DIY PLAYHOUSE

DIY PLAYHOUSE
DIY PLAYHOUSE

Leave her Wild

Leave her Wild
Leave her Wild

Let's talk camera

Let's talk camera
Camera 101

Loving Lately

As much as I love summer oh man I forget how much I hate the heat. It's been triple digits in my town and they are expected to last all week and thensome. Woof! So we have been logging a lot of time in the kiddie pool. Well, Presley has at least, while we hide under the shade of an umbrella and let her pour water over our feet.

Here is a little round up of things I am loving to help beat the heat!

Peplum Cami
For years I have tried on various peplum tops because I love the idea of them. However when you're more than blessed in the chest area finding one that fits well is a challenge. I love love love this camisole and so wish it came in other colors. It has one small drawback and that is the straps are a smidgen too long and tend to slide off but it's not too bothersome. It's flowy enough but still rocks a great shape. (The photo really does it no favors but trust me and try it on!)

Graphic Tank
I can totally picture me in this top - snuggling my dog.
Krause Dress
I would love to wear this dress in some family photos but the reality is with that price tag it's never gonna happen! Also I would def close it more in front haha!

Gladiator Lace Up Wedge
Umm these may have to find a way into my closet.
ASOS fuller bust line
If you can't buy swimsuits at Victoria's Secret, ASOS is a great option with their fuller bust line. Plus they always have cute prints and great prices!

Now excuse me while I go eat another popsicle and hang out under the air conditioner!
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5 Things Your Photographer Wants You to Know

 1. Relax

Whenever we take the time to dress nice and get together for a family photo, expectations are usually high. You want that perfect shot. I can't tell you how often I hear "oh we just need one good one". As your photographer I will tell you this, if I only produce one good one for you - I haven't done my job. We focus so much on the poses but in reality it's the candid shots that everyone loves. So let loose and don't stress. Taking photos is meant to be fun!

2. Embrace the chaos

Kids of pretty much any age have a penchant for not listening. I know this is nothing revolutionary. You want them cheesing right into the lens and more often than not they want nothing to do with taking photos. I assure you your children are not the first to shun my camera and won't be the last. The thing about children is that it is very easy to incorporate them naturally and candidly into photos. When the parent's start talking or giving directions it gets captured in the photograph, mouth open, eyes closed etc. So let your kids be kids and let's capture them exactly as they are. Unfiltered and real.

3. Don't come hangry

I can't think of many things I enjoy doing when I am hungry and having my photo taken is no exception. Because I schedule sessions close to sunset they usually take place around dinnertime. Do me a favor and make sure you and your clan eat beforehand. Hangry men (and children!) turn into grumpy subjects and often time I as the photographer, bear the brunt of a rumbling tummy.
(This is my husband so I am allowed to put him on blast :)

4. Love yourself

I love photographing children because they never complain about the way they look. Oh we adults are our absolute worst critics. We think our arms are too big, our wrinkles too deep. Anytime someone points out these to me (which I never notice!) I want to say love yourself! I get it, I too pick apart my photos but no one ever noticed my perceived flaws but me! Be kind to you.

5. Leave the props at home

I know this varies from photographer to photographer but for me I say ditch those props. In a Pinterest era it's hard to deny them but the photos that are candid and simple are my favorites. I'm not talking balloons and floral crowns (because I love all that if not encourage it!) but leave the signs and banners at home!

If you're a local to the San Francisco Bay Area and looking for a photographer, look no further!
Laura Parker Photography

A special thank you to Stephanie who gave me the idea for this post!





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The Beach People

If you were to come inside my home one of the first things you may notice is I have an abundance of blankets. In every room, multiple textures, shapes and colors. So it probably comes as no surprise that beach towels are high up there with with things I really love. After all it's basically a blanket for the beach, right? In other words a combination of my two most favorite things.

Meet The Beach People, an Australian company founded by sisters Emma & Victoria who share not only the bond of sisterhood, but a serious love of the beach. With the support of their friends and family and a sell out first summer, they have expanded into much more than the original creators of the Roundie Towel.

The Beach People graciously gifted me two towels, a classic Roundie Towel from their volume two collection (The Paloma) and a Petite Roundie Towel for P (Oceanic Petite) and when I opened the package I was counting down the days to warmer weather and the coast. I know, same as every other day around these parts.

At first touch the towels feel more like a blanket - so obviously it was love at first sight. Made from a super soft cotton topped with velour and a terry reverse side for quick absorption it feels so much nicer than a towel. Lightweight too for carrying and perfect for wrapping around you or your little one.

The petite line measures 40" in diameter and the classic roundie's measure 60" it's the perfect amount of material. Even Finn circled around mine two times and laid down on it! With lots of design choices to choose from and a thick tassel border it's hard not to want one in every color.

The pricing on the towels is a bit steep with a Roundie Towel coming in at $110 and a petite at $79, but like with many things that cost more, quality really is king and these towels will hold up for years to come. We won't be limiting our use of these towels to just the beach, they are just too pretty to not bring to every outdoor adventure! Plus one of the things I love about a round beach towel is that when you hug it over your shoulders it covers your whole back unlike a rectangle towel. No more shivering!

Join the The Beach People's mailing list and get 15% off your first order!

 Wouldn't you know it that all the fog burned off and it turned out to be a gorgeous day!

The Beach People provided me a Roundie Towel and Petite Roundie Towel in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed here, as always, are 100% my own. 

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Father's Day Weekend

This weekend was so good for the soul. Exactly the sort of recharge and release we were all needing. With the weather being so gorgeous we logged a lot of hours outdoors and David got to do a whole bunch of things he loves, including fishing and diving. Pretty sure I banged Father's Day out of the park this year.

On Saturday we headed out to Paradise Pier in Tiburon and let the guys fish while me and one of my besties hung back with our girls on the greenbelt. P was craaaazy and I was constantly having to go grab her but it was nice to be outside all day. We let the girls stay up way late when we got home and hung out and BBQ'd. It was a nice way to kick off the weekend.
On Sunday we had plans to head up the coast to one of our favorite spots, Mendocino. It's about a 4 hour drive away but the rocks jetting out of the ocean and the viewa are always worth it. Usually it's socked in with fog but this weekend we got absolutely spoiled with crystal clear waters and blue skies. David said it was one of his best visibility days he has ever had out in the water. He was super happy to go diving in the morning and tag some abalone for us.

I took Monday off work and we stayed at The Heritage House Resort. If you're looking for a place to stay the restaurant and views here cannot be beat! We got the closest room to the water and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean was amazing. Ya know once our child conceded to sleep around midnight!






And as you can tell...I was too busy taking photos to be in any! Oh the life of a photographer!

Next weekend we celebrate my dad's birthday and Father's Day -- so don't worry pops gets some love too. Just no ocean... :)
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Heavy hearted

Tonight I put my baby to sleep in her crib.

I read her a story, I listened to her slurp her milk, I watched her tiny hands rub her tiny eyelashes.

After I said "I love you, sweet dreams" and closed the door to her bedroom. I got terribly sad. The headlines coming out of Orlando, FL this week have been nothing short of a nightmare. A young singer shot for living out a dream, a hate crime and the deadliest mass shooting in America, and now the story of young Lane Graves, attacked and killed by an alligator.

I have thought about that sweet baby boy all day. How he is my daughter's age. Can likely say mama, dada and maybe I love you. I've thought about how when they return to the airport a carseat will be empty on the ride home. Maybe old cheerios in the cupholder, a favorite toy left in the seat.

I opened the door to my daughter's nursery and went in and picked her right up. Her soft curls laying into my face, her cheek finding the perfect resting spot on my shoulder. I sat there and I just rocked and hugged her. We read another book and looked up at the stars illuminating her ceiling. I just needed to hold her again, to feel her.

I hugged her tighter tonight because of Lane. I hugged her tighter because my heart aches, it physically hurts in my chest, imagining the road ahead for the Graves family. I cannot stop thinking about them, about Lane, how that could have happened to anyone. There is no debate to be had here. It could have happened to anyone.

Hug your babies.

Rest in Peace Lane



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Loving Lately

Poor little neglected white space...

Don't worry, this mama is getting a recharge this weekend in my favorite form. David always has treated me to such fun adventures, so in honor of Father's Day I think it's high time I return the favor. We will be headed to the coast (I know shocker, right?!) to get some much needed vitamin sea. The very best kind!

While I wish I was packing a new bag with lots of fun items these are some things I am loving lately and they all look pretty similar. Hey, at least I am consistent!

Ilaria Top
Cut Off Denim Shorts
Off the Shoulder Chambray Top

Off the Shoulder Ruffle Top
While we likely won't log any swimming time due to a cold Pacific Ocean I did place my order on this little lady that I was eyeing way back when! It's 50% off right now but looks like only 2t is left in sizing.

Tea Collection Swimsuit

Gigi & Max Baby Romper

Also I want to give some love to my girl, Stephanie, over at Olive & Tate for including my photography instagram page on her must see feeds!!
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Orlando

Designed by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.

As the names begin to roll out about the victims of the terrible shooting spree that took place in Orlando my heart, like many, is heavy. Heavy that people who have so much hate in their heart exist in this world.

In order to do better, we must be better.

When I wrote the post Leave her Wild for my daughter I specifically wrote person as opposed to man. That was absolutely purposeful because in my mind I don't care who she wants to marry as long as she is loved and happy. We have got to do away with these archaic ways of thinking!

Love is Love is Love is Love.

This was a hate crime. This is terrorism.

This has got to end.
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Oh the guilt

I think that the instant we become a parent the word guilt is quickly associated with many things we do. While pregnant you think am I eating healthy enough? Talking to the baby enough? With your toddler you worry about if you engage them enough. Stretch their minds enough. Get them outside to play enough.

It's constant and I know that most parents feel it in some form one way or another.

Mine however is beginning to feel at an all time high.

Ever since my journey into photography has become a second job I worry that it is impacting my daughter. While I try to space time between shoots and not book jobs some weekends all together I am constantly working. Which my goodness is such a blessing and I am fully aware of that as I never dreamed to be this busy. However between a full time job and now a part time photography business I am beginning to feel the guilt.

It comes in many ways. Guilt that I schedule sessions at 10am so I am not spending weekend morning's with my daughter. Guilt that I really enjoy taking photographs and having some creative me time. Guilt that sometimes I don't curl into my husband on the couch because I have photos to edit.

G U I L T

I even feel guilty that this blog has taken somewhat of a backbone. Because I adore this space and the community of creatives I have met because of it. So I guess this was just a mini "I need to get this off my chest" session. 

Tell me how you deal with all of it and find the best balance.

I just want to be my best everyday and never look back and say "I wish I did..."



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S L E E P


This is the face of a little girl allergic to sleep.

No bath time or bedtime story can make her drowsy.

She shrieks, giggles, cries you name it.

And without fail she is always due for a diaper change.

We read her one last story,

about three more times.

Then she does something so dang cute we swoop her out of the crib and start all over again

like say her name for the first time.

heart melted.


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Five on Friday


1. My new Canon 6D is blowing my mind! Granted I have it paired up with an amazing lens but the low light capabilities are like woah. The photo above is absolutely my favorite to date and I want to print it out huge to hang somewhere in our house.

2. One of my most favorite sweatshirts is on sale in almost all its colors (except black) it's on the more expensive side but so comfortable and I love the zipper detail. Go on and treat yourself!

ALLSAINTS Dahlia Sweatshirt

3. I am totally having a moment with Real Housewives of Dallas the cast is the perfect amount of crazy. By perfect amount I mean 100% nuts.

4. It's started getting really hot here and I don't think I am ready for 100+ degree days. That or putting on a bathing suit. Woof.

5. P is having a major moment with everything girly. High heels and baby dolls are at the top of the list and I have to say it makes me so excited! My mom kept all my old Barbie things (of which there is A LOT) and P started having all the girl dolls kiss Ken! Not sure where she picked that up from but fairly certain she won't be allowed to date...ever.


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Mama & Mini Session

When I booked my flight to visit my sister in Orange County I had one thing I had to do and that was meet my friend (and former blogger!) Vanessa Lentine for some pictures! Since I am always behind the lens it's so rare I get photos with P that I love. So I was so happy she could squeeze me into her schedule before she left on vacation. I had so much fun with our little mama and mini session!

There are so many I love and P's facial expressions are so very her, all over the place and goofy. I love this little lady so much! Also it was windy and in some photos I appear pregnant looking - I assure you I am not. Just in case anyone thought some sort of announcement was going down at the bottom of this post.

Not happening.













If you find yourself in the San Clemente, CA area anytime and need a photographer make sure to check out Vanessa!



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