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Wedding: Jena & Jon – City View Loft

I left Jena and Jon’s City View Loft wedding feeling luckier than ever! Not just because I get to do what I love…but that I get to do what I love with such amazing people! I feel so very lucky to have met such a fantastic couple and to have had the honor of being a part of their day that I couldn’t help but feel incredibly grateful as I left at the end of the night. From my first meeting with them, I could see just how genuine they were and how much they really loved each other…and, I have to say that their wedding day was a true testament to both of these things. Overflowing with love for each other, for their friends, and for their family. Jena and Jon were ever present in their day, wonderfully gracious at every turn, and as kind as can be. It was obvious that their loved ones cherish these very things about them and couldn’t possibly be happier for their union! I think everyone in the room could see that Jena and Jon’s hearts had truly met their match in each other and it was such a beautiful thing to witness! Congrats Jena and Jon!

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Cecilia Alcaraz - January 29, 2015 - 12:05 am


City View Loft Chicago - January 29, 2015 - 12:07 am


Karen Forbes Rohrbach - January 29, 2015 - 3:54 am

These are great; such happiness in every picture. Congratulations again and again!!

The 101 Road Trip: Part 6 – En Route to Seattle

Well, my final stop (and final post) in this 101 Road Trip series is here! (Just as I am mulling over doing a version of this trip again next year, yay!) My last stop before heading home to Chicago was fantastic Seattle!  But, not without a couple last lovely Washington stops along the way of course!

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Brienne Michelle - January 27, 2015 - 5:22 pm

Sigh. I may or may not be holding off blogging this myself so that I can relive it again and pretend it isn’t over. ;) We HAVE to go again.

SAG Awards Fashion 2015

I swear I’m going to sink into a bit of a depression when awards show season is over! I live for red carpet gawking way too much! At least, I still have the Oscars to look forward to, whew! But, for now, it is all about the SAG Awards!  I have been working all weekend towards the moment when I could sit down in front of the tv with some wine to take in all the awards show goodness and it did not disappoint. (And, secretly, I think the Screen Actors Guild Awards might just be my favorite of the lot!)

So, without further delay, here are my top 3 picks from the SAG Awards red carpet this year:

Emmy Rossum

Hands down, my favorite this year was Emmy Rossum! This ethereal like grey gown was different from all the rest this year! With gorgeous lace throughout and a hint of sparkle to it, I was sold! Next up, I was won over by Gretchen Mol‘s delicate and soft gown with detailed beading and sheer sleeves. So totally me, I want to own this dress and wear it around my house on a daily basis! Finally, I chose Joanne Froggatt, who took a classic look and absolutely killed it! Some may say a classic black gown is playing it safe. But this Honor gown looks like it was made for her! I’m obsessed with the neckline especially and her sleek and simple hair!

Who did YOU love on the SAG Awards red carpet this year?!?!? Tell me, tell me!

Wedding: Nikki & Ryan – Hilton Chicago + Room 1520

Chicago winters can be pretty brutal, but thankfully Chicago is the home of some absolutely gorgeous architecture and beautiful interiors! So, when it seemed to be just a bit too brutal to make it work for photos outside on Nikki and Ryan’s wedding day…there were no tears shed when we had the oh so pretty interiors of the Hilton Chicago to work with instead! (Well, except, for when the entire wedding party was on the rooftop of Room 1520 without a jacket to be seen and negative temps winds whipping around, there may have been some tears then, but they were oh so worth it!) The backdrop at the Hilton set the scene for some drop dead gorgeous portraits of these two that felt almost presidential, I love it! Not to mention, I’m pretty sure these two have never taken a bad picture in their lives! No wonder that adorable baby of theirs is as cute as can be!

I was honestly so honored to be a part of Nikki and Ryan’s (and Addie’s too!!!) wedding day. You can tell within minutes of meeting these two that they are head over heels for each other! And that their sweet girl Addie is their world! Even during their wedding ceremony, she made sure to bring smiles to her parents faces as they said, ‘I do’. And you can only guess which extra special flower girl owned the dance floor at the reception! What an incredibly special day to celebrate the coming together of this beautiful family! Congrats Nikki and Ryan!

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Katie Glaser - January 22, 2015 - 4:57 pm

oh my goodness…. everything about these photos are just stunning. love you nikki (and amanda!)

Nicole Quid - January 23, 2015 - 1:53 am

GAHHHHHH!!!!! Love love love! Thank you for being a part of our day! It was such a pleasure to have you share in it with us!

Edie Lehmann Boddicker - January 23, 2015 - 2:04 am

Wow! What beautiful shots! Celebrating and loving our Nicole, Ryan & Addie!

Lori Hermann - January 23, 2015 - 2:29 am

These are absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful couple & family! What an eye, Amanda….you captured so many sweet moments! #lovethequids Nicole Quid Ryan Quid Karen Anderson Quid Lindsay Quid

Karen quid - January 23, 2015 - 4:02 am

The pictures are absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to see the rest! I’ve already recommended you to another bride.

Hailey Fowles - January 23, 2015 - 12:23 pm

Wow, Nikki and Ryan, so many wonderful photos! Your photographer captured numerous beautiful moments throughout the day

Wendy Weber - January 23, 2015 - 3:02 pm


Lynn Melby Gordon - January 24, 2015 - 5:35 am

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

Reset for Productivity

Living a fully balanced life may be something I will constantly be striving for throughout my life, but small steps in that direction are better than nothing, right?! I have SO much work to power through in the next couple weeks and the 2 and 3AM bedtimes are just dragging me down. Not to mention, eating out all the time instead of clean homemade meals. I’m staying up late and eating on the fly to try to save time and work as much as possible, but if I am being honest it leaves me waking up feeling awful. Everything hurts. I’m always tired. And I have to work harder than ever to get motivated for the day! Not good.

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So, I finally realized I needed a reset. A few years ago I would have told you taking time for a reset was for the weak and unmotivated, ha! But, the older (and starting to feel it), a little bit wiser, and trying to improve on the balance in my life me sees the great benefit in taking the time to reset and start anew. So, last night, I took some melatonin and told myself I could only work until 9:30PM no matter how much I got done or not. I was determined to be in bed by 10PM (with NO Netflix!). And I did it. I could still hear the spouse working in her office downstairs…and the kid was still using his crib as a trampoline before he crashed for the night, but I passed out! And over 10 glorious hours of sleep later, I woke up feeling actually well rested for once! I made myself some green juice and felt ready to sit down at the computer and kill my to-do list. THIS is how you are supposed to start the day. Well rested, fueled with healthy goodness, and with good intentions! Can someone please check me the next time I get in one of these self destructive cycles of sleeplessness and go go go?! The next time I get in one of these ruts of killing myself for productivity that just isn’t getting into gear anyway, remind me that taking some time for a reset is the key to getting off on a good start! Maybe it’s getting older, but I am finally starting to learn that taking care of your responsibilities starts with taking care of yourself! Slowly but surely, I will get a handle on this balance thing!

Christy Tyler - January 20, 2015 - 6:04 pm

Sleep makes everything better! We got a new bed yesterday and I’m determined to get to sleep earlier and sleep better from now on! :)

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