Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Happy Valentine's Day | a session with my boys

Just for fun, I did a little Valentine's Photo Session with the boys. We used these pictures for Valentine's cards for family and for Jonah's school Valentine. I also posted about the backdrop of heart doilies that only cost me about $5 total with plenty left over! I can't wait to get out this Spring and do a lot of sessions, but during this cold slow season it's fun to play indoors using what natural light we have. 




I hope you enjoy your weekend and that it is filled with love, compassion, grace, and understanding. I know valentine's day isn't for everyone, but it is a time that we can show love to others for on other reason than that's what Jesus would do...heaping, undeserving amount of unconditional love. 



DIY Project List | dream. create. inspire


I feel like late winter/early spring is the prime time for DIY projects so I picked a few I thought were fun from last week's link up and my fellow host's blogs! Add these to your list for this year!






Welcome to Dream Create Inspire Party! Thanks so much for linking up with us. Each week you will come and share your favorite creative blog posts. You are more then welcome to link up to four posts each week. We do ask that you visit and comment on some of the other links. We will be featuring some of our favorites next week. I am looking forward to checking out your posts! Meet Your Party Hosts. This week we have a few new faces and I am so excited to have them join us.
Sarah | Alyson | Julie | Stephanie | Hilary | Holly | Sarah


3 Quick Tips for Battling Winter Skin

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 



I have written before about how my boys have inherited my sensitive skin and how we have to be careful of scents and chemicals that dry or irritate our skin. When I pick up my boys from my mom's after work, she'll mention some redness or new something that showed up on one of their faces. Since it's been cold though, everyday, every bath, we have to be proactive. Last year, Jonah's skin got so bad, I had to start using hydrocortisone cream to combat the discomfort he felt. Finally, it subsided as the humidity returned but now I thought I'd share some things we are using as a preventative this year and I will tell you that prevention is key because healing requires much more work (and whining on their part). I use most of these products on myself as well because like I said, they get it from their Mama. 

1. My go-to solution is Honest's organic healing balm


It's made with  plant-based botanicals known to soothe, calm, nourish and moisturize the skin, including coconut, olive, sunflower oils and shea butter. I use it on my hands, feet and cuticles before I go to bed, on my lips for a bit of extra moisture and even on my hair to fight frizz! I also love is that it's gentle enough for my boys' sensitive skin. It almost immediately soothes chapped cheeks and dry knees. 

If you're looking for an ultra-gentle yet highly-effective product, I definitely recommend trying out Honest's Organic Healing Balm. Your skin will be happy and once it's rubbed on, it doesn't stay sticky like some other protective skin treatments. 

2. Adding a bit of lavender essential oil to your bath or moisturizer. 


Apply 2–4 drops topically to skin irritations, cuts, or as needed. Here's how to use it for the babes. For us ladies, Essential Families suggests adding some lavender to your face lotion or serum. It is great for wrinkles or if your skin thinks it's a 13 year old, it's very calming for those irritated spots. 

3. Organic Body Oil by Honest
This light, soothing blend includes sustainably grown and certified organic jojoba, tamanu, olive, avocado, and sunflower oils to leave skin silky and nourished. It's great for skin of all ages. Perfect anytime, especially after bath or shower. Rub on skin to moisturize and soften. Or add a drop to body lotion for an extra emollient hydration. Great for baby massage and pregnant bellies. 

We use this as a carrier and massage oil to add drops of essential oils to after bath and at bed time. We use it on our feet and rub the left over all over! I personally use it with Frankincense Essential Oil on the backs of my hands, face and neck after a shower. It does not leave my skin oily and I am able to apply make-up after letting it dry just a few minutes. 

Hope you find this helpful if you are searching for some winter skin help! Spring hurry! 


What are your tricks to keeping you skin soft during the cold months? 

52 Week of Us | Week 5


 Ari. Our first born.


If you haven't "met" the oldest man of the house, this is Ari, He's a Lab/Chow mix (as far as we can tell) that we rescued from the mean, cold streets of rural Arkansas 7 years ago last month. He was 7-8 weeks old at the time, cute, sweet, and covered in mange. We should have never kept him in our apartment lifestyle, but it worked out and he's still waking us up at 3 am to tell us there's a cat crossing the street or just because he's bored. I am telling you. no. one sleeps in our house, but we are thankful that he protects us from all the bad guys! 

If you've ever read the book or watched the movie, Marley and Me, then you know Ari, because he is our Marley. I don't look forward to him getting older, he is helping us raise our boys one spilled bowl of cereal at a time. Ezra and Ari are BIG buddies. They get in all kinds of trouble sharing crackers and dog treats. lol (yes you read that right - insert eye roll and laugh/cry emoji) 


linking up on photo friday


The Honest Company

DIY Valentine Decor + Photo Backdrop


Last year, we ( my sister andrea and I)  decided to try out the kissing booth idea for Valentine photos and it turned out really cute considering how chaotic it was. Ezra was so tiny still and didn't make the photos, and I was pretty freshly back to work and exhausted! So, this year I decided to simplify and create a Valentine's photo at home and BONUS it doubles as decor for the playroom, which I can't wait to show you all how it's been transformed and organized! I just need a little more time to get some things on the walls! 


We are using a twin bed in a "daybed" type set up in the playroom so it takes up a majority of the main wall you see as you walk into the playroom. Because I didn't want to use a lot of tape on the walls to hang this temporary decor, I used four command hooks, two on each side toward the end of the bed. This was VERY inexpensive, especially for the impact it makes.


Supplies: 


  • 4 Command Hooks (for walls)
  • Bakers twine (but any string will work)
  • Clear tape
  • Heart doilies (3 packs, 1 white, 1 pink, 1 red) 
    • These came in packs of 40 for $1 - so since I had everything else already, I spent 3 dollars and I still have about 100 heart doilies to use for other projects! 



I laid out the doilies on the floor backside up, eyeballing how long I'd want each strand to be. Then, I rolled out the twine and cut it a bit longer than the length I though I'd need. Then using the clear tap I taped the sting to the back of the doilies.  I hung the the bottom two stands from the bottom hooks, just making a loop and knot with the string, and then the top two from the top hooks. I did have to use a few pieces of tape on the wall in the middle of the strands just to keep them from blowing around.

I love how it turned out for just fun Valentine Decor and for a photo backdrop!



More of our Valentine photo shoot coming next week! In the mean time, check out my ideas for a non-candy DIY Valentine Goodie Bag










8 Valentine's Recipes | dream. create. inspire.



Welcome to Dream Create Inspire Party! Thanks so much for linking up with us. Each week you will come and share your favorite creative blog posts. You are more then welcome to link up to four posts each week. We do ask that you visit and comment on some of the other links. We will be featuring some of our favorites next week. I am looking forward to checking out your posts! Meet Your Party Hosts. This week we have a few new faces and I am so excited to have them join us.


Hilary | Holly | Sarah




52 Weeks of Us | Week 4

My baby boy. 

Project 52
At 16 Months, Ezra is 24 lbs 7 oz and 2 ft 7 in

He just turned 16 months old on Friday and is growing so quickly these days, physically and developmentally. He's saying so many more words now than he has been but mostly just babbles still. He's rambunctious and loves to climb and dance and do those two things at the same time apparently. He is paying brother back for all the abuse he took when he wasn't so fast! We warned him it was coming. So, as much as we tell Jonah to stop, be gentle, we are telling Ezra twice as much.

He has a fire, this one. I can't wait to see what he does with it.


Bamboo Button Drool Bibs | Review


Thank you Bamboo Button for providing us with these super cute bibs for our littlest guy. We are putting them to good use!



Ezra has not been much of a bib wearer. We try but he can usually get them off without much effort because this guy has the strength and determination of  a bull. However, he is a huge mess maker. He is determined to feed himself and drink out of straw (non-spill proof) cups anytime we are out or happen to be using one ourselves. I found though, that when I put these on him and get it snapped and turned down properly on his chest, he doesn't mind them. Maybe it's a comfort thing, because they are so so soft.


The bibs have a soft 100% cotton front and a polyester fleece backing so they absorb drool and keep it from soaking through. They do a pretty good job on tears too since it's pretty inevitable that this little 15 almost 16 month old sheds his fair share of those these days! Life is hard for this bitty boy when he JUST can't get what he wants.... like permission to jump from the ottoman to the couch. 

I am so grateful for baby products that make everyday life just a little easier! You can find more information about Bamboo Buttons by checking them out on their website and instagram. They are currently having a great sale too.



5 Must-Do DIYs for this Spring | Dream Create Inspire Link Party


I just love so many of the things I found browsing through last week's links and I can't wait to do these projects myself! I have been on a roll with the help of my sister organizing our space. We accomplished the boy's room/closet and our playroom! This week I will be looking for some printables (mostly free) for the playroom, so don't be afraid to link those up! You might just see them on our walls next week! Here are 5 Must-Do DIY Projects I loved from last's week's link party!  




and here are just some of my favorite things we have seen from out hosts recently: 



Welcome to Dream Create Inspire Party! Thanks so much for linking up with us. Each week you will come and share your favorite creative blog posts. You are more then welcome to link up to four posts each week. We do ask that you visit and comment on some of the other links. We will be featuring some of our favorites next week. I am looking forward to checking out your posts! Meet Your Party Hosts. This week we have a few new faces and I am so excited to have them join us.
Hilary | Holly | Sarah