“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
I had the absolute pleasure of shooting a Mommy and Me session for Asia & Autumn this past weekend! They are such an energetic pair full of love, laughter, and playfulness and when you combine their cheery personalities with gorgeous matching pink tulle ballgowns, you get a photoshoot that dreams are made of! I went to school with Asia and when she contacted me for a Mommy and Me session, I was overjoyed! We originally had plans for a spring shoot but rain caused us to postpone. Finally this past Saturday on the day of our shoot, we lucked out with a 70 degree summer day. It was absolutely the perfect weather to explore the magical gardens of Surreybrooke. The endless gardens on the property were blooming with beauty, and sweet little Autumn loved to walk around the paths to see what she could discover! Whenever I have the chance to take photos of children, I can’t help but smile as I catch a glimpse of the world through their eyes. Autumn loved watering the flowers, chasing the kitty that walked around the property, and having a tea party with her mommy. Enjoy these photos from our magical morning!
Fun fact: Asia didn’t show Autumn her dress until the day of the shoot. When Autumn saw her dress she couldn’t wait to put on her pretty princess dress. She spent most of the time at the gardens twirling around in her dress and anytime her flower tiara fell off she wanted it back on immediately! #princessautumn
Thank you Asia for allowing me to capture you and Autumn’s special bond. Now time to schedule a playdate between Autumn and Lucy ❤
When I was pregnant I was very hesitant on getting maternity photos taken. Luckily, my friend Tammy offered to take some for me and now in hindsight I couldn’t be happier to have her beautiful photos to reflect back on that very special time. A few months after Lucy was born, Tammy announced she was expecting a little sweetie pie of her own and I was absolutely over-the-moon thrilled to hear this news! This time, it was my turn to offer to capture HER special maternity moments. The Corduroy book that you see pictured was significant to her as it was given to her by her husband on their first wedding anniversary (aka the paper anniversary). Please enjoy these photos of this gorgeous mommy-to-be!
If there is one guilty pleasure that I have and obsess over, it is place-setting and small scale entertaining/planning. Kitchen Decor stores are tortuous for me because in my dream world I would have a different pattern/color dish set for each and every time I entertained. Lucky for Bryan and I’s wallet, I have settled on two sets of dishes (for now). A plain white set is a must (we have the Martha Stewart Kensington Collection), as it is versatile and can be made to fit any theme when added with table linens and decor. My other set (which I will highlight the next time I use it) is the Maribeth collection from Pier One. One day I dream of a big kitchen with a big dining table to host dinner parties (don’t we all?), but for now I make use of what we have!
Last weekend I played hostess as we celebrated my mom’s birthday! My mom, my step-dad, and my brother were in attendance for Sunday brunch. If you know my mom, you know how much effort and love she puts into her family and holiday meals. So much so that she hardly even sits at the table because she always puts everyone else first making sure we all have what we need. This time, it was my turn to pamper her! I wanted her to be able to relax while Bryan and I did all of the cooking and cleaning. Brunch is big in our family, so that is how we chose to center the meal around the daytime theme. First and foremost I thought of my color scheme for the brunch. I know, I know, most people probably plan the actual meal first…I just can’t help but think backwards when there are dishes and linens involved! I knew I wanted to incorporate tulips so that was where I started. I found the perfect yellow tulips that were bright/sunny and knew they would be perfect with the mimosas we would be serving! I used a water pitcher to display the tulips. I already had green placemats that would work perfectly with the yellow so that was an easy decision. I ordered some last minute yellow napkins (thank you Amazon Prime!) and used this video tutorial to fold them into a fun pinwheel shape. Here is the final table setting for Mom’s birthday brunch:
After figuring out how to stylize the brunch I had to come up with the perfect menu that would accommodate everyone’s meal restrictions! My brother is a vegetarian, and my step-dad is gluten free. After much food blog perusing, I came up with the perfect list! The main entree was this amazing gluten and dairy free Blueberry Lemon Overnight French Toast that I found on Whipperberry. This french toast was the perfect combination of sweet and sour and unlike the usual heavy french toast recipes I’ve tried, this felt more healthy. The lemon blueberry sauce drizzled over it was just divine! The variations I made to that recipe were instead of normal gluten free bread I used cinnamon raisin, and instead of vanilla soy milk I used vanilla almond milk.
To accompany the french toast, we also made Buns In My Oven‘s Baked Scrambled Eggs. I usually find every way to ruin scrambled eggs when cooking them stove top, but surprisingly this baking method was fool proof! In my family, everything is better with cheese, so after the first 8 minutes of baking I stirred in about a cup of shredded Velveeta Cheese before baking for the final 8 minutes.
We also made Homemade Home Fries by following No Ordinary Homestead‘s recipe. This was our second time using this recipe because it is just that good. This time however; we omitted the bacon so that my brother could eat it and substituted the bacon grease for canola oil as recommended by the recipe. Finally, we made some maple sausage on the side, used the french press to make coffee, and served up delicious mimosas!
Food and family go hand in and, and we had a wonderful morning spending quality time together. I want to wish my Mom a wonderful year ahead and I am so glad that we were able to spend time with her on birthday weekend! To finish the post a few family photos from the morning: