A Cottage of Our Own

terie-rawn-2I saw this on Facebook and immediately thought of you girls.

Have any of you ever read Mandy By Julie Edwards (Andrews)? It reminded me of that little love when she found her secret cottage and how she just yearned for some kindred spirits.

(More photos and the source of this one) >>> http://www.finegardening.com/fairy-tale-cottage-woods

I kind of feel like this blog can be our secret cottage – a place where we share in kindred spirits delights, our dreams, goals, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, it made me think of you and it also made me want to stop in and just say “hi” to you girls. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love you girls! xoxo


The Garden Room

Hello my dearest kindred friends! I know it’s been awhile since I last blogged and I feel horrible! Trust me, I’m always thinking of things I can write to you girls and sometimes, out of the blue or when I see something lovely, I turn to Paul and say, “Omigoodness, I’ve got to show the girls (that’s you, of course :)) that!! It’s so cute! They would love it!” But alas, life gets in the way (it’s a horrible excuse but oh so true) and the things I long to do, I do not get to do all the time. Until now! Hurray! I’ve just finished posting on my other blog (you can see it here if you’re bored :)) and decided to put the rest of work away until I write to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

So today, I thought I would invite you girls over for a pot of tea, some snuggling, lovely music, andย my home!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I absolutely LOVE decorating and if our bank account would allow it,ย that is what I would do in my spare time ALWAYS.

When we moved in about 3 years ago, our house needed some help. Nothing major like a new roof or siding, just some decorating help. ๐Ÿ™‚ Two men had lived here and needless to say their decorating sense was a bit dry. Here is the photo of our basement from the realtor’s site before we moved in (it’s okay – feel free to gasp at the awfulness that is ORANGE PANELING, which unfortunately found it’s way throughout the entire basement and even suffocated the entire garage):

Old Basement Photo

After painting the orange paneling a beautiful cottage off-white, we decided to leave the green walls (the green made it into the living room upstairs and that was gone IMMEDIATELY since we have orange wood everywhere – perhaps another post will be about our living room :)). And thus the inspiration for a “garden room.” We added an area rug, neutrals, flowers, and other lovely things to create a cozy basement. ๐Ÿ™‚ Welcome, kindred spirits!! ๐Ÿ™‚

As you walk down the basement stairs, you’re greeted by this lovely grey couch hosting our tea. Come, sit. ๐Ÿ™‚


A spoonful of sugar? Yes, please!


As you walk around the table to the couch, feel free to look at family photos that surround the entire room, watchย Miss Potter, or even have a seat at my desk and paint for a bit!



Or if you don’t want to paint or watchย Miss Potter, feel free to peruse some cottage decorating books. There’s more on the shelf next to the couch. ๐Ÿ™‚ (PS. Don’t mind the rest of the orange paneling – I try not to look in that direction.)



Shall we take a peek outside? See how our lovely flowers are getting along?


Shall we sit? Chat? Miss Potter is one of the lovely movies that is always playing down here. Perhaps I’ll make list of other favorites. ๐Ÿ™‚


Would you like to play the piano?? Please do! It’s nice to hear someone besides myself play. You can find lovely sheet music (lots of classics, Disney, instrumental movie soundtracks like Pride & Prejudice)…


…in the basket on the ground, in the bench, or…


…right over there! Take your pick! And when the stars come out, just grab the telescope and enjoy a lovely evening on a blanket in the backyard.ย 


Welcome, dear girls. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay as long as you would like. ๐Ÿ™‚


Time to get back to reality and work – ta ta for now, girls!! Wishing you a lovely rest of the week and weekend!!ย My name - new

The Girl Behind the Blog

Hello, dearest kindred friends!

I’mย finally able to relax, put work away for awhile, sip some tea, snuggle with my puppy, and write to you girls. ๐Ÿ™‚ My first post was a tad hasty so I thought I would make this one a little longer and actually tell you who I am (ya know, besides all my Instagram photos. :)). So here we go!

I’m 26 (just two weeks ago! Holey moley, time flies!), born and raised in the Twin Cities (St. Paul) of Minnesota but now reside in the country with Paul, my best friend, husband, & soul mate (they exist for everyone, I just know it). We met when I was 19 and he was 21. I had knownย of him for many years; my sister went to middle school with him before he moved out-of-state for high school, our best friends dated each other and my best friend (Rachel)ย hated him because her boyfriend spent “too much time with him” (although I had never met him, I hated him also. Solidarity, sister.), and I was really close with his best friend (John, the one who datedย my best friend – are you following me??). Finally, at John’s house one night (him and Rachel had broken up by this time) I met him and instantly liked him. A month later we went on our first date (picnic in the park, stroll around the lake, walk through the zoo – all the usual romantic spots) and that night I knew I was going to marry him. It was like knowing 1+1=2. And I’ve been on Cloud 9 ever since. We got engaged exactly a year later (same park, same picnic, same zoo, same lake) and married 2 1/2 years later on a gorgeous, fall day fulls of reds, oranges, and dark greens. Swoooooon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nikki and Paul - 1st picture Twins Game69Shortly after getting married and buying a house, we bought our little puppy, Rusty. Omigoodness girls, he is just the bee knee’s. He enjoys his paws massaged daily, he has to beย completely smushed against you when sleeping…he’s just perfect and is, of course, my other best friend. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_9781bwย Rustyonmyhead


Let’s move onto hobbies, shall we?? As you may already know, I am a wedding photographer in Minnesota. I actually graduated with an Elementary Education degree and thought that is what I would be doing with my life, but of course things do not always go as planned, which in my case, I cannot complain. When Paul and I got married I had planned on having many, many, many kids (I wanted an entire baseball team, so 9 or 10 – call me crazy, I know). So, if I was going to be having kids right away I knew I wanted to also be a stay-at-home-mom (just like my momma). But I also wanted to be helping with income so I thought, why not give photography a try? And then I fell in love – head over heels in love! I graduated with my degree but unlike everyone else in my class, I was not planning on using it; I already had my business steam-rolling ahead and I have never looked back. The having-kids-part-of-my-plan never happened and probably never will. I recently had to have a major surgery, something I knew I was eventually going to have to have. But Paul and I are completely fine with life, just the two of us (three, counting Rusty). This is our 3rd wedding season (Paul is also my co-shooter – it’s too much fun working with him) and I absolutely love my job and my brides and grooms. We have many goals for our life, many places we want to travel to, things to try, etc. We can’t complain. ๐Ÿ™‚ We love our nieces and nephews an extraordinary amount and I plan on showing them all the magical things this world has to offer. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m more than honored to be their Mary Poppins, their Auntie Mame. ๐Ÿ™‚NephewsWhen I’m not photographing weddings I love to read (children’s classic literature, old books, Susan Branch, Harry Potter, just to name a few – perhaps another post will be dedicated to my favorites :)), write in my diary, sip tea, watch the sun go down, decorate, bake, cook (pasta, pasta, pasta), take walks to the lake with Paulie and Rusty, paint (I started water-coloring a year ago and I can’t believe it took me so long to begin – I’m in love), create Photoshop Actions for other photographers, garden, clean (don’t laugh – I think in my past life I was June Cleaver or Lucy),ย spend time with my twoย main squeezes, my parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and my little loves. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re a pretty tight-knit family.Rich's Trip - 1I cannot tell you girls how thrilled I am that we found each other (I don’t even remember how!) and that we started this blog and #kindredspiritsclub. Right before I “ran into” Sarah on Instagram I had written in my diary (me and my diary areย best friends, too) that I just really wanted to find some people in the world that valued the same things I did, worked towards similar goals, enjoyed similar things, etc. Working from home doesn’t give me a lot of chances to do so, especially in today’s society anyways, so I just could not have been more thrilled when Sarah commented on a photo of mine and I discovered how much we had in the common – the rest is history! ๐Ÿ™‚ So cheers to us, girlfriends! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wedding Photography Website

My Blog

Resources for Photographers

PS. I was talking about our blog to Paul last night and he actually asked me, “So, when are you and the girlfriends going to meet?” AH! How wonderful that would be?! Someday, girlfriends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Welcome, Kindred Spirit Friends!

Nikki - 1Hello my lovely ladies!! It’s our first official blog post! I’m so happy to have met every single one of you and I can’t wait to read more about you all! ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to make changes to the page or categories – this is just to get us started. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a beautiful day, lovelies!!