Spring Mini Session with MeganBreeden Photography

Spring Mini Session with MeganBreeden Photography

Spring Mini Photo Session

With MeganBreeden Photography

Last month, Emmett and I met with Megan of MeganBreeden Photography for a Spring Mini Photo Session. The sitting doubled as his “6-year-old” photos since we hadn’t gotten around to them yet. I love working with Megan. She is great with kids, goes with the flow, and makes the time a lot of fun. As always, the photos turned out fantastic. Naturally, I want to share some of my favorites with all of you.

Six Years Old

Growing Up So Fast | by MeganBreeden Photography

Black & White Classic Photos

Megan is great at editing photos to add extra expression and feeling. I love how timeless black and white photos are. The absence of color creates room to focus on the moment, expression, and meaning of an image. In these photos, it doesn’t matter what color his shirt or the wildflowers were.

Sepia Heritage Photos

Sepia photos are a lot like black and white photos. They have a monochrome color set making them classic and timeless. However I think the feeling is different. With sepia photos I think of “heritage”, “roots”, and “vintage”. When my son is older, and we look back at the photos, it will add to the sentimentality of his younger years.

Mother & Son Moments

Megan also gave us the chance to have some mommy & me pictures. As a mother, it don’t get in many photos since I am usually the one behind the camera. On rare occasions I am in photos with Emmett, I really treasure them. It makes me feel present when I look back through albums. If you’re planning a photo session for your little ones, don’t forget to get a few with you. Your bond is special, and an important part of your child’s life; it should be captured in a photo or three.


Get a Photo Session with Megan

You should send Megan a message or give her a call if you live in the area in and surrounding Orange, Virginia. Her Facebook page is here: facebook.com/pg/meganbreedenphotography. On Instagram, her handle is @MeganBreedenPhotography.

Pocket Sale!

Good Evening Explorers! Over the years, I have been working to make Pinecone Grove products as earth friendly as possible. My nature inspired Pocket FieldCards™ have always been printed on 100% recycled paper produced by wind-power. This year, I have decided to make this tool even more earth friendly. On that note, I am happy to announce I will be launching Digital Nature Tools for Little Explorers! Now you’ll be able to download your products straight to your computer, tablet, or smart phone, paper-free. I still have some FieldCards™ in stock that are ready to ship. Pinecone Grove’s Pocket Sale includes shipping, so the price you see is the price you get. Below are the FieldCards™ and Collectable Cards currently available for the sale. No Coupon Necessary.


Pine Tree Lifecycle Pocket FieldCards™

3 Sets Available

Pine Tree Lifecycle FieldCards™
“Does your little explorer collect pinecones? If so, have they ever wondered how Pine Trees grow from the cones? This set illustrates the life cycle of pines. While hiking or exploring the forest, young explorers can identify local trees using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards describe each stage of the lifecycle. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pocket FieldCards™

2 Sets Available

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Pocket FieldCards™

“Has your little explorer seen any yellow or blue butterflies? They may be a butterfly known as the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. While hiking or exploring the garden, young explorers can identify local butterflies using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards depict the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly’s life cycle. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”


Northern Cardinal Pocket FieldCards™

1 Set Available

Northern Cardinal FieldCards™

“Has your little explorer noticed red birds with black masks flying across the backyard? Say hello to the territorial songbird called a Northern Cardinal. While bird watching from the porch or on the trail, young explorers can identify local birds using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards illustrate the areas where the Northern Cardinal is the State Bird. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”


Spring is in the Air: Cetch Collectable Card

23 Cards Available

Spring is in the Air: Cetch Cottontail Collectable Card

Cetch is a field cartographer for the expedition team, he reads and draws maps during treks so the team never gets lost. In the spring, he likes to bring along a handkerchief to thwart pesky pollen. This limited edition collectable card was designed to celebrate this little bunny’s birthday. On the front of the card is an original watercolor illustration of my Pinecone Grove character. On the back is Cetch’s scientific species name, occupation on our expedition team, and a short bio.

Shop the Pocket Sale Now!

Enter the Lu & Ed Giveaway

If you’ve been following The Pinecone Grove, you’ve probably noticed I’m a big fan of Cody and her brand Lu & Ed. That’s because Cody is awesome! She is an inspiration to small business owners – like me. She makes absolutely adorable monster storage solutions for kids. Bonus: Cody loves the earth too! You can glimpse her green lifestyle in the way she makes and packages her products. So I am thrilled to announce, I am participating in her 7 Year Envyversary Celebration and Giveaway!

Lu & Ed’s Envyversary Celebration

“Hip pip hooray! Today marks 7 YEARS since I launched my Storenvy shop. Whoa. I can’t believe how far my little monster shop has come in 7 years. I can’t believe how much Storenvy has evolved in 7 years! When I joined, there was barely 500 stores on the platform, and now there’s hundreds of thousands of Storenvy sellers!
“Sidenote: This will be one of the LAST giveaways I host this year, so if you want a chance to get your hands on some free Lu & Ed monster merch, make sure to enter and come back daily to earn your daily entries every day this week, too!” – Cody at Lu & Ed

Pinecone Grove’s Prize

Pinecone Grove is giving away 1 set of Northern Cardinal Activity Cards. This set of pocket sized cards is great for hikes, bird watching, garden studies, or just when you want to have natural science lessons outdoors. You can see the full giveaway prize line-up on the Lu & Ed Blog.

Click Here to Enter the
Lu & Ed Giveaway Here

Last Chance for Mini Magazine Submissions

I’ve extended the Spring 2017 Mini Magazine Submission! I’ll be going out of town for the coming week and wanted to give everyone a little extra time to send in their articles, photographs, and artwork. All submissions and ad requests are now due on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017. Follow the guidelines below. Then submit your writing and artwork to ashley@thepineconegrove.com.

All Submissions

All submissions must include your name, age, and state/country. Writing, illustrations, and photography must be appropriate for children 12 years of age and younger. Writers, illustrators, and photographers under the age of 18 must have guardian permission to submit their creations.

Current Themes & Topics

These themes are in no particular order and are not required for your submissions.

Bees
Binomial Nomenclature
Flowers
Pollen Upsides and Downsides
Outdoor Gear in the Spring

Submissions We Accept

All written submissions must be at least 100 words (with the exception of poems) and no more than 1,000 words.

  • Fiction Short Stories – write a story about the life of a woodpecker or the journey of a raindrop.
  • Nonfiction Articles – may include photographs with article
  • Expedition Articles – recount your latest mountain hike, canoeing excursion, or visit to a State Park.
  • Nature Science Articles – report wildlife species finds in your backyard, your successful wildlife habitat project, or results from your rock crystal experiment.
  • How-To Articles – instruct us on how to make a bird feeder, bat house, cartography kit, and other fun nature things!
  • Reviews – did you get a new pair of hiking boots or a field guide? Write a review about it. Reviews should include the product and brand, where you got it (gift, Target, etcetera,) your experience in using that product, and a rating: 1 being the worst, 5 being the best.
  • Poems – construct a nature inspired poem with us that is at least 10 words in length
  • Illustrations and Photography – your wildlife inspired art and photographs can be digitally created or handmade, scanned, and emailed to us. We do not accept mailed submissions at this time.

Important Notes for Submissions

  1. The Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter only accepts writings, pictures, art, etcetera appropriate for children 12 years of age and younger.
  2. Written submissions should be in .doc or .rtf attachments or plain text within your email.
  3. Multiple submissions are allowed.
  4. Submissions must be entirely original work of the person submitting it and not previously published.
  5. We accept group submissions from homeschoolers, teachers, clubs, etc…

Send To

Please email your submissions to ashley@thepineconegrove.com. Include your name, age, and state (or country, if you live outside the United States,) with your submission.

Acceptance

If your creation is accepted for publication in the Pinecone Grove mini-magazine, please allow us two weeks to respond. We only respond to pieces that have been accepted. If you do not hear from us, don’t give up! Take a look at our upcoming themes and work on something new, or try sending your submissions to other children’s magazines as well.

Advertisement Space

& Sponsored Pages

Earth conscious and kid-friendly brands are invited to sponsor a page or submit an AD in the Pinecone Grove mini-magazine for kids. Send inquiries to ashley@thepineconegrove.com.

1/2 Page Advertisement $0.50
1 Page Advertisement $1
2 Page Spread Advertisement $2
“This page is sponsored by…” $Donation

Having trouble with the email link? Message Ashley Here.

Brand Discovery: The Edible Museum

I Found A Shop,

And They Have Chocolate Frogs!

These Chocolates Look Like Frogs Rather Than Jump Like Them.

Milk Chocolate Natterjack Toad by The Edible Museum
Milk Chocolate Natterjack Toad by The Edible Museum

While browsing around the internet I came across a brand that looks awesome! It’s called The Edible Museum! No, I haven’t tasted their chocolate, I don’t even know where they ship from, but I had to share it. Their product photos are spectacular and so unique.

Update!

Sarah from The Edible Museum stopped by the blog and shared that The Edible Museum is “based in the Essex countryside in the UK and ship worldwide. Although we do try to avoid places in heatwaves for obvious reasons!” (post updated 13 of March 2017)

Hand Painted White Chocolate Starfish by The Edible Museum
Chocolate T-Rex Tooth by The Edible Museum
Chocolate Fossil Collectors Bob by The Edible Museum

Have you ever heard of The Edible Museum? Tried their chocolate? Share all you know in the comments! If you’re like me and have not heard of them, you can visit their website and Instagram with the following links:

http://www.ediblemuseum.com/

https://www.instagram.com/theediblemuseum/

3 Reasons Your Homeschool Should Have a Name

What School Do You Go To?

Uhh… My House. Outside. The World.

Some states require a homeschool to have a name. Virginia is not one of them. However, Wednesday my son had a writing activity that asked questions about the school he goes to. Since he does not go to school, he got the chance to name his homeschool and pick a mascot. While he worked on his lessons, I designed an identity to go with his new idea. He chose Aero Academy for the name, a rocket for the logo, an astronaut for the mascot, and his current favorite colors: green and orange. Below are 3 reasons you should name your homeschool too.

Our Homeschool Brand Identity

Reason № 1: Discounts

Discounts! Yes, Please!

Other than fun… what is the point? Since then I’ve been browsing around, curious about what other people name their homeschool and how they apply it. I mean, do people have homeschool sport and game co-ops where kids play for their homeschool team? Do they have uniforms and coffee mugs and bumper stickers… Then I found an article on Life of a Homeschool Mom that said “Some states require your homeschool to have a name and others do not. However there are benefits for naming your homeschool. Many companies offer discounts to homeschooler, but most will ask for the name of your school.– How to Name Your Homeschool

Reason № 2: School IDs

Have Proof and Claim Those Discounts

Naturally, I did some more research. You know how much I love to research! It wasn’t long before I came across another article. The Benefits of a Homeschool ID Card for Parents and Students on Mommy Maestra which also had a link to The Complete List of 82 Teacher Discounts! How fantastic is that?!

Our Homeschool Student and Teacher IDs

For home educators, homeschool IDs are great for getting discounts at museums, workshops, classes, and local stores. And in rare circumstances: “If you are ever questioned by a law enforcement officer as to why your child is not in school, you can prove that you are a homeschooling family. (This is really not likely, but it depends on your state and how serious officers are about such a policy.)” – The Benefits of a Homeschool ID Card for Parents and Students.

For your students, having an ID is also great for getting student discounts. Is your child getting ready to take a standardized test or the SAT? Having a photo ID is often required. Bonus they can keep their student ID in memory boxes to look back on.

You can print a free ID card or have one printed on a PVC card at the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. If your student wants to do a design project or you are feeling creative, you can also design and print your own.

Reason № 3: Yearbooks

One of My Favorite Reasons

As homeschoolers we have tons of those candid photo opportunities to document life in homeschool. So why not turn all those awesome photos, projects, and memories into a yearbook? You can use your new school name and colors to inspire your yearbook covers, decorate your pages, and add a motto or alma matter. The options are limitless.

Our Chatbooks Homeschool Yearbook Cover

Places to print your yearbook:

Chatbooks – If your wanting a small photo book to use as a year book, Chatbooks is a great choice. You can easily sync up photos from your phone, Facebook, or Instagram. They offer softcover and hardcover options.

Picaboo Yearbooks – Want a nice full size yearbook without having to buy 10 or more? Picaboo has kept us homeschoolers in mind. Their homeschool yearbook pages features: easy-to-use design tools, no minimum orders, 3-week turnaround time, plus free tools and support. I have not ordered from here yet but I am going to give this place a try near the end of our year. I’ll be sure to post a review then.


 Customize Your Homeschool with The Pinecone Grove

Custom Homeschool Logo by The Pinecone Grove

Spring 2017 Mini Magazine Open Submissions

Open Submissions for Our Spring 2017 Mini Magazine

Current Deadline: February 18, 2017

Share Your Kid Friendly Expeditions With Our Mini Magazine

Does your child want to be a writer, illustrator, or photographer? Then they should be published in a children’s magazine! Writers and artists of ALL AGES (guardians too) can be featured in Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter’s Mini Magazine Spring 2017 Edition. The publication is a kid-friendly 4×6 inch mini-magazine. You can see our first magazine here. If your submission is accepted, you will receive a free copy of the mini-magazine*. Follow the guidelines below. Then submit your writing and artwork to ashley@thepineconegrove.com.

 


All Submissions

Include your name, age, and state/country when you send in your writings and illustrations. The Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter only accepts kid-friendly, age-appropriate original creative works. Writing, illustrations, and photography must be appropriate for children 12 years of age and younger. Writers, illustrators, and photographers under the age of 18 must have guardian permission to submit their creations.


Current Themes & Topics

These themes are in no particular order and are not required for your submissions.

  • Bees
  • Binomial Nomenclature
  • Flowers
  • Pollen Upsides and Downsides
  • Outdoor Gear in the Spring

Submissions We Accept

All written submissions must be at least 100 words (with the exception of poems) and no more than 1,000 words. 

  • Fiction Short Stories – write a story about the life of a woodpecker or the journey of a raindrop.
  • Nonfiction Articles – may include photographs with article
    • Expedition Articles – recount your latest mountain hike, canoeing excursion, or visit to a State Park.
    • Nature Science Articles – report wildlife species finds in your backyard, your successful wildlife habitat project, or results from your rock crystal experiment.
    • How-To Articles – instruct us on how to make a bird feeder, bat house, cartography kit, and other fun nature things!
  • Reviews – did you get a new pair of hiking boots or a field guide? Write a review about it. Reviews should include the product and brand, where you got it (gift, Target, etcetera,) your experience in using that product, and a rating: 1 being the worst, 5 being the best.
  • Poems – construct a nature inspired poem with us that is at least 10 words in length
  • Illustrations and Photography – your wildlife inspired art and photographs can be digitally created or handmade, scanned, and emailed to us. We do not accept mailed submissions at this time.

 


Important Notes for Submissions

  • The Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter only accepts writings, pictures, art, etcetera appropriate for children 12 years of age and younger.
  • Written submissions should be in .doc or .rtf attachments or plain text within your email.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed.
  • Submissions must be entirely original work of the person submitting it and not previously published.
  • We accept group submissions from homeschoolers, teachers, clubs, etc…

 


Send To

Please email your submissions to ashley@thepineconegrove.com. Include your name, age, and state (or country, if you live outside the United States,) with your submission.


Acceptance

If your creation is accepted for publication in the Pinecone Grove mini-magazine, please allow us two weeks to respond. We only respond to pieces that have been accepted. If you do not hear from us, don’t give up! Take a look at our upcoming themes and work on something new, or try sending your submissions to other children’s magazines as well.


Advertisement Space

& Sponsored Pages

Earth conscious and kid-friendly brands are invited to sponsor a page or submit an AD in the Pinecone Grove mini-magazine for kids. Send inquiries to ashley@thepineconegrove.com.

  • 1/2 Page Advertisement $0.50
  • 1 Page Advertisement $1
  • 2 Page Spread Advertisement $2
  • “This page is sponsored by…” $Donation

Having trouble with the email link? Message Ashley Here.

3 Earth Friendly Holiday Ideas

3-lake-boys-by-eyeimage

3 Ideas You Can Take From Pinecone Grove

1. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The largest concern when it comes to mailing gifts is the impact on our environment. All Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter orders are shipped in packaging that is biodegradable or has been repurposed. This reduces landfill waste, energy consumption, and pollution.

How To Use This Idea: Turn all your cardboard food boxes (cereal boxes for example) inside out and reuse them as shipping boxes or decorate them for gifting in person.

2. A Thoughtful Gift.

Small letter sized orders from Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter are gifted with handmade Artist Trading Cards for you to enjoy. I make these in batches throughout the year. Parcel orders that are shipped domestically in the U.S. receive curated Eco Gift Bags filled with earth friendly items from other brands I think you’ll like.

How To Use This Idea: Make your own miniature art cards from and old card deck to send with your holiday cards or collect samples from some of your favorite earth conscious brands to fill stockings and gift boxes.

3. Protecting Wildlife.

For every Pinecone Grove Expedition Outfitter order, $2.50 goes toward a nature fund with the mission of preserving wildlife. After 10 orders I donate $50 to our chosen nature fund.

How To Use This Idea: Do you get a lot of holiday cards? Choose to set aside a certain amount per card you receive and donate it to your favorite wildlife or local animal shelter for the holidays.


Have some holiday ideas you’d like to share? Post them in the comments.

Join My Team

watercolor-paper-by-pexels

There is plenty of room on my team. The more the merrier as they say. I am looking for team members to help with my shop and products. Do you love fact checking or researching? Apply to be a Pinecone Grove animal or plant specialist. Are you a graphic designer? Then maybe you’d like to be the new map maker. Are you amazing at sewing and embroidering? Because I would love to add earth-friendly field bags and custom made patches to the product line. Have a knack for taking staged photos? Nature inspired product photos would make a great addition to Pinecone Grove’s online shop.


Team Posts

Map Designer

Digitally design maps realistic or imaginary that inspire kids to go out and explore. Your designs would be used on posters, apparel, and if you’re up for it, a limited edition cartography FieldCard™ set.

Animal Researcher

Research and fact check about animal species that live in the world. Your results would be used on our FieldCard™products as lesson tools for kids 3 years and older.

Plant Researcher

Research and fact check about plant species that live in the world. Your results would be used on our FieldCard™products as lesson tools for kids 3 years and older.

Expedition Gear Designer

Collect fabric that is either recycled or made of a renewable resource – like bamboo – and make custom durable field bags and apparel to add to our product line.

Patch Maker

Produce fully embroidered custom iron-on patches for little explorers to collect, add to their field bags, or a jacket. We are looking for designs that encompass exploration, education, and preservation.

Product Photographer

Receive samples of our products to stage and photograph in a naturally inspired way. Your photos will be used in our online store, on our blog, and social media.


To join the team…

Email me at ashley@thepineconegrove.com with the following information:

  • Your Name.
  • The post you are applying for.
  • Why you would make a good addition to the team.
  • What you hope to get from collaborating with me.
  • Link with an example of your work (this can be your website, Instagram, etcetera).

Or Fill Out This Form

Thank you for your interest in joining the team. I look forward to collaborating with you!