Can you believe this year is almost coming to an end? It’s completely flown by! I do believe Florida’s weather is in denial, and doesn’t want to give up Summer! One thing I love is a comfy pair of jeans, a soft tee and a blazer. Classic everyday look and perfect for the Fall season (if it ever arrives). Slim and a bit of a slouchy wear, I was thrilled to receive these awesome boyfriend jeans from Madewell. Who doesn’t enjoy sporting a graphic T? The Seventh Guilt offers a unique selection of designed T-shirts, I’m sporting the Lion top, a flowy/drapey fit…it’s perfectly paired. Make sure to check them out!
It’s October 1st. Usually around this time of year, you’ve started to decorate your home for the Fall season, pumpkins, candles and everything that Autumn exudes. October also marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Have you seen the flamingos popping up around town? So cute, I love seeing those bright little posts everywhere. So much that is part of doing what I do is capturing couples in love and all the little details but one important matter of my heart is giving. There’s nothing better than being able to help someone whether big or small, and that is why I started Andi Mans “Giving Back”. Every now and then, you will see new ways you can get involved in helping or inspiring someone in your community by volunteering, donating or joining in part of helping and inspiring someone, when they need it most. Breast Cancer survivors hold a special place in my heart, as my own lovely and strong mother (Maria) was diagnosed 19 years ago, she survived and I thank God every single day for allowing her continue a life filled with so much joy, strength and be my best friend! In honor of women of all ages who are struck with breast cancer, each individual shares a different story, a personal experience and triumph. The ladies below share just that. They are all remarkable, what a joy to meet. I was happy to capture the ladies in such a personal and spiritual perspective. I hope that if you know of someone going through breast cancer, or if it’s even you reading, that you will find hope and peace through your journey.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
Full Name: Stacy
Location: Apopka, FL
Year Diagnosed: Thursday December 6, 2012 via a phone call at 7:00 pm
I was 7 months pregnant with my first (and only) child. I spent much of my time worrying about the health of my unborn baby as most pregnant women do until the day I discovered a pea sized lump on my left breast. I immediately brought the lump to the attention of my OBGYN. She dismissed it as being “due to lactation” and wasn’t worried based on my age and 0f family history of breast cancer. I continued to bring up the suspicious lump at every weekly appointment and she continued to assure me it was nothing. Even stating once that she “knew what cancer felt like” and that “this definitely was not cancer”. After 19 grueling hours of labor I demanded a mammogram. They sent me to Radiology at Central Florida Regional where the Radiologist and his techs preformed an ultrasound on my left breast. They mentioned seeing something but concluded that it was most likely due to lactation as well & instructed me to massage it, telling me to check back in 1 year.
Fast forward a few weeks later. I am a new Mom, I love my baby & even though she sleeps great at night, I can’t because I know something’s wrong. My soul knows. I decided to Google ‘breast specialist Central FL’ and found someone who finally listened. The rest is history.
I was diagnosed December 6th and was having my breast removed December 13th. I had no time to think, but plenty of time to panic. My tumor was the size of an orange, had invaded 7 lymph nodes & was Triple Negative; a rare more aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Who knew there were ‘types’ right? I tested BRCA negative. To date I have undergone dose dense 4 month long chemotherapy with one drug nicknamed ‘the red devil’ (for good reason), 7 weeks of intense radiation, a double mastectomy, lattismus flap reconstruction, chest expanders, fat grafting and finally implants. Whew.
I will be 2 years out from diagnosis this December. I am currently enrolled in a double blind clinical trial at the University of FL Cancer Center to prevent re-occurrence and love every second of my life. My daughter will be 2 this October & I will be 34.
Studies say that not until 3 to 5 years out from diagnosis does the average Triple Negative patient have a decreased risk of metastasis or re-occurrence; and as I look forward to year 3 it doesn’t change the fact that my intuition is forever truthful and it tells me that I have already beat cancer. God is good & life is beautiful.
Full Name: Laura
Location: Longwood, Florida
Year Diagnosed: 1999
I was planning my husbands Surprise 40th Birthday party. You see Rik is a cyclist and loved to travel, so touring the countryside of Vermont on his bike was the perfect trip. The family was traveling and would arrive to greet him on his last leg of the bike tour. This was the perfect plan…But it never happened! Only 48 hours before the trip, I was diagnosed with and aggressive form of Breast Cancer. Rik took me to my favorite place, the ocean. I locked myself in the bedroom, my body felt numb, and at one point I literally pulled my hair to see if I could FEEL anything. The FEAR was overwhelming !
I stood at the window and I could see my three precious sons fill up buckets of sand and water for the sand castle they were constructing together. This life is too beautiful! I dropped to my knees and asked God: “take my breast, take my arms if need be, but please leave my heart, so I can fill it with joy, and my voice, so I could tell my boys how BEAUTIFUL THE WORLD IS” ! Moments later I walked down the stairs, my husband looked up at me and starred, you see, he was looking at a different woman. This woman could move with certainty, could run. HER SPIRIT IGNITED INTO A ROARING FLAME ! I had a new-found spirit!! You see, my friends, this Vignette is my life story! God lead me through a process without chemotherapy or radiation. However, I did make a radical decision to have a double mastectomy; and I am happy to announce that I have just celebrated 15 years cancer.
Full Name: Nancy
Location: Maitland, Florida
Year Diagnosed: October 2013
Last summer I decided to schedule my annual mammogram a month early as I was stepping down from managing a private prep to school to a less stressful job of consulting for a software company. I had a lingering feeling that something might be wrong this year as I have had 4 breast biopsies in the past and luckily all were benign. This time I would not be so lucky.
Due to the prior surgeries I was already under the care of a fabulous breast cancer surgeon at Florida Hospital. She quickly did a biopsy and I was diagnosed on October 9, 2013 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I remember her words that this was not a good thing.
After my diagnosis my husband, Scot and my daughter, Melissa and my younger sister, Christine became my constant companions for the many, many doctor’s appointments, testing and eventual surgery. My friends and family have been with me through this process with me and provided so much love and support. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy because Triple Negative Breast Cancer is so aggressive.
My treatment included a chemotherapy drug regiment known as ACT. Dose dense of anthracycline for 2 months followed by 12 weeks of Taxol. This was the hardest thing I have ever endured in my life. Losing your hair, having no energy and having your immune system crash to the point of needing a blood transfusion is no fun. The only thing that kept me going was my family. I wanted to live. My mother died of pancreatic cancer in 6 weeks in 1992 and I was not going to let that happen to me! My husband Scot came to every session with me and made me laugh each time. The doctors and nurses who cared for us will be our friends forever. They have a special talent for taking care of all the needs of cancer patients. Today I have completed the process of reconstruction and thanks to the work of a patient and talented plastic surgeon I feel and look great. The scars of cancer will always be visible but I am not afraid to look forward to a wonderful long life.
Of course the worry of re-occurrence will always hide under the surface and I will fight to keep it from affecting me and how I want to live the rest of my life. I finished chemotherapy on May 6, 2014 and now am regaining my energy and my hair it is wonderful to be out celebrating life. I could not be where I am today without my fabulous husband, Scot.
Full Name: Maria
Location: Deland, Florida
Year Diagnosed: January 1995
It was the middle of November and I just turned 40. The weather started to cool down, the leaves started to fall, and preparations were being made for Thanksgiving. While all this was going on, it came to my attention that it was time to make an appointment for a mammogram. I had this day ingrained in my mind after reading magazine ads, television commercials, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They all said that you’re supposed to start having your first mammogram at the age of 40. I still hadn’t made an appointment when after a week I felt an itch in my left breast. I touched the area and it felt like there was a small, ball-shaped bean inside that was semi hard in texture. It was something I never experienced before. I started to get concerned, so the next day, I made an appointment for a mammogram.
Then, the day came and I was in the doctor’s office. During my visit, the doctor indeed discovered a small lump on my left breast. After some tests, they determined it was Cancer. I was in disbelief, thinking they made a mistake, and that I wouldn’t be one of the many. During all this time, I was thinking about my sweet children. At the time, my sons were 14 and 8, and my daughter was 12. Everything seemed like a fog in my head and my mind raced with thoughts. I’m blessed to have a family and a husband who are very supportive of me. We tried to stay in good spirits and supported each other.
Forward to January 95’, I was scheduled for surgery. I prayed to the Lord to give me strength and to heal me. The result of the surgery revealed that my breast cancer type was carcinoma in situ, an early and treatable form of cancer and a small trace of another type of cancer that I really can’t remember the name of. The doctor made the decision to take out the lump, but he also told me that I could have a mastectomy. I decided to remove my breast. I didn’t want to live in panic thinking something was left. The surgeon later told me that I would need some radiation treatment on that area, and Chemo in case. They also took 21 lymph nodes from me. I was also prescribed Tamoxifen, but it made me feel sick so I eventually stopped taking them. My oncologist told me since my cancer was so small and didn’t spread anywhere, that I didn’t need to go for chemo or radiation! What?! I couldn’t believe it! God heard my prayers, and ever since that day, I have been thanking Him everyday!
It has now been 19 years since that day and I am cancer-free. I thank the Lord for getting me through this and my family. I now have a mammogram yearly and encourage all women to get one. Early detection is a key and I urge all women to get screened.
Happy First Day of Fall! Say Hello to Autumn! It’s getting darker earlier, temps are slowly dropping and the pumpkin storm has already approached. I’d like to introduce you to Orlando pie shop, “P is for Pie“. Located off Corrine Drive, this small batch artisan bakery specializes in mini pies & desserts. My friend Tara Gould, owner and baker whips up some unique and scrumptious treats for the season. Stop in for some well roasted coffee by Stumptown, originally located in Portland, Tara provides a delectable iced coffee paired up with mini pumpkin filled hand pies. Are you hungry yet? I mixed in this post with my kick off to Fall wear! Happy Tuesday!
Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to settle on wearing jeans for the day. If I could pick one thing, it would be a loose fitting t-shirt dress like this one. You can easily change this dress into an evening outfit by adding heels or some fun pumps. I’m currently loving these comfy booties I found at Target, is it possible to go there without buying more that you really need? No, I say no! This is the perfect go to style for me when meeting some of my clients and brides in. Take a visit to Lauren Nicole in Thornton Park, not in the area? You can shop online right here!
If you love thrift shopping as much as I do, you probably already own one or two of these vintage suitcases and if not, you’ve definitely seen them! These two have been hanging around for a bit collecting dust, so I decided to give them a makeover! I love how they turned out! Such an easy weekend project to spruce up any corner, living room, bedroom or office.
What you will need:
Vintage Suitcase Valspar paint in Satin, I used these colors: Cape Sands, Ultra White, Stone Mason Gray – which can be found at Lowe’s
Make sure to wipe down your suitcases so they are clean and free of any dust, dirt, etc. Go ahead and apply two coats of the Valspar paint on the suitcases, they dry pretty fast. Once all dry, you can add whatever personal designs to it! I created some lines using tape and painted over, removed and voila! You can get real creative with it, use a stencil, paint your initials and more. So easy and cute!
I just returned from Dallas for Labor Day weekend, and gosh am I still recovering from all the delicious Tex Mex, had the most amazing time watching the Noles game at the stunning AT&T Stadium in Arlington and made tons of great memories with friends! I’m back in Orlando and can you feel it in the air? The weather slowly cooling down each afternoon? I do! Nothing feels more feminine and pretty than this flowy sweet dress from Sophie & Trey. Whimsy + adorable, what a comfy choice for a mid-day date or a girls dinner. I love the beautiful pops of bold in the roses and mix of soft pastels.
I’m so excited to capture these two lovebirds wedding next year! They both have this awesome natural glow of joy, you can tell they are so in love! The weather is cooling down y’all, can you feel it? I sure can, and I’m loving it! Enjoy some of my favorites of these cuties!
I had the joy of capturing these two sweeties wedding almost two years ago and now they are expecting their first little one, and it’s a boy! I love being able to be part of such huge moments of couples and watch them grow, such a gift. Aliny and Sean are glowing of excitement and I cannot wait for Jack’s arrival, how precious! Enjoy some of my favorites! Happy Monday!
As a huge foodie myself, I’m always in search of local goodness! Walking around one day I saw a new spot that caught my eye, being in a hurry for a meeting I told myself I had to come back and actually explore “Extract”! Located off New England in the heart of Winter Park, this gem of a juice and tapas bar is a must try! Owners Mike and Stacey greeted me with huge smiles and a warm welcome! As I sat down in their adorable outdoor seating surrounded by pairing tables, outdoor games like jenga and cornhole…Stacey arrived with their signature “Sweet Spicy Popcorn” to snack on as I browsed the menu. I literally couldn’t stop eating this! Their lunch and dinner menu consists of an amazing selection of Juices filled with natural ingredients like spinach, apple, lime, kale, grape and more! I had two scrumptious drinks, first up the “Powerhouse”, which was made with broccoli, strawberry, spinach, blueberry and apple, SO refreshing and it was my first time drinking a juice with broccoli! Next up, their “House Made Sangria”! I’ve had sangria at many places, and let me tell you, this was one of a kind. Not too sweet but just perfect, I had to have a 2nd glass, you will too! After the tasting of yummy drinks, came the tapas! Above you will see, Caprese Salad Cups, Chicken Salad Cucumber Cups and the Rock Shrimp! I hope the pictures gave you enough push to get in your car and head over to Extract. Did I mention, on Sunday’s Extract has a 3 course brunch, the menu is outstanding! Extract is a great choice alternative from your typical franchise restaurant, here you will be served fresh, healthy and tasty. Go go!
What: Extract Where: 400 West New England Suite 13 Winter Park, Florida 32789
This earthy wedding was filled with airy green floral and beautiful lush surrounded every corner. Katelyn and Justin are such an adorable pair and I was so happy to capture their big day. When I saw her floral crown I squealed a little, I mean how adorable is that? I love when brides try something different! What an amazing group for a bridal party, being almost 100 degrees out and 100% humidity, they had the best attitude amongst the Florida weather! Take a look at my favorites, and don’t forget to swoon over the precious flower girls dresses! So cute!
I love neutrals, especially gray and anything with a dusty pink tone. Old Navy’s new Mid-rise super skinny jeans “The Rockstar” are extremely comfy and can be used for day or night. I’m obsessed with these booties I found on a day trip to Nordstram Rack, I’m telling you…if you ever visit this gem, make sure to prepare yourself for self control in the shoe department! I have a feeling I will be wearing these out in the Fall!
The summer temps are at it’s peak in Florida right now, and as much as I wouldn’t mind walking around in my gym clothes, we have to dress up ladies. I love Sole Society everything, from their accent pieces to their clutches and more. Perfect for a girls night out or a sweet early date. Stand out in this beautiful pop of orange!
I’ve been learning to love prints and patterns more, not really sure why I always stay close to more of the blocks of color but once I tried these bad boys on, let’s just say they felt so comfy, like pajama comfy…I had to get them! Don’t be afraid to sport your favorite hat, having a bad hair day? Put a hat on it, fixed! I love this ally way located in downtown Deland, so artsy, airy and rustic! If you’re ever in the area, stop by this amazing bistro located right across the street, called Dally in the Alley, you won’t be disappointed!
Though my college days are over and I don’t even want to talk about my nerdy highschool years, I do know school is definitely back in and gosh do kids have cool clothes to wear these days! I remember when I was in 3rd grade, I had to wear plaid culottes to school every single day! Ha! Since the back to school feel was in the air, I got inspired to put together an outfit just for that, yes to education and style!
This is my “So you think you can dance” look, ha! It’s ridiculously hot right now, and sometimes you have no choice to bust out those short shorts that give you tons of leg exposure, being 5’10, I really don’t mind showing some leg in this 99 degree weather, phew! Forever 21 has some awesome selections of fun shoes to pick from! I saw these blush colored high top sneakers while browsing and fell in love with them, super comfy and can we say pizza time? The 80’s vibe from wearing this outfit, so retro, made me smile. Don’t be afraid to literally “step out” of your comfort zone, I surprisingly really enjoyed sporting my “urbanista” look, I could dance to the beat while walking in this! By the way, I had the chance to really take time and scope out the wall art located near downtown Orlando! Such talent!
I’ve been having too much fun with styled shoots this Summer! I had the blessed opportunity to have not one, but two at the beautiful venue The Stetson Mansion! This time, in their gorgeous and luscious Zen garden located at the Mansion! The first time saw this beauty, I’m pretty sure hearts came over my eyes like a cartoon! The sense of peace and nature just filled the air! Not only did I get to capture, I also styled the shoot and had creative direction! Bold jeweled tones and pops of succulent/moss re-create the refuge that a Zen garden exudes. How stunning is our model?! I completely fell in love with the dress by Jenny Packham, it’s stunning! What a unique location for an outdoor ceremony or even a reception! Huge thanks to Channel 13 news and Allison Walker for taking time to visit us at our shoot, I had a nice little 15 second local news debut! Look for the video/article link below! Wahoo! I’m on TV!
I have to say, styled shoots are one of my most favorite projects to be a part of! I get to the chance to see my fellow wedding industry pals and meet new ones at the same time! I had the amazing privilege of meeting the lovely owners of the Stetson Mansion in Deland, Florida. We discussed weddings, details and a styled shoot over some delicious mimosas! I was in total awe as JT gave me a grand tour of the mansion’s beauty and lovely history. As I took in each and every architectural eye candy, the magical feeling of being a whimsy princess as a little girl emerged again! I just couldn’t help it! I imagined what beauty this stunning home would ignite in a bride for her wedding day in such a unique and special way that I haven’t seen at any wedding venue in Central Florida. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designed by the noted architect George T. Pearson in 1886, the Stetson Mansion was built in the frame vernacular style. A blend of cottage, Gothic, Tudor, Moorish, and Polynesian details were incorporated into the building of the Stetson Mansion which presents an excellent example of the high style Victorian architecture. The largest, most opulent and historic home ever built in Florida before the 20th Century! The Stetson Mansion is an architectural and historical treasure that has hosted the likes of President Cleveland, King Edward VII and Thomas Edison to name a few. the Stetson Mansion has recently been named Florida’s “Most Popular Tourist Attraction” by the worlds largest travel site TripAdvisor. This is the very first time that the Stetson Mansion has opened its gates and doors to welcome a stylized shoot! Brides, if you want a unique, stunning and special wedding venue for your your big day, please visit this gem, I guarantee you will fall in love with it as much as I did!
I was so excited when owner and buyer Alexandra Calvet of Calvet Couture asked me to capture their special 1 year anniversary shoot celebrating all that is pretty and stylish of this beautiful bridal boutique! How stunning is this Hayley Paige dress on the gorgeous model?! Her flirty, yet feminine gowns are perfect for any blushing bride looking for THE dress of her dreams! Our model Katie, what a looker, also one of my 2015 brides! I am so excited to capture her own wedding as well! Now get ready for some swoon worthy style!