Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards.....Easter..

As I am watching the Northeast become Waterworld and my basement a swimming pool, I am reminded of the glorious colors that will be sprouting like crazy once this horrid rain has stopped. Easter has always been my favorite holiday, and as I was bringing the books out for the monster, I was reminded of one of my favorite books. The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown and Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. It always brought immense joy to me after a long winter, as the colors seemed to jump right off the page and awaken my senses. But what about those lovely pastels you say?! Don't worry I've got that covered as I am seriously loving H&M's new Garden Collection. How cute would this dress be for a wedding?? And what's even better..they are made with environmentally friendly sustainable materials.

Plucked Petals Measuring Spoons: Anthropologie,Purple Earrings:, Martina Satin Peep-Toes; J.Crew, Egg Lanterns:Anders Gramer
Pink Flowers:FFFFOUND, Table Image:Miles Aldridge, Spring Flowers: Nibs Blog,
Cupcakes:Polka Dot Bride, Florist Measuring Cups: Anthropologie, White Dress: H&M, Bracelet: Anthropologie
Vintage Easter Hat: Flickr, Shoes Image:FFFFOUND
Crocus Image:Flickr, Dress: J.Crew, Watercolor Clutch: Anthropologie

Golden Egg Book:Amazon, Paper Umbrellas:, Lanterns: The Grassy Road
Cupcakes cups: Wemetinabar, Dress:Neiman Marcus, Verdant Acres Dinner Plates; Anthropologie, Lips:Imgfave
Egg Carton Flowers: vi.sualize.us, Girl Image:Chris Everhard, Vintage Poster, Dress: H&M, Bowls: Anthropologie
Vintage Easter Hat: Flickr, Glasses Image:Polly Wreford, Rug: Anthropologie


Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Destination Napa Valley, Paraduxx

Love at first sight, the entrance to Paraduxx, a yellow house!
I just love the design of their tasting room, would be the perfect spot to host a private event.
During the tasting you have a chance to sit at your own private table and to enjoy at your own pace.
Want to clone that chandelier on a smaller scale for our house, so fabulous!
Napa River runs through their propertyJeff our new friend at Paraduxx gave us a personal tour of the property (and he is originally from CT)
Inside the tank room

Paraduxx was one of my favorite stops on the tour, from the entrance into the yellow house, to the interior design, welcoming staff and warmth of the tasting room, I probably could have stayed there all day sipping wine. During the tasting you have your own private table and can enjoy their portfolio of wines at your own pace paired with artisan cheeses and crackers. It was a really nice change of pace from some of the other tastings where you are standing at the bar surrounded by groups of other people doing the same thing. If you plan to visit be sure to call ahead it is by appointment only. This is a must see!

The wines:
Paraduxx is a unique Napa Valley Red Wine in the tradition of the world's great blends. From the Super Tuscan wines of Italy to the Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends of Australia, each great winegrowing region has created its own authentic varietal pairings. Paraduxx's goal is to craft a world-class blend with a distinctly Californian personality by using Zinfandel, a grape synonymous with California, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. From the first vintage, Paraduxx has dedicated itself to finding the optimum blend, using combinations of Merlot and Cabernet Franc to enhance the core pairing of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Noting the jammy quality of valley Zinfandel, versus the tannic spiciness of mountain grown grapes, Paraduxx also experiments with blending fruit from distinct vineyard lots at differing elevations.

Duckhorn Wine Company originally created Paraduxx to allow its winemakers the opportunity to explore other styles without detracting from Duckhorn Vineyards' focus on Bordeaux varietals.

Our Favorite:
In the land where Cab is King and the focus is on Bordeaux varietals, I love that the winemaker at Paraduxx is doing something different. Mastering the art of blending Zinfandel with Cab Suavignon, Cab Franc, and Merlot he is crafting some incredible wines. As the winemaker for Paraduxx, David Marchesi is committed to the simple, yet bold idea that the Napa Valley-one of the great winegrowing regions of the world-is capable of producing a truly exceptional blend, with a uniquely Californian personality.

We selected the 2006 Canvasback
Napa Valley Red, as the wine to travel back with us to CT. It is absolutely fabulous!

2006 Canvasback

Comments from the Winemaker

Crafted around a core of Syrah and Grenache, this wine offers a broad, beautifully balanced palate, fresh fruit notes and a silky texture. The Syrah dominates the aromatics with layers of blackberry, black pepper, licorice, currant and subtle earth. The mid-palate reveals juicy Grenache elements complemented by soft, integrated tannins with oak-inspired hints of cherry cola and vanilla. Ripe and intense, this layered blend also reveals sophisticated touches of black tea, orange peel, cinnamon and sage, leading to a savory finish.

Varietal Content

56% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 2% Carignane, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon

Thursday, March 25, 2010

75 and Fabulous!

He has been wearing the same glasses and haircut for probably 75 years (hey, it worked for Yves Saint Laurent and Edith Head). He is a kind and patient husband, a generous and loving father, a silly and adoring Pop-Pop and a trustworthy and attentive friend. I could go on and on about my Dad, but I thought I would share just a few "Ben-isms" in honor of his special day....
1. Don't let the Turkeys get you down.
2. Be nice to everyone because you never know who will be your boss someday.
3. There is always something good in every day.
4. Snakes are not friendly.
What I wish for you today are bright blue skies, warm weather, yellow daffodils and peace.

Happy Birthday Dad!
All my Love,
Your Chicken Leg


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TRUE & WESSON Philosophy #61

Image found via vi.sualize.us

For my Dad...A bit of advice that he has shared with me all my life.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards...Firecracker Summer Wedding...

Summer Firework wedding

I was reminded the other day by the fabulous Abby Larson of Style me Pretty of their incredible design tool they recently launched on the blog, The Style Circle, which allows brides, vendors, friends, etc. to browse through the hundreds of pictures they have accumulated in their library as well as your own personal collection to create a mood/inspiration board just by dropping your images on one of 4 different templates they have created. I have been lucky to have Miss Wesson as the mastermind behind uploading all of my pictures into a board, but this tool is just fabulous for those of you interested in designing your own inspiration boards. It is so easy and doesn't require a fancy design program or software.

So this week my mood board was designed using the Style Circle. With turquoise being the color of the year, I just love this combination of tones of red, and pink against the bright bold turquoise glass, and the simplicity of the baby's breath, on a fabulous patterned runner. I love to layer patterns of stripes, flowers, and polka dots. You can see in this board that even in using just two colors you can still create incredible interest with pattern, texture, and shades.

Underwater Shoot...Save the Date Love.

You all know how much I love interesting save the dates, well this is by far one of my absolute favorites I came across on Green Wedding Shoes. The images are brilliant!

Kelty from Steep Street Photography Captured this incredible Engagement shoot. What fun!

A Note From Kelty: Jeff and Stacey are dear friends that I've known since childhood and (being the crazy iron man triathletes they are) they were game for an underwater engagement shoot, replete with wedding ensembles, underwater kisses, dancing, and diving. They've been all over the world together but had a distinct vision for their engagement shoot and save the date cards, choosing the pool their grew up swimming in. I then created an accordion Save the Date Invite using their engagement photos.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Typefaces...Spring is Here!

Spring Font created by Charlene Sepentzi

It's Spring!!!!


Not just for Grandma... The Art of Crocheting

Crochet LOVE!

Wood and Wool Stools, on Etsy, discovered on decor8

Crochet Earrings, by Tania Nova for Etsy, discovered on shefinds.com

A couple of years ago while I was living in NYC my best friend Marissa introduced me to crocheting. I quickly fell in love with the hobby, however I never learned beyond the basic stitch and lost interest. The blanket I started, became a project that I never seemed to be able to finish (it remains a long skinny lap blanket or could maybe even pass for a make shift scarf, rolled up in a bag it sits in my closet). Over the weekend while doing spring cleaning I rediscovered the half complete blanket and without even really searching discovered a couple of really talented ladies that are doing the coolest things with the craft. Totally re-inspired I am thinking of pulling my crochet needles back out, I am just in LOVE with these benches and must have a pair of those yellow hoops!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Destination Sonoma, Moon Mountain Vineyard

Moon Mountain Vineyard, Tasting RoomAcres of vines, during Harvest all of the fruit is handpicked.Fields of Gold, Mustard SeasonInside their tank room, designed in a circle.
Private Tour and Barrel Tasting in the Cave

Last week I finally had the opportunity to go on a trip that has been a dream for as long as I can remember, well for as long as I have been old enough to drink wine I suppose. Husband and I flew out to San Francisco and spent 4 days in between Sonoma and Napa Valley and ended the trip in Seattle. It was absolutely amazing and everything I imagined it would be. I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite places. We decided after being out there and seeing at least 3 if not 4 wineries a day that we could visit every year for the next 10 years and not visit all of the wineries out there. It is just amazing, and a really good excuse to plan a wine country trip every spring!

Our first full day in California included a morning appointment at Moon Mountain Vineyard, a total hidden gem!!
As we drove along the winding, steep, narrow, roads, we couldn't believe the climb to get to the top of the long driveway that led us up to Moon Mountain. It was the most beautiful sunny, warm, day and the mustard was in full yellow bloom. Absolutely gorgeous this time of year.

Moon Mountain Vineyard
If not recommended to us by a good friend we would probably never have stumbled upon Moon Mountain Vineyard, it is definitely off the beaten path but well worth the trip! One of our favorite stops on the trip for sure. We had our own private tour and tasting (if you plan to visit make sure you call ahead, it is by appointment only) with artisan cheeses, crackers and chocolate to pair with our wines. An in depth tour of the winery, wine making process and tour of the natural cave where the wines are stored. In the cave we got to taste directly from the barrel. The two ladies we met working at the winery were incredibly helpful, really in depth and knowledgeable about the winery and super nice. It is such a beautiful place it was hard not to want to stay there the entire day enjoying a bottle of wine and relaxing on one of the picnic tables. We loved the experience so much we joined the wine club and truly I can't wait til our first shipment of wines arrives in June! In addition to the wines being absolutely fabulous the grapes are all organically grown. This is a must see!

About the Winery: Moon Mountain Vineyard is located high on the Sonoma Valley side of Mount Veeder, at nearly the 2,000-foot elevation. The steep, southern-facing slopes consist of soils called the Sonoma Volcanics, which are derived from rock, volcanic ash and lava. These soils, combined with the rigors of growing on the mountainside, push the vines to work harder, resulting in small, intensely flavored fruit. To balance these rugged conditions, we organically farm each row to gently enhance the complexity of the vineyard by creating a rich, healthy growing environment and produce grapes with pure flavors and a pronounced sense of place.

Our Favorites: (the wines are available exclusively at the winery, but the good news is they can ship to most states, Connecticut included)

Chardonnay Sonoma County 2007, $16: I loved this one, thought it was really nice, not a typical California Chardonnay. Crisp, Great fruit, not overly oaky or buttery.

From the Winemaker: This Chardonnay is perfectly balanced and elegant, with all of the fruit coming from the Russian River and Dry Creek Valley’s. This alluring wine offers aromas of honeysuckle, citrus, kiwi, along with a kiss of elegant French oak nuances. It is a well-structured wine, with a creamy mouth-feel and a finish with refreshing acidity; these complex lingering flavors are just mouthwatering. Pairs with: Grilled Tuna & Poultry Dishes; Brie & Goat Cheeses.

Cabernet Franc Estate 2006, $45: This one was an easy favorite, it made the short list of only 6 select wines we shipped back with us after our stay in California.

From the Winemaker: This 100% Cabernet Franc is from our highest vineyard block at 1,750 feet in elevation, the Feather Block. Deep garnet in color, this wine provokes a rich full-bodied mouth feel and lingering finish. Tantalizing and powerful flavors of mountain blackberry, black currant and wild sage are complemented with a subtle hint of root spice, cedar and mocha. Cabernet Franc is a very bold wine, yet velvety tannin structure. Pairs with: Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine); Blue, Gorgonzola & Camembert Cheeses.

Zinfandel Dry Creek 2007, $35: On my tasting notes sheet this got the most exclamation points. It was my favorite and I am told that the Estate 2007 blows the Dry Creek out of the water, with only 11 bottles left in the production. I somehow let husband convince me the Cab Franc (his favorite) should be the one we purchased, but if I had my way I would have bought a case of this. They also make an incredible Zinfandel Dry Creek Port 2006, absolutely delicious. Instead of bringing dessert to the next dinner party bring a bottle of this port with fresh dark chocolate, you will be a huge hit!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fitness + Dancing= Perfect Workout

Those of you that know me well know how much I love to workout and maybe even more than that how much I love to dance. So you take the two things and put them together and it is perfection! While visiting the ladies' blog over at Wiley Valentine I came across this video and was introduced to Tracey Anderson (she trains Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow), who I have now become completely obsessed with.

My arms are burning just watching her. I just might have to make my own video to show you how much fun this workout is and that you can do it anywhere, just by putting on a song that makes you want to dance.

Things that make me happy...

image by Garrett Grove

After seeing these pictures featured on 100 Layer Cake this morning I decided that if I were planning my wedding this would be a detail that would somehow have to be included, a bouncy house! How fabulous and fun is this?! and if you threw in a cotton candy machine I would be the happiest girl alive!

TRUE & WESSON Philosophy #60

Image found via imgfave

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Save the Date...Angela and DJ Wedding Scheming

I am always on the hunt for new ideas, ways to be creative, to think out side of the box, constantly pushing myself to come up with something that hasn't been done before. It can sometimes be exhausting as my mind is always working. So when this save the date arrived in my in-box yesterday from a super fabulous couple I am working with this year, I couldn't get enough of it. It is absolutely perfect for them and for their wedding, completely unique, ultra creative, and humorous!

When I first met DJ and Angela, I knew we were going to have a blast in planning their wedding and one of the most important things to them was that their wedding was fun! This save the date totally sets the tone for what guests can expect, and delivers such an incredible energy and excitement for the big day!!

We're Movin on Up....Chocolate Creative Design

Image: Chocolate Creative Design

I can hardly contain myself and I am about to jump out of my skin with some exciting news! I have had my studio in the Velvet Mill in Stonington for 2 years now. It was a true labor of love and it required a huge amount of elbow grease to put it all together. But today, Chocolate Creative Design is officially moving! Not far, just up. We will still be at 22 Bayview Avenue in the Velvet Mill but upstairs in the gallery in Studio F. The offiical move in date is April 1st but it might take a bit more time beautifing the space. I have some great new neighbors, an interior designer and faux finisher, a fashion designer and some painters. In the upcoming weeks I will keep you all up to date as the adventure begins!!


Tuesdays are for Mood Boards.....Pisces..

Ok so I married a fish. He might not have Michael Phelps speed, but he certainly has the most beautiful stroke that I have ever seen and glides through the water like a dolphin. He also happens to be a Pisces and most recently has become obsessed, along with our monster, with saltwater fishing. Needless to say, with the help of his Mom, our house is filled with subtle reminders of our big fish.
For today's mood board, I have shaken things up a bit. I have been scouring the internet for some rather unique objects to add to our collection. I was inspired by the fish tiles that flank the walls in our monster's bathroom (probably my favorite room in the house and also the only one that's really finished). Our house primarily consists of these "water" colors, so as to constantly remind us of the ocean that we love so much.

So Happy Birthday fish man. Spring will be here soon enough.

Barnacle Pinched Pots: $28.00 for 3 at Etsy, Ceramic fish plates: $19.50 each at Whimsy Home Decor, Little Fish Drinking Glasses: $11.50 each at Beach Dwelling, Fish Chandelier: Scabetti
Coral Sea Foil Fish Pillow: $31.99 at Organize, Tall Barnacle Vase: $722.95 at Bellacor, Vintage Fish Vase: $55.00 at Etsy, Gocco Fish Prints: $30.00 at Etsy
Fish Tile: $32.00 at Trillium, Fish Vases: $823 for 3 at Organize, Shells embroidered pillows: $38.99 each at Organize,
Barnacle Centerpiece: $325 at Cerulean, Derwent Wallpaper in blue/silver: At Osborne & Little, Vintage Sascha Brastoff Fish Bowl: $44.00 at Etsy, Fish Hurricane: $44.99 at Organize, Fish fabric: Lulu DK


Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Typefaces...Birthday Bacon!

Bacon Typeface created by Wendy Xu.

My husband should be a professional bacon cooker. In the Wesson household, we just adore bacon!
Tomorrow he turns one year older.
Happy Birthday Bacon Boy!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let your imagination grow..Music

Music has always played a huge part in my life. It all started with my brother and I running and dancing around our parents house to their John Denver and Peter,Paul and Mary albums (yes..albums). Later came the likes of Shaun Cassidy and dare I say Debbie Boone, which really had a short shelf life compared to the Rolling Stones. And how can I forget "Grease", which my parents had to endure for 9 hours straight on our yearly expedition to Vermont. High School began the years of the mixed tape (yes tape..I did say it). Sitting with a stack of albums and/or the radio and patiently recording song after song....(only those brought up during this time can honestly comprehend the dedication).
Finally, in college came the CD and sadly my albums were packed away in boxes.
Unfortunately, I didn't get the musical gene, that was given to my brother who taught himself to play any instrument and now creates operas for animation. Nonetheless, I love music so much that I have had to put myself into iTunes rehab.
When our monkey was born, I was forced to delve into the world of "Baby Beluga" and "Fruit Salad". Well, thank god for our really cool and hip friends the Taylors, who transplanted themselves back home from Seattle. Last June, for the monster's birthday, they gave him the most amazing CD ever! It has traveled through 4 states and now has a semi-permanent home in our kitchen, ready to play at any given time. So who are these musical geniuses that entertain kids while not allowing their parents to go insane, you say? It's none other than Recess Monkey. Based out of Seattle, 3 elementary school teachers decided to form a band, write music about life as a kid and voila, genius was born. Ok, I know what you're thinking..Kid's music? Really, Lucinda? I can personally guarantee that you will love this. It is by far one of the best driving CD's ever. If you like Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Bare Naked Ladies, The Beatles and Squeeze then this group is for you! The melodys are great and perfect for car singing and the lyrics..don't get me started! I absolutely love how they used their imagination and focused on every day topics that kids deal with like Lice, Sack Lunches, Getting/wanting a pet, new shoes and ice packs . It's like Larry David for kids.

In all seriousness, I would even consider their "Firefly Lullaby" as a first dance at one's wedding.

So fill your Easter baskets, give it to Parents who've had ENOUGH of "Fruit Salad" and spread the word that Kids music doesn't have to be unbearable but enjoyable!

Oh, and if you can hum just a few bars of "Haven't Got a Pet Yet" for Steven Taylor, you just might get a smile or even a wink...

My Favorite: Sack Lunch

The Monster's Favorite: The Teens

Thank you Crista, Steven, Olivia, Gabriella and Jackson for making this world a better musical place!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards... Pretty in Pink, Modern City Chic Wedding

This board was designed for an extra special couple, Libby and Patrick, for a spring wedding that I am collaborating on with the fabulous Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, and a team of incredibly talented vendors in Nashville, TN. It is to take place on the rooftop, of a brand new building overlooking the city. The views are incredible from up there and the details sure are going to be fabulous. Stay tuned for much more to come on this collaboration as we take you behind the scenes, from inspiration to reality.

Mood: Sophisticated, Romantic, Modern, City Chic.

Row 1: Dessert Table, image via Ruffled Blog, Pink Dresses, image via 100 Layer Cake, Bride and Groom, image via 100 Layer Cake.
Row 2: Bridesmaid dress, Priscilla of Boston, String Lighting, image via A Cup of Joe, Paper poms, Etsy, Centerpiece, image via Style Me Pretty, Bride, image via Style Me Pretty.
Row 3: Image via Style me Pretty, Dahlia image via, Style Me Pretty, ruffle pillow, Pier One Imports, Bridesmaid Dress, Priscilla of Boston.
Row 4: CB2 Glass Candles, Image via 100 Layer Cake, Centerpiece image via, Style Me Pretty, Ruffle Cake, image via 100 Layer Cake, Pillar Candles, image via Style Me Pretty.

Monday Typefaces...Logos

We've been cooking up some delicious new logos at Chocolate Creative Design which we will soon unveil...We promise!
In the meantime, check out this amazing poster created by The Best Part Design Agency.
See if you can recognize all the companies listed...

Good Luck!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let your imagination grow..The Curious Garden

When I saw this post on one of our favorite blogs Oh Joy, my heart skipped a beat. Created by Peter Dungey as an
public art installation piece, it sends powerful yet inspiring messages to all of us who reside on this wildly spinning globe. One of my passions since moving into our antiquated farmhouse has become gardening. It is truly an art form unto itself. Not just about mixing colors, it's timing, weather and giving up control (which is extremely hard for me). But I'm learning and so is my little monster. His Momee (Grandmother) also shares in our passion and this Christmas she gave him one of the most beautiful books ever published. It mimics so closely to what artist Peter Dungey created that it gave me chills up my spine. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown is a must read! I won't even spoil the story, you just need to get it!

Easter is my favorite Holiday. It is all due to my mother who outdid herself every year. It's not just about the bunny but the change of seasons and getting into that Garden! In our house, the Easter Bunny brings way better gifts than Santa. So this year, I thought I would get an early start on those Easter posts. I found some amazing basket fillers that would make any Bunny jealous.

Getting into the Garden.....Kidstyle..
1. Sagaform Kids Gardening Tool Set: $9.95 at Wrapables
2. Kids Watering Can Garden Kit: $19.95 at Wrapables
3.Kids Garden Tools bag: $12.99 at Target.
4.Buzzy Kids 4 pc Garden Tool Tote Set: at Target

1. Insect pocket identifier..figure out what it is before you touch it! $10.95 at gardeningwithkids
2. Ladybug House. Now maybe they will get out of mine! $34.95 at gardeningwithkids
3. Butterfly feeder and Nectar $18.95 at gardeningwithkids
4. Praying Mantis Pagoda. What every Mantis dreams of...$21.95 at gardeningwithkids

1.Tickle me Plant seeds. The plant moves when you touch it! $9.95 at gardeningwithkids
2. Based on the Old fable Stone Soup: Stone Soup Garden Kit: $25.00 at Calliope
3. Personalized Garden in a bag: $16.95 at Wrapables
4. The Eggling (Check out their website!) Comes in various plants, herbs etc: $8.49 at Perpetualkid

So cheers to some new small green thumbs!