Happy Day! Are you ready to start your week or are you dreading your first day back to morning chaos? Life with kids can make you feel both sometimes…But we have learned a few ways to calm our mornings down and jump out of bed.
These next tips will ensure you start your morning off right and jump into your schedule with ease and maybe even a smile on your face! They are in no particular order, as you will want to order them to fit your wants and needs.
- Let there be light – Get out of bed, and open those shades! Let that gorgeous sunlight in. A dark room is a sleepy room. Especially if its cold and dark.
- Tunes are Necessary – We are not morning people but we are music people. This is one thing that ALWAYS ensures happy kids (and parents) first thing in the morning. Have a play list queued up. Music that you enjoy. It can be a slow, calm coffee house mix to keep things calm. Whatever play list you decide on, just hit play and enjoy!
- Make that Bed – If your bed is made first thing in the morning, you are less likely to sneak back in it and it literally takes 5 minutes, people. And your room feels cleaner. Which is always a good thing.
- Stay off your phone – Don’t check your emails first thing in the morning and definitely do not check social media. Good God, those are 2 things that just suck me in the black hole of “I’ll just lay here in bed a little bit longer”. Don’t do it. Don’t give in.
- Stretch it out – Stretch that body! Take 5 minutes and stretch or do a 15 minute yoga routine. I actually utilize Yoga by Adriene on YouTube, I like that you can choose a 10 minute routine up to 90 minute routines. But keep it to a minimum, unless you are one of those freaks that wakes up early to work out. You are ahead of the game.
- Treat Yourself – Do something you love. I love taking a hot shower in the morning. But let me clarify….not to wash my hair every morning. I only shower to wake me up. And hair washing only happens at night when I can blow dry it or when I don’t have a deadline the next day. If its drinking a cup of coffee, do it, and enjoy it. Take your time with this thing. Mark out a decent chunk of the morning for this. Self care is important and necessary.
- Get Dressed – this is to everyone. Stay at home moms, work from home moms and working mothers….GET DRESSED. If you stay braless and in jammies all day, I promise you will do nothing. If getting dressed means cute yoga pants and a loose top and your Nike’s – do it. Get dressed. If it means jeans and a cute top and bare feet – do it. Just get dressed, friends.
- Do your hair and make up – Yes, I said it. Do your hair and make up. Mommas – I am talking to you. I don’t mean perfected beach curls and a full face (unless that’s your jam). I mean, fix your hair and spend a few minutes doing so.
While these 8 tips aren’t the only suggestions to help have a more productive morning, they are all tips that have helped us out. The kids really enjoy the music in the morning and it helps alleviate the morning complaining. What are some ways that help you jump into your day?
It’s that time of year again! The holidays are here! HOORAY!!! Since the holidays are on my mind, I’m kicking off this year’s series with today’s Gift Guide for Moms, so husbands and kids pay attention!
It’s no secret that mom’s are one of my favorite people to shop for (since I”m one myself) and I love quality gift ideas for them every holiday season.
- Sneakers – It wasn’t until I became a mom that I truly began to appreciate stylish sneakers. They’re comfortable and practical and allow me to run around after my kiddos all day without worrying about my feet hurting!
Favorites: Converse Chuck Taylors (the classic – I live in mine)
- Planner/Organizer – Old school planners and organizers started making a comeback about 2-3 years ago and I love them! You can go the Erin Condren way if you are okay spending some dough on all the planner accessories too; or you can hit up Target with their Sugar Paper line.
- Monthly Flower Delivery & Classic Vase – Sometimes I struggle to know exactly what to get my mom and mother-in-law because I feel like I’ve already exhausted a lot of my usual gift ideas through the years. That’s when a gift like this comes in handy! I think something like a flower delivery subscription would be such a nice gift that keeps giving throughout the year! Bouqs.com offers a variety of flower subscription delivery options (you can do weekly, monthly or customize how often you’d like flowers delivered) and I think a gift like this paired with a new vase (Home Goods has so many that are gorgeous!) would be such a treat, especially for the hard-to-shop-for moms out there!
- Personalized Jewelry – My cousin gave me a custom necklace with all the kiddos names on it last year and I love it and wear it almost daily! Etsy makes it so easy to personalize anything and there are so many gorgeous options out there from delicate gold necklaces, dainty rings, bracelets and more!
- T-Shirts by Moms, For Moms – I’m a huge graphic tee gal, I love a good slogan on my chest and I have a few favorite companies that I love to support. Most of these ladies (if not all) are moms or soon-to-be moms who have built their businesses through social media like Instagram. With all the amazing sayings and styles you can’t go wrong with one of these under the tree!
Favorites: Malyn Logic’s MotherHOOD Tee / Parentees Mom Hair, Don’t Care Sweatshirt / StillRad Raise Them Rad Zippered Tote
Additional Gift Ideas:
- Frame a favorite childhood picture
- Gift certificate for a massage or mani/pedi
- Candles – it’s the perfect time to hit up Bath & Body Works
- Meal delivery service like HelloFresh (click the link for 40% OFF your first box!)
- Nail polish or a Manicure Kit
- Trinket/jewelry tray
- Blanket scarf
I hope you’ll find a gift idea or two for someone you love from the list below. Happy Holidays, my friends!
It’s a little overwhelming dressing an entire family for pictures and make it all look good! Here are six tips to think about when putting your family’s outfits together for family pictures.
- Plan it out – Go online to get inspiration. Do you want to be more casual or dressy? I usually lean towards a more casual look, so I go for clothes that are nice, but have a more lived-in look. Target always has great prices on pieces that work for the whole family. Or better yet, shop your closet!
- Color Schemes are EVERYTHING! – Pick a color scheme you like works best. I would say 2-3 main colors (for example – black, blue or brown) and then adding some pops of colors looks really good in photos. What colors make you feel good?
- You should match without matching – Sure, if you have some twins, matching can be totally cute, but usually matching everyone doesn’t work. If you want your photos to have character and depth then coordinate, don’t match your outfits! This also lets everyone put a little piece of their personality in the picture. Example, my girls are wearing shirts with sayings in similar color schemes but they have sayings fitting to them “Time To Shine” and “Just A Little Shy”.
- Texture it up – It adds dimension to have some texture and layering in your outfits. For the boys, that’s usually a couple of shirts – maybe a plain tee under a flannel. For the girls that could mean a skirt, shirt, sweater, tights and maybe a hair accessory.
- Patterns can overwhelm – I personally like to see a little pattern in the clothes we choose for photos, but too much can ruin it. Have one person wear a pattern and the rest wear colors that coordinate that pattern or toss it in with a small accessory.
- Test it out – I love using this one! Lay everyone’s outfit out on the floor the way they’re going to wear them – and see the bigger picture (no pun intended)!
Putting together outfits for the whole family can be a bit of work. With these easy tips for what to wear in family pictures, I’m sure you’ll all look amazing! Let me know how it goes!
Family pictures mean so much to me. It’s amazing to see how much my family changes over the years. Taking family pictures though . . . that’s another story. But I’ve gathered a some tips to help make family picture-taking a piece of cake, I hope they help!
- Ask for recommendations from friends, look through portfolios, make sure you find a photographer you like.
- Once you’ve found the photographer that you want, make sure you schedule in advance. You want to make sure both of you have plenty of time to prepare.
- Decide the style, location, and poses that you want. Your photographer will have suggestions as well–just make sure you have an idea of what you like and what’s possible.
- Gather some props for the photo shoot. Don’t go overboard, but a few natural and simple props can help make the photos feel more authentic.
- Think about clothing. You’ll want everyone to look good together and the best way to do that is coordinate their clothing. So pick a color palette and see what you can put together.
- Take some candid pictures. You don’t want to be stiff the entire time! Make sure you take some photos of your family looking natural. Let the kids play around and be silly!
- Bend anything that can bend. Everyone will look better if they’ve got some angles on them.
- Bring someone to entertain your kids. If you want them to look happy in pictures, it may be worth it to have someone standing behind the photographer making goofy faces.
- Choose a time for the photo shoot when your kids are in a good mood. Even if it’s not the most convenient time, the process will go much smoother.
- Be happy with whatever happens. Even if your photos don’t turn out exactly the way you planned, they’re still beautiful keepsakes that are an important part of your family history.
With these tips for making family pictures easier, I’m sure you’ll all have a blast! Let me know how it goes!
Pictures are memories. Read on for a Checklist for Perfect Family Portraits that will look good for a lifetime.
- PLAN YOUR OUTFITS – Start with the hardest person to dress. Plan around that persons outfit or visit my 3 Tips to Style Your Family Portraits. Consider your color scheme for the time of year if your session is outdoors or even the colors of inside your home if it’s a lifestyle shoot. Take everyone’s personality into consideration, don’t try to be uncomfortable, it just comes across on camera.
- GET PLENTY OF REST – Get to bed early the night before your session. Happy kids = beautiful pictures.
- MAKE SURE YOU EAT – There’s nothing worse than a cranky baby or toddler because their stomachs are “dying” of hunger during photos. It stresses you out, the kids and even the photographer. Fill bellies full of good long lasting food. This is especially important for DADS!
- DON’T FORGET PROPS – Most photographers come with some props, especially if it’s a Newborn, Engagement or Holiday session. Remember to bring along any small, meaningful items you’d like to incorporate.
- ARRIVE EARLY – Make sure you arrive anywhere from 10-15 minutes early. This gives you time to make sure you find the location, the photographer and do any last minute errands, like changing dirty diapers.
With this easy checklist for perfect family portraits, I’m sure you’ll all look amazing! Let me know how it goes!
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. I’m a portrait photographer, and this is how I coach all my clients into looking amazingly put together and coordinated, without all wearing white shirts and khakis. It’s easier than you think, I promise.
- I recommend shopping for your entire family in one store. Stores like Target & Old Navy are perfect for this because they carry items for each department within the same color schemes each season. And usually they always have a sale or some sort of BOGO going on, which is great for your budget!
- This is the most important step – pick out a plaid (flannel) shirt. Plaid shirts are a ready made color palette. I usually find one either in my husbands closet or in the store for him first. You’ll use this shirt as a basis to start building the other outfits. Once you’ve got a solid look going, you can ditch the plaid (or keep it) and replace it with something else if you’d like.
- Each outfit only needs to coordinate with one color in the plaid. Feel free to mix it up with prints and solids and layers. The color palette will keep everything pulled together. By shopping in the same store, you’ll save yourself a lot of agony wondering “is that the right shade of green?” or “do these two really go together?” When in doubt, just pair the item in question with the plaid shirt and ask yourself if they match. If so, you’re good to go!
See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? So go out there and rock your family portraits this fall!
Are you planning for an upcoming move across town or across the country? If so, check out these tips to get you and your family packing and moving!
- Have a yard sale or garage sale and get rid of unused or unwanted items – This is my favorite way to purge items that I no longer need. Some home developments have started their own yard sale Facebook pages, see if your neighborhood has one.
- Assign a different color duct tape to each room so the boxes are easier to identify – Throughout this last move, I really focused on being more organized – the colored duct tape can be a great time saver during the unloading process as you can quickly identify into which room each box should be placed.
- Pack an Unpacking Kit – I talked about this in my previous post and it’s totally worth it!
- Pack spices in a large slow cooker or pot to save space – This tip can really be applied towards any large item like baskets, trash cans, etc. Fill up their empty space with smaller items.
- Tape off all items that can spill like shampoo, cleaners, cooking oils, etc. – the Press N’ Seal product is great for this!
- Buy and re-sell boxes and packing material on Craigslist – There are many places to buy new boxes like U-Haul, and Home Depot. Before you purchase new boxes, I encourage you to try collecting as many boxes as you can by asking friends to save boxes and asking stores (I had great luck with Dollar General and paper towel boxes!) if they have excess boxes that they need to dispose of. Then try looking on websites like Craigslist for free or inexpensive moving boxes and material.
Do you have any favorite moving tips or ideas that have been helpful to you? Share with us in the comments!
happy second birthday to my handsome baby boy, Caleb Charles! the last two years with you have been a dream. i love your curious and adventurous personality, your infectious smile, your insistent determination and love for life. i want to bottle you up and keep you two right here and now at this age forever. you are just so much fun. you are hard to stay mad at (even when you intentionally spill full glasses of water like it’s your job) and it’s impossible to not just pull you close and cover you in kisses 5 billions times each day. i am so so thankful for you, and for the joy you bring not only into your mama’s life, but your dad’s and your sisters as well. we hope you never forget what love we all feel for you. and we hope you always live your life with that contagious energy you seem to never run out of from dawn until bedtime every day. Caleb, i love you so much it hurts. thank you for loving me back. happy birthday, my handsome little man.i love you so, mama