A Few Of My Favorite Pins!

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 6.52.10 PMHey Ya’ll,

Today, I’m sharing three of my favorite pins from the hotbed of useful information and dazzling imagery known as Pinterest!

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 6.43.02 PMOneWed.com originally pinned the photo above of an outdoor garden wedding with a crisp green apple theme. As an event planner with a strong commitment to Eco-friendly design, I was inspired by how green (literally and figuratively!) this event design is. The bottle of wine is accomplishing so many things: table number, signature beverage, wedding favor, and it sets a sophisticated tone while also establishing the event’s theme and color palette. An excellent idea indeed. Click HERE to find this pin on my DIY board, where you’ll find lots of pins to help you put a personal touch on your next event.

Screen shot 2013-09-16 at 11.39.43 PMI could blame my attraction to the pin above on how insanely hot it has been in L.A. lately, but I’ve always loved the idea of personalizing a beverage with fancy ice cubes filled with tasty treats! This pin was originally posted by 17apart.com, and led me to THIS pin via homedesign.marthastewart..com, which also looks like a delicious must-try. You can find both of these pins on my Beverage Board.

Screen shot 2013-09-16 at 11.52.44 PMFor my last pin, I’m sharing this chic salad bar setup that instantly caught my eye. Talk about using your food to add color to your tablescape! This pin was originally posted by celebrationsathomeblog.com, and I’m so glad it got my attention because it led me to this wonderful blog penned by Creative Director, Chris Nease. I highly recommend taking a spin around her site, lots of great posts featuring party planning how-to’s, recipes and design/decor inspiration.

Screen shot 2013-09-16 at 11.56.39 PMYou can find the rest of my inspirational and educational (and down right FUN to look at!) pins sprinkled throughout my Pinterest boards, here: http://www.pinterest.com/brianworley/boards.

What are some of your favorite pins? Feel free to post a link to it along with your Pinterest profile URL in the comment section below. Let’s pin together!

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Image via blog.theknot.com

Image via blog.theknot.com

Hey Ya’ll,

Years ago, I had the honor of designing my little sister’s wedding down in Laredo, Texas where my grandparents lived and my family has visited for as long as I can remember.  While my sister’s wedding took place in the Cathedral and the reception at an art gallery near by, we threw the rehearsal dinner out at our hunting lease (remember this is Texas) where we had a huge traditional Texas BBQ with all the fix’ns and lots of great fun. For our family, the hunting lease was the source of many wonderful memories and provided a relaxed and stress-free location for everyone to gather and just enjoy the evening in a casual setting that gave all the guests from out of town a glimpse of our family’s traditions.

Images via Project Wedding: http://bit.ly/193Omrc

Images via Project Wedding: http://bit.ly/193Omrc

I love the idea of keeping things relaxed the night before your wedding. You’ve already spent so much time and money planning a big party that there’s no need to go overboard to make your rehearsal dinner on the same level as your wedding day. Instead, simply pick a place or theme that says something about you as a couple or your families. Maybe it’s where you went on your first date, or your favorite restaurant in town, or maybe you’ve got strong Italian roots or you’re both from Texas and you want to host a BBQ!

Find out how to make this fabulous Strawberry Shortcake for a BBQ rehearsal dinner, here: http://bit.ly/193Omrc

Find out how to make this fabulous Strawberry Shortcake for a BBQ rehearsal dinner, here: http://bit.ly/193Omrc

The Project Wedding blog recently featured some great tips for hosting a BBQ themed rehearsal dinner, you can find them here: http://bit.ly/193Omrc.

Image via Project Wedding http://bit.ly/193Omrc

Image via Project Wedding http://bit.ly/193Omrc

Whatever you decide on, try to keep things as simple and easy as possible for yourselves. Even if you decide to host the dinner at your home or a rental space, consider bringing in food from an outside source. Cooking and cleaning up can add stress to an already chaotic time. There’s a restaurant for almost every kind of food, so order ahead of time and just pick it up before the event. Better yet, assign the pick-up to your favorite groomsmen or bridesmaids, they’ll be happy to help out.

Image via SeeJaneBlog.com

Image via SeeJaneBlog.com

If you’re okay with spending a little more, you can always consider having your dinner catered or even having a couple food trucks come to your rehearsal venue. This is a nice option because there’s lots of options and you’re not left with a mess to clean up yourself! Click HERE to read a great blog post about how to do food trucks right by Cloe Bleu.

Another affordable option is hosting a traditional Italian pasta dinner, complete with red and white checkered napkins. I found a great menu HERE for this type of rehearsal dinner that you could add personalized touches to make it your own. Bon Appetit!

Welcome Guests to Your Wedding in Style with Personalized Goodie Bags!

Photo by Meghan Christine Photography - Visit emmalinebride.com

Photo by Meghan Christine Photography – Visit emmalinebride.com

Hey Ya’ll,

If you want to throw a wedding that will keep your guests talking long after you say “I DO”, there’s no better way than to kick things off with a “Welcome to our Wedding” goodie bag. I’ve put together a few essentials that should find their way into the bag, bucket, or tote, as well as a few that are just too fun not to include!

 Visit shop.weddingchicks.com

Visit shop.weddingchicks.com

1) The Container… this is an essential part of the goodie bag, so find something that relates to the overall feel of your wedding.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 4.32.47 PMIt’s also important to consider something that is easy to travel with and can be packed away for a return trip home, since the majority of goodie bags are given to your out-of-town guests. Try to give them something that they will actually re-use, rather than finding your hard work and money left in the trash can.

Visit mydayeventplanning.com

Visit mydayeventplanning.com

2) Schedule of Events… though you most likely have created a website or even sent an itinerary to your guests with all the exciting events you have planned for your wedding weekend, more than likely, they will have forgotten it or will be having so much fun that they never log onto their computer, so include an easy timeline that can act as a back-up to all the rest of the information you previously sent.

ddba1cc0581c2cfb2c10ef44797af862This little piece of help should also include a few fun things to do during downtime, as well as a map.  You do not want your guests to get lost and miss a single minute of the exciting festivities you have worked tirelessly to organize over the last few months.

bc82349a5851afb9f413d17a3e938bf03) Beverage and Snack…Your family and friends are attending your wedding to celebrate, so why not help by getting the party started as soon as they arrive.  Throw in one of those plane-sized beverages or maybe a bottle of wine and some sort of snack that is unique and local to where you have decided to get married.

1a45d4adc255c7775e7d14c14175d5d5The image above depicts a great “Brooklyn” themed welcome bag. I once did a wedding in Texas and we included “Texas Tea” and chocolate pralines that gave the goodie bag a down home feel.  Whatever you choose, everyone appreciates a tasty treat and something to drink.

Visit weddingpartyapp.com

Visit weddingpartyapp.com

4) Recovery Kit… a common parting gift from a good wedding is a hangover the next morning!

7e14a49eff5ebf42e4dc6c35cae12819Be sure to include a BIG bottle of water, some aspirin or anything else the doctor would prescribe for a speedy recovery.

Visit weddingpartyblog.com

Visit weddingpartyblog.com

5) A little THANK YOU… pamper your guests with some bath salts, a candle, or one of your favorite local products like honey from the bee hive down the street! This is a great way to say thank you for helping us celebrate our big day.  It doesn’t have to be anything too expensive that will break the bank, but a nice gesture for sure.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 3.33.37 PMThe Knot has an entire Goodie Bag Store where you can personalize anything and everything as well if you like one-stop-shopping! Check it out: HERE.

Visit etsy.com

Visit etsy.com

Do you have any favorite goodie bag items that you have received at a wedding or items that you have included for your guests in the past that you consider a MUST HAVE?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

My Ladies Night Tips and Tricks Featured on Glamour.com!

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 12.02.26 PMHey Ya’ll,

I’m sure many of you are busy preparing for chic Kentucky Derby parties or fun Cinco De Mayo fiestas this weekend but I wanted to give you all a heads up that I’m being featured on Glamour.com today!

Screen shot 2012-03-05 at 4.21.27 PM

Click HERE, to head to the Smitten section of Glamour.com to see all of my tips for throwing a girls’ night worthy of your fabulous friends!


Since girls’ night isn’t complete without a special drink (and for those of you watching the Kentucky Derby with friends this weekend!), click HERE to find out how to make the Basil Hayden’s Triple Crown Julep pictured above.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Similar Posts:

FOX 5 San Diego ‘Girls’ Night’ Segment Link

Make Tonight a Movie Night!

The Hottest Décor Trends for Summer 2013

Pick up the June 2013 issue now! Or head to: http://www.bridalguide.com

Pick up the June 2013 issue now! Or head to: http://www.bridalguide.com

Hey Ya’ll,

I’d love for you to check out Bridal Guide Magazine—not only to see my thoughts featured on their blog this week—but also because it’s a great resource that’s chock full of helpful information!
Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 4.09.11 PMHead to the Bridal Guide blog now, to see why I think the biggest trends for summer 2013 weddings include:

1. Bright Color Palettes (Think: Aqua and orange!)
2. Restoration Hardware and Anthropology Styling (Think: Old meets new, over-sized furniture, interesting fabrics, and natural textures.)
3.  Art Deco Design  (Think: The Great Gatsby)

yourbash-high-centerpiecesLet me know if you’re getting married this summer and plan to integrate any of these trends into your wedding!

Similar Posts:

Friday Favorites: Coral and Fuchsia!

Geometric Pop: Design No. 5 from My Hotel Del Coronado Photo Shoot

Friday Favorites: Aqua + Kelly Green!

My Summer Wedding Tips Featured on ‘Bride Buzz’!

Two Tutorials for Floral Arrangements That WOW!

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 4.22.55 PMHey Ya’ll,

I find the most interesting things while scrolling through my Pinterest feed! Today, I came across two tutorials pinned from a Chinese micro-blog called, weibo.com. Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to track down the original tutorials with all of the project details to share with all of you.

For the first project, originally featured on The Sweetest Occasion, you’ll need is a large bowl, some tape, and of course, some flowers!



Click HERE, to read through The Sweetest Occasion‘s full tutorial with step-by-step instructions.

For the second tutorial, originally from Better Homes and Gardens, you’ll need a few specific items. Some chicken-wire, potting soil, succulent plants, a pair of scissors, a large picture frame, and some plywood that you’ll have to cut to form a box on the back of the frame.



For Better Homes and Garden‘s full slideshow tutorial and step-by-step instructions, click HERE.

So tell me, what’s your favorite flower to display in your home this time of year?

My Oscar Party Menu Based on the 2013 Best Picture Nominees!

oscar-nominationsHey Ya’ll,

Back by popular demand, is my ‘Easy Oscar Party Menu’ based on the year’s Best Picture Nominees! 

Oscars+2013+Nominations+2If you’ve seen all of the films that made the Academy’s Best Picture list, then you know how different they all are! Sure, a couple of them share a few similar qualities or locales, but for the most part, especially when it comes to food, this collection of films is like comparing apples to oranges.

Keyartmontage_620x465With that said, I think I’ve managed to make selections that reflect each film (with the exception of the pie representing Life of Pi —that has nothing to do with the film, it’s just a silly play on words!) and still create a cohesive spread of tasty treats for your Oscar party guests to enjoy.

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 2.16.05 PMScreen Shot 2013-02-20 at 2.15.57 PM

Most of my selections are self-explanatory, but for some of the more specific suggestions, I’ve included the recipes below.

hush_puppies640Cheddar Jalapeno Hushpuppies – Recipe via FoxsNews.com
This appetizer is inspired by the main character’s name: Hushpuppy.

1 Cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoon tablespoons sugar
3/4 Teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 Cup buttermilk, well shaken
2 Tablespoon beaten egg
1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño chile
5 Ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Canola oil or vegetable oil for frying
1 lime

Creamy Ranch Avocado Dip
1/2 Cup mayonaise
1/2 Cup sour cream
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 Small red onion
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Avocado (peeled, seeded and diced)

Whisk first 7 ingredients in a bowl just to to blend. Whisk buttermilk, egg, and jalapeno in small bowl to blend. Stir buttermilk mixture and cheddar cheese into dry ingredients.

Add about 1 1/2 inches of oil to a pan or dutch oven. Attach deep-fry thermometer to pan; heat oil to 320°F over medium heat. Working in batches of 4 or 5, drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil.

Cook until golden, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer hush puppies to paper towels and squeeze just a bit of fresh lime juice over the top while they are still warm.

For the Avocado Ranch dip, place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth and well blended. Serve alongside Hush Puppies.

crabbysnacksCrabby Snacks – Recipe via http://lindseysluscious.blogspot.com
This philly-centric pre-game appetizer is inspired by a line of dialogue that the mother repeats throughout the film: “I’m making crabby snacks and home-mades!”.

6 English muffins, split
1 (5 or 6 oz.) jar cheese spread, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
a few shakes hot sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (or 2) tablespoon(s) freshly chopped parsley
1 (6 or 7 oz.) can crabmeat, drained, flaked
Garnish with diced green onions and tomatoes, if desired

Heat oven to 350°. Arrange split muffins, cut side up, on a baking pan lined with foil. Toast for a few minutes in the oven while it’s preheating until the muffins start to turn golden around the edges.

In a medium bowl, mash the cheese spread with butter, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, onion powder, granulated garlic, pepper, and parsley. Stir in the crabmeat (and baby shrimp, if using). Spread evenly over the split, toasted muffins.

Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Cut into quarters and serve warm, garnished with green onions and/or diced tomatoes, if desired. Makes 48 crabby bites. Pair with dip made with melted cheddar, mixed with mustard and dash of paprika.

63231_f520Utterly Deadly Pecan Pie – Recipe Via http://www.food.com

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup (I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 light)
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely broken
1 unbaked deep dish pie shellIn saucepan boil sugar and corn syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.In large bowl beat eggs lightly and very slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly.  At this point I like to strain the mixture to make sure it’s smooth and lump free. Stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans and pour into crust. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 to 60 minutes or until set.

DSCF3277Mini Flour-less Dark Chocolate CakesRecipe Via TasteofHome.com

4 eggs, separated
8 ounces 53% cacao dark baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 container (2-1/2 ounces) prune baby food
1 teaspoon dark baking cocoa or baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºC and place muffin cases in a 12 cup muffin tin. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in baby food and chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on
high until stiff glossy peaks form; fold into batter.

Pour into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
When cool, ice with a chocolate ganache or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar – enjoy!

As far as party activities go, an Oscars party has built-in entertainment!

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 12.15.05 PM

Just be sure to download and print out some Official Oscar Ballots for your friends to make their predictions before the show begins. Then, prepare a special prize for whoever selected the most Oscar winners at the end of the night. If you’re on a budget, just make a nice doggy-bag filled with a selection of left-over goodies for the winner to take home and enjoy. Good Luck and enjoy the show!