Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Making of I Dream of Cake • A TWC Spotlight

Have you heard about The Wedding Chat's TWC Spotlight? Host Lea McIntosh is beginning to make the rounds to introduce you to some of the Bay Area's top wedding professionals, up close and in person. Her first interview was with Wildflower Linens. You can view it and learn all about their gorgeous linens by CLICKING HERE.

This past week I did a follow-along to show you a bit of the ins and outs of what it takes to produce her interview segments. We headed up to San Francisco together and met up with videographer Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV who is her production "crew-of-one" for the interviews and does all of the editing for the final video.

Here we are at I Dream of Cake to meet with cake designer Shinmin Li. I could tell you all about her but am going to make you wait for the interview so she can tell you all about herself, her most unusual orders and all about I Dream of Cake.

So first came the walking down the street introduction as Lea approached the shop door.

As soon as you arrive at the front window you're greeted by cakes!

This is Shinmin. She's not only a premiere cake designer, she's warm, friendly and very easy to talk to.

Setting up for the shoot... Lea does her research and prepares all of her questions for the interview ahead of time and does a quick run through before taping begins.

And... 3-2-1... ACTION!

After the sit down interview Lea donned an apron and joined Shinmin in the kitchen.

Here Shinmin is hand painting a gold accent to the details of this really unusual cake.

And here's a small gallery of some of the cakes and confections I saw in her showroom...

It's a wrap! That's all for now. Stay tuned. I'll be posting Lea's interview with I Dream of Cakes here on the blog as soon as it's ready to be published. Oh and guess what?

Shinmin did treat us to a quick cake tasting. Her mocha frosting? To die for! And I loved the white cake with berry filling. They were my two favs.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Salt Caramels from Miette

Just so you don't think I'm a total tease... I went to Miette yesterday and didn't just think of myself. I picked up a package of their salted caramels and the first person to send me a message with a mailing address (ETA: Sorry but the caramels have already been claimed) can have them! Just put "I want the candy" in the comments section with your name and address :P

Who wants them?

This is the actual bag of caramels. I haven't even tried them myself but my friend did and I've read online that people love them.

If you're planning a wedding I think they would make cute favors. And different then the more typical chocolate favors. Each caramel is individually wrapped in waxed paper so you could give a couple in a little box or wrapped in a cute cellophane bag to each guest.

Wedding Videography by Studio MSV

Check out Wedding Videographer Andrew Hsu's new 2009 trailer... Full of shots from both his fabulous real life Studio MSV wedding clients and his totally hot Vendor Chic video shoots.

I saw bits and pieces of it the day I worked his booth with him at the Four Seasons Bridal Show... But never got to see the whole thing until a few days later. Take a peek... I think you'll love what you see!

Check out Studio MSV on The Flirty Guide

And on Andrew's Website

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Podcast Interview with Stacie Tamaki on The Wedding Chat.com

Recently I was interviewed by Lea McIntosh of The Wedding Chat blog. She has a very fun podcast feature called the TWC Podchat and had asked me to come on her show to talk about The Flirty Guide. It's 14 minutes long. You can listen to a little or a lot. Topics include why I started The Flirty Guide, my favorite dessert, new features on The Flirty Guide and more. Click Here to visit The Wedding Chat and listen to the interview.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pasquale Esposito in Concert Feb. 14th and 15th • San Jose, CA

Those of you who know me well know I've been a HUGE fan of Pasquale Esposito since the moment I first heard him sing at the Kohl Mansion, gosh could it actually be 9 years ago? Over the years I've collected his cds, attended all of his concerts.

So here's an update... I'm so excited! I've already purchased my tickets so I wanted to share with all of you that not only are his concert tickets now available for his February shows but also that his new album will be released on Valentine's Day.


After a successful opening of the tour in Italy last month, Pasquale is bringing his new production to the Montgomery Theatre in downtown San Jose for 2 performances.

He will be accompanied on stage by a talented group of musicians, dancers and singers. Seats are limited so don't wait if you want to catch this show!

Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 8:30 P.M.
Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:30 P.M.

For tickets, call 408-528-6308

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Cuban Infused Celebration at the City Club SF

When Event Designer Duncan Reyes throws a party you can be certain of one thing: It will be a memorable evening. I'd never been to the City Club of San Francisco before. The art deco design of the venue proved to be a perfect backdrop for the Cuban infused theme for the showcase Duncan hosted for his friend Dennis Menendez.

I have only ever had respect for Duncan Reyes. And that respect grew even deeper this week when he explained that having reached a level of stature in this industry he now enjoys the opportunity to "give back" and basically pay it forward by nurturing exceptionally talented, up and coming, wedding professionals.

Duncan Reyes

That's Dennis with Amber Solomon of Hartmann Studios

Dennis and I actually became friends after I first ignored his request when he attempted to friend me on Facebook because I thought I didn't know him. LOL when I met him a few weeks later at the Artique opening in Los Gatos he busted my chops a bit because it turns out we had met and even chatted at the Martini Madness event at MIST but I'd forgotten I'd met him. *blush* But I feel that initial rejection seems to have brought us closer together faster in the end so perhaps it was all for the best :P

Here's the thing, Dennis' work really speaks for itself. We were WOW'ed by this fab video featuring Dennis and his images that debuted at the launch party. Click the video player below to see for yourself!

The video was made by Burkart Video Production. That's James Burkart on the left and his colleague and second shooter Matthieu Meynier of MvideoM Productions on the right.

James' shooting and editing are phenomenal!

I want to share a tip with you: One thing I've learned about videography? When it comes to a great video it's not just one's ability to shoot well, it's equally important that the post production editing process is given just as much care and attention to detail as the filming to create a video of high quality.

Woo Hoo and fun was had by all! Here I caught Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV Videography trying to get a leg up on some of our industry friends and colleagues. From left to right: Andrew Hsu, Nicole Lisanne, Armando Sarabia of get your DO up!, Crystal LeQuang and Gabrielle Contreras.

I was fascinated by these centerpieces. Amy Burke Designs gave a new and elegant translation to the term "Fur Ball."

That's James Burkart and his wife Amy to my left and Armando of get your DO up! and Jewel Savadelis of Savadelis Films to my right.

The live Latin music really enhanced the evening's Cuban inspired atmosphere. If you're throwing a Latin inspired party check out OYÉ Productions!

To my right is Lea McIntosh and musician, event producer and president of OYÉ Productions Patricio Angulo posing for a quick pic.

When it comes to creating an environment for your event the furnishings you choose can really set the tone. Here the gorgeous lit table and clear lucite bar stools from Hartmann Studios and the lighting by Impact Lighting and Productions came together to create the super swanky look you see here!

Here I spotted wedding coordinator Jean Marks and Armando Sarabia chatting the night away. Both are part of the upcoming Wedding University at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto. Maybe they were talking about that super cool honeymoon stay to Bora Bora or Lanai a lucky attendee is going to win at the seminar.

I love meeting new people and had so much fun chatting with Dennis' friends Hugo and Mayra towards the end of the evening.

And of course it wouldn't be a party without cake! Provided by Butterfly Cakes this little slice of chocolate wonderfulness was a great finish to a fabulous party!

Places to Go and People to See: Good Morning Andy Ebon

Talk about a busy day!  8:00 AM in San Jose, up to SF and back to SJ by 11:00 PM. Whew! I was exhausted!

Last Wednesday I was up at the crack of dawn getting some work done then I was off to the downtown San Jose Hilton for a blogging seminar at 8:00 AM with Andy Ebon. The Silicon Valley NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) had invited Andy to be a marketing guest speaker at their Tuesday evening meeting and as a blogging expert Wednesday morning.

I chose to attend the blogging seminar and have to say that it was an excellent presentation! Andy imparted knowledge to both novices and experienced bloggers in the crowd and the best part? Made all of it interesting to everyone in easy to follow examples and language. If you have the opportunity to hear him speak you should go. If he comes back to town again I'll go and will be following his blog TheWeddingMarketingBlog.com from now on. 

By 10:30 I was back on the road and on my way up to San Francisco for lunch with Bridal Salon owner Joan Gilbert. Joan is best known for her refined collection of wedding gowns made to order and imported from Italy and France.

And here's a little tip for those of you shopping for a sample sale that includes gowns by Le Spose di Gio... She has some on sale, in fact this entire rack of her couture gowns is now discounted.

To contact Joan to inquire about the sale call 415.752.1808. She works by appointment only so you'll need to schedule one to see if she has the style and size you're looking for.

We stopped here at Spruce for lunch. Though their main menu is a bit pricey, they do have a smaller bar menu. We chose to order their very excellent paninis from the small to-go counter and dined in the bar area. I had the best cauliflower salad with grilled onions and a tasty sauce. It was really delicious. The restaurant serves only organic produce, naturally raised meats and line caught fish. They even grows 80% of the produce they use at their own farm located in hills of Woodside.


No sooner was I done with lunch and I was off to the San Francisco Giftcenter and Jewelrymart to teach a private blogging and Facebook class at Hyegraph. I had met owner Jacques Oskanian on several occasions at various networking meetings. In fact he let me know he had heard me speak the very first time I was a participant on a panel discussion about web design several years ago.

Guest Books

When I headed over to his store I thought all I would see was invitations so imagine my surprise when I saw his spacious shop full of flower girl baskets, guest books, unity candles, favors and all kinds of items brides are always looking for. Jacques is so knowledgeable about all of the products he carries and works with both brides and corporate clients alike.


For those of you who prefer to shop in person as opposed to online? A visit to Hyegraph can be quite the one stop shop. I know there's a convenience when it comes to shopping online but personally I prefer to walk in to a shop and see everything up close and personal when I have the option.

DIY Kits

Upon concluding our session at 5:30 PM I hopped in my car and headed towards the financial district for an evening soiree... The showcase of photographer Dennis Menendez of Dennis M Photography. More on that in the next post.... 

Add a stop for gas and going through the drive through of In-n-Out burger on the way home and I was back to San Jose by 11:00 PM. The end. LOL

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gorgeous Wedding Invitations, Favors, Calligraphy and More...

I'm sitting here with Jacques at his Hyegraph showroom in the San Francisco Gift Center. I had NO idea that he carried so many different types of wedding related items! This is a must stop shop for brides who need everything from a beautiful flower girl basket to his very unique place card banner that you can DIY using a basic software program. I'll post pics for you tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Truly Historic Day

My eyes popped open at 6:00 AM eager to watch this morning's inauguration. As much as I am an optimist? I was never certain I would see the day a minority of any ethnicity would be sworn into office as President. Yes today was historic. And everyone was gracious and the mood was celebratory even as our country prepares itself for our many challenges ahead.

For those who missed it... Here's some photos I took of my tv screen while watching the inauguration on NBC with the TODAY show cast.

And one fashion note? I LOVED that Michelle Obama's gloves were olive green instead of black or a matching yellow to her outfit. I love contrasting colors and think more people should give it a try instead of always being matchy-matchy. I think contrasting colors, when done well, can be very flirty.

So this was it. The final moments as President and Mrs. Bush walked towards the helicopter awaiting to depart. There were smiles and a sense the transition was executed with integrity and that the future for both couples will be bright.