I Do II: Pretty Pink Tulips

My next guest in the series is the talented and fun Elizabeth of PRETTY PINK TULIPS. Elizabeth was the first blogger I "met" when I launched my blog (we have mutual friends) and I have been an avid fan of hers (and her blog) ever since. 

When Kate invited me to share what I what do if I got to redo my "I dos"...I thought what a great idea!! Planning a wedding is an overwhelming task and even though I had 11 months to plan mine, there are things I would definitely change.

First, I would shorten my engagement. 6 months would have been perfect, but that would have meant I was marrying in July. Not a great idea if you live in Dallas, TX, as I did at the time. So, my fantasy location would be moved to Napa Valley.

Next, I would hire the most amazing wedding planner (Kate's mom of PARTY RESOURCES) to help with all the details that take an event to the next level. I was working full time and pursuing my MBA in the evenings. Carving out time to make all the appointments and decisions was hard and this was in the day before blogs and Pinterest! I got married in a church, in the evening and had a fairly formal wedding and reception with over 300 people. In my "redo", I would get married outside overlooking the Napa Valley, have a small guest list and have the wedding during the late afternoon. I would have a sit down dinner under a gorgeous tent and dance the night away. Grant and I would leave under a halo of sparklers.

Finally, one little thing I wish I had done. Flower girls. Just the name alone makes me smile. There are three darling girls who are now teenagers that I wish I had invited to be my flower girls. I was talked out of having any as they always "steal the show". But, if they bring beauty and levity to a serious day....why not? I was a flower girl when I was about 5 years old. And, I remember how special I felt.

Luckily, I would keep the groom. Which, in the end.....is all that really matters.

Photos: Pinterest, Catherine Hall, Alish + Brook Photographers, Laurelyn Dexter and Tara Geurard


M is for Mums

Photos: Martha Stewart, Cfabbridedesigns, BHG, The Antique Door Blog, Blog Joyous, Country Living


Pumpkin Risotto

Since I am wearing a down vest while working on this entry, it is safe to say that fall has arrived in Boston! This has me excited to use by fireplace, sip a glass of Malbec and to entertain with comfort food! I am hosting a dinner next weekend and am going to try this RECIPE from celebrity chef Charlie Palmer.


Cheesy Fall Appetizer

If you are entertaining in the coming weeks, this is the perfect appetizer to serve with cocktails. Cheese fondue served in a roasted pumpkin. Yum! Here is the RECIPE.

Images: Gourmet and murchkindergarten2.wordpress.com, White House in Yakima


I Do II: Design Chic

A warm welcome to my next guests in the series - Kristy and Beth. This mother-daughter duo have impeccable taste and are the force behind DESIGN CHIC.

Kristy and Beth have to admit it: They wouldn't change one thing about their weddings, as they hold such perfect memories. When I asked them to think about a wedding day "redo" they weren't sure what they would do! But it was such a tempting offer that they couldn't help but let their minds wander...

A beach wedding redo? Yes please!

Since the first weddings were large, Kristy and Beth would like this one to be an intimate, seated affair, overlooking a sparkling blue shore, with perfect weather, of course. Since Kristy and her hubby honeymooned in the British Virgin Islands. Why not have everyone fly down and celebrate before the vacation?

Big or small, casual or formal, place cards in perfect calligraphy are are a must!

A makeshift aisle, beach style.

Everyone has a different element that, to them, "makes" an event. For these style mavens, it's flowers. For a wedding surrounded by natural beauty, keep the flowers simple, yet plentiful to coordinate with the other outdoor elements.

Snowtinis were the signature cocktail at the real wedding, but mint juleps in sterling, monogrammed julep cups are such a requirement for a southern, summer bride.

Strings then, strings now. These ladies still have to walk down the aisle to Trumpets Voluntaire. That burst of brass gives them chills!

Dinner should be surf -- fresh caught, of course -- and turf with a touch of the exotic. These orchids are a stunning addition.

The best part of any meal is dessert. Cake is great, but why not savor many different flavors?

Coral and shells make this cake fun and whimsical but still elegant -- all the things this wedding should be!

Thanks to all the readers for RSVPing the Design Chic seaside wedding redo! And thank you to Kristy and Beth for such a stylish post.


Kids Party Martha Style

If you picked up the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, then you, too, saw the off the hook 1st birthday party that Martha threw for her granddaughter, Jude. You can read all of the details HERE. Steiff animals set the theme for the party. As you can imagine, Jude has refined taste, so only clear balloons were allowed.

The cakes (three in total) were decorated with marzipan animals. Adorable! Find the instructions on how to make them HERE

Every piece of cake was adorned with an animal. So cute! 

Each guest left with a custom cookie from SWEET DANI B.


Because I Love It

Salted Caramel Brownies Pies. Yup...pretty much perfection! RECIPE

Photo: Camille Styles


Pumpkin Dessert for Fall

As the days get shorter and the temps get cooler, I am thinking of planning a dinner party in October. My favorite recipe for dessert is from Terri of LA DOLFINA. It has quickly become a staple in my home. It will impress your guests and could not be simpler!

All the items you need can be found at your local TRADER JOE'S.

Make the gingerbread according to the instructions on the package. 

Heat the carmel sauce (told you this was simple).

Add a scoop of pumpkin ice cream and top with whipped cream.

Drizzle with carmel sauce and some chopped candied pecans. Yum!