This week has truly been a challenge. I lost a good friend of mine on Monday morning, and the week was a little off after that. My friend was a poet and friend who always made you feel anything was possible, and that usually it was just you standing in your own way. I know she wouldn’t want me to be sad, but it just feels a bit odd not being able to get my coffee with her and her quick wit. Starbucks trips won’t be the same without her, life won’t be the same without her. I’m so glad I had the chance to not only work with her professionally, but got to know her as a friend. One of the few I’ve gained as an adult.
I started working with a new bride this week also. It kept my mind busy for sure. Went to the first dress fitting and did a site visit in the bitter cold temperatures. Couldn’t see much of the site due to the foot of snow still on the grounds (the wedding is outside).
We have a short amount of time to get everything in place, but this is going to be fun for me and something to document for you all to see. Stay tuned for updates on this process. It should be really fun and eventful. The theme of the wedding is fiesta with a little Dia de los Muertos twist.
Taking the good with the bad this week, my friend’s “Legacy” is big in the community and in my heart. Live loud and bold, full of color and spunk. That’s advice we can all live by. To my friend Chantay “Legacy” Leonard, I’ll miss you.
Fall began at 10:29pm last night. I am so excited and love this season so much, that I can’t wait to share the plethora of things I love this season. The colors haven’t began to change yet, but the hues are so magnificent. They began to contrast with the tree bark and grass they fall on.
Our fashion begins to change and evolve into thicker fabrics, more layers, and richer colors. The beautiful sweaters and the thick wool fabrics. They make me excited to get dressed! I love a warm sweater, colorful scarf, and a pair of jeans. With a pair of nice boots or ballerina flats.
Plaids are also great for fall. Especially in rich colors like grey, wine, or wheat. A skirt or dress in plaid is great, but growing up going to Catholic schools, plaid became a favorite for me all year round.
Wool coats are great! Warm and stylish. Paired with a lovely tote or satchel, they become fashion statements. Any length will do, but add your favorite scarf and your daily wear is all set.
Home decor also changes a little during the cooler months. We use more candles to decorate or provide ambiance for a dinner party. The subtle light adds a bit of warmth to that fall gathering of friends.
Choosing candles that use natural tones and materials in their holders just adds to the seasonal flair. Of course, richer scents like patchouli and bergamot are more common in fall, you can also choose scents like vanilla, musk, and spice.
We also change our nail colors to match the season. OPI is one of my favorite brands of nail polish, and their Fall 2014 collection doesn’t disappoint.
Adding some outdoor elements to your home can help bring the season indoors. Gourds, apples, and a blend of grasses help bring warmth to your fall decor.
Decorating your door with a fall colored wreath helps welcome your guests to your home. Choosing flowers in fall hues can make a big difference.
Or you can use ornaments to create the same effect. Wreaths are a simple way to make your home ready for the fall season.
The fall colors outside are so warm and inviting. The brisk air makes it a necessity to drink warm beverages and eat warm dishes.
Wrapping up in a warm blanket by a fire with a good book, or enjoying a morning cup of coffee or tea is a weekend must.
The scenes of fall can be so captivating and beautiful, as they represent a change in our environment.
Take a walk and enjoy the views and colors. Enjoy this season as much as I do.
Fall is quickly approaching, and if you are like me you love to immerse yourself in the colors of the season. Decorating the house can be fun and choosing colors for the walls is like choosing a new nail polish. Color is important because it can change, enhance, or disturb your mood. Choosing wall paint is something that you should do with care.
There are a lot of things to consider with paint. What the room is used for? How much sunlight the room gets? Where are the windows? What color to paint the ceiling? Do you have moldings? Wainscoting? Chair rails? You have to think of the little things to make sure you choose the right color for your space.
No matter if it is indoors or outdoors, color is important. Always go with what goes well with your home and use of the spaces. No matter what, choose what is comfortable for you. You have to live with paint for a while, so be sure to make certain it is a color you can live with.
Color isn’t just for the walls. You can incorporate fall colors on your furniture and the accessories you choose to accent your room with. Upholstery can add an element of color as well.
This Benjamin Moore color, Sioux, is calm and can enhance neutral and muted tones. The color on the wall is subtle but packs a punch as far as color. The off white furniture just helps the wall color stand out.
This neutral color on the wall helps to accentuate the floors and makes the white furniture pops. The piping that matches the wall color helps to connect the two colors to the space. I may not always be a fan of white furniture, but when paired with a bold and dark wall color, it works perfectly.
These coastal colors are muted and represent the fall season on the coasts. Our coasts in this country have different shades of green and blue, and paired with the muted colors of the foliage they create this wonderful palette.
Now the orange fall palette may seem a little bold for an indoor room, but there are ways to incorporate shades of orange effectively. Add orange accents to the room, paint an accent wall with a lighter and neutral tone. Paint a built in a bold color so that the books and accessories help break up the color, and that way the bold color won’t overpower your room. You can also take bolder colors outdoors.
Darker colors are best done in small dosed inside. If you take these bold colors outside, use them on a front door, window frames, or shutters. Using such dark colors outside also will help your house look like it’s one with nature as the leaves change throughout the season.
Fall colors are also those you can find in some foods and preserves. These tend to be colors more suitable for inside the home and in most rooms of the house. They easily go well in any kitchen of course, with the exception of peaches and orange-like colors. Those don’t do well in conjunction with food.
Another interesting place to take color inspiration from is food, mainly vegetables. Fall vegetables are rich with color. Eggplant, tomatoes, squash and gourds, greens, and root vegetables. All have an array of colors that can work in any home.
Use nature as a guide to choosing colors for your home, but use nature and the things around you as inspiration. Once you find a palette that fits your lifestyle and needs, you can get your paint and get started with transforming your home. Adding paint to a room will give any room a boost, and maybe even boost the use of the room.
So use the outdoors to inspire the indoors, and share that inspiration with your friends and family who come to visit your home. Add a little paint to your home to keep the fall feel all year round. Color can go from season to season, so be adventurous. Enjoy the colors of the season and Happy Fall!
Bridal showers were once seen as a formal event that required fancy food, toilet paper games, and an awkward gift opening session. These days, brides are choosing more personalized and unique ways to celebrate their upcoming nuptials with their girl friends and wedding party. Here are some ways to throw tradition out and have a creative and relaxed shower.
You have to get the guests there, so choose stationery and invitations that compliment the colors the bride has chosen for her big day. Be creative and less formal.
Location, location, location
Choose a location that is unique and special to you and your groom. I love historic spaces and gastropub type restaurants. The kind that serve craft cocktails and have communal seating. Places with character and culinary fare that goes beyond bruschetta and cheese and crackers.
If you are having your shower at a restaurant or public place, use their menu to your advantage. Takes that task off of you. You can usually get a restaurant to create a prix fixe menu for your guests, or a special variety of menu items just for your party. They will usually give you a deal with that type of set up, but don’t be afraid to ask them.
If you are having your shower at a private home, think of doing a family style set up or creative appetizers that people can walk around and get. That way they can get to know others at the party. One thing to do is to have the appetizers placed around the room and not in one spot because it will make your guests get up and mingle.
Your decor can help bring all the elements of your shower together. You can choose a theme that is either personal for you, or if you have a theme for your wedding day use that. It makes everything seem cohesive.
Chose things that aren’t fussy or formal as to keep the vibe relaxed and engaging for your guests.
Setting the table is nothing formal either. Unless you are having a high tea, there is no need for formal seating charts…unless you want to do so to mix up the guests. Be reasonable, you will be using the table a lot. So nothing fussy is really going to be functional.
Choose a special cocktail to represent some of your favorite flavors or a make up of your favorite cocktail. This is all based on preference. You can always have a non-alcoholic option for your child guests or designated drivers.
Display your cocktails in a manner that is easily accessed, classily displayed, and decorative. Try a drink dispenser or decorative glass pitchers.
Try one of these:
Grapefruit + Mint Mojito
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1 ruby-red grapefruit
3/4 cup white rum
3 cups ice
1 cup seltzer
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add mint leaves. Let steep 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, and discard mint. Let cool.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from grapefruit in long, wide strips. Place in a large glass, and add rum. Cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a large glass measure, and discard zest.
Cut away remaining pith from grapefruit. Cut between membranes to release segments. For each drink, place 2 to 3 segments in a glass. Top with 3/4 cup ice. Stir 3 tablespoons infused rum, 2 tablespoons mint syrup, and 1/4 cup seltzer in a glass measure, and pour over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Sour Cherry Old Fashioned
24 frozen sour cherries
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup whiskey
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kirsch
Thin lemon-zest strips (from 1 lemon)
Place cherries in a heatproof bowl. Stir water and sugar in small saucepan to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil, and pour over cherries. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain cherries, reserving syrup. Thread 4 cherries onto each of 6 skewers. Make 3 drinks at a time: Pour 6 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons kirsch, and 4 1/2 teaspoons reserved syrup in a cocktail shaker 3/4 filled with ice. Shake and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish each with a skewer and 2 to 3 strips lemon zest. Repeat for the second batch.
Social Media Buzz
Encourage your guests to use social media apps like Instagram, or the specialty app called the Wedding Party App. This app will allow your guests, at both your shower and wedding, to share their photos with other guests. This will create a great collage of photos and share the memories of others and your guest’s experience sharing in your festivities. Create a unique hashtag to distinguish your event and that way your guests can look back as well under that definer.
For your guests, try an alternative idea and ask guests to bring handmade, small, or specified gifts (i.e. preserves, favorite food items, wine, etc) for things you may want or need.
Lastly, give your guests something to remember the day by. Give anything useful and small, but something that says ‘thank you for coming and sharing that moment’ with you. Again, be creative, but practical.
Whatever type of bridal shower you have, enjoy your friends and family, and be in that moment. Have fun!
Now everyone loves fried chicken, but I decided one day to try making buttermilk fried chicken to try something a little different.
It is a pretty simple recipe. Just season your chicken with salt and pepper, place it in a dish and cover chicken with the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour. The longer, the better. Continue reading “Buttermilk Fried Chicken”→
Outdoor weddings are always beautiful and exciting. If the elements cooperate, the possibilities are endless to what you can do outdoors for a wedding.
But if mother nature doesn’t cooperate, there are ways to avoid a wash out…no pun intended.
Mother nature can ruin or bless your special day. And with the many types of weather disasters that are possible, rain is probably the least of your worries. There are rising storms, such as dust and tornado storms, that are really taking over the weather patterns lately. So when planning your special day, there are some tips you can follow to avoid total disaster.
Secure backup plans – make sure that the location where you are having your outdoor wedding has a backup location choice in case the weather does not cooperate. Check the weather patterns prior to make sure you can make a sound judgement.
Ensure that your guests are comfortable – the heat can be brutal on your guests and make them uncomfortable, sick even. Make sure that there is ample water and cooling stations for guests to retreat to. Maybe your venue has a place for guests to come inside and get cool.
Purchase wedding insurance – Wedding insurance has become more common with all the weather tragedies and random accidents that are becoming more prevalent. Accidents can be prevented, but when they can’t it’s always good to have a backup plan to protect you and your spouse-to-be.
So while you’re planning that outdoor wedding, be sure to take into consideration that the reality of uncontrollable weather patterns.
But, if you get caught with your umbrella blowing backwards, make the most of it…like these people:
Enjoy your day, have the breeze blowing through your veil, but be smart about it and make sure to protect yourself.
Mother’s Day was yesterday. I spent time with my mom for the weekend helping her with some things around the house. Those things she needed an extra hand with. It was the least I could do after all the things she’s done for me.
One project that took the most time was painting/staining the deck back to its original color. Back in 2000 when we first moved into the house, it was new construction and a big move for my mom and step dad who had just got married 4 years previously. This house was a big step for all of us, and it was cool! For 12 years my step dad took care of that house and him and my mom made it a home. Even though I no longer live there, it will always be a home. After my step dad passed in 2012, my mom had to take care of the house all by herself with some help here and there from friends and myself.
So this project was something 2 years in the works. The deck needed to be re-stained and protected after 12 years, so this year we decided to do so on a weekend I would be at the house already. Not the typical Mother’s Day activities, but we both love DIY projects, so we decided to take on the project. So here’s a before:
So after 6.5 hours of painting intricately and getting between each spindle and railing, this is the after:
I’m still in a little bit of pain, but I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment. I get to say I did that and it looks pretty cool. Here’s some more shots of the deck.
It’s been a long weekend, but one that had it’s rewards. I hope you all had a happy Mother’s Day. I enjoyed mine.
Today is Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers. And in the city that means an unspoken holiday for some. People tailgate like no other, and the city is full of people from dawn until dusk. The fans are supporting in and around the ballpark. There are block parties, parties, rooftop events, and people even dressed in costume to show their support. It’s a time when people enjoy the city and get together to support a sports team, as well as a welcome to the spring/summer season.
Baseball is a pastime in this country. So today was full of nostalgia, celebration, and tradition. The final score was 4 – 1 Tigers, so it was a good day for Detroit. We have won 7 consecutive home opening days, so it just added to the fun for the fans. No matter the weather, fans come out in droves and take over a one-square mile radius.
Well it’s official! Spring is here, the summer is near, and the Detroit Tigers are on fire! Let the season begin, and welcome spring…Finally!
Well, in case you missed it. Spring came last Thursday at 12:57 p.m. EST, and we have yet to really see spring temperatures. Some of the country are still in freezing and below freezing temperatures, and with the brutal winter we all have had we were hoping for some relief with the spring season approaching. But to our dismay, we haven’t had many warm-ups as of yet.
Oh how I miss those dewy sunrises, warming temperatures, the occasional rain storm, the fresh smell of blooming flowers and grass, and of course the shedding of layers of winter clothing.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say…Spring, where art thou?
We should warm up by the end of the week, and I hope this trend sticks! I am truly over winter! So chin up, and let’s make the most of these, hopefully, last days of winter.
Today’s Mad Monday poses the question, are you still on track with your New Year’s resolution? Now that the Polar Vortex has subsided and we’ve all dug out of the snow, how are you on the path of your resolution. Do you make resolutions? How do you set out to make this year the best?
Making resolutions is not reserved to just the beginning of the year. It is a good idea to always evaluate your path in life, and reevaluate often to make sure that you are on schedule to completing or achieving your goals. Making goals for yourself is a good way to keep your actions focused. There are studies that show about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions achieve them successfully. So to be productive and achieve success, here are some tips you can use to stay on track.
1. Make goals tangible.
It’s good to be ambitious, but making vague or being unrealistic with goals can set yourself up for disappointment. Instead of saying “I want to lose 100 pounds this year” make a goal to stop eating junk food and cut back on breads for 2 months. Then after that 2 months you can reassess your goals to adjust or continue as needed.
2. Keep your list simple.
Again, keep your list of goals short. As you reevaluate your goals throughout the year, you can add or adjust the goals you already have. Start with a list of 3 goals you want to accomplish and start there. Make them simple goals. That way, you can easily know the focus of your goals and where you need to be. That’s another reason to not be vague with your resolutions. It leaves ro. om for doubt or loss of focus.
3. Make your goals obvious and clear.
Create a mood or vision board. Sometimes visualizing your goals can make the vision more clear to you as you go along. If you’re a visual person like myself, it’s good to get your ideas and visions on paper to see what direction you’re supposed to be headed in. You can keep track of your progress this way, as well as with a to-do list. This forces you to hold yourself accountable for staying focused on your path. I have used Google Docs to create vision boards, or you can use other photo editors like PicMonkey. Photo editors allow you to add your photos and place them so you can create your inspiration to keep going forward with achieving your goals.
4. Stay positive and believe in yourself.
You have to be positive and self-empowering when achieving goals for yourself. The reason people fall off their resolutions is because a lack of willpower. Sometimes I think its good to have people around you for support and motivation purposes. If you share your goals for the year with your friends, maybe one of them will have similar goals or just want to be a support to you in your achievements. Having those who support you around to help keep you motivated to stay focused on your goals and resolutions. Willpower is still important to have, but combined with consistency and support from those around you it is more likely that you will have success.
In essence, stay focused, organized, and consistent you will essentially be successful in keeping your resolutions. Be reasonable, realistic and open, you will surely be able to achieve your goals.
Happy New Year! I know the holidays are over, so our Merry Mondays will be replaced with our new Mad Monday! Not in an angry sense, but the madness that Monday sometimes brings deserves some equal or balancing inspiration to help you get through the day.
Here is the madness most of the country is feeling today! No matter where you are in the U.S. you are feeling the brisk cold and maybe even a ton of snow (literally!), but there are ways to get through the extended holiday vacation.
Right now here in Michigan, it is -13 with a wind chill of -41. The weather is absolutely ridiculous and absurd if you ask me, so what better way to stick it to Mother Nature is to join her!
Yep, that’s right! If you can’t beat them join them. So get out there and enjoy this snowy weather (with precaution to frostbite). Make snow angels, a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Or, stay indoors and enjoy a hot beverage or do some things you don’t normally get to do. Yoga…meditate…organize your office…catch up on reading your favorite magazines or book. Use this extra time to truly enjoy not having to rush back to the hustle of your weekly schedule.
So stay warm, enjoy this extra day or two off. If you have to work, please give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going. It’s treacherous outside no matter where you are. And if you’re in a warmer climate, enjoy some sun for us in this frigid polar vortex!
Christmas is two days away. A time with family and friends, creating memories that will last forever. Sharing gifts and special traditions with those you love most. This season I hope you all enjoy your loved ones.
For me it’s a little tricky. My step dad passed last February, and he was that spark of the season for me. Now that spark is gone, it’s just not the same. Not that the season wasn’t special with my mom all 18 years of my life, but when you add another person to your family and they bring such joy to your space. It is a huge hole in your life that goes away with them. We’ll keep our traditions alive, but those Christmas songs won’t be the same without his bass voice singing them.
Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and be well and blessed.
With Christmas around the corner, weddings have not slowed down. Sometimes having a themed wedding can make things easier planning wise, and more fun. It can also make the planning simpler. There’s a built in color scheme and all kinds of decor choices that are simply there because of the holiday. Sometimes choosing a set color scheme can be over done, but we’ve found that there are ways to do a color focus classy and effectively.
Check out this board of ideas we pulled together. Let us know your thoughts or share with us your suggestions and ideas. What do you think is good for a Christmas themed wedding?