Friday, July 30, 2010

VACATION... OBX I heart you

Nags Head, North Carolina

This is the week I look forward to the most the whole year long. A week away at the beach on the Outerbanks of North Carolina, you automatically feel relaxed the minute you pull into town and drive along the beach road. And it is also extra special this year because it is sister's birthday. The last year of her 20's, it is hard to believe she is so grown up, time flies, to me she will always be my little sister. Happy Birthday Ruth! and cheers to vacation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interior Design Project... White Fireplace

Before the work began
Almost finished mantle, current debate, should we paint the brick white?

One of the things that has bothered me since we moved into this house almost 4 years ago was the big red brick fireplace. It is the focal point of our great room so the minute you walk into the house it is one of the first things you see. The red brick and gray slate mantle always seemed out of place, but it was a project that got pushed down on the list. Until we got the new hardwood floors, then it moved straight to the top. We are so lucky that my father in law is the most amazing carpenter and based on a photo we gave him he was able to build us our dream mantle. Simple, clean modern lines, it is absolutely perfect!

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards.....Happy on the Lake...

Every year we make the pilgrimage up to Vermont for a week in a rustic cottage right on Lake Champlain. There is no internet or television and it roughly takes about 2 days to rid yourself of the electronic world and finally decompress. When it does finally happen...It's sheer heaven. Two cars get filled to the brim with where is he?..
Get in the car NOW!!
After the 6 hour adventure through 3 states, 7 bathroom breaks and a pound of goldfish strewn all over the car floor, we are welcomed to the cool breezes of Lake Champlain. The cottage has been in the family for years and years and the decor is a wonderful mismatch of various eras. It is filled with various shades of greens and oranges. It is a warm and happy place. A place where you kick off your shoes, flop onto a soft and worn armchair and relax in the distilled light of the day. Light dances off the Lake and the warm breezes easily lull you to sleep. This year I might even take a nap in the hammock..But it's hard as it's so beautiful and I love to watch the light change throughout the day.
So I couldn't help but dream of a summer wedding on the lake..filled with oranges and greens..soft breezes..Coloful Sailboats...Wildflowers..Record Players...retro prints..and delicious food made from the ingredients of local farms...
Images by Chocolate Creative Design- C.I. 2010

Summer Wedding on the Lake
Bride image:weheartit, Vases: Anthropologie, Canoe Print:Richard Bozman, Skirt: Anthropologie
Dress: J.Crew, Rug: Anthropologie, Sailboat Image:automatism, Tie Image: theweddingplanner
Vintage record player:weheartit, Chair: Anthropologie, Necklace: Etsy, Plate Image: Anthropologie
Plate: Anthropologie, Lake Image:weheartit, Apricot tart: Cannelle et Vanille, Oar Image:Silvertip, Dress: Anthropologie

Board created and designed by Chocolate Creative Design


Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Beach Friendly Wine in a Box

Wine of the Week
2006 Boho Vineyards Central Coast Chardonnay

Next Week we are heading down for our annual week on the Outerbanks of North Carolina. It is my favorite week of the year. Long runs on the beach, crashing waves, time to read a book, nap in the sun, and happy hours as the sun sets over the dunes. I was reading an article recently that raved about Boho Vineyards wine in a box, which at first made me cringe, thinking about wine coming out of anything but a bottle just seemed cheap. I looked up Boho Vineyards online and review after review said this is one to try and perfect for the beach! Their motivation for the switch from bottle to box was to help consumers reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing the wine quality they expect from premium Central Coast wines. Which makes this wine in a box even more appealing. The 3-liter box is the equivalent of 4 regular bottles, with a price under $24 a box it is a real bargain.

What the Experts are saying...

This well- made chardonnay is the equivalent of four bottles of wine priced at
$6 each. It's not an ultra-complex beverage, but it's clean and fresh, with good acidity and fruit-to-oak balance.- Baltimore Sun So how's the wine? Actually, quite pleasant, representing with clarity and balance more the tropical-fruit side of chardonnay than the citric, melon and apple. It isn't a barrel-chested example of California chardonnay. It's more demure, intended to be taken at the table with light spring cuisine. It isn't an oaky, alcoholic monster meant for cocktail-hour sipping, pondering and discussing. It put me in mind of a carafe of the house wine that would be put on the table of a bistro in Burgundy, a small place in a cellar, so casual the dogs wouldn't be leashed. -The Sacramento Bee

I've tried the 2006 Boho Chardonnay, and it's just what I'd expect from a Central Coast chardonnay selling for $10-$12 a bottle. It has a bright, fruity aroma with hints of lemon and pear, full flavors, good structure and a dry finish. No doubt about it: The wine is dry. -The Star-Ledger

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray for Sparkle & Hay!!

Hooray card by Orange Twist on Etsy

Ms. True and I couldn't be more exited and ecstatic for one of our brides..the oh so lovely Miss Erin St. Thomas..You know..the one with the burlap Save the Date! Well, her fabulous blog, Sparkle & Hay, just got chosen as one of the Best Real Bride Blog's by the Wedding Channel's 2010 Wedding Blog Awards!! So if you haven't checked it out already, please do so as it is one of our favorites...Miss Erin has truly found her calling! It is full of dreamy pictures, loads of inspiration and excerpts that are written from the heart.
Congrats Erin!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

9th Anniversary.....

Image by Jinsey Dauk

Exactly 9 years ago today, the sun was shining, the grass was a brilliant shade of emerald, the temperature was a perfect 75 with no humidity and a soft salty breeze gently caressed you as it came off the ocean. I delicately put on my mother's wedding gown (bullet bra removed and surprisingly no spanx), carried a fragrant bouquet of peonies, walked very slowly arm in arm with my father (a very nervous father indeed!) down a path carved through a hayfield (which was a football field in length) and married a very tall, dark and handsome man surrounded by friends and family on a beautiful Island in Little Narragansett Bay. Everything about the day was perfect. Our dear friend Tuey Connell sang for us, Elaine Smith and family cooked for us and Happy Smith, well Happy, she made pure magic.

As I look back on all the images, I wouldn't change a thing. But life does change..That day we officially became a family of three (the third has a waggily tail). Two years later, a family of four. I am reminded, that I have been extremely lucky to always have a hand placed in mine...First my parent's, arm in arm as they walked me to the tall handsome man who soon became my husband. My husband's hand as he held it when out little monster was born and finally a very teeny tiny hand which has very quickly (seems like overnight) almost outgrown mine.

I have realized that nothing is perfect. Don't even think it can be..But as long as you continue to hold hands and laugh together then you can make it through all the changes that life likes to throw at you.

Images by Jinsey Dauk

Images by Jinsey Dauk

As I love all those beautiful perfect images above, this image is the real deal to me. We are not perfect, our hair is not coiffed our clothing wrinkled and disheveled, a few of us not looking at the camera but we are hand in hand, toe to toe with real smiles ready to take life on for another 9 years.

So today, as I watch and listen to the wind howl, lightening strike, rain pouring sideways (a perfectly disgusting afternoon) I have a little monster holding me tight protecting me from the thunder and a very large furry body "warming" my feet. It may not be the perfect day to get married but I am much happier huddled in safe and sound from the changing elements with just my family.

So to my dear sweet husband here's to you....without this day we wouldn't be or have a family.
Thank you for making my hand still feel so small in yours.


TRUE & WESSON Philosophy # 78

Image found via imgfave.

For Colie


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards... New England Island Wedding

This board was designed especially for Ilana and Lee a couple that I met over a year ago while doing a wedding on Island Farm "Elihu" island. They immediately fell in love with the island and I knew that when we started working together to design their wedding we would have a lot of fun redefining the preppy nautical wedding. I am always excited to find new ways to design the classic New England beach wedding. Together with Ilana and Lee we have identified a style that is preppy and traditional but fun, and whimsical with coastal flair. Playing off the colors of the beach for the cocktail hour down by the water we are using a color palette of sand, navy and turquoise. As guests transition into the main tent we are using bold pops of color to create an energy around the dance floor with pinks and greens. We are also bringing in different textures/patterns with shells, nautical rope and a chevron print in accents of paper and pillows. So excited to see this board come to life and for a truly special couple!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Wonderful White

Wine of the Week
2009 Clifford Bay Awatere Valley

With temperatures well into the 90's for the past what seems like months, even if it only has been a couple weeks, I have officially made the switch to white wines. Which is why I was super excited that Food & Wine this month featured a section on Secret White-Wine Superstars. I will definitely be featuring a few of these in the next couple of weeks as I sample through them for my Friday Wine Tastings. Today I suggest you try this fabulous Sauvignon Blanc from New Zeland, 2009 Clifford Bay Awatere Valley. For $10 this is a must try and perfect bottle to bring along for summer happy hours on the deck!! Happy Friday!

Tasting Notes:
This wine shows blackcurrant, guava and citrus notes. The palate exhibits the same fine fruit flavours with an under lying flinty note typical of Awatere Valley fruit. The finish is long, crisp and dry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fashion Pick of the Week... Statement Piece

Um WOW!!! I am totally in love with these widly fun, exotic, kind of glamorous, super fabulous clutches!! I discovered them while doing my morning read of Oh Happy Day, and immediately thought how great it would be to custom design my very own animal, a zebra for sure! Definitely a conversation piece, one of a kind accessory, and the perfect accent to any outfit for a night out. I LOVE it.

From the Designer on Etsy:

Would you love to get an Orwell Clutch but you don't see your favorite animal or color listed? Then this is the listing for you! It's like a choose your own adventure story, where you totally get to cheat!

This listing is for 1 purse only.

First, choose an animal from one of the shown animals (cocker spaniel, sheep, scottish terrier, pig, clown fish, cat, elephant, dachshund, or long haired chihuahua), then select a color (light blue, red, pink, gunmetal, copper, gold, silver, or navy), and purchase. In the message to seller just call out your picks and voila - 10 to 14 days later I'll ship out your brand new purse!

All purses are made in metallic leather. The interior has a small pocket - large enough to hold ID or a credit card. The purse is lightly padded, and lined in a polyester satin. Lining color/pattern may vary from the shown photos but will be a colorful print.

The purse itself holds enough for a night on the town: cell phone, lip gloss, money and any phone numbers you might pick up while people use your new purse as snazzy conversation starter. A zipper closure keeps all your goodies inside.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards.....MidSummer Night's Dream...

As the tempertaures continue to soar here in the Northeast (it's only July!!), there seems to be a hazy film that is lightly dusted over everything...On the shoreline, we tend to get fog which blankets anything and everything..even making Islands disappear...When I saw this Vintage Poster, I couldn't resist playing off the muted tones and recreating a Midsummer Night's Dream wedding..
Doesn't she seem so perfectly cool and dry? I am not sure about the man in the tux!

MidSummer Night's Dream
Shoe image:weheartit, Tie image:goingtothechapel, Dress: J.Crew, Flower image:dailybitsofbeauty, Chair image:weheartit
Bouquet:goingtothechapel, Bridesmaids:weheartit, Vintage Poster:flickr, Print: Anthropologie
Hat Image:, Invitation:goingtothechapel, Shoe image, thisisglamorous
Girl Image;, Dress:gypsyrosewrites, Perfume image:thisisglamorous, Earrings: Anthropologie
Girl in Boat:Everythingfabulous Girls image: thefrenchmouse, Chair Image: ffffound, Strawberry Shortcake:goingtothechapel, Bed image:
Invitation Image:Etsy, Cake Image: Brides, Table Image:thisisglamorous

Monday, July 12, 2010

Turning 13, a Very Special Birthday Party!

I recently had the opportunity to work with Josh Friedman of Elan Artists in planning the most spectacular 13th birthday party in Greenwich. Kids were treated to a night of entertainment from the minute they arrived. Greeted by a rock wall, and bungee jump, jousting, boxing, craft stations (where they could design their own football jersey or flip flops) basketball hoops, and the most incredible surprise "stomp" style performance that set the tone for a night of dancing. Eric Visa was a master behind the table spinning the hottest music, mixed in with the lead singer of the Hudson Project, and electric violins from three of the most talented ladies I know. Music rocked well into the night! It was a celebration I am sure they will never forget.

Peter Callahan and his incredible team were amazing, the way the food is presented is always a wow! They are true masters in the art of food. I especially loved the mini fish tacos and tiny patron margarita shooters that were passed to the adults.


Floral and Design: True Event
Entertainment and Coordination: Josh Friedman, Elan Artists
Photography: Allan Zepeda, Elan Artists
Catering: Callahan Catering
Furniture: Rentals Unlimited
Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.
Lighting: Levy Lighting

Monday Typefaces...Cacti..

Cactus alphabet created by Vladimir Koncar.

It has been so hot here in the Northeast that it feels like we are living in the desert.....


Friday, July 9, 2010

Inspiration to Wedding on Style Me Pretty...

This week has truly been one of the best to date. I have been so completely honored and humbled by the overwhelming response of brides, colleagues, friends and people I have never met before on our featured wedding on Style Me Pretty.

When Abby and I decided to team up to do this I was so excited at the opportunity to share with readers the process of designing a wedding from inspiration to reality for a real bride. The design process is one that I think is essential in making a wedding unique to the couple but also memorable for guests. I am always asked the question after everything is set in place, "was that your idea or the brides?," "who came up with the colors, was that you?" For me it is always a combination of details, I love taking a client's vision and helping to refine it. We often start at one place and in the end the finished result is even more spectacular than I could have ever imagined, and that was the case with this Nashville wedding.

Working with Libby and Patrick, was truly amazing! They completely trusted us, and gave us total freedom to create the wedding of their dreams, never once doubted or questioned whether or not it would be exactly what they wanted. That is the relationship between a client and a designer that truly is the recipe for complete success. And for me a dream! Tapping into what was important to them, listening to them talk about their favorite things, and really getting a sense of their personalities set the tone for all that was to come.

With all of the gorgeousness that appears on Style Me Pretty on a daily basis I really wanted this event to be special and in partnering with the extremely talented Abby Larson, there was no doubt it would be. The team of vendors that I had the opportunity to work with in this incredible adventure was the opportunity of a lifetime. I was blown away by the energy, talent, and passion that surrounded me from the minute we all got together in the board room at the hotel surrounded by buckets and buckets of flowers, and the laughter never stopped. It is why I love what I do so much! And why I am so blessed to be living my dream!

Style Me Pretty did such an absolutely incredible job of documenting the behind the scenes, the design, details, raw emotion, and photos from this incredible project so I won't try to recreate what has already been done and seen on the blog, but I do want to highlight some of my favorite moments. Thank you Abby for letting me be a part of this incredible project, it is a memory I will always cherish and can't wait until our next collaboration!

(an extra special thank you to the girls on my team, Adrienne for sweating along side me for two days as we built this dream wedding, and Kate for the DIY behind the scenes work, the yo-yos came out absolutely beautiful!)

A few Favorite Nashville Moments that you didn't see on SMP:

A birthday dinner to remember, lots of dancing and karaoke!
Nashville I heart you!

Elysium Ladies, J&M Marantz, Chase Rivers and AdriennePhotos by Justin & Mary Marantz

A Behind the Scenes Look at the building of this dream wedding!

Libby & Patrick Behind the Scenes from Elysium Productions on Vimeo.

Totally humbled by the response! Kind words from readers of SMP...

Sarah True of True Event, who I respect and adore on an entirely new level after this wedding. She is the most level headed, totally design savvy, can-do anything designer I’ve ever met…literally climbing on tables to hang votives and bussing tables during the reception. Not to mention her insanely gorgeous styling. Yep, she’s officially THE BEST… (Abby Larson- Style Me Pretty)

Everything about this makes me happy. Those chairs are amazing, the tables are perfection, the peonies are out of this world pretty ....I just love how everything ties together so perfectly! I love today on SMP!!

Paloma says:

i can honestly say i have never seen an event so lovely. and! did Sarah manage to squeeze in all of that gorgeous bubble gum without it feeling over-the-top or girly? truly amazing.

Shana says:

My favorite SMP wedding to date! I am literally in tears! This is how I've been envisioning my future wedding! Perfection.

Sue says:

This is absolutely AMAZING!! The designs are so inspirational and full of creativity. I think the details are my favorite to date! (and I'm usually a lurker and don't comment on here!)

I simply love the contemporary look and how all the DIY elements are so creative/original yet 'accessible' and do-able at the same time. Everything is just oozing with style. Even without knowing the background story, based on the photos alone, this is truly, truly one of my favorites!

This makes me feel so happy! Thank you SMP!! :)

**Here is a Link to all of the goodness on SMP from our Inspiration to Wedding Feature.**

Event Design: Sarah True of True Events / Photography: Justin and Mary Marantz / Cinema: Julie Hill of Elysium / Floral Design: Chase Rivers of Flair / Invitations and Save the Dates: Laura Hooper / Rentals, Furniture, Linens: Classic Party Rentals / Chair covers: Wildflower Linens /Wedding Planning: Jacki Wickersham and Angela Proffitt of Elegant Weddings by Angela / Catering and Noodle Bar: Zumi Sushi / Cake Flower: Estilo Weddings / Mercury Glass: Borrowed from Yumiko at Hana Floral Design / Welcome Bags: Melangerie NYC / Wedding Photography (to be seen tomorrow): Arlund Imagery / Venue: Pinnacle, Nashville

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Fourth of July Favorites

I have to admit since the start of summer I have been totally addicted to Rose. Recently having a few that were just brilliant and local finds. Last Friday Alicia, one of my brides, surprised me with a bottle of Rose from a local winery, Maugle Sierra Vineryards, here in Connecticut, and it was such a treat as we went into the weekend.
This weekend you must check out the calendar for the local wineries, there are so many spectacular things going on, from music series, to farmer's markets to having a picnic and sipping wine on their beautiful grounds. Thanks to Alica I have discovered a new winery that I must check out on the CT Wine trail. Their Rose was a real treat!

In addition to Rose, Zinfandel is a great wine to pair with food off of the grill. And one of my favorite cheapies is Gnarly Head, Old Vine Zinfandel, $9.99.

Lastly while searching the web for what the experts were saying about Fourth of July wines, I discovered a really interesting suggestion. That will be on my list for the weekend. Happy Fourth Everyone!

I’m going to take a pragmatic view here. Let’s say you are going to start getting ready in the afternoon, for whatever you do, meaning cracking a bottle of wine open and drinking it throughout the day. It’s probably going to be pretty warm out and there is a good chance that you might throw back a few drinks. This lead me to think, low alcohol, after all, heat stroke and dehydration are not very good ways to spend a paid day off.

Quick and dirty, Vino Verde, which means ‘green wine,’ is made in northern Portugal near the Spanish border. There are different styles including a red version but the region is known for its slightly frizzante wine that has 10 – 11% alcohol. It is usually made from one or a combination of Alvarinho, Loureiro and Trajadura. You want to get a wine from a recent vintage, preferably 2007, as it should be super fresh. My pick is Muralhas de Moncao Vinho Verde, 2007 ($13). It’s super clean and refreshing, with lime and a slightly salty minerality. Get two bottles as it goes down way to easy." - Pamela Busch, Owner & Wine Director at CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen, San Francisco