emily o'neal

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Looking Back, 9 years ago!

Yesterday Scott and I celebrated 9 years of marriage.  9 years!  9 beautiful and hard years.  I love to go back and look at our wedding photos every year and reminisce, so I thought it would be fun to share some here.  All photos by the amazing Todd Pellowe.

Our wedding was such a fun day.  So many of our friends and family together to celebrate what Christ had done in bringing us together.  The ceremony was just what we had wanted - a worship service.  Celebrating our love and the love of Christ for His church.  Our pastor preached an amazing sermon (yes, a sermon at a wedding! one of the best I've ever heard!), and my dad did the actual marrying part - rings, vows, etc.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stephanie // Senior Photos

It feels good to be back in the saddle again taking photos for people, after having such a long break.  I haven't really done much work since Esther was born almost 3 years ago, and I have definitely missed it. 

This is my sister, Stephanie.  Or Lady Mary, if you will. :)

(If you'd like to book a photo shoot with me, details can be found in the sidebar - click the "photography" button.)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Thanksgiving "Mantle"

Hey friends!  Today I'm going to show you one of the ways I decorate my home for the Fall and Thanksgiving season. This is my favorite time of year, so I love to do a little more to spruce up my home as the seasons change.

I have always dreamed of living in a home with a fireplace, because a seasonally decorated mantle just adds that instant cozy factor to me. However, a few months into living in my own home, I realized my fireplace dream may never come true. So I decided to find a different spot in my home to act as my “faux” mantle, and decorate that space as a seasonal focal point.

So first, find the focal point that you would like to decorate. It can be a mantle, the top of a dresser, a bookshelf, a piano (like me), a buffet, or even a section of your kitchen counter. Have you found your spot? Ok, let's go decorate!

Second, start with a blank slate. Remove all the items that usually live on your mantle (or faux mantle). You might be adding some of these items back, but to begin with, it's easiest to start with a blank slate.

Next, add some height. When you're working on a project like this, it's nice to have items of varying height, to add more visual interest. I'm adding a large mirror and a jar filled with branches from one of the trees in my back yard. Large mirrors are always a great option – they will make your space seem larger, and beautifully reflect whatever light you choose to add later.   

Now that the space has some height, we're going to add a seasonal print. This can be a verse, a poem, a phrase, whatever seems festive and fun to you. There are numerous shops on Etsy that sell Thanksgiving or Fall themed prints, or you can find many free printables on Pinterest. I love this “Gather Here with Grateful Hearts” print from Brim Papery.

Next step is, bring the outdoors in! The possibilities here are endless - leaves, pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, gourds, squash, vines, bittersweet...you get the idea! Take a nature walk with your kids and have them gather things to add to your mantle. Put branches and acorns in vases, stack pumpkins and gourds, string up leaves to make a garland, wind bittersweet vines around your pumpkins and picture frames.


This next step is my favorite – personalize it! Add some family photos, maybe some seasonal artwork from your kids. I added this acrylic photo block from Tiny Prints, it's a photo of our family in the apple orchard this year.

Another idea for a personal touch is to make a “Thanksgiving tree”. Every day between now and Thanksgiving, Scott, Esther, and I will write down something we are thankful for on little slips of paper, and hang them with string from the branches that we collected. It's a great visual reminder of our blessings in this season leading up to Thanksgiving.   

And last, but certainly not least, add some light! Since I have a young daughter who is fascinated with candles right now, I chose to use twinkle lights on my piano “mantle” as a safer alternative to candles. But whether it's candles or twinkle lights, light has a way of really transforming a space – you don't want to skip this step!     

Thanks for reading, friends!