Our laundry room reno

This post is about our yearlong DIY laundry room reno, so if you’re 100% NOT interested in home DIY, this post might not be for you. 🙂 Not photography related, but HEY it’s my blog. It’s a glorious thing.

It’s no secret that I love a good house project. Jake has always been handy and a sucker for some good construction, but it all started to go downhill in 2020 when I decided that I, too, wanted to man handle some power tools. We were locked in the house during Covid times, with a newborn, and while I’m generally OKAY with our house, I’ve never been obsessed with it. So we decided to use the time at home as an opportunity to turn our space into a place we could love. I became a little manic watching DIY accounts on Instagram and convinced Jake to buy me some new saws and that was the beginning of the end.

Over the course of 2022 (omg an ENTIRE YEAR) we slowly, SLOWLY worked our way through remodeling our laundry room. It was in rough shape when we moved in back in 2018, and we were craving some extra storage. Here’s a picture of the laundry room when we bought the house.

Here is a list of the things we did!

  • Ripped out previous cabinets and the drop ceiling above the washer/dryer and replaced them with new cabinets from Prime Cabinetry
  • Removed and replaced all baseboards + trim
  • Busted out the floor tiles and replaced them with floor that almost matched the rest of the house (the tile in the rest of the house is discontinued so we bought as close a match as we could find and hoped for the best)
  • Created a beadboard accent wall with pegs to hang bags and keys
  • Built a corner floor-to-ceiling cabinet for extra storage (SO MUCH STORAGE!) – bought the doors from Cabinet Doors
  • Painted the room (the beadboard + trim in Ultra White, the walls in SW White Duck)
  • Got bored and repainted the room (everything SW Retreat)
  • Painted the corner cabinet (Ultra White to match the washer/dryer cabinets as best we could)
  • Used these knobs and pulls on the cabinets – I love them!
  • Didn’t want to scrape the popcorn ceiling, so we opted to drywall over it. Was it the best decision, IDK but here we are
  • Wallpapered the ceiling (and lost our damn minds in the process)
  • Replaced the light fixture with this beauty
  • Added moulding around the ceiling
  • Replaced the doorknob
  • Hung a wooden dowel to connect between cabinets, for hang drying clothes
  • Tiled a backsplash behind the washer + dryer
  • Built a shelf above washer + dryer for easy access to laundry detergent (and to hide outlets, hoses, etc.)
  • Added a little DIY herringbone pattern to the laundry room door

If you’re here for the pictures, I don’t blame you – feel free to scroll and check it all out. If you’re interested in some more details about the process, keep reading! It’s not in chronological order, so don’t get confused. 🙂

This whole project started when our laundry room flooded. Three times. We clearly had some plumbing issues. After Jake found the problem and fixed it (my hero), we said “Well… I guess the laundry room is next.” One day when Jake was at work. I got tired of looking at the HORRIBLE baseboards in our laundry room, so I ripped them out. Now we had no choice but to keep moving. Works every time…

I did an Instagram poll and the VAST majority of people voted against our decision to paint the room monochromatic. And I get it – it’s trendy and can be an acquired taste. My choice to do it anyway was mostly because I’M SO BORED. The rest of our house is almost entirely white. I love it, and I don’t want to change any of that. But I wanted to make one BOLD decision, to have one space that felt like a risk. And I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect kick in the butt I needed.

I tiled the backsplash behind the washer + dryer one day while Jake was at work. We had all the tiles leftover from when previous owners remodeled the kitchen. So this was an extremely low cost project. It was my first time tiling, and I thought it was fun!

The stain on the shelf + the drying rod didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned… I was hoping for something a little more natural and less red-toned, but it was one of those moments where “good enough” was good enough.

The floor-to-ceiling cabinet is all thanks to Jake. When I told him I wanted a cabinet there, I was expecting to buy one… they were SO expensive, so Jake suggested we build it ourselves. He created a plan, and walked me through how we would do it. I told him I didn’t like it, and I suggested another way to do it because I’m a know it all who watches DIYers on Instagram and think I can do anything. (He’s a patient soul. Love you, boo.) Needless to say, we went with his plan and it turned out perfectly.

The wallpaper on the ceiling was something that came to me a little later on in the process. I kept it to myself for a while, not sure if Jake would be down for it since the project was already taking us so long. But when we got close to finishing, I could tell he was also looking at the ceiling. The popcorn ceiling was ruining the whole space for me. So I pitched the idea and he loved it. You guys….wallpapering that ceiling was MISERABLE. I don’t know if it was the wallpaper experience in general that I hated (it was my first time with wallpaper), or if doing it on the ceiling is what made it so unenjoyable. Regardless, we were so frustrated and so DONE with it, that we were no longer looking for perfection. There are definitely problem spots, and it doesn’t look amazing. But, it does achieve my vision and I’m happy we did it. The light fixture and the wallpaper compliment each other beautifully. Just don’t look too closely.

We are so happy with how the space turned out. All that’s left is… I need to buy a new rug. And a new clothes hamper. Don’t tell Jake. If you follow along on Instagram, please know that your messages + encouragement make every project we do extra fun. xoxo!

Personality Portraits, Lubbock Family Photographer

There are absolutely occasions for full family photos (gotta have some #proofofmom), but for this moment in time take a sec to imagine something with me…

It’s picture day, and you don’t have to get yourself ready. You might even let your kids pick their outfits, because this one’s all about THEM. While your kids laugh and make fart noises in front of the camera, you sip your Mimosa in peace while wearing your athleisure.

Hell yes.

Okay, let me back up and explain. Do you ever do the side-by-side comparison photos of “first day of school” and “last day of school”? I do, but I’m a sentimental wreck of a human so it’s always a weepy and snotty experience for me. Our kids change SO MUCH throughout the course of those 9 months. They have school pictures taken early in the school year, but by May our babies are so GROWN!

Those side-by-side iPhone shots are great and are to be treasured for sure… but wouldn’t it be special to have some professional end-of-school photos to documate (document + celebrate, try to keep up) the end of school?

I’m talking…
black + white.
simple, clean backdrop.
perfectly timeless without being stuffy.

Enter Personality Portraits. These short sessions are coming up on April 15 and I’m SO excited for this fun experience. Short, 10 minute sessions for each of your littles and you’ll have photos that are begging to be blown up and framed for your living room walls! 

The bad news: there are a very limited number of spots available

The good news: if you hustle to secure your spot, I will personally hand you your Mimosa when you arrive on April 15.

Get more information by clicking HERE or feel free to send me an email! I’d love to connect and learn about your family!

Lifestyle Newborn Session Checklist

Lifestyle newborn sessions are my favorite. If you’re a sentimental sucker like me, photos of your favorite people in your own home are a sure way to tug on your heartstrings. I also find that kids are sometimes more excited about photos when they get to take them on their turf! At my most recent newborn session, the kids showed me ALL the things, and were SO cooperative because they got to run away to play legos or Uno, and then come back again. Of course they would do anything for some baby brother snuggles. 🙂 If you’ve got a little one on the way, here are some things to keep in mind when prepping for your in-home session: keep scrolling for a lifestyle newborn checklist, and also a peek at a recent session!

  1. Feed and change baby right before your session is set to start. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really helpful! The more comfortable and happy baby is, the more likely he/she is to sleep throughout our time together… or, at least be content. Baby B in this recent session had too much FOMO to sleep, but we got some great photos of his precious wide eyes.
  2. Open all the blinds and turn off overhead lights. It might sound counterintuitive to turn off the lights, but your photographer isn’t looking for just ANY light… we are looking for the BEST light, and we want to have control of it all. When I arrive at a client’s home, I want to use one light source. This allows for highlights + contrast in your photos, and a consistency of light + temperature. If there isn’t a lot of natural light in your house, I always bring a flash to supplement! Good lighting is top priority for great photos.
  3. Declutter the rooms with the best light, AND the rooms you most want photographed. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT deep clean your house. You are exhausted and overstimulated, possibly recovering from childbirth, and the last thing you need to worry about is making the house look great for your photographer. DON’T DO IT. Your photos will not show the hair on the floor or the dust on the baseboards. Leave it. The one thing I suggest is that you declutter. Throw all the crap on the nightstand into the drawer or closet.
  4. Dress the baby in simple, comfortable clothing. For lifestyle photos, I recommend keeping the outfit changes to a minimum. A simple onesie or sleeper, and a swaddle will do the trick. All the fluffy outfits are super cute, but they don’t always match the aesthetic of in-home photos. Plus, we really want baby to be comfortable and happy! This also makes outfit planning easier on you. 🙂
  5. RELAX! One of the benefits of taking photos in your own home is that it is so much more comfortable for you and your family. Turn on some music, let the kids set the playlist. There’s nothing stuffy about being in your living room, listening to their favorite songs and soaking up baby snuggles. One of the benefits of lifestyle newborn photos is how relaxed and authentic the experience is. Soak it up!

I hope this lifestyle newborn checklist helps you prepare for your upcoming newborn session! If you want to chat about working together to photograph YOUR family at YOUR home, please reach out! I’d love to meet you!

See another lifestyle newborn session here!

5 Kid-friendly adult hang outs in Lubbock

I am a weekly frequenter of ALL the kids play places in Lubbock. It is so helpful to be out of the house, and giving the girls opportunities to play with other kids is good for everyone. There are a few places around town that have become favorites for our family because they offer something for both the children AND the adults! If you need a break from CFA and the Science Spectrum, here are 5 of our favorite kid-friendly adult hang outs in Lubbock!

The Garden – Saturday mornings at The Garden have become a sacred time for our family during the summer months. There is an outdoor bar (stocked with Capri Suns for the kids), several yard games, and so much space for kids to run and play. The employees are the best, and often pull out bubbles and chalk for the littles. The downtown farmers market is right outside, a great place to treat the kids to some treats and support local artists. On the other side of The Garden, in Buddy Holly Plaza, there is a FREE yoga class that happens typically during the month of June! You will often see some kids trying out their warrior poses! Highly recommend trying it out.

Joe’s Crab Shack – There aren’t a ton of outdoor restaurants in Lubbock that are kid-friendly. We love going to Joe’s Crab Shack for drinks + snacks. They have a huge outdoor patio where we always sit, so the kids can run and enjoy their playground! The restaurant is rarely busy, so the stress and pressure of getting our children to behave is never an issue.

Taco Villa – Taco Villa off Milwaukee has become another favorite for our little fam! There is a great play place that keeps the kids entertained while the adults enjoy some chips + queso and margaritas. Children are everywhere, making this spot as kid-friendly as they come.

Sugar Browns – Did you know that Sugar Browns off Indiana has a small play space for kids? There is a little enclosed toy kitchen that can keep my girls preoccupied for an hour while I sip my coffee. My kids also love to split one of their chocolate donuts as a special little treat! Highly recommend!

Two Docs – Bring some chalk and snacks for the kids, and you’ll be set. Two Docs is our speed – corn hole, food trucks and often live music. It’s outdoor laid back vibes makes this one of our favorite Lubbock spots. We love meeting friends at Two Docs on warm days, and letting the kids run and play.

I hope you’ll enjoy these 5 kid-friendly adult hang outs in Lubbock! Where does YOUR family like to hang out? Send me your recommendations and I’ll do another post to share more ideas!

1 Easy Tip for Beautiful Family Photos

We’re coming up on SPRING! Spring is a great time of year to book a family session: it’s not too hot, not too cold, and the blooms are lovely. So as you head into your family session, I’ve got 1 easy tip to ensure your photos are a step up.

Let your photographer set your session time.

Your photographer will know the best time of day for the best light. And when you get to your location, your photographer will know where to shoot to take full advantage of that beautiful light!

For me, I love to shoot at sunrise and sunset. I have found that the first two hours after sunrise and the two hours leading up to sunset work best for me and my style. The sun is pretty and glowy, which leads to images that are soft + airy. Sometimes this time of day is tricky with kids, and I get it!!! During the summer, when sunset is much later, I really can’t stomach the idea of photographing my kids at bedtime. That’s a recipe for disaster! In these cases I’m happy to make some adjustments. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for how (and where) to shoot when the sun isn’t quite as soft as I’d prefer.

So as you approach your next family photo session, remember this one easy tip for getting beautiful photos! Trust your photographer! Don’t have your next session on the books? Reach out, I’d love to hear from you!

Lubbock family photographer

Want to see more? Check out this post!