Alexandra the Beautiful


Rarely do I hear or say my name, Alexandra, but I've always loved it. It's a very Greek name that has been passed down for generations in my family. When I just think about the name, I picture a beautiful and elegant woman that walks with confidence and grace. But, is that me? alexandra2

I don't know if I am the most graceful, and I'm not sure how I feel about the description of "elegant," but I do know that I am beautiful and I am glad that I have found confidence. However, my journey to be able to say that I am beautiful has been a long one and there are still some days where my mind battles to believe that truth.

I've always been told that I have a lot of unique features. Unique is not a word that girls like during high school. Instead, girls want to fit in and look like famous models and actors. When I was only 14 I begged for a nose job and made an appointment with a plastic surgeon. I never noticed my nose was any different until kids starting pointing it out in school. They would ask how I broke it or say that I had a witch's nose...really mean things that still sting when I think about them. I ended up not getting a nose job more because I was afraid of anesthesia, but I'm really glad that I didn't.

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There was also a day, and sadly, many days where I binged on food and then purged thinking that my curves weren't beautiful. Many tears have been shed over wishing my body looked different - even days where I didn't leave the house because nothing fit the way I thought it should. Terrible thoughts have plagued my mind and forced my eyes to stare at my stomach every time a mirror presented itself to check if it had gotten bigger or smaller. I would often put myself to sleep recounting what I ate and wake up planning my calories for the next.

Picking myself apart every day all while loving the fashion industry was very hard. It, honestly, was a big reason why I discouraged myself from pursuing fashion. You want to know something really interesting though? It was after I made the choice to become a stylist and really let myself be who I have been created to be that I found more self-confidence and appreciation for my body. It has ultimately been seeking the Truth in who I am and who I have been created to be that I have found freedom. Truth does set you free, and the truth is that I am beautifully made.


I love my curls, my hands, my lips, my teeth, my nose, my stomach, my mind, my creativity, my loyalty, my loud voice...I love everything. And, you know what my friends? I love my body even more after having a child.

I hope sharing my story helps and encourages you today. I've never publicly shared it before, and I guess it's in cyber space forever now, but I'm okay with that. There's power in sharing your life experiences. So, if you have any questions about my struggle with body image, please email me.

Photos by Gina Meola, makeup by Stephanie Neiheisel, hair by Kim Cornwell. Sequin skirt and shoes from

Handmade Goodies

I'm so blessed to be connected with so many creative people in this world! I know several people that have side businesses creating handmade items that are SO adorable I wanted to share them with you.Katelyn Block - Domestic Charm She bakes some of the most beautiful and creative cakes out of her home. If you're having a birthday party, bridal or baby shower or wedding, definitely give her a ring! Plus, she has a great blog that you should subscribe to get yummy recipes!

Tarrah Ritchie - Laila's Lovelies She makes fun, eclectic bags that can brighten up any outfit. She just had a beautiful baby boy named Patrick, so she has taken a break for a bit from sewing, but she's back in the swing of things. She has even started a blog sharing her designs loves. Tarrah's also a very accomplished artist, so I'm really excited to see what else comes out of Laila's Lovelies.

Emily Hall - Emilee Rose Designs I went to high school and was in youth group with Emily. She is an amazing artist that has pursued her talents and recently started her own stationary business. She also has a blog that shares her new products and life updates. Make sure to check her out next time you're in the market for stationary or invites!

Danielle Axtell - Baby Mae Couture My dear friend Danielle has started her own baby line that just got picked up by some local boutiques. If you want to buy a unique gift for an infant or toddler, check Baby Mae out! I just had a dress and bib made for my niece's first birthday. Picture will be coming, but until then check out her stuff! She also has a great blog that shares her life and fun finds.

Amber Crudele -Crochet Addict I've never gotten to meet Amber, but she is a dear friend of my sister-in-law, Nicky, and she crochets some of the cutest things. From teddy bears to coffee cozies, check Amber's Etsy page for unique, handmade gifts.

Alexis Lundberg - That's Sew Lexi Lexi is very talented with a sewing machine and started a business sewing aprons that are the perfect a wedding shower gift. Not only do you get to pick your own colors, but she personalizes each one with a message or verse of your choice to be kept in the pocket of the apron. I had one of these made for a best friend of mine, and it felt so good to give her something more personal than a picture frame.

Best Video EVER

3501818571_4c0844ffabI share about my personal dreams and goals, but I don't really talk much about my family and friends mainly because I try to keep the content some what design oriented. However, today is a special day because I'd like to share with you my beautiful niece, Claire Alaina Vender,  that has brought my family so close together through the struggles of her health and her beautiful presence on this earth. My niece is almost one (I can't believe it), and she has had an incredible journey just within this year. My sister, Nicky, and my brother, Adrian, are incredible parents that have endured immense hardship as their lives have been dramatically changed through sleepless nights, countless doctor visits and trying to understand God's presence in it all. At the same time, however, the joy Claire brings to all of our lives is priceless, and baby steps of her learning to swallow, roll over and smile have been all of the more special to the family.

Nicky and Adrian were able to capture her smile on camera for the first time, and I'd love to share it with you. You can read more about Claire's story and her journey on Adrian and Nicky's family blog,

I'm Lovin' It

victorias-secret-eyeshadowAs I was putting on my makeup yesterday, I had a thought that I should share my beauty routine and things that I'm lovin' right now. I'd love to hear about yours too! 1. Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lip color - I wrote a post about this earlier, and I'm still loving this lip product. Lasts forever! Just reapply clear gloss throughout the day. The colors I wear are Constantly Coral, Bare Maximum, Infinite Raspberry and Maximum Mauve.

2. L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara - I love the wand, I love the price, I love that it washes off with ease. I keep coming back to this mascara. I've worn Benefit, Max Factor, Chanel and Dior - all of the high ranking mascaras...This is still my favorite.

3. Nars Blush in Orgasm - The color name may be racey, but it sure is all it's cracked up to be. It's long lasting and works wonderfully with my skin tone. It's great for summer because it has flecks of gold in it.

4. Lorac Breakthrough Performance Foundation - This water-based formula is great for acne prone skin. It also has an SPF of 14 in it! I think it's definitely work the price. Lasts all day!

5. Benefit Bo-ing Concealer - I don't know why I didn't use this concealer before! It works so well with my skin tone.

6. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - I change up my eye liner a lot. I still love MAC eye liners, but I think I found a new favorite in Urban Decay. This liners go on like "butta." I currently wear Bourbon. I don't have a favorite liquid liner, but I'm satisfied with Revlon's Colorstay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black. If you have a favorite, let me know!

7. Victoria's Secret Radiant Shimmer Eye Palette - MAC has my all time favorite eye shadows. Their pigment is the best! However, I had a gift card to Victoria's Secret and this eye shadow palette caught my eye. I love these colors and the pigmentation is very good. I was pleasantly surprised! I've been wearing the gold and bronze colors for the past couple of days. They are perfect for summer.


Beautiful, Ornate Headbands

leighton_meester_300x400Any fans of Gossip Girl out there?! I am one of them, and I love that Blair and Serena wear a lot of headbands. Some of the headbands are made by the amazing designer Jennifer Behr. If you're a bride or you have prom coming up or just want something very, very special...check out these made-to-order headbands. They are absolutely beautiful!

PS - Have you heard Leighton Meester sing yet?! Check it out! ("Good Girls Go Bad")