Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pippa Middleton Outshines the Duchess of Cambridge Yet Again

What is it about Pippa Middleton that has us all in awe of her ability to outshine her sister Kate? She's done it yet again by wearing the now doubly famous Issa silk-jersey "Forever" dress, which retails for $555. Remember, Kate originally wore the exact same dress in a royal blue color when she and William announced their engagement. Of course, the blue Sapphire engagement ring is the ultimate accessory, but I still think the red floral fascinator Pippa wore really sealed the deal. Am I the only one? Who do you think wore it best?

Love that fascinator!
Kate definitely looked flawless, but it was a safe choice

A side-by-side comparison

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NEO Homemade - Clagett Designs


I love finding small companies with great products as a replacement for mass-produced items from national chain stores. Especially when they're made by local, homegrown talents. We all know it's hard for these smaller companies to compete so they need all the promoting they can get. For this reason I'm starting a NEO Homemade "column", which may eventually expand to include Denver-Boulder area talents.

For my first Snapshot I'd like to introduce you to Katie Grabner who, within the past year, has turned an idea into a full-blown company - Clagett Designs. Katie works out of her in-home studio in Chagrin Falls, OH, creating jewelry that she sells both online and at trunk shows.

I was recently invited to my first show and finally got to see her jewelry in person. I loved the night from the get-go. Not often enough do i get to indulge in a true, proper ladies night where you get to dress up, enjoy a glass of wine and meet a new group of women. I love that Katie provides such a comfortable, creative setting that fosters this environment. Great for a fun night out and I totally recommend bringing friends and grabbing dinner afterwards.

On to the jewelry. LOVED IT! Her collection consists of classy, timeless pieces that can both accompany a cocktail dress for a night out or dress up a casual pair of jeans for everyday wear. Each piece demonstrates the quality of craftsmanship that Katie prides herself. Plus, there's something for every price range from pendant earrings for $12 to a multi-strand pearl and gold necklace for $350. I splurged on four items myself and was very impressed with how well each piece was made. They just feel like good, solid pieces that will last a lifetime.

My favorite part: Katie has a knack for creating pieces that cross generational gaps, appealing to both younger and older women. Several times throughout the night I overheard mother-daughter pairs agreeing on pieces they could buy together and periodically trade off - expanding their jewelry collection.

For all you creatives: If you have a concept in mind, she can help you create your very own, one-of-a-kind piece.

My prediction: Katie will go far and her designs will soon become well-known across Northeast Ohio. Check out her website,, to learn more about Katie and to check out her work.

Chunky necklaces
Dainty Necklaces
Trunk Show Showroom - So Classy!
My original three choices - gold dangle leaf earrings, four strand matted gold link bracelet, and a brushed silver metal link bracelet
As I was making my purchases I came across this gorgeous set of earrings, which pair gold flowers with blue faceted stones. Sold, at the last minute!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gamecocks Droid Drop

Last weekend the Mr. and I took a road trip down to South Carolina where is cousin was graduating from the University of South Carolina. The 9.5 hour drive, both ways, with the in laws was essentially painless. Especially since I was enthralled in 50 Shades of Grey most of the way. Below are a few pics of our trip...

He can drive me anywhere :)
Charleston, WV
Perfect road trip music!
I really should be living beach side. That fits my personality well.
Again, I should live in a southern, coastal town!
The Sheraton in downton Columbia.
It was a pretty, historic building, but the service was under par.
Riding in relaxing style with amazing shuttle service from Signature Transportation.
DEFINITELY check them out! Their whole staff is awesome!

"G" giving her speech for the honors graduation event
That's right. Tacos and Sushi. Mexican goes well with Japanese cuisine, right?
Lookin' good as we tour the campus
Random cute flowers
Relaxing in the "horseshoe" area of campus
I love southern trees!
This was only 1/2 of the graduating class
G as she graduates!
You can hardly see her, but she's raising the roof.
Greek village at USC is sooo much better than at DU.
The houses are gorgeous. Very southern.
Me, representing Tri Delta. Wa-what!
A great sushi restaurant (with super-cute waiters).
Definitely stop in next time you're at USC.
Of course, an amazing, huge full moon on the last night.
Driving back home. Ah, mountains. I am in love with you!!!
I don't discriminate, as long as you're a mountain, not a hill

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Wedding In Pearl River, NY

Room 505's where it's at!
A few weekends ago the hubby and I drove, yes drove, 7.5 hours to Pearl River, NY for a wedding - he was one of the groomsmen. Pearl River is a super cute town northwest of NYC, just over the border of New Jersey. In fact, I found out about three hours into the drive that the wedding wasn't in New Jersey as I had originally assumed. I should really pay more attention to detail. Especially when it involves traveling.

The best pic I could get of the groomsmen

The drive was mostly uneventful and so much more relaxing than flying. Plus it took about as much time as flying would have given the advanced arrival, flight time, rental car pick up, etc. It really made me wish my mom was just a 7.5 hour drive away. Even though it's still far, that would make traveling to see her so much easier and more relaxing.

The gorgeous Pearl River Hilton

Anyway, we stayed at the Pearl River Hilton, which felt like a French chateau. Classy and gorgeous. There were several other events there that weekend, including two weddings, so it seems to be a pretty popular place. On Saturday, while the boys were doing wedding stuff, I walked all over the "grounds" and took some pics.

Loved the Chuppah

The traditional Jewish wedding was by candle light and included some welcome modern touches, especially when it came to the music. The hubby loved that he walked down the isle to an instrumental Jimmy Buffett song.

Breaking the glass
I'm getting better at the father-daughter dance. The first wedding after my dad died I pretty much stole the show during that dance as I cried uncontrollably. It especially bothers me that I can't really remember that much of my own father-daughter dance. I was so nervous. I just remember telling him to go slower. Apparently he was nervous too because he was practically speed dancing across that floor.

My hubby walking down the isle...
with someone else! Rude. I gave
him a hard time.
I had to sit out the second to last song, Only The Good Die Young, for obvious reasons. While it's so true, it is also the song my husband, brother and I heard on the radio when we were driving from DIA to my parents' house the day after my dad died. Part of me always feels like I should rock out to that song in tribute, but the other part of me knows that I look like an idiot when I'm balling during rock and roll. Haha.

Bottom line: I am getting so much better!

The center pieces were gorge!
Love when they're tall enough
that you can see under them.
On to the food. Ah-maxing. I was full by the end of the cocktail hour. They served made-to-order fajitas, a carving station with beef and rack-of-lamb, an Italian selection with sautéed shrimp, ravioli, and eggplant, and my personal favorite, a sushi and sashimi bar. Unlike your typical mass-produced sushi, this stuff was great. I could tell that my hubby had already had a few drinks because he bypassed all that for four, yes four, hot dogs from their dogs and burgers stand. Apparently they were minis, but still. He's got a thing or two to learn about how to work a "buffet".

Then there was dinner, which I couldn't finish on account of the cocktail hour. I was most impressed by the mini ice cream cones they passed out as we danced. Clearly. I loved them enough to run back to our table and snap a pick. LOVE! Follow that up by an individual dessert plate witn a molten chocolate mini cake, ice cream in a chocolate bowl, and fruit atop a pile of whipped cream. Oh, and don't forget the wedding cake. Let's just say I haven't eaten since.

The whole weekend made me want to take more driving trips. I'm in luck because we'll soon be driving to South Carolina, with the in-laws no less!!! Stay tuned.

The color scheme was white, off white and tan. Classic.