Summer Bucket List

Every season I think about writing a “bucket list” to share with you, but always forget. That, or I get caught up writing something else, and then it just seems to late to share. Or lots of other folks post theirs and I just feel silly, like I’m piggy backing on them. Which really, doesn’t matter. My blog space, my summer list- right?! Right! PLUS this weekend is 4th of July weekend– which is a PERFECT TIME to talk about Summer plans!!

Well, I didn’t forget THIS TIME, friends! I’ve been thinking about our summer plans a lot recently, and want to also hear what yours are! My husband turned 27 last week, which coincided with the official start of summer, so fun birthday festivities usually mark the beginning of our summer fun– which I am definitely not upset about ;)

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(photo credit: Nikki Santerre Photography)

Though I may hate the humid, sometimes oppressive heat, summer really is lovely. I love all of the flowers and produce that are at their best during these hot months. I love ending the day with a cold drink in hand. I love all of the outdoor fun to be had- festivals, concerts, BBQs, swimming, digging my toes into the sand. It’s all just so lovely!

Without further ado, here are some of my most pressing summer “To Do”!


Finish purging and organizing our home office. My husband works from home full time, and with my business getting busier, I use our office space a lot. There are a few boxes and baskets of STUFF just lingering. I also need to hang the photos I had printed of my work!

Grill dinner together more often. Our schedules haven’t been syncing up much for us to spend some time outside with the dogs, cooking dinner. This needs to be made a priority when time allows, just because it is something we enjoy doing so much!

More dates! We are so bad about going out and doing something fun! Even if it’s grabbing a casual dinner out or catching a movie, I’d love to go OUT and do more things together, enjoying the weather and each other’s company!

Add flowers to our yard, Clear out flower beds. I’d love to have more flowers growing in our yard for me to cut and enjoy inside. I’d love to buy another hydrangea or two, and plant some dahlias to jazz up our little space.

Take the pups to the dog park more often in the evening. Pugs and heat don’t get along, but our dogs love to play! I want to get much better about taking them to the dog park to play in the evenings when it starts to cool down a bit!

Be better about cooking breakfast. I’m lucky to scarf down a piece of toast or a banana in the morning before I head to work. I’d love to do a little prep once or twice a week to ensure we both have some breakfast options. Besides smoothies and overnight oats, does anyone have an easy breakfast idea that’s great to make ahead? I’d love to hear some savory ideas!


Do a light rebrand. Don’t get too excited- it’s not going to be a huge project just yet, but there are definite changes coming. A new name, a new logo, and a little print collateral are all on my list for the summer.

Get back on a blogging schedule! I was so good for a while there! I just need to add blogging back into my work flow to ensure we’re spending more time together here!

Flowers, flowers, flowers! Book some of my first full wedding floral clients. I told you things were changing around here a bit. Stay tuned for more info!

Finish tweaking my quoting and contracting process. There are so many things to figure out as you grow and branch out! Onwards and upwards, my friends!

What about you?? What is on your Summer To Do list?!




Sometimes it can be so refreshing to set aside all of the components of a large-scale photo shoot and pare it down to just the basics. A beautiful girl, a flowy dress, and flowers that look like they were just plucked from her garden did it for me. Sometimes simplifying things produce results that are way more lovely than you would have expected.

I am so smitten with the images attached to this photo shoot. I cannot wait for Nikki’s film scans to come in and of us to be able to share all of this goodness!

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“Flowers Are The Sweetest Things…”

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” - Henry Beecher 

Thank you, Jeff Ocampo, for allowing me to be a tiny part of your incredible styled bridal photo shoot. This fella is CRAZY talented, folks, and I am a lucky gal to now have some of his photos of my work!

Inspired by juicy fuchsia peonies and purple-green fringed tulips, this bouquet is saturated, slightly bohemian, and smelled like Heaven.

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Photography: Jeffrey Ocampo Photography
Dresses: Urban Set Bride

Middle Ages English Styled Photo Shoot

The images below are some of my favorites ever, taken by someone that has quickly become one of my favorite people. Katie Delorme contacted me at the end of last summer to see if I would be interested in working together on a Cultural-themed Styled Shoot competition for Le Magnifique. Katie had dreamed of something set in the Middle Ages- something romantic, slightly rustic, and natural. With her absolutely dreamy film and digital images, I am just overwhelmed with our final outcome.

Katie and I first met as she arrived at my house to spend the weekend together to prepare for and do this photo shoot. We immediately hugged one another, and I’ve loved her since. Katie has this incredible, ethereal, REAL photography style, and I truly cherish all of these images she made that day.

We had GOATS! That wore floral collars! I’m also fairly certain that I have a big ol’ crush on our gorgeous models from that day, Ali from Alisandra Photography, and her sweet husband, Chad! They are GORGEOUS, and have such beautiful, intimate chemistry. That sweet intimacy is exactly what this shoot needed, as we envisioned that these two ran away together to elope where they felt most at home- among nature.

The overall feel of this shoot, to me, is slightly rustic, natural, soft, elegant and true. I am elated to share these images with you today; I hope you feel the same things!

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Photography: Katie DeLorme Photography | Dress: Jann Marie Studios
Flowers, Styling, Food: Into It Events |  Calligraphy: Kindred
Hair and Make Up: Faces by Joy | Goats: Blue Ridge Canine Services
Venue: Pump House 

Like a River

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

Rainer Maria Rilke – Book of Hours, Love Poems to God



Image from Joy Thigpen.

This struck such a deep chord in me that I’ve been thinking about it for weeks. I knew I had to share.

There are days, we’ve all been there, when it feels like nothing will ever flow easily. Where it feels hard to make it through the day. Where you question yourself, your taste, your dreams. Then that nasty, nasty comparison bug kicks in and before you know it- you’ve been sucked down a rabbit hole of feeling sorry for yourself.

I can guarantee that for each of you out there trying to forage your own way, to cut your own path, that you know exactly the type of day I’m talking about. Where feeling great and being on top of things feel like they might just be impossible. Your To Do list is kicking back at you, and you’re almost ready to let it in. You aren’t alone.

You’re foraging this path because you believe SO MUCH in the destination that you’re willing to put in the hard work. You know your quality of life will be better, your happiness greater, and the number of lives you touch larger.

It’s interesting where we find inspiration for how we live our day-to-day lives and find inspiration for our creative endeavors. I really do hope that whatever is in me, whatever is meant to be, will someday just flow.

Hang in there.

The Loving Type

I am elated to finally share this photo shoot with you all today. The final product is much more than I could have ever asked for, and I am so thankful for all of the folks that helped this come to life. I know I’ve been spouting off about our vendors a lot, but I cannot thank them enough. Each and every one of them brought something unique to the table, and helped us create something really, really beautiful.

It’s hard to find words to pair with the images below- I am so enamored with each one of them. Each detail and contribution was better than I envisioned- to the point where I got choked up multiple times while we were on-site that day. I know that may seem a little silly, but it could not be helped. I built a freaking table runner out of books, for goodness sake, and we stuffed those books full of peonies and hanging amaranthus! I can’t think of anything dreamier.

Normally when I am asked to participate in a photo shoot, there is already a preexisting theme or inspiration behind it. I make a list of all of my client’s “must-haves,” and run with it from there. This particular photo shoot was a little different. My partner in crime, Nikki of Nikki Santerre Photography, and I were able to build the inspiration of this shoot from the ground up, and mold it into whatever we wanted it to be. After seeing the photo shoot challenge prompt on Burnett’s Boards, we quickly decided that we wanted to focus our shoot around ink- specifically literature and calligraphy. The rest of the details just seemed to flow.

Tears flooded my eyes when Nikki sent the images to me, and I have looked at them often since then. They feel romantic, a little lush. The images speak of a classic love- an enduring, sure romance. And that’s what we wanted to make. I think I can call our work on this shoot a success because of the way it makes me feel.

Without further ado (and more rambling,) I’d love for you to take a look at the images below. You’ll see a mixture of film photography and digital images- all of which I know you’re going to really love. Please don’t forget to take a peek at the end of the post and give our fabulous vendors love!


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Photography and Creative Direction: Nikki Santerre Photography
Creative Direction and Styling: Amanda Burnette
Flowers: Anthomanic | Furniture Rentals: Paisley and Jade
Calligraphy: Letters of Grace Calligraphy | Cake and Petit Fours: Sweet Fix
Venue: Virginia Center for Architecture | Hair and make up: Emily Hudspeth
ress: Ava Laurenne | Models: Kimberly Barkley and Andrew Denn

Do What Feels Good

I think “do what feels good” should be a phrase that we all listen to a little more often. It applies to all aspects of life- work, personal time, projects, the company you keep- everything! I totally believe in the pursuit of happiness, and I think starting by doing what feels good is a surefire way to find your bliss.

My sweet friend Nikki messaged me this week asking if I would make her a bouquet for a bridal portrait session she had. With a really busy weekend at my full time job, and a hectic few weeks ahead coming up, I hesitated to say yes. It’s so easy to get caught up in the potentially overwhelming and stressful things, even when faced with something as totally lovely and delightful as making flowers for someone! The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous I knew it was to say no. ALSO, peony season is here… so there’s that.


Just a few hours after saying yes, my pal Michelle Amarillo emailed me asking about another bouquet! Her cousin, Jeffrey Ocampo, is a crazy talented photographer here in Richmond, and was in need of a bouquet! Of course I jumped at this opportunity. More flowers? absolutely. After all, I had already committed to making one bouquet, what the heck is another?

Let me tell you- I am so, so glad I said yes to these things. It felt GOOD saying yes, and it felt REALLY GOOD seeing the results and knowing that I helped a friend, made a new connection, and will have some pretty photos to add to ye old portfolio!

I know saying yes can get you to an overwhelming place, but digging my hands into a bucket full of gorgeous flowers while my husband dances around to “Alternative Hits from 1996″ (yes, that’s an actual, very specific, station we have) brought NO BAD THINGS. Instead of telling myself to limit my projects, I’m going to say yes to what feels good! Heck yes!


Please excuse my crappy, weirdly lit, over saturated iPhone photos. I just couldn’t keep these pretties to myself.

On a few other, random notes:

  • Holy eff, man. If you like rainbows, puppies, and happiness,  MAKE THIS DAIRY FREE COCONUT CREAM PIE FRENCH TOAST. You’ve been warned/told. Just… listen to me.
  • I’ve always got new projects spinning around in my head, and there has been one specific one on my mind for a while. I’m going to make all of the paper flowers.
  • There is a pound of rhubarb sitting in my fridge. I think I need to make the most perfect summer pie on the face of the earth. Thanks, Joy.
  • Lastly, in the spirit of doing what feels good, I shall leave you with an R. Kelly video. Not because I love R. Kelly, but rather because he KILLS this Sam Cooke cover of “A Change is Gonna Come.” And if you know me, old soul music is kind of my favorite. I’m sorry/you’re welcome.

Last but not least:

Have you seen our “The Loving Type” photo shoot on Burnett’s Boards yet?? The full post can be found here:

Once you’re done looking, won’t you please vote for us? Follow the link below to cast your vote for “The Loving Type: A Wedding Inspired by Love Letters.”
Voting ends this week and we need all of the votes we can get!