A delightfully spooky time!

My husband and I threw a small Halloween costume dinner party for about 10 friends at our apartment this weekend!  It was so much fun, I only wish our apartment was bigger so we could have had a larger guest list!  I thought I would share our decor for this holiday.  I haven’t ever been a big Halloween-decorator in the past (at all), but this year I really wanted to do it up right, and have some friends over to give me a reason to do so!

For the courtyard, we didn’t have the time to do much, plus there are rumors that it’s going to be re-landscaped soon, so since we don’t know when exactly that is happening, we didn’t want to hang stuff from the trees, just to have the landscapers show up and tear it all down.  So we kept it simple and cut some faces into black paper bags, and lined the walkway with luminaries!  They turned out even cuter than I imagined.  In the stairwell leading up to our apartment, we put some of Martha Stewart’s mouse silhouettes (not pictured) and put candles around and christmas lights behind our pumpkins and gourds.

Derek and I dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse this year, and we are super happy with how our costumes turned out!  My skirt was the first thing I’ve made on my own from a sewing pattern, so I’m pretty proud of how it turned out!  We made the ears, Derek’s bow tie, and I painted my shoes yellow.

Our guests lined up at our banquet table (which took rearranging our entire living room, and disassembling our office area…resulting in our bedroom being an absolute catastrophe!)

Ollie, our handsome mascot, no matter the season.

The following day, I took some more photos of our decorations, as I simply didn’t have time to get all the photos I wanted of the party setup before guests arrived.  The “tree” held favors (tricks and treats) for our guests, in halloween cones.  We draped all of our furniture in white cloth to give it a ghostly effect, and we covered some of our artwork with tin foil and drew in creepy eyes.  The bat garland was from West Elm (I’m obsessed with it), and the black cat portrait is from Heather Mattoon’s series “Cats in Clothes”.  Something that I didn’t get to photograph that I am bummed I missed was my brain-shaped ice for the punch!  Ahh, well, another year.  I also missed out on photographing all of our guests in their costumes, unfortunately.

Derek made the ghost following a craft tutorial from Martha Stewart’s October issue of Living.  She will definitely be re-used in future years, and perhaps she will eventually have a ghost family to hang with.  I re-created our center pieces on our regular dining table (which held the appetizers and beverages during the party), since I didn’t get to adequately capture them during the event.  The “pumpkin” bouquet is from Trader Joe’s.


We had so much fun, hopefully we can make this an annual event of sorts!  Happy Halloween!


Beautiful Sister

My beautiful and talented sister was sweet enough to let me photograph her while we were standing around in Maine one day…goodness, she is so beautiful, huh?  She is quite the crafter.  Check out her website:  www.janellegates.com

Poolside Test Shoot

This weekend I got together with a few friends and we pulled together this summertime test shoot by a lovely pool in Long Beach.  Our model was Heather Ann Davis, who is mostly an actress these days, but was gracious enough to lend us her beauty for the afternoon, makeup was by Veronica Chanel, wardrobe styling was by Wade Parkins, and hair styling by Steven Perlin.

My sweet Ollie.

Before we got a kitten, several people told me about how their kitties changed their lives for the better.  I now completely understand what they were saying.  Ollie is the sweetest little thing, and makes my day-to-day life (while Derek is at work) so much more exhilarating.  Such a great little guy.  He is growing up so much though…I just want him to be teensy forever.

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We are starting to make plans for the holidays.  Any suggestions on what we should do with Ollie while we are gone?  We don’t have many friends that will be in town, or who aren’t allergic, and while we could take him with us wherever we go, travelling with cats isn’t exactly the easiest thing ever.  Any suggestions?

A new addition to the family

Last week Derek and I finally got our sweet little kitten. And oh boy is he something! He is 12 weeks old and teensy. Super playful and cuddly and so well behaved. We think he likes our home so far. :) However, we don’t have a name for him yet!! Boy names are so difficult it seems. Sigh. It’ll come to us…

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Driving home from Phoenix today, so naturally had to make a pitstop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs! #wildercobalt
Lately Wilder is very very into bugs and reptiles, so the “Bugs, BIG Bugs” and the Komodo dragon exhibits were pretty epic for him. Seeing this boy learn and explore his interests is such a joy. 🦂🐜🦟🦗🕷🦎🦖🐍🐢 #wildercobalt
I’m so looking ahead to days with weather like this...but until then, a girl can dream! (+ best giveaway ever — free clothes for a year! @carlyjeanlosangeles ) ✨👖
Baby at the gym getting his workout in while I do mine. 🏋🏻‍♀️ Today the @birthfit postpartum series ended, and I’m so glad I did it again (I went through it with Wilder also). The time and care given to make sure we are educated on how to move in our healing bodies is invaluable. There are certain movements I learned 4 years ago that I still think about and utilize in my day to day life (with and without kids). Thanks @emboslice_! It was a great 4 weeks. To any postpartum mommas out there (at any pp stage), there might be one of these in your city! Reach out to BirthFit! 🖤💪🏻🤱🏻 . #wellsbirch #birthfit #birthfitpostpartumseries
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Thankful for this stud. ♥️ Happy Valentine’s Day @_derekhansen ... your fave holiday.
Happy Valentine’s Day from my littlest Valentine! 💕 #wellsbirch #17weeksold
5 years ago today my Grammy passed away. The longest and shortest 5 years. So much has happened that I wish I could share with her; most of all, my kids. I know she would be proud of me, as she always was. She supported me in everything - I only hope I was half as good of a granddaughter as she was a grandmother. I’m thankful she lives on in us, and in my relationship with my own momma. Grammy, I miss writing you letters, and getting texts from you. I miss the bridge lessons and chatting about Martha Stewart’s latest recipe we wanted to try. I like to think I have a generous amount of you in me. I love you, and will miss you always. ♥️
This beautiful baby is 3 months old today! He is such a happy guy, has been working hard on his tummy time skills, is an all-star napper, and has been sleeping 10-13 hours a night...! How did I get so lucky with this guy? 🥰 #wellsbirch
Today my first baby is 4. Wilder, you are amazing and SO smart and articulate. You are kind and your heart for others is already so apparent. Your passion for dinosaurs is unparalleled, and the love you have for your brother is fierce. You’re something so so special, my sweet boy. #wildercobalt