Our Autumn Bucket List

Each season, we make a list of everything we'd like to do and try to get it on our calendar so it actually happens!  This summer flew by so quickly and there were a few things we missed out on, so we're trying to make sure that doesn't happen this fall!  

We sat down with a couple iced chai tea lattes to get ourselves thinking of fall, even though the weather was so warm, and made a list of everything we'd like to do this season!

Decorate our home. With each season, the first thing we like to do is switch up our home and porch decor.  This really sets the tone for the season and helps me get excited for fall!  I really love fall, but I love summer more and it's just SO hard to see it come to an end!  Matt could live in a place where the only seasons they have are fall and winter.  Done with this as well!  I found a few more throw pillows that were hiding too!  You can see more of our fall prep here.

Give porch a fall update.  Pot some pretty fall flowers (thinking mums in a couple colors), pumpkins, and a wreath to decorate the front porch.  Did this already, but still need pumpkins!

Pick up some fall flowers.  I always love picking up enough flowers to fill a vase or two.  I try to only bring in flowers I know are pet (cat) friendly, as my kitties LOVE flowers, and I only keep them in places they can't get to,  Right now, I picked up some beautiful sunflowers, sedum, and hydrangeas.

Add fall scents to our home to make it extra cozy.  Purchase natural candles and fall essential oil scents to diffuse.  

Go to a pumpkin patch and carve/paint pumpkins.  Place them on the porch and get them ready for trick-or-treaters!  Last year we kept putting it off and never got around to carving or painting our pumpkins!

Go to an apple orchard.  Pick some apples, pet some farm animals, drink hot cider and eat mini donuts or another yummy treat!

Plan a day date for a walk in a new park while the leaves are changing.  Grab some hot cinnamon lattes and bring Sully for a walk in a new park together and out to dinner on a dog friendly patio while the weather is still nice!

Scary movie night.  Pick some movies to watch by the fire.  Grab blankets, popcorn, and make some mulled wine or mulled cider.

Pet costume photo shoot.  Dress the pets up in their halloween costumes and take photos - because it's always pretty hilarious!

Find new chili and soup recipes.  Find a couple new recipes to try this fall - and actually make them!  I've been wanting to make a roasted butternut squash + pumpkin soup and a cauliflower leek soup for a while!  Chili is always so good too.  And so is stew!  Yum!

Have a bonfire with s'mores!  Plan this for a crisp, clear fall night to see the stars.

Start a fall capsule wardrobe.  I've been wanting to plan a capsule wardrobe for a while and I think now is the perfect time.

Preparing for Fall

It's officially fall!  Who would have known?  Here in Minnesota. our first fall day was 94° and very sunny, which I was totally okay with!  It gave us a couple extra days in Matt's parents pool before they closed it up for the year!  Now that it actually feels like fall outside and is likely here to stay, I'm trying to embrace this season and prepare for fall!

With each season, the first thing I do is light a few candles, turn on the fireplace, open the windows, and switch up the decor in my home!  In the spring and summer my decor is bright, airy, and has a bit of a tropical vibe - perfect for the warm weather coming our way!  In the fall and winter months I switch to anything that makes it feel cozy, comfortable, and inviting, since we'll be spending so much more time indoors. 

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I used to decorate more for each holiday and felt like I was always having to put things up and take them down, sometimes keeping things up far longer than they should be and never really enjoying the process.  It also always felt like there were too many knick-knacks around which isn't really my thing and certain holidays didn't match my home's style so they didn't blend with the other decor (lookin' at you 4th of July and Halloween). 

With the simple seasonal changes I'm able to switch everything out in a short amount of time, keep everything really organized and take up minimal storage space, and keep everything up for months at a time, while being seasonally appropriate!!  I'll list a few resources of some of my favorite shops at the bottom!  Here are the items I switch out each season: 

  • Prints: We switch out most of the photos/prints in our frames to fit the season.  They may be family photos, photos we've taken while traveling, hand lettered wording, or other art prints.  I keep a small box with all of our seasonable prints or previous photos we've used, then each season I go through them to see what I want to use!  It's my favorite decor change and I think it's a great way to rotate your artwork so you don't get sick of it!  It's also a great way to rotate your family photos so you get to see a lot of them on a regular basis!
  • Throw Pillows: Our fall pillows are a mix of plaid patterns and white cozy textures.  
  • Throw Blankets: A couple plaid blankets and a couple light grey and white knitted throws.  We keep the ones we like to use regularly on the couch and keep others in a basket by the fireplace which adds to the coziness.
  • Fabric Napkins: These are excellent for adding in a pop of pattern anywhere around the house and definitely help make it feel cozy!  We use them in the center of the table and put a candle and mini pumpkins on top, under items on the mantle, on an end table under a tray, etc.  I buy all the same so there aren't too many different patterns around.  They're so easy to switch out, store, or change if you get tired of a certain pattern/color.
  • Fall Scents: I love getting new candles with cozy scents and using fall-like scents in our diffuser!  I'm not one for overly heavy or typical fall scents (though I did find a pumpkin + nutmeg candle I love), but I usually lean towards more earthy, woodsy scents for fall such as: Bergamot, Amber, Fig, and Tobacco & Bay Leaf.  Aside from making the house smelling amazing, I also love the ambiance candles create, especially when it gets dark so early!
  • Fresh Flowers: I also love getting some fresh fall flowers or cutting some from my hydrangeas, sunflowers, or sedum outside!  
  • Turn on the fireplace: Turn on that fireplace and open some windows!  During the day while it's cool, but not cold is a great time to get the fireplace running and burn off that weird smell after it's been sitting unused for months!  And who doesn't love a burning fireplace.  My FAVORITE part of fall and winter, and all my pets agree as well.  The second it turns on, the cats suddenly like the dog and camp in front of the fireplace all day long!

What do you do to get ready for the changing seasons?  

I'd love to hear in the comments!

Get ready for our autumn bucket list blog post coming later this week!!

Photo by Kristen Dyer.

Photo by Kristen Dyer.

Some of my favorite sources for home decor: 

Candles (most are all natural + non-toxic): Detroit Rose, Foundry Home Goods, Rume Candle Co., Waiting on Martha, and Anthropologie

Art Prints: Lindsay Letters, Rifle Paper Co., SS Print Shop

Home Decor (pillows, throws, etc): Caitlin Wilson, Lulu & GeorgiaWest Elm, Target

A New Journey With Beautycounter

Today I want to share an exciting update with you!  While my website mainly focuses on photography (I sure hope that's your general takeaway from it!), I have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you more content!  Today, I'd like to share a new journey of mine - Beautycounter!

I have been excited about Beautycounter for the past year or so, trying a few samples of products here and there at some fun pop-up shops around Minneapolis, and doing lots and lots of research.  Let me tell you, I am a researcher.  If I am interested in something, I dig in and spend way too much time looking into whatever it may be (traveling, food, health, products).  In this case, it was Beautycounter and I just finally decided to take the leap and became a Beautycounter consultant!

"Our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone."

Throughout the past many years, I have been focused on changing my health habits to nutritious food, focusing more on real, unprocessed, organic, free range, and grassfed foods whenever possible.  I have been switching personal care, laundry, and cleaning products for natural ones that actually work, with a lot of trial and error.  This also applies to skincare and makeup.  

Everyone has their own skin concerns.  Mine?  Acne and sensitivity.  Oh, how much I absolutely hate acne.  I've been dealing with it forever and it has become even worse in my adult life.  What?  While there are other things I am working on internally with food, what I'm putting on my face definitely matters as well.  Many natural products I've tried have been majorly lacking, even though I was so hopeful - they caused even more breakouts, left my skin feeling more oily, and the makeup was either super light and I felt like I had to put on multiple layers to even see a difference or it was super cakey and thick.  I tried so many different brands and it would come off quickly and didn't look I had makeup on after 10am.  I have found that Beautycounter works.  My oiliness has come way down (even in the heat of summer!), my skin seems brighter, more even-toned, feels overall so much more clean.  

The makeup is so great as well!  Most days I prefer light coverage to help reduce the appearance of my acne and redness, some blush for a pop of color, and then I typically do my eyes as well.  I am not typically one to put anything besides lip balm on my lips, however I have been using the neutral/blush color options in the lips sheers and glosses more and more!  I love the color palettes Beautcounter offers, the make-up stays on throughout the day, and the products have the perfect amount of color when you put them on, and you can build on them if you'd really like a deeper color without them becoming to thick.

Another quick note about the products I use.  Since my skin is so sensitive and acne prone, I find it best to keep any products with coconut oil in them off my face (based on past trial and error).  The rest of my skin does fine with it, so I have used it in body wash and hand lotion.  If you have acne prone or sensitive skin, or have any type of food allergy, please make sure you read ingredients in any products you are using, or test small areas of skin for a couple weeks before covering a larger area with the product(s).  

More about Beautycounter

Did you know that the personal care industry has very little regulation in our country? Companies are allowed to put in known toxins [ingredients] that are liked to hormone disruption, fertility issues, cancer, asthma, and more. And they aren't required to disclose these ingredients with you. Sounds wrong, right?

Beautycounter is a front runner in the movement to create and educate about safe skincare and are committed to get high quailty, high performing, safer skincare and makeup in the hands of everyone. 

If you'd like to learn more about Beautycounter, take a look at their products, schedule a social (party), or purchase products, please visit my Beautycounter page.  You can also use the Contact page or feel free to email me at sabrinasbeautycounter@gmail.com.

I'm excited to share these amazing products with you!

Another great resource I have found for determining safe ingredients (both in terms of health and acne/irritants) is COS DNA.  Once you get to the website, click on 'analyze cosmetics,' copy and paste the ingredients list from any product from their website, and hit enter.  There you can see the safety index (the lower the number, the safer the ingredient).  Any acne or irritant (if your skin is acne prone or sensitive) you should be cautious trying anything over a 3.  For safety, I would stay within the green or yellow, depending on why the ingredient is listed as yellow (mid numbers), and stay far away from red (high numbers).  

Rad Retreat | Personal

Sabrina Reis Photography, Minneapolis Photographer

How is it almost August??

I don't know where this summer has gone and I feel like I'm still waiting for the skies to be sunny every day instead of all this stormy weather and grey skies!  I am LOVING those in between days of 85 and sunny!

While I wish I could spend every day out in the sun in a pool or at the beach, that is far reality, although I squeeze in as much fun in the sun as I can!  I work as a vet tech trying to keep all the furry family members healthy and getting A+ care and have been spending a lot of time on this passion of mine.  While this isn't anything new (I've been a full time vet tech my entire photography career), I have been on a bit of a new path.

This past spring (let's face it - basically still winter), I went to a photography retreat.  It was a time to meet other creatives, talk about life and business as an entrepreneur, be vulnerable and honest about wins and struggles, and have a TON of fun all weekend long!  I learned so much about myself, how much I have in common with other entrepreneurs, how much we can learn from each other, and how I want to run my business.  

I want to bring encouragement, value, and happiness to my photography, my blog, my social media, or anything else that I put my heart into.  I want to bring creativity and life to my sessions and love on my clients.  I want to share more on my blog about life, business, and other fun updates.  

This retreat was such a great experience all around, but it wouldn't be a photography retreat without a lot of time taking photos!  Here are a few from the weekend!


Ciré & Mike . . .

Headshots . . .

Downtime . . .

Final Dinner . . . 

Tropical Inspired Baby Shower | Event

A few weeks back I co-hosted a baby shower for a sweet friend/co-worker!  What is more perfect than a tropical inspired baby shower in the middle of our Minnesota summer?  

Tropical Baby Shower-5.jpg

I love hosting parties.  Planning the decor, drinks, food, games - I just love it!  Especially when it means friends coming together to have fun and celebrate, because that's the reason for all of this anyways!  Once I got the idea of a tropical inspired shower, thanks to Pinterest and all the amazing tropical decor out there right now (I want it all), I immediately started planning!

One of my favorite parts of a baby shower is the gift!!  Who doesn't LOVE shopping for baby gifts!  When I give gifts, I always try to personalize it the best I can and in the case of baby gifts, try to think about both what mama and baby would love!  Claire loves horses, so when I found this adorable watercolor pony print, I purchased immediately!  Isn't it just so cute!  When I give a print as a gift, I also try to find a frame that fits it well.  I also like to get these newborn journals for mom to write down baby's schedule and I love that they are personalized.  In the bottom of the box is the softest muslin swaddle blanket in the sweetest floral pattern, and on top of that is a black and white striped nursing cover (that has a bunch of different uses)!  Links are at the bottom for all these fun gifts!

I found the sweetest invitations by Kirra Reyna Designs on Etsy to set the mood for the party!  It was so hard to choose which one, so I narrowed it down and left the decision to my co-hosts.  I think they chose the perfect one!

Deciding on the decor was so much fun, but there is so much out there!  Narrowing it down to keep things looking simple and polished was important to me.  I love hosting parties that are a little fancy, it makes the celebration seem a bit more special!  I also didn't want to get too carried away with the tropical vibe - no tiki bar or jungle theme for this soirée!  Although, I did think about purchasing these adorable Tiki cups, but decided against them.

The color scheme I decided on was white, green, gold, and pink - you have to have some pink for a baby girl shower, right?!  I have potted palm bushes on my patio, so I thought they'd be great for the entrance to the shower.  I also found a fun pineapple garland that was much longer and brighter than I originally thought, so it was great to put at the front door as well!  

The fresh pineapples and DIY palm leaf balloons are my favorite!  They took a little bit of time, but they were really easy and SO cute!!  Balloons were big on my list for this party.  I also found a huge pineapple balloon, pink flamingo balloons, and the cute gold letter balloons!  I've been wanting to use those letter balloons forever!  Funny story about those balloons...it was supposed to say "YAY," however we accidentally over-inflated and popped the second "Y!"  Oops!!  I also accidentally ordered two "A" balloons, so we just turned it into "YAA!"  Quick problem solving, right?

I added in some pink striped & banana leaf paper plates, wine glasses (for a touch of fancy), and printables for the tables.  I also added a cute striped cloth napkin for the centerpiece under the cake and flamingo wrapping paper as the base for the other table!  

One of the important parts of planning a shower, particularly a baby shower, is to make sure everyone has fun - including the games!  Most of the people at this shower weren't big game players, at least the typical baby shower games.  I found an idea that put a spin on the typical "paint a onesie" game.  So that other table with all the pineapples and balloons?  That table is for the DIY onesie station - no paint, only iron-ons!  

I love the idea because it was so simple and easy to clean up!  I also found a blog where someone painted/designed these adorable pineapple, flamingo, and popsicle watercolor printables made specifically to iron onto onesies!  Jackpot!  

We had so much fun creating these onesies!!  I printed the majority of the iron-ons prior to the party and had them all set up - be prepared to need a lot of scissors!  I used clear iron-on transfer paper and printed from my home printer.  I used the watercolor images as I mentioned, as well as a couple printables I previously downloaded or purchased.  I made a couple instruction printables to put on the table as well, so everyone knew the steps!  We set up an iron in the corner, and each onesie only took about a minute to iron and then you can hang them to cool.  Everyone was able to mix and match to create their own design!  Such a fun creative project and lots of onesies for mama-to-be!  Take a peek at our designs (love the decals on the butt)!