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Trends & Great Finds

Ice Dying – My Favorite Way to Tie Dye!

By | DIY, Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds | One Comment

This summer has flown by!  We’ve executed a handful of amazing weddings and are in the process of planning many more that will take place this fall.  Although the summer has been busy, we’ve definitely enjoyed this lovely season!  My kids are at such a fun age (my son is 5 and my daughter is almost 3) so I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them this summer.  We checked almost all of our “Summer Bucket List” items off the list including making homemade ice cream, going to a water park, hosting a summer bbq/pot luck, checking out a few local museums we’d yet to explore, and of course, tie dying (still need to have a lemonade stand, and grateful that we technically have a few more weeks of summer to fit that in)!  

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to tie dye and we’ve done it every summer for the past couple of years.  To me, it’s not summer until you tie dye, so to celebrate the end of the season, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to tie dye.  Earlier this summer I invited some other moms and their kids over for a tie dye party!  We used a few different techniques including spray dying, a vat of indigo tie dye, Rit dyes, and of course the classic tie dye kits that you can pick up just about anywhere in the summer.  One of the things I love most about tie dying is that no matter what materials you use or how you do it, the outcome is always so cool!  It is really hard to mess up tie dye.  I enjoy all of the different materials and techniques but I have to say that ice dying is my all time favorite!  I only learned about this style of tie dye last year and it has quickly become my obsession and I fear that soon, I will own nothing white (since it will all be ice dyed!).  It is unbelievably simple and you only need a few things.  This method often goes unnoticed, but it is SO entertaining and enjoyable – and it is probably the most kid friendly way to tie dye so big yay for that!!

I know there are plenty of tie-dye instructions floating around, but let’s face it – sometimes we just want to get to the basics! So, below you will find a few simple steps to the art of ice dying.

What you’ll need:

  • Powdered Rit Dye 
    • This kit can be bought at any craft store – Joann’s, Michael’s…even Amazon!
  • Fabric
    • T-shirts, towels, cloth napkins, bed sheets maybe…anything white!
  • Ice
  • An open space to get messy!
    • I let my kids do this on our grass in the back yard, but others do it over a bucket or a foil pan!

Step 1: 

Choose your fabric!  

We’ve  ice-dyed t-shirts, towels, table cloths/runners, cloth napkins (one of my favorites), and kitchen hand towels!  The world is certainly your oyster with this decision and anything and everything goes!

Step 2:

Wash your fabric in soda ash! (Suggestion)

It’s suggested that before you ice dye, the fabric that intends on being dyed should be washed in soda ash before-hand. However, if you barely have enough time to breathe (like me!), there is simply no way we can get around to do this – so I’ll let you in on a little secret…my dye turned out just fine without the soda ash!! 😉

Steps 3 and 4:

Wad, Fold, and Scrunch…then add the ice!

Once you have your fabric and space for magic, it’s time for the fun part!  You are going to want to wad up your fabric and bunch it in any way you please. (Somewhat like the picture below!) There’s tons of folding techniques for indigo tie dye and traditional methods, but when ice dying, this good ol’ crumple method is best!

No rubber-bands are needed with this technique mostly because the natural melt results in the watercolored effect that is desired when ice dying.

After you have wadded up your fabric, it’s time to cover it inch by inch with ice.  The more ice, the greater effect you will see in your dye. Go ahead and pile it on!

Step 5:

Sprinkle the Dye!

Once the fabric is covered with ice, sprinkle the powdered Rit Dye all over the ice and fabric – cover pretty much every part of the garment (using as little or as much as you’d like).

*TIP: I wouldn’t go crazy with a rainbow assortment of colors… (I know this might be tough with kids who would love to sprinkle every color in sight!) But instead, try and pick a palette of colors that go well together so your fabric doesn’t end up turning brown.  Think blues, purples, and pinks or maybe some yellows and oranges!

Step 6:

Let it melt!

Last but not least, its time for the ice to melt and for the masterpiece to come alive!  Now, you can either let the ice melt naturally in the sun, or for a more fun and interactive way for the kiddos (or if YOU just can’t wait!!), you can use a squirt bottle filled with water to speed up the process.

Step 7:

Wash the fabric!

Before you throw the fabric in the washer, be sure to RINSE first with cold water until the water runs clear (if you are dying outside on the grass, a hose works great for this). When washing in the machine, I would highly recommend washing the pieces of fabric separately for the first couple washes to avoid any color bleeding!

Step 8:

Enjoy!

Now that I’ve shown you the steps to Ice Dying, it should be made clear that this new trend is certainly not just for children or a wacky t-shirt!  The result is really beautiful and the watercolor effect is anything but psychedelic.  Ice dyed pieces can be incorporated into special events including baby showers, birthday parties, even weddings!  If you just pick the right color palette (maybe grays and whites) this tie-dye DIY can be super chic and absolutely gorgeous.  Trust me when I tell you that all this fun can be used for unique occasions, as I have done it myself!  Click on this link which showcases ice dyed table cloths I made for a baby shower I designed last year – told ya this tie dye can work wonders!!  Before summer officially comes to a close, I encourage you to give this technique a try!

 

Below are a few photos from our tie dying party.  The kids chose different techniques and they enjoyed showing off their masterpieces.  My son and I made matching indigo tie pieces for our little family because a family that tie dyes together, stays together, right?!  My husband is a really good sport – don’t you think?

Photos courtesy of Jenny Quicksall Photography

Unconventional Wedding and Shower Gifts

By | Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | No Comments

Shopping for the perfect gift for an engaged couple is often the hardest thing about being a guest (aside from picking out the perfect outfit, of course!). That being said, I’m going to reveal some of my favorite hidden treasures that every happy couple didn’t realize they needed. I, myself, cannot live without many of these items, which is why I feel confident in suggesting them to you! While I would always recommend shopping from the couple’s registry, there are some instances in which you will not be provided with one and in these cases, creativity is left in the palm of your hands. So, ladies and gents, grab your piggy banks and let’s go shopping!

Cover images by Loved and Found

  1. Royal Copenhagen Fluted Contrast Mug  –  Royal Copenhagen makes the most gorgeous pieces. I am part Danish and grew up with Royal Copenhagen treasures around my home. I’ll always love their classic china but I love that they continue to evolve with the times and are constantly coming up wth new styles. These Fluted Contrast Mugs represent the ‘perfect blend of the aesthetic and the functional.’ These mugs can be used for anything – coffee, plants, toothbrushes, pens, etc. – the complete multitasker for the new couple! My husband and I love these mugs and have a set of 12 in a variety of colors.
  1. Personalized Address Stamp  –  Not only could this personalized stamp be used for return addresses on thank you cards post-wedding, but the couple could even utilize it for their wedding invitations too~ Shower gift? Check!  
  1. Baking Set  –  This baking set includes every size dish that any baking extraordinaire could potentially need to create a masterpiece! They are unique and beautiful yet completely functional.  Move out of the way Easy Bake Oven!  I don’t have this set but it is definitely on my wish list!
  1. One-Line-A-Day notebook  –  Each page in this handy notebook features a month and a day, along with 5 different places to record the year and the current day’s events. How fun to track what happens daily for couples in the first 5 years of their marriage!  I’ve been writing in one of these books for the past six years and it is so fun to look back at what our lives were like in the early days of our marriage.  Life was very different 😉
  1. Pucket  –  One of my favorite games ever! We’ve given this game as a gift over and over and everyone loves it.  Trust me when I tell you that nearly anyone will get a kick out of this – maybe even challenge the couple to a game in the future!  
  1. Ring Holders  –  This is one of those trinkets that follows me in every room of my house! From my kitchen to the bathroom sinks, and of course my bedside – my ring holders are a nifty way to keep my most prized possession safe and sound!  I see them as a necessity for both men and women.

Vibiana Styled Shoot | Featured on Green Wedding Shoes

By | Featured, Inspiration, Photo Shoots, Trends & Great Finds | 2 Comments

Vibiana has always been one of my favorite event venues.  From the moment you walk in you know it is a special place and it definitely has that “WOW” factor.  I was honored to be asked to design and style an inspirational shoot at this iconic venue in Downtown Los Angeles and I had so much fun coming up with the concept, color palette, and design elements.  I worked along side a dream team of vendors who all helped make the end result truly lovely!  I even had the opportunity to work with my little sister who modeled as our bride.  Isn’t she gorgeous?!  I am so thrilled to have had this shoot featured on Green Wedding Shoes – one of my favorite wedding blogs!

Vibiana is a gorgeous cathedral located in the historic area of Downtown Los Angeles. Built in the late 1800s, the cathedral was originally used by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and was the official cathedral of Los Angeles for more than 100 years.  In more recent years the building has become a sought after event venue specializing luxury weddings, special events, and performances.

With its high ceilings, abundance of Carrera marble, and breathtaking altars, we felt Vibiana was the perfect backdrop/venue for this glamorous winter styled shoot.  We chose a color palette of bright jewel tones mixed with metallic and moody accents to contrast Vibiana’s bright and clean interior.  Traditional décor elements mixed with modern pieces made for interesting contrast in this historic setting.  The outdoor walkway outside the bridal suite is a beautiful location for portraits with the Los Angeles sky line as a backdrop.  There are so many lovely nooks for unique photos.  Some of our favorites are the staircase, the gold dome, and the confessionals.  Below are a few of my favorite photos from this shoot.  I hope you enjoy them!

Vendor Credits

Bridal Gown – Jinza Couture Bridal

Cake – James Rosselle Cakes

Calligraphy and Signage – Kelly Patrice

Event Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Favors – Salt & Pepper Co.

Florals – Butterfly Floral

Hair & Makeup – Cheek to Cheek Artistry

Jewelry – Bridal Diamond Palace, Inc.

Linens – Luxe Linen

PR – Rayce PR

Manicurist – Luminous Nail Boutique

Model (Bride) – Anisa Diaz

Model (Groom) – Cody Medler

Photography – Jenny Quicksall

Rentals – Classic Party Rentals

Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Stationary – Kitty Meow Boutique

Sweets & Cocktails – Vibiana

Tux – Friar Tux

Venue – Vibiana

FEATURED ON – Green Wedding Shoes

March Monthly Mood Board | Featuring Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year!

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards, Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | 3 Comments

Its official…the Pantone Color of the Year is having quite the moment. Now, if you’re not familiar with Pantone – they are a world renowned provider of color systems. They forecast color trends and inspire a multitude of industries world wide including, fashion, interior design, and special events. Many designers and planners, myself included, use Pantone colors as inspiration for their weddings and events. Every year, Pantone shares a “Color of the Year”- representing a color snapshot of what is expected to be used globally for the upcoming year. For 2017, Pantone announced – Greenery.

Greenery has been highly talked about, because of its bold “trans-seasonal” color while also having a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade”.  Honestly, I was a bit unsure whether I liked the color when it was first announced; however, it is definitely growing on me.  We’ve had a lot of rain in So Cal this winter and Pantone’s Greenery is literally popping up everywhere!  On grassy hillsides, on sprouting leaves, even in moss that grows between the pavers in my backyard!  I have come to really appreciate this shade of green which symbolizes growth and a fresh start and I think it is so perfect for spring!  What I love most, is how Pantone described the shade as the pursuit of passions and vitality. Because a wedding is so personal, it can be quite easy to include this Greenery shade into your special day, combining the passions of both the bride and groom.

Although Greenery is named the color of the year, I recommend using it somewhat cautiously – I prefer it as an accent color. Whether you plan to use it in stationery, tableware, or florals, knowing how to carefully include the color is key. Greenery was my inspiration for March’s Monthly Mood Board. I hope you enjoy seeing how versatile this color, and all shades of green can be!

Credits

Greenery down the steps via Damaris Mia Photography | Upper right bouquet via Deer Pearl Flowers | Bottom middle bouquet via 100 Layer Cake | Vibiana Bar Set up via Krista Mason Photography | Bottom Menu and Table Scape via Krista Mason Photography Published on Strictly Weddings  | Green Gown with Bouquet via Star Hansen Events | Green Goblets via Krista Mason Photography

Need an Immunity Boost?! Homemade Elderberry Syrup to the Rescue!

By | DIY, Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds | No Comments

Photo courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe

I woke up this morning feeling a little under the weather… not sick, just a little off.  My throat was scratchy and I felt a little more tired than usual.  I know its cold and flu season but I wanted to nip whatever might be coming on as quickly as possible!  My kids and I take elderberry syrup almost daily this time of year but I ran out a few days ago.  Waking up with this feeling, I knew I had to make up a new batch right away – not only to help me fight this sickness off but also to hopefully protect my kids from getting anything.  Elderberry syrup is an excellent immunity booster and it tastes great (which is a plus when you are trying to get your kids to take it!).  In addition to boosting your immunity, it is also said to shorten the duration of colds and the flu.  I do lots of natural remedies to keep my family as healthy as possible – especially this time of year – and I do think that elderberry syrup really helps!  We typically take a teaspoon each on a daily basis and we up it to a teaspoon two or three times a day if someone in the house is sick.  Upping the amount helps the person who is sick to recover more quickly and helps those who aren’t sick to stay healthy.

I’ve had many people ask me for my elderberry syrup recipe so I figured I’d share it here.  I use Mommypotamus‘ recipe which is listed on her website.  Check it out her site for more detailed information about the benefits of elderberries as well as lots of other wonderful natural remedies.  I typically double the recipe because between the three of us, we go through it pretty quickly and it keeps well in the fridge for a few months.  It really does taste great – my kids would drink a whole glassful if I’d let them!  I encourage you to give it a try.  It really is super easy and is a great thing to have on had when you feel something coming on!

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (find them here) or 1 cup fresh elderberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey (I recommend using local honey)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Instructions

1. Add water, elderberries and cinnamon sticks (if using them) to a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.

3. Strain to remove berries. Allow liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.  Makes about 2 cups.  Store in the refrigerator – keeps for a few months.  NOTE: Because this recipe contains honey, it should not be used in children under the age of one.

I am obviously not a photographer but here are a few pics I took of the ingredients and the finished product   – Star

Fall Colors and Thanksgiving!

By | Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds | 3 Comments

Photo courtesy of Splendid Joy Photography – Calligraphy by Kelly Patrice Calligraphy

Thanksgiving is upon us and I have SO much to be grateful for!  I have a loving husband and two beautiful children, lots of wonderful friends, and colleagues and clients who I appreciate more than they know!  What a whirlwind the past few months have been, but I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed this fall season.  Although I live in Southern California and it has only recently cooled down, my family and I have still managed to enjoy some of our favorite fall pastimes – baking pumpkin muffins, collecting colored leaves, drinking hot tea in the afternoon, and enjoying cozy dinners with friends and family.  A few weeks ago I traveled to Chicago, IL for a weekend getaway with my four year old son.  My cousin lives there with her husband and two children and it was wonderful spending time with them.  It was amazing to experience a true fall, complete with cold weather and brilliantly colored leaves!  It was also our first mother/son trip which made it extra special.  The changing of the leaves was definitely the highlight of our trip and seeing them in person is something that has been on my bucket list for a long time.  It was wonderful sharing the experience with my little guy who appreciates nature and all it has to offer.  We kept busy while we were there; we visited The Bean, Maggie Daley Park (which was the coolest park I’ve ever been to… moms, take note!), and of course we enjoyed Chicago pizza!  The weather was cool and the colors of the leaves were brighter and more vibrant than I’d imagined they’d be.  I found the entire experience so inspiring!  We went leave collecting every day and pressed the leaves in a book so we could bring them home with us.  We now have a garland of our brightly colored leaves hanging in our kitchen window.  They are a beautiful reminder of this amazing trip!

Below are a few pictures from our little getaway.  As you can imagine, everything was more beautiful in person, but I think I managed to capture a few good pics.  I hope you enjoy them and I encourage you to plan a trip to the midwest or east coast someday to witness the changing of the leaves for yourself (if you haven’t already)!  It is truly remarkable!

Monochromatic Florals are My Favorite!

By | Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds | One Comment

Photo courtesy of They All Hate Us

Growing up my grandfather owned a nursery and my father managed it.  I have wonderful memories sorting the stacks of pots, playing hide and seek with my sister among the rows and rows of seedlings, and transplanting small plants into larger pots as they grew.  It was a wonderful childhood, growing up among the flowers!  Throughout my life my father has enjoyed sharing the latin names of plants and flowers with me and although I haven’t learned them myself, I have developed a real appreciation for them.  I think because of all of this, flowers are one of my favorite elements at a wedding.

No matter the style, color, or type, flowers add a a level of sweetness and romance that is perfect on a day meant to celebrate two people committing to love each other forever.  From tall glamorous arrangements, to floral garlands, to lush floral groupings, I truly love them all.  However, if there is one thing I’m a sucker for, its monochromatic floral arrangements.  There is just something so show stopping about an arrangement of flowers in the same color palette.  I don’t mean the same flower in the same color (though I do love that look), I mean flowers in the same color family.  I love having fresh flowers around my home and almost always chose one type of flower per vase .  My husband, who even after eight years of marriage is sweet enough to surprise me with flowers on occasion, has discovered over the years that I much prefer a bouquet of flowers in the same color, to a colorful mixed bouquet.  Peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus are my favorites, but I also love dahlias, tulips and tuberose.  Below is a collection of some of my favorite monochromatic floral arrangements and bouquets.  You must agree that they are simply beautiful!

Left image from Aisle Perfect – Middle image from HGTV – Right image from Colin Cowie Weddings

Left image from Harpers Bazaar – Middle image from Pretty Designs – Right image from My Wedding

Left image from Once Wed – Middle image from Instagram user @tulipinadesign – Right image from Style Me Pretty 

Left image from Grace(ful things) – Middle image from MOD Wedding – Right image from Cloud 9 Bliss

Left image from Carats and Cake – Middle image from Boho Weddings – Right image from 100 Layer Cake

My Favorites From New York International Bridal Week

By | Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | One Comment

New York International Bridal Week just concluded at The Piers.  It is the premier bridal trade show in NY featuring the best names in the bridal industry.  Bridal manufacturers from all over the world showcased their newest designs including bridal, special occasion, and flower girl gowns, as well as an assortment of headpieces, veils, and accessories.  Those lucky enough to attend in person were treated to a taste of what we have to look forward to in 2017.  Those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to attend were able to live vicariously through those who were there and were kind enough to share photos and videos with all of us via blogs and social media.  I’ve been glued to Instagram over the past few days, searching hashtag in hopes of getting a glimpse of what has been featured!  Let me tell you, based on what I’ve seen, I think we are in for the most epic year of wedding gowns ever!  The designers have really stepped outside of the box and created gorgeous gowns with new and exciting elements!  Unique necklines, sheer fabrics, full and flouncy skirts, and cutouts were some of my favorite details.  These wedding gowns are one of the reasons I wish I could get married all over again (to the same amazing man of course!).  Seriously, SO much loveliness.  I loved so many of the gowns featured at this show, but I selected a few of my most favorite gowns to share with you here.  Get ready to swoon!

I have to begin with my favorite gown of all… this stunning sheath dress with an embroidered illusion bodice by Sachin & Babi.  This gown is the perfect blend of sweet and sexy and is just all around gorgeous!

Sachin & Babi, photo credit JP Yim/Getty via US Magazine 

These two gowns have the most gorgeous necklines and sheer elements!

Left: Marchesa, photo credit Thomas Concordia/Getty via US Magazine  – Right: Alon Livne White, photo via Instagram user @ibitroko_weddings

Two gorgeous strapless gowns with lots of fullness, flounce and flair!

Left: JML Couture Lazaro, photo via Instagram user @lazaro – Right: Monique Lhuillier, photo via Instagram user @estilismomurcia

 

Spaghetti straps with plunging necklines and lots of gorgeous embellishments!

Left: Marchesa, photo via Instagram user @belezo.b – Right:  Berta, photo via Instagram user @weddedwonderland

 

For a little color, check out this blush pink gown adorned with blooms.  Its SO beautiful!

Mark Zunino, photo credit Albert Urso/Getty via US Magazine

 

And last but not least, I’m going to end with this stunner.  How gorgeous is the detailing on this gown?!

Isabelle Armstrong NY, photo via Instagram user @isabellearmstrongny

A Weekend Away In Palm Springs

By | Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds | No Comments

My husband and I recently celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary by spending a few nights (without our kids!!) in Palm Springs.  We stayed at The Parker Hotel – a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  It was everything I hoped it would be and more!  It’s colorful, edgy, retro, and sexy!  Palm Springs has a rich history and is known for its hot springs, golf courses, and stylish hotels.  Often called “The Playground of the Stars”, Palm Springs was particularly popular with the celebrities of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s who retreated to this desert gem to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.  Nowadays, many people find the midcentury-modern architecture and design, to be a charming draw.  I love the the vibe in Palm Springs – the bright colors, modern designs, the feeling of being back in time, and the people are just so hip!  Palm Springs seems to be the place where “the cool kids” go on vacation (we did our best to fit in ;)!  It has also become a popular destination wedding location.  This is no surprise; with its beautiful mountain views, blue skies, and cool vibe, what’s not to love?!  Ok, I guess the fact that temperatures reach well into 100s for about half of the year might deter some, but I think if you pick the right time of year, its totally manageable.  While I was there, I had the opportunity to tour a couple wedding venues: The Parker as well as The Avalon (formerly the Viceroy), where I’m planning a Spring 2017 wedding. Both venues are beautiful and have distinct design elements that make them unique.

My hubby and I spent our days by The Parker pool and the only thing we stressed about was where we should go to dinner!  We read books, lounged in the hammocks, and even got to check out Gene Autry’s historic residence.  We enjoyed delicious meals and scrumptious cocktails (The Chucky is a must!) and just soaked in the beauty around us.  I can’t stress how important it is to spend regular one-on-one time with your spouse, and getting away together for a few days every now and then to connect and enjoy each other is what we all need sometimes.

Below is a collection of some of my favorite things from the weekend!  If you haven’t been to Palm Springs, I definitely recommend you check it out!

The Parker is full of unique design elements.  Here are a few of my favorite details!

The grounds at The Parker Hotel are sprawling and so beautiful.  Palm trees for days!

We indulged in so many goodies, from craft cocktails, to decadent breakfasts, to Dole Whip (just like at Disneyland!)

On an adult’s only vacation, there is nothing I love more than sleeping in and savoring a cup of coffee (or two, or three) in bed.  There is just something about lingering in the crisp white sheets and drinking coffee from a cup with a saucer…
This to me is pure perfection.

Lastly, I want to share a pic of me and my hubby in front of the iconic Parker wall!