Last month we had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious trip to Sonoma (you might have seen a sneak peek on our Instagram) courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, the Fairmont Sonoma, and Fortessa, and today not only do we get to recap the trip, we get to tell you how you can win the exact same trip!

 

GIVEAWAY INCLUDES: 

– Domestic airfare for two.

– Three-day / Two-night stay  at Fairmont Sonoma.

– VIP tour and cooking class at the flagship Williams-Sonoma store.

– Two dinners at some of Sonoma’s finest restaurants.

– VIP tour & wine tasting at Silver Oak Vineyard.

 

Day One: 

A limousine picked us up at SFO and whisked us off to the Sonoma wine country (with a glass of rosé in hand, of course).

The first night, we were spoiled by a 4-course candlelit welcome dinner at The Girl and the Fig’s Suite D. A cuisine filled with local ingredients including beef filet, butternut squash gratin and wild mushrooms, almond brown butter cake with strawberries, and all served on Fortessa’s warm white, restaurant quality dinnerware, available in a style for every table. One of our favorite things from the night was Fortessa’s unique champagne glasses: they are made with special etched points in the glass that keeps champagne and sparkling wine bubbling the whole time, not just when it’s first poured. Adding that to our list of registry favorites for sure!

 

Williams Sonoma; Fairmont Sonoma; Fortessa | Snippet & Ink Williams Sonoma; Fairmont Sonoma; Fortessa | Snippet & Ink

 

 

After dinner we settled into our gorgeous rooms at the Fairmont Sonoma. I mean, just look at this bed with its perfect painting of the vineyards:

 

 

From the complimentary bottle of wine, to the Le Labo bath products, to the turn down service, staying at the Fairmont Sonoma was a totally luxurious experience – it would be perfect for a honeymoon or mini-moon! They even have bicycles you can take out and ride around the area, although we were so busy with fun events we didn’t have a chance. Next time…

 

Day Two:

The next day we headed to the recently reopened Williams-Sonoma flagship store for a cooking demonstration…

 

 

Last year, when founder Chuck Williams celebrated his 99th birthday, the team at Williams-Sonoma surprised him by reopening his original store – and it is gorgeous. Checkered floors, huge kitchen, a whole house full of the best kitchen and tabletop items from Williams-Sonoma and Williams-Sonoma Home, plus a backyard garden for parties and events. If we weren’t so comfy in our Fairmont Sonoma digs, we would have wanted to spend the whole trip there!

 

(The pineapple logo, representing hospitality, has been part of Williams-Sonoma from the beginning, and the hand-painted sign that Chuck Williams hung when he first opened the store in 1956 is back at the reopened flagship. We love details like that!)

 

Chef Thomas McNaughton is the chef behind some of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants like Flour + Water and Central Kitchen, and he was there to show us how to make pasta. Total foodie fangirl moment!

After a wine tasting in Napa, we ended the day with a farewell dinner at Fairmont Sonoma, complete with a wine pairing (served in Fortessa‘s gorgeous break-resistant glasses) for each of the five courses – including dessert!

 

 

All in all it was an incredible time, and we’re so excited that our readers have the chance to win the same awesome trip to Sonoma. For more details and to enter, head on over to the sweepstakes page.

A huge thank you FortessaWilliams-Sonoma, and the Fairmont Sonoma for a wonderful experience. We can’t wait to go back!

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by Snippet & Ink on behalf of Fortessa. The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that we believe in and that help to keep Snippet & Ink running.

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Have you ever walked into a store and wanted to buy everything?  When I saw Melanie Casey‘s jewelry collection, that’s exactly how I felt. Her pieces have a way of appealing to every style — both bold and expressive, yet elegant and refined…detailed and ornate, but also so delicate and pretty. This Blush Cluster Ring with Champagne and Cognac Diamonds is no exception!

 

 

Melanie and her small team work out of Boston, where they will soon be opening a permanent storefront (in early 2016!). Here, clients can make appointments, visit and host special events.

 

 

All of Melanie ‘s designs are first carved out of wax, lending a truly unique, organic quality that you can see in this Round Diamond Eternity Band. Once the wax carvings are complete, they are cast into 14k gold. Even better — Melanie Casey is environmentally conscious, and exclusively uses recycled metal and conflict-free diamonds and gemstones. That’s something you don’t see often with fine jewelry!

 

 

I love how this Vine Wedding Band and Diamond Ivy Cuff aren’t too matchy-matchy, but would still look gorgeous next to each other!

 

 

Now the part I know you’ve been waiting for – the giveaway!  Melanie Casey is giving away to one lucky Snippet & Ink reader a Rose Cut White Diamond Ring in 14k Rose Gold, valued at $695!  We’re doing something a little different with this giveaway, so all you need to do is enter THROUGH THIS LINK.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and comment on our Facebook post letting us know you entered and making your entry count.  GOOD LUCK!

*Note:  Comments on this post DO NOT enter you in the contest.  See rules above. 

Contest begins Tuesday, December 8, 2016 at 9:30AM PDT, and ends Monday, December 14, 2015 at 11:59PM PDT. The winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink, and notified by email. Please note: winner must live in the United States.

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When I was engaged, the first place I registered was at Williams-Sonoma – I love cooking and baking, especially for guests, and Williams-Sonoma carries everything I could possibly want to complete my kitchen arsenal. We have a pretty small space, so I had to choose wisely, and when they asked me to round up some favorite registry items, I knew I wanted to highlight not only a few of my top picks, but also share some tips for creating a registry when you don’t have endless square feet of kitchen storage.

Williams-Sonoma Registry Picks Williams-Sonoma Registry Picks

1. Fortessa Rim Bowls
2. Fortessa Rim Dinner Plates
3. Littledeer Cooking Utensil Set
4. Wüsthof Classic Ikon 3-Piece Knife Starter Set
5. Fortessa Stackable Mugs
6. Acacia Cutting Board
7. Staub Ceramics Baking Dish
8. Schott Zwiesel Estelle Champagne Flutes
9. Le Creuset Signature Round Wide Matte Dutch Oven
10. Arezzo Brushed Flatware
11. Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

 

Tip #1: When you only have room for one set of dinnerware, go with plates and bowls that are both durable enough to use everyday, and simple enough to be dressed up (think nice linens and candles) when company comes over. White or ivory is your best bet, since it goes with everything, and works for any season or occasion. Fortessa Rim bowls and dinner plates (1 & 2) are a great option – classic, versatile style and exceptional durability, they fit all of my “small space dinnerware” requirements. Not to mention they come with a 10-year chip-free guarantee!

Tip #2: Choose stackable items when you can. Nesting mixing bowls and measuring cups are a must, but also consider registering for stackable mugs (5) and glassware.

Tip #3: Register for items that do double duty as cookware and serveware. Something that’s not only functional, but attractive enough to bring to the table – I love my Staub baking dish and Le Creuset Dutch oven (7 & 9) for just this reason. Same goes for my wooden spoon by Littledeer (3). They’re all total workhorses in the kitchen, while still being lovely enough to serve with. And if you’re really tight on kitchen storage, these items look nice enough to be displayed on the counter. I keep my Dutch oven on the stovetop all the time, even when I’m not using it – it’s just so pretty! I also like to show off my butcher block cutting board and Kitchen Aid Mixer (6 & 11). If you have a really tiny kitchen, a stand mixer might not make a lot of sense, but if you can find room on your counter for it, it’s a winner. I grew up making cookies with my mom in her Kitchen Aid, and I use mine all the time for making cake batter, frosting, cookie dough, whipped cream – hands down my very favorite bridal shower gift.

Tip #4: Stick with the basics. You don’t necessarily need a full block of cutlery – a high-quality chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated bread knife should meet all your major dicing and slicing needs. I prefer the contoured handle of Wüsthof’s Classic Ikon (4) line, but I recommend stopping by a Williams-Sonoma store and trying out their knives to see what you like best. And if you’re trying to make room for that Kitchen Aid Mixer (wink wink), skip the knife block and go with a wall-mounted magnetic knife bar.

Happy registering!

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by Snippet & Ink on behalf of Fortessa. The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that we believe in and that help to keep Snippet & Ink running.

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I’ve created hundreds of inspiration boards over the years, many of them inspired by a single element – a color, a season, a textile. When Platinum Jewelry approached me about creating some platinum-inspired wedding looks, I knew I could run with it – platinum is timeless and luxurious, a perfect starting point to inspire not only a bridal look, but an entire wedding! And I knew exactly where I wanted to start…

Downton Abbey. Well, sort of. The Belle Époque saw some of the most exquisite platinum and diamond jewelry in history (see my little history lesson below), and I am such a sucker for vintage bling (give me a little patina any day), so I started with this Edwardian-inspired look…

Vintage Elegance

Downton Abbey Inspired Bride Downton Abbey Inspired Bride

Vintage Elegance, clockwise from top left // “Lady Mary” invitation by Lucky Luxe Correspondence // platinum “Peachtree” ring by Trumpet & Horn // “Flora” gown by Temperley London // “Nadira” jeweled satin pump by Manolo Blahnik from Bergdorf Goodman // fern champagne flute by William Yeoward from Michael C. Fina // crystal “Cosmos” bandeaux by Jennifer Behr // diamond and platinum wheat band ring by Cathy Waterman from Ylang23 // Old World inspired cake by Mark Joseph Cakes via Brides // Edwardian platinum and diamond earrings from Estate Diamond Jewelry

City Chic

Who’s to say a platinum bride must be a traditional bride? Not me! Here’s a sassy bride in a lace jumpsuit, headband fascinator, and spectacular solitaire diamond and platinum ring. (Also how about that darling cake?!)

City Chic Bride City Chic Bride

City Chic, clockwise from top left // lace bridal jumpsuit by Monique Lhuillier from Shopbop // headband fascinator from Accessorize // oval cut diamond solitaire platinum ring from Enchanted Diamonds // “Gramercy” letterpress invitation by The Aerialist Press // single-tier glitter cake with sparklers from Martha Stewart Weddings // rose perfume by Le Labo from Saks Fifth Avenue // platinum pearl and diamond rosette earrings from 1stdibs // silver mirror pumps from ASOS // “Barre” platinum and diamond ring from Brilliant Earth

Luxe Romance

There’s no denying that platinum is luxurious, and I’d argue that it’s also quite romantic (just look at what it does with diamonds!), so with this third look I wanted to combine luxury and romance. A metallic floral gown, pearl drop earrings, and an ethereal cathedral length veil…

Romantic Bride in Platinum and Gold Romantic Bride in Platinum and Gold

Luxe Romance, clockwise from top left // gold calligraphy invitation with custom monogram by Emily McCarthy // diamond and pearl drop earrings with platinum by Cathy Waterman from Barneys // metallic floral gown by Lela Rose // glittler “Alina” flats by Jimmy Choo from Neiman Marcus // faceted pearlescent acrylic clutch by Edie Parker // unadorned cathedral veil by Twigs & Honey // silver leaf cake with sugar flowers by Coco Cakes // “Trinity Ruban” platinum diamond ring by Cartier // “Petite Luxe” twisted vine diamond and platinum ring by Brilliant Earth

 —

A little note about why I was so excited to do this post with Platinum Jewelry. I always knew platinum was special because of its rarity, but when I went to the “Cartier and America” exhibit in San Francisco several years ago, I was blown away by the intricate platinum and diamond pieces from the Belle Époque – tiaras, necklaces, earrings, pins. Sparkling. Breathtaking. That’s where I learned that another reason platinum is prized for use in jewelry is because of its density and strength – it allows jewelers to create more delicate designs, to incorporate more gemstones in a smaller area, to highlight gemstones (especially diamonds!) rather than weigh them down, and to create some truly magnificent pieces of jewelry art. To show you what I mean, I’ll just leave you with this incredible Cartier brooch from 1906:

Platinum and Diamond Cartier Lily Brooch Platinum and Diamond Cartier Lily Brooch

 

This post is a paid collaboration with Platinum Jewelry, the world’s leading authority and source of independent information about platinum jewelry. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that we believe in and that help to keep Snippet & Ink running.

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Marble Rye Photo

Live band versus DJ is a classic debate, but when you encounter a group as cool as Dart DJ, it’s hard to go with anything else! I mean, who wouldn’t want a DJ group that has played with Vampire Weekend at their wedding?

Dart DJ is a boutique collective based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but they create unique wedding experiences across the country and around the globe. From vinyl-only DJ sets to remixes specific to your event, Dart DJ more than surpasses the typical DJ experience.

Amber McGaughey

Headed by Jesse Kivel of Kisses and Michael David of Classixx, every member of Dart DJ is a working DJ or musician. They have shared the stage with artists like Phoenix, Missy Elliott, Robyn, Cut Copy, Vampire Weekend, RAC, Toro Y Moi, Yacht, Sleigh Bells, Big Boi, Chromeo, Saint Etienne, The Flaming Lips, Ladytron and Spoon—big names!

Music is truly their passion, and they bring that energy to your event—whether that means digging through vinyl crates for that one song you have to hear or getting your grandmother out on the dance floor.

Marble Rye Photo

In San Francisco, Dart DJ shares a space in the Dogpatch at 1251 Connecticut. They offer local pricing to the bay area (no overnight fees and minimal travel fees), and utilize the talent of the pool of DJs in the area.

Ian Sheppard

Even better? Dart DJ is giving away one FREE WEDDING DJ PACKAGE to a lucky reader in San Francisco/Bay Area! Want to win this incredible giveaway?  TO ENTER, leave a comment below telling us what song you’ll be dancing to at your first dance, and why you want Dart DJ to be your DJ.  Good luck!

UPDATE:  This contest is now closed.  Congrats to Natasha who said: “Andrew & I will be dancing to Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E for our first dance next September in Sonoma. We want Dart DJ to be our wedding DJ because with guests flying in from all over the country we are looking for a reception experience that is fun and uniquely California and Dart DJ would be the perfect fit! Thanks a bunch!”

Contest begins Monday September 21, 2015 at 9:30AM PST, and ends Friday September 25, 2015 at 11:59PM PST. Winner’s wedding must take place within a 2 hour drive of San Francisco, California.  Winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink and announced on this post. Please note: winner must live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). 

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