Flocking the tree!

 

I've been dreaming of a "flocked" tree for the past several years, but I was always so intimidated by the whole process.  This year, I decided to start small and just go with a "lightly dusted" look since I'm only a beginner at this tree flocking business.  I have to say, it was pretty easy!  I don't know what I was so worried about!  You can always go back and do a second coat if you want more snow.  We just used the spray cans and the kids helped out and had so much fun!

I do think next year I'll go for the actual flocking snow...you know, the kind that actually piles up on each branch and looks like it belongs at the top of a mountain!  As for now, I'm pretty darn excited about my dusting of snow.  We bought our tree early this year, as we'll have to take it down before we leave town on the 21st.  Hey, the longer you can enjoy your tree, the better. 

Here's a link to the snow we used...just for reference, we went through 2 cans on our 7 foot tree.

 

Instagram lately

 

Good morning, sweet friends!  I wanted to take a minute this morning to show you all what I've been up to on the blog and on Instagram.  I know a lot of you don't follow me on IG, or maybe even don't have an Instagram account, so I wanted to share these little snip its of my life with you!

Instagram has become super important in my life.  To many it's a place to share photos of your family and daily life, but for me, it's literally one of the ONLY ways I can show my ideas and photos and attempt to create something that will hopefully ONE DAY become my career.  It's a way to connect with people.  To reach new and old people.  It's basically my portfolio and a great place for people to see what my blog is all about and the general vibe of what I do!  I choose every photo carefully with a greater purpose in mind.  A lot more goes into it than people probably think!

I've decided it would be a great idea to take a few pictures of my IG and share it here on the blog as well as kind of a roundup of what I've worked on for that month.  Thank you all for sticking with me throughout this process.  It's been a work in progress, that's for sure.  I am always learning and growing and trying to be better.  It is definitely a passion of mine so I will continue this journey one day at a time. 

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!  If you have questions about anything you've seen on IG, let me know!  Oh, and for those of you who don't already, follow along with me if you want @honestlywest! 

 

Band tee + statement earrings

 

One of my all time favorite combos...a casual band tee with a statement earring.  As the weather gets cold, I think it's easy to sort of bundle up and forget all about jewelry.  I say have some fun and play with layers and dressed up/casual pieces.  

I'm definitely starting to think of ways to bundle up yet still look put together, as we are heading home to SEATTLE this year for Christmas!  We haven't made the trek home for the holidays in 5 long years!  Where does the time go???  It'll be cold and damp and chilly, but we will love every second of showing off our home town to our kids and spending time with family and friends! 

I hope you all are enjoying your week as you prepare for the upcoming holidays!  Hoping to kick this nasty cold asap so I can enjoy myself!  Happy Wednesday, friends! 

Find a few cute band tee options here

Art deco statement earrings

Photos:  Tiffany Redmon Photography

 

Here's what I know now...

 
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1.  I know that life is short, and that we need to appreciate every damn second we have.  Cliche or not, it's the truth.

2.  I know that I am transparent.  I have always worn my heart on my sleeve.  I am passionate and have opinions about everything and love hard.  Sometimes this also means that I offend people.  Know that it's not intentional and that I just speak my mind.  Even if I've just met you, I'll speak my mind.  (Which is hard when you're living in the south because most people don't just dish it all right off the bat!)  I'll tell you that motherhood is hard, and that I don't feel like I fit in with most other moms my age.  That I always felt like I was supposed to do something a little different than what is considered mainstream.  I also have learned to forgive myself for my shortcomings!

3.  I know that not everyone will like you...and here's the kicker...that's OKAY!  (This is still a hard one for me some days)

4.  I know that breaking the rules makes you feel good.  I mean with fashion here.  Don't wait for a special occasion to wear your favorite dress and to feel pretty and special.  Put it on if all you have to do is go to the darn grocery store.  Rock that dress because IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD! 

5.  Anything worthwhile is hard work.  Like really, really hard work.  You can't give up though.  Ever.  If you're passionate about something, pursue it!! 

6.  Your PEOPLE will understand you.  You won't question them all the time and they won't question you.  They'll know your intentions are always pure and that you are doing your best at this crazy thing called life.

That is all.  If you made it through all 6, thanks for sticking around.  For those of you who didn't, I won't hold it against you.  More good stuff coming soon... Much love to you all!

 

Fall feels

 

Happy Saturday!  We had so much fun shooting at this location this yesterday.  The air was crisp and the leaves were turning... finally!!  I had so much fun putting this look together!  Mixing pieces together to create an outfit that's slightly unexpected and unique is my very favorite.  I paired my basic sweater and jeans with a fun pink skirt and sneakers to finish off the look.  I don't know why, but I LOVE pairing dresses and pretty skirts with sneakers.  It's just fun and different, and the tennis shoe trend is huge right now, not to mention extremely comfortable! 

Thank you all for stopping by Honestly West!  I've got lots of ideas spilling out of me lately, so stay tuned for more fun projects coming soon! 

Sweater

Denim

Skirt

Adidas kicks

Photography shot by Tiffany Redmon

 

Keep it clean

 

One of my biggest style tips...keep it clean and simple.  I generally choose one thing each day to accessorize with.  Whether it's a stack of bracelets, ear crawlers or a wide brimmed hat...I always choose ONE piece and let it be the main accessory.  Less really is more.  Elegance in my mind is simple.  Clean.  Don't overdue it or you'll wind up looking like you're trying too hard. 

Side note:  don't underestimate a simple white tee and great fitting denim.  With the right accessories and shoes, it can be super chic! It's probably one of my favorite outfits!

Northern lights statement necklace

 

5 tips for creating great family portraits

 

Today I'm talking about something I've surprisingly never blogged about...family photos!  Many people feel at a loss when planning their family photo session, so I thought it would be fun to dedicate this post to helping you plan for the perfect session!  Here are 5 tips to help you achieve your perfect family pics...

1.  Location, location, location.  This seems obvious, but it's one of THE most important factors!   Don't just go somewhere quick with a so so backdrop and bad lighting.  Plan it ahead of time.  This starts with talking to your photographer.  Give them an idea of what you're hoping for.  A lake backdrop?  More woodsy?  Want a barn in the background?  A city?  A good photographer will find you the perfect place to take your photos!

2.  Time of day.  Avoid the middle of the day when the sunlight is high and harsh.  Aim for early morning or evening when the sun is low in the sky and you can capture that perfect lighting!

3.  Wardrobe.  This is a biggie.  Think of this like you would if you were throwing a baby shower or birthday party.  Come up with a mood board or color palette first (I chose black, white and blue.)  This will help you when pulling looks for each family member.  Avoid completely matching and definitely avoid plaid! Yikes!

4.  Props.  I personally am not a fan of many props, but a few things might be nice, like a strand of lights hanging or a cozy blanket to wrap up in.  This can also help distract/entertain the kids if they have something fun to make them smile authentically. 

5.  Don't force the poses too much.  A few staged photos are nice, but I tend to lean toward natural interactions.  A good photographer will capture your REAL smiles and hugs which will in turn create more natural, beautiful, authentic photos as opposed to those very forced, awkward planned poses. 

I hope this has helped you all with planning for your next family session!  It's the perfect time of year for photos so I hope you all capture what you're hoping for! 

Thank you to Tiffany Redmon Photography for capturing these special moments for us.  Book your session at this magical, private residence now by heading to her website.    Slots fill up quickly! 

As always, thank you for stopping by Honestly West!  Have a fabulous weekend!