Sunday, June 12, 2011

Submit Your Wedding!

Greetings! Hope this finds everyone enjoying Spring! I've been super busy with my second quarter at The Cortiva Institute of Massage Therapy and working on my latest creative endeavor, an extraordinary real weddings blog ( with my good friend and wedding industry guru, Sacha Krasney. Her sought-after custom stationery designs have received numerous mentions in magazines and websites, including Chicago Social Magazine, CS Brides, Modern Bride and Daily Candy Chicago. I'm thrilled to collaborate with her as editor of the Be U Weddings Blog.

Launching July 15th, Be U Weddings is a chic and innovative real weddings blog that highlights unique weddings and advice for brides in the Chicagoland area and the Midwest. Samantha Saifer, Director of Marketing for Chicago Social Magazine and CS Brides says, “Sacha Krasney’s be U weddings blog is a must-read for the trend-setting Chicago bride. We’re already in love!” Here's a first glimpse at the spectacular wedding events we're featuring:

Be one of the first to be featured on our blog. Submit your wedding event for consideration at We're always on the lookout for extraordinary wedding events (includes engagement photo shoots and parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings) and/or unique products, venues and vendors that inspire brides-to-be. Whether you've planned a romantic urban vintage soiree or a Great Gatsby-inspired event, we want to hear from you! Please help us spread the word and stay tuned!

PHOTO CREDITS: (1-3) Caleb Condit Photography; (4) Jai Girard Photography

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wills & Kate Wedding Soiree

Greetings! I am excited to report the Wills & Kate wedding party was a smashing success! My guests and I enjoyed watching the wedding coverage on the BBC and enjoyed Irene Mueller's Simply Sinful Cupcakes (, chopped Greek chicken salad, homemade veggie salsa (recipe below), Jamie's lemon-glazed blueberry scones, strawberries and champagne. I absolutely loved sharing this glorious day with my closest friends. We perused my collection of Diana and Kate books and magazines. Guests went home with sparkly Royal notecard sets designed by Sacha Krasney of Be U Brides ( Here are some photos:

Simply Sinful Cupcakes
Homemade Veggie Salsa (recipe below)

With Irene Mueller of Simply Sinful Cupcakes

Sipping bubbly with Cassandra

Royal Wedding Notecard Favors, courtesy of Be U Brides

Party Table

My first of many Kate books!

Homemade Veggie Salsa

Green Giant Mexicorn, 1 can
Black Beans, drained and rinsed, 1 can
Green onion, chopped, one
Avocados, chopped, two
Medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, three
Good Seasons Italian Dressing (regular flavor) (prepared as directed on package), one packet
Optional: Cilantro (chopped) 

Add all ingredients in medium size bowl; pour prepared dressing over ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Courtesy of Irene Mueller.

Kate looked absolutely radiant, confident and happy on her wedding day. Her dress was stunning and suited her perfectly. Congratulations to the lovely couple!

Cheerio for now!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

J'Adore Cupcakes!

Who doesn't love a heavenly cupcake? Wrapped like a little present and topped with decadent frosting, they're the sweetest indulgence! My friend, Irene Mueller, couldn't agree more. That's why she recently started Simply Sinful Cupcakes ( with 20+ flavors of gourmet cupcakes. My Wills & Kate wedding party guests will be treated to these sinful creations next week, thanks to Irene!

I had the pleasure of working with Irene in publishing for twelve years. She was editor of Painting magazine, and I was always inspired by her many successful creative pursuits. She picked up decorative painting quickly and made it look easy. She has a gift and passion for home decorating as well. Her tastefully chic house could very easily be featured in a home decorating magazine. Not only that, Irene is a talented chef with a passion for party planning. That's why it's no surprise to me that she's pursuing her own cupcake business. To order her cupcakes for your next event, visit Here are several of her unique creations:


I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by so many gifted, creative people. This economy has forced many of us to step outside of our comfort zones and reinvent ourselves. I'm discovering that's not such a bad thing. I'm enjoying every minute of massage therapy school and can't wait to graduate next March! Massage therapy is the perfect blend of art and science, and I look forward to sharing the benefits of massage with others. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wedding Invites Fit For Royalty

With William and Kate's wedding invitation recently released, Chicago-based wedding stationery designer Sacha Krasney gives her input on what type of invite she would create for the royal couple.

William & Kate's Official Engagement Portrait

The Royal Wedding Invitation

"Since Kate prefers sophisticated classic looks with simple embellishments, I think she'd like this gold-accented invitation from my wedding stationery line Be U Brides," said Krasney.  The beautiful custom invitation is made from antique opal rose paper accented with a lovely antique rhinestone brad on the front. An antique gold raised print is used and the look is beautifully tied together with champagne-colored ribbon. It's the perfect marriage of vintage and contemporary styles seamlessly blended together."

Be U Brides' Royal Wedding Invitation Concept

While most brides don't have a royal wedding budget, they can borrow and incorporate their favorite details from the royal wedding. Whether you're a classic, modern, vintage or fairy tale bride, Sacha Krasney makes the wedding of your dreams a reality. Visit for a variety of custom wedding packages designed to fit any budget. What kind of Bride are U?
Take the quiz at

PHOTO CREDITS: Mario Testino; The Royal Wedding Invitation; 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Royal Wedding Party in Chi-town

On April 29th, Wills and Kate are getting married at Westminster Abbey. In celebration of this momentous occasion, I am hosting a wedding party at my flat in Chi-town. I look forward to sharing this special day with my closest friends.

Guests will enjoy High Tea in the afternoon, followed by a menu of chopped Greek chicken salad, caprese sandwiches, chocolate-covered strawberries, Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes and champagne in the evening. Sacha Krasney, owner and talented designer of Be U Brides custom designed wedding invitations (, is graciously creating wedding favors. Guests are also invited to peruse the impressive collection of Diana and Kate books and magazines I've collected over the years. 

Please share if you're planning anything special for that day. I'd love to hear from you! 

PHOTO CREDITS: Mario Testino; Yipit;

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Decorating Inspiration

Hope you're all surviving the winter weather. After a terrible blizzard hit Chi-town yesterday, I've been cooped up inside with a sick roomate, studying my anatomy textbook for massage school and perusing decorating and fashion sites just for fun. After all, there's only so many times I can watch reruns of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "The Real Housewives of NYC"!

I just happened upon the premier issue of High Gloss magazine and had to share the link with you. You can peruse the entire issue online at If you enjoy magazines like Domino, Elle Decor and House Beautiful, then you're sure to like this one, too. The photography, layouts and features are spot on! I truly miss my monthly Domino fix and look forward to this magazine filling that void. Be sure to check out their fabulous giveaways, too. Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year...New Bedroom!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! We had a lovely white Christmas in Chi-town.

As some of you know, I've been in the process of redecorating my bedroom. I recently painted the walls a soothing shade of Misty Lilac (Benjamin Moore) and the brown trim and closet doors a semi-gloss white, which made a huge difference. It's amazing how a little paint can completely transform a space, isn't it? Here's a photo of my new wall decor from What an inspirational decorating site!

As some of you also know, I'm rather obsessed with Craigslist. With a little patience and creativity, there are so many treasures to be had, especially in the Chi-town area. This summer, I found a barely used Restoration Hardware sisal rug that's perfect for my bedroom. And just the other day, I found this white Pottery Barn dresser for a steal from Pandora's Box in Wilmette, IL ( The owner, Jen Zervas, runs the boutique in Wilmette and lists furniture and other decor on Craigslist. They specialize in antiques including fine antique furniture, lamps, mirrors, ceramics, resale furniture and other beautiful items.

I've also ordered this new Classic Stripe Sandalwood bedding from Pottery Barn. I think the neutrals will work well with the lilac and white trim. My favorite piece is my grandmother's desk.      

Once the bedding arrives, I'll be sure to share photos of the transformation. It's a process, but a fun one at that.

PHOTO CREDITS: Jen Zervas/Pandora's Box (dresser); Pottery Barn (bedding)

Happy New Year!