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My Fall Must-Haves | Friday Chatter

November 20, 2020

If you know me well, you know that I struggle a little bit with the fall. I’m a summer girl, through and through and really struggle when the sun starts to set a little earlier. I wish it could be 85-90 degrees year-round and, though I love pumpkins, their initial arrival always makes my heart sink a little. That said, I HAVE been trying to get a bit more behind this whole “fall thing” this year. I feel like most years, I dive headfirst into wedding season at the end of September and finally come up for a little bit of fresh air around Thanksgiving. This year, my schedule is structured a bit different (Shoutout, COVID), and I made my best effort to live my best fall life a little earlier in the season. (AKA I actually celebrated Halloween and while I’m working much of Thanksgiving week, I have the day off!) I’m absolutely not a lifestyle blogger by any means, but I thought it may be fun to break up the pattern of posting pretty sessions and weddings with a little something personal this Friday!

Now… to be completely honest, I only think a few of these products are super fall specific, but they’re all things I’ve been loving, that have helped me relax and enjoy, and that have kept me going through this busier season (and the transition into chillier days!). That’s part of the reason I feel OKAY pressing publish on this post as we head into the holiday season! Some of these things could make great gifts for your photographer friends OR could be great as a stocking stuffer! I tried to keep them more geared towards the personal side of things, but I also have a few business must-haves on there too! Let’s get started with ALL my fall must-haves! (I may have gotten just a little carried away!)

Personal

My Go-To Fall Candle

If you haven’t smelled Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pecan Waffle, GET READY… your life is about to be changed! My sister gave me one of these candles as a welcome gift when I first moved to DC, and ever since, it has been my fall scent of choice! I typically order a few three-wick candles around Labor Day and burn them right through the day it’s officially acceptable to start burning holiday candles. I’ve been burning this one for weeks… maybe months now, and it smells SO good! It smells warm and sweet with just a little pop of something spicy.

Old Navy Joggers

These Old Navy joggers are SO comfy. They have the HIGHEST waistband and come in tall, regular, and petite lengths. I’m sure you could style them to be super fashionable, but I typically just throw them on after a shift at Orangetheory with a t-shirt or sweatshirt to crank through some emails! They’re a softer, athletic legging material which I LOVE!

Quilted Jacket from Wild Fable

This Target GEM of a jacket joined my closet by accident! When I left for my triple header, I took two trips to the car! On my second trip out to the car, I was supposed to grab my coat. Guess what I forgot?! Yup… my coat! I made it through wedding #1 just fine but knew I would need a little something for my second and third day. I was on the road, so I dipped into a Target in Lancaster and browsed a little before my wedding that day. I grabbed this one on a whim, and it’s quickly become a great staple! It is a great weight for the fall and is perfect to throw on with my, typically mostly all black, wedding day attire. It is also perfect to grab and throw on for a trip to the gym/work! It meshes so well with so many outfits—  I love the higher neckline too! I have the black but it also comes in a gorgeous green and dusty pink. I want them all!

Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffin Mix

This is one of my FAVORITE fall treats. This grain-free pumpkin muffin/bread mix is just enough pumpkin with a little bit of spice. I’m not a huge pumpkin spice gal to be honest, so I love that these are a little more pumpkin with just enough spice for some fall fun. If you are a fellow gluten/grain-free human, you may know that our dietary substitutions are often… pretty dry to be honest. One of my favorite things about this mix is that the product is pretty much the opposite— the texture is great! I definitely recommend freezing or storing in the refrigerator after you make a batch. These would make a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast!

Numi Jasmine Green Tea

This one isn’t super fall, but it has been keeping me GOING on these longer fall days. I’ve been drinking this Jasmine Green Tea blend for a number of months, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get tired of it. I love that it doesn’t make me feel wired and is a fun little twist to a traditional green tea. It’s super fragrant too— I loooooove the way jasmine smells! I usually buy it in bulk because I go through it so quickly!

Pumpkin Spice Rx Bar

Ok… I KNOW I just said I don’t love pumpkin spice things, but there’s something about this Rx bar that I can’t get over! It is perfect to drop in my gym bag or wedding bag on longer days… it’s pretty much the only true pumpkin spice thing I do in the fall! It is just sweet enough and has a great texture (I find some Rx bars can get a little chewy!). I think they should be available a little while longer? They are a seasonal item!

LiquidIV

I really want to know how I survived without LiquidIV… again, not super “fall” but has been keeping me GOING on longer days when energy is a bit low, in between workouts, and are perfect to knock back mid-wedding day. (Though… there is an Apple Pie flavor, so maybe it IS fall-themed after all?!) Liquid IV is basically this little packet (Almost like those Crystal Lite packets of the mid to early 2000’s??) that you add to a water bottle or big glass of water. They are said to help enhance your hydration! I’m not totally sure HOW they work, but I know they make me feel better on a wedding day when it’s pretty challenging to chug water consistently with a mask on and are great on days where I’m just feeling a little blah. They kept me alive the weekend I had my triple header! Like I said, I’m not entirely sure HOW they hydrate more efficiently, but I’m sure glad they help me to feel better!

Business

Allbirds Tree Runners

You may be wondering why these are in the business category… These are new to me and are quickly becoming my favorite shoe! In fact, they are officially my new wedding shoe! I bought a pair to try as my new wedding shoe… after my triple header a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to make a change to take better care of my feet on wedding days, stat! I originally tried a size 9 and later upgraded to a size 10. Their team is AMAZING and took such great care of me, ensuring I got the size I needed in the color I wanted! I love that these shoes are so comfy, supportive, and super neutral looking, all while keeping my feet much happier than my flats or boots. I’ve started wearing my new wedding shoes on a daily basis, telling myself I’m “breaking them in.” I’m already counting down the days ’til next season when I get to wear them for a full wedding day and am considering getting ANOTHER pair to keep these fresh for busy season!

Solid State Hard Drives from Samsung

These little guys are working OVERTIME for me, let me tell you! I have loved these drives for years… they are portable and fast and so tiny! If you have ever had a regular hard drive fail on you, you will LOVE these drives because they are much more stable. They are pretty much a larger thumb drive, meaning there are fewer moving pieces and less of a chance they will fail because of a few bumps, accidental drops, or mechanical errors. AKA More peace of mind! I use one of these drives as my work drive and have recently introduced a NAS system as my primary backup. Meaning… the small work drive is the one I am primarily working off of during my busier season. It travels with me, is plugged into my computer more often, and is where all of my weddings and sessions are FIRST backed up to. My larger backup system lives at my desk, just in case there would be an issue with the working backup on the Samsung drive or original backup memory card. (More on my backup workflow in a few months!)

Stile and Co. Styling Vinyl

This item is new to my kit too, and it is such a relief to have one of these on hand! As a wedding photographer, I start my day with something called details! I photograph all of the pretty pieces my clients have thoughtfully pieced together to tell the story of their day. In the past, I’ve crafted my own linen styling board, and though they were pretty for a few weddings, they didn’t hold up well, took up a lot of space in my trunk, and quickly became worn. I travel a lot for weddings, and it is always important to me that I have a great surface to style on, regardless of where I am working! I ordered a Stile and Co. Vinyl Flatlay board in Antique White Concrete (Size Large!), and oh my goodness, I love the peace of mind it gives me! The board is vinyl, meaning it doesn’t wrinkle and can roll up to be stored in a tube in my trunk! It takes up minimal space, is neutral enough to look lovely with a multitude of color schemes and will also be a wonderful addition for branding sessions. Most of all, I love that I have peace of mind heading into every wedding, with a guaranteed gorgeous background for the invitation suite and other details! I photographed my Pumpkin Pecan Waffle candle on my board in the header of this post!

Extreme Pro Memory Cards (CF/SD)

I’m not sure that I’ve ever shared what my favorite memory cards are! I have LOVED Sandisk’s Extreme Pro memory cards for years. They’re the only ones that I use! I use a smaller memory size CF card in one slot and a larger memory size SD card as a backup. I love that I can build a larger backup as I work and have a smaller backup as well, just in case there is an issue with a larger card. My camera has SUPER big raw files which sometimes causes other cards to lag as I work quickly. These write super fast and the lag time is minimal at most! They are AMAZING!

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