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Our Baby Room || Gray and White Vintage Hot Air Balloons

This has been a long awaited blog, not just for me because I’ve been excited about it, but I’ve gotten so many requests from out-of-towners who wanted to see what I’ve been working on for the last 6 months (no, not nine months because remember we had our three adorable foster kiddos until middle of August). Well, it’s finally here, our baby room!

Here it is before when we had our girls… (note the yellow side table and teal wall bookshelves, you’ll see those again!)11696015_10102303470149343_3769916408313003329_n

And here it is now!

We themed it Vintage Hot Air Balloons, with gray and white being our primary colors, and just a hint of teal and yellow accents. I loooooove the way it turned out!SarahMariePhotography_0457Nearly every piece in the room is handmade or completely made over. In fact I think only the rocking chair is as it was when we bought it from Varage Sale. That lamp back there was a $7 find from Varage Sale that was brown. I spray painted it and replaced the shade and it’s as good as new!SarahMariePhotography_0461These pieces of art are almost all handmade, by my sister Elisabeth (the big one), my friend Felicia (the button one), all my friends (the thumbprint one was from my shower) and my friend Jennifer, who made the one on the bottom right. Holly, my sister, bought me the top left one.

Oh, and I know someone will ask about the book, that was made by my sister Elisabeth too!

This furniture was completely redone by my friend Lisa and her daughter (who do it for a living), and they also vintaged the crib for me (since I chalk painted it and couldn’t finish it while pregnant with the wax). This furniture piece didn’t originally have legs, it was actually in the girls room too, but I love how the legs classed it up a bit!

SarahMariePhotography_0452Here you can see the vintaged crib (it took me soooooo long to paint!)! The pillow is something Jason designed and created, and the incredible mobile was made by my incredibly crafty friend Katelyn. I think she’s going to start selling them!SarahMariePhotography_0455This little table has been in our home since we got married, apparently it’s something of a family heirloom from Jason’s side! It’s been teal, yellow, and now white throughout the years! I decoupaged that dresser drawer to match the little table I’ll show you in a bit. SarahMariePhotography_0453This was the last thing I finished, the dresser! We originally got it from my parents for fostering, and it was a deep dark brown, and I wanted to freshen it up to match everything else. I’m very pleased with it! Back in the corner you’ll see my cloth diaper collection, the puzzle that lists the names of all the people who helped us raise money to adopt a child, and the hot air balloon banner was made by my friend Claire! I TOLD you a lot was homemade!SarahMariePhotography_0459I wanted to leave the walls mostly bare, to give it a wide open look. It’s harder to tell in the photos, but the room looks pretty darn big because it’s not very crowded. SarahMariePhotography_0460Lastly, a closer look at the growth chart I made all by myself! I just bought a plank from Home Depot and went at it! I made the big hot air balloon too out of papier mache’, with help during the decorating phase from Katelyn (of the hot air balloon mobile fame). We used some of the same fabric on the big hot air balloon as the fabric on the mobile, and BURNED it to give it an old look. I tell ya, that was fun!SarahMariePhotography_0456A closer look at some of the things that I put  lot of work into. This is the color the dresser was! I repainted, vintaged it up a bit with sandpaper, and added new knobs!SarahMariePhotography_0464Really really proud of this table! I picked it up from Varage Sale for $10 and painted it white (which somehow was really hard. I don’t know why, but it didn’t like to accept the paint very well). Then I sanded it to give it more vintage flair, and decoupaged this beautiful photo on it! I found the photo on Google and Jason blew it up a but, lowered the saturation and white-washed it, and then fine tuned it so it wouldn’t look pixelated. I LOVE having a graphic designer for a husband, let me tell you! For the decoupage I simply used Modge Podge!SarahMariePhotography_0463Lastly, my favorite project of all was this rocking horse. Do you even know how expensive rocking horses are?! They are outrageous! I looked and looked and finally found this one on Varage Sale (which looked shabbier in real life than it does in this picture– this was after I cleaned it). I could see it had good bones but it was all wrong for the room. So, I cut out the rope, wood-puttied the hole (because WHY would you put a rope through an eye hole????), cut off the tail and sanded it down. Then I painted and sanded until it looked the way I wanted, and used a staple gun, hot glue, and yarn to make a new tail and a mane. It took some time, but I love love love the result!SarahMariePhotography_0462Oh, and I get a lot of questions about the rug. It’s by far the thing we spent the most money on, but I wanted one that was almost as big as the room! We picked it up on Amazon and it goes perfectly. When we began the room the gray walls were white with a yellow stripe, and the gray we chose looked a little blue. Once we added the rugs and curtains, it looks more gray now and I love it!

So, I think I said “I love it” 40 times in this blog… What do YOU think?!

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Snowy Maternity Session in Tennessee || Spring Hill Photographer

Last time I blogged it was green and warm outside. I’ve been sooooo behind with planning for baby (due in two weeks now!) that I’ve neglected this entirely. Not today though, because this is my best friend’s maternity shoot, and I had to share it. We just did a mini session since it was 17 degrees outside, but Felicia got her wish of a snowy day, and no pregnant women were harmed in the making of these photos, so I’d say it was a success!sarahmariephotography_0448The sun was out and bright, and thank goodness for that, because the wind was harsh. I was alllll bundled up, and Felicia was in ballet shoes! This girl really braved it for these photos!sarahmariephotography_0450I love how they themed it with the winter and plaid. It is a perfect combination. sarahmariephotography_0447We were cracking up over these because it looked like Felicia was announcing to Jason that they were having a boy, which if course he already knew! I love their big laughs and the way they look at each other:-)sarahmariephotography_0446Oh and kissing in the snow with the sun….breathtaking. sarahmariephotography_0449We needed to warm up though so we finished inside with some belly shots…sarahmariephotography_0445And gorgeous silhouettes. I couldn’t decide which “look” I liked better so I just did both. Her bump is so sweet!sarahmariephotography_0444Thank you Felicia and Jason for letting me capture your lives through these photos! I can’t wait to meet Riley!!!

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Micah’s 6 Month Session || Spring Hill Photography

Micah is the son of Mackenzie and Ben, and BOY is he a cutie. I was taking his pictures the other day and just thinking that having a boy would be really fun! Being pregnant, I find myself looking at sessions totally differently. At newborn sessions I get choked up, at 3 month sessions I inventory the baby rooms and take notes, and at 6 month sessions I just fawn over the adorable little outfits. I can’t wait to be a mom:-)Anyway! Micah. He’s a perfect, chunky-legged little bugger and I just love him. He wakes up so smiley and ready for pictures, and smiles the brightest when everyone else is laughing too. We did a few different looks for this session. Outdoors, Tennessee Volunteers, and Naked Baby! Fun mix:-)

sarahmariephotography_0418First we found this great chair and did a test run since he was so smiley. sarahmariephotography_0426This blanket is the same one we used for Ben and Mackenzie’s maternity portraits!sarahmariephotography_0425sarahmariephotography_0424All of this amazing light and scenery was in a backyard!sarahmariephotography_0423sarahmariephotography_0422Ben is a huge Volunteer fan, so…..sarahmariephotography_0420And then we finished with no clothes, because that makes every baby happy!sarahmariephotography_0421sarahmariephotography_0419

Thank you Mackenzie and Ben for such a fun session. You two are always a blast to photograph, and Micah was picked that up from you too!

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Hadley || Spring Hill Newborn Photography

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I’ve been so busy with getting ready for the baby, Jamberry stuff, and photography, that I honestly just forgot about the whole thing 😉 Then I took pictures of Hadley. Perfect, plump, sleepy Hadley, and I knew I had to share them with you! This little kid slept the. whole. time. I mean, she didn’t wake up once! I moved her around, changed her diaper, put her in different outfits, and she was as content as could be. It was amazing!!sarahmariephotography_0409sarahmariephotography_0410Mom and Dad were Cowboys fans!sarahmariephotography_0411sarahmariephotography_0412sarahmariephotography_0413sarahmariephotography_0414I LOVE toes!sarahmariephotography_0415These booties and blanket were made by grandma! Isn’t that impressive?!sarahmariephotography_0416So precious.

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Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Holy yum, ya’ll, this was SOOOOOO good! I love Indian food, but I rarely ever eat it, and I’ve never made it in my life. That’s about to change because I’ll be making this recipe a frequent thing!

Every time I come across a yummy Indian recipe on Pinterest, I click and see about 10 ingredients that I don’t have. I know I could go buy them, but we only spend $125 a week on groceries for the 5 of us, so it’s a bit of a stretch to buy that many items for one meal. Well then I came across the recipe I adapted mine from (this one), and it only had two items I didn’t have, so I decided to go for it. I looked at a lot of other recipes though for Butter Chicken too, and I read other reviews on the recipes to see what people thought and made several changes. Since I did make a few pretty significant changes, I thought I’d write it out here both for me to remember and you to enjoy! Recipe below:-)2016-07-26 18.05.23Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 Tbsp of butter, divided into 2 Tbsp each
  • 1 package of frozen onions (or about 1.5 large white onions)
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (canned)
  • 5.4 oz coconut cream (canned)
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Serve with rice and salad. The differences from the original recipe are that I omitted the water, substituted coconut cream (and less of it) for the heavy cream, used a dash of cinnamon instead of a stick (for a more muted flavor), cut the cayenne pepper in half to make it suitable heat for kids too, decreased the butter by a third, used chicken thighs instead of breasts (cheaper and darker meat is juicier), and subbed frozen onion to save me time. It worked out perfectly, and non of the issues other reviewers had occurred in my adaption. I was pretty proud considering it was my first time!!


1. Cut up chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and put them in a ziploc bag with 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, and about a 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Allow to marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes while you grate the ginger, chop the onions (if not used the frozen chopped ones), open the canned items and measure out your other spices. Be efficient in the kitchen!

2. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a pan, and add the chicken , browning it until cooked. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon, keeping the juices in the pan.

3. Add the onion, 3 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp grated ginger, 1 tsp minced garlic, and a dash of cinnamon, salt and pepper to the pan over medium heat, cooking a few minutes until the onions are soft and fragrant. During this step I start on my white rice!

4. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the coconut cream and again bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

5. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter to mixture and melt in the dish with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the rice with a bit of fresh cilantro. This recipe makes a great sized portion, enough for two meals for our family of 5 (or one meal and 3-4 lunches for me…hehehe).

Tip: Anytime I make my homemade seasonings, like taco seasoning, cajun seasonings or in this case, Indian, I double the seasoning and put it in a ziploc bag for next time to cut back on time! The step 3 of this recipe would work great for that!

I hope you love this dish as much as I did!


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