There is something about the holiday season that is so magical...and at the same time stressful. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the decoration and gifts as much as the next person; yet, keeping up with the expectation of it all has become very overwhelming, especially while trying to balance marriage and motherhood with a full time day job. 

My heart is in a very different place now and I value things like time or experience so much more than material items. Because of this, we opted out of traditional gifts this year. Coincidentally, what started as a last minute, dual purpose photo opportunity for holiday cards while finding a Christmas tree has turned into the best gift ever.

Although this isn't our daughter's first Christmas holiday, it was a first of ours witnessing her fully experience the magic to the season. A special thanks to our photographer Nikki Santerre, who I connected with and have admired over the little Instagram space, for accommodating to a last minute mama's idea and preserving so perfectly this moment in time for us. I may be a bit biased but when you share the same name with your photographer, you know the images are going to be beautiful.


Photography: Nikki Santerre // Location: Mill Farm Williamsburg, VA // My Skirt: Jenny Yoo Louise Tulle Skirt from BHLDN // Lena's Dress: Zara // Lena's Coat: Rylee + Cru // Lena's Bow: Fourth + Pierce // Lena's Doll: Hazel Village

A Year of Firsts: Bridal Shower Gift


Fall is increasingly becoming a popular time for weddings. In fact, the hubs and I are preparing for four weddings this season, one of which will be celebrating the union of his youngest brother and our soon to be sister-in-law. Admittedly, I often struggle with the (bridal or wedding) shower gift registry because the sentimental side of me seeks a more personal gift. There was no exception to this for my sweet, soon to be sis-in-law's bridal shower.


For me, every year of marriage is my favorite; yet, there was something so extra special about the first. I was originally inspired by the champagne glasses on the couple's registry and planned to combine them with a nice bottle of champagne to use for celebrating their first wedding anniversary. While exploring the idea with my trusted friend, Google, I stumbled upon another - a "basket of wine for those special moments in time".


I inquired with the groom-to-be about the couple's wine preferences and combined their favorites with hand lettered tags for a variety of "first" experiences as husband and wife. I also hand lettered little messages about each experience on the back of the tags.


Coincidentally, the couple registered for storage baskets; so, I purchased one for their gift and added the above mentioned champagne glasses with a wine accessory from their registry. I completed the gift with a little reusable slate plaque, reading "A Year of Firsts" and attached it to the basket.


Looking for gift ideas this wedding season? I find it helpful to not only purchase from the registry but to get inspired by it. And if all else fails, here's an idea that is sure to please both the groom and bride-to-be! For a nonalcoholic version, try substituting the wine bottles with candles for a similar effect.

Get: basket from Target here // slate plaque from Michaels here // tags from Amazon here

My Favorite Season


The warm sun, sand between my toes, and the sound of the ocean roaring up the shore. This is what I live for. It's no secret, summer is my favorite season and I can't help but reflect on this past as we near the end of it.


I'll admit, summer is far from perfect (and pumpkin fans may argue fall takes that title). There are challenging, messy days to this season. Hello heat and sticky humidity!

Ironically, there is a parallel to this figurative season I'm in now. I've experienced some of the most challenging days in my life so far and to this day I struggle to find balance between myself, marriage and motherhood.


Yet despite the challenging moments, I've come to realize that this season of my life is my favorite. Motherhood is my favorite.


Just like the warm sun, the smile on my daughter's face quite literally lights up my life. The pure joy fills my heart and soul to a depth I never knew existed before.


As we near the end of summer this year, I'm reminded of just how quickly time passes by. That this season is fleeting. All I can do is be fully present and soak up every light filled moment. So, this is where you'll find me for the rest of the it.


Thank you to our dear friend Shannon for continuing to capture our season so perfectly! xo

Photography: Shannon Moffit // My Dress: Free People // Lena's Playsuit: Marlow & Mae // Lena's Flower Crown: Sage Sisters from Noble Carriage