20 year wedding anniversary_reviving charm

20 YEARS AGO TODAY…

Life is interesting. You can cross paths with someone and in that unsuspecting moment, not realize that they are the person who is going to turn your whole life around. For me, that person was Mr. B. He’s the person I think of morning, noon and night. He’s the person that makes life interesting and exciting (no exaggeration) and he is the one I can’t imagine life without. We’re 2 peas in a pod.

Today marks our 20th wedding anniversary and although we are celebrating on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Maggiore, Italy, I can’t help but reminisce about the wedding we planned 20 years ago. From the start, we liked doing things differently and planned a destination wedding long before they were ever popular. The internet wasn’t around in 1998 and I made all plans and reservations over my Pacific Bell “princess” landline phone. We chose to book one of two presidential suites at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel (now known as the Fairmont Olympic Hotel) in Seattle to serve as the backdrop for our small, intimate affair. It was booked sight unseen and we didn’t see the room until a few hours before the wedding took place. We figured, “It’s the Four Seasons…c’mon how bad could it really be?” I eventually asked the hotel to send me pictures of the room and they happily obliged (The Four Seasons was very accommodating before, during, and after the event). However, I had to wait for the pictures to be developed and sent overnight via Fed-X. Interesting how times have changed!

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This was our wedding cake. Again, wanting to stray from tradition and opting for something more unique, we decided to design our own version of the wedding cake. I asked the hotel to create individual cakes for each of the 20 guests. When I made the request, I was told it was something the hotel had never done before and my wedding coordinator would have to first consult with the pastry chef. Naturally, they accommodated my request and each guest was served their very own miniature wedding cake adorned with fruit and fresh flowers (the miniature roses were my favorite). Printed menus were placed at each table setting and the dessert course was described as a “wedding cake surprise”. The cakes certainly were a surprise because we had no idea how they would exactly turn out until they were served at the wedding. Thankfully, they came out just as I had imagined and people enjoyed them so much that they continued to talk about them for many years to follow. It was a wonderful day and if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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Easy Entertaining for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is always a great excuse to gather a few friends over. Whether you’ve been planning a fiesta for a while or are more a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, here are a few easy, last minute ideas to help you plan your party. Happy weekend! CINCO DE MAYO 2018_reviving charm

  1. I love the idea of using pink and orange roses arranged in a terracotta pot for a festive, stylish centerpiece. (image via host_to_perfection)
  2. If you are hosting a sit-down event, use fresh limes as a place cards. They are inexpensive and readily available.  A white craft pen (available at most craft stores) can be used to write the name of your guests.
  3. I’ve always liked the idea of using food containers as planters (see this post). This is an easy way to highlight the theme of your event.
  4. The guacamole at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants also includes the following ingredients:  orange juice, finely shredded orange rind and pomegranate as garnish. It’s delicious and colorful.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in my studio painting, but I’ve picked up my paint brushes again and have been working away on some new paintings. The background image seen above is actually something I painted yesterday. I will venture to guess that you’ll be seeing more of my work here on the blog.

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ENTERTAINING: Set the Table Neiman Marcus Style

One of my guilty pleasures when traveling to San Francisco is visiting Neiman Marcus in Union Square. I shop the store from top to bottom and last year during the Thanksgiving holiday I fell in love with a particular tabletop store display. The table decorations incorporate old book pages, quotes, and words of wisdom that can easily be recreated. I’ve seen similar book page table runners on Pinterest but I like the idea of incorporating quotes, phrases, definitions, and words of wisdom. Choose wording to fit your particular festivity and you’ve created something really unique.

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inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 9inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 3aTable Inspiration_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 7inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 4cinspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 12Inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charminspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 14ainspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 6inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 10Old book pages can also be cut and fashioned into a tag that to serve as a creative place card. Don’t forget to incorporate empty spice vials with a fun message contained inside. Your guests will love it. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 11

I love how camera focused in on the word “muzzle”. Is it trying to tell me something!!!??inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 8

There were several mobiles hanging above the dining table displaying additional words of wisdom. If you are somewhat of a DIYer this could actually be fairly easy to make. It would be time-consuming, but easy. inspirational tabletop_Reviving Charm 16

Words to live by…”Integrity…Live in such a way, that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it.”

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19 Years (Diciannove Anni)

Today as we continue our travels through Italy, Mr. B and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary in Bologna, Italy. (How time flies!). We had a destination wedding long before it ever became popular and before settling on Seattle as the location, we actually considered Italy. At the time, the process of getting married in Italy seemed like a complicated one so we sought an alternate location. I don’t regret a thing about our wedding but I can’t help wonder what our wedding would have been like had we planned our nuptials abroad. Perhaps, it would have been something like the three-day wedding event in Venice, Italy that interior designer Emily Jackson and her husband, Robert, CFO and Vice President of Acquisitions at Zarvona Energy planned for an intimate group of twelve. Be sure to read the play-by-play of the wedding festivities featured on Harper’s Bazaar. You will learn that Venice wasn’t the couple’s first choice as a wedding location either. Their original wedding venue was Celerie Kemble’s Dominican Republic estate, but due to Zika an alternate venue was selected. I have to say that, speaking from experience, sometimes Plan B turns out to be the best choice after all.

Every love story is beautiful, but ours, my darling, is my favorite…

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Sharing is Caring: Save with The Key Rewards Program

Last week I received an email introducing a new rewards program. I’ll be honest…when I first read about it, I thought to myself, “great…another program to keep track of” since it seems like there are reward programs for so many things these days. But this new program really sets itself apart. If you are here then you share my passion for design and home decor and the new reward program called “The Key” can help you save on purchases for the home and office. By signing up, you are entitled to earn 3% back in certificate “rewards dollars” for purchases made at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, William Sonoma Home, William Sonoma, Mark & Graham, and West Elm. This is actually a limited time program and here is how it works: register your email and shop at these stores (in-person or online) during the months of September and October 2017 and in November you will receive your reward certificate in November. It’s that simple! Check out the website for more details and to sign up. the key rewards program pottery barn william sonoma west elm reviving charmThis post wasn’t really intended to be a shopping guide but it’s never too early to get in the spirit of entertaining for the upcoming holiday season before the good stuff is gone. To help get a jump start on things, I thought I’d share a select number of items from some of the stores participating in The Key rewards program.

I have always loved the idea of having monogrammed dinnerware. The Poinsettia china dinner plates, salad plates, and serving platter from Mark and Graham are a wonderful way to dress up a table during the holidays. mark and graham custom monogrammed poinsettia dinner plate large platter Reviving Charm

I think the Vintage Etched Glassware collection from Williams Sonoma is so pretty and can instantly add a hint of vintage styling to your home. Mr. B and I have been talking about buying new glassware and this might do the trick.

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These custom embroidered dinner napkins from Mark and Graham can actually be used all year long. I am partial to the script font but I love that a variety of other font styles are also offered.mark and graham custom emboidered linen napkins_RevivingCharm

Add a dash of color and a touch of warmth by placing a cashmere throw on the back of a sofa, chair, or to place in a guest bedroom. I’ve chosen to show red, but a variety of colors and patterns are available through William Sonoma Home. They can also be monogrammed, which would make for a lovely gift. cashmere throw william sonoma Reviving Charm

The pineapple is the universal symbol representing hospitality. The Pineapple Soap and Towel gift set is perfect for gift giving or to display in your own home. 

Slice and serve your favorite cheeses with this set of 3 marble and copper cheese knives from West Elm.
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To get 3% back on these, or other items, from the participating stores be sure to sign up for The Key. It’s free to join. Happy Shopping.

Derby Day Festivities

Today marks the annual running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. For a majority of people in California, celebrating the Kentucky Derby is not at the forefront of their mind. I might be the one exception. There is something to be said about such a long-standing tradition and the stylish outfits people wear to the event. Plus, it’ a great excuse to celebrate and throw a great party. Each year Kentucky landscaper Jon Carloftis and his partner Dale Fisher throw a Derby-inspired party. I have to agree with Jon who recently shared with One King’s Lane that Derby day is less about horses and more about people. “There’s something about it that makes you feel like you’re celebrating with the rest of the world,” says Jon. I sure hope that when I get the chance to attend the Derby in person that I get an invitation to one of Jon and Dale’s fabulous events. It will give me a great excuse to have another custom hat made for me. But for now, I will have to celebrate across the miles…

Vintage runners line the path at Jon and Dale’s home. This is your first clue that the event is sure to be a beautiful bash.
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A couple of stylish guests arriving. Her smile is contagious, isn’t it?
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Jon Carloftis (left) and Dale Fisher enjoy the festivities. Don’t they look dapper? Jon Carloftis Dale Fisher kentucky derby party

A delicious spread of quick bites are set up inside the pool house. kentucky derby entertaining jon carloftis dale fisher 2

The table is adorned with a bouquet of red roses paying tribute to the official flower of the Kentucky Derby since 1904. In 1925 the tradition was strengthened when New York sports columnist Bill Corum, later the president of Churchill Downs, dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.” Each year the winning horse of the Derby is draped with a prestigious garland of more than 400 Freedom roses, each inserted into its own vial of water. Given that one statistic, it’s not surprising to learn that the garland weighs in at approximately 40 pounds and measures 122 inches long and 22 inches wide.
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Jon and Dale serve beverages up in style. The Old Forester Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby. I posted the official recipe in last year’s post.kentucky derby entertaining jon carloftis dale fisher 7kentucky derby entertaining jon carloftis dale fisher 4

Happy Derby Day!

Setting the Table: Easter Inspiration

This season I’ve noticed that I’ve become more and more partial to the color lavender than I ever have in the past. It is usually a color that I normally don’t gravitate toward. However, I really like this Easter table setting as seen in Victoria Magazine. The combination of lavender and green seems perfect for a springtime holiday celebration.easter entertainingeaster inspiration via reviving charm 4easter inspiration via reviving charm 2

If you don’t have the details of your Easter table ironed out yet, I’ve made it easy for you to recreate the look you see above. Just a few key pieces are all you need to recreate a similar table setting.
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  • China: There are two china patterns used for this table setting and each is by Anna Weatherley. Antique Vegetable is a discontinued pattern but Springtime in Budapest, above, is a current pattern and available here. The pattern is pricey but each piece is delicately hand painted in Hungary. Consider them heirloom pieces.
  • Lavender German crystal glass goblets available here.
  • Linen hemstitch napkins available here.
  • Beaded flatware available here.

If you already have your tablescape all taken care of, I would love to hear about what you have planned…

Aerin Lauder for Williams Sonoma

I spent the day shopping on Sunday and Williams Sonoma was on the list of places to visit. I wanted to take a first-hand look at the new collection by Aerin Lauder after hearing about it last week. Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of Estee Lauder, has collaborated with Williams Sonoma to release 120 home products that include bedding, decorative accessories and tabletop items. Today we’re focusing on barware and tabletop items.

aerin lauder for williams sonoma via Reviving Charm

The tabletop collection is sure to be popular. Blue and white mixed with straw is a classic look for Spring and Summer. According to Aerin, it is a collection that was inspired by Estee Lauder’s love of this timeless color palette.

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If you happen to be free on Thursday, April 20 from 7-8:30 pm, be sure to stop by Williams Sonoma to chek out the collection in person (check your local store for details). Stores across the U.S. will be hosting an “Effortless Entertaining by AERIN” event in order to experience the collection and get tips on setting a beautiful table. Guests will also create floral arrangements and enjoy spring mocktails. If you happen to attend, be sure to let me know. I’d be curious to know what you think of the new line. In the meantime, check out the entire collection at Williams Sonoma and Williams Sonoma Home here and here. 
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You can also purchase Aerin’s book, “Beauty at Home”. I purchased it in 2013 when it was first released and the beautiful pictures don’t disappoint. You can check out the reviews on Amazon here.

aerin lauder beauty at home book

Top two photos: original by Reviving Charm. All other photos via Williams Sonoma.

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Entertaining with Casa de Perrin

A lot goes into planning a party or event. Case in point…when newlyweds Josh and Diana started planning their wedding, they began to accumulate mismatched sets of antique silver until they had enough for their five-course wedding dinner. Before you know it, their hunt for their wedding dinnerware would evolve into a business known as Casa de Perrin, named after a set of heirloom plates inherited by Josh. The Los Angeles-based luxury tabletop curation and design brand rents and sells flatware, dinnerware, and tabletop accessories. Their website is also a feast for the eyes (pun intended) with beautiful images to inspire your next fête. I am tempted to host a party just to create a beautiful tabletop incorporating their selection of beautiful pieces. Any event featuring Casa de Perrin is one event guests are sure to enjoy.
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