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My Postpartum

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I’m going to take a rare opportunity to discuss something with less humor than usual. I’m still going to add my flare of comic relief here and there because where I’m at now, it’s easier to look back on these moments and feel lighter. That’s why it’s so important to keep pushing forward no matter how hard of a time you’re having. So that you can take that moment to reflect and see how far you’ve come, how much stronger you’ve become and how much braver you are now. We are all just doing our best. Repeat that to yourself DAILY as a reminder. We are human beings. Fragile, emotional, unsure and confused most of the time. But waking up everyday and trying to achieve something. That ‘something’ is different for all of us. For some it might be making it to that next vacation. For others it might be growing your own business (ok, that’s mine, surprise!) Maybe you want to have a family and cook dinner every night for the ones you love. All of these things are reasons to stay here on this planet until you absolutely cannot anymore at the ripe age of 110. And then I’ll see you all in the land of the dead where it just gets better! (Coco reference. If you haven’t watched that movie yet, RUN DON’T WALK to netflix.) 

Mental health is one of my top priorities for myself and my family. I see my therapist every week and I have straight now since I found out I was pregnant. And before that I have been on and off seeing my therapist since I was 15 years old. I don’t ever plan on stopping now more than ever. Life as an entrepreneuring mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece and friend, is something I take seriously. I aim to put all the thought and care into those relationships and myself, as possible. And I admit I need a little help. Like all the time. 

As a highly emotional and independent person, talking to friends and family about my “issues” usually brings me more stress than help. I have healthier relationships and boundaries ever since I stopped sharing all the hard things with them. That’s not to say that I don’t fill them in on what’s happening in my life and when I’m having a struggle. The difference is I no longer rely on them to help me solve them. Less judgement, more laughter, support and love. 

While I was pregnant with Logan, I did a lot of research on postpartum depression. Knowing how emotional I was/am, how young I was and how unfamiliar with babies and children I was, I thought this would help prepare me. What I didn’t know was nothing could prepare my naivety for how different my life would actually be as a new mom and also, a forever mom.  

I literally came home from the hospital after giving birth, which was fine and healthy and normal by the way. No birth horror stories here. I did faint in the shower at the hospital but that is simply because I am crazy. Quick synopsis, I genuinely was just terrified that if I moved the wrong way my entire vagina would rip open and I would die. Like I said, crazy. Ok that will be the last time I use the word “vagina,” promise. In THIS post, promise. 

So I get home from the hospital, I’m sore and tired and feeling weird. John and I greet our cats who I haven’t seen in three days. My family came by to help us get settled. And all the while I’m not looking forward to sitting and cuddling my brand new baby. I’m thinking about all the things I want to work on in my studio and wondering when I will be in less pain to comfortably sit in a chair and do so. This, incase you’re unaware, is the wrong behavior and thought process. It’s lovely to be excited to continue working and feeling like yourself again. But it is unhealthy not to give yourself at least 3 weeks of maternity leave to literally sleep, feed yourself and the baby, watch tv and learn how to breastfeed, if you so choose. I could have asked for help from my family. Come over, hold my baby and let me sleep since my entire body just experienced a trauma. But no. I decided I was supposed to do it all myself in order to become a capable mother. Big mistake. One that I have now learned from and was so completely blind to at the time, no one could have convinced me otherwise. It’s okay though. I forgive myself because some people need to learn the hard way. But as long as we learn, that’s all that matters. And as long as we stay here on the planet, trying. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, to any degree at all, find help. It is all around. Someone you know, knows a great therapist and once you take that leap, you will never look back. Except to reflect on how far you’ve come, duh. 

Back to post partum. The entire first year with Logan in our lives, I had no childcare and I continued trying to work the same amount of hours as I had before I had a baby. This. Is. Insane. I was feeling, guilty, angry, depressed, anxious, confused and like a failure pretty much everyday. I was resentful of my husband for getting to go and work and be alone and do his thing just like before we had a baby. I was getting sick constantly because I gave myself no grace and allowed myself no time to breathe and rest.  It took me an entire year WITH therapy to get my shit together. After Logan turned 1, I told John we needed to create a weekly schedule so that I could have balance. We found a daycare 2 days a week and my grandparents commited to one day a week to watch Logan. I now have 3 full days to just work and be Stephanie. Business Stephanie. Creative Stephanie. Drink coffee while it’s still hot, Stephanie. Frown if I want and no one is looking at me, Stephanie. Put a show on in the background and not worry it’s melting my sons brain, Stephanie. I could go on but I think you get it. Especially if you’re a parent YOU GET IT. I love my son more than anyone and he makes me smile and feel genuine happiness when I’m with him. But I feel those feelings and absorb those moments so much more now that I know every week I can just be me on set days. Recharge my batteries, schedule in my responsibilities, take a nap if I feel I need one (this doesn’t happen often but I should work on it). Eat a ton of cookies for lunch if I fancy. It’s healthy and it’s necessary. 

I did not like my life for that first year. I had a lot of happy moments. I bonded with my son and we spent lots of time together, which I cherish. I grew more than I ever knew I would or even needed to. I learned how to make baby food and cook healthy meals. I shopped for adorable baby outfits and shoes and smiled. I made strides in my business. I exhibited at my first big tradeshow and it was a success. But I did not like my life. I felt like I was getting the short end of the stick and it was because I didn’t make the necessary changes for myself that went along with the change that was thrust upon me the second Logan entered the world. 

My postpartum depression was not the kind where I didn’t want to be near my baby. It was the kind where I continued to over sacrifice, trying to be “perfect” and “happy” all the time but actually just felt anxious and angry. I have been feeling better, like Stephanie again, since about April of this year. That’s not even very long ago. But all of the memories and feelings from above that I described feel like a lifetime ago. I am sure when I have another baby I’ll make some mistakes and the adjustments will be difficult but thankfully I know better now. I won’t be afraid that my life will never be balanced. I will be prepared to readjust and ask for more help. 

If you’re feeling down whether you had a baby or not, reach out to anyone you know who can help you find the right help. And if you know someone who has been down, had a baby, is starting a business, is struggling with some facet of their life at all, be kind. Offer to bring them a meal. Offer an ear to listen and offer the knowledge that we all need a professional from time to time. Or every week forever, like yours truly. We are all doing our best.

 

Thanks for reading, xx

 

HOW TO Write Your Own Card

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Recently my Nanny, who to clarify is my “grandma” technically but chose the title “Nanny” instead, told me she was afraid to write her own sentiment inside of a card. I asked her why and she said she looks at the blank page and feels intimidated by all the white space and her mind goes blank and she has no idea where to start. Now I know she isn’t the only person who feels this way because people have declined purchasing my cards in the past for that very reason. And I am here to hopefully help you at least try to write your own card and see how it feels with a simple suggestion. 

Write how you feel. It sounds too easy, right? And you might be like but Steph, that’s actually the worst advice ever go away. But I’m not done. Ask yourself, what do I feel when I think of this person? Let’s create an example. 

You’re writing your sibling a birthday card. You guys are in your twenties and spend a decent amount of time together so the memories are recent and they’re vivid. Think of the last time you saw them. Did you have a good talk? Did you laugh? Did you cook dinner together or maybe make a cocktail? Did you watch a movie or discuss one you’d just seen? Overall, did you enjoy your time? Let’s hope yes. Now you can put words on paper..

 “Wishing the happiest birthday to my sister who always makes me laugh while we are cooking random dinners and talking smack about crazy strangers who destroy our lives in the supermarket. The person who makes the best margaritas and has the ability to retell a movie in the absolute most hilarious way. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. You’re the best and you deserve everything and more of those margaritas! If only I could make one for you as well as you do. Looks like you’ll have to do it for us both! I love you forever!” 

Okay so that took me approximately 6 minutes to write. Now if you’re saying to yourself “I don’t have six minutes to write a card,” I ask you sir, why not? I have found that the times I set aside to write my own sentiment to my family and friends, end up being the most peaceful moments of my day. I finish feeling grateful, happy and full of love because I just gave thought to why I appreciate that person so much AND bonus now they’re also going to feel that love and appreciation, which is the best gift you can give someone. Snail mail people. Learn about it. Try it. It’s the damn best. 

I hope you’ll give it a go next time you go to pick out that card with the prewritten message that can apply to just about anyone in the world and will leave very little impact on whoever receives it because it’s not specific to them and their incredible characteristics. If you write them your own message, they might just keep that card forever and read back on it from time to time to feel good. And you could be that feel good reason! 

Here’s an even simpler version of the above example sentiment I wrote, with just as much impact incase maybe that one felt super scary to you first timers…

“Happy birthday to the best margarita maker and my favorite person to talk to. I hope you have the greatest day ever, I love you” 

I would still keep that card because it came from the heart and made me feel happy to read it…now I like need to go learn how to make an excellent margarita. And you need to go practice your card writing skills. We both have work to do so bye. Until the next post! 

 

What is Wedding Stationery, really?

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What is wedding stationery? What stationery items do I need to mail? What stationery items do I want at my actual wedding? Do I need calligraphy on my envelopes? What is the difference between calligraphy and digital printing? These are so common questions I hear and I want to give you some info to help while deciding what items you NEED and what items you WANT.

INVITATION & RSVP – Firstly, items you NEED. When you’re throwing a wedding, you need to invite people and you need to know if they’re coming or not. Everyone needs an invitation and a way for guests to reply to you BUT with wedding websites you now have the digital reply option which eliminates the need for the tangible RSVP card AND the return envelope that goes along with it. This saves you on item and postage cost. However, it is so fun to collect those cards from your mailbox and see the cute notes people write to you on them. SO the choice is yours my friends. Either way works just fine!

MAP CARD, INFO CARD, DETAILS CARD – These are essentially one and the same (and are circumstantially a NEED but can also be a WANT). What makes them different is the illustration you do or do not choose. The map is of course, an illustrated map of your wedding area including all of the important landmarks for your wedding weekend and or wedding day. This is just so fun and special to keep that most couples want it to have for themselves! It can be framed and even printed in a different size or on another surface, such as on fabric, to become art for your new home as newlyweds. If you choose no map but you have a big weekend planned with an itinerary for your guests, then you probably need an info card / details card. These are the exact same thing. Typically couples will incorporate a small illustration element that pulls from the invitation design to be cohesive, like a floral in the corner or on the edges, etc. The whole point of this item is to give people dates, times and locations so they know where to be and when for your exciting celebrations. All of this info can also be put on your wedding website if you have one and you can lead people there instead. 

DAY OF SIGNAGE – I can’t tell you enough how special these details make your wedding day but that said, they are still wants! But like, need wants, you know?  One idea, let’s welcome everyone to your wedding and tell them how excited you are to have them there celebrating with you! This sign can be large on an easel or framed on a table or hanging from a tree or pillar. The possibilities are endless for welcoming. Another idea, having a specialty cocktail being made in honor of you and your fiancé? Maybe it’s a blackberry bourbon smash? (Yum, my fave) I can illustrate the cocktail and write what it is, what it’s called and what’s in it, on an 8×10 printout that can then be framed at the bar or in a smaller size on everyone’s table so they for sure know what to order at the reception! And another idea, do you have a little area designated for gifts and cards? People are always searching for this spot as soon as they walk in so they don’t forget to gift you or put the gift in the wrong place. So make a sign that says “Wedding gifts” and then there’s no guesswork for your guests! On these signs we also have the opportunity to continue including design elements that reflect your invitations. It’s your theme and your style and it’s so personal to you on the most personal day of your lives, so let’s put it as many places as we can think of! Without being tacky, obviously. 

SEATING CHART, ESCORT CARDS, PLACE CARDS – These are almost all necessary so there’s not total chaos once the reception begins. For sure there needs to be EITHER a seating chart sign OR escort cards so people know what table they are at. Depending on the layout of your venue and your personal preference, you can choose between the two. There are so many creative and exciting ways to display both nowadays. Just type them into Pinterest and you’ll be mind blown. And then we can narrow down the endless options based on your venue and your wedding theme! The place cards would sit at each setting of the table, assigning people to a seat which is not completely necessary but it can be done if you’d like! 

HAND LETTERED OR DIGITALLY PRINTED ENVELOPES- Well, envelopes are a need so that you can mail your wedding suites. The choice between hand lettered addresses or digitally printed is personal preference. Nothing compares to that beautiful hand lettered look you see on the envelope, with the slightest and prettiest imperfections that make each envelope so unique and special. That being said, calligraphy is pricey! Understandably because it’s such a special skill that takes time to learn and master and then execute. Digitally printing the addresses works just fine too. Nowadays there are so many beautiful fonts to choose from, it’s almost not noticeable when it’s digital versus hand lettered and no one will judge! And if they do, well rude. Always remember your budget is yours and yours alone and you should spend on the pieces of your wedding that have the most meaning to you and your fiancé. 

Let’s recap and view some other day of options: 

  1. Welcome sign
  2. Specialty cocktail / Bar signs
  3. Wedding gifts sign  
  4. Seating chart sign
  5. Escort cards (guests name plus date/spouse with table assignment)
  6. Place cards (at each spot of table to assign seats, extra step)  
  7. Menu cards (can have design elements that reflect your invitations)
  8. Gift for the Guests sign (can be setup on the table on the way out with any gifts for the guests to take so they know, these are for them!) 
  9. Personal wedding hashtag sign 
  10. Get creative! If you have a favorite quote or poem or saying, make a sign with it! Every little detail you design for your wedding just makes it that much more special and YOU as a couple and we love that. 

Have questions and want to chat about your own wedding? Shoot me an email at info@stephanietara.com

Below are some images from weddings I have worked on in the past! Shout out to Kylie and Ashley, our featured brides. They are so gorgeous and I absolutely loved working with them both to illustrate all of their personal stationery items!

Photo credit: Ciro Photography AND Thompson Photography 

The Life Saving Circle

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Okay so, the “Quadrant of Importance and Urgency.” This little diagram is courtesy of my therapist after I recently expressed that I’m constantly torn between all of my priorities. Which I was quickly informed are not all actually, a priority. Some of them are just things I’d like to do at some point in time. Not important and not urgent OR important but not urgent. Since this was semi mind blowing for me I figured I can’t be the only one confused, right? If I’m wrong, just lie to me.

This concept covers pretty much everyone no matter what your days look like. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, an entrepreneur, a CEO and on and on, you can benefit from changing the way you view that mental to do list. Also what feels better than looking back on your day and actually feeling good about what you did instead of being mad at yourself that you also didn’t clean underneath your couch? (that’s an example of #4, not urgent and not important even though you really might think it is, your therapist will tell you that it is not and she is right BECAUSE the other things on your list like turn in your old plates to DMV and get a long overdue physical, matter more. Because the law and health).

I’m going to send over two great printables with the quadrant diagram to everyone who signs up for my newsletter on my homepage! I’d love to hear how you feel about it once you’ve tried it. There are so many helpful tips and tricks out there these days that sometimes it feels overwhelming to choose a path so I realize you might be like, why do I need this on top of everything else in the world to get organized? Well, you might not. But if you find yourself staring at your to do list, wondering where to start and how you’ll ever get through it all that day, then this is for you. Maybe you use it to map out your whole week. Weekdays you do all the important and urgent tasks and on the weekends you can tackle a few of the not so important and urgent tasks.

Below are the 4 quadrants and a brief description of how to identify each…

  1. Important + urgent: health or legal matters first, then any time sensitive responsibilities
  2. Important + not urgent: finances, certain business /work related tasks
  3. Urgent + not important: things that are a close waste of time, such as reorganizing your bookshelf or spice cabinet
  4. Not urgent + not important: things that are a complete waste of time, such as scrolling instagram? any takers?

And now for some photos of this diagram in action. And don’t forget to sign up on my homepage to get the printable! You can print two blank diagrams on one page and cut it in half to use twice and even clip it into a notebook as part of your list making ritual. I know I’m a notebook nerd but if you join me, you won’t be disappointed. Us notebook nerds also eat a lot of cupcakes, perks of the club.

Less Stress, What?

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My chiropractor once told me that taking small trips and getaways every month or two is one of the best things you can do to bring stress levels down. It may seem counterproductive at first. Why would I leave my huge, endless, sky high to do list to go take a trip before tackling my responsibilities and making that list smaller first? The answer is because that list never gets shorter or smaller or less. It just grows and grows, especially as a working adult, parent and/or a business owner. So you ask again, why are we taking these small getaways every couple of months? The first answer is to remind you why you’re alive. We have to be a little selfish in this lifetime otherwise what on earth are we even doing here? (- direct quote from my therapist who is also, the smartest). And by “here” I mean in this universe. But that’s as far into that as I’ll go right now because if I keep digging into our existence I will have an existential meltdown and no one wants that. SO are we just working until we die? I don’t want that, thank you very much. And don’t take that to mean that I don’t love my work or the doing of the actual work because I truly do. But I also have a husband and a son who I love to spend time with and I’ve noticed when I do it outside of our normal surroundings, it’s exponentially better and makes my work days that much more productive. 

Now let’s take this trip. We pack up all the things we only really NEED to get through a day or two and we go sleep in a different room and bed and we eat new, delicious food. (If you don’t know, food is one of the main reasons I travel or leave my house at all). And we get to focus on just each other and having fun. It’s. The. Best. My chiropractor is always right and I’m not even annoyed about it. He also fixed my spine after years of carrying heavy art supplies around the city as a student at FIT and sleeping on a heating pad every night which, spoiler alert, is not a cure. I am now a fully functioning, mostly back pain free human. I still have a million pound baby I carry around so, things can get sore periodically. Cue my massage therapist. Therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists are the trio goal here. Find yourself those people and you’ll see a massive difference in your health. Plus the trips. I’ll probably keep adding in little tidbits I learn from all three of these gurus in my future blogs because I love sharing what I learn.

So where is our favorite place to take a quick getaway trip? In the summer, my family LOVES taking a drive down to Asbury Beach and staying in the Asbury Hotel. This place is fairly new, super cute, has trivia on Tuesday nights, is 2 blocks from the beach and 3 from our FAVORITE restaurant, Porta AND has a bowling alley and diner right behind it. PLUS there’s a boardwalk with all kinds of cute coffee shops, playa bowl cafe’s, shops, incredible murals lining the buildings, a small sprinkler park for the kids, like do I need to go on? So in a nutshell it is the PERFECT getaway from June-August. We hop in the car with one suitcase and all the beach things and arrive in one hour and fifteen minutes, give or take. If that’s not fast, I don’t know what is. Five stars, highly recommend, you all need to go and report back to me on HOW DELICIOUS the pomodoro pasta is at Porta. I know I’ve done a lot of screaming in this post which is how YOU KNOW I’m pumped about Asbury. I wish they would pay me to be their spokesperson because I think I’m great at it? Agree? No? Okay.

FIVE TIPS for planning a quick getaway:

  1. Choose a place you can drive to so there’s not much time wasted in traveling to get there. If you live near a city, just grab a hotel in a fun area for a night or two. As long as you change up your surroundings, it doesn’t matter how far you go!
  2. Make reservations! If you’re going to a busy area, do some research in advance on where to eat so that you don’t waste time waiting to be sat on your precious, short, quick getaway. Nobody wants to be hangry. OR just show up at 5pm like we do and beat the rush. #lifewithababy amirite?
  3. Try on outfits BEFORE you pack so you really are only packing what you want to wear to lighten the load! Lighter travel bags = happy family. Especially with heavy babies!
  4. Pro tip: tidy up the house BEFORE you leave for said trip. Even though my husband hates me for doing it, we come home to a clean space and that blissful vacation feeling doesn’t have to vanish the second you look at a sink full of nasty dishes. Ya welcome.
  5. Map out how you’ll tackle your to do list when you return. Maybe that’s getting extra childcare help that week or pushing a few “non urgent” tasks back a bit while you focus on the important and urgent ones! < That’s actually just life advice right there courtesy of, you guessed it, my therapist. I just love her.

Now you can see for yourself why we love this place so much. I mean, look how happy we are! Those are real smiles. I don’t fake how I feel. Physically can’t and won’t do it.

 

 

 

 

And those were some snaps of us, my sister, Ali and her talented photographer boyfriend who took most of these photos,  Gregory Tavani < click to see his site and/or contact him for some of your very own fun family photos! Also, when did Logan become a full time model?

Okay and below is a throwback photo from our time in Asbury LAST SUMMER when Logan was a peanut. The cuteness.

Logan Moon’s 1st Birthday

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My little Moon turned 1 back on February 27th, 2019. I was of course still catching up on post NSS madness so we planned to have his party in April so that we had ample time to plan and enjoy. This little guy’s absolute favorite movie is Coco. If you are living in a hole and haven’t seen this movie, go watch it right now. Like stop reading my blog and put it on. It’s just as much for adults as it is children and even though I’ve seen the thing 100+ times I cry at the end, every single time, without fail. It’s beautiful. So naturally, the theme of his party was Coco / Dia de los muertos. Learning about what this holiday really means has given me a whole new perspective on it. To celebrate life after death and know you’re going to see your family again after passing is just too much for me to handle. It’s everything we could ever want, I think. It’s like taking the scary unknown out of the scary inevitable. My husband and I plan to make this mentality a part of our parenting because hello, I want to be with my babies forever. Duh. Okay I’m crying bye.

Below I’ve put together a few images from our very hectic, very fun day. I setup some sweet, festive decor for the big day and my husband took care of the delicious food at his Brewery where the party was held. Because beer and one year olds go together. We won’t be having a soirée there again so soon because it’s due time for John to finally enjoy a party and not work it but he does do a great job and it shows!

Some random thoughts and facts about the photos below:

  1. I don’t even think anyone knew why we were doing a Day of the dead themed party BECAUSE I obviously dressed Logan like the main character, Miguel, from the movie in a red hoodie and jeans BUT it was sweltering hot on this day and so the hoodie didn’t last so he was just a baby in jeans and a onesie. #basic
  2. I made this flower crown all by myself and I’m so proud but of course never got a good shot of it SO you’ll see a very misplaced photo of my dear friend Alex putting on Logan’s shoe while I hold him and it’s really only here so you can see the other side of the crown. You’re welcome and also thanks for looking.
  3. The red middle lantern fell down from the ceiling twenty minutes into the party and I had agita EVERY. TIME. I looked in that direction and saw the gaping hole. Did anyone else notice? No. I’m sure not. But people are invalids. Lol jk
  4. Logan normally likes people a lot but I think maybe this was just a little too much for him. I mean from these photos you don’t know but there were 60-70 people at this party so him sitting on the floor alone crying is just an accurate rendition of how he was feeling for the entire beginning being stared at by strangers. And it’s also how we all feel even as adults, admit it.

And now you may view the gallery.

 

You may have noticed as the pictures progressed Logan’s eyes grew more and more sleepy. In the last photo he has cake under one eye and they’re barely open and that is what we call success. Tired cake face.

Thanks for reading! xx

THE STEPHANIE TARA PROCESS

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First off, hello! Thank you for coming by to read my blog. Maybe you’re considering working with me on your wedding suite or any other custom stationery? If that’s the case, this post is definitely for you. The custom design process is different for each designer and I want to use this space to easily lay out a road map of sorts that will explain how our journey will go if you decide to work with me. So let’s begin!

STEP 1: Window shopping. At this point if you haven’t already done so, please do browse my website, instagram or etsy shop to see examples of stationery I have designed in the past. This is the best way to decide if my style suits you. Once it is determined that you want my style for your stationery, we’re on the right track!

STEP 2: The Proposal. At this phase we discuss quantity, items, price, event info (such as venue address, reception time, etc), inspiration images, pinterest boards and all other pretty details. What I’m doing is gathering all the necessary info including the look/style you’re planning for your big day! I will put together an “inspiration board” that has a collection of cohesive images that will represent your style. I put this on the proposal with all your event info and a breakdown of price. Once you look this over and approve, you will sign the contract and send your deposit. Then we are officially in business together, yay!

STEP 3: The Sketch. Now that I have all the details in place, I start sketching ideas for your invite, RSVP, etc. We go back and forth on this as many times as necessary until you are happy and love it! But don’t fret, normally there’s not much back and forth because I am thorough in understanding your vision from the beginning.

STEP 4: The Paint. Now that the drawing is approved, it’s time to paint all the pretty details and really bring this design to life. Since we already have a color palette in place from the inspiration board, I will use that as a guide to execute the design perfectly.

STEP 5A: The Printing. I will collect approval from you via email, that the mailing items are ready to be printed. Once I receive this written consent, we are both sure the items are perfect because there is no going back. If for some reason you need to make a chance, I will charge a fee to reprint the items. I try hard not to let this happen by giving ample time to review and approve!

  • In the event a client prefers to handle printing themselves, we will discuss the details prior to creating the proposal.

STEP 5B: The Mailing. “Mailing items” are invitations, rsvp cards, details cards, map cards, directions cards and envelopes. They are the first items that we complete in order to mail your full suite out in a timely fashion. (This does not mean you requested every one of these items, this is just a list of what they can be). Typically wedding suites are mailed 8 weeks prior to the wedding date unless it’s a destination wedding. Now that your items are being printed, we pick an envelope color that matches your completed design and get them addressed. At this point there are two options to choose from:

  1. I mail: If you decide on calligraphy for your envelopes, normally clients prefer that I handle all the packaging, stamping and mailing for them. In this case it becomes a full service job for you that does incur a small fee. However, with all the stress of planning a wedding, this is usually the best option so you don’t have an added responsibility.
  2. You mail: Some clients prefer to have all the individual “mailing item” components mailed to them (or be picked up if you live local) and they handle addressing envelopes, packaging, stamping and mailing themselves. That’s perfectly fine and it is entirely your choice!

STEP 6: Day of items. If you’ve decided to have your own menu cards, table number cards, escort cards, place cards and/or any signage made for the day of your wedding, we now work on completing these items.

STEP 7: Thank you cards. If you’ve decided you’d like to have thank you cards designed, I will work up the design for you, still staying true to your vision, and print/mail to you as soon as you’d like. Once you have your rsvp cards back we know the final number of cards that you need making this a very simple and final step to our journey together!

I absolutely love all the ideas my clients bring to me, challenging me to bring it to life for them. The stationery that I design for you is intended to be cherished and passed down like an heirloom. The personal touches are what make it all so special. I hope you’ll want to look back on them year after year to reflect on your day and how it was fully and entirely representative of you as a couple. It is your day after all! I encourage all my clients, friends and family to remember this important detail. IT IS YOUR DAY. No one else. If you love your choices, that is the only thing that matters. Enjoy the process, the planning, the stress and finally, the day. It goes so fast and it should be the best time.

Thank you for reading and I hope I inspired you and informed you all at once! Below are some process images so you can see it in action.

The Man Next To The Woman

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I’m not really a feminist, guys. I’m not not a feminist though, either. That topic is way too heavy and broad to get into here. But I do feel strongly about equality in most things between genders. Especially in marriages. And mutual respect is a must. I definitely found that with my husband, John. Which is why this post is all about him. I couldn’t be pursuing this creative dream without his indefinite support. I love him. Despite him being the most annoying, hyper, high pitch singing, crazy outfit (that somehow always look cool) wearing man ever. He has the biggest heart underneath all of those ridiculous qualities. And that’s what counts. So to celebrate the man with the bun, we had a photoshoot on Father’s Day. As we like to do for most of our outings. But this time I was in almost none of the photos. ALMOST none. I mean, I want to be remembered at this thing too, ya know? 

So we found another amazing farm only 40 minutes outside of Rockland County. Every time I think, ”what’s it like to live somewhere else?” I’m stopped by a brand new and amazing adventure just outside of my little world. This gem is called Blooming Hill Farm. We went per my husband’s request for Father’s Day and I looked upon it as a “practice photography” day. If you didn’t already know, I’m super uncomfortable in front of the camera and totally prefer being behind it most of the time. But I will continue to force myself on that front end so I can have these memories to look back on. Anyway, I think maybe I’m a photographer now? Lol. I’m kidding, I’m not. But maybe I am. I barely know how to edit and what’s lighting? But I had a ball taking pictures of John and Logan at the farm. You can see all of them below.

Fun story – John is a restaurant owner in town but before he was part owner of said restaurants, he was just a kid working in a pizza shop. He there learned how to make pizzas and was pretty awesome at it. Before I even knew of John’s existence, my mom and grandparents would always go to this pizza place, Cicero’s, and order their food from him. My mom thought he was so cute and sweet. I was probably 11 at this point and knew none of this. Also boys were still gross. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m a few years younger than John. Just a few. I’m really mature and he’s secretly 18. Or Benjamin Button. We’re still trying to figure it out) Fast forward a few years, maybe a decade, who’s counting, and in front of this pizza place is where John and I had our first kiss and where I trapped him for the rest of his life. He had no idea what he was getting himself into with that one, innocent kiss. Welcome to a lifetime, bun. And that’s a small story about fate and romance and shit.

Reason for above story – At the farm they make brick oven pizzas. The original building where it all started for them is called “The Pizza Hut”, which was really cool to photograph John in front of due to him being my O.G. pizza guy. I forced him into the doorway and said “do something” while I snapped a picture. Still working on my photography bedside manner.

Oh P.S. his nickname is NOT “bun” because of his hair. This nickname developed yearssss ago because, well I’ll just say it, he has a great butt. So I would always say “check out those buns” and alas, a nickname was born. Okay bye.

Enjoy the pics and thanks for reading, xo

*Note, Logan is currently putting almost everything into his mouth all the time and sometimes chokes himself by accident because he is a baby and doesn’t know better don’t make fun of him and so here is that happening with my finger. And the one sneaky picture of me.

I’ll be excepting all photography bookings at farms only… *Is she serious or joking, who knows*

2017 Wedding Recap

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FINALLY I am recapping some of my favorite 2017 wedding client photos! There were so many beautiful pictures it was very difficult to narrow down so I could fit everything in here without it being an actual saga. Gotta keep these sweet and simple to make the people beg for more ( I know no one is begging, let a girl dream). Enjoy these breathtaking wedding moments and details.

Ashley & Tim 2017

Inns of Aurora

Photographer: Thompson Photography Group

A gorgeous, etherial wedding with an outdoor ceremony and all the pretty bohemian details while remaining timeless. Such a pleasure to work with them on this suite! Make sure to read their love story in the image below, too cute. One of my favorite pieces at a wedding because it’s interactive and guests can enjoy learning more about the couple. Wish I had thought of it for mine! There would have been an illustration of french fries and hot sauce… story for another blog post…Back to Ashley and Tim!

 

 

Kylie & Steve 2017

Highlands Country Club

Event Styling /Planning: Jack & Grace Events

Photographer: Ciro Photography

This wedding had SO many amazing details I could barely narrow down which photos to showcase! Just drop dead gorgeous everything. A ceremony in front of a barn, a dinner room fit for ROYALTY and picture frame photo props? Goodbye, I have died and gone to wedding heaven. Stunning couple and the sweetest to work with!

 

How gorgeous are these people? The most. Stay tuned for the next post with 2017 baby shower recaps!

Moon’s Nursery Wall

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Okay so the first 2 months with a newborn were mental mayhem. Hi, we’re jumping right into things. I will dive further into this combination of words, “mental mayhem.” I just did not know what was going on. Things were easy but they were also extremely hard. That part I might not be able to explain. First off, I of course got our nursery wall together months in advance. I wanted everything to be organized and ready for me once I came home with this new life. And not only organized, but pretty. This adorable wall you’ll see below is in our bedroom so that room is full to the brim. We love it though, truly. ( * searches zillow for bigger house * ) Back to the mayhem. It’s like, when you’re in the hospital, you learn how to properly feed, change, bathe and hold a brand new baby. So you come home and keep on doing those things which are essentially, easy. Instinct kicks in and you just keep doing stuff you didn’t know you knew. But you’re also so tired and not sure why the days are going so fast when you’re doing so much nothing. In all honesty it took me that first 2 months entirely to start to feel human again. 6 weeks is in no way a long enough maternity leave. Yes, I know I work for myself but that was the amount of time I thought I would need and planned for. That plan quickly changed. In fact, I think I’m still technically, partially on maternity leave. I literally don’t know how anyone isn’t even if they do go back to work because when you get home, you don’t have time for anything else. You also don’t want to be doing anything else. These babies cast magic spells on you and you only want to stare at them, hold them, smell them and talk like an insane person to them.

I fell in love with my baby around 9-10 weeks. He stopped scaring me and stopped appearing so fragile. He started smiling and cooing. He smells delicious and I have to actively stop myself from sniffing him. But before that time I was like, we don’t really know each other yet. I’m not one of those women who falls in love with her baby while he’s in the womb or even when they throw him on top of you 6 seconds after he pops out. I need to get to know them first. Although, I do feel like with the second it will be different. Less fearful more welcoming to a familiar journey. I’ll admit I was in total shock the day I went into labor and for over a month after. But now I’m a seasoned vet, I think. I’ll let you know how I feel one day in the future after baby number 2 arrives to see if my prediction was correct. This has just officially turned into the ramblings of a new mom but I’m going to let it be and let it happen. It’s raw and that’s kind of cool to look back on one day. Or maybe I’ll regret it… We’ll find out then.

So below are the photos of Mr. Moon’s nursery wall where his crib lives that he still doesn’t sleep in yet because my husband and I are loving having him in the dock-a-tot, on the bed, in between us. Excellent for our marriage. One day things will be normal again.

Enjoy and thanks for reading xo

 

Dad’s in charge of the hair, officially and unofficially. I happily handed off that job. Also, who is that completely grown up person CLAIMING to be 3 months old? I just don’t know. Time, chill out.