A Fine Flickering Romance

Wow.  All I can say is w-o-w.

It was the most beautiful wedding yesterday – complete with the most gorgeous and happy bride – soft, elegant color palette of blush and champagne – and candles, candles, candles.

The bridal bouquet featured stunningly scented blush English Garden Roses, Champagne Roses, Blush Spray Roses, and Champagne Spray Roses.  It was a vision of springtime, and frankly I couldn’t stop staring at it lovingly all day long.

Just as lovely – the Maid of Honor bouquet featured the season’s finest:  ruffed blush Parrot Tulips, pink Hydrangea, blush Spray Roses and Garden Roses, and Champagne Spray Roses.  Yum.

Almost as sweet as the stunning bride, the Flower Girl and Petite Attendants carried blush raw silk pouches, with champagne swiss silk ribbon handles, filled with blush Rose Petals to scatter down the aisle as they processed.

I fell in love all over again yesterday – these girls were just plain delicious.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  If you think they are darling here, you should have seen them twirling all over the dancefloor with their dads and the rock star bride all night long.

There is so much – like the length of a novel – that I want to share about Nicole, my beautiful bride.  Like how she so beautifully created a family centric wedding day for everyone, making the celebration all the more meaningful for each and every guest.  Like how she was always so inclusive – insisting both of her fathers – dad and stepdad walk her down the aisle together, arm in arm.  And to make it all the more important, we had mom and stepmom waiting at the middle of the aisle, to meet the three of them, and all five – all the parents who raised and guided her through life, gave her away at the altar.

Like how she dreamed of a cocktail style, lounge reception, with warm, intimate candlelit lanterns filling the entire space.  And how she spent the entire day, laughing, embracing, dancing, exclaiming, grinning ear to ear – and herself being the very vision of warmth and romance.

The lounge was a chic respite with alternating submerged and arranged rectangular vases and hundreds of votive candles.  The fabulous artwork collections in The Tasting Room, along with the amber uplights and well worn exposed brick walls created the ultimate canvas for the uber chill wedding reception.

Next up…The Tasting Room nosh and drink in fine detail.


Happy Day

Happy Day

Wishing every mother, grandmother, and caregiver focused on mothering and nuturing a Happy Mother’s Day.

I received the most beautiful handmade gifts today – which had me crying with joy and gratitude. Both of my children exclaimed "we KNEW you would do your happy cry."

Their "I love you Mom" books are so heartfelt, so beautifully illustrated, and so darn funny. They remind me that something created and given from the heart is always, by far, the very best gift to receive and to cherish.

Happy, happy, happy.


Romantic Ribbons a flitting

Romantic Ribbons a flitting

Another gorgeous wedding day today – the sun is out and shining brightly on our ceremony at my favorite Notre Dame de Chicago.

The bright, pastel satin ribbon chandeliers along the banisters are billowing in the breeze, beckoning friends and family inside. The ribbons are each over 4 feet in length, and over fifty lengths cover each chandelier.

The grand piano keys are filling the sanctuary with the ever uplifting Claire de Lune by Debussy – perfect for this May day.
Next, he tinkles the ivories with romantic, inspiring Vangelis, Bach and Handel. Between the hymns, the readings, the prayers, the blessings and the music – how could I not love a wonderful wedding on any given Saturday?


Celebrate Cinco

05.05 means one thing – Fiesta time!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  I love any reason to celebrate, and Cinco de Mayo is the perfect excuse for a little mid-week party.


You didn’t realize it was May 5th?  No problem – that is the beauty of this holiday.  It is a quick, easy, fun and oh so festive.

Here is the Cinco step party plan:

Step 1.  Set the table with a colorful, serape linen.  This is from BBJ Linen, and is the perfect size overlay for your kitchen, buffet or dining table.

Step 2.  Decorate the tabletop with repurposed lanterns, filled with pillar candles,  vibrant rose petals and orchid blooms creating a dense “carpet” inside, black glossy urns and julep cups filled with massed red Mokara orchids, colored votive candles for lower table height, and my ultimate Cinco party detail – a collection of Jesus Candles set ontop striped Flax Leaves.  If you like – you can use anything in a similar style – glass cylinders filled with candles and petals, or with water and floating candles and petals, etc.  The point is to design a fun, whimsical collection of whatever works best for you.  Scatter petals and orchid blooms around the centerpieces for the perfect finishing touch.

Step 3:  Adorn the chandelier with long, bright silk ribbons, to add height to the decor.  Here, we used red, orange and yellow to coordinate with the stripes in the Serape linen.

Step 4:  Margaritas!  I love to fill oversize glass drinking jars with specialty drinks, as it creates a fun focal point and centerpiece ontop the bar.  It is also wonderful, so that during the party you as host/hostess can relax and enjoy time with your guests, instead of bartending all night long.

My friend Kristin throws a Moms ‘n Margaritas party each spring, and has perfected the margarita recipe:

1 can frozen limeade, and then fill that same “limeade can” with the next three ingredients:

light beer (I use Corona), tequila, and club soda.

I always fill the drinking jar according to the total guest count, but even for a small party you want to have it at least half to two-thirds full.  Garnish the drink mixture with fresh lime slices, for color and contrast inside the jar.  Serve over iced margarita glasses, with or without salt, and enjoy.

You can easily use a different flavor of juice as well, Pomaritas with Pomegranate, etc.  Go crazy with color!

To round out the bar, I should be fair and detail out having Corona or Dos Equis with sliced limes, Mexican bottled sodas (available in ethnic markets or groceries), and waters and juices is always important for mocktails, mixers, and non-alcoholic options for all ages and guests.

Step 5:  The menu.  It is truly one of the easiest menus to design – who doesn’t love a taco bar, a nacho bar, a fajita bar, and more?  Grilled shrimp, carne asada, chicken, ground beef or turkey…the options are endless.  Fresh vegetables like tri-color peppers, grilled onions, jalepenos and more make do it yourself toppings an interactive dining event.  Herbs like cilantro, parsley and mint give unique, adventurous tastes.  Pico de gallo, Mole, Guacamole, Fruit Salsas…who wouldn’t LOVE to have this tonight for dinner?  It also works perfectly for any age – which is always a crowd pleaser.

Now, the piece de resistance.  The sombrero cake, shown above, was such a work of art, guests were trying to pick it up and wear it at the party!  Alliance Bakery, in Ukranian Village, is so amazing.  Peter, you outdid yourself as usual with this one.  Muchas gracias!

For the theme, he whipped up a white cake with Passion Fruit Mousse, which we sliced and served with mint and ginger ice cream.

Adios – and happy cinco!


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