My journey into photography + our fall family photos

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hello Love!
Almost 5 years ago I decided that a point & shoot camera just wasn't working for taking the photos I wanted to take of my babies. I would see these photos on Facebook and Pinterest with that dreamy, blurry background and I would long for beautiful photos like that. I owned the gift shop at the time and couldn't afford to have professional photos taken all the time of them so I took the plunge.  I went on eBay and bought an older model Canon DSL camera and the cheapest 50mm 1.8/f lens I could find and self-taught myself how to take photos.  I watched countless hours of YouTube videos and practiced everyday on my babes.  It soon became a passion of mine and I opened my photography business 1 1/2 years later.  Working full-time, having three kids, and then doing sessions put a lot of stress on my family so I had to cut back on that business, never losing my love for it.
Who would have thought knowing this trade would lead me to having my own fashion blog, because without it, I would have never been able to keep it up.  With a little help from my family and a great amount of support from my husband, it has turned into something great that has benefitted us all; it has lead me also to my new career as a VA for 3 different bloggers.  Knowing the system has given me this amazing new job where I help these other bloggers with their daily activities and allows me to work from home, where I am always available to do everything with my children, from attending field trips to being the first to hear about their school day when I pick them up.
I am so, so thankful that I got on eBay that day, because if not, I wouldn't be here today!

The camera set in the photos belong to my daughter, RJ, who snaps all my photos for Shaw Avenue!  I currently use a Canon 6D + Canon 50mm f/1.4 & 85mm f/1.8 lenses for all my blog photos.

Shirt - TJ Maxx // Jeans - Gap // Camera - Canon 60D // Lens - Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 // Camera Strap - Marleylilly c/o // Camera bag - Lily Jade c/o // Floral scarf - DaisyFayeDesigns c/o

Thanks Marleylilly for sponsoring this post!
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Snow days + monograms

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hello Love!

Being the weather geek that I am, when I saw a snowflake icon pop up on my weather app earlier this week I was GLUED to my tv to see if we were going to get a snow day or two.  Coming from working in the school system, we take those little icons VERY seriously.  Our local weatherman, whom I LOVE, was not mentioning it but The Weather Channel was giving us hope. Even yesterday morning our local news was really brushing it off, saying it would stay in Georgia and wouldn't be a problem in Tennessee.  My son spent all morning saying, "We're going to get out!  We're going to get out!".  I was still very skeptical and told him to forget about it because it wasn't going to happen!  My youngest child had a field trip and I was on my way to meet her class for lunch when the text came over...
EARLY DISMISSAL.

Crap.

Of course I was at the bare minimum in the pantry so I ran to Publix, bought all the junk food, and ran to get kiddos.

Not only were we going to get to play in snow and eat hot chocolate but a beautiful box of goodies from Shari's Berries was on the front porch when we got home!

Let's just say the kiddos (and the Hotness) were in heaven!

Thanks to Shari's Berries for sponsoring this post!

Outfit diets:
Vest -  Amy Anne Apparel c/o // Sweater - JCrew (similar here) // Chambray top - JCrew (similar here) // Jeans - Levi's 710 super skinny // Boots - Frye "Melissa" // Necklace - Marleylilly c/o

Shop small business and make a huge difference!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Thank you PayPal for sponsoring this post. Shop small merchants with PayPal to make your holiday shopping a breeze.

 Hello Love!
It's really hard to believe that this little blog has been around almost 3 years already.  Have I ever told you that before I started this I was a small business owner?  I don't think I've really ever talked about it but I owned a little gift shop in my hometown.  Retail has always been in my blood and I knew that I was going to make a career out of it.  My lifelong goal was to be the owner of a Hallmark store and my parents actually own one now!  Unfortunately, it's a 45 minute drive from my house so that's why I don't work there now. I owned my little shop for almost 8 years and it's pretty much where my babies grew up!  My son was about 8 months old when we opened, I got pregnant with our middle a month after that, and the little came a few years later. It was a wonderful little shop but was just too hard to run and manage all that our little family needed, so I sold it in early 2015.

 Owning a small business isn't for the faint of heart. Whether it's clothing, food, or even running a blogging business, you're in it to win it and it isn't always a walk in the park.  It takes a lot of time, patience, and money to keep it afloat so that's why I have a H U G E heart for my fellow entrepreneurs. Whenever I'm buying new things or reaching out to companies to promote here at Shaw Avenue, you've probably noticed that most are shops just like this! Choosing to shop at a small/local business gives you more options to buy for your loved ones this time of year and is so so great for supporting your local community.

When finding content to post here on the blog, I'm always searching for great, unique items at great prices that anyone can shop.  It's not easy to get out and shop with three kiddos so being able to shop from home is also a huge plus.  One online company that I LOVE is Pink Blush! I had found out about them through another blogger's website but I had assumed it was just a maternity website. I'm so glad I checked it out anyways because they have the cutest stuff! I first found the little gray sweater shown in the pictures below but when I stumbled upon the light pink booties the clouds parted and the Angels sang!  Aren't they AMAZING?!  I cannot get enough of them.

My favorite part of the whole process?
They take PayPal.

I've been to many a site to buy things and have left after realizing they don't take PayPal as a form of payment. I know that I can make secure purchases when I see that yellow PayPal clicker in the checkout page.  Are you the same way?  Not only can you make secure purchases but did you know that PayPal offers Return Shipping On Us (up to $30 in return shipping costs per order and 12 orders per calendar year), offers digital gift cards, and, my favorite, offers One Touch, where you can pay for your items without having to enter credit card or billing information.  I can purchase all my favorite things at a click of a button!

Shirt - Pink Blush // Jeans - Levi's // Booties - Pink Blush // Purse - Rebecca Minkoff // Scarf - Daisy Faye Designs

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.