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While there are several signs that mark this beautiful season we are in, nothing says ‘autumn has arrived’ quite like a porch full of pumpkins. However, carving pumpkins can be a pain, and not everyone is a master with a carving knife. So, what to do? Well, being the garden expert that I am, naturally, my “no-carve” solution involves plants. While this DIY pumpkin planter is not completely carve-free, it is a whole lot easier to achieve and, in my humble opinion, a lot easier on the eyes as well. With four simple materials and in four simple steps you will have the perfect, pumpkin planter for your porch.

materials-diy-pumpkinFirst, cut around the stem of your pumpkin, just like you normally would, making a hole large enough for your plant to fit into. Then, if you want, spray paint your pumpkin a fun, fall color. I chose copper for mine. After the paint has dried, choose your favorite, fall quote and use a paint pen to write it out onto your pumpkin. (Tip: If you know someone who is gifted at calligraphy, enlist their help!)quote pumpkinThen, simply plant your flowers just like you would in a normal planter.plant pumpkinEasy, right? And now your porch is the perfect picture of fall.pumpkin porch“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

-George Eliot

I have had the pleasure of working with Haley Sheffield for a few years now. Her beautiful photography and bright personality have been such a blessing to me. She takes some of the most stunning photographs I’ve ever seen, but it is her shining presence that makes working with her so great. Her favorite quote is “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” (Vincent van Gogh) and the person who has influenced her the most is C.S. Lewis—her heart is clearly made out of gold. I am so impressed by this lovely lady! She owns her own business, Haley Sheffield Photography, and photographs love for a living. While the majority of her work is in wedding photography, the way she photographs flower arrangements makes me weak in the knees. If you want to get to know more about Haley, keep scrolling for the questionnaire below. But first, enjoy some of her gorgeous work.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

1. When did you decide to pursue photography full-time?

Truth be told, I began to pursue photography full-time when it began paying more than my part-time job at Starbucks. I knew very little about the road ahead, and absolutely nothing about running a business, but it just felt right.

2. If someone told you five years ago that your business would be as successful as it is today, how would you have reacted?

I never could have anticipated the success my business has received. Truly, the place I find myself in today wasn’t even on my “possibility radar” five years ago. Had someone described a picture of my business today, I would have laughed in disbelief.

3. What do you hope your business will look like five years from now?

Truly, my greatest aspirations in business trickle down to my life-goals. I just want to treat people well, to walk in humility, and to change the world in whatever capacity I can. I don’t know the specifics of how that might happen through wedding photography, but I know that’s a journey I have to approach one day at a time.
4. What advice would you give to a person who wants to take his or her creative outlet and build a successful and stable career around it?
First, define what “success” looks like to you. If there’s anything I’ve learned running a creative business, it’s that the meter of success has to come from within. While you might think that working for yourself would be a dream come true, it also comes with it’s array of responsibilities. It helps to stay anchored on why you set out to build your business in the first place. Next, I would say to dream big and put legs on it. Don’t waste your energy pursuing your back-up plan. Also, don’t build your house in the clouds. Pursuing your dream is risky and takes hard work.
5. What does a typical day for Haley Sheffield look like?
Because my husband is a late-nighter, we typically wake up later than the average person. My first priority every morning is coffee, and I’m a huge breakfast person too. Usually, I run errands in the morning and might even do some reading at my favorite coffee shop. It’s pretty normal for me to have a coffee meeting or lunch meeting, and then after that, I head to the office to work on emails and editing. (Both endless tasks). If I have a session that evening, I usually start around 5:30 – 6:00, then head home around 8:30 spend some time with my hubby. It’s also pretty common for me to head back to the office after a session to do a bit more work before packing up for the day.
6. If you could photograph any one moment, person, or place, past or present, who or what would it be?
What a question! Truly, I would love to go back in time to when my Nana and Poppy (my mother’s parents) were young. They’ve both passed now, but they were so dear to my heart and I would have loved to capture them in their youth–maybe even on their wedding day. My Poppy was a leather craftsman and an all-around creative soul, and I also would have loved to have captured him in his element. He is so much of who I am today.
7. What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Hands-down, my favorite thing to photograph is a couple in love. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I can say with certainty that there is nothing quite as fulfilling as capturing real “connection moments” between two people. If my grandparent’s posed, stiff photos ignite a sense of hope and wonder in my heart today, I can’t even imagine what modern wedding photos will feel like for people fifty years from now.
8. How is photographing still life (such as flower arrangements) different from engagement shoots and wedding days?
Photographing flowers is about as peaceful as my job gets. The beauty of nature speaks for itself, and there is very little that I have to do to end up with an evoking photograph. In addition, being around flowers is pure inspiration. As an artist, it’s always refreshing to find life and perspective in the simplicity (and equal complexity) that exists so effortlessly in the world around us.
9. If you were no longer photographing weddings, what would you do instead?
I’d love to work at a coffee shop again, and I can’t see myself in a season where I didn’t have my hand in something creative. I love writing and singing, so perhaps I would pour more into those passions!

Even though the first official day of autumn was last week, October 1st is when it really starts to feel like fall. Pumpkins greet you at the grocery store entrance as the crisp air ushers you in; iced coffee is becoming a thing of the past as Pumpkin Spice Lattes start flying from the counters at Starbucks; the bright green shades of leaves fade away as reds and oranges and yellows start to fill the trees and then start to fall. October is simply stunning, a second spring indeed!

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What are you most looking forward to this fall?

In a world as chaotic as this one, it is easy to focus on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right. There are still so many fascinating people to meet, beautiful places to see, brilliant ideas to think, and new art to create. Don’t let fear or hopelessness consume you. Magnify the good, not the bad. After all, there is a whole lot of good out there.

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Try to find beauty in everything you see this week. You’ll be surprised just how incredible the world around you really is.

I am a big believer in having a garden that is not only lovely to look at, but that is useful as well. I cannot say enough how beneficial an herb garden can be. There are so many practical ways to put everything from rosemary to mint to good use. One of my absolute favorite things to grow, however, is lavender. Not only does lavender look gorgeous growing in your garden, it seems as though there isn’t anything lavender cannot do. From homemade beauty products to a variety of drinks and desserts, lavender adds something special to everything it touches. That is why I have put together this list. And let me tell you, lavender has never looked so good!

1. Lavender and Honey Marshmallows via A Beautiful Mess
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2. Lavender Bouquet via Rustic Wedding Chic
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3. Lavender Oatmeal Tub Tea via Evermine Blog
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4. Lavender Shortbread Cookies via Mountain Mama Cooks
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5. Lavender and Rosemary Wreath via Sarah the Architect
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6. Lavender Lip Balm via Martha Stewart
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7. Lavender Linen Spray via Hello Natural
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8. Lavender Honey Crepe Cake via The House That Lars Built
lavender8What are some of your favorite ways to put lavender to good use?

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far. Let this simple statement be a reminder not only to dream big, but also to work hard in pursuit of all your future goals. Anything is possible when you are willing to put in the extra time and effort. “Nothing will work unless you do,” but if you work, there isn’t anything you can’t do.

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Work hard this week!
But don’t forget to have a little fun along the way too.

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and summer will be over before you know it. With just a few weeks left for summer fun, it’s time to take out that to-do list you made at the beginning of the summer and start making some marks. If you don’t have a to-list of your own, try a few items on mine. I’ve already crossed these off. Tag—you’re it!

1. MAKE YOUR OWN SUMMER COCKTAIL
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2. WEAR FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR
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3. PACK YOUR BAGS AND HIT THE ROAD
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

4. START AN HERB GARDEN AND MAKE YOUR OWN BEAUTY PRODUCTS
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

5. HOST AN OUTDOOR DINNER PARTY FOR FRIENDS
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6. EXPERIMENT WITH INFUSED WATER RECIPES
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Best of luck!

Staying hydrated has never tasted so good! I have been a fan of infused water for a while now and I am so happy to see something so healthy trending on the web. It is extremely important that we drink enough water throughout the day, but with so many other choices out there it is difficult to make the right one. By infusing water with your favorite fruits and herbs, you can make it as enjoyable as it is good for you. My favorite part about infusing water is that there is no wrong way to do it. It is an ongoing experiment and you can constantly try out new things. For todays post, I tried out three new recipes and one of them has become my new favorite.

1. GRAPEFRUIT + CUCUMBER + MINT
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

2. WATERMELON + BLUEBERRIES + LEMON THYME
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

3. LEMON + LAVENDER
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

After allowing the water to sit for a little while, I tested all three and discovered that the lemon and lavender was my absolute favorite. The grapefruit, cucumber, and mint combination was too strong for my taste, while the watermelon, blueberry, and lemon thyme was too subtle. Ironically enough, I had thought that I would like the lemon and lavender least of all three, but the refreshing combination was unbelievably delicious.

If you have any infused water success stories—or failures—I would love to hear all about it! Feel free to comment and share below.


As women, we are constantly searching for the next best thing in beauty. Whether it’s for our hair, skin, or nails, we are always looking for ways to update and improve our routine. As a gardener, I am constantly searching for ways to utilize my garden in my every day life. Homemade beauty products are such a blessing, for both your budget and your body, and this rosemary and mint hair rinse is one of my most favorite discoveries yet.

All you need is a few sprigs of rosemary and mint, a metal colander, and a large pot.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Then, in just four simple steps, you are ready to rinse.

1. Fill the pot with water and place the sprigs of rosemary and mint inside the colander.

2. Place the colander on top of the pot so that the sprigs touch the water.

3. Boil the water for 5 minutes. Then, let it sit for another 5 minutes to cool.

4. After your regular wash routine, simply pour the rinse over your scalp for a long-lasting clean scent and fresh feeling!

Can you believe that we are already half way through the month of July? This summer has flown by! Remember in high school when summer use to mean sleeping in, staying up late, and swimming your days away? Summer in adult world is a different thing entirely. For one, most of us still have to wake up early every day and report to work. For me, this summer (and practically this whole year) has kept me busy with traveling from one place to the next. And while I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, constantly packing, planning, leaving, and going can be extremely exhausting. That is why I have created these 10 packing tips for long trips that will help you prepare for a weekend on the road. To challenge myself a bit further, I made this list into a one-stop-shop. That’s right! Everything on this list was purchased at one place—Target! So if you’re headed out of town and realize you don’t have something you need, stop by the Target nearest you and get everything on your list.

packingtip1packingtip2packingtip3packingtip4packingtip5packingtip6packingtip7packingtip8packingtip9packingtip10Happy travels!