Saturday, October 1, 2011

We've Moved!

This blog is history! New branding, a new look, and a much improved blogsite can be found at See you after the click!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bride Talk - Fabulous Designer Rehearsal Dinner Dresses For Less

Alright, Bride-ys! Second installment here of Bride Talk. If you didn't read my first post about Rent the Runway, click here to catch up. Time to talk dresses! Now, if you're anything like me, you might be hesitant to rent a dress online for an important occasion like the Rehearsal Dinner. All the "What if's?" are popping into your head, aren't they? I completely understand and thankfully, so do the girls over at Rent the Runway. Here's a run-down of how it works and why you don't need to be scared.

After choosing your favorite dress (and jewelry!), you will want to select it to be delivered 2 days prior to your event. This way, if there is a problem with what you've selected, the Rent the Runway girls still have time to come to the rescue. However, it probably won't come to that. Here's why. . .

To ensure the perfect fit, you get to pick a back-up size for FREE when you order your dress. On top of that, for $25 you can pick a back-up dress (different style selection) for the same dates AND you get a 2nd size for that selection too! So now you have 4 dresses for $25+ the cost of your first dress. THAT is smart thinkin'. Click here to learn more of how it works.

To help you determine if a dress is right for you, you can read Stylist's Notes, Product Details, Info about Size & Fit, and Customer Reviews for each dress in order to help you make a good choice for you and your body type. And in the unlikely event that you do have fit issues when you receive your dress, they will work with you to FedEx you a new dress in time for your event. These girls have thought of everything.

And NO- this is not a paid blog advertisement or anything. I don't even know anybody who works for this company. I just am in awe of this amazing gig so had to share with my dear internets. Enjoy the fashion-love. Here's my top picks for the Rehearsal Dinner. (Click on the images for links to the dresses.)

*LOVE* this first one! Love, love, love.


Retail $800 rented for $100
The interweaving of these layers is stunning.


Champagne Hypnotizer Dress

Retail $450 rented for $50

Love the detail of the cut here:


Retail $1,295 rented for $150
Oolala! Sleek and sophisticated.


Retail $1,395 rented for $200
For a soft, romantic look:


Retail $1,695 for $200
And my FAVORITE of all favorites, hands down. This would be my own personal dress choice.


Retail $1,295 rented for $150
Can I hear a collective gasp/sigh, all? Mercy, I love this dress!

So which dress would YOU choose, my internets? Add your comment.
And check back soon for my top picks for your sweet engagement photo session!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Something Old, Something New, Something RENTED, Something Blue

From time to time I get a wave of random inspiration that I simply MUST share. That's why I'm establishing a new category on my blog called "Bride Talk". I love all things wedding. While my wedding 13 years ago was absolutely perfect, I do sometimes dream about what I would do if I was planning my wedding today. Sometimes I send inspiration ideas/photos to my bride-to-be friends in an attempt to work out my own creative build-up. So now I've decided to do that more 'globally' and share my whims and inspirations with all of you, my loyal blogreaders. Hopefully, you'll have as much fun as I do and maybe even find an idea you want to snag - or share with a bride-to-be friend of yours.

A few months back I discovered Rent the Runway. Have you heard of it? It is an online store that rents out designer fashions for women at 1/10th of the cost. It's incredible! There are times when a girl just wants to go over-the-top glam but needs to do so on an everyday budget. I'm thinking fabulous statement jewelry for the wedding day, I'm thinking stunning dress for the rehearsal dinner, I'm thinking hot little number for the engagement shoot . . . oh yes, it's got me in a crazy little whir of excitement. And I don't even have an event of my own to plan for! So let me be your personal shopper, will you?

Here are my wedding day finds for you, my sweet Bride-y blogreaders. Today we'll start with wedding jewelry and I'll follow up soon with posts on rehearsal dinner dresses and engagement photoshoot picks. I'm a statement necklace girl myself so that's what I'd shop for. Necklaces are the piece of jewelry that I think photographs the best on brides. Close enough to your face to be in all the shots, but not so close that it draws attention away from your eyes in the upclose shots (a good reason not to get oversized earrings for your wedding day, at least from the photographic perspective). So here are this photographer/fashion-lover's picks. . .

(Click on the images for links to shop.)

I adore this ($375) Ciner necklace rented for $50 . . . talk about vintage chic! Vintage is not necessarily my style but seriously, it is so beautiful and I would LOVE to photograph a bride in it.
Or this classic Ciner ($363) stunner for $50. Definitely for an evening wedding, so very regal.
This fun floral design statement necklace just reads uber-romantic outdoor spring/summer wedding, doesn't it? (A Kenneth Jay Lane $538 masterpiece for $65.)
This Nicole Miller piece is a beautiful and would work well with so many different dresses. LOVE it. ($350 piece renting for $35)
I could see this Badgley Mischka crystal necklace with a soft and flowy dress with lots of breezy layers . . .
And my favorite statement necklace for the wedding day . . . drumroll please . . . A Miriam Haskell design retailing for $825 but rented to you for just $85.
It would be the talk of the town, this necklace. It's just so . . . so . . . everything. The only question is- who wants to be my muse and reserve it for your wedding day? Come on, I'll love you forever if you do. :)

More Bride Talk soon. . . the dresses are coming!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Will You Be My Neighbor? {Christine Kay, Chicago Photographer}

Dear Phoebe Hope,

You were born into the cutest family. Ever. And to be completely honest- (as I recognize you are new to this whole "life-outside-the-womb" bit), you should know people really kind of throw around that whole "ever" thing a LOT. We call it Extreme-Facebook-Hyperbole. And sadly, it dilutes the compliment.

Still, sometimes when people say 'ever', it's actually cold hard fact. See, your oldest brother Simeon is . . . well, kinder-genius-adorbinstein. Your big sister Haven is adorbalicious-put-er-in-yer-pocket-pint-sized-princess. And that Isaiah, well shoot, he's just a smiley, dreamy tub of adorable-goodness. I'm tempted to get out the butter knife and spread him on some crackers, he's so darn delicious. So I gotta say, sweet baby, you have a lot to live up to.

Pressure's off though, baby Pheebs. (Can I call you Pheebs?) You are seriously one scrumptious, cheeky, sweetie-pie-adorab-pants yourself. I mean, really. We are all in love.

Welcome to the world, baby love.

P.S. I live downstairs so I hope you like me back.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hangin' with my Homies, {Christine Kay, Chicago Photographer}

I've known Kenna and Tyler since high school. Last week the "M" family visited from my hometown of Phoenix. It was pretty much what you picture when you think of epic-summertime-fun. Mexican food, fried ice cream, soaking in the sun on the beach, the kids catching fireflies at dusk, camping out on the floor, late nights talks after the kids went to bed, a few overly competitive games of Nertz . . . Ya, I know. Admit it. You want to visit us.

Well, they were just here for a few days of R & R but we thought it'd be fun to squeeze in a little family shoot while they were here. This family is so full of cuteness I can hardly stand it. Here are a few images from their shoot . . .

Now that the "M" family is back in Phoenix, my little family is going through a bit of withdrawl. I really wish we could just live with our friends and that was just normal. Love to all of you. Miss you much!

Friday, June 3, 2011

3 Little Monkeys

Oh my sweets . . . how I love them. It was time for some new portraits for the mantle so we got all gussied up and went down to the beach at sunset for a little summertime shoot on a bright sunny (and windy!) Chicago day.

I love this first one. It's a mom's dream. They aren't fighting or bickering or popping each other on the head . . . C is just being the protective big brother and the girls are nestled in. They aren't all like this, but these particular moments are treasured by every mama and bring a smile to my face. I love that I not only can treasure these moments in my heart but remember them in print. Ahh, the joys of being a photographer. . .
I made these pinwheels with double-sided scrapbook paper and love the touch of whimsy they add to the image. I'm thinking these will make an appearance again in future shoots.

I have silly kids, in case anybody was wondering. My 6 year old is a complete ham and rarely can take anything seriously. Getting these monkeys to sit still and look at the camera is just not all that realistic. I figure, get a few of those shots as quickly as possible and then, by all means, let 'em be who they are. I'm always looking for the authentic moment as a photographer because at the end of the day, those are the images that really matter. Love this next series. We laughed A LOT!

Another failed attempt to get them to stand together and smile. I'm glad I failed. This image is a framer and I'm thankful for the capture.

Have a great weekend everyone! Hope you can get out there and enjoy the beach!