Weddingswithjules: Ngoc + Greg

My last post for 2016 and I’m incredibly happy it’s about my favorite Mr. & Mrs. Smith!

I’m sort of at lost for words because you had to have been there to truly witness all the love and laughter floating around not only between the bride and groom, but all their family and friends too.

Proud wife moment: Khang’s first ever video. I’ll admit I’ve watch it at least once a week so far. It’ll give everyone a better idea of what I’m trying to describe above. Enjoy.

The beautifully talented Moriah Elisabeth Photography captured their ahhhmazing wedding. There must’ve been pixie dust sprinkled everywhere because their wedding was oh so magical y’all.

When I went back to work that following Monday and my coworkers asked me how was the wedding…I started to tear up just thinking about how absolutely gorgeous Ngoc looked as a bride. She was glowing.

Just look at this already adorable family with their furbaby Rascal. I know my heart won’t be able to take it when they give us a niece or nephew (no rush!).

I was and still am beyond honored to have taken a tiny part in their wedding. So let’s get to it shall we?

When my sissy-in-law mentioned needing a few little details for her Santa Rosa beach wedding this past October, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love to work with my hands right?

I’ve learned this past year and a half that I absolutely la la love weddings (and all the planning). Maybe it’s because I had such a wonderful experience with my very own wedding this past June, but honestly it’s just that I love love.

 The saying “Love loves to love love” comes to mind <3

Ngoc and Greg were so so chill about details and only requested two things for their place cards: pops of color and a hint of gold. It worked out great because I adore the small details and just went with it.

The results turned out beautifully and they both loved it! Whew*

Ngoc called them “unicorn colors”. I totally agreed.

Two weeks before the big day, Ngoc asked me which menus(from minted.com) I thought would compliment the place cards.

Um. What?! Stop.

Of course I was more than happy to create matching menus.

After testing out a few designs that night, I decided to hand-paint and hand-letter a menu for each guest. A total of 80.

Ngoc thought I was crazy and said it was “too much work”, but I was tickled with joy the entire time.

Every ink stain and finger cramp was well-worth it.

I love calligraphy especially with this beautiful gold ink. I couldn’t get enough. In fact, I felt sad after all the work was done and I’m itching to do more.

They wanted to a few signs like a seating chart and welcome sign too. I purchase the frames at a variety of shops at the Antique Village of Denham Springs, La. 

Glass is hard to photograph. Here are my best shots in our backyard. Ha.

Okay okay, I’ll spare you more of my amateur iPhone shots.

Here are Moriah’s pictures of all my hard work. Pretty proud of myself and really happy with the way it all came together.

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I made each kid their own menu too. I do not play. 

I should mention both bride and groom are Mississippi State graduates.

They love their cowbells.

Two-sided wooden sign to signal the bride walking down the aisle…

… and to get the PARTAY started!

Technically I made these “Greg-on-a-stick” for Ngoc’s bachelorette party, but Khang convinced me to bring them to the wedding too. Such a good idea.

So that’s pretty much my little role in this lovely wedding. But there’s a moment I’d like to share. A moment I did not expect to happen.

Picture this: I’m in the middle of curling my hair and Van, Ngoc’s MOH, asks me if I’m too busy to help Ngoc. Duhhh, I say NO! Van and the bridesmaids are running a little behind but Ngoc needs to start taking bridal portraits on the beach…I rush out in my pjs with no bra, slipped on someone else’s flip flops, grab her dress train, and the three of us are out the door. No questions asked. 

So while Moriah is shooting away, I get full view of Ngoc in all of her glory and my eyes begin to water because she is just so damn beautiful. I’m trying to hold it in y’all, but then Ngoc asks me to jump in to take photos with her. Yeah, so I quickly become a mess. A complete mess. I take advantage of this sweet moment to tell her how stunning she looks and how I’m overjoyed with happiness for her and Greg. Luckily Moriah is there to capture it all. Thank you thank youuuu so much.

I’ll hold these images close to me forever.

There’s quite a number of engaged people I know and if there’s one piece of advice I can give is…there’s going to be some serious planning involved but don’t get so overwhelmed with your plans that you pass up “real moments” during your wedding day. Remember that a wedding is just one day, but a marriage is a lifetime. Start off your marriage not by over-analyzing the materialistic items but by creating lasting memories with family and friends.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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Gardeningwithjules: What’s growing?

Har·vest /ˈhärvəst/
noun
the process or period of gathering in crops
 “Julie had a bountiful harvest of collard greens, swiss chards, and kale”
 
verb
gather (a crop) as a harvest
“after harvesting, we ate our hearts out”

I remember planting seeds and instead of placing 1-3 seeds as recommended by the girl at Clegg’s Nursery, I eagerly planted 5-10 seeds into each hole. ‘Ya know to increase my chances at harvest.
 
Honestly, I didn’t think we would ever make it to harvest with any of them. Gosh am I happy how wrong I was!
 
The garden has easily become my “happy place”. On my birthday this past November, I asked Khang to take a few photos of me working in the garden. You’ll learn quickly that I love having photos documenting different stages of my life. “Julie’s First Garden” is definitely getting its own album.
Every past Sunday or Monday, I would have a mini photo shoot with my little “greenies”. I’ve continued the photo-ops throughout this whole experience and I’m so glad because it allows me to see their significant growth over the weeks.
Here’s a closer look at what’s growing in the garden:
Left: Kale
Right: Lettuce
Left: Broccoli
Right: Collard greens
And you can’t see because of the large leaves, but there’s also bay leaves and sage growing in-between.
Snap peas!
Bunches of parsley and cilantro
Bottom: Swiss chards
Top right of swiss chards: Rosemary
Top of rosemary: Green onions, shallots, yellow onions, and red onions
We’ve pretty much have harvest all of the crops mentioned above.
 
The two crops remaining that I’m been patiently waiting on are my brussels sprout and cauliflower. Just waiting on them to get bigger. They both need cooler weather for better growth. We just recently started to get some good cold and sunny weather so fingers crossed*
I had to squint my eyes when the buds first came!
Like baby cabbages.
I like to call them “white gold”.
Fun fact: When the heads (curds) start growing, you need to tie the leaves together to provide shade (process called “blanching”) to preserve the white color and tenderness of the cauliflower.
 
I’m super nervous about leaving my garden unattended for a week when we go home for the holidays. I’m considering coming back briefly just to water and check up on them. Seriously.
 
So whether you’re staying in town or traveling for the holidays, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas filled with love, laughter, and delicious food. And don’t forget the reason for this season, Christ Is Coming y’all 🙂
 
Thanks for following along,
with me
Jules.

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Fashionwithjules: Tea dresses for the holidays

I know…I know…it’s all about velvet and two-piece dresses this year but pretty please hear me out.

Tea dresses.

They’re so darling with their flattering necklines, high waistlines, and (my favorite detail) bell-shape skirts.

I recently added a few more to my collection and decided it’d be fun to ask someone to model them so I could photograph all the lovely details I love about tea dresses.

So this is my attempt to try to convince more people to wear them. Fingers crossed that it works because nothing would delight me more than seeing more ladies walking around this holiday season in one of these dresses.

Emily is the beauty who graciously agreed to take on the challenge of letting me, a total amateur, photograph her in 50 degree weather for 3 hours. She was so so awesome during the entire shoot. 

But you see, this unexpected thing happened…

When I rushed home to edit the photos, I realized how in the heck could I talk about the dresses when it’s obvious that she is the star in pretty much all of the photos?! 

Sorry not sorry.

I completely lost focus on the dresses and it quickly turned into a portrait session. Scroll down and you’ll see what I mean.

We had some last minute changes and ended up taking photos at Frenchtown Conservation Area in Central, LA. It completely worked in our favor because not only was it a beautiful natural area, we also got a nice hike out of it. 

Adding my red scarf instantly gave that holiday cheer.

See the “bell” I was talking about? Le sigh. 

I don’t know too much about photographing, but I know the sun is my friend so we followed it the entire time. 

And we need to talk about Emily’s gorgeous sapphire engagement ring.

Jesse, her fiance, did good. So good.

I agree this photo is dark, but I’m loving her power stance so I just had to include it.

I need to mention that Emily is an exceptional teacher with Teach for America here in Baton Rouge. She also somehow finds time to give ballroom dance lessons to her students and takes weight-lifting classses at her gym.

[Insert “You can do it!” poster]

Tip-toeing was Emily’s idea and it’s probably my favorite photo of this dress.

Oh, and there goes that lovely “bell” again.

Tea dresses also bring elegance and classiness. Totally feeling that “Grace Kelly” vibe.

Yasss it has pockets! Sold yet?

Emily asked me beforehand if there were certain accessories I wanted to use and I mentioned wanting a nice brooch. She told me about this vintage brooch that belonged to her great-great-grandmother. Um yeah. I triple-checked to make sure we didn’t forget to bring it. It ties everything in so well.

Emily suddenly squealed with delight while we were walking closer to the sun because she thought there was a bridge. This is her on the run and gosh I’m so happy I took a moment to capture it. 

See what I mean? Like what is this post suppose to be about again? Dresses?

Absolutely beautiful.

So I might have miserably failed trying to convince you to wear more tea length dresses, but man did I have so much fun photographing Emily. I giggled constantly between capturing shots of her because I was so excited at what I saw on the camera screen.

I hope y’all enjoyed the photos.

For me, I shot with a DSLR camera for the first time and found a new hiking trail near Baton Rouge…so that’s success in my book. Yay for new experiences 🙂 

Special thanks to Emily for being just ahhhmazing and game for everything. Your confidence shined everywhere and helped my confidence with the camera. I hope you’re able to look back at these photos and remember this very special and fun time in your life. Enjoy the blissfulness of being engaged to your soon-to-be-husband. I’m so excited to see y’all get married.

And shout-out to my brother-in-law Nam for letting me experiment with your camera.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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Christmas gifts 2016: Wrap it up

I finally get to share what I’m using to wrap gifts! I’ve been purposely saving these brown paper bags from the grocery store all year to do this…hopping I saved enough for all my presents. 

I really love the organic feel and simplicity of this kind of wrapping. Plus I’m recycling it just like the bag said. And since I’ve been sharing some basics on hand-lettering, I figured it’ll be fun to add that too.

For this Secret Santa gift, I lettered lyrics from the song “White Christmas” because it’s my coworker’s favorite Christmas song.

Of course, I couldn’t help myself but to buy a bouquet of greenery from the market when I saw it the other day. The florist said it should last till Christmas. So who knows, I may use it for a few other things 🙂 

Here it is all ready for my coworker to open. I’m so excited for her to see what’s inside. 

So that’s one down and 37439734 more to go. 

It was probably really ambitious of me to post five days straight, but I really enjoyed sharing something new everyday this week.

However, pretty sure it’ll be awhile till I do this again. Ha.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

Christmas gifts 2016: Glass-anything

By now I hope you see a trend with glass-anything for hand lettering with a paint pen. Plexiglass works too, but it might not be as forgiving. 

So there you have it…all that’s left is to wrap these little trinkets. I absolutely la la love to wrap gifts and cannot wait to share that tomorrow. It’s almost Friday y’all. Get Excited!

As always, thanks for reading and following along (especially this week)

with me

Jules.