name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : October 2017


How To Style Your Family Photos - 6 Simple Tips

Thank you to Jennifer Spencer Photography for our photos and for assisting in this post. Amazon Affiliate link also used. As always, thanks for supporting Always A New Day.

We took our family pictures last week - we try to take them in October when it's just the right temp here in Texas. Nothing says "happy family" like sweaty, tired mamas and sweaty, cranky kids :)

Luckily, we had a sweet taste of fall and all went perfectly. It definitely pays off to have the BEST photographer in town. Jennifer Spencer Photography has been our go-to for all family photos including a little photo shoot she did for me.

And, thanks to her for some pro photog tips. Moms could spend hours putting together a coordinating scheme, but why? Here's what Jen and I think will make the perfect shoot for your little family.

Pick a color scheme - It's best to work with TWO colors that fit your style. For fall photos, go for oranges, browns, navy, or dark reds. For summer-y beach-y photos, think light colors. Coordinate your fam's clothing around those choices.

For us, we circled around the girls because Girls Rule! And, I also saw a cute idea of matching my mini in pink tutus. My Em already had one, and I got my skirt off Amazon for $17! That's what I call WINNING.

To get some color going and knowing the boys would nix the pink, we also chose navy. I love the contrast of the colors. Good thing is - navy is ALL around. Think denim, too.

Dress comfortably and for your personality - Sure, you want to be picture perfect, but choosing something stiff or too layered can put any kid in a bad mood then goes mom then goes the family happiness. Comfort over style says Jen!

If your family loves Western, strap on your boots! If your family likes being fancy, get fancy and dress up. If you're casual, then keep it that way. You don't want to try something new for a family shoot. Be real. Be YOU.

Shop your closet first - I started with my little bit's tutu and worked from there. I only ordered the skirt for me. No need to spend beaucoup money - check out the closets first then borrow if needed. Something tells me you've got all the goodies already!

Prepare ahead of time - Lay out all outfits together to see if they coordinate AND try them on (especially if you think your kid could have a growth spurt between now and photo time). Moms, I love this tip from Jennifer - use clothes that make you feel comfortable and that fit your body type. We are too critical of ourselves when we see the pictures so make sure you love your own outfit choice. Check it out in the mirror or have the hubs snap a photo to make sure it's perfect for you. If you are uncomfortable in your pictures, it will show.

Another big tip from Jennifer - preparing ahead of time also means IRONING THE CLOTHES, too. Photoshop can't iron them for you!

Wear your make-up a bit heavier than normal - Your face will pop in the pictures! Highlight the cheeks and definitely go bold on the lipstick. I wore Hazelnut Lipsense, but reds are good, too.

HAVE FUN - FUN happens when your photographer is awesome! Find someone who is laid back and allows your family to be themselves. Then, just be normal. The candid shots are my favorite!

I LOVE the pics she got of my kids - twirling princess and busy boy included. I know I will look back on these photos and smile - she captured us right where we are in our lives.

And if YOU book with Jennifer, she is offering $50 off a family session
when you mention Always A New Day.

Hurry and book now! Find the right temps, the right photog, and the right look JUST for you, and you will have some sweet memories, too.


Healthy Halloween Snacks - Cheesy Ghosts

If you ever see anything crafty on the blog, you know it will be easy-peasy! And, even better? There will be NO MESS to clean up. There are so many fun Halloween crafts out there on Pinterest, but with a busy toddler and a lack of creativity, I need something quick and easy.

Enter our FAVORITE snack - Mini Babybel Cheese, a wholesome, nutrient-rich, all natural snacking option for their whole family. I cannot keep these in stock at our casa. The kids even love these for breakfast on-the-go, too. Pair it with a granola bar for those mornings when you're late or just can't get it together.

And now for that easy and no-mess crafty fun - check out these Cheesy Ghosts!

What you need:

Mini Babybel Cheese (regular or light)
White tissue paper
Black marker
Orange or black ribbon

What you do:

Grab your Mini Babybel (we are loving the fun Halloween ones - a fun bonus when you open up your ghosts) and wrap in tissue paper. I just took a full sheet of tissue paper, wrapped it around the rich and creamy cheese, and tied it with the festive ribbon.

Once they are all in place, take the black marker and draw on two large ghostly eyes! For the final step, cut the bottom of the tissue paper to your desired size. I fluffed (is that a word?) the bottoms to give a floating effect.

Pack up some of your cheesy ghosts for lunches or bring to your neighborhood Halloween party. Easy. Quick. Healthy. Fun. The kids love the fun of opening these mini treats; the moms will love how perfect they fit in a lunchbox.

There are deals on Mini Babybel all month long at your local Target. Only a big cheese like Mini Babybel can rescue your family from snack boredom. Snack time, lunch time or anytime, this 100% real cheese is always a hit! Enjoy all six varieties!

Are you getting creative this Halloween? I'd love to hear your ideas to spice up the lunchbox or to take to your kids' next school shindig!

And if it's easy for this crafty amateur - even better!

Click HERE to learn more about Mini Babybel Cheese - then hit Target to grab some for your Halloween fun!

Happy ALMOST Halloween, friends!


Saying NO Without Guilt - For The Anxious Mama

Forgive me if this post is nothing but rambling and such, but oh the words are stuck and need out! This past week has been crazy - planning events, raising crazy cute kids, and living life. When you're anxious, even little things on your calendar can turn your world upside down.

And all the planning in my head just spins and spins. I am ready for a week without spinning.

My sweet friend, Kristy, just wrote a post on recharging, and I desperately need a week to do just that. And I am starting by saying no.

I want to say no to anything that takes up too much time - time away from my family or even time away from the self-care I desperately need as an anxious mama.

I want to say no to things that take up too much space in my mind - the silly things that cause my anxiety to swirl and take small events to catastrophic in no time flat.

I want to say no to social media comparisons and just do ME.

I want to say no to plans. All the plans. I want to please too many people too many times, so I am running in a thousand different directions. No plans means time to just be.

I want to say no to things that take me away from the blog. My little outlet and therapy for me. The place where I can throw up all the words that fill my head and ache to get out. I want to write, y'all. The reason I started my little space.

I want to say no to people who don't get me and never will. My time needs to be with those who love me despite my grief roller coaster; they love me despite my faults. They take my apologies when days are dark, and I am definitely not my best self.

I want to say no to this anger stage of grief. The stage that I have been stuck in and can't get out of even though I try. The anger AT my brother, FOR my brother, and WITH everyone who isn't in the muck with me. I hate this place. And, I want to say YES to my blessings more than my frustration.

I want to say no more than ever. We are only one person and can only do so much. If you've been reading since the beginning, you know I have a passion for mental health. A passion for MOMS who need to care for and nurture their hearts and their minds.

I encourage us to catch up this week and say no. Let's touch base soon and see how we do. I hope in a few weeks, I can say my mind has slowed down, my anger has lessened, and my heart feels full again.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. What will you say NO to this week?
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