welcome, olivia marian

Today seemed like a good day to reintroduce myself to the blog since Olivia's arrival. I had two uninterrupted hours to browse the internet (how to spend my coveted Anthro gift card?), work on some freelance, and quietly jam out to U2 after finding out they are going on tour AND will be stopping in Cleveland. !!! A bucket list item is coming to fruition. YES.

Today started off a bit rocky and ended on such a good note. That's the thing with this whole parenting deal... minute by minute, it is a complete roller coaster of emotions and unpredictability. Coming from a Type A with control issues, it can be hard. I'm stubborn and hate giving in to my often-times hormonal-driven emotions, but one of my resolutions this year is to just let it be... in this case, cry for a second if I have to, then move on to the next high (Olivia's smile, a coo, spit bubbles, kicking her legs like a maniac... the list goes on)!

January 6th marked two months since we welcomed Olivia Marian into our family. It has been the sleepiest, blurriest, most heart-bursting two months of my life and I want to relive every day over and over again. I can't believe I'm a mom, I can't believe Tim is a dad, and even more, I can't believe we have a DAUGHTER. Sure, yes, I knew I was pregnant and knew this would happen eventually, but saying "my daughter Olivia" out loud is utterly insane. I still catch myself and almost laugh on the phone when making her doctor's appointments, picking up prescriptions, etc. I just can't get over it!

Olivia is strong and curious and absolutely gorgeous. Her full head of hair and steely blue eyes were a surprise to us but her feisty personality was something we knew we had coming. The inevitable sass and strength I was sure she'd have are what inspired her middle name; Marian, in honor of my late grandma (Sweetie). Sass runs in the family and I, for one, love that trait. ;)

My pregnancy went by in the blink of an eye, the first month lasted a wonderfully long time (thank you, holidays!), and the second month FLEW. I'm scared that this is the beginning of the "time flies" adage and that it's going to go by even faster once I return to work. She'll basically be 16 in 5 minutes. Until then, I'll cherish every milestone, big or small!


ONE MONTH | 12.06.16

Olivia likes... songs made up by mama and daddy, bright lights, her hands
Olivia dislikes... prolonged tummy time (basically anything longer than a minute ;)
Milestone... eye contact and tracking movement

two MONTHs | 01.06.17

Olivia likes... smiling, finding her voice, holding her neck up, kicking
Olivia dislikes... missing out on anything while sleeping
Milestone... smiles (and not just the "milk drunk" ones!)

A few of my favorites from Olivia's newborn session, taken by a fellow Olivia (Lobas)...

And some that I took a few days ago...

She is the best thing and I want time to slow down and speed up simultaneously. I want to be able to savor every second, yet Tim and I are so excited for her to grow and learn and become her own little person. Until then, I will try to appreciate each and every moment... even the cluster feeds in the middle of the night and the inconsolable cries when she refuses to be put down, and I feel inconsolable, too. It's all a phase and the newborn phase seems far, far too short already. <3

PS... Anyone have suggestions / favorite apps to store photos to free up space on your iPhone? I've tried deleting photos / videos / apps to free up space to no avail, and there is NOTHING worse than trying to capture a teeny tiny smile, only to get the horrible notification that the phone cannot take the photo. Help!

celebrating three years

Six years of dating, three years of marriage and thirty-one weeks pregnant. That's a quick by-the-numbers of mine and Tim's relationship. We've spent almost a decade together (!) and we are less than two months shy of going from a loving couple to a loving family of three.

It's hard to imagine being 20 years old again, but thinking of those memories takes me right back. I was head over heels OBSESSED with Tim and was determined to make him fall for me. Little did I know he shared those same feelings which made it pretty easy to start a relationship (thank goodness). A lot has changed in the past nine years and a whole lot is about to change in the next nine weeks. No matter what, relationships are hard work. In the midst of it all, you hope you've chosen a partner that will ride out the good and the bad with you - it is "for better or for worse", after all.

Tim is the dreamer while I am the realist. He is the doer while I am the planner. He is spontaneous and sees the possibility in everything, while I tend to stay a bit more grounded (whether I like it or not). We strike a balance with one another in our similarities and our differences, and while we certainly have our ups and downs, our day-to-day is collaborative, respectful, loving and fun. Life can be challenging and it's a lot easier having someone by your side that is an eternal optimist. For that, I'm forever grateful.

Our celebrations usually take us out of town but we are in full-on nesting mode at home. We are in the midst of several projects that we'd rather power through right now so we can enjoy a bit of downtime before our little peanut comes in November. This year, our three year anniversary will be spent at my monthly obstetrician appointment, followed by dinner at Mabel's BBQ. Just your average romantic, well-rounded date night ;)

To continue the celebration, here are a few favorite photos from our wedding day...

Cheers to nine years dating, three years married and a baby on the way. I love you so much!

catching up...

It has been a BUSY summer, and now all of a sudden it's basically fall. Ah! #seriouslywheredoesthetimego

Between sprucing up the exterior of our house, our day jobs, our side jobs and commitments, it's been a non-stop whirlwind of to-do lists and meetings (with a little bit of sunbathing and downtime mixed in). I've never been one to thrive on a continually busy schedule; it's not sustainable for me. I tend to thrive on those bursts of busy times that come few and far in between, where an all-nighter might happen and you're back to your regular routine in no time.

That said, all of the things keeping us busy have been really enjoyable and rewarding, so there's nothing to complain about! Here is a rundown of what I've been up to this summer...

// Tim and I joined forces to re-brand his company, Cardboard Helicopter! The re-branding process is really easy when you live with your client and decisions can be made quickly ;) I can't wait to show more of the process and the full brand as we roll it out this fall.

// Our basement flooded! Mother Nature threw us a curve ball and I sort of hate her for it - but, really, my anger is directed toward the previous owners. They carpeted the basement as a selling feature when we bought the house, not indicating that the basement collects pools of water... fast-forward almost three years later and we're sloshing around in soaking wet carpeting. So disgusting. So frustrating. Redoing the basement was nowhere near the top of our "to do" list, and since we don't spend a lot of time down there, it's NOT money I want to spend right now. We ripped everything up, decided to take the summer off, and we'll deal with it in the fall/winter (maybe). Screw you, basement!

// We hosted a Christmas in July party / open house, prompting us to cross 7,238 things off of our to-do list. The front porch and yard got a makeover (see the before & after here), and the back yard got a little makeover, too. The backyard isn't finished by any means, but I hope to post a few pictures of the work in progress soon. (Note to self: if you need an extra push to get things done, host a party!!! There is nothing like the stress of hosting to get your butt in gear.)

// I teamed up with several of my high school friends over the past few months to plan and design our 10-year (!) reunion weekend. I can't believe it's been 10 years, but at the same time, I can't believe it's ONLY been 10 years... think about who you were at 18. It's kind of hilarious to see how far you've come. We toured the school, caught up on life at Around the Corner, and had a family picnic at Lakewood Park on Sunday. There's nothing like playing a pickup game of volleyball with people you haven't talked to in 10 years to bring back SO MANY memories. I couldn't stop laughing at how easy (or creepy) it is to reconnect, all thanks to social media... "I know I haven't seen you in 10 years, but I saw that you took a selfie with a baboon at the zoo 2 days ago and you looked really cute!"... haha. Social media is so weird, but it does make potentially awkward situations so much easier.

// I wrapped up a beautiful gold & blush wedding invitation suite for an old coworker and friend, and I am soo in love with how it all turned out. Their wedding is right around the corner, and I can't wait to see it all come together. Congratulations, Michelle & Dave! (Stay tuned for photos of the invitations in the next month or so!)

// We celebrated Colin's 5th and Mary's 2nd birthday last weekend, and if you don't remember or know... they have the SAME birthday. I'm still not over it and it's been two years, ha! It's an interesting challenge to come up with a birthday invitation design that suits both kids and isn't too gender specific, but I love how it all turned out. I'll be posting those soon!

// I am in the midst of working on some fun branding projects that I can't wait to share in the coming months, so suffice to say, it has been a busy summer! It flew by in the blink of an eye, and I can't wait to rest a little bit to enjoy the last bits of summer weather before the cold hits.

All that said, it's basically my excuse for completely neglecting my blog and only posting about 4-5 times this summer... :) I will have a lot to share, soon! I hope you stick around.

In the meantime, have an amazing weekend and ENJOY SUMMER!

rooted in cle / yoga + libations + light bites

As the wife (and constant cheerleader) of a small business owner and entrepreneur, nothing makes me happier than to support other small business owners in Cleveland - especially those that are my friends, and genuinely great people.

Imagine my delight when I saw that Harness Cycle was collaborating with BurkleHagen to put on another Cleveland is my OM event on Friday, May 15th full of yoga, cocktails & small bites - in a VERY cool venue. Sign. me. up.

Rooted in CLE is an evening focused on the farm-to-table lifestyle, kicking off with an hour of slow-flow yoga led by 3 Sisters Yoga. Post-yoga, Spice Kitchen & Bar will offer up small bites and The Agrarian Collective & SweetWater Caravan will serve cocktails. Yoga + delicious food + craft cocktails + great venue, all while wearing yoga pants, equals one pretty fabulous Friday night.


The event is held in the BurkleHagen photography studio & loft in Midtown Cleveland (featured above). The space is beautiful (hello, indoor swings! & a massive prop closet to swoon over) and they produce the most breathtaking images, focusing primarily on commercial food photography. If anything, give them a follow on Instagram for their drool-worthy pictures and GIFs.

While tickets are normally $50, I'm offering 10% off the ticket price with promo code "COLORWHIRL". Tickets are available for purchase here. Make sure to enter the promo code to get your discount!

The event will likely sell out, so hurry up and get your ticket! Will I see you there? Sign up, and get your om on with me!

Happy weekend, and first day of MAY! Summer, I can almost see you now! :)

Disclosure... I was given a ticket to Rooted in CLE in exchange for a post to promote the event. All opinions are my own! Thanks for helping me support other creatives, small businesses and entrepreneurs in our city.