Oh Hey, Little Guy!

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So this was originally going to be two separate blog posts, a maternity shoot and a newborn shoot, but someone decided to surprise us and arrive a month early, just a few days after these first photos were taken. Hank was born almost two months ago and was completely healthy despite his premature arrival. He’s amazing and is already starting to develop a personality. He wants to eat constantly, especially in the middle of the night, screams bloody murder every time we change his diaper, and he’s recently learned to pull out little fistfuls of my hair. That said, we are completely in love and wouldn’t change a thing about him. Welcome to the world, little man. You’ll never know how much you are loved.

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All Photos by Heather Nash

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Area It Girl

Sweet_Heather_Anne

Coincidentally, while Heather Nash and I were shooting with Lauren at Dear Golden, we ran into Heather Anne Leavitt while she was trying on the most adorable dress at the shop (pictured on Heather above).  A light bulb went on in my brain box, and I half screamed, “You have to be my next blog interview!”  Thankfully, Heather seemed not at all terrified by my awkward aggressiveness, and she politely agreed and even seemed a bit excited!  She invited Heather Nash and me to her bakeshop, Sweet Heather Anne, and let us sample some delicious treats while we discussed wedding trends, fun things to do in Ann Arbor, and finding genuine connections via Tinder and Twitter.  Read on to see my interview with Heather!

Be honest.  Is cake your favorite food?

 No… it’s not even my favorite dessert.  When it comes to dessert, I love a buttery, sweet cream biscuit.  It’s even better with whipped cream and fresh berries.  I also can’t get enough of our Mexican Shortbread cookies.  And, well, cookie dough in general is a bit of a problem.

 Do you have an all time favorite cake that you’ve made?

 I do.  We were asked to make a cake for the renaming ceremony of the Stamps School of Art and Design last year.  My art school thesis involved creating cakes as edible monuments to local farmers and food producers.  As a local food producer, it was incredibly meaningful to have the opportunity to create an edible monument to Penny Stamps and the art school.  I felt like I’d really come full circle.

I’m also relatively partial to the sculpted Einstein bust that we made for the cast of Einstein on the Beach.

 What is the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever incorporated into one of your creations?

 When I was in art school I made a chocolate beet cake.  It was actually pretty delicious.

 I know you went to The University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design.  Before you began working in food, what was your concentration/favorite medium?

 I love working in three dimensions.  I was focusing on industrial design, ceramics, and figurative sculpture before the foray into food took over my art making.

 You obviously have great style.  What’s your favorite piece of clothing you’ve purchased recently?

 I’m in love with this beautiful, green, 1930’s necklace with brass flowers from Dear Golden in downtown Ann Arbor.  It was a 30th birthday gift.  To myself.

 If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

 Wow, that’s so difficult.  Part of me wants to move back to Florence (where I studied abroad in college), but I’m afraid that the city may not have the same effect on me now as it did when I was a wide-eyed, malleable 21 year old.  I love cities like San Francisco and Portland.  But truth be told, I kind of love it here, too.

 What advice would you give to those who want to open their own unique businesses?

 When it comes time to hire staff, think about what you love, and what you’re best at, and hire people to do everything but that.  A lesson I learned the hard way.

 What are the three most important things in your medicine cabinet?

 Burn cream, band-aids, and dental floss.  Baking is full of hazards.

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All Photos by Heather Nash

Area It Girl

Dear Golden Vintage

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lauren Naimola, Dear Golden owner and all around woman you need to know.  This University of Michigan alumna runs an Etsy shop (also DearGolden) and has recently moved her physical store from Pearl St. in Ypsilanti to downtown Ann Arbor.  (Lucky for me!)  We spent a lovely afternoon together with Heather Nash of HMN Photography a few days ago in Lauren’s shop on Fourth Avenue.  Heather took some amazing photos of me and the shop, and we got to chat about inspiration, fabrics, and history, and the fact that Lauren hates having her photo taken.

Lauren is tall and graceful with perfect short, brunette hair à la Keira Knightley circa 2008.  I happen to think she’s a dead ringer for the British actress.  (You’ll have to take my word for it.  Remember?  She seriously doesn’t enjoy posing for photos.)  She oozes intelligence without being intimidating, which is actually how I would describe her store, too.  When women wear the treasures she finds, mends, and puts on her sales floor, they look sophisticated but approachable.  Nothing is too over the top.  Each and every piece is one of a kind, and you are sure to find the perfect items to complement your spring/summer wardrobe.

When she is not scouring estate sales and antique shops or reworking a vintage wedding dress/making dreams come true, you will probably find her enjoying dinner at Sava’s, drinks at Aventura, or pastries at Sweetwaters, all local favorites.

Her store is an airy, open space, full of fantastic natural light, and is floor to ceiling inspiration.  You can see for yourself by stopping by 211 S. Fourth Ave., or you can check out DearGolden on Etsy, here.  Read on to see my interview with wonderful Lauren.

 From where do you draw your style inspiration?

From history, which isn’t so surprising as I sell vintage clothing, but my inspiration changes all the time primarily depending on which amazing woman or specific time period I am interested in at the time, from Natalie Barney or Edna St. Vincent Millay to Joni Mitchell.

 If you weren’t a shop owner, what would be your dream job?

I would love to curate a museum of clothing.

 Do you have any plans to open any more stores?

The shop is a highly personal endeavor that is essentially an extension of myself.  It requires a lot of attention, and to splinter that would do it a great disservice. That being said, there are some modern clothing lines that I love that are in sharp contrast to vintage (much more minimal and slightly avant garde) and I would love some day to have a shop to sell that other side of my “fashion personality” so to speak.

 What are some of the modern lines you’re reffering to?

Sessun, APC, Creatures of Comfort, and Dusen Dusen

If you had to live in only one fabric for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Well, cotton! Second would be silk.

 What is your favorite era for fashion?

I have never been able to decide, it changes all the time; I love them all really.  I love Edwardian clothing, 1920s clothing, 1930s silhouettes and 1970s bohemian dresses in natural fibers.

 What’s currently in your purse?

Wallet, lavender sachet, lip balm, aspirin, and a measuring tape.  I travel light!

 What is one item every woman needs for Summer 2014?

A pair of Birkenstocks, actually!

Thank you, Lauren and Heather!

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Dear Golden Vintage

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Me in a white lace 50's dress available at Dear Golden

Me in a white lace 50’s dress available at Dear Golden

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Me in a 60’s dress, gold flats, and bracelet, all from Dear Golden

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Me in a 70’s dress (the blue is all suede!), bracelet, and ring, all from Dear Golden

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Vintage Shop Downtown Ann Arbor

Me in an 80’s dress and heels both from Dear Golden

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All Photos by Heather Nash