Summer Hiatus: I’ve Missed You

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted on here, so let me just say that I’m impressed you’re still reading. I apologize for the silence on my end, but things have been a bit busy as of late. When I’m not working at my full-time job at Generocity, I’m tackling absurd amounts of yard work with Pete, shooting weddings on the weekends, processing photos, or planning our own backyard wedding.

I haven’t had a chance to share our engagement shoot with you guys, so here are some of our favorites by Morrissey Photo. Even though I’d rather be behind the lens any day, it was really easy to be ourselves in front of them since they’re two of the nicest people on. the. planet. Thanks again to Matt and Lauren for following us around the Love Letter murals in Philadelphia, you guys are the bestest.


Images by Morrissey Photo

In other wedding planning news, we sent our invites out to our parents and siblings. I had a lot of fun working on these with Pete — I made the illustration for the back and Pete designed the front (I contributed the talk bubbles with our initials). It’s been really nice having this whole wedding planning thing be a collaborative effort while crossing tasks off our to-do list.

wedding invite

wedding invite

wedding invite

Not that it’s as thrilling as envelope liners and photos of the Ginger, but I’ve been posting more actively on my photography blog, if you want to give it a look-see every week or so.

We Heart: Our Wedding Vendors

I haven’t really written at all about our wedding plans, so I figured I should share some of our vendors with you guys now that things seem to be coming together smoothly. We’ve decided on an incredibly intimate ceremony and reception in our own backyard this September with our parents and siblings & their significant others (and Betty White). Having our immediate family gathered together at a long farm table, enjoying a locally-grown, delicious meal together is our vision of what our reception will be like. We’re not doing things traditionally by any means, so we’re looking forward to coming up with ways to personalize the wedding to make it our own.

Photo courtesy of Ruffled

Our fantabulous vendors will be attending tomorrow’s Lovesick Expo at World Cafe Live, an earth-friendly, guy-friendly, budget-friendly wedding event. If you’re engaged (or even if you’re not), consider swinging by between 11am-3pm to chat with some amazingly talented people (tickets are only $6.50 online).

First up is the first vendor we booked, Morrissey Photo, a husband and wife team who couldn’t be any cuter. We really love their artistic style and can’t wait to have them capture the day. They’re very laid back and totally up for our ideas, so we are smitten.

Photos courtesy of Morrissey Photo

For our caterer, we wanted to have as much locally grown, fresh food as possible, which is why we went with Joshua’s Catering, based right around the corner in Jenkintown. We were blown away by how much the owner, David, was on the same page as us from the very beginning. Pete had someone to ramble with about red worms and composting and I had someone to gush with about local cheeses and wanting to raise chickens. We’ve been throwing some menu ideas back and forth, and we can’t wait for our tasting.

Photos courtesy of Joshua’s Events

Our florist, Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, is a petite, sustainably managed, urban flower farm and floral design studio with locally grown flowers. We really wanted stunning, quirky flowers—from my bridal bouquet to his boutonniere—so we’ll be working with the owner, Jennie Love, to create some sweet floral accents.

Photos courtesy of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers

It was important to us to have a non-denominational officiant, which is why we were drawn to Journeys of the Heart since they’ll craft the ceremony based on our own style and personality. They work with couples to personalize the ceremony by sharing their individual story creatively and with a good sense of humor.

Photos courtesy of Journeys of the Heart

We selected Naila, one of their officiants, because we connected with her bio instantly (anyone who references “The Princess Bride” and uses the word “goober” in their officiant writeup is a-ok in my book).

Our only non-Lovesick vendor (but still equally as awesome) is Luke Cleary, our ceremony and cocktail musician. When we first started discussing wedding plans, we talked about how nice it would be to have a guitarist playing classic and contemporary songs in our own backyard. Luckily Luke is well versed in old-school numbers, but also knows a lot of our favorites like David Bowie—he even taught a group of students an entire Bowie concert at the School of Rock.

It’s been nice being able to plan everything together with Pete—I’m thrilled he is actually interested in things like boutonnieres and ceremony decor (gasp). He’s even gone a bit crazy on Pinterest lately, which is my favorite way to collect wedding inspiration. I’ll be sure to share some of our DIY ideas soon, we’re really excited to incorporate things like canning (ginger peach jam favors, yes please!) and home brewing. Fun times! Anyway, that’s our geeky wedding news, I’ll be back to posting photos of Betty White in no time, pinky swear.

New Beginnings: Generocity

As some of you may recall, back when Pete popped the question, I also had some other exciting things to celebrate that same day. Generocity, the Greater Philadelphia area’s source for nonprofit news and networking, had contacted me for an interview. To be given the opportunity to put the spotlight on the nonprofit world really excited me, so when I found out last week that I would be joining the team as their Content Associate, I was elated.

In addition to helping spot and tell stories, I’ll also be given the opportunity to represent the content visually, whether through photography or other visual mediums. As someone who (humbly!) considers herself a writer and photographer (and illustrator!), I’m often asked “Well, which one do you like the most?” in job interviews. Even though I know the interviewer wants to hear “Oh, of course I like ____ the most” (depending on the job’s focus), I never quite know how to answer. The truth is, being able to potentially blend provoking imagery with compelling content is very exciting to me. I enjoy the challenges writing and photography bring and look forward to growing stronger as both a writer and an artist.

With my first story for Generocity, the photos inspired the opening of the article, which is often the hardest part to write (at least for me, anyway). Having the visual experience gave me the opportunity to bring readers along with me during my tour of the Philadelphia’s Children Alliance. Ideally, I’m hoping to be able to touch people in small ways so they will be encouraged to give, whether through volunteering or even donating to some of these amazing nonprofits. That being said, I was incredibly inspired by the obvious strength at the PCA, both by the professional staff and the children who have the courage to speak up and tell their stories.

I look forward to sharing all of the stories I’ll be rolling out during my adventures as a staff member of Generocity. I encourage you all (especially Philly readers!) to check out the website, “like” them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter to connect with people who have the same interests, concerns, and passions. Anyway, that’s my little plug, I will be sure to share some insights into my daily work life once my position begins (on Monday!).

For those of you who are local to the Philadelphia area, what are some of your favorite nonprofits that you feel deserve some extra love?

{A Day of Crafting} Our Festive Wreath Roundup

This weekend, Pete and I went to the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar with our friends Valerie and Daryl. Although we showed great restraint in not buying anything, we gained lots of inspiration and motivation for wreath-making. You might recall my wreath ramblings from a while back, so I was excited to officially make my first ever wreath.

Us girls got to crafting and enjoying a 30 Rock marathon while the boys went on a man-date which consisted of record shopping. Pete came back with A Chipmunk Christmas, so I have that to look forward to.

While I had only finished a few inches of my wreath, Valerie had already made two gorgeous, festive wreaths that look particularly moody in this lighting. Her looks were inspired by this crow wreath (how cute are those burlap flowers?!) and this black and white striped wreath, while mine was inspired by this yarn wreath. Valerie made her wreaths from fabric she already owned and some materials from the dollar store…yay to us being thrifty! Oh, and thank goodness for Pinterest. I love me some holiday inspiration.

My wreath materials consisted of some sparkly ribbon, yarn, felt balls and hand-sewn, felt birds I purchased a few years back from the lovely and talented Alexandra Hunt (aka Mrs. Shortcake from Weddingbee). And most importantly, a whole mess of hot glue gun sticks.

Although I ended up covered in glitter and ripping off my freshly painted nail polish with hot glue, I felt a sense of mini Martha Stewart-esque accomplishment that I can only hope will repeat during the week ahead.

Pete always peeks at me through our front door, thus the face and finger prints that are in desperate need of some Windex attention.

Has anyone else crafted their own wreath or holiday decor this year? I would love to see your latest creations if you want to comment with links below!

Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar

{Photo credit}

This weekend marks the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar, with festivities beginning this Friday night, November 18th with a VIP preview party from 6pm to 9pm for $25. My friends at Love Me Do Photography will be providing photobooth fun, so be sure to check it out! The craft show will be free and open to the public on Saturday, November 19th and Sunday the 20th from 11am  to 6pm at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia. I am looking forward to attending with friends and afterwards, we plan to make our own holiday wreaths inspired by the talented Philadelphia area craftsters. I’m all stocked up on yarn and can’t wait to get started and share what we’ve made with you guys. I am hoping mine vaguely resembles a wreath by the time I’m finished, but if it ends up being a bundled mess of hot glue and yarn, I can always give it to my parents to hang on the fridge (only half serious, mom). Hopefully this will inspire me to give our front door a fresh coat of white paint since it is looking sad and yellowed.

{Photo credit}

Anyway, if you are in the area, be there or be square! I haven’t attended the holiday bazaar before, but I’ve been to all of their summertime craft shows in the past and they’re always a hit—especially when it comes to scoring original items for your friends and family.

{So Happy} Charsi’s Forever Family is Here

For those of you who have been following our adventures as a first time foster dog family since late September (here and here), we have exciting news! Charsi has found a forever family, and they seriously couldn’t be any nicer. We met up with the lovely couple and their cute dog, Pebbles, today at Cooper River Dog Park. I got uber lost because my GPS and iPhone refused to believe me when I told them the intersections in Pennsauken, NJ. Thanks to the help of Charsi’s new parents (!!), I managed to finally find my way to the pooch park after driving in circles and cursing Jersey’s crazy U-turns for far too long.

Seriously, how cute is Pebbles? Charsi has loads of energy, but she hit it off really well with Pebbles, who is full of adorable sass. The family has decided to rename Charsi (originally named Mariah from the shelter) “Charlie,” which I think is a great name for a girl, plus it makes me think of my favorite character from Lost, so it’s a win-win.

I’m going to look past the Charlie Sheen connection, since I was absolutely obsessed with him after I was an extra in Major League II. Below is surprisingly the least embarrassing photo of Charlie and I during the course of my days as an extra. I may or may not have several t-shirts/sweatshirts with iron-on transfers of these photos that say “Shannon Loves Charlie” (if you want proof, comment below and I might be convinced to pose in a photo while wearing the t-shirt I still have). I also may or may not have refused to wash my hand after he kissed it. For weeks. I even knew he kissed prostitutes with the same mouth, but I still loved him anyway, and my entire fourth grade class knew it. Unfortunately, he’s no longer “winning” in my book, but we’ll always have 1994.

Anyway. Enough about Charlie Sheen and more about puppies, please.

I like catching Charsi Charlie in the most unflattering poses, thus a picture of her scritching herself.

I am so so excited to send Charsi off to her happy home early next week. I’ve grown quite attached to her (she totally spooned me in bed this morning after Pete left), but I’m really looking forward to sending her off to such a friendly family. I can definitely tell they will spoil her with lots of love and she seemed to fit in perfectly with them during our doggy date in the park.

Has anyone else fostered pets before? How many families did it take to find the right fit for your foster friend?

Coming Soon: The First Person Arts Festival

TEDxPhilly was today and while I’m too tuckered out to recount the exciting, educational happenings, I wanted to mention another event that will be taking place in Philadelphia from November 10th to 20th. The First Person Arts Festival will be hosting their 10th annual celebration of memoir and documentary art. I really enjoyed the storytelling by R. Eric Thomas today and I’m hoping to check out his First Person Arts Festival performance, “Will You Accept This Friend Request?” which is happening at the Khyber Upstairs on November 14th and 15th at 7pm. I’ve been to the First Person Arts Festival before and it’s always a treat, especially if you enjoy provocative storytelling, documentary films and author readings inspired by real-life experience. Another one of my favorite performing acts from TEDxPhilly will also be participating, so be sure to check out the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement show if you want to hear brutally honest and beautiful lyricism from some of the brightest young poets around.

If you want to save on tickets, consider becoming a First Person Arts member and supporting one of the most spirited, creative non-profits in the city of Philadelphia.

Have any of you attended a local TEDx event in your area? If you were at today’s show in Philadelphia, who were some of your favorite speakers? Shout out to the lovely Marisa of Food in Jars for killing it and making me want to start canning for holiday gifts!