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        Life has looked a little different lately with the Covid-19 pandemic going on. Some days I feel productive and like I have it all together, and some days I miss my family and feel like I haven’t accomplished anything all day. There’s so many emotions going on: happy, sad, ambitious, scared, accomplished, tired, hopeful, overwhelmed. Getting to work from home is something I am very grateful for. Only having to leave the house for sessions and weddings, but we are also used to being able to see family and grab lunch with friends, go shopping, go to fun places like the zoo or to the movies. There is a big difference in being at home and not able to go anywhere. It can sometimes feel isolating and just make you feel trapped. We’ve been doing what we can to stay busy – fun activities, play in the yard as much as weather will allow, and we even got a puppy!

        Productivity

        I haven’t been shooting since early March and I definitely miss it so much. I have used this new found time to dig deep and begin a complete overhaul on my website. I thought long and hard about hiring someone to help with it before the pandemic. Then corona happened and now I have so much more time. What better moment to give it my all? Honestly, if I didn’t have my website to work on I would probably be feeling so lost. I think having some work is a good thing. We have also had some time to work on house projects we’ve needed to do. We planted our veggie garden, hung string/festoon lights in our backyard, power washed our patio and fence (& sealing this week), and other little things that have gone avoided too long.

        Activities

        I’ve also been focusing a lot more time on Rylee and coming up with new and fun ways to play together. I don’t think I’ve ever been so engaged as a mama than I am right now. We had an Usbourne book party at the beginning of the pandemic so we have been reading a ton. If you need some new books I can hook you up with some awesome book consultants! We love to follow my cousin Kendra on Facebook. She shares so many activities you can do that coordinate with books or even do them without the books. Here’s a fun list of things we’ve been doing in our spare time:

        • Outside play
        • Flying kites
        • Chalk masterpieces
        • Reading books
        • Backyard picnics
        • Bubbles
        • Running through the sprinkler
        • Puddle jumping in rain boots
        • Backyard camping
        • Baby bon fires + s’mores
        • Cooking out – grilling
        • Building forts
        • Movie nights inside the forts with popcorn too
        • Tumbling class (at home)
        • Backyard yoga
        • Coloring, painting, stickers and stamps
        • Sending mail to friends
        • Crafts
        • Going for nature walks
        • Nature walk tape bracelets – I’ll explain below
        • Baking cookies together
        • Playing hair and makeup
        • Painting nails
        • Playing dress up
        • Fashion show
        • Bug hunting
        • Boat rides + fishing
        • Tie dye party
        • Sand box fun
        • Dance parties
        • Backyard baseball
        • Disney+

        If you have any fun ideas, leave a comment below! We’re always looking for new ideas. To elaborate on the “nature walk tape bracelets” all you need is tape! We used clear packing tape. You take the tape and wrap it around your wrist (comfortably, not too tight) with the sticky side out. Connecting to make a bracelet. Go for a walk, and add pretty flowers or things you find along the way that you want on your bracelet. See here. Just be sure to stay out of the neighbors’ gardens. I guess that’s frowned upon. haha. I hope you enjoy this list of fun things to do. I know times are hard, but keep trying to have fun and look on the bright side, always.

        Self Care

        A few things I’ve been doing for self care include – going for walks (this weather lately is my favorite – aside from fall), getting enough sleep, putting down the phone for a full day or even just the afternoon, putting on makeup even if it’s just a 5 minute face. Makeup just makes me feel more put together and I end up getting way more done throughout the day. Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. Staying connected to the outside world is key. Dalgona coffee has been a new find and obsession of mine. It’s giving me all the energy on my sluggish days. I’m only drinking 1-2 per week though because too much caffeine gives me headaches. Coffee is my #2 form of self care!

        Creating

        I think my #1 form of self care is creating – this gets me truly feeling like myself again. We broke out the tripod a week or two ago to document our newest family member, Ranger, our black lab puppy. He is growing so fast! I wanted to get pictures of this fun puppy stage before it’s gone. Then the other day I had a “creative vision” I guess you’d call it. If you’re a creative and get an idea, I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I just had to get it out of my head and into a real life image. So every once in a while, if I wake up at a certain time and there’s no clouds out, the sunrise peeks through our master bedroom so magically. It’s a soft warm light and I love it. I wanted to shoot as the sun was coming in and casting shadows of the window panes basically on my face. Yes, quarantine has reached a new level of inspiration, haha. Well for a few days I kept waiting – waking up early, looking outside, guessing if there were clouds or not (it still being dark it’s hard to tell sometimes) and then going back to sleep because sleep is very precious to me. So I just decided to let the warm sun and shadow idea go for now and just C R E A T E. So that I did. I used a canvas curtain, clipped it to furniture near a window, and had some “me time” while Rylee was napping. At first it felt awkward using the tripod and my phone as a trigger (everything was backwards), but then I starting getting the hang of it. I’ve never taken so many photos of myself in my life. I am definitely not a model, but it was fun to experiment with different angles and elements and I was able to create again, which is what I’ve really been missing lately. I was feeling myself again! And then Rylee woke up from her nap. haha. You’ll never guess what she wanted to do though – she wanted to PHOTOSHOOP, as she calls it! That’s /ˈfōdō SHo͞oP/. She was so excited to join me for the cutest mommy and me pictures and even took a few herself- with her toe! lol

        Now I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant about posting so many photos of myself as I don’t want to seem vain, but I created these. I’m proud of these. And you know what? It’s ok to love yourself. I think shooting these gave me a new perspective and a new level of self love. I saw myself in a new light at the end of these. I encourage all of my photog friends to try this! Let me know how you feel afterwards! It was definitely good for my soul and I hope it inspires even just one of you to create something meaningful for yourself or your family. Get in front of your camera.

        xoxo- Chelsea

        If you made it all the way through, thanks for coming to my TED Talk. I hope to create together soon!

        Beverly Clawson

        All I can say is…WOW! You are amazing! What a beautiful memory you have created. And you have your on little model in progress. I always love your photography.

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