Pumpkin Patch Pictures

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As I mentioned in last week’s 5 on Friday post, we decided to take some family pictures at a pumpkin patch last weekend! We just took our family camera and the tripod to take our own pictures. My best friend and her family joined us at the pumpkin patch, so they helped take pictures, too. We found a few cute set ups at the pumpkin patch, we set up the tripod, Davis focused the camera, and then we just needed someone to press the button!

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My little child is such an elusive creature. I’m genuinely impressed with the amount of pictures we got of him looking straight at the camera. His baby blues piercing through the picture are enough to make up for the lack of smile. In case you can’t tell, he’s not-so-patiently-waiting to get the heck out of my lap!

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Owen gets out of my lap, into Davis’ lap, and he’s back to being impatient! Ha! He likes the laid back look. It makes him seem like a chill child and discredits all of my claims that he’s a loony.

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…and then we get a picture like this and it’s obvious that we’re all loonies. This is the only picture that Owen is smiling in and it’s the worst picture of Davis and me! Like I said, elusive little guy. Lucky for you, I’m still sharing this picture regardless of how silly we look. Owen has the cutest little chub-a-licious smile, so I just had to share this picture!

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We captured some pictures of Owen exploring in these beautiful close-ups. I’ll try to avoid getting all mama-bear-mushy on you, but I adore how observant my son is and how determined his focus is. He has a beautiful blend of our personalities and I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to know the person that he’s growing in to.

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We  also got pictures of my son and my best friend’s daughter, Averi. They’ve been around each other so much in their first year of life and will now spend four days a week together, so it’s fair to go ahead and call them best friends. I find it a little eerie that they look somewhat alike in these pictures, though!

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I’ll leave you with this little nugget, which made Davis and I die laughing. (It also helps me prove that he’s a loony, like us!) He has a unique talent of blinking in 45% of pictures. He also has a unique talent of ignoring people when they’re trying to get his attention. I’m not quite sure which talent he is exercising in this picture, but you can see that his talent is real.

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What This Mama Wore: Pumpkin Patch Pictures

As I mentioned in my 5 on Friday post, we took some family pictures at the pumpkin patch! It was kind of a last minute decision after planning a pumpkin patch visit with my best friend and her family, so we didn’t have much time to plan our outfits or buy new outfits! I had a few ideas in mind from Three Little Crowns‘ post “Style Tips for Fall Family Photos”, so I tried to run with that. Natalie, one of the adorable mamas who runs Three Little Crowns, is a photographer! She has some great pointers for coordinating family outfits for pictures. She used a black&white and mustard yellow color scheme, which I have been in love with this Fall! I knew we didn’t have enough black&white in our closets, so I opted for navy and white with mustard! (I’ll be sharing our pumpkin patch pictures on Wednesday, so this is just a little preview pic! Follow my blog or come back on Wednesday to see the rest!)

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My husband already had a navy blue, white, and mustard plaid button down. It’s actually the shirt that he was wearing when we met, so it also has significant meaning! I knew that Owen and I had navy blue and white in our closets, but we didn’t have any mustard. We made a quick Target run for the mustard cardigan that I was already eyeing. Can we say win-win for this lady?! (I decided to give you a little sneak peak, to show our outfits!)

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The biggest advice that I used from Natalie’s tips was “Coordinate, Don’t Match”. At first, I thought wearing stripes while Davis wore plaid wouldn’t match well. (I actually made him stand next to me in the mirror at home to make sure that we looked ok next to each other!) I remembered Natalie’s tip and felt confident about our choices! I’m really happy with the way the pictures turned out. I think we look coordinated, but we each look like ourselves. Not to mention, we aren’t in boring, same-colored shirts!

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Navy blue and white striped shirt: Target girls’, similar by BCBGMAXAZRIA at Bloomingdales, similar with larger stripes and 3/4 sleeves by Pass Attempt at 6PM

Mustard yellow cardigan: Target, similar at Forever21 here and here

Tortoise shell, jewel statement necklace: AliExpress

Skinny jeans: J. Crew Factory

Booties: Ramage at TJ Maxx, similar by C Label at 6PM, similar in black by Jeffrey Campbell at ShopBop

I was really thankful for Natalie’s “Style Tips for Fall Family Photos” on Three Little Crowns! I was able to throw our outfits together quickly, confidently, and frugally! (I only purchased one item to make our outfits!) Most of all, I love that we all look comfortable and we look like ourselves! Follow my blog or come back on Wednesday to see the rest of our pumpkin patch pictures!

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5 on Friday

I have been following bybmg‘s blog for a few weeks now and I loved her “High Five for Friday” posts, where she shared any 5 things from her week! It helped me get to know her better and I immediately wanted to take part! After a few clicks, I realized that this 5/Friday thing is, like, a thing and I found so many link ups! I love to find fellow bloggers and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Friday posts! Here is the one that I’ll take part in, if you’d like to join! It is hosted by A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness, and The Good Life.

Here is my first 5 on Friday! I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I do and I hope fellow bloggers will join!

1. We took family pictures at the pumpkin patch!

I came across a blog post with tips on coordinating outfits for family Christmas pictures and I realized that we don’t have any (professional) family pictures! We have pregnancy pictures and we have a few good pictures of the 3 of us at our wedding, but I decided that we should take family pictures. I love Fall in Houston, because it is the biggest transitional season that occurs in our climate. You can actually feel when Fall has arrived. I also love Fall colors more than any others! What better time to do family pictures than Fall?! Owen has also taken on an odd love (more like obsession) for pumpkins, so we knew he’d enjoy going to the pumpkin patch! (I’ll be sharing our pumpkin patch pictures next week, so this is just a little preview pic! Follow my blog or come back next week to see the rest!)

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2. I found a Zara blanket scarf knock-off for $12.

I have loved the outfit posts that I’ve seen with the Zara blanket scarf, but the tan plaid is sold out. I’m kind of picky about the colors in plaid items, so I never found a good replacement. …until now! I frequent the AliExpress website to keep an eye out for trending items, so I did a little search for a similar blanket scarf! It paid off, because this beauty is in my cart and soon to be purchased! I am hoping hat the colors turn out to be exactly as pictured, because they’re perfect! (I found a few others at Forever 21 that will serve as back ups, but they both have less tan than I’d like. See them here and here.)

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3. I’m attending a blogger meetup!

I’ve recently joined a few Houston blogger clubs/pages and I’m attending my first blogger meetup this Sunday with the Houston Blogger Social Club! I’m really excited to connect with other bloggers in order to help grow and improve my blog! I’m also excited to just make some new friends!

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4. My best friend is going to take care of my son.

For Owen’s first year of life, my mother-in-law took care of him. It was such a relief to have someone who truly loved Owen to take care of him. Around the time that Owen turned one, we moved downtown and made the decision to find a daycare for him. The drive was impossible for us or for my mother-in-law to take daily and we wanted Owen to have some peer interaction. He has been in daycare for almost eight months and we’ve had a normal experience so far (nothing wonderful and nothing terrible). Recently, my best friend of 17 years and I discussed having her take care of Owen. She currently stays home with her daughter, who is two months older than Owen, and is seeking an income to help support her family. She, personally, does not want to find a daycare for her daughter, so having a “nanny”-type gig is perfect for her! I am also extremely thrilled to have another person who loves Owen taking care of him.

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5. We are looking for a rental home.

If you know me personally, then you know that my husband and I do not wish to buy a house. We acknowledge that it is the best choice for most American families, but we know that it isn’t the best decision for us for many reasons that I will not get into in this post (maybe a future post). That being said, we have discussed spending at least five more years in Houston and wish to find somewhere to live for that time without increasing rent each year. We started looking for a rental home and we are going to look at one this weekend that we have had our eyes on! Moving, to me, always means time to redecorate!! I found some inspiration on Pinterest (of course) and can’t wait to recreate some of it! (Aiming for a mid-century modern living room. I’m planning many future posts on my journey to achieving it, so keep an eye out!)

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I look forward to seeing everyone’s 5 on Friday posts! I hope you had a wonderful week!

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What This Mama Wore: Pilgrim Dress

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I found this uh-dor-able pilgrim dress at Target 2 years ago. 2 years ago, as in: 5 months pregnant and 30 pounds heavier. My pregnant brain told me to buy an extra small, without even questioning my body’s ability to morph back into its previous shape. I’m lucky that my pregnant brain worked as it did, because my logical brain would have bought the wrong size or completely passed up this little beauty. It would have been the perfect example of the quote, “Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy.” I’m glad I didn’t pass it up and I’m glad I bought my normal size. I finally slipped this pilgrim dress on after it sat in my closet for 2 years and sighed a little, “ohh la la.”

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I love simple, comfortable, well-fitting clothing items. Simple items are easy to accessorize and allow for variety. I played up the simplicity of this dress by accessorizing with small pops of color. I wore an orange bow belt and small, orange studs with my nude pumps. I know I can use bolder accessories in the future, but I really enjoyed how simple and put together this look turned out. This dress is so comfortable that I could wear it every day! (If only I didn’t have to shave my legs, then I would wear it every day!) It also fits really well. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I did just finish a 10-hour day at a business conference and a very large dinner (and dessert)! It is fitted on the top half and fitted at the waist. It isn’t snug on the bottom half, but it also isn’t drapey or flowy. It really tailors to my body shape (in my personal, humble opinion). I’m really excited to wear this dress again and style it in a whole new way, which is one of my favorite things about it!

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Pilgrim dress: Target, similar at Debenhams, sleeveless option at Debenhams

Orange bow belt: eBay, similar at 6pm, similar at Yoox

Nude patent pumps: Banana Republic Factory, similar at Debenhams

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Pregnant Airport Adventures

After traveling without my 19 month old, I was reminded about this post from my old blog, “JacHeart”, in August of 2012. Traveling alone last month felt very uneventful. For the past 2+ years, I’ve had my hands full any time I’ve traveled! I was either pregnant or traveling with a young child. …talk about eventful. I figured I would share one of those eventful stories with you!

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It all started with a kolache, which just so happens to be one of the nicknames for my baby. My husband, Davis, decided I needed a kolache to feed “baby kolache” on the way to drop me off at the airport. My flight was scheduled to leave just before 7 a.m., which was quite the stretch for my hibernating bear-type hubs. As promised, bear hubs crawled out of bed with me at 4:30 a.m.  in order to get me to the airport on time. Of course, “early” is never early enough when you’re catching an early flight out. Walking into the airport, orange juice in hand, I got a light flutter of nerves as I saw the line for the security check. Being honest, the light flutter could partially be due to being pregnant at the time. As I attempt to check myself in at the self-service kiosk, I manage to swipe my driver’s license the wrong way. Thinking the kiosk was not going to be able to pull up my ticket by driver’s license, I attempt to look up my flight information on my cell phone and allow other travelers who are better prepared than me to cut ahead. (I have to add here that none of them seemed thankful; they must not be traveling somewhere pleasant, because they sure did not want to hurry.) I, on the other hand, nearly knocked the whole line out of my way (think dominoes), once I realized the proper way to swipe my driver’s license. Of course, I’ve done this a hundred times (printed my boarding pass from the kiosk). At that point in life, I traveled to California about every 6 months to visit my family. My incapability to swipe my stinkin’ license properly is a true testament to the effects of “pregnancy brain”.

Boarding pass in hand, security line backed up, I start to get anxious that I’m going to miss my plane. Again, the anxiety was due to pregnancy, in part. Once to the front of the security line, I kept my boarding pass in my hand like they ask you to do and I also had a “proof of pregnancy” from my doctor. No, I wasn’t trying to shmooze them into letting me by more quickly or anything. I did, however, read that you should try to skip the body scan by requesting a pat down instead. To avoid drawing suspicion to myself, I kept the proof of pregnancy in hand to show the airport employee. As I patiently stood by, I realized that I probably would not make it to my gate if I stood by waiting to be pat down. With a deep sigh of acceptance, I mentioned that I did not have time to wait and that I would willingly go through the body scanner. As I stood there with my arms raised and my feet an awkward distance apart for a person as short as I am, I thought about how cool it would be if the person viewing my body scan was able to see the kolache inside of me. (The baby kolache, that is, not the actual food.) As I exited the body scanner, I had the urge to ask if it had my chubby cheeks or if it had Davis’ long and lean torso. I put my flip-flops back on and grabbed my carry on, glancing at my phone to see if the conveyor belt had summoned a text with its magical powers. No text. Just the clock screaming at me, once again. I checked my gate number on my boarding pass again and realized it was on the other side of the airport. Of course. I sure did book it to the other end of that airport, considering my pregnant state and flip-flopped feet. At the gate, out of breath, carrying my flip-flops, my luggage overturned on its wheels, I see the red flashing words that read “Flight Delayed”. You would think I would have been a tad upset. I had just booked it, as you recall. I was relieved! I thought, for sure, that I was going to miss my flight. I got nice and cozy in the far corner by the window with my book and patiently waited for my flight. And waited. And waited some more. Until 2 hours later. Again, I was not upset. No, the pregnancy hormones didn’t even kick in to help me become upset. Nope. Not at all. I was fine.

Until I got to my connecting airport, LAX, and they decided that a Houston delayed flight meant I had to wait for an ELEVEN P.M. L.A. flight!!!! That would have been a twelve-hour stay at LAX for the day. Luckily, the impolite lady assisting me called another airline to see if they had an extra seat for me. Again, luckily, the other airline did have a seat for me. On the other side of the airport. The impolite lady vaguely described how I would manage to get to the other side by going through this door, then entering at this entrance, and walking by this and walking by that and walking by the other. As in, exit the airport, walk around, print boarding pass, go through security all over again, then find my gate. Cue pregnancy hormones. Empty-handed, I end up in front of the security line. By empty-handed, I mean I don’t have my boarding pass. Lip quivering, feet swelling, eyes bulging, I wandered around until a polite security man walked me down to print my boarding pass. Whew. Feet still swelling, eyes still bulging, but lip no longer quivering. Boarding pass in hand, I ventured through security once more. I managed to find my gate and settle into a big chair, propping my swollen pregnant-looking feet up on my luggage. Still a little shaken, I decided not to read my deep, dark, emotional book. I wrote instead. Eventually, I was on my flight, leaving LAX, headed to FAT (Fresno Airport), and soon into the comforting arms of my grandma. She cooed, “You poor thing! Let’s get you something to eat.” I smiled into her and sighed with relief. For the next week, I would be hugged, kissed, stuffed with food, belly rubbed, tucked in, and probably even spanked. I wouldn’t even miss being an adult for a second. Don’t lie, you know you love going home and being treated like a kid again.

Have you had any crazy, hormonal travel experiences while traveling with fetus in tow (or, in belly, rather)?

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What This Mama Wore: To Make Business Casual More Fun

So, I like to be fun. When I first think of business casual, I don’t immediately think of fun. I think of blacks and grays with a crisp, white button down. While that look is classic and suits some, it isn’t fun. …and I like to be fun, remember?

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When I started planning outfits for my business trip, I immediately knew that I’d want to make the whole “business casual” thing more fun. If you’ve read my blog before, then you know that I’m a new mom who is determined to dress well. I work to look presentable any time I’m leaving the house. Business conferences have a more professional expectation than a normal day at the office, but I didn’t want that to trump fun! …and what could be more fun than a floral pencil skirt?!

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Agnes & Dora sent me this amazing floral pencil skirt to help me have fun during my business conference! (You can also get 15% off of your order with the code: “JACLYN15″!) Pencil skirts are a classic staple for business fashion. In fact, pencil skirts are probably my favorite clothing item. The floral print of this pencil skirt makes it so much fun, which was exactly what I was looking for! In fact, Agnes & Dora have pretty much every pencil skirt I’ve ever been looking for. From camo to stripes to polka dots, they have such a great variety of pencil skirts! The fabric and fit of their pencil skirts are extremely comfortable, while maintaining a professional shape and length. I have to be honest, pencil skirts always make me feel a bit sexy.

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I paired the fitted shape of the pencil skirt with a flutter-sleeved top to balance it out. I also had this lovely peach necklace that Ameera Noor sent me! It was the perfect addition to this outfit. I went with my classic nude pumps and called it a day. (A fun day!) (You can get 15% off of your order with the code: “JACLYN15″!)

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Motherhood From Every Angle: Acsa

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About me:
Hello, my name is Acsa Harper. I am 27 and a nanny turned SAHM. My husband is in the Marine Corps and we were recently located to South GA from Miami earlier this summer. We have a 16 month old daughter named Vida and she is the sweetest little thing ever. I  really do enjoy staying at home with my daughter, we do a lot of fun things together! I love spending every moment with her. I look back on her baby photos and can’t believe how fast she is growing. We love go on play dates, go to the park, go to the aquarium, and sometimes going for a stroll around the mall to people watch. We love to nap at home! Of course, like any mom, I like to have my little getaways. I look forward to getting together with my mommy friends once or twice a month for dinner or pampering. We always end up talking about the kids, but it feels good to leave the diaper bag at home and not have to worry about kids acting up or having to cut up food into bite size pieces.
Describe your mommy uniform:
My mommy uniform around the house is sweat pants and t-shirts. If it gets dirty it won’t be a big deal.When I go out maxi dresses, so easy and the straps make it convenient for breastfeeding.
What is your strategy when getting dressed?
When getting ready for the day, I bring my daughter into the bathroom and let her play in bottom drawer of our bathroom. I have filled this drawer with random, but safe items a toddler can play with. Like: ribbon,toys,empty bottles with coins to use as a rattle and many other things. It keeps her distracted and gives me exactly 15 mins which is like 3 hrs in mommy time.
What is your favorite clothing item?
My favorite clothing item is this yellow and black maxi I have. I do wear it a lot. My mom told me to stop posting photos on fb with that dress on because it seems that’s the only item of clothing I own. Oops!
Describe your cleaning/organizing routine:
My cleaning and organizing routine happens at night time. I love to clean. a clean house brings me peace. I love waking up to a clean house. There are nights when I am so tired I have left the kitchen a mess and I am laying bed, exhausted, but the image of my kitchen being  a mess is running through my head. I feel like I could be Monica Geller from Friends.
What is one household chore that you wish you were better about?
One chore I wish I was better at was vacuuming. I just push that thing around as fast as I can. My husband makes perfectly straight lines. Ain’t no mom got time for that lol.
What gives you the most “mommy guilt”?
I get mommy guilt when I am texting someone and I think it will be something quick, but it turns into a long conversation and then I look at the time and can’t believe how much time has gone by and my daughter has managed to make a mess or is throwing toys or climbing on furniture. I feel like that is time I could have spent playing with her or I wish the conversation had not distract me as much. My other weakness would be bringing my daughter into bed with me in the early  morning. We fall asleep, then wake up and we just lay there and read books, I have even fed her breakfast on our bed while we watched movies. I know the day will take a while to get started but that’s okay. It only happens on days when we don’t have plans because on days we do have plans, we are always rushing. always rushing!
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What gives you the most “mommy pride”?

When my daughter repeats words while I am reading to her. I’m not trying to teach her anything, I am just reading to her. I scream in excitement and kiss her all over. I will do the same when she gets married and graduates college. I will scream and kiss her all over. Another pride of mine is creating fun little corners in our house for Vida. Every couple of weeks I like to change her toys with toys I have in storage. I move her big toys around and change up her books. When she wakes up it is like Christmas morning, she doesn’t know where to go first and she is so excited to play. I also love creating fun meals for my daughter, like yummy egg muffins!

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