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my shadow…#printsandpatterns


like most moms the end of the school year is busy. days are filled with last minute class projects, field trips, talent shows, graduations and baseball games. sometimes i think may and june are just as busy as december.

as the very last (except not really because there is still 10 ft. of moulding to put in) construction worker pulled his dusty rig from our driveway last week. i did a dance. a happy dance. a very happy dance. i forget what a homebody i am until i have to spend my days out of my home, avoiding construction workers and dust and fumes and nails and 1,000,000 other dangers.

since the workers have left i have been home. and my shadow has been right there with me. i could breathe this week. so i took one look at this boy with “white hair” and said, “ello, want to play tracks?”

“yesh!”  he said.

we set up tracks. we rode monster trucks along the couch and flipped them off the ottoman. in case you didn’t know, and i did not, the ottoman is the best place for monster truck flipping to happen.

ello crew cuts bw

and then he hung around a lot in my bathroom as i put things away. he never stops talking. there is a constant running commentary on the goings on of the house when ello is around.

“mom, what color my humpback whale shorts? do you like humpback whales mom? they nice. killer whales will eat you out of the water but not humpback whales because they have stripes. i have stripes too. you like my stripes mom? you see my stripes mom?”
ello bw tank

ello in crew cuts 3

“mom, you like my tank top? you see my muscles?”

ello in crew cuts swim

ello in crew cuts tank

this guy goes everywhere with me. he is my shadow. my sweet shadow with the white hair and the endless supply of questions.

ello crew cuts tank and shorts

ello tub


ello tub 2


 crew cuts tank and shorts #printandpatterns

what to wear in family photos… peaches and cream

for my most often asked question, what should we wear in our family photos here is a little color story i have been thinking of. peaches and cream.  everywhere i look there is peach. pretty, soft, simple and great layered with lots of cream accents.

mom photo shoot outfit

white top / jcrew shorts / topshop cardigan / herringbone throw / necklace / sandals / teepee image via pinterest

dad outfit for photo shoot

men’s timex watch / vintage skateboard / vans / striped shirt / gray pants / modern home

kids photo outfits

stripe shirt / peach toddler sweatshirt / burlap toms / bone colored khakis / youth ringer tee / gray hoodie / coral native shoes / ikat tunic for girls / ball necklace /

here are what i think pairs well with peach

peach color swatch

and just in case you didn’t see enough peaches and cream, here are some more ideas to fit every style:

peach bowtie

pair this gingham bowtie  for boys with a khaki suit or cuffed chinos and rolled up sleeves on their oxford

colorblock cardigan

are you a little bit of a hipster family? pair this colorblock cardigan with a striped tee.

peach tulle skirt

pair this sweet tulle skirt with a white tee, denim jacket, knee highs and the ballet flats below for a classic look.

floral peach flat

floral flats

orange peplum

catch her riding on her beach cruiser in this fun peplum top, denim shorts and slide on sneakers around a beach city for a carefree and relaxed portrait.

peach bow girl

have an art lover? let her express herself with this quirky rendering top on top. high top sneaks on the bottom. this is just enough graphic to be interesting, not distracting.

peach shirtdress

anthropologie not available online

cream and gray sweater monaco




club monaco sweater




peach button up

similar at anthropologie

stripe maxi

taylor joyfolie ankle strap shoes

joy folie flats
coral polka dot leggings

crew cuts leggings.

these would be great under a long slouchy sweater for a casual look or layer a button up with a sweeter and ballet flats. or  try them peeking out of the bottom of a trench coat.

floral sundress

for a field or rustic shoot i would keep this floral sundress simple with soft leather sandals and put everyone else in khaki and shell colored clothing.

Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 10.42.43 AM



pretty floral cardigan by boden



stella polk skirt


stella mccartney polka dot tulle skirt.

i would pair this with a simple cardigan (or the one above) and metallic flats to let the ombre polka dots be the star of the outfit.

convinced you can’t get the older boys in peach? i know my hus wouldn’t go for it. i would layer mine in creams and grays. BUT if the guys in your life are more daring here are some fun pieces to try.

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 9.32.23 AM




quiksilver coral chino




striped mens hoodie

perfect for the beach shots this super casual flannel will help him relax in front of the camera. and it comes in sizes from little boys to mens.

jcrew mens peach




mens peach




Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 9.29.18 AM



suede studded flats



Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 9.27.53 AM




alice and olivia pumps




Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 2.05.49 PM

next pull on coral chinos. a great update from just plain blue denim. these would work great for baby and toddlers.

round up best snow boots for families and kids…

this little family went to the snow and had a revelation…we don’t know how to dress for the snow.

it is only a three hour drive to the snow. we go every year after christmas.

this year there was actually legit, pull- your -sled- out -and- go- down- that -really- pretty -snowy- hill -without- mud -and- rocks -scraping- the- bottom- of- your- sled- type snow. it was reeeal nice.

we were not that prepared. it is the same thing every year. i see snow clothes at random in the gap and think “oh snow clothes, but we only go once a year”.

i don’t get them. then they are gone. then we go to the snow. we panic. we stop at the only store in town, kmart, and pick up some really bad snow clothes.

this year we didn’t even stop at Kmart so myes didn’t have proper boots and kept sneaking into mine. the kids only had mittens, not waterproof gloves and no goggles or sunglasses. so after they handed us our Parent’s of the Winter Season award we decided it was time to start looking for some proper snow clothes, because this year we are going to the snow two times.  yep. so the search has begun.

the key to happy snow kids is warmth. daddy got them all patagonia jackets this year which were life changing. they are light weight so the kids don’t feel too younger brother from the Chirstmas Story-ish walking in the snow, BUT warm. real real warm.

i usually try to buy gender neutral so we can pass everything on down. it doesn’t always work, when ruby looked at me with those eyes and begged for pink boots, i caved. however, her super small gray bibs are all me baby. no caving there.

ruby sledding

ruby sledding


ruby sledding 3

and baby ello, well his pants are maybe for a 12 month old…but you can’t tell from looking at the length can you? baha. poor kid, doesn’t even know.

ello in the snow


myes in the snow



we decided to take our outfits public since we were lookin so fly and put the kids in ski/snowboard school. as you can tell ruby is super self conscience and not having any fun at all.


 myes caught on so fast and did great… the instructor said he was the best in the class if you will allow me to brag for a moment.myes ski school


ruby ski school 2



ruby skiing 1


so here is a round up of the best snow boots for families and kids… i mean a mom and her kids, sorry hus:)

family snow boot round up

converse boys boots/ white timberland boots/ green hunter boots from piperlime/ red free people boots

boys snow boots


fairaisle boots/ crocs snow boots/ classic sorrels / yellow martin boots

girls snow boots

white and cheetah ugg / pink suede boots / tan suede boots / red rubber boots

for many many more styles check out my pinterest board

get the courage to cut the curls…baby’s first haircut

looming over my head has been baby’s first haircut. i had to muster the courage to cut the curls.

and just to have full disclosure, baby had has his hair trimmed before this fateful day. but i don’t really count that as a haircut. you know when around 9 months to a year you look at your kid and notice about an inch of mullet forming on the back of his neck? yeah, we cut that long ago. shaved his whole head i think… but this to me is different.

i always looked at those moms with their boy’s hair somewhere between surfer and strange bowl cut and thought,

“what is going on here woman? cut the kid’s hair!”

i always cut my other children’s hair reeeal nice. kept it clean and focused.

and then, i got a toe head with soft white curls and realized how hard it is.

i became that mom.

that mom who knew better.

that mom that lovingly tells herself this haircut is not only cool but sentimental.

i knew i would look back at his ragamuffin hair and think “what was i thinking? only a mother could love that hair.” but strapped down with mom hair sentiment i hung on. clung to his sweet soft locks.


you tell yourself, “oh i am going for the shaggy hip look”.

but it’s not. trust me. it’s not.

few kids get that right and if i can i will have a post done strictly on shaggy boy hair done right.

so the time had come. baby ello needed to lose his locks. the timing was perfect on a tuesday morning as i drug some hair product through his hair and thought, “oh wow, now you look like you have jande fonda hair.  prettiest hairstyle a 70 year old  woman could want.” our appointment was later that day with Brittney, i just had to hang on.

while waiting in line at michaels that very morning the cashier said, “oh she is just too pretty!”

really? hus says it was his pink shirt, but whatever. we couldn’t get to 12:00 fast enough.

so it began…

in our family we call this hairstyle the “Jef With One F Cut”…paying homage to our Bachelor With The Hair Chosen By Emily Maynard.  although on baby ello we don’t style it quite so sky high.

our much cooler, legit surf family friends call it the “wahini”… a longer on top, shaggier version of the same cut….

professionals call it an “undercut”.

check out my “kids hairstyles” pinterest board for more kid and boy hairstyle ideas.






holiday style for boys…

 ahh the holidays…

chilly air, hot chocolate, the spirit of giving and boys that don’t want to dress up for the holidays. myes has opinions, lot of them, and in his opinion dressing up for church or parties is LAME.

i am so sad. to combat his clothing issues we do lots of looking online as i have mentioned. he immediately knows if he likes something or not.

do you have a difficult kid to dress? here are my tips for getting it done as painlessly and efficiently as i can find…it takes some time.  this is the process i use with all my friends when trying to coordinate outfits for photo shoots too.

picking the clothes

first, i know the holidays  (or other event) are coming but i don’t want to buy things too early before holiday and winter lines have yet to come out.  not that we can really wear wool anything here in california and beanies are mostly for looks, but still, go with me.  i start thinking about what i want them to wear. are the kids going to coordinate? if so what is the starting point. what will the activities be that we are doing? does it start with a nice dinner and end in the boys playing football on the grass? is there a dress code? and how committed do i want to be to an item? will it work in other seasons? last year the boys both wore red gingham ties because its red and white and a classic print. they didn’t wear them in the spring, but they did wear them up until valentines day and then we drug them out again in the summer. they got used. it was good.

next i start looking online for ideas of what i want the boys to wear. i get a good idea of what is out there and prices. i decide if i can find it cheaper somewhere else and will hunt and hunt until i find just what i want.

finally, i am prepared to present it to myes. i start by saying, “hey honey, want to look at some shoes?” this always gets him running and possibly hurtling over the couch to take a look. my master plan worked.

mwaaa. mwaaa. now that i have him in my clutches i can show him ideas online and get a feel for what he is up for. he changes his mind constantly on what he likes and doesn’t like. do your children do this?

then i explain what we have coming up. “honey, christmas is coming up and that means we have lots of celebrating to do. lets come up with a couple of ideas that you could wear to christmas parties for family and church.”

he hates long sleeve t-shirts but will wear a long sleeve button up and lately, out of the blue has layered henleys over shirts.  i can always get him in a flannel . its safe. its a go to.  so if we are going somewhere nice i will spend the money for a high quality flannel that will look good while keeping him comfortable. he is much more comfortable in a flannel then a woven button up shirt or sweater. when this mama is picking her battles this is not one i am trying to fight 15 minutes before we are leaving. i know how it feels to be uncomfortable and can empathize with him.  myes will be more well behaved if he is comfortable.

proven fact.

getting dressed…

first, i always lay out clothes the night before, including belt, socks, undershirts and underwear. sometimes i give him two choices. usually he will want to change one part of the outfit and that is fine. i am there to give him other appropriate choices.

“oh, you don’t want the black pants, how about the gray?” this way he feels like he is making the choices. “but mom, i want to wear jeans.”

“oh shoot, me too, but this is a really special night so you can wear the black pants or the gray.  you don’t have to wear your dress pants, these chinos are fine. so which do you choose?”

myes is all about comfort and looking cool so he has “nice sneakers” that are only for special occasions for the times he really doesn’t want to wear dress shoes, these sneaks are fine. he also has “nice undershirts”.

being in california i usually layer two light layers. this way, when he is inevetably playing football with his cousins after dinner and takes off his flannel / button up / sweater / blazer, he is still looking sharp underneath. even if that means its just a nice, ironed, no ripples in the collar, t-shirt. sometimes i will bring the blazer or sweater with me and right before it is his time to shine (walking into the event, performing a talent or sitting to dinner with his great grandfather) i will ask him to throw the blazer or sweater on. if he doesn’t, its fine. but if he does, he gets extra points.

there is a complete method to my madness, the more involved he is, the more control he thinks he has and he can start expressing himself in a comfortable way. win-win.

but for now, i will live in a dream land where i dress him up in layers and preppy sweaters and bow ties and he merrily skips out of the house on his way to sing carols.

i love this look with the pants cuffed showing just a peek of the socks.


boys holiday look

boys holiday dressing
boys tie round up
plaid holiday ties for boys
 suspenders are everywhere…
boys suspenders
nothin says lets party like a bow tie…
 i fell in love with this company, the belle and the beau, years ago when looking for bow ties for my sister – in -laws wedding. they are so easy to work with,  found exactly what we wanted and made the bow ties in sizes for all the boys.  they have been my go – to source ever since for fresh bow ties and neckties. perfect for families that want to match or coordinate. they coordinate sets beautifully.
here are some of my faves for the holiday. great idea of family pictures.
boys holiday suit
boys and tweens holiday christmas ideas