Archives: September 2011

  • Friday, September 30, 2011

    Dear Ruche Friends and Family,

    This is Mai and Josh Olivo. Today's love story is truly heartbreaking, but it leaves us with endearing hope. It is a story about the most amazing couple we know, the ones responsible for all of the amazing lookbooks that we've all grown to love here at Ruche: Stephanie Williams and Isaac Hurtado.

    We have been blessed to work with Stephanie and Issac for all our lookbooks since the very first lookbook and every single one since. Their expertise in wedding photography and capturing the passion and love between couples has been quintessential to Ruche. They brought this passion of capturing the moment to Ruche, and through their photography they brought out an art, an emotion, and inspiration for all of us to enjoy. We can honestly say, Ruche would not be where it is today without Stephanie and Issac.

    To Steph and Isaac, we're absolutely devastated at the news and we're praying for the speediest in recoveries. No matter how long the road to recovery may seem, please have peace knowing your friends and family are right here with you.  We're looking forward to the day we can work with both of you again, hopefully sooner than later! We love you two!

    HUGS from everyone at Ruche and all of your fans.

    Here is their story, written by Stephanie Williams:

    Dear friends, family, loyal blog readers, and this modern romance clients,

    I wanted to give you an update of what has happened these past two weeks. Sorry for the lack of updates and blog posts, but I’ve been so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and focused on Isaac that typing or even calling someone on the phone seemed impossible. Isaac is resting now after a physical therapy session, so I have some time to tell everyone what has happened these past two weeks. On Monday, September 12, Isaac had a CT scan done because over the Labor Day weekend he developed blurred, double vision. The CT scan immediately showed a massive 5cm (the size of a lime) tumor in the middle of his brain, which had begun to press on his optic nerve. He was immediately checked into the emergency room at Newport Hoag Hospital and scheduled for a craniotomy on September 15. We were too in shock to process anything really or fully grasp how in danger Isaac was. The surgeons told us there was only a 5% chance of complications, so we were positive. The brain surgery went well on Thursday, and the neuro surgeon removed most of the bulk of the massive tumor – about 20% had to be left because it was up against important structures.The tumor was benign, and diagnosed as a (prolactinoma) pituitary macroadenoma. The next day Isaac was doing really well, and then on Saturday he had a grand mal seizure for the first time in his life. I was right next to him when it happened… and it was the scariest thing I had ever witnessed. I thought I was losing him…. The following few days were a struggle, but he was making a bit of progress – walking, talking just fine, just groggy from all the trauma and meds. We were ready to be discharged on Monday, September 19th… ready to go home and heal, when suddenly Isaac lost all movement on his left side and experienced stroke-like symptoms. Instead of going home, he was sent to a series of tests, CT and MRI, and it was found that a bit of the tumor the surgeon left behind had been pressing on the middle artery in his brain due to increased intercranial swelling. His motor cortex was slowly being starved of oxygen. It was my worst nightmare… a waking nightmare. Isaac had had a stroke, and was now fully paralyzed on his left side. His usually expressive, smiling face was a blank slate and his physically strong, young body had immediately caved in on itself.

    He was rushed to the neuro ICU, and we spent two agonizing days there trying to reduce the swelling in his brain and shrink the last bits of tumor with medication. Once Isaac was more stable, we were transferred to the stroke unit and were monitored there for a week. Over the weekend I toured several acute stroke rehab facilities, and then Isaac was transferred by ambulance to the UCI medical acute stroke rehabilitation center, where he started intensive rehabilitation today. Right after his stroke, Isaac was unable to move anything on the left side and his speech was slurred. Now, a few days later, he can lightly squeeze my hand with his left hand, pull with his bicep a bit, and raise his left leg ever so slightly. We have a long, long road to recovery, but I know Isaac has the drive and motivation to heal and fully recover.

    Those that have been following the news on Facebook and twitter... thank you all for your prayers and love… a few days ago, Isaac out of the blue told me that he feels so incredibly loved. A few people have been emailing me asking if there is a way to help or donate to Isaac’s long rehab process, so I’ve set up a paypal fund. If you can donate, then I thank you. If you can’t and still want to help in any way, please pray for Isaac. If you have a personal story or know of any latest research articles on brain trauma and stroke recovery, please send them my way – I’ll be very grateful. I’ve been trying to voraciously research what he is going through in between caring for him.

    My goal is to get him the best care from here on out and stay in a rehab program even if I have to pay out of pocket. Isaac is by far the most amazing person I have ever met – he is my soul mate, the love of my life and my best friend… I don’t know anyone else that would stay so positive through everything he’s gone through the last two weeks… who else would thank a nurse for taking his blood or poking him with an IV… who else would apologize for being so heavy to lift or make sure to learn every nurse and aid’s name by heart. He has been more worried about me and my lack of sleep than with his current disability.

    His spirit is beyond beautiful. It’s these moments in life when your priorities are massively rearranged and you realize how short and precarious your life is... I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I’m trying to stay positive. Needless to say, we have been unable to work, edit, or get back to anyone via phone or email these past two weeks. All my attention has been on Isaac’s recovery. Please know that now that Isaac is in an acute rehab program, I will be able to return to work… your emails answered, album and print orders taken care of, and weddings and shoots edited. Thank you for your patience. I’ll update everyone soon.

    On another note, if you’d like to share Isaac’s story on your blog, please feel free to use the “Help Heal” badge. Also, if you or your loved one have any persisting symptoms or odd headaches, please don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Isaac had seen so many doctors in the past that dismissed his symptoms as signs of depression or stress or tension headaches. No one ever expects this – just celebrated his 30th birthday this year.  Isaac had also just become a yoga instructor as well, ate an organic, nearly vegan diet and exercised regularly. Life is unpredictable and short, and no amount of planning could have prepared us for this. Please make each day count, and tell the people in your life that you love them a million times a day… you just never know what could happen.


    Click here if you would like to leave Stephanie and Issac some words of encouragement, advice, and support or donate to help heal Issac.

    In honor of Steph and Isaac and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we invite you all to share your own stories of cancer battle, loss, love and recovery. Please submit your story to

    Don't forget to browse our bridal Pinterest account too for even more wedding inspiration!

  • Friday, September 30, 2011

    In our Outfit Tic-Tac-Toe feature, we chose nine versatile fall pieces for endless styling combinations, and then we asked you to show us your own creativity. See below for the winners!

    Congratulations, Gio Marie! She said...

    I would wear the stratford town ruched tunic dress with:
    -color dash chiffon blouse layered over it
    -with the at the crossroads wide elastic belt in light blue to give a defining waist
    -derbyshire empire coat by Pink Martini
    -keaton applique flats in plum
    -notting hill polka dot scarf

    Congratulations,  KeatonJ! She said...

    I love the regent floral print tunic! To start, I would pair it with the changing seasons corduroy pantsin burgundy. I would then layer the checkmate fitted blazer over it. For shoes, I would have to go with the collegiate charm oxfords.
    Top it off with the amora hinge bangle, the samone silk blend scarf in burgundy and the roses on my mind headband. Perfectly feminine and androgynous! And great for running across campus.

    Thank you for all the amazing entries!


    Comments (0)
  • Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Cozy up to fall and take advantage of apple season with these 3 scrumptious recipes.


    Comments (2)
  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    When we read about Elizabeth's engagement story on her blog, Delightfully Tacky, we couldn't help but get a little teary eyed. Not only did her fiance manage to surprise her, he was able to get photos of the proposal in action. Hop over to her blog and read about her heartfelt proposal.

    Don't forget to browse our bridal Pinterest account too for even more wedding inspiration!

    Comments (1)
  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011
    Hi everyone! Elizabeth here, from Delightfully Tacky. Since getting engaged in August I've been feverishly collecting inspiration for my upcoming wedding in November and Ruche so kindly asked me to share with you guys some of my wedding inspirations!

    November in Washington state is almost guaranteed to be rainy and cold, so an outdoor wedding was out of the picture, but I still want to have my wedding feel light and fresh, despite the inevitable fall temperatures.

    I opted for a color palette that was both rustic and fall, but still had summery overtones.

    Since a lot of my wedding decor will be DIY and handmade, much of my inspiration is DIY-friendly.

    We've only got about six weeks left before the big day so I'm in the midst of lots of crafting and constructing various wedding decor items!

    image sources: glitter shoes via grey likes weddings, mr & mrs fringe via a beautiful mess, bouquet via ben blood, cake bunting via kiki la rue, invites via curious doodles, pillows via green wedding shoes, fringe chairs via green wedding shoes.

    Don't forget to browse our bridal Pinterest account too for even more wedding inspiration!

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2011
    Presented without comment...
    Extreme Cuteness. Click at Your Own Risk.
    (Source: Jezebel)

    Comments (4)
  • Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    In celebration of our recent lookbook, Autumn Reflections, we're launching another giveaway!

    To enter:

    1. Take a photo of your favorite space or room, a place where you love to be.
    2. Choose a Home & Office item here that will complete this space or room.
    3. E-mail your photo to and be sure to tell us which Home & Office item you chose and why.

    We will choose our favorite three submissions to win. The 1st place winner will receive the item they chose and a $75 Ruche gift card. The 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive the item they chose. Contest ends October 6th, 12:00pm PST.

    Good luck and have fun!


    Contest Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. We reserve the right to close the contests early or late without warning. We will post the name of the winners on October 6th, 2011. Upon winning, you agree that your name and photos can be published on this blog at the close of the contest. You must contact us via within 7 days after the winners have been announced to claim your prize.

    Comments (11)
  • Monday, September 26, 2011

    In our latest lookbook, Autumn Reflections, we used a Gradient technique to manipulate some of the photos. We love the effervescent and illuminated  look gradients give our photos, and in today's tutorial we've come up with a simple introduction to using this technique.



    Step 1. From your Adjustment Layer Menu (black and white circle at the bottom of the right hand side toolbar) select Curves. Brighten your image by pulling the curve line up to the left.






    Step 2. Next select a color you want to use for your 1st gradient. We did a mint green. Select Gradient from your Adjustment Layer Menu. Play around with the scale and angle of your gradient. Lower the opacity.


     Step 3. Open up curves again and darken the image by dragging the line down to the right.


    Step 4. Select another color and repeat Step 2.

    Step 5.  From the Adjustment Layer Menu select Brightness/Contrast. Adjust brightness.



    Step 6. Select the Color Burn Tool from the toolbar on your left hand side. Set the range to Shadow  and Exposure to 50. Click over to your original background layer and mouse your curser over parts of the images you want to darken. This will bring out some of the details lost in the editing process.

    Enjoy Your New Image!

    Comments (7)
  • Monday, September 26, 2011
    sources: image onetwo, and three

    ...we would look like this. Happy Monday and happy autumn, everyone!


    Comments (4)
  • Sunday, September 25, 2011

    The weekend is a time for rest and relaxation. Is there a better way to spend your day off than treating yourself  to a day at the spa? Yes! Treating yourself to a day of DIY pampering and giving your wallet and yourself a much needed break.





    1 cup seal salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    15 drops coconut oil
    15 drops essential oil
    40 drops sweet orange
    Combine all of the ingredients in the order they are listed.  Mix with a butter knife.
    Feel free to play around with the ratio of oil to salt/sugar. Add more oil for dry skin and less oil for oily skin.

    1 egg
    1 eggshell's worth of olive oil
    1 quarter of a peeled cucumber


    Blend the egg, olive oil and peeled cucumber. Spread evenly through your  hair, leave on for 10 minutes, then thoroughly rinse. For the best  results year-round, continue this treatment monthly.

    Comments (7)

Items 1 to 10 of 46 total