Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For the Love of Audrey

The same as many women, I have always had a love and fascination for the amazing Audrey Hepburn. I just adore this photo of her. It is so innocent and playful while maintaining a classic elegance. She (not to mention that dog in her basket) has such a way to put a smile on my face.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Window Dreaming

The view from my window looks something like this right now (minus the Paris, add the Chicago):

I found this beautiful photo on 'A Cup of Jo'

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Sun Down

As I am winding down my Sunday, I thought I would put up this lovely number. I love this photo. It looks like such a peaceful place to curl up and read a good book - check out that huge sofa with all the pillows!  Ah...Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Color Collage: Gray

Every where I look lately I am noticing these soft gray tones. I have really fallen in love with them. Gray is such an interesting color as it can be crisp and cool or it can be soft and warm. It matches up so well with all the peach and nude tones that are so hot right now as well. You can see in the images below that it looks gorgeous on clothing items, stationary, cakes, flowers, and interiors. Enjoy!

Real Wedding: Patty and Ron

This is a wedding I worked on last year that took place at the Hotel 71 in Chicago. The best part about this ballroom is the spectacular views that you get from all sides. (Plus, it played its part as Batman's apartment in 'The Dark Knight'!)

The first picture is of the place card table which was such a beautifully classic design with a modern twist. For the guest tables - we custom designed all the chic mirrored containers that the elegant spheres of white roses are set on. They perfectly imitate the mirrored columns that exist around the room, plus they add that much more interest with all the reflections of the skyscrapers, other tables, and flickering candlelight. That with the combination of crisp white table linens with the soft apple green seat cushions and napkins completes one of my favorite events of last year!

Wedding Design by Jesse Deckard of Botanicals, a branch of HM Designs

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Minty Martha

Martha Stewart Weddings has a gorgeous feature on crisp and soft green tones combined with clean white.  This is such a refreshing and current combination, and of course - leave it to Martha to put these hues together so elegantly.  I love every single one of these pictures, from the handsome neck ties to the sophisticated china to the fluffy floral bouquet.  This definitely has me inspired!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hollywood 'Barn'

I came across this photo of Brett Ratner's Hollywood home on Elle Decor's website, and I just love it. Apparently, this house was previously inhabited by Ingrid Bergman (who called it the Barn) - so it has a rich history of celebrity unto itself.

Mostly, I love those rich worn leather chairs. The deep camel color of them adds such warmth to the space. Plus, I always have a thing for black floors - they give a room such a dramatic and glamorous tone - without being stuffy. And finally, check out the layering of area rugs - something most people would not thing to do - but it really has a way of dividing up the space!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It's daffodil season! I love this bright and cheerful flower so much - mainly because the are one of the first signs of spring. There are a few finally blooming down the street from me, and I am starting to actually believe that warmer weather is going to show its face at some point!

Daffodils are a bulb flower (like tulips). They all consist of a central trumpet that is surrounded by six petals - such a unique shape! You can get great deals on bunches of cut daffodils right now. Look for them in all the different variations of white, yellow, orange, and peach!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuna Poke

I had a great night on the town last night with a good friend.  One of the things I enjoyed was a delicious Tuna, Shrimp, and Mango Poke (pronounced POH-kay).  Poke is a combination of pieces of (typically) raw fish mixed with whatever flavors and spices desired.  It is a common Hawaiian dish, and is sort of their answer to the Japanese sashimi.  Both backyard parties and gourmet restaurants alike serve this on the islands of Hawaii.  The one I had was so tasty mixed with sweet mango, creamy avocado and crispy tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Pictures from and

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Weekend!

For those of you who celebrate Easter and for those of you who do not - Have a lovely Sunday! Hopefully you will be eating some delicious food, enjoying some sunshine, and putting your feet up!

Friday, April 10, 2009

One Stop (Wedding) Shop!

Today I am writing to tell you about two vendors here in Chicago that have recently merged together forming an exciting new option for brides-to-be! In the beginning of this year Magnificent Milestones, run by Kara Underwood (a wonderful Wedding and Event Coordinator), joined forces with Smitten, an incredibly charming wedding boutique in the west loop run and owned by Kirsten Martin.

After years in the corporate world, each of the saavy woman (separately) decided to follow their passion, and start their own business. When the economy started to go south, they creatively thought outside the box, and decided to come together as partners. Together, they offer event consultation, custom invitations and stationary, and unique accessories (in which Kirsten has found on buying trips to places like Italy and Amsterdam - jealous!).

I asked Kara what makes their companies and this merge unique (and I couldn't agree more): "I think what makes us truly unique is the fact that we are a bridal powerhouse of sorts. You can get a veil, invitations, a cake topper and a guest book in one visit. It is great! I love nothing more than watching brides’ enthusiasm while crossing off items on the “to-do” list!" Brides need to do everything they can to be efficient these days!

Lucky for you - they have graciously offered you all 10% off of consulting, custom invites and everything in the boutique if you print this out or mention this blog! You should definitely head over there (1041 W Madison, 312.226.7777) and take advantage of this generous offer!

Below you can see a small sampling of the thousands of options available of their beautiful invitations:

I previously featured Magnificent Milestones when i worked on the design of their Toast, Taste, and Tour event in February - here and here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


When I stumbled upon the below images of adorable and plump red currents and gooseberries they immediately brought me back to my first time in Paris (oh....Paris!). The majority of the hotels there offer complimentary continental breakfast. Now this is not the typical American continental breakfast of packets of dry oatmeal, stale pastries, frozen bagels, and juice from concentrate. In France, they are serious about food - I mean I am not typically a morning person, and I would get giddy with excitement upon waking up there because I know that I soon get to eat the flaky croissants, the fresh baked bread, the tasty unpasteurized yogurt, and a steaming-hot strong cup of cafe au lait to wash it all down.

My favorite of all though - was the red current jam that they seemed to have so readily available.  I know now as an adult that we too can get this the slightly-sweet, slightly-tart fruit spread in our grocery stores in the U.S., but at that time I was used to (gag) sugary grape jelly.  I think this experience was one of the first that really made me appreciate quality food.  A Votre Sante.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Little Guy

I mean really...

Photgraph by Meg Smith

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All Aboard!

On my recent trip to California, I took the Amtrak train from Los Angeles to San Diego. It was so much fun and a lovely way to experience care-free travel. There is no baggage check or security lines like with flying - and no maps and long hours like with driving. So I got some hot tea from the snack car and settled in with a book and the good view for a few hours.

Before ever getting on the train though, I of course got to experience Los Angeles's Union Station (one of my favorite sights of LA). It was built in 1939 and combines a handful of types of architecture. It is a truly beautiful building, complete with outdoor courtyards and all. I especially love the old wood ticket counters, the warm mustard yellow paint color, the mosaic fountains, the oversized leather club chairs in the waiting room, the terra cotta flooring, and all the unusual archways. If you are ever touring this city - it is worth a walk through - and bring your camera!

Zebra Crossing

A good animal print will never go out of style. Here are a few images of beautiful black and white zebra print put to good use. It is just as gutsy and dramatic as the ever popular leopard print, but slightly more unexpected! Plus - it goes with everything! You can see how well it fits into stark modern spaces as well as it does in rich and traditional rooms. And - how awesome are those shoes!