guest post

3 Easy DIY Valentines to make with your sweet little valentine!

  With this little baby of mine's due date being on Valentine's Day, my thoughts have been completely revolved around prepping for baby and birth and I honestly haven't given much thought to the holiday. I woke up this morning (still pregnant) and felt bad that I hadn't done any Valentine's activities with Holden. So I hopped on Pinterest and found myself completely overwhelmed and under supplied for the majority of Valentine's activities out there. Thankfully, Mom's Best Network came to my rescue and shared these three easy DIY Valentine's that you can make with your little one.  So if you're like me and looking for some last minute activities, check out these easy V-day activities below.   you-rock-my-world-valentine-2

You Rock My World!

Supplies: Rock Candy Twine Tag Clear Bag

Directions: Place rock candy into clear bags, tie the bags safely shut, add the printable tag (download at the bottom of post) to the treat bag! Easy-Peasy!

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You're The Milk To My Cookies!

Supplies: Milk Bottles Straw Twine Clear Bag Cookies

Directions: Pick up some milk bottles, you local target has them 2 for $3 or you can recycle an cleaned simply orange-orange juice container! Add cookies, homemade or store bought, depending on your time, bag them, add the tag! That's all, quick and easy!

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You Donut Know? You're my Valentine!

Supplies: Cake Donuts (store bought) Frosting Sprinkles Clear Bag Cup + Straw

Directions: Pick up some cake donuts from your local bakery, un-frosted. Make your favorite flavored frosting, add frosting to donuts, shake sprinkles. Bag the donuts, seal with twin + poor some milk in a cup, add some frosting + sprinkles to the rim. Voila, fun after school treat for the kiddos, complete!

"You're the milk to my cookies!" DOWNLOAD the Milk tags HERE

"You Rock My World!" DOWNLOAD the You ROCK tags HERE

"You Donut know? You're my Valentine!" DOWNLOAD the TAGS HERE from Paper and Pleats.

GUEST POST :: ELOISE & ME.

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i teamed up with the lovely and stylish blakely, editor of eloise and me and mama to the adorable little rosie, to get a different take on boy style.  we swapped guest posts and shared what our littles would wear if they were of he opposite sex in a fun "if i had a girl/if i had a boy..." post.  i adore the classic look blakely put together for the little mister which includes some great pieces for fall.

herringbone driver hat - little men are too cute in hats!

quilted jacket- a great piece for fall

baseball tee - softest and comfiest peek kids tee.

high-top sneakers - such a darling take on a classic shoe

yellow chinos - great staple pant

saddle shoe (not pictured) -  a perfect classic for dressing up, or dressing down with jeans

gray corduroy overall (not pictured) - i love little boys in one pieces, keeps them looking like babies as long as possible

i absolutely love styling kiddos, but as a mama to a boy, mind almost always revolves boys clothing (which i love), so it was really fun to put together an outfit for a little girl for a change.  below is a sneak peek at my "if i had a girl" look, but head over to eloise and me for all of the outfit details and a corresponding mama outfit too (because you know i just can't help myself).

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GUEST POST: HOW TO CAPTURE YOUR LITTLE ONE.

i'm so thrilled to have Cassidy Miller on the blog today sharing a few tips on photographing your little one.  she is an amazing photographer and mama to two beautiful little girls, harlo and stella.  without further ado, miss cassidy miller... Hi! I am so excited to be a guest on Holdenonbaby today!

I am Cass Miller, I'm a lifestyle photographer and blogger over at cassmillerblog.com. My photography career actually started through my own family blog. Just over 4 years ago, I inherited my first DSLR. At the time I was expecting my first baby and when she was born I became obsessed with documenting her every day life and writing about it on our family blog. I got a few requests from people who had come to my blog and liked the pictures of my darling babe and wanted some like it of t heirs. It was then that I realized photography was something I clicked with and really started embarking on that journey. It took me a few years of experimenting to come full circle and realize I am a lifestyle photographer. I like documenting the everyday things that make life beautiful. This is my passion.

On my blog, I sometimes write about photographer tips and tricks. While those are helpful to people who know a little bit about cameras and photo editing software, it leaves out the moms who just want to know how to take a decent picture of their kids. Today I'm giving some tips TO MOMS on how to document your child's stages with your camera. Whether it's a phone, a point and shoot, or a fancy SLR.

First of all, when my little girls were babies, I would like to document their first bath, their first foods, first crawls, etc. These milestones are easy to point out with the young ones, but as they get a little older I feel like this stuff gets a little harder to pinpoint. One thing I've always done is set a weekly or monthly goal to write or photograph what my kids are into, what they're saying, etc. I call these "tidbits" on my blog and this alone has really helped me keep up on documenting my girls as they've grown into toddlers and beyond.

So there are really two parts to this post. Deciding what to document, then how to document it.

To decide what is the best thing to document, you simply just have to look into your daily life. What are their favorite toys right now? What are their favorite books? Favorite character? Snack? Do they like playing inside or outside? Photograph that! If your child is potty training, take a picture of that sweet little panty bum or those little feet as they dangle over the top of the potty. If your baby is loving books right now, take a picture of him flipping through the pages of a pile of books. These types of things will help you remember these fleeting times. As children grow, their interests change. My 4 year old no longer cares for her once-beloved elmo toys. My 2 year old has outgrown eating bananas and puffs for her favorite snack. Now they're onto new things. Think of what your kids are loving these days and make sure you have a picture of it.

It doesn't have to be hugely significant, and it doesn't have to be perfect.

Stella, my two year old, is loving this old hand-me-down scraggly looking dress right now. I wont let her wear it out of the house because it's too big and it's worn almost completely out. But she loves the thing! Every time we're home, she's heading for the roses dress. We've also been spending a lot of time on our front porch lately. The weather has been beautiful and the girls love to twirl and dance on the front lawn. I sometimes wish I could pause time and savor it forever, and with my camera, sometimes I can. -- so here I go. This is what I wanted to document in Stella's life right now.

Pro tip: work those angles!

Here are 3 angles to remember,

 

 

This sets the scene and tells us exactly whats going on. (Observation: Stella in front yard, dreamy golden light, twirling her heart out in her favorite raggedy dress.)

Notice in these shots I'm shooting from her eye level. This is the most important and most common mistake in mom-photography. Coming down to their level, you can see the world from their point of view. This is crucial for taking a shot from snap-shot-mom to pro-mom.

Once we've got that down, we're ready for the next...

 

 

 

There's something about this shot that gives a mothers perspective. It truly is life from our eyes and I think it's an important way to photograph our kids. Some of my favorite shots of my girls have been from this way, I think just because this is exactly how I see them. It also gives a completely different feel than the images above, doesn't it? For this shot, I try to be directly above or as close to it as possible. I want to be shooting straight down.. that's the trick for the above shot.

 

 

 

I always try to get a close up of what I'm trying to document. For this shot I was laying completely down on the ground and I love that I can see her chubby little ankles, that swirling dress, and that sweet dimple in her elbow. Swoon... I would have never noticed those things in the wide angle or above shot.

Bonus! When you're documenting your kids doing what they like to do, they usually cooperate way better than if you're sitting them down and making them say "cheese!" and because they're having so much fun, sometimes you get a gem and a real smile. (while you're doing silly things like laying flat down on the grass in the front yard.)

 

My almost-4-year-old is quite the artist. She loves to paint and I love watching her concentrate on her masterpieces. This is a fun way to document those doodles and scribbles for kids when you don't have room to keep everything they do. I try to take pictures of Harlo working on her art from time to time as a way to document how her technique and style is evolving.

I shot this one just as I did the other. A wide shot to document the setting, a shot from above/close-up to give me the mom perspective and capture the details. I love each of these shots for different reasons. In the wide shot, I can see her posture and how she always sits in her chair, the above shot I can see her art, her little paint set-up and the ring on her finger, that's so Harlo.

Pro tip: Natural light! This is another one of those crucial steps. The lighting we use in our homes are very yellow and will give a yellow cast to whatever you're photographing. Turn off the over head lights and open the blinds, prop open the door, do whatever you need to to get some natural light in. There have been times where I've moved our set-up closer to a window or door just so I could photograph it in better light. Especially with younger kids and babies where we spend so much time inside, this will make a big difference. You don't need a flash, you don't need over head light. Just the good ol' fashion natural stuff.

Another example is of my girls together. I think it's important to document what they enjoy doing together. This is their childhood and I want to help them remember this time as best I can. What games they liked to play with their siblings I think is a big one. One thing my girls love doing right now is dumping the blocks on the living room floor and building towers. This keeps them occupied for hours and I love watching them work together. This might seem small or insignificant, but it makes my mama heart swell and to me, that's worth documenting.

See the difference of me just standing up in the room taking a picture in this shot...

To this shot ^ where I came down to their level. It really puts you right in the game and helps to connect with what's going on.

Here are my close-up and from above shots. This is a daily scene in my house and I promise you in 5 years when they no longer care for blocks, I will be so glad I have these.

So here are just a few examples on how to document your child's stages. Whether you have an iphone, a point-and-shoot or a full DSLR, get out and document those kids! You'll be so glad you did. To keep up with how I document our life, head on over to cassmillerblog.com.

GUEST POST: STYLE SERIES WITH PIRATES AND PEONIES PART 2.

hi! it's me, shaynah, again from PIRATESandpeonies! so happy to be back. if you didn't catch who i am feel free to find out here
i am so happy to be sharing with you about little boy fashions. it is sometimes hard to get creative when it comes to dressing boys, and i have found that functional is always best! my boys like things that they can move in (and that mostly means tackle each other in). we are active, as we live in the midwest near lots of parks, so i am often inspired by woodland animals and comfy looking clothes. that is really where i am drawing my inspiration from these days. think cabin in the woods meets the animals living off the land.
these are a few of my favorite things:

in the home: moose bedding // fox pillow // plates // circus bin  // elephants 

big kid: stars tee // baseball henley // headphones

toddler: knight cape and helmet // tiger claw leggings // wooden horse

for baby: pale nulle // pirate body suit // long underwear body suit  // booties

my oldest guy is by far my sporty - no fuss dresser. he likes simple. as much as i want to put him in elaborate things i just prefer to do things his way, so i stick to cute tops that are cozy and close to his body so he can run faster. yes, i know it doesn't make him run faster, but we like to pretend it does! he is old enough to think that things are girly so i try to stick to rugged these days. shoes are typically our big investment because we know they will be passed down to the younger siblings (jeans don't usually make it, being our boys rip holes in nearly every knee). we also have hit video games and the electronic phase so i try to keep him busy yet limit his time on it, so we bring paper and pens everywhere so he can spy and draw the things he sees so he usually totes a cool backpack loaded with gear.
my toddler is far more quirky than his brother. he is always sporting masks and hats. i don't mind costumery in public, i mean you're only a kid once right! i also like the differences in their personalities. kids should really be themselves, and i try not to let who i think they should be get in the way of who they really are.  he also likes things that are easy to move in. i love his little legs in tighter fitting pants with boots, and luckily he likes that comfy feel so it works. i try to stick with muted colors that way things can be mixed and matched without being as obvious. we have been known to wear things for  a whole week straight a few days in a row, we are only human! i much prefer to invest in a few unique pieces that can be worn often rather than a lot of clothes that barely get use. it seems to work so far and then i don't feel bad on those one or 2 splurges at the beginning of each season!
for baby i want simple. i want easy on and offs. i don't like when people make babies look like little men, i want him to look like a baby. stripes are always my go-to. i like the one piece outfits cause he will be born during the cold months so i want to be sure he is covered well, but mostly i want him to have wonderful things surrounding him. that means sweet little toys and blankets that make him feel at home and safe. things that are perfect for snuggling!
in general i think it is most important to find your little guy's personality and try to dress him in something that naturally co-exists with his behaviors. i have to admit my fashion has adapted to my boys style more than theirs has adapted to mine! i usually check with my oldest before i order him something -- if he squinches his face up it probably isn't worth going through the buying and return process!
funky hats and pipe cleaners used as an ear mic. normal occurrences in our home!
comfy at home play clothes. and YES we wear shoes in the house for fun!
silly back packs make it more fun to haul our stuff around
my splurge brands that i typically buy a handful of things from are:
  • bobo choses
  • mini rodini
  • polarn o pyret
  • little z kids
  • flora + henri
after i have my investment pieces i match them up with something from here:
  • crewcuts
  • hm
  • zara
  • babygap
thank you isobel for having me again! i hope you guys got a few pointers or at least some new ideas or creative ways to get your little dudes in more than just cargo pants and polo shirts. i know it can be tough to even care sometimes, but i think kids should have an imaginative and creative childhood, don't you?!

GUEST POST: STYLE SERIES WITH PIRATES AND PEONIES.

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i love connecting with other mama bloggers, particularly stylish mamas of boys...so for the month of october, one of my favorite mamas and i will be swapping bi-weekly guest posts on each other's blogs.  shaynah is mama to two tow-headed adventurers with another one on the way.  we immediately connected over our boys' love for exploration and our obsession with little boy fashion.  to kick off this fun little series, shaynah is sharing why she started blogging and what she loves about it.  don't forget to stop by her blog, pirates and peonies, to check out my guest post on why i started holdenonbaby.

Hi, Shaynah from PIRATESandpeonies.com here!

I personally am what they call a girly-girl. Formerly a tomboy once I grew up and quickly started loving lace, ruffles, and fluff! Who would have ever thought that I would have 2 boys (and another little man on the way)?! I would have never thought that I would love raising boys so much! God definitely knew what he was doing when He gave them all to me! My husband is an avid sports nut and a 9-5 business man, he keeps wacky, little me pretty stable! I love chaos and I love laughter and my life is filled with both! I do work part time, and I love my job (I am a haistylist - don't judge me on my days off!) but I love that I am home with my kids and get to be the one teaching them on a daily basis. (For you moms who work full time and juggle both, you, are my hero!!!) I am very laid back and I am the opposite of a minimalist and neat freak. I do believe in a healthy and active lifestyle, but I am not a slave to it. I enjoy the little things. I am terrible at punctuation!!!!  I enjoy sarcasm. I can take a joke. I am sometimes goofy. I don't get embarrassed easily. I am a dreamer. But above all I am a mom! Our rowdy little crew is always seeking out new adventures and silly {simple}ways to make life in the more interesting. We greatly believe giving our kids a colorful childhood and jumping on the beds and couhc. And, well, our take on parenting is a little relaxed, we are young parents so we are still learning and growing ourselves. We just hope to share an honest view of our life -  the good and the bad, the fun and the difficult. We hope you enjoy getting to know us, the REAL us!

"Oh!  So you're another mom with kids..." you may be thinking. And yeah, that is mostly how I would describe myself, too, but there is so much more to each of us "mommy bloggers" than that. We all have a little different take on parenting and sharing our lives. We all do it for many different reasons. My husband teases me about my blogging and he loves to poke fun at how excited I get about new followers, but every once in a while he reads through it and comes to me and tells me how thankful he is that I have captured our boys exactly where they are at.  Which is what I think the blogging world is really for. To reflect on your life, remember it, and learn from it! It is a fun and creative way to share. As silly as I can be I also have a very romantic view of life. Raising kids is the most beautiful gift, and seeing the world through their eyes is magical. I love every moment and try to keep them tucked away somewhere safe, and blogging and writing them has been the most wonderful way to remind myself of how blessed our little life is. Connecting with other mommies just a bonus that comes with it!  I am so happy to have connected with Lauren and her beautiful family through blogging. Isobel and I are excited to be sharing on each other's blogs... a little about our lives, raising sweet little boys, and our personal take on family style and fashion! We hope you enjoy!

GUEST POST: PARENTING STYLES WITH CASEY LEIGH WIEGAND

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today's guest post is from casey leigh, the voice behind the wiegands, a family lifestyle blog that follows this sweet and kind-hearted mama and her three gorgeous littles.  i have always felt connected to casey in her parenting style and opinions on raising children.  it's nice to have a friend who child rears in the same manner and shares these thoughts so openly.  so without further ado, here's a little excerpt from casey leigh on her beliefs in bringing up littles.

my husband and i believe in "letting our littles be little"- we are in no rush over here at the wiegand house! in fact, i am in a desperate attempt to slow down!!! i realized pretty quickly after my first born had arrived that everyone had a million opinions and ideas on how i should be.  the most valuable lesson that i learned was that i had to do what was best for us.

all of our personalities are different, all of our kiddos are different- so making a "formula" or putting them in a certain box just wouldn't work.

 

it wasn't working in fact.

 

the truth is you know what you are comfortable with, you know your baby...so who better fit to make the decisions?  not a book or a friend, just you.

and appreciating all of our differences is so important...important as fellow mamas, to appreciate where the other is coming from.

 

our babies are growing fast, it won't be long before it's all gone and over.

 

the only way i know how to "slow it down" is to savor it, not rush it and to let them be little as long as possible.