Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hello All! 
This is Stacey's sister.
She wanted me to post an update in lieu of the events of Hurricane Irene. 
Unfortunately, she has been without power since Saturday. Her cell phone service has been choppy, but over the broken calls and animated shrills of her little ones, I was able to hear her say that she is hoping for internet service, any kind of service, within the next twenty-four hours. 
Let's keep our fingers crossed. 
As soon as the power is restored, she will answer all e-mails and update her blog. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's Thought for the Day - The Last Time

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

It kinda stops you in your tracks a little bit, right?

There is something about the 'newness' of a moment.
The excitement, the fear...that feeling of pure happiness.

I want to hear your thoughts.
When was the last time you felt that feeling?
When was the last time you tried something new or accomplished something you only dreamt of?

Inspire me today!
I would love a little inspiration. 

I'm off to try and get all of my laundry done in one day...hey, there is a first (and last) time for everything. ; )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Too Faced - Make- Up Monday

I have always been the girl that has been a sucker for a good name.
A product name. I love clever. I love witty. I love ironic.
It makes me happier when I know that the name of my lipstick I picked for the day is called 'Gutsy'.
I know. I'm a little strange.

Sooo...maybe I was a little bias purchasing this product based on the name...'Too Faced'.
It claimed to be a multi-tasker. It was able to create a naked, sexy and romantic styled look for the eyes.
Wait...isn't that 'Three-faced'? ; )

It totally didn't disappoint. I love every single color.
Bad news though...this was a limited edition collection that is no longer available.
 I thought about not reviewing it, but it's just too good not too. 

While my palette collection comes with all the shadow's...it seems
'Too Faced' normally does a small collection for each eye look. Like the the one below.  

The 'Naked Eye - Soft and Sexy Eye' collection includes: 9 essential pure-pigment shadows
which provide a range of matte neutrals and soft shimmers for the perfect balance and variety. T
he names are super fun too...

Birthday Suit ( a beige shimmer)
Satin Sheets ( a champagne shimmer)
Pillow Talk ( a light taupe sheen)
Buff (a matte ivory)
Unmentionables ( a steel gray
Pink cheeks ( pale pink)
Lap Dance (silvery taupe shimmer)

'Too Faced' actually made me a bit happier after I applied it.
IWhat was actually better then that was when I caught a glimpse of myself seven hours later.
The shadow was still there and as fresh as if I just swiped it on.
The first shadow ever to have such a long life span after I applied it.

The reviews on the shadow at Sephora are phenomenal. 5 Star across the board!
If you happen to pick it up...let me know what you think!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Resilience - Matt + Maureen - Bayview (Captain Bill's) Wedding

A week before the wedding we sat at the kitchen table munching on some doughnuts and talking about the timeline for the big day. Maureen was going through the 'what if's' list as most brides do.
What if it rains, what if the dress doesn't fit, what if the cake doesn't look right...what if the flowers are wrong?

Maureen's Mom, Mary (aka: best friend), said: "When it comes down to the day of your wedding, it doesn't matter if things are not perfect...you have to let it all go and enjoy the day as best you can."
I smiled on the inside knowing that I would have given that advice to my own daughter.
There is certainly no way to change the inevitable, but we do have the ability to change our outlook.
Maureen nodded and took a deep breath to calm her nerves.


The day was picturesque.
The weather was beautiful and the sky was bright swirls of blue.
Maureen's Dad joined me in the yard to hang the wedding dress for some detail shots.
We talked about the Rolls Royce they were going to be riding in...antique cars and the first car he ever owned. He put on his derby hat (the very one he wore when he married Mary) and he joined his bride and his little girl to take the formal pictures. He beamed with pride from the house to the church, and they shared glances with one another as he guided her out of the car when they arrived.
The excitement was almost tangible.


I think every parent thinks about what attributes their child will have.
We worry. We hope and we dream for them.
We pray for their health, we pray for their safety, and we pray for them to outgrow certain haircuts.
There is one characteristic though that I think we all wish to instill in our children.
The ability to bounce back. To adapt to situations. To overcome adversity.
We don't know how one will react until faced with unimaginable circumstances,
but we pray they find the strength.
If this day had one theme in particular, it was just that.


The mass was coming to a close when I was tapped on the shoulder and asked to step into the lobby. Something was amiss.
Maureen's father had suffered a heart attack in the lobby of the church 3/4's through the ceremony.
I remember trying to steady my shaking legs.
It was a blow that was utterly gut wrenching.
The day had the opportunity to fall apart from that moment on.
Family, friends, doctors, EMT's, and strangers would not let that happen though.

In between the church and the reception, Maureen and Matt stopped by the hospital to get a full report.
With her mother's persuasion and insistence, Maureen and Matt headed to the venue (albeit with heavy hearts) to greet their guests with all the grace and dignity one could muster. 


We marry not just to love, but to share moments and experiences.
To grow from each other, and to help pull each other through the rough times we are sometimes dealt with.
We are stronger and more resilient not only because of what we have learned from our parents,
but also because of our other half.

A white picket fence...
and all that it symbolizes.

It's all in the details...

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

There's one in every group! ; )


Just smashing!!

The beautiful flowers were from Hengstenberg's in Northport  ...

The anticipation...

Their first look...

Husband and Wife

1968 Phantom Rolls Royce
Oh...and Matt and Maureen I think are in the picture too ; )

Triple 'R's in this case...

The Bayview House is part of  'Captain Bill's'.
Doesn't a 'Rolls' make everything look dreamy?
It brings glamour back I think.

The beautiful thing about the Bayhouse is the large windows that flank each side of the spacious room.
I love the light and airy feel they give.
Not only that, but there is a huge outdoor covered deck over looking the water.
It's a gorgeous way to enjoy some cocktails.

So...I added a few more detail shots then other wedding blog posts, because I wanted Maureen's
Mom and Dad to experience even the small parts of the reception.

 I love how the cake topper was personalized.
Maureen's Aunt Kathy put together the lovely seating cards.
They came out stunning.
Just look at that handwriting.


The turquoise theme was tied in so nicely to all of the details...

Their envelope holder will also serve now as their mailbox.
Gotta love that!

even the shoes...incorporated the something 'blue'.

Hey! There's that bird again from Jill and Cam's beach session ; )

The first dance...

The ebb and the flow...
there were of coarse moments of reflection, mixed with moments of pure happiness.

Ice cream has a way of bringing out the kid in all of us.

Something a bit sweeter than the ice cream...

I love a good nuzzle...
am I the only one who uses that word?
That's just a fabulous word...c'mon!

Moments in between...are my favorite.

Mr. and Mrs. Makowski,
You did a fabulous job with helping Maureen put together all of the details of her day.
A wedding is not just the day of...but the days leading up to.

It's something I talk about often on this blog.
The anticipation. The excitement. The planning.
The moments that were created while putting together the details.
Seeing your daughter try on her wedding gown, picking the venue, choosing the band,
picking out the linens, and even the late night conversations about what filling would be best for the cake.

While that may all sound trivial to some, it's all about the journey as trite as that may sound.
Just like a wedding is not really about the day itself but the marriage commitment.
The wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye.
The marriage is what lasts a lifetime.

While we missed you both terribly at the reception...you were indeed there in every detail.
Mostly though in Maureen's spirit and her amazing disposition and grace.


I usually end my blog posts with a thank you, but this time there are way too many people to thank.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the many people who held the day together.

I do also want to mention that before posting this blog - Maureen and I spoke about what we thought would be appropriate to post. We agreed the situation would have been impossible to ignore.
While it was traumatic...it does not define or sum up the day.
The day was filled with so much love, support and the most amazing people one could ever imagine.

We celebrated the beginning of your story. As did your Mom and Dad, Maureen.
A story though has many chapters.
And I believe the best is yet to come.

My Top Five

Favorite Part: When Maureen danced the Irish Jig.
Okay...I know I'm not a videographer and this is just a silly, quick, not in focus capture...but I thought Mr. and Mrs. Makowski would enjoy it just the same.
Sometimes it's not about a perfect picture, but the perfect moment.

Coolest: Would have to be the Rolls Royce. Well, the ice cream bar was pretty darn neat too.

Sentimental: When the band played their song 'Grow Old Along With Me'...
you could have heard a pin drop.

Unique: It would have to be the grooms cake.
It was a hunting cake that read 'This buck, found his doe'.

Funniest: When the ring bearer was being thrown in the air (like waaay high in the air) and the Dad yelled...'hey...that's my kid'.
Wait...is that only funny to me? ; )


Much love and happiness Matt and Maureen...
your story has only just begun.

Mr. Makowski is in stable condition and we are praying fervently for a quick recovery.
Just today we received a very happy prognosis.
 It goes without saying we have much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Justin + Justine - Fort Tryon Engagement Session

It was the kind of drip that startles you.
You know, those big, fat, heavy rain drops that make you flinch when they land on you?!

We had planned to meet at Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan for Justin and Justine's engagement session
and literally five minutes before our schedule time it started to rain.

While I love the rain...I didn't necessarily want it to rain on their parade.
Especially when Justine was going to be sporting some heels, 
and I was going to be carrying around some expensive gear.


I was eight or nine when I was sitting on the floor looking out the screen door at the left over remains of hurricane Gloria.
The large oak tree's that stood next to me at the bus stop across the street had their bark peeled away
and the sun glistened off them,
while it poured in a sideways swoop.
The tree's were a magical color of amber gold, and it was spellbinding to watch.

My Grandma Adryanna sat beside me and said, 'don't you just love the rain?'

I never really thought of it that way I guess.
It was always something that I had a negative connotation with.
We were always stuck inside the house to play then.

We watched the rain together pound the pavement and splash into the big puddles.
'When I see those raindrops hitting the ground it looks like they're tap dancing, doesn't it?
It reminds me of Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger's dancing,' she said.  

I have never looked at rain the same way since.
From that day on it was special.


When they arrived they were all smiles and I was relieved.
We were indeed the right fit.
We couldn't do anything about the rain, so we had to make the best of it.
It was the perfect example of trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

I ain't gonna lie...it was a doozy.
Walking in sandals and heels is not easy on cobblestone, or on a 90 degree wet angle!
It was also not to easy looking out of a lens with humidity, fog and rain on the glass.
There was no complaining though.
We just enjoyed the moment as it was.
As we should...always.


   Hmmm...should have been my first indication of the rain.
Right under the GW bridge is where Justin asked Justine to be his wife!

There was no time to 'warm' up.
I was kinda nervous that it was going to down pour at any minute so as soon as we finished saying hello,
I started snapping away.
They obviously needed no warming up.

Fort Tryon has a section called 'Heather Garden'.
It has a beautiful section of wildflowers.

I like a casual, relaxed shot. The expressions are soft and natural.

Such a beautiful couple...

The first thing you notice about Justine are her amazing eye's.
They are big like saucers and have these to die for lashes.

Justine. You. Are. Stunning.

Okay...you're damn good lookin' too Justin.

Fort Tryon has a section that is dedicated to a branch of the MET called Cloisters Museum.
Who knew?
It's actually devoted to the medieval architecture of Europe.

A frame within a frame.


Seriously. Check out those legs!
They're fabulous Justine.

This park has so many fabulous nooks to have a wonderful little picnic in.
A lot of the area's over look the Hudson River too.  

This is one of my faves. It was one of the last frames we shot.
By this time it was coming down pretty heavily...you can tell if you look close at Justin's shirt. 

Walking in the rain...
There is just something romantic about it.

Life really never goes as planned.
We only really have two options.
We can sulk or adjust our attitude.
My most favorite quote ever is by a man named Charles Swindoll.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances,
than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, gifted-ness or skill.
It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
 We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Thank you Justine and Justin for reminding me of just that.
I can't wait for your BIG day in November!


Thanks to Fred and Ginger for making a special...guest appearance!


Before you go...leave your thoughts below.