Our Family Joshua Tree Desert Photo Shoot

Woohoo! Finally getting to blog some of our favorites from our family photo shoot we did in the desert. I was going for a an airy, bohemian vibe that was reflective of the our location in Joshua Tree. This was planned out a little last second for me, I usually take a few months to decide on family photos, gathering outfits and location, deciding a date. So a few weeks to put this all together meant I couldn't overthink anything too much, which was actually ideal. 

We were taking a family road trip to Joshua Tree National Park and it fit smack dab between Gunnar's work days, during everyone's spring break. We desperately needed some time to regroup as a family, and you know how we love National Parks! 

I had asked one of my favorite photographers, Josh Elliott, if he had a free Thursday afternoon to work with us and low and behold everything fell into place! We loved our time in Joshua Tree and I promise you it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves this afternoon. Josh gave us some walkie talkies and we set off to find some ideal photo taking spots and I'm pretty sure we found the gold. Liquid sunset gold if you will. These are precious to me, and made for the most perfect 17 year anniversary a girl could ask for. We haven't taken family photos in about 4 years and wow how these kids have grown and changed. 

Greta's dress is from my girlfriend's shop, MinnieMi and both of us absolutely loved her in it. It fits her style to a tee, and was the most perfect option for family photos. Sooo well made, go check out other items in the shop, they're adorable!

My dress is from Nordstrom, and since I was in a pinch and zero time for shopping I ordered a dozen dresses all at once. I figured one had to fit right!? It took a little jerryrigging to make perfect, and a quick Amazon prime slip to go underneath it. I did forget my little tube top at home, but nothing a fast trip to the thrift store to cut up a lace top couldn't fix with some safety pins minutes before the shoot. Gunnar's outfit all came from Macy's, Sawyer's outfit we owned already, along with Aaron's. I've always been against the matching two tone color scheme, but I definitely wanted our colors to blend with the landscape. And I think we accomplished this.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about our photographer and how comfortable we all feel with him. Also, family photos get so much easier as kids get older! They do what you say! Lol. Just a few more...


Would you believe me if I told you this is just a teeny fraction of all the images we have? I sift through and stare at them pretty much every day. If you're on the fence about family photos, don't be! They're treasures that I promise you will never regret having! These are worth more to me than anything else. xo

At Home - A Photo Shoot

I'm pretty excited to share this photo shoot with you. Aaron and I won an Instagram contest for an in home photo shoot last month, and I think I danced around for days at the thought of a morning spent with this guy and documenting some time together. Dee was extraordinary to work with, and she is just lovely inside and out. I cannot recommend her enough. She was interested in capturing us doing what we do normally, making coffee, snuggling, lounging, laughing. And that's just what we did. We haven't taken photos of just the two of us since our wedding day, although I do try to always squeeze in a few whenever we do family photos. But I have to say it was so wonderful, and these are gems that I will treasure forever. A few of our favorites... And I'm sure more will trickle out over the next few weeks, I've shared a few on Instagram already(@mylifeatplaytime). Thank you Dee! You are a gift! This a is a gift! 

Behind the Scenes: Viva Vantage Break Up Party with Trista Sutter

*This is a sponsored post where I have been compensated by Viva Vantage for my styling services and participation in the “Break Up with Your Towel” campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I could not wait to share this post about my work on a recent photo shoot campaign with Viva Vantage paper towels and Trista Sutter with all of you! Last week was a huge and fun challenge for me professionally, and I am so excited to say I survived, and not only that, I learned so much! I was contacted to style a photo shoot for Viva Vantage in West Hollywood because they were launching a new campaign with Trista Sutter (yes, the Bachelorette!) serving as their spokesperson. The idea was for her to throw a “break up party”, no not a break up with her sweet husband Ryan, but a break up with your old paper towel once and for all and move on to Viva Vantage. You can read more about the whole campaign here, and it’s interactive too so you can get your own coupon or participate through Twitter. 

My job in all of this was to create the party. What foods would she serve, what drinks? I had to create a theme and mood for the event and then do a little behind the scenes documentation too. She was going to have a photo shoot and then have an afternoon of interviews with the media, followed with a trip to the CBS show The Talk. My planning began and I have to say, since I love planning parties it was extremely fun.

I discovered you need a ton of stuff for a photo shoot and need to have a million options on hand for different scenarios. Going into it I knew the size of the table but that was about it. I created a mood board and put all the pieces in place like food vendors, meeting with florists, scheduling delivery and pickup times, purchasing props and decor, but putting it all together was where the real work started. 

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I had to test the drink beforehand to make sure it not only look pretty, but in case someone took a sip, it was still tasty. Which is exactly what happened by the way, and it was yummy. Phew! I served a sparking blackberry and sage drink (sage is very cleansing and I thought any good break up needed cleansing), blueberry waffles, sloppy joe sliders, soft pretzels (you know carbs are a comfort food category right?), chocolate truffles and peanut butter and chocolate bars (chocolate, well, I don’t need to say anything else).

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Once everything was in place, Trista got to work. Here’s a little behind the scenes of the photographer and her. We staged a little spill scene too. Can I honestly tell you those paper towels are amazing? We were going to just do a juice spill, but we decided to also do a syrup spill as well, and that towel picked it right up! Like it was it’s job or something. :)

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After the shoot, I got to exhale and interviews with Trista and the media began. There were reporters from all different publications and websites, and I was beaming just a little that they all loved the setup so much. Not to mention they were devouring and snacking on the treats all afternoon. ItSweet & Savory’s bars and truffles were talked about for hours! 

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It was a whirlwind of a day, actually all week I should say, because the prep work started the week prior. I ate, breathed, slept and dreamed break up foods and decor. It consumed my thoughts, and I’m so happy that all the time and effort turned out to be worth it! It was great working with both Trista Sutter, who was a sweetheart and so kind, and Viva Vantage. Thanks for taking a chance on me and giving this girl a crash course in professional styling!