Sunday, February 12, 2012

I {heart} Puppies - Especially My Own!

Big changes in the household for the hubby and I. We recently adopted a three month old puppy from a rescue that finds dogs from high kill shelters. Brady is a Siberian Husky and Australian Shepard mix with the sweetest temperament. He is very shy and cautious but is becoming more and more confident as he becomes used to his surroundings. We are still up a few times a night taking him out to "do his business" and watching him constantly but it is all worth it.

How could you not love this face?



He loves to sit on our front step and watch the world go by. We are having an unseasonably mild winter in Northern California and he loves to stretch out in the sun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I {heart} Wedding Dresses

One of my favorite things when planning my wedding was trying on dresses. I did not have a specific style or designer in mind and tried on all sorts of styles, cuts, lengths, and designers. Even if you know exactly what dress you want to wear, I would suggest trying on some different styles and you may be surprised with what you actually end up liking. Besides, how many times in your life will you be able to try on outrageous wedding gowns?

It also never fails to amaze me that something as simple as a "white dress" can come in so many different styles. Here are some of my favorites!



This short beach wedding dress (which unfortunately I don't know the name of the designer) is the most popular of the wedding dresses I have on Pinterest. I love the sweetheart neckline and the ruffled skirt that looks like rose petals.



I love this over the top bustier dress with a burst of tulle that looks like feathers.



Just because a dress is not formally a wedding dress does not mean you can't wear it as one. This simple, yet dramatic dress would be perfect for a very modern, urban wedding. Don't be afraid to look outside of wedding dress retailers for your dress! I tried on dresses from Bloomingdales and Nieman Marcus that were not part of a bridal collection.

Source: bhldn.com via Monica on Pinterest



This short wedding dress is also very modern feeling. It is also a bustier with a feathery skirt.



I absolutely love this feminine lace wedding dress with the gold ribbon detail. It has a very vintage feel and I envision it for a wine country wedding in the vineyards.


This Monique Lhuillier dress from her Fall 2012 Bridal collection is very classic with delicate embroidery details.



I am a big fan of Oscar de la Renta wedding dresses. I love this layered skirt that is both dramatic but soft.



Sometimes it is all in the understated details like this adorable polka dot lace dress. The cut is very simple with no lace or embroidery detail, but the polka dot tulle brings a simple element of surprise.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lovely Wedding Cakes

The artistry of wedding cakes never fails to wow me. Whether they are intricate and ornate or beautiful in their simplicity, wedding cakes are absolutely a craft. It seems almost sinful to take a knife to them! I saved the top tier of my wedding cake and the Mister and I tried to choke down a few bites on our one year anniversary! Did anyone else try this? How did it taste?

The silver ribbon detail on this cakes is gorgeous.



This gold cake falls on the intricate and ornate end of the spectrum. The amount of craftsmanship that went in to creating this cake is astounding to me!


I love this sweet modern cake with whites and pops of pinks.



This vintage inspired cake seemingly dripping with lace and old world flowers is so stylish.



Can an all white cake with relatively no flourishing detail be show stopping? It can if it is garnished with some simple succulents for a beautiful outdoor wedding - in wine country perhaps?!
As someone who loves to relish the details, I love the delicate ripples of the ruffles that must have taken a tremendous amount of patience and time to create.




This cake is both simple and ornate. It is white on white but the flower petals are so delicate.



I love the glamorous pearl detailing on an otherwise simple cake.

Source: flickr.com via Monica on Pinterest

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pink Wedding Centerpieces

The addiction to Pinterest continues! I wish this were around when I was planning my own wedding as it is a great place to create an online scrapbook for wedding inspiration! I am going to be a bridesmaid in April and I have a ton of pink wedding pictures and inspiration to share.

I love this texture of this arrangement. Not only are the pastels soft but the petals and leaves look so soft!


I love the use of this vintage tin as a vase. I could also see this for a garden party.


I absolutely adore the ruffles on the chairs! So feminine and modern. And of course, I love the chandelier.


More pink ruffles and chandeliers! This has a more victorian old world feel with the tall centerpieces.


This centerpiece is a more low key option than the tall centerpieces but equally lovely. I love the soft pinks and whites against the silver. Silver can be a cooler choice than gold but this centerpiece still looks warm.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jan De Luz - Home Decor and Furnishings Curator

If you ever find yourself in Carmel-By-The-Sea, make sure to drop in to Jan De Luz's two home decor stores. He is a curator of vintage home decor and furnishings. When my husband and I popped in there were grand statues that were sister models of statues at Versailles! As I was snapping photos, Jan De Luz himself sauntered over and asked if I was interested in the pieces to which I replied, "If I could afford it, I would take it all home."

So many things to love here - the antiqued mirror and the gleaming chandelier! The space itself was cavernous and full of wood beamed ceilings. A perfect venue to show such stunning pieces.


I am not sure why I would ever need a staircase that leads to nowhere for but I immediately said, "I have to have this!"



My highly documented love of chandeliers continues. There were amazing chandeliers strung throughout the store but this crystal masterpiece was my favorite.

I {heart} Jose Villa Wedding Photography

My love of Jose Villa's photography is no secret. As an amateur photographer and lover of all things wedding, he is a constant source of inspiration and general oooohs and aaaaahs. Here are some of my recent faves....

I am a sucker for anything equestrian and this bride and groom are just adorable!


I absolutely love the "golden hour" light in this photo. Dreamy soft light perfection.


While I tend to like soft neutrals and pastels, I love this mustard yellow and sage silver color combination in this wedding centerpiece. Just enough pop of color with a stylish print table runner.


If I have a vow renewal ceremony one day I want this amazing bouquet with cabbage roses, hints of lambs ear, and wildflower like accents. Absolutely gorgeous!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wedding Scrapbook On Pinterest

Ever since I discovered Pinterest I can't stop pinning! I wish this website were around when I was planning my own wedding. I love that I can easily pin inspirational images and have an online scrapbook. There are also some great tastemakers and bloggers out there that provide lovely curated wedding inspiration galleries of their own.

Here are some of my favorite wedding dresses that I have pinned to my Wedding Board - enjoy and follow me on Pinterest!

This short beach wedding dress I found on Haute Design has been the most popular pinned dress. It is sexy and chic and gorgeously modern. The light, the hair, the jewelry all comes together perfectly.



This vintage Oscar De La Renta dress I found on This Is Glamorous's second blog, a glamorous little side project, is my personal favorite. The bustier and lace is so feminine and subtly sexy. It is just so delicate and if I had a time machine and money to burn I would travel back in time and find this dress for my wedding.


I have posted many photos from one of my favorite wedding photographers, Jose Villa. His photos never disappoint and this bridal model shoot is absolute perfection. As an aspiring photographer myself I am amazed by Jose's mastery of light and mood.


This Elie Saab Couture dress is absolutely stunning. The diaphanous, sparkly dress looks like it is spun from clouds and stars. This is a dress that, when those church doors open, takes everyone's breath away.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kohl Mansion - A Wedding Venue Review

One of the most important decisions you will make as a bride- or groom-to-be is venue selection. Your venue will set the tone and theme of your wedding. It was an agonizing decision for me. When planning my wedding I visited tons and tons of wedding venues all over Northern California from coast, to wine country, to San Francisco, to the Peninsula.

So I thought I would share my experiences and opinions about the venues that I visited. This review is for Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, CA. By day it is a private girls school, by night it is a gorgeous wedding venue. By Bay Area standards, the rental fee was average at around $10,000 but there was no corkage and while they have vendor relationships, you could choose your own caterer and so on. The wedding coordinator was super helpful and accommodating and responsive. I would have loved to hold my ceremony and reception here, but the rental fee just cut too much in to my budget but if you can swing it, I would highly recommend it

The "Great Room" is a classic ballroom with soaring ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that opens out to the gorgeous patio with a dreamy fountain.





The "Morning Room" is an intimately elegant room with chic black and white checkered floor. It was suggested that this room be used to host the cake. An entire room just for the cake!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

I {heart} Food Blogs

I don't like to cook. I really want to like it, but I just don't. But as a newlywed and future mother, I have come to realize that a meal is about nurturing and love so I am motivated to revisit my relationship with cooking. In my quest to find recipes (preferably ones that take about 30 minutes prep time and involve less than 6 ingredients) I stumbled upon some amazing food blogs. Their recipes are a little intimidating but the pictures are so gorgeous and full of texture and detail that it is inspirational.


What Katie Ate is one of the best food blogs. It's not just her amazing recipes but her absolutely amazing pictures. She also has the best collection of vintage cooking tools. She nails the new culinary trend of authentic, rustic presentation versus the perfect, overly staged one. A lot of pictures are "messy" and partially eaten or with sauce dripping and unevenly sliced vegetables and fruits.


Cannelle et Vanille is another gorgeously shot food blog. She is not only a culinary master, but an expert at photography and detail. You can almost taste her pictures!


Une-Deux Senses is a California girl after my California heart. Her recipes are approachable but fantastic looking - they look way harder to make than they actually are. They are just exotic enough but manageable. In true California style, she has ethnic recipes, healthy recipes, and has her own adaptations.

When I travel I love taking pictures of my favorite dishes. Here are some of my favorite food pictures taken by yours truly!


I loved these heart shaped doughnuts that we had in Positano, Italy. They were filled with yummy custard.


I love love love Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, California. It's a cute little french restaurant with eclectic decor and amazing food. This was an heirloom tomato salad with basil, olive oil, and a balsamic reduction. I am now obsessed with heirloom tomatoes and have it on my salads daily!


Quintessentially New England! My husband and I go to Kittery, Maine every time we visit his parents and go to Roberts Maine Grill for steamers and lobster. We tend to be there in the off season in the winter so at times we have the restaurant to ourselves. It's so nice and quiet and quaint - a perfect way to spend a winter day.


This meal in Rome was just so rustic. In the States you rarely get a whole fish, with head in tact nonetheless. This sea bass was so simple but so fresh and flakey. It reminds me that sometimes a dish doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sundrenched Wedding Inspiration Board

I am not quite ready to relinquish summer. Yes, it is cold and raining out. And yes, it gets dark so very early. But only four days ago it was still 80 warm degrees here in California but how quickly the weather can change!

So in a bit of protest (and denial), I am posting a sun-drenched, lush rustic summer wedding inspiration board. Of course, my favorite picture is the outdoor dinner beside a gorgeous farm house with chandeliers strung above the guests! Lovely!



Soulflower Bouquet {Anna Kuperberg}, Farm House & Chandeliers {Snippet & Ink}
Summer Bride {Style Me Pretty}, Green Apples & Monograms {Jose Villa}
Rustic & Romantic Invitations {Style Me Pretty}, Seating Garlands {June Bug Weddings}