Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rebecca's Recipes : Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every fall comes around and there is one recipe that I crave, my mom's famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. This recipe has been around in my family for years and I can tell you that at least every weekend during this season, one of us is baking a batch. I've shared this recipe with so many girlfriends over the years that they even mention, they have made Sharon's famous pumpkin cookies when October rolls around. The recipe is easy, delicious and they turn out as yummy lumps of goodness {that is my description!}. This year I attempted to make them a bit healthier by replacing Greek yogurt for oil {replace every 1 cup oil with 3/4 cup Greek yogurt} and I used a gluten free flour instead of regular white flour. Other then that, the recipe stayed the same, easy, delicious and the perfect thing to make for Halloween! Enjoy! 
 Mom's Famous Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree 
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil & 1 cup White Sugar {mixed together} 
1 tablespoon Vanilla

2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 cup All Purpose Flour 
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon Baking Soda & 1 teaspoon milk, dissolved together

1 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Walnuts

1. Mix together wet ingredients in one bowl, dry ingredients in a separate bowl. 
2. Mix dry and wet ingredients together. 
3. Add chocolate chips and walnuts and stir batter together. 
4. Lightly grease cookie sheets. 
5. Drop a tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto trays.
6. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes each. 

The cookies are lumpy and have a spongy feel, they will not flatten out like a regular chocolate chip cookie. Let cool. Store in layers of paper towel in a closed container. 

Consume daily, two or three with a coffee. Happy baking! Happy Fall! 

xoxo - Becca

Monday, October 28, 2013

Afternoon Blog Break

It's Monday! Luckily I have the day off, woo hoo, and am spending it with one of my best friends from DC who is in town for work. We have plans for browsing around London shops and high tea at Fortnum & Mason, not a bad Monday! I had a lovely weekend full of actually getting some things checked off my to do list, wedding planning, watching Netflix with my beau, crazy workouts, dinner with friends and a walk in Hampstead Heath, sigh. It is crazy windy and rainy here in London and I think everyone is deserving a little break. Day off? Maybe! If not, grab yourself  a cup of tea and enjoy the links that I have been loving this week! 
{Image from Hey Gorgeous Events}
I have been thinking about the flowers for our wedding a little more in detail recently. I went a little crazy pinning this weekend!  I found a lot of beautiful inspiration over on Nicole from Hey Gorgeous Pinterest boards. Focusing on a few ideas for the big day has left me dreaming of pink flowers, mixed arrangements, mixed vases and just something a bit different. I think we may have found the florist to work with! 

I am STILL on the hunt for a perfect leopard print coat! I love this one on Glitter Weddings, WHERE CAN I GET IT! 

Speaking of wedding flowers, this wedding had beautiful big blooms. Also speaking of flowers {they are on my mind!} Nicole with Hey Gorgeous is launching a new workshop, the Trouvaille Workshop, and I have to say, if I lived closer, I may sign up! I am so interested to learn some of her tips on flowers and also be inspired again on business. 

I am REALLY thinking of adding a champagne tower to the reception! How amazing is this one???

I liked Grace Bonney's thoughts on Living Online

I have no idea what I'm going to be for Halloween! The holiday is so much smaller here in England, but I still want to be in the spirit! I love these last minute easy ideas. 

Mrs. Lilien, can we share Fall uniforms?

Yippppee! Floridian Weddings is getting a little re-launch! November 12th, are you going? I wish I was! 

I couldn't let a new week start without a few comments on these photos…… 
Yes, Kate Middleton, I would be smiling like this if I were you! Yep, she's a princess! How cute is the new mom playing volleyball in her skinny jeans, curly hair and 4 in. wedges. Oh Princess Kate! 
{Image Source HERE}
 London has baby George fever, and I'm sure you are not shocked, that I do not mind it at all! The formal portraits of the new family were released, and I can't get over how cute baby George is in the photo below. It looks like he is cheering "YAY! I will be King! Thats right!".
{Image Source HERE} 
 Yep. Kate, all pretty again. Wearing Alexander McQueen and looking like the new royal princess mom she is. 
{Image Source HERE}

UK readers, US readers, what did you think of Kate, William and George? They are too cute aren't they. 

Happy Monday! Hope your week goes well! 

xoxo - Becca

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Flower Fashion Frenzy for Fall

A couple of months ago I was running errands at St. Pancras station and was so excited to stumble upon this adorable store, Joules. What caught my eye? Are you shocked that this flower printed blouse below, caught my eye, I mean really, adorable! As I browsed around the British based store {I love discovering shops we don't have in the States}, so many things that caught my eye had flowers all over them. Who says flowers are just for the spring and summer season, not me! Flowers for fall I say! 
The adorable blouse above is on sale right for almost 1/2 off, I'm tempted to buy it and dress it up with a blingy necklace or dress it down with boots and jeans. 

How about this beautiful pink and white rose print blouse below, the silver flower blouse, I love it. Paired with a pair of skinny black pants, some stilettos and some sparkles on your ear, this outfit would be ready for a night out this November. 

Now that I have found a new store based in the UK that I feel like I want one of each; wellies with bows, sweaters {aka jumpers in the UK} with flowers and blouses with roses. I thought it would be fun to share a few ideas I had if I could go on a little shopping spree at Joules and add some blooms to my wardrobe for this season. 

My first thought was, date night. Last minute night out at the local restaurant during the weekend. Leggings, heeled booties and an adorable bright flowery tunic {OMG, it has pockets!}. I love Joules range of floral dresses .  I feel like you do not have to accessorize more then some simple gold loops. Throw on a big warm coat with a little fur collar, and you are ready for the night. 

How about a walk in the park with Beau and Sir Oliver? We LOVE going to Hampstead Heath with Oliver, rain or shine. I find myself rolling out of bed on a Saturday, no makeup, leggings and a hooded sweatshirt. Walking into Joules made me long for some Saturday morning comfy attire. Wellies with bows and a bright green flowery bag for the market. It's time to step up my park attire. 

The weather has been getting chilly and all I want to wear is warm, fuzzy, cozy sweaters. When I saw this one, I could envision me putting it on and never taking it off! Paired with some flowery pants, ballet flats and a flowy top, I thought this would be the perfect outfit to throw on for brunch with your girlfriends! 

What do you think about wearing flowers after August? I love it! I might be wearing some blooms on my Christmas day dress! 

Check out Joules for a few other flowery favorites! Happy shopping! 

xoxo - Becca

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

London Lately: Dining Out

I can't believe months have gone by, I've been to some fantastic spots for dinner and I've never shared one with you! Over the next two weeks I'll be posting a few "London Lately's" with some places I have been and things that I love and think you might as well! First up, part one of a few restaurants I've visited that add to my growing list of lovely places in London. The bridal diet is in full effect, I'm working out 4 times a week, tracking my calories, but lets be honest, this girl likes some bubbly, vino and a night out with friends. So indulge yourself once and awhile, I certainly do! 
 I was excited to hear the news that the well known Balthazar restaurant from NYC was opening up here in London. The location in NYC is located just a short walk from where I lived when I was an intern in college. It brings back memories of when my friend Christa and I longingly would walk by and wish the day when we could have brunch there every weekend! Well once I was old enough, and had brunch there, I realized why I longed for it, because its delicious. Welcome to London Balthazar! Located in the heart of the lively Covent Garden, Balthazar is a great spot for brunch, drinks at the fancy schmancy bar or a nice dinner. 
 Beau and I took my parents to Balthazar when they visited a few months back. It was late after we went to a show, and sitting at the bar with some champagne was a lovely way to end the theatre night. If I could have champagne at this bar every night, I would. 

The Grain Store, love this place. The restaurant is located in the quickly expanding Kings Cross area of town. I luckily work across the street from the restaurant, so I had an eye on it throughout its development, I couldn't wait for it to open! The Grain Store is one of Chef Bruno Loubet's restaurant {who also runs Bistro Bruno Loubet in the Zetter Townhouse}. The restaurant is located in the hip, area of Kings Cross, Granary Square {Caravan and Central St. Martins School}.
Most of the dishes at the restaurant are vegetable focused. I had the butternut squash ravioli and they were delicious. 
 Located in the industrial like building of Central St. Martins, Grain Store has been designed as a mix farm tables and industrial. Exposed brick, exposed beams, but modern pieces peeking out here and there. I absolutely adore the look inside of the restaurant. Everything runs into one another, the bar is separate, however you can see into the dining room that is connected to a large open kitchen. 
 Who wants to join me next time for a Death in Venice {Campari with grapefruit bitters topped with Prosecco & an orange twist}? I would stop by any afternoon for one of their cocktails! I'll be back! 
Beau was in charge of planning what we would do for our anniversary/engagement anniversary. When he told me in the morning that we were going to The River Cafe, I squealed with delight {did I just say squealed!}. Yes, I was a bit excited as I had been dying to try it out. I had read a lot and heard about one of the best voted restaurants in London, year after year, multiple times. People had talked about it being hard to get a table or it being very exclusive, well dining there I found relaxed and enjoyable, not posh and stuffy {other then the fancy cars driving away, we took the tube}. 
Definitely a splurge of a restaurant since it is a bit pricey, but I have to be honest, worth ever forkful. Even the bread and olive oil they give you is delish. Located in Fulham {close to our wedding venue!} it is located right next to the river, which makes it a perfect spot for alfresco dining. 
 The menu changes daily and is focused on Italian food. The restaurant was started by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray who both loved Italian cuisine. Throughout the years the restaurant has had many famous chefs train there, Jamie Oliver being one of them. 
The chocolate nemesis dessert with ice cream and a glass of grappa, oh my goodness, heaven. The cake is a flour less chocolate cake but it is almost half mousse, half cake, add some caramel gelato, o.m.g. You can tell from the picture below, I licked the plate clean!
Bon Appetit everyone! Have you been to any new or old, favorites, budget, any restaurants in London you love?  PLEASE SHARE! 

xoxo - Becca

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brides the Show

Last week I spent my Friday night at the Brides the Show Event preview event in Battersea Park. This was the first year for the show and I have to be honest, I'm a little skeptical of these big wedding shows. I feel that often they are crowded and full of brides to be with their mom, aunt, maid of honor, grandmother, just so many people in one big convention center, that it just never has been my idea of a good place to find inspiration. I have to say, Brides the Show was new this year, and I thought it was a great experience and a great show! I snapped a few pictures throughout the evening on my iPhone of some of my favorite vendors, so excuse the fuzzy phone pics, but I wanted to share with you. Getting married soon, is your friend? I hope you find some of these vendors and ideas interesting like I did. 
 Laurent-Perrier was a sponsor of the evening and I have to admit that their focal bar in the centre of the venue was fantastic. Check out the enormous arrangement of pink flowers to compliment my pink rose. Serving bubbly at your big day? The rose is pretty wonderful, and its pink! 
Can you imagine an arrangement like this on both sides of the altar? I can! 
Brides magazine is one of my favorite UK wedding magazines. They always do a great job with new and modern ideas for the trendy, hip, modern bride. I do not feel like the magazine is the same old, same old, and they did a great job with the event. I found a few fun ideas on their enormous inspiration boards.
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of French macarons, especially one from Laduree! So when I discovered the wedding selection from Laduree, my mind went crazy with ideas. The Covent Garden location has a lovely spot that could be hired for an afternoon tea and I can't stop thinking about it. How about for a bridal shower? A girlfriends lunch before the wedding? Ooo la la. 
The catwalk at the show was lovely. Isn't the runway beautiful! There were quite a few dresses that caught my eye during the night. I think I may have found the ONE, but I still have my eye opened for options. 
 I am absolutely in love with this black and white bustle that the amazing Miss Bush Bridal team created. I am tempted to think of adding it to my dress during the evening reception, it is fabulous isn't it. My colours are black and white with pink and gold, so why not right! 
 Kate from The Coquette Bride {who I featured recently on Fancy Friday} was wearing a fabulous bespoke black and white stripe version in a skirt made by Miss Bush Bridalwear. Kate has some amazing style and this skirt has my mind rolling with ideas for stylish bridesmaids in this skirt. hhmm. 

How amazing does one of the models look from Miss Bush Bridal, check out the entire shoot they created HERE
The Photo Emporium has a few of their booths set up around the show and lets be honest, the airstream trailer option is AMAZING! Having an outdoor wedding, hire this photo booth!
The guys at By Appointment Only had an AMAZING booth that looked like a pastry shop but in fact it was full of amazing flowers! How great is their new line of flowers that use for wedding cakes. Peonies and ice creams cones! 

Peach Blossom UK had a nice booth full of fun decor that I often am looking for to add to a party, a shoot or a wedding. The paper fan backdrop below and the cake, sigh, I LOVE! 
Little Boutique Bakery, your cake is beautiful. Gold glitter, pink and flowers, my type of cake. 
Harriet Wilde has some amazing shoes! I can see myself wearing the ones below in a light pink. Bespoke, bejeweled, bridal shoes!
 What a bad photo of this cake, sorry, but Yum Nums, hello, I love your cakes! I may be calling you soon! 
It was a really fun night celebrating planning my wedding with my good friend Ann and a fun excuse to discover some new vendors. There were SO many more vendors that you can see on Brides.co.uk here. 
Buy your tickets to the March BRIDES the Show HERE

xoxox - Becca

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Fancy Friday v. 16

HAPPY FRIDAY lovely ladies! As I said earlier this week, I've had a HARD time getting into the swing of things this past week. Coming back from an amazing holiday in Bali, the Blog Awards, a fun night at the Brides event, then back to work, I just can't get into it. Needless to say, I'm glad its Friday! I have a fun but busy weekend ahead. Recently there does not seem like there is enough time to get it all done! Blogging, workouts, friends, wedding planning, work, time with my boys (Beau & Oliver!}, catching up with friends in the States, cleaning, baking, cooking, my oh my. Well, it is Friday. I am going to splurge and grab myself a #PSL {yes, a Pumpkin Spice Latte} and browse through the things I fancy this week, you? What do you fancy? 

1. The weather has changed in England and the only things I want to wear are, over sized sweaters like this one from Zara

2. I'm loving this new mug from Ashley Brooke Designs. Dream Big Darling, really Big! I keep reminding myself this! 

3. I have my eye on this little bit of bling from Accesorize. A blingy necklace with the over sized sweaters, leggings and boots. Outfit complete! 

4. The lovely ladies from the great blog The Every Girl are coming to London Sunday! RSVP here if you want to attend the get together on Sunday. I'm looking forward to meeting Danielle and Alaina. 

5. Paleo Zucchini Bread. Yes, it is delicious! I have been snacking on it all week long. 

6. Sigh.....hhhmmm. I love this quote. I think this is what I've been telling myself but I'm just not sure what is next???!?!?

7. I splurged while getting my makeup done last week and have now become hooked on By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder.  The powder is a miracle! It makes your makeup stay on, it makes your face soft and matte, it is moisturizing, the little jar will last a LONG time, OK, its magic and great! 

Happy Friday! xoxo - Becca

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why You Do What You Do

Yesterday I received the absolute sweetest card from a couple that I planned their wedding in Miami last October. Janice and Marco celebrated their one year anniversary last week, while on their Hawaiian honeymoon they saved sand and added it to their one year thank you cards, along with the cards a sweet sweet note. When you get a thank you note and sweet messages like this from a client, it makes you forget the long nights of table seating plans, revisions of timelines and getting in touch with vendors. Notes like this make me realize why I like to do what I do, plan and style weddings. Some people think planning weddings is all about picking out table linens and flowers, but no, you create a really close relationship with a couple that is trusting their most important day, in your hands. When the day is over and the bride comes up to you hugging you 101 times and forcing the groomsmen to dance around the wedding planner on the dance floor, oh my, you feel the love. 
 Janice and Marco were an amazing couple to work with since day one. Little petite Janice is a bundle of energy and welcomed me into her life like a girlfriend. Janice had a vision of what she wanted their day to be like full of sparkles, lots of dancing and lots of fun, and oh yes, I think we created it! After months of planning from New Jersey to Miami I found out we were moving to London and freaked out about what Janice may think, however, I could not have asked for a sweeter bride. When I got engaged and moved to London, with a month till her wedding, she was beyond excited for me and completely supportive and trusting that I would still create an amazing weekend for them and well, I hope I did. 
The photo above is from the ceremony captured by Jonathan Scott and it is so sweet and lovely. Marco and Janice are that fun, sweet loving couple that put so much energy into making the day perfect for them and for everyone around them. I love planning weddings because when you get to be a part of a day like this and make suggestions and give ideas for couples to use and remember for the rest of their lives, its a happy and fuzzy feeling. Making happy memories for people, making brides feel like princesses, making their day perfect, its not a bad job at the end of it all. 

Thank you Janice and Marco for trusting me. You two are a wonderful wonderful couple! Congratulations on your first wedding anniversary! Thinking of you. xoxo - Becca

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A holiday in Bali

I know it has been a bit quite around here recently. I went on holiday for 10 days and honestly, I haven't gotten back into the swing of things since! Beau and I flew 23 hours to Indonesia for one wonderful holiday that we will never forget! We spent the week with Beau's family laying by the pool, exploring the beaches, riding an elephant, visiting temples, volcanoes, rice fields, seeing monkeys and markets, beach walks, dinner by the beach, dinner outside nightly, I could go on and on about the trip. Getting back into work, blogging, the rainy London Autumn/Winter season has me longing to be back in our villa in Bali. Anytime I get a bit stressed, I will close my eyes and think of this happy place, this amazing island...... Bali. 
I took over 750 photos on our trip but wanted to share a few of my favorites. Our villa was amazing with a gorgeous pool and this bed right behind it {the perfect spot for a glass of wine and a book!}. Adventures on an elephant, coffee tasting by the rice fields, monkeys on the beach, oh and brides and grooms on the beach! Days were spent in the sun, mascara and sunscreen were my only beauty routine. I miss our breakfast of banana pancakes and fruit, time spent splashing around the pool with Frans' adorable niece and nephew. What wonderful memories this entire week was! Here is my trip to Bali, I hope you understand why I am having trouble getting back into the normal routine;)......

I miss you Bali! xoxo - Becca

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