Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Florals & Pearls

I have been having a lot of fun taking photos of what I wear... But I didn't take a single photo this week. Then this morning I was about to clean my room and realized pretty much everything I wore all week was piled at the foot of my bed... so before I put stuff away I laid it out and took some photos first. It was cool to do this and line up a whole weeks choices... I feel like all of the sudden I see my style pretty clearly. Because we had a busy week I actually got dressed more than... twice.) And apparently without even realizing it I was really feeling the florals and pearls this past week... :) 

Just so you know, these outfits are in no particular order.... or at least not the order I actually wore them. I guess they're just in the order I cleaned them up this morning. ;) 

(worn for an evening out at a cafe) 

Sequin Top: J. Crew (gift)
Skirt: AE in 2010
Sandals: Urban Outfitters (birthday gift this year. I love the contrast they give when paired with a "dressier" outfit...) 
Necklace: Pearls N Joy (proceeds fund families trying to adopt)

(worn to church) 

Dress: Macy's this past winter... My favorite purchase ever because it rang up at $0 and they weren't sure why, so they just let me have it!! 
Pearl Bracelets: I have no idea where they are from because I have had them forever and ever
Flats: AE just this past spring 

(worn for a photo shoot) 
T-shirt: J. Crew in 2010 
Lace Shorts: Ross last year (birthday gift from my sister) 
Sandals: AE this past spring

(worn to family dinner)

Polka Dot Button Up: Target, winter 2012
Lace Shorts: Same as above 
Sandals: Same as above

(worn to run errands one morning) 

Dress: Target (2007) 
Sandals: Urban Outfitters

(worn to girls night at my sister in law's super adorable newly remodeled house)

Plaid Button Down: Target (just this week!) 
Boyfriend shorts: Target (earlier this summer... these are my favorite shorts ever. so comfy) 
Sandals: Urban Outfitters

(worn  on Saturday to a cookout and then to dinner at great friends of ours)
Navy tank: No idea... it's old
Striped skirt: AE this past spring
Sandals: AE this past spring

So there ya go.... looks like this week's run down was made up mostly of target, j. crew and american eagle.... Target is definitely one of my favorite clothing stores :) I think I wore my pearl stud earrings with every outfit you see above. 

Something you maybe don't know about me... in 2006 I lost a pretty significant amount of luggage while on an r.v. trip with my family. Like, a giant duffle bag packed with all my favorite jeans, t-shirts, steven madden cowgirl boots, turquoise jewelry, sandals, cold weather wear, warm weather wear, hoodies, glasses, sequin tops... you name it. (Clearly I was not a very efficient packer.... I had pretty much just taken my whole closet with me.) But the bag literally fell out from under the r.v. while we were driving. We didn't realize til later. We drove back looking for it but never found it. :( It kind of gave me a platform to build fresh from though. So that is why most of what you will see me wearing is from 2007 on. I try to only buy things I think I will love for years, and I keep my clothes forever. I usually add a couple new things each season. And they all work with things from years ago. And that ends my random fact sharing. :)

We've had this unexpected spell of cool weather (in the low 70's!) this week and it's made me so excited for fall... it was also the inspiration for the button ups with shorts :) My porchulacas seem to really be enjoying the cool weather too. Love them... they look like poppies meet succulents to me. :) 

Laundry Room Makeover

I've been saying I would post this forever, so I finally am... :) I have a list in my mind of our home makeover projects and one by one we are working our way to the biggest one... re-doing our kitchen! But since the laundry room is tiny and less labor intensive, that one came first :) So I chose this super pretty shade of turquoise/mint (called aqua glow by Valspar, this color, sprinkle by Valspar, was what I was originally going to go with but they didn't have that at Lowe's when I went.) No matter, I love how aqua glow came out. It felt super risky to do this bold of a color... I normally stick to grays, neutrals, or very very soft blues.... But the laundry room seemed like the perfect place for such a fresh, clean color. I never could quite capture the exact color through my pictures... there is no direct natural light to this room so that made it tough. The photos without the lights on are the closest to the true color though. I would still like to add a tiny chandelier and change out the door from the kitchen to the laundry room with an antique door (maybe from the house that Shaun's great grandpa built that was just remodeled!!) But we will see. One thing at a time :)

Let's start with the "after" picture, because, well, it's the prettiest :)

Here is the before. Not awful, but much more blah. And the walls were pretty beat up just from our almost 4 years of living here.

I keep my vintage quilt collection up above the cabinet in here and this is where I've made lemonade from the no-natural-light-in-this-room-lemons. Because no direct natural light means no fading of the quilts. And they are such beauties. One was hand stitched by Shaun's great-great grandma on his grandfather's side, one was hand-stitched by his great grandma on his grandmother's side. The others are vintage finds from etsy that I use for photo shoots, and one that my mom found for me in a boutique down south somewhere... :)

Another "before" angle...
And the "after" angle
 The one wicker basket holds dirty laundry from downstairs, the other holds cleaning supplies. We keep our boys most used shoes on the washer to be able to easily put them on right before we get in the car to go somewhere. (The laundry room leads to the garage) The purple container is from thirty one, and I have my file box for bills and other miscellaneous things in there... It might be finding a new home soon but for now I pull it out to work on things at the counter in the kitchen when I need it and it's nice and handy.

After!!! :)
I added the old two-seater bike print once I put the hooks and other frame back on the wall.
Here are a few with the lights on, not as true to wall color but you can see other details better that way.
My beautiful beautiful quilts!
Love this little row of hooks I found for our keys at target.  "Keys and Stuff..." There used to just be command strip hooks here that were perfectly functional, but not that pretty... since I had to take them down to paint anyway I figured I'd go ahead and replace them. 

The mail organizer was from pottery barn outlet. It didn't have the gear to hang it on the wall properly... so Shaun found a small dowel rod (spray painted silver) and I used twine and lace to hang it. $14.99 instead of $45.00. Yes please. (It was from my mom for my birthday a few years ago. She let me pick out a few things from the outlet cause she's awesome) 

The cute little stud push pins I used to hang the bike print are by Nate Berkus for target. Adorable. They come in a pack of 12, 6 gold, 6 silver.

I will say, I thought this room would be so fast to paint... But it actually took three days. One day to paint the trim, one day to cut in, and one day to paint the three walls not behind the washer and drier, then let them dry, then move the washer and dryer out to paint behind them, let that dry, then move them back. Not easy painting by yourself with three kiddos... but definitely doable if you are determined. :) ;)
So there ya go, a little laundry room tour for you. :)

Hopefully we'll be on to the kitchen sooner than later. But if not I am ok waiting too. The process is part of the fun. And you appreciate it so much more when it's done.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Autumn Rain: Senior Photos

This shoot. This shoot. It is so beautiful. All because of the girl whose personality and beauty I was privileged to capture. Autumn is only 16 years old, but she carries a maturity, grace, and depth to her that is rare to find in anyone, let alone someone her age. She has survived great heartache, losing her daddy tragically just two years ago, but she has allowed it to make her stronger instead of defeating her. She is making choices for her future to prevent similar losses for others. She has such a huge heart. Besides possessing absolutely stunning natural beauty, she is determined, passionate, self-disciplined, trustworthy, and gives her time volunteering to help others... She has such a natural way with animals (you'll get to meet her puppy Journey in the photos below)... when we took pictures in the water at the end even the ducks all swam up to be near her. Without further adieu, meet Autumn:

Her tattoo means "overcoming hardships."


I thought it seemed fitting to take some of her blowing sparkles into the air.... To me it represents all the bright pieces of her future still ahead of her.

She wanted to include her daddy's memory in the photos in some way, so we took some photos of he with his urn. My heart was breaking. He might be gone from this earth, but he is still alive in her heart.
We took some in her cap and gown, and a t shirt and jeans too before she changed back into the white dress for our final photos.

We ended the shoot with very spontaneous pictures of her actually getting into the water... her aunt was along and she suggested it. When Autumn said she was cool with it, I was so excited!! The following are some of my favorite images ever.

I already shared this story on facebook when I posted this picture, but it's worth repeating. Autumn's mom was holding Journey's leash up the hill away from the water while I was taking pictures... but when he saw her getting into the water without him, he broke free and ran down the little beach to her, jumping in the water, splashing, and climbing all over her. He just wanted to be with his girl. This picture that I caught in the midst of that crazy just melts my heart. It's my favorite picture from the night.
I love these below as well....

And after she got out of the water I looked back and saw the sunlight coming through that arch of trees so beautifully I just had to take a couple more... I can't believe how gorgeous she is even right after getting out of the bay and getting her hair all wet....

Autumn I wish you all the best in your senior year. Keep going for your dreams and being your lovely self... I am so honored to have met you and your family. There are big things ahead for you girl.