Saturday

REAL BRIDE / LAURA + FOTIS

I always love seeing how brides decide to style my pieces for their wedding day. Laura knocked it out of the park pairing my Mae belt with this stunning Vera Wang gown from CS retailer, l’atelier couture bridal.

Laura is just glowing and a girl after my own heart in her fancy stole (and let’s talk about her groom: beyond dapper). I am always so grateful when a bride chooses a CS piece and allows me to be such a tiny, but significant part of her big day.

All images courtesy of Photogen Inc.

Monday

FEATURED / CAMP MAKERY

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram, you’ve seen all of the shenanigans my – I mean Porter’s – elf, Cotton, has been getting into this Christmas season. The lovely ladies at Camp Makery graciously asked me to write a little guest feature on Elf on the Shelf.  Head over to Get Your Elf On with me and check out the full post here.

A super special thanks to Hollie Lytle - counselor at Camp Makery, rockstar photographer, designer and friend – for the featurette.

Best,

Wednesday

CATCHING UP / CATCHING FIRE

I feel like this year is just flying by, like warp speed style. I’ve been working so hard on purposefully shaping the future of my business – and oh, yeah! - trying to be an awesome mama to my baby boy, who’s, um,  not so much a baby anymore. Blogging has been pushed to the back of the priority list. Speaking of business, it’s starting to boom and that’s always an exciting thing. I’ve been dreaming up new pieces that I think truly capture the spirit of what I’m trying to create for my brides: that raw, beautiful feeling of love – handcrafted. You’ll be seeing a lot of handwired and gemstone goodness as well as an exciting project soon.

Recently, it was such a pleasure to work on a crazy gorgeous shoot with some of my favorite vendors. Here’s a little sneak peek of me doing the styling thing. Y’all can even see a smidge of one of my favorite pieces – Fiona - in all of her pearl and gold glory on stunning model, Vivian. I can’t wait to share more – from this shoot as well as the continued evolution of this brand and site – in the near future. In the meantime, I’ll try to check in more frequently and keep y’all up-to-date.

Best,

 

Photography / Kelly Sauer 

Gowns / Chaviano Couture

Florals / Amy Osaba

Wednesday

YAY FOR GINA ZEIDLER + GIVEAWAY

Hooray! Gina Zeidler’s brand new brand and site launched today! There are not enough words to describe what this awesome lady means to me. She rocks in the best way and her photography is ah-may-zing. Seriously. Please take time out of your day to bask in her talent and while you’re at it, head on over to her blog to enter her fabulous giveaway (I will fight you for the J.Crew gift card). I’m thrilled to be participating and can’t wait to ship off this whimsical mermaid comb to it’s new owner. Created from shell the color of the sea, adventurine, pearl and tiger’s eye, she’s a beaut! Your beachy waves will be forever grateful!

 

XOXO,

Tuesday

FEATURED / SNIPPET & INK

I’m thrilled to have a few of my styled shots from the lovely Chaviano Couture 2013 lookbook featured on Snippet & Ink! You can also see a sneak peek of my new Eva (shown above) and Isla belts, exclusively designed for her new collection. I love all of the tulle and lace and handpainted fabric (!) featured throughout the collection and it’s available in darling little boutiques and direct from the designer now. I don’t have enough wonderful things to say about Annette and Chaviano Couture! It’s rare to have a designer create a gown made to each bride’s specific measurements and be completely willing to customize as well. She’s a peach! Not to mention 20% of the proceeds from each gown go to various charities around the world. The 2013 collection will benefit little girls orphaned in Haiti.

See the full gallery from Snippet & Ink here!

Gowns + Designer / Chaviano Couture; Stylist + Florals / Carlee Sizemore; Photographer / Melissa Schollaert; Hair + Makeup / Medalyn Salon; Model / Kacie Boguskie; Handpainted Fabric / Momental Designs

This little monkey was his Mama’s Assistant for the day! He was very helpful with the dress clips (eating them, of course) and flirted with all of the ladies.

XOXO,

Monday

SCALE BACK

Y’all, I gained a lot of pregnancy weight. 41 pounds to be exact. Add the additional 20 I was carrying around pre-baby and that’s a whopping 61 pounds over the “recommended” weight for my height. That makes me cringe just typing it. For someone who was thin and super fit all the way through my junior year of college (and proceeded to gain the Freshman Fifteen my Senior year and then some), that number on the scale - the one close to 200 pounds – that, my friends, was like a bath of ice cold “wake up!” water.

So much information is shared prior to the birth of a baby. Some of it welcomed, some not, but rarely do you get the “real deal” about the trauma your body is about to go through after you bring home that bundle of joy. For instance, why did no one tell me that my abdomen was going to literally look like it melted? A tangible expression of a sad trombone (whomp whommmp…), it wasn’t the tiny babe in my arms, but my deflated “Jabba the Hutt” tummy that sealed the deal. Holy moly, I was someone’s mom and I had the wiggly, jiggly, stretch-marked skin to prove it.

Up until the last three weeks of my pregnancy, I had been reasonably healthy. My diet consisted of the usual fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Then May happened and suddenly it was 90-100 degrees in Minnesota (yes, this Southerner birthed her child in the mid-west. Talk about a sad trombone; I’m still not over it.). Do you know something they’re known for in Minnesota? Dairy. And the best kind of dairy is ice cream. I spent Memorial Day through the 22nd day of June floating in our swimming pool and eating tons of ice cream. Hindsight being what it is, maybe the whole Dairy Queen-every-day thing was a tad overkill. Maybe.

After I had Porter, I lost an immediate 20 pounds due to the baby, plus the gross stuff that came with him and crazy water retention from my preeclampsia. Instant weight loss! Unfortunately for me, I still had 21 more pounds of pregnancy weight to go; blerg. Over the next couple of weeks I lost another 10 pounds and then I hit a wall. A plateau is the fancy fitness term, I believe, for this problem. I hit a big freaking plateau.

At 10 weeks postpartum, my doctor - bless his heart - suggested that I receive an intrauterine device. At that point, I was so exhausted I couldn’t remember my name, let alone the proper time to take a pill, so I agreed and it was done (A little aside here: why I would think that I would even need birth control is beyond me. As a new mama, ain’t nobody got time for that.). Also, by that time I had resumed my healthy eating (no more Dairy Queen) and had begun light to moderate exercise. Add in the insane amount of breastfeeding and the weight should have been falling off. It most definitely was not. Double blerg.

I had repeatedly watched all of my gorgeous friends and darling sister-in-law have children and then magically morph into these skinny-minnie mommies who, in my perception, ate pizza and strolled their babies for 20 minutes to maintain their rapidly shrinking size. I could not for the life of me figure out why the number on my scale wasn’t budging. I wanted to be a J.Crew-model-mom-in-my-Volvo, too! I had the Volvo; now what was I doing wrong?

I had vaguely remembered a mention (conveniently ignored on my part) that for some breastfeeding women, their baby weight is maintained until the time they either reach the 6 months postpartum mark or start to wean their baby. I’m too lazy to confirm this via Google, but just trust me; it’s a thing. Was I one of the unlucky minority?

Regardless of the weight issue, I was working hard to maintain my relatively new-to-me healthy lifestyle. I was eating well and doing yoga and light weights during Porter’s naptime, but something just felt “off” in my body. Discussion after discussion with both Parker and my new doctor in Connecticut provided a solution. We collectively decided that my problems were stemming from my IUD and at 7 months postpartum, it had to be removed. Not everyone has issues with this little device, however, without going into disgusting detail, it was making me so, so sick.

Immediately I started to feel better and as my hormone levels were balancing, my body was beginning to balance as well. Hooray! Now, at 9 months postpartum, I can honestly say that I haven’t felt this healthy in over a decade. We’re not all Gisele’s and Heidi’s or Jessica Alba’s and not everyone is a yogi or a runner or a “fitness freak”. I do think people just want to feel healthy and strong and good about themselves. Maybe you’re not even and mama but you struggle with your body image. The Good Lord knows I did! I went from a size 4 to a size 10 in three months during my Senior year of college. I’m pretty sure my friends and family were shocked, but were too sweet to say anything. Other than a small “fit” stint prior to my wedding, I maintained that weight from 21 to 29 and am now – finally! – a few pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I wish I could say that I didn’t care; that a number is just a number, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I will never be so happy to see that pre-pregnancy – 20lbs overweight-number on a scale! I’ve made the healthy choices and am doing the work to get me to my goal. Until then I’m going to scale back.  I want to focus on the little things, take advantage of this gorgeous Spring weather, play outside with my baby boy and continue to set a healthy, happy example for my family.

XOXO,

Wednesday

STYLED / SNEAK PEEK

I adore working with Annette of Chaviano Couture! This sweet lady has some serious talent and I was delighted when she asked me to style the lookbook shoot for her 2013 collection. Not only did I style the shoot, but I collaborated with her on two belt designs exclusive to her new collection. Here’s a little sneak peek of her insanely gorgeous tulle & horsehair trim confection paired with one of my designs. For more behind-the-scenes goodness, follow my Instagram here.