Happy New Year! | Family Pictures, a little late…

 I honestly wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to take family pictures this year!

Between my work schedule on the weekends, Jackson’s schedule coming home for the weekend, the WEATHER, and…my overall desire to pick up my camera for anything that wasn’t being paid for…well.  That left one weekend in mid December, and all the stars aligned!!

I almost didn’t do a card this year, because we missed all the deadlines for STEEP discounts at most card vendors, and I honestly like to upload my own simple design that focuses on the image with only a few simple graphics.

Low and behold…I randomly tried Costco!  AND…you can upload your own design front and back!  Huge for me, because I can never decide on ONE picture to post!  And, sorry for those of you that do, but I don’t want a bunch of small images.  It’s a GREAT way to share a bunch, but I really like one image of us all looking at the camera smiling, and then a more candid happy shot.

And, no coupon code needed!  It was super affordable!  This is NOT a sponsored post!!!  I wish it was haha.  But, just know, you can absolutely print your professional pictures at Costco, with the CAVEAT of marking the button at the end of your check out “do NOT color correct!”

My parents joined us! Love these shots of them! And Maya could NOT be any luckier in the big brother department!  I kind of feel sorry for any guy that dates her…

Watch out for BIG brothers that LOVE their little sister! That gap tooth smile…LOVE!  And it’s even more gap toothed now!  And will be SO gap toothed in few more months! And…getting this guy in front of the camera is not easy.

I talked a lot about how thankful I was for Maya and my mom in the last post that I did…a few weeks ago-yes, I took a break from blogging for a while. I need to mention that I couldn’t be more thankful for this guy!  The way he looks at me is enough, but what he does on the daily…

Works his ARSE off to provide for us, while working from home and no longer traveling so that he can be HOME.  He made a conscious decision to try something different because he wants to be with us, which speaks volumes to how lucky our family is to have him.

Does he “complete” me?  No, but he compliments me in just about every way.  Literally is not only the yin to my yang, but the yin to my yin, and the yang to my yang!  In ways that I never thought I needed someone to compliment me.  And I don’t mean saying nice things to me, although he does that too.  🙂

He’s always been SO supportive of everything I’ve ever done, and consistently helps with my business in ways that I NEVER could.

At the end of the day…I can’t wait to just hang out with him, and I think that’s the most important thing!
Might be one of my new favs of the three of us!  Thanks Huz! Oh, and had to take an outfit pic!

On me…

Top- Ramy Brook (eBay, similar here or sleeveless here)
On Maya…
Jacket- Crewcuts (thrifted, but similar here)
Sweater- Crewcuts (thrifted, but similar here)
Dress- Gap Kids (thrifted)
Tights- Hanna Andersson (old, but similar here)
Boots- Nine West “Sassy Tran”  (thrifted)
Keeping it Real…
Ok, Maya was ON FIRE for this family shoot, which is usually not the case!
I know…SO WEIRD if you follow us and see her in every other post, but during family shoots, she has freaked out more often than not.
BUT…this year.  I told her she was free to be her goofy self.  That i WANTED her to be that way.  Well…she took that to heart haha.  BUT, it made everyone else laugh too, so I’ll TAKE IT!!
(All FULL family pictures taken with a self timer shutter release and tripod, but everyone pitched in for the rest!)

dit-elle-Lauren

Thankful for (in reality Thanksgiving) in 2017

 This post is a liiiiiittle late, but…  Better late than never, I say!

This year was ridiculously busy!

I kept holding out the hope all year that when Maya started kindergarten, I’d be getting things done left and right!  I’d be knocking things off my “to do” list every week and then some!

That SO did not happen.  If anything, it was the exact opposite.

I often felt like I was running from one thing to the next and failing at SO many things.  I think when things are like that, it’s super important to stop and not only give myself some slack (very hard to do in reality!!), but remember how many things are amazing in my life.

I have SO many things to be thankful for!

HER!  Above all else.  I’m so thankful for this sweet nugget.  Every single day she says or does something that makes me SO happy and incredibly blessed that she’s in my life.

That laugh?  That joy?  It’s so infectious!  And this is her on the daily.  I am so lucky that I get to bask in it! Oh, and the fact that my parents are only a few blocks away?  Don’t get me started on how thankful I am for that!

Maya is SO lucky to have my parents in her life, and I am too!

So many last minute “Hey…do you want to….” or “Could you help with….” and they are alway up for it!

Weekly Sunday walks, last minute date night baby sitting, taking Maya to every single movie she’s ever been to.

No, I’ve NEVER taken Maya to a movie…EVER.  I’m SO thankful that my parents have taken her to ALL of them!!!

Oh, and watching her when we go out of town for a weekend getaway, coming over for pretty much every holiday dinner (that is always planned late minute-sorry!).

And my mom being up for last minute pictures?  LOVE THAT!  Pretty sure I told her I planned to run outside for a few pictures before our Thanksgiving dinner about an hour ahead of time.  Oh, and it was RIDICULOUSLY windy!!  DUH.  And we thought at the time that we got no good pictures, but…
I will treasure these images forever. LOVE THEM!!! And then my sister in law came over unexpectedly and Maya suddenly turned on the charm.

As she does… And I couldn’t be more thankful!!

Because this is SO HER!!!

Next week I’ll post our family pics we FINALLY took!  That in itself is something to be thankful for, but will be talking about even more things I’m thankful for in that post.

On me…

Sweater- Vince (Nordstrom Rack)
Boots- Frye (Old, similar here)
On Maya…
Jacket- Hudson Kids (eBay, but similar here)
Leggings- Children’s Place (thrifted, but similar here)
Cowboy Boots- Nordstrom “Cassidy”  (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
 Yes, most of Maya’s pictures are with her sticking her tongue out… 🙂
Did I mention it was WINDY?? I often have to wrangle a runaway Maya
(all pictures taken with a self timer/shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Holiday Look! { Leather Crop Flares + Party Dresses at Sunset… }

 I honestly wanted to take a pic outside of our house in the gorgeous light as just a close up of Maya and I to document the week we’d had…her sick off and on all week. The Huz gone all week… I’m thinking this at around 3:00 after we get home from school.

I asked her what she wanted, and she said she wanted to wear a fancy dress. As, she does lately! Ok… 😳🤔

SO…do I wear my hair in an unwashed bun while she’s in party dress? 😂😳 So I scramble to think of a “party” outfit. 😬Cropped fun leather pants? SURE! Why not? 🤷🏼‍♀️ Because…at this point, when will I ever where them? 😂 🤗

Oh…and try and do my hair really fast. Oh, and wait…the sun is setting!! 😩

It’s too dark at our house, because the sun has set, so we head down to the beach. We get there, and there are about a KAZILLION dogs. 🙄 Maya cannot be bothered with pictures if there are dogs around. 😑

So….here’s me.   And Maya pouting in the background, because I wouldn’t let her follow a dog down the street…

But seriously…how FUN are these leather pants?!!
Do.Not.Smile.

😉 And…off to pet the next dog!

Such a pretty night! Looooove these next ones! The Huz was out of town, but Facetimed us while were were out.  This is her talking to him. SO SWEET! Then, we decided to go by one of the houses in our neighborhood that goes CRAZY with lights!

We drive by it every year, but this was the first year we got out and walked around. Maya was so impressed!

And…a little girl came up to her and asked if she was a princess!  haha.

NIGHT MADE!

On me…

Top- Ramy Brook (eBay, similar here, here, and less expensive here)
Jeans- Frame “Flounce Pull On” Leather Pants (SCORED NEW on eBay for $104!, similar here)
Shoes- Franco Sarto (thrifted, similar here)
On Maya…
Jacket- Zara Kids (thrifted, but similar here)
Sweater- CrewCuts by J Crew (thrifted, but similar here)
Dress- Blueberri Boulevard (thrifted, but similar here)
Boots- Naturino (thrifted, but similar here in pink)
Keeping it Real…
An iPhone image that I shot, that was LITERALLY right before all of our shots.  I kid you not.  Every 2 minutes people came by walking their dogs!  I’m like….
“Don’t mind me!”
Meanwhile, Maya is like “Can I pet your dog!!??”
This sweet old man literally stood right next to us for like 5 minutes, until his wife, was like…
“Honey….come over here.” 🙂
I literally couldn’t have cared less.  The sun was setting.  I had my fancy pants on and my hair done.  I’m taking pics at that point, no matter who’s watching-HA!
This also shows the difference between iPhone vs DSLR…
NOT happy that I wouldn’t let her go play with all the dogs…
Taken minutes after the iPhone shot above.
And yes, I let her go play with them!  I’m not that mean! 🙂
Oh, but then we stayed until the sun went DOWN-PARTAY!!
Ok, it was like 4:45 hahaha 🙂
My shutter release is still broken, so….😭
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Faux Leather/Fur Vest + Striped Top + Ripped Skinnies + Booties

 I took these a while ago, back when we still had sunny evenings…but honestly, we’ve been super lucky and have had a lot of sunny (albeit COLD!!) days lately!

For those in between weather days, vests (especially faux fur cozy ones!) are a great layering piece! These are hands down some of my new favorite pics of us!!

Mostly, Maya, because this is just so HER!! LOOOOOVE!

On me…

Vest- Velvet (eBay, similar here in black)
Top- We the Free (Free People) Peplum Tee (Nordstrom Rack)
Jeans- DL1961 “Amanda” DIY raw hem (ebay)
On Maya…
Dress- Indigo Collection (thrifted)
Leggings- Hanna Andersson (thrifted)
Keeping it Real…
As always….most of the parks we go to have a LOT of dogs.  Which means….Maya is lost to me.
Yup, that’s a DIFFERENT dog… 😉 hahahaha.  ME..attempting to enthusiastically call her back to ME…the dog won. I messed up an entire series of shots because I wasn’t in the right spot, so they are all blurry… still love this one though!  Oh, and yes,  That sign was in ALL of our shots… 😦
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Happy Birthday to my MOM!!

Ok…this is a month and a half late, but…better late than never, right?!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

I asked my mom if she wanted to to get manicures, or have some pictures with me and Maya…

She picked pictures-birds of a feather and all that haha 🙂

Looooooove this next one!! I mean….SO CUTE, right?!But this next one!!!!

Loooooove!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

We are sooooooo lucky to have you in our lives, and I am so thankful for the relationship that Maya has with both you and dad.

We love you!!

*******

No links on this post, sorry!  No time, and I really just wanted to post it!  If you have any questions, just let me know!

Keeping it real…

I actually looked back (thank you text messages!!), and the afternoon went like this…

I worked while Maya was at school.

I literally texted my mom at 2:00 to ask if she wanted to take a few quick pics for her bday.  The only thing was that we needed to leave by 3:00 to get to Maya’s gymnastics class.

All that said.   In it’s entirety, this shoot was 10 minutes.  And, to be real…Maya wasn’t really into it at first-such is life…

I’m sooooo thankful to have captured these images of us!!!  To be honest….we left-rushed and wondering…

“Did we get ANYTHING?!!”  haha.

(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod)

dit-elle-Lauren

Layering Chunky Knits + Stripes + Frye Boots + discount for a Wood Watch!

 We are still at the point where we are mostly in full on cold rainy season, BUT…every once in a while the sun still peeks out!

That means layering!  I’m a bit of a striped top junky.  I think it’s such a nice peek of print as a layer.  I always layer a striped tank under a sweater, or a long sleeve tee under a 3/4 length sweater! These Frye 12″ Harness boots were one of my thrifting unicorns…$10!!!! I can’t even handle it sometimes when I look back on the images I capture!  Like…I KNOW we were dancing around and having fun, but it still surprises me when I capture these moments…

I originally posted about this amazing wood watch (yes, it’s made out of wood!) last week as a gift idea for the man in your life.  Clearly…you could keep it for yourself too-HA! 🙂  Am I the only one guilty of that?  Oh…hmmmm, that’s a GREAT gift idea!  I want it too!  Whoops…

AND…they’ve offered all of YOU 25% off ALL their amazing watch options by clicking here.

LOOOOOOVE this next shot!!  Total happy accident!

Maya being Maya… 🙂And this one?  Makes me so happy too! So, when we take these images, we usually spend about 10-15 minutes shooting pics of “us”.  This shoot was actually 20 minutes because I had some specific shots I wanted to get.  And to be clear…she’s running around the park the entire time I’m trying to set up shots, and then I have to wrangle her back for a few here and there!

THEN…I just let her play and do whatever she wants.  Most of the time that means she runs up to any dog we see and asks to pet them.  She spent the next 25 minutes throwing the frisbee for this dog we met!  Now…If I had cropped in, you would have thought I told her to pose, which she NAILED haha.  But, nope.   Just her waiting for the dog to bring back the frisbee!  People always comment about her posing and being great in front of the camera, but she does NOT like when I want her to actually pose or do something.  I have to just let her play, and then snap her genuine moments… I broke out my Lensbaby to brush up on using it! She will literally dance anywhere!  This was in the follow through from throwing the frisbee!

LOVE IT! Oh, and the light setting….at 4:30!  WAH!!!  But…so pretty!

On me…

Sweater- Design History (old, love these here )
Top- America Eagle (thrifted, super fun option here)
Jeans- Hudson “Nico Skinny” (thrifted for less than $10!)
Boots- Frye 12″ Harness boots (thrifted for $10!! They were in the men’s section!!)
On Maya…
Sweater- Janie and Jack (thrifted, but similar here)
Top- Crewcuts by J Crew (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
HA!
She’s always either grabbing the focus stand while I’m setting up, or singing and dancing around it.
I swear these are some of my favs!  🙂
The remote got stuck and just kept taking shots!  Maya thought it was hilarious!  I didn’t reeeeally want 100 shots in a row! 😉 Typical…Yes, there are people walking behind us if you look close. She really wanted me to swing her around, but our hands were super slippery for some reason.  She literally almost flew out of my hands!!
Graceful dismount…as always!
*** While this gorgeousThe Reece Series in Golden Camphor & Khaki   watch was given to me,
all opinions are my own**
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Staying fit over the holidays…

I’ve been wanting to do a post about this for so long…

Honestly, fitness and exercise is more of our daily life than anything else we post about!  BUT…in my mind, I wondered who wants to read about that?  Um…Ok,  A LOT OF PEOPLE!

So, I thought I’d tell how I stay fit.  As a mom… As someone who is 40 and beyond… It’s different now, but I’ll try and share universal thoughts.

It’s also super important for me that some form of exercise is part of Maya’s daily life too, so…my number one tip?

  1. Get outside and be active with your kids!  They need it and love it, and you are having quality time with them while keeping you both healthy!  Go for a long walk around your neighborhood.  If you live near any hiking places, go hiking (a post from a hike we did a while back coming soon!).  Even in the colder rainy temps, layer up!  I have this set for Maya, and we layer it under everything.  If she gets too hot, we just peel the layers off!  Lately, it’s been HER pushing me to run more!  She will say “C’mon mom!!  You can go faster than that!  You can do it!!  (Video Here :))
  2. Make a date with a friend or family incorporating exercise instead of food!  This is good for a couple of reasons.  If it’s raining or cold, it’s easier to just want to curl up with a book, but if you have someone counting on you to meet them, you are more likely to get out there.  Instead of meeting for drinks/dinner.  Meet a friend for a walk or run!  Don’t get me wrong.  I want to get out there and have some drinks with my friends, BUT…it can add up both monetarily and calorically. And, honestly, most of the time I don’t want to take away from family time at night.  I have friend that I’ve been meeting every Monday for a 3 mile walk through the hills of our neighborhood.  We get exercise, but we also get to have some weekly quality time together and uninterrupted conversations-double win!  I know that isn’t a possibilty for moms that work 9-5 jobs, but you could make it a Sat or Sun morning date!  Maya and I also meet up with my parents every Sunday morning for a walk.  Lately, Maya has been running more, so we don’t get as much quality time with them, but it’s still better than nothing!  If you have kids, working out with your spouse can be harder, but you could absolutely make it a family affair!  With a stroller or once they are able…bikes!
  3. Join a class.  Can you tell I find the easiest way to hold myself accountable is using others-haha?  There is an outdoor bootcamp that I do through my local YMCA (more on THEM later!!) . I’ve made some good friends just from going there every week, and it’s SO nice having someone else forcing me to do things I’d never do on my own!  And there are SO many classes offered at your local gyms!
  4. Find an App you like!  There are so many apps out there for exercise!  One of the things I’ve found challenging about some apps is that I have to stop what I’m doing to look at what they are doing next.  OR…in reality, my eyesight is so bad that I have to have it in my face to see what they are doing.  It’s great once I get the routine down, but not so great for new exercises.  One app Aaptiv talks to you and plays customized music tailored to your tastes!  They have programs for running, treadmill, elliptical, Indoor Cycling, Stair Climber, Strength Training, Stretching, Yoga, Walking, Meditation (I’ve SO been meaning to try this!!), Race Training, and more!  It’s great if you only have a few minutes at home or aren’t able to meet someone else or make a class at the gym, because you can do a lot of the things outdoors or at home!  AND…they have a 30 day free trial!
  5. Join a gym with good daycare-find a YMCA if you have one near you!  Ok, this might sound obvious, and it is.  BUT…when you are a mom, finding a gym with good child care is absolutely the difference between going and not going sometimes.  I honestly should work for the YMCA, because I am one of it’s biggest supporters and tell every mom and dad I know to join-most do!   The salesperson in me hasn’t died ha!  Sadly, I don’t get paid for referrals, but I’m SO happy to give my friends happiness, and the YMCA is hands down been a life saver to my sanity and health.  The YMCA is SO catered to making sure your kids have fun, and if they are running around having fun/getting exercise, that means you can work out and TAKE A SHOWER guilt free!!  They have so many fun programs for kids and adults!  One thing you can do together is swim.  Maya and I go swimming every Sunday.  I tell her we have to stay in the deep end, which means she swims the entire time, and I have to tread water or swim the entire time.  Again…double win!
  6. Get a Kindle or listen to an audio book.  I used to not be able to work out without music, and I’m still a firm believer that it gives you a certain adrenaline boost that undoubtedly helps while working out.  However…I recently started reading while doing the elliptical, and it’s been a GAME CHANGER for me!  I LOVE to read, but once I had Maya I “never had time” . I felt too guilty sitting on the couch reading, so I was lucky if I read for 15 min at night before bed.  Now, I take my Kindle to the gym (or you can do the Kindle app on your phone if your eyesight allows ha!), and I’m reading again!  It’s such a nice escape!  Sometimes I’ll stay on extra long or go sit on the bike after if I’m at a good part in my book!  I’m sure the same would apply to audio books, but I just haven’t tried them yet.  Audio books would be GREAT for outdoor running or walking!
  7. Buy some cute/weather appropriate workout clothing.  Ok.  I know that the cute part might sound silly, BUT…whatever!  When I have cute work out gear, I feel better!  Oh, and if it’s flattering and sucks you in….EVEN BETTER!  It might sound gross to some, but I still buy all my work out gear at thrift stores or eBay.  Wash it on “sanitize” mode, and get over it!!  You get it at a fraction of the cost, and you feel and look great!  I get Lululemon pants for sometimes less than $10!  My average is less than $20!  Average for a jacket is $25!  And let’s be honest…there’s some CUTE workout gear out there now!!  SO…if you happen to wear it all day (I mean…I miiiiiiiight on occasion! ;)) you still feel cute!  Same for kids!  I said before, but I get Maya North Face jackets all the time for less than $10, and on eBay, I’ve been scoring her Ivviva (Lululemon’s kids line) for $10 or less.

I can add to this later, but would love to hear ideas that you have for staying fit!

On me…

Top- Lululemon (thrited for $14, similar here)
Pants- Lululemon “In the Flow” ($15 on eBay, similar here)
Shoes- New Balance “Fresh Foam Zante” (purchased through Joe’s New Balance)
On Maya…
Jacket- Ivivva “Live to Move” ($8 on eBay, but similar here)
Pants- Ivviva “Rythmic Crop” ($10 eBay)
Shoes- New Balance (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
It should first be noted that we took these pictures AFTER our actual morning walk.
Had I taken a shower…nope.
I’d always imagined I’d take these pictures with a perfectly curled pony tail, and I wouldn’t be in the midsts of my stress eating/drinking super busy work time, but…let’s be real.
SO…I put on a pair of Lululemon compression leggings.  Which they don’t seem to offer anymore??!!!  TRAGEDY!  Do yourself a favor and eBay “In the Flow” and BUY A PAIR!  They look so bizarre not on, but they are AMAZING!  High rise to suck you in all over!
Um, never mind.  This is just me normal…
😉
So….while we do go for walks/runs every Sunday, I don’t bring my camera!  I take lots of iPhone pics of our walks usually documented in our Instagram Stories!  The other day we went BACK out after our walk and just grabbed a few pics with the tripod (shown above).
Here’s a hilarious video of the timer going off surprising us, and us just running back and forth hoping to get a shot or two haha.  It should be noted that it was warmer in the morning when we took our walk, and then went down to 45 degrees later when we took these.  SO…it was a get it in one try shoot!  And…I love the shots we got!!  Honestly, we are usually running and laughing anyways, so it’s a totally true depiction!
Here’s us turning around for another go!  Not even remotely in focus, because I had set the focus point way ahead of this, but…who cares!  I love it!
Here’s a few iPhone pics from the past few Sunday’s walks.
She literally says all the time that she wants to start a dog walking business.  She literally stops for every dog “Can I pet your dog?”  FYI…this is not our dog!
haha!  We meet a lot of nice people… 🙂
Oh, and btw, this is the jacket Maya was wearing above.  It was the same day, but the jacket is reversible!
When the tide is out, we go down and play on the beach.
FYI, North Face Jacket, Ivviva Pants, and Puma Sneakers all thrifted… Another compelling reason to get outside…this view!
Oh, and she’s wearing the 32 degree top here AND a REVERSIBLE Patagonia down jacket that was….$2.50!!!  WHAAAAAT?!  It had some stains, but a night in Oxyclean, and one side is now stain free!   The other side has a stain under an arm!
Even in the rain.  REI rain jacket…less than $5 at the thriftstore!  Sadlly…the shoes aren’t waterproof, but also thrifted, so…
And yes, she usually brings along a toy, and YES, she rain with this!!
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren