Masthead header

pinthis

At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to post these boudoir photos from my 41st birthday a few weeks ago. I didn’t love the way my body looked because my body has changed so much from the year before. You see, after my 40th birthday last year, I decided I’d make it a tradition to do an annual boudoir shoot just for me. So contacted Magdalena from Pure Boudoir.

birthday gift boudoir asian classy long hair pinthis

My first birthday boudoir shoot was when I turned the big 4-0 last year. I absolutely LOVED this new chapter, my body, and I felt confident and empowered when I posed for the boudoir shoot. What changed this year that I feel a little down, you ask? I don’t really have one exact answer. Maybe I’m just PMSing? Anyway, in between booking some aerial yoga classes (for fun mostly, but also fitness), I realized that self-acceptance, being happy, “not giving a damn” about what people think can be very threatening to people. (And you know I don’t ordinarily give two f*cks about what people think lol!) People can’t understand it. It unnerves them. They will judge it. But that is not a problem of mine, nor yours. It is simply, theirs to have. Noone knows your journey.

pinthis

We all have something about ourselves we do not like. But, we rarely ask ourselves where it comes from – and that’s what I’m digging into this year of my life, 41 trips around the sun. Self-acceptance is a journey. For me, the birthday boudoir shoot offers a new realization each year. I dedicate it to my personal growth and progress. I dedicate it to feeling proud to be strong and feminine. I dedicate it to my clients, to show them it is entirely okay. And this makes me smile… HARD.

pinthis

Age is just a number, and it is also a rebirth. It’s an occasion to realize and appreciate who you are and who you are becoming. And I hope to continue these discoveries each year. Are you with me, ladies?

Hope you enjoy my 41st birthday boudoir shoot, I know it’s growing on me!

xo, Melissa

pinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthispinthis

Hair and make-up by the talented Diem.

Senda message Shareon facebook Tweetto twitter Pin topinterest

crayola experience orlandopinthis

Where do crayons go on vacation? Color-ado!

Or actually, to Orlando, Florida, we go. Cheesy mom jokes aside, our recent family trip down South included an all-day outing at Crayola Experience Orlando. Six colorful hours of melts downs (talking crayon-making, not my kids), too many hands-on activities to count, and lots and lots of coloring outside the lines – can’t think of anything more kid-friendly than that! It was Winter Break from schools, so you can imagine how packed Crayola Experience was with families all trying to entertain the kids.

Our favorite attraction at Crayola Experience was the Melt & Mold – here the kids can create a ring, shark, car or seahorse souvenir out of crayon wax. Roman and Rhys each picked out a shark mold – no surprise because they love all things aquatic! The Drip Art station is a new spin on a timeless classic. We had fun loading freshly made crayons into the Drip Art machine and watching it melt and drip wax into a swirly-whirly work of art. And of course, we enjoyed the Crayon making station where you can customize the label with your name.

As if all the creative activity stations weren’t enough, Crayola Experience also has playrooms and interactive floors that get the kids jumping and dancing. Pro tip: Plan out the top 5 attractions you want to hit up in advance. You could easily spend six hours at Crayola Experience (like we did), but if you don’t have that much time, make sure to plan out your visit in advance. All in all, we had a blast and Crayola Experience was a welcome break from the usual Orlando theme park hopping.

crayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthiscrayola experience orlandopinthis

Senda message Shareon facebook Tweetto twitter Pin topinterest

Lauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthis

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Me – sunshine, warm weather (or just warmer, because, Chicago) and DRESSES! Like this gorgeous dress that I may have stolen from my glamazon girlfriend’s closet (hi, Tiff!) for a desert shoot at Salt River in Coon Bluff, Arizona. She’s like 4” taller and the dress is way too long for me, but look how it moves! Like a dream. Speaking of dreams, I’m already daydreaming about Spring Break with the kids, and have booked tickets back to Florida to visit the grandparents! After having visited Florida once already in December, my friends are starting to joke that I’m becoming a snow bird! 😉

You know the Instagram vs. reality jokes? I love how this desert shoot turned out. Everything looks so peaceful and idyllic, right? But let me clue you in on a little behind the scenes. There were three of us – me, Lauren A. (my photographer), and Lauren U. (Lauren A’s bestie who I was also going to shoot). Because of the multiple outfits between the three of us, and because we were shooting at sunset and running out of light FAST, I said F*ck it – and ended up shooting both Laurens in my bra and underwear between wardrobe changes. Lauren A. swore someone from all the way on the ground beneath us whistled. Check out Part 1 of my desert shoot here!

Tell me in the comments – what fun travel plans do you have upcoming, and more importantly, do they include warm weather?

Lauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthisLauren Ashley Photography arizonapinthis

Senda message Shareon facebook Tweetto twitter Pin topinterest
  • Joli S......... Dipkiss Travels - Stunning photoshoot! Love the dramatic red against the desert backdrop!

    Just got back from a trip to the tropics (Philippines)… Now, we’re back to the freezing East Coast, and already missing the beach! Can’t wait for spring and summer to come already.ReplyCancel

bliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthis

Do it for the ‘gram. As in, hike up a mountain in a tulle skirt all for a desert fashion photo shoot. Come on, you know you’ve always wanted to live on the wild side. Recently took a 2,380 mileage run from Chicago to Arizona just to maintain Elite status with United Airlines, and spent a whirlwind 36 hours in the desert with one of my best friends, Tiffany. She knows all the best locations to shoot in Arizona, and Salt River at Coon Bluff here is no exception. (Also lucky for me, Tiff insisted I take her boots because I was planning on doing the hike in my flip-flops.) That desert sunshine, wide open views, are just what I needed (and am craving right now) to escape the bitter, white winter at home. I chose outfits that were flowy in fabric and saturated in color, like my favorite Bliss Tulle blue skirt. I wanted to emphasize them against the simple beauty of the desert background, using the natural wind to create movement in the flowing fabrics. Hope you enjoy my first desert photo shoot – stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!

Also, did you see my YouTube video of our Spicy Noodle Challenge? I mean, what else ya gonna do with your girlfriend when you’re only in town for one full day?

Photography by: Lauren Ashley

bliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthisbliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthisbliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthisbliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthisbliss tulle Juliet skirtpinthis

Senda message Shareon facebook Tweetto twitter Pin topinterest