Posts for "FAB FIVE"

Running a wedding planning and design focused business can be a hectic and time-consuming endeavor, with days packed with trips to rental companies, linen showrooms, and cake tastings and nights spent glued to the computer catching up on email and reviewing contracts.  One of the things I think we all experience as working professionals, in the wedding industry or not, is a tendency to allow self-care to slip to the bottom of the to-do list – it’s pretty easy to find yourself relying on caffeine or whaterever-is-nearby to get you through the day if not skipping meals entirely.  Recently, as we head into National Mental Health Awareness Month, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to make self-care a priority.  So today I thought I’d share my five most favorite snacks that help me get through busy days traveling LA and nights at my desk.  What strategies do you use to prevent yourself from getting too run down?  What snacks or meals do you rely on to keep you going on your busiest days?  (And click here for more information and to get involved in National Mental Heath Awareness Month.)

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  • 1. Trader Joe's Fruit Only Bars (Whole Foods has a nice little selection of these as well ;)
  • 2. I love this Tahini Dip from Trader Joe's with some fresh carrots - a perfect crunchy afternoon pick-me-up.
  • 3. Not just for toddlers!  Clementines are great to stash in the car for staving off afternoon sweet tooth attacks.
  • 4. Everyone who knows me knows Greek food is my favorite.  Tabouli salad, hummus, grape leaves are what I reach for when I'm deep into desk work.
  • 5. Trail mix is always an easy choice - I like to make my own by grabbing some pecans, almonds, and dried fruit from the bulk bins.

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Lately the studio conversation keeps coming around to the best books for inspiring creativity and informing one’s career.  I suppose it’s only natural, as we are in field of work filled with self-starting artist-entrepreneurs.  Reading and writing are two strong passions of mine, and, while poetry holds the most prominent place in my heart, I can get into a great soulful, helpful book when one comes my way.  Here are my top five picks of that variety: books to shake up your life and work.

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  • 1. Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic is a profoundly affecting manual for cultivating creativity.  Whether you are an artist by profession or simply desire to sprinkle more inspiration into your daily life, this book will get you going. I especially love Liz Gilbert's candid friendly voice and found the audiobook to add another layer of entertainment.
  • 2. In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant explores how innovators truly operate. With case studies galore he helps the reader consider alternative paths to success in a formulaic world.
  • 3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic for a reason.  The second habit, begin with the end in mind, is something I try to consistently practice. I like to pop this audio book in once a year, usually around the turn of a season or New Year itself.
  • 4. We're used to hearing only cooking, crafting, and other lifestyle advice from Martha Stewart.  But she managed to turn her lifestyle tidbits into a billion dollar business.  The Martha Rules shares her advice on business in an approachable and relatable way; good whether you're just getting started or well into the trenches.
  • 5. If you've been paying any attention to popular culture in the past year, then you are certainly familiar with Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  The title doesn't lie - the approach Kondo outlines will change your life. This book certainly sparks *joy* for me and I recommend the book, rather than audio for this one.

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We all have our “thing” and tabletop has been mine for quite some time.  I love hand-painted embellishments, fancy chargers, napkin details, and crystal stemware. A beautiful glass or presentation piece, such as a soup tureen, can make me weak in the knees. However, I believe that food looks best on a white plate, so you will notice that theme among my favorite china patterns. Most importantly, though, I believe that they key to a stylish table is flexibility (all couples should experiment with mixing and matching china patterns!) and I think these five options here are a good starting point.

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  • 1. Arcades by Philippe Deshoulieres.  One of the historic tabletop designer's flagship models, this collection is a perfect example of my favorite blend: traditional and modern combined.
  • 2. Anna's Garden by Anna Weatherly.  Anna Weatherly is having a renaissance - just ask our friends at Casa de Perrin who are now working with the Anna Weatherly team on custom pieces for wedding rentals.  These hand-painted pieces would be perfect for garden settings, more casual gatherings, or a special tea set.
  • 3. Bernardaud's Palmyre Dinnerware is my choice for formal dining.  The clean look is a perfect starting point, allowing one to add in and mix additional patterns over the years.  In my home I currently use this dinnerware with a Mottahedeh gold lace charger and Faberge Empress Elisabeth dessert service.
  • 4. CB2's Frank Dinnerware is simple, modern, and easy to replace - perfect for daily use.  Similar designs are currently used at a number of fine modern restaurants and can often be spotted on the pages of Bon Appétit.
  • 5. Mottahedeh's Lace Collection (shown here in blue) is offered in a variety of colors, upping the ante a bit while still allowing the meal to take center stage.

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I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to style trends; my personal style preferences tend to lean toward the classic and timeless.  Yet, I do love the feeling of a modern update and I enjoy investigating what’s current.  So nail design, being completely impermanent and such a small detail, has always been where I have fun with and update my look.  Here are the five designs that are inspiring me right now – are there any you’re itching to try out?  PS – these are all from my “Lacquer Lust” Pinterest board.  Yes, there’s a whole board ;) so join me on over on Pinterest to see more!

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  • 1. Interpreting the half moon as a sharp "V" - I love the negative space in this one.
  • 2. The matte texture adds just a bit of edge to this lovely neutral grey.
  • 3. I'm not sure I could pull off tiny polka dots, but I like the idea.  The hint of a golden edge is a great touch.
  • 4. Yes, I'm loving the half moon.  I'd really like to try this one in a shade of periwinkle.
  • 5. White on one half, nude on the other.  This design is so simple yet visually striking.

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Each year we all collectively swoon over the gorgeous red carpet looks during awards season here in Los Angeles, and this year was no different.  From hair to makeup, perfect accessories to incredible gowns, there was so much inspiration to be found in the work of all the stylists and professionals who created these stunning moments.  After some deliberation, we managed to choose our five most favorite awards season looks to inspire bridal style in 2016 – let us know what you think in the comments below!

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  • 1. Delicate white lace put into balance by a solid silver belt - we love the contrasting elements in Priyanka Chopra's Oscars look.
  • 2. Saoirse Ronan at the Oscars rocking one of our favorite trends - mismatched color earrings.  Oh, and her body-conscious yet completely elegant gown isn't bad either!  We love the swirling pattern on the fabric (very van Gogh) and the color is heaven.
  • 3. A perfectly-tailored one-shoulder look is always a favorite around here, but it was the unexpectedly lovely futuristic detailing that made Kristen Wiig's SAG Awards look stand out.
  • 4. Krysten Ritter's soft, super-feminine makeup and hair were the perfect complement to the edgy cut of her gown at the Critic's Choice Awards.  (And the beading detail there was incredible.)
  • 5. Kate Beckinsale almost always looks like Bridal Perfection - of course this perfectly fitted gown with graphic detail complemented by a stunning minimalistic hairstyle fit the bill.

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We are only two months into 2016 and I am already itching to see some new color combinations! For those of you out there who don’t follow the wedding business closely, I’ll tell you that we’ve been seeing a LOT of blush and baby blue after Pantone announced the two shades as their “color of 2016”. Now, Rose Quartz (blush) and Serenity (baby blue) are lovely colors, yes. And I appreciate that Pantone changed it up this year, selecting such soft colors after seven years of vibrant choices.  But…my mind is already ticking along looking for a change.

The five color combinations here have been swirling around in my imagination for a while, inspiring different stories.  So when we passed by Côte (our favorite five-free nail salon) earlier in the week and I noticed all ten of these colors perched on little shelves, I thought I’d take the opportunity to pair them up to share with you!  I hope these color combinations spark your imagination as they have mine!

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  • 1. I am currently obsessed with this soft lavender.  It carries an antique quality with a touch of warmth and a lovely dustiness.
  • 2. This navy is perfection.  Paired with a yellow-tinged cream it becomes clean and elegant, the combination timeless.
  • 3. A periwinkle on the edge of vibrant paired with a dusky navy.
  • 4. We keep seeing Pantone's "Sharkskin" everywhere and we're into it.  I imagine this grey pairing nicely with a perfect raspberry - a slight shift from the classic Raspberry and Black theme.
  • 5. A pure marigold with a dark green works well for summer into fall.  It feels fresh, warm, and open, holding an opportunity for nostalgia.

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If you know me, you know that I love chocolate and I care deeply about the issues surrounding the production of my favorite treat.  While there exists a dark side to the chocolate business, there are many wonderful companies out there making amazing chocolate and doing it while upholding values I think we can all get behind.  So I’d like to once again highlight some of those people out there making ethically sourced chocolate.  Hope you can get out there and give some of these delicious goodies a try!

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  • 1. We love how transparent and educational Sirene is on their site - you can learn all about their beans and how they make their bars in one quick read.  While we have to name the Fleur del Sel bar as our favorite, the Dark Milk bar is a close second with a surprisingly complex flavor.  Dark chocolate with milk added, you can taste the separation of the flavors and it is good!
  • 2. Askinosie shares a great deal of information on their site about how they strive to interact with the world.  Their adorable "Chalk - Late Box" makes a great gift, containing four of their single-origin bars in a chalkboard-topped box.  It comes with a stick of chalk so you easily can add your own message :)
  • 3. For those who want a truly milky, sweet chocolate the Fruition Brown Butter Milk Chocolate Bar cannot be topped in our opinion.
  • 4. When you see the words peanut butter and chocolate together, you expect peanut butter filled chocolate.  But not with this bar.  What Poco Dolce does is fold together bittersweet chocolate and peanut butter, adding in a touch of grey sea salt, for a lightly peanutty treat.
  • 5. Alma makes all kinds of pretty confections, but this Sea Salt Hazelnut Crunch Bar is the one that's caught our attention.

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Is anyone else getting really excited for evenings spent baking and nights spent with friends at cookie exchange parties?  Here are five recipes we are looking forward to making and sharing with friends and loved ones!

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  • 1. These Brownie Cookies from The Pioneer Woman look incredible - reading her post, I could almost smell them!
  • 2. Thumbprint Cookies are a classic, and these delicious little cranberry thumbprints certainly fit the bill.
  • 3. Pizzelles are a Christmas tradition in Cassandra's home.  We love this recipe here.
  • 4. Homemade Divinity is a little bit of a game-changer.  A perfect way to mix it up in the Cookie Exchange Game.
  • 5. Well, this one is just a given.  Perfectly chewy sugar cookies from Real Simple.  Done and done. (Photo by Victor Schrager)

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Now that we’re in November it’s time to get ready to attend some delicious dinner parties and warm holiday gatherings.  And that means finding some killer gifts for the host or hostess. We’re starting the search over here and are ready to share our five most favorite finds (so far)!  Let the search continue!

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Let the paper love begin!  We’ve been bookmarking and pinning holiday cards of all sorts, but for this fab five list we’re going to focus specifically on holiday cards for the newlyweds – because everyone wants to see a photo of the happy couple!

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  • 1. Love these Pinhole Press cards - they're printed on extra thick card stock, which makes them feel a little special.
  • 2. It was quite a challege to choose which Artifact Uprising card to feature here - go to their website and have a good look if you're into minimalistic, modern, clean.
  • 3. Sugar Paper is always a favorite around here.  Of course we love their custom holiday photo cards.
  • 4. Paper Culture offers hundreds of contemporary designs and is a great budget-friendly option.  They also happen to be Carbon Free and plant a tree for every order placed.
  • 5. Paperless Post is such an easy option if you want to send e-cards as well as paper - done and done!

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