Monthly Archives: December 2012

This is my very favorite time of year – festive lights and decorations everywhere, get togethers with family and friends, traditions old and new. Plus lots and lots of cookies! This weekend, Ryan and I are going to The Nutcracker ballet with a couple friends – perhaps it will be one of those new traditions. What are you up to this weekend? How have you been celebrating the holiday season?

The top of my tree!

Malted hot cocoa sounds even better than the original.

Give the gift of bacon jam.

Chelsea’s tips for how to survive winter.

How do you like to go up in a swing?

Eating in the tub paintings, via Bradford’s Pinterest.

Oh those curls!

I’d love one of these experience passports.

What happens when illiterate children in Ethiopia are given tablets and no instruction on how to use them…

Gorgeous gold wedding invitations.

Craft subscriptions for the little crafters in your life, via Design Mom.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

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With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was time to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a new series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

 When I spoke with her, Leslie told me, “We were the least likely candidates for marriage.” Both John and Leslie’s parents had divorced, and John had been married twice before. So I asked the tough question, hoping not to make either Leslie or John feel uncomfortable: What was it that made their marriage work? Both Leslie and John looked at each other, smiled, and then looked back at me. Magic,” they said. Well, magic, respect, and celebrating their anniversary every day.

They both believe respect is one of the keys to a happy marriage. “Respect can sustain love as it changes, and respect can sustain friendship as it changes. Respect means you go out of your way not to hurt the other person,” Leslie said. One of their tricks for getting through conflicts, John said, “is to sit with it together and not react, not respond.” Leslie agreed, but pointed out that she is still learning that lesson after 29 years!

John and Leslie keep the spark in their marriage by continually celebrating their marriage. John explained, “The people you’re closest to are the ones you shouldn’t take advantage of.” Which is why he’s known to bring home flowers and little gifts throughout the year. “We don’t really celebrate one day,” said Leslie. “We celebrate our anniversary all the time.” That’s John and Leslie’s sweet recipe for a magical marriage.

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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Just a quick break from December with the soft and romantic SoCal wedding from Jonathan Canlas…

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We fell in love with the venue as soon as we pulled up to the dirt parking lot. The tour of the venue was romantic; the equestrian center with its rustic barn was a blend of vintage and elegance.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  All things timeless and lovely.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Sitting at the head table and looking out to see that we were surrounded by all our family and friends who love us.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  Just a sprinkle of Korean tradition was incorporated into our wedding. The bride’s mother wore a traditional Korean dress and we also served Korean rice cakes during cocktail hour.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  I was told over and over again to enjoy every moment of the day because it’ll be over before I know it. Boy, was that true! Thankfully, I reminded myself to do just that throughout the whole day, and as a result, there are mental pictures that I can talk about today.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t spend too much time/effort magnifying details on the big day, but instead, use that energy to celebrate the start of your life with your best friend.


See more of Dena and Andrew’s romantic pink wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Jonathan Canalas / Venue: Brookside Equestrian Center in Walnut, California / Event Planner, Caterer: Rose Wade Events / Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bridesmaid Dresses: B2 from Jasmine Bridal / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Groom’s Tie: Ben Sherman / Floral Design: Flowers By Sharen / Cake: Beverly’s Best
  • Romantic Pink Wedding in Southern California

    12 December 2012
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