Let’s Get Personal: Women Who Inspire Me (It’s #IWD2016!)


Image: Brandilynn Aines

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since Thursday – I am sorry guys! Submissions have been a bit light (photogs, vendors, and recently married peeps, where you at?!) and life has gotten in the way (doesn’t it always?), but I wanted to share a post today in support of the fact that it’s International Women’s Day. Now while a part of me wants to sit here and rant about all the travesties that women still face in this world (unequal pay, rampant sexism, the lack of access to healthcare, paid maternity leave … and oh the list goes on), the better half of my brain took over and thought it’d make a much better and inspiring post to blog about women who inspire me today.

So there they are – the top 3 ladies in that picture above, are the most inspiring women in my life. And if you are thinking they look familiar, it’s because they’re actually my mother and two sisters. So let’s start with my mom.

When you become a parent, your view on your own parents changes DRASTICALLY (in a good way!). I always knew my mom was the best, and I thought I had recognized the sacrifices she had taken in life to be a mother of four, but I really didn’t understand until becoming a mother myself, recently. This woman is strong. She raised four kids (FOUR!). She stayed home and did the rockstar stay-at-home mom game for half of us, then went back to work (and still works) to help put us all through college. She has been an amazing writer for as long as I can imagine, and I’d like to think I get my rad blogging skills from her. She wrote a children’s book (you can buy it on Amazon – it’s awesome!) and travels to schools to use her book to teach children about kindness and inclusion. Talk about a rockstar, right? My mom has taught us so much and as a speech pathologist, she teaches children at a public school in NJ. Teachers have to be some of the most undervalued people in our society and I will never understand why. To me, they are some of the most important, and that is why my mom is one of the most inspiring women in my life.

So let’s move along the picture to the next fabulous #ladyboss in my life. That would be my older sister Jill. Along with all the life lessons you get from having an older sister, my sister has always been an inspiration to me because she is probably one of the MOST determined people I’ve ever met. I’ve never watched someone other than my sister work SO HARD to accomplish what they wanted. Whether it was striving to get straight As growing up, or her determination to obtain a MFA in Directing, or her daily work to advance the craft of theatre directing through a service organization she founded (and currently is the Exectuive Director of), Directors Gathering. Oh yeah, she does this all while being a kickass wife & mother to that adorable Stella up in that picture too. Yup, inspiring.

And finally, my younger sister Kristen. Kristen’s ability to persevere has always inspired me. She has faced many challenges in her life, but has always pushed through, including the ardous journey she took (and completed!) to become a RN. Next to Teachers, Nurses have to be one of the most selfless professions in the world. Unless you know a Nurse, you can’t possibly begin to understand what they go through at their jobs (12 hour shifts, where she is often unable to sit, eat, or even take a bathroom break!). I listen to her stories with my jaw on the floor – of the patients that take her for granted, of the thankless hours spent cleaning up after people, of the Drs who aren’t always the kindest, of the family members who cry on her shoulder, thanking her for helping their loved one. I just cannot believe she does this every day! She is a TRUE rockstar.

So those are my lady inspirations for #IWD2016. Who are yours?!

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Attention Bloggers & Small Biz Owners – Let’s Make It Happen

CBC Workshop Promo Header

Image: Maggie Winters Photography

There have been a few sneak peaks on social media, but I am SUPER PUMPED to be officially announcing today, that I will be helping Cherry Blossom Creative kick off their inaugural “Make It Happen” workshop series for makers, creatives, dreamers, and all small business owners. For those that know me, you know I love to share the things I’ve learned since starting this blog & business in 2011. I never dreamed Capitol Romance would grow to what it is today, and I certainly didn’t do it alone, so any chance I get to talk with and meet other creatives/bloggers/small biz owners in DC (and the surrounding area), I take it!

So let’s get into the workshop details, shall we? It’s going to be laid-back, intimate, and AWESOME. Think less lecture and more discussion, led by yours truly. I’ll have 5 key takeaways for attendees on how to make their blog stand out and will be available to answer ANY of the questions you might have.

So who is this workshop for? Really anyone that has a blog (either as a standalone business or is maybe trying to start one as part of their already established, non-blog business) or is looking to start a blog. I’d love to have bloggers that are brand new (maybe you haven’t even started your blog yet!) or ones that might having been blogging for as long as me (or maybe even longer!). The whole point is the gain insight, share experiences, and help each other make shit happen.

When & where is it all going down? Next Thursday evening, March 10th, from 6pm to 8pm at Cherry Blossom Creative’s HQ in Atlantic Plumbing. Tickets are super limited and just $10 so get yours now! \/

Buy Tickets

More from Cherry Blossom Creative’s workshop:

In this collection of workshops, we bring you key insights from the makers themselves. They’ll guide you on how you can take ideas, thoughts, and projects, and not only push past obstacles, but move things towards successful fruition. The district is just brimming with startups, creatives, and entrepreneurs and we simply want to connect you with the most inspiring, accessible leaders! Seats are limited, and our workshops are intentionally small. See you then, and let’s make s%$# happen!


DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Woodland Flower Crown

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We’ve got a guest blogger on the blog today! Part bride to be, part CapRo client, and 100% a damn good friend of mine, Amy! She’s making some things for her DC wedding this Fall (omg I can’t wait!) and wrote up this DIY tutorial from the DIY Flower Crowns she’s making for her flower girls! Take it away Amy.

DIY Woodland Flower Crown Tutorial | By Amy

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I decided that I wanted to make flower crowns for my flower girls (my muse here), and in keeping with my desire to get things done before wedding crunch time, made them out of fake flowers (so they would last). I also added some gold accents as it goes with the wedding colors.

Materials Needed:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Thick Floral Wire
  • Thin Floral Wire
  • Implements (leaves, flowers, other!)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers/Wire Cutter

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Step 1. Measure: Measure the head of the individual who will be wearing the crown. My niece had a 20 inch head circumference, and I added a few inches just to be safe. The crown is adjustable, so it doesn’t need to be exact, but don’t have less than what you need.

Step 2. Cut: Cut the thick floral wire with wire cutters to that measurement and arrange in a circle.

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Step 3. Assemble: Fold the end of the wire into itself to create a loop, and create a hook with the opposite side. If desired, wrap greenery around the thick wire and secure with thin wire. I did this so that you wouldn’t be able to see the thick black wire when it was assembled.

Step 4. Pick a focal point: I centered the crown on the little gold ornament and started assembling it there, securing it with the thin floral wire where necessary.

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Step 5. Add floral elements: I began adding greenery so that it would flare out at various points, using a hot glue gun. You could also do this with the thin floral wire, depending on how thick your floral elements are. For my version, the greenery was very thin so I didn’t want the wire to be as evident. Wrap your flowers/greenery of choice around the thick wire crown and secure it with either a glue gun or thin floral wire. Add as much or as little as desired and troubleshoot! I added all green leaves to get a base, then stuck in fake baby’s breath for an ethereal touch.

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Step 6. Take a step back and find any areas that need more attention, fill in as necessary, and then you’re done! Use the hook and closure at the back to size to what you need, and watch everyone fawn over the crown! And you can fawn over how inexpensive it was! My version cost about $15 total. When I get closer to the wedding day, I may add some real flowers in to give it an extra touch.

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So simple and so affordable! Thanks for sharing Amy.

Katie & Soleil’s Intimate, Gorgeous Elopement at the Westin in Georgetown

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Images: Harmony Lynn Photography submitted via Two Bright Lights

I love elopements that don’t skimp on gorgeous decor & details. Just because you don’t have a massive guest list … or heck, in this case, any guest list at all, doesn’t mean you can’t have gorgeous florals, your dream attire, gold plated flatware, and the most romantic candles adorning your ceremony space. Katie & Soleil did just that with today’s intimate DC elopement at the Westin in Georgetown. Stunning images commence!

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From Soleil:

Almost everything about our love story, and eventually our elopement, happened serendipitously. From our spontaneous decision to wed, we made absolute sure we had three things: gorgeous details, a stunning backdrop, and a dream ceremony!

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The color selection for the entire elopement was based on one thing and one thing only: Mrs. Box! At the time, almost every color of the boxes was sold out! Luckily, we found a beautiful and rich purple that would match our rose gold bands perfectly! Not to mention, I dreamed of a large leafy eucalyptus bouquet. Purple would compliment the sage and ivy greens. It was like finding gold! To bring our Kate Spade inspiration to life, we added a bold pattern of a chunky striped fabric as a table cloth which allowed us to modernize the elegance of the venue in a fun way!

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Bringing in the romance of the surprise sunrise elopement, I walked to my love along a path of ivy and candles. It was a dream. I’m still reeling!

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The Top 10 Things for Couples to Do in Washington, DC

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Image: Beau Considine via Flickr

Guys! I am SO excited today to be sharing a post I created in partnership with the fine folks at Expedia.com, we teamed up to showcase the coolest things to do in DC on a romantic weekend or honeymoon! Now I know most of my readers here are DC area locals, so though you might not be honeymooning here (though, staycations can be SO awesome and budget-friendly!), the post will give you some ideas for a fun weekend adventure with your partner.

But for everyone else outside of DC, we’ve got the ultimate top 10 places to see in Washington, D.C. for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway. Just in case you never thought DC would be a cool honeymoon location, I’m about to prove you wrong.

Top 10 Things for Couples to Do in DC


Image: Eugene L Meyer for the New York Times (left) | Atlantic Plumbing Facebook (right)

1) Shop at The Shay & Atlantic Plumbing

Within the neighborhood some media sources refer to as “North End Shaw”, there lies a new and awesome place to shop. Two buildings built this past year, are home to local Washington DC makers and top International clothing & accessory brands. So skip the typical shopping destination that some might point you to (ahem, Georgetown, or worse, Tyson’s Corner) and head to S & T Street NW, just north of the Shaw Metro Stop or a quick walk from the U Street Metro Stop.

You’ll find: Kit & Ace, Warby Parker, Chrome Industries, Frank & Oak, and more at The Shay. You’ll find: Cherry Blossom Creative, Typecase Industries, Foundry Interior, & Bazaar Spices at Atlantic Plumbing.

And probably more stuff by the time this post is published.


Image: Morgan H. West for A Creative DC

2) Visit Funky Art Collectives/Studios (The Lemon Bowl, Lab 1270, Off the Beaten Track Warehouse, Brewmaster Studios, Monroe Street Arts Walk)

Art studios and collectives seem to be popping up all over the city. These places where artists, makers, and curators, come together to share space, creativity, and inspiration, and sell their goodies or run workshops too!.  Our list below vary in size, type of makers available, and location – they’re all over our fine city. Here are my favorite collectives and some of the fine creatives you can locate there:

The Lemon Bowl  – Sill Life, Katthryn Zaremba, Linny Giffin Jewelry, & more (they host workshops too!) | Lab 1270 – Niko & Ava Kidswear, Time Off, Thursday Boot Co, Guerilla Vending & more | Off the Beaten Track Warehouse – Highway 2 Hill Flowers, WoodInspire, District Clay, Grey Moggie Press & a TON more | Brewmaster Studios – Matine, Mallory Shelter Jewelry, Sea Heart City Press, & more | Monroe Street Arts Walk – Stitch & Rivet, Wildhands Workspace, Analog & more

3) Catch an indie flick at our Indie Movie Theaters

In case it rains, or you’re looking for somewhere to rest your tired feet (seriously DC is SO walkable and bikeable) check out one of our “indie” cinemas. The original is E Street Cinema, downtown, but we also have Angelika Theater in NE DC and Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema too.

4) Visit Art Spaces like Renwick Gallery or Blind Whino

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Image: Gerry Suchy as seen on Curbed DC

Though the Corcoran was sold in melded into the National Gallery of Art, DC has some seriously cool (and fairly new) art spaces to check out while you are here. My current favorites are Renwick Gallery and Blind Whino.

5) Stay at Mason & Rook or Embassy Row Hotel

One of the nice things about honeymooning in DC is that you can typically (unless there’s a massive event, or it’s Cherry Blossom Season) find a hotel to stay at for well under what it costs to stay in The Big Apple. We have a LOT of hotel options (which Expedia or Priceline or other websites will show you) but I have two recommendations if you are looking to stay somewhere centrally located and in more of a hip, boutique space.

Check out the Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle – for it’s awesome interior design, and interior paintings by local street artist, Kelly Towles, or stay at the newly renovated Mason & Rook (formerly Hotel Helix, but now Illuminati-themed), that will leave you a very short walk to a ton of restaurants and night-light on 14th street in the Logan Circle neighborhood.

6) Discover and enjoy delicious desserts with a “Sweet Tooth Tour”

(Dolcezzo Pic)

Though you probably know about DC’s infamous cupcake storefront thanks to that TLC show, we have so much more to offer in terms of local sweets & treats. Take your partner or loved ones on a “sweet tooth tour” stopping at some of my favorite non-cupcake treat shops:

Rare Sweets, Dolcezzo Gelato Lab & Coffee Factory, Pie Sisters, Frenchies (find them at Maketto), Pleasant Pops, and Ice Cream Jubilee (to name a few!)

7) Brewery & Distillery Hop

DC’s Brewery & Distillery scene is ever-growing, thanks to some brave entreprenuers finally changing DC’s prohibition era laws on brewing and selling in the District. We’ve got websites that specialize on our breweries and distilleries, but my favorites to check out are:

Beer: Atlas Brew Works, DC Brau, Right Proper | Liquor: Green Hat, One Eight Distilling, Jos A Magnus & Co.



 Image: TPW via Flickr

DC’s restaurant scene has been and continues to be exploding in recent years (in a good way). Eat at Rose’s Luxury, eat at Toki Underground and/or Maketto, eat at any Mike Isabella Concepts restaurant, eat at The Red Hen … Ok, this could be an entire post – so I’ll let my readers continue to post their favorite food spots in the comments.

9) View & Taste Local Food and Drink Makers

To celebrate (and support!) all the local food & drink makers in DC, markets and storefronts have popped up that sell completely local goodies. These places would be easy ways to hit multiple DC food & drink makers, in one stop. Check out: Glen’s Gardner Market, Union Kitchen Grocery, & Union Market.

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Image: Kims World of Art on Flickr

10) OK Fine, Do Some Touristy Stuff

One of the best things about vacationing or honeymooning in DC is how much stuff you can do FOR FREE. Most of the main “tourist” attractions of Washington, DC (The Monument, The Mall, The Capitol Building, etc) are free. As are the Smithsonian Museums AND the Zoo (plus we’ve got PANDAS). Personally, I love Archives & the DC War Memorial (a great place for a picnic). The African American History Museum also just opened!

And just in case I missed anything – sound off in the comments below on any other “MUST DO” things for couples in DC!

*this post is in partnership with Expedia.com for Capitol Romance. Capitol Romance was compensated to create & share this content on this blog, however, it was verified that this content was confirmed to meet its requirements and mission*

Corina & Ben’s Intimate, DIY Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Jonah Koch for MBK Photography via Two Bright Lights

Happy Friday Romancers!! Another week has come to an end, and with it (like most weeks) I wonder where the time went and I feel like I have so much to do. I wasn’t the best at blogging this week, but I did finally make it out to an “Art Club” meet-up last night with two fantabulous DC artists/designers. It’s so inspiring to meet freelance artists that create such beautifully creative and unique pieces. Though it didn’t help my to-do list, it certainly helped my mind & soul a bit. Also my belly – because we had THE MOST DELICIOUS wine & cheese during our discussion. We are NJ/PA bound for the weekend first thing tomorrow for some family time & a baby shower! Hope you guys have a great one too! Enjoy this super sweet, vintage-inspired (with a TON of DIY details) Maryland wedding for today!

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I didn’t want the wedding to be one-sided. Too often weddings tend to be about the bride, which misses the point. It’s about the marriage and the union of two people and I wanted it to be a nice balance that satisfied my husband.

We chose the venue because it was financial feasible and it worked out aesthetically. We decided on a tea ceremony – something very common in my culture – and cramped everyone in our tiny apartment, which made it ever so much more intimate.

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I’m not sure I accomplished my goal but I was going for a noir bridal themed wedding. I like my designs clean cut and uncluttered. Black and white were the tones I naturally gravitated towards and red embodied cultural significance for me and my family. I designed a wedding grocery bag because weddings tend to give away useless trinkets. I wanted to give people things they could use while reminding them of our wedding.

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We met at Duke University as undergraduates. We since have endured a 7-year long-distance relationship. At one point I was serving in the US Peace Corps in Samoa in the South Pacific and he was serving in Iraq in the military. We were able to skype during that year – pretty incredible technology feat.

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Nowhere in my wedding did I include flowers. If you can afford them, flowers can be a great accent. With my go big or go home attitude if I wasn’t going to saturate my whole wedding with flowers I wasn’t going to include them at all. Also, like I said previously, I wanted a balanced wedding that wasn’t too feminine.

I enjoy wedding planning/ designing and as I lived far from my family, I did most of the pre-wedding work myself. I also managed to squeeze out some help from my husband, much to his protest.

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I made the backdrop to the stage where the musicians played. While any bystander would have written the streamers off, those designs took three whole months to complete by myself. My brother, a concept designer from California, designed the backdrop of my dessert table – probably one of the most notable designs in the wedding.

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Vol 5: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – Navigating Maternity Leave as a Small Business Owner

View More: http://rachellynphotography.pass.us/steenhoek

Images: Rachel Lyn Photography

We’re back with another super amazing guest post in our #Momprenuer series (Vol1, Vol2, Vol3 Vol4, if you missed them!). Today we have Lori from Love, Lori Michelle (one of my ABSOLUTE favorite jewelry designers in DC) sharing her journey into motherhood and what that meant for taking maternity leave as a small business owner. I’ve continually told anyone (that listens to me) that I feel lucky that my day job allowed me to take 4 solid months of PAID leave. I know I shouldn’t feel lucky, as that should be a basic human right in our civilized nation, not luck – but for small business owners in our country, maternity leave is …. well, non-existent. Lori is here to share her personal experience of how she managed, and what she would have done differently (so listen up all you pregnant or maybe someday pregnant small biz owners!). Take it away Lori.

 Hi! Iʼm Lori, a longtime reader of Capitol Romance and one of Breeʼs neighbors in NE, DC. Bree asked if Iʼd be willing to share some of my thoughts on maternity leave as a small business owner, so here goes…

For the past five years, I have run two small business out of my home. Iʼm a 3D-artist and owner of Capital Pixel, a design company that specializes in architectural visualization for real estate marketing — the “day job” as I like to call it. And, as my creative outlet, I design and sell custom, 3D-printed jewelry at Love, Lori Michelle. Both of these ventures are run by just myself, and I love the freedom and autonomy that provides.

When you work for yourself, in addition to just doing the actual work that needs to get done, you have to wear all the other business-related hats as well: accountant, bookkeeper, administrative assistant, web designer, social media guru, and so on. And this is something I wholly embrace, the chance to control every aspect of what I do. On occasion, when my workload gets overwhelming, I have several connections (other artists like myself) that I can call upon for hourly contract work. Itʼs a great way for me to meet deadlines and still get everything done, and I pay for the work on an as-needed basis without having to hire a full-time employee, since Iʼm just not quite there just yet.

When I found out I was pregnant in 2013, I was ecstatic, nervous, excited, all the emotions you would expect rolled into one. The preparations began as most new parents-to-be would do: painting the nursery, stocking up on diapers, and buying too many pairs of ridiculously cute baby shoes.

But then the thought of maternity leave and child-care logistics began to weigh down on me as we got closer to my due date. Luckily my husbandʼs company had a 2-week paternity leave policy, and we had lots of family nearby to help with the arrival of our baby girl.

But I felt stuck. And worried. Could I afford to be out of work for several months? Who was going to run my business? There wasnʼt, and still isnʼt, another single person who knows the ins-and-outs of my work and could keep things afloat for me once the baby arrived. What was maternity leave actually going to look like for me? I had never really thought that far ahead.

The funny irony is that, when I told friends and family (and even clients) I was pregnant, so many responses went like this: “Congratulations! Thatʼs so exciting. And itʼs SO lucky for you to be able to work from home with the baby.” I would usually smile and nod my head in agreement, but I felt like screaming inside “It doesnʼt work like that!!!”.

One myth Iʼd like to dispel is that working from home does not imply that someone is necessarily under-employed, part-time employed, or just sitting around having fun without being required to shower. Sure, I have a busy times and slow times, just like everyone does, but on average Iʼm putting in 50-hour+ weeks. In fact, I think that most people who work from home actually work longer and harder hours to get ahead, build a business, or be an entrepreneur. Can I work in my pajamas? Yes. Are my hours flexible? Definitely. Can I still crank out 50 hour work weeks while caring for a child? Absolutely not. Itʼs no different than asking someone who works in a traditional office to care for a baby while at work. The only difference is the location.

So while parental leave is a hot-button topic these days, I felt like I had nowhere to chime into the discussion. On one hand, Iʼm lucky that I could theoretically take as much time off as I needed, but financially that wasnʼt an option and for the growth of my companies that wasnʼt an option. Plus, I wanted to keep working. Iʼm also lucky that I have a spouse that is employed with a steady source of income. Where would I be if I were a single mother?

On the other hand, I donʼt have a job with coworkers and a support network of colleagues who could cover my workload. I felt like I was in uncharted territory. As more people become self-employed it will be interesting to see how parental leave policies will or wonʼt affect this sector of the workforce.

So, my plan was to take 3 months off work to be home with my daughter. In June 2014, with about a month left to go in my pregnancy, I sent an email out to my longtime clients informing them of my leave, my need to wrap up loose ends on ongoing projects, and that I wouldnʼt be taking on new work until the fall. My hands were shaking as I wrote
and re-wrote the wording in that email until it felt right. Somehow, it felt like my pregnancy was a problem, that I was saying sorry, and that I wasnʼt making myself available enough to carry on my business and bring a baby into the world at the same time. There were also some new work inquiries coming in during that time that I just had
to flat out turn down. That was incredibly hard for me to swallow. I had worked so hard to build something up, and I felt like I was suddenly burying it.


Lyla was born on July 11, and she was perfect. I loved becoming a mother, it was the wildest thing Iʼd ever done in my life. We were so excited to bring her home and introduce her to everyone. When she was born, she looked just like her daddy. Over the summer, I continued to answer work emails. I got a few small work-related things done every week while Lyla would nap. The first month passed in a blur. Then slowly the emails and work requests started to trickle back in. Clients forgot that I was still on maternity leave. More new work requests came in and things just slowly pickedback up until I was suddenly going full steam ahead again, earlier than intended. It just happened, I had a really hard time saying “No, this has to wait.”

At two and a half months, we put Lyla into a nanny share with another child and family. It all happened faster than I had planned. I think any mother would agree that maternity leave whizzes by, no matter how long you have, itʼs never enough. Now that Lyla is 18 months and I can look back, I realize that many things went differently than I had planned. So, here’s what I’d do next time (with the caveat/disclaimer that any “mom” advice of thoughts you read, including mind, don’t work for everyone!):

1. Not feel guilty about taking maternity leave. I just wouldnʼt. End of story. For some reason our society applauds the overworking-and-doing-it-all mentality. It just doesnʼt have to be that way, and it starts with each individual. I wish I didnʼt buy into that feeling of having to keep it all going and under control. Especially as a woman running a small business, I felt like staying away too long would make me lose too much and look like a failure. Now, I realize I donʼt get a do-over.

2. Be more vocal. Iʼd be more honest with friends and family about the working/child care situation. People should know that itʼs impossible to work from home full-time and care for a child at the same time. We shouldnʼt even expect that as a reality from any parent.

3. Accept help, both at work and home. Itʼs ok to rely on friends who want to bring you food and family members who want to snuggle your baby. Going forward, Iʼve tried to accept that I canʼt do everything myself. Iʼve hired an accountant and a web designer to help lighten my work load.

4. Give myself a break. Early-on I had major FOMO on industry events and hated the thought of turning down invitations. Itʼs ok to miss out on work-related things. Those who know you will welcome you back with open arms when you return.

5. Realize who really matters. I was worried about my clients not understanding my need to take maternity leave. In retrospect, people were far more understanding than I thought theyʼd be. And if they werenʼt, they were not the kind of client I wanted to have anyways. Many clients even willingly shared their own stories about their kids and families, which humanized the whole experience for me.

6. Plan better financially. Itʼs a possibility that any of us could be out of work at any time, whether for having a child, an unexpected injury, whatever. I would have felt more at ease had I started planning a little earlier to have several months of income reserved for the time I had to take off.

In the end, both my businesses continue to grow. Lyla continues to grow, as well, and I donʼt see that either part of my life — as business owner or mother — has suffered too greatly. In fact, they now just feed off each other. My daughter makes me want to build a bigger and better business so that, when sheʼs older, she can see how hard I work at the things Iʼm passionate about. And in the meantime, it will help me afford to continue buying ALL the baby shoes for her.

Sohie & Kos’ Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the National Gallery of Art

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Image: Megan Noonan Photography via Two Bright Lights

What a little tease this weekend was, right? I took Evie on a nice long walk on Saturday, sans coat, and we played, OUTDOORS, at a playground down on The Hill. In February. But I’ve been here long enough to know that DC’s winter is far from over. We all know we’ll be getting a snow storm in March. However, I’ll take Saturday’s weather whenever I can get it, and revel in the fact that Spring will be here before we know it. Today’s engagement session has me feeling all the Spring vibes too (short dresses! Tulips!). And minus this is it a cold or is it allergies, crap I have been dealing with since last week, I really can’t wait for Spring. But for now, I’ll enjoy this session:

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DC will always have a special place in our hearts; it is where we first met and where our relationship took off. With every weekend neighborhood excursion, we fell more in love with the District as we did with each other. DC became the home of our relationship so it seemed only fitting for it to be the site of our engagement session and future wedding. Besides, DC is so pretty! So much to see and explore!

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We met on match.com and our first date was at The Codmother on U Street. Sohie wasn’t particularly excited about it and arranged a back up plan with her sister in case the date didn’t go well. But six hours later, the conversation was still flowing, spilling over from dinner to desserts and drinks. We spoke of food, family, our travels, our career goals; our values. It wasn’t love at first sight but the connection was instant and strong and we knew we had something special.

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Introducing (Officially) the Capitol Romance Wedding Planner – Now on Sale!


Images: Maggie with Pop! Wed Co.

Though you might have seen our huge news on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or maybe you noticed the images & links within our blog banner, this is the first OFFICIAL announcement of the Capitol Romance Wedding Planner here on the blog. We wanted to see how the first run of sales went AND we wanted to get some nice, professional pictures of the planner to properly market it. And so here we are!

The first run of 11 planners sold out within 2 weeks and I was so excited! It’s always nice to have something you worked REALLLLY long and hard on, be so well received! So we’re back, with another small batch of planners (still in hot pink for this run!) and to celebrate the official launch, we’ve got all the details, a gorgeous peak at the insides, AND we’re giving one away to one lucky reader (Scroll to bottom to enter)!

Buy the Planner!


The Capitol Romance Wedding Planner was an idea that came to my mind during my attendance at The Blogcademy. I thought, man from blogging about weddings for 5 years, and now starting my 4th year of wedding coordination, I sure know a heck of a lot about how to plan and execute a practical wedding. I LOVE helping to keep my clients sane, organized, and void of stress and I’d love to be able to share all of this with more than just my clients – but how the heck do I do that?


Boom. Take what I’ve learned, what I tell my clients, and some of the tools & resources I’ve already created, and have a kick-ass, local DC design company, design it into a beautiful, 3-ring binder (with tabs, pockets, and more). Enter Typecase Industries. One email and these ladies were set and it was an instant spark of excitement, imagination, and planning. MONTHS (I’m telling you MONTHS) of emails, meetings, drafts, edits, excitement, more edits, trials, errors, and finally, last December the planner was in my hands. And it was magical.


So what’s this planner all about, you might ask? Well let me tell you:

  • A recycled (eco-friendly!) binder kicks things off, to keep the planner light but sturdy
  • The cover options are ah-mazing, designed by Rexmake, and soon to be available in different colors
  • Tabs for the different sections helps to keep all the wedding planning documents you will amass, organized and easy to find
  • Pages to doodle, dream, take notes, and capture all of your planning ideas
  • Questions to ask each of the vendors you meet with, specific to their vendor area
  • An entire page (seen above) devoted to my favorite & top tips, tricks, and secrets, for helping to plan your wedding
  • Budget & Calendar templates to help you track costs, deposits, and final payments in both a budget list and Calendar view
  • Our custom Capitol Romance Wedding Planning Timeline & Checklist – that one of my clients said, “is definitely the best/most useful timeline we’ve seen.”
  • AND SO MUCH MORE (you’ll just have to buy one to find out!)

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So to celebrate the official launch of the planner here on the blog today, I thought it might be fun to offer one up for free to one lucky reader! Use the rafflecopter widget, leave us a blog comment on why you’d like to win one, and share on Facebook & Twitter for extra chances at winning (easy, peasey).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you just can’t wait until the giveaway ends next Friday, February 26th, go get your copy now while our 2nd batch lasts! Available to ship anywhere in the US of A!


Make Wedding Planning Fun Again with the CapRo Wedding Planner Buy the Planner