Carina's Baby Shower

February 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A few months ago, I got to do something that I've been looking forward to for years- I got to throw my very dear friend, Carina, a baby shower for her first little nugget!  I have been planning and scheming ever since she told me she was ready to be a mom, and I immediately called dibs on the shower!

I went with a "Cute as a Button" theme and kept it really simple and clean.  I wanted to be able to maximize the space in our home for guests to spread out, and also wanted to pack up the decorations to send with Carina for her to save for future parties or the nursery.

We did an engagement session, and I used the photos allllll over the place!  People loved seeing them!  And even better, Carina and Dave wore the nursery colors for their shoot, so everything I added for the party stayed in that color scheme.  

One Costco bouquet of white flowers and one bunch of green fillers stretched into about 10 mini arrangements that I scattered around the house.  I made favors from chocolate melts that I pressed holes into as "buttons."




The  chocolates made an adorable cake topper, too!  I had fun collecting pretty painted wooden buttons to scatter around the tables.  My favorites were those beautiful butterfly buttons.  Carina loved them, too!

Some 5x7 photos were a perfect size for the clothes line display.  I attached them with some clothespins decorated with little strips of paper and printed fabric.  The pom poms were another fun project- but be warned- that's a lot of fluffing!

I painted the "BABY" sign from some wooden letters I purchased at a craft store.

I left games up to my friend Jana, and she did a cute job.  We played 2 group games, and she brought supplies for onesie decorating- little onesies labeled by size and design ideas for each month of the first year.

Our beautiful mama to be!

We also set up a scrapbooking table to help Carina get a jump on the baby book!


My goodness, it was just too much fun!!!  Quick!  Somebody get pregnant so I can do it all over again!  :)





Justin + Natalya: Engaged {San Diego State University}

January 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

So it all started in a bowling ally.  Somewhere in the dim lighting, the thunder of voices, and the crash of pins, a boy and a girl caught each other's gaze, and a spark was ignited.  A sweet attraction turned into excuses to bump into each other on campus at SDSU, which turned into many dates, which became a sweet friendship, and finally, a deep romance.

Justin and Natalya are the kind of couple you want to  hang out with.  They are so deeply comfortable with themselves and each other, and you can't help but fall in love with them.  They play off each other so well- sharing sweet glances, finishing each other's thoughts- and I can see a long, happy road stretching far ahead of them.  They are perfect travel companions for this amazing journey called marriage.  :)

Justin and Natalya wanted to take their engagement photos where it all began- on SDSU's campus.  I absolutely loved my time with them.  Here are some favorites!



Justin and Natalya, thank you so much for inviting me to play a part in your beautiful love story.  I can't wait to party with you when you say "I do!"  



Our Story: Part 2

January 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This is the second installment of our love story.  Click HERE to read part one.


I was walking back to my dorm late on a Sunday night, feeling like a million freaking bucks.  I had just performed with my all girl vocal jazz group, and was reveling in the post performance high.  Plus, I looked super cute.  My hair was curly, my makeup was perfect, and my brand new hot pink sweetheart neck shirt hugged me in all the right places.  I couldn’t help the little sashay that happened when I felt my skirt swish around my knees. 


I rounded the corner to my building and walked across the parking lot.  I heard a car pull in to the driveway just behind me…. And someone catcalled me.


Catcalled me.


My first thought was, “What the…,” but I understood the second I turned around and saw John hanging out of the passenger side window of a car.


The Thursday before, we had just had a super SUPER awkward… uh, date, I think?  I don’t play games.  I’m a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of girl, and I was kind of tired of him popping up all over to ask me to do things with him alone, but never actually revealing intentions.  So when he asked me to sit with him at a baseball game, I did.  Then turned and said, “So I need to go to the mall.  Why don’t you come with me, and we can have dinner after.  What do you say?  Make it a date?”  I’m pretty sure he turned a color of red I’d never seen on a human, and he agreed.  I could tell it caught him off guard.  He showed up looking really nice, we make extremely halting conversation on the bus to the mall, we matter of factly bought our items, and we shared a pekking duck pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.  Followed by another bus ride of halting conversation back to campus.  It was pretty apparent for both of us that it was not a good fit, so I figured that was that….


And then he catcalled me.


But hey, I felt cute, and it’s nice to be appreciated once in awhile, so I skipped over to say hi. 


“How’s it going?”  I asked.


“Great!  Just getting back from church.  You remember Bryan right?”


Then, I saw that adorable smile pop out from behind John’s head.  “Hey,” said Bryan shyly.


After that, poor John was all but forgotten as I was completely focused on Bryan. We talked for a bit, and I explained that I was just coming home from a concert.  I asked him what he had coming up that week.  Bryan mentioned that he had to go to an art gallery for a class.


“Oh!  I LOVE art!” I said with the flirtiest smile I could conjure.


“Oh… well, why don’t you come with me?”  Good man, he got the hint.  I did an inner fist pump.


We exchanged numbers, and I waved as they pulled out.  I’d  been out with a few guys at Loma, but this felt so different.  Friday was just not coming fast enough!

Schmelzenbach Family Portraits

January 18, 2016

One of the coolest things about growing up is getting to see how our friends grow and change with the seasons of their lives.  Lately, the most common season change is the journey into parenthood for many of our loved ones.  Elizabeth and Paul are friends from college/ church that we've known since our dating days, and they took the plunge into parenthood about a year ahead of us.  Seeing people we love love on their kids is really the best!  And watching them love their kids has been such a joy!


We met up for family portraits at Mission Trails Park, and had the peeerrrrrfect sunset as our backdrop.  I'm a firm believer that family portraits should reflect YOUR family exactly as you are!  And I really feel like we totally nailed it.  Bright colors, little boys who love to laugh and play with sticks, and a mom and dad who are happy to joke and go along with the antics of their little boys.... that's these wonderful people in a nutshell!



This is one of my favorites from the day!  I love that as soon as Daddy picked him up, we got an ear to ear grin :)

Two kids down, and these college sweethearts have still got it!  <3


Elizabeth and Paul- thank you so much for letting us play with your sweet family!  We have loved watching you grow and totally rock this parenthood thing.  We are excited to see the adventures you get to experience with your kiddos!!!





Ashley & Joey- Engaged!

January 12, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Ashley and Joey are the kind of people you love to hang out with.  They are so sweet, love to laugh, and have built a level of comfort that only two true soulmates can cultivate.  We are stoked out of our minds to shoot their wedding in just a few months!


A picture perfect sunset + adorable couple + cute puppy + vintage motorcycle = serious amazingness!!!



Ashley and Joey- we are so happy that you found each other, and excited for the life you'll build together!  We can't wait to see you tie the knot!




Bryan & Crystal