Preparing for Halloween really starts back in August when I start receiving the costume catalogs...we ponder them for a few weeks, make a decision, order them in September and stare at them all of October! Decorations go out October 1 and then the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving is to follow. That is typically how it goes. This year we have been in a mad dash to get everything done. The costumes were ordered in plenty of time, but the decor went up a little late and the pumpkin patch was almost a near miss due to the rainy weather we have had this month. I am glad we decided to fit it in when we did, or I am afraid it would not have been done. The ground is so soggy and I think we caught the pumpkin patch on the one good day! Also...normally the Sunday before Halloween Charlie's aunt and uncle host a big pumpkin carving contest. It gets VERY competitive and is lots of fun. This year, however, it was cancelled. Rob and Nina had just gotten married the night before and since everyone was so tired from the weekend, I guess it was decided that we wouldn't have it this year. Also, it wouldn't be the same without having Rob there. He always amuses us with his same little pumpkin face every year and he is always soooo confident that it will win. So this year, we just did our own little pumpkin carving at home. Sarah had requested a scary face...not too scary...but scary. I can't believe that Halloween is in 2 days! I am thankful the rain should let up for Saturday night and I will be taking lots of pictures as usual. What's on the costume menu this year you might ask????? Sarah is Little Red Riding Hood and Lauren is a little ladybug. What is on your costume menu??
Once upon a time I lived in LA and was a wedding coordinator. Actually I was more of a hotel catering manager, but for one gorgeous August day....I was a wedding coordinator. Having just planned 3 parties in the last month, I have been reflecting on the life I used to have in the wedding business. I thought that I would share with you a little insight into the wedding that was my first one that I took upon, outside of my day job. The bride was a good friend of mine. In fact, she worked at the same hotel as I did in Redondo Beach: The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club. I was the catering manager and she was the wedding coordinator.
Here is the gorgeous couple: Shawn & Katie
Now let me back up a tad....I moved to LA to be in the TV industry, but the first year I moved out there I found myself planning my own wedding and falling in love with doing that. I quickly realized that the wedding business was my passion. The Portofino was known for weddings due to our location on the ocean and we averaged about 4-5 weddings a weekend. Most were just receptions, but I would say a good 40% were ceremonies too! So here I am...someone who had planned her own wedding (big TX wedding with 300 guests), someone who currently managed about 200 weddings a year, and someone who was ready to take on the "big day" for someone else...all on my own!
So Once Upon a Time...Here is where she decided to have her wedding!
The gorgeous St. Regis Hotel Monarch Beach in Dana Point, CA! It doesn't get much better than this folks.... She had a gorgeous August day, she had a perfect sunset, she had all her close family and friends there, and she had planned the perfect wedding! I felt like I was more than prepared, but wow...I clearly was not 100% flawless on my wedding planning duties. I attribute most of my short comings to the fact that I didn't not hire an assistant. I thought with all my experience that I didn't need one, but quite the contrary. Having had all my experience, I should have known that I needed a helper. The location, although spectacular, was S P R E A D O U T! The bride was getting ready on the opposite side of the property from where the reception was which was in a different location to where the ceremony was. I also had the photographer taking photos all over the place. Being the one woman operation I was, I didn't have any fancy "Walkie Talkies" or anything, nor anyone else to be sending commands too. Had I had an extra person, I could have cut down on my cardio time running around everywhere and could have double checked the details more. We had a small snafu with the seating (which could have been avoided had I had an extra 20 minutes to go over it one last time) and we had a near miss with the surprise bag-piper almost not becoming a surprise anymore. All in all it went as smooth as it could, and luckily the wedding was at a 5-star hotel and I had an easy going bride that was my friend. At least I wasn't too worried she would hate me forever if I made a few small mistakes. I just of course didn't want to make any!
Katie, had very good taste and knew what she wanted. If I had to pick a theme for her wedding, I would say Shabby Chic. It was so much fun thinking of ideas together and thankfully we both liked this look. Here are some of the details we had fun planning.
We also had a great photographer. He was also a friend to both of us. I knew that photography was one area that was particularly important to Katie. I went with her and we interviewed easily 5-6 photographers before she decided to go with Troy at Epic Imagery. In the end, we both new he was professional, did beautiful work, and was was all around great to work with. We knew what "we" were getting. There is just a good feeling you get when you know you can count on the photographer to be on time, do good work, be fun to be around, and capture the moments! Here are some of my favorite shots that he took. I am sure Katie has her own set of favorites, but these I really love.
I love how he captured the detail on her dress, the flowers, and her ring. So Pretty!
I love this one of Katie and her mom. They both looked gorgeous that day!
Here are a few of the beach shots taken at sunset
Now the reception was tons of fun. I mean planning wise....I didn't really partake in the party! All the guests seem to have had a blast, though. We had fun playing with the romantic roses, the crystals and all the shabby chic muted colors. We mixed dark brown into the scheme and it balanced it out nicely. Especially since there was a lot of dark brown in the room to begin with. Most times when you have a hotel wedding you have to consider the colors on the walls and the chairs.....unless you plan to pipe and drape the entire room and create a whole new space. In this case we decided our colors worked well the color scheme and we brought in chivari chairs. Here are some of the other reception specialties:
The signature drinks! Yummy!
Her cake was gorgeous and was so pretty sitting on the crystal cake stand.
"How sweet it was of you to have come" was what the sign read at the candy bar!
I had the most fun doing this wedding and helping Katie plan her special day. It confirmed 2 things for me...1.) that weddings are a lot of work and don't tackle a big one all by yourself, and 2.) that I love weddings and always will. Maybe one of these days I will get back into it. In the meantime I will just enjoy planning parties of any kind for my family and friends!
Happy Founder's Day to all my AXO sisters out there today! Hope you have been able to attend some sort of celebration to commemorate the occasion! We held the Ft. Worth celebration last week at the Iota Lambda house at TCU. The collegians did a very nice re-dedication ceremony and we had yummy Perotti's lasagna and cheesy bread for dinner! (Boy I sure do miss those TCU days!) On another note....I sure am looking forward to the Iota Lambda reunion in April 2010! Please go to our website to RSVP and buy tickets! If you need the link again....please e-mail me!
It doesn't get much better than U2 when it comes to concerts. This was my second time seeing them and they did not disappoint. I feel like Bono's voice sounded better when I saw him 8 years ago in LA, but hey...it was still amazing! The set/stage was awesome! By far the best set up for a concert I had ever seen. I seats were "behind" the stage, although it was a 360 degree stage. They were still great. They came to our side a lot and at the end they walked all the way back and stood there for quite awhile, so I was able to get some awesome shots! They have an unlimited amount of great songs to choose from and I feel like they played them all. Not since the Foo Fighters have a seen a more entertaining band that seemed to play on and on, one great hit after another!
The Muse, the opening band, was also great! My husband REALLY wanted to see them and to be honest I was not that interested. Once they came out they really rocked the place and turns out I already knew most of their songs. I was pleasantly surprised at how great they were!
It was a great night and the new Cowboys stadium (which I think is a tad over-the-top and a bit ridiculous since "The Boys" are mediocre this year) was still AMAZING and huge and very nice!
As most of you may or may not know, I work part time at my in-laws European gift shop over in Keller. It is called Le Petit Hameau (the little hamlet). I have also started a blog for them! I know, big shocker there! I have become so in love with blogs, that I decided to take on a second one! So I just wanted to share the blog with you guys and I hope you become a follower of it in addition to this one! Here is the blog link: www.le-petit-hameau.blogspot.com I just blogged today about some of the great Fall items we have! The blog will mostly feature products that we sell in the store, but it will also feature posts on travels to Europe. There will be times of the year that they (not me) will take buying trips and I will write about their adventures! So keep posted and if you live in or around Keller, please stop in and say hello and see all the pretty things!
For Lauren's 2nd birthday, I decided to go with a Miss Spider theme...little did I know (after I had my heart set on this idea) that it would be near impossible to find anything Miss Spider out there. This is such a cute show and so perfect for this age, that I feel like they are really missing the boat by not marketing it anymore. If it were not for the Nick Jr. printables and some creative work on my part and the bakery's part, this party would not have been very successful. At least decor wise! Lauren had over about 3 of her friends and they all have siblings that are Sarah's age so it made for a nice sized party. Her are the photos and the specifics!
Theme: Miss Spider Sunny Patch Food: Palio's Pizza & Salad Drinks for kids: Apple juice, lemonade, milk Cake: The Cakery (Southlake) The bottom part was white cake with white butter cream and the Miss Spider was chocolate cake with white butter cream! Heavenly! Colors: Played off of the lime green and yellow colors mostly, but it was a very colorful party Decor: I made my own buggy friends out of small colored paper lanterns, craft poms poms, pipe cleaners and felt. I found one place online that had one package of Miss Spider "blow-outs" and they had the cute bug antenna "party hats". My husband made the Hollow Tree tree trunk out of construction paper. The rest was really balloons and crepe paper Flowers: Yellow tulips and multi-colored gerber daisies Games: Bean bag toss, bowling, parachute, Velcro ball & catch game and lots of printables to color and play with from Nick Jr. I also had a Miss Spider video playing to keep them entertained while at the party table.
The "party room"
The place settings
The wonderful cake
Her cute cupcakes left over from what she took to "school"
Drink boxes to match decor
The goodie bags: I could not find 10 of the same Miss Spider book at any bookstore, so I did a mixture of books to accommodate the different ages and genders. Also add some little slinky's and glow in the dark bracelets in lime green. The girls got a sunflower in their bag!
My homemade bugs and colored lanterns
Buggy facts I printed off of Nick Jr.
The printables to color and a "I promise to be good to bugs" certificate
All sitting down for pizza!
Me with my sweets!
It is no secret that I love parties! Especially kid parties! Let me know your favorite themes and ones that have been successful! This sort of thing is the sweet part of life!
I am the lucky girl who is married to an amazing, hard-working man, has 2 girls that are smart, talented, and the light of my life, and am fortunate to call the beautiful little beach community I live in, home. Our lives revolve around our girls and their activities. A lot of Irish dance and musical theater is what they do. I love wine tasting, watching tennis and entertaining friends and family. As a family we love to travel and this blog is all about our lives and the things we love to do!