Our Family Beach Photos

I have always loved beach family photos – the lapping blue, reflective water, the dreamy sun setting in the background, the white sand, the wind tousled hair. We have never had the opportunity to have a beach session, so when we booked our trip to the Hilton Sandestin, I started searching for a photographer immediately. I could not be more excited about finding Lauren Folk of Folk House Creative Co., because y’all, she is not only super talented, but a dream to work with. She seriously captured our small little family perfectly, and I will truly print and treasure these photos forever. I am so grateful for Lauren! If you are traveling to the Destin area, I cannot recommend her enough.

There is so much joy in these photos. Sweet Emi was very much ready for bed, but Lauren somehow managed to appear less tired than she really was! That babe was asleep less than ten minutes after we wrapped them up, but Lauren (and Isla) had her grinning with their smart posing and silly faces (well, Isla’s!). Without further adieu, a narrowed down, but still expansive, selection of favorites from our session.

Getting Started with Smile Direct Club

Well, this smile journey story has a strange start, but stick with me for a minute!

In 2009, I interning in France, and during this time, my friend, Andrew and I, went on a little vacation to Nice. We bought some snacks for the beach, and the vegetarian that I am, I grabbed some carrots. As I’m sitting on the pebbled beach, I bite into a carrot and ‘pop’! I managed to unglue one of the sides of my permanent bottom retainers. The bar was still attached to the other side, but it now protruded slightly into my mouth, under my tongue. It wasn’t painful, but it was very bothersome. I thought many times about going to an orthodontist in Paris to have it fixed, but my French was very conversational and I couldn’t wrap my head around calling and booking an appointment, so alas, I never did. When I returned at the end of August, the day I got home, I went in to get it fixed. At my orthodontist’s office, he told me that my smile looked great, and since I had been out of braces for over ten years, he would just take off the permanent retainer. Worst. Idea. Ever! 

Fast forward to 2011, my wisdom teeth all start coming in, and since I am a huge chicken when it comes to needles, I endure the pain of them all breaking through my gums and crowding my mouth. Cue teeth moving. 

So now, in 2017, I have buckled bottom teeth that drive me absolutely crazy! I cannot stand seeing how crooked they have become, but Sasha thinks it isn’t a big deal, and the $5,000 we would pay for Invisalign has always seemed too much to fix this problem. Enter Smile Direct Club. Smile Direct Club offers affordable teeth straightening aligners at a price that is 60% less than competitors. 

2016 Gift Guide for the Pet Lover

Happy Friday, everyone! Amanda is back with the last gift guide of the year – one for Pet Lovers. I absolutely love the other two guides she curated, for the Outdoorsman and for the Fashion Forward Male. I hope you enjoy this one and make sure to check out all of the others we’ve posted!

$500 Nordstrom Giveaway

I have been on a present buying frenzy this week (hello, ten days until Christmas countdown!), and I am feeling relieved to have checked off most names from my list. If you’re in the same boat as me and wait until the last minute, this $500 Nordstrom gift card giveaway is right up your alley. Who wouldn’t want all of that money to use to buy presents (ahem, who says you can’t buy them for yourself?). I’ve partnered up with 11 other Houston bloggers to bring you this easy giveaway. There are a lot of different ways to enter, just use the widget below! 

Good luck! You have until midnight on the 19th to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PinkBlush Gift Card Giveaway

I recently read Rosie Pope’s Golden Guide to Looking Chic While Pregnant on Brit + Co, and her number one rule is: Buy Maternity Clothing. Her rationale? “A commonly held misconception about maternity clothing is that you can buy a size up for regular clothing and it’ll be fine β€” but the problem is when you’re pregnant, your belly extends, but the rest of you likely doesn’t change as much…  Wearing a size too large for you can result in you just looking frumpy.” Well, I typically have broken that rule and have been ordering a size up in way too many sweaters, shirts, dresses, etc. over the past two pregnancies. I struggled to find maternity clothes that I loved, but when I’ve found good pieces, I have noticed that they are way more figure flattering than oversized sweaters (my go-to, yikes!). 

When I first discovered PinkBlush’s website, I was overwhelmed because I liked too many of the items – total analysis paralysis (but that’s a good problem to have when it comes to clothing!). Given that the items are very reasonably priced (most maternity dresses are in the $40-$60 range), your desire to buy four dresses won’t be quite as harmful to your wallet. 

I wanted to order a few go-to maternity dresses for church and baby showers/parties, and I decided on this floral chiffon dress (ordered in a Medium, but it was really spacious around the belly, so I had it altered – I’ve heard from others to size to what you wore pre-pregnancy, which is what I should have done!). Given that I have some seriously unattractive pregnancy veins in my right leg, I’ve been wearing these Preggers maternity tights on repeat, so I paired the dress with a white pair and these gray booties (on sale for only $87!).  

A few of my favorite maternity dresses are this Burgundy Lace Dress, this Black Glam Mini Dress, this Cream Basic Chiffon Dress, and this Bell Sleeve Chiffon Dress. Their non-maternity pieces are gorgeous too! I’m ordering this Floral Dressing Robe for post-delivery at the hospital. 


I’m partnering with PinkBlush to give one lucky reader a $75 gift card.* All you have to do is follow me (@snapshotsandmythoughts) and PinkBlush (@shoppinkblush) on Instagram and leave a comment on this photo here!


*Participant cannot have won a PinkBlush giveaway within the last three months.