I have been blessed with a wonderful life.
I’ve experienced things I never imagined, explored places I didn’t know existed, and loved in ways I didn’t know were possible.
As this year comes to an end, and we begin drawing up plans for the coming year I am spending time reflecting. I love reflection. Looking back on things, experiences, places, and feelings that I once encountered. This year I’ve been to new places, met new people, and loved in new ways.
There are sayings such as “You can’t move forward if you’re looking back” (or something to that effect), while this rings true at times, looking back can help us move forward in different ways. When I find myself fearing the future, I reminisce about things in the past. I remind myself how far I’ve come; what I’ve overcome, what I’ve faced and what has set me back. I use these as reminders of what I can do and how strong and determined I am.
This year I spent more time at the dentist than I would have liked, but I got past my fear of dental work-I still don’t like it but the fear no longer overtakes me.
I traveled outside my comfort zone many times, and realized it isn’t such a bad thing.
I learned to love in new ways.
I learned how to put someone else before myself, and do it sincerely and completely.
I’ve grown. I’ve become a better version of myself.
It was a bit windy, and overcast but that didn’t spoil our fun. As you may recall from years past we usually travel during October since it’s a convenient time for Philip to take off time from work. This year we took our trip at the end of August which means we are staying local during fall! I love fall. It’s such a beautiful season with lovely colors and I am excited to be exploring our home during this season. We spent time in Shenandoah this past weekend, collecting leaves of different colors & next week we will be exploring New York. We are blessed to see fall and spend this time together, sharing in the beauty.
This weekend Philip and I took a mini trip to Shenandoah. Although the colors weren’t as vibrant as we hoped, we did snag some cool leaves. We are contemplating going back again in a week or two.
I did a styled shoot in June (I’ve been doing a lot of those this year; they are so fun!) and had the pleasure of meeting Yen Sadek. She was the florist for the session.
Since then we’ve worked together on a few other projects. She has a sweet little family and I am happy to say I had the joy of meeting her family and doing family portraits.
We started out in their backyard for a few photos. The boys quickly became distracted so they climbed the play structure while I took a few photos of Yen and her husband. Once the boys got some energy out of their system we did a few more family portraits outside. We moved inside where the boys found their capes and we were sure to get photos of Batman and Superman! I love how little boys take their job as a super hero so seriously. They both pulled out all the super hero poses, and showed me all their tricks. Then we made our way to their private library that Yen made for them in their room. We read a few books and played some more.
It was a fun morning.
Sometimes (more often than not) when I can’t sleep at night my mind starts running into creative corners. The past few weeks it’s been extreme so I decided to carry out some of the ideas. One was to make rainbow colored cupcakes, that went alright. Another was to do something (similar to these photos), where I have a unique design on the side of my face for a quick photoshoot.
I was nervous. I don’t wear a lot of makeup regularly, let alone anything like this. When I start something that doesn’t go as I envision I get overwhelmed and sometimes give up. But this went much easier than I thought; I am very happy with the results. The hardest part was doing my eye makeup, I prefer everything to be symmetrical which is challenging, especially with very little experience doing it.
Red lipstick is scary, but I think it worked with this look. I am happy with the results and will likely play with this type of thing again in the future. <3
Whenever Philip and I travel, whether it’s a day trip or a full week vacation, we love to find unique local spots to dine. Often we look for Breweries; they have good food, beer and a fun environment.
On our way home from New York City this weekend we stopped in Baltimore at a local Brewery. Brew House No. 16. We found it on a quick Google search of near by Breweries with restaurants. As we drove there I read some of their website-looked like a great spot.
We arrived about 8:00pm. The Brewery is held in an old firehouse, which is were they got their name from. We were promptly greeted by one of the owners. It was a slow night for them, since Fells Point was having a huge gathering for the community. But we didn’t mind, we nearly had the place to ourselves.
Philip ordered Pumpkin Ale that was brewed onsite. I don’t drink beer, aside from a polite sip of Philip’s so here are his notes on the Pumpkin Ale. The Pumpkin Ale had a delightful pumpkin taste. It wasn’t in your face at all and was a well-rounded medium bodied beer. It seemed crafted well. I really like Belgian styled brews. But this particular beer was very smooth and had a lot of flavor undertones.
After chatting with the owner, we took a look at the menu. They had a great variety of items; a lamb burger, chili, and a shrimp burger; we decided to try the Calamari and the Soft Pretzels. I had absolutely no regrets about either of these choices. The Pretzels came with the traditional cheese and slightly spicy mustard. The calamari (my personal favorite) came with marinara sauce and a sweet & sour sauce. I think it was actually a spicy sauce, but it definitely had a sweet taste too. I even dipped my pretzel in it.
The owner had just ordered his dinner so we invited him to sit with us. It was easy conversation and we learned more about the brewery. October 21 will be their 1-year anniversary. While they are still starting out, they’ve learned a lot in the past year. Running a business, especially with a storefront, is no easy task.
They completely remodeled the firehouse to make it into a restaurant. They put in tile, a bar, and the conditioning tanks but maintained the original structure and walls of the firehouse. They even kept the original fireman poles. They are currently working on making the upstairs a banquet event space for large parties.
If you’re ever in Baltimore I strongly suggest swinging by this place for a quick beer and some apps, if not a full meal. And if you’re around Baltimore on the 21 of October you should swing by and buy a pint (or bottle) of their new release of Sour Beer (they are tapping it on the 21st!) If we were in town we would go, but we will be in NY that weekend so go for us!
What is your business? What do you offer wedding clients?
My favorite part of the wedding day is seeing my brides’ look on her face when I give her the bridal bouquet – so much emotion and appreciation and it makes all of it worth it for me!
Yes, you read that right.
This gorgeous wanderlust sign is made by Brittany Frieson of Between The Lines by B, please go check out her Etsy Shop!!
The last few years have been such an adventure. And I am thrilled to say I will be adding Bermuda to the list of places I’ve visited. Check back to see the other adventures we will be taking.
If you have any suggestions on must-see things in Bermuda, leave me a line. I will be making a list.
As always, follow us on social media to keep up to date and see all the beautiful sights along with us.
I had the pleasure of doing a portrait session with Katie Boltwood of Tilly and Teal. I also interviewed her for my Featured Friday series. Where I interview different small business owners and shine a spotlight on their talents. If you’re interested in being featured, please email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, look at this beautiful bouquet by Yen Sadek, of Chic Girls Flowers. She does amazing work, so please check her out!
Beautiful bouquet by Yen Sadek, of Chic Girls Flowers.
I am a huge fan of hand written notes and snail mail. HUGE FAN. When Philip and I visit new places we always get postcards, a lot of them. Some to send to friends and family, others to frame for our home. Yup, we frame postcards. More recently I’ve been using an app called Ink Cards. Ink Cards is an app that allows you to take a photograph with your phone and turn it into a postcard. For a small fee they make the postcard and mail it to your specified destination. I love this because it can be a postcard of Phil & I for our moms; it can be a scenic sight or a city scape. I’ve only used it a few times although I plan to use it more! But I’ve taken a detour, back to the main point…
A client gift doesn’t have to be something extravagant, it just needs to be meaningful and intentional. I’ve tried a few different things for my client gifts. At one time or another I would send my clients a gift card, to encourage a date night. With the gift card I would include a handwritten note to tell the couple to take time to themselves during the hectic-ness of planning a wedding. I moved towards Starbucks gift cards-because who doesn’t love Starbucks?! Although these were all great, they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I wanted my client gift to be more personal, more me, more my business brand.
One day I stumbled up 2j’s Soap, while surfing the web or something. They are based in Portland, Oregon. If you don’t know it, I’m from Oregon, not far from Portland. 2j’s Soap make a variety of handmade items, including lip balm, hand balm and candles. I was so excited, so I shot them an email to get details. They can even custom make the labels for their items. As you see, I had my logo put on each item. If you know anything about branding this is a total bonus for business+branding. I didn’t waste anytime placing my order.
Aside from all that, I love including these in my client gifts because I feel like it incorporates a part of me. Something intentional. Oregon is a special place to me and I love sharing a part of it with my clients. To spruce up the gift package I bought party poppers (gold + silver) from Michael’s Craft Store because planning a wedding and getting married is totally a reason to celebrate. The cards I use for handwritten notes are an assortment from different places, but primarily from Target Dollar Spot! I love Target, it’s always been one of my favorite places to shop for cute random items I don’t actually need, but hey, they’re cute!
I sometimes dabble in drawing, and I like journalling so I use some of my favorite fun pens when writing the note. This aspect just depends on my mood. For the box, I use to use something a little fancier than a plan Priority Box, but I found this route to be easier for mailing the items.
It’s always fun to keep the creative juices following and to incorporate new ideas as they come to life. This to me is one of the many pleasures of owning a small business. I know that my wedding client gifts, business and brand will continue to grow.