Thursday, August 30, 2012

Star's Favorite Things: Vanilla and Toasted Coconut Limeade

It has been unbelievably hot lately which has me dreaming of turquoise waters, sand between my toes, and a refreshing drink in my hand.  Unfortunately, I don't have a tropical vacation planned so this past weekend I thought I'd create my own bit paradise in a glass: Vanilla and Toasted Coconut Limeade.  The combination of coconut and lime oozes exotic, tropical, summertime, yumminess!

The scent of this beverage is divine and the subtle creamy white of the coconut and the electric green of the lime look so pretty together.  My husband thought this drink was delicious but thought it would be even better with some tequila in it.  He ended up with a Vanilla and Toasted Coconut Margarita!  I must say the tequila was a nice addition.  I think it would also be pretty tasty with some coconut flavored rum.

This beverage is the perfect signature mocktail or cocktail for your summer wedding or soirée.  I chose to serve mine in little mason jars with glass straws but I think they would be adorable served with a vintage paper straw (a gray one would be adorable).  I adore vintage paper straws, for more on them check out this previous post.

Makes approximately 8 beverages

1 and 1/4 cup lime juice (about 10 limes), fresh squeezed
1 additional lime cut into lime wheels (for garnish)1 and 1/4 cup sweet coconut flakes, packed
2 and 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups coconut water 
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly toast the coconut on a baking sheet, thinly spread out, for about 5-7 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the toasted coconut to garnish your drinks.  Juice the limes and pour the lime juice into a pitcher.  Put about half the used lime halves into a bowl, along with the coconut and vanilla bean (or vanilla paste), and cover with 2 cups of hot water.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Remove the limes and let the coconut, vanilla bean, and water stand for another 5-10 minutes.  
Strain the coconut and vanilla mixture into the pitcher with lime juice.  Discard the coconut and vanilla bean.
Add the coconut water and agave (adding more or less agave to taste).  Stir until incorporated. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.  Give the limeade a quick stir before serving.  Serve over ice and garnish with the reserved toasted coconut and a lime wheel.  Feel free to add tequila, rum, or vodka to this delicious beverage :)
Recipe adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Casting Alert: Something Borrowed Something New!

Trium Entertainment is in search of bride's with out of date dresses but a desire to wear a newly revised version of them.

Casting Director Kelsey had the following to say about the show..

"The show is called "Something Borrowed, Something New" and has been picked up for a full season!  We are looking for brides who have not yet found their wedding dress and have a mother, mother in law, aunt, grandma, sister, (anyone!) who has a dress that they might want to wear....except it's outdated, damaged or just plain not their style!

We are going to take their outdated dress and have it re-designed into their dream dress, putting $3,000 dollars into it!  We are also going to have a professional stylist take them shopping for a 'new' dream dress to fit with in their budget and at the end they will have to choose 'something borrowed, or something new'!

It's a great opportunity to get a free custom dress :o) and have a lot of fun along the way!"

If interested, please contact Kelsey today at

Happy Dressing! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Michelle + Jonathan: Fun Lovin at the Beach with Orly!

Michelle and Jon got married last month at one of our favorite locations, The Bel-Air Club.  As we anxiously await what we know will be some pretty epic photography from the ever so talented Viera Photographics team, I thought I'd share a couple of their engagement photos as they're too sweet not to share and frankly I miss these two!

Michelle and Jon are two of the most lovable, fun, funny, easygoing and passionate couples I've ever met.  Their ability to have fun, laugh and really just strive for awesomeness is beyond contagious!  They always left not only myself but the entire Sterling Team smiling and we LOVE them for it!  Not to mention they happen to have a Puggle too, which instantly connected us! 

Here are a few of my favorites!

And of course we can't forget acknowledging the ever so adorable Orly!  A star for their e-shoot and of course again on the Big Day!

All photos courtesy of Viera Photographics

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shot Shot Sunday: Lindsay and Chris

I'm a secret lush for a super fun, charming wedding.  Lindsay and Chris' is exactly that and I'm so excited to share some super lighthearted, funky and of course fun shots with you. This wedding was featured originally on Style Me Pretty New York and was captured by the talented team of Art Beauty Life:  Jenny Ebert Photography.

I have to admit,  I'm a sucker for Converse on the wedding day for the men but add some fun socks in the mix and then you'll have me swooning! 

All photos courtesy of Art Beauty Life:  Jenny Ebert Photography

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DIY With Star: Perfectly Pink Coffee Filter Peonies

Oh peonies, how I love thee (as you can tell by my previous post "Perfect Peonies")!!  Unfortunately, peonies are only readily available for a few short months every year and since peony season is coming to an end I thought I would make my own version of this beautiful flower.  I still find it amazing that I was able to create a peony look alike out of coffee filters and I love that I can now have peonies around my house year round!

These coffee filter ponies fill a vase in my kitchen bay window when I don't have live flowers to display.  I prefer to have fresh flowers around the house, but these make a great substitution when I haven't had a chance to pick up a fresh bunch.  They are quite simple to make, so come on, give them a shot...

1. Supplies: 
  • -About 10 coffee filters per flower (give or take depending on how full you would like your flower to be).
  • -A glue gun (or other type of glue)
  • -Scissors
  • -Floral wire
  • -A bowl with one drop of red food coloring (you can use more than one drop if you want a darker pink; I however, prefer the super light blush pink)

2.  Trim the coffee filters.  I cut off about an inch.  This step can be skipped if you want very large flowers.

3. Fold coffee filters in half.

4. Continue folding the filters in half until you reach the size shown in the image.

5. Snip the corners to create a rounded top.

6. Unfold the filters and you will have a flower shape.  Complete the above steps with all filters.

7. Gather each filter by the center with the center point facing up.  

8. Dip the edges of the filter in the pink water.  Only hold it in there for a second or two.  The colored water will begin to seep up toward the center.  
NOTE: You can gather all of the filters together to complete these steps; however, if the are all dipped together, it can be difficult to separate them.

9. Let the filters dry by laying them out individually.  Cut a piece of floral wire and poke it through the center of one of the filters.

10. Fold a bit of the end to keep the flower in place, and apply a dab of glue.  

11. Before the glue dries completely, pinch the bottom of the flower.

12. Continue to thread individual filters toward the center flower, pinching and twisting a bit a the base of each one.  

13. Once all of the filters have been threaded, wrap the wire around the base of the flower a few times to secure it.

14. Fluff the flower until you are happy with its shape.  At this point, you can wrap the base and wire with floral tape to polish off the look.

NOTE: I do realize that the flowers appear white in the below photos.  Apparently my camera wasn't able to capture the beautiful blush color.  My apologies.
And that's it!  

I think these coffee filter peonies are just lovely and can almost be mistaken for real peonies when placed in a vase.  
These coffee filter peonies would be beautiful bunched together to make a DIY bouquet for the bride and/or her bridesmaids.  They would also be lovely in an arrangement, placed on tables as a centerpiece, sitting on atop each place setting, or attached to chairs for a pop of color and a bit of romance.  You can truly do so much with these little beauties.  They can be fluffed and re-fluffed without any damage being done, and since they are on wire and easy to maneuver, coffee filter peonies are incredibly easy to work.  The best part is they are non-perishable so they can be made in advance!  

These flowers may seem tedious to make; however, once they are dyed and dried, the assembly process is super fast.  Set up an assembly line and get your bridesmaids together for a peony making party!

I attached one of my coffee filter peonies to a white gift bag to dress up a birthday present for a friend. 

Happy crafting!!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Star's Inspirations: Unconventional Guest Books

Weddings are often filled with traditions, many of which make the event memorable for the Bride and Groom as well as their guests.  I love tradition, especially at weddings, but I also think it can be fun to add a little twist to an old idea.  Unconventional guest books are a great way to add a bit of excitement to this wedding staple.  An unexpected guest book not only adds something creative to your big day, it leaves you and your hubby with a unique and sentimental treasure you can cherish forever.  There are many wonderful ways a Bride and Groom can ask guests to leave them a special message on their wedding day.  Below are some of my favorites...

Have a custom puzzle with a picture of you and your fiance made.  Ask each guest to choose a piece and write you a message on the back.

Ask guests to leave you a message on a Jenga block.  This would be fun to play every anniversary!

Photo courtesy of Oh! Weddings

Create a custom "Guest Lib" with things about you and your fiance and ask each guest to complete it. After the wedding, the "Guest Libs" can be complied into a funny little guest book.  Your guests will have a lot of fun with this one!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Set up a recording station for guests to leave you a video message.  You can either hire someone like The Guestbox or designate someone to do the recording for you. Or you can even set up a DIY station with directions for your guests.  After the wedding, combine all of the clips into a slide show.  You can even include music and text (if you are good at that sort of thing :)
Photo courtesy of Love & Lobster

This is one of the most unique ideas, and possibly my favorite!  Have a dictionary (maybe a beautiful vintage one) and ask quests to choose a word that best describes you as a couple, circle it and write their message.  Then ask them to tag their word so you know where to find it.  This would be an awesome coffee table book after the wedding!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Ask guests to sign a sentimental object (if it is hand made by a loved one, even better!).  It can be a bench, a large rock, a chair, a storage chest, a frame... the possibilities are endless!  After the wedding you can display the signed object in your home or garden.

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty

Now this may not count as an actual "unconventional guest book" since it is quite popular but I've decided to include it since it is still considered outside the norm of the basic guest book of the past.  Have a book complied of your engagement pictures made by your photographers and ask guests to leave you a message in it.  It is a nice keepsake and it gives your guests a chance to view your engagement pictures.  Today, this may now even be considered an oldie, but still a goodie and one of the most popular!

Photo courtesy of Wedding Photography Design

As you can see, there are many creative and unconventional ways to collect messages from your guests on your wedding day.  Please let us know if you've come across any other unique "guests books" at weddings you've attended by commenting below.  


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shoe Shot Sunday: Amazing Shoe Shot!

Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words as you so often hear and today's shoe shot is no exception.  I came across this photo on Style Me Pretty this morning and my search for my favorite shoe shot immediately concluded because I just love this photo so much. 

Often times you'll see this Shoe Shot series post an assortment of photos of the same shoe because it's the shoe I'm after mainly... but this week, we're making an exception for a stunning shot and shoe too of course!  

Happy Feet!   

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Inspired by Lavender!

Aloha from Hawaii!  After an incredibly successful Spring and Summer season, the bulk of our busy season has calmed this week allowing me to take a quick breather in Maui.  So grateful for a little much needed rest and relaxation and of course beautiful inspiration too!

Earlier this week, very early in the morning we traveled to the Haleakala National Park to watch the sunrise and then headed to an amazing breakfast at Kula Lodge.  If you plan to travel to Maui anytime soon, I highly suggest this experience... it was incredible!  You can also bike down the park which I've heard from others is pretty epic as well.

Anyway, following our delicious breakfast I begged for a detour to the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm and it was just stunning.  I felt ever so inspired by this magical place so today's post is dedicated to all things Lavender!

I had to start with this beautiful photo of the actual farm we visited.  I was thrilled to learn that they can accommodate intimate weddings onsite under the gazebo seen in this photo. Wouldn't this be the perfect destination for your Maui wedding followed by a fun reception at the beach...

Photo courtesy of Hawaii FYI

Love this shot.  How sweet is the draped tulle with the mini pots of lavender?  I'm also swooning over this bicycle!  What a perfect backdrop for a bride and groom or even a couple flower girls with ring bearers. 

 Photo courtesy of Pinterest

I also love this place vintage place setting!  The lace placemat over the lilac colored linen with that country plate and the lavender sprigs just take it over the top for me.  Not to mention the super sweet paper flower with the personalized copper name!

Photo courtesy of Heart Love Weddings

Not to mention this blush peach signature cocktail with the lavender sprigs!  I adore the texture the sprigs add and the way these colors compliment each other.

 Photo courtesy of Indulgy

 These bouquets must have the most relaxing and delicious scent.  I bet you'd like to have the aisle seat as these maids walk down it! 

  Photo courtesy of All Things Lavender

The perfect quaint country wedding couldn't be complimented without something extra sweet too right?  How about this lovely lavender inspired Croquembouche?  Pretty sweet right!

Photo courtesy of Swoon

Love this look for a lounge grouping, long belly bar cocktail table or even kings tables as part of a cluster that sweeps down the middle of the table.  The lavender and wheat grass combo is so natural and graceful.   

Photo courtesy of She's Not The Marrying Kind

Very tiny but lovely escort cards with a little goodness tied in.  Love these little ones and I'm sure they smell amazing too!
Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Such a perfect bouquet for that rustic wedding at a winery or just outdoors period.  I can see this in the garden, in a field, even at the right destination like Santa Barbara.  So beautiful and so soothing by scent if you can imagine...  

Photo courtesy of Bouquet Bridal

Isn't this just the sweetest of bouts?  I love how delicate it looks but at the same time somewhat complex in texture and neutral with color.  

Photo courtesy of Snippet and Ink

By far one of my favorite photos in the bunch.  Not just for my love for bows but also the texture, the color and again the beautiful aroma this would welcome your guests with!

 Photo courtesy of Etsy

Lavender is also one of the "it" flavors currently in the dessert world.  You'll find it paired with vanilla or a butter cake, with blueberries, honey and even some with chocolate! 

Photo courtesy of Wedding Decor 

I love this!  It can be just the perfect reminder of your inspired by lavender wedding day by giving them a sweet satchel to remember it by.  

Photo courtesy of GCDSpa

Hope these lovely images and ideas inspire you like the fields did for me in lovely Maui.  It's paradise out there but weaving a little lavender in your day is something you can do locally or for your destination wedding anywhere around the world.