lifestyle

Best of Fort Worth Fall Mini Sessions

Fall Mini Sessions were a whirlwind of adventure! We photographed over 45 families in the short span of September through November, but goodness were they full of sweet smiles and real laughter.

WHY BOOK A MINI SESSION?

          If you want a quick family photo update or are looking ahead to holiday Christmas cards, but you don't want to invest the full price of a family session, a mini session is a great option.  Especially with kids, everyone is changing so quickly and every season is different, so mini sessions are a great option to have a handful of photos from each season. It also lessens the stress of getting small children to focus for a long photo session.

          If you want to select your location, time, and date and have more time for photographs, you can schedule a family session.  Fill out the contact form if that sounds more like what you are interested in. 

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A MINI SESSION?

          A quick, painless, fun, twenty minutes of wrangling all your kids and trying to get everyone to look at the camera at once.  It is a hilarious blast!  I am always smiling from ear to ear, because of the ridiculous things myself and parents will do to get kids to smile.  At the end of almost every session, when I tell them we are finished, they look at me and say, "Really? That wasn't bad at all!"

WHEN ARE MINI SESSIONS OFFERED?  

            Only occasionally.  There will always be mini sessions before Christmas for family Christmas cards and at other times throughout the year (signup up for Fort Worth April mini session here) we will do pop-up sessions for a family photo update.  Sign up for the newsletter to make sure you don't miss out on mini session news and updates!

Enjoy some of my favorites below!

 

 

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INTERESTED IN BOOKING A MINI SESSION?  

Sign up for the Elle Boone Newsletter to stay up-to-date on upcoming mini session dates! To sign up for a mini session on either April 12th or 17th, click here.

Great Resources for Growing in Motherhood

Great Resources for Growing in Motherhood

Learn more about what it looks like to grow in motherhood and embrace the seasons that you are in, enjoy! Elle Boone Photography's blog displays her latest work-including senior pictures, engagement sessions, weddings, newborn, and maternity pictures, as well as talks about the culture and happenings in Fort Worth, Texas and beyond. 

Top 10 Things I Learned Interning with EBP

     Oh man, this semester was kind of from a dream world.  I was planning on having one intern and after interviews, I just sensed they both MJ and Neeli needed to be on the EBP team.  The first week, I wrote out about 30 tasks and had them rank the ones they preferred from top to bottom.  Not joking, they ranked the opposites tasks, (a perfect team)!!  

       MJ has a crazy zest for life, you can't not love this girl.   She is a walking party (enneagram 7) and always has something crazy up her sleeve.  I bet being one of her college friends is so fun!  She is so stinking creative and bright.  She has great ideas and so much to contribute.  She mad us laugh and smile every week.  MJ always has a bright and positive outlook and doesn't complain.

      Neeli is as loyal as could be and overflowing with life and passion.   If you give this girl a job, she is going to do 100%.  She gave her all to every task I gave her.  She is a lover and romantic.  This girl is an incredible writer and is so so thorough.  It is going to be such a loss to me for her to move on next semester. 

     I have been so blessed by this team this Fall 2017 and I don't know what I am going to do without them!  I am so thankful for how our paths were drawn together for this season! 

 

MJ

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10 THINGS I LEARNED:

1.     Time management is KEY for internships that are “work-from-home.”

2.     Prioritizing your tasks is imperative because you cannot tackle everything in two days, HA!

3.     Neeli is an AMAZING writer and can articulate her thoughts so well.

4.     I love that we made a point to set goals of each month, I always make list, but I never sit down and think about what actual goals I want to accomplish.

5.     Elle is so dang calm when there is so much to do, I truly hope to acquire that skill. She also has a way of making me feel that my work is valued and appreciated which is so important.

6.     Family photos are quickly becoming my favorite kind of photos. The amount of making funny noises and playing peek-a-boo behind the camera to make young kids smile is hilarious.

7.     Learning how each other are REALLY doing outside of work just grows your relationship passed the “co-worker” stage to real friendship.

8.     Boone is probably the cutest toddler I’ve gotten to hang out with and I share his love for peanut butter pretzels.

9.     Elle and I both did Young Life in college which I found out when I was applying for the internship, however I did not know that we were both in the same sorority, HA! Go Kappa!

10.  Find yourself a go-to coffee shop to get work done, at EBP, Craftwork was our number one! 

 

NEELI

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Time has flown by since beginning this internship! As grateful as I am for all that I’ve been able to learn these past few months, I am so grateful for the encouragement and friendship that has come out of it!

I will miss getting to meet with this amazing team each week, but am eager for all that’s ahead.

10 Things I learned:

1. Organization. I don’t know if y’all have heard, but Elle had over 80 SESSIONS this fall ALONE! Yes, E-I-G-H-T-Y sessions. It’s helped me see an even greater value of staying on top of things, as well as having systems in place and tools to use to keep you on top of it all.

2. MJ LOVES Topo Chico. Which makes me super happy, because Topo Chico is awesome and so is she, so it just makes sense. Yes, Topo Chico made it's way into a few of our meetings. ;)

3. Clearer understanding of shooting in manual. Being able to practice shooting manually hands on with Elle has helped me understand a whole new world of manual shooting. This is a huge win!

4. Not to doubt myself. Both Elle and MJ are amazing encouragers. Any time I would finish a newsletter for the month, or a new blog, they were always so encouraging. These girls are seriously some of the best and have helped me so much in this area!

5. Continually set goals. Elle would have us write out our goals for each month. To go back and see those things actually being accomplished was a huge motivator!

6. Teamwork makes the dream work. I have always believed in this, but seeing it in a smaller knit group was awesome! Seeing MJ’s and Elle’s skills come into play each uniquely to add value to whatever we were doing made everything that much more exciting and fun.

7. Don’t sweat the “what-if’s.” Watching how Elle would roll with the punches and operate out of trust instead of worry has begun to instill that same mindset into my heart and mind.

8. Elle and MJ have both been heavily involved in Young Life, but also found out that Elle also used to be a part of the sorority that MJ is in now. Seeing them connect over these things has been so fun and adorable!

9. Elle makes really cute kids. Ha! It’s been so fun the days that Hudson’s been able to hang out with us for a little bit. He’s definitely the cutest part of the EBP team. ;) I can’t wait to see what baby girl Boone will look like!

10. I LOVE family sessions! The way mom makes the kids giggle, the meltdowns, the flirtatious moments when mom and dad get to be alone, the unexpected ways of kids making for a really great capture… All of the mess and all of the love. It’s what makes each family unique, and I LOVE it.

 

We will not be taking any interns for the Spring of 2018, due to baby girl Boone's arrival, but will be taking applications this summer for Fall 2018.  

 

Peeling Back the Curtain

Peeling Back the Curtain

Have you ever wondered what REALLY goes on behind Elle Boone Photography? In this blog, we peel back the curtain to show you how we truly run EBP! Elle Boone Photography's blog displays her latest work-including senior pictures, engagement sessions, weddings, newborn, and maternity pictures, as well as talks about the culture and happenings in Fort Worth, Texas and beyond. 

Seven things to remember when planning your next party

Preparing a party? Look no further for your perfect check list to make sure your next event is a HIT! Elle Boone Photography's blog displays her latest work-including senior pictures, engagement sessions, weddings, newborn, and maternity pictures, as well as talks about the culture and happenings in Fort Worth, Texas and beyond. 

Fall 2017 Book Club

So.. I am trying something new.  The amount I have been reading ever since entering motherhood has greatly decreased.  I am sure many of you are young moms and have even forgotten about the concept of reading.  I wanted to start a "book club" to hold myself accountable to getting outside of the box and being challenged and hope some of you will join me.  I would also love to facilitate conversations about different, engaging topics with each of you.  

I have selected three books from three genres- business, service, and faith.  The books are titled...

  • When Helping Hurts (I have been meaning to read this book for about five years).
  • All Authority (The author is from our church in Austin and has an incredible testimony).
  • Leaders Eat Last  (I am trying to grow in business and leadership knowledge and this title really caught my attention).

*Click the links for descriptions and to order on Amazon.  

Between August and the end of December, the goal is to finish all three books. I will be taking notes on my reflections and sharing with those of you who sign up (comment below with your email address or send me a direct message).

I would love for as many of you who are interested to join this little journey to READ!  I know the process will be richer if I have the opportunity to have conversations with you about these books.  

 

 

 

Book Club Credit goes to Nancy Ray, one of my favorite photographer/bloggers who has hosted a yearly virtual book club in the past.  

Baby Registry Recommendations

          The baby registry.  oh my goodness, it can be so overwhelming.  It is so difficult to make decisions of what you need and what you don't.  It is hard to know what to spend big on and what doesn't matter at all.  When I was pregnant with Hudson, I had great help from friends and family to make decisions about what to register for.  I have also learned so much from experience this past year or two.  I hope that this is a great resource for you to help put your registery together! 

 

Nursery Furniture

Crib- Pottery Barn Spindle Crib

One thing to look at if the crib is convertible.  This can be helpful when your little one grows out of their crib and you need a small bed for them.  This is one of my favorites

Bassinet/Moses Basket- Tadpoles Twisted Basket and Bedding Set

When Hudson was a newborn, we had no clue what we were doing.  He cried all the time and we tried everything.  We started out with the Moses Basket, then tried the Rock 'n Play, then tried the 4MOMS Rockaroo.  We had the best luck with the rockaroo (swing).  Every baby is different!  Some of my friends' babies slept like champions in a moses basket.  They are visually more pleasing.  We had all the options, so we tried them all.  I don't think they are all necessary, but you just won't know what works for your baby.  

Glider- Classic Camelback Velvet Slipcovered Swivel Glider

My sweet brother actually built me a rocking chair for Hudson's room, but I would recommend making an investment in a great chair.  This chair will get covered in spit-up and milk, so be sure that it has fabric that is easy to clean.  The gliding and swivel aspects are awesome when you are reaching for something and holding the baby or trying to put the baby to sleep.  

Changing Table 

Storage space is necessary and helpful.  Hudson's changing table serves the purpose more as a dresser, because he is too wiggly to sit on the top (so we use the floor).  This is an aesthetic purchase in my opinion.  We found one on Craigslist that we liked! 

Crib mattress Safety 1sth Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress

I don't think it matters very much what type of crib mattress you have.  Maybe Amazon Prime one to your house so you don't have to load it up and transfer it from a store!

Night light- Starry Globe Nightlight-Pillowfort

I would highly recommend a night light.  In the first few months, you are awake all the time and need light to find the pacifier or to feed the baby.  This night light is really cute and gave out a good amount of light that didn't keep Hudson awake.  

 

Nursery Bedding

Blankets-Luxe sherpa stroller blanket

At our showers, I think we received a total of about 30 blankets.  It is nice to have a few for the stroller and the crib.  I don't think it matters too much.  Hudson loves soft, furry blankets (and stuffed animals).  This RH baby stroller blankets is so cute and snuggly, it is my favorite.  

Hamper- Restoration Hardware Braided Wool Hamper

This hamper (pictured above) is cute and durable.  I lug around blankets and toys in it too.  

Hangers- Pillowfort Gray Kids' Hangers

I only bought a few hangers, most of his clothes go in the drawers.  

Mobile- Restoration Hardware Chambray Elephant Mobile

There are lots of cute mobiles out there.  Chose one that matches the theme of the nursery.  Land of Nod's mobiles are super cute too!

Sound machine-  HOMEMEDICS SOUND SPA

Sound machines are serious business.  You definitely want loud.  I have bought three, and this one is my favorite.

Changing pad - Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad

There isn't much to these, just make such it is waterproof. 

Changing pad covers

Whatever look you want, waterproof is helpful, but not plastic.  If it is plastic, it might be too cold for the babies to lay on.  I would have 2-3 on hand.  

Swaddles and wearable blankets- HALO SleepSack Swaddle

Swaddles with velcro are the best.  It doesn't really matter what brand, but having velcro to tuck their arms in is so helpful.  I think it is impossible to swaddle them in a way that they can't get out of.  

There are all sorts of cute, sweet swaddle blanket, Aiden and Anaias makes really soft bamboo swaddles.  

Crib sheets

I would buy at least 3 fitted sheets in case they wet the bed a lot or have the stomach bug.  

Crib pad- American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib Cover

Hudson hasn't leaked through his sheets, except once, but I am glad that we have a waterproof cover to protect the mattress.  

Pillow

Purely aesthetic.

 

 

Gear

Infant car seat- Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat

 I honestly did not do too much research on car seats, but I appreciate how easy it is to take out the liner and shoulder pads and wash them on this car seat.  It snaps in and out of the base easily.   

Car seat base- Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat Base

So I didn't realize until recently that you don't actually need a car seat base.  You can buckle the car seat into the car using the adult seat belt.  Who knew?  Anyways we bought three of these- one for my car, Michael's and my moms.  If you are looking to save money, you could definitely get away with just one for mom's car.  

Stroller - Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller

We bought the double stroller thinking ahead.  I love this stroller.  It is pretty big (which is a downside), but it folds up very flatly.  It has an adjustable seat so you can lean it all the way back so they can sleep in the stroller (or when they are little it is more like a bassinet).  It has roomy storage underneath.  The seats also click in and out of the stroller really easily.  

Jogging stroller - BOB Revolution PRO Stroller

 The BOB is great.  It definitely can handle rocks, etc. on the trail very gracefully.  It folds up flatly.  We use ours everyday and it has been a great stroller.  I honestly wish we would have thought more seriously about buying a double BOB from the beginning too.  If your kids are just a couple years (or less) apart, it seems to make sense to go ahead and buy the double, even though you might look goofy at first.  

Bouncer - Baby Bjorn Balance Soft Cotton Bouncer

Hudson loved this bouncy chair.  There isn't much to it, but we could never sit him down when he was little without him screaming.  For some reason, he liked this chair and it provided us a little bit of relief.  I would put him in it on the floor while I cooked dinner or worked at the computer.  

Rocker- Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper

Some moms love the Rock 'n Play, but we never used it.  Hudson never let us sit him it without crying.  I am glad that I have it as an option for other kids down the line, though.  (They are all so different!!)

Swing- 4moms rockaRoo Infant Swing

This swing was a lifesaver when Hudson was an infant.  We tried the moses basket and the Rock N' Play first, but the swing was the only way we could get him to sleep at all at night.  One downside is that you can't swaddle them, because you have to buckle them in.  (We did, but I am not going to recommend that haha).  This swing was great too, it is pretty simple and you can play your music through the speakers? It is true.  

Playmat- Restoration Hardware Printed Cotton Play Mat

My friend Bailey recommended this play mat to me, I didn't really understand the purpose when I registered for it, but I would highly recommend it as well.  It is nice to have a bigger, padded blanket to lay your baby on when they are learning to roll over and sit up.  It is also nice to be able to lay it on hardwood floors, or a carpeted area, that you aren't quite sure what is inside the carpet..ew. 

High chair- IKEA ANTILOP with PYTIG support pillow and cover

This high chair is $20, with a $5 pillow to add support until your baby is a little bigger and sturdier.  It is a little difficult to put the try on and take it off to clean.  We broke ours in the first week trying to force it.  This high chair is small and simple, which is nice so as to not crowd your kitchen.  There are much more high quality and higher functioning high chairs out there, it just depends on what you are looking for.  

Baby carrier-

people have a lot of opinions about which is best.  We have two- one Solly baby wrap

Convertible car seat 

 

Nursing accessories

Pump- Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Double Electric Breast Pump

Ours is a little different from this model, but this is what I would recommend.  Call your insurance and typically they will send you one for free!  Ours came in less than a week, but call early, I have heard it can take awhile. 

Pump Wipes- Medela 24ct Quick Clean Breastpump and Accessory Wipes

These are great when you are pumping on the go and don't have access to soap and water.  Stick them in your bag, so you don't get in a bind.  

Breast milk storage- Lansinoh Milk Storage Bag 100 Count

These don't spill easily and they get the job done.  

Nursing cover- Covered Goods Nursing Cover

You can order these online.  They cover the front and back which is helpful when you have a kicking, flip/floppy nursing infant.  They come in cute colors and designs that you can choose from.  

Nipple cream- LANSInoh lanolin

I would recommend buying the cream and starting to use it in the first few days of nursing.  You may have problems with chaffing and blisters and you may not, but you might as well get on top of it from the beginning.  

Nipple pillow - Boppy Slipcovered Nursing Pillow

I returned my nursing pillow, because I never used it.  Some people use them all the time, but for some reason, I never felt like I needed something.  

Bra pads- Bamboobies Nusing Bra Pads

If you are the leaky type, which is common especially at the beginning, these are super helpful to keep your shirts dry!

Gel pads- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads

Don't ask, just buy. 

Bag- Skip Hop Grab and Go Wet/Dry Bag

This bag is perfect.  I put pump equipment, no hands bra, milk storage bags, permanent marker (for labeling bags) and pump cleaning wipes in here and always had everything in one spot, ready to go! 

 

Travel Accessories

Car mirror

We don't have one, but I want to get one for the next baby.  I think it is helpful to watch them, especially when they start eating, sometimes I am wondering if he is choking.  

Shopping cart cover- Covered Goods Nursing Cover

The Covered Goods nursing cover doubles as a shopping cart cover.  It doesn't work very well actually in the shopping cart.  I would bring Hudson into the grocery store in his car seat and put him in the basket when he was an infant.  By the time he was big enough the sit in the shopping cart, you aren't as worried about germs.  I would just wipe it down before he got in.   We only used the cover a few times.  

Diaper bag- Fawndesign

I really wanted a diaper bag that didn't look like a diaper bag.  I found this bag and I love it.  It is a backpack and can be a purse.  I wish the backpack look wasn't necessary, but there are so many times, that I need the bag to be on my back with all I have to handle.  These bags come in all different colors too!

Leather protector- Car Seat Protector Eddie Bauer

The car seat is heavy and puts little dents in your seat.  This has helped the leather under the car seat be preserved.  

Feeding

Bottles

Bottle brushes-OXO tot bottle brush 

I like this brush, because it has a stand, so there is a sanitary place for it to sit.  Bottle brushes are pretty necessary to get the nooks and crannies of the bottles.  

Bottle drying rack- munchkin high capacity bottle drying rack

Whether you are nursing/pumping or formula feeding, you wash a lot of bottles and it is really nice to have a sanitary place to put them while they dry. 

Burp cloths-burts bees burp cloths

These are so cute.  It really doesn't matter very much, but I would recommend having about 10 of these.  You will use them. 

Bibs-Tommy tippee roll up bibs

These are great, they are plastic, so you can wash them really easily.  They also have a catch-all feature, so less food falls to the ground, it works surprisingly well.  All of our cloth/cotton bibs stained really quickly from food.  

Bowls-munchkin stay put bowls

I like these, because you can stick them to their high chair tray and they stay suctioned really well.  I also have some cheap small bowls that I bought in bulk with lids, because you always have cut up leftovers from their meals to store.  

Sippy cup-nuby cup click it handle

I would buy three of four kinds originally and let your child try them.  They seem to all have different preferences.  Our favorite right now is linked above.  

Utensils-Munchkin White Hot Spoons

I would recommend having 5-10 spoons for when you start introducing baby food.  We haven't ever used baby forks or knives with him, he just uses adult utensils now.  

Formula- kirklands infant formula

So Hudson was allergic to dairy and soy, so I had to use really expensive non-dairy formula with him.  Around ten months or so, we were able to switch him to this formula that we bought in bulk from Costco.  There are so many different kinds of formula, it is a little overwhelming.  If your baby has an allergy, feel free to ask me more about what we did. 

 

Health and Safety

Baby monitor- Motorola MBP33XL 3.5'' Video Baby Monitor

I have loved this baby monitor.  It has a great screen that you can get a good view of the baby through.  You can talk to your baby (not sure why you would do that?)  You can see the temperature of his or her room.  It is really easy to see them through the camera even when it is really dark in their room.  

Pacifier- Philips Avent Soothie

I think most babies use the "soothie" pacifier for the first few months.  All babies are different on pacifiers.  Maybe buy a few different brands/sizes and let your baby try them out.  Some like them all, some are picky.  Once you find what your baby likes, buy a million and hide them everywhere.

Pacifier Clip

Pacifier clips are awesome!  Especially at the beginning when you are paranoid about germs, these help with your sanity.  My advice is find one an extra strong clip, because most babies will try to pull them off their clothes.  

Humidifier- ultrasonic pure mist humidifier

These are helpful to have on hand.  During the first year, babies come down with lots of colds and a humidifier can help with stuffy noses.  

Thermometer- iProven thermometer

Not positive, but from what I have learned, the best way to get an infants temperature is an anal reading, exciting!  Buy the thermometer covers to keep your thermometer sterile.  

Safety gates

We don't have stairs in our house, but this is something to think about registering for if there is an area of your house that you want to block off. 

Child proofing

You will definitely want plug covers, cabinet locks, and maybe toilet locks. 

 

Medicine 

Tylenol - Infants' Tylenol Pain Reliever

This is helpful to have on hand.  When your baby gets a fever or is teething, it is the last time that ou are going to want to get in the car and go to the store.  Your pediatrician will give you more information about dosage allotments at every wellness visit.  

Mylicon- Mylicon for Infants

this was our secret weapon for the first six months.  Hudson had dairy and soy allergies and I am not sure if the gas relief elements were actually helping him or if it was the sweetness of the medicine.  The instructions say infants can have something like 10 doses a day.  We would dip Hudson's pacifier in the bottle and stick it in his mouth when he was crying.  I can't tell you how many hundreds of times he calmed down or went to sleep, because of Mylicon.  So yes, a must buy. 

Oragel

This is really helpful when your baby is teething.  I put a dot of oracle on a kids toothbrush and Hudson would chew on it and stop crying immediately from the pain.  Toothbrushes in general are helpful to give teething babies.  

 

Bath

Bath tub or seat- Boon SOAK 3-Stage Bathtub

We have a Puj Tub, which is awesome, because it folds up to basically nothing.  However, Hudson outgrew this tub so quickly.  It worked out fine to go straight to the bath tub, but I think I would recommend getting more of a stable, plastic tub to supplement until your baby is big enough to handle the tub.  (like the one above)

Bath toys 

Anything works, even a cup and spoon.  You don't need much. 

Bath soap

I have become a little more hippy with having a baby and thinking about what I kind of products I am using on my baby.  I don't mind splurging a little bit more for some of the more natural soaps.  

Hooded bath towel Restoration Hardware Hooded Bath Towel

Oh my goodness, animal towels are the cutest.  Obviously, it does not matter what kind of towel you have for your babies, but the ones above are too cute!

Bath washcloths

I honestly never use these, haha, I am just realizing this.  Maybe you will?

 

Diaper 

Diaper pail- Playtex Genie Essentials Diaper Pail

It is simple and pretty much hides the smell.  I hate changing the bag of diapers and almost throw up every time, but this pail is really easy to use.  

Diaper pail liners- Playtex Genie Essentials Diaper Pail Liners

Diaper rash cream

We have tried two diaper rash creams- Boudreaux's Butt Paste and Honest Diaper Rash Cream.  Hudson never had diaper rash until around ten months, it looked like oozing sores.  For a couple months, he had a prescription from the doctor and we alternated between the two creams and we saw temporary victories, until it came back again.  My friend Katherine gave me a mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil and I think that has helped at times too.  

Diapers- Pampers Swaddlers

They are a little bit more expensive than other brands, but every time I put Hudson in a different diaper, he always had a blow out.  Now that he is older, I have bought the Costco Kirkland brand and I am going to try those.  

Wipes- Pamper Swaddlers wipes

I don't think it matters very much.  We use the Pampers Swaddlers wipe refills..  

Hudson's First Birthday

I cannot believe that this boy is one year old!  It has been such a great joy to watch him grow every month and to see his personality develop.  He is so silly, we laugh so much of the day at our house.  He is obsessed with all things soft and furry (especially dogs) and basically pants and rubs his face on everything soft.  He loves to go to sleep at night and lays there, allowing you to kiss him 100 times while he just giggles, but doesn't move.  He has been walking for a month or two and is getting scary fast.  He has his own "drawer" of food/cups and now he takes everything in the house-shoes, keys, phones, pacifiers, cups, toys and hides them in his drawer, which is making it harder to keep track of all my stuff, haha.  

When we went in for the twenty week sonogram and they told us we were having a boy, Michael and I both knew that his name would be Hudson.  When we were dating, we had both read the biography of Hudson Taylor, who was one of the first missionaries to China.  Unlike other missionaries of the time, he "became like" the indigenous Chinese, dressing in their cultural wear and growing his hair long.  He worked with all his might relentlessly as a doctor committed to taking the good news of Jesus to the inland Chinese.  He refused to ask for anything, but instead relied on God's miraculous provision day to day.  (If you haven't read this book, you have to!)

It is our and hope and prayer that Hudson would know how worthy Jesus is of his life and that he would wholly lay his life down in obedience to God's love.  

We are so thankful for the community in Fort Worth of friends and family who have blessed us beyond measure this year, helping us along the way at every step- meeting practical, emotional and spiritual needs.  It really does take a village to raise a child. 

 

Here are a few pictures of him last week I took at our mommy and me session.  

36 Hours in Austin

South Congress Hotel photography 

South Congress Hotel photography 

          Austin is the perfect little getaway from Fort Worth.  If you time it right (avoiding traffic), it is only a three hour drive down to the hipster haven.  After living in Austin for seven years, it is hard to know what parts to visit and which of my favorite places I should go to when I am there.  Inspired by a recent successfully restful and fun trip with my mom, here are some recommendations of how to spend a weekend in Austin.  

 

Friday 

6:00 pm Walked from South Congress Hotel (where we stayed) to Rainey Street.  (2 miles- walk down South Congress through the activity of South Congress, the bridge (home of the bats) and through downtown)

7:00 pm Dinner at Emmer and Rye, claims itself as a "seasonally inspired farm to table restaurant serving American cuisine in a Dim Sum Style." It was recently named one of Bon Appetite's Top 50 New Restaurants.  It may have been the best food I have ever tried.  

Order 3-5 dishes to share between two.  I would highly recommend the White Sonoran Tamarin and the White Sonoran Cascarelli, (both pastas) and the Corn and White Sonoran Johnny Cakes were out of this world.  

9:00 pm Stop by Little Lucy's Mini Donuts Food Truck on Rainey Street on your walk home.  Make sure to pay the extra dollar for sauce, you will thank me later.  

 

Cafe No Se photography

Cafe No Se photography

Saturday

9:00 am  Coffee and read in the Mañana Coffee Shop in the South Congress Hotel.  Try the lemon and blueberry tea bread for a morning snack.  

11:00 am Brunch at Cafe No Se in the South Congress Hotel.  We ordered the ricotta hotcakes, with bananas, pecan butter, and maple syrup and the avocado toast, with a soft boiled egg, créme fraîche, upland cress, and aleppo carrots.  Their coffee is top notch and be sure to order a glass of orange juice as well it taste like the nectar of the gods.  

1:00 pm Walk and shop in East Austin.  Check out East Austin Succulents, Take Heart gift shop, and Friends and Neighbors resale shop.   Walk down Cesar Chavez and E seventh to see so much creativity and artistry everywhere you look.  

3:00 pm Take and afternoon yoga stretch and relaxation at the beautiful Wanderlust Yoga studio downtown.  

4:30 pm Head to the pool at South Congress Hotel on the second floor.  Order the hummus and pita bread and a glass of Rose under the shaded vertigo or in the water.  

7:00 pm Head to Bufalina on the East side for wood-fired Neapolitan pies.  Plan on eating early or late, because there is always a wait at this gem of a spot.  Try "today's mozzarella" which is made every afternoon fresh through quite an extravagant process and you can't lose with the fresca pizza with prosciutto piccante, arugula, meyer lemon, and mozzarella.

9:00 pm Late night dessert at Lick Ice Cream.  Oh my goodness, give all the flavors- dark chocolate, olive oil & sea salt; brown butter brown sugar pecan, texas sheet cake...yum!

 

Cafe No Se photography

Cafe No Se photography

Sunday

9:00 am Run/walk around Town Lake.  Park under the bridge at Austin High School and run either to Lamar bridge and loop back around for 3 miles or to the Congress bridge loop for 4 miles.  

11:00 am Brunch at Eberly.  The vibe of this place is really impressive- featuring a glass covered patio, mahogany bar, and an old school dining room.   You have to see this place.  Not to mention the fried chicken and waffles and the crab 'n grits are not bad.  

 

 

Other Favorite Spots

breakfast/Coffee

-Paperboy

-Fleet

-Figure 8

-Cuvee

-Brew and Brew

-Texas French Bread

-Cenote

 

Lunch

- Foodheads

-The Grove in Westlake

-Hillside Farmacy

-Salt and Time

-Waltons Fancy and Staple

-Epicerie

-Counter Cafe

 

Dinner 

-Winslows

-Takoba

-Launderette

-Tillery Kitchen

-Elizabeth Street

-Uchi

-Contigo

-Second Bar + Kitchen

 

Outside of Town (if you want to see the hillcountry) 

-Jester King Brewery

-Pieous Pizza 

 

Where are your favorite Austin spots?

 

 

(spin off of New York Times 36 Hours series) 

Senior Rush Pictures- What you Need to Know

Hallie Adams -427.jpg

    It is time to start thinking about having your photos taken to submit with your sorority rush application.  A common question I get is what are the requirements that the Texas University Panhellenic gives for the photos and what my advice is for dress and style of photos.

     I was a Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Texas a few years ago and I have seen my fair share of rush photos.  Some are beautiful and some have been memorable, not in the best way. 

Here are 7 things to remember when it is time for your senior rush photos...

  1. Two Photos Most importantly, you need two photos to submit- one close-up and one full body shot.  You should be the only person in the photo.  

  2. Appropriate Choose an outfit, that is appropriate and classy.  You don’t want to stand out for showing too much skin.   

  3. Natural You want the photo to look like you, don’t wear so much makeup or do your hair in a way that is completely different from how you normally look.  

  4. Simple You don’t want to do anything that makes your photo stand out in a negatively memorable way.  Don’t include any props in your photos.   

  5. Professional  You don’t want to use a cropped Facebook picture. .  You want to present yourself well, like you put effort into the process of recruitment.  You should definitely have your pictures done by a professional.

  6. Hair and makeup- get it done, go to the Dry Bar, etc.  You will have these photos as mementos in your parent's house, you may send out graduation announcements, it makes a big difference to have your hair and makeup done professionally. 

  7. Options- have a couple different dresses/looks to switch into.  Sometimes you won't like the way something fit or how the color reflected on your face and you don't want to have to redo all your photos.  

Please feel free to email me with any questions you have about senior/rush photos.  I would love to help!