NJ Monthly's Ultimate Summer Beach Guide

Posted by on Jun 18, 2010 in Blog | One Comment

I CANNOT get over this weather! If I didn’t have a wedding weekend double header I would plant myself at the shore and not leave until Monday night. May as well avoid that Sunday night in the summer traffic right?

For everyone else in the area, New Jersey Monthly has created this fabulous Jersey shore cheat sheet. Check out their Ulimate Summer Beach Guide 2010.


Enjoy & don’t forget to wear your sunblock!!!


A Perfect NJ Afternoon With Mom

Posted by on May 5, 2010 in Blog | No Comments

I must admit, I spaced on Mother’s Day this year – well, just about. I had a crazy and wonderful wedding this weekend that AABNJ ran and in which I was also the Matron of Honor. It was amazing and I was so happy to be a part of the planning and of course, play such a major role in my best friend’s wedding. However, mother’s day has been a slight casualty.

Thankfully mom is super understanding but of course, she is also incredibly hard to shop for. She says she has everything she needs -which I will agree she probably does, and also that there is nothing she wants. She loves to make it a challenge! I will work on this gift thing but at the very least, a special day (well… afternoon) of QT will be a great start. It’s been a crazy year with my own wedding hoopla last fall and she has been so supportive in every way! So… I look to my beloved Jersey sources for some great ideas. This amazing weather has me back into the brunch swing – I tend to take the cooler months off :) Here are some wonderful spots in the garden state. I owe big time for these great ideas!

Alice’s Restaurant in Lake Hopatcong (

Cozy rustic charm and fresh produce from nearby Halsey Island – Brunch is served from 10am-3pm.

Dream Cuisine Café of Cherry Hill (

The South Jersey Green Dining restaurant offers a blend of Mediterranean, French and American cuisine with the ambiance of a European café. Brunch runs from 11:30am-4pm.

Alessio Restaurant 426 of Metuchen (

Best known for Sushi Italiano, has a great brunch buffet. Double seating is offered at 11am and 5pm.

Windrift Hotel of Avalon (

Serving a grand buffet with carving & omelet stations, salads, fruits, bread and dessert. It will be a bit chillier on Sunday but a beach brunch and stroll at the shore is always a great way to spend the day – 9am-2pm seatings

Red Oak Grille in Basking Ridge (

Enjoy brunch with mom overlooking a beautiful golf course.  Reservations only, starting at noon.

For the mom’s with a love for America’s favorite pastime, the Somerset Patriots are having a pre-game brunch from 12pm-2pm. The game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs is also their 4th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day where the first 2,000 women in attendance will receive a pink tote bag. The players and coaches will wear pink shirts that will be auctioned off. Visit to order tickets.




AABNJ & The W Hoboken Have Moved In!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2010 in Blog | 4 Comments

There is nothing more inspiring than to see the best of the best coming together to create something even better. On Monday night, I was privileged enough to spend a few hours with some of the most talented and engaging industry professionals I have ever met. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked with and crossed paths with truly amazing individuals, but there was a special energy in the air at our Hoboken Housewarming. I wholeheartedly believe that birds of a feather flock together.

A HUGE thank you to Vivian @ the W Hotel for co-hosting this wonderful event with AABNJ. When you’re new in town, what better way to get to know your neighbors than inviting them over for cocktails! The W Hoboken is breathtaking and the NYC skyline was the perfect backdrop for such an exciting evening. The fireplace, delicious hors d’ oeuvres and specialty cocktails were EXACTLY what we needed to end a Monday and start the week. Fernanda @ Petali, thank you for creating such wonderful floral designs to help set the mood.

Colleagues, friends, brides, grooms & everyone who is ready to make it happen… Here’s to a bigger and better 2010.

Below, top left: our own Xochitl Gonzalez, Judy & Bob Paulen of Judy Paulen Designs

Below, bottom right: Fernanda Coutinho of Petali & Rodolfo Goncalves of Bem Me Quer Desserts

Big thanks to Robert Wagner @ R.Wagner Photography for capturing the below!

Hoboken Housewarming

Heart NJ: Chocomize – Cherry Hill

Posted by on Feb 24, 2010 in Blog | One Comment

Yummy! Attention all chocolate lovers… Imagine the most perfect chocolate bar ever, and it’s perfect because you made it. Well, designed it at least. Chocomize in Cherry Hill, NJ is a chocolatier that specializes in creating custom chocolate bars as per the client’s recipe.

There are 80+ topping options and you can choose a base of white, milk or dark Belgian chocolate. In fact, the kind folks over at Chomize did the math for us and there are over 10 billion flavor combinations. With a little creativity this process can get very out of hand very quickly and I am absolutely looking forward to that. While this is definitely a fantastic wedding favor option, how cool would this be for your escort table? Or better yet, your actual seating “cards” at the tables?

Creepy but cool… you can put text AND photographic images on the bars themselves and not just the wrappers.
chocomize_obamaBelow are a few goodies, including my own creation: milk chocolate base, mini pretzels, peanut butter drops and coconut. This delectable has salty/sweet goodness written all over it!
Final1 CropHere are some delicious and odd combinations that the Chocomize team has come across…to each his own.

-Most romantic: Romance Bar- Dark chocolate, gold flakes, chocolate butterfly, rose petals, strawberries.
-Best sense of humor: Milk chocolate with bacon and chipotles as a wedding favor (weirdest order yet.)
-Most popular: Smores Bar- Milk chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.
-Most likely to succeed: Dark chocolate with plaque that says “will you marry me?” (who would ever say no to this.)
-Most likely to fail: Milk chocolate with bacon, mini chipotles, sour patch kids, pop rocks, potato chips.(OMG my tummy hurts just thinking about this one :()
-The early bird: Dark chocolate with ground coffee, whole coffee beans.
-Most retro: Milk chocolate with good & plenty, gushers, pop rocks, message hearts.
-Most extravagant: White chocolate with 23 karat gold flakes, rose petals, chocolate butterfly.
-Most likely to burn: Dark chocolate with chipotles, peppercorns, wasabi peas, cayenne pepper. (Again, ouch)
-Most likely to be remembered: Milk chocolate with bacon.
-Most likely to seduce: Valentine’s Day Bar- Crystallized rose petals, candy sugar hearts, message hearts, happy valentine plaque.
-Most likely to cure a disease: goji berries, flax seeds, cranberries.



Glamour Event – Hosted by AABNJ & BBF

Posted by on Feb 17, 2010 in Practical Planning | No Comments

Don’t you think it’s about time you had a little GLAM in your life?

So excited to invite you to our Glamour Event, hosted by Always a Bridesmaid New Jersey & Bride’s Best Friends! Bride’s Best Friends is an adorable bridesmaid’s salon in Englewood, NJ with an incredible selection which includes dresses for mothers & flower girls. We are teaming up to offer you a lovely afternoon of fashion, cocktails, beauty and wedding planning rescue. Stop by next Saturday the 27th to enjoy amazing discounts on beautiful dresses & wedding consulting services. In true Glam style – treat yourself to a complimentary hair & make-up trial by none other than Model Bride. Oh wait, did I forget to mention there will also be trunk show from the lovely Liz Fields Bridesmaids Collection and a free raffle with sweet prizes? :)

Ladies, RSVP quickly on this one. Champagne and Mimosa’s on a Saturday afternoon. Love.

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