The Girls' Amber Teething Necklaces

I get asked all the time about my girls' "pretty necklaces".  When Lila wore hers, we would be stopped almost every time we were out, and now we're asked about Charlotte's too.  I thought I'd share a few photos of these wonderful "jewels", since my article about them is on The Creative Mama today.

They are Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces, meant to alleviate the constant pain and symptoms of teething.  These natural resin beads release succinic acids, oils that when worn against the skin, act as an anti-inflammatory.  They also help with other teething symptoms, like drooling, restlessness and the general fussiness that comes along with those new chompers.  Lila wore her necklace when she was about eight or nine months old, up until she got her two-year molars.  After that, we passed the beads on to my nephew, Finn, during his visit to Florida (below).  My sister says his constant drooling has all but stopped.  Hooray for that!

Charlotte is seven months old now, and although she hasn't cut any teeth just yet, she has been drooling and whining and gnawing on everything since she was about four months old.  We put an amber necklace on her back in January, and have noticed a great improvement to her symptoms already!  She never drools, and only fusses a little about her gums.

Our necklaces have both come from Amberizon, and they were only around $13-18 each.  Hazelaid also has them for around $22 for a 12" strand, if you'd like to purchase one for your own little love.

If you're at the end of your rope like we were with Lila's teething pain, have a peek over at The Creative Mama today and read up on these necklaces for yourself.  I've recommended them to countless friends and family members, and I hope they work for your babies as well!

And let's be honest.  They're really pretty too.  :)

Breaking the Silence

This week on The Creative Mama, my fellow bloggers and friends are sharing our stories of postpartum depression, some for the first time ever.  So many people have commented on my initial post here, and I've received countless emails from other moms who feel so similar.  As horrible as this feels to go through, it feels amazing to know that we're helping other mamas by sharing our experiences.  You aren't alone.  We encourage you to come by every day this week.  Say hi, and leave a few words of hope for our readers if you feel led. xoxo,


A Featured Article, a Webinar, a Chubby Baby, and Catching You Up

I am one busy girl this week.  Wanna take a peek at what's on my plate? We are on our last week of portfolio reviews over on the Chic Critique Forum.  Trying to get caught up on those!  They're a lot of fun, and I love being able to help other photographers take a fresh look at their work!

Today I'm sharing a bit of my black and white processing tips over on The Creative Mama.  If you would like a little bit of a peek at my before and after, processing a backlit near-silhouette photo from color to black and white, then check it out.  And yes, I do show you blown highlights and all.  On purpose, but still... it's pretty intimidating.  If you choose to comment, please be kind.  ;)

Last night, we had the dress rehearsal for Chic Critique's Celebrity Secrets Revealed Live Webinar, and it promises to be pretty amazing.  I'm honored to be considered for the lineup of photographers presenting!  On Monday, May 5, I'll be talking about shooting in low light, and giving you pointers and tips for doing it in your own clients'  homes.  You can sign up HERE and be a part of it!

I'm working on some improvements and additions to my Bloom Forum Mini-Workshop, Lifestyle: Your Style.  I hope to have that ready to roll out soon.  And I'm working on some updates and facelifts for the blog as well.  In all my spare time. ;)

And I'm shipping out a small truckload of client orders and prints this week.  I'm so behind!  A huge thank you to my ever-patient clients who have been so kind and gracious recently.  I can never thank you enough for all of your support and understanding.  You're so wonderful, and I'm lucky to know you.

I realized that I haven't shared a photo of Charlotte lately.  She turned six months last week!  Would you like to see how chunky she's gotten?

Loves nibbling her feet, having conversations with the ceiling fan, and laughs and smiles constantly.  And most recently, she loves avocados.  That's my girl.  Thankfully, our littlest love is sleeping through the night fairly regularly now.  She slept 10 hours last night and I think she barely moved the entire night.  She usually flip-flops around and ends up on her tummy by morning.  If we could only get the rest of the occupants in our house to stay in their beds, we would be all set!  Sadly, it seems that Lila cannot sleep separately from Parker.  When he sleeps in his own bed, she tiptoes into our room before dawn, without fail.  When he does sleep in her room, she has a bad dream or hears a noise and ends up in our bed anyway.  Which in turn wakes up the puppy, who is asleep in his crate in our living room.  And so the howling begins.  Our poor neighbors.  I can't tell you the last time either Chris or I got a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.  No wonder I need anti-depressants, right?  ;)

Alright, so you're all caught up!  I have to go catch up now, myself.  I have a lot of matting, wrapping, shipping and writing to do before Parker gets home from school.  I've made him my official after-school running partner!

Why Photography?

Today I'm sharing over on The Creative Mama, as I often do.  Being co-editor and co-owner of such a wonderful online community is such a joy for me.  At the very least, it's a lock that I must write something either useful/informative (such as a tutorial) or something therapeutic for my heart (and hopefully yours) at least once a month.  No matter if I get the chance to share in such a way here on my own blog or not.  (Oh SWP blog, I promise to keep you updated very soon!)Anyhow, if you're inclined to know a few of the reasons why I shoot, why I'm a photographer in the first place, and why I keep clicking even on days that get the better of me.... then head on over here to have a quick read.

stacey woods photographerIn the meantime, this little girl here is one of the main reasons why I keep shooting.  This sweet girl, her older brother, her soon-to-be-born baby sister, and their amazing Daddy are what makes my heart beat, and they are why I will continue to document and preserve.  At the very least, our family's story must be told, and must be shared with future generations someday.

That's pretty important, don't you think?

xo, friends.

Musings, Updates, and Another Feature | Tampa Area Photographer

As I sit here surrounded by the silence of almost-bedtime, I am thinking back on what a full day it has been.  Today was my oldest child's last day of school for the year.  For now, Parker is the only school-age child we have, and this is such a momentous occasion for a sentimental Mama like me.  We are proud and excited that as of this afternoon, he is no longer a first grader!  Second-grade, here we come.  This fall will start his first full year in the Center for Gifted Studies (after being on the waitlist for months, a spot opened up and we transferred him from his zoned school mid-year).  We're so proud of him and all he has accomplished, and how beautifully he has transitioned into his new school.  He was blessed with an amazing teacher (we adore you, Mrs. J!) who has been so instrumental in teaching Parker in the way he learns best, and for successfully getting him caught up with the rest of the class, who have all been in the gifted program for the entire year. Today I chaperoned his last field trip, which was a walk to the park and lunch at the playground.  It was a joy to watch him play with his friends, and to see all of his buddies hug him goodbye and see the whole class wave and blow kisses.  It warms my heart to know that he's surrounded by these caring kids, within a world where some kids would pick on each other for no good reason.  (Although I will admit that I was beyond hot and felt so lazy waddling slowly through the park with my round tummy and flip-flops, water bottle in hand.  Florida Summer, please be good to this pregnant mama!)

© Stacey Woods

After we left the park, we had ice cream together and played a little Wii to celebrate his "graduation status".  Then I took a tiny power-nap (to make up for too many late nights recently), finished up some client work, and then picked up our sweet girl from daycare.  She greeted me with the biggest hug ever, kisses galore, and so many giggles.  I love this part of my day!  The kids had dinner with Daddy so I could get a little more work done here at home, and when they got back, Parker and Chris played a game of chess while I got Lila ready for bed.  I read a couple of books to the kids as we all snuggled up in Lila's bed.  (Little House in the Big Woods and Pinkalicious... one favorite for each of them!)

As I type this, tired and exhausted from this ordinarily extraordinary day, my ankles look more like cankles and the Braxton-Hicks have started back up again.  It's time I get some restful sleep and yet another glass of water, because this month is as hectic as a person could imagine!  Chris keeps reminding me that I need my rest now, more than ever.  I hate to admit that he's right, and I'm realizing that I do indeed have limitations now that I'm in my third trimester.

I'm getting lots of inquiries for maternity + newborn (or simply newborn) sessions, and I'm so grateful for that.  Getting to hold and cuddle those sweet little lives make me oh-so-anxious for our new baby girl to get here this Fall.  I can't wait to hold her and drink her in and soak up her sweetness.

Speaking of sweetness, I was honored when the very kind Courtney from Click It Up a Notch contacted me about featuring an article I wrote for The Creative Mama last year, entitled Dreamy Summer Light.  I love photographing my clients in the beautiful Florida sunshine, and I did a little tutorial / explanation on it last year for our TCM readers.  You can read Courtney's post by clicking HERE.  Thanks so much, Courtney!


Share for Chele

This morning on The Creative Mama, Angie Warren is sharing a heart-wrenching story of a woman... a mama... a wife... and a good friend... who was diagnosed with cancer just last week.  I can't imagine her pain, her anxiety, her fears.  If you would, please take just a minute to visit The Creative Mama today and read Chele Chestnut's story.  Then, take two more minutes and leave her an encouraging note or comment, whisper a heartfelt prayer for her, and/or simply donate $5 or more if you're able.  (I know I could easily spend $5 on a latte, and goodness knows I could forgo a day ~ or five ~ and use that money for good.)  Every little bit helps, and greatly helps to ease this mama's fears of how she will pay for testing, treatment, and surgery.  At this time, Chele's husband is unemployed, they are without insurance, and Medicaid is not an option for them.  My heart breaks for her and her family right now.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.

~C.C. Scott

Chele is the founder of Gather Inspirit and the voice behind The Bona Fide Life, in case you'd like to follow her online.  I know she covets your prayers and encouragement through this difficult time.  And I certainly appreciate it.



on being grateful

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  ~Marcel Proust Lately I've been thinking a lot about gratefulness.  The importance of teaching my children to have a grateful heart and to be humble and kind to others.  It's so easy, in this convenient world we live in, to take our blessings for granted.  In our great country, we are blessed with so much but seem to never find the time to appreciate it, to stop and truly be thankful for it.

Enter the 365/Grateful Project.

I have begun my own gratefulness journey by using just my iPhone and some favorite photo apps, and I'm sharing them on Facebook each day.  Each month, I'll compile them and come share them here on the blog.  I would love it if you would join me and share your blessings with the world as well!


In this moment, I'm grateful for the opportunity to raise our children near the sea.  And for a bit of one-on-one time with Daddy.


To learn more about the original 365/Grateful Project, head on over to The Creative Mama today.  You can read my full article there.  I'd love for you to join me, and so many photographers all over the world, so that we can teach our children to appreciate their blessings as well.  They watch us every day, you know.  As always, if you do decide to come along, leave your link here in the comments so we can share with each other.  I hope to meet many of you and am looking forward to spreading a little gratitude together!

Gratefully yours,