DIY Wedding Decorations, Food and Drinks (Part 3)

A table set with love.

Head Table

Linh and Dan didn’t sit much, but their table was set with His and Hers wine glasses, votive candles and an array of succulents, ranunculus and roses. Dusty green, pink, peach and ivory were carried through the centerpieces and decorations.

Toast the newlyweds.

How great is this bottle cork heart? It sat by the bar where a sign (below) featured a drink called the “Berry Marry Sangria” and said, “Eat, Drink and Be Married.”

Centerpieces.

The centerpieces were creative and lovely. Tables were wet with stacked books, clustered corks, votive candles, and mason jars of succulents, ranunculus, roses and hydrangeas.  This place setting would be beautiful at a brunch, engagement party, bridal party or–think picture books–a baby shower.

Opaque bottles decorated the dessert table.

Lots of “Love” to go around.

 

 

 

 

 

Birds and a birdcage are sweet accessories.

Wedding cake.

I’m guessing the wooden perch that the cut-out birds are resting had stakes to stand inside the cake.

Happy party planning, hon.

Related Posts:

DIY Wedding Decorations, Ceremony (Part 1)

DIY Wedding Decoration, Cocktail Hour (Part 2)

 

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DIY Wedding Decorations, Cocktail Hour (Part 2)

Welcome-to-the-Celebration-Table

Wedding Wishes

One of the benefits of an October wedding in Paso Robles, California is dry weather. In the  Northeast, there’d have to be a rain date or a tent!

Welcome-to-the-Celebration-Table

The table displayed the light, airy and romantic mood with its floral lace tablecloth, photos of the bride and groom, handkerchiefs, bubbles, potted plants, and sweet accessories.

Guests were invited to take dainty handkerchiefs–for tears of joy, of course.

I love the potted succulents and ranunculus!

Jenga Advice along with Shabby Chic  “L & D” and stacked books.

Advice for newlyweds? Guests could pen theirs on Jenga pieces.

Next Up: The party continues.

Related Post: DIY Wedding Decorations, Ceremony (Part 1)

DIY Wedding Decorations, Ceremony (Part 1)

Wedding Season

Hubby and I attended an October wedding in Paso Robles, a city in San Luis Obispo, California where we were amazed by the ever-changing landscape. One minute, there were farms, the next wineries, forests and the Pacific Ocean. Gorgeous!

Not only was the landscape a treat, the wedding was beautiful and–hon, you know I love a theme–I appreciated the DIY details that the bride attended to. Shout out to Linh, the lovely bride who put it all together.

Wedding Greeter.

A chalkboard sitting on an easel greeted guests.

This way!

How cute is this sign?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handprinted signs pointed the way. We didn’t know that ceremony would be under a..

A screen of flowers hung as a backdrop to the ceremony.

…300 year-old tree. This floral backdrop set the mood for the romantic, airy wedding.

Bride and groom.

Lining the aisle.

Lining the aisle were mason jars hanging on hooked stakes.

A lily pond and mini waterfall were nestled along the path. So pretty!

Next up: DIY wedding decoration continues all this week. Happy planning, hon.

Related Post: DIY Wedding Decorations, Cocktail Hour (Part 2)

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

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When Hubby and I went to California in October, we stopped at Elephant Seal Beach in Big Sur and saw these fascinating sea mammals.  I could have watched them all day! If you want to read why I Turned Into an Elephant Seal click hereI hope you enjoy the slideshow of my photos, along with…

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

  1. Types: There are two types of elephant seals:  Northern seals are found in California and Baja California; Southern seals populate the waters of Antarctica.
  2. In the Sea: Seals spend months at sea diving deep to forage. Southern elephant seals can dive over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) deep and can hold their breath for over two hours, which is the longest of any water-based mammal.
  3. Food:  Seals hunt for squid, eels, octopus, small sharks, rays and bottom dwelling fish.
  4. Lifespan:  Northern seals live an average of 9 years while Southern seals live about 20 to 22 years.
  5. Size:  The largest Southern seals grow up to 20 ft (6 m) and weigh up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg).
  6. Noses:  Seals aren’t called “elephants” because of their size. They take their name from their trunklike inflatable snouts. The seals we saw on Elephant Beach were young males whose snouts hadn’t grown yet.
  7. Staying Warm: To keep warm in freezing cold water, seals not only have thick skin and fur, there is a thick layer of insulating blubber under their skin. Since their skin molts every year, the seals have to find land in order to molt.
  8. Aggression:  Males battle each other for mating dominance.
  9. Alpha Males:  Male seals claim breeding territories and defend them.  They collect huge harems of smaller-sized females–about 40 to 50 females to one male.
  10. Birth:  After an 11-month pregnancy, females give birth to a single pup. In the one month that the pup nurses, mother seal doesn’t eat—mom and pup live off the energy stored in mom’s reserves of blubber.

What did I tell you?  Fascinating! Hon, have you ever seen elephant seals? Have you seen any fully grown with trunk-like snouts? 

Sources: National Geographic, a-z animals

I Turned Into An Elephant Seal

Elephant Seals resting in Big Sur.

Elephant Seals resting in Big Sur.

On a recent trip to California, Hubby and I stopped at Elephant Seal Beach in Big Sur where hundreds, if not thousands, of Elephant Seals snoozed. It was an amazing sight! A guide informed us that the beach was covered mainly with young males, who were resting after spending months in the ocean. He said seals swim 24 hours a day and dive to great depths in search of food but, when they stop on the beach, they don’t eat anything at all.  Which brings me to why…

…I turned into an Elephant Seal after Thanksgiving!

You know I love to cook and entertain, and I was thrilled to have all of my kids under one roof,  in addition to my parents and a daughter’s friend. It was wonderful to see sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpa, nieces, nephews and cousins. I was on adrenaline overload. So, at the end of the holiday, when I collapsed on the couch for an entire day, all I could think was, I am beached like an Elephant Seal! I  could not move. One big difference between me and a seal, however, is that I still ate.

Hon, there was leftover pie.

Isn't this seal adorable?

Isn’t he adorable?

Two snoozers. They scratch themselves with their flippers.

Two snoozers. They scratch themselves with their flippers.

Have you been to Elephant Seal Beach? What month did you go? The Elephant Seal Beach web-site says what the seals are doing on the beach each month. Fascinating!

The Top Ten Coolest Things I Saw In California

Wedding decor handcrafted by the bride.

Wedding decor handcrafted by the bride.

California Dreaming

 I went to California for the weekend.  Hubby and I were guests at our dear friends’ son’s wedding.  It was outdoors.  It was beautiful.  I danced my dessert off.

Before this trip, I had only been to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The wedding was in San Luis Obispo, which is about halfway between LA and SF.  We drove up the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Hon, I’m already (California) dreaming of a trip back to the West Coast.

Here are the Top Ten Coolest Things I saw In California this weekend.  

Driving up the coast with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Driving up the coast with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Do you see the tiny line in the mountain? That's the road we drove on. Yikes!

The tiny line carved out of the mountain is the road we drove on.  Yikes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1. I’m combining these two photos to make up #1. Driving on the edge of mountains–cliffs, really–is a bit harrowing, but pretty cool. Hubby rented a convertible (picture me in an Audrey Hepburn-style scarf) so guess what I did?  Turned around and took pics of the views behind us!

Cows, cows and more cows.

Cows, cows and more cows.

2. Everywhere we drove, cattle were grazing. Cows with calves and steer with horns were wandering over hills, sitting in the shade, and chewing their cud. Moo!

Aoudads on San Simeon

Aoudads on San Simeon

3. These Aoudads, a kind of Barbary sheep, were hanging out on the road to the Hearst Castle. Apparently, William Hearst had a large menagerie back in the day. At one point, he owned 250,000 acres of land and brought all kinds of animals to his ranch.

Woman and cockatiel.

Woman and cockatiel.

 

4. Many marble statues adorn the Hearst Castle. I really liked this one.

Wineries are everywhere.

Tuscany or California?

5. The countryside is dotted with wineries. Vineyards carpet the hills and Mediterranean architecture adds European flavor.  Salute!

West Coast succelents.

West Coast succelents.

6. Hon, you know how I love texture and color?  This garden has both.  I love the contrast between the colors and the grey rocks.  I have no idea what these plants are called, so if you do, would you please let me know and I’ll add the info?

Roman Pool at the Hearst Castle.

Roman Pool at the Hearst Castle.

7. This indoor pool is enchanting. Maybe it was the millions of tiny blue mosaics or the lighting or the smaller pool room, but standing at water’s edge I felt a romance or drama or mystery coming on.

Hummingbird in flight.

Hummingbird in flight.

8. I can’t believe I got this photo. Have you ever tried to photograph a hummingbird? Enough said!

9. What could be cooler than watching young, male Elephant Seals swim, snooze, spar, snort and scratch?  I guess they get itchy, too!

Galerie Rue Royale, artist: Devon,

Artist DeVon featured at Galerie Rue Royale, Carmel-by-the-Sea

10. Energy! Powerful! Superhero! Wow!

Metal and Blues

 

Universal Studios, CA

Universal Studios, Universal City, CA

You know when you are drawn to something over and over, but you don’t know why?

I realized that I take a lot of pictures of nature, especially the sky, framed by structures, but I didn’t know why. Then it hit me. Sky blue is one of my favorite colors so, of course, I look up. I find the contrast of manmade lines and curves against the sky fascinating because patterns form, light shifts and shadows create depth.

Here are a few, the next installment in my Series of Blue.

Grounds for Sculpture, NJ

Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Township, New Jersey

New York, New York Casino, Las Vegas, NV

New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

New York, New York Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Big Apple Coaster at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Links:

Universal Studios

Grounds For Sculpture

New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Link

Chandelier and circular staircase at Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, NY

Chandelier and circular staircase at Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, NY

The Weekly Travel Photo Challenge on the blog Where’s My Backpack is Circles. Thanks to Michael Lai, Retireediary (all the way from Hong Kong), for sharing his photos with me. Here are my additions to the challenge.

Waiting to take the elevator up to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, NY I stood directly under the massive chandelier and circular staircase. I love that it looks like it’s raining crystals.

Hansom Cab, Central Park, NY

Hansom Cab, Central Park, NY

Hansom Cabs in Central Park conjure romance.  The clip-clop of a horse’s hooves reminds us of days gone by.

Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Patterns that contrast manmade materials with nature intrigue me.

Indoor play space, Imagine That, NJ

Indoor play space, Imagine That, NJ

Hon, the bright yellow circular entrance to the tunnel was so inviting I would have followed right behind if I could fit!

"New York Lights", acrylics, 30" x 30.5"

“New York Lights”, acrylics, 30″ x 30.5″

One of my triplets is an extremely talented artist. (Hon, she’s my daughter and this is my blog so I’m allowed to crow.)  She painted this when she attended a summer program at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Art.  I love the vibrant colors and varied texture of her painting. The swirling hair creates movement while balancing the girl’s face.

Purple Flower Power

Allium and Bumblebee at the Central Park Zoo, NY

Allium and Bumblebee at the Central Park Zoo, NY

Heather at the Getty Villa, CA

Heather at the Getty Villa, CA

Iris in the Morning, NJ

Iris in the Morning, NJ

In the Northeast, we are in between Autumn’s feast of colors and Winter’s crystal jewel box.  Hon, here’s a shot of color.  Call it a purple pick-me-up.