Sweet Table!

This was a display we did for a memorial a few weeks back (oddly enough).  They wanted a very upbeat event, so we thought we would have a little fun with these assorted cupcakes. I literally walked around the kitchen at work grabbing things – look around your space – what can you repurpose to create a one of a kind food display?

Untitled design.png

baking sheets loosely lined with parchment paper, baking rings, a large rolling pin and powdered sugar made this display stand out. I don’t recommend the whole cinnamon sticks… people thought they were snacks!!

Happy Planning!



The Ceremony, Reception and After-Party All In One!

NYE was a hugely successful night here at the club. I designed the decor theme and wanted to give you a little peek.
This year I predict we will see the rise of couples planning the “after-party” aspect of their wedding to take place in the same venue as the reception and ceremony.  With a growing focus on social responsibility (goodbye drinking and driving), and couples looking to truly pamper their guests from start to finish (hello late night munchies), the “netflix-and-chill-lounge” and “gastropub-chic” aspects of wedding planning are gaining speed.
By including plans for your night-owl guests, your wedding takes on a whole new persona, once the greater mass of the crowd goes home.  Here is where the remaining guests will indulge in rich foods and pontificate the meaning of life, or which Justin is more crush-worthy.  A fire-pit or cigar lounge would be a great addition to this – as would a silent black and white loop of a favorite 90s sitcom – Netflix and Chill! Bring out the comfy furniture, dramatic lighting and handcrafted cocktails for your late night celebrants.
Because some of the pictures are hard to see (hello! I believe in mood lighting), I’ve added some shots with lighter filters so you can get a feel for all the elements in each area.
Late Night Desert Station:
bite sized munchies on the right, chocolate fondue station on the left, black linen, silver stars, lights under the bite sized munchie display.
With some light so you can see a bit better....
Long Conversation Tables:
I am a huge fan for having your dinner at tables like this. Too dramatic for your taste? Have a couple by the dance floor or outside.  Invest in some fancy linens that match your theme, but hare a little more over the top.  And don’t forget the mood lighting.  See the little conversation pockets that developed between the guests in this picture? Note the family-style shared bottles of wine and the relaxed, yet dressy feel this picture has. 
nightclub long table.png
Lounge Furniture:
Easy to find in white or black, lounge or “nightclub” furniture is perfect for conversation clusters and relieving sore-from-dancing feet.  A 30″ uplight is placed behind the couch, and the center ottoman is actually a flattened white futon.  A white carpet pulls the space together, similar to your living room.  Toss a couple throw pillows in the mix and you’re set.
This is where you would find me!
Sexy Cocktail Tables:
textured linen (like this white bubble taffeta), battery operated uplight underneath, cocktail height bar stools, shiny centerpiece.
cocktial table
Action Station:
dramatic sushi station where Chef Joe hand rolled sushi to order. Uplighting, black draping, black linens is all it took to create this look .
sushi station
How are you going to incorporate the after party into your wedding celebration?
Happy Planning

People I Crush On: Caroline Hirons

CH with product

As brides and grooms get ready for the big day, they realize the importance that is placed on looking amazing in your pictures. Many engaged couples focus on weight loss, but a few start looking at skin care.

I didn’t pay much attention to skin care until two years ago when my mom introduced me to Caroline Hirons. I knew how to zap zits, but otherwise was a sleep-in-her-makeup, I’m-too-young-for-a-nightcream, why-on-EARTH-would-you-spend-$250-on-some-face-serum kind of girl.

CH spendy stuff

I didn’t realize how awful my skin really was.  Little fines lines started creeping in, my pores were dark and noticeable and my face seemed, well, dull.  My mom had started experimenting with skincare and I started listening. She was horrified to find out that I didn’t wash my face before bed – told me that Caroline Hirons would be aghast. That’s when she told me to read Caroline’s post on that very topic.

Caroline is VERY British.  She’s funny, she’s blunt, and she gives honest reviews and advice for all things skin care.  I enjoy her candid speaking & writing tone and love to scour through the massive achieves on her blog.   CH headshot

One of her best “get to know me” posts is Things I say over and over again in the Clinic.”  One of my favorite lines is,

“You overuse the Clarisonic. A lot of you. A LOT of you. You can use it – you’re just not meant to use it every time you brush your frigging teeth. … Step away from the trendy facial tool and wash your bloody face properly.”

If you happen to find yourself on her blog, start with the “Cheat Sheets” on the right hand column.  More specifically, start with “Cleansing.”

She debunks beauty industry jargon, coming down harshly on those who make false promises, here is what she says about the marketing term, “shrinks pores”

  • Shrinks pores I’ll say it again: Pores are not doors – they do not open and close.Nothing opens and closes pores. NOTHING. Well, except glue and sellotape perhaps. There is a difference between saying ‘closes pores’ and ‘minimises the appearance of pores’. A big fat difference. One is rubbish and the other is a possibility.

CH cruelty free

Caroline also gets into the world of responsible product development and marketing with her take on products sold in China and animal testing (absolutely fascinating article!).  I learned about the difference between truly cruelty free products, and product manufacturers that skirt the issue.  Read more here.

She posts pictures of herself, washing her face, no makeup, so you can see what she is doing.  I certainly wouldn’t do that, but she knows her readers need the tutorial – judgey-judgers be gone.

CH raw and honest

A couple of things to remember about Ms. Hirons’ Blog, and starting a skincare regimen:

– A “Flannel” (used to wash your face) is called a washcloth in the States (terrycloth)

– Great skin care is expensive, good skincare is spendy.  Read her thoughts on where to spend money and where to be thrifty.  Find what works for you and stick with it. However, keep your spending in perspective.

-Don’t fall in love with any product until you see if it’s distributed in the States.  Those sneaky companies… sometimes things in Europe aren’t out here, yet.

-Have thick skin.  Especially is you are a smoker.  She will tan your hide, then tell you how to fix all the damage you have done.

– She has frequent giveaways, but some are “UK-only”, don’t be bitter.  You can’t be bitter.  Yes, I wanted the $500 Kate Sommerville set as well….



I hope you will enjoy this energetic, bubbly, yet knowledgeable and frank woman’s perspective on skin care.  In a couple weeks, months, years, you will thank your younger self when those wedding pictures come back.  Or when those fine lines start to disappear. Or when you don’t have to apply makeup by the trowel-full to cover an uneven skin tone (raises hand in the back of class, slowly…).



Fitness + Food | Hot Yoga + Buttermilk Buscuits

I think Mondays are a great day to talk about food & fitness – don’t you? After all, we have the whole fresh week out ahead of us – with no mistakes in it yet.  And every bride needs to put down the Pinterest and think about something other then her wedding every once in a while…

This post started as an insight into my thoughts on crash dieting before your wedding, and my own struggle, then success, with getting healthy.  Then it got all weird and touchy feely. So I’m leaving it for now.

Here’s a bit more of a light-hearted post for you.

Fitness + Food | Hot Yoga + Buttermilk Biscuits: two of my favorite things that I don’t indulge in as often as I would like to.

First, the biscuits:

fresh baked bizzy cuts

I made buttermilk biscuits tonight.  It was that or go to the gym.  Figuring that I already went this morning, I caved and made these carb loaded, buttery morsels instead.  Here’s how I did it.

2 cups flour (sifted)

1 T baking powder (aluminum free is a must for me)

1 t salt (kosher or sea, please)

2/3 c buttermilk (regular milk is fine too, the more fat the better)

6 T shortening or butter (or a mix of the two)

Tonight I made a triple batch because I want to try freezing them for when my parents come to visit.

Mix dry, add wet. Today I melted the butter, some days I cut it into the dry before adding milk.  Whatever you fancy.  Form into little biscuit shaped flat balls and bake at 425-450 (know your oven and cooking vessel) until they are golden.  10-15 minutes or until they smell done.

These are one of the few baking items that are very forgiving and don’t require exact science.

jammy biz

Spread ’em with butter or jam.  Or whip up some sausage gravy and #breakfastfordinner! Tonight I used ED Smith Organic Raspberry, Cherry, Rhubarb Jam.  Totally a Costco thing.  I like that it is organic (when you eat the skin, I like to spend the $$$ to be organic). Delish.

Now the Hot Yoga:

I am absolutely in love with Hot Yoga (also known as Bikram Yoga).  For those not “in the know”… Hot Yoga / Bikram Yoga is fast, medium or slow paced yoga, done in a room heated to about 104 degrees with 40% humidity.

hot yoga at prana

You have never sweated so much in your life. Especially not in a dark room with strangers. Don’t let the picture above fool you.  It is deliciously dark during class.

You can literally see the toxins draining from your pores and dripping onto the floor in front of you. And you don’t care because everyone else has the same puddles around them.

You will sweat in places you didn’t know had sweat pores.

You get so sweaty they have these special grippy yoga towels to place on top of your yoga mat so you get proper traction.

You will sweat so much, you will finally understand why “wicking” is so important in your clothing selection.

Now, some people swear you burn a gazillion calories an hour during hot yoga, but from what I have read, this isn’t true.  You sweat because it’s hot, and burn a few extra calories because your body is regulating its temperature.  So hot yoga / Bikram yoga is not a miracle weight loss activity.  But that’s fine.  I get my hot yoga on because it is the one thing that truly clears my mind.  Normal yoga was frustrating for me. Boring. Hard. I felt silly.  During hot yoga, I am trying so darn hard not to pass out (hello child’s pose!), that everything else actually melts away.

My perfect evening includes making dinner for the fam, saying goodnight to my little guy, a normal workout from 7-8, then sweaty, relaxing hot yoga sesh from 8-9.  I’m relaxed and ready for bed.  Okay, a shower then bed.

Prana in Puyallup, Washington is an amazing yoga studio.  I’ve never experienced hot yoga / Bikram yoga quite so amazing. Oddly enough, my waxer (waxist?) told me about it… the things you talk about in the little room while they rip hair off of you… Prana is a little spendy, but the studio is clean, the staff is friendly, and above all non-intimidating.  I walked in as a totally yoga rookie, and felt right at home.  Did I mention how CLEAN this place is?

prana girls

Plus the girls that run it are absolute dolls.  They have no idea who I am, but I totally love what they are doing!

So there you have it.  Two of my favorite indulgences.  Hot Yoga + Buttermilk Biscuits.  Because it’s Monday and we all need a little pick me up! Back to your wedding-y scheduled things tomorrow.