It's a mess, but it's not the end.

So there's a lot that's a mess right now, a lot of fairly standard mumbo-jumbo but it feels like a mess. There are mounds of laundry taking over my room, and there's been more take-out nights than I'd like to admit. Projects have been put off, and I can't tell you the last time I've been to the gym. All very average things, but sometimes it piles up and becomes a little out of control.

One of my very best friends mentioned to me that she recently started meditating before work. The meditation has been crucial to centering her focus on positive thoughts before she begins her daily tasks. This reminded me of the importance that prayer is in my life. Starting out my day and going through my day in communication with my Heavenly Father is SO important. My ever growing list of "messy" can easily be shamed if I made more time for prayer and centered my day on Christ.  Though it feels like the world is starting to pile on top of me, I'm taking comfort in the truth that each morning brings with it, a new day. This new day brings new opportunities and areas for improvement. Tomorrow I will try to do better, make healthier decisions, stay on task, and attempt to mend the messy areas.

Our little place is all decked out in C h r i s t m a s   c h e e r  so I'll walk head-on into the mess with an extra pep in my step. It's totally normal for sparkly decorations to add fuel to the mundane, right?

Little by little I'll conquer my very normal, average mess :)

Speaking of the gym, and not going to it, I think I'll eat my advent chocolate now.

When Holidays Collide, an ode to pre-Thanksgiving Christmas c h e e r

While I admit last week's weird, hotter-than-usual, November weather was pretty rad compared to snow storms and rain downpours...I'll also admit that a big part of me is ready for sweaters and scarves. This next week promises just that, rain and weather that dips into the 50's, so that's fabulous in my book. I feel as though I'll be happy about it for roughly 2 weeks and then I'll be over the cold again, but I'll plead not guilty until such a revelation comes ;)

And since we're on the topic of November. I know everyone thinks Thanksgiving gets little to no attention, and while that's true to an extent, I've had some thoughts brewing about that lately. For me, the Holiday season includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is this normal for anyone else? I always assumed it was, kind of until recently. Why does everybody freak out about people decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving? Is there a secret code somewhere that says "Green trees in homes wrapped with twinkle lights must not be looked at while one gives thanks"...?? Just because a person puts up a reindeer decoration and starts burning freshly cut pine scented candles, it by no means suggests they're any less thankful than a person who hangs a "Thankful banner," and sets their table with turkey place holders. Nope, it really doesn't. Look, I still have gourds and a scarecrow out...but I also have an elf on my kitchen table!

I understand all of the people who hate that it's become a pushed hallmark holiday and I'll agree with you wholeheartedly. Retailers have turned this holiday season into something it was never intended to be. So, let's take back the things we love about this Holiday season and just enjoy it. Enjoy the fact that people are excited for a season where they get to spend time with more family and carry on years old traditions. Understand that for some people, part of gearing up for the Holiday season includes decorating *gasp* BEFORE Thanksgiving, and they will still be just as thankful as you are when they gather with their families. For other families they're home suffers an identity crisis between elves and scarecrows while they're excited for both of the holidays around the corner.

*note* If you're one of these said "Holiday haters" before the day of Thanks, I'd hope you won't be wrapping up your goodbyes at 7pm Thursday night so you can stand in line at Best Buy ON Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving at 8pm is not Black Friday. By shopping on Thanksgiving, you've completely taken away somebody else's time with their family who is forced to work their minimum wage, retail job away from their families and contradicted your "no Christmas before Thanksgiving anthem." More often than not, these are the people who sing their Christmas anthems early in the season, but I felt as though it was important to note this :)

This whole anti all things Christmas before Thanksgiving has always baffled me, so I hope this opens some people's eyes to the fact that it really doesn't matter what decorations are up, what music is playing or what date Thanksgiving falls on. All people celebrate the Holidays in unique ways so let's not make people feel bad for enjoying things differently than you do. I for one, absolutely love to decorate for Christmas so I don't think I should have to defend that love to people who enjoy having turkeys all over their house. I'm really excited for Thanksgiving and don't plan to overlook it this season just because I have an elf decoration on my table and a Christmas movie on my TV.

Fall is still here but little by little winter is showing her crisp self to us which means we're nearing twinkle light overload [something nobody can be upset about], loads of Christmas posts, and vlogmas by some of my favorite youtubers. These are all things I'm thrilled about. You'll have to excuse me while I drink my pumpkin spice chai and watch a Lifetime Christmas movie.

See what I did there? Pumpkins colliding with Christmas ;)

Let's intentionally love who we are, shall we?

Comparison is a dangerous area to dip your toes in, yet somehow we all fall prey to it's tight grip on us. As an individual in a creative industry, fighting to make myself "stand out" among the rest of them, I find that I constantly compare my work, and myself to everybody else. Those little comparisons creep in, ummmm...daily. "I need to blog more, I need to have better material, my website is lame, my instagram isn't always cohesive like hers, my time management blows sometimes, I need more photo shoots, I hate that I still have a day-job, HOW do I organize my book keeping better like all of them...bla bla bla," insecurities, and comparisons daily. I'm no stranger to the ball park of "Everybody else is better than me, I should step up my game."

But you know what? I'm working as hard as I can to be the best person I can, serve my clients as best I can, make a caramel latte the best that I can and serve my friends and family with all that I have. So while I may not be as great as "so and so" and have a cohesive instagram and flawless brand for my business, I need to remember that having it all together isn't actually a truth for anyone. I know it's probably silly to say that because obviously we all know there isn't a person on this planet that totally has their life or business together perfectly. But sometimes vocalizing that truth helps it to sink in a bit deeper.

I'm an imperfect person, striving to be a perfectionist...where's the logic in that? God has given me and you specialized talents. We help each other grow in these areas by being as awesome as we know how at our given talents. We aren't expected to be perfect because God is the perfect One. Our job is to work hard to the best of our abilities, give every bit of praise back to God [you may think you're the most awesome person around, but it was actually God who made you super awesome, so shoot it back to Him mmkay?], and most importantly [well, not as important as giving God your praises, but for the sake of making a point here] love yourself and be proud of yourself. Be totally and completely proud of where you're at in life, and what you've accomplished thus far. It's really okay if it's taken you longer than other people to round out a goal you've been working toward for months or even years.

How cool would it be if when God looked down here at all of His children playing in this big ol' world, He saw us playing together nicely, encouraging one another and loving who we are? Loving the different journeys that we're on to becoming the people He's designed us to be. I think He would smile a great big smile and sigh happy sighs of "My kids get it, they get just how beautiful and perfect they are to me, doing what they were designed to do with the best of their abilities."

Be the best you that you know how to be. And to quote a wise man, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” -Dr. Suess


Welcome, October

I started last year's October post with the same title. I'm so original.

As of today, I have officially worn sweats, drank hot chocolate, burned Fall candles, and purchased a gourd. It's safe to say that Fall has landed in our corner of town.

I thoroughly enjoy this time of year now that I don't have school. I never understood why everybody loved Fall so passionately, but now I do. It's fabulous.

Also, hazelnut chai's are my jam right now. Not so great for your health, but sometimes that's a sacrifice I'm willing to take.

Late night ramblings

Let it be known that Jeff and I spent 30 minutes in the candy aisle deciding between sour gummy worms vs starburst for me, and sour watermelons vs every other sour candy for Jeff. Two young [scantily clad] 13 year old girls came walking up the aisle and showed us up, darting straight for the sour air head minis in less than 30 seconds. We were shocked at their quick decision, and even more shocked their parents let them leave the house. We don't buy candy often, like maybe 3x a year, so this was a big decision for us ;)

Also, Jeff learned how to fishtail braid my hair...sort of.

And there's a picture of Redding. There isn't a lot in Redding, but there was a pretty wedding that we were invited to DJ for so we gladly accepted. No, I'm not a wedding photographer and a was an iPod clicking, makes an actual DJ cringe because you didn't hire a real DJ kind of a gig. We were with friends and it was fun. However, now that Jeff and I have taken on this great feet [is that the correct spelling in this case? let's go with it] we're considering the DJ meets Photographer, duo-team: Nicole Dianne and DJ Mute. DJ Mute, because Jeff is quiet.......see what we did there?

Three Years

Three years ago I remember walking out of Starbucks and getting a phone call from Jeff. I freaked out because of the whole "don't talk/see/touch each other the day of your wedding before your ceremony" thing. But I answered, and it was Jeff asking if he needed to bring anything to the wedding. I assured him that I had everything taken care of and all he needed to do was show up in his tuxedo, ready for pictures by "xyz" time. He said something along the lines of feeling like there was more he was supposed to be doing but that he couldn't remember what it was...I once again assured him everything was taken care of and that we should probably stop talking before we destroyed some magical notion of talking to each other before the ceremony :) With a quick "love you, marry ya later!" he was off the phone.

Today, Jeff and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. I'm laying in bed, at the end of our anniversary today feeling so happy, and blessed to do life with him, even though he just rolled over and sleepily asked why the heck I'm blogging so late :) I've blogged our anniversaries every year, and this space is a place for me to reminisce and look back on in years to come, so tonight, I blog.

I'm not usually a "play-by-play" kind of blogger, but tonight there's no rules and I'm just going to type! This will probably bore everyone except my mom, but here was our anniversary numba three play by play. This was the first year Jeff and I actually got to spend our whole anniversary together. Year one, he was in Iraq and year two he had school all day long followed by drill the next morning, so it wasn't super awesome, until the following week when we could actually celebrate. Well this year WAS awesome.

We woke up this morning and had breakfast together followed by a trip to a local nursery with a super cute restaurant [that of course I didn't get pictures of...except koi fish, that's all I took pictures of today...koi fish from the nursery pond, I don't even know]. We had a nice lunch outside after we looked around at all the plants that I need want. On our drive home, I reminded Jeff of that conversation we had the morning of our wedding, and we talked a bit about how cute it was. Then Jeff went on to be his typical goofy self trying to annoy me some how or another, while I drove. And I jokingly asked him to remind me why I married him again... he quickly responded with, "Because I say cute things like, 'marry ya later!'" And he was so right. It wasn't an honest question, [me asking him to remind me why I married him] because we were both being silly and laughing. But when he said that, among our laughing, it kind of sunk down into my heart again and reminded me of how blessed I truly am to call him my husband. I love how sweet and goofy he is to me and I can't wait for years and years to come of cute things like "marry ya later." :)

We came back to the apartment and caught up on some Big Bang Theory, because what's an anniversary with out a little mid-day relaxation together? Then we picked ourselves up and went to Starbucks, where we looked up recipes for our new [to-come] juicer!!

That's a whole story in, and of itself. Let's just say there are really awesome people in the world, and I can't wait to have the means to return that sort of kindness in the future. 

Anyway, we did some juicer shopping at Trader Joes which was actually really fun. I love that things like going to the grocery store, and Costco have become fun for the two of us. We're a little married couple now and these types of things still make us happy...I hope that never changes. We came home and made our selves a caprese pizza together, drank a little champaign and watched GATSBY for the first time. I've never read the book, so I kinda did things out of order, but I thought it was a really good movie. I have mixed feelings over the ending, but I won't spoil that here in case you're like me and waiting until now to catch up with the rest of the world ;) 

Today was great though, I'm just so happy to be where we're at. We're both moving forward with careers and life decisions and I love that we're doing it together. It's so much fun to hang out with your best friend every day and honestly figure out how to do life together. It takes a lot of work, and I know we're still young and probably naive to some things...but that's okay with me, I like naive sometimes. We're learning, growing, and making a pretty awesome little life for our family one step at a time. I love that. 

Here's to year four bringing a lot of awesome our way.

Stream of Consciousness

Starting blog posts has never been my strong point, I feel like the intros are always a bit awkward and clumsily put together, so I'll dive in. 

These last couple of months have been a fair competition of bad and good, exhaustion followed by reward and stressful situations squashed down by moments of humble understanding. I've felt God speak clearly to the notion that He>I time and time again. It's a wonderful realization when you understand there is One greater than you and I who sets the world in order. I tried controlling a lot of circumstances this Summer, and I'm still finding my place in that battle with God. But I rest in knowing His plans out-do mine 100% of the time. 

I'm usually a Summer kind of gal, I thrive on the sunny days, cool nights and BBQs with friends. But I'm also big on "new seasons, new months, new years" and the idea that a fresh slate accompanies each. I need that new slate right now, I want to throw control in God's hands from the start and thrive because I've done it His way and not mine. The approaching slate? Pumpkin spice lattes, homey scented candles, big sweaters, and the promise of the Holidays. Fall, I covet your grand appearance. 

So, Summer...

There have been a lot of happy things among the crazy so far. 

Things like greenery in my home, and blue skies every day. 

A trip to Tahoe with my sweet family

to include: a family reunion, daily beach trips, a dinner on the lake, lots of games, hiking Eagle Rock with my love, great food, a fancy night spent by an outdoor fire pit and delicious drinks, and a walk through the cutest local nursery. Because it's not a trip until I've satisfied the 60 year old lady in me by perusing the aisles of perennials.

Summer AAA baseball games at our local team's stadium.

My brother works for the local team and often gives our family tickets to go see them play. I've grown up going to these games but it amps up the fun when I see my little brother running around on the field. I've yet to catch a free t-shirt from the "t-shirt launch gun" he shoots out at the audience. Hmmph ;)

A night at the State Fair with one of my best friends.

I was invited by a friend to join her at the state fair last week and it was so great. The best part? All she wanted to do was look at animals and go to exhibits just like me. Rides are fun at permanent parks, not 14 day pop-up fairs...I'm not trying to sign my life away for 30 seconds of "spin you upside-down, jerk you in circles until you throw-up" fun. Oh, and her sister worked in the animal nursery with all the little babies so that was super fun to see as well!

A ton of photography work and also new succulents. 

Photography has picked up SO much these last couple of months, it's incredible to see God pouring out His blessings on this business He allowed me to have. I've worked harder on this than anything in my life and I'm finally seeing the fruits of my labor. However, I don't want to get caught up in myself and thinking I'm awesome so I'll just throw it out there again that God is the awesome one who gave me the coolest stinking job ever, and I'm forever grateful. 

Also, succulents...they are cool. I love them and I will never have enough.

A couple images from my first ever styled session!

My wedding season begins on August 17th...I'm nervous, excited, and feeling oh so very blessed.

Jeff watches the Bachelorette (v.1)

Every Monday night my friend Nicole and I have a girl's night and watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette. Be it that his friends are busy, or just pure unlucky-ness...every now and again Jeff will get stuck watching it with us.

The comments made during last night's episode of Bachelorette were just TOO good not to document. So I give you the first installment of "Jeff Watches the Bachelorette."

Me: Did you see Arie's tweet last night about the awkward two-on-one?
Nicole: No I can't wait though
Jeff: Arie's on this sea....crap. 
Me and Nicole: What?
Jeff: I know who Arie is, and that sucks.

One of the guys hanging out with Des
me: I like him! He's goofy!
Jeff: why? He's Guido

Group Date
Nicole L: They all have sweatshirts from Target...WHY are they all wearing sweatshirts from Target?

Des said it was her first time in Europe and she was so excited about it
Jeff: First time in Europe? LIAR! She just went there with Sean last season!

When Chris finds out he gets the one-on-one and gets super excited about it
Jeff: He's such a girl!
Me: I think it's cute he's so excited to have a date with Des
Jeff: You don't like menly men do you Des? He won't take care of your family and chop down a tree to make a fire and keep you warm! He'll probably bake you a loaf of bread and butter it and you'll have to make the fire to cook it on yourself!

Bryden watching Des and Chris Dance around
Jeff: Creeper. WHY is he so creepy?

Des takes a picture by a little clown
Jeff: Oh, he's a midget! 

Des walks out in a sparkly dress
Me and Nicole: she looks so gorgeous in that dress! I love the sparkles
Jeff: I hate it. There's way too many sparkles.
Nicole: But don't you think she looks pretty in it?
Jeff: Only if she didn't touch me, I don't want sparkles all over me!
[She gives Chris a hug]
Jeff: Sparkles, all over him.

Jeff: This show is what's wrong with men. 

Des going up the gondola in foggy mountains
Des: It's like we're in a cloud!
Jeff: Well, you ARE in a cloud...

Zak waiting for one-on-one time with Des behind her and James
Jeff: WHY why are they all so creepy. 

Each of the guys is singing with a yodeler
Des: I just love how these guys are so open to trying new things!
Jeff: NO they're forced

Jeff fasts forward through commercials "There's still an HOUR left?" ten minutes later he's asleep on the ground. 

+ Love that silly boy of mine :)  

choosing joy and lemonade

Sometimes life throws you lemons and you want to forget the whole making lemonade shenanigan and throw them right back to the lemon tree who decided it would be fun to launch hard, bright yellow things at you. Not nice lemon tree, I don't really want your sour lemons.

All that to say, these last two weeks have been a little brutal, and by a little...I mean a lot brutal and really lemon-y. But I've come to a place of acceptance because life could be worse and at the end of it all, the important things in life still exist. Like, succulents still make me happy, my dog still thinks I'm the greatest thing on Earth, I learned a really cool way to propagate succulents here, and Pretty Little Liars has 3 seasons on Netflix. So basically all is right in the world and I'm camping out in the land of  "choosing joy," and maybe drinking a glass of lemonade or two.


Please tell me happy things from your life!

Lake Tahoe

Pretty much every year my family takes a trip to either Lake Tahoe or Santa Cruz. I'm more of a beach person so Santa Cruz is my haven...but we have a pretty amazing family cabin in Tahoe that I can't complain about so I'm just as happy going there. We're going there SOON and I can hardly stand it. Time off from work and life is exactly what the doc ordered. And by doc, I mean me ;)

That's a picture of our private beach that we get to hang out on, there's also a community pool area with ping pong and lots of other outdoor games...I seriously can't wait. To see pics from our vaca here last year check out these posts!


Just for fun, here's some pictures from past family vacations we've enjoyed.

 [Squaw Valley 2012]

 [Mexico 09]

 [Mexico 09]

[Santa Cruz 08]

life lately

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of second shooting with one of my good friends Samantha Jovan Photography. We got to shoot at this GORGEOUS location and the pictures turned out amazing.

Front view of our wedding day playground. Flowers from a wonderful friend, for my birthday :)

Tiffany's earrings from my hubby for my birthday. He's a keeper. I love them and wear them every day!

One of the MOST thoughtful gifts I've ever been given. Each item in here had purpose and I just can't believe how much thought and love was put into this little package :) I am beyond blessed with cool people in my life.

Newest obsession thanks to my MIL. I really can't get enough. Late night chick flick. Safe Haven is not for the faint of heart though, I'll admit I had my share of sweaty palms. I'm a wuss.

The gallery wall is coming together slowly but surely. I haven't forgot about Pt.'s in the making :)

another year older

Today, I turn twenty-five. 

At the ripe age of two-five... I'm happy. I live in a cute, comfortable apartment with my hubby and our sweet Turby. I'm on the brink of full-time photographer and by brink I mean I'm hopeful. I have fantastic friends in my life, both near and far away from me. I'm an auntie to three of the cutest kids I know. I've seen my extended family more lately and I heart that. I'm obsessed with succulents and all things plants. I became a member of our church this year and feel like I've finally found where I'm supposed to be, I heart you B-Way. Jeff is still in the Army and so happened to have drill this weekend, making it the third year [with the exception of last year] that we've been apart for my birthday, but we are so blessed by a lot that has come from the Army. I work at Starbucks and enjoy my free coffee. I listen to a lot of Rend Collective Experiment,  Hillsong, Mumford & Sons, and Ingrid Michaelson. I'm reading the fourth Harry Potter book and LA Candy, because I'd like to hang on to my youth. I'm fully in love with my Jesus like always. 

Twenty-five looks good to me. 

happiness is plants

Our little home is slowly coming together, as in we have nailed things to walls & decided on furniture we want to build. I can hardly wait to see the final products, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the process of making our apartment look less apartment-ish, & more home-ish along the way :)

This was our weekend project that I have been looking forward to for some time now. My hubby is so handy & worked so hard to measure even lines & ensure that everything was level. He did a fabulous job & I am so thankful for him! Now the fun part...rearranging & making the shelves cute. I've kept this look for about 3 hours now so it's safe to say this one will probably last at least a week ;)

Buy yourself a plant this week, I promise it will make you smile!

my first try at in-home lifestyle sessions

This past weekend I had the privilege to take pictures inside these pretty homes. It was my first experience with in-home lifestyle sessions and I had SO much fun. The environment was super relaxed and homey...naturally ;)

I can't wait for more sessions like these!!

my life in 250 words

I am a believer in Jesus Christ to the depth of my soul. I love art, reading, music and decorating. I grew up in Northern California where I still live today. I've been to 5 schools, I've played soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I was only good at volleyball. I've been a cheerleader & dancer at some point in my life…but don’t speak often of those days. I have one little brother and two amazing parents. I got married in 2010 and my husband deployed to Iraq for our entire first year of marriage. I lived in Virginia for 2 months and planned my wedding in 4. We have moved 6x in two years of marriage. I graduated from college in 2011 with a degree in Communication Studies and an emphasis in International/Intercultural Communication. Since then I've pursued my own photography business and supply the coffee drinkers of America with copious amounts of caffeine…in other words I’m a barista at Starbucks.

I LOVE buying new planners at the start of each new year, I make lots of lists but rarely stick to them, I try to be organized but fail miserably, I love dark sodas, I hate spicy foods, I drink a lot of coffee…but mostly b/c it’s free, I am obsessed with my dog, I take way too many instagram pictures, I don’t understand twitter, I journal, I don’t cook often or well, I burn candles daily, I will never leave California.

Oh, and I make a mean caramel macchiato. 


250 friends....word count it! ;) 

link up with Jenni here and share your life in 250 words! 

n i c o l e & n i c o l e

Three weeks ago we brought you the Twist&Tuck tutorial and this week we've decided to bring you our favorite skin care products, followed by our skin care routine! You can check back each month for a review on our favorite products from the beauty department. These are the skin care routines that have proven to work best for us as of late. 

a.m. routine // In the morning I use a dime size shake of Dermalogica Exfoliant in the shower [it's a dry powder, turned creamy face wash once mixed with water] it feels great on my skin and makes my skin super soft. Once I get out of the shower I squeeze a tiny amount of Aveeno lotion and rub gently into my facial pores. I don't have particularly oily skin, so I've never used any specialized face lotions. 

p.m routine // Coconut oil has recently become a favorite product of mine and it has SO many uses. Right now it's biggest use has been to remove my makeup at night. Simply scoop out a quarter sized amount and spread over your face...the makeup literally melts off.  Another fun use for coco oil is a substitute shaving cream. A little bit goes a long way in this case, my legs felt incredibly smooth and moisturized after my shower which was another bonus. I then use coconut butter all over my arms, legs and face! After the coco butter is all rubbed in, I finish off my nightly routine with rose salve on my lips and some coconut oil on my eyebrows to stimulate hair growth. My brows suffered from a serious case of pluckage, so we're working our way back to a place of fullness ;) I can honestly say I've noticed a huge difference since I've started the coconut eyebrow treatment!

am routine // My morning routine is pretty simple. First, I wash my face with Cetaphil. I just started using this face wash and I LOVE it. I've honestly seen a noticeable difference in my skin since using it, it's potent but doesn't dry you out. Then I exfoliate. I can't stress how important exfoliating is. Your skin  cells renew every month and the older you get, the slower and less frequently this happens. Exfoliating takes the top dead layer of skin off which allows your new cells that lay deep inside your skin to get to the surface. This process keeps your skin looking younger and fresh. Exfoliating also helps work dirt and oil out of the pores which controls breakouts. If you're new to exfoliating, start once a week so as not to overwork your skin then add a day as your skin becomes more used to exfoliating. Then I use my Olay complete moisturizer on my face and neck.

pm routine // My night routine is a little more complicated......(notice the novel below) haha. First I start with removing my make up with coconut oil. As nicole mentioned before we are both obsessed with this stuff! I use it as a make up remover, a moisturizer, I even use it to make body scrubs...this stuff is my go-to product. After I remove my make up I wash my face with Cetaphil. Then I use Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner. You wanna use one part apple cider vinegar for every two parts water because this stuff is strong. I use a small dish to mix it in and then use a cotton ball to apply. Now I know what you're thinking..EW. But hear me out. Not only is this stuff waaay cheaper and lasts longer, but it's great for your skin. Because your skin is naturally acidic, apple cider vinegar helps restore your skins natural pH balance. It reduces redness, blemishes, and increases your skins overall softness. If I have a zit I'll get a small amount of full strength ACV and dab it right on top. ACV is my other go to product. Like coconut oil its a multi use, cheap, and natural. Then, I put some coconut oil on my brows and eyelashes to promote hair growth and then finish the process off with my olay anti-wrinkle night cream.  It's a deep moisturizer and helps prevents the signs of aging that begin in your 20's. So naturally, Im sold.


Do you have a particular skin product you can't live with out? Share below...we'd love to try new products!

life lately and other things

These past couple of weeks have been nothing short of crazy! I can't complain though, I'd much rather have the constant flow of busy than the boring dullness of lazy. So here's a few random updates in the life of Nicole, if you care to know :)

For starters, I've become part of this huge network of uh-maze-ing photographer friends. For the last 2 months or so, I've had weekly coffee or lunch dates with multiple ladies, I've been connected with and met up with 3 different local groups, and I've had a Skype date with a photog friend from out of state. I felt so alone in this industry just a year ago. But today, some of my absolutely favorite people have become industry colleagues. What an awesome feeling. To say I'm beyond thankful for these different groups of friends is a huge understatement. I feel incredibly blessed and just so humbled that I have been accepted among these creatives. It has only increased my desire to pursue this journey of owning a business even further. And not only that, I want so badly to help others along in the industry with the little bit knowledge I have recently acquired! This industry is about helping each other and encouraging each other and I've come to know that more fully as of late. It's really awesome to be part of.

....and how about I say "industry" one more time? :)


[latte art from a sweet friend]

I've grown so much in the Lord over this past year as well. Our church is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. I want to know more, feel more, be part of more, help more...I just can't get enough of all things Jesus these days. So forgive my Jesus thumping heart for always wanting to discuss theology and other religions, but I'm really not sorry :) The Easter service at my church was phenomenal this year. There's a video recording of it floating around vimeo and I've probably watched it 15x. The Holy Spirit was IN that room transforming lives with all of his angels, no doubt :)

Not only have I been busy meeting up with photographer friends and working many hours at the good ol' Bux, but [jumping back to photo mode] I've been going through a restart of my personal business. With that restart is coming some huge changes that I announced on facebook last week...the main one being, a NAME CHANGE! I am SO excited for this name change, as I feel it will represent me as a whole instead of just my photography... droppin' hints ;)

Also, look out for another installment from the Nicole's coming this week! We're putting together some fun things for your beauty routine so check back on Thursday for that!

Turbo has taken to our new place quite well if you couldn't tell ;) Could he BE any cuter?

Since Father's Day is on the horizon, you might want to start considering what you'll be doing for your big guy! Mom's are easy to get for, so that's why I suggest thinking ahead for dad/husband.. I know my dad is always THE hardest to buy for, so that's why I was so excited when I found this mustache decal on etsy. I found the jar at Ikea and meshed the two together. Voila, present for el daddio! I made this for his birthday, but it would make the perfect Father's Day gift as well. He's already filled it up with change and sent me a picture of it in use :)

If you haven't seen it yet, please watch this video put out by Dove. It is incredible and spoke volumes to me. Us women, we are SO hard on ourselves and it hurts my heart every day. So many of my friends are consumed with their looks, bodies, what men think of them etc, and all that really does is hurt you even more. Please know, you are far more beautiful than you think you are <3 nbsp="">

to watch more on this go here

Feel beautiful in your own skin today, because you are so very precious!