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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! I live for a great photo especially a great family photo. With all the madness of 2020, I needed our Christmas photos to be a good memory for the whole family. I needed the pictures to be ones we stare at for long periods of time and instantly feel warm and fussy inside. Through everything that has happened this year these photos remind me of my WHY. These photos remind me that even if the world never goes back to normal the Brooks family will stand strong, we will stay focused, we will trust god....and we're going to look good while doing it (most of the time) :)


Honestly I’m just glad to see everyone dressed dressed. With the kids doing remote learning, hubby working from home, and the world basically closed, no-one has a reason to get dressed. Welp, this past Sunday I gave them a reason, and I must say, in the most humble way.... we look damn good as a unit.


Anyone with a large family knows the struggle is oh so real to get everyone to co-operate for a picture. My husband said, with the hundreds of photos that were taken, at least one person managed to sabotage every single picture. LOL With ALL the different personalities in this house I truly understand that not capturing the perfect photo is the prefect photo for us. With the toddler almost getting kicked out of the photos, to the 6 year old refusing to smile because she just lost her front tooth, these pictures show everyone’s true personality.


The picture below was the exact moment that TJ was about to get kicked out of the photo's. How can such a tiny emotional creature that can't even talk have complete control of every person in this picture.





So let’s get to it.


I knew I wanted our pictures to be all black formal wear. The household was split, 3 people had stuff in their closet to wear, the other three had nothing. So I had to figure out what to get for Braylon, Kyla & TJ. We ended up renting Braylon a suit from Mayatux, I ordered Kyla a sparkly dress from forever21 & I found TJ a cheap little suit on jcpenny.com


So now I go through my mental checklist..... wardrobe complete, My husband is a part-time photographer so we have the person & equipment to take the photos. Now I just needed to create the scene.


****Side note***A lot of rooms in my house are under construction. I don’t believe in buying a bunch of stuff at once praying it all looks right, I literally buy a few things and stare at the room for long periods of time until I figure out the next item I need. The living room is one of "those" rooms so I figured it would be easy to push a few items out the way to capture our photos.


I figured the blue loveseat in the living room would fit the look of the pictures (even though it wasn't one of the traditional Christmas colors) I then got a few cardboard boxes from work (that we would normally throw out) & used them for the gifts in the picture. I knew that with the couch being blue and silver, wardrobe being black n white, I thought the best color for wrapping paper would be silver with black ribbon.


One of my employees wife wraps gifts super good so I was able to have her wrap the gifts for me. Now on to the back drop..... well I thought we were going to use an all white backdrop but it was too small..... annnnnnand I didn’t test it out till the day of (yea procrastinating is something I’m working on) So I had to think fast, My family was prepared to take photos and I couldn’t tell them pictures weren't going to happen because I never took the time to make sure the back drop fit???! Nope wasn't gonna happen, so I decided to use the curtains from our master bedroom as the backdrop. I’m obsessed with theses curtains by the way, and they’re from my go to place wayfair.com. The curtains are grey and white so they fit the color scheme, & once I hung them I instantly knew that using them as the backdrop looked so much better than just using an all white backdrop.


I then moved the sofa, rug, & coffee table to the other side of the room so that they weren't visible for the pictures. I Placed white paper (we used for a previous photo session) on the floor so that the wood floors wouldn’t show. Moved the sofa unto the white paper in front of the backdrop. & finally placed my wrapped gifts in front of the couch and added a few traditional holiday poinsettia's to complete the simple formal look I wanted.










I say all that to say, our homes have so much décor in them anyone can create the perfect set up to accomplish family photos. If you need help getting creative go to Pinterest or watch Youtube. Taking the time to learn how to make fancy bows is definitely on my to do list now. I would love having some fancy looking gifts around the Xmas tree during the holiday season & it would be cool to walk in birthday parties with a bomb wrapped gift! It’s all about the presentation people. LOL


Items used:

  • blue love seat

  • 3 curtain panels

  • adjustable background stand

  • photography back drop paper

  • 4 gift wrapped cardboard boxes

  • 2 small poinsettia's

  • Brooks party of 6







Welp that was all the details from our living room Christmas photo shoot. Hope you guys enjoyed!!!

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxox, until next time




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Before I get into the details I want to say THANKYOU! I truly appreciate all of my subscribers from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your patience, for following me on social media (even though it’s a struggle to post consistently. Lol) & thank you for all the love & positivity you send me on a daily basis ….




2020 has been rough, but October/ November?!!! Rough, rough.... I had a few health scares that really had me in my head. I got sick and literally could not get out the bed...... no it wasn't covid. lol but it was bad. I had to listen to my body and sit still, which is so hard for me. The timing of me getting sick was just inconvenient! Inconvenient as shit! My bonus son (my love Braylon) has moved in with us fulltime so we now have 4 kids in the house.... 4 kids between 2-15 at all times :), always a party annnnnnnnnnd we are currently adding a room and bathroom to the unfinished section of our basement to make sure he's comfortable just like the other 3 kids in this house.

On top of all that November is always just a busy month for my family. Kyla turned 14 on 11/7 . Tim & I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary on 11/14 . I was trying to figure out a covid Thanksgiving while thinking of Christmas décor, family Christmas photos & Christmas gifts! And I get sick????| But I'm bizzzack and I got's stuff to do and I'm ready to get to it! LOL


** This is me, always a million things going on, but honestly its all I know. It’s what I’m use to. It’s my norm. With ALLLLLLL that being said, your support motivates me to keep sharing all the stuff that lights my soul on fire. So thanks a ton, this blog helps me be Amber even while wearing many different hats. **

Anywho let’s get to it. Kyla’s room makeover turned out super clean, girly, airy, & most of all peaceful….all the vibes we were going for. This project was super easy because Kyla respects my visions enough to just go with the flow. She'll definitely tell me if she doesn’t like something, but it got to a point where I asked her if she liked something and her response was “mom just keep going, I like everything you’re doing” 😊 (say less sis) !!! Side note: My 6 year old would never EVER say that to me, I’m currently trying to convivence her why we shouldn’t paint her room black 😐

We started this project like we start all our home & life projects. Wrote out what we wanted to do. Researched the items we wanted. Came up with a plan, and stuck to it. Did everything go perfectly???… no!, but at my age I truly understand & respect that good things take time, we must go through the process with everything in life. My husband and I are teaching our household that we have to be patient with the things we really want, & this room was one of those things.



We started with the bed that we both fell in love with. If

you REALLY read my blogs you will quickly understand my love for wayfair.com



Side note: When I buy anything online I’m searching based on the reviews. I read a lot of reviews and look at ALL the customer pictures (I have my husband to thank for that). We almost went with the pink version of this bed but all the review pictures showed a lavender bed not pink . So my advice is to always read the reviews before you make any purchase online, big or small. As you can see the bed averaged a 4.6review score with over 8k views.

The bed was very popular in June, I ordered the bed 4 different times. The first 3 times I received an email saying that the bed had sold out & my payment was applied back to my credit card. So we waited, and waited, and waited until it was available. Definitely worth the wait. Once the bed was ordered we decided on a light gray paint, light grey is a soft color & I knew it would create a calm, airy, zen like atmosphere that my baby NEEDS for 2020.


Once we had the bed ordered and room painted the room makeover turned into a lot of small DIY projects. We painted her dresser, nightstand & corner desk white and added gold hardware. We also gave her white bookshelf a facelift by adding fun stencil prints using the Cricut.


Nightstand: Before & After




Dresser & corner desk: Before & After




Bookshelf: Before & After


My two favorite pieces:

  • light fixture: Ikea

  • leopard pillow: Etsy






The list of all the items used for the room are listed below. Most items were purchased online. Small décor pieces came from TJ Maxx, Homegoods, At Home, Big Lots & Hobby Lobby

  • Comforter: Amazon

  • Curtains: Wayfair.com

  • Dresser hardware: Wayfair.com

  • Bed: Wayfair.com

  • Pictures: 2 of them were DIY projects (cricut made) all other pics came from Hobby Lobby (good ole 50% off)

  • Rug: Overstock.com

  • Throw pillows: At home & Home goods

  • Desk lamp: Big Lots

  • Printed throw: Home goods


The pictures look great but the lasting memories we created are even greater. I pride myself in showing all my children that they can create any view they want in life if they are willing to make a plan, write it out and put in the work.

My note to Kyla: Kylie you’re so amazing, gentle & kind hearted. I hope that every time you walk in your room you feel peace & balance!! Always remember that being brave is doin exactly what YOU want to do no matter what anyone else thinks. Always be BRAVE


xoxoxoxoxoxoxo, Mommy











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So lets just get right to it. I knew I wanted to have a small dinner party at my home on the patio and that's exactly what I did.

Anytime I have anything it starts with me creating a photo album of inspiration photos. ALL My inspiration photos for my dinner party came from pinterest (per usual). I literally searched outdoor dinner party and instantly found pics to match the vibe I was going for. Super chill, super cute, good food, good drank, & good people.



The table:

It's really quite simple to create a bomb tablescape if you have the following essential items:

Fresh floral

Table linen (table cloth & napkins)

Candles

Plate chargers

Some sort of table runner (preferrably greenery)

wine glasses


Now it's time to plan

So I knew exactly what I wanted in my head but now I needed to bring it to life. Mentally I was preoccupied with finishing up Kyla's room. I really wanted to be pretty much finished with her room before i started another small project... but wait now my best friend is having a long weekend celebration for her b-day in Malibu a week before my birthday & I knew I needed to go. This year I should've been on 3 trips before her birthday but because of covid 0 trips, 2020 has been exhausting so I definitely needed this trip for my mental health. I needed a break. So I had to prepare for the trip ( yall want the blog for the trip or nah?) Anywho... in my mind I was going to start planning my birthday dinner as soon as I hit the plane.

So now that I was in Malibu, no work, kids or husband I was ready to work out the details.

I knew I needed to send invites out asap. I went on greetingsisland.com and found a cute free invitation that kinda sorta matched the vibe... it was simple, cute, straight to the point.... but most of all free!



Now that I have my invitation I needed to finalize my guest list. With covid I knew it wasn't going to be a bunch of people. Honestly I feel like dinner is extremely intimate, I knew I wanted the vibe to be natural..... nothing forced, no forced conversations just to avoid awkward silence, which normally happens when you put a bunch of people at a table that don't know each other.


My household is big and I definitely wanted my kids to enjoy the evening.

With my husband, myself, my 15,13 & 6 year old that's already 5 people 😩

Overall the guest list totaled 16 people.

I sent my invites out, my husband reached out to someone to prepare dinner, the menu we came up with was steak, shrimp, mac n cheese & a veggie

  • Ok so we have are invites sent

  • We have someone to prepare the food and we have a menu

The drinks were next. So important! 2020 has been hard. I needed everyone to be relaxed, feeling good and just ready to vibe.

I reached out to Sarina’s sip service! Because of my career i'm huge on customer service and professionalism and she was amazing.

We linked up to talk about the drinks and come up with a menu. I knew I wanted to have specific drinks for the menu. We came up with (one of my favs) lemon drop martini, side car (for my Henny loving friends) strawberry & peach patron margarita's ( for my patron loving family members) and a Shirley temple for my kiddos.





So now the hard part... color scheme. Since the dinner party was going to be outside the color scheme had to go with the color of my patio furniture, navy blue and white. Blue isn't a color that I would normally use so it was hard for me to visualize it.... I knew pink had to be one of the colors, something about the color pink, the perfect soft shade ( it makes my heart smile) I searched blue and pink dinner party decor and omg I found my inspiration! I found the picture!




Ok, so I needed the vases. The vases were going to give me my blue that I needed. (So i thought)

I figured id buy some dollar store vases, spray paint them white and use my cricut to make a navy blue stencil. Mind you its Monday, the dinner is Sunday & I had to work the whole week minus Friday.


We're having a party baby!


On Monday I went to millers party rentals and rented:

folding bar

Two 8ft tables

2 floor length table cloths the color was peach but it looked more like and ivory/ pinkish color

16 navy napkins

16 plate chargers (clear with gold trim)

4 glass pitchers

16 chiavary chairs

On Tuesday I started searching for my vases and I found a bunch online but none of them would've arrived in time. I went to homegoods and I found some similar vases from my inspiration picture. I grabbed 5 of them. Reached out to colonial florists, I use them a lot for work, I was pressed for time so I just had to go with it.. I sent him my inspiration photo, I dropped the vases off to him Wednesday, we agreed on a dozen pink roses for each vase and a bunch of white miniature roses to add fullness. We scheduled delivery for Saturday. I asked him to send me a pic after he completed one vase so that I could decide if we needed to add more roses. He sent me the pic on Friday around 7pm and when I saw it I instantly knew that I made the wrong decision. The roses were perfect but they weren't perfect with the vase. The white roses looked Ivory inside the true white & navy vase. I instantly texted back and told him we needed all pink roses but he told me it was too late 🥴




I was so annoyed, I just kept looking at the picture. The flowers were going to make the table.I needed them to be perfect. My daughter and sister told me not to worry,I would figure it out like I always do BUT

I spent the money I spent so that I wouldn’t have to figure it out. It was my birthday weekend I didn't want to figure it out.........but I didn't have a choice the dinner party was less than 24 hrs away. I got out my feelings and got it done, I went to dollar tree and grabbed 6 vases, then hobby lobby for gold spray paint. I've never spray painted glass before but it was super easy and it only took me 20 mins.


Check my instagram for the video of me spray painting the vases, I cant upload the vid for some reason.

Video below is after the glass vases were spray painted gold.





My sister came over and made the name plates while I spray painted the vases because I was literally running out of time & she's a pro on the cricut so I knew she would deliver exactly what I wanted.

Name plates.


I ordered clear acrylic name plates from amazon and we used the cricut to cut the names and add them to each acrylic plate. My bestie always haves them at all of her events and I just love em. It makes it more personable and serves as a super cute party favor.




So overall everything came together and it just worked out. It was perfect. The energy, the vibe, the drinks Sarina poured!. It was just a great night that I needed! Happy Birthday to me!

Mommies just know that we deserve great days ! Make yourself a priority, we spend

our days do things for work, for the children, our husband, and households WE have to spend time doing things for ourselves. I know that if i'm off then my whole house is off. I will continue to find time for me, I'll continue to create great memories, and I'll continue to show my children that if you put your mind to it you can create whatever view you want in life.


xoxoxoxoxox, until next time!








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