parks and recreation

Galentine's Day Gift Guide



This post needs a disclaimer: I’m a huge Parks and Rec fan. HUGE. I gave out ovaries before brovaries pins at my bachelorette party, we have a mirror hanging in our hallway hand-lettered with “I love you and I like you”, Kyle and I constantly sing “the wooooooorrrrrst”, this totally started my celebrity crush on Chris Pratt, I’m a total Leslie, Kyle is definitely a mix of Ron and Andy, we’ve watched the entire show at least 4 times through and “everything hurts and I’m dying” comes out of my mouth after every wedding.

Galentine’s Day is only the best day of the year. While I won’t be able to brunch with all of my lady friends this year * SOBS *, I definitely want to celebrate them and thank them for loving me, being there for me and just generally being awesome. So, I’ve compiled some easy and thoughtful ways to thank your best Galentines and make them feel appreciated and loved too!

Alternatively… you should also be your own Galentine so TREAT. YO. SELF.


  1. A letter board to help up her Instagram game (plus, a letter board is just a ton of fun for celebrating holidays, the seasons, parties and everyday cheerful decor)

  2. Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World to leave on her coffee table or nightstand and remind her of her badassery

  3. A month of Audible so she can listen to fantastic feminist books like Becoming by Michelle Obama, Wolfpack by Abby Wambach and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

  4. A selfie ring light so she can make the perfect Instagram stories

  5. The quintessential Leslie Knope temporary tattoos for the Parks and Rec fan in her

  6. A hair tie bracelet so even when she’s being practical, she can look fancy AF

  7. An ovaries before brovaries sticker to show your unending love for her

  8. Special treats for the modest dog mom who has trouble accepting a gift for herself but will always appreciate some love for her pup

  9. A donation to the Malala Fund in her name to help create a world where every girl can learn and lead

  10. These super fun tassel earrings just because

  11. This super fun mini waffle iron for waffles with her girls (bonus points for lots of whipped cream)

  12. An affordable yet thoughtful set of natural lip balms because it’s still winter and this air is dry, ya’ll

Fourteen Things I Am Loving Right Now

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! 

Kyle and I are traditionally really low-key about Valentine's Day. We usually go out to an early dinner and then come home and watch a movie - nothing fancy at all! This year we have a dinner reservation and then I have my heart set on trying the vegan (and dairy free  🙌 ) cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic! Follow along on my Instagram story to see the deliciousness! 

So, since we are very low-key, I'm not out to buy the perfect pink dress or exchange the most romantic gifts. Call us boring but we are practical and we express our love for each other every day in small ways - like each time Kyle empties the dishwasher. 

My photog friend, Caity, and I were brainstorming how to celebrate Valentine's Day through our businesses. What could I bring to my audience that was different than all of the other V-Day gift guides? We both decided to share 14 of the things that we are over-the-moon about right now! I hope you enjoy this fun list and when you're finished, make sure you pop over to read Caity's list by visiting her blog here


1. Love Your Melon | white speckled cuffed beanie with white gold foil patch 

I've been a fan of LYM for a long time and I just added this gorgeous hat to my collection! Started as a college project, they are now a large, thriving, amazing company that donates 50% of their proceeds back to childhood cancer non-profits. Some of you know that I lost my brother to childhood cancer in 2010 and we now have a childhood cancer charity in his honor! So of course, I will always go out of my way to support the fight against the number one disease killer of children. I'm really looking forward to breaking out this hat on our secret May trip! 

2. Moo | minicards

These are so precious and really excellent quality! I have a special addition to my wedding collections for clients (a same day slideshow!!!!) and I wanted a small, simplified business card for guests to be able to grab in case they want to get in touch with me. Photographers, this is also an incredible marketing tool! I love how small but fun these cards are. 

3. ThredUp

One of my personal goals for 2018 was to find ways to live a more sustainable life! Recycling clothes seemed to be a good thing to try out and it actually went really well. I sent in two big bags of brand name clothes to ThredUp and then I turned around and bought a bunch of blouses for wedding season. They have brand name items from Atheta, J. Crew, Banana Republic - which are just some of my favorites. I'm almost a bit obsessed with online thrifting now. Oops! 

4. American Eagle | denim x high waisted jegging

Usually I cannot be bothered to wear jeans. I live in high waisted leggings. However, I own three pairs of these (my new favorites are these bright blue ones) and I love them! They hug in all the right places, they don't gap at the waist, they are the best amount of stretchy and they are super comfortable. 

5. L.L. Bean | Mountain Classic Anorak 

I bought this for our trip in May because it is roomy (I can fit a big sweatshirt under it), it's wind and water resistant, it's lightweight and very packable because... get this... it folds up into its own little zip pouch! While it's not meant to be a super warm jacket and it's more of a lightweight layer - there is enough room to wear it as a top layer. And the color-blocking is so cute! Like with most things L.L. Bean, these are typically backordered so snags your now! The wait is worth it. 

Here i'm wearing the Mountain Classic Anorak in Nautical Navy+Bright Sapphire and AE Denim X High Waisted Jeggings in Sparkling Sapphire

Here i'm wearing the Mountain Classic Anorak in Nautical Navy+Bright Sapphire and AE Denim X High Waisted Jeggings in Sparkling Sapphire

6. Court Junkie podcast

You are probably tired of me talking about my obsession with true crime podcasts. I get that. But hear me out. Court Junkie is amazing. After I subscribed, I went back to listen to every single episode that Jillian has created and I'm totally hooked. She is so good and these stories are amazing to listen to (and super important to hear). I found the Erica Parsons episodes to be truly heartbreaking but fascinating. I listened to almost all of the episodes while I was painting our guest bedroom. 

7. AmazonBasics | packing cube set

Packing cubes are my new jam. I bought these for our honeymoon and now I use them for pretty much everything. Small weekend trips are made a lot easier when my one cavernous duffel bag isn't sloppily filled with clothes and shoes. We bought these in two different colors for when we travel together and they are so helpful. 


8. Burt's Bees for Dogs | paw and nose lotion

Butters has been suffering from dry and cracked paws due to the dry air, sidewalk salts and all of the other yucky things that come with this time of year. We found this safe lotion to use on her paws and it's working really quickly which makes us all happy. It is pH balanced for dogs and cruelty free (and really affordable!). 

9. Girl Group Text

None of us really knew how much we needed this group until we had it. I have a group text with three of my college friends (you've met Caity before if you've read the blog before). We talk about everything and nothing. It is absolutely necessary to survive life. So, cheers to my girls. Happy Galentine's Day. LYLAS! Go start a group text with your friend groups. We need human connection to make this life a little sweeter. 


10. Parks and Recreation on Netflix

I'm a huge Parks and Rec fan. Like, it's probably an addiction at this point. I convinced Kyle that we should watch the seasons all the way through again (for the third time) and it honestly just makes me the happiest person. We laugh so hard and I am constantly inspired by Leslie to keep going, work harder, do more, text my friends, appreciate opportunities. If you're not watching Parks and Rec, you're missing everything. The Flu is our favorite episode. We howl with laughter every time. 

11. Google's My Maps feature

I use this for all of our trips! It allows you to put pins on a map, color code them, create layers, write notes, link within the pin and so much more. I typically use the map to pin everything we want to see/do on a trip and then use that visual to break it down into days, decide what we can and cannot make time to do and prioritize the most important things. On our next trip, I have an entire map layer dedicated to gas stations because you can drive for many hours without seeing one. 

12. Hailee Steinfeld on repeat

I am fully aware that this is not a new song but "Most Girls" has been blasting over here. I'm late to the party but obsessed with all things Hailee Steinfeld right now. I get so much done when I'm listening to her stuff (like finishing this blog post) and it always puts me in a good mood. 

13. Anthropologie | capri blue volcano room spray

I am obsessed with all things capri blue volcano 24/7 but right now I'm really loving the room spray. I've been using it as a pillow spray and it just makes me so happy before I go to sleep. I don't tolerate a lot of scents very well because they tend to exaggerate my migraines but because this scent is mostly tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes - I can spray it everywhere. This also makes a really lovely housewarming present! 

14. Resistbot

I get it. You want to voice your opinions to your representatives in government but you don't know how, you're intimidated, you feel so nervous or you just really hate calling people. Resistbot helps! This free service can do so much... and they are always adding more features. The simplest explanation is that you can text Resistbot and they prompt you to write to your senators and representatives about the issues that matter to you. The text is then crafted into a snail mail letter or a fax that Resistbot sends for you! They can also help you find town halls and call Congress. It's so easy to use and makes sharing your viewpoints easy and accessible. 



Kyle is loving the Sperry Cutwater Deck Boot ! He was looking for a waterproof boot that had the flexibility of a sneaker and I think these hit it out of the park. Plus, I'm really shocked that he purchased shoes that were this colorful all on his own. 

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Leave me a note and tell me what you are loving right now! Is it a fabulous pair of shoes or a local restaurant? I want to hear about it! You can also join me over on my Instagram to share your favorite things!  Don't forget to read Caity's post here

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!