After becoming friends on Instagram, I finally got to meet Whitney in person! Whitney is a very talented photographer here in the Orlando area and she is just as sweet and lovely in person as I had imagined she would be! She also has the cutest little family and they had recently added a new baby boy to their crew. I remember those days with two small babies! Enjoy those precious little boys of yours!!
Below are a few of my many favorites from this adorable family session!
A sweet little babe at 8 weeks. Oh, how his parents adore this tiny little man. I hope you can feel the love in these images!
This sweet couple has long waited to grow their family. I am just so very excited for them to meet their little boy in just a few weeks. This baby is already so loved! Below are some of my favorites from this sun soaked maternity session under the Cypress trees.
A tropical paradise location with some really beautiful mother daughter moments!
I loved this sweet session! I feel like I am finding my groove with the Portra family of film stocks. I still have some Fuji 400h I am not quite ready to part ways with, but Portra is becoming a new friend! Shot on Pentax 645nii with Portra 400 and a few digitals made the cut.
Also, the white dress momma is wearing below is available in the client closet!
In the thick of it with these two little ones! All the snuggles and smiles that come with six months. Baby turned lady and the assertion of independence that come with two years. Believe it or not, these are days that will surely be missed. Soak in every single bit of it!
We had a great time on this Branding session with my friend Camille. She is a mompreneur who coaches other creatives through writing books!! We made these photographs at her home. Days are spent with a laptop on her bed and a baby in her lap. This is where she works, baby in tow. The beautiful real. I feel like there are so many parents in similar situations. Working from home is crazy, messy and yet, really so wonderful!
I am also loving branding sessions lately! It kind of feels like playing dress up with your friends and creating something really beautiful together while laughing and having a lot of fun!!
If you have been following me for awhile, you know I have recently taken up gardening and I love it! During our time in quarantine, I had some extra time on my hands and not much was open. I invested my time in a small garden. We live in the city, so our yard is not in abundance. My garden is tiny, 18" x 48". I overplanted and moved some things to large pots, but overall, the garden has done well and we have been able to eat plenty of vegetables from it. The garden has also been fun for the kids to see where our food comes from and how we are able to grow and use food.
I was not really sure what I could even grow in Florida, especially in my tiny space. I thought this may be helpful to other mommas in the South that want to start a little garden but are not sure where to even begin. I had no idea what I was doing. I actually thought the tomato plants were peppers until my son noticed the first tomato growing on it! Some things were easier to grow than others, so I will walk you through what has worked for me.
I started my growing journey in the Home Depot garden center. Really fancy, I know, but you have to
start somewhere and Home Depot was open. The lady that worked there though was super knowledgable and very helpful, so don't be afraid to ask the people that work in the garden center for their help. I decided to use small plants, rather than starting from seed. We would hopefully have tangible results a bit more quickly. I was also worried about attracting rodents to our yard so she advised me to put a cinnamon broom or cinnamon sticks in my garden and to add herbs. I bought tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet red and yellow peppers, strawberries, kale, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, mint and plenty of gardening soil. I found cinnamon sticks at the grocery store.
I quickly found out that is a lot of stuff for a tiny garden. Within a couple weeks, my garden looked more like a jungle! I bought 2 large pots, filled them with soil and moved the tomato plants, thyme, and basil. I also purchased large stakes for the tomato and pepper plants to grow around. Everything was flourishing for awhile. Then, the bugs arrived. Tiny white bugs were all over the mint and something was eating the leaves of the tomato plants and the pepper plants were turning black where the leaves attached. It was important to me to keep everything organic so I did not want to use chemicals on my little plants. After some research on Google, I sprinkled black pepper on the mint to get rid of the tiny white bugs. I used an organic soap spray for the leaves of the the other plants. The red pepper plant died, but everything else hung on.
The herbs were the first things that we were able to use. My sister gave me a great tip for herbs. She told me they like to be used so pick off a few leaves every day. This really worked for my herbs. They have been the most sustainable plants in our garden. I have dried the oregano, thyme and rosemary and used in pasta sauce, and any other dish I could think of. I cut sprigs of rosemary and tie them up with a ribbon to gift to friends. It just smells so good! As a family, we have grown to love cilantro because we had so much of it. This lasted a few weeks and then the plant flowered and produced less and less until it died. We got a handful of tiny strawberries, but this was in May. Cherry tomatoes grew really well and we had so many tomatoes that were all delicious. I made fresh salsa and had tomatoes for many meals. The plant that grew the best was the kale. We had 2 kale plants and no one likes kale. I did not want to waste it, so we started making kale chips and adding kale to our homemade pizza for some crunch. Now, Tess and I actually enjoy kale! We harvested 1 yellow pepper, but it had a rotten spot, so we didn't even eat it. Typical for Florida, we had extreme heat and monsoon rain during the summer. Late July and August, almost everything died or got washed out. The oregano, basil and rosemary survived.
I replanted in October. This time I tried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, eggplant, Swiss chard, cilantro and mint. I over planted again because I didn't realize the Swiss chard was actually individual plants. The cilantro died immediately. Everything else is doing well. We have already cut off some of the Swiss chard to use for quesadillas. This is the reason I chose to grow the Swiss chard, these quesadillas are so good for lunch! Sometimes, I add turkey bacon and it's amazing. I know strawberry season is in the summer, so I'm not sure why I chose strawberries. We have not yet had fruit on these plants, but the plant seems happy. One tomato plant got hornworms. I used more organic soap spray and they seem to be gone. I check the leaves often for holes and there are no new ones. The tomatoes have really produced a ton of fruit all through April. The eggplant is huge and has several purple flowers, but no fruit yet.
So what has been easy to grow in Florida?
I would still consider myself a novice gardener. I love that we have been able to grow a few items in our tiny outdoor space. It has opened our eyes and enhanced our pallets. I have enjoyed having the kids help tend the garden and see for themselves how we can grow food. For that I am grateful. I would love to know what you are growing in your garden! Please find me on Instagram or comment below!
All images for this post were taken with my iphone.
Some mommy and me goodness!
Baby girl has gotten so big and smiley since her newborn photos! I've known Jessica for over 10 years and seeing her with her baby girl just makes my heart explode. One of my favorite parts of this day was listening to Jessica tell Rosie girl about how we met, "Well, we've known each other for a very long time. We met at bar, sometimes you meet the best people there..." Hahaha! True story, good ole Scruffy Murphy's in College Park. We still keep in touch with many friends we made at that place! That little sweet spot of 6-12 months for a baby is such a cute baby age, not fully asserting their independence and prime for all the snuggles and tickles and kisses!
I am so glad I was able to meet up with Alli and Mike while they were visiting from Boston. Boston... So how did our paths connect? Well, Alli is actually from Buffalo, NY! Mary and I have photographed some of her friends' weddings in WNY over the years. She reached out about engagement photos for when they were planning to vacation in Ft. Myers and everything happened to align. Lover's Key was the ideal location as it is a beautiful beach and she used to come here with her family when she was growing up. These two couldn't be more perfect! They are both so kind, fun and just a beautiful couple!! Some of my favorites from this bright and sunny beach engagement session are below!
This beautiful momma and her little boy are so adorable together, waiting with sweet anticipation to meet the newest addition to their family, a baby girl. We had the dreamiest little maternity session right in my backyard. We went for a minimalist feel, using a simple white sheet hanging from some hedges while momma wore a flowy white dress. We were expecting a sunny day, but a weird fog rolled in and left us with overcast skies. The sun did peek out for just a few minutes! I experimented with Fuji and Portra film stocks and liked some images from 2 different scanners. There is some digital work in here too... It was fun mixing it up and trying to make it all look cohesive!
Also, both momma and child outfits are available in the client closet if you are interested for your own session!