Ashley’s Story

Ashley is not pregnant yet.Wild chamomile. White flowers. Selective focus. Bokeh

This is my first update on Ashley and her prenatal journey.  I will keep it brief.  Basically, she has started to implement my recommendations based on her initial assessment.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

If you have been following Ashley’s story, you will know that she has PCOS.  CLICK HERE for Ashley’s introductory blog.  So far there have been no significant changes.  It’s important to note that it will take time to notice any improvements in her health from diet and lifestyle choices she makes.  I don’t expect her to make big progress right away.  This could take months.  I know it’s not easy to wait when you are trying to get pregnant.  Ashley needs to be consistent with the recommendations I gave to her.  It takes time, but small changes will have a big impact over time.

Right now Ashley’s focus is on going back to work from her maternity leave.  This is not an easy transition for any mom.  What’s important now is that she is happy and comfortable with her daughter’s care-giver.  Reducing stress is also important and she can do this with yoga, meditation, or just finding time to focus on herself.  In reality, I know this is difficult because she will want to spend every available moment with her daughter.  Cuddle time is also a big priority right now!

I will be posting monthly updates on Ashley here on this blog.

If you would like to be notified when I post my next update on Ashley, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”







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Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad

I love chickpeas!  Otherwise known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas contain fiber, protein, iron and magnesium, to name just a few beneficial nutrients.  The kale in this recipe is a nutrient superstar, as with most leafy green vegetables.  Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this recipe is a perfect addition to any meal.

Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad

Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad

3 cups pre-cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)  or 2 398 ml cans (rinse well)

2 tbsp. butter (melted)

1 tbsp. dried parsley

1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1/2 tbsp. sea salt

1 bunch kale (about four cups, finely chopped)

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)

1 tbsp. honey, liquid or melted

1 tsp. ground mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.


Place chickpeas in a bowl and add butter, parsley, salt and chili powder.  Mix and pour into a baking sheet.  Roast chickpeas for 25 minutes.  Set aside to cool.


Wash and finely chop kale (removing stems) and place into a separate bowl.  Add halved tomatoes and mix.


Crush/mince garlic and place in a small bowl.  Add honey, ground mustard and apple cider vinegar.  Whisk and pour into kale and tomatoes.


Add chickpeas and mix well.





Interview with a Maternity and Baby Photographer

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about a fellow business owner.  My first interview blog was way back in May of 2013 when I interviewed Margaret Holman, doula.

This time I am sharing an interview with Catherine Bowser, photographer.  Who doesn’t love looking at beautiful photographs?  Especially when those are perfectly round pregnant bellies or brand new babies?  I highly recommend hiring a professional photographer to document this important time in your life.  Just look at these two beauties and I’m sure you will agree.

Bowser Photo 2Bowser Photo 3


Q.  What differs you from other photographers?


A.  I specialize in maternity, working with newborns and into the baby stage.  Stages instead of ages.  The stages are more important.  I show the beauty of the woman, letting her see herself as beautiful and showing how special those moments are.  I offer print rather than digital.  I will offer a digital file if you purchase a print as a package.  But my main purpose is to sell the print  for a wall because it’s emotional real estate.  What you are getting is the emotion in the artwork.


Q.  Do you feel that when clients order digital photo’s that they end up not getting printed?


A.  Yes, most people don’t print.  Or they never look at them again or lose them.


Q.  To clarify, receiving a digital copy is something you offer for free, as long as your client buys the print?


A.  If you buy a large print you do get the digital file for that print or you can purchase a package of digital prints, like ten.  It is a higher price item, if you buy a package of large digital prints.


Q.  On average, do your clients choose one photo and have that photo printed or do they get more?  How do you choose just one when there is a dozen or 20 awesome pictures?


A.  The first thing I do is a consultation with my client.  I interview them.  We discuss the colors of their house and where they plan on hanging their photo’s.  This way I am customizing the entire session to them, their house, to where their prints are going to be.  I find out at that time what they are going to be interested in purchasing.  Like if they are going to be purchasing an album at that time or not.  My session has to be geared toward what they’re going to be purchasing.  If they are going to be building an album there are certain shots I have to get.Bowser Photo 5


Q.  Ok, so you will print multiple prints from one session?


A.  Yes, and then we do the session.  I present them with 5 X 7 prints that they review.  They can purchase at that time those 5 X 7 prints as well.  They can purchase them matted.  They can buy a box of 20 or they can buy the individual 5 X 7 at that time.  Or they can buy an enlargement or whatever they want.


Q.  For the benefit of anybody reading this right now what is your average price range?


A.  5 X 7 prints are $20.  Anything higher than that, like canvases, can go up to $300.  That’s a 30 X 40 huge print.


Q.  You mentioned matted prints earlier.  Do you do this yourself?


A.  I go through Sienna Gallery (in Rockland) for the mat and framing.


Q.  You must charge that to your clients in addition to the cost of the printing.


A.  A 5 x 7 print including mat is $25.


Q.  How often do you plan sessions with your clients?  Do they normally book the stages package and how do you plan that? 


A.  I just started offering stages.  Basically you call me to book your maternity session.  If you want to do the newborn session you have to book it right away as well.  We don’t know when the baby will be born but I leave my schedule open and we leave the stages open as well for when they hit those milestones.

Bowser Photo 1

Q.  Is there a cost advantage for your clients to book the stages in advance as opposed to contacting you for a one-time session?


A.  Yes, If you book two sessions (maternity and newborn for example) you get $50 off.   If you book three sessions you get $100 off  and if you book four you get $150 off.



CLICK HERE for a complete list of packages and fees.


Q.  What if they book in advance and then that day their baby is not cooperating?  Have you ever had that happen?


A.  Yes, I had one baby that came in – I’ve had several babies that have come in – didn’t cooperate so we re-book.  I had one baby re-book several times.


Q.  So you are accommodating to your clients needs?


A.  Absolutely.  To me it’s more important to get those images.


Q.  What does your training entail?


A.  My training started off by learning from my dad.  He learned from his dad and his uncle.


Q.  So you come from a long line of photographers?


A.  Yes, so I started off learning on film and then in high school because we had a graphic arts course.   My dad also started developing our own film onto slides because I went through too much film.  And so I learned the developing process at home as well as at school.


Q.  Do you know how to make pictures in a black room?


A.  Dark room.  I learned how to create slides at home.  And then I learned how to actually create print in a dark room at school.


Q.  So, you can do that, but you don’t.  Because you don’t have a dark room in your house?


A.  Right.


Q.  Is that something that you would like to have?


A.  I would love to have it, but to tell you the truth there is no point.  Not when you have a digital camera.  If I had a film camera yes, you need that.  But with a digital camera you don’t need that.


Q.  The pictures that you take are digital, and they get processed at a digital printing place?


A.  Yes, they get printed through a lab.  I do all the touch-up, artwork, and everything else.

Bowser Photo 4

Q.  You started your training obviously when you were a child.  You learned from your dad.  When did you really get into it?


A.  I’ve always had a camera.


Q.  Basically you’ve been training your whole life, you could say?


A.  Yeah, and I sort of took a hiatas.  My life went a different direction for a long time.


Q.  You specialize in maternity, newborn, and baby stages.  Do you do anything else?


A.  I include family groupings and also ‘one year after’ for mom.


Q.  ‘One year after’ for mom, how does that work?


A.  It’s a two hour session.  Mom comes in, we do her hair and make up.


Q.  Oh, this would be one year after having a baby?


A.  Yeah.


Q.  So, one year after to celebrate mom being a woman.  Is this a boudoir-type photo session?


A.  Yes, you are a mom, but remember you are also a woman.  It’s that reminder, yes I am still a woman.  Don’t forget that.  Don’t get so wrapped up in that role of mom.   It’s to feel more than a mom.


Q.  Would you share any challenging or interesting photo sessions that you’ve had?


A.  Once there was a baby with three sessions.  We couldn’t put him down.  If we put him down he’d start crying every single time.  There was no getting any sleepy shots because he’d wake up and start crying the minute we put him down.  So the only time we got some shots was over the shoulder.


Q.  The baby came in three times, did you charge these clients for each time?


A.  Oh no, I charged them for one session.


Q.  Because like we said earlier, you are accommodating to your clients?


A.  Yes.


Q.  Have you got any surprise action shots, like when the baby pees on mom or dad?


A.  Not yet.  I’m waiting for it.  I’m usually fairly cautious with that, telling the parents to cover it.  “Here’s a towel”.  (laughs)  The other thing is all my props get washed before-hand.  My clients select which ones we are going to use, and then the ones that get used we wash them again.


Q.  I imagine cleanliness would have to be important, especially with newborns because they have a weaker immune system.


A.  Yeah, everything is washed.


Q.  Ok, last question.  Why do you do what you do?


A.  Being pregnant was the most amazing experience that I ever had in my life.  Being able to photograph that and to pass those memories on to those women and those families, that they can see those memories for the rest of their life is just so precious.  I just want them to be able to hold on to those memories forever.  I love photographing pregnant women.  I look at all my photographs I’ve taken of beautiful, pregnant women and they are the most beautiful photos I have ever taken in my life.  I’ve taken lots of beautiful landscapes and everything else.  I still love the newborns.  Newborns are precious.  A pregnant woman is beautiful and a baby is adorable.


‘LIKE’ Catherine Bowser’s Facebook page HERE!

Bowser Photo 6

Catherine Bowser is located in Clarence Creek, Ontario.  For more information on her services please visit her website at  Tell her Nature Prenatal sent you and receive a 10% discount!