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Hi, friends! Guess what?!… We’re MOVING!!! While an extremely difficult decision to make — because we LOVE our home and neighborhood friendships of 9-years! — we’re excited to move into my childhood home in Wellesley. Just 2-miles down the road! Feeling all the feels with this new adventure!

My family closed on this beautiful home in December 2000… I was 12 years old! Memories in this home from 8th grade, to all of my high school days, college holidays/summers… it’s been 20+ years of Christmas mornings, birthday (surprise!) celebrations, homecomings & proms, dance parties in the “boom boom party room” (in my garage!), slumber parties, graduation parties, engagement parties, karaoke nights, and more! Now it will be HOME with my husband and our boys… they will grow up with the same special memories, coming full-circle, and it couldn’t make me happier!

My parents have been looking to transition to a 55+ community with maintenance-free living for several years now… it wasn’t until several weeks ago when my parents were talking next steps on officially putting their house on the market that I suddenly got super sentimental about it all! Ryan and I had an “a-ha” moment while thinking about long-term family goals… why aren’t WE moving into this home to keep this gem in the family and carry on our family traditions?? My parents wouldn’t then have to hassle with getting their home “show ready” and we’ve been a huge help with decluttering their home to prep for their move. One morning my parents came over to talk everything over… we signed an offer with them… and celebrated with a Bloody Mary cheers!

There are so many things we LOVE about the Wellesley neighborhood… walking/biking distance to shops/restaurants, sidewalks/crosswalks, a beautiful lake, a community pool (swim team!), a gym, tennis courts, basketball, clubhouse events, a good sledding hill (HA!), and more! We’re thrilled to have these new neighborhood amenities for our family + staying in the same awesome school district we’re in now. Our sub-division within Wellesley has some new neighbors too — many with young boys right next door!

SO! We decided to capitalize on this HOT real estate market right now and take quick action! Somehow with 2 little boys running around Ryan and I got our house “show ready” within ONE week! It was such a surreal feeling the first day our house went on the market! Seeing our house on MLS and the homepage of Zillow — watching the scheduled showings rack up — pulling into our driveway seeing the official “For Sale” sign in the yard… it’s all really happening! Our house went LIVE on MLS, we had 4-days of back-to-back showings all weekend long… and we signed the best offer!

After 3-weeks of hustle to get our house sold… we then scooted off to the rivah for FOUR kid-free nights!!! The perfect way to unwind, unplug, relax, and CELEBRATE Ryan’s 40th birthday and selling our house! A much needed escape and now back to reality with packing up our house in the next 30-days! We close mid-May. Never say never but we feel strongly that this is our forever home (before retiring to our rocking chairs on the Rappahannock)!

Bittersweet to say farewell to the home we first moved into as newlyweds, brought both our newborn babies home to, had our final moments with our fur-babies, and hosted a multitude of celebrations… unforgettable memories over the last {almost} decade! 

Lots of packing and logistics in the coming weeks/months ahead… we move in 23-days!! We have a long list of fixer upper projects on our to-do list to spruce up our new place and put our own spin on things! You all know how much we love those “naptime hustle” before/after projects! In efforts to not flood my business page with house stuff… I decided to create a fun Instagram account to document our various house projects and adventures at our new home sweet home… follow along here at The Shumate Estate.

As luck would have it… just before Easter weekend, my parent’s signed a contract with their new house! Just a few miles down the road from us — in the wide-open land of Goochland County is their exclusive neighborhood. It’s a perfect home for them. They plan to live at the rivah this summer until they move-in in October.

Lastly! More details to come on this but… I’m SUPER excited for my new in-home Studio at our NEW house!! It’s the room with the large window above the front door. This room used to be MY bedroom as a teenager. It’s filled with beautiful natural light and I cannot wait to give the room a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, and new furniture. Stay tuned for boudoir booking details this summer!

PS! If anyone is looking for an AMAZING realtor, Bev Bailey is your go-to lady!! She’s been a dear family friend for 20+ years since my family first moved into Wellesley (she once lived on our street!). She helped sell Ryan’s home in Chesterfield before we moved to the West End (just before we got married!) and has now helped with our “new” home (see the transition below!). Tell her we sent you! 🙂

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Happy SNOW day, friends!! My boys were dressed & out in the snow by 7AM! We plan to gather the cousins together this morning for some sledding! ⛄️

Here are some iPhone photography tips for capturing some fun in the SNOW with your family today! Cannot wait to see what you capture!

❄️First thing in the morning… Carefully walk down your driveway to get a street view photo of your house in the snow before it’s covered in family footprints. If actively snowing during this time, capture some video of the falling snow!

❄️Grab a tripod and gather your family in the snow. To reduce stress of capturing the perfect shot on self-timer — the struggle is real with wiggly toddlers! — set it to video to record various poses/candid moments/etc… then you can play/pause the video to screenshot the good pics!

❄️ Snowy trees are SO beautiful! Instead of taking a regular “up & down/portrait” pic… switch your setting to “Pano” and take a vertical shot to include all the trees/sky.

❄️ Put your phone on a tripod and set it to “timelapse”. Capture some video snippets of your family playing in the snow, snowball fights, making a snowman and snow angels, sledding, etc. ⛄️

❄️ Take some fun slo-mo videos to capture all the exciting emotion of your kiddos sledding! 🛷

❄️ For action shots, use BURST mode to catch just the right moment. Simply hold down the shutter button to capture a series of photos as the subject moves through the scene, then select the best shot from the sequence.

❄️Adjust your exposure — The problem with snowy scenes is that the large areas of white can trick the iPhone’s camera into under-exposing the photo. Your phone settings will adjust to make the snow look grey. To ensure the snow appears fresh and bright, you often need to adjust the exposure levels before you take the shot. To do this, start in “camera” mode and tap the screen to focus on your subject then simply swipe up on the screen to increase the brightness (using the sun icon). Be careful not to make the image too bright though, otherwise you’ll lose all of the detail and texture in the snow.

Hope these tips were helpful! Enjoy your SNOW DAY!!

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Hi, y’all! I cannot express to you my EXCITEMENT for today!! My newly resigned website is LIVE! Yesssss!!! A new and fresh look to my website is here! Designed by yours truly.

My hope is this virtual home sweet home is warm and inviting, high-end and professional, helpful and informative. Beautifully showcasing my latest work, my client experience services, and beyond. NEW pages are now featured on my website… my Studio, Boudoir Sessions, Small Business headshots, Album Design services, & more! New testimonials and new text explaining my overall client experience. My website is mobile friendly now too which is a game-changer! So tech-savy! SO very proud of this redesign launch! It now truly represents the services and experience that I offer my clients. Grab a cup of coffee, snuggle up, and browse around!

THANK YOU in advance for taking a minute out of your day to SHARE my website launch announcement to your feeds/Stories… each share/like/comment/tag/mention makes such a difference and does not go unnoticed by me. It puts a HUGE SMILE on my face that your supporting this dream job of mine!!! I take great pride in the way I run my business by providing an overall experience with my clients. As a small business owner, the power of word-of-mouth referrals are my main driver for new client growth. I greatly appreciate, with all my heart, that you value my work enough to spread the word about my services to your friends, family, co-workers, & neighbors.

I have some GOALS for my website traffic today… I want to see a certain number of page views / unique site visitors stopping by… I would LOVE to book a new client TODAY and welcome them to The ASP Family! Build it and they will come, right? Well… not really. Think of all the new websites websites that launch daily on the world wide web. Thanks to the social media algorithm these days… it’s not as easy to get the word out! SO! In efforts to help build some excitement buzz about this website launch… let’s do some GIVEAWAYS! Checkout my Instagram and Facebook feeds for more details!!!

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Christmas 2020 is sure to be remembered… what a year!! What better way to wrap up 2020 than with a snuggly studio session in Christmas pajamas?! Is it even Christmas without cheerful photographs of your littles (or big kids!) in cozy Christmas jammies?! Booking is now LIVE. SHOP HERE.

My cozy in-home Studio will host a limited offering of Christmas Pajama Minis!! 10-minute sessions of just the kiddos! During our short & sweet time together, we’ll capture a variety of posing including smiles, giggles, silly outtakes, jumping on the bed, reading a Christmas book, snuggles, & more! » OPEN POST »

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I know I say it every single time… but this before/after house project is my favorite!! You may have seen our recent, painted garage, painted staircase and garage mudroom… next up we have… Ryan’s Man Shed! You know I tried to convince my hubby for a She Shed but there was no budging… I can always transition the look inside down the road, shhhh… HA! Over the last 2-years or so I’ve slowly but surely started taking over the garage space with my office / craft corner… So! Ryan wanted a designated space that was all his. A consolidated and functional place to organize all things tools, car stuff, yard stuff, golf stuff, paint supplies, and more! This Man Cave may or may not be a fun spot for the occasional poker game and backyard pub! » OPEN POST »

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Another day, another naptime hustle project! As a boy-mama to two busy toddlers, I’m always looking for ways to streamline our everyday. The days go much smoother with kiddos when we’re prepared and organized — do you agree?? With back-to-school season approaching (next week!), I wanted to create a “drop zone” space for my family to organize all things preschool, work, bills, charging dock, shoes, jackets, and on-the-go must-haves.

Since we don’t exactly have a good mudroom space inside our house — plus I didn’t want the extra clutter on display — so, space was created in our garage! We are loving our freshly painted staircase!! I couldn’t wait to start decorating around it to make it feel more homey! I fell in love with the idea of a garage mudroom! Such a great space-saver option to keep the clutter contained before coming inside the house. Since the garage is the primary way we enter/exit our house… this was a no-brainer decision!

I carved out a corner right next to our garage steps — easy access! What once was a spot to hold a stroller and a few random items (see before collage below!!)… has now transformed to an ultra-functional storage space! After a quick trip to Marshalls — I had all things for the bookshelf! Both of my boys have their own designated basket to hold their go-to shoes and must-haves for on-the-go. Ryan and I have our own cubby for clean masks, sunglasses, and other personal items. Shoutout to my neighbor and bestie, Missy, for her white bookshelf hand-me-down. It’s anchored to our staircase and we love it! The media table was purchased at HomeGoods a few years ago and we used to have in our playroom before we rearranged that room (more on this later!). This table holds some cute seasonal décor, our keys, a charging dock station for devices, storage for family games, and me/Ryan’s go-to shoes. I added a cork board for pinning photos, invitations, cards, etc. I installed black hooks to the staircase for additional storage (hats, purse, gym bag, etc.). Back in March, I put together a sanitization station at the top of our garage staircase — All things Lysol, hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, thermometer, and more!

I’m getting the boys involved with our new space and they love it too! Each morning before we get in “mama’s car” we gather our things and off we go! When we come home, the boys put their things in their proper place (bags/shoes/etc.), we each sanitize, and we walk inside the house. Hope this inspired you to spruce up a “drop-zone” area for your family! I’ve provided affiliated Amazon links below to link you to most everything you see below!

Click below for Amazon LINKS!!


Before we dive in to the details!!! Here’s what it looked like BEFORE…

Annnnnd…. AFTER!!!

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  • […] house project is my favorite!! You may have seen our recent, painted garage, painted staircase and garage mudroom… next up we have… Ryan’s Man Shed! You know I tried to convince my hubby for a […]ReplyCancel

Back again with another DIY Naptime Hustle project! If you follow me on Instagram then you already know… our garage recently got a quarantine makeover! Our garage is a space our family uses often, like every single day. We primarily enter/exit our house thru the side garage door, it has it’s usual garage storage stuff, it’s our office space, tool storage, fridge/deep freezer storage, gym space, craft corner, and a custom floor (installed by prior owners) for the occasional dance party!

I’m always looking for easy DIYs to spruce up our home sweet home. Last year, you may remember my idea to paint my garage… best decision ever!! After scrolling Pinterest for a few minutes to gather inspiration for another DIY… I decided to paint and stain our garage staircase. And… WOW! What a difference it makes! I love a good high impact, low cost project! I’m OBSESSED!

While this staircase looks small… it was tedious work! Those spindles were not fun. We chose black stain for the stairs (paint would’ve chipped over time from being a high traffic area) and white for the banister to match our checkered custom floor. We moved into our home 8+ years ago and the black/white checkered custom floor was installed by the prior owners. We had dull, dirty, boring stairs all this time in the garage and now… this little upgrade (along with the painted walls) gave this space a boost of curb appeal and a fresh finished look.

Our boys LOVE the new look!! They were in the garage (watching a movie) when Ryan and I got a head start on the painting. Now, every time Thomas goes down the stairs he says “Oooo! Nice!”.

Hope this motivated YOU take an afternoon to give your home a fresh look! See below for my DIY steps and materials. Stay tuned for a new blog post about my newest drop-zone station in the garage for our beautiful chaos!

Here are my DIY steps…

  • Clear, clean, and tape the area
  • Add wood putty to all knots/nail holes/cracks in the wood
  • Painted the staircase banister and spindles white (2 coats)
  • Stained steps black (1 coat) and let dry for at least 24-hours

Here are the materials I used:

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Hi, friend! 2020 has been quite a year for all of us! Can you believe it’s that time of year again to book your Fall Family Mini-Session?! I look forward to these mini-sessions every year! They are the perfect way to capture your beautiful family in this season of life, check holiday cards off the list, refresh the wall art in your home sweet home… and of course, update your Facebook profile pic (LOL!).

Booking is now OPEN with limited timeslots available… first come, first served. I’m grateful that these timeslots sell out quickly every year! The location will be announced two-weeks prior to your mini-session date (surrounding Richmond area). Regarding the rain dates, you must also be available for the selected time on the rain date.

The Details:

  • 20-minutes of photography coverage
  • Maximum of 5 individuals photographed
  • Digitally enhanced editing to images
  • Online gallery & print release

COVID-19 Safety: It is of the highest importance to ensure that we keep everyone safe during our time together. I am taking all precautions advised by the WHO and CDC, to maintain a sterile portrait session environment to protect my valued clients. More details will be shared prior to your session.

*** Please note: Due to the timing constraints of a mini-session, group family sessions (5+ people) are encouraged to book TWO back-to-back sessions (i.e., bring your grandparents and/or siblings along!).

I look forward to the opportunity to capture your family!

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In the midst of this time of fear and uncertainty while quarantined at home I wanted to offer some JOY! Introducing… “Stay Home” Spring Mini-Sessions! After careful consideration, I plan to offer social-distanced 15-minute mini-sessions in May (at a discounted rate!) to support my local community. Limited timeslots for select dates in May — first come, first served. These sessions will take place in the beautiful outdoors of your home sweet home. We’ll explore where there is beautiful natural light and landscape (front porch, side yard, backyard, etc.). My hope is our time together will help ease stress and anxiety as you take full advantage of your time safe at home with your family. My lifestyle approach for these sessions is to capture true connection, finding calm in the chaos. Because life, your life, is beautiful.

Once booked (YAY!), I will email over an electronic contract to make it official. To put my clients at ease, I also share a 20+ page Client Guide filled with session prep tips, outfit inspiration (with links!), and more. You can always go the “Quarantine Chic” look to truly capture this (hopefully once-in-a-lifetime!) season in your lives.


What a unique season for all of us right now. As governments around the world enforce national and city-wide lockdowns to “flatten the curve” of this coronavirus pandemic… families all over the world are self-isolating at home (going on 8-weeks now!). How is quarantine life treating you?

Back on March 30th, our Virginia Governor issued a “stay at home” order. While many businesses have slowed down or stopped altogether… As a motherhood and family photographer, I had a full calendar of portrait sessions that needed to be postponed at the time. It was heartbreaking but necessary. Now more than ever, my clients level of comfort with me as their photographer is of extreme importance. I take public health seriously and strive to provide the safest environment for my clients. I’m staying updated on the latest information from the CDC, the WHO, and local and state authorities. As you know, this virus is rapidly changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour as more information on COVID-19 becomes available.

To ensure the safety of myself and my clients during our time together, I want to ensure we’re abiding by the following COVID-19 precautions…

  • Upon my arrival and throughout your session, we will remain outdoors and well beyond 10’+ social distance
    • I do NOT plan to touch your doorbell, front door, fence door, and/or any other shared surfaces while on your property
  • If you, or someone in your home is sick (i.e., fever and/or any flu-like symptoms), let’s please reschedule
  • I ask that you do not have any extra people at your session

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If you’ve been following me for a while now… you know my love and loyalty to AMAZON. Can I get an amen?! Now, I’m all about shopping and supporting local small businesses… but when it comes to time-saving shopping with quite literally any product available at your fingertips… it’s Amazon all the way! I joined Amazon Prime back in 2013 and it’s been a game-changer for all things in life and business. It’s safe to say that the UPS driver and I are besties due to what feels like weekly deliveries. I keep waiting for an invite to the Amazon Christmas party, c’mon! Over the years, I’ve ordered Amazon products that have truly been lifesavers that I cannot live without. Now I have an Amazon storefront to share these products with YOU!

Because I’m always in hustle mode (who doesn’t want to find loopholes to earn extra cash??)… a few years ago, I joined the Amazon Affiliates Program. The Amazon Affiliate program, or Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program. It’s free for website owners and bloggers (like me!) to become Amazon Associates. Over the years, I advertise products from Amazon on my blog and various social media sites by creating links. When customers click the links and buy products from Amazon, I earn referral fees. While it’s no additional cost to you as the customer I get a small commission for the product referral. Because I was too legit to quit there… I’ve taken it a step further!

In efforts to improve my followers shopping experience… I recently pulled the trigger and applied (and got approved!) to be an Amazon Influencer. The Amazon Influencer Program started in 2017 and is an extension of the Amazon Associates (affiliate) program, but with more tools and features. They key difference between the two programs is that now as an Amazon Influencer… I have my own page on Amazon with a URL to showcase the products I recommend to my followers, giving me an additional way to direct traffic to Amazon (this is especially useful when promoted verbally or in an environment where hyper-linking is not possible).

It’s important to note that “influencers” are able to independently determine whether to recommend a product — Amazon does not modify or edit content. Similar to the Amazon Affiliates Program, content creators participating in the Amazon Influencer Program earn affiliate commissions from Amazon for qualifying purchases. I should’ve joined this program years ago!!

SO! I now have my own Amazon Storefront I can personally customize and curate. I have my own special vanity URL… so official!… which allows me to promote my Amazon presence verbally to my followers. This profile page of mine will be a one-stop-shop for followers and customers to view and purchase my must-have recommendations. All things mom-life, lifestyle, business, for the home, gift guides, and more! Shopping categories are listed in order of most recently updated. Be sure to click “follow” on my page to stay in the loop!

To kickoff my Storefront launch… I scoured through all of my previous years of Amazon purchases and added my favorite finds into various shopping categories. I did this primarily because I want the bulk of the products in my Storefront to be items that I myself have purchased, tried, and love. I’m SO excited to be your personal referral shopper! My hope is to make your life easier by you browsing and shopping my recommendations.

Here are a few shopping categories thus far on my Storefront

  • Baby Registry Must-Haves
  • Family Portrait Prep
  • Fashion Finds for Her
  • For the Home
  • For the Hostess
  • For your Car
  • Maternity
  • For Photographers
  • Gift Guide for Her
  • Gift Guide for Him
  • Gift Guide for Toddlers

While browsing you can “heart” my various shopping lists. Also, please feel free to share my Storefront! I plan to update my Storefront frequently to keep you in the loop with my latest finds (be sure to follow my Stories on Instagram). Happy shopping!! 🙂

Shop my Storefront

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