Registry Must: Holiday Dishes, Linens and Decor

My Pasture Bunny plates make me so happy every time I pull them from our credenza just as winter’s chilling out, warmer days start creating those flowery-scented breezes, and pasty arms bravely go out without a jacket. When these little guys get on the table, it usually means spring cleaning has happened, and we’re getting ready for another Easter dinner at our place.

These special plates, linens, and ancillary items like pillows and even little wooden spring signs call out the fanfare for a bright, springtime mindset with lots of texture and color, just like the scenery outside after such a long season of blah.

I’m sure your bridal registry is going to be amazing with all of those awesome kitchen gadgets (can I just tell you how much I love my cookie dough/meatball scoops?!) and I wanted to remind you before it’s too late to add into your registry some great, seasonal/holiday dish and linen sets like our super-cute Pasture Bunny pieces from Pottery Barn.

They’re just lovely, and don’t forget that wedding and shower guests are always looking for holiday-centric gifts to give you, knowing that you’ll feel just like this — always thrilled, joyful and renewed when you pull your holiday dish sets, table runners, napkins, pillows, etc. from storage, ready for party season to begin. They know how happy holiday items will make you, and maybe you’ll even be reminded of them each time you use them. That’s way better to the sentimental gift-giver than 1/8th of your bedding set. 🙂

So load up your registry with holiday items that turn a regular room into a festive, cheerful scene where so many new memories are made with family and friends. Load them on your registry, and remember to check into your registry’s completer program that could give you a nice-sized % off on any items remaining on your gift list after the wedding. And keep checking back year after year. We’re on Year 11 of our marriage and still finding cute Pasture Bunny set additions that we HAVE to have. We’ll definitely boost our tabletop adorableness with more of these fun finds — even now, they connect us to that fun season of building our gift registry and sneaking looks to see which items were disappearing from our registry as the big day approaches. New Pasture Bunny takes us back there, and it’s a springtime joy!

Happy registering, happy spring, and happy shopping!

Something New! Ayesha Curry’s “The Seasoned Life” for Your Registry

Bridal shower guests LOVE giving cookbooks as gifts! You simply can’t lose with a buzzy, beautiful cookbook that captures a celebrity chef’s sparkle and skill and whichever kind of recipes you’re hungry for now — keto, GF, quick, comforting, southern, and so on.

Here’s my pick:

blog books ayesha curry seasoned life

How lovely is Ayesha Curry? She’s got that fun-girl energy, excellence in the kitchen, family-friendly dishes, and always a mix of inspiration. I set her TV show to record even if it’s going to be all reruns all day. Don’t care. Love it that much. Recipes to die for, intros to kitchen gear, family visits, al fresco dining, and those cutie kids. All of this great energy, sparkle and great taste comes through in “The Seasoned Life,” and here are my picks for some of the best dishes in this cookbook: Smoked Salmon Scramble. Seriously. Made easy, and finished with a mastery of garnishing that creates a wish to get better at the garnish. Delish, and a fab pick for any bridal brunch or the wedding morning breakfast. Love this one.

Her Making Dinner Happen is one of the warming chapter openings, inviting you into Ayesha’s kitchen with her family, and you just have a seat at the table, or giving her in-progress recipe a taste. “Dinner is also the meal that draws in the most memories” gets you in a reminiscing mood with Ayesha, and this is a great time to look back with gratitude on all of the family dinner memories you have with your inner circle. And White Chocolate Bread Pudding at the end of this book with the desserts (many of them impressively low in sweet stature) completes the equivalent of a great meal. Fabulous finds happen everywhere in this cookbook, on so many levels and in so many categories, with helpful charts and lists like the mix-ins salad chart that’s going to send you right to the crisper. This is a good one, sure to get lots of ooohs and ahhhs if you’re among the brides who open their bridal shower gifts in front of the shower guests. (Not everyone does. We didn’t. People lived. Cake was had.)

I’m excited to open the doors of my book reccs starting with Ayesha’s gorgeous book, for your wedding registry or for a self-bought treat to stave off wedding stress. Books can always rescue you, so I’ll share more of my favorite registry books coming up here!

Hey, as always, thanks for following me here on the blog, and on my social media spots. Many of you know that I’ve been dancing with grief the past few years, and no one tells you that it’s going to take a long time to not just get back to normalcy but to see some slivers of color in the clouds where new joys are coming through. I haven’t really enjoyed a book club novel for years, understandably. I’ve started a few, then put them down, picked them up, then put them down and fired up Netflix. I just couldn’t connect, just couldn’t be there. Then I chanced upon Ashley Spivey’s Book Club and a DM from Ashley led me to her bubbly, energetic, kind, and generous circle of readers. It was exactly what I needed. Exactly exactly. So I am re-reading those sputter-stop novels (Tea Girl?! Really?! I couldn’t get into Tea Girl?!) and jumping into the big names of now (Where the Crawdads Sing, etc.) with my love of reading — and reviewing and recommending — all shined up with a vibrance even my husband has noticed. I’m sure there’s some kind of article out there somewhere on how reading fulfills the soul, in part helping to add extra light to a relationship. Don’t need an article on that. It’s just true.

So if you’re hurting in your wedding planning season, or any other kind of straining season, grab a great novel, crack open a cookbook and some farm-fresh eggs, and just breathe in all that new energy. That’s what I’m going to be doing here on the blog for a while. I published by 38th wedding planning book, I’m turning 50 in about 3 months (!!!) and I’m navigating a post-grief life. Book titles are popping up in my mind, and I’m editing my next novel, so this is a coasting with sea air blowing my hair around after a loooong pedal up that hill.

Happy reading, and hugs to you and yours!

Fab Find! Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries

berries champ 1 berries champ 2 berries champ 3

Just when you thought chocolate-dipped strawberries couldn’t get any better, here are Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries.

How gorgeous are these beauties?! I just received my 20% off brochure in the mail from Shari’s Berries [I’ve sent chocolate-covered strawberries as gifts in the past, and ordered platters for my parties, so I know they’re delish!] and I noticed a few new items on their list: with these Champagne Strawberries standing out as the most perfect gift for bridesmaids, a stunning dessert buffet addition, and I would give out-of-town wedding guests a half-dozen of these as their welcome gift in their hotel rooms!

Here are a few details about these indulgent and upscale chocolate-dipped champagne berries in a dozen assortment (and they have lots of different assortments, so go to their page!:)

  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Shimmer Sugar*
  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Swizzles*
  • *Contains no alcohol

This is definitely a fab find! And they’ll work beautifully in any wedding season. And let me remind you to get your wedding coordinator an excellent thank you gift after your wedding – these would be perfect!

Fab Find for your Wedding Guest Welcome Baskets: CapaBubbles

capabubbles1 The fabulous folks at CapaBunga sent me a sample of their CapaBubbles cap that fits on top of a partially-finished champagne bottle, keeping champagne fresh and bubbly for up to a week. The top of the cap has a super-cute design (mine is the one shown above,) and they also have ones in solid colors, patterns, ‘Me Time’ and other styles, plus a holiday line including a snowflake or snowman if you’ll have a winter wedding. When your wedding guests come to stay the weekend, you’ll surely offer them a welcome basket filled with treats and drinks, and CapaBubbles would be a great addition to those baskets, so that they can order champagne (or enjoy the bottle you provided for them) and cap off any unfinished bubbly for enjoyment later. And then they take their CapaBubbles cap home. Brilliant! And an easy gift to pack for travel. capaglasswhere I also spotted on the CapaBunga website their GlassWhere discs that encircle the stem of a wine glass, and you can write on it with a ballpoint pen to ID which glass is yours. For cocktail parties and other soirees, this is a stylish way to help guests keep track of their glasses, and it also encourages them to keep using their own glass, not deplete your bar’s supply of new glasses for each refill all night. Again, brilliant, and the sayings on these discs are cute. Check them out!

Fab Find! Kathy Ireland Expressions Notepads

kathy ireland notepad

When I saw Kathy Ireland’s fabulous collection of notepads at my local Hallmark store, I bought a bunch to give out as hostess gifts during the Memorial Day weekend. Everyone needs great notepads, especially those magnetic-backed notepads for the fridge, and these are SO pretty, it’s definitely going to be a pleasing hostess gift.

Get these also for bridal shower wishing well presents! The wedding couple will love finding these, and having a great little place on the fridge for writing out the shopping list (bread, milk, eggs) AND as a lovely way to leave a romantic surprise note for their sweetie.

The design above is the Moroccan design I have on my own fridge right now.

And these are the Paisley Park Notepads

kathy ireland paisley

See them all here .

I love supporting anything that Kathy Ireland does, since she is so generous with her time, so sweet — to me personally and to my brides — and such a force of good in this world. Can’t wait to see what she creates next!

Fab Find! EssenTiles Wedding Wine Charms

essentiles

EssenTiles wine charms are so brilliant, I wish I thought of this! They’re artistic accents on Scrabble tiles, turned into wine charms!

Here’s what the Essentiles.com site says about their Wedding collection:

“A set of specially chosen (or custom-designed) EssenTiles wine charms make an uncommon engagement present, a unique shower gift, or a memorable bachelorette party favor! Our collection of famous beautiful brides is something special, but you can order just about any photos you want that are meaningful to the happy couple.

Get creative! If you are coordinating a wedding or throwing a shower, consider an EssenTile charm as an alternative to place cards! Or say thank you to the wedding party with a custom charm or wine tag set.”

They have tons of different themes, too – so you can personalize your gifts or bridal shower themed wine charms.

Shop at their Etsy store — http://www.etsy.com/shop/EssenTiles — and follow them on Twitter at @EssenTiles

Dune Jewelry Supports the Home Base Program with Sand From Fenway Park used in Jewelry Designs!

Dune Jewelry is proud to announce a new type of “memory to wear.” As The Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company™, we make heirloom quality jewelry and accessories with sand from all over the world!  Now we’ve partnered with the Home Base Program and we’re pairing sand from Fenway Park’s Infield & sterling silver to create one-of-a-kind Necklaces Bracelets and Cufflinks to help support our nation’s heroes. Each piece is handmade in Boston, Massachusetts with 25% of every sale going directly to Home Base.

Fab Find! Godiva Truffle Flights!

Godiva has long been the gold standard of wedding favors, in their little gold ballotins with the pretty ribbons, and I LOVE how brilliant it is for the Godiva team to create Truffle Flights for wedding favors, bridal shower favors, guest welcome baskets, gifts to bridal party members, gifts to wedding coordinators and other wedding experts. So check out the new Truffle Flight flavor collections — my perfect pick today on International Chocolate Day!
”The inspiration behind truffle flights? For truffle lovers to savor
their taste experience, starting with a lighter, delicate truffle
and venturing to the strongest flavors and textures.”
Dark Decadence Truffle Flight

Get ready to embrace your dark side. Make your way from Dark Vanilla Mousse all the way to our new Aztec Spice Truffle, crafted from an ancient recipe that blends 72% cocoa with exotic spices for an intense and unforgettable finish.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

Small, Dark & Handsome
The 72% Dark Chocolate Truffle
”Chef Muret creates his own adventure with this flight by tasting from most intense to milder instead of the other way around. He says, ‘If you love dark chocolate, start with the darkest, most intense and then ease back toward sweeter.”

Nut Case
The Pecan Caramel Truffle
Nut Lovers Truffle Flight

Discover a world of rich roasts and satisfying crunches. The new Salted Almond Truffle kicks off a flavor-filled experience that peaks triumphantly with Maple Walnut and Pistachio.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

”Each flight takes you on a journey, building in aroma, texture and flavor. Enjoy the adventure.”
Heavenly Mousse Truffle Flight

Savor the light-as-air fillings of heavenly mousse.  Start with Dark Vanilla Mousse and end with our divinely inspired Café Au Lait Mousse.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

Espresso Yourself
The Cafe Au Lait Truffle
”Overall, this flight experience provides a different type of up and down, starting off mellow, intensifying to a bright fruit profile, mellowing down, and then spiking back up with an intense coffee finish.”

Well, I Do Declair!
The Chocolate Eclair Truffle
Milk Chocolate Lovers Truffle Flight

Delight in rich and creamy milk chocolate. From Chocolate Éclair to Hazelnut Crunch, prepare to be amazed.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

”Truffle Flights require your attention: This is a conscience eating and savoring experience. To taste and enjoy everything, you have to be in the moment.”
Cake Truffle Flight

Have your cake – now in six bite-sized flavors. Revel in festive flavors. Start with the celebratory Birthday Cake Truffle filled with vanilla cake mousse and finish with a dreamy Lemon Chiffon CakeTruffle — as the perfect end to the party.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

Smile and Say Cheesecake
The Cheesecake Truffle
”Every truffle tells a story™ of heritage, craftsmanship, flavors, and an occasion that’s about to become special.”

Lava at First Bite
The Chocolate Lava Cake Truffle
Ultimate Dessert Truffle Flight

Inspired by the finest desserts from around the world, this flight begins with Chocolate Éclair before presenting four more sweet creations, leaving you to savor the final Strawberry Crème Tarte Truffle.

Buy any 2 Truffle Flights for $28 or any 3 for $40

Buy Now

”With each truffle in the flight, imagine yourself rising up a flight of stairs as your taste journey brings you from light and delicate to bold and strong, finishing at the very top. ”

”For more than 85 years, we have been crafting exceptional, high quality chocolate, yet we never grow tired of introducing new, exciting products, like our groundbreaking Truffle Flights. ”

Fab Find! Zippo Lighters for Personalized Groomsmen’s Gifts

zippo custom striped

Looking for groomsmen’s gifts they’ll really be able to use? My Fab Find is the Zippo® lighter, a classic essential that the company has evolved into an impressive array of designs, from sleek and professional polished chrome to more personality-driven designs like the ones I’ve chosen here. Now, the groomsmen’s gifts don’t have to match; you can pick the design that’s most him.

Your groomsmen will appreciate that you’ve chosen a design that suits his interests, perhaps even his humor, and they’re really going to appreciate that you got them a lighter that works, not some cheap lighter that never goes aflame when you need it to.

The Zippo® lighter makes my Fab Find list because it saved the day for us during Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath, when we had no power for a week, our grill lighter ran out of gas, and you couldn’t find any lighters or even matches in the stores, let alone D batteries for flashlights. People were actually selling lighters on the street for $100 a pop during that traumatic time. But we had my husband’s Zippo in a cabinet, and it worked. We had candlelight for the whole house. The neighbors saw the glow in our windows and asked if they could use our Zippo. So if your groomsmen ever find themselves in a natural disaster or even just your garden variety blackout, they’re going to love you even more for giving them a gift that saves the day, comforts their families, and rescues them.

Check out the many styles of Zippo® lighters here: http://www.zippo.com/lighters.aspx?c=1230

And here are some of the cool, new styles that stood out to me:

Zippo Jeep

zippo jeep

Zippo takes to the road in style, with this promotional vehicle that turns heads wherever it goes. This high polish chrome windproof lighter features the Zippo Jeep, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler modified by West Coast Customs to embody the attributes of the Zippo brand, which is overlaid against the engraved image of the Zippo office building. Comes packaged in an environmentally friendly gift box. For optimal performance, use with Zippo premium lighter fluid. http://www.zippo.com/product.aspx?id=1025964

KISS lighter

zippo kiss

This Street Chrome™ KISS lighter is a collectible piece that will impress any KISS fan. This lighter displays the members of KISS on this windproof lighter in their representative band colors and costumes. Comes packaged in an environmentally friendly gift box. http://www.zippo.com/product.aspx?id=1025866

For your veteran or active duty groomsmen, check out the lighters customized to branches of the military: http://www.zippo.com/lighters.aspx?id=1226&c=1230&p=2

zippo navy

And a sweet one for Dad: http://www.zippo.com/product.aspx?id=1025611

zippo dad

You can also get Zippos to customize with your choice of saying, perhaps an inside joke, or just your groomsman’s name or monogram.

zippo customize

Give a one-of-a-kind gift with Zippo’s Classic High Polish Chrome lighter. The clean, sleek look of this lighter makes it the ideal piece for a customized gift. Zippo’s Classic High Polish Chrome lighter is suitable for gift giving in its environmentally friendly gift box and comes with a lifetime guarantee. http://www.zippo.com/product.aspx?id=1023830 These also come in brushed chrome, satin chrome, red matte, black matte, white matte, and an ornate Venetian.

I especially like the look of this Striped, customizable Zippo lighter: http://www.zippo.com/product.aspx?id=1023917

zippo custom striped

Don’t let anyone tell you that lighters are too old-world, groomsman gifts of the 1950s. Today’s modern designs bring this groomsman gift right into trend, and it’s something your guys are going to keep forever, thinking of you every time they use it…and every time it saves the day for them.

Best of all, they look way more expensive than they are. Check them out.

Fab Find: Blossom and Bee Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Stick with local floral designers, people! For your wedding and especially for any flowers you’ll send or give as gifts, like Valentine’s Day presents or thank-you gifts for your wedding coordinator, vendors, parents and, yes, you can give bridesmaids pretty florals as their thank-you gift, too! When you buy from local floral experts, you support the local economy and keep their fabulous, personalized businesses going strong. One of my favorite floral artists is Pennylyn Kaine of Blossom and Bee, and I’ve re-blogged her recent post here for you!

How lovely are these flower arrangements?

Flowers are a timeless tradition for Valentine’s Day. Visit our retail website to order something special for your sweetheart this Valentines Day! http://www.theblossomandbee.com. We strongly urge our clients to pre-order their desired floral designs, things get a little hectic the closer we get. Orders may be submitted online or by calling the design studio at 973-874-0302.

We are happy to help you design something special for your valentine :-)