I had the pleasure of meeting a super cool family that recently relocated to Pittsburgh. We enjoyed talking about everything from new baby products, camera gadgets, military life, and boxer dogs to traveling. It’s truly an honor to be invited into a family’s home to capture their story from the beginning, with an added bonus of meeting such lovely people.
How did you and your spouse meet?
We met online in 2005 while my husband was deployed in Afghanistan and decided to write letters to each other throughout his deployment. We then met in person a year later but did not actually start dating until 2015.
Describe how your life has changed once you brought home your newborn baby.
Your life gets flipped upside down for the first few weeks but then you start to figure it all out slowly. It’s been challenging in the best kind of way! Some days you feel well rested and your baby naps well so you’re able to tackle the laundry or dishes and some days your baby wants to be snuggled and fed all the time so you take the day to give them comfort. Baby calls a lot of the shots!
Describe your newborn baby.
He is a strong willed, expressive, auburn haired and blue eyed cutie with dimples. His gummy smile makes our hearts explode!
What do you enjoy about living in the Pittsburgh area?
The green rolling hills, all the parks, the rivers, the museums, all the history, and the overall pride of the people who live here. We love Pittsburgh!
What are your family’s favorite things to do in and around Pittsburgh?
Exploring new neighborhoods! We love good food and adult beverages so Pittsburgh is perfect because there’s no shortage of craft beer and great grub to try! We also really enjoy the outdoors especially all the parks and bike trails that Pittsburgh has to offer. Also, we haven’t yet explored all the museums but once our baby gets older, we are really looking forward to checking those out as well!
Tell us about your home.
Our home is a cozy two story colonial with a great little yard, a fireplace, 3 bedrooms, and small finished basement. We wanted our space to be calming and comforting so we decided to go with a very neutral theme. It’s in the perfect location and we fell in love with it the moment we stepped foot in the place!
In your opinion, what are the best shops around Pittsburgh to buy decor for your home?
We are bargain shoppers but bargain shopping doesn’t necessarily mean old and worn down. You can find some great pieces at flea markets, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods, IKEA, and Facebook Marketplace. I love a well maintained piece of furniture with some history. Our dining room features a 100 year old walnut buffet with lion paw legs that’s been passed down to us from my MIL and a mid century hutch that I found locally on fb marketplace which belonged to an elderly Italian woman and was very cherished by her family.
Describe a typical day in your life as a new mother with a newborn baby.
It consists of a lot of snuggles, feedings, naps, and playtime. I try to get out of the house often so we either run errands or go for walks to get some fresh air! All of those feedings and snuggles take up a bit of time so now since our baby is sleeping better at night, I try to get laundry, dishes, or dinner done while he naps! Its definitely a game of catch up but that’s okay because taking the time for your baby is worth the piles of laundry. They will still be there tomorrow.
What is your family’s favorite meal to cook at home? Could you share the recipe?
Steaks! Its my husband’s smoked and reverse seared ribeyes that are covered in fresh garlic and thyme. We typically serve them with some buttery pan fried red skin potatoes and oven roasted feta cheese asparagus.
-Ribeye steaks (the key is to look for nice marbling)
-Fresh thyme (1/2 small package)
-Garlic (3 or 4 cloves)
-Parmesian cheese (shaved)
Let the steaks warm up at room temperature while you prepare the thyme and garlic mixture. In a small bowl, mince garlic and pull the thyme leaves off their branches, set aside. Cover the steaks in olive oil and salt/pepper. Set your smoker to 225° F – smoke until the internal temperature reaches 110°F. Remove from smoker, heat your grill up to high, place steaks on grill – 3 minutes on 1 side, flip & cover the seared side with the garlic/thyme mix while the steak sears for another 3 min. So, 3 minutes on each side. Pull off grill, cover with shaved parmesan and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with favorite sides.
How did you prepare for your newborn lifestyle session?
My SIL helped us clean up a bit and our newborn slept in that morning (that was sheer luck!)
How did you decide what to wear for your in home lifestyle session?
My number one priority was to feel like myself and be comfortable! I picked items that were loose and flattered my new mommy body.
What is your favorite portrait from your lifestyle session? Explain why it’s your favorite.
The one of our two dogs on the bed with the 3 of us. It’s perfect because that’s what our Saturday mornings look like. It’s a beautiful memory.
How did you decide to schedule a newborn lifestyle session with Laura Mares Photography?
I found her on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her style! I really love her ability to capture emotions in a candid shot and I really liked her editing techniques. I’d describe her photography as intimate and her editing a bit moody but in the most wonderful kind of way. We really loved working with Laura!!!