25 January 2018


A VERY belated Happy New Year, friends! Time is just flying by-- I can hardly believe it's been two (nearly three) months since my last post. Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone, and we're well into 2018 now!

Quick holiday recap- December was a month to remember. I read this post No Moving Target December before the holiday season and revisited it many times throughout the month. If you don't read the entire post, here's the takeaway:

"I don’t want to miss what really matters in the name of productivity, perfection, and busyness."

I made it intention to slow down and treasure the magical time of the holiday season. I took a huge step back from any and all media (highly recommend it!) and was very intentional about how I used my time and the people I spent my time with. Don't get me wrong, we did our share of entertaining during the holidays. Like a LOT of it. But I knew that the house didn't have to be perfect and the "to do" list didn't have to be complete.

09 November 2017

Blingy Bows

Seriously swooning over this look featured on Shelter's Crushing Velvet post! That Smythe blazer, which I've posted about here is a bit pricey but it's a classic practical piece that will last a decade and go with everything. If Kate wears it, you know you're in good company! The blazer in plush velvet paired with the glam jeweled bow is a perfect holiday look.

And, yay, for bows! First spotted on the runway for fall 2015 and again noted in Harper's Bazaar this fall, it's a look that isn't just for fashion models. I've been throwing my hair back in a pony tail and adding a simple black bow on bad hair days for years. It's an easy trick to tame the fly-aways or skip a day of shampooing.

FOUND! Get it here. After searching high and low for the jeweled barrette (sold out at Nordstrom for months), I happened to be checking out one of my regular go-to sources and saw that embellished beauty, now 25% off! 

What runway to everyday looks have you tried or will you jump onboard with in the upcoming season? Vogue reports that the top beauty/fashion/makeup trends for Spring 2018 include red lips (I'll give it a go) and body positivity and diversity-- Hear, hear! 

"That real-world refresh gave rise to trends both playful and practical, melding a new I-woke-up-like-this ease with a more overt riff on glamour." 

02 November 2017

Say Cheese: Five Tips for Family Photos

'Tis the season when lots of mamas are starting to think about the holidays. I mean, once Halloween is over, you might as well embrace it! You can't miss all things Christmas in the stores; your inbox is full of sale emails, and every other blog post is a gift guide.

Take away the commercial chaos, and the holidays for me are about connection. One of the things I most look forward to about the season is holiday cards. Some might consider it an outdated tradition (or hassle!), but when so much interaction is online these days, I get all giddy when I open the mailbox and have personal notes or cards. Social media may make us feel connected in the moment, but there's something special about a delivery from the postman.

The photos of friends and loved ones is by far the best part of the whole Christmas card experience. Yup, I have friends who post snaps of their kids nearly every day. We all do. But there is magic that goes into the making of the holiday card photos!

My first family holiday card experience was a total parent fail! But we've come a long way since that first photo shoot with Sweet P.  When she was about three months old, Grammie and I took the sweet doll baby to a photo studio for her picture. Little did I know, her very fancy red and green plaid dress had a very scratchy crinoline petticoat underneath. She cried the whole time, and the photographer couldn't get a single picture. What a miserable experience for everyone-- and the guilt I felt for dressing her up in that silly dress was awful!

After the failed attempt at getting pictures taken in the studio, we ended up getting a few okay snaps from a staged at home shoot. But by the time we finally had our pictures, it was too late to order any cards printed and send them in time for Christmas.

Fortunately, I learned from the first year, and last year was a lot easier! We planned in advance and set up time with our uber talented team of photographers that we worked with for Sweet P's newborn photos and several other sessions. Capital Region friends-- Ashley Brown and her assistant, Kristen, specialize in photographing children and their families. These ladies are true pros, and you will TREASURE your photos.

Working with Ashley and Kristen, I've learned a few tips to help make your Christmas photo session easier...

Start with neutrals - As someone that loves color and pattern, I'm conscious of choosing clothing that's  too bold or bright. Select grays, beige, white, black and save the pops of color for accessories. Also consider choosing clothing in the same tones so outfits compliment one another.


Kids are the stars of the show, so give them all of the attention by concentrating color and patterns in their outfits. But be careful of crazy patterns, mixing patterns or horizontal stripes or textures to avoid the photo looking busy or distracting.

                                                                    Leopard print is a neutral!

And if you want to go for seasonal colors, you can find inspiration for subtle complimentary colors on Pinterest.

Prepare, prepare, prepare-  Try outfits on ahead of time (learn from my mistake!) and bring a backup outfits especially if you're going off site or to the studio for photos with a little. Spit up and blow outs happen. 

Bring accessories and props- In addition to the required toddler snacks (we're not above bribing Sweet P with M & Ms), take along favorite blankets, loveys, hats and mittens, or a special toy for the photographer to incorporate into the pics. 

 Timing is everything. Time the shoot around naps and meals when kids are rested, content and cooperative. If you're taking photos outside, the photographer can advise you about the best time of day for maximizing natural light. 

Have fun! Remember life happens, but it doesn't have to be stressful and overwhelming. The day that we had our most recent family photo shoot, we woke up to a plumbing emergency (i.e. no water...) After the Sailor fortunately "fixed" the problem, we were running very late. Pip wouldn't nap beforehand, and she was going through a Dada-only phase (Heartbreaking... Thank goodness it only lasted for a short time!)

Despite feeling defeated and blinking back tears that day, I did my best to make P laugh and relax into her normal behavior- acting happy and being silly! I bounced her in the air, played peek-a-boo behind a tree, and chased after a butterfly with P all while forgetting that there was someone watching and snapping away. Trust that your photographer will freeze those moments of contentment and joy for you to remember.


18 October 2017

This and That

Happy Fall, friends! It has been forever since I last did an update. Too little time with a toddler on the go! It is fun, but Sweet P needs constant entertainment. We've had fun packed weekends shopping at the mall (maybe NBD for some, but we never take family shopping trips...for good reason!), stocking up on yummy food at Trader Joe's , a family photo session, a trip to the pumpkin patch/orchard, an outing to the aquarium, a road trip to Great Barrington to visit friends and pick apples, arts and crafts on rainy days and last but not least, an early Halloween party at the club. Throw in some work travel for me, and it's been a busy month or so!

23 September 2017

Sweet P at ...25 Months

Oops-- little late on this update. Actually, I'd originally posted all of Sweet P's updates to the Shutterfly share sites, and I did get it up there on time. But does anyone else find that site really difficult to use??? It was great when it came time to printing photo books or photo gifts- All of the pics were in one place and organized chronologically. So many people that I invited to view the photos couldn't log in though. If any readers have suggestions for alternative photo sharing sites that also make it easy to create books and other photo gifts, please share in the comments!  

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe that Pippa is TWO! She continues to fill our hearts with unimaginable joy and love even as she enters the so-called "Terrible Twos.” Pip’s big personality grows with every day— and we are blessed to have a silly, spunky, sweet girl. 

23 August 2017

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Hi friends and happy (almost end of) August! Whoa, does time fly! I had no idea my little summer "sabbatical" would turn into two months off from blogging. During that time, I took a step back from the online world, cut out a lot of "optional" activities, and created more time to focus on family and self-care (more on that later!).

Here are the highlights of Summer 2017:

15 June 2017

Sweet P at Twenty-One Months

It feels like a long time since I last did an update on P. In a matter of months, Pippa has transformed from an infant into a spirited, strong-willed toddler. Pip's favorite word is "no," and she likes to be the boss. She directs Mom and Dad to "sit" and "play," but she nothing makes her happier than when she can get others to laugh. We can't get enough of her giggle and wide grin!