2012… 2013!

It’s time to say goodbye to 2012.  Before I close out the year, I want to look back and reflect on all of the accomplishments for Honey Bee Weddings.  The highlights include:

On a personal note, the year was filled with many amazing memories that include:
  • relaxing for a week in Palm Springs during the dead of winter
  • hosting a baby shower for one of my dearest friends
  • losing weight
  • spending two weeks in Panama with my family
  • not having to make any major life decisions (Can I tell you how thrilling it is to be done with having babies, buying a home, and set in your career with a job that you adore?)

I always spend the first day of the year writing out my New Year’s Resolutions… so I’ll be posting those tomorrow.  Off to get a mani before heading to Maude’s.  Cannot wait!

PS.  Frankie says Happy New Year from the Windy City!

Photos by Julia Franzosa

Giving Back: We support SPARK

What did you want to be when you were 13 years old?

When I was 13, I wanted to be a MTV VJ.  I loved music and the idea of meeting all the musicians that I idolized seemed like the perfect job.  Although I didn’t end up working in music or television, it was a career that inspired me.  

This past Spring, I mentored a 13 year old girl that wanted to be a wedding planner.  We met every week for two hours to talk about a career in wedding planning that included day to day operations, details of my upcoming weddings, and answering lots of questions.  It was truly an amazing experience and I am very glad that I built the time into my busy schedule to give back.

Would you want to give back?  Let me tell you about the program.  It’s a 10 week commitment that will change someone’s life.  I felt that this volunteer experience was much more inspiring than simply donating money.

Spark is a national nonprofit organization that provides youth mentorship here in Chicago. Through Spark, middle school students from under-served communities have the opportunity to participate in hands-on workplace-based apprenticeships in a field of their interest, where they can connect their aspirations for their future with the importance of education. 

Spark students are interested in a wide range of careers from event planning, to photography, to running their own business, to culinary arts, to law, to architecture – you name it! More information on Spark program, partner schools, and supporters can be found on their website. You can also hear from past Spark students and mentors in this video.

All over Chicago, students are struggling to connect why what they are learning in school is relevant for their futures. In many communities of Chicago, this can lead to a high school dropout rate of nearly 50%. Spark works to combat this by providing apprenticeships to students to motivate them to stay on track before they make these life-changing decisions. After talking with each student about their dreams, goals, and interests, Spark works to match them with mentors who have the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in high school and beyond. Would you consider providing that Spark?

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sam Milgrom, a program coordinator. You can reach him at smilgrom@sparkprogram.org or 312-470-4300 ext. 4501. Thank you for your consideration.

Bridal Lounge at the James

I have been so anxious to share this exciting news with you. If you are in the Chicago area, mark your calendars for Thursday, January 17th! The James will be hosting a bridal event with an amazing group of wedding experts.

I would love to meet some of my fun + fabulous readers! xo

A True Gem of a Color!

Pantone has released the color of the year for 2013!  I am very excited for Emerald and have high hopes for this color to show up everywhere next year.  If you haven’t ever heard of Pantone, the company is the leading authority on color.  

I haven’t had time to do a full pinterest board but plan on working on that next week!  It’s a busy weekend.  My husband’s holiday party is tonight at Hotel 71. Then, I have my last wedding of the year tomorrow.  I am so excited to work at Room 1520!  On Sunday, we continue our family tradition of making coffee cake for friends.  

Have a great weekend!

Losing Weight, Part V

It’s been almost a month since I have posted about losing weight.  To be honest, I have reverted back into weight maintenance rather than lost.  I think maintaining your weight around the holidays is especially hard so I am not pressuring myself to lose actual pounds.  Maintenance requires motivation and I’ve been turning to the thinspiration photos popping up everywhere and especially on Pinterest.

Now some of these photos are just plain weird.  I don’t need to look at a woman’s ass, even an amazing one, to motivate me to get into shape.  I prefer photos of a tone body with a motivational message.  But hey, if a woman’s ass motivates you, then go for it.

My motivation is clothes so I really appreciated this pin.  I am baffled by the awful choice of the bathing suit behind the quote so don’t judge.

Have a great weekend!  I’ll be back into the normal swing of things on Monday!

Neiman Marcus + Target Holiday Collection is genius!

Today was the big day for the Target and Neiman Marcus Collection! I was not disappointed.  I wrote about the collection in late October and it really lived up to my expectations.

I updated my Pinterest board with the winners and losers of the collection.  Overall, I would say that the entire collection is AMAZING. I really wish that I could have bought it all…although I came very close! 

Below are  three of my favorites of the day.
 Great Rag and Bone sweater for Men
I love this vest!  I plan to wear it all of the time!

My absolute favorite item of the day is this tray!
The quality is outstanding and looks very chic in my living room.

Honey Bee Weddings at the University of Chicago

Earlier this month, I was asked to speak at the Women in Business Conference at the University of Chicago.  It was such an amazing opportunity and I am so thrilled that I was able to participate.  I was on the panel for Careers in Creative Fields along with amazing group of women:

Julia Failey, owner of Julia Failey Jewelry
Cecelia Myers, CEO of Cakestyle
Kathleen Wright, Founder of Collaborative Group
Shelly Rothstein of Honey Bee Weddings served as the Panel Moderator.  Of course, she did an excellent job!

I spoke about my background, which was invigorating, because I definitely took the road less traveled to become a wedding planner!  The panel also discussed their typical day (there is no typical day was the same answer across the board!), our motivations, expectations, challenges, marketing, and advice for the crowd.

It’s hard to promote yourself on your blog without feeling like you are bragging to the world.  But I recently read a motivational email that encouraged entrepreneurs to celebrate the small victories. So I am celebrating this one!

Turkey Day Sale at Erin Gallagher

One of my favorite shops for jewelry is Erin Galllagher.  The store has a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, and rings including a design your own bar, which is totally fabulous for bridesmaids.  They are having their annual Turkey Day Sale with 40% off everything including custom orders.  

Tukey Day Sale
November 23rd to 25th
Erin Gallagher
1013 W. Webster Street
online using code THANKS12

Since post earrings are having a moment, I am in love with these beauties!

Vote Smart

While you may have decided who to vote for President, there are a number of other elections that haven’t received as much attention.  I suggest heading over to Project Vote Smart. It’s a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing facts to voters so that they can vote informed. I volunteered at Project Vote Smart during my freshman year of college. It was an awesome experience that really opened my eyes to all there is to know about politics.

If you are from Illinois, they have a new tool on their website called VoteEasy.  I was pretty impressed because it makes it very easy to learn about candidates and where they stand on the issues.  If you have the time, please check it out.

Happy Election Day!

Best mani + pedi in Chicago…forreal forreal!

If I have a bride that wants to take her maids out to get their nails done, I always recommend ZaZaZoo.  Ever since my first manicure a little over a year and a half ago (thanks Lindsay), I have been hooked.  The Bucktown shop is so pretty that it makes the experience a nice treat than the nail shop around the corner.  And of course, I wouldn’t come back unless they do good work and leave my nails chip-free.  

Imagine my delight when I woke up to find out about the Gilt Groupe Chicago deal! They are offering a spa manicure and pedicure for $30!  I checked with Gilt and as long as there is space available, they will accept the deal for a group of girls.  ZaZaZoo takes reservations in advance so hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer.  Seriously girls, I haven’t had a better manicure/pedicure in the city.  They really do a fantastic job.

If you haven’t joined Gilt Groupe, you are, ahem, behind the times.  Join.  Immediately.  Click here for an invitation.