Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shoe Shot Sunday: Becca + Robby

Becca and Robby were married in Clovis, CA at Wolf Lakes Park.  It was a beautiful fall inspired rustic wedding and her cranberry shoes stole my heart.  Since I was so busy this week making my famous cranberry sauce with Thanksgiving on my mind, I knew I had to find a fall inspired shoe for today's post.  When I saw these shoes on Jennifer Eileen Photography's blog I knew they were the one.  Plus I loved the style and enthusiasm from the bridal party!

Check it out... and how great are these dresses!

Hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Star's Favorite Things: Holiday Cocktail "Eggnog-Arita"

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying precious time with family and friends.  Well, it's Black Friday and after all that shopping I bet you could use a cocktail!  I know I sure could, but that is something I’ll have to skip until the bun is out of the oven.  As I’ve mentioned, I subscribe to a number of food magazines and although they all have listed recipes for holiday cocktails, one in particular caught my eye.  Food Network Magazine’s “Eggnog-Arita” created by Elizabeth Falkner.  Out of the entire bunch, this is the one I really wish I could try!  I love homemade Egg Nog (not the stuff from a carton), the real thing!  This looks like an amazing recipe for a twist on the old classic, and oh so pretty.  Please try this holiday cocktail and let me know how it is so I can live vicariously through you J

Photo courtesy of Food Network

MAKES: 8 drinks

2 cups half-and-half
½ whole nutmeg, crushed with a heavy pan
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar

½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 ounces brandy
2 ounces rum
2 ounces burbon

1.     Make the crème anglaise: Combine the half-and-half, crushed nutmeg, and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat.  Remove the heat and let steep 5 minutes.
2.     Wisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in the warm half-and-half mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the crème anglaise just begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.  Strain and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
3.     Make the cocktails: Combine the sugar and grated nutmeg on a plate.  Dip the rims of 8 cocktails in water, then the sugar mixture.  Combine half each the crème anglaise, brandy, rum and bourbon in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into 4 glasses.  Repeat to make 4 more cocktails.
      Happy Holidays,

Festive Fridays: Happily Engaged!

Quite some time ago I was at Disneyland, coming out of a ride and noticed one of my favorite fairytale lines ever just happened to be printed on the wall.  I took a quick photo with my phone at the time, with every intention of blogging it, as it's too sweet not to share.  Being a hopeless romantic, I'm always amused and inspired by sweet nothings like this... Some time after I replaced my phone and gone went that image.  From time to time I would think about this and always hoped to find an image showcasing it.  Today I did just that!

So I'm thrilled to share with you a super sweet, magical, fairytale inspired photo for today's Festive Friday.  Aimee and Dantonio took their engagement photos at the "happiest place on earth" and I'm so stoked they did so I could share this with you!  Thanks to Brandon Wong for sharing these great images and allowing me to finally post this sweet line!

Now that holiday season is in full gear with Thanksgiving behind us and more holidays near, more and more of you will be getting engaged.  Interestingly enough, 40% of couples get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine's day.  I always love the holiday season not just for the amazing spirit, yummy scents and gorgeous decor but also because I get the opportunity to meet with so many of you newly engaged couples.  Hearing all your sweet proposal stories and your engagement glow makes this time of year even better!

Hope you have a very happy day and weekend too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sterling Engagements Wishes: Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo Courtesy of Bittersweet Primitve Dolls

Today is such a special day and one of my favorite holidays all year, not just because it kicks off the start of holiday season but because I am thankful for so much both personally and professionally.  I love the celebration, the quality time I spend with friends & family and of course all the special recipes I prepare for them!

I came across this photo earlier this week and fell in love.  Elizabeth Messina really stole my heart with this one... 

Photo Courtesy of Kiss the Groom and The Maili Files

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the nice extra long weekend.  If your a Black Friday shopper, good luck tomorrow! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sterling Buzz: Featured in Bride and Bloom Magazine, The Bridal Bar Blog & South Asian Bride Magazine

I'm so excited to share with you today all of the recent press we've received over an incredible photo shoot we were a part of with Shawna Yamamoto Event Design for Bride and Bloom Magazine.

The concept was built around a tribute the magazine was doing on iconic fashion designers.  We were assigned to the ever so extraordinary Alexander McQueen.  I was thrilled about this as it really opened up an amazing platform to be different and go crazy in the best way possible.

When Shawna and I collaborate, I often feel as though we are unstoppable and there is no limit.  Once we got started and discussed what color palette we'd be working with, I created these really fun inspiration boards.  Check them out along with a few of my favorite photos from each look, captured by the amazing Ashleigh Taylor of Ashleigh Taylor Photography

Fabulous Vendors who Contributed
Custom Linens & Chairs: Designer Specialty Linens
Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design 
Gold Table: FormDecor
Photographery: Ashleigh Taylor Photography
Planner: Sterling Engagements
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals  
Stationary: Prim & Pixie
Sweets: Fantasy Frostings
Venue: The Langham Huntington, Pasadena


Fabulous Vendors who Contributed
Cake: Fantasy Frostings
Custom Linens & Chairs: Designer Specialty Linens
Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design 

Photographery: Ashleigh Taylor Photography
Planner: Sterling Engagements
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals  

Stationary: Prim & Pixie
Venue: Hilton Checkers, Downtown LA

It was such a pleasure to be a part of such an epic shoot and I'm ecstatic over some of the wonderful feedback we've received too!

We were so honored when Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar recently blogged the Gold and Coral table.  Check out the full post on The Bridal Bar Blog.

The very next day, South Asian Bride Magazine blogged about both tables as well!  Be sure to take a visit to their website and check out the wonderful tribute post as well.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shoe Shot Sunday: Rachel + John

Lane Dittoe Fine Art Wedding Photography did an amazing job of documenting this gorgeous Sonoma Wedding.  Married at B.R. Cohn Winery, Rachel and John had a black and white color palette and her shoes were stunning!  What I loved equally as much was the punch of red groom John added with his super stylish socks!

Check them out...

How gorgeous is the backdrop for this photograph?  Don't you just love a beautiful wine country wedding setting, it's truly breathtaking... but I do equally adore that splash of red too!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

DIY with Star: Glittered Globes

I’m delighted to share with you my first DIY project – Glittered Globes.  I’m very excited about these because they are extremely versatile.  They can be used as decorations for the upcoming winter holidays as well as for weddings and parties.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

I first saw this project last year on a Martha Stewart Holiday Special but didn’t get the chance to try it until this year.  Martha’s Snowy Balloon Ornaments looked simple when Martha made them, but Martha makes everything look easy!  Surprisingly, this project was actually as easy as it appeared and the finished product looks just like Martha’s.  I deviated slightly from Martha’s instructions.  Here’s how I made my Glittered Globes:
What you’ll need
Small to regular sized balloons (not water balloons)
White string, yarn, or kitchen twine (I used crochet thread)
School Glue
Waxed or parchment paper
Glitter (I used clear glitter)
Small paint brush or foam brush

How to make them
1. Mix two parts glue with one part water to dilute the glue
2. Blow a balloon up to approximately the size of your palm and paint a layer of the glue mixture all over the balloon.  Holding both the end of the string and the tip of the balloon, begin wrapping the string around the balloon going horizontally and vertically until the balloon is evenly wrapped.  You may wrap the balloon as little or as much as you’d like.   
3. Once the balloon is wrapped, gently paint a layer of the glue mixture over the entire balloon, making sure to cover every bit of string.

4. Sprinkle the glue painted balloon all over and set it on the waxed/parchment paper to dry.  Depending on how thick the glue layer, it can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to dry completely.  Once the glue is completely dry, pop the balloon and viola!


I plan to tie a ribbon and maybe a jingle bell to these little globes and use these as Christmas ornaments as Martha suggests; however, as you can see, these little gems can be used all sorts of ways...

Using a combination of larger and smaller balloons you can make hanging chandeliers, which would be beautiful for a natural, outdoor wedding, bridal shower or outdoor event.

 Photo courtesy of Wedding Wire

 Photo courtesy of Ruffled

These little globes look beautiful as centerpieces, and the flowers add a nice pop of color.  Combined with candles, it makes for a cost effective centerpiece for weddings or dinner parties.

Photo courtesy of Wedding Wire

 Photo courtesy of Xenia Nova

You can consider skipping the glitter, as well as experiment with different textures and colors of string, using natural color twine for an earthier look. 

Photo courtesy of Shop Ruche

If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can even make one into a lamp.

Photo courtesy of Tip Junkie 

These globes are a fun, cost effective DIY project that can be used in all sorts of ways.  I can guarantee your friends will be impressed!  Try it out and let me know how you use them.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Sterling Buzz: Hello from Star, Sterling's Newest Team Member!

Hello All!  My name is Star Hansen and I am very excited to join Sterling Engagements as the newest member of the team.  I’ll be assisting both in the office and onsite for events.  I look forward to working with you and sharing my inspiration the blog.  As the newest contributor to the Sterling blog, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself with each of you.  I look forward to many more posts to come, but for now, here's a little about me!  

I’m a born and raised southern California girl and currently live in Thousand Oaks with my husband, Trevor.  We are expecting our first child in May and couldn't be more excited!  I have a background in wedding coordinating and design, project management and have led various corporate events.  I love baking, cooking, and crafting.  I am addicted to cooking shows and subscribe to more food magazines than I care to admit to.  Experimenting with new recipes is one of my favorite things to do!

I've always enjoyed social events, entertaining and weddings in particular.  Growing up, I collected bridal magazines and wedding inspirations in anticipation for my future wedding.  My husband and I married in July 2008 at Rancho Chiquita in Malibu.  I planned everything myself and loved every minute of it!  That is when my passion for weddings really blossomed.  Since then I have assisted in planning and coordinating weddings for family, friends and friends-of-friends.  
My favorite aspect of a wedding is the details.  I believe weddings where unique details are incorporated make for the most memorable events. An avid crafter, I enjoy seeking out and trying DIY décor projects, many of which I have shared with brides I’ve worked with.  I cannot wait to share with you my wedding inspirations, DIY projects, and recipes.
Today, I thought it would be fun to share with you a few photos from my wedding day :)

Photos courtesy of Mi Belle Photography
I love all things wedding and am super excited to be joining Alex and the Sterling Engagements team.  Feel free to email me ( should you be interested in contacting me.  I'm very excited for my first official post, which will be coming soon.   Be sure to keep an eye out for it and comment to let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in the future!