on their wedding gowns before they buy, grooms having several suit fittings, and of course, who would want to miss out on the opportunity to have a tasting session at your venue for your wedding breakfast? But with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world? Retailers of seven stone rings, Angelic Diamonds, explores the issue.

caketopper
I do!

 

Does the future look digital?

As more and more companies continue to take the plunge into the digital world, will the wedding industry have to follow suit to remain successful?

Without fully operating online, the digital world has already influenced the wedding industry in many ways. Social media apps such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, offer brides and grooms lots of inspiration for their big day with just a few clicks. Modern couples are now using new technology when wedding planning. In fact, 42% of people use social media to plan their wedding – with 41% of brides following photographers on social media, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists.

orange bouquet
from a bridal fair I went to

Couples seem to be using their mobiles for wedding shopping more too – a report from The Huffington Post showed that around 6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device: they research gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).

Some wedding vendors are getting in on the action too. The apps provide an effective platform for companies to show couples what they have on offer and compete with other businesses in the industry in a new way. Instagram and Pinterest, which is used by 64% of brides, have now become a couple’s go to platform for all their inspiration, a digital alternative to a wedding fair. Suppliers who have not yet invested time into creating a social media profile for their business could be missing out on free exposure.

Social media is also playing its part on the big day too – when asked, 27% of modern couples said that they would create a hashtag for their big day!

cupcakes pastel
pastel loving

 

Offline survival

In terms of survival, it does not appear as though the lack of online presence is drastically harming the wedding industry. Whilst it is likely that companies will need to go digital at some stage to stay up to date with the latest technologies, and keep their head in the game, there might always be a place for them offline within the industry.

All couples who have planned a wedding or are in the process of doing so, understand how much of the process revolves around physical activities. In fact, the industry would most likely suffer more if it went solely online. Wedding fairs have been around for centuries, and there is a reason for that; whilst modern couples use social media for visual inspiration, wedding fairs are still a great way for suppliers to engage face-to-face with potential customers. For most people, their wedding day is the biggest day of their lives so it’s important that they can speak face-to-face with suppliers, and physically see what they have to offer.  

All in all, it appears as though the wedding industry will continue to thrive without becoming too digitalised. However, it’s very clear that customers are using the internet and social media in the inspiration stages of wedding planning – perhaps when they are deciding what vendors to go and experience. Therefore, although the industry is not yet ready to wipe out all traditional methods of wedding planning, being tech savvy is still necessary. Maybe, it’s just time for suppliers and other industry professionals to use digital as a means to extend their business and gain more exposure.   

wedding prenup
Out take from a prenup we did. (Iphone only)

Sources:

https://goo.gl/8SY9hr

https://goo.gl/1mHN8C

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home stories | Photography

Mamarazzi Files:  Why I Love Being a Mom Photographer

By on September 30, 2017

bigchess

The most wonderful day for Cinderella came when Prince Charming stopped by her house and slipped that glass slipper on her foot.  Mine came on that day when I finally held in my hands my first DLSR camera.  On both instances, our lives- Cinderella’s and mine- changed forever.

Since that moment when I first squeezed the shutter of my camera, I never saw the world in the same way again.  Peering through that lens gave me an entirely new perspective on life.  Things took on a different image, and gave new meaning to the word “beauty”.  I saw the world in a whole new light.

run

One of the things I enjoy taking pictures of the most are my kids.  They are my life and joy, and I take sheer delight in snapping candid photos of them whenever I feel the urge to.  I am the Mamarazzi personified.  One of these days, I won’t be surprised if my youngest boy shoos me away for invading his privacy with my photography.

I love taking action shots of my kids.  Even if they’re just running around the house in their pajamas, I see that as a photo opp.  Whatever goes on at that moment- joy, frivolity, or simple foolishness- can forever be forgotten, if not seized by the camera lens.

Other shutterbug moms I know also derive unspoken pleasure from taking snapshots of their kids.  They take pride in taking photos of their kids as they go about their daily routine.  Whether their toddler is simply picking a pebble off the sidewalk or doing ballet at a dance recital, they all evoke the same emotion.  Every tiny moment captured on film- or should I say, digitally- is a testament to an episode in their life which signifies growth.

I may not have the power to freeze time, but with my camera in hand, I have the uncanny ability to immobilize life and love at their best.

           water puddlekids buying

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Weddings

The Top 5 Wedding Blogs of 2017

By on September 20, 2017

If you are getting married soon and are in the midst of planning your wedding, you are likely scouring the web for inspiration and ideas on how to make your wedding the best one of the year. The best wedding blogs not only give you ideas, but they also provide you a great deal of information about what to ask potential vendors, how to save money, how to select the perfect gown, and provide tips on wedding hair and makeup for the big day. There is a plethora of information on wedding blogs and they can be extremely helpful in your planning. This post will feature the best wedding blogs of 2017.

image via http://www.acrimsonkiss.com/2014/04/jayme-and-slater.html
  • A Crimson Kiss. This blog is full of gorgeous photos of real-life weddings. If you want to read stories about romantic proposals and wedding ceremonies, blog owner and author Lena has created a great space on the web that will delight your soul. Hop on over for great wedding ideas, romantic stories, and gorgeous photography of weddings from all over the world.
image via https://dylanmhowell.com/wedding/
  • Dylan M Howell. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, this blog is perfect for you as it will not only inspire you, but it will also provide you with great information on vendors in your area. With award winning photography and great information on all things related to getting married, this is a great go-to website to add to your bookmarks now.
image via https://www.stylemepretty.com/2017/09/19/a-gorgeous-alfresco-garden-wedding-in-the-desert/
  • Style Me Pretty. This blog has been around for a decade, and for very good reason. This blog is one of the first that showcased bridal style in a way that had never been done so before online. It is because of this blog that the bar for wedding style and class has been raised to new heights. If you are obsessed with style and it is paramount to your big day, this is a great blog to read regularly. You will not be disappointed.
wedding
image via http://ruffledblog.com/classically-beautiful-intimate-wedding-in-tuscany/


  • Ruffled. This blog was born in 2008 and has since been giving couples the inspiration they need to plan a wonderful event. Offering a plethora of ideas and DIY projects, this blog is perfect for couples who want to make their wedding unique and represent them.
image via http://offbeatbride.com/tropical-themed-wedding/
  • Offbeat bride. This website is a celebration of those bride’s who are not the status quo. They like to march to their own beat and they do things different from all others. If you are an offbeat bride and want your wedding to be unlike any other, be sure to check out this blog for inspiration and the extra push to do things differently than have ever been done before. Want to wear black at your wedding? This blog will encourage you to do whatever it is that will make you the happiest on your big day!

No matter what your wedding style is, you cannot go wrong in consulting these blogs for ideas and inspiration on planning your big day.

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Kids

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Be More Empathetic and Compassionate

By on August 3, 2017
Finding Vienna’s Neko Cafe

While we of course want our kids to grow up to be happy and healthy, how much attention are we realistically paying to their emotional well-being on any given day?

Even if you’re always there to support your child emotionally, the fact remains that empathy and compassion aren’t something they’re going to learn overnight. Likewise, if you aren’t encouraging positive values and behaviors on behalf of your child, where else are they going to learn them?

As a result, it’s important for mothers to understand the steps they can take to teach actively teach empathy to their children. To small everyday behaviors to specific activities you can take part in with your child, consider the following strategies to help your child grow emotionally.




Become More Active in the Community

Chances are you’re already taking your children out and about on a regular basis, but how meaningful are your outings?

Finding opportunities to introduce your child to your local community, especially through volunteer work and community service is a major factor to teaching compassion.

From community service activities such as cleaning up a local park to spending time at a soup kitchen, encouraging your child to see the bigger picture in terms of the world around them is crucial. In fact, Outdoorsy.co notes that some families actually take full-blown vacations for the specific purpose of volunteering and making a difference, which in turn has a major impact on the children involved. By teaching your children that “just because” is a justified reason to do good, they’ll reciprocate that compassion as they get older.

libreriakids
In Venice’s Libreria Aqua Alta

Expose Them to Diversity

Don’t be afraid to take your child far beyond their own backyard when it comes to who they’re spending time with. It’s important to introduce your children to new people of different ages, cultures and nationalities. For example, simply spending time with the elderly can help children understand the concepts of aging and respect simultaneously.

Again, diversity isn’t going to solely be learned through daycare and daytime cartoons. If you want your children to understand just how diverse the world is, you need to be willing to show them.

Model Good Behavior Yourself

On a similar note, your kids are watching how you act at any given moment. As a result, how you handle conflicts and respond to situations is incredibly important. Therefore, take special note when interacting with…

• People in public, including conflicts you might have with others that might otherwise lead to an argument
• Discussions and debates with your partner, remaining calm and civil in the face of diversity
• Your children themselves: for example, make sure to explain any punishments or be patient with them when they’re asking questions

Don’t think of  modeling good behavior as putting pressure on yourself. Instead, think of how staying calm and collected can help your children grow up to act the same way.

Teaching empathy and compassion in children can certainly be challenging as there’s really no guidebook on the process. That said, these tips can help put your children on the right path to developing emotionally and growing up to be empathetic.

maxxx
With Max, the frenchie…

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home comfort zone

Spic and Span Homes for Spring, Summer and the Rest of the Year

By on April 20, 2017

Spring and summer seasons are perfect for doing general cleaning, home repairs and home improvement projects. The good weather condition allows homemakers to inspect and repair the outer areas of the house or temporarily expose the interiors to facilitate home improvement projects. Most households take advantage of this weather to do some general cleaning and turn their homes inside-out to make sure that everything is in spic and span condition. These tasks are easier said than done which is why there are contractors, carpet cleaning, plumbing and house cleaning services available for those who can’t do everything on their own.

squeaky clean

Giving the whole house a thorough cleansing usually involves de-cluttering every room in the house, removing stubborn dirt and stains, disinfecting sensitive areas, and replacing or removing corroded elements in the house. Bathroom and kitchen areas are often easy to address as they are cleansed and disinfected more often that the other rooms in the house. Carpeted areas like the living room and bedroom need extra work especially for rugs with stubborn stains. These areas may be cleaned or vacuumed on a regular basis but they still require a power clean once in a while. Those who are not so skilled in housekeeping are better off with professional cleaners to get their carpets clean and disinfected without losing their luster. The same goes for upholstery and wall carpets. Affordable carpet cleaning services are easy to find nowadays because of the internet. One can even set a same day appointment with their cleaners which is quite convenient for those who entertain guests frequently.

Cleaning the storage areas, basement, attic, or garage can be a tedious task because they usually get the least attention in terms of maintenance. However, these rooms don’t normally require professional attention unless there are toxic materials or electrical hazards involved. Checking the roof and gutter for leaks can be done by any household member with a bit of handyman skills, repairing them on the other hand requires a certain level of expertise. Handyman services can be availed by those who need to get their roof or gutters fixed. There are also contractors who can help on painting jobs, window sill replacement, wall papering, and other major home projects.

Having a clean and healthy home environment is easy when there are affordable professional home services available. It is up to the homemakers to keep it in spic and span condition as long as they can or at least until the next spring cleaning session.

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