what to wear: family photos

We had Bella Life take our first family photos with baby Lawton a few weeks ago and I’m loving how they turned out!  Choosing coordinating outfits for pics is tough.  And it was especially challenging this time since I don’t yet fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.  I thought I’d share some helpful “rules” that I follow when picking out group photo outfits.

1. Choose your outfit first.

Since you probably planned the photoshoot, you should feel happy about what you’re wearing!  In my case, I was feeling self-conscious about my post-baby body and nothing fit.  I found this charcoal midi dress at Zara used it as my starting point.

2. Limit patterns.

Stick to mostly solid color outfits.  Different textures are fine, but mixing multiple patterns can make the pics feel busy.  I fell in love with Denton’s sweater and so it became the one patterned piece.

3. Coordinating, not matchy-matchy.

The outfits should color-coordinate with each other, but not be matchy-matchy.  In this case, I used the colors from Denton’s sweater as the palate.  The rust color shows up in my shoes, Lawton’s blanket, and Pavel’s shoes and belt.  The cream is repeated in Lawton’s onesie, and the light-gray in Pavel’s sweater.

4. Weather and venue appropriate.

Consider your surroundings.  Don’t wear a sundress in the snow, or a ski outfit to the beach.  And similarly, don’t have one person in shorts and a t-shirt and another in a sweater and jeans.

5. Plan ahead.

A few days before the photoshoot, make sure the outfits are clean and set aside.  This will make sure they’re ready to go for picture day!  It sounds silly, but when trying to get everyone dressed and out the door on time, you’ll be glad you did.

And then enjoy your beautiful photos!


Month 1: fave baby items


One month down!  It seems baby Lawton’s first month flew by way faster than it did with baby Denton (who’s now 19 months!!).  In some ways caring for a little seems waaaay easier this time around.  I’m definitely more confident and comfortable with a newborn now, and with a toddler we’re already in parent mode so there’s less of a “oh —- what have we done!?!” feeling.  And I’ve got my fave baby items…


Blankets and Swaddles

Max + Moose

Max + Moose blanket Halo sleepsack

Max + Moose makes the coziest swaddle blankets.  They’re the perfect size with just the right amount of stretch to keep your little all snuggled up.

The Halo sleepsack is what we use for nighttime sleep.  It’s great for growing babies because you can swaddle their arms down when their tiny, and let them free as they get older.  And once they start rolling around at night, the sleepsack keeps them warm and cozy all night.



Baby Gap
Zara Kids and Mini

sweater one-piece  |  sherpa booties  |  reindeer sweater

Gap has been a go-to for almost all of Denton, and now Lawton’s, clothing staples.  Their long-sleeve onesies are super soft, and their denim is adorable.  And it seems like Gap is pretty much always having a great sale!

As Denton has gotten older I’ve been buying him more clothes at Zara Kids.  Their sweaters are irresistibly cute, and now there’s a Mini line for little babies!!



Uppababy vista  |  Babyzen yoyo 0+  |  Babyzen yoyo 6+

I’ve got all of these strollers and I love them!  The Uppababy vista converts to a two-seater for growing families, and has a compatible bassinet and carseat.  And the basket is big for shopping!

The Babyzen yoyo is light-weight and folds down super small.  It is the absolute best for traveling!  You just need to buy one stroller frame, and then add on the bassinet and/or seat kit.


One month and counting…


Bella Baby FTW!


Our sweet little baby Lawton was born on October 17, 2018.  I delivered via C-section and was in the hospital for nearly a week.  While walking the halls I picked up a brochure for Bella Baby and it’s pretty much the best business idea ever.


Bella Baby brings professional photographers into hospitals to capture those first precious moments with your new baby.

Bella Baby offers moms complimentary photo sessions in the convenience of their hospital room.  There is no commitment to purchase any photos– but really, who wouldn’t want to!?!!

The in-hospital photoshoot takes about 15 minutes, and access to the prints is made available via an online gallery THE SAME DAY!  It’s so easy and efficient, and I LOVE how the pics turned out.


Bella Baby is BRILLIANT!!  I am so happy that I have these first pics of baby Lawton.  And newborn photos are just the beginning!! 

Bella Life picks up where Bella Baby leaves off.  Bella Life photographers will come to your home – or wherever you’d like –  to document special moments in your life.  Bella Life offers maternity shoots, family celebrations, cake smash photos, family portrait sessions, and more!

In fact, we just had Bella Life out to take our first family photos since Lawton’s arrival.  I can’t wait to see how the pics turn out!!!



Thank you to Bella Baby for sponsoring this post.

in case you missed it…


hi there!

After a year in the biz and over 4k followers, we felt overdue for a proper hello!  This post gives a little info on Aj and me 🙂

ashaj 1


We teamed up with @houseofoleary, owner of Shabby Apple, and the fabulous @kristinandrus for a HUGE giveaway last month.  Find out more about these amazing ladies and shop their looks here.


Family Pics

We each did a post about our family pics this year with tips on outfit coordinating and a fantastic deal from Minted!  Read Ash’s post here, and Aj’s here.

IMG_0620 2a17

Top Products

jacket 1

allison faux fur jacket

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 5.03.41 PM

pile jacket


black lace midi



holiday cards!


This is the first year we’re sending out holiday cards, and lots of the credit goes to Minted and their amazing Photo-Op deal.

Minted launched a deal in SF, LA, and NY, where for $100 they send a photog to your house (or wherever you want) for a 30 minute mini-photoshoot. You get digital copies of all of the photos, and Minted will suggest some holiday card designs to pair with a few pics . If you have ever paid for a photoshoot, you know this is an AMAZING deal and such a HUGE time saver!


Pavel: shirt  | Denton: sweater + pants  | Ash: sweater

For our card I ended up tweaking the Minted suggestions a bit, but overall I’m happy with the service.  I mean — $100 and the photographer comes to us?!?!  THANK YOU!


To style the shoot I of course called up my sis for outfit help.  Aj’s had loads of practice with family photos.  She even wrote a great post on tips and tricks for family pictures.



I chose neutral outfits (i.e. they don’t scream HAPPY HOLIDAYS!) so that I could maybe frame some to hang around the house year round. Denton’s hair was the only surprise.  It was completely out of control, but we felt it added character 😉





Nursery Essentials

I wanted baby girl’s nursery to be girly and comforting. I have gravitated towards all things floral this time- maybe because with Hadley, my first, I didn’t want anything super girly- so this time I’m making up for it!

IMG_7408.jpgSince my mom now doesn’t live by me, I couldn’t recruit her to paint on the walls like I normally have her do- so instead, I found these amazing wall decals! Aren’t they gorgeous!? The best part is- you can take them off and move them around with no damage to the wall! There are so many different ones on Etsy!

SAMSUNG CSCI also found this handy rolling cart at Ikea. I have two in my kiddos playroom in black– but thought it would be the perfect addition to baby girl’s room for all of her diapers/wipes/soaps/burp cloths/blankets- STUFF!

Hadley really wanted to contribute to Rem’s room, so I had her do some finger paintings for the frames (from Ikea!). Then I did the bright pink painting! It is so easy! I got a white canvas from Hobby Lobby- A tube of pink and a tube of white paint- some sponges, and a cup of water. I would then use the sponge to paint on the pink and then use another sponge to squeeze water over it to make it look more like water colors. It turned out just how I wanted it to- and it was super cheap!


The super soft fuzzy rug was inexpensive and the perfect way to brighten up the room and make it cozy! Plus, rugsusa.com always has a coupon! Also, by far our favorite blanket for miss Rem has been our Max + Moose blanket. It’s your favorite soft tshirt turned blanket! Obsessed.

Now, I have rocking chairs in my room and beckam’s room- but I knew I would want one for Rem’s room as well- not to mention, one for lots of little people to sit on with me! No way Beck & Hads were going to give me space while I was holding their sister. They need to be as close as they can to her at all times. This was the perfect addition to the space.

bedding: Ikea | pillows: Homegoods | headboard: Downeast | bedframe: Amazon | My dress: JL COMING SOON! It’s amazing! You’re going to love it.