It's a zoo... literally Monday, May 28

Can you believe these 5 are mine!  I am a blessed mama for sure.  We had a great first weekend of summer and luckily my hubby caught some awesome picture of the littles.  I never can get enough pictures of just how fast they are growing up.  We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and the weather was perfect! Of course I was pouring sweat pushing the babes in the double stroller that now weighs about 70 pounds with the carseats in it... but I guess it was a good work out. What are your plans for summer? Any good tips on how to keep your kids busy? Love these pictures from our zoo day. 

Short Dilemma Tuesday, May 22


{Mod Cloth}

It's time... short weather! Do you have a short dilemma?  These days I truly want to be comfortable and stylish.  This takes planning and trying on! Some things to keep in mind, your body type, length of shorts, and rise.  I really love the Gap boyfriend rolled shorts. They come in lots of colors and the length is adjustable.  Thinking they will be the perfect go to for soccer and baseball games. Super excited about the prints I'm seeing and the idea of mixing prints is really fun!

This season, my "short style"  = color, bermuda, pattern, tie waist, high waist and boyfriend rolled.  Here are some of my fav pics.




Behind the scenes... Thursday, May 17

So I got the call... well actually I made the call, over and over until they told me what my pathology results were!  As I pressed my ear so tightly to the phone not to miss a word, I heard her say it took longer than expected because they had to send it to a second lab for another opinion. MMMM is that good or bad? Well, not great, but could have been much worse, so I am thankful and a little "ugh" at the same time.  Funny, the mole I had been concerned about was on my right hip, which was the same leg I had previous melanoma.  And of course it became infected a few days after it was removed, making me more worried.  But that biopsy was clear.  The mole on my back came back "severely atypical" without clear margins.

Now... enter the world of medical terms and pathology reports and verbiage like "clarks level" and "spitz nevus" and honestly who came up with this stuff anyways! It's a little unnerving not being able to confer your own medical results.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was sent to the plastic surgeon and am scheduled tomorrow morning for a larger excision as well as full removal of any moles that look similar to the one with atypical results...that is a total of 6.  Now, some of you may have had moles removed in the dermatologists office, and besides that awful few seconds of lidocaine injections it is not all that bad.  And since I will be proactively doing this the rest of my life, I need to just get used to it.  The problem is... when you are using a plastic surgeon your procedure is done in the hospital. Let me give you a brief synopsis of how that went 2 years ago when I had melanoma.

Scared to death, not sure what to expect or wondering if my world was all the sudden going to change, I was being wheeled back to the OR knowing I was having a large portion of my right thigh removed and totally unsure of what that was going to look like or if I even cared.  I quickly realized that the Dr. was not putting me under and in fact I had not received any medication at all yet.  Of course, the room was full of nurses including 2 male student doctors, who I'm sure were very nice, but as the nurse removed my blanket and began "prepping" me, being naked and not drugged was feeling pretty humiliating. Who knew your panties were NOT considered sterile for the OR! Thankfully, I had a fantastic friend in her residency and she was able to be in the room and hold my hand, because honestly, you could hear my heart rate pounding  out of my chest on the monitors.  Between the Christmas music blaring in the background, the chatter between the Dr and nurses staff, my nudity and the 20+ shots of lidocaine, I felt myself slightly loosing it.  When all was complete and I got a glimpse of my leg, it kind of looked liked mangled road kill.  All the stitches were done inside the leg, under the skin and he did a method of stitching that almost made it look like a ribbon sinched tightly.  Little did I know that was genius and it healed beautifully.  Now in recovery, I was given a prescription for pain and sent home.  Would have been great except for the fact that I have a sensitive stomach... so they repeatedly told me to take my meds round the clock to manage the pain, because it was going to be painful.  I diligently set my alarm and took the meds all through the night.  By about  5 am the vomiting began.  I will spare you all of those details, other than to say, I didn't realize it was the meds until it was wayyyyyy too late and so my wonderful mom had to rescue me and nurse me to health for the next 48 hrs.  Not a good combo when your pain meds are not working and your vomiting and you can't even enjoy being pampered with soup, crackers and ginger ale on a tray.

As I am extremely optimistic for tomorrow, I have to be realistic and this time, I will not be entering the OR without a VALUME!

Prop Styling For Photography Tuesday, May 15

Prop styling is truly a work of art.  I love looking at beautifully placed objects that tell a story, bring back a memory or simply make you feel happy.  Pictures can do that.  Beautifully styled pictures. Here are two brilliant prop stylists I admire... Erin Swift  and  Jessica Thomas

Wardrobe Styling Sunday, May 13

One of the things I love to do is style people!  Little people, big people, anyone can look fantastic with just a little wardrobe styling! One way I get to do this fun job is with photographers, styling shoots and models and families and every day people who just want a pretty picture.  I get such a high from making someone feel fantastic!  Oddly enough, our clothes can make or break that feeling.  I am not saying you should be focused only on the outside or that you should be materialistic.  In fact, I can accomplish the same goal with an outfit from Target as I can from Nordstrom. I am really only enhancing your natural beauty! 

This is a recent photo shoot that I wardrobe styled.  Photography by Jeff Anderson 

Photo Styling from your own closet! Tuesday, May 8

Busy Busy Busy... will that ever change?  NO!  Not when your a mom of 5 and have an annoying amount of drive and ambition.  I overheard my hubby saying to someone when asked if I was overwhelmed with the twins "no not Ahndea, she is still trying to take over the world"... not really, but when my mind gets going there is no holding me back sometimes.  I have had to find some balance somewhere, so I have been using my "blogging" time to work out because I can now take the twins to the gym, and seeing as how they are 7 months old, I should probably choose to put down the sweets and get back to my normal healthy lifestyle! Right?

One of the things I love to do is "style makeovers" right from your very own closet.  We all  have tons of clothes lining our closets and floors, most of which we don't wear or know how to create a "look" with.  One of my clients Erin Groves is putting a portfolio together with modeling agency Papadakis Photography.  If you have ever done this it is ALOT of work!  Your trying to capture the attention of every retail store in the fashion industry as a potential client. This is where I come in...

I think she had every article of clothing that she owned on her bed!  We spent the next 2 hours trying on and writing down her look book for Fridays shoot.  Here are a few pics of what I put together for her. Keep in mind we were in her bedroom and my minis were on the floor playing!


One of the things I began doing while styling photography was making my own accessories.  I had such a hard time finding "that piece" I was looking for to add the finishing touch.  I eventually created Heirbloom to sell my creations as well as the many vintage pieces of jewelry I inherited. 

I designed this piece for a bridal event and Erin is going to use it for part of the shoot.  There is a large market for models in the Wedding world especially now that J Crew and bhldn have a line.