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



There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing a delicious meal with family and friends. And for that very reason, Thanksgiving might just be my favorite holiday. This year, because of travel plans following the holiday, we are preparing to host Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in our home. Also because of travel plans following the holiday, I needed a no muss, no fuss dinner set up that would be an easy clean up (especially with a toddler on the loose) and allow us to enjoy more time with our family.

My mom hack for an easy dinner clean up? Disposable (gasp) plates and utensils. I repurposed disposable bamboo plates, made by the aptly named brand, Bambu, and gold plastic utensils, both from Lena’s birthday party last summer. Not only are the plates an environmentally friendly alternative but they offer a more elegant display at the table when compared to traditional disposable options.

Much of everything else for our table set up was repurposed. Rosemary and a little pampas grass from our own garden, little mercury glass votives we typically use for year round decor at the dinner table, and then gold chargers borrowed from my mama. The chargers were originally from Pottery Barn years ago but a similar style can be found from Michaels for only $1 each here.

Finally, my easy clean up set up was made complete with a tablecloth designed from one of my personal most trusted brands, Gathre. We have and continue to use several mats by this brand, everything from diaper changing to play, and now dining! Plus, you can get 25% off mats from their site now for their Black Friday sale!

Get: disposable plates from Bambu here // tablecloth mat from Gathre here // letter board from Letterfolk here