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Jungle Party – Cruz Turns One!

Well, my second son has turned one!  Cruz turned one in August and we celebrated with a jungle party!  Get it?!  Jungle Cruz?!  We went all out with a fun party for all the kids, even big brother Court.  And really, our theme was perfect because it was the hottest week of the year and we have no air conditioning!  So… It was a hot sweaty mess full of lots of happy faces celebrating our little man!

Boy parties can be tough… There are only so many themes you can do and to be honest only so many decor options.  I find myself doing succulents most of the time because it’s difficult to find florals that work for a boy’s party.  But this was the perfect opportunity to switch it up!  I was excited to showcase how to do a “tropical” party for a boy and really love how it turned out!

This party is also featured on 100LayerCakelet and Lauren Conrad today!

Photos by Megan Welker

Let’s start with this photo, I mean… I can’t even!!  It turned out better than I could have ever imagined!  I had asked my dear friends over at Wild Child Party to make an amazing balloon installation and they blew my mind.  We decided on colors and they came up with this amazing piece!  Rooted & Wild added the perfect amount of greenery to make it even more amazing.

I found the animal masks on Amazon, I love how they looked on the wall!  I really wanted to have a large sticker made saying “Cruz is One” but didn’t have the time in the end.  But my Letterfolk sign worked perfectly!

The cakes were by Sweet & Saucy Shop, they never disappoint!  I had them do mud cloth printed cakes and they were so amazing you guys!!  My friend Courtney from Poppy Jack did the cake and cupcake toppers in wood.  And how pretty is that floral arrangement by Rooted & Wild?!  See, boys can have flowers at their party too!!!

My other buddy, Meghann Miniello, did the invite and all of the signage.  Isn’t this so perfect for a jungle party?!

When you have a first birthday, you have to have a few details!  Like, celebrating each month and where your little one is at by th time they turn one.  Here is how we showed off our Cruz!  Monthly numbers by Poppy Jack with photos from Artifact Uprising, and a cute 1st Birthday sign from Meghann Miniello.

We kept the fun going outside with more balloons from Wild Child Party, because really, is there ever enough?!  The girls at Witty Rentals provided the best lounge area for our guests, I love love love their inventory!!

I wanted to add some macrame pieces to the party, lucky for me Mackenzie of Rooted & Wild makes macrame too… A woman of many talents that one!!  Love her!

Here’s me and my crew!!!  Love my boys so much!!  And yes, Cruz is ours, he’s our blondie!!

Doesn’t end there!  I had tables for the kiddos of course!  All the big kids were set to eat their treats in the best setting!


The napkins are from Hostess Haven, Meghann did the placemats and Courtney did the drink stirrers and calligraphy on the palm leaves.  Jeez, I’m seriously so lucky to have so many great friends in this industry!


Rooted & Wild killed it again with the florals!!

In addition to the yummy cakes we had paletas!!  Paloma’s Paletas has the cutest cart set up.  And with the heat factor that weekend, they were the perfect treat for everyone!!

I need to talk about my god daughter Edie… She came in character!!  I love her so much!!!  This girl had to wear her leopard print dress and cat ears for the jungle party.  She’s just too much…

We had face painting from OC Face Paint, the kids seriously loved it!!  They could get any jungle animal they wanted and they definitely acted out the parts!  Ha!

Court took his pretty seriously…

Nash is such a cutie pie!

Pretty Isla Bird!

Paleta time!!

The little guests got to take home a bag of goodies in a cute bag by Meghann

And time for cake for my little birthday boy!!  Cruz is living his best life, and I feel so honored to be his mama!  This past year he has made our family whole and even happier than we could have imagined.  He is honestly such a love and so dang happy.  I can’t get enough of his smiles, love you Cruzy!!  To the moon and back!


Thank you to all my friend-ors who made this day possible!

xx

Jacquelyn

Design & Styling – Mama & Jacquelyn Kazas of Beijos Events
Photographer – Megan Welker
Florals – Rooted & Wild
Balloon Installations – Wild Child Party
Rentals – Witty Rentals
Invite/Goody Bags/Signage/Placemats – Meghann Miniello
Stir Sticks/Cupcake & Cake Toppers/Place Cards – Poppy Jack Shop
Paletas – Paloma’s Paletas
Cakes – Sweet & Saucy Shop
Cloth Napkins – Hostess Haven
Paper Napkins & Cups – Knot & Bow
Face Painter – OC Face Paint
Blankets – Gunn & Swain
Pillows – Boho Pillow
Jacquelyn’s Dress – Cleobella

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By on October 6, 2017 in BEIJINHOS, BIRTHDAYS, FAMILY, KIDS

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At Home with Jessica Hetherington of She and Wolf

One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow has to be Jessica Hetherington’s, She and Wolf.  Jessica is a mom of two who inspires me to live my life fully and with grace.  She had her second around the same time I had Cruz and I’ve loved seeing how her and her family adjusted so seamlessly to it.  Jessica and her husband Thomas lived in a beautiful home in Montana and recently moved this past summer.  Since then they’ve been living quite the nomadic life and loving it.  Before they left though they shot these photos and are sharing them with us today!  Keep reading to hear more from this beautiful Mama and her adorable family…

Tell us a little bit about you and your family…

We are a little family of four living in nature and close to the mountains in Montana. We’ve lived in San Diego and in NYC so we thought this spot would be a beautiful change. 

Following you and your brood on Instagram this past year you have lead a nomadic life, talk to us about that and why you love it!

I love being outside and it’s so good for our babies too. It instantly resets your mind, body and soul. I love that Goldie and River can see deer right out our window, catch fish in the River and roam in wide open spaces. We definitely love being on the go to experience other types of life too, beach life in San Diego and city life in NYc. The culture and diversity is a great learning experience for Goldie and I figure we have one more year to travel around until she starts kindergarten. So, we’re trying to live it up!

We know you recently moved out of your beautiful Montana home, why was that space so special to you?

The space was so amazing for us because we had just moved away from our teeny tiny apartment in NYC, we loved it there but we were really craving space and nature. We took a trip to Montana for Christmas and found this giant home for almost half the price of our NYC apartment. We were like….done! So many wonderful memories were made in that home. Goldie had her second birthday there, she finished potty training, learned how to fish in our backyard and we had sweet baby River there.  Those first few days there, those memories are priceless. 

River’s nook in your home was so adorable, talk to us about the design of it…

There was kind of this weird closet type space in our bedroom and I thought…a crib would fit perfect and it’s right by our bed. I wanted it to be earthy and bright so I found objects from outside, textured whites and mirrors. I loved it so much. Gosh I miss that little nook!

How has the past year been adding another baby to the family?  How did Goldie adjust?

Adding a second truly rocked my world at first. It was such a huge adjustment for Goldie and I. Goldie was definitely a little jealous and trying to find her place with the new dynamic. She acted out and I had a really hard time dealing with that because I was like…”Goldie don’t do that!” but I knew she was just having a hard time and couldn’t express her feelings in words. But now, now that he smiles, plays and looks at her like she’s the coolest sister on the planet the world seems just right and full of love again. It took a good 6 months though, totally worth the wait :) 

What is your favorite part about being a mom and what is the most challenging?

My favorite is watching River and Goldie love on one another. I feel like, we created these two beaming souls and there’s so much love!!! I want ten of them when I watch them be so sweet with one another, like right now until they fight or make each other cry then I’m like, two, two is good for now haha

The most challenging. Balance. Feeling like I need to give enough to the babies equally, Thomas and me. Let’s not forget me! I used to be the best at self care, now I think….when did I have time to even shave my legs last? It’s all part of the gig though. I think that’s why I love getting outside with my family

So much because we are together, running around, laughing on a natural high together. All the small stuff disappears. 

What is next for you and your family?!

Gosh, we really are not planners but I think we just found a really cool space to rent for the rest of the year. I’ll find out this week and I can’t wait to share. The space has always been a dream of mine!

Can’t wait to see it!!  Thanks so much for sharing with us Jess!

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on September 26, 2017 in FAMILY, HOME, LIFESTYLE, NURSERY

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Sunset Paddle Board Session with the Littles to end the Summer

The end of Summer is here, but if you live in sunny Southern California, you know it’s just beginning.  We spend so much time at the beach all Summer that I thought, why not make one of these days pretty special?  My friend Alatheia who owns Art of Being Female is good friends with Mike & Lauren Roberts, the owners of VESL Paddle Boards, and decided we all needed to get together for just that.  We met up for a sunset paddle board session and had the best time soaking up as much of these Summer days as we could!

This shoot is also featured on Inspired By This today!

Photos by Alison Bernier

What is so great about paddle boarding is that you can do it as a family.  We got a few of our favorite little fam bams together for this outing, with a great group of kiddos.  Mostly groms and a few little ladies to round it out.  I sat back with the moms while the dads took turns taking the little ones out for rides.  Well, I shouldn’t say I sat back, I did do a really pretty table for the kiddos to hang at!  You know me, never sitting still ;)

The details on this table were my favorite!  Gorgeous greenery from Rooted & Wild Co, water color place cards and fun drink stirrers from Poppy Jack Shop and the best napkins ever from Hostess Haven.  The rest was either part of my own home collection or purchased on Amazon!  Pillows and blankets from Gunn & Swain, Kawaiian Lion and Boho Pillow were laid out as well to keep those cute little bums cozy.

I loved seeing my son Court brave going out into the water, at first he was hesitant but then we couldn’t get him off of the board!  This Summer he started swim lessons, he still is mostly using his floaties though.  He felt safe with his arms held tight around my husband’s legs, and after seeing the big boys do it on their own, he was inspired!  Each of the boys wore the cutest Seaesta Surf shorts that day and frolicked in the water.  

Meanwhile, the parents kept their eyes shaded from the Summer sun with SALT sunnies, one of our favorite local brands.  And that cute little romper I’m wearing is from Beach Riot, another local favorite.

As usual we had an awesome playlist and used our Stelle Audio speaker… This thing has definitely been our number one Summer essential!

It was the perfect Summer day where it felt like it lasted forever and the sun was sparkling on the water.  The kiddos worked up an appetite so they dug into the acai bowls from Colette’s Catering, while the parents snacked on some sashimi.  Each were as delicious as they were pretty, Colette’s never disappoints!

All of the families had so much fun and I think we can all say for sure that we definitely need a VESL paddle board in our inventory!  Cheers to the Summer and the fact that ours tends to last through Fall ;)

xx

Jacquelyn

Vendors

Concept/Design/Styling – Jacquelyn Kazas of Beijos Events
Concept – Alatheia Hart of Art of Being Female
Photographer – Alison Bernier
Paddle Boards – VESL 
Calligraphy – Poppy Jack Shop
Florals – Rooted & Wild Co
Catering – Colette’s Catering
Napkins – Hostess Haven
Boy’s Shorts – Seaesta Surf
Blankets – Gunn & Swain
Pillows & Peace Sign Flag – Kawaiian Lion
Mud Cloth Pillows – Boho Pillow
Sunglasses – SALT
Jacquelyn’s Clothing – Beach Riot

 

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By on September 7, 2017 in FAMILY, KIDS, LIFESTYLE, STYLED BY BEIJOS, SUMMER, TABLESCAPES

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Fall Family Session Advice with Alison Bernier

This past year I met Alison Bernier, a local Orange County photographer who specializes in children and family.  I had admired her work from afar for a while and luckily we became connected!  Doesn’t hurt that we are new neighbors as well, so I stalked her till she was my friend, haha!  Her work is always incredible and I have been lucky to work with her for a few kid’s birthday parties this past year.  

She has such a way with capturing emotion and those priceless moments that you never want to forget.  Plus, she is so incredibly easy to work with, she’s honestly a dream!  Court is definitely quite smitten with her which is evident in the way he tackles her constantly… Sorry Alison!!!  But truly, if anyone can captivate your little ones and get them smiling during a session, it’s her!

Alison is helping us today by giving advice on Fall family sessions… Yes, that time of year is upon us!!  It’s time to start thinking of your yearly family photos so you can be ready for the holiday season.  She’s giving all of her advice on the matter and also sharing about her upcoming mini sessions!  So get ready for your photos with Alison and I’m sure you’ll want to book with her too!!  My family and I just did a session with her and I’m sharing the photos with you today, along with a little bit of my own advice.  Keep reading for all the details!

All photos by Alison Benier
Jacquelyn’s Hair by 1011 Makeup

When is the best time to book your family session?

The Fall is definitely my busiest season so it’s best to book as early as possible if you want to get pictures done in time for a holiday card. For newborn sessions the best thing to do is contact me while your’e pregnant to let me know you’re interested and then book the specific date the week baby arrives.


What advice do you have for parents taking photos with little ones?

 Have fun with your kids and let them be kids. Sometimes this means letting them behave in a way you wouldn’t normally but usually that means they will be enjoying themselves and be smiling. Throw them in the air, tickle them and tell them silly jokes. Those are the moments that feel most genuine and candid.

How long is a typical session?

 I have two different sessions available. A Mini or a Full Session. The Mini is 45 mins and the Full is for 1 to 1.5 hours. 

I also do special Holiday Mini Sessions that are short and sweet at 20 minutes. 

I know I have to shoot fast with kids and I like to mix it up and keep things moving. If kids don’t want to sit still then, we do walking shots. If they are feeling snuggly then seated ones with Mama. I try to let them dictate the flow of the session to avoid meltdowns as much as possible.

Where are your favorite spots to shoot families?

 One of my favorite spots is the beach, lately in particular Newport Beach where there are open expanses of sand to play with and gentler waves rolling in for kids to play in at the end of a session. I also love any park that has big beautiful trees for the light to peep through and create pretty sun flare in the lens.

How should we dress as a family for photos?

 If you’re having a hard time picking out outfits for the family an easy way to make everything come together is to select 2 or 3 colors for everyone to work with in combination with denim and neutral colors. It pulls everyone’s outfits together without making you all look like you’re in uniform.

 One thing to avoid is tee shirts with large graphics or text on them as they can become distracting.
 
Also if Mama is going to be in a print then keep everyone else’s outfits in solid colors or prints that don’t conflict with each other. For example a bold plaid shirt on Dad will likely clash against a bright floral dress on Mum. The same goes with multiple plaid and check patterns on Dad’s and little ones.

Most importantly wear something that you can move around in and play with your kids in. The whole point is to capture your family having fun together, playing around and interacting, try not to let your clothes get in the way.

What are your favorite moments to capture at these sessions?

 I love being able to capture the interactions between each of you. The natural way a Mother will fix her child’s hair or the way a Father can so casually throw their toddler over his shoulder. It is nice to have those classic portraits of everyone looking at the camera but the beauty for me, really lies in the little details. The little things you want to remember later on when your kids are big and grown.

Give us your top 3 advice for family’s going to their session?

 1. Make sure everyone has full bellies before your session. If we are doing a Full Session feel free to bring some snacks for a little break during the session
 
2. Bribery doesn’t hurt. You’re happy to come out and have your photo taken because you’re getting rewarded with pictures that you will treasure afterward. Give your kids ( and husband if need be! ) a treat to look forward to at the end.
 
3. Be yourselves and try not to stress too much. I know that’s easier said than done but kids feed off our moods. Begging a kid to look at the camera and smile doesn’t usually work, it’s better to play games and be silly with them to try and coax out the natural smiles and giggles.

We want all the details about your upcoming Mini Sessions!!

I will be holding my Holiday Mini Sessions for 2017 on October 7th and 8th at a couple different locations around Orange County.
Holiday Mini Sessions are $200 and include 4 retouched digital images for you to make cards and gifts with.  Additional images will also be available for purchase from your online gallery.

You can email me for more details, alison@alisonbernier.com

www.alisonbernier.com

As far as my advice… 

Mamas, treat yourself and get a blow out or your makeup done.  I went to my amazing friend Erica from 1011 Makeup.  It relieves the stress of having to do it yourself and when you feel like you look good you are much more comfortable in front of the camera!  So have daddy watch the little ones and go get pampered!Don’t get the kiddos dressed until you get to the location.  The last thing you want is for them to get their perfectly chosen outfits dirty for their photos!  So wait until the last possible minute and throw those cute clothes on!!  Crisis averted!

Bring extra outfits, for the kids and for you!!  I was so lucky the day of our shoot that I had a backup dress in the car!  It was so windy for us and I had a wrap dress on… The last thing you want is your hoo-ha making an appearance on the Christmas card, so make sure to have extra clothes… Mother Nature can be crazy sometimes!!

This may sound crazy, but when I am planning our outfits I make a mood board… I know I’m not the only one guilty of this because Abby is also just as psychotic.  Here was my board for our shoot with Alison…
Now, our outfits didn’t exactly end up like this but they were close…  It’s good to have a color scheme and have a sort of theme with colors.  I’m a visual person so doing something like this really helps me!!

Couldn’t agree more with Alison about coming with full bellies and bribery… This goes for husbands too!!  Because lets face it, they can be divas too…

Lastly, have fun!  If you’re stressing about each and every thing it sets the tone for the whole shoot.  You’ve gotta go with the flow and enjoy yourself.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get that one shot where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling.  In my opinion the better photos are of you all looking happy and loving each other, capturing moments which Alison does so well.

Thanks again Alison for sharing all of your wisdom and making it easy on all of us!!

xx

Jacquelyn

 

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By on August 23, 2017 in FALL, FAMILY, MINI SESSIONS, PHOTOGRAPHY, VENDORS WE LOVE

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Summer Family Game Nights

One of the things that I look forward to the most about summer are the nights. Those warm nights where you can stay up a little later, play outside till it’s dark, and indulge in all those yummy summer treats! Since we have been in our new town, I have been trying to do family date nights as much as possible. I mean we were away from Dad quite awhile, so it’s a fight to who gets him the most! There are so many parks here, and the nights are hot, we love to load up and take our date nights outside. Playing games with the kids not only creates those summer memories but it also teaches the kids sportsmanship, communication, and problem-solving. 

Photos by Megan Bautista

Family time outside is a must for this family. There are so many distractions inside your own home; you’re not giving your full attention. Outside, it’s you, dinner, games, and all those memories to create. One of the many games we love to play outside is dominos. I found this domino set that is perfect for those summer nights. Plus I like that it’s big, so its easier for the kids to play with. Most of the time, they don’t play the way it’s intended and end up building houses out of them. It’s amazing to see how their little minds think!

 

 

Here is my roundup of my favorite outdoor games

The best part about these family date nights is that dinner is easy! I like to take the kids to the store that day, and let them pick out some of the items for our al fresco dinner. It not only makes them feel important, but they also will eat it! I don’t know about you, but my kids get so distracted with playing games they never eat! We get home, and it will be bedtime and what do you know, they are hungry. Getting them involved ensures that I will not be making mac and cheese at 10 pm. See all my must haves below for an easy al fresco dinner!

 


Abby’s Essentials for an Al Fresco Picnic

 

 

Summer nights, please don’t end soon!

We can’t get enough of you!

Wardrobe Deets!

 

xx

Abby

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By on July 18, 2017 in FAMILY, SUMMER

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