Monday, June 29, 2009

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler !!!

June in New Orleans is like no other place.
Oppressively hot but enticingly intoxicating.
Here's my take on my weekend & Jennifer & Philip's Wedding...
~On Friday, a bridesmaid luncheon was held at
Ralph's on the Park, given by Jennifer's Aunts.
Ralph's on the Park is in a renovated historic building
overlooking the City Park.
A resturant of the famous Brennan family
so there's no doubt the food is excellent.
The bar was set up outside on the balcony
which gave a perfect view of the City Park entrance
& the Spanish moss covered oak trees beyond.
We were served Mimosas, Bloody Marys, or wine before lunch.
Lunch was Seafood Gumbo (of course), Shrimp Remoulade Salad
& a sinful Chocolate Cake with Brandied Cherries,
Fudge Sauce & Double Cream!
Everyone raised their Champagne glasses to Jennifer
before heading off to our hotels to get ready for the weekend.
Let the good times roll !!!
Jennifer's Bridesmaid's luncheon menu...

balcony overlooking City Park...

Jennifer & her lovely Bridesmaids...

Jennifer & Philip were married at
The church was perfectly decorated with white lilies,
Jackson vine & the largest white roses I've ever seen in my life.
The historic church was beautiful & the wedding party
looked straight out of Vogue magazine.
large white lilies, roses & Jackson vine...

the wedding party...

the handsome Best Man...
~The wedding reception was held at the New Orleans Country Club.
Stunning. Old South. Grand.
Just some of the words that come to mind.
The women were dazzling in their gowns
& the men were handsome in their white dinner jackets.
Was that Blanche DuBois I saw disapearing into a room?
Maybe not but I'm sure I saw Tennessee Williams
with a Bourbon in one hand,
a cigar in the other & dressed in an all white tux.
But then I do tend to hallucinate in hot weather!
newlyweds Sarah & Aaron Smith
Matron of Honor & Best Man

~The 10 piece band was phenomenal.
The 3 lovely ladies as the background singers
were elegant in their sequined gowns
& the 3 singers in front had voices like butter.
Classic Motown sound w/a little Cajun thrown in for spice.

~An open bar was in each of the 4 enormous rooms.
Anything & everything you would want to chase away the heat.
Want it mixed? You got it.
Want it straight? You got it.
Want it domestic? Want it imported? You got it.
Want wine? Want champagne? You got it.
And with the sharply dressed Bartenders at your beck and call.
~In 2 of the largest rooms was the food.
In 1 room was an enormous poached salmon
& smoked salmon with all the extras.
Chilled steamed asparagus with Parmesan lemon butter.
Then extra extra extra large gulf shrimp. All beautifully displayed.
Next room was a mashed potato bar & a deep fried burrito bar.
Huge silver platters of fresh mozzarella cheese & tomatoes
with drizzles of basil olive oil, quiches & other delicious tiny things.
~The Bride's cake was magnificent.
A vanilla cake with an almond flavored icing.
Again, giant white Roses & Hydrangeas between the layers.
As a last jab to his Ole Miss graduate brother,
the Groom who's an LSU graduate,
had his cake made into a replica of Tiger Stadium
with the fantasy score - LSU 53 - Ole Miss 3 -
Bride's Cake Charm Pulls...

the Groom's cake...

~The Groom was handsome & enjoyed himself enormously.
The Bride was lovely beyond words.
A classically beautiful blonde in a classically beautiful gown.
She wore a cathedral length lace veil -
an heirloom passed down
through multiple generations on her father's side -
as well as the pearl choker she wore.
Jennifer & Philip left in a classic car that belongs to Jennifer's father.
New Orleans wedding
Congratulations Jennifer & Philip


Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Murfreesboro Wedding

How much do I love Emily Humphries?
So much that I'd soak in a Tennessee sauna for hours for her.
And that's exactly what it felt like last Saturday.
Jacqui & RJ were married at Jacqui's home on the outskirts of
Murfreesboro on a near-record-breaking hot day.
The humidity was incredible. The heat was unbelievable.
But the wedding was beautiful.
I assisted Emily with this wedding of 250+ guests (my best guess).
The line up for the seating compares to fans entering Titan Stadium.
Seriously. That's what it looked like.
And in between the guests was Lady, the family dog,
running around with obvious wedding excitement.
Like a game she ran in & out of legs &
slipped from hands reaching out to
grab her to take her back in the house.
Finally, she took refuge under the deck within ear shot of the activities
but away from the dreaded confines of the house.
At the time I remember thinking that I wish I was Lady.
Maybe if I ran around barking would someone
tie me up inside the house under a fan?
Funny what a heat stroke will do to your brain -
makes you hallucinate & think crazy thoughts!!!
The ceremony was touching as Jacqui & her father
approached in a horse drawn carriage.
Later drinks were served then seating
under the tent for dinner & dancing.
Hours later, I slipped around to the cake &
had not 1, not 2, but 3 slices.
Mercy me. Those gals at the
Bake Shoppe sure can bake!!!
Love you Em.
Rain or shine. Hot or cold.
I'll help you in any kind of weather.
Now that's true love folks!!!

even the frogs tried to keep cool...

bridesmaids waiting their turn...

my friend Lady...

and me with my other friend Emily...
Murfreesboro wedding


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brunch At Saks !

Hey Brides...
if you're looking for decorating ideas
or just wanna catch up on the latest styles
be sure to visit
She's an LA girl who always has something on her
blog that will inspire you.
Personally, I have to visit every day.
And every day I find something I love.
This for instance...

I borrowed this from Brunch at Saks to remind Brides that it's ok to
get a little edgy when it comes to showing your personality
(if you have an edgy personality, that is).
Yes, I know that most brides would never
wear this on their wedding day
(mainly because it's not meant to be a wedding gown)!
As an example, if you love Marilyn, & you don't want to wear her,
then you can still find all kinds of way to honor her at your wedding.
Or maybe Elvis!
My point is be yourself, do your thing!
This evening gown, by the way, is from the Dolce & Gabbana
If you don't need tips on fashion but instead
a nudge to remodel that bathroom,
it's still the blog to visit.
stop by Brunch at Saks & see what inspires you today!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Burdick Chocolates !

"If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you.
But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again!
My dear, how will you ever manage?"
~ Marquise de Sévigné - French writer and lady of fashion

all photos property of Burdick Chocolates
I love New Hampshire.
I've seen the famous White Mountains...
I've tasted & eaten my weight in fried clams...
I've visited Wentworth-by-the-sea...
and I've seen the seacoast.
I thought I knew everything there was to know about New Hampshire.
I've recently discovered another important New Hampshire resource -
Burdick Chocolates.
The people at Burdick Chocolates are VERY picky.
Starting with the cocoa.
They buy only from Grenada where the cocoa farmers grow the cocoa trees
with very little if any fertilizers & pesticides.
They use French and Swiss techniques- but of course!
They make their artisan chocolates in small batches to insure perfect blending of ingredients - no assembly line at Burdick Chocolates!
And the shipping!
You would think that you're getting a rare piece of art flown in from Europe.
In a way you're are.
When my chocolates arrived by FedX, it was like Christmas morning.
The chocolates were carefully place around ice packs!
Wow! Ice packs!
I didn't know businesses still took so much care with their products.
Anyway, each box was filled with chocolate gems -
truffles & bonbons of dark & white & decadent cubes of hazelnut gianduja.
Magical. Decadent. Mysterious. Luscious.
And the cutest mice & penguins you've ever seen.
Yes, tiny mice & penguins.
They're made especially for gifts & favors out of chocolate & almonds.
What a rare treat for the wedding party or favors for guests.
Your guests will know they're getting something special - not just generic chocolates.
These babies shout class !
The mice & penguins are carefully boxed for presentation &
a very tiny satin ribbon in your color choice is added as the mouse tail.
Then they're boxed & a bow is tied in another size & color ribbon - again your choice.
When your chocolates arrive, everything is ready to be presented to your guests.
You don't have to do anything. Just order.
Then sit back & listen to the ooos & ahhaas.
On my next visit I'm skipping the Wentworth,
the White Mountains & the seacoast.
I'll still have my fried clams but afterwards I'm headed to
L.A. Burdick Chocolates - New Hampshire's best kept secret !!!
Check out their website:

don't forget Father's Day - these penguins would be a perfect treat!
Burdick Chocolates
check out the mice tails & the ribbon


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Factory Continued...

More Factory shots...
These pictures were taken during & after
Jenny & Joe's Factory
wedding reception.
Sometimes wedding vendors have as much fun as the guests -
this was one of those times.
Wedding vendors work hard to make sure everything is perfect for
the guests & wedding couples
BUT we also know how to enjoy ourselves...
as you can see !

jenny & joe's wedding coordinator emily & brooke tasting the wedding cake

em's loyal & ever so loveable assistants - me & brooke

d.j. brian, me & i don't remember his name but
he's brian's sidekick & he's SO cute!

crazy jack, emily, me, brooke, cutie pie & brian
Factory Franklin Tennessee
after the clean-up me, em & brooke crashed in the
factory's famous giant rocking chair


Monday, June 8, 2009

Zena Holloway

Ok...I'll be the first to admit that
I'm biased when it comes to photographers.
I will always think my daughter
is the best around but this gal is unbelievable.
Check out Zena Holloway's pictures below.
She started out as a scuba diver instructor then turned her passion
into a career of underwater photography.
Her art is so dreamy & ethereal.
Wouldn’t it be incredible to have wedding shots like this?
You could 'trash the dress'
& get the most interesting bridal portraits so show off.
Sure, your friends will think you've lost your mind but so what !!!
Talk to
Rosemary...she'll do anything for that extraordinary shot...
& she's a scuba diver - Perfect !

Zena Holloway

Zena Holloway

Zena Holloway

Zena Holloway


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seeds of Hope Garden Tour

Saturday was a perfect day for touring
some of the prettiest gardens in Nashville.
Seeds of Hope Garden Tour was the brainchild of my husband.
Serving on the board at Monroe Harding Children's Home,
he & others got the ball rolling
to have a garden tour to benefit Monroe Harding.
He came up & the name & it's been a success for 5 years &
one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.
Gardens are usually picked in south Nashville
(Oak Hill, Green Hills & Belle Meade).
This year I think was the best.
The gardens & lawns were perfectly manicured & each very different.
I could tell a lot & time & love was put into the design
& placement of each plant.
We had our gardens on the tour a few years ago & it's hard work.
But then again, I always work better under pressure !
Brides: If you're thinking of having a garden wedding
be sure to go to one of the many garden tours
offered in Middle Tennessee.
You can get some great ideas for your wedding
& the proceeds go to a deserving charity.
Now for a little history lesson:
Monroe Harding
Monroe Harding Children's Home began in the home of
Dr. James & Mrs. Fannie Harding. (Yes, as in the Hardings of the Belle Meade family).
In 1893, Mrs. Harding opened her home for orphaned Presbyterian children as a tribute to her late husband.
Shortly afterwards, she began accepting children of all ages & religions & in 1934
the orphanage was moved to a beautiful residential home on Glendale Lane -
located between Oak Hill & Green Hills.
In the '70s, Monroe Harding begin helping at risk teens only.
Good job Seeds of Hope Volunteers!
All of the gardens were beautiful but here are my favorites:
The Phipps Garden:
This garden is English inspired.
Visitors can instantly see this as they walk up to the side gardens &
follow the path around back.
A cute garden shed is the first thing you see
then your eyes focus on all the interesting 'yard art'
placed perfectly throughout.
I especially loved the potting bench
or rather all the art hanging above it.
This garden is full of 'transplants' from friends gardens &
you could tell this gardener loves the outdoors.
Monroe Harding

love the lover's knot
The Nelson Garden:
Lots of great shade at this stop.
Love the personal & historic touches in this garden -
a great millstone from the owners great grandmother's home &
a piece of the Belle Meade Plantation wall are on the property -
a remnant of the vast land holdings of Harding.
The lady of the house - the creator, landscaper & grounds keeper -
is delightful & her enthusiasm for gardening is catching.
Bet she's a walking dictionary on Latin words
for every single plant she has.

Munroe Harding
the highlight of the Nelson garden was meeting the very enthusiastic Megan -
as cute as a bug's ear & about as small as one!!!
The Roberts Garden:
Walking up to this house,
I thought I had been transported to
the Mediterranean's crystal-blue waters &
kept expecting to see Rudolf Valentino rounding the corner
to hand me a Rosemary infused Martini.
Oh well, a girl can dream!
Anyway, this was pure HEAVEN.
The side gardens were lush & cool -
enticing you as you make your way to the back.
Then right there in front of you is a pool to die for.
Wow! Would this be the place for a wedding to remember!
In fact, there at the edge of the pool
I planned a whole ceremony & reception.
Ok, back to reality...
The Hydrangeas were beautiful as were all the plantings.
There were lots of hidden gardens tucked behind the
walls & curves of the house & pool area.
Monroe Harding
the meadow & trail for the horses are to the right. the trail leads
to a horse barn that any horse would be proud to call home!

Monroe Harding
Annabelle Hydrangeas

the pool & patio

check out the giant clam shell - and yes it's real !!!

Monroe Harding
See what I mean !?!
Now can't you just envision a Bride & Groom
standing at the top of the landing
saying their vows while the guests are seated on the lawn below ?
Then after the ceremony,
guests will ascend the stairs to the pool & patio
for a Mediterranean style buffet.
Think shrimp, lemons, olives & luscious spreads. I'm really hungry.
Somebody get me a cocktail - please !!!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Nashville Farmers Market

Check out the Nashville Farmers Market.
You'll find flowers & ferns to decorate your wedding ceremony & reception.
You'll have a better selection, pay less,
& you'll be supporting local Tennessee farmers & growers.
Most vendors will be there from early spring until early June.
I was there Saturday & noticed only a few vendors left
but many will be returning late summer.
I met Annette Kell owner of Sunrise Nursery & Ground Covers &
stocked up on geraniums for my planters.
She & her husband have numerous acres in McMinnville &
will be busy this summer in preparation for the fall harvest.
Annette will be back at the market in late summer w/a huge selection of mums.
Anyone can place orders now for mums to be picked up in Sept. & Oct.
For an early fall wedding potted mums in brilliant fall colors would be beautiful.
Give her a call at 931.668.3898 or 931.607.6397.

looking south - a view of the capitol in the background
Under another shed you'll find almost any vegetable & fruit you could eat.
I love to walk around here just to look at all the home-grown produce.
The best place around to get good Tennessee tomatoes.

look closely at the little lady in the pastel blue dress & bonnet. so sweet.

Garden of Babylon (adjacent to the Farmers Market)
is my favorite place to buy roses, perennials, herbs,
& the best selection of pots in any size & color.
The Gerber Daisies & Orchids would be perfect for wedding decoration.
You'll save a bundle buy buying at Gardens of Babylon.
Check their website before going -
they sometimes have coupons to print.
They also have a great selection of tree roses -
great for that summer wedding.

And now for a little history:

The Nashville Farmer's Market has been in downtown Nashville since the early 1800's -
and always somewhere close to the capitol or around the downtown public square.
In the beginning, local farmers brought their produce to
the City Hall & Market House that was built on the west side of the downtown square.
I can imagine that it was a very busy place at that time - probably a very social part of the day.
The Market would be overflowing with vendors & during busy times,
according to local history,
farmers would have to line up wagons around the square four or five deep.
In the '30s, several government houses including the Market House
were demolished to build a new Davidson County Courthouse.
A new Farmers Market was build on the north side of the public square.
After another move in the '50s the Farmer's Market
finally found it's home just within sight of the Tennessee capitol.

Visit the Market when you can. You'll be taking part in a 200 years old Nashville tradition & supporting our hard-working Tennessee farmers.


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