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It’s been six months since this day happened. It was a perfect day. Everyone says that but if you could dial up the perfect weather (70ish, sunny, no wind) and have everything go so smoothly, then yes, it really was perfect.

Loved having so many friends and family in one place – people that traveled hours and hours and some that even flew in. Such a warm and fuzzy feeling being surrounded by everyone we love. AND, in such a beautiful place. Sylvan Lake is magic, and it was so perfectly beautiful.

So grateful for my husband. I’ve never laughed with someone so much in my life. He truly brings out the best in me and means the world to me. Love you MarcCharles.

Again, huge shout out to our vendors – highly recommend all of them:

-Photos by Jessica Simons Photography
-Music by DJ SieffStyle Entertainment
-Dress from Bridal Gallery Sioux Falls
-Bouquets from Jolly Lane Floral
-Venue: Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park

marckatiemarried-0012marckatiemarried-0044marckatiemarried-0017katie zautke, jessica simons photo, black hills







2016-07-08-11-28-56It’s been over half a year since we trekked around this beautiful place and it’s time to get it blogged. Since then, we’ve been married, visited Rocky Mountain National Park, been to Las Vegas together, I’ve found a new love for archery. And so much more.


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Tomorrow is Halloween. The last day of the month. October will be gone for another year.

Masks and makeup will cover the faces of so many around the country. Dressing up, pretending to be someone else, something else, anything else. We laugh and scare. We’re clever and creepy. We’re different from what we were the day before.

With masks and makeup, although hiding our true identity, we are able to reveal a piece of us that we usually hide without a coverup. We are free from judgement because we are accepted as the one we have become. We are free from fear and uncertainty because we’ve transformed into something that has already been accepted.

Have you ever been to the bars on Halloween? Honestly, for me, it’s the best night of the year. Why? Because everyone is friendly and open. They shout your name (Elmo! Batman! Duck Dynasty guy!) and greet you and are happy to see your presence enter the bar because they know you.

It’s such an ironic concept.

It’s also an easily relate-able concept. Allow me to step on the soapbox. If you’ve received Christ as your Lord and Savior, putting on your Halloween mask and makeup is the unnecessary step in the process above. Think about it.

Enjoy your Halloween. Just remember that masks and makeup aren’t needed to be friendly, open, free from judgement, fear and uncertainty. You are transformed and already accepted. Now that’s a concept.


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by Shel Silverstein

An oak tree and a rosebush grew, 
Young and green together, 
Talking the talk of growing things –
Wind and water and weather. 
And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed 
The oak tree grew so high 
That now it spoke of newer things –
Eagles, mountain peaks and sky. 
“I guess you think you’re pretty great,”
The rose was heard to cry, 
Screaming as loud as it possibly could 
To the treetop in the sky. 
“And now you have no time for flower talk, 
Now that you’ve grown so tall.” 
“It’s not so much that I’ve grown,”  said the tree, 
“It’s just that you’ve stayed so small.”

farrow-ball wallpaper

Samphire Farrow and Ball Wallpaper. Love.

fav finds, favorite finds, favorite list

kathryn farritor, katie zautke, backdrops, minted

Umm. Guys. I just found the find of all finds for those in the photography biz. I’m not even shooting anymore, and I am super jacked about this discovery.

We all know how hard it is to find decent backdrops, especially modern ones. No one wants the marbled grey look anymore. They just don’t. Well, today I stumbled upon a personalized backdrop option. Brought to you by the one and only, always fabulous Minted, of course.  I know, right. Gasp. The stars have aligned. The moment has come.

How great would these be for a holiday party, engagement party or wedding, valentine’s day bash, branded photo shoot. Oh, the possibilities.

I want one, and I’m not even shooting anymore.

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We happily took advantage of the 50 degree days we were having in late October to explore around Lake Pactola. There’s something about Lake Pactola in the Black Hills that is so magical.

We hiked Osprey Trail for the first time. An easy, flat trail that led us around a couple of loops toward the back of the lake – a view that can’t be seen from the highway that flies over the lake. At the end of the trail, the shoreline gently recedes into the water, making it a perfect, peaceful place to stop and admire the scenery with the water just at your feet.

art by carly

In a survey released by Bentley University, almost two-thirds [of millennials] (67%) said their goal involves starting their own business.

If you think about your friends, classmates, co-workers and siblings, consider how many of these people have started their own business or are involved in a side business outside of a regular, full-time job. Band members. Fitness instructors. Jewelry creators. Photographers. Artists. Boutique owners. I can name a dozen people without even digging that deep outside of my friend circle. Everyone these days is getting crafty and putting themselves out there to create a life built on their passions. My question to you is… are you supporting it?

Being a serial entrepreneur myself (if you can call my side projects that), I know how important it is to have family and friend support at the beginning and throughout the life of my business. We rely on that support when we are questioning ourselves, needing encouragement and wandering through the lost channels of self-doubt during the many valleys of our business adventure.

In my goal to live a more purpose-filled life, and to make a greater impact on those placed directly in our lives, I put together this somewhat obvious list of things you can (and should) be doing to support your friends’ side projects and businesses:

  1. Support their efforts on social media. It’s so easy to like, comment, encourage, share, invite and rate things on social media platforms. But you already knew that. So why aren’t you doing it? With the algorithms associated with social media these days, every one of those little efforts counts to someone just starting out. It’s also free. So you have no excuse to endorse your friend’s project or business whenever you can.
  2. Attend their events. Open houses. Live shows. Craft parties. Fundraising extravaganzas. You don’t have to have money to physically show support of something.
  3. Buy things from them. Books. CDs. Paintings. Pottery. Photography sessions. Handmade jewelry. Get the warm fuzzies knowing you helped out a friend on something you probably would have purchased anyway. So instead of handing your money to a retail store or a stranger, opt to give it to a friend.
  4. Share your talents. Are you a designer? A copywriter? A bass player? A manager with 10-years of business expertise? Offer whatever skills you have to help further their cause.
  5. Send them a nice message. Encouragement. Excitement. Love. Constructive feedback. It’s always nice to hear from someone off the grid of the typical social media likes and shares. Personal messages are never forgotten.

So my challenge to you is this – do two of the above items today, and really, truly show your support of someone and their passion.


The wonderful painted piece in my header image is by my friend Carly. Her new store has prints, original works, coffee mugs, ridiculously cute pillows and tees. Visit her website at:

I stumbled upon a blog recently that’s easily becoming one of my favorite reads.

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It requires a conscious decision because it is a counter-cultural lifestyle that stands against the culture of over-consumption that surrounds us.

Man, I love that. I think I just adopted a new life manta.

So many wonderful words in there. Intentional. Promotion. Value. Removal. Conscious. Decision. Lifestyle. Culture.

The key word that sticks out to me is lifestyle. When you make an adjustment to a new kind of lifestyle (working out, eating healthy, diets, etc) it takes time. It takes baby steps. There will be set backs and failures and victories and accomplishments. There’s a push and pull type of force that happens when you are teaching yourself to live differently than what you are used to. It’s a slow process. I really love the idea of becoming minimalist, but I definately don’t see myself selling all of my possessions and living in a hipster van in the woods.

I desperately want to remove clutter in my life in 2016. I want to clean up the way my thoughts spin through my head, the things that I buy and the things that I keep, and most importantly, the way I spend my time. Living in a tiny little house with my fiance has forced us to de-clutter our lives a little bit, simply because there is literally no more room (anywhere), but I want to continue to de-clutter my life in other ways as well.

  • I want to spend more time with people. And stop being a hermit.
  • I want to eat real foods. Less processed food. Except chocolate. Must. Have. Chocolate.
  • I want to give away what I don’t use. I like to think that there’s someone out there that would use and truly appreciate the things that just sit in my closet.
  • I want to put my phone down more. It’s time to delete a lot of very unnecessary, time-sucking apps.
  • I want to spend each moment intentionally. Less internet browsing, tv-watching, list-making. More being present.

Who’s in?