{pursuits} MAEMAE + MILA MAGIC

posted by Jenna Bush Hager Jul 12 2013 12:57 pm

Working with MaeMae Paperie was a dream. She is to paper what Willy Wonka is to chocolate; she’s a true wizard. After  a few weeks of looking through proofs, the announcement slowly evolved to what is below. I love the girly nature of the card, and how she truly captured the idea of “Goodnight Moon welcome” for our babe.

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ps – all the gold came out gorgeously embossed + shiny! Thanks MaeMae !

{pursuits} MILA MAIL

posted by Jenna Bush Hager Jul 11 2013 11:19 pm

It’s a traditional rite of paper passage. You birth a babe, and then share her beautiful face with those you love.  Oh yes: the birth announcement.  I went back and forth about sending one. Most of the people I know and love were aware of baby Mila’s birth. And I didn’t want to encourage gifts; she has everything she could ever need or want.


But, I couldn’t resist the process of designing something creative for our muppet. Based of Megan’s admiration and adoration of Megan Gonzalez from Mae Mae Paperie (see here for post), I decided to work with her. And I’m so glad I did. We decided to do a take on one of my favorite children’s books: Goodnight Moon. We also drew inspiration from a painting my dad did by the same name.

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Mae Mae took inspiration from Goodnight Moon (book + painting) and created this virtual vision-board of color palate, font style and imagery to draw on for the announcement. We love seeing this step in her design process! Here are three “sketches” that MaeMae made for Mila’s first paperie appearance. Which is your favorite?


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We will reveal the final design tomorrow so come back by!

all designs by MaeMae Paperie


{pursuits} SIP N’ SEE

posted by Jenna Bush Hager Jul 04 2013 2:38 am

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The term sip-and-see may be a relatively new one, but this type of baby fiesta seems to me the perfect way to celebrate a new babe.  My sister, Auntie B, hosted a debut of sorts for Mila on Saturday in New York. While sip (whatever beverage you chose) and see (the new babe, of course!) are a Texas tradition, many of my New York friends had yet to experience the pleasure of this type of soiree.


Barbara hosted Mila’s first fiesta at Cole’s — a delicious neighborhood spot in NY’s Greenwich Village — Saturday afternoon, so Mila could be home for her evening bath. The menu was inspired by Mila – everything was tiny! We snacked on mini lobster rolls, tater tots, mini artichokes with ricotta + truffle, tiny tuna tartar and ice cream sandwiches. Here are a few shots from the day.


Per usual, I didn’t take as many as I wished because between talking, sipping and showing off sweet Mila I had little time to document the day.


The hostess + a snoozy guest of honor!


Proud Papa



posted by Jenna Bush Hager Jun 06 2013 7:19 pm

Kiki Slaughter has always wanted to be an artist. Her career began as a little girl, growing up in charming Charlotesville, VA, her medium–chalk. ”I would spend hours doing chalk drawings on our driveway,” Kiki said.

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Kiki’s passion for art continued, and she studied throughout high school, and then at The University of Virginia. She went onto receive her masters from The Sotheby’s Institute in London. My dear friend Louise introduced me to Kiki and her work, exclaiming: “Kiki’s art makes my heart jump. I’d decorate my whole casa with it if I could.”

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Louise and I have similar taste; and because I seem to have an affinity for Southern art, I was eager to be introduced to this young artist. As of now, my young art collection is made up of entirely of Southern artist like Pam Nelson, Bob “Daddy-O” Wade  and Frank Tolbert.

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I was immediately awed with Kiki’s work and her Southern authenticity and wit. She describes her layered, abstract work as organic, but also modern. She is inspired by nature, especially the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beaches of North Carolina. She is soon moving from her beloved Charlotesville to Atlanta with her husband. Look for Kiki’s bon voyage and guide to Charlottesville next week! See below for a portrait of a young, Southern artist!

Favorite Southern saying or expression?

American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God.

Favorite Southern tradition or ritual?

Burying the bourbon. Tradition says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon exactly one month before your wedding day, on the hour of the ceremony, at the site of the reception it will keep the rain at bay on your big day. Our beautiful (and dry) wedding is proof that it works! My Dad was probably the most relieved of us all!

Best meal you’ve eaten in the South is….

Any given Sunday dinner compliments of my Mom (I wish I could cook like her!). In particular, I love her ribs and cheese grits.

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A Southern place everyone must see before they die. What’s your ideal day there?

The Blue Ridge Mountains. I grew up around them and am still in awe. An ideal day would include a hike, a vineyard and a country dinner – all with a view.

Where do you go or what do you do often for inspiration?

One of my very favorite things to do is go on a country drive and take in the beauty of the place around me.

What is your motto or mantra?

Have Faith.  I also love this…”Life is a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye.

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What is your idea of true happiness? 

A wide-open day to spend with someone I love.

What would you tell your {18} year old-self?

Don’t worry – you’ll figure it out!

What is your theme song?

One of our New Years traditions is to choose a theme song for the upcoming year – words to live by. But, it is really ever changing depending on what I am feeling or doing. Some constants are “Shine On” by Eric Bibb and “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae.

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Have you ever seen anything so lovely? Texture through layered paint is part of Kiki’s technique.

What is something you want to try that you’ve never done before?

I daydream about renovating and decorating a house. Despite more modern methods, I am still one of those people who rip pages out of magazines and file them away under “dream house”.

What is something you recommend people try at least once?

See how something is made. I just went on the most incredible trip to Italy with one of my best friends, Greyson Kirby, who is the director of Holly Hunt Softgoods - leather, textiles and rugs. I had the opportunity to visit fabric mills and help her pick out and design textiles for the new line. It was absolutely fascinating and inspirational to see how fabric is made. I learned so much about the process and it gave me a much deeper appreciation and perspective on something that can easily be taken for granted.

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Who inspires you? Why?

My sister is the most inspirational person I know. She lives her life with a sense of purpose and a lot of gusto. Every time I spend time with her I feel inspired to do more, see more and be more. She is full of life, laughter, passion, determination and talent. She soaks up everything around her – stories, quotes, songs, pictures, moments and turns them into lessons to learn from or avenues for inspiration. Her unique self and her ability to live life to the fullest, always with a sense of humor, inspires me to be more like her. ( My husband would like me to note that he is my muse :) )

Your idea of heaven on earth is….

There is something about being at the beach with my family that fills my soul. Long walks and a lot of talks, laughter filled meals, beach time with the dogs (who are the center of all of our attention), riding bikes, ridiculous dance parties, time to reflect with a glass of wine or one of Dad’s signature Bloody Mary’s. Quality time with those closest to my heart in a beautiful place that makes time stand still is my idea of heaven on earth. 

The love of your life is.

My husband, Hunter.

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For more Kiki :: website + blog + check back next week for her Charlottesville guide!

photos by Andrea Shirey + Southern Living