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Lucy

I recently had the honor of taking photos of Lucy to commemorate her 1st birthday. Just look at this sweet girl! We had a fun morning snapping pics, playing toys and reading books. And when your mama is an interior designer, you make sure to get some photos of the amazing nursery as well!!

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Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

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Playtime with Little Adventures

Miss Amelia has always been a fan of princess dresses. What I love though is that she not only plays “princess” in them…but she does all sorts of things!! From reading on her bed, to playing family, to rough housing with her brother! Her favorite dress is by far her Rapunzel dress from Little Adventures. The great thing about this brand is their dress up clothes are actually comfortable!! So many dress up dresses are scratchy and stiff, and if your kids are anything like mine then that’s a no-go. These are super soft! And they are machine washable, a definite bonus in my book.

So glad we got these adorable pics snapped of her….ESPECIALLY because of that toothless grin. I mean is there a sweeter stage? Goes by too quick!

 

photography by Vanessa Lentine

 

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Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is on pretty standard rotation in our house. It’s easy enough for a weeknight (I marinate the chicken in the morning and then just throw it in the oven later), but also impressive enough for company! I serve it with a variety of sides – pasta, rice, couscous, mashed potatoes – they all work! Then just add a salad and you’re all set for dinner. Easy! And kids can just eat the chicken and easily avoid the prunes and olives if necessary, some of us (ahem, me) have to consider these kinds of things when cooking dinner 🙂

 

Chicken Marbella

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (I pound mine so they are slightly thinner)
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and pureed (I use the frozen Trader Joes)
  • 2 T dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 Spanish green olives
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilanto

In a large baking dish combine the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives and bay leaves. Add the chicken breasts and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with brown sugar and pour white wine around them. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until chicken registers 165 degrees F. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve!

Hope you enjoy!!

 

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Holiday Date Night at Home with an Eggnog White Russian Cocktail

I think we can all agree that the month of December can get a little crazy, am I right? It’s a fun crazy, don’t get me wrong…but sometimes the calendar can feel a little like a jigsaw puzzle. So my husband I decided instead of planning another night out, it would be fun to just have a date night at home instead!

We like to get our tree up at the beginning of December (it’s faux!)…but I still feel like we never have enough time to just SIT by the tree. And honestly, the tree and the twinkle lights and that whole ambiance is pretty much my favorite thing about the holidays. So that plus a fun cocktail was our entire plan for the evening. Simple and perfect.

Green Hope Vodka recently reached out to me regarding a collaboration so the timing was perfect to test out their Vodka! 90% of the time I tend to favor a light and fresh cocktail, but during the holidays something richer and more substantial just hits the spot. My husband loves eggnog during the holidays so I decided on an Eggnog White Russian.

I think with all things, cocktails are best when you using the highest quality ingredients you can. Generally there’s not a whole lot that goes into cocktails, so if the alcohol component isn’t good then the drink sure won’t be either! Green Hope Vodka produces high quality, small batch, organic vodka. We chose to try out their Wheat version. They source non-GMO organic wheat from a farm that takes pride in growing it. And I’m always a fan of good packaging, Green Hope does it right with a simple label and cork top. Plus they are located in Healdsburg, the wine country town where my husband and I were married! So fun! We then paired the vodka with Strauss Family Creamery Eggnog and Kahlua.

I served them on a pretty tray decorated with simple holidays greens and accessories. How cute are those napkins?? Found them at Target! The scallop edge and gold writing are just so cute! And those fun marshmallow stir sticks are from Home Goods! It took no time to put it all together, but a little presentation goes a long way and makes the evening feel extra special!

I think planning at least one date night at home during the holidays will for sure become a tradition. It’s a great, relaxed way to celebrate the season with your love!

 

Eggnog White Russian

I was pretty casual with the recipe on this one…but here’s what I did!! Fill glasses with ice and then pour roughly 2 ounces vodka and 1 ounce Kahlua. Fill with Eggnog and garnish with a sprinkle of rock brown sugar and cinnamon sticks!

And did you notice in the pics I’m using a tablespoon? Ha! We do have one of those cocktail ounce measuring thingies (I’m obviously a bartender with my lingo), but I couldn’t find it anywhere! Turns out 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. So in a pinch just use a tablespoon 🙂

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Christmas Tree Farm Photoshoot with Vanessa Lentine

A Christmas Tree farm photo session has always been on my wishlist, there’s just something so magical about all those trees and the Christmas spirit! So this year we planned our shoot with Vanessa at a local tree farm, and it did not disappoint. The kids ran around playing Marco Polo, and the way the light peeked through the trees made the scene so gorgeous! I’ll let the photos do the talking on this one, they are all just so pretty!

Now to decide which to use for our Christmas card?!

 

photography by Vanessa Lentine

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Easy Fall Greenery for Your Home

To me there’s no better accessory for your home then fresh flowers and greenery. They bring life to any space! Personally I love to buy one huge bunch of a single type of flower or greenery. I think it creates the most impact (plus it’s the easiest)! I keep a variety of glass and ceramic jars and vases on hand. I love simple, clean vessels that showcase the flowers.

I picked up these hypericum berry branches at the flower mart the other day and couldn’t wait to get them onto my kitchen island! That little pop of orange is perfect for fall. And I love their large scale and that they are a little wild!

I gave the ends a clip and dropped them into a big glass jar (I have this one from Target, and here’s a great one on Amazon too). Incredibly easy with maximum effect! A little tip…if you’re working with branches often the stems are super thick and normal scissors won’t get the job done! I keep a garden clippers on hand (like these) so that I can cut through thicker stems. There’s nothing more frustrating then sawing away at a branch trying to get it cut….it takes forever and I can’t imagine it’s so good for the flowers either!

I try to change the water and clip the stems every couple of days. Don’t stress about it, but just do the best you can to get that task done. The flowers will be happier and last longer for sure!

These took me less then 10 minutes to get together and make such a huge impact in my kitchen. While I got these at a wholesale flower mart, I often buy my flowers at Trader Joes. They have a pretty good selection at decent prices. Your best bet is too look for one type of flower that you love and just buy a ton of it!

 

 

As always, thanks for reading! xo

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Emery’s Newborn Photoshoot with Vanessa Lentine

Oh sweet Emmy, you’ve stolen all of our hearts already!! After the gorgeous images we got at our maternity photoshoot, I was so excited to have a newborn photo session booked with Vanessa Lentine. Well….excited because I knew I would LOVE the photos. But lets face it, having pictures done within that first couple of weeks after a newborn enters your world isn’t always the easiest! Luckily I had planned ahead with outfits for everyone in our family and some sweet newborn swaddles, bows and accessories. I’ll share a list of my sources below 🙂

I really do think planning ahead, at least a little, is the key to having a less stressful photo session. I knew for the family photos I wanted us all to be pretty casual. Jeans and a cute top with eyelet detail for me, tutu moi skirts for the girls with easy white tees, and the boys are always the last to get outfits, ha! Shorts and a tee, jeans and a button up…those are both my go-to’s for my husband and son when going for a casual look. Just pick muted coordinating colors and you’re good to go!

For Emmy I didn’t want anything too elaborate, just a few sweet little accessories. A simple white felt bow, a gorgeous Little Unicorn swaddle blanket, and a couple fancier accessories with lace and jewel details. At the bottom of this post I’m sharing a few of my favorite sources for newborn photo props and accessories. Buying these well in advance made me feel a little more prepared when the time came for our photoshoot day!

This series with my girls peeking over her crib are some of my very favorite images from the whole session!

I also love these photos of just me and Emery. I changed into a this beautiful lace dress and Emmy is wearing a jewel headband and simple white swaddle. I love how they showcase her nursery too!

A few more of just Emmy and me…I love this blue and white shirt paired with the white in our master bedroom and Emmy’s swaddle. It’s just so fresh, airy and clean looking!

And last but certainly not least, these gorgeous images with a sweet lace coverlet and bonnet. I absolutely love the sweet vintage feel they give the photos. She is the perfect little angel!

Thank you Vanessa for these images that I know I’ll treasure for my whole life!

 

 

A few of my favorites sources for newborn props and accessories…hint they’re all Etsy shops!!

Le Ange

Eco Street

Azure Raine

 

 

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My Last Baby Bump…Maternity Photos with Vanessa Lentine

My last bump! This is my 4th and final pregnancy, and let me tell you, that’s giving me allll the feels. What a journey each pregnancy has been and I truly have cherished every one of them. With this last bump, I knew I wanted to get amazing photos. This was my first session with Vanessa Lentine, and she blew me out of the water with these gorgeous images. Honestly, they bring tears to my eyes. And I think they might even without the pregnancy hormones 😉You might not know it from the photos, but I had spent the previous night in the ER with a little scare. At only 34 weeks I was having contractions and running a fever. After 8 hours at the hospital, they were able to stop contractions, get my fever back down and clear me to resume normal activities. Thank goodness!! I got home after midnight, spent the following day in bed and then  knew I had to rally that evening for pictures….I was a mama on a mission!! I’m so thankful I was able to go, here are just a few of my favorites…

And now countdown to baby is on!! We’re ready to meet you sweet little lady!

Photograhy by Vanessa Lentine

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