Saturday, February 28, 2009

A New Home

So after taking months and months and months off from all things that used to be routine in my life I am finally starting a new blog. Please join me at Buddy Chicken, for the continuation of my life!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A New Identity

I have now been out of the corporate world for just over 8 months, seems like a lot longer, and have been relishing every moment of it. I have a lot of new opportunities that I am beginning to explore and am in need of a graphic identity, but basically just a business card will do for now. Luckily for me I am basically surrounded by people who make their living doing just what I need.

I am going to be working with one of my good friends to design a card, and hopefully eventually much more, but as we all know great things are not done over night, and seeing as once I get an idea for something I just got for it, I needed a fast solution to the situation. I was recommended to This is such a great site for all who are new to it. Based in the UK, of course, you can have custom cards sent to your house in small runs in as little as 10 days. For just over $20 you can have 50 double sided business cards printed up. This is great because usually you are spending hundreds of dollars, and getting hundreds of cards, and lets face it not all of us have the money, or the demand for that amount of product. With this site you can upload up to 50 images, one for each card, or 10 images and receive 5 cards with the same image, well you get the idea. So if you are an illustrator you can upload your illustrations and have a mini portfolio always at hand. The site also has a half business card size, which was the only option until recently, and has proven to be enormously popular. For my first go I went very simple with some color floods and a few letters, no photo, and then my information on the back, or front, however you want to look at it. I will be sure to give my review when they arrive. At any rate I am really excited and can't wait.

On the flip side of the business card printing realm, and the one that I hope to venture into soon is the high end custom card. These are the cards that you get handed and can't put down. They are well designed, printed on scrumptious paper and something that you want to put on your inspiration board at home. For me, when I am working with someone creative, from a hair dresser to an event designer the smallest details can make it or break it. A business card can definitely fall into this category. So this leads me to the picture above, which is from a company justly named Brooklyn Social Cards. I love the card featured above, and well most of the cards that are on their site. Really I am just a sucker for letterpress. So happy hunting for those of you who are, and those who are not, shouldn't you be?

Wedding Season Again...

I guess that if you really enjoy planning events, finding inspiration for them and seeing how excited your exceptionally creative friends get about planning theirs you will never really move out of wedding season.

Last week one of my bridesmaids got engaged and JP and I could not be more excited. I know that she will put together a unique, hand crafted, every detail thought out, event. Over the past few days, with the exception of when we went to the beach, I have been busy putting together a wedding care package for her. I can't wait to finish it and send it off. Hopefully I will snap some photos to share, I really have to get better about doing that.

I stopped in last night to chat with with woman who produced our invitations at Chelle Paperie, in Hampden, and was thrilled to discover that she had recently gotten engaged and has been feverishly, but totally under control, planning her upcoming wedding. Interestingly, both of these women are from the same area in Pennsylvania, I am excited to see the outcome of each of their visions.

And because I am on the subject of weddings, here are some picks from my wedding in Telluride, Colorado from the end of May. We are about a week away from receiving the professional photographs, but these are some of my favorites from family and friends. The top image was my mothers idea. When we were talking about ways to economically enhance the wooden structure that is at the wedding site, she drew out the idea of a wreath with an F in it, for JP's last name, and swag draping from it and down the columns. It was such a great idea. I found a huge F, and grapevine wreath, at a craft store in Baltimore on a shopping trip with one of my bridesmaids. I simply wrapped the F in some sisal twine, and handed it all over the the florist. It turned out to be one of my favorite things, and now the F adorns the front door of our house. The second image is again, from the ceremony site. Here you can get a better view of the snow capped mountain backdrop. And the third image is JP and myself signing the Colorado wedding license. (It was filled out in the courthouse on a typewriter)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


So it is no secret that birds are the things to have and hold these days. For the past few years it seems that everywhere you go there are at least 10 different pieces of bird merchandise to satisfy your need of your feathery friends. I have to admit that I have fallen into the bird situation, but have tried to limit my flock.

One of the jewelry lines that I work with has, I believe, done the bird well. Figs & Ginger is a husband and wife team based out of Asheville, NC who specialize in Eco-friendly sterling silver earrings, necklaces and soon a wedding line as well. Elijah and Rhonda try their hardest to use only recycled silver and gold to create their pieces.

On a side note...
When JP and I were going through the ring process, the jeweler who we were working with recycled the gold from the setting of the stones that had been passed down from our families. Not only did this save us some money, but we were happy to hear that the left overs were not just going to waste. It's nice to know that they might go into creating a meaningful piece for someone else.

So I encourage you to take a look at their site, at the very least their whimsical designs should put a smile on your face. And being a fan of all things woodland creatureish I have to give Figs & Ginger two thumbs up on their deer collection as well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jean Jack

When JP and I were on our honeymoon in Santa Fe, NM we stumbled upon the Jean Jack gallery. We were, well I was in love. JP liked it as well, but it really struck a cord with me. We tend to be fairly picky about art that we would have in our house. We go more for photography, drawings and some multi media work, but vary rarely do we get turned on by paintings. Jean Jack has lived in Santa Fe for the past 18 years, and hails from the east coast. She has been painting landscapes for the past 38 years. Her shop is meticulously put together, a fantastic mixture of found objects, art and white wash. We came away with a glorious little house with a blue roof, a found object not painting. But we know that one day one will hang in our house and we will be reminded of our journeys together since our trip to Santa Fe.

Rotten Bananas

One of our favorite gifts from the wedding was a bread maker. Up until last week it had been kept tidy and boxed up waiting until it had a home, or there was just the right opportunity to use it.

I walked into the kitchen last week and realized that I had three very ripe bananas that were very soon going to a feast for some fruit flies, yuck...

So I ripped open the bread box, literally, found a recipe on line and went to work. It was really quite easy and made the house small wonderful. For the most part it was successful. Might have worked a bit better if I had opened the instruction book and seen that there was a banana bread recipe that was suggested by the manufacturer. Oh well, my husband is the instruction reader, I am more of the figure it out as you go kinda gal.

At any rate, it tasted great, but the sides had some opportunities. You can see this from the photos I am sure. I have to mention the glass in the picture, I found it while antiquing in PA with one of my best friends before the wedding. Seeing as we were on a wedding antiquing trip I knew that I had to purchase the Colorado glass being as that is where we were having the ceremony. I forgot about it until I was cleaning and re-organizing when we got home and was tickled to find it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's Done!

JP and I had a hugely successful wedding! For the three days before the wedding we woke up to snow and would have about one or two snow storms a days. It was really very beautiful and we were excited to be there for such strange weather.

Everything went off without a hitch with one small exception. There was some sort of stomach discomfort that passed from my Dad to JP and then onto our bridesmaid, Melissa. JP was out of commission two day's before the wedding, but did manage to take the gondola to town for an hour and we were able to get our wedding license. It was a quintessential Telluruide experience, and worth the trip! The court house in town is brick with a large clock tower, the halls are lined with old photographs of town and the mines that surround it. We received our license in a small room, with two folding chairs and the kind woman who assisted us. The whole process was done on a type writer, a machine not so often used any more, but adored by many.

JP and I were so moved by all those who took the time and made the effort to come to Colorado. We all had such a wonderful time and had such a great response from all of our guests. Most importantly, JP's dad came and provided a wealth of support, excitement and love for JP. We were really happy to have him there and get to spend some time with him. The wedding was defiantly a defining point in our lives pertaining to our family and friends and the relationship structure going forward. And going forward is what we are doing right now.

That being said the next part of going forward for me is changing my name...
I used to have really mixed feelings about this, but am excited to do it now, strange as it is. To make things easier on a busy gal was set up. This service compiles all of the most up to date forms that you need to submit to different corporations and government agencies. Best of all, you enter your information once and it will auto fill all of the forms. All you have to do is print up the forms from your on line file and send them in with the appropriate fees. And not to worry, when you print up each for it is accompanied with instructions for any additional things that you need to do. Gift certificates are also available and would make such a cute shower gift for a bride to be.

And speaking of brides, I am off to try and see Sex and The City, I will let you know what I thought tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Darn the Pound

to have and to hold ribbon from Cox and Cox

A while ago I wrote about Cox and Cox, an online store from England. Today I opened my email to find out that they just added a wedding section! They have all kinds of goodies that they have pulled together for that extra touch for a wedding or party. The 'To have and to hold' ribbon, featured above, being one of my favorites. There were so many more that I loved, sadly I can't show them all...

But here are a few more!!

photos from Cox and Cox

So these are some of my other favorites. The Wedding Matches are so adorable. Let's face it matches might not have that much of a place at weddings any more due to the fact that no one is smoking any more. However, there is something great about a custom, or semi custom match box. I think that this would be such a nice addition and start to your celebration to put into the welcome baskets with a nice travel sized candle for each room. There is nothing nicer than getting rid of hotel room scent and a nice gesture on the part of the bride and groom to help make their guest feel comfortable. Oh yes, printed on the box is the Oxford Dictionary definition for wedlock, "marriage mar'ij n. wedlock, to tie the knot: the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, the perfect match." The Paper Fiesta Bunting is just so smart, adds a touch of fun to any event. It can be placed outside in trees, on fences, or on poles. Similarly, it can be strung up inside to add a fast dressing to any space. I love these Seed Favour Sets. They consist of 10 seed sticks that are ready to plant and will germinate in about 3 to 4 weeks. Available in a multitude of choices from Alpine Strawberries, to wildflowers and herbs they can be valuable for any occasion. What a nice way to give your guest a gift that is easy to travel with, they can deal with on their own time, not like a live plant, and can remind them over and over again about your beautiful soiree! And last, but definitely not least, the Wedding Sign. Made of enamel and printed on both sides it is such a good choice for corralling your guest to where they should be!

So now that I have shared all of these wonderful finds the sad news for us in the United States, as of tonight the exchange rate is just under two dollars to the pound. What a stinker! For now I will be satisfied by looking at the web site and dreaming of the day when the dollar is worth something again...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Keeping It All Together

Fortunately, I have been fairly good at keeping all of my ducks in a row organizationally with the wedding. However, I have not been using a wedding planning book, I found them to be cumbersome and not quite what fit me. I know that organization is a major challenge for a lot of brides. Recently I found Muse:Wedding Inspiration on line and think that it is just swell. It is completely customizable format that can suit any bride. As with most wedding planning you do need to spend some time setting it up and making it yours. I found this to be really nice because I was not sorting through junk that has nothing to do with my wedding.

There are spaces to work on your budget, and you can create multiple ones as well. There is a schedule, and places for ideas. The site is a bit nicer than paper because all information is in one place and can all communicate with itself. Leaves out the cross referencing and making sure that nothing was left out. So I hope that you find this as fun and functional as I did. Also, why not use it for other things in your life. It is a blank format, no one says that it has to be used for a wedding...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And I'm Back...

The past three weeks have been such a whirlwind.

It was so wonderful being able to spend so much time with my parents since the beginning of the month. The trip to St. Louis was fast, but great. The shower that I had there was so beautiful and it was such a treat to spend time with some of the women who have seen me grow up. I was also entrusted with the care of a beautiful fur stole belonging to the grandmother of my gracious shower host. I am planning on wearing it over my dress when the weather gets a bit chilly during the wedding. So excited!

Saturday, I was lucky enough to have another shower in Baltimore. Many of our friends and some of JP's family were able to join us, yes JP made an appearance at the shower as well. The shower was so beautiful, and the stories that were shared about JP and myself were thoughtful and a nice reminder of the times that we have shared with some of the most influential people in our lives.

There are not many times in ones life when friends and family are all able to gather and celebrate together. It has been so meaningful to have friends who care enough about us to create and organize events that made some of these times possible. We can not express how appreciative we are.

One of the highlights of last week was having my parents in town to go with me to my dress fitting. It was completely unexpected, but really fun. Even though we forgot to bring a camera, we did get some good mother daughter shots in with the cell phone.

We are just over a month away from the wedding at this point and are jam packed every weekend until we leave. My best friend from high school was at the shower on Saturday and wanted to get together for lunch some weekend before the wedding. I said that we would love to, but then started going through my schedule with her and realized that realistically the next time we will be able to have lunch with them before the wedding will be in Telluride. I have my checklist made and it seems that for everything that I check off I have about two more things to add, oh well, I love making lists!

One of the items on my list is wedding jewelry. With the exception of my dress and vail, I have been trying fairly hard to ensure that everything else wedding related can be used again, and not for something as fancy as a wedding. The jewelry has been a challenge. I did not want to spend a whole lot of money, and I did not want crazy wedding jewelry. For a while I was planning on doing some kind of pearl situation, I thought that I might make something, but after trying on a few pieces decided against it. I found a great necklace and I love it, so I bought it, but did so at a place that if I do not end of using it I can return it. So now I need earrings, but I think that I have a pair that will suit just fine already in the jewelry collection. But I am still on the lookout for a great pair of earrings that I could wear if I choose to wear my hair up and forgo the necklace. Trivial I know, but I like options.

Oh, I almost forgot that I picked up the bridesmaid dresses on Friday and Melissa was able to try hers on after the shower on Saturday and she looked stunning. I highly suggest TwoBirds to any bride. If makes it so easy and the look ends up being individual, sophisticated and effortless. Three things that I think most women try to achieve. I can't wait to see Lexi in hers next weekend.

So that is an overview of what has been going on. But stay tuned because I really do have some new blogs planned for the upcoming days.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Where is NPR?

Tuesday marks the start of crazy wedding season in our household. In the next twenty or so days I will be driving to and from St. Louis, in 8 days, and with our dog Porter. Attending two wedding showers, really excited about this, cooking my first Passover dinner. Driving to and from Philadelphia, working when I can, and continuing to prepare for the wedding, crafts and such. And the grand finale will be my bachelorette party!

So to kick off the month is the road trip to St. Louis with my mom. When JP and I go on road trips we inevitably start out listening to our local NPR station and then lose the signal, rude. But I was checking out their web site the other day and found this great service, who knows how long it has been around for, but it is step by step directions and listings of NPR stations along your route. How nice, to never have to go without it.

We are off to run all kinds of errands and then clean the house in preparation of the parental arrival.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something to remember

My mom forwarded me some pictures from the dinner in the sky website. Apparently you can rent this service, and time any where, as long as there is an appropriately sized surface that can be secured.

What a unique way to celebrate, the table holds 22 people, great for an intimate rehearsal dinner, or small wedding party. Just make sure to limit peoples fluid intake...

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Been A While

I am not quite sure what has happened in the past week, but I think that I just took a small computer vacation. But I am back now, I promise.

On second thought, what happened is that I purchased a button machine, went antiquing with Melissa in Pennsylvania, and dug my sewing machine out of the closet. I have been having a blast.

I am now making buttons as well as the flowers out of vintage table linens and they are going so well. {The excuse for purchasing the button machine is that I am using it for items for the wedding, which I am and you will see more on that later.} I began selling them at Red Tree as well and have been getting some really good responses. JP is so excited that I have gotten my creative side back, and he is being so accepting of the fact that the house has turned into a studio with all of my things spread out everywhere. He even took interest in the buttons and has picked out a few for himself.

For a while now I have been on a clutch kick. Sadly, all of the ones that I fall madly in love with are way out of my price range, such is life. So I decided to just go right ahead and start making some myself. When I was in PA with Melissa a few weekends ago gathering goods for the wedding I also picked up a great tea towel. It turned out that it transitioned really nicely into a clutch.

I chose a quilted nylon fabric, that was originally used for monogrammed flask covers that I gifted on New Years Eve in Telluride a few years ago. {Sorry no pictures, but they were really cute} At any rate, I am fairly happy with my first attempt at clutch making. I really want Melissa to give me a mini lesson, she makes beautiful ones, so that I have a better idea of what I am doing.

So that is what I have been up to, for the most part. We have started receiving RSVP's and it is so fun to open the mail box every day and see what has come in. So far the positives are winning. We also received out first gift, such fun!

We are off to NYC for a night at the end of the week for Fawad's opening and just used price line to book our hotel. I love price line, we got such a great rate and a hotel that I think should be some fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Save the Date

I made these really quickly one night a few weeks ago when I started to panic about people having information about the wedding. The idea came from an idea in Martha Stewart Weddings a few issues back. Martha's was made to be a postcard, however I was a bit nervous about the little envelope making it all the way to the recipients houses with the rest of the card. I decided to adapt it a bit and make it an enclosure. I really like how it turned out, and had a great time hand stamping all of them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some Tradition

As many couples come together these days there is a combining of religions, or in some instances an omission of one all together. Some choose to be completely secular, and some choose to add in traditions that they find important while omitting what is not relevant to them as a couple. We have decided to have a judge be the officiant at our wedding, however I would like to still incorporate some Jewish traditions. One of the components of a Jewish marriage is the signing of the Ketubah, the marriage contract. Traditionally, this contract was to lay out guide lines of responsibility for the bride and groom in their marriage. It is also the contract for the bride price, an important thing to be sure. In general I do not enjoy Judaic artwork, the aesthetic is just not one for me, that was until today.

I found the most amazing artist on line. Her name is Tsilli Pines, and she is an Israeli-American graphic designer. She lives and works in the pacific northwest, of course, and creates in her spare time. She has a whole web site full of amazing creations, but what really caught my eye were the Ketubah. They are so beautiful and not done in what I would consider to be Judaic aesthetic. She does custom printing for each piece as well. She has five text that are her standards, that range from reform to orthodox, and back to secular. You can also choose to have custom text printed and she seems to be very flexible. I hope that you love them as much as I do. (The image is a bit light on the white background, so please use the link and look at her beautiful works, this one is titled Moons)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Put Your Stamp on It

custom stamps from

After I had applied all of my stamps to the rsvp envelopes and they were nice and secure in my sealed and addressed outer envelopes I realized that I had heard the price of stamps was increasing sometime in the near future. And then I panicked.

It turns out that we are in the clear, stamp prices will be raised once cent to $0.42 on the 12th of May 2008. Our rsvp's are due in before that, but for anyone who will be purchasing stamps for use after that date be aware of what you are purchasing and make sure to ask questions, not that you always get great answers at the post office. Also, you can save some money and purchase some of the 5 billion, according to the USPS web site, forever stamps that I have been put into circulation to prepare for the great money hike.

Also, you can purchase customized stamps for various wedding mailings. There are a lot of sites out there, on of which is, who offer this service. Make sure to have the post office weigh what you intend to use the stamps for so that you order them with the correct postage. Use your engagement photos for invitations, or a landmark where you will be wed. And for the thank you notes, choose your favorite portrait from the wedding, or event. This would also be so cute for birthdays and baby showers, or birth announcements. I have to also mention that this could go very wrong and be really cheesy, so walk the thin line with this and make sure that it is done tastefully and not tackily.

Monday, February 25, 2008

All in One Place

the mini binder by Russell and Hazel

All of the wedding books tell you that you have to have all of your wedding information with you at all times. What if there is an emergency table linen disaster and you need to make a decision that cannot wait until you get home? The world could end. And lord knows, people do not have enough to carry around with them without taffeta swatches.

I decided to take this advice with a grain of salt, but knew that I needed to step up my daily planner and information storage system. And, as my parents tell you, I love a good binder, always have. Anything that is organizational I can't get enough of. A few years ago, I came across Russell and Hazel, the ultimate affordable, fun, durable organization company for all things desk related. Their products can be hard to come by, at least a good variety in their product line, so I quickly went on their web site to see if there was a local retailer in Baltimore. Luckily, there was, Chelle Paperie, where we then had our invitations designed and printed.

mini filler paper by Russell and Hazel

I decided to go with the Mini Binder, in gold, of course, and all kinds of great inserts. I loaded up with lined paper, a calender, an address insert and folders to place those little things that seem to disappear into your purse. I cannot recommend this company enough. I am still using binders that I purchased over 5 years ago, and that is saying a lot for me! So check them out you will be glad you did.

month table by Russell and Hazel

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Solo Show

The grooms man in our wedding, Fawad Khan, has his first solo show in New York, opening on the 13th of March. After attending MICA with JP, and then for his senior year, myself, Fawad move to NYC to earn his graduate degree from School of Visual Arts. After graduating he has worked in advertising, and has recently become a full time artist. We are so excited for him and cannot wait to see what unfolds. For more information on Fawad's upbringing, and some insight into his work, please visit NY Arts Magazine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Finishing Touches

The one thing that I still do not have nailed down for the wedding is what jewelry I should wear. I think that for the ceremony I will probably go with a mid sized dual strand pearl, perhaps tapering in size from front to back. And I guess pearls for earrings as well, not a statement, I am aware, but I do like the simplicity of it. I feel like I should be very pulled together for the ceremony, but after that I am free to go. So, while some brides choose to have different dresses, for different times during the wedding celebration, I really like the idea of spicing things up a bit by simply changing accessories. I was looking at the Anthropologie web site this evening and found some nice pieces, well a necklace that I really love, and some earrings that I thought might be nice for someone who wanted to have some fun but not too much. But it is key to remember that you should keep balance in mind and choose either to have the earrings, or the necklace be the statement, not both. (I have been known to do this, but don't recommend it!)

I also think that a wonderful piece of jewelry makes a great gift for people who you are thanking at the wedding, but not necessarily for them to wear during the wedding. Try to find a designer who they really like, or if you are at a craft/art fair and see something that just so perfectly fits your maid of honor, go ahead and get it. Who cares if they can't use their gift in the wedding, probably better because they might be game for wearing it in real every day life. And if you are a laid back bride, I like to think that I am, you can let the attendants choose their accessories, and if you chose your gift wisely she will love it so much that she will want to wear it right away. So those are my thoughts on that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Where are We?

Telluride is such a small town I was not originally thinking that we needed to make maps. I was going to provide each room with one, just in case, but nothing really individualized for the occasion. But, this morning I came across these amazing maps from an artist, Laura Hooper, on Etsy. I am so inspired by it I think that I am definitely going to make one for the wedding, just a nice little hand touch to make it more personalized. But not to worry, I will still be providing hiking trails and town maps that are a bit more useful for everyday than the hand drawn one.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Good Friend

Yesterday I had a wonderful day, our friend Melissa, my bridesmaid, drove down from Philadelphia for the day to do all things wedding related. I cannot express how excited I was and what I wonderful time I had, it meant so much to me to have someone else as excited as I am and want to get involved in planning and details for the weekend of the wedding. We had a wonderful and story filled lunch at Atwaters in Belvedere Square, and then headed off to Jo Ann's Fabrics and found all kinds of great things for the wedding. I know everyone just took a deep breath in that I found things for the wedding at a craft store, but don't worry, they did not come from the wedding isle, and they are really only ingredients in a larger project. I think that I am most excited about the button press that I purchased. Melissa and I were playing with it last night and it is so much fun, but more to come on that later.

Melissa also brought down the Spring 2008 Philadelphia Home magazine to show me the loft of an Anthropologie friends that was featured. While looking through I found the above flower display and loved it. Happy Spring.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Casual Elegance

I decided a while ago, that the style for the wedding is casual elegance, a style in which I strive to live, but do not always achieve, but hey, I am still young right...

Currently our abode does not have a washer and dryer and we are back to doing laundry at the laundromat, one of my favorite activities in life. When we work up this morning and were talking about what our plans were for the weekend I mentioned that we had to do some serious laundry, and almost as if it were fate, when I jumped on the computer this morning I found this great laundry bag, which I think is definetely casual elegance, from India Rose. I think it might also make a really great back bag, or general catch all, because lets face it, when you do not have your own washer and dryer you have way more laundry to do at one time then normal.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Big Weekend

photo from Numpty on Etsy

Last weekend was jam packed with to dos on the wedding checklist. JP and I met with Lauren Schott, the jeweler who made my engagement ring and we put in our order for our wedding bands, we are both really excited about them and cannot wait to see the wax molds and then the rings.

We also had a really nice visit with Lauren and Jon, Lauren (formally known as Stromberg) is my best friend from high school. She and her husband live in Mclain, VA and I had not seen her since moving back to MD in June. I have been trying to get Lauren to Telluride since our sophomore year of high school and am thrilled that they will be celebrating our wedding with us there in May.

On Sunday, we trekked down to Mclain, VA to find a suit for JP for the wedding. We were able to find a great suit, and JP looks so handsome. The shirts that he, and his groomsmen will be wearing will have French cuffs, so now we are on the hunt for unique cuff links. While we will not be using Lego cuff links for the wedding, I could not resist putting them up on the site. I know that they are really easy to make, but think that they are kinda cute, and in the correct setting might be nice.

So now the last big hurtles will be choosing what we will be eating at the reception, and assembling and sending out the invitations. From there it should be easy sailing. I say that now, but who knows.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gifts They Can Use

Trying to try and find good, useful thank you gifts for your bridal party can be fairly challenging. If you are looking for tacky, ugly, or useless you are lucky because there are endless possibilities out there for your friends and loved ones. However, I am not looking for any of these qualities in what I choose to thank my friends with. In addition, I think that a lot of people try to give gifts that are a remembrance of their wedding, while that is fine, it really needs to be thought out. Do your friends really want items with your names on them, or your wedding date? Probably not. You can choose jewelry, but make sure that it fits their personality and not yours. And I think that is the key point in trying to choose a gift, make sure that it is for the receiver, and not for the giver.
photo from Cherry Tee

While I was cleaning up old bookmarks on my computer I came across Cherry Tee, a great little tee shirt company that only makes high quality, well fitting, beautifully colored tees. There are a few style to choose from, but nothing fancy, no screen printing, no logos, just great simple cotton standbys. I think one of the best things that company has done is reached out from selling the single tee, to selling them in sample sets, gift sets and tee's of the month options. Wouldn't it be nice to be in your friends wedding and for the next year, the first week of every month, receive a great new cotton shit! What a great way to say thank you over and over, and give your friends something that they might actually wear or look at more than once. So check it out, I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Great Packaging

photo from Rust Belt

I love this new jewelry company that I discovered today. The company uses all re-purposed materials and tries to have as little impact as possible on environment. The line is designed by two women, Anna Bario, and Page Neal who are both committed to re-thinking the luxury jewelry world, which is filled with practices that have both negative environmental and social impacts. But I also really like them for the packaging that their items arrive in . Above is a great example of the reused glass bottles that they have adjusted to suit their needs. So while I might not be having a green wedding it is still nice to throw a nod towards something that is ecologically responsible. And what a great choice for the couple who is having a green wedding, nice as wedding party gifts, or as wedding day accessories. This company also has a really informative blog and site so if you have a moment you might want to check them out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Treat Your Body Well

It is no secret that I love all things bath and body related. I am a sucker for great product design and therefore am always ready to try a new a beautiful bath product. Aside from the visual, I am also always on the lookout for hydrating lotions, soaps, chap sticks and well, anything great. Through working at Red Tree, I recently discovered Biggs and Fetherbelle, a great line that is made locally, in Baltimore, by a sister team. Their products are all natural, fragrances are from essential oils, and the colors are derived from plants, herbs and vegetable oils. It is so wonderful to be able to support locally owned small companies that have a really fabulous product, and I just love them. They also do custom gift sets as well as great little bagged up soaps that would make a super shower gift. If you are interested in trying some of their products I would suggest the Mini Bar Set, with 8 sample soaps ranging from Barlesque to Fixins bar you will not be disappointed, I promise.

Monday, February 4, 2008

On the Wedding Front

As we have been taking to friends about the wedding and letting them know about airline deals and where to fly into we have had such an amazing response from people. My mom has been saying all along to expect more people to come than not because people love a chance to take a vacation and a wedding is such a good reason, and that seems to be what is happening. There has been such an outpouring of people who are so excited to come and cannot wait and we would not be happier.

Also, last week I put in the order for the bridesmaids dresses. I had found them back in November and thought that I had a lot of time to get going on that front. Then to my horror, when I was flying to Telluride I splurged and purchase In Style Weddings, and the dresses were mentioned in the magazine. I knew at that point that I needed to place my order and get on with it. Fortunately, the line, Two Birds, just starting to be carried by a bridesmaid store in Baltimore and I was able to go, see the dress and try it on, and I loved it. While I was there the owner mentioned that the woman who owns the dress company was going to be on Martha Stewart in the beginning of February. At any rate I am really excited about them and think that they are such a good solution to the horror of bridesmaid dresses.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dude Day

So in a nod to the super bowl, which I do not really care about, but my better half does, I thought that I would share a great recipe for today. We had this last night for dinner, and really enjoyed it, as we always do. I am not really sure where the recipe is from, my mom gave it to me after we had it at her house and loved it, so sorry about that. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we have.

Chicken Wings with Spicy Apricot Sauce

4 1/2 pounds chicken wings with tips cut off
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I did not have this so I used chili power and it worked well

Preheat the broiler, and line a baking pan with tin foil. Place and cookie cooling rack on pan and oil it lightly. In a bowl combine the olive oil, pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt, add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Place them on the rack and broil for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn one time.

In a new bowl combine the apricot preserves, lime juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoons salt. Brush each cooked wing with sauce to coat and return to the broiler for another 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the wings and brush the other side, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat this round of coating and flipping each side one more time.

Serve hot and with plenty of strong napkins.

Serves 4

Hope you all have a great pig skin day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

e-bay delivers yet agian...

photo from martha stewart

While I really love flowers and would have them everyday everywhere in my life, they do have a very short shelf life and are not the best investment. So for the wedding I have tried to create great floral statements by insuring that the entire presentation adds to the atmosphere that we are aiming to create. While I do think that this should always be an objective, often times it gets lost. For a few years now I have been collecting old aqua Ball jars and decided that they would be beautiful in collecting running down long tables for dinner. I am planning on using a few different heights and pairing them with some candles as well. Some of the candles will be in jars, somewhat like the picture, but the ones that I am planning on using will be smaller and have a metal latch for their lids. There will also be aspen or birch wrapped candles along the table and in the floral groupings. I can't wait! We got our first batch of e-bayed jars on Friday. I have been using the jars to store collections of items that I being back from trips, shells from China, shells from the Bahamas, rocks from Telluride, and I am so excited to have so many more to store little collections in over the years, and how nice that they will be a beautiful memory from our wedding that the rest of our life will be filling up. Cheesy, but great.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wedding Shoes

As part of my trip to Telluride I places my order for my wedding shoes. The pictures above are from the shop. In the one on the left I am having my foot traces, and then measured in four different places to make sure that we get an great fit. On the right I am sitting with, or really he is sitting with me, the owners dog, my father took quite a liking to him until his allergies started to kick in. I can't wait to get them, my parents thought that was the most excited that I have gotten about the wedding planning so far...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Comfort Food

photo from

A few nights ago I decided to make one of my new go to easy meals. I love the simplicity in making it, and the creamy, chewy, wholesome goodness that you are left with in the end. Plus, I have discovered that I love barley. I do not think that I will ever make traditional risotto again, not that I really made it to begin with. My mom found the recipe last year on 101 Cookbooks, my favorite, and I have made it numerous times since. I hope that you all enjoy it and love it as much as we do!

Meyer Lemon Risotto

I used tatsoi, left over from this weekend's market, as the green in this recipe but feel free to experiment with other greens (chopped chard, spinach, arugula, etc). The recipe calls for 6 cups of stock/water. This can vary quite a bit depending on your pot and the grains, but you are likely to need between 4 1/2 - 6 cups. Sometimes I like to throw in a handful of chopped Meyer lemon segments in for added flavor and texture, but be sure to remove all the seeds.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups lightly pearled barley
1 cup good quality dry white wine
6 cups light vegetable stock (or water)
Grated zest of 4 Meyer lemons (more to taste if you like)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
3 big handfuls of greens, chopped
Handful of toasted pine nuts, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions, shallots, garlic, and salt and saute, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.

Add the barley to the pot and stir until coated with a nice sheen, then add the white wine and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, until the barley has absorbed the liquid a bit. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle, active simmer.

In increments, add about 6 cups of water or stock, 1 cup at a time, letting the barley absorb most of the liquid between additions; this should take around 40 minutes altogether. Stir regularly so the grains on the bottom of the pan don't scorch. You will know when the barley is cooked because it won't offer up much resistance when chewing (it will, however, be chewier than Arborio rice).

When the barley is tender remove the pot from heat. Stir in the lemon zest, Parmesan, and crème fraiche. Taste and adjust - add more salt if needed, more lemon zest. Then stir in the greens. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and a dusting of extra Parmesan before serving.

Easily serves 4 to 6

From 101 Cookbooks

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Love the English

photos from cox & cox

So for a while now it seams that every new great place that I find to shop, or look online is based in England. Which is great, I love England, I would even pay for shipping, because hey, the world is not really that big and if you have a great product... but gosh, it is really hard to get behind paying upwards of double the price! The items above are from Cox & Cox , and I think that they would be great touches for the wedding, but alas, they are not available... They also have really great items for the home, kids and crafts.

We are receiving a draft of our invitations today, and are so excited. Hopefully we will be at press soon!

I am off the to grocery, it is snowing here and accumulating fairly quickly. So I best get there while the rest of the world is still at work!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The First of the Year

We have had quite a busy start to the New Year. On the third we drove down to Table Rock state park in South Carolina to attend Curt and Bonnie's wedding. It was really beautiful and we had such a wonderful time. JP was the best man and looked very dashing if I may say so. The state park that they chose had some cabins that we were able to rent and they turned out to be nicely appointed. We arrived a day early and were able to spend some time relaxing and enjoying a mini break before the rest of the guest got there, and the wedding activities were in full swing. I think that this is something that we will try and do with all the weddings that we are going to this year, just so that we can really enjoy the time that we are able to be away. And it is also nice to be adjusted to a place once festivities start. It was truly a great start to a year that is going to be full of weddings for us.

After our drive back to Baltimore, I had a 6am flight out the next day to Telluride in order to plan our wedding in 3 days. Fortunately I was able to make it, my flight was delayed in Dallas because of snow in Montrose, where we fly into, and the roads into Telluride were quite challenging. We have never seen so much snow there and there did not seem to be an end in sight. I think that my mom was hoping that I would be snowed in and not able to leave. At any rate, I was able to get a lot accomplished and feel really thrilled about how everything is shaping up. Sadly, JP was not able to join my parents and myself on the trip, but he has been filled in on all the details. After deciding on a cake, flowers, DJ, venue, a place for the guests to stay, the caterer for the rehearsal dinner and brunch, and some activities for the weekend I flew back home to Baltimore, and went right back to work.

On Saturday night, my mom's best friend and her husband were in town for a convention and took us out to dinner. We had such a lovely time with them and really enjoyed being able to share our excitement about the wedding with others who genuinely wanted to hear about it and are thrilled that we have reached this step in our relationship.

This week I am going to look at potential bridesmaid dresses, and will keep you all posted on the success of that trip. I am hoping that, like the rest of the recent wedding decisions, or most of them, it will be a quick and easy decision. But at any rate I will let you know.