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The last days before a new beginning

Hey Friends

I am getting an early start to the day and kicking off my Monday morning with some time think and organize the 1,000 thoughts swirling around in my head. Why am I feeling so cluttered and foggy this morning, well I am 36 weeks pregnant (yikes!) with my 2nd child and the last days can get a little frantic with trying to do it all before the new one makes her arrival.

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In addition to the chores that have to be done, like shopping for necessities and decorating her nursery, I have been doing some fun things too. Of course! This is the only time I am going to be pregnant with a girl (my first is a boy) and the last time I will be pregnant. This pregnancy has not be as much fun as the first one but I am on a mission to enjoy the last moments with her in my belly!

We are lucky to live in a neighborhood with some wonderful people. The girls in my neighborhood, who all have 2 or more kids of their own and jobs and a million other responsibilities, got together and hosted a lovely girls night/shower for me. It was a wonderful night and I am so grateful that everyone took that time to get together and shower me and baby girl with love. How sweet are these little outfits they decorated with? And this cake, well, take my word, it was divine! I ate my fair share and then some!

Pink Baby Shower Cake and decorations

To thank these lovely ladies for making me feel so special, I wanted to get them a treat. So I went to LUSH and picked out some fun little things. If you have a LUSH store near you, go there now and treat yourself to some delicious goodies. I went a little over board, with things for myself, but I thought you would want me to test them out and report back. Stay tuned for another post dedicated to the goods that I got on that little haul. Loving this lip scrub!

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If you follow me on Instagram, and I hope you do!, you can tell I’ve been kind of slammed, squeezing in the last few days of work that I can. I have one more shoot coming up this week and that will likely be the last. But I did say that last week and here I am prepping for another (as a full time freelancer, I am always grateful for the opportunity to work another day!).FullSizeRender-3 This is one from the most recent workshop that my good friend, Katelyn James, hosts a few times each year. Just before the participants started to shoot, the snow began to fall. It was beautiful! We snagged this photo of some of the talented vendors that worked to put the shoot together and I headed out before the weather got too bad!

Good thing I had this guy to help me out! He got me in and out of the shoot, to our appointment with the midwife and got my son picked up. He is a much better driver in the elements than I am!

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Then the snow really came down, I think we got about 8 inches, which is a lot for Richmond. Then school was closed for the entire week! There is still snow on the ground! Since my husband was going to be home from work the next day we decided to take some of our own maternity pictures, using this gorgeous snowy background.

Since I am not a professional photographer, but I know a lot of them them, I decided to throw it out in some photo groups to see if anyone wanted to do a snowy maternity shoot with us for portfolio shots.  This awesome photographer, who I had actually met at one of Katelyn’s workshops, responded and we started emailing back and forth to set it up. She couldn’t get out of her driveway the day that Jeff was home but she did come the next day and she got some beautiful shots!

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See more here on her blog, and if you are Richmond, you will want to hire this girl asap for maternity/newborn/family photos. She rocks. I am so grateful that she wanted to do this with me! When I was pregnant with Silas, we had a lot of time to do fun things like this and keep the excitement up. This time around, my husband and are both working a lot (which is awesome!) and we have a very active almost 2 year old, so we haven’t done anything like this. Some people may think taking photos like this is an indulgence but it really is a special time to be documented and every pregnant woman should feel special and beautiful.

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Ideally, my husband would have been here for these photos but he was back at work. I am looking forward to the newborn session that I booked Sarah for. She is going to come to our house to photograph the new baby and also get some with my husband and son. I am grateful to have someone so talented capture this time for us.

These will be PERFECT to use for her birth announcements, which I plan to order from Minted. I think sending some magnets to grandparents and close friends would be fun! I always keep birth announcements but I know they often end up in the trash. Magnets can be a fun way to keep the image on the fridge a bit longer.  Because I KNOW I am going to have a hard time deciding, I will probably need to get us and grandparents a mini book too! I know they will want to show her off to their friends.

Can you help me pick a design for the announcements? I will probably want one with multiple photos on it like this one? But I also love these, with one image and all the info. It can be so hard to decide. I need

Wish me luck as I enter into the world of multi-baby parenting!

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Recap of 2012

Every year, I like to recap the year to see where I have been before I start planning and
goal setting for next year. I feel like a wise person once told us that you need to understand
where you’ve been to clearly plan where you will be going next.

In 2012, I made HUGE progress in my business and personal life. I am expecting a baby soon, (YouTube Preview Image) and will make the gender announcement on YouTube next month. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and subscribe to get new blog posts to your email so you don’t miss it! We are busy getting our house ready for those changes.

I told myself that I was only doing 25 weddings in 2012 so that I could take some personal time and have some fun. Maybe I could learn to say no a little. I did better than I thought I would with this. I lost count but I think I did 28 or 29, but I for sure less than 30. Next year, I am only taking 12 brides. A few of those spots have been snagged so if you want one, speak now!

Last year, I launched a new business, Money Making Makeup Artist. This is a business consulting/mentoring/coaching program that I have created to help people launch their own freelance businesses. Head on over to the website and get the free resources that you get from my emails. Right now, there is a great giveaway that you won’t want to miss! Get this great workbook and calendar to create your incredible 2013200ad1

Now here is my 2012 recap!

January: To start of the year, I had the opportunity to join some colleagues of mine from the Richmond Wedding Industry to speak on a panel at The Special Event in Tampa, Fl.  Our topic was The Time Crunch, Managing the Day of Timeline.  I learned so much from this opportunity that I as able to take with me thru rest of the year.

My first speaking opportunity at the special event in Tampa, Jan 2012

My first speaking opportunity at the special event in Tampa, Jan 2012

February:

My husband and I, along with our pals Kristen and Chris, attend the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras ball. Since Kristen and I are Louisiana natives, and my husband did live there for 2 years, we especially love this time of year. We were thrilled when we had the opportunity to attend this swanky event and had a great time. Then, when we got home, my husband surprised me by having a King Cake overnighted from New Orleans. Yep, I married well!

Washington D.C. Mardi Gras Ball

Washington D.C. Mardi Gras Ball

King Cake I also started my YouTube Channel, which had been a long time goal. I finally did it and I was pretty proud of myself that I managed to get this video submission to L’Oreal for a contest they were holding last year.YouTube Preview Image

March:

They say the first year is the hardest. On March 19th, we had officially been married for 1 year and I have to say that while year 1 was not too shabby, year 2 has been incredible. More on that coming soon. I already told you that we are expanding, right? Did you see the video announcement?

On our actual anniversary, my friend Katelyn James had us pose as the bride and groom in her Spring photography workshop. It was so fun to dress up and be a bride and groom (in different clothes, in a different city, in a different venue, with 30 photographers, HA!, no really we LOVED it).  Thanks, Katelyn, I love being a part of your Workshop Experience. I usually do hair and makeup for the models and this time I got to be a vendor and a model!

photo by Katelyn James Photography

photo by Katelyn James Photography

From there we scooted off to Charlottesville to enjoy a 1st anniversary get away weekend. It was wonderful!

April:

This is when the wedding season always gets fully in the swing of things so I was really busy with that, I think we had 4 or 5 that month. Technically, I think this was March 31 but its usually in April so we will include it here. We did the Monument 10k run here in Richmond. Since Im not the fastest racer, I make up for it with mad style.
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May:

This is also a busy month for weddings, my team did 5 more this month. Im not sure how I found the time to go to New York City twice in May but Im glad that I did! Having the opportunity to attend the Fitness magazine blogger Meet and Tweet was incredible, more on that here. The very next week I went back for the Likeable Awards and the Makeup Show.

NYC Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet. I got to meet Laura Geller and Mia Hamm! So much swag to blog about!

NYC Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet. I got to meet Laura Geller and Mia Hamm! So much swag to blog about!

The Makeup Show in NYC 2012.

The Makeup Show in NYC 2012.

June:

This was a fun month, 2 more weddings, another trip to New York City for a photo shoot and a road trip to my husband’s home town for his family friend’s wedding. We had a great time!

Having fun as wedding guests!

Having fun as wedding guests!

July:

Three more weddings and loads of commercial work kept me really busy in July. Somehow I found time to squeeze in another fun race, the Color Me Rad color run.

Behind the Scenes working on a commercial.

Behind the Scenes working on a commercial.

Color Me Rad 5k Richmond

August:

My mom came to visit RIchmond so that was a nice treat. The week after, I was hired as a stylist for the Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, when we spoke here.

Paul Ryan VP Candidate

September:

My husband and I bought our first home. We have been very busy the last few months getting everything together for our new arrival.

Moving into our 1st House

October:

This is by far, my favorite month of the year. I love my birthday and Halloween and all the fall parties that start happening. I hadn’t posted this picture on Facebook or Instagram since we hadn’t officially announced the baby yet, but this was my Halloween costume. I had a lot of fun with this.

Halloween Costume

November:

Thanksgiving is a close second favorite holiday (to my birthday/Halloween). I had a lot of fun tracking what I was grateful for each day. That inspired my gratitude challenge, which I encourage you to start in the new year. The email notifications that I get twice daily to prompt me to record what I am thankful for at that moment. I encourage you to try it out.

I was really grateful for all the kind words and sweet messages that we had gotten from our big announcement. Not going to lie, I have watched this video quiet a few times. It just makes me happy.
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My husband and I took a spur of the moment trip to the Domincan Republic. It was much needed and all around amazing. While I was there I read 2 books, that I will be telling you more about soon. First I read, Blogger Inc, which you should grab if you are thinking of starting a blog or if you already have one. Even after 4+ years of blogging, I learned so much!

Blogging Inc

If you already have a blog or you want to start a blog, READ THIS BOOK!

If you already have a blog or you want to start a blog, READ THIS BOOK!

I had been wanting to read the Happiness Project for a long time. I ran out of magazines and books that I had brought, so I downloaded it on my iPad and it was a great read! It totally inspired a new project that you will see more of in 2013, so more on that later. Right now, I am reading the follow up, Happier at Home.

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So that is my year in review. Coming soon, my January goals for 2013. Let’s do it together!