Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Cupcake We Stand

When I bought my ticket to the uber awesome Hitched event at the Smogshoppe, I didn't know what to expect. This was my first actual wedding show, and I was clueless.

There was plenty of eyecandy, but the part I was most looking forward to were the Enjoy cupcakes that I'd read so much about! I had a blackberry syrah chocolate cupcake. Seriously, where have you been all my life? As my friends can attest to, I'm allergic (why me???) to red wine. I sort of faint when I consume it. But I can have it in the form of a cupcake!! Did I mention that I'm not a lover of cupcakes? Please don't kill me, but I'm not even that big of a cake fan. So a cupcake's got to have a lot to impress me. Enjoy Cupcake's heavenly cupcakes were moist, not too sweet, and that wine-soaked blackberry on top was just perfect. In the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping for a failure. I wasn't trying to be mean, but they're located in Los Olivos. In case you didn't know, that's sort of REALLY far away. I want another one now, but it's like a hundred some miles away. They will deliver them, but it's $100. A hundred buckaroos for cupcakes!! Yea, I don't have that many buckaroos for cupcakes, but you betcha we are taking a roadtrip the next chance we get!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Idaho Paradiso

Are we ever too old go to on a family vacation with their parents? I don't think so! Momma BusyButton and I flew from the big city into the little city of Twin Falls, ID to visit family. Though we didn't have a chance to go to Boise, which I hear is awesome for its creative art scene, we did get to soak in some sun and nature.

Here's my attempt at being artsy at Craters of the Moon State Park. This used to be home to some majorly active volcanoes. The weird thing was that the park guide kept citing its similarities to the islands of Hawaii and it featured photos of Hawaii. Uhhh...did you think your own state park wasn't good enough for the brochure??

Craters of the Moon has numerous caves you can climb down into. Some required headlamps and proper gear. I kept fearing bats would come out at us, but luckily there were none. Or, they were just good at hiding. Either way, please continue this way!

Growing up in L.A., you never see a public body of water that's not a questionable shade of green. I guess Idaho's got a thing or two to teach us big city folk that there's such a thing as crystal clear water. That, and having llamas in your backyard is totally normal. Anybody want to buy me a llama???

Oh Dear, Oh My, It's Happened!

I've been quiet lately, and though you're probably thinking, "What else is new, huh?" give me a chance! I can explain! Check out this little beauty right here...


Yes, she's all mine honey! The bf is now a fiance, and seriously I cannot wait to marry this man. =)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aye Do, Captain


What’s the most literal way to have a Pacific Ocean wedding? Aboard a boat, of course! And if you’re anything like me with my pasty skin, don’t forget to bring the sunblock. I’ve found a number of vessels in L.A. that cater to special events for today’s topic. These boats come complete with experienced staff, tables, dinnerware, linens and catering to minimize your work.

FantaSea Yachts (Marina del Rey, CA)
When I think of yachts, I think of a small and more personalized boat. FantaSea Yachts, however, can accommodate 350 guests at once. Now that’s a big boat! They provide catering, alcohol, a wedding coordinator and even floral arrangements, but they’re also flexible so services can be ordered a la carte. Saturday evening packages begin at $110 per person, plus a flat $350 docking fee. FantaSea Yachts has a minimum of $8250.

Spirit Marine (San Pedro and Long Beach, CA)
Spirit Marine has two docking locations and can accommodate up to 149 guests. Packages include a champagne toast, catering and an extra 30 minutes for decorating the ship. Packages start at $35 per person for 2 ½ hours, but a 3 ½ hour minimum rental is required for weddings in July, August and December.

The Dinner Detective (Long Beach, CA)
Although it’s not the most traditional wedding reception, why not celebrate your nuptials murder-mystery style with the Dinner Detective crew? You and your guests can cruise around the Long Beach harbor aboard a steamboat for 60-90 minutes, and solve a crime at the same time. Guests will be entertained and encouraged to participate as a group. The Dinner Detective can accommodate up to 95 guests, and an 85 guest minimum is required for Saturday evening private parties. A three-course meal and show ranges from $76.95-79.95 per person.

Hornblower Cruises and Events (Long Beach, CA)
Hornblower Cruises and Events has great all-inclusive packages. Aside from the basics of the 4 hour cruise, the packages also include an officiant, bridal suite with hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, cake, DJ, a floral package and candle centerpieces. Evening packages start at $85 per person.

Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)
If you’re going to go big in L.A., it will have to be on the gorgeous Queen Mary. This ocean liner is permanently docked in Long Beach, long retired from its trans-Atlantic voyages. Seventeen different salons are available for weddings. This also means your wedding most likely won’t be the only event occurring on that day, so if you wanted something more intimate, this route may not be the best way to go. The majestic ship can accommodate as many as 1,120 guests at once! Packages begin at $54 per person for the reception only.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freeeeeeeeeeee!! (Otherwise Known as a Giveaway)

Last night, I listed the brand new Leila and Victoria pillows onto Etsy. To make this Monday even more awesome, check out the giveaway of the Victoria pillow going on THIS WEEK ONLY on the lovely Ruffles and Truffles blog.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Of Seashells and Pillow Mints

One of the most common and easiest ways to have an ocean side wedding is at a hotel near the water. The big reasons to do so are obvious – prime location (often times with private beach access), in-house service and catering staff, tables, chairs and lounge furniture are inclusive, accommodations for out-of-town guests and the fantastic architecture of the hotel as a backdrop. The convenience and amenities come at a price, and a pretty hefty one for many couple’s budgets. Naysayers will note that hotels are big box institutions with little personality. However, it is what happens behind-the-scenes that really makes a hotel wedding worth the extra cost. The price tag comes with experienced event coordinators and staff, something I learned at my gig at the Fairmont Miramar. While most couples have only the experience of planning and configuring one wedding, the hotel coordinator has gone through dozens. They’ve worked through near-flawless weddings, and disastrous ones as well. When you book a hotel wedding, you are paying for expertise, perspective and knowledge, in addition to use of the space and catering. And so, with this in mind, I’ve highlighted a few special beach side hotels for your information.

Casa Del Mar (Santa Monica, CA)

If you want classic glamour with a “wow” factor for your guests, Casa Del Mar delivers with its sweeping staircases and elegant brick façade. The hotel is located right where the sand begins. The Santa Monica Pier is blocks away, which is a great option for fun wedding portraits. A Saturday evening reception is $250 per person (including tax and service charge), and includes a wedding cake created by one of its preferred vendors such as the Vanilla Bake Shop.

Shutters (Santa Monica, CA)

Casa Del Mar’s next door neighbor is its sister hotel, Shutters. The event pricing and policies at Casa Del Mar also apply to Shutters. The difference between the two hotels is the mood you want to exude to your guests. Shutters is more casual, laidback and the décor is reminiscent of a cottage in Martha’s Vineyard.

Marina del Rey Marriot (Marina del Rey, CA)

The Bayview Room at the Marina del Rey Marriot is breathtaking. The ballroom is on the top floor and features a 270° view of the Santa Monica Pier to the north, downtown L.A. to the east and Playa del Rey to the south. I had the opportunity to work with the staff, and they were professional and efficient. That wasn’t surprising, as coordinators at the Marriot must be certified through the Marriot’s wedding planner program. Ceremonies at the Marriot start at $3,500 and receptions start at $86 per person (including tax and service charge).

Fairmont Miramar Bungalows and Hotel (Santa Monica, CA)

The Fairmont Miramar has over a hundred years of history in its structure, yet its design is still relevant and elegant. Weddings can be held in one of its bungalows, ballrooms and even under the grand fig tree in the entryway. The lush landscaping and prime location across from the beach on Ocean Avenue makes the Fairmont Miramar an impressive location for a seaside nuptial.

Malibu Beach Inn (Malibu, CA)

I love everything about Malibu, so I have a slight attachment to the Malibu Beach Inn. I remember walking along the beach when the hotel was still in construction, sneaking peaks into the ballroom. I was drooling, just a little bit. The Malibu Beach Inn has a clean and neutral palette that blends right into the sand. A 3000 square foot tent is also available if you want the reception held right on the beach.

Shade Hotel (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Shade is a boutique hotel just dripping with style – it’s modern, hip, contemporary and cool. Located two blocks from the beach, the hotel offers a large terrace, sky deck with a pool, a courtyard or the banquet room. A three-course dinner reception starts at $50 per person (before tax and service charge).

Terranea (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)

Couples with a large guestlist do not have to sacrifice a beach front wedding thanks to the Terranea Resort. The luxurious grounds include lawns overlooking the waters and five ballrooms, the largest of which can seat 1,000 guests. The resort also boasts a golf course, spa and three pools; all the better to keep your guests occupied. Aside from the amazing views (seriously, check out their gallery), I’m smitten for the Spanish villa feel of the buildings.

Hotel Maya (Long Beach, CA)

Hotel Maya, which opened in 2009, is neighbor to the majestic Queen Mary. Although it resides next to the historic landmark, the Hotel Maya can still hold its own with its retro and chic vibe. My favorite part is the stained glass pink windows in the lobby. The hotel has 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space available for weddings, including a waterfront garden.

Now that I’ve taken you from the bare-boned structure of public beaches to the full packages of waterfront hotels, stay tuned for the middle ground coming next week.

Say I Do, and Have a S’more or Two

Warning: This beach wedding idea is not for the faint of heart, but it’ll knock the socks off your guests. I’m talking about throwing a camp wedding at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu. If you and your fiancé love camping and connecting with nature, then this one’s for you!

I didn’t start camping until I was 25 years old, and my first time was at Leo Carrillo. I never understood the appeal of foregoing a comfortable bed and private bathroom, but Leo Carrillo turned this city girl onto camping. The campsite is well-kept, the restrooms have flushing toilets, there are clean showers, the beach is just across the highway and the stars up above are unlike any night sky in L.A. So if there’s ever a place for a beach wedding at camp, Leo Carrillo is it.

Camp weddings work best for a guestlist of 50 or fewer people. Otherwise, additional permits and fees may be required. If you’re planning a wedding for 50 or fewer guests, here are the best steps to take:

A. Reserve a group campsite via Reserve America for Leo Carrillo State Park.

For reservations in the next year, campsites cannot be reserved until November of the current year. But be sure to reserve that spot quickly, this site is a popular one for camping enthusiasts! A group camp site allows up to 50 guests overnight and parking for up to 16 cars. Check-in time is 2pm and check-out time is 12pm. Reservations go for $165 per night.

B. The ceremony can be held at the campsite among the trees or on the beach.

If you choose to hold the ceremony on the sand, it will be subject to the L.A. County Public Beach ordinances. A permit is not required for beach weddings with less than 50 people and if no set-up is required. Amplified music is prohibited. Instead, just imagine your guests decked out on beach towels and blankets for a true California casual look.

C. Hold the reception at the group campsite.

By having the reception at the group campsite, you can bring in your own caterer, cook your own food (group sites come with fire rings, BBQ grills and picnic tables) or hire a gourmet food truck like Kogi BBQ. Amplified music (before 10pm) and alcohol consumption are allowed if you apply for a permit. Permits can be requested beginning in January of the reservation year and cost $175 for 0-50 people.

D. Obtain liability insurance and comply with other CA State Park regulations.

For more information about camp weddings at Leo Carrillo State Park, contact the special events division at mzuhair@parks.ca.gov.

Camping and public beach nuptials don’t fit in with your style or wedding size? There’s more, but you’ll have to wait ‘til next week!

Image via Once Wed

Friday, August 6, 2010

BusyButtons Update

Hello, hello! I finally finished that class where I learn the most basic basics on computers and applications, because I'm sort of dumb in that area. I swear I'm smart in some other areas, but before this, I had no idea what RAM is for. Now I know! Sort of.
In the meantime, I present to you a few guys I've been working on. Yes, that's a new design down there! Still haven't come up with a name for her yet, but I just love how modern she looks.

hairpiece flower

ring pillow

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go! Go! Go Weddingbee!

BusyButtons is back on Weddingbee again. Check out the post right here for the Custom Floral Ring Pillow in grey and yellow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Little Nod

Thank you to Wedding Belles Online for giving my Peacock Ring Pillow a little nod!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"I Wish They All Could Be California Girls"

L.A. is synonymous with Hollywood glamour, celebrities, sunny skies and the beach life. My first series of posts is going to focus on how to have a beach wedding. With near-perfect weather all year long, it’s no wonder so many people choose to get married outdoors in southern California. You and your guests can enjoy the warm sand between your toes, the palm trees swaying to the breeze and hear the waves rolling along the coast as you say your vows.

Today I’ll discuss how to have a gorgeous beach wedding, without breaking the bank. In fact, the venue could even be free or close to it, because it’s on government property. Every beach’s rules vary depending on the governing ordinance (the city or state of California). For instance, the city of Santa Monica allows weddings on its city parks for free, permits are not required and amplified music is allowed between 8am – 10pm. Some California State Parks require a fee and permit to reserve a space, especially for those that offer added facilities such as a pavilion or picnic grounds. If there is a specific beach you are interested in, a little research will yield a state or city department to contact for more details.

When considering a public beach wedding, here are a few things to discuss with both your fiancé and the city/state representative:
Can a space be reserved or is it first-come, first served?
Are permits required and how much?
What time is the park open until?
What is the maximum number of guests allowed?
What types of decorations (e.g. aisle runners, petal tosses, etc) are not allowed?
Is amplified music permitted?
Can tables and tents be set-up in the park?
Is alcohol allowed?

A client of mine married in Palisades Park, Santa Monica, which brought about a few challenges. Having a DOC or a patient friend/family member guard the ceremony site will be necessary on a public beach. Privacy can also be an issue; it is a public space after all. The bride I worked with had to wait in her parked car in the lot until her cue for the processional. Santa Monica sets the maximum attendance rate at 150 guests, which was not an issue for my client’s guestlist of forty. Although there are definite down sides to holding a wedding ceremony and/or reception on public grounds, the payoff is a beautiful backdrop and more money in your pocket.

If a public beach wedding doesn’t work for you, but you still want a shoreline nuptial, stay tuned next week for the second installment!

LA Bride Guide

Things have been busy here (when is it not), and with good reason! The Bride Concierge is now a contributor to the newly launched LA Bride Guide. Struggling to find a good place to get hitched in LA? Check out my weekly column, "Wedding Whereabouts!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OK Blogger, Let's Play Nice

I got myself a Photobucket account a couple months ago and yet I've continued to hoard all my photos. Bad Tracy! So let's give this a shot, shall we?

Back in December of last year (wow has it really been that long?), the bf and I went to the Chivas Holiday Boutique. For those not familiar with the incredible line of beauty products, it's just something you have to try at least once. Our friend Lauren is one of the founders of what began as a line of soaps made from goats' milk and has grown into a full spectrum of skin products. Lauren and her mom raise the goats on their small farm and produce the products in the garage. Nothing makes me happier than supporting a fellow mother-daughter team!

So when the family opened up their little farm for the annual Holiday Boutique, you betcha we jumped on that opportunity for a behind the scenes tour. Goats and goats' milk-themed h'or d'oeuvres don't hurt either.

Now that I've gabbed my way into a corner, here are photos via Photobucket:

Isn't that the cutest? I'm shocked the bf didn't try to sneak one of these guys home...you think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

I highly recommend their lip balm, by the way. It is made with all natural products and leave your lips so moisturized.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Step Out From the Ordinary

Can I just say that I am loving that the bridesmaid look is gravitating towards the more casual end? It's not all about being matchy matchy in taffeta and satin anymore, and brides are branching out towards fun Anthropologie-esque florals and prints. Wouldn't your bridesmaid appreciate a dress they can wear again and again? Check out this dress from Allison Wonderland's fabulous collection for some inspiration!
P.S. If you're looking for a Christmas present for me, this would be it. Only 7 1/2 more shopping months left to do it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Carrie Had Her Manolos, but What About the Vegans?

Finding vegan (no animal skins and the like) shoes can be challenging. You could stick with the cheap brands, and Target is a great choice for this. Sometimes the "pleather" and plastic just leaving you asking for more. What if you want to splurge for a high quality shoe, say for a wedding, who do you turn to then? Enter, Olsen Haus.

Check out these beauties:
The Karma in faux suede. Faux suede!!

Grace 2. Did I mention that the colors are customizeable?

Alright, so this one isn't exactly bridal, but guests can have their fun too. This one would be perfect for the summer with a fun maxi dress. Tres chic, oui?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Bittersweet Ending

Alright guys, so tomorrow is my last wedding before I go on another long DOC hiatus. I know I'm going to miss it, and I'll be itching to get back into the game really badly. Let's see how long I'll be able to hold out.

In the meantime, I'm excited for tomorrow. I don't know if I could fall asleep tonight. I'll need the rest, it's going to be a long day full of flowers and fun glassware. Do I seriously get paid to play? Seriously, I'm one lucky girl.

I am hoping to have some new pillow designs in the shop in a couple weeks. Having only 9 functioning fingers at the moment sort of delays productivity. Don't you just hate how that works? Everybody pray for my pinkie to heal faster!

Have a good night and a safe weekend, ya'll.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don't Do It

Please don't do this to me. This is too gorgeous. I'm not a fancy schmancy girl, but I want the dress and $3400 is just a weeeeeeeeee bit out of my price range. Yes, just a tad (read: 100x out). So how's about you knock it down for your #1 fan? Thanks!



Sunday, March 7, 2010

There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Everything

Thanks to Stephmodo, I now know how to properly fold those pesky fitted sheets. Here's how I usually do it:
a. Follow steps 1-2 above
b. Crumple up the remaining bits into a big ball
c. Stuff into linen closet before anyone else sees
d. Close door behind me. Problem solved.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So cool, so chic, so cake

Seriously, someone get me that cake by Vanilla Bake Shop. Now.

Friday, January 29, 2010


With a moniker like BusyButtons, these cookies seem to be calling to me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I know, I know it's been a long time since I've posted. Photoshop is currently under the weather, and I'm finding that the lack of photos makes for a good excuse to be lazy.

Given that it's the first post of the new year, let's focus on the positive and diverge from my obvious indolence...

Check out the BusyButtons original posted over at Inspired By This and WeddingChannel.com!!! I feel like I've won the lottery! =)