May 7, 2012

Showering a sister…

I have a son and I happen to be pregnant again and will be surprised with the sex for the 2nd time round. You wonder why I’m telling you this? Well it’s because if I have another boy, which I’d be over joyed with (yes my biggest fear in life is having a teenage daughter – we can talk about this in another blog post…), I realize I will never get the pleasure of throwing a shower like this again. This Saturday I had the honor of working with some of the sweetest, most fabulous bridesmaids to put on the shower of my sister’s dreams. It was the first time, sadly, I know, that I realized just how lucky I am to have a sister. I’ve always taken her for granted and unfortunately we were not super close growing up. But that’s all changed and in the past few years as we have become incredibly tight and speak every day even when we have nothing to say to each other.
So when first sitting down to plan this special event for my sister I just had to consult with her on the theme, color palette and some of the main concepts because I wanted it to be as perfect as can be. Her love of tea, vintage and shabby chic details pulled together into a “tea for two” theme for the party and with this we designed a soft, feminine and really pretty inspiration board to work with…

This was the end of my sister Mandy’s involvement in her shower as from this point on LMP and the bridesmaids took the vision for her fantasy shower and ran with it.
Now before I go any further here I need to give a shout out to Robyn Harrison who took the photos that you will see below (aside for the odd one that was taken by my Aunt Debi). Her photography is simply amazing – thank you for all of your hard work and sending these shots to me so quickly!
On to the venue. Many of the girls so generously offered up their homes to have Mandy’s shower in. I thought it would be best to have it in one of the girls’ homes to save some money and to make it more personal. So we had the shower at her friend Elyse’s house who happens to be a chef…not too shabby and we’ll talk more about this shortly. Elyse’s house is beautiful. She has a lovely dining room/living room but the creme de la creme is her backyard. A really nice size, lush grass and large patio set with plenty of room to set up all the tables we wanted to really let our creative juices flow. One key factor here…the weather. We needed sun, warmth and sun. HA! Well guess what?  We got it! And actually – it was the nicest day we’ve seen to date this 2012. The sun was beaming, the air was warm with a beautiful breeze and the clouds kept their distance. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better if I tried.
So we put up a sign on the front lawn to direct the guests to the backyard and we were ready to roll…AND…that’s when…

We set out three main tables for the party: drinks, brunch and dessert. We also set a table for gifts and favors for everyone to take home. And we had the joy of setting out tables for guests to sit at which made for a really laid back and comfortable celebration.
The color palette was made up of soft pink, mint green, gold and ivory lace. We combined all of these colors in the table where we set up drinks for the guests to help themselves: coffee & tea, pink sparkling lemonade, a pink Moscato, sparkling and still water and of course plenty of lemons & limes. I purchased a pink lacy parasol umbrella from Luna Bazaar from which I hung black and white pictures of my sister as a baby on doilies from. I give 100% credit to my mother Vici for this fabulous idea which turned out to look gorgeous at the beverage station.

In addition I found the most beautiful little pendants from M&J Trimming to hot glue onto ribbon and put around the corrugated sleeves that we set out for the coffee cups. A great DIY way to spice up a boring plain white cup. We also set out ivory roses in a silver tea set that we borrowed from my Boobie Frieda (aka my grandmother). As you may or may not know, my Boobie turned 90 this past November and couldn’t be more precious to my sister and I. We are so thankful that she is with us and as strong as she is being able to attend all of the special occasions that have been going on in our lives. Boobie played a pretty large role in this shower as she loaned us much more then just her silver tea set…

We took several of her vintage tea cups, tea pots, platters, vases and table linens to use throughout the party. This made the party not only more stunning then it already was but also very meaningful and special to our family who was in attendance. We were also very lucky to borrow some of the vintage tea cups that my Auntie Marissa has been storing from our late Bubbie Nelly (aka my other grandmother). We used the teacups to fill with flowers, make mini cake stands and as part of the centerpieces on the tables where the guests were able to enjoy their delicious bites. We even filled some of these beautiful tea cups on the tables with cookies that Elyse replicated right off of Pinterest which were delicious and adorable! Surrounding each we put up more childhood pictures of Mandy for the guests to enjoy looking at.

You will also see we had some beautiful flowers all over this shower. I had the pleasure of working with Suzanne from Wildflowers for these fabulous arrangements. She was super sweet and so helpful and I cannot wait to work with her again!

We couldn’t resist the beautiful tissue fans from Shop Sweet Lulu either. So we strung these along the exposed brick wall back drop to our food and dessert tables. Though they were blowing in the light wind and not staying straight and even (which to a person like me who has a wild case of OCD is pure torture) they added a girly and cute element to our overall decor.

Moving along to the food…here’s where Elyse really comes into play. A chef, cooking school teacher and along with the rest of the bridal party a dear friend to my sister – Elyse spent countless hours the day prior to and morning of preparing the most insanely delicious food I’ve ever eaten at a brunch. Not to mention…simply gorgeous. The menu consisted of the following:
* Green Bean Bundles with Herb Dip
* Wild Mushroom Phyllo Purses
* Goat Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Tarts topped with a Roasted Tomato
* Bacon and Aged Cheddar Scones with Chive Butter
* Crab Cakes with Dijon Aioli
* Trio of Crostini: Gorgonzola Cream with Fresh Figs & Red Wine Reduction, Goat Cheese with Truffle Honey & Toasted Walnuts and White Bean Puree with Garlic Confit
* Tea Sandwiches: Curried Chicken Salad, Smoked Salmon with Dill Creme Fraiche & Caviar and Asparagus with Lemon Cream Cheese – could these be any more stunning?

I’m not sure how to express to you how good this food was…maybe you can try to get the idea from these pictures…haha. And if you want to see more of Elyse’s work including her write up of Mandy’s shower check out her blog here.

Onto desserts…um, wow. Thanks to my long time friend and wedding planner Mona Ng, I was referred to a bakery called Bobbette & Belle. Talk about talent – these girls are amazing. Their desserts are not desserts…they are pieces of art. Using our inspiration board as pasted above we came up with the following menu for the dessert table:
* Piped royal icing flower sugar cookies
* Assortment of macarons
* Assortment of melt in your mouth meringues
* Mini cupcakes piped with soft pink roses, soft green leaves and gold centers
* Two tiered pink ruffle cake

These desserts were simply off the hook and couldn’t have looked prettier or tasted any better.

As for the little details that LMP prides ourselves on – we set up a table for the gifts where by we encouraged the guests to shower Mandy with items that could be enjoyed by her and Jason.
The bridesmaids, myself and my mom went in on a gift that we thought was special for Mandy & Jason because of their love for entertaining. Michelle found this awesome, hand made set of platters on Etsy that we personalized with their initials M+J and gave to Mandy as her gift. The gift most certainly got the reaction we were all hoping for from both Mandy and the crowd. “oh my gosh..these are so cool”! Was Mandy’s reaction…while we got a huge “OOOOHHHH and AHHHH” from the girls watching as she opened all of her goodies.

We also set out a table of favors for the guests to take home and enjoy. Mandy’s friend Natalie put these together for us and did a beautiful job. Inspired by Martha Stewarts version she made these her own for our Mandy.

Of course there are some traditions no bridal shower is complete without. So we played a couple of games to keep the guests entertained. However, I don’t like playing games at these things…so we made them activities where the guests didn’t have to do very much. One of which involved faux diamond rings – we thought very fitting and appropriate for our shower here. Each guest was given a toy ring and if they said the name Mandy or Jason could lose their ring to the person who caught them. In the end the gal with the most rings won and in this case that was my cousin Stevie Jane. The second game, inspired from my friend Traci’s baby shower at which I won and was super excited because I did NOTHING for it was we ran an egg timer during the gift opening. If it went off while Mandy was opening your gift you got a prize. We had some fun with the bag of prizes as we put in a teapot shaped tea bag rest, a jar of honey and a honey comb stir all from Crate and Barrel.

It’s also really nice and customary for the groom to be, to make an appearance towards the end of the shower. Jason did just that with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in hand. What a sweetie pie!

A special thanks goes out to my family who shared this special day with us and all of Mandy’s friends who are so good to her and she is so lucky to have. Not to mention the bridesmaids – Mandy is blessed to have you all in her life. This shower would not have happened without the help, support and love from each and every one of you.  Lastly, to my sister…for being so wonderful giving me the great privilege to be your matron on honor. From the bottom of my heart – I love you.
xx, Seri
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March 15, 2012

Shower me with Love

The shower I am writing about today comes from my sister Mandy, AKA LMP Toronto. Together with the bridal party for their dear friend Dalya, she put on one of the most beautiful showers I’ve seen to date. With shades of purple starring as the accent color to this rustic and simply pretty brunch, she used hearts, branches and love notes to honor the bride. Also to her credit she found an incredibly talented photographer to take the photos seen in this post…her name is Robin Harrison and her work is pretty outstanding.
Brunch was served so elegantly on white platters laying on a bed of grass. With purple fabric bunting sewn together by one of the gals, the look was sophisticated and appetizing while lots of fun.

Check this out…they had a yogurt bar. What a fun idea for a brunch. Interactive and a great way for guests to build their own parfaits.

I also love the mason jars filled with berry smoothies. They are dark in color to go along with the season and the theme and look so yum! I also love how simple the coffee accessories were displayed. Such a minor detail but one that I would notice at any party.

Not to mention the use of carnations. Used properly carnations are the best way to add a pop of color into your party without breaking the bank. I love how they did so with the white Ikea plant pots and simple clear vases.

Onto the LMP signature sweets…believe it if you can, but many of our concepts for Little Miss Party come from my very talented and creative sister! She often brainstorms with Michelle and I to put together inspiration boards for our clients as she’s always full of great ideas. And as far as her desserts – well she’s the one who introduced me to cake pops and chic dessert tables…check this one out. How gorgeous are those branches that just happened to wilt over and look almost like a heart…also take note of the adorable bunting on top of the understated white cake. Love love. And how about the hanging heart garland?! So sweet.

The fine details are always my fave as we at LMP take great pride in the “extra’s” as we like to call em. So here the girls set out paper bags with hearts cut out of different types of decorative paper (which you can find at your local Michael’s craft store) and attached with a mini clothespin. Each bag was filled with hershey kisses for the guests to take home…

And for some fun and a fab way to create a keepsake for the bride, the girls set up a string with “love letters” hanging for the guests to sign to the newlyweds. My sister found this idea from the wonderful site Eat Drink Chic.

As tradition will have it the groom to be usually makes an appearance at the end of the bridal shower and in this case Dalya’s adorable man showed up with beautiful flowers and a face that was glowing…what a gorgeous couple – we wish you a happy and healthy marriage from LMP!

xx, Seri
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November 20, 2011

Nifty after Fifty

I have been blessed in so many different ways throughout my life. One of the biggest blessings of them all has been my grandparents. I’ve had the great privilege of spending my entire youth and most of my young adult life with all four of them. There is one still standing ~ my Boobie (aka my grandmother). And she is the Queen bee. A Holocaust survivor, mother of three children, grandmother to 7 and great grandmother to 6. Boobie is nothing but fabulous and I have an incredibly special relationship with her.
As 90 approached, my sister and I decided to throw her a surprise brunch. We had some resistance, naturally, I mean she’s 90. Could have gone over poorly. Not to mention she told every person in our family about 20 times each that she didn’t want a party and she didn’t want to celebrate this big number! But we did it anyway. And guess what? It was perfect. She couldn’t have been happier and enjoyed every second of the party and all of our family members who showed up on time to make sure the surprise was flawless.
The party was “Boobie chic” with golden yellows, cheetah print and vintage photos strung with clothespins hung around the house. We served brunch food that was appropriate for the crowd…bagels & schmear, mini quiche, fig & goat cheese puff pastry, bacon skewers, Aunt Debi’s crab salad, fruit skewers that we displayed in clay pots that we spray painted gold and stuffed with faux grass and an assortment of desserts including the best carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting you ever ate.

My sister (aka LMP Toronto) had the brilliant idea of wrapping duct tape around water bottles. Uh, hello? How smart and easy is this?! The cheetah print is so Boobie circa 1950 and went really nicely with our color story. We also found mini bottles of cavas that were black. We took a gold marker and wrote happy birthday on each…they looked great.

We designed the evite for Boobie’s party on Cocodot our favorite website for prints and online designs.

The beauty of Boobie is she is always dressed to the nines and is the eptiamy of class. She was married to my Zaidy Simon for over 65 years and is an inspiration to my sister and I in every way. We are so lucky to have a Boobie like this and look forward to celebrating another 90 years together with her…

xx, Seri
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October 27, 2011

A match made while camping…

My younger sister got engaged this summer. We were all ready for it as she has been dating her sweet boyfriend for over 5 years and they own a gorgeous house together. So when she gave us the news…we were so thrilled for them.
The lovebirds met on the grounds of Camp Timberlane where my sis and I grew up going to summer after summer throughout our childhood years. It was and still is the most incredible place on earth. An escape from reality where there are no parents, you’re on a private lake surrounded by trees and you get to have nothing but fun for 2 months straight.
Being an avid follower of Pinterest, my sis has collected several beautiful ideas for her wedding and engagement. So to kick it all off she found the coolest photographer to shoot her and her main man for their upcoming nuptials.  The photographer’s name is Scarlet O’neill and even though the shoot was just this Saturday…she has already given my sis a sneak peak which I could not resist publishing.
The theme was camping – a common love between Mandy and Jason the Mr. & Mrs. to be. They started their on camera love affair downtown in the St. Lawrence Market surrounded by bright fruits and veggies symbolizing their love for fresh and delicious food. They carried on to a park nearby for some loving fall shots with blankets and burlap bunting to add some sweet detailing…
Scarlet did a beautiful job with these shots and I cannot wait to see the rest! And I must say…Mandy, you look gorgeous and  my new brother in law to be doesn’t look too shabby himself. Love the vision you had here and cannot wait to help you plan the wedding. xx

xx, Seri
categories: Travel, Toronto, Photography
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