Sarah’s Favorite Things : Top 3 Pointless Podcasts

Welcome to a new series for the SJP blog. SFT (Sarah’s Favorite Things!)… and as a self-proclaimed podcast junkie I’m starting the series with my top three favorite ‘pointless’ podcasts.

What’s a pointless podcast you might ask? Well, there is a LOT of content out there to read, watch or listen to.The world is literally at your fingertips. Want to learn about things happening all over the planet… click click boom. Want to be more productive, a better parent, wife or business owner… click click boom.

But what about when you just want to not. To not learn, grow, focus? But also not sit in the silence… well that is when the pointless podcast comes to the rescue.

ONE – Pick number one is the insanely popular Armchair Expert by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. Ryan and I have been avid Armchair listeners since day one and have never missed an episode. We even took a nice little day date trip when the podcast toured and came to Chicago.

This podcast is SUCH an easy listen!! The interesting guests include everyone from Bill Gates to Malcolm Gladwell and all the movie stars you can think up! But the real relatable conversations about real everyday situations/emotions/experiences and the deep dives into ‘expert’ subjects (and the new ‘conspiracy’ spin offs) are just the cherry on top.

And my favorite part has been that Ryan and I BOTH enjoy it so while we occasionally do have the chance to catch an episode together (usually on a road trip) we usually listen separately and then have ‘talking points’ to chat about later. Sounds crazy but OMG having something other than the kids or the logistics of our lives to talk about has been seriously amazing.


TWO – Pick number two is another HUGE podcast that I actually was not in on early but had the pleasure to binge binge binge when covid hit and I was alone with my thoughts (and work) for oh so many hours at the studio… My Favorite Murder.

The success of shows like Criminal Minds & CSI certainly can comfort all us ‘murderenos’ that it’s not so macabre to be listening/watching horrific murder stories all day long…. I mean, clearly we’re all doing it. But the icing on the cake with this podcast is not the telling of the murder stories but the down to earth chuckle-worthy duo telling the tales.

If you fall in love with this podcast too you’ll probably want to snag their book Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered.

Be warned the constant murdery subject matter may lead to random kitchen conversations with your husband including 1) how exactly you’d each murder each other 2) if your husband would try to cover up or tell the truth if he ACCIDENTALLY murdered you and 3) what kind of sentence you think he’d get if it really was an accident. #realtalkswithmyhusband


THREE – Ok, pick three is a littler harder. There are a LOT of podcasts in my Overcast subscribed lineup (see below). But to stay true to my most listened to line up I had to choose Science Rules by Bill Nye (that’s right guys, Bill Nye is back/here/never left).

Now, be warned you will probably learn something on this one so it’s not quite 100% mindless but with topics ranging from global warming (heavy) to neanderthal sex (hmm) and UFO sitings there’s something interesting around every corner. And it’s got all the flare (and corney sound effects) you’d expect from the scientist we’ve all loved since childhood – and in all honestly I was just pretty thrilled he was still around and still teaching #keeponkeepingonbill.


A few others in my rolodex include(d): Seral, Dr. Death, The Happiness Lab, Smartless, TED (radio hour & talks daily), The Three Questions with Andy Richter, Where Should we Begin with Esther Perel, I Survived, Nurture vs Nurture with Dr Wendy Mogel, In Bed with Nick and Megan.

With about a BILLION podcasts out there, I’m always looking for ones I’ve missed so drop a comment or DM to tell me what you love most and what I might be missing!

Maternity & Newborn Portrait Sessions in Central Illinois

Our last blog post took a look at the very end of our Baby Grows Portrait Plan. Today, we get to take a look at the very beginnings with two families! This beautiful family had one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever photographed (and I mean the could all be super models!) so I was so thrilled when Britnie got in touch and let me know they were expected to welcome the newest member to the family in June and they wanted me to create the portraits to celebrate. This little lady is expected to arrive in just a few days and I cannot wait to meet her soon.

Remember Jase from the last blog post!?!? Well this is his beautiful new little sister, Stella! Not to brag, but I get to hang out with her through the next two years and I cannot wait to see her little personality blossom and grow. It’s so much fun to see these little lives begin. We created a canvas series like this for Jase’s newborn so, of course, we designed one with Stella to match!

The 2020 PreTeam Teen Models Brought their A Game!

Last year took a LOT from all of us, but after all the planning I’d done I did not want it to take away the launch of our PreTeam Teen Model Program…. so I didn’t. We launched. We invited. And we waited.

I was nervous that with all the chaos and shut downs and changes that it wasn’t the right time. But it turns out it was the perfect time. So much was taken from our kids in 2020 that we all needed to see them light up again (me just as much as them!). And light up they did, right in front of my lens again and again.

Today, I am going to share with you ALL of those stunning teens who joined our inaugural PreTeam.

First up, the class of 2023: Ava, Reese, MoJo, McKenzi & Mallory!

Class of 2024: Addison, Kyndall, Sarah, Olivia, Gracie & Haylei!

Class of 2025: Mackenzie, Savannah, Peyton, Chloe, Parker, Addison, Brooklyn, Peyton, Romeila, Ava, Kharma & Camryn!

And our newest additions to the team include Kate & Brooklynn! This year’s sessions are all about COLOR. We’ve got an array of new colored backdrops and have updated our studio flower wall. So stay tuned for a look at the latest PreTeam sessions as this years sessions are happening NOW.

If you are (or know) a teen in the class of 2023-2026 head HERE to learn more about joining our PreTeam Models for an annual headshot session plus invitation to an annual styled group session. (And yes, it’s really just $95 one-time enrollment for allll those sessions! #saywhat).

Baby Grows Newborn through Toddler Portrait Sessions

Nothing can pull at my heartstrings more than the final client pickup as a kiddo ‘graduates’ from their baby grows series. It feels like we’re taking them out of the precious little toddler bubble and sending them out into childhood to take on a bit more of the world and as we all know to keep on growing faster and faster.

The birth of my own little ladies led to a quick expansion of our ‘Baby Grows’ series because I realized that one year was not enough. SO much changes from 1-2 years old. They seem to become themselves in that time, morphing from a little squishy baby literally toddling through the world bouncing off one thing or another into a little person making choices and testing the limits of their world. They get taller, their little baby cheeks get a bit slimmer and their eyes get a whole lot ornerier (<<< spelled it right the first time, no lie).

This spring not only did I have TWO little boys finishing up their entire series but one of them has a new little sister who just started hers. These kids, and their families, are quite literally my own family’s roots in this community. We planted SJP here 10 years ago and ya’ll have helped grow this little dream into this career and I love you all for it. Keep bringing me these perfect little squishy babies to cuddle too because we are done done done making our own. 😉

Take a look at Jase! I’ve been photographing his family since his older brother Grant was born and I just got to do their largest family portrait yet when they welcomed his litter sister Stella to the family too! It’s been such a joy to watch this family grow. They make some seriously cute kids!

And Hudson…. well omg can I just tell you this kid makes me smile every single time. He’s been smiling from his very first session and I swear it just melts your dang soul! Plus, I’m totally in love with his love for his big sis, she’s got the magic touch and always the best assistant in getting the laughs on session.

And after hanging out with these kids for TWO years we even gift them something special for the wall so they never forget these tiny little moments/expressions.

Terrible TWOSdays | The arguments I lost this month with my toddler.

If you follow my personal IG (@sarahjaneshorthose) then you are already well aware that my house is full of two little ladies with some BIG personalities. Both of my littles (“B”, age 5 and “O” age 2) made us THINK we’d outsmarted, outparented or just outran the ‘terrible twos’ by basically not having them until almost three. Well, three is JUST around the corner for O and terrible has arrived.

So to cope with humor and commiserate with other mommas (those in the toddler trenches with me, those wiser ones who’ve already come out the other side and those yet to enter the battlefield) here comes a little mini-series to recap the month of wins and losses and draws with my itty bitty kiddos this month.

Up first… ‘she’s the boss’ – this is completely unsolicited she just came over to remind me that I am not, in fact, in charge. #noted

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Both my most/least favorite thing about this kiddo is her complete confidence. She’ll tell you ‘NO’ without an ounce of ire, doubt, fear, concern … just straight up “Nah” dude with celebrity level confidence. I’m both proud of her belief in herself and wishful for a little less fight in the day to day. 

A toddler’s best survival technique has to be their epic cuteness (the dimples are just downright unfair) and the snuggles. I’m powerless to the snuggles. My favorite toddler redemption moment of the month is when I threw out my back after carrying her in a backpack all day and she climbed up to fix me with cuddles that evening. <3 

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