RED, WHITE AND BLUE. LENA TURNS TWO!

We have been extremely busy this summer season - transitioning to a new job and transitioning Lena to her first school (cue the tears). However, that did not stop us from taking time to plan a birthday party for our aforementioned toddler. All we needed was a low key BBQ (with a side of blooms and balloons) to celebrate our little firecracker turning TWO!

Because Lena's birthday is so close to Independence day (and also originally her due date) we decided to embrace the holiday with a red, white, and blue themed celebration. I found budget friendly florals from our tried and trusted Trader Joes in a combination of patriotic themed colors, including blue hydrangea, white chrysanthemums, and red hypericum berry filler. To coordinate with the theme, I bought stars and striped paper party goods from Meri Meri and Jollity & Co. And in saving the best for last, I enlisted the services of a local bakery, Incredible Edibles, for a combination of strawberry, blueberry and vanilla flavored cupcakes for the dessert.

I snapped a few of my favorite details before putting the camera away and choosing to be fully present with the time we had celebrating our sweet girl. It was the best feeling watching her run around our backyard with all of her friends, squealing with such joy and excitement. 

letter board: Letterfolk // tablecloth mat: Gathre // paper plates, cups, & straws: Meri Meri // blooms: Trader Joe's // desserts: Incredible Edibles Bakery // photo prints decor: Artifact Uprising

MOTHERHOOD MOMENTS WITH THREE GENERATIONS

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When I received the email for a Minimal Motherhood photo session with Nikki Santerre, fellow mama, friend and talented photographer who also recently captured our family’s Christmas holiday together here, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to capture a season that has come full circle, one between a daughter and her mother.

I have always admired my mom for more than just the obvious reasons - the overwhelming amount of strength she had to overcome a challenging childhood, to dedicate twenty years of her life to the U.S. Navy, much of which was spent away from her family during frequent deployments, and then the courage to carry on in the face of tragically losing her husband, my father. Now after becoming a mother, I find the appreciation for my own growing exponentially.

"My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her." ―Jodi Picoult

This calling that is motherhood is far from glamorous - the tears, the tantrums, the mundane routines of waking up at 5 a.m. to pack lunches and bags before heading off to work every day - yet, it is glorious. It is beautiful. Situated in the middle of this domino of life, I see so much of myself in my daughter and so much of my mother in myself. Each giving each life. That is the beauty of motherhood - this interweaving of life and giving. And so, I could think of no better gift for Mother's Day this year than to capture this life, these moments together as mothers.

Happy Mother's Day to my mama, to all moms, those present in life or in spirit, moms to be and those that someday hope to be. XOXO

photography: Nikki Santerre Photography // lena's outfit: Rylee + Cru // lena's shoes: Saltwater Sandals // my jumpsuit: Free People // my shoes: Lotta From Stockholm

EASTER BASKET FOR TODDLERS

There is something about experiencing holidays through the eyes of a child. Whether first or second, each year is just as magical as the last. This year however, Lena is much more aware of that magic and we plan to surprise her with her very own Easter basket!

Easter baskets may normally be filled with sugary sweet stuffers; yet, I chose crafts over candy for a toddler. I found washable paints in tip proof containers and brushes from Target, along with paintable eggs from a tried and trusted brand, Little Sapling Toys, to coordinate with.

Holidays are centered around tradition and I decided to start a tradition of our own centered around Lena's stuffy, Juliette Rabbit from Hazel Village, that was gifted to her for her first Easter. One of my favorite features about the brand Hazel Village is the interchangeable clothes they produce to coordinate with their dolls. So this year, I included Juliette in Lena's basket but with a new Easter dress!

Finally, I decided to forego the typical Easter-specific basket for a version that can be used year round. Plum + Sparrow produces beautiful, quality market baskets and the pint sized version was perfect for the job. To top it off, I added the cutest little pinwheel bow from Joey Mae Handmade!