Arizona Wedding-Boudoir-High School Senior-Photographer » I'm Stacy Kokes, and I photograph love...

Oh, Coffee Talk Monday. How I love thee. How I miss thee. How I can’t for the life of me stay consistent with thee anymore! Am I even using “thee” properly?! Clearly, I have already gotten off track, so this should be good ;). I started Coffee Talk Monday (or CTM for all you abbrevers out there) back in January 2011. FOUR years ago! It was always such a fun way to touch base with all y’all every week. But somewhere between my now mommy-brain, lack of inspiration and just plain procrastination, CTM got lost in the shuffle. Well, my friends, my hope is to remedy that (cuz I know you’ve all been dying inside without your weekly CTM post, right?!). Yes, I realize that I have already failed you the first 3 Mondays of the year, but better late than never. Let’s see if I remember how to do this, shall we?!

Coconut oil is my jam. For reals. Remember the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (gosh, I hope I’m not dating myself) who swore Windex cured everything?? That’s how I am about coconut oil. The stuff is legit. And they now sell a HUGE container of my brand at Costco. These are the things that get me excited these days (#amIpathetic??)

Gone are the days of singing at the top of my lungs while I edit as I am rarely alone in the house now that I’m a mom. Not gonna lie, I miss belting out some Carrie Underwood, however, I’m pretty sure my neighbors and the babysitter are better off without it. Maybe I should just try it out one of these days and see what the reaction is!

Oh Lifetime Fitness. My heart beats faster for you (mostly because that’s where I do my cardio!) But really, Lifetime holds a dear place in my heart. I know that sounds silly, it’s just a gym, right? WRONG! About 8-10 years ago, that’s where I fell in love with fitness. It’s where I had my first job in the fitness industry as a personal trainer. It’s where Joe and I had our first date (true story!). Our relationship grew and blossomed and much of our time was spent there working out together. When we first got married in 2008, I was only working part time (and had a butt ton of student loan payments that were about to kick in), we realized that we had to decrease expenses and Lifetime was first to go. After almost 7 years, I am finally back at Lifetime and baby it feels good! It’s just as great as I remember it. And even though its “just a gym”, it holds a lot of great memories and milestones for me. From college girl who didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, to the girl who fell in love with the cute guy from church, to wife, to someone who learned that financial freedom takes sacrifice to now a mom. This place has seen me through a lot. I guess this really is my LIFETIME fitness (oh dang, I might have just taken it too far with the pun. Right?!)

I think guacamole is the greatest food on the planet. That is all.

Happy Monday everyone! Thanks for having coffee with me. See you next week!

Put your hands in the aiiirrr! Coffee Talk Monday is back!!


Share on: |Facebook|Pinterest|Twitter|Email

The clouds rolled in over Pinnacle Peak mountain, making Sassi’s already-perfect atmosphere even more beautiful. If rain on your wedding day is good luck, then Amy and Shane are off to a great start! These two didn’t let a little rain put a damper on their day, rather they embraced it fully. Which made me adore them even more than I already did!

Here is a peek into their first day as husband and wife…


Amy’s Lillian Lottie Dress in all it’s glory.


Classy, beautiful perfection.


Amy and Shane decided to forgo a first look but opted for cards prior to the ceremony. Love this!


Wow. Just wow. Isn’t she bridal perfection?!


Amy’s beautiful entourage. What a great group of girls!


The handsome groom and his good-looking’ crew



I could not get enough of these littles. Just precious!


Here comes your bride!


This moment right here is what gets me every time.



Mr and Mrs Staples!!


A good best man right here :).


Doing what we gotta do. Rain don’t stop us!


Dang. Good looking’ couple!



And then they were gifted this beauty to remember forever. What a sunset!!


Enjoying their Let Them Eat Cake cake


The dance floor was HOT thanks to their great guests and the AMAZING talent of Desert House Productions 


Big thanks to all the vendors who made this day possible, especially the staff at Sassi. Shoutout to Jessica Rae who was my #2 for the day!

If you or someone you know is in need of wedding photography, contact me HERE. I’d love to be your gal for the big day!

Share on: |Facebook|Pinterest|Twitter|Email

Oh, these two! I just adore them together!

Joe and I have known Matt for many years through church. We always knew he was such a solid guy and that he would make a wonderful husband one day. I was SO thrilled when I heard that he had found the one he has been waiting for in Bri.  I am honored that they chose me to document their wedding day. I can’t promise I won’t cry :).

Here is a peek into their engagement session <3.


Share on: |Facebook|Pinterest|Twitter|Email

Okay friends. I’m about to show you our sanctuary, our little piece of paradise, our backyard!

Being from Wisconsin, I am used to homes being on big lots. I grew up on more than an acre and Joe grew up on FIVE acres! We got used to the small lots in AZ when it was just the two of us, but my heart broke thinking about our kiddos growing up without a REAL yard. A yard that they could have room to run. A yard with mature trees. A yard that makes you feel small.

It was always a dream of ours to have a big yard here in Arizona, but we put it on the “probably not gonna happen” shelf. But oh, how God provided! Our new house is just shy of a third of an acre. Granted that is not BIG compared to what we grew up on, it is HUGE for AZ standards. And that’s not all…it has mature trees! Citrus trees and desert trees and my favorite of all, the olive tree.

This yard is a dream come true for us. It was hand picked for us by God, we’re sure! It checks all of our boxes and more. When I see Bella running down our little grass hill giggling with delight and getting lost in adventure while searching for olives and oranges, my heart overflows. Thanks be to God for providing more than we could ask for!

Welcome to our yard!

Section 1: The Main Space

This is the area that we spend most of our time. It has plenty of room of run and it houses the swing set and our outdoor dining area.


Section 2: The Pool Area


Section 3: Our work in progress

Let me tell you a bit about what we’ve been doing on this section. It’s kind of a long story, but I like stories, don’t you?

So, the night before we moved in we were at the house painting and unpacking some small stuff when there was a HUGE thunderstorm. After the rain let up and we were getting ready to leave, we looked out in the backyard and saw that TWO of our big trees were knocked over. Seriously?? We hadn’t even moved in yet. Sad face :(.


But it wasn’t the end of the world. We had our great lawn crew remove the trees and we thought we were done.


We soon realized that the gravel/rocks were an invitation for our dogs to dig and roll around in the dirt. Not cool dogs, not cool!

So we came up with a new plan. Grass (and pavers)! Hooray!


It took a LOT longer than we thought, but it turned out great in the end. Below is a before and after.


And another B + A.


Last on the to-do list for this side is the playhouse. Oh, the plans I have for this!! But in the meantime, Bella sure loves it as is :)


And that, my friends, is our new yard. Thanks for stopping by!

  • December 14, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Chiazor arah - That is my dream yard! I have been looking in phoenix for months. Not to be a creepy stalker but this looks like Arcadia to me. Am I right? I don’t see anything close to this on trulia. Lol. No one has a yard and a sparkling pool like that. God sure is smiling down on your adorable family. Question. Are you doing mini sessions for the holiday?

Share on: |Facebook|Pinterest|Twitter|Email

We’ve been in our house for a little over two months and boy have we been busy! Making this house into a home has kept my creative cravings well fed and the place really feels like home.

I promised that I would give you a house tour, but I have been hesitant since it’s “not done yet”.  As I look around the house, I see it all the things that I have yet to do: the furniture that I want to change. The cabinets that I want to paint. The walls that have yet to be filled. Add in the fact that there is always a floor that needs to be vacuumed, dust somewhere and toys in places they shouldn’t be and I have plenty of reasons why I don’t feel ready to show the house yet.

Then I realized….I’ve always kept it real, so why should I stop now? Truth be told, my house doesn’t look like it came out of a magazine. I have an active almost-3-year old who creates a toy tornado on the regular.  I often have dirty dishes in the sink. My dogs shed at an incredible rate. My days are filled to the brim with running a business, taking care of my little and attempting to have dinner ready each night. I don’t have it all together. And I’m guessing neither do you. So rather than wait until everything is “done” and “just right” (which would only add to the cycle of us feeling like everyone else has it together so we should too), I’m going to give you a peek at the house as it is right now; with projects that have yet to be done and walls that have yet to be filled.

housetour-2housetour-5The Living room. Yes, that is a Moby Dog on the couch. See? Real life!housetour-6housetour-7Our thankful jar. We fill it with things we’re thankful for throughout the week and read them together over dinner. housetour-15housetour-8housetour-16Our “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree :)housetour-9housetour-12housetour-17The Kitchenhousetour-20Hooray for granite countertops!
housetour-19housetour-18housetour-21Oh the little things that make my heart soar. Wine glass holder!
housetour-22housetour-23housetour-24housetour-27housetour-26The room that we don’t quite know what to do with yet. Hi, Hope Dog!housetour-28housetour-29housetour-31housetour-32

Stay tuned for pics of: my office, the bedrooms and the backyard (my favorite!)

  • December 5, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Elizabeth - Stacy it’s beautiful, I can’t get over that awesome fireplace! Can’t wait to see what you guys do with that room!

Share on: |Facebook|Pinterest|Twitter|Email
F a c e b o o k