Friday, October 31, 2014

{Featured Friday}: "Starr Freakshow"

 Happy Halloween to all you freaks out there!
This morning I thought I'd share with you some highlights from our 12th Annual Halloween Party!  To all my party goers, thank you for coming and thank you for your patience with me on sharing these photos.  It's been a busy past couple of weeks, hence making me feel more at peace with my decision to make this our last "adult Halloween" party.  I've come to realize that when you work in the Wedding Industry (both of us) and you have small children (both of us, hee hee) hosting a "killer" party in October (one of the most popular wedding months in Arizona) just isn't feasible.
But I have to say...our last Halloween Party was tons of freaky fun!!!
I also have to embarrassingly admit, I totally committed and Event Planner Epic Fail!  So, in my struggles to keep this party "simple" and "budget friendly" I had asked everyone to bring a item.  On the evite (uggh, how I HATE using "evite" by the way....I LOVE real tangible, amazing invitation art pieces...but like I said over the years, I've had to try and keep things more simple)  I have divided up items in three categories main dishes/side dishes, beverages, and desserts for guests to bring.  I had assigned the items according to their last names.....
Well, what I never did was actually go through to the final RSVP list to figure out how many of each items were coming.  The day before the party Justin and I were out shopping and gathering items  when Justin asked me "Are you sure we're going to have enough food?" me being my overly optimist self said "Yes, we're going to have plenty of food....we always have TONS of left over food after parties"   So we decided to focus one main dish: a huge batch of chili with all the yummy toppings....cheese, sour cream, chives, etc.... along with some additional chips and dips.  Justin kept saying "I really think we should buy more food" which I would say..."this is plenty, people are bringing food!"   So fast forward to the night it turns out everyone who attended last names fell into the "beverages or desserts" category... our home looked like a college party!   Uggh....and the thing is... I was so busy hosting, I didn't even realize (the lack of food options) until it was way later in the night and at that point realized damn...I really should have ordered pizza!  Oh well, I'm quite certain no one left hungry....unless they don't like that case they left super friggin hungry and probably very intoxicated.  My apologies peeps.
Oh well, you live you learn...even Event Planners make mistakes.  This instance is just more confirmation as to why us hosting a party in October isn't a good idea (just too busy this time of year) moving forward the "Starr Annual" will most likely take place in the SUMMER and will most likely be CATERED!  Yahoo!

 I just LOVED how much everyone embraced the theme!
Jimmy the "Strong Man" + Kelly the "Fortune Teller"
Nyasha the "Fallen Angel"
Me the "Lion Tamer" + Jacquie "The Court Jester" + Brad "Ring Leader"
(also all former Joe's Crab Shack Servers! Peace, Love, and Crabs)

Matt the "He/She" + Dani the "Fortune Teller

Ty +  Julie "Conjoined Twins"
Donne the "Human Cannonball" +  Bri the "Two Headed Lady"

"Strong Men" Justin & Jimmy/ Plus Tom "The Tattoo Man"
Vanessa the "Zombie Performer" +  Eric "Mr. Ears"
Mo the "Tattooed Woman" (yep, they are all the real deal!) 

Jarred the "Magician" + Lacey the "Fortune Teller"
Us = "Mauled Lion Tamer" + "Strong Man" 
Brad the "Ring Leader" 
Derrick "3 Armed Man" + Addie "Bearded Lady" 

And that's a wrap...I'll share more photos of this night on my facebook page soon. 
 Thank you to all of the freaks!  And Happy Halloween All!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"The Wednesday Weekly" 10.29.14

{Fun Times with Friends and Tom & Mo's Haunting Halloween Party}

Monday October 20th, 2014 ~ Sunday October 26th, 2014
Hi Friends, how are we all doing this week?  Busy, crazy, tired?  Yep me too.  And I hate saying "tired" it's an overused annoying word...but right now, I'm breaking my rule and admitting it.  I'm also changing the "Wednesday Whirl" to the "Wednesday Weekly"....the "whirl" is too cheesy for me. (my blog=my rules).  Just love me, okay? 

Highlights of last week included:
~My Brother (in law) Shannon's Birthday...and I just now realizing we never sent a card or gift (wow, we're jerks) ....sorry Sham, we love ya.  Let's celebrate soon okay?
~I had an incredible opportunity to assist in the Coordination of Mark & Beth's Wedding at an amazing  private Arcadia Country Villa!  Super excited for my new connection with an awesome company and hope to book more weddings at some stunning luxury homes!
~Tons of fun was had at Tom & Mo's Annual Halloween Party.  Justin had been saying for years that he wanted us to be JayZ and BeyoncĂ©....and for obvious reasons I always laughed at him....Well his wish came true...and I can't say that we necessarily "nailed it"....especially since we ran out of time and Justin didn't have a chance to modify his hat to read " New York Yankees" instead Justin sported at a hat that read "Norris Pool Service" (my Dad's Company)....oh Justin, you're so gangsta.  We however did not need to buy a single item to pull off our "look" I'm not sure if I should admit that or not.
~Loved seeing one of my best girlfriends smile at her Bridal Shower.  Addie Jo, you're going to be a luminous bride, I couldn't be happier for you!

Fab finds:
~This Quiz, it's a good one people. Totally made me feel better about my inabilities to function as an "routine" human.
~ "Deposit a Gift" is a new site I came across.  I haven't had a chance to do much research on it, but I thought I would share since so many of my clients are always asking me for a "polite" way to suggest guests that they prefer money instead of gifts. 
Yes this actually happened:
 ~Switched my phone back to a Droid....I know I know...too many reasons much too boring to share.
Something Inspiring:
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Hannah's poor face at the moment....bruised for one of her many falls, and scratched by her oh so loving sister. 
~Emma's been making extreme efforts at living life as a nudist.

Still trying to catch up on some recent photo here's a handful from last week....
Gorgeous Arcadia Country Villa for Mark & Beth's Wedding!
Tom and Mo = The Halloween King & Queen
"You Ready B?"
Addie's Bridal Shower
Bride + Her Shower Hosts


Friday, October 24, 2014

{Featured Friday} "The End of an Era, the Last Starr Halloween Party"

Good Morning Internet,

Just wanted to take a brief moment to check in with you and perhaps clear my mind a bit.  So yes, above you will see a photo of my "Strong Man" Husband... and me as a "Mauled Lion Tamer"...this was for our 12th Annual Halloween Party last week. This party marked the end to an era....yes world this was our last "Annual Halloween Party."  I'm super proud that we were able to keep it going for 12 years consecutively.  It all started the first year we were dating....

2003/1st Annual ~"Traditional Halloween Theme" in a tiny one bedroom apartment
2004/2nd Annual "Traditional Halloween Theme" Schnepf Farms + tiny one bedroom apartment
2005/3rd Annual ~"Traditional Halloween Theme" at the Big Bang Piano Bar
2006/4th Annual ~"No Costume Year Theme"(year we were married) at our newly purchased  Condo
2007/5th Annual ~ "Down the Rabbit Hole Theme" at Seville Golf and Country Club
2008/6th Annual~ "80s Rockstar Theme" at Dos Gringos
2009/7th Annual ~ "Studio 54 Theme" on a Party Bus + Various Locations
2010/8th Annual ~ "The Boss Calls for You Theme" at Regency Garden
2011/9th Annual ~ "Caddy Shack Theme" at Superstition Springs Golf Club
2012/10th Annual ~ "All You Need is Love, Beatles Theme" at Superstition Springs Golf Club
2013/11th Annual ~ "Traditional Halloween Party" in our new home (first year as parents)
2014/12th Annual ~" Freak Show Theme" in our home

It's so fun to think how each year marked a different milestone in life....some years were over the top with themes, some were more all depended on what we had going on that year...even through happy times, sad times, stressful times, wild times....each passing year marked a special place in time. 

So yes, moving forward there will be no more "Starr Halloween Party"....all good things must come to an end right?  We've just decided that October/Halloween is not the most appropriate time for us to host a big it's "Wedding Season" and as our little ones grow older I'm certain October will be an eventful month in their little lives too. 

But wait, what?  The "tradition" ends? I hope not, neither does Justin.  We're currently brainstorming some ideas as to how to keep the "themed party" tradition perhaps a different time of the year in a different kind of capacity. 

Until then, we just wanted to thank all of our party goers...old friends, new friends, random friends along the way....we love you all and appreciate you participating in all the fun!  And to our friends that attended last week, we hope to post some more photos tomorrow!  There's some hilarious ones!!

P.S. Special Thank You to My Guy....he's not a fan of "dressing up"...unless he has tons of time to prepare  his costume selection (like that time he was happiest "Yellow Submarine" anyone had ever seen)...obviously this was pre having children.  I love you baby,  thank you for always making my crazy ideas come to life!

Happy Friday All!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"The Wednesday Whirl" 10.15.14

{My Little Crew, and yes this is the only photo this week....just one of the those wild crazy weeks...and this photo sums it up pretty well} 

Hi Friends,
So it's technically still's just late.  And this girl is tired, so I'll keep this short and sweet...but because of my obsession with consistency (at least with some blogging, not necessarily.... laundry, cleaning, or grocery shopping...ughh, it never stops....)  I'll still write a post.

Highlights of last week included:
~Wedding Planner Luncheon at my beloved Seville Golf and Country Club.  I love going back to Seville anytime I have the opportunity, brings back so many special memories to me.
~Babies First Carnival (I'm debating whether or not I should list this as a "highlight" or not) let's just say it was an experience.
 ~Wedding Day at San Tan Elegante for Nicole and Paul (Special Thanks to my intern Megan for all her hard work!)
Fab finds:
~Have you all heard of this?  Disney Wedding Cake Projection Mapping...pretty cool. 
~I'm a big fan of these new fashion forward looking "Geometric Chair Covers" by Classic Party Rentals.
Yes this actually happened:
~So we took the Babies to their first Carnival last week. The little flier I had picked up on it was...sweet, cute, charming....totally geared towards "family fun, for little ones"....and well....let's just say it wasn't.  It was SUPER nitty, gritty, dirty...gross.  We went the first night it opened...and half the rides were barely assembled ...and the workers there were true blue "carnies" that bad to say? Probably...they were ROUGH.  I was too afraid to make eye contact with Justin and I knew he was thinking let's get the hell out of here... But I had already spent twenty bucks for the tickets and was determined to take the babies on their first "ride".  So there we stood, in line for the "Berry Go Round" (like a tilt a whirl, for little ones) just as we were getting ready to get on...we noticed the "berry" we were going to get in had been...puked in. Wow.  So yes, we boarded another...and Hannah hated it, but Emma loved it.  Justin never got on any of the rides....all of us girls..and he's our princess. 
~I got a new phone and switched from a Droid to an IPhone.  My husband is SUPER annoyed by this.  He kept asking me why?? To which I reply.... "Umm...are you looking for an answer better than because of all the cool emoticons?"  Ha! I LOVE annoying him.
Something Inspiring:
Cheers to making many more mistakes (and typos!)
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
Hannah has been coloring...but only with her head lying flat on the ground while's kind of weird...whatever inspires you little girl....Emma now yells "Maaaa Maaa Maaa" all the time, they climb, climb, so scary...but how can I stop it??? Yikes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

{Featured Friday}: "Wedding Among the Whispering Pines"

 Happy Friday All!  How fantastic that it's October?  YES!  The Fall Season is officially here....last night we took the babies to their first "Carnival" was super random and sketchy and not at all what I had imagined it would be...but, it was fun, weird, but fun.  I'm still in shock that my cautious husband allowed me to take Hannah & Emma on the "Berry Go Round" despite the fact that it looked like it had just been set up, minutes prior. 
Speaking of Justin, did you know that in addition to being a Doctor of Physical Therapy he's also a Professional Photographer and has been shooting for Still Life Studios for over 7 years now?  Yeah, he is way more talented and skilled then only annoys me slightly :) 
 Anyways, he shot this enchanting wedding that I'm sharing with you today......
Trisha and Brandon were married this past summer up in Pinetop.  Being that it was June....having a Wedding up in Pine Top was a nice treat!  I however, did not coordinate this particular wedding.  Instead, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to cross off one of my 101s in 1001s by shadowing a professional photographer (yes, it helped it was with my hubs.) This was a very important goal of mine because I truly feel to be an experienced and real deal amazing Wedding have to understand and appreciate the roles of all the vendors involved, especially the photographers. 

 To be honest, I think the photographer has one of the hardest roles on a Wedding Day.  Because, you see...if a Wedding Planner has truly done her job right, and ironed out all possible hiccups and has a solid timeline...ideally the day should go fairly easy for the Planner (because the majority of her hard work takes place prior to the Wedding)
However the photographer has one chance to make wise decisions on the spot to ensure that not only the "must have shots" get taken, but also the "artistic/documentary" shots that photographers LOVE to capture...AND make sure that the day still runs smoothly. 

And let me tell you...even as a Wedding Planner it's a struggle to keep track of the Bridal Party and Family...this is extra difficult for the Photographer to do while still trying to pay attention to a million other, background, name a few. And this is why Professional Photographers love to work with Professional makes everything run much more smoothly.
I feel that I have a really good sense of the a Photographer's Role on a Wedding Day, but this was a nice refresher course for me.  And let me tell you, it was HARD for me not to jump in as a Wedding Planner...really hard.  So much so that Justin had to practically sit on me just to try to keep me down.  It wasn't that things were necessarily going wrong, just as a Wedding Planner you have a critical eye and sense of what should come next and how things can be weaved together more's kind of hard to be "normal" and to not be the Planner.

 Overall it was a really fun experience, I loved the setting and the Bride had put so much personalization into everything.  It was fun (and yes exhausting) to spend the day shadowing/assisting Justin.  We typically don't work on Weddings together, so this was a nice treat.  I usually never recommend him to my clients....not because I don't think he's a fantastic Photographer, but because I always want my clients to feel 100% comfortable.  I need my clients to be able to voice to me any concerns and questions they might have about any of their vendors.  I would never want my clients to hold back anything from me, therefore (unless they specifically request) Justin and I don't do Weddings together.   
 The Wedding location was truly incredible.  The Ceremony & Reception took place at the Groom's Dad's Cabin, it was stunning!
The Bride and Groom Session is always the Photographers favorite part the day.  It's the part of the day when they can switch gears and allows their artistic freedom to come out.  It's typically the time of the day when lighting is superb (called the golden hour.) It's the time when the Bride and Groom are set up more candid/fashion poses.   

I remember actually getting "cold" this night...which is weird in Arizona during the month of June...but it felt great.  The smell of the pine trees and the twinkle of the white lights were so peaceful.  

I so appreciated being able to experience this day with Trisha, Brandon, and Justin.  It was one of those days were instead of me having to be 100% "on" I could step back at bit and really take it all in....allowing me the opportunity to better myself as Wedding Planner.  Thank you so much Trisha and Brandon, your Wedding was magical, I feel so grateful to have been there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"The Wednesday Whirl" 10.8.14


Highlights of last week included:
~Being interviewed on the radio! Such a trip and SO much fun! I don't usually get nervous about public speaking....but I was super nervous about being on the radio....although, after I was a little warmed up I discovered it was a BLAST.  It's fairly easy to relax and be natural when your audience is invisible.  Thank you Maureen Boyd and Jonathan Schaupp for asking me to be a guest on "Complete Wedding Radio." on 90.7/92.7 The Pulse.  And....special thanks to the rad Jessica Barry who was filling in as a co host that day for Maureen.

Did you miss my interview??  That's okay, pretty sure my mom did can now listen to my interview on the podcast located on  the Complete Wedding Radio Website.   (it's easier to navigate from a desktop) You can find the podcast on the right side of the homepage ....just click on "01. Week 86 Jennifer from J.Starr Stylized Weddings"  My interview starts at nearly the halfway point of the show (after the Wedding Exercise Tips and Wedding Celebrity Gossip).  I'd love to hear your feedback!

~Unbelievably STUNNING J.Starr Wedding for Vanessa & Eric.  I'm still in awe over the amazingness of their beautiful day.  Special thank you to my team members (Melissa and Megan for their fantastic care and attention to detail)

~Fun times at Mother Nature's Farm with our littles.
Fab finds:
~These songs, on repeart..."Chandelier" by Sta & "Cool Kids" by Echosmith
Yes this actually happened:
Lost this little guy on a run, luckily Justin found him later while on his bike ride, thank goodness! Have you ever seen such a sad photo? Poor Piglet!
Something Inspiring:
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Baby "Fight Club" has began at the Starr Home. But the weird part is that they like it....and we don't know what to do about it.  They push each over on the ground (somewhat forcefully) over and over again...and just laugh, laugh, and laugh. It's weird, and I'm guessing we shouldn't encourage this.
~Emma's been standing up to her sister lately...with her teeth!  Oh my, I thought we were past the "biting stage." So I've started doing "timeouts" which is the hardest thing for me to do, because all I want to do is laugh at Emma's goofy little face and huge eyes looking back at me as I try explaining to her why she shouldn't bite her sister.
~Emma has been walking around saying "cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo" reference to her Grammie's cuckoo clock.  But she says it at the most random of moments, it's super odd and cute.
I could so do this fun!
Mic Check One....Two
 Me and the Complete Radios Hosts: Jessica & Jonathon
 The day was non stop, but I was able to snap a few photos from Eric and Vanessa's Wedding (can't wait to share more on an upcoming blog with the Professional Photographer's photos)
 Eric and Vanessa were dream clients...they had such swag and sophistication.

 So much personalization went into their Wedding Day...
 Champagne  was sent home with every guest....

Brief little Bride/Wedding Planner moment my intern Megan captured ....
 Sunday Funday with my Crew, Little Hannah
Hannah Girl again, taking in the sites and sounds of Mother Nature's Farm
Emma loving Country Life
 Emma Lou Who

This Guy.....

 So fun watching them run around...
Hannah in search of the perfect pumpkin
 Baby Chicks....the babies saying "tweet, tweet, tweet".
 Emma + Determination

Watching "Hook"...the only REAL movie (non cartoon) they love....I think only because "Tinkerbell" is in it...but they are captivated by this movie.
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