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think thrifted style shoot ~ mandi rocks some amazing vintage embellished jeans with the cutest monkey print top

You guys. This is one of my very favorite outfits I’ve ever put together. I love these pieces! And Mandi models it so well! Eeek. So cool! So pretty! Love.

First of all, we have this amazing top by Corey Lynn Calter for Anthropologie. It’s a whimsical tropical print with the cutest little monkeys you ever did see. :) The colors are soft and springy and gorgeous. And I thrifted it for an unbelievably low price. You guys will not even believe this. It was marked down to 79 cent! But wait. It had a white tag. Those were 50% off. Oh, you think that’s crazy?! Just wait…It still had the brand new $118 tag in it!!!!!! I cannot make this stuff up! I am gonna put the pic of the tags at the bottom just so you guys will believe me. :)But thennnn, aside from that amazing top, we have these jeans. Oh my. I am so obsessed with these. They’re Z. Cavaricci Authentic Hand Crafted Vintage – that’s a direct quote from the tag. :) I love them. Love, love, love! They seriously could not be more on trend. Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve noticed the huge trend of embellished denim that’s currently sweeping the fashion scene.Right before our shoot, I decided to let out the hems on these. My sweet and sassy Grams was happy to take her seam ripper to these while I was styling Mandi. So this coolness was a group effort. :) I love the result! (Also, Mandi found these rad heels at a thrift store!)Aside from the standout pieces like the top and jeans, it’s so nice to have some great basics on hand to really round out your outfits. This classic open cardigan in a soft neutral can be worn with so many outfits! It used to be easy for me to overlook the basics like this at thrift stores (how can you blame me, with cute monkey faces stealing my attention), but lately I’ve been seeking out higher quality staples to complete my wardrobe. Mandi loved this one I found for her, and I’m sure she will got a ton of wear out of it!
See, I told you I wasn’t lying! :)

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[…] think thrifted style shoot ~ mandi rocks some amazing vintage embellished jeans with the cutest monk… […]

think thrifted style shoot ~ my sis mandi : event outfits

Last weekend, I convinced my sis Mandi to pose for me in a little style shoot. When I say “little,” I mean I picked out a million outfits, had her try on a bunch of stuff, did her hair and makeup, we started shooting and ran out of daylight so I asked her nicely to come back at sunrise the next morning to finish… So yeah, not really “little” at all. But super fun!

Anyway, this all was inspired by a few things. One, of course I love finding cool pieces at thrift stores to style up and shoot (and sell, eventually). And also, when my nephew DJ graduated from basic training for the Navy last month, Mandi asked if she could wear this gorgeous Badgley Mischka skirt suit she knew I had thrifted awhile back and been hoarding. I thought that it would be perfect, and I set out to find her a top to wear with it. I love the texture of this pretty, dusty mauve pink shirt; and I adore how the long sleeves pool out of the three quarter length sleeves of the jacket. Mandi found the beautiful heels she is wearing here at a thrift store also. I thought she looked incredibly chic at the graduation! And I do have some photos from that day (which I might add later because I haven’t gone through them yet, shame on me), but the graduation was in Chicago and it was freezing and windy! So I wanted to grab a few pics in this outfit last weekend to show it off here. :)Then, a couple weeks ago, Mandi went to the ballet with a friend and was struggling with what to wear. We consulted over the phone several times and she actually ended up wearing the pink top from the outfit above with cream colored trousers. So pretty! But it got me thinking. Mandi has always had good style, in my opinion. Lately she has been a little more unsure of herself when it comes to fashion, because she has entered her early forties and worries about looking age appropriate. Now, here’s where I could say “just wear whatever you want to at whatever age, it’s fine!”…and I do sort of feel that way. But I myself am thirty-six now, and I find myself drawn toward more high quality pieces and different styles and colors than when I was younger. I think it’s a good thing to grow and mature in your style. And then when you are eighty, you can go back to wearing whatever the heck you want, age be damned! haha. Anyway, I do think this is harder when you are dressing for an event, such as the Navy graduation ceremony or the ballet. So, with that in mind, I came up with the outfit below as an option for a classy, cool lady to wear when you need to dress up a little but it’s not necessarily a formal gown occasion.These pants are wicked cool! They have two panels on each leg, over the actual pant leg. The panels are semi sheer and they move and flow in the most gorgeous way. This top is actually the only thing in this post that wasn’t found at a thrift store. But it was still a thrifty find! It’s a Lauren Ralph Lauren top I found at TJ Maxx on deep discount (gotta love those yellow tags!). I believe I paid six or eight dollars for this ninety-eight dollar top. :)I forgot the bag of jewelry when we went to take these photos, but I really think a couple of sparkly bracelets would complete this look beautifully. Luckily, Mandi’s gorgeous smile is enough to accessorize any outfit!Next week, I will share some of the (very, very cool) casual outfits we put together.

Love ya, sis! Thank you for modeling for me! <3

~abi~

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MandiMarch 6, 2017 - 6:32 am

Love love loved “modeling” for you!! You made me feel like a real model! Love love love you!

Ashley SalvoMarch 6, 2017 - 7:42 pm

Love you ladies! Very cute photo shoot. Hope you are both doing well.

[…] think thrifted style shoot ~ my sis mandi : event outfits […]

photo shoot ~ k’s maternity portrait session

These are my friends Daryl & Kristie (but I always call her K). They are too of the most caring people I’ve ever known, and some of the very best people I could think of to bring a child into this world. :) In fact, their sweet baby boy arrived last week, so I thought it was time I posted these images we captured just a few weeks ago. It was a foggy Sunday morning. We met at the Myriad Gardens downtown, and I am thrilled with how these turned out!I told K I think this was the first time I’d have a mama-to-be wear four inch heels for a maternity session! haha. Man, she rocked those heels though! Look how cute!I’ve had lots of girls tell me they aren’t sure how they feel about taking photos when they are all pregnant, and I totally get that. But I adore capturing the sweet emotions for couples during this exciting time for them!The fog was so pretty! But not as pretty as K. :)At the very end of the session, K asked if we could take some in the middle of a street. Uh, yes please! Love how these turned out! Good call, K. <3K & Daryl~

I am over the moon for you guys and your new baby boy!! Thank you for letting me do this shoot for you. You guys are so cute and honestly you’re two of the best-hearted (not a real word, but it describes you so well) people I know! Love you guys!

~abi~

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photo shoot ~ ellie’s newborn portait session

My dear friend Jamie has been featured on this blog several times before (here, here, and here), and today I’m sharing photos of her precious newborn, Ellie. Miss Ellie is the newest addition to their already too-cute-for-words little fam. :)

We started off the session with some photos of Ellie and her dad. So sweet!Then it was mommy time. :)And some of the three of them, while big brother Greyson was still napping.Greyson woke up from his nap and needed some mama snuggles before we took family photos.Aw! He is so handsome!See, how cute is this family?!?We ended the afternoon with just sweet baby Ellie on her own, snoozing. :)Because Jamie is a close friend of mine and I know she won’t mind me sharing this, I wanted to chat just a little about newborn sessions with me and the expectations and/or concerns you might have about doing one. When Jamie had her first baby, Greyson, we talked about possibly doing a newborn shoot of him, but Jamie chose not to because of some first-time-mommy jitters. Now, I’ve never had children, but I can totally respect that. I get it. It can be stressful to think of having to do some big photo shoot just a week or two after giving birth. I wanted to tell you all, like I told Jamie when she asked me about doing pix of Ellie: I am not a newborn photographer who comes in with a bunch of props and poses and wants to finagle your baby into unnatural angles just for the sake of a picture. I mean, have you ever seen a newborn sleep with their chin propped up on their fists? Have you?? Me either. So, we don’t do that. I don’t do poses that I have to manipulate a lot in person or via Photoshop. I come to your home and I might bring a couple things or I might not. I might bring a space heater or I might ask you to turn your heat up just a little to try to help your baby stay asleep while we are moving them around or changing them. I will use your sweet little blankets and the existing nursery and home decor you have put so much time and love into choosing. I will probably move stuff around near a window to try to get some nice lighting. I will be patient and calm, even if your baby just won’t stay asleep. I will do my best to reassure you that it’s okay, we will get some precious photos you will love. Because real life doesn’t look like that one still frame you see on Pinterest, where it seems like a newborn baby magically falls asleep swaddled in nubby fabric angelically bathed in perfect light, with a soft smile on their lips. Nope. That doesn’t happen often. But your baby is still cute-as-can-be, and even if we can’t get that naked-snuggled-in-faux-fur pose that we really wanted, because maybe she just wouldn’t fall asleep for us during that setup, it’s okay! I promise. There will be other sweet photos.

After Ellie’s photo shoot, Jamie texted me saying, “Wow!!! We love them SO incredibly much!! Thank you!!!” with a bunch of heart eye emojis. :) And Ellie hardly slept for us during her session, and Greyson didn’t really feel like taking photos that afternoon, and we only got one outfit on Ellie. And guess what? Jamie and Jairus and I still LOVE these pix! :) I mean, I was so happy editing them. How can you look at this sweet baby angel face and not feel happy in your heart? :)

So I just wanted to share that to let you all know that this is real life, I am a real life photographer. I like real life. I love it! And I love how this session turned out. So don’t worry if you hire a photographer to come take pix of your newborn and the session doesn’t look like a YouTube newborn instructional video (I have seriously wondered if they drugged those babies – awful, I know! They didn’t, I am sure they didn’t…!) — I bet you will still end up with some photos you adore. :)

Happy Monday, friends. It’s February and love is in the air. Let’s celebrate it!

~abi~

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Cheryl MartinFebruary 6, 2017 - 11:00 pm

I love these pics. You captured so much in them.

gabe & ashley’s wedding ~ the reception party

000 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionWell, we have reached the final post from Gabe & Ashley’s beautiful wedding day at Stonebridge Wedding Venue in Blum, TX. In case you’re new around here, I will fill you in on why this was such a special wedding for me to shoot… Ashley, the bride, was married to my younger brother Jack for five years before his life was taken while serving as a Green Beret in the Philippines in 2009. Gabe, the groom, also lost his brother that same year. Gabe’s brother Elijah was also in the military, and Gabe & Ashley met while working for TAPS, an organization that helps people who have lost military family members. Gabe and Ashley have been so wonderful to my family, always keeping us involved in their lives, which means the world to us. Their wedding day was no exception, and it warms my heart each time I look at their photos and see my family all celebrating together. <3

I’ve shared several posts from their day already, which you can see by clicking here. In today’s post, we will look at some of my favorites from the reception parrrrtay they had after the ceremony! :) The wedding party started things off with a little champagne toast.001 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionThen it was time for some dancing!002 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception003 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception004 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception005 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception006 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception007 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception008 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionAshley’s dress was just perfect for twirling!009 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception010 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception011 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception012 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception014 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception015 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionLove Greg & Debra, Ashley’s awesome parents!016 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception013 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception017 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionAshley’s Maid of Honor, pictured above, also made their lovely wedding cake!018 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception019 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception020 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionGabe dancing with his grandma…so sweet!021 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception022 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception023 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionOkay, so Ashley’s family has a longstanding tradition of “stealing” the bride as she and the groom are making their exit. My nephew DJ was more than happy to carry on this tradition and snatched Ashley from Gabe and raced her off to my brother in law, who was waiting to whisk her away in a car.024 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception026 Stonebridge Outdoor Reception025 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionAfter a few minutes, Ashley was kindly returned to her groom. ;)027 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionAnd they were off, to live happily ever after! :)028 Stonebridge Outdoor ReceptionAshley & Gabe~

THANK YOU for being the people you are, for helping me believe more and more in love, for being a shining example of hope, and for allowing me to document your wedding day for you! I love you guys so much.

~abi~

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