Self Care in the Holiday Season (and always!)

A few months back I wrote a blog post for The Perpetual You, and after re-reading it, it's still ringing super true. The holiday season is a time when it's super easy to fall behind on taking care of yourself; you're worried about finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, cooking big meals and possibly traveling. It's all super stressful, and thats why it's even more important to take. a. breath. 

Check out this post and then find some time for a little self-care. You've earned it. 

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The Perfect Gift For Your Gals

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If you're anything like me, the last few weeks have been absolute craziness... in fact, this whole season has been insanely busy. I honestly feel like two weeks ago we were just starting to feel that fall chill in the air, and now, all of a sudden, it's two weeks until Christmas. Yikes. 

With a couple of holiday parties, secret snowflake exchanges, and an awesome dinner with my best gals (#GIRLGANG), I was super stressed about what to get my fave girls. Introducing, my new favorite holiday gift EVER: DIY salt scrubs. 

Every girl I know deals with dry, rough skin throughout the colder months; whether it's their elbows, heels, or hands, everyone seems to be slathering on as much moisturizer as possible, constantly. Hence why I'm super excited to be gifting this amazing DIY scrub. It was so simple to make and after giving it a little test run, I promise it will leave your skin smooth, soothed and smelling great!

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I followed (more or less) this recipe from The Kitchn, but here are the ingredients I used: 

  • Course Sea Salt
  • A bit of Pink Himilayan Sea Salt
  • Lavendar Essential Oil
  • Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • Vitamin E Oil (about 1 tablepoon)
  • Honey (about 3 tablespoons)
  • A few dashes of dried mint

To be totally honest, I'm not always the best at following recipes exactly (I'm a big more of a "wing it" type of gal), but I recommend using this one as a guide, and then going by feel, smell, etc. until you get the kind fo scrub you want. I also recommend adding the vitamin E oil, as it's often used to naturally extend the shelf life of products like this. That way,  your gift will last a bit longer; though honestly your friends will likely use this up pretty quickly! Tie a pretty ribbon or piece of twine on the jar and accent with a festive piece of greenery, and you're ready for gifting!

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Would love to learn about any go-to DIY gifts you love to give friends and family- Let's hear it in the comments!

Working with Designs By SEK - Fall 2017

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After the craziness of my Fall schedule has finally settled down, I'm excited to share some awesome projects I had the pleasure of working on over the last few months. First off- shooting the fall line for Designs By sEK! If you've read my previous posts, you'd know that this is the second time that Sarah, the girlboss behind this brand, and I have worked together! I love her use of natural stones and the interesting color combinations of her pieces. These neckalces, bracelets and earrings are perfect gifts for the lady in your life who loves something local, handmade and unique! Be sure to check out her website! 

DC Event Planning Guide

Whether you're planning a shower for your best friend, or a full on formal wedding, event planning can get really stressful. The logistics are overwhelming; invitations, locations, food, and all those details, plus then you have decorations. Girl, BYE.

Lucky for you DC is full of amazing planners, artists, calligraphers, caterers; you need it, somewhere in the DMV is the events professional of your dreams! As an event planner myself, I find such joy in the planning process, however it can get really stressful if it's not your forte. So, I put together this guide with some of my favorite creatives to help make your next event the party of the century!




Taffy Floral

I first met Michelle Sampson a few years ago when ... Not only is she the sweetest person and always willing to help, her floral arrangements are OUT. OF. CONTROL. She draws from japanese floral design and other modern influences to create the most amazing, unique and moody arrangements. From bouquets to table arrangements to full on huge installations, her work is sure to wow at your next event. 




Sweet Root Village

Admittedly, I have never personally worked with these power-house flower geniuses, but I have been a fan for some time now (since seeing their work at an event on which I worked as well). Their installations, especially their GIANT ones, are an absolute site to behold. Honestly, in my mind they're basically defying gravity on some of these. Whether you're looking for major installations at an event, or a tables cape for your bestie's shower, these ladies will rock. your. world. 


Depending on your event, you may have different needs for food, so I had to pull a couple of my favorite caterers and vendors. 

 photo by: mary elizabeth creative

photo by: mary elizabeth creative

Manos De Maiz

For a laid back affair, I could not recommend Manos de Maiz enough. If you check out my blog recap of the Girl Brunch Elizabeth and I planned last year, you'll see some shots of their amazing maizopes, and their insane mexican hot chocolate. Joanna, the founder, is so community oriented and her food is not only delicious, but brings a fun and whimsical feel to any event. 




Heirloom Catering

If you're looking for a new Insta-stalk, look no further. Not only is Heirloom's food delicious and creative; it's absolutely gorgeous! Their team's eye for style, plus their knack for miniature-izing the tastiest of treats- it's a real win-win. This catering and styling company can be seen working their magic at a lot of high-end, hot-spot events throughout the DMV, so make sure you go check them out the next time you have a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed. 





Fathom Gallery

From weddings, to baby showers and artist events, many of the city's hip events are held in this amazing gallery. With a full kitchen, and gorgeous back patio area, it's perfect for a variety of event types and styles. While still being incredibly posh and styled, the space feels very much like a blank canvas. Style it to your liking and turn this venue into the event space of your dreams!



 photo by: mary elizabeth creative

photo by: mary elizabeth creative


This first floor bar of Roofer's Union in Adam's Morgan is a hidden gem. With a plethora of wines (some on tap, which is a lot of fun), local beers and super crafty cocktails, PLUS a menu centered around cheese, charcuterie and tasty bites, there's no way you'll be disappointed. In my experience it's hard to find event space for more intimate gatherings without breaking the bank, but this place is reasonably priced without sacrificing style and quality of service. 



Honestly, these are just a small collection of the talent that the DMV creative community has to offer; whatever your budget, style and needs, there is without a doubt the perfect fit for you!

Need an event planner or a consultation for your next shin-dig?


Athleisure Shoots: Tips & Tricks

I've been super lucky to collaborate with some brands and creatives who are just serious #fitspiration. These awesome folks are creating products, services and experiences for those interested in getting and staying fit, and it was a pleasure bringing their visions to life! When I first started photographing models, it was a little daunting; more so to me than product or food photography, for example. Having worked with a variety of models and in various locations, I wanted to share some of the best tips and tricks I've picked up in regards to fitness / athleisure shoots. 

1. As always, it's all about light. 

Lighting is always the most important piece to consider when choosing the time and location of your photoshoot, and it's no different in these types of shoots. Playing with the light against the actions of your models or the lines in their clothes is a great way to create some exciting content. Whether you're outside or in a studio, shooting your models from various positions in the space will allow you to capture a variety of light scenarios, and give you (and your clients) an awesome variety of visuals!

2. Action Shots: take all your takes. 

Don't feel weird having your model do the same 50 ft. jog a few times to ensure you're grabbing the right shot. When your model is moving, you may think you'd grabbed the shot you wanted, but you don't want to get to the editing phase and realize it's just not quite right. Play around with shooting from different angles and levels each time your model engages in the action, and even shoot the same action in different areas of your location to play with those lines and light I was talking about. 

3. Take the time for some stills

Shooting stills of the individual pieces your client may be offering or your model is wearing is a great way to create additional content for them. It also creates great brand / product focused content for you to use in your lifestyle portfolio!

4. Kind of weird, But helpful.

If you need your models to look a bit sweaty, regular water won't work. Mix a spray bottle of water with a bit of coconut oil. This will help the water to form real droplets and stick to the skin a bit more. Your models may think you're crazy at first, but I promise, it works. Plus it's good for their skin and it smells good, so they won't be mad. 

Looking to create some #fitspiration content for your brand?