Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Faux Pumpkins!
Today, we are sending you a little decor inspiration which is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table or fall-themed wedding.  Inspired by our old days at Real Simple and perfected by our friend, Colleen Kelley, we bring you:  DIY METALLIC PUMPKINS! 

So, grab a can of spray paint and get ready.  This is SO easy and actually quite fun.  Your guests will think you cleaned out Pottery Barn of their very best decor! 

Believe it or not, spray-painting a pumpkin (or gourd or garland of fall leaves or branches or anything you want really) is fast and practically fool proof!  And the result is stunning! 

We recommend using a metallic spray paint, it makes the finish that much more interesting and luxe, but a non-metallic paint can work just fine,too.  Krylon has a metallic collection with an array of colors and can be found Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Hobby Lobby and many other retailers. 

Real Pumpkins! 
Lay down a newspaper, set out your goods, grab your can of spray paint and go crazy!  It dries in about 30-45 minutes and is ready to go.  Here is a snapshot of the little cuties that will adorn our table tomorrow. 

TIP: If you can't find pumpkins or gourds, any squash will work. 

TIP FOR NEXT YEAR:  Get your pumpkins and gourds early.  The tend to sell out quite quickly after Halloween (both real and faux).  Real ones will last spray-painted for about 3-4 weeks. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Hour with AE: Spiced Wine

This recipe comes courtesy of our dear friend, Steven Gonzalez.  It's so yummy, but be careful, it is very easy to forget that it is wine and not cider.  It is the perfect accompaniment to a Thanksgiving feast, dessert party, or simply a night by the fire.   ENJOY!  And, thanks, Steven!  xx, AE

image from
 Steven's Spiced Wine (also known as Gluhwein; prounounced GLUE-VINE)


One cup sugar

Three cups water

The peel of one orange cut into strips with a veggie or potato peeler and the juice of half the orange

The peel of one lemon cut the same way and the juice of half the lemon

A few cinnamon sticks (about 4 small sticks)

One half gallon of merlot (Steven says the less expensive the better!)
Small handful of whole cloves.


In a medium sauce pan boil the sugar, water, lemon and orange peels, juices, cinnamon sticks and cloves for 10 minutes stirring regularly. Strain out all solid pieces but reserve the cinnamon sticks.

In a large stock pot add the wine, the boiled liquid and cinnamon sticks. Heat until scalding but do not allow it to boil (you will boil off that delicious alcohol!) 

Serve warm with the reserved cinnamon sticks and Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Fashion NOW!

Pic From Wedding Blurb
 We are seeing a decline in the same dress, same shoe, same hair, same jewelry, same same same bridesmaid looks. 

Brides are beginning to get very creative with the options they give their maids and we just love the creativity and visual interest it provides. 

There are lots of fabulous combos and options out there which still provide an element of unity:
Pic from

- Same dress with personalized jewelry

- Each bridesmaid can wear a unique fascinator (yep - we are still loving them and would love to see more of them)

- Each can wear a different style of dress in the same color and texture of fabric

- Each bridesmaid can simply wear purple (or pink or yellow or coral or whatever you like).

- Each can wear a totally different dresses with one common element (like length,lace detail, or one-shouldered). 

One of favorite favorite favorite bridal party ensembles EVER was all 9 maids in completely different sequined party dresses.   Adorable (and fun!).

This trend (we hope it stays for a long time) is so refreshing.  Remember, your bridesmaids are individuals first, your maids second.  Matching their dresses to your sash exactly and providing a PMS color for shoes and jewelry is a thing of the past.   Your gals will appreciate it, too.  But remember to be specific and send ideas, especially to your maids who may be less fashion-forward or interested in baubles, fabrics, feathers and all things girly. 

Tip:  Instead of giving your maids jewelry as their gift, change it up and give them a vintage brooch affixed to their bouquets.  They can then remove the brooch and wear it during the reception for a little added party flair!  

Haute Bride has a great collection of brooches (available locally at two of our fave bridal shops Big Rock Little Rooster and La Jeune Mariee) if you don't have time to comb the vintage shops.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: "Green" Wedding Ideas

"Going green" is a well-used term that most everyone embraces in one way or another.   Whether you are an avid green-living philosopher or simply someone who does their best to recycle, conserve water and not litter, one thing we all have in common is a love for our earth and the want to protect it. 

"Going green" for your wedding day is easier than it sounds.   Here are some ideas and suggestions to help get started which are surprisingly easy, interesting and sometimes can even save you a dollar or two.

Many venues are supporting green initiatives by minimizing plastic bottle use, using energy conserving lighting, and recycling.  They do the work!  You don't have to.   When searching for a venue, ask about their green initiatives.   A great venue in Columbus is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center.  It's a new facility with a fantastic aesthetic and because they are in the business of wildlife conservation, earth preservation is important to them. 

Bonus!  At facilities like the Audubon Center, your rental fee goes to support their mission.  It's as good as making a donation. 

Often times, when people think of green weddings, they worry that they won't be able to have the flowers they want, will have to use fake flowers, or none at all.   This is not the case.   Think outside the box (or in it if we are being technical) - using plants or planted flowers as centerpieces is VERY chic and sustainable.  Guests can even take them home, plant them and watch them grow (much like your marriage).  BHLDN (Anthropologie's bridal line) has amazing planters and vases for just this very thing. 

A local company with a great national presence, The Ritzy Rose, takes green bouquets to a whole new stunning level.  They create bouquets out of vintage brooches (something old! something new! something borrowed! something blue!  You can have it all in one).   These bouquets are so special and different and will be certain not to wilt. They stay as beautiful as it was on your wedding day FOREVER.  These also make lovely bridesmaid gifts for your girls to keep. 

Nothing is more green than an electronic invitation (or inexpensive for that matter).  Paperless Post has some really beautiful designs and great features for tracking invites and keeping on top of your guest list.  

If an evite is a little too non-traditional for you, think about using eco-friendly papers or even taking it once notch further and sending your invites on plantable paper.   Plantable papers have beautiful texture and color and once your wedding has come and gone, your guests are able to plant them and grow something wonderful.  Check out Botanical Paperworks.  Not only is the paper amazing, they have really great invitation designs, as well. 

Similar to venues, many caterers are doing their part for the environment by practicing green initiatives.  Using locally grown produce, growing their own herbs, reducing their use of plastic, and a myriad of other ways.  Some caterers definitely do this better than others, so ask about their eco-initiatives when meeting with them.  One of the best in the business not only for their green practices, but also for their delicious menus is Two Caterer's here in Columbus. 

Surprisingly some wedding dress materials are not good for earth or were produced in less than earth friendly conditions.   To really combat this, you can find dresses made with fair-trade/organic/sustainable materials.  Olivia Luca is one company who is leading the charge on this. 

You can also consider buying a pre-loved dress.  If you haven't already, you must visit Luxe Redux in Worthington, sister to our friend La Jeune Mariee.  Their dress selection (some are even BRAND NEW) comes from all over the country and not only are you reducing your footprint, but you are also in for a fabulous steal on a gorgeous dress.  Sell it back!  Or donate it!  Now you have done double-time on your earth saving initiatives. 

A final thought on the dress front, if mom or granny will allow it, consider remaking one of their dresses (or even combining them!)  There are fabulous seamstresses who specialize in modernizing vintage dresses for current brides.  Your dress will be green, one of a kind, and sentimental.   Betsy at Elizabeth Ashleigh in the Short North is BRILLIANT in this realm. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!  You can do it!  And it can be SO uber chic!