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Thinking About: Fabulous Cakes!

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Entertaining & Inspirations | No Comments

I don’t know why, but I’ve got sweets on the brain!

Some of my favorite cakes from our weddings over the years! First up, this pretty peach number from Nine Cakes.Fabulous Cake from Betsy at Nine Cakes

I still LOVE this Ron Ben Israel cake even years later:

Ron Ben Israel cake

Ron Ben Israel cake

LOVE, love, love this sweet as pie teeny cake, also from Ron Ben Israel:
Tiny Cake from Ron Ben Israel
Cheryl Kleinman Display!
Adore this display from Cheryl Kleinman
And, of course, my total FAVE for last: Mayra’s Cake from Betsy at Nine Cakes.
MAYRA & AJA - WEDDING - 00206

Making Magic with a Glass Vase: DIY Vase Decor

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Entertaining & Inspirations | One Comment

So, as most of you who frequent this blog know, for years we’ve shunned away from DIY projects for weddings because, well, Hey, isn’t that what people pay us for?  However, recently we’ve had a change of heart and let me explain why:  First, we believe in Couture Living whenever possible and, sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to have unique anything (wedding, shower, brunch) while relying on solely store bought items- so why not help inspire some custom details?  Secondly, I realized that part of the point of having this blog is to share some of our brains/experiences and the truth is, I don’t remember the last time we designed a wedding where SOMETHING (if not many things) were not somewhat alternated from the “in store” model (painted/sewn, etc).  Finally, Mayra and I entertain ALL THE TIME, and realized that many of you probably do too, and well, we thought we’d share some ideas to kind of make your friends think that you’re even more “creative” than they already do without too much heavy lifting.  We pledge to never showcase a product that is simply too tedious/ that we wouldn’t actually do ourselves.  And so, without further ado:

How to Make a Whatevers Glass Cylinder from Michaels into something Cool: Rope Wrapped Vase

When designing the Bride’s Live Wedding, we just couldn’t find the “right vase” for Briana and Jason’s centerpiece. Nothing seemed unique enough or beach-y enough. So, we decided to create our own solution and Created these awesome Rope-Wrapped vases with a $5 glass cylinder and some rope.  Perfect for a Rustic, Nautical or Beach Vibe.  You will need:

1/4″ Thick Rope (amount will vary on size of cylinder)

Glue Gun

Straight Blade or Heavy Duty Sciccors

Glass Cylinder.

Starting at the Bottom of the vase, affix your rope to the glass with the glue gun, and begin to wrap the rope around the vase so that it’s taught and there is no space between the “rows” of rope. Occassionally, tack the rows together with your glue gun.  When you’re reached your desired height, trim the rope and affix the end with the glue gun to the vase (or, if you want to re-use the vase, just affix the rope to the rest of the rope, b/c it will create a kind of “vase cozy” and you can just slip it off).DIY "Rope Wrapped" vase for Rustic or Beach-y weddings

DIY Lace Wrapped Vase

This can be replicated with fabric, but lace is nice for a more romantic or vintage look (or, in black, even a bit gothic). This is a great way to add interest and even some more color to your table top without too much lift… and it’s definitely great for hosting a baby or bridal shower since, as you’ll see below, it’s SO FRIGGIN’ EASY. You will need:

Lace, approximately as wide as your vase is TALL (the amount will vary on how many vases you are covering.

Glue Gun

Scissors

Glass Vase.

Measure the lace around the vase, while pulling the lace taught and cut to minimize overlap of the ends (as much as possible, try and cut the lace to that the pattern matches… this will minimize the seam!) . Trim at desired place, lay the lace flat, place the vase on top and hot glue gun one end in a straight line.  Pull the other end around (taught) and glue the seam together. Voila!DIY Lace Wrapped Vase
DIY Spray Painted Glass Vase
I won’t insult your intelligence by writing about “How to spray paint a glass vase” except to say that you just do it. This is a great way for one time use vases to have a modern look and I particularly like to use it when I’m going monochromatic a la my birthday dinner below:
DIY Spray Painted Vases
Of course, We’re very happy to walk you through these and show you the final results!  You can watch the video in English on our increasingly awesome (and hilarious) You Tube Channel.  However, I frankly suggest you watch the Spanish Language version below because a) Mayra’s Spanish is amazing and b) Mine is not, so I just mime everything like a Stewardess.

 

WPW, Thursday Edition: Elephants and Rabbits

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Business Advice | 8 Comments

Beach!Hi Everyone! I’m back from a quick, quick Vacay to Kiawah Island. I decided to take my vacation seriously and NOT over-work and instead drank tons and tons of wine and lolled around on a beach for 4 days flipping through magazines.   It was magical.  So, I request your pardon for posting my Wedding Pro Wednesday post on Thursday morning today.

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture hosted by the Tory Burch Foundation. The speaker was Sandra Bond Chapman, PHD whose spent her life researching how we can actually change our brains and make ourselves smarter. It’s a great book and an equally fascinating lecture and if I got nothing else out of it, it’s this ONE take away that’s created such an immediate improvement in my day to day life I needed to share it with you!

With all of our clients needs and our business needs and the needs of our families and friends, it can seem difficult and nearly impossible to drive through projects at times without 100 distracting emails and fires, etc.  Typically, if you’re like us, you may make a “To Do” list.  But what happens then?  The most tempting thing to do, of course, is to plow through the simplest things on your list- the quick, tiny things, cluttering up the list.

Dr. Bond Chapman calls this hunting rabbits while looking for Elephants.  Each of us has long term goals and short term projects.  The Long Term Goals are typically bigger, bolder ideas (the Elephants) and the short term projects the more rote aspects of our day to day life The Rabbits).

Too often we spend our day checking off the quick little rabbits and the days end comes with the career lifting elements still on the list (The Elephants) and the next day starting off no further along on your “larger path” than you’d been the day before.   I have my own ideas of why that is.. not only is crossing a lot of things off a list satisfying, I think tackling Elephants can often seem more daunting, more scary… maybe even more emotionally draining than the quick, mindless rabbits that require less effort and risk.

Sandra’s tip to us, which I’ve adapted and frankly adore and needed to share:  Every day when you make your list, look at the list and ask yourself “Which TWO things, if I did today, would move me further towards my vision for my career and life? ” ID the two elephants on your list and TACKLE THOSE FIRST, then move on to the rabbits.  If for nothing else, the clarity of asking yourself the question each day is a focusing force, one I’ve found amazingly liberating.  Wishing the same for you! xoxox

Couture Itineraries with Sonar Travel

With all of this wedding planning, are you having a hard time planning your honeymoon? Just trying to sneak away for a weekend to relax from the stress of planning…or maybe just stress?

For all of you that know exactly where you want to go, but just don’t know what to do once you get there, then Sonar Travel is for you! In a nutshell, they  create detailed travel itineraries based on your preferences and budget. You then take the suggestions and book on your own. This saves you the time researching destinations, where to go, what to do etc.

Love rolling green hills and wine tasting? No worries, as Sonar has all of the info you need for both Italy and the Napa Valley. Click here to see a sample itinerary of the Napa Valley! Don’t get too excited, it’s got fictitious locations, but it will give you an idea of what you would receive!

Napa Valley travel ideas by Sonar TravelItalian Honeymoon ideas by Sonar Travel                      

Since they want to steer you towards the best activities for you personally, they currently only offer cities that they have explored and know like the back of their hand. So no outdated information!  That means a lot to me, as I usually select activities based on random web reviews and Trip Advisor recommendations from people that don’t really sound like they like the same type of stuff I do. It gets tricky, and why waste time when you are on your dream vacay? Make sure you are hitting all the right spots. And doesn’t Monaco seem like the right spot?!

Monaco Travel Ideas by Sonar Travel.   Lastly, Sonar Travel is all about transparency. Even these photos are photos they have taken! No fancy photographer needed to show you how amazing these places really are. So you can be sure that they aren’t sending you to a restaurant simply because they are getting a cut from the place (side-eye to the hotel concierge who had me eating questionable fare on a recent vacation).  Nice IF

In addition to your itinerary, you will receive a custom map with all of you activities on it so that you can find your way. You also get documents to help you with local culture and customs, transportation and important things to take care of before you go. Is this the type of thing that you do for yourself when you travel? I didn’t think so, If it is, then do you want to be my friend and travel with me? :)

IFThe truth is that I have taken so many vacations and only worried about getting myself there, and been a little lost upon arrival. Why not invest the money to make sure you maximize your experience?

Check out Sonar Travel if this sounds up your alley! Bon Voyage!

Razzle Dazzle Wedding Shoes

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Style | 4 Comments

It’s Friday, which makes me happy, so what better way to celebrate happiness than to ogle at shoes!!! Fabulous Bridal shoes have long been a staple of a complete “wedding look”, so in celebration of Punk: Chaos to Couture, I thought I’d showcase some of my most favorite, eye-catching evening shoes with an edge!

First up, these Sergio Rossi ankle “boots” for evening (if you haven’t noticed, the single sole pump is hot for the day, but the nightlife is all about the “bootie”… get it? Ha!) I picked these out and then realized that they are $1625. Yikes!

Sergio Rossi
This is for a bride with a wild side..and maybe a destination wedding? From Jimmy Choo. (I picked these out and then realized they are almost $2,000! Schnikes!)
Jimmy Choo
I think black accents are going to be increasingly popular, so I just loved these black satin pumps from Nicholas Kirkwood. You’ll be walking on Pearls you glamour girl! (thank goodness, finally a bargain at $895)
Nicholas Kirkwood
Of course we all love “Something Blue”: this is a fabulous update on the “Carrie” wedding shoe that “Marries” (Oh my, someone stop me with the Puns today!) todays’ trends with timeless fabulousity! Manolo Blahnik, obvs.
Manolo!
Which leads me to my next question: remember when Carrie says the shoes were $400?  Well, this baby up above is more like $1200.  In fact, love them all, but nearly all will set you back at LEAST 1/2 a months’ rent (by NYC standards anyway)
So, my question to you: How much would you pay for a wedding shoe? Is money no object for the most important steps you’ll ever take?