A seasoned wedding photographer will know the tricks to capturing the best shots in any environment. Still, it doesn't hurt to keep some of these insider tips in mind when planning your big day. Kristen Loken, a photographer who shoots everything from weddings to editorial, let us in on her favorite guidelines for achieving stylish, stress-free wedding photos. Take it away, Kristen!
This is a guest post written by Olympian Kerri Walsh.
Kerri Walsh will be headed to London with her teammate Misty May-Traenor in search of a third gold medal in beach volleyball. Training in sand, which provides little traction, makes a full-body workout even tougher, but for Kerri it's all in a day's work. Here's a beach workout the Olympian created with her trainer Kerry Wachtfogel. Repeat the entire circuit three times and be prepared to sweat!
We're happy to present a post from Stephania and Colleen of Thursdays, who will inspire you to get your party decor perfect this Fourth of July!
If you're throwing a Fourth of July get-together for your friends and want your tabletop decor to be more class and less Uncle Sam, then here are some of our favorite suggestions for creating a festive atmosphere without the kitsch.
We're excited to present a post from Laura Ching, chief design officer for Wedding Paper Divas.
From working with wedding planners, style experts, brides, and interior designers, I know we all hit those creative roadblocks. To help keep those creative juices flowing when it comes to design, color scheme, and theme for your wedding, I've shared with you my top five inspirations and six more suggestions of where you can find inspiration every day. From decor to photo shoots and color palettes to inspiration boards, these ideas will help you create an unforgettable day.
The following post was written by Olympic athlete Alex Morgan, the youngest player on the US roster at 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and member of the 2012 US Olympic women's soccer team.
I've worked out all my life, with grueling hours indoors — a prerequisite for an Olympic hopeful. But when the weather outside is wonderful, who wants to spend any time in a stuffy gym? Instead, gather the family and invite your friends to join you outdoors for a calorie-blasting good time. These activities make it easy to enjoy the season — and still lose weight, stay motivated, and build muscles — so you can look your best in the height of bathing suit season and still enjoy your favorite summertime treats and picnics.
Put your mind into a "competitive" mode and show off your speed, strength, and tenacity by working out in the sunshine each day. Here are some great tips to keep you in shape outdoors much in the same way you work out at a gym:
- Swim to Keep Trim: Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the cardiovascular system. Do 20-30 minutes of laps in a pool, lake, or ocean. Swimming strengthens your chest, back, arms, abs, legs, and shoulders. Talk about a total-body workout!
- Life's a Beach: Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn't have on a treadmill or on asphalt. You can do it barefooted and you'll feel a great workout in your feet, shins, and calves, and beach walking is great for ankle stability.
- Beach Buddy: You can create a great strength workout with just you and a beach towel. Alternate walking, jogging, and sprinting to work the lower body and get the heart rate elevated. The beach can be so tranquil and yet so energizing. Start out by walking, and all of a sudden you get the energy from the earth and you start to jog a little. To maximize the experience, do walking lunges or stationary lunges the length of your beach towel. Work the upper body with pushups and reverse planks and the abdominals with crunches on the towel.
We're happy to present a post from HGTV Design on a Dime host Casey Noble!
Summer is officially here! But before heading out to the pool or the beach or chasing down the ice-cream truck, make sure your house is also in full Summer swing. Consider these quick tips so you can enjoy this season from your beach chair and your sofa.
Our friend and show floor correspondent, Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer for California Closets, reported back from the Merchandise Mart in Chicago on the latest industry insight coming out of NeoCon 2012, the show where the design world comes together — three days of pure energy, bursting with new thinking, new resources, and new products. Summer is on our minds, so Ginny shared some of her favorite outdoor furniture finds and trends. Take a peek!
This season of Mad Men has sadly ended, and we're longing for the cool style of the show. Luckily, interior designer Susan Manrao is helping us to forget our sadness over the season finale by sharing some great decorating tips in the Mad Men style. Keep reading for all of her fabulous tips!
We're happy to present a post from Valerie at Spark Letterpress.
Letterpress is a wonderful printing method that combines beautiful papers, ink, and a deep impression to create a distinctive stationery suite your guests are sure to enjoy. The biggest advantage of using letterpress, besides that it is just stunning, is that you are inviting your guests with something special that they likely haven't received before. We hear from so many of our clients that the invites really felt like little works of art. In addition to that, just being able to feel that impression of the design, and the fact that most letterpress companies use eco-friendly materials and practices, are additional reasons why you can feel good about your stationery.
We are seeing a lot of gray and metallic inks and papers being used this year. We also have been doing a lot of letterpress suites with lovely touches of metallic and pearlized foils. Foil seems to be omnipresent these days, so we are using more unique foil offerings for our clients or pairing them with fun papers or other finishing touches for a unique look.
We also recently introduced laser cutting into our repertoire of services that has been a huge hit with our client base. We are dressing up a lot of simply done suites with classic typography or imagery by adding a laser cut wrap or belly band. It keeps the overall look of the suite in the classic realm but gives you that wow factor when a guest receives their invite.
Most brides are looking for beautiful ways to enhance their wedding's decor and to help it stand out from the crowd, and that's why terrariums are a great option for creating a beautiful, unusual impression on your big day. We talked to Katy Maslow and Michelle Inciarrano, owners of the Brooklyn-based company Twig Terrariums and authors of the new book Tiny World Terrariums about how — and why — terrariums are a great decorating choice.
Keep reading to see what Katy and Michelle have to say about making terrariums work as centerpieces or wedding favors at your celebration, as well as DIY tips for creating them yourself! Take it away, Katy and Michelle!
All book photos courtesy of Robert Wright
We're delighted to present the following post, written by reality star, author, and celebrity hairstylist Tabatha Coffey!
Your big day isn't the time to have a bad hair day. So here is my plan to avoid wedding-day hair disasters and to ensure the most important day of your life is also the best hair day of your life.
The Hottest Spots in the World For Design Inspiration: Morocco, Britain, Cuba, and Two Other Amazing Destinations
We're thrilled to present a post from Ashley Read at SFA Design. Ashley recently attended the Los Angeles design event, Legends, and reported back to us on the latest trends and inspirations from the event.
Named "LA's premier destination for home design" by House Beautiful, the La Cienega Design Quarter is chock-full of the hottest interior design studios, showrooms, and galleries. Until recently, this chic neighborhood has been a trade secret among design professionals, but with the 4th Annual Legends of La Cienega event coming to a close, it seems that the LCDQ is a secret no more!
For those not yet in the know, the Legends event is a who's who gathering of the top designers, design publications, and vendors, similar to the West Week events, but in a more relaxed, neighborly setting. Each year comes with a relevant theme: last year celebrated art, and for 2012, Legends designers shared their international inspirations via "Windows to the World," complete with panel discussions and window displays depicting an exciting array of location-based inspirations from Abu Dhabi to Antarctica, Kenya to Côte d'Azur.
Attending all of the amazing panel discussions was a real eye-opener and definitely caused me to add a few new spots to my "travel bucket list!" Check out a few international inspiration tips we picked up from the A-list Legends panelists, and instead of Paris or Tuscany, try looking to Fes, Morocco, or Vietnam as your next design muse . . .
We're pleased to present this tip-tastic post from celebrity makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty, Mally Roncal.
My BellaSugar beauties, you know what's hot? Perfectly defined peepers. What's most definitely not hot? Raccoon eyes. Nailing eyeliner is an art form — and of course, practice makes perfect. But don't think you have to spend hours in front of the mirror to get a flawless look. With the right tools and my insider tricks, you'll see how simple it is to make your gorgeous eyes effortlessly pop, whether you're going for an au naturel daytime look or a sultry smoky eye for a night out.
We're happy to present a post from designer David Stark!
Each year, we look forward to kicking off the spring gala season with New Yorkers For Children’s A Fool’s Fête, definitely one of New York City’s most glamorous evenings! So often we wrack our brains to come up with a conceptual decor idea that relates to a foundation’s mission, but sometimes the goal is to just be . . . beautiful.
An Indian-inspired fantasy of blazing color and hypnotic pattern filled the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel last year, and since surprise is the name of our game, we swung the pendulum to the other extreme this year, creating a palette cleanse of pure whites, a sea of glimmering candlelight, and a vast canopy of delicate but arresting cherry blossoms. This party didn’t need tons of small bouquets. Rather, the branches became the glorious new architecture of the space, dramatic in repetition.
All photos by Susan Montagna
When it comes to buying cut flowers, sometimes it's hard to remember that behind those beautiful blooms sometimes lurks something more sinister — namely thousands of miles of shipping and herbicides and pesticides. That's why Deborah Prinzing, the author of the new book The 50 Mile Bouquet, recommends that you buy local and sustainable flowers for those you love (like your Mom this Mother's Day). Keep reading for Deborah's great tips on local and beautiful bouquets, and if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Deborah's event at Flora Grubb on Mother's Day.
As more florists and designers discover the negatives of that green foam block (also called florist's foam or Oasis), they are returning to some tried-and-true techniques for stabilizing stems in a vase. The problem with the foam is that it is a formaldehyde-based product that does not break down in landfills. Many designers I've interviewed express concern about breathing and/or exposing their skin to the material.
Alternatives to Floral Foam
- Vintage and new flower frogs. I started collecting these years ago and they're easy to find at tag sales and vintage flea markets for under $5 or $10. Use and reuse!
- Pebbles, glass beads, and marbles.
- Excelsior fibers. Also called wood aspen, you can find this packing material through craft stores or wine shops. Insert a tangle of the fibers in your vase and then you can stick stems through the fibers to stabilize. When you're finished with the arrangement , the excelsior fibers can go into the compost pile with other clippings.
- Chicken wire.I have a $15 roll of 15 inch by 5 foot-long poultry fencing that I use over and over again. Just use wire clippers to cut off a 12-inch section of the wire so you have an approximate square. Form it into a loose ball to fit the interior dimensions of your container . If the container is shallow, use sticky clay (available in the floral department at Michael's or other craft stores) to anchor the chicken wire in place.
- Twigs and branches. I learned this technique from several designers I interviewed for The 50 Mile Bouquet. As a first step. arrange a framework of decorative twigs inside your vase, placing each one at an angle that crosses over the next. This interior matrix is then perfect for inserting other floral branches and foliage — and the twigs become part of the design.
Keep reading for more eco floral design tips!
We're thrilled to present the following post from our guest writer, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty, Mally Roncal.
Did you manage to snag your eight hours of sleep last night? No? Well, all you mamas, wives, and working women out there, let me tell you — you're definitely in good company! Just like you, I know how tough it is to get the requisite amount of shut-eye, considering our jam-packed schedules can include a fair amount of jet-setting too. Whether I'm traveling to Fashion Week in New York or making a QVC appearance on the other side of the pond, it can be a real challenge to look refreshed and polished while on the go.
So, how do you get that wide-awake, cool, calm, and collected look when you’re feeling anything but? Read on, my fellow jet-setters, to find out how to fake it 'til you make it.
My first trip to High Point proved to be an invigorating experience that not only stirred my design juices but also my shopping addiction. After spending two days hitting the pavement and visiting over 50 showrooms, here are my personal favorites from High Point that I would love to see in my own home.