All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by us.
Watching my little girl grow into a beautiful young woman has been a pure joy for me. She has changed so much over the years, but one thing that has always remained is her kind, compassionate spirit…and that makes me so proud! Before she hit adolescence, we started talking more about her interest in fashion, dressing for her figure & the importance of modesty (thankfully, her school has a fairly strict dress code, so this hasn’t been a huge battle). I’ve always encouraged her to wear what she feels best in and, most of the time, she gravitates towards sporty styles for back to school. But, every once in a while she will surprise me & pick something very feminine…which I secretly love!
We went to JCPenney a few weeks ago on a shopping mission to round out her fall wardrobe & I was shocked when she chose this billowy floral blouse. Though, to be fair, she also picked up this cozy sweatshirt, these burgundy ankle pants & these suede sneakers. While she was trying on her clothes, I quickly grabbed this off-the-shoulder top, my favorite jeans & this luxe saddle bag. Embracing floral prints in rich colors like these is a great way to ease into fall before the weather fully changes. More transitional items to try include this navy wrap blouse, this burgundy print dress & this lightweight sweater.
c/o Arizona Peplum Top, c/o Arizona Camisole (comes in 12 colors),
c/o Arizona Skinny Jeans, c/o Arizona Booties (also in gray, black & taupe),
c/o Arizona Bracelet, Similar Necklace
c/o a.n.a Off-The-Shoulder Top (wearing an XS; comes in 3 other prints & 4 solid colors),
c/o a.n.a Jeggings (wearing size 4; also in black, white & dark rinse),
c/o Style Charles Echo Sandals (also in black), c/o Mondani Crossbody Bag,
c/o Liz Claiborne Earrings, Nails: OPI It Never Ends
Quite often, I look at her and wonder where the years have gone. I still remember rocking her to sleep in my arms like it was yesterday. And now she is a 13-year-old who is just as tall as me & who’ll only be at home with us for 5 more years. I may miss the sound of her tiny feet running across the hardwood floors, but I’m also grateful for this new phase of life that we’re in & for the beautiful bond that we have now. For those who are also moms to pre-teen or teenage girls, I thought I would share some suggestions of things that have worked well for us to stay close & keep open lines of communications as she maneuvers through adolescence:
1) Make one-on-one time a priority
Just before she hit puberty, I started being more purposeful about setting aside time for just the two of us to spend together. We have taken two different weekend trips (one to NYC & one to Toronto) and we regularly plan one girls’ day a month where we spend the whole day together (shopping, going to a movie, getting pedicures, etc.). We also love watching “When Calls The Heart” when the boys aren’t around.
2) Start a mother/daughter journal
Sometimes teens can have a hard time saying what they’re feeling outloud, so writing it down feels less daunting and gives them more time to process their emotions. We have developed a pattern of keeping a journal – she will write something in our notebook & set it on my nightstand. Then I read what she wrote, respond to her & put it back on her bed. Sometimes she asks questions, sometimes it’s simply expressing her frustrations & sometimes they are very sweet & endearing messages to me. It’s become one of my favorite things & has really helped us maintain open & regular communication. You can create your own or buy one with thought starters built in (search ‘mother/daughter journal’ on Amazon).
3) Encourage her interests
When I first had my daughter, I assumed she would be just like me…but as she’s gotten older, I’ve learned that certainly isn’t the case! Instead of trying to coerce her to do the same activities that I did in school, I’ve paid close attention to her interests & passions and the areas where she excels. She may not be naturally athletic & that’s okay – she couldn’t care less about sports! But, she is an incredibly talented writer & is truly gifted musically. So, we’ve begun to encourage her love for the arts & have sought to find extra clubs, camps & classes that will help her grow and develop those skills even further.
4) Don’t avoid hard conversations
As much as I’d love to bury my head in the sand when it comes to talking about hormone changes & her growing interest in boys, I need to show her that I’m willing & eager to tackle those awkward topics. I’ve found it the most helpful to share with her some of the things I was dealing with at her age to remind her that everything she’s going through is something I once faced too! This has really helped give her confidence & feel more comfortable opening up in these areas and verbalizing her insecurities with me.
5) Model humility & forgiveness
As moms, none of us are perfect – I make mistakes all the time and, being the adult, it’s important for me to set the example and apologize to her when I drop the ball or lose my patience. In the same way, when she comes to me saying she’s sorry for a bad attitude, I strive to give a grace-filled response & immediately offer forgiveness. Developing a habit of seeking to make things right when those situations arise will model for her a healthy self-awareness & a true compassion and care for others.
Laura || WIMIHH says
Wow, she looks so much like you! As a daughter to a single mom, our bond is and was unbreakable. She has been my best friend and mom since day one. These tips are great, I never thought about doing a journal to write things down. Love your outfits so adorable!
Ashley Zeal says
You girls look great! I love both of those tops.
These are such great ideas for relating to your daughter! I would have loved to have kept a mother-daughter journal when I was young.
These colors are so lovely on you and so perfect for fall!
Visions of Vogue says
these fall florals are amazing!
Kassy Sanchez says
You look like you could be sisters! My mom and I do too!!! Love this! And those floral tops!!
Seriously, yall are too cute!! Enjoy that girl time!
Both of these tops are SO cute and flattering!!!!
Mallory Fitzsimmons says
Awww I loved this post! As a mama of two baby girls, this tugged at my heart strings ?
What a lovely post! I hope to see you both on my Fancy Friday link up!
Ashley @ Fancy Ashley says
Such cute fall florals! I love both tops! XO!
Amanda Nicole Hughes says
Y’all are cute! Love the fall colors.
Lee Anne Benjamin says
Awe, I love this! You two seem to have a great relationship.
Awww, great post and I love the great ideas for bonding with your daughter. My daughter is an adult now, but she will always be my baby and I still love hanging out with her!
Dawn Princess Darnell says
OMG! I thought ya’ll were sisters! Super cute back to school outfits btw!
Alex Carreno says
You two are darling! I love both of these outfits!
Oh my gosh, you look like sisters! My daughter is only 5 but we’re already working on the ‘model humility & forgiveness’ thing 🙂
You are so wise to start it early!
Ashley McClellan Houston says
Oh my gosh seriously I thought you were sisters or friends! Such a sweet post
Adaleta Avdic says
You babes look super cute!
Beth Chappo says
Oh Kimberly this is such a lovely post…I cannot believe how big she has gotten!! And as I sit here next to my oldest, we’re thinking we may start a journal of our own…love this idea!! xx–Beth
Caitlin Patton says
I love both of your outfits! You two look like sisters 🙂
Ashley Hargrove says
Y’all are absolutely stunning!! I love both of y’alls looks!! Beautiful for summer and perfect to transition to Fall!
Your floral tops are stunning! I love that they make for really great transition pieces too – I’d love them with shorts and booties also!
Elisabeth Gringeri says
So cute! and i swear your two could be sisters
You two are the cutest mom and daughter duo! Love your outfits!
Rosemary Bostic says
Great advice! My oldest daughter is almost 10 and I’m nervous but excited for those pre teen years!
Lindsay Rutland says
I actually used to work at JCPenney when I was in high school and always loved their great selection!
These photos are so sweet and I love your words of wisdom! My mom was/is my best friend and what always blew me away was her ability to forgive others and to find empathy despite being hurt.
This is an absolutely precious post, quite honestly! I remember going through those early teen years and being confused about everything because I was getting older. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my mom during that time. I’m glad you and your daughter have each other as companions and best friends!
Liz H. says
Oh my gosh, you guys are twins! So cute!
Rachel Li says
You guys are so cute! Love both tops!!
Love the OTS style, such a great look for fall!
GH Client says
Your daughter is gorgeous! She looks just like you!
Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says
She is seriously your mini me! I love your top!!
Awww, you and your daughter are wonderful together here! She’s as gorgeous, stylish and elegant as her mama. 🙂
Kay Nguyen says
Love both outfits, so cute! Love your blog <3
Heidi Daoud says
This is a very sweet post. My kids are a little younger but man time is flying by and I’ll be saving these tips. I especially love the mother-daughter journal. I’m wondering if that would work with my son as well….thanks for sharing your insights!
Heidi || Wishes & Reality
Oh I’m sure it would! I don’t know if they have pre-made journals for mother/son but you could certainly make your own!
I haven’t shopped JCPenney in such a long time but love your selections! Unfortunately, when I tried to check out from their site, it wouldn’t accept the coupon code you posted: ” JCPenney: 50% off when you spend $40 or get 60% off when you spend $100 or more using code SHOPNOW3 (online only; ends 8/24) + free shipping on all orders”. Thought your readers should know . . .
I’m so sorry about that, Laurie! I double-checked their site & it appears that code applies to select regular-price merchandise, so if you are ordering sale or clearance items then it might not accept it. Sorry for any confusion!