Mother’s Day Gift Guide for a Sun Prairie Mom

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for a Sun Prairie Mom

It seems like every year Mother’s Day sneaks up on us, especially for husbands and children. We get so excited for the spring weather that April flies by and “surprise!”…. Mother’s Day is here and you find yourself with no gift. Forget about it being thoughtful, at that point you are in survival mode and go for the nearest thing you can find (and if you are in my house, this means the Amazon Wish List).

Spoil the women in your life with a thoughtful gift while supporting small businesses in Sun Prairie. Planning ahead is nice but not always realistic. Since everything listed is in Sun Prairie, I promise all of these gift ideas will beat your 2-day Amazon Prime package arrival.

This list is a combination of gifts you can wrap and give her on Mother’s Day, eat/drink together, and/or enjoy at a later date with a gift certificate. Pick one. Select a couple. Or go all in with the full list (we all know she deserves it). Whatever you choose, it’s sure to put a smile on her face and make her feel extra loved this year.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for a Sun Prairie Mom*

  1. Caffeine: Start her day with a coffee and tasty scone from Beans N Cream. Bonus points: Give her a beautiful handmade mug by Finished by Fire.
  2. Relaxation: Massage gift certificate from Magical Therapies. (Packages available if you want to treat her all year long!)
  3. Wellness: Packages from Haumea and/or Running Diva Mom
  4. Food: Surprise her with a restaurant she’s never been to before in Sun Prairie so she can try something new. Grab delicious tacos for lunch at Abarrotes El Primo or Guimo’s. Then take it slower and dine in at Meze or Salvatore’s for dinner.
  5. Drinks: Take her out for a glass of wine at Cannery Wine Bar and Tasting Room and/or a locally brewed beer at Right Bauer. (Both places offer items to go too!)

Bonus Gift: Memories
Gift her a photography session so she can remember this moment for a lifetime. If she’s pregnant, go with a maternity and/or newborn session at Rachel Manzke Photography. Little baby at home? She would love a milestone session with Heather Beach Photography! And of course every woman wants full family pictures with her family. No matter the age of her “babies” be it 2 or 22, Kayla E. Photography has you covered.

* This gift guide can be used to show appreciation to any woman in your life be it your mom, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, BFF, neighbor, or a colleague. And there is no need to wait for Mother’s Day. Shopping local provides thoughtful and unique gifts for special occasions including birthdays, Christmas, baby showers, anniversaries, end of the year gifts for teachers, or any day that ends in Y.

Sun Prairie Business Details:

Beans N Cream
Coffeehouse that serves locally sourced coffee and cafe fare.
1120 West Main St, Suite 2101, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Finished by Fire
Handmade pottery and ceramics by local artist Sheila Halberg

Magical Therapies
Owned and operated by Melissa Lombardi, a State of Wisconsin Licensed Massage Therapist. She specializes in Medical Massage, Deep-Tissue Massage, and Neuromuscular Massage.
748 Lois Dr, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Offers a holistic blend of community, education, health, and wellness, including: yoga, barre, strength classes, new mama and breastfeeding support groups, prenatal/postnatal education events, massage and acupuncture options.
908 Windsor Street, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Running Diva Mom
Jamie Adcock is a certified running coach and ACE certified personal trainer with a boutique fitness studio. She offers running groups and personal training for women, weight loss accountability groups, and fitness camps for kids.
1280 W Main St Suite 122, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Abarrotes El Primo
Mexican restaurant
105 E Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Mexican restaurant
126 N Bristol St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant
503 W Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Salvatore’s Tomato Pies 
One of Dane county’s leading farm to table restaurants with sustainable seafood, handmade pastas and more.
121 E Main Street, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Cannery Wine Bar and Tasting Room
Intimate charming wine bar and tasting room featuring 100 whiskeys, global wines, craft beer and other sought-after liquors.
212 E Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Right Bauer
Neighborhood brewpub and BBQ joint in downtown Sun Prairie
239 E Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Heather Beach Photography
Newborn, baby and family photographer
Arrowhead Cir., Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Kayla E. Photography
Newborn, baby and family photographer
200 E Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Rachel Manzke Photography
Newborn, baby and family photographer
215 E Main St. Suite 101, Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Golden Hour vs. Mid-Day Session Time Comparison

Whenever possible, I recommend to my clients that they schedule their session during golden hour. Golden hour 1-2 hours before sunset, when the sunlight is soft and warm. Harsh shadows are no longer a concern and the subjects in the photos are able to be backlit which separates them from the background.

I did the follow sessions in the same exact location, just hours apart. The photos on the left were taken at 10:30 a.m.  The sun was fully out (not a cloud in the sky). The photos on the right were taken at 4:30 p.m. on an October day in Wisconsin when sunset is 6 p.m.

You can see why 1-2 hours before sunset called “golden hour.” The light during that time of day make things pop and glow.

Scheduling a session 60-90 minutes before sunset isn’t always ideal for families, especially families with small children. During the summer months this might mean a session doesn’t start till after their regularly scheduled bedtime. I’m a mom of three….I get it. Naptime and bedtime are two things you usually don’t want to mess with. (Keyword is usually.) I encourage you to adjust your schedule for one day and give golden hour a chance for your session time. My sessions are made to be high energy and fun. We play games, sing songs and be goofy for the 30-60 minutes to get them through any grumps they may have and you’ll love the outcome of the photos.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the way both of these sessions turned out. The connection with the family members is more important than lighting, but for me, lighting is a close second. It’s just not possible to get the photos on the right mid-day…even if it’s overcast.

One key thing about golden hour is the sun has to be out for it to count. An overcast day will result in a different feel to the photos. And within 2 hours of sunrise also count as “golden hour” and are also beautiful times to do sessions as well. I think the earliest I met a family was at 6:15 a.m. and everyone survived…even the husband 🙂



Print Lab Comparison: Professional vs. Fast & Local Labs

One question I get all the time is “Where should I print my digital photo?”

Not all labs are created equal. As the saying goes “You get what you pay for.”

print lab comparison - total picturesIn early 2016 I started to offer the option for my clients to order prints directly from their online gallery. With this setup, there were several professional labs to choose from and I had to select one.

I wanted to make sure my clients received quality prints if they decided to order through me so I went ahead and ordered the same print from every company in multiple finishes. Since my sessions include high resolution photos that my clients can opt to print themselves, I also included local labs where they would typical order prints to have a full comparison. Read more