Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Apologetic Step

As I am sure many of you have noticed I have not dedicated a lot of time to this blog or event planning business as of late.  I blame that on the evil voice in my head that tells me “You don’t know what you are doing, there are others better then you, you’re just going to fail”.  Well I am taking a stand to that voice and I am shouting back “I AM THAT GOOD and I CAN DO THIS”.  Perhaps it is knowing that I am going home to be surrounded by the strong and amazing women in family.  Each in their own way have molded me and supported me in ways I could never imagine.  They are each inspirations to me.  Women I aspire to be!

I guess I am really writing this blog today to voice that in my road down entrepreneurialism, I have caved to self-doubt.  I have found though that the glimpse of doubt has now inspired me to try even harder.  I do not come from a family of quitters, having that blood in veins keeps me moving and trying again, and again.  With the love and support of allll the strong women in my life how could one fail.  We all fall off the rope a time or two but it is that willingness to get back on, that will push us further.

Whether you have cold feet in the direction you are going in life or you are having cold feet about upcoming nuptials look to your inspirational go to’s.  For me this is my mother (a single mother who never let me want for anything, the rock in my life), my grandmother (a women of pose and dignity), my aunt (a strong willed, outspoken lady who never let life’s catastrophes hold her back), Eleanor Roosevelt (read her quotes ladies she was a firecracker),   and Martha Stewart (despite her legal woos you still can not discredit her the empire she has built). 

I am looking forward to the holidays and being inspired by my wonderful family.  May you all find the inspiration you need.  The new year will bring many a blogs to all you Steppe Stone fans.  I again offer my sincere apologies for listening to the doubt in mind.  Know that I am moving forward with renewed faith in my talents and the belief in visualizing your happiest days!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Rustic Step

wyoming 2

Breathtaking views, clean fresh air, and a home away from home feel, sound like a wonderful idea to you?  Well me too, while I am not packing my honeymoon bag Jackson Hole, Wyoming would make a great spot for honeymooners, as well as vacation goers. 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is known most for its close proximity to many ski resorts.  Ski season here is from December to April.  After hitting the slopes all day be sure to cozy up next to a romantic fireplace.   At $200 a night Hotel Terra offers a modern place to stay with flat screen TV's and those  fireplaces, complimented with sleek eco-friendly décor.   Another great $200 a night stay is the Rustic Inn, large private decks allow the perfect place to take in the wilderness around you.

wyoming 5

Jackson is home to the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  A neat building made of native rocking blending into the wildlife around it.  Be sure to grab lunch at Rising Sage Café, if you do stop here.  Another great activity, (if stopping in Jackson between mid-December to April) is taking a horse-drawn sleigh through the National Elk Refuge.  The refuge is home to over 6,000 elk during these months.  You also MUST take a ride aboard “Big Red”, Jackson’s aerial tram.  Aboard the 100 passenger tram you will get 360-degree views of Snake River Valley and Grand Teton National Park.  There is also dogsledding and tubing down one of the many mountains to enjoy.

wyoming 7

Take your hubby and saddle up to the bar at Cowboy Bar, one of Jackson Hole’s oldest establishments. (This will be sure to please your man and entitle you to some local shopping).  Speaking of shopping, be sure to walk through the tall antler arches that frame Jackson Hole Town Square, to take on the many boutiques, art galleries, sport shops, and fine dining choices the town has to offer.


Whether taking on the slopes or the breathtaking  views, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is sure to have something for everyone.

wyming 4

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Paired Step

If you are a “One shoe can change your life” girl like me then you have probably given careful consideration to your wedding day shoes.  Have you thought about your grooms though?  Has he put any thought into his big day shoes? 

If the answer is no, you should consider how your shoes will compliment each other, how they will compliment the look of day, and what the pairing says about you as a couple.

Will your shoes show off your ethnicity?

wedding shoes 8


Will they show what a quirky, fun loving couple you are?

wedding shoe 5


Perhaps your shoes will define that this is a classic elegant event.

wedding shoes 4


Will you be colorful and tie in your wedding colors?

wedding shoe 6


Whatever you decide it is important to think of how this initial pairing will play into your big day.  After all, your shoes will be sitting next to each other”till death do us part”.

wedding shoe 7wedding shoes 2wedding shoes 6

weding shoes 9

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Shopping Step

Holiday work parties, family gatherings, social networking events, and weddings galore are sure to abound the schedule this coming up season.  With so many different events to attend a major dress shopping spree is needed. 

When dress shopping, weather for a party dress or THE dress, there are a few guidelines one should follow.

1.  Have a visual in mind, know what you are leaning towards, pull pictures, really have a look in mind.

2.  Bring a good girlfriend, yes the one that will be brutally honest as opposed to the one that will tell you what you want to hear.  (For me this normally means bringing along my version of Jack)

3.  Can not be said enough but wear undergarments that flatter you.  Wear a convertible bra that lifts the girls, but can be changed around to fit the different dress styles you will be trying on.  Make sure your under wear is not leaving lines in all the wrong areas.

4.  Always remember to fit your largest area first, alterations are everyone’s friend.  You should definitely have a good seamstress in your rolodex!

Good luck with your holiday dress shopping!  Glam it up girls, this is the time we all get to experiment with new looks and have a little fun with our party outfits.  Look out Niemen Marcus and Nordstrom I am heading your way!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Miss-Step

With everyone trying to make their wedding and parties stand out, we have seen some fumbles along the way!

Do NOT force your guests to dance!! Yes we all want to see a packed dance floor.  Guests being forced onto the dance floor with a rendition of “hot potato” will not result in a happy dance companion.  While on the topic of dancing full length organized dances ARE NOT FUN!  The “Cha-Cha Slide”, the “Macarena” and/or the “Electric Slide” should NEVER go over 3 minutes.  Anything longer then that will result in your guests clearing the floor.

Please don’t orchestrate an over the top garter extraction.  There are guests around and watching your groom riffle up your dress don’t make them uncomfortable!


As a guest please be careful who bring.  Don’t bring a guy/gal as a 1st date, likewise don’t bring a newly ended ex either.  Both can lead to awkwardness.  I have heard of many uncomfortable guests sitting threw a reenactment of a break-up during the reception.

Please, please, please when leaving the party don’t horde the favors.   Take the one that was meant for you, but don’t bring enough home for the neighborhood. 

Just a few reminders to keep in mind when planning or attending parties, especially with the upcoming party season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Reality Step

We live in a society that has been taken over by the world of reality television.  On any given day you can scan through the TV guide and find wedding show after wedding show; but these shows are showing an ugly side of the wedding reality. 


Shows like” Bridezilla’s” (on the WE network)  and “My Big Friggin’ Wedding” (on VH1)  glorify bad behavior in the planning process.  They focus on fighting, bad language, and  poor manners.  What happened to love, family unity, and the beauty of the love coming together.  It is often hard to believe watching these shows that there is love there.  Brides screaming at fiancé's that they hate them moments before a wedding, fist fights between brides and in-laws-to-be and expletives thrown at every vendor and person within reach, are norms within these shows (and sadly becoming a norm in our society)

Don’t use these shows as a guideline to acceptable behavior.  A wedding should honor love, a wedding should bring families together, a wedding should be a joyous time.  The reality show wedding is all about spoiled, over-spending brides behaving badly and at times being rewarded for it.

I choose to believe that united love is still the most important aspect to a wedding.  My TV will not be found on these programs.  I prefer to watch the realities that focus on the love and beauty in a wedding.  “Say Yes to the Dress” (on TLC) is about the joy that is to be had finding a wedding gown.  They also often give a glimpse of some of the beautiful weddings, as well as giving the storyline of how the happy couples came to be.  There is also “I Purpose” (on the Style network) which focuses on the groom-to-be’s planning of the perfect proposal.  Its nice to see a show that focuses on what the groom-to-be goes through, remember it is NOT just all about the bride.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Healthy Step

Being a start-up entrepreneur means always working, you have no down time.  I have two jobs on top of the work I do for my own business.  When I am at my 9-5, I think about the upcoming weekend and what needs to be done for those events, I also think of blog ideas, wedding ideas, party ideas (god bless sticky notes).  Once home I may cram in an hour at the gym and then its time to catch up on inspirational blogs and DVR'd wedding shows.  Work is always on my mind or a part of me.  Is this a bad thing?  I tend to think not but after four grueling weekends of non-stop work my body has said enough is enough.  That's right I am full blown sick and have no choice but to stop. 

Stopping for me of course means I have surrounded myself with bridal magazines, my laptop, and have been working on wedding ideas from bed.  Is it just in the entrepreneurial mindset to never fully stop?

With a pounding head and a pile of Kleenex, I have headed to the worldwide web, to not only catch up on all things wedding and party planning, but to  also look for ways to keep the ever busy me healthy.

1. Get that Flu shot, the shot helps fight off the influenza up to 90%.  Everyone is now offering them, you can go to your local Walgreens where they offer shots daily.

2. Keep hydrated and rested, a lack of sleep and dehydration can leave your body less able to fight off illness.  Drink plenty of water and try not to change up your sleep pattern that often.

3. My two new best friends, Vitamin C and Zinc.  They assist your bodies immune system in fighting off an infection and give it that extra boost. 

4. Exercise, exercise, exercise!  Not only will it help you de-stress another important component to staying healthy but also helps boost your immune system as well.  If in the midst of a full blown cold you should take a break from the gym, but lifting weights or stretching can still be done.

5.  Wash those hands, after you sneeze, when you blow your nose, cough, make sure you are preventing the passing of germs.  Scrub down items you may share, phones and desktops.

6.  Think before you eat, make sure you are getting those all important fruits and veggies in.

We are going into a season of running around, family gatherings, corporate parties, make sure you make time in your busy schedule to take care of yourself.  Trust the one that doesn't always heed her own advice, you do not want to get sick!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Padded Step

"One shoe can change your life" ~Cinderella

Most little girls want to be Cinderella, a girl who's life is transformed by one shoe.  What better day to play Cinderella then one's wedding.  It is a day of total transformation, make sure you have your "glass slipper".

These days you will find you can do just about anything with your wedding shoe.  Shoes have gone from boring plain white, to jewel adorned, to jewel toned.  Your wedding shoe shoe can be your something blue or bear a personal message.  The shoe has become another aspect of the wedding where a bride can let her true style shine.

rocker shoe

i do shoe



Louboutin 2

heart shoe 2

Louboutin 3

(In case you cant tell this Cinderella has a Louboutin fetish.  Prince Charming better be sliding a beautiful crimson soled shoe on this foot.)

Let your shoe be as magical as your dress, and take you to that fairytale.  Happy transformation!


Monday, August 23, 2010

A Sweet Tasty Step

"Recently, cupcakes have developed even greater panache. Like home-baked meatloaf and real mashed potatoes, they are terribly chic. . . . They are often coated in fudge or caramel and might have a candied violet or white chocolate shavings on top." ~Anne Bryn

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM...yummy goodness! I am a cupcake junkie.  If I could have a cupcake everyday (without becoming the size of a blimp) I surely would.  There are so many combinations how could one ever get enough?


Three of my greatest weaknesses in one food source.  I can feel this one coating my thighs already, but how good I imagine it to taste.


What a creative little cupcake!  These are sure to bring a smile to any movie inspired party.  How clever is the marshmallow topping?


OMG...I need this in my life now!!!! Tiramisu cupcake...enough said!


With fall just around the corner, I see these pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, on many shopping lists.  This will be the pumpkin in my fall decor line-up.

“Friends are like cupcakes in my pantry of memories." - Anonymous

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Quotable Step

Happy Friday!! I am heading out the door to go spend much of the morning and day aboard a yacht watching the boat races.  (A little  note for you Chicago brides or newly engaged the Chicago yacht club makes a beautiful backdrop for photos) I didn't want to leave you empty handed, so we have some beautiful quotes to remind you of the beauty of love.  Often times we get so caught up in the planning that you can forget what's important; the love that you and your fiancé share is what is behind this joyous occasion!

"A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it."  ~Anonymous

"For any woman to succeed in American life she must first do two things: Prepare herself for a profession, and marry a man who wants her to succeed as much as she does." ~Cathleen Douglas

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction." ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery

"if i has to choose between loving you, and breathing. I would use my last breath to say I LOVE YOU." ~dani b

"As we grow older together, As we continue to change with age, There is one thing that will never change. . . I will always keep falling in love with you. " ~Karen Clodfelder

Enjoy the beauty of the life you are creating together, take time to enjoy the little things, and just remember at the end of the day how lucky you are to have each other!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Schooling Step

Its that time of year again.... Is your child new in town or would you like to meet the newbies in the class and help them feel included??  Why not host a back to school party?

back to school

You can schedule the party like school classes: Home Room (guest arrivals), Art (Arts and Crafts), Phys Ed (games), Recess (open play), and Lunch Time.

For Home Room have every child bring a new book with them (include on invitation, specify on age weather chapter book or age appropriate).  Then at the end of the party have the kids swap books, so each child goes home with a new book.  Other favors to hand out: stickers, pencils, erasers, fun folders.

During Arts and Crafts you can have kids construct personalized pencil boxes.  A practical take home favor they will be sure to use in the coming year.  They can also put their other favors inside the  box to take home.  Make sure to supply lots of fun stickers, puff pens, permanent markers and stick-on jewels and shapes.


Games such as kickball, "Teacher Says" (a party themed Simon Says), or Twister would be fun for the Phys. Ed portion of the party. 

While preparing your food selections, you can give the kids recess.  A fun idea for your lunch time feast is to pack up the food in individual personalized brown bags.  Pack in each bag,  PB&J sandwiches, string cheese, grapes, and a juice box.  At the end of lunch time you can serve up some tasty back-to-school cupcakes.


This party is geared towards getting the kids comfortable with each other and about making new friendships, while also making it easier to say good-bye to summer and hello to another fun school year!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Keep Stepping

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
Jesse Jackson

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
Dale Carnegie

A few quotes I thought everyone may enjoy.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long or dark the tunnel is.   I can see light and plan to bask in it's warmth!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blue Step

While being my favorite color (and definitely my grandmothers; blue everywhere, head to toe and ceiling to floor) blue is more my mood these past couple of days.  I am embracing my blues, and in a  step right out of "Valentine's Day'" (the movie), throwing them a party.

Blue Party 

In searching for ideas,  I was  reminded of one of my favorite books, Le Petit Prince, by Antoine De Saint-exupery.  In the 1st chapter, the narrator of the story shows his drawings to the adults around him, who scoff at the imaginative pictures.  The young boy hurt, gives up drawing, deciding to grow up and become a pilot, leading him on a journey of friendship, the beauty of love, and of farewells.  A line from the story has always stuck with me, "On ne voit bien quavec le coeur.  Lessential est invisible pour les yeux"; "One sees clearly only with the heart.  The essential is invisible to the eyes".  In my business life and in my personal life this statement could be no more true.  Seeing with the heart is how I have always done things.  While others may think this foolish or stupid, I believe my heart has lead me down certain paths for a reason.

I know that in following my heart I will always wind up in the right direction.  I believe in my imaginative drawings, perhaps the number crunching adults of "Le Petit Prince" do not understand, but there are others who see the vision and the beauty in me.

This make- believe party is a source of letting go and journeying down new paths, in hoping that other paths may intertwine again, and in believing in ones self.

Pictures From: (left to right, top to bottom),,,,,,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Tasty Thursday Step

While scouring one of my favorite sites,, today I found these lovely treats.  I could not keep them to myself, they must be shared….

edible #1

Edible Chocolate Filled Acorns from etsy seller andiesspecialtysweets.  These would be the perfect addition to any fall wedding or party. 

Much to my mother’s horror I include this next one.  She does not know where she went wrong raising a daughter who likes macaroons, but I know I am not the only one out there.    These little delights come in a variety of flavors, from California based SparklesKitchen.

edible #4

The available flavors are: 72% dark chocolate, black sesame, macha azuki (green tea w/red bean cream filling), lemon cream cheese, raspberry cream cheese, bitter caramel,   sumiyaki coffee, rose, and lavender. MMMMMMM, I see an order being placed soon!

edible #3

Etsy seller Chrisgalli brings us this tasty treat of Italian venetian rainbow cookies.  Each favor contains 4 rainbow cookies.  These can also be made gluten free.

While continuing my search for the perfect edible fall favor, I found these cute little treats.  I love that this is a family recipe for this etsy seller, Richluck.  These would be sooo cute paired on a dessert table with the above acorns.

edible 6

Another wonderful treat I came across were these lemon  lime brownie truffle POPs, no silverware needed here.

edible 4                                        

Keep in mind when ordering these chocolate covered wonders from, My3lilcupcakes, the climate you are shipping to.  You may want to spend the little extra and get the insulated shipment, nothing worse then melted chocolate.

I now want to go bake up some sweets in my little kitchen and have that fresh baked goods smell wafting through my apartment all day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Step to Keep Moving


" Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm"
~ Winston Churchill

" Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor."
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

" Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

" Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock."
~ Unknown

A few good ones I wanted to pass along.  In business and in life we often face ups and downs, how we get through them is a testament to the person we are.  When opening a new business or going out on your own, people will tell you can’t make it.  I know there are definitely days that I feel like a bird with broken wings, wondering what I have taken on.  Then I get a glimpse at the beauty that is my dream and I fill with the belief that I can do this.  You will have good days, you will have bad days, just keep remembering your dream.  Dreams are what this world are built on.  When I am feeling lost I look to those that inspire me, I look to the friends with kind words, and I look at the beauty of love (which is the reason I do this).  It won’t always be raining, enjoy the sunshine when it comes around!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Sad Step

A horrible tragedy occurred back home, in my hometown of  Manchester, CT today.  A disgruntled employee opened fire at Hartford Distributor’s, killing 8 before taking his own life.  This sad event really makes us ask sooo many questions.   How does this happen, why does something like this occur?  There will never be a solid answer for any of this, but what we can do is appreciate what we have and those around us.  Call a loved one and tell them what they mean to you, you never know what tomorrow may bring.  We all need to let go of hate and fill our hearts with love, there is NO reason for these senseless acts.  Many have now been affected by this one man’s hatred and anger.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected today in this unfortunate incident, and the many others that may not have made the front page today.

Tell someone what they mean to you, let go of hurt, and remember the beauty in love and friendship!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

High Profile Step

It is a BIG weekend in Rhineback, NY, Chelsea Clinton (daughter of former president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ) is to marry her long time boyfriend Marc Mezinsky. 

This wedding has been the talk of the press for weeks, and is now finally here.  I can’t wait to see the photos from this one, I feel like we have watched Chelsea grow up and are part of the family.  So I began wondering about other high profile weddings and which ones I love.

A wedding that can NOT be left out when thinking of high profile weddings or notable weddings is that of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and (then Senator) John F. Kennedy.  There were over 800 guests at the September 12, 1953 nuptials.  Of course there was also that classic stunning Jackie O style.


When talking about Kennedy weddings, the wedding of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette must be mentioned.  The wedding was small (40 guests) yet elegant.  The September 21, 1996 wedding was held on Cumberland Island, Georgia.


John F. Kennedy Jr wedding

Sticking with presidential weddings, was the marriage of Jenna Bush to Henry Hager on the sprawling 1, 600 acre Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas.  Jenna was the 1st presidential daughter to marry in 16 years while her father was still seated.

Jenna Bush Wedding

As for non-presidential, yet still note worthy weddings:

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, the bride still managed to get her iconic style into the wedding.

Gwen and Gavin wedding 

Another favorite stylish bride, Christina Aguilera (to Jordan Bratman), held a 3 day long wedding extravaganza that had to make my list.

Christina Aguilera Wedding

Congratulations to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezinsky!  Here’s to many years of wedded bliss! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Showering Step

So you have either stepped into the role of bridesmaid or maid of honor, now what?  Put your party planner hat on because there is much to do.  You have a bridal shower and bachelorette party to plan, as well as any wedding duties the bride has for you. 


Make sure you consult with the bride as to when would be the best time for her shower (she has a lot going on, there is a little thing called wedding planning that she is in the process of).  Once you know when you will be holding the shower, weather it be 2 weeks before the wedding or 2 months, invitations should go out a month prior.  Be sure to ask what other showers are going to be held for your bride-to-be, you’ll want to have a different theme and try to keep separate guest lists (although there will be some over lap).  You also want to make sure that you and the other bridesmaids have discussed a budget and what everyone will be responsible for.

Once you have your date and venue, its theme picking time.  A traditional bridal shower normally follows the early afternoon tea party theme, think cucumber sandwiches, and crumpets.  But it is okay to think outside the box, really take in to consideration the guest of honor.  Some fun ideas:

1.  A Honeymoon theme: decorate towards the destination, use maps from their planned trip, music, food, let guests know to bring gifts that the couple will use on their honeymoon (great gift ideas would be a couples massage at the resort or day trip passes) you can still sneak in those when the sun goes down items.


2.  A Cooking Class: is your bride-to-be a real foodie or perhaps she has a thing or two to learn about cooking, either way this could be the theme for her, have guests bring a family recipe or favorite dish and create a bridal cookbook for the happy couple, gifts can range from kitchen/baking items to more classes, or steak of the month clubs.


3.  Charity Theme: perhaps your couple has lived together and has everything, or they’re very philanthropic, guests can bring food, clothing, or cash to donate to the brides favorite charity in lieu of gifts.

Whatever theme you choose make sure it speaks to the bride-to-be and not the party you would like.  Keep the bride-to-be in the loop but do NOT add to her chaotic schedule.  The more bridesmaids or friends you can get to help the better, just make sure everyone has a specific task.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Friendship Step


You’re best girlfriend has just gotten engaged, duly noted by the shiny piece of hardware she is now sporting on her left ring finger, and waving excitedly in your face.  She now utters those words you knew had to be coming… “Will you be my bridesmaid?”.  You of course respond with an immediate “yes” but what exactly does this mean?

The tradition of the bridesmaid was started to ward off evil spirits, in the time of the Roman Empire.  Bridesmaids were dressed similar to the bride (and likewise the groomsmen akin to the groom) as to keep evil spirits from being able to easily identify the happy couple.  Times have changed though and many brides choose to have their back-up dressed much differently.  The primary role of today’s bridesmaid is to be that shoulder to lean on during the planning process, and be a stress detourant. 

Things you should expect once you have taken on this role:

1.  D.I.Y. guru- this may mean giving up Friday nights to stuff envelopes or a Saturday at the beach to hand make felt flowers for all the wedding flowers.  Put in your glue-gun time and do it with a smile, remember you may someday need her help at your own wedding.

2.  Personal Shopper- you may be loading up your car on your already too short lunch break with a 100 mason jars, which you happily had to drive across town to pick up.  It also means scouting out bridesmaid dresses (use this to your advantage, email the bride that great J. Crew dress you found before she finds a more impractical dress) and picking up any other wedding necessities the bride may need.

3.  Party Planner- get things rolling, there is after all the shower and the bachelorette party to plan, team up with the maid of honor and get the process rolling, don’t leave details until the last minute.

Remember to do everything with a smile, yes you can voice your opinion (when it is asked for), and know the bride asked you because you are important to her.

Things one should not do as a bridesmaid: being a bossy bridesmaid (this is NOT your wedding and it is not your way or the highway), a Debbie downer (if you do not want to be part of the wedding politely decline when asked, don’t sulk your way through), the jealous bridesmaid (your day will come, but this is not it), you are there (I repeat) to make the brides life easier NOT add to the stress.

“ Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Historical Step

So right down the street form me is this little museum that you may have heard of, the Chicago History Museum.  I have been here for over 3 months and until today had still not visited. (Crazy since it is just blocks away)  Another little known fact about the museum is that it is free on Monday’s.  Finding myself with little to do today I decided to take advantage of “free Monday” and check out the “I Do, Chicago Ties the Knot” exhibit.  I am so glad that I went and took in this little gem.


From May 22, 2010 until January 3, 2011 the history museum is featuring the “I Do, Chicago Ties the Knot” exhibit.  Unfortunately I have no photos I can share, as you can not take pictures in the exhibit, but I can tell you about all the beautiful things I saw and learned.

One of the first things I saw was 3 beautiful fans from the 1800’s.  Flirting in those days was something far different then it is today.  Women actually used fans to convey messages; by simply placing a tip of the finger on the fan a woman was saying she wanted to speak with a gentlemen, however if she placed the fan by her left ear it meant that she wanted that man to go away.  I may have to invest in a fan and see if this still works.

There were so many beautiful gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and other wedding attire.  It just amazes me the detail put into these gowns, the construction is just awe inspiring.  If you get a chance to go check it out be sure to look for my three favorite gowns:

1.  A stunning gown from 1916, worn by Katherine Keith.  The gown is made of  silk satin, lace, chiffon, ribbon and flowers.  When I think wedding dresses this is what I envision.  A wide skirt supported by a boning structure (known as the pannier), a square (just low enough) neckline, a pointed waistline and pleated embellishment.  This gown just screams wedding  other then its beige coloring.

2.  OMG, how incredible this 1927 dress worn by Mary Louise Wright is.  This one will certainly grab your attention upon entering the room, just for its rich blue color.  The flapper style dress was made of delicate silk crepe with glass beads and a heavy silk embroidery.  The heavy embroidery helped to weigh down the crepe so that it did not blow around. 

3.  This final dress I want to bring to your attention, I could not take my eyes off of.  If planning my own wedding I would very much want a dress mirroring this amazing piece.  My wedding gown twin, was worn by Louise de Marigny Dewey in 1934, in what was said to be “THE social event of the year”.  A gorgeous silk satin, that looked like butter, with lace, rhinestone and pearl accents.  This dress reminds me of old Hollywood, with its long sweeping train and bias cut.  One had to feel nothing but glamorous in this gown!

Throughout the exhibit they also had “wedding songs” of today and yesterday playing. 

I was reminded how much I love this song and how much it speaks to what a wedding is all about.

If you can, go see this in person, you have until January 3, so there is still plenty of time.  This is definitely one that should be experienced for anyone planning on getting married or just has a love for fashion.  Grab your bridesmaids and go get inspired!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Leaping Step

“May you never steal, lie, or cheat, but if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows, and if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life, and if you must cheat, then please cheat death because I couldn't live a day without you. Cheers!” ~Bride

What a touching sentiment!  I just finished watching Leap Year staring Amy Adams and (the new love of my life) Matthew Goode.  The movie is riddled with great quotes and beautiful scenery (and I mean Ireland, not the good looks of Goode).  If you have not see this one, pop up some popcorn, grab some girlfriends and get ready to want to plan a trip to Ireland (thanks to Leap Year and P.S. I Love You, Ireland is high on the places to go)

“When my 60 seconds came around I realized I had everything I ever wanted... but nothing I really needed and I think what I need is here and I came all this way to see if you maybe think so too. If you do, well... I don't really have plans past that, which is new for me. So, Declan O'Callhan, and I should probably learn your middle name, here is my proposal; I propose we not make plans, I propose we give this thing a chance and let it work out how it works out. So what do you say, do you wanna not make plans with me?” ~Anna (Amy Adams)

It’s movies like this that make me love  the idea of love and the planning that follows.  To help express the love that two people feel for each other is a great honor and a joy.

For the single girl in me, this gives hope that there is a Declan in my future.  Someone who, despite my flaws, sees something beautiful and someone who makes me finally stop and want to make plans.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A World Traveler Step

Prior to moving to Chicago, I had rarely been off the east coast.    This being the case, I spend portions of my day dreaming of far away places.  I have a long list of dream vacation spots, which hopefully one day I will get to.  Moving further and further up that list,  as I read more about it, is Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

What a great place to escape to on your honeymoon too, there are many great deals to be had.  I believe your honeymoon should be a dream location that you would not be traveling to once you have kids.  Cambodia being about a 20 hour flight, I am sure few couples are bringing along the kids, before starting that family visit this beautiful wonder.

Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

You can find some great deals on hotels in Siem Reap.  One to check out would be Kool Hotel (How can you not check it out with that name?),  This hotel offers great value (average price being $34-45), spectacular hospitality (eager to please according to ALL reviews) and has a great location.  In the morning fill up on their 5-star breakfast before heading out to tour temples and ruins.  After a long day exploring they do have a pool to relax in.  Another hotel to look into the Viroth Hotel,  Hotel Viroth brings lots of style with large minimally decorated rooms.  They have a rooftop pool and jacuzzi, along with a rooftop bar lit up with fairy lights at night.

Viroth Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia

An architecture geek at heart, I am dying to see the majestic temples that have been standing in Cambodia for over a millennium.  Sunrises are supposed to be a thing of beauty, glowing in reds and oranges while the sunset is supposed to be stunning, putting on a spectacular show at Angkor Wat (famous temple).    For about $20 you can take an elephant ride to see the views from Phnom Bakeng.  On the romantic side, you could also take a ride with Angkor Balloons, for $15 you get a 10-minute venture 820 feet into the sky.  A little on the pricier side you could also take a helicopter ride around Angkor Wat for about $90.

The local food is said to be a must while there as well, as is the local shopping.  This is definitely worth a mention to your honey and off the beat and path of your typical honeymoon jaunts.

Photos From: and