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Love is in the Details

Favorite accessories for family photo shoots


This post is written by the fabulously talented local photographer, Kristin Eldridge, featuring her favorite accessories for photo shoots.

How to Accessorize for your Family Photo 

by Kristin Eldridge, Southern California family photographer

Love is in the details. And when it comes to a family photo, the details can take a photo from good to great!

I generally guide my clients to choose two main colors and mix and match within that color palette.  But, what really makes a the outfits special are the accessories.  I’ve put together a list of favorite accessories for photo shoots.

Of course, you don’t need to throw them ALL into your ensemble, but a few key pieces will make all the difference!

1.  Suspenders. Girls don’t get to have all the fun!  Adding these to your little guy’s simple outfit gives it that POP!

2.  Belts. For boys or girls, moms or dads, an interesting belt polishes off the outfit.

3.  Leggings. These can be in a pattern or just a fun color.  And tights work the same way!  It’s just that extra little step!

4.  Fun shoes! Colored converse are an easy way for boys to accessorizes, but for girls the sky’s the limit.  Use your footwear to tie in an accent color.

5.  Bow ties.  J Crew is my favorite place to shop for kids’ accessories and their bow tie selection is unbeatable.

6.  Statement necklaces. This is for moms and it can be as simple as what’s pictured to a full blown STATEMENT!  What matters is tying in a fun color and accenting a simple top.

7.  Hair accessories. You don’t have to be wearing a headband with a big flower to use hair accessories.  These simple pins from Anthropolgie would be perfect accent pieces!

8.  Scarfs. A scarf can work just like a statement necklace.  Just wear a solid top and add a patterned scarf to punch up the color.

Taking just a few of these favorite accessories for photo shoots can really add an extra element of interest to the photo. Here’s an example of a family rocking a few of the accessories mentioned above. It’s casually perfect!

How to Accessorize for Your Family Photo

Disclosure: Kristin Eldridge is a longtime Tiny Oranges partner 

Bringing Sexy Back To Parenting

Orange County Family Lawyer

I had a little chuckle when I saw our Sponsor, Orange County family lawyer, Darlynn Morgan‘s guest post title today and I was intrigued to find out how family estate planning could bring sexy back to parenting. But I have to say, she makes a very compelling argument. Make sure to read to the end of the post to get the info on her three free workshops this month.

Read on…

Bringing Sexy Back to Parenting 

“I’ll admit it. I was never a huge Ashton Kutcher fan until I watched his acceptance speech from the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.

If you haven’t watched the clip yet, take the 4 minutes to do it. You won’t regret it. (This is Jen talking now – seriously – WATCH IT! I got the chills. Amazing message.)

Revealing that his real name is Chris, Ashton let his young fans in on the “secret sauce” to his success; namely that fame and fortune doesn’t just fall out of the sky, but is the result of a strong work ethic and opportunities that “look a lot like hard work.”

He also schools his ‘tween and teenage fans about the real meaning of “sexy”.

“Don’t buy it,” he said. “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you.”

A powerful message for our kids indeed…but even more relevant for young, savvy parents who desire the very best for their kids.

Let’s face it. Every parent dreams of giving their children a beautiful home, nice clothes, top-of-the-line gear, luxurious vacations and even more opportunities than we may have enjoyed.

But living a truly fabulous and sexy lifestyle goes beyond just material things; it’s also about making SMART choices now to ensure your family is never robbed of those opportunities in the future.

No matter what your net worth or future goals are, every parent needs a crash course on how to protect their family from life’s risks such as lawsuits, divorce, financial problems or the death or incapacity of one or both parents.

These things can happen to anyone, but a there are a few easy, pro-active steps you can take to lessen the blow and enjoy the confidence knowing that your family would be prepared to ride out the storm.

Can confidently answer these questions about YOUR family?

~ I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my kids would be raised by the people I WANT if something happens to me or my spouse.

~ If I’m temporarily incapacitated (…in a car accident, for example), I’ve created the legal documents necessary that would allow police or first responders to leave my kids with loved ones, and not place them in the care of social services until a judge shows up to make that decision (this is what they MUST do under the law!).

~ If something happens to me, I’ve put “speed bumps” around my children’s inheritance so they can’t blow their money at the vulnerable age of 18.

~ If I’m remarried, I know how to properly hold title to my house and “blend” our assets in a way that protects my kids from a previous relationship and my interests if I unexpectedly pass away or the marriage ends.

~ I have the RIGHT insurance and other financial protections in place to ensure my kids always enjoy the lifestyle I want for them if the unthinkable happens.

~ If you can’t confidently answer YES to any of these questions, NOW is the time to take back control of your financial future and learn how to get your legal house in order once and for all.

You may be scared to face your own mortality, or maybe you’ve never handled financial issues for your family… but learning how is empowering!

There is no greater peace of mind than knowing that you can take a romantic date with your spouse or head off on vacation without worrying about what would happen to your kids if something happened to you.

And the best part? You can learn how to implement these savvy legal protections for your family in a way that’s easy to understand, FREE and at a fun place here in Orange County (…or from the comfort of your own home!).

I’m talking about my Kids Protection Planning seminars, which are happening THIS MONTH at Xpecting, Granola Babies and via teleseminar.  Hundreds of smart OC parents have gone through our workshops and left feeling totally in control, empowered and equipped with an action plan to make great legal and financial decisions for the future.

What real OC parents have to say…

We recently had two children and knew we had to get our custody and financial distribution in order… Darlynn was so generous with her wisdom, time, and personal experiences. She gave honest opinions only when asked with no judgments given. Everything was very professional, timely, and easy to follow. Thank you! – Leane and Alex H., Glendale

My wife and I were ‘first timers’ and had a lot of estate planning questions, especially relating to protecting our two young boys. There is nothing scarier than the thought of what would happen to your children if you were gone. Darlynn truly cares, and it comes through. — Michael S., Irvine

We have been wanting to do it for awhile, but a trip out of the country propelled us to do it and stop procrastinating…. this was a great, easy process because of your sincerity, kindness and organization.  I loved how personable you are, and family friendly.  The process was very smooth and almost effortless on our part. — Jeff & Faith F., Santa Ana

We appreciated your thoroughness, professional presentation using visual aids, friendly atmosphere [and] the warmth of hospitality expressed. — Monte & Darleen H., Yorba Linda

Or, check out this post from Tiny Orange’s very own Susanne Henderson who blogged about her entire experience firsthand.

Three free workshops this month

So what are you waiting for?  Choose from one of the following dates and times and visit to register.

Attendance is free but seating is ALWAYS limited.  Bring your spouse, grab a girlfriend…you can even bring your kids, but RSVP now to ensure you have a space.

Xpecting Maternity

September 12th at 6 pm

Granola Babies

September 17th at 1 pm

Teleseminar (call in with your hubby in your jammies!)

September 18th at 8 pm

Come learn how building a fabulous lifestyle on a solid foundation and making SMART choices for the future can be fun after all!  Set the example of what is really SEXY for your family. They will thank you for it if the unthinkable happens.

[Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

Juicing 101

This guest post by my friend Melanie is about how to get started juicing. I thought this would be a juicy post for Tiny Oranges. Sorry, couldn’t help it.

I have wanted to get into juicing, but didn’t really know how to get started juicing, which is why I am excited to share her easy tips.

Juicing 101:

How to Get Started Juicing


After watching the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead this past Christmas, my husband and I decided that we would start juicing to kick-start a new health regime .

Our family maintains a fairly healthy lifestyle and diet but there is always room for improvement. Our idea for juicing was to incorporate more “micronutrients” (vitamins and minerals, as opposed to macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, etc.)  into our diet.

We discovered that juicing is a fairly simple process and here is how you can get started…

Step 1- Do a little research

There are many websites that discuss the pros and cons of juicing, just do a web search on the word “juicing.” After researching, we decided that we would not juice to replace any meals, but just in addition to what we already eat for the health benefits.  We learned there is a lot of fiber and additional vitamins found in the pulp and skin of whole fruit and veggies.

Step 2- Buy your equipment

A trip to Target to buy a juicer and we were on our way. Any juicer will work, in my humble opinion. We happened to have a gift card from Target, so that’s where I went.  I bought a DASH juicer for $100 and it works well.  The Breville also gets great reviews. Or if you really want to invest you can try the Vitamix (at Costco), which actually pulverizes the whole fruit so the pulp and fiber are included.

Step 3- Find yummy recipes and juice!

This is the super fun and creative part. There are countless recipes online. We also asked a few friends for their favorite recipe and our juicer came with a few suggestions.

Next step was to stop off at a store to buy my ingredients.  I TRY to buy organic fruit but this is not always in the budget, so I just do my best.  I often buy apples and oranges in bulk, which is easier on the wallet.

Throw a bunch of fruit in the juicer and that’s all it takes.  You can be intentional about what type of fruits and veggies you choose and follow recipes or just use what you have left in your fridge; anything goes! 

Juicing is a great way to use up your produce that is about to go bad.  Each time, I try to throw some kind of green veggie in because of the amazing nutritional value in leafy greens.

My favorite juicing ingredients

Cucumber – love the fresh and clean taste, think SPA WATER

Ginger – MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE because it adds a little “spicy”

Pears – sweeten up any recipe

Leafy greens, spinach or Kale - excellent source of vitamins, and you hardly taste them if you mix with fruit (be sure to put your leafy greens or anything that is less “juicy” in first, then the juice of the other fruit will help push the green nutrients through)

Favorite juicing recipes

(Serve 2 adults with a little left over for the kids)

Morning Fuel  -

This is a yummy recipe that came with the juicer called
½ cucumber, 1-2 oranges, 2 apples, 1 tsp ginger, 1 kiwi

Mean Green -

From Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It takes a little while to get used to but very good for you!
1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks, 2 apples, 6-8 leaves kale, 1/2 lemon (peeling optional but I peel!), 1 tbsp ginger

Kitchen Sink

Any fruit and veggies we have in the house- 2-3 oranges, 2 apples, ginger, handful of kale or spinach, 1 pear, 2 carrots

Step 4Enjoy!

Share with your kids!!  Have them create some recipes.  Let us know what you try! Does anyone else have any favorite juicing tips or recipes to share?


First, Middle, Baby: Observations on Birth Order

Through her experience as a family photographer, Kristin Eldridge has worked with a ton of families throughout the years. She mentioned to be how fascinating it is to watch how birth order plays a role in children, and how from what she has observed, there are definite common “first, middle, baby” personality traits.  This topic has always interested me, so I asked her to write a post on her casual observations. After you read, please share your insights below on your own kiddos!  Here is what she writes…

“My tendency to be type-A goes all the way back to pre-school.  I organized and re-organized the contents of my room and my need to please knew no end.  Growing up, I didn’t attribute these personality traits to anything much, but I guess it was clear I was a pretty stereotypical firstborn child.

Now after becoming a mom and working with hundreds of kids in my job, I’ve noticed that birth order plays a huge role in who we are as people.

Here’s what I have noticed… Oldest children take the lead from their parents and often have perfectionist tendencies.  Middle children can be more rebellious in nature and are good at negotiating.  Youngest children are typically carefree are great at making people laugh.

After doing a little research for this article, some of the reasons that children fall into these categories makes complete sense!

Because of the fact that new parents are sometimes stricter and a little more rigid with the first child, that child tends be an over-achiever.  Middle children see the oldest child mirroring their parents, so they might want to go in the opposite direction (for attention) which can be perceived as rebellious behavior.  The youngest child is raised by parents that have done this a time or two, so are raised in a more easy-going environment.  The youngest child shoulders less responsibility, so they have the ability to be more carefree.

These guidelines don’t always hold fast and true, but so many of the children I meet fall into the personality type of their birth order.

The older we get, the experience plays more of a role into our personality as experiences can change the way we view the world.  As I raise my kids, I try to build their natural strengths and challenge their weaknesses.

My oldest child is 12 and he falls into the typical firstborn category.  His perfectionism makes homework easy, but it makes any type of failure difficult to handle.  We have been trying to teach him that it’s okay to fail.  We can learn through failure, not through being perfect all the time.

My middle child has watched his older brother navigate life, so he’s a little more savvy.  When he bucks the system, we try to teach him how rules and guidelines are there for a reason.  Walking him through these situations help him to be his unique individual self, while living in a world that has lots of rules!

My youngest is very carefree and she has a messy room to prove it.  I’ve found that the biggest challenge with her is taking the time to teach her responsibility.  Even though it would be easier to let one of her older brothers help unload the dishwasher, it’s beneficial for her to learn everyday tasks.

Do you feel that your kids are affected by their birth order?  I’m curious to know if you parent each of them differently or if you have unique thoughts on how to help them be more well-rounded?”

Thanks Kristin, I will start the conversation below on how I think birth order plays a role with my two girls, would love to hear all of your opinions and observations as well!

To view Kristin’s amazing work, visit She takes our family photos every year ~ images I treasure beyond words! Photos above are taken by her of her three beautiful children.

How to Grow Out Your Little Girl’s Bangs

This guest blog on how to grow out your little girl’s bangs is by OC hair stylist and mama of three, Tera Rae Stephens. Tera is currently in the process of growing out her four-year-old daughter, Harper’s bangs.

At each phase of the growing out process, Tera will be sharing with us realtime mom-to-mom styling tips to keep the shaggy dog look at bay.  Here is what she writes about the first phase of the “grow out!”

“It’s no secret that my family gets the least amount of attention when it comes to hair cuts and styling so when my daughter begged for a hair cut  ”at your work” I finally gave in. AND I IMPULSIVELY CUT HER BANGS!!!!!

That is Harper in the image above on the day I cut her bangs, sitting in my chair at the salon feeling very cool and grown up.

We thought they were really cute and totally changed the way she looked.  I also liked how they naturally kept most of her hair out of her face and made her ponytails and braids more interesting.

The first time I had to trim them came way too quickly and she wasn’t happy to sit still for the clean up.  And her reaction after the trim was hilarious! She actually thought the bangs would be gone!  She was as tired of them as I was, so I explained to her that the only way to get rid of bangs was to grow them out and we decided it was time to do just that…

That is how my girl is looking at the first stage of “grow out!” Super Shaggy Dog!

I wanted to share this process with you because I have some great tricks that can make the process so much easier.  And you may find they work for you as well! Here are a few ways we’ve been keeping the shag out of her face and eyes…

Slick It Back

By putting a medium hold gel in the front of her hair when it’s damp (or sprayed with a water bottle) I can slick it back into a bun or ponytail and it holds her bangs back all day.

Make a Braid Headband

My favorite style on her has been to part it in the middle and braid each section into a braid.  I then wrap the braids over the top of her head and bobby pin them in place.  They work as a headband to keep her bangs back!

Train a Middle Part 

The last two pictures below are a little trick that works wonders.  I plan to train her bangs to part in the middle as that seems to be what they want to do naturally. When she’s eating her breakfast in the morning, I bobby pin the hair back and by the time she leaves for school the hair stays parted there!  If you want a side part, push all of the bangs to the side and pin it there!

We have also been using elastic head bands (see me in a tutorial on how to make your own elastic hair ties here) and lots of barrettes!

Stay tuned… In my next post, I will show you how to make a small adjustment to the shape of the bangs by cutting that will make the grow out process smoother than you expect!!”

Thanks Tera! Soooo cute! Do any of you have tips to share on styles to keep the bangs out of their eyes? Comment below!