Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mamapreneur Monday 5.26.14

I have been blogging somewhat consistently from January of 2009 {5.5 Years!}....wow...and as much as I love sharing and connecting...my business is at a new very exciting place...where's it's time for me to pump the brakes on my blog...and take the much needed time to implement better foundational systems and updates into my business, my brand, my future.
 Therefore my friends...The J.Starr Blog is...going on a "sabbatical". 
 I'm hoping not for too long, we shall see.  So this little post will be my last one for awhile.   As always I appreciate your love and support...blogging is such a vulnerable but yet very rewarding experience.  Thank you for allowing me to share with you. 
Until Then ~ Jennifer xoxo

Highlights of last week included:
~Celebration of two incredible women and their birthdays...Mom & Granny
~Beautiful Wedding Day for Tyler & Amy
~Memorial Day Fun my Little Crew
~Memorial Day Project =Sparkling White Lights draped in my Backyard! Thanks to the Hubs
Fab finds:
~THIS KID  is my hero!
~Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad from Paradise Bakery, mmm.
~Michelle Moyer, a Vocalist and Acoustic Guitar Player....her voice caused everyone in the crowd to cry during Saturday's Wedding Ceremony.  I posted a video here.
Yes this actually happened:
~Had magazines delivered to my home that I styled & coordinated the COVER for! (and a 4 page spread inside the magazine...I'll share more soon)
~Went to Target and only spent 30 bucks! That's a first.
Feeling Appreciative:
~Growth...professionally and personally.  I had many sleepless nights last week as my mind was spinning with the ideas, thoughts, doubts, and to dos.  I'm thankful for a clearer vision for the future of J.Starr Stylized Weddings....with that clearer vision comes a lot of work, patience, and time. (hence the "Blog Sabbatical")
Food, Fitness & Fashion:
~No more morning walks with the bugs, just too hot for their fair skin. Instead I rearranged my schedule to include an hour work out {3 times a week}before Justin leaves that house in the morning for work...including a 30 minute run followed up resistance training exercises...so far so good.  And it feels incredible to get my workouts done before the babies start their days.  This whole time I thought I needed a "gym membership" to workout... WRONG.   "Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can" ~Arthur Ashe  This has been my #1 favorite quote ever since the babies were born.  I have to repeat it to myself on the daily. 
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Hannah now "runs"
~Emma's officially walking now
~They both will walk up and give hugs to us if we hold our arms out...the best!
~Emma says "mmm mm" when you hug her
~Pretty sure Emma said "There you go" the other day
~They have been upgraded to their new "big girl" car seats

I Turn it Up: "All of Me" John Legend 
Highlights of last week included:  
~4 Generations of Ladies~
Great Granny, Grammie, Mom {me!}, Daughters
Love from Uncle Chase

Grammie and Emma

 Grandpa & Hannah

Happy Birthday Mom...Happy Birthday Granny

My Little Stylist...Approving my jewelry selection for Bridal Twilight Hours...

Centerpieces for Bridal Twilight Hours by Blume Events...

J.Starr Takes the Cover!  Can't wait to share MORE

The Processional for Saturday's Wedding was 21 people deep!

The talented Michelle Moyer...love her voice!
To me...this is the most revealing moment...the most real moment.  It's the moment after the Bride & Groom have walked down the aisle as Husband & Wife....they disappear from everyone's view (except mine)....I always pay extra attention to this moment, my views are the best.

All the Details...
Came home from Saturday's Wedding to find  dinner under the stars waiting for me...
Who's that little girl running through the nursery at Lowes???  My Hannah. Look out World.

Spent Memorial Day with my Little Crew...House Projects, Grilling Out, Babies Enjoyed Splashing Around in their New Pool = Best. Day. Ever. 


Friday, May 23, 2014

{Featured Friday} Getting Dirty Session with Mr. & Mrs. Warner

 Rick and April were married in February of this year, and next week they are going on their Honeymoon to visit the beautiful waters of Punta Canna in the Dominican Republic. Before they head off...this beautiful couple embraced their last opportunity to celebrate their new union as Husband and Wife.....with a "Getting Dirty Session"
You might be wondering to yourself...what is a "Getting Dirty Session?" I asked Matt Wheeler, Owner of Still Life Studios to share his thoughts with us.....
"The idea of a getting dirty session came about in 2005, I believe. I had a client approach me about an after wedding photo shoot that was totally about their personality. I realized that I wanted to spread this so I began selling it and really trying to fit the post wedding session to activities or styles that matched the couple. From baseball fields to airplanes etc. I called it "Getting Dirty" because I wanted no mistake about the dress and couple possibly "getting dirty." A short time later the trend and term "Trash the dress" became popular and certainly helped us to sell more couples on the process." ~ Matt Wheeler

"The session ends up really relaxed and fun. Often the wedding day can be hectic so the dirty session really let's a couple have fun in the dress and tux and show off their own style." ~Matt Wheeler

I asked this beautiful Bride to share her thoughts on why they choose to do a "Getting Dirty Session"
" Rick and I both absolutely LOVED our wedding day photos.  We knew that we would never have the opportunity again to wear our wedding attire and get even more amazing photos, so why not? Who doesn’t want more photos of themselves looking their best?  But also, our wedding day went by SO fast I loved that we got to have another day to enjoy each other.  It brought back wonderful wedding day memories for both of us." ~April Warner
"To my surprise, Rick was on board with it right away.  He knew we would get incredible photos." ~April Warner

" I chose San Tan Elegante as the shoot location, because as the Director of Catering here, it's my second home.  I wanted to take advantage of all the different areas for amazing photography options...  Beautiful indoor and outdoor locations, classic and urban all in one place!"
 ~April Warner

I asked both April & Matt for their tips for having a successful session:
Go all out.  Get your hair and makeup done again, feel your best because you may never have the opportunity to do this again!" ~ April Warner
"Brainstorm with us for a unique location and experience. Don't be afraid to take risks with the outcome of the dress and pay the extra few buck for the  tux insurance." ~ Matt Wheeler
"It was so relaxed and nice not worrying about where we had to be next." ~April Warner

To view more stunning and super fun "Getting Dirty Sessions" view Still Life Studios gallery here. {Click on Weddings, Portfolios, Getting Dirty Sessions}

Still Life Studios, Photography {Bridget Levi & Nathan Ethington}
Suzanne's Bridal (Dress designed by Ella Rose), Bride's Wedding Dress
J.Starr Stylized Weddings, Shoot Coordinator
Amber Dewey, Hair
La Bella Artistry, Make Up

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

{Wedding Wednesday} Budget + Guest List BEFORE Venue Selection

The best way for a Bride to completely overwhelm herself is by trying to choose the venue BEFORE she has come up with a budget estimate and the guest list.

That's because looking at venues and getting excited about all the creative aspects of wedding planning is more fun than number crunching and deciding who you like and who you just kinda like.

But believe me as a former bride myself and as a Wedding Planner who has had heart to heart discussions with several brides....I'm telling you...You MUST establish your budget and guests list FIRST.

Ask Yourself These Questions:
(Budget Related) What is your ideal wedding budget?
(Budget Related) What is most important to you? 
(Budget Related) Is it having all of your friends and family there? 
(Budget Related) Is it being able to put a lot into the design and d├ęcor?
(Budget Related) Is it being able to have your dream dress?
(Budget Related) Is it being able to have it at the venue of your dreams?
(Budget Related) Is it being able to host a bar for all your guests? 
(Budget Related) What are areas that you're flexible on?
(Venue Related) Where do you want to get married? Location in terms of city and state?
(Venue Related) Will your Ceremony take place in a Church or the same location as the Reception?
(Venue Related) How many guests do you plan on inviting?
(Venue Related) Out of those guests how many do you anticipate actually attending?
(Venue Related) Out of those guests how many are children?
(Venue Related) Out of those guests how many are under 21?

Then ask your Wedding Planner is this a realistic budget?  Your Wedding Planner (hopefully yours truly) will explain to what your options are, where you need to increase and decrease. Your planner will then be able to give you a list of optional venues that match what you are looking for...Your planner will then help you determine areas that you're willing to possibly cut back in order to make room for other areas that are more important to  you.  Your Planner will save you tons of time and heartache (from getting your hopes up on aspects that might not fit into your budget).  Your Planner will be able to help you set realistic expectations and help you start to see the vision of your wedding day more clearly. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mamapreneur Monday 5.19.14

{Hannah Jane on the move...at Butterfly Wonderland}

Yep, that title makes more sense to me these days.  Everyday...succeeding at something and failing at another....all at the same time....

Highlights of last week included:
~Pretty chill week...lots of laughs with my littles
Fab finds:
 ~Cried for a good solid five minutes after reading this story, brought back so many precious memories.
Yes this actually happened:
~Witnessed my husband YELL out loud at Butterfly Wonderland as a butterfly tried landing on his face.
~Over thought social media, worried about being an "over sharer" or too "Marcia Bradyish" ...the internet is a weird thing, and it's not going away... I guess it's about finding a balance.
Feeling Appreciative:
~So thankful and appreciative for a great meeting with one of my professional mentors and dear friends...Chris Nagy, Owner of Regency Garden.  He's not only a successful business owner, but also a great brand developer...it's impossible to be at his venue and not feel the "magic" he has poured into it.
Food, Fitness & Fashion:
~Umm...I pretty much lived in yoga pants all week...but I'll happily share with you a stylist who's work I follow here..
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Wobbly steps...Emma is catching up to Hannah, kinda.  Emma says "Mmmmm" when she likes what she's eating...they both love to climb in and out of baskets & boxes...Hannah loves to close the doors behind her...they steal each other's food...they point out sounds...every time I feel like my babies are the most well behaved children around town ~ I'm quickly humbled.
I Turn it Up:  
~Watched the movie "Life of Mitty" Saturday night, can't say much for the movie...but the soundtrack was good...."Lake Michigan" by Rogue Wave, me likie.
Something Inspiring:

Note to self, keep repeating...every day.  Have patience...enjoy the journey.
Hannah Jane, all about trying to pull out all the baby wipes...all the time.

Regency Garden
Emma Lou

The cute carousel operator was a little old man who once photographed weddings
 Hannah Jane
Wiggle Worms
Shockingly this is the one and only shot of a Butterfly we got...

Oh, and this one...this little guy followed me around for a good ten minutes...

Hannah was go go go....

Emma Lou wasn't digging it so much, the guy with the giant net scared her...

Had the chance to attend a Graduation Party for a sweet relative...and got to swing in this charming little hammock with my girls...definitely made me want one of my own. 

Oh how the love their Daddy...

Swinging on the Swing....


Friday, May 16, 2014

{Featured Friday} Meet Lisa Berger


Hello World,

Today I would like to introduce you to a woman who has been loving on my locks for many years now....Meet Lisa Berger.  Her passion for enhancing beauty is inspiring.  I have had the great opportunity of working with her several times on many different creative projects; stylized photo shoots, weddings, fashion shows, and even magazine covers. 

She is talented, hard working, and incredibly stylish and I just love her!  If you've ever complimented my hair in an event photo...there's a great chance that Lisa styled it. 

A Little Bit From Lisa:

I am a Hairstylist at Just For You Salon in Tempe, AZ.  I have always loved hair and feel it is our best asset.  It makes a statement about our personalities and lets face it, when our hair looks good we just feel good!  I never thought I would be a Hairstylist as my career, but when a friend asked me to do her and all her bridesmaids hair for her wedding I jumped at the chance.  I never had any training and just "winged" it, and I had so much fun!

 It was so rewarding to see the transformation and all the smiles on their faces.  I knew this was my calling!   I love opening a fashion magazine or clicking on Pinterest and being so inspired by the styles that I can't wait to create these looks on my clients.

  I am inspired by natural beauty and naturally enhancing hairstyles that follow the trends and clothing that we love to wear.  And we feel more confident, motivated, and ready to take on the world when we look fabulous!

Lisa Berger, Hairstylist at Just For You Salon
Tempe, AZ 85284


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{Wedding Wednesday} "After the Engagement"

Getting Engaged is incredibly exciting....but often times can be followed up by much stress and feeling completely overwhelmed.  Today I thought I would share some tips on how to enjoy this time period...specifically the time period between after the engagement and before you book your venue.

1.) Celebrate!  Celebrate your engagement. This is a milestone within itself.  This is important.  Savor this time.  Tell your family and friends.  People love hearing good news, especially in person or over the phone if possible. 
2.) Journal about the Proposal....write down how it happened, what words were said, how you felt, where it took place, what you were wearing...All the details, the funny ones, embarrassing ones, even the "non fairytale like" details...Write about it.  It's life, it's real, it's your story, and it will grow more precious with time.
3.) Announce Your Engagement/Share your Photos.... of the proposal, the ring, anything that contributes to your story.
4.)  Don't Answer Questions....unless they are about the Proposal.  It's normal that you will start getting bombarded with questions (typically by the most random people) when's the date?are we invited? do I have to dress up? you need to let me know the date right away so I can plan ahead! what are your colors?are you going to have a hosted bar? 
5.) Get Your Ring Sized (and Insured)...if needed.  And yes, often times this means you have to part with your brand new sparkly ring for a few days, it's a bummer...but better than it slipping off your finger and losing it permanently.
6.) Ignore the Opinions... It's often at this time that people want to share with you everything that's ever gone wrong at a wedding they've attended.....It's often for them to start telling you what and what not to do. Laugh it off.
7.) Day Dream....Yes, its perfectly fine to buy some bridal magazines, peruse Pinterest, have fun.  This time period is meant to be fun...the hard part comes later...enjoy right now.  Don't succumb to the pressure, there's plenty of time for all the decisions to made soon.
8.) Meet with a Wedding Planner...Most Planners offer a complimentary consultation (myself included) This is a crucial time to meet with a planner as they can begin to direct you.  BIG decisions are ahead of you....establishing a budget, creating a vision, and knowing how many guests you anticipate inviting are key elements that must be discussed before booking your venue.  Booking a professional can save you money, time, and your sanity. 

If at all humanly possible don't try to start planning the wedding the same week you get engaged...give yourself some to time to let everything soak it.  You have big life changes ahead of you....celebrate the beginning stages. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mindful Monday 5.12.14

{This photo was actually snapped two weeks ago at Bri & Donnie's Vow Renewal, just had to share}


Highlights of last week included:
~ "Hot Miso Soup" from RA is one of my all time favorite things...yum
~Lot of progress with some work projects
~Night out with Friends
~J.Starr Style Wedding for Alexandria & Kyle
~Mother's Day
Fab finds:
 ~ Justin insisted on showing me this video....he was quite amazed by it.
~The Perch, this little hidden bar/restaurant in Chandler...full of hanging vines, white lights, and tons of birds in aviaries everywhere.
Yes this actually happened:
~All the laundry in our home was washed, hung up, and put away.  This is a rare occurrence...as I loathe doing laundry, and it usually gets pushed to the end of my priority lists.
~We ate out four times this past week.  Wow.  In our childless days we ate out all the time, not so much anymore, which makes us healthier and keeps our bank account happier.  Oh well, it was fun. 
Feeling Appreciative:
~For a balanced week...for the most part...family, friends, work, home projects, work outs...good stuff. It doesn't happen every week...but I appreciate weeks when it does. 
Food, Fitness & Fashion:
~I already mentioned the HOT Miso soup, didn't I?  Wow. that stuff is SO good...I LOVE spicy.
~Completed my first "12 Week Active Link" Challenge.  Activity that doesn't involve dancing or doing something fun, has always been my weakness...but the active link helps immensely.  It's very similar to a "Fit Bit".
~I wore my new "Meadow Rue" nude blouse from Anthropologie to Saturday's Wedding. I was difficult to find something to wear it with and for it not to look too causal...luckily I found a high waisted black skirt hiding in my closet...paired with nude heels and was on my way.  Side Note...I only shop in the sale room at Anthro...tons of fab finds can be found in there, you just gotta dig a little.
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~All of a sudden my babies have turned into little girls.  It amazes me how much they understand and are capable of doing at the age of 1.  The range of emotions they are able to express and understand just blows my mind. Last week I certainly had a moment of feeling like they've really turned into my little buddies...in the sense that I was able to do productive things around the house with them toddling behind me.  I would finish a task {like make the bed} and then be able to pillow fight ....and they would just giggle and giggle.  We're entering a new stage and it's awesome.  They are more independent and mobile now...and they understand silliness, and teasing...and maybe even a bit of sarcasm...and it's just SO MUCH fun.   Hannah is now pretty much walking everywhere she goes....still very wobbly...and the CUTEST thing I've ever seen.  Emma will walk so long as your holding your hand, otherwise she prefers to walk on her knees...no rush baby girl, no rush.
I Turn it Up:   I have two new workout songs that keep me moving....Fancy, by Iggy Azalea and 23, by Miley Cyrus and a bunch of other dudes.  Yep, I'm that mom...pushing my giant stroller...listening mostly to hip hop and rap. 
Something Inspiring:
Me... On Wedding Days.....Almost Always

Family Date Night at RA....seriously that soup.  
Babies were having so much they didn't wanna leave.  Hilarious side note, that's a plant directly behind Justin's head...his hair is not that out of control.
Baby Bugs spent some time this past week down at Gramps & Grammies (aka Baby Disneyland)

Enjoyed the BEST Indian Food in the Valley...Star of India.  Honestly the BEST. And the owner and his wife are darling people and make you feel so welcomed!  Papadum with Dipping Sauces, Garlic Naan, Peas Pilau Rice, Chicken Tiki Marsala, and Gulab Jamun....so delish.
Met up with Bridget Levi {B Town} and Matt Wheeler of Still Life Studios for some creative brainstorming...looking forward to some ultra hip and fab upcoming projects.
Celebrated my girl Kim's Birthday! Love her and all her sass!

Beautiful Wedding Day for Alexandria & Kyle. LOVED the Centers!

 Transferring the gift table from the cocktail area to the Reception Room. 

Happy Couple!
 A Welcomed Party Crasher made a surprise visit just after the cake was cut.  I posted a video of his surprise entrance here.http://instagram.com/p/n17FrhN50R/
Flowers were by Blume Events, and they were stunning.

Sunday Funday was spent down at Mom & Dads...super relaxed.
 Mom... Not only a mom to me and my brother, but also Justin (as his sweet mom is in Heaven)...and a wonderful Grandmother to Hannah and Emma.  She's the glue of our family...she's the Heart.
Sunday evening (Mother's Day) I spent laying on the couch drifting in and out of sleep as my little ones watched their beloved Tinkerbell Movie, and Justin grilled us up a yummy dinner.
  Being a Mom, truly is the best role of my life. 

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