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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i’m so glad children never talk about work/life balance :)  their play is perfect for living and learning and that’s exactly how i like things!

play is something to be preserved.  i’ve been paying attention to how i can make anything i do a little more fun…a little more playful.  most of the time, it’s all too easy.

turning on a happy playlist.

or opening the windows so i can hear the birds outside.

life is meant to be enjoyed.

deeply and fully.

and it’s certainly not hard to do when spring feels like magic!

yesterday, audrey and i were pointing out the prettiest trees and flowers on the way home from school.  and she was calling me to the back door so i could watch the bunnies with her.

i’m glad that spring puts on a show to invite us all to savor it.

going on a walk this evening so i can see a bit more of it.  xoxo, -melanie-

some loveliness from around the web:

* c-u-t-e kiddo furniture…i know, i must stop looking at these foreign websites!!  but seriously, it’s modern and classic at the same time.

* such a cute card

* i’m a bit more of a moth to a flame than i’d like to admit about family travel…it’s my personal sweet spot (although i’d probably want to squeeze simplicity in there somewhere too). in case you are, too (or just love traveling with those you love), here’s one family’s year long trek around the world with one second from each day (there’s one word in the song that’s a little off-putting – sorry about that!  the second time the track repeats, it’s actually the girl in the movie that’s singing :)). i heard about them from family adventure podcast, i think.

* this blew my mind – 7 countries where americans can study for free

1,831 questions to ask your partner on date night

* making me smile…i want to give it to every child the first time they finish a chapter book.

p.s. i worked on a hallway gallery at home last week.

oh my goodness gracious!  new levels of empathy have entered my heart :)

generally, i go for something like this.  and it’s so.much.easier!

the finalized set of images was a complex algorithm of perfectly balanced birthdays, holidays, vacations, everyday moments.

(i’m tempted to swap it all the photos out on a birthday with pictures of that person, and put up all the halloween shots for halloween…but we’ll leave that craziness for another spring break staycation!)

i’m appreciating our photo books in a whole new way now.





international happiness day

there’s much to share!

// very important announcement – tomorrow is International Happiness Day…doesn’t even thinking about that make you feel a little happier?  I’m excited to see how wonderful tomorrow is!

// spring is here!!!  we’re getting emails about the most awesome sessions so please get on our calendar if you’ve got something lovely you’d like photographed (i’d be honored).  you know the drill, i book up a few months in advance so let me know your thoughts and we’ll chat!

// i found *the* most amazing new zealand bookmaker when i was at conference a couple weeks ago – we’re always striving to have options worthy of holding your precious photographs and life in so i like to vet the options in person so i can see the printing quality, page thickness…those tactile things and i’m super excited to offer this.

// we’re situated in the loveliest corridor of the year – within the space of a few days we celebrate jason’s birthday, audrey’s birthday, our wedding anniversary (also the first day of spring)…so it’s fun to see the kitchen chalkboard messages change every other day and the decorations get swapped in and out.

have the best and most happy day tomorrow!!




xoxo, -melanie-

spring has sprung [ limited edition ] mini session

i’m so glad lexington is dethawing!
we’re sending in our wishes to mother nature that we get on with spring!
the snow days were SO so appreciated though…does anyone else love when things slow down?
it gave us ample time to cocoon and discover new winter-y recipes i love like this soup (paired with homemade herb bread)…oh my goodness, i ate it for lunch leftovers 2 days afterwards and could have gone for a 3rd!  so, if a cold spell comes our way again, make this soup!!
we love doing these [ limited edition ] mini sessions…often because it’s easy on you to get a quick update of a growing child, or something cute like a missing tooth or fun skill your child has mastered like blowing bubble gum :)
perhaps those sweet easter outfits can get donned again!
we’ve also had them used for maternity and engagement sessions!  this might be the perfect thing to do with your siblings and then enjoy a meal together :)  (you’d make mom so happy for the holidays or mothers day!)

limited edition [ spring has sprung ] mini session 

when: saturday, april 18th

where: the lawn of the headley-whitney museum, 4425 old frankfort pike, lexington ky

kindly pick your preferred time


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

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 possibility of cooler weather.  prints, digital files, etc are purchased a la carte after you’ve had a chance to see the images.

on may 18th, 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!


xoxo, -melanie-

a few favorite things…for people generally not into things

there are a handful of items that fit into our lives and make it work a little better…i love hearing about those things from friends so i thought i’d do a quick share!  please mention yours in the comments!

1- everyone soap…the goal was to declutter our shower and have just one bottle. i realized if i picked one we all liked we could use the same shampoo…bottle clutter begone! i had audrey pick her favorite scent at whole foods and I love that you can also use this as a bath gel. multi-taskers are more likely to earn a permanent spot in our home. it’s so affordable and lasts forever.  here’s the downside – buildup (which seems pretty common in natural hair products, yes?)…so i’m going to try a rinse but wanted to give you the whole scoop.

2- patagonia black hole messenger bag…i like to travel light but that same concept applies to everyday. so instead of a day to day bag and a camera bag, i use the same one because i still want a half dozen of the same things – lipbalm, id, pen…this item may be more photographer specific but i keep an insert loaded with lenses, cf cards and batteries. sidenote: cute camera bags have proliferated but i find most have quality issues that only keep them in service for 18 months of heavy duty use. i love products with lifetime guarantees – less waste, less shopping…ahhh!!

3- baggu…i’ve mentioned these before but since they’re constantly in use at our home they deserved a spot again. books to go back to the library hang out in one (because unlike other reusable bags that are intended for medium weight, these are so strong) – they’ve given us years of service and don’t show any signs of wear. i use one for the gym, too since you can totally throw them in the wash. after trying a couple different kinds of reusable bags i’ve found i prefer the baggu’s…the size is *perfect*. we use 3-4 on a regular grocery trip because they hold two regular bags worth.

4- wireless headphones…i think the suv crowd was way ahead of the curve on these. we don’t use them in our car but rather inside. granted, we don’t watch much tv during the day which may be what makes the noise a bit startling. i know people who have the tv on as background noise and this isn’t for them…it’s for those who would prefer music or just quiet :) open concept homes really benefit from these!  (we got ours a long time ago – there are much better options now that are less expensive and more compact)

5- squeasy…audrey loves those squeeze pouches but they created so much waste (this book totally changed my outlook on our household and the amount of trash we create). now most often her after-school snack on the ride home is one of these filled with unsweetened applesauce – the portion size is more satisfying, too. i pop it into the dishwasher in the evening and we use it again the next day (everything pulls apart). we’ve been using it for a year and have had zero issues.

6- ikea containers…i know, their quality can be all over the map so i just bought four and then got more later. super durable (i’ve brought them on roadtrips in our cooler even though they’re glass).

i love clear containers and really appreciate when they nest in the cabinet. side benefit: when i switched to these my mom said it looked like our fridge had been styled for a photo shoot :) sometimes getting all the sides of the lids to snap takes some muscle which might be from the dishwasher. (we have the size i linked to, a larger rectangular one and a couple small ones)

7- lamy pen…so what I’ve learned is that if i have one of something, i’ll keep track of it. one pen, one pair of sunglasses, you get the picture.

what makes this one of my favorite take-aways from 2014 is that you naturally have less stuff and you can (if you want) think about upgrading your one item to what you’ll really enjoy. someone sweet gave me the best lip balm from beauty counter and I’m using it up before i get anything else :)

tell me some of your favorites – pretty please!!



xoxo, -melanie-

happy holidays!!

2014 has been magnificent!  after today, we’re closing up shoppe for two weeks to dote on our families for the holiday season!  if you need us, pop us a note (info@melaniemauer.com) and we’ll be checking in a couple times a week!  -the happy crew at mmp-


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