Royal Wedding Wishes

Practically the whole world seems to be atwitter with anticipation for the Royal Wedding tomorrow.  Being in the events industry, like many I am excited to see what gown the bride will wear, what unique touches will be present, how the groom will react when he first sees the bride (always a favorite moment for me at weddings), etc.  I would love to know all of the details of the event and the multitude of logistics being coordinated by a team of mostly unknown and unrecognized people.

At the end of the day, these are all things that we, the media and public at large, seem to be the most focused on.  What we seem to have forgotten, is that this is the wedding of William and Kate.  It is their day.

So, here is what I wish for William and Kate as they take their first steps in their new life tomorrow.

Steal Lots of Kisses

by Lynne Brubaker

Jump for Joy

by Kate Haus

Laugh Often

by Rodney Bailey

Be Romantic

via Style Me Pretty

Dance Like No One is Watching

by Simply Bloom

Find Some Quiet Moments

via Bridalhood Blog

Be Tender

by Simply Bloom

Be Passionate

Justin Lee via Green Wedding Shoes

Be Yourselves

via Green Wedding Shoes

And, of course, that they live Happily Ever After!

Spring is Here!

Happy Spring everyone!  I am back from Paris and my head is spinning with ideas for blog posts.  Stay tuned for lots of loveliness and inspiration in the coming weeks!

via girlygirlslike.com

Paris is Always a Good Idea

via bluraystats.com

I’m so excited to be heading to Paris for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday.  Here are just a few of my favorite things that I’m looking forward to doing:

  • Macarons at Laduree
  • Picnic at the foot of the Eiffel tower
  • Dinner at Les DÔme
  • A long cup of café au lait at Les Deux Magots
  • A leisurely walk through Luxembourg Gardens
  • Enjoying some of the boutique chocolateries
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping

Have you seen these Live the Language posts around?  Of course, I love the one for Paris.

I will be back with my next 2011 Trend post next week.  Au revoir until then!

The Year of Living Fabulously

2011 is going to be my Year of Living Fabulously!

Here is how I am defining this goal: A year dedicated to achieving personal and professional fulfillment by enjoying the best opportunities available, doing everything within my power to make my dreams come true and indulging in the occasional decadence.

I am incredibly fortunate and blessed in the family and friends I have, in being in a position to launch my own business, and to live in an incredible city.  While I have tried to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to me, I have let things like time, money and occasionally laziness/fatigue/shyness be an excuse far more times than I would like to admit.

This year, I want to be dizzy from the glamour, tipsy from the fun, and giddy from the laughter that comes with saying “yes” to the opportunities life presents.

With this post, I’m sending my dreams for the year out into the universe and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

And just for fun, here are just a few of images I have been looking at for inspiration recently.

Kelly Wearstler via InteriorDesignHouses.com, via Annmah, Mary McDonald via Elements of Style, SATC2 via GaynorAlder, Tim Walker for Dior, Mary McDonald via Elements of Style

Stay tuned for future posts about my design inspirations for the year ahead.

Holiday Treats

About twenty years ago, one of my Mother’s students gave her a tin of homemade Cracker Candy as a holiday present.  We immediately begged for the recipe.  This simple and easy to make treat is great as a little gift for friends this holiday season!

Cracker Candy

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 sleeve of Saltines or similar crackers

1 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with sides with foil.  Lay crackers side-by-side.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add sugar and stir until sugar starts to dissolve, about 3 minutes.  Pour evenly over crackers.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers.  Bake for another 3 minutes.  Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate like icing to cover evenly.  Place pan in refrigerator for one hour to set.  Using a knife or your hands, break into medium to small pieces.

Other toppings to consider- toasted coconut, peanut butter chips, and candy cane pieces.

Enjoy!

Holiday Decorating

I’ve been searching around the Web for some inspiring décor ideas for the holiday season and wanted to share some of my favorites.

From traditional to contemporary, a little touch of Christmas to dramatic decor, there’s something for everyone!

Carolyne Roehm

via Carolyne Roehm

via Coco & Kelley

etsy

via Pearls and Prose

Veranda via Your Wedding Company

Elle Decor

Veranda via MarthaMoments

Veranda via FineLivingMuse

via pointclickhome

The Lake Effect

My family spends Thanksgiving week at our lake house in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  My ancestors on my mother’s side first moved to this area in the 1800s.  The old family home where my great Grandmother and Grandmother were raised still stands today, beautifully restored by the current owners, and it is tradition to go by and pay our respects.

Hot Springs National Park is the oldest federal reserve in the country and has been a popular destination because of its thermal spring waters.  In the early 1900s, Major League Baseball would bring the teams to Hot Springs for pre-season training and the likes of Babe Ruth could be seen walking around town.  Once gambling became established, The Arlington Hotel became a favorite retreat for gangsters like Al Capone.  In more recent years, Hot Springs became nationally known as it was the boyhood home of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

About seven years ago, my family bought a house on Lake Hamilton to give us a place where we could all come together in this town that we have come to enjoy so much.  There is something transforming about being at the lake.  It is a constantly changing canvas.  Every day brings another layer of peace and tranquility.

Days may be spent talking, reading, or visiting some of the local attractions, like the Alligator Farm and the historic bath houses.  Evenings are spent having dinner with friends or cooking gourmet feasts, always accompanied by many bottles of fantastic wine.

In my next post, I will share one of my favorite things to enjoy while in Hot Springs – barbeque.

All photos by me

Wine Club

Tonight is the next gathering of my Wine Club.  A friend started this particular club about a year ago.  There are about 12-15 regulars, mostly women from the industry and other friends.  Here are the rules:

1)   Wines must be under $20

2)   The theme is selected by the winner from the previous gathering.

3)   The loser hosts.

4)   We do a blind tasting and then rank best to worst.

5)   Food is potluck.

Tonight, we will be sampling California Reds and a Thanksgiving-inspired menu.   I haven’t picked my wine yet, but I will be bringing one of my family’s more recent Thanksgiving favorites, Exotic Mushroom Bread Pudding by Emeril Lagasse.  This is a delicious alternative to the traditional stuffing.

courtesy of Nesting Newbies

Cozy Up

It is a cold and rainy day here in Washington, DC, and I can’t help but think about all things cozy. I wish I could put work aside and cuddle up in front of the fireplace in a decadent room, under piles of faux fur blankets, with some French onion soup, hot chocolate and a classic novel or a dark, romantic movie.  I’m warmer just thinking about it!

Photos courtesy of: Martha Stewart, Bride’s Guide, Elements of Style, Amazon, Coco&Kelley