Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My Current Favourites

Hi, friends.

I just wanted to create a simple blog post and chat about my current favourite items. From monogrammed leather phone cases to cozy sweaters perfect for 3/4 of the seasons here in Alberta.

I am obsessed with the sweaters pictured above....obviously if I own all three colours. I initially bought the red one thinking it would be perfect for Christmas (which it was) but I fell in love with everything about it. The length, oversized fit, the soft material, the mock neck line and how easy it is to style. I can dress it up with leather leggings and some cute booties or dress it down with joggers and my chucks. I purchased them from American Eagle all at different times but always at 40% off which I found quite reasonable. I have attached the link here for you - Slouchy Turtleneck AE

Blue light blocking glasses - the best thing to ever come into existence for people with 20/20 vision who want spice up their look with some fancy glasses. I do have a prescription in my glasses but thats beside the point. I love using the website Clearly to purchase my frames, it's actually the only site I have used over the past 3 years. They are so affordable, carry so many styles, have fast shipping and free returns so there is really nothing to lose. The blue light blocking lens has made a huge difference for me as I am constantly on a computer for work, playing on my phone or binge watching a Netflix series. Goodbye headaches, hello cute glasses. 

The best phone case I have EVER had. I recently partnered with Maison De Sabre and I can not believe the quality of my new monogrammed phone case. Their website is so easy to use and offers so many different options including customizable accessories, clutches and of course phone cases in every size. Their products are designed in Australia and are made with the highest quality leather - every case unique. I have now been using this phone case for over 4 weeks and it still looks like new and is so comfortable to use. It's simple yet sophisticated. You can use my code "alexiskooman10" for 10% off your purchase. Enjoy!

My husband killed it with my stocking stuffers this year. He bought me a bundle of dainty gold rings that I have been wearing on the daily. I love to accent everything with gold ~ in my home and accessory wise. This bundle came with 8 rings for $12.99. Steal of a deal. I mean they do turn my fingers blue if I don't take them off at the end of the day but hey.. what can you expect. Check out H&M here (their home section is goals too if you haven't looked before). 


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Best Damn Photographer

Meet my beautiful new friend, Ashleigh Maclean
 aka - the best damn photographer

I have been following Ash and her photography business since she started in January of 2018. I was in awe of her work from the moment I discovered her instagram page and I knew right away that I didn't only want her to be the next photographer we hired, but also I could tell she was the kind of girlfriend I wanted in my life.

I was drawn towards her style, her optimistic outlook on life and most of all I admire the fact that she has and continues to work so damn hard to get to where she is now. HELLO, she is fully booked for weddings from June until September of 2019 with less than one year of professional photography under her belt. And truthfully, I don't know anyone more deserving of this success.

I reached out to Ashleigh in the summer and asked her about doing a photoshoot for my husband and I's second anniversary, Ash was quick to respond with excitement and what she envisioned for the shoot. She exceeded our expectations tenfold. The whole experience was perfect, we drove to the badlands (Drumheller, AB) together and I don't think there was more than a minute of silence during the two hour road trip! I have never been so impressed by a photographers ability to make "strangers" feel so comfortable, she had us laughing like nobodies business, the whole thing felt so easy and natural, it flew by, before we knew it the shoot was over. Without even seeing any photo's I KNEW I was going to be in love with them. Honestly, there was so many times I caught myself telling Avery that these were going to be our favourite photos ever, and I wasn't wrong.

This is what got me. We decided to head into town and grab some food before hitting the road back home and Ash insisted on bringing her laptop into the restaurant to edit a couple of the photo's. We assured her it could wait but she couldn't! Here was Ash, sitting in front of me drinking a cold beer and editing photo's from a shoot she had just wrapped up minutes prior, I could tell from the look in her eyes this was everything she could ask for and more.

Here are a couple of my favourite pictures from that day.
Thanks again, Ash.

Something I always regretted was not getting some sexy photo's done for my husband, to gift to him on our wedding day. So when Ash posted about doing a beauty marathon (she does them every couple of months, so keep your eyes pealed) which could be used as a boudoir shoot, I knew it was the perfect opportunity. I was beyond nervous. I have days, just like most women where I don't fully love my body and leading up to the date of the shoot thats exactly how I was feeling.

As soon as I walked into the building a sense of relief washed over me. I knew I was going to be with someone who not only told me I looked perfect just the way I was but actually meant it. I will never be able to explain my gratitude to Ashleigh. This was not exactly the kind of thing I needed to do for myself but she was the exact person I needed to be on the other side of the camera.

I felt beautiful every single second of the shoot. Whether I was sitting down with my 6 belly rolls, or laying down where you could see the cellulite on my legs. I felt beautiful and could care less. I left grinning ear to ear, and full of confidence!

Once again, thanks Ash.

Then there is the most recent shoot we did with Ashleigh. It was -5 outside and we hit the mountains for an elopement styled shoot. We had such a blast with her and Faye from Oak and Owl Photography. We sipped champagne, laughed our asses off and lost all the feelings in our fingers but it was so worth it. 

I got to wear an incredible wedding dress, get all dolled up and take photos with my real life husband. Does it get much better? I don't think so.

Have you fallen in love with her and booked her for your next shoot yet?

If your answer is yes, great.
If your answer is no, that's okay. I'll convince you to do so below.

I asked Ash a couple questions about herself. Be ready to laugh/cry.

Q - Can you describe yourself in 3 words?

Q- What made you fall in love with photography?
A- I've always appreciated photography, but I fell madly in love with it when we were planning our trip to Africa. I bought a camera, taught myself how to use it, and started practicing so I could take pictures of the animals. As soon as I started learning I became obsessed. I would practice on my dogs and then started asking friends to model for me! It all unfolded from there and here I am! 

Q- How would you describe your photography style?
A-  I get asked this a lot and its such a hard question. I feel that im neither dark and moody, nor bright and airy. I think i fall perfectly in the middle. I love creamy tones that makes your skin look soft and warmth to feel the romance in the image. I think that my work is true to surrounding colors. I want my clients to look back and love their images not only for how they look in them, but also for how they felt in the moment. 

Q- Where is your dream location for a photoshoot?
A- Ireland! I would love to do an elopement there! The landscape, the rich greens, the castles and the mist. It all just sounds so dreamy! I would also love to do Hawaii. Anywhere that has the lush greens and near an ocean, is my dream!

Q- Who/what are your biggest inspirations?
A- This is going to sound so cheesy but I have to say my husband. He is one of those guys that does anything to get me to laugh. He doesn't care what people think of him, and I think that for me is a huge inspiration. With social media being a huge part of my life, its easy to get caught up in it. Comparing yourself or your work to others, and worrying about what people will think. He reminds me daily not to do this, especially when hes being a goof ball and people are staring. Photography wise, Id have to say my biggest inspiration is my friend Carley from Edmonton. Her photography company is Chasing Dream Photography. I did mentoring from her, and I have to say she is an amazing and kind person. Not to mention a kick ass photographer. 

Q- Favourite food?
A-  Poutine, hands down. Its what us Canadians are known for. I also have a huge sweet tooth and love a good chocolate cake. 

Q- Favourite quote/saying?
A- "act now ask for forgiveness later" I say this to a lot of my clients when we are shooting. Sometimes we hop a fence we probably shouldn't or go into places that are "restricted". I just think its good to always seize the moment. especially if it makes for good pic. Anything for the gram right??!!

Ok, if you haven't contacted her by now, you're crazy. 

But seriously, I can't say enough about this beautiful human being.

She is creative, mega talented and affordable.

Plus she is a total cutie. 

You're the best in the business Ash! Keep it up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lounging In The Living Room

out with the old + in with the new    

Before & After

Buying our first home was so exciting! We only looked at one house before deciding it was the perfect place to call home. We always knew we were going to make some cosmetic changes throughout the house but changing the functionality was going to be quite difficult as the main level only boasts 650 sq ft. 

Our living room was one of the first projects we knew we wanted to take on. I played around with it so many freaking times before finding exactly what we wanted. HELLO, Ikea. I knew the perfect couch would come around one day (insert the praising hands emoji). The vimle sectional is not just extremely comfortable but its the perfect size, colour and it is even washable which is great for families like ours with pets and eventually kiddos. It was very affordable ($1499 Canadian) and will be perfect for years to come. A smart investment, right? 

There are a few other things I love about our living room including our beautiful 5x7 area rug from Urban Outfitters which brightens up our space perfectly. I have always loved a modern, neutral yet feminine interior and when this rug came in I was a bit worried that my husband would hate having a pink rug but he loved it Win, win. 

The gather print and frame was gifted to me for Christmas and is something I am confident will be in my house forever. It is so versatile and can be used in any space whether thats the front entry, master bedroom or living room like ours! You can order one for your house from Jube Prints

My gold marble wall, oh how I love you. Our marble peel + stick wallpaper is another one of my favourite things about our house. It was affordable, easy to do (my "handy" husband and mother-in law would beg to differ) and completely changes the dynamic of our living room. I ordered this wallpaper through Roommates Decor and it cost me $75 US. The price was super comparable to what I had found in stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart, but the modern print is what really caught my eye and set it apart from the others, making it totally worth it! Bonus side note, they have a 25% off sale going on site wide right now so jump on it!

Lastly, our steal of a deal DIY coffee table! I had been searching the internet for a gold or brass coffee table for months before finding the best Ikea hack ever on Pinterest. We bought the vittsjo table for $79.99 and a couple cans of spray paint for $10 and voila! It took no time at all and was less than half the price of similar styles we found on Wayfair. 
I have attached the Pinterest hack here -> 23-instagram-worthy-ikea-hacks.html.

I love that we were able to completely change the vibe of our living room with furniture, decor and little DIY projects. Overall the changes we have made have all been very affordable and now the room is staged exactly the way I desired. Not every re-design has to be done by tearing down walls and breaking the bank. Sometimes you just need to get creative with what you've got which has made this mini makeover so much more fun and less stressful for us!

If you have any questions regarding our living room makeover please leave a comment and I will get back to you! Thanks for reading and following along friends.