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Our Last Los Angeles Family Photoshoot

Family photoshoot inspiration: beach photos, great ideas for family of five photos, and outfit coordination for the whole family.

If you follow this blog or my instagram feed at all, you probably know our family lives in Los Angeles and that we truly love it here. My husband and I have been here for 16 and 13 years respectively, we were married here, we started our family here. Each of our sons were born in the same hospital. We’ve lived in the same general part of LA (in three different apartments) over the course of our 13 years here together. But in the last year or so I’ve started to realize that as much as we love it here, our true home is wherever we are, all together. And as the mom of three small and crazy boys, I’ve found myself more and more longing for a simpler existence — for a place where everything isn’t quite so challenging or so exhausting. Without our families at all close by, we’ve been neck deep in the parenthood trenches together, just the two of us. It is wonderful in many ways, but really draining in others. We’ve reached a point where we were ready for a change, and I think the boys are too. They want a yard and a dog and to be closer to their grandparents. We want to be able to give them those things and more. So after a lot of thought and weighing the pros and cons, we decided to take the leap. We bought a home about 10 minutes outside of Columbus, Ohio and will be moving there in a few short weeks. So we’ve been adventuring and saying goodbye and taking in this city we love so much. And our dear friend Jennifer documented our family one last time. Read More

Keeping Track of the Family Schedule

keeping track of the family schedule

This post is brought to you in partnership with Pickett’s Press.

I’ve always been an organized person. I never mixed up appointments or forgot an important birthday. I never missed an event. I was never late. Until I had kids. Honestly, I was pretty organized until I was pregnant with Quincy (baby #3). By then, the mom-brain mixed with pregnancy brain mixed with the short term memory challenges of a person with Hashimotos/Hypothyroidism mixed with keeping track of a family of five pretty much did me in as far as living an organized life. I could no longer rely on my memory. I couldn’t even rely on the calendar on my phone, because to rely on it means I always remember to check it (or to write things down in the first place). I needed to come up with a system, before I went to the doctor on the wrong day (again) or forgot about a hair appointment or a school function. I don’t know if it is because I have three kids or because one of them is school age and suddenly has lots of activities, playdates, and school functions, but it has been such a challenge keeping it all straight. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when all three are in school!

I recently found these schedule pads from Pickett’s Press, which have been such a game changer. You can personalize them to include all of the members of your family and can keep track of everyone’s schedules in one spot. The best part is each sheet is for one week, so it is easy to see what is on tap for the week, rather than looking at a monthly calendar where it is easier to lose track of things. You can write the schedule on the pad itself and then tear off the old week to write the schedule for a new week, or you can do what I do and tear off each week and hang it somewhere that you’ll be sure to check it each day. They also have a variety of really cute designs to choose from. I like to stick mine up in the kitchen with some washi tape before the start of each new week.Read More

Introducing: Chandra’s Favorites Guide

Oh Lovely Day Chandra's Favorites Guide

You guys asked, and I’m nothing if not a people pleaser 🙂 So I found a way to share all of my favorite brands and products for family, home, baby, travel, and self-care (just to name a few categories) all in one place where you can refer to it if you’re looking for a specific recommendation. You’ll find it in the top menu at the far right under Chandra’s Favorites.

Chandra's Favorites GuideWhat or who is included?

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Feeling Happy and Confident in Yourself

feeling happy and confident in yourselfI’ve been thinking a lot about ways to feel good about myself again and about what it would take for me to look in the mirror and like what I see, after probably a year of hating my reflection (and longer than that if you count each of my postpartum phases). I think we all look at ourselves sometimes and see our flaws instead of our beauty. I know I even did it to myself before I had children. But other times I could look at myself and appreciate what I saw and like myself. Since becoming a mother, I haven’t been able to feel that way very often. (I shared a bit about these feelings and my struggle here if you want to read more). While I’ve become more judgmental and critical of myself (and I’m working on this) I have become less judgmental about the things we can do to make ourselves feel happy and confident. I truly believe that whatever makes you feel good, happy, and more like “you” is a good thing — as long as you are doing it for you and not anyone else. Read More

The Post-Baby Body Summertime Blues

 

Post-Baby Body Summertime BluesSo the last time I wore a swimsuit, I was pregnant with Quincy. That was two summers ago. Last summer I was 5 months postpartum and pretty forgiving of the fact that I wasn’t in “swimsuit shape” (which really just means I’m not confident and comfortable in a swimsuit — not because I think that you have to be a certain size to wear a swimsuit). “Next summer” I thought at the time. Well, now we’re at next summer and guess what? I’m still not feeling good about myself. Read More

Finding Your Confidence As a Mom

real talk with real moms on finding your confidence as a mom: because we all think we don't know what we are doing and every other mom does!Want to know one universal truth about motherhood? We all, and I mean ALL, doubt ourselves sometimes. I think it is pretty normal and natural to doubt ourselves a lot when we first become mothers. I mean, you go from being a person who is only has to care for yourself to a person whose every need is reliant on you 24/7 for, like ever. And it is a job you’ve never done before (even if you have had siblings or nieces and nephews or dogs that you’ve cared for — it is so not the same thing when you’ve become a mother), comes with no “orientation period” or instruction manual, and you have to start it when you are your most exhausted.

I think another really tough aspect of being a mother is seeing other mothers do what you are doing, day in and day out, and seemingly easily. No matter who you are or how long you’ve been a mother or how many kids you have, you know another mother who has more kids or tougher circumstances that seems to be doing it better. “She is always dressed. Her kids behave in public. Her house is clean. She actually looks happy!” And you wonder — how does she do it? Why can’t I? What is wrong with me?  It isn’t just the new moms that feel this way either — I still do sometimes. And I’m three kids and almost 7 years in. Read More