Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Easy Tips for Styling Your Family Photos

When I shared our family pictures from this year, I told you guys how I plan on taking pictures every year as a family until I’m cold and dead. It’s so important to me to have pictures taken and I know I will always treasure them. Planning for pictures can be daunting, you want to coordinate but not be matchy-matchy so I put together an easy how-to to get you started! Finding pieces that match the look and feel you’re looking for can be tough, but I really enjoy the entire process!

 photo 5568C720-3B6D-4843-A875-2124E7822CCC_zpsvbojnx8x.png

1. Consider your location + home
When organizing for your family session, consider where you’ll be taking pictures and the season. If you have particular outfits in mind, be sure to plan them to be cohesive with when you’re taking pictures and where. Is your background going to be color changing leaves of fall? Choose rich colors. Will they be by the ocean? Nearly everything goes. Up in the mountains? The orange groves? See what colors will be there to help determine what look you want to create. Also, what will you be doing with the pictures? If you plan on hanging them in your home, consider your décor. You don’t want a giant family photo above the mantle that clashes with your living room.

 photo lawler_028_zps4bf9165a.jpg

2. Find a color palette
This is the first thing I do when planning for our family sessions. It’s kind of our “thing” to do blue, but we’ve also mixed in florals, mint, and coral. I’ve helped lots of family and friends coordinate outfits and the first thing I ask is what colors they’re thinking. Pick 1-2 colors and then everything else should be neutrals- denim, black, white, tan, or gray. You can add color with your tops, bottoms, tights, cardigans, or accessories. It doesn’t have to be the same shades of your color choice, but you want to stick in the same color family.

 photo ellie_072_zps8dec8022.jpg

3. Pick your outfit first!
I know this sounds kind of selfish, but I say this because I find that it’s hardest to shop for me for pictures. I start with myself, the kids, and then Matt. Men seem to be the easiest to shop for so I always do them last. You can always find a nice button down shirt any time of year, but finding the right blouse or dress for women can get kind of tricky.

 photo MKE-50_zpsbd1666fd.jpg

4. Add texture
Depending on the size of your family, at least two people should have clothing that adds depth and texture to your picture. Think knits, lace, eyelet, corduroy, etc. If you’re taking fall or winter pics, this is easy to do with layering- cardigans, vests, dresses, sweaters, pants, whatever! You want to make sure that not just the adults are wearing texture/color/or prints, but that it’s sprinkled throughout the family.

 photo lawler_2015_-9_zpsip4q3ubx.jpg

5. Mix in some prints!
Need ideas? What about a gingham print for Dad, polka dots and florals for the girls, or stripes for the boys. Not everyone needs to be in a print, but finding the right balance of solids, textures, and prints is key to a cohesive portrait. Do you need a little something, but another full outfit will be too much? Don’t forget hair bows or bow ties for the little ones or a printed belt or shoes for yourself! It’s an easy way to sneak it in without going overboard.

 photo lawler_2016_-1_zpscrnmzhdr.jpg

I seriously LOVE planning for family pictures and helping others find just what they need to make their pictures stand out. Even though we just took ours, I’m already scouting and keeping an eye open for new locations for next year. It’s never too early to start thinking ahead! If you have any questions, please ask me in a comment, shoot me an email, or leave me a note on social media. I hope these tips help you with your next family sessions, leave a link below if you have some to share!

All photos done by Lovers of Love Photography - we love working with them!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Faves- Beauty Products

Hello and happy Friday! I haven't done a Friday Faves in a short bit and I'm happy to bring it back with some of my recent beauty faves, some new and some tried and true. I don't usually have a theme for these posts, but today's just happened to be all beauty items. Do you guys like these posts? Do you prefer a theme? Let me know, I want to make sure I'm creating content you enjoy reading.

 photo 05E1BF40-9C81-4E62-B8FE-35C116237F78_zpsekf170yf.jpg

Fall Neutral Nails 
My favorite season definitely has to be spring, but I do look forward to dark manis come fall. My favorites are the shades that are so dark they almost look black (Essie’s Wicked is one that comes to mind), but I also love the look of soft neutrals in the fall too. Grays, mauves, and nude are perfect for this time of year! From left to right- Glamour Purse, Ladylike, Chinchilly, and Topless & Barefoot. I love these colors paired with an ultra dark pedicure too. See some of my favorite fall colors here.

 photo 9F9BBC45-96AC-4991-B2A1-EEFC105E7FD0_zpsibxxuol7.jpg

Fit Me Foundation
I’ve been using this foundation for years and still like it, but my skin has changed a lot since weaning and it just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I needed something that offered the same buildable coverage, but would last throughout the day without disappearing and I needed it to be matte. Boy, did I need it to be matte! I’ve used the Fit Me line in the past when it first came out but hadn’t used it in forever. I’ve heard so many things about the line again lately- that it’s long lasting, blends easily, offers great colors options, etc. that after my first initial freak out about finding a new foundation faded, I knew exactly which one I wanted to try, Fit Me Matte + Powerless (I wear the Ivory shade). To be honest, I don’t wear foundation every day, but I’m loving this one and have been wearing more days than not because it looks so flawless on. It really has lived up to everything I’ve heard and looks so natural on, I have no complaints or cons about it and I’m so glad I tried something new!

 photo 2DAA29E7-2D54-4193-96B7-83ED0C81D1C6_zpsymi6td0n.jpg

MAC Palette
If you’ve been following me for a while you know my beauty weakness is eyeshadow. I need another shadow or palette like I need a hole in the head. I picked up this MAC Palette during the Nordstrom sale and have been going back and forth about using it when it first came in. I didn’t immediately grab for it every morning, but I brought on our Washington state trip (see my recaps here and here, and what other products I packed here) and have been using it a ton ever since. Although I’ve been loving this palette, I still wouldn’t call it a must-have, this palette is great if you’re looking for the basics or just getting started with shadows. I mostly have been using the top three pink/burgundy hues and the middle bronzes. MAC is one of my favorite for shadows, they’re always pigmented, blend easily and are long lasting.

 photo 6B775466-47C8-4E05-90FB-9F33BFA38E69_zpsjsckvc6m.jpg

Lip Combo
The majority of my lipsticks are nudes and pinks, and I just love a good nude lip! I included this Crème D’Nude shade in a previous Friday Faves, but I found the best gloss for it. Crème D’Nude and NYX Fortune Cookie is positively perfect together. I love NYX’s butter gloss line, they’re so creamy and have a great color about them. Anytime I want to add some shine to my nude lip, I always reach for this gloss. It’s gorgeous on it’s own and I love how well they blend together.

Hope you guys have a great weekend! We have a big Halloween family party tomorrow and I'm so excited! I can't wait to see the girls in their costumes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Our Family Pics 2016

When Matt and I first were married, I told him we'd take family pictures every year until we died. I want to be able to see our family over the years, have something to look back on that captured our family and varying stages of its growth. While in Washington, one of my aunt's had their playroom covered in their family pics from over the years and I loved looking back at them and seeing their family grow. It's exactly what I want in my own home, 100s of pictures over the years and stories to tell with them. Pudgy fingers, goofy smiles, bad haircuts, missing teeth, awkward years, I want to remember and have something tangible to look through when I'm old and gray and share them with my grandchildren.

For pics this year, we met with Dana and Nate of Lovers or Love photography at the Santa Rosa Plateau. It was a gorgeous location and gave us a few different backdrops, I think we'll even go back next year and check out a different part of the park. Just like last year's, I had this planned for months and months. Our outfits had been carefully picked out before Easter even! It was our fifth session together with them and they did not disappoint. We're so comfortable shooting with them and I can always count on our pictures turning out just beautiful. I was worried about the girls, but they hammed it up! Smile after giant smile and these pictures would have to be my favorite ever! Yesterday, I had several printed and switched them out in our frames. I have so many more I want to print, it's just so hard to choose my favorites! Below is just a few of them, otherwise I'd have to include them all!

 photo lawler_2016_-5_zps2n1opedh.jpg

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall 2016 Reading List

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I have a few posts coming up in the next few weeks that I'm excited for. It's been so hard to find the time to blog lately. I'm trying to be more present at home and relax without doing 10 things at once so blogging has moved to the back burner for a bit. I'm hoping to work out and find a better schedule for working on posts, so I really appreciate your support! Blogging is so much fun for me and I love all of your comments and "meeting" each of you through social media. Thank you so much for following me along in my little corner of the internet.

Are you a reader? I’ve always been a pretty avid reader since childhood, I love getting lost in a book and always have a reading list a mile long. Recently on Instagram, I talked about a recent book I read that I recently enjoyed (Find Her by Lisa Gardner, I couldn’t put it down!) and asked for recommendations for my next book. There were so many great recs, thank you! I’ve added just about everything to my library’s reading list and put together a small list that I’m hoping to tackle in the coming months.

The only time I get to relax and read a book is during my lunch break at work. Now that I’m not pumping during my lunch breaks, I have so much more time to read and have been trying to tackle my list each week. I typically read a book a week (give or take depending on the length) and I've been so good at staying on top of my list so far. Here’s a peek into the books I have on the top of my list, in no particular order. I’m really excited about some of these, I’m hoping to read Behind Closed Doors and Orphan Train next.

 photo Fall Reading List-3_zpshnyggteg.jpg

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What I Packed: Toiletries & Beauty

One thing I think everyone hates doing is packing. I mean, unpacking is the absolute worst, but packing is just terrible. At first it's fun and you think about cute outfits you're gonna wear, and items you bought specifically for a trip or pieces you don't get to wear enough, and then the doom sets in. Can I bring just two pairs of shoes and make them work for everything or do I really need to pack all four? How can I pack such and such without ruining/wrinkling/breaking it?

A few weekends ago, I started this blog post for my beauty items and just didn't get it finished in time to post before we left.  I thought about scrapping it altogether, but I always like to see beauty and travel posts and went ahead with it. Full disclosure, my beauty/bathroom bag tends to be larger than my clothing! Since we were gone for just less than two weeks, had a full agenda including a wedding, I thought out what I’ll be packing that will get me the most use and be versatile. When I first seriously started thinking about what I wanted to pack I promised myself that I wouldn’t overpack and paid attention to which products I used most often and which I could leave at home.

 photo 78039F07-2946-4FFF-B2AC-CBF679912973_zps5tihhvq0.jpg