5 Tips to Easily Take Photos of Yourself Without Using Self-Timer

6 TIPS to easily take photos of yourself without using self timer

Instagram husbands. I love going places and catching all of the Instagram husbands in the act. Taking pictures of their wives posing in front of cool murals, snapping pictures at the dinner table with their glass of wine, or there is my all-time favorite Instagram husband shot. The one where the wife walks in front of him while they hold hands and he takes the picture. You’ve seen it.

Like this.

Instgram husband 1

Or this.

Instagram husband

Or even this.

Insta husband
I mean, I’m not going to lie. This is an awesome shot.

 

I’m not throwing shade at all because to be perfectly honest, I would love a full-time Instagram husband. My husband is a parttime Insta hubs. No, not even parttime. He’s more like a freelance guy I hire from time to time when I need a little bit of assistance.

Many people ask me how I get my dear husband to take my photos, but the truth is he rarely snaps my photo. About 98% of the photos on my Instagram account are taken by me and me alone. The interesting part is that I’m in most of the photos as well.

Here are some simple ways to get photos of yourself without relying on an Instagram husband.

 

1. iPhone Tripod and Remote

I use these two items for almost every single photo that I am in. I set my iPhone on the tripod and use the remote to snap my photos as I pose. It’s so simple, and you can snap photos easily with tons to choose from.

I purchased both my tripod and my remote on Amazon and they are seriously a game changer when it comes to getting good photos for my Instagram feed. I usually just hide the remote behind an object or put it in my pocket while I click the button.

Here are some photos that I took using the tripod and remote. Can you spot the tiny remote despite my attempts to hide it?

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2. Be Brave… just ask someone to take your picture

For some reason, we live in a day and age where everyone takes pictures, but we’re all too scared to just ask someone to take our picture. If you’re out and about, trying to get a picture of your outfit against that mural because let’s be honest, you look GOOD, all you have to do is just ask someone walking by if they can snap your pic real quick.

A helpful tip is instead of asking someone to take a bunch of pictures, ask that person to just press and hold the burst mode (also known as continuous mode) while you strike a few poses. Hopefully, you’ll have tons of options to choose from, as long as he got your good side.

I know that this can be an awkward situation for some people, especially if you are an introverted person. In the past, I’ve asked a couple or a group of friends walking together, so after I’ve gotten my photo taken I can say, “Would you like me to take a group photo for you?” Sometimes they say, “sure”, and it makes the situation a little less awkward.

Luckily, you will probably never see these people again, so just get the good shot and move on with your life.

Blogging on a budget

 

3. Take a screenshot from a video

I’ve learned that trying to get a nice picture with two kids two-years-old and under is essentially as difficult as trying out for the Olympics. I mean, I’ve never actually tried out for the Olympics so I guess I am unsure of the difficulty level, but it’s probably up there.

There have been times when I need to capture a photo with my kids for a brand or event and they simply will not cooperate. That’s when I pull out the video trick.

I set up my phone on video mode and we move, smile, and pose. In the end, I wasn’t taking a bunch of photos, I was just taking one simple video. Then after we’ve successfully taken the video and I’m sweating because I basically just wrestled with two tiny humans for the perfect shot, I then slide through the video to find a good frame to then screenshot on my phone for an image.

This technique also helps to get more of a real-life feel with all the movement.

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This was originally a video of us eating donuts.

 

4. Get your kids to take your picture.

Let me start off by saying I am giving this advice without actually being able to use it yet. My oldest is not even three, and to be honest she has never even attempted to take a picture on my phone. But if you have kids that are old enough to do it, ask them to take a shot of you real quick. Kids usually love helping out with that kind of thing, and who knows, maybe they’ll come up with a new, awesome angle you never knew you loved so much.

 

5. Using “Live” mode on your iPhone

Don’t forget that you can edit your “live” photos if you’re not satisfied with the key photo it took. Sometimes the quality is not as good on live photos as the original, but it certainly is another good option to check out if you’re not happy with the main photo.

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A little bit more grainy, but “live” mode helped me capture a shot that I love.

 

Obviously the timer.

There’s always the good old fashioned timer shot. I still use this technique from time to time if my remote for my phone died, or if I simply can’t find it. I would always recommend a 10-second timer as opposed to the 3 seconds. Ten seconds gives you much more time to easily press the button, and get into a posed position for your photo.

Another tip when using the self-timer is to use the back camera as opposed to the front camera. I know it’s tempting to use the front so that you can see yourself while you pose, but the quality on the back camera is so much better, and I promise you’ll get a much better quality photo when you use the back camera.

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I lost my remote, so I just sat like this for about seven seconds.

 

These are some of the ways that I avoid using my “not so Instagram husband”. I hope this can help you take some amazing pictures of yourself, so we can start seeing that beautiful face of yours on your feed.

3 Tips for Creating a Series of Content on Instagram

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When it comes to creating content, sometimes it can be tricky to come up with new ideas. If you are a daily poster on Instagram it may be challenging to get creative with different pictures to share with your followers that aren’t just “fluff”.

In the last few months, I’ve realized a helpful way to continually produce content that fuels my creative side in order to keep figuring out new ideas to post.

Create a series that you can continue to fall back on, and keep followers coming back for more.

Let me explain what I mean.

Dominque from AllThatIsShe.com as well as @allthatisshe on Instagram has been my latest inspiration for creating a series on your Instagram. She has many different series that she returns to on her feed. One of her most famous series is a hashtag called #allthatisthree. It always shows her and her two daughters in descending order posing or holding something in a unique way. It’s such an easy series to continue to fall back on and allows for some creativity all the time. She has other amazing series that she shares with her followers, but I’m not going to share them with you because you should just go see them for yourself.

So, how can you come up with your own series? Here are some tips I might recommend.

Create a series that is easy to do.

I completely copied Dominque’s #allthatisthree series with my own two daughters. Normally I would never copy someone else’s content idea,  but it has become such a popular hashtag that almost everyone that uses it knows it came from Dominque at @allthatisshe (at least I hope they do). There are over 1,600 pictures with that hashtag because it’s such a fun one to photograph.

It’s so easy to change up our outfits, grab a fun prop and photograph with a theme. We stand in the same spots, wear a similar outfit, and just pose in a different way. It’s the perfect photo opportunity for holidays, silly themes, or just posing for fun. With two daughters that are two and under, this series is an easy go-to for me. I always use the hashtag #allthatisthree, but I also use the tag #livengoods123 since we like to put our own spin on it.

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Create a series that is natural for you.

My little baby is the world’s best sleeper. She has always taken the best naps, and I can easily get her to sleep and snap a picture of her. That’s why it was so easy for me to start a series on Instagram I like to call #cocoslumbers. It’s different photos of my sweet baby posed in different positions on my bed while she naps. I usually put her next to a new stuffed animal to switch it up for different content, and yet it’s always a very similar photo. I started this series because it was extremely easy for me to create, and who doesn’t love a picture of a sleeping baby?

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Create a unique hashtag to go with it.

Once you have your fun series to start, come up with a fun hashtag to use with it. Make sure it’s unique so you will be the only one posting to it. Then when your followers click the hashtag they will be able to see all the photos in your series. Another favorite series I’ve been working on is #cocosmonthlydonuts to show how many months old she is. With the unique hashtag, my followers can easily click the hashtag to see her growth and progression from month to month. It’s an easy way to capture the series as a whole instead of being so sporadic on your Instagram profile.

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Get creative, but more importantly, have fun!

Developing a Healthy Relationship With Social Media

Healthy Relationship with Social Media

One comment that I have heard countless times over the last decade is something along the lines of “social media is becoming the death of society”.

I mean, that sounds a little dramatic to me, but I get it. I know. People don’t like change, and although social media has been pretty prevalent in the last ten years, in the grand scheme of things it is still very new. It is certainly changing our society as a whole, that’s for sure.

But is it really changing society for the worse? Some people will whole-heartedly say, “Yes, absolutely”. I, on the other hand, have a contradictory view in that I truly believe social media, when used in a healthy manner, can benefit us.

Think about it, we need to have a healthy relationship with everything in order for it to benefit us. We need to have a healthy relationship with food in order to fuel our body correctly. We need to have a healthy relationship with money so we’re not wasting it on unnecessary things or going into credit card debt. Like many things, you need a stable, healthy relationship with social media too.

Trust me, I know there are issues with social media. That is because it is still fairly new and we have to learn how to live and adapt in a world with social media just like we have had to do with everything else in life. But, you know what? When cars were first invented and there were no roads for them to drive on safely, it was chaotic. There were no rules and there were tons of accidents. Like the invention of anything, social media will get better when we realize it’s not going away and we just need to utilize it correctly.

So what does a healthy relationship with social media look like?

It means you are NOT comparing yourself to others.

Easier said than done, right? Think about it though. When you were in high school you were forced to sit in these classes with people that you possibly compared yourself to. Let’s just say you wanted Veronica’s outfit or maybe you were jealous of the party she was throwing at her house on Friday night that you weren’t invited to. In the real world, you may compare yourself, or feel left out. Guess what? Social media doesn’t have to do that to you. The best part about social media is that if you find yourself getting jealous or comparing yourself to the Veronica’s of the world you actually have the opportunity to unfollow, block, mute, or close out your screen to them.

I used to find myself comparing my life to others on social media. Being jealous of others outfits, their skinny legs, or their beautiful kitchens that I could only dream of having. I realized certain accounts made me feel insecure or wanting more, but it was no fault of their own. They were posting these photos because it made them feel pretty, confident or proud. So instead of continually seeing these photos and feeling a sense of jealousy, I simply unfollowed them. What was the point of following an account that made me feel upset?

The comparison game is a touchy subject, and sometimes it’s hard not to subconsciously compare ourselves to others. But the more we shut out what makes us insecure or upset, it leaves more room for what inspires us or truly makes us happy. I realized some of my absolute favorite Instagram accounts were ones that shared bright, colorful photos, inspirational stories about how tough motherhood can be, and just some of my favorite friends and family’s personal accounts. It’s important to remember that one of the perks of social media is that you are in control of who you follow, so find what intrigues you and makes you feel good about yourself instead of scrolling through an unhappy mess of pictures.

Living in the Real-Life Moments

Another way I maintain a healthy relationship with social media is sharing most of my content at the end of the day. I used to think when I had something going on I should instantly post it to social media so everyone knew what I was doing in real time.

But, I mean… why? Why does it matter if I posted about going to the beach at 1:27 PM or posting about it before I went to bed at night? The answer is, it doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t even really matter if I post it at all because let’s face it, it’s just social media. Nevertheless, another aspect that has truly helped with my healthy relationship with social media is living in the real-life moment I am in. It’s fine if you want to post every detail of your life on social media. It’s your account, so if it makes you happy, post away! Just don’t forget to enjoy the moments you are in without feeling the pressure to instantly post to social media.

Being Online and Offline Around Your Kids

In this day and age, the word “screentime” now involves our children as well as ourselves. Some parents limit their child’s screentime involving TV, video games, iPads, phones, and more. As a parent, I see nothing wrong with this because part of me has that good old fashioned “kids should play outside more” mentality.

BUT (you knew that was coming, right?), I also think it’s important for children to see how much technology can do for us, and how often it is used in the modern day world. Our children are digital children that will have known nothing but technology in their lifetime, and it is 100% our responsibility to teach them how to use it appropriately.

Sometimes as my two-year-old daughter sits with me on the couch and we watch Frozen for the 847th time, I scroll through Instagram. She might watch as I look at different pictures and sometimes she will even comment and say things like, “Oh, puppy!” or “Aww, cute baby!”. She sees that social media can simply be a visual form to share our lives with one another. I don’t feel the need to hide that from her, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Realizing the Amazing Way it Can Connect People

Before I was lucky enough to be blessed with my two beautiful daughters I experienced a miscarriage. It was a very unique situation, though. I learned I was pregnant after I had already miscarried the baby.

I could tell something was off with my whole body, and just to be sure I went to the doctor. Sure enough, they found out that I had in fact been pregnant, but I had lost the baby a few days before. I learned I was pregnant and lost the baby all in one moment.

I was sad, but also felt strange. The whole situation happened so fast, and I was more surprised than anything.

When I shared with friends and family that I had a miscarriage they were extremely supportive and kind. A few people even shared their experiences, their mother’s, their sister’s, etc. Every single time an experience was shared with me it seemed so much worse than mine. People losing the baby weeks after they learned they were pregnant, or even losing the baby right before birth. I could not relate to this because I had never even taken a pregnancy test at this point. I kept thinking to myself, “you shouldn’t be so upset because you didn’t even know you were pregnant”.

About a month later I stumbled upon a post on Instagram from a woman in San Diego who had gone through the same exact experience as me. The words in her post stated, “it’s okay to be sad about losing a baby that you didn’t even know existed because that baby’s little heart was beating inside of you even if it was for a short amount of time”. Instantly those words made me cry uncontrollably. Partially because of the reminder of the miscarriage, but partially because someone across the country, whom I had never met had experienced the same exact situation I had gone through. It felt so good to know I wasn’t alone, and that it was okay to feel sad about losing a baby I had didn’t even know existed. There were also at least a dozen other women who commented on this post saying they went through a very similar situation. Women who I would never have come into contact with if it wasn’t for social media.

 

I’m not saying social media is perfect. I’m not saying it’s a fix for all things. I’m not arguing that we need to embrace all things digital, and I’m certainly not telling you to use it more than you do at this moment.

What I am saying is try to use social media in a positive way. Make sure that your social media platforms bring you joy and not discontent. Don’t forget how amazing this tool can actually be, and how it can truly connect humans of all shapes in sizes.

In a world that sometimes seems to be full of hatred, violence and arguments let’s use social media to find our tribe, inspire others, and associate ourselves with like-minded individuals whether they be a minute away, or a million miles away.

 

7 Tips for Blogging on a Budget

Sometimes it feels like all the big bloggers and Instagram influencers are where they are today because they can afford to pay for any little thing they need and desire. And although maybe that’s true and it certainly makes the process easier for them, you don’t need to be super rich in order to be successful online.

What you do need is to just get creative.

Here are a few tips for starting a blog without breaking the bank.

 

Take Your Own Photos

This can be tricky and you can’t always buy yourself a fancy Instagram husband, but you certainly can take your own photos in a few different ways.

My favorite way to take pictures is with my handy dandy tripod and camera remote. I use these two items for about 95% of my photos. It’s super convenient and allows me to do it at my own convenience without making my husband constantly snap my photos.

Both items are not that expensive and certainly pay off in the long run. I have yet to ever schedule professional photography because typically I am able to get photos that I am content with. I will also use a professional photographer when it comes to big life events and things I want to remember well, but from day to day my tripod and remote do the job for me just as well.

You can’t even tell I have that remote in my hand, can you?

 

Join Affiliate Programs with Brands Already in Your Closet

Affiliate marketing is a program in which certain brands allow you to earn a commission for driving sales to a companies website. Many bloggers (especially fashion bloggers) use affiliate marketing to monetize their blog. Essentially when they market a product to their audience they are provided with a certain link that can show if they’ve generated traffic and sales to a companies site.

Instead of just applying to any and all affiliate programs, be specific to the companies you might easily be able to work with or the brands you already have in your closet. I already owned these Warby Parker glasses that I loved, so I applied to their affiliate program (see what I did there). If you love to continually shop at Old Navy, apply to their affiliate program to use the clothes you would already own and wear to share with your audience.

Warby Parker
I already owned these Warby Parker glasses and became an affiliate through their program.

 

Find Ambassador Programs

Some companies choose to have an ambassador program instead. This is when a business will send you a product and in return, you post about it to your audience. Reaching out to brands and applying for ambassador programs is a great way to start getting exposure on your blog.

PinkBlush
I partnered with PinkBlush and their ambassador program to shoot some of their maternity items.

 

Use Free or Cheap Apps for Editing Your Photos

As they say, there is an app for everything nowadays. Finding an app to edit your photos can be such a game changer for getting people to click to your blog.

Here are a few of my favorite free editing apps:

  • Lightroom Mobile
  • Snapseed
  • VSCO
  • AfterFocus
Britta Livengood lightroom presets
I edited this photo using my favorite Lighroom mobile preset, Bright With Vibrant Colors

 

Reach Out to Companies You Want to Work With

Big blogs have people approaching them all the time. But if you’re just getting started, chances are your inbox is empty. Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies and ask to collaborate. The worst that can happen is they say, “no”. It literally costs nothing to send an email, and can only benefit you in the long run.

Blogging on a budget
I reached out to a company called ThredUp and ended up collaborating with them to get these matching mommy and me dresses.

 

Use Free Stock Photos

There are so many websites with stock photos that allow you to use them for free. Always check the license on the website so you are not using someone else’s work, but if they are free to use, use them! Flat lays, coffee shots, and beach photos that fit your blog topics can all be found and that way you don’t have to come up with these on your own.

Blogging on a Budget
This was created using a free stock photo that I edited text on to.

 

Learn, Learn, Learn!

You guys, YouTube has every tutorial you could possibly want these days. Utilize this. Teach yourself about marketing, business, working with brands, sponsored posts, and anything else when it comes to blogging.

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You got this. Blog away, my friends. Blog away.

 

 

This post does contain affiliate links.

Mother of Dragons is Ready for Bedtime

Is it bedtime yet? Because my children are off the wall, crazy by 7:00 and this Mother of Dragons is ready for bed.

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But really, check out these awesome Mother of Dragons and Baby Dragon matching shirt and onesie. I am obsessed. And although I am tired and kind of want to go to bed, I also cannot stop scrolling through Amazons Game of Throne shirts right now. Here are a few of my favorites.

 

 The North Remembers

Oh, they remember well.

Tormund’s Giant’s (Organic) Milk

Yes. Just yes.

A Girl Has No Name

Here’s to Arya Stark!

Crows Before Hoes

I mean, it’s too good.

It Was Me

I see you, Olenna Tyrell.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

You Know Nothing

Jon Snow

All of the Direwolves

Stop it right now.

Hodor

Hodor.

Jon Snow Bae

Only because I’m sure he has a shirt with my face on it too.

 

Which one is your favorite, but more importantly which one should I add to my cart? Enjoy the last few days before our Game of Thrones series comes to an end on Sunday!

 

This post does contain affiliate links.

So Very Cherry

Britta livengood presets
After with “Bright and Vibrant Colors” preset

Toddler Outfit: Cherry Dress

Baby Outfit: Cherry Romper Headband

In my latest blog post releasing my presets I had a few emails and messages asking where I got the adorable cherry dress and romper for my daughters. I purchased them from one of my favorite (cheap) kids clothing stores, PatPat.

The funny thing is that I bought these outfits more than a year apart! The dress was purchased for my daughter over a year ago, and I just recently stumbled upon the matching romper for the baby and couldn’t resist matching them. I mean, that’s what being a girl mom is all about, right? #matchingforever

THE ONE THING I will say about PatPat is that although their clothes can be so cheap and they always have tons of deals, the sizing can sometimes be unreliable. When I purchased this dress for my daughter over a year ago it was with the intention of having her wear it then when she was 18-24 months. I may have ordered it in a 2T at the time just in case, but it just began to fit her appropriately now and she’s a 3T (can also fit into some 4T clothing). Most of the time when I’ve ordered from PatPat if there was a size discrepancy the size was always larger, and I’d much rather that be the case! I would say about a fourth of the clothing I ordered from them came slightly larger than I expected, so if you order from them be prepared for some size discrepancy just in case!

Here are a few of my other PatPat faves!

Mommy and Me Matching GRL PWR Sweatshirts

Mommy is wearing a medium (a tad smaller than medium) and toddler wearing 3T (true to size)

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Yellow Floral Ruffled Long-sleeve Dress 

I believe this was supposed to be 2T, but fit more like a 3T.

Toddler girl fashion

Round Floral Yellow and Red Tie Dress

This was supposed to be 18-24 months and fit more like a 2T.

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Denim and Floral Mommy and Me Dresses

Mommy wearing small (true to size) and toddler wearing 3T (true to size).

Mommy and me outfit

Raincloud Knit Sweater

I ordered this in a 18-24 months size and it fit more like a 2T.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

 

This post does contain affiliate links.

Britta Livengood Presets!

It’s here! Today is the day, and I am SO EXCITED to tell you that I have released four of my presets to use on your photos!

Those of you that have been around a while know that I am obsessed with all things pictures. #AlwaysHaveBeen #AlwaysWillBe! From staging, dressing up, props, editing, to sharing them, the whole process is such a fun pastime for me.

I continually get messages asking how I get my photos to look the way they do. Brighter, lighter and a pop of color! Finally, I can give others the chance to love their photos as much as I love mine.

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What is a Preset?

A preset is a specific filter for your photos that can be slightly altered or adjusted when using. Instead of using Instagrams same old filter, a preset allows you to create a style and setting for your photographs and can turn your Instagram or Facebook photos into a cohesive feed.

The way I look at it, you have makeup to wear on your face, and presets are basically the makeup you put on your photo.

A lot of my mobile presets are for users to transform the colors and brightness of their photos using the Lightroom mobile app (it’s free!) They can help make certain colors pop, or increase the brightness of the photo, making it lighter and your white’s whiter.

Check out some of my presets here, and when I like to use them on my feed.

 

Bright with Vibrant Colors Preset

This is my number one, absolute favorite preset that I use on 95% of my photos!

Changes this preset will do you your photos:
-Make your blues more teal
-Make red’s pop
-Make’s oranges a little brighter
-Dull the colors green and yellow
-Make’s your white’s lighter (less yellow)

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Cotton Candy Smoothie Preset

This is definitely my second favorite to use. I use this when I really want to bring out greens and light yellows.

Changes this preset will do you your photos:
-Makes your blues and pinks lighter (like cotton candy)
-Make reds and greens lighter
-Make yellow’s pop
-Make’s oranges a little brighter
-Make’s your white’s lighter (less yellow)
-Gives an opposite grain effect, so on high-quality photos it may make skin look smoother (hence smoothie)

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Pumpkin Spice Preset

Any idea which season this preset works best in? I use this one in the fall to have a fun, cohesive look for autumn. This is also a great preset all year long if you are going for a natural, earthy tone for your feed.

Changes this preset will do you your photos:
-Pull out earthy tones
-Make yellows and oranges stand out
-Make reds more burnt
-Dull greens and blues

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Lose the Winter Blues

Another somewhat seasonal preset, but can be used all year long as well. Personally, I like to use this one in the winter to have a creamy, bright effect on my photos.

Changes this preset will do you your photos:
-Make your blues very light, sometimes almost white (hence the name)
-Make red softer, almost an orange at times
-Dull most colors in general
-Make’s your white’s lighter (less yellow)

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If you are interested in purchasing one of my presets but would like to try out a photo first, feel free to email me the photo at brittalivengood@gmail.com and I’d be happy to show you what it would look like with the preset.

What is Girl Power to You?

GRL PWR! Apparently, our sweatshirts aren’t a big fan of vowels.

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I recently bought these sweatshirts for Margot and I. Unfortunately, they did not have Colette’s size.

Girl power isn’t saying that we’re better than boys, it’s saying that we are just as awesome as they are. Because let’s face it, we’re all freaking cool.

What does girl power mean to you?

 

 

This post does contain affiliate links.

3 Donuts Old!

It’s so hard to believe that Colette is already three months old! For those of you that are new around here, three months to us also means three donuts old, because what better way to represent her months that with a dozen donuts. I mean, genius, am I right?

I’m kind of a weird math nerd so when it comes to 3 months old, in my head I instantly think 3/12 = 1/4. She’s already one-quarter of the way through her first year! That means she is also like 25 cents old! Ok, sorry. I’ll stop with the math connections now.

Anyways, here is the three donuts old pic, and as always I’ll compare it with the donuts pics before because let’s be honest. There is nothing cuter than babies sitting next to donuts.

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Mommy and Me Pink Shoes

Would you believe me if I said I didn’t even mean to get matching shoes with my daughter? Good, you shouldn’t believe me, because I totally did.

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Margot’s Outfit: TopLeggingsShoes

Mama’s Outfit: TopJoggersShoes