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parties + home decor + DIY + fashion + parenting

Planning for fall family photos with clothes we already own

Big Brother: Beanie Vest | Button-up shirt | Jeans | Nike high top shoes | Bracelet
Little Brother: Knit hat | Chambray shirt | Mint and Navy Wolf T | Striped leggings | Booties

We scored an awesome deal on fall family photos through a fundraiser for Nora’s Network. I love any excuse to get professional photos of my little ones and this deal was too good to pass up. But since I recently had newborn photos taken and we have plans for a winter family session, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on our clothes. I’m sharing a cozy and casual look for both boys over on Oh Boy Style today and every item is something we have in our house already or something similar in our home.

Big Brother has a very cute vest from the Genuine Kids line at Target that is mostly navy blue that he will wear along with a colorful button up, Joe’s Jeans from Nordstrom Rack and some cute Nike high top shoes also from Nordstrom Rack.

Little Brother already owns everything in the photo above so it was easy to put this together. The chambray shirt has a soft cotton lining on the inside and pairs well with so many things in Little Brother’s wardrobe. The booties are soft, warm and have velcro on the back making them very functional. That wolf shirt… I just love it! It’s on uber clearance right now too. I picked up the striped leggings at my local Whole Foods store, but they are available on Amazon as well.

Are you doing fall family photos? It’s such a beautiful time of year to get images of our little families, right?

FIVE reasons why every parent should get parental leave after a baby or child joins a family

My husband had six weeks of paternity leave after Ezra was born… six uninterrupted weeks of family time, something we may never get again. It was amazing. And I’m sad that most new parents don’t get this time.

First, I want to acknowledge the fact that even maternity leave is pretty weak in this country. I’ve heard of moms recently who are going back to work at six weeks or sooner. I’m very aware of this challenge and am not denying it at all. I’m also not going to write about that right now. It’s something that is pretty obvious when you compare the United States to any European country or Canada. Here is a good article that addresses this. 

This post is simply based on my experience having my husband and supporter around during the tough first few weeks postpartum and how that compared to our first weeks with our first child with no parental leave. While I’m mostly sharing reasons this is important after a baby is born or adopted, I believe this is important after older children join a family as well.  (more…)

How I’m keeping my bucket list going in this season of life

As a mama of two boys, my life bucket list has evolved a bit over the past few years. It still includes beach vacations, trips to Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, but now I think of all the things I want my boys to see as well. Bodhi has been begging to go to Africa on a safari and to South Africa to see cape buffalo. He also wants to see bison running in Yellowstone National Park. OK, sweet boy, we will make it happen!

After our trip to Sri Lanka in January (while pregnant and traveling with a 2.5 year-old child) Bodhi had a very big interest in traveling more. I’m fairly certain he was meant to be a world traveler. At two and a half years old, he was a total rock star on two 36 hour legs of travel. He had one massive meltdown on our way home at London Heathrow airport, but we were lucky enough to have access to an airline lounge that served food and had showers, bathrooms and reclining chairs for rest. A nap was all he needed.

Do you have a bucket list?

I think most of us have a bucket list, a list of all the things we want to see, do or experience in our lifetime. Maybe yours isn’t on paper yet, but it probably exists. Some bucket list things could be simple like taking my boys on a crunchy walk every fall which is basically hiking in fall with crunchy leaves under our feet. Some may be very aspirational (start a nonprofit that fixes cars for low-income families—cars breaking down is the worst, right?). (more…)

How having low or no expectations of things has changed my life for the better

I may have anywhere from five minutes to three hours to write this post. Ezra is finally sleeping for longer than 20 minutes after some sleep regression this past week. I mentioned it a bit more in yesterday’s post.

I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts on expectations for a few weeks. For the first time in my life, my expectations of how things should go are low. I’ve had a baby before and I know that very little will be “accomplished” each day, yet SO much will get done (diapers, feedings, cuddles, rocking to sleep and more). My to-do list will always be three typed single-spaced pages long (or at least until Ezra turns two). And I’m ok with this. That’s a lie. It’s a struggle. Every. Single. Day. But I know it’s the reality and I will eventually come to terms with it.  (more…)

Ezra is TWO months old

Ezra is already TWO months old. In some ways I’m really sad about how quickly time seems to be going by. In other ways, I’m really looking forward to a true date night sometime in the next six months (gosh, I hope it’s sooner, but this boy needs to take a bottle first) and our fifth anniversary trip my husband and I originally planned for October, but with a baby who won’t take a bottle, we’ve rescheduled for January/February. We will try to escape for one night if somehow the baby miraculously takes a bottle in the next month though.

Today I want to share a few of our comparison photos of Ezra. I have taken three versions because I just can’t decide which one I want to do most. Since they are all easy, I’ll probably keep doing all of them. :) He’s super smiley these days, but of course, the second I put my camera up he gets the most serious faces. Such is life. (more…)

A back-to-preschool look for boys

Hello and happy Friday! I’m still enjoying maternity leave with my new baby and Bodhi has the week off so it’s been especially busy. I’m hoping to post much more often in the coming weeks. Today, I’m sharing a casual and very practical back-to-preschool look for boys over on Oh Boy Style!

Style #8 Back to preschool. Oh Boy Style

Hi Hat | School supply Baseball shirt | Backpack | Orange sweatpants | Blue velcro Nike shoes

Swing by Oh Boy Style for the details and why I chose what I chose.

Autumn wedding inspiration: Neutral with pops of fall colors

I had a Fall wedding five years ago this October. So, the crisp autumn weather, the smells, sights and sounds plus the warm colors that make fall weddings lovely all hold a special place in my heart.

My cousin is planning her wedding for sometime next year. I put together a pretty rose gold inspired look earlier this summer for her wedding in case she decides on a summer wedding. She doesn’t have a date yet, but if it did end up being a fall wedding, I love the idea of warm ivory and neutral tones mixed with pops of fall colors in the flowers, shoes and centerpieces. (more…)

Back to School: Boys backpacks for all budgets and styles

Bodhi starts preschool again in two weeks. The photo above is Bodhi last year at the start of the year and this summer at the end of his first year. I get teary looking at how much he changed in just one year.

This year I’m doing most of my “school shopping” online just to save time since baby Ezra refuses to take a bottle (so leaving him for time out of the house isn’t easy). But, my big boy is starting to have some serious opinions about his clothes and shoes making it difficult to get him dressed the way I’d like. ;) I asked my mom to come visit us next week so she can watch Ezra a bit and I can take Bodhi shopping for a few important things. He cares most about a cool backpack. I decided to do a little online shopping before we hit the stores so I can target shops a bit to save time. Here are my favorite boys backpacks for all budgets and styles.

Which is your favorite? I’m stuck between the Pottery Barn Kids personalized backpacks (just for ease at school-things tend to get mixed up), specifically the striped version or the dinosaur one and the stylish but maybe a bit too mature Herschel Supply Co. backpack in navy and red. And while I didn’t include any of these J.Crew options just because the prices are a bit higher, I am in LOVE with them.

Affiliate links included. 

Bodhi’s dinosaur third birthday party FEATURED

Hello and happy Monday! Bodhi’s dinosaur third birthday party is featured in the hard copy of the August issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine! Pretty exciting. Copies are available throughout the state or you can read more online. Check out page 30. :)

The birthday cake was also featured on 100 Layer Cakelet last week.  And yes, this was the store-bought cake with a store-bought cake topper. I’ll take it! :)

I’m working on a blog post about expectations that I can’t wait to share, but for now, I have about five minutes of peaceful coffee-drinking bliss before the new little mister will be awake.

Cheers to a new week!