Love Lost at Sea

Who doesn't love a good love story anyway? When planning our summer shoot we knew we wanted to design and capture that perfect story of love, loss, being reunited and committing to a life together.

We knew that our backdrop for this romantic story had to be the ocean. Just like love, the ocean is an integral part of life, one that is powerful but serene. The human response to the ocean has been expressed in various forms of art, literature and music, and this is our expression.

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Our vision for this shoot was to capture balance in all things.
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We created a soft design with hues of creams, greys and blues, a palette that connected our story to the ocean. We balanced our design details to capture movement and softness to warm the harshness of the ocean's rough waves and boulders.

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Our bride was styled in two Cathy Telle gowns with beautiful accessories. Each dress created elegance in their simplistic style, the lace a-line dress's color of jade connected our bride to the cool ocean tones and our bridal dress gave soft details of lavender embroidered flowers. Her hair was simply done with wind blown waves and a touch of texture from a fishtail braid, the look completed with her soft makeup, with a hint of pink

Each dress created elegance in their simplistic style, the lace a-line dress’s color of jade connected our bride to the cool ocean tones and our bridal dress gave soft details of lavender embroidered flowers.
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We wanted the floral accents to look as though the bride was able to scavenge them herself from her island. Justine, of Flowers by Justine, was able to capture both movement and texture in these beautiful pieces.

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The surroundings and the details helped us tell this story of connection, resilience and commitment to what we know is true love.

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Vendors

Vendors:

 

 

Honeymoon Hotspot: San Francisco, California

IMAGE SOURCE: @SAN.FRANCISCO

IMAGE SOURCE: @SAN.FRANCISCO

Whether you’re trying to shake the stress of a winter wedding, or you’re looking for a romantic summer getaway after your walk down the aisle, San Francisco, CA is the perfect honeymoon destination! The coastal temperatures make for a gorgeous trip any time of year, and the city is full of history and charm that’s just waiting to be explored by you and your new hubby!


If you’re looking to wake up, walk out the door, and hop on a cable car in authentic San Fran fashion, consider staying at the Chancellor Hotel in Union Square. The rooms are a bit smaller, but full of charm, and the prices can’t be beat compared to the rest of pricey San Francisco! If you want to be in the absolute heart of the city, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel sits at the top of famous Nob Hill. Enjoy a cocktail at sunset at their rooftop bar to toast to your new life together!

Looking for something a little more low-key and local than a fancy rooftop bar? Try out Mama’s on Washington Square for the best brunch you’ll ever eat. It’s a local favorite because of the huge portions and fluffy pancakes, so make sure you get there bright and early - there’s always a line to get in!

There’s no other city like San Francisco, so immerse yourselves in it as much as you can. A really unique option is to check out the incredible and diverse cuisine through EatWith, which is an AirBnB for food! Check out the local chefs listed on the site (Don of the Bimini Twist is a popular favorite) and book whatever time works for you. You’ll have a personal cook for the two of you at a fraction of the cost!

IMAGE SOURCE: @THE415GUY

IMAGE SOURCE: @THE415GUY

IMAGE SOURCE: MISSION LOCAL

IMAGE SOURCE: MISSION LOCAL

Don’t leave San Francisco without heading to the Mission District to try out some authentic Latin food. La Taqueria is a tiny but adorable hole-in-the-wall restaurant with the freshest tacos you’ll ever taste, and it’s super easy to pop in and grab some to-go when you’re out and about exploring.

While you’re walking the streets of San Fran hand in hand with your love, there’s so much to stop and see. Window shop the quirky one-of-a-kind stores, and stroll around the local parks. The Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers is practically something out of a fairy tale and the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon picnic tucked away from the city. Another can’t miss spot is the famous row of Victorian houses called the “Painted Ladies,” (also known as the opening scene from Full House) which is ideal for a cute photo-op.

Some of the best San Francisco charm is found in the most touristy areas, so don’t count out a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge just yet! Get the best view of the bridge from Battery Park, and take the elevator up Coit Tower to admire the cityscape. The views are one of the most incredible parts of this city, and there’s nothing more romantic than watching the sunset with your honey!

IMAGE SOURCE: FINANCIAL TIMES

IMAGE SOURCE: FINANCIAL TIMES

IMAGE SOURCE: @AJZIMME

IMAGE SOURCE: @AJZIMME


Our Favorite Valentine's Day Date Ideas!

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

There is always added pressure to get your Valentine’s Day date right; it needs to be the most romantic date of the year, but sometimes it’s hard deciding what to do! To help, we’ve rounded up a bunch of date ideas sure to create memories, romance, and an atmosphere for your love to grow!


Stay in if you want - no one ever said Valentine’s Day had to be glamorous! Do the opposite of what you and your significant other always do. If you’re the kind of couple that stays in and watches Netflix in your old Christmas pajamas year round, try that new restaurant in town that everyone’s been raving about instead of the same old takeout! If you’re the kind of couple that’s always moving, always on the go, and you never get the opportunity to unwind together, then an easy movie night in could be the best Valentine’s date ever.

IMAGE SOURCE: ELANALOO

IMAGE SOURCE: ELANALOO

IMAGE SOURCE: SHOP STYLE

IMAGE SOURCE: SHOP STYLE

If a night in isn’t for you, be spontaneous! Head to a city or town nearby that you’ve never been to. If you want to avoid V-Day crowds, consider making it an earlier day and check out the local breakfast places. Romance doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner with flowers galore - coffee works, too! Take the time to walk around and enjoy being in an entirely unknown place together. Window-shop the stores you come across, and enjoy exploring somewhere new with your love hand in hand!

If you’re not feeling confident about your cooking skills but you still want to impress your S/O with something homemade, check out the cooking classes offered in your area. They’re not too expensive, and not only will you learn something new, but you’ll get to do it with your love and eat a delicious meal afterwards!

IMAGE SOURCE: MELISSA JILL

IMAGE SOURCE: MELISSA JILL

IMAGE SOURCE @WAHOOBAYBEACH

IMAGE SOURCE @WAHOOBAYBEACH

You might feel a little guilty indulging in a massage for just yourself any other time of year, but a couple’s massage or spa day is the perfect environment to get the two of you relaxed. And get that facial you’ve been dreaming about while you’re at it! You’ll be feeling confident, stress-free, and ready to enjoy the night together.

For a little more romance, recreate your first date, or take it back to where you first met. If you spent it at the movies, go to the same theater and get the large popcorn you were too nervous to get on your first date. Take a walk around the park that you met in, or enjoy a nice meal at the restaurant you first fumbled over conversation in. Reminiscing can be very romantic, and chances are, your S/O will be impressed with all the thought that went into it!


Unique Valentine's Day Gifts For Him

IMAGE SOURCE: CROSLEY RADIO

IMAGE SOURCE: CROSLEY RADIO

Struggling to find your man the perfect gift? You’re not alone! Every year Valentine’s Day approaches too quickly, and us girls have no idea what to give our hubby who seems to own everything. To help prevent further panic, we’ve come up with 10 gifts he is sure to love and appreciate!


STAR MAP

If you’re looking to do something even more romantic than a mixtape, a great option is a star map from the night you met. The Night Sky is just one company that offers tons of different looks and customizable options that anyone would love, all from the exact date and location of your choosing. You can add the constellations, pick from different color schemes, and add a little message. Not only will your gift be super sweet, but it’ll look great hung up on the wall, too!

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

An adorable way to remind your guy that you’re thinking of him is a subscription box. There are tons you could treat him to! The beauty of subscription services is that you could buy him a few months worth, or you could treat him to one month of a few different ones, so he can see what works best for him! Dollar Shave Club is a great one if your guy is a little too obsessed with his beard (or doesn’t seem to care for it at all). Birchbox Man is another great idea if you want to go beyond just razors, since it features everything from cologne to skincare. Or, if you want to be super sweet, you could deliver some chocolate right to his doorstep with Candy Club!

PERSONALIZED GIFT BASKETS

If you’re not too sure about committing to a candy subscription box, but you don’t exactly want to settle for a cheap box of random chocolates, a great option is to hand-pick a basket of sweets that you know he’ll love! Toss in a gift card to grab that new video game he’s been talking about, too - it’s thoughtful, affordable, and his man cave will be stocked with his favorite treats.

OLD-SCHOOL VINYL MIXTAPE

Mixtapes are a classic Valentine’s gift, especially if your guy loves music. So why not kick it up a notch with something a little more unexpected, like a mixtape on vinyl? Freestyle Vinyl will totally personalize a record for you - they’ll even buy all the songs so you don’t have to! Impress your guy with some of his favorite songs, or make a custom mix of the ones that remind you of him with an adorable sleeve featuring the two of you!

SPORTS GEAR AND EXPERIENCES

If your guy is more into sports games than video games, a pair of tickets to his favorite sports team’s next game isn’t only easy, it’s also bound to be a fun date night for the two of you, too! Grabbing some last-minute tickets is a win-win, but it can also be expensive. If you’re trying to be more conservative with your budget this Valentine’s Day, grab him a new jersey sporting his favorite player’s name. There’s some really unique limited edition ones out there, too, like the NFL’s new Salute to Service line, that he’d definitely appreciate.

QUALITY SUNGLASSES

Anyone who does a lot of driving (or vacationing on the beach) needs a good pair of sunnies, but chances are your S/O doesn’t have a nice, quality pair that’s also on trend. Treat him to a new pair of sunglasses for Valentine’s Day! QUAY Australia is just one affordable brand that always has the best up and coming shades, so shop around with one of their many discount codes and pick what you’d like to see your guy in!

DESIGNER SMARTWATCH

Everyone seems to have an Apple Watch now, but if you’re looking to treat your S/O to something a little more professional with all the same capabilities, pick him up a designer smartwatch - the Michael Kors ones are gorgeous, and usually on sale. Men will always appreciate a nice piece of jewelry, especially when it doubles as a notification center and fitness tracker.

YETI COOLER OR MUG

If your guy is a big fan of the outdoors, consider picking him out a top-of-the-line YETI cooler for his summer camping trips! If you can’t justify splurging on a cooler, grab him a YETI mug to keep his coffee hot at the office, and his drinks cold at the beach!

COLOGNE

Chances are, your S/O probably already has his own staple scent. A no-hassle gift is to stock him up on his go-to cologne! If he hasn’t found one yet, head over to Sephora, try them all, and pick for him. You could even get a small starter kit that lets him sample a handful, and offer to pick up the full size of his favorite.

AN UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCE

If you’re looking for something completely different, Cloud9 Living has tons of deals for some of the craziest experiences out there. Treat him to something he’s always wanted to try, like indoor skydiving, or make a romantic date out of it and book a helicopter ride at sunset over your city!


#GivingTuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday focused on giving charitable donations, your time, or gifts to your community. #GivingTuesday is an amazing way to kick-off the season of giving and get involved in something greater. To help you find the right foundation to give back to, we’ve devised a list of amazing organizations which could use your love!  And be sure to share the #GivingTuesday movement on your social media to raise awareness!

Be sure to check out #GivingTuesday's official website  to find organizations in need local to you! Small organizations are often overlooked and can always use the extra help!


ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS


Wildlife Conservation Network

WCN’s mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. They combat large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade through education and training of local organizations globally.

World Wildlife Foundation

WWF aims to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity and ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable.

Ahisma House

Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. We offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state.

ASPCA

The ASPCA provides effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.


ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURE ORGANIZATONS


The Nature Conservancy

TNC conserves the lands and waters on which all life depends. Their vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.

350

350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects; take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet; and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.

National Audubon Society

The NAS mission is to conserve of birds, other wildlife and healthy ecosystems by use of science, education and grassroots advocacy to advance conservation.

Ecotrust

Ecotrust inspires fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Their goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.


HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS


Public Health Institute

PHI generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health policy, programs, systems and practices.

Mental Health America

MHA promotes mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions, and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

FNIH forges public-private partnerships and alliances to advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries that can change and improve the quality of people’s lives. Established by Congress to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH raises funds, provides scientific expertise and administers research programs for a wide range of health challenges.

MAP International

MAP provides immediate humanitarian assistance and relief aid including medicines and health supplies to people left homeless and without access to basic services and serves all people, regardless of religion, gender, race, nationality or ethnic background.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.


HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS


Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign created to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria and deliver nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions like diagnostics, treatment, and training of healthcare workers.

American Red Cross

The ARC provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

International Rescue Committee

IRC responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

American Refugee Committee

The ARC provides opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people, and host communities. It’s committed to the delivery of programs that ensure measurable quality and lasting impact for the people they serve.


SPORTS & PLAY ORGANIZATIONS


Special Olympics

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

US Soccer Foundation

By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow, and places to learn, USSF's goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.

Women's Sport Foundation

The WSF is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.

Stride Adaptive Sports

SAS’s mission is to educate and empower individuals with special needs in life-changing sport and recreation programs to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles.

Peaceful Playgrounds Foundation

PPF’s mission is to help foundations and corporations who desired to donate physical activity programs to schools, churches, and other organizations across the country by providing supplies, support, training, and activity kits to organizations after natural disasters.


ART ORGANIZATIONS


Fractured Atlas

FA empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

Americans for the Arts

AA’s mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Art in Action

Art in Action provides a high quality, comprehensive K–8 visual arts curriculum. Students learn about works of art from cultures around the world, how to look at art using art vocabulary and concepts, and how to express themselves by creating their own unique masterpiece.

ART WORKS Projects

AWP mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues, and provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels.

Music for Relief

Music for Relief’s mission is to respond to natural disasters as they occur to help survivors recover and rebuild, and to mitigate damage caused by natural disasters by reducing greenhouse gases and educating the public about climate change.


CHILDREN'S ORGANIZATIONS


St. Jude Chldren’s Research Hospital

SJCRH advances cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

No Kid Hungry

NKH connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

The NEA Foundation

NEAF advances student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Unicef

Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential


HUNGER ORGANIZATIONS


Heifer International

HI links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

Feeding America

FA’s mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Hunger Project

THP’s mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies, and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

Rise Against Hunger

RAH’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Action Against Hunger

AAH is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. They save the lives of malnourished children; ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care; and enable entire communities to be free from hunger.


CLEAN WATER ORGANIZATIONS


Love Water

LW’s mission is to provide access to clean water in order to restore health and create opportunity in global communities.

Water Aid

WA’s mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Citizens for Clean Water

CCW’s mission is to bring awareness about the importance of clean water to the world and advocate for change and educate the community on what we can all do to have clean water.

Clean Water for the World

CWW’s mission is to provide simple, adaptable water purification systems, at no charge to communities without access to potable water.

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water

BUSFBSCW promotes safe, clean and responsible boating and to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keeps boating a safe and enjoyable pastime.


EQUALITY ORGANIZATIONS


Invisible Girl Project

IGP raises global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursues justice for the lives lost, and assists Indian organizations in the rescue of and care for Indian girls.

Equal Justice Initiative

EJI provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial.

Planned Parenthood

PP’s mission is to empower individuals to make independent, informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. They provide information and health care, and promote public policies that make those services available to all.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

National Center for Equality & Innovation

NCEI offers unique crisis prevention and intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and questioning youth (LGBT+). They help those who may become or are currently homeless, as well as those experiencing life-threatening issues.They are committed to positive development through action, education, intervention, and creating safer and healthier living environments.


HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY ORGANIZATIONS


The Covenant House

TCH’s mission is to serve youth with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help suffering homeless kids, and to protect and safeguard all children in need.

Care

Care’s mission is to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice around the globe, especially for women and girls.

Habitat for Humanity

HH brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

NAEH’s mission is to end homelessness in the United States. They use research and data to find solutions to homelessness, work with federal and local partners to create a solid base of policy and resources that support those solutions, and then help communities implement them.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

NLCHP is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness.  It works to expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation, and advocacy training and support.


MILITARY & VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS


American Legion

AL is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

Fisher House Foundation

FHF’s mission is to improve quality of life for members of the military, retirees, veterans, and their families, and builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers and gifts them to the government.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

IFHF’s mission is to support our military community, now specifically those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project

WWP’s mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.

Operation Help a Hero

OHH supports military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the US.  Their projects uplift our military heroes and send a clear message of support to their entire family. Operation Help A Hero connects communities with service members and provides real opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country.


Husband Appreciation Day

Image Source:  Bridal Musings

Image Source: Bridal Musings

 

 

It’s time to show your incredible husband all the love and appreciation he deserves! This year, National Husband Appreciation Day falls on April 15, and showing appreciation to your husband should come very naturally on this day (as well as the rest of the year!). To celebrate the lucky man in your life, set up a special date night for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company. Whether it be reminiscing on your wedding video, creating a scrapbook for him filled with memories between the two of you, or cooking him a delicious meal, today’s the day for him to relax and absorb all the love you give him! Try one of our favorite go-to date night recipes below! 


Image and Recipe Source:  Averie Cooks

Image and Recipe Source: Averie Cooks

 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions (half of a 1-pound box)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and cleaned with tails off (I prefer 12-15 count shrimp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  3. Stir in the garlic powder.
  4. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes total, or until just pink and cooked through. Flip shrimp halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary based on size of shrimp and pan used; don't overcook or shrimp will become rubbery and tough.
  5. Add the lemon juice, optional lemon zest, and stir briefly to combine.
  6. Turn the heat to low, add the pasta to skillet with the shrimp, and toss to combine and coat. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and make any desired tweaks (add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, etc.). Serve immediately. Dish is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat gently prior to serving.

How are You Spending Your Valentine's Day?

The most lovable day of the year is quickly approaching: Valentine’s Day! Whether you want to put on your favorite heels and go out on the town, or slide into your comfiest slippers and enjoy a cozy night in, we have fun ideas for both date nights for you and your loved one!


Time to strap on those heels and get fabulous! Although cliché, going out to a romantic dinner for two is a great way to celebrate this day of love. Add a festive pop of color to your look with some deep red lipstick shades and a bright red statement skirt. Split a bottle of wine and end the night with some delicious dessert! If you want to stray away from the typical dinner date, slip into something cute but more comfortable. While still adding some color to your outfit, try a deeper shade of red skirt matched with a long sleeve shirt to keep that flirty look! Sign up for a cooking class and create a meal together or attend a paint bar night, where you can enjoy that bottle of wine all while making masterpieces together.


Don’t feel like making reservations or spending much money? No problem! Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the comfort of your own home. Instead of taking that cooking class, try making a meal at home together. Keep it festive with a pizza in the shape of a heart or learn something new by making your own sushi rolls! Kick your feet up and enjoy each other’s company in something cozy yet chic, such as leggings and an oversized cardigan matched with some natural, softer makeup tones. End your night watching some of your favorite films together while snacking on some yummy homemade desserts like chocolate covered strawberries!  


Pondering what to make for your date night in? We have got you covered! Spicy Clams with Spaghetti.

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 18 littleneck clams (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon thinly sliced stems

1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Increase heat to medium-high and add clams. Cover and cook just until clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard unopened clams.

3. Stir in butter and parsley leaves and stems. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is loose and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Valentine's Day Wedding Inspiration

What better way to celebrate saying “I do” and bonding the love between two soulmates than having a Valentine’s Day inspired wedding? In the love-filled month of February, your wedding day will shine as a romantic occasion by highlighting the iconic Valentine’s Day colors of red and pink, beautifully bloomed roses, and a classic candle-lit atmosphere.

In addition to the popular red and pink color palette, nothing describes “classic romance” more than lace and pearls, deep reds with hints of gold, and bow & arrow décor scattered throughout the venue. Let your guests feel and indulge in the romantic atmosphere with their own candle lit dinners at the reception and enjoy a fun and classy background of roses for photographs. To end the perfect night, share a toast with your guests with glasses filled with gold-flaked champagne. Spread the love, while celebrating your own love with that special someone on this intimate day!

Alexis and Lyle: The Perfect Rustic Wedding

The Perfect Rustic Wedding 

When a couple beams as bright as Alexis and Lyle did on their wedding, you are reminded how special a wedding is. Their day was filled with special moments and details. 

Alexis shared her wedding planning process and how it all came together.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wedding? I wanted something that represented my husband and I as a couple. We love the outdoors (you can often find us hiking, fishing, and camping) and simplicity. I was inspired by natural wood, burlap, twine, neutral colors, and antique bottles. I went to Pinterest for ideas and was blown away by the amount of DIY wedding projects.

What area of your wedding did the bulk of your budget go to? The bulk of our wedding budget went towards booking the venue. Feeding over 100 people is not cheap, plus you need to buy table cloths and chair covers for the entire dining area.

Was there any part of your wedding day that wasn’t worth the cost? Honestly, no. I actually have regrets about not hiring a videographer. I wish I spent the extra money to have our wedding captured on DVD.

Did you hire a wedding planner? If so, how did they help? I did not hire a wedding planner. I was planning a local wedding (Sturbridge, MA) and had a little over 100 guests so I did not think it was necessary. Plus, I liked handling all the fine details.

What is your best advice for future brides and grooms on their big day? My best advice would be: STAY CALM! There are hiccups during any event and you would be setting yourself up for disaster if you did not think this also applies to weddings. It's best to go into your wedding day feeling calm, ready to tackle any problem head on, and with a smile. Is it the end of the world if your DJ plays the wrong song or if your Uncle Freddy has a little too much whiskey and starts busting a move on the dance floor? No. It's these obstacles that make for incredibly memorable wedding stories.

What moment do you cherish the most about your wedding day? I cherished the first look photography session the most. To see how my husband looked at me was priceless and I wouldn't want anyone else stealing that moment from us. My husband was able to be emotionally open without people watching us and it made for a truly romantic photography session. It was also fun to twirl around and around in my dress without anyone telling me to stop! : )


Vendor List 

Photographer: Victoria Mello Photography
Location: The Publick House, Sturbridge, MA
DJ: Rocco Productions
Florist: Michele Bernard