Final Long Run of the Week, Memorial Day BBQ and The Education of Love

>> Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yesterday morning I completed my last long run, (10 miles), before the half-marathon next weekend...yay!  I won't say the run was a piece of cake, but I wouldn't equate it with a root canal either.  And since I've been running 10 to 13 mile long runs for the past several weeks, I think I'm ready for the race...ready as I will ever be at least! 

Then in the afternoon we had several good friends over for a Memorial Day BBQ.  The weather was just perfect, Kevin smoked some pork and we had potato salad and tomato salad and cold slaw and gooey brownies with ice cream...yum!  Also, Kevin pulled out several of his specialty beers and our friends brought some over too.  Have I mentioned my husband is a beer collector?  Well, if I haven't...let's just say Kevin has more specialty beers in our second fridge than Imelda Marcos had shoes!  Seriously!!!  And these are not your run of the mill beers...oh no, they are rich and flavorful and very, very strong.  And some are highly sought after within the beer community.  Anyhow, without going into specifics, let me say I may have celebrated too much and at this moment I am very happy our remodel construction has not begun yet, just sayin'.

Any-hoodle...let's get on with today's post.  So, I've always loved learning...reading books, going to lectures, being a student, the smell of a name it, anything that has to do with education...I love it.  Even when I was a little girl I used to imagine myself going to Harvard or Yale or some other Ivy League school...before I discovered how much they cost of course.   I'm not entirely sure where this love of education came from.  Maybe it stemmed from being the daughter of a teacher.  Or maybe, as Oprah said on her final show, maybe learning is my talent and I need to find a way to work that into my profession.  Hey, maybe I already passing on my knowledge here, however small that may be.  Then again, maybe not!  But a girl can dream can't she? 

Anyhow, whatever the reason I do love the books.  And so do today's featured engagement couple.  Elise is in grad school to become a dentist and Jeff is a trial lawyer practicing outside Atlantic City, NJ. They met in undergrad at Duke University in Durham, NC and chose to do their engagement shoot at the Duke Homestead and Brightleaf Square.  Elise brought props (like textbooks from school!) and yummy cupcakes and champagne.

Elise and Jeff will be married on March 10, 2012 at Duke Chapel.  Congratulations you two! And thank you Carolyn Scott Photography for sharing these images with us.

Okay, I have to stop to say how much I LOVE, LOVE...LOVE...LOVE the image below.  Oh...Elise and Jeff, you look stunning and so in love.  This image is is to die for!!!

Soap-box removed...carry-on ;-)

Photography:  Carolyn Scott Photography

Venue:  Duke Homestead and Brightleaf Square

Submission via Two Bright Lights

How was your Memorial Day?  Did you celebrate too much as well?  And...any thoughts on these images?


Remodel Tizzy, Dissing Brangelina and Bright Lights

>> Monday, May 30, 2011's a holiday weekend and I'm interchangeably working on blog posts, scouring the 'Inter-Webs' for new ideas and Fab You Bliss finds for y'all...and gathering inspiration for our new kitchen & office remodel, which is scheduled to commence in T-Minus 2.5 weeks...eeek! 

No...I didn't just say eeek because I don't want the remodel to happen.  Heavens no!!!  I've been waiting for this remodel to start since before the world began!  Since before it was cool to say cool, even before that movie came out, you know the one where Brangelina fell in love....while he was married to someone else.  But of course they denied it the whole world only to give an interview about it years later saying that's just how they fell in love.  Dumb liars!  Oh, was that my out loud voice? 

Okay, okay...that should be water under the bridge by now, but my memory is long and I still don't forgive them for that...we're not stupid, ya know. I've hopefully well established the wait for my new kitchen and office has been a long time in coming.  But I'm freaking out a little because there are so many decisions that come with the many choices from paint to counter tops to sink and faucet styles to the office flooring and the wall color I will want to look at, (or not look at), day in and day out.  It's a lot of pressure to make these decisions as some of them are permanent...well, permanent as the life of a kitchen or office goes. 

You know what I'm talking about right?

In a way...I think the design process of a home remodel and the design process of a wedding are very a teeth pulling, ranting and raving, hair falling out torturous kind of way ;-) 

But seriously...both convey style, both involve budgets and above all else...both are a reflection of ones personality.  Take the detail images shown below from Stacy Haldeman & Marco Figueira's Real Wedding submitted by Katie's Lens Photography via Two Bright Lights.  Isn't the lighting just Divine?  I love the way the way the pink, purple and gold lights play off all the detail pieces from the frame to the flower arrangements to the snowflake hanging off the edge of the Chiavari chair.  It's definitely bright and showy, but it's a statement and I can see a lot of love went into designing just how everything here would look and definitely paid off.

Caterer:  Feastivities

Floral Designer:  Offshoots Decor

Reception Venue:  Archmere Academy

Cinema and Video:  Kenneth Stillman Video

Band:  City Rhythm Orchestra - Email

Lighting:  BEW Productions

Makeup Artist:  Email Makeup by Ren

Jewelry:  Etsy

Submission via:  Two Bright Lights

Now...back to thinking about wall color.  Any ideas for the kitchen color with cream colored cabinets?  I'll take any suggestions.

Have a Fab You Bliss Memorial Day y'all


Mixing in Some Love at the Old Spaghetti Factory

>> Friday, May 27, 2011

My husband always says he knew he wanted to marry me the minute he first saw me.  I think it was pretty soon there after for me as well as I remember telling my friend how cute I thought he was when we saw him working at Sport Chalet one day.  I know, sounds corny...but I was only 18 years old and he was only 20.  Of course it took us several years and a few speed bumps for us to finally figure everything out.  But for today's featured engagement couple, I am happy to announce they realized their magic much sooner.

Katie and Zack met while working at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Sacramento.  He was a busser and she was a server/cocktail waitress.  Zack remembers seeing Katie at work for the first time and said he was stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of her.  And what does a guy do when he's zapped like that? everything he can to attract the girl who's grabbed his attention...of course!

So Zack went about his mission of winning Katie's interest by asking if she needed help at work if she looked busy.  Also he'd bus her tables first so she would be the one getting most of the tables...and of course the tips.  He continued to do little things like these until he finally gathered up the courage to ask her out.  And eventually their friendship blossomed into love. 

Awe...I ADORE that!

These first shots were taken at a place in Sacramento called Paradise Beach, which is located close to Sacramento State (where Katie attended school).  I'm lovin' the misty, almost ethereal look and wow Katie, no wonder Zack did whatever he could to catch your are a stunner!

The next set of images were captured in Dixon, CA (about 20 min from the first location) where they went to shoot in some almond orchards and open fields.  So much fun!  I love the black and white frame shots below.  They really show their personalities.

Katie & Zack were married on May 20, 2011 at the Vizcaya Pavilion in downtown Sacramento not too far from where they first met and I cannot wait to see their wedding images!

Congratulations you two and thank you Ryan at Ryan Greenleaf Photography for submitting these beautiful images to us.

Photography:  Ryan Greenleaf Photography

Venues:  Paradise Beach & Dixon, CA.
Submitted via Two Bright Lights


A Sweet Connection!

>> Thursday, May 26, 2011

What could be better than having your wedding at the gorgeous Montelucia Resort and Spa in Scottsdale Arizona???  Making a sweet stop before the ceremony at chic culinary artist Julia Baker Confections...of course!  Julia designed their wedding cake, but Kimberly & Frank picked up some specialty chocolates for their guests to make the day even sweeter.

I love this idea!  And I love how these images truly convey the fun of the day and the humor of the couple as you will see by Kimberly's big smile and genuine laugh.  Also the image of Kimberly and Frank making faces into a mirror is pretty funny too. 

So many little details went into this wedding and I love them all, but my favorite by far is the yellow heart shaped tin that reads Follow Your Heart on it. 

So poignant...on a wedding day and in all of life.  If there is any one motto to live by I believe it is that...Follow Your Heart!


Photographer:  Photography by Verdi 
Floral Designer:  The Flower Studio

Cinema and Video:  Arizona Wedding Video

Cake Designer:  Julia Baker Confections
Linens and Coverings:  Fabulous Linens
Makeup Artist:  art by kvk
Submission via:  Two Bright Lights


Wednesday's Fab You Bliss Finds!

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Each Wednesday I compile some of my favorite items I've come across in my journey through the "Inter-Webs" and I post them here to share with you.  In a way this is my "Oprah's Favorite Things" to speak.  And let me just mention, it won't always be wedding stuff so please come back and visit often as you never know what you might find.  For example maybe one day I'll post a vintage gas pump and a Swarovski crystal necklace the next.  Yes I know, seriously random...but I'm just trying to keep you on your toes!  Love it, hate it or absolutely need to have it...that's for you to decide and comment on.  So enjoy!

Okie-dokie then, so...I am utterly over-the-moon obsessed with jewelry, not unlike many women out there...maybe even you.  So I'm sure you will fully understand the giddy feeling I get when I spot something I absolutely love.  I've experienced this feeling quite a lot as my husband will tell you. But luckily his mother purchased me the largest jewelery chest known to I know she's got my back and there's plenty of room to add and add and add. 

Anyhoo...when I spotted the gorgeous necklace and earrings below from White Owl Lace and Reclaimed Treasures on Etsy, I went absolutely speechless.  I love, love, love them and the many additional pieces they have at their site.  The necklace is an elegant mix of Japanese vintage blue-grey pearls and reclaimed silver, gold and pewter chains tied with a rich and romantic brown tulle bow which complements the amber colored satin ribbon ties.  And the earrings are strikingly ornate lace arrowheads which fade from ivory to grey-olive that are accented by a duo of antiqued copper beads.  Have I mentioned how much I am in love with them?

The next find drew me in because of the owners' story. Bragging Bags is a shop run on Etsy by a husband/wife team Kyle and Morgann.  Kyle served in the military in Iraq and Morgann is pregnant with their second child and in the spirit of the American dream, they run this very successful home based business and are making it work.  I love that!  They offer an array of eclectic collections including woodland, rustic, western, elegance, personalized, DIY, barn CHIC, beach cottage, vintage bride, and more..everything fabulous & unique for your upcoming wedding.  You can also find their items on their blog

Credits: Top two images are from White Owl Lace and Reclaimed Treasures.  Bottom two images are from Bragging Bags.  Both shops can be found on Etsy.

Have a Fab You Bliss Wednesday!


A Lovely, Lively Winter Wedding in Rome, Italy

>> Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eight years ago I packed two bags, arranged for my aunt to watch my dog, hired a town car to take me to the airport in "style" and boarded a flight to Italy...all by myself.  That wasn't the original plan.  No, actually my mom was supposed to go with me but a few months before the trip, circumstances came up which made it difficult for her to take the trip after all.  So...I ended up going by myself.  And despite the fact that I went alone...I made lots of friends and had a wonderful trip!

Today I'm not so sure I could take such a big trip completely by myself.  But I had always wanted to go to Italy ever since I was a little girl and I felt I just HAD to matter what. And ever since I left I've been dying to go back.  Such a beautiful country and such amazing people.  So when I received this submission from Italian photographers Alfredo Falcone and Luciana Ognibene with Fibre di luce I was taken back to my days in their gorgeous country and I knew I had to feature it. 

Gabriela & Massimo were married in Winter with a very classic and traditional ceremony held at Chiesa di Santa Maria in Tempulo followed by a lively reception at the Aran Mantegna Hotel in Rome. 

Photographers: Alfredo Falcone and Luciana Ognibene with Fibre di luce

Reception venue:  Aran Mantegna Hotel

Submission via Two Bright Lights


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