Birthdays, celebrations & summer travels! Oh my!

We’ve had an incredibly busy (but AWESOME!) summer full of weddings and portrait sessions so I wanted to take a minute to also post some personal pics on here since I haven’t had a chance to do that in forever!! LOL First up is Ben’s birthday! I can’t believe my sweet baby kitty turned 14 this month! Where does the time go?! This was an incredibly special birthday for him, he’s been through a lot in the past year or so with various health scares and I honestly wasn’t sure if he would make it to his 14th birthday but he DID and he continues to do well and I’m so thankful. We always celebrate our furbaby’s b-days by doing a photo shoot with them every year and of course, they get treats and gifts too! :) We got Benny a package of kitty treats, a new catnip toy (his favorite!) and some pet-friendly edible bubbles. His siblings were very interested in the bubbles!! LOL Mr. Wiggles wasn’t so sure of them and Chloe was a little unsure at first too but Buddy went wild! He LOVES them so he got a mini photo shoot that day too. ;)

Look at Buddy’s eyes! “Mom, can I play with the bubbles? PLEASE?!!”

After Ben’s birthday, my dad hosted a quadruple birthday party for my step-mom, uncle, aunt & her mom and it was another fun family night together! :)

Next up was the big 3-0 for my hubby, John!! John’s birthday was on 8/7 so we took the day off and had fun together! I surprised him with his favorite donuts (Jack’s Donuts), and let him open a gift early (light up Ironman coasters that he wanted) :) then we went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory together and went to see a movie that he’d been wanting to see. The next night, I hosted a small dinner party for our family and a few close friends at Buca’s and we had a blast that night! We love their Italian food, quirky decor & Christmas lights! It reminds us of The Bubble Room, one of our favorite restaurants on Captiva. (Where we held our vow renewal dinner last year!) :)

I was cracking up, the staff was actually coming in to take photos of our set-up that evening! :) The theme was “Nerdy Thirty” and I think we nailed it! Thank you so much to my dad, Aunt Mary and Leah for their help with set-up and of course, I couldn’t have done this without Laura Buttry’s help at Buca’s! She and her staff were awesome to work with!!

Most of the decor, centerpieces and banners came from various Etsy shops online. The black linens and alternating blue & green napkins came from A Classic Party Rentals.Watt’s Blooming created the AMAZING floral designs in John’s favorite blue & green color scheme. The best part about the flowers is that we found Tardis cookie jars online that Amy used as the vases!! John is a huge Dr. Who fan so he was freaking out when he realized what they were!

Of course, no party is complete without a cake from Classic Cakes and they sure went above and beyond for us!!! We’re huge Big Bang Theory fans so Ilene and her staff recreated the ball crawl episode for John’s cake, in his colors, and even included edible sugar cut-outs of Sheldon, Leonard and John! It was AWESOME!! The balls were sixlets, then she used fondant to create the caution tape, logo and the soft kitty. :)

John’s favorite cookies are double doozies at the Great American Cookie company so I ordered enough cookies to fill 2 platters and then added these cute little nerd glasses that I found on Etsy. It was a huge hit!

I also incorporated balloons, nerdy centerpieces, confetti, themed gift bags and a whole stand-up cut out of the entire Big Bang cast!

One of my past brides, Kelly, has her own Etsy shop and she helped by designing the menus, the large banner & favor tags to go along with the party theme. They turned out SO cute!! I also ordered custom straws online and created cute little favor bags that featured Nerds candy in a test tube, a box of Nerds, a nerdy button and the big black nerd glasses.

John’s reaction when he walked into the room was priceless! He had never had such an elaborate party before in his life and he was blown away at the details. :) I love planning parties!!

I loved it that he immediately whipped out his phone to start uploading pics to social media too! LOL!! #adorable

Everyone had a great time that night and dinner was delicious!!

My dad gave a great toast and then it was time for cake & presents!

John was so happy to hear everyone sing Happy Birthday to him that night, it was a really special night with our friends and family. :)

The very next day, we had yet another celebration!! This time, it was a surprise party at my Aunt Mary’s house in honor of my Aunt Therese who was named 2014′s Women’s Golf Coach of the Year!! SO AWESOME! Congrats Aunt Therese!!

Once again, Classic Cakes totally outdid themselves!!! Aunt Therese loves her Westie dogs and obviously Ohio State golf but we weren’t exactly sure how to incorporate all of that into a cake. They did it PERFECTLY and she LOVED it! :)

We gave her an autographed poster from Bobby Unser, we had him sign it for her during the photo shoot that we did for him a few months ago. She loved it!

The next weekend we were on the road to Michigan for a very special family photo session in Traverse City for one of our awesome clients. (More of those pics to come soon!) ;) On the way there, John and I got off the highway and decided to switch turns driving and it was a very clear, dark night. We looked up and saw the most amazing starry night!! He whipped out a camera and set it on a tripod and went to town. If you look carefully, he actually caught a shooting star between the two shots!!

On the way back home from our shoot, we decided to drive a little out of the way over to Saginaw and spend the night there so that the next day, we could get up and go to Bronner’s! This has been on our bucket list for awhile, I saw it featured on a TV show several years ago and decided that if I was ever in the area, we were going!! It was AMAZING! It’s like the IKEA of Christmas stuff!! It’s the world’s largest Christmas store and they literally had huge sections worth of just ornaments or just lighting or just trees. I had never seen anything like it. I would highly recommend going if you love Christmas as much as we do! The sales guy said that we came at the perfect time of year when they aren’t busy so if you plan to visit, make sure it’s in the summer. ;)

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Change of workflow…

Hey everyone! Some of you might be wondering where our 2014 wedding posts are at since we used to post them on here before releasing the whole website of images to our clients…well, we’re trying something new this year. I’ve changed up our workflow a bit to see if we can stay a bit more efficient with editing if we focus entirely on posting the teasers to facebook within a few weeks of the wedding and then finish up editing the remaining images for our clients. So far, I think it’s working out well! What this means is that brides and their families are able to see their photos faster and my back log isn’t as bad as it usually is in our busy season. Did you know that ONE wedding blog post can often take HALF of my day? Some weeks have so many appointments and photo shoots scheduled that I’m only able to devote 2 or 3 days to editing, so blogging can actually throw me further behind in season. If you want to see our latest weddings, “like” our Facebook page HERE because the teasers get posted on my personal and business pages first and then once our season has slowed down a bit and I have more time for blogging, I’ll begin posting all of our weddings from 2014. :)

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Fancy Fortune Cookies!

A few weeks ago we met up with Erin at Fancy Fortune Cookies and her art director, Oriana, to do a photo shoot for their new wedding favor website! I’ve been a fan of Fancy Fortune Cookies for a long time now, in fact, I even have them on my candy buffet in my office, so I was super excited to do this photo shoot for them! :) They have a photo studio in their office which was really cool. We set up different scenes with a variety of props, backgrounds, linens, papers, plates, etc. to showcase the variety of colors, styles and options that customers have when purchasing the cookies. Of course, I really loved the “blinged” ones!! ;) Brides, if you’re looking for an awesome wedding favor, check out their current site by clicking HERE! :)

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Charles, Carol, Janet & Susan!

We met up with this adorable family at the Indiana State Museum yesterday to get some updated family photos for them! The weather was looking a little questionable, it started out looking like it was going to rain and ended up being a beautiful day! Only in Indiana! LOL We took some pics around the front of the ISM and the cool colored sculpture near the end of the canal…I think it’s my new favorite place to shoot! ;) Thanks for a fun time you guys. Lots more coming soon! :)

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We recently met up with Ana and her mom Sally for some cute puppy pics of Ana at Holcomb Gardens! Her name is short for Indiana, isn’t that adorable?! She’s such a sweet golden doodle, she’s like a big teddy bear, I loved her! :) Thanks for a great time you guys!!

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