Milk Bath Photography – January 2018

Recently I couldn’t help but set up a “mini photo session” for my sweet girl. These trendy photo ops are taking over Pinterest, and I have no problem jumping on that band wagon! Milk baths are PRECIOUS.

I used half a gallon of milk, cuts from some fresh bouquets, two bedside lamps (with LED bulbs), and my iPhone!! It was beyond easy, and I am in love. I have a normal tub, with limited natural light from one window, but surprisingly that didn’t seem to effect my shots! You all will DEFINITELY be seeing more of these kinds of shoots.

I took dozens of amazing shots, but for now – enjoy these!!

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DIY Farm House Table

My husband and I recently bought a house and now have a giant casual dining room off of the kitchen. Previously, we had opted for barstools around a large extended counter. So I was pretty excited to finally have the kitchen table of my dreams! I wanted a table big enough to sit large amounts of people. I also knew that I wanted to go towards a more Southern farm house feel. Lastly, I knew that I wanted to try and build it ourselves! I immediately looked towards Pinterest. I follow one DIY blogger, Shanty 2 Chic, who has a link to how she built her table for $65! (You can click here for the instructions! They were fairly easy to follow and include a “cut” list. The only thing I would recommend is cutting the largest pieces first. We did all the small ones first and then had to buy more wood because I didn’t account for the large ones both fitting on one board).

We ended up spending a little more because we bought a high quality white paint for the base, rather than stain it like the original tutorial suggested. We also opted for a slightly higher quality of wood. However, that said, we built it for about $125! Of course, that doesn’t include the tools we bought, but we counted those as “good husband” gifts. Michael definitely deserved them!! We also opted to use a stain we already had, leftover from my Coffee Bar project. So that saved us a few dollars.

Anyways, we had SUCH a blast building this table. It was so exciting watching it come to life in front of us. (I also did a time lapse video of part of our adventure so you could enjoy it too!) This week we are building matching benches, so stay tuned!! I’m so thrilled that it will all be done in time for Christmas! We have lots of people coming and I need somewhere to feed them! We should be able to fit 4-5 people per bench comfortably. Eventually I am going to add captains chairs on each end, but I haven’t found any that I love for less than $1,000 a piece… and that’s just not an option seeing how we’re about to have a toddler running through the house wiping who knows what where!

((Also, I’m loving my simple holiday center piece. The eucalyptus is leftover from my Eucalyptus Wreath project and the red berries that I wove in were $.49 per branch at hobby lobby! The Dino salt shakers were from sweet Sophie for Michael’s birthday! Let’s go Christmas! I’m ready for ya.))

Late Fall Rosebush Transplant: a DIY Attempt 

Recently Michael’s long time best friend & his wife bought a super cute house. Along one side of the house were six huge and gorgeous  rosebushes.  Luckily for me, they hated them! I seriously have zero clue why. They are pink, which is not my absolute favorite, but the height and amount of blooms on these bushes is amazing. So I told them if they didn’t want them I would come dig them out ((read: Michael will dig them out and  will attempt to help)). So when they text us asking us if we were serious we jumped on it!

I know nothing about transplanting rosebushes so I pulled up google and spent a solid hour trying to understand what I needed. From what I gathered, this is really not the ideal time to move the bushes.  You generally would want to move these in late winter/early spring when the chance of a frost is over.  However, one of the people I talked to told me he wouldn’t be worried about it as long as I trimmed the bush back pretty aggressively (the idea is that the plant won’t be trying to sustain every leaf or bloom, instead it’s energy can be focused on the roots and trunk of the plant. Another resource told me that I could cover the bushes for the first little while during cold nights to buy the root system more time. The goal is to not totally shock the plant.

I also read that roses don’t like “wet feet” so there needs to be good drainage. Our soil leans more towards clay, so we bought something to help water drain.  It wasn’t very expensive at all (I’ll list everything we bought and the price at the end of this post).  Roses also need sun exposure, to be planted where other things are not too close to prevent the roots from being choked, and a more acidic and organically composed soil.  Everything I read said the same thing.

So now that I was feeling a little more prepared we headed down to Lowes.  We bought all of our supplies and then headed home.  First we had to clear out a spot for the six bushes.  I had a few ideas, but ultimately decided they should line the deck. Currently there was a thick bed of ivy. I honestly had no idea how much there was until I started trying to pull it out.  I ended up having to use the hoe to rip out as much as I could and loosen the soil. Then Michael and I used our hands to pull everything else out. After that I raked the new bed so it would be somewhat flat.

Next, Michael was a great sport and dug our holes.  At first we were just using a spade, however, then we remembered the post digger took we bought for our mailbox project! It worked like a champ. This took an entire afternoon and it was getting dark so we had to call it a night.  I could barely contain my excitement.  It looked so good!

The next day, Sunday, we headed over to dig out the roses after church. I started by trimming the branches down heavily. This was recommended to me by my step mom and the nursery worker at Lowes. They both said that the roots will have access to more energy if the plant isn’t trying to keep every leaf alive. Plus, it made it way easier to transport!  Next, we dug around the base of the plant. The trick is to dig deep enough from the side that you can go underthe roots. I was so impressed with ourselves! We were able to save huge portions of the root systems. I feel very confident about their chance of survival.

((I am so proud of this before and after!! Also, without the pink roses the brick looks like a totally different color! I think that is so crazy.))

After that we loaded them onto the roof of the jeep and tied them down. Luckily we only had a ten minute drive! When we got home we set about to plant them. I put a handful of the Perlite Miracle grow and a handful of the flower food (specifically for roses) into each hole and worked it into the soil. (Since I was doing two products I did less than the recommended amount to avoid harming the plants). Then I held the bushes upright as Michael filled the hole with a mixture of the original soil and our Evergreen soil conditioner. After they were all planted we watered them heavily. I know that they don’t like “wet feet” normally, but I thought they needed a good dose to get them started!

I am so excited. I think they look amazing. It will be so fun watching them grow over the next few years. I hope it doesn’t take them too incredibly long to grow back to their former glory! I will keep you updated- and if you have any advice I would loveto hear it!! Have a great day.

Lowes Shopping List:

Total Costs: $131.54

* We only ended up using two bags of the Evergreen, but with all the spring projects I have planned it will be used!

More Family Photos (From Our First Time Homeowners Photoshoot)!

Last week I blogged about our First Home Photoshoot with SwakPhotography. I am so obsessed with her photos and I only shared a handful of the DOZENS of golden images she gave us… So it’s not surprising that I am posting a follow up with more images!! In particular, of my sweet sweet baby girl & our little family in her new nursery. My only regret is not pulling the cats in!
Nolie was so funny during our session. Carrie arrived for our shoot around three, seconds after little Miss woke up from her nap… so her facial expressions range from wildly surprised to extremely confused then on to giggling then bored. She also looked SO concerned in a few outdoor photos when several loud trucks went by. She was so distracted! Even though I had envisioned her just laughing non stop for our entire shoot (yeah I know, totally realistic expectations of a five and a half month old), I am actually so much happier that we caught so many of her adorable expressions. She is such a curious and intelligent baby. I love watching her explore the world and try to understand everything around her. It’s really humbling in a way. Her genuine astonishment makes me appreciate everything so much more.
Anyways, I hope y’all enjoy these precious images. Also, Carrie is so much fun to work with and one of my favorite photographers! I love her style- it’s unique and elegant. Definitely check out her Instagram to see what I’m talking about !(: Also stay tuned, one of my other favorite photographers (Soph) has offered to do a little lifestyle shoot of the fam bam! It’s going to be so sentimental to look back on after we have done some of the more serious house renovations we have planned!
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Clothing Details:

Me- Shirt: Banana Republic // Jeans: Lucky // Boots: Lucky // Cardigan: The Limited // Ring: Tiffany & Co

Michael- Shirt: J.Crew // Jeans: Lucky // Shoes: Sperry // Watch: Fossil // Belt: Fossil

Nolie- Shirt: Janie & Jack // Jeans: Old Navy // Shoes: Baby Gap // Bow: Janie & Jack

Rug: Target

Hair by Aly Thayer 

A couple weeks ago I was feeling adventurous. So when Michael had a weekday off he took the baby for a few hours and I headed over to my girlfriend, Aly’s hair salon. I wanted to try something new – which if you know me is big because I have had the same haircut since I was eleven.
Aly cut off about four inches, balayage my hair, and to top it off- I got bangs. Let me just tell you, I LOVE it!! Aly is so talented. She was super honest about the limits of my hair as far as color went. Her priority was setting realistic expectations and keeping my hair healthy. She told me sometimes she gets clients in who want drastic color changes and she isn’t afraid to say no. In my opinion, that is so important! I have a relative who’s hairdresser just wanted to get paid. She didn’t look out for the hair’s best interest (okay that felt weird typing, but it’s real) and this relative’s hair started falling out!! They literally fried it after years of excessive dye jobs.
The salon, Salon West, was also precious. It had a totally Nashville feel. There was hardwood and exposed beams, which is such a trendy look right now. The “dry bar” was super hip and industrial looking. Overall it made me feel cool, but still totally welcomed. If you need your hair done, do yourself a favor and contact Aly! Check out her Instagram to see some of her latest hair wins (and cute belly bump pictures)! Or you can click here to drop by her website. She has a killer portfolio and some helpful hair tips on her blog! Let her know I sent you over too. I want her to know I’m bragging on her, she deserves it!

DIY Christmas Wreath

Yesterday Sophie and I were hanging out when she mentioned that Christmas was about to explode in her house. Less than an hour later we found ourselves trying to balance car seats and handfuls of Christmas decor on the tiny carts provided by Hobby Lobby. (Seriously, why are they so small?) I won’t lie, it was by far the most stressful joint shopping trip we have ever been on! Nolie’s allergies from the dust and glitter in the air were killing her, both girls refused to sit in their seats, and I dropped at least a dozen items. Don’t worry nothing broke. Then when we went to check out things got even crazier. Sophie was finished checking out first so she asked if I would keep Mia next to me while I checked out and she would go grab the car. Great plan right? Except I accidentally handed her my wallet to take with her and so I had to chase after her, both babies screaming at me. I ran back, covered in sweat and judgment from the long line behind us. It was delightful. However, when we got home we had everything we needed to make the perfect Christmas wreaths!

Originally we were just going to buy pre made wreaths, but when we finally found the wreath aisle we changed our mind! A preassembled wreath was averaging $129! That is insane. So I suggested we make our own. Sophie loved the idea, Christmas products were 50% off today, and I am all about craft days. It was a complete win!  Here is what I bought, the price per item, and the total cost. The only thing not listed are three or four ornament hooks Sophie gave me. (I don’t have Sophie’s receipt. However, I assume she spent about the same. Her wreath is smaller, but she overall has more expensive ornaments on hers). 

 

Supplies: 

  • Christmas Wreath ($12.99 // 50% off) $12.50
  • Squirrel Ornaments ($6.99 // 50% off) $3.49
  • Wooden Letter ($11.99 // 50% off) $5.99
  • Santa Ornament ($5.99 // 50% off) $2.99
  • Branches ($1.59 // 50% off x 3) $4.77
  • Gold Acorns ($0.99 // 50% off x 4) $1.96
  • Porcupine Ornament ($2.99 // 50% off) $1.49

Total wreath cost: $33.19

 

We started by weaving in the branches with berries. Sophie chose a more realistic red berry while I went with gold. Next we placed our last name initials since they would be a focal point. Sophie fastened hers with metals hooks. I used the malleable wire branches to secure mine. Then we used the wire hooks to secure our ornaments to the wreath bases. It took less than an hour! It was beyond simple and I saved a tiny bit under $100! Plus, it was exactly what I wanted.

It was such an affordable wreath option and a new bestie holiday tradition! als, the   ornaments are not permanently placed so next year I can just replace what I want! I could even decorate per holiday if I wanted to. I hope you give it a try and then tag me (@wifetalk) so I can see what you’ve created! Have fun!






First Time Homeowners

October 27, 2017 Michael and I bought our very first house together! It is beyond adorable. I feel so blessed! We now own 1800 sq ft of blank canvas to build our lives on. (Plus Michael’s workshop. He’s very very excited about that). I love the backyard, the location, and the giant windows! It is such an amazing house. We have had a roller coaster of a ride. We started casually looking several months ago, but every time we thought we found the perfect house we either got outbid or inspections revealed massive issues. One house needed easily $30,000 in basic repairs before we even touched aesthetic remodeling! It started to become very disheartening. However, two of my girlfriends, Sophie & Brittany, kept saying the same thing. “God has the perfect house for you”. Even though I knew it was true, it was still frustrating spending hours and hours looking up and visiting houses.

However, now looking back I can definitely say it was worth the wait. In today’s market buying house is tough! We were so lucky to have the experience we had. The sellers of our house chose our bid because of a letter we attached talking about who we are. They actually asked to meet us at one of our inspections. We had a great time walking around the property as they explained how to care for the pear & fig trees, where their boys liked to play, and other personal details. The wife even knitted our baby girl a pink blanket! It was such a relief to have people so friendly. They even supplied us with boxes to move in! As we were getting to know them I couldn’t help but think about how right my friends were! It felt like this house was meant to be. Especially when we got a call from our real-estate agent, my momma. The mortgage company had called to ask her if we wanted to go down to their office in Hendersonville, or if we wanted to meet in Mount Juliet. The agent said that he usually went to a local cafe. He asked my mom if we thought we would be able to find a Billy Goat Cafe… He was totally unaware that Michael and I had met there when I was 15 years old. What a perfect place to sign our names on this new stage in life! I thought that was unbelievably cool.
After we got our new keys we picked up seven gallons of paint (I can’t wait to do before and after pictures) and headed to the new house. That afternoon our friend Carrie, of SwakPhotography , (you may remember her from our style shoot) came over to document our first afternoon in our first home. We had so much fun taking pictures and laughing at Nolie’s many expressions.
I am so grateful for everyone who helped us make this happen! We had a great team and I would totally recommend using them. We used Josh from US Bank (Mount Juliet branch) and Heidi Nanto, my mom, as a real-estate agent. I would love to connect you if you would like! Enjoy some of these precious photos of our family and new home!
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Clothing Details:
Me- Shirt: Banana Republic // Jeans: Lucky // Boots: Lucky // Cardigan: The Limited // Ring: Tiffany & Co
Michael- Shirt: J.Crew // Jeans: Lucky // Shoes: Sperry // Watch: Fossil // Belt: Fossil
Nolie- Shirt: Janie & Jack // Jeans: Old Navy // Shoes: Baby Gap // Bow: Janie & Jack
Rug: Target