Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Sweet 16 Ashley & Amber!

On June 16th, my beautiful nieces, Amber & Ashley, turned 16. I cannot believe that they are already that old...

I love these girls with all of my heart and have been blessed by having them in my life. They are more like sisters to me and I am continually blown away by the amazing young women they have become.

My sister Shannon & I had a ton of fun planning their party.

Here are some pics from the night:

The beautiful girls & their ice cream cake:

Our fun candy bar:

I love candy bars. They are so easy to do and are actually pretty inexpensive- especially as a favor for weddings. I always get my candy from Garvey Nut & Candy up in LA. It is a wholesale candy wharehouse that is also open to the general public. It is a ton of fun- I always feel like I'm in Willy Wonka, just in a ghetto LA wharehouse. They have every type of candy you could want. So fun! For a wedding of 400 people, we only spent $350 on the candy and it was more than enough. For the girls party, we ordered white take-out boxes and decorated them with a simple piece of ribbon in the party's colors: purple, blue & green.

We used vases & candy jars of varying sizes to give the display some depth.

For decor, we kept it simple, using white paper lanterns adorned with big A's cut out from coordinating scrapbook paper. We tied them to the patio cover with the same ribbon we used for the take-out boxes.

We also filled the pool (or tried to at least) with balloons. We made simple flower arrangements with blooms in varying shades of blue, green and purple, including hydrangeas, bells of ireland and delphinium.

The main desire of the twins was to have their party catered by Chipotle. Check out our burrito bar- yum!

Chipotle is my husband's all time favorite place to eat & is one of my loves as well. The kids loved it! We also had a yummy chocolate fountain. David, my hubby, DJed his first party & did a great job! :)

We also set up a photobooth of sorts by hanging a zebra print blanket and having the kids pose in front of it. This was used for a poloroid guest book. Here is a sample- this is Ashley & Amber with another one of my incredible nieces, Taylor.

One way we made the event more personalized was to place photos of the girls throughout the party. We also had fun buying personalized touches online. **Big planning tip for kids parties: You can buy customized gum wrappers & candy wrappers, such as push pops, on Ebay. How fun is that! They only cost us about $6 total! We also ordered confetti made out of their photos from photofetti.com and sprinkled it on all of the tables.

Here is a pic of my beautiful sister and her amazing daughters:

All in all, it was a very fun party and was just as much fun to plan. Girls- thanks for letting me be a part of your big party! It was a blast! Oh, and just a sidenote: both of them are dressed from head-to-toe in some of my pre-prego clothes. :)

More Martha Stewart for all! Hooray!

I admit it- I love Martha Stewart. I love devouring each new edition of Martha Stewart Living, I have read her books, and Martha Stewart Weddings is my favorite bridal magazine. I do not, however, enjoy watching her TV show. But that's a whole other topic of conversation.

I don't know why it took so long for me to hear about this, but I found out last week that Martha Stewart has a line at Michael's now. I checked it out today and was so excited! There is a whole aisle of Martha crafty goods- rolls of paper, card sets, favor boxes, stamps, stickers, party decor, DIY kits, albums, frames and more. I could easily spend way too much time & money in that one aisle. I was really excited to see that many of her DIY favor items (bags & boxes) are being sold. Now a seemingly overwhelming project is much easier and looks super cute!

A big thanks to my wonderful bride Jenny (who got married last saturday! woo~hoo!) for filling me in on this.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer has officially begun! Finally- some wedding photos!

Thursday was the longest day of the year. Yesterday I went to the beach with my hubby & some friends and got some sun on my prego belly. Yep- summer has begun. Wedding season started much earlier though. I am actually over half way done with my wedding season: 13 weddings down since February and 9 to go. I start my maternity break in September which seems far away, but judging by the speed these last two months went by, it will be here before I know it.

The last few weeks have been crazy for me! This week alone, I had 4 events in 7 days! So, I am very far behind in my blogging.

Here's a fun wedding from the beginning of the month:

Endren & Caohien are a fun couple from Dallas who had a beautiful wedding- ceremony at the gorgeous Wayfarers Chapel & reception at a Chinese restaurant in Cerritos. I had such a great time with their outgoing wedding party and also with their amazing team of vendors.

I am pretty sure that got to witness history as well. Michael Norwood, who is an incredible photographer and an all-around nice guy, has a package option where the bride & groom can leave the reception with brand new his & her ipods, loading with the images from their wedding day. It is so cool. Now- what could make this cooler? How about adding the video from their wedding day. Daniel from DV Artistry blew everyone away during the reception with a video of photos and interviews of the bride & groom as well as footage from that day. I have never seen a videographer do a same-day edit. It was awesome! Guests were blown away to see the first dance included in the video, as it had just taken place a half hour before. These two guys decided to pull together and do something fun and different, and Endren & Caohien got to their reception with both their photos and video. So cool!
Check out Michael & Daniel. They are incredible.

Here are some of Michael's photos from that day:

The girls at the traditional Tea Ceremony:

The bride's beautiful bouquet, by Flowers by Laura

Bridesmaid's bouquets:

The beautiful church:

The wedding party:

The Bride & Groom:

The Bride's sister designed all of the stationary for the wedding. She even made these cute tags for the bridesmaids' flipflops:

For more photos, check out Michael's blog

You can also check out Daniel's slideshow here.

Also, their beautiful cake was made by the incredible It's All About the Cake. DJ was Christian with Afterburn Productions. Limo from Classic Touch Limo.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Love Love Love

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Vegas with my husband & his parents. It was definitely not your typical vegas vacation- we pretty much did not gamble at all. What did we do? Eat. And we ate, and ate some more. Our family is a big food family with a weakness for good, quality, authentic Italian food. Our motivation for going on the trip was two-fold: Mario Batali had two new restaurants opening and we also got to see Love: the Beatles Cirque De Soleil. Everything was beyond on our expectations.

Let me start with Love. If you ever get the chance to see this show- see it! It is absolutely incredible. I have always loved Cirque De Soleil but this one was above and beyond because the entire show was set to remastered & remixed Beatles songs. If you can't get out to Vegas, I suggest picking up the soundtrack- it is amazing. I loved the dancing, acrobatics & the overall design- it was awe-invoking & beautiful.

I also highly recommend Mario Batali's two new restaurants, which are both in the Ventian: B&B & Enoteca San Marco. Amazing, orignal food, great service, excellent ambiance- all together an incredible dining experience. We ate at Enoteca twice during our 4 day stay! Yum.

Another one of my favorite things about Vegas is visiting all of the hotels for design inspiration. It's like a cheap, knock-off quick trip to Europe. (Having been to Europe, I know how dumb that statement is, but the hotels are beautifully designed). I also always check out the floral arrangements. I snapped a few photos and will post some of my favorites later this week.

More wedding posts to come! I've had some amazing events over the past month and cannot wait to share them with you!

A super cute shower gift idea!

My friend Lisa is an incredible jewelry maker. She creates custom sterling silver stamped pieces, as well as a whole line of other beautiful necklaces & earings. I was browsing her blog and came across this piece & I love it!

Wouldn't this be a great gift for a bride-to-be? If you are interested, check out her blog or you can email me to get her contact info. Check out all of her other stuff as well- she posts photos of her new pieces on her blog all the time.