Styling Fall family photos

While the calendar may say its Fall, the weather around here surely doesn’t feel like it. But with cooler temps on the horizon, I’m starting to pull out those booties, sweaters, puffer vests and think of our annual family photos. We take these special pictures every year, in October or November. I use these photos in our Christmas cards, to display around our home and also as a way to see how we all change and grow from year to year.

Now the actual picture-taking part can be very stressful and not all that fun – think yelling at two children to hold still, not run away and strike the perfect pose – but one part I truly enjoy is styling our family’s outfits. Admittedly it does stress me out because I will get a certain idea in my head and the perfectionist in me goes crazy but I love the process, and then admiring the outcome.

Over the years, I have found that I always start with one thing that gives me inspiration, whether that be a dress, a pair of shoes or boots, a specific color or a trend I know I want to incorporate. I stay focused on that one thing and then build each person’s outfit around that. I try to stick with a family of colors and tones or certain fabrics, again all relating back to that first piece. I don’t like matching but rather coordinating and mixing prints, patterns and accessories to get the perfect shot. Here’s a look back at my family photos from the past few years and the inspiration behind the styling.

November 2017 – velvet & polka dots

Lyla saw this gold velvet dress at Target and fell in love. I saw it and knew this was the piece I would frame everything around for our 2017 pictures. I kept the velvet theme going in each of our outfits – Sophie’s bow and shoes, both maroon velvet, Lyla’s black velvet stacked-heel booties (an absolutely adorable find at Marshalls, they are Cynthia Rowley), and also my brown velvet over-the-knee boots. I used my plaid peplum style shirt (another great Marshalls find), and Sophie’s patterned skirt (Target!) to weave in the gold tones from Lyla’s dress. Finally both girls wore polka dots, Lyla on her tights and Sophie on her knee-high socks. The polka dots added a fun touch and also mixed patterns when paired with the plaid. I had to keep my husband’s shirt pretty simple since us girls had a lot going on. The rich gold, and warm brown, plus the pops of maroon tones blended in with the fall foliage at one of our favorite wineries.

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November 2016 – fringe & fur

The source of inspiration this year was a pair of Minnetonka boots. I got these boots for Lyla and have been dying to put them on Sophie since she was born. This is the year the boots finally fit her so our outfits revolved around this beloved pair of suede, fringe boots. The next piece was Lyla’s dress (funny, that happened the next year too!). And it was another amazing find from Target! The maroon lace and high/low hem made this dress just adorable. I actually had this off-white lace dress in my closet already however I knew I didn’t want Sophie to be in lace as well. I really don’t like us all to match so I found her plain maroon dress at Old Navy. I loved that it had a tulle skirt to mix in another dimension of fabric. Lyla picked out her headband (of course from Target) and while initially, I did not think it would work, once her entire outfit was on, I loved it. We finished her look with brown booties from, where else, Target! My dress felt a little plain on its own so I added a fur vest because, you can’t go wrong with faux fur!

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December 2015 – miss December

My sweet little Sophie was born on December 23rd, she is our Christmas baby! I saw this dress on Instagram and it became the inspiration. We had never done a Christmas-themed shoot before so I thought it would be a fun change. There is a great tree set-up in our downtown area, it was the perfect backdrop.

Since Sophie’s dress was black and red, that immediately became the color scheme. Lyla’s dress was actually a consignment store find, can you believe that? I will bring the girls old clothes to our local store from time to time and always browse when I am there. Sometimes I will find brand new clothes, from top name brands, WITH the tags still attached! It’s a great store and if you take the time to look, you can find some amazing stuff.

The girls bows had gold polka dots that coordinated with the gold bows on Sophie’s tights, they are hard to see but there, and my earrings. I kept my outfit more simple with a plain, white blouse and black pants. I had the great idea to wrap presents and have the girls hold them but I wasn’t 100% pleased with how they looked in the photos. We tried to get Sophie to put the gift down for some of the pictures but wouldn’t let go!

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November 2014 – leather & denim with pops of red

This year I knew I wanted to incorporate leather and denim. I already had the denim shirts for myself and Lyla so I got Sophie a tunic length one that she wore as a dress. I found the faux-leather skirt at Nordstrom Rack. I added in pops of red via Sophie’s headband and my lips. I loved the mixing of patterns and fabrics this year. My polka dot sweater and Sophie’s polka dot tights, suede fringe Minnetonka’s (I do love those shoes!), my hubby’s plaid shirt, Lyla’s fur vest and jeweled headband, I could go on and on. I really, really loved the outfits from this year. Photos taken again at Concannon Vineyards!

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Now I know this post is a little lengthy but this is a topic I really do love, dressing my family for photos! We are in the process of choosing a location for this year’s photos (we may do something different than in the past) but you can bet I’m already dreaming of a theme and looking around for inspiration. We may go more casual than in the past or change it up and do it a bit more dressy. I’ll make sure to share the finished product when we figure it out 🙂

 

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Friday Love 9.7.18

Happy Friday!

We had such a great and relaxing Labor Day weekend, which made going back to school and our regular routine on Tuesday pretty rough. We are so happy it’s Friday again!

I thought it would be fun to start a series of sorts, or rather a recurring blog post. Every Friday, I’ll share a some “Friday Love” and talk about things I really loved over the past week and the weekend prior. This will help hold me accountable to my goal of publishing one to two blog posts each week, as well as sharing some fun stuff! So let’s dive right in, my first Friday Love!

FRIDAY LOVE pink-watercolor-heart-art-by-linda-woods-linda-woods

One of my favorite online brands, Little Choco Pink, held a search for new brand reps on Instagram and I entered both of my girls. I literally couldn’t believe it when they were chosen to represent the brand. We’ve never done anything like this before. My girls love fashion as much as I do and we are so excited to see what’s it’s like to be a brand rep. I will definitely share our experience here on the blog. Make sure the check out their site and follow them on Instagram. Their pieces are really unique and many have a vintage, boho-flair, while others are modern and edgy. Perfect for those who want something a little different than what’s offered at the mall. Use code JILL for 10% off your order!!

Grayson Threads is one of my favorite Target brands. We have been in the low 90s this entire week and these lightweight tanks are the perfect attire for an Indian Summer Friday. It’s hard to see in the photo but mine says weekend. And don’t we all feel that “It’s All Good” on a Friday??

  • ROCK PAINTING

A rock painting craze has taken our town by storm! We first discovered this fun hobby at the Downtown Artwalk. People paint and then hide rocks for others to find, posting pictures and clues on Facebook group. My girls just ate this up. They loved searching for and finding the rocks, competitively of course. We finally painted and hid our first rocks this past weekend and oh man, we are hooked! I don’t know what it is but we had the best time paining rocks all weekend long. We went to Michaels for new paint and brushes, and Home Depot for sealant (to keep the rocks weather-proof), and sat by the pool and painted. We listened to music, chatted and ate, it was such great quality time.

  • FAMILY BIKE RIDE

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We went on our first family bike ride on Monday and it was so much fun! We didn’t go very far but just being together was really special. I see many more of these in our future!

  • HALLOWEEN EXCITEMENT

I took down the bin of my girls Fall/Halloween clothes and pajamas on Friday. This prompted Sophie to wear some sort of Halloween attire all weekend long. She also requested to watch Nightmare Before Christmas, listen to a Halloween station on Pandora and visit the costume store. I have to say, her excitement for holidays is absolutely contagious! I love the holiday season and it looks like I have passed that on to my girls. Now Lyla was telling her all weekend long, it was too early but Sophie finally got her in the spirit on Monday night.

 

Fall fashion

The temps have finally cooled down and we are more than ready to break out our scarves, sweaters, booties and beanies over here. Here’s a taste of our style this season.

Flowy tops, patterned leggings and suede booties.

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Rainy boots and Patagonia vests for dance.

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Swooning over these Sam Edelman booties.

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Cozy headbands and Ugg boots.

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Headband: Target, Sweater: BabyGap (little side note about this sweater – this is a size 0-3 months and Sophie is now 10 months. It is actually a dress but now it makes a perfect three-quarter sleeve length sweater for Fall – score! I’m so happy I kept this), Jeans: Joe’s Jeans via Nordstrom Rack, Shoes: Freshly Picked Moccasins, color platinum via Nordstrom.

I have to say I absolutely adore this outfit. I am a leopard fanatic, I mean its a neutral right? She looks cozy, stylish and ready for Fall 🙂

The headband that made us scream.

Lyla’s favorite color used to be green. And boy was it her favorite. She loved green so of course, everything we bought her was green. I thought it was so cool since most little girls love pink but since she was old enough to talk, green has been her favorite color. This summer, she retired green as her favorite color. Ever other color except green was her new favorite but I’m happy to report that she has finally settled on purple. Purple is now her new favorite color so when we were shopping for new headbands on a couple weeks ago, I found a really cute purple one. We didn’t try it on in the store so we didn’t really know just how cute it was until we got home. Lyla put it on and we looked at each other and screamed, yes screamed. It was just so cute that it elicited pure joy from both of us. Of course we put it on Sophie and screamed again. It is a darling headband and I love that Lyla loves it so much.

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Dress: Carters via Carters Store, Headband: Nordstrom. I figured since I did an OOTD post for both myself and Lyla, I had to do one for Sophie. Today, she picked out her own clothes. Some days I have an exact idea of what I want her to wear and others, I have no idea. On those days, I’ll hold her in front of her closet and let her pick (i.e. whatever she lunges for first) her own outfit. It’s great that she helps me out with these big decisions. She must have been in a dress mood today. This one is super cute. Its navy blue, cotton and a size six months (she is eight and it still fits, score!). What a doll!

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Kindergarten picture day.

Today is picture day! Although I’m not too fond of the standard school picture (hello 80’s backgrounds!), I still get excited for picture day. This isn’t Lyla’s first experience with this since she went to preschool and pre-K but this is her first picture day in elementary school so it seemed a little more special.

We had an outfit all picked out and ready to go last night only to realize this morning that the headband that went with the outfit was left in my parents car (we went out of town with them for Labor Day), omg! Cue last minute outfit change! I’ve really been trying to be a stickler and not let Lyla change her clothes in the morning. We pick out an outfit the night before and I let her know that she cannot change her mind in the morning. She MUST wear what she picked out. This may sound harsh but I know my daughter and I know if I start to give in and let her change, we will be changing outfits all morning long and we’ll never make it to school on time. Anyways, I let it slide this morning because none of her other headbands worked with the outfit we had picked out and we both actually ended up liking the new outfit a lot better.

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This is her new pose. She got it from a Barbie movie. Barbie and the Mermaid Tale 2. I love it.

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I think she looked perfect for picture day. My beautiful, sweet baby girl!! I can’t wait to see how the pictures turn out, 80’s background and all.

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Pink courdoroy skirt: GapKids, Peach die tank: GapKids, Denim fitted shirt: Tucker + Tate (via Nordstrom), headband: Gymboree, pink booties: BOC Born O Concept Kids (via Marshalls).

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I had to get a close-up of her headband. This picture does not do it justice. It is so pretty! We picked it up from Gymboree yesterday for $1.92! It was already on clearance and with the additional mark downs it brought it down to just under two dollars. That made it that  much cuter, I just love a good deal.

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Her booties are another favorite of mine. I love the pink color and flower detail, plus they are made by Born so they are super comfortable. Lyla loves to wear them year round and because they are booties, she can even when its pretty warm outside. I love them!

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Once we got out the door, Lyla took off the denim shirt and changed her headband (she put the other one in her backpack to take to school just in case she wanted to change back – she is SO my child). Lately, its been pretty cool for our morning walk to school but today it was already warming up.

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I have to apologize for the poor quality pictures. We have a brand new, super nice Sony camera that I just need to get into the habit of using. I rely on my phone and while it does an okay job, the camera would be so much better. I hope to post a lot of these OOTD’s because there I love nothing more than putting my girls in adorable clothes! Although, I don’t have much say in Lyla’s outfits anymore 😉