8.31.2012

{five things}

It’s Friday everyone, which means the weekend! And another post about five things I’ve found this week that I wanted to share with you, of course. This series is a little bit different, because it can really be about anything…last week I posted about cookbooks, but this week is random. Next week might be wedding themed or food themed or whatever. I really just want to keep this series open and fun that way!

Five Things

1 // If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen me tweet about this great post written about Alt. Sarah from Note to Self put together a really awesome infographic on what it means to live creatively. Definitely my favorite post from the week!

2 // I saw this picture on Snippet and Ink and really just wanted to share it here too. Isn’t it sweet?

3 // One of my very favorite bloggers, Bethany from Rinse Repeat, took a trip to Rome recently and posted a little about her trip. Her hotel sounds amazing, and I’m definitely looking it up if I ever get across the pond.

4 // I saw this dress on Pinterest, and kind of fell in love with it, even more so when I found out it was made by someone on Etsy! It’s always nice to support small business owners, don’t you think?

5 // It’s unofficially the last weekend of summer, and you best believe that I’m breaking out everything fall come Monday night. And Tuesday, I’m going grocery shopping so I can make these delicious balsamic sweet potatoes. Fall is definitely my favorite season for food too!

What are you up to this weekend?

8.30.2012

{obsessed: pink bow dress}

I saw this dress on Polyvore, and I just had to share. It’s pink and it has a bow. I thought that paired with a simple pearl necklace and a pair of nude pumps, this would probably be one of my favorite outfits. Ever.

Obsessed

dress // necklace

What do you think? Pretty? Or am I just way too obsessed with pink and bows?

{a little apartment makeover}

Ever since my husband and I decided that we won’t be moving at the end of the year, I knew that I needed to give our little apartment a little facelift if I wanted to keep from going crazy. Especially if I’m going to be home all day long soon {cross your fingers}. Here are a few pictures I’ve used as inspiration.

Apartment Makover

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

So, a few things:

I wanted a lighter color palette for our bedroom, but I knew that a white bedspread would spell disaster when you have a little dog that likes to sleep with you at night. So, I bought this one, with lavender sheets to go with it and a fluffy, faux fur white pillow to go on top. I also found a beautiful white, mirrored nightstand for my side of the bed, but have yet to find Robert one! I don’t necessarily want something mirrored, just white and pretty.

We picked up a great coffee table last week that we found on Craigslist, but it wasn’t until we got home that we realized that our TV stand {really just a dresser} is pure white and they don’t match! I’m so picky about these things that I’m having a hard time finding an entertainment center that I like, since we want to move the dresser from the living room into our bedroom.

I’m also doing a few little things, like reupholstering my dining room chairs and getting new lamps for our bedroom and living room. My husband also hung a shelf in the kitchen to display my teacups, and I’m embracing my red Kitchenaid mixer by buying other red accessories for the kitchen {including a red microwave, apparently}.

I think the overall issues I’m having right now are making sure that it’s not all too girly {my husband was very skeptical when I brought home lavender sheets, but they actually look really nice} and finding that furniture! We have nowhere to paint anything, and we don’t have the budget to buy new, so we have to find it used but perfect.

I promise I’ll take a lot of pictures when it’s all done, I just want to make sure it looks perfect first! In the meantime, I’ll be waiting impatiently for those last perfect few pieces of furniture to show up on Craigslist.

Oh, and do you have a suggestion for an entertainment center? What do you think would look good with off-white? More off-white, or a color? We have a navy rug and green walls right now, but I don’t want wood. Ideas?

8.29.2012

{a few things and a friend}

So, did you link up for Wedding Wednesday yet? If not, you totally should! It’s definitely a good time. Also, are you viewing this post in a reader? Because if you are, you should view it in your browser so you can see my little redesign. My website got a makeover too. They’re both still a work in progress, but please let me know if you see something wrong so I can fix it!

Header New

FB Cover Page

photos by Lavender and Twine Photography

That collage above is my new Facebook cover photo, and a sneak peak of my friend’s wedding from last month. I can’t wait to show you the whole thing! Also, if you’re looking for a new design for your own blog, I would love to work with you! I’m actually giving away a full design over on Megan’s blog, so you should go enter!

Next up is a good blog friend that I want you all to meet!

bt for sm

Betsy blogs over at Betsy Transatlantically, and she’s such a sweetheart! Here’s a little about her and her blog:

After enjoying expat life in London for three years, I've returned to my hometown of Washington, DC.  I'm adjusting to my new world in the States while planning my wedding to my English fiancé, and I love sharing my adventures with you along the way!

You should definitely go say hi! You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I still have a few ad spots open for September! Email me if you’re interested and I would be more than happy to send you more information!

{wedding wednesday: fall dress trends}

You get an extra special treat today, because I have TWO wedding posts for you! David’s Bridal is on the blog today, talking about wedding dress trends for fall. Enjoy!

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A perfect wedding is a delicate balance between current trends and personal taste. As you plan your fall wedding, consider some of these popular fashion trends for the season.

Beyond Leaf Tones

Most fall weddings rely heavily on the colors of fall leaves, but jewel tones are perfect for fall weddings with their rich intensity. Dark purples, reds, and blues blend beautifully with golden accents, which can act as a subtle nod to the season. For a more intensely elegant look, combine red with black and white. This sophisticated color palette is an excellent choice for late fall or a night wedding.

Jewel

Lace

The trends for fall offer fabulous options for the most traditional or untraditional bride. If you have been waiting for lace to make a come-back, your wait is over. For those who are unsure about baring their arms, sleeves are also still in, you can thank Princess Kate Middleton for that! This White by Vera Wang dress from David’s Bridal offers a fantastic combination of the two trends, it features a detachable illusion piece with sheer, lace sleeves over a strapless gown. For a simpler look you could wear it without the sash.

VW Sleeves

Vintage

In the fashion world, everything old becomes modern again at some point and vintage inspired designs are a hot commodity this season. This Oleg Cassini dress combines all-over lace and a trumpet shape that may be your perfect fit. You can also expect to see a lot of glamorous, old Hollywood style looks that incorporate shiny, silky fabrics, and touches of sparkle.

Lace

Color

The nontraditional bride will be happy to hear that white is not her only color option this fall. Pale shades of pink, champagne, and even blue are popping up in the hottest bridal salons this season. For the extremely non-traditional bride, this champagne, peplum style dress may be for you. If you want to stand out without going too far, you may want to opt for a more traditional style dress in a blush shade.

Fall 3

As you plan your big day, look for ways to use trends as a way to leave your special touch on an event that is distinctively yours.

8.28.2012

{wedding wednesday: the photography}

I feel like it has been so long since the last Wedding Wednesday, and I am so sorry for that! I promise I’m getting back into the swing of things, and we won’t go this long without Wedding Wednesday again.

Today we get to talk about something that I absolutely love about weddings. Being in this industry requires that you network constantly, and I’ve been really fortunate to have met some really amazing photographers in the past year. So, to make Wedding Wednesday a little different this week, I’ve asked some of my photographer friends for their advice on a few things. Hope you enjoy!

The Photography

photo by Leo Evidente Photographers

What trends are you seeing in wedding photography right now?

From Jillian at Jillian Rose Photography:

Since shooting my first wedding in 2007 things have really changed. The past few years I feel clients gravitate towards a more candid, photojournalistic style of photography with minimal “posed” and “traditional” shots. I try to mix it up a bit because often times the parents and grandparents will want something a little more classic for their walls but I am a sentimental shooter at heart. I love my candid moments!

What advice do you have for couples looking for a wedding photographer?

From Amanda at Driver Photography:

First and foremost I suggest choosing a photographer whose images make you feel something. I know it sounds cheesy but it really is true--that after all the cake is eaten and the bouquet is thrown, all you are left with are your photos. When you hire a wedding photographer, you are hiring an artist with a particular eye and style who will capture and document the most important day of your life. Make sure you really resonate with their style and that you absolutely love their work. Second, make sure that you are hiring someone that you like and trust. Your photographer will be around you, your friends & family for hours on end on your wedding day--make sure that you feel comfortable with them.

From Leo and Kat at Leo Evidente Photographers:

It is important for couples to know their priorities with regards to the type of photographs they would like their photographers to focus on. Every photographer has different approach on documenting a wedding day. Some focus more on the bride and groom’s love story and others are more likely to give more attention to wedding details. The idea is to find a photographer who has a good feel for what the couple is trying to achieve.

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photo by Driver Photography

What is the process for hiring a wedding photographer?

From Amanda at Driver Photography:

We receive an inquiry via our website. We check to see if we have the date available, email the potential client (usually within a few hours), and invite the potential clients to our home for coffee. During our meeting, we get caffeinated while getting to know a bit about the couple, eat a few chocolate chip cookies (yum!), tell them what they can expect from us should they choose us as their photographers, show them our albums, online galleries & client websites, and answer any questions they might have. At that point, the clients either sign a contract and give their retainer to reserve their wedding date with us or they take a day or two to think it over. If they decide to book with us after going home, we send them the contract and invoice online. We try to skype, facetime or chat on the phone with any clients who can't meet with us in person. Even if a client inquires and is ready to book with us right away, we try to arrange some sort of meeting with them so that we can make sure that we would truly be a great fit for their wedding photography.

Is there anything you wish potential clients know before coming to you?

From Leo and Kat at Leo Evidente Photographers:

As wedding photographers and storytellers, we always wish that potential clients put more value to what we do. We always wish that potential clients know that we work way beyond the amount of hours that they will hire us for their wedding day as we spend a lot of time gathering inspirations and materials from the time that they contact us up to the time that we package their photographs for delivery.

We always want to believe that they are hiring us not because we know how to press the shutter button of our cameras but because they truly appreciate our work. For us, it’s always personal as we consider ourselves artists. We feel that we have to be emotionally involved to be greatly effective at what we do to create amazing photographs that our clients will enjoy for decades.

From Jillian at Jillian Rose Photography:

I wish clients knew how much work and skill is required to get amazing wedding photos. It takes years of school, studying,  practicing and tons of money invested in to proper equipment to do what we do. Sometimes people think that as long as you have a “nice” SLR camera, you can make good images.

JR1_0438

photo by Jillian Rose Photography

How should a potential client prepare for an initial meeting with you?

From Leo and Kat at Leo Evidente Photographers:

It’s always a good idea to write down a list of questions. Also, we dearly appreciate it when potential clients are more than willing to talk about their relationship and how they met. This is when we get to feel that we’ve been part of their lives since the day they realized that they are in love with each other.

What advice do you have for couples on their wedding day?

From Jillian at Jillian Rose Photography:

HAVE FUN! Step back for a minute and take it all in. It goes by so fast. No one can prepare you for how fast the day flies by. It’s unreal. You put so much time, energy and hard work into making your wedding day perfect that you really need to make sure you enjoy every minute of it. Also, if something doesn’t go according to plan, no biggie. It really doesn’t matter. Just enjoy.

From Amanda at Driver Photography:

Whether you are creating your timeline or working with a coordinator to create your timeline, our key piece of advice is to create a great timeline for your wedding day. The weddings we have photographed that have flowed incredibly smoothly and were the most relaxed always had really strong timelines and utilized a first look (when a bride & groom opt to see one another before the ceremony). Make sure you understand the benefits of both having a first look and having a traditional schedule. We personally love first looks because they allow our couples to share a private, audience-free moment with each other; a moment in which they can freely express their emotions. In addition having a first look allows a couple to maximize their time with their guests at cocktail hour and at their reception--and wedding days go by so fast that we couldn't think of anything better for our clients than for them to have more time having fun with their guests.

From Leo and Kat at Leo Evidente Photographers:

Please do yourselves a favor and hire a wedding planner/event coordinator! We cannot stress that enough. This is an assurance that things will go according to your wedding plans or as close as possible to it. We love it when the bride and groom become highly involved with the wedding planning BUT let go of any expectations come wedding day and just let it unfold naturally. By doing so will prevent any memories of disappointments of things that would have been when you think back of that very special day.

Do you have any other questions for these photographers? Let me know and I’d be happy to get some answers for you!

Must HaveMust Have Wedding Pictures

1 // Make sure your photographer gets pictures of you getting ready! Those intimate shots are always a sweet memory to look back on.

2 // Don’t forget the details! There are so many little things that go into weddings, and you want to make sure you remember it all.

3 // You obviously want to look back and see how handsome and stylish your groom was on your wedding day, don’t you?

4 // The friends standing up with you are, or should be, some of your best. It’s another sweet way to remember the day.

5 // And last of all, my very favorite {and potentially my very favorite wedding picture}…weddings are full emotion. That is definitely something you want to keep. I would recommend having at least two shooters on your wedding day, so they can get you walking down the aisle and the reaction of your soon-to-be husband when they see you in your wedding dress for the first time.

Here is a much more comprehensive list of must have photos to take on your wedding day, if you’re interested!

Link Up

Oh, and did you hear? I'm giving away $150 to my calligraphy shop over at Every Last Detail. You should definitely go check it out and enter!

8.27.2012

{thus is the life of a blogger}

Some things people who don’t blog just don’t understand…

…why we laugh if they ask if we’ve heard of Pinterest.

…why we are so. tired. of. mason jars. and ombre. and chevron. {see above}

…why we say we’d rather get rid of Facebook than Twitter.

…why we call other bloggers our “friends” if we’ve never met in real life.

…why we get so passionate about crediting images and posts like this.

…why we take pictures of every meal we eat.

…why we’d pay so much for a blogging conference.

…why we get so excited when one of our favorite bloggers (Naomi!) tweets back at us.

…macarons, dogs in bow ties, and our obsession with Anthropologie.

Or, at least, these are some of the things that the people in my life don’t understand…

Thus is the Life of a Blogger

Did I miss anything?

8.26.2012

{monday’s mantra}

Happy Monday everyone. Are you as happy as I am that it’s a new week? And a new week means a new mantra, one that I’m really looking forward to right now.

Monday's Mantra

What’s your mantra this week?

And, like always {from now on…} I created a new wallpaper. You can get it here.

8.24.2012

{five things}

Let’s end the week on a good note, shall we? I read this post from the Kitchn yesterday and it definitely got me thinking. I need to get my mojo back in a lot of things lately {it seems}, including cooking. After I read it, all I wanted was to go to Amazon and buy a whole bunch of cook books. Like these ones…

Five Things

Les Petits Macarons :: I’m all about the macarons, and I’ve seen this book in Anthropologie a few times. I love making them, but they aren’t as pretty as these ones. Maybe buying this book will actually make my macarons pretty…

Mastering the Art of French Cooking :: We all know Julia Child turned 100 last week, and she’s still considered one of the best chefs ever. I feel like it’s time for me to actually try and make something of hers.

Foolproof :: Ina Garten is hands down my favorite Food Network chef. I own one of her books already, and I can’t wait for this one to come out in October!

The Smitten Kitchen :: I LOVE Smitten Kitchen the blog, so I have a definite feeling that I’ll love the cookbook as well!

Super Natural Every Day :: I own one of her other cookbooks and it’s a really great resource! I’ve learned how to cook with more natural ingredients from her, though I don’t do it nearly enough. Maybe this one will make it even less scary.

The Kitchn’s post also suggests that I invite more people over for dinner. So, if you’re ever in Ventura, let me know. I’ll cook for you. And I’m a good cook.

Happy weekend everyone!

8.20.2012

{on sale}

Because I wanted to share…

On Sale

How cute are these curtains? They also have them in black and gold, but I’m partial to the purple. You can find them here.

{hire me}

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I’ve added another page to my menu for services that I offer. Along with wedding planning and calligraphy, I’ve decided to start working on blog designs again. Also, I’d love to work with you on your custom stationery needs! Check out my new Hire Me page for more information!

Hire Me

8.19.2012

{monday’s mantra}

I saw this quote recently and I kind of love it.

Monday's Mantra

Question though…are you getting tired of my Monday’s Mantra series? I’ve been considering replacing it with something else, but I wanted to get your thoughts first! Let me know in the comments if you’re ready to move on, or if we should keep Monday’s Mantra going.

Also, I created some wallpapers for you today. Enjoy!

1900 x 1200
1600 x 1200
1024 x 768

8.17.2012

{five things}

Thank goodness it’s Friday once again…and thank goodness I get to stay home this weekend instead of spending it all over Southern California.

These are five things I’ve learned throughout the week, posts that really spoke to me, or just interesting articles that I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you enjoy!

Five Things

1. Since we aren’t moving at the end of the year, I’m going to be redoing a few of our rooms soon. I’m loving this bedroom, but I just don’t know if I can pull off the mixed prints.

2. This is one of my favorite quotes.

3. Isn’t this paw print art adorable?! You can see the tutorial here.

4. Definitely my favorite wedding of the week.

5. I preordered Joy’s book this week. Can’t wait for September!

8.16.2012

{blogging tips, tricks & resources}

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a little while now. There are a lot of posts about different aspects of blogging, but this one is just about little things that I’ve found that might help you out.

IMG_1852

Here you go, a whole bunch of randomness…

If you connect both your Instagram and Twitter, make sure you use the same handles. That way when you tag someone on Instagram and tweet it, they will be tagged in Twitter as well.

If you have a PC and use Blogger, use Windows Live Writer! I promise it’s a thousand times better than using Blogger. It’s like using Microsoft Word, and just clicking Publish at the end. So easy! And so much more efficient.

A trick that I’ve learned recently about Windows Live Writer: you can save hyperlinks for certain words, so that when you type them, they are automatically hyperlinked to the correct location. For example, I’ve done this for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, among other things. To do this, just go to your Options > Automatic Linking and click add. This can save a ton of time.

I use Google Chrome for my internet browser, and I’m a big fan of the plugins available. My favorites are the Pinterest Pin It button by Shareholic, Bit.ly, and Tweetings for Twitter. I love that I can tweet and pin and save bookmarks directly in my browser without having to exit to another page. If you want to download any of these, just go to the Chrome Web Store and search.

Speaking of Bit.ly, If you haven’t used it yet, I highly encourage you to do so! You can save a bookmarks from your browser (if you use the plugin), and keep track of how many times people click through. I’m sure there are other things you can do with it, but that’s all I really do.

Margaret from Floral & Frayed mentioned on Twitter that you should resize your images before you put them into Blogger. If you use Windows Live Writer, you can do it when creating your posts, but if you post in Blogger, you can’t specify pixel size without going and modifying the HTML.

Brittany from Life, Set Sail mentioned on Twitter that posts always look nicer when you justify the paragraphs, and I agree.

{av} from Long Distance Loving wrote a really great post recently about how to find your passion in blogging again. Definitely go read it if you need some inspiration!

It’s been said before, but it needs to be said again, remember to link your email address to your Blogger profile, and don’t go around asking people to follow you back in your comments! It’s rude.

What do you think? Did I miss anything? What tips and tricks and resources do you have to share with other bloggers?

8.15.2012

{etsy finds}

So, I am most definitely not a DIY type of person. I’m more of a buy-it-on-Etsy type. I’ve tried to make my own garland before, but I failed miserably. To make it worse, I absolutely love paper garland at weddings, which is why I’ve been swooning over it on Etsy lately.

Etsy Finds

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

That last one is most definitely my favorite! Which one is yours?

8.14.2012

{wedding wednesday: three questions}

I was going to post about wedding photography today, but I decided to do something a little different for that post, so it’s going to have to wait until next week. I think it will be worth it though! For this week, I thought I would share the three questions that I ask all of my brides and grooms when I meet with them for the first time. These are questions that all couples should ask themselves when they first start planning their wedding.

Three Questions

{via}

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY?

Describe what you see for your wedding. Is it more formal or casual? A big party or a small, intimate gathering? Is it outside or inside? Before you come up with the specifics, just imagine what you could have without thinking about the budget or location.

WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST PRIORITIES?

It’s really important that you write down what your priorities are for the wedding, and bring out that list on a regular basis. You’re allowed to change things and rearrange your priorities, but when you start getting into an argument with your fiancé about whether or not you should splurge on the photographer or the three course meal, you can go back to that list and make a rational decision. Emotions can get high during the planning process, so it’s best if you write it all down and keep it close.

IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT WEDDINGS THAT YOU’VE ATTENDED IN THE PAST THAT YOU DISLIKED?

Now, I don’t want you to start comparing your wedding to a wedding that you’ve gone to before, but definitely think back and look at the overall picture. Was there a wedding that went to that seemed really unorganized? Then maybe you should get a planner. Or was the food terrible at another? Then don’t go with that caterer.

*     *     *     *     *

Are there any questions that you think are important to address from the start?

Link Up

There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related {it doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about}. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi. Oh, and if you’d use my button, that would be fantastic!

8.13.2012

{life, lately}

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We went to Santa Barbara last weekend, and spent a few hours wandering around State Street. They have the absolute cutest shops, and I could have spent way too much money there on little things for my apartment and new jeans. Oh, and lots of sweets. And wine.

This past weekend we went to Malibu Wines to celebrate our friends’ birthdays. And Sunday I drove down to help my mom set up her store! I’m really excited to show you all pictures when it’s all done.

A few other things:

Apparently I’ve lived under a rock for the past seven years, since I’m just now getting into Grey’s Anatomy. I’m obsessed.

Taylor Swift announced her new album today, and played her new single. I’m very concerned.

We’ve gone back and forth about moving at the end of the year {we hate our complex}, but I think we’re going to stay. And I’m actually really happy about it. We’ll pay off our credit card debt next year, and it would be so stressful to move during the holidays. It means that I get to fix up our apartment a little!

That’s all.

 

8.12.2012

monday’s mantra}

 

I made a promise to myself last Tuesday that I would do what I need to do, work as hard as I need to work, so that I can do what I love all the time. It’s so strange, but this past week has been one of the best of my life. Knowing that I am doing whatever it takes, that I will not settle for anything below my true potential, is an amazing feeling. I’ve gotten three calligraphy orders since I launched my Etsy shop. I’ve signed a client, and got two inquiries. I’ve sold ads and got published by a major publication. Just ask my husband: every time something good has happened these past five days, I’ve said it.

Mondays Mantra

8.10.2012

{five things}

Yay for Friday! And yay for my second week of Five Things!

These are five things I’ve learned throughout the week, posts that really spoke to me, or just interesting articles that I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you enjoy!

Pretty Wedding

{via}

I fell positively in love with everything about this gorgeous wedding on Style Me Pretty, especially the beautiful bride’s incredible dress.

Bow Belt011011-bowbelt15

{via}

I’m just a little obsessed with bows, so I got really excited when I found this tutorial for a DIY bow belt on Momtastic from the Sweetest Occasion.

Bitter Truthlinchking

{via}

This post is kind of like a kick in the stomach, but it’s a definitely eye opener too. Reading it made me realize a lot, and made me realize that I need to change some things around here. It’s a slow process, but it’s happening. Or I’m trying, at least.

EntrepreneurTheEverygirl_BoutiqueBites

{via}

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Everygirl by now, so I’m sure you’ve seen this post. Their career features are definitely my favorite features on the site, and I especially loved Elaina Vasquez’s story. It amazes me how creative some women are, and I really look up to anyone that can build something so successful at such a young age.

HuffPo

{via}

Because I’m still super excited about it. Not all that excited about mean people leaving comments, but that’s okay.

Happy Friday everyone!

8.09.2012

{macarons}

When I started my business, I knew that I needed {and wanted} to set myself apart. The wedding market is pretty saturated, but I have something special to offer. I just had to figure out how to prove it to people.

One thing I’ve noticed in this past year is how impersonal some wedding vendors are, and I really don’t want to be like that. They don’t really put a lot of effort into meetings, don’t prepare with any special marketing when meeting with someone for the first time. I need to set myself apart. But beyond that, I want my clients to know that I appreciate them and their business, and that I’m truly excited to work with them.

Enter the macarons. I sent chocolate once, but it was expensive and kind of cheesy in my opinion. I love macarons {I could create an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to them}, and I thought that other people might like them too. I searched Etsy for the perfect vendor for my macarons, and I found Salt City Bakery.

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Andrea is an absolute sweetheart, and I get so excited when I sign a client so I can have her send them some yummy macarons! My favorite are definitely the vanilla raspberry. So good!

Are you as obsessed with macarons as I am? If so, you should hire me so you can get some.