My seventh Stitch Fix

I received another amazing Stitch Fix box last week. I must confess I've already worn most of the items they sent. This was by far my favorite box yet. 

I loved the styles. 

I loved the colors.

I loved how they fit.

It was a pretty amazing box.

Are you ready?

This first piece is the Catarina Knit Top from Papermoon. I love the striped print, and it was very light and casual. Super comfortable. 

As soon as I saw the Kendal Lace Overlay Dress by Brixon Ivy, I prayed it would fit. And it does! Like a glove. I already know I am wearing it this week. Thursday. I'm so happy with this dress.

Another piece from Papermoon is the Kyro Button Up Top. I think this would look really nice with leggings, and I like how it is a nice transition piece into fall. I love how it feels. It's thicker than a T-shirt, but flexible and soft at the same time.

You may have seen this shirt on my Instagram as I already wore it on Friday. The Brook Dot Print Tie-Waist Top from Pixley is great. It ties at the waist which brings me back to my middle school days...such a 90's thing, but I like that it's light and casual. I can also throw a blazer or sweater over it to wear in the fall or even pair it with black pants and make it more dressy.  

My last piece is the Jace Chevron Print Dress from 41 Hawthorn. *Gasp*, another dress! I think this will bring me up to 4 dresses now. But seriously, how can I not keep this one? I love the pattern and it fits nicely. 

I'm so so happy with my Stitch Fix this month. My next box will be filled with fall attire! If you are curious about the clothes your stylist would pick out for you, give it a try. Seriously it is so fun and I look forward to these boxes every other month. 

Maria & Jorge

We met Maria and Jorge a few years ago at church. They were telling us of their super hero wedding plans, and I had seen a glimpse of their thoughts through facebook, so when they asked us to capture their day we were more than excited. 

Their day was filled with so much joy, love and fun. From dancing down the aisle, to super hero shirts costumes, a party bus and a smoke machine their day was one we were so happy to capture. 

It was authentic, and so meaningful. They are super heroes to their own kids and to each other, so it was fitting for their wedding reflect that bond with their family. 

The reception was decorated beautifully by Magic UpLighting Inc. It was the first time we had worked with owners Eddie and Jessica, so I was excited to finally see their work in person.

Regina & Korbin

Regina and Korbin moved to Chicago recently because they fell in love with the city after a few visits. Their apartment doesn't have the skyline view they dreamed of, but they are so perfectly content just being with each other.

Their wedding was an intimate gathering with just close friends and family. They're so happy to have come to Chicago, but they're even more excited to start married life in their dream city.

Monthly Mocha - Dollop

I wish I could extend this month's "Monthly Mocha" to two months because I enjoyed my visits to Dollop so much. I love how clean and minimalist their cafe design in. It makes me feel like being productive. They have a really inviting workspace. 

I visited once for lunch and their roast beef sandwich was ah-mazing. So much so, I didn't take a photo of it because I ate it so quickly. I kept thinking ok, I'll take a picture after the next bite, and then before I knew it I was finished. I also bought a biscuit with butter and jam for the kids during our last visit. It was also super tasty. While they have really good food, their mochas keep me coming back. Iced or hot, their mochas are really REALLY good. 

I know there are a few different Dollop locations. This one is in Streeterville on Ohio, and I really like the location. Street parking isn't too hard to find, and there is always a place for me to sit. It's a really nice downtown coffee shop location to meet clients.

I will see you again Dollop. And again...and probably again. 

A few pictures from my many visits. I've bought more mochas at Dollop than I care to admit, but it's because they're so good. 

Abigail

I had a nice time with little Miss Abigail on Friday. I have been taking her pictures since she was still cozy in Amanda's tummy. I can't believe how much she has grown. 

Amanda and Thomas are doing a wonderful job teaching her to be a kind and polite little girl. It was such a pleasure hanging out with their family.

Venue One - Site Visit

I had a great site visit on Monday at Venue One. Right in the West Loop, Venue One was designed by Event Creative as a "one-stop shop that provides you with state-of-the-art lighting and sound, high definition video, unique lounge furniture, tables, chairs, china, glassware, flatware and just about anything else you would need." Venue One even has their own kitchen so they can cater in-house. They've really thought through their amenities and if you need something they don't have, you can draw on their extensive network of vendors.

This space is very modern and would be great for corporate events. They have the capability to showcase your logo or a slideshow of pictures in nearly every space. 

As soon as I walked in I was blown away but how sleek and clean the design of their space is. I really enjoyed my time today. If you're looking for a venue, I'd really recommend checking them out.  

All photos taken with my phone.

Stitch Fix #6

I can't believe I've been receiving stitch fix's for almost a year now! I have no plans to stop anytime soon. They have actually gotten me excited to wear dresses! If you know me, you know that's a huge deal for me since I don't gravitate toward girly clothes. 

I kept most of my box this time and I 'm really excited to wear my new clothes.

This first dress is light and very summery. I almost never wear patterns with images, but I couldn't resist with the Tammi Printed Dress by Pixley. And Michael really liked it, so of course I'm keeping it. 

This next piece by 41 Hawthorn is the Breyson Pleated Tab-Sleeve Blouse. It was really nice, and I wanted to like it...but it was too big. I like that it is light and the color was bright for the summer.

The Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleve Blazer by 41Hawthorn was really nice. I liked the fit and the style, but I am realizing that I have too many blazers and sweaters. I love sweaters, zip-ups and jackets, but I know I need to cut back and actually enjoy the ones I already. I really wish i could wear fall and winter clothing all year long...but I can't. And since it is summer I decided to send it back. 

This next blouse is a keeper. Also by 41Hawthorn (I really do love this brand) is the Moni Abstract Chevron Stud Detail Blouse. I love it. It is light, and perfect for me to wear to a meeting or engagement session. 

And last but certainly not least is my very first little black dress. I knew as soon as I pulled it out of the box I had to keep it. It is the Roana Dress by Brixon Ivy and it fit perfectly. I can't wait to wear it, hopefully soon. 

Once again, thank you Stitch Fix. I am so happy with my new items. And now I have dresses! 

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix for yourself, give it a try! It is really nice to receive a little package of fun every other month: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4087345

Monthly Mocha - Ispento

June has flown by and I've kept myself well-caffeinated to keep up with our busy schedule. 

This month I decided to frequent Ipsento in Bucktown. I'd been here a few times before, but had never tried their mochas. The drink I would usually order is called a Nutella latte. As you can guess, it has chocolate and hazelnut....so it's kind of a mocha. However, I tried their regular mocha, both hot and iced. While it was really good, I just can't give up the Nutella lattes. 

This is a great coffee shop, but I'm not sure if it's a great client meeting space. They have a cozy sitting room in the back with nice chairs and beautiful art on the wall, but it always seems a bit crowded. They also have a small window ledge and an outdoor patio. 

One thing I do love (other than their Nutella lattes) is the fact that they have 15 minute parking spaces right in front of their store. It makes it really easy for me to pull up, order and get back on my way. 

Do any of you have a favorite coffee shop I should try before the end of the year?

Bek Moody

We photographed Bek's wedding last year and ever since then, we're constantly becoming aware of what an extraordinary person she is. She has a great blog where she talks about what life is like "living in a wheelchair through the waves of laughter, sweat and tears." 

She is such an inspiration to me with her genuine positivity and desire to encourage others. She just relaunched her website, Bek Moody: Rolling the Waves, and it's amazing. She asked us to do photography for it and we were so excited to work with her again. The site truly captures her personality and her passion. She hopes to be a public speaker and eventually write a book. I am so happy for her goals, and even more happy with her friendship. 

Monthly Mocha - Lovely: a bake shop

Where did May go? This was our busiest month of the year so far and I feel like it went by so quickly. 

I was introduced to Lovely: A Bake Shop when Tiffany from A Splendid Occasion had a pop up flower shop there for valentine's day. I actually didn't get anything to drink that first time I went, but knew I wanted to come back. They didn't disappoint.

Lovely makes a great regular mocha. One of their baristas told me they make their chocolate syrup in-house, which doesn't surprise me since they are a bake shop. Anyway, their mochas are on point. I started following them on Instagram and the pastries they post make my mouth water, so of course I had to try them too. Their croissants are SO GOOD. (Be warned, if you follow them on Instagram you might be tempted to eat your phone...but don't do that...visit them for the real pastries.) 

They have two locations. Their first is in Wicker Park near Milwaukee and Division and is pretty easy to get to if you are driving on I-90/94. Their second location, Lovely, Too (the last two pictures) is also very cute, and located in Edgewater on Bryn Mawr just south of Loyola University's campus. Both locations have this huge jug of fruit infused water available and it is probably the tastiest water I have had at a coffee shop. It made me feel like I was at a spa, which is usually the only other place I drink infused water. 

I will definitely be back, it's a great place to get work done. If anyone ever wants to join me, I'd love to have company. 

Burxine and Donny

It was a cold, windy morning for Burxine and Donny's elopement, but that didn't stop these two from having their lakeside wedding as planned. They had an intimate ceremony next to the Adler Planetarium. We then headed to Morton Lee Olive Park to continue their bridal photos, and ended at Navy Pier to get out of the wind. Burxine really enjoyed the Crystal Gardens because it reminded her of her home in Hawaii. 

Katie and Greg's new home

I’m so excited about our latest anniversary session. I met Katie a little over a month ago and have really enjoyed getting to know her. She owns her own stationery business,Bluebird Paper Company, and makes some amazing designs. She and her husband, Greg, also just bought their first home on Monday. They have been together for six years and married for almost 2 years. They wanted to celebrate this new chapter in their lives with a photo session. I’m so glad she asked me to do it for them.

Isn’t their new home so cute?!

Stitch Fix #5

This month my stitch fix snuck up on me. I came home from spending the morning with the kids and my box was waiting for me. I excitedly awaited nap time all day so I could try my clothes on. I had hoped I would end up liking each piece, and keep the whole box.

My stylist noticed I had been liking jeans with a stone washed faded look on my Pinterest page, so she decided to send the Angie Skinny Jean (Mavi). I really liked them, and the fact that they go to my lower calf is going to be great for spring and summer. I already wore them the day after they came.

I did like this longer sleeveless shirt. It is the Clift Crochet Hem Top (Papermoon). It was a bit big for me, but if it wasn’t, I would love to wear it with my black leggings. I really like the style so I decided to keep it. I might try to alter it myself…or give it away…if anyone reading is interested, just let me know. 

I loved this shirt as soon as I saw it. It is the Creola Lace Detail Knit Top (Peppercorn) in grey. I wore it the day after I got it, to a networking event. I really like how this shirt is very light and comfortable, but still nice enough to wear to meetings or events.

If I could live in comfy clothes like sweaters, jeans, and big socks every day, I would. I get so excited when I see a casual pull over like these in my fixes. And when it fits, I usually don’t take it off…which I didn’t. I’ve worn it for the past three days now when I’m at home. I know I don’t NEED another pull over, but I’m so glad one more snuck in before I start getting summer clothes.

If you know me, you’ll know I don’t wear jewelry. My wedding band is the only piece I wear, ever. I don’t even have an engagement ring, because when we got engaged I knew I wouldn’t wear it. However, when I saw the Gonzo Stone and Leaf Pendant Necklace (Bay to Baubles) I just felt like it would be so nice to have. I like the simplicity of a thin gold chain. It actually goes perfectly with the grey laced shirt above.

I am once again deciding to keep the whole box which will give me a 25% discount. It is so cool to see everyone who is trying their own fixes. I hope you guys are enjoying it as much as I do. I’m so excited for my next box! I left a note to my stylist to perhaps get a summer dress in my next box…because maybe it’s time I wear a dress.

If anyone is interested, sign up and give it a try!

Monthly Mocha: Blue Door Farm Stand-Lincoln Park

This year I’ve enjoyed meeting a lot of new people and hanging out with friends in different Chicago neighborhoods. Chicago has so many coffee shops and I thought it would be great to have a preferred place in each area so that when I meet clients, I know of some nice places close to them rather than just defaulting to a nearby Starbucks.

If you follow me on Instagram you may know that this month I’ve been addicted to Blue Door Farm Stand in Lincoln Park. The first time I went there I almost passed it because the doors look kind of like apartment building doors. Inside it’s very roomy and has a cozy, yet modern country atmosphere.

Their espresso drinks are really good, especially their mochas. They are not overly sweet. I tasted their classic mocha and their featured iced “mochanut” drink that has coconut in it (think Almond Joy). Yuuuuuum! I’ve tasted a few of their pastries and their brownies…are…amazing! I haven’t yet gone during a meal time, but they have a really appetizing farm-to-table menu with sandwiches, soups and salads and a lot of fresh juice options. They even serve wine and beer if you are in the mood.

You can follow them on Instagram to see what pastries or drinks they are featuring that week. I’m so happy I was introduced to this little coffee shop.

My favorite iced drink is a mocha and I realized I subconsciously judge a coffee shop by how good their mochas are. I’m going to be visiting different coffee shops in Chicago and will be making monthly posts about which ones I think are great, and more importantly how good their mochas are. It’s a good thing I run every morning since I’ll be drinking a lot more mochas this year. 

Cyndie & Julius

Julius and Cyndie have been living in California, but this week they were visiting family here in Chicago and were able to do a shoot with us. They got married on New Year’s Day two years ago and weren’t able to get pictures taken at the time. They’re such a fun and loving couple, so this session was a delight. I love anniversary sessions because we get to continue to tell the story of a couple’s relationship after the wedding day.

Elias' second birthday

We had a great time celebrating Elias’ birthday this weekend. We had a small family party and it was perfect for him. He was able to enjoy everyone without getting overwhelmed. He really desires to do everything Elena does. He knows she just had a birthday a few weeks ago, so I think the fact that it was his turn now made him feel special.

He really enjoys the movie Cars and the show Thomas the tank engine, so he was excited to get Cars legos and a little motorized train. He also got his own percussion instrument set to form a band with Elena. The T-ball set was another exciting gift for him. We took it outside and realized we might have to sign him up for t-ball if he ends up liking that as much as soccer.

I loved seeing his face beaming with joy the whole day.

Elias turns two

Today my ‘Lias turns two. This week we purchased him a new car seat removed the safety gates from our stairs. These milestones came way too fast. I remember waiting (not very patiently) for my pitocin to start working when he still wasn’t ready to be born 10 days past my due date. I seriously thought he would never come. He has been blessing our lives ever since.

Elias is such a thoughtful, sensitive boy. He loves his sister and is her partner in crime. He can go from being very focused and serious to a goof and back to serious in under 10 seconds. He is determined and driven. He can be mischievous, but he knows that if he wraps his arms around my neck in a tight hug, it melts my heart and I can’t do anything but smother him with kisses.

Happy birthday to you, Elias.

Bottle & Bottega's 4th anniversary

Bottle & Bottega had their 4th anniversary party last night. They’re a studio that offers painting classes while giving their students a chance to relax. It was so much fun! Everyone painted and mingled as they enjoyed snacks, wine and friendship. They also had the chance to take home their own small canvas.

This would be a perfect date night to get creative and try something different, or a girls night out to unwind and have some fun after work. They have several different class options during the week and can even host individual parties.

I am definitely coming back! Who’s with me?

Zed 451

Today I visited Zed 451 and I can’t believe I haven’t been there before. It’s an amazing space. They have a full bar as you walk in which looks like a perfect place to grab a drink with some friends after work. They also have an amazing dining area, and different event areas for smaller parties. Their second floor is where you can hold your wedding. The fireplace upstairs would be a great backdrop for a ceremony. They also are remodeling their rooftop terrace, which will offer beautiful views of the city.

I’m pretty sure this is where Michael and I will be celebrating our anniversary this year.

Perseverance and Patience: Setting the Foundation

Elena and I have very similar personalities. We are perfectionists, strong-willed, and independent. I know this will be much harder during her teenage years, but even now we can butt heads.

She received a sewing project for her birthday. The age on the box was a bit older than she is, but I knew we could tackle sewing a cat pillow together. We worked on this for a few weeks, mostly after her nap. If I was home, she would come down and ask to work on her cat pillow. I would stop my Metts Photo work and do this with her before Elias woke up from his nap.

We learned together. While I know I could have finished the project by myself in an hour, I knew it was important for her to do it herself and know she could do it.

We took it a little at a time. I would teach her the type of stitch, do a few for her, then let her finish the rest. She actually did it. By the third day she was sewing by herself without me having to tell her which hole was next. Once she realized the pattern she did really well. I am so proud of her.

She sewed all the features on; eyes, nose, ears, feet, and did about half of the closing. I ended up doing the rest because it was tricky to hold once the stuffing was in. I think she is enjoying her cat pillow so much more because she made it.

I’m also proud of working together. A lot of times she gets frustrated easily when she can’t do something right away, or if she thinks I’m giving her too much instruction, but we really did have a fun time. It’s never too early to teach that perseverance and patience lead to success.