Opening soon in the heart of the ever-growing Virginia Beach arts district is what's sure to be everyone's favorite new spot. Esoteric, offering fine eats, craft beer, and other spirits, is the love child of entrepeneurs Kristina and Tim Chastain. The name, Esoteric, meaning 'understood by few' hopes to deliver life's necessities- food, drink, and conversation- with a focus on local and community. When I was approached to offer creative directing and styling for this project I was eager to get started and really pin down the gritty and raw, yet homegrown and organic goodness that was all of the Chastain's ideas. Zoe Grant captured it perfectly and I hope you will enjoy looking through these images. Swing into Esoteric once they open their doors, I'll sure be there with drink in hand (that is AFTER February of course)!
Last week we shared a big secret! We are expecting our second blessing in February and could not be happier to welcome another baby. I am so emotional and excited about giving Rhett a sibling. I am an only child, however grew up with a very close relationship between my first cousins. David on the other hand has two brothers and has known the sounds of a full house for his whole life. I am giddy at the thought of becoming a family of four come next year! We decided against a big 'announcement shoot' and snapped a few simple pictures with my sonogram in our hew home using the good ol' iphone. I love how personal they are. We cannot wait to meet you, baby boy or girl, and we love you so much already!
It has been a busy few weeks here for our little family. We moved into our new home in Virginia Beach and couldn't be more excited about our new neighborhood. Our days have looked like a little bit of vacation squeezed in between moving boxes and wedding rentals while trying to get everything put away in its new place here. Meanwhile, Summer is winding down and Rhett's energy is just getting started. There is no doubt about it; this guy is all boy. Everyday its a new skinned knee, scrape, or bruise and he's only one. Most days he refuses shoes (and sometimes shirts)! It's like he thinks he's Matthew McConaughey or something...either way I'm not complaining ;) I hope you enjoy these captured moments of our rough and tough boy!
This styled shoot was a labor of love that allowed me to create the wedding of my (current) dreams using the best of local and most talented business people in the area. What started as an idea of a painted backdrop by neighbor OnieTonie (check out his stuff next door to the shop on Mediterranean Ave) grew into a bold, colorful and blissful faux wedding day! We lucked out with the most gorgeous and talented models in town who without we could never have pulled this off. Also, how great is Zoe Grant? Incredible in my book! It was intoxicating to style something from ideation to implementation and I am thrilled with our finished product. After being featured on Burnett's Boards this week, I am FINALLY able to share with the world what we have been cooking up this Summer! Check out the full list of vendors below!
You realize a lot of things when moving. You start to appreciate the space more than ever before. You soak up more of the house in your every day living in it. We have had our house up for sale since last Christmas but it wasn't until we actually sold it that I ever considered leaving it. For the last week we were there, I couldn't walk through from room to room without seeing memories play out like an old movie in my head. And it when it all sunk in that soon we would be leaving this place behind, I would be lying if I said I wasn't emotional. I had wished our house would sell so that we could get back to the beach with our family and friends, but once it did a part of me wished I could stay forever.
David and I bought this house at the ripe old age of twenty-three, four months before we were to be married. Back then it was just the two of us. Over the course of two and a half years we were able to fill that house with a rambunctious boxer, a baby and lots and lots of memories. Some good, some bad, but memories all the same. Suddenly now we were packing all of those memories into boxes and letting fate lead us to where we would go next.
Moving is an emotionally tolling thing. We have moved in with my parents, but sadly one of our family members, our boxer Bow, couldn't come. She is currently in the best hands possible, a friend of ours who is letting her sleep on couches and romp around with her two other dogs until we can take her back. Now we are in the process of closing on a new house in Virginia Beach and couldn't be more excited about our new journey. But first we had to say goodbye to the house that started it all, that stood as a sign we were real grownups and the house where we nurtured our marriage and raised our family. This house was more than good to us and I can't wait to drive by in the years to come and show Rhett where he came home from the hospital and see him grow along with the trees that will inevitably get taller in the front yard.
We had been planning a little family session with our sweetest friend Zoe, but as life all too often does, it got away from us and we never made time for it. I didn't realize until a few days before we would turn our house over to its new owners. We decided that something was better than nothing and we needed to capture these photos of where it all started. We were all worn out, in the process of moving, and emotional. All that was left inside was our farmhouse table. The very first one David ever built; a labor of love that he made for me and has now grown into a staple of Bluebird's. It was specifically requested with the house by the buyers. Not knowing where we would put it in the mean time, we agreed but not without a lot of tears (from me). But we sat down in our now empty house to capture the rooms, the walls, the space that had been the backdrop to our lives for almost three years. Needless to say, I am so happy we have these and I cry a bit each time I look through them. Thank you for these Zoe- more than you know! xo
This Summer I can't get enough of the kimono. It has become a summer staple in my book. They make the best beach cover ups and double as the perfect twist to any outfit. Time to stock up!
If you haven't yet perused the pages of your local Scout Guide, you are in for a real treat. The Scout Guide is a stunning publication put together to showcase the best of local. Coastal Virginia's guide just released their second volume and it is filled with homegrown goodness and an array of small business. Before the newest guide is released, advertisers and friends are invited to unveil the guide and celebrate. When we were asked to be a part of this event it was a dream come true!
This year's 'scout is out' party took place at the newest Taste Unlimited off Shore Drive in Virginia Beach and I cannot think of a more perfect backdrop to host an event celebrating local business and food. In my eyes, Taste is the poster child to small business success. It has been a staple of good food in my life, remembering back to sandwiches on the beach as a child. When family from Richmond came into town it was straight to Taste and don't forget the extra house dressing.
Be sure to pick up one of the newest guides at our shop at 1703 Mediterranean or at another 'scouted' spot in the area. Thanks to Echard Wheeler for capturing it all so perfectly!
Another beautiful styled shoot for the books! This one was shot by my friends and talented photographers Cynthia Tenney and Jessica Ryan. I love the use of our mantle as the perfect altar for this beachy and steamy love fest. A full list of vendor credits listed below!
Happy mother's day weekend everyone! I will be spending my weekend with my little family on the beach, maybe strawberry picking and sunday with my Mom, Dad and whole family cooking out. Motherhood is one of life's greatest gifts. Celebrate the mamas in your life and shower them with love.
Here is part 2 of our farm-to-table shoot as the fresh fruits and veggies were turned into a brunch spread sure to please all of the senses. Eating local and organic help to support local farms and agriculture and we were so excited to present a "day after wedding" brunch that incorporates all things hand farmed and made. A full list of credits is listed below!
Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings as seeds blossom into flowers and farms are filled with baby animals and a bounty of fruits and vegetables. We wanted to capture this essence in our shoot, focusing on fresh with an emphasis on local. The idea started with a farm; the perfect canvas as life sprouts up each Spring season. Buying local and bringing these items from farm to table to create the perfect feast of colorful veggies and juicy fruits for a bright and cheerful 'day-after’ brunch. We loved choosing vendors who were unique and offered handmade, homemade, local goods and working with them to create the perfect ethereal brunch setting.
Here's some major home envy for your Saturday afternoon...
Can we start with this cake? I want it. I love the modern use of pink and green and everything this living space has to offer. The simplicity of each of these pictures is what's really inspiring me the most. For me, it's simple and clean everything these days.