Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I do to THE shoes!

Happy Tuesday SHOESday! :)  As you can probably imagine, picking my wedding shoes was of extreme importance to me, almost more so than the dress and the groom (hehe kidding, sort of...)!  Once I got my dress picked out it was time to find the perfect shoes, this process took far longer and was much more painstaking than the dress part (mainly because of my pickyness)!

I had the following requirements for the shoes that would play a big part in the best day ever!
1) Comfort - I needed to be able to wear them all day with lots of walking and dancing!
2) Style - They had to reflect me! I wanted a colored shoe (pink or red, preferably pink) but something classic and girly without being gaudy (heel to toe rhinestones? - no thanks).
3) Height - At 5'2", I was the shortest in the bridal party, I needed a little boost!
4) Fabulous - with a passion for kicks like me, the deeply fabulous requirement was nonnegotiable
5) $$$ - Needed to stay reasonable on budget, after all they would only be worn once and my mom kept mentioning she struggled to understand spending more on the shoes than the dress.

So after many, many days spent obsessing I found my perfect fit via Milk & Honey Shoes (now Upper Street London) a custom shoe design website that let's you fashion shoes to meet all your needs and requirements (#alleluia!)!  So I picked my style, height, fabric, color, embellishments, etc. and Viola! 

Hot pink satin with rhinestone bows, half inch platform with three and a half inch heel

 I did my best to take these for a spin around the house to break them in before the big day but most of my standing activities have a tendency to be messy (cooking, cocktail making, ya know) and we couldn't risk ruining the shoes before their big debut!  But they were fine throughout the day and ran true to size.  They came with ball of foot cushions and heel grips so that helped make them fit even more comfortably.

Milk & Honey had great customer service!  The shoes came in time, exactly how I wanted them and without any damage or blemishes.  I had utilized their chat with a stylist option to get a better idea of what the rhinestone bow would look like and they were very helpful.  They sent pictures of other shoes with the bow, etc. to help me make my decision.

I will warn you that the shoes take awhile to come in but that is to be expected for custom designed shoes.  I believe mine took four or five weeks but I got them expedited just in case and had them in plenty of time.

It was so fun to design my own shoes and get exactly what I wanted!  There are other designers out there that have similar design your own options, Nina and Shoes of Prey to name a few!   

Some new shoes just came my way and Restaurant Week is this week so stay tuned and keep cool (finally some scorching days of summer)! 

Cheers!
Steph

Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic Boozing: Red, White and Blue Jello Shots!

Let the 4th of July festivities begin!  I figured it was only fitting to share these patriotic jello shots with you before all the fun begins.  I shared these last year so it's a little bit of a repeat but these are too fun not to repeat!

Red, White & Blue Jello Shots
(Makes about 32 shots)

 Ingredients:
- 2 c. berry vodka ( I used 1 c. UV Blue Raspberry vodka for the blue and 1 c. Three Olives Berry for the red)
- 2 c. water
- 1 pkg. red raspberry jello
- 1 pkg. blue rasberry jello
- 1 pkg. Cool Whip
- 1/4 c. or less, vanilla vodka
- small shot cups (I like the ones with lids for easy transport and easy stacking)

Instructions:
- Make the blue raspberry jello first.  Boil 1 cup water then pour over jello powder.  Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool a little bit so when you add the vodka it doesn't steam off.  I'm entirely too impatient so I create an ice bath for my jello bowl to help cool it down faster.
- Pour in 1 cup vodka, stir until well combined then distribute into cups, about a third of the cup.  Place in refrigerator for at least a half hour or until firm.
- Take thawed Cool Whip and mix in vanilla vodka.  You want it to stay fluffy so just add a splash of vodka at a time and mix until desired strength.
- With a spoon, scoop spiked Cool Whip into cups, leveling it out on top of the blue layer.
- Put cups in the freezer to make sure the Cool Whip is solid, about a half hour.
- Make the red raspberry jello. Boil 1 cup water over the stove, remove then pour over jello powder.  Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool.
- Pour in 1 cup of vodka, stir until well combined.
- **This is an important step!!  Let the jello cool until it becomes thicker but not to the point of setting up.  Once it is cooled down, pour over the other two layers in cup.  If the jello is too warm it will cause the Cool Whip to melt around the edges and float up and ruin your patriotic creation.
- Put in the fridge until red layer is set up.
- Share and enjoy!

We've got a fun weekend with family and friends planned starting with Red, White and BOOM downtown!  What are your 4th of July plans?  Hope they are fun filled and very safe!

Cheers!
Steph

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mrs. WWSV!

Ciao friends!  Finally time to catch up!

Well after what seemed like the longest engagement ever, Chris and I are officially Mr. & Mrs.!  We had the most wonderful wedding day, we are so incredibly blessed to have had so many of our friends and family with us!  I'll just share a few pictures today then I'll do a rundown of some of the details including our AMAZING vendors.  And of course we'll have a post about the shoes!

With our families
Me with my pretty gal pals!
Chris with his guys, what a handsome group!
The whole bridal party

Then we had a dream honeymoon in Italy visiting Rome and smaller towns on the Amalfi Coast.  We MET THE POPE (yes, for real, we met him)!  We had amazing food, fabulous views and even went to a cooking class!  It was the perfect start to our happily ever after.

Dinner at Rossellinis in Ravello, recently featured in a BuzzFeed article on spectacular restaurant views!

Views in Sorrento, Vesuvius in the background!
Cooking class in Sorrento with Chef William, Bruschetta, Gnocchi, Tiramisu and Chicken Scallopina!

Lilly dress, a glass of wine and a beautiful view with my new husband, couldn't be better!

I can't believe the wedding process and honeymoon are all over but its good to be back.  I have A TON of posts to come, local foodie moments, SHOES, cocktails, you name it, its going to be a busy summer of blogging!

Cheers!
Steph

Friday, May 2, 2014

Local Foodie Moment Follow Up: Pint House, Short North

With so many great places to eat in this city sometimes its hard to make it back to a place twice.  Thankfully the kind folks at the Pint House gave me a reason to come back to their great establishment by inviting me to a private local blogger dinner!  I drug Chris along (more than willingly as he really likes Pint House) to be my beer taster since my beer palate is a little bit embarrassing and not at all refined (give me a cold Bud Light and I'm a happy camper! #socollege).

Brainless on Peaches
The dinner was on a night where they were featuring Epic Brewing Company as their Weekly Tap Takeover.  As previously mentioned I'm not really a beer enthusiast but I was surprised to see Epic has a lot of offerings to match just about any beer palate.  When I'm trying not to embarrass Chris with my domestic beer choices, I typically venture out with lighter wheat beers.  Just about anything that mentions a seasonal fruit and I'm in, aka the girly beers.

As I perused the beer list I came across the Brainless on Peaches, their Belgian-style ale with peach puree added to it then aged in Chardonnay casks.  It sounded delicious, the name was quirky so I decided to give it a shot.  Then I realized its a 10.8% ABV, I didn't really realize the strength of a 10% beer until I got halfway through and realized I was already buzzing, there went my post dinner productivity.  Anyways, this was light, delicious and perfect for warmer weather, but it definitely packs a punch!

Chris got a beer sampler and he was kind enough to write up his thoughts on it for me (what a guy)!  "In the sampler I got Blue Ski Lager which is a classic American lager which was not bad but nothing special.  There was the Imperial Red Ale which was nice and caramely which I love in my beer.  The third was the Pint House Epic IPA which Epic makes exclusively for the Pint House and was my favorite.  I was surprised that I liked it better than the Imperial Red because it has grapefruit and pineapple peel added to the caramel but the blend of flavors was really good.  This is what I got a full glass of and it went really well with the beer chicken.  It was also cool to be able to talk to the rep from the Epic distributor. He gave good suggestions about the beers and suggested the food pairing with the Pint House IPA which was great."

Beer Sampler

Before dinner, one of Epic's distributors let us gather around as they opened a Firkin, a unique smaller beer cask.  What makes beer out of a firkin unique is that is has not been cold filtered, pasteurized and carbonated with outside equipment.  The beer inside the firkin is naturally carbonated by its resident yeast.  They passed out samples for us to try of the firkin beer and it was definitely different.  It had a spice to it and almost a little bite, very interesting to try! (Sorry no Firkin photos, wasn't quick enough!)

The dinner featured Pint House's Wednesday special, Beer Chicken, half a beer-brined chicken with a side of fresh cut fries.  The chicken was super moist, juicy and had great flavor.  There was a side of a BBQ kind of sauce that was tangy with a little kick that really complimented it.  It's served with a slice of lemon but I found I didn't really need it as the beer brine flavor was just right.  As usual the fresh cut fries were delicious! Chris even said the star of the show was the fries, high praise there!


As I mentioned in my previous post about Pint House, it has a industrial casual feel with a mix of mostly high tops and bar stools and some lower long bench picnic tables.  I love the rustic food presentation on wood block cutting boards, it makes you feel less inhibited to dig in, throwing elegant eating habits to the wind!  Or maybe it's the beer?  Either way, we had a great meal with great beer and good conversation with other local bloggers!

Back room of Pint House

One thing is for sure whether you go to Pint House for the beer or the food or both, I doubt you'll be disappointed.  Thanks to Pint House for hosting us!

Short North Pint House and Beer Garden on Urbanspoon

I'm going to try my best to get a few more LFM's and shoes posted before the big wedding day and honeymoon but you never know what will come up! 

Cheers!
Steph