15 Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Salad Recipes

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Somehow, in all the years of Thanksgiving feasts, I’ve never been tasked with bringing a salad for the holiday! So naturally, when this was our assignment for our upcoming Friendsgiving next weekend, I turned to my trusty Instagram followers to find a winning recipe to bring with us. And they did not disappoint! I was overwhelmed with responses and also many requests to share the love, so here they are! 15 mouth-watering options for Thanksgiving salads.

Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with Hazelnut Crunch by Martha Stewartshredded-brussels-sprout-salad-with-hazelnut-crunch-103107138_horiz

Thanksgiving Lentil Salad by The Kitchn174e4fcac666f93884127056deb4f8da6b4dff56

Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranates and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds by Pamela Salzmanbutternut squash salad

Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad by What’s Gaby CookingWGC-Shredded-Brussels-Salad-copy-3

The Fall Salad You Won’t Be Able To Quit by Simple Real HealthProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

Winter Burrata Salad by Camille Stylescamillestyleswinterburratasalads

Roquefort Pear Salad by The Girl Who Ate Everythingroquefortpearsalad.jpg

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad by Better Homes and Gardensfreshcitrusandcranberrysalad

Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad by The New York Times07COOKING-GARLICKALESALAD2-articleLarge

Roasted Squash Salad with Crispy Shallot and Balsamic Reduction by Minimalist BakerAMAZING-Roasted-Squash-Salad-with-Nut-Cheese-and-Balsamic-Reduction-30-minutes-10-ingredients-BIG-flavor-squash-glutenfree-dinner-vegan-salad-minimalistbaker-recipe-6.jpg

Autumn Chopped Salad by Espresso and Creamautumnchoppedsalad-1-1.jpg

Fall Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette by With Whit & SaltFall-Harvest-Salad.jpg

Roasted Cauliflower, Feta and Orzo Salad by Chrissy Teigen {photo by Savor Chic}1466611117102.jpg

Feel-Good Fall Salad by Gimme Some OvenAutumn-Harvest-Salad-Recipe-with-Sweet-Potatoes-Avocado-Cranberries-and-Pecans-1-1

Kale and Brussels Slaw by Sprouted Kitchen1448295911394

 

Tips For Stress-Free Family Photos with Young Children

Tips for Stress-FreeFamily Photos withYoung ChildrenA few months ago I wrote a heartfelt Instagram post all about why I prioritize getting professional family photos at least once a year. Especially at these ages they are truly growing so fast and they are such different little people each six months. The thing about family photos is we do them for the end result, but it is certainly a big financial investment, and aside from that, we know that it can be a somewhat stressful experience. From trying to find the perfect outfits for the whole family, to worrying how the kids will behave for the session, it’s not exactly anyone’s preferred way to spend an afternoon. BUT, it’s ALWAYS WORTH IT.

Since we’ve done this a time or seven and I take family photos myself, I thought I’d give you my expert opinion on how you can temper the sting of family photos and give you my best tips for stress-free family photos with young children.

Let go of the “perfect” smiling photo: If you have ever tried taking photos with young kids you know it’s nearly impossible to get a photo of everyone looking in the same direction at the same time, let alone have everyone giving their best/cute smiles all at the same time. A photographer can work some magic, but they can’t turn young kids into obedient robots, so don’t go into the shoot thinking about just getting that ONE GOOD smiling shot. Not only is it far fetched, but to be honest, those photos are boring. Who wants everyone smiling perfectly at the camera when you can have this: 9982

Let them be little: The best photos are the ones that capture the spirit of your family. The only way you are going to get these shots is by letting your kids run wild and free, be themselves, play, giggle and smile. The less direction you give them the better, because the more direction you give them the more they really don’t want to follow those directions anyways 😉

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Don’t be above bribery: There will be times where you need your kids to cooperate to a certain extent (come sit on mommy’s lap, give your brother a big hug, etc), for those times, don’t be above a mess-free bribe like a jelly bean or a smarty (don’t use chocolate or anything else that has the potential to get their clothes and hands super messy). You can also plan to go do something fun after, like get ice cream, as a reminder to be on their best behavior during the photo session. Bribery is not my typical go-to parenting strategy, but I have no problem using it in desperate times!

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Stress less: Kids can FEEL your energy. If you are stressed and frazzled and clearly not enjoying yourself because all you’re worrying about is your kids listening or looking a certain way or doing a certain thing, they will pick up on that and all of a sudden taking family photos is going to turn into a really NOT FUN experience. Seriously, just take a deep breath and trust your photographer to capture your family in all their crazy glory. You don’t need to worry about your kids being super well-behaved or perfect listeners, they’re kids, they’re not going to be perfect sweet angels! Your photographer doesn’t expect that and neither should you. Just go with the flow!

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HAVE FUN! Truly, genuinely have fun! Go into it telling your kids they just get to play and have fun, and then follow suit yourself. Family photos don’t need to be stressful. Find a photographer who is good with kids and families, who will set the vibe for a fun session and bring out the best in your kiddos 🙂

{All photos by Fiona Margo Photography, who is based out of Bainbridge/Seattle and truly could not recommend enough. She blew us away with the photos she got, the process was painless and fun and our kids — and us parents! — had a blast with her!}

 

Five Go-To Meals in the Denfeld House // Part II

We’ve all hit those meal planning lulls where you just feel like you can’t think of ANYTHING to make for dinner that week and if you have to look at one more Pinterest food board your eyes might start bleeding. I love hearing what other people are cooking up for dinner and this post has been one of my most popular, so I thought I’d do another installment with the dinners we’ve been loving lately. These are all recipes we’ve made at least twice and are a hit with the whole family. Hope you love them as much as we do!

Brown Butter Brussels Sprout Pasta with Hazelnuts: Admittedly this isn’t the healthiest dish on the list, but let me assure you it is worth every single calorie. YUM. My kids happen to LOVE Brussels sprouts, so this recipe really works in our house! You could easily add some grilled chicken to it to get some protein in there!Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts Pasta with Hazelnuts Recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com This pasta dish is amazing!

Creamy Chicken and Buttermilk Dumplings: This recipe is so comforting and if you get the Mirepoix from Trader Joe’s already chopped up it is crazyyyy easy and quick to make! This is definitely a fan favorite for the kiddos and perfect for the fall weather upon us.chicken + dumplings I howsweeteats.com

Creamy Polenta Bowl with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini: My kids happen to be obsessed with polenta so this dish is a hit in our house! I either half the butter/Parmesan or omit completely and just sprinkle Parmesan on top at the end. The addition of the pesto really takes this recipe to the next level. It’s a winner!

Stuffed Cypriot Chicken from Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals: Our French friends in Amsterdam made this dish for us when they had us over for dinner one night and it made such an impression on us we looked up the recipe and have been making it ever since. It’s actually a pretty simple dish that seems impressive, so a great one to do when you have guests … But we make it all the time! I highly recommend watching the video if you’re a visual learner. The use of wet wax paper to help the chicken get crisp on the outside but stay soft and juicy on the inside is so easy and was new-to-me!

Perfect Herb-Grilled Chicken: This recipe is out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook (which I highly recommend!) and I love making the seasoning blend in bulk then freezing in individual baggies so we can whip it up easily anytime (and none of the herbs go to waste this way!). Everyone who has tried this when we make it is totally impressed and asks for the recipe. It’s not only easy and incredibly flavorful but also super healthy! Image result for gwyneth paltrow it's all good

Potsticker Stir-Fry: This is an amazing, simple weeknight meal to make! It comes together really quickly and our favorite potstickers to use are the cilantro chicken wontons from Trader Joe’s! Corey is especially a fan of this ones and the kids gobble it up. 

{Seven Podcasts for 30-Something Women}

98A4DA45-1ACF-4B9C-8E63-146406D70E7D.pngThis is going to sound dramatic, but it’s 100% honest: Podcasts have changed my life. They inspire me, motivate me, give me hope, enlighten me, teach me … They’re truly incredible. If you’re a friend of mine in real life you have probably heard me quote a podcast or reference a podcast at least once. I am sure it gets annoying, but they are really that great! 

I often get asked how I find the time to listen to all the podcasts I listen to … It’s easy! I listen to a podcast when I get ready in the morning, while I clean the kitchen during nap time, while I prep dinner, while I cook dinner, while I fold laundry, while I edit photos, while I’m driving alone … Pretty much any time I am doing something that doesn’t require my mental attention (and when the kids aren’t around), I’m listening to a podcast. 

The thing about podcasts is that there are SO many out there, it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to begin. That’s where I come in. Below I’ve outlined my absolute favorite podcasts, why I love them and pointed you to a few of my favorite episodes of those podcasts. If you’re a podcaster, I hope you find at least one new one to listen to! And if you’ve never dabbled in podcasts… Get ready for your life to be changed!

I’m also always in the market for new podcasts, so if you have one to recommend please leave it in the comments! I’d be forever grateful! 

Goop Podcast: This is a must listen, especially if you are a 30-something woman! 90% of the episodes completely blow my mind and make me think about life in a totally different way — whether that be how I eat, exercise, mother, work, etc. Pretty much every episode is my favorite episode, but if I had to pick my top three for you to start with it would be:

Postpartum Anxiety & The Motherhood Shift

Lessons From The Other Side

What Turns You On

Dear Sugars: This was one of the first podcasts I ever started listening to. It’s sort of like Dear Abbie. Listeners write letters to the hosts, Cheryl Strayed (author of the book Wild) and Steve Almond, and ask for their advice. I find Cheryl and Steve to be so open-minded, thoughtful and smart with their responses. One series that has stuck with me since I first listened to it over a year ago was their infidelity series (a topic I am really intrigued by because my dad cheated on my mom and left our family and I grew up to experience several romantic betrayals myself). The series gave me perspective on infidelity I would have never had and gave me a lot to think about. The Dear Sugars podcast also introduced me to Esther Perel who I now have a total girl-crush on. Literally every sentence that comes out of her mouth is crazy profound — I could listen to her forever!

A few other favorite Dear Sugar episodes:

Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work (Most) Women Do

The Power of No With Oprah Winfrey Part 1 and Part 2

Sibling Rivalry

The Inevitable Guilt of Motherhood

Coffee + Crumbs: This is a really easy listen each week on the topic of motherhood. It feels like you’re sitting with a group of friends chatting about the good and hard times that come with becoming a mother. The girls make me laugh, cry and nod my head in constant agreement. A few of my favorite episodes:

The One With All The Birth Stories

When Love Feels Heavy

The (Working) Girl Next Door Parts 1 and 2

Motherhood and Loneliness

The Lively Show: This is a relatively new-to-me podcast that I found through Sydney Poulton. I have really admired how she has grown and changed over the years and consider her very centered and wise. She recently recommended this podcast covering the basics on the Law of Attraction and I have been hooked ever since. This podcast is so inspiring and enlightening. After I listen to it I feel empowered to chase my dreams and goals and truly feel like I have the capability to achieve anything I put my soul and mind to. I highly recommend you start with this episode then go from there. I also found this episode on the science behind crystals SUPER fascinating — and of course ran out and bought my first five not long after!

Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations: Do I even need to provide a description here? It’s Oprah for crying out loud! In this podcast she sits down with notable authors, celebrities, artists and more and each time she speaks to someone she really pulls out some profound life lessons, as Oprah does. You can’t go wrong with any of the episodes but some of the most life-changing for me have been:

Dr. Shefali Tsabary: Conscious Parenting Can Change The World

Sheryl Sandberg How to Build Resilience and Find Joy After Loss

Maya Angelou: Part 1 and Part 2

The Longest Shortest Time: This is another parenthood podcast that I really enjoy. I would say it’s less touchy-feely-mushy than Coffee and Crumbs. There’s a huge range of topics and I love the host Hillary Frank. They say it’s the “parenting show for everyone” and I would totally agree — no matter your parenting style/beliefs/preferences there is an episode you will love and relate to. A few of my favorites: 

The Accidental Gay Parents series 

The Fun & the Chaos Part 1 and Part 2

Terry Gross on Not Having Kids

How I Built This: Not being an entrepreneur myself it might be surprising just how much I LOVE this podcast. It tells the stories of how companies like Warby Parker, Spanx, WeWork, Barre3, Lululemon, Starbucks and so many others were started. It is so fascinated to hear the twists and turns that eventually lead to these incredibly successful businesses. Listening to this podcast makes me feel like with enough hard work and persevere, passion and commitment, you can achieve the things you set out to. A few of my favorite episodes are:

Spanx: Sara Blakely

Barre3: Sadie Lincoln

Patagonia: Yvon Choinard

Warby Parker Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal

Zumba: Beto Perez & Alberto Perlman

Airbnb: Joe Gebbia

Instagram: Kevin Systrom &. Mike Krieger

Kid-Approved Healthy Paleo Banana Muffins/Bread

Every time I post about these banana muffins/bread on my Instagram story I get lots of questions about the recipe, which gets a little tricky because I modify one I found online! Before I did Whole30 in January I would make this recipe from Cookie and Kate and it definitely felt healthy enough for us. But once I did Whole30 I wanted to experiment and see if I could make a few easy substitutions to make the recipe paleo and make me feel even better about giving these to the kids. Simply subbing almond flour and nut milk does the trick for the most part! The muffins are sweetened with maple syrup or honey, so they are refined-sugar free and made with coconut oil — a much healthier alternative to all the butter you usually find in banana bread!

You can make this recipe into muffins or banana bread. The muffins tend to be my go-to, even though I’m not sure why because they become way too easy to just grab and scarf in no time at all! The kids are seriously obsessed with these and I end up having to hide the muffins after we make them (out of sight out of mind??) so they aren’t asking for literally seven a day HAHA! We love these as an afternoon snack or something easy to grab on our way out the door in the morning. They are SUPER moist and don’t taste “healthy” at all. Hope you enjoy them in your home as much as we do in ours!

KID-APPROVEDHEALTHY PALEOBANANA MUFFINS

Kid-Approved Healthy Paleo Banana Muffins/Bread
recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate healthy banana bread recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup (we almost always use Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Maple Syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup homemade almond milk (or any unsweetened almond milk or other nut milk) or water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 2 cups almond flour (I use Trader Joe’s Blanched Almond Flour)
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan if baking bread or line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey/maple syrup together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and nut milk or water. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes if baking bread and 22-25 minutes if baking cupcakes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean) Let the bread/muffins cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer  to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Anniversary Day Date in Willamette Valley Wine Country

This past weekend my mom came over and hung out with the kids while Corey and I headed out to wine country for a little day date to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary! Sometimes I think day dates are even more fun than evening dates, but it’s definitely hard to choose. I guess you can’t go wrong with a little adult time #amiright?! 😉

We started our day with brunch at Jory — the restaurant at The Allison Inn & Spa. Corey and I have stayed here overnight a couple times and their breakfast rivals some of my absolute Portland favorites — it’s definitely worth the drive out there! We started with their beignets and you just cannot pay them a visit without ordering some. They come out hot with fresh cream and berries and basically melt in your mouth. Oh my gosh I feel like I need some more right.now!

After stuffing our bellies we headed over to taste wine at a new winery in the Willamette Valley – L’Angolo. I have to admit what really brought me to this place was the gorgeous tasting room. It has floor-to-ceiling windows all around the structure with 360 degree views of beautiful grape vines and an impressive vaulted ceiling. We were eyeing the indoor/outdoor fireplace knowing it would be a dreamy place to watch the weather patterns pass along during the fall, winter and spring months. We also pretty much had the place to ourselves and Jacob, the hospitality manager on site, was so charming and knowledgable we couldn’t speak more highly of our visit. We walked out as their newest wine club members and can’t wait to return to pick up our first wine shipment in November.

After our long stay at L’Angolo we made a quick stop at Penner-Ash, a wine country favorite. Stunning views, plenty of space to sit and a large grassy area to walk and admire the grounds. Instead of tasting we went straight to a bottle of Pinot Noir Rose and casually sipped a glass before heading home to greet our sweet babes.

It was such a special day and a great reminder to take the time to focus on each other, do things we love together and celebrate the beautiful life we’ve built. Cheers to another seven(ty) years! 😉

P.S. Apparently I like really popular things because this dress and cardigan are both totally sold out. If you scroll to the bottom of the post I chose a few other darling little white dresses that I love!

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Little White Dresses

My Camera + Editing Tips & Tricks

I was blown away by the response on Instagram when I mentioned I might do a post on what camera equipment I use along with how I edit my photos! I am always happy to share any insight I can, but I will say, I am not an expert. Pretty much everything I’ve learned has been through a ton of practice and trial and error.

First things first: I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and I have two lenses — a 50mm 1.4 and a 28-135mm. I use my 50mm 80% of the time and I am obsessed with it. I’ve heard the 50mm 1.8 is a great option if you aren’t wanting to spend as much on a lens.  If I can recommend one lens to invest in, it would hands down be the 50mm. It is small and gives great quality photos, can be used to shoot in low light and gives that beautiful blurred background I love so much. I mostly only use my wider angle lens when I’m shooting interiors or for travel photography.

If you’re just starting out and looking for an entry-level camera, I started with a Canon Rebel and it was a great one to use to learn. My biggest advice if you’re just starting out with a DSLR is learn how to shoot in manual mode from the very beginning. This can seem intimidating at first, but you just need to learn the basics — aperture, shutter and ISO — and you can go from there.

This leads me to my next disclaimer. I think you can approach photography from two sides — art or science. Science means you are super knowledgable and obsessed with getting your settings just right — you believe there is a “right” and “wrong” way to shoot and follow all the “rules”. I am more of the art type. I know what I like, and I shoot that way, whether that be right or wrong. I don’t mess with my settings much and I honestly couldn’t even really explain how my camera works very well. I just know from practicing a lot what I’m doing and I am still in a constant state of learning and discovery. So, basically, take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m far from an expert! And if you’re a real-deal photographer and you’re reading this — it will probably make you laugh and maybe even roll your eyes, and hey, that’s okay. You do you! But if you like the way my photos look and want to replicate the look and feel, that I can help you with 🙂

Aperture // I really like the look of a blurred background (shallow depth of field), so I rarely put my aperture at a number higher than f/4.5. Of course if I’m traveling and want an entire landscape in in focus, or taking photos of my home, I’ll use a larger aperture.

ISO // Here’s where my non-professional status shows through — I often keep my ISO on “Auto” — GASP!!! The only time I manually mess with it is if I am taking portraits inside in low light, I make sure it’s on a higher number to help let in a bit more light, but sometimes that means sacrificing the sharpness and accepting a little more grain to the photos.

Shutter // I am not ever really overly concerned with my shutter speed, I use it more as the last component to the “exposure triangle” (Aperture/ISO/Shutter). I mostly shoot stationary objects, but when my subjects are moving (perhaps a squirrelly toddler?) I make sure I use a faster shutter speed (higher number).

EXPOSURE // I tend to like my photos to be super bright and light, so I almost always over-expose them on the meter by one or two clicks.

LIGHTROOM EDITING

When I edit photos on my computer, I use Adobe Lightroom. I use the presets in the Mastin Labs Fuji Pro Pack almost exclusively. Which preset I use from the pack depends on what I was shooting — for my most recent photos at the beach I used the Fuji 160NS – C.

One thing I really love about these presets is once you purchase them you get a few videos in your inbox that show you exactly how to use them to their full potential. It was so helpful for me since I am definitely a beginner level with Lightroom!

I don’t do anything super tricky when editing — first, I choose which present I want to use and then I adjust the exposure, contrast and saturation (usually increasing most of them). A lot of times I’ll stop there, but if the photo still doesn’t look “right” to me, I’ll adjust the Blacks or Whites and Shadows/Highlights. And on the rarest occasion I go into the HSL / Color / B&W section and adjust the red and orange tones to fix skin tone issues if necessary. But that is very rare. That’s honestly it! Easy peasy, right?

Here are some before and afters for you to take a peek at. I’ve also included my camera settings as well as the settings for each of the “afters” to give you an idea of where things landed.

Before:AfterCamera settings: f/8.0 / ISO 3200 / 1/8000 sec

Lightroom Settings: Temp 0 / Tint 0 / Exposure +.40 / Contrast +54 / Highlights -47 / Shadows +30 / Whites -53 /  Blacks +100 / Clarity 0 / Vibrance -9 / Saturation -5Before:After1

Camera Settings: f/2.8 / ISO 3200 / 1/60 sec

Lightroom Settings: Temp 0 / Tint 0 / Exposure +.60 / Contrast +58 / Highlights -63 / Shadows +33 / Whites -41 /  Blacks +88 / Clarity 0 / Vibrance -10 / Saturation -5]

Before:After2
Camera Settings: f/2.2 / ISO 3200 / 1/500 sec

Lightroom Settings: Temp 0 / Tint 0 / Exposure +.10 / Contrast +49 / Highlights -63 / Shadows -2 / Whites +12 /  Blacks +91 / Clarity 0 / Vibrance -10 / Saturation +17]Before:After3Camera Settings: f/1.4 / ISO 3200 / 1/3200 sec

Lightroom Settings: Temp 0 / Tint 0 / Exposure +.40 / Contrast +899 / Highlights -90 / Shadows -+43 / Whites -88 /  Blacks +82 / Clarity 0 / Vibrance -10 / Saturation -13]

iPHONE EDITING

The same company that made the presets I use also have an iPhone app called Filmborn, so it won’t surprise you that I use that app to edit almost all of my iPhone photos. The interface honestly seems kind of complicated, but much like my Lightroom editing, I keep things pretty simple here too. I usually just choose my photo and apply one of their filters — 99% of the time I use one of these three: Fujifilm 160NS or 400H or Kodak P160. I am obsessed with the look of film, but don’t actually know how to shoot film so their presets and this app give me the ability to get as close as I can to that film look without actually shooting film!

Once I’ve chosen the filter, I usually bump up the exposure, contrast and saturation and them boom! done! See — told you it wasn’t hard 😉

I feel like I could probably go on and on about photography, but this should cover the basics of the equipment I use, the editing software and presets I use and then my typical edits. If you want more specifics on anything or if anything wasn’t clear, please feel free to ask in the comments and I will answer!

{this post contains some affiliate links, which means I make a few pennies for sharing the love with you! I truly appreciate you supporting lizdenfeld.com!}

Day Trip to Cannon Beach

Corey’s taking a little staycation this week so we decided to kick it off with a bang and take a day trip to Cannon Beach (and check one off the Denfeld Summer Bucket List!). Temperatures in Portland were supposed to get near 90, so we thought it would be the perfect day to beat the heat and head to cooler temps along the coast.

I was so impressed with how well the kids did being off their schedules and with the hour and a half car ride. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but our kids seriously hate the car. Any drive lasting longer than 25 minutes and one or both start melting down (mostly James). They each napped a little on the way there and back and the rest of the time Elodie colored and James snacked on Cheerios (haha!).

I reached out for Cannon Beach recommendation on Instagram before we left Portland and I got lots of great ones! We ended up grabbing lunch at Pelican Brew Pub and a quick pint at Public Coast. We started the beach day at Tolovana Park and then stopped off along Hemlock and Center Streets and walked down to Haystack Rock. Of all the (many) times I’ve visited Cannon, this was the closest I’d ever gotten to Haystack Rock! It was such a beautiful day (albeit really windy). The kids were seriously in heaven and all their smiles and delighted squeals made me so glad we decided to make the day trip!

If you find yourself in Cannon Beach, here are a few other spots you should check out: Sea Level Bakery for pastries and good coffee (if you’re a coffee snob like us!), Bill’s Tavern for fish & chips or Pizza a Feta for a delicious slice!

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{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

What To Wear For Family Photos

This weekend, we finally had our family photos taken! We ended up going with a variation of Option 1 here and I think it turned out really well! I ended up deciding I didn’t want my dress to be the focal point of the pictures, which is why I went with the more neutral dress for me (even though I am obsessed with that floral maxi and wish I had an excuse to buy it!!).

I had a couple questions on Instagram about how I pick our outfits for family photos and having been on both sides of the camera, I thought I’d post some of my best advice along with some examples. I know that picking outfits for the whole family can be stressful and intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be! I find that a little planning ahead goes a long way so you’re not standing in your closet the night before having a freak out (not that I’ve ever been there or done that 😉

Start with your location/setting and work backwards for a color scheme: Are you going to be taking photos in a really vibrant, colorful place? Will you be in your home that is mostly neutrals? What colors will complement or clash with the colors in the environment where you’ll be taking photos? Do you typically like lots of bright pops of color in your photos, or do you prefer neutrals? What will your photos be used for — to be framed in your home? For a holiday card? These are all questions you can ponder to help you start thinking of a color scheme for your family’s outfits. You can take inspiration from your location to decide on a color palette/scheme, or equally as important, decide what colors to avoid. Speaking of color schemes…

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Decide on a color scheme before you start deciding on clothing items. Once you’ve taken inspiration from your location on what sorts of colors you want to wear, you can use a color palette to round out the rest. A quick search on Pinterest for anything from “family photo color scheme” to “neutral color palette” to “blush color palette for clothes” can give you tons of inspiration and direction.

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photos by kati dimoff

Coordinate don’t matchCoordinating and matching are different. Matching means you’re all wearing a white top and blue jeans or you’re all wearing the exact same pattern. Coordinating means the color scheme you’re all wearing works together and your patterns aren’t clashing. A good way to know if your looks coordinate is by imagining that all colors and patterns are being worn on one person (got this tip from the lovely Jane Johnson) — if you wouldn’t wear the prints together or the colors together in one outfit, then they probably don’t coordinate well.

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Make sure you’re comfortable and you’re not wearing anything too “fussy”. If you aren’t comfortable, or you’re wearing something that only looks good from certain angles, or tucked in just so, it’s going to show in the photos. And if you’re wrangling your kids for most of the shoot, chances are your outfit isn’t going to stay perfectly in place. Choose pieces where this won’t be a problem.

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photos by olivia strohm

Try to avoid large-scale prints. Or, if you choose a large-scale print know that the eye will go there first when looking at photos. Perhaps choose a more neutral palette for the print so it isn’t too overwhelming. Smaller prints will blend in more and are typically a little easier to coordinate with.

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Don’t feel like you need to be super dressed up. You want the photos to be a true reflection of you at this moment in your life. If you rarely dress up and you’re more comfortable in a t-shirt in jeans, there are still ways to make that look cute for family photos! Going casual can actually be quite cute!

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photos by olivia strohm

I hope this was helpful! If you have any more questions – feel free to ask in the comments, I’d love to help!

 

Our Family Photos // Summer 2017

I’ve had a vision to go back to our wedding venue to take family photos with the kids for a while now and this weekend we finally made it happen! The photos were done by our friend Vic Garcia who also took the photos from Elodie’s first birthday, which are truly some of my favorite pictures we have of our family. I’m so glad he got to capture us now with sweet baby James here too. I couldn’t recommend him enough — he is incredibly talented and seriously awesome with kids. He had James giggling up a storm and Elodie showing off for him! I am so thrilled with the way our photos turned out and I already know they will be treasured for years and years to come.

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