so I’m pretty sure k has like the best life EVER. But lately she’s been disagreeing with that statement pretty hard.

I hope it’s because she has the weirdest teething pattern ever and is getting molars even though she doesn’t even have all her canines. But she’s proved to us time and time again that she will do things HER WAY or no-way. So I can’t be that surprised. Teething or no teething a sassy little personality is blossoming… And yes “sassy” is how I’m choosing to describe “happy and stubborn as hell”.

So. Here are all the reasons k’s life is incredibly hard.

1. She has no say in wardrobe. So if I want to put her in gladiator shoes she can’t walk in. I WIN. Because I can do things like work a zipper.

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2. Naps. Sleeping baby pictures are all the rage. And instead of miss out- I instead taught homeslice to nap in the daylight.

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3. I wish I could say she’s at my mercy for pictures. But instead I’m afraid to admit i’m instead at hers. Point a camera at that kid and she WILL figure out a way to squirm out of the shot.

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4. She’s along for the ride. Literally.

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5. Someone had to fulfill my lifelong fantasy of the “baby in a farmhouse sink” picture. And I promise this will be a weekly occurance possibly with the hashtag #notanothersinkbath

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6. If k so much as threatens to have a bad day lex and I smother her with kisses until she shrieks with delight. We’ve also been known to “eat her piggies”.

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7. Nothing is ever hers. Full cup of fro-y0? think again baby lady. You get to share.  Untitled-1

being the baby is almost as rough as trying to creatively put together a blog post thats not titled “yet another photo dump”. happy monday.

  • Best hashtag ever! Give me all the sink bath pictures! And I too made sure Finn can sleep in daylight, because….priorities! K, life is grand. Your wardrobe is better than mine, and your gingerness is fading! 😉

  • Ha! Love all the pictures, as usual! Sleeping in daylight- awesome! We demand room darkening here- big mistake! But let’s be honest- I don’t even think about going into my sleeping baby’s room! Pictures on the monitor are as good as I get!

  • Meghan

    Not another photo dump… Hahaha! I don’t mind them in the least, just as I wouldn’t mind seeing more sink baths ;).

  • Photo dump away my friend! I love seeing them!
    I will admit k’s life is pretty rough… I mean having to wear all those amazing outfits must be terribly hard, but thankfully she’s got that covered for us. BUT I will admit, if I had to share my full cup of fro yo, I would be pretty mad too 😉

  • haha! I love this post so much! K is pretty darn lucky if you ask me. She has the best wardrobe, gets to share ice cream with big sis, and is so darn loved!! 🙂

  • Haha, one is TOUGH!! You zip up those gladiator sandals until she can unzip them! TOO CUTE!

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Lets kick off friday with a giant cone of ice cream (and no their outfits did not survive)!

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So! hey friends. its been a hot second (or a few weeks) since I’ve done a life update. Its probably because i have nothing absolutely fantastic to report- but i will blame my absence on a little something called the Nightgale. holy cow that book was good. And maybe a little bit on netflix (grace and frankie anyone?!)

Our kitchen is slowly coming to life- and its looking damn good if i say so myself. The good news! our furniture is slowly being delivered! bad news! the flooring isn’t finished so we’ll have a kitchen table floating around the entryway. We obviously arent currently open for hosting and dare i say i’m embarrassed to even open the door enough for the mailman to peek inside.

BUT. it just means i have the perfect blank canvas for pictures of things like matching gladiator sandals.

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So Mother’s Day! It was fantastic. And although I didn’t get breakfast in bed i did get a new locket from lex (for the record she refuses to put pictures in it)- which was probably the hardest secret she’s ever had to keep from me.

i also managed to snag a few pictures of me with my leading ladies- if you look closely you can see my empty locket. And i’ll let you guys in on a little secret because you’re all my BESTEST friends. That backdrop? one of my favorite backdrops! its in an alleyway a block down from our house. I’m sure everyone on the block sees us on their security cameras and questions my sanity.

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You know what else we did on mothers day? went to costco. but my mom picked up the tab- so happy mothers day to her indeed! and if k looks super happy here its because she still has stranger danger with my brother. Its either his fancy hair or she’s trying to guilt him into coming to visit more often.

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You know who else k has stranger danger with? The lovely ladies at the gym. Which is just loco because she gets rewarded with cake pops and hanging out with her homies.

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and now. what you really come here for. sister picture overload.
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  • Meghan

    Well that’s the prettiest alley way I’ve ever seen! And I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen!!!!

  • The things one does for a pretty shot!

  • I’ve been taking my Stitch Fix pictures outside in our non-pretty alley way (hey it’s all I’ve got) and I’m pretty sure various random people (and the mail man) have walked by before and think I am totally loco. So I know the feeling. However, I say, don’t let that stop you. That back drop is perfect! SO happy the babes cooperated (and the Instagram Husband) for some pictures on Mother’s Day!
    And YAY for your mom picking up the tab at Costco! That would be the best ever present for me too!
    DYYYYING and cannot wait for the kitchen reveal! I’m not sure if it will be done for the season premiere of the bachelor (a little over a week!) but we’ll be crashing at your house for the finale! 🙂

  • Ohh we have Handels here too!! Like thats my first comment, ice cream related.

    Love the leotard and rainboots, thats a weekly fashion statement here too. Can’t wait to see the kitchen, I already know I’ll be obsessed.

  • i can’t wait to see your kitchen all come together. not too much longer now!!!

    and that backdrop is absolutely perfect. i love it. who cares if people think you’re crazy, aren’t we all a little loco???

    and, as per usual, your sister photos are the best!!!

  • Desiree

    I’d LOVE a trip to Costco if someone picked up my tab!
    Also. Your kitchen. THIS CLOSE!!!!

  • Your kitchen is going to be amazing….I Can’t wait to see it! And stranger danger is real….but your bro’s hair is kind of amazing.

  • These are precious! And hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do for some good pictures!

  • Cute pics and all but let’s talk about your brother…I have a lot of cute single girlfriends.

  • You take the BEST PICTURES! It doesn’t hurt that the girls are adorable, but for real….amazing. What a great Mother’s Day…I’d take an all-expense paid trip to Costco any day! 😉 Haha!

  • Nicole B

    Love these pics! My favs: the one w Lex’s feet up in the crib and the one at the post office. ❤️ And you know I love that alley.

  • It’s so sweet to see how loving Lex is of her sister. Such a sweetheart!

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alright ladies (and gentleman? maybe just my husband?). . . i feel like one of the things i get asked about the most is about photography. i know I’ve posted about it before here. and it was a good big basic overview.

but what i want to talk about now is editing.

a lot of the pictures i take end up on social media (namely instagram). and as much as i love myself a good #latergram i prefer to quickly edit and post as soon as i catch a spare moment. It feels more authentic for some reason. . .(it probably also means i post too many times a day).

but. back to editing.

i have a few basic apps i use for every picture.

VSCO, Facetune, TouchRetouch, and PicTapGo. They’re easy to use, and once you get a feel for your editing style it becomes second nature and using FOUR apps seems less daunting. it also helps your pictures look more uniform. and who doesn’t strive for a cohesive instagram feed?!

i took this  a few weeks ago at the farmers market. i seriously LOVE the colors. There was a good natural reflector coming off the sidewalk lighting the girls faces, i always shoot farther away and crop in. I love this picture but the original one just fell flat.

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1. VSCO: I always start with VSCO. i LOVE the c3 preset. but i strongly urge you to find the one that works for your style. so i uploaded the picture. from there i used the c3 filter (i hardly ever bump it up more than half). from there in the tools (the little wrench) i lightened it up +1. and saved to my camera roll. the best part of VSCO is that you can copy and paste your editing steps into multiple pictures. so batch them up if you have multiple pictures from the same shoot.

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2. FACETUNE & PIC TAP GO- next up is facetune. the hands down best app for lightening up pictures. the $3.99 pricetag seems really steep but i use this app on EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. so its worth it times a million.

once you open your photo. swipe the bottom toolbar to filters. from there click on lighting. i love “lighter” and “gamma”. i always start with lighter- you can adjust how much or little of each filter by swiping right and left.

facetune also has a few other awesome features. if you have a close up picture that needs just a smidge more sharpening (think in the eyes) the details feature is perfect. and the smooth feature can smooth skin. . . i sometimes use this on pictures on k napping when all you see are her legs.

once i save the picture i crop in pictapgo. i seriously use pictapgo for nothing else anymore. but for some reason their cropping and straightening tool is something i just cant quit. crooked pictures drive me absolutely crazy. you can even straighten pictures directly IN instagram. so really friends dont let friends have crooked pictures.

here’s the final image i posted to instagram.

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3. TOUCH RETOUCH- this little gem of an app is my secret to removing things like storm drains and other pesky things. like the statue at my in-laws house. the statue is amazing and gorgeous in person. but it can be a distraction in pictures.

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open your photo from gallery. use the brush tool (the little paint brush) and lightly brush it over whatever you want to remove. hit the start button (the little square) and watch it disappear. its not always perfect, and takes some practice. but after a little facetune and touch retouch here’s what got posted:

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maybe next time i’ll post about how i get the girls to at least look like they cooperate.

any questions? concerns? apps out there i need in my life right now or i might die?!

 

  • OMG I didn’t know about TOUCH RETOUCH. Life changing! xoxo.

  • Meghan

    I think I may need to rethink my editing game. Right now I only use pictapgo!

  • Laura Keenan

    It still cracks me up that you can’t quit pictapgo! VSCO has the best straightening, even having horizontal & vertical perspective. Another app I use occasionally is lens distortions. But only, only, if I already have sunflare present, but I didn’t nail the shot!

  • Kristen

    Love this post!!! Thank you so much for sharing your tips. You always capture your girls so beautifully.

  • Mayumi Shimose Poe

    “how i get the girls to at least look like they cooperate”

    Is that a special filter? Or a separate app? 🙂

    <3

  • Oh this is awesome – I downloaded Color Story and LOVE it – so many options and it’s gorgeous!

  • Tawnya

    Oh my goodness, I need to get touch retouch like yesterday. I edit that shit out in photoshop and this could save me SO MUCH TIME! haha!! Thanks!

  • Anytime you talk photos and editing I am all ears. Your photos are amazeballs!! I had never heard of touch retouch, but you can bet it’s downloading right now! I love the afterlight app for cropping, straightening and brightening a photo.

  • These are awesome! I’m off to check them out now!

  • Desiree

    I have the best idea when it comes to photos and apps and edits… Can you just take my photos for me? Because I heart all of yours.

  • Great tips! Definitely trying out the TOUCH RETOUCH app!! Sounds so perfect, even if it needs a little practice.
    http://www.fashionovermatter.com

  • Friends don’t let friends have crooked pictures….bahahahaha. Totally agree!! I can’t wait to try touch retouch. Also, your in-laws seem to have the worst view. The worst 😉

  • love these tips. I need to get touch retouch ASAP! this sounds simply wonderful and life changing!!

  • Some how I missed this! How? I need this post in my life!
    PS you better believe I saved those videos you sent me to my phone. I need some time to refer back to them and mess around.
    Also, I’m thinking, maybe one day over the summer, I can come over, bring Mason, Lex can dress him in princess dresses (he’s pretty cooperative) and you can teach me a thing or two? Or twelve?

  • oooh love this little post! And yes, please share how you get them to cooperate!

  • I’ve been using VSCO since you recommended it and I love it! Now I’m going to check out the rest of your suggestions! You take the most gorgeous photos!

  • Nicole B

    THANKS for this!!

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so k is finally walking! she just barely made the 15 month cut off… but she made it! Procrastinatior in training my friends. 

We’ve been celebrating with things like beach trips. And disney days. Because it truly is cause for celebration. I moaned and complained to the doctor about my little toe walker about 6 weeks ago. And scored k a PT EVAL. Which confirmed that girlfriend needed a little help. Well- she starts her PT today. And will be waltzing in there (literally) with a huge smile plastered on her face probably chanting “na-na-na-na-na” in her head. BUT here’s the thing. My BFF is an OT. She’s my biggest sounding board on all things milestones (and the horribleness of things like walkers and w-sitting). And I truly think there’s truly no shame in any baby’s game if they need a little one on one help. 


So! Disneyland! One of my favorite parts about having disney passes is that everyone loves a good disney visit. Especially bloggers I love who let me crash their family vacation so we can meet in person! 

Which is exactly what happened yesterday! We got to meet marisa! And Sloan! And Phayre! And let’s not forget Eric 😉 


So. Disneyland sucks the life out of my phone. And sucks it out quick. Enter the apple charging case. GET ONE. It it possibly my favorite thing about Apple since the iPhone. I’m about to get a little techy- but! It uses the same charger! No extra headphone adapter needed! It’s worth it’s weight in gold. 

And now. 

I LOVE social media. I love following accounts that give me inspiration and make me want to be a better photographer. 

But there’s a downside. Like when you try to recreate a picture you’ve seen other people post but it’s not YOUR style. And it ends up a big flop. 

I saw someone post this seriously fantastic picture of their girls playing on the pier with the giant Mickey in the background. It was perfection. 

Mine however is not. It’s not ME. It’s not my style and I shot it horribly. 


So. Draw inspiration from people. Don’t copy them. Figure out what works for YOU and run with it. Obviously always push yourself and get better. But be genuine about it. And just DO YOU (which I’m sure are some famous words by some famous teenage pop star). 


cheers to Friday.. And standing sister pictures! 

  • i love that you can just go to disney whenever you want. thats amazing. You can totally crash our disney vacation! 🙂

  • HOORAY for standing sister pictures. I can’t get R+A to stand still long enough for pictures unless there is snacks involved.

  • Laura Keenan

    The W sitting! Finn does it occasionally and I have a heart attack every time! Also, Disney! Conor has never ever been…. So yeah we need to plan a trip!

  • I know you’d kill me but i kind of want to push K down and not let her back up because she looks way way way too old now. Wahhhh!!!!

  • Is it bad that the thing I took away most from this is that I NEED to get Disneyland passes because WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE???? Was it not crowded at all? Dude I’ve been missing out on so much… Don’t tell Seth, but if he doesn’t want a Disney pass, that’s fine, but Mason and I will be getting one anyway 😉

  • Desiree

    So. When are we doing a Disney day together?
    Also. I thought your pier shot was pretty awesome. Just saying.

  • I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST… but I mostly love that KK is walking and owning it. *finally* <— just for you. Girlfriend was cute with her bear crawl…

  • Meghan

    So I shouldn’t try to copy your amazing wall backgrounds lol!?!? Seriously though, if I could find them I would!!!

  • Love watching K walk, it’s the cutest ever! I think my favorite milestone is walking, it’s just so cute and I love how they toddle around and there definitely is NO shame in taking her to PT if she needs a little extra help!

    Girl you are speaking my heart when you talk about being inspired by others and not trying to copy… I’ve actually been thinking about writing a post about this. I’ve been trying to find my style for SO long and I got in this super huge creative rut and it was because I was trying to have the bright insta feed that’s so popular but it’s just NOT ME! I like moody and sometimes dark… since I’ve stopped shooting for what I think others want to see and started just shooting for me it’s been a complete game changer!!

  • So awesome that you have passes to Disneyland! Jealous! And go K go! So awesome that she is walking, but she looks so dang big now. I thought your pier shot was great!

  • Disneyland really is the best meet up spot! Looks so fun!

  • Haha, when you were saying the disney pic didnt work for you wasn’t your style and to find the style that sticks for you, I thought, well duh your style is contrast against big blank walls, then I get 6 perfect examples in a row! Before selfies were called selfies, and probably before phones had self facing cameras, we had a friend couple that always took pics of the themselves with their digital, and we called shots like that “a castellano”… I will now call any wall backdrop a “helloerin” 😉

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Talking about how much (or little!) sleep you get as a parent is  almost as cool as talking about potty training and bowel movements. People complain, brag, cry, compare, and rejoice over the slumber of their children. 

  
So here’s the rub.

Lex got sleep trained at 3 months. I refused to deal with any sleep shenanigans and she loves rules and boundaries and it was successful and happy and sunshine and unicorns. She has developed some fancy quirks (like being afraid of the dark). But remains a consistent 7:30-630 sleeper. 

K as a second child hasn’t been sleep trained. She’s been a go-with-the-flow kinda of a sleeper. Plus she’s not exactly a “cry-it-out” kid- she could probably work herself up to the point of vomit before crying herself to sleep. She’s been a good napper and fairly consistent at night. 

Until she wasn’t. 

K loves to cuddle. She loves nothing more than to cuddle up and sleep next to me in bed. But my friends, I suck at co-sleeping and have zero patience at 4AM when she wants to wake up and play. We got stuck in a rut where she would sense mike and I were falling asleep and cry her brains out until she was securely in bed with us. 

No one slept well. 

After a few weeks of shenanigans. And on a very sleepless vacation in mammoth I stumbled across the doc-a-tot on a trusty thing I like to call “Instagram”. 

We ordered one immediately. 

Basically it’s a pregnancy pillow for babies. They feel secure, and hugged- but it’s totally breathable. We’ve had it for a week now (so I’m a TOTAL expert). And k has yet to wake up at night for as much as a pat on the back AND her naps have been stellar.

She begs to go in her crib. She looks so loungy in it. And it’s proved itself to be worth every. single. penny. And I don’t say that lightly because it was a lot of pennies. 

And I’m really hoping if we travel with it she won’t skip and beat and actually sleep on vacation . 

And most importantly I wouldn’t be at all sad if they made them in my size. 

So there you have it. My love affair with the doc-a-tot

Behold the overwhelming evidence about how much it rocks! 
 

   

  

  

  

     

  

 

   
   

  • Meghan

    Noah is a huge fan of cosleeping and thankfully I don’t mind. But that thing looks amazing! You think it would be big enough for a large 3 year old???

  • ashley

    Love this! Avalon has been our great sleeper but is slowly starting to wake a bit more and I’ve been eyeing the dockatot! Thanks for your EXPERT advice! 😉

    And sleeping baby pics are my fave!

  • well that just looks like the coziest ever! I think Reid would love that. We tried taking his crib bumper out for a few terrible nights- he likes a soft little cushion for his head so right back in it went. i’ll def tell friends about this after your stellar review!

  • Wow! That’s awesome. I am awful at co-sleeping with my children too. More power to parents who can do it, but it’s not for me. I love snuggling, but actually sleeping I want my space. That pillow sounds awesome. I hope it continues to work for her.

  • Sleeping baby pictures just melt me. Glad you found something that works.. because a sleep deprived mama is NEVER fun. Rae was a w f u l at sleeping and thankfully Aubrey’s been our easy peasy girl. Hopefully it remains that way on vacations…

  • Okay, that thing looks and sounds awesome. These are the best pictures! Love them. Something so sweet about a sleeping baby!

  • I would look at pictures of K sleeping all day long. That thing looks amazing, and yes I want one. I always have a hard time letting my pregnancy pillow go…

  • Filing this gem of advice away for the future…..

  • Desiree

    So basically I need two of these. One for Julia, because homegirl would sleep in my arms all the time if I let her. And one for me. Because that thing looms unbelievably comfy. Also. People who complain about sleep…. Ugh.

  • I love this and I want one for myself! Also, how in the world do you get sleeping photos of your kid? I’m TERRIFIED of waking Mim up (even though she’s a very good sleeper) because I know as soon as she sees me, it’s OVER.

  • Oh gosh if the paci is on the nose and not in the mouth you know she is in dreamland! I see people talking about this all over Instagram (also where I find all my reliable information). I’ll have to keep it in mind if I ever find myself crazy enough to think having another Parker is a good idea!

  • Holy goodness. I want one of those for me. But only if it will make my husband not snore. Because THAT is what keeps me up at night. But I’m mean and just kick him to get him to quiet down sooooo… that officially makes me the jerk.
    That being said, I LOVE these sweet sleeping pictures of k! She looks so comfy and cozy. Best purchase ever!

  • My co-worker swears by hers! L was a cry-until-she-puked sleep trainee, too, so that sucks. LUCKILY, she’s kind of started sleeping better, but it’s so different from Cam who’s been the same as Lex – a teenage sleeper!

  • just found your blog and so happy to follow along. my first little one is a sleep champion, but i’m keeping this tucked away for the future! just incase!

  • that sounds amazing. Aria was a great sleeper until she stopped. She’d probably dig this. Now to convince my husband that over 200 is worth it lol.

  • this sounds like us….palmer was an expert sleeper from day 1. i can count on one hand the amount of times in her 3 years that she has kept us up at night. Charlie though, is another story. girlfriend is still waking several ties in the night, naps are something to be desired. i gotta check out this dock a tot. it sounds simply wonderful.

  • those pictures are perfection and can they please make those in adult sizes! I want one!

  • Those are the SWEETEST pictures. I so need one of those in my size! Everyone in my house sleeps but me!

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