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Motherhood Lately + The Perfect Fall Shirtdress

shirtdress (comes in 2 other solid colors. Plaid options here) | riding boots | necklace

Motherhood lately has been so fun! Exhausting...but, fun. I love that the boys are just starting to be at the age where they are starting to play with each other and like the same things. There's still a bit of a communication gap and of course I'm constantly playing referee with the toy tug-o-war. BUT, it is fun to see them laugh and play together. 

Camden is now almost 3 (he will be 3 on November 20th!) and Bennett will be 16 months on the 28th. I am so excited for the upcoming holiday season with these two. Having a one year old and a 3 year old at Christmas time will be so magical! I feel like this will be the first year Camden will actually 'get' the concept of Santa and Christmas morning. I can't wait to see their faces light up that day!!

Of course, it's not all rainbows and butterflies all the time. These ages... they are TOUGH! Bennett is just starting to show his toddler personality. Testing his limits, trying to get into everything he shouldn't, throwing his sippy cup and food on the floor... How quickly we forget about this stage! He is also SO stubborn (which I know he get from his father!). He wants to walk everywhere and goes straight towards the street when we are outside. When I try to hold his hand, he slaps my hand away as if to say 'I don't need your help!' He wants to do everything on his own! 

He's also starting to reach for all the door handles in the house which Camden just recently figured out so it's funny that Bennett is already doing this! Bennett has also cut a total of 6 teeth in the past few months and is currently working on his k9 teeth (the sharp ones on top). The drool has been non-stop! 

However, with those challenging times comes one of my favorite stages! Bennett loves to dance and whenever there is music playing he starts shaking his little hips back and forth! It's probably my favorite thing to watch! He also is so funny and loves to giggle! He is just starting to instigate wrestling with his brother which is so cute! They just roll around on each other and laugh!

He is also much more cuddly at this age than I remember Camden being. Especially right before bedtime and after naps, he just melts in my arms and I soak up every ounce of it! He also loves to blow kisses and says 'muaw!' when we say give me a kiss! It's the best! He is also up to saying over a dozen words! His little voice is so cute and I love that he wants to communicate with us!

Camden is also starting to creep slowly to that 'three-nager' phase I've been hearing about. He is constantly asking questions and wants to know about everything! He also still thinks all the toys in the house are his and Bennett is just borrowing them 😂

We are about 50/50 with the potty training situation, but he does really well at 'school' so I know he's ready. I think it's time for potty training boot camp one these next few weekends since we don't have too many plans. I was hoping to get him trained by the time he turns 3, so we've got a month!

Along with his 'three-nager' attitude, he also says some of the sweetest things! He will randomly look up at me and say 'you look pretty mommy!' 😊  I don't know who taught him how to say that, but I'll take it! And sometimes after I pick him up from school he will say, 'I missed you mommy!' which just melts my heart into a puddle everytime!

Both boys are on the same schedule now, only taking one nap in the middle of the day. It makes things SOOO much easier especially with planning out our day. We typically always go on an outing in the mornings when we are home. Even if it's just getting them outside to get some exercise. I love that we live across the street from a playground! That is definitely one of the main reasons we purchased our home. 

As cliché as the saying is, it is so true...

Yes, the days are looooong, but the years are SHORT! 

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Friday Five

Happy Friday, friends! I'm so glad the weekend is finally here. It's been a long week in our house with contractors in and out everyday working on our great room (if you're new around here, we have some shadow boxes we are having filled in). They told us on Monday it would only take them 3 days to complete the project, but it turns out they are finishing up today. We expected it to take about a week, so just glad it is done! We have painters scheduled to start painting on Wednesday of next week! I am so excited!!

Anyways, it's been a bit of a juggle getting the boys in and out of the house everyday so they aren't there while the contractors are working. I've been so tired at the end of the night that I've been going to bed by like 9pm which is so early for me!

I wanted to share five things that are inspiring me lately, and this week I broke it down by category. Enjoy!

1. Recipes/Food: This week I barely had the time to cook anything, so it was my trusty old crockpot to the rescue! I made my favorite BBQ chicken chili for like the 3rd time in the past month... I can't get enough! Soups and chilis always sound good in the fall (even if the temps don't feel like fall yet). I really want to try out this skinnytaste recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup! It sounds delicious AND has great macros (over 30 grams of protein per serving!).

2. Style/Fashion: I found the most cozy, comfy, chunky knit cocoon cardigan this week and I'm so glad the temps dropped yesterday so I could wear it!

3. Lifestyle/Home: Along with the other updates we are making to our home, I'd like to replace some of the light fixtures on our first floor. Specifically in our kitchen over our table. I've had my eye on this one for a while now and I like that it has more of a casual feel for the kitchen table. I never knew how difficult it could be to choose a light fixture! There are so many options out there!

4. Motherhood/Boys: I know it's not even Halloween yet, but my mind has already been turning about Christmas! I think I'm just so excited that we will be in our own home on Christmas Eve and morning with our boys! Having a 3 year old and a 1 year old this Christmas will be soooo fun! Of course, I've already started scheming their matching jammies. There are just too many to choose from! Here are a few I'm loving from Old Navy:

5. Link Love :

  1. If you are looking for some fresh new tops for fall under 50 bones, my girl Cristin has got you covered. 
  2. Lindsay over at A Dash of Pretty recently had the sweetest little baby girl and is still rocking her blog game! I absolutely loved her post about how all of us new mamas need to give ourselves some grace about our post baby bods. Personally, I think she is rocking her off the shoulder sweater!
  3. How cute is Laura's Monday Momiform?? And I love her daily affirmations that she has her little daughters repeat everyday before school!

That's all I have for this week's Friday Five! Hope you all have a great weekend!

How to Dress for Family Photos

Hey guys! I've been thinking about writing this post for a little while and I thought now was a great time since it's usually about the time everyone is preparing to have family photos taken for their holiday cards. I know I am hoping to get ours done by the end of the month too. Now, I will preface this by saying that we've only had our photos taken professionally twice as a family and the first time it was with just Camden. But, I feel like I have some good experience when it comes to dressing our family in a way that is simple and complimentary, which usually shows best in photos.

1. Colors : I always like to stick to a group of 3-4 colors that are complimentary of each other. Whether it's warm tones, or complimentary bold, gem tones or pastels. Just as long as the colors blend well together. For example, for our fist family photo session I wore a solid burgundy colored blouse with dark jeans and taupe booties. Bill wore a chambray button up shirt and dark jeans. Camden wore a burgundy and white buffalo check shirt and jeans. I wanted to plan our outfits around Camden's shirt because I was most excited for his cute little outfit! So, my top and his shirt didn't clash because they were similar in color. We all had similar dark colored jeans and I feel as though denim is pretty neutral.

We had a similar color grouping for our second year of family photos. I included navy, grey, denim and some neutral tones. I knew I wanted to wear my pink, navy and white plaid blanket scarf with my navy swing dress, so I dressed the boys complimentary of my outfit.

2. Patterns : I think one difficult factor of dressing a family is making sure there aren't too many competing patterns or textures. I'm sure if I had a daughter, I'd want to dress her in all sorts of pretty patterns, lace and ruffles! If you have a certain outfit that you know you want one person to wear for photos, then I would dress everyone else around that particular outfit. So if your daughter is wearing a pretty floral patterned dress, maybe have everyone else in solid colors that compliment or neutral tones. If you have one person in a big bold print and someone else in a pattern, it may not look complimentary to have them together in a photo.

For our family photos last year, I wore a plaid blanket scarf and Bennett wore a gingham button up shirt. I felt like these two prints didn't clash because the colors of Bennett's shirt complimented my scarf and the gingham print was small and more muted.

Here is another example of pattern mixing, but staying relatively in the same color palette. we took some family photos during our family trip to the Outer Banks in July and I chose the color palette of light blues, grey, tan, etc. Bennett was wearing plaid shorts and I was wearing a blue and white pinstripe dress. I don't think the two patterns clashed because my pinstripe dress was a more muted, two toned pattern.

last two photos by me!

I think you can still mix some texture and prints as long as the texture (say, lace for example) is a solid color that compliments one color of the patterned outfit. Neutrals (cream/white, denim, tan/khaki, grey, etc) can be thrown in to help fill in some color gaps.

3. Dress for the season : This tip is pretty obvious and doesn't need a whole lot of explaining. If you are planning to use your family photos for holiday cards, you should want to make sure everyone is dressed in fall/winter clothes (ie. long sleeves, sweaters, pants, etc). The main point being is to make sure the family is all dressed for the same season.

Here's an example I put together of a family of 4 with a son and a daughter:

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What are your tips when it comes to dressing for family photos? 
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