Posts Tagged ‘wedding’
A garden variety chocolate bar may be fine for everyday, but for those couture cocoa occasions, especially Valentine’s day, an anniversary, special gift or party you’ll want something special – and hopefully you have a shop nearby like Lucky Chocolates (you can also order online here).
This Chocolateria, located in Saugerties, New York, features chocolates handmade in small batches with organic and fair trade ingredients. The fair trade chocolate is made from cocoa beans bought from growers co-ops so the money goes directly to farmers. This allows workers to be paid a living wage and avoids slave and child labor. What’s not to love about that?
With artisan chocolates like these you can taste the difference. You’ll find one of a kind flavors mingling with eye catching colors. Choosing is a delightful dilemma: there’s dark chocolate raspberry bark, truffles with flavors like creme brulee or pistachio cardamon, sea salt shell chocolate turtles, chocolate buddhas and french bulldogs as well as a selection of old fashioned penny candy for kids. They also have vegan treats and take custom orders.
The heavenly aroma in the shop is to make me swoon! Whether it’s a box of truffles for your sweetheart, a dessert table or goody bags for your wedding these delectable treats are sure to please. Here are some photos from my most recent visit!
Do you have a favorite local chocolatier? We’d love to hear from you!
Do you wear one signature scent or mix and match for different occasions? Purchasing perfume in a retail environment can be challenging — often what smelled great at the store may turn out to be unsuitable after you wear it a few times. If you like to experiment with different fragrances and are shopping for a new scent for spring or your upcoming wedding, try Luckyscent. Through their online boutique you can purchase samples to try at home, and then buy full bottles of your favorites online. Luckyscent can open up a whole new world of perfume – they specialize in rare, exclusive and European perfumes. Be prepared to have people ask what scent you’re wearing!
Just reading the descriptions of the perfumes, which are poetic and knowledgeable at the same time, can be addictive! You can also search the fragrances by style, such as floral, exotic, earthy, etc. It’s a great way to shop for a gift for your partner, too. If you are having a difficult time deciding Luckyscent also offers sample packs that feature the top perfumes for each season. Luckyscent does have a Scent Bar in Los Angeles (I hope to visit someday!). Happy fragrance hunting!
We wanted to share this fantastic opportunity for bridal couples to win a gorgeous Suburban Video Love Story Film. Entering is easy – just make a 3 minute video telling your love story and submit for Suburban Video to post on its website and Facebook page. The video with the most likes wins a professionally produced Love Story Film – A $1,500 Value!
Click here to watch Suburban Video’s most popular award-winning finished Love Story: Vik and Ritu.
It’s the romance of your life so why not capture it on the big screen with the two of you starring? Please let us know if you decide to enter so that Something Fabulous can help you get likes!
Knitting is a beautiful tradition and teaching someone to knit can be an incredibly bonding experience. For all you brides out there who love knitting what better way to share your love of knitting than with your best girls on your big day?
I saw these Soakboxes by Soak Wash at the Vogue Knitting Live event in New York (stay tuned for more about that next week!) and fell head over heels. Soak wash no-rinse wool wash can be used for wool and delicate hand washables and for machine washables, too. Their product line also features lotions for hands and feet called Heel & Handmaid. All of their products come in great scents like aquae, lacey and celebration as well as unscented.
The limited edition Soakbox includes a bottle of Soak and Handmaid luxury creme, stylishly matched to premium nail polish and custom hand-dyed yarn with a knitting pattern for these adorable fingerless gloves:
At $50 this Soakbox would make a fantastic bridesmaids gift!
We are thrilled to bring you our first Creative Crush of 2013: Sue Keels, Director of Sales & Marketing at the prestigious, Four Diamond, Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI. Sue has been with the hotel for over eight years and was part of the pre-opening team as the Director of Catering and promoted in 2008 to Director of Sales & Marketing. She has over 25 years of luxury and Four Star Hotel, Restaurant and Country Club experience and has worked in the Detroit Metropolitan area throughout her entire career.
Sue participates in many local and national committees including the Rochester DDA, Detroit Regional Chamber and The Salvation Army Task Force. She was the former Vice President of the National Association of Catering Executives for her local chapter, has been recognized by the Detroit National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) chapter as “Caterer of the Year” and has been awarded several other sought after industry awards. She is highly involved with social media and enjoys captivating an audience, often speaking about hospitality and social media marketing to her peers and other large groups. She has been quoted as a lifestyle expert in many local and national industry publications. Sue also enjoys blogging about the exciting world of hospitality & event design and is the co-founder of EventTrender.com, a highly popular national lifestyle blog where Sue features many hotel happenings, culinary recipes, inventive DIY projects and travel tips & trends.
- In your experience, what are the best tips for brides to keep in mind when selecting a wedding menu?
Always ask about a tasting and an opportunity to meet the Executive Chef. When choosing menu items keep in mind the time of year and season – for instance consider serving a chilled soup in the summer and hearty comfort foods in the winter.
Flow and function is just as important as the décor and design. Looking at the big picture such as location, size of pre-function space, outdoor space and afterglow opportunities is imperative when planning a menu and selecting a venue. If the cocktail hour is held outside in the middle of the summer, be cautious of serving appetizers that wilt or do not hold up well in the heat.
Do your homework and research ideas to make your special day personal. Keep in mind that a catering menu is typically a guideline. Many reception sites think beyond their published menus and welcome custom ideas or local infused specialties. Don’t be afraid to ask for something that is not listed on a banquet menu to make your wedding day more personal.
- What’s your go-to favorite bottle of wine for under $30?
2008 Man O’War Syrah ($28)
I have my eye on New Zealand for luscious, peppery Syrah. Man O’War is from Waiheke Island and is full of flavor with a lingering and zippy finish.
- We know that you’re a genius when it comes to food presentation; what tablescapes have you seen lately that have inspired you?
The use of local organic flavors continue to be very popular. Buying local is not a fad and here to stay. I love tablescapes that incorporate bamboo and other natural sustainable elements which accent the “farm to table” culinary movement.
Using items inspired by nature such as birch branches, river rocks, slate, wooden planks, drift wood and green moss adds depth to the overall design and is also cost effective. Why not hunt in your backyard, neighborhood park or favorite beach?
The standard buffet banquet table or round butler tray is a thing of the past! Think of alternative displays for tray passed menu items such as small decorative cases, shadow boxes, cheese boards and slate tiles. When planning a buffet incorporate hand-painted vintage furniture, rustic wagons & crates, modern IKEA finds or stainless steel tables.
- What food trends do you think we’ll be seeing in 2013, and what current trends are here to stay?
Trends for 2013:
- Stations showcasing an assortment of ceviche shooters and raw oysters instead of classic seafood stations
- “Make your own popcorn mix stations” with a twist (crumbled bacon and wasabi peas)
- The use of kale and local root vegetables as a side dish or appetizer
- Community boards featuring charcuterie, artisan cheeses and chutney served in a “clubby” setting
- Crepe Stations with savory fillings and flavored butter infused with herbs
- Farm-raised Branzino (instead of salmon) as an entrée selection
- Mini crème brulees infused with chai tea, lavender and other fresh herbs
- A variety of shortcakes instead of cupcakes
- Indoor food truck stations with an upscale twist
Trends that are here to stay…
- Comfort Food
- Shooters and Micro Plates
- Sea Salted Caramel
- Free Range Chicken
- Gluten Free Menu Items
- Black Truffles
-What’s the best advice you’ve been given about table etiquette that you still follow today?
Less is more! Avoid clutter on the table and focus on clean lines and layering. Incorporate round plates on top of square plates. Add linen and layer a natural burlap runner on top or a soft overlay with sheen. Use a long bench on one side of the table instead of chairs. If you are using different chairs make sure to use three different types of chairs for groups of six or more, odd numbers work best. When serving wine always use proper glassware for red and or white and never the same glass if you are serving both.
Avoid a bread basket by using a small bread and butter plate placed on the left side of the dinner plate. Pre-set the rolls on each plate with an individual portion of butter and add a fresh herb sprig to garnish the plate.
After dinner service always remove the salt & pepper shakers before serving dessert. Consider a cheese course with figs and port as an alternative to dessert (another trend in 2013). If you are serving coffee during dessert, place the coffee cups and saucers on the table after dinner service (unless someone requests coffee during dinner).
Sue’s January Inspiration
1. I am wild over this Waterford Crystal “Snowflake Wishes for Courage” Emerald Flute – I plan to incorporate a splash of Emerald (2013 Pantone color of the year) in my winter tablescape – love the snowflake etched on the front! Can’t wait to also use this color in the spring and summer.
2. IKEA offers many cost effective props and furniture. The sleek lines and modern design of IKEA products offers a contemporary vibe. I would love to stencil the top of this yellow meltorp table from IKEA.
3. Stencils are making a huge come back. There are so many innovative ideas for event design décor. The sky is the limit! Stencils can be used on fabric runners, napkins, furniture, paper, walls, mirrors and glass. I purchased several stencils a couple months ago from Royal Design Studio and can’t wait to create!
4. Snackscapes are perfect for casual parties such as a Super Bowl gathering. Check out this EventTrender inspired vintage crate used to hold pop, peanuts, popcorn and other snacks.
5. More great stencil inspiration ideas from Royal Design Studio.
Calendars can serve as a compass for your year, and as 2013 approaches you may feel lost until you have safely secured a new one. I have a real soft spot for calendars, datebooks, planners, and all things organizational – especially if they are lovely to look at! Although I do utilize technology (I like to use my phone to set up reminders for appointments), I also enjoy having a large calendar on the wall for our whole family to write on, a cute desk calendar, and a datebook for notes and strategical planning. There are a lot of calendars out there, and you’ll be stuck with it for an entire year, so how to choose?
Here are some favorites for 2013 that I’ve been drooling over or that I have used and loved. Enjoy and happy organizing!
Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukkah celebrating with your loved ones. I wanted to follow up on the Warm and Wooly Love Story post about my yearly tradition of purchasing yarn for holiday gifts from the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. This year I knitted a Waldorf-style doll for my daughter, who is almost two years old. I used a fantastic free pattern from Wee Folk Art with excellent instructions for the entire process and variations for size and your level of expertise.
I wanted the doll to be very special, so I asked my mother to apply the doll’s hair, and my daughter’s godmother, who is an excellent seamstress, to make clothes for her. Here are the results of our labor on Christmas morning – a very sweet and wooly dolly for my sweet little girl!
It’s love at first sight!
This was such a fun project, she made the day truly memorable!
This week’s Creative Crush, Sandy M, is an artist and illustrator based out of beautiful Clarkston, Michigan. Trained in fine art, she began creating commissioned paintings about twenty years ago. Sandy works in many mediums: acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and ink, but for her illustrations she uses mainly gouache, watercolor and ink. Requests for her custom illustrations grew dramatically and a little over two years ago she developed her illustrated blog Ooh La Frou Frou. These fabulous fashion illustrations have been printed on cards that have been purchased and shipped all over the world. Her illustration calendar is always busy and she loves seeing what her clients have in store for her. Recently she has let all of the greeting cards featuring her illustrations sell out in order to take a little time to create an exciting new website that better represents her bustling career which will be launched in 2013. We are thrilled that she is sharing some of her holiday glamour with us – enjoy!
- Your illustrations are full of glamorous and pretty details. We would love to hear some tips on how to incorporate glamorous details into our holiday decor!
It seems that no matter how beautiful holiday decorations are, they are not truly magical until the lights go up … after all, what’s a holiday without sparkle? I always try to create holiday decor that will be a memory for my family, as well as be beautiful and inspiring to others that see the décor. Decorating a front door has always been one of my favorite places to feature … and I like to go big so the details can be seen from the street. Instead of simply hanging greenery and lights, I always embellish the lit greenery with ornaments, often handmade. The planning for the Christmas door theme starts in autumn … this year’s décor is called “Christmas Time.” I painted a wood banner for the top and asked my husband if he would cut wood discs of varying sizes out for me, which magically turned in to “clocks” as I painted in the details of different classic clock faces and embellished them with glitter and large rhinestones that sparkle when lights are shown on them from the street.
My Christmas tree was so big this year that it felt like the Rockefeller Center tree to us … so I thought it would be fun to make it memorable and add some whimsical city themed ornaments with classic gold and chartreuse ornaments … I created illustrations of city townhouses, copied them off on cardstock, cut them out, glittered them and hung them with ribbon on the tree … I already had some city taxis with a Christmas tree on top illustrated and did the same for those. Now when I look at the top of the tree, I feel like it’s the upper East side! The story of this tree design is on my December 10th Monday blog post called “It’s Christmas Time in the City”.
- What sights, smells and sounds put you the mood for the holidays?
Christmas music, of course, and I love holiday store décor and decorated city streets. And when the potpourri called “The Smell of Christmas” by Aromatique wafts up as I walk past it in department stores, I know the season is here!
- Do you get inspired by holiday movies for your illustrations, and if so which ones?
I’m a romantic and one of my very favorite holiday movies is “The Holiday” with Kate Winslet , Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. I watch it every year!
- When trying to select your holiday cards it can be overwhelming with so many different options to choose from. As an illustrator of your own line of cards, what’s your advice on how to choose holiday cards that will represent your own personal style?
I sometimes coordinate my holiday cards with my door décor … I sometimes illustrate my own holiday cards and if pressed for time, simply buy the prettiest I can find. Since I love glitter and city chic, it’s not surprising that many of my holiday cards of the past feature this theme. I think the card you choose should simply make you happy and reflect the way you and your family feel about Christmas.
-What’s the best advice you’ve been given about staying inspired that you still follow today?
The biggest inspiration killer is fatigue. The other, for me, is too much time in the studio or house … nothing makes me feel more inspired than getting out walking by beautiful window displays and out on bustling streets, sipping cappuccino, leafing through a fashion magazine and watching the world go by … all of a sudden, thoughts just bubble up that are translated into an illustration. We’ve all heard it before and I know that it is certainly true. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we have nothing to give to others.
Whether it’s decorating our homes, window shopping on bustling city streets, whipping up a fabulous dessert, slipping into something sparkly for a party … December is one of the most glamorous months of all! Following are some of the holiday images I’ve found very inspirational and pinned to my Pinterest boards:
- Exterior holiday décor
City townhouse holiday decorations
Beautiful city storefronts like Harry Winston in NYC
Delicious holiday recipes
This week’s DIY is from one of our favorite vendors, MIDORI ribbon. Their website, midoriribbon.com, is dripping with gorgeous images and lots great inspiration for the holidays and beyond. We are loving this ribbon ornament DIY, it’s easy, fun to put together and looks great on your tree, mantel, as a hostess gift, or even as an alternative to a wedding bouquet! We have a wide range of MIDORI ribbon in stock at our IDEAS studio, call or email us at 248-608-8820 or email@example.com and we will be happy to take your ribbon order!
Enjoy your ornament!
Coming up with a gift for all eight crazy nights can be a daunting task. No matter what holiday you celebrate, incorporating tzedakah, the Jewish practice of charitable giving, is a great way to enrich your gifting repertoire. Inviting your children to participate in choosing a charity is a fun way get your whole family involved. With the internet it’s easier than ever to make a donation as a gift – there’s no postage to worry about or checks to write and it’s environmentally friendly, however the range of options can be overwhelming. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Kiva provides micro-finance loans to people in need all over the world who may not have access to traditional banking systems. The loans may be only a few hundred dollars, but that can be enough for a farmer in Africa or a student in Armenia to escape generations of poverty. Providing interest-free loans instead of charity gives the borrower, or Field Partner, a sense of dignity. It’s highly interactive so you or your giftee can choose the recipient of the Kiva loan from hundreds of Field Partners, and when the loan is repaid you can choose a new Field Partner.
Heifer International works to end poverty and hunger by providing up to 30 types of animals—from goats, geese and guinea pigs to bees, silkworms and water buffalo to people in need. By giving families a hand-up, not just a handout, Heifer International empowers its recipients with a reliable source of income. With their gift catalog you can enable your giftee to choose what kind of animal they want to provide. You can also partner up to go in on a larger donation such as a heifer or water-buffalo.
Looking for a crowd pleasing, sure-fire, no brainer? When you donate to JustGive.org your giftee can choose from almost 1.8 million charities. Their website offers advanced search tools for researching charities as well as an “Act Locally” guide for keeping it local anywhere!
Feeling all fired up and want to take your giving a step further? Consider volunteering as a family for the holidays, or plan for a group of friends or your office to volunteer to get into the holiday spirit. VolunteerMatch is a wonderful resource for easily locating volunteer opportunities right in your neighborhood.
Do you have a favorite holiday giving or volunteer tradition? We’d love to hear from you!