Friday, August 27, 2010

Giveaway Friday

First of all, congratulations to Jami and Kristen J.

Jami won the shabby chic flower from Pixie Petal Creations, and Kristen J won the necklace from lili lutu.

Ladies, please be sure to email you addresses to me on lili {@} lililutu {.} com within the next 48 hours.

If I do not hear from you I will draw more names.

Jami, I will be passing you on to Tina. Kristen, please be sure to include a neck size with your email. I can't make the necklace until I have that piece of information.

In other news, I have received several applications from brides about the Bride Friday CT contest - and am looking forward to sharing the winner's name and photo on Friday, September 3rd.

Now, this week was cut short on the blog due to an unexpected snafu in my schedule - but that doesn't mean there won't be a giveaway.

Today it's a Sterling Silver and Swarovski pearl pendant on sterling chain.

This pendant symbolizes many things to me.

The heart symbol is perhaps the first thing which jumps out at people, but I also see it as something to be worn during pregnancy.

The small pearl at the top gives the pendant a human shape to my mind, and the circle and pearl in the centre come to represent the safety of the womb and the precious cargo within.

Of course it may just be me who sees this (I seem to view everything symbolically) - but I thought I'd share the spirit of the piece.

Rules remain the same - only brides are eligible to enter. One entry per bride.

Please remember to say how you got here.

If you are a vendor ... spread the word. Something shiny will be on its way to the person who sends most people my way from now till December!

Shipping is free, but if you are an international bride please be aware that you will be responsible for any customs tax incurred at your end.

Contest ends Thursday, September 2nd 2010 at 1900 EST. Winner will be announced on Friday, September 3rd 2010.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Connecticut Tuesdays: Cr Socials

Cr Socials Event Planning is owned and operated by Carisa Lockery - a planner based in Wallingford, CT.

July 2010 marked Cr Socials' third year in business - and it's been a milestone year.

As Carisa explained to me, she came to this line of work after many years of experience working with clients.

She had her first job in an ice cream parlor when she was 15. Two years later she went on to be a restaurant hostess and a waitress. A job she held for six years. After graduating college, she went to work for a pre-press printing company where she had a large part in catering to employees of Polo Ralph Lauren. She moved on to be an Account Coordinator for an advertising agency - and ultimately decided that she wanted her own business.

Carisa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Albertus Magnus College and is currently on her way to a Master of Business Administration degree.

One of the things you notice first about Carisa is that she is very outgoing.

I had the pleasure of meeting her earlier this summer when CR Socials became the newest member of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce.

Her laugh is infectious, and she puts you at ease immediately.

Listening to her talk, it was very clear to me that she takes pride in what she does - and all you have to do is look at the photos I've posted to see that it's all in the details as far as she's concerned.

When we talked about this feature, Carisa had this to say.

"Cr Socials Event Planning takes pride in the dedication to our clients. Our mission is to provide each one with the undivided attention he or she deserves so that the event is exactly what was imagined."

Any time I write a feature, I find I spend a lot more time doing my homework than actually writing.

This feature was no exception - although I have to say that Carisa made it very easy for me by having a great blog and an interactive Facebook page. She shares a wealth of information on both - from wedding rehearsal tips to frank discussions about budgets to features about weddings and events she's co-ordinated.

Needless to say, one of the questions that Carisa hears most is 'why do I need a wedding planner?'

If you are on the fence, I recommend you read this quiz-style blogpost.

Cr Socials Event Planning caters to all types of events.

From intimate social gatherings to elaborate birthdays and special occasions, to the wedding of your dreams.

The emphasis is always on providing customers with a stress-free environment. Providing outstanding service to each individual client by meeting their specific needs in a creative, professional, and accommodating way.

Carisa will work with any budget and ensure that you are not overwhelmed.

Her level of involvement is for each couple to decide. Some will want the full package and some will want what is known as 'Day of' co-ordination.

Do you see the smile on Carisa's face in these last two photos?

That's exactly the kind of smile she wishes to put on yours!

Her personalized service will make you feel as though you are a guest at your own event - and you really can't ask for more than that!

Carisa Lockery
Cr Socials Event Planning
850D S. Colony Road
Wallingford, CT 06492
(located within FloraBella Florist)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A touch of class

There are blogs and there are blogs ... and then there's The Sassy Bride.

The name is enough to make you smile - but that's really just the beginning. You mosey on over there and you never want to leave.

Talk about inspiration couched in the most stylish way imaginable!

Allow me to introduce Larissa Turner of Oklahoma. That is, on the off-chance that you don't already know of her.

She describes herself as a July 2009 bride who couldn't shake the wedding bug.

And looking at these details from her wedding, who can blame her!?!

I discovered Larissa's blog through BridalTweet. She'd only been blogging for about a month at that point, but it was clear to me at once that this blog was going to go places.

It has just the right blend of contemporary and vintage, it's appealing on every level you can possibly think of (and don't get me started about the awesome music that's always playing on there), and there's something eye-catching every time.

Larissa featured a Connecticut wedding (I am entitled to a bit of bias) and I was delighted.

But then she put Jeni Rone of Sea Star Arts on my radar ... and I became a diehard fan.

So a big SMOOCH is coming your way for that, Larissa.

Thank you!

Back to The Sassy Bride, however.

Larissa's vision for the blog is as follows -

The Sassy Bride is a style-inspired wedding blog for anyone and everyone. Our goal is to cover uniquely chic and stunning weddings, to feature a high caliber list of wedding vendors that we hand select due to their outstanding reputation and service, and most importantly to keep our brides up- to- date on the latest wedding trends. Our list of vendors will be made up of people we would trust with our own weddings; experts in the invitation, floral, photography, and fashion industries. We will continually strive to find new, exciting, and fresh ideas in hopes of making your wedding planning process a little easier.

And boy does she deliver!

Any Sassy Bride day is worth dropping in for, but Friday is the day Larissa shares her Fab Finds. She scours the internet, finds the best of the best of everything, and puts it all out there for people to enjoy and be inspired by.

From gorgeous birdcage veils (by Unveiled Bridal Designs) to fabulous pumps by Christian Louboutin (photo from Luxury-Insider).

And everything inbetween.

Lots of fun stuff .. like these Save the Date balloons from For Print Only.
Date and location show up when the balloon is inflated:)

I could go on and on about what a wonderful job Larissa does - but I think you may need to go and find out for yourselves.

Put a bit of sass in your daily read .. and into your wedding.

You'll be glad you did!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The search is on ...

... for Bride Friday Connecticut.

Out of loyalty to the home state I want to follow a bride from here.

If you are getting marrried between August and December of 2011, this might be the contest for you!

The idea is simple: I want to follow a CT bride from now until she and her partner tie the knot.

This is what I ask of you.

* Share your e-session and a photo of your ring.
* Be willing to talk to us every few weeks about where you are in your planning.
* Share the photos from your wedding after the big day, and tell us what you
would you have done differently, and what you're glad you didn't.

All photographers will be credited.

The point of this is that I don't just want to have a real weddings section on the blog. I want all of us to be able to relate to the brides - so that we can really celebrate their big day when it comes around.

So if you're interested, drop me a line at lili {@} and tell me a little bit about the vision for your wedding.

You'll certainly be in good company.

We already have Bride Friday Canada and Bride Friday Australia.

And as soon as CT is taken care of we'll be looking for brides in the rest of the United States and Europe!

Ladies, you have till Thursday, September 2nd@ 1159 EST to get your email to me.
I'll announce the winner on Friday, September 3rd.

Now speaking of winning ... it's that time of the week again!

First I'll announce the winner of last week's pedicure set courtesy of Candee Caldwell.
Sharon, I have emailed you.
Please get your address out to me so that I can send the package out.
If I do not hear back from you in 48 hours I will draw another name.

Now today's giveaway.
I really should say giveaways .. because we have not one, but two!

First off, Tina of Pixie Petal Creations has been kind enough to offer one lucky bride her choice of a shabby chic flower.

The winner will decide which color she wants when the draw is made.

Value is $25.

You can opt to have rhinestones instead of the pearl, and to have the flower with leaves or without them.

Second ... the Jessica.
The very first conversation I had with Jessica Coates was about her love of opals.
I don't have any real opals handy, but I do have some Svarovski crystals in that color.
So here it is ... the new addition to the Stackables collection.
Sterling silver and Swarovski crystals.

Value is $210.

The rules remain the same: to be eligible you must be a bride.

You can enter to win the flower, the necklace, or both.

If you choose to enter to win both you will need to leave separate comments for each item.

Shipping is free, but if you are an international bride you will be responsible for any customs tax incurred at your end.

Be sure to say how you got here in your comment.

Contests close on Thursday, August 26th @ 1900 EST and winners will be announced on Friday, August 27th.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let them eat cake!

They say that good things come in small packages - and that couldn't be truer of the Danbury Museum & Historical Society. Located on Main Street in Danbury, CT, this small museum is a real treasure trove. It preserves the John and Mary Rider House (from circa 1785), the Dodd Hat Shop, Charles Ives' birthplace, Huntington Hall, and Marian Anderson's studio.

I've admired Ms. Anderson all my life and I never knew she spent 50 years of her life in Danbury.

On Saturday, August 14th 2010, the museum hosted a Wedding Cake Decorating & Tasting Contest. Bakers from different parts of Connecticut presented their creations - and I had the greatest fun covering the event for the blog.

Many thanks to Executive Director Brigid Guertin for embracing the idea with such enthusiasm!

Brian Horberg playing on a replica of Marian Anderson's piano

Unfortunately I was unable to get good shots of all the cakes - but here are the ones I was able to do justice to.

CakeSuite Speciality Cakes - of Westport


Here's Rubi of the Lincoln Culinary Institute - who made the fabulous cake below with her fellow student Susanna. Each one of those sugar flowers is no less than a work of art!

Lindsay Glynn - of Newtown.


Sumptuous cupcakes.

Frostings - of Ridgefield.

You can also find them on Facebook.


Helen Early - of New Milford



The tasting took place at 3pm.

Suffice it to say I came away with a serious case of sugar overload!

Photo courtesy of Catherine Vanaria

In a few weeks we'll be talking about the exhibit of vintage bridal dresses that's currently on display at the museum, but for now I'll pass you over to our professional of the week.

Julie Johnson of La Physique Slimming Spa.

You're in love and your enchanting wedding day is fast approaching. You're busy preparing for the day when vows will be exchanged and rings joined. Reducing stress, and staying physically fit, will enhance this experience. Now and for years to come.

In view of this, here's my tip for today:

Ensure you are eating a minimum of 5 meals per day. You must eat regularly - to raise your metabolism, and to burn fat and maintain lean muscle. Regular exercise, coupled with a nutritionally balanced meal plan, is the only realistic solution to permanently reduce body fat. You must consume fewer saturated fat grams than your body expends through metabolism, muscular activity, and digestive activity. By doing this, it is virtually impossible to remain or become overweight. Maintain logs. Logs keep track of your progression, and hold you accountable to your training sessions and eating regimen. We'll talk more about the habits of regular exercise next time.

La Physique' Slimming Spa, co-located with Young at Heart Personal Fitness Training, is a full-service slimming/esthetics spa and personal training facility, located in Waynesville, Missouri. They offer a myriad of services - including, but not limited to, cellulite abatement, exfoliations, stretch mark therapy, personal training, and nutritional counseling. All spas are FDA approved, and thoughtfully orchestrated to promote well - being for body, mind, and soul. Julie and the people around her are passionate about what they do. They are free-thinking, hard-working, and laugh often. They challenge the conventional methods of attaining fitness, and continually strive to introduce innovative spas and training modalities rarely seen in communities.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Modern Fairytale

Tina Bruffet's beliefs are very strong - and one of the strongest among them is that happiness is a journey, not a destination.

I've been following Tina's work over the past few weeks. Getting a feel for what she does and how well she does it. Ask Tina what she's passionate about and she'll say, "coming up with new things. Working through the kinks. Seeing what works and what doesn't."

She went from being unable to find a suitable tutu for her one year old daughter in stores, a few years ago, to attending a 3-day show with her own creations and selling out before the first day was up.

Pixie Petals emerged as a business, and Tina was in the process of expanding into costumes (complete with hats and bows) when she realized that there was another niche.

Flower girl dresses.

And so the I DO line was born - right out of her home in Missouri.

"This year has been our coming out party for weddings. These dresses are wonderful because they serve a double purpose. The little girls look as though they are stepping out of a fairytale on the day of the wedding, and after the day is over they still have years of fun left in them. It's the perfect gift. I've been told that a lot of my creations hang on walls in little girls' rooms too - as part of the decor. I love that!"

I asked Tina about her newest creations - Victorian Shabby Chic Flowers - and here's what she had to say.

"They're appealing because they can have that vintage look of years gone by or the new chic - vogue look. The color combinations are endless, and each one is unique. No two handcrafted items can ever look completely the same."

The best thing about them, to my mind, is their versatility. They can be pinned into hair, placed on a headband, worn on a sash, used to dress up a clutch, or even turned into a brooch. And, Tina agrees, they can be worn by anyone.

Bride, bridesmaid, mother of the bride or groom.

"I can even make miniature versions for the youngest members of the bridal party."

When I asked Tina what she wishes for herself and her business, her response was immediate.

"I want that quaint little corner store with everything girly imaginable. A store with fairyland window themes. A store that little girls will beg their mom and grandmas to take them to. I want those moms and grandmas to think back to when they were little girls; to the little secret dreams and wishes they had. I want little girls to be little girls. To dream of being a fairy, princess, pirate, or whatever their hearts desire, when they look at my designs."

Now since this is a wedding blog, I had to ask the question.

What's coming up next for brides at Pixie Petals?

It turns out thatTina is very keen to expand the bridal part of her business.

"I want to start a new line of bride-to-be tutus. A novelty-type item for those bachelorettes with a little spunk. Something along the lines of brides and their girls having wedding color tutus to wear to the bachelorette parties, dress rehearsals and other fun pre-wedding photo opportunities."

Sounds like a blast to me. Can't wait to see the first ones roll out!

Now here's the exciting part.

Tina's new fabric flowers will be debuting right here at lili's corner. We'll have a white one to give away this Friday - so be sure to come back and enter to win!


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