Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love Never Smelled So Good

You've found the perfect dress, the killer stilettos, pretty blossoms, the sweetest cake and let's not forget the greatest guy...what's left? Your signature scent, of course! Perfume is one of my greatest loves as nothing sets your personal mood like a great scent. Romantic, clean & crisp, fruity, moody, sexy; there are a myriad of choices out there. Here are a few of my faves:
My friend Keir once stopped a woman on the street in NYC whose fragrance caught his attention. Behold the power of Angel by Thierry Mugler.
My girlfriend Dana swears by Duende by Jesus Pol Pozo.
How could you go wrong with classic Chanel?
Fresh and feminine without being overpowering, love Flower by Kenzo.
My mother's signature scent, Oscar by Mr. de la Renta.
The wonderously sexy Woman by Versace, my personal scent. L-O-V-E it!
You didn't think I'd leave the men out, did you? Gorgeously masculine.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Little Stimulation

Fab designer Tory Burch is having a private sale. Full of great picks from shoes to coats to cocktail dresses, there is a little something for everyone. My top pick: Grania dress, perfect for the rehearsal dinner, cocktail party or dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday's Escape: Paradisus Palma Real, DR

Happy Friday, Everyone! I was talking to a girlfriend the other night and she and her son had just gotten back from their annual holiday to the Dominican Republic. She absolutely loves the island and highly recommends the Paradisus Palma Real. I'm not a huge fan of all-inclusive properties but after viewing the pictures, I may have to change my mind.
I love fountains.
Just imagine a romantic moonlit dinner on the patio.
Perfect spot to work on your tan.
Is it me or does this bed look HUGE?
These rooms are huge, love that!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Food For Thought Thursdays: Strawberry Sorbet Meringue Sandwiches

Wow, that's a mouthful but don't they look heavenly? Strawberries are my favorite fruit and I can't wait until they're fully in season. I can totally see these served at an outdoor cocktail party or reception on an ice sculpture. What I like most about this recipe is you can 86 the meringues and blend the sorbet with your fav vodka or coconut rum. Delish!

Strawberry Sorbet Meringue Sandwiches
Serves 4:

2 egg whites
Same weight in icing sugar and granulated sugar
(approximately 70 g for Class M eggs’)

Pre-heat the oven to 80ºC.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the sugars.
Whisk the egg yolks and gently add the sugar until firm peaks form.
Usin a pastry bag pipe the batter onto the parchment paper in small circles.
Bake for 2 hours.

Strawberry sorbet

160 ml water
135 g sugar
1 kg strawberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier

Purée the strawberries.
Combine the pulp with Grand Marnier and lemon juice and refrigerate until completely cold.
Prepare a syrup with the water and sugar, boiling until the sugar completely dissolves.
Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
Combine the cold syrup with the pulp.

Pass the sorbet trough the ice cream machine and place it in the freezer.
Put it the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

Traditional method (without ice cream machine):
Pour the mixture into a stainless steel bowl and cover with wrap film.
Freeze until the sides are frozen but the center is still slightly tender.
Use a food processor to blend the mixture.
Freeze and repeat the process at least two more times (at 1h-1h30 intervals).
Freeze for one hour before serving.

Fill the meringues with the starwberry sorbet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's Black, White and Orange Allover?

Why, my last event, of course! Dawn Easter Events recently wrapped a beautiful affair at Celebrations at the Reservoir. Black and white damask with different shades of sunny orange were the colors of the day. My favorite touch? The yummy cupcakes by Petite Bouchees. Veronica did a wonderful job color coordinating the cute little fondant flowers with candied pearls. They were delish. The flowers were done by yours truly and my fabulously creative assistant, Tracie.
photos courtesy of Jamie Parker Photography

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It All Started With The Dress

A potential client reached out to me a few days ago interested in a chic pink and black wedding. Her specifications were nothing frilly or too girly but definitely modern and feminine. I found this picture of actress Kerri Washington who is a favorite of the bride-to-be and it grew from there. So what do you think?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get The Glow

I love candles. Nothing sets the mood like candlelight and everyone looks better in the afterglow. When I came across these gorgeous candles by Imageglow I knew they would be the perfect accent to your decor. Imagine them in large groupings on tables with small floral centerpieces or in lieu of flowers all together. Here are a few of my top picks.
Je'Taime lantern
Groove Floral
Blue Toile

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday's Escape: The Aerie Resort, Malahat, BC, Canada

Happy Friday, Everyone! Another wonderful week has come to a close and we're all gearing up for a fabulous weekend. I wanted to take eveyone to the Pacific Northwest, to the gorgeous Aerie Resport in Malahat, BC. This resort is ideal as a relaxing, romantic getaway and a foodie's paradise. Enjoy!

"If you haven’t been here before, prepare yourself: you’re in for an unforgettable experience. And if you think you know what to expect, think again: we’re determined to surprise and delight you each time you visit.

The Aerie is an intimate resort that sits high on a peaceful mountainside just outside Victoria BC, offering astounding 180-degree vistas of ocean, mist-shrouded islands, and snow-capped mountains. But of course, the views are just the beginning.

This is a place that inspires you to slow down and reconnect with what’s truly important. It’s an oasis of calm in a hectic life – or the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a chance to absorb the quiet majesty of cedar-scented forests, get out and meet the region’s organic farmers, vintners and fishers – or rediscover a sense of inner wholeness and wellbeing through yoga, meditation and pampering spa treatments.

From the comfort of your sumptuous bed, wrapped in a fluffy duvet or plush terry robe, you’ll wake to the ever-changing, always inspiring panorama, see eagles soar, and look forward to a day filled with as many – or as few – adventures as you like, planned individually around your interests and needs.

As a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group, The Aerie Resort & Spa delivers outstanding hospitality with a thoughtful, deeply personal commitment to each guest. We believe that is why, in 2006, The Aerie was voted the #1 Hotel in North America by Travel + Leisure magazine readers. We work to make sure we live up to this compliment with every guest." ~from the property's site
Isn't it beautiful? Must have a room with a balcony.
I love canopy beds, very romantic.
I love how much light the restaurant gets. It seems to glow.
The staircase in the lounge area is amazing, very sensuous.
The spa...massage and facial by the fireplace, anyone?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Food For Thought Thursdays: Lemon Cupcakes

Since Spring is officially starting this week, I thought to myself, let's celebrate with cupcakes! What's more sunny and fun than lemons? Cherry B has found the perfect recipe. If you have children, have fun in the kitchen and let them frost the cupcakes. They'll love it, trust me.

1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
½ recipe Lemon Curd (Recipe follows) or 1 cup purchased lemon curd
1 recipe Lemon Frosting (Recipe follows)

Tip For buttermilk- if you don't have buttermilk you can substitute sour milk in the same amount. For each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup of total liquid. stir and let stand for 5 minutes before using.

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until will combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beat well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat on low speed after each addition until just combined.
3. Bake in a 350˚ oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean
4.Let cool completely. To assemble cupcakes remove center of cupcake using the cone method. Set cone aside. Trim the excess tip of the cone. Fill the lemon curd. Replace cone. Frost with lemon frosting and garnish with lemon peel.

Lemon Frosting
Finley shred 1 teaspoon lemon peel; set aside. Combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; ½ cup butter, softened; and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beat well. Gradually beat in 2 ½ to 2 ¾ additional sifted powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Stir in lemon peel.

Lemon curd (I halved this recipe for cupcakes)

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
6 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons water
6 beaten egg yolks
½ cup butter cut in to pieces

1. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir half of the lemon mixture into egg yolks. Return the egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook to gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
2. Add butter pieces, stirring until melted. Cover surface of curd with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour for up to 48 hours. Store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months.
*Curd may need to be sieved for a smoother texture
* Use room temperature egg yolks

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's something about capiz shell lanterns and chandeliers that immediately bring to mind summer. The warm sun, the gentle breeze, the sound of the ocean waves...heavenly right? I think these pieces by West Elm would be perfect for a beach wedding. Picture sheer chiffon tents, lots of white candles and abundant displays of white and cream flowers, a very romantic, sensual vibe. Love it!

Can we talk about how gorgeous that wall color is??

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

Well not really, but it's St. Patrick's Day so go with me on this. When I think of Ireland, besides the country's beautiful landscapes it's known for, the Claddagh ring always come to mind.

"The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: "With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love."

The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring given in friendship or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old walls of the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II, though elements of the design are much older.

The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart pointing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the heart pointing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured their heart". A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, pointing outward away from the body, generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and pointing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married."~Wikipedia

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday's Escape: One & Only Le Saint Geran

Happy Friday, Everyone! This week I wanted to whisk you away to the exotically beautiful Le Saint Geran on the isle of Mauritius. Part of the One and Only resort family, Le Saint Geran is nothing short of paradise. Mauritius, known as "the land of rainbows, waterfalls and shooting stars" is the ideal setting to celebrate your honeymoon or yearly holiday. Can't you just imagine enjoying champagne for two as the sun sets?
"Quite simply, Le Saint Géran is the "Grande Dame" of the island of Mauritius. A paradise within a paradise, this gorgeous six-star hotel is the ultimate indulgence. Set beside a sparkling, pristine beach on the edge of the Indian Ocean, on a 60 acre private peninsula, it is the epitome of relaxation, luxury, gastronomy, and enjoyment. Newly redesigned with supreme elegance, Le Saint Géran embraces the multi-ethnic cuisine of the Alain Ducasse "Spoon des Îles" gourmet restaurant, the languorous pampering of a Givenchy Health and Beauty Spa, a challenging Gary Player designed golf course and the excitement of its own casino. And naturally, the luxury villa and 162 suites are pure bliss." ~from the property's site
The Indian Ocean's crown jewel
Pristine coral beach
Open and airy veranda
Gorgeous views
Love this room. Notice the mokara orchids? Spectacular!
La Terrasse Restaurant

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