3…2…1 and we are live!  Welcome to Plain Jane in a Party Dress!  I am so excited to be sharing this adventure with you all.  To kick things off I thought it would be really fun to work with a professional photographer to help bring the blog to life.  I’m almost always the one behind the camera in my family so there are very few pictures of me in existence, especially since my children were born.  However, for the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with an extremely talented photographer, Brianna Foster of Brianna Foster Photography.  We have worked together on holiday cards, family portraits, weddings, birthday parties and charity events including Portraits in the Park, a wonderful charity event Brianna co-hosts in New Jersey each fall and spring to benefit Operation Smile.  I am always amazed by how creative she is and how she captures the essence of my children’s personalities in her photos.  She also has a gift for food photography – making chicken nuggets and french fries at a child’s birthday party look like beef wellington and caviar.  Naturally I called on Brianna to help me fill Plain Jane in a Party Dress with even more photo magic.

Over the years, Brianna has taught me how to coordinate outfits for portraits without being too matchy matchy.  The key is to coordinate through a color scheme or theme.  I employed the same principles in preparing for this shoot in terms of coordinating the clothing with the setting and the props.

The blog design began with a late night vision…a twist on the things that make me giddy.  After all this is a blog about making the most out of the life we’ve been given!  I imagined a summer garden party I attended while living in Georgia.  The hostess greeting her guests in a classic party dress with a modern edge, killer heels and cupcakes on an antique silver tray.  To put the look together, I knew I needed to start with the dress of course – the anchor of all party worthy outfits!

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I searched and searched for the perfect dress finally selecting this one from ModCloth.  I am just in love with polka dots for fun flirty summer dresses and this dress did not disappoint.  It is very well made of a substantial cotton fabric and comes in at a good price point for a classic silhouette that will be worn again and again easily transitioning from a daytime wedding with a little added bling to business casual Friday at the office topped with a cropped cardigan or even to a backyard barbeque paired with a comfy pair of black wedge sandals.

Dress in hand, it was time to accessorize!  I selected a pair of my favorite summer heels by Marc Fisher out of my closet and added some statement jewelry from my collection including this beautiful “with a twist” necklace from Park Lane Jewelry.  Plain Jane in a Party Dress Promo Pics 8-2015-41

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I always find that the right outfit for the occasion puts a little spring in my step and makes me feel fabulous allowing my inner beauty to shine even brighter.  This outfit is no exception.

To finish off the look I added one of my favorite desserts – cupcakes!  I love cupcakes for parties because they provide the perfect portion control and the opportunity to provide a variety of flavors in one beautiful display.  It is an added bonus that I don’t need to be stationed at the dessert table serving my guests since I would much rather be enjoying their company.  To tie these little bites of heaven into the theme of the photo shoot, I selected a basic vanilla buttercream frosting atop rich chocolate cake and finished them off with very simple embellishments that I crafted by cutting different size circles from fondant sheets.  I then painted the circles with edible “luster dust”  in coordinating colors mixed with a few drops of extract (use lemon not peppermint or your decorations will taste a bit like toothpaste).  The extract evaporates leaving behind beautiful color and a bit of glitz and glam that plays nicely with the polished charm of silver serving pieces.

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Put it all together and…PHOTO MAGIC!  Thank you to everyone who helped behind the scenes to make the blog launch possible and thank you all for stopping by!