National Go Red Day. #GoRedSeattle #GoREDSouthSound {Tacoma Heart Warrior, Tacoma, WA}

When we started working with the South Puget Sound branch of the American Heart Association, 4 years ago, I had no idea that I would end up with my own heart story.

Since 2014, there have been 4 Go Red Day's for women, of which I never participated until yesterday!

What a powerful opportunity to do something small to bring a voice to a BIG issue.   I am so thankful for my village who jumped on board and both passionately and fashionably made RED their commitment for the day!

What an inspiring movement that I am thrilled to be a part of!

Cheers to all of the beautiful women who have suffered through and become victorious over heart disease and stroke, but also the other crippling diseases that try to steal our lives, families, destinies, and dreams every year!  Let's continue to spread the word, education those we love and make the practical changes to live LONG and Healthy lives of abundance!

Wear Red for Women: National Go Red Day, February 2nd, 2018 (Tacoma Heart Survivor, Tacoma, WA)

If you follow me at all, you know that last year was both life shattering and changing for me as I became suddenly sick and entered a very desperate situation as my heart went into failure.   Brought on suddenly by a virus, I went from the flu to critical care, with a visit to the hospital that lasted 16 days.  During my stay in the hospital, I was diagnosed with Myocarditis and Pericarditis, and nearly 1 year later am working through my recovery.

Since March 2017, I have become very vocal about heart health for 2 reasons:

 1.) heart disease can be avoided with education and lifestyle changes

 2.) should you get into a heart emergency, you are more likely to bounce back (like I did)  if you are healthy upon diagnosis. It was because of my healthy and active lifestyle that my heart was able to bounce back and is on track to make a full recovery.

Sharing my story and educating people on the dangers and symptoms of both heart disease and stroke can save lives, as mine was saved hearing the stories of others, just a year ago.

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So,  what is this National Go Red for Women Day about you ask? And I get it.  What's the big deal? 

The leader killer of women in the United State is heart disease, but the beauty of this whole thing is that it can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes, but most women have no idea the impact that heart health has on their life and how quickly heart disease can absolutely ravage your health and your life.

"In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.

Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women."

Since beginning "National Wear Red Day," American Heart Association has been able to see:

  • 6 out of 10 women change their diets
  • 40% of women to check their cholesterol levels
  • 1/3 of women have talked to their doctor about developing heart health plans
  • death in women from heart disease as decreased by 30% in the past 10 years
  • and 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke daily (* stats provided from Go Red for Women webpage)

I recently had the opportunity to share my story on the radio along with a few things I have learned over the last year walking through my recovery, you can listen to the interview here.

In addition, as a 2018 South Puget Sound American Heart Association Ambassador, I have the incredible opportunity to share my story at this year's Go Red Luncheon and I would love it if you would join me.  The Go Red Luncheon is Thursday, March 29th at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA.  You can purchase your ticket to the luncheon by clicking here.

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To learn more about Go Red for Women and ways that you can get involved, visit the national website by clicking here or visit goredforwomen.org and don't forget to wear your Red on Friday!  

Let's get the word out about heart disease and stroke and save some lives.

all photos courtesy of Ike and Tash Photo

The Value of Community {ShootProof Podcast, Atlanta, GA}

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Back in September, we were surprised with a trip to Atlanta by one of our favorite companies in the whole world ShootProof, to participate in a few fun interviews, photo shoots and gathering. While there, ShootProof graciously allowed us their platform to talk about how we feel about the industry and community. 

Candid and honest thoughts are expressed over on the ShootProof podcast and we are so thankful for the opportunity to have open dialogue!

If you want a fresh perspective - go check it out and leave feedback and let us know what you think! 

You can listen to and subscribe to the ShootProof Podcast by clicking here: goo.gl/etxCpU

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On Location & Behind The Scenes with The Girls With Glasses {Tacoma Portrait Photographer, Tacoma, WA}

This summer, we got an email from Brooke White and Summer Bellessa asking if we might be interested in joining them on set and shooting some BTS on some special projects they were doing locally. Immediately, I got excited and looked at Ike and said "We have to do this."

I knew who these girls were... I had seem them a year early in their "I'm Not Fancy," video parody.  If you recollect, you may have found that you have seen it too.  It floated around Facebook and went viral in days. You can check it out here.

Brooke and Summer are not only naturally beautiful, they are kind, and talented and make being a mother feel really cool!

Spending those two days on location, not only made me feel incredibly prideful in the job I get to do as Wisdom's mother, it made me damn proud to be a mompreneur.  These girls are amazing and making huge moves.  You can check out the BTS below and the videos at the end of the pictures!

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You can check out the fun "Super Kiddos" video featuring Del Monte here

We also got to do some BTS for a fun video featuring Muller Yogurt.

Personally, I love the yogurt and buy it for Wisdom, so I was slightly excited and invested in this little video AND I LOVE their costumes.

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You can check out the "Satisfy Me" (Yogurt with Benefits) video here

You can check out more of the different videos and projects that the "Girls with Glasses" do by visiting their site at The Girls With Glasses

"How We Wonder What You Are," a baby shower. {Sacramento Portrait Photographer, Sacramento, CA}

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There is nothing more precious than life.... except for new life.  I thought I knew all the world had to offer, until I became a mother and POOF my world was rock.  There is truly no sweeter job or role I know.  As you might remember, when I was pregnant, I had a little baby shower, well, little is a little understated.  The shower planned for me in honor of Wisdom was one of the most special moments of my 31 years on this earth!  Planned by my sister, and Wisdom's godmother, Melinda, it was a day, that even now, warms me up inside and brings a smile to my face. When we found out that Melinda was expecting early last year, I knew I had to be the one to repay that generosity.  If you follow my personal life at all, you know that Melinda is my partner-in-crime, my best friend, my sister.  We get together and magic happens and we LOVE making magic.  Events is something that Melinda is not only gifted at, but passionate about.  She has amazing vision and unique ideas.   I love bringing vision to life, seeing it all play out and come to reality, so the two of us together are kinda ridiculous.

When picking Melinda's brain about what she would want, she said she wanted it to be more modern, more sophisticated and glam- she had three requirements of me - black, white and gold color palette, that it had to be under the stars and that it needed to be fun!   Because Melinda decided to wait to find out the gender of the baby, we decided to spin a traditional nursery rhyme and make it our theme:  Twinkle,  Twinkle Little Star "How We Wonder" what you are.  She wanted very modern and clean aesthetic with touches of gold, and naturally, we had a dress code, as most our parties do, and everyone was asked to wear a little black dress for the ladies, and all black everything for the men.

I am incredibly sentimental, so I wanted to make sure every activity and every game had a significance.

When sending out the invitation, every guest was given a letter of the alphabet.  They were asked to customize this letter with special papers, materials or a note, so that the alphabet could be used to create an Alphabet Wall in the nursery.  Each alphabet would then have a special meeting and would be from the heart of all of the people invited to participate in this celebration.   Traditional to many showers, we also had a diaper raffle, any guest who brought diapers to the shower, were entered into a special drawing to recieve a prize.
We had a few special games, because the gender was unknown, the shower served as a gender guessing party as well.  When guest entered the soiree, they were asked to pick a side.  This was done by choosing a gender specific clothes pin, pink or blue,  to wear on their black dresses and suites during the night, they were asked to also suggest names for the baby, and to write them down in either blue or pink on a chalkboard.  As guest participated in the activities, they were able to choose a glass filled with sparkling cider, that also had the different "due dates" - that served as their guess for when they thought the baby would arrive.
During the shower, guest also had the opportunity to leave messages on a onesie for the baby to wear at their first photo shoot, when they turned one - with well wishes and hopes for the future, write messages in birthday cards that would be giving to the baby each birthday, from age one to age thirty, and write blessings and words of encouragement that could be put in the baby's first album.
We also did a Blessing Tree, stars were tied to string and hung from a large tree in the backyard.  Guest were able to go to that tree and write messages for both mom, dad and the baby, but also for the baby's big sister, Lyric, to encourage and build her up as she prepared for her big role, and hang them to add to the atmosphere, there was also a photo booth set up with large vintage frames, both ornate and traditional, that guest could have their picture taken in.
Some of the most inspiring and entertaining moments of the night included guest breaking up into teams and coming up with songs about the new baby to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  It was both highly entertaining and incredibly special to hear so many beautifull and creative words spoken about this baby who had already rocked the world and hadn't even arrived.
The night closed out with each guest going around the table, to the glow of the moon and the light of the candles on the table, and underneath the stars they said how they knew the family and gave their well wishes in person.  The entire table was filled with tears of joy, laughter and huge smiles.
It was assumed for the nine months of Melinda's pregnancy that she was indeed carrying a little boy.  I could never quite put my finger on it and Melinda always felt so strongly that it was a girl. She never wavered even when folks had prayed and almost bet money against it.... well, I guess mommy knows best because, that sweet baby girl joined this world in November and things have never been the same.
From Melinda:
"While in college, doctors told me I wouldn't be able to have any children, but there I was getting ready for number 2! God is amazingly GOOD! We decided that we didn't want to know the gender and that we wanted to keep it a surprise. As much as I love doing events, I had no idea how to visualize a gender neutral shower. Needless to say, my shower was EVERYTHING I wanted it to be and more! My vision grew hands and feet with Tasha at the helm and we had a BLAST putting it together. 

 
 It was a co-ed evening with tears and laughter! Even Lyric had dinner under the stars with her special guest! Tasha had so many surprises and sentimental touches for us that I'm still beaming about today!  Friends and family made that night so very special to us.  Every idea and detail, from the invitations to the cupcakes were amazing. It was one of the most beautiful, meaningful and special evenings of my life. My little girl was loved so much even before she arrived! Now that she's here we no longer have to "wonder" what she is. Honour Smile is just like that evening..Perfect."
Check the images below to see that special day!
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and one more picture of my GORGEOUS niece, Honour-Smile at 4 days old, November 2013:
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Cake & Dessert Bar: Divine Cakes, Roseville, CA
Tufted Couches & Dresser: The Find Rentals, Sacramento
Vintage Chalkboards, Frames, Lanterns: Simply Country Weddings & Vintage Decor Rentals