Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mother of the Bride Dresses

The biggest compliment my mother received on her dress came from our wedding planner, Debbie Geller, when she said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you look great. You don't really look like a Mother of the Bride." And that's exactly the look we were going for. 

50 is the new 30. There is no reason our mothers should have to be stuffy and matronly. They should be able to dress like the hip, modern woman that they are! That being said, the search for great Mother of the Bride dresses has definitely been a struggle. But here are some options for them on the big day...

4. Amsale   5. BCBG   6. Parker

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Grammys Best & Worst Dressed

I haven't had a chance to watch the show yet. Who puts Sean and Catherine's wedding on the same night as the Grammy's? But I sure hope the show redeems the carpet. Here are my picks for Best & Worst Dressed. Let me know your thoughts!

Best Dressed: Chrissy Teigen in Johanna Johnson. I know your man was the one who was nominated, but all eyes were on you. Nice work!

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Giuliana Rancic in Alex Perry. While sending looks to G tonight, I told her this dress was my favorite this awards season. In fact, it's one of my favorites on the entire carpet! Love it!

Worst Dressed: Madonna in Ralph Lauren. I get that you tweet and insta for attention, but leave poor David out of this. He bought your line that you two were reenacting the video from Smooth Criminal.

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: Paula Patton in I'm not sure. But the fact that she was my worst dressed for Golden Globes also leaves me puzzled. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quick Change

Okay, I'll give it to her, I did make her begrudgingly buy a dress two sizes too small. We found it at Bloomingdales while she was visiting LA and it was the last one. We checked all the other stores and it was the only one left. Here's the first dress...

Photo Courtesy:

And given her description over the phone, I was very skeptical about the second one. I came home for my shower that July and she tried the second dress on for me. The moment she came out, I could see on her face that A. She could breathe and B. That she loved it. And so did I - which is why it became the only dress she wore to my wedding. 

The color popped and was a perfect compliment to our "beach chic" wedding and slate colored bridesmaid dresses. She received so many compliments on it. She looked stunning and most importantly she was comfortable! And in the end, as mom's always are - she was RIGHT. 

Love you, Ma.


Monday, January 20, 2014

SAG Awards Best & Worst Dressed

I was happy the stars didn't treat this as their usual 'throw away' carpet. They really turned it out this time. Below are my Best and Worst Dressed of this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards. What were your thoughts?

Best Dressed: Amy Adams in Antonio Berardi. Two words - MOVIE STAR.

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Lupita Nyong'o in Gucci. I can't get enough of this girl. It isn't about what she's wearing, it's the fact that she shines.

Worst Dressed: Kerry Washington in Prada. I am always a fan of your choices and adore you. I am also all about being proud and showing off that baby bump, but Prada isn't giving you or your baby the justice you deserve.

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: We've had this talk before Amanda, but if this is how you choose to dress on the carpet, then have at it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tanning Tips

It's the week of the wedding and you think you're all set. The dress has been pressed, your guests are on their way, and the dinner count is in. But one thing that can put a damper on the big day is a spray tan gone array. Orange you glad you made that decision? 

I'm a big proponent of if you can't tone it, tan it. But unlike my early days of college when I would bake in the cancer light, I now only go with the safe route of spray tans. I prefer the standup Mystic Tan on level two with bronzer. But spray tans are an art form, and you have to find what works best for you. Especially before your wedding. And trust me I've had too many Ross Moments in my life - "I'M AN EIGHT!!!"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Golden Globe Awards

After watching the Golden Globes red carpet and show, I was very content with the winners, while the carpet left me asking Why? So happy for Bryan Cranston & Breaking Bad as well as for Leonardo, Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club have been my favorite movies this Awards Season!

Now onto the fashion. Oh the fashion.

Best Dressed: Lupita Nyong'o from 12 Years a Slave. STUNNING. Congrats. This is what we call having "A Moment."

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Margot Robbie from Wolf of Wall Street. Simple, sleek and love the pop of color with the emerald shoe. Leave it to these newcomers to show the veterans how to do it. I really wish my favorites like Julia, Sandra, and Jennifer would take a page out of their book!

Worst Dressed: Paula Patton - I think you got something on your dress.

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: Emma Watson - Hey girl, love you and all, but make up your mind. I had trouble choosing between the white or navy blue polo in parochial school, but this is on a whole new level.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Newly Engaged?

It's the New Year, which means another year of wedding planning. Many of you probably got engaged over the holidays. If you are wondering where to start, here are some little tidbits I wish I would have known off the bat. 

These three simple rules will prove very helpful throughout your process. 

Now I'm off to Big Bear for a friend's 30th Birthday. My life flashed before my eyes at least five times when I went skiing last time, so wish me luck. Let's get real - I doubt you'll see me on the slopes. The bar at the Lodge is your best bet.

See you all Monday with my Best & Worst Dressed from the Golden Globe Awards. Tune in, I want to know your thoughts!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Samantha & Spencer : Carol Malick Photography

Meet Samantha & Spencer. I've known these two cuties ever since grade school and had the pleasure of driving Spencer to high school every day in my old Pontiac Sunfire. And in case you are wondering - No, my driving has not improved. The pair are high school sweethearts and despite some hiccups in the planning process, their wedding went off without a hitch! Enjoy Sam's story in her own words below... 
Our wedding day was like a fairytale. This can be attributed to all the planning and help we received from our family and friends. We had plenty of I Guess I Do moments during our 18 month engagement and it wasn’t until after our wedding we found out about a missing corsage and a guest puking in the reception hall bathroom, but as I said, I was on cloud nine and unaware of it all, thankfully.

My name is Samantha Dye and I’m a CPA in Columbus, Ohio. My husband, Spencer, is an estimator and works in the construction industry. We first met when I was in the 6th grade (he was in the 7th) and I had the BIGGEST crush on him. I finally caught his attention when I was in the 8th grade and so began our love story.

Spencer and I dated all through high school and college and after graduation moved in together. Living together was no issue at all as we’d basically spent more of our lifetime together than apart and everything just came easy. However, after 9 years of dating, 2 years of living together and no signs of engagement, I began to wonder if he was ever going to “pop the question!” Alas! Just when I wasn’t expecting it, I opened the door to our apartment and he was on one knee. I was absolutely the happiest girl in the world. The news of our engagement traveled fast and people started asking the typical questions -- “Have you picked a date?” “Where are you getting married?” “Who will be in your wedding?” -- and that is when I realized I needed to start planning… I just had no idea where to begin.

I can’t say I was the type of girl who had always dreamed of her wedding and what it would be like. Planning a wedding sounded exciting, but it also sounded like a lot of work…. And time…. And energy…. And money…. And did I mention time? Since I didn’t have my mind made up on every last detail, I took a laid-back and simplified approach to decision-making and of course, enlisted my go-to (mom) for some serious help...

The Where and When:

After our engagement, the first two big wedding decisions were upon us and we quickly began questioning why we hadn’t decided to elope. After all, Spencer was hoping for a beach wedding, but I just had to have that big, traditional, walk-down-the-aisle of the church, wedding. That being said, I could quite literally write a book around the family drama that occurred during the 18 months of our engagement. I will forgo divulging all of the gushy details, but let’s just say it started with a date that was not convenient for everyone and the ensuing effects of that decision, and ended about a week before the wedding when my “grandparents” decided they weren’t going to be in attendance. Yikes! Anyways, we settled on a date and location that we wanted and continued on our wedding planning adventure.

The Dress:

Moving to the next thing on my list, a dress! I had no idea what I wanted so I planned a “girls” day with some of my bridesmaids and my mom. I found a trunk sale at a popular boutique and a few other salons and booked appointments at each figuring we could make a day of it, and stop for cocktails in between. Isn’t that how you’re supposed to do it? Well, I guess I even surprised myself when I walked out of the first salon with the second dress I tried on! That meant mimosas and bloody mary’s earlier than expected – I don’t think anyone was complaining! I can’t say it was that easy; although the dress was purchased, it was huge and I didn’t like the sash, so it required some serious work. The dress was taken in at the seams and hemmed to perfection. I bought a new sash and added buttons up the back. Thanks to my hometown sewing hero (Betty) the dress turned out amazing.

The Photographer:

The next big decision was a photographer. I don’t want to say I was being lazy about picking a photographer, but I really just don’t have an “eye” for that. I had a friend who was also planning a wedding and much to my delight, she was more than willing to share her photographer. Whew! That was easy. 

 The DJ:

My mom reached out to a couple local DJs and was unimpressed. Around this same time, my maid of honor called me and said her cousin was at a wedding reception, where I was holding mine. She told me her cousin loved the lighting and we later found out the DJ brought in all the lighting, so my mom gave him a call. The DJ was very nice and professional so we decided to go with him. Yes, I picked a DJ who I had never met or even spoken to before on the basis he provides great uplighting, per my maid of honor’s cousin, and he’s attentive to my mom’s questions and phone calls. This could get interesting real fast…. We eventually met the DJ a couple weeks before the wedding and he turned out to be amazing. Luck was on our side with that decision!

Once the big decisions were out of the way, I really coasted through the rest of them. I wasn’t big on the details and actually preferred when my mom and mother-in-law called the shots (Don’t know if they would agree with that). As the date drew closer, time started to fly. My mom and mother-in-law each threw bridal showers and we had a girls’ weekend in Nashville for my bachelorette party (which was amazing!).

Before I knew it, it was our wedding day. It went off without a hitch. Every decision made, from the choosing of the venue to the selection of the first dance song couldn’t have been more perfect for us that day. It was truly the best day of our lives and we are so thankful for everyone who contributed and helped make it so amazing.

After all is said and done, I’d have to say that there is not one thing I would change. It was an amazing day and although there were times during the planning phases when things got stressful, it all paled in comparison to the awesome results of the day—the celebration of us getting married surrounded by our closest family and friends. 

Photographer: Carol Malick Photography  DJ: Jay R at Selective Sound

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fit On Challenge 2014

Alright, the time has come. Co-owners of Fit On Studios in Manhattan Beach, Franca Stadvec & Angela Bennett, were responsible for getting me wedding day ready. Now they get to tackle my post-wedding, post-blood clot, post-stress eating body. Should be fun!

They have always taught me it's not about the number on the scale, it's about how eating right and exercise makes you feel. And when you feel good about yourself, everything else seems to fall into place. 

The Fit On Challenge this January is simple. Get your butt moving five times a week - shoot for 3 days of cardio and 2 days of strength training. Eat very clean the whole entire month- start with a nutrient rich smoothie everyday, with no sugar, white carbs, or processed foods in your meals.

Below are Franca & Angela's tips and tricks for us. It's time to detox, de-"sludge" as I like to call it, and regain control in 2014!

I'll be checking in weekly to see how you guys are doing, as well as keeping you posted on my progress. As I stated earlier, my goal is to be more present every day in 2014 - starting with myself. 

Let's do it everyone - it's now or never!