Monday, April 23, 2007

A chip off the old block...

I am a proud mother of two - and my eldest was honored last week in New York City by the National Foundation For The Teaching Of Entrepreneurship (NFTE for short) as a Young Entrepreneur of The Year. This award was bestowed upon 39 young people from around the world for their accomplishments as new business start-ups.
You heard it right - my son owns his own business. A computer design and consulting business, to be exact. Terra Byte Technologies can design a customized system for you and help with the maintenance of it - it's so cool to have my own "tech guy" at home, when stuff acts up - he's johnny on the spot! And - he's only 18 years old!!!!!

Both of my children have grown up watching their mom build her business - so I like to think that I've had a wee bit of influence on how they view the working world. For my son, I have watched him from the sidelines as he's tinkered with everything in sight - and now, he's at the helm of his own company, determined to make it successful. During the media interviews prior to the actual awards ceremony, he said that I was a big influence on him and how he viewed owning his own business. That made me cry. Actually - I cried the entire evening. He was also the first recipient of the CA Technology Award (awarded by Computer Associates) for the innovative use of technology in his business. I cried when he walked on stage, to receive his plaque. And for a moment - all I could see was the little boy with the jeans, t-shirt and messy face, running up to me saying, "Hug Mommy, Hug!". How time does fly..............

As an entrepreneur for the past 15 years - I'll say this: Let your children know and understand that it's perfectly okay if they don't want to do the customary "9 to 5". Work is a factor of life we all deal with - but how we take it on is another story. As we were sitting in our hotel room, recapping the night's events - I told my son that he was, in fact, the "master of his destiny" and the "author of his life's manifesto". Big words - sorta kinda. But from the look on his face - I knew he understood every word I said......................

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway (update)

My latest episode will air on May 29th @ 10 p.m. - Style Network. Tune in if you can!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The DIVA's Top 10 List - The Remix!!!!!

I recently came up with my own version of a "Top 10" list, featuring some of my absolutely favorite things for all of you to browse and enjoy, but I didn't rank them. Well - now I have, so take a look!!!!

#10) Half Moon Resort
On my very first trip to the sunny island of Jamaica - I stayed at this resort, and I thought I was in the Garden of Eden. Powder soft beach, immaculate grounds (over 400 acres!), luxurious villas - complete with a butler and maid, scrumptious food and the laid back, relaxed nature of the island all add up to an incredible vacation.

#9) Wonderful Graffiti
You know, typically - graffiti is not viewed as a "good thing". But once you lay your eyes on this masterful script, I think you'll change your mind :). This is a great way to "think outside" of the design box and move away from the typical. Instead of hanging a picture on the wall - why not mount your thoughts, wishes and dreams? From a child's bedroom to your home office, this is a great way to keep the written word in full view at all times.....

#8) Olivier Laudus Custom Ring Pillows
At most of my weddings, there is a cute little boy who shyly (in some cases) walks down the aisle, ring pillow perched precariously on his hands. Well, Olivier's customized ring pillows are the stuff dreams are made of - meticulously hand crafted, embellished with crystals and pearls, they are just the thing to make everyone (ringbearer) included go "oohhh and ahhh"...

#7) So Fudgin' Good
For all of you chocoholics and fudgeaholics out there - may I present to you, a source of nirvana.. This is good fudge - rich, decadent, eat-it-all-in-one-sitting, fudge. Each of my clients who has used it for favors, welcome baskets or as treats for the bridal party, has simply fallen in love with all that yummy goodness. Handmade and lovingly packaged - this is a sweet thing, so enjoy it responsibly!!

#6) Toppers With Glitz
I like things that are different. I also am attracted to "shiny" objects, so these sparkly cake toppers are right up my alley. Owner Sari Watkins takes something as simple as letters, weaves her magic and voila! The result is a shining, glittering, eye-catching bauble that will be the finishing touch on your sweet confection. From simple to simply breathtaking, these one-of-a-kind items give just the right amount of BLING (and we all love bling, right??) to make your cake spectacular!

#5) Flyboy Naturals:
Velvety soft, environmentally conscious and just plain beautiful - these freeze dried flower petals are such a wonderul way to add vibrancy and romance to any celebration. I've used them on many occasions and the effect is nothing short of gorgeous. AND - because they are freeze dried, they last a long, long time......did I mention, they are a great "green" alternative for weddings and other special events.

#4) Dale And Thomas Gourmet Popcorn
I have loved popcorn since I was a child and we made it over the stove in a cast iron pot with golden kernels and plenty of butter. But if you get one taste of this - you'll be putting the microwave stuff far up on the top shelf of your pantry. I got wind of this fabulous treat at the Special Event Show in Los Angeles this year....omigosh, it was soooooo good. My faves? The Original Kettle Corn (salty sweet) and the Southwest Cheddar Chipotle!! I am doing a customized "popcorn bar" for a wedding this summer - and I'm thinking that the guests will simply go crazy over the decadent tastes displayed for their munching delight! No matter which flavor you choose from their tempting line-up, this snack will make you "ixnay" your diet every single time............

#3) Verdi Spumante
I am such a HUGE fan of this inexpensive, yet deliciously sweet sparkling wine. So much so, that I keep a few bottles on chill..for me and for my friends, as well as recommend it to my clients for toasting at their wedding celebrations!!. Wines are really an acquired taste, so if you are like me and lean more towards things that will tickle your tongue and not make you pucker up - I think you'll appreciate and enjoy this varietal. Sip it while you're fixing dinner, savor it in the bath with lots of bubbles and candlelight, enjoy it while you peck away at the keyboard of your computer, toast your celebrations in sweet style! It comes in three delightful flavors - original, raspberry sparkletini and peach. Besides at $4.99 - $7.99 a bottle (depending on where you live), you can't beat the price!!!

#2) Target
I love this place for so many reasons - too numerous to mention here. So, let's just say that as a wedding planner/designer - I get a ton of inspiration from just walking through the aisles of this retail giant. Great wedding design - or any design for that matter, comes from having the "eye" - the ability to look at something and then craft it into a masterpiece. From hardware to the bath aisle...I have found amazing ideas to help me put an original stamp on my work. And you can create stunning - without breaking the bank!!

And the number 1 spot on this list goes to:
The Wynn Las Vegas
All I can say is WOW!! This place is amazing - with gorgeous rooms, fabulous restaurants, shop-till-you-drop-and-spend-all-your-money boutiques AND incredible customer service. I had the pleasure of spending a few days there last spring along with some fellow wedding planners and believe me when I say, Steve Wynn got it RIGHT. Once you've stayed here - you will truly be spoiled for any place else in Sin City. I swear, if I ever decide to say "I Do" again - I'll make sure it happens in the beautiful Primrose Garden here at the Wynn. When I saw it during our tour - I instantly knew that it would be THE place for me and him to make it "official".......

Saturday, April 14, 2007


is essential for what I do. I am uniquely fortunate and equally as blessed to have some of the finest folks as a part of my "crew", assisting me with making my own brand of "wedding magic" for couples on their special day.

From my senior consultants, to my interns, to the young men who help us with some of the more physically demanding parts of the's the collaborative effort that we all put forth which make our events so very wonderful for the clients and their honored guests!! Here is a picture of the "team" from the last wedding we produced.....and you'll see some of these very same smiling faces on my newest episode of "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?". I appreciate each and every one of them.....indeed, we are like one very big family. It's 30 of us (not everyone is in these photos, however..), but when you total it all up - trust me, that is one heck of a staff meeting!!!!!

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

The moment I got back to town from Atlanta - it was off to the races, as filming began for a new episode of "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", which airs weekly on the Style Network. As always, it's a pleasure for me to be a part of such an amazing cast and crew - along with bringing some of what I do into the homes of our many, many viewers.

Shooting a show like this is hard, hard work - more than most people realize. It's a reality show, and as such, we do things as they come :) In this episode, I get to do one of the things I truly enjoy - be creative. You'll see me put that 3 pounds of grey matter residing in my head to work - with some pretty delightful results. This particular episode should air in about 4-6 weeks, so as soon as I know that actual date - I'll let you know!

And We're Back!!!!

Oh - what a hectic couple of weeks it's been! First, let me give some major love to the folks in the ATL for welcoming me with open arms!!! I was the special guest speaker for V-103's Annual Bridal Affair and believe me when I say.....Atlantans know how to roll out the red carpet - they've got that "Southern Hospitality" down to a science :)

I had the opportunity to hook up with Atlanta's #1 DJ - the one and only Frank Ski of V-103 FM. Frank and I go way back, to the days when he was the #1 DJ ruling the airwaves here in Baltimore - so it was really good to see him again! We had a great on air interview, with many hugs after it was all over!! Then, I was headed down the hall to another interview with the talk-radio queen of the ATL, Ms. Jean Ross at WAOK. Jean is another Baltimorean who's made Atlanta her home - and we were reminiscing about all of the things that are so common to the town we both love.

However - the hightlight of my trip down South was the Bridal Affair, held at the gorgeous Georgia International Convention Center. This is an annual gathering, with brides (and grooms!) coming from all over the greater Atlanta area to see what's new for their nuptial celebrations. I really like interacting with folks, so being able to get on stage and share some helpful tips as well as field questions from the audience was amazing for me! To everyone who stopped by to say "hello" - thanks for all of the LOVE!! And yes - I'll be back later this year, with even more fabulous wedding inspiration and information for you to enjoy!!!