Life Lately

I haven’t done a life lately post in ages, so I thought it was time to share a bit about what we’ve been up to the past few weeks!

Last Saturday the boys attended a birthday party for a friend, and then after we went to take our annual pictures with Santa! Here’s a little behind the scenes peek of their photo session.

Buffalo Plaid Pajamas

On Sunday we went out to dinner with some friends to one of the kids’ favorite places where the kids get to make their own pizza.

I wore this outfit which would be cute for Thanksgiving as well! This top is from last year, and while it’s no longer offered in this color, it is back this year in a few other colors. I’m really loving the green.

Top | Jeans | Coat (Topshop, similar) | Booties | Bag

The boys have been very busy with Taekwondo and both earned new belts! Evan now has his yellow stripe little tigers belt, and Cole is now a deputy belt and has officially begun preparing to earn his junior black belt. It is a pretty big accomplishment and we are so proud of his hard work and years of dedication to get to this point.

Evan’s preschool has the sweetest little tradition of holding a Friendship Feast the week before Thanksgiving where the kids make an entire meal and then eat together. I had the very special job of baking the apple pies the kids made and delivering them to their class. And I snuck a quick pick of Ev by their cute class teepee they had set up for the holiday!

Also how cute is this thankful (giving) tree at Cole’s school?!

On Saturday we kicked off our Thanksgiving break and attended the holiday parade downtown Boise. It’s always a fun way to kick off the holidays and get into the Christmas spirit! Afterwards we warmed up with some hot cocoa and went out to breakfast.

img_8677My Coat | Sweater (J Crew, old – similar) | Jeans | Boots | Beanie | Cole’s Coat | Cole’s Sweater | Cole’s Jeans | Cole’s Shoes | Evan’s Coat | Evan’s Sweater (similar) | Evan’s Jeans | Evan’s Shoes

We also got our Christmas tree up! I really debated putting it up before Thanksgiving as we have company coming to stay and and didn’t know if I wanted to deal with that along with everything else. But I have to say I am happy we put it up and I love the new tree we got this year!

Tree

One of the things Cole and I really bond over is celebrating the holidays, and he and I especially love seasonal movies. We both love A Christmas Story, so when I saw the musical was touring here in Boise I knew that the two of us had to go.

My Top | Pants | Heels | Bag | Cole’s Jacket (Zara, old – similar) | Sweater | Jeans | Shoesimg_8793-e1574741363234.jpg

Our family arrives this evening to spend Thanksgiving with us, so we’ve been super busy not only preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, but setting up for guests as well. And if you are in the midst of Thanksgiving prep as well and in need of any last minute recipe inspiration, here is a post I made last year with a list of some of my favorite, tried and true Thanksgiving recipes!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with food, friends, and family.

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Our Favorite Family Christmas Pajamas

img_8836My Pajamas | My Beanie | Boy’s Pajamas

One of our favorite family Christmas traditions is matching family pajamas! Every Christmas Eve before we go to bed, we all gather under the tree to open one present – which of course we all know is our matching Christmas pajamas. We wear them to bed, and then we all match in the morning while we open presents. It is something our entire family looks forward to every year!

In addition to our special Christmas Eve set, I typically do a few more matching sets for the boys – one for photos with Santa, and another under the tree to open Christmas Day. Sometimes I can’t help myself and we even end up with one more set for the family to coordinate leading up to Christmas (what can I say…we love pjs!). That said – clearly we aren’t the only ones because I have found that family pajamas frequently start selling out in November, so I definitely recommend snagging them sooner rather than later. Here’s a peek at some of the pajamas we’ve worn over the years…as well as some others that I’m loving this season!

Plaid Pajamas

My Pajama Bottoms | My Pajama Top | Beanie | Slippers | Boys Pajama Bottoms | Boys Pajama Tops

Plaid Pajamas (Burts Bees – print no longer available. Here are Stripe or Fairisle options)

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetPlaid Family Pajamas (No longer available – similar)

Striped Pajamas

img_8870Pajamas (This Season’s Print)

 

And a few more this season that I’m loving…

White Tartan PJsTree Print PJs | Red Fairisle PJsHoliday Car PJsRed Plaid PJsChristmas Light PJsSignature

Tips For Choosing Outfits For Those Christmas Card Photos

With only 7 weeks until Christmas it’s time to start thinking about Christmas cards! If you haven’t already taken your family photos, I wanted to share a few of my tips for deciding what to wear to get your best photos!

Start With One Item and Coordinate Around It

Picking a color palette and deciding on outfits for everyone can feel overwhelming, so this is how I typically decide on my family’s outfits and color scheme. I usually start with my outfit (although occasionally I will see something just perfect for one of the boys and grab that first!) and then I select items that coordinate with it for everyone else. When we took this pic (years ago!) I had found this darling little romper for Ev and knew I wanted him to wear this for our photos – so I found items that all coordinated with it for the rest of us.

Go Neutral

When in doubt about making sure everything looks good together, stick with a simple, neutral color palette. Think beige, gray, brown, navy, olive green, blush, ivory…these colors all work well together and create a really soft and flattering look.

Coordinate But Don’t Completely Match

Remember when it was THE look for everyone to wear white shirts and jeans for their family photos? It’s safe to say that look is somewhat dated now. Instead go for outfits that coordinate but don’t go completely matchy matchy.

Avoid Really Bright Colors

While I do love color in photos and the right colored outfits can add some punch, it’s best to stay away from super bright colors. For one, this can create something called a “color cast” on your skin tone in photos and can cause a lot of extra editing for your photographer. And two, you ideally want the subjects themselves to be the focus of portraits, and the clothes should merely compliment. Instead of really bright reds, oranges, yellows…switch for softer burgundy, rust, and golden tones.

Keep Patterns Small

Just like with lots of color, some pattern can add interest and personality. Too much pattern (especially lots of large, loud prints) can quickly turn into an eyesore and distract from the subjects. I think one statement piece (like a floral dress) can add some punch to an image, but I would keep other patterns smaller and complementary to that print. Make sure you also add some solid pieces to ground the whole look.

Think About Your Background

Lastly, think about where you are going to be shooting your photos. If you are outside, you may want to think about avoiding a lot of green in your clothing as you may completely blend in! Also, while I’m not typically a huge fan of black for portraits, against a light background in a more formal setting it can really pop and look amazing.

Family Photo Outfit Ideas

XMasOutfits-1XMasOutfits-2OneTwoThree | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | NineTen | Eleven | Twelve

 

ChristmasOutfits-1.jpgChristmasOutfits-2One | TwoThree | FourFiveSixSevenEight | NineTenEleven

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Countdown To Halloween

My Costume | Booties | Cole’s Costume | Handcuffs | Evan’s Costume

This past week we’ve been trying to have all the Halloween fun we can possibly have! Over the weekend we attended the Old Idaho Penitentiary’s annual “Frightened Felons” night which was an absolute blast! We got dressed up in our SWAT and prisoner costumes and spent a spooky evening going through the haunted house, listening to ghost stories, playing games, drinking cocoa, and touring the old buildings. They had these super cool projections up showing pictures of actual prisoners there from years ago and the dark grounds were so spooky at night! There was a paranormal team there which was really interesting and you could also take a self guided tour. The old execution room was especially creepy to see at night (and they even added a dummy for dramatic effect). This was one of the coolest Boise events we’ve done and I can’t wait to go back next year!

We also spent an afternoon biking around town and looking at Halloween decorations. There was a house we came across that was absolutely incredible – they totally nailed it! The animatronics all talked and the Zombie especially was just so good.

On Sunday it was time to check a few must do traditions off our list…make Halloween sugar cookies and carve our pumpkins! We always make a fun day out of it by watching a Halloween movie marathon during the day while we bake and decorate cookies – and in the evening we turn on Halloween music while we carve!

Over the weekend we got “Booed” and “Booed” our neighbors as well which is such a fun tradition! Both of our neighbors on either side of us no longer have littles at home, so we put together “adult” Boo Baskets with some Trader Joe’s goodies and mini pumpkins (these would be cute hostess gifts for Thanksgiving!).

This week has been super busy with not only getting ready for our own Halloween activities, but also prepping for Halloween class parties at the boys’ schools! This morning I helped out with Evan’s party and threw together this quick bandit costume. This would make a great last minute costume that you can pretty much throw together with things you already own!

Shirt (Uniqlo – similar) | Jeans | Boots | Gloves (similar) | Beanie | Similar Mask and Money Bag

Tomorrow is Cole’s class party and I volunteered to put the entire party together. For Cole’s party I pulled together some inspiration online and created a little board of ideas! I’m also planning a few activities and put together some simple little goodie bags for the kids to take home.

Cupcakes | Punch | Jello Brain (Mold) | Skeleton Meat & Cheese Platter

Goodie Bags | Similar Note Pads | Similar Pens | Similar Halloween PopsVampire Teeth | Glow Sticks

This year for Halloween we are going to be…Zombies! Cole decided last year that’s what he wanted to do this year, so we are making it happen for him. We did a trial run of our Halloween makeup looks this week so here’s a little sneak peek of our Zombie looks. (I plan on going a bit heavier with makeup for the big night but just wanted to get an idea of what I wanted.)

My makeup totally freaked the kids out so I think I accomplished my goal! And if you need a last minute costume for tomorrow, this is totally achievable.

What I used to create our Zombie look…

Foundation | Red, Taupe, Brown, & Black Eyeshadows | Liquid Latex | Gel Blood | Zombie Blood | Hairspray

For the makeup I applied foundation for a smooth base (& applied to lips as well) and then contoured our faces (where I would normally contour) and around our eyes with the eyeshadows starting with red and working my way up to black. For wounds on Cole I applied gel blood and added more in the center to make it darker and add dimension. On myself I created a large wound with layering liquid latex with pieces of tissue paper (there’s lots of tutorials online!), and then made it look more natural by applying foundation & shadow to the tissue. I tore open the center of the tissue & layered black gel eyeliner, gel blood, and zombie blood in and around the edge of the wound. Then I dribbled zombie blood all the way from the wound down my neck. The whole look is actually surprisingly simple and quick for a pretty big impact! I’m also going to tease and spray our hair to look pretty wild.

For our zombie clothes, I went to Goodwill and bought items in all neutral colors (browns, grays, blacks) and then I shredded them a bit with a serrated knife. To make them look dirty I filled a few spray bottles with fabric dye mixed with water (I did one green & one brown) and randomly sprayed & smeared on the clothes and then let them dry. (Make sure to wear gloves for this) Once dry I added random sprays and smears of fake blood.

Wishing you a safe and fun Halloween!

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A Fall Tradition: Apple Picking

My Shirt (H&M, old – similar here, here, here) | Jeans | Boots  ||  Cole’s Shirt | Similar Vest | Jeans | Similar Shoes  ||  Evan’s Shirt | Jeans | Shoes

During this past four day weekend, the kids and I headed up to the orchard for our annual afternoon of apple picking. It’s always a lot of fun to head out into the country for an afternoon of fresh air and getting to play farmer for a day! Once we got home we baked up some of our harvest into an apple pie – which is going to be the first of many apple desserts over the next several weeks. Evan also brought some of his apples to his preschool to share with all of his friends. I recently bought the boys these shirts with Christmas in mind, but they made for fun mommy and me outfits during our afternoon of apple picking too.

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Life Lately

We’ve hit peak foliage time here in Idaho, and it is really so incredibly beautiful right now that I am doing all I can to soak it up. Evan and I had to go run errands the other day and we made a detour to take a quick walk in the park.

My Sweater | Blazer | JeansShoes | Bag | Sunglasses | Earrings (Celine – similar)  ||  Evan’s Shirt (old – similar) | Pants | Jacket | Shoes

The other night I had an unofficial girls night out with a meeting for Cole’s school art auction committee. Yes it was technically work, but we made a little time for some drinks and fun chit chat!

Tee (similar) | Jacket (Zara, old – similar) | Jeans | Booties | Bag

We also attended Cole’s school’s annual “Boo Bash” which is a fall carnival where the kids get to wear costumes, have dinner, and play some fun games. For the evening’s grand finale, the teachers put together a choreographed 80s dance routine which was pretty dang awesome! Evan had picked out this costume awhile back to wear to his school Halloween party, so Cole thought it would be fun to go as a team and be Evan’s prisoner for the night.

My Sweater (J Crew, old – similar) | Jeans | Belt | Shoes (J Crew, old – similar) | Bag  ||  Cole’s Costume | Handcuffs  ||  Evan’s Costume

We had a three day weekend last weekend which was much needed. We’ve not had a ton of rest time since school started, and that extra day off was so nice. As I shared in a previous post, we spent a day out at the local pumpkin patch which was a ton of fun.

My Sweater | Jacket | Scarf | Jeans | Boots  ||  Cole’s Shirt | Jeans | Similar Shoes  ||  Evan’s Shirt | Jeans | Shoes

We had an absolute crazy storm last Saturday which did quite a fair amount of damage here in the valley. We were lucky to not be too affected in our neighborhood, but there were lots of downed trees and power lines, as well as property damage. With the unpredictable weather we decided to play it safe and skip soccer, and instead went out to breakfast. I ended up taking the kids to IHOP for their Addam’s Family breakfast specials, and then we picked up one of Cole’s friends and went to go watch the movie at the theater! It was a really cute movie and the kids enjoyed it.

My stormy weather look for the movies…My Sweater (old – similar) | Leggings | Coat (Burberry, old – similar) | Boots (Sperry – similar) | Bag

Wednesday I got to go on a field trip with Cole to one of my favorite places here in Boise – the MK Nature Center! We learned a ton and I love getting to share these experiences with Cole and get to know his friends and classmates a little better.

It has become an annual tradition to snap a few fall photos of the boys, and the other day we took a few minutes to take some pictures. Here’s a few of my favorites!

Cole’s Shirt | Jeans | Similar Shoes  ||  Evan’s Shirt | Jeans | Shoes

This week we have parent teacher conferences, which for the kids means a four day weekend! We are enjoying the break so far with a trip to the orchard to pick apples yesterday, and looking forward to some more fun fall and Halloween activities this weekend.

Happy Friday!Signature

Halloween At Home

This past weekend my kiddos had a three day weekend which we filled with lots of fun activities and time with friends. By Sunday we were all pretty tired, so I thought it would be fun to have a low key Halloween activity day at home. We ate a themed lunch, made some fun crafts, and watched a not too spooky movie.

Plates // Napkins // Cups // Spoons // Halloween Shaped Pasta // Leaf Shaped Tortilla Chips // Fall Harvest SalsaSimilar Halloween crafts here & hereJack o Lantern Shirts (similar herehere and here)

 

Cookie Haunted Houses

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