Organized Chaos AKA Family Pictures 2017

Family pictures with young kids is notoriously challenging. No matter the dynamic, there is some level of stress that is associated with these highly coveted pictures! I wrote a post last year about my best family picture success advice (check it out here!) so I am not writing today to give any advice, merely to share the result of the stress. It may take some preparation, work, or bribery (no judgement!), but it is always, ALWAYS worth it. (Husbands, are you reading this?!).

Now please excuse me while I cry over how perfect these came out and how adorable my kids are! You can shop our outfits if you scroll to the bottom of the post. But before you do, check out the cuteness! I mean, I may be biased but…. I am obsessed. Carry on.

Oh, don’t let me forget this. Help me not to forget the squinty eyed smiles, the insatiable desire to be held or the fierce independence and fearlessness (sometimes both at the same time). Let me never forget the giggles, snuggles, and sound of them calling out to mama. I am so thankful for pictures like this to help me capture this beautiful (and chaotic) phase of life!

Thank you to Bekad Scadding for these amazing pictures! Contact her here if you are local. She works some magic with kids (which if you have kids, you know that is hard to do!).

My Outfit:


dress / boots / similar necklace / similar jean jacket

Marcus’ Outfit:

tee / sport coat / similar jeans / chukka boot

Scarlett’s Outfit:

similar blouse / leggings / boots / bow

Levi’s Outfit:

striped thermal / jersey lined chambray / khakis / boots

Eloise’s Outfit:

peplum tee / similar hooded sweater vest / leggings / similar boots 

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Simple Outfit, Elevated

I was talking to my brother’s girlfriend a couple weeks ago about clothes as we painted our nails (stereotypical girls night?!). She was asking how I choose my style and matured my wardrobe. If you’ve followed here for a while, you know that’s been my theme the past few years (read more here). But now that I look at my wardrobe and reflect on her question, I concluded this: quality over quantity, dressing for your shape, and really maximizing an outfit with what you have. So while I don’t have the most expansive wardrobe or fanciest clothes, I have learned how to be more strategic about my purchases.

I wanted to show you what I mean. Stripes are my jam (again, not a surprise!). So here I have my basic outfit: long sleeved tee, jeans, booties. Then, I added just one more layer to add a bit more interest. I may buy a trendy piece every once in a while, but in general, most of my outfits are combinations of classic pieces mixed together (a capsule wardrobe, I guess you could call it!). Here is what I put together to make a simple outfit a little more interesting! (Scroll to the bottom to easily shop these items!)

Basic

Not a bad outfit on its own! Just not finished. Check out what happens when you add one more layer…

Layer one

See what I mean? It looks like a completely different outfit! Check it out with a different top layer:

Layer two

Crazy, huh?! This is totally my daily outfit as a SAHM #momchic. Now for one last top piece!

Layer Three

 

So it isn’t about needing a whole new wardrobe, it is just being more strategic about your purchases. I challenge you to take a close look at your closet and try some new combinations. You may be surprised! When shopping, try and focus on improving yous basics instead of buying that trendy piece that may not get as much wear.

A huge thanks to Bekah for these amazing pictures!

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Outfit Obsession Featuring jBloom


As you may know, I am a huge fan of clothes/accessories that work hard for my money. If I can find a way to stretch an item to span the course of a few seasons, that is a huge win in my book! Same with accessories. There are some that are very summery or exclusively winter, depending on the style and bling factor. If you haven’t heard of it, I would like to introduce you to jBloom and few pieces that I know will stand the test of the season! 

*Read all the way to the bottom for a link to a party and for discounts!*

The fun thing about chokers is there are so many different ways to wear them! Tie in a bow like shown above, or leave hanging for a simple look.


I was so thrilled to see the customized bangle Julie at jBloom had designed for me. That is the best part about working with someone when ordering your jewelry- you get their personal touch and insight! I’ve worn this one more times than I can count, and it makes me smile every time I see my wrist. And wouldn’t this look perfect with your jewelry stack?


I wore these earrings to church on Sunday and am obsessed. I have really small earlobes so I can’t handle a lot of weight. These were wonderful! So lightweight and just plain gorgeous.

I looove this choker! While I am new to the choker trend, this one was simple enough for me to dip my toe in the water. And now I am all about it!

This necklace. Guys. Not only is this a perfect layering necklace, Julie added the coordinates of where my husband and I met. (Bonus points if you can figure out where it was!). It is the sweetest gesture that I will be sure to wear all the time!

I also really love this necklace! The turquoise color is so spot on and looks great with a tan, but look great popping against your winter whites.

A little more about jBloom: jBloom is a personal, unique jewelry line based in St. Charles, MO. They’re a direct sales company with only 1,200 designers in the U.S., offering a sisterhood for women to grow and thrive. They believe your jewelry should tell a story and are able to create meaningful pieces to tell yours.

jBloom also offers a lucrative compensation plan for those wanting to start their own home-based business. You can own your own online store for $99 and earn 40% profit!

Here’s the fun part! Julie is hosting a party over on Facebook. Click the link to join the party and get more information about the jewelry, the company, and get a 10% discount when you place your order! I can’t wait to see what you pick out! Click here to join. 

If you are interested in any of these products or learning more about jBloom, contact Julie at julieshangle@myjbloom.com or 989.615.9253. She is an absolute doll to talk to!

Outfit Details:

Jeans run large, size down one!

Max Jeans Vest (similar vest linked below)

JCrew Blouse (similar blouse linked below)

Tank top runs small, size up a size or two

Jewelry c/o jBloom
Also, for anyone who has asked how I can blog with young kids… here is a glimpse of how we survive a photo shoot…

Jewelry was provided in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and honest. Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Summer Chic and Rodan & Fields

Nice weather has finally arrived! If you are in the New England area, you know what I’m talking about. We have had nothing but rain and chilly damp weather for what seems like forever. The sun has been out all week and we are all reaping the benefits.

I got this tank a few months ago and I’ve been waiting (im)patiently to wear it! It is the perfect summer look. Effortless and adorable, but still stays in place for easy wearing around children.

(Skip to the bottom for the Rodan & Fields review and to shop this look!)

I’ve been pushing myself out of the box a little with the clothing I’ve been wearing. I am normally drawn to the longer tops and lower rise jeans. I am realizing what different proportions can do for your body! This tank, cinching at the waist, makes my legs look so long and my waist look smaller. It conveniently hides problem area (hey, post-baby belly!) and is lightweight for warm summer days. Ideally I would have worn the top with higher waist jeans too.

I’ve been working with a friend for the past few months who sells Rodan & Fields. I have used the skincare products myself for almost a year and I can’t speak any higher of the company and everything I have used. Since I knew they were a great company, I agreed to test out the LashBoost. Guys. I can’t even tell you how awesome this stuff is! Being a natural blonde, my lashes were really light and not full or long. This product makes it so I literally don’t have to wear makeup. 90% of the time during the week, I am makeup free. No longer are people asking me if I am tired or sick if I am not wearing makeup. My lashes are SO long! It was so easy to use, and for such a big impact. Just a swipe across the lashed with a small brush every evening, and your lashes will skyrocket! It is a fraction of the cost of false lashes, and you don’t have to spend time getting them redone every few weeks because you are growing your OWN lashes! And they look better because they are all natural. This is the last week of using the tube, so 12 weeks altogether.

I have never had great skin. When I was having babies, I turned into a complete pizza face. It was embarrassing, uncomfortable, and I never really felt confident in myself, even with makeup on. I have been using the Unblemish skincare regimen and it is LIFE CHANGING. I don’t sell the products myself, but if I were to do a side business, this would be it. The products work. My skin is unbelievable. And it is an easy four-step system! Now is the first point in my life I actually feel comfortable with my face being bare! And having lashes that looks like I am wearing mascara is a double bonus. I wasn’t even asked to speak about anything but the LashBoost, but I have to because of how much I love it and how well it works!

I also use the Reverse regimen to help with my acne scarring and skin discoloration. My skin is so bright and clear! My scars are hardly noticeable anymore. Just in time for summer where I prefer to not wear makeup because I will just sweat it off!

My only critique of the LashBoost would be to make sure you apply it evenly. I applied to my left eye first, then to my right, and I noticed my left lashes were a bit longer than the right. So just make sure you rotate which eye you start! I am assuming because there was a little more serum on the brush when you first take it out of the tube. I have nothing negative to say about it! You won’t be disappointed.

This is with only one coat mascara. My lashes are so thick and dark! I am obsessed.

Please contact my girl Laura at http://lgafken.myrandf.com if you are interested in the LashBoost or other Rodan & Fields products. She is the sweetest thing! And she has the most adorable little baby girl.

Click the picture below to shop this look!

Also huge thank you to Jenn over at From the Family With Love for shooting these pictures for me! And thanks for making me feel comfortable in front of the camera. www.fromthefamilywithlove.com

Collaboration with Laura Gafken for Rodan & Fields. No compensation was given for my opinions, I just love the products! Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Easy Oatmeal Bar


Is breakfast time a struggle in your house? It is in ours. For some reason our meal times have stretched to nearly an hour, which is inconvenient when I have lots of things to do and occasionally places to go in the morning. I want our kids to have a healthy but filling meal that will give them energy to sustain them (until they need a snack in 45 minutes), so I need a go-to meal that will fill them up quick! 

On days I need a surefire solid and fast breakfast, I’ll make an oatmeal breakfast bar. The kids love the ability to choose their own toppings, and are much more focused on their meal. And, it’s healthy! Win – win. 


I’ll start by making a pot of oatmeal (boil 3.5 cups water, add 2 cups old fashioned oats, a sprinkle of salt, cinnamon, and vanilla, and simmer). I can do this before the kids wake so they just dress it up and eat! Some toppings I use are: 

Quartered Bananas

Chopped apples (add to the oatmeal while it cooks so they soften) 

Slivered almonds

Peanut butter

Brown sugar 

Raisins 

Chia seeds 

Honey 

Chocolate chips 
Set up in little dishes and let them create their own bowls. It may be a bit messy, but they will love it! Be creative. Enjoy! 


Flatware

Kids’ Bowls

White Bowls

Plant

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