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    For My Dad

    For My Dad

    I was eleven and a half years old when I met my father. He had no idea about me either, but as soon as he found out he couldn’t wait to be a part of my life. My mom kept my father’s identity a secret for reasons I understand now that I’m an adult. But I always felt strange growing up in a family that looked so different than all my peers’ nuclear units.

     

    It will never escape me that he had a choice. He could have walked away and continued on the life he had planned. But he didn’t. He wanted to be my dad as much as I needed a father. He lived a couple hours away and would drive down for every recital, every ceremony, or just to get a coke at a drive-in.

    Wait– it gets better. He had been dating a woman for several years at that point. They knew they wanted to marry each other one day, but were taking their time and enjoying the ride. Can you imagine bringing home news like this to your steady? He was prepared for her to leave him and he was ready to accept that in order to be part of my life– without either of them having met me yet. He drove the two hours back home, delivered the news, and (understandably) needed to rest. When he woke up, she had made a lovely dinner complete with a dozen roses, my picture in a frame and some “it’s a girl!” balloons. She said she already loved me because I was his.

    The best part about the whole thing was my mom’s side of the family was pretty estranged (and we knew about each other all along); they lived all over the country and never saw it as a priority to get together but maybe a half-dozen times throughout my childhood. But, when I met my dad, all of a sudden it felt like I had a real family– like in my home state, who like wanted to spend time together. Crazy, right?! I got to feel what family gatherings should have been like all along. Plenty of warmth, love and joy to go around. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. It was like Christmas morning got Christmas morninged. Does that make sense?

    childhood collage

    He took me on a big grand tour to meet all my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who were living nearby the whole time without even knowing it. Finally, I knew why I was tall, had thick hair, a sharp tongue, loud voice, artistic sensibilities, stick-to-it-iveness, blue-green eyes and ginger hair.

    Before meeting him, I would see someone in the grocery store and wonder “is that my dad?”

    For the record, that’s a pretty weird thought for a little kid to have on a regular basis.

    The point is, everything changed for me after that day. I got to fill in generations’ worth of blanks, finally understanding more wholly who I am and where I came from– and most importantly, what it means to be a family. The funny thing is that my mom was treated like a black sheep for having a child on her own out of wedlock, and the two of us were shunned for that. The family that could have turned a blind eye at a bastard child welcomed both my mom and I with open arms, hearts and minds. For that, I will always be grateful.

    family photos

    And I got to go from being an only child to a single mother, to (eventually) the oldest of four. I am a very proud big sister.

    Thanks for letting me share this with you.

    Savvy Style for Easter Seals of Louisana

    Savvy Style for Easter Seals of Louisana

    When it comes to fashion, the only thing better than feeling awesome is finding a great piece for a good price. For me, bargain hunting is not just an expression, it’s a skillset. So, when I was asked to be a style judge for the upcoming Sealed in Style Gala for Easter Seals of Louisiana, the game was on.

    liz modeling

     

    Along with fellow style mavens, Juley (Upperlyne) and Tiffany (Flying Fox + Bats on Strings), we were sent on a mission to find an outfit for the event at The Shops at Canal Place. (I know, SUPER difficult, right?) Nevertheless, I was determined to get the most bang for my buck.

     

    I am all about jacket game. Chic blazers, badass moto jackets, the perfect chambray, you name it, I covet. So, when I stopped into BCBGMAXAZRIA I made a bee-line for the clearance rack and saw this beauty. I always start at the sale items, because you never know what people have passed up before you. Also, being in New Orleans, our seasons are way off the retail schedule, so pieces from summer are getting discounted to make room for fall, while we’re still glistening in the heat. No worries. As far as basics go, just pay attention to the hues and fabrics. There’s usually something wonderful just waiting to be discovered that can totally be rocked all year round.

     

    hands folded

    Such was the case with this delicious dusty pink blazer. Y’all, it was love at first sight. The linen is nice and light, perfect for our warmish Southern “fall” and “winter” (if that’s what you can call it). The color, although light, has muddy undertones that pair nicely with warm colors. AND it was half off. I was not mad at all.

    I did splurge on this fantastic black pencil skirt, because I’d been on the hunt for the perfect one for quite some time. Lo and behold, I found her. Classic in structure, contemporary in the details and kind to my curves, this bandage skirt had to come home with me. Since adding this staple to my wardrobe, I’ve paired it with button-down blouses and my favorite v-neck t-shirts alike. An investment piece that I will get a lot of mileage out of for sure.

    liz with starbucks

    This is my totally normal way of drinking coffee. Promise.

    Oh, and can we talk about these shoes real quick? Ok. Scored these nude suede Coach pumps with with faux matte alligator suede details and killer geometry (no pain with the right angles, ladies) for ONE PENNY. It’s true. They were brand new, I just happened to find them at a DSW close to a mall with high end shops– which is apparently key. (psst– it was the one in Houston by the Galleria!) They were marked down 75% off from their original price and by using a couple of coupons they had sent previously they rang up to $0.01. It’s my greatest shopping triumph yet.

    mignon faget jewelry

     

    My first visit to New Orleans, I saw a billboard for Mignon Faget‘s Hive collection and immediately fell in love. I’m a sucker for organic geometry, so getting to sparkle in the iconic collection inspired by beehives was straight out of my Crescent City fairy tale. I love the feel of a statement bracelet, so I opted to wear the Hive Wide Cuff and paired it with the Double Row Ring for a little extra bling. When it comes to jewelry, I like minimalism and consistency. Since I went with such a bold piece on my arm, I chose more demure pieces for the rest of the ensemble. The Hive Dangle Earrings and Hive Stations Chain Necklace suited perfectly. Last but not least, I fashioned the Hive Brooch into a barrette with a couple bobby pins.

    liz with hairpin

     

    I’m so looking forward to the Sealed in Style Gala on Saturday, November 1st  8pm -11pm at The Shops At Canal Place. All proceeds benefit Easter Seals Louisiana’s disability services, more on that here. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll be judging the Style Contest, so come dressed to impress. One lucky attendee will receive a prize package worth $500 from The Shops At Canal Place! Mark your calendar and enjoy the open bar, dancing, food, silent auction, photo line and music.  Tickets are on sale now!

    Check out my Pinterest board for styles I would love to see. (Bonus points for bargain bragging rights!)

    liz blazer

    Special thanks to Mignon Faget Ltd and Ashley Bel Photography for the photos, and the The Shops at Canal Place for the shopping spree!

    love liz

     

    Lindsay & Josh’s Southern Summertime Wedding

    Lindsay & Josh’s Southern Summertime Wedding

    Lindsay and Josh's wedding

    Lindsay and Josh found us last November at the Renegade Bridal Fair and we immediately got to work. The first time we met up to discuss the direction of their wedding paper suite, Lindsay insisted on having me over to their home for wine and cheese– and I am not one to refuse wine or cheese. There’s something I love about meeting clients in their own space, I get a lot of aesthetic direction by seeing what you choose for your home, how you style it and how you live in it. There’s not a pinboard in the world that can translate the information that feeling the energy of your home can convey.

    We quickly pinned down a few key elements– navy blue, woodgrain envelope liners and an entirely hand-lettered suite. The invitation, response postcard and accommodations card were letterpress printed in super thick cotton savoy paper with navy blue ink. For the rehearsal dinner invitation, they wanted it to look cohesive but stand out on its own. We went with a mirror silver foil-stamped onto square-shaped navy blue stock.

    Lindsay and Josh Wedding Invitations

    A couple after my own heart, they wanted everything to match. We created custom party cups, koozies, a program fan (to cool off those glistening guests), wooden cake topper, monogram notecards and matching rubber stamps. The day-of projects included hand-drawn paper signage, chalkboards and second line handkerchiefs.

    Coozies

     

    Wedding cake

    chalkboard

    plum street snowballs

    hanging name cards

    dance floor cards

    wedding party dacing

    josh and lindsay wedding day

    Mazel tov, Mr. & Mrs. Friedmann!

    love liz