Monthly Archives: January 2013
2013 Trends: Wedding Gowns
We’re very excited to be launching a monthly ‘2013 Trends’ feature, where we will be showcasing some of the most fabulous, innovative and inspiring trends we encounter over the course of the year. We had the opportunity to visit two premiere bridal salons in San Francisco this week, Marina Morrison and the brand new Vera Wang Bridal, and wanted to share some of our favorite gowns, accessories, fabrics and textures. The 2013 collections are featuring more structured ‘floating’ pieces, mixed mediums, layered laces, dazzling beading, and of course, peplum accents. What will you be wearing in 2013?
All About Juicing: Interview with Michelle Hall of Living Greens
With New Year resolutions upon us and an overall growing awareness that we are, in fact, what we eat, it seems that everyone is jumping on the juicing bandwagon these days! It’s no secret that drinking freshly pressed vegetable and fruit juice helps boost your immunity and floods your system with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. We were curious to learn more about the process of entering into a full-blown juice cleanse as well as what to expect during and after the cleanse. We reached out to Michelle Hall of Living Greens, with whom Allie has successfully completed two 3-day cleanses, to fill us in on everything we need to know about the juicing process.
Q: First tell us a little bit about your experience. How did you become interested in the many benefits of juicing?
A: I became interested in juicing after leaving a very demanding career in fashion. I moved home from Paris and was sick, exhasuted and really run down. I went on a 7 day fasting retreat in the desert and directly saw how juicing and healthy eating specifically affected my well being. From that point forward, I became an advocate of green juice and seasonal juice cleansing.
Q: As a company, what are the overall goals and dreams for Living Greens?
A: We hope to empower people by allowing them the opportunity to look and feel healthier from the inside out with our freshly made organic juice recipes and tailored cleanses. We also hope to one day be able to work directly with the school sytems to provide real juice to kids so that they can begin to develop a palette for green juices from a young age. We also hope that in 10 years time, there is a juice bar on every corner instead of coffee bars 😉
Q: In this day and age, it seems like there are dozens of companies to choose from when committing to a juice cleanse. What makes your company stand out against all the others?
A: We are happy to see that the juice buzz has caught on! The more people providing this service to the community the better. From what I know, there are a few things that set us apart. For one, our cleanses and juices are pressed fresh each morning and delivered daily. We also step out of the standard “6 bottles a day” and provide a more tailored cleanse that incorporates teas, elixirs and a vegetarian broth which is unique and different. ( We do have a Juice Kit of 6 under our packaged section too.) In addition, we just recently purchased a new hydraulic press so all of our juices are cold pressed.
Q: Why should people consider participating in routine juice cleanses and/or incorporating fresh juices into their diet?
A: We think daily juicing really is a means to prevent disease and health related issues. We are not ones to gloat, but neither my partner nor I have been sick in years. We credit that to drinking at least 48 oz of fresh juice a day in addition to eating healthy balanced meals. We juice cleanse around 4 times a year to reset healthier eating patterns and feel more energized.
Q: You juice your fruits and vegetables and then deliver them to your clients on the same day. Why is this important?
A: As soon as a produce is juiced and met with the air, it begins to oxidize which means that the nutritional content slowly depletes. We slow this by filling the bottles quickly and sealing them. With the hydraulic press. people claim that the juices stay fresh for 3 days, but even so, we still plan on waking up each morning and fresh pressing the juices for our clients.
Q: When you are creating your juices, what do you keep in mind in terms of your vegetable to fruit juice ratio?
A: We try to always be heavier on the veggies at Living Greens.
Q: How long do most people commit to one of your cleanses? What should we keep in mind when determining our cleansing period?
A: Our longest cleanse ever was a 21 day ‘Well’ cleanse, and after that, a 15 day ‘Green’ cleanse which is incredible! 3 days is usually the norm and 5 days if you are up for the challenge. We always tell people to start small – we are really flexible and you can always add on days if you like.
Q: What in the world is Potassium broth?
A: Our clients love this magical elixir! Potassium broth is imperative to the cleanse as it encourages the removal of unwanted toxins, poisons and salts from the body while giving the body the high doses of vitamins and minerals it needs during fasting. It will neutralize built up acids found within the body. It rebuilds, provides energy and balances the entire internal system. In addition, potassium is important for a healthy nervous system and regular heart rhythm. It works with sodium to control the body’s water balance and regulates the transfer of nutrients through the cell membranes.
Many people look forward to this part of the day during the cleanse because it is when you get to enjoy something warm and savory (remember to heat gently, making sure not to boil and absolutely no microwave. ) If you like, you may add a pinch of cayenne for extra flavor and spice, and great for your circulatory system too!
Q: We work with many brides and grooms in our line of work. Many of them express a desire to slim down prior to their big day. Do you think participating in a juice cleanse would be a good option for our clients?
A: Absolutely there is no question that in doing a 3 – 5 day cleanse, you are sure to lose lbs. The main benefits we feel are even better are that cleansing brightens the complexion for a natural glow and also clears the eyes. Check out our Wedding Bliss juice package curated especially for brides and grooms in preparation for the big day.
Q: What do you advise your clients to do to prepare for a cleanse, and how should they proceed with incorporating food and drink back into their diet after the cleanse?
A: We have special guidelines, but we always suggest cutting out processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, flour and meat and dairy 3 – 5 days before starting a cleanse. Hopefully after the cleanse is finished, they won’t crave any of these things!
Q: What are your go-to fruits and vegetables for juicing and why?
A: We love lemon – it is super alkalizing for the body (most people think it is acidic but it has the opposite affect inside the body) and also works to help cleanse vital organs like the liver and kidney. Cucumber is cooling and soothing, and KALE – don’t think we need to say much about this one! Apple is great when used in moderation to sweeten juices.
Q: Finally, can you share your favorite juice recipe with our readers?
4 stalks of kale
4 stalks spinach
3-4 stalks of celery
1 apple (red for more sweetness like Braeburn,green for less, like granny smith)
Standout Memories of Our 2012 Weddings
We have so many great memories from the weddings we planned in 2012, that we wanted to write a little recap of those that stood out the most.
Here is a list of our top 10:
1) Rachel & Blake: Married at Cavallo Point Lodge, we used Mission Blue Chapel for their ceremony location and then transformed it into an after party lounge for late night dancing.
2) Jennifer & Brandon: For this 353 person wedding at Beaulieu Gardens, we created a custom tent complete with a chandelier, which we erected over the dance floor.
3) Ali & Jake: During their ceremony at Durham Ranch, they chose to use unique songs by The Pixies, The Smiths, and The Cure.
4) Tanya & Mike: For this Sonoma-based wedding, we hired a savior and sweet food truck as an inventive way to serve guests dinner and dessert.
5) Jaime & Tim: The couple chose to have a dear friend marry them for their December wedding at Flood Mansion, which was a fun and relaxed way for them to become husband and wife.
6) Michelle & Tommy: During cocktail hour at Beaulieu Gardens, we created an open-air photobooth complete with 3 suspended frames and props.
7) Cathy & Alex: After their ceremony, the couple and their wedding party joined a New Orleans style band, which paraded guests through the streets of Healdsburg to their reception at Barndiva .
8) Charlotte & Marc: We hired a live painter to depict scenes from the wedding reception.
9) Courtney & Neal: For their wedding at The Inn at the Presidio on January 31st, the couple rented out the entire 22 room hotel, making for a fabulous New Years Eve wedding and one giant house party.
10) Gretchen & Spencer: We hired the always entertaining Wonderbread 5 for the wedding reception, who pulled the bride on stage for their second set wearing their infamous crazy suits.
We’re looking forward to creating many more wonderful memories in 2013!
Happy New Year! Things we learned in planning our 2012 weddings.
2012 was a successful year full of weddings and lots of learning opportunities for all of us at SMEP. Upon reflection of all these weddings, we’ve come up with a list of the top 10 things we will be sure to keep in mind and incorporate into our wedding plans for 2013:
- Be sure to always use a radio for behind the scenes coordination
- Assign one assistant for every 50-75 guests
- Confirm vendor attire prior to a wedding
- With large bridal parties (8 or more), have an assistant oversee wedding day hair & makeup
- When in doubt – say YES to air conditioning!
- Insist on assigned seating for family members at the wedding ceremony
- Have back-up ceremony music in case of emergency
- Include a wine opener in wedding day emergency kit
- The least expensive option is not always the best option
- Make sure the bride is wearing shoes when she leaves the venue!
Please feel free to share some of your tips, advice and resolutions for 2013!
The team at Stacy McCain Event Planning