We love the finest things – family, friends, togetherness, home…and the occasional exemplary cupcake.  We’re thrilled you made it here…cozy up to see the latest sessions, our favorite things and a dose of inspiration for living a life committed and connected to what matters most.  Hope we remind you of your finest things so you can treasure, savor and celebrate them!

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cold weather = cuddle weather

i joke at sessions that i’m surprised i’m as busy as i am because there’s quite a bit involved to get a family ready for a session. and as we head into the final weeks of the year, i wanted to express how grateful i am for that preparation.

grateful to do work that i love.

the treasures we make together.

to spend time with you.

the trust to tell the story of your life.

for a great team at mmp that supports me so i can shoot more often than i could otherwise.

every inch of it is astounding to me.


i’m whisper-typing this so not everyone reads it ;) i’ve been writing on a secret little blog called the happy essentialist in case you’re interested in the topics of simplicity & contentment.

oooh, i have to share the most amazing journal – i know, it’s sounds very much like a 12 yr old girl sort of thing but it’s wonderful – i haven’t missed a day since i opened it at the beginning of the month.

and in case the colder weather brings a little time to read a short book, my jaw is dropping over this little number.  my closet has been TRANSFORMED.  my book collection has been edited and makes me SO much happier.  oh, and if you get confused when she talks about her folding method, there’s a youtube video on it.  it was a huge hit in japan and i think it might be #4 on the times bestseller list now…combine anything japanese with decluttering/organization/minimalism and i’m going to fall pretty hard ;)

it reads SO simply but when i hopped up and got to work on the first project, i couldn’t believe what a difference it made.

the disease of being busy – i hear you, omid…let’s see what we can do to keep the holidays peaceful and slow.  i’ve been working on gifts so most of them can be done by the end of the month. (yahoo!!)

“happy” edited to soul train – so, little known mauer family fact.  we love to dance to the end of soul train.  the hallway gets turned into a runway while we play our favorites.

i’ve got nothing to compete with those kind of moves so we totally copy and just hope we don’t pull a muscle when we high kick ;)  there are a particular few years that are our favorites – way before the head to toe spandex outfits of the 80s.  not just any Soul Train episode will do!! but this youtube edit pulls from some good ones.  (and before you think someone hi-jacked the blog, i was totally gifted the soul train collection from my brother because of this tradition) i submit this is one super fun way to get through the colder months with active kiddos :)

i love that someone even thought to make this – after going to acadia this year, i’m a national park super fan!  audrey has her park passport and loves going over to the cancellation station to mark it.  fingers crossed we’ll get to yosemite in 2015!

this house is amazing – for some reason, i could never relate to anything modern until last year.  now, i’m enthralled.  this german architect designed his home to be ultra energy efficient, off the grid, super quick to build with very little waste – yup, my smile is as big as a school bus.

love this advice on making better decisions.

have the best thanksgiving there ever was!!!!  xoxo, -melanie-








seniors are SO fun! particularly ones i’ve photographed before – like when they were 7 and missing their two front teeth :) emory, have the best year at school!

loveliness from around the web:

i love how this couple took personality tests to get to know one another – i’ve learned so much about how jason approaches things because of that.

not sure about how you plan travel, but my preparation generally includes some food research :)  why?  because a great meal seems to elevate a trip.  so i jot down notes for cities i think i’ll be in and this restaurant is going on my list for the next time i’m in asheville.

oh man, have you had L’Oven Cookies yet? good grief, i’ve walked blocks to get to my favorite bakery in nyc to get cookies this good.  jennifer brought them to the mother daughter campout and i’ve since made my own order!

love this round-up of great kiddos shoppes

have any of you played around on duolingo? i’ve heard such great things! not exactly sure when i’ll be fitting in language learning but i’d love to recapture the ease i used to have in high school.

airbnb is such a help when we travel but i’m also excited about this one…and here’s a great cliffside villa in greece, just in case ;)

hope you’re having the best start to your fall! the leaves have been crunchy underfoot this last week! (and thank you, thank you for the house leads – you guys know me well!)

limited edition [ holiday ] mini session

excited to share this new mini session with you! so you know those holiday traditions you get a little sentimental about?

those are moments, i want to be there so we cooked up a little fun for the saturday after thanksgiving just in case you’ll be getting a tree then :)  pick a tree and i’ll be there!

and if a tree/wreath isn’t your thing but winter is, we can still have a great session!

limited edition [ holiday ] mini session 

when: saturday, november 29th (thanksgiving weekend)

where: barkers tree farm, lexington ky

kindly pick your preferred time

10, 10:30, 11:30, noon, 12:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3

details: a 15-20 minute mini session, $175

1-2 children (or you and a child), for additional siblings/family members please add $25/person. since these will be outside, please plan for the cold with cute coats/scarves/boots…and maybe a hot chocolate date afterwards!

since it’s a holiday weekend, maybe a dear grandparent will be in town…they would be a fun addition!

on jan 5th, we’ll present 5 too cute images! email katrina (info@melaniemauer.com) for a spot as soon as you can – they fill quickly!! can’t wait to see you!

know of a cute little home near you?

jason and i have been talking through the pros and cons of different house options.

we drove last night to look at a little bit of land.

i find the tiniest yellow house on mill street fascinating.

my love for both town and country can make my head spin.

can you help me find our next home/lot?

backstory, when we moved into our current home, we didn’t realize we’d just have one child.

but that’s how it is and we’re happy as could be – except that our home is on the too big side for us.

we’ve been so busy that there hasn’t really been much time to examine it but it’s been a topic of conversation the last few months for jason and i.

what we know we want: small, well-built, energy efficient and affordable (so we can live on one income and save the other)

other big considerations:
* location – we aren’t thinking of a large piece of land (it would be outside our budget – last night’s drive was to look at 1.5 acres that would have 9 neighbors on similar sized lots)

* walkability (that’s the huge plus for our current home - although we drive a short distance to jason’s work/audrey’s school – it’s SO walkable for absolutely everything else)…even if we can’t walk to our grocery, it’s really nice to have a walkable area since our favorite post-dinner activity is one we borrowed from the brilliant italians who have coined a term for it: passeggiata.

*cuteness aka: curb appeal

* if it’s an existing small home, lots of interior light is crucial for me

* and really, on size, we could go small.

we have a small family, i prefer small neighborhoods. i drive a small car. you get the picture!

we don’t love commuting so staying in lexington/super close to lexington would be our ideal. (jason travels two days a week so being near the interstate or bluegrass parkway would be a plus)

so, i’m crowdsourcing the finding of our next home/property – more than one set of eyes is helpful in this sort of thing!  if you see something small and cute, jot me a note with the address!

and if you find something we buy, the winner gets a free photo session and digital collection :)

and really, this is what people get realtors for, right?  but somehow i’d feel guilty if they show us 15 options and we don’t love any of them (we’re looking for a long term fit) and i’m willing to be patient (we’re not at all in a huge hurry – and that feels counter to what would benefit the realtor)…we’ll absolutely use a realtor to sell our home!

image note: from a museum visit on our new england road trip this summer

xoxo, -melanie-

a baby on the way

life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.

[ e.b. white ]

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