Highlights From My Trip to Aspen: The Little Nell, Ajax Tavern and Blazing Adventures!

photo 3Hey Y’all,

I recently had the privilege to spend a few incredible days in Aspen at The Little Nell, which I might add is an incredible resort that pays attention to detail in every sense of the word.

Settled at the base of the mountain, you really could not ask for a better location to stay in Aspen.  Not only is it easy to walk around Aspen because it is so quaint and charming of a town, but from The Little Nell you can hop right on the ski slopes if it is in fact ski season or take the gondola up to the top of the mountain for lunch and take in the stunning views.

We were fortunate enough on our first night there to have dinner at the top of the mountain while enjoying a few different bands from Elan Artists and a delicious meal from the The Nell‘s chef who created culinary magic.

On our second night, we ventured down the mountain to the Ajax Tavern for amazing food, an impromptu bocce ball tournament and lots of wine.  Beyond the fine dining, for anyone planning to get married in Aspen, or thinking of a mountain wedding, I highly suggest checking out the breathtaking views (click here for Little Nell wedding testimonials).

The view alone is worth millions and the Nell has a few special places for the ceremony, as well as the reception, all right there for the perfect wedding.

Also, the rooms at the Nell are incredibly comfortable and spacious, I slept like a log. I don’t think that there is much more you can ask for in a room when traveling.

photo 2In addition to awesome accommodations, our days were packed full of fun, and there are plenty of things to do while in Aspen. I have to admit that the highlight of the trip would have to be the white water rafting trip we took with Blazing Paddles.

The two hours floating down the rapids were a complete blast and I would be open to doing that everyday if possible.  Unfortunately, we barely get rain in Los Angeles, so I am not sure a daily rafting trip would even be possible.

photo 4Our last day in Aspen we went fly fishing, something I had never done before, but I caught seven fish, so I must have some sort of beginners luck. As you can see from the pictures we were prepared for the elements, but at the stocked ponds where we went fishing, the waders were not necessary other than for an awesome photo op. The only time we got in the water was for the picture.  Also, all seven of the fish I caught were released back into the ponds.

Image of Sundeck Wedding at The Little Nell via http://www.thelittlenell.com/Information/Photo-Gallery

Image of Sundeck Wedding at The Little Nell via http://www.thelittlenell.com/Information/Photo-Gallery

Winter or summer, Aspen is stunning and has something for everyone to do.  I can’t understand why anyone would not want to go there all the time.  I am addicted and will be back!
-Brian

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Ideas to Spice Up Your Wedding Reception via Bridal Guide

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 11.36.28 AMHey Y’all,

I read a blog via Bridal Guide Magazine that’s full of useful tips on how to add fun decor and activities to your wedding reception that promote socializing among your guests and add a personal touch to your big day.

bridal-guide-may-june-2014I highly recommend taking a peek at the post if you’re in the throws of wedding planning. Have a great Monday, everyone!
-Brian

Spring Wedding Inspiration!

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.24.55 PMHey Y’all,

Spring is finally here and for me, that means one thing: wedding season!

Image via Samuel Lippke Studios/ Instagram @sammuelkippke

Image via Samuel Lippke Studios/ Instagram @sammuelkippke

To kick things off, I thought I’d post a few of my favorite pins from a vibrant Spring Wedding board I created on Pinterest. The image above is what started the pin-fest off –the green, peach, pinks and corals and cream all scream “SPRING!”. It’s an image pinned via an LA-based wedding photographer’s Instagram by the name of Samuel Lippke.

After this, I fell down a rabbit hole of dreamy pink gowns…perfect for hopelessly romantic spring brides. The dress above is by Maggie Sottero. The dress below is MXM Couture.

Next, continuing with the trendy pink theme for spring, I think all of the bouquets in the image below work really well with a pink, blush or cream gown.

You can also dress your bridesmaids in different hues ranging from pale pink to deep purple.

As far as flowers go, peonies are usually all the rage for a spring wedding! Although, I think this DIY hanging-terrarium display puts a new spin on the tradition–adding succulents to the mix for a dash of green.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.52.54 PMAs for sweet treats, hint at summer with these gorgeous Popsicle n’ Prosecco beverages:

image via weddingwire.com

image via weddingwire.com

 

Image via weddingwire.com

Image via weddingwire.com

I also love the idea of citrus-y flavors, like these grapefruit and cucumber cocktails via JoytheBaker.com

Or this tantalizing rubarb mojito recipe via ShopTerrain.com.

For more from my Spring Wedding board, head to my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/brianworley/.

What’s your favorite thing about spring weddings? Let me know in the comment section below.
Brian

5 Lovely Gift Ideas For Him and Her This Valentine’s Day

Hey Y’all,

This weekend marks the beginning of February, which means, it’s almost time for Valentine’s Day! Don’t wait until the last minute to get your sweetheart a gift, get inspired by the cute ideas below and then get to work putting your gift together.

1. Air Plant Terrarium
Watch your love grow with this cute glass heart terrarium! You can purchase this one for $40 HERE or I found another one for $50 HERE. You could also just get your own terrarium at your local flower shop where you can pick out your own assortment of plants as well. Tip: Incorporate some candy inside or a note, whatever your Valentine will appreciate most!

2. Go Bananas! This is a great gift for a Valentine with an excellent sense of humor (or someone who has a habit of eating a banana every morning!). This is also a perfect idea for kids on Valentine’s Day if you’re a mom or dad that packs your kids lunch. Psst! I found this idea on GloryBoonBlog, which is penned by a fellow WordPress blogger by the name of Alexandra. If you’re looking for DIY fashion and beauty tips, check her blog out.

3. Simple n’ Sweet
These cookies are SO simple to make, anyone can do it! Head to FamilyFreshMeals.com for the yummy pictorial and recipe. Be sure to either box them up for your Valentine in a cute pink or red or gold box with some tissue paper inside and a ribbon! Also, if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your kids on Valentine’s Day, this is it!

4. Put Your Love On Display
This is the most expensive idea I came across that I felt was worth the money. These customized bracelets can be ordered from an Etsy shop by the name of Capucinne for about $136 USD. This is perfect for long-distance couples that may write love letters to each other or just old-school romantics! You’ll need to email the shop owner a good quality photo or scan of your signature or hand writing, and the message can say whatever you’d like. Very thoughtful!

5. Language of Love
If you’re not a gift person or you and your Valentine have agreed not to spend money on each other this year, you should send a love note at the very least! This e-card was designed by Jonathan Adler and can be personalized with a message and sent via PaperlessPost.com.

As you can see, doing something special for your Valentine doesn’t need to cost much–you just need to get a little creative! All of these ideas are easy to execute and you can have fun making them your own. Here’s to spreading the LOVE this Valentine’s Day!
-Brian

Gourmet Crostini Recipes, The Perfect Appetizer For Your Awards Show Viewing Party

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 5.58.46 PMHey Ya’ll,

In case you didn’t realize it, last Sunday’s Golden Globes marked the beginning of this year’s awards season!

Imagevia honestlyyum.com

Image via honestlyyum.com

If you’re planning to host a viewing party for any upcoming awards shows like the Grammys or the SAG Awards or the Oscars, I thought I’d point your towards some crostini recipes featuring colorful and delicious toppings that are sure to wow your guests without a lot of work for you!

My first set of gourmet crostini recipes comes from Karen at Honestly Yum! To re-create these perfect party treats, all you’ll need is a fresh loaf of bread, sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices, toasted, slathered with lots of ricotta cheese (once they’ve cooled!) and topped with whatever looks good to you from these photos! Click HERE to see a full list of Karen’s toppings row by row.

Up next, a delicious and beautiful recipe for roasted fig and goat cheese crostinis by Jenn from OMFG So Good! Jenn says, “These are seriously one of my favorite appetizers to make for parties. They’re the perfect combination of tangy, sweet and salty… and so easy!” Click HERE for Jenn’s recipe, instructions and plenty more drool-worthy photos.

marthastewart.com

Image via marthastewart.com

Add some green to your guests’ diet with my next recipe recommendation from the queen of entertaining at home, Martha Stewart. Click HERE for the full recipe which combines Kale with shaved Parmesan.

Next, add some meat to the plate with these yummy Prosciutto bites from My Recipes. Click HERE for the full recipe featuring garlic, Prosciutto and Parmesan.

Lastly, throw in some classic Bruschetta for good measure via Starting to Cook! Click HERE for all of the details on how to prepare this simple and healthy recipe.

As you can see from the photos and links, these easy-to-make appetizers are equal parts tantalizing and tasty. Which recipe features your favorite toppings? Let me know in the comment section below. Click HERE for a full list of this year’s awards shows via Variety.
-Brian

Top 10 Wedding Ideas To Steal From The Knot Gala!


Click here for the ‘Top 10 Wedding Ideas To Steal From The Knot Gala!’

This amazing video is courtesy of I Do Films, whom I had the pleasure of meeting earlier this year at Engage!13. They really are the very best in the biz! Let me know what you think of the video in the comment section below.
-Brian

Wedding Wednesday: Interactive Buffets

Hey Ya’ll,

Interactive buffets are a fantastic way to serve food at any event but particularly at weddings. Whether you use a buffet for just one part of the meal or your entire menu, buffets offer a lot of variety and are a great way to put a personal touch on your event.

This is the candy buffet I created for my friend Bettie's Baby Shower

Bettie’s Baby Shower Candy Buffet

To create an interactive buffet, all you need is a variety of foods that allow guests to essentially design their own meal. For example, if you want to offer a late-night snack at your wedding, you could do a savory buffet that allows guests to make their own gourmet grilled cheese. Or, if you’re like me, you could opt for something sweeter, like a candy buffet. Below, you’ll find my best tips for creating an interactive buffet that allows guests to make their own dessert as opposed to doing a traditional wedding cake.

image via TheKnot.com

image via TheKnot.com

1. Guests can serve themselves. This accomplishes a couple things, it creates less waste because guests are only taking what they want to eat, and it also allows guests to enjoy their meal and dessert at their own pace throughout the evening.

I found this lovely display on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/pin/257479303669367388

I found this lovely display on Pinterest from The Candy Buffet Company.

2. Variety is the spice of life, or in this case, the sweets in life! This is an easy way to incorporate multiple desserts into your menu and give your guests lots of choices. You can create a buffet of different types of cake, or candy (my favorite!), donuts, or any other dessert items that tantalize your taste-buds.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 6.32.13 PM3. Presentation. A dessert buffet is a great way to add to your wedding reception’s decor. I love using a mixture of large glass containers like vintage apothecary jars, mason jars, etc.

Expert Tip: Always make sure that you have the appropriate serving utensils, spoons, tongs, or scoops for each item.  Make sure that the candy is easy to reach by stacking the vessels on the tables so that everything is displayed nicely and the smaller or lower items are in front and larger items are in the back.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.54.47 PM5. Party Favors. I love the idea of having your dessert buffet pull double-duty as a party favor station. All you have to do is include packaging at the end of the table for your guests to wrap up a few desserts to take home at the end of the night.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.55.41 PMDepending on what kinds of items you include in your buffet, you may need more than one type of packaging. Anything from small cartons, boxes, baggies or wax paper bags can work. Be sure to include some ribbon, twine or washi tape on the table for guests to seal their packages with.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.09.41 PM5. Personality! A dessert buffet is a fantastic way to show the couple’s tastes and personality. I recommend creating a monogram using the couple’s new initials to use on the table wherever possible (e.g. The packaging I talked about in #4 is a great place to incorporate a monogram).

If you were creating a dessert buffet for an event, name one item you would HAVE to include in the comment section below. Go!

Man, I’m drooling just thinking about a table full of my favorite sweets n’ treats. Good thing Halloween is coming… candy coma here I come! You can find all of these candy buffet pins and more HERE on my Pinterest page. Have a great #WeddingWednesday everybody!
-Brian

Related Posts:

Donut Dessert Ideas for Your Next Special Event

Halloween Candy Buffet Tips

My Top 10 Tips for Hosting an Easy Holiday Party