I'm late to the game in posting these images of my daughter Lillian's sweetly Southern nursery, but better late than never!

One of the very first discussions my husband and I had upon finding out we were expecting was how to outfit the baby's nursery (#priorities). We tend to have very complementary interior design tastes -- we're typically drawn to a more neutral palette, natural-finished wood, lighter colors, and anything subtly evocative of the sea. (Although sometimes we do go overboard -- there are actual seashells lining the surface of our garden tub at the present moment, but I'll forgive that.) As much as we both love the whitewashed ultra-neutral nurseries of Restoration Hardware lore, we knew we could take some liberties to go bright and whimsical for our little one's room. (It is a child's space, after all!)

Initial ideas of the "theme" were Adventure (too "Pinteresty", IMO), Maps (also overdone), Sea Creatures (love them but don't love the premade cutest "sets" they sell at baby gear outfitters), Lilly Pulitzer (obviously a big influence but didn't want it to be identical to my office and I can never pick just ONE favorite print), and Flamingos (also love but there is such a thing as too much pink).

Drew was really pulling for the Maps/Adventure thing (esp when we were both convinced Baby Dellinger would be a boy) and I could get into it a little -- I've seen gorgeous antique watercolor maps in Savannah bookstores of the SC/GA coastline that are to die for. However, a $400 framed vintage map wasn't really in the budget and I didn't want to get too too themey. (Too many maps and you look like a Subway station, amirite?) 

Then we moved into our new house and found out we were having a Lilly. Drew was even more insistent upon painting the nursery a girly hue (which was a bit of a sallow pale green upon move-in) than I was. We found the perfect color, Beach Trail by Behr, and decided to subtly decorate the room with things influenced by our favorite city, Charleston. The color palette is reminiscent of Rainbow Row (and a project is in the works for a legitimate Rainbow Row-shaped bookshelf Drew's going to make!) -- bright pastels and beachy shades. We framed a couple of watercolor maps of the city and Isle of Palms, my maternity shoot was taken downtown so there are images of baby & me in her nursery city, and the room is replete with all the fixings of a sweet little Southern belle -- monogrammed wares, seersucker, Lilly Pulitzer baby shifts, bonnets and bows for days. 

It's certainly been a work in progress, one we're not completely through with. Things have evolved even since this photoshoot, taken when Lilly was a mere 2 weeks old. There's now a capiz shell chandelier mobile hanging above her crib, the seahorse painting has been hung above the glider, and one day we'll actually decide what to adorn the largest wall space which is currently still empty. But for now, a glimpse at a lovely little girl's room. :)

All images by the incomparable Amy Cherry.

Some of my favorite elements in her room are all of the handmade pieces gifted to us by our ultra-creative families. The below seahorse watercolor was painted by my sister-in-law, Jennifer, the day after Lilly was born (in between visiting us that morning and evening - can you believe it?!). My own sister, Dani, painted the narwhal and jellyfish canvas. My father made the gorgeous wooden stands that display my mother's handiwork: the going-home dress and bonnet Lilly wore out of the hospital.


Crib, Nightstand, & Dresser | Dolce Babi via USA Baby
Glider & Ottoman | Best Home Furnishings via USA Baby
Paint | Beach Trail by Behr
Flamingo Wall Organizer | Three Sprouts
Crib Sheet | Pottery Barn Kids
Whale Organizer | PBK
Narwhal Canvas | Dani Boudreau
Seahorse Watercolor |  Jennifer Dellinger
Sailboat | World Market
Swiss Dot Balloon Shade | Target
Hairbows | Julia's Boutique
Monogrammed Receiving Blanket | Vera Bradley

life updates | july 2014

July has certainly been an exciting month, hasn't it? Hannah & Brad's gorgeous Cannery One wedding, boating with friends, Drew's CPA exam, styled shoot planning, networking events aplenty, marathon planning sessions with out-of-town clients, many a new client consultation... Good month. Full month. Not many pool days have happened these past weeks -- too many phone calls, emails, and meetings to take a backseat here recently.

The second half of summer 2014 has kicked off with a bang that I'm sure will continue far into fall. Can you believe that by the end of this month, PSLs will be rapidly approaching, fall wedding season will rear its head, and before we know it the holidays will be upon us?!

super sneak peek!

super sneak peek!

Here are a few things I'm particularly excited about!

- A styled shoot with Ian Riley that happened last Friday! Can't wait to disclose all the juicy details behind our inspiration and the unbelievably beautiful execution!

- Sunday Supper Club. A sorority sister friend of mine and I are spearheading a campaign to bring back the gentle art of domestic entertaining! We're hosting a once-monthly dinner party club here in Nashville. Interested in joining our group? Shoot me an email for more details & how to get involved!

- Yet another trip to the deep Southeast. Drew & I are celebrating our birthdays in our two favorite cities this week - so excited to be finally dining at Hyman's Seafood and catching some final glimpses at summer 2014 near the Atlantic. August is the last "slow" month before fall wedding chaos and Drew's constant stream of exams, so we're taking advantage!

- 2015 wedding bookings! I've been meeting with several fabulous brides to discuss their spring & summer 2015 weddings. If you're looking for a planner for your upcoming nuptials, holler at me! Dates are booking fast!

- Welcoming a certain someone to our KDE team! We've chosen our fall 2014 intern for the season and can't wait to introduce her to our readers!!

There are still plenty of things I've wanted to do but haven't had the chance yet. Perhaps we'll finally have that open house at the office we've been meaning to host?!

Can't wait to see what lies in store for August 2014! I have a lovely milestone birthday coming up in just a couple days, Drew & I will celebrate 7 years of being college sweethearts, and we might just have a Labor Day weekend wedding pop up last-minute:)

Vision:  August will be serious but still lighthearted. Seeing our favorite city, loving on our sweet family, preparing for an incredible wedding season to come. I envision quick-stepping while still being methodical about everything. Some planning for the future but not TOO much forward-thinking. Yoga to center my mind, maybe a barre workout or two sandwiched in. Healthy eating, salads and soups. Less sugar. Less wine. More water. An ice cream sandwich birthday cake. With sprinkles. (Pink sprinkles!) Collaborating a bit more with my favorite industry city.

life updates | february 2014

This year, I tell you what. This year has been no joke. February always flies by because it's the shortest. It's been short, yes, but also jam-packed-full of business. Bookings. Industry events and meetings. Progress. Streamlining. Legitimizing. Narrowing focus.

It's been over a month in Suite 445; it's hard to imagine that just 6 or 7 weeks ago it was an ugly pea-green color and dark and drab and void of any kind of Kellification. Now it's pink and light and colorful and bright and lovely and smells like cotton candy and is oh-so-cozy. There are things on the walls! As I mentioned last month, the KDE HQ is a work in progress and will be designed/updated in phases. This month brought a few more art pieces, a little more tropical influence (JUST WAIT UNTIL IT'S DONE! HOORAY!), and more settling in.

This month has been substantially better for me in terms of taking care of myself, my body, my mind. I've been to considerably more yoga classes this month than I have in the past six months (and that's despite the studio flooding last week and being temporarily closed for business!). I have drunk so much water. Less espresso. I'm not doing that fab on the eating-healthy front, but there's progress and I'm only going for progress, not perfection. I don't feel nearly as much like I'm drowning in my own life. I got TOO busy last month and the beginning of this month. Since last week, I've cut some hard things out and narrowed my focus on the things that matter most, and it's paid off. I'm still a little anxious adjusting to all of these life and business transitions, but it's so much better. So much better. 

I'm working through Cathy Olson's Design Life Project (for the second time -- started it last fall!) and the Pretty Perfect Process to improve my business operations and scheduling.

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I am NOT taking on any styled shoot projects currently. My sanity can't take it, unfortunately. Nor can my workload for paying planning clients. It's a good problem to have!

I am, however, considering options for a summer 2014 intern. The application is live on my Careers page. I plan to start seriously reviewing those and interviewing candidates by the end of March/early April. We're also taking on a limited number of rotating paid event assistants to help on event dates. Candidates MUST be professional, dependable, personable, adept at problem-solving and taking direction, and authentically represent the Kelly Dellinger Events brand. (Email me if you're interested in joining the team!)

**Also on the agenda for me/KDE upcoming in the immediate future:  I'm taking a week (Monday, March 3 - Monday, March 10) to refresh and recharge for the upcoming wedding season while enjoying the gorgeousness of the Savannah, Georgia lowcountry. I will have extremely limited access to email and phone during that week but all emails/calls will be answered starting Tuesday, March 11. I plan to detach my iPhone from my hand, turn off all notifications, and practice being present during my weeklong visit with family.**

We had our Fahrenheit Yoga Studio staff photo shoot a couple of weekends ago! Love  TaraSierra 's work - she also does wedding photography!

We had our Fahrenheit Yoga Studio staff photo shoot a couple of weekends ago! Love TaraSierra's work - she also does wedding photography!

Here's the standard:

self care  |  Yoga and water have been good to me. Caffeine and social media have not. Working on changing up the proportions of time I spend doing each.

home environment  |  I've been significantly better about keeping a calm home environment, but there is room to grow. We have more organizational systems to implement and routines to get into before it's totally a haven in the non-working hours.

relationship  |   Drew has been going full-force into CPA studying this month. He's hitting it hard, which is good for getting it over with but also difficult, since it's pretty all-encompassing with his time. Prayers are still appreciated for him as he conquers this uphill battle and struggles to find calm/sanity/respite from time to time. I also need prayers to be a better helper for him instead of totally work-centric, since we are a team and I have to pull my weight. Evenly yoked, y'all. Yoga threads its way through so much of my life!

friends & fam  |   This month has been much better on the friends front -- calling faraway friends more frequently, seeing people on weekends or the occasional hiking date. It is good for my soul!

career  |  Taken. Off. My plate is full, indeed, in the very best way. 

fun & rec  |  This month has had less TV and more actual real-life activities. Seeing people. Going to yoga. Being social. Being physically active. It's marvelous. Looking forward to a FUN week in Savannah sight-seeing and squeezing my nephews/niece!

cause or purpose  |   I've felt more of a connection to this lately, especially in light of the yoga studio flooding. It refreshes your perspective on what an impact yoga has on its practitioners (myself included!) and makes me take it less lightly. I see more of the impact my wedding business has as my personal ministry, too. I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!!

sneak peek of the KDE HQ, currently as-is!

sneak peek of the KDE HQ, currently as-is!

In the spirit of envisioning how I'd like my next month to be.... I envision March as my running start. I have a lot of "marathon planning dates" scheduled with clients' spring break availability. I'm planning on getting a lot of stuff done, checked off the overarching to-do list, and creating a lot of sighs of relief for my sweet couples. I'm excited to start the month off in a relaxing and inspiring environment, weaned away from devices, and then recharged for this crazy-awesome season ahead. I'd like to do a better job of cooking for Drew throughout the week, attending church consistently, keep up our Saturday date night ashtanga yoga rituals, and staying true to my abilities and limitations. Less fear, more trust. Less anxiety, more joy.


staying present

I've learned a lot through years of practicing yoga. One lesson in particular has been awareness: feeling the ground beneath my feet.  So much of human life is spent running through autopilot -- going through the motions, "getting through" life.  Bearing it.  Enduring it. 

It's so easy to always be focusing on one step ahead. You're in a relationship? Dream of getting engaged. You're engaged? Dream of finally being married. You're married? Kids, dogs, house, career... everything has to be checked off a list ASAP and done in haste. Hurry up and die. 

I know I'm being dramatic, but really... think about it. Personally, I'm totally guilty of numbing myself to reality. I live in my head. Especially as a designer/creative/right-brained person, it makes sense to live the confines of my own imagination. But it comes at a cost -- you live in your head, you miss what's in front of your eyes. 

Sometimes having too many choices can feel absolutely paralyzing. (This is definitely true for couples planning a wedding. Can I get a hear, hear brides?)  Figuring out what to do with our lives, how to spend our time, how to spend our money (if we have money), how to plan-plan-plan our futures. It can get to be so much that we just shut down. We turn to drinking, to overeating, to shopping, to telling ourselves lies and trying to beat them (just to pass the time), whatever can fill that sinking feeling of sheer overwhelmingness. We turn off our brains and go through the motions, endure life without living it, and half-heartedly wish for the best. 

And then we're in old age, having wasted our whole lives hoping to just get through it. 

I don't want to live that way. 

I want to feel the ground beneath my feet (or the chair, in my case, since I sit all funny when I type). I want to smell fragrant flowers and notice when leaves are blooming. I want to feel my emotions and accept them, move through them. I want to be alive and not just pretend like I'm living.

Sometimes it's hard. Really hard. Sometimes the things we have to accept in our daily walks aren't fun, aren't easy, aren't quick to get over. We get hurt. We see sadness. But part of the beauty of life is its complexity. Negative feelings color the way we feel positive ones. 

God calls us to do more than to "get through life." Yes, it may be the easy way out. But as Bikram Choudhury says (paraphrased): There is no choice; you must do everything the right way. And the right way is the hard way.

Playing during a photo session with  Alyssa Joy . (In Lilly, no less.) Because, why take life so seriously? 

Playing during a photo session with Alyssa Joy. (In Lilly, no less.) Because, why take life so seriously? 

Why don't we apply that to all aspects of life? Business, planning major life events (ahem, weddings), relationships, keeping our homes?  CHALLENGE ALERT!

My challenge for you and me:  Stay present today. Or tomorrow. One day this week. Or an hour out of every day. Look around and see what's before you. Have you ever noticed the ceilings in your grocery store or coffee shop? Who's around you? What do you feel, smell, hear, taste? What are you eating? Do you even enjoy it? If not, why are you eating it?  LIVE LIFE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't just scrape by.


Love and light, as my favorite Fahrenheit ladies say!

living my ideal life:: may updates

I'm not even going to SAY how crazy the past month was, or how time flew. I'm assuming you know that already. Instead, I'm going to focus on the mystery of how God works. I've always heard about how life happens in seasons:  busy seasons, chaotic seasons, slow seasons, transitional seasons, you name it. There are happy times and hard times and all kinds of times in between. (ESPECIALLY at the start of a marriage -- we're a living example.) God is miraculous with His timing. He gives us what we need time and time again. When Drew and I had the (miraculous) opportunity to leave the country and enjoy a week's worth of uninterrupted time together last month, we assumed it was because Drew would need it, having just survived his first "busy season" as an accountant and starting into the season of studying tremendously hard for his impending CPA exam. Little did we know HOW MUCH he would need it. Not because of tax season (which was surprisingly pretty easy/painless for him) and not even because of insanity studying (although that time will come too soon now, too). We had no way of knowing that the email waiting in Drew's inbox, which he checked the day before starting back at work, would inform us of some crazy and unexpected news: A last-minute immediate business trip with no definitive end. The week he returned to work after our little respite, he was rushed off to a city four hours away to work tirelessly (often 12-hour workdays). Two weeks turned into three weeks, which turned into six and eight... Lots of uncertainty. Lots of time apart. He does get to return to me on weekends, and I had the opportunity to join him in the city and work remotely for one week's trip (last week). But it's hard. This is our first time since marriage that we've been apart for such long intervals so frequently. It's challenging, trying to readjust to life and routines. As a sister of a military wife, I know this is a piece of cake in comparison to a deployment or even business trips far enough away that companies can't justify sending spouses home on weekends, so I'm certainly not complaining. (I absolutely respect the wives and husbands who know that reality all too well, especially when children are involved and there's the constant risk of peril.) I don't have to worry that Drew's going to get injured in combat, and I do have the luxury of seeing him for a couple days at the end of every week. But it is still a challenge. A small hurdle. And definitely pushes Drew's limits, taking so much out of him.

I rest in the comfort of knowing that God saw this little bump in the road before we did, and provided us with such an incredible opportunity to spend time together before this particular season. He has never given us anything we couldn't bear -- and he continues to provide us with comfort and new ways of changing our hearts to be more like His while we're away from each other. We're no longer taking for granted evenings where we get to eat together, or sleeping beside one another at night. It's a lesson in gratitude, in finding new ways to encourage each other from a distance, and a test in faithfulness. Will we turn to God in these times of need, or try to take everything on, ourselves? I hope we stumble upon the wisdom to turn to Him, the ultimate provider. As it says in that beautiful song Oceans by Hillsong United: "You've never failed and you won't start now."
With that said, here are some updates on my little goals:
Huz & I before a dear friend's graduation dinner earlier this month! Isn't he dapper?!

Huz & I before a dear friend's graduation dinner earlier this month! Isn't he dapper?!

  • Exercise:  As of this week, I've been trying to get out of the box in my workout endeavors. I went running for the first time this YEAR yesterday, and it was surprisingly easy, considering how much my breath quality has improved from consistent yoga. I'm not the best runner and it's not my favorite activity, but I'm happy to try something new and see how it goes. I'm hoping to use the extra "free time" I've accumulated while Drew's out of town productively, and exercise frequently. What excuses do I possibly have now?
  • Tidy Home:  I'll be honest:  it's hard for me to justify keeping a clean house when I'm the only one in it. Admitting that makes me cringe a little (didn't my mother teach me anything about taking care of myself?!)... but that is the honest truth and I will certainly try my best to make that NOT so true in the coming weeks. Fortunately, I had a dear friend over to the house for coffee this morning, so I was up early vacuuming, straightening up the rooms, finishing laundry, and tidying/cleaning everything to be a presentable host. Drew's arrival this evening was another incentive. (I'm telling you -- having anyone over here is immediate motivation! Maybe I need a standing home date every week?)
  • Beautiful Workspace:  I'm still a total slacker in this department. We haven't been using our A/C, so all the heat in our house rises to the upstairs. It's enough to feel like I'm working out of a sauna. I love warm weather, but I may have to postpone working upstairs until it's full-on A/C-necessary.
  • Looking Presentable:  I finally re-blonded my hair a couple weeks ago, and you have NO idea how much that does for my motivation to get dressed cute. I've been breaking out the Lilly dresses on a regular basis, wearing pretty frocks and heels, and retiring the leggings and cardigans somewhat, which makes me feel fresh and renewed. Hello, summer!!! I'm afraid that in a few weeks' time all I'll be able to bear are shorts and the lightest weight jersey dresses, but maybe I'll keep up the dressing-up efforts. One can always get it a valiant effort!!! (Breezy summer nights are perfect for lightweight dresses and wedge heels, after all.)
  • Eating Healthy:  Vacation and travel got me all screwed up on the healthy-eating front. I'm trying to master moderation, but I really need to try Rick Bayless' "everyday eating" methods. He believes in adopting a "grocery store perimeter shopping" model for everyday meals (nothing processed, only natural foods that mostly come from the earth) with a good dose of occasional feasts. It's kind of the 80/20 thing. I'm not so good at extreme dieting or complete abstinence from indulgent foods, so hopefully this will be a wonderful marriage of healthy with moderation. 
  • Faith Building:  I got immersion baptized at our home church a couple weeks ago!!! We started the process to become official members, so that was one of the requirements. We're going to a PLACE class next week to find out our spiritual/personality strengths and weaknesses (to see how we can best serve the church), and I'm really looking forward to it.
  • Going Outside:  I've done excellent in this department! From vacationing to coffee dates and dinners al fresco, running and taking walks outside, I'm getting my fair share of Vitamin D!
  • Undivided Husband Attention:  Since Drew's been away during the week, we're working on really taking full advantage of our time together when we ARE together. I don't anticipate finding anything more appealing than him this weekend!!!!!
  • Preparing for Success:  One advantage of time apart means I can really focus my energies on preparing my business for success. Last week, when I was secluded in a city where I knew few people and had a LOT of free time on my hands (12+ hours while Drew was slaving away), I spent a good deal of my days sitting in Starbucks, working on back-end business stuff and taking care of big projects for my 2013 & '14 clients.
  • Making Time to Dream:  Oh, dreaming. I do this halfheartedly. I got over my burnout quickly and have started thinking about potential upcoming projects, working on business branding updates, and that kind of thing. Plans are in the works!
  • Cooking/Learning Domesticity:  Drew has absolutely mastered the art of biscuit-making, so I got to enjoy a lot of HIS domesticity in the past month. I think my next project will be a scratch coconut cake. I need my great-aunt's legendary family recipe! YUM!