Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.

ON ME: GREY SWEATER (on sale! I’m wearing a medium) | BLACK DISTRESSED PANTS (amazing fit, and they hold their shape! run tts.) | COGNAG SIDE SLIT BOOTIES (similar bootie fully stocked here)




Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.

Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.

Tips for styling kids for family pictures.

Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.

Kids fall clothing color scheme- grey + navy + mustard.

Tips for styling kids for family pictures.

Kids fall clothing color scheme- grey + navy + mustard.

Tips for styling kids for family pictures.

Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.

Kids fall clothing looks- grey + navy + mustard.


With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time for family pictures. That means it will be time to stock your purse full of bribery suckers, scour the internet for the perfect outfits, and try really hard to keep your cool in front of your photographer as your kid runs straight for the mud the second he steps out of the car for the shoot.

Looking back through the photos from this shoot, you would never guess how stressful it was! Eli was a complete mess. We shot at 5pm and he was tired and hungry. Bradley had soccer practice literally 20 minutes after the shoot. Garrett is the coach, so my car was full of all the soccer balls and goal and we could not be late. Cash always turns into either a crazy goon at the bewitching hour, or Pouty Cash who is mad at the word. He picked Pouty Cash this day. We pulled up to the park to shoot and there was a giant volleyball tournament going on (its usually empty) and all three boys wanted to join in and play. Was this shoot fun? I’m going to go with a hard no. Was I a sweaty mess when we were done? You betcha. But I now have really cute shots of my boys all at ages they will never be again, so it was 100% worth it to me.


I really love what I do. I love that I get to run this blog and interact with so many amazing women. I love sharing aspects of my life, products that I love, and sales that are too good to keep to myself. One of my absolute favorite things about running Elle Apparel is that many of my posts involve my kids, so I get great professional pictures of them as they grow. I know getting all prepped for a family photoshoot multiple times a month is not super typical, but because I’ve done it so often, I’ve learned a few things that can make shooting with kids a little less…..painful? stressful? messy? I don’t know, you fill in the blank there! Here are a few things I’ve learned after shooting time and time again with my kids:



When it comes to picking outfits, less is more!  Especially when working with more than two kids, avoid too many patterns. Stick a max of two kids in one small item with a simple pattern (like the striped top Eli wore, or the gingham button up Cash wore). I kept Cash’s top opened and added a solid tee to water down the pattern even more. You want the focus to be on the kids’ faces more than a bold pattern. Nordstrom nailed it with their kids clothing this fall. They have so many great simple basics, so I always go there first when I’m searching for classic kids looks. I can also count on Nordstrom for really quality clothing that will hold up for my active boys. Bradley’s Converse and Cash’s Freshly Picked shoes show a little of their personality, but they are also simple and understated.

Color pallet is key: The color pallet gives the first impression of the image, so try to avoid colors that are too bright, or too matchy matchy. My rule of thumb is to decide on 2-3 colors that pair nicely together (always including at least one neutral), and then look for items within the spectrum of each color. For this shoot I went with gray, navy, and camel. My sweater was a super light grey, Bradley’s top was a bit darker, Cash’s pants were dark grey, and my pants were black, but the distressing kept them casual, so it still worked. I fell in love with Bradley’s cute joggers, and knew I had boots that same color, so that would be cohesive. I also like to mix up the colors within a look to avoid one person standing out more. It’s all about keeping a good neutral balance with the clothing.

You will be surprised what your photographer can capture: So many times we wrap up and shoot and I think “there is no way we got a decent shot,” and then I stare in awe at the images my photographer is able to capture. If you just allow yourself to by patient and kind and let your kids be goofy for a few shots, chances are you will really capture true candid interaction. And those kinds of images are always the best ones in my opinion.

Keep the clothes clean: This one is easier said than done. But I had all their clothing steamed and laid on their beds (I’m psychotic…I know). Then I waited till the very last minute possible before getting them dressed. They put on their clothes and went straight to the car. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars. Put the sucker down, Cash. No touching! I threw their play clothes for the soccer practice in a bag and changed each of them in the car after the shoot. With all that said, Bradley and Cash ran straight for the dirt hill the second we got out of the car to shoot, so baby wipes are crucial! They are literally the equivalent to a magic wand for a mom.

Set their expectations: Before we shoot I always walk through everything we will be doing for the shoot with the boys. I’ve learned that if they know that once we are done with pictures we can get a Happy Meal, play at the park, etc, they are much more likely to be obedient.

Bribe: Do it. Do it and don’t be ashamed. I brought a bag of skittles to this shoot and would stick one in each boys mouth if they stood still for me. Tell them they can do something fun after the shoot, and really go do that fun thing. They deserve it, and so do you!

Let the kids be themselves: I mean…to an extent. Don’t let them roll on the floor and punch each other. But if the baby is crying (like Eli was 80% of this shoot), gather around the baby and try to make him laugh! It makes for a great real picture! The boys just learned this super funny/weird Pokemon handshake thing, so they did it for some of the images and I love it! Is one kid frowning for all the pictures? Have everyone frown just like them for a shot. Chances are you will get everyone (including the frowner) to give you real laughs and a smile because of it.


Here’s to surviving family pictures this year!

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in partnership with Nordstrom  |  photography by Kendra Maarse




Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.GOLD LACE BLOUSE (on sale for $18! I’m wearing a Med) | DISTRESSED BLACK JEANS | THANK YOU CARD c/o PAPYRUS

These past few months have been full of celebration in the Barlow house. My oldest son and youngest son celebrated birthdays only a few weeks apart, my youngest brother graduated from college, school is in full swing, and I finally feel like I’ve recovered from the craziness of Fashion Week. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I’ve made it a point to reach out to continue celebrating the friends and family in my life. This month I teamed up with PAPYRUS and and they sent me their 2017 everyday card line. These cards are just done right. They are detailed, fun, and tasteful. I feel like it is so easy to send a text message to say “thank you” or “congrats!”, but I think that the physical gesture of taking the time to mail a card says a whole lot more than a text could.

The best thank you cards.

Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.

Golden mustard lace blouse + distressed denim.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

The best thank you cards.

I want to teach my boys the importance of celebrating others, so I grabbed some of my favorite everyday PAPYRUS cards and sent a congratulations card and a Cheesecake Factory gift certificate to my brother who graduated college, a thank you note to my mother-in-law for watching my boys while I was gone at Fashion week, a note to a sweet friends whose son is in the hospital, and a note to my mom telling her how much I love her.

Since Bradley got lots of thoughtful birthday presents, I figured it was the perfect time to instill the importance of sending thank you cards. I’ll admit..I’ve gotten really bad at it now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start fresh with my kids. I sat down with Bradley and helped him write out a thank you note to his Aunts for taking him golfing and out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. I explained to him that they worked hard to make sure he was happy, he should write them and tell them how much fun he had! I made sure we had a beautiful card to send, and Bradley loved getting to stick on the stamp and put it in our mailbox.

Some celebrations in life require parties and presents and planning, but I want to make sure I teach my boys to grow up celebrating the little moments of love and kindness that happen in our everyday life.

Shop my look:

in collaboration with PAPYRUS  |  photography by Kendra Maarse










My son Bradley starts school today. Today! Back in my day, we didn’t go back to school till September. While part of me is excited for him to get back in the classroom, part of me is really going to miss the lazy summer days when we didn’t have to be dressed and out of the house by 8:30. However, there is something really satisfying about being up and ready for the day that early. Don’t get me wrong- I have my fair share of days when we stumble out of the house barefoot and in workout clothes (that may or may not have made an appearance at the gym), but when I take the time to get dressed along with my kids, I am better prepared to get going and make the most out of my day.

When I throw on clothes for the trek up the hill for school drop off, I always throw on flats. I need something I can quickly slip my feet into that are easy to walk in. I love these cute gold tassel trim flats from Payless. They are gold so they go with everything under the sun, and they are on sale for only $20! I also grabbed this cute chic black leather backpack too. It’s been years since I have used a backpack, but this one from Payless  is pretty and simple and keeps my hands free to cary my thousand pound baby to and from my car each morning. (it’s on sale for only $22). It was also designed by Christian Siriano who I absolutely adore as a designer. He has a lot of really cute designs in his Payless line that are really affordable. They are definitely worth checking out!

A lightweight sweatshirt is usually the last thing I grab as I run out the door, because some mornings can be a bit chilly no matter how sweaty they get in the afternoon. And do I need those glasses? No. Not one bit. But they might be fun to use them to embarrass my kids with.

in partnership with Payless Shoes  |  photography by Kendra Maarse



Confession: I have never owned a high chair. For Bradley and Cash I just used a little chair that attached to one of our normal chairs and figured that was good enough. But this time around I finally got a real live high chair and it is the biggest help. I didn’t know what I was missing with the other two! I opted to get the new 4moms High Chair and it has made mealtime around here so much easier. I am a huge fan of 4moms after using their mamaRoo. They thought of everything with that swing and they hit it out of the park with this high chair as well.

As a mom of three boys, so much of our day is spent in the kitchen fixing food, eating food, cleaning up food, and repeating it all an hour later. Everyone always seems to be hungry at the same time, so I’m grateful my 4moms high chair lets me hold Eli with one arm and disconnect the magnetic tray easily with the other. Magnetic. Did you guys catch that? Its absolutely as amazing as it sounds. I always multitask my way through mealtime, and this easy on easy off tray is such a help!

Sometimes when I can’t feed Eli his rice cereal fast enough, he swipes the spoon from me and takes matters into his own hands. This genius magnetic tray also has a magnetic bowl, so I don’t have to stress about him giving himself a rice cereal bath when I’m not looking.

We’re all like a little Eli fan club in our house, and he gets a kick out of being able to watch his big brothers. At dinner I scoot his high chair up to our table so that he can get in on all the action.

WHITE TOP | DISTRESSED JEANS (love these! less than $100!) | 4MOMS HIGH CHAIR c/o
I do all my feedings on the tray cover of the high chair, and disconnect it to quickly rinse it off in the sink. So no matter how messy it gets introducing Eli to prunes, cleaning up the highchair is easy. Cleaning his face and hair on the other hand, might be a different story.
This high chair is something I actually love having in my kitchen because of its gorgeous modern design! How many baby items can you say that about? I am thrilled to be able to give one of these amazing high chairs to one of you! I’ve teamed up with 4moms to give one away over on my instagram (@leannebarlow) so head on over to enter to win! Make sure you are following me there and leave as many comments as you want tagging a different friend in each comment to enter! I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday on that instagram post.
in partnership with 4moms  |  photography by Kendra Maarse




Spring is here! There is something so magical about this time of year. I usually trade in my jeans for fun sundresses, and I found some really cute ones at Gap Factory. I love this lightweight chambray dress. It’s so versatile. Chambray is definitely a trend one you can wear year-round. (I got it for an amazing price too)
One of my absolute favorite things to do in spring is to fill my home with flowers. All of my very favorite flowers are in bloom now and I feel like I buy flowers from Trader Joes as often as I buy milk.
It’s great to have pretty flowers, but arranging them correctly can be harder than it looks. Today I’m sharing a simple trick to getting your flowers to stay exactly where you want them in the vase without having to hassle with messy floral foam.
  1. Pick your vase and get enough flowers to fill the opening. I picked hydrangeas to arrange (my very favorite) but this technique works well with any kind of flower and any vase with a medium to large opening.Also grab some tape and plant scissors (the ones I have are so rusted I just used normal household scissors. I need to get a new pair!) *hint, the larger the flower the less flowers you will need to fill your vase
  2. Tape off a grid pattern along the opening of your vase. I made my square openings about 2″ x 2″, but you can make them a little smaller for a more narrow vase.
  3. Measure how deep your vase is and trim your flowers to that length. Pull off any extra leaves on the bottom of the stem, but don’t throw them out just yet.
  4. Stick the flowers in the openings of the tape grid you created. The grid allows the flowers in the middle to stay propped up to make the vase look nice and full. Once you have filled any holes with flowers, fill around the edges and a few middle spots with the extra leaves.



I plan on living in my sundress and keeping my house full of flowers for the next few months an I couldn’t be happier about it!

in collaboration with Gap Factory


Women’s bodies are pretty incredible. We grow babies in our body, we push the babies out of our body, and we feed the babies…with our body. That’s a lot of work our bodies have to go through! Adjusting to life with a newborn can be busy and stressful. The desire to hit the gym and start exercising again, while great, can sometimes seem impossible. I’ve set my alarm for 6 am for two weeks in a row now, every night with the intention of getting up and working out from 6-7am before I need to get the boys ready for school. I’ve actually gotten up and done that one time in the two weeks. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t get to the gym by 6, my opportunity to exercise and be healthy is over for the day because now I need to get kids fed, dressed, driven to school, grocery shop, feed the baby, on and on.

After having Eli, I’ve realized that just because I can’t make it to the gym everyday doesn’t meant that I can’t be healthy. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to fit into my everyday life while taking care of kiddos.

Exercise wherever you are.
Taking care of a baby isn’t for sissys. All day long you are hauling a 20+ lb baby carseat from the house to the car, from the car to the grocery store, back to the car into the school, etc.  You are loading heavy groceries into the car, lifting your stroller, pushing your stroller up the hill to the school, carrying a baby on your hip, helping a toddler see over a tall fence, etc. I’m on my feet constantly and all that heavy lifting is definitely a workout!

If you haven’t had a chance to hit the treadmill, take your kids to the park and walk/jog next to them on the walkway. Sometimes I do stroller squats around the park while Cash plays at the playground (hold onto the stoller with both hands and lunge with each step you take). Park a little further from the school and make yourself walk up that hill for afternoon pickup. Incorporate exercise throughout your day…and chances are, you’re already getting a pretty good workout just taking care of the baby!

Invest in quality workout clothes.
I find it a whole lot easier to get out and exercise when I have workout clothes that I actually want to wear. Being already dressed in comfy running shoes or a cute sweat-wicking top makes it easier for me to get out and move around more. And get some nursing friendly options too! I’ve been looking all over for a good nursing friendly sports bra. I finally found this front zip sports bra at Zappos and I ordered it immediately.  It was at my house in 2 days (free shipping!) and now it is so much easier to nurse Eli after a workout.

Pack yourself healthy snacks.
I am always throwing fishie crackers and granola bars in my bag for the boys to snack on.  If you don’t have something for yourself in your bag, chances are you are going to get starving (especially if nursing) and you are going to eat the extra bag of fruit snacks because you don’t have anything else. I always have a bag of nuts in my bag. They are filling and healthy. I buy this jar of unsalted nuts fills up two of the nut containers perfectly. It is so yummy!

Keep taking your vitamins.
Just because you aren’t pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you should stop taking your prenatal vitamins. I also take 3 of these biotin pills to help with my skin complexion and post baby hair loss (because hormones be crazy!).  I take one Fenugreek pill everyday because it helps with my milk supply. I tend to lose my milk after 9 months, and this supplement has really helped keep my supply up. It might not be necessary/beneficial for everyone, but it has helped me.

Drink tons of water.
I’ve never been a big water drinker. It has no taste to me and it’s so hard for me to force myself to drink water. I’ve been flavoring my water with Mio and now I drink so much water! My guilty pleasure is the Mio Energy (black cherry flavor) mixed with a squirt of Mio lemonade. (it tastes like strawberry lemonade!) The Mio Energy gives me a much needed caffeine boost throughout the day. I know it isn’t the best option, because it does have an artificial sweetener, but I just do one squeeze into a giant thing of water…much less than the recommended serving. And it’s got to be healthier than Diet Coke, right?!

Prep your meals beforehand.
Diet is a HUGE part of getting and staying healthy. I always heard that and believed this, but it wasn’t until I started cutting down my sugar intake drastically that I actually saw how much diet helped even when I don’t have time for intense workouts.  If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (leannebarlow), you probably know that I eat pretty much the same thing everyday (with the exception of dinner). I’ve streamlined my diet so that I know exactly what I am going to be eating that day and barely have to even prepare it.

The trick is to do it all on Sunday night. I prep my breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri on Sunday nights. That way I can just grab the pre-made tupperware from my fridge and inhale it as I feed my own kids. I’ve listed out my recipes for breakfast and lunch below…

For Breakfast: Overnight Oats

1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 C Greek Yogurt 
(I love this Strawberry-Honey one. I just buy a quart of it at the grocery store)
1 tsp chia seeds 
1/3-1/2 C Almond Milk
(I use the unsweetened kind. I do a little less than 1/2 cup. If it’s too dry when I go to eat it in the morning, I just add a little more)

Pour all the ingredients into a tupperware, mix it all up with a spoon, and stick in in the fridge. I make 5 at a time, so I do it all really quickly and don’t really use exact measurements. They last about 5-6 days in the fridge, so its perfect to make for the whole week. In the morning I just chop of some bananas or strawberries into it and add a small scoop of jam or a little honey and mix it all up. The chia seeds and the oats absorb the milk overnight, so it’s the consistency of oatmeal. Eating cold oatmeal might take a little getting used to, but I’m hooked! And it keeps me full till lunch. 
For Lunch: Chicken Sausage Veggie Bowl
2 packages of Chicken Sausage (the Italian Style is my favorite)
2 C uncooked brown rice or quinoa 
4 zucchinis (I do 2 yellow and 2 green)
3 sweet potatoes
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
Feta Cheese
1 can of Roasted Red Peppers (I buy the ones that are pre sliced so I don’t have to chop them up each time)

This makes enough for 7 days worth of lunches for me. 
On Sunday night I cut up all the sausage links (I cut them all along the center length-wise first, then across about 1/2″ wide), and throw them all in a big skillet with some EVOO to brown. While they are cooking I put my rice in the rice cooker, and I chop up all my veggies. I cut up my zucchini the same way I do the sausages, along the center and chopped. I peel the sweet potatoes and slice them 1/2″ thick, then cut each in half both ways, kind of like a mini pizza. Once my veggies are cut, I let them sit out on the counter for a bit so they all have a chance to dry from being washed. If I store them while they are still wet, they will get moldy faster. Once they are fully dry, I throw each one into a gallon ziploc bag with a paper towel inside (to absorb any extra liquid). I store all my cooked rice/quinoa and my cooked sausage in 2 separate tupperware containers and throw them in the fridge too. 
When it’s time for lunch, I put the rice/quinoa in the bottom of my bowl (I do a little more than 1/2 a cup), and top with about 1/2 C of sausage, and about 1/2 C zucchini and 1/2 C sweet potatoes. Then I stick it in the microwave for 4 minutes. This is long enough to cook the veggies so I don’t have to dirty another pan just to cook them! Then I sprinkle lots of garlic powder, salt and pepper over the veggies, add a little feta cheese and roasted red peppers, and mix it all up. 
I’m not a huge cook, and I came up with this recipe bit by bit over the past year. I wanted a way to eat lots of veggies but not have to take a lot of time to cook them each day, and this way works!
So don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s hard work taking care of kids, and chances are you are getting more exercise then you are giving yourself credit for! 
*Photography by Kendra Maarse Photography. In collaboration with Zappos.


At the beginning of December, we sat down as a family and made a list of all of the fun Christmas activities we wanted to do throughout the month leading up to Christmas. I’ve done this with the boys for the past 3 years and it really helps us feel like we soak up the joy of the season without the month passing us by before we even get to really enjoy it. 
I try to get most of my shopping and decorating done in November so that we have time to do small simple activities with the kids. One of my favorite activities is cuddling up in some comfy clothes and reading christmas books to the boys while listening to Christmas music. Our house was built in 1913, and our fireplace doesn’t work anymore (boo!) and our house gets pretty dang cold. I grabbed a warm sweater for Cash and some soft sweatpants for Bradley from Gap Factory to wear around the house. I couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was, so I added a sweater and lounge pants to my cart for myself. (my pants are only $16!) I haven’t shopped at Gap Factory online before and I was blown away by the prices. I love that I could get a little something for all of us to keep cosy while we do our fun Christmas activities. You have to browse through their site and see these prices!
Here are a few of the other activities on our list that we have done this year.  My suggestion is to keep the activity simple but build up the excitement for your kids. Even something as simple as reading books by the tree can become a fun memory for them. 
  • Make gingerbread houses
  • Drive around to see Christmas lights
  • Read Christmas books
  • Listen to Christmas music (every night!)
  • Drink hot cocoa
  • Write letter to Santa
  • Ready the nativity story from the bible
  • Ice skating
  • Christmas countdown chains
  • Tree lighting at The Americana 
  • Donate old toys to the thrift store
  • Visit Santa
  • Make teacher gifts
  • Bake/frost sugar cookies 
in collaboration with Gap Factory


The holidays are always crazy. There are so many fun activities to go to and parties to attend…but preparing for them takes a lot of time and energy. Three years ago I was tired of being so stressed out the entire month of December, so I made a few changes in how I prepared for holiday parties and it has made such a difference! I’ve followed suit every year since then and I am really able to enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas, rather than spend them stressed out and frazzled.

I look forward to holiday parties probably more than the average person. I love getting dressed up and going to parties! But the truth is I’m usually trying to get dinner for the kids, pick up the babysitter, nurse the baby while putting on my makeup, etc. So even getting ready (my favorite part) can become stressful!  Today I’ve partnered with GLAMGLOW to share 3 things I do early in the month of December to make getting holiday-party-ready stress free!

After having Eli I struggle to even find time to paint my nails! And even if I do, they end up chipping 2 days later because I’m constantly working around the house with my hands. So early in the month of December I get a gel manicure (either with Eli in my baby wrap while the kids are in school, or early in the morning on a Saturday when Garrett is home). It is so nice not to have to try and paint my nails last minute as I’m running out the door.

I used to never ever go to bed without washing my face. But so many late nights have taken their tole, and I’ve become guilty of quickly scrubbing my my face with a makeup remover wipe and climbing in bed. My complexion tends to be dry and uneven because of this, so I’ve been using this GLAMGLOW mud mask all throughout this month. My favorite mask is the GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment mask. It’s a quick application and I only have to leave it on for 10 minutes. So I throw it on before I nurse Eli at night, a time where I can actually sit and relax. The mask starts working right away and gets tingly, and my skin is super clean after I wash it off. I can tell a difference in the tightness of my skin as well. I’m so paranoid about getting wrinkles, I love this aspect about the mask. The results are instant! By spending just a few minutes taking care of my skin with GLAMGLOW, my skin is fresh, glowing, and ready for holiday party makeup. The great thing about these masks is that they don’t interfere with any other skincare products, so they work great for all skin types (which makes for a perfect gift as well!).

I always have a million things I’m trying to take care of before I leave at night for a party. On the days that I leave my hair and makeup very last, I’m always the most stressed and wishing I had more time to spend on it. This year I started to do my hair and makeup early in the day and it has made a big difference. Sometimes I will have my makeup completely done and my hair curled before I pick up Cash from preschool. This probably sounds crazy, but I have the most free time in the mornings while the kids are in school. By the time dinner rolls around, all I need to do is freshen up my lipstick, blush, and spray my hair a bit. So get yourself ready first and I promise you’ll enjoy your night a whole lot more.

created in partnership with GLAMGLOW


Holiday parties are so much fun to attend, and to throw.
This year I decided to get some of my girlfriends together and have a little
Secret Santa party. We usually hang out together at the park while we run
around after our kiddos, so it was nice to have a quiet night together after
all our kids went to sleep.
My favorite part about the party was that everyone gave such
thoughtful gifts to the girl they were assigned to bring a gift for! We all
have various interests, styles, and personalities so it was so fun to see what
each girl was gifted.
I put together a few quick tips on how to throw a successful
Secret Santa party. I kept this one really simple, with a few pretty décor
items from World Market that helped add elegance and style to the décor.
Keep the number intimate and even-
Its fun when you have a change to chat with each person at a
small gathering. I think around 6-8 people makes for a fun intimate party. And
the number needs to be even so that everyone that brings a gift gets a gift.
Set a price point-
Make sure everyone is aware and comfortable with the price
point you set for the Secret Santa gifts. Sending out a group text is helpful
and asking for input just to feel out to make sure everyone is ok with the
amount being spent on a present. Our price point was $25 for each girl. Also
make sure everyone knows whether they are getting a nice gift or a funny gift.
Both make for a great party, but its important to make sure everyone is on the
same page with the kind of gift to bring. Same thing goes for dress. I asked
the girls if they would rather come in festive jammies or nicer holiday
outfits. It’s important to get input from people attending to make sure
everyone will be happy and comfortable.
Ask for help-

Since the party is for close friends, no one will mind if
you ask for help! I asked each girl to bring an appetizer. I know the girls in
our group love a good appetizer, where candy and desserts might not get eaten
as much. So try and tailor the food to what you know your friends will want to
everything is currently 10% off at World Market online till Wednesday!


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in collaboration with World Market



With the holidays in full swing, I’ve really been focusing on amping up my beauty routine.  I’ve been to a few Christmas parties and I have another one tonight to attend, so I’ve wanted to make sure that my hair, makeup, and nails are consistently “holiday party ready”. But let’s face it, I’m busy with three kids and work as it is – throw the holidays into the mix and I have zero time left for pampering!
I was so excited when Kelly from Studio K convinced me to put my busy schedule on pause for an afternoon of pampering at her salon earlier this week and to tell me about a hair product line that would help carry me through the rest of this crazy month. She is absolutely the sweetest, and even held Eli while I got my hair washed! I’m so glad I carved out some “me” time for an hour. I got a much needed trim, an amazing blow out, and talked with Kyle, my stylist, and Kelly, about how to maintain salon quality hair when I’m constantly on the go. Kelly told me all about the Living Proof products that they use in their salon.

Living Proof products use a special molecule that creates a thin invisible shield around every strand of hair. This shield protects hair from damaging heat from styling and repels oil and dirt so that it stays cleaner longer.  Cleaner hair for a longer amount of time means my favorite thing- less washing. I’ve made it my personal mission to perfect the art of the ‘once a week wash’, so I’m really excited to put these products to the test and see if they really can keep my hair cleaner longer.

I left Studio K with a bag full of all the Living Proof products that they used on my hair and I can’t wait to test them all out myself. I’m most excited about the dry shampoo. I’ve tried so many that work ok, but have yet to be blown away by one. I’m putting Living Proof to the test through the rest of the party season. I will let you know how they hold up to my dirty hair when I only have 10 minutes to make it look fresh and amazing before a party or shoot!

Shop my look below…

Shop my look below…

*Photography by Kendra Maarse Photography. In collaboration with Living Proof.


My hair has a natural wave to it.  The kind of wave that causes it to get pouffy and frizzy the second I encounter humidity. Years of bleaching my hair has only made it worse. Because I live in Southern California and deal with humidity on a daily basis, I’ve had to rely heavily on my straightener to keep my hair from going “Mufasa” on me (ie: morph into a lion’s mane). My hair washing, blow drying, straightening hair routine is a long one. I try to wash my hair only once a week because I dread this lengthy process.
I recently tried a new at-home frizz eliminating system called TextureTame. Have you heard of it? OH my goodness it’s a game changer. I’ve always wanted to try Keratin treatments at my salon, but I simply don’t have 3-4 hours every 2 months to devote to it. I did the 3 step at home treatment with TexureTame and saw immediate incredible results! I’m in love! 

Before I used TextureTame my hair was looking dull. It was so full of product and was in desperate need of a boost. I hated wearing my hair straight because it was looking so dry and damaged at the ends. After I used TextureTame’s 3 step treatment, my hair was glossy, vibrant, and I barely even needed to use a straightener! Honestly! I didn’t think I could get this kind glossy straight hair without having to straighten (and damage) every strand of my hair.

TextureTame is a three-part process that you can do at home to permanently eliminate frizz and strip your hair of any product buildup that causes dullness. It doesn’t have any harmful or toxic chemicals either. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Eliminate treatment- This step takes 30 minutes and only needs to be done every 3 months. It doesn’t smell the greatest…and because of this I was a bit skeptical. But boy does this stuff work!

Step 2: Moisture Lock treatment- This step takes 15 minutes and can be used once a week to keep hair super soft.

Step 3: Finish treatment- This step can be used as often as you want to dry or damp hair. It helps enhance shine and protect your hair from any additional damage.

This would make a fantastic Christmas gift for someone looking to step up their hair game! Plus, all Elle Apparel readers can get 30% off a 3 month supply of TextureTame by following this link.

I really love this product. Its much more cost and time effective than going into a salon for a similar treatment. And it WORKS. I’ll just let my handy little animated GIF do the talking…

In collaboration with Dermstore. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Girlfriends, Mommas, sisters, your hairdresser, your brother’s new girlfriend….these are the people I love to shop for. I’ll take any excuse I can get to get something pretty and wrap it up to make it even prettier. I love the idea of thinking about the specific woman I am shopping for and really honing in on her personal style. My mom’s style is minimal and dainty. My sister-in-law is girly and chic. My girlfriends and I are doing a secret santa this year, and the friend I picked has the most impeccable classic and timeless style.
Nordstrom is my one-stop-shop for all these women and their various styles. I love that I can go to one place and find the perfect dainty earrings for my mom, on-trend floppy hat for my sister-in-law, and classic clutch for my girlfriend. I don’t have to worry if I get the wrong size or color, because with Nordstrom’s fast and free shipping and returns and exchanges, I can relax and knowing that they will be sure to get the gift that us just right for them without any hassle.
I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite gifts and grouped them by style, so hopefully it gives you a good direction when finding the perfect gift for the women on your list. All of my picks are $100 or less (most of them less than $50!).
Shop my picks by clicking on the item or the text links below

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in collaboration with Nordstrom