Elliott's First Birthday Photos

So funny story... Elliott was awake through her entire newborn photo session.  It was a disaster.  She cried, she just wanted to eat, and she projectile pooped all over her dad.  We got a few cute photos but nothing like the photos my hormonal, postpartum, crazy mind had imagined.

Her first birthday photo session couldn't have been more different.  I created a Pinterest Board with shots that I liked and sent them to our photographer beforehand so he could see what I was envisioning.  But beyond that, I went into the session with no expectations and without trying to "control" the session.  I just let him do his thing.  He was beyond great with Elliott!  I couldn't be happier with the photos that he took!  We will treasure these forever!

Outfit: Sadie Then Ty | Bow: The Splendid Bow | Bunny: Peek A Whoo | Balloon: Amazon| Florals: Me | Photography: Shaun Bales Photography

*This post may contain Affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase from one of these links, I receive a small commission.  In no way do these links affect my opinion of these products or which products I choose to share with you.


Small Shop Holiday Gift Guide

It's here! It's here! It's here!
After many, many hours spent putting this together, I am so excited to bring you this holiday gift guide!  Over the last year, I have really become passionate about shopping small, especially for things for Elliott.  So I knew that I wanted to put together a guide of some of my favorite shops.  This guide isn't sponsored.  It is truly some of my favorites.  I know many of the mamas behind these shops and they are truly great women who work so hard to provide for their families and bless others through their work.  Without further adieu, here is the Small Shop Holiday Gift Guide!

I hope you take a minute to scroll through, click on some of the links to go to their instagram pages and websites and take a look around.  If you do decide to follow along, comment, or even purchase, please let them know that you found them through this guide so that we can track it's reach!

Many of them are holding or going to be holding sales over the next few weeks.  Look out for another post later today with lots of good codes and discounts from some of the featured shops!

You can see a larger version HERE or by clicking on "open" in the bottom right corner.


Grocery Shopping with a Baby

Now that Elliott is mobile, grocery shopping has become a lot more difficult. She doesn't like to sit still and the grocery store is full of colorful distractions. Lately I've had to become a lot more creative when it comes to grocery shopping. Here are my top 3 tips of how to grocery shop with a toddler:

1. Let them help | Whenever it is appropriate, I try to let Elliott pick out what I need from the shelf. She loves to help pick up an apple or a box of macaroni. Just make sure it is something small and not too heavy. If it is too heavy, it will likely end up dropped on your foot instead of in the cart. I don't know from experience or anything.

2. Snacks | Eating is always a good distraction for Elliott and, lucky for me, she loves food! Make sure you bring something that is easy and is relatively mess free. There's nothing like needing to clean a sticky, gooey mess of smushed and slobbery chocolate bunny graham cracker off a cart when you are done. Ask me how I know this. One of our favorite snacks is Gerber lil' Beanies. I love that it is made from navy beans, has protein and fiber, it is mess free, and Elliott can feed herself with little help from me. Elliott loves them because they taste good! Again, ask me how I know :) We got ours at our local Publix.

3. Turn your groceries into toys | Beyond just helping me pick things off the shelf, a lot of times I'll let Elliott hold onto it as she is sitting in the cart. She'll usually play with it for a while and then when she is done, I have another item right there for her to move onto. A box of macaroni makes a great musical instrument. So does the can of Gerber lil' Beanies. A package of string cheese makes a great crinkly noise and, because it's refrigerated, has a different feel to it. A small bottle of club soda can be fun to shake and watch the bubbles (just make sure you set that one aside for a day or two before opening)

Make sure you check out Gerber lil' Beanies next time you are at your local Publix!  Do you have any other tips for grocery shopping with a toddler?