Whimsical Irish Bride : Whidbey Island Wedding Inspiration

In the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with green year round, especially along the coastline. Yet, I still find myself feeling giddy at the thought of spring, bringing fresh buds to the trees and a sweet, clean smell to the air. Our bridal shoot was inspired by the cool, early days of spring along the romantic coastline of Whidbey Island, WA. The green rolling hills, weathered farmhouses, and gray misty coast set the perfect backdrop for an ethereal shoot, transporting us to the Irish countryside. Go ahead and get lost…


2014-03-17_0002The dress choice was inspired by intricate Irish lace crochet, a popular choice for wedding dresses in the early twentieth century, fitting perfectly with the beaded floral headpiece and authentic vintage jewelry.2014-03-17_0003 2014-03-17_0004 2014-03-17_0006 2014-03-17_0005The color palette was pulled from the picturesque surroundings and stemmed from a base of ivories, golds and deep emeralds, which were worked in through floral and accessory choice.2014-03-17_0007 2014-03-17_0008 2014-03-17_0009

The wonderful team of like-minded, creative women behind the scenes really made this shoot come alive. It is so refreshing to work with talented individuals who truly love what they do and can effectively collaborate, while enjoying each and every minute. We weathered cold temperatures and some seriously harsh winds, but these whimsical photos made it all worthwhile.

Styling and Floral Design: Darien Leigh Events & Design
Photos: Lora Grady
Dress: Unveiled Bridal Boutique (Saison Blanche)
Hair/Makeup: Hair by Ceann Cherry
Hairpiece: Lacielle Roselle
Earrings: Unveiled Bridal Boutique (Everything Angelic)
Vintage Ring, Vintage Brooch: Rhinestone Rosie

Life is Beautiful : Italian Wedding Inspiration

Take me away….2014-03-13_0003Happy Friday!

Bouquet: Mindy Rice, Photo by Jose Villa; Invitations: Signora e Mare, Photo by Buffy Dekmar; Dress: Claire Pettibone, Photo Elizabeth Messina; Urn: Rylee Hitchner Photography; Ballet Flats: BHLDN; Getaway Car: Velvetine Photography


Anisette Cookies : A Taste of Home

Growing up, we knew company was coming when the house smelled of anisette cookies.  My mom always whipped up a batch right before friends stopped by for a visit. The traditional Italian cookie gets its flavoring from the anise extract, and while it looks like biscotti, and uses the same twice-baked procedure, these cookies are much softer and doughier (although I tend to under-bake all my cookies…purposefully!). They would make a sweet addition to a brunch-style bridal shower (think cookie bar!) and would be a great wedding favor for an afternoon affair. They are the perfect easy, all-around-likeable recipe for a chat over tea or with a good old-fashioned glass of milk, and are even better dipped in chocolate!2014-03-13_0001 2014-03-13_0002anisette cookies 2

A Pretty Little Downpour : Bridesmaid Inspiration

With the onset of spring, inevitably comes rain. On the upside, spring also brings brightly colored tulips. My mom is an avid gardener. I can remember getting so excited at the first sign of those bright green stalks popping through the soil. When I saw the stores filling with tulips I had to put together a little something to celebrate. I crafted this bouquet of tulips, ranunculus and roses, and then styled a simple little shoot to celebrate the coming season (great bridesmaid/bridal inspiration!). Of course, like any good Seattle spring day, it rained. Really rained. But you wouldn’t know how bad it actually was with the photographic talents of Lora Grady. Plus, I happen to think the raindrops made it look extra romantic.2014-03-04_0011





Photos: Lora Grady

Dress, Ring, Earrings: Nordstrom

Simple & Pretty

Winter isn’t the best time for beautiful flowers, but I’m a firm believer in turning the everyday norm into something sweet. When spring fever came on strong a few weeks ago, a simple floral arrangement brightened the day. This whimsical bouquet of hearty hydrangeas and carnations was a refreshing break from the green and brown that is a Seattle winter. Normally I’m not a big fan of carnations, but their mini size and fresh peachy color reminded me a bit of spray roses (and yes, they came from the grocery store…gasp!). Hope this adds a bit of simple & pretty to your Monday afternoon.2014-03-10_0001 2014-03-10_0002 2014-03-10_0003 2014-03-10_0004Photos: Lora Grady

The French 76

It’s no secret that I love champagne and usually find myself coming up with excuses to celebrate with a bottle. Even before I was old enough for the alcoholic version, I was clinking glasses with sparkling juice. I love the pop of the cork, the fizzing of the bubbles, the refreshing zing it delivers, and the variety of beautifully crafted labels. I also love the air of glamour that comes with sipping from a flute. I’m always looking for new ways to serve champagne and this recipe does just the trick. It’s a slightly altered version of the French 75  (with the addition of St. Germain) and would make a great signature drink for a wedding or event. And it just so happens to pair perfectly with yesterday’s Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake.2014-03-05_00022014-03-05_0001 2014-03-05_0003 2014-03-05_0004 2014-03-05_0005 2014-03-05_0006 2014-03-05_0007 2014-03-05_0008 2014-03-05_0009

french 76

Photos: Lora Grady

Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake

This is one of my favorite cake recipes. My first bite of lemon mascarpone cake was at a tiny tea house in my hometown of upstate New York. When flying home for a slice wasn’t an option, I decided to tackle it myself, and to my surprise my version tasted just like it (okay, maybe even a little better)! This cake is always popular with company, even for those who claim they’re “not a cake person”. The fluffy mascarpone frosting is the perfect kind of sweet and don’t even get me started on the buttery lemon crumbles. Check in tomorrow for a champagne cocktail pairing!

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Photos: Lora Grady


So excited you’ve made your way to my site! I am beyond ecstatic to begin this journey and hope to bring bits and pieces of joy and inspiration to your every day. I’ll be using this blog as a way to showcase some of my latest work and to share recipes, ideas, and anything that happens to strike my fancy. I’ve been working on some amazing projects with some even more amazing people and I can’t wait to share. First up will be the recipe for this delicious little cake below (so stay tuned!). With the enormous amount of love and encouragement from friends and family, I’m ready for this new adventure and I hope you’ll follow right along! 2014-03-04_0001

cake quote

Photo: Lora Grady