I've got a locket, got a locket full of sunshine


So good to be back on the blog. I've missed you!! Momlife has felt extra zany lately, how about for you?

If you have ever wanted to slow down the childhood clock and freeze time for even just a moment, you'll love today's post. I'm sharing one seriously stylish accessory that doubles as a timeless way to preserve your babies forever. Their cute double chins. Those superfine wisps of hair. The cherub cheeks you can't get enough of. Oh, and there's a discount code for you at the end of the post--yay!

Lately, I've been feeling extra emotional about my children growing up so fast. Dean is no more a little babe. He can walk, run, climb, wipe his own dinner tray, and have conversations with me. As of last week, Dean can also remove his diaper, tinkle on the carpet, dump a whole bag of chex mix on the kitchen floor, AND empty his sister's dresser drawers in under three minutes! He's setting a new course record on #toddlerninjawarrior! Motherhood really is the wildest ride, isn't it? A strange mix of wanting to just survive each crazy day and to sop up every sweet second of it with a biscuit (a teething biscuit in our house lately).

The first year of a baby's life is especially mind-blowing to me in how much physical change they undergo. Dean is 16 months as I write this and he looks so different than he did at Christmas and even more drastically changed than this time last summer. It's a constant reminder that the days when Mommy can fix all their problems with kisses and/or snacks will be gone before we know it. Childhood and Motherhood are not static. 

And with each child, the clock seems to accelerate even more. Entire seasons that seemed like months of time stretching ahead of us quickly consolidate into a few short weeks. Kids grow taller. They start asking all the whys. They astound us with their ever-evolving independence. Every day I'm thankful and amazed by God's work in the lives of my children to create them individually, bless them with such sweet spirits, and give them sharp and curious little minds.

My mama friend Morgan Atkinson knows from her own Motherhood experience with her two adorable daughters Nora and Greer that time slows down for no one, and in what feels like an instant, kiddos morph from warm little lumps of snuggle to passionate and adventurous tots, to K-5ers. Then come milestones I can't and don't even want to imagine just yet like learning to drive, dating (!), and leaving home for the great wide somewhere. It all makes my chin start to quiver, both for my kids and my rapidly aging self. This adventure called Life is such a fast-moving one.

Morgan, who is exceptionally, and I mean exceptionally, talented in many artistic arenas, has managed to capture childhood in the most timeless and stylish way. Her hand drawn and watercolor silhouette prints and lockets make a beautiful keepsake, a perfect accessory, a heartfelt gift for you, your mama. your grandparents. They're a beautiful way to keep your babies small, and a locket keeps them close to your heart.

The process of ordering a silhouette print / locket is undeniably easy. Morgan can somehow magically fit up to 8 silhouettes in each full-size locket. So even if you aren't done adding to your family, Morgan can add more silhouettes later on. Morgan also offers a miniature locket that holds two silhouettes and comes in sterling silver or raw brass. The larger locket is raw brass, and it is the perfect necklace for any outfit if you ask me. And to leave out no one, Morgan offers tie clips and money clips for the gents.

Included with your locket order are 5x7 prints of each child's silhouette, which feels like an amazing gift all by itself. These are beautiful to frame in your home or to gift to grandparents. Grandparents' day is around the corner in September, and Christmas is just a wrapping paper fundraiser away because the school year hustle is going to kick us into warp speed here pretty soon. Morgan can do the silhouettes in watercolors and add decorative floral wreaths to the prints. She's a creative powerhouse so she always finds a way to offer something beautiful and extra to suit your taste.

Back to the process... To order my locket, I used my quite dated iPhone to take photos of the kids using Morgan's simple instructions for getting a workable shot. It was quick and easy. No elaborate setting. No change of clothing required of the kids (see Dean: clothing optional). I didn't even wipe the yogurt off of Dean's face before I took his picture! Easy as can be.


After I sent Morgan the pictures of the kids, Morgan sent me a digital proof of Iris and Dean's silhouettes to approve. Let me tell you, seeing your babes in silhouette will bring tears to your eyes. She captures details that melt your heart (again, those cherub cheeks and doughy little chins, awwww). In the process of Morgan working on my locket, she would post pictures on Instagram, and my heart fluttered every time I spied my babes' silhouettes on her feed. To see my favorite people preserved in a classically cool form of art just takes my breath away.

After Morgan worked her gift for hand drawing every fine detail of the kids' silhouettes, she created and cured my locket using non-toxic, BPA-free materials, and I jumped for joy when my locket and prints arrived by mail. I have every confidence that you will when yours arrives too. 


My locket has been a huge hit with the kids. I've been wearing mine for about a month now, and Iris and Dean both love to see inside my locket. The thrill has yet to fade for them, and that makes it really cool every time I wear it because I know Iris will say, "Look Dean, Mommy has on her locket!" Dean will come over and say "neck-neck" (necklace) and wait expectantly for me to show him what's inside. The kids know it is their silhouettes. Dean points to his side of the locket and says, "Meeee!" and Iris begs me to please wear it open so she can see their little faces all day long. I love that wearing my locket guarantees a Mommy & Me moment every time I wear it, and promises that I will see my kids sweet smiles when I open it up. These are moments to savor.   

To get started on your own keepsake silhouette locket or illustration, head over to Morgan Atkinson Fine Art. And you get to enjoy a discount for being my friend and reader! Use code STYLISHASAMOTHER10 when you checkout. Oh and free shipping always. Morgan knows what we ladies want: free shipping, a beautiful necklace, and our babies to stay little! 

Thanks for reading, friend!
xo Sara 

Entertain your kids with this car-friendly activity

We recently hit the road to Florida for family vacation, which we broke into segments of varying travel times. Our longest days in the car were 5.5 hours and our shorter days were 2.5-3 hours. That's a lot of time to entertain restless travelers.

Even as a second-time mom who knows a thing or two, it can be difficult to predict what activities will be a hit with kids. So when it comes to packing activity bags for road trips, I like to offer plenty of options to keep Iris occupied.

This trip I made up a small bag of familiar items for Iris that she could use at her discretion (flashcards, books, Magna-doodle pad, favorite stuffed animals), and I kept the new stuff in my own bag in order to pace the fun, or Iris would have plowed through it all before we made it to the interstate.

Color Wonder products have always worked well for us when traveling, so I got two of those, allowing Iris to have free reign to use the Paw Patrol set and saving the other surprise set (Disney Princesses, which Iris is just starting to show interest in) in my bag for the return trip home.

My one wish for Color Wonder products is that they offer something that is reusable. Iris can go through them incredibly fast for the price, so for this road trip, I made sure to find a product that was reusable in hopes of getting more entertainment and more value out of the item. What I found turned out to be the HIT of the travel bag!

Melissa & Doug Water WOW! pads are reusable coloring pads. The spiral bound pads are made of thick board and have a handful of scenes to "paint." To paint them, fill up the painting pen with a little water (easy to do on the go by keeping a bottled water on hand; it doesn't need or hold much), and then your kids can paint the scenes to reveal the colors + hidden items on the page. Iris loved discovering hidden flamingos, turtles, baby chicks, etc. The finished scene has nice, vibrant colors that stick around until the water gradually evaporates. Once the water dries, which takes just a few minutes, the picture returns to its original all white version and is ready to be colored again (and again and again).

I was skeptical that Iris would want to keep coloring the same pictures over and over, but it was no different than when she wants to see the SAME Paw Patrol episode on repeat (Ultimate Rescue: Pups Save the Tigers, FYI). The excitement of this activity didn't wear off until after we had been home from vacation for two days so I'd call this purchase a win. I bought a set of three of these from Target for $15, ocean, farm, and wild animals, and they were well worth the spend. It was really helpful to have more than one pad in rotation so while one picture was drying, Iris could move on to painting another pad.


A pen that uses water might sound messy, but it really wasn't. If your child uses a lighter touch, there will be virtually no mess (I hesitate to even call it a mess), and if your kiddo is like mine, there may be some excess water that stands on the pad. Iris is beginning to get a little prissy about having wet clothing or water TOUCH HER ARM! (the horror!) so I gave her a napkin to keep on hand. Another idea is to have your child place a kitchen size towel over their lap while they paint. We did that on our second travel day, and Iris never mentioned any water issues. She would paint a scene, pass me the pad to set on the van floor to dry, and get to work painting one of the other two pads. By the time you reach the third pad, the first one is dry and you can cycle through the various scenes for as long as your child wishes. 

I think the process of "painting" was soothing for Iris, even more than coloring, and that made her feel nice and relaxed, which made me feel nice and relaxed too. 

Each Water WOW! pad comes with a pen/paint brush (plus a spot to store it built into the cover), giving you extras in case one gets misplaced. I chose to keep the pens in my hanging organizer on my seat back so I'd know where they were. These pads come in a lot of different themes and titles including religious ones and educational options like letters and numbers. I'm SO glad that we found this product. They were a total hit! #momwin 

Honorable mention goes to another reusable product from Melissa & Doug, Reusable Sticker Pads. They are static cling, not traditional sticky-back stickers. Basically what we would have called Colorforms when we were growing up. 

This product comes in a pad with a variety of scenes to place the "stickers" on. With over 300 cool and colorful stickers, I knew this activity would be Iris's cup of tea. And it sure was! BUT... the size of this item made it cumbersome to work with in the car, especially flipping back and forth from sticker pages to the scene pages. I should have inspected the dimensions before I purchased and I would have seen how large they are. In a smaller format, this could be really cool for engaging little kids in the car. We still made good use of these pads during morning times in our hotel room when everyone was getting ready for the day. Since returning from vacation, we have used them a lot at home too so I would still recommend them. 

Other items that we used in the car/hotel:
My Dress-up Friend sticker book (get them at the Dollar Tree)
Paw Patrol giant playing cards also from Dollar Tree, great for Go Fish
Magnetic letters and numbers + a small dollar store baking sheet to practice words and counting
Counting birds book, from 0-100 from you guessed it, Dollar Tree

Where are you going on vacation this summer? What are your favorite car-friendly activities for kids? Comment on the post or on Insta to keep in touch! 

Stylishly yours,