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Friday, May 28, 2010

Two gorgeous gowns (and some blog love).

Earlier in the week, I somehow ran across a delicious blog, A La Parisienne. Yeah, I know I'm still reeling from my lovely trip to Paris earlier in the month, but... the images on this blog are so delicate and romantic! For proof, just look at these Elie Saab gowns I discovered over there. =)

Have a fab weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

As seen on... the Etsy home page!

I love the rotating feature on Etsy's home page. You can imagine how geeked I was to see my monogram favor tags show up there on Tuesday. Click to enlarge...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graphic, modern + (surely) delicious cakes.

I love when I run across cakes that appeal to my modern + graphic taste. If only I were getting married all over again! These beauties from Berkeley's Sugar Coat It Studio are absolutely incredible.

Via Making It Lovely

Monday, May 24, 2010

Beach-inspired favors.

I was recently asked to put together a set of my Astoria tags for Brittany & Greg's spring wedding in Mexico. The happy couple then put together little vials of sand from their wedding beach as a favor for their guests. Didn't they turn out cute? Thanks for sharing this photo with me, Brittany, and congrats on your new marriage!

Friday, May 21, 2010

One gorgeous gown.

Since I posted the black gown last Friday, I thought I'd start the week with something a tad more traditional (although still quite different). I love this modern little dress by Jewel. Doesn't it look like something Audrey Hepburn might have worn in one of her classic films?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New in the shop: Wren save-the-date samples!

Calling all lovebirds! Wren save-the-date samples are now available in the shop. The best part about these new samples: they feature a classic black & white engagement photo on the backside! And, of course, they can be customized to match your color palette. =)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A modern garland tutorial.

If you didn't see this garland tutorial from Hambly Screen Prints recently, check it out. It's super easy and would make such a sweet addition to a handmade wedding. I can picture it strung up in a photo booth or across the front of a candy buffet. Where would you put it?

via craftzine

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pixelated featured in a Treasury!

Hello Linzy was kind enough to include Maida Vale's newest save-the-date card in this "juicy" Etsy treasury. Isn't it delish?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A controversial gown?

A whole lotta black showed up on the runway at last month's bridal fashion week in New York. This particular dress by Oscar de la Renta is a bit controversial. I love the butterfly detailing (which reminds me of one of the pretty windows I saw in Paris). The headpiece and extreme color might be a bit much. What do you think? Leave me a comment, and have a fab weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Introducing Pixelated!

Introducing the newest save-the-date card in the Maida Vale collection: Pixelated! Available in up to 3 ink colors at no additional charge, Pixelated also comes with a new, more affordable pricing structure. Visit the Etsy shop for more details where samples are now available. Thanks! =)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plenty of inspiration (as seen in London & Paris).

To finish up my posts on Paris, I'd like to share some of the inspirational window displays I came across while wandering around the city. I also popped into London for a couple of nights to visit some friends, so I'm including a couple of pretty finds from there, as well. The first one really reminds me of this amazing artist's work. Lovely, lovely!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Delightful sights (as seen in Paris).

Because I'd already crossed off seeing many of the major sights in Paris during previous visits, I chose to spend this trip exploring the many arrondissements and seeing places new to me. Sure, I revisited the Louvre and Notre Dame, but did not ascend the Eiffel Tower. Instead, my friend and I went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe at dusk. Quite frankly, I liked it better than the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower—mostly because it's possible to see the Tower from it! Here are a few of the places we loved and would highly recommend:

Rue Cler
There are many street markets in Paris, but Rue Cler is Rick Steves' favorite, so we went to see for ourselves. Stretching for several blocks, Rue Cler is a darling traffic-free area with two fromageries, several fruit and vegetable vendors, a handful of chocolatiers and stores specializing in honey and olive oil. All in all, a great place to grab picnic goodies or gifts to take back home.

Arc de Triomphe
As I already mentioned, the view from the top of the Arc is magical. We were fortunate enough to witness what turned out to be a goosebump moment—the Eiffel Tower as it sparkled after dark. All I could think was: what a perfect place to get engaged!

Jardin du Luxembourg
On our first day in Paris, we visited the Jardin du Luxembourg. The entire population of Paris seemed to be there, and while they aren't allowed to sit on the grass (in most parts of the park), Parisians were lined up neatly in chairs around the grass to admire it. They were sitting under perfectly trimmed trees, playing with little sailboats in the pond, playing chess, and so on. It was all just so perfectly French.

Monet's House & Garden
Giverny, France
Monet's home and inspirational gardens are located in the countryside an hour outside of Paris. While I'm not a huge fan of his paintings, his home was most impressive. The gardens were beautifully planted and unbelievably colorful.

Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen
Saint-Ouen, France
Wandering the flea markets at Saint-Ouen is like walking through the pages of an Anthropologie or Pottery Barn catalog. Many stalls were thrown together in that perfectly messy way I tend to covet. We saw vintage prints and postcards, antique furniture, books, keys, clothing, architectural elements (think doors and windows), chandeliers, mirrors, knick-knacks and even carousel horses. We barely made a dent in what all the markets had to offer, but managed to leave completely impressed anyway.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

8 patisseries, chocolatiers + boulangeries (as seen in Paris).

My friend and I somehow managed to visit over a dozen boulangeries, patisseries and chocolatiers over our six days in Paris. With the aid of Seattle's own Cakespy and this wonderful book, we discovered many a beautiful baguette, piece of chocolate, pastry and macaron. Our favorite stops were as follows:

21 Rue Bonaparte, 6th
Miracle of miracles, this outpost of Laduree was two blocks away from our apartment! Each night, we'd stroll past the gorgeous window display and coo over it. They sell gobs of macarons each day, so the line is always quite long to make a purchase. But, Laduree is a classic for a reason. The macarons are tasty and their pastry selection is exquisite.

Pierre Herme
72 Rue Bonaparte, 6th
Our first night in Paris, we somehow managed to find the perfect macaron. In some ways, this was a sad thing as subsequent macarons simply did not live up to the standard already set. Pierre Herme's flavor combinations are interesting and complex (apricot + pistachio, olive oil + vanilla, strawberry + wasabi), yet unbelievably subtle at the same time. The shop on Rue Bonaparte is like being in Tiffany's, as well. You enter and leave with the sense that these are macarons to be treated with love and respect. =)

Jeff de Bruges
144 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 12th
Of the many, many chocolatiers we visited, Jeff de Bruges was right at the top of our list of favorites. In addition to being oh-so-pretty, each chocolate had a clean yet complex taste to it. I also discovered calissons at Jeff de Bruges and fell in love with them. Jeff de Bruges has several locations throughout Paris.

31 rue Lepic, 18th
For a shop just having opened this year, Berko has it figured out. They sell tasty little American-style cupcakes at a fraction of the size (which my waist thanked them for!). The display is arranged in by color and they are so pretty to look at. Without even taking a breath, the server who helped us glided right through the long list of flavors. I chose a fantastically moist banana + nutella cupcake. Yum!

Le Grenier à Pain
38 Rue des Abbesses, 18th
My friend was very interested in tasting one of the best baguettes in Paris, so she did a bit of research before our trip. Le Grenier a Pain topped her list and, after tasting
Djibril Bodian's handiwork, I think we found it. I was especially excited to actually see him in the process of making them while we waited, as well. What a treat!

Debauve & Gallais
30 Rue des Saints-Pères, 7th
Another spot just blocks from our apartment, Debauve & Gallais has been in the chocolate-making business since 1800 (!). Their chocolates were originally used for medicinal purposes—something I could completely get behind after feeling the euphoric effects of eating them.

À la mère de famille
39 rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th
Thanks to a kind comment on this blog prior to my trip, I was introduced to this darling shop. Their flavored marshmallows were remarkable, and the pretty jars they were displayed in made me quite happy.

Jean-Paul Hevin
231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st
Many chocolatiers in Paris are also incredible sculptors. Jean-Paul Hevin had an impressive display of intricate hearts, stiletto heels, cigars and more. As shown here, they also sell macarons a plenty. I picked up a "tablette" (or bar) of sea salt caramel milk chocolate. Each bite was bursting with flavor and I already regret not picking up several more.

Friday, May 7, 2010

4 good eats (as seen in Paris).

It's no secret that I love food. Even though this is a little off-topic, I thought I'd share some of the good eats I discovered in Paris. If you're going on vaca or taking a honeymoon abroad, take note! Paris isn't the most affordable place for eating, so we alternated between eating out and preparing meals in our apartment. I'll be back next week with patisseries and more, but until then have a great weekend.

La Tartine
24 Rue de Rivoli, 4th
We chose a sunny seat on the sidewalk where we could enjoy this gem of a café. In addition to the herbed cheese tartine we began the meal with, my friend and I both ordered the superb chevre on toasted bread and a divine tarte tatin. Yum!

Pancake Square (aka Crêperie des Canettes)
10 Rue des Canettes, 6th
Despite its goofy name, Pancake Square was a sweet little creperie with meal options at a decent price. I enjoyed a lovely mushroom and cheese crepe for less than $10. Sigh...

Cafe Constant
139 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7th
I read about Cafe Constant in several places before I left and was excited to try it. We scored the last table downstairs and were surrounded by nothing but locals. A good sign, for sure! The artichoke heart and mushroom salad was so fresh and clean tasting that I think I'll be dreaming about it for years to come. I also ordered a roast chicken with what might have been the most flavorful and tender fingerling potatoes I've ever tasted.

Le Bonaparte
61 Rue Bonaparte, 6th
This was the first place we stopped after arriving in Paris last week. Located just around the corner from our apartment in Saint Germain-des-Pres, Le Bonaparte offered us very friendly service and a great, unpretentious meal. I ordered a croque madam and my vegetarian friend had a nice omelet. Both were delish and at a much lesser price than the dishes found at the famous Cafe de Flore sitting one block away.