the fresh perspective…

Family Ties

mom, dad, amd 2/3 brothers.

mom, dad, and 2/3 brothers.

Now that the holidays are pretty much here (my last day is the 23rd) family members and loved ones start to stream into the city in a steady trickle.  I’m sure there are many people headed to the airport this weekend.  Maybe you’re picking up a family member, or getting away for the 25th, the airport is a buzz.  The city is alive and you can feel the energy in the atmosphere change.

Christmas is around the corner and my family and I enjoy it with a good dose of basketball.  I know it’s bizarre but our family tradition does include a good dose of sports.  As 2014 comes to an end, I’m again reminded about how important my relatives are to me. We expanded our family by one this summer as well!  To be able to just unwind, rest, and love all these people makes me feel complete.   I’m excited, I’m grateful and I’m very happy.  Happy holidays to all of you from all of us!

That’s the fresh perspective…

…all my children.

IMG_1053It was three years ago when we had our last family portrait done and as I looked through the album I couldn’t believe how fast three years had gone by.  I know that time has passed because of all great things that have happened between then and now, but when I look at the images of my 5 month old and my 18 month old babes, I’m shocked!

Continue reading

Renée’s Aesthetic


Tis’ the season for weddings and showers.  Last night I held a vintage inspired, backyard bbq at our family farm.  Here’s a few photos for a quick, sneak peak.

Simplicity and personal touch are everything.


– Card, design inspiration from one of our stylists at work Andrée. 


– The hilarious crown my aunt made for my brother the groom, being sported by my papa (father of the groom).


– Music station, vintage records, record player and wild flowers.  Can’t get much better.

More pictures to come…

– né xo

the fresh perspective…

How much is too much?

How do you know when you have let yourself be overcome with ‘stuff’?  During this season of giving and getting, it’s a wonder we have space in our lives for the things we will be getting…


….how do you tell the time on this?…

We go from shop, to boutique, to mall, looking for that perfect something to give the ones we hold the nearest and most dear to us.  We anticipate seeing their faces light up when they open their gift.  Something about that, I guess, is why we give.  But why must we give things?  Why do we fail to see that the gift of time-spent is something much more valuable?


Giving time instead of material things seems easy but let me tell you, it’s harder than you think.  Even now as you read this, your mind has already traveled to all the places you need to be by the day’s end.   All the things you need to accomplish before you sleep, gently nudge you through your day.  So to think that you would need to spend little or no money, but time, might be challenging.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to buy someone a gift than to give them four uninterrupted hours of your evening.

just chillin' with the homies...

just chillin’ with the homies…

I’d like to challenge everyone this year to maybe give time as a gift.  This holiday, begin with one or two people.  Start small because your time is valuable as well and if your family or group of close friends are many, all your time will be gone.  That’s the fresh perspective…

the fresh perspective…

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s sometimes hard to keep it all in perspective.  December will be upon us next week and we’ll all be operating on auto pilot.  Just going through the motions to get through this time.  We shouldn’t view December as a pain but, let’s face it, most of us do.

-sexy holiday parties

There are family gatherings, shopping excursions, holiday parties and winter events happening all month and it makes it hard to appreciate December when it seems it’s the busiest time of the year.  If you’re in retail, your ears have probably been bombarded with Christmas songs already and I’m sure you seen a few Holiday displays around.  If you’re fortunate to NOT be in retail (sorry mall workers…) you might be able to stave off the aforementioned Holiday preparations for a few more weeks.  Eventually we’ll all be in it, spending, waiting, eating, laughing and crying with our friends and family alike.

-the best family

This time of the year is by far my favorite because it helps to remind me about what’s really important.  Spending endless hours with my children ‘doing’ things, chatting about the past year with my mom and mother-in-law,  getting into it with the boys about why the Bears will/won’t go to the playoffs, and just being surrounded by love and life…

-meals with special people

Regardless of what you believe in or celebrate, please try to accomplish December with a small amount of joy in your heart and laughter in your voice.  It only takes a minute to get caught up in the material-ness of the upcoming month and I urge all of you to try to remember that there are other ways to approach December.  That’s the fresh perspective…

Recipe for Love

Great family weekend and there was literally LOVE all around.  Went to Yoga for the first time yesterday, and at the end she read a poem about love. If you didn’t know, it’s one of my favorite topics.  I also love this song and it’s from me to you. Today.

Recipe for Love

Harry Connick Jr.

A little bit of me and a whole lot of you
Add a dash of starlight and a dozen roses, too
Then let it rise for a hundred years or two
And that’s the recipe for making love

It doesn’t need sugar ’cause it’s already sweet
It doesn’t need an oven ’cause it’s got a lot of heat
Just add a dash of kisses to make it all complete
And that’s the recipe for making love

And if you’ve made it right you’ll know it
It’s not like anything you’ve made before
And if you’ve made it wrong you’ll know it
‘Cause it won’t keep you coming back for more

I didn’t get it from my grandma’s book upon the shelf
I didn’t get it from a magical and culinary elf
No, a little birdie told me you can’t make it by yourself
And that’s the recipe for making love



Secret Weapon…


I had a great weekend!  I went to Top Gun in the Park, a birthday party, a shower, and an anniversary dinner!  It was busy and intensely fun.  It got me to thinking about how fortunate I am to be in the family I’m in and to come from the family I come from.  The Idonije’s and the Okwumabua’s have combined to make ‘us’.  Last week was my four-year wedding anniversary and with the ladies up and coming, it hit me that I am at the grass-roots stage of growing ‘us’.

My husband and I come from families that believe that family is first.  Family is the most important because they are all you really have.  I know that no matter what, I have them in my corner, and something about that fact gives me confidence for days…

Family support is the secret weapon to success, in my eyes, and it is the only reason I am where I am and why I am the way that I am.  The fact that no matter how many awesome (and by awesome I actually mean stupid) mistakes I have and am going to make, we can always work things out.  I may not always agree with the way that my family might deal with things and I may not always like their advice or opinions but they are the family I have and I will honor them forever because I know that they will and are always there for me.  I can only hope that I can give my ladies the same secret weapon I have…  I’m working on it…hard.