At least it's not snowing at the moment here in Chicago!...but seriously, friends, our frigid temps and uninspiring sogginess has me counting down the days [minutes?!] until our little holiday to Mexico next month!
It's rare I get a moment to share these days! Between juggling my favorite little man and a full load of fabby clients, the balance is a constant work in progress!
.....I swear I'm still around!.....
And still FULL of gorgeous ideas and inspiration. In fact, I wanted to share some of the Inspiration Boards I've created to help support the planning process for a few clients this year.
One of the coolest clients ever, this bride loves an industrial, edgy look - with vintage touches and beautiful oddities.
Natural, romantic, muted and marvelous! This early fall garden wedding oozes style and natural beauty [like my bride!]
And this sweet bride was inspired by the ring her dreamy man proposed with: A generous oval solitaire - an example of classic beauty, with an element of unexpected style. Her clearly romantic palette of creams, blushes and metallic golds will warm up her sleek venue beautifully!
And remember this favorite? Stay tuned for the unveiling of the wedding photos - both here and on the Bliss Blog!
Although it was peppered in between a few lovely fall client weddings, I still managed to whip together a little celebration in honor of the perfect creature that changed my life forever.
Carter was turning 1 - and let's be honest....what are one-year-olds really into?! Carter isn't yet into trains, or trucks - could care less about Sesame Street or scooters.
However...he does have One True Love....Our beagle (mix), Illiebelle!
And so, an Illie-theme was quickly established!
My amazingly talented artist friend, Liz Dixon, designed the invitations for us.
What ended up being a single, oversized balloon let guests know they were in the right place (alright, so we started with two balloons.....)
Similar to a pair of wreaths on the front doors of my in-laws, two Illie silhouettes (also created by Liz) were the first to welcome friends and family.
The birthday boy posed with momma and daddy in front of the dessert buffet.
The party was called for 1:30pm, so while guests weren't expecting a full meal, I prepared a food buffet fit for adults and kiddos alike.
For the elders, I had a bruschetta bar with four different flavors - marinated skirt steak, arugula, caramelized onions and gorgonzola - BBQ pulled chicken - tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella - seasonal honeycrisp apple, ricotta, crispy prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano and honey drizzle. I also made a farro salad and a fall salad.
Bowls of cheerios, yogurt bites and Plum Pouches kept the kiddos satisfied until desserts.
Stickers made on zazzle featured Illiebelle's silhouette (also created by Liz!) and adorned paper cups for the bevvies.
The kids weren't the only ones that had fun...champagne cocktails and beer were on hand for the older kids.
Carter's Corner featured toys galore!
The dessert spread was positioned in front of a collage of paper fans and featured treats from Sweet Mandy B's, green and blue candies, legendary peanut butter squares made by my mother in law, and of course a cake made for one happy little boy.
Oh! And the most delish fall pumpkin cupcakes made by Jenn (find the recipe here!)!
Of course Carter needed a wardrobe change before his Smash The Cake experience! I had his bloomers, suspenders, bow-tie and hat made on etsy.
Little Man demolished what was nearly 1/3rd of the Sweet Mandy B's cake! (His sweet tooth comes from MOMMA!)
Guests took doggie-bag favors home with them...Puppy Chow made by my mother in law and cookies decorated with Illie's silhouette.
And coordinating stationary let our generous friends and family know how much Carter appreciated their thoughtfulness.
I have always LOVED hosting parties - and to be able to throw one for my SON (ah!) was a pretty amazing experience!
As the autumn season sneakily approaches, my time continues to be limited - happily balancing the amazing life of being a mom while also tending to some really wonderful clients.
Working from home can be viewed as a luxury - there is no one that spends more time with my son, something that I absolutely won't sacrifice - but it is also incredibly difficult to find time to accomplish everything on my massive work, family, and personal to-do list.
Unfortunately, while I still have loads to share and am continually inspired to do so, blogging [in any sort of regular sense] is what I've chosen to scale back on, in order to help to find time for my family and my clients.
I will still share when I'm able, so don't forget about me!!
I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend! Mine was absolutely perfect - packed with family, friends, fireworks and so so SO much fun!
I'm excited to share some photos from our Bliss 4th of July Celebration! All of the photos [shot by the adorable Katie from Studio This Is] are featured here, where you can also read a bit more about our inspiration...but I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites:
As I described in the feature on Strictly Weddings, we wanted our 4th of July celebration to ooze with glamour and have an ultra fancypants feel. Sequins [along with our stripes]!! So we decided to host the evening on the rooftop of Katie's home - under the stars, with jazz in the background, the skyline in the foreground and plenty of fun - all loosely inspired by the allure of the Golden Twenties.
Our single dining table was dressed in a dazzling rose gold sequin linen, layered with place-settings of gold, personalized placards featured each guests' silhouette in gold foil and a rich navy box was mounded with dozens of the most beautiful Red Charm peonies I could have ever daydreamt of.
Martini's and bubbly, for the most indecisive guest!
The most richly-hued [and deliciously-tart] cherries, ever!
A sparkler bar to illuminate the night after the golden sun melted past the horizon.
Katie and I can never. shut. up.
We Bliss Belles and Beau always love a fun party game! Here we tried to match the preferred cocktail to each appropriate person.
And the evening continued waay past all of our bedtimes...but we simply couldn't have it any other way!
Although my sweet little prince is over eight months old, yesterday's lovely Chicago weather reminded me of the day that Renny, Katie and Jesse hosted my baby shower last year.
I have yet to post any the beautiful photos, and while I honestly can't quite remember what life was like before Carter Jackson stole my heart, I do vividly recall just how many special and stunning details The Gang put into my special day.
In a surprising turn of events, Renny, Katie and Jesse decided on a nautical-themed baby shower of Navy, White and Yellow for me. I honestly giggled with glee and shouted my adoration as tears of appreciation and joy trickled down my face.
And here's why:
A custom navy and white cabana was erected on Renny's lawn, providing a luxurious backdrop for the single, long dining table contained within. A perfect lunch was put together by Renny, Katie and the help of Nicole of longtime favorite, Blue Plate Catering.
Jesse designed all of the flowers - an undulating collection of perfection in whites, yellows, navy and green. Jesse used milk glass, crystal and hammered gold for all of the pieces and knew precisely what flowers would make me nutty with love: Ranunculus, fluffy roses, hydrangea, whimsical chamomile, privet berry and velvety geranium foliage.
A darling beverage station was set-up in front of the hedges and included mango mimosas, wine, blueberry lemonade and sparkling water.
Guests were encouraged to fill out cards of advice for me. [HELP!]
Even the area to collect gifts was perfectly staged!
The day was nearly as special as my wedding day - knowing how Joel and I had deeply longed for a child. Renny, Katie and Jesse put on the most beautiful and spectacular shower a gal could ever dream of!
SO much love and appreciation to my dear, dear friends!
After an absolutely crazy month [3 amazing weddings in 2 weeks, stacks of paperwork, proposals, comparison charts and so. much. more....] I feel as though I may soon start to regain a bit more balance.
While time with my baby son is always the priority, I am giddy thinking about the flexibility I [should?] now have to truly enjoy the summer with family and friends...to actually hunt for inspiration again, to relish in the warmer temps with alfresco meals, countless walks and open windows...and hopefully spending a bit more regular time sharing ideas and inspiration with ya'll.
Here's a little glimpse of what's been goin' on...
Sweet Baby C is starting to practice his balancing skills!
He experiences the ticklish feel of grass on his tootsies for the first time....and LOVES it!
Carter's first trip to the floral market as he helped me with the preparations for one of my best friend's baby shower, that girlfriends and I hosted over the May 5th weekend...a Cinco de Bébé theme, of course!
Carter Jackson's first root root root for the home team [they lost...obviously].
Every now and again, Chicago Spring showed it's face.
Very Serious Smiles.
Cocktail locale for one of my weddings and the surprise of a lifetime from my bride to her groom....a bucket-list item checked off his list....a ride in a sidecar [complete with riding goggles and scarf].
Said best friend has her beautiful baby girl........and names her Vivian Harper.
Carter is already planning their first date.
A quick visit to celebrate a friends son's 1st birthday.
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