Friday, May 30, 2008

Get Carried Away

Yes, it's 3am and I'm still awake and functioning...all I can say is I have Carrie Fever! Well, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda fever too. I just returned from the midnight screening of Sex and The City and as an avid watcher and fan of the series since its debut on HBO, the movie was beyond fabulous! The gowns...oh the wedding gowns...My personal fave?? Oscar's, of course! I wish I had a picture (I'll work on that, I promise). Here's the gown Carrie chose for her Big day with Mr. Big. Now, GO SEE THE MOVIE!!
Vivienne Westwood
Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are striking in Zac Posen. I am so loving the strong colors for such strong women! No pale pinks here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Food For Thought Thursdays: L'Opera

When I first heard of this cake, I just knew it would be perfect for an intimate wedding or afternoon tea. L'Opera is a very time intensive undertaking, consisting of 7 layers however all of your effort will be very much worth it. What I love about it is its simplicity. It is the total antithesis of the more elaborate wedding cakes to which we've grown accustomed. Bon appetite!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bridal Beauty MAC Style

MAC, the purveyors of chic, powerful beauty, has done it again with their bridal series. Some of the looks are strikingly fantastic which can easily be translated to real world wedding day looks. If your technique needs a bit of fine tuning, they even included video tutorials! Should you need one on one attention (and who doesn't when it comes to their wedding day look?!), run, don't walk to your nearest MAC boutique store.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Creating A Sacred Space

The true essence of any wedding is the ceremony. Should you choose to design a ceremony steeped in religious significance or prefer a more bohemian take, the ceremony and its setting will be the focus of your guests attention for the better part of an hour. Why not make it a visual feast for the eyes? I am a huge fan of chuppahs, draping, gazebos, arches, etc particularly for outside locations or if you're ceremony is held in an austere ballroom. These elements bring a sense of focus to the space. They can be as grand or simplistic as you desire. You are truly limited only your imagination.
I love a candlelit ceremony. This simple design does not detract from the participants.
A close up view of the hand painted fabric. Design/picture courtesy of Custom Chuppahs.
I love an sunset ceremony, tres romantic! Photo courtesy of Florals Unique.
Such an ideal choice for a rustic or casual event. Photo courtesy of Chuppah House.
I love this hand painted design. The colors are incredible!
This quilted design is so homey in feel. I could totally see it used as a baby blanket.
Previous 3 photos courtesy of Silk Huppah
Beautiful location! Picture courtesy of A Paradise Wedding
What I like about this design is how it echos the room both in color and design.
Until tomorrow...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Escape: Go Green in Belize

The Chan Chich Lodge in Belize is one of the most beautiful eco-friendly low-key resorts in the world. It is a private nature reserve boasting 130,000 acres at the heart of La Selva Maya. The lodge is the perfect getaway when you want to relax in privacy and rustic luxury. The property has just 12 cabanas and a 2-bedroom villa. Many visitors come specifically for the endangered bird species native to the area. If you survive the urban jungle week after week, try experiencing the real deal!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Food For Thought Thursday: Italian Delight

This week's gastronomic extravaganza focuses on the lighter side of Italian cuisine. A spring spinach salad would make a lively accompaniment the pasta dish created by the lovely Giada de Laurentiis. First up we have an Italian Mojito cocktail to get the party started. Keep in mind these can be made by the pitcher as well as the recipes expanded for summer cocktail party.

Italian Mojito
- 2 oz of white light rum
- 2 oz Proseco
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- 1 sprig fresh mint

In a high ball glass place mint leaves, brown sugar, simple syrup and fresh lime juice and muddle. Add ice cubes, pour light rum and top with Italian sparkling wine. Stir directly in the glass. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and fresh lime wheel. (Cocktail By Francensco at Mix, New York 212.583.0300)
Italian Dandelion, goat cheese and bacon bruschetta with salsa di Clementine
Serves 6--but feel free to adjust recipe to make as many or as few as you want!

1 bunch of washed and dried dandelion greens (cut into 1” pieces)
1 garlic clove (whole)
olive oil (for drizzling)
1 small container of fresh goat cheese (a fresh sheep cheese would also work)
3-5 pieces of bacon (cooked and cut into 1 inch pieces)
1/2 batard of rustic bread or ½ of a well made baguette
Salsa di Clementine (an Italian, spicy clementine jelly) Feel free to use any other moustarda jelly or specialty honey.

Cut the bread into ¼ inch thick slices. Heat up a saute pan over medium high heat, then add bacon. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. If the bacon hasn’t given off too much grease, throw cleaned and chopped dandelion greens into the same pan and quickly cook until wilted (about 2 minutes). Otherwise, remove the excess grease, leaving about a tablespoon worth of bacon fat behind in the pan for cooking the greens.

Meanwhile, toast the bread. When bread is done, rub the bread with the garlic clove. *this is my favorite part, watching the garlic melt like butter onto the bread. Then, drizzle bread with a tiny amount of olive oil and then spread a small amount of spicy Clementine jelly on top. Note: if using honey, drizzle honey over the greens at the end. Add a teaspoon of goat cheese to each piece of bread, then top with a heaping teaspoon dandelion greens. Top with bacon. Eat immediately.

Rotelli with Walnut Sauce
1 pound rotelli or fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the walnuts, butter, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan, then the cream.

When the pasta is done, place it in a large bowl while still very warm. Stir in the walnut sauce. Add the reserved pasta liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce completely coats the pasta, using only as much as needed. Sprinkle with the parsley, toss, and serve.

Panna Cotta with Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce & Raspberries

1 C milk
1 T unflavored powdered gelatin
3 C cream
1/3 C honey
1 T sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 t pure vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the milk and gelatin. Let it stand for 3-5 mins until the gelatin softens.Pour the milk mixture into a sauce pan and stir over medium heat. Do not let it come up to a boil. Add cream, honey, sugar, salt and vanilla until completely dissolved and heated through. Pour into custard cups/molds or wine glasses. Let it set and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Put some chocolate sauce on the serving plate. Unmold the panna cotta and place on top of the sauce. Garnish with the fresh berries.

**Recipes and pictures are courtesy of their respective sites**

Monday, May 19, 2008

Your Table Is Right This Way

When you're having a seated reception, table assignments are a must. When creating your seating chart, don't forget the escort cards! Be sure to incorporate the same design details used with the invitations and florals to pull everything together. And don't be afraid to create something fun, whimsical or simply classic. Enjoy!
For an outside wedding, a scented sachet will keep your cards from blowing in the wind. Plus guests will definitely love the sweet scent. Photo courtesy of Rachel Silvers
These sand dollars are great for a beach celebration. The pink ribbon incorporates your color palette. Photo by Silver Fox
White card stock gets an upgrade with classic calligraphy. For the vineyard wedding, use corks to secure the cards. Photo by Nick Brown.
The polka dots are just adorable! Photo by Mary Ellen Bartley
A playful escort card installation with color clothes pins. Photos by Generation Photography
Fabulous peacock feathers add an elegant flourish. Photo by Garbo Productions
This design focuses on the entire area and not just the table. Clean, sharp and crisp! Photo by Garbo Productions
Orchid tree design gets the opulent treatment with crystals. Photo by David Wolfe
Different colored card stock highlight this design. Photo by Coopersmith Photography
So loving the sand and starfish! Photo by Chris Bickford
A single orchid and garden pebble make this table design pop with panache. Photo by Amanda Sudimack.
Until tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Where The Wild Things Are

There are dream trips and then there are dream trips. The latter offers a once in a lifetime experience. The voyager has the opportunity do and see things they may have only read about in books or seen in movies. I have always craved the safari. That may come as a surprise to my friends/family as I am so not an outdoorsy type of girl, but a safari is truly something to behold. No company does it better than Abecrombie and Kent. Take a look at the options they offer, not only for Africa but great vacation experience around the globe.
For the non-camper having a mobile bedroom is the perfect option.
Can you imagine seeing zebra in their natural habitat? No enclosures, no barbed wire fencing...amazing!!
I watch the Animal Planet all the time, the Growing Up series is a fav. Watching the lions play 20 feet comparison.
Victoria Falls in Zambia
Can you stand it?!
Now, this is my idea of a tent. There are some lodges that are built into massive trees and have glass bottoms. That definitely the way to go!
Mosquito netting around the bed is imperative. Mustn't forget that.
Happy Weekend!
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