My Life

20 Father's Day Gifts for Every Kind of Dad

20 Gift Ideas

just for dads

So, I don’t know if any of you have heard of Gary Chapmans, “The Five Love Languages,” but its basically a book talking about how there are five basic ways people communicate and like to receive love. Well, long story short. One of my main love language’s is GIFTS! I LOVE giving gifts to those I love. But not just any gift, the PERFECT gift. Like when you see an ad for it online or in a store and your just like OMG this would be perfect for this person! :) However, not all people love gifts. My husband for example always says that the best gift I could give him is not spending money on a gift…. BLAHHHHH…. #nofun! :)

Anyway, because of my love of gifts! I have created yet another gift-giving blog post but this time… just for dads! Click the buttons below each photo to learn more about each item or purchase it! Enjoy!

For the Dad who loves coffee

Driftaway Coffee Subscription- 3 months only $50!

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for the dad who can grill

this deluxe grill set for only $32

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for the dad who can rock

the rise & fall of rockstars only $15

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For the dad who loves to camp

This amazing hammock only $25-35 (pending on color)

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for the dad who’s always tinkering with things

this tool is a spork, knife, fire flint, peeler, can opener, bottle opener, pry bar, box cutter, cord cutter, and flathead screwdriver and only $50

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for the dad who’s a health nut

no blender in the world can stand against this one only $68

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for the diy dad

this magnetic wristband allows him to keep those tools at his fingertips for only $10

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for the budget-minded dad

this nest smart thermostat will keep his money right where he likes it, in his pocket! Only $200

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for the dad who likes travel

get this airbnb giftcard on amazon- range $25+

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or

this cork globe to mark his travels only $30

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FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES CARS

driveshare.com allows you to rent a car for a day! Amazing opportunity to drive those cars he dreams of owning!

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for the dad who loves his facial hair

beard shampoo and conditioner

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for the dad who loves video games

He’ll love this vintage Atari Shirt

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for the dad who loves the finer things

He will definitely fancy these scotch infused toothpicks

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for the dad who loves beer

need I say more!?!

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for the dad who loves to read

these book darts are great for keeping his place in all the different books he is reading! Plus they can be used to mark important thoughts that he can come back to later!

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for the dads who love board games

Start with Settlers of Catan and then move your way to Scythe if you have a REAL board game enthusiast!

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for the hipster dad

this foodie cook book is something he will surely love

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for the dad who loves jokes

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For the musical Dad

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To my husband on the day he graduates...

Today we celebrate this amazing man and my husband! The reason we moved to Illinois is so he could get his masters from Lincoln Christian university. And today he graduates with a Masters of Divinity in the New Testament. The thing about time is that when you look at it in hindsight it all sounds so simple. He graduated with a bachelors we moved to Illinois, got his masters, etc. but that’s not how it works. In reality, There has been blood, sweat and tears pursuing this degree. There were good times and bad times. Financially, emotionally, and spiritually. It takes dedication, commitment, passion, drive, a humble spirit and an eagerness to learn when pursuing higher education and even MORE SO when you do it with a full time job, a wife with a business and three young kids. But the really amazing thing about Chase is his integrity and his humility. He always does the right thing even when no one is watching and see’s himself not as one to be served but as a servant to all!

So today I take a break from everything to celebrate him and the amazing human being, husband, friend, and brother in Christ this man is. He is everything I’m not and everything I want to be! I love you chase and I’m so incredibly proud to be with you on this journey! Can’t wait to see where life takes us!

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Best last-minute gifts for Mother's Day that don't seem last minute

20 Last-Minute Gifts

For Mother’s Day

Hey… procrastination is a thing… I totally get it! But mother’s day is THIS SUNDAY… so I decided to make you this list of the BEST last-minute gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Because whether its your own mama, your mother-in-law, your bff on their first mother’s day, or your wife… we ALL know a mama who deserves to be spoiled!


For the Mama who loves to cook: This Kate Spade Recipe Box! ($30)

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or this one ($16)

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For the Mama who loves alone time: Okay, lets face it, that’s ALL Mama’s! Pay for her a night alone (or with a friend) in a hotel or airbnb. Stock it with pizza, wine, and her favorite chocolate!!!! Trust me, it’ll be THE BEST GIFT EVER!

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For the mama with a green thumb: Succulents!!!! ($15)

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For the Mama who loves to read: This Bookmark’s are for Quitters T-Shirt ($16)

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Or A Kindle Paper White (Reg. $129 on sale for $89)

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For the Instagram Mama: Double-Sided Letter Felt Board ($20)

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For the Mom who Loves Coffee: ($11)

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OR these “If you can read this, bring me coffee…” socks ($11)

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For the Mom-Boss: This Mom-Hustle T-shirt ($17)

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OR this watercolor mouse pad: $6

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For the mom who LOVES pictures: Floral Camera Strap ($15)

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OR one of these camera bodies with this lens…

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For the Fit Mom: S’well Water Bottle! Keeps it cold OR hot for 24 hrs.

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For the outdoorsy Mama: “camping hair, dont care” hat ($8)

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For the Mom who loves Fashion: Co-ordinate Necklace ($18)- Put in the coordinates of where you met, where she had her first child, or some other significant moment!

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For the tech-saavy Mama: nest smart thermostat ($220)

for any mom ever: A CHILD-LESS shopping spree in Target: because Target is awesome ($50-500)

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For the thoughtful mama: A Hand-written Letter- Think about all the things she thinks you DON’T notice and talk about those! <3 There isn’t a woman in the world who doesn’t love being appreciated! ($0)

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Less Stuff, More Experiences...

In 2019 it is trendy to commit to this "less stuff, more experiences" motto. I like it... I like that we are freeing ourselves from this materialism that has held on to us for much to long. I think that value should be placed on experience. What you experience with your husband, your kids, your friends, and yourself matters. And being sure that you make enough time in your life to allow for those experiences to happen is important.
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If you go to my website one of the first things you will see is "Wholistic Photography-- Heart, Mind, Soul." This is because I'm wanting to back away from last minute photo sessions that require no thought or planning. They don't require you to get to know one another and they don't manifest into anything beyond a Christmas card image or an obligatory yearly photo. I don't want to spend my life contributing toward this guilt that you must get your kids picture taken every 2 seconds or else you are a bad mom. 
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Thats not who I am. That's not what I believe. That's not something I want to dedicate my life to. I do, however, want to provide people with an experience that is worth their time & money. An experience that challenges them, makes them reflect, makes couples talk to each other, and makes people grow. An experience that forces people to pause and evaluate their past, present, and their future. An experience that reminds people who they are and how they want to live their life. An experience that keeps people invested in relationships worth having and living a life that they will be proud of when they look back at it in the future. An experience that gives joy, hope, encouragement and affirmation. An experience that WILL change them. 
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THIS... THIS is who I am... This is something I WANT to dedicate my life to doing. Being an artistic mediator for couples, families, and even with ourselves. An artist that provides her clients with an experience that gives them the ability to stop living their life on auto-pilot and start living a life of intention. 
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When did we become so busy that we found ourselves mindlessly going through the motions? So chronically busy that we find ourselves unable to be fully present in any given activity. So busy that we walk around completely deflated with barely enough energy to complete even the simplest of tasks. So busy that feeling a sense of anxiety or a general "overwhelmed" feeling is considered normal...
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You guys... this is not okay! Busy-ness does not equal success. A full calendar does not mean you are in control of your life. Our urgency-addicted culture is part of the problem. We're convinced that with just a bit more speed, we can stay in control-- and so we grow unwilling to tolerate slowing down. In fact... pausing actually becomes uncomfortable. 
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Not sure this is a problem in your life? Do an experiment... do nothing at all for 10 minutes... don't look at your phone, don't read, don't write, don't mentally make lists of things you need to do, literally do nothing.... The harder that feels, the more you may need this. 
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I don't want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. That is what the photos by Ariel process has been reformed. It has been altered and refined so that this can happen for you as a couple, as a family, and as a parent. Not just during before or during the session but after the session too. So that each and every time you look at these pictures you are forced to pause and remember. You are reminded of what you need to do to live a life that you will be proud of when your 80 and 90 years old. 

I cannot wait to get started with you! I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this experience than you! 

Illinois Photographer, Central Illinois Photographer, Lincoln Illinois Photographer, Springfield Illinois Photographer, Peoria Illinois photographer, Decatur Illinois photographer, Bloomington Illinois photographer, normal Illinois photographer, photos by Ariel, less stuff, more experiences, minimalism, photography experience, wholistic photography

Illinois Photographer, Central Illinois Photographer, Lincoln Illinois Photographer, Springfield Illinois Photographer, Peoria Illinois photographer, Decatur Illinois photographer, Bloomington Illinois photographer, normal Illinois photographer, photos by Ariel, less stuff, more experiences, minimalism, photography experience, wholistic photography

Kids are honest...

Friday Truth Time

Every Friday tune in on Facebook or Instagram for bits of my story 💗

Kids are honest. We all know this. If you want to know how things REALLY are.... ask a toddler. 🤣 The other day I had a realization...

My 3 year old was at church and someone said... "Wow... you look so beautiful in that dress. And look at that pretty curly hair!" 💗 Her response: "I know [with the biggest grin on her face]." 

I'll be honest, at first I totally laughed to myself. Clearly she just doesn't have manners. 😜 Doesn't she know that when somebody compliments us we are supposed to respond with a really awkward "thank you" and stutter around stating aloud some self-deprecating, humble comment. 

Person: "Wow you've lost so much weight." 
Us: "Thank you, I still have so far to go. Ugh..." 

Person: "Your hair looks amazing today." 
Us: "Really? Thanks. I hate it. I wish my hair was _________." 

And then it hit me. Maybe she's not wrong. Maybe I am. We have gotten into this habit of not knowing how to admire ourselves. We are quick to say something negative about ourselves in response. I don't believe this is because we are seeking attention, I believe its because we are insecure. Compliments embarrass us. We don't know how to handle them.

But ya'll, we are all worthy of being admired. We live in a culture where we are not allowed to admire ourselves, especially not publicly or outloud. If we do, we are at a risk of being considered vain or prideful. Why? Shouldn't we learn to unconditionally accept, approve, appreciate, forgive, trust and love ourselves? 

I mean... your not perfect... and neither am I. But I am good at some things. That's not selfish. It's honest. And yet, we are so reluctant to name and claim our own good qualities. But the more we practice speaking kindly to ourselves and about ourselves, the more powerful we become. When we speak out-loud the things we are good at, we give ourselves the freedom to live up to our full potential. We stop trying to imitate others and start living the life WE were meant to live. 

It's time. It's time to love yourself. Respect yourself. Admire yourself. Forgive yourself. Accept yourself. Trust yourself. Love Yourself. Nurture Yourself. TODAY IS THAT DAY. 

Let's start now... I want each of you to channel your inner 3 year old and name 3 things you admire about yourself. 

Illinois Photographer, Central Illinois Photographer, Lincoln Illinois Photographer, Bloomington Illinois Photographer, Decatur Illinois Photographer, Normal Illinois Photographer, Peoria Illinois Photographer, Springfield Illinois Photographer, Photos by Ariel
Illinois Photographer, Central Illinois Photographer, Lincoln Illinois Photographer, Bloomington Illinois Photographer, Decatur Illinois Photographer, Normal Illinois Photographer, Peoria Illinois Photographer, Springfield Illinois Photographer, Photos by Ariel