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Getting YOU in the Photo

let’s talk about getting photos with everyone in them! because those are so important and special to me. i also wanted to talk about the importance of getting YOU in them! (talking to you mamas who are often the picture-takers…) i think sometimes we’re so focused on taking a picture of the kids, or dealing with other things happening at the same time around us, that you aren’t in any of the shots and it’s a bummer when you look back.

growing up, my dad took such incredible and raw footage of my siblings and me on his ginormous video camera and regular camera all the time! it’s amazing to have, and i’m so grateful, but he and my mom (and especially my mom) are rarely in any of the footage and as i’m older now and look back on it, i wish we had better documentation of all of us together.  so for me, it’s been a big priority to try to grab that family shot as often as we can.

here are a few tips we’ve found helpful for doing so, since all the family photos you see here were taken by strangers while we were out traveling.

(ps. see this post all about our camera equipment, and

as requested by so many of you, today’s post is all about photography! i’ve already shared a post with all the information about what sorts of cameras and photo equipment we use, as well as the back story to both josh and me being self-taught when it comes to all things in the photography world (read that post HERE first if you might have missed it). but today, i’d love to talk more about getting the shot.

so let’s start with candid photos.

i’m going to focus this post on taking candid photos mainly of kids, because my children are my favorite thing to photograph, and i’ve found some really helpful tricks over the years when it comes to capturing them in a photo.


i think the biggest thing when it comes to taking a successful photo of a little one, is to try to capture the best side of your child. this usually mean capturing them in action, in their element, doing their thing. having them hold still, stand in a certain spot and scream “cheese” at you often doesn’t really translate well, since their smile or body language might not seem as natural or authentic… it’s usually not as fun for everyone involved, either.

i feel like i’ve learned this through a lot...

i’ve had a lot of requests for some day in the life type of posts, and while each day tends to look different from the next over here (at least the work part for josh and me), our morning routine is very consistent, so i thought i’d start with that!

one of the things josh and i have noticed as a few of our kids have entered the age of school years, is that our kids really thrive on structured consistency. we have a morning routine that rarely budges from the plan, everyone knows their role or what to do, and our mornings tend to run with pretty great ease because of it (can’t necessarily say the same for the bedtime routine, although we’re slowly getting there. it just seems to take much more work and effort.)

we really love our mornings together and i’m excited to share!


unless we’ve had some sort of sickness or sleep issues the night before, everyone tends to rise around this time. eleanor and samson have gotten so great...

the idea of setting resolutions or goals for the new year felt so incredibly daunting and annoying to me this year, in the midst of my daily barfing, constant fatigue and pure will to simply survive this next stretch of the twin pregnancy (as well as all the months of crazy after the twins actually arrive.)  is it absolutely frightening to admit my word for 2018 is something along the lines of “survive”?!  ;)

but i do love the idea of a refresh, which january always seems to bring. the holidays are over, our house is somehow always recovering from some sort of infestation of sickness this time of year, and we are truly doing our best to deal with the brutal outdoor weather. but it’s also a new start! a time to take into account what worked and what didn’t during the last 12 months, and what we can maybe do differently in the next 12 months to improve and grow. and because the resolution list felt too daunting for where i’m at personally in my life, i decided to make a very simple and small list of improvements i know i can make, and keep.

since i’ve already started implementing a few of these over the past month or so, and since i’ve seen such a benefit in my personal life...

i’m excited to share some photos from our christmas here in new york city! josh’s parents came to town to celebrate the holiday with us and i swear every christmas just feels more and more special as the kids are such fun ages for all the festivities. i love this holiday so much which is probably why there are a million photos below from christmas eve and christmas day. it’s a fun one to take pictures and videos of and always remember.

christmas eve started out with josh making about 4 batches of his favorite ginger cookies, which he only eats at christmastime (usually washed down with a mexican coke, something else he only has at christmastime since he only drinks water and nothing else throughout the year). we delivered some to all our neighbors in our apartment building and i’m sure the kids had a few, too, but you guys, there were approximately 0 ginger cookies left by christmas day. josh davis knows how to put them away. i honestly don’t know how he doesn’t get sick of them after one or two, but he doesn’t.

our little mister conrad is 3 years old today! we have been anticipating this day for several months now, as conrad so anxiously loves to practice singing happy birthday and blowing out pretend candles! he also wishes aloud several times each week for a “dragon cake” and a “red yo-yo.” his face this morning said everything! especially when he opened that yo yo. :)

i don’t know what we ever did before this beautiful boy arrived into our family, but he brings such joy and laughter and love into our home. last night, as i was putting him to bed, he stroked my hair all on his own and whispered, “is this better?”, something he says rather often when showing love. he loves the color red, pretending to be a dragon, professing his love for everyone in his family, watching bob the painter (that old show from the 80’s where the man named bob paints landscapes on canvases! but he can’t get enough)! he eats more hard boiled eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than anyone i know, hates to scoot unless he is in the lead (which can be tricky with two older siblings on scooters). he draws exceptional circles and requests fiber one cereal rather often. he talks to the babies in my tummy every morning, he loves saying “hi babies!...

there is something so completely magical and special about the first snow of the season! we were lucky enough to experience ours on saturday here in the city and it didn’t disappoint on any level. after we managed the ordeal of getting snow gear on in an attempt to head to central park, we could barely get a few feet from our front stoop before the kids had plopped themselves down and were giddily scooping up snowballs like they were tiny puppies! we only live a short distance from central park, but it took us maybe a half hour to get there, since every snowflake that fell seemed more magical than the last and my kids were plenty content just playing with the snow from on top of parked cars along the street! it was very sweet. we did eventually make it into the park, where our papa randomly slid down a hill without a sled (and some strangers caught it on video! they came and found us to show us. we laughed so hard, we had them text it to us and i shared the video on instagram if you want to see! it’s a funny one.)

we ended our snow adventure with hot chocolate and some japanese take out. always love these first snowstorms and i’m so glad we...

what are some of the traditions you and your family do over the holidays?

i made a little list of a few of our favorites! and i’d love to hear some of yours, it’s always fun to try new ones out…

— josh and i love reading david sedarias’ holidays on ice together. he was one of the things we really bonded over when we were dating and it’s fun to pull out his christmas book each year. the audio recording of him reading his own essays in this book are particularly amazing. it’d be a fun one to listen to while decorating for the holidays or driving to a christmas party if you have a car.

— it has become christmas tradition since our first year of marriage for josh to make a triple batch of his famous ginger cookies each year on christmas eve and i love the way it makes our apartment smell.  since we make so many, we like to deliver them to friends together on christmas eve and the days...

well, this past week has been one for the books! and not in a good way, but more of an exhausting-you’ve-got-to-be-freaking-kidding-me- kind of way. somewhere between ordering a new faux pre-lit christmas tree, and starting to set it up the day after thanksgiving, to discover the lights did not work, to the part where they sent the replacement tree almost an entire week later, which also had lights that did not work (i’m not kidding, we had two lemon trees in one week!), to the part where two and half hours later on the phone with costumer service, josh pays to overnight a third pre-lit tree to us and we still have no idea where it even is in the mail. (but bless my smart husband for also getting a tree without lights as backup because it’s the one we are using!) and so, after setting up and then having to take down two different 9 foot christmas trees this week, repackaging them and sending them back off…. christmas just started to feel annoying to me. and gosh, i know these aren’t serious problems, but still. thanks for listening.

and so, the other night at around 8PM, after we’d just put the kids to bed and as josh was untangling christmas lights (cause we ain’t ever doing anything pre-lit again!) and i’d just finished puking for the...

i have an obnoxious amount of photos to share from the thanksgiving day parade last week, but first i have to say thank you so much for the all the love you have shown us this past week since we announced our news! our family is so beyond thrilled to welcome these new babies into our family, and finally sharing the news with everyone made it feel all the more real (although truth be told, it sure feels very real over here with how sick i’ve been this time around.) but even so, we are just on cloud nine. may can’t come soon enough. i’ll share more in another post because i’m getting side tracked and mostly just wanna recap the parade in this post, so let’s get to it!

i ventured out to central park west in the early hours of thanksgiving day morning (4:26am to be exact) with a few thermoses of hot herbal tea and some blankets to hold my ground. besides not being able to feel my toes by 6 in the morning, it was going just fine. we are pretty lucky to be living so close to central park right now, that i went home to our apartment to use the bathroom when i had to pee (friends held down the fort for me while i ran home). josh brought the kids...

feeling extra thankful this thanksgiving day with news to share that our family is expanding with two babies on the way! twins! arriving May 2018 and we cannot wait!

sending love to everyone and hoping your thanksgiving has been wonderful so far!

dear library lions,
you look so festive and you’re making me so happy. can you keep the red bowties on through february?!

dear wind,
goodness gracious, you know how to snarl a girl’s hair like the devil.

dear weekend,
there was a primary program, a regina spektor concert, a museum of christmas excursion and our very first attempt at hosting a friendsgiving in our weekend mix and i loved every minute of it. the busier and more...

in the last couple of months, we reached our 10 year anniversary of Love Taza, and i’ve wanted to find a way to celebrate with you, many of whom have been following along since the first couple of posts over ten years ago!

with the holidays quickly approaching, i feel like there is no better way to spend our time together than to serve with one another. and so, we have organized a service project here in new york city!

we will be helping the Food Bank for New York City. their Bronx Food Distribution Warehouse distributes food to charities throughout the five boroughs, supplying 64 million meals to New Yorkers in need! as volunteers at their warehouse, we will help their staff with their highest-impact initiative by sorting and repacking bulk shipped food and goods for redistribution around the city to fight hunger. no special skills are required. adults, and even children ages 6 and up are welcome, too! we’ll bring our own kids, so we’d love to have other children attend and help out as well. it’s part of the reason we chose this specific service project, so we can do it as a family! :) our service project will be held for a few hours on saturday, december 9, 2017.   to sign up, FILL...

i feel like the holidays are always a good excuse to get any extra projects around the house finished before you have company over or host anything. the last project we’ve had on our list since our move a couple months ago was the gallery wall in our kitchen, which was killing me because the wall looked so sad as it sat bare and white everyday. especially since we are always gathered around the kitchen table in there. BUT, bare no longer! and i love how it turned out. we partnered with framebridge once again (you might remember the beautiful gallery wall we did in our old apartment with them), and i’m excited to share our kitchen gallery wall with you today!

also, a code below for 15% off your first order, if you’re needing anything framed! (eh hem, holiday gifts anyone?!)

before we get to the gallery wall, i wanted to share one of the instagram prints we had framed as a gift for grandparents this christmas. (fortunately chances are low of my father-in-law seeing this before it arrives, which is why i’m showing you his gift!) the great thing about framebridge is...

i’ve rounded up all of our favorite things to do over the holidays in NYC, since this time of year is truly so magical and so many of you have been inquiring! i’ve also included some tips for getting around and staying warm, since so many of the activities are outside and sometimes keeping mittens on a child can feel impossible (wait- just mine?! shoot!) anyway, hope this is helpful! and if i missed anything, be sure to share in the comments…

to start off–


we love thanksgiving in the city! if you’re wanting to do the macy’s thanksgiving day parade and wanting a front row spot for you and your group, it’s best to arrive before 5AM (we have friends that go between 4 and 4:30AM to ensure they get a good spot) and have heard that the east side of the street is best along central park west. you don’t have all the late time crowds pushing in on you, since they close off the street by 6:45AM and people can no longer cross central park west.

something we have done in the past is make a reservation for breakfast at landmarc in the time warner building at columbus circle which has incredible views of the parade below. it’s a bit of a warmer option, if you aren’t up for...

i have been gravitating towards the color red lately and feel like it’s coming in a close second to my favorite color, yellow. maybe it’s because the color reminds me of christmas, and that in and of itself is enough of a reason right there, but the color is slowly taking over my closet (and home! can’t wait to show you how we pulled red into our kitchen!)

i bought this red military coat several months ago after seeing it online and have waited patiently for the weather to turn so i could start wearing it pretty much every day. the coat reminds me of the toy soldiers in the nutcracker’s battle scene where they conquer the mouse king and once again, enough of a christmas reference for me to be like, LOVE! i’m also the biggest sucker for that scene in radio city’s christmas spectacular where the rockettes stand in a line dressed as toy soldiers and fall down so slowly in single file with those freaking adorable red circles glued to their cheeks. i guess this coat is helping me live out my toy solider dreams as i walk the streets of new york and that is good enough for me.

as of lately, i have gotten SO many questions and emails about all of my denim. so many of you have been asking about some of the blue and black jeans i’ve been wearing that i figured i’d dedicate an entire post to it, to answer all the questions and also have a chance to profess my love for my 2 current favorite pairs of jeans with truly are on constant repeat.

let’s start this off with a little back story. several years ago, i found denim so restricting when it came to being able to bend my legs and lift my legs and just move freely (it must be the old dancer in me), that i refused to wear jeans. and for a good part of my life, i didn’t own a single pair. i’m trying to remember exactly how i did end up trying on a pair of blue jeans at some point in my life, and while the details are fuzzy, i do know that i did my best to give so many brands and styles a fair try. and usually i’d just be frustrated because it felt limiting to my lower half of my body and also just never that flattering on my short legs that are seriously short (HOW when i have 3 sisters with the most killer...

hope everyone had a happy halloween and is slowly recovering from the sugar overload! it has done a crazy number on our kids the past 48 hours, and i feel like we tried so desperately to limit their consumption, but still. STILL. the sugar highs (and then lows) are a real thing. and throw in some late bedtimes and extra early rises and BAM! life is chaos!  …but it’s how we all love it, right?! a little chaos isn’t such a bad thing, really.

we had three very scary spiders in our home this year. it was something eleanor and samson have talked about since basically, july. i’m not totally sure where the idea initially stemmed from, but they decided on spiders, on papa being the web, and on mama and conrad being flies. i failed on the fly costumes and ended up dressing up as some web with josh for a church party, but they didn’t seem to mind.  that way they can crawl all over us, right? ;-) conrad just wants to do whatever his older brother and older sister are doing at the moment (bless him), so when they’d excitedly say “spiders!” after anyone asked what they were going to be for halloween, conrad was right there behind them all like, “me too! spiders!!!!!!” and so, three little spiders ran around...

happy halloween!!!! i don’t mean to completely skip over the holiday (we’ve been listening to thriller on repeat per eleanor’s request), but i’m desperately trying to convince my husband that decorating for christmas tomorrow (november 1), is the best idea ever. he’s of that mentality that we can go all out with the christmas spirit the day after thanksgiving, but i really feel having a few extra weeks of the holiday magic adds to that thanksgiving day spirit as well. i feel like we go through this every day, and i didn’t mean to get on a tangent here about christmas...