Reinaldo & Dan’s Intimate Washington DC Wedding at Meridian Hill Park & Maple

Images: Chris Ferenzi Photography 

A super sweet & intimate DC wedding on the blog today. An adorable couple at one of the best outdoor wedding ceremony locations in DC – Meridian Hill Park. Happy Thursday all.

Dan and I first met in June 2010 in Porto Alegre, Brazil at a party thrown by mutual friends. We were both new in the city, so we were almost was up for something that would allow us meeting new people. There were only three months I was living there. I’ve moved to Porto Alegre from my hometown Braslia in order to pursue a masters in urban and regional planning. Dan was there for the summer to study Portuguese, what was going to be useful for his future fieldwork in Brazil that he planned on doing to obtain his Ph.D. in anthropology.

We very quickly became friends and started spending time together. During the whole month of July I was traveling because it was winter break for us there. I went back to Porto Alegre for a weekend before going to Braslia to fathers day, and that was when we finally got together. On the next week Dan was in Braslia, met all my family and we had our first road trip.

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Third Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas: Leather, Sunflower & Moonstone

I‘m always bemoaning the lack of content coming in my inbox these days, when Kara kindly reminded me that she had set me up with a TON of wedding anniversary gift guides. We knocked first wedding anniversary and second wedding anniversary gift guides out EONS ago, so apologies for the break, but we’re back for year #3.

Third Wedding Anniversary Gift Motifs: Leather/ Sunflower/Moonstone

#1: Moonstone Pendant Necklace from Mallory Shelter Jewelry

Brought to you by one of my favorite jewelers in Washington, DC, Mallory Shelter has a GORGEOUS moonstone pendant necklace in her shop. (hmmm *adds to cart*).

#2. Moonstone & Lapis Dual Ring from Rachel Pfeffer

This moonstone & lapis ring is to die for – just like everything else on Rachel Pfeffer’s Shop. A great gift idea from another local, DC jeweler!

#3. Leather DC Pouch from Stitch & Rivet

If you are looking for ANYTHING leather than look no further than Stitch & Rivet. I LOVE everything Stitch & Rivet! They have amazing leather bags, pouches, and wallets for everyone! This DC branded leather clutch is EVERYTHING but you really cannot go wrong with any single item from Katie’s shop.

#4. Leather 6-Pack Holder from Milwaukee-based Fyxation

Does your partner like beer and biking? Then how about this leather 6-pack holder that attaches to your bike.

#5. Field Trip to McKee-Beshers Sunflower Field in Maryland

(Photo by Jane Godfrey via Washington Post)

This last one is more of a field trip – an afternoon activity you and your partner could spend together, celebrating year #3 of marriage and frolicking in acres and acres of SUNFLOWERS! Thirty acres of gorgeous sunflowers that won’t be there forever ~ so head on over now!

Let’s Get Personal: The Power of Perspective

Image: This Rad Love

This weekend Andy & I made the most of the gorgeous weather on Sunday, park hopping with Evie all morning and afternoon. At our first stop a woman rolled up with twins … by herself. She had two young boys (less than 1) with her, one of which, cried literally the entire time we were there. But she didn’t flinch, she didn’t yell, she didn’t get flustered, she didn’t look upset, and she didn’t even look frustrated. She just kept trying everything to make the two little boys happy, and to keep the one from crying.

Wow. What perspective that was for me. I STRUGGLE when Andy goes out of town for work and I am alone with just one kid – must less two, the same young age. I was never really a person of patience, and though having a kid has given me some, I know it’s still not one of my strong suits. I get stressed out quite faster than I should when I am alone with Evie and she is being all of the Toddler that she currently is. On the whole Evie is such a happy kid too. She listens pretty well, gets along with other kids, and shares pretty great – Andy & I always joke that we are so ill-prepared if a future kid isn’t as kind & ‘easy’ as Evie is. Which honestly makes me feel even guiltier after I am short or shed tears over my frustrations with parenting Evie.

Look at this woman, handling two children, one of which is having an incessant cryfest, with such grace & patience. Perspective.

Then yesterday I read this article about the awesome number of women that are running for office in Virginia, 6 months after the Women’s March. A specific quote from the article stuck out to me: “”Right after, I felt I needed to do more,” said Hala Ayala, a single mother of two and cyber security specialist running for a delegate seat.” A single mom of two, feels that SHE needs to do more.

Bam. Again – perspective.If this woman, who in my opinion, already does so much as a working, single-parent of two kids, feels SHE needs to do more to help our country, than man do I have plenty more work I need to do.

Perspective is powerful. Perspective is necessary. Perspective is important. It almost forces us to take a step back and perform critical self-reflection and self-improvement. Maybe next time I am alone with Evie and she starts to meltdown, I can stay kind, calm & collected as that woman from the park, who I know is dealing with SO much more. Maybe next time I see an opportunity to make an impact or take part in something that will better my community or neighborhood, I will rise to the occasion like the woman running for office (on top of being a single mom). I will make a promise to myself to try (though I might not always succeed) to use the power of perspective to continue to grow and evolve into a better, giving, more selfless individual.

Ryder & Allison’s Modern, Industrial DC Wedding at Longview Gallery

Images:Robin Shotola Photography

I‘ve been finding it harder and harder to blog thanks to our President & Gov’t being dead set on taking away our rights & access to affordable healthcare. I’m finding it hard to find motivation to do normal things, when things outside of my control just feel so horrible and I just want to DO something. I donate, I go to protests when I can, and I tweet (Lord, do I tweet) … but it doesn’t feel like enough and I want to do SO much more to stop the awfulness.

But I know there is only so much I can do, and I also realize that it’s important to step away from Twitter & the news, and re-focus on my life, my family, & the amazing opportunities I have to meet such amazing people through this blog/company. Allison & Ryder are two of these people, that I feel fortunate to have gotten to meet and spend one of the biggest days of their lives with. I loved their enthusiasm for each other, for their morals, and for including traditions in their wedding that meant something to them. I also love how they changed the traditions that did not work for them (my favorite: both of them stomping on a glass at the end of the ceremony, not just Ryder).

I know that while running a wedding & lifestyle blog might not be saving the world, it might bring some happiness & reminders of love to peoples’ lives – and right now, we could all certainly use a lot more of both of those things.

What will you remember most about your wedding day?:

Ryder — The feeling of walking from the hotel where I got ready to the venue — feeling a) I’m so ready for this, and b) all the anticipation of what’s about to come, both the actual wedding and for the rest of my life.

Allison — Being under the chuppah during the ceremony literally surrounded by family and friends (since our ceremony was in the round), holding Ryder’s hand and feeling a phenomenal amount of love and joy.

Both — Hearing the vows the other person had written and realizing that, despite not sharing anything about them with each other in advance, that they we had written practically identical vows.

Let’s Get Personal: Why Women Aren’t CEOs – A Reflection

Image: This Rad Love

I read an article last week that I cannot get out of my mind. And between the anxiety I’m feeling with the healthcare vote today & the leftover anger I am feeling from this article – well I decided to blog about it. Let me start by saying that I am by no means an expert on this topic, but as a woman in IT, at a major, global corporation, I could not get over how many of these points rang true to me personally, and what I’ve witnessed being at the Manager level at my company (much less the C-Suite level). So this post will be about MY experience, what I see and experience personally and my plea to you all to read & share this article – especially with men you know in this space.

I spent a chunk of my Friday just copying and pasting sentence, after sentence of this article to my female co-worker. We talk often about what it’s like to be a woman on our Account, but even we were a bit flabbergasted at how insanely similar SO MUCH of these womens’ experiences were to ours. Like we could have written these quotes ourselves, or we could probably even find old messenger conversations between the two of us, that said the exact same things these women shared.

The article makes so many amazing points, but for me the ones that held truest were:

  • Women tend to be less comfortable with self-promotion & are more likely to be criticized when they do grab the spotlight
  • Men are threatened by assertive women
  • Women are not socialized to be unapologetically competitive
  • Women tend to get discouraged and drop out along the way (or decide they don’t actually want the top spot at a company) & are even disproportionately penalized for their stumbles

And after a few Lesley Knope rage gifs exchanged, the article (and my conversation with my female coworker) went on.

Women push for changes, which cause men to react badly. Women that attempt to negotiate for promotions were 30% more likely to be labeled intimidating, bossy, or aggressive.

And the final blow definitely came here:

Ms. Kullman found that men were being promoted within two years, women in three. “It wasn’t as overt as, “She’s too aggressive.’ ” she said, “It came down more to, “We’re not sure she’s ready for that job.”

This one was especially hard for me to read as I had JUST sat in performance sessions the week before and witnessed this with my own eyes & ears. I did not keep quiet during these sessions and felt strongly at challenging my fellow managers for actually defining WHY the man was ready but the woman was not. And one response yielded something to the affect of, she comes to me with frustrations and complaints of what is wrong, but no solutions. To which I asked, has anyone ever given her this feedback? To come with some suggested solutions too?

Silence.

Well, the NYTimes had me covered, “But she and other women describe a culture in which men sometimes feel hesitant to give women honest but hard feedback, which can be necessary for them to ascend, because they fear women may react emotionally.” How are we to climb the corporate ladder (if that is what we want), when we aren’t given the proper feedback to change or grow to get there?

If you think, like a lot of my male coworkers, that this article is silly or not what you experience (or as a man, not how you treat your female coworkers), then I would invite you to understand that just because it’s not affecting you, does not mean it isn’t affecting so many others. Because it is. I posted this article on Facebook and the only two comments I got, were from former male-coworkers of mine, making a joke about me womansplaining this article to them (yes really).

This is not a joke. And no, their comments were not funny. This is a reality, and like most (all?) issues facing women, it’s infinitely harder if you are a non-white woman.

So where do we go from here? These articles are great in informing & highlighting these issues, statistics, & experiences, but we need to do more than write & share these articles (but really, please read & share this article). We need to have conversations, we need to find ways to stay in the game and influence where we can. Personally, I will not keep quiet – I will continue to point out these occurrences when I see them and I will continue to challenge my male coworkers when I can, even when it’s almost always met with “oh there she goes again” eye-rolls. We also can create the change by starting our own companies – forging our own paths that aren’t already so stuck in the patriarchy and bringing as many people up with us as we can. We can win small battles in Corporate America – but the culture here as been this way for a very long time and I don’t know how fast we can change it.

I want faster change and for that I think forging our own paths is important – it’s one of the main reasons I love running this business & I am hopeful that lots of women are doing the same (plenty I know, are). My dad shared this awesome USA Today article with me, “Women business owners will save America” and this makes me hopeful. I also read a collection of short interviews with some seriously fierce & inspiring black comediennes yesterday, and a lot of them had the same message: be true to yourself, and if you don’t like the path that men/someone else is dictating for you – make your own. We do what we can to fight this ongoing battle and we continue to raise others up that need even more help than I do and give voice to those that don’t feel like they can speak up like I do. It’s the only way we will truly win.

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