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Sarah K Chen Photography Blog bio picture

Welcome to my Blog!

I'm a simple person who loves photographing people and spending time with my husband and two little girls, Ellie (4) and Emmeline (1). My girls are my world and every day I wonder how I became so blessed to be their Mama.

When I'm not behind the camera I love to knit and sew cute things for my girls and bake cookies. My husband likes to say I'm a granny at heart, but I like to say I'm a woman of many talents. ;)

I also enjoy snowboarding, traveling and immersing myself in books. One day I will conquer Cornice and get down without snowplowing my way. I dream of traveling to Greece, Italy and Paris one day, but I have yet to convince the husband that traveling abroad with two little ones would be aweome. I'd also love to go camping and show my girls the joys of a perfectly toasted marshmallow and walking barefoot through an icy cold creek bed. And although I said it would never happen, I now read most of my books on my iPhone or iPad instead of a book. Have kids and you'll soon realize the gift of a built in light and always having your book with you.

I'm based in Orange County, California and ocassionally travel for shoots.

Ellie’s First Birthday Bash

All summer long, friends and family members were asking me if I had started planning Ellie’s first birthday yet. In Korean culture, this first birthday is quite an extravaganza which we call a Dohl and calls for much planning. Planning which I had no time for. So my answer was always a guilt laden, no, not yet. I was busy, busy, busy and while I had a few ideas roaming in my head, that’s as much planning as I had gotten done. The planning in my head.

Then I met Linda Ly of Grand Soiree’s at a networking picnic. I remember she was very pregnant, so easy going that I felt like I’d known her all my life, and that she had nonchalantly offered to plan the event for me. I was floored!

And so it began.

My only requirements were that it be outdoors, we include some pink in the color scheme, and I wanted a flag banner. When she asked me about a theme, I told her I didn’t really want a theme per se, more so an over all look. And that look happened to be the look of my favorite retail shop – Anthropologie. A week or so later I received an 8 page detailed pdf (with drawings!) of the entire event laid out and designed by Linda and got so giddy with excitement that I could hardly contain myself! Ellie’s birthday bash was going to be amazing! Or as Jeff likes to put it, like a mini wedding.

A big huge thank you goes out to Linda of Grand Soiree for dreaming up such an amazing event for our baby girl.

My dear girlfriends who came over once a week to help craft all the DIY stuff for Ellie’s party.

Cory who catered the event with so much delicious food that we still haven’t made a dent in the leftovers.

Melody of Sweet and Saucy Shop for her delectable and gorgeous cake, famous red velvet cupcake lollipops, and mini cheesecakes.

Carissa of JL Designs for the gorgeous, lush florals (in milk glass!) she created for us.

Ace, Crystal and Ming for photographing the event. Their photos are the ones below.

Now on to the pictures!

Linda dreams BIG. She took my Anthropologie theme and ran with it to the moon and back. She dreamed up a boxed invitation with retail like packaging. Outer mailing box, inner box wrapped with twine nestled in with pink shredded paper, a custom logo for Ellie’s name on the inner box, gocco’d vellum with backing, and then a catalog style invitation wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a custom sticker with Ellie’s logo on it.

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Ellie’s logo was gocco’d onto the box in whisper pink ink and then embossed with pink powder.

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Each 8 page invitation/catalog was wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with an Ellie sticker.

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When Linda and I met up with Melody of Sweet and Saucy, we brought along a copy of Ellie’s invitations for inspiration. I trusted in her talents completely and let her imagine something up for Ellie’s main cake and I have to say that I LOVE what she created. The bottom layer was her famous candy bar creation : white cake with a layer of chocolate and a layer of peanut butter cream. The top layer was pumpkin cake with a cinnamon cream accent. Just perfect for a winter celebration. On the right we have her famous red velvet cake lollipops covered in white chocolate. *cake image removed by request.

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The pink sugar flower she created was so beautiful!

The mini cheesecakes topped with raspberries. The dessert table was such a hit with our guests and their kiddies.

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Linda created the logo and the backdrop for our dessert table. Isn’t is so cute?

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My favorite flower in the world! Big, lush, vibrant coral peonies created by Carissa of JL Designs. Aren’t they to die for?

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Sparkling raspberry lemonade for the guests. Linda found these awesome gray and white striped straws to go with our color scheme. So perfect! And talk about an attention to detail, all the straws are pointing the same direction. Loved that!

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We also created die cut felt hair pins for our female guests and pin on boutennieres for the guys.

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Along with the two large tables, Linda had custom yellow and gray picnic blankets sewn and laid out on the grass for families to relax and eat on.

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We made custom party hats for the kiddies. The girls’ hats had a pink “E” in the center while the boy hats had a blue “1.”

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My parents bought Ellie her hanbok in Korea when they were there last month for my niece’s dohl. It’s so cute! Normally, Ellie hates having anything on her head and will tear off all hats, hair pins and hoodies. I think with all the hustle and bustle of her party, she promptly forgot about it and wore it the entire time without a fuss.

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We played who-can-throw-their-baby-highest-in-the-air game. Just kidding. We didn’t. But it doesn’t matter, Trystan and his daddy would have won it anyways. Photos by his mommy Connie.

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Here’s little Brandon modeling the custom birthday hat for everyone. And the picture on the right cracks me up. Just had to include it.

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We also had a bunny and hen petting zoo for the kids. The bunnies were so sweet and so cute! Check out this angora bunny! When he hopped around he looked like a big mop.

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And the prize winning velveteen rabbit. Ok, not sure what breed this rabbit is, but I was told that it’s the same bunny as the velveteen rabbit. And for good reason, his coat was so lush and soft. And he was such a sweet little guy, letting everyone pet him.

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And to the horror of these two girls, they showed up to Ellie’s party wearing the same dress! How embarrassing.

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Did I mention there was cotton candy? I can’t even say that this is for Ellie as we don’t really allow her any sweets at this age, but Mommy sure does love her some spun sugary goodness! Here’s Cory our caterer with a big tray full of sticky goodness! We also had hot funnel cake and berry cobblers baked right inside of mini mason jars. I don’t think anyone got a picture of them because they disappeared so darn fast. But let me tell you, they were YUMMY! I was able to snag one of the pies and eat it the following day after heating it up and it was to. die. for!

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And then it was time for Ellie to change back into her Burberry dress to blow out her candle. She was quite mesmerized by the sparkler on her cake.

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I love kissing Ellie’s cheeks. Actually, I love kissing all babies’ cheeks. They’re so soft and squishy and kissable!

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Happy birthday, my dear Ellie. Your first year of life seems to have flown by in a blink of an eye. You bring so much joy into our lives and Mommy and Daddy love and adore you so so so much. We can’t wait to see what this next year with you holds for us all.

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