20 January 2016

SWPT Bridal

Hello all!

I have the most exciting announcement and I just had to come over here and tell my 
Les Jour Contents family!

I am opening an online vintage bridal boutique!

Owning my own store, working with clothes, working in the bridal industry, all of these things have been dreams of mine and it's insane that I have finally taken the leap and built up an inventory, purchased a website, and filled out something called an LLC which I am assured that I do need have. It's been a whirlwind filled with times of total doubt and equal times certainity. There have been a million Pinterest boards made, Google Docs shared, and Trader Joe's pizzas consumed in the name of stress-research. 

As you know, Ben and I have been engaged for what feels like two hundred years (jk we're getting married in two months, WHAT?! Remember when we'd just moved to Russia?!) As we went through our wedding planning process there were some things I noticed about "bridal world" that didn't quite sit right with me. I wanted to be working with people my own age, I wanted there to be more emotions (besides the joyful, blushing bride ones), and more conversation about the insane decision some of us make to join our lives with someone else. I wanted to feel like there were girls like me out there, totally in love, fearless and freaked out all at the same time. I wanted to have a wedding that was a celebration of love, but wasn't pretending to be something it's not. 

When I began SWPT, I was determined to do just that. Not only do I want to scour the depths of southern Craigslist ads and ferociously bid on eBay listings into the night, but also to provide my dresses with personalities. I wanted to let my fellow brides out there know that love is not a perfect thing and marriage is even further from it. Be SWPT up into all the messy passion of love. But on a dress that's you and march down that aisle, that dirt trail, the rug in the courthouse. 

So I started buying dresses. And then I bought a steamer. And then I learned how to use that steamer. And then I got business cards and a website. I poured myself into every part of this. I know this is all a bit rambly, but since you are my people I feel like I can be candid. 

Please check out my website: 
//Instagram (I am looking for love story submissions, check out the ones already up and send me yours!)
//Etsy (coming February 2016!)

Thank you to everyone who still reads this blog, for following me all around the internet. I feel like I'm telling a really friend about this. Thank you for being that for me. 

I hope to see you over at SWPT. I think once it gets going I'll be doing a little blogging over there as well!

love always, 

I just wanted to share one of my favorite features of SWPT and that is our love stories. Send me your quick blurb about the actual moment you knew they were the one and then you'll get instagram famous (jk won't help at all, but do it anyway!). Here are two real life rockstars in my life sharing theirs:

Send me your stories, your thoughts, your feelings I want to hear it ALL!

06 December 2015

Penelope Pumpkin

Ben and I have had so many exciting changes in our lives lately that it feels overwhelming to try and sit and write it all. Ben got a great new job and we moved into our favorite neighborhood in the city. I have a really exciting and potentially life changing creative endeavor that I have undertaken and I can't wait to share it all over the internet.

But the absolute most important and biggest change to our lives is that we got a tiny kitten named Penelope (but we call her Penny)! She is a white-gray Persian and she has just brought so much joy to our lives.

We've been talking about getting a pet for years, but since we were in Moscow, it felt near impossible. Though the urge was there, dealing with pet passports and quarantines and foreign medical bills was just too overwhelming. When we came home we started the conversation again, but it was usually centered around dogs because
1. I grew up with dogs and always assumed I would get one
2. I've never really been fond of any cat I've met (they hide under the bed all day/they don't reaaaally love you, etc.)
3. I'm kind of allergic to cats

However, it's really hard to get a dog if you live in an apartment or work all day, both being true in our lives. Neither of us could give a dog the kind of attention we would like to, so everything seemed off the table until I started warming up to the idea of a cat.

I began to do some research about cat allergies, different breeds and their attributing personality traits and really like what I had to read about Persians in particular. They are very social cats who crave being around their owners and aren't as... potentially destructive as other cats (i.e. climbing on counters, knocking stuff over). So I started looking on craigslist for people with Persian litters and we found one out in the country of Illinois! So on Halloween we drove a couple of hours to a Culvers on the side of a highway and picked up our sweet baby Penny.

I don't even know what to say about this cat- she is just the joy of our lives. She has completely renewed our energy. She is playful and loving and curious and as sweet as can be. She loves being around us and is always curled up near. We tried to encourage her to sleep outside of our room, but she would cry (and really, it was CRYING... for like, hours) so now she sleeps in between us like the princess that she is.

It's been a wonderful thing having her in our home. I'm so grateful for her and all the lessons of love and patience she's helped me learn.

Cat overload pictures ahead (what?? How am I a person who even types stuff like that?)

When we attempted to train her to sleep in the other room. How adorable is she, seriously?

And now that we've had her for a little bit more than a month, we're ready to try and start curbing some of her bad kitty behaviors (scratching, lightly biting when she's excited). Tell me all of your cat tips and tricks!


17 September 2015

Our Dreamy Camping Engagement Shoot Pt. 2

After bouncing around the beach of Devil's Lake State Park, we decided to hike a trail and take some more scenic pictures. We had some dinky map we were referencing and we found one on the other side of the lake that was something like 0.7 of a mile. Sounded easy enough, so we filled our backpacks with New Glarus beers and headed out to the trail. 

What the hike ended up being was about 0.7 of a mile uphill. Up a rocky, jagged mountain. Which is fine if that is what I knew we were doing. We ended up just sort of running up the thing thinking we were just a turn away from a scenic shot. It was a funny rush and when we were nearly at the top we all collapsed on some rocks and whipped out our beers for some awesome conversation and what ended up being my favorite shots. 

One thing I really appreciated about Christian was his shooting style-it was quick and painless. Ben and I were hardly asked to pose and most of our shots are us talking and smiling together in the real way that we were actually talking and smiling. Christian had a pretty unobtrusive camera and only shot about five pictures when he did decide to shoot and it was over before you even realized it was happening.

So that's our little engagement shoot. For as sleep deprived and anxious and sweaty and frizzy as we were, Christian was able to capture some really authentic moments between us and I'm so grateful to have these photos. It's a really special thing to be able to look back on great pictures and see just how happy and in love you really are.

Thank you for all your kind words about the photos, I'm so happy to have shared them with you. And check out Christian's blog! All his work is stunning, I cannot recommend him more highly for any and all of your photographing needs.

Check out our Engagement Shoot Pt. 1

15 September 2015

Our Dreamy Camping Engagement Shoot Pt. 1

We had our engagement shoot on a hot, sticky day in the dells of Wisconsin a month or so ago. I had found the incredibly talented Christian Gideon through the blogosphere a couple years ago and kept up with his work while Ben and I were still in Russia. After we got engaged, I waited about 15 minutes before I sent Christian an email, knowing he was really the only person I thought could take the kind of pictures I wanted to have. 

Everyone's individual wedding style is something they need to figure out on their own, but for us it has always been clear. We want to look like ourselves, sound like ourselves, be ourselves. I really turn away from the sterilized, starched wedding look. It was difficult to even find engagement inspiration photos because all of them were stretched and photoshopped. Before Ben and I went to go meet Christian, we had drinks with some friends and we all exchanged photo shoot horror stories we'd seen on Facebook (a couple in a field wrapped in a fur blanket was the winner).

We decided to go camping in Wisconsin because 1. We met in Wisconsin and 2. Being outdoors is very natural and therapeutic for us. When we lived in New Hampshire, we used to walk trails and swim in the clear rivers. Some of our happiest times have been drinking beers by the fire and talking deep into the night. 

The night before our shoot, however, was a mess. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me to like, stay in a hotel and just show up the next morning, but we just pitched a tent, threw our clothes into a backpack and that was that. 

So naturally the worst storm of the summer happened that night. 

We woke up around 2 a.m. to some of the worst lightning I had ever experienced. The whole campground was lit up in endless white light, though no rain had appeared yet. Ben and I sleepily left the tent and collected all the rest of our camping supplies and packed it up tight. The rest of the campground moved like frightened, quiet ghosts; we all knew this amount of lightning would lead to an interesting night. 

When the rain eventually started, it came down fast and hard. I screamed and clutched Ben and he laughed and rubbed my back. A tree fell about twenty feet away. Our tent twisted and turned and water slipped into the sides to dampen our clothes. I probably slept about two hours the entire night.

The next morning Christian arrived (also shaken from his camping storm experience further up north) and the three of us began making pancakes and swapping lightning stories. 

What followed was a day that really captured our spirits: we ate, we rowed, we parked illegally, we climbed a surprisingly challenging little trail, we drank New Glarus, we talked and laughed. I'm so in love with the pictures that came from this and I'm so grateful for having found a photographer who was able to give us images of us that are really us. 

I will load the rest of the pictures in a couple of days.

Photography: Christian Gideon || Location: Devil's Lake, Baraboo WI 
Campground: Fox Hill RV Park
Christian's blog entry about the day: here
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