gift guide: home

November 28, 2017

hey loves! so I recently asked on IG if you guys were into gift guides on the blog, and 90% of you said yes! so here we are! I'm not sure if I will be able to do a bunch of individual guides, but I figured if I could group them, it might be easier - and less reading for you! I wanted to share my top picks for the home for today. so whether you know a new homeowner, or want to snag something for yourself, grab a cup of tea, throw on a pair of joggers + let's shop!

1. iRobot Roomba WiFi Vacuum
not sure this baby even needs an explanation. it's been on my wish list for the past 3 years + I am really hoping Santa delivers one this year. Lu is crawling, which means we are vacuuming/sweeping constantly. these can be an investment, but it's currently on sale! 


2. PlayStation 4
this bad boy is one of the new gaming systems to hit the scene this holiday season! it offers wi-fi + BluRay capabilities. you can download apps like Netflix + Spotify, which we have been using daily. you can even link it to your iPhone or Android, making the possibilities pretty endless. oh, and don't tell my husband, but Santa already snagged it. get it now for $100 OFF!


3. Calphalon Cookware Set
this set is incredible. we have had ours for just about 5 years + they are still going strong! these are the perfect gift for a new homeowner, newlyweds or even wrap it up for yourself + throw a gorgeous bow on top, especially since it's UNDER $100!


4. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
one of the most sought after kitchen items on the market, is this beauty. not only does it look gorgeous on top of your counter, but it's an item you can literally use for everything. there are so many attachments that are available, you could make breakfast, lunch, dinner + dessert. currently on sale for less than $200 right now!


5. Keurig Coffee Maker
we are currently in the market for one + I think we hit the jackpot. I am obsessed with the pearl shade, making it perfect for any kitchen! on super sale, for less than $90. pour it up people!


6. Wine Rack
if you aren't sure of what type of wine to get someone, grab one of these instead! perfect for anyone who drinks - wait, there's people who don't drink? I am loving the gold accents and right now, it's under $50.


7. Crock Pot Slow-Cooker
my god, I could not live without mine. wake up in the morning with the kids, throw all the ingredients in, let it cook, and have dinner ready without having a sink full of dishes to clean. this one just went on sale too, under $85!


I am seriously so glad you guys told me how much you enjoy reading these gift guides! hopefully I can get some more up soon before you finish your holiday shopping! I'll be sure to update you for my next one [or subscribe + never miss a post]! leave a comment below + let me know who you need help shopping for! 


*disclaimer: affiliation links are included in this post. all opinions are my own.

a letter to that mama

November 21, 2017

dear mama,

I see you. I can see your worry and the guilt already starting to add up. you're sitting on the floor building legos, or playing dress up with your first baby, when you feel it. those little kicks from your sweet miracle growing. it may have been planned, or been a complete surprise, but it's already starting. those feelings. I see you mama.

most days, the only thing reminding you of the new life growing inside of you, are those kicks. you don't get to stop your day to sit on the couch to soak in all the movements like you had done the first time around. you are busy running a household. folding laundry, making dinner. playdates, school events + chasing after a very busy toddler, who by the way, looks 5 years older ever since that test read "positive".

there is no baby book, logging every new craving, or new outfit that you picked up when you were casually strolling along in the baby section with your hot latte. your new sonogram pictures might get crinkled by the little hands of your first, because they "want to see their new baby". you cry at the thought of that. at the thought of a new little person, stealing the attention. how will you juggle it? how will you be in two places at once? how can you divide your heart? I see you mama.

you'll pack your hospital bag and wipe away the tears. bringing some "hand me downs" and trying to remember when your first was that small. hoping that you don't mess up. that you remember how to do the newborn phase. worrying about how your first will handle this new chapter. will they act out for attention? will they get jealous? will they be accepting? you'll wipe away the tears.

you'll give them their last "my only baby" hug and kiss. it might last a minute, but it'll feel like seconds. you know when you return home, it won't be the same. you will have to teach them to share with the baby, even their favorite toy. you will have to teach them about patience. that "the baby needs to eat, so just give mom a second". you'll see their face turn down when they've said "mom look at me" for the 76th time. you're trying. my god you are trying so hard. I see you mama.

some days will be really hard. you'll pray to find the balance. some days you'll feel like super mom, and some days you'll question everything. but every day, you do it.

everyday you love like crazy. you kiss every boo-boo. you prepare every meal, and give every bottle. you build every castle and you shake every rattle. you'll have play-doh in your hair, but fuck, that's better than never taking it out of the box, right? you'll appreciate every single second that you get one-on-one with your babies, and every second you are blessed to see them together.

some days you'll give yourself a "time-out" for the sole purpose of just catching your breath. take it. you deserve it. you deserve that moment, for all that you have done. you deserve that, and so much more. you've gotten through the fears and the worries. you've gotten through the sleepless nights. you've found your rhythm. you deserve it. I see you mama.

family photoshoot | Q+A

November 7, 2017

it might sound crazy, but sharing our family shoots has generated a ton of questions. sure Pinterest can give you some ideas, but I always think that getting someone's actual input always serves best. we have our upcoming family shoot next week, so I wanted to do a little Q+A to help you guys with location ideas, clothing choices + even how to find the best photographer. feel free to leave your comments below to touch on anything I may have missed! 

Q: how do you find the best photographer?

A: I think social media plays a role, but personal references are HUGE! depending on your style, it's best to shop around. email them all your questions, get a feel for their vibe + always reference back to their work. they may like architectural shoots, or nature. they may use props, or take more candid shots over "posed". ask for their prices + see what fits your budget. photographers who are just starting out generally have a very small fee (or could be free), so shop around!

our go-to photographer is coming back to work (fingers crossed) in 2018, so this upcoming shoot will be done by Tiffany Rose - who I have never worked with - but have heard amazing reviews about. her work is gorgeous + we have chatted in detail about my vision + her style, and the best way to combine the two! 

Q: how do you style a shoot?

A: a basic rule of thumb (for me), minimal patterns. I try to do solid neutral colors for the most part, maybe throwing in a striped piece here + there, depending on the shoot. for holiday shoots, I do like to throw something fun in. avoid dressing anyone in the same colors + make sure your clothing has different dimensions (i.e.: denim, cotton, tulle). you don't want everyone to blend into each other, or the backgrounds. stay away from any logos, or clothing with words. 

Q: how do you pick the location?

A: this is something you can definitely chat with your photographer about, but you should also have an idea of what you like. I am into outdoors, natural light + greenery. your photographer should have an idea of most local spots, or even some places you can travel to (but keep in mind most photographer's have a traveling fee). for seasonal shoots, I try to get creative, but otherwise, I prefer a shoot where I can have evergreen content (photos to use all year round). we did our 2015 holiday shoot at a christmas tree farm + it was perfect!

Q: what is a good price range?

A: this totally varies depending on the type of shoot you need. weddings obviously are at the top end, labor/delivery can get pricey too. I would come up with a price in your head that you are comfortable with, then shop around until you find someone who meets that. keep in mind that some charge by the hour, and some charge by the amount of photos they will edit. turn around time is a big factor too. you don't want to wait more than 5-7 days to have your pictures returned to you, especially around the holidays.

I hope this post helped some of you guys with ideas for your upcoming shoots! it's always best to keep it natural when you aren't sure of something. you don't want to look back at your photos + not look like yourself. keep hair + makeup simple, nothing over the top or too "dramatic". natural facial expressions, don't force it. the best is when you get caught in the moment. those shots are always my favorite!


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