I secretly have this weird obsession with interior design, home décor and any kind of DIY project I can get my hands on.
When I first went to college, I was an interior design major, but then I had a teacher who ruined my desire to want to purse it as a career so I switched majors.. Anyways, I have always had such a fun time walking through Lowe's or Pier One and seeing all the possibilities.
I found that Pinterest was a great way for me to window-shop any idea I had. I look at everything from holiday decorations, to repurposing furniture and even big DIY project for the home. I get such great inspiration from others and I want to share the great Fall décor ideas I have with all of you!
Starting off with Kirkland's: They have an INSANE about of Fall decor options available online and in store. I will be honest, but going inside their store if so worth it because the smell of their candles smacks you right in the face. If smells like they literally are throwing fresh based apple pie in your face! mmm so good! Plus, everything is pretty inexpensive and they always have amazing clearance and sales going on.
Next on the list is the amazing World Market: This is the place you need to go to not only get your amazing Fall table setting dishes and candles, but they have some of the greatest wreaths that are full and look really expensive but they are not. Great quality and inexpensive is my kind of shopping!
Lastly, I give you the one and only AMAZON: Surprisingly enough they have a great selection of Fall decor options. The nice part about their selections is that most of the Fall items are heavily reviewed by others who have purchased the items. It's nice to see what kind of feedback they are leaving before you even purchase. If you do not wish to leave the house in your sweat pants, spiced latte and fuzzy socks this Autumn season, then go onto Amazon and see what great items you can find.
Don't forget to share any of your Fall decor finds below so we can all get in the spirit!
I am a big believer is being able to capture the perfect moments. Many photographers believe that you should only take a photo when it is the right time. For me, perfect moments are missed because they come and go so quickly. When I am doing a session, I take as many photos as I can and this is where I find those perfect little moments always pop up.
What camera do you use?
I shoot with the Rebel T6i from Cannon. I do no discriminate against brands of cameras. I shoot with what I have at the moment. I use my iphone for a lot of pictures too!
What is Your favorite lens?
I use the canon 18-58mm for most of my shoots. I tend to take photos within these ranges of focus.
Do You shoot Manual?
Absolutely! Shooting manual allows for me to be able to control my environment. Auto is great for someone who is looking to snap a few photos really quick. If I need my husband to take pictures I give him the auto settings. For me, I like to be able to control what the photo will feel like.
Do you shoot Raw or Jpg
Depending on the project I usually shoot RAW. It is also a good idea to shoot RAW+jpg so you don’t have to convert later. Saves time!
How do you best market to your target client in order to stay busy despite the limited types of sessions you accept?
I am a word of mouth photographer. I do not currently use any kind of advertising. The only marketing I do is on social media through hashtags and word of mouth. The amount of traffic I get using these methods is enough for me at the moment.
How did you get started and how did you build your client base?
I always had a desire to take photos. I originally liked abstract and microphotography. I studied photography in college and began building up my portfolio. I used my family to start building a specific style of photos. Once I had a quality portfolio, I started having my family suggest my service to their co-workers and friends. I ended up creating a logo for myself, getting business cards and handing them out to people I knew. I would look at other local photographers to see what they were charging and I wanted to be at least competitive. After looking around, I noticed that I could not charge a couple wanting newborn photos $500 for 30 edited photos so I made it my mission statement to be an affordable photographer for families looking to have cherished memories. I am not a professional so I can't charge those crazy prices. I am a decent photographer who is looking to give people a great deal on quality photos. Chick Here for more information on my photography services.
What programs do you use to edit?
I use Lightroom. Photoshop is a bit complex for the editing I do. I do not alter photos. I do more of an enhancement.
Do you use studio or natural light?
Depends on who I am shooting and the feel my client is looking for is how I determine the kind of lighting to use. If I am indoors, I try to use natural light as much as I can. It is a bit more rare that I use studio lighting for my shoots. Something about natural light give the subject that perfect glow that you can't always get with studio lighting.
Where do you find your props?
I do not spend much money on props or blankets. The cheaper the better! I go to places like Ross, Big Lots and thrift stores. Believe it or not, Wal-Mart has a great section on fabric. You can get 2 yards for $2.00! Some props I have purchased on AMAZON but I try to make as many as I can at home. Pinterest has great articles on DIY props and shoot set-ups.
Who do you use for prints?
If I am getting standard glossy prints for photo albums or picture frames I use Walgreens or Costco. If I want canvas done or a higher quality print, I use local companies in Arizona.
PRI Graphicswww.prigraphics.com/ is a great source.
Our story begins when we were just a couple of dumb kids who fell in love.
We were High school sweet hearts who didn't even realize what was ahead of us. If you would have asked me at the time if I was going to marry Jeremy and have kids with him, I would have laughed so hard...
well, here we are.
Over the years, I have learned a tremendous amount of things; not only about myself but about the relationship we have built together as husband and wife. Sure, we fell in love very quickly and at a young age, but having those early years together built the beginnings of our foundation. Ask any architect or G.C. what is the most important steps in constructing a building..
It's the foundation!
Without it, the structure would crumble.
Here's a Q and A about marriage and the tough stuff that comes with it.
Where did you first meet your spouse?
We started dating in high school. We went to different schools and had so many mutual friends. We actually grew up about 10 blocks from each other. We went to the same elementary school but i left the year he started at the school so he was friends with all my friends once i left.
Anyways, we bumped into each other later and recognized each other.
We got in contact and went on a great first date. We instantly clicked and realized how alike we were...the rest is history!
When did you get married?
We got married March 10, 2016 in Peoria, AZ. Is was a small quaint set up and we loved every minute of it.
How do you ensure that your marriage with last forever?
We live by a few important layers:
I believe if you have a strong understanding of each item, than your marriage is bound to last a lifetime.
How do you and your spouse handle arguments?
I think it is important for couples to argue. I honestly don’t like the term ‘argue’ but the term discussion is more appropriate. We have had a handful of arguments that usually end with a resolution but we go through quite a performance before we get there. First, we disagree on something. When we each express our side of the disagreement and try to convince the other to switch sides...which rarely works. This goes on and on and on in a big circle. We then get more entrenched in our side and go round and round. Finally someone realizes that no one is going to ‘win’ and backs off. After about a 10-15 cool off break, we both realize that whatever it is we were arguing about is not worth it and we make up.
** Important to note that once you have already had an argument about something, you are not allowed to bring it up in any future arguments. It’s not helpful and will just cause more frustration.
When did you know you met “the one”?
I was not someone who dated a lot. Most of my girlfriends in school always had boys drooling over them. I was the funny awkward friend who had a lot of guy friends and not boyfriends. I think it is because I was really picky?? The handful of relationships I did have were VERY unhealthy. When I first met Jeremy, he had treated me like a girlfriend and not just a friend, which I had never really experienced before. He was kind, sweet and a real gentleman. He actually said "I love you" on our 6th date! I knew I found the one when I considered him to be my best friend and someone who shared similar life goals.
What advice would you give people who are dating?
1. Make sure you are with someone who shares similar life goals.
2. Make sure you have a great communication. Be able to talk to them without judgment.
3. Trust is key. If you need to check their phone, email, social media or have ever wanted them to take a lie detector test, I think there are more underlying issues going on that need to be looked at before you continue to get further into the relationship.
4. Not all relationships need to be approached with a “am I going to marry this person”. It's ok to date around and just enjoy finding the things you like and don’t like in a person. Sometimes this is a great way to create your checklist. You take good qualities and bad qualities and make it your goal to find someone who checks the boxes of your checklist.
5. Don’t rush! There is no time frame on when you have to fall in love and get married (if that is even something you want. Not everyone believes in the institution of marriage, which is just fine)! Take your time. You have plenty of it.
How do you make your spouse smile?
I am good at remembers movie lines or song lyrics. When the timing is right, I will sneak in a movie or song quote into our conversation. It cracks him up every time. Jeremy is also extremely ticklish so that’s easy to get a laugh out of him.
What are things your spouse does for you that make you fall in love all over again?
At least once a week I get a long text from him telling me how much he appreciates what I do for our family and how much he loves me. Its simple but knowing how busy he is everyday, he takes the time to write out these amazing love texts. He also will buy me candy and coffee. I mean, who cant fall in love with someone who does that, right?
Did you have your dream wedding?
YES! It was small, intimate and exactly what we wanted. First off, OPEN BAR! Only close friend and family were in attendance. We had Italian food, great music and did a few of those cheesy wedding traditions (cupid shuffle, guarder toss, bouquet toss, silly cake cutting thing). We had such a great time that we left around 8:00p, got to our hotel, ordered a pizza and called it a night. It was perfect.
What are some things you wish you could strengthen with you marriage?
One thing I know gets under Jeremy’s skin is how I take his compliments. It is hard for me to really appreciate him telling me I look nice. If he gives me a compliment, I usual blow it off and say something like “yeah, right”. It’s hard but, sometimes I don’t believe it myself which is something that I need to figure...
What are some things you are proud of about your marriage?
After all these years of being together, I still get butterflies when I see him. He makes me feel sexy and wanted all the time and I was always afraid that would go away. We still feel like honeymooners and I have no doubt in my mind that we will always have this. I am proud of our communication we have. I can literally talk to him about ANYTHING! I think some people enjoy their privacy and choose to be a bit more reserved and I think that is great. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is different in how and what they share with their partner. But I am a gal who poops with the door open, has farting contests with my spouse and has talks to him about my period. Its like I have a girlfriend, therapist, best friend, and husband all in one person.
**We also never go to bed angry.
Is marriage what you thought it would be?
It honestly doesn’t feel too different from dating. The biggest thing is that I get to call him my husband instead of boyfriend or fiancé. I was also kind of excited to change my last name. Overall, marriage itself is what I thought it would be. We were already a great team; why not make us a legal team!
How are you and your spouse different?
We both have a different rhythm that is drumming inside of us. I have more of a laid back approach to things, where Jeremy has a faster beat and quickness about him. For us, it's good to have 2 very different people approaching 1 specific situation. Our end goal is the same, but how we get there is always different with Jeremy and I. I have a very artistic and creative fluid mind. Jeremy is very much a numbers and has a logical approach. He is an introvert and I am 100% an extrovert. I don’t fully agree that opposite attract, but I think for a marriage to last, you need to have a bit of diversity in the mix.
How are you and your spouse similar?
We are both big planners. We really like to know the who, when, where, why and how of everything we do. It seems a bit crazy but it is a system that works for us. If things do not go as panned, it does cause a mini panic attack in us, but we have each other to keep our cools. We also have very similar sets of life goals. Before we even started dating we both had checklists of things we wanted to accomplish in our lifetime and we check off each other’s goals from start to finish. I think this is why we are compatible and have made such a great team. Plus, we have so many similarities: we like to EAT, we enjoy spending time together and we don’t ever really need a break. Some might say we depend on each other too much and that’s fine. I try not to let the things people say define my marriage.
Who is the leader in your marriage?
This can become a very complicated answer and can cause some couples to argue. We are leaders in specific situations. I wouldn’t say we have one leader. It all depends on what it is we are doing. Weird enough, I do all the plumbing, crafts, and anything that requires a power tool. It is something I enjoy doing and I am pretty good at it too. Jeremy is much better at harder labor tasks, financing, and getting some of our larger project done (insurance, medical, cars and things like this). Jeremy is also really great at cleaning and doing laundry. I hate to use this example, but if you think about a very misogynistic household with a man and wife, we have very reversed roles. I do “the man’s job” while Jeremy takes on a lot of the “woman’s job”. I obviously don’t believe that there are men and woman roles in the home but we tend to stick to what we know best. It just so happens we take on tasks that are not expected of us and we like it that way!
If your love story were made into a movie, what would be the title?
2 hearts who love, eat and fart
If I have to pick an existing title it would be: I love you, man
Is there a topic that you and your spouse never talk about because it will cause an argument?
I wouldn’t say we have any ‘off limit topics’. Being together for so long, we have pretty much seen the good, bad and the ugly. There are a few hot topics that will cause us to have a conversation. One in particular is family. We each have bigger families with means there is always some kind of drama going on. We each love each other’s family, don’t get me wrong but there have been plenty of conversations around this topic. I think this is a big one for most couples because family is forever. There is no way around family haha.
Best advice is to remind yourself that your family (your house hold family) is what matters. Yes, there will be times when other family drama enters your home but just remember what’s most important. You can only control some much. Pick your battles and use your energy toward something else. If anything, use these situations as learning blocks to make your relationship even stronger.
How do you deal with major decisions with your spouse?
I believe most major decisions are obviously made together. One person should not be making those decisions. The most important quality I find really strengthens a marriage is your ability to listen. I’m not talking about hearing your partner, but actually listening and comprehending what they are saying. It is good to know what and why your partner feels ‘that’ decision is the best decision. If you disagree, it is important for your partner to hear you out and not get more entrenched in their side. Major decisions are usually made with a pros and cons approach. Does the decision make sense financially? Does the decision reflect your family’s needs? Asking yourselves these questions can help steer you in the right direction.
How long did you wait until you started bugging your spouse about getting married?
I started dating Jeremy in high school. We were together for a few years before I was certain that I would marry him. I think during our junior year of college I really started bugging him about getting engaged. I think most girls do this but, I would send him photos of rings I liked just to be annoying. He finally proposed the night we graduated from college.
• What time of year was it? What was the weather like? Did it have any affect on the day?
Well, we live in Arizona and it was early November. Unlike the East Coast or the Midwest, it is still hot during the afternoons. Typically the weather in November in AZ are high 70’s and low 60’s. Essentially, PERFECT! I don’t know if the weather had any affect on that day, but it was nice to have cooler weather toward the end of my pregnancy when I was as big as a house!
• Were you delivering when you expected? If not, were you early or late? How did the timing affect your feelings leading up to the day? Were you more than ready to have a baby, or was the whole event a surprise?
My original due day was November 12th and Ben arrived on November 4th so he was a bit early. Funny enough, my husband had called my mom the night before he arrived to come up with a game plan for the BIG DAY. Talk about perfect timing! I defiantly was getting more and more anxious each day we were getting closer to his due date but I was also very relaxed and knew my body and mind would naturally be in the right place. I had total faith in listening to my bodies’ signals and letting those natural instincts take over.
• Who was there with you? How did they handle the labor process? Were you grateful they were there? (Or did you find yourself wishing otherwise?)
I honestly did not care who was going to be in the delivery room. I knew for sure I wanted my husband there of course, but I told my family that anyone was welcome. In the end, my mother and mother in law joined us in the excitement. My mother had 4 children her self and got to be with my older sister when she had her babies so she was used to the environment and what to expect. My mother in law had 2 children but had not witnessed a live birth so she was very stunned. My husband was a great partner to have. He encouraged me, supported me and didn’t faint! He help my hand through every contraction and did such a great job comforting me. I really needed him there through every push.
• What did contractions feel like? Were they what you expected? How did you handle them?
The contractions were intense. It feels like your entire belly from hip to hip is getting a very painful Charlie-Horse. There are high pressures happening throughout your pelvic area. It really feels like you have the BIGGEST gas bubble that is just getting more and more painful as time passes. The best way to get through the contractions is to breathe and take your mind to a different place. Moving around also helped me. To be honest, they were very hard to get through but I have had kidney stones several times in my life and the contractions were easier to handle than kidney stones. Different kinds of pain, but I would rather give birth than have kidney stones!
Side note: I got kidney stones at 27 weeks and was in the hospital for 2 days)
• What thoughts went through your head as you progressed through labor? Did you surprise yourself in any way as you dealt with the circumstances?
As I progressed through labor, I actually stayed focused 100% on the guidance I was getting from my incredible nurses. They were telling me exactly what was going on with the baby, giving me advice and giving me guidance on how to push. I honestly thought you pushed like you were taking a #2 but it is a different kind of push. My nurse gave me a mirror angled at my downstairs so that I could see what was happening and to give me confidence in how I was pushing. I also thought it was SO COOL to be able to watch myself push a baby out of my Va Jay Jay! I was surprised that I didn’t have to push too long before he arrived.
• How long did you push? Were there complications with your delivery? How did you handle them?
From the time my water broke to the time he arrived was about 4 hours total! I pushed for a little over an hour but it only took about 10 good pushes for him to come out. I progressed VERY quickly once my water broke. I went from 2 cm dilated to 7 cm from the time my water broke to the time we got to the hospital. When we checked into the hospital, they wanted to see how dilated I was before we got admitted. The nurse looked at me and said “ uhh your 7 cm right now. We need to get you up to delivery RIGHT NOW”. So the team literally ran me upstairs and we got to work! I went from 7 – 10 cm in about an hour.
• What was the first thing you said when you saw your baby for the first time?
I will remember this exact moment for the rest of my life… My doctor looked at me and said “are you ready to meet your son?” I of course said YES! I pushed one more big push and pop there he was. He was placed on my chest and he gave out the biggest cry. I bursted into tears and looked at him and said “Hello my baby.. hello my Benjamin”. It was such an emotional moment. I was so overwhelmed and full of love. He was so warm and soft. I couldn’t believe he was finally here with us. It was such an unreal feeling.
• What was your overwhelming feeling after your baby was delivered? Relieved? Happy? In pain? Sleepy? Giddy?
I instantly felt relieved… I was glad he was healthy and well. I was relieved that I was healthy and well and we had no complications. I was honestly really proud of myself. I made it through my pregnancy, my labor and now my delivery. I was a parent now.
• Did your water break or were you induced?
I was taking a nap on the couch actually right before my water broke. I woke up from my nap and stood up to start decorating for Christmas ( we wanted to have all the decorating done before the baby came). It felt like someone dumped a warm water bottle in my lap. I stuck my hand down my pants and saw that the liquid that just spilt out was clear. I instantly knew my water had broke. My heart sank and I instantly felt this sense of fear and excitement all at the same time. It was go time! ** Something I didn’t know was that you continue to leak. I thought your water broke and that was it. My water kept leaking all the way until we got to the hospital and then some.
• Was childbirth as scary as it sounds?
It is not. It is a lot more exciting and full of adrenalin. I think as long as your trust your doctors and have a strong partner there to support you, than you should feel nothing but excitement. You are being coached the whole time so it doesn't feel like you are alone and having to guess what to do next.
• What was the worst part about labor and delivery?
The worst part was probably the contractions. They are very tough to get through but women are tough. We can get through anything ;).
• What was the best part about labor and delivery?
Obviously having a baby is the best part, but I think the amount of comfort I had in my team was the best part. Knowing that everyone in that room was rooting for me was such a great confidence booster.
• What advice can you give a new mother who is about to have her first child?
First off, you are a strong beautiful woman. You got this! Its not as scary as you may think. Sure, something’s might not go to plan, but everything is going to be just fine. You are about to meet that little baby who’s been kicking your ribs for the last 4 months. Your body was made for this. Your instincts will kick in and you will do a great job. Don’t stress!
• What would you do differently for baby #2?
Something I wish I would have known about was placenta donation. You can actually donate your placenta as it is now being used for skin graphing and other medical substitutions for people in need. I defiantly am going to do this with baby #2. I also want to get a photographer in to take photos of the day. I wish I had that with Ben but there is always an opportunity the next time around. Otherwise, I would do the same things I did with Ben. Everything turned out just fine.
• What are a few things you didn’t know about pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum?
Oooo good one.. Ok, this is going to be kind of long…
Pregnancy: They don’t tell you how hard it gets to sleep at night toward the end. Everyone always told me to get as much sleep as I could before the baby came. I had already been having trouble sleeping 7 months into pregnancy because I was so large. You shouldn’t sleep on your back (which is my favorite way to sleep) and I was forced to be on my sides. Sleeping was already hard and I didn’t even have the baby yet haha.
Labor: Labor is not as scary as you think. It isn’t fun but you can absolutely get through it. It is not the worst part of the entire show.
Delivery: I thought the kind of push I needed to do was like a poop push. It’s not. Its more of a crunch meets poop. My nurse gave me such a great example of what I needed to do. She grabbed a white towel and stood at the end of my bed. She placed the towel between my legs and told me to pull myself up using the towel. She help on end of the towel and I pulled myself up holding the other end. That’s the push. Again, not a crunch nor is it a bowel movement push. Its kind of an in-between thing.
Postpartum: I say hands down that this was the worst part of everything. Compared to pregnancy, labor and delivery, Postpartum is the WORST. Not only are your hormones all over the place (like MPS X 100) but also you are exhausted emotional and physically. Something no one talks about is how to pee and poop after you have a baby. Before you can leave the hospital, you have to pee so many ounces of liquid to prove you can urinate on your own. I had an episiotomy so this became a real challenge trying to pee through fresh stitches. Another thing I suffered were hemorrhoids. Again, its not pretty to talk about but they are a reality in childbirth. I struggled with going to the bathroom weeks after having Ben. Not only were my stitches healing, but I also had to poop around hemorrhoids that I developed. Sure, my doctor gave me numbing cream, witch hazel and plenty of sprays for your coochie but somethings cant even numb these kind of pains. No one ever talks about how hard it is to recover. I don’t know how these celebrities do it.FOr baby #2 I am going to be most nervous for recovery more than anything else. Like I said, bring on childbirth but keep away the stitches and hemorrhoids please!
We are so fortune to have our baby boy. He brings so much joy into our lives. He was worth every agonizing second and I would do it all over again. He is everything we ever imaged and more. Being a mother is one of the most rewarding, frustrating, amazing, tiring, wonderful, overwhelming and perfect things I have ever done in my life.
I'm Kristyn from sunny Peoria, Arizona. I'm married to my amazing husband Jeremy and I'm a mother to our incredible son Benjamin. I love inspiring and empowering others to see their true beauty and fight against the stigmas that society has created about beauty.