- Cloth napkins-one set is good, two sets are even better (one for everyday and another for special occasions). You can help save scores of trees every year by reusing your own set and make every dinner a little more refined at the same time. Multi-colored fabric napkin set available from Crate and Barrel.
- Bamboo cutting boards. Durable, sustainable and beautiful all at the same time. With proper care, bamboo cutting boards can last for decades and are pretty enough to use as serving trays. Green lite cutting boards available from Sur la Table.
- Espresso Machine. Especially if you and your betrothed are all about your morning cup of joe. Not only will you save big bucks each day with your DIY drinks (average savings of $3 a day per 16 oz vanilla latte) but you'll avoid driving to the coffee stand and wasting paper cups and sleeves each day. Cafe Modena from Breville available at Macy's.
- Cast iron cookware. With proper care, cast iron can easily last a life time. It has the ability to go from stove to oven and over time creates a natural non-stick coating. Enameled cast iron is another great option if you'd like items that can also function as serveware. I'm a fan of le creuset. Available at Macy's.
- Fabric shower curtains and liners. Vinyl curtains are made out of highly toxic chemicals and break apart over time. Fabric curtains with a nylon fabric liner give you an elegant addition to your bathroom that are safer, non-toxic and easy to clean. 100% Cotton Pansy shower curtain from Target.
- Organic bedding. 100% organic cotton meets trendy design for a comfortable and eco-friendly way to end your day. Willow duvet cover by Branch.
- Beeswax candles. Candles are a staple for romantic evenings and dinner parties. Stock your new home with beeswax candles for a soft honey scent and "green" glow. Beeswax colonial taper candles by Bee Hive Candles.
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. Opting for good quality appliances ensures that broken ones don't end up in landfills when you purchase replacements. The kitchen aide stand mixer is an appliance that has stood the test of time for generations and makes an excellent addition to any avid cook's kitchen. Available at Macys.
- Recycled glass vases. Decor and heirloom pieces on your registry can still look great while avoiding damage to the earth. These fabulous recycled glass vases are a great way to add panache to your nest without looking repurposed. Glass vases available at VivaTerra.
- Crock pot. Yup, just like grandma's, crock pots are incredibly energy efficient and cook up a mean pot of stew. Fantastic for having dinner ready when you get home from work or keeping foods hot at the buffet, they make an essential addition to any kitchen. Rival programmable crock pot available at Target.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The amazing pictures are the work of Kaylee Eylander of Eylander Photography. She did an amazing job capturing images for this wedding and was an absolute joy to work with! Fun, easy going and professional, I had a great time getting to know her at the reception and am looking forward to the next time we get to work together!
Overall, a gorgeous and warm day that led into a beautiful evening. The couple, their family and their friends had a wonderful time celebrating and I am thrilled that I got to be a part of the day.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The first half of our vacation week was spent camping at Deception Pass State Park. While I admit, camping doesn't sound like the most romantic of vacay's, I must implore to you it's not where you camp, but how you camp (although, the view isn't too bad in this area, I must say!)
Thanks to the Washington State Parks website, you can get specs on various camping sites and are able to book a reservation online. We chose a partial waterview site that offered plenty of privacy and were set! For sleeping arrangements, we opted for as many cushions, pillows and blankets as our 3-person tent would allow and created a luxurious little nest that would offer sleep to even the pickiest of people.
For food, we strayed off the beaten path and went camping gourmet. Our menu offered easy to prepare food that was far from the usual hotdog over the fire. Breakfasts included breakfast burritos with chorizo sausage, salsa, eggs and cheese in organic wheat and corn tortillas and oatmeal made with whole milk, cashews, blueberries, maple syrup and a wee bit of peanut butter (my fave). Our favorite lunch involved grilling 4-cheese sourdough over the grill and melting baby swiss on it then topping it high with turkey breast with fresh berries on the side. Grilled flat iron steaks with roasted vegetables and gourmet chicken burgers with fresh bakery buns, bacon and slived cheddar were on the dinner menu. Best part was that each meal used minimal dishes and took less then 30 minutes to make.
Camping as a couple offers a lot of quiet time and solitude: perfect for newlyweds that want to stay bunked in the tent and cuddle all day. At our location, the beach was also a short walk away and strolling hand and hand along the sand at sunset was a daily activity. Other suggestions include renting a boat at the lake (also less then 5 minutes away walking), swimming, packing a picnic at the beach, hiking, reading or whatever your mind comes up with. We found after half a week in the wild, we came home rested, relaxed and ready for the next leg of our journey.
After a brief stop at home to unpack the camping gear, shower and get ready again, we were off to Seattle for the rest of the week. I grew up in Tacoma and while Seattle has always been right down the interstate, neither of us had ever taken the time to really see the city. We thought we'd give it a go!
We bought City Passes which had single admissions into Seattle's most popular attractions including the EMP, Science Center, Space Needle and Seattle Aquarium. Sadly, we hadn't visited any of those places before and thought we'd make up for lost time. Our days were spent exploring attractions, visiting shops and eating great food. We had dinner our first evening at The Pink Door, located in Post Alley near Pike Place (there's no sign, just look for a pink door). Not only was the food fantastic, but the cabaret style entertainment made it a highlight of our trip.
We took a gamble and purchased our hotel room via Hotwire. It works by showing you the location, amenities and star rating of a hotel but not giving you the hotel name (keeps the pricing competive). For under $150 a night, we were able to book at a 5-star hotel that was walking distance to everything!
So how did this trip stack up on pricing? Here's the breakdown (not including food in Seattle since that depends on where you go):
55.00 for the campsite
100.00 for camping food and supplies
500.00 for 4 nights at our 5-star hotel
108.00 for 2 adult city passes
$763.00 total :)
Friday, June 19, 2009
Busy busy week! Tomorrow I get the privilege of helping Lauren and Jeff head down the aisle! My condo is stuffed to the gills with hydrangeas and lillies and I'm excited to see how their theme (a modern, whimsical spumoni-meets-polka dots) comes together! I will hopefully have plenty of pictures to post and details to share! Lauren was my former co-worker, roomie in college, and road trip travel mate and I'm looking forward to seeing her and Jeff finally tie the knot!
After that I'm hitting the road with my husband to celebrate our own wedding anniversary! He's the best thing that's ever happened to me and being married has been a fun adventure. After almost six years together, I'm still giddy when he walks in the door after work (yup, butterflies, tummy flip and all!)
For all of my amazing brides that I have, and will continue working with this summer: being married is worth all the wedding stress and craziness. I hope you enjoy every moment!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
First, do your homework and find out what flowers are in season for your wedding. Keeping in season flowers in mind will guarantee you an easier time of knowing what to expect when you select your flowers. Next, be flexible. A farm may be out of the type of flowers you were hoping for or weather may have permitted them from growing on time (think Skagit Valley Tulip Festival-I think they finally bloomed the last week in April...). If you're willing to opt for a monochromatic color scheme (shades of pinks like the dahlias above for example) instead of a specific flower combination, you're more likely to have fun finding your flowers and getting colors that work with your event.
Determine how many flowers you will need ahead of time, to keep from overbuying, and have a great time hunting down your blooms! Farmstand flowers can look stunning and are an excellent and economical way to dress your reception.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
So what happens at Alicia's? After arriving for your appointment, you get a bridal gown consultant who works one-on-one with you to help you choose the right gown (yup, think personal shopper!). After the perfect gown is chosen and ordered, you're called when the gown arrives and get to come in for a finishing touch appointment-a dress-up session where you get to add all the fun accessories to your dress from undergarments to your headpiece. From there, alterations are handled and when your gown is done it's pressed (complimentary) and can even be stored at the shop until your wedding date-no needing to worry about grooms peeking at your dress.
Overall, Alicia's turns your gown shopping into an experience. They work with you throughout the process to ensure that you look coordinated and fantastic for your wedding and give you someone to contact directly in case you have questions or concerns about your gown. It's a lot of little reasons that add up to a fantastic experience!
Friday, June 5, 2009
My busy season is in full swing with weddings almost every weekend and it gives me the opportunity to see some really fantastic wedding toasts, and some really really bad ones. Wedding Toasts & Speeches is a book designed to assist your Maid of Honor, Best Man or families with finding the right words to say at your wedding, and make a fun little token to give them if they're short on words. Available nationwide or at spoonsisters.com