Holiday, Holiday, Kids, Lifestyle, Shop Our Instagram, Style

Coordinated Outfits for Family Photos

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season doesn’t involve the gifts, food, and all the craziness. What I look forward to, is keeping in touch with family and friends. And one way we do this is by sharing holiday cards! I love sending pics showing how much my kiddos have grown. And I really enjoy seeing all of the other family’s in our life- how much their kids have grown, the new additions since last year, and even the family animals that make it into the photos.

We have started a regular tradition of having a professional photographer (and now friend) take our photos each Fall. I love being able to look over the photos every year and look back on the different stages the kids were in. You don’t have spend a lot of money to capture wonderful images and have the keepsake of the different places you are in each year. A friend or family member might be willing to help or even set up a tripod to capture the moments!

To capture great photos (both classic and silly), no matter who the photographer is, I think it comes down to a great location, and a coordinated look. For a location, I have found that being outside in natural light, captures the best photographs. Over the years we have picked a range of places from parks in the country to historic sights in the city. My favorites have been the locations with rustic structures and interesting backgrounds like old buildings or water sources. This year, we chose the historic Valley Forge Park in Valley Forge, PA. What a place! Beautiful fields, rustic buildings, old stone walls, a wooden bridge over a stream- so many great photo ops.

Once I think of a location, I work on coordinating outfits. I usually don’t look for exactly the same item or print for us to wear. But rather colors or prints that compliment each other and pop in the photos. This year I was focused on a color scheme and was deciding between navy and green, red and black, and white and black. My go-to store/online retailer for family outfits has been the Gap Brands year after year. I find that they have so many trendy and classic styles and colors to choose from, that I have lots of options to work with between the brands to find the perfect look.

I always look for the kid’s outfits first. I find they are the hardest to land on for style and price. So by focusing on them first, I find it much easier to pair back the grown up outfits since ours are usually more classic items (hopefully that we already own or mostly own!) After looking at all of the options online, I selected the navy and green color theme. We are a very casual family so I like our outfits to reflect that. We are always in jeans for the most part. But I love having my daughter dress up in a pretty dress (while she will still wear one) to make the photos look a little more special than our day-to-day. I found this adorable navy dress with bright colored embroidery from Gap. It has a nice pop of color but still neutral being grounded in navy. When I saw the green and navy plaid shirt from Old Navy, I envisioned that they could work really well together.

Here are the outfit details for the kids (affiliate links):

My Son- Navy and Green Plaid Shirt / Slim Jeans (similar style) / Navy Hi-Top Sneakers (similar style)

My daughter- Navy Dress with Embroidery / Navy Cable Knit Tights / Silver Boots

Once I have the kids all taken care of, then it’s easier to decide on the outfits for the grownups. Since I grounded the looks in navy, I knew both my husband and I would wear navy tops or sweaters. Keeping the casual look, we both paired them with jeans. Then to keep overall look of being more casual with our outdoor setting, we picked tan/light brown shoes so they wouldn’t stand out too much.

Here are the outfit details for the grown ups (affiliate links):

Mom’s Outfit: Open Front Duster Cardigan (similar style) / Grey Peplum Tank (similar ss style) / Dark Indigo Jeggings / Tan Booties (similar style)

Dad’s Outfit: Marled Navy Crewneck Sweater / Straight Jeans (similar style) / Light Brown Loafers

I usually do a quick lay down as a double check that all the items will go together like this:

Once I feel good about the options then I just let the rest go and trust our photographer! When the kids were little, I stressed so much about getting the perfect shot, if they would smile, and if we would all look good in the same photo! But now over the years I’ve learned to just enjoy the moment! Like so many other moments and stages, you can’t control it all. And if you try to (at least for me), the fun is all gone. Documenting these family moments isn’t just about a good looking holiday card, but also about enjoying having fun and being silly all together. The amazing photos are just the extra bonus!

I hope you enjoy capturing the photos with your family- whatever that looks like to you. Just enjoy being together!

Here is the final product! And of course our other favorite family member had to join in the pic:)

xo,

Liz

Holiday, Holiday, Kids

Halloween Treat Bags

I love doing all the little things around the holidays which make it extra fun with the kiddos. They love giving their friends some treats for Halloween, but we are no longer allowed to bring in food treats due to allergies. If your kids like doing the same thing, here is a quick idea that you still have time for that will be fun to do and fun to give out. (These are also great for other holidays or celebrating bdays in the classroom).

The last few years we have created treat bags for their school friends filled with non-food treats like boucy balls, spider rings, pencils, notepads, bubbles etc. With multiple kids, making treat bags for over 40 kids can get expensive. But by going to a store where they sell these items in bulk like Target and the Dollar Store, you can give out cute treats without blowing your budget!

This year we chose Target and I let the kids pick out what they wanted to fill their bags with. I find that this activity allows the kids to feel part of the process and make the decisions, but I know it won’t end up costing me an arm and a leg!

I usually find these deals in the Target dollar section up in the front of the store or in the back corner where they set up their Halloween destination with candy, decor, etc. Here are the treats they picked out for this year as well as stickers to decorate the name tags (see below).

What’s also great about this project, is that the kids can basically do all the steps themselves. So they are empowered to figure things out but also feel a sense of accomplishment when they are done and pride when they hand out the bags to their friends.

First step is we start with making the name tags for each friend. We use a paper cutter to cut card stock into squares or rectangles. Then we use a single hole punch to punch a hole in the top corner. This is where we will attach the name tag to the gift bag.

Next comes decorating the name tags. This is by far my kid’s favorite step since I let them have free reign over however they want to decorate them. They use stickers, markers- whatever they think will look the best! My son can now write so he labels each tag with a friend’s name and then puts his name on the other side. My daughter isn’t able to fully write yet so I let her decorate one side and then I write From V on the other side.

Then comes the fun step of stuffing the bags! We separate each treat into a pile and the kids make sure there is one of each thing in each bag.

Final step is closing the bags. This is where the grownup may need to help a little. I use the twist tie to close the bag as well as attach the name tag. Loop the twish tie through the hole on the name tag. Then bunch the top of the goodie bag together, wrap the twist tie around the bag, and twist a few times. The bag should be secure and you should still be able to see the name on the tag. Voila! Here is the final product!

Hope you found this helpful and enjoy making treat bags with your own kiddos.

Happy Halloween!! xo, Liz

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This Weeks Loft Finds!

Hey there!! I found some the cutest tops at Loft this week I just had to show you all!! Loving all the super cute, feminine details.

The lace and ruffle on these two style are a must for now and will be perfect to layer under cardigans in the fall!

Ruffle Sleeve Top
White Cropped Pant
Ruffle Sleeve Top
Eyelet Hem Top
Jeans

This adorable sweater caught my eye right away!! I love the super cute embroidery! If you like it fitted go for your regular size, if you would prefer it to be more roomy, then size up 1 size.

Bicycle Sweater

I love the slightly oversized fit of this stripe number!! And love how it looks with this military jacket! This jacket is amazing! The fabrication is perfectly drapy. It looks great casual like here or dressed up with a blouse and cute heels!!

Stripe Top
Jeans
Military Jacket
Stripe Top
Jeans

I had to throw in this look too! Love the wide leg pant with this duster cardigan. Such a great transitional look!

Striped Duster Cardigan
Pocket Tee
Wide Leg Pant
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Top Old Navy Looks for the Week!

Most stores right now are either in total Back To School mode or are in the middle of transition. This time of year is a mixture of sales or early fall items that you are just not ready for yet. I get it! But there are always those pieces that catch my eye and peak your interest to purchase anyway.

Here are my top Old Navy finds this week even though the store is in total transition!

First of all the stand out of the week or possibly the month for me is the Rock Star Jean!! Now, I have been loving this jean for at least the last 6 years. However, in the recent past 2 years I have to admit that the quality slipped , as well as, the consistency in the sizing. I am so happy to report that has all changed and I couldn’t be more happy!! It is BACK!! The fabrication is high quality (doesn’t feel like they will rip when you sit down), and the sizing is consistent between different pairs!! I am also loving that they are offering the Rock Star in a boot leg too!! I can finally pick up a few new pairs!

Baseball Tee
Rock Star Jeans (I”m wearing)
Checkout all the Rock Star Jeans

Old Navy does baseball tees like no other and this seasons come in beautiful color combos! I loved layering it under this military jacket too! Note the jacket ran a bit big so I would size down 1 size. All this together makes for a perfect brisk day look!

Baseball Tee
Military Jacket
Jeans

Believe me when I say I was not even thinking about looking at sweaters but this one caught my eye for how light weight it is. Perfect for early fall or even now for those chilly offices. The tunic length is perfect for leggings too! As the fall progresses this Sherpa vest is amazing!!! LOVE!!! Love the look with it layered over the tunic sweater!

Tunic Sweater
Jeans
Tunic Sweater
Sherpa Vest
Jeans

Lastly this sweatshirt is all the 😍!! I love alone like here or I am envisioning it layered over a super comfy flannel! Can’t wait!!

Sweatshirt
Jeans

What’s you favorite look?

Fitness, Shop Our Instagram, Style

Athleta Skort is Amazing!!

My first Athleta purchase has been a winner! This Momentum Skort has checked all the boxes for me and is beyond my expectations!

Key wins- amazing fit (close fit but not super tight), allows for great movement while working out, fabric is light and whisks away sweat, shorts underneath stay in place, AND it looks adorable!

Snag one before they are sold out at this amazing price! Black is in stock in a full size run. Fits tts. I wear a size 4 and the small fits like a dream!!

Shop the skort here (affiliate links)

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Back to School – pbk Backpacks and Lunch Boxes

I can’t believe some schools are already heading back to school! My niece and nephew are starting in a week in FL, but I know some schools in GA and AZ have already gone back!

We still have a few weeks left of summer here in the Northeast. My son won’t start 2nd grade till late August. But I have to start getting my ducks in a row sooner than later so I’m not super stressed out right before school starts.

First thing done off my list- his new backpack and lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids!

We got 2 years out of his last backpack (kindergarten and 1st grade). I was so impressed how well his last style held up. He could have used it again this year, it is still in great shape! But he has grown so much, he needs the next size. So we’ll be handing down his last one to his little sister.

Each year though, he needs a new lunch box. I don’t know what they do with them each day at school, but by the end of the school year, the lunch boxes are destroyed and so gross inside!

So I let my son pick out his new favorite styles to be in style in school year. Here he is showing off his new items and he can’t wait to use them on his first day.

All backpacks and lunch boxes are on sale and they ship free! I highly recommend them- a little more than some of the other stores, but based on all the wear and tear he has given them in the past, and how well they have held up, I think they are worth it!

Shop all the styles here

There are also food storage and water bottles that are perfect add-ons to be school ready! shop here

Mackenzie Blue Multi Dino Backpack – My son is wearing a size large and for reference he is 7 years old

Mackenzie Blue Glow-in-the-Dark Shark Lunch Box – We chose the “cold pack” style for this year and we’ve had other styles in the past that have worked well.

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Trend Alert: Leopard!

I love Leopard, you seem to love leopard, and the good news is that Leopard will continue to be super important this Fall. It also looks like ladies, such as myself, are experimenting with it more. It’s fun to break out of just using leopard in my accessories and wearing throughout my wardrobe. Looks like for fall it’s becoming more of a basic color or staple. Leopard is the new black!!

If you are like me and ready to wear leopard all over or if you already do I pulled together some great items out there right now to add to your wardrobe to wear now and later!

My Skirt (keeps selling out so HURRY before it’s gone again!)
Similar Skirt
Cute Cardigan
Amazing Tee
Blouse
Sheath Dress
Slip Dress (looks great with a long cardigan)
Adorable Pants (everyone who has them raves about them!!)

Now if you are a little more weary of wearing too much of this animal print then try these amazing accessories and shoes to add a splash of sophistication to your look for now and the fall!

These Shoes (use code JULY20 to get 20%off)
Another Super Cute Pump (I have in another color and LOVE)
Tote Bag
Belt
Umbrella (super chic!)
Waterproof Sneaker (BTW the other colors are super cute too!)
Oversized Scarf (use code JULY20 to get 20% off $80 purchase)
Pajamas