We are having a Baby!

I still can't believe that my husband and I are pregnant. Well I am pregnant and he gets to watch my crazy belly expand week by week. Each little stage of this journey just reminds me how much of a miracle babies are. It is the most amazing thing ever. I am in awe when I look down and see my belly getting larger and feel little kicks and tiny high fives from within. This little one has NO IDEA how many kisses it is going to get throughout its life! 

We decide not to find out the sex of our baby. This is our first child and we want to just go all in on the surprise element of birth and what sex baby God gave us. I will say as I start to plan the nursery sometimes I wish I would have found out. But I'm creative. I can come up with a color scheme and theme that works for either a boy or girl, right?! I got this! I put a few images of inspiration I am using for the gender neutral nursery below!

I wouldn't mind suggestions on what on earth to register for. HELP! I walked into Buy Buy Baby looked around at a few things, saw the wall of strollers and 4 rows of car seats and walked out. I can not believe how many options there are for every single item. I was overwhelmed and a bit confused. So seriously if anyone has a few must haves I would be very interested to hear what people love. Please feel free to give me some suggestions.

We can't wait to meet our little person in December. Maybe a Christmas baby or a New Years baby!

Amber + Jason: W Chicago City Center

Check out this glamorous wedding at The W Chicago City Center!

Amber and Jason knew they wanted a Chicago wedding from the beginning. Amber was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and Jason was born just a little ways away in Madison, Wisconsin. They met and grew their relationship while living and exploring Chicago, so what better place to have their wedding than the iconic W Hotel.  

I have known Amber since Kindergarten and it was an absolute joy to work with her creating and designing the save the dates and wedding invitations for her special day. Her vision was strong. Amber knew what she wanted all the way down to the little details.  She nailed it! Everything came together perfectly! It truly was a magical night for Amber and Jason filled with pink and white flowers, floating candles, gold accents, dim lighting, happy tears, good friends, great family, tons of laughing, drinks and lots of dancing. 

Congratulations Amber and Jason!!!! 

CEREMONY/RECEPTION & CATERING: W City Center Chicago, IL WEDDING PLANNER: RTB Events  STATIONERY: THE ART IN TARA  FLOWERS: Jazzy Flowers  PHOTOGRAPHY: Z+V Photography  (all photographs above are Z+V Photography, except the images of stationery)   DJ/PRODUCTION/LIGHTING: Luxe Productions (Jamie)  OFFICIANT: Michael Moody

ART in TaRA: 100 day watercolor Challenge

Ok, so maybe it was more like 60 day challenge for me. I have to admit I did not complete all 100 days. However, I enjoyed the days that I did sit down and paint and made time for creating. I gave myself about 30-45 minutes in the morning to do the watercolor paintings. Most days I messed around with colors and washes trying to envision it on beautiful wedding stationery. Other times I found inspiration around me and painted away. A few times I had no ideas and that was ok too! Focusing in on something and getting into a routine is something I really like. The more routine my day is the more I get done. Makes sense, right?! 

Right, but wrong. As an artist and bit of a free spirit I get sick of routine quickly. However, I know that in order to master watercolor or anything for that matter, you have to continue to practice. When I was in high school and college, I was drawing and painting daily. Now I am lucky to even paint once a month. It is something I really want to focus on and make the time for. Implement a routine for creating each and every day!!  This challenge allowed me to get back into something I love so much. 

What I learned from this challenge: 1. 100 days is too long :)  2. I love creating.  3. Challenging yourself is always a good idea  4. I enjoy a morning routine-to some extent. 

Here are some of the pieces I did during the 100 day watercolor challenge.

Courtney + Jesse: Noah's Event Venue, Lincolnshire Wedding

Courtney and Jesse. What a beautiful couple. He really does love her and she really does love him! I am so honored to have been able to not only design pieces for their wedding but to be a guest! Courtney has been one of my best friends since middle school and I loved watching how beautiful she looked in her dress and how excited she was walking to Jesse. Tears were flowing.  I couldn't be happier for these two beautiful people inside and out. Congratulations and way to throw a great party!!!

CEREMONY & RECEPTION: Noah's Event Venue, Lincolnshire, IL  WEDDING PLANNER/DAY OF COORDINATORS: Events by L STATIONERY: THE ART IN TARA  FLOWERS: Abby Flowers PHOTOGRAPHY: Gerber+Scarpelli Photography, Maggie Thalheimer  (all photographs above are Gerber+Scarpelli Photography, except the images of stationery)  DJ: Essence Entertainment  

Kelly + Mario: Chicago Suburb Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Mario Morrone! This is one amazing couple. I had the wonderful privilege of working with Kelly and Mario to help create a beautiful navy blue, pink and gold wedding day starting with their save the dates. Designing piece by piece, but keeping theme, was so much fun and even more fun to see the smile on Kelly's face when I would deliver all the different pieces throughout the wedding planning process. After save the dates came bridal shower invitations, thank you notes, wedding invitations, a menu, programs, signage and thank you tags! Kelly and Mario had a beautiful vision for their special day and I am here to present to you the beauty that was their wedding day!

CEREMONY: Saint Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church  RECEPTION: Renaissance Hotel  STATIONERY: THE ART IN TARA  PHOTOGRAPHY: Gina & Tony Photography  FLOWERS: Flower Studio VIDEOGRAPHY: Nightowls Media  DJ & LIGHTING: Luxe Productions


Fall at The Lake

If you have been following me on Instagram you will see my serious obsession with Fall. I can't get enough! The colors, scarves, fleece jackets, sweaters, pumpkin everything, apple cider and carmel apples bring me lots of joy and warm and fuzzy feelings.

This past weekend I was able to get to my family's cabin, in Northern Wisconsin! It truly is my favorite place in the world. I have been going there ever since I was born and am so thankful to call my family a lake family! Don't get me wrong I love the beach, but there is something about a lake that really draws me in and gives me peace and calm. It is hypnotizing in a way-the fresh crisp clean air, the crystal clear still water, and the sparkles that reflect off the water when the sun shines down. For me it has always been a place where you learn, grow, create memories, explore, try new things and spend time with family and friends. 

The last 2 years have been a lot of change at the lake. It has been extremely hard to be there without the man who made it all possible, my dad. It was my dad's favorite place too! It was his hideout, his retreat, his oasis and a place that brought out another side of this suit and tie business man. This is the place that brought out his creativity and put my dad behind the camera. He has taken so many amazing pictures and I am so honored to get the privilege to continue taking pictures with his camera! It is a little piece of my dad that I get to keep and use to continue building memories and telling stories at the lake!

I hope you enjoy the story I am telling with these photos.

Shannon + Emilio: Chicago History Museum

This wedding is near and dear to my heart. It seemed to be the start of my overwhelming passion for designing custom work for Brides. Shannon is my sister and I was so excited to see everything come together on their wedding day that I ignored the fact it took her weeks to make a decision :) We both were extremely thrilled with the results! The wedding was full of love, flowers, dancing and amazing food. I will let the pictures do the rest.

VENUE: Chicago History Museum   PHOTOGRAPHER: Jordan Quinn Photography   DRESS: Wedding Belles Ltd.   STATIONERY: THE ART IN TARA    FLOWERS: Prairie Basket