Wine Down Wednesday :: Bluegrass

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

I had the privilege of going to the W on 2nd Street here in Austin a week ago. Tanner and I tried their restaurant, Trace because we’ve heard some great things. Besides Trace being recommended to us, I was told I had to try one of their handcrafted cocktails called the Bluegrass Martini. Best.Drink.Ever. Bits of mint, slush, and blueberry all in a glass, count me in any day.

According to the Austin Chronicle 2011 Restaurant Poll, “Austin is emerging as a cocktail capitol,” so there was no craft cocktail winner. Who knew Austin was the cocktail capitol??

There are so many great classic and craft cocktails at Trace, like the Manhattan, Jalapeño Cucumber Lemonade, and the Lone Star Classic. But, I highly recommend the Bluegrass for something refreshing, innovative, and just plain yummy.

Advertisements

Your Own Personal Stylist…

November 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

Every weekend I get the opportunity to meet so many new people. That is definitely one of the perks of being in the business of hosting weddings and receptions. I met some of the most fascinating people I have ever met this past Friday night.

It was about 30 minutes before the ceremony. This always means organized chaos. Everyone is consumed with anticipation and nervousness, while we are tending to just about everything imaginable. It was amidst this organized chaos that time seemed to stand still as I met Leonardo and Louis. Louis, a fellow re-head grabbed my attention as he walked though the kitchen. We had a quick introduction and then insisted I meet his husband, Leonardo. Leonardo, a captivating Venezuelan, was holding the most beautiful clutch ever, full of show-stopping vintage jewelry for the bride. I quickly learned that Leo was a stylist. He was there to style the bride and create different looks for her throughout the evening. First of all, this is just genius! Why wouldn’t you have a stylist for your wedding day? I have never thought of this. Secondly, I just assumed stylists were only attainable if you were some kind of celebrity or socialite.

So, Leonardo has a boutique right here in Austin. Not only does he find you new articles of clothing and jewelry for you, but he also will come to your home, look through your closet, and style you based on what you already own! It is called Leonardo D’Almagro

20111115-124043.jpg

20111115-124135.jpg

Confessions of a Workaholic

November 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

So, I totally had a “Saved by the Bell” moment last night. You know, the one where Jessie has her infamous breakdown because she doesn’t have enough time to study for her test and perform with Hot Sundae. Yeah…that’s how I’m feeling. All the while super happy and grateful for everything at the moment. Between putting on 6 events in two weeks, meeting with new and potential brides, and having enough creative energy to blog, my brain literally hurts.

So, how do you find balance? Do you ever feel like you are working so hard that you are not really producing anything of worth at the end of the day? I started out needing this blog as an outlet for my creative energy. As a way to connect with people like me in hopes of showing at least one person something they would enjoy. I am constantly overwhelmed by you, the readers, that you take a minute out of your day to read something I’ve written.

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted and I feel sad that I’ve let the craziness of my life take over my time and the energy I’ve needed to blog. So how do you do it? How do you manage your time to be a good wife, sister, daughter, friend, business person, etc…?

So this is me in all honesty. I don’t always fully disclose my feelings like this. More than likely, if you were to ask me how I’m doing, I’d probably say, “Great!” But sometimes the truth needs to be said, or written. So, here I am processing my feelings for all of you to see. Maybe I’m not the only one…

Wine Down Wednesday :: Black Swan

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Halloween is just around the corner and if you are like me and are planning some sort of Halloween party, you need a good drink to go along with the festivities. My party has a black and white theme, and I have found just the drink that will go perfectly.

Black Swan

1.5 oz Russian Standard Vodka (I’ve used rum too)

5 Blackberries

3 oz lemonade

Muddle four blackberries in the bottom of a tumbler. Add ice, vodka, and lemonade. Garnish with remaining blackberry.

 

Chic Lady :: How To Make A Good First Impression

October 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade, possibly the wrong era. I wish that more women held manners and etiquette in a higher regard. But, then again, a ladylike woman is bound to make a strong impression on any person she meets, because you don’t see that too often. Being un-ladylike exudes laziness which, honestly, can be the easier route at times. Holding up social graces will not only make you a better person, but will make the world that much more pleasant. It will also ensure you will be a desired presence whether it’s at work, a party, or finding that perfect man. Yes, I know some of the rules of etiquette have changed. Etiquette is always evolving. So what does it mean to be a chic, fabulous, lady in a modern world?

What You Say Does Matter

It is as simple as manners. Do you remember when you were taught to always say “please” “thank you” “thank you for having me.” When did we stop using those phrases? It is as easy as just saying “thank you” when a waiter refills you drink or a nice smile and nod when someone opens the door for you. The things you say and the way you say them is a direct reflection of your inner beauty. And, yes, it may take some practice.

Smiles

A smile is usually always infectious. Don’t you want the reputation of always having a smile or a nice demeanor? If someone asks “How are you?” Sometimes, it’s best to say, “Fine, or Great, thank you,” Even if you are not. Depending on if you are talking to an acquaintance or a best friend. Others will be drawn to you  and actually be happy to be around you.

Some Ways to Make Someone’s Day Even Better

*You look amazing!

*I thought about you the other day.

*I’m so happy to see you!

*I love your outfit!

Introductions

Sometimes it’s best to make the first move and introduce yourself first. When the other person gives you their name, go ahead and use it right away. By saying the name out loud, it will help you to remember it.

When introducing yourself to an elderly person, the formal way to use their name is with their title and surname, like “Mrs. Smith,” unless they say otherwise.

So, we’ve all been in a situation where we have forgotten a name. It’s best if you can discretely ask another person to remind you. If you can figure it out, then it is perfectly fine to apologize and then ask for their name again. Chances are, they’ve forgotten a name before too. If someone gets your name wrong, correct them and then make light of the situation.

If you have brought a guest with you, it is your responsibility to introduce them to others and bring out their similarities or likenesses.

It is always best to make the person you are talking to feel very comfortable and relaxed around you.

Tips On Overall Good Etiquette

*Always smile when greeting someone.

*Stand up when others enter the room.

*Don’t use cell phones during meals or text in company.

*Try not to leave the table during a meal.

*Drink a glass of water to match every glass of wine.

*Always write a thank you note when appropriate.

*Dress appropriately. Don’t show too much skin at formal events.

Fabulous Fall Fête

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I can not wait to share with you all the fun details of the recent girls’ lunch that me and my mom hosted at The Plantation House! We wanted to just have a fun yummy lunch for our amazing and wonderfully creative friends. A little intimidating…yes.

We wanted to keep the base color scheme very simple with caramel and cream colors. That way the food and other little touches of color really popped out.

Each place setting had a Cymbidium orchid and an artichoke for the name cards beautifully done by Millie Skidmore

We used Bosc pears and honey crisp apples throughout our decor and meal

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan bacon & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Oven-roasted cherry tomatoes for our pizza bar

Olive oil brushed flat bread

Sparkling autumn punch

Pizza bar complete with flat bread, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, Canadian bacon, baby arugula, basil, and roasted cherry tomatoes. Food cards are held by the Bosc pears.

Everyone got to create their own pizza. So fun and yummy!

Of course, we had dessert. Angel food cake with caramel whipped cream.

A little apple pie on a stick. You know, for when everyone gets hungry again.

Beautiful, simple flowers done by Luanna Cole, The Plantation House

Thanks to all our fabulous friends for joining us for lunch and giving us a reason to throw a fun fall-inspired fête!

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple Bacon

Makes: 10 servings

8 thick bacon slices

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

2 (5 oz.) packages gourmet salad greens

1 large Bartlett pear

1 large Honey Crisp apple

1 cup halved seedless red grapes

4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Dip bacon slices in syrup, allowing excess to drip off; press pecans onto both sides of bacon. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on rack, and bake 20 minutes; turn bacon slices, and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until browned and crisp. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

2. Place salad greens on a serving platter. Cut pear and apple into thin slices; toss with salad greens. Top with grapes, cheese, and bacon.

3. Serve salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Makes: 2 cups

Whisk together 1 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, 1 tsp. orange zest, 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup each balsamic vinegar and olive oil, 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar, 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth.

Click here for Sparkling Autumn Punch

Click here for Caramel Whipped Cream

Click here for Apple Pie on a Stick

Inspiration Boards :: Golden Age

October 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

What can I say about gold? It is just a classy color that is worthy of showcasing. I love gold because it can run through all seasons and it really accentuates the beauty and uniqueness in every time of year.

Snippet & Ink

Snippet & Ink

The Plantation House via Style Me Pretty

The Plantation House via Style Me Pretty