I have been blessed with a wonderful life.

I’ve experienced things I never imagined, explored places I didn’t know existed, and loved in ways I didn’t know were possible.

As this year comes to an end, and we begin drawing up plans for the coming year I am spending time reflecting. I love reflection. Looking back on things, experiences, places, and feelings that I once encountered. This year I’ve been to new places, met new people, and loved in new ways.

There are sayings such as “You can’t move forward if you’re looking back” (or something to that effect), while this rings true at times, looking back can help us move forward in different ways. When I find myself fearing the future, I reminisce about things in the past. I remind myself how far I’ve come; what I’ve overcome, what I’ve faced and what has set me back. I use these as reminders of what I can do and how strong and determined I am.
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This year I spent more time at the dentist than I would have liked, but I got past my fear of dental work-I still don’t like it but the fear no longer overtakes me.

I traveled outside my comfort zone many times, and realized it isn’t such a bad thing.

I learned to love in new ways.

I learned how to put someone else before myself, and do it sincerely and completely.

I’ve grown. I’ve become a better version of myself.

Philip & I went to the pumpkin patch.

It was a bit windy, and overcast but that didn’t spoil our fun. As you may recall from years past we usually travel during October since it’s a convenient time for Philip to take off time from work. This year we took our trip at the end of August which means we are staying local during fall! I love fall. It’s such a beautiful season with lovely colors and I am excited to be exploring our home during this season. We spent time in Shenandoah this past weekend, collecting leaves of different colors & next week we will be exploring New York. We are blessed to see fall and spend this time together, sharing in the beauty.  Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland

Philip might need a haircut, but he sure is handsome & silly!Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland Pumpkin-Patch-Maryland


This weekend Philip and I took a mini trip to Shenandoah. Although the colors weren’t as vibrant as we hoped, we did snag some cool leaves. We are contemplating going back again in a week or two.

We pressed these and will be framing some of them, I’m excited for such pretty, natural decor. img_8700 img_8703 img_8702 img_8701 img_8710 img_8714 img_8715 Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast img_8712 Autumn Colors from the East Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast Autumn-Colors-from-the-East-Coast

I did a styled shoot in June (I’ve been doing a lot of those this year; they are so fun!) and had the pleasure of meeting Yen Sadek. She was the florist for the session.

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Since then we’ve worked together on a few other projects. She has a sweet little family and I am happy to say I had the joy of meeting her family and doing family portraits.

We started out in their backyard for a few photos. The boys quickly became distracted so they climbed the play structure while I took a few photos of Yen and her husband. Once the boys got some energy out of their system we did a few more family portraits outside. We moved inside where the boys found their capes and we were sure to get photos of Batman and Superman! I love how little boys take their job as a super hero so seriously. They both pulled out all the super hero poses, and showed me all their tricks. Then we made our way to their private library that Yen made for them in their room. We read a few books and played some more.

It was a fun morning.




Sometimes (more often than not) when I can’t sleep at night my mind starts running into creative corners. The past few weeks it’s been extreme so I decided to carry out some of the ideas. One was to make rainbow colored cupcakes, that went alright. Another was to do something (similar to these photos), where I have a unique design on the side of my face for a quick photoshoot.

I was nervous. I don’t wear a lot of makeup regularly, let alone anything like this. When I start something that doesn’t go as I envision I get overwhelmed and sometimes give up. But this went much easier than I thought; I am very happy with the results. The hardest part was doing my eye makeup, I prefer everything to be symmetrical which is challenging, especially with very little experience doing it.

Red lipstick is scary, but I think it worked with this look. I am happy with the results and will likely play with this type of thing again in the future. <3

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Whenever Philip and I travel, whether it’s a day trip or a full week vacation, we love to find unique local spots to dine. Often we look for Breweries; they have good food, beer and a fun environment.

On our way home from New York City this weekend we stopped in Baltimore at a local Brewery. Brew House No. 16. We found it on a quick Google search of near by Breweries with restaurants. As we drove there I read some of their website-looked like a great spot.



We arrived about 8:00pm. The Brewery is held in an old firehouse, which is were they got their name from. We were promptly greeted by one of the owners. It was a slow night for them, since Fells Point was having a huge gathering for the community. But we didn’t mind, we nearly had the place to ourselves.

Philip ordered Pumpkin Ale that was brewed onsite. I don’t drink beer, aside from a polite sip of Philip’s so here are his notes on the Pumpkin Ale. The Pumpkin Ale had a delightful pumpkin taste. It wasn’t in your face at all and was a well-rounded medium bodied beer. It seemed crafted well. I really like Belgian styled brews. But this particular beer was very smooth and had a lot of flavor undertones.

After chatting with the owner, we took a look at the menu. They had a great variety of items; a lamb burger, chili, and a shrimp burger; we decided to try the Calamari and the Soft Pretzels. I had absolutely no regrets about either of these choices. The Pretzels came with the traditional cheese and slightly spicy mustard. The calamari (my personal favorite) came with marinara sauce and a sweet & sour sauce. I think it was actually a spicy sauce, but it definitely had a sweet taste too. I even dipped my pretzel in it.

The owner had just ordered his dinner so we invited him to sit with us. It was easy conversation and we learned more about the brewery. October 21 will be their 1-year anniversary. While they are still starting out, they’ve learned a lot in the past year. Running a business, especially with a storefront, is no easy task.

They completely remodeled the firehouse to make it into a restaurant. They put in tile, a bar, and the conditioning tanks but maintained the original structure and walls of the firehouse. They even kept the original fireman poles. They are currently working on making the upstairs a banquet event space for large parties.

If you’re ever in Baltimore I strongly suggest swinging by this place for a quick beer and some apps, if not a full meal. And if you’re around Baltimore on the 21 of October you should swing by and buy a pint (or bottle) of their new release of Sour Beer (they are tapping it on the 21st!) If we were in town we would go, but we will be in NY that weekend so go for us!

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What is your business? What do you offer wedding clients?

Petals by the Shore is a custom wedding and event floral studio. We offer our clients full service , customized floral design based on their vision. We try to guide our clients in the right direction that best fits their budget and aesthetics, choosing the perfect floral combinations and accent decor pieces. There is no one event like the other and we do not create cookie-cutter designs. We want each client to see a reflection of themselves on their special day. We want to wow them when they walk down the aisle or walk into their reception and see that we understood what they envisioned! On the day of the event we are on hand to handle all the floral decor and details. We are there from the moment we hand the bride her bouquet until we place the final touches on the guest tables. We also keep an open line of communication with our clients. We provide a complimentary 1 hour consultation, detailed proposal, site visits, and follow-up emails throughout the year. We want our clients to know that we are hear to answer their questions and guide them through the process.

My favorite part of the wedding day is seeing my brides’ look on her face when I give her the bridal bouquet – so much emotion and appreciation and it makes all of it worth it for me!

My greatest fear is failing ! I think that is any entrepreneurs greatest fear! I manage it by trying not to think about it and just keep charging ahead. I think the worst time for independent floral designers is the end of the wedding season when we finally have time to breathe and think, it’s not always a good thing because we over analyze everything! Its the curse of a creative mind I say, but it’s that fear that keeps us going and keeps us trying new things and taking risks.
Not for 2016 but for the near future…I want a studio out in the country where I can begin to grown my own flowers and where I can host classes and workshops for the community. I really want to be involved with my community and have a place where I can continue to mentor young designers.
What is your best advice for a bride-to-be?
My best advice for brides is to know what you want your day to look like, even if its a hodge podge of images. Seek out wedding vendors that can sort through the weeds to pull it all together and bring your vision to life while giving you a voice! Don’t allow anyone to tell you what your day should look or feel like, trust in yourself and find professionals you trust to listen to you and who you trust understand you.

I have always been a creative individual and involved in something artistic from the time I was in elementary school. I was also always drawn to natural elements and nature. We never had flowers around growing up, we were not gardeners or a family that brought nature inside. But we always appreciated a field of bluebonnets or a christmas tree farm where we could explore and experience all the sights and smells. In college I began working part time at a campus flower shop to make some extra money and honestly because I was intrigued by the industry after watching Bed of Roses on repeat:) I started out cleaning buckets, filling water tubes and moping floors and soon was allowed to take floral orders and design simple arrangements. I have to say I had the best looking dorm room as I always had fresh flowers! My last semester of college I took a basic design course and we had to design a mock wedding and also design our dream business. Thus, the seed was planted. After graduation I worked at Michaels Arts and Crafts as a floral designer and also at area flower shops, honing my skills. My first wedding on my own came in 2013 when a Michaels customer asked me if I would do their wedding flowers. It was a big learning experience and definitely an eye opening experience, but I loved it! I was hooked. Over the next couple of years I designed the flowers for co-workers, my best friend and my 2 sister in laws. Then life took a few different turns and I decided floral design was not my calling and really was too afraid to start my own business – fearful of failure. It took some low points and some soul searching to realize it actually was my calling and something that brought be joy and that I was really good at. My dad had always said, “find a career that makes you want to wake up each day excited!” I finally knew what that felt like! SO needless to say almost 5 years ago I took that leap of faith and never looked back and charged ahead through all the road blocks, challenges and ups and downs and it’s all been worth it.

Based out of Olney, MD – serve the Baltimore and Washington DC area. We also are available for travel and design a lot of wedding in PA, VA and New York.
Petals by the Shore facebook: Petals by the Shore
Instagram: @petalsbytheshore

Yes, you read that right.

I am going to Bermuda. We booked our first International Wedding and we are so excited! Bermuda

This gorgeous wanderlust sign is made by Brittany Frieson of Between The Lines by B, please go check out her Etsy Shop!! 

The last few years have been such an adventure. And I am thrilled to say I will be adding Bermuda to the list of places I’ve visited. Check back to see the other adventures we will be taking.

If you have any suggestions on must-see things in Bermuda, leave me a line. I will be making a list. 

As always, follow us on social media to keep up to date and see all the beautiful sights along with us.



I had the pleasure of doing a portrait session with Katie Boltwood of Tilly and Teal. I also interviewed her for my Featured Friday series. Where I interview different small business owners and shine a spotlight on their talents. If you’re interested in being featured, please email me!

Also, look at this beautiful bouquet by Yen Sadek, of Chic Girls Flowers. She does amazing work, so please check her out!


  • I am a wedding planner offering month of coordination services
  • I have a split heart that has two loves. The first being Youth Ministry and the second for Event Planning. I got started in the planning industry by becoming a venue coordinator for a restarting golf club in Northern Virginia. Once it was time to move onto another chapter many of the vendors that I had connected with encouraged me to pursue my own business… So, here I am!
  • What I tell my clients is that dreaming and pinning is a great starting point. Those dreams can become into a reality, but remembering the realistic measures of staying withing budget is my favorite piece of advice. Your dream wedding can done as long as you have that accountability. I am happy to say that I am that happy medium for my clients.
  • All the hard work the couple and their families have put into this amazing day comes to life within just a few short hours. Seeing the creativity and then being able to assist in set-up and execution is worth every minute of my time!
  • I am still in the beginning stages of launching this new baby of mine. So my goals by the end of the year is to finish my website, create business cards, and have a launch party!
  • The clients. They mean everything to me. For them to trust me in executing their special day means the world to me!
  • My fear is that those who know my first passion wont take this one seriously since they are separate ends of the spectrum. However, I do understand that those who know both will be 100% supportive.
  • The transparent and open minded client. I know some brides comes in with a very specific idea which is totally cool. However, keeping an open mind opens doors for aspects that a client may not have thought of before.
  • I love serving with my church and hanging out with the beau.
  • T+T carries the atmosphere of your closest girlfriend planning your big day while allowing your actual besties celebrate it with you!
  • That is a talent in the learning stages. What I have found is block scheduling is my best friend!
  • I am based in the Northern Virginia area.

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Beautiful bouquet by Yen Sadek, of Chic Girls Flowers.

Today I am sharing about my wedding client gifts! I am hesitant to share, not because I don’t want to share with other creatives and business owners, but because I love surprising my clients. Wedding-Photography-Gifts

I am a huge fan of hand written notes and snail mail. HUGE FAN. When Philip and I visit new places we always get postcards, a lot of them. Some to send to friends and family, others to frame for our home. Yup, we frame postcards. More recently I’ve been using an app called Ink Cards. Ink Cards is an app that allows you to take a photograph with your phone and turn it into a postcard. For a small fee they make the postcard and mail it to your specified destination. I love this because it can be a postcard of Phil & I for our moms; it can be a scenic sight or a city scape. I’ve only used it a few times although I plan to use it more! But I’ve taken a detour, back to the main point…

A client gift doesn’t have to be something extravagant, it just needs to be meaningful and intentional. I’ve tried a few different things for my client gifts. At one time or another I would send my clients a gift card, to encourage a date night. With the gift card I would include a handwritten note to tell the couple to take time to themselves during the hectic-ness of planning a wedding. I moved towards Starbucks gift cards-because who doesn’t love Starbucks?! Although these were all great, they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I wanted my client gift to be more personal, more me, more my business brand.

One day I stumbled up 2j’s Soap, while surfing the web or something. They are based in Portland, Oregon. If you don’t know it, I’m from Oregon, not far from Portland. 2j’s Soap make a variety of handmade items, including lip balm, hand balm and candles. I was so excited, so I shot them an email to get details. They can even custom make the labels for their items. As you see, I had my logo put on each item. If you know anything about branding this is a total bonus for business+branding. I didn’t waste anytime placing my order.

Aside from all that, I love including these in my client gifts because I feel like it incorporates a part of me. Something intentional. Oregon is a special place to me and I love sharing a part of it with my clients. To spruce up the gift package I bought party poppers (gold + silver) from Michael’s Craft Store because planning a wedding and getting married is totally a reason to celebrate. The cards I use for handwritten notes are an assortment from different places, but primarily from Target Dollar Spot! I love Target, it’s always been one of my favorite places to shop for cute random items I don’t actually need, but hey, they’re cute!

I sometimes dabble in drawing, and I like journalling so I use some of my favorite fun pens when writing the note. This aspect just depends on my mood. For the box, I use to use something a little fancier than a plan Priority Box, but I found this route to be easier for mailing the items.

It’s always fun to keep the creative juices following and to incorporate new ideas as they come to life. This to me is one of the many pleasures of owning a small business. I know that my wedding client gifts, business and brand will continue to grow.

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