First Birthday Gift Ideas

Happy Monday y’all!!
I originally started typing up this post on Valentines Day, but wasn’t able to get it up in time…
So hopefully that explains why I’m sharing photos of Hayes with kisses all over him! haha



I’ve been getting so many messages asking to share some first birthday gift ideas so I figured I’d share them in a blog post so it’s super easy to just click and shop each item!
Hayes’s first birthday party is in just 5 days and I am SO excited!
Kyle and I actually aren’t getting Hayes a gift…because in all honesty, he has WAY too many toys already…and we know he’ll be getting tons of stuff from friends and family! BUT there are a few things that I know he’s getting and I just know he’s going to LOVE them! I’m going to share some toys that we already have that Hayes loves and some other toys that I think would make a GREAT first birthday gift! You can click directly on the photo of any item to shop it!

What do y’all think about this list?! If you have a toy or item that your baby loves send it my way and I’ll make sure to keep this list updated!!
Love y’all!

2019 – Goals & Resolutions

2018 was the best year of our lives.

In 2018 we became parents, the day Hayes was born will forever be the most memorable and magical day, I could still tell you every single little detail of that day as if it happened yesterday.
Bringing Hayes into this world was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most physical pain I have ever experienced, but I still wish I could relive it over and over again.

2018 was full of blessings, and love, and tears, and arguments, and laughter, and shock, and confusion, and questions, and happiness, and excitement, and changes, and GROWTH.
In 2018 Kyle and I grew so much together and we learned so much together.
Becoming parents is absolutely life changing, having a baby will rock your entire world.
You will experience a love that you’ve never known before, both for your new baby and for your significant other.
And you will experience a level of exhaustion that you’ve never known before, but don’t worry friends,
it’s worth it.

Now let’s talk resolutions…I have always been someone who loves to document things, even before iphones and social media were around I would always have a camera on me and I LOVED taking pictures of everyone and everything and capturing moments so that I’d always have a photo to look back on. That’s just who I am. That’s one of the main reasons I started my blog in college, I wanted to remember all of the little things, the simple days of when Kyle and I had just started dating and when he’d leave me little love notes in my apartment bathroom and of course the big moments like our engagement on the beach. The blogging world and social media have come a LONG way since I was just a college girl, and it’s so easy to get caught up in that world of perfectly edited and staged photos.

I have a lot of goals for 2019, but I’ll start with this one.
In 2019, this little blog of mine will be filled with a lot more daily life posts and imperfect photos. I will still share fashion and sales and deals for y’all but I want the main focus of my blog to be more lifestyle & family related. I’m hoping y’all will be able to relate more to these posts, BUT of course you’ll still be able to come on here and find a super affordable and cute outfit that you feel awesome in.
Basically, my goal in 2019 is for my blog to be the best of both worlds!

Kyle and I have moved a lot since we’ve been married, and we still aren’t in our forever home, but one BIG goal is to find a home church and go regularly. We haven’t been to church since Hayes was born and I’m so ashamed of that. I’ve had pretty bad postpartum anxiety and honestly,  the thought of just dropping Hayes off at the church nursery with “strangers” makes me sick to my stomach. BUT I’m determined to get past that this year, because WE need more Jesus. Another goal of mine is to let Hayes spend the night with one of our parents so Kyle and I can have some time together. I’m just such a control freak and worry wart but gosh we NEED some good ol quality time together. So prayers are very welcome because this goal will be VERY hard for me.

Kyle and I both do a lot of work from our phones, so we’re both guilty of being on our phones a lot when we should be spending time together or with Hayes. We both agreed to choose one night a week where we turn off our phones and the TV and just BE together and do some kind of activity as a family, I’m REALLY excited about this one and I hope it turns into something we do more than once a week.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am SUPER ADD. Like cannot focus on just one thing for the life of me. I’m always doing 5 things at once and my mind is always going crazy thinking about 82819 things. Like it takes me DAYS just to finish one blog post. The point of telling y’all this is because my
MAIN GOAL for 2019 is to be more present in whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s playing with Hayes, writing a blog post, responding to DM’s, having lunch with a friend, whatever it may be, I want to be FULLY present. This is another one that will be extremely hard for me but it’s something that will make my life so much happier and more fulfilled and honestly I think it will help me tremendously when it comes to getting things done.

I can’t end this post without talking about health & fitness because fitness has always been a huge part of my life… but then I became a mom and to be totally honest, working out took a backseat and I didn’t find it as important or necessary. Since I became a mom the way my body looks no longer makes or breaks who I am as a person. I used to be SO concerned about the way my body looked and always felt the need to be “bikini ready”. I’m happy to say that I have never been more content with my body. It looks totally different and I have extra skin and less muscle but y’all…there are SO many more important things in life than having a picture perfect body or obsessing over fixing the flaws on our bodies. I used to pick myself apart daily (whenever I looked freaking phenomenal *insert eye roll emoji*) but I just don’t have time for that anymore and I don’t want to waste my time doing that, because it’s silly, and I’m so much more than my physical appearance.
WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID, Please please don’t get me wrong. My goal this year is to start working out at least 3 times a week…I still want to be strong and healthy and of course I still care how I look and I want to be physically attractive for my husband and want to feel good about myself, I always feel best whenever I’m in shape and doing some kind of work out regularly. I guess I just felt the need to mention that stuff before because I’m honestly so proud of myself for not picking myself apart anymore and focusing on every little flaw.

Anyways, I really am SO excited about 2019…I asked all of you on instagram what was one thing you REALLY wanted to see from me this year and the overwhelming majority said MORE HAYES and ANOTHER BABY! haha
Kyle and I want a big family and most days Hayes makes me want 10 more babies, so we’ll see…
We’d love to have another baby in 2019.
But the Lord made it very clear when we were trying for baby #1 that it’s not up to us and it’s not going to happen when we want it too…it’s going to happen when the time is right and when God says so.

If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading!
I hope this post left you feeling a little inspired and I hope 2019 is the best year of your life.

Black Friday Sales – Best of the Best!!

SO many of my favorite stores are having amazing sales right now!
I know most of y’all like to see more personal/family blog posts but there are still quite a few of you who are around here for outfit inspo and to see my fashion picks so I GOT YOU BOO!
Click on the stores name to go directly to their site and shop the sale or scroll to see my top picks from each store!!

Before I share my fav items from the sales I want to share my TOP FIVE must haves, if you’re going to get anything I HIGHLY suggest these 5 items. I own them, love them, and wear them weekly!!

 

Nordstrom up to 60% off:

Abercrombie 50% off select styles: 

American Eagle 40% off + Free Shipping:

Express 40% off everything:

Goodnight Macaroon up to 50% off sitewide:

PinkLily Boutique 30% off site wide + free shopping:

 

Happy Shopping!!!

Top Ten Fall/Winter Staples for the Trendy Mom

I couldn’t be more excited to be teaming up with Rank & Style to share my Top Ten List!!
I’m sharing 10 items that I think are absolute MUST HAVES and that will be staples in your closet during the cooler months.
You can create SO many cute looks with each item on this list and that’s something that I really look for when buying clothes these days. I’m all about finding ONE piece of clothing that I can wear multiple ways and get a lot of use out of!

So here it is ladies, my Top Ten Fall & Winter Staples for the “Cool Mom”, or just any mom. But I mean, I like to think that I’m a cool mom…so I’m just going to stick with that…Okay ANYWAYS, here it is!

#1. Over The Knee Boots (3 diff colors available)

I have shared these boots with y’all SO much and that’s because they are truly the best.
I have searched long & hard for the perfect OTK boots for years now and I’m not lying when I say that these are legitimately like the sisterhood of the traveling boots…
They fit no matter how thin or thick your legs are and no matter how tall or how short your legs may be.
Why do I love them?? Read below!
-They stay up all day long
-They have a small heel to make your legs look longer but the heel is small enough that you can wear them all day and still be comfortable (no joke I wore them all day while 9 months pregnant)
-They are a little pricey but they go on sale often, I have 2 colors and paid full price for both, and they are 100% worth the price!
They’re actually 30% OFF right this minute with code “GMJOY30” so RUN!!


#2. Chenille Sweater

A good sweater is a MUST, and by “good sweater” I mean a sweater that is extra soft, warm, but also somewhat light weight and flexible. You want a sweater that you can easily create different outfits with, a sweater that is easy to tie in a knot, tuck in, or just leave loose over leggings!


#3. (Faux) Leather leggings
These are something that will never go out of style, and they instantly make any outfit dressier or edgier without much effort.
You can find affordable faux leather leggings pretty much anywhere, but I have heard GREAT things about the Spanx leather leggings, and I hear they last for years and years so they’re worth the price! I’m linking an affordable pair as well as the Spanx leggings for y’all!

#4. Joggers
If you’re a mom, especially a stay at home or work at home mom, joggers will be your BFF.
Joggers are basically a glorified version of your husbands old sweatpants that you live in at home, but 100x cuter & more flattering. They’re easy to throw on and wear around the house all day but you can also run errands in them and still feel put together! Aerie, hands down, has THE best joggers. I love that they have some that are more fitted like leggings and also some that are more of a sweatpant style! I own about 100 pairs, and that still isn’t enough!

#5. Comfy Sneakers

I mean, there’s really no explanation needed here. If you’re a mom, sneakers are a necessity. For daily life, play dates, errands…you name it! I love finding sneakers that you can wear with anything. I’ve worn these with jeans, leggings, dresses, everything!


#6. Sweatshirt / Pullover

Sometimes you just want to be comfortable and that’s A-OKAY in my book. I found the worlds softest pullover and have been sharing it on Instagram nonstop since it’s been on sale. It comes in 5+ colors and is the coziest thing you will ever wear…but of course also adorable.

 

#7. Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are everything, it’s basically like wearing a blanket out and about. I love loose sweater dresses so that you can wear it loose and flowy or belt it for a more figure flattering look! These are great especially around the Holidays when you need to be a little dressier but still want to be comfortable!

 

#8. Booties
Honestly, booties are something I wear year round and if I could own 500 pairs I totally would. I love wearing them in the Summer with shorts and they just seem to make any outfit a tad bit cuter and more trendy. When it comes to Fall & Winter I always make sure I have a good pair of neutral booties that can go with pretty much any outfit!

 

#9. White Jeans

Just like booties, white jeans are something that I wear all year long and it is SO essential to have a good pair that will last you for years and years to come. That “no white after Labor Day” rule went out the window a long time ago. I think my favorite “go to” outfit during Fall & Winter is a pair of white jeans with a cozy sweater and boots, ya just can’t go wrong with that look!

#10. House slippers
I mean, this is a given. Every mom needs a good cute pair of slippers. Especially if your baby uses a walker…Hayes slammed into my middle toe the other day and about ripped my entire toenail off…Lord have mercy, it was BAD. I snagged a pair from Target the other day, they always have the cutest and most affordable option when it comes to cozy slippers!

 

And that’s it!! My Top Ten List!
Make sure you head over to Rank & Style’s website to see me on their “Blogger spotlight” section!!
And let me know if you end up snagging any of these items.
Happy Thursday babes!!!

5 Rules to Follow to Make Sure You LOVE Your Fall Family Pictures


Photography by: LentillePhotography // Hair & Makeup by: bespokenbeauty //
Outfits borrowed from studio wardrobe

Family photos are something that have always meant EVERYTHING to me, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how important it is to INVEST in your family photos, that way you will love them now, and for years and years to come.
When Kyle and I got engaged I was ALL about going the cheap route…even when it came to photos.
And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I regret that now.
I look back at our wedding photos and I’m so unhappy with how they turned out and that’s 100% MY FAULT for not doing my research and for just choosing the cheapest option and thinking “well, they have an expensive camera surely they’ll turn out good!” But its not just about the camera equipment y’all…it’s about the photographer and connecting with them and feeling comfortable. If there’s one thing I URGE you to do…it’s to really INVEST in your family photos, because they will be around forever & you want to be proud of them…
So today I’m going over 5 different rules that I think are total game changers, if you follow these simple rules I promise that you really will end up L O V I N G your Fall family pictures!

#1. Finding the right photographer – INVESTING in the right photographer
This is HUGE. I know you probably have a family member that is starting a photography business that will do your photos for free…and I know you found this awesome photographer that’s CRAZY expensive and you’re going to book a 10 minute mini session because that’s all you can afford and SURELY if the photographer is that great you’ll get a shot.. Y’all, DO NOT do either of these things! I’m telling you, the most important thing to ensure you LOVE your family photos is to INVEST in a great photographer. Not just any photographer, but a photographer that will take their time, make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, a photographer that will make it easy for your family to just be silly and be themselves so that you get natural, unposed, REAL, beautiful shots. Oh and trust me, I’ve done mini sessions and they are STRESSFUL and dang near impossible with more than 1 person involved. Don’t add more stress to the situation by giving yourself a strict time limit.

#2. Hire someone to do your hair & makeup…
I don’t care if you yourself are a professional hair & makeup artist…the last thing you want to be doing is trying to get yourself ready and then wrangling up all your kids, only to have your baby yank your hair and mess it up before you get to your location and get applesauce spattered all over your outfit…I can’t tell you how RELAXING it was to be able to show up to Allison and Bridgettes studio looking like a train wreck, and then getting to sit and have my hair and makeup done professionally right before the shoot. Bridgette (bespokenbeauty) is hands down the best hair & makeup artist in Houston. I would travel hours and hours for her work. The two times she’s done my hair and makeup I have felt SO beautiful and confident (which is SO important when you’re about to take photos) Kyle prefers me with minimal makeup and Bridgette just has this amazing way of doing a full face of makeup on you but making you look SO natural. It says A LOT when your husband prefers you with no makeup and even he compliments your hair and makeup after it’s been done professionally. I just have to show y’all this pony Bridgette created…that is ALL my real hair!!! Trust me, it is no where near as thick as it looks…Bridgette is a magician and will make you feel like a million bucks, I’m going to share the two looks she’s done for me below so y’all can see how talented she is!!

Bridgette and Allison share a studio together but Bridgette does hair and makeup for all kinds of events!
Wedding/Bridal/Special events/Photography…you name it.
Also, I was being dead serious when I said I would travel hours and hours for her, if you’re getting married soon or have any event where you want to look your best OR are currently planning your family photos – I HIGHLY recommend Bridgette!
You can head straight to here Instagram to see her work {HERE} Or send her an email at bespokenbeautyinfo@gmail.com

Alright, onto rule #3…


#3 Stick With Neutrals/Muted colors
Yes, you may be a fashionista who is up to date on all of the latest trends and everyone is always asking where your outfits are from, BUT a family photoshoot is not the place to make a fashion statement or try out a new trend (in my opinion). No matter what season it is, neutrals are ALWAYS best. One of my favorite things about booking with Allison (LentillePhotography) is that she provides wardrobe for all of her clients (like REALLY cute clothes y’all), all 3 of our outfits are from her studio wardrobe…I had so many gorgeous options to choose from but ended up going with this beautiful Free People maxi because I completely fell in love with the color. Not only did I not have to worry/think/stress/come up with outfits for all 3 of us but I also didn’t have to pay for new outfits for all three of us! Y’all know how quickly outfits & accessories for a family can add up!

#4 Find a photographer that understands the importance of PRINTS &
offers high end products and not just a USB

There’s something so special about receiving actual prints of your photos after your session and having beautiful high quality images to frame around your home! Allison has carefully curated a line of heirloom products, and all of her clients choose digitals plus an album, or framed fine art prints. Seriously y’all, HOW MANY TIMES have you wanted “just the digitals”, with full intention of printing them, but never did? Family pictures should live on your walls, and not on a USB.

And lastly, Rule #5 Bribe your husband & children if necessary
I know y’all are probably laughing at this BUT men & children do not love photos as much as we do…if I give my husband a good pep talk & explain how important these photos mean to me before the photoshoots {& also promise him something he loves if he smiles and cooperates} he tends to be a much better sport! As far as kiddos, Hayes isn’t old enough to be bribed but we did bring a few of his fav toys and had my mom hold them up right behind our photographer! There was also a lot of peek a boo action going on behind the scenes lol

I’ve been dying to share the rest of these photos with y’all! I have never been SO happy with a photoshoot in my entire life.  I typically pick and pull myself apart in every photo – but thanks to Bridgette I felt SO confident and comfortable in front of the camera and Allison always makes the photoshoots so fun & easy!! If you’re in Houston or even the surrounding areas make sure you check out these two babes if you’re in the market for some family photos or just on the hunt for a good hair & makeup artist!





Allison is completely booked for 2018 but is taking on clients for 2019, She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, and family photography in the Houston area and is the sweetest human alive!!
Let me know if you end up booking with Allison or Bridgette and be sure to tell them I sent you!