Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy " Awkward/Uncomfortable" Day to Me! Humor Me a Little Vol. 10

{Yours Truly}

Yes, Internet today is my birthday...

Truth is...for as long as I can remember, I've always felt a little melancholy on my birthday...drives me crazy, but it's really the truth. I think it's the Event Planner in me that just doesn't know how to "turn it off".  I find SO MUCH joy professionally and personally when planning events and celebrations for other people...that when it becomes my "turn" I just feel all kinds of awkward. celebration of my most awkward & uncomfortable day of the you go. 
You're Welcome.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Mindful Monday 11.25.13

(San Tan Elegante  DoubleTree by Hilton)
MINDFUL MONDAY ~ feeling refreshed, feeling excited for a new week, needing a quick reflection, taking a moment to be mindful and appreciative.

Highlights of last week included:
~Feeling SO INCREDIBLY HONORED to be listed as "San Tan Elegante's Exclusively Preferred Wedding Planner"
~My Parents Celebrated their 36th Wedding Anniversary
~Sweet Walks in the Rain with my Girls
~Sunday Funday Family Dinner Date....I'd be lying if I denied I didn't love all the extra attention from the restaurant staff and other customers...  "Your babies are so cute"....yes, we think so too.

Last week I learned:
~It was brought to my attention by a dear friend that I've been calling "Vow Renewals" "Vowel Renewals"... embarrassing but true. That's probably something a wedding planner should know how to just seems to roll off the tongue better as "vowel" doesn't it??? no?...okay...moving on.

New fab finds:
~Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  It's a website where a Personal Stylist sends you clothes and then you buy what you want and send back what you don't! It's getting some great reviews, I'm gonna check it out more. 

Yes this actually happened:
~Last night all four of us were driving to dinner, it was cold and rainy Christmas songs were playing, Justin and I were chatting....when out of nowhere I see this tiny fluffy white dog walking/running straight for our car {on a busy road}...Justin hit the brakes, threw on the hazard lights and scooped up that fluffy little white dog....a little girl dog with tags that said "Gidget". 

Feeling Appreciative:
~For this cold and rainy's such a nice transition into the holidays.

Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Hannah Jane gave me my first "Mommy Heart Attack" the other night.  The buggies were drinking their last bottle of the night, watching their favorite movie.  I stepped into the laundry room for a moment to switch the clothes over....and heard Hannah crying...and although yes she was strapped into her fisher price bassinet, she had wiggled herself out of the buckle and was hanging over the bassinet, dangling by one foot.  She was of course fine... but what a good reminder as to what can happen in a matter of seconds... needless to say we're no longer using the bassinet we should have known she was too big and mobile for it....and her new nickname is "Hannah, Catch a Tiger by the Toe." 

They continue to become amazing hilarious little people....crawling, pulling up, laughing,'s the best.

On the horizon for this week:
~My Birthday...I was SO PREGNANT last year that I didn't get to really participate in all my favorite holiday for my birthday I will be spending next weekend going all "Buddy the ELF like" with my loves. 

Something Inspiring:

Turn it Up: 

White Walls, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

Something that Made me Giggle:


Best Buddies, My Beauties...
Love their Daddy
Super Stoked to be a part of this beautiful couple's 10 Year VOW Renewal :) Thank You for trusting my J.Starr team with SUCH a special day!
"Congrats Grammie & Grandpa"
Yahoo! Finally found the perfect shopping solution!
Oh my goodness...are they REAL?
Fun Times....
{yes mom they were wearing socks.....they had just pulled them off right before this shot:)}

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meet {Melissa} Fabulous People You Should Know Vol. 4


Meet Melissa Jonovich, A Fabulous Person You Should Know.

Melissa Jonovich, Stylist for Stella & Dot
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Instagram #mmjonovich

What type of business do you own or are you associated with? 
I am a stylist for Stella & Dot.

What made you decide to open your own business?
I fell in love with their stuff in 2011 and decided to become a stylist earlier this year.  I decided to be a stylist for Stella & Dot because their jewelry is just so awesome! You can dress it up or dress it down.  Everything is so versatile.  I'm not one who likes to take chances with my wardrobe... so my outfits are cute, simple, and comfortable.  But I like to make my outfit stand out with the fun jewelry from Stella & Dot!!!

What makes your business/job special?  
 What makes my job so special is I get to hang out with awesome women at Trunk Shows and just relax, have fun, eat, drink, play dress up and make them feel more beautiful!

How would you describe your personal style? 
My personal style is all about finding the perfect combination for cute and comfy.  Those days are very rare... it seems like you usually can only accomplish one or the other.  But those days you accomplish both! Perfection!!! PS. Stella & Dot helps on those days you just feel comfy... they take care of the cute!

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not working?
My favorite thing to do when I'm not working is spending time with my 5 year old little boy.  He is my world.  He lights up my life! And he is just so gosh darn fun!!!

What would you be doing now if you had listened to your 5-year old self?
I'd be a famous singer or actress! That becomes a reality for very few of us.  But, with the help of Stella & Dot, I can atl east dress like one!! Or try to.  Many celebs have been caught wearing our stuff.

What will make me even more interested in you and/or your business?!
What will make you more interested in Stella & Dot is half their line is under $50!!!

How does your business relate to or benefit the Wedding Industry?
Stella & Dot relates and can benefit the Wedding Industry a lot!!! There is truly something for everyone! Whether it is the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, for the bridesmaids, for the mother of the bride or the bride herself! Everything is so unique and beautiful! And because it's so versatile, you can wear it again and again.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Mindful Monday 11.18.13

My "Fall Feast Tablescape" was themed " I have Twins"...  Yes, although I had day dreamed about hanging gold dipped fall leaves from the ceiling and going "full glam" just didn't was too Hannah insisted that I set the table one handed.
I don't have much time this evening to I will simply share some special photos and tid bits from last always thank you for following and allowing me to share my life and all it's silliness with you. 

{Baby Moments:} 

Shopping with Twins, this time Justin was with us...
The babies have started driving....

Splish Splash....
Piggy Tails on my Hannah Jane...
They have him wrapped....


We felt SO blessed to have Justin's family fly in to meet the babies and spend special time with us.
Tender Moments shared with Uncle Trevor & Isis
 My 2nd "Fall Feast" Tablescape
Justin and Trevor were "Master Chefs" in the kitchen

I was proud that following the families departure we packed up all the leftovers and dropped them off to my brother and his friends....couldn't have all that "indulgence" in my fridge all week.
{J.Starr Stylized Weddings}:
SO HONORED to be asked again to be a "Featured Event Designer" for another Photo Shoot with AZ Finest Weddings Magazine.

At one point I considered putting up Christmas décor early, then at the last minute decided I just couldn't do it.
 Told myself I wasn't allowed to buy anything....had to use what I have.
Printed out these "printables" on a whim, and they turned out super cute, don't ya think?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mindful Monday 11.11.13

{Yes This Actually Happened:}
~ I bought Christmas gifts for the first time for my children.  I tried not making any eye contact with other shoppers at Costco, as I was all teary eyed as I put the "Fisher Price Talking Picnic Basket" in my cart.  I'm so excited to share the magic of Christmas with our little ones

{Fab Finds:} 
~Ever heard of Doodle?  Leave it to my smarty pants Engineer Friend: Heather to introduce me to  It's this nifty little site where you can collect everyone's availability SUPER easily when during to plan a group get together! LOVE it!
{Feeling Appreciative:}
~For our buddy Matt Wheeler, who spent his Thursday evening with us at the Salt River capturing our Family Photos.  It felt so good to get them done earlier this year.   
~So my Halloween Decorations are still up.... Justin has family flying in this week from Maryland, Ohio, and San Fran... and I'm in a debate with myself as whether to skip the Thanksgiving/Fall Décor and go straight for the Christmas Décor.  In the past this is something I would have NEVER even considered... but the truth is... doing anything with my little twinzies takes about 5 times longer....hmm.. we shall see what happens.

{Baby Moments:} 

Clapping, waving, new vowel sounds, pulling up on toys, crawling on their knees instead of bellies...

They LOVE reading books...
I think they're so cute in their warm jammies


Talk about a lot of effort... four outfits to coordinate... everyone's eating the time we got to the river we were in a mad rush for sunlight... but of course Matt pulled off a beautiful shoot, can't wait to share. 
Ohhh Mmm Geee... Emma & Hannah have their first CRUSH. 
My beautiful friend Heather and her family were in town from Boston and delighted us with a visit. 

Actually I think I only got in one or two walks last week... I'm not sure because I took a week off from tracking my food/activity and to my surprise I earned my 3rd blue ribbon { I'm telling you little ribbons, charms and stickers worked for me in kindergarten and they still work for me now}... equaling a total of 30lbs lost since February of this year.  {60lbs total  if you wanna count what I weighed the day I had my twins}.  And I'm not gonna lie..that feels pretty darn awesome.  I think having twins really opened my eyes to what the female body is capable of's pretty incredible!!! Maybe I'll do another Food, Fitness, and Fashion post soon with more details.
{J.Starr Stylized Weddings}:
Not too much new to report, just trying to keep my clients moving and grooving as their upcoming events approach.  I did put a ton of focus this past week into ironing out all of our personal Holiday Plans.. Pretty excited... Fall Feast, Thanksgiving, My Birthday, Christmas, and the BUGGIES 1st BIRTHDAY!  And you may know, I do tend to get a little nuts when it comes to I tried keeping these words in mind as I finalized plans and schedules....

After a week and half of having the house disheveled due to the mini flood in the nursery.. we finally have everything put back together.  Amen!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet {Bride & Groom To Be}: Luke & Marlene

{In his words....Groom to Be: Luke}

We met through mutual friends of ours, Chris and Nina Cardinal. Chris and I had been friends since 7th grade, and Marlene had just started working with Nina at their hospital.

Nina, ever the matchmaker, saw a common background in Marlene and I. She told me Marlene was perfect for me and offered her number. I had always been suspicious of setups, and at the time I wasn't interested in looking for some fabled perfect match, so I declined... But Nina gave me her number anyways.

Over a couple months, Nina subtly and gently demanded that I call her, and each time I held my stubborn ground. After three months of asking and denying, she mentioned that Marlene, and the rest of the floor at the hospital, had been waiting for me to call. Up until this point, I had no idea that anyone else knew about the proposed setup. I realized I was being manipulated, but there was also a girl waiting for some pigheaded ass to call her.

Not wanting to be a pigheaded ass, I picked up my phone and immediately called her... after pacing and worrying and planning out exactly what I was going to say for over an hour. I was relieved to reach her voice mail, so I could avoid an awkward conversation and just leave an awkward message instead.

After a week without a response, I wrote it off, and decided that she wasn't interested in talking to the jerk that waited three months. I went out to a late dinner with friends that Friday night, to have a few drinks and laughs and forget the whole thing. Before the drinks even came, Nina arrived from a bachelorette party with a friend in tow. Like a deer in headlights, I was introduced to Marlene.

I did my best to make conversation, but it was hard to listen while I thought about how much I deeply regretted my unshaven face, dirty pants, and awkward sobriety. We talked about her recent trip to Germany and she shared some pictures with me. I humblebragged about my recent experience as a guest chef. I must have made a good impression somehow, because I called her again that weekend and she agreed to go out on a date with me.


Our first date had some odd weather for that time of year. It had been getting warmer and warmer that week, but the temperature dropped 20 degrees the night before and rain poured all morning. I kept thinking throughout the day that I needed to take an umbrella with me, just in case, but I couldn't find my old one. I made a trip to the store right before leaving, to pick up a new one. I wasn't sure what kind of umbrella would impress a date, but I tried to choose one that might.

I met her at the restaurant with a hug, fighting my awkward instinct to leave it at a smile and a wave. We started talking by the hostess, while we waited for our table. We were completely immersed in our conversation, distracted by each other, and we missed the hostess announcing that our table was ready. We talked for nearly an hour before I thought to ask the hostess again.

It was obnoxiously loud in the dining area, with a live band behind us. I tried my hardest to make Marlene smile and laugh with any weird story I thought of, while shouting over the noise of the band. She did laugh and smile, but I think that was less due to my humor, and more because of my silly, unintelligible yelling.

We quickly finished our dinner and left the building. It had drizzled while we were inside. It left the streets clean and it smelled of rain. More importantly, it was finally quiet. I asked if she wanted to walk around. I knew the area well; my senior prom had been held around the corner.

The entire time I prayed it would start to rain again. That way, I'd have an excuse to offer my jacket, and cozy up next to each other under the umbrella. I started talking about my prom experience, joking about how embarrassing everything was looking back. We talked about high school and growing up and our friends and family. We dropped all our pretenses about looking cool or acting sophisticated. 

In the end, it had been the most comfortable I'd ever felt on a first date. I was very attracted to her, but she also felt like a friend. We ended the evening with a promise for a second date... She told me much later that she thought the umbrella was charming.


Our engagement story followed a similar theme. We were engaged 10 hours apart, with two very different proposal stories... It doesn't make sense at first, but it takes some explaining. We had talked about marriage for awhile. We both knew that we wanted to be with each other for the rest of our lives. But we also wanted it on our own terms.

I had already been preparing months beforehand. I asked my mom for our family ring, and I asked her father for his blessing—all very traditional.

For our second anniversary, we went up to Flagstaff, where we had our first vacation as a couple. Like many couples before us, she was waiting anxiously for a proposal at every turn, and I was completely oblivious. I had no intention of proposing on this trip.

The evening we arrived, we actually ended the night by arguing. During the day, we went to a beautiful winery south of Sedona followed by a romantic meal at a nice restaurant that evening. All the while, she was expecting me to drop to one knee. By the time we got back to the hotel, she was clearly frustrated. So we argued out of miscommunication, neither one of us really telling the other what we were truly thinking: I had wanted a relaxing trip up north, and she wanted a ring.

When I woke up in the morning, I silently thought to myself and stared at the ceiling. I knew, that despite the night before, I wanted to marry her, no matter what the terms. It was far from the perfect moment, but I knew. And rather than wait for some impossibly perfect scene, I asked her to marry me there, on the bed, unshowered, and without a ring. After convincing her that I was serious, she said yes.

I had already received my "yes", so I considered myself officially engaged. But to make the engagement official in her eyes, she needed a proper, dressed-up, romantic setting, one knee, shiny ring proposal. We decided to run back down to the valley and get the ring. Nothing ever goes off without a hitch, however, and we ended up spending an extra two hours replacing my car's battery in the rain before we left.

I sped down the 17, through wind and wet, trying to recover lost time. I dropped her off, and went to have the ring cleaned.

I thought the best place to "re-propose" was where we first met, the restaurant where Nina had launched us upon each other. It was a little French place, with a beautiful patio—brick fireplace, and surrounded by green plants, isolating us from the world around. It was closed that day, but I snuck us around the back and onto the patio.

It was starting to rain again, and I had brought the umbrella that I bought the day of our rainy first date. She held the umbrella while I held my hands around hers to keep them warm. I asked her if I had ever told her the story of my family heirloom. About 130 years ago, there was a man in Missouri with three daughters. Without a son, he couldn't pass on his name, but he wanted a way to leave a piece of himself with his family. So he gave them each a piece of jewelry, to be passed on to their first born. The eldest daughter did exactly that. She had a son, and he had a son, and he had a daughter, and she had a son, and each of them received the heirloom in turn.

I bent to one knee just as the sky turned from a drizzle to a pour, under the umbrella from our first date. With rolling thunder in the background, I asked her to marry me, to become a part of my family, to start our own family. I pulled out the heirloom I had hidden, my family's 130-year-old diamond ring. Ten hours after my engagement, she said yes again, and she had her engagement.

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