The Perfect Blush Pink Dress

March 26, 2015

Next weekend, one of my good friends is getting married in New Orleans, and she has asked me to be in her house party (if you’re not familiar with this southern tradition, read this explanation here). Amanda asked all of the house party to wear blush pink dresses, which is also the bridesmaid dress color I chose for my wedding (photos here). Instead of lucking out and finding one dress early on that fit me like a glove, I tried on over twenty blush pink dresses from a number of different stores. I’ve had a hard time finding dresses that fit well recently, given my (ahem) milk-enhanced chest. After trying on some pretty pricey dresses, my friend, Taylor, sent me a link to a dress at Forever 21, and I actually really liked it. The best part was the price tag: $39? Yes, please. Given that I don’t normally wear light pink due to my insanely pale skin, I was a-okay with spending less than $40 on a dress. It’s currently getting altered, as they didn’t have my size, and I’m excited to get it back and try it on. I’m praying it fits well!

During my extensive research, I found some gorgeous blush pink dresses at J. Crew, BHLDN, Nordstrom, Asos, Forever 21 and Macy’s. While at the latter shop, the cashier asked me if I was looking for a bridesmaid dress, and I explained it was for the house party. She told me that blush pink is the most popular bridal party dress color, and that she constantly is helping women find dresses in this color. Et voila, here is my guide to help all of the ladies out there looking for a blush pink dress. If that’s not you, perhaps you think one of these little numbers is pretty and grab it just for fun! I absolutely love this Joanna August Polly Dress and this Tahari Sleeveless Brocade Dress. Lots of good options out there!

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How to Help A New Mom

March 24, 2015

helpanewmomHaving a newborn is exhausting. When Isla was born, I felt a kind of tired I had never experienced before. As babies do not have normal body clocks when they’re first born, they tend to wake every 2-3 hours to feed, which may take up to 45 minutes. I have a journal from Isla’s first weeks which tracked her eating patterns. 1-1:45am, 4-4:45am, 7-7:45am, 10-10:45am, 1-1:45pm, 4-4:45pm, 7-7:45pm, 10-10:45. And repeat. Ohmygosh. How do new moms survive? The answer is cliche, but true: the love you feel for your child is what keeps you going and makes the exhaustion worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a challenge. Add loads and loads of laundry, dishes, and cleaning to the mix, and your head is spinning. Preparing food for dinner? No way. Even chores like walking the dog become an ordeal. After experiencing life with a newborn, I have tips to share that will prepare you to help any friend who is in a similar situation.

Setup a meal delivery schedule

I am part of the Spring Valley Mom’s Club, and when Isla was born, I had meals delivered to the house three times a week for six weeks from other members. It was amazing. I definitely did not realize how exhausting even the thought of making dinner would be, so when I had food dropped off at the front door, I was thrilled. If your friend doesn’t already have a delivery schedule (or ‘meal train’ as its commonly referred to), then offer to set one up for her!

I created a meal delivery Google calendar for you to leverage. You can access the file here. Once you open it in Google Drive, go to File < Make a Copy and create a copy in your own Drive account. You need to fill out the mom’s name, address, number, food delivery and meal requests, and then update the first date in yellow (it doesn’t have to start on a Monday). Send her the link, and tell her to send it to people to fill in when they offer to bring food. This eliminates people bringing food twice on the same day, and also lets other people see what type of food they’re receiving a lot of in order to variate. Make sure that the Google file is set up where everyone with the link can edit! I promise you, your friend will thank you! read more

Week in Review

March 23, 2015

Can you believe that March is almost over? I’ve having slight anxiety about how quickly the year is flying by, and I’m totally convinced I’ll have an emotional breakdown sometime before Isla turns one. Given that we’re getting closer to that date and because we’ll be gone for close to two weeks right before her birthday, I started the birthday planning process this week. Papellerie is designing her invitations, and I’m so excited to see what that incredible team creates. They are responsible for our wedding invitations + all paper goods, and I loved everything they touched.

Last week, our nanny started part time, as I’m still waiting for confirmation on my role and we had set her start date earlier in the month. She’s coming this week again, and I’m taking the opportunity to do the wedding calligraphy for one of my best friends, Brittany. She dropped off the envelopes this weekend, and they’re gorgeous! I cannot wait to celebrate with them in Vail this summer.

Other highlights from the week include:

  • Working on final wedding details for Amanda’s wedding – guest favors, programs, welcome bags, etc. – we’ve got back-to-back weddings the next two weekends (one in Austin, one in New Orleans) and I’m so excited for both!
  • My mom and sister were in Durango for the week, as they’re renovating the second and third floors (which used to be very vintage), so we went out to lunch at Ruggles Green with my dad – of course, he and Sasha had to argue over who ate more (see photo below)
  • On Saturday, we had a date night with Sasha’s friend from the UT MBA program (familiar face?) – we ate at Giacomos (one of our favorites!) and then had cocktails after dinner at Anvil – their French 75s are scarily good
  • We ate at Carrabbas twice – this is pretty much the definition of a good week for me (Insalata Fiorucci, all day, every day)
  • Listening to Jamie Winship preach at Bayou City Fellowship, and then going to lunch afterwards at True Food Kitchen, where Isla ate her first muffin, scrambled egg and (yuck) turkey sausage – so far, she’ll scarf down anything except for beets!
  • Taking photos of a friend’s puppy for his first birthday! It sounds so ridiculous, but I loved it – dogs are easy models because they don’t worry about how they look! I cannot wait to share more photos soon
  • Meeting baby Kerr and taking newborn photos in the hospital – what a special project! I want to do this full time! You can see the photos here
  • Finishing the Russian visa application process, that involved about many hours of paperwork, passport photos, cashiers checks, as well as three visits to the application office! I am praying our trip is worth it!
  • Going to Isla’s first music class at Fundamentally Music – I think I had just as much fun as her, singing songs, dancing, blowing bubbles, shaking tambourines, etc. She starts swim lessons this week, and I’m so excited for those too!
  • Enjoying every ounce of sunshine between rain clouds by going on family runs and making visits to the park

What were the highlights of your week?

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Proudly Introducing Baby Kerr

March 19, 2015

Today, I had the honor of taking photographs of my friend’s newborn son, Joseph Kerr Jr. It feels like days ago that I was sharing these photographs from Julie’s shower! Kerr was born yesterday, March 18 at 5:21pm, weighing a perfect 7 pounds 2 ounces. I cannot believe that Isla was more than half a pound lighter than this bundle of joy, as he is so tiny.

Julie looked absolutely gorgeous, per usual, even after giving birth less than 24 hours earlier. I loved capturing these sweet photographs, and I wish I had some of Isla in the hospital! I will definitely be taking hospital pictures for baby #2!

Their adorable daughter, Evelyn (or Evie) arrived after we took most of the photos, and I cried when she walked in the door (cue me getting emotional typing about it!). The way she held her brother so gently makes my heart melt. She even tried to feed him some of her lollipop – already a good sharer!

I cannot wait to spend more time with this little angel. If you or any friends live in Houston and love like hospital photos taken, please contact me!

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Nora’s First Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, I had a Saturday filled with kids birthday parties (three to be exact!). One of these celebrations was for Nora, my friend Danielle’s adorable daughter. Danielle owns Paper Therapy Shop, an Etsy store with the best invitations, cards, birth announcements (see Nora’s here), etc. Given Danielle’s creativity, I knew that the party was going to be perfect – and it was. A party filled with navy, gold and rose pink gold confetti, I was seriously lusting over every single detail. The invitation and ‘stats’ poster (made by Danielle) were gorgeous, as was the cake and ‘one’ script letter (from BHLDN) (although Nora was quite the hesitant eater!).

And then there was that cone backdrop. Let’s talk about that. Because Danielle handmade it (mom of the year award!). I’m pretty sure she could now sell it for $250, because it is so labor intensive. She got the tutorial from Noon Day Collection, and she obviously has more patience than I do! It did turn out great in the background of photos.

Danielle also designed a sign next to gold pipe cleaners that prompted guests to make their own ‘party gear.’ The males definitely won the award for most creativity (slightly shocking – no offense boys!)! You’ll see Nora’s gold pipe cleaner crown in the last set of photos – she was princess for the day!

I cannot believe that Nora is now almost 13 months and that Isla is almost 10. It looks like I need to get serious about planning her birthday party! I’m definitely taking notes from Nora’s colorful confetti celebration, as we had such a good time.
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