💍 Ready for the Royal Wedding! 💍

The Royal Wedding is days away and I’m swooning over wedding details for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

I love weddings and royal weddings are no exception. They’re large events where no detail is overlooked! I’m looking forward to the Markle’s dress, accessories and her hair/makeup. She’s always very stylish and I’m sure her wedding look won’t disappoint.

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Oleg Cassini and David’s Bridal are celebrating the royal wedding too. They sent me this sparkly crystal cupcake along with this wedding book, “Oleg Cassini The Wedding Dress.”

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I’ve had fun looking through the book and reminiscing about past royal weddings and other notable I Do’s.

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The 320-page book details Cassini designs over the years, including runway looks, the history of wearing white, the significance of wearing a touch of blue, and the history of bridal styles.

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Cassini was also the personal stylist to former first Lady Jackie Kennedy throughout her life. After she wore his strapless empire waist design, the style became a hit. It’s a still the number one dress choice for brides.

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The royal wedding happens this Saturday, May 19. It’s an early day with tv coverage of the nuptials starting at 4:30 am EDT, which for me is 1:30 am PDT. Maybe I’ll just stay up Friday night so I won’t miss a thing!

Are you planning to watch the royal wedding?

Chocolate + Caramels = Yes, Please!

Chocolates are my favorite treat. They’re a great dessert, especially for parties and events, like weddings.

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Recently Fran’s Chocolates sent me their famous salted caramels. These Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels are available in dark and milk chocolate, paired with soft buttery caramel and topped with gray and smoked sea salts.

The caramels look pretty and taste delicious!

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An added bonus? The presentation – box and bow – can be color coordinated.

FullSizeRender 32A tasty and eye-catching option for wedding favors.

 

Something to Savor: Wedding Keepsake Solution

Wedding planning is a special time, full of personal moments shared between the couple. The relationships is filled with keepsakes like love notes, the menu from a special date and tickets to a movie. Now add in a wedding and bridal keepsakes can include engagement photos, save the date cards and swatches of fabric, as well as tokens of affection as well, including cards, lists and notes taken during wedding planning.

It’s easy to see how a couple’s mementos could easily stack up as clutter, unless properly organized. It’s nice to keep all these mementos together, as souvenirs of the courtship and the planning process.

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One stylish storage solution comes from Savor, manufacturers of keepsake boxes. Their Wedding Edition Keepsake Box features two custom-dyed, cloth-covered “You & Me” and “Us” books that open to store away special wedding objects.

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The five drawers inside are designed to stash wedding-goodies like the ring pillow, dried flowers, the garter and more.

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The keepsake comes with folders, pre-printed labels and stickers to customize the box. The boxes come in two color schemes: blue/peach and slate/cream. Savor sent me the slate colored keepsake to check out and it’s pretty and practical.

What a practical, thoughtful way to commemorate a couple’s love story and wedding day!

Savor also makes keepsake boxes for curating memories of babies and kids. All the colorful boxes can neatly stack on bookshelves as memories to be treasured.

 

Must-Have Accessory: Fashionable & Functional Hairtie Bracelets

If you have long hair, you know the importance of having a ponytail holder at the ready. Often times that means keeping hair elastics in your pocket, your purse or on your wrist.

Wearing a ponytail holder on your wrist can pinch and that hurts, which is why I’m intrigued about an inventive product: hairband bracelets from Maria Shireen.

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The concept is simple and stylish – wear a bracelet that has a “channel” to hold the hair tie in place. The silver or gold bracelet is fashionable and functional. They even have plastic ones for kids and teens!

I was excited to try one out. Since I frequently write about weddings, Maria Shireen’s team sent me a bracelet from their wedding collection. It’s silver and comes with a baby blue hair tie. I can picture brides and bridesmaids wearing these bracelets throughout wedding planning and all the celebrations, including the reception and after parties.

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I’ve been enjoying wearing the bracelet which is cute and comfortable. Best of all, finding my hair tie to pull my hair back onto a ponytail is easier than ever!

Think about it: you’ll always have your ponytail holder nearby. No more searching the house, office or your bag for a hairtie because you’ll have one ready-to-go on your bracelet.

The bracelet looks pretty on its own and can be worn separate from the hairtie. When worn together, it’s hard to tell you’re rocking a ponytail with your bracelet.

Put a Ring On It!

As a wedding editor and writer, I’m always following wedding trends. One of those trends is wedding jewelry.

There’s nothing traditional about wedding rings these days.  Like never before, there are more colors, styles and metal choices for women and men.

According to The Knot, in 2016, couples said they spent over $6000 on engagement rings. There’s another jewelry expense – wedding rings for both spouses, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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The next consideration is style. Gold, silver, titanium, tungsten and more metals, as well as colors and looks like simple bands, beveled designs and adding diamonds of other stones.

IMG_2157While brides often know what they want their wedding band to look like, men can be frustrated by the process. And even fashionable guys, can have a tough time finding a ring that fits their personal style.

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That’s why I was eager to check out Manly Bands, which promise to fit different personalities and budgets, all while being sophisticated.

Manly Bands sent me a few complimentary bands: The Gentleman, (below) a polished band made with tungsten carbide, 18K rose gold plated; and The Surfer, a modern ring made with tungsten carbide featuring dark Koa wood and genuine turquoise.

My husband tried both rings and modeled them. His fave? The Surfer (below) for its bold color and how it popped against his skin tone. This ring is very hip and a fit for his lifestyle. After all, my husband is a California native.

The rings, available in sizes five to 17, are all under $200. Wedding or not, some of these rings (like The Surfer my husband likes) can be worn as an everyday accessory.

That Island Feeling! Mix.Mingle.Schmooze Hawaiian-Style

There’s something so appealing about Hawaii. The tropical smells and sound of the ocean are so inviting.

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I recently got a feel for the Hawaiian Islands when I attended a Hawaiian-themed party for San Diego Style Weddings – the wedding magazine for which I’m the editor.

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The magazine’s “Mix.Mingle.Schmooze” event, which was held at Bali Hai Restaurant, featured all sorts of Aloha vibes, from the food to the music to the décor.

The flowers were so colorful and tropical. Each woman received a flower to wear behind her ear. Single women wear the flower behind their right ear, while married women (or those in a relationship) wear it behind the left ear. Haydee de la Cruz of Haydee’s Creative Flowers designed these blooms!

The photobus photo booth from Pacific Coast PhotoBus was fun. I loved the props, including a captain’s hat and fuzzy boa.

The menu included yummy pot stickers, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken lollypops and coconut rice.

Dessert was delicious too! We sampled Gelato Paradiso gelato and the Cravory cookies.

The Ohana cupcakes tasted as great as they looked! I love those personalized “SDSW” cake toppers.

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In addition to local wines, we sipped cocktails like Snake Oil Cocktail Company’s “Snake Oil Coco-Loco,” which featured coconut milk, applewood infusion, fresh ginger, pressed lemon and club soda.

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The “Passion of the Tiki” drink (seen here) was made with smashed passion fruit and pomegranate, almond, orange flower water, pressed citrus, island spice reduction and Angostura bitters.

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The “it” drink? Fresh coconut milk, served in a coconut, which was branded with the San Diego Style Weddings’ logo!

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Here are a few photos of me with the San Diego Style Weddings’ team, including publisher Dena Nolen-Malasek.

 

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With SDSW publisher, Dena Nolan-Malasek.
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L-R Abby Barenholtz, social media; myself; Dena Nolen-Malasek, publisher; Suzi Battle, Account executive; Kateri Hansen, sales; Adam C. Walter, production.
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With Abby Barenholtz who handles social media for SDSW.

Mix.Mingle.Schmooze

I recently attended the “Mix.Mingle.Schmooze” magazine release party for San Diego Style Weddings – the wedding magazine for which I’m the editor.

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The latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings.

The party, held at Mission Brewery, featured great food, beer and wine, and of course wedding inspiration.

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Another awesome party hosted by San Diego Style Weddings’ publisher Dena Nolen-Malasek.

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Posing with SDSW’s publisher, Dena-Nolen Malasek. Photo credit: Paul Barnett Photography.

Some of the highlights included:

  • The amazing paper flower backdrop created by Esmeralda Luxury Paper Flowers. What a colorful backdrop for photos!
  • I’m a sucker for photo booths and Captured Photos Booths didn’t disappoint!

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  • Yummy milk and cookies from the Cravory. I especially liked the chocolate truffle and lemon bar cookies.
  • Comfy and stylish seating from Lounge Appeal
  • The “Idaho Nachos” (create your own potato ship nachos) from caterer Feast on This were great – a perfect late night snack at any wedding or event.
  • Cool caricature drawings from Caricatures by Dave.
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Caricatures by Dave
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With my husband – does the caricature match us?   Photo credit: Eisenhower Photography

  • Tasty mini donuts and deep fried Oreos from Sensational Treats.
  • Pretty floral arrangements from local florists like Studio Flourish and Haydee’s Creative Flowers.

 

Fun fact: Mission Brewery is located inside a former Wonder Bread factory in downtown San Diego. The building has lots of open space, exposed brick and great city views.

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Check out the latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings online and in local stores.

 

Photos are my own, unless noted.

Fashion Forward for Fall Makeup

Fall is here and I’m ready to celebrate with autumn’s colors. I am excited to check out Jane Iredale’s Fashion Forward collection, featuring eye shadows, retractable brow pencils and lipstick. The company sent samples for me to try and I’m impressed.

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First I tried two Smooth Affair® eye shadows. One called Naked is sheer nude color; the other, Iced Brown, is a sheer golden brown. I liked how light and smooth they were to apply and it’s cool that they double as either eye shadow or as a primer for more shadows. They’re smudge proof too! There are four other colors in the line including a sheer pink called Petal; a matte yellow named Lemon; a champagne color called Canvas; and a shade of Gold.

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Next up, I tried the retractable brow pencils in two colors: brunette and dark brunette. (There’s a blonde color too that I didn’t try.) The pencils do a nice job of filling in brows. And I totally love the built-in “spoolie” on the end of each pencil, perfect for brow shaping.

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The finishing touch? The Cindy Puremoist® lipstick, a sexy shade of red! As the name suggests, it’s named after supermodel Cindy Crawford. I love the lipstick’s scent – a light, fruity mix of pomegranate and backberry extracts. Plus I love how the color complements my fair skin.

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Sampling these products has been lots of fun – I’m looking forward to wearing them throughout the fall.