Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

We took these photos last year for Phoenix’s third birthday party. None of us were thrilled to be out shooting a lifestyle session in the middle of a Houston July, but all in the name of some cute (and sweaty) photos.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Phoenix had requested a Petey party so it was pretty crucial to get photos of him with his dogs. I am really hoping to get him his own puppy this year, to be honest our dogs have never been particularly thrilled with his existence, so I would love to get him a little friend who has just as much energy and love as he does. Phoenix LOVES animals, he even loves bugs, he calls them all his friends and really would never hurt a fly. We even befriended a caterpillar the other day as we were walking out of our apartment, Phoenix would have stayed and chatted with him forever. I don’t know if it’s biological or learned to be an animal lover, but by goodness I am so glad he loves animals. It is true what they say about animals and children though, they do somewhat take a back seat once you have a baby to care for, and I don’t think Petey has ever really forgiven us for it. I will say that he tolerates Phoenix. Phoenix is smitten with him and Charlie though. Again, having an animal friend around that would love him back would be pretty awesome, I am trying so hard to be patient and wait until he is an age where he will have some really strong memories of getting his very own dog.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Phoenix wore a white shirt so we could photoshop his age on (as you can see in the first photo above), we’ve done this every year and it’s become a fun little tradition. He’s a boy so he likely won’t care, but my aunt always had yearly photos of her boys that hung in her hallway and it’s so fun to see all the little changes that happen in a  year, I wanted to do that for Phoenix.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love PhotographyHarrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

ToLiveToLove0059

Towards the end, Phoenix got the grumpy bug. I actually love that face so much, I see it a couple of times a week and although he really is a happy kid 90% of the time, this face is also a perfect representation of that part of his personality.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

And a few of our fur babies, because it’s been a long time since we took photos with these guys! Petey is a rescue, a volunteer from the shelter found him in a dumpster wrapped up in a trash bag with a broken leg. It really breaks my heart to know that there are people in this world that could even fathom doing something like that. I call him my dumpster baby, even though he just turned 7, so technically not much of a baby anymore.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Charlie is our beautiful Pomeranian pup, we also got him at the shelter and the label on his cage said Pomeranian, but neither myself nor Kris believed it, he was completely shaven and was pretty big (about 15 pounds). We figured he was a mixed breed, but he was still completely adorable so he came home with us. We don’t know how old he is, we’ve had him about 7 and a half years, so it’s possible he is getting close to 10, but he is still super energetic.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

After having Charlie for about a couple of months his hair just kept growing and growing, until he turned into this beautiful dog. He was (and sometimes still is) scared of noises and sudden movements, so we think there may have been some abuse in his past, but we’re no dog experts so we really don’t know. He is much like a cat- and loves to lay underneath our bed, coming out for meal times and whenever he hears the crinkling of wrappers. He has taken to Phoenix pretty well (much better than Petey) and is very quick to catch any food casualties from P’s plate. He usually beats Petey to them.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Meanwhile, Phoenix is changing daily and I am constantly hoping that time will slow down. Right now Phoenix loves playing with tiny legos, he loves super heroes- spiderman, ironman, and hulk seem to be his favorites most days, but batman, and superman cycle in there too. He has a wonderful vocabulary and is constantly surprising me by the things he says. He loves playing at the park and meeting new people, everyone he meets are his new friends (I wish I had that quality). He loves doing new things and gets bored pretty easily, he also never met a Disney movie he didn’t like, Wreck-it-Ralph, Big Hero Six, and Zootopia are a few of his current favorites. Kris and I are really enjoying this stage of his life, we’ve both dove head first into soaking up childhood again- we’ve become Disney-a-holics, we are well versed in all super heroes, and are constantly on the hunt for activities that will make us all feel like kids again. So far the only thing we’ve found we’re not fans of is ChuckECheese. We’re past the terrible twos, and the first couple months of three we had some pretty sticky moments, but those have become few and far between, so we seem to be in this sweet stage of life where our biggest problem is just giving him as much time as we have and answering all of those “why” and “how” questions. We love you Phoenix and are so happy we get to do life with you.

Photo Credits | To Live To Love Photography

Phoenix’s third birthday | Kristen Curette Photography

This summer Phoenix celebrated his third birthday. This year, I was very particular about letting Phoenix choose the theme. It was the first year he had a very strong opinion about the subject and the first year I feel like he really understood what choosing a theme actually meant. About a month and a half before his party he started asking for a Petey theme (Petey is our dog pictured below). I thought he would surely change his mind and ask for an Octonauts party, spiderman, or avengers theme…but for the next few weeks he continued to ask for a “Petey feme”. I was happy to oblige. Here is my little three year old and our favorite white dog that sheds like no other.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Once again we wanted people to have no trouble finding our apartment so we did balloons and directional signs into our complex.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Now the paper is pretty special to me. My cousin Audrey actually drew this illustration of Petey for the invitations. How she captured his sad little look is beyond me. These invites were super simple- once Audrey drew Petey I just scanned it in and added some text. This is the first year I designed them myself and ordered them from Catprint.com. We lined and printed the envelopes ourselves as well.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Once people arrived inside we had Phoenix’s three year old photo blown up (by Tinyprints). We also used small porcelain dogs in several places…Kris actually suggested this and I loved the idea, but I did have a problem with the fact that this is a toddler party and I’m putting small breakable items all over the place. In the end the fact that they are cute won out and I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of them should there have been an accident (there wasn’t).

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

These stools always live here, but I call them my Petey hair stools. Just pretend I made these from the amount of hair my white Petey dog sheds in one week. #notkidding

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography 0062

I used fun green fern-like plants everywhere. To be honest I am running out of ideas. For his first birthday we did cactuses, last year we did air plants…what other manly plant options are there? I suppose I haven’t gone crazy with succulents yet.

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography 0062

I realize I have yet to share the final photos of our living and dining room yet. I need to, the areas are technically all finished and photographed. Silly me wants to tweak everything and re-shoot it, but I promise to share those photos soon whether I change things or not.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Tinyprints provided these pillows for us. The one with the photo of Phoenix and “his” dogs just makes me melt on so many levels. All three of my kiddos in one adorable little pillow. This pillow now lives in Phoenix’s room and he really gets a kick out of seeing his face on a pillow.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

We did the hot dog bar outside and painted the interior of our fence white just so these photos would look good. Yes, I realize we are completely insane. I also realize we are insane for putting any type of food outdoors in the middle of July in Houston. We kept everything refrigerated until right before serving and it seemed to work out well. At least the hot dogs stayed nice and warm.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

I made this hot dog bar sign with my printing transfer method. I have been using this method A LOT lately on things other than chalkboard and it works awesomely well.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

We provided every kind of topping we could think of and put them all in dog bowls. These were brand new UNUSED dog bowls mind you. I think we have about 20 different toppings in all. You could quite literally make any kind of hot dog your little heart desired.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

I kept the dessert table simple this year. No crazy backdrop. Rise Cupcakes made the cake and pupcakes for me and Brittany did an amazing job, I searched the heck out of Ebay to find porcelain likenesses of our dogs.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

For the favors Kris made this little grass area with a doghouse on our back porch. Little ones could choose whichever dog their heart so desired, name them, and take them home.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Look at those sad puppy faces- they need a home! Oh and don’t think I wouldn’t have loved to have real puppies out here. If parents wouldn’t have murdered me for sending their children home with real puppies I would have been happy to take that route ;) (rescue pups of course!)

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

And I’ll end this post with a photo of Phoenix with my dad- only his bestest friend in the whole wide world. These guys are two peas in a pod.

And if you need more cute kid parties in your life or you are new here, you can see Phoenix’s first birthday party right here, his second birthday party here, or you can see more of this shindig over on 100 Layer Cakelet. ALSO, I’m super curious which party is your favorite. I believe his first birthday will always be mine.

Design: Jennifer Laura Design / Photography: Kristen Curette Photography / Invitation Illustration:Seriously Sketch / Custom pillows, canvas print, napkins, and custom wrapping paper: Tinyprints / Cake and pupcakes: Rise Cupcakes / Signage + graphics: Jennifer Laura Design / Bamboo flatware, hot dog sleeves, and cardboard containers: Shop Sweet Lulu / Balloons: Party City

Phoenix’s Room Reveal {Awake Photography}

Today is the day! I never dreamed I would get to share Phoenix’s room so soon, but Paige is a rock star and literally drop-boxed me these photos the night she shot his room. Thanks Paige!! As always she managed to not only capture all of the details, but Phoenix looking mighty adorable as well. So let’s go back to the beginning, back to a little mood board I put together about two months ago.

Phoenix's Big Boy Room | Jennifer Laura Design

Quite a lot has changed from this mood board to the final room- a few things that didn’t were the rug, the bed, the pillows, the curtains, and the artwork inspiration. But the nightstand, lamp, planes, and dresser totally did…I guess that might be about 50%… I don’t ever think a mood board is a concrete plan, but it really helps me visualize things and find a direction I can move forward with. I would say the wall color turned out somewhat similar to the color on the left. There was a good reason for everything changing…I kept thinking that this room was a little too Ikea, I mean I love shopping there, but both the bed and the dresser being from Ikea was a little much for me. I like an eclectic look and I love to mix and match. It’s so funny because my mom is from an era where you go into a store and you buy a bedroom set and that’s pretty much how you decorate…and she still to this day doesn’t quite understand this concept of furniture not matching. I think she’s slowly understanding, because while she hates thrifting, craigslist, and Ikea she loves the way my house looks. And I always tell her well it’s pretty much all thrifted, craigslist, and ikea…and target. I’m not proud of that fact per se, as an interior designer in a past life I would love to have everything custom made and ordered from to-the-trade only places…but the truth is that’s just not a reality for most people. I remember one day working as a designer a guy came in and asked if we knew of anywhere he could get a sofa for less than $2000. I was in my first month of working there so I kept my mouth shut, but all of the other designers were baffled… a sofa?? For less than $2000??? Has anyone ever heard of such an atrocity?? Maybe you can find one on sale at Crate and Barrel?

I’m a little more sunk into reality now, thank goodness. But anyways, I’ll try to source everything below and please don’t shoot me that my shopping sources aren’t fancy. :)

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

So the first change I made was to the dresser- Topher and I both liked the dresser from Ikea, but at $250 it was a bit expensive for Ikea. I kept thinking that for $250 I’d rather have something totally unique. So I started searching my little heart out on craigslist, mid century anything is so hard to find because a) it’s very popular and b) everyone selling it knows it’s very popular so they price it astronomically. I got lucky with this little piece, I found it for $300 and it’s condition was not perfect, but nothing a little cleaning couldn’t fix. And yes, this dresser makes me much happier than something mass produced could. I’d love to eventually change out the knobs for something a bit more special.

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

This little bear belongs to my dad, I had to beg him to borrow it for this shoot. This little guy is almost falling apart and threadbare in several places. This was my dad’s childhood bear and since Phoenix and my dad are quite literally best pals I thought his room needed a little bit of this bear.

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Can you believe that after hemming and hawing over this darn wall color for 2 months I’m still not sure it’s the right color. It’s a little more turquoise than I wanted. Picking a wall color is so gosh darned difficult…I do like it, but I still go back and forth on it. It’s dark, but doesn’t make the room feel small at all. There’s just something about it…maybe it’s too loud and taking away from everything else going on in there? I’m not sure, but overall I really dig his room I just like to nit pick everything I do. Please tell me you do that too…

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

The nightstand had to change since the dresser changed, we actually bought the orange table  from the mood board before we got the dresser, but as soon as the dresser came in the orange nightstand brought out all the ugly orange undertones in the dresser so it went back and I actually really dig these simple black nesting tables.

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Phoenix's Room | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Hey Phoenix, why don’t you try to not look so disgusted when I kiss you! xo, the woman who birthed you ;-) Thanks for looking!

{Sources: bed- ikea, comforter- target, black and white pillows- ikea, fox pillow- urban outfitters, nesting night stand- target, lamp- ikea, curtains- ikea, geometric rug- urban outfitters, dresser- craigslist, blue script painting- DIY, white play table- ikea, wicker kid chairs- Ikea with a DIY  paint dipped leg, rabbit artwork-etsy, P pillow- DIY, bookshelves- Ikea with a painted DIY, black and white striped basket- Ikea, footprint artwork- DIY}

{Photography courtesy of Awake Photography}