I have to be honest and tell you, there aren’t many wedding dresses that I couldn’t make friends with. I LOVE wedding dresses! It must be the romantic girly-girl in me for every so often I will slip on my wedding dress and just smile - yes, my family finds it a bit odd, but I feel like a princess and wasn’t it meant to be worn?

You don't need to be Kate Middleton or Kim Kardashian to have your own royal wedding ~ especially with these dresses!

Choosing the dress ~ now we have our work cut out for us. Style, cut, embellishments, fabric, necklines, length, trains, cost, and oh how the list goes on. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices.

Remember, the season of your wedding date. A heavy long sleeved gown in 90 degree weather may not make you feel like a princess, and a strapless chiffon gown with negative temperatures outside might make you wish for flannel pajamas instead of beauty.

I had a few ideas and photos of styles that kept catching my eye, but it wasn’t until I went on the search with my trusted and honest Maid of Honor that I realized that maybe just because they were beautiful dresses in the photos, they didn’t look so good on me - or my body I should say. Keep an open mind while shopping.

I actually came home with a dress (similar to the one pictured above.  Photograph courtesy of http://manolobrides.com/) that my Maid of Honor picked out. I looked at it and knew it was pretty, it just maybe wasn’t what I had envisioned . . . until I put it on. Before the zipper was even up I knew it was the dress. It was perfect and I felt perfect! Is there a guideline for this? Unfortunately not, but I think we know when it is “The Dress” ~ we just know!

Secondly, I think you have to handle some constructive and delicate criticism. That is why I knew shopping with my Maid of Honor would be the best for me. She let me enjoy and try on dresses that weren’t her style because she knows me and what my vision was. If a dress didn‘t look good - it didn‘t look good. If there were parts about the dress that were flattering, she told me and the search went on. Did I always like to hear after the tenth dress “NO”? Most definitely not, but I also knew I didn’t want to celebrate my special day with people wondering what I was thinking wearing a dress that was obviously not for me.

I knew I had a budget in mind. Not really a set one, but I did know that I did not want to spend an astronomical amount on a dress that would be worn for only a few hours (minus my “must try on one more time” days). I did try on dresses with huge price tags though. It gave me a perspective on style and cut and helped in narrowing down likes and dislikes. Know your likes and dislikes about your body. If you have beautiful shoulders, show them off. Don’t like your arms, cover them up.

Left to right:

Justin Alexander http://www.justinalexanderbridal.com/home.php
Justin Alexander http://www.justinalexanderbridal.com/home.php
Badgley Mischka Bride http://www.badgleymischkabride.com/
Pnina Tornai http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/
Justin Alexander http://www.justinalexanderbridal.com/home.php
The Wedding Party http://www.theweddingpartyonline.com/

Your choices are truly endless. There are five popular basic wedding dress types. You can choose from an A-line/Princess style, Empire, Column/Sheath, Ball Gown, or Mermaid/Fishtail.

The Cut

The A-line / Princess cut shapes the upper body and flows out at the bottom. This is a classic and appropriate style for any wedding. This dress is acceptable to many body shapes and can be worn in different lengths. The princess style provides elongated lines that create a slimming effect because your eye focuses on the long smooth fabric.

The Empire bridal gown is defined by the raised waistline that accentuates the breasts. This can also fit well on most body types, but is more appealing on a smaller breasted bride. This dress can be designed with jewels and embellishments on the waistline. The empire style dress also works well with pregnant brides due to the raised waistline and flowing fabric below.

The Column / Sheath type wedding dress is a classic wedding dress style. This one has a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline. This dress tends to hug your body and show off your curves. This dress will work well with a lean figure short or tall. This can also restrict movement because it is more fitted throughout.

The most traditional style wedding dress is the Ball Gown. This one is a more formal and elegant look. It is the typical fairytale wedding that many brides dream of and look antique in. Trains are perfect with the ball gown since the substantial structure of the skirt can balance the weight of a train. This style can accommodate most body types, but the ball gown is better for slender or pear-shaped figures because the full skirt helps to accentuate the waist and hide the lower body. If you have a large bust, this style will help to create the hourglass look.

The Mermaid style wedding dress. This dress contours the body from the chest to the knee. This is a sexy look because it highlights the curves of the bride’s figure. This is a dress that a confident bride can wear to pull off and there are various skirt types available for this dress. The mermaid cut is not for everyone. This daring design is best worn by slender figures, both short and tall.
Top to Bottom (Left to Right)

Atelier Aimee http://www.aimeeusa.com/
Rosa Clara; Style 146 River http://www.rosaclara.es/en/
Blue Wedding Dress
Claire Pettibone; Peony http://bridal.clairepettibone.com/
Jenny Packham; Symphony http://www.jennypackham.com/
Christina Hurvis; Cannes http://www.couturesf.com/
Le Spose di Gio; Style 15

The Neckline

The neckline of your wedding dress will draw attention to your upper body. Depending on your body shape and the way you feel about it, your bust, face, neck and shoulders can all be accentuated or downplayed by the shape of the neckline and the top section of your wedding dress.

Generally, low round or scooped necks and square necklines suit most brides along with strapless, square or heart-shaped. Asymmetric necklines (where the dress has a single strap or irregular shaping) are also very flattering as they help draw the eye away from problem areas such as heavy hips.

Large Shoulders - halter necks look best on brides with large shoulders, but take note of bust size for it may also make a large bust look out of proportion.

Large Busts - V-necks draw attention away from large busts as they guide the eye inwards and down the midline of the dress.

Small Busts - high round neck or slash-neck dresses look best on brides with small busts (it actually makes them appear bigger) or brides that don't want to show too much décolletage.
(Above photo from http://bridesmine.com/

Train or No Train

The train is where the material at the back of the dress extends out. Trains come in various lengths and styles:

Sweep / Duster train - the easiest to manage as extends about 1-2 feet from the waist of the gown. This style is perfect for an informal wedding such as a beach or garden wedding

Puddle train - is round, begins at the sides of the skirt, making it appear that the bride is standing in a 'puddle' of fabric and it is usually teamed up with a fishtail or column dress in a lighter fabric

Chapel train - extends approximately 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet from the waist of the gown. This is the most popular train length for wedding dresses. The chapel train is versatile in that it is offers enough of a train to make the bridal gown look and very glamorous, yet doesn't make the dress awkward to move around in. A chapel train can either be bustled under the gown with a French bustle, or it can be bustled to the outside with little hooks or buttons at several points.

Cathedral train - usually extends anywhere from 6-1/2 to 8-1/2 feet from the waist of the gown. This ultra-glamorous style train is most often reserved for very formal indoor weddings and an opulent setting where a long aisle is available for the bride to walk down and showcase her gown. A cathedral length train is generally the longest length of train seen on wedding dresses in bridal shops. Cathedral length trains evoke drama and splendor.

When selecting your train it is important to think about how you will look after it during your wedding day. Although it is the job of your bridesmaid to arrange the train when you have walked down the aisle and for photographs, but the longer and heavier it is, the dirtier it will get and the more difficult it will be for you to cope with and dance.

A detachable train fastened to the skirt near the waist, that can be removed altogether once the ceremony and wedding photos are finished, is the best solution.
(Above Cymbeline; Style 3521 http://www.cymbelineusa.com/html/index.html)

Fabric For The Season

Wedding dresses come in a variety of fabrics from very light materials like chiffon and crepe, to satins and silk and heavy brocades. Consider the time of year that you are getting married. You do not want a heavy fabric if you are getting married in summer or on a tropical island and chiffon certainly won't keep the shivers away in winter.

Beadwork can transform a simple dress into a stunning bridal gown that will definitely turn heads. Embroidery detail on select areas can add a bit of color to you outfit, or draw attention to a particular area of your body (such as the neck and shoulders, away from your hips). Also think about how wearable the fabric is as you will be sitting, standing and dancing in it all day and night. 

Your Wedding Style

Formal Weddings - a floor-length dress in ivory, white, cream or champagne, with gloves and a train... pure elegance!

Semi-Formal Weddings - consider pastels, a floor-brushing (ballerina) length, a short veil and no train.

Casual Weddings - a long or short dress, or two-piece suit paired with a classic pillbox hat 


Do you have to wear white? No, but color does count! Make sure the color of your wedding dress compliments the style of your wedding, your body shape and your skin tone.

More and more brides are going against tradition and wearing colored dresses. Not all brides wear the pure white wedding dress, due to the fact that if you don't have the correct skin coloring, it can make you look washed out. Off-white, ivory or creams are easier to wear for most skin tones, but some brides are even opting for the reds, pinks, lilacs or pale gold for their wedding gown.
Above dresses from http://www.verawang.com/wedding/

(I will also note that I agree with previous web comments that Vera Wang does absolutely stunning design but this particular model is not what we would expect do to her extreme small stature and a much younger age than most she seems).  With that being said, you can see how fabric and color can set a beautiful mood for your wedding.

When choosing the color for your wedding dress, keep in mind the rest of your wedding party color choices and the palette for your wedding. Make a day of it, a weekend or more. Have some fun and take a break with lunch or a manicure. Take your time and don’t feel pressured. It’s a wonderful feeling to find “The” dress and say “YES”!


The featured dresses are only a representation of the thousands and thousands of choices and does not guarantee that these exact dresses will still be available.
The days of Summer being at an end are fast approaching and I sit and wonder where did it all go to?  It seems like just yesterday I was barefoot in the sand with the summer sun warming my skin.  It seems like late night barbecues and watching the fireflies dance in the night are ending all too quickly.

As we usher in a new season, make sure you enjoy one last celebration of the sunshine with this wonderful clam bake filled with fun, family and friends.
To me, there's something about an outdoors clam bake that brings a sense of relaxation and comfort and this is one that is sure to please all your guest. 

I love the pomander balls which celebrate the Labor Day holiday in colors of red and white; the candle lighting ~ especially the clam basket and the seashells which are complete with individually wrapped matchbox covers to match.  The table setting is so simple and yet so unique.  Each guest receives their own collander filled with their individual wine ~ complete with name tag for seating, and a lemon for cleaning up after the meal.  The caprese skewers would make a great appetizer along with individually filled mason jars on ice to relax while waiting for your boil.

What better way to finish the night than with a bonfire and a prepared smorgasbord filled with all the fixings for smores . . . and then some. 
How fun are these individual cheesecakes that could be topped with blueberries also in keeping with the theme of your celebration.

And, that all time question . . . what to wear?
Talk about going out in style! 
~ top by built by wendy
~ pants by Steven Alan
~ clutch by Calypso St. Barth 
~ shoes by Sigerson Morrison
~ watch by Timex
~ sunglasses by Mango
~ hat by Zara

So, now you have everything to send off Summer ~ Enjoy and create beautiful memories!
"If you have love, you already have all you'll ever really need"
Artwork from Rosy Designs where Rosy is an artist who works in many mediums.  Oil painting, computer illustration, jewelry design and making are ways that Rosy shows her love and creativity in ways that can only make you smile.  To see more of her visit http://rosydesigns.com/
There’s something about the way it “use to be”, when we were inspired by a time where getting there was truly half the fun. I like to think that the journey must had been as exciting as the destination and time spent together was cherished and filled with conversation.

It seems that if our time is now limited and we forget the journey. We are busy with “To Do List”, packing up our electronics, movies for the backseat DVD players, pre-purchased tickets, and days filled to the brim. The highways are racing with us all in a rush to get to the destination. We drive through the night, go through drive-thru and forget that there is so much beauty surrounding us. We missed the picnic at the creek with priceless pictures of children playing in the water. We didn’t have time to stop at the old diner that still believes in customer service and home cooked meals. We didn’t get to meet the locals or visit the history of what we were rushing past. Yes, there is something about the way it use to be. Life was slower, and maybe that’s why some of the stories that have been passed down through time are so much more interesting. This was our heritage and what an honor to had been part of it.

Next time you get to your destination, do you still send postcards home? With the age of technology, we too often forget the beautiful handwritten note of “Wish Your Were Here”. In past reference, the first U.S. postcard came into being in 1872 and spanned a time from 1898-1918. This was a time when travelers wrote home on exquisite linen-finished, hand-tinted cards of posh resort hotels. It was also an era of global travel. People ventured to remote regions and sent exotic pictures of native people and jungle villages. “Wish You Were Here” still spans our thoughts and often our memory.

So, a little trip down memory lane to make you smile along with many companies now creating the “what was old is new again”. I hope you make your journey as exiting as your destination!

How fun to take your travels on the road in a vintage trailer! I seriously am thinking this could be my home away from home . . . Even if just in my yard.
Dressed and ready to go with beautiful Backswept Dress from Anthropologie. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=21110440&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=049. You will feel perfect in this Corey Lynn Calter electric silk dress that is popping with chrysanthemums and tied into a knot above a keyhole back. Paired with the Floridian Oasis Coral Heels by Schuler and Sons http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=20780193&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=085, these suede peep-toes would take you walking anywhere.
ModCloth provides a vintage and retro selections for today’s shopper and their Pudding Pie Bag mod cloth is made with textured, vegan faux leather and topped with dashes of brassy hardware and is floral lined with plenty of pockets for all your traveling needs. http://www.modcloth.com/Modcloth%2FWomens%2FAccessories%2FBags/-Pudding-Pie-Bag.
Or, if you have everything packed, the Post Clutch from ModCloth is reminiscent of that carefully crafted postcard or letter. Decorative details and “stamps” add to the allure of this darling accessory. http://www.modcloth.com/Modcloth%2FWomens%2FAccessories%2FBags/-Through-the-Post-Clutch.
I love this photo with the old LP record player - you really will be okay without your electronics for a few hours and might even find yourself yearning for more road trips this way! If you’re like me, you’ll want to check out the portable record players at http://coolrecordplayers.com/portable_players.html especially if you’re lucky enough to have a collection of vinyl’s sitting around.
My other love . . . This Pottery Barn Found Camera with compact bodies and simple functionality, classic 35 mm cameras paved the way for both amateur photographers and professional photojournalists everywhere. The first was prototyped in Germany in 1913 and went into production as the Leica in 1924. Their collection of cameras are crafted by a variety of mid-century German and Russian manufacturers who have become vintage icons, making them perfect for display. http://www.potterybarn.com/products/found-cameras/

For a new take with technology, look at the LEICA M9, a camera that carries the legend of Leica M cameras into the digital age. It is the smallest full-format digital system camera the world has ever seen. It is a contemporary tool for all who demand the highest standards in image quality and love freedom of composition. http://us.leica-camera.com/photography/m_system/m9/.
Or what about the the Rolleiflex MiniDigi AF 5.0 Digital Camera from B & H Photo Video Audio Pro http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/560571-REG/Rollei_24613_Rolleiflex_MiniDigi_AF_5_0.html with an impressively detailed miniature replica of the famous Rolleiflex 2.8F 6x6cm Twin Lens Reflex Camera. This 5.0 Megapixel digital camera preserves many of the outstanding convenience features and of course the nostalgic design elements of the original such as the Crank Action frame advance, and classic square format images that Rolleiflex Twin Lens cameras are famous for. But this up-to-date digital camera provides an auto focus feature with the capability to focus between 4 inches (10cm) to infinity, and its 1.1" LCD display allows for both Waist Level Shooting and the ability to review your images.
So, grab a book, grab a blanket, a basket filled with goods ~ even if you don’t hit the far from home road, go ahead and getaway for a few hours.

Please note, items were available at the time of the writing of this article and does not guarantee they are still available

Top photograph from John Casablancas graduates
Going to the fair once meant an abundance of cotton candy, corn dogs, candy apples along with some fries, elephant ears, lemonade and root beer floats. Times have definitely changed because now when you visit the fair, your probably going to find your food on a stick, and deep fried if you want something exotic . . . and not so kind to your body. We are a long way from the deep fried Twinkies, Oreos and Spam. Have a look without drooling (or otherwise). Maybe you might want to carry some anti-acid along just in case.

As for myself, I think I’m going to have to (1) Skip the fair, (2) Eat before I go or find something a little more healthy there, or (3) Have one heck of a last meal. Here are some highlights:

Alabama (Birmingham): Krispy Kreme Hamburgers
The doughnut burger at the Alabama State Fair is a quarter-pound hamburger, bacon, cheese and two glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts in place of a single bun; containing nearly 1,100 calories and 67 grams of fat.  Photo © Bob B. Brown

California (Costa Mesa):  Deep-Fried White Castle Burgers
The Orange County Fair is so dedicated to frying that a vendor called Heart Attack Café chose Deep Fried Butter Stand as its new name after being pressured with legal action by Arizona's Heart Attack Grill. Even more stupendous: Chicken Charlie's fried White Castle cheeseburgers (bun and all).  Photo © JoAnn Maxwell Stougaard
Florida (Tampa):  Cheeseburger with Fried Ice Cream
One Florida State Fairgoer rationalized the appeal of a cheeseburger topped with deep-fried ice cream by describing the salty-sweet hybrid as a "milk-shake burger".  Photo © Dennis and Cheryl Reas
Indiana (Indianapolis):  Hot Beef Sundae
When state fairgoers tired of the iconic rib eye steak sandwich, Indiana's Beef Cattle Association invented the Hot Beef Sundae ~ layered with mashed potatoes, marinated beef, gravy, cheese, corn "sprinkles" and a cherry (tomato).  Photo © Tom Coates
Massachusetts (West Springfield):  Fried Jelly Beans
The Big E (a nickname for the Massachusetts State Fair) doesn't force a choice between candy and funnel cake. These jelly beans are dipped in batter before being deep-fried.  Photo © Melissa Rebelo
Montana (Great Falls):  Fried Butter Balls
While the Montana State Fair is famous for its Big Sky ProRodeo Roundup, fried-food enthusiasts head for the deep-fried butter balls. Photo © Heather Leah Kennedy
North Carolina (Raleigh):  Kool-Aid Pickles
Also known as Koolickles, pickles soaked in the sugary beverage are a Southern tradition and a sweet-and-sour snack at North Carolina's annual state fair.  Photo © deep fried kudzu
Ohio (Columbus):  Chocolate-Covered Bacon on a Stick
Known as "A Muddy Pig".  Chocolate-covered bacon on a stick isn't new to fairgrounds, but the Ohio State Fair gilds the salty-sweet construction with a candied cherry.  Photo © A. Bill Miller
South Carolina (Columbia):  Fried Pepsi
Pepsi was created in North Carolina, but it's hardly recognizable in South Carolina, where state fair vendors inject fried dough with Pepsi syrup and top the result with powdered sugar and more syrup.  Photo © Sean Mellody
Texas (Dallas):  Fried Beer
Even alcohol can be fried when it's pocketed in pretzel dough. The food innovation won the 2010 Big Tex Choice Awards at the Texas State Fair.  Photo © Amanda Gillispie
Birthday:  (a) the day of a person's birth (b) a day of origin.

Today is my birthday, a celebration of who I am. It’s odd how the older we get, the more we tend to look back over our life and wonder if this is where we are suppose to be? It’s always a great feeling to say. “Yes, I am exactly where I belong!” and to know that there is so much more to venture onto in life.  I enjoy the simplicities of life and the little things that make me smile are many!  I love to listen to the quietness of the night, the smell of fresh rain, the scent flowers and leather.  I can't pass up a swing without feeling the freedom of such calmness and I have a passion in me that sometimes seem untouchable.

This year has been quite an experience, and I am hopeful that the coming year will continue to bring me such graces. I came across the following quote and fell in love with it:

“All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I’ve been
Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight
Now I’m here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it’s all so clear
I’m where I’m meant to be
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright.”

I will be the first to tell you . . . I really don’t like my birthday. It‘s not the aging, and I‘m not quite sure what it is, but a good celebration ~ now we’re talking. So, in all fairness, I thought I would share 44 (yes, 44) things about me and I didn‘t include my family in this list because they are without a doubt the loves of my life who without them, I would not be who I am today!

I am my worst critic and always think I can do better.

I really like to watch Disney movies or old cartoons when I am sick ~ they are simple and I don’t have to think.  When I was growing up Charlie Chaplin was my favorite along with The Great Gatsby.

I LOVE owning my own business and being able to use my creativity ~ which on the other hand, I can spend hours and hours “creating” and never tire of it (although my family often wonders when dinner might be ready).

If I could hang my sheets on the clothesline every day of the year I would sleep like a baby every night.

I can work most technology except the seven remotes my husband has to play our TV, DVD, VCR and stereo ~ I get just a little frustrated on that one!

I love to try different food, to cook new things, create new recipes (as long as they aren't spicy) and to read recipe book by the hours. 

I really want a Nook but I love the way a book smells ~ would someone create this scent to go with the e-readers, along with the feeling of sitting in a library or a book store that just can't be touched.

I use to really decorated for the holidays. I did say “use to”. I don’t feel the need to decorate 12 Christmas trees anymore.

I love to sightsee. I love to be a tourist and venture to places I’ve never been. I love to sit at outdoor cafes and people watch. To have an amazing cup of coffee and watch the world around me or a romantic dinner under a starry night is priceless. I love to venture on old cobblestone or brick-lined streets into stores that entice me to enter.
If I could have several houses, they would all be decorated differently.

Summer is my favorite season and my husband tells me I have a very small temperature range of “too cold or too hot” ~ hey, isn’t that kind of like “The Princess and The Pea”? I keep telling him I am a Princess.

Fashion ~ I can never get enough and will find a reason to purchase just because it was meant for me! I can find a reason for a party dress, a beautiful scarf, hats (oh yes please), and a girl just can't have enough purses or jewels!

I adore shoes ~ I will never have enough and would take the closet Bing built Carrie in Sex and the City any day . . . Well, I’d like the apartment too!
I am a girly-girl but have been know to do the unmentionable in the catch and discarding of snakes (not too fond of that one).

I like the outdoors ~ I just don’t like bugs - well, bug bites that is!
If I could be anywhere it would be sitting at the ocean listening to the waves and watching the world quietly pass by ~ and I am not giving up hope that someday I will have my beach house!!!

I love laughter! I love to hear it and I love to laugh until my stomach hurts and tears are rolling down my cheeks!!!

I have been know to dance at any given place and twirl around in the yard just because I can ~ what freedom!
Life is already hard and I don’t think I need a broken down car to prove it!

I love thunderstorms ~ I just want the power to stay on!

I don’t ride roller coasters or other rides but love to listen to the sounds of a fair.

I like to be organized, but in my disarray, I can still tell you that the sticky note you’re looking for is under the fourth envelope stuck to the top of last months magazine.

I love music but can’t play an instrument or sing a note ~ I wish I could!

I wish my name were something more exotic or mysterious.

I love quotes and inspiration words ~ so much that I really want a whole wall filled with them someday . . . My husband is not seeing the vision that I am though.
I am passionate and positive ~ even when life is tough.

I always over pack be it my luggage or food for a weekend away ~ I know I would survive but I really don’t want to be without just in case.

I cry at sad and touching movies. This may be the reason I like to wait and watch the movie in the comfort of my home ~ scary movies - never!

I wish I had a large family with lots of closeness and silliness.

I sometimes wish I could turn my mind off because I am always thinking and creating ~ I believe I do this even in my sleep!

I believe in people and I believe that people should believe in one another.

I do cry at weddings and funerals.

I want to learn or do something new each day.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Golden Retrievers.

I love the rush of city life but the serenity of the country.

Motivation drives me with a sense of perfection, quality and completeness.

I use to love shopping but now I really have to be in the mood for it and I despise grocery shopping ~ not sure if it’s the hurry everyone is in, the repetition or having to put it all away after I carry it in?

I am terrified to drive in the snow ~ needless to say I don’t leave the house much and am a terrible passenger during this time also.

I actually color code how I hang my clothes up ~ but at least my canned food isn’t alphabetized anymore.

I believe in love and romance!
I believe that each day is a gift and without gratitude and thanks we may end up losing what means the most.

I like to watch our gold-fish swim aimlessly in circles and still seem so happy.

I think it’s a wonderful thing to look in the mirror each day and night and really like who you are ~ I think this is important.

I am compassionate, loyal, honest and I try to fill each day doing something that is meaningful, real and simply portrays who I am.

So, with all that being said, I have to say it’s looking like a good day to sit on the swing and watch the beauty of the world around me with a gratefulness that I am part of it.
~ Amy

Just Go



This just makes me smile :)
First . . . something to get you in the mood (make sure your speakers are on).

Ice is nice, especially while the temperatures are climbing. Kind of like a "Christmas in July".

What a beautiful and joyous time of year to plan your wedding day.

Let the simplicity take over your theme with eye catching branches of white, candles, crystals, pearls, and lighting to set the stage for a magical winter wonderland for you and your guest.
Begin the introduction of your day with these beautiful invitations of “Winter Wonderland” from Douchelle Custom Creations http://www.dochelle.com/winterwonderlandlarge.htm that include: Invitation Card, Reception card, RSVP Card, RSVP Envelope, Silver Midori Ribbon, Swarovski Crystal Snowflake, Snow Textured Overlay Fabric, and a Presentation Box.

I absolutely fell in love with these gowns from Oscar De La Renta http://www.weddingdresstrends2012.com/45/oscar-de-la-renta-wedding-dresses-fall-2011-collection.html#more-45 with either being for the bride, the maid of honor or the bridesmaids. With the beautiful silk faille strapless gown with embroidered white carnations and accents of silver bullion.
These gowns could beautifully be accessorized with a faux fur wrap like the Mariell Faux Fox Fur Stole from http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Malinda/items/MARIELL_IVORY_FAUX_FOX_FUR_STOLE_FORMAL_BRIDAL
to match beautifully with the silk faille bodice dress with an ivory swansdown skirt.
Pair these gowns with the amazing shoes from Grazia http://www.graziashoes.com/default2.asp “Valentine” is a luxuries silk satin peep toe pump with an amazing rhinestone brooch at the top of the toe or the beautiful lace pump Parisienne from Augusta Jones http://augustajones.com/shoes.htm.
Top off your look with this beautiful birdcage veiling hat with Swarovski crystals and feather accents from Lady Slipper Bridal http://www.ecrater.co.uk/p/9359145/russian-bridal-bird-cage-veiling or this beautiful Double rose Veil (top middle in inspiration board) from Alice Hart couture millinery at http://www.alicehart.com/index.html.
For an everlasting heirloom bouquet from Sol Bijou http://www.artfire.com/users/solbijou that is made with total attention to detail and quality. A combination of rhinestones pearls, repurposed brooches, Czech Pearls in cream and white, silver findings, jewels, and their popular handmade satin and organza flowers in various shapes and sizes will have your wedding bouquet being a rare, one of a kind piece of artwork. The under-side of the bouquet is in layers of organza and tulle in white and cream and the stems are partially wrapped with a layer satin ribbon in cream, and a final layer of a gorgeous detailed silver lace.
Continue to carry that winter sparkle all the way through your decor scheme, right to your wedding cake. A little “bling” for the wedding cake proves to be the perfect accessory. With choices from edible shimmer applied to fondant, edible shimmer luster, or sugared butter cream frosting; no matter your preferences, this will be a beautiful display.
As long as we’re talking about “ice”, how about some extraordinary “ice” from Phillip Press Master Platinumsmiths http://www.philippress.com/? Renowned for their exceptional platinum jewelry designs and expertise. Their exquisite Platinum Masterpieces are truly works of art that exemplify fine craftsmanship and the utmost quality. Philip Press and their master craftsmen design and make each piece by hand, using their own high-grade proprietary 950 platinum alloy and the finest gemstones. They also custom-makes platinum pieces and redesigns old engagement ring settings. Of course, you may want this prior to planning your dream winter wonderland for this might be more than enough to “ice the cake”.
For your reception, your choices are truly limitless being the colder time of year. Endear your guest to warm drinks, soups, and lush desserts to create a feeling of warmth. Send your guests home with these adorable penguins or mice from L.A. Burdick Chocolates http://www.burdickchocolate.com/. I love how you are able to customize your mice tail colors, box and ribbon colors and even the ribbon imprinting is offered. And from experience, I will guarantee, your guests will be wanting more of this delicious wedding favor!
Keep in mind as in the summertime, the weather can be unpredictable. Plan ahead and make sure your guest are safe once they arrive with shoveled and salted paths, a coat check, and even possible valet parking or an escort (with an umbrella) if it’s snowing to protect them from the elements. Also keep in mind that if you have guests traveling some distance, they may appreciate an overnight stay near or at your venue. Plan ahead with your guests and your accommodations in order to house them.

Winter can be a wonderful time of year, and although it may be a little busier with the holiday season, with given advance and proper planning, you will be creating another special holiday.
Romero Britto ~ how fun!!! Want something inspiring and uplifting, take a look at the amazing artwork at http://www.britto.com/ that is sure to make you smile!

I’m so glad to share that Romero Britto is an artistic activist for charitable organizations worldwide and has quite a bio to read.

Yes, I fell in love with this luggage set named A New Day http://shop.britto.com/ShopBritto/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=80132-09-0-0-0 - how appropriate. Although, while I am thinking of where to travel to, its price take might keep me grounded for a little while.

Hovering around $1,060.00 for four pieces; averaging at approximately $265.00 a piece. But my justification . . . Hymm . . . The beauty case has an elastic strap that connects with the upright case - hence being one less case to carry and it also has a customized lining that compliments the art. The Three Spinner Cases have four smart wheels designed for amazing control and satin nickel finish handles with cushioned grips . . . And it is art!

I guess even if a girl has to keep dreaming a little longer, at least it’s great to have something to look at that puts a smile on her face.

Set Sail



"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain ~