Itty Bitty Petite Sessions with Chirps & Cheers

Just wanted to give you a quick update and opportunity! I stole this text from the Chirps and Cheers blog because they said it much better than I could have (with far less typos also):

On Sunday, November 2nd we’ll be offering the “petite-est” of petite sessions for individuals, families or couples. These 15 minute, $75 sessions are quick, stress free and will give you a single image for your beautiful holiday card. And, if you’re in need of a card for your adorable image, Chirps & Cheers will be on hand with a plentiful selection of completely customizable designs. Lots of options, colors, fonts, etc…to make something extra special.

Here are some examples of the location we will be shooting– we have limited space so if you are interested contact me here.

Fall Photos, Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma Photographer, Ely Fair Photography Fall Photos, Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma Photographer, Ely Fair Photography Fall Photos, Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma Photographer, Ely Fair Photography Fall Photos, Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma Photographer, Ely Fair Photography Fall Photos, Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma Photographer, Ely Fair Photography

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Travels with Ely Fair: London

London Eye

Ok. So before I get to far into this post, I need to explain something to you. I am not a museum person. I like history, but I’m more of a walk around the ruins of the Roman Forum and learn about what happened in particular spots many, many moons ago. With that said, we loved our time in London, but it might have been my least favorite leg of the trip. And I think that’s because we did lots of museum-y type things in the short time we were there.

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I have to admit to you that the main reason we chose the UK for our trip was to go see the Harry Potter Set Tour.

It. Was. Awesome. Yes, I know that I just admitted that I don’t like museums much, but Ryan and I were super impressed with how well it was done and getting to see all the fun little trinkets that we fell in love with watching the movies and reading the books. I didn’t want to post too many photos of the HP Set Tour because it is such a cool experience, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. They did, however, have butter beer which Ryan was very excited about.

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London Tips

  • Stay Close We were traveling with 6 people so we wanted to try to find a place that would accommodate for all of us and ended up in a flat on Airbnb that claimed is was only 15 minutes outside London. Which was true, but that meant that it was 15 minutes to the first London stop on the Tube, but it was about 45 minutes to city center where most of the stuff we wanted to see was. Which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until your face is all up in some guys armpit during the sardine like early morning commute.
  • First Day do a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour Seems cheesy, but we really enjoyed getting to see a good deal of London and get our bearings on the city first thing. If possible, get one that has an actual person doing the tour because it’s much easier to follow and understand. We used the Original company and liked it a lot.

London Yays

  • Harry Potter Set Tour If you are  fan, it’s worth the trip out to Watford. We would suggest getting the walking audio tour, it was worthwhile but does take a bit of time. You will want to allot about a half of a day to travel by train out there and do the tour, and you will need to reserve your tickets in advance because they do sell out apparently.
  • Knotting Hill We really enjoyed walking around Knotting Hill, it was a cute little neighborhood and I wish that we had stayed there.
  • The Eye Some will disagree, but we really liked the London Eye ride. It was beautiful to see the city, especially at dusk when everything is starting to light up. It is helpful to buy these tickets in advance also, and you can reserve a time.
  • Churchill War Rooms Super interesting, they have it set up pretty much exactly like it was when they were in use
  • West End Great area with great food, and some nice theater options if you want to see a show.
  • Balthazar This is under the heading of food. Some of my favorite meals of our trip were actually in London, rejoice, the days of bad food in London are over! Balthazar is a french restaurant with amazing food and great atmosphere in Covent Garden.  You will likely need reservations, and dress nice.
  • Dishoom Food again. Indian this time. London is known for it’s Indian food, and Dishoom did not disappoint. We got super lucky by getting in with out reservations, but by the time we left there was a long line out the door. Also in Covent Garden.
  • Westminster Abbey Where Kate got married. Enough said.

London Nays

  • Weather in July So apparently Ryan and I bring the heat with us wherever we go. London, like Italy when we were there, was having an uncommonly warm season. But it really wasn’t too bad during the day when we were out and about, the bummer is that no place has AC so it can get pretty toasty inside. We attended the show Wicked and it was just miserably hot. And sleeping was uncomfortable.
  • Tower of London So I hesitate to put this in the nay list because it really wasn’t bad. It is just really big and we were exhausted after. If I were to give a suggestion on how to do the Tower of London, I’d say go see the crown jewels first (they were REALLY neat) and then walk around the main ground floor and main museum, don’t bother going to the upper parts unless you really just love history and forts.

That’s all we’ve got for now. Next time: Paris!

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Small Business Series No. 16

Let me take you to one of the happiest place on earth. Chirps and Cheers– chock full of delicious papers, cards, office supplies and gift products that will make your heart sing. Well, at least those of us who love to send mail and have cute calendars. You will be met at the door by Olive the shop dog, and the smiling face of one of the most adorable ladies in OKC– Susan Kropp.

We are excited to team up with her this year and offer Holiday Card photos for families looking to order cards from her shop. So go check them out in their new location in Midtown and say hello to Susan for me!

Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma City, Ely Fair Photography Small Business Series Chirps & Cheers, Oklahoma City, Ely Fair Photography Small Business Series

Name: Susan Kropp    

Business Name: chirps & cheers         

Website: www.chirpsandcheers.com

 Favorite Dessert: Jelly beans but not Jelly Belly’s. I like the big, old-school ones.

Favorite Artist/Album: any and all cast recordings of Broadway shows

When did you start your business? 2009

What inspired you to start it?
Having spent my pre-computer childhood with multiple pen pals, I have always had a thing for snail mail. Paper, pen and a stamp was all it took for me to connect with someone across the world. Finding a letter from a Vietnam vet, a post card from the author Roald Dahl or a package of coins from an eight year old little girl like me in China was so memorable. There is something so personal about finding something in your mailbox whether it is a letter, a card or invitation. Being able to help people celebrate their “everyday chirps or extraordinary cheers” with paper is what inspired me to open the shop.

What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome?
I am definitely more of a right than left brain individual so learning the business side of running a shop has been my biggest challenge. Thankfully, there are so many great resources available to help small businesses with business planning, financing etc.. 

Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why?
My husband Brad has always been my biggest champion. I have been dreaming and scheming to open a shop since I first met him when I was sixteen. After 30 years of listening to me, he finally said, “why don’t you quit talking and start doing? “ It was that extra push and show of support that made me realize that the dream could be a reality.

What is your favorite part of your business?
People. I absolutely treasure the relationships I’ve been able to make with my employees, customers, vendors, reps, artists and community leaders. I never imagined the wonderful people I would meet and how they would impact my life in such a positive way.

Any advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours?
Have a great support system of family, industry peers, trusted financial advisors, etc. and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about?
One of my favorite lines comes from a song in the Broadway show {untitled show} that goes “I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing then one hundred people’s ninth favorite thing”. This has been with me from the day I opened. I’m passionate about giving our customers the very best service, products, information, etc… They deserve nothing less than our full attention to making them happy with their experience and purchase.

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I love, love, love that quote about being nine people’s favorite thing rather then one hundred people’s ninth favorite thing. And that really shows in the experience of chirps and cheers. Thanks so much Susan for being a part of the series, and for being a bright light in people’s days! xoxo ely

 

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Edinburgh, Scotland (Plus some Change)

Edinburgh, Scotland Castle

Edinburgh. It was a rough start getting there with several flight delays, but we were rewarded with a stretch of weather that was the most sunny the UK has seen in a while. Seriously, of the 16 days we were there it rained twice.

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One of the favorite things we did was a distillary tour, you can’t go to Scotland and not see how Whisky is made. :-)

Edinburgh, Scotland EF1_6121 Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland, The Elephant House

This was a huge highlight of the trip for Ryan…anyone recognize it? Yep, that’s right, St. Andrews. Around 2 hours by car but they also have train rides from Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh Yays

  • On this trip we did a couple of bus tours, which we didn’t do in Italy. It partly felt kind of touristy, but at the same time it was a great way to see a large amount of things all at once. We did a tour with The Wee Red Bus that was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining.
  • Distillery tour. Really you can’t go to Scotland and not do a tour of a distillery. With the bus tour we visited Glengoyne and it was pretty good.
  • Where we stayed. We stayed in an airbnb flat that was very close to the Royal Mile. It was really fun to be so close to the life of the city.
  • Speaking of, the Royal Mile was great. A lot of fun and wonderful people watching
  • Stirling Castle- I liked this castle much more than the Edinburgh castle. They had free walking tours and felt much more authentic.

Edinburgh Nays

  • So, I didn’t love the Edinburgh Castle. It seemed too 4th grade field trip museum-y to me. But I think that it’s one of those places you still have to go visit. If you go at 1pm they shoot the cannon which is pretty neat.
  • The Holyrood Palace this was just a personal nay– we didn’t have time to visit
  • Bars stay open pretty late, but restaurants typically stop serving food around 8. So if you are out and about all day and don’t get to dinner until later you will be out of luck.

York Yays
Due to some travel delays (ahem, United Airlines) we didn’t get to spend much time in York, but it was a really fun little town!

  • The York Minster. BEAUTIFUL. There is more medieval stained glass in this building than in the rest of England combined. The glass survived WWII because it was disassembled and hidden in homes throughout Yorkshire. (Thanks for the tidbit Rick Steves)
  • There is a fantastic and adorable little coffee shop just off of Lendal Bridge called The Perky Peacock. One of the better cups of coffee had on the trip according to Ryan.

York Nays
Honestly we didn’t spend enough time to have too many nays with York

  • Yorkshire pudding… so it’s basically gravy on bread. Which, believe me, I love gravy and I love bread. But a whole plate was a little overwhelming. You HAVE to try it if you are there, but maybe share one plate with the group.
  • The Travellodge. Don’t judge us, we waited until last minute to book this one. And it may have just been circumstance because we ended up being there during a heat wave, but the no AC was killer.
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Travels with Ely Fair: The UK

So Ryan and I are supposed to be on a plane headed to Chicago…but alas somewhere along the road we have angered the travel gods and our flight got bumped until the next day. So as we are sitting at home stewing, naturally the next best thing to traveling would be to tell you about our travel adventures from this summer! Like we outlined some of our favorite places and tips from our Italy trips we wanted to share some from our UK trip! Here are the places walked our little feet all over:

Edinburgh, Scotland Castle London Eye EF1_7521 Paris, France Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

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Weekend Favorite

Ely Fair Photography, Oklahoma Family Photographer

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Weekend Favorite

Ely Fair Photography, Oklahoma Engagement Photographer

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Kelly & Jody on Style Me Pretty

We are so pleased to have had Style Me Pretty feature Kelly & Jody’s wedding this past week, so now we can finally share it with you! I am in love with her gold and silver details, as well as the custom linens and handkerchief’s made by the bride’s grandmother.

Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding PhotographersMayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding PhotographersMayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographersallen7 Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers Mayo Hotel Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma Wedding Photographers

Photography: Ely Fair Photography | Event Planning: Christina Leigh Events | Floral Design: The French Bouquet | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Makeup: Tulsa Bridal Beauty | Linens & Handkerchiefs: Bride’s Grandmother | Dress: Claire Pettybone

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Weekend Favorite

Mayo Wedding, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ely Fair Photography

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Small Business Series No. 15

Our Small Business Series feature this month is on my top 3 list of favorite places in OKC. Please meet the lovely ladies of Verdigris, Kimberly & Melissa! They are the sister team that keeps the wheels rolling behind the beautiful shop Verdigris, and just this year expanded to a larger space on Hudson & 7th. Their business tagline is “recreate. repurpose. reinvent.” which is right up my alley. I love finding old treasures and making a new purposes for them.  I had a great time getting to know the two to them through the SBS series, make sure to stop by and say hello during H&8 tomorrow!

Verdigris, Oklahoma City Verdigris, Oklahoma City
Name: Kimberly Spicer & Melissa Graham
Business Name: Verdigris
Favorite Dessert:
Kimberly – my mom’s frozen strawberry dessert, my nana’s turtles, my memaw’s chocolate chip cookies, & mint chocolate chip ice cream
Melissa – Ditto…except no mint chocolate chip ice cream for me! I’ll take chocolate meringue pie & banana cream pie any day!
Favorite artist/album:
Kimberly – I love all kinds of music!
Melissa – I love anything with a good beat!
When did you start your business: January 2011
What inspired you to start it? We grew up entrepreneurs constantly coming up with ideas, such as selling hand-made hair barrettes & jewelry stands, paint pen monogramming, having summer day camps for neighborhood kids & babysitting. We also spent a lot of time at our grandmother’s (nana) interior design shop. We would hide in the closet and run blank credit card carbons through the credit card machine, play with the adding machine, and would “help” with cutting fabric. We also spent a lot of time at market. After going our separate directions during college and early adulthood, we finally came back together in OKC to combine our past & current interests to create Verdigris.
What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? The biggest challenge to overcome is balancing family life with self-employment in the retail industry.
Who/what was your biggest encouragement & why? Each other. While we both enjoy all aspects of the business, Kimberly is more right-brained & Melissa is more left-brained. Due to our differences, we rarely have conflicting views or concerns. We are constantly learning from each other which encourages us both to continue thinking outside the box.
What is your favorite part of the business?
We both enjoy being a part of the local business community & seeing the revitalization that is happening throughout OKC. We also love our customers & business partners that we have met along the way!
Kimberly – I enjoy hunting for unique pieces & then putting them together to form unusual displays.
Melissa – I enjoy the hunt & staging…but I would rather be in the office working on the accounting, payroll, media relations, or even creating a spreadsheet that we haven’t determined we even need yet! :)
If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? Find what you love, create a plan for your business, seek advice from professionals, and go for it! Plan to succeed, but it’s okay if you fail!
Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? We are both passionate about helping to incorporate the environmentally friendly business concept of reusing, recycling, repurposing, etc., into the everyday lives of others.
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I love, love, love that you were entrepreneurs from childhood! Loved that part of your story, thank you so much for being part of the series Kimberly & Melissa! 
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