Mother’s Day Inspiration

Today’s post is going to be a full one! I will break it down for you so you know what your getting into.

1. Great ways to celebrate Mom

2. An incredible story about an incredible Mom

Ready…Set…Go!

1. Celebrate Mom

-I know you are tired of hearing it but I am going to say it again, celebrate mom the way she wants to be celebrated. Just because it is known that you go to brunch Mother’s Day does not mean that is what you have to do or even what mom wants to do. My mom, doesn’t like doing that because she doesn’t want to deal with the crowds and us kids have way too many little one’s for it even to be enjoyable:) Now your mom may LOVE doing this and it is a tradition so roll with it. I received a text from my sis in law this week that was perfect. I was asking her about their plans and she responded more blunt than ever that her wish for Mother’s Day was to not plan anything. I LOVE that! So get creative but be specific.

Tips:

1. Take her to a movie

2. Call in to go food from her favorite restaurant and relax

3. If she loves sewing or scrap booking tell her you guys are going to her favorite craft store to pick out some must have items she needs. Yes you might never do this but share in her likes and hobbies.

4. There is always the go to watch the kids and send her to get a pedicure. Or give her some spending money to head to the mall with no strollers, diaper bags or snacks to walk around and actually try clothes on.

Overall spend time with her. I am pretty confident in say us moms and women are wired for quality time. Don’t rush through the day because it’s mothers day. Take the time to make it about her because most of the time she makes it about you.

2. A strong momma story

So I met Kori about a year ago because her husband and her are extremely talented photographers. We are friends on Facebook and she posts updates on her adoption adventures. Kori and her husband Jared have two kids and decided to adopt a little boy Jax. Well they did and then the door opened to adopt Keagan. Well she wrote a blog post a few days ago that filled my eyes with tears. It inspired me to be a strong mom and thank God for people like Kori and Jared who wrap these little one’s up and show them the love they oh so deserve.

Here we go, enjoy.

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THE RISK… This whole process of foster adoption has been refining. More refining than I ever had imagined. The emotions have been so hard to articulate let alone communicate. It has been a process that I have been working so hard to be surrendered to. Most days have battled between hopeful and intensely frustrated… some days feeling defeated. Keagan’s case has been so different from Jax’s. When Jax came home he was placed with us as a concurrent placement… and his case was being transferred to adoptions… his case was very promising and there was significantly less risk.

So when we made the decision to bring Keagan home we knew that we were literally starting from the very … very… very… beginning of the process. It was so fresh that there had been no court decisions about anything… The RISK was huge. In the beginning I kept telling myself we would deal with the decisions as they came but that for the time we would love on him as our own. We still get the question of “Does that mean you could loose them? Could they go back?” And We had said from the beginning well before even Jax came home that even if our home was used as a safe place for however long we had them… we would love them with all we had and that we would trust that our home was used for just the right reason at just the right time even if we never understood why. I will tell you… honestly those words battled in my head early this week. I struggled to trust the Lord in what he is doing in and through our family. The trouble with desiring to love Keagan as our own… is that that is exactly what we have done… We have fallen in love with him. Over the top in LOVE and the thought that he could be on his way to reunification gripped my heart.We knew it was possible… we knew that was the risk and we made the decision to love him anyway.

Keagan had a hearing this week where the judge decided whether birth mom would be given a plan to reunify with him or whether his case would be transferred straight to adoptions. In the days leading up to the hearing I struggled with a fear like I have never felt before. A fear that we could loose him. Even worse than the fear of us loosing him was the fear of not being able to protect him… what life could be like for him.

Yesterday the call came through. When I saw his social worker’s name show up on caller ID… I couldn’t answer fast enough. I could hear it in her voice… but I still needed her to tell me. It was like I could breathe again… Like the massive amount of weights were lifted off of my shoulders…

She said that the judge had decided to bypass services and move his case to adoptions. I could hardly speak I was full of tears… tears of relief. It wasn’t excitement… it wasn’t really even joyous… it was a refining relief. It is still painful on some level. The reality is still that there will be loss for Keagan. The loss of a relationship with a birthparent and it seriously breaks my heart and I know that in their future we will have to be prepared to have some big adult conversations with them but for now… there is RELIEF.

For now we keep him and love him like crazy.

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We have had some hard… hard days with this process… And moments like these below keep our hearts happy… We snuggle a little longer, hug a little more, and giggle lots! These sweet faces… the ones we can share and the ones that we can’t are what make our days worth it… 
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Thank you Kori for allowing me to share this story. Happy Mother’s Day to you, a mom who deserves so much!
So I hope you feel inspired to celebrate your mom in a way that she would love and I hope your inspired by a story of a mom who has nothing but love in all that she does.
Happy Friday!
-Kim
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Perfect Planning {Snippet}

In my family we do something called neenies. It basically is us getting EXTREMELY excited about something, we cannot contain it! Well I have been doing them for the past couple days because Alpha Lee has just embarked on a brand new adventure. We just launched our first Snippet called “Perfect Planning.”

What is a Snippet?

Glad you asked. Snippet is an App in the App Store full of great, information packed books. They are quick reads, with each chapter being no more than 1,000 words. As you are reading pictures, audio and video are incorporated to allow you the reader to really connect. Check out more about my friends at Snippet here http://thesnippetapp.com/

Perfect Planning:

Anyone who has planned an event knows very well that those two words do not go together. The planning process is perceived as stressful and overwhelming. Well I feel that it should be enjoyable and memorable. That s why I wrote this.

It is from the standpoint of me as once a bride and as a planner for the past five years. With personal photos, tips to save money, questions to ask venues/vendors and so much more I hope it gives you insight and confidence while planning your wedding. Now this is not just for the brides, i have included a letter to the groom, bridal party and parents of bride/groom because sometimes they are unclear of what their role looks like. I also go into detail of what a planner really does. I am constantly asked that so on almost every chapter I go over when my involvement is in each step of the process. Here is a glimpse of a few chapters.

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One of the greatest features of the Snippet is it links you directly to my Twitter account for questions or to share ideas. I have heard from numerous brides that they feel lost and overwhelmed with information or where to go. With Perfect Planning it not only goes over all the areas but I really am here to help and answer the questions you submit. The cost of this bill to provide the information and available for questions is $1.99!!! I can claim that’s the best deal in town;)

 

How to get it?

Visit the App Store and search Snippet

You will see Perfect Planning in the library

 

 

So spread the word. Even if you are not getting married you might know someone who is or like you see above this is to help with everyone involved, parents, groom, bridal party and so much more. Let’s make the planning process enjoyable and memorable!

Happy manic Monday

-Kim

Refreshing Treats {Tested and Approved}

At Alpha Lee it is not just about planning an incredible event but making moments. So I love doing tested and approved posts where we share some recipes that I have seen on blogs or Pinterest. Now I have many times seen incredible recipes and they have totally bombed; I am not denying it could be my skill level but these are pretty simple for the most part.

Where I live we are set to hit the high 90’s this week so it calls for a refreshing treat. My sister in law’s birthday was this last week and her request was these Strawberry Lemonade bars. The kiddos love them, it brings everyone around the table and you could request the help of your kiddos while making them.

 

 

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Strawberry Lemonade Bars
Crust
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or use the Baker’s Edge pan, if you have one).
Begin by making the crust.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.
Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about).
Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.
Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.
Makes 24 bars.

***I added a little homemade whipped cream to top it off.

Thank you Baking Bites for this yummy recipe.

So get your family around the table or recruit your kiddos to do the work and then enjoy a treat together.

Make a moment.

-Kim

Shawntel and Paolo {Vision Board}

Well it is about that time to present the vision board for Shawntel and Paolo’s upcoming wedding.

 

WHAT IS A VISION BAORD?

For Alpha Lee Events it is a small visual guideline for the elements involved in a upcoming wedding. Because of the resources of blogs, Pinterest and so much more we are able to pull from these creative folks and put together a vision board. This not only helps the couple see different elements but also us vendors to try and capture that oh so specific vision.

 

ARE THESE THE EXACT DETAILS?

Nope! They are usually chosen because of the overall concept or color but in almost all cases are tweaked to the specific wedding. Sometimes I will choose a photo just because of that perfect tone of yellow they showed, now it could be on a school bus and the school bus has nothing to do with the wedding but that color has everything to do with it. Make sense 🙂 ?

 

You will also see a color scheme for the event. These are the main colors that will be incorporated for the big day.

 

So here we go…

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After months of planning these are just a handful that have inspired us for this day. Now for the exact outcomes you will have to wait till the day. I cannot wait for this sweet day. Shawntel and Paolo’s style is half romantic and classy and half comfortable and casual. Their outdoor setting will tie everything together and provide an incredible background for all elements created. Thank you Shawntel and Paolo for allowing us to share this with our friends.

Thanks for checking in and sharing in our vision, have a good Tuesday.

-Kim

River Highlands Ranch {Stylized Shoot}

Well you have heard me build up to our stylized shoot then gush over how great it went. The photos are in and I am so excited how it turned out. These shoots are so fun because as a team we were able to create so many fun elements that hopefully inspire all of you.

Welcome to River Highlands Ranch, our view and blank canvas for the day.

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Details, details, details!

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Working with Forever Vintage Rentals is a dream. We created a coffee bar! It is a great design piece to included in your big day as well as providing something for you guests! I love all of the design concepts out right now, but I really feel like everything needs to have a purpose. What goes with coffee…treat!

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Our beautiful table layout with most serene backdrop.  Thank you to DeAnn with Rodarte Floral for providing these bright and whimsical floral pieces.

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Emly and Alex are so sweet together. You can create so much for a shoot but not the connection the two of them have.

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No guest can leave without taking a token to remember the special day. Baby redwoods were the favor in this day. To take, plant, love on and let love take root!

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Thank you to the following talented people

Photography: Ashley Maxwell Photography

Venue: River Highlands Ranch

Floral: Rodarte Floral

Rentals: Forever Vintage

Desserts: Sugar Lillie Bakery

Hair and make up: Minx Salon and Spa

Signs: Sweetly Spoken Signs

Tree’s: CRC-Californai Redwood Company

Style and coordination: Alpha Lee Events

And our lovely bride and groom Alex and Emly

Have a great week!

-Kim

Venue spotlight: River Highlands Ranch

Happy Monday! Well we had a very busy weekend. I had the privilege to work with some incredible people to create a unique and beautiful wedding shoot. I cannot wait to share with you all the images and stories from the shoot but today I thought I would highlight the talented folks that helped. Today we will start with…

River Highlands Ranch

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This was the back drop for our beautiful shoot. When you drive on their property your blood pressure drops and you are in awe of the land. Rolling green hills, gravel pathways, vineyards and a beautifully designed barn that looks out on the 600 acres. RHR is designed perfectly for an event. From the design work you can do in the barn to the fun elements you can bring in because you truly have a blank canvas. One of my favorite additions is the duck pond cabin. This cozy little cabin sits on a beautiful stream, has a fire place, darling kitchen, bathroom and large bed.

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It’s a perfect spot for after you say I do. I love working with Juanita, she knows the property and it’s capabilities so well and is so helpful. You can find more information and pictures at http://riverhighlandsranch.com.

For more from our shoot check Alpha Lee out on Instagram, @alphaleeevents. Have a great day!

-Kim

Anne and Chris’ wedding day

I have to say these are my favorite posts to write. I love reflecting back on the day and falling in love with all of the moments and details all over again.

Anne and Chris’ day was so special. They were so excited for it as were their guests. Anne had such a clear vision of what she wanted to see come alive as far as decor and little touches, but the basis was she wanted to marry her best friend and do it it front of the one’s she cared about most and God. Anne is one of the most sincere and caring people I know. All day she kept asking if I was doing ok and if she could get me anything…really!! Here is the day summed up by the talented Anita Martin Photography.

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This is the moment in a planner’s life that really makes you choke up. This is Anne’s response to seeing her long awaited vision come about. It’s the moment where you take that long awaited breath as a bride and say it’s here, the day is here and this is what I’ve planned, hoped and prayed for. For me this is why I do what I do, so a bride, groom and their family can have this moment and enjoy it.

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Anne and her mom Mary, have a relationship that is extremely special. They have a unique and special bond that this picture screams.

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This one melts my heart. This is Anne and her sweet ring bearer Hudson. These two share a sweet bond and it also just shows the care and love Anne has. She took the time to give Hudson a pep talk, tell him how handsome he looked and how much she loves him. The best news… Hudson went down the aisle like a champ!

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 Ok wipe the tears, let’s switch over to the details. Anne really wanted a beautiful/clean winter white setting, but also wanted everyone to be comfortable and cozy.

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All of Anne and Chris’ family and friends pulled together to make this dessert buffet. Their favors were custom hot chocolate mugs and a decked out hot chocolate bar full of fun toppings.

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Loved this sign! Created by Carly Pray with Sweetly Spoken Signs.

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Chris and Anne are amazing golfers and share the love of golf. Forget the sand ceremony, this wedding called for a ceremonial chip shot.

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Thank you Anne and Chris for allowing me to share in such a special and treasured day.

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For much more of Chris and Anne’s wedding visit Anita Martin Photography’s blog. Have a great day and happy friday!

Photography: Anita Martin Photography

Venue: Morgan Creek 

Flowers: Rodarte Floral

2013 Bridal {hairstyles to swoon for}-Guest Blogger Maddison Carey

I am so excited for this post. Maddison Carey owner and stylist at Minx Salon and Spa in Loomis, CA is sharing some beautiful styles with us. She has collected her favorites and put together a helpful and style inspired post for you to enjoy! Thank you Maddison, love working with you!!

2013 Bridal  {hairstyles to swoon for}

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2013 is here and so is the start to spring wedding season. With each new season we are introduced to the amazing creative work of  the upcoming looks designed by hairdressers everywhere. This season has has moved away from the overly tossled,, well played water fall braid and into a new look.

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Easy breezy beautiful UpDo

We take a look at these amazingly romantic styles; soft swept curls, ballerina buns, chignons, and loosely laid French twist. All so delicately pined to perfection.

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Retro Waves

At this years golden globes retro wave dominates the runway. This vintage look has major fancy factor while still allowing a bride to feel comfortable and in her own skin.

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Bouncy bombshell

For all you long hair lovers out there this season bodacious bombshell look is for you. Big, sexy, shinny curls bouncing down the isle with you is what this look is all about!

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To check out more about Maddison and her talented team visit their site http://www.minxsalonandspa.com/.

Have a great day!!

-Kim and Maddison:)

Your invited to celebrate the BUMP

I love baby showers, so much joy to celebrate a “glowing” (typically I feel like that glow was me sweating because I was hot all of the time:)) mamma and of course that sweet baby that will be arriving soon. If you are in the middle of planning a shower I wrote a post a few months back about the shower do’s and don’ts, check it out. This week will be dedicated to all things for celebrating babies/kids. So today is baby invites! I do tend to choose the same companies because I have used many of them for different orders and my customer service, delivery and product experience was great!

Tiny Prints. Here are a few of my favorite designs.

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Smitten On Paper.

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Don’t forget about Etsy. There are so many talented people on there with great invitations!

Check back this week for more great tools for babies/kids… favor sites, kids party invites and so much more.

Have a great day

Kim

Always a bridesmaid

Thanks for checking in this week on all of our favorite wedding pieces. Today is all about the gals that stand beside you. We have picked a few companies that carry great dresses for your bridesmaids. I personally love recommending brides to look at “regular” stores as opposed to bridal shops. The fit is usually a little bit better, if the girls live in different cities it’s easier to track down and you have a wider price point selection. So don’t forget to check Nordstrom and Macy’s…they have so many dresses to choose from!!

Ruche…again! Ruche has a specific bridal department but they also have great dress selections. So here is a bit of both.

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Anthropologie. I love this store, I feel like the creative juices start flowing when I am in there. They also have a great assortment of dresses and are in quite a few locations.

 

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J. Crew again too! I do sometimes tend to have my favorites. J. Crew has a really great collection of dress for your girls.

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Do not be afraid to use a pattern or fun color. Please make sure you choose a dress that every girls will be comfortable in.

 

Hope you enjoyed, now what should we do tomorrow??????

-Kim