We are Survivors -- Happy Military Spouse Appreciation DAY!

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We are Survivors -- Happy Military Spouse Appreciation DAY!

Today is May 11, 2018. Today we celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

In the past 5 years as a military spouse, I have experienced an overwhelming amount of pressure to hold everything together. I have sacrificed, I have loved, I have failed, I have reinvented myself time and time again. I have given up lifelong dreams to make room for dreams that fit better with this lifestyle.

I have always been overly honest, so I am going to be vulnerable and vent a little bit in hopes that you can relate or understand this lifestyle. Because it is NOT rainbows and butterflies, but that doesn't mean it isn't important, or beautiful, or full of equally awesome experiences. 

So here is why being a military spouse is tough:

Military wives get dragged ALL of the TIME. Criticized more often than not, to a point that they have to always be on the defense. What many don't understand is that as a military spouse -- you are the mistress and the Military is the WIFE. Whatever she says goes, and you must 'simply' work around her needs. As a bonafide planner, this drives me batshit crazy. I hate to feel like I am losing control of my own life, and I feel like this all of the time. For example, I booked a cruise 6 months in advance, paid a deposit and it turns out my husband will not be able to make it. ROOKIE MOVE ALEX (never plan trips or anything more than 2 days in advance).

We never go on 'just us' trips because we feel mass amounts of pressure and guilt to travel to see family in the very limited time he can take leave (raise your hand if you can relate). We miss you guys, we are lonely, we have been taken away from you to live in some remote small town that doesn't have a Trader Joe's. Yet, in my experience, it is rare that people come to visit us. The pressure is on us to assume all responsibility for keeping our family connections strong. And honestly, I can't keep up because my energy needs to be focused elsewhere. Beautiful family -- we want to see you, we miss you so much, but we also are living in a 24/7 - 365 stress hurricane, so we would also really really really enjoy visiting somewhere with no cell reception, where we can drink margaritas on the beach, and just decompress and reconnect with each other.

We live in a constant state of disconnection and reconnection. And SOS is it frustrating. We have to make friendships quickly, and we jump at any chance to feel some kind of connection with other women. These friendships end as quickly as they start and you are left to rebuild again, each time building your walls a little bit higher to protect yourself. NOBODY likes to be left. It's hard to find a best friend and have them leave (miss you Kelsey). Actually, scratch that IT IS HEARTBREAKING. The most common feedback I have heard from military spouses is that "It is very hard to make and maintain friendships." And I can attest. However, I have met some of the MOST INCREDIBLE PEOPLE through the military. People who have changed my life. And for that, it has been worth all of the other BS.

So yeah... it's not always rainbows and butterflies --  but complaints aside, being a military spouse has grown me into a STRONG ASS WOMAN and it gives me comfort to know that I am surrounded by so many other STRONG ASS WOMEN. I know now that love doesn't conquer all, relentlessness does. So keep pushing ladies, even when it feels impossible. I see you. I believe in you. I am right there with you.

We are survivors and we will keep on surviving.

So cheers to the women holding it down while the ones we love, do what they love.

We are powerful. We are flexible, independent, adaptable Queens.

And we deserve to be acknowledged too. I hope you are never afraid to celebrate yourself.  

To the beautiful and fierce military wives I have had the opportunity to work with, this one is for you.

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I am SO AWKWARD! | What Ms. S has to say about her Boudoir Experience with Alexandria Kenyon|

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I am SO AWKWARD! | What Ms. S has to say about her Boudoir Experience with Alexandria Kenyon|

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Ms. S's favorite color is "pink pink pink pink anddddddd pink". She is a mom of two small children, a wife, a fashionista, and she can solve a Rubik’s cube! Which is pretty badass if I do say so myself!!!! More importantly, Ms. S is vibrant, ambitious, witty, and just downright magnificent. And I got all of that and more within 5 minutes of her walking through my door.

She let me know in her questionnaire, "I am so awkward at first but I promise it will get better! I’m really bubbly and fun once the awkward stage goes away." It's surprising to me that most, if not all of my clients like to warn me of their so called 'awkwardness'.

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I hear it all of the time! And yet I have never once experienced any awkwardness during a shoot, glam, or consultation (I will let Ms. S tell you more about her side of that in a minute).  I mean..... I get it.... you are in next to nothing with a person that you have only briefly met and she's GOT A CAMERA. It's okay to be nervous, I certainly was for my own shoot and I do this for a living! (Seriously I was sweating during my entire glam sesh). But I can and will PROMISE that you will never feel awkward (maybe nervous for the first 5 seconds, until you realize this is EASY and more importantly FUN! and you forget you're even in your bra and underwear). My goal has always been to create a laid back environment where you can BE YOU and not feel judged. Girl, if awkward is truly you, we will celebrate it! If shy is you, we will celebrate it. If loud and crazy (me) is you, we will celebrate it!

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It is in the vulnerability of the first 5 frames that you will find your strength and the confidence WILL come oozing out. Sorry, ooze is a gross word, but you get it. Once you strip down -- the scary part is Over. Gone. Poof. During your shoot, it's just me + you hanging out talking about music, relationships, makeup, insecurities, ghosts, wine, the weather.... anything and everything. It's a much needed girls day -- in which I hope we become friends!! (and then you come see me again hint hint Ms. S!!!)

Okay YES -- back to Ms. S! Who is in NO WAY awkward at first. She is bubbly, authentic, and just downright her truest self. I am going to let her tell you more about her experience. So let's see -- did she feel awkward during her boudoir experience?

MS. S SAYS.....

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"I decided to do a boudoir shoot because as I mom I NEVER take the time to do things for myself. My whole life I’ve always been ‘cute’, never ’sexy’, and that was my main concern going into my shoot. I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard to be something I’m not, and that the photos wouldn’t come across genuine. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to pose or look sexy in my boudoir photos.

But girl, I was so wrong.

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The day of my session was magical. Alex and Christina were so funny, and made me feel so comfortable. My makeup was so glamorous, I didn’t even recognize myself! The session went so well, Alex showed me every pose and made sure I got it down perfect. She was the best cheerleader too, she made me feel so self confident, like I was a model in a magazine. Seriously. Later that evening she posted the first sneak peak in her group, and I was blown away. Everyone was commenting incredibly nice things too, which gives you a self esteem boost.

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I was counting down the days until my reveal appointment, which was as equally amazing as the session.  She had SO many images for me to choose from, and I’m not even sure how I managed to choose. When I saw my images, I didn’t see the things that I didn’t like about myself, I only saw the things I now LOVE. I ended up getting my digitals, an album in ROSE GOLD, a wall metal, a nightstand metal, and the phone app, and I’m still mad at myself for not getting more.

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Those photos show the best version of myself. My self confidence has skyrocketed since my session, and I’ve come to the realization you can be ‘cute’ and ‘sexy’, you don’t have to choose just one.

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I feel so much better about myself than I ever have. Everyday I look in the mirror instead of seeing my tummy that I hated, I see a body that’s carried two babies. Everyday when I look at my pictures, I feel so beautiful and remind myself that I’m more than just a mom and a wife. I’m a damn GODDESS.

Thank you so much Alex, for the most wonderful experience, and I can’t wait until our next session!"


SO READY FOR ROUND TWO IN JULY MS. S!!!!! I AM COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS!

Are you ready to feel like a DAMN GODDESS  -- let's get in touch ASAP. I am now booking for AUGUST 2018.

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"It is a battle that I am WINNING."

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"It is a battle that I am WINNING."

Do you ever meet someone and they absolutely floor you? A person who's smile lights up the entire room-street-city-world? A woman who is vulnerable, and geuiuine, and passionate! I have, and her name is Toilisa. Her story is her own to share, which is why I am going to let her take it from here. 

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THIS IS HER STORY

"I wanted to feel like ART! I wanted to see myself as a beautiful creation. Even more, I wanted to capture the great glory that comes with womanhood. I am not going to go into detail about my battle with suicidal ideation and depression just know it’s a battle that I am winning.

I never realized how truly special Womanhood was because I have always carried myself believing that I was nothing more than the curves on my body. I really thought that all I had to offer was “a big butt and a smile”, but LIFE & LOVE has revealed the truth. but I simply wanted to do something for ME to have my own proof that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

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I needed an artist who captured more than the sex appeal of women but the BEAUTY in us. ALEXANDRIA KENYON!!! Praise hands in the air! I heard about her from Amanda Lynn an amazing photographer who was doing a shoot for my sister, owner of Sarah and Jessie boutique. Are you guys catching this beautiful stream of Women Bosses...cues “I’m Every Woman”. Then I saw her IG page and OMG!!! It was everything you could imagine when you think WOMAN...beautiful, soft, strong, fierce! You can’t describe the gift of being a woman in just a few words and you definitely can’t put Alexandria’s art in a box!!!

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When I met her I remember walking into Starbucks super nervous! But then I saw her and was like OMG, She is so down to earth! I have never felt more comfortable...Alex spoke my language y’all! She felt like a long separated sister. She understood all my insecurities and reassured me all the things I thought were my biggest physical flaws were actually some of my most beautiful attributes. Alex has a genuine way of letting you know that being YOU is the most beautiful thing you can do! I was worried about not being able to “look sexy” because that’s not really my thing, I have always been the goofy girl. She looked at me and was like “Girl stop! You’re going to kill it, just relax.”

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The whole day was full of laughs! Her listening ear, discerning heart, fierce spirit and creative mind and eye gave me the greatest experience of my twenties!! I have never been more confident! I no longer doubt the power of my dreams! I shot at my dreams to capture the art within me with an A.K. and hit all my targets! Yeah, I’m corny so what?! I’m most grateful that since my shoot, my amazing viewing party and receiving my pieces I have gained even more momentum in achieving my dreams. Simply because I believe in myself, I see myself differently. I’m still a great work in progress but I’m worth the work and I know that now!

I’m aware I’m biased but EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE A BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE WITH ALEXANDRIA KENYON!!!!

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Feel inspired? Ready to do the damn thing?!?! Fill out the form below and let's get started!

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Taking the PLUNGE | Ms. S talks about getting her confidence back |

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Taking the PLUNGE | Ms. S talks about getting her confidence back |

I am SOOOOO EXCITED to share this blog post with you guys! It feels like it has been a hot minute right? SO YEAH, LET'S GET ON WITH IT! You may have recently seen this AK BABE  on my various social media accounts as I have been sharing little sneaks of this session for the past couple of weeks. yes, I AM OBSESSED with her! I could talk and talk about this woman for days, but I figure you guys probably want to hear all the little details about her experience from her.

SO TAKE IT AWAY SAM,

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"Where do I begin with my shoot.... it was last year when I started stalking this group [the boudoir by ak babe cave] and picture after picture I saw how amazing Alex photographed all of you beautiful ladies. I was nervous about doing a shot of my own because I was so self conscious and the girls on the page always made it look so easy. In July I took the plunge and finally messaged her. To start off she was so upfront and honest with EVERYTHING! She's very confident in her work to say your PICTURES WILL LOOK GOOD... not might, but will. I loved that. To have a photographer be that confident in her work and to have the photos to back her up is wonderful! I was very nervous about my posing ability. I didn't think it would come naturally to me. She told me to relax and if I looked awkward she would help fix whatever needed to be fixed for that pose.

Finally my shoot day came! Alex and Christina [hair and makeup artist] were both very sweet, goofy and made me feel very welcomed. Christina makes you look like a million bucks with your hair and make up. Not to mention the whole time we all talked and laughed! After we finished glam it was shoot time. Alex turned the music on and she made me feel very comfortable. I was very relaxed even though I was in next to nothing. She positioned me in a way that would accentuate my favorite parts of my body! She showed me each and every pose and if I didn't get correctly she showed me again until I got it. She helped with making it the best and most memorable experience.

When I saw my before and after on this group I about died. I had to do a double take, like that's not me!! Through this process I have learned that you're beautiful no matter what the scale says.
Ladies don't be so hard on yourself! Your beautiful in your own skin and everybody should have a boudoir experience just to see how true that is.

Thank you Alex for helping me get my confidence back and making me feel beautiful.
Book your session soon with her and STRETCH BEFORE YOUR SHOOT 😘"

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I cannot live my life in survival mode anymore | Naked but NOT AFRAID | Part 3 |

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I cannot live my life in survival mode anymore | Naked but NOT AFRAID | Part 3 |

Being naked is not just about removing your clothes. It's about stripping down the walls you have been building up your entire life. It's about finding the beauty in vulnerability. Katie captured my attention by emailing me with the subject "The TERRIFYING Naked and not afraid shoot." I read her story probably 10 times over and was captured by her vulnerability, and even more so impressed by her strength. This year she turns 30 and what better way to turn 30 then to celebrate who you are!

As you may already know, the goal of my Naked but NOT AFRAID series is to show the world that beauty isn't a definition, it is a way of truly being free. Beauty is vulnerable and authentic, and more importantly, messy. Beauty is being who you are, the good and the bad. EVERY woman deserves to feel beautiful despite the constant pressure from society to be 'perfect'.

I narrowed it down to 5 women. 5 women with unique stories that gave me the feels, women with stories of how they put their middle finger up to the man and said THIS IS WHO I AM AND I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK. This is their journey to finding confidence again, despite setbacks. These are 5 of the strongest women I have had the pleasure of getting to know. These Women are NAKED but not afraid.

THIS IS KATIE'S STORY

All of my life I was the skinny girl.  Too skinny. My friends were hitting puberty and getting cute little figures and I stayed the same.  I was called anorexic even though I ate whatever I wanted.  I was told on multiple occasions to “go eat a cheeseburger” or “you need to gain some weight” or “nobody likes to snuggle with skin and bones. You need some meat on you.” I had heard it all and couldn’t wait to break out of my small town.  If these other girls had curves and could feel beautiful then why couldn’t I feel beautiful being small?

I had just turned 20 years old, going to the college of my choice and living my life like any other free spirited college girl.   I had everything in order and was exactly where I wanted to be.  Went to all of my classes, hung out with friends, had good grades, partied …… I was the girl that had all of her stuff together. Invincible.

 Suddenly, I found myself in the darkest part of my life.  Pregnant and feeling very, very alone.  In survival mode. I felt like I had let down everyone that had ever known me.  How would I break the news to my parents and the rest of my family? How would I financially be able to support a kid at this stage in my life?  My life was over. I was so consumed with what everyone else thought about this “little girl” who didn’t have a ring on her finger, didn’t have a steady income, and who still looked like she was 14.  Doctor’s appointments were a nightmare. I would get stared at and talked about as if I wasn’t even in the room by all of the other moms waiting. I dreaded going every. Single. Time.  When I could turn off all of the noise in my head though, for the first time in my life, I felt like a real woman.  I had boobs, I had hips, I had real woman curves! I felt beautiful. Every single inch of me felt beautiful.

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Flash forward to the day my baby boy was born. August 26, 2008 changed that life.  I went from worried about what the entire world thought of me to staring into the eyes of my son and knowing that every aspect of my life had just changed.  He was my reason, he was my light. He was what made me feel beautiful.  Nothing could break me now, right?  My son’s father and I had stayed together and I felt like everything was turning around. I was working full time to support my son, our new townhouse, we were doing well.  His father and I got married one year after he was born.  Life was perfect.  Then two months after our wedding I found out that he had been unfaithful multiple times.  We tried church, counseling, asking for support from family. Nothing seemed to be working.  The day that he decided to get violent, I took my son and walked out for good. 

Here I was, now 21 and single, with a one year old baby boy. Back to survival mode. I went from feeling unstoppable and gorgeous to undesirable and like another statistic.  I did everything possible to make sure that nobody else would see a single bit of my struggle.   Being vulnerable in this stage of life was not an option……or so I thought.  Who would want to be with a 21 year old, single mom, who was now living back at home with her parents?  I did my own thing for a few years, getting back up on my feet and pushing forward because I refused to let someone else control my emotions anymore.  I was my own person, I had to be strong for my son. I couldn’t be afraid anymore. There was no other choice but to pick myself up, dust the crap off, and save me.  The night I consciously made that decision, life started to change again.

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Now we are in 2011.  One of my best friends of 5 years at that point was a single father of a beautiful little girl whom I adored.  We decided to go out for dinner one night and my whole world got rocked.  For the first time ever, when I saw him that night, he looked totally different to me.  This was the beginning of my new life.  He had a way of showing me that I was worth it. 

We have been happily married for 5 years now.  We agreed early on that we both wanted more children. We were both at a stage in our lives where everything was perfect to bring more kids into the loving household we had created together.  We have now been trying for three years with no luck.  It is exhausting. I want to give my husband another opportunity to be a father, I want to give our kids a sibling, and I selfishly want to give myself the feeling of redemption.  I want to feel beautiful again.

Lying in bed one night I was telling my husband how exhausted I was, how emotionally drained I have been, how I was really losing hope, and how much of a failure I felt like.  He looked at me and said he was feeling all the same things.  What were we doing to ourselves? We aren’t the only ones struggling with fertility issues. We aren’t alone in this chaotic roller coaster of a ride.  I decided that it was time to change my thinking.

And in comes Alexandria Kenyon.

The day of my shoot was invigorating! Freeing. Incredible.  For the first time in a long time, I am able to recognize that my journey had molded me into exactly who I am today and that’s exactly what I need to be.  I cannot live my life in survival mode anymore. I am missing out on so much life.  We haven’t lost time in our journey to be parents again.  It has taken each and every situation that we have encountered to bring to me where I am now and now is right on time! It’s ok and necessary to know that with or without another baby, my life is complete, I am whole, I am perfectly imperfect, I am beautiful, and most importantly….I matter.

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Please leave this brave woman some love! She is incredibly difficult to step out of you comfort zone and share you story with the world! Can you relate? Share!

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My ACNE doesn't define me | Naked but NOT AFRAID | Part 2 |

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My ACNE doesn't define me | Naked but NOT AFRAID | Part 2 |

Something I pride myself on is shooting and connecting with REAL women. So when I announced my idea of naked but not afraid, I got an overwhelming amount of emails from women with very inspiring stories. I honestly wish I could take every story and bring it to life, because each and every woman deserves that. I am thankful for you all.

As you may already know, the goal of my Naked but NOT AFRAID series is to show the world that beauty isn't a definition, it is a way of truly being free. Beauty is vulnerable and authentic, and more importantly, messy. Beauty is being who you are, the good and the bad. EVERY woman deserves to feel beautiful despite the constant pressure from society to be 'perfect'.

I narrowed it down to 5 women. 5 women with unique stories that gave me the feels, women with stories of how they put their middle finger up to the man and said THIS IS WHO I AM AND I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK. This is their journey to finding confidence again, despite setbacks. These are 5 of the strongest women I know.  These Women are NAKED but not afraid.

After reading a lot of "it would be cool" and "I want to model just because" emails I stumbled upon Megan's email and it quickly caught my attention! I read it and immediately broke down in tears. I was so sad that she felt that way about her skin, I was so sad that society made her feel ashamed over something she couldn't control.  She was the first person that spoke to my heart and I knew her story needed to be shared because of how many women likely feel them same way and their skin. I truly appreciated how candid and vulnerable Megan was with me from the start. When we met for coffee to plan out how we were going to share her strength with the world we instantly clicked. I knew we were going to create something very special.

That being said, this is naked but NOT AFRAID part 2 featuring Megan. A story of how Megan dealt with cystic acne, but overcame her insecurities to pose MAKEUP free, to show the world she is NAKED but not afraid. I hope you feel this, I hope this speaks to you like it speaks to me.

HERE IS MEGAN'S STORY:

"I applied for this model call because it spoke to me. I knew Alexandria would not only take beautiful photos, but my story would be told and could potentially inspire others to not be afraid to be themselves. It seemed so raw and empowering and the final "step" to feeling free. Those who know me know that I rarely go out without makeup, so to do an entire photoshoot without it not only faced my insecurities but it told them to 'f off'. I own my thoughts and I own my confidence."

My journey begins in 2014 when I decided to make skincare my career. I dealt with some teenage acne and had a passion for makeup that I wanted to use to help other people. So, I went to school to become an Esthetician and began working at Sephora as a skincare specialist.

Fast forward about two years and I got off birth-control to let my body do its thing naturally. That’s when things started to change. My face began slowly breaking out. Me, knowing and understanding skin, was doing what I could to manage it and nothing was working due to hormones. It was frustrating…but I was coping.

Finally, I went to a doctor who put me on medication. I finished the prescription, my face had cleared and I was very optimistic. Within a week of finishing it my face broke out in cystic, painful acne, over my entire face. I was mortified, depressed, and feeling like a failure. This is my career. How can I help others feel beautiful and how will they trust me looking like this? I cried every day, could not look in the mirror (tearing up just thinking about it), and was so sad.

People said things; telling me I must have had an allergic reaction to something, kids asking me what was on my face and even asking how I could be happy. People would stare. It was so, so painful. I vividly remember this 8 year old girl coming up to me while I was sitting on a bench... 

She said, "what's on your face?" I replied," Just some boo boos but they will go away." And she looked at me and said," How can you be happy like that?" And I teared up and told her that I try to always be happy and then her dad came up and grabbed her hand and guided her away. And then I burst into tears.

The day before a women that owned a little restaurant I loved, saw me and commented "oh my, you must have had an allergic reaction." And I turned to my friend who looked mortified, tried to force a smile, and then I placed my order.

So one day I decided if I couldn't fix my skin right away, I could work on myself. So every day I started telling myself that I was beautiful. I started working out so I'd feel good about my body, and even though my husband told me I was beautiful, I knew I had to learn how to love myself and to believe that I really was beautiful- inside and out.  I needed to look in the mirror and not burst into tears at the reflection I saw, both literally and figuratively with myself.

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I began working out more, cooking, and journaling. I would do my best to wake up every morning and get my mind in a positive place. I’d reflect on who I am and focus on loving all the parts; learning that it is okay to simultaneously love yourself while tweaking the parts that you want to improve.

My body started transforming. And then my mind. I started to feel good, regardless of my acne. Sure, I had PLENTY of setbacks (and still do) but it was the beginning of my relationship with myself.

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The most important part of the session was letting go. Not worrying about how my hair looked, how my makeup looked, how my body looked. Simply being in touch with who I am and not worrying what anyone else thinks.
— Megan
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After my session I absolutely believe that I'm naked but not afraid. I came feeling strong and left feeling stronger. I felt beautiful, confident, and sexy and as much as I love the power of makeup, I learned that I can feel all of those things (and more) without it.

If I could give any advice to those coming into a boudoir session, it'd be to let go. Don't worry about who will see what or what they will think. Do this for you. When you let go of all of that, you come alive. 

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A year later, my skin is now clear, and it feels so good. I do have some light scars (that I'm still treating). With those scars though, I'm reminded of my journey to loving myself, no matter what my skin looks like. I'm also reminded humbly, of why I became an esthetician and it's to help other women feel beautiful and find their self-love, and I understand more than ever the hurt and pain of that journey.
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"The last time I felt beautiful prior to our experience, was that morning. I was so happy with how far I had come- the fact that I was getting ready to do an entire photoshoot sans makeup!"

I have learned to love all my little pieces and my wish is for everyone to have that kind of love. I have so much empathy and compassion for everyone that is on their own journey. This entire experience has given me purpose and direction in my life. It’s strengthened me in ways I could not imagine and I hope that I can inspire others to not only love themselves, but to be fearless and embrace your struggle.

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"Don’t wilt. Nourish your soul and blossom."

xx -Megan

I am crying happy tears! AHHH Megan I am so happy for you! You are so fierce in your pursuit of life!

If you love her story leave some love below! Share the post! If you have an insecurity you would like to overcome tell me your story below!

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"I am worth so much more than I think." | Miss K | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photoshoot

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"I am worth so much more than I think." | Miss K | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photoshoot

In April, we met up for coffee. I could tell that she was nervous, as many of my clients are initially; I mean they are meeting up with someone they will eventually strip down in front of, at a Starbucks. She had this low-key rocker essence about.  She had a take over the world with just one flash of her smile million dollar smile kind of vibe. However, her eyes shared a different story. They were this beautiful piercing blue color, but every time she answered a question about herself they dropped to the floor.  She told me she was not very confident. That the last time she felt beautiful was on her honeymoon last year, because she "felt like she had nothing to prove to anyone and was completely confident walking around without makeup on."

That day she was dressed in gym clothes and dark lipstick, looking absolutely fit and absolutely fierce. Nonetheless, she expressed her desire to loose more weight before her session. We talked for 3 hours, about everything; her fitness journey, her adorable bratty ginger cat 'Tigger', her Pitbull Monte, her career as a hairstylist, and her super supportive husband (who I didn't know was waiting in the car for our 3 hour chat, so sorryy!!!).

She explained to me that this boudoir experience was something she was doing for herself so that she could feel more confident and comfortable in her skin. And she was SERIOUSLY ready to feel this way about her self as soon as possible. In the past 2 years, she had saved, she had worked hard in the gym, she had found the right person to work with, and she was finally ready to take her confidence back!

I could write for days about this experience, but I think I better let Miss K take this one....

I know I had told you a little about the way I viewed my body. As a kid/teenager I was always told that I had “huge hips” and “thunder thighs” and although I knew my family didn’t mean it to be mean or rude it made me very insecure. I can honestly say that I was never confident in my body. I felt like I matured overnight and before I knew it my butt had doubled and I had huge boobs, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. As a teenager I found my self worth in what boys thought of me. I cared way too much about other’s opinions and that took a huge toll on my life and my self esteem. I had always known that I was a curvy girl but I never really wanted to be one. I wanted to be the stick straight skinny girl. I started becoming more and more insecure in the way my body looked, how my skin wasn’t clear, and a lot of other things. As I grew into adulthood I thought of myself less and less. I never really wanted to look in the mirror and I found it very uncomfortable if someone would compliment me. To this day I still get very awkward when receiving a compliment, I always want to tell them that they’re wrong.

[My Ex- Boyfriend] point blank called me fat, completely out of the blue. Again I found myself caring about what someone so insignificant thought of me and that was my motivation to loose weight. I knew I shouldn’t care what he thought but that really hit a nerve with me. Don’t get me wrong I am so proud of myself for loosing the 25lbs that I have lost, but I still see myself as fat. I was still so unhappy with myself.

I had read all of the reviews on your website saying how great all of these women felt about themselves after their shoots and I envied them. I wanted to feel great about myself for once. That is when I decided to contact you. I waited honestly almost two years to do this shoot because I was so nervous. I had always had self confidence issues and I wanted to make sure that when I did get to do this experience I had the right person. You were by far the best I have seen and I’m so glad I waited until I could book with you.

The questionnaire I filled out really made me dig deep. I remember one question in particular made me very uncomfortable. It was “When was the last time you felt beautiful?”. I honestly couldn’t remember, which I know is sad. I hadn’t felt beautiful in a very long time. In fact that word “beautiful” made me so uncomfortable all together. Even when my own husband would call me beautiful I wanted to argue with him and tell him I wasn’t.

The day of my ordering appointment, the second I saw those pictures I wanted to burst into tears. I’m not one to cry in front of people and I had worked really hard on my eyeliner that morning, which is why I managed to keep myself from balling. I looked at those images and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Did I really look like that?! There’s no way that my body looked that good! It took me a minute to kind of take it all in. I was in complete shock. I saw myself in a totally different light than I had been seeing myself for years. Those pictures truly made me feel beautiful and sexy. I guess I’m writing all of this because I wanted to thank you for making me see that I am beautiful and that I am worth so much more than I think. You truly made a difference in me.
— Miss K

Hearing stories like Miss K's and being able to help change the way women see themselves is what makes me love Boudoir Photography so much! If you are in the Jacksonville, NC area and are ready to see yourself as so much more, holla at your girl ;)

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Our DIY Kitchen Transformation | From REALLY RED to Peacefully Neutral | Jacksonville, NC

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Our DIY Kitchen Transformation | From REALLY RED to Peacefully Neutral | Jacksonville, NC

We purchased this home over 2 years ago.... and sometimes when I look back to how it was... I am not sure why I ever signed my name on that dotted line! If you ask me what my least favorite color of wood is.... I will say red... and this house was COVERED IN RED FAKE WOOD. I referred to it as the condiment house because the walls were green and yellow, and the builder grade cabinets and floors were FREAKING RED. Honestly, it was quite the stressful environment for a girl who's favorite color is Black... and then White... and then if I have to.... Grey! After that I will allow other neutrals, on a case to case basis, but that is as far as I can be pushed. I knew that it needed to be changed... It was just a matter of when.....

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 *** I saved this image from google! This was the listing photo.

*** I saved this image from google! This was the listing photo.

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I wouldn't classify my husband and I as the typical DIY team, meaning we had NO PRIOR experience coming into this.  BUT, I had the empowerment and support of the Pinterest and Youtube communities and a super STUD of a husband, so what could go wrong?!?! OH .... PROBABLY EVERYTHING...

I remember when and how this transformation started. I was up super late, watching Fixer Upper reruns, glancing back and forth between my dream house and my cringe worthy red builder grade cabinets. I kept seeing all of these PERFECT white kitchens, and thought.... oh how hard could it be to paint my own cabinets white...I will just channel my inner Joanna Gaines....it's going to be amazing.  It was 4 in the morning when I decided I was going to just go for it....before my husband got up for work, so he wouldn't stop me. When he came out and saw me washing down all of our cabinets, he didn't actually seem opposed to the idea. He did however tell me I was ON MY OWN with this. I was like BABE don't even worry, I have this under control, when you come home from work you will have a beautiful WHITE kitchen. Kisses and HUGS. BYE.

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I WAS SO WRONG. Like I am every time I start a project that is clearly out of my league. If you're like me you love instant gratification and what could more instantly gratifying then a cabinet color change. This should be quick and easy and GLORIOUS. Unfortunately, if you're also like me.... you have unrealistic expectations of your skill level when it comes to home improvements. I have been blessed with particular set of skills, boudoir photography, and I should without a doubt stick to that. Somebody should remind me of that next time I get sucked in to DIY by Joanna Gaines, to stay focused on BOUDOIR instead.

Let me point out now that instant gratification and DIY home remodeling do not belong in the same sentence, let alone in my vocabulary.  I was 18 hours deep into this project...I hadn't even started painting yet.... and I was very quickly losing all motivation. Luckily, I have the best MOM in the world, who happens to be an interior designer, FURNITURE refinishing extraordinaire ( check her out here PONZIO DESIGN, and my BFF. We make a pretty good team.

So I called her frantically, which I do roughly 46 times per week.

Our conversation went as follows:

Me: MOM SOS I AM PAINTING MY CABINETS! I NEED HELP! I THINK I AM DOING THIS WRONG? Do you sand between coats? My wrists hurt from sanding? Am I supposed to use a particular roller?  ......UGH Will you come over and help me PLEASEEEEEE!
Mom: Where is Dustin? *****side note... Dustin is the practical one in this relationship. He can basically do ANYTHING he sets his mind to.
Me: He says I have to do this on my OWN.
Mom: (likely sheer panic) Don't touch anything else, I'll be right over.

And that is the story of how my mom saved my life for the 435678901 time. THANKS LAUR! YOU'RE THE BEST.

 She's the cutest, I know.

She's the cutest, I know.

 PROGRESS

PROGRESS

This project took a total of 2 weeks to complete, and lots of blood, sweat, and tears. I took a total of 87 snack breaks, my mom took like 4..... My husband eventually joined in... after I had a series of mental breakdowns. He thankfully added all of the hardware (because I don't know how to use a power drill to this day, and shouldn't), framed out the island, adding molding, new baseboards, and beadboard, and mostly importantly, he scratched our current counter tops with a razor blade while trying to cut said beadboard.... turning my WANT into a serious NEED for new countertops in the very near future, THANKS FOR THINKING OF ME BABE!

It's not finished yet, I am not sure it ever will be, but we love it. It was the first project we took on as homeowners and I could not be happier with how it turned out. So ..... here it is!!!!!!!! Let me know what you think in the comments!!!

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We are still brainstorming on how to hide the cabinet light cords! Do you have any ideas? Let me know in the comments!

 I AM OBSESSED WITH THE HARDWARE...CUP HANDLES ARE EVERYTHING.

I AM OBSESSED WITH THE HARDWARE...CUP HANDLES ARE EVERYTHING.

 We have to represent CA!

We have to represent CA!

 SOOOOO yes, those are cat butt magnets...... We delightfully received a bunch of Christmas cards last year, but were seriously lacking on magnets to hang them up on the fridge! I found these at hobby lobby and stuck them in my husbands stocking. It's safe to say they are a hit.

SOOOOO yes, those are cat butt magnets...... We delightfully received a bunch of Christmas cards last year, but were seriously lacking on magnets to hang them up on the fridge! I found these at hobby lobby and stuck them in my husbands stocking. It's safe to say they are a hit.

 These cat butt magnets are holding up my prized possession, Justin Bieber tickets. Yes I am a 23 year old, married Belieber, I am not every sorry about it.  See you in August JB.

These cat butt magnets are holding up my prized possession, Justin Bieber tickets. Yes I am a 23 year old, married Belieber, I am not every sorry about it.  See you in August JB.

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 THE SCRATCHES ARE REAL!

THE SCRATCHES ARE REAL!

 Our only wedding picture sits proudly in our countertop!

Our only wedding picture sits proudly in our countertop!

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 Excuse the interruption, Ariel thought I was getting her treats.

Excuse the interruption, Ariel thought I was getting her treats.

 She's NEEDY.

She's NEEDY.

 Clearly so is Beau....

Clearly so is Beau....

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AND THAT IS IT. Thank you for sticking with me! What do you think?!! Do you have any suggestions for countertops? Let me know in the comments!

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Insert: Proud USMC Wifey post here.

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Insert: Proud USMC Wifey post here.

I AM PROUD AF of my HUSBAND.

I typically keep my blog strictly BIZ, but I couldn't help myself. I have had a glass of wine (or 3) and I am feeling sentimental! First, where does the time go? I have been married to this man for almost 4 years, it's absolutely crazy! Second, I hate that military wives are constantly shamed for being outwardly supportive of their husbands. It's okay to be proud of your husband, it doesn't mean that you are trying to become him or assume his role.... I mean Green may be my color....but I am going to stick to my expertise of Boudoir Photography (feel free to write a blog about how badass Boudoir is BABE!  ;) I won't shame you!). Third, you need a little background. So HERE. WE. GO. Disclaimer: this is about to get sappy and likely dramatic so leave now if you can't make it through the first 5 minutes of This Is Us without crying. Also, I really don't like the word Wifey.

Carry on....

It has been 10 years.... (insert titanic flashback scene) since my husband stepped on the yellow footprints. I can't take credit for being a part of it all, since I was like 14 years old at the time so I was more focused on passing geometry. It wasn't until years later that we meet (after I turned 19 of course), don't worry mom!!! It was strange, but absolutely wonderful how it all worked out.

Here is a little flashback to my husbands baby smurf days:

JUST LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS ROCKING THAT PETER PAN POSE!

 BABIES!

BABIES!

Anyways, I met Dustin after 3 back to back deployments. We met, fell in love at a Dave & Busters, and then we did the damn thing. We got married on a Thursday, on our lunch breaks, and both went back to work immediately following. Can you say SOULMATES? (more like crazy workaholics). It was laughable, but romantic. We talked about dreams like most couples do before they get married, his dream was to make a career out of the Marine Corps. That was never negotiable, which was something I respected about him. That being said, I always knew that our marriage would start with the Marine Corps, and that chapter of our lives would end when retirement rolled around. That decision was something I came to truly appreciate down the line when I heard other husbands playing the "I'm getting out, no I'm staying in," run around game for months at a time. THANKFULLY, Dustin hasn't changed his mind. It would be hard for me to deal with that. Why, because I am a TYPE A, perfectionist with ANXIETY and I cannot handle that kind of impulsive life decision teetering..... (you're thinking.... how do you deal with being a USMC wife then.) Honestly, I don't know. The active duty spouse lifestyle wasn't my first choice, but my husband was...so it's manageable. The hardest part of this whole thing is the settling for 2 years and then moving... but not knowing where you are moving to until you are in a house in another state or country. And then losing your best girlfriends. That is the WORST part about it all. Stay tuned for a blog post that features whining about all the friends I miss so much (KELSEY THIS IS YOUR MOMENT). But onto more positive vibes!

   So last week marked, 10 years that my husband has given to the USMC. Side note: what were you doing 10 years ago? I am sad that I didn't have a Facebook that long ago so that Facebook Memories could remind me! 10 YEARS is a decade! WTF! This is going by too fast. I have not been there through it all, I like to say that I got off relatively easy. We have been fortunate to spend 5 years together, uninterrupted by deployments. Our marriage seems normal in comparison to what some of my friends have dealt with. I have had this man home pretty much every night.  My wake up call is coming though... I can feel it. I am thankful for these 5 past years...we have seen our marriage foundation strengthen tenfold. I am sure I will need that for the next 10.

For those of you who know my husband, you're lucky! You understand the kind of human being he is, dedicated to a fault, hardworking, and absolutely selfless. For those of you who don't, you are missing out, I'll give you his number and you can call him later. This man has come home exhausted, to the point of passing out on the floor, but still does the dishes. He is an EXTRAORDINARY PERSON, and an even better best friend. He will always show up for you (even when you're been sassy, it's been proven by me of course). He's the best partner I could have asked for. He is the kind of person you pick first to join your team; I am glad that I did. The Marine Corps is lucky to have had him for 10 years!!!!

HERE COMES THE PROUD WIFE POST: I want to say from the bottom of my heart, congratulations Dustin on 10 years serving your country! Congratulations for being dedicated something bigger than yourself. You make me so proud as a wife, as a best friend, as your family. 10 years’ babe, then we will be sipping fruity drinks on a beach somewhere, building a house that we don't have to move from. Maybe with babies, or maybe with 4 more cats (I can't make any promises). I will keep my the promise that I made to you on that Thursday afternoon at the courthouse, to love and support you, now and through the next 10 years of this crazy life. Through deployments, PCSing, and everything else the military lifestyle throws at us. (And at that point we can renegotiate how nice and understanding I have to be). I love you!

And that's it people. That is how I adopted a last name I can't spell.

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Makeup Monday | Perfect Primer

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Makeup Monday | Perfect Primer

Here at Boudoir by Alexandria Kenyon we are makeup obsessed! Whether you are getting your makeup done by a professional artist or you are a DIY kinda girl, primer is of the utmost importance! There are so many different types of primers out there, ones to minimize pores, ones to color correct, ones to get rid of shine and the list goes on and on.  How do you know which one best suits your skin type though?  My amazing Makeup Artist, Makeup by Christina, is here to help you pick out your perfect primer!

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I am Struggling at 23 | An Honest Letter To Myself

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I am Struggling at 23 | An Honest Letter To Myself

Ready for some vulnerability? I was crying when I wrote this.

 

I love to see your success but I also love to see how you handle the hardships. You are a fighter, you have been through so much, and yet here you are. Your life was never meant to be easy, but that makes you who you are. You are 23, you have so much life to live. Keep going

Alexandria Kenyon | Jacksonville, NC Boudoir Photographer

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Now She Struts Everyday | Miss T | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Studio

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Now She Struts Everyday | Miss T | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Studio

Miss T drove 5 hours from South Carolina to find herself again. She came to see me at the studio for her boudoir experience and left in tears. This is her story.

I listened as she told me her story. Within the first few minutes of listening to her speak, I knew how much beauty and compassion this woman possessed. She had such a positive, adorning love for others. She had so much love for her daughter, and so much passion for her husband. The problem...She was compassionate and loving towards everyone but herself.

This would be her first overnight trip away from her daughter, and as scary as that was, she WANTED and more importantly NEEDED to have a boudoir experience. She told me she barely let her husband see her naked and that was what she wanted to change. This was her opportunity to look into the mirror and truly see herself for the first time. She needed a confidence boost, for herself, for her marriage, for her daughter.

Here is what Miss T has to say about her Boudoir Experience:

"I decided to pursue a boudoir experience because I was lacking confidence so badly that it was really affecting my life and my happiness. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. So I decided that a boudoir experience would be the perfect opportunity to find myself again. When I met Alexandria I felt like I knew her my whole life, she will answer any and every question and is very honest. On the day if my shoot It was so refreshing to get pampered! It was so liberating and I felt so comfortable! My advice to anyone considering having a boudoir experience, DO IT...you need to do it. Seriously, every woman should have this experience and do it with Alex to ensure the best time and the best photos! I had such an amazing time and will cherish the confidence and the beauty she helped me see in myself."

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After our final shot, she told me,

"I feel like I have the confidence to walk down this street naked, right now!" 

She was immediately herself again, confident in who she was, and liberated from the negativity she posed on her body. We hugged and the studio was consumed by her overwhelming feeling of relief. Then we cried tears of happiness because it was freakin' emotional!

She found herself that day, and she hadn't even seen the photos yet. That is the power of the boudoir experience. Miss T chose to love herself for who she is, insecurities and all. This was her defining moment, her opportunity to look into the mirror and truly see herself for the first time, as a smokin' hot mother who CANNOT and WILL NOT be defined by anyone but herself.

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And the best part....when she saw her finished products:

"Oh my gosh. I'm in literal tears looking at my photos. I cannot thank you enough for reminding me that it's okay to love myself and give my body the credit that it deserves. You are amazing. I'm so so grateful for you and this experience. You have given me so much more than I expected and I really really appreciate it with my whole heart! You are amazing. I'm so so grateful for you and this experience.'
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"I was so happy and walked away with confidence that helps me strut every single day!" - Miss T

I am over the moon stoked for Miss T! She is walking away from her experience as fierce and as confident as ever.

Boudoir is the opportunity to be naked with yourself, for yourself. Let's strip away the insecurities, the self doubt, the reservations. Let's put it all out there, put everything on the table, because when you are vulnerable you are YOU. When you let your walls down you GROW. And this is the kind of growth I want for all women.

If you're down for a little bit of vulnerability in 2017, let's chat!

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Boudoir by Alexandria Kenyon | Jacksonville, North Carolina Boudoir Photography Studio | Downtown Jacksonville Boudoir Photography | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer |

 

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Dear North Carolina, Can I get some Sweater Weather Please | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

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Dear North Carolina, Can I get some Sweater Weather Please | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

IT'S WHAT TO WEAR WEDNESDAY.....and JACKSONVILLE, NC IT'S NOVEMBER! I have been patiently waiting for bone chilling weather for like 3 months! Can you tell that fall is my FAVORITE season, followed very closely by winter! There is something so romantic about a colder weather. Warm fires, hot coffee, the leaves changing, and most importantly been able to go outside without sweating to death! ....There is nothing sexy about drowning in your own puddle of sweat, but I'll save those thoughts for later.

Introducing: Miss K

I am so thankful that the weather is kind of getting chillier, even if its only one day out of the week, I WILL TAKE IT... and I will run with it... to the nearest Starbucks wearing boots and a peacoat... even though I am likely overheating in it (Thanks again mother nature)! THAT IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR FALL FASHION! Fall is seriously the SWEATER WEATHER season..... and what does that even mean? .... it means that it's FINALLY socially acceptable to bring out your FALL WARDROBE FAVORITES. Some of us fall obsessed individuals have been secretly setting our AC to 65 in the middle of AUGUST so that we can wear sweaters and flannels, it's fine.... I know I have a problem.

My favorite fall articles... oversized sweaters and knee high socks! Literally, anything that you wear in fall will be complimentary to an oversized sweater or a pair of Knee highs, you just simply cannot go wrong!  Not only is this the perfect combination for the FALL SEASON, but have you ever thought that this would be an AMAZING combination for your boudoir wardrobe ....?

For a boudoir shoot, I always recommend that you wear what you are COMFORTABLE IN, even though I always suggest that you bring one outfit that is a little bit outside of your comfort zone! Miss K has such an awesome sense of style! When I first met her I was so impressed by how confident she was in her style choices. She is the queen of BOHO chic style, a walking free people ad, and I wanted that to reflect in her boudoir images. So, her perfect pairing needed to showed some skin without showing too much..... Remember that less can ALWAYS be more, if you style and photograph it appropriately.

AND SO HERE YOU SEE MISS K in what SHE FEELS sexy, and most importantly comfortable in, her oversized sweater and tall socks! It's romantically minimalistic, but a true reflection of who she is! I adore this look for fall boudoir sessions! Boudoir wardrobe doesn't have to be over the TOP, it just has to be YOU.  We love when our girls can be cozy and comfortable during their shoot! 

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite shops to get some comfy sweaters.  We love Forever 21, H&M, American Eagle, Top Shop,  and Free People.  What are your favorite stores to shop for fall clothes?

There's nothing better than a perfect pairing, fall and hot coffee, you and a boudoir experience, oversized sweaters and tall socks. 

Want to get your FALL on? Let's chat over our favorite hot drinks!

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Makeup Monday | Meet Christina, Makeup Queen

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Makeup Monday | Meet Christina, Makeup Queen

One of the luxury services that compliments your boudoir experience with Alexandria Kenyon is hair and makeup, from your perfect lip color to falsies, get ready to be pampered! Seriously, professional hair and makeup is JUST as important as any other step! And guess what, it's included in every boudoir experience because it is a MUST!!

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A PEEK INTO MY LIVING ROOM | Behind the Scenes | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

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A PEEK INTO MY LIVING ROOM | Behind the Scenes | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

When my husband and I moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina from Orange County, CA I was pleasantly surprised with how affordable real estate was (think $$$$$$ to $$). When we lived in CA we were paying almost triple for a 600sqft apartment! WE HAD NO SPACE.... I mean we literally could never get away from each other.... which wasn't always a bad thing, but it wasn't ideal.

Side note: If you are a newlywed and are living in 600sqft area I promise it will make you a better couple!! You learn so much about the other person. I think everyone should have to share a tiny space with the one that they love. If you can make it through that, you can make it through anything!

Anyways,

Dustin (my hubby) was reluctant to buy a home at first, him being Active duty military could mean us moving at the drop of a dime, but my addiction to reruns of Fixer Upper convinced me that I had to have WHITE CABINETS and a farmhouse styled home... ASAP! (THANKS CHIP + JO). So I got him on board to buying a house in Jacksonville and here we are almost 2 years later.

We have already done so much to this house in the past 2 years! When we moved in the walls were all different shades of YELLOW and GREEN and there was linoleum and carpet in every room. Step 1 was to eradicate the yellow and green walls. Step 2 was to get rid of carpet and linoleum once and for all. Step 3...find cat resistant furniture. Step 4.... MAKE IT PERSONAL.

So yes, decorating has always been one of my favorite hobbies. My mom is an interior designer so it runs in my blood. I would say my current style is a chic mixture of farmhouse + rustic + industrial... I LOVE MY neutrals! The splashes of blue and complimentary warm wood tones give my space the right amount of POP. And more importantly, I added SO MANY personal elements to turn this house into a home. I am so excited for you to see!

WELCOME IN:

 

 Bookcase & Drapes: Target  TIP: If you are like me and you don't have time to search for super cool vintage books just flip over the books you have laying around to create the same effect! My college textbooks finally have a purpose!

Bookcase & Drapes: Target

TIP: If you are like me and you don't have time to search for super cool vintage books just flip over the books you have laying around to create the same effect! My college textbooks finally have a purpose!

Beerdengrowlers

I AM OBSESSED WITH BEER GROWLERS! To the point that I won't let me husband refill them because they are my "DECOR". You can find the BEER DEN growlers at your local Lowes food store for under 5 dollars! The Growler on the top is from a Brewery in Shelburne, Vermont called FIDDLEHEAD! It's a little piece of our vacation to Vermont this year and I love that.

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HMMMM....there seems to be a theme here....

I swear we are not alcoholics! We just LOVE craft beer and good wine! The best part of the "Cork Box" is that each and every cork was a bottle of wine that we shared together! So many great bottles & good conversation shared over the past 3 years with my husband.

 My couch is an IKEA EKTORP and I delightedly found this on Craigslist!  It originally had brownish/green slipcovers that I hated....so I ordered these white slipcovers to make it BRAND NEW! The best part about the EKTORP is the slipcovers... They can be washed & replaced, which is essential if you have CATS that like to use it as a scratching post!

My couch is an IKEA EKTORP and I delightedly found this on Craigslist!  It originally had brownish/green slipcovers that I hated....so I ordered these white slipcovers to make it BRAND NEW! The best part about the EKTORP is the slipcovers... They can be washed & replaced, which is essential if you have CATS that like to use it as a scratching post!

 Love you More Pillow: Marshalls

Love you More Pillow: Marshalls

 Photo: Kristina Elizabeth Photography  Table: Ponzio Design

Photo: Kristina Elizabeth Photography

Table: Ponzio Design

My mom found this table and redesigned it for my husband! He kept finding super cool shells on his trips to the beach & I wanted to display them! If you look closely you will see a few shark teeth in there!

Candles are a MUST in this house....it just creates such a cozy environment! I am so happy to have found "SWEATER WEATHER" at Target! Dustin and I are OBSESSED with Biren & Co candles as well! We stumbled upon our first Biren & Co "Tobacco Vanilla" Candle at a boutique in Vermont and now we are HOOKED!

greyandbluelivingroom
 My amazing husband installed our laminate wood flooring! We were thinking about putting a more grey toned flooring in here but I am SO GLAD that we went with a warm medium tone. Grey would have washed everything out. These laminates are durable and easy to clean!  Floors: Pergo Max "Crossroads Oak" @ Lowe's Improvement

My amazing husband installed our laminate wood flooring! We were thinking about putting a more grey toned flooring in here but I am SO GLAD that we went with a warm medium tone. Grey would have washed everything out. These laminates are durable and easy to clean!

Floors: Pergo Max "Crossroads Oak" @ Lowe's Improvement

 I made this ottoman with my mom out of an old PUB table! We took the legs off a side table and cut them down to make it the perfect height! The top is foam and covered in a "blackout curtain" that we found!! This is my favorite color of blue in the whole room!

I made this ottoman with my mom out of an old PUB table! We took the legs off a side table and cut them down to make it the perfect height! The top is foam and covered in a "blackout curtain" that we found!! This is my favorite color of blue in the whole room!

 AHHHH THE CLOCK! I don't know where this room would be without this piece! My hubby's favorite. I grabbed this from Hobby Lobby!

AHHHH THE CLOCK! I don't know where this room would be without this piece! My hubby's favorite.
I grabbed this from Hobby Lobby!

 My mom made this vintage console for me for my birthday! I am obsessed with the handles! Media Console: Ponzio Design

My mom made this vintage console for me for my birthday! I am obsessed with the handles! Media Console: Ponzio Design

 Bath & Body works candles are another obsession of mine!

Bath & Body works candles are another obsession of mine!

 The one thing I have always wanted was a WORKING FIREPLACE. We put this baby to good use in the winter time!  Lantern: Micheals Craft Store

The one thing I have always wanted was a WORKING FIREPLACE. We put this baby to good use in the winter time!

Lantern: Micheals Craft Store

 Photo: Amanda Lynn Photography

Photo: Amanda Lynn Photography

AND LASTLY:

My favorite part of my living room? MY PHOTOS! If you couldn't tell? They are everywhere! PRINT YOUR IMAGES. There is no better way to personalize your space then with your favorite memories. So much has changed from the time that these were taken last year! So many great things! I am just glad we have them to look back on.

I hope you love my space as much as I do! Now to start decorating for fall....

Like what you see? Do you want to see more personal posts on the blog?  I want to hear from you! Comment below with your thoughts!

 

 

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To The Overwhelmed Human Who Can't Sleep.

Bed time is the worst for me. When I lie down to go to sleep my mind is always running at light speed... Why is that ?! My brain seriously never just "shuts down".

So tonight as I am bribing myself to fall asleep my brain decided that I should analyze every part of my day and the first thought that came to mind was: I didn't check off all the boxes on my never ending to do list and now there is EVEN MORE to do tomorrow.... I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted to get done today and my mind was NOT okay going to sleep with an unfinished checklist.

I was overwhelmed by "open drawers." Drawers that couldn't be shut right at that moment...open drawers that I have filled with unfinished business and self doubt....open drawers that make it incredibly hard to fall asleep. And these open drawers that never seem to shut make me feel inadequate as a business owner, as a wife, as a student, as a daughter, and most importantly as a human being.

So I was laying there thinking about all of the stuffed drawers in my life, when I realized that ... I have to stop focusing on all of my OPEN DRAWERS and give myself CREDIT for how many drawers I have CLOSED!

I have a habit of not giving myself credit when credit is due... for not acknowledging that 97% of the time I kick ass. It bothers me how hard it is for me to accept that I am enough... and I tend to dwell on these open drawers late at night. I'd like to blame my anxiety... but I think it's human nature to be your own worst enemy. To focus on your struggle and not your success. You have to be willing to grant yourself grace.

So I would like to give myself some praise now and I am hoping you will do the same for yourself.... for being the bad asses that we are. For holding it down when everything could be falling apart. For being the strong people we are! and for me checking off 7/10 of my boxes today... and sort of being okay with finishing the rest tomorrow.

I have to accept that I cannot control everything as much as I would like to. That shit happens, and it's how you pick yourself up that makes you who you are. I have to learn to accept myself ... Stuffed drawers and all. And hopefully those stuffed drawers will start to get cleaned out... so I can shut them... and get my ass to SLEEP! 

So if you're in bed scrolling through your feed and you can't sleep because your mind is overwhelmed by the hustle of life I want you to know that I see you. And I wish it was as easy as just taking a deep breath in and letting go of the ALL of the things you can't control with one big exhale, but it's not... at least for me. It's something I don't intend to fix overnight. BABY STEPS! I want you to know that your not alone and if someone hasn't told you today that you are enough.... YOU ARE ENOUGH!! Keep going. Start cleaning out those drawers one step at a time. Love yourself for being the badass that I know you are!

Goodnight beautiful people.

xx,

Alexandria

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Orange is the New Black | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

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Orange is the New Black | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photographer

There are many perks to be branded a 'Lovely Lady' of Boudoir by Alexandria Kenyon. If getting to watch me being super fun and VERY awkward on Facebook Live doesn't entice you, you also have the opportunity to keep up with my latest work, be inspired, see behind the scenes exclusives, hear from previous clients, and so much more...

And ..... Every now and then I have a special contest exclusive to the Lovely Ladies Facebook group.

A while ago I announced the Boudie Babe Contest! The winner, Haleigh, was gifted an all inclusive boudoir experience with me to, include a custom designed Little Black Book!

This shoot was a mixture of moody and sultry!  As Haleigh stepped out of her comfort zone, I stepped out of mine as well! I faced my fear of Orange HEAD ON.  If you ask any of the women who have gone through my boudoir experience what my preferred color of lingerie is... they most likely know it's black...or almost anything neutral.

However, each and every boudoir experience is personalized to you and a huge part of being true to YOU is bringing in those items that reflect who you are.... even if your boudoir photographer feels some sort of way about the color Orange!

I am not surprised that her hubby's Orange Oxford (Go Vols!) worked so effortlessly.  The mint brought out her striking blue eyes and the orange highlighted her bronze glowy skin! So...... although I am firm believer that that Orange will NEVER be the new black.... I will acknowledge how amazingly it complimented this session.

Now let me introduce to you...the stunning Miss Haleigh.

Here is what Haleigh had to say about her experience:

"I have gained over 20 pounds the past couple of years and it makes me very insecure with my body. I usually HATE pictures of myself because all I can see is the extra weight I have put on. It was scary to show so much skin in front of camera at a time that I was so uncomfortable with my body."

"I was stunned with the outcome of the photos! I had no idea I could look so sexy, especially after gaining weight. And Alex is so much fun to work with! She walks you through everything."

"I think everyone should have a boudoir experience. Even if you have reservations about it because you're not comfortable with the way your body looks."

Can we all stop for a second to appreciate her LONG modelesque legs!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are enchanting Haleigh! Thank you for going on this wild ride with me and allowing me to share it with the world!

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