BHLDN

 

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Let’s talk wedding dress shopping…

There were two aspects of wedding planning that I felt were the most difficult for me: shopping for a wedding dress and deciding on wedding stationary, especially the invitations.

The reason why I think these two items were so hard for me is that I could never make my mind. I spend hours and hours looking at wedding invitations on Etsy, I ordered the samples of every single large wedding stationary company out there, there was nothing that would make me jump (and would fit my budget, at the same time!).

With the dress, it was worse. I bought 7 wedding dresses and returned 6 of them until I found THE ONE at BHLDN.

I really, really love them. Wedding dresses that are gorgeous and are sold at reasonable prices? Count me in! Since there wasn’t a store in Denver, I did not shop online. I saved myself for when I was going to be in NYC to of to the store with my mom and Lily and choose the final dress!

Here is everything I tried on, what I thought about it and how I felt while actually wearing it:

#1: Leila Gown

I was absolutely sure this was IT, if I had shopped online this was the dress I would have bought! I tried it first, before any other, and I was surprised about how much I didn’t like it! It was heavy, the bottom had just so much fabric and was too puffy for me, the back is def. amazing and the neckline was incredible, but I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it at all. It might look amazing on a skinnier girl.

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#2: Yasmin Gown:

This was a BIG contender. I was impressed with how much I LOVED this gown! I’m sure Bret would have loved it too! It’s very feminine, sexy, delicate and still a classic. The back is stunning! This was probably a Top 2! I had seen it in the site before and I didn’t care much for it. Guess what? It’s amazing in person! I felt so much more comfortable than dress # 1 and it’s way lighter! Lesson learned: certain things need to bought in person (not online!) and you need to try it on (one of the things I hate most in the entire world! I’ll never try anything on at the store, the stalls are so small and I get panicked!). It’s a jaw-dropping dress!

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#3 – Vivienne Gown

I was in LOVE! Completely, utterly in love with this dress. I thought: “This is IT! I don’t need to look anymore!” It fit way better than I expected, the bodice detailing and beading is amazing, the skirt has this soft tule, all you want to do is to touch it non-stop! And, it hid away a bunch of imperfections. My mom and Lily loved it too!

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Little did we know, I was going to try one last gown just because I saw it on the rack at the store, and I loved it! It was from an older collection, so I wasn’t really excited about it. I tried it on and #4 took my breath away! I was speechless! It was everything I always wanted. The pictures Lily took of them are so funny because my mouth is open, my jaw is dropped and I have this surprise expression on my face! Lucky me, they had a return exactly my size waiting for me at the store! I left with my wedding dress and I can fairly say it was one of the most exciting experiences in my life.

I loved having my mom there, I loved that Lily was there with me and the two of them gifted me the dress! I was happy, I was hugging the dress, planning on sleeping with it in my bed, from time to time I open the bag and peak on it! It’s really, really amazing. For me. But, amazing! I can’t wait to share on the 23rd! Soon!

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

Happy 1st Birthday, Isabella!

DSC_0321  I don’t have sisters (I’m an only child). But, I have a sister from the heart and when she had babies I became an aunt. One of those aunts who drools over how cute her babies are and wants to squeeze and pinch them all day long. Annoying, right?

Well, today is Isabella‘s first birthday! They had a celebration at Prospect Park in Brooklyn this past weekend and Lily made the most delicious cake (her cakes are amazing!) and decorated everything in pastels using weathervanes, blowers, balloons and garlands! It looks so cool and effortless! I’m sure Isabella had a lot of fun!

I’d love to share with you some images Lily took from the party:

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What I learned during wedding planning: Resources

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After spending 18 months engaged and 8 months planning a wedding I have learned a few things that I would like to share with you:

1. Pinterest. 

My love for this social platform is not something new in my life. However, I found out that Pinterest is really an amazing resource for those who are planning a wedding. Before I knew what I wanted, I made a generic wedding’s board. After I determined the theme, I was able to capture ideas and inspiration for a wedding that would reflect that theme. Later on, after we visited the venue and determined that this was going to be a RUSTIC wedding, a more realistic board was created: Colorado Wedding. I filtered everything I saw through this board, only the aspects I was 100% sure I wanted to incorporate in our event got in.

2. Green Wedding Shoes.

There are so, so many wedding blogs out there! For a very long time I have followed a bunch of them. But, when it came to planning my own wedding I found more inspiration in the Green Wedding Shoes than any other blog.

Exemples include this elopement in the woods, featuring my most favorite Mara Hoffman dress of all time; or this fairytale wedding in Capri, truly a dream; and one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen, shared by my friend Kara!

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3. Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. 

I thought there were way more wedding magazines available out there. To my surprise, I only found about 3 major magazines and then only smaller, local magazines. From everything I’ve seen so far, in search of inspiration, Martha Stewart Weddings was the most useful magazine out there. They have not only amazing images and weddings that will inspire you to create, but also a lot of tips on planning, wedding etiquete and much more. Also, I thought it had less advertising than other magazines and the style of it all resonated with me more.

I hope this will help all that are embarking on this adventure soon!

What did you learn during wedding planning? I’d love to hear!

 

Countdown: 2 weeks!

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I can’t even begin to explain what the last month has been around these parts… We have been constantly working on various wedding details, mostly decor, and the To-Do List does not seem to get any smaller. In fact, every time I look at it, it gets bigger and that’s terrifying. We are two weeks away from the wedding, I’m finally feeling more comfortable with it and more excited for our special weekend!

My mother arrives on Monday to help out the last few details. It will be wonderful to have her here with us! She spent so much time working on so many aspects of this wedding and I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things she has created.

Bret is in full work mode these days, I have barely seen him. It doesn’t help we are on a ridiculous sleep schedule, I wake up around 1am every night, thinking about the wedding, and only go back to sleep around 5am, Bret is waking up at 6am and going to work and we don’t really see each other! It’s the main reason why we will only leave for our honeymoon on Thanksgiving morning!

This week the first Brazilian guests will arrive straight from Brazil to spend sometime in Denver before heading to the mountains to be with us! We have 10 days until everything really starts and…. I don’t know. I really don’t. I don’t know what to expect and I only hope I can have a little bit of fun in the mist of so much that is happening!

For the next few days I’ll be very busy getting ready for our weekend away and will probably not post anything, unless something amazing comes to me.

Enjoy your last month of Summer, Fall starts on the 23rd.

~Vanessa

 

Angelina Jolie is Married!

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As I’ve mentioned before: what a year! Some of the most fantastic women in fashion married this year! And the dresses… Some of them made me droll over the screen of this very computer.  People’s magazine just published the images of Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress: a custom Versace gown and veil decorated with their children’s art.

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PS. Jessica Simpson.

P.P.S. Poppy Delevigne.

P.P.P.S. Olivia Palermo.

Images: People Magazine.

Happy Friday

We are about 3 weeks away from our wedding and my mom will fly into town next week to help out. I’m trying hard not to freak out, organize myself, and be calm during what will be the busiest month of my life! September is booked back to back and I have a lot of DIY projects to work on. I’m also trying to focus on my health and body, not to drop the ball during the home stretch. I’ll be taking more trips to the gym than I’d like…

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Have a wonderful weekend!

~V.

Recipe / Josie’s Salad

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After we moved to Denver and I learned how to cook, I started focusing on healthier, lighter meals than the heavy Brazilian recipes I knew. So, when I was in a baby shower and Josie brought her famous salad over, I knew I had to make it for Bret at home!

The other girls had talked about it already and we were excited about SALAD! It sounds crazy, but it’s a really good salad! After coming home, I made this recipe for Bret and he loved it. He never really eats greens on his own, so I try to be creative and get him to eat things that are nutritious.

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When he first tasted this salad, he said: “I can’t believe I’m eating salad and liking it”. That’s all I needed to make this salad an official Mael-Shugrue recipe and I’m always modifying it, adding ingredients and trying to make it delicious for us!

During our party, we had a salad station and offered our guests a quick tutorial on how to make this salad, but also left it open so they could make their own with their favorite ingredients! I completely forgot about the salad during our party. Afterwards, Bret’s mother reminded me about it! :(

Do you have a favorite salad you love and never gets tired of? Would you like to share?

Recipe / Pão de Queijo

Ah, my favorite!

Really, maybe one of the most favorite things I eat in the whole world: pão de queijo or Brazilian cheese bread!

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I still have to try my hand at making this recipe. I’ve never really felt brave enough to try it,  but my mother makes it for us and it’s amazing!

When Bret and I first met, I lived in a studio apartment without a kitchen, but I had a small oven I would make us pão de queijo at home and eat them stuffed with Requeijão, Brazilian cream cheese and we have amazing memories from that time!

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Every single time my mom is visiting, she makes a double recipe and freezes the little balls of cheese bread! We keep them for months, when we need a treat we bake them and stuff them with cream cheese and enjoy together, the same way as when we first met. I love it, it even feels like a small tradition!

We served pão de queijo at the party and offered the recipe card to our guests! I think it was a success, the bowl was constantly empty! :)

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Have you ever had pão de queijo? Do you enjoy it?

Recipe / Maionese

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Bret loves maionese. I do too! In fact, anybody I know that has ever tasted Maionese, a Brazilian version of the potato salad truly ends up loving it! It’s amazing, flavorful, filled with veggies! We served maionese in these cute individual cups from the Oh Joy collection for Target!

The reason we chose this specific Brazilian recipe is that Bret loves it and every time we have an event, barbecue, pot luck he always asks me to make maionese! And I love that, I love that he embraces my culture and my foods and makes them his!

Maionese Recipe:

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image via Tudo Gostoso.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Rinse the potatoes, cube, boil until tender but not mushy. Peel and dice the carrots, cook until tender.
  2. Chop the green beans (I use frozen, defrosted, precooked ones) to size preferred. Place in bowl with cooked carrots, add defrosted peas and diced palm hearts(You can get them at specialty stores, and Trader Joes and Cost Plus often carry them) and olives.
  3. To the bowl, now add your potatoes, oil, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley. Slowly fold in the mayonnaise, you may not need all of it as it is to taste.
  4. The salad does not taste incredible right after mixing, you will need to let it set in the fridge, covered, until cool, or even overnight.

It’s a fantastic recipe to serve when you are entertaining! In Brazil, no family Sunday lunch will happen without maionese, it’s a staple!

Have you ever tried it? Would you be interested in trying this recipe?