Earlier this summer I photographed a lifestyle session for Sparrow Park Goods, a high quality, American made cotton goods company launching later this year. The company was started by Jennifer Andersen and her fiancé, and Jenn flew out to Los Angeles to oversee the shoot. I scouted a few locations before her arrival, and decided on the gorgeous El Matador State Beach for the views and large rock structures for our first spot. The main focus was on the blankets, which as you can see come in a variety of fun and colorful patterns. They are nylon on the bottom side, which is perfect for the sand or damp grass, and they roll up easily to carry and store. The blanket also has a corner zipper pocket, which I LOVE for storing your cell phone and things you don’t want to get sandy. Good looking AND functional! Yes, please. Our goal was warm lighting, bright colors and whites, and an overall feeling of relaxed happiness. Sounds like the perfect beach day, right? Styling: Jennifer Andersen and Carlene Moore
In March, my best friend and bridesmaid, Caitlin, and her mom, who I love so much, threw the most wonderful bridal shower for me! Dan and I are headed to Paris and London for our honeymoon this summer, so Mrs. Leutwiler and Caitlin pulled out all the themed stops. Seriously, it was like they had been collecting for this theme their whole life with the details they pulled off! Everything from the food to the table settings to the goodie bags with Scottie dog cookies (For Dan “Scott”) — and, of course, a life size cut-out of THE QUEEN was epic. This really felt like the kick off to the countdown of my wedding. I was very touched to be surrounded by my girlfriends, some of who flew in just for the shower, as well my future mother-in-law who also flew out. The Leutwilers live directly across the street from my home. Their house is basically an extension of my own. I took photos in their driveway every year through the end of high school on the first and last days of school, camped in their backyard, and would look to see if Caitlin’s bedroom light was on to see if it was too late to call. So you can imagine how special it was to me to have my shower there.
^^My friend Kristi, who is currently living in London and couldn’t be there, sent gorgeous gold crackers with wedding cake shaped bubbles inside!^^Did you notice the tube map??^^It was my birthday a few days later, so Mrs. Leutwiler also made me a Chocolate Biscuit Cake — the same cake Prince William had for his groom’s cake! And it was topped with the most amazing candle I’ve ever seen!
You guys! My gfs are getting married left and right. And as my friend, Emilie, pointed out, it’s going to be so sad when this period of our life ends and we don’t have an excuse to fly to one another every other month. Amy and Matt got married in Chicago last month. Such a beautiful wedding! Amy was in her element, their families were clearly so happy, and there was gold everywhere which is my FAVORITE. At one point, Dan told me he looked around and couldn’t find me or any of my girlfriends anywhere. Suddenly it dawned on him there was only one place we could all possibly be: THE PHOTO BOOTH. Jump cut to him pulling open the curtain to find thirteen girls smashed into a photo booth with the bride and props. Doyle. Congratulations Amy and Matt! (I love how Matt is smiling at Amy shimmying her way into the reception in the photo above.)Earlier that morning I got to go wedding dress shopping at BHLDN with my best friend, Caitlin. She lives in NYC and I live in LA, so it was a treat that we were able to sneak this in while both in Chicago for the wedding. She has since chosen a dress not pictured here, so I’m not revealing anything! Don’t worry! She looked gorgeous in everything she tried on (yes, everything), and I may have tried on a pair of statement earrings myself. My favorite part of BHDLN in Chicago are the huge and super private dressing rooms–very luxurious! ^^Three engaged girlfriends!^^
Earlier this month we spent a weekend in Chicago for the wedding of our friends, Sally and Andrew. Andrew’s last name is Boots, and it’s pretty much what everyone calls him. I love that Sally’s full name will now be Sally Boots! Adorable! On the Friday before the wedding we went straight from the airport to an early dinner at the Publican. Definitely one of the best meals and service that I’ve had in a while. The menu is super meat focused, and the booths have doors on them like cattle corrals–which made the meal feel private and cozy even in such a busy restaurant. Both the Publican and the wedding reception were in the Fulton Market/West Loop neighborhood, which is apparently where lots of awesome restaurants are popping up. Here are some photos from the wedding! Sally is one of my oldest friends, and weddings with all my childhood and high school girlfriends always proves to be a little silly…especially when someone discovered there were fake mustaches…^^Yep, even our bride, Sally, put on a mustache! She’s the best.
Congratulations, Sally and Boots! You two are the sweetest couple and we had the most amazing night celebrating with you!
^^A few of my best girlfriends and their boys celebrating at the wedding of our dear friends, Kristi and Henry!^^Glamorous centerpieces in Cathedral Hall at The University Club of Chicago.^^The table numbers were a nod to London, where Kristi and Henry are moving at the end of the summer.^^While in Chicago for the wedding, I got to spend a day with this amazing girl. She’s studying at The School at Steppenwolf this summer and I’m so proud and excited for her!^^And someone (hint: fiance) got a very special birthday present followed by a delicious celebration dinner at Sotto. We’ve been craving the Diavolina pizza every day since!
Three of my best gfs are getting married over the next three months, and June was the month of bachelorette celebrations! We kicked if off in Vegas for Sally and Amy‘s joint party at the Cosmopolitan, and finished it off at the Trump Soho for Kristi in NYC. What can I say? We fancy. I grew up with these girls, and it was such a treat to have our big group of friends from across the country all together TWICE in one month. I didn’t bring my camera to Vegas, but I did snap this amazing view of the strip from our balcony on my iphone. Then I fly to NYC a week later, and this is the view from our room at the Trump Soho! I couldn’t get over it. I was obsessed with spotting all the secret rooftop gardens. Staying in Soho felt like such a luxury–obviously a favorite neighborhood, and so wonderful to be able to walk everywhere from our hotel. ^The bachelorette, Kristi, her sister-in-law, and sister. ^Fun to see citi bikes all over! ^Brunch on the roof of Hotel Chantelle was so festive. They had 92 cent cocktails and half way through our meal an amazing jazz band started up! I loved the vibe (and the food) there. ^They had bocce ball by the pool. Why are things on rooftops more fun than on the ground? Congrats to all my brides-to-be! I love you girls.
While I was in Chicago over the holidays, I was lucky to celebrate my friend Amy’s engagement! Her fiance, Matt, organized a surprise birthday/engagement celebration. Amy texted our group of girlfriend’s to tell us she was engaged (!!) — little did she know we were all on our way to her apartment building to surprise her. The look on her face and getting to witness their parents seeing the couple for the first time post-engagement was a moment I’ll never forget. There were tears and hugs and toasts (uh, yeah I cried, obviously)! Big cheers to Matt for planning the surprise. High five to my girlfriends for not spilling the beans! And congratulations to Amy and Matt and their families!! And congratulations to my dear friends Kristi and Henry who also got engaged this holiday season! He proposed in Central Park at the reservoir. I love that! I’ve got some fun weddings coming up this year!
Aren’t they beauties? Here we are near the end of another classic three hour girlfriend’s brunch. We celebrated Jo Jo’s birthday (top right) at GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago the other day. No matter how far apart we all live or how long we go without catching up, put us all together, and we really are quite the Chatty Cathy’s!
I recently celebrated my friend Jackie’s birthday with a girlfriend’s lunch at Sage in Echo Park. I loved the adorable succulents on every table, and the bright, airy atmosphere. I don’t always love vegan products (cashew cheese…no, thank you), but they serve these delicious bowls filled with a variety of veggies, grains, and spices. Plus, are you seeing this vegan cake masterpiece? Yes, please! Isn’t Jackie the cutest? I love these girls!
I flew home to Chicago over the weekend for my friend Carly’s bridal shower. Carly is my first girlfriend from high school to get married, making the whole event that much more special. And to top it off? She’s marrying JB! Who also went to our high school! It’s such a treat to be from the same town where their families still live. Somehow I lucked out because the two are currently living in Santa Monica, near me.
The bridal shower was gorgeous and intimate. Lots of ladies gathered together to celebrate Carly’s August nuptials with lunch, (several) bellinis, and gifts. It was so wonderful to spend the day with my best friends. Carly wore a beautiful cream dress from Anthropologie. And how adorable is her mother in those polka dots?! I see a strong family resemblance running among those Andersen ladies.