Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the Cusp of a New Year 12.31.14

(Photo by Bridget Levi & Brianna Meyer of Still Life Studios)

It's New Years Eve.
 And oh wow....the crazy amounts of possibilities that come with the start of a fresh new year!  My mind has been spinning...and I've made ridiculous amounts of notes in the past 48 hours. 

My word for 2014 was "LEGIT"....I was all about legitimatizing all aspects of my business and making sure that I was doing everything correctly in terms of insurance, accounting, taxes, contracts...ya know all the SUPER DUPER "boring" stuff.  Well, at least it was stuff that I found to be boring...because I'd much rather be doing anything CREATIVE, FUN, involving PEOPLE. order to set myself up for a scalable successful business I knew I HAD to embrace all of my unknowns...and while yes, I knocked off several "to do list" items...I'm not done...with my "legitness" nor will I ever be, it's just part of entrepreneurship.  My hopes are that one day I'll be able to employ an Office Manger to rock this part of the biz...until then it's all me baby. (and my amazing tax accountant, thank goodness).

  So what's next...I thought I'd be brave and post a few goals of mine for 2015...because sharing helps me stay accountable. 

1.)  "Domestic" ~ yes. domestic, that's my "word" for 2015.  I've been a mama for 2 years now, and that word still scares me.  This past year, I was told a few times that I was a "super mom".... that just made me cringe.  Because I'm far from that.  Yes, I run a growing business, yes I have two little rock star baby dolls, and yes I share the highlights of my life online that many "appear" like I'm "doing it all"....but lemme tell ya, I'm not a "super mom."  I rarely cook, never meal plan, don't grocery shop consistently, and there are constantly piles of unfolded laundry in our home.  I took a personality test recently and it indicated that "my type" becomes "easily bored when things repeat themselves and too much detailed work and care is required." (this also explains my struggles with book keeping.) So...learning that made me feel a little less "guilty"...but in order to create a home more cozy and functional for my sweet family I know this is an area I need to put more emphasis on.  I just need to find ways to make cooking and laundry more fun.  Like....trying to bust out a load of laundry out while watching a new show after the babies go to bed...if I could do one load a day, that's all it would take.  Or cooking twice a week and setting up the dining room table like a mini party (because I do LOVE entertaining, that's for sure). 

2.) "Using My Voice More Authentically" This year I felt like a held back a lot, and second guessed myself way too much. I spent too much time comparing myself to others in my industry (something everyone is guilty of doing at certain points of their life).  My eyes were certainly opened to a bigger spectrum of this wedding/event management world and I met a lot of really cool peeps...but I also pulled back (somewhat unconsciously) on being "me".  And the truth the end of the my line of work...people want/need to see who "YOU" really are....because I'm selling "myself."...which is super weird to begin with, but it's part of the business that I've accepted and embraced...and I'm ready to rock my "J.Starr"ness more :)

3.) "Blog Changes" And here's where goals 1 & 2 collide.  I'd like to "change" up things on the blog.  As a part of embracing more of my "domestic" and "authentic" sides... I'd like to share a new series on the blog....a "Stylizing Series." This is where I'd like to showcase people and highlight their talents...and offer more tips on how to better "stylize" or "inspire" day to day living.  This can range from goal setting, fashion, home improvements, health & wellness, entertaining, managing money, etc.  I'd like to stick with all topics that interest me personally.  So if you'd like to be featured or would like to nominate someone for this series please let me know. 

4.) "Business Book Club" Yep. I'm starting one.  Because as I mentioned in goal one, I get easily bored with repeated I need to make reading FUN and social.  So, if you're an entrepreneur and would like to join...please let me know. 

And with this, I will wrap up...As always I appreciate you reading and supporting... and I encourage you to share your goals....feel free to share them in the comments below...

I sincerely hope to use this blog more to write and share about all things creative, ideas to "stylize" and & "inspire" life's journey.  Until then....


~ J.Starr

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"May Your Christmas Be Filled with Chaos" 12.24.14

Dear Friends & Family,

Merry Christmas to you.  At the current moment this girl is pretty beat and this iced coffee is not doing the trick. But this could be because I just bathed my littles and got them down for a nap.  I don't know why "bath time" is so exhausting...but's a workout (like bathing spider monkeys)   But all and all life is pretty grand... our halls are decked (ya know with many "we have 1 year old twins" modifications.)....Christmas songs are playing...almost all the Christmas gifts are wrapped (just gotta bust out the birthday ones too) Because...oh yeah...who had twins the day after Christmas....THIS GIRL....wouldn't change it for the world...just have to remind myself to start much earlier on everything next year. I LOVE the holidays....especially I struggle "not to do" all the fun traditions.   So my friends...that's why I haven't been blogging much in the past three weeks (plus lots of great J.Starr Stylized happenings!)...we've been busy, it's been amazing.  I'll catch up soon. 

I sincerely hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and are able to spend some down time with your loved ones. Also please keep in mind all of those who don't have their loved ones with them ..... We will be honoring my late mother-in-law tonight by indulging in one of her old "Starr Family" traditions by ordering Rosati's pizza (deep dish, Chicago style...."the kind of you have to eat with a fork" according to my sweet hubs) and watching Christmas movies with our littles, in our jammies of course.

 Much Love,

Until then...I leave you with the photos from this year's: Starr Christmas Card:

Merry Christmas...

 Because Parenting is Humbling...
 ...May Your Christmas Be Filled with Chaos.
Love, The Starrs

P.S. Somehow I ordered far less cards this if you're a normally a receiver of the "Starr Card", but didn't get one, it's not because you're not's because I need to hire a full time office manager/personal assistant :) And to my past and upcoming clients & industry vendor get your surprises around Valentine's Day instead!  xoxo

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"The Weekly Wednesday" 11.26.14 + 12.3.14

(Zoo Lights on Thanksgiving Night}
It's been BUSY around here.  BUSY. Wow.  Therefore this "Wednesday Weekly" covers two weeks rather than one.  Hang in there I've got lots to catch up on. 

Monday November 17th, 2014 ~ Sunday November 23rd, 2014  

Highlights of last week included:
 ~I finally became an official "WIPA" Member.  Pretty stoked about that.
~We took our First Family Vacation (EVER) to the Beach!  (I'll post more about this on Friday)
~Thanksgiving, due to our "Beachgiving" the previous week our "Thanksgiving" was a little less traditional this year. 
~My Birthday, yes another year wiser (let's hope)
~Addie & Derrick's Wedding....Addie Jo, one of my very best girlfriends (since 8th grade!) got married!  AND she married a REALLY incredible and FUN guy. 
Fab finds:
~(Comes from April Warner this week) Fluff it Marshmallows
~The Hanger Café at the Chandler Airport, fun times.
Yes this actually happened:
~My Grandpa received an amazing honor, just one day after his 87th birthday! Pinal-Gila Council's Senior Foundation is naming their new center after him. He has volunteered in various capacities for over 35 years for his home town of Casa Grande. He's BEYOND cool. 
Something Inspiring:
While on vacation, I actually uninstalled all of my social media apps...and didn't log in until we got back home...this really helped me to RELAX more.  I highly recommend it.  Especially if you love connecting and sharing with people via the web as much as I do. 
Baby Moments I Want to Remember:
~Seeing my little girls run on the beach was one of the best moments of my life...the sun was setting...they were was a moment (come to life) I had day dreamed about way before they were ever born.  Heavenly. 


 Highlights From the Last Two Weeks....

Not only is my Grandpa Jim accomplished, he's also one of the happiest people you'll ever meet.  His love for life is so inspiring.

Too Legit to Quit.  THIS YEAR.  This was the year I told myself I needed to attack all of the "not so fun" aspects of owning my own website & blog (coming soon), purchased business insurance, upgraded my business from a "Sole Proprietorship" to an "LLC", hired an accountant, and basically just forced myself to better understand all of the expensive, legit, necessary MUST HAVES in order to run my business efficiently and correctly.  YES, I still have MUCH more to learn and embrace...but I'm proud of the many steps forward I've taken...(especially considering they weren't fun, and definitely not creative or sparkly.)
"If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves in the sea."

I spent one hour alone on the beach by myself and it was amazing.  I hope we can make this trip an annual event....because there's no place I'd rather be...than by the ocean.
My World. 

Emma was cracking all of the shoppers up....and loving every moment. 
 The Imperfectly Perfect Family Photo...

The day after we returned from the beach...Christmas preparations begin...Hannah was pumped!

Emma on the other hand, was just fine hiding in the cupboard. I said "Thanksgiving" was a little untraditional for us this year.  I believe it was my first Thanksgiving ever being "away" from home.  (home as in "with" my Mom, Dad, and Brother)...and let me just say...DANG we missed my Mom's cooking. We decided to go SUPER simple and hit up the oh so fancy "Village Inn" for breakfast.  I was all set on the pumpkin pancakes...but then I realized they were already serving up their special "Turkey Dinner." And....I just couldn't pass it up (Justin either)...and well... the 1st bite was good...but the 2nd and 3rd bites started to taste exactly like elementary cafeteria food.  Umm..never again.  But it was funny.  And the babies threw food all over the restaurant, so we were happy we didn't pay big bucks at a fancy resort. 

 After our "Village Inn" Thanksgiving we stared in on the Christmas Decorating...the babies were having a BLAST.  They don't quite understand "Christmas" yet...but they loved the Christmas music, loved that we were moving new stuff around, and ultimately I think they just loved us all doing a project together. 

We ended our Thanksgiving at Zoo Lights.  It was Hannah and Emma's first time!  They really enjoyed it.  (except the "talking" giraffe, Emma was NOT a fan.)

We let them eat way too much kettle corn and then let them run all over the Zoo...Justin had one, I had the was insanity but a ton of fun. 

On Saturday morning, I woke up a year older.  And these two must have sensed that it was a special day...because they just hugged and loved on me "extra."
And yes, on My Birthday...Addie Jo got MARRIED!
I LOVED that Addie chose to have an "Unplugged Ceremony" especially because my husband was the photographer. (The 3 photos below are ones he took)
And would you believe this BEAUTY did not let me be her Wedding Planner! :)
And that was perfectly okay, because her Wedding Day was 100% authentically "Addie & Derrick."  She genuinely wanted me to relax and enjoy...(although she did let me create a wedding day timeline...simply to ensure that I didn't have a heart attack). And their Wedding Day was truly incredible.

You see, Addie herself is very experienced in the Event Industry...she's been working in the corporate event world for many years...she's just not a fan of the "wedding/social" side of event planning...which made me love seeing her as "The Bride" even more!

But seriously, seeing my childhood friend look SO HAPPY on her Wedding Day was truly an amazing experience.  AND...she IS allowing me to do a "Styled Photo Shoot" in a few weeks... stay tuned!
The next day we somehow ended up at the Hanger Café at the Chandler Airport...we recouped from the busy day before by sipping bloody marys and watching the planes take off.  (P.S. the breakfast is delish!)

And lastly...that evening we "officially" trimmed the Family Christmas Tree. 
 The Babies were LOVIN it!

 So Shiny...

 Hannah gave her sister just enough smooches to completely piss Emma off.

We ended the night with an "Eggnog" Toast by the Tree.... they LOVED Egg nog...and even clinked their little glasses with ours and said "cheers"...

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