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Happy Tuesday blog fam! Since July I've been working on furnishing my first home, and I am so happy to share with you my living room with you today. With living in Utah to Arizona to Texas to Pennsylvania we have lived like college students, and our apartments reflected that lifestyle. 

Since I have never done anything close to interior design the thought of decorating my living room without help of a professional seemed like foreign territory. I can style a shoot from start to finish, but when it comes to real spaces my brain freezes up. 

My first task was to decide on the color scheme of the room, and if it wasn't for my husband there would be pink everywhere. Since a baby pink couch wouldn't resonate with my doctor of a husband I decided on a more gender neutral color scheme of grey, blues, and golds. After I battled myself with the color scheme I did what any other girl would do for inspiration. Head to Pinterest. From Pinterest I created boards of inspiration, and from that I started searching for the perfect pieces for the room. 

Bookcase: Wayfair (also here)
Top Shelf - Circle Sculpture: Homegoods
Second Shelf - Jar: Homegoods (very similar here and here) / Books: Lauren Conrad Beauty, Todd's Midwestern Dental School Book, and thrifted blue book / Frame: Homegoods 
Third Shelf - Flowers: Michaels / Vase: Thrifted at a local shop / Tray: TJ Max (similar here
Fourth Shelf - Marble Box: Homegoods (similar here, and here) / Vase: Homegoods (similar here, here, here) / Books: Living in Style Rachel Zoe , Bodyvoyage thrifted, and Surgical Approaches to the Facial Skeleton
Since my living room has vaulted ceilings I wanted to find pieces that could hold the space of this airy room. I saw this bookcase on Wayfair, and it screamed modern-glam. Saw it. Loved it. Bought it. 

When it came to decorating the bookshelf I made sure it was representative of both Todd and I. All the objects have the girly glamor that screamed Jessica while maintaining Todd's voice with books on surgery and medicine.

White Minky Blanket: SheSewClassy c/o / Blanket Basket: Target
Since I am all about snuggling on the couch no room is complete with blankets. I got the softest blanket in from an Easy shop called SheSewClassy, and it has become my number one snuggler for movie nights. 

TV Stand: DIY post here / TV Stand handles: Hook and Knob c/o / Art: Minted here and here c/o / Vase Stand: DIY per Todd / Vase: Thrifted
When I started ordering in things for the room one of my pieces that came in was the two art pieces from Minted. Todd and I knew we wanted two pieces to frame our DIY tv stand, and we scoured the Minted site for the perfect match. We saw these two gorgeous art pieces that had a mixture of blue, and gold that matched our room perfectly. The different shades of blue in the art tied in multiple pieces from the room. The best part of Minted is that they frame, and matte the art for you making life so much easier. If you have never tried minted I HIGHLY recommend them. 

Curtain Rod: Target / Curtains: Bed Bath and Beyond (comes in multiple colors - mine is in slate)
Side Table: Facebook Market place for $5! / Lamp: Hobby Lobby from my office (post here) / Chair: Wayfair / Blanket: TJ Maxx / Pillow: TelunaLife c/o
When it comes to my personal style I absolutely love mixing together patterns, and that can be seen all throughout my living room. I am a big advocate that no room/outfit is complete without a little animal print, and this pillow from TelunaLife was the perfect addition for my navy accent chair. 

Bowl: Homegoods (similar here, here, herehere, and here)
Frames: Target / Couch: Ashley Home Furniture / Rug: Wayfair / Coffee Table: Wayfair / Prism: Homegoods (similar here)
While I was unsure at first of the design of the room, one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a gallery wall of my favorite pictures of Todd and I. I was super picking on finding frames for the gallery wall, and it took me a couple months to find the perfect ones for the right price. The winners ended up coming from Target, and they ended up working out perfectly! 

Furry Home Pillows: GHomePillows c/o / Sequin Pillow: Anekdesigns c/o / Fawn Pillow: ThePillowCoverStore c/o
One of the debates Todd and I had was on the throw pillows. If Todd could have his way he would only have two pillows on the couch. Since men don't really have a choice in the design process ;) I had quite a pillow addiction. To me the pillows add texture, color, and are a beautiful layering element. The first pillow I got in were the blue/grey furry ones from GHomePillows, and quickly became the favorite sleeping pillows for Django and Renly. Next I got in these gorgeous Fawn pillows from ThePillowCoverStore, and act as a neutral design. Finally I added more spice with two single accent pillows. The gold sequin pillow from anekdesigns was an obvious choice since gold is pretty dominate in the room. The sequins give that added texture and dimension. The final pillow was this gorgeous animal print one from PillowTimeGirls.

Leopard Pillow: PillowTimeGirls c/o
Florals: Robert Lawrence Designs c/o / Coasters: NYCN Designs c/o / Tray: Target / Candle: Homegoods
One of the final touches I added to the room was adding some decor to the top of the coffee table. I love love love having fresh flowers in the house, but lets be real, with having faux flowers you'll save yourself weekly trips to the market. I got in this gorgeous floral piece from a fellow texan Robert Lawrence Designs. 

With having a glass coffee table I quickly learned that coasters are a MUST to prevent me from cleaning condensation off my table everyday. I got in these gorgeous gold and marble coasters in from NYCN designs, and they aren't only beautiful but functional as well. 

Chandelier: Hudson Valley Lighting c/o
Definitely saving the best for last. The first thing that I got for the room was the GORGEOUS chandelier in from Hudson Valley Lighting. When the truck came to my house to unload my chandelier I was beyond giddy with joy. You know you are adulting hard when waiting for a chandelier is the most exciting part of your week. When the electricians came to put up the chandelier I was ecstatic to say "bye Felicia" to the previous fan light. #ripfan

 The hardest part about finding a light for the room was going on the Hudson Valley Lighting site, and deciding the best chandelier when they are all gorgeous! It honestly has become such a key piece in the room, and made me realize how important lighting is when it comes to designing a room. 
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Bodysuit: Free People / Skirt: Free People (also here, here, here, and here) / Hat: Free People / Boots: Ivanka Trump / Bag: Yoome / Lips: Lipsense - 1x Praline Rose 1x Goddess 1x Praline Rose with Rose Gloss
Since it's #fbf let us take a trip down memory lane to a time where Clueless was the best movie EVER,  "As If" was a saying, and plaid skirts were a closet staple of the 90s. 

I love everything 90s because it reminds me of my childhood, and this season is going to be filled with fashionable pieces from the 90s with a modern twist. I am personally excited for all the plaid, logo tees, Levi jeans, and buckled boots. 

Recently I went onto Ebay to find some 90s pieces for the fall, and they had so many pieces to choose from. Recently I've been wanting a plaid mini to pair with some OTK boots, and found this Free People one that was a fraction of the original price! Since we just bought a house I am on a strict budget, and Ebay has become my recent go-to place to find killer deals on the latest trends. My next purchase from Ebay is going to be a Levi's cut off skirt that will be perfect to pair with an oversized logo tee. 

What's your favorite trend from the 90s?

This post is in collaboration with eBay. All opinions and selections are my own!
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Hi blog fam! It's been a whole week since I've blogged, and quite frankly it was nice to take a social media break. Don't worry.... this girl is back on the blog! #missedyall . 

Since it's been raining straight for 30 days (thanks Pennsylvania *** hints of sarcasm) I've been doing lots of cooking in my kitchen to pass the time. I love trying out new recipes that I find on Pinterest, and modify them to fit my palette. Recently I came across this paleo friendly cookie recipe, and decided to give it a try. I added my own spin on it of course, and came up with something I think you'll love.

What I love about this recipe is that it's super easy to make, and has almost a "banana muffin" taste. One thing I wish I did to sweeten up this recipe more was to add some chocolate chips into it because this GIRL-HAS-GOT-TO-LIVE. 

If you ever try any of my recipes I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments. Happy Wednesday y'all! PS big shout out to my bday girl AE in Texas. AE was my first friend in Texas, and I owe so much to her because of all the kindness and love she showed me. Miss you AE, and wish I could have celebrated with you. 


Coconut Banana CookiesIngredients 
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut ( if you want a sweeter cookie go for the sweetened version)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs of coconut cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup almonds
  • Optional: 2 tbs of almond butter
  • Optional: 1 tbs of ave or honey
  • Optional: 3 tbs chocolate chips
  • Optional: extra coconut to act as a topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor combine bananas, shredded coconut, almonds, coconut cream, and vanilla extract. If using almond butter and agave add in as well. Blend until mixture is creamy.
  3. After the mixture is creamy blend in the egg white.
  4. If using chocolate chips stir them into the mixture. 
  5. Take some parchment paper, and place on a baking sheet. 
  6. Place spoonfuls of the batter on the sheet, and shape them into circles.
  7. Optional to add coconut to act as a topping. 
  8. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  9. Take out of the oven, and let them cool for 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!


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I'm not going to lie I'm still not feeling 100% from my week long sickness, but I managed to make myself productive to type up this blog post. As I've been lying in my bed I've been doing tons of social media scrolling, and came across a version of this recipe that immediately made me salivate. I eat really healthy, but when it comes to dessert I'm doomed. I love love love me some ice cream, and I am always looking for healthy/low calorie alternatives that will satisfy my sweet tooth. 

Since I'm still going dairy free I wasn't able to partake in the devouring of this greek yogurt bark, but my husband said it was delicious! I decided to choose strawberries and blueberries since they were on sale at my local grocery store, but you can honestly add any fruit! To sweeten up this dessert a little more I added drizzles of agave, and low fat graham cracker crumbles. #nomnomnom. This recipe is honestly so easy to prepare, and is the perfect "little something" to indulge in without feeling guilty.  


Greek Yogurt Bark RecipeIngredients
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • 32 oz Chobani vanilla greek yogurt
  • Agave or honey
  • Low fat graham crackers crumbled
  • Parchment paper
Directions
  1. Clean and cut your fruit.
  2. In a pan place parchment paper, and spread yogurt over the paper. 
  3. Place fruit and graham cracker crumbles into the yogurt, and pressing gently so that it freezes into the yogurt. 
  4. Drizzle agave over the yogurt mixture. 
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours, and then break the bark once fully frozen.
  6. Last but not least, eat, and enjoy!
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Dress: Shein (only $20, and comes in 2 other colors!) c/o / Bag: Amazon / Shoes: Free People / Sunnies: Quay / Necklaces: Baublebar c/o + Alixandra Collections c/o / Lips: NARS - Orgasim
Hi blog fam......

Yes I am still alive! I must apologize for a week long absences, but I've been sick in bed all week. When I get sick I cannot function, and unfortunately my blog suffers. Good news is I'm feeling better, and well! Wanted to stop by to share this outfit I wore a couple weeks ago. With summer coming to a close I'm sad to say bye to all my maxi's. Even though I haven't been a huge fan of living in Pennsylvania something tells me that I'm going to love fall here. Almost time to whip out the booties!
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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #Myvitaminwater #vwlabelcontest #CollectiveBias

After a month long of continuous rain we finally had a weekend where there was no rain! My heart has been longing to play outside since the 4th of July, and was beyond excited when the weather forecast read "clear skies" for the weekend. 

Todd has been wanting to go hike Rickett's Trail in Benton Pennsylvania since one of his fellow residents said it was a cool hike with tons of waterfalls. Since I love to stay active I was immediately down for the idea of hiking a trail full of waterfalls. 

We decided to wake up early on Saturday morning to head out for our adventure. Our first stop was at our local Target where we grabbed some vitaminwater to replenish our electrolytes, and trail mix to fill Todd's belly for our hike. I'm not normally into sports drinks because of all the calories, but the Zero squeezed lemonade has 0 calories in the bottle, and still has the added vitamins in it. 


Once we left Target it was then off to Benton. The drive took us about an hour to reach Benton, and I pretty much napped the whole time in the passenger seat. Once we got on the trail I felt immediately at peace with being back in the wild. The trail was filled with so many waterfalls, and all varied in size. If you live in Pennsylvania I highly recommend doing this hike because I have never seen a trail with this many waterfalls! 

If you have any suggestions of any more adventures in Pennsylvania I would love to hear about them so I can add it to our adventure list!


Just like adventures are endless for Todd and I in Pennsylvania so is the chance in creating your own label for vitaminwater! Click here to enter the "Label Me a Winner Contest."

Here's how to enter:

Create a unique vitaminwater label. Have fun with it! Once you created your unique label share it on either Twitter or Instagram, and use the hashtag #vwlabelcontest. Here's an example of a label I created.





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1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11

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 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AnIceCreamForThat  #TheresAnIceCreamForThat  #CollectiveBias



Each day Todd and I are getting closer and closer to finishing our living room and my office.  I can't wait to share the finished product with y'all. Todd and I have been working day and night to get everything finished for fall. A typical night for us consists of Todd coming home from work, and us working in the garage nailing and painting away. When we finally hang up our tool belt for the night we rewards ourselves with a yummy dinner. We then spend the rest of our night indulging in a dessert I prepared while enjoying the summer weather as a way to reward ourselves for our hard work.

While I eat super clean, dessert has always been my weakness in life especially when it comes to ice cream, but life is too short to not indulge! Last month I decided to stop eating dairy to see if it can help clear up my adult acne, which has prevented me from eating my favorite summer dessert. I then started looking into alternative dairy desserts, and found that my new grocery store Giant has Häagen-Dazs® non-dairy ice cream! Click here to get $.75 off your purchase!




I decided to give the non-dairy Häagen-Dazs a try, and was so amazed how delicious and creamy the ice cream was! Other ice cream brands will use soy or nut based milk as the base causing the overall flavor to taste like the base despite other flavors added. Häagen-Dazs does it differently by using simple and pure ingredients for their base flavor resulting in a non-dairy ice cream that tastes like actual ice cream! For all my readers out there who are dairy free this is the answer to your ice cream prayers.

One night I decided to get a little creative after working in the garage, and made this yummy dessert for Todd. Little did he know that he was indulging on ice cream that was non-dairy ;)

Non Dairy Ice Cream Bites Recipe

Ingredients 
  • Häagen-Dazs non-dairy ice cream in the flavor of your choice ( I used peanut butter chocolate fudge and salted fudge truffle).
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • Peanuts chopped
  • Sticks
Recipe
  1. Take some wax paper, and place on top of a pan. 
  2. Let ice cream soften on the counter, and then use a melon baller to scoop out pieces. 
  3. Places balls onto the wax paper.
  4. Place pan in the freezer for the ice cream to harden for at least an hour. 
  5. Take balls out and place a stick into the center of each. 
  6. Put back in freezer for another 30 minutes.
  7. When the balls are ready microwave chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat until chocolate has melted. 
  8. Take balls out, drizzle them with chocolate, and top with peanuts.
  9. Put the balls back into the freezer, and allow them to harden for an hour.
  10. One balls have hardened take them out to enjoy :)

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This post came sooner than planned, but I am so excited to be sharing with you this DIY for refinishing a TV stand / buffet. I have to give credit where credit is due, and have to thank the real MVP Todd for doing  80% of the work on this project. We are getting closer and closer to revealing our living room design, and I can't freaking wait to show y'all! 

When I first started curating the design for the living room one of the pieces I had the hardest time finding was a TV console that was navy, tall enough to hold a space in the vaulted living room, felt modern, and was slim enough so it didn't protrude too much from the wall (per Todd's request). Honestly I couldn't find anything close to what I was envisioning, and also fit within our budget (big shout out to our mortgage for sucking us dry #itsfineimfineeverythingsfine). 

Back when I was redesigning my office (posts here) I had to stick within a budget, and from that is where I learned that I love refinishing furniture. When I redid my office was during a time when Todd was away for a week, and did all the work myself. With having Todd around for this made the finished product 10x better since he pays so much attention to detail. 

I am so in love with how the finished product turned out, and that it was a project we worked on together. If you are looking for a DIYfor a TV stand on a budget keep reading below. 

Art: Minted here and here (each is 30x40) c/o / Handles: Hook and Knob c/o / White Box: Home Goods (similar here, here, here, and here) / Gold Sphere: Amazon
Thrifting for the Perfect Piece

When we both decided that we would refinish a buffet or console we immediately started to search for the perfect piece on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and thrift stores. When I lived in Arizona the thrift stores were golden, and found so many amazing pieces for my office. In Pennsylvania the thrift stores were all a bust, and lacked a variety of furniture. A couple weeks went by, and ended up finding the buffet on Facebook marketplace. They were originally asking $35, but Todd talked the owner down to $30! 

Pro Tip: When you are first learning how to thrift be aware that it may take a little while to find the perfect piece. Give it some time, and search diligently online and thrift stores regularly. 

What to Look for When Thrifting
You can find some gems out there when thrifting, and can do a 360 transformation if you have bare bones to work with. The types of things you want to look for are:

Pieces that are real wood.
No deep scratches.
Furniture matches the dimensions of your space and your trunk (if this buffet was one inch bugger theres no way that we could have fit it in our car)
Look for potential not perfection. 
Are the repairs more than you want to take on?

Here's the before image of the console we bought. What attracted us to this piece was that it was solid wood, had a glass door that would be perfect for us to put our dvd and Apple TV in, had storage where we could put dvds, and was roughly the height and width we were looking for. 

Cutting the Depth of the Console
Tools
  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Measuring tape
The console was originally to deep for what we wanted so Todd decided to saw ten inches off the console. This is probably a step that isn't necessary for most people, but just know it's always an option. Since the back of the console was plywood we removed it first by unscrewing it, and placed it to the side to be used as the back for the new console. Todd took a hand saw, and cut the console in half. A power saw would have worked better, but the hand saw was all we had. Funny enough, the trash half of the console worked as Todd's work bench. 

Since the shelves were going to be too deep for the new console we had to cut those as well. We saved the extra wood from the shelves for legs later on in this post. 

Sanding 
Tools
  • 60 grit sand paper $4
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand plane
You can probably tell by the image quality that I finally remembered to grab my DSLR camera at this  point in the DYI tutorial (photographer fail). 

To prep our console for sanding we removed the shelves, doors, hardware, and the top/bottom moldings off the console. You can use either a screw driver or drill to take off everything.


The top and bottom moldings read "old" to us so we decided to remove them to make the console more mainstream. Once we removed the moldings Todd used a hand plane mixed with sanding to smooth out the wood. 


Both of us tackled sanding the whole console, doors, and shelves. 


Putty Work

Tools
  • Putty (we used DryDex. Won't crack. Can be sanded and painted) $6 each, and we used 2 for total of $12
  • 60 grit sand paper
  • Putty knife
When we were discussing how we could make this console more modern Todd came up with this idea. Todd told me that we could use putty to fill in the grooves on the console sides and doors to make the piece more mainstream. We took a putty knife and applied the putty generously in the areas we wanted to fill. Since we were going to put new hardware on the console we filled the previous hardware holes with putty. The putty we used takes a few hours to dry so we waited until the next day to sand or reapply more putty. Once we got the putty to fill the gaps seamlessly we sanded the dry putty to create a smooth surface. 

Making the console taller - Adding Legs

Tools
  • Wood for legs or can purchase premade legs at Lowe's or Home Depot. We used a piece of wood from Lowe's $10
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Nails
  • Wood that will act as a "covering" for the legs. We used wood from the shelves we cut earlier in this post. 
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post one of the things we were looking for in a console was a specific height. Our living room has vaulted ceilings, and need pieces of furniture that have some height to hold the space. The original form of the console was too short for what we were needing so we decided to add an additional legs to it. If you are planning to do this to your piece of furniture make sure that doing something like this will work for your piece, and not look like its sitting on stilts (you'll see what I mean soon). 

We got a piece of wood at Lowe's, and Todd cut it into 4 legs that matched the height we needed. Since this wood wasn't going to be seen we looked for something sturdy, and not necessarily pretty. 


We flipped the console over, and screwed in the new legs. If you look at the picture below the legs look a little funny, and the console looks like its sitting on stilts. 


To make the leg look seamless Todd cut the wood from the extra shelf wood to make a covering for the new leg. For the front legs he used two pieces to frame the leg so you wouldn't see the stick leg from the side. Once the legs were framed we then puttied the seams, holes, and allowed to dry over night. Once dried the putty was sanded for a smooth surface. 


Painting
Tools
  • Gallon of paint (we used one with a primer) $25
  • Tarp 
  • Paint brush
  • Damp rag
We finally made it to the best part! PAINTING!
For those new to painting make sure you do this before you paint. Vacuum or sweep up your painting area so it's clean of saw dust or dirt so nothing sticks to your paint. Also, wipe down everything you are painting with a damp rag. I learned this lesson the hard way a while ago, and ended up getting flakes of saw dust in my paint. 

Once everything is wiped down its time to get to painting! When we applied our first layer of paint we realized that the blue was too bright for what we were going for. The swatch inside of Lowe's looked darker in the inside light, but looked so bright in direct sun. Since we didn't want to buy more paint we went to Lowe's and they tinted our preexisting gallon a darker blue without charge. I am so glad we did that so the console didn't look like it needed to be in a nursery. 

We applied three coats to the console, shelves, and doors. 


Putting Everything Together - Ta Da Moment

Tools
  • Hardware - Handles. I got mine from Hook and Knob c/o. We got the 3 -7.5 inch ones at $6.99 each.
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
Here's where everything comes together. When the paint has dried reassemble your console (don't forget to place the original back on it). The part that made me so happy was these gorgeous handles from Hook and Knob. They also have different sizes if the 7.5 doesn't suit your piece. 

As you can see that it didn't take much money to turn this console into something completely different. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you got some ideas for your next project :)

Big thank you to Minted for providing the gorgeous artwork, and Hook and Knob for providing the gorgeous hardware for this post!



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Sorry for blog posts being absent during the middle of last week, but the rain rearranged all my plans for the week. 

Back when I was in Phoenix I did lots of blogger photography (my absolute favorite), and one of my old clients contacted me a couple weeks ago asking if I could go to New Jersey to shoot some extended family pictures for her. I pondered for a couple days whether I wanted to make the 4 hour drive for the shoot, and then decided to say ok since I need to build up my business here on the east coast. In reality a four hour drive isn't that long for me since I built up a 10 hour drive immunity back when I commuted from AZ-UT every 3 months. 

When I agreed to shoot in New Jersey I had one of my best friends Shannon in the back of my mind. Since her husband is from Jersey they go back every summer, and I was hoping that the stars would align so that my business trip and her family vacation would overlap. It's crazy how life works because whether it was fate or just pure luck it happened. 

My shoot was originally suppose to be on Tuesday, but because of the rain in Jersey we had to move it to Thursday. During this time Shan text me that she was going to arrive in Jersey on Wednesday, and was going to be there until Saturday. My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest because what are the chances that I was going to see one of my best friends of 17 years?! 

I woke up early on Thursday to go to the gym, and finally headed to New Jersey at 8 am. The drive felt like it took forever since I was giddy with joy to see Shannon! I arrived at her in laws at 12:30, and was greeted by my beautiful friend riding a 4 wheeler. I immediately took the backseat of her 4 wheeler, and we spent the next hour getting dirty as we drove through the mud. 

I spent the afternoon hanging with her and the family until I had to head to Sea Isle to shoot my clients family. You can follow my Jessica Edmunds Photography Instagram account here


When I got back from working I met Shan in Ocean City. I stayed with her from Thursday until I left to go home on Saturday. Seeing Shan was something I desperately needed because it gave me a piece of home, and took me back to a time where we lived careless and free. Our friendship is a beautiful thing because after the babies, getting married, going to college, and moving away we still have the friendship we made 17 years ago. People like this are a rare find, and feel so blessed to have them in my life. Love you Shan!


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