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Just one week ago, I received a text message from some of my favorite clients, The Laurent Family. It simply read, “It’s for sure, this baby is coming!” Their second child was about to be born!! We had just photographed their Maternity Session at the Botanical Garden a few weeks prior and now it was time to meet the newest member of the family. Phone in hand, I rushed to the hospital, camera bag already packed and ready to go. I couldn’t wait to meet the littlest Laurent.

When I arrived, I anxiously waited with parents, Britney and Tom; their son, Parker; and their wonderful parents. The scene was all too familiar. Two years ago, we were gathered together in the same hospital as we welcomed little Parker to the world and we were excited and happy to be there again! We played with Parker, read books with him, and watched his favorite shows as we all sat, waiting for the doctor to tell us it was time. Hours passed and night came. All family members went home, leaving just me and the eagerly anxious parents-to-be. At 11:59pm, we finally heard the good news…it was time to start pushing.

Britney was so strong and did an incredible job with Tom by her side every step of the way. At 12:39am on June 24th, little Lincoln James graced us with his presence! He’s absolutely perfect, weighing 7lbs 10 oz, 20.5 inches. He has the most hair I’ve ever seen on a newborn, he already had a little faux hawk going on! I watched in awe, tears running down my face, as I saw Britney and Tom hold him and each other and realize they became parents once again. The next morning big brother Parker returned to meet his little brother. The grandparents returned as well and I loved seeing their reactions when they met Lincoln for the first time. You can just tell this is a family full of unconditional love for one another.

I’m beyond honored and thrilled that I could be a part of another amazing birth story. I’m so happy I can continue to document beautiful memories for this sweet family so they can cherish them forever. Congratulations Laurent Family!!

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Parker is so cute and full of snuggles!!

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The view outside the hospital room.

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He’s here!

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Welcome baby Lincoln James!!

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Awww, so much crying! Thank goodness I can hide my tears behind my camera.

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That little face!!

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Awwwww, I just wanted to take him home!!

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Just look at all that hair! Awww!

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Parker prepping and getting ready to meet his little brother!

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A family of four now!

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Got to get that perfect shot of baby Lincoln!

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Aww happy Grandpa!!

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Surrounded by so much love!!

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I got to hold little Lincoln too and I must confess, I didn’t want to let go!!

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending HoneyBook’s Chicago Launch party!! Over the last few months, HoneyBook has been expanding to cities around the country so they can better serve us, the creatives. I love how dedicated HoneyBook is to helping their members, they are seriously so amazing (see how switching to HoneyBook gave me my life back!)

I made the 3 and 1/2 hour drive (without heavy traffic, YES!) down to Chicago for the big event. Chicago’s TuesdaysTogether leader, amazing wedding photographer, and my good friend, Elizabeth Nord, greeted me with open arms as soon as I arrived! We explored the city and she showed me some of her favorite spots. I enjoyed drinking delicious french press coffee and snacking on yummy macarons but my favorite part just had to be snuggling with Liz’s sweet little dog, Charlie! What a little cuddler and he seriously has stolen my heart!

When we arrived at the Launch Party hosted at Gallery 1028, the space completely blew me away! Storybook Weddings & Events and Ever After Planning did an incredible job transforming every inch of the place. All the vendors involved put in so much time and hard work to make sure everything looked amazing. What I loved even more than the space was catching up with some of my favorite people including Natalie Franke, The Siners, and the wonderful ladies from HoneyBook! I had so much fun and I even took a few iPhone snaps of the night to remember how beautiful everything was!

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Loved hanging with these super fun girls!!

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Liz and I had so much fun wandering around the city before the party!

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Thanks to all the wonderful vendors who helped make this launch party a great success!

Venue: Gallery 1028 // Planners: Storybook Weddings and Events & Ever After Planning // Floral Designer & Cake: Pollen & Pastry // Photographer: Rachael Osborn Photography // Lighting: First in Flight Entertainment // Calligraphy: Dashwood // Rentals: Hall’s Rentals // Linens: BBJ Linen // Photobooth: Bug Booth Vintage Photobooth Rentals // Caterer: Calihan // DJ: Fig Media Inc. // Farm Tables: Chicago Farm Tables // Chandeliers: Studio AG // Stationary: The Art in Tara // Videography: Nicodem Creative // Wine: One Hope Wine // Vintage Furniture: Rent Vintage Chicago // Paper Gifts: Minted // Glassware: Nimblewell // Make-up Artist: Juliette B Make-up Artist & Maggie Claire Love

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  • June 29, 2016 - 7:40 pm

    Elizabeth Nord - I love this and I just love you!! So happy the Rising Tide brought us together! XOXO Come and visit ANYTIME!ReplyCancel

  • June 29, 2016 - 10:04 pm

    Martha Bitar - What? This is incredible, you just immortalized the entire experience. I’m so happy I got to see you and Elizabeth even if it was for a brief time. :*ReplyCancel

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Haley and Emilee of Mint & Lovely Studios during Explore North Workshop. They helped us plan the beautiful styled shoot and provided all the stunning stationary. Their work was fabulous but what I appreciated even more were their kind hearts and sweet personalities. They are bringing so many creative ideas to the wedding world of Wisconsin and I’m honored to feature them on today’s Vendor Love!

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When did you start M + L?
Mint & Lovely was born in 2014 from an idea that Milwaukee deserved not only beautiful events, but the opportunity to invest in unique and one of a kind experiences. We are believers in empowering other women and supporting local businesses. Our company specializes in event design + coordinating paper goods along with hosting several workshops and classes throughout the year.

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What interested you about your craft? Why start your own business?
We actually met each other by chance at an event for a mutual friend. We soon realized that we had a shared passion for designing beautiful weddings and events which compelled us to leave our full time jobs and launch a design studio where we could bring our client’s creative visions to life.

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What kind of schooling/training have you had?
Haley: I was in sales for many years and realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t a fulfilling job for me. I had been searching for an opportunity to make my passions into a career and after meeting Emilee, I realized it was a great fit. We both believe in creating one of a kind items and experiences for our clients that truly set us apart from any other wedding services in the Milwaukee area.

Emilee: Deciding to go into business together was a natural fit. Our mutual love of well designed, beautiful events and spaces was the first thing that drew us together but as we started to talk more about our passions we began to see that our strengths play off of each other perfectly (Haley with marketing and business, me with graphic design). I had been searching for a way to launch a business that would allow me to use my talents and passions to service the Milwaukee area and Mint & Lovely has become just that.

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How would you describe your style?
We combine intentional and personal details with a touch of traditional style and modern simplicity.

What are some of your unique offerings?
In addition to wedding invitations and stationery, our workshops have become one of our most popular offering that we host throughout the year. They are an in person learning experience held in beautifully styled spaces featuring some of our favorite creatives. With our most recent workshops focused on the art of calligraphy, we met a lot of engaged women who loved spending an afternoon learning a new skill that they could apply to wedding projects!

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Favorite part of weddings (or the wedding planning process?)
We love incorporating details that are unique to the couple that make their day feel special to them. From shared interests to giving a nod to the place they met, we love finding ways to intertwine those personal details into everything, from their invitations to the table numbers and wedding day stationery.

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Favorite business experience?
Our most memorable and unexpected accomplishment was being recognized by Wisconsin Bride Magazine in 2015 as their Best Newcomer to the Wisconsin Wedding Scene. Being a business that was only a year old at the time, we were surprised and delighted that our hard work was not only being well received, but appreciated too!

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Any Helpful Tips for Brides?
We are big believers in encouraging brides to be true to themselves and their style. Don’t feel like you have to include certain trends in your wedding just because you see it on Pinterest or it’s what your friends did. Our favorite wedding invitations and designs have been the ones that are one of a kind and totally unique to the couple.

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What is in store for Mint & Lovely’s future?
Along with designing authentic and thoughtful weddings, we see M&L reaching the market in a big way through our workshops and classes. We’ve been met with nothing but rave reviews as we provide these fun opportunities for local creatives and we know it’s something Milwaukee needs.

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Tell us more about Emilee & Haley!
Fun fact: we decided to start Mint & Lovely after one meeting over a drink. We only knew of each other through mutual friends and took a leap of faith based on our shared dreams of bringing something unique to the Wisconsin wedding industry. Just six months later we were officially launching our company. Since then Haley had a little boy (with another on the way in October), Emilee adopted an adorable labradoodle named Nova and we’ve both annoyed our loving husbands with multiple projects we dream up for our events.

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Additional advice for women trying to advance their career in the creative industry:
Have a passion for what you’re doing and don’t let fear of failure stop you from getting exactly what you want. Event design is a relatively new concept to the Midwest and forging our own path has had its major ups and downs. Our passion for what we do is what drives us to keep going, even on the hard days. You’d be surprised at what you’re capable of when you give yourself the chance.

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Details about your business:

Website: www.mintandlovely.com

Facebook: facebook.com/mintandlovely

Instagram: @mintandlovely

Hours: 9am-5pm M-TH

Their latest workshop is Flourish: A Modern Calligraphy Workshop. Haley and Emilee are big believers in supporting one another and they want to see YOU at their July calligraphy workshop in either Madison or Milwaukee! Sessions will be held July 9th and 10th in Madison, July 30th and 31st in Milwaukee. All you wonderful readers will receive a special discount code!! Visit mintandlovely.com/flourish and use discount code: flourishcreatives to receive your discount.

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