If you know me well or follow me on social media, you’ll know that I love to spend time in the kitchen. I enjoy making tasty sweets here and there through the year, and especially around the holidays. I make our dogs treats the occasional fruit pie or banana bread for Tyler too.

I’d always wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer… Not only are they beautiful to have sitting on your counter top, but they make certain kitchen jobs so much easier! Especially for thick dough and messy mixing! So when tax return season came around, I began to research exactly which model I wanted. I found a brand new one on sale through Amazon in the color I wanted too – cream, of course! I placed the order and counted down the days until it’s arrival!

A couple days later, I heard the UPS truck pull up as I sat working at my desk. It’s here!! I ran downstairs, clumsily carried the heavy box inside, opened it up hastily, and unpacked my new beauty.

There she sat. With a pretty good-sized scratch right on the side, through the enamel, down to the metal underneath. I was immediately disappointed. I’m definitely not a materialistic person and don’t expect “perfection” with things in my life as far as as objects, items, expectations, etc. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get over this one. I knew I’d plan to use it in my at-home photos too and pictured myself photo-shopping that scratch out every single time, and the thought of that made me super irritated. I kept going back and forth in my brain, wondering if I was being silly or if returning it was the right idea. I mean, it’s Amazon… They’ll email me a return label and I’ll just repackage it and get a new one, so what’s the big deal, right?? They’ll understand.

So that’s what I did.

I packaged her back up, apologized to it and told it that even though it wasn’t “perfect”, that it would go to a good home some day. I did feel bad but I just couldn’t help but think about the money I had invested on something I had wanted for so long, and had been anticipating receiving in so much excitement…

Amazon scheduled a pick-up for me and sent me the label. All I had to do was put it back in the box, tape the label on, and get back to work. They placed a second order for me for a new one to come – hopefully unscratched. The representative on the other end told me she understood completely and said that she would have done the same which somehow made me feel that much more justified with my return. I kept telling myself that if I were in the store picking one out, that I would have of course gone for the unscratched one, and if I saw one scratched, would have moved on to ensure the quality of the next one.

Well the second one came – even more banged up!

Yes. I was disappointed again. I called Amazon and spoke to a different woman who was equally as puzzled as I was that this happened twice to me. She suggested that they send one more out and if that one arrived damaged as well, that they would do a “shelf pull” where they stop selling that product all together until they sort the problem.

Long story short… The third “brand new” Almond Cream Kitchen Aid Mixer arrived on my doorstep…. with not only scratches and scrapes (with one that looked like someone tried to paint over it with thin white paint), but GOOP all in it’s crevices as well! I swear there was butter down in the middle where the hinge is when you lift up the head, and brownie batter in the nuts and bolts. It couldn’t have been oil to screw them in when they put it together because none of the others had this goop on them. The head also had what looked like flour up in the mechanisms and it had OBVIOUSLY been used. I have no idea what or why this was going on and I was just OVER IT.

This time I didn’t even hesitate, called them immediately, threw that thing back in the box and told them that my THIRD MIXER was ALSO damaged and this time, worse than the other two!! I thought maybe the Almond Cream colored Mixer section had all taken a dive in the warehouse or something, but the gunk on #3 explained otherwise. Plus the fourth representative I spoke with told me that all three had come from different distribution centers.

We decided to order from a NEW dealer (still sold through Amazon) with a 5 stars and 100% positive feedback rating. Amazon covered the shipping and in a day or two, it arrived.

Reluctantly, I opened it. I took her out, set her on my table, and closed me eyes. I slowly opened one…. then the other…. glancing over the nooks and crannies, side to side, top to bottom…….. in, out, all around.

She. Was. PERFECT.

Yes!! I was SO relieved and excited and was so glad that I had finally gotten what my heart wanted for so long and what I invested in. For me, this just wasn’t a “thing” I wanted to have, it was a tool that I planned to make memories with in the future with our kids as we made Christmas cookies… etc. So I was so happy that I made the effort and stuck to my guns with returning all THREE previous mixers.

I immediately photographed her and made a Key Lime Pie!

Whew!

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So that’s my story… What’s the point of telling you this? Well, simply to say that I understand the emotional, financial, and physical investment that comes with getting something you really want… Whether it be a kitchen mixer or  wedding photography. :) And I would never want you to feel the way I felt when I received my first, second, and especially THIRD mixers… I want you to feel the way I felt when I received the fourth! So to simply put it, if you feel ANY way other than overjoyed and in love with your final product as a result of your investment in me and my work, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I want to make things right for you!  With Amazon, I understood that mistakes happen sometimes so I kept going back… Working with them as they worked with me… Until it was right. And I would want you to do the same with me if there is something you are unhappy with or have questions on.

It’s important to have a knowledge base so you know what you’re receiving upon your investment, whether it be the style, what’s included in your collection, etc. But if you receive it and something is not to your satisfaction, please graciously speak up and don’t hold it in. It would mean a lot to me to spend time talking about how to make your final product better than have you unhappy with your experience in the end! I do what I do because I love and care and have a huge heart for this art form. I want to make sure you are satisfied and excited about your images and products… So much time and effort is put into providing you with high quality imagery and products and I want nothing less than the perfection I expected for my mixer! I love what I do and am passionate about giving you an experience that will make you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy about inside!

How happy am I with my mixer now? SO happy! I use her all the time and love making treats for us and our family. I don’t look at her and think about the mark or scratch or goop, I look at her and think about how much I love her and how beautiful she is! And yes, she’s a she… I would seriously cry if I knew you looked at your images and your mind went back to something negative that was part of my control in regards to the editing of your images and product design. So be honest, open up to me, and if there’s ever anything I can do for you, please let me know!!!

Love you ladies!! xoxo

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Meet Kelly and Steven! These two met while both attending Clemson University in South Carolina through mutual friends. They’ve been together for about 6 years and got engaged last summer! They love spending time together outdoors with their Golden Retriever mix named Toby, or going out on a relaxing dinner and movie date. They’re planning for a Chesapeake Bay Beach Club wedding next April and couldn’t be more excited!

Kelly is a fashion blogger – you can find her online at www.rosyoutlookblog.com! She also works during the day in Human Resources. Steven is getting his Ph.D in Bioengineering at George Mason and will be finishing up next year! They’re both super sweet, dedicated to their work, so down to earth and wonderful to be around!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from their Engagement Session around the lake at Cunningham Falls State Park!

Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired
Cunningham Falls State Park Engagement Session Thurmont Maryland Kirsten Smith, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Engagement Photos, Lakeside, Woods, nature inspired

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  • Kelly K - We had such a blast shooting with you and I couldn’t be happier with the pictures!! LOVED this post!

    And THANK YOU for linking my blog!! ;)ReplyCancel

The April showers stopped for Allie and Drew on their wedding day! We had cozy overcast skies and so many sweet moments… It was so nice to see so many friends from high school too! Allie and I graduated together, and Brooke (de la TERRA Esthetics) too, along with several girls in the bridal party, and Jessica, the coordinator! It’s always fun getting to reconnect with each other and see how everyone is doing after over ten years now!

The girls got ready at a nearby hotel just outside of Havre de Grace, Maryland. Brooke is such a talented makeup artist… Allie looked so natural and beautiful! Her gown was one of the most unique I’d ever seen… Absolutely stunning!

Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

Meanwhile, Drew and his groomsmen were back at his and Allie’s house playing corn hole and hanging out before it was time to get ready…
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

They wed in a sweet little church in Havre de Grace. Both her mom and dad walked her down the aisle which was so sweet…
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

The Stepping Stone Museum is a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving rural arts and crafts of the 1880-1920 time period in Harford County. They represent the “last rural generation” of people who lived off the land and hand-crafted their livelihoods. They have a few barns with antique farm equipment and the cutest old stone house overlooking a lush wooded area. It was such a cute property!
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

Allie planned an entire extra hour for portraits between the ceremony and Cocktail Hour which was awesome! We photographed around the grounds while the last few touches of the barn were being completed. As guests arrived, we were finishing up just in time for Cocktail Hour to begin. I love when I have the opportunity to be part of that time, mingling with the guests as they enjoy small bites and tasty drinks!
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

The inside of the barn was decorated with romantic soft pink and gold details… Jessica and her team at White Oak Events did such a great job implementing exactly what Allie had envisioned… After two incredibly touching speeches by Allie’s sister Megan and Drew’s brother Devon as well as Allie and Drew’s first dance, it was time for dinner which included the largest asparagus anyone of us had ever seen…!
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,
Havre de Grace, Maryland Wedding, Stepping Stone Museum, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Spring Wedding, Barn Wedding Photos,

I had no doubt that their dance floor would be AMAZING! And it was… I had the best time on the floor with everyone! It was such a fun day… Everyone had an absolute blast… Truly a day that will be remembered! Congratulations to such a sweet couple! May your life together be endlessly blessed!

***

Allie’s Dress: Tadashi Shoji
Allie’s Shoes: Michael Kors
Hair: Brooke Durden
Makeup: Brooke Leidner
Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Ceremony: St. Patrick’s Church
Reception: Stepping Stone Museum
Coordinator: Jessica Pelligrini, White Oak Events & Design
Florist: Amanda’s Florist
DJ: Jason Burns, Elite DJ Network
Catering: The Festive Board
Cake: Woodlea Bakery

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  • Janice Laws - Awesome pictures…really enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing your very special dayReplyCancel

  • Nancy Regalbuto-Pizzo - Kristen your photography was so beautiful!!! Being the mother of the groom the day flew by. You captured so many special moments perfectly!!! Your style is very romantic and I just loved all your photos!!! Between your photos and mine I made a 110 page album with Shutterfly!!! Thanks so much!!!ReplyCancel

We had the most wonderful Mother’s Day weekend with our families and are feeling so grateful! We spent Saturday at my Uncle Rich (my dad’s brother) and Aunt Bonnie’s beautiful house to come together and celebrate all of the mothers on the Cook side, especially Nana. She just turned 90 last Christmas Eve and she looks absolutely adorable… I really enjoy spending time talking with her. She told stories about her hardworking father, how she would dress up her kittens as a child, and how some of the boxwood she has in her garden came from the White House grounds. She said they were there visiting and she secretly snapped off a small sprig… planted it once she got home, and it grew roots and has now grown into a large boxwood bush, lining her backyard walkway. She’s always got stories to share… I see a lot of myself in her which I appreciate so much more now that I’m older.

Aunt Bonnie had decorated the table so beautifully… So many aspects were in honor of Nana. She has a large Magnolia tree out front of her home, so Bonnie incorporated Magnolias into the decor in the napkins and name cards, and each person had their own place setting. It was so nice to be there! Mom made her Broccoli Salad, dad made his Lemon Potato Salad, I brought my Lemon Sweet-Pea and Spinach Blackberry (with a homemade Poppy Seed Vinaigrette!) Salads , and then Bonnie and Rich filled in with the main dishes of grilled steak medallions and crab cakes with butterflied shrimp… The food was absolutely incredible!

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Rich and Bonnie have two kids, Adam and Matt. This is Adam and Brigid’s adorable daughter Lily… Her tiny little pigtails are so cute!Mother
This is Dad hanging out with he and Rich’s brother Doug (on left) who came up from Virginia to be with us! He grilled the steaks… So good! Mother
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Nana and her boys… Mother
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The kid’s table! This is Anna and Lil, and then Lexi who looked so cute with her Minnie Mouse clip…Mother
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After dinner and some ice cream cake for dessert, we spent time together outside by the fire, curled up with blankets and candles lit, catching up with each other. There’s never enough time but it is always so nice to see everyone… Soon we’ll have a brand new addition in late summer – Matt and Mandy are expecting a little boy! So we’re all so excited to meet him!Mother

The next day, we prepared to head down to my parents for dinner… Dad was preparing a Pork Marsala meal for us which we knew would be amazing! Tyler’s mom Karen joined us which was so nice. It was awesome to be able to spend the day all together and enjoy relaxing on the front porch.

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Do you guys remember Georgia, the black lab we rescued from down-south?? This is her brother Jake who we rescued too – he lives with Karen… He’s such a sweetie. :)Mother
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Obviously, our dogs are spoiled… But I mean how can you help it???Mother

We are so thankful for our family… Such a great weekend! Excited to make more memories together throughout the summer!

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  • Maria Reisz Springer - Kirsten..it is wonderful to see your story told with your amazing photographs…..You are such an artist….!!!!! I am happy for you to have had such a nice Mother’s Day with all your families…..I have not forgotten out work together….we have been quite busy lately….our son was here to help move out of a bit storage unit and into a small one….the both of us got the Flue…we are barely ove it at this point…but are leaving for GrandCaman tomorrow morning and will be back on Sunday….. Dale has meetings to attend …and I hope to get some rest…..I will get back with you very soon…..Hugs and love ….Maria…..PS….give your Mom a big hug from me!!!
    Maria Reisz SpringerReplyCancel

Amanda and Karl met through mutual friends while both attending the University of Delaware. She’s a food scientist and he is a Math teacher. He proposed on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey during one of the short beach trips they take often. They love staying in Bed & Breakfasts – it’s kinda their thing… so cute! They’re planning a spring wedding to be held next May at The Booking House in Manheim, Pennsylvania.

I met them at the Gunpowder State Park Lodge in Kingsville, Maryland. We drove up the road a bit to a spot they like to hike together. It was such a perfect evening to be out. The air was fresh and the sound of the trickling river right next to the path we were walking was so relaxing… I love the pop of color in her dress against the green of the trees, and Amanda’s beautiful curls!

Enjoy a few of my favorites… Next time you see them will be in about a year! :)

Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike
Gunpowder Falls State Park Engagement Session, Maryland, Kirsten Smith Photography, Spring, www.kirstensmithphotography.com, Outdoor Enagement Pictures, Woods, Hike

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When we arrived to Pond View Farm, we were so taken back by the pristine grounds and vibrant colors of the flowers and trees. Everything was freshly cut and perfectly prepared for Nicole and Everett’s wedding day. All we could hear was the sound of buzzing bumble bees and the trickling of the pond’s fountain. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. 75° and not a cloud in the sky…

Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.comSpring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

They are traveling to Japan and China for their honeymoon! An oriental flair was reflected through small touches throughout the day – the first being these brightly colored Kimono robes for her bridesmaids!
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

Nicki’s Vera Wang dress was perfect for her. I loved the lace sleeves and the neckline… Absolutely gorgeous!
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

I just loved this Maryland wall-hanging in the Groom’s Suite! So cool…
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

Everett was so ready to see his girl… His boutonniere was handmade of paper from pages of Harry Potter! So fun!  They had a sweet intimate First Look under the willow tree by the pond…
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

The girls watched from afar…. :)
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

Their ceremony was beautiful. Brandon, Everett’s brother-in-law, was the officiant and did an amazing job (apparently it was his first time officiating!) and made it so special. They each wrote their vows which told the story of how they met and fell in love… After their kiss, Nicki made sure to wipe her hot-pink lipstick off of her hubby’s face! :)
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

The barn was decorated with pink and mint-green accents, touches of gold, and in an oriental flair including paper cranes and birdcages. Each guest received a chocolate-dipped fortune cookie at their seat!
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

Intro’s are always hilarious… :) Everett’s mom made and decorated their wedding cake! How amazing is her talent?? Cupcakes were from Flavor Cupcakery!
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Spring, Pond View Farm, Wedding, April Wedding, Paper Flowers, Paper Bouquet, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying a delicious country meal, mingling with guests, and dancing the night away… Such an amazingly perfect day and we can’t thank Nicole and Everett and their friends and family enough for having us. We loved every moment!

***

Bride’s Dress – Vera Wang
Shoes – Charlotte Russe
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – David’s Bridal
Hair – Kristyn Everson
Makeup – Liz Joines
Groom’s Tux – Alfani
Groomsmen’s Tuxes – Ralph Lauren
Kimono Robes – Etsy
Venue – Pond View Farm
Florist – Etsy
DJ – Aaron Weist
Catering – Pond View Farm
Cupcakes – Flavor Cupcakery

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Meet Corinne, AJ, and Samira (with her precious flower-collar!)… We spend the evening at Corinne’s family farm in Westminster, Maryland. It was supposed to rain but we were blessed with overcast but clear skies! Their farm is absolutely pristine and so calming. As we walked their property, we saw geese fly down to their backyard pond to take a dip before continuing on their journey, and numerous deer frolicking through the woods that lined their property!

Their personalities are so sweet and fun. Samira was an absolute sweetie pie! She walked with us and smiled for the camera every chance she had… Corinne and AJ are so down-to-earth and share a lot of similar interests as my hubby and I including cozying up on the sofa binge watching House of Cards, spoiling our pups, and of course… an appreciation for a darn good whiskey! When I left, I felt like I was heading home after hanging out with old friends.

These two are getting married this December at the Tide Water Inn in Easton, Maryland! Enjoy a few faves from their sweet country Engagement Session!

KSP_2332KSP_2333KSP_2334KSP_2337KSP_2335KSP_2336KSP_2339KSP_2338KSP_2340KSP_2341KSP_2346KSP_2345KSP_2342KSP_2343KSP_2344KSP_2347KSP_2349

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Ashley and Matthew are such a sweet couple! They met a little over 4 years ago through mutual friends. After a couple years of knowing each other, they started dating and this past December, Matthew proposed to Ashley at Grand Central Station in NYC! So romantic and sweet… She is a 911 Dispatcher and he is a Maryland Firefighter/Paramedic.

They’re planning a wedding for this coming October and even though their jobs usually lend to unique schedules (like working on Christmas!), they will both have off on the special days of their first holiday season together as a newly married couple.

They are so cute and comfortable together. They call each other “dear” and love and support each other more than anything… They love to camp together and travel wherever they can in their pull-behind camper, whenever they have the opportunity.

They decided that Codorus would be the perfect place for their Engagement Session and I couldn’t have agreed more! Matt was stoking his perfectly-made campfire when I arrived, and Ashley was serving him sweet tea in a mason jar. We just hung out around the campfire, took a walk down to the lake, made s’mores, and got to know one another… It was so relaxing and fun! It felt so good to be photographing in the warm sunshine, too…

Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.comCan’t you just hear the delicious “CRUNCH!” of those s’mores??
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Hanover Pennsylvania, Engagement Session, Campfire, Engaged, Codorus Park, Kirsten Smith Photography, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

Congratulations to Ashley  and Matthew! Can’t wait for their fall country wedding this year and so excited to be part of it!

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homemade hot cross buns, king arthur flour recipe

Hot Cross Buns take me back to Easter at my grandmother Onie’s… She would have them displayed perfectly on a silver tray along with the rest of her classic and elegantly decorated tablescape. Springtime reminds me of playing with Jesse in the yard as kids and being told not to dirty our Easter clothes with grass stains..

I decided to make King Arthur’s recipe this year, with all organic ingredients. I am excited to make them again next year but experiment with the ingredients. I used whole milk where I think skim might be better to use since it’s not as heavy as whole. I felt as though my dough could have risen a bit more. They’re a little dense and I’d prefer them to be a little more flaky on the top and airy in the middle, so I need to look into what will make that happen! But they were still delicious…

I couldn’t find currants, as much as I wish I could! If only I lived closer to a Wegmans… Instead, I used a combination of dried cranberries, golden raisins, and finely chopped dried apricots. The color combination of those fruits together in the bowl as they macerated with the Captain Morgan was gorgeous! Like little jewels…

Make sure you get the INSTANT yeast from the dairy section, not the yeast that is in the baking section at room temp. You want the kind you won’t need to activate in warm water and sugar first.

What are some of your traditional Easter recipes??

BUNS

  • 1/4 cup apple juice or rum
  • 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

TOPPING

  • 1 large egg white, reserved from above
  • 1 tablespoon milk

ICING

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the rum or apple juice with the dried fruit and raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to “shrink wrap” itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Note: If you worry about using plastic wrap in your microwave, simply cover the bowl with a glass lid.
  3. When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.
  4. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
  5. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You’ll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
  6. Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
  8. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.
  9. Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.
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Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

What better way to spend a cozy winter day at home together than baking Chocolate Chip Cookies? These two met online and got engaged over the summer last year. They live an hour apart so when they spend time together, Mary says they try and pack as much in as they can! :) From planning their wedding to playing games, reading, cooking and baking, and going on walks… They are so supportive of each other and make each other smile… you know, those giddy almost newlywed smiles…

They were so inviting and welcoming when I arrived to Brendan’s country home. They had their ingredients ready and were ready to start baking! They made some fresh coffee for us to enjoy while we spend the afternoon getting to know each other and anticipating that oven ding indicating the cookies were done! Oh man, they smelled so good!

Here are a few of my favorites from my time with them a few months back!

Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.comEngagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

So many laughs and sweet smiles!
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com
Engagement Session, kitchen, home, chocolate chip cookies, Kirsten Smith Photography, Maryland, Maryland Photographer, Engagement Photos, www.kirstensmithphotography.com

They are planning a wedding at Mount St. Mary’s University this coming summer! They’re so easygoing and adorable together… it’s going to be a wonderful day and I can’t wait!

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