Valentine’s Day is on it’s way!


We have to say we are so happy to be waving goodbye to January and see Valentine’s Day around the corner. January is the in-between month: the post-Christmas lull and cold temps don’t leave us excited to get moving for the day! 😉

 Valentines Day Kids Decor

To help us feel the love that is February, we are sharing a sneak-peek at some of the elements we are looking forward to using for our upcoming photo-shoot with the girls. Give us all the hearts, pinks, tutus & reds with a bit of sparkle.

There is something about having a daughter that makes me a little more apt to decorate for all the seasons. Marrissa has always been festive and I’m excited to join her in decorating our home this Valentine’s Day.



The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to bring a little holiday vibe to your mantle, kids’ room or your dinner table. A simple trip to the dollar spot at the Target will do the trick.  It can be overwhelming to see all these perfectly-styled homes. So keep it low pressure & fun! We don’t do these things for show; we do them to build memories for our children.

If the flowers are from the dollar spot or you cut hearts out of construction paper, it won’t matter. What matters is that you’re making memories.

I love that Marrissa rotates books on her shelves to match the season. (Would you believe the shelves are just Ikea spice racks painted white?! Thanks, Pinterest!) I just have all of our books in a book box– pulling out what we need when we need it. Leaving them out and coordinating with the holiday helps add a whimsical touch of the season to the room with little to no added expense.

What are some ways you incorporate the holidays into your everyday decor? Do you like to celebrate every holiday or stick to the majors? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

Check back soon for the cutest Valentine’s Day photos you’ve ever seen!


Exploring The City

A few months ago, Evan, Owen and I set out to explore the city of Charleston, SC. We packed up and hit the road for our first family road trip. We’ve taken family trips since having Owen, but I always opted for flying vs driving.  An 8 hour plus car ride with a small child intimidated me, what can I say…

It took a lot of mulling over, but I finally committed and we hit the road for Charleston, SC.  We surprisingly made it meltdown free and all in one piece.

I would say a lot of my motherhood experience has been much like standing on the edge of a pool contemplating jumping in. It’s always much worse in our minds than it is in real life. Looking back, I’m beyond happy I took that jump. We had a wonderful time and made so many great memories with out little guy. I feel a bit sad thinking about all the short weekend trips we’ve missed out on due to fear of a challenging child and difficulty.

If you haven’t read my Wild and Free Weekend recap a few weeks back, I shared how I met up with my friend Brittany (Brittany Anderson Photography) while in Charleston.  Being a young parent can be a bit lonely, especially if you’re the first in your circle of friends to jump down the parenthood rabbit hole, so being able to share this experience with Brittany and her family made the trip extra fun. Exploring the city with another couple who understands the adventures of toddlerhood made me feel at ease.

Date night style
Date Night Style

It was a busy weekend with me attending Wild and Free events and Brittany shooting an engagement session.  Because we didn’t have a lot of free time, we woke up at 4am the day we left for home to explore downtown Charleston before the streets were filled with people.

The city is truly one of the most beautiful I’ve visited. The energy of old southern tradition with a modern edge creates the perfect atmosphere. We ventured off the typical tourist path and explored cobblestone streets, old homes and business. One moment that stood out most was discovering a local school, housed in an old monastery tucked in between old french quarter homes and winding roads along the ocean. I was to struck by the beauty of the set up and the friendliness of the administration.

Brittany and I stood and watched as parents pulled up, the principle opening the car door welcoming each child by name. It was something special! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit, right then I could have packed my bags and moved.
Be Still Clothing
Be Still Clothing
Be Still Clothing

While we were exploring Brittany and I took photos of the old homes and parks. She was so kind to snap a few of photos of me for the blog. I tried my best to make the most of the opportunity, wearing what seems like two outfits and not be completely awkward the whole time.

My Be Still Clothing t-shirt is something I wear daily along with my target white shoes and back pack. It’s pretty much my go to momma combo.  The second look is a great date night or girls dinner look. The dress was a score from Marshalls and the shoes were all Brittany. I’m a fairly tall girl and often feel like Olive Oil, off of Popeye in tall heels, but she insisted and shared how much she adores them. I guess if you’re going to dress up you might as well go all out, right!

What are your favorite mom looks and simple date night combos? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Instagram! Be sure to stop by Brittany’s page, and show her some love!
Be Still Clothing

Be Still Clothing

Memorial Day Looks

Summer Fashion

Who doesn’t love getting dressed up and taking photos? I know two people who do– Amanda and I. Memorial Day was the perfect time to break out a cute summer look! This was the first time we have taken official blog photos in a while. We didn’t make a big fuss about it, no outfit planning or poses this time around. Sidenote: growing a human is seriously exhausting but I am loving every second of it! 🙂

Memorial Day Fashion Memorial Day Fashion Memorial Day Fashion

t’s so humbling to know that the reason we are able to enjoy the freedoms we do is because of all of the brave men + women so selflessly give their lives for us.

Memorial Day Fashion

Summer Fashion
Summer Fashion

Memorial Day for us was relaxing and full of the good stuff. After raining nearly the ENTIRE month of May (no joke), it was refreshing to see sunshine and blue skies… and the 80+ degree temps weren’t bad either! Amanda got her dress off the sale rack at Old Navy. My pants are from Motherhood Maternity, they also are on sale. If I could get these pants in every color I would! They are so comfortable. It’s going to be interesting to watch my style evolve as this belly grows. Summer fashion  with a bump, is so cute!

Summer Fashion
Summer Flowers
Memorial Day Fashion

After we ate all of the typical, yummy cookout foods, Amanda handed my husband, Matt, her camera and we chased this gorgeous evening light all over the place. Matt and Evan will stand in as our photographers when we want to be in photos together. It’s been so funny to watch the our husbands grow to enjoy blog “work” as much as we do. Honestly, we’re both very lucky to have such supportive men in our lives!

Southern Style Home
Summer Fashion

It felt like we were straight out of an issue of Southern Living Magazine… I mean, we basically pretended like we were in the magazine while taking these photos. The patriotic colors, the scenery, the swing– it just made us feel like we were deep in the heart of the south, and I can’t say I’d mind that at all!

Summer Fashion


Snow Day

Valentines day winter wonderland

Happy Monday! So… #WinterStormJonas got us GOOD 2 weekends ago. We’re talkin’ over two feet of snow, stuck in the house for days kinda good. As soon as it started to clear and the sun came out – we just had to get out in it and take some photos! This was our first big snowfall of the year (and hopefully the last!) so it was fun to goof around a little bit! We felt like a pop of red would be perfect with Valentine’s Day coming up!

Valentines day winter wonderland

Amanda’s Sperry Duck Boots were perfect for our walk in the snow. It was a pretty warm day and the snow was starting to melt.

Valentines day winter wonderland

 My Target vest was also the perfect pick for the not-so-typical winter temps we had that day.

Valentines day winter wonderland

 Amanda borrowed this Target scarf from our girlfriend, Casey. I’ve seen it all over social media this winter but couldn’t snatch it up at the store in time. I knew it would look great with her red pea coat and black beanie.

Snow Day

Valentines day winter wonderland


Valentines day winter wonderland

          The pop of red is everything against this winter white background. These are some of my favorite photos we’ve done in awhile!

Snow Day


Snow Fashion  Sure, I look like I’ve got my walk together. Little do you know… I almost fell into that wet snow about 10 different times during our shoot! Let me tell you, it’s never a dull moment. 😉

Valentines day winter wonderland


 My Target boots are a staple in my winter wardrobe. They keep my feet warm + dry while making me feel like my look is put-together.

Valentines day winter wonderland   It’s always so fun shooting together! Most of the time it’s one of us behind the camera. It was fun to have Amanda’s husband behind the camera for a change!


Highlighting + Contouring Basics | Allison Marie

Highlighting and contouring is the new black. (That’s how that goes, right?) You see and
hear about it everywhere, and I don’t think it’s going out of style any time
soon. Now is the perfect time to learn! In this tutorial, I will cover the basics: must-have products, where & how to apply, as well as my before & after photos… so let’s get started:
 “Highlighting” means to accentuate or
brighten up your best features, while the definition of “contouring” is to
darken, minimize, or diminish the less flattering ones. If you have a small
nose, you can highlight it to make it look bigger or by contouring the sides and
tip of the nose, you can make it appear smaller. It’s a play on lighting. You
are creating depth and shadows where there aren’t any (for example, making cheekbones). With this technique, you can change the shape of someone’s face.
In my profession, I personally contour and highlight my face
every single day. But for others, it may be saved for
photos or special events. That’s not to say you can’t add a little highlight or
bronzer here and there whenever you want. It just takes more time, that’s all.
Now, let’s talk about products. Highlighting and contour
kits come in two forms: cream and powder. I recommend cream for dry skin and
powder for oily skin. Anastasia Beverly Hills has both kinds of contour kits. Plus,
they each come with six different shades: three light + three dark. Also, NYX has an awesome cream stick called the Wonder Stick. One end has a highlighter and the other has a darker
color for contouring, which is less confusing for the beginner.
The next thing you will absolutely need to have is a contour
brush. This is a must. I think when you see women with that dark streak across
their cheek, it’s because they didn’t use or have the right brushes to properly
blend it in. I recently purchased the Lorac Pro Contour Palette which came with
their Pro Contour Brush. It’s a great palette and you are getting a pretty good deal
by getting the brush to go with it. It even comes with instructions! Once you have your kit and brush, it’s time to get down to
First, apply your moisturizer and primer, followed by foundation and
setting powder. I always start with contouring first and save the highlighting
for last. Either way is okay. I begin by applying the medium shade to the
hollow of my cheeks from the corner of my nose to the top of my ear. Then, I go
down the sides of my nose, blending as I go. This placement works for almost all
face shapes.
Next, I take the light shade and go from the temple, across
the forehead, and down the other side. Blending up into the hairline. For a
longer forehead, blend down towards the browbone.
Lastly, I dust the dark shade along the jawline, under the
chin, and down the center of the neck. Blend upward from the jawline to the
cheekbone for square shape faces. If you are wearing a low cut blouse, you can
add a contour to the base of your neck and chest. And that’s it for contouring! It’s that simple.
Before I use the highlight or shimmery shade, I like to
conceal with the banana or yellow powder (shown above). It is my absolute favorite and I always seem to run out of it! But the good thing about the Anastasia Kit is that they sell
individual refills for each color. I use the banana powder under my eye, and I also
mix it with the light pink or fawn shade and dust it between my cheekbone and
jawline contour. I like to make three straight lines in the middle of my
forehead and blend. It is also great for around the nose to cover redness and
between the cupids bow on your lip. It’s even good to apply around you lips to
keep your lipstick from bleeding. 
As for the highlight, I apply it under the eye
and brush across the cheekbones. If your skin is oily– you may want to stick
with the matte contour and skip the shimmer to avoid less shine throughout the
The key is to blend, blend, blend! The other day, I started to walk out the door and my husband noticed that I hadn’t blended my contour well enough and I had to go back and finish blending! It was so funny! I guess he has learned a few things over the years ; )
You can finish up this look with blush, eye makeup, filled-in brows, and lip color. By doing that, you will be able to have a put-together look. Definitely try it out and make it your
own. If you have questions about this tutorial, please e-mail me at
or visit me at Ulta in the Meadowbrook Mall. We want your feedback– so let us
know what you think or what you would like to see in future posts.


Highlighting + Contouring BasicsHighlighting + Contouring Basics
Highlighting + Contouring BasicsHighlighting + Contouring Basics
**Stay tuned to the blog this week for announcements on a holiday contest which includes a makeup giveaway!

Fall Style Preview

We can feel fall creeping in and that makes us happy! When a collaboration with Not Too Shabby Boutique came about last week, we were thrilled to be a part of it! September is a perfect time for a new boutique AND it’s full of all of the fall looks we love. We did a photo shoot wearing items from the shop, and we went to their grand opening to take photos of them in their new location.
We were able to
get a behind-the-scenes look at Not Too Shabby Boutique’s new space. They already had such a great selection of trendy accessories and clothes, but they decided to move to new space to give their customers a larger selection to choose from! It was almost impossible to only pick a few
outfits for our shoot.
The owner, Karen, is so easy to work with– from helping you style your look to holding private shopping parties upon request.
What a fun night with girlfriends that would be!
 We love that the boutique is owned and ran by a mother and her two daughters, Jenna + Aleah. “It’s a great balance; the girls are up on the all of the trends and I have experience operating a small business,” said owner, Karen.
Fall Style
Fall Style
Fall Style
 Marrissa loved pulling looks for our shoot a few days prior to the opening. We had a hard time not taking too many! ; ) Their new selection of fall clothes have a boho flair and the pieces are so versatile! The ladies carry sizes for all body types and a variety of styles.
There is just something about dresses, chunky knit cardigans, fringe boots, and hats that women love for the fall!  Here are a few photos from our shoot we did, wearing items now available at the boutique! You have to go check them out!


Fall Style
Amanda’s look: dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  ankle booties: Coach
Marrissa’s look: dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  fringe boots: Minnetonka; hat- H&M
Fall Style
Fall Style
Fall Style
Dress + fringe vest: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  boots: Coach


Fall Style


Fall Style
Dress + Cardigan + Hat: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  boots: Minnetonka
Fall Style
Fall Style
Dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  ankle boots: Old Navy
Fall Style
Dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  boots: Minnetonka 


Fall Style


Amanda’s look: dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique;  ankle booties: Minnetonka
Marrissa’s look: dress: Not Too Shabby Boutique; ankle boots: Old Navy
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