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Tammy | Genuine Portrait Series


Hey Friends, it’s been a little while since I posted a Genuine Portrait Series session here!!  But it just so happens to be Volerra’s second birthday this week (hooray)!!  So, I thought there was probably no better time to share some photos of the incredible lady then now.

Meet Tammy.  Tammy hand-makes gorgeous jewellery which is as easy on the eyes as it is on the soul .  Her attention to design and love of nature is evident in every single piece.  You should really just do your lovely free-spirit a favor and head over to her website (or instagram feed).  I’m serious, just looking at her jewelry will leave you with that good sorta feeling.  You know the kind I’m talking about?  Hard to miss, but hard to describe.



I asked Tammy if she wouldn’t mind sharing a little bit more about herself and Volerra, so without further ado, here she is:

“Working from home as a graphic designer full time while still managing a house, two small children, battling anxiety and hardly sleeping – my days were getting stressful. Apart from healing myself holistically, I delved into ways to bring peace and calm to my everyday by adopting minimalism, and decorating in ways that were very soft and inspired joy.
Gemstone jewelry came next. I had been making jewelry all my life, starting out with glass and wood beads and through my hunt for peace I progressed into gemstone beads.  I started making bracelets I could wear everyday that would help me with my stress and anxiety. With so many women out there wanting peace, and also self-confidence, love, healing, and gratitude – I began carefully selecting stones and botanicals to share my pieces with others in hopes that it could help other women on there journeys.
I want to create pieces that not only do good, but also in styles and hues suitable for any occasion and all outfits. I want women to wear these frequently so that they can gain the most benefits from them. I now offer gemstone bracelets, bracelet sets, naturally shed deer antler necklaces, beach jewelry and I have even taken the leap into making children’s gemstone jewelry.
Perhaps starting a second business isn’t everyone’s idea of how to manage stress, but I have always found joy in making things quietly. I pour loving thoughts into each piece and find the act of creating things with intention so rewarding.”
It is always such a joy to have such a kind, creative soul in front of my camera!  And am so grateful that our paths have crossed.  I CANNOT wait to see what’s in store for you, Tammy, and Volerra in your third year <3





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Summer Mini Session Style Guide | Alberta Lifestyle Photographer

Summer portrait season is in full swing, and I am sooo excited!  I know it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to decide how dress for your session. So I thought I would post a little inspiration to help ya out. If you ever have any worries or concerns about what to wear for your photo session please feel free to let me know!! I would absolutely love to help you style it to perfection.

P.S. In case you missed it! I am hosting mini-sessions for individuals, couples and families this July in DRUMHELLER! It’s going to be so incredible and I have two sessions left!!  Click HERE to find out more.





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Travelling with Kids | Maui Family Vacation


We’ve made a lot of little mistakes while travelling with the girls.  But I feel like this time we got a whole lot right!  And I thought I would share a little about what has worked well for us just in case it might help you (and to remind myself for next time!)

So, first and foremost, I always head into a trip with the mindset that travelling with kids is going to be an adventure.  Maybe not the type where you go cliff-jumping or climb a mountain, but literally ANYTHING can happen and you are just going to have roll with the punches and laugh off all the crazy. Ohh and that time change… give it a day or two, sleep will come haha.

Lol so have I sold you yet?  But honestly, nothing quite compares to the trips we have taken as family, they are beyond special.

This list is pretty specific to Maui but would be useful for any hot destination!  So here we go! Here are some of things that have worked best for us:



1. PACKING.  Pack light.  If you are lucky enough to be travelling to a warm destination like we were.  You honestly are not going to need a lot!  Bring things you can mix and match (and don’t bother bringing those jeans, you are so not going to wear them!  It’s 27 degrees every single day!).  And when you are lugging two carseats and stroller through the airport, you really don’t want to have a whole bunch of bags as well.

AND if you pack light, it means you can rent that mustang convertible.  Not sure if there is anything better than driving along the ocean with the top down (and the kids napping in the backseat).  Not to mention all the people waiting at the airport will cheer you on as you fit those carseats and stroller in.  Haha, no joke.



2. BOOK A PLACE WITH A KITCHEN AND WASHER/DRYER!  I know it’s a vacation.  But my kids are always hungry.  And you know whats less fun then making a few meals…. dragging tired kids to a restaurant three times a day.  (hard-pass on that one!)  And the best part is, you can save so much money and time doing it this way.  When we travel to Maui, we stop at Costco right after picking up our rental car.  It is super close to the airport so even though we are a bit tired from the trip its totally worth the effort.  We have booked through VRBO or AirBNB and have no complaints!  (I find the reviews oh so helpful)

And I don’t know about you guys, but my kids will take any opportunity to get filthy lol.  The washer and dryer was my sanity.  And as much as I hate laundry at home, I really didn’t mind throwing a load in every couple days.  It meant we always had fresh bathing suits and made packing light super easy!



3. THE FLIGHT.  From Edmonton to Kahalui it is 7 hours and 50 minutes.  That is a very long time for a 2 year old and 4 year old.  If you are travelling with young ones it can get a little rough at times (like anytime the seatbelt sign is on haha).  I’ve found packing lots of non-sugary snacks (gotta keep that sugar0-high at bay) and filling up the Ipad with books, shows and games has been the easiest and lightest way to travel with this age.  We usually let them pick a toy and a coloring book to bring as well.  Our girls surprise us every time we fly with how capable they are.  PS.  Depriving them of any TV the week or two before means they will be glued to that sucker.  P.P.S. Don’t forget some fruit snacks for the descent.  Helps their little ears pop!  Oh and we have always flown WestJet and have found the staff is so good with kids!



4.  GET FASTBREAK.  Seriously, just do it.  We have used Budget for our rental car every time.  Fastbreak is FREE (you just have to sign-up ahead of time) and means you get to skip the long line-up!  After a long flight, the last thing you want do is wait an hour with all your luggage in 27 degree heat to get your rental car.  Been there, done that!


5. SIT BACK AND RELAX.  My biggest suggestion for enjoying your family vacay is to not get too carried away with planning (or worse yet, expecting things to go as planned lol).  Leave lots of room to just jump in the pool or chill by the beach.  We usually book only one or two things and then play the rest of the trip by ear.  That way if the girls fall asleep in the stroller on a morning walk, we can just grab a beer and sit by the beach, instead of worrying about the next thing on the schedule.  Or if someone is feeling the jet lag we can take the day slow, think naps and hanging our poolside.  For us this slow pace, is absolutely perfect.  We also often rent paddle boards and bring snorkels so that we can head into the ocean whenever possible.  So easy when it’s only a short walk away.



6. BABY BEACH IN LAHAINA.  There are an endless amount of stunning beaches to explore on Maui.  And we often visit a few different ones.  But with our brave little water babies, the baby beach in Lahaina is absolutely perfect!!   We pack  a cooler of food and stay the whole day!

Pros: NO waves, lots of shade, occasional glimpse of little fish in the crystal clear water, close to where we we were staying, tons of restaurants and shops in town
Cons: It can be hard to find if you’ve never been, can be hard to find parking, it’s not perfectly cleaned up like the beaches outside the resorts.



SO there you have it!  A few of the things that make our trip all the more enjoyable.  Not that you can really have a bad time on Maui.  But take this as a grain of salt.  I am no expert; just a Mama hoping to save you from airplane meltdown =P



P.S.  If you would like hear more about some our favourite spots on Maui, let me know!  I’d be happy to spotlight a some favs in detail.

P.P.S.  I am so stoked to shoot the above  images for THE SKINNY again this year.  The Skinny is a local YEG shop and they carry some fantastic childrens and women’s wear!  We basically wore them all on repeat for the whole trip!! (thanks to that washer and dryer haha)


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