Lookbook Photoshoot Sneak Peek

Friday, December 28, 2012

Our lookbook shoot went swimmingly!  With two uber-pretty models (Adrienne and Laura Ann), a talented and energetic photographer (Juneberry Photography),  and gorgeous makeup and hair by Flawless Faces, how could we go wrong?

This new collection is full of wearable, girl-next-door looks with just a touch of sassy sparkle.  I wanted these pieces to look equally perfect in the ballroom, chapel, seashore or rose garden.  Classic looks with just enough dazzling detail to make them heirloom-worthy.  

Here is a little sampling of what's to come...

And if you're curious about what things looked like backstage, have a looksie!  The photographer Jessie also happens to have a background in hair styling, so she kindly touched up the girls' hair in between shots.  A woman of many talents! (I couldn't have done this without you Jessie- thanks so much!) 

Can I just add that I wish I were super tall and thin like my gorgeous models?  Shopping for their gowns was such a breeze; these girls looked stunning in everything!  As for me, dress shopping means heading straight to the petite section or chopping off at least 1/3 of the dress.


A Very Good Christmas (and Sisi is 23 months)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some of the highlights:  
-Paleo Christmas breakfast with pumpkin pancakes (recipe from Hellobee) and bacon frittata.
-Joe built Sisi a wooden boat that doubles as a bridge when you flip it over.  It's amazing!  She cried when she saw it under the tree, but not happy tears. Overwhelmed and anxious tears.  It takes her a little while to warm up to new toys/people/experiences, but I'm sure before long it will be her favorite.  Don't worry hubby; your hard work was worth it!
- A small, no frills Christmas dinner with my family.
-14th Annual Girls' Christmas Party (am I really that old?) with my high school clique!
-This year, Joe and I didn't give each other big presents, we just did stocking stuffers.  We loved that so much I think we'll do that from now on.  I was so touched at how well my hubby knows me- he gave me herbal coffee, fancy tea, the new Smashing Pumpkins cd, raw black soap, and a phone charger for my car (my phone is always just about to run out of juice).
-I made a plethora of (ugly but yummy) paleo treats, including peppermint patties and chili chocolate truffles from Elana's Pantry.

(Sisi with a mouth full of macademia nuts)

 (Sisi looks just like Joe, right?; homemade tree topper made of a styrofoam ball, chopsticks, and thumb tacks; stuffed stockings, Sisi and me.)  

 (reindeer got ran over by a toddler; stockings; the infamous boat/bridge; puppy naps.) 

(bacon frittata; boots; my sister; wonky village I made when I was 10.)  

 (Sisi helps mix the pancake batter) 

And oops, in the midst of holiday hooplah we completely missed Sisi's 23rd month.  So this post can be double duty!  Happy 23 months my beautiful girl!  Her next and final month-by-month post will be her 2 Year post.  Unbelievable!

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas! It's not over yet, Christ the King reigns forever! 


Christmas Around Here

Monday, December 17, 2012

It might finally look like Autumn outside, but it's as Wintry as it gets in Orange County...

 (leaves; banner by joyful joyful; shopping with nana, mantel decor.)
 (secret santa gift of fox slippers and amazing BB&B candle (thanks Nicole DeAnn!); raindrops on petals, citron scarf.)
(pom pom wreath; toy shopping; nativity scene, tree bark reindeer)

Sisi, Joe and I are all suffering from some strange flu-like sickness.  Sisi has it worst of all (is there anything sadder than a suffering, puking toddler?) But on the flip side, Sisi's been super cuddly and I even got to sleep next to her on her floor 2 nights in a row.  Any mommy knows what a treat that is, even under such crappy circumstances. I'm just glad the flu hit us this week and not next!

Christmas is next week! Who's excited???

Coming up soon:  Fun behind the scenes pics of Petal and Thorn's recent lookbook photoshoot.  Visit us on facebook to see a few teasers from the shoot, and 'like' us while you're at it :)


My Life in Cell Phone Pics! 12/7/12

Friday, December 7, 2012

 We picked out a tree!  I'd love to say we picked it for sentimental reasons, but truth is it was cheap cheap cheap.  Here it is, still undecorated a whole week after we bought it :/

I bought this unknown veggie at the farmer's market.  Apparently it's called yum choy, and it is indeed yum. Like broccoli but more flavorful, and the pretty yellow blooms are edible!
New festive masquerade masks! 
 And a delicate bleached peacock feather butterfly.
There's a new Boston Terrier in town named Bella (my bro's dog).  And my windows are embarassingly filthy. But with 2 dogs and a greasy toddler running around it seems like a losing battle to even try to keep windows clean.  Can I get an amen?
Have you seen buttercup squashes?  What will they think of next?
Advent calendar tasks are being completed (late, and out of order, but they are getting done.)  Joe seemed apprehensive of scheduling out holiday cheer, but I definitely kept each day's task simple and doable. Like "sing a Christmas song" or "bake paleo cookies" (which I pretty much do every day).  We're not big overachievers when it comes to holiday rituals, but this calendar is helping us establish some fun new traditions for posterity's sake.
 Green smoothie smiles! Hard to get a pic of a toddler high on green smoothie energy.
 Tea party with her "todo" (turtle) lawn mower.  Funny kid!
 And my first attempt at paleo mayonnaise ("baconnaise") was a big fat FAIL.  It tasted like bacon frosting, which is even nastier than it sounds.  Next time, I'll try olive oil instead of bacon grease.  And to anyone wondering, my cholesterol and triglycerides are just fine :)

Have a super lovely weekend!  


Sisi is 22 Months!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Someone told me to write down all the funny baby talk while it lasts, so here goes: 

bopple boss= apple sauce
bopps= grapes, and also blocks
zil= basil (our boston terrier)
watz= rocks
mimmon= lemon
memmon= watermelon
fwetz= farts 
soon= spoon
wa-wuff= olive
Da= Dora, also draw
Ba= Bella (my brother's dog)
un= moon
eem= cream
baba= bottle
usoom= mushroom
chee chees= berries 
pop pop= popsicle
nuss= nose

 "money money money money" she sings 
 Look of concentration:  nostrils flare and lips pucker (she gets that from Joe!) 

Siena at a glance:

-from what I can tell, she's a great singer!  She only knows a few simple melodies, but she sings them right on pitch.  She's starting to sing along with hymns at church and sings herself lullabies in the car.
-she's putting together phrases like "Bye bye Nana", "mommy's shoes" and "all done vegetables".  I can hardly believe it!
-when it's time to leave the house, she frantically grabs a bunch of random items to take with her. One time it was a tambourine, beach ball, scarf, truck, and of course her ducky all clutched in her arms and stuffed into her armpits.
-still very into cars, trains, trucks and balls (my little tomboy).
-but she cheerfully lets me paint her toenails! :)
-is very concerned about moles.  she says "mole!" (in a fascinated voice) and then rubs and kisses them.  it's about the only time she ever gives us kisses :(  not a very affectionate child!
-can put her socks on all by herself.  she's very excited about socks lately, probably because she's a barefooted hippie most of the time, and socks are a novelty.
-loves to rough house with daddy!  she just beams when he comes home and immediately makes him throw her around.
-will sometimes hold our hands and wait quietly while we pray before meals.
-she got her first passport, and let me say, her picture is pretty shady looking!  she's looking to the side and seems quite suspicious. and that was the best out of 3 pictures they took.

Just around the corner:  

-we'll attempt to wean off the bottle soon (she only has about 11 ounces of raw goat's milk per day, but we're hoping to really reduce her milk intake around the 2 year mark and here's why)
-we'll try potty training again (but this time I'm trying not to rush. Toddlers have to be ready physically, intellectually, and emotionally to use the potty.  Last time, Sisi clearly was not ready emotionally since she broke down into guilty tears when she had accidents.)
-we'll be taking our first international trip as a family of 3 when we go to Costa Rica in January!  I am so pumped!  I hope we see sloths and monkeys, and I hope we don't see snakes and crazy insects :/

Sisi, you make me one proud and grateful mama.  You are becoming such a curious, creative, and independent little girl.  I wake up every morning (very tired) but also very excited to see your smiling face peering out from your crib.  And now I'm starting to hear in your very own words your opinions and views on the world.  Keep sharing them with me- the good, the bad, and the grumpy- because I'm your mama and I'll always be here to listen.

Love you!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).

All circumstances.  Good, bad, hard, easy, happy, mournful.  I'm certainly no stranger to sorrow, but I'm learning to rest in the peace and contentment God gives so freely in His Son Jesus Christ.  Sometimes I flail my arms and throw tantrums for awhile (because life is hard!), but He always leads me back to that sweet spot of thankfulness.



My Life in Cell Phone Pics!!! 11/16/12

Friday, November 16, 2012

umm I'm getting old.  look at those wrinkles!  
A friend of mine invited us over for a "Fall play date". Isn't a "play date" where you throw some toys and babies in a pile and chat as you watch them hash it out?  But this was far more that that!  It was a full-on Fall-themed party with 3 kinds of homemade soup, freshly baked bread, crafts, goody bags, and more.  Be inspired.

sensory box with corn, apples, and other Fall treasures!
sidewalk chalk, painting, acorn cookies

I brought some rustic Fall flowers, balloons filled with treats (cool alternative to a pinata, just watch out for those pins!) and snack mix station (Sisi tried her first M&M and then looked at me betrayed, like "mom, why haven't I ever had this before?"

I'm not ashamed to admit I wore this new cozy sweater with leggings 3/7 days this week :)  But I'm ashamed to see that my mirror is so dirty.  ewww!

We biked to the grocery store to start our Thanksgiving shopping!

I went to grab the laundry, and saw this furry little guy had beat me to it.  I decided to postpone laundry one more day.

Sisi picked out her own hair accessories that day!

The sandbox is my little zen garden.  I get to sit down and unwind while I play with sand, organize leaves, and let my mind wander off.

And lastly, I learned how easy it is to make your own candied nuts!  I make a "healthier" version using a spoonful of olive oil, a spoonful of honey, and a ton of sea salt mixed with nuts.  Put it in at 350 for 10 minutes and you have a crunchy totally addicting treat.  See loves "unts" aka nuts.


Faux Veils

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Two pretty little hats for the bride who loves blusher veils, but doesn't really want to squint through one.  These are part of the brand new batch of products I'm making for the brand new website to be debuted soon.  (I love you, etsy, but I need a space to call my own.) 
Bridal hat with crystal "faux veil"

Teardrop hat with  pleated bow and 3 layer "faux veil"

Joe took these pics of me at a secluded beach nearby.  Except it wasn't secluded AT ALL that day.  Being your own model is always awkward, but even more so when you're "workin' it" in front of dozens of gawking beachgoers. 


My Life in Cell Phone Pics 11/5/12

Monday, November 5, 2012

 Fuzzy head! (guess where we are?)

Good food.

Baby's first pomegranate.  

 Pomegranate pedicure.
Halloween head gear.
Brancaleone Family Circus.

BIG NEWS:Our Magic Bullet finally bit the dust, so we decided to splurge on a refurbished Vita Mix Blender!  Yes, a blender that retails for almost 500 bucks.  Call us crazy, but we think it's worth it. This thing does it all. I made fudge babies (which Sisi lovingly calls 'poo poo') and "chocolate ice cream" (really just my chocolate protein shake frozen in an ice cube tray and re-blended with chocolate chips.)  I also plan on making paleo mayonnaise soon!