These photos are of my sister and her daughters from when they visited in early March. I asked them if they wanted to do a little motherhood shoot while they were here. Keli and I were excited when the girls agreed to dress up and take some photos with their mama! I am so grateful we created these images because we have a reminder of my nieces at these ages. The girls are currently in fifth and eighth grade. Due to the current situation, school will be taught at home for the remainder of the year. Some of the celebrations typically associated with these milestones are unable to happen. Even if there are no parties or graduation ceremonies, she has these memories with her girls before they transition to a new chapter!
On another note, my sister and her husband enjoy a mostly vegan diet. I find this fascinating because they are also such foodies. They love to eat out at restaurants and to cook at home. Keli gave me many pruning and drying tips for the herbs and vegetables in my little garden. I am constantly asking her for product information and recipes. It's funny, most of our text messages are usually about food in some way, shape or form. She inspires me in the kitchen, always coming up with healthy and delicious creations!
Since we are all spending more time at home and cooking a lot, I asked her to share some vegan recipes that her family enjoys so we can change things up a bit. I asked her for recipes that are easy to make and that her non vegan kids will happily eat. I linked the recipes below for anyone that may be interested!
Creamy Vegan Lasagna Soup - one pot!
From: ELA Vegan
Vegan Mac and Cheese
From: Ela Vegan
Now for some of my favorite photos of these three...All of these images were photographed on film!
“Every part of their being is truly a miracle. This truth is more engrained in my heart than ever and I cherish all the moments that make them who they are, and who we are as a family."
- Colleen, Expectant Mother
The full story is featured over at The Fount Collective
Colleen is a such a beautiful mother, inside and out, and really such a great friend. John and my husband have been best friends since high school! Their kids are sweet and adorable and our families always have the best time hanging out together. Since we live in different cities, this often includes family slumber parties, when us parents may stay up too late talking life and often drinking a little too much. I am so happy I was able to photograph this season for their family and can hardly wait to meet their brand new baby boy!
We also took some photos at home with their very first baby, Nala!
Newborns bring such light and joy and I think we can all use a little of that right now! This was my last session before social distancing was a thing. Alex and Steven are such natural parents. Steven had quickly mastered the swaddle and Alex knows exactly how to calm her sweet baby girl. They are such a great team already as they navigate parenthood together.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel like we need our team now more than ever. Each day, something new unfolds and often more uncertainty. We are confined to our homes, working and doing life closer than most of us ever have. It is crazy and chaotic here. Some days seem eternal. Others fly by and I am left wondering what we did all day. Through this experience, I have also recognized that I have slowed down. I don't have a list of places to get to and activities to get done or drive to. I have been more present and for that I am grateful. Tommy and I have started taking daily walks. It almost seems like going back in time when we walk around the neighborhood, seeing everyone out with cheerful smiles and hellos from a distance. We hang outside, as a family, when Mike is done working and the weather here has been amazing. The sun is usually dipping behind our neighbor's home and we listen to music, have a drink or swim as an evening breeze gently brings a close to the day. This situation is not ideal, I am as excited as anyone for things to go back to normal. But we are healthy and I will choose to take what I can from it and right now, that is spending more time with my little crew and listening to fart songs. Thanks Alexa.
Shelbi and Shane share an intense love, for one another, and for those around them. This love was evident on their wedding day. You can easily see it in the way they look at each other, they are so in love. Shelbi and Shane are the type of couple that others gravitate toward. Kind, sincere, welcoming and fun. They were surrounded by so many people who absolutely love them both individually and as a couple.
Shelbi and Shane's wedding celebration was beautiful day that began at Bending Branch Ranch, a lovely venue with an adorable cottage where all the girls got ready. Gloss Bridal & Beauty Bar did hair and makeup for everyone and the ladies looked amazing! Shelbi stunned in long, loose waves that highlighted the open back of her form fitting lace and satin gown from One and Only Bridal Boutique. She added a mid length veil with beaded edges and a beaded barrette to her hair to complete her wedding day look. Shelbi was absolute perfection! The bridesmaids were gorgeous in their long taupe, chiffon gowns from Lulus. Everyone carried bouquets by Kelly Shannon Floral full of fluffy white blooms and fresh greenery. Shelbi's bouquet was sprinkled with her favorite, sunflowers, as an homage to their engagement. Shane proposed to her in a field of sunflowers! The groom and his crew wore navy suits and taupe ties. They hung out and played pool at the venue as they awaited the start of the ceremony. One of my favorite things about this wedding is that Shane's dad was his Best Man. They truly are best friends!
Shelbi and Shane's wedding ceremony took place on a wooden altar between two large oak trees just as daylight was coming to an end. There ceremony was both sweet and emotional with many working to fight back tears. Cocktails were served immediately after the ceremony in the brand new wooden barn of Bending Branch Ranch. Wooden center pieces from a 16 year old oak tree cut down from Shelbi's parents home were surrounded by white blooms, baby's breath, greenery and candlelight. The interior of the barn was simple and elegant. Gold chargers adorned with navy napkins topped the white linen tables and each guest was gifted a wooden monogrammed coaster. The reception began with Shelbi and Shane's first dance as husband and wife. He sang to her as they held tightly to each other. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience! The father/daughter and mother/son dances were equally as sweet and emotional. There is just so much love between these two families! A four course dinner was catered by Whatever's Clever Cuisine. After dinner, the party really got started with DJ Live Productions. This group knows how to party! Everyone was out on the dance floor, no matter the age! These families know how to throw a party!
Shelbi and Shane, your wedding day was so amazing! Mary and I sincerely enjoyed getting to know the two of you as a couple and your sweet family and friends. We hope you had a wonderful time in the Turks and Caicos! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Godwin!!
A huge thank you to all of the fantastic vendors who made this couple's dream a reality!
Venue: Bending Branch Ranch
Dress: One and Only Bridal Boutique
Hair and Makeup: Gloss Bridal & Beauty Bar
Florals: Kelly Shannon Floral
Planning and Catering: Whatever's Clever Cuisine
DJ: DJ Live Productions
Photography: Rooted Love Photography
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan
I have known Jessica for years. She is one of the most sweet and creative people I know. She seems to have found her perfect match in Mike and I am over the moon happy for the two of them!
Jessica + Mike chose to have a small, intimate wedding outside of Orlando, but not too far away. The Cedar House Inn, an adorable bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, offered the quaint feel they were looking for in Florida's most historical city. Jessica and Mike hung out for the afternoon and were later joined by immediate family for their wedding ceremony and to celebrate afterwards.
Jessica chose to wear a gorgeous ivory tulle empire waist dress with intricate beading from Anthropologie's BHLDN line. Makeup by Caroline Throneberg and loose curls accentuated the romantic feel of Jessica's dress. A delicate flower crown and mid length veil completed her wedding day look. She was a dream! Jessica had a hand in creating her own lavender and white bouquet, complete with cascading greens, her flower crown, and veil. Everything was stunning! Mike chose a tailored navy suit with lavender accents. They looked amazing and were really so sweet together!
I love all weddings, but there is something about the intimate setting of an elopement that is very emotional and truly special. I hope I did you guys proud and am so honored that I was able to be a part of this memorable day! Congratulations Jessica + Mike!! So excited for you two!!
Venue: The Cedar House Inn
Hair: The Hive Beauty Bar
Makeup: Caroline Throneberg
Micaela and James are really the sweetest couple. They are deeply loved by their many friends and family members. This Christmas wedding was beautiful on so many levels. The church, the venue, but most of all, the love that Micaela and Jamie share and the reflection of that love shining back on them from those closest to them.
Micaela and the girls began the day with hair and makeup by Morcelle Salon and Little Lou Beauty at the Buffalo Club. They all looked gorg and if you want to feel like royalty in the Queen City, this is it! From the dark woodwork covered walls, heirloom paintings, awe inspiring hallways topped with golden chandeliers and massive staircases, this venue is the epitome of historical elegance. Micaela chose her wedding date because the Club would be decorated for Christmas. The holiday decorations are something to be seen! Lovely Christmas trees, wreaths, strands of garland and white twinkle lights adorned every room, staircase and mantel.
Micaela decided on a stunning long sleeved, ivory and lace David Tutera gown with a touch of sparkle that she found at Dalia’s Bridal. She paired her dress with some really fun silver, jewel encrusted shoes by Betsey Johnson. A low updo with loose curls and a mid length veil completed her wedding day look. She looked like a princess! The bridesmaids were winter perfection in their burgundy, floor length gowns and fur shawls. Bouquets dripping with winter florals and evergreen sprigs from Maureens Buffalo Wholesale were the perfect accent to Micaela's color palate. The guys hung out at Jamie's house before the ceremony. They all looked great in their suits from Jos. A. Bank and classic bowties.
Micaela + James were married in an abbreviated Catholic ceremony at the most impressive Saint Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo which was also beautifully decorated for Christmas. After the traditional ceremony and some family photos, we headed back to the Buffalo Club. Cocktails were served in the main hall, amidst the massive Christmas tree with a pianist playing in the background. Guests were invited to sign the guestbook and found their name cards with a beautiful key styled keepsake that directed them to their dinner table. Dinner tables were clothed in white with monogramed Buffalo Club stemware and lovely winter florals. Each guest received a sweet treat with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the front as an affectionate reminder of where the Disney loving couple got engaged. During dinner, everyone enjoyed listening to the thoughtful speeches and heartwarming words directed toward the newlyweds. There were several laughs and a few happy tears. After dinner, Micaela and Jamie shared their first dance as husband and wife. Dessert and coffee were served in the library. Attendees noshed on brownies, lemon squares and tiramisu. Finally, everyone moved to the ballroom where Silver Arrow Band was playing. Micaela and her dad had a sweet first dance, as did Jamie and his mother. Everyone joined the dance floor when the band started playing Taylor Swift and some heavy singing and dancing ensued. Late night tacos were served and everyone sang and danced well into the night. It was really such a beautiful day, full of wonderful people and Mary and I were so honored to be a part of it.
Congratulations Micaela and Jamie! We hope you had the best time on your first honeymoon in Charleston, SC!! Yes, first! Italy is up next for these two!!!!!
Thank you to all of the amazing vendors who helped to make this day so special!
Ceremony: Saint Joseph Cathedral
Venue and Cake: Buffalo Club
Bride's Hair and Makeup: Morcelle Salon (Gina Pattie)
Bridesmaids Makeup: Little Lou Beauty (Leah Rennie)
Dress Designer: David Tutera
Dress Boutique: Dalia’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Groom's attire: Jos. A. Bank
Band: Silver Arrow Band
Florals: Maureens Buffalo Wholesale
Invitations: Party Harty
Photographer: Rooted Love Photography
Second Shooter: Mary O'Sullivan
We made our own orange slice garland this year and it was really so easy! This is not an in depth tutorial but I will explain what we did, if you would like to try it. I also took so many photos that they needed a place to live, so here we are!
I used 8 oranges and made four strands of 6' garland. You may also use clementines, tangerines, whatever you want. I sliced the oranges pretty thin, about 1/4 - 1/8", blotted with paper towels, and placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. We baked the slices at 250 degrees for 3 hours. I flipped them once and removed oranges as they browned a little. Then, we let them sit on baking racks for 3 days. Yes, for 3 whole days, the orange slices just sat out on the counter. I don't know if this is necessary everywhere, but the flesh may tear when you stitch the slices if there is still moisture and it was still humid in Orlando during November.
We strung the oranges about 6" apart on twine, using a yarn needle. I am fine with the slices sliding around a little so we only used one stitch through each slice. Just insert the threaded yarn needle near the rind, and again through the other side of the slice. The boys were able to stitch the oranges themselves. Tess needed some help but was also the most enthusiastic helper.
Our garland is not perfect, but it looks festive and we decorated the whole house for Thanksgiving. These pretty little orange slices may even stick around through Christmas. Right now, I have them alongside some evergreen garland on the stairs and it looks cute. I might pull some off and attach to gifts when I start to wrap all of our packages!
What you need:
-Oranges, tangerines, or clementines, slice to 1/4-1/8"
-Papertowels to blot citrus
-Yarn needle (I found this on Amazon.com)
-Twine (also on Amazon.com)
Let me know if you make your own citrus garland,
I'd love to see how it turns out and how you use it!
Tea parties, jumping on beds, this whimsical family session was every little girl's dream! Sisters are forever friends and it was fun to see this sweet friendship beginning to blossom!
Baby Adrianna at one year. This is really such a sweet age. Crawls turn to wobbly steps and this new independence inspires exploring everywhere. I believe this is usually when parenting becomes an all day cardio event! I remember the curious pointing, everything going in their mouth and the most adorable belly laughs. Our tiny babies morphing into little humans!
My favorite images are, quite often, those that happen during the in between moments. When children and families are interacting and connecting in a way that is truly them. During this session, the kids found an apple tree and were having the most fun picking the small apples and showing off their treasures. The sound of their laughter as the sun peeked out from between the tree branches, showering them all in golden light, was such a happy moment that I felt was just meant to be remembered. As I watched them playing together, I thought these are the images I will love. And as a mother, I would like to have remembered this part. When my kids were being kids and their little personalities were shining ever so brightly in that afternoon light. I just feel like there is such magic in the uniqueness of each and every family and I wanted to share that beauty as I saw it.