home tour : carmel moreno

Hello and welcome to Elvis’s castle! His mama, Carmel, is a lovely friend of mine who I’ve known (and trusted with my hair) for the last 10ish years. She is extremely talented and has a very distinct style that I’ve always admired. Even before seeing her home, I asked if I could come over to photograph it because I just KNEW her space would be a reflection of her taste – and I was right. Carmel and hubby, Moses, created this cozy chill vibe in their home that would make anyone want to kick off their shoes and stay a while. Beautiful light fixtures, happy plants, and of course super sweet puppies. See full tour below, enjoy!

Thank you for having us, Carmel! You remind me to think of home as a personal retreat as well as a place to welcome loved ones <3

casual mama + baby sessions

About 10 minutes before the sun went down on my 35th birthday, we stepped outside to play with our girls. Ryan grabbed his camera and snapped a few shots which turned out to be the greatest gift ever. He always knows just what to do <3

I love photographing families together and always emphasize how important it is for mama to get in there with her babies, but I’m guilty of not practicing what I preach. It’s time for me to make this a regular thing, before these littles grow up and I miss my chance! We’ll at least make casual birthday sessions a new tradition – four times a year seems totally doable, right? Haha but seriously, it all goes by so quickly, we need to document every now and then, undid hair and all ;)

When was the last time you got in the frame? If you can’t remember, then it’s probably time, mama. Let’s chat and together we’ll come up with the perfect vibe for you and your fam.

lily’s nursery update

Lily’s nursery is the smallest room in the house, yet I’ve managed to rearrange and redecorate it too many times to count since she’s arrived. As of late, we’ve landed on this sunny, soft, and feminine space with a balance of modern lines and natural textures.

I can’t help but stay close to those warm, subtle neutrals that always feel extra cozy against a clean white backdrop. Most of what you see here has been scavenged from other parts of my home (mainly Bryn’s room as we recently upgraded her to big girl bed – post on the way!).

I hope Lily loves her little corner of the house as much as I do – and continues to let me reimagine the space every 4-6 weeks ;)

* Here are a few shots of Lily’s nursery as the guest room and what it looked like while we were still waiting to meet her.

mama of 2 update

One of my bffs is expecting her second daughter in a few months so I’ve been keeping her up to date with all the craziness that’s been going on in my world since we added Lily to our family. I do my best not to scare her with ALL the details, but I believe it’s only fair to share enough to at least prepare her.

A few weeks ago she sent me text asking, “What’s been the hardest part?” I dropped what I was doing and had to really think about it. I waited a few days to respond because so many things came to mind. I couldn’t define one thing in particular, it all kinda felt difficult!

But I was finally able to break it down into two parts:

1) Having two little humans that are so needy but in entirely different ways. Bryn needs me as mama/play companion while Lily relies on me in a more physical way (i.e. carrying, feeding, bathing, etc.) It’s been tricky trying to keep both entertained and happy, getting naps in, keeping both safe when they run/crawl off in opposite directions. We have chaotic days when everyone is overtired and cranky, but we also have lots of awesome days sprinkled in when things just seem to fall into place and I feel like supermom.

2) The fact that I have like ZERO time to myself, unless I sacrifice sleep. For example, I originally wrote this post in November as a 6 month update, had to modify as Lily is now 9 months old, and am now just getting around to posting… Even though Ryan and I make a great team, it feels like we’re both spread pretty thin, not to mention distant until both kiddos are down for the night. The lack of help/family nearby has been tough on us, but as the girls get older and more independent, life should get a bit more manageable. I don’t want to wish away the baby days, but I am looking forward to Lily being able to communicate with us, walk on her own, and eat without me watching her like a hawk. Literally every parent I’ve talked to lately reaffirms that we’re in the hardest of the hard part so I’m holding out for some kind of relief in the near future!

Basically, I have no idea what I’m doing and these last 9ish months have been rough, not gonna sugarcoat it, but I also believe everyone processes things differently so others may not have as harsh of an experience as I have. I want to tell my friend how I deal AFTER I’ve actually lived through it. Bryn is a whole year older than her first daughter, so I’ve had time to reflect on the things she’s asked me about, but I feel like I’m still in the thick of it with Lily. It’s too soon, ya know?! In other words, by the time her baby girl #2 arrives, I’ll feel better about shelling out advice.

I hope this wasn’t too graphic for anyone. Please don’t read it as discouraging! Mamas of soon-to-be two, you’re going to be fine. Tired AF, but fine. You’ll love your littles like an insane person and all the stress melts away the second you see them interacting. I promise. And now I’m crying. You’ll survive, don’t be scared. xx

february 28 playlist

Hey mamas <3 I can’t even tell you what it’s taken to get me back on this little space today. Bryn is at preschool, Lily is napping, and I’m ignoring my messy house just to check in. It’s been weighing on my heart, to stay inspired and connected, but with two little ones under my wing, most of my time and energy are spent. I honestly don’t know how you do it.

I’ve been super busy yet I don’t exactly feel accomplished. But instead of feeling guilty about my blog and/or creative projects taking a backseat these last few months, I’m doing my best to listen to my body and just lean right in. I’m currently on a break from social media and worrying less about capturing my kids’ every waking moment on camera. Experiencing life for what it is, making unplanned memories, and practicing a more ‘go with the flow’ mentality has totally helped keep meltdowns at bay during this beautifully exhausting phase. My girls are 3.5 years and 9 months now (mama of two update on the way).

The photo above was taken over a year ago. It was the beginning of a 52 week photo challenge and I’m pretty sure I lost track soon after this shot. But to bring you up to speed, we’ve since added a baby girl to our fam, Bryn’s (and Ryan’s) hair has grown about 6 inches, we ditched the dining room rug, replaced those chairs, and updated that green back patio… While I’m dying to share all the newness in my home, I also feel that the past is just important, to reflect and share an image that I love and somehow just fell through the cracks.

Spring seems like a great time to revisit and start fresh. Hoping to make more time for my daydreams. Happy March :)

01  Love of Mine | Bardo Martinez
02  Tints | Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar
03  Satellite | STRFKR
04  Electric Blue | Arcade Fire
05  This Must Be the Place | Sure Sure
06  Black Smoke Rising | Greta Van Fleet
07  God Killed the Queen | Louis XIV
08  Glittering Clouds | Cut Copy
09  Maria También | Khruangbin
10  Evan Finds the Third Room | Khruangbin
11  Land and Man | Khruangbin
12  White Gloves | Khruangbin