Happy New Year, loves!

Dec 31, 2012

I just finished re-reading The Great Gatsby {and now I totally can't wait for the movie in May!!}. Anyway, the glam and glitz of the Roaring Twenties feels so on point for NYE festivities - don't you think? J&I are excited to celebrate the dawn of 2013 tonight in Tropea, Italy. I hope you have something fun planned, too!

ps. Did you know Ashley Olsen provided her own personal collection of dresses to the GG film set? Gahh.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2012

Have a beautiful day, loves!

Are you in the Christmas Spirit?

Dec 21, 2012

Sometimes it's hard to get in the holiday spirit. This year, I've "battled" with seemingly non-stop travel which has left me little time around the house and thus, little time to Christmas-ify our home. But I finally found a little time this week and I can proudly say the stockings are hung, the tree is lit, presents are wrapped, nutcrackers are out and about and my favorite sprig holiday candle is burning bright. If you're still trying to find a little holiday oomph, I think these prep-licious photos from one of my favorite style blogs, Classy Girls Wear Pearls, just might do the trick for you:

These photos totally bring back memories of attending my Catholic elementary school and I love it. I think I need to make it a holiday mission to unearth a fab tartan skirt and rock it this season. Don't they look so fresh yet traditional?

I know, too perfect for words. I keep expecting these photos to pop up in the next J. Crew catalogue that hits my doorstep so my suspicions that they are paid models on an awesome holiday set can be confirmed.

If this hasn't put you in the mood for a Hot Toddy and some caroling, you're obviously in need of more preptastic holiday fabulousness.

Rx: Head here and here.

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Sardinia

Dec 20, 2012


A few weeks ago, I took off with a dear friend of mine, B, for a long weekend in Sardinia {which is a big island off the coast of Italy ... in case you were like whaaaa?}. My hubby was away on yet another business trip and when my BFF and I found round-trip flights for less than 50 euro, we were on that like bees to honey. And I'm so glad we took this spontaneous little trip. Sardinia is seriously a jewel - an overlooked jewel ... which, in my mind, is the best kind. ;) I think this little island would make for a fabulous honeymoon locale and I hope my tips can help you plan just that!

Alghero's coastline. Seriously - couldn't this be the setting for The Little Mermaid?
I think I hear Eric and Max playing in the distance! :P

Traveling to Sardinia in late November, we encountered exactly 0 tourists ... and not that many locals, either. For some, this might be a drawback but for us, it was heaven. There were no crowds to fight and it felt like we had the whole island practically to ourselves. The first day it was a little windy and rainy and chilly but we made it work and we were treated to warm + glowing sunshine for the rest of our trip.

We stayed in the town of Alghero and had a beautiful view of the coastline from our room along with a free spa package. For more info on the hotel, check out my top tips at the bottom of the post. Alghero is a charming town with winding cobblestone roads, chippy pastel-colored buildings and fresh laundry hanging from every available window {which I could not stop photographing - it's soooo Italian, no?}

On our second day, we tried to catch a boat out to Capo Caccia to see the famed Neptune's Grotto but were told they weren't running because it was low season. Boo. So we found a bus that took us out there and enjoyed a stunning hour-long ride {shown above} to the cliff. Unfortunately, the waves were too rough in the grotto {we could hear them pounding} and so we weren't allowed to walk down but we still explored the coastline. Then we decided to take another bus to Boza city which was another hour from Alghero. The coastal views were again stunning but the Italian bus driver's preferred driving style {we're talking NASCAR-style on steeeeeep cliffs with no guard rails} kinda distracted me from any pretty views. I had experienced a near-fatal taxi ride in Rome but that was nothing compared to this cray cray bus ride. Between sweaty palms and steadying breaths to keep my cannoli and Campari down, I was praying we'd just make it back to Alghero in one piece. We did ... but it was a close call, I tell ya.

Boza city was small but adorable. It felt like a perfectly preserved Italian town that tourists had yet to discover. The house and boat colors were so cheerful and vibrant. Oh, and the people here were so incredibly friendly. It was hard to leave.

We found some hidden alleyways in Boza city and hiked to the top of the hill to discover this pretty view. While it might have been nice to have a few more days in Sardinia, our little trip was a great getaway and I enjoyed every minute of it {even the death-defying maneuvers our bus driver tried out on the coastal cliffs!}.

Sniff Sniff. Bye Sardinia! {You can see Capo Caccia on the left.}
Obviously, I think Sardinia would be amazing for a honeymoon.
So here are my top tips to help you make that happen:

CB's Top Tips for Sardinia:

Alghero and Boza City are the two areas we spent our time. I would highly recommend staying in either or both. Alghero seemed to have a bit more going on, though.

Hotel Margherita. If you want 5-star luxe accommodations, this isn't it. But it fit our needs perfectly. Clean rooms with gorgeous views {ask for a front-facing room on the 3rd floor or up}. Yummy breakfast. The rooftop view is also amazing and worth checking out. And my favorite? Free included spa package! The hotel just recently added a heated pool + hot tub that has a cool grotto vibe going on and they also have Turkish baths, salt caves and saunas. It was fun to unwind each night in the spa after a little Sardinian wine.

Sartoria del Gusto. Definitely our favorite restaurant of the trip - so much so, we visited it twice! The service was incredible and the owner was a delight to talk with. We tried the daily special for dinner and were not disappointed. The mixed salad and tiramisu were also delicious.

Capo Caccia / Neptune's Grotto. If you're staying in Alghero, I would definitely try to visit the grotto if it's open. Even if it's not, the ride out there is stunning and I don't think you'd be disappointed. Boat rides are supposedly easy to catch during the spring and summer months but buses run year-round.

Souvenirs? Coral is abundant off the shores of Sardinia and you'll see it for sale everywhere - necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. You'll also find lots of turquoise jewelry. Prices are good, too. I was particularly smitten with some conch shells that had scenes carved on the sides but since they started at around 1800 euro, I admired them through the glass case, snapped a photo or two and moved on ... but if you're looking for something really special to remember your honeymoon, that might be the perfect thing. :)

Have you been to Sardinia? If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Happy Honeymooning!

Did you miss the other entries of CB's Travel Journal? Click here to catch up! ;o)

All images by moi.

Etsy Find: Doloris Petunia.

Dec 19, 2012

I just discovered the Etsy shop, Doloris Petunia, while catching up on one of my favorite blogs, This is Glamorous. I immediately clicked over to the shop and immediately knew I had to share this insane talent. I mean, I'm talking some seriously legit couture-worthy baubles, people. See for yourself:

Ombre done right. 
Yes, this should totally be your bridal statement necklace. 
No looking back. 

The rope detail. Umm, to die for. Here.

Would this not be the coolest bridal bracelet? 
.... Is it too late to add this to my Christmas list? :-/

No words. Here.

I'm also beyond obsessed with this Gatsby-worthy crystal headdress and this cute flowergirl's dress.
Are you as obsessed with Doloris Petunia as I am? Gahhh.

Nope, this is not a sponsored post. 

Spanish Destination Wedding Board by Lovely Notes

Dec 18, 2012

So thrilled to have Michele, the blogger and brains behind Lovely Notes, with us! Today, Michele is sharing her vision for a destination wedding in Seville with us! Enjoy!

Seville is such a historic and romantic city in Spain. The bright colors of the flamenco dresses are what inspired my board. Bridesmaids don pinks or reds with complementing bouquets. Several candles and lanterns in a beautiful Moorish-inspired courtyard is the perfect backdrop for this destination wedding. A beautiful Spanish guitar would serenade the guests while dining al fresco. A reception in the open air of the courtyard with plenty of candlelight for this Spanish affair. The bride is well suited in an equally romantic veil and lace dress. A gorgeous vintage ring as an ode to the city's history as well. An evening under the stars is my idea of a perfect destination wedding.

How I'm ready to book a flight to Seville now! Make sure to check out Michele's gorgeous Parisian Inspiration board and her stunning wedding - both are beyond words.

Row 1: Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings
Row 2: Erin Ax 
Row 3: Style Me Pretty, My Venetian Mask, lacasaperanza

Preppy Winter Engagement in San Francisco

Dec 17, 2012

Christmas is right around the corner and one of my favorite things that just scream holidays to me is a warm wool tartan throw. I shared an E*Sesh not too long ago that expertly incorporated a festive tartan throw and today I'm excited to share another engagement session that does the same. Thanks to one of my favorite photographers, Laura Monfredini, for sharing her gorgeous photos of Deidre and Collin with us. Enjoy:

Says photographer Laura, "Deidre & Collin are from Colorado originally, and are getting married there, but they wanted to do an e-session in San Francisco, where they both live now. We went to Cavallo Point, which is an old army base that has gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a pretty forested area. 

We kept the shoot simple and did a couple of themes to reflect their everyday lives -- a hot chocolate break in the woods (they're both fans of starbucks and the outdoors, so we combined those elements) and a little bit dressed up, as they would be for going out to dinner in the city, which they love to do. I wanted to catch them naturally interacting and it was so easy because they are so in love with each other."

Aside from my unending love for that adorbs woolly throw, the Starbucks cups with the hearts are pretty darn cute! Don't you think? Thanks again to Laura, of eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY for sending this lovely session over to share. xx.

Embracing the Snow for a Winter Wedding: Snowman Style

Dec 14, 2012

With all the snowfall here in Germany, it would almost be a sin not to get out there and roll out a snowman. There have been lots of creative little snow people popping up in our neighborhood and it got me thinking how fun it would be to make a wedding snowman!

Wouldn't it be fun to make a snowman at your winter wedding? And then take a group shot around your work of art? I love how the Martha Stewart team used natural greenery, nuts and pinecones to accessorize their handsome snow fella {above}. I think a tartan scarf would look adorable around his little neck, too.

What do you think? Would you include a snowman in your wedding?

Image: Martha Stewart.

Sweet Urban Engagement Sesssion

Dec 13, 2012

I have a sweet engagement session to share with you today. I love how the photos aren't so much about the surroundings or props but about the couple and their affection for one another. Laura and Matthew are college sweethearts and their love story is pretty darling - read on to see for yourself. And thanks to Le Image for submitting these gorgeous photos.

Says Laura, "I met Matt during our first week of college at Loyola Maryland. He was sitting Indian style on the middle of our mutual friend's dorm room floor, playing video games with a partially shaven head (the product of club soccer initiation). The first words he ever said to me were: "wanna play some Fifa?" I said no... but I did volunteer to be his beer pong partner later that night (even with the crazy hair I thought we was such a babe). 

We became great friends and after we both parted ways with our respective high school romances, we started officially dating in October of 2005. In fact, our wedding date is set for the same weekend he first asked me to be his girlfriend. As college sweethearts we basically grew up together - partying and studying and learning how to love along the way.

Finally in 2011, we moved in together in Battery Park and are still living in that very apartment. On March 16th of this year, Matt mentioned that his parents would be making a trip to the city and wanted to take us out to dinner. After work, I met him not far from the alleged restaurant. When he greeted me, he sighed and said that his parents mistakenly took the green line and were on the other side of the park. We set off into Central Park to rescue his lost parents but not before making a stop at Bethesda fountain. He got down on one knee right at the plaque in front of the fountain (so we'd always know where we stood) and asked me to marry him. Little did I know at the time, he had planted his brother at the park. Not only is the entire proposal documented on video, but the roar of applause was nearly deafening! After that we celebrated with dinner at our favorite restaurant followed by a surprise party attended by all our friends and family. It was absolutely perfect!

We've been having such a blast planning our wedding together and gratuitously celebrating (full disclosure: we've had THREE engagement parties, haha). I'm so excited to be marrying not only the love of my life, but the only other person that shares my passion for the air guitar, the Bourne trilogy, meatballs and marching bands. I foresee a very long and happy life together :) "

Images by Le Image.