A LOOK INTO RED BEANS CLOTHING

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Well it’s late July and pushing 90+ degrees outside, and I’m planning my girls fall and winter wardrobe. I told y’all I do this. A season in advance. I know it’s crazy, but trunk shows are my weakness. Trunk shows allow you to be the designer in creating totally custom pieces you wouldn’t find in any boutique. Everything from the pattern to the fabric and trim is completely customizable.

One of my favorite lines is Red Beans. It’s a trunk show company based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and run by two of the sweetest sisters you’ve ever met – Mollie and Glynes. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mollie and Glynes now have 6 children all under the age of 13 – talk about a busy life! Their children are the ultimate source of inspiration for Red Beans clothing. They are a little mix of everything, from fun and funky to playful and curious.

Mollie and Glynes design pieces with their children in mind, creating outfits that can go from play to special occasion with unique styles and durable fabrics made to stand up to the test of childhood. They love colorful, fun fabrics mixed with more traditional patterns for classic style with a funky twist. Wait until you see their latest collection of fabrics and styles – I think you’ll agree that Red Beans is a creative recipe in children’s clothing!

Each of Red Beans‘ pieces can be created in any fabric from the current season’s collection. This is your opportunity to have fun creating personalized outfits, made just for your little ones! What I love about this company is that you can create perfectly coordinating pieces for your littles without being too “matchy matchy.” Red Beans does such a nice job of creating age-appropriate pieces for all of your children.

There are many new Red Beans patterns this season, too. You may recognize some of these patterns as they are classic Alice Kathleen & Company patterns that Red Beans now offers as a part of the Red Beans collection. It is so much fun to see how you create beautiful pieces using the 60 available fabrics Red Beans offers!

As a trunk show company, Red Beans is made up of a network of Hostesses and customers who are just like Mollie and Glynes with lots of heart, and tons of determination. This season, I’m excited to be hosting a show with a couple of friends and would love to help you with your order. We will have the Red Beans and Alice Kathleen & Company trunks in Baton Rouge August 3-5. Our children are of all ages (newborn to age 7), and we have been customers of both brands for years. We are familiar with both trunks and cannot wait to help you customize your little one’s closet. We are excited to finally host and hope you can make our show! In addition to our show, we will be placing phone and email orders. 

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MAMA TALK MONDAY: PARENTING TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT CHILDREN

As my girls grow older and older, their distinctive personalities (and distinctive differences) become more and more evident. When I was pregnant with Charlotte Cate, I remember thinking my girls would be different, but not this different. I mean they are from the same gene pool.

Eloise is seven going on seventeen. She’s sweet, incredibly focused, tough, reserved, independent, particular, intuitive, smart, confident, and yet somewhat sassy. She’s mature beyond her years. She’s trying to find her way in the world. She wants to make decisions for herself. She believes she’s an adult and therefore wants to discipline her sister. She’s learning how to handle things when things don’t go as planned … all with grace and poise.

Charlotte Cate is our fun-loving, free-spirited, rough-play-loving four-year-old. She loves playing superheroes and wrestling and beauty-shop and Barbies. Snuggling is her favorite. She wants to be bigger than she is. She’s super determined and doesn’t give up easily. She believes she can ask for anything until she gets what she wants (and this sometimes works). Yet, she’s sensitive and hates being “in trouble” when she’s disciplined for something.

My girls are delightful in so many different ways. We cherish their differences. But their differences, sometimes, make playing together a bit of a challenge (especially on long, hot, summer days). My husband, the youngest of four children, reminds me that siblings disagree. That this is normal. My co-worker often laughs telling me about growing up with an older sister. But the only-child in me still worries a little that their differences will make it difficult for them to be friends in the future.

I have to remember that my girls need different things from me as their mama. My parenting must adjust to their individual personalities. As simple as this sounds, it’s incredibly difficult in the moment. Patience is something I must practice. While the days are long, the years are short. My hope is that our two girls know the love we have for them and the love they have for each other despite their differences.

Photography by Stefanie Cascio Photography.

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS

PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS

Many of you have asked, “How do you get such great photos of your kids?” Trial and Error. I’ve always loved photography, but learning a DSLR takes lots of time and lots of practice. Especially with moving objects such as young children.

What camera do I shoot with?

I have a Canon T6i. I’m obsessed with its ease of use, and the wifi capability is a game-changer! Using the Canon app, I’m able to upload photos directly to my iPhone. This feature is especially helpful on vacations or special events when I need that instant gratification and the ability to share with others quickly.

Previously, I had a Canon XTi, which I loved, but wanted some updated features and capabilities that the T6i offered.

While I do think the camera is important, the lens is equally, if not more, important. I do not shoot with the included kit lens; they just don’t give me the photos my heart desires. Good lenses are investments. But keep in mind that your lenses can be used with future cameras. I suggest investing in a lens that stays open at 2.8 when zoomed in. It’s pricey, but that’s what it takes to achieve the results you want.  Continue reading “PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS”

SPOTLIGHT: MACK + RO ILLUSTRATIONS

SPOTLIGHT: MACK + RO ILLUSTRATIONS

Mother’s Day seems like the most appropriate day to introduce all you mamas to Mack + Ro Illustrations. As a mama, precious artwork that reminds me of my girls gives me all the feels! Thanks to Instagram, I stumbled upon her artwork, and it was love at first sight! She is super talented, y’all.

Artist Jen is mother to two boys – Macklin and Ronan. She says, “Creativity has always been my life source. It motivates me, gives me energy, and fills my heart and soul. My hope is that these illustrations bring you as much joy as they brought me while painting them!”

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How does it work?

Before placing your order, you’ll need to pick out a photo of “your people”.

Some tips when it comes to your photo:

  • It is helpful to have a “full length” photo where everyone’s whole body is included (head to toe).
  • The picture should have people dressed in the clothes you want painted.
  • Don’t worry about the setting – it will not be included in the painting.
  • If you’d like to send Jen your photo before placing your order to make sure it works, please send to: mackandroshop@gmail.com. She is able to complete everything over email, which is super helpful for busy mamas!

All paintings are on professional watercolor paper sized 5.5 x 8.5″.

Jen has created a special code for all Mama etc. readers! Use code MAMAETC for 10% off your purchase. 

I absolutely adore the two portraits she did of my girls (You may recognize their suits from my sister, sister post). Thank you so much, Jen! And Happy Mother’s Day!

SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVIN IS EASY

SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVIN IS EASY

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“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high”

With Spring Break in the past, that means Summer is right around the corner. In one month my alarm will no longer be set, and I couldn’t be more excited! We will be footloose and fancy free. While I love the structure and routine the school year gives us, there’s something to be said for the ease of the summer.

What do your kids look forward to in the summer? Is it summer camp? Is it sleeping in? I know mine enjoy the slow pace of our summer mornings. Waking up, staying in pjs, and not rushing to be anywhere. We live without a schedule for the months of June and July. While I may register each of the girls for one summer camp, camps don’t fill our calendar.

I much prefer being noncommittal. I love spontaneity. I much prefer things happening on a whim in the summertime. the pool. the movies. two-hour lunches. sprinklers. sno cones. shopping. day trips to New Orleans. popsicles. sleepovers. books. picnics. visiting friends and family. ice cream. bicycle rides. walks. lemonade. museums. etc.

Outfit Details: Surf Bazaar Lounge Tunic // Ray-Ban Round Fleck sunglasses // Le Papier Studio custom silhouette charm necklace // Nellystella Ava Dress // Nellystella Wren Dress // Las Bayadas La Lucia Beach Blanket // Friendship bracelets (made by Eloise)

Photography by Stefanie Cascio Photography.

WE ARE A BASKETBALL FAMILY

WE ARE A BASKETBALL FAMILY

As I continue to unveil who Mama etc., you should know …

We are a basketball family. My husband, Mark, coaches high school basketball so we eat, live, and breathe basketball … nearly year-round. During the season, my girls and I look forward to games. They have cheerleader and Bruinette costumes, and it’s always a debate over which one to wear. All three of us (Eloise, Charlotte Cate, and I) are at every home game; and we attend most away games. On occasion, I’m known to get a babysitter for the girls on school nights so I can catch a game solo. So much is invested into these teams being a coach’s wife, that I care too much not to go. Being a coach’s family is a way of life. It’s hard work; we share our Papa with a basketball team full of high school boys and their families, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s a life we absolutely love.

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As you can see, the girls love the excitement and entertainment of game nights. I’m often asked, do y’all really go to every home game? Yes. Even on school nights? Yes. It’s important to realize different things work for different families. Bedtime isn’t an issue, at least not yet, on game nights. The girls go to the games having already finished homework, eaten dinner, and taken baths. While running on the court is always a favorite after the game, it’s a privilege reserved for Friday nights. The girls change into pajamas for the car ride home. And if I’m lucky, they fall asleep in the car.

As mamas, we need to remember balance. It’s okay to let the day-to-day rules slide from time-to-time. Learn to let things go, take time to relax, and have fun!

Outfit DetailsTwo Sisters Bows // Custom cheerleader uniforms

RAISING STRONG GIRLS

RAISING STRONG GIRLS

Raising girls might be one of the hardest jobs there is in the world. Especially in a society where we’re taught to be a certain size or have a certain shape. A society where appearance matters. A society where if you’re not pretty enough, you’re not good enough.

It’s important, as mamas (and papas), that we instill confidence in our girls. That we show them how important they are. That we teach them to break through barriers. That they know they can do anything. That it’s important to be themselves. We must instill in them to be funny, strong, fierce, courageous, adventurous, silly, creative, assertive, proud, wild, stubborn. Instill in them to be powerful. Let them know we love whoever they are, and that they change for no one!

Charlotte Cate is an example of one of these strong girls of today. She’s spunky and strong-willed. She loves superheroes, but also loves princesses. She loves Nike shorts and messy hair, but also loves fairy princess costumes and bows. She loves wrestling, but also loves snuggling. She’s not afraid of anyone, and will put you in your place if you deserve it. While she’s challenging to parent as a young child, I hope she never changes. I hope her strong will and confidence push her through times of hesitation or uncertainty in her life. The world needs more Charlotte Cates, for the future is female!

Charlotte Cate’s teacher recommended the book, Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker. It became a fast favorite in our home. It showcases more than 175 photographs of girls ages 5 to 18. It shows the the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves.

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Outfit Details: Two Sisters Bows crystal bow // Fairy Princess dress (super comfortable and not itchy) // Hunter boots