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Today’s post was intended to be something entirely different. But last night, when I sat down to work on it, I couldn’t think of anything else. I couldn’t think of weddings, and churches, and pretty gowns. All I could think of was this.

puppy, dog, pup, shepherd, german shepherd, cute dog,

Internet, meet Kira.
And internet, please ignore the mess behind Kira’s head. Actually, let’s just pretend it’s not there.

Some dog owner’s say that they looooove their dog. And don’t get me wrong, some of them do. But to say that I loved my dog would be the biggest understatement of the century. Kira is happiness to me. She is a best friend. A playmate. A therapist. A confidante. We’ve already started researching what mental hospital I will stay at when Kira passes on. Okay, I kid. I kid. But seriously, this dog means more to me than I could ever express in a blog post.

Kira was a rescue dog. A stray – all alone – at only eight weeks. It was a miracle she was alive. They told us she had “beaten the odds.” Just a few short weeks after we got her she was diagnosed with distemper. They recommended we put her down. But, we were already in love. We fought it. We paid lots in vet bills. Fed her by hand. Gave her medication backwards, forwards, sideways at all times of night and day. She survived. A twenty percent survival rate, and she did it. Beat the odds. Again.

It has been years since then. Today, Kira is undergoing a long, intense surgery to fix one of her two bad hips. They will shave her. Anesthetize her. Medicate her. She will be scared. In pain. And I can’t be with her. This breaks my heart. When I dropped her off this morning, I was a hot mess – for lack of a better phrase. I have to leave her all alone. Without me.

And then I stopped and thought to myself: It’s Kira. Kira, the strongest dog I’ve ever met. The fighter. The surviver. All the memories of her puppyhood came flooding back to me and I felt instantly relieved. Today – and even tomorrow – will be hard for her. But it’s Kira. Like always, she’ll be fine.

Lauren - Awww, Amanda, this made me cry! I feel the SAME exact way about my dog, and we’ve had issues with her along the way as well. I know as she gets older she’s probably going to have to have procedures done as well. I’ll be thinking of you and Kira today, but I KNOW she’ll do amazing through the surgery!July 23, 2010 – 11:17 AM

Lindsey - Gosh you made me cry this morning, too! BIG virtual hugs. She’ll be ever so happy when she sees you. That’s what I love about dog personalities– they’re not pissed you left, just thrilled you are back. <3July 23, 2010 – 11:48 AM

Becca - I know exactly how you feel.. My beagle baby girl will be 13 in January and isn’t doing so well these days. Happy thoughts for you and Kira <3July 23, 2010 – 12:03 PM

april - She sounds like a strong pup, & I’m sure she’s in good hands… try not to worry. Easier said than done, I’m sure. I felt the same when our girl needed knee surgery. She will be fine, & when she gets home you can spoil her rotten. :) Hoping for a speedy recovery for Kira!July 23, 2010 – 12:24 PM

Dognbird - Aww this post is so thoughtful. Pets are our friends and family. Wishing all the best and a speedy recovery for Kira!July 23, 2010 – 2:08 PM

Snide Bride - Go Kira! loved this post so much. feel the same way about my big white boy kitty. he is my everything, and I have no problem admitting it.
let me know what mental hospital you find. I’ll be there at some point as well :)July 23, 2010 – 2:32 PM

ETC - Gaahhhh! Totally teared up, and you know that’s not like me. Lots of love to you and Kira and Greg!July 24, 2010 – 12:20 AM

Erica Nikolaidis - Oh, I hope all goes well. Give us an update when you can.July 24, 2010 – 5:49 PM

deenik01 - Thinking of you all and especially little Kira. She WILL be fine ! She IS a fighter and she has two such loving parents that even when they can’t be with her- she knows how much they love her ! Hang in there kiddo and keep us posted !
Also thinking of Greg…hope you can celebrate his birthday in some way ! Give him a big hug from us !July 25, 2010 – 7:21 AM

Becki - Just read this (linked from the “four” post). Wow, didn’t know all this about Kira. What a strong girl.October 20, 2011 – 8:02 PM


I don’t make it any secret: I am not a chef. My friends know this. My family knows this. And, perhaps most importantly, my husband knows this. I don’t enjoy cooking – the process, the time, the cleaning. Really, the only part of it that I enjoy is the eating part. Embarrassing, I know. And so completely uncultured of me. I know this. So, when I explained to some new friends of mine this ummmm, situation, they played it down. It can’t be that bad. I’m sure you’re better in the kitchen than you think.


After whipping up some cupcakes for our anniversary a few weeks ago, I took this photo to prove just how bad the situation was….errrr is. And, now I get no argument from friends that doubted the extremity. But my little secret? It’s ugly as sin, but tastes like a dessert of the Gods. I bring you homemade icing:

You can make fun of its atrocious appearance all you want. And, while I might have been a little ashamed at first. After tasting one bite, my shame fizzled. What’s that saying? You can’t judge a book by it’s cover? Yeah, I’d say that’s fair here. Because, after all, an ugly cupcake is still a cupcake.

Want to make your own homemade icing? It’s easy [trust me, or I wouldn’t do it].

1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter
2 squares of Baker’s chocolate
milk, to consistency

Melt butter with chocolate. Mix with everything but the milk.
Add milk tiny bits at a time while beating with an electric mixer until the desired consistency is met. Spread on!


ETC - You are so cute! Congrats on making yumminess!!! :)July 24, 2010 – 12:19 AM

stephanie - add a lil instant coffee in there too and watch the fun begin!July 24, 2010 – 9:19 AM


I think everyone is inspired by different things. Many brides are inspired by the glossy pages of a new wedding magazine. Many wedding planners and event designers I’ve worked with gain their inspiration from fashion and interior design rather than recent wedding trends. As a photographer, I am slowly learning that my biggest inspiration comes from experiences.

A few weeks ago, I walked into the Philadelphia Anthropologie store with the intention only of browsing. And, though I’ve been by the store before and swooned over its fabulously striking appearance, I never realized just how inspiring the store was. As I uncovered more about the company and the company’s history, it turns out that Anthropologie – a subset of Urban Outfitters – actually had its beginnings in quaint, old Philadelphia. So, the store in Rittenhouse Square, which is a striking old mansion building, is actually a flagship store for the brand.

And, while I have no doubt that all Anthropologie stores are incredibly unique and inspiring, let’s just say that unearthing that this one is a flagship store, well, that explains a lot. In simple facts, the building was formerly a four-story mansion. With ornate detailing, a grand spiral staircase, and big windows, this leaves little to be desired. Then add the fact that Anthropologie keeps a constant “external display” and you have a visual feast. Earlier this summer, it was a fake vine that wound its way around the building [man do I wish I had gotten some pictures then!]. Now, it’s tangled twine or yarn spinning its way about and into the windows. Incredible.

anthropologie, philadelphia, rittenhouse square, anthro, flagship store, urban outfitters

Internally, Anthropologie does what they do best – a fabulously unique design with a neutral palette and unexpected elements…. everywhere.

Upon one of my first visits to the store, I tweeted “Just wandered @Anthropologie and now have the sudden urge to redecorate my entire house… and closet!” and received a ridiculous number of responses stating that the store makes them want to do the same. Know where most of these responses were from? Yup, Philadelphia.

With so many great sites to see in the history-rich Philadelphia, I almost have a hard time saying this, but if you come through or near the city, you really just have to take a peek for yourself. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

Now, what inspires you?

Nicole - Absolutely love the Anthro building and they have the best displays. Always something striking and unique when I go by. They definitely know how to draw folks in.July 22, 2010 – 10:08 PM

Heather - Great post! And I agree – anthro is such an inspiring spot! Now I want to go shopping 😉July 26, 2010 – 3:25 PM

Candice - I have to tell you, I know this post is from last year but I visited this store yesterday and I absolutely love it. I’m totally obsessed with the building, I’m an architecture nerd, I really did lose all sense of time in there.September 5, 2011 – 8:36 PM


Since I started posting a Tuesday Shoesday, I have posted pretty much nothing other than the peep toe. What can I say? I’m partial. Well today, my friends, I have a surprise for you. I am utterly and completely in love with these. Not only do I think they would look adorable with pretty much any summer wardrobe, but with the right wedding – and the right bride – I think they could be the perfect shoe choice. I bring you: yellow flats.

And, because I’m beginning to think it’s unfair to be posting all these cute shoes without giving you an outlet to get them, I looked everywhere for these beauties… to no avail. However, I did spot these on my ever-favorite Amazon and think they’d make an acceptable substitute.

yellow flat, tuesday shoesday, shoes, flats, suede, yellow suede, martinez valero$58, Martinez Valero Jayne Rose Ornament Flat, available here via Amazon

What do you think? Are you for or against the yellow flat?

Be sure to check out my previous Tuesday Shoesday posts and the rest of the Tuesday Shoesday goodness around the web:
Landlocked BrideSwatchbook WeddingsSimply & ForeverMeant to be SentGwyneth Paige,
Life in the Super BurbsSlice of Lime DesignLauren Kelly EventsApril Foster EventsJan Schill,
and Weddings and Pretty Things.

Super Burbs - Those precious little yellow joys need to walk on over the Super Burbs and make themselves at home :) LOVE.July 20, 2010 – 1:24 PM

April Foster - I want a pair!July 20, 2010 – 9:29 PM

Brit - Love these!! They look so comfy!July 26, 2010 – 1:35 AM

Allison Cass - FOR!

I think I like the ones you found on Amazon even better!!!July 26, 2010 – 3:04 PM


As I said on Friday, I was thrilled to second shoot this one for La Dolce Vita Studio. I have been a long-time huge fan of their work, so to get the opportunity to shoot alongside them thrilled me. And, their couple, Jenifer and Jared, left nothing to be desired either – a fabulous duo that, even when the weather messed with their plans, went along with it like it was no big deal. As if that weren’t enough, their wedding was at TPC Sawgrass: a legendary location with fabulous details.

Oh yeah, and did I mention the most epic bouquet and garter toss of all time?
Don’t believe me? Scroll on down and see for yourself!

Love that stoic look all grooms seem to make before they see their almost-wife for the first time.

And then to the what had to have been the most fun I’ve ever seen guests have at a cocktail hour. Let this be a lesson to you, brides and grooms, if you’re going to have a photobooth, letting the guests have access to it during the cocktail hour is fabulous entertainment.

If I individually named all my pictures [I don’t, if you were wondering – can you imagine how long that would take!?], this one below would undoubtedly be named “secrets don’t make friends.” And yet, it makes me giggle every time I see it.

I have no clue what dance they were doing here (below) but it was clearly something that made them get looooow.

…and the epic bouquet and garter, as promised. Look at those bridesmaids!

So, what’d you think? Are you as big of a fan of TPC Sawgrass as I am?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Also, a huge thank you to Mel and Brad for the awesome opportunity here.

Dognbird - Great details, beautiful wedding. The shot of the feet is a brilliant perspective!July 19, 2010 – 11:37 AM

Nicole - I hope one day I can shoot as beautifully as you! absolutely gorgeous!July 19, 2010 – 3:40 PM

F a c e b o o k