31 October 2011

My Love, NYC

Welcome to Halloween Monday dear blog friends. Hope you had a great weekend wherever you may be. It was a fun one for us.

It was not until I came home a few days ago that I felt the full brunt of my love with New York City. Being home I miss the noise of the city streets, the fast walking, the fall season, seeing celebs walking down the sidewalks, walking past world famous museums, and having an entire world at your feet.

One night last week I had a couple of hours of time and I thought, What do you want to do? I'm giving you full permission to do anything you want here in the city! My first instinct was "I want to go to the top of the Empire State Building!" I laughed because I have been there quite a few times.  But in the end, what I really wanted to do was walk. This was despite the fact that I'd already walked so many miles during the trip that my feet were totally ripped up and very painful even though I wore very practical, comfortable shoes all week. Seriously in all the time I was there I only took the bus three times, took one cab and never even stepped on the subway - I was staying on the Upper East Side in the 90s - that's a trek. I wanted to be out where I could see everything and just drink it in.

I'd already walked quite a long way that day, but I walked from SoHo north and just kept going. I stopped for dinner at Grand Central Station and then kept walking. At 60th street I decided I really  was very tired and hoped in a cab the rest of the way to the Upper East Side. The next day, again I had some free time and headed out to a museum, but instead my soul drew me into Central Park and I walked and walked again. Then I sat in the sun and just loved New York City.

If you are a fellow NYC lover, I say go back, go back and drink it in. If you have always wanted to go, but never have, you owe it to yourself to start this love affair up now. Yes, the city can be a little overwhelming, but all new love affairs are, right? If you want a plan for a good first visit to NYC, email me. I've taken several groups & individuals to NYC for their first visit and have a pretty good plan and ideas about where to stay. I'd be happy to help you work up your own plan. Love you, NYC -- and all my NYC people too!

28 October 2011

Mindfulness of Good Fortunes

Several years ago I started saving my fortunes from Chinese dinners and gluing them to pretty sheets of paper on my fridge. 

While I would love for all these things to come true, on some level they're meant to be so generic that they do come true in one way or another.

I love how pretty they look on lovely sheets of paper. I love that they remind me to be so grateful for all the good in my life.
I am so blessed. You are so blessed. We are so blessed.

The Patient Man & The Wedding Vendor Extravaganza

I promised a quick story about The Man and the wedding catering & vendor event. There was an event hosted by the wedding event management group where we are hoping to have some of our wedding festivities. It included a tasting of the menu there as well as a conference room full of vendor booths.

It worked out that we were going to be in San Diego the day of the event, so I rsvp-ed for us and was happy that The Man was willing to go along. I didn't tell him too much about it only so that he wouldn't be wary of going -- I kind of tied it into dollar signs, "if we're going to spend the money, we want to make sure it's good" kind of thing. See, I'm thinking on a man's level.

He got off work and we were in a rush to get there. He was hungry so it was great to tell him how much food there would be there for him to try. He was instantly happy. We got there, paid the entrance fee and headed inside to tables and tables of food. It was fun to sample things with him and talk to other guests about how they were approaching keeping track of everything they liked. We were given a sheet that we could keep notes on, which was helpful.

After we'd tried everything and made our notes, all while sitting on a beautiful patio overlooking downtown San Diego from across the bay, we headed upstairs to the vendors. I was a little intimidated. No one loves the pressure of talking to vendors who really want your money. I was actually glad we don't have a date yet, because that was the first high pressure question everyone asked and it was clearly a lead in question to getting the sales pressure pitch.

So we started wandering around and soon lost track of each other. I had a list of questions I needed to ask the site manager. This was my chief goal & priority so I headed there first. Then I was ready to make a quick round to a few photographers and cake bakers. The Man and I caught up about that time and he started giving me the heads up on vendors I should visit and handed me a handful of business cards and vendor brochures. I loved that -- he had sincerely been checking things out and had recommendations.

Then he wandered off again to check out more vendors and get more cake samples. I stopped in and chatted with one of the photographers he liked and when the photographer asked me to sign his email signup sheet, as I hemmed and hawed, I looked down and noticed I had already signed it...at least someone else had signed my name. Then at the next vendor I saw again, that I had signed up there too. I started to get worried. And in my head, I laughed that maybe this was The Man's underhanded way of getting back at me for bringing him there. But happily I have not been inundated with emails from high pressure vendors.

I thought it was pretty cute that he was signing me up for things he liked that he thought I would like. He made good choices and it was another one of those moments where I was amazed that I found a man who is artistic and creative AND a rugged outdoors type. What a perfect match for a girl with such varied interests herself.

Just as I was hitting my limit for smiling, acting interested and giving a darn, The Man came to me and said, I'm going to wait for you out on the back patio and pointed toward the door he was exiting. Even his exit was peaceful and perfect. In minutes I was ready to leave too and headed out to see him walking amid the trees with the gorgeous view of the bay and city behind him. Romantic. A perfect way to end the night. I was so pleased with him. It was the equivalent of him taking me to a gun show and I dare say he performed much better than I would at the gun show. I don't think he knew how much this meant to me, even when I tried to tell him, but it meant a lot and I really loved him for it.

image by kalanicut

Twenty Dollars for 200 Dollars

I had high expectations for our visit to Jamali Gardens earlier this week, but I have to say they surpassed my expectations. It's a tiny little place, but there is goodness everywhere. And we didn't even go up to the second floor featuring holiday goods. I can't imagine how wonderful it must be up there!

I was very taken with the variety of vases, boxes, candles, lanterns and best of all their shell collection. It was great to be able to see everything in person, think through what we will need for the wedding, what will and won't work for the outdoor, beach setting. It's good to hold things in your hands and think through how you would use them.

I fell in love with their collection of driftwood and would definitely like to figure out a way to incorporate it somehow in garlands or candle hurricanes or something. Need to do some thinking about that. When we got to the sea shell aisle we were totally stopped in our tracks. They had so many amazing varieties, colors, shapes and sizes.

I read in one of the wedding planning books that you can waste huge sums of money buying things you see on a whim that you think you'll just work into your scheme somehow. If you do this frequently you can really blow your budget and end up lacking cohesiveness with your design. Again, lots of small purchases can kill the budget. So I held back on buying, but took photos of everything I was interested in.

The one thing I couldn't pass up were these 100 packs of quarter size sand dollars. We came up with quite a few possible uses for them, all of which we loved, and for the cost I decided to get 200 for $20. Happily they all made it cross country in one piece. Hooray.

I'm so glad we made this one of our stops and so happy to have lots of other resources available to me there. You can shop the shop online at Jamali Garden.

27 October 2011

Little Wedding Treasures - An Ink Stamp

While on our wedding shopping extravaganza on Monday I found this charming little ink stamp at The Ink Pad in the West Village. I loved how small it was and it just clicked with me immediately. I thought it would be so pretty paired with some some larger, lovely, more intricate number stamps on guest cards for the special day. Maybe something like these.

I must have a thing for tiny ink stamps because I also recently bought this one and I have several others. Oh how I love the depth and richness of simplicity. Just makes my heart sing!

26 October 2011

Asking For Help Offers A Chance to Help

Asking for help is something I am not particularly good at. I was raised in a family where you jumped to help others any time, but were expected and taught to be self-sufficient. While I think this is a great philosophy there was one important life lesson that was overlooked. How to ask for help when needed. I think I’ve written about this some over the years but it is worthy of regular reminders.

Yesterday I saw a reminder on my non-internet accessible cell phone (yes, I know I live in the dark ages, but very rarely am I away from both computer access and a fiancé with internet phone access at the same time.) This reminder was to take care of something very time sensitive and I was already 30 minutes late when I realized it.

So I called a dear sweet person close to me and asked if she could help me. (See, I’m learning and doing better). She was so willing and had my little errand all taken care of for me in just a couple of minutes. I was so grateful. Then I asked how she was doing and it was obvious she’d had a really rotten day which has been just a part of a few really tough and totally unfair years for her. While I stood on the side of a busy street in the middle of the big city we chatted and she shared her frustrations.

We wept. Right there on the street, I wept with her, thousands of miles away. We talked about how totally unfair and heartbreaking life is some times. I told her that The Man prays for her every time we pray together, as do I, and that we think of her and want the best for her every day. That comforted her and it comforted me to know we’re all in this together and we’re all holding each other up and cheering each other on. I reminded her that I would drop everything and come to her aid at any time - that we would.

Life has become more challenging in recent years and we truly must pact to stand together with those we love and inspire and watch over each other. I walked away from that conversation thinking, had I not asked for help, I would not have been able to offer help. Sometimes asking for help actually allows us to  put ourselves in a position to offer help. Sometimes offering help puts us in the position to receive help.

How amazing is that?! It has to be a bit reciprocal to be truly meaningful. The returned assistance may not need to be in that exact moment but it will come. A full, rich, rewarding life it seems must be filled with both giving and receiving. It seems we learn our best lessons in those moments and receive our best blessings.

25 October 2011

The Wedding Planning Tour of Manhattan

image via NYCtourist.com

For a few weeks I planned out a wedding shopping list for visiting New York City. This did not include wedding dresses, it was all about decor and stationery. Then I compiled a master list, got addresses and business hours for all the spots and then with my friend Barbara figured out the path of least resistance in order to hit all the shops in one day. Here's the breakdown by neighborhood. We took the bus down 5th Avenue and got off in the 30s.

1. The Fashion District: M&J Trimming and Tinsel Trading Co.
2. The Flower District: Jamali Gardens
3. Chelsea: Sam Flax and Paper Presentation
4. The West Village: The Ink Pad

It worked out so fantastically that each neighborhood flowed into the next and we never had to walk more than a few blocks to the next spot. I have some photos I can share of inspiring things we found and I can show you a few little things I purchased later this week when I have better access to camera equipment. On the entire extravaganza I think I spent $40 on food/drinks (that included lunch for both of us, a snack and dinner for me) and $32 on actual goods.

It was great fun to visit Tinsel Trading Co. which I have known online for a few years. We were beyond impressed with Jamali Garden and Paper Presentation. We spent the majority of our shopping time wandering these two shops and came up with some good ideas and threw out some other good ideas.

It was interesting to see much of what I had looked at online at Jamali Garden in person. They have an amazing shell collection and I bought 200 small sand dollars. They were too precious to pass up - and came in packs of 100 for 9.99. I also looked at a lot of candle holders, lanterns and vases. I think I will definitely be back for a few more items - online that is.

Paper Presentation is far and away the best paper store I have ever been to. They had everything you could think of. It was also the place where I realized that wood paper with the beautiful grain in it completely and utterly clashes with any other pattern or print. Buh-bye wood grain paper. You are outta here. But it was lovely meeting you. So it's going to be dark brown card stock instead, which is vastly cheaper and will work much better with the paper plan we somewhat solidified today. We were beyond impressed with the amount of paper, stationery, stamps, craft tools, stickers and so much more that we saw at Paper Presentation.

It's all so tricky pulling boatloads of ideas together, trying them out and then throwing out things you like that just won't work with other things you like. Even keeping track of decisions you've already initially made is a challenge. So much to keep track of and think about. It was a big day, but a fun and inspiring one.

24 October 2011

Blue Skies Shining

Busy few days attending BlogHer Writer's Conference 2011 this past week. It was a great experience and I learned a lot and met a lot of people. It was good to put myself out there and connect with other writers. Such a fantastic experience. I volunteered to work the registration desk which was great because I didn't have time to get shy. I had to just put myself out there and say, "Hi, what's your first name?" then  "Great, here's your badge, there are the lanyards. Have a great time."

I have done a lot of walking. I foolishly left the home base Saturday morning in a very bad pair of flip flops and then walked a few miles. I went to meet a lovely recent college grad gal I mentored online earlier this year. She was a peach and it was such a treat to meet her.We had a lovely brunch at French Roast, a restaurant that holds a little piece of my heart and never disappoints. Unfortunately, due to the flip flops I now have a huge blister on the ball of my left foot which is making wearing shoes and walking a rather miserable experience. Dumb move.

I've invested a good bit of money in cold remedies and moleskin this weekend.Got sick hours after the conference ended. Not exactly what you want to spend money on. But thank goodness for them. Note to self: ALWAYS bring a pair of cute sneakers, some favorite tea and cold meds on a trip just in case. I know exactly the pair I wish I had. They are sitting at home in my closet. I had my act together for conference clothes but really bombed on the post-conference I Need Comfort clothes.

The city is invigorating and it's nice to experience a bit of fall, while still warm enough for sandals. Thank goodness I stuck my Dansko clog sandals in my bag as an afterthought because they have saved me, especially now with blistered foot. Today I am heading out on a little wedding source trip starting in the Fashion District then on to the Flower District, Chelsea, West Village and SoHo. We'll be looking for trims, ribbons, decorations, papers and stamps. It will be a whirlwind.

Hope this finds you well. Sorry I was so absent last week. I still owe you a post about our adventures at the catering affair. I haven't forgotten. Sending you warmest wishes. Thanks for coming by.

19 October 2011

Good Friend & Wedding Sounding Board

I have a dear friend who I spent many, many hours with during the time we both lived in SoCal. I have many happy memories with her watching a few favorite TV shows, helping each other with moves and big event planning we were each responsible for. She is so much fun to be with.

When I got engaged she was one of the first to say, I want to help. She was so kind to set aside a day to hang out on a recent trip here and we planned to take a couple hours weeding through all my ideas and tear sheets and talking through time lines, look and feel. She is one of those people who has done it all and is so "Can Do". I love that between the two of us we have figured out how to do so many things over the years. She has lots of great skills I don't, so it was great to get her advice.

She was so great because she said things like "you should get a wedding planner, at least for the day of, because knowing you, you will work your whole wedding day if you don't have someone else there to take care of everything." She's SO right. She said, "No" when I suggested things I knew deep down would be too much work for the payoff, she said "Yes" when she saw my vision and the right way to pull it together.

It was such a gift to have that time with her. We also had time to chat about our lives, things that make us happy, things that are challenging us to learn and grow and just plain goofy, weird stuff that perplexes us. It was hard to let her go, could've talked to her for days.  But it's great to know she's so on board to help with wedding plans. Our next plan is to have a wedding crafting weekend once we have determined exactly what we'll make for the wedding. I can't wait to spend that time with her and do some fun DIY projects.

My overarching hope for our wedding is to make the most of every minute with family and friends along the way and definitely that day. Working on projects for the day with the women folk of my clan is one of the things I am most looking forward to and one of the best wedding presents we could hope for. I'll share all about The Man's wedding planning activities and involvement next. It's sweet & funny. Until tomorrow, warmest wishes.

image by kalanicut

Step By Step

Hi. I'm back. I actually got a call yesterday checking to see if anything bad had happened to me because I had not posted for two days. My apologies for my unannounced absence. It's been a very busy couple of days with some major activities going on. Last week was a very interesting week. It seemed every day something amazing and good happened. The strangest of all was a woman coming up to The Man and I sitting at a table in front of a restaurant.

She handed us a pretty pink wrapped gift and said she wanted to do something nice for someone and this was a gift, with no strings attached. She just wanted to do something kind and good. We were very taken aback! We weren't sure what to think, sitting there looking at each other in shock as she disappeared into the night. We talked about that experience in a bit of shock the rest of the night, trying to figure out who this woman was and talking about all the bad things we were expecting when she approached us. Oh, I'm  sure you want to know what the gift was, right? I almost forgot to tell you. It was a wood and leather photo frame.

All through the week good things were happening. Unexpected phone calls, good news emails, surprised gifts and other unusual mail. Even a very unpleasant experience we were dreading turned out to be very pleasant and easy and took only a few minutes. It's interesting how God shines little rays of light on your life and you can't help but feel so grateful.

I hope it continues and continues. I'm scrambling to get some things done at the moment. I'm going to post again later this morning about some fun wedding planning stuff I enjoyed last week. Hope you are enjoying all the little beautiful things that are happening in your life. They are really what keep you going, those little daily blessings and moments of joy.

14 October 2011

You Make The Call

It's a happy day, no matter what any of us think about it. Something beautiful will happen to every one of us today, if we look for it, if we're ready for it, if we're open to it and receive it with gratitude.

It might be something like this:
  • a friend calls out of the blue
  • you sit down to a beautiful meal
  • you get a kind word from your child
  • your spouse takes an extra moment for one more squeeze
  • a store clerk goes out of their way for you
  • another driver lets you into their lane
  • a driver waves when you do the same
  • someone looks you in the eye and smiles
  • you wake up to sunshine on your face
  • you witness a fresh snowfall
  • you sit on a beach
  • you accomplish something small but joyful
  • you take a beautiful walk
  • you see a prayer answered
  • a fresh breeze crosses your cheek
  • you sit near a warm fire
  • you share love
  • you receive love
It is a happy day. No matter what happens, good things will shine if you look for them throughout the day. I dare say if you are watchful all day, you will actually end up with a list of good things that come to you today. Decide now to see the happy day you have before you now. If you have already seen them, please share. Would love to be inspired by and share your inspiration about how you're being blessed today.

13 October 2011

It's Hygge Season

It's hygge season. What's hygge (huuuuu-guh) you ask? It's a fantastic Scandinavian term that means something along the lines of enjoying a feeling of inviting, warm coziness and fellowship. I remember living in Denmark, walking down the streets in the dark night (or dark early afternoon -ack. 3pm sunsets in winter people!) and you could see in beautiful windows ivy wreaths and flickering candles. It looked so welcoming and on the humid, cold streets the hygge made you want to just go knock on the door and ask to come in.

Hygge with friends always included candles and perhaps tea and a delicious little cake or Danish pastry. Don't even get me started on Danish pastries. But if you want to have something pretty close if not exactly like the real deal, go to a bakery in Solvang, CA. But I digress, okay that's not really a digression at all, it's fabulous. But we're talking about hygge.

Fall is the perfect time to make an effort to enjoy hygge every night. Light a candle or two or five. Enjoy time with people you love. Eat a delicious little treat and sip a cup of tea. Rather than dreading the longer, colder winter nights, make them dreamy and enjoyable by living with intent to have hygge.

image by kalanicut

12 October 2011

Quick Peek: Woven Bracelets

This photo makes my wrist look a little gigantically scary, but wanted to get a close up of the bracelets I made this past weekend and they are permanently tied on. I was inspired by this Hemp Bracelet post at Talking Chow Playing House. So I made the rounds to a couple of different shops looking for the right materials.

I bought a package of friendship bracelet threads, dark brown leather and natural hemp cord. I searched through my bead collection for bead that would fit on the cord. I followed Kara's directions for the leather & hemp bracelets and for the friendship thread bracelet I just braided it. It was the last one and I was a little tired. It was probably 2 am.

I'm ready to try a few more and learn some new weaving techniques. The hemp bracelet & friendship bracelet are stretching out after getting wet a few times but the leather bracelet is definitely keeping its shape. Fun to experiment and learn how the different materials will react and wear. These bracelets are pretty fun to make. Try it. If you do, I'd love to hear about them and see them.

image by kalanicut

Handle With Love

I found this tag on an item of clothing I received for Christmas last year. I'm fairly sure it was from either The Gap or Banana Republic. It caught my eye immediately and has been on my inspiration board ever since. I mean, for Pete's sake, how do possibly you throw away a pretty piece of ribbon that says "Handle with love"????

I look at this piece of ribbon often and it reminds me to handle everything and everyone in my life with love. Especially those closest to us who we spend the great majority of our time with. I realized that in my life it is very easy to be kind and loving to people you only see once in a while. It helps that you rarely see each other in bad form, so you can enjoy each other and then dance off into your own personal sunsets with grace.

But with those people closest to you in geography and intimacy, that is quite a much more difficult thing altogether, isn't it. You may wish, as I do, that they will never see you "less beautiful'. That you will somehow be able to hold it together every minute of every day and be your lovely, graceful, gracious self. Unfortunately this is not possible. RATS! One of my greatest personal frustrations in my life. And the closer you let people get and the more people you let get close to you, the more risky it becomes, right?!

Because they are going to repeatedly see you fail at the same things over and over, notice your shortcomings, patterns of weakness in your life. And they aren't going to like that, just as you aren't going to like that. Just knowing that they see the "less beautiful" you is frustration enough, let alone managing the work that needs to be realized and done in each of our own lives on a regular basis. To make matters even more difficult we become the same viewers of other's weak spots, which plagues our ability to be kind, understanding and forgiving.

That's where this little ribbon comes in. It reminds me to be loving and kind in my actions out in the greater world, in my inner circle and with myself. Outside of the love of God, there is little love that is more beneficial and meaningful in our lives than the love and grace and kindness we show ourselves. That allows us to more freely and abundantly show it in all other arenas and to all other people. We are all tender and need and deserve acceptance and love.

Little reminders like this one on my bulletin board inspire me to those greater heights. I hope it will inspire you too. Hope this is a wonderful and loving day for you.

image by kalanicut

11 October 2011

Wedding Inspirations from Nature

As I've been watching out for beachy inspired design items around town the past few weeks I've been pleased and impressed to find a few things that really caught my eye. Thought I would share a few today.

1) (Left) This gorgeous table is a page in Simple, Stunning Weddings by Karen Busson. Love the green flowers Mother Nature creates. These are so intricate yet down to earth. I really like the simplicity of this table.

2) (Rt Top) Love this little sand dollar stamp I picked up at Paper Tales in San Diego. The sand dollar feels a little overused in the whole beach theme wedding arena, but it could be fun in a small spot somewhere.

3) Large Leaf Stencil by Plaid Stencils. Thought about this for a aisle runner or table runners.

4) Large Leaf Ribbon from F and S Fabrics. Was super surprised to find this patterned ribbon. Love it. Would be fun to use to wrap bouquet stems and other projects.

There are so many beautiful green colored flowers and plants to play with in a beach color scheme.  Keeping it simple is the key. I love that in Simply Stunning Weddings Karen Busson advises a 1-2-3 philosophy. Pick three colors or flowers or any three elements and stick with them throughout whatever part of the wedding you are focused on: the ceremony, the reception, etc. She suggests you can tweak that a little here and there but keep it consistent throughout. This helps save, energy, time and money and gives the event a very clean, clear, energized look and feel. That idea feels really good to me.

So it's great to find all these fun inspirations, but keeping it simple and stunning will be the key. That will require a lot of editing, including having to let go of some elements that are loved but just don't fit into the overall scheme. Knowing how that will all come together will happen later.

This post is linked to Good Life Wednesdays. Check out Sarah's awesome beach wreath while you're there!

images by kalanicut

10 October 2011

The Beauty Of A Prayer Wish Jar

Happy Monday morning, Blogland! Hope you are well and have enjoyed a lovely weekend. Mine was one of those weekends without much obligation which allowed me to take care of things that are obligations to my heart and soul. Ahh. Lots of creative work and quiet thinking.

As I look back on 2011, I have often caught myself saying, "This year has gone by so fast, I really don't know where it went, don't even remember accomplishing anything the first three or four months..... Oh! There was that very serious and potentially fatal illness, that's right!" So silly, but glad I forget about it sometimes.

Just a few days after I was released from the hospital I met with a dear family friend who shared with me a most inspiring and encouraging story about her daughter who had gone through some really difficult challenges and the many miracles that happened in her life to bring her and her family to a beautiful, joyful place.

My friend told me that every night she would make a prayer wish that a specific trouble would disappear from her daughter's life. She would write in on a pretty piece of paper and then put it in a jar. She would visualize this prayer coming true in her mind: the setting, the movement and actions, everything associated with her prayer.

Miraculously this prayer came true through a very unusual set of circumstances that did not seem could be possible and this problem was moved far from her daughter's life. I was so inspired when I heard this and she told me that I should do the same, sit down every night, make my prayer, visualize every aspect of it, write it down and then put it in a jar.

This is my jar. The paper and glass are so beautiful and I am so constantly inspired by my friend's wisdom and love that even looking at the jar gives me peace, confidence and understanding. These thoughts and this love that comes into my heart allows me to feel inspired and blessed by a higher power, rather than frustrated. What a blessing that is!

Do you have something you pray and wish for every day? Find yourself a wish jar and follow my wise and loving friend's advice. It will give you a private place to unburden your heart. It will bring untold blessings to your life and give you a place to go when you feel overwhelmed and disheartened. Hope you'll find blessings in your own prayer wish jar! Have a beautiful day!

07 October 2011

Hooray For Pollen Jewelry In My Mailbox

Had to share with you this stunning necklace gift I received in the mail yesterday from Maureen at Pollen Jewelry. Ga-ga for that beautiful wire wrapped stone. Seriously. Cannot wait to wear it. Here's a close up.

The thing I love about Maureen's work is that each is a statement piece without being outspoken. They are so unique and sharpen up any outfit with just the right amount of glam. I treasure all the Pollen Jewelry I have. I have several necklaces which are always displayed on my dresser with a collection of my favorite necklaces. I have a pair of earring too. Here's a peek at the necklaces.

Get to know Maureen in this interview we did here last winter. In that post you can also see more of her amazing jewelry and some of my favorite pieces she's created. You can also follow Pollen Jewelry on Facebook to get a sneak peak at her latest creations and find out about special sales and events.

Pollen Jewelry is available on Etsy, right here. Some of my favorite items in the shop are the Green Turquoise Earrings, Long Gold Chain Wire Wrapped Rose Quartz and the Chunky Assymetrical Braided Coil. There are some great pieces on sale right now too. Support great home grown businesses by checking out the Pollen Jewelry Etsy Shop and shopping from talented handmade artists, especially for the upcoming holiday season. It's not how much you spend as how special the gift. Shop one of a kind items like these to really wow your friends and family. 

Thanks Maureen for your sweet card and this beautiful new addition to my much loved jewelry collection. You are so kind. Sending you and everyone visiting kalanicut today warmest wishes.

all images by kalanicut

06 October 2011

Great Doris Day Films With Hot Fashion Styles

image via DorisDay.net

Could these two be any more beautiful? Talk about two high wattage smiles. I first fell in love with Doris Day and Rock Hudson at a high school club movie night with a whole bunch of girls. My introduction to Pillow Talk was an inspiration of epic proportions. The fashions are amazing and the star power is a treat!

Since then my sisters and I have often comedically sang the songs and quoted lines from this movie at many appropriate moments over the years and there's nothing I love better than seeing my dad laugh and shake his head as he watches the antics of Mr. Rex Stetson/Mr. Brad Allen (Rock Hudson). 

If I'm going to sing the praises of Pillow Talk, first let's just mention all six feet and five inches of Mr. Rock Hudson. He is just delicious. That's one handsome tree trunk of a man right there. That's all a given right? Unfortunately, he apparently didn't reciprocate our feelings ladies, but see my last paragraph about Mr. James Garner. Haa-haa. Mr. Hudson rocks a bunch of well cut suits, trench coats, wool jackets, sweaters and even handsome pajamas throughout.

Doris is a gem - her spunk, her sass, her amazing figure and always fabulous hair. She is so fun and so flawed and boy, is she one very hot tamale in that white figure fitting dress and white fur bolero in the first few minutes of Pillow Talk. Smokin'! Her wardrobe in this movie is perhaps one of the best in all moviedom. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

You can see a lot of it in this post from Between Naps on The Porch. Scroll down a bit to see the Pillow Talk fashions. So much yumminess. The jewelry is fantastic, beautiful knitwear, pencil skirts and jackets.The most interesting part of it is that her wardrobe is so "classic with a twist" that it just never seems to be out of style.

image via American Things

The side characters in this film, including Tony Randall are hilarious in all their own individual weirdness and humor. There are so many quotable lines and singable songs that it's entertaining from start to finish.

Last night, after a long, exhausting day and very little sleep the night before I crawled into bed and put in Pillow Talk. Besides enjoying a movie I've seen a few bazillion times, I was really keen to analyze the set design, fashions, art and cars. Hooked on Houses has a great post with lots of set photos from the film.

Ms. Day's character, Jan Morrow, an interior decorator, lives in a lovely apartment in NYC with gray walls and cabinets paired with salmon counter tops. Current, right? A doctor's office set blends chevron gray/silver wall paper with funky yellow and orange lamps. The lamps, modern art and mid century furniture all speak to today's trends. 

If you haven't seen this movie I highly recommend it. That's my big recommendation for the day. Take a night off and check our Pillow Talk. There's so much to enjoy and it's so easy to watch. And Hudson and Day made several more movies together although you may notice that it seems to be the same script reworked each time including a repeat performance as the sidekick by Tony Randall. But all three movies have their own charm and are worth a gander. To steal part of a line from the movie -- You are my inspiration, Pillow Talk.

image via imdb

 Someday we can have a little talk about Doris Day and James Garner in The Thrill Of It All and Move Over, Darling. James' handsome good looks give Mr. Hudson a pretty tight run for his money! Hope you get a chance to take a night off and enjoy a stylin' comedy from another generation soon. Friday night is just a day away...

05 October 2011

Fall Season Mantle

Now that it's officially fall, it seemed a good time to take down the summer mantle and put up something more season appropriate. Plus who can resist all the beautiful orange items associated with fall....favorite color and all. Here's what it looked like before. And before that.

I whipped up a pumpkin garland for the boring front of the fireplace and picked up a few small gourds and pumpkins to play with. I already had a nice basket of pine cones and all the paper and ribbon needed.

Once I had made an initial pass by on the mantle it still seemed a little empty on the right side, lacking some height or something. I saw some fall leaves and thought a few cutout leaves might be just the thing to fill it in and soften up the sharp edges. Seems to have worked.

Here's a closer peek at the corners. I love the two gourds in the box and the pine cones seemed to work with the pumpkins and gourds on the right side to give it an earthy feel.

So that's a peek at the mantle today. I didn't want to go too Halloween-ish because as we know I'm not a big halloween fan. But I thought a nice fall-scape would carry us through to the holidays. Can't believe I'm even saying those words "the holidays". Crazy. How can they possibly be coming around again so quickly? Shocking indeed! (said in my most British of British accents). Hope you're having a great day. I am sending you good wishes for your joy and success.

04 October 2011

Six Great Boots For Fall

I have a trip to the East Coast on the books as of yesterday and that has me thinking fall fashions. I have always been a boot girl, always loved boots. There are so many lovely bootie style boots for fall again this year that I had to go for a browse and find some of my favorites. These would all work for jeans or with those great skirts, tights and leg warmers seen everywhere this season. Here's a quick rundown on them all.

1) Boden USA Bloomsbury Lace-up Boots - I am a sucker for blue suede shoes. I've seriously owned several pair. In true form, I quite like these.

2) Water Row Boots by Indigo by Clark. Found these at Eddie Bauer and I adore the simplicity and classic styling. I was also thrilled to see these have a phenomenal customer rating and are suppose to be super comfortable. Very tempting indeed and so all purpose!

3) Brienne Boot by UGG.Found these at Nordstrom. For some reason I can see myself wearing these with a pair of tan or brown houndstooth wool pants, a cashmere turtleneck and a jacket of some sort. Great to walking the city.

4) Born Bellatrix Boot. These are available lots of places. I found them on the Eddie Bauer site. Quite casual. Like the shearling lining

5) Paul Green "Jayden" Bootie available at Nordstrom. Feminine and neutral these booties seem to say boldly "give me your prettiest patterned socks!"

6)  Athabaskan Booties from Anthropologie. These are the boots that inspired this post. I adore them. Love the color, style and trim. So cute.

Which are your favorites? Do you wear booties on a regular basis? What are your favorite trends for the season. (Sorry Australia & NZ I know this is not your fall.) I think I need a few wardrobe additions to rock a pair of these. 

images via: BodenUSA, Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Norstrom and Anthropologie.

03 October 2011

Five Favorite Wedding Books

image via Amazon photo by Ellen Silverman

Happy fall Monday. A couple of weeks ago I went through the library catalog database for books on weddings and started putting a hold on anything that looked interesting. After sifting through a list of hundreds of books, I determined that you can pretty much divide all wedding books into the following categories:

  • Planning Guides (books full of lists & calendars)
  • Look Books (photos, photos, photos)
  • Etiquette (Dealing with crazy relatives, rude guests, problem bridesmaids, drunk best men, etc.)
  • Getting Married With Grace & Without Stress (doesn't need an explanation, right?)
After looking at dozens of books I thought I would share with you five of my favorites. If you're planning a wedding you would probably really enjoy these. If you're not planning a wedding, these would make a great gift to a newly engaged friend, relative, daughter or future daughter-in-law.

1) Simply Stunning Weddings: Designing and Creating Your Perfect Celebration

Written by New York wedding planner Karen Bussen, this book is nothing about spending big money for a great wedding and everything about creating a stunning wedding. Bussen gives readers a fantastic 10-point philosophy for have a stunning, simple wedding and her ideas are easy to grasp. She makes the idea of planning a wedding sound much less intimidating than any other book I've read so far.

Busson beautifully defines all the important elements of a memorable wedding which definitely helps the overwhelmed mind of a future bride focus on what is really important to her. The photography by Ellen Silverman wraps perfectly with Busson's inspiring words. You might also enjoy seeing Ellen's web site here. This is an absolutely beautiful book full of photos of all kinds of weddings. This is one I will hang onto for the full 3-week check out period and continue to refer to while I anticipate plans for a stunning, simple wedding.

image via The Knot

2) The Knot Ultimate Wedding Look Book: More Than 1,000 Cakes, Centerpieces, Bouquets, Dresses, Decorations and Ideas for The Perfect Day

By Carly Roney and the editors of The Knot, this book is a photo fun fest. My favorite thing is that there are mood boards for a huge variety of color combinations. I can't imagine a combination of colors they haven't covered in some way. It's like a candy store of photo deliciousness.

I have a lot of sticky notes all over in this book. I realized too that some of the images are already on my inspiration board and are photos I have been holding onto for a while. This book contains some of the absolutely coolest weddings elements you will see. Besides all the amazing photos, there is a lot of really helpful advice presented in a friendly, easy-to-read way.

image via Amazon

3) For The Bride

This sweet book reminds me why we need more people with the manners of Colin Cowie in the world. He is a man familiar with all the traits of graciousness. He is supremely aware of making people feel comfortable, being aware of what's going on around him and finding ways to graciously teach others his art. This book is a great guide for peacefully and artfully managing the potentially crazy world of a wedding.

He includes helpful hints on how to approach every element of the wedding and beyond. I love that he has chapters on the wedding night and life after the wedding with guidance on how to carry on in a graceful home. Not too long and comforting to read, this is a great addition to any wedding library.

image via Amazon

4) For The Groom

Also by Cowie, this is the companion book to For the Bride. (Are you shocked, haha.) This book is definitely something worth gifting to your favorite groom. Cowie educates grooms about gracious handling of the tricky world of women and weddings from a man's perspective in man-friendly language. If there was a gracious way to teach your groom how to help make your shared wedding day sublimely happy, this is it.

He also includes in this book a chapter on the wedding night, honeymoon and life after the wedding. If a bride and groom were to read these two books I think they would have an excellent start at a gracious, caring life together.

5) Donnie Brown Weddings

Donnie Brown feels like a family member to me after my years working at a television network where he regularly appeared on TV. I don't actually know him, but because there were TVs at every desk and hanging from the walls above our desks, I spent a lot of time with him on an almost daily basis. I thought this book would be a lot of photos but it's actually a lot of valuable Donnie Brown advice which I think is far more unique.

Brown shares a lot of little insights that you would never think of unless you've been intimately involved in the planning of hundreds of weddings.I enjoyed this book and Brown's conversational style. This was a quick read. Did it while on the treadmill and bike at the gym on Saturday.

So there are a few great books you might enjoy or make as a great gift for someone special. I still have quite a few books coming from the library so it will be fun to see what else I uncover. I'm taking another big pile back today. I skimmed a lot of books this weekend. I'm hoping I'll be able to post a photo and a few details about the new fall mantle. Loving it so far, but it needs one more little thing. Cheers!
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