What to Wear for Family Portraits {A Fool Proof Guide}

What to Wear for your Family Portraits - a fool proof guide to styling your family from a former photographer

What to Wear for your Family Portraits - a fool proof guide to styling your family from a former photographerIt’s that time of year again, folks!  As soon as the fall weather rolls in, photographer’s calendars fill quickly with family portraits.  Now, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to put off scheduling a session with your local photog – finding an empty spot on the calendar, getting your kids to cooperate in a way that makes you all look genuinely happy for one millisecond in time, making sure your husband has had a recent haircut… I get it.  However, not knowing what to wear should NOT be one of those reasons! 

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.  When I was a portrait photographer, this was how I coached all my clients into looking amazingly put together and coordinated, without all wearing white shirts and khakis.

What to Wear for your Family Portraits - a fool proof guide to styling your family from a former photographerThe secret to getting started

It’s easier than you think, I promise.  First, I recommend shopping for your entire family in one store.  Old Navy is perfect for this because they carry items for each department within the same color schemes each season. Not to mention that this entire set of outfits was less than $200!  For a family of five, that’s pretty amazing.

Next – this is the most important step – pick out a plaid shirt.  (Don’t worry –  if plaid isn’t your thing, it doesn’t have to end up in your photos… Just trust me.) Plaid shirts are a ready made color palette.  You’ll use this shirt as a basis to start building the other outfits.  Once you’ve got a solid look going, you can ditch the plaid and replace it with something else if you’d like.

putting it all together

What to Wear for your Family Portraits - a fool proof guide to styling your family from a former photographerEach outfit only needs to coordinate with one color in the plaid.  Feel free to mix it up with prints and solids and layers.  The color palette will keep everything pulled together.  It’s not important that every person in the photo be wearing every color in the palette, you can see here that this dusty pink dress fits in perfectly.  And even without the plaid shirt that I started with, these outfits look great together. 

By shopping in the same store, you’ll save yourself a lot of agony wondering “is that the right shade of green?” or “do these two really go together?”  When in doubt, just pair the item in question with the plaid shirt and ask yourself if they match.  If so, you’re good to go! 

What to Wear for your Family Portraits - a fool proof guide to styling your family from a former photographer

See?  That wasn’t so bad, was it?  So go out there and rock your family portraits this fall! Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts to remember…

do shop for everyone in the same store.

Do start by choosing a plaid shirt.

do match each item to one of the colors in the plaid.

don’t be afraid of mixing prints and patterns with solids.

Don’t feel stuck to a color palette that you’re not loving.  Just start over and try again!

don’t rub it in when your portraits turn out way better than all your friends.  Just share this post so they can look awesome next year too.

 

Hey there, friend!   If you liked this post, I bet your friends would too – be sure to click one of the buttons below to share it with them. Thanks a million!

 

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Watch Animated Shel Silverstein Poems

Shel Silverstein poems have a special place in my heart.  We used “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic” to introduce our children to the world of poetry during our first year of homeschool.  They quickly grew to love our poetry time together. Even our youngest, who wasn’t “in school” yet, would scamper out of her room to join us when she heard them being read, and she would cry alligator tears if she thought that she had missed “silly poems” for the day.

Naturally, I was over the moon when I found out that Shel Silverstein had a youtube channel where, not only are the poems animated, they are narrated by Mr. Silverstein himself!  If your family loves these books the way that we do, head on over there now to check it out!

The Shel Silverstein Youtube Channel

 

Hey there, friend!   If you liked this post, I bet your friends would too – be sure to click one of the buttons below to share it with them. Thanks a million!

 

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The 5 Stages of Sleep Deprivation {Mourning the Loss of Sleep)

The 5 Stages of Sleep Deprivation - a hilarious take on "mourning the loss of sleep" from a mother's perspective

Once upon a time, I had twins that were teething for 18 months straight.  Seriously.  Every once in a while, we’d get a brief reprieve. But from the time they were 6 months until they were two years old, they were teething.

All my sisters had babies who popped in teeth like they were checking their Instagrams. As if it was just no big deal.  But for me, the only one who was dealing with two babies at once, growing in each new tooth was a near apocalyptic crisis.

Frozen washcloths, amber teething necklaces, homeopathic teething tablets, baby ibuprofen… we pulled out all the stops.  I’m pretty sure that they only helped by making us feel like we were doing something, anything, to ease their pain.

I would go for months at a time sleeping in 20-45 minute spurts throughout the night.  When I was totally desperate for a decent REM cycle, my husband would take the babies out to the car and drive them around in the middle of the night until they fell asleep in their car seats.  Then he would bring them back in once I’d gotten a couple hours of uninterrupted slumber.

So whether you’re a first time mom with a newborn that has her days and nights mixed up or a frazzled mom of a teething toddler – I feel your pain.

I feel that it’s my duty to brief you on the 5 stages of sleep deprivation.  Learn to recognize them and justify your near insanity. 

Denial

You hear the baby babbling at an hour far too early for brain function, after a night that can best be described as consecutive napping.  You think to yourself: “The baby isn’t really awake for the day.  There’s barely any sunlight out there and I can only hear one or two birds chirping.  We’re going to fall back asleep soon for another hour (or four).  If I just lay here long enough with my eyes closed, she’ll take the cue and go back to sleep too.  The night’s not actually over yet.  It can’t be…”

Anger

You finally give up on getting that extra hour of sleep and stumble out of bed with your babe (who seems magically well rested after sleeping for what seemed like  90 minutes total last night).  You realize that you’re out of coffee beans, your phone is dead, and even if you had coffee to make, you can’t find your favorite mug… and this all fills you with an unspeakable rage. Unfortunately, this anger is typically directed at the unsuspecting husband, because it needs to be someone’s fault and it can’t be yours because sleep deprivation disables the part of the brain that is capable of logic and reason and JUST LET ME SCREAM AT SOMEBODY RIGHT NOW!!!!

Bargaining

Okay, it’s okay.  We can figure this out.  Coffee will make everything better.  And the baby loves car rides, so a trip to the Starbucks drive thru is a win-win, right?  All I need is a little caffeine.  I’m really not going to feel like this for the rest of the day, I just need to spend $7 on as much espresso as I can get. Yes, a quintuple shot  latte is all I need to get this day going.  I’ll feel totally fine once I’m caffeinated…

Depression

It’s 9am.  We’ve been up for how many hours now? Did they give me decaf on accident?  Does it even matter?  I’ll probably never sleep again anyway.  This is just my life now.  How long until nap time?  I don’t care.  It won’t help.  Nothing will ever help…

Acceptance

Wait a minute… the baby’s asleep.  I can SLEEP?!?!  We can do this.  It won’t be easy, but we will survive it.  I will sleep when the baby is sleeping (even when it isn’t nearly long enough). I will accept the fact that this season of life may be characterized by impaired brain function and occasional crankiness. And at some point in life, hopefully this decade, she will sleep.  She will sleep through the night.  And so will I.  And my sanity will return.  I hope.

And mothers?  Let your dear husbands read this.  Encourage them to learn and recognize these signs. That way they can support and comfort you while you mourn the loss of sufficient sleep for this chapter of life. 

(By the way, my twins did eventually sleep through the night.  Getting a sufficient amount of sleep felt so amazing, that I decided it was time to have another baby.  We just never learn, do we?)

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The ULTIMATE List of Pinterest Boredom Busters

50+ Boredom Busters plus the simple shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to do them all! 

Pinterest is FULL of brilliant boredom busters that are super simple to make, but I don’t know how many times I’ve decided to try one and then realized I was missing a key ingredient.  So I created this list of more than 50 amazing boredom busters that can be made with these 8 household items. 

  • Borax
  • White or Clear School Glue
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Corn Starch
  • Shaving Cream
  • Dish Soap
  • Food Coloring

As long as you keep these items in stock – you’ll always have a project ready to combat boredom at almost any age!

50+ Boredom Busters plus the simple shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to do them all!

Dish Soap Silly Putty with corn starch and dish soap

DIY Window Clings with glue, dish soap, and food coloring

Homemade Finger Paint with cornstarch, food coloring, dish soap (and sugar)

Magic Milk Painting with food coloring, dish soap (and milk)

Marbled Paper with food coloring, dish soap (and milk)

Launching Cork Rockets with baking soda and vinegar

Bubble Snakes with dish soap and water

More Advanced Rockets with baking soda and vinegar

Lego Volcanoes with baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap

Make Foam Paint with shaving cream, glue, and food coloring

Shaving Cream Painting & Marbling with shaving cream & food coloring

Make it rain with shaving cream clouds and food coloring

Make Fizzing Cloud Foam with baking soda, shaving cream, and vinegar

Try some glue resist art with glue and food coloring (or watercolors)

Make stained glass with glue and food coloring

Try painting with glue and salt for fun effects

Here’s another fun way to paint with glue and salt

DIY Puffy Paint with glue, shaving cream, and food coloring

Tons of fun ideas for your DIY puffy paint

Make glue people!

50+ Boredom Busters plus the simple shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to do them all!

DIY Gak with borax, food coloring, and glue

Make Gak Bubbles!

Painting on wet glue with food coloring

Melting, fizzing dough with corn starch, baking soda, food coloring and vinegar

Make fizzy mud with baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar

Erupting Paint with baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar

Make a baking soda/vinegar powered boat

Make a tornado in a jar with dish soap and vinegar

Give your toy cars an exploding car wash!

Hatching Dinosaur eggs with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring

Rainbow Oobleck with corn starch and food coloring

Make your Oobleck dance!

Fizzy Rainbow Slush with corn starch, baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar

How to get the BEST baking soda and vinegar reactions with dish soap

Shaving Cream Writing Practice is a blast for littles learning letters

Make Bath Paints with shaving cream and food coloring

Break Open Fizzing Treasure Chests with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint with cornstarch and food coloring

Make your own Bouncy Balls with borax, glue, corn starch, and food coloring

Beautiful pressed flower ornaments with baking soda, corn starch, and glue

50+ Boredom Busters plus the simple shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to do them all!

Cloud Dough with corn starch and shaving cream

DIY Edible Finger Paints with cornstarch, food coloring (and sugar)

Exploding Sidewalk Chalk Bags with cornstarch, food coloring, baking soda, and vinegar

Dreamy Fairy Dough with corn starch, food coloring (and hair conditioner)

Soapy Sea Foam with dish soap, corn starch, and food coloring

Cornstarch Ornaments with corn starch and baking soda

Modeling Clay with baking soda and corn starch

Frozen Popsicle Chalk with cornstarch and food coloring

Sludge made with corn starch, dish soap, and food coloring

Make pretend melting ice cream with cornstarch

Make clay with glue and cornstarch

 

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