Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Thankful 11.27.14"

Happy Thanksgiving All.

As I sit here typing right now...I'm fighting with some mixed emotions.  I'm feeling a little melancholy.  But this is normal for me around the holidays.  I definitely struggle a bit with holidays and worrying if they're going to be special enough.  I blame it on my profession, as I'm in the business of "memory making."

So when it comes to creating special "moments" in my personal life, sometimes I feel a bit panicked.  I often times have a hard time letting things just "happen."

But these are the times when I need to let go and enjoy and savor more than ever.  I often think the reason Justin and I were ridiculously gifted with two babies at once...was for this very reason.  I remember when I was pregnant one of my best girlfriends told me.... one baby wouldn't have slowed you two down enough, you needed two do try and do that.   
We have had many conversations this past year about "keeping things real." Case in point today....Last week we had the most amazing time at the Beach Cottages along with my mom, dad, and brother.  Together we celebrated "Beachgiving"..a term that I came up with and I thought was completely brilliant...until I hash tagged it and saw that several other goons in this world had already thought of this idea.  Anyways...since we already celebrated "Beachgiving" (complete with an outdoor meal consisting of muscles, swordfish and steak) we decided that "today" the four of us would stay home. 
So Justin and I had many talks about what "today" would be.  At one point we even called up The Royal Palms and considered making dinner reservations... after a few minutes of a  "keeping it real conversation" we decided that at 80 bucks per person...the idea of one of us sitting at the table while the other one chased Hannah & Emma around the restaurant sounded...ridiculous. 
So my the plan is to go out to breakfast...most likely the glamorous "Village Inn" (they better be serving pumpkin something for breakfast).  Followed by a day of decorating our home for Christmas....I have no idea how this is going to happen with twin toddlers...but we WILL find a way...somehow.  And if we can muster the energy the goal is to take the babies to Zoolights tonight. 
And that my friends is my morning confession of the day...thank you for letting me share, my heart feels lighter.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  And cheers to "letting each situation be what it is instead of you think it should be."
And the reason I feel so thankful......
~The perfectly imperfect family photo~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"The Wednesday Weekly" 11.19.14

(Fun Times at the Anthropologie Party with April}

Monday November 10th, 2014 ~ Sunday November 16th 2014  
Morning All! 
Wanted to send a shout out to my Mom & Dad who are celebrating their 37th Wedding Anniversary Today!  Amazing.  Love you so much.

Highlights of last week included:
~Time with almost our entire extended Norris Family in celebration of my Grandpa Jim's 87th Birthday. Sadly Justin and I didn't get the chance to talk to anyone because we were chasing our littles around the entire time and trying to keep them from running full speed into the pool.  Wow. Oh well, hopefully next time.
~Addie Jo came over for a means SO MUCH to me when my amazing friends make the extra effort to accommodate this season of life right now.  Taking the babies out in public by myself right now just isn't feasible, it's just the stage we're in right now.   I don't think Addie minds too much, especially because she got not one but two "Emma kisses" on her way out the door.
~Great meeting + conversation with my girl Renata...talking big plans and ideas.
~Met up with my dear friend, Erin Rohr to also catch up and talk business stuff, Erin was the very first person to "officially" pull me into the Wedding Industry, it's so fun connecting again.
~Had FAB night with my girl April.  I was invited to an "Anthropologie Birthday Party, in My Honor".... (brilliant marketing), just sign up to be on the mailing list, they'll throw one for you too).  They offer great "birthday" discounts, champagne, treats, photo booths, little giveaways, it's cool.  April (little mama to be), who after a rough first trimester is feeling a little better. We had the best time catching up on nearly every subject in the world.  (Oh how I love me shop talk & life convos)
~Justin took last Friday off...and the four of us had the BEST time just hanging out....took the babies to "Story Time with Bears" & "Wiggle Worms", went for a long walk...let the babies roam the empty baseball fields as the sunset, watched the movie "Jumanji", the babies love it...weird kids.
Fab finds:
~A FAB Anthropologie dress to wear to Addie's wedding!  She will be proud, it's her style. 
Yes this actually happened:
~My Brother called last minute with VIP Passes the Macklemore Concert! It was SO GOOD!
~So, after a super fun but late night with April, we walked up the valet at Kierland Commons to find that my car was the last car there and the valet was packing up to leave.  We said hi to the valet guy, told him we had to make a quick stop in the ladies room, and hurried back.  As we car was all opened up and ready for us to load in the shopping bag and such...doors open (nice and welcoming) I tip the valet and start loading into my car...the valet drives away QUICKLY.  The next thing I realize is that I DON'T have my keys.  The next twenty minutes of life were crazy stressful....we talked to the manager of the restaurant we dined at and she had called the valet company and explained that there was nothing they could do....we'd have to take a cab and come back in the morning to pick up our car.  Uggh.... just as were getting ready to make arrangements the valet guy came flying up in his car with my keys.  THANK GOODNESS.  He was so sincerely apologetic, he even tried to give me back the tip I gave him.  Oh well.. a sincere apology goes a long way in my book, we're all human right?
Something Inspiring:

Loved seeing these words....I needed to see them, this week especially.  My mind has been full of new ideas and nervous thoughts.
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Hannah tells me I'm a "good girl" when I give her crackers
~Emma holds her little fist up in the air and says "hook, hook, hook" when she wants to watch the movie "Hook"


 Highlights From Last Week....

The only decent photo we captured for the "Norris Reunion" Night....and this was afterwards at our home, right before the girls went to bed.  We were celebrating survival.

Hannah stood looking out the window for five minutes after Addie left.
Great chats with THIS girl...I call her "Renata So Hotta"
THIS Girl, Erin Rohr.
Meet My Newest J.Starr Couple, Amanda & Nate!
Ems, so proud of herself
THESE TWO at Wiggle Worms
Hannah Girl  
 "I'm Gonna Pop Some Tags"


Saturday, November 15, 2014

{J.Starr Feature} "Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Glass"

 Eric and Vanessa's opulent Wedding Day took place on Saturday October 4th, 2014.   Vanessa was absolutely luminous in her custom tailored Brides by Demetrios gown.
Her shoes were full of sparkles, much like Vanessa's personality... and her choice of scent to wear on her wedding day was Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum.
Eric looked oh so handsomely dapper in his custom fitted tux by Celebrity Tux and Tails

The bride (and her dancer legs, umm wow) had carefully planned out every part of her day.  Upon entering the Bridal suite at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, I saw that Vanessa had thought of every little "comfort" item to make sure that all of her bridesmaids and family members felt welcome. She had created a sparkly welcome sign with all the girls names, had music playing, the room was filled with scented candles, trays of delicious food and of course mimosas for all.
Eric was cool, calm, and collected. He was excited to spend time with family, friends, and didn't even mind having to dress in his tux rather early in the day,  to ensure the photography timeline wasn't rushed. (thank you again for trusting your Planner on this suggestion ;) 
Vanessa was all a glow...and ready to marry her love.
The Bridesmaid's were all strikingly stunning.  It amazed me how they barely needed any instructions on posing from the photographer....they just did it, effortlessly. 

 And the Groomsmen....definitely kept the day fun and lively.
Oh my, no words.   Vanessa had asked her best friends daughters to be her flower girls.   They each held a letter as they walked down the aisle, stealing everyone's hearts. 

Vanessa took her walk down the aisle at the glorious St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Eric's smile lighted up the room when he first set eyes on his Bride. 

And together hand and hand they walked back down the aisle for the first time as Husband & Wife.

 The reception took place among three different areas at the ultra modern yet classic Arizona Science Center.
Cocktail Hour took place in the "My Digital World Gallery". 
 A very high tech fun filled area...complete with innovations and digitized walls and screens that augment reality.
Dinner took place up on the Solar Terrace.

Guests were seated in a cross shaped feasting table.  The table was covered in candlelight and low floral centerpieces atop a sparkling metallic table runner. 

 The cake was classically glamorous, complete with hand sculpted flowers. 
One of the most breathtaking design elements of their day was the candle staircase.  As guests entered the private entrance for the Wedding they were greeted by a stair cased filled with gold dipped candleholders and a glow of enchanting lit candles. This was completely Vanessa's vision....and wow it was incredible. 
Vanessa is a former Phoenix Suns Dancer, a former Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad, and a former dancer for the  Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team. And now,  Vanessa owns and operates a dance program for kids of all ages in Phoenix called Lime Lite Dance So, it only made sense that their Glass Wedding Reception was full of amazing dancers!
  Vanessa and Eric surprised their guests with a special dance performance by one of their friends, Natacha Bachour.  Natacha just wrapped up the show "VEGAS" at Planet Hollywood and is now rehearsing for a brand new show taking place at The Wynn.
 Eric and Vanessa were mesmerized by each other as they danced to their first song "By Your Side" by Sade.
At the end of the night, guests lined the exit and tossed sparkling gold sequins at the dashing couple.  Just before loading into the Mercedes getaway car, Vanessa hugged me with tears in her eyes and said "Jennifer, it's all over"... and my response to the beautiful bride was ..."It's only just begun!"
Vanessa and Eric later honeymooned at the lovely The Regents Palms Resort in Turks and Caicos. 


WEDDING PLANNER: J.Starr Stylized Weddings
VENUES: Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, St. Xavier Catholic Church, Arizona Science Center
FLORIST: Lori Elliot
CATERING: Santa Barbara Catering
RENTALS: Event Rents
CAKE: Custom Cakes
RINGS: Shane Co
MEN'S TUXS: Celebrity Tux and Tails
BRIDE'S  GOWN: Brides By Demetrios
BRIDE'S SHOES: Nordstrom Rack
HAIR: Lauren Simpson & Kaylon Brunot
MAKE UP: Katie Theulen, Janice Bulger, Kayla Oberg

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"The Wednesday Weekly" 11.12.14

(Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art}

Monday November 3rd, 2014 ~ Sunday November 9th 2014

Highlights of last week included:
~Great Meetings with some fab people! Loved catching up with Bridget from Still Life Studios, I'm excited to collaborate on an upcoming creative project together.  I  met up with some new potential J.Starr chill and fun!
~Loved connecting with Andrea Leslie of Andrea Leslie Weddings & Events, at 5th & Wine, this past week.  Andrea is a fellow Wedding Planner here in the valley, it was so nice getting to know her better and hearing her story.
~Met up with some of my dearest college friends to celebrate Julie's recent elopement and Naseem's new home.

Fab finds:
~Nekter.  Tried my first glorious juice connection.  The drink was okay, but the style in which the store is designed is what's really fantastic...brilliant branding/marketing. 
Yes this actually happened:
 ~Unexpected Sunday Funday day date with my guy.  After a family photo shoot we did for some friends, we found ourselves patio dining, sipping bloody maries, enjoying live music  and later strolling through the "SMoCA"  Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.  It felt dreamlike.  Oh how much more we appreciate moments like this, now that we're parents.
Something Inspiring:

Family, Friendships, Business Partners....Good Stuff.
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Hannah does this cute thing were she randomly comes up to us and tries to "push us" over and on to our backs.  This week I tried "pushing her" back...and she thinks it's just the most hilarious thing ever.
~Emma, our odd little duck. She has begun collecting random things she finds around the house and "hides" them in a particular cupboard....Snoopy, her pants, mom's cell phone, a bag of cheese? Random.

Highlights From Last Week....

Bridget Levi, Office Manager/Photographer/Designer of Still Life Studios

My running stroller needs a new tire, so I've been using this BEAST of a stroller again...along with my two little baby beasts.
Channeled my inner Olivia Pope sipping on red wine at "5th and Wine"...seriously how beautiful is Arizona in the Fall?  
On this night, I remember forgetting what year it was as I sat among some of my near and dear college girlfriends discussing every possible inappropriate topic imaginable. Ahh good times.  Thank you Naseem for the delicious dinner!  And thank you Julie for your randomness, always.

Little Emmie Lou Who, all dressed up and waiting for her Daddy to get home and play.

Nekter Juice Bar

Sunday Funday, with my LOVE


New Kicks! "Just Do It"


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"The Wednesday Weekly" 11.5.14

(Oh the difference one year can make...Hannah & Emma Celebrating their 2nd Halloween}

Monday October 27th, 2014 ~ Sunday November 2nd, 2014

Highlights of last week included:
~Tons and tons of Halloween Fun with our little ones.  I remember not that long ago seeing photos of friends' children all dressed up for Halloween and I craved to be a mommy so bad.  I say it over and over again, but I STILL can't believe I have two of my very own little trick or treaters now.  Having children is by far the coolest thing ever, having children + the holidays = the BEST.
~Business advancement with J.Starr.  Step by step, things keep moving forward. This year has taught me SO many booty kicking lessons about entrepreneurship.  I'm looking forward to some upcoming projects....including a NEW WEBSITE, coming soon!
~FUN Design Consultation a J.Starr Bride to Be, can't wait to see this wedding concept unfold.
~Attended a great fundraiser for a very special little boy
Fab finds:
(I asked my sweet intern Megan to select this week's "fab finds")
~Confetti Push Pops from Anthropologie , how darling are these for the holidays?
~Brickyard Buffalo, this website has ton of fun, quirky finds, and very cost friendly prices.
Yes this actually happened:
~After an action packed three day stint...Justin was shooting a wedding and the babies took a very long afternoon nap...I found myself on the couch binge watching Scandal season four and eating way too many cake pops.
Something Inspiring:

Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~The way Emma magically started saying "Tick Teet" while passing out candy Halloween Night, the cutest!
~The way Hannah gives "tackle" hugs, best feeling ever.

Highlights From Last Week....

Picking Pumpkins

All they wanna do these days is RUN

The days of posed photos are over...

Ewe, Daddy!
Just moments after Emma sprayed milked....everywhere
They really enjoyed carving pumpkins!
Justin had to close the clinic on Halloween, so the four of us celebrated together Thursday night...

Which simply resulted in eating Rubios in the car, and then letting these two run around some baseball fields for awhile.

Up and down and up and down...

My Girls...

So Fun...
Halloween Night me and the girls spent the evening down in Casa Grande with my parents.  Grandpa got to take his little Tinkerbells trick or treating.
The first house we took them to had creepy music, fog machines going, and tons of real life witches everywhere....well that kind of "spooked" them for the rest of the journey.
But, after "warming up a bit" they thoroughly enjoyed passing out candy (especially Emma)
 It was so fun for them to get to spend this time with their Grams and Gramps
Then Saturday evening, my dear friend Melissa hosted her 3rd Annual Costume Party Fundraiser for her little boy Gregory who has Galactosemia.
The theme was "Western" and this is my little Hannah, SOAKED because she was obsessed with the big fountain that was center stage in the big beautiful backyard.

 Hannah and Emma had a BLAST playing with Liam...Justin and I spent the evening chasing these two around apologies to my friends who were there that we weren't able to have any decent conversations with ;)

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