Every year, my friends get together for a cookie swap and brunch. We each bring 3 recipes, and leave with a variety of each others baking that we can regift. Mason jars with custom fabric lids make for a cost effective container that hold the perfect amount of sweets. To see some of our favorite recipes, click on the links below. Crystal used crushed candy canes, and drizzled white and dark chocolate over pretzel sticks. Many thanks to our guru, Sugar from Sugars Lip Service- custom baked goods and cake pops! The aprons are Jesse Steel it’s a company her and her mom started and we wore the vintage inspired ones, she also makes cute plastic ones for hair dressers. Here is a great article on how to host your own cookie swap :
Amy LeBlanc is a dear friend of mine who is a very talented aesthetician at www.imagobeautycollective.com/ in San Diego, we met because of our mutual love of Boston Terriors and great wine. Thank you so much for allowing me the honor to travel to your hometown of Lafeyette, Louisiana, for your very special Day of the Dead Themed wedding to your beloved Scotty . I loved the little details like the fleur de lis cuff links and black floral arrangementsOnly Amy could have pulled of black shoes with dramatic jewels and feathers, which offset her simple Nicole Miller dress beautifully. We danced the night away to a traditional southern band- loved that the groom joined the band at the last second! Thanks for the fried alligator ( tastes like chicken) and custom day of the dead apron! Love you guys
http://rozalynnewoolf.com/ Bridal Veil and feather accesories
Dress Nicole Miler www.nicolemiller.com/
Shoes L.A.M.B http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/
Photography helenecornell.com destination specialist! with her bestie, Deann Berrera
Cake Crystal Weddings www.crystalweddings.net
Ceremony Site ( awesome southern style church in the middle of a bayou! Le chapelle des attakapas
Reception/Caterers a la Carte www.alccafe.com
Flowers Flowers etc.
Site Vermilionville www.bayouvermilion.org
Makeup Salon des Amis 337.988.4171
Hair Shayna Roberts www.shaynathesalon.com
Traditional Southern Band: The band was the Ray Johnson band. www.rayjohnsonband.com/
Bagpipe player was Michael Barney. cajunpiper.com Scotty’ suit, Hugo Boss
Cuff links handmade by Donovan Roberts.
Rings custom made by David Armstrong @ Charles Koll www.charleskoll.com/
His wing tip shoes by Frye. http://www.thefryecompany.com/
Invitations by India Ink www.inkbykp.com/
Being healthy is not only a once in a while choice – it’s a lifestyle to many people… especially some brides. While preparing for one’s wedding day, she may want to fit into the dress but thinks there is no “quick” solution to do so. Enters Gwen deGorter, owner and instructor of Mission Fit Camp located at Mission Hills Pioneer Park.
Here’s a secret, ladies: parks are a GREAT place to get fit, especially on a budget. You have FREE fresh air, soft ground and the company of many who stick with you until the end of the program. In fact, San Diego is known for having outdoor areas supplied with equipment and ready for fitness training. Hence, why my friend Gwen takes advantage of Mission Hills Pioneer Park. The help of this Camp will allow you to get into shape in no time before your big day arrives!
Read Gwen’s testimonial of what one workout is like, below.
“Each day of the week we focus on training different parts of your body. This way, you can push that muscle group harder, knowing that you will have recovery time planned into the program before working it again. Consistent participation in this training method yields results faster and prevents injury more effectively than doing a total-body workout every day of the week. Throughout the entire hour, my Fit Campers are moving. There is no “down time” or passive recovery. We let our muscles rest by running through an agility course, jumping rope or jogging the park and then we catch our breath while we lift weights and hold planks. Before you know it, you’re soaked and exhausted and amazed at how quickly an hour went by. Oh, and we do some cardio and abs in every workout. The next four week session of Mission Fit Camp begins on Monday, July 2, with classes in the early morning, late morning and evening. You can view the complete schedule here.”
You have the option of attending 2-4 classes a week at various prices or even just one Sunday class or an “add-on” class for extremely affordable prices. See more prices and deals, here.
Not only did Gwen find her niche in life but she found the love of her life. Gwen met her fiancé through Mission Fit Camp. When she first started the company in the winter of 2010, she asked her friends to help her spread the word. Gwen’s friend referred (her now fiancé) Mark to the program and after training him for a few months, the two became friends and later started dating. Now, with just 30 days before the wedding, Mark and Gwen still workout side-by-side six hours each week to get into tip top shape for their big day. This just goes to prove that exercise is truly good for your heart.
Recently, I was happily given the opportunity to shoot Gwen and Mark’s engagement photos where they met, the Mission Hills Pioneer Park – see the cute couple below.
The two are about to be married at 98 Bottles Wine Bar. Word of advice: when you and your mate choose a unique venue for your lovely occasion, make sure it fits both of your personalities – this adds to the excitement of your big day. Also, keep in mind the popularity of your venue which can be statement all on its own.
For their pre-wedding weekend, they are having a variety of food trucks lined up, including Mr. Taco and Jones Brothers BBQ. According to Entrepreneur.com, the [food truck] industry is booming, with approximately 3 million mobile food vendors in the U.S., more than 5 million food carts, and an unknown number of kiosks, which have appeared in malls, train and bus stations, airports, stadiums, conference centers and other locations. What a growing trend!
With all the Mission Fit Camp classes and her wedding just around the corner, Gwen is going to be quite a busy bee but she’s going to be a gorgeous (and fit!) bride when the day arrives.
Gwen currently has 3 brides-to-be at Mission Fit Camp and one couple who have been training together for 5 months claims the bride is down 20 lbs and had to get 4 inches taken out of her dress at her last fitting! Wow! This bride-to-be encourages all local future-brides to join her in this affordable, effective program – which will help reduce stress and get them looking photo ready for their Big Day!
Click here to visit Mission Fit Camp’s site and join today!
A child’s first birthday is always a delicate one. This little person made an impact on my friend Gina Roberts’ life the moment he was born and in “the blink of an eye” a year has gone by. Read below to find out how Gina planned Asa’s first birthday to a great extent and how it turned out to be a lovely occasion.
Here’s a breakdown of the decorations
After buying the Michael Miller’s Aqua and Red Quarter Dot table runner fabric, Gina’s creativity went into hypermode as she sewed the runner. A couple of the decorations came from the following Etsy vendors. The “Happy Birthday Asa” banner, as well as the invitation and other paper printables were specially designed by Hello Love Designs, the two stuffed elephants on the gift table were bought from Little Sidekick. The large fabric letters for Asa’s name on the gift table were created by another Etsy seller, Kids Love Letters. Again harnessing her creativity, she found a corkboard with a nice frame and right size but the wrong color for Asa’s monthly monster photos. So she sanded it, primed it, and spray painted it aqua.
From what she has told me, she had a ton of fun putting together all the decorations, especially the ones for the guest table. The aqua and red metal mailboxes were from the Target dollar bin – you’d find great items there if you looked harder. Initially, Gina saw them back in February and just about died. They were the perfect color, all the way down to the red flag and served as cute party favors. Inside the red metal boxes an assortment of French macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) from Lette Macarons in Beverly Hills were placed. These macarons were so delicious you just have to try them and please believe Gina when she says “they’re the best in Los Angeles!” She suggested the salted caramel, raspberry, pistachio, and Earl Grey flavors because they’re her favorite!
For the table centerpiece, Gina found these cute elephant picture frames online but they were fuchsia. So once again she went off to sand, prime and paint them. Mimicking the invitation and other party printables, a single red balloon was attached to the elephant’s trunk.
Now let’s get down to the food…
The restaurant we celebrated at was the Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach. Cake Bakeshop, also from Manhattan Beach catered the desserts, which included mini fruit tarts, mini cheesecake, chocolate covered strawberries. Mmm!
Asa’s birthday cake was baked and designed by Stephanie at Cakephoria. Gina wanted the presentation to look simple while resembling the party invitation with the elephant holding the red balloon. The bottom two tiers were chocolate cake with an oreo buttercream filling and the top tier, which was Asa’s smash cake was plain yellow cake with vanilla filling. Yes, all of it was absolutely cooked to perfection and so delicious.
The beautiful flowers
Gina went to the downtown LA flower mart, bought all of the flowers and vases and arranged them. She chose to have plain white calla lilies on both the dessert and gift tables, since a lot of color already dominated the area. The height and structure also added more visual appeal as well. The guest tables had a dozen red roses each, which added a bit of elegance to the overly “cutesy” decorations.
Both Asa’s linen suit and Willow’s dress was from Janie and Jack. Asa’s Hanbok, which he wore during the Doljabi ritual, is known as the traditional Korean dress worn during all traditional festivals and celebrations.
Although Gina and her husband chose to have an American-style first birthday party for Asa, they still wanted to incorporate a few traditional Korean elements (like Asa’s Hanbok and having rice cakes to eat). One of the major aspects of a Korean first birthday (or “Dol”) is the Doljabi.
Here is a little history behind the Doljabi ritual. In the past, the death rates for children in Korea were high and many children died before their first birthday. So the first birthday became an important milestone for the baby and his/her parents. It was a time for a huge celebration – the sharing of food and wishing the baby a long life with fortune. Obviously modern medicine has helped the death rates and now most children survive, but the first birthday is still celebrated as a major event in Korean families.
Photoshop was used to design the Doljabi cards, which were inspired by the original template of the birthday invitation and then tucked this into the napkins at each guest’s seat.
The cards helped describe what the Doljabi ritual is and what the items represent so Gina’s guests could understand. Asa ended up choosing the bowl of rice, which meant he will have an abundant and fulfilling life.
I had a great time being incorporated into this event as I took photos. Gina is a great mother and I’d like to thank her for sharing her story on how to create a fun and adorable event for a child, above.
Name: Helene Cornell and Preston Swirnoff
Location: San Diego, California
Size: 1200 sq ft, + outdoor living+ mobile love dens ( vintage trailers galore)
Years lived in: 5 Years, Own
Photographer Helene Cornell and scientist/ musician husband Preston Swirnoff are both artists who work from home, so it made perfect sense that when they shacked up they would need quirky inspiration in every corner. They believe that rules are meant to be broken when it comes to design, and that life is a playground. When they travel they collect design treasures as keepsakes from their adventures. Each piece of art comes with its own memory, and each lamp bulb reminds them of a day they fell more in love.
Bold colors, patterns and textures are balanced to stimulate your senses. In every corner of their 1914 craftsman bungalow you will find a fusion of funky thrift store finds, modern and antique artwork, along with ubiquitous music and photo accessories. This couple is not purist or shy when it comes to blending eras- why not use grandma’s striped couch from the 60′s next to an 80′s disco ball hovering above new record shelves from Ikea?
They also host a variety of travelers through AirBnB, where Cornell has managed a successful bed and breakfast for over 4 years. As the demand grew, she needed more space. Thus, the Bubble Business (as she calls it). Cornell and Swirnoff own three vintage trailers that were puchased on Ebay, Craigslist, and from a mutual friend. Two are small and adorable ‘canned hams’ from the late 50′s, and the third is a shiny aluminum twenty foot Airstream from the 70′s. All were lovingly restored and are parked in the driveway, with one even at the neighbor’s house, where Cornell is constantly shuffling travelers who need a affordable place to stay.
Helene Cornell featured in front of her popular canned ham coined ” The Mobile Love Den”. To see more photos and how you can rent this gem on wheels, click here.
Our Style/ Inspiration: Jonathan Adler takes an acid trip with his accordion to Morocco where he learns how to fortune tell, write poetry, and garden. We love to incorporate our heritage; we have a growing collection of modern prints by First Nations artists from my homeland on Vancouver Island. We also collect photography, cameras, records, and musical instruments. We love unique vintage furniture, and have a couple of pieces from Preston’s grandmother that we love.
Favorite Element: French doors that open to a hammock in our private jungle where we can pick breakfast bananas right off the trees.
Biggest Challenge: The home is very small, and we have to store all of my photography equipment under the beds due to lack of storage. We had to buy and return at least 4 dining room tables, as every thing looked so cramped in the tiny space. People were smaller in 1914!
What Friends Say: ” Which one of your trailers can I crash in?”
Biggest Embarrassment: Breaking a chandelier when I was using the broom handle to aggressively to clean up.
Proudest DIY: Making a custom wooden bench with hidden storage space to hide the ugly water meter that stuck out 2 feet, then creating the world’s longest seat-cushion pillow to go on top.
Biggest Indulgence: Anything to make better coffee, and bedding. There is nothing that can change a room faster then a new douvet.
Best Advice: Break rules and just go for it. If something doesn’t match, your eyes wont notice if you put enough layers on it. I learned this from photographing ugly children.
Cornell uses vintage dynamite crates (sourced on a home visit in Canada) as a great way to store books, which seem to be piling up in every corner in the house. Put them on wheels to make for easy mobile storage.
Cornell wanted to make a headboard from giant pillows, so she took apart pillows from West Elm and sewed in various other patterns she had in her archives. She used knobs from Anthropologie to hang the pillows across a wallpapered 2×4, and adhered the assembly to the wall, concealing the hardware, as if it was floating. All other items found on Craigslist.
Bedding: West Elm. Wallpaper: Home Depot. Side table: Urban Outfitters.
Cornell made this skinny table in her beginner wood working class for dining under the cabana. She sewed her biggest pillow ever, with affordable fabric from Ikea. Burlap coffee sacks from eBay make great table runners. The vintage gas can makes an unlikely home for a cactus installation (next step- put it on wheels to avoid eye poking during photo shoots!).
Curtains from West Elm. Danish table was a house warming gift from Preston’s mom- thank you!
Mirror from Target. Zebra head from Anthropologie. Tablecloth from Anthropologie. Chandelier and side table refurbished from Craigslist.