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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emory

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 ]

ode to the library

i love books. much more than tv, movies or magazines.

books have the space to fully explore and articulate a big idea in a way 4 minute soundbites on tv can’t.

i’ve been trying to track more of what i read on goodreads…along with some children’s favorites as well :)

so here’s the rub, decades of book reading causes lots of books to accumulate – and not all books become favorites you want to keep around forever (only occasionally will i reread a book) so in addition to loving books, i’ve grown to love the library.

yup, that place i went to while i was in school to research things before the internet :)

in lexington, we’re pretty lucky to have a solid library system. it’s no vancouver (look at that!) but it’s solid.

lest you wander in and wonder how to find amazing books on *your* favorite topics, let me share how i do it.

when i come across a book i really want to read, i go to amazon and put it in my shopping cart (you could use a wish list, i suppose but i just have a huge shopping cart and click: ‘save for later’ the things i’m not going to buy).

then, about once every couple of weeks, i hop on to the library website and log into “my account”(the number on the back of your library card is super long so just have your computer remember it).

i check to see if my little list of books are in their catalog and if they are,  i hit a button that says ‘request’ and it can go to whichever branch i’d like.  sweet helpful people pull it and put it on the reserve shelf with your name. no searching through the stacks!  just ask at the front desk where the reserve shelves were :)

i get an email that lets me know it’s arrived to the reserves and about i zip in & check them out. 4 minutes. in and out.

because i’ll request a few at a time, i just go once they are all there (they hold them for 7 days for you).

are you almost convinced?

seriously…this is SO great for children’s books and cookbooks (my kitchen is out of cookbook room!).

a couple things to keep in mind – books that are newer than a year aren’t often available. and while i was bummed about that at first, i’ve found *plenty* to read!

a few times i’ve done an interlibrary loan to get something great from another area library if it’s something i really wanted to read.

we didn’t use the library (except for the occasional rainy day trip) before audrey started reading as part of her daily homework.  20 minutes of reading time had us blowing through books and those ‘easy reader’ books, while important to building reading competency, aren’t something i wanted to buy and keep forever so we started checking out enough a little bundle of books to add variety to what we had at home.

oh, and one more amazing thing…in most cases, if you can’t get a book back to the library on the date it’s due (and they send you an email 3 days beforehand to remind you), you can simply renew online.

so, grab a bag and find a cute basket for them for them to live in at home (we’ve learned it’s best to keep our books separate so they have their own spot and don’t get tucked under a bed).

happy reading! here are a few of our recent childrens favorites:

books

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enjoy!!

xoxo, -melanie-
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