Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friendship... In Jewelry Form

Apparently, today is "Shopping Thursday!"

I'm nostalgic for summers at the Jersey Shore spent making friendship bracelets... and I think one of these sparkly numbers, by Doloris Petunia, would be perfect for the months ahead.

My sister, who sent me the Etsy link, would always be devastated when she had to cut her arm and ankle-full of bracelets off at the end of summer to go back to school.

Her bracelets were "loved" (read: gross), but full of good memories.

The Bag That Got Away...

I've been obsessed with this Marc By Marc Jacobs nylon bag. I could imagine using it 100 different ways and I the pattern is just, well, so me!

Problem is... I can't find this bag anywhere. At all.

Was this from last season and I'm just off my shopping game?

If there are any Marc Jacobs Guardian Angels out there who know where/if this bag is being sold, I would love you forever for letting me know!

UPDATE: My sis found the bag... and SURPRISE... it is a diaper bag! I had no clue and nope... not preggers. But bag has been found! Thanks, C!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Verily... Must Read New Mag

The new online and print publication Verily is the following:

- unique

- sharp

- awesome

- well-written

- refreshing

- insightful

- inspiring

- witty

- interesting

- worth reading!

Go check it out immediately.

Do You Get Childhood Homesick...

Do you ever miss the area where you grew up?

I know it is a romantic thing to do, but I've recently found myself daydreaming about Philadelphia and the beautiful surrounding area.

Philly definitely has personality... and historic homes, cheesesteaks, crazy "passionate" sports fans (go E-A-G-L-E-S), an amazing foodie scene (Federal Donuts = fried chicken, coffee, donuts), nearby beaches, fantastic dive bars, beautiful old clubs, and charming streets that I can wander around for days.

Zillow and Redfin haven't helped me...

And looking up homes in the gorgeous neighborhoods making up the Main Line and Chestnut Hill has provided a bit of a danger in dreaming, especially since the housing market is less competitive than DC.

I'd love to know if this happens to you... and where you're from and where you live now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rosie Pope... BFF In My Head

I have a few celeb BFFs in my head... and Rosie Pope, from Bravo's Pregnant In Heels, is one of them.

Bravo casting gods hit gold with Rosie, in my opinion. She never fails to roll her eyes or add a pithy comment after a ridic statement by one of her mama clients. Her business savvy is fantastic. And she always looks spot on.

I also get a total kick out of her show... especially when the Bravo geniuses show a West Village townhouse as the exterior shot for a couple who clearly lives in Queens/Jersey/Long Island. It never ceases to make me laugh my ass off.

And after I'm done with my chuckle fest over the insanely inaccurate editing, there's the delightful Rosie!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pin Prick... Here's To Summertime

I hope that you have some wonderful plans for the holiday weekend.

Bry is carting me and my crutches to Stone Harbor, NJ for the weekend to spend some time with my family. Sitting outside recuperating on our deck and looking at the ocean sounds pretty amazing, and I see some evening Trivial Pursuit in my future.

Anytime I play Trivial Pursuit I think of Suzanne Sugarbaker, on Designing Women, memorizing all of the cards to win. Hilarious... and I think I just dated myself as a full-fledged child of the 80's!

Here's my fave Pin from the week. I'd like to spend some time this summer chilling on that houseboat and hanging with that bohemian fashion plate. Care to join?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jonathan Adler at The Corcoran...

Last night I made my first non-medical appointment trip out of the house to see my absolute favorite, Jonathan Adler, speak at The Corcoran.

I love J.A. for so so SO many reasons... his awesome pottery, his vibrant design aesthetic, his outlook on life, his love for his husband, his witty humor, and the fact that he grew up in my town and went to my rival school.

His work is a total reflection of his infectious personality. Basically, it's hard not to love this man!

Some of the takeaways from the discussion included being analytical with your creative process, seeking new forms of success, and his career of loving what he does took years and years and years of really hard work.

Another big takeaway was how gracious and genuine he is... taking the time to meet and chat with everyone after the event.

When it came time to do our wedding registry, we opted for something non-traditional and registered with Jonathan Adler through his website.

Best decision ever, and I totally recommend it to any readers who are brides (grooms? do you read this?) to be.

We love every special piece we received. They all tell a story and make our married home an even happier space.

Jonathan Adler is opening a store in DC this summer, and with his "Hair" collection coming soon, the store cannot open soon enough!

I'd be lying if I didn't admit to fantasizing about working there... being surrounded by his beautiful creations day in and day out is a dream of mine. At least I can go spend money there and bring pieces into my office to make it "Happy Chic."

UPDATE: Check out this Apartment Therapy preview of J.A.'s new work! AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prippy Viewing... The Great Gatsby

Thanks to my gal over at Glitterista for being on top of all things important and posting the trailer for The Great Gatsby.

I absolutely love me some Carey Mulligan and think she will be a fabulous Daisey.

I'm all over this one, and I'll definitely be seeing it in the theater with the ladies... probably sneaking in some champagne, too.

Hanging With a Gorilla... David Mach

Take a close look... this gorilla is made out of wire clothes hangers. So awesome.

David Mach is a genius.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Advice To My Younger Self...

What advice would you give your younger self?

I definitely would encourage 80's & 90's me to realize that being creative is a form of intelligence.

After being artsy my entire childhood (see my daring fashion choices!), I followed a path in college to do what I thought was "smart" and pursued academics leading me to law school.

While I devoured and adored my college education in the crazy competitive School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that the class in which I got the highest grade in the course's history was... African Art.

It has taken me years to reintegrate artistic pursuits into my life and career, and my creativity has led to me being an ideas person at my PR job.

Making time to blog, write, draw, and dream has brought so much happiness into my life, and I'll continue to make the effort to keep these passions part of my day-to-day.

Funny thing what you think intelligence is as a child... even more funny what people consider intelligence as an adult.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wes Anderson Does Fashion...

Wes Anderson
joined forces with photographer Jake Chessum and Harper's Bazaar for an amazing photo shoot.

I'll definitely be picking up the magazine... and heading to the theater to see his latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Our Wedding... Ceremony

After getting married, the wedding ceremony, to me, is now the most special and important part of any wedding day... even if they can be long, hot/cold, and painful (standing in heels on marble ring a bell for anyone else?).

And though I was raised Catholic (wha'd up, Catholic guilt!) and Bry Episcopalian, we knew that we wanted to be married by our most spiritual friend... and it just so happened that we met in his front yard on Capitol Hill.

Our awesome friend went above and beyond in putting meaning into the ceremony. He researched different religions' traditions and vows, and we ended up feeling a meaningful connection to the Buddhist ceremony.... it's surprisingly similar to what you'd expect with a traditional Christian wedding. Here's one of our promises...

"Do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?"

Man... that says it all, does it not?

For the reading, I asked one of my closest friends to select something that reminded her of us. She picked "Union" by Robert Fulghum. I get teary-eyed every time I read it... and while there was a lot of laughter during the ceremony, this led to a watershed of happy tears. One line I really connected to is the following...

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Another element of the ceremony that I really wanted to personalize was the music. Because when you think wedding, you think David Bowie, right?

Well, as a massive David Bowie fan, I wanted to have my wedding party strut on down the aisle to "Modern Love." And for my bridal processional, "Absolute Beginners" was the perfect song for me... and for us. If you're not familiar with this Bowie song... check it out. It's a really touching love song.

Once we were proclaimed Husband and Wife, Mumford & Sons started blaring with "Sigh No More."

We absolutely love the song and it reminds us both of our amazing trip to Ireland the week following our engagement. It was the only CD we had in the rental car, and we totally sang our hearts out to every song as we traveled through the country.

I'll be honest... I worried a little bit about our ceremony being too non-traditional (we handed out cocktails as people entered the ceremony space... it was a celebration, after all!). But then I thought about what the ceremony was supposed to be about - US - and our ceremony was a complete reflection of who we are as a couple.

I know that everyone isn't able to/doesn't want to be free of traditions to build their own. Family histories or religious requirements are extremely important, but even in a traditional ceremony don't be afraid to make it your own.

Add a special element that is sacred to you and your husband. Surprise your guests with an unexpected reading or song. Be who you are and take the time to know the person marrying you. Read your vows and believe in them... really think about what you are promising to each other.

In remembering our wedding day, our ceremony stands out as my favorite moment... and I'll be the first to admit that prior to experiencing it for myself, I thought other brides were full of it when they said the exact same thing.

I will never forget those feelings of happiness/love/excitement/anxiety/joy/elation that we shared with our guests. It was very special. Something that merited an amazing party to celebrate.

All photos by Tec Petaja.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pin Prick... Swimming Hole

Oh, how I love Pinterest! And to honor my deep and undying love, I've decided to start a reoccurring post with a fave Pin from the week.

I'd like to be there now, please... although knowing me, I'd have to overcome my mild fear of pond slime to get in and out!

* Due to your comments that the original swimming hole photo wasn't coming through, I switched out one beautiful swimming hole for another! You can find the original image on my Pinterest board.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Lost Art of Honesty...

"Honesty: the best of all the lost arts" ~ Mark Twain

Hats off to all of the bloggers out there gettin' down and dirty with their "Things I'm Afraid To Tell You" posts.

If you're not familiar with the movement, a number of bloggers are writing about their real lives (cue "The Real World" opening montage), and taking down the chevron curtain to reveal some of the meat and potatoes about the person behind the blog.

I think it's awesome. I believe that just because you post a picture doesn't mean you live the picture. Life is way more complicated than that. So I say... Bravo, Ladies. Bravo!

To read about this, check out this post from Mimi+Meg.

Stir Crazy... And the Healing Power of Pups

Yep... that's my busted leg. On the right, people! Scrapple is on the left.

Or more specifically, my busted ankle. I dislocated it... broke my fibula... tore some ligaments... and got what the Doc calls "hardware," a.k.a. a titanium plate accompanied with a big ol' scar up the side of my leg.

No fun, my friends. No fun. But I'm incredibly grateful for my otherwise good health. There's a reason that "Health" comes before "Wealth" when raising a glass to "Health, Wealth, and Happiness!"

I've been stuck in my house recovering and following the Doc's strict orders to rest, keep all weight off it, and keep my leg propped up.

Needless to say, after weeks of healing, and with weeks left to go... I'm stir crazy. Like I've seen almost every episode of "Law & Order" crazy. Help!

Thankfully, our two dogs, Bella and Scrapple, have been awesome little nurses.

They are hyper aware that something is wrong with my leg, and they guard it like it's their favorite bone (I'm funny, get it? Bone? Happy Monday!). Too cute. A wee bit weird. And at times very funny (like when they follow me to the ladies room... no privacy for the injured).

There is definitely a healing power to pets.

On a related note, our beloved Bella is a pit bull mix rescue dog that Bry has loved way before he met and loved me. She is the sweetest and smartest pup - don't believe the hype... pits make great pets!

Here's a wonderful post on pit bulls' history as "Nanny Dogs" from The Southern Eclectic. Definitely worth the read.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Duchess and Jenny Packham...

I'll start off this post by saying I'm well aware of my Jenny Packham obsession...

But here's why... she cuts dresses beautifully for ladies' bodies. And her creations are timeless classics.

I was fortunate enough to wear one of her creations down the aisle, and I can attest that she is designing for real women.

Everyone's favorite Duchess looked stunning in one of her designs at the London Olympic gala concert. The color really added another level of gorgeous to this look, along with her very stylish up-do.

The matchy matchy clutch wouldn't have been my choice, but she could've been carrying a rubber chicken and still looked elegant.

For those brides to be out there who love this dress, a very similar version, the Aspen gown, was part of Jenny Packham's Spring 2011 collection.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Love You, Mom... Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Foxy Mommas out there!

Every year, I find more and more things about myself that are parts of my Mom. They are some of the best parts of me. She is strong beyond my comprehension and she loves in a way that requires bravery.

She's also a good person to drink champagne cocktails with at the end of the day, or to hit up a TJ Maxx and hunt down legit designer finds. Oh, and she bought us tons of Jelly shoes in the 80's (and I've since forgiven her for the perms).

I hope that someday... I am fortunate enough to have children... and that I remind people of my Mom in the ways that I love them.

This also happens to be my favorite Mother's Day because I hit the In-Law Jackpot and won Bry's Mom and Step-Mom by marrying him. These beautiful women have inspired me with their compassion and intelligence more than I ever could have dreamed possible.

One of the biggest surprises of marriage, for me at least, is how incredible it feels to have my family grow. And having more moms, luckily in my case (Best. In-Laws. Ever.), is a tremendous gift. And the gift keeps on giving because my fabulous sister-in-law is expecting a second baby!

So... Happy Mother's Day! I'll leave you with this song, from the movie "Babe," that my Mom would play for me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Wedding... Location, For Real

Sometimes, you have to hit the Bridal Sanity reset button.

As I wrote about here, our wedding venue debacle was just what I needed. And once we decided to get married in NYC, things started to become a hell of a lot more fun... and easy.

I love good ambiance...who doesn't?... and determined that the best bang for our wedding buck when it came to getting the vibe we wanted, was to go to one of my favorite restaurants and ask if we could rent the entire space for the wedding.

We were on a budget, so creativity was king. The more I could cut out costs for decor, the more money we would have to spend on our guests' good time. Plus, I wouldn't have to deal with the merde (I'm so sophisticated) that is wedding inflation.

This approach killed a flock of seagulls with one stone. And after The Great Wedding Soul Suck, I wanted a one stop wedding shop.

By holding the entire wedding event at the restaurant, I wouldn't need to worry about renting buses, china, chairs, linens, or any of the other stuff that would have been a tedious and costly pain in the arse. And I would know that my wedding food would be delicious and that the drinks would be fabulous.

Basically, we wanted our guests fat, happy, tipsy, and bustin' moves in an amazing space.

So I reached out to Bobo, a beautiful restaurant in an old townhouse located in the heart of the West Village, and made the big ask. You may have seen Bobo before when it was featured in Domino magazine. This place is packed with style.

The Wedding Gods must have felt bad about the crazy crap they pulled in Cape May, because Bobo was ours for the wedding... and they were excited by the idea of us taking over the whole place for the event. Score!

We worked with their incredible event planner and determined that we could use the enclosed garden/deck space for the ceremony, the downstairs bar for cocktail hour and the dance party after dinner, and the dining room for dinner (duh).

Things had fallen into place... finally... and all we had to do was pick out the food and booze. This was hard because everything we tried was yummy. We decided on duck, steak au poivre frites, and sea bass. Best part - our guests could select what they wanted at the table (pre-ordering your dinner months in advance is a big commitment).

I made a few trips to Bobo over the following months and seriously felt like royalty each time I was there. I cannot recommend this place enough, and I have amazing memories of drinking wine with some of the talented people who helped me with the big day.

I trusted these guys to make it amazing. They did. The service was world class. The food, from cocktail hour to the midnight snacks, was so so good. The bartenders made craft cocktails that blew people away. The Bobo team was the phenomenal.

That night, we threw the best damn dinner party of our lives.

All photos were taken by Tec Petaja.

Fancy Prippy... Diane Kruger at the MET Gala

This look was by far my favorite from this week's MET Gala. Way to go, Diane Kruger! So nice to see serious fashion strutted.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Wednesday...

Happy Wednesday! You've made it halfway to the weekend... hooray!

Think of how quickly the line would move if this was the ladies' room at all bars... minus the nasty/creepy toothbrushes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keeping It Real... And Mostly Classy

I just wanted to take a moment to fill you all in on some changes I'm making here at The Prippy Handbook... and yes... the little angel above is me keeping it classy as a guest at my first wedding.

When I started this blog, I had just moved from NYC to DC for a "guy" who I had just begun dating.

It was a crazy move... it involved turning down an amazing gig in San Francisco after my finance job went the way of the Financial Crisis wind... it involved breaking my stupid "rule" of living with someone before I was engaged... it involved returning to a city I had just left... and I felt a hole in my creative heart leaving the "Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made."

While I've always tried to keep it real here at The P.H., I've never gotten down and dirty with sharing my thoughts and experiences beyond a pretty surface level. I was afraid to put it out there, for lack of a better explanation.

Somehow, I was lucky enough to still get a ton out of blogging. It was a way to distract myself from the huge chance I took in moving to DC for a "guy"... but even then, I knew that guy would become my husband, making the crazy risk worth it.

A lot has changed since I started blogging... and I feel like I need to take The Prippy Handbook in a more honest direction.

After planning my wedding, I realized there is a lack of full disclosure in the blogosphere about weddings... and life in general.

You often read bloggers explaining that "they write the best version of their life" and that their life isn't "cupcakes, Prada, and picnics." But for me, an Instagram life just seems unfair to portray as my life (although I love reading those blogs!), and it seems dishonest to my voice.

Moving forward, I hope you can read my blog and relate... I am not going to put out a polished version of my life... because it isn't what is real. In fact, I love my life because it isn't perfect! That's the beauty of it.

So please bear with me, and hopefully enjoy, my wedding chronicle. I wish I had read some unpolished truths in blogs about wedding planning when I was going through it...

So I wanted to put it out there and hopefully one bride (or groom) can read about my experience and feel like they aren't alone. And they can laugh.

I was never floating on a cloud of macaroons and monograms... I had weird "un-bridal" emotions at really shitty inopportune times... and you know what... my wedding was awesome... and so is married life.

Our Wedding... Location, Or So I Thought

Not many people know this, but I planned 2 weddings... yup... 2 different weddings. Sound fun?

If you say yes, you are a bit nutty/a 12 yo girl/far enough away from your wedding to miss planning/not married yet/a party planner.

We originally set out to get married in the charming Victorian beach town of Cape May, N.J., not far from my family's house up the coast in Stone Harbor. For those of you not familiar with the area, it isn't the stereotype promulgated by Jersey Reality TV. It's beautiful. We had fallen in love with a chic hotel (see this post!), and after a romantic weekend getting our drink on sipping cocktails by the fire, we thought it would be perfect for our intimate wedding. In particular, I loved the golden dining room decked out in Osborne & Little's Asuka wallpaper.

So we signed contracts (I went to law school and THANK GOD I amended the contract to cover changes to the property's appearance - especially my beloved wallpaper) and the planning started. I quickly dove into the details, worked with my fave artist, Happy Menocal, on the invites (based on the wallpaper - yes I am a wallpaper addict), and planned creative salt water taffy box Save the Dates.

I thought to myself "This wedding is going to photograph SO super well in this quality of light... Won't my photos look amazing?... I definitely will submit them to wedding blogs!... Salt water taffy Save the Dates, ain't I clever! ... People will love my wedding!" Clearly, I had damn near lost my mind, but it took a "big" planning setback to open my eyes to the fact that I was becoming an unrecognizable Zombie Monster Bridal version of myself.

Back in Delusional Bridal Land, things were going just swimmingly, and over a trip home for Easter weekend, I couldn't wait to visit the hotel. Bry and I ventured down the coast and I was as giddy as a psychopath... all of those details would be just perfect, I thought. Well, I thought that until I stepped into the hotel and saw they had completely renovated the place... and most notably, they had taken down my crazy obsession dream wallpaper. The wallpaper I based the invites on... The wallpaper that was pinned to my inspiration boards... THAT wallpaper.

The place instead looked like an attempt at colonial Williamsburg chic. So not me. SO so not my wedding. With as much grace as I couldn't muster through my shocked bridal rage (think "Carrie" at prom), I asked for the manager. Needless to say, things did not go well for the hotel in our convo. I used my legal speak in a way to bitch smack the hell out of management. I treated it like Moot Court and I was going to win, goddammit. I channeled Nancy Grace levels of legal crazy...

But at this point, what was winning? I couldn't get them to turn back time and reinstate good taste. And I had to accept that the closest I could get was possibly using the ballroom of their other property.

They tried. They really did... to make things right. But at that point, I had lost the trust I needed in them as my vendor to do things right. And I was heart broken because I had envisioned the wedding so many times (too many times) at the hotel.

Push came to shove and I just didn't feel like I would get what I wanted from them. So it was time to get back our deposits (and then some... I negotiated to have them cover expenses from details based on the wallpaper) and move onto a new plan.

And that's when something magical happened...

Bry reminded me of the kind of wedding I had said I wanted when we met... the kind of wedding that I had wanted before wedding magazines and bridal blogs had warped my mind and possessed me... the kind of wedding that, most importantly, was US.

I started listening to my heart and we decided to move the wedding to the city we both loved the most... NYC. It was my bridal exorcism.