Monday, June 30, 2008

Floral Design 101

Leave it to Martha Stewart to always have a great idea when you need it. I am practicing my floral design skills and needed to brush up on the basics. So there I was on Sunday afternoon watching episode after episode of Martha's was positively addictive! Here a few of my favorites:

Emily Weaver, floral designer and owner of Chestnuts in the Tuileries in NYC does a beautiful peony table arrangement. She also gives great conditioning tips.Preston Bailey gives the inside scoop on his fabulous chandeliers
New York's Oscar Mora:
See you in the craft store!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Escape: FireSky Resort & Spa

I've never been to Scottsdale however I've heard great things about the FireSky Resort and Spa. It's part of the Kimpton Hotel Group based in California. One of the hotels major assets is the Jurlique Spa. Say it with me people, ssppahhhhh...that's it.

"Our downtown Scottsdale hotel, a luxury resort and spa, plays on the four elements thought to represent all that exist: fire, water, earth and air. Upon arrival, guests find three towers in front with fire and water representing the juxtaposition of the beautiful Sonoran desert setting and the expansive tropical grounds. From the hotel lobby living room, with its stunning stone fireplace and airy cathedral ceilings, step out onto the patio and lush garden courtyard. The grounds of the hotel stretch toward a sandy beach pool and a Mediterranean-inspired lagoon, as well as a torch-lit heated outdoor pool and hot tub surrounded by poolside cabanas and secluded fire pits." Doesn't it sound great?
I love hotel rooms with thought to the outside space..the terrace is an added bonus.
Great spot for afternoon tea
Love the color combos
I love this space for a nightcap. In the winter: cozy, cozy, cozy!
The fire pit area by the pool would be amazing at night.
Imagine your cocktail party or wedding by the pool...very pretty indeed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vera Says

Fab designer Vera Wang is the guest blogger over on Wedded Bits, be sure to check it out!

One of my favorite websites is Tastespotting, which is currently undergoing revision. This is the best site for finding great recipes when your palate is looking for a change. The owner is currently working on a new site, Liqurious. Can we say fab, people?! You guessed it, the site is all about the cocktail. Perfect inspiration for planning your next get together. It was 97 degrees in Richmond today, my friends and I require libation. My weapon of choice? Raspberry Gin Crush. Liqurious could not have come at a better time...

Raspberry Gin Crush
Serves 1

8 fresh raspberries
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 1/2 ounces gin**
about 2 ounces tonic

Muddle the raspberries, lime juice, and agave nectar in a glass by crushing with the handle tip of a wooden spoon. Pour over ice in a second glass. Add gin and tonic and stir.

**I'd substitute vodka for the gin, just a preference:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Want Color

Okay, so I've moved into my new apartment. It's a lovely space, but like most apartments, it's white and beige. When it came to my previous apartments, I'd never been much of a decorator because I never spent much time there. I treated them like hotel rooms that I rented indefinitely...I ate there, slept there and showered there. I was busy living life, people. Which brings me to my new townhouse, the one with white walls and beige carpeting throughout. Neither of which I can change. To make matters more complicated, my sofa and chair are a nice shade of biscuit (read: lighter beige). I NEED COLOR! And lots of it...I found these lovely pillows on Asian Nouveau and I'm smitten. Bright bursts of color! Imagine them on neatly arranged on my sofa and the warmer colors on my bed.
Fushia and copper...beautiful together.
I love the cooler combination of the purple and blue/green
The pink and copper are my favorite! The pillows come in sets of 4.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So You Want To Work For Me?

I get tons of emails and phone calls asking, in various ways, if I'm hiring. While I'm flattered by the attention, I will say I am a little put out by these requests. Why would I not welcome the interest with open arms, you say? Well kind readers, it's because I know you didn't read my website. Not a great way to make a first impression with your potential employer. One of your tasks as an applicant is to research the company! My site is not an overly verbose one, so this oversight is a big deal in my book. I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Fabu-luxe and Terrica touched on this subject with a great post a few months ago...enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bienvenido a Puerto Rico - Friday's Escape

I have always wanted to go Puerto Rico. I remember being regaled by a friend's stories of summers spent on the beach or trekking through El Yunque, family gatherings and gorging on arroz con gandules and plantains and the constant rhyme of salsa...sounds like paradise. I am finally planning a trip with a different friend for next spring, sort of a girls-only weekend away and I can't wait! I've found the perfect hotel, El Convento. It used to be a convent, hence the name. The property is the perfect blend of Old World style and modern sensibilities.
The sunny yellow facade is so Caribbean!
This is part of a fort dating back to Christopher Columbus.
I can imagine the breeze floating about the patio while having lunch...fabulous!
With the major cruise ships docking nearby, a lot of travelers use the hotel as stopover.
Doesn't this room look warm and homey? Loving the patio doors.
I always love getting to the pool before anyone else. The lounge chairs all neat in a row with perfectly rolled towels awaiting the day's guests.
I wonder if there is live piano during dinner? How romantic!
Lovely color combination.
Puerto Rico boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. A quiet spot, a trashy romance novel and a wide-brim hat is all I need...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Let's Keep In Touch

There are so many components to planning a wedding (or any event, for that matter), so many decisions that are made on a day-to-day basis that it can be hard keeping everyone in the loop. I highly recommend creating a wedding website. I offer this service to my clients, but there are lots of companies who do as well. One of my faves All that's needed: choose a template, upload your text and pictures and voila! It's a great way to post necessary information like schedules, locations, directions and contact information.

**Pictures courtesy of E-Weddings**

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Recap & Great Finds

Happy Monday Everyone! Okay, so I'm recovering slowing but surely from the weekend happenings. My apartment is still in shambles, boxes everywhere I turn, lol. Someone should come up with an unpacking/setup service. I had a great time at the white party and was definitely channeling my inner Marilyn circa "The Seven Year Itch". I wish I'd remembered to bring along my time, I promise!

Okay, back to business...I was having a discussion about wedding favors the other day and as I've mentioned before I am all about practicality. After all, what are adults going to do with bubbles besides throw them away? So, when I found these darling vases on the, I knew I had to share them!
I am so loving this bud vase. Personalize it if you must, but I think your friends would appreciate the versatility of the unscripted version.
Ditto for this option. I love the shape!
This will definitely encourage your friends to celebrate more often. And who doesn't love a reason to get together with friends?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Okay, so I was reading Franki's blog this afternoon (I check in with her daily) and she'd been tagged by a fellow blogger. She invited us to post lists of our own so here we go:

1. What did you do 10 years ago?
Wow, 10 years ago I was in college. It doesn’t seem like that long ago!

2. Five items on your to-do list today
*Teleconference with my new PR rep
*Preliminary information/research on a new hotel for an upcoming event
*Shopping for a new swimsuit and jewelry for a party this weekend
*Start packing
*Returning phone calls & emails…lots of them. Oh and brainstorming design ideas for table mockups (OK that’s 6, but I’m a busy girl;)

3. Snacks I enjoy
I love premium dark chocolate

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
*Find a new way to be of service
*Buy a few acres in Antigua for my private retreat
*Start doing and stop dreaming; no restrictions!

5. Places I would live
* New York
*San Francisco
*Richmond, Virginia (gotta stay close to the family)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Where In The World Is Dawn?

Hi Guys! Sorry for the lack of posting this week, but I am working on a couple of projects as well as coordinating a move to my new digs. Oh and did I mention we're experiencing a record heatwave in Richmond?! Stay cool...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Food For Thought Thursdays: Keep It Light

Summer is just beginning and it's already hitting the 90s here in Richmond. With that said, eating light is a must. Nothing's lighter than a green salad with bright cherries and a wonderful mint honey vinaigrette followed by everyone's fav summer dessert: ICE CREAM!. This week's pick is a lovely blackberry version. All that's needed is a couple minutes on the stove and some time in an ice cream maker and voila!
Green Salad with Sheep’s Cheese and Cherries

Blackberry Ice Cream

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

One of my favorite blogs, The Sartorialist, did an interview with Dario Spadea Pandolfi a few days ago. When asked the best advice he'd received from his parents, I absolutely loved his answer:

My grand father and my father says always: “The elegance is something that must be whispered and not shouted…”

Pandolfi, photo courtesy of The Sartorialist

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

To Veil Or Not To Veil

While I do have my heart set on a casual seaside soiree for my own nuptials, I know my parents would equally love a grand church ceremony. That being said, I think a beautifully detailed veil would be a lovely choice. The bows are not my style but the effect just says "bride".

Or maybe I'll have a chic garden party with that lovely knee length Carolina Herrera and this jazzy birdcage veil which will do nicely indeed.

Okay, maybe you, dear readers, will be able to help me with something. I don't quite understand long gowns at outdoor weddings. Who would want grass, sand, etc marring their dress? But that gown would be killer at an evening wedding (after 6), in a grand ballroom filled with candlelight and elegant florals. The draping is incredible...beautiful choice, wrong setting.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Brighter, The Better

I love color from subtle neutrals to blazing brights. Color is a wonderful tool to be used to create an incredible environment whether it's in your home, office or your next party. So, I met with a wonderful couple a few days ago who is planning a summer wedding and wants bright, "wow" colors. So what colors are they using, you ask? Orange and Hot Pink! I am so loving their spunk. So how do you make orange and hot pink work with being overpowering? Temper the hues with green and soft matte gold. Take a look at the inspiration board I created for them.
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