Be Kind Always

katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1923The perfect tee can go with almost any outfit.  Dress it up.  Dress it down.  Wear it with pajamas.  Wear it to a gala.  Wait…I’ve never been to a gala of any sort.  I’m just saying the possibilities are endless.

katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1919www-gifcreator-me_bvccnu-2You had to know this would involve canvas tennies, because really they are all I wear!   katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1920I’m not gonna lie, I tend to be a little picky about my t-shirts.  I like them soft and comfy, but not slouchy.  Structured, but not too fitted.  And most importantly, I don’t want them to shrink the first time they get washed!  I want to be able to wear and love them time and time again.  I’m so happy I that Mandy from The Blue Envelope and I connected because she has done it!  The perfect graphic tee!

I love that her designs have adorable graphics and heartfelt messages.  The first time I put this T-shirt on I fell in love.  Just ask my family.  I wear it several times a week!  It is soft (seriously, SO soft!!), but holds it’s shape.  I’ve washed it many times and it stands the test.  And, the graphic is adorable!  I keep finding more and more things in my closet to pair it with.  It has truly become a staple.  I think I’m going to have to order this one as well.  I know I will get so much use out of it.


Today I’ve decided to share two of my favorite ways to style this tee.   White jeans were a big favorite for me this summer.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of this Target pair (they stretched out within the first hour or so of wearing them), but, I am already on the hunt for next years white jeans! For my next look, I paired the tee with this polka dot skirt I found at the Kate Spade outlet for 80% off.  I’m pretty sure this skirt is my soul mate.  katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1916katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1922For both looks I added a chunky necklace for an extra pop!  katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1917 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1921 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1915 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1924Be sure to check out The Blue Envelope! I can’t recommend their shirts highly enough!

Look 1: //Top: The Blue Envelope//Jeans: Target//Shoes//Necklace//Sunglasses//Ring//

Look 2: //Top: The Blue Envelope//Skirt, Similar//Jean Jacket//Shoes//Similar Necklace//Bracelets//Similar Watch//


The Battle of the Planners…

Let’s just go ahead and get something out in the open, I am an office supply junkie.  It’s a problem.  I am the type of person that shops for my planner a 3 months before the new year begins.  I take my planners seriously people!  They are an essential part of my daily life and committing to ONE for an entire year?  Whoo, that is not an easy feat.  This is the time of year that companies start releasing their 2017/2018 planners so I am in the planner zone!  Not to mention, my job requires scheduling things very far in advance (2018, I’m looking at you).  I currently have all my 2017 dates in my iCal account.  This makes me nervous.  I’m worried that with one wrong click I could loose lots of needed information!

I tend to try a new planner each year; finding one that suits my needs for my current season of life (although I did go two years back-to-back with the same Lilly Pulitzer planner in high school).  I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little stuck on what to buy for next year.  That is why we are here today…it’s time for an epic battle. The battle of the planners.  Prepare yourself.

Here are a few things that are important to me in a planner:

  • a front pocket to store notes, papers, and other various loose ends,
  • laminated tabs for each month,
  • both monthly views and close-up views of each week/day,
  • a “notes” section for all the things I forget/random ideas that hit me,
  • spiral bound so I can keep it open on my desk compactly,
  • pretty colors 🙂

Additional perks for a planner would be:

  • features to help with goal setting. This is something I had in my Day Designer a few years back and it was so helpful to keep me focused and on track throughout the year.
  • To-Do list and hourly format (I know, I’m picky)

This year, I’m debating between using a daily planner or a weekly planner.  I have tried both, and I am torn.  At times, I’ve found daily planners overwhelming.  It can be challenging to not see your whole week at a glance.  In the last year, I have become a big fan of time blocking as a method for productivity.  I think a daily planner may cater to that nicely.  In addition, I frequently find my daily to-do list too long to fit in the “daily” section of a weekly planner.  But I love that weekly view…THE STRUGGLE.

I’ve rounded up my top 4 contenders for 2017.  Yes, believe it or not, there were even more on the original list.  Let’s go through them together, shall we?

The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley


Oh how I love Emily Ley.  I love her, I love what her brand stands for, and I loooove her products.  For 2016 I chose her Weekly Planner and I am head over heels in love with it.  While it doesn’t have a “notes” or “goal setting” section, I am willing to make the sacrifice because it checks off literally every other item on my list!  I had fallen in planner love.  They recently updated their weekly calendar for the 2017 year.  While, I do love the changes they made, I don’t know that they are the best fit for my preferences, so I am on the hunt again.  I would love to stick within her company because I just love it so darn much! 


The pros: 

  • Beautiful designs
  • “simplified” sections of each day making it less overwhelming
  • both hour-by-hour and list views of each day
  • laminated tabs
  • inside pocket
  • notes section
  • spiral bound
  • you can monogram your cover…I mean come on, how do I say no to that?
  • I’ve seen her test different pen options and verify that none leak through

The cons: 

  • am I ready for a daily planner?  Am I emotionally stable enough for that people???  Who knows!!
  • no goal setting worksheets (although her blog does provide lots of help in this area!)


The To Do List Planner by ShePlans


I have never tried a product by ShePlans but have heard great things from my friend Meggie over at Organized Life Design. I mean, she’s a professional organizer so I feel like I can trust her judgment! 😉


The pros:

  • weekly edition
  • notes section for each month (each MONTH!!!!)
  • goal setting work sheets
  • pocket
  • laminated tabs
  • spiral bound
  • both weekly and monthly views
  • 2018 year at a glance (super helpful while booking weddings)

The cons:

  • not quite as colorful as other options (I figure since I wear all black I can incorporate happy colors to other areas of my life!)
  • Days are divided up vertically rather than horizontally and I like having more space to write.

The Life Planner by Erin Condren


When I was in middle school my big sister Audrey got a cool job doing a creative thing in an office (…two of my dreams combined).  She needed a planner to organize it (…another dream) and *gasp* her employer even bought one for her (…I was fainting at this point).  She chose the Erin Condren planner.  I thought she was the coolest thing since sliced bread.  She used to leave it on our kitchen table and I would flip through it to see what she was up to, how cute her handwriting was on each colorful page, and how many goodies the planner had hidden inside it.  Is this getting stalker-ish?  I feel like it is.  Audrey, don’t be creeped out, just know my love for office supplies started young.  While my middle school self could not have imagined the beautiful planner getting any better, in recent years they actually have added even more variations that I love.  It may be the perfect fit for me this year.  Let’s hash it out.


The pros: 

  • Totally customizable, you can choose from different page layouts, color schemes, and customize your cover
  • spiral bound
  • notes pocket
  • zipper pouch for pens, sticky notes, etc.
  • laminated tabs
  • and included book mark to save your spot
  • monthly views and weekly views
  • notes sections

The Cons: 

  • It is a little bulkier than the other planners
  • no goal setting worksheets

I don’t mind saying, this video kinda has me sold!

Shop Agenda


I have yet to see a product by that I haven’t wanted to buy.  Bright colors, funny catch phrases, and adorable designs.  What’s not to love?  They (in my humble opinion) have done a huge thing right by not only selling a planner, but releasing a folio (adorably named “get it together”) to keep your planner, wallet, pen needs all in one case that zips closed.


The Pros:

  • Like I said, bright colors, adorable quotes, and fun illustrations.
  • both monthly and weekly views
  • notes sections
  • pocket
  • laminated tabs
  • spiral bound
  • the folio is an option to add on

The cons: 

  • seems less sturdy than the other options (though this is just from my assessment on the website, so I could be wrong)
  • no goal setting sheets


If you have read this entire post, I want to be your best friend.  Clearly your love for planners will bring us together.  So what to do, what to do??  Writing this post has actually brought a lot of clarity and I’m thinking the Erin Condren life planner may be the planner for me!  That said, I’m still deliberating!  I would LOVE to hear what planner you use, what you like about it, and what planners you want to try!  Let’s chat in the comments or over on Instagram!  Planner lovers unite!


Fall Goals – 2016

fall-goalsThe summer has been absolutely wonderful this year.  One of my all-time favorites!  While this summer has been awesome, I have noticed some lazy habits I’ve developed in the midst of the  busyness!  With Fall approaching and things slowing down a bit, I thought I would set some goals to get back in tip top shape headed into the new season!  In the past when I’ve documented or blogged goals I’ve found myself much more motivated to stick to them.  So, here goes:

1.  Get back on a normal sleep schedule:

Weddings, movie nights, and being outside till it’s black has been awesome! But with that comes sleeping in, being groggy in the morning, and starting my day late! I am always my most productive in the morning! It’s my “power-time” and I am almost useless past 10pm! We actually have a rule in our house called “no questions past 10 o’clock” which my mom has enforced since I was very little! It seems I may be taking after her in this area! To me it makes sense to start my day early, utilizing the time of day where my brain is at its strongest, and rest well at night!

2. Put my phone on the other side of the room:

Boy oh boy does my focus level change if my phone is not within reaching distance! It’s actually a little alarming! Rather than keeping my phone on my desk I like to put it on the table across the room and it boosts my productivity like crazy! I’m less distracted, and even if I’m not “on my phone” for some reason having it near me makes me a little more overwhelmed! Weird, but true! It’s the same outside of work. If I am having a conversation with someone but my phone is close to me it’s like I can’t fully engage in the conversation! Out of sight out of mind right? With this also comes plugging my phone in on the other side of the room at night, rather than on my nightstand. I’ve spent way too many nights up late on Instagram/Netflix recently.

3. Stop sleeping in my makeup:

Ew. I know. I know. It…it just happens sometimes…See #1 about weddings, movie nights, and being outside late!

4. Make an effort to stay creatively inspired:

I’m gonna sound like a hippie for a minute, just hang tight. Creativity is such a huge part of my job, but it’s also a huge part of my life. I have been crafting up a storm since I was very little! I am so so grateful to have a job that allows me to be creative and that’s why I want to make sure I’m taking even more care to stay inspired. I used to think the word “inspired” was corny and cliche, but I’ve actually come to realize it’s importance! When I’m inspired I’m more passionate about my work, more passionate about my life, harder working, more peaceful, and create better work! Whether it’s taking time to paint, read, blog, try something new I want to really push myself in this area!


What I love about setting goals is that it is a way to keep myself accountable and take tiny action steps that result in big changes! However, for me goal setting is not a way to tell myself I’ve not worked hard enough or assume that I’ve failed because I haven’t fulfilled this things in the weeks prior. I like to list things goals like this at the beginning of each month in my journal as a little motivation to take things one step further! I really do believe that small changes create huge results! And with that, I will end with one of my all time favorite quotes (which you will probably hear time and time again the more you read my blog).

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

Now you tell me! What goals would you like to set for the fall? I’d love to hear your ideas!


You Know What Time It Is

With September’s arrival comes cooler temps, students returning to Hogwarts, and one very specific reason to celebrate: Pumpkin Spice lattes.

I’ve been a little absent from the blog this summer, but it would be impossible for me to let a September go by without posting about these little gems.  In case you are forgetting my enthusiasm, remember this post? Or, what about last year?  Does anyone remember the madness that occurred last year?  I do.

Y45A0434I’m quite thrilled about the change of seasons.  I’m ready for it to stop being 90 degrees every day, to be able to wear scarves, and for life to slow down a little.  Fall always gives me the push I need to settle into a routine and refocus my heart and time on things that matter most.  My goal for the fall is to set more intentional routines and be protective of my “off” time from work.  This summer has been wonderful.  I am sad to see it go, but I know next summer will be here before I know it.  I’m ready to enjoy this new season of rest.  And, I plan to fill it with lots and lots of Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Happy Wednesday Friends!



katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0720 It’s summer, so I’ve been wearing more bright colors lately.katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0713 Wait, did I say wearing bright colors? I think I meant standing by bright colors…katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0722 I have been loving this long sweater from Gap.  My sister was wearing it one day.  I liked it so much, I got on my phone right then and ordered it!  It is lightweight and perfect for summer layering.  Side note: Does anyone else immediately think of Lizzie McGuire and how many dusters Kate Sander’s cool cousin rocked?  Because that’s all I can think of when I look at long sweaters. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0711 Recently, I picked up these shoes from Clarks in hopes that they would be comfortable enough for shooting weddings.  10+ hours on my feet with the 20+ pounds of gear I’m lugging around = a shoe struggle.  No conclusions on if they can handle wedding days yet, but I am kind of obsessed with them!  They are comfortable, easy, and they go with everything.  I highly recommend them.katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0723 And now, the part of the blog post you all have been waiting for…  A collection of photos of me trying to get a good jumping photo.  Brace yourself. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0718 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0719   katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0715 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0716katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0717 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0714 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0712

//top//sweater//jeans//shoes//similar necklace//bracelets//watch//lipstick//


Happy 4th!

memorialday2016-35May your day be filled with loved ones, fireworks, and popsicles. signature-1

Friday Fun: Tassel Town


Lately, I have been seeing tassels everywhere.  I gotta say, I’m lovin’ it!  It’s like a party all day every day.  I believe there is always something to celebrate.  Tassels seem like the perfect way to add a little pep to your step!  I am totally hopping on this trend and hoping to incorporate some of these pieces into my summer wardrobe!


Hey gurlfriend, where you at?

I generally dislike blog posts where the purpose is to say why you haven’t been blogging…but this is one of those so… LET’S GO. IMG_1110First of all, it’s wedding season. We are up to our ears in wedding-y goodness. It’s the best. We jam at receptions.

It’s also the biggest reason the blogging has been inconsistent. So much to edit. SO much. Side note: the other day while taking this picture, I accidentally set 2 miniature ponies and a goat free.IMG_1336oops…David & Audrey Raws in order1870

It’s SUMMER friends!! Which naturally means I needed to find a ride and a funnel cake. Check and check! A night at Start of Summer Celebration is always good for the soul. IMG_1348 IMG_1305I’ve been wearing a lot of black and white…shocker.IMG_1442The humidity this summer has been making my hair feel like this…#throwback.

IMG_1278In the past week that Finding Dory has been out I’ve seen it twice and don’t think I’m done. Disney & Pixar does it again. If you need something to do tonight, you’ve found your answer.

Here are two things to convince you to go..

  1. It starts with an adorable Pixar short of this darling little birdie named Piper 🙂IMG_8552
  2. Watch this clip and tell me you still don’t want to see it.

This past week took an unfortunate turn and I was admitted to the hospital. It was minor and I am home now, but it was a great reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness. My health has improved so greatly in the last two years and I have a job that lets me work from home. My worst fear, for the last two years, has been being in the hospital over the weekend of a wedding. Well folks, it happened and ya know what? The Lord was faithful. He provided three lovely ladies (Gabby, Allie and Mom, you da real MVP) who stepped up and carried my business when I couldn’t. What sweet joy comes from knowing we serve a Father who cares about the details. While they were out shooting for me…this was mostly happening.

Oh! I also bought a label maker.IMG_1353Well, thats it for today friends! I hope you enjoy your week!FullSizeRendersignature-1

Why I read multiple books at once…

thumb_IMG_0114_1024I used to read a single book at a time. I didn’t understand how people could be reading more than one book at a time. How can they focus? How can they ever finish one? How do they have enough time for that?

My perspective has changed and I now love reading more than one book at a time. A few weeks ago, I posted a photo on Instagram showing 4 of the 6 books I’m was reading at the time. Here are a few thoughts on why I read several books at a time, and why I think you should too!


I’m not always in the same mood.

I don’t often have the time to sit down and read a whole book in one sitting. So, if I’m breaking it up over time it’s likely that I will be in a different mood the next time I sit down to read. I may be thinking about something different. I may want something more light-hearted. I may want something deeper. If I am only reading one book at a time and I am in the mood for something different, I typically don’t read at all. Having options, allows me to pick up something that matches my mood and get sucked in. I find that if I’m reading multiple books I read more frequently, and typically enjoy them more.


I think some books are best absorbed over time.

Good coffee is brewed one drip at a time and some books are the same. Some lessons are best learned over time. Some principles are more effectively implemented over time. I do this a lot with Timothy Keller. I will read only two or three pages in each sitting because I want to take time to fully absorb what he is saying. If I read a book quickly I often forget key parts of it’s message.


Reading multiple things at once can often make you see all of them in a different light. The first time I read “Make It Happen” by Lara Casey I loved it. I read it by itself on vacation and had several takeaways from it that really helped my business. However, a few weeks ago, I re-read it much slower. At the same time I was reading “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller. It honestly made “Make It Happen” feel like a completely new book. These two messages side-by-side flattered each other so well. Instead of Lara’s message being about making your dreams come true (the way I read it the first time) her message about having your heart in the right place and your priorities straight shined through. It definitely was a much more impactful when read the second time around through the eyes of another book.
What about you?
What are you currently reading? Do you prefer reading multiple books at a time? Comment below and we can chat!


Happy Thoughts…


  1. Birds chirping in the morning
  2. A cool breeze
  3. Colorful pens
  4. Fresh Flowers
  5. Eating dinner outside
  6. Twinkle lights
  7. Driving with my windows down
  8. Sweet tea
  9. Polka dots
  10. Grocery shopping