holiday greetings with shutterfly

i cannot believe it's that time of year again where we start thinking and planning out those holiday greetings and dreaming up all of the yummy holiday decor, meal planning, and gift giving ideas. it is such a magical time of year that gives us great opportunity to reflect, share stories and life's news, and connect with our loved ones near and far. i look forward to holiday cards coming in every year from family and friends, seeing the growth of their season and reading about their news and the memories that were made throughout the year. it's little things like this that simply get me feeling all warm and fuzzy and in the great spirit of the season.

this year, because of the impending arrival our wee little one, i felt like i had to prepare our cards extra early in case the growth of our family kept me too busy and distracted (which wouldn't be a bad thing by any means!). i came across the card i wanted to use on shutterfly and picked out one of my favorite images of the girls taken at the apple orchard this fall. it's amazing how in a matter of just a couple months i found myself going down memory lane, dreaming about the day we spent picking apples and baking up the apple pie that we devoured afterwards. Oh, the magic of photography and imagery to remind us about those moments that are kept so deep within our hearts and souls. just another reason why i love holiday cards… it's a tiny snippet of one's heart.

if you're looking for holiday cards this year, shutterfly has a fabulous collection. be sure to check them out, enter promo code CARD4U to get a card for free and take advantage of their generous discounts and more. connect with those you love near and far, by spreading some holiday cheer!


their wonderland, is my wonderland

. . . . . motherhood musings and a moment i want to remember on what was the last warm day of this year's autumn.

crawling into their imaginary world and seeing things through their eyes is a gift they have given me. watching their wonder grow and their make believe come to life while finding the joy in the simple beauty that surrounds them. seeing their gentle eyes light up when a ladybug kisses them as it gracefully lands on their shoulders, reminding us that love is everywhere. feeling the calm overshadow everything else around us and for a second we feel like we are living in a magical place. beyond the path and between the tall trees, this is their wonderland.


a mini victory + what's in your mama bag?

you ever have those days when leaving the house seems like the biggest task and chore ever that when you finally leave and shut the door behind you, you feel exhausted as if you just ran a marathon? well i haven't ran a marathon (yet anyway!) but what i can say is getting out the door has certainly felt like one lately, or a mini victory if you will. between getting the girls dressed for the second, third, or forth time (because it is all about finding the right dress these days ;) ) and gathering up their things to be put into my bag, waddling up and down the steps like a little penguin, it is amazing that we all make it out. but like most things when it comes to parenting, we parents and caregivers always manage to push through, even when it seems like the victory is nearly impossible to achieve when in the moment. because that is just what we do and life without those moments, at least for me, would be lonely. and honestly, i prefer them in it! so regardless of what those mini victories may look like in your home, just keep on keeping on and give yourself a big high five and a break when those imperfect, hard to get through, oh goodness we are leaving the house in our favorite jammies and witch dress moments happen and celebrate them with great love while telling your sweet self, "it's okay!" because truly it is.

. . . . . . . .  a helpful reminder to myself.

so speaking of my mama bag…. i would like to know, what's in your mama bag? whether we are out for a short or long adventure, i'm always trying to keep things new and fresh in my bag. for example, bringing along a new snack or slipping in a toy they haven't played with in awhile, i find myself searching for ways to keep things not only useful for us all but intriguing for the littles too. so what is in yours?! i'm curious to know! here i laid out what my bag tends to look like on a typical day. not pictured: crumbs and wrappers and whatever gems we tend to pick up along the way…

this is my mama bag loot:

- a clipboard with fresh paper and stickers for drawing and making pictures
- a pencil pack stuffed with color pencils
- our homemade hand sanitizer (a must!)
- gentle baby essential oil in case we need some sweet aroma to help us calm our mood
- our favorite toy ponies at the moment
- a hat for the cooler weather
- a small blanket to keep us warm and cozy in the car or when we "pop a squat" on a park bench to rest
- a little book we adore and that never seems to get old
- mini me's yummy rise cakes
- diapers
- a change of pants for kendi, just in case
- bows to help keep those bangs back and hairs pretty
- and a bottle of water, always!

so tell me… what's in yours? i'd love to hear and get some ideas!

those mini victories are so worth it. always.

feel free to share your own mini victory with mini me's for a chance to win prizes and while you're there download a coupon so you can try your very own mini me's snacks. they are a big hit around here!


packing for baby // lily jade chapter two

our time has come to think about packing a bag for mama and baby… and daddy too! i always try to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to packing for baby because honestly they don't really need a whole lot. i'm sure to pack something meaningful and special for baby and to make sure that i bring along the essentials too; like it's nature sutten paci, a gown or a onesie and a pair of pants, cozy swaddles, a blanket for baby and mommy to share, and a teeny tiny hat or bonnet to keep the draft and cool temperatures at bay when traveling home. preparing the bag from start to finish is such a beautiful process i take my time with. drinking in every moment of it's existence, i run my fingers across it's clothes, touching every detail, while i fold it's laundry and dream and pray and dream some more about who our littlest love will look like, if it will have hair, what it's cry will sound like, and picturing that very moment when i feel it's butter soft skin on mine…. oh, how magical this time really is. 

all packed and ready to go hangs our lily jade bag with your belongings, my sweet. soon enough you will be here in our arms… until then we wait, we dream, and we pray for you.  


maternity style / hatch fall collection

we teamed up with hatch, a women's maternity collection that is oh so dreamy, to bring some maternity style posts your way. for those that aren't familiar, hatch is a designer line for maternity wear. however, their style is so timeless and chic that i think pregnant or not, one can totally pull off their adoring clothes. here i styled three different pieces from their new line; the onsie, slouch dress, and their oversized cozy knit. all three of these pieces will take me through the end of my pregnancy and beyond, which is just so great if you ask me! 

to see the rest of their fall collection check them out here and let me know what items have you swooning, i'd love hear!


apple pickin' // our trip to aadmot's apple farm

we headed out to the apple orchard over the weekend and what a heartfelt trip we had. this was our second attempt to aamodt's apple farm as our first visit with tired kids on the way home from visiting family, ya… that didn't go so well. so this time around we made sure to head out first thing in the morning and plan better by not cramming too much in one day and what a wonderful time we had.

much like strawberry picking in the summer time, spending time at the apple orchard with my little family is something i look forward to all season. there is just something about the fresh air and the smell of sour apples and hunting for the perfect apple to pick off the tree that simply sings right to my heart. maybe its the childhood memories i had growing up or watching those sweet moments between the girls unfold or dreaming about the apple pies that will be made later in the comfort of our home with the helpful hands of my littles that gets me, whatever the case…  i love it and it's like a trip i never want to end.

here are a few images of our time together, both with my iPhone and my big girl camera.

girls dresses: designed + handmade by me and available for purchase! {please contact at livinglifesmoments@gmail.com if you're interested} // shoes: minnetonka moccasins // tights: target // hair clip: numikids  

also, if you're local i still have a couple spots open for fall sessions. i would love the opportunity to meet you and photograph your story! shoot me an email at livinglifesmoments@gmail.com if you're interested and feel free to check out more of my work here