03 | what to document about your teen

When the kids are little it is so easy to know what to document - every little thing feels like a huge milestone. When they venture into the teen world everything seems to mix together. We get the big moments (learners permit and first day of school type stuff) but we often forget the everyday stuff. These are the things that their memories are made of. These are the things we will want to remember when they’re out on their own.


ideas on what to document about your teen

Documenting the everyday little details can be daunting…what to you take a photo of? What do you do with that photo? My kid doesn’t want their photo taken…on and on. With this handy list, you should have a great starting point on things to be looking for when you’re thinking of documenting the everyday life of your teen. Something to remember and remind yourself…all of these photos are not meant to be posted online. These are for your memories and to document the lives of your loved ones…don’t use these images to embarrass your teen or to make them uncomfortable. Get them on your side with photographing these little everyday details.

01| home life

  1. bedroom

  2. what they do for fun

  3. sibling life at home

  4. sleep schedule

  5. eating habits

02| school life

  1. how they get there

  2. what they wear

  3. where they study

  4. their course load

  5. their grades

03| social life

  1. their friends

  2. what they do for fun outside the home

  3. sports or clubs

  4. dances or other after school activities'

  5. what the family does together

04| happy moments

  1. birthdays

  2. drivers license

  3. graduation

  4. winning moments in sports or other activities

  5. big accomplishments

05| hard moments

  1. losing moments in sports or other activities

  2. when things don’t go as planned

  3. messes

  4. sickness

  5. all of the “lasts”

This is not a complete list (there are so many things to photograph and document!) but hopefully it gives you some ideas on the areas that you need to be looking…and make sure you’re looking at those situations for ways to document the tiny details as well as the broad overall feel of the moment. We will dig into ways to do just that as we get deeper into each subject in the coming weeks.


girl wash your face | review

I had noticed a lot of the people that I looked up to in business and social media had posted photos of this book…how they were so happy that they had grabbed a copy and how it was life changing. I’m all about life changing books -it’s what I’m always looking for when I grab a new book to read. I want something that is going to change me, allow me to see something differently than I had in the past, speak to me in a way I hadn’t been ready to hear before…


And this book delivered. And not only that…Rachel Hollis speaks to me and encourages me in a way that I need to hear. So I listen and I read and I watch all of the things that she puts out there.


When I read a personal development/self help/business book I often do it with highlighter in hand and notebook nearby. I read these types of books quickly, often skimming though the parts that might leave me less than inspired but making sure that I get all the good stuff down so I can revisit those thoughts that really resonated with me.


Have your read the book? Maybe listened to her podcast? Watched her Made For More documentary? I’d love to hear your thoughts…and have you pre-ordered her next book? I’m so ready to read it.


eo | all about essential rewards with Young Living

If you’re a member of Young Living you have likely heard all about Essential Rewards. You might not be sure about why this is something you need or if it’s something that you even want in your life.


When I signed up with Young Living at the end of 2017 I decided I was going all in. I was going to slowly start switching out products that we had in our home with healthier versions and I also had a pretty big wish list of oils and other products that I wanted from the catalog (if you haven’t looked through yours yet - you need to! There are so many great products in there!). I signed up with Essential Rewards when I ordered my kit and picked a few items that would get me up to the promo levels.



  1. Free stuff….that’s right! There are new promos every month with items that you get for FREE that you might not otherwise have tried.

  2. You earn points that you can use to pay for products - hello more free stuff!!

  3. Customize your order each month - you’re not stuck with the same items or the same spending amount. Maintain a 50PV order each month to maintain your status.

  4. Exclusive ER kits that are available for amazing discounts of some great YL products.

  5. There’s no contract so you can cancel at any time…but why would you want to? I love when my YL box shows up on my doorstep each month - knowing that I’m bringing healthy goodness into my home every month.



  1. Go to your YL Virtual Office - not sure how? Get in touch with your enroller today!

  2. Click on “Essential Rewards” in the menu bar (this is also where you’ll change and update future orders).

  3. Follow the instructions online to set up your monthly order - you’l choose your date (which you can push through earlier certain months if you want to), your items and choose payment and shipping type (if you’re not on YL Go yet…you’re missing out!)

  4. Be sure to note your ER processing date in your phone or calendar to can remember to go in and update your order each month.

  5. Set up PV Assist if you would like - it’s a great tool to ensure that your order doesn’t dip below your set amount each month so you don’t miss out on promos.

  6. Make sure to check the promos each month to see the great stuff that you can earn for free!



I love that I (currently) earn 20% back on every monthly wellness box through Young Living (not on my quick orders though…so I always spend a little time ensuring that I’m getting everything I might need in my ER order). I don’t get those perks at the other places that I shop for myself and my family.


Not a Young Living member yet and want to jump on board and join my team? I would love to walk this journey with you. Click the button below or send me a message and let’s talk it through!


03 | creating a morning routine for self care

One of the greatest things that you can do for your self care is to create a morning routine that sets the rest of your day up for success. There are many people out there that would agree and they all have ideas on the very best way to do it…my opinion? The best morning routine is the one that you look forward to…the one you’re excited to wake up to and the one that you can stick with. Make sure to download the worksheet at the end of this post to create your own morning routine!


why is a morning routine good for self care?

  1. You give yourself something that you love to wake up to in the morning…if you dread getting up to a thousand things on your to do list - you need some “me time” first to ease into your day and prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

  2. You have some time in the morning before everyone is pulling you in different directions just for yourself and it gives you the opportunity to set yourself up for success for the day with zero distractions.

  3. You give yourself the opportunity to self reflect on your goals and dreams.

  4. You know what to expect from yourself everyday, a consistent routine is key to success.

  5. You give yourself a few wins before the world is even awake and moving…keep up that streak of successes going throughout your day,

what to include in your morning routine

  1. Goal setting/reflecting - if you take time every day to reflect on your goals you have the ability to look closer at those goals and your to do list and make sure that they are in alignment as much as possible.

  2. Gratitude journaling - write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for every day, big or small things, but make sure you find something.

  3. Water - you can have your coffee or your tea or whatever you need - but make sure to get in some water as well asap! And keep drinking it throughout the day.

  4. Personal growth - reading is the best, just try and get 10 minutes in every morning or listen to a great podcast while you’re getting number 5 crossed off your list.

  5. Exercise - this is lacking in my morning routine right now…but I’m working on it. It is so vital to get your blood pumping. You can do something strenuous, something calming and centering like yoga, go for a walk or a run - anything that you can stick with and that you enjoy. And if you crave variety make sure to mix it up so you don’t get bored and give up.

  6. Open the curtains and make your bed. Another great and easy win for the day. It’s simple and often forgotten, but it makes a huge difference. Let in the light.

  7. A good healthy breakfast. If you have the time (or make the time), make yourself a breakfast that can carry you through your morning and refuel you without making you sluggish.

  8. Take care of your skin and teeth, shower and get dressed in something that makes you walk tall and feel great. Even if you’re working from home…even if you’re not “working”. Make the effort every day to take care of your face and body.

  9. Attack your to do list. What needs to get done? However you work best - either do those hard things first or tackle all the little things. Write it down, get it out of your mind and get the work done. (revisit this list throughout your day and especially at the end of your day to set your agenda for the following morning so nothing is looming over you with a chance of being forgotten)

  10. Smile, know that you’re giving yourself the best start to your day and working towards relieving stress in your life. Be proud of the wins that you’ve already accomplished today.



  1. The snooze button

  2. Email

  3. Social media

  4. Distractions

  5. Unhealthy foods

how to stick to your morning routine

  1. Get enough sleep the night before - whenever possible. I know that sometimes this is beyond your control, but do the best you can to get to bed at the same time each night to allow for enough sleep. Create a nighttime routine that will help with this as well.

  2. Make sure that the clothes that you need in the morning are right there for when you wake up and that you don’t have any excuses for just staying in bed. Take away the decision making process.

  3. No snooze. Seriously. Don’t break the promises to yourself that you made when you went to sleep the night before. If you’re tired and don’t want to get up, tell yourself you can sneak in a nap later, or that you’ll go to sleep earlier tonight (if you can). Just get up. Put your alarm clock in the other room or as far away from you as possible to make sure you have to get out of bed. (Read Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule)

  4. Have a set routine. Take the guesswork out. Make it known that this is just what you do. You are a person that gets up early and works through a list of things that are good for your mind, body and soul. This is just who you are. Stand firm in that belief.

  5. Make sure that you love your routine, give yourself something in your morning routine that you really love and can look forward to.

great resources to make your mornings amazing

  1. the miracle morning book - a great book by Hal Elrod that talks all about morning routines and what he believes you should be including in yours.

  2. 5 second rule book - a great book by Mel Robbins on getting yourself unstuck and willing to go after what you want.

  3. leuchtturm 1917 book for journaling - I use one of these books daily for my morning journaling of gratitude and goal setting.

  4. keurig - quick and easy, one cup and a little pod is all I need and I make sure that the water is full the night before.

  5. girl wash your face - a great book to start off your personal development reading if you haven’t already read it.

how i set myself up for success in the morning

  1. I ensure that I fall asleep quickly by creating a spa like atmosphere with my nighttime routine…even when I’m feeling too tried to do it. I have found that the nights that I have skipped I’m far less likely to get up when my alarm goes off in the morning.

  2. I set my alarm for the same time every morning - and try my very best not to hit snooze.

  3. My workout clothes for the morning are set out - just need to get myself back into the habit of actually working out :) this has been an on and off again struggle for me and finding a way to incorporate it in a simple and seamless way is the best for me. I need to work out at home and have everything readily accessible otherwise I find myself making excuses and putting it off.

  4. My oils for my diffuser are ready with my wake up blend (joy + orange + grapefruit), the ritual of doing this helps me remember to slow down and enjoy the moment a little longer and move through my mornings with purpose.

  5. My notebook is ready, my book to read is ready, my coffee and water cups are ready. I gather all of my things and sit at my desk and get to work. I know my routine every day and because I don’t have to stop and think or look for anything I don’t get distracted...usually.

What are you going to make sure to include in your morning routine? Will your weekends look different than your weekdays? How can you best set yourself up for success and create little wins for yourself everyday? I would love to hear all about your morning routine, drop a note in the comments about what works well for you and where you might be struggling.


02 | getting them on your side

Your child is growing up so fast…how is it that it feels like just yesterday they were following you around everywhere you went and now all you seem to get are requests for rides? These middle school and high school years seem to go faster and faster and all of a sudden you realize that the last photo you were able to get of your son was on the fist day of the previous school year. Now more than ever you need to be getting photos of your children, and the easiest way to do that is to get them on your side.


photo disclaimer…I asked my son to pose that way for me, he’s really pretty great about allowing me to photograph him and now that he’s a teen I always make sure he knows what the purpose of the photo is before taking it.


  1. Make sure you set clear boundaries and expectations with them about when and how you’re going to photograph them and what you’re planning on doing with those images. When you’re planning on posting an image of your child online, ask them first (don’t you ask the same of others when they’re wanting to post images of you?). Show them the photo, ask if it’s ok with them to post it. Explain why it’s important to you and let them know how proud you are of them. And remember, not every photo needs to exist online. Take photos just for your family…and print them.

  2. Don’t use the photos that you take of your child to embarrass or tease your teen and try not to bribe them for photos. This is important because it builds trust with your child and you become more of a team.

  3. Talk to them often about their lives and what is important to them…if they ever ask for you to take a photo of something that they love, do so without hesitation. Ask them to see the photos that they take on their phones…selfies are awesome (ask them to send you a couple) and see what else they are taking photos of.

  4. Explain why it’s important to you to document their lives and the role those images will play in their own lives when they are older. If you have images of yourself from your teen years, show them. Tell them about your life at that time. I love looking through old photos with my kids, showing them the things in the background, some of the furniture that their grandparents still have and the strange technology that we had “way back then”. You don’t want them looking back through their teen years and only having yearbook images to prove that they were there…and you can’t rely on the 10, 000 selfies that they have on their phones.

  5. Ask to take photos with your teen. GET IN THE PHOTO WITH THEM! If we expect to take (and potentially post on social media) images of our children we must show them that is a safe and reasonable request. If we are constantly shying away from the camera ourselves and saying “I just need to lose a few pounds first”, how are we going to instill confidence in our own children? And the most important thing to remember? They love us, they simply see their parent and they want to exist in photos with us. Trust me. There will be a day that those silly photos you take with your child will be some of the most important things that they possess.

If you’d like to read up on more tips to document the everyday, take a look at the blog series I wrote a while back about Documenting Your Everyday. And come back next week…we’ve got more to discuss.


how to create a vision board

Many people (myself included) believe that a great way to help you visualize your dreams daily and work towards making them a reality is to create a vision board. These can be done in several ways and can be beneficial to working some of the things that you want in your life.


This is the second year in a row that I’ve made a physical vision board. I love having it out in the open and in a spot that I can see every day.

Why to create a vision board

  1. Creates a visual reminder of the goals + dreams that you have set for yourself

  2. A creative way to express yourself

  3. Selecting the images and arranging them helps solidify your goals

  4. Consistent visualization of your goals realized

  5. It’s just fun…trust me


how to create a vision board

  1. Use your Pinterest account and make a secret or public board and start saving images you love (you can check mine out here: 2019 vision board on pinterest)

  2. Go grab a bunch of your favorite magazine and start cutting out images that speak to your dreams

  3. Use some of your own photos that you’ve taken for more inspiration

  4. Use drawings or sketches or handwritten/hand drawn quotes

  5. Create your board using a combination of all of the above


what to do with your vision board

  1. Hang it somewhere in your office so that you can see it everyday

  2. Hang it in your walk in closet so you see it every morning + night

  3. Take a photo of it and use it as your wallpaper on your phone

  4. Hang it in a spot in your home that you pass by often

  5. Revisit it throughout the year, don’t just walk by it everyday. Take a moment and look closely at these images that meant something to you when you created the vision board…getting closer to your dreams yet? If not, step up your game.



For my vision board I started compiling images on a pinterest board late last year - things that went along with my One Little Word, anything that struck me as visually appealing. Clothing that I liked, hair cuts that I love, food that I enjoy, quotes and other visual reminders of some of my big goals. I added all of these to a board in pinterest and then started weeding through them. I saved the images (some of them are mine from my instagram account) and printed them out on photo paper in varying sizes. I accidentally printed the photos on the back of the photo paper and I loved the matte finish, so I kept going with that - happy accident :) After I printed them out I laid them all out and sorted into categories and started arranging. Once I was mostly happy I started securing them to a poster board and hung it up in my office to see every day.


Have you thought about creating your own vision board? I would love to see it! Most importantly have fun - there’s no wrong way to do this!


eo | diy for hair + lash serum

I’m not a huge DIY person (although I love the idea of it!) but since bringing essential oils into our home my sister, daughter and I have started experimenting with a few things and we have loved the way that they have turned out.



I have read a bunch of different recipes for a spray for your hair and scalp to support your hair growth and in doing so have created a blend that we love here at my house.


With a 4oz clear glass bottle from Amazon (resources at the end of this post…) use a tiny funnel and add the oils as listed above. Add a splash of witch hazel for the oils to mix and fill the remainder of the bottle with water. I spray this at the roots of my hair after towel drying and combing through.


Getting anything near my eyes has always worried me as I have incredibly sensitive eyes but my daughter and I wanted to give this one a try and we have loved the results. Apply to the ends of your lashes only.


Using a new and empty mascara tube from Amazon, put the recommended drops into the tube and top off with 1/2 vitamin e oil and 1/2 v6 oil. You can substitute both of those for cold pressed castor oil if you prefer which I will be doing for my next batch. Apply to clean lashes morning and night - ends only.


I’d love to hear about some of your favorite DYI projects with essential oils or some ideas on what to try next.


02 | choosing your word for the year

Resolutions are great - goals and plans and dreams are awesome. But the practice of selecting one word to carry throughout the year that encompasses the many things that are meaningful to you for the year is one of my favorite things.


I first learned of this idea from an old scrapbooking friend Ali Edwards. She has a huge amount of information about the practice on her blog (going back several years, in fact) and it’s definitely worth the read if you’re interested in this idea.


I love goals and dreaming big and planning things, so picking a word that can help me do those things has always seemed like a great fit. I’ve been doing this for several years although I don’t always finish strong with the word. I try…and in my opinion that’s better than nothing…for me. I’ve taken Ali’s class before and the content is amazing at keeping your word close to you all year long. Other years (like this one) I’ve purchased an item like this key necklace from The Giving Keys that can help remind me of the word that I have selected and why it is important to me.


There are a ton of cute quotes on pinterest all about choosing joy or today I choose to be happy…those are simple, easy to remember and sometimes simple is the best. I wanted a word that put me in control. I wanted a word that reminded me every day that I could choose the way I saw the world and reacted to it. I could choose the things that I can control (like how often I exercise, what I eat, how much water I drink, how hard I work and how often I let my responsibilities slide). And I can choose how I respond to the things that I cannot control.

discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most
— abraham lincoln

how to select your word

Every year towards the end of the year I start thinking about my current year and how things have gone for me and I start thinking about what’s coming up. What are the things that I want to go after? Who do I want to be, what do I need to stop doing? What do I need to do more of? Sometimes a word will just jump out at me, sometimes I will read through past OLW posts on Ali’s blog to see if something speaks to me. There really isn’t a wrong way to choose a word (or a wrong word).

  1. Reflect on your past year

  2. Look at areas in your life that you’re struggling with

  3. Look at areas in your life that you want to create a change

  4. Look towards a subject that interests you

  5. Think about where you would like to be, how you would like to feel a year from now


ways to live your word throughout the year

The biggest thing about choosing a word for your year is not to forget all about it by the 3rd week in January. You took the time and selected a word that you felt was going to help you be the best version of yourself - don’t give up on it. (Now…if the word isn’t working for you in the way that you thought or a new word all of a sudden feels better for you there is no shame in changing lanes…you do you.)

  1. Share your word with others and if you feel comfortable, let them in on why you selected that word

  2. Take a class (ali’s class is amazing) and join a community of like minded people working on their word monthly

  3. Purchase or create something that keeps your word visible daily

  4. Create a pinterest board that celebrates your word with quotes and other things that relate to how you want your word to work for you in the coming year

  5. Read the definition of your word and look for synonyms that you can also use to keep your word close.

  6. Revisit your word every month if not more often. Set a reoccurring event on your calendar with a reminder to take some time to think back on why you selected your word and how you have been incorporating it into you life and how you can make improvements.


how this relates to your self care

Self care is all about making sure that you are taking the time to ensure that you are working towards being the best version of yourself. Sometimes this means working hard towards something and sometimes it means taking time to relax, reflect and refresh. You need to do what is best for you and if you select a word to carry with you throughout the year, make sure that you choose one that is in line with your goals for the year. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be but find something that pushes you a bit (whether it’s pushing you to work harder or pushing you to slow down) and brings you joy.


Have you picked a word for your year? I would love to hear about it - what it is and why you selected it.


instagram recap | december 2018

This month was pretty empty on instagram…so much so that I actually had to pull some images from my camera roll. December was busy and full of family but I did realize that I took a lot more time to just be present in what we were doing and didn’t do a lot of documenting. That’s a good thing…and a bad thing. It’s great to just experience the moment but I love looking back through my images and remembering all of the things that we were experiencing.


When I look back through these images I see lots of good memories, time with family and a few images that I knew that I wanted to get but didn’t take the time to do it properly. Either I was worried that I was in the way, or that someone would think I was being silly or that the kids just weren’t interested. There used to be a time when I would do whatever was needed for the shot but I’ve somehow lost a bit of that. No more.

January will be a mix of enjoying the moment, getting out and experiencing new things and making sure that I take the time to look around and notice the little details and document our lives a bit better.

If we’re not friends on Instagram I would love to be! What are you going to be sharing this month?


01 | documenting everyday life with teens

Tell me about when your child was little - better yet, show me. I am willing to bet that you have tons of photos and videos and maybe even albums full of little moments of their lives as young kids. Now show me a recent photo of your teen...tell me about their everyday moments. Are we losing touch in the hustle and bustle of our overly busy days? Do we struggle getting them in front of the camera for a year end photo for the holiday card? Or do they just "refuse" to let us take photos of them anymore? My kids are nearing that moving out of the house stage and I don’t love it. I’m proud of them and know that we’ve taught them well…but I want to make sure that we’re documenting the memories that we’re making now for our future.


A couple of years ago I wrote a series on the Carrie Owens Photography blog about documenting your everyday life and all of the little components that go into that. (Documenting your Everyday Life) Now that my children have all moved into that teen area it's gotten more difficult to document their everyday lives the way we used to so I thought it would be a great time to revisit many of those tips and ideas.

me, typing a paper, sophomore year (1990)

me, typing a paper, sophomore year (1990)

This year long series will be held here on the Carrie Diane blog as I will also get into what to do with those images and some tips and tricks on getting those teens of your on board with your efforts. I would love to hear thoughts and ideas and questions from parents of teens and tweens and even adult children or those that are away at college - what are you struggling with? Do your teens put their hand in front of their face every time you try and take a photo? Do you feel like you're invading their space by taking photos? Do they demand that you don't ever post a photo of them on social media? I get it - and I get all of those responses from my own three at various times and in various ways. I have come up with some really great solutions that have put us all on the same page and we can all get what we want out of the deal.


  • getting your teen on your side (it was so much easier when they were 2)

  • capturing everyday moments (everyday moments are quite different from 8 years ago)

  • capturing traditions (how have traditions of your child changed over the years)

  • capturing those moments you don't want to forget when they've moved away (yes - even the not so great moments)

  • getting images with you AND your child together (very important!!!)

  • social media and privacy issues for your teen (let your child lead in this area and be sure to have an open dialog)

  • what to do with these images (the answer is not to leave them on your phone)

  • phone and camera tips - as well as some social media tips from the teens themselves


When our children are little and brand new and going though all of those amazing milestones we cannot wait to snap a pic and share it with the world. This is great - even if we aren't sharing those photos with the world, we're telling them (in a way) how proud we are of them, how much we love them, how important they and their stories are. Once our kids start growing older and becoming more independent those photo ops change. They don't necessarily become less frequent - they're just different. We need to actively look for them. Their stories are just as important to tell (and we need to make sure we're getting their permission on where and how we tell them). These are the years that they remember and having their stories told from your point of view to look back on are more valuable than you can imagine.

me, first day of school, junior year (1990)

me, first day of school, junior year (1990)

I'm sure you're still getting those first day of school photos...when they'll let you. Those are important. I love looking back at mine (my mother was adamant about getting these shots - she even had my college roommate take my first day of school pic my freshman year). I love to see the clothes that I wore, the car that I drove, the way my hair looked. There are many things that I wish I could see, but having these images reminds me of things I might otherwise have forgotten from this time in my life.

me, first day of school, senior year (1991)

me, first day of school, senior year (1991)

Other than these images, birthdays and holidays and images before dances there aren't a lot of photos from my teen years. And that's ok. I was busy, my mom was busy and there wasn't a camera attached to our hands at all hours. That's simply not the case today.

me and erin, a random shot, december junior year (1990)

me and erin, a random shot, december junior year (1990)

This photo above of my best friend and I at her home in a random little moment means so much to me. We've been best friends since we were 5 yet have seen each other just once in the past decade. But we're still close, will always be close. Seeing that photo, I can hear her laugh. I can remember what it felt like being in her home. I remember her family. I remember our matching J. Crew jackets. I don't know why I'm smiling so big or what we are doing but I can feel how much our friendship still means to me.

I know that my kids have a lot of pics on their phones, selfies and photos with friends. I know they have instagram and other ways of sharing those images, but I want to make sure that I'm continuing to tell their stories as well. That we continue to create memories together and document those times for them (and for me) to relive when they're older.

Don't stop taking photos just because they're growing up...don't think that a photo of them walking away from you and into practice doesn't tell a story.

everyday life is in the details.

xo, c