It’s okay to say “No”

There was a day not all that long ago where I came home and I was literally crying. I was in a job where I was told to choose between my family and my job. Tears were streaming down my face, I simply couldn’t take it any more. I thought to myself that every time I say ‘yes’ to more work, I’m saying ‘no’ to my family.

Oh, friends. I’m a workaholic and had gotten into the terrible habit of saying yes to everything. Yes to every request, every opportunity. My desire to please people turned into an unhealthy inability to say no. This escalated and made me a trap for those to walk all over me.

“No” is an incredibly empowering word if you allow it to be. Saying no allows you to say yes to the things that truly matter in your life. We don’t need more hours in the day. We need to be more dedicated to prioritizing, more diligent in protecting those hours that we reserve for our friends and family. When overwhelm begins to weigh on you… I want you to remember that you are not alone. As a creative entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it is.

So I’m here to remind you of the word “no” so you can have “yes” to life. I’m not here to tell you to quit your job but remind you to prioritize and seek what matters most.


Photo by my friend Amanda over at Willow Photo and Design

Baby Bijou Designs

Hi everyone! My name is Caitlyn and I’m a West MI mommy creating unique baby clothes and nursery decor for my company, Baby Bijou Designs. I am super excited for the opportunity to guest post here for Kara and share a little bit about what starting my business has been like so far.

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Several months ago I started thinking seriously about opening my own business. I was working part time at Starbucks, and the rest of the time I was hanging out with my super sweet one year old daughter Lillian (and you know, working at home!). I mentioned to Kara my thoughts on opening a shop that featured baby clothing and accessories, as well as nursery decor. Being the supportive and knowledgeable person she is, Kara immediately started asking me about branding, my logo and more. She even offered to help me figure out how to get started with my business – something that was starting to seem like an overwhelming task!collage2

As Kara and I talked more and more, I decided to quit Starbucks so I could have more time to pursue my business. I chose to name my business after my daughter’s nickname: Baby Bijou (you can read all about the story behind that nickname here!) Before long with lots of work, research and also some great advice from Kara, I was ready to launch my business. I was able to work with a really talented photographer and get beautiful pictures of some of the onesies I had designed (can you guess who that photographer is?), and after a few weeks I got my very first sale!

As I’m just starting out, the tasks I have yet to do with growing my business can sometimes seem insurmountable, but by setting goals and making lots (and lots!) of lists, I know I will get to where I want to go. It also helps to have a huge support network. I learned from Kara that family and friends are important to encourage you to achieve your goals, but also the community at large. Because of her, I am beginning to learn how to connect with other people and businesses, and Baby Bijou Designs is starting to feel like a part of me and a passion rather than just some business venture.

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I am so excited to learn more and more as I expand my shop and continue to work with Kara and other great entrepreneurs. I’d love for you to join me on my journey with Baby Bijou Designs and read about other fun stuff like craft projects, travel, dinner parties and more on my blog, my Instagram, or my Facebook page. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with starting a business. What parts of starting your business have been the hardest or the most rewarding? Do you have any good advice?

Thank you so much for letting me share about starting my business with you today!

xx Caitlyn

P.S. Enjoy 10% anything in the Baby Bijou Designs shop with the code BIJOUTHANKSYOU before June 30th, 2017!


Want to book a session with Kara? Inquire for pricing by filling out the contact form here

Summer Bucket List : 2017

The start of a new season gets me excited. I’m most excited for summer. This will be my first summer where I get to explore and spend as much time with my kids as possible. I could not wait to plan out some of the things we’ll be doing. If your kids are anything like mine, all they want to do is stay inside and play on devices. Well this is going to change. I remember as a kid spending so much time outside that the rule was to be home by dark. Well, Today I’m sharing with you our family’s summer bucket list. I’m hoping this will inspire you on some ideas. I’d also love to hear from you, what are your favorite bucket list items?


Grand Rapids Airplane Viewing Center – Free

Air Zoo

Amusement Park: Michigan Adventures

Barbecue with friends

Baseball Game: West Michigan White Caps

Beach: Millennium Park, Grand Haven, Holland, Tunnel Park to name a few.

Bounce: Rebounderz, Sky Zone, Playworld, Jesters Court

Blandord Nature Center

Cooking class Host or attend one: West Michigan Kids Cooking Classes

Coopersville Railroad July 2017 “Train Robbery”

Day Camp: Spring Hill July 17-21 in Hudsonville, Hogwarts Academy June 15-16 Engine House 5 in Allendale

Fair: Hudsonville Fair August 21-26

Frederick Meijer Gardens

Hike- Free

Lazer Tag: The Lost City

Library: Allendale Library EventsKent District Library

Mini Golf: Craigs Cruiser, Locehners, Pirates Landing

Movie Theater:, Grand Haven 9 Free movies for frequent movie goers, Rivertown Crossings $5 movies all day Tuesdays, Free Kid Flicks at Celebration Woodland.

Movies in the Park: Allendale– Free, Grand Rapids– Free, Getty Drive In

Museum:  Children Museum, Gerald R Ford Presidential Library & Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Picnic at a park: Highly recommended West, MI parks Ada ParkSeidman Park, Garfield ParkManhattan Park, and Rosewood Park, 

Race: Berlin Raceway  US 131 Motorsports Park

Splash Pad:  Local Splash Pads

Sleep Over- Free

Slip n’ slide: June 17th 12-5pm

Star Gazing- Free

Vacation Bible School: See Full List Here– Free life stream kids camp. June 12-14 6-8:30pm

Zoo John Ball Zoo, Boulder Ridge, Binder Park


Print out your summer bucket list worksheet here

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I’d love to hear what plans you have that I did not list. Feel free to comment below.

Planner by http://www.heidiswappstore.com Sold in most local Meijer stores.


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Festerling Family

Meet Dennis, Chriss, Noah, Eli, and Bella. I had the pleasure of hanging out with them last week. This family was the silent auction winner for the fundraiser called “Blessings for Bekah”. Dennis was introduced to the fundraiser through Bekah’s brother’s boy scout troop. It’s such an honor to have been able to contribute to two very deserving families. Untitled-1

Are you interested in scheduling a family session? I’d love to hear from you and tell you about the Kara Hanes Photography experience Inquire Here. Not ready for photos? Would you be interested in following what’s going on with Kara Hanes Photography? Join my newsletter. 

DeBlaay Family

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I met Lindsey and her husband Matt when her and I were both pregnant with our girls and teaching preschool. Needless to say we have been great friends ever since. Not only friends but I’ve come to know her extended family and they remind me a lot of my own. Meet the DeBlaays, Mary (also known as Beppe to her grandkids), her sons Chris, Jake, Matt and Mike and their families. I think it’s fair to say that Mary has quite the beautiful family. During this session we continuously laughed, danced and said the magic word *FART* over and over to make those kiddos giggle and bring out their natural smiles (well, mostly the dads). Would you believe me if I told you that prior to this session it was 60 degrees and raining? We lucked out with beautiful mid day sunshine and a little bit of shade at Aquinas college. If you’d like to check out more from this session you can do so at Kara Hanes Photography

Are you interested in scheduling a family session? Send over a contact form and you’ll instantly receive information on my style and pricing information.

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Agnes and Dora by Stephanie H

Stephanie is an Independent Agnes and Dora Representative helping others feel comfortable and confident with beautiful clothes! Imagine you’re at the mall going from dressing room to dressing room trying to find the right outfit but none of them fit just right. You’re frustrated because you’ve just spent hours of your time trying on clothes that you’re not even taking home.

Now I want you to imagine meeting Stephanie for the first time. You can do this over the phone, via social media or in her own home where she is fully stocked with your future wardrobe. Now Stephanie can either let you pick and choose what you want to try on or she can style you with amazing, comfortable clothing. Trust me, I can’t stop wearing my leggings based on the soft fabric alone and not to mention they come in so many patterns. Now you may be wondering if you’re too young, too old, too tall, too wide, too short or will it fit you like it does in the ad. I’m here to tell you, yes! Agnes and Dora is for everyone. Check out what Stephanie has for you this summer.

Find Stephanie on Instagram, Facebook, or at www.agnesanddora.com Zipcode Jenison, 49428.

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See more from this session at www.karahanesphotography.com/agnesanddora


Would you like to schedule headshots for your business? I’d love to hear from you. Get info at Contact Kara.

Beckham 1 year

Everyone always tells you when you’re a new mom that kids grow up so fast. This is especially true in the first year. There are so many changes and while very sleep deprived and constantly trying to figure out your baby’s needs, you find that he or she is no longer a baby.


Last week I met with Marc and Jamie as they celebrated their son Beckham’s first year. This little guy is crawling everywhere and is trying to pull himself up on everything. He loves cell phones and tv remotes but he also likes books and balls. He was especially fond of the yellow truck and bubbles in the studio. I ask all parents, if there is one piece of advise you would give your child in the future when they become parents, Jamie said, “I would tell him how much I love him and to cherish every moment.” I think you can see that all of these moments are cherished with Beckham.

Happy 1st year buddy!


Would you like to schedule a session? request a pricing guide by filling out a contact form.

Hudson VandenBerg

One of my most favorite things to photograph are newborn babies. This past week I met 4 day old Hudson. Both Hudson’s mom and I go way back. Her and I are both Grandville Alumni (Go Bulldogs!) and recently worked together for a year. When I found out she was pregnant with their second child I was beyond excited (mostly because they have one other fun, adorable boy already).

Dave and Emile VandenBerg along with their son, Welsey welcomed baby boy , Hudson John VandenBerg on April 10th 2017 at 10:55am weighing 6lbs 4oz. with a length of  19.5in. When Emile told me that her favorite thing Hudson did was make faces I knew exactly why in just minutes. This little guys has some adorable expressions. I’d love for you to take a peek and see more from last week’s session.

More photos at www.karahanesphotography.com Feel free to check them out.

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Mommy&Me Sessions

I’m excited to announce my Mommy&Me Sessions. Today is the day that I have opened up the contact form to plan for yours. You might be wondering. What is involved in this session and how is it different from other mini sessions? Well I’m here to tell you that these sessions are special. It’s an opportunity for that Mom in your life to have her story told. Maybe you’re a mom and you have just been waiting for the opportunity to get photos with your kids. You’re a mom to be and you want to document that beautiful belly. Or maybe you’re a son or daughter and you want to give your mom memories with Grandkids to hold on to. Whatever it may be keep reading to see if this is something for you.

 

Get your hands on products from the following vendors:

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Allison Jasperse at Yellow Door Salon

Wild tree with Katie Schepers

Baby Bijou Designs with Caitlyn Dykehouse

Calligraphy from Poppy seed signs

Agnes&Dora with Stephanie Haralson

Lemongrass Spa Products from Linnaea Kemp

and Joy Sparks Designs


Mommy & Me Sessions include: 30 Minutes in the studio (Allendale, MI), up to 5 individuals, 10-15 digital images, social media posts, free digital download, Release to print at your own lab. All for $130. Hurry now, this will book fast. Only May 2017. (Sorry coupons and/or discounts are not accepted with this offer)

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Grandma, Kathy and her younger grandkids.

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 Life isn’t always easy being a mom, show her how much you appreciate her by giving her an heirloom she’ll treasure!

Click Here: Contact Form, select Mommy&Me session and I’d be happy to help you start your planning process.

See more from this session (CLICK HERE)


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This isn’t the type of session you’re looking for? Maybe a gift certificate would be a better option for you. Go ahead and inquire a Gift Card by filling out the contact form here. What to expect from there : Receiving a Gift Certificate Brochure


 

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Want to stay in the loop and see what else is coming up in Kara Hanes Photography? Join me in e-mail list. Here you’ll receive updates, coupons and special offers that are exclusive. Can’t wait to see you on the inside! Click here to sign up.

Emily Jo Mascarenas : Newborn Session

Newborns are some of my favorite sessions. They are so little, fragile and snuggly. This little gal was probably one of my best sessions yet (don’t get me wrong, all of my sessions this year have been amazing). I don’t think she made a peep the entire time. We also made a KHP record for the quickest newborn session. Some may not know but a newborn session can last anywhere between 1-2 hours. Most of this time is spent feeding, consoling and then getting them comfortable in a new position. With Emily we were done in as little as 40 minutes!


Meet Emily! Only 8 days old. Born at Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming on March 23rd at 9:36 pm weighing 6 lbs 12 oz 19-1/2 inches long. This little one is loved by so many but mostly by her parents David and Dianna and big brothers Nathan and Daniel. Mom’s favorite thing to do is watch her eyes explore the world and take it all in. I’d love for you to play the slideshow and take a look at some of the beautiful photos of little miss Emily. Enjoy!


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Want to book a newborn session or know more about pricing. Feel free to fill out the contact form and a lovely little e-mail from me will arrive in your inbox with all my pricing guides. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Click Here to find out pricing and other information.