2013 emmy’s fashion roundup

People watch TV for lots of reasons. I have “my shows” that usually clog our DVR because I don’t have time to watch them (Homeland, Scandal, Orphan Black, Downton Abbey and The Good Wife to name a few) but TV has such a smaller presence in my life now than it did years ago. I simply have about a million other things I could/should be doing at home (laundry, packing client gifts, taking the dog to the park, going for a run so that I don’t collapse during my half-marathon in November) instead of sitting on the couch glued to the tube. My husband is the opposite. He uses TV as his downtime and there’s no place he’d rather be on a fall Sunday than horizontal on the couch watching football. I relax by running around and “housekeeping.” He relaxes with pretzel M&M’s and Pardon the Interruption. These are the things you learn in your first year of marriage.

What we can both agree on is watching award shows – but for different reasons. I crave the pre-show red carpet glamour and he watches to actually see who wins the awards. While I’ve never heard of House of Cards and haven’t seen an episode of Breaking Bad, it’s worth watching to catch a glimpse of my favorite starlets in stunning couture – and this year there were more than a handful of gowns that took cues from the bridal runways.

Check out some of our favorite looks from the red carpet:

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Kerry Washington stunned in this Marchesa dream. Greek-inspired accents and flower appliques = perfection. Claire Danes looked healthy and glowing in this shimmery Armani Prive gown with a plunging neckline. LOVED her short blonde bob and bold red lip! And Malin Akerman (known to me as the ex-girlfriend of super-hottie Andrew in The Proposal), looked classic in this frothy light grey Marchesa gown with a long train. Simple and pretty!

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Blush tones continue to fill the red carpet and I hope to see more brides in blush in 2014! I absolutely love the structured  ruffle at the bottom of this Zac Posen gown worn by Julie Bowen. January Jones is so fair that the neckline of this Givenchy strapless gown almost blends with her skintone, but the clean lines, gorgeous lace and banded bottom make for a soft style. And Carrie Preston – amazing as Arlene on True Blood and Eslbeth on The Good Wife – totally rocks this pale pink  Romona Keveza gown! The black trim detail adds modern sophistication and her side-swept red locks complete the look perfectly. Love her look? The Plumed Serpent in Westport carries Romona’s bridal line.

A few other red carpet trends to note: natural make up and sturdy clutches – particularly Edie Parker handmade bags!

xo,

B

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fall: in love!

Fall! Around here, Autumn is one of our favorite times of year. Apple picking, pumpkin carving, apple-cider-donut eating wrapped in scarves and stylish trenchcoats? We absolutely love it. When we aren’t jumping in fallen leaves or burning a pumpkin spice candle, we’re cooking up fall wedding decor ideas for one of our 2014 brides.

Here are some of our favorite finds from Pinterest:

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We adore these Bride and Groom chair decorations that celebrate the harvest season and the textured metallic linen adds a gorgeous fine detail. The simple dried wheat bouquets tied with white ribbon add a subtle touch and chic white linen curtains frame a barn door and block the chill!

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A little known fact – sunflowers bloom through November and their earthy hue fill a bridal bouquet with a beautiful pop of color. And, light suits for the groomsmen make the bridesmaids pop in “wild beet” colored silk chiffon from J.Crew. Floor length gowns mean your girls will be toasty from “I do” to the after party!

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Calligraphy makes any wedding decor luxurious, even dried leaves! We can’t get enough of these escort cards and think they’d be the perfect addition to a fall table scape – don’t bag leaves this fall, collect them! When we need custom stationary, Coral Pheasant is one of our first stops, and these natural garden party-inspired invitations are divine. We love the detail of printing the inside of the envelope – chic and fall fresh!

We want to hear about your favorite fall things! Take a break from sipping apple cider and leave us a comment – Cheers!

xo,

B

guest blogger: erin of simply gorgeous by erin

With a new season (yay for Harvest!) approaching, there’s no better time to update your makeup bag so we’ve enlisted the oh-so-amazing Erin Infantino of Simply Gorgeous by Erin to share her must-haves and give us a look into the kit of a professional makeup artist. Enjoy! xo, B & C

I still remember some of the first makeup products I purchased with my own money.  First there was Barbie’s compact to give your skin an even glow, also known as, “Oopma Loompa” glow. Then there was the time when I decided in 7th grade I was grown up and it was about time I had my own eyeliner in electric teal to match my pink and teal braces. We’ve all gone through some awesome makeup faux pas like these but some of you out there may still be guilty of some less than flattering faux pas as adults. Let me guide you!

First let it be said that not one favorite makeup artist product works for everyone. Every year magazines rate the “must have” “one size fits all” cosmetics and believe me, many of these don’t do the job for me or many others despite the awards they win. So I will simply list some of my top products I have had in my makeup arsenal for years and just can’t part with.

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#1 My obsession with lashes is no secret to those who know me. Mascara would be my item I would take to a deserted island with me. I have many that I have tried and loved and then got sick of or swear they changed the formula on me. My current favorite high-end mascara is Smashbox Full Exposure. They give me insanely long and full lashes without the appearance of spider legs. For a drugstore brand I like CoverGirl LashBlast; it doesn’t provide as much volume as Smashbox but it’s a great one for half the price. Get either in black. Always choose black.

#2 Concealer, or “sleep in a bottle,” is a must in my routine if I want to look half awake. Don’t go too light so you get raccoon eyes and don’t go too dark so that you look even more tired. Pick a shade close to the shade of your face’s natural skin tone. For high-end I LOVE Clé de Peau Beauté. It has a velvet finish and doesn’t crease easily like many others tend to. It’s rather absurdly priced but it lasts me about a year per tube. For an inexpensive alternative I love Cinema Secrets Foundation palettes. It says foundation but I use it for concealer on all my clients. Nothing beats it for coverage.

#3 I love eyeliner. You can do a crisp, winged line or a sultry smudged line. Bobbi Brown Gel Liners are the way to go. Once this goes on it’s not going anywhere until you wash your face, and they come in an incredible assortment of colors. I prefer to apply it with Bobbi’s eyeliner brush to get a laser-precise line when I need to and I also “tight line” my top lash line with her black or denim (a deep navy hue to make the whites of your eyes pop).

#4 Shadow primer is a fantastic product that is like concealer for your eyelids. It helps the true color of eyeshadows show up and stay all day and night. I prefer primers over concealers because of the consistency being not as emollient as a traditional concealer and therefore less likely to crease on the lid. I like Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden and I also like MAC Paint Pots in Soft Ochre. You’ll be amazed at the difference these make in how your eye makeup looks.

#5 Aquaphor. Yes, Aquaphor that you find in the baby aisle. I apply this to my lips all the live-long day. You will never have chapped lips again while using this product. I discovered it while my nephew was an infant and had eczema. We would apply Aquaphor to his affected areas and I was constantly kissing him and realized I loved this stuff for my lips. Win!

So there you have it; some fantastical products that you will always see in my makeup kit. Don’t be afraid to try new products. I always tell my clients during makeup lessons that makeup is not a tattoo. If you hate it you can wash it off. Thank God for that otherwise I would be living with electric teal eyeliner on my eyes.

Feel free to contact me at erin@simplygorgeousbyerin.com or on Facebook with any questions or if you want some more tips…I do makeup lessons in CT as well!

xo,
Erin

destination: maine

I recently had the pleasure of attending a dear friend’s wedding at the gorgeous Newagen Seaside Inn in Boothbay, Maine and I quickly fell completely in love with “Vacationland” (as the Maine license plates so perfectly state).   After dancing the night away under a spectacular Sperry tent, the boy & I made our way from Boothbay, through Portland, and ultimately ended in Kennebunkport for a 2-night stay.

Throughout our entire trip I couldn’t stop dreaming up all of the perfect ways to host a wedding in Maine, from the favors to the jaw-dropping seaside venues.  As we settled into our temporary digs at The Cottages at Cabot Cove I stumbled upon an issue of Ocean Ave and was delighted to find a destination wedding guide!  Not surprisingly, the venue categorized by “no expenses spared” caught my eye and I decided that I just HAD to go check out the space…so off we went to Hidden Pond – a laid-back luxury resort on 60 wooded acres.

With multiple event spaces and the opportunity to have exclusive use of the property you can create your own little compound and host a truly unforgettable experience.  I could go on and on about the beauty of the grounds and the outstanding “farm to fork” meals but I’ll stop here, encourage you to check out their site, and share with you some essentials for pulling together an aMAINEzing wedding…

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  • Forgo a traditional wedding cake & invite your guests to feast on the state’s official treat: whoopie pies!
  • You can’t visit Maine without chowing down on lobster rolls, so serving a bite-sized version during your cocktail hour is a must!
  • Give a nod to Maine’s state berry & support the local Stonewall Kitchen by using customizable jars of Wild Main Blueberry Jam as favors.
  • You essentially can’t walk into a boutique in Maine without coming across Sea Bags, so these unique wine bags serve as the perfect welcome gift!  The bags are meant to be re-gifted, allowing each new recipient to track the journey via the label on the back.  Start the journey of the traveling bag by including your wedding date & your guest’s name on the label.
  • We love these old-school bottles of Maine’s state soda, Moxie, & envision placing them on a rustic table & topping them off with some paper straws.

Tell us what you love about Maine…and if you have yet to visit the great state we highly recommend planning a trip in the near future!

xo,
C

LD styled shoot: farm-to-table inspiration board

It’s smack dab in the middle of wedding season and while we’ve been super busy (and happily so!), we’ve also been a bit neglectful on the blog (our bad). To give you a snapshot, the past few weeks have brought venue walk-through’s, client planning meetings and three new Lovely Day weddings booked – all in 2013! We’re over the moon and can’t wait for the coming months but we’re also excited to get back to sharing the fun things we’ve been up to.

We had the absolute pleasure of collaborating with some incredible vendor partners for a fabulous all-hands-on-deck styled shoot in June. We’re very inspired by the lasting farm-to-table, locavore, sustainable trend and we wanted to showcase ways to incorporate the concept into wedding design. Our vision was to create a beautiful, natural, farm-feeling setting, focusing on the environment of the shoot. We set a gorgeous table scape in a pasture at Barberry Hill Farm in Madison CT, home to weddings, local events and the popular (and delicious) Dinners at the Farm series each summer. New England Country Rentals hooked us up with rustic furniture and vintage linens, we built a custom “chandelier” out of a reclaimed window frame and Stems Flower Design provided a show-stopping floral runner and bouquets for our gorgeous models, beautified for the day by the team at Simply Gorgeous by Erin. Nichole of Coral Pheasant designed a custom invitation suite and day-of paper with pops of bright color, and our beautiful gowns and accessories were provided by A Little Something White Bridal Couture and Happily Ever Borrowed.  Here’s a glimpse into our inspiration:

Farm-to-Table-Inspiration-Board

1. Cream lace napkins you might find at grandmothers house

2. The perfect touch of sparkle with a jeweled cuff

3. Vintage seed packet inspiration for our paper suite

4. Floral crowns and fresh faces

5. Perfectly pink in-season peonies

6. Silver beaded chargers add sophistication to a rustic farm table

7. Fresh herbs – like this rosemary sprig – picked from the farm beds

8. Unique lace gowns, like the Georgina by Kelly Faetanini

9. Copper-dipped flatware

10. Dough bowls filled with farm bounty

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The entire day was captured by Eric Foley Photography and Vantage Point Films, and we have the behind-the-scenes footage to share with you today! We’re SO excited to share the video – just click HERE – and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments! Enjoy!

xo,

B

bridal style: racerback gowns

The latest bridal trend we’re dreaming of? Racerback gowns. These sophisticated beauties are the best way (we think) to flatter toned arms, and we’re loving the many styles out there. From J.Crew to Claire Pettibone, designers are pulling in fabric to make room for dramatic backs that show a little extra shoulder. Here are some of our faves!

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Clockwise from top left: J.Crew Bettina, Pronovias Distel, Jim Hjelm Style JH8350, Claire Pettibone Aphrodite

popsicles please

While growing up in the oh-s0-humid state of Ohio, our freezer was always stocked with popsicles, and as I schlep around NYC in the brutal heat I find myself longing for those cold treats I grew up on.  Gourmet popsicle shops are popping up all over the country, serving delicious grown-up versions of our childhood treats (think raspberry basil, coconut lemongrass & chocolate bourbon pecan bacon!).

With the holiday weekend approaching I’m feeling inspired to try my hand at some delicious DIY ice pops so I’ve scoured Pinterest and found a few must-try recipes.  Whether you’re throwing a Fourth of July BBQ or in the midst of planning a summer bridal shower, these scrumptious ice-cold treats will leave your guests happy & refreshed!

popsicles

Creamy Margarita Popsicles
1¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes), plus 4 limes for stabilizing the popsicle sticks
14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup water
¼ cup tequila
2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
Margarita salt

Click here for the full recipe!

Mango Strawberry Mimosa Pops
1¼ cup mango orange juice
5 large strawberries
½ cup prosecco
3oz dixie cups

Click here for the full recipe!

xo,
C