Holiday Traditions | Mother Daughter Photos

Tomorrow at noon officially starts our Thanksgiving break and we’ll be so excited to have James home with us all week!  He and Jordan are the lights of my life and I’m so honored to be their mom!  Raising little kids (and big ones) is a responsibility I don’t take lightly and I always hope I’m doing the best I can with them.  It’s been so interesting to see how similar and yet so very different they are and to try to parent to each of their specific needs.

I feel like I learn from them so much everyday.  And honestly, I just like them.  They are good kids and pretty fun to be around!  My mom is always saying what good company they are and I agree!

When Jordan turned one, we took some time for a special Mommy/Daughter photo shoot and I still cherish those pics so much!  It takes some forethought and planning to get outfits organized and schedule a date with a photographer, but it’s so worth it!  I’m so thankful that Jordan is game for these photos and actually likes getting her picture taken! #ham

Mother Daughter Christmas outfits red plaid

Similar Wreath

on Mom : Plaid Top • Jeans • Similar Necklace Here & HereSimilar Heels

on Jordan : Plaid Dress • Shoes

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If you follow me on Stories, you know that Jordan is as sweet and spunky as they come.  She is smart as a whip and started talking and walking so early!  At age 2 1/2, she can carry on a full conversation and isn’t shy about letting us know exactly how she feels.

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I already admire the person she is so much!  It’s challenging to have such a tiny person full of fierce determination and independence, but it’s also delightful when she turns on the charm.

Mother Daughter plaid Christmas outfits

She’s one that loves social interaction, playing with friends, and always wants all eyes on her.  If we’re swinging at the park and another child/parent comes over to the swing next to her, she’ll say, “look at me guys!” #noshame

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We’ve also affectionately nicknamed her “Boss Baby” because that pretty much sums her up.  She always wants to be the leader, in charge, and to direct everything going on- even her older brother!

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When I got online recently to find holiday outfits for this mommy/daughter photoshoot, I was so excited to find so many adorable things at JCPenney.  Of course you don’t have to match each other, but when I saw this festive plaid print in both my top and her dress, I thought it was so cute! And just different enough since mine was a shirt with jeans and hers a dress with tights.

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Plaid Top • Jeans • Similar Necklace Here & HereSimilar Heels


I’ve gotten lots of questions about how to dress for family photos and my best advice is first and foremost to dress everyone in something they’re comfortable in.  If your kids hate what they’re wearing or it’s itchy or uncomfortable, it’ll show on their faces.  Jordan LOVED getting dressed up in this dress and wearing fancy shoes.

Then, just make sure everything goes together – kind of like if you were putting throw pillows on a couch.  It’s okay to mix pattern and colors if they coordinate.

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You also don’t have to go out and buy something new.  If it’s not in your budget (you’re probably paying for the photographer and photos after all) or it’s going to stress you out, I’m sure you can find something that works in your closet already.  Or maybe buy one or two new things as opposed to entire outfits for each family member.

With our outfits, I was immediately drawn to this vibrant red plaid, and the prices couldn’t be beat.  JCPenney often has the best promotions and great deals so you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good.  My peplum style top with bell sleeves and Jordan’s adorable dress were both less than $50! JCPenney often has deals that allow you to save more if you buy more so this plaid dress with more green in it was also a contender

I also appreciated how Jordan’s shiny black shoes actually velcro on the side so I didn’t have to fight with a buckle.  And she felt so EXTRA in them!  I swear, she’s such a girly girl sometimes- and then you turn around and she’s all tomboy!

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Whether you or a professional are the one snapping the pictures, below are a few of my tips to end up with great, natural photos you will love forever!

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  • Let them play, act goofy or wild for a while (the candid shots are often the best and once they get some energy out, they usually calm down).
  • Don’t offer too much direction, you’ll both end up frustrated.
  • Go earlier in the day when you and they have more energy.  Or at golden hour when the setting sun is so pretty.
  • Try different positions and angles, touch each other, kiss, hug or hold hands.
  • Give them something to hold.  It distracts them and also helps keep them in place while they play with something.
  • Don’t let your own energy be all strict and crazy and weird.  Take a few deep breaths, let the kids be kids, and let their personalities shine through.
  • Bribery! I’m not above offering a treat for a positive attitude during a photo shoot.  Whatever works!

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While I was shopping online at JCPenney, I also found some super cute holiday decor and gift ideas I wanted to share with you!

Plaid gifts dessert plates and candle

How cute are these appetizer/dessert plates?!  They come in a set of four with the words “Cheer, Merry, Noel and Joy”.

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Y’all know I get a kick out of putting together collages for you, so this one is all themed in festive plaid with things for your own home or as gifts for others!  I bet you didn’t realize JCPenney had all of this goodness!

Plaid holiday decor

Plaid Plates • Chenille Throw • Nutcracker • Wreath • Towel Set • Cranberry Fig Plaid Candle • Black & White Checkered Candle • Plaid Mugs & Stand • Picnic Basket

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• click the pictures below to shop • 

I hope this post inspires you mamas to get in some pictures with your kids!  Even if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, I know you’ll be happy to have these pics later on! 

Have a great day friends!


*Thank you to JCPenney and ShopStyle for sponsoring today’s post.  

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Love the red peplum top you are wearing for the photo shoot!! Did you purchase your usual size, or did you size down as recommended?

  2. I love this tradition you have created with Jordan! I love watching her on your stories, she is such a sweet and spunky little girl. She reminds me so much of my youngest at that age. Boss Baby made me LOL! You are doing a fantastic job mama, keep up the good work! xo

  3. Love these sweet pictures! I hardly ever think about JC Penney, but I think I may have to run into ours on my next trip into town. Is that truck wrapping paper from there? So cute!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    1. Hi! I’m the same way, but they have such a good selection and great sales! I’m pretty sure that truck paper is from The Container Store- but I think Zazzle has it now!

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