Last-Minute Gifts that Can Arrive Before Christmas with Amazon Prime

Are you “one of those” who still hasn’t gotten your Christmas shopping done? ūüėČ Don’t worry- I’d guess the majority of us still have some sort of shopping and/or wrapping to get done. (I haven’t wrapped one present yet, so I’m “one of those”, too!) Don’t want to leave your couch? I’ve got you covered. Here are some creative gift ideas (that I know I would LUV to receive) that you can order from the comfort of your home (or office) and have arrive before Christmas with Amazon Prime. Because let’s be honest… we all have a “Priming” problem. Happy Shopping and Merry {almost} Christmas!

Click on the links below to take you straight to the products…

Continue Reading

Our 2016 Family Photos with Lydia L Photography

Every year, we get all¬†spruced up and take our holiday photos. My husband and kids are not huge fans of having family photos taken, but they put on a happy face and aren’t allowed to complain ONCE since they know I only ask them to do “official” family photos once a year! (Though as my blogging career expands, that’s changing a little. Sorry guys!) Lydia of¬†Lydia L Photography¬†found me through Instagram and reached out about a collaboration, and I was immediately excited when I saw her work. I LUV that her photo style is both classic and whimsical and was excited to work with her this year.

But when I actually got to the shoot and saw her in action… Well, I knew this was going to be a good relationship. ūüôā Even my husband commented about how great she was at posing us and getting our children to participate! She was completely professional, and she was extremely knowledgable at working with lighting and posing all of us in ways that she knew would look both organic and endearing. Of all of the photos that she sent, here are the ones I selected as my favorites… You’re getting a sneak peak before I’ve even sent out my Christmas cards (which NEVER happens), so I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think!

logo6 logo3

logo10 logo9

logo14 logo4 logo15

logo25 logo17

logo1 logo22

logo26 logo27

logo24 logo20

As my kids get bigger (at a pace that makes my stomach hurt), it’s so extremely important to me that I document these years. I LUV having photos taken around the same time each year so I can truly see how much they’ve changed from the photos the year¬†before. It’s amazing to me how much bigger they seem with each passing year, and I know I’ll cherish these photos all the days¬†of my life.

LUV what you see? Here’s some even more exciting news… Lydia will be giving away a FREE MINI SESSION to one of my lucky followers¬†in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota/Bradenton/St. Petersburg, Florida area. Stay tuned to¬†my Instagram¬†and to¬†Lydia’s Instagram¬†in the coming days for details to enter SOON!

Shop this post:

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide {What’s On My List}

fullsizerender-39

 

I’ve sent my list to the Big Guy, and here are some of the items I’m hoping he is stuffing in my Christmas stocking! ¬†Here are the links to what you see above and some of the other items I’m LUVing… Go ahead and forward this to “your” Santa. ūüėČ

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

COMFY & COZY Gift Guide

fullsizerender-37

The holidays give me all kinds of cozy feels. As soon as my tree(s) are up, I just want to throw on some comfy jammies and slippers, light a candle and sit by the tree. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday jammies/robe/slippers, etc… here are some of my favs…

Now go pour yourself a cup of Joe and snuggle up. Give yourself permission to just enjoy life for a moment. After all, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS

Black Friday is full of amazing deals, but it can be hard to know where to start! Here I’m sharing the ones I’m excited about, so take a look, and hopefully this will help you narrow it down…

fullsizerender-10

American Eagle¬†is my go-to for jeans. Since I wear jeans on the daily, I tend to think of myself as¬†the jean connoisseur. AE is 40% off everything right now PLUS free shipping! They have the coziest sweaters and dresses for the fall/winter months, and their boot selection is one of my favs as well. Here are a few of my favorite things from AE…

Banana Republic¬†is having 50% off 5 regular priced items. (NO EXCLUSIONS!) Here are some of the items I LUV…

 

Bauble Bar is 30% off through 11/27! I literally LUV everything! Just do yourself a favor and head there to shop! They have great jewelry to complete your holiday outfits, great items to add to your holiday wish-list and great gift ideas for others!

Nordstrom¬†has an extra 20% off selected sale items and a 40% off designer sale. Nordstrom has so many awesome deals right now, but it can be a little intimidating to sift through. So I’ve done the hard work for you and found all of the deals, and these are some of my favorites…

Revolve has up to 65% off!

Shopbop¬†has some great deals right now…

Spend $200+, get 15% off; Spend $500+, get 20% off; Spend $800+, get 25% off through 11/28! Use code: GOBIG16

Tory Burch has 30% off purchases of $250 or more with code THANKS through 11/28!

And my favorite, Urban Outfitters has Buy one, Get one 50% off all apparel through today!

Hope this helps you narrow down where you want to spend your Black Friday! Skip the lines and all the headaches and shop cyber! I know I am!

luvbecsignature

 

Continue Reading

Pumpkin Patchin’

Today we went pumpkin picking and painted/carved our pumpkins. I can’t believe I’ve been picking pumpkins with my handsome hubs for 15 years!? Even though he and I end up usually doing most of the carving, sharing these traditions with our kids is so important to me. I thought I’d share a look inside a special day for us…

dsc_0048

We started at a pumpkin patch close to our house but couldn’t seem to find just the right ones. Though the hunt is half the fun, right?

dsc_0064

So we headed to the second patch, where we found just the right ones…

dsc_0085

This patch had some “spookies” (as we call them) and my oldest was less than stoked. Last year, my little guy was also petrified of anything spooky. But a couple weeks ago, I took him on a long walk to check out the decorations in my neighborhood during the day. Apparently seeing them in the light (and touching them and lifting their drapes to see they were made of plastic and batteries) really helped him conquer his fears. Emerson wanted nothing to do with them still, but Corbin hopped right up and said, “See Sissy! They’re just pretend!”

dsc_0090dsc_0092dsc_0091

First Corbin hunted for his perfect pumpkin…

dsc_0098

He said, “You like the white ones, Mommy.” Yup. ūüėČ

dsc_0105

He found his pretty quickly…

dsc_0109

Em, on the other hand, likes to really take her time.

dsc_0107

dsc_0111

dsc_0115

She thought she’d decided on a white one…

img_0575

But then she changed her mind.

img_0578

Here we are with the winners…

img_0571

dsc_0145

img_0569

Links to me and Em’s matching outfits (FYI: You can get both of our dresses for around $30 total!)…

Thanks for following along with us! I rarely share our personal stories on here, but I’m trying to make a point to¬†change that every once in a while. Hope you enjoyed… ūüôā

luvbecsignature

Continue Reading

Our Trip to the Oscars

In honor of Oscars weekend, I thought I’d take a minute to share my Oscars experience with all of you. The picture quality is not very good (as this was 2 years ago and taken with my iphone then) but it was an experience I’ll never forget and only hope to do again (though it’s not always likely). My¬†husband was part of a project associated with The Academy, so he was able to secure this bucket list moment for me. While I was holding out hope we’d get to go again this year (as I do every year), it’s unfortunately not going to happen this time. So I’ll share these moments with all of you, snuggle up with my best gals Sunday night and watch from my living room sofa, remembering the best weekend of my life. Here’s an inside look… (again, apologies for the poor picture quality and btw NONE are edited).

Dress shopping…

I had less than 2 days to find a dress, accessories, have alterations and pack for the weekend. I also had a 2-year-old in tow. (Glamorous, right?) Here were some of the options I considered.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here was the winner… (I found it at Georgette’s in Tampa.)

Arriving…

IMG_3167IMG_3155IMG_3171

We got out of the limo and Jared Leto was to our right and Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart just behind us.

IMG_3175IMG_3185

Just SOME of the photos from the red carpet…

{temporarily unavailable}

Inside the show…

{temporarily unavailable}

We went to an after-party at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, but I don’t have any photos of that, believe it or not.

Another highlight of our weekend was a trip to SUR Lounge, where Katie Maloney of Vanderpump Rules was our waitress. ¬†My husband jokes how I wasn’t star-struck by anyone on the red carpet, but speechless when I met the cast of VR. Go figure!

IMG_3089IMG_3092IMG_3085IMG_3062IMG_3067IMG_3068IMG_3083

We also ate at Villa Blanca on the day of the Oscars…

IMG_3130

Another one of my favorite parts about the trip… shopping Rodeo!

IMG_3015IMG_3043IMG_3011IMG_3050IMG_3012IMG_3037

I was never going to be ready for this weekend to end! But it was fun as friends were sending us snippets of sightings of us on TV!

IMG_3494

Sometimes, I still can’t believe it happened. But it truly was the most memorable experience of my life…

IMG_3149

Maybe if I click my heels three times, I’ll magically transport back…

IMG_3188

Hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. Don’t forget to tune into the Oscars Sunday night LIVE at 7 o’clock ¬†EST on abc.

cropped-red-heart1-e1442961605806.png, Bec

Continue Reading

Gluten-Free (from the box) Valentine’s Day Cupcakes and a Poem to Share with those you LUV {Happy Valentine’s Day}

Yes… I’m giving you a recipe for “from the box” cupcakes.DSC_2656My neighbor makes these delicious gluten-free cupcakes with a box mix. You’d think they were from the bakery, they taste so great! So, since I’m all about easy-peasy, ¬†I thought I’d share for all you gluten-free peeps!

The mix:

Get the King Arthur gluten-free yellow cake mix. It looks like this:

The recipe is on the box, but my friend suggests you also add 1 tbsp. of vanilla directly to the cake batter.

She said you can either use Pillsbury frosting (Put entire contents into a bowl and whip using a hand mixer until fluffy.)

OR… here is a simple homemade frosting recipe:

1 cup butter (soft, room temperature)

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp or more of whipping cream.

Whip butter until light (until it turns light yellow). Add powdered sugar and whip for another couple minutes. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Use sprinkles and decorations as you’d like.

She also wrote this amazingly adorable little poem and hand-delivered with bags of treats for the kids. I had to share what she wrote, in case you’d like to share with those you love! (I’m not even kidding… this girl is missing her calling writing for Hallmark.)

DSC_2646DSC_2658

Here’s what she wrote:
On Valentine’s Day,
And the whole year through,
Nothing feels better,
Than having a friend like YOU!
For the times we get to laugh,
And the times we get to play,
I’m thankful for your friendship,
And there’s something I’d like to say.
So here’s a treat for YOU!
You’ve been HUGGED & KISSED by me.
Now there’s something you must do.
No need to make a copy,
No need to spread the cheer.
Only one thing you need to do today,
And I’ll make it very clear.
Just hear my words of KINDNESS.
And feel it in your heart,
Our friendship is a GIFT from GOD,
I loved you from the start!
You are awesome! You are great!
What more is there to say?
I love you very much dear friend,
Happy Valentine’s Day!

There it is. Hope you enjoy spreading some cheer to those you LUV this Valentine’s Day. Thank you Lisa for this incredibly thoughtful gift to our family. Your thoughtfulness and creativity never ceases to amaze me.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

<3, Bec

Continue Reading

How to Style & Prop a Family Photo Session {And a Few of Mine from Years Past.}

Styling and propping our annual family photos has always been a favorite task of mine. Each year I look forward to doing something new and totally different from the year prior. My husband LUVS getting his photo taken  (NOT!) so he usually gives me one session a year. Therefore, it has to be epic.

Where I start:

I either start with the location or one outfit (usually mine). It’s kind of like wedding planning. You can either pick the venue, and base the style of your dress and decorations on the venue. OR you find the PERFECT dress, and it sets the tone for the entire wedding and helps you decide where you want the venue to be/the theme/etc.

If I start with the outfit, I either choose one article of clothing in my closet I LUV or go shopping for one. That one outfit usually inspires the next steps. For instance- last year, I found this long blue romper at Marshalls for $12.99. I loved it immediately and thought… “Hmm, this blue would look gorgeous with a white sand backdrop.” I then grabbed a huge tulle skirt that my daughter wore as a flower girl in a wedding the year prior and found a light denim tank from Gap Kids to wear with it. I glued a few starfish to a headband for my daughter, gave the boys some easy neutral shirts and voila… we were styled. I had a big thing with American-inspired decor that year. So I added a star beanie, a ballcap for my boy and brought a few little American flags for the kids for props. I also brought a settee from my home (purchased at Homegoods) to the beach, because pretty seating makes every photo beautiful. ūüôā

xmascardcover

In the case of the photo shoot from the year before (2013), I chose the location, and everything else fell into place¬†from there. I asked my photographer (and beautiful friend) Kristin LaDriere (of Kristin LaDriere Family Photography in Tampa) if she knew of any desolate fields with high grass. She found this perfect little field off the beaten path, and I knew exactly what the theme for this photo shoot was going to be. My stepdad had this cute little portable fire pit, and the field inspired a rustic, roasting marshmallows in plaid kinda theme. Plaid was super easy, because during the fall/winter season, you can find plaid EVERYwhere, at affordable prices. So I found assorted colors of plaid and added a few accessories we had, and voila! (Note: I did NOT get matching colors of plaid!) I also had a red satin dress I’d bought at H&M that year that I really wanted to photograph, so we changed for a few dressy photos as well. Again this year, I brought a little bench from my home (which we used in both the plaid photos AND the dressier ones). Remember… creative seating is always a good prop to bring. The large candy canes were on one of our Christmas trees, but I threw them in my prop bag, along with all the fixens to make s’mores. (Because if you’re going to tell your kids to roast marshmallows, you better really follow through on the s’mores!) We spontaneously decided the¬†candy canes would¬†make a really cute, cliche smooching picture with our faces behind a heart. Cue the applause for that Pinterest-worthy, cheesy moment…

In 2012, my daughters neutral toned tutu dress was the inspiration for our style. I found that at Marshalls as well, and I knew I wanted to base our other outfits around that! I pulled a cardigan and white jeans from my closet in the same tones, through the boys in some neutrals and navy and we were coordinated without matching too much.* (Remember this for my conclusion to this blog post). I also LUV me some red for the holidays! So I threw on some sky-high red stilettos I got at Ross with an inexpensive black lace dress from Forever21 and coordinated the rest of our outfits in like colors and style.

christmascardproof

2011 was our last year as a family of three. I knew I wanted a casual style this year, as I was 9 months pregnant and knew that finding an outfit I felt comfortable¬†in could take longer than this cooking baby had left. So I grabbed my favorite maternity jeans. (My recommendation to every pregnant woman- invest in nice maternity jeans that you LUV! They can make any “I have no idea what to wear! Nothing fits me!” moment less stressful.) White tee-shirts and chucks were an obvious choice for casual family photos. In true @LuvBec fashion, I went with a white canvas and pop of color. I loved the idea of bringing in bright color to some black and white photos. So I grabbed props that screamed color- a rainbow lollipop and sidewalk chalk. They were great props to entertain my daughter, and the look was exactly what I had in mind! We even wrote my son Corbin’s name in blue chalk on the ground, which seemed like it would be a cute memory for my daughter Emie in later years. When photographing kids, try to incorporate props that the kids will actually enjoy, as it creates an activity for the pictures. Sometimes the unstaged photos are the best ones!

Conclusion- Find either one outfit you LUV and base the rest around that. OR pick a location that you LUV and decide what wardrobe will blend perfectly with that setting. Remember, the photos are about the PEOPLE, not the clothes. You want them to enhance your personalities, but not speak so loudly that you notice the clothes before the love between the people in that photo.

And most importantly- NEVER ASSUME FAMILY PHOTO STYLE MEANS YOU HAVE TO MATCH! Monochromatic style usually translates best when you will be enhancing the props and/or the location. But if both of those elements are fairly neutral, play up that style with some great bolds, mix-matched prints and fun accessories!

Happy styling y’all! (And stay tuned to @luvbec¬†for a look at our family photos from this year, coming real soon…)

Here’s a sneak peak…

0292703d-8b26-4f42-a233-0f839c2bb18d

12317685_1673882352825016_1193201365_n

red heart, Bec

(If you live in the Tampa Bay area, check out Kristin LaDriere Family Photography on Facebook for more information about her services. www.facebook.com/kristinlfamilyphotography)

Continue Reading