Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beautiful Bridal Bouquet Handles

After seeing this beautiful bouquet designed by Karen Hsu of Grandiflora I've decided her latest work must qualify her as a couture floral designer. I had never seen a bouquet handle that looked like this before. And the incredible and meticulous craftsmanship used to create it made me ooooooh and ahhhhhhhh out loud. I truly couldn't help myself.

To see two additional leaf design bouquet handles, one with broad leaves and the other with thin stems of grass visit The Flirty Guide Idea Page.

I just love this photo. It shows the underside detail work perfectly.

Photo by: Claudia Akers

Friday, April 18, 2008

Miraglia Catering

I love salmon.

I love capers.

I love caviar.

Let me tell you, these were not your typical smoked salmon on a piece of toast or graved lox on a piece of bread with dill and capers kind of appetizer. Miraglia Catering, located in San Leandro, has stepped things up and uses a thin, soft, Korean, pancake as the base for these bite sized morsels.

So how could I not love them? Salmon is really healthy for you. Though I have been moving towards going vegetarian for a while now, salmon is one protein source that I'm torn about. The health benefits are tremendous, especially the omega-3 fatty acids. Capers I always add to any pasta I make at home. Caviar? I've had 3 times in my entire life. If you've never tried caviar before I can only describe the taste as light and that it tastes like the ocean. Not salty at all, just clean and fresh. To be honest I don't know anyone who enjoys caviar as much as I do but it's so decadent I rarely have the opportunity to sample it.

Combine all of these ingredients together and you have one blissed out Flirty Girl. Especially when the catering staff at a Bay Area Wedding Network meeting I was attending told me to "eat as many" as I could before we stepped into the Tien Megadome Theatre at the Chabot Space center the for the days presentation. I needed no further urging. I stood at their display and ate as many as I could. It would have been rude not to right?

photo by: by Suzanne Jamieson

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Martini Madness at the V Bar • Hotel Valencia • Santa Row

Mr Martini Madness himself, Duncan Reyes, did the most magnificent thing tonight. He pulled off the first ever, South Bay, Martini Madness wedding industry networking event in grand style! The V Bar at the Hotel Valencia couldn't have been more perfect. The spacious bar and lounge areas held the capacity crowd with just enough room to walk and mingle.

I got there early, and watched as the guests arrived. Some were familiar faces I see often at industry events up in San Francisco. Others were friends and colleagues that I hadn't seen in years. And of course there were plenty of new people to meet. It was a veritable who's who of many of the industries elite.

The Bar

And FUN! Oh my gosh I had the best time. I'd been sick for the past week so even though my voice was barely there I had some great conversations. To give you an idea, a few of the many discussions I had ranged from:

• Comments on blogs: self publish or moderate them?
• Cody the crazy bear.
• Cure for a sore throat: Coke, fresh ginger and lemon juice. Heated.
• To blog or not to blog.
• Stepping up your business card.
• Spin Control when you end up on the news in not a good way. LOL
• Of course: Kitai my dog
• The benefits of collaborative effort vs. going it alone.
• My colleagues have hidden talents.
• The latest everyone has been up to.
• Shopping at Gucci (Yeah, um, not me... Aramndo shops there.)

The Bar and one lounge area.

To make it even better. My super sweet hubby popped in to make his first ever appearance at an industry event. People were so happy to finally get the chance to meet him. It wasn't really his scene but he had fun chatting with people and it meant a lot to me that he was there.

If you came to the event tonight I just want to say THANK YOU. The South Bay has been looooooooooong overdue for someone to come along and stir the pot. There is no doubt that Duncan was the man for the job. My hope is that Martini Madness is the beginning of what will become a lasting revitalization of Silicon Valley Networking.

The Flirty Guide was well represented with Robbie Schlosser from the Mangolia Jazz Band, Officiant Rev. Ed Holt, DJ Ron Grandia, Wedding Photographer Joe Homsy, Floral Designer Karen Baba of Plan Decor, Photographer Claudia Akers, Armando from Get Your Do Up, David Ethridge from A Video Reflection and I think I saw John Woods from Enhanced Lighting and Sound from across the room. Thank you all for being fun and flirty enough to come out to a swanky lounge on a Tuesday night!

Nicole D'Ambra is already planning the next event in June so last night was only the beginning!

And thanks to Robbie Schlosser for taking the picture of Duncan and I with my iPhone.

The ultra cool metal beaded curtains that make up the entire "wall" into the lounge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Interpreting Ancient Fashion with Colleen Quen

As many of you who read the blog know, one of the people in this world I am fortunate to be friends with is couture evening and wedding gown designer Colleen Quen. Not only did I wear one of her GORGEOUS wedding dresses at my own wedding, a few weeks ago I was thrilled to attend an exhibition of her latest collection at the Mark Wolfe contemporary gallery in downtown San Francisco. 

Right after my wedding I spoke to Colleen on the phone. She had some very exciting news to share with me. She and another designer from SF, Jude Gabbard, had been chosen to be in an independent film being made by D3 Media Group titled Interpreting Ancient Fashion which will air in 2009 on PBS.

Colleen and Jude took a trip back in time to Guizhou Province, one of the most poor and remote provinces of China. There they learned about the traditional garb, both textiles and design, by living with the Miao and Buyi people. Colleen, a fourth generation Chinese American had never been there before. I will say I envy her in that I have not yet, but am certain that someday I will, make a trip to Japan to learn more about the true culture of the country my grandparents all immigrated from. Someday.

Of course her gowns were stunning. Her designs always are. I snapped a few photos of her collection and the story board she created during the inspiration phase of this collection.

Here's what SF Gate had to say about the event.

Visit Colleen Quen's The Flirty Guide Profile.

Visit her website by Clicking Here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wedding Photographer Joe Homsy's Latest and Greatest

Wedding Photographer Joe Homsy just updated his website with lots of new photos of brides and grooms... Here are my favorites! I LOVE all of them. In fact, I can't decide which one I love the most.

Copyright © Joe Homsy 2008

You can view Joe's The Flirty Guide page by CLICKING HERE

Or visit his Website by CLICKING HERE

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chronic Sleep Deprivation... How bad is it for your overall health?

Please note: I am not recommending or encouraging anyone to not get the rest their body needs. I just can't help but wonder if all of our bodies need the same amount of rest...

One of the most common questions people ask me about my business(s) is "Where do you find the time?" To which I always reply "I don't sleep" which is an exaggeration but only by slightly. Let's put it this way. When some of my forum friends in the Midwest are just waking up and posting in our group? I'm still up working and just beginning to think about going to bed on my end. I usually go to bed between 3:00 to 5:00 am and wake up between 7:30 - 9:30 am. Or whenever the phone rings.

Then the big scare. After watching an episode of 20/20 titled Sleep Debt which focused on chronic sleep deprivation I'd made an effort to sleep more. And guess what? I felt awful. During the day it made me groggy and lethargic, some days I even needed naps. And to top it off I got sick with a really bad cold. So now in my mind extra sleep = feeling bad and getting sick. Anecdotal evidence for sure but evidence nonetheless.

The show said it can accelerate the aging process, lead to obesity and cause other illnesses. But I think I look fine with not enough rest. Most people guess my age to be about 15 to 20 years younger then I acutally am. LOL. And though I have gained weight the past few years, most people think it's made me healthier, not less healthy. The other potential illnesses are what I need to worry about I guess.

Maybe I'm in denial but I have to tell you: I seem to do better on less sleep not more. And for those who are curious... I don't use stimulants of any type to stay awake. With the exception of drinking the occasional cup of my favorite green tea for it's health benefits, I shun caffeine completely. I never drink coffee and rarely consume sodas that contain the stuff. Well except for when I'm out "partying," then a club soda with a twist or *gasp* a coke or root beer with caffeine may find it's way into my hand. Yeah, I really go wild when I party. LOL.

I once heard Martha Stewart say she would sleep when she's dead. I kind of feel the same way. The experts say the quality of the work you do is compromised when you don't get at least 7 hours of sleep a night but I'm not buying it. I think I do some of my best work in the wee hours of the morning. Not my best blog posting per say, there was that unfortunate incident, but aside from that I think some of my best work happens between the magical hours of midnight to 3:00 am. Which is also, as I've oddly discovered, when dill pickles taste the best.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Una Bella Sera • An Elegant Evening for Brides and Grooms

Sunday, April 27, 2008 • 4:00pm - 7:00 pm
Pleasanton, California

An invitation to Bay Area Brides and Grooms. Have you wanted to go take a peek at Casa Real at Ruby Hills Winery? Well if you have, floral designer Nicole Ha Designs and her industry colleague Crystal Lequang from Amazáe Special Events are inviting you to join them for a beautiful evening of lavish elegance, flowing champagne, sweets & savories and the opportunity to meet many of the Bay Area's finest weddings professionals.

If you don't speak Italian "Una Bella Sera" translates to '"One Beautiful Evening." Well, that's what the online Italian to English translator told me. LOL

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kitai on the Santa Clara Weekly Website

Funny thing about Kitai. Smiles, scruffy hair, and fame follow him around wherever he goes. Especially when he wears one of his custom couture costumes. I just spotted this photo of him on the Santa Clara Weekly's website in a feature they did about the HSSV's 5th annual fund raiser, The Fur Ball.

I adopted Kitai at the HSSV 4 years ago. He is my first shelter dog but will not be the last. I am now very partial to scruffy mutts. Especially ones that look like a cross between a cartoon, a muppet and a wombat.

OMD I just read on the HSSV Fur Ball website that in one night the event raised $450,000 for the non-profit shelter! WTG Silicon Valley!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Arriving at the Fur Ball

So this week I think my blog is all about my dog. LOL. Next week we'll get back to wedding ideas :P

I was just treated to a very nice surprise when I received an email from someone who saw my blog and sent me a picture of Kitai, my hubby, and I arriving at the Fur Ball. This year the theme was a "Blue Carpet" event because dogs are our "True Blue" companions.

Did I mention it was really windy that day? You can probably tell from the photo that it was. Once inside we forgot all about it though because the tent was very comfortably heated. LOL my hubby kept asking "Why do I have to wear a suit if it's in a tent?" because he kept envisioning the tent would be like a camping tent... Very much like Steve Martin's "Backyard BBQ wedding reception" scene in Father of the Bride.

*Insert eye roll here*

A big thank you and the photo credit go to: Mr. John England

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kitai is in the News! Again!

LOL Most of you know that my dog is famous. He has his own website and his own press page. He's actually received a ton of Press including being featured on the websites of the TODAY show, the Dog Whisperer, HGTV, Mutts Comics, Dogster.com... the list goes on and on. Last Halloween we even got to fly to NYC to be on the TODAY show in their pet costume contest! Well he did it again at the Fur Ball last weekend. He is featured on the NBC 11 website in their slideshow of the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Fur Ball. There are two pictures of him modeling both sides of his new "No Nuts" pro-spay and neuter costume. Woo Hoo. He's such a great little goodwill ambassador for shelter dogs who need homes. You can check out all of the details on his website www.CutestDogEver.com.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Silicon Valley Fur Ball 2008

What fun!  For the first time ever I attended the annual black tie fund raiser for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. The HSSV is a non-profit, privately funded shelter that serves the Bay Area. I have a very soft spot for the HSSV because it's where I found and adopted my dog Kitai from. It is a wonderful organization. My understanding is that it has managed, through adoption at it's own facility and by partnering with other shelters and rescues, to successfully reduce it's kill rate of adoptable animals to zero. It is a truly "Humane" society and shelter.

Front Row: Kitai's butt, Marcel
Back Row: Nick, Me, Russell from Dogster HQ, my Hubby

The Tent

Kitai's new Pro-Neuter costume!

Get it? No Nuts!

With Russel, Kitai and Marcel

One of the main reasons we attended the Fur Ball was because our pal Woz was the reigning "King" of the Fur Ball this year.

Woz is a huge supporter of the HSSV. He even helped make and publicizes this video "www.CatsWithoutAHome.com" about how feral cats are faring here in the Silicon Valley and what we can do to help the cats and the organizations who look after them.

Kathy Griffin was the "Queen" of the Furball. She even wore a tiara. Here she is on the Big Screen.

Kitai had a water color portrait done. I think it really captured his scruffiness.

He also had a caricature done by artist Jodi Carr. So cute huh?

Morgan is about to enjoy the chicken piccata.

Doggie Moms with Morgan and Kitai

John had fun and even put 3 bids on a silent auction item. He didn't win it but I was glad he tried. All of the proceeds went to the HSSV.

The HSSV mobile unit. I adopted Kitai at the HSSV 4 years ago.

After the Fur Ball we went on a donut run. From left to right: Keith, John & Woz.

LOL The guys all wore their fancy clothes, the girls all changed into comfortable clothes. It was a really fun night but boy were Kitai and I tired at the end of it all.

If you enjoyed this post you'll probably like these too:
• My Best Sunday (Ever) with Magician David Blaine
• I Saw Woz's (Infamous) Sheets of Peforated $2 Bills
• Happy Birthday Woz

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Find The Flirty Guide on Facebook!

If you're a woman who lives in the Bay Area and you have a Facebook account, you may be seeing our new The Flirty Guide ad on Facebook! If you see it, you should *click* on it and come take a peek at the site :o)

If you're already a Facebook member and want to stay up to date with what we're up to, you can join The Flirty Guide's Facebook Fan Site by Clicking Here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How to Fold an Origami Crane

Have you ever wanted to learn how to fold an origami crane? Want to be among the first to test a new DIY page on The Flirty Guide Ideas and let me know if the instructions were easy to follow?

CLICK HERE to learn how to fold an origami crane

If you try to make one but run into problems please leave me a comment or send an email to let me know the step number and I can add more detailed descriptions and more close-up photos if necessary.

If you want your crane to be famous... Send me a photo to post here in the blog of your finished masterpiece!

Our first submission! My pal Zebra Girl and her whole family got in on the act together! Daughter, mom and dad!


Submission 2: Thanks for sending in this picture of your crane Vicki!

LOL I'm noticing a trend here. People who fold cranes all own black MacBooks :P

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