Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I came to Houston, from Boston, MA, so quite a different culture and climate. But originally I am from Croatia. I have been in the US for 7 years now. And 1 year in Houston.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have one daughter, she is 3yo.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Hm, that’s a great question, and hard to answer when introducing yourself to someone who doesn’t know you. Maybe that my background is in architecture. Not very many people actually know that about me. I know, it’s a bit odd to have that background as a photographer, but I do believe that this path has taken me where I am today, with purpose. During my architecture days, there’s a lot of focus on observations, and seeing how people would use a space, with a big focus on details. That same mindset I am applying to photography today. Observing the relationship between family members, and capturing the bond.
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
Well I think this answer would sound very different if we weren’t in the age of Covid.
But with all what’s happening around us, I’d say our favorite activity is our walks. We love to go for walks in the River Oaks neighborhood, we found a little park there with a couple of benches, that is usually our destination where we will have our picnic. And we walk different routes each time to get to that little spot. Once we get to our park, we have a little picnic, and play a board game that we brought.
Another activity we are exploring is the drive in theater at Sawyer Yards.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
Haven’t really been to many yet, mostly due to covid, but I really want to have a mom’s night out at one of the restaurants on the bayou, like Brenner’s, with an outdoor patio.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes, I am an entrepreneur. I run my own photography business Blip Photography (www.lipohar.com). I am a portrait photographer specializing in family portraits and branding photography.
I truly believe in the importance of beautiful family portraits, and capturing the beauty in the everyday moments. My photography style is called lifestyle photography. This means I am capturing some poses, but what I love most is to catch the inbetween, genuine moments – the laughs, the funny faces, the bond. So when you look back at these images, you’ll catch a bit of nostalgia for that time. Once the chaos is over and your little ones aren’t that little anymore, images will help you relive some of the beautiful memories.
Studies have shown that family portraits can help boost a child’s self esteem. It helps children learn who they are and how they fit in. When a child sees a family portrait, with them in it, it sends the message to them, this is who you are and where they belong. This message comes off stronger if you have family portraits printed and hung on your walls. Isn’t that beautiful.
You can find me usually hanging out on Instagram @blip.photography
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I love the spirit of the Houston community. I have found so many wonderful mama-friends through Facebook. They have helped me feel the sense of community and belonging. I love that. Being an expat, I don’t really belong anywhere, but I always manage to find my support system through fellow mamas. I honestly love being a mom, and being one has helped me connect to other women who are going through that experience.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Stay organized, find a mentor, arm yourself with patience and just do it, and don’t apologize for having a big goal.
Also don’t be afraid to hit pause, and ask for help.
Create some kind of system that works best for you, how to stay on top of things. I think we as women have so many things going on in our heads, we are always thinking ahead of scenarios, packing snacks, backup clothes, making sure everyone in our family is taken care of. I’m always keeping some kind of list in my head. You know what i mea, right? So for me to be able to dump all of that into my journal where I keep my to-do lists is so crucial. That way I don’t have to carry it with me in my head. Or have the feeling I am forgetting something.
The mentor part, I really only started implementing once I got to Houston. Mainly because I was building my own business, but really didn’t know anyone. That made me look for different programs, workshops and resources offered to entrepreneurs. That’s how I got to find my mentors. And it has been wonderful. Currently I have two, and they are my business cheerleaders and accountability partners. It can get really lonely running your own business, especially if you are still in the one-woman-show stage. This way I can brainstorm with someone regularly.
My main advice is go with the flow. I think we can be our worst critics. I do it to myself all the time. The mom-guilt is real. And as much as I know i shouldn’t have it, it’s still there. So I am saying this to you, but also to myself: You are the best thing that can happen to your babies, and you are doing great!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Oh gosh. I would tell her, don’t be afraid of it. You are about to become what you were made to be. I know not everyone finds it easy to be a mama, and the title comes with a boat load of challenges. But sometimes the way we worry about something that hasn’t happened yet, makes us project scenarios that might not really be true. I love being on the journey of motherhood. The lows are low, but man are the highs high. I’ve never experienced such joy, and feeling of purpose before I was a mom.
And also, go out with your husband more, pre-kids, cause how easy was that. I never really appreciated it as much back then.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I call our bathtub my nanny. My daughter loves to play in it, for hours if I’d let her. She has her toys, among other things, her Barbie and Ken doll in there. And she disappears into pretend play. While I’m sitting with my laptop, somewhere close by, answering my emails.
The beautiful thing with this situation is, I’ve got her occupied, so I have a moment to do something, and we are all clean and ready for bed for later.