by gillian claire



asher in the mountains.

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just some pictures today. asher had so much fun hiking and exploring in the foothills while i worked on a project i'm putting together for class. i'm not really sure where my project is going, but i do love these photos; my littlest surrounded by the big blue sky,
those salmon pants + baby sized boots,
such sweet, specials moments of childhood and a sweet, special boy to match.
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pirate boots.

( boots c/o FabKids )
I have always been a fan of rain boots on little boys so I kind of flipped out when I got these matching pirate boots for my little guys. I guess it's been a while since they've worn rain boots  though because no joke, they both dramatically toppled down within minutes of putting these on. I have to admit, it's pretty funny to look back on. Don't worry, they have since mastered the art of boot wearing again and no children were harmed in the making of these photos. ;)
Asher has been proudly prancing around town sporting these babies. While waiting in line at Starbucks , a lady told him she liked his boots so he shrugged his shoulders all coy-like and said, "yeah, they're pirate ones."
Now we're all ready for splashing in puddles during summer rainstorms, our favorite. I just need some rain boots of my own...

asher at 3 years, 7 months

. still sleeps next to me and somehow sense the moment i wake up and wakes up as well. sometimes in the morning i'll wake up before his normal waking time and sneak out to the living room to be alone and without fail, he wakes up and comes padding out. he heard me talking to aaron about this the other day and he said something along the lines of, "because i love you mommy. if you are awake, i want to be awake with you too!" melt.
. going downhill in the potty training department. once completely potty trained, he has now started running into the boys' bedroom and peeing on the floor instead of peeing in his potty. "it's because i'm too tired to pee in the potty, mommy." this is really grating on my nerves!
. loves to vacuum. he has gone through this phase before but in the past couple weeks he has picked up his old habit of vacuuming the house to perfection by himself and then showing us what a great job he did. it's so cute to see him down on the floor with the vacuum hose concentrating on his work. 
. is very confident and loves playing with other kids. he still loves to be a monster and scare the other kids at the playground. the other day, he was sad after playing and said, "no one was scared!" also, the other night he was telling me stories and kept incorporating himself into the story as "monster-boy." oh my gosh, i died.
. likes to watch daniel tiger, which he refers to as "tiger daniel." he often incorporates the little life lessons into his life and it's over the top adorable. usually in the mornings we go out to the living room and watch daniel tiger together while i have coffee and read blogs. 
. plays with his big legos and makes transformers out of them. i'm so impressed by his creativity, of course he is just the smartest little 3 year old in my eyes. ;) he also loves to have fights with his giant robot, power ranger and iron man figure. it's just so adorable to watch him bring all of his toys out into the living room to play. i think he is more into toys than roman. 
. mostly, he is still my "teeny boy" and my baby. i can't believe asher is over 3 and a half years old; somehow he still feels so tiny and cuddly to me. <3


portraits of roman.

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My blog has been a little Asher heavy lately. It's natural because Asher is three and at an overall easier to photograph stage.  Roman, who is seven now, is going through a trying-to-be-funny in every photo stage. I mean, I can't blame him - he is a kid after all. As far as photographer-moms go, I'm pretty relaxed about the camera. I don't always have it and I'm very particular about when I bust it out. I try to read my kids and I try not to push it. I just couldn't handle being someone who always takes pictures, it would stress me out. In fact, I definitely need to relax a little more in this regard. I need to let the camera be a little more a part of me, a little more convenient.
My passion is definitely photographing my children. I enjoy it more than photographing anything in the world. The pictures that I take of them are, of course, so meaningful, a part of me. I also love the laid back feel of photographing my children as opposed to "other people". Don't get me wrong, I enjoy photographing others - but it's more set up, it's a job. Photographing my boys is the purest way to make a photograph for me. They are themselves, I'm truly in the background, recording them as they are.
But of course, it's not always just happening in front of me eyes. As many other mother/photographers know, there is that struggle of "oh, oh wait, wait wait, stand over here! smile! can i take one more? can you just do this-this-or that?" I know this is frustrating for kids. It is. It's certainly a lesson in patience because I love photography, I love photographing them, and ideas are going through my head and there are those moments I just want them to cooperate. Which of course, are the moments when they want nothing to do with it.
Even though it can be frustrating, I think the fact that children don't always want to cooperate adds to what is so wonderful about photographing them. Any adult can model and pose and do exactly what you want in front of the camera. Of course there is also an added awkwardness + insecurity that adults feel when having their picture taken. But with kids, it's more pure and real. Yesterday, while we were taking some FabKids photos, Roman was goofing off a little of course but he also, knowing how much it would mean to me, looked into my camera with these wonderful little faces and I couldn't be happier how they turned out. Because, truly, even though these photos were directed in a way and didn't just happen, this is the boys he is - the absolute sweetest boy and these are the smiles he gives me after I say no and he knows that I'll give in, and it's way he looks in the last moments of night when I tuck the blanket up by his face and whisper, "You are the sweetest, sweetest boy," and he says, "thanks mom."

These pictures were certainly worth the wait. :)

happy thoughts.

sharing some happy thoughts today:
  IMG_1296baby hair + sunshine

IMG_0860 i love this photo from the fall that i never shared: my boys <3

IMG_1174IMG_1153 photos from around the town.

IMG_0960IMG_0964 cloud pictures never get old to me, seriously. so cliche - but always good in my book.

IMG_1953 out-take of romey - but look how sweet he looks here?? 

IMG_4166 playtime in the morning sun.

IMG_3938 new moccasins from forever21 ( clearance $8.99! )IMG_4179-2 valentine flowers from aaron.

sweet notes from my namaw in ohio - missing that lady something fierce right now.
( other happy thoughts posts: here )

beauty things / skincare.

     I have a secret love for beauty products. I find shopping for little things like face wash + makeup so enjoyable and I love browsing the beauty aisles to pick out a new product to try. I go through phases of binging through beauty blogs / vlogs and I love seeing what others are doing in their everyday routines. I thought it would be fun to start sharing my opinion of the things I try since I love when other bloggers share about everyday drugstore products and I feel like it's hard to find honest reviews of products that aren't all high end! Are any of my readers closet beauty fiends as well?
    This post is about a few skincare products that I've been using lately. This year has definitely been one of the worst years for my skin!  I've never had any terrible skin concerns but I do struggle with on and off breakouts. My stress level has been at an all time high and in turn my eating habits have been horrible. I am sure that those two factors are playing an added part in breakouts for me. I can't say that I've had any ultimate success with a skincare routine but I like knowing that I'm taking care of my skin regardless!
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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5  // 6

1 // Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil - My sister-in-law is an avid couponer and she sent me home in December with a huge bag of beauty products from her stash which was so awesome! I was excited to try this product after being inspired by the whole Korean Skincare Routine ( here's the post that got me interested ) which believes in cleansing your face with more than one product. At night I've been removing my makeup with this oil and then following up with a cream cleanser as well. In the past I've tried removing makeup with coconut oil and it had a negative impact on my skin, but this product which using rosehip seed oil, has been fine for me. ( Maybe because it isn't just straight oil? )

2 // Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser - I think I bought this at Rite Aid along with the Biore cleanser because I just wanted to try a couple new face washes maybe hoping to find something amazing? This stuff is "minty" feeling which bothered me at first but I got used to it. I didn't have any problems with this cleanser, just a basic run of the mill face wash.

3 // Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser - Previously whenever I was breaking out I'd buy a face wash with salicylic acid as the main ingredient but it always just dried up my skin. This product was a game changer for me because after trying it at my sisters house and loving how it felt on my skin I realized I needed to branch out from the salicylic acid idea in face washes.

4 // Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser - I kept hearing about the trend of charcoal in face washes and I have to admit; I loved the idea of charcoal magically pulling out impurities in the skin! Doesn't it sound amazing? This face wash also has a minty feel. I'm down to the last of this bottle and it's worked just fine as a cleanser but honestly I'm not feeling any magical pore-clearing-charcoal-action going on. It just feels like a normal face wash to me.

5 // Aloe Vera  - I love using aloe vera on my face and have done it for years. I've always been drawn to natural products and slathering aloe vera on my face gives me this feeling that my face is sucking in moisture and vitamins. After doing a little research, I've come across lots of cool facts about using aloe vera on your skin to treat wrinkles, to moisturize, to heal acne scars etc! I'm definitely onto something here but I would like to find an aloe without any added color! It annoys me that they even add green dye to this - why??

6 // Yes to Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer - I haven't had a moisturizer with SPF in it for a while even though I feel like wearing sun-screen everyday is so important, so I picked this up at Wal-greens to remedy that. I chose the Yes to Carrots brand because I wanted something more natural if I was going to be putting it all over my face everyday. Honestly when I first put this on, the small bothered me A LOT. It smelled like ... well, carrots maybe? The smell doesn't bother me now, so maybe it was just unexpected at first? Like a lot of all-natural sunscreens this stuff is kind of thick, it doesn't smooth on as well as some lotions but it isn't too bad and it hasn't caused me to break out or had any negative side effects. I do wish it had a stronger SPF than 15 though, I'm going to look for a stronger SPF in a product next time.
     So please, share - which skincare products have you had success with?? Any advice for a girl struggling with breakouts? Gimme every tip you've got in the comments!

valentine's day.

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happy valentine's day, all!


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