Strawberry Orchard

We have almost officially begun the beautiful season of Summer and we have already checked off one of our most anticipated bucket list items! Lingering on my Summer to-do list year after year was strawberry picking at an orchard. We had checked off pumpkins, apples, and peaches but, strawberries finally had their turn earlier this month. The day couldn't have possibly turned out more magical.

Sam and I arrived at Larriland Farms as the gates were opening early Saturday morning where we met up with Jade, from Jade Nikkole Photo. We wandered into the orchard where the rows were a luscious green and the ripe strawberries were overflowing. Sam and I filled our wicker basket with berries before venturing off into the empty peach rows to twirl, snack, and snap some photos. 

Later in the day after we said our goodbyes to Jade, my parents met up with us to do even more strawberry and cherry picking. We also spent way too much time by the barn with the CUTEST llamas ever. My mom and I probably could have spent the rest of the day giggling and taking turns feeding them. By the time we left the orchard, Sam and I ended up taking home 9 pounds of strawberries and 2 pounds of cherries. I was convinced that we couldn't possibly eat it all before they went bad but, between a batch of strawberry chocolate brownies (recipe coming this week), fresh fruit smoothies, and late night snacking, our fridge was empty again by Thursday that same week! 

Now - I must tell you all about this dress. There always seems to be a story behind my styled looks (some that you would never guess) and this post is no different. It all started about 3 months ago when I saw this beautiful Free People dress online. I was absolutely in love with the style and design but, I couldn't justify spending almost $200 on a Summer dress. I kept it on my radar, hoping that the price would drop but, never got around to ordering it. Then, the Thursday before we were planning our trip to the orchard, I wandered into Nordstrom Rack on my way home from work and grabbed about 15 dresses that all ended up being 'meh' in the dressing room. On my way out as I was putting things back, I saw it. THE dress.

It was tucked away in the middle of the clearance rack with a busted zipper and a missing button. It was the only one in the store and coincidentally it was exactly my size. After trying it on and deciding that it was perfect even in its flawed state, I spoke with the sales clerk, only for them to tell me that they weren't going to let me purchase it because it was "too damaged" (they told me that this meant that they had to throw it away). After about 20 minutes of going back and forth, I either had them convinced or wasted enough of their time to the point that they just wanted to get rid of me. I ended up leaving the store paying less than $50. Nordstrom Rack: 0, Me: 1. 

On my way home, 2 hours past what I promised Sam, I called him to tell him about my dress debacle. I told him that I would now need to go buy a new zipper and take the dress to my seamstress to get fixed - it seemed like a bit of a hassle but, considering the circumstances, it was well worth it. Sam convinced me to let him take a look at it when I got home before I ventured back out. He disappeared into my office as I poured a glass of wine and got wrapped up in the latest episode of Real Housewives. Not even 30 minutes later, he emerged again with a dress so perfect and beautiful, it looked as if it came straight from the showroom. A man that cooks, cleans, AND sews - someone please pinch me. He even fixed the original zipper! 

Another fun fact about this shoot: Sam wasn't supposed to be shooting at all this day; he was coming along to assist Jade and mooch off the fresh berries but, at the end of our shoot, we decided that he should hop in a few for fun. They turned out to be some of my favorites to date!

Photography: Jade Nikkole Photo: Website / Facebook / Instagram

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Will you be visiting a pick-your-own orchard this year? Tag us in your Instagram or Facebook post and hashtag #lifestylebyannaelizabeth to be featured!

xo Anna Elizabeth