this year's family christmas pictures + card!

Friday, November 27

Oh my gosh you guys. Family pictures.
You know, there should really be a Family Pictures Fairy something. Very similar to the Tooth Fairy. Except upon completion of family pictures, the Family Pictures Fairy would appear with a boom box rigged with the Rocky theme song in a show of solidarity and announcement of triumph. Are you getting this vision?

In a very last minute decision to actually get our crap together for Christmas this year, I reached out to Victoria Greener last month, and she was kind enough to work a quick mini session into her busy holiday schedule. (Thank you Victoria!) The day that we picked ended up being reallllly cold for the kids, because of course it was, so walking away from the shoot I was sure that we had gotten exactly zero decent shots. But because Victoria is truly a miracle worker, I was proven wrong. Everett's face cracks me up in most of them, because he is just so over it, but you know what I don't blame the poor kid, and this is four-years-old after all ... these pictures will help us look back and remember that solidly. ;)

These last two photos are my favorite because they were the very last ones we took, and Everett was deeeesperate to be done. So we bribed him with the Pez that were waiting for him in the warm car, if he could just muster ONE MORE SMILE. And this is the result. The gerbil-iest of gerbil smiles. But we will take it! haha

And now, I hope you'll excuse me for just a sec while I brag, but DUDE THESE ARE OUR CHRISTMAS CARDS. The day after Thanksgiving!! As in, before Valentine's Day. I'm blowing my own mind right now.

It's so fun comparing this year's Christmas cards with the photos that we used for last year's. This is Isla's first appearance on a Christmas card in an official capacity, and watching us go from one tiny Everett + a gigantic belly, to a grown up set of siblings in just a year is insane to me. Makes me wonder what next year's card will look like. (Spoiler: there won't be a belly. ha!)

This year, I designed our cards with Shutterfly, and have been SO completely happy with the results. The colors were printed with accuracy, the design options were beautiful with tons of room for customization, and I was so pleasantly surprised on the turn around time from design to delivery. We also chose to print ours on a paper with a light sheen to it, and I ended up loving the result. (P.S. Everything is 40% off RIGHT NOW)
It was tricky to decide on only one card for this year, so we decided to go with both the framed holiday card, and the shimmering script card! This tri-fold, year-in-review card was also a favorite, but if I'm being totally honest, on the night I was putting these together, I could not for the life of me come up with enough stats and cool facts to fill the card in. *hides face in shame* One of those nights. One of those years.

Boom shakalaka. I'm loving this feeling! I should do this every November.
In conclusion, 
it is my pleasure to officially welcome you to Christmas season.
Let's do this.

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Share and celebrate your family update. Shop Shutterfly for personalized holiday cards that are unique, meaningful and that are just the way you want.

I know, another all black outfit. But stay with me here ...

Wednesday, November 25

Boots: Target, Jeans: F21, Tunic: Target

OK, I know what you're thinking:
WE GET IT SYD, YOU LIKE BLACK. All black all the time. But listen, all black doesn't photograph very well. Like, what are we even looking at here. What materials are present? Is it cotton? Is it a knit? Are those ripped jeans or leggings that realllllly need to be replaced?

I know. I know all of this. But I'm posting it anyway because even though you probably can't tell the difference between this black top and the other 5 in your closet, when you see it in real life, you'll understand. You'll understand that not (at least) trying it on would be tragic. And you'll know that I've got your back. A flattering, warm, thick tunic with really cool fabric. And a zipper detail. I mean, you guys.

and now for the annual climb through snow canyon post

Monday, November 23

We're here visiting St George again this week, where the "it's November" memo never arrived so everything's remained firmly planted in early-October, branches still stuffed full of greenish-yellow leaves and all. But we will Thanksgiving the heck out of it anyway, and try not to humble brag about it while we do so. Don't mind us not wearing coats.

So Snow Canyon! You remember Snow Canyon. Of course you do because Snow Canyon is somehow always here on this blog, with its easy, majestic, lolloping, clay mounds calling to us semi-annually as the holidays and family gatherings allow. It soothes a homesick heart like only a cactus on a red rock can.

Let's take a walk.

And today's demo of Everett and his four-ness:

Between the two, I'm gonna have to go with the evil smile as my favorite.

This is one of the greatest things she's doing right now. Her tiny little voice, eloquently saying "hi" while tipping her head forward to get a better look at who she's addressing. 10 times cuter during a face time call ... these two, giant blue eyes, slowly tipping into the screen. I almost just died, thinking about it again.

And because no trip to Snow Canyon is complete without a sister picture at the top ...

love you miss you mean it

holiday hustle

Thursday, November 19

Surprise! We all blinked and now here we are, a week out from Thanksgiving. If we're being honest, it's actually not much of a surprise. We know the drill. September through December flies by in two seconds flat, and January through April takes 800 years. So. In honor of these speedy holiday hours, minutes and seconds, I'm here today with beauty tips to help you make them count. As in, tips that will give you the ability to completely change up your look in less than 5 minutes.
Four occasions, four easy looks. Gentlemen, start your engines.

I would say, out of all the holiday engagements, the family gathering is the perfect time to look the most like your natural self. Your healthy, shining, OMG-I-totally-got-8-hours-of-sleep-last-night, self. Great Aunt Mildred likes to see that you're taking care of yourself, and your skin, so now's the perfect time to use the products that will make you glow until you remember to get better at drinking more water every day ...

First prep with a swipe of Pixi Glow Tonic, and a few spritzes of Pixi Glow Mist. They have a cult following for a reason.

Brush the bronzer side of the E.l.f. Bronzed Beauty Set across your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline, then circle the blush on the apples of your cheeks. I like to dab Nuxe-Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil Shimmer across my cheekbones and eyelids. And if you're into cleavage, I bet it would look great there too. Finally, a swipe of NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick in the color Harmonica. Don't worry about eyebrows, or lashes. This look is about your skin.

Speaking of focusing on the skin, I must interject here to say that I recently obtained my very first set of makeup brushes with the E.l.f. Luxury Brush Collection, and it's pretty much been a game changer for me. It's one of those things where you THINK you're doing fine on your own before you have them, but then after you do, you're like, wow I really could've used that concealer brush like 10 years ago. Still have yet to find a use for the fan-shaped one though.

To hustle the no-fuss, "family gathering" look into a night out with your boo ... or bae, I guess is the word now ... you'll need lashes and a matte lipstick. I love these Sonia Kashuk Full Volume Lashes with a helping of mascara on top if you're feeling bold, and then this E.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose. It's a very Kylie Jenner color, that doesn't look like you're trying to be Kylie Jenner if you don't have Kylie Jenner lips -- a pro or con depending on what you're into. Bottom line, it's stinking flattering. And the matte is very now, darling. 

Bonus points for a date night turtleneck. Embrace your inner Keaton.

I don't know if you believe in holding a "friendsgiving" before actual Thanksgiving, but I find it to be a lovely notion and think that if you're willing to bake two turkey's in one week, then high five you!

For a dinner party with friends, I think it's easier to get away with a bolder look. Probably won't keep your son from asking you what happened to your face, but your friends will totally love it. I stuck with a neutral palette, keeping my lips nude and doing a warm bronzy blend with NYX Love in Paris Shadow Palette in Merci Beaucoup.

I prepped my eyelids with Nuxe-Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil Shimmer and then used a wet shadow brush to give the color application more intensity.

It is so weird to see yourself with that much eye shadow on. But it's the holidays people, why not.

Next on your list of engagements? A holiday party. You are obviously super popular, so of course you would have a friendsgiving and a holiday party to attend back-to-back. What a beauty conundrum. But have no fear, your make-up wipes are here.

To switch over to more of a deck-the-halls vibe in less than 5, grab a dry wipe and rub all your eye shadow off. This is actually impossible because you're using a dry wipe, but that's sort of the point. You'll be left with a slight bronzy highlight around your lids, that just needs to be topped off with a swipe of your favorite dark lip color.

I love this Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Mulberry Nude, that you can use as-is, or layer over top of a deep brown to give it a really pretty, rich hue.

And there you have it. Your face is totally ready for anything this next month has to throw at it. Unless you have an occasion that requires a cat-eye. Then you're on your own.

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Beauty collection in stores and online.
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