Ella and Tutu in the Scottish Highlands

Ella & Tutu in the Scottish Highlands Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photographs by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer. On this Scottish adventure, Ella and Tutu begin at a quiet Air B&B near the city of Inverness. With one look the girls immediately fall in love with the plain white stucco walls and pretty flower baskets in the front of the house. The man inside is a wonderful storyteller, and the girls listen entranced by his wondrous stories of the friendly old sailors who had lived in this very house many years before.  After a perfectly wonderful night's rest, the two head down the rickety old steps to the kitchen below. Tutu is excited to fill her artistically crafted bowl with her new favorite food... muesli!  The two begin on their journey to their family's castle, Castle Fraser, and are stunned by the beautiful view of the grounds…

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Ella and Tutu on the Scottish Isles

Ella & Tutu: On the Scottish Isles Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photographs by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer.Today Ella and Tutu have decided to venture onto the secret isles of Mull and Iona. As Ella and Tutu shiver against the cold glass window, the two gaze into the endless blue sea before them, imagining all the fun yet to be had. Ella dreams of the beautiful nature the isles will hold, and Tutu of the new scrumptious desserts she will taste.   As the ferry noiselly chugs onward, the two friends decide to discuss their excitement over a warm plate of a Full Scottish Breakfast.  Their mouths water as they taste the perfectly browned toast, grilled tomato, eggs, back bacon, sausage, tatties, and mysterious black pudding!  At last! The two arrive on the isle of Mull, and begin the drive for the next ferry to take them…

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1st Birthday Spotlight – Baby Portraits

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Baby Spotlight: 1st Birthday Portraits Are you from the Pittsburgh area? We are originally from the Pittsburgh area, but for the past nine years have lived in Connecticut. We just moved back a few months ago. Do you have any silly nicknames for your child? I used to call her "Babyroo" but now she isn't a baby anymore, so we call her "Little Roo" or just "Roo." In your opinion, what baby items are essential? Pacifiers or teethers, a lovey, something that plays music, a white noise machine, a nightlight, and books! If you had a 25 hour day, what would you do with the extra time? Probably sleep an extra hour Do you have any favorite baby product brands? Why? We use Honest diapers and love them for the prints. They're also great if baby is sensitive to the chemical additives in popular diaper brands. I love BabyGap for clothes…

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Ella & Tutu – Tutu’s 2nd Birthday Party

Ella & Tutu: Tutu’s Birthday Party Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photos by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Child Photographer. Today Ella has decided to throw a birthday party for Tutu. She invited all of Tutu's friends to join in on the excitement! Tutu is so surprised to see her bunny, mice, and giraffe friends, that she squeals in excitement! Ella kindly explains all the planned festivities to the friendly bunch. Tutu shares that she sadly never had a birthday party before! Ella is shocked, and promises that this will be a party to remember. Ella decides to pose with her new flower crown, and gifts Tutu with a big birthday hug. Next Ella could no longer silence her longing taste buds, and decides it is time for a snack! She elegantly displays the freshly baked treats so the guests can view their delicious choices. Everyone chooses their favorite as…

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Kids and Watermelons

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Kids and Watermelons - Pittsburgh Child Photographer What comes to mind when you think of summer?  Maybe family walks, children playing outdoors, jogging with a baby, visiting friends, family picnics, going swimming, or a neighborhood BBQ? Or maybe even eating watermelons? The Flourish Academny hosts a monthly camera club open to all Pittsburgh area photographers. I enjoy attending the monthly meetings to meet other Pittsburgh photographers, catch up with friends and photograph at the beautiful homestead location where camera club meets. Recently I had the privilege of photographing adorable children eating watermelons. They were having a lot of fun, and so was I. It was so enjoyable that I thought it would be a good subject for the blog. 10 Reasons to Love Watermelons Keep cool | Watermelon is 92% water making it perfect for refreshment on a hot day or refueling after a workout. 2. Health Benefits | Watermelons contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost your immunity and  vitamin B6 for brain development during pregnancy and infancy. 3. Skin…

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Take Your Child to Work Day

Take Your Child to Work Day Today is Take Your Child to Work Day. As I was waking up this morning, I was excited to work with both of my parents today. In the morning I worked with my mom and with my dad in the afternoon. I already know what it is like to go on a photoshoot with my mom. Sometimes she hires me to assist her and she has taken lots of photos of my sisters and me. Being an assistant gave me an idea what it's like to be a photographer, but today I learned even more. My dad is a tax accountant. I know he works long hours and he is very smart. I have gone with him to Bayer before, but today, I'm going to work with him from home. This morning my mom took pictures of me and I took pictures of my mom.…

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Ella & Tutu – A Snowy Day

Ella & Tutu: A Snowy Day Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photos by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Child Photographer. This morning Ella and Tutu woke up to a wondrous surprise. As they gaze out the window all they can view are the millions of snowflakes  that have coated the frigid ground. So Ella dresses in her fuzzy pink Uggs and woolen cap and heads outside to play. It is quite chilly so the two snuggle close as they admire the pretty scene before them. As Ella shivers, Tutu decides to crack a joke. She giggles and claims, "Are you a snowflake... because you are one-of-a-kind." Immediately Ella begins cracking up. With a smile on her face, she proposes that the two friends head home. Safely inside, Ella and Tutu snuggle up close and watch the snowflakes shimmer in the light and slowly cascade down into the front yard. Next, Ella…

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Ella & Tutu Visit Norway

Ella & Tutu Visit Norway Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photos by Laura Mares.(Originally posted September 2017)This week Ella and Tutu are vacationing in the majestic Fjords of western Norway. Tutu is excited for the plane ride! Ella discovers that she can lay down across two seats and decides to catch some shut eye. When the dreams come to an end, the sleepy-eyed friends awaken in the air above Norwegian islands. Ella & Tutu Visit Norway Soon, they brace for the rough landing. However, when they get off the plane they are no longer in America but Norway! Mommy suggests that they stop for some food at the local grocery store, and starving Ella readily agrees! She and Tutu take command of the cart as they zip around the store, crafting a dinner for the family. Tutu recommends her favorite Scandinavian crackers, for she would know! She was here last year, during her…

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Ella and Tutu – A Very Special Gift

Ella & Tutu: A Very Special Gift My two year old daughter's favorite book is "Kiki and Coco in Paris." The book is full of beautiful photographs of a girl and her rag doll on a trip to Paris. Ella asks us to read it everyday. When I mentioned the book to my creative and talented friend, Lenna, she thought she and her mother could make a doll just for Ella. Last weekend Lenna came to visit and had a very special gift that exceeded our wildest expectations! I'm sure you'll agree. This summer my oldest daughter is going to write some stories about Ella and Tutu and their summer adventures. What was a special gift you received as a child? I'd love to hear your comments below. - Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares. Ella was playing on the big green swing when Mommy called…

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