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dreaming of cake and sunshine

sabrinacakes
Spring is so far away, and I'm so over winter. It is suicide-watch dreary out today, and I can't even remember what "sunshine" is. I think, I think I know... but I can't be sure. Is it lemon flavored? Help me out here. I can't recall.
Here's something random.
I've lost my will to sauna. I used to sauna almost 4 times a week at the gym after a good workout, and it was heaven. My skin glowed. But now, in the depths of winter, when it gets dark at 2:25 in the afternoon, all I want to do is stay home, hole-up, and eat things. I'm really happy that I'm too busy to grocery shop, because then the eating things would be an issue. However, as it stands, I may feel like eating from 4 pm until bed, but the only sustenance we have around the house is coffee, half & half and Skippy, so I'm safe. It's a horrible combo. What? No! I didn't try it. Shut up.
I like to browse around the internet and look for cake when I have the winter blues. Nothing more cheerful than cake. These are from Sabrina Cake Alchemy, and they remind me that only March stands between me and April. Damn it, March!

surprise!

OrigamiGame
Remember a few days ago when I said that I forgot how to make the little origami finger game? I remembered! Well, I didn't remember, so much as a nice lady from the internet reminded me. You must visit her to learn her secrets.
If you live in the UK, you can visit the aforementioned website, Cox & Cox for these. But for us in the US, we must fend for ourselves.
Having been so excited about rediscovering this game, I came up with my own little template that you can download, print out, cut out and fold up*. I AM a huge dork, I know. When I was little, we played this game in the same way you might consult a "magic eightball". You always ask the game a yes or no question first, then you pick a number... and so on. Visit The Oracle, she'll show you how it works.

*When you go to fold up my template, make sure you start with the printed part facing the table. You also have to cut it out first, on the gray line.

down-do

downdos
I was recently asked by a very good friend to recommend some "down-do's". Having seen so many nice ones lately on the red carpet, I thought I'd highlight a few. Side pony tails? OK. Why not? Lets do that again! I sort of missed that the first time around. Let's just promise to keep it low, people. Keep it low. I was shocked to see so many people with their hair down at the Oscar's last night and I must say, love the lack of fussy-fussy. Reese Witherspoon's bangs? Yes... good. Which (coincidentally) look a lot like my new fringe only hers are shinier and more famous.

sam and dave: the fam

So we had a busy weekend. We got a blog lift! Notice the bags under our eyes are a little smoother? Notice how the curve of our derriere is... subtler? Notice the come-hither plumpness to our pout? We had work done!
Seriously, not that much changed. The archives will be more useful, the RSS feed button is now front and center, we added some major categories to the directory. We added some links to the blog roll. We have more space to grow, thanks to a third column... life is good. And I have a surprise for you later in the day (the only clue you get is here). But for now, please give your attention to Samantha. Here she is:
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So far there haven’t been too many family flare-ups in planning this wedding. Just 3-4, which is not so bad if you think about the fact that in planning a wedding the couple has to come to aesthetic, financial and practical agreements on how it should look and feel and together they have to coordinate those feelings with those of their parents. My parents are really taking the lead on this. They’re both creative and artistic and they understand what we’re going for. Dave is pretty deferential to my aesthetic choices. He may have mentioned that he would like a hologram as a cake topper and he might have mentioned something about Medieval Times but everyone has learned to chuckle and blow him off. He’s been pretty good-natured about being disregarded. He’ll be happy with friends and family and food (especially food). I’ve actually noticed that since my parents have gotten into this, we’ve grown closer. We talk everyday anyway but this event has given us all something to look forward to. Everyday something comes up about minor or major details from dresses to music to mojitos. I think in the end we’ll all look back fondly on the build up as well as the end result. We’re all totally in agreement that we want to enjoy this event come what may. There’s no way everything can go exactly as planned so we’re prepared to go with the flow.

lanterns and a birdwalk

gglanterns
I couldn't not post about these. They're too pretty. And not that expensive. (Unless you count the overseas shipping) *bites lip*.
BUT you could get a lot of bang for your buck (I mean pound) with these. Great on a buffet table, GREAT as centerpieces. Available here.
I'm going to be on the look out for anything similar a little closer to home. You'll be the first to know.

On a completely unrelated note... Did everyone but me know that John Denver wrote "Leaving on a Jet Plane"? I thought what's her name wrote that... Pachouli Clark? Petula Kline? No? OK. You all know that he died in a plane crash right? Is no one else FREAKed out by this? Why did no one tell me the horrible irony of this song? I love this song. Now it's just incredibly sad. I am not happy about this.

just a little favor

coxpaperfavors
Looking for favors that are a little more... low key?
Enter Love Origami and Sweet Talking Chocolates by Cox and Cox.
The chocolates with the messages? How could you go wrong? It's not too over the top, but it seems totally appropriate. And I used to spend hours making those little finger thingys. If I could remember how to make them, I would recommend making your own, but I don't remember so I can't. If anyone out there remembers...

cool blog: style me pretty

StylemePretty
I'm always looking for blogs to add to the roster! Style me Pretty, written by Abby of Abby Jean Letterpress is the newest addition to the list. Turns out, Abby and I have a lot in common. We both write wedding style blogs, and we both design wedding invitations for a living. Huh. Check out her interviews and comprehensive "inspiration board" posts for ideas galore.

the knot ring



Insert "tying the knot" joke here. I found these adorable rings over at Keil Mead. The designer is apparently from my neck of the woods, and you all know how much I love to promote neighborly-ness.
I actually thought these (available in white gold, yellow gold, or sterling silver) would be a perfect gift from a groom to a bride (of vice versa) on their wedding day. It's not a diamond or a wedding band, it's just a small token of affection. However small, it is symbolic. When you look at that string around your finger, you'll be reminded of your special day. The day you tied the knot. Aww.
What is everyone else doing for a wedding day gift, if anything? Small tokens? Large ones?

sam and dave: the workout

Ah President's Day! The day I never seem to get off. It seems that no matter what my job has been over the years, President's day is the one holiday I invariably get screwed on. I just got back from a vacation, so I can't complain too loud. We missed last week's update on Samantha's wedding planning, because I was on said vacation. This week, Sam needs advice! I'll pass you right over so you can commence dispensing indispensable advise.

SallyAaronWedding
I'm beginning to struggle a bit with winter weight. Everyone I know keeps saying, “the wedding’s just around the corner”. I know, I know butttt and a very big butt; I can’t seem to get motivated. I’m not going to starve myself. I already run about 1.5 to 2 miles in the morning and then do about 40-45 minutes more at the gym (from 5:03 AM -6:20AM before I have to leave for work at 7:30-ugh!) weekdays. I’m a vegetarian but I eat eggs and dairy…that sums it up. I do have a sweet tooth and love bread but generally I eat pretty healthy. In the spring I will be more active, like I might run in the park or something after work. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I might do to kick start better eating and working out? I also want to start doing more weight training to get my arms looking better (I descend straight from Russian peasants so my lineage dictates arms with extra padding…even when I ran the marathon…even when I was on the swim team). Thankfully my genes are not all bad, this photo is of my grandmother (nana Sally) and grandfather (papa Aaron). She looks like a doll, I could never look that angelic but it's a good goal. A dear friend once told me that her grandmother used to call winter weight "winter wool" so I guess come spring I'll have to take off my sweater! Any tips on slimming down healthfully or good weight training tips is so appreciated.

urban botanic

UrbanBotanic
I have to recommend this... It's just too fun. Here's what you do. First you go online here and fill out a personality test, it's kind of like a Cosmo quiz. Then you choose 5 scents from a list of essential oils. A week later you get a custom custom blended shower gel or lotion, or whatever. One that's just for you. No one else. We all don't have to smell the same!
I did it. I'm very happy I did. The lotion has gotten rave reviews from the hubs. My blend is 3 parts tomato leaf, 3 parts cucumber, 2 parts white tea, and 1 park oakmoss. The Mister thinks I smell like babies and grass (freshly changed, freshly mowed). I'll take that as a compliment.
A big thank you to Kelsey at Urban Botanicals, who concocted my concoction. Well done Kelsey!

headbands

FranceLux
When I was a kid, I had the goofiest hair accessories. Remember the giant poufy-padded-pink headband that squeezed your head so tight you would get shooting pains behind your ears? What about the plastic barrettes that would get all gunked up with hair spray from "doing your bangs"? Oh, and we can't forget about the scrunchies. I liked those so much, I layered them on my wrist for a "devil-may-care" look. I wore them up, I wore them down. I wore them all around the town.
I have a very clear memory of lip-syncing to "I think We're Alone Now" with my sister on the bus. I was wearing my poufy-pink-padded headband and my yellow "Teddy-Bears Doing Exercise" jogging suit. My bangs were permed into a phooooo. I was 11, and I was rocking that headband. Which, (if you're still with me), brings me to my point. Not since the poufy-padded-pink nightmare have I wanted to wear a plastic headband. Not since fourth grade. Not until today. Today, I'm getting one of these, and I'm going to rock it.

the color of my love

color1
I was browsing on Jamali Garden today, looking for lovelies to share and I came across this photo of Icelandic poppies in pewter bud vases (the vases are available here). I was so inspired by the color combos in this image, I thought I'd do up a color palette using the soft yellow and pewter with pink and sage accents. It's so delicate, but I think the pewter keeps it modern. Incidentally, Jamali Garden is a great place to find floral arrangement supplies, napkins rings, baskets, lanterns, etc. All very hip.
On a side note, when I created the first version of the Havana about 4 months ago, I used this same pewter and daffodil color combo. In the end, I decided to display it on the website in different more autumnal colors. Someday I'll make it for someone in it's original springtime palette...

i'm back!

avalanche
We had such an awesome time in BC. I did a ton of skiing. Dell did a ton of snowboarding (he's really very good). Above is my favorite picture from the trip. Don't worry mom. We tried not to ski near the avalanche bombs.
So I'm back on a regular daily posting schedule now. I'm also planning a slight revamp of the site, something to look forward to!

in love with these

Marchesa1
marchesa2
Love these! Each and every one would knock the socks off any groom within the tri-state area. I posted about Marchesa a while ago, but I can't resist pointing them out once again. I love that they're not actually wedding dresses, and even though they're couture they're not so over the top that they'd look out of place as a wedding gown. The top row is part of Marchesa's new resort line, and the bottom (I think), are part of their regular confections. I mean collections.

skiiiing

redmountain
You may have noticed a lack in post frequency this week, (my apologies for that) but this is why! My mister, myself, my father-in-law and my lovely neighbors are skiing in British Columbia for the week. I'm relatively new to skiing, having only started learning last year, but I'm really starting to get a feel for it. I just started to get the "carve" yesterday. I'm having such a great time. The cloud cover is so low here, we're often skiing above them. It makes for some really wild pictures. The place we're skiing at is called Red Mountain, and there are so few people here. It's like we have the whole place to ourselves. More later... bye for now.

fairy lights

cosyromantics
I know that a lot of you are searching for alternatives to candles, as so many venues are not allowing them anymore. I thought I'd do a quick post about this company I spotted on Stylehive. Cosy Romantics offer a ton of fairy light options, in really classy colors and shapes. I love the wrapped twine ones, as well as the "Iris" style. I really want to try a strand of the flower ones under a glass dome as part of a center piece. I'll let you know when I road test that.

sam and dave: the food

Hi everyone! What a lot of traveling I did this weekend! We were in Montreal for a while, then went home to New York for a day, and then we were in Spokane, WA, and now we're in Rossland, British Columbia. So needless to say I'll be working (and playing) away from the office this week. I'm exhausted and jet lagged so I'm going to pass you over to Samantha: take it away Sam!
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A lot of progress has been made on the wedding front. We have a tentative menu planned and the Cuban band booked. They assured us they'll play music with a great dance beat that you can just get up and move to. I'm sure there are a lot of fabulous wedding bands, but the only Stevie Wonder songs I love are the ones crooned and played by the man himself. So I guess it's a gamble but the Cuban band could be really unique and fun. What do you all think?
Here's the menu:

Guests arrive and get sparkling water and an international cheese display with fruit and baguettes. Then the ceremony takes place outside by a stonewall with a cocktail hour following with Proseco, Cosmos, Mojitos and Margueritas.

Next servers will come around with hors doeuvres:
Walnut tapenade on rice crackers, spicy veggie California rolls, duck spring rolls with Thai plum sauce, bang bang shrimp with chipotle aioli, mini gulf crab cakes with Cajun tartar sauce, smoked chicken empanadas with cilantro cream, spinach and feta cheese in filo with spicy tomato sauce, veggie samosas with red currant sauce.

Then garde manger cold kitchen displays from 7-8pm:
Assorted peppers, onions, portabellos, asparagus, plum tomatoes, roasted garlic and zucchini with spicy red pepper hummus, grape leaves, ripe plum tomatoes with celigene mozzarella with walnut pesto, white bean hummus, marinated olives with roasted peppers, gaguette, semolina, foccacia and bread sticks.

There'll also be a grill station:
Grilled salmon, grilled chicken and tropical salsas and tropical fruit salad. Also a pasta station with penne, gemilli, marinara, pesto, Alfredo, or lobster ravioli, Italian sausage, Julienne grilled veggies, wild mushrooms, grated asiago, red pepper flakes, fresh oregano and cracked pepper.
Furthermore there will be an Oriental station with soba noodles with peanut sauce, mixed veggies etc.

Dessert:
Chocolate fondue with strawberries, pineapple and angel food cake, wedding cupcakes by my mamma and of course coffee, herbal teas etc. I'm full already! Do I get to take home leftovers?

paper cake toppers

dsharp
I loved the Martha Stewart Weddings spread featuring the paper stylings of Denise Sharp. Paper wedding cake toppers are kind of a new idea, at least new to me, and I find the change very refreshing. All of sudden, the options seem infinite. One of my favorite pieces from D. Sharp is the Eiffel Tower Candy Box, which I think would make a lovely cake topper. The actual tower part of the box comes off to reveal a tiny space, in which to store a copy of the vows, a surprise for the bride (the space is big enough for a small piece of jewelry), or a treasured family heirloom. Each of the cake toppers pictured here open in a similar fashion.