DIY Disneyland Maternity Photoshoot

Things have been quiet around here as we prepare for our first baby, but I wanted to pop in real quick to share our maternity photos. Once we adjust to life with a little one, I'm hoping to share even more fairytale-inspired posts and products to add magic to your everyday life!

As soon as I got pregnant, everyone predicted that we would have a Disney Baby because of my deep love for all things Disney. So when it came time to think about taking maternity photos, I knew the only place that made sense was Disneyland. We decided to save money by taking most of the photos ourselves, while enlisting the help of the Disney PhotoPass photographers. Thus, the DIY Disneyland photoshoot was born!

We were able to squeeze in a quick morning trip to the park during my 35th week of pregnancy. My husband and I had a blast arriving at rope drop and exploring all our favorite spots. He normally is not the photographer in the family, so it was a real treat to have him take the time to snap these shots of my growing belly. Then we found as many PhotoPass photographers as we could, paying the $39 flat fee for a day pass.

Afterwards I lightly edited all the photos in Lightroom (I'm no expert but know my way around). We are both so happy with how the pictures came out. It's something I know we'll treasure forever.

Thank you so much for checking out our Disneyland Maternity photos! Our Disney Baby will be here any day now, and I can't wait for many more Disney-inspired shoots in the future.

DIY Disneyland Maternity Photoshoot

Maisy's Merry UnBirthday

One year ago today, Miss Maisy joined our family. She was rescued by the incredible Pacific Pug Rescue from the county shelter who had deemed her "not fit for adoption" due to her severe kennel cough, missing patches of fur from flea infestations and slight limp. The shelter had found her on the streets, but that's as much as we know about her history. Her foster dad, Brian, was instantly taken with her sweetness and eagerness to please. He knew right away that she would be a great fit for our family, and a wonderful sister for Chloe. I remember how shy and scared she was on that first trip home, I mean who wouldn't be with a crazy pug panting in your face (Chloe was very excited).

I could hardly wait the 24 hours to bring her home and shower her with love. And food! From that day forward, Maisy has fit seamlessly into our family.

Maisy Dog Adoption Announcement

Since we don't know her exact birthday, we planned to celebrate her Adoption/Gotcha Day, or as I like to call it, her UnBirthday. While making her a special treat would be fun for us, I knew her dream day would be a trip to the beach to play ball.

Pug Happy FaceBall Throw Sequence

"Daddy throw it now!"

What I've Learned in Year One about Maisy

  • Playing ball = serious business
  • She will let loose and run around crazy (you pug owners know what I mean) at the beach and after a bath
  • She loves her toys like her own puppies, then throws them in the air like she just don't care
  • She smiles and throws her head back like Snoopy when you scratch her belly just... right
  • Sometimes she gets terrified from a broom or water bottle, which breaks my heart to think of what her life was like before
  • She's learned that baths aren't that bad, as long as sister is there with her
  • She will do anything to get food
  • She purrs like a kitty when she is really comfy, and also likes to perch on the top of the couch
  • Her smile warms my heart

Needless to say, Chloe loves having a sister. Maisy has helped Chloe lose 5 pounds by pushing to go faster and farther on every walk. They still sometimes fight like sisters, but they always make up right afterwards and can be caught cuddling later that night.

Photobomb!

Family Picture

Maisy had a ball at her Merry UnBirthday Party, and slept hard the whole way home. While we've had a few dog beach trips since we've been in California, this one was extra special. And I hope she knew it.

I can't imagine life without my sweet girl. She has brought so much joy and light to my life. Her story has humbled me to raise awareness about the life of shelter animals. She shows me how grateful she is every day to have found a warm, loving home. I can only hope to return that amount of love.

Thank you Pacific Pug Rescue and Brian for bringing Maisy into our lives. No words can describe what she means to me.

And thank you Maisy, for finding us, and brightening our world.

The California Christmas Tree Experience

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest my entire life, I was slightly nervous about finding an authentic Christmas tree experience in Southern California. I have spent several Christmases in California, and remember my grandparents finding the tallest tree possible... at the local Sam's Club parking lot. The holidays just wouldn't be the same without being able to strap on my boots and hike through the hills to find the Perfect Tree. After some searching I found Richfield Pines. I was instantly smitten. Their story of starting a business to reconnect with family time was so heartwarming, as was their commitment to being environmentally friendly. I knew I had found our forest. But I didn't know how AMAZING our experience would be.

California Christmas Tree FarmPugs at California Christmas Tree FarmThese people were the friendliest, happiest, most helpful tree farmers I have ever met. They even directed us to the nearest trash receptacle when the girls decided to share their fertilizer...

Pugs waiting for Daddy at Tree FarmThe most interesting part about tree hunting in California is that we were surrounded by palm and orange trees. HOW COOL IS THAT!

We have had some pretty horrible experiences in Oregon, but this was the complete opposite. They were right there to greet us, chop down our tree, carry it down the hillside and strap it to our car. No wait. No hassle. Tons of happy feelings. And you can tell that they all LOVE what they do. Win. Win. Win.

California Christmas Tree Farm huntingWSU sticker with Christmas TreeThank you Richfield Pines for making our first family California Christmas Tree Experience perfect. It smells incredible and brings a smile to my heart every time I walk around the corner.

The evil cold prevails (finally stumbled to the doctor for meds), but I'm so happy we mustered up enough strength to harvest the annual Christmas tree. Now to find the energy to decorate it...

This week will be full of holiday card creating and new free printable designing. Stay tuned!

California Here We Come!

Big news for my little family and Elaina Lynn Design... we're moving to Southern California! My husband was offered an incredible opportunity within his company, and we were ready for the adventure. Pugs in Disney Mickey EarsWe have wanted this for a long time, but the timing couldn't be worse. As you remember, we just moved. So now we are faced with a lease break fee, and repacking boxes we just finished unpacking (if only we had kept all those boxes...). Thankfully we haven't hung any curtains or pictures yet!

The timing is also horrible for me as an solopreneur. I was just gaining momentum again coming off of our last move, and gearing up for the holiday season with lots of big ideas for new products and designs. Most of those have gone on the back burner now that I need to find us a new place to live (desperately!) and figure out the cheapest way to move all our stuff 1,000 miles away (and no, that is not an exaggeration!). Oy.

The positive is that I LOVE what I do, so sneaking in time to work on a new design brings me so much joy. I am so thankful that I have the ability to shift my priorities to take care of moving since my husband is traveling constantly and juggling two jobs as he makes the transition.

We are trying to sneak in fun activities in Portland while we can, like going to the Oregon Renaissance Fair and meeting up for friends with dinner. We even snuck in a late night snack at Le Happy, a creperie I've wanted to visit before I even moved to Portland! We are also making time to celebrate this exciting change in our lives... It's been my dream to live near Disneyland, I can't believe it's coming true!!

Friends and family keep asking how I feel. Terrified. Thrilled. Nervous. Ecstatic. My mood really changes by the minute right now. I know we will be so happy for so many reasons, but getting there is half the battle. Thankfully I have these two furbabies to keep my spirits up. Here are some of the outtakes from our photoshoot!

Pugs dressed in Disney Mickey EarsThanks for reading about my latest adventure! How do you adapt your career and lifestyle when life throws you a curveball?