I’ve decided participate in a 365 project this year, where I take a photo every day for a whole year. Along with capturing a little slice of my life each day, it also allows me to experiment with new photography techniques and to let my creative juices flow. BUT It is so much easier said than done. I’ve attempted similar projects before and failed about 1/3 of the way through, so really hoping that 2017 is my year. I know if I do stick with it I will have a full year’s worth of beautiful photos to remember this year by and I will be SO happy. Perhaps if I share the photos at the end of each month that will help with accountability. Maybe? So here goes…my first installment is below.

If you’d like to follow along each day, please come visit me on Instagram – @halfpintphotographer. And if you are doing a similar project this year (365 days or 52 weeks, etc.) please leave a link in the comments section so I can follow your work too!

bergen county, nj lifestyle photographer

Half-Pint Photography More Than Mommy series features Q&A sessions with some of the inspiring moms among us. These moms will share what defines them outside of being “mommy”, their thoughts on balancing work and home life, the rewards and challenges of motherhood, and much more.

If you would like to be featured or know of another mom with an interesting story to tell, please tell me more by clicking here.

 


I am excited to introduce Nicole Jurick, owner and founder of Peasful Kitchen, a parent-focused cooking school with roots in Hoboken, New Jersey. Nicole and I were introduced by one of my lifelong friends, who at the time had just had her first child and was going through the mommy struggles of trying to find good-for-you foods that her young son wouldn’t immediately spit out. Enter Nicole, fellow Hoboken first-time mom friend, who had found the answer by making her own organic baby food purees and decided to share her recipes through her baby food cooking classes at Give Peas a Chance Cooking School. I can without a doubt say that Nicole’s two boys are proof positive that her homemade healthy eats are doing the trick. While photographing Nicole and her boys for this feature I witnessed the usual begging for snacks, except instead of begging for goldfish and cookies they begged for (and devoured!) bananas, oranges and other healthy bites!

Be sure to enter Peasful Kitchen’s giveaway at the end of the interview!

nicole yorio jurick - 2

Welcome, Nicole! Let’s get started by learning more about you and your business, Peasful Kitchen – how it was born and how it has grown in just a few short years. 
Thank you, Christine! I’m a mom of two boys, William (4 years old) and Nolan (2 years old) AND baby #3 due April 2017!

One Sunday night in 2012, I found myself alone in my kitchen pureeing baby food for my son. After an hour spent peeling, chopping, steaming, and pureeing–and then realizing I only had carrots and still had dozens of other veggies to eventually get through— I knew there had to be a better way. I started Peasful Kitchen as a social place for parents to connect, learn, and enjoy making food for their babies.

We’ve since grown from a baby food company to a cooking school that covers every stage of a family’s growth–from freezer meals for expectant moms, to baby and toddler food, to family dinners that bring smiles (and sanity!) to your table. We have various locations throughout New Jersey and in Boston, MA and Houston, TX.  Most recently, we launched an online baby food cooking class (http://peasfulkitchen.com/the-ultimate-baby-food-cooking-class-2/) so that we can reach parents everywhere!

Our goals, too, have become greater than a moms’ night out. We want parents to see how fun and easy it is to cook wholesome and delicious meals for their families from the start–from baby’s first puree through toddlerhood, and beyond. As I learned, research shows that families who prepare home cooked meals eat more nutritiously and have happier, well- balanced children. Many parents site lack of inspiration and time as what stops them from getting dinner on the table. We’re working to change that.

Parents who’ve taken our classes have said that they never went back to jarred baby food–or that they make our hidden veggie meatballs for their whole family at least once a month. For us, that’s the greatest compliment and also shows that when given the tools and confidence, parents can make their families healthier little by little!

 

mom with sons in kitchen

Are your boys interested in helping you out in the kitchen?
My kids both love to cook, and it’s so much fun to have them help me in the kitchen (albeit MESSY!). But getting them involved is a win for both of us, since when they help prepare the food that we make, the usually end up eating it.

As a mom and business owner,  I know it is not always easy to find time to devote to work while raising young children. How do you make it all work?
Balance is always tough, but I’m lucky to have a nanny to help me two days a week so I can devote those days to business. I also do much of my work at night after the kids go to bed. My husband too is especially supportive and always lends me advice and is happy to help me set up for community events that I’m attending.

What do you like to do in your “me” time?
There’s not much of it, but when I get an hour to myself I head right to my favorite kickboxing gym. Most of my “me” time is family time, and there’s nothing better than spending time at the beach with my family or taking the boys on many adventures: farms, play spaces, train rides–whatever!

What is your favorite thing about being a mom to two boys?
It’s ironic because I always wanted girls, but now that I have two boys, I wouldn’t change I thing. I love seeing the world through their eyes, and I’m always shocked at myself how I notice things I never would have: construction sites, trains, airplanes. They’re non stop and that keeps me going, too. Plus, boys love their mama, I love getting smothered in their kisses–and their tackles!

kids eating healthy

Any words of wisdom to pass on to other moms?
Relax about what your kids eat. It sounds counterintuitive, but kids can sense your pressure and that’s not helpful for anyone. Keep trying to serve them healthy things, and don’t give up, but also don’t get too emotionally attached to whether or not they eat it. They’ll get there eventually.

Now for something a little fun…You are stuck on a deserted island by yourself – what three items would you bring with you and why?

  1. sneakers to run around the island
  2. the stack of New York Magazine sitting in my house that I haven’t read since 2012
  3. a chefs knife to cut through those stubborn coconuts

Thank you so much, Nicole. Such great advice to just chill about what our kids eat and not get emotionally involved. I need to work on that one!

You can connect with Nicole and learn even more about Peasful Kitchen at:

Email: nicole@peasfulkitchen.com
Website: http://www.peasfulkitchen.com
Instagram: @peasfulkitchen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peasfulkitchen
And check out Nicole’s appearance on The Chew!

 

Nicole and Peasful Kitchen are awarding 3 lucky winners with the Peasful Kitchen’s Ultimate Baby Food Cooking Class. This awesome package includes: a step by step cooking video about how to prepare baby’s first foods, an exclusive membership to Peasful Kitchen’s Closed Facebook Group that features live Q&A sessions for you to get answers to your baby food feeding questions in real time, exclusive downloadable recipes and resources from culinary instructors, nutritionists, and chefs that you won’t find anywhere else (Value: $47 each)! Enter to win below by signing up for Peasful Kitchen’s newsletter. Bonus entries for following Half-Pint Photography on Instagram and telling us in the comment section below why you’d like to win this awesome prize.
The contest begins today and ends at 11:59 EST on January 30, 2017. Winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on January 31, 2017. Good luck!
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It’s that time of year again when I do a sort of internal year in review. A big piece of this is going through ALL of my 2016 client galleries – family photo sessions, newborn photo sessions, baby photo sessions, maternity photo sessions, event photo sessions – and pick out my favorites for the year. And as usual the initial pool I end up with is about 5 times as large as it should be. So what to do? I started to notice a theme of sorts in the photos I selected this year….CONNECTIONS…so I decided to go with just that. Below you will see 16 photos from 2016 that make me “feel all the feels” as they say.  I really love all the beautiful connections that are showcased here – connections between siblings, parents and children, expectant parents. THIS is what photos are about to me.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

And I should note that these are in no particular order. I love them all the same! 

Bergen-County-NJ-Family-Photographer baby girl first steps new big brother mother and daughters daddy and son mommy and baby on swing couple with newborn mommy and baby boy daddy and son snuggles sibling hugs daddy and his boys mother and son love mother and son giggles big brother and newborn Bergen-County-NJ-Maternity-Photographer mother with son and newborn

 

 

What an awesome fall family photography session this was in Bergen County, NJ last year. We had the perfectly adorable family. The leaves in northern New Jersey were at their peak, so we had gorgeous (and I do mean GORGEOUS) foliage. And the weather was so mild that they children didn’t want the session to end! All this added up to pure magic. See for yourself below…

nj fall portraits nj fall portraits nj family photographer

Half-Pint Photography More Than Mommy series features Q&A sessions with some of the inspiring moms among us. These moms will share what defines them outside of being “mommy”, their thoughts on balancing work and home life, the rewards and challenges of motherhood, and much more.

If you would like to be featured or know of another mom with an interesting story to tell, please tell me more by clicking here.

 


I am excited to introduce Audra Bursae, owner of Nourish Mind + Body, a wellness center in Bergen County, New Jersey. I first met Audra as a client when I photographed her then newborn daughter,  Adelaide (see photos from that session here).  Audra had a big happy smile and welcoming arms that day when she opened the door to her home. I’ve seen her a few times since that newborn session almost 10 months ago and I am always met with that beautiful smile. She is just one of those people that makes you happy to be around. When I started this series, Audra popped into my head almost immediately and I was so happy when she agreed to participate. I knew she would be a great fit for the “More Than Mommy” series since she truly believes in helping women bring out their best possible self from within. 
Audra_Bursae

Welcome, Audra. I’m so thrilled to introduce you to the Half-Pint Photography community! Let’s get started by learning more about your business, Nourish Mind + Body, and what makes it special. 
Thanks, Christine! I am a holistic nutritionist/health counselor/yoga+Pilates+barre teacher. I own a wellness center in Cresskill NJ (Nourish Mind + Body) and have been in business for more than 7 years.  I have always had a vision of creating a center focused around empowering women – bringing all of these modalities together under one roof. I provide one-on-one nutrition/health counseling primarily to women and children. I am passionate about pre/postnatal nutrition both for mom and baby, infant/toddler nutrition, eating disorders/body image issues, weight management, gastrointestinal issues/food intolerances, and hormonal imbalances and changes. I work very differently than a dietician as I don’t practice a one-size-fits-all approach. Each plan is detailed and tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. I don’t believe in diets so my focus is always on lifestyle changes that are maintainable long-term. I help my clients learn to accept and love themselves and their bodies versus picking themselves apart and finding what they see as “negative.” It is incredibly important to me to help empower women to love themselves and see their beauty.

From a movement perspective, I teach semi-private yoga and barre classes (no more than 7 people) so they’re highly personal and the environment is very supportive. The women all become like family! It’s such a lovely thing to see – everyone building each other up and becoming true friends. Classes are super challenging yet fun and very effective. I like to work hard so I teach in a similar fashion – always with a major focus on alignment and form. I also teach Pilates privately on Gratz apparatus. I have been teaching Pilates for 14 years now – I can’t believe how quickly time flies!

Thanks to technology, my client base is not limited to New Jersey. I am able to work with people all over the world via Skype and/or FaceTime. I have a client in Israel, many in California and New York, and many places in between.

As a mom of an (almost) 1o month old, how do you find time to devote to your business? Have you found a good balance between work life and mom life? 
I work Monday through Friday and try to juggle my time around clients and my daughter. Adelaide comes with me to work every day and has since she was one month old – we’re inseparable. So I typically work the morning at my studio with her by my side then take a break early afternoon to nurse and feed her (and myself), then I will see a few more clients in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day with my daughter. Balance can get a little tricky sometimes as it sometimes feels there aren’t enough hours in the day! There are definitely times where I don’t get as many things done as I would like to but I have learned to accept that and not beat myself up over it.

It helps that my husband is, and always has been, incredibly supportive of what I do for a living. Ever since our daughter was born and he sees how much I juggle, he’ll say, ” I honestly have no idea how you do it all,” which is so nice to hear sometimes. I very much know how lucky I am that I’m able to work and be a mom full-time…I am beyond grateful.
yoga mom with daughter
I love that Adelaide is your pint-sized co-worker! Does she seem to be following in your footsteps already?
My daughter is still a little too young to really show interest but she is certainly enthusiastic about being with me at work every day! She’s super social so she loves seeing all of my clients and playing with everyone. She’s been doing yoga since the day she was conceived so I hope she shows an interest when she’s older, as I would love to practice together, but I also know that may not happen and if not, that’s okay too.

As far as nutrition goes, so far she is loving all the nourishing foods I give her! She will gladly gobble up home-made babaganoush, hummus, sweet potatoes, avocado, lentils, spinach, arugula, beets, etc. Her favorite, by far, is breastmilk, but she definitely loves her veggies. That makes this mama proud!

The truth is, she helps me just by being with me. All it takes is that huge smile of hers and my whole world lights up. Having her energy in my studio is more helpful to me than she’ll probably ever realize.

What do you like to do in your “me” time?
Yoga is something very special to me so I love to take a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers or get immersed in a great book or go to brunch with my husband and daughter – I’m pretty simple.

mom with baby girl

What is your favorite thing about being a mom to a 10 month old baby girl?
Where do I begin?! It is such a fun age! Seeing her discover the world for the first time is so special. Her personality blossoms more every day and I can’t get enough! She’s incredibly silly and makes me laugh all the time. The faces she makes are an absolute crack-up and her laugh is the best I’ve ever heard. She’s such a happy girl and her energy is infectious – no matter what I’m going through, I just look at her and everything is perfect. She has taught me so much already. I tend to try to do too many things at once and she has really taught me to slow down and enjoy the simple moments. Her smell, her cuddles…her everything…are the best things in the world to me. So I guess to answer what my favorite thing about being her mom is…EVERYTHING!

Any words of wisdom to pass on to other moms?
As moms, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. We want to be the best mom, spouse, friend, etc. and so often we push ourselves aside and put everyone before ourselves. My advice is to slow down and to realize you are enough just as you are. It is okay to say no…it is okay to need a break…it is okay to skip an exercise session or the laundry and just take a break. Being a mom is one of the most important and special jobs that exist and we are much more important and amazing than we often give ourselves credit for. My advice is stop and embrace who you are today…and let everything else fall in to place. We are better to everyone else in our lives when we truly accept and love ourselves. So be kind and gentle to yourself.

Now for something a little fun…24 hour dream date with your husband and daughter – what do you do?
24 hours is definitely not enough time, but this is a dream so I’m going big! My dream date would be to go to Florence Italy with my daughter and husband. My husband and I went a few years back and it is, by far, my most favorite place I’ve ever been. I’d love to leisurely stroll the beautiful streets, eat delicious local food, drink amazing wine, and visit the Boboli gardens with my two most favorite people. Nothing could beat that.


Thank you so much, Audra. LOVE your advice to just accept ourselves. Something that I think a lot of moms (including myself) struggle with. You can connect with Audra and learn even more about Nourish Mind + Body at:

Email: audra@nourishmindandbody.com
Website: www.nourishmindandbody.com
Instagram: @audra_bursae

Audra has generously offered to give away one 30 minute complimentary nutrition session plus a free semi-private class to one very lucky winner. Enter to win below by following Audra and Half-Pint Photography on Instagram and telling us why you’d like to win a session with Audra. The contest begins today and ends at 11:59 EST Friday, July 1st, 2016. Winner will be announced on Saturday July 2nd, 2016. Best of luck!

 

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