Garcia Party of 3 - Our Maternity Photo Session

While I try not to think about it, it felt like just yesterday that we were announcing our pregnancy and hosting the gender reveal for our family and close friends. Needless to say that the past 9 months have flown by. So much so, that I hadn't really been paying attention to any of the "timelines" or "suggested when-to-do" Pinterest, family, or friends would try to remind me of.

It was after our baby shower that I realized that we really needed to get on the ball about whether or not we would have maternity photos done. While we had some done during our gender reveal, I did want to get some professional photos of my bump and (trying not to toot my own horn 🎺) how awesome both Gus and I were looking towards the end of our pregnancy.

It was at around my 35th week of pregnancy that we met up with Amy from Aragon Photography and got to capture what would be some memorable moments. Here are some of our favorite photos.

 Fun story: I found out we were pregnant on Halloween. Needless to say it was the best treat we could have ever received. I ran to Target to find a onesie to make the personalized “Beard” onesie and picked up a batman onesie too. The beard was designed to look like Gus’ beard.

Fun story: I found out we were pregnant on Halloween. Needless to say it was the best treat we could have ever received. I ran to Target to find a onesie to make the personalized “Beard” onesie and picked up a batman onesie too. The beard was designed to look like Gus’ beard.

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We couldn't have been more content with these images Amy captured. If you are looking to have maternity photos captured by Amy, click http://aragonphotography.com/maternity-photographer-miami here for more info.

And if there was a detail you want to get your hands on, see the list below for some of the items and where you can find them.

Maternity Outfits - Amazon

Batman Onesie - Target

Beard Onesie - me

Star Wars Handmade Plushes - a gift from a family member

Wolverine/Logan Knitted Costume - DustysCrochetProps 

Jedi In Training Pajama - Disney Store (No Longer Available)

Batman itty bittys Baby Rattle Socks Baby Clothes Superheroes - Amazon

 

Our Baby Moon

You would be surprised at all the things people don't tell you about once you become pregnant. However, one of the things we had been told prior to finding out about our soon to be Padawan was the growing tradition of the soon-to-be parents going on a "babymoon".  Let me explain:

ba·by·moon

[ˈbābēˌmo͞on]

NOUN informal

  1. a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.

    "on the eve of my third trimester, we boarded a plane for a week-long babymoon among the quiet canals of Amsterdam"  (Source - Oxford Dictionaries)

Needless to say that amongst the adventures Gus and I have taken - the many Disney Trips, New York, Las Vegas, Arizona - we really didn't know where to go next. As this pregnancy has progressed, we both came to the conclusion that all we wanted to do was eat really good food, relax, and enjoy our last "hoorah" as #justustwo. Gus took the reigns on planning the vacay while I was solely responsible for finding where to stay. We stayed locally at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Midtown and stayed with the area of Wynwood, Brickell, and Downtown. Here are some of the yummy and fun things we did and ate.

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We headed over to the Wynwood Diner to have some much craved Chicken + Waffles. Let's just say they did not disappoint. Neither was their Croque Madame.

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We decided to walk off brunch and explore Wynwood. Much has change from my art school days. We even squeezed in a portrait or two.

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After checking into our home away from home for the night, we decided to go over to Bayside and then back to Wynwood for Dinner and Dessert.

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At 1-800-Lucky, we both ate from a different booths. Gus got the Kagoshima Ramen and I got the Sesame Crusted Sweet and Sour Chicken. Let's just say we are trying to find another good excuse to make it out there just to eat there again! 

Our Selections from The Salty Donut (in order, left to right) - White Chocolate Tres Leches, Guava + Cheese, Maple + Bacon, Nutella, Tart Cherry + Cream, Brown Butter + Salt

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Our last day was spent checking out Brickell City Center. We got to watch Ready Player One and had some lunch at Pubbelly Sushi.

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We took time to just relax at the hotel and even took advantage of the affordable transportation offered by Freebee Miami (meaning we didn't have to move our car from the hotel nor did we have to pay outrageous parking fees at the places we were going to visit). 

We can't wait for our little Padawan to arrive, but it was definitely a restful weekend much needed for the both of us.

Did you or will you be going on a babymoon when you are expecting? What would you like to go do or where would you like to visit?

What No One Tells You About Being Engaged

Although it feels like a forever ago, it was only a short time ago that Gus and I were engaged and planning one of the most important days of our lives. It is one of the most meaningful experiences we’ve ever had as well as one of the most stressful experiences too.

Here are 3 of the most important lessons I learned about being engaged.

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

1. EVERYONE WILL GIVE YOU THEIR OPINION

No matter who it is - Mother, Mother-In-Law, Friends, Co-workers, that random person in the store - everyone has an opinion about YOUR big day. It’s almost like a tube of toothpaste. Once you open the cap, if you aren’t too careful, the toothpaste is just going to keep flowing out. And in no way do I mean to demean the advice of your loved ones. Most are just trying to be helpful. But too much of that help can sometimes feel really overwhelming. 

Advice - Limit what you tell folks about your big day. If they aren’t really apart of your bridal party or wedding vendor team, they really don’t need to know #allofthedetails about your plans. Some loved ones won’t understand why you want to do a first look or not want to do a bouquet toss. That’s ok, because at the end of the day, YOU and your future spouse need to be happy with how you want to shape YOUR DAY.

 

 PHoto Credit:  Kristy & Vic Photography

2. THERE WILL BE DISAPPOINTMENTS

One of the biggest disappointments from our planning experience was truly knowing the difference of a “dream budget” and what our “actual budget” was. Although we paid for parts of our wedding, we still had a lot of help from family and friends. It was truly a blessing as we were gifted some of the main items (my dress, our cake to name a few) so we could concentrate our budget on other items that were details we wouldn’t have had.  Another disappointment was the reality of planning on a tv show to real life planning. When visiting the first florist we initially booked, I fantized about a bouquet being built in front of me and hand picking the flowers, in person, that would go into the floral details of our big day. Boy was that bubble burst. Not only did they not build any bouquet in front of me, but they didn’t have any fresh flowers in person PERIOD. After two other big let downs, we terminated our contract and found an amazing florist (who did build the bouquet in front of me). 

 

Advice - Before you go visit any venues or book your first vendor, write out wishes and needs on a sheet of paper and have an idea of what your budget really is. You will need an initial list of guests to really help you get an idea of the cost per guest. If you need an idea of what to write down, click here to download a sample worksheet that you can work from to get started.

 

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

3. HAVE FUN + ENJOY THIS SPECIAL TIME

Yes, this is one of those pieces of advice that you’ve probably heard from 90% of the people you chat with. From experience, you and your fiancé have to mentally make the decision to do so. And trust me, with all of the details that can go awry, it’s super easy to displace your anger or disappointment on your partner. This is why at one point of our planning story, Gus and I decided that any time we would spend together on a date would be just that - a date. There would be no talk of wedding planning unless we had both agreed to set that time as planning time. One of the ways we did that was by playing games of UNO until our food arrived to the table. One of our favorite restaurants even dubbed us as the “Uno Couple” because of how much entertainment they received from watching us play (it was super competitive and there may have been a few choice words shared). 

 

Advice - God willing, this is the one and only time you will ever plan your own wedding. That is one of my hopes and prayers for all of my brides. But you and your fiancé really need to agree ahead of time on what details or possible occurances you are willing to entertain or shoot down. This is, in a way, a build up to what marriage is like. Being a team that works together to make the best life possible WITH one another. #foodforthought

 

At the end of the day, everyone’s wedding planning experience is different. You can watch #allthemovies and read #alltheblogposts, but no one experience is ever alike. My hope for all my brides is that no matter what their planning experience was like, that they feel nothing but calm and peace as they get ready for their big day. I call it the “calm of the storm” GET THE REAL NAME. (Eye of the storm?)

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the button below. I’m more than happy to share some of my experiences from my big day. 

And Our Padawan is a...

For what seems like weeks (reality it’s been only like two), Gus and I have been keeping another huge secret. A secret that has kept folks on pins and needles - the sex of our Padawan (Youngling for those of the extra nerdy kind). 

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I have to admit to you guys that I honestly have been genuinely surprised at the hype this has caused amongst family and friends. Folks have tried during this time to fool us into revealing our secret...to which all have failed. We were even bribed with money and, at one point, dinner and a big ticket item off our registry, but honestly, everyone finding out all at the same time felt a lot more fulfilling than letting it slip to anyone. 

Our gender reveal happened on Sunday, February 11th and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with how everything turned out. Check below for some of the highlights.

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 Because...what kind of jedi would we be if we didn't weild our own lightsabers 😅

Because...what kind of jedi would we be if we didn't weild our own lightsabers 😅

 🚨Baby Bump Alert!!

🚨Baby Bump Alert!!

 Group Photo!! There seemed to be an overwhelming  show for Those on Team Girl.

Group Photo!! There seemed to be an overwhelming  show for Those on Team Girl.

And here’s the reveal!! I explained that we would be revealing the sex two ways. One would be by way of lightsaber, where either the lightsaber would be Blue or Red. Another indicator would be the from the smoke that would come from blowing up the Death Star (like in Episode 4 of the Star Wars Saga..see clip here).

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HERE WE GO!!

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😂 🤣Ok...for real now...Here we go! 🎉

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Gus and I are so excited with the fact that our Padawan is a boy. It was both of our first guesses from the very beginning. #nolie Now we are just planning and preparing for his 💙arrival (guys, you have no idea the relief it is to write a pronoun instead of “it” or “spawn”). Well, until our next update! 

P.S. - Want to know where I got my supplies? Here is a list below:

Gender Reveal Smoke Stick (Wire Pull to Start) - Gender Reveal Supplies

Box - Target (Office/School Section)

Wrapping Paper - Michaels (Value Section)

Decor - Only One Mark, Inc. (Blog post for instructions on how to make the box will be posted sometime soon. 😉)

P.S.S. - Wanna see the video? Click here!

2018: A New Adventure for a New Year

As another year has come and gone, I can't help but be so grateful for what 2017 brought our way. 

Going into 2017, I wasn't sure we could top all of the exciting things we, Gus (my husband) and I, had experienced throughout 2016. We took two trips out of Miami and got to see New York and Las Vegas for the first time ever. The fact that we both got to see a city get covered in snow right in front of our eyes and got to see the beauty and glory that can be found in the wonder that is the Grand Canyon. We also had FINALLY bought our own little casita and felt like life was finally starting to move forward. 

But oh, how 2017 showed up to impress. While there were some not so fun moments that will remain nameless, this past year really opened new doors with new possibilities that can best be described as dreams come true. In April, I made a huge decision to take a leap of faith and make Only One Mark, Inc. my sole source of income. As scary as that was (even to say it out loud), it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. While this change hasn't been easy (nor did I expect it to be), I'm still learning new things one day at a time and even surprise myself from time to time with the #girlboss looking back at me in the mirror. Another major decision was to rebrand Only One Mark, Inc. in August.  It not only gave the company an update it desperately needed, but also opened the door to allow Gus to take a step back behind the scenes and I a step forward to being the main voice for our company.  

And how could I forget all of the wonderful design opportunities this new year presented for OOMI as well. There have been so many wonderful clients that I just couldn't be more grateful for and so many opportunities from Vendors to help bring details of their styled shoots to life. So without further ado... below are some highlights from this past year including our #2017bestnine that was generated from our 2017 top Instagram posts.

 

But wait! I've saved the best for last...

You may or may not have noticed that things have gotten a little quiet (too quiet even for me) on our blog and social media profiles. Well, there is a huge reason for it. 

 

🎉 Gus and I are so excited to announce that we are EXPECTING!! 🎉

Baby G's Announcement/Only One Mark Inc Star Wars Jedi Announcement

We found out on Halloween that we were expecting our own little Padawan (aka young Jedi in training). While we don't know if it's a girl or a boy (and trust the #teamboy & #teamgirl guesses have begun between family and friends), Gus and I couldn't be more excited about this new life chapter. Baby G is already loved so much by so many and I can't wait to share more with you as each month goes by. #maytheforcebewithus ✨ 

Wedding Invitations Are Family Heirlooms

When I was small, I remember moments where I or my sisters would ask my mom to tell the story of how she met my dad. Something about listening to their random meeting always seemed to intrigue us. You see, my dad actually saw my mom in traffic and proceeded to follow her home. He would pull up next to her and signal for her to pull over. Being the smart woman my mother is, she kept signaling him to follow her home knowing my grandfather and uncle would be home. Once they arrived to my grandparents house, my dad ended up meeting my mom's family and formally asked her for her phone number and to take her out. It was definitely a different time then, but always a fun story that would lead to how my dad proposed to my mom and finally when to the story of the day they got married.

So, needless to say that when we were clearing out a family storage locker recently, we found some of the most precious momentoes of our family's history. Things that have fabulously stood the test of time. These pieces are some of the only momentos they have from their wedding day..

 Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

 Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

It's an incredible feeling to have been able to see this piece of my parent's history together. Just to see how simple and yet how elegant the invitation was. And let's not forget the small reception card placed for guests to know where to go. Ack...it just makes my stationers heart go a flutter.

 Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

And...let's be frank here, the fact that my parents actually have the polaroid photos from that day could almost be compared to the cell phone photos from today. Their invitations are truly family heirlooms that are an important piece to their beginning. 

Although their photo albums weren't found in the best condition (friends, take these and other important photos with you if you have to put stuff into storage), it was still a blessing to see these captured pieces of what was my parent's beginning.

The most important photos of the ceremony made it to this small album.

 Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

 Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

So in closing, I want to stress something to you that may make a little more sense now after seeing these small, irreplaceable treasures. Friends, don't let anyone tell you that you don't need invitations or a photographer, videographer...anything for that matter. I would encourage you to do your own homework, work out your budgets and see what is most important to you. I can tell you wholeheartedly that I'm so happy they have these pieces to not only share their story with my sisters and I but to the rest of the family to come.

 My Parents at Our Wedding | Photo Credit:  Baron's Visual Images

My Parents at Our Wedding | Photo Credit: Baron's Visual Images