January 2013 Archive

My Story Part II

Like I mentioned in Part I of My Story as soon as I got hooked on blogging in February of 2009, I did everything I could to grow, learn, network and essentially make the most out of this little online endeavor I had discovered. When you start out with a first time blog, it’s literally next to impossible to comprehend and wrap your head around the whole blogosphere that exists out there, along with everything in it like advertising, featured posts, doctoring blog templates to make them your own, followers, and the list goes on. But blogging can be addicting and if you’re like me, you just want to make it work. From the very first blog post I ever wrote introducing my love of desserts to probably a total of two readers, I knew I would do anything to make my blog evolve into and be a major part of a business I’d start and build one day. My plan was to build my little empire on the side and in the meantime work a regular journalism gig. Oh, Rhi.

The problem is I still hadn’t found a job in Chicago and we were almost into April by now. I felt financially restricted on the weekends when Andrew and I would take trips into the city to get out and live life as a young engaged couple but I dreaded having to pull out my bank card. I was cautious of spending my little remaining money on things for him and I, and even for myself but had no problem forking out $13.99 for a tube of two vanilla beans to make a new frosting recipe. And the kicker is I still felt like I owed it to myself to continue pursuing the journalism field and make something of the degree I had worked so hard on for four plus years. I was seeing classmates of mine who had graduated with the same degree but had less experience than me landing dream jobs across the nation. And here I was striking up conversations with news crews on the job downtown, offering them freshly baked cookies in exchange for a business card, trying anything to make that journalism piece fit into the puzzle. But it wasn’t and I was an absolute mess.

One night Andrew and I were getting ready for bed and I started to cry. I told him that this was so far from the new start I had imagined us having, and I had to go home. Like home to my parents in Canada. I started to despise the journalism industry. I was angry at news editors. Angry at the fact that I had been a student athlete and maybe hadn’t of had enough time to invest in the right scholastic and career-driven opportunities at school. I told Andrew that I couldn’t live like this feeling so useless and uninspired and unable to land my dream job or even a part time job at the Walgreens across from our apartment to make a few bucks. You know what I felt the most though? I felt embarrassed. I felt like I let myself down. I felt like my parents were disappointed, like my friends were ashamed, like Andrew, the guy who had proposed to me almost a year earlier was sure he’d made a mistake asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. For a people pleaser like me this was devastating. I packed up my Jetta and drove 14 hours straight home to Toronto, the tears coming in waves throughout my drive. I remember surrendering my Visa at the border and could have sworn the officer shook his head my way as I drove off. I felt like I should have surrendered my engagement ring too.

Moving back in with your parents as a jobless new graduate, pretty confident you picked the wrong major to study for almost five years, and your fiance is living in his own apartment 14 hours away in a different country, leaves little to feel good about internally. You know those stories you read when so and so seems to have it made, they have their you know what together, they have a great job, they have flat stomachs and perfect highlights, the newest it item, the hot husband, the perfect kid, the whatever it is that looks impressive from the outside but you come to learn that so and so just lost her parents within a few months of one another. Or so and so is really sick. Or so and so just makes life seem really awesome when really she’s all alone, confused and empty. Or she’s hurting and scared. That’s how I felt. My life looked good on the outside and I thought that was important because it was what everyone expected. I told everyone that my move back home was simply to reassess my next move and make some big decisions. Which is theory was the truth. But I had nothing together and I needed a serious wake up call. I needed to be honest with me.

Making decisions when you have to use common sense, and instead your heart’s competing for your vote, is the worst. To pass time, and start making some money my sweet Dad offered me a job as a secretarial assistant at his construction business. The work was uninspiring (I love you, Dad!) but it was something to do and it gave me a purpose. And a pay check. The blog on the other hand, was a constant sort of comfort for me at this point and served as an outlet to not only stay creative but real with myself. Getting home after work to bake and blog something new was the highlight of my day. I’d also write about what I was feeling, the next time I’d get to see Andrew, the cupcake orders I was taking, and the plans I had to open my own bakery. I was learning new things with every post, comment, picture, recipe and interaction I took on. I started to make friends and feel connected to people, who I didn’t even know in the flesh but I felt close enough to to call friends. My blog became my rock during those first few months home.

That summer though I had to make another tough decision. So I took another huge risk. More on that in Part III.

Pep Talk Tuesday {Moments}

We’ve adapted this new routine around here in the Banda-Bosse household. Since I typically go to bed earlier than Andrew, I’m the first to brush my teeth and snuggle into to bed every night. But lately I’ve been asking him to bring Zoe upstairs so we can all hang out together before I drift off to sleep. Zoe isn’t typically allowed upstairs because she’s a downstairs dog and we want to allow Chenks to have his own safe zone and space, but at night we make exceptions. Andrew and I talk about our days together, about our goals, about one day when we might have kids, about what kind of food we’re craving at that very moment because it’s a given we’re craving something and Chenks sleeps at our feet while Zoe sleeps up by our pillows. Last night we all feel asleep together and Andrew ended up waking at midnight to bring Zoe back down to her crate. And for the first time in a while I felt like our little family was just perfect.

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I’m feeling a lot of changes from the beginning of the new year starting to become habit. Do you guys feel it too? One of the things I wanted to change this year was spending more time with my family and I’m so grateful for that. I encourage you to find something to turn into a tradition in your home too. It can be simple, free, easy or whatever but I promise those little moments will mean so much to you and leave you feeling refreshed and best of all, grateful for what you have right in front of you. And this is coming from a girl who vowed to never be that couple who lets the dog snuggle in bed. You win, Zoe. You win. Photo above by the sweet Kelly Braman. She’s the best xoxo

FAQs: Engagement Session Style

Once upon a time my handsome better half and I had engagement photos taken. You can see them here. I’ll wait.

And now, thanks to my totally awesome job, I get to help my clients prep for their sessions too. I remember so clearly talking with one of my former brides Nicole (the babe below) about her engagement session with Beth Kaye last summer, and what the benefits would be of going through with one. After Nicole agreed she’d love to take advantage of that prime pre-wedding time with her and Chris in front of the camera, and Beth behind it, I was so excited to see how the photos turned out. Nicole and Chris ended up nailing their engagement session style and as a result inspired me to write a post about how you too can create a look for your e-session that looks effortless and picture perfect.

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{Be You} Nicole and Chris are an eclectic, down to earth couple with a distinct and totally rad sort of style (wait until you see their incredible wedding.) Amazingly there’s a cohesive look and feel between their aesthetic style, the furnishings and decor in their home, the style of their wedding and the interests they both share. They love the outdoors and are huge fans of natural and organic elements; tied together with a bit of whimsy. So in the above photo you can see just that. A little bit of whimsy, the great outdoors, and a whole lot of personality that you’d know is a true reflection of Nicole and Chris if you got to know them for just ten seconds. There’s nothing better than just being you in engagement photos. If cowboy boots and seersucker sun dresses are your thing, don’t try to stuff yourself into a LBD and a pair of Jimmy’s because chances are you’ll feel awkward in your photos. And that’s just how they’ll look.

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{Coordinate} I have to admit I didn’t give Nicole or Chris any direction in picking out their photo locations, outfits or props (like mentioned above, I gave Nicole more guidance on just having an engagement session to begin with!) But I’m so impressed with how well they coordinated their multiple outfits together. When Nicole added a bit of gold sparkle to her neckline, Chris threw on a tie. When Nicole changed into a plaid button up shirt, Chris switched up his shoes and unbuttoned his shirt a bit. Just like your other half’s personality compliments yours, your significant other’s outfits should work together with yours too. It’s so easy for chicks to find engagement worthy outfits and accessories but don’t forget about your dude either! When you both look and feel your best that’s when your photos will really shine.

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{Sweat the Small Stuff} I know I said above to Be You, and perhaps you’re not a Sweat the Small stuff kind of chick, but when it comes to your engagement photos you might want to consider some minor details. Things like how your nails look, what sort of accessories you’ll wear, if your shoes have the price tag stuck to the bottom still, if your treasured ring is going to be cleaned prior to the shoot, if your fiance has scheduled a hair cut for the day before and you both like it best when it’s a bit longer, if you’re getting your highlights redone closer to the date and even if your new pair of skinnies are see through; these are all things to consider. If you’re using your photos for things like Save the Dates, newspaper announcements, canvases or guestbooks, chances are you’ll want your photos to be simply divine.

So let’s hear it! What did you wear in your engagement session? Feel free to share links to your photos, below xoxo

Instalove Friday

Happy Friday, blogettes! Did everyone have a lovely week?

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Zoe and I sure did. We had our hands full with a fun Valentines Day shoot on Tuesday and endless meetings the rest of the week running through client’s menus, rental choices, venue visits, contract approvals, decor proposals and floral mock ups. People swear up and down that this time of year is slow for us planners but truth be told this is when we get our you know what DONE. Not to mention I pulled the trigger and finally registered for Engage13 this December. Pinch me please! I cannot wait to get my butt to Arizona. So this weekend I’ll be going social media free again, and I’m really looking forward to a non-work couple of days full of stuff like more meal planning, working out, cleaning this house and a little lunch with Andrew’s Grandma on Sunday. If you didn’t try the social media free thing last weekend give it a try this one. I promise you’ll survive and wake up Monday feel like the biggest bad ass ever. So stop reading this and go live your life! I’ll catch you back here next week with some fun 2013 client engagement session photos, some new bouquet designs, and Part II to My Story (you can read Part I here). Oh and I’m looking for part time help with my events this year. So next week you’ll find a whole post here dedicated to that. Stay tuned and make it magical, guys xoxo

Featured {Style Me Pretty}

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Today is a way good today thanks to the team over at Style Me Pretty for featuring Mary Beth and Tom’s Northern Michigan wedding. Working with these two was such a joy thanks to their remarkable personalities and genuine nature. Mary Beth was always game for anything and couldn’t have been more receptive to my ideas. And Tom was always willing to help, take on duties and give suggestions. I love when grooms are as hands on as Tom. Their wedding was a whirlwind day filled with endless amount of detail and some of the most memorable moments I’ll never forget. You can see more of their wedding in its entirety here and catch the post on the Little Black Book blog here. I’m off to a rental appointment this morning before some more client appointments this afternoon! Make it a good day, blogettes xoxo