This Dress…

1112_ZwebenI saw this picture on Instagram a few weeks ago and my mouth hit the ground so hard that I just about fell out of my chair. I immediately stalked it, and of course, it’s a Vera, the most classic and quintessentially (spelled that right on the first try! Whoop! Gonna be a good day!) “wedding” dress designer. I love me some Monique and Carolina, but there’s just something about Vera. This dress is amazing in its silhouette and fit, but I think what really gets me is that light as air lace. Dying. 0177_Zweben0260_Zweben0598_ZwebenAnd how about that MOB dress? Serious style in this family!

Images via Vera Unveiled // Brian Dorsey Photography

Oscar Fashion 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again when all of the beautiful people in Hollywood come out to dazzle us plebians with gorgeous gowns and blingy rocks. My mother-in-law refers to Oscar night as her “Superbowl Sunday”. I think Ellen pretty much stole the show and has my vote for BEST HOST EVER. But since re-reading jokes that she made would probs be supes boring for everyone, let’s dive right into the fashion! Best dressed or worst dressed first?! Ok. Best.

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My absolute favorite of the night was Kate Hudson. She. looked. SMOKIN. I love the color and cut of her gown– very flattering for her, and that cape adds a classy detail that makes the whole look tres chic and unique. Kate for the WIN! (Besides Ellen, of course). And J.Law. I love that she fell down again. Why we are not best friends yet is completely beyond me. L-o-v-e this color red on her, her hair looks great, the dress is flattering, and her necklace, again, makes the outfit.
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OH MY GOSH. I am so over nude dresses after seeing so many of them on the red carpets last year, but I LOVE love LOVE both of these looks. I died when I saw Cate Blanchett, and immediately pinned her for my best dressed. That dress is AMAZING, the details are beautiful, her jewelry and hair is perfect to complement the overall style, and the color doesn’t wash her out (thank you very much, Kristin “Oompa Loompa” Cavallari–who, I might add, also looked gorgeous but when she hated on this dress, I kinda wanted to whoop up on her a little bit). Jenna Dewan Tatum just flat out kills it in this nude number as well. Again, no color wash-out, and an absolutely gorgeous dress that I just want to dive into. Channing Tatum for the ultimate win (Sorry, Ellen). So. Now. Can we all agree that nude/blush dresses have reached their zenith? Yes. Let’s move back into colors now, please. 
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These bluesy babes are perfection. Love Sandra’s beautiful navy and classic styling. Love Lupita’s “Nairobi blue” Prada, and I was soooo undecided on the headband last night, but I think I like it. At first, I was all… “Is it too 11 year old?!” But now I think it’s super chic, and I will be happy to debate anyone who thinks otherwise. Also, her speech was so sweet and she just looked so genuinely happy (I’m looking at you, Anne Hathaway 2013) that her whole image was just radiant. 
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I really like Bette Midler’s dress by Reem Acra. I’ve read some bad reviews, but how amazing does she look!? I think it is age appropriate, fun, and fits her like a glove. Jennifer Garner’s is simple and lovely. I’m usually not a fan of silver dresses, but I like the fringe and the classic cut. Her hair is beautiful and definitely makes the look work. 
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Naomi Watts, I wasn’t sure about at first. I thought that geometric/art deco necklace was a bit much for the dress, but now seeing it with the whole look (clutch and shoes), I get it, and think it’s pretty. Portia = ROCKING. IT. She looks so freaking gorg (minus a little frozen Botox face). I love the cut of the dress, and the cut-outs/pattern, and her styling is impeccable. Ellen, way to go sista! Oscars BD7

Kate Hudson obviously get it from her mama! Go Goldie. Meryl, looking chic and timeless. 
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A few of the hunky men… Leo, looking great. Kevin, love the navy blue tux-ado a la George Banks, and Bradley, call me, maybe? Wowza.
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Ok, these are three that I wasn’t sure about. I like the idea of all of them but something is just off. Charlize’s skirt and train are to die for, but the top doesn’t really fit all that impressively, and that necklace sort of makes her neck look thick. Anne’s is cool and modern, but with her hair was a bit intense for me (plus those rocks were sooo shiny that they were distracting while she was presenting), and Amy Adams’ dress is gorgeous, and the fabric while she was moving was absolutely awesome, but her hair was so bizarre… it looked like she was a citizen of the Capital in the Hunger Games. Strange tilt/wave thing on one side that I was NOT digging.Oscars BD10

And last but not least, these two couples absolutely slayed it. LOVED Matthew McC’s white jacket with the tux, and his wife looks so ethereal. Her dress was chic, and the color is perfection. Plus that kiss when he won… Just the sweetest thing EVER. And Olivia Wilde might be the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen. She and Jason totally rocked the red carpet, looking as stylish as ever. I love his navy tux, and her dress was totally bump-flattering, and that peek of white in the back? Brilliant. I have a feeling they are fun as heck, too. Maybe Marc and I should start stalking BBQ joints whenever they come to KC (Jason’s hometown) because I think we could be bestie couple friends. Or at the very least, their maid of honor/best man at their wedding.

Now to the worst…

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Just a few days ago, I was talking to one of my best friends about how chic I thought it was that Yolanda from RHBH always wears monochromatic jewel tone outfits. I must have been speaking too loudly, because Liza obvi overheard, mistranslated, and took my idea out to pasture and shot it. With a machine gun. This is the result… a Boy George/Hugh Hefner extravaganza. Anna Kendrick, whom I love, just flat-out picked an ugly dress. There is nothing else to be said about it… it’s just fug. Love her clutch, though.

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I heart Kerry Washington, and she is glowing and beautiful baking that baby, but these colors – BARF. That purple is Nicole Miller circa 1993, and in satin… just no. Bridesmaid dress disaster. Her lip color compliments the color of her dress, and by that, I mean the whole thing makes me think of silk flowers in a funeral home. And this chica in the turquoise… WHAT THE F*CK WERE YOU THINKING?! This makes her baby belly look like a beer belly and it is just bizarre to look at. Look away. Faster.
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Ahh, the case of the ill-fitting black dress. You think you’re playing it safe by wearing black, but BAM! What do you know? You’re still a celebrity so people still want to take your picture (duh). Emma Watson’s just make me think “droopy and itchy” with a strange fit, and ambiguous fabric. Love the cut of Glenn Close’s dress, but it looks like an industrial strength trashbag material, and the last girl’s looks like it might be from Bebe… which I think in combination with those bangs is just a little bit NOT FOR THE OSCARS. It’s the trashy cousin of Kate Hudson’s look. Her clutch is cool, though.
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Dax- I am not sure about the tie clip. All I could think about was one of my old math teachers. Kristin looked like what I would assume I thought to be “perfection” in 1999. The lace, the corset in the back, the wispy bangs pulled out around her face from her center part… yuck. And Jessica Biel… I canNOT pin down what I don’t like about this, but I really really don’t like it. Possibly her ombre hair… possibly the color of the dress against her skin tone… Also, I wasn’t sure that she is allowed to attend major events like this without JT? 7th Heaven must carry more weight around Hollywood than we know.
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Penelope… did we learn NOTHING from Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globe dress? Ew. And I am pretty convinced Julia Roberts just doesn’t give a sh*t about fashion after seeing her at the last few awards shows. The top of this dress didn’t fit her at all, and when I first saw it, the lace piece on her chest looked like a tattoo.
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Marc had some pretty choice words about this actress from Blue Jasmine… Here are some of the more appropriate ones: “WOOF!” “Did she get left out in the rain?” “I think she forgot to shave her face”. I’ll leave it at that. Pharrell makes me happy, but this outfit was def better suited (PUN!) for the Grammys.
OscarsWD1Um…. no. Just no. Unless you were wearing this to show Elsa (beer belly preggo chick) a more appropriate dress for her to wear, methinks you better exit stage left. Louise Roe’s is a pretty color, but it looks like something that I could afford and that’s really not what I want to see at the Oscars.

So there you have it! As my husband so lovingly reminded me as I was judging away, the main difference between these people and me is that they’re walking down the red carpet, and I’m sitting in sweats eating tacos. So with that in mind… judge away! What did everyone think of the fashion this year?

Our House: BEFORE

I have to confess something. I flat out SUCK at getting stuff done around the house.  Things like throwing out salad from last week, and getting the folded laundry put away just doesn’t happen all the time. And I don’t even have to MAKE the salad, or DO the laundry. Those small jobs of throwing out and putting into drawers are too much for me sometimes.  And that doormat I’ve been needing to replace? Well, considering I just thought of it for the first time in 8 weeks… probably won’t happen for at least another 8 weeks. You get the idea. I keep a relatively clean and neat house, but it ain’t perfect. We moved in just a few weeks before Press was born, and so just being box-free felt like a major accomplishment throughout November and December. Then I managed to bribe enough people into helping me decorate for the holidays, and now that that shitshow is over,  I am realizing that our house needs some major work and decor. My mom is an awesome decorator and has been helping us up to this point, but it’s time to call in the pros, who will MAKE US commit to things and finish a room. One room. That’s all I’m asking for right now. So the decorator asked that we take pictures of the house and I decided to use these pics to do a little “Before” post, so in 3 (ok maybe 6) months I will feel incredibly guilty if I still haven’t posted an “After”. *Note: I am leaving out a few rooms because they are either 1) finished enough (basement = boring) or 2) beyond help that I can afford at this point (planning a kitchen and master bed/bath/closet redo down the road, when we’re feelin’ flush) **Also note: I am a terrible photographer and obviously know nothing about lighting, frame, or picking up your dogs’ toys and other random crap before taking a picture. 



Outside. We are going to paint, so I’m including this exterior shot.


Again, going to re-landscape, so I’m including this shot.

Entry hall (standing in a small entry room that needs a major facelift) Do you like the old headboard leaning up against the dining room wall? It's a modern art installation. At least that's what I'm telling people.

Entry. Do you like the old headboard leaning up against the dining room wall? It’s a modern art installation. At least that’s what I’m telling people.

IMG_0841Living room


Another shot. Love that chair we re-upholstered. It was a hand me down from my mom, and covered in a beautiful pink leopard (classy leopard, not like Claire’s) fabric, and I thought it would be fun to juxtapose the classic style with a super out there fabric. Love the outcome. You can also see our RH planters that we cut glass tops for and use as side tables in our family room (through the open doors)–they’re great because they have a lot of surface area to set things on.


Some great tables my in-laws found. I’m not even going to tell you how much they were because you wouldn’t believe me. Let’s just say I have driven through Taco Bell for less.


Our family room


A million shelves… have I had panic attacks over styling these? I guess you’ll never know. But yes. Yes, I have.


Dining room. I like the start we have in here– it is hopefully going to be a very dramatic space when finished.


Some of my fave linens I designed for Sharyn Blond Linens


An expertly lit shot of the kitchen, eating area, and desk.


Gallery wall behind our kitchen table. This was so flipping difficult to execute (ok, so I just oversaw the hanging) and then later come back and fill in with pictures, I feel like I should have won something for the effort. And now I see that it’s slightly crooked. ARHHAHGHGH!


Laundry room/Mud room


Guest bedroom – slightly rumpled bedding from tossing dry cleaning on the bed and then not re-fluffing.


Marc’s closet / “the annex” … Our bedroom has limited closet space, so he got booted. 🙂


One shot of our bedroom. Could I have thought about either turning on both lights or turning off both lights? Probably. Was I racing against time/a sleeping baby while snapping these pics? Yes.


My office/the other guest room. I have so many ideas for this space, but it will probably be the last room we finish.

So! I’m excited to start working with the interior designer and pull some of this randomness together! Next round of pictures I promise to clean up a little, and learn at least one thing about lighting. Those two improvements will make the “After”s just that much better!

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

I love getting creative with all aspects of a wedding, so when one of my clients asked me to make up some fun gifts for her to ask her bridesmaids to be in her wedding, I jumped at the chance to put together these little goodies! We ordered the pink POP and created the cards to match her wedding colors (on the more “pink” end of things, since this project is 100% for the ladies), and added little pearl bracelets from the local Kansas City company, Pearly Girls (check them out!). We packaged them up in cellophane with big puffy pink gauze bows, and voila! IMG_0890 IMG_0887 IMG_0882 IMG_0886 IMG_0885

Oh. Em. Gee. What Day Is It?

I have learned a few things since having a baby. 1) It’s f*cking hard and 2) It’s f*cking awesome. I feel like I had heard talk of sleepless nights but didn’t really get it until that first night when we brought HPR home. I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t 99.9% of the time) and when he woke up to eat a few hours after he had fallen asleep that first night, I freaked out. OHHHH NO. Oh, no. I knew this was going to happen. He’s nocturnal. Welp, I better entertain him, I thought, in my infinite wisdom. I took him into the nursery (hands down the most stimulating room in our house  the universe) and proceeded to try to teach him the alphabet (I’m not kidding). Thank goodness my adorable husband suggested we get a night nurse, because that woman saved my life. I still had to wake up in the middle of the night to pump (sorry for the intimate sharing), but I could function as a slightly normal human every other day, and was able to learn things from her that I could have never figured out on my own, especially in my sleep deprived state. So once I regained a little sense of reality, it was back to work. Working for yourself is great in the sense that you have so much control over your schedule and creativity, but difficult when you have a little baby around that needs you (and that, honestly, you just want to cuddle all. the. time!). I’m so lucky that I don’t have to go to work in an office and leave him, but some days I wish I had that easy separation of “I’m at the office working now” and “I’m home and I’m a mom now”. Grass is always greener kind of thing. So, baby has been toted around in the Baby Bjorn to all sorts of meetings, and it’s only slightly embarrassing when I go to grab my iPad and hit the trigger on a toy that starts singing “Old MacDonald”. Anyway, the point I’m getting around to is WOW having a baby is a big adjustment that I was in no way prepared for. How did I not understand my life would be 100% different? There are NO words to describe how amazingly blessed I feel every single time he looks at me or even just crosses my mind. When he smiles, my mind literally empties and nothing but happiness bursts through my body, and when he cries (which isn’t that often *knocking on wood even though I probably just jinxed myself*), I love scooping him up in my arms and trying not to laugh at the funny expression he makes when his little lips turn down in the stereotypical “sad face”. I am almost obsessed with watching him learn to roll and read and discover things daily. Putting him down at night and going into his room in the morning are the best times of my day (Disclaimer: since he has been sleeping through the night. Before that, they were the most stressful times of my day). I have a wonderful, supportive, loving, interesting, intelligent, fun husband who is the greatest father I could ever have imagined, and a business working with people and designing all sorts of wonderful paper and events for happy times in their lives. Life is sweet and God is so so good. That being said. Things that used to take me hours now take me days. How did I not take advantage of all of my free time pre-baby?!  Could NO ONE have sat me down, looked me in the eye, and said, “Enjoy just locking your door and jumping in your car and running errands when you feel like it. Because that will be gone. Gone.” Or, “Do you like to shower? Because luxuries like that are a thing of the past. Think you’re going to brush your teeth every morning? Who are you? The Queen of England?” There was a particularly difficult balancing situation in the Target bathroom last week. Naps have become my freedom, and I am learning to PRI-oritize what needs to be done in those few precious hours. It’s all a balancing act that is so FREAKING frustrating when I need to get things done, but also so FREAKING satisfying when I learn how to work it all in. Seriously. I feel like a badass some days. And some days I feel like a gutter rat. Babies, huh?  Even though we have established a pretty good schedule, I never know what each day is going to bring. It has taken me months to get back to this blog, because my current clients and projects take priority during naptime, and at the end of the day, all I want to do is crawl into bed. So I made myself compromise. I will blog at least once a week. That’s all. If I hit 2 days, awesome. 3 days, I’ll pretty much be a super hero. Bar. Lowered. I am also going to be blogging more frequently about my life than I used to, along with all the fab things I come across that inspire me. So! May I introduce my little man–the adorable time sucker that he is– and say that I am happy to be back! IMG_0761 IMG_0878 IMG_0875 IMG_0877

Letterpress baby announcements that I designed for Press. I wanted them to be different than the norm, and notably masculine, but still refreshing and sweet! I love how they turned out, and I finally sent (most of them) last week. Yes, he was born November 7th. It’s just one of those things.

Fast Fab Five

Ho ho ho! If you are still on the lookout for some fun holiday gifts, here are a few of my faves!

2013 gift guide

HIM: 1// Moore & Giles Bag and iPad Case 2// COIN 3// Kiehls 4// Ice Spheres 5// Loro Piana Scarf

HER: 1// Bling Wipes 2// Kara Ross Earrings 3// Aerin Lauder coffee table book 4// Robyn Brooks Cork “Whitney” Tote 5// Tory Burch Smartphone wristlet