It’s been awhile dear blog!
Despite a brief snowfall last week, now it is sunny, a tad warm, and Baby Girl and I even saw tulips finally popping up in the yard yesterday! Spring may actually be here.
Things have been looking up around here lately, and with just six weeks to go before my season kicks into full-gear, I’m buckling down to get my lengthy off-season to-do list checked off. So much left to do!
The first thing you’ll notice is an update to the website – hopefully coming in a few days.
We took Baby Girl to Opening Day last week for her first time. She’s been to scores of Brewer’s games, but not an Opening Day. We had a blast! Yeah, we got a few side-eyes for having a toddler at what is largely a drunk fest. But, we didn’t tailgate (just stopped by my Brother to say hi), and we had tickets on the very calm and manageable Club Level. So, it was actually no big deal, and plenty of fun!
(I haven’t edited the pics from that day yet, so you’ll have to check out my instagram for any peek at it!)
The Badgers winning streak came to an end on Saturday. Wonk, wonk. It was a great game though, and well played. In my totally un-educated-in-basketball opinion – it all seemed to come down to who got lucky with timing and shots, not necessarily who was best. As Dr. Seuss says: Be grateful it happened, not sad it is over. GO BUCKY!
We have just two episodes of House of Cards left. So sad to see it come to an end….binge watching is awesome. But then you get so wrapped up in the stories and they abruptly leave your life.
In other tv news, the long-awaited end to How I Met Your Mother happened last week. We’ve watched the show from the beginning, but Hubby is a far bigger fan than I am. I was pretty annoyed with this whole last season. I mean, how can we spend 16 episodes on one little wedding? And who has a destination wedding, but then gets married on a Sunday? It just didn’t add up. But I was okay with the ending for the most part. Hubby was disappointed. I thought it all worked, except it sort of glazed over the love that Ted obviously had for Tracy. Where do you weigh in?
I hit up the Just Between Friends sale on Saturday. This sale is my little secret to Baby Girl’s wardrobe. It’s clean, well-organized, and 90% of what I buy each time is new, or like new. As a bonus, there is such a variety, and we get some things that are more unique. And you really can’t beat this sale for toys, outdoor items and basic care items. It’s going on all this week, check it out!
I tried out a Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe by my friend Melissa last week, and I have to say – it changed my life. So, So, SO good! Seriously. Not vegetable=y tasting, just crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and so crazy good. It’s this recipe, if you want to give it a shot. We did change it by adding a cup of flour and two eggs instead of one.
We went to visit my assistant Ashley a couple of weeks ago, and get a few pics of her new little guy and the new family. I can’t describe the joy in seeing her and Eric as parents! Baby Girl got to come along since she knows Ashley. She had never been on assignment with me before, and she was so sweet! She read us books, and tried to be the baby whisperer for the little guy, speaking the softest, sweetest voice to him. Now, she lines up her animals on the couch and takes their pictures with her toy camera. So stinkin’ cute!
Here’s a couple of shots of her in action that day:
Have a great week!
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**This editorial shoot was published by Style Me Pretty (twice!) here. **
Dusk has always been my favorite time of day. First and foremost – the light is the bomb. And it is so fleeting. You get maybe an hour, and then it is gone in an instant. But there is a magical quality to this time of day – caught between the bright sun of day and the cloak of nightfall. It’s the time of day enjoyed best with a glass of wine in one hand, and a squeeze from the love of your life in the other.
In the last couple of years Villa Terrace opened their incredible Italian mansion on Lake Michigan up to not just daytime wedding ceremonies, but also receptions. I was overjoyed at this news, and I wanted to do an editorial shoot that showcased some of the lesser-known gems of this amazing property. And something that showed how utterly romantic it all was at the end of the day.
Enter my partner-in-creation, Anna from A. Styled. Event. She’s incredible. It’s mostly her ideas you see showcased in these photos. We conceived of a story, a couple, some unique touches. She reigned in our out of control Pinterest board into something edited, cohesive and so on-point. And the girl is ORGANIZED. Like Real Simple magazine organized. I have never been to a shoot that has run so smoothly, come together so quickly and easily and felt so relaxed. I can only imagine the effect she has on a wedding day!
Once we had a concept stamped out – we brought on the rest of our incredible team. Each of these people contributed so much…I’ll highlight them as we go, because I know you want to see some pictures!
Invitations were provided by the wonderfully talented Amy Graham Stigler at Monograham (who also is the head designer for Smock). When you want something special, signature and that will be treasured, she’s the one to see.
BHLDN provided the dress, earrings and hair pins for our Bride’s look. The groom was expertly outfitted by the stylists at Harley’s for Men. The beauty that abounds at BHLDN is well known, but you might not know that Harley’s has a great rental line as well as completely custom suits.
We simply must stop and discuss the florals. Renee at Frontier Flowers of Fontana totally outdid herself. I’ve seen her transform the most lackluster venue into a showpiece. And I’ve seen her leave people speechless at Art in Bloom. But she really impressed me with the delicate textures she brought together for our shoot. One of her best talents is that she always seems to pull some-sort of last minute trick out of her hat to add just the right finishing touch to a day.
The twin arbors in the lower garden of the Villa Terrace or so underutilized. Intimate and lush, we knew they would make the perfect “church” for our little ceremony. The rustic bent-wood chairs were loaned to us by Lake Area Rentals.
Ah, that dress! And did you notice the awesome hair on our bride? That intricate masterpiece (and the perfectly mussed ‘do on our Groom) are compliments of the effervescent Nhung Nguyen. And the impeccable makeup is by my favorite makeup artist, Jennifer Kessler of Natural Radiance. That woman is unflappable, and her work is always perfection.
Our rustic farm table and the authentic cafe lights were provided by (and hung expertly) Lake Area Rentals. The beautiful natural wood was such a warm and inviting contrast to the peeling plaster and stately columns of the terrace.
No wedding dinner is complete without an incredible meal. We called upon one of the best – Zilli Hospitality Group. They created six unique dishes for our ‘dinner’, and a trio of desserts (which you saw earlier). The thing about Zilli is that their food always looks magazine-worthy, and it tastes twice as good as it looks!
Stylist: A Styled Event |Florist: Frontier Flowers Of Fontana | Stationery: Monograham Paper | Catering: Zilli Hospitality Group | Hair: Nhung Nguyen | Dress, Earrings, Hair Pins, Chair Banners: BHLDN | Invitations : “Spence” By Smock | Linens: Table Toppers | Makeup: Natural Radiance | Photographer: m three Studio Photography | Rentals (Chairs, Tables, Cafe Lights): Lakes Area Rental | Suit: Harley’s For Men | Venue: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Big, BIG THANKS to all who were involved, stayed late, hauled supplies, climbed ladders and gave of their time. A little sneak peek at the action behind the scenes:
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We started this shoot where they started. At a tiny little window-view table at Balzac. Two nervous people, meeting their “match” from the internet. She was sure people didn’t actually meet this way. Two glasses of wine, a five hour date and a parking ticket later, Christina & Chris were cemented. It turns out surprising Christina was a specialty of Chris’. Just 18 months after they met, she found herself opening a gift each day of her ‘birthday week’. The final day she discovered a box on the kitchen table. She recognized it instantly – Tory Burch. She was sure the shoes she had been pining for were inside. She could wear them to dinner! She excitedly opened the box. No shoes. But there was a tiny ring box inside….and he had bought the shoes too.
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I’ve always felt that I led a fairly charmed childhood/adolesence. I grew up without much of the usual gender bias placed on kids. I can recall thinking that anything, anything was possible if I worked hard enough. I didn’t think “anything was possible even though I was a girl”. The girl part was never part of the thought process.
I can credit that largely to my parents who instilled enough confidence in me and almost never said I couldn’t achieve/try/accomplish something for really any reason, much less gender.
(There was that one time my Dad told me I couldn’t play the trumpet because it wasn’t for girls. I’m positive if I had pushed for it, he would have come around. But, I couldn’t buzz my lips, so it was a mute point really.)
I do remember being called Bossy.
Friends, teachers, other adults – they all used the word to describe me at some point. Being in charge came naturally to me, and that obviously seemed odd for a girl or threatened some people.
I remember my mom having gentle heart-to-heart conversations with me about how I needed to be careful about being labeled bossy. It’s important to note that she didn’t want me to stop leading, to stop taking charge or to stop being assertive. She just wanted to be sure I was aware of others’ perceptions so that the label wouldn’t hold me back.
So, instead of shrinking (as some have implied the word does), I embraced my inner bossy. Taking charge, finding ways to lead, organize and be assertive lead me to many accomplishments, not the least of which is running and owning my own company.
It’s why, when I see my two year old daughter telling us to move this here, or that there, and organizing her whole play room into a hospital in a teepee, and then very assertively giving me a direction to check the toy monkey’s heartbeat with her play stethoscope; it didn’t occur to me to call her bossy. I did call her organized, surprisingly perceptive, and confident.
What she’s doing, what I did, what every successful woman who has been held up as an example by the “Ban Bossy” campaign has done – it’s not bossy. It’s motivation, determination, having an opinion, leadership, strength, assertiveness.
Banning the word, as Sheryl Sandberg has campaigned, isn’t the answer. It’s just a word. Instead, let’s just stop trying to put girls down when they show these admirable qualities. Because, let’s be honest – there are a lot of other words people could use to put a girl down that are a whole lot worse than Bossy.
So go ahead and call me bossy. I won’t mind. It’s a compliment. Because you know what? I’m the good kind of Bossy, and because of that, I’m actually a Boss.