Life’s Essentials: Keeping a Routine

As a SAHM, its up to me to structure my day. As much as I love a list and filling my calender, I have to work really hard to not get in a rut. I find that I can let hours pass in the morning playing with the girls, attempting to do laundry or cleaning up the kitchen from the night before. By the time I’ve gotten us together enough to get out of the house, its time for lunch and naps! (for reals my life revolves around nap schedules right now!)

Now that our fall schedule is back in place, I’m trying to get myself into a routine to help our mornings run smoother and to help me feel successful at the end of the day! Whether you’re a CEO of a household or a CEO of a company – everyone wants to feel satisfied with their day, right?  Although the girls are just toddlers, we do have at least one out of the house class or activity everyday so that really helps motivate me to stick with some ground rules! These are some things that I know help our family be more calm and ready for the day and just help keep us all happy and organized!

Disclaimer: this is truly like one big pep talk to myself. By no means do I have it all figured out and this is just a way for me to organize my ideas for myself and feel accountable!

Preparation | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head with that one. It is so simple, but it is the hardest thing for me to do. Procrastination has been the name of my game for years! Why would I pack our drinks/snacks/lunches the night before when I can do it in the morning when I’m rushing around with two kids at my feet?! Because. I want to feel ready for the day, and not frazzled first thing in the morning.

One load a day | Laundry is a task that I really don’t mind doing, but it can definitely turn into a lofty chore if it let it! Our hamper, the girls’ hampers, sheets, towels…I know everyone has to wash their clothes but why does it feel like we have enough laundry to cover the entire neighborhood for the week?! I’ve found that spending an entire day in the laundry room isn’t fun for me or the kids. So putting in a load in the morning that I can switch over at some point in the day and be done with by nap time is an easy way to eliminate the dread of tackling Mt. Everest once or twice a week!

Set an alarm |  Sleep is a hot commodity around here.  With a 2.5 and a 1 year old in the house, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of “mombie” for the past few years. We have finally gotten into a good bedtime routine with the girls so that we get an hour or two to ourselves before we go to bed, but I’m still waking up once or twice at night with the little sis.  Even so, having 30-60 minutes to myself before the crazies wake up is a great way to start the day! Hot coffee, I can get ready if I want, empty the dishwasher in peace, or just relax on my phone or computer to blog. Do I still snooze?  Yes. But ultimately I try to remember how good I feel once I’ve had some time to myself first thing.

Keep a clean sink | Do you know how long it takes to put one coffee cup, one plate, and a couple of utensils in the dishwasher? Like 45 seconds. Do you know how long it takes to put an entire day’s worth of dishes in the dishwasher plus clean up from dinner?! It feels like an hour! Throughout the day I find it really easy to just set things in the sink and move on to the next thing. But you know what the bummer is? My mom isn’t coming behind me to wash them all! I am the mom…what?! At the end of the day after dinner, its better for all of us and our bedtime routine if dinner clean up is just that and not from the entire day!

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It has a place | We have a few areas of the house that can easily be considered a drop zone. Did I grab the mail? Set it by the phone. Did I just come in from running errands? Drop everything on the island. Do I have clean laundry? Leave it on the laundry room counter. This may be my worst habit. The kitchen can tend to become the ‘catch all’ area and soon feels like a cluttered disaster that seems like I can’t keep clean. By having a place for everything, it eliminates the clutter. By taking just a few minutes to put things away in their proper place I don’t feel like I have to overhaul the entire house to get it clean. I was watching InstaStories and Kate from The Small Things Blog (k8_smallthings) mentioned that she keeps her house within 10 minutes of clean. So at any point – for example if some company were to say they’re coming – you could get your house picked up within 10 minutes. Such a good rule.

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(In a dream world my kitchen would look like this all the time. It was short lived!)

These are some things I strive for but still have to work on each day.  When I take the time to prepare for my day I feel like the days run smoother and I enjoy my time with the girls more. Do you have any go-to tips for feeling prepped and ready for your day? I’d love to know!

xoxo

Whitney

Head over to Confessions of Parenting to find all sorts of home and family posts that linked up for the first #WanderingWednesday!

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Five on Friday

TGIF! In the life of a SAHM, Friday’s don’t necessarily have the traditional meaning of being the last day before a couple of days off. Even though its the weekend, the girls still expect to be fed, entertained, and taken care of…can you believe that?! haha…relax, its a joke. But in all seriousness, this week was one for the books so a couple of days without scheduled activities is weekend enough for me!

one | The girls went back to school this week! Blake started in her own big girl class and Aubrey started in the two day 2s class! It is a bigger time commitment from me as its a co-op campus, so I participate – but I am super excited for them!

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two | Keeping on the subject of kids activities, we also started Gymnastics up again for Aubrey too! This girl loves to run wild and giving her 45 minutes of jumping, balancing, hanging, ect is just what she needs! I typically will post some of her “skills” on InstaStories as its happening, lol.

three | I am making the switch to a Mac! I’ve had a laptop PC forever but knew its life was running out. I’m excited to have a big girl computer, lol. I feel like it’s going to be trying to understand another language at first, but I cannot wait to learn! Any tips for making the transition easier?

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four | Here in So Cal we are having miserably hot weather! Not only does it make me want to hide inside with the AC on all day, but cooking is a struggle! Who wants to stand over a hot stove top or turn on an oven? Last night I was doing the last minute scramble to find something for dinner and made the perfect hot weather meal that brought me back to my childhood – I call it Tuna Surprise. Yup, I’m now the mom that puts things on the table with “surprise” in the title. Aka: mom didn’t have anything planned and this is what I found to throw together and call a meal!

1 box of Rotini pasta | 1-12 oz can of tuna | 1 c mayo | lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon | 1/2 of an onion diced | about 3/4 c of diced pickles | 1 cup of peas | 3 colby jack string cheeses diced

I cooked the pasta and added the frozen peas at the very end before I drained it just to defrost them. Diced up the other ingredients and mixed it all together. Literally the easiest meal that I scrounged around the pantry and fridge to find the ingredients for! (I even got the lemon from my girlfriends tree around the corner!) We ate it right then but today we will have some leftovers cold for lunch!

five | If you need a little tough love in your life, or to be inspired by a gal who is awesome and just gets shit done, you’ve got to become friends with Rachel Hollis! She runs a successful media company, has a podcast, writes books, has a cook book, takes care of herself and her health, oh yeah – and has a husband and 4 kids that love her!! Honestly she is the epitome of no excuses and choosing to work hard to be happy. She is a woman who has created a wonderful life for herself and doesn’t let typical stereotypes or society’s perception of a woman’s role define her. Love following along with her for a boost of confidence! She does a Facebook Live video every morning at 6 am and her InstaStories are both funny and motivating! #chictribe

Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend! Still

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

Best Day Ever | Show and Tell Tuesday

Have you ever dreamed of your perfect day? Probably includes a tropical destination or sleeping in half the day, maybe? I’ve always been a homebody, but now more than ever in this season of life does a slow and quiet day sound the best.

On the Best Day Ever, I would wake up feeling rested…maybe 8 am? Not too late, because we don’t want to waste the precious hours of this day – but not too early, because, well…mama needs some sleep! The coffee would be ready for me to pour and drink HOT with just the right amount of vanilla creamer and my hubby would have already cooked the bacon outside on the BBQ so the whole house didn’t stink! We would all eat pancakes (chocolate chip, obviously), bacon, and eggs.  The girls would keep all of their food either on the plate or in their mouth – not the floor! After breakfast – the girls would play, the kitchen would get perfectly cleaned by someone other than me, and I’d go shower and get ready. Not just rinse off and put on mascara…no no. A full shower – shave, shampoo, the works! I’d do my hair and wear just enough makeup to make me feel good. When I was done, the girls would also be ready with the diaper bag packed – again, by someone other than me. Do you notice a theme?

We would all go out as a family, somewhere that we could walk, shop, play, and have lunch. Probably the Ventura Harbor. The weather would be cool enough to wear sweaters but warm enough for sandals, partly cloudy and definitely no wind! Lunch would have to be at Andria’s Seafood – fish and chips is one of our favorites from there!

After lunch we head home for the girls to nap. I’d get out to get my nails or hair done – I love having a fresh cut and manicure! In the afternoon we would have some friends and family over to BBQ. I love to spend time on our patio and all sitting together at a big table for dinner. Carne asada tacos, fresh guac with chips, and Corona’s or Margarita’s for everyone!

The girls would have baths after dinner, read books with their aunties and go to bed without a fight at 7:30. The adults would listen to music, hang out by the fire pit, and keep the margaritas flowing. By 10:00 I’d be in the softest jammies ever from Old Navy (like these) and in bed with freshly cleaned sheets. Does the “Best Day Ever” continue into the night? If so, I’d sleep. All night. Uninterrupted.

I feel more relaxed just thinking about it all! What would you do for your Best Day Ever? You can link up with Andrea at Momfessionals.com.

Happy Tuesday!

Whitney

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Summer Weekend Recap

A full weekend brings with it so many memories – friends, laughs, and the occasional tired kid meltdown. Last weekend we had two birthday parties for the girls’ friends, one birthday BBQ for my dad, ran some errands, and got to spend Sunday afternoon swimming and having dinner with family.

Before all of the festivities, I started off on Friday afternoon with my amazingly talented friend Meadow (@MeadowStarLA) getting the prettiest set of lash extensions.  I don’t often wear a full face of makeup, but it is rare that I leave the house without mascara. It just makes me feel like I look alive and awake! No need anymore! I literally woke up Saturday morning feeling like I was ready for the day. I literally cannot feel anything different on my eyes, but I look in the mirror and have so much volume and curl. Honestly amazing!!

We got to experience a fun kids place on Friday night for a friends’ birthday. Scooters Jungle was so fun and SO exhausting! My kids LOVED to jump, climb, and go down the incredibly fast slide! We were out a bit late but they slept soooo good that night! Despite Aubrey’s pouty face in this photo she literally had the time of her life!

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Saturday morning was spent at Underwood Farms celebrating another toddler friend.  The farm is a place that we love on any day, but add in a horse drawn wagon ride and some barnyard animal cake pops and we got ourselves a winning destination!

Saturday afternoon we had my parents over to celebrate my dad’s birthday. The girls looked adorable in their new June & January outfits…I cannot wait for their fall line to come out!

Now that Aubrey’s been doing swimming lessons, afternoons in the pool are so much fun! She loves to show us the new things she is learning and practice her new skills! This is how Blake spent the majority of her Sunday. Double fisting sweet watermelon and making a juicy mess!

Hope you all had a fun filled weekend. For those being affected by Hurricane Harvey we are thinking about you all.

Happy Monday! Have a great week!

xoxo

Whitney

Potty Training Essentials

I’m not sure if there is any task more daunting than teaching a toddler how to use the toilet.  As yucky as it may seem, diapers are pretty darn convenient – expensive, but convenient! Car rides, lines at the grocery store, restaurants without bathrooms – all of these situations are stressful enough even without the added pressure of a possible accident! It never fails though. There comes a time when the thought of potty training creeps into your head. Someone at preschool, a great aunt, or that crunchy mama who is still breastfeeding and used cloth diapers who now has a 16-month-old using the potty, all have an opinion about why your child should be potty trained NOW.  The holiday weekend before Aubrey’s second birthday I thought we were ready. I thought I was gonna “keep her naked for three days and she would be potty trained by Monday!” HA! We tried this method for about 8 hours, and after the 10th time cleaning up pee off the floor I was over it.

Fast forward a few months and I was as ready as I would ever be to try again. That was the best decision. Tip #1: You just can’t force something on a toddler until they’re ready! Tip #2: I don’t think there is any “magic method”. We had the basic idea of having on just underwear for easy on/off and so she could feel herself if she was wet, and setting a timer to try going in intervals. We lucked out with our timing and it clicked after a couple of days. Do we still have accidents? Now and again. Does she battle sitting on the potty to poop? Yup. Or when shes in the middle of playing or watching her favorite show? You bet. But she’s getting better and I just think that is the way it goes with a strong willed two year old!

After spending hours sitting next to the potty and a few months of practice, I’ve rounded up some of the essentials for a pleasant potty experience!

(disclaimer: by no means is all of the “necessary”, it has just made life with a potty training toddler and little sister always in tow a bit more convenient. *contains affiliate links)

 

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So much stuff, right? Well let me tell you – its worth it! We started off with just the mini potty at home. I loved that it wasn’t too much of an eye sore and she loved that it was “just her size!” It makes a little flush noise when you pull the handle and the lid comes off the back so you can store wipes or, like Aubrey, hide toys in. Soon after came the step stool and faucet extender because this mama was tired of lifting her up to wash her hands a million times a day! Once she got the hang of the potty, we changed out the seat on the closest bathroom to our living area. This may seem a bit dramatic, but let me tell you, its so nice to not have to deal with one of those little cushion seats and having to hang or store it somewhere. The kid seat just magnets to the lid and when Aubrey is going to use it, she just has to open the whole lid and then pull it down for the “perfect size seat!”
I’m pretty sure I avoided leaving the house for over a week once we started this! The thought of traveling or being caught somewhere without easy access to a restroom was scary! That’s where the OXO travel potty comes in! You guys – its genius! We’ve used this at the park, in the back of my car, and I’m not even ashamed to say, on the patio of a restaurant that didn’t have a bathroom! (I swear she was blocked by the walls and the stroller – you gotta do what you gotta do!) Even when we go in a public restroom, you can either lay the legs flat to use on top of the toilet, or just use it on its own. The bags that come with it are also amazing! I cannot even count how many times this thing has saved us over the past few months! Also, the hand purifier and spray are perfect for those potty breaks in the trunk or when I’ve got too much going on with a toddler and a baby and washing hands in a sink just isn’t going to happen! My faves are the Thieves line from Young Living! If you haven’t heard me rave about it, you can read up here and here!
Unfortunately for me, I do not own this car seat protector, but you better bet when searching for this stuff to link on Amazon I ordered it! Nothing is worse than hearing, “Mommy I pee-pee’d!” from the back seat! This would have saved so much time!
I hope this post was helpful! If you have a potty trained toddler, YAY YOU! If you’re thinking about starting this milestone, I hope for a smooth transition!
Do you have any potty training essentials that you couldn’t live without?! I’d love to hear about them!
xoxo
Whitney
| This blog post may contain affiliate links that I receive a small commission on.  Every product I review or recommend is something I would use or purchase myself.  I am grateful for your support and love for the brands and companies that support the Whitney Michaels blog.   |
* Whitney Michaels is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Five on Friday

Five on Friday is a fun link up I’ve been following and participating in for years with AprilChristina, and Natasha. I love rounding up the week with 5 things I did/loved/wore/etc. What’s on your mind before this weekend starts?

one | The progress of my office organization project is moving along! Last weekend I ventured into The Container Store for the first time and my mind was blown! (If you follow me on Instagram you experienced my overwhelm in my stories!) This color coding, organizing, paper loving mama was in heaven! Did I mention I got to go solo?! I’m so close to feeling “done” – but are we ever actually done? I don’t think so! Here’s a little peek at the before, during, and after!

 

 

two | We had a mega play date at a friends house on Wednesday and it really brought my attention how high strung I am. What if Aubrey forgets to use the potty? OMG Blake is eating chalk. Did Aubrey just hit someone?! She’s going to get sand everywhere. Did she just dump sand on him?! Making sure my child behaves at home is a full time job. Bringing my circus to someone else’s house opens a whole other can of worms! What have I learned? Kids will be kids, wherever you are. All I can do is prep her (“Remember when you’re playing with your friends to use your words and you can always ask an adult for help.”), and try to relax! Play dates are for moms too, right?! It was so nice to see our school friends and it got me excited for our fall schedule! What’s your favorite part of a play date? Mine is the mimosas 😉

 

 

three | August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and its bittersweet over here. I’ve been either pregnant or breastfeeding (or both!) for the last 3 years and this special season in our lives is coming to a close. Our journey has been a roller coaster but full of memories I’ll always treasure! Weaning Blake from nursing is both necessary for my sanity but difficult. Cheers to all the mama’s out there doing their best for their babes!

four | Is there anything cuter than matching jammies on babies?! I couldn’t resist capturing the 3 minutes of sweetness this morning before the day gets crazy! These cute footies are Carters.

 

five | I went to Marshalls yesterday and definitely got the urge for all things fall! Falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and…oh wait. I live in Southern California. Unfortunately plaid pillows and leaf wreaths will be where it’s at. I’m on the hunt for one more navy pillow, but burlap, navy and orange are going to be my home inspiration for fall!

Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

Five on Friday

The weekend has arrived! Back again with AprilChristina, and Natasha for some Friday fun.

one | Something super exciting for my friend Sharon and I…we are hosting a new monthly Link Up! Our first edition was yesterday, and we hope you’ll join us! (you can catch them here —> | the Whitney Michaels blog | Mama Chit Chat) Who isn’t inspired by the colors around us? Each month we are highlighting a different color(s) and linking up to support one another! The link up will be open for the week!

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two |I started putting both girls into the shopping cart now when I do the grocery shopping! I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. Is it convenient that I don’t have to use the stroller or carrier – yes! I do also fear the close proximity to each other though!  Hopefully the convenience will outweigh the snack stealing, and pushing!

 

three | Along with the grocery shopping idea – I just placed an order on Vons.com to be delivered tomorrow! I’m trying a couple of different grocery delivery options so there is a post in the works about my thoughts!

four | Old Navy always surprises me! They have the perfect staple items and although I always have to try things on there because some stuff doesn’t fit me properly – the kids section is always a WIN! Blake wore the cutest romper the other day and got so many compliments! I just cannot stand her cuteness! (of course I cannot find it online, but here is a one shoulder romper in the same print – also adorable!)

 

five |Speaking of Blake – we have a walker! She’s not necessarily the most coordinated or stable girl yet, but she’s definitely practicing! Her favorite thing is to stand up on her own and clap for herself, lol!

 

Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

Taco Bout Fun…

…Blake turned ONE!

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This weekend we hosted a party to celebrate Blake’s first year and what a fun time it was! Of course I cannot believe my baby is already one and growing and learning so much everyday! At her well baby appointment today she was 29.5″ tall and 19 pounds! She’s crawling like crazy, pulling herself up on everything and everything, walking with the assistance of a toy or chair and even taking some steps on her own…which usually ends in her falling to us! I’ve been introducing milk for a couple of weeks and still trying to figure out how the process of weaning from breastfeeding will go. She loves to eat – especially if it’s cake and is starting to have a more regular sleep schedule and only waking up once in the night – YAY!

We had a fiesta in her honor and I had such a fun time planning it! I’m pretty sure I started a Pinterest board when she was 3 months old, haha!

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I tried to prep as much as possible beforehand, but it always seems chaotic the day of no matter what! We hired a Taco Man and that was the BEST IDEA EVER! Not having to worry about feeding such a large group of people took so much stress away from me! I just put out some appetizers – chips with salsa, guacamole and queso dip and drinks – water, margaritas, and beer. Oh, and of course desserts – which had the approval of all of the toddlers! To serve a large group, I made a big batch of margaritas! I was trying to follow a recipe but couldn’t find frozen limeade concentrate anywere – so per usual, I improvised! I made 3 servings throughout the party! (I wish I had taken the time to make my lime salt! It would have been the perfect addition!)

1 bottle of Simply Limeade

1 cup Silver Tequila

1/2 cup Grand Marnier

salt and limes for garnishing

UNO balloons | cactus balloon | colorful wall curtain from Party City | flowers and vases from Pavillions – I put them together | cake plates are old from Home Goods but they always have them! I just add ribbon to coordinate with my parties

Although most of the party was out in the backyard, I set up the dessert table inside so I didn’t have to worry about the heat! It was a sunny 92 here in southern CA, so we set up a water table for the kiddos and kept the drinks cold for the adults! I made it super easy and ordered Blake’s smash cake, cupcakes and the “round churros” (snickerdoodles) from our neighborhood Pavillions. It’s the easiest thing to do an ice run and dessert pick up at the same time that day – thanks Dad! I ordered the dipped marshmallows and concha cake pops from a local mama and they did not disappoint! Cindy of Ms. V’s Poppin’ Bowtique was so easy to communicate with and delivered to us the cutest desserts for our display the day of the party! Thank goodness for Amazon – I ordered the majority of the decor throughout the month before the party! There was so many options for fiesta and cactus themed parties!

cactus banner | tissue garland

round party fans | chalkboard | chalk markers | cactus party light | mini pinata

I used my Cricut to cut the letters for the banners, cupcake toppers, and numbers for the photo banner as well as the tags for the favors. I used this inflatable cactus to hold the favors, but forgot to take a photo!

maracas | cymbals | pinata from Party City

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We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family in our life to celebrate these special moments! Our kids have the best little squad!

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A fiesta was such a fun theme to play with when planning Blake’s party! Did you have a big party for your kids? What was your theme…I love hearing your ideas!

xoxo

Whitney

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Miss Blake Annebelle

In the early days of this blog, I spent the majority of my time documenting my pregnancy with my first daughter, Aubrey.  Its like life was in hyper drive during the newborn stage and then we jumped into a home renovation and moved out of our house – all the while I fell off the blogging schedule. So much has happened in the last two and a half years including another baby! Our little Blake is ONE and I am just in disbelief. The days and nights may have sometimes felt like they’d never end but the weeks just flew by! Since so much was dedicated to Aubrey, I wanted to post a bit about Blake too!

We announced to our family on Christmas Eve 2015 that Aubrey would be a BIG SISTER (she was 10 months old)!

 

Being pregnant with a young baby was so much different than the first go around! With Aubrey, I worked at an office and spent most of my days sitting. This pregnancy required so much more energy that I didn’t have.  I was still getting up at night with Aubrey and rarely spent time just sitting.  It didn’t seem ideal at the time, but I was so grateful to be living at my mother in laws.  It was amazing to have an extra set of hands when dealing with that crazy little girl! I was grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy again, and a busy one! Aubrey turned ONE in February, we moved back into our newly renovated home in March, and spent the last weeks getting our house in order (as much as possible anyway – does this process ever end?!). I was due July 24, and three days later (just like her sissy) Blake was born on July 27, 2016 at 3:15PM. There has never been a more overwhelming yet joyful moment than when Aubrey (who was 17 months) came to meet her little sister the next morning!

 

In one year, our family has grown so much! Blake is the perfect addition to our lives and we couldn’t be more thankful for two healthy, smart, and beautiful girls!

Happy Birthday to our sweet, yet tough and determined little girl. We love you so so much!

| all of our photos were taken by Alex of Alexandra Kayy Photography |

I cannot wait to share all about her birthday celebrations!

xoxo

Whitney

How to Plan: Family Photo Outfits

I love to take family photos.  Something about documenting a certain stage in life with beautiful photos brings me joy! Although I can’t always predict how it will go with two kids – (I leave it up to our amazing photographer to capture the magic that she does), I can make sure we look put together! I may spend a bit more time than some on deciding our outfits, but I’ve got a good system down and I love having something to shop for-whether its in a store or our closets!  Here’s some tips on choosing outfits for your family’s photo session:

one. Decide on a time frame/special occasion for your photos. Are you taking pictures for Christmas cards or a special birthday? Will you be taking them in the spring or the fall? Obviously if you’re taking photos in the summer you don’t want to be wearing sweaters and jeans and if its fall photos you’re doing, you may want the overall look to be more cozy!

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You can also add to this with accessories. Here in Southern California, there was really no need to have a blanket scarf in the fall, but it looked super cute on our Christmas Cards! For Aubrey’s first birthday photos, I added a party hat and a fun accessory to bring in her party theme just for a few photos.

two. Choose a location.  Your photographer may be able to help you with this – but once you have a time frame, location is a big factor in deciding our look.  Typically if I mention the beach or something rustic, our photographer Alex will have a few options up her sleeve for us.  I love light and bright colors on the beach. Keep in mind if you’re going somewhere that has specific colors or decor, you don’t want to clash or blend in. I’ve noticed browns and olive greens may not work in a more rustic location with lots of trees and long grass (which is obviously a setting I love).

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three. Once you know when and where your session is taking place, the coordinating begins! Choose your starting outfit. For me, it’s typically mine (mama’s gotta look good, haha). I know my girls look cute in anything and it’s easy to find a shirt for my husband to go with anything. Sometimes my outfit is neutral, and sometimes it has a pattern or makes a statement. Once I’ve found something for me that goes with the overall feel I’m going for, I move on to the girls, and then my husband.

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burgundy dress is LuLaRoe | floral and green ombre were both LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohls | white dress is Knox Rose at Target | sequin dress was from Rent the Runway

four. The kids. As cute as matching outfits are for two sisters, I like them to be different so they don’t just look like one blob. Since my girls are young, we tend to hold them often so I like some contrast. I usually do one in a pattern and one in a solid. Or two solids with different textures. Just some difference to make it interesting! Depending on your preference, you can choose a color from the pallet of your starting outfit, or an opposite yet complimenting color. One way I like to keep a bold look more simple is to keep something consistent like denim pants.

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The girls’ white outfit details are in a recent post.

five. My husband. For men, and especially those who don’t like to play dress up, simplicity is key. Family photos are not his idea of a great day, so I try to make his outfit as painless as possible! His go to look: pants and a button up. If I want a more dressed up look I find a long sleeve and he wears nicer shoes. If I want a more relaxed look, I go for a short sleeve and boots. I want to be sure we all look cohesive in this way.  If I have on a floor length dress, it only seems fitting that his shirt is a bit dressier and on the contrary, if the girls look more relaxed, I want us to also feel casual! His shirt is usually simple (unless our overall look needs a pattern or something) and compliments my outfit alone and the girls clothes. I always like to sneak in a photo of just us, so I want the two of us to look complimentary on our own.

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The last tip is to find a photographer whose style you love and would want to see in your home. I found Alex from Alexandra Kayy Photography while I was pregnant with Aubrey and she has been capturing the special moments in our lives ever since! I love knowing that our memories are in good hands! She’s been at the hospital the day after my babies were born and documented our girls as they’ve grown. I cannot thank her enough for the gifts she has given us through photographs!

Check her out here: Facebook | Instagram | Website

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I hope you enjoy coordinating your family’s outfits for your next family photo session! Do you have any tried and true tips for good family photos? I’d love to hear!


Here’s a quick version of these tips:

 

one. Time frame/Season/Occasion

two. Location

three. Inspiration Outfit

four. Compliment with texture, pattern, solid, colors

five. Cohesive as a whole – bring in elements for consistency (i.e. denim)

Love your photographer!


xoxo

Whitney