Monday, December 31, 2012

2012... 2013!

It's time to say goodbye to 2012.  Before I close out the year, I want to look back and reflect on all of the accomplishments for Honey Bee Weddings.  The highlights include:

On a personal note, the year was filled with many amazing memories that include:
  • relaxing for a week in Palm Springs during the dead of winter
  • hosting a baby shower for one of my dearest friends
  • losing weight
  • spending two weeks in Panama with my family
  • not having to make any major life decisions (Can I tell you how thrilling it is to be done with having babies, buying a home, and set in your career with a job that you adore?)

I always spend the first day of the year writing out my New Year's Resolutions... so I'll be posting those tomorrow.  Off to get a mani before heading to Maude's.  Cannot wait!

PS.  Frankie says Happy New Year from the Windy City!

Photos by Julia Franzosa

Monday, December 17, 2012

Giving Back: We support SPARK

What did you want to be when you were 13 years old?

When I was 13, I wanted to be a MTV VJ.  I loved music and the idea of meeting all the musicians that I idolized seemed like the perfect job.  Although I didn't end up working in music or television, it was a career that inspired me.  

This past Spring, I mentored a 13 year old girl that wanted to be a wedding planner.  We met every week for two hours to talk about a career in wedding planning that included day to day operations, details of my upcoming weddings, and answering lots of questions.  It was truly an amazing experience and I am very glad that I built the time into my busy schedule to give back.

Would you want to give back?  Let me tell you about the program.  It's a 10 week commitment that will change someone's life.  I felt that this volunteer experience was much more inspiring than simply donating money.

Spark is a national nonprofit organization that provides youth mentorship here in Chicago. Through Spark, middle school students from under-served communities have the opportunity to participate in hands-on workplace-based apprenticeships in a field of their interest, where they can connect their aspirations for their future with the importance of education. 

Spark students are interested in a wide range of careers from event planning, to photography, to running their own business, to culinary arts, to law, to architecture - you name it! More information on Spark program, partner schools, and supporters can be found on their website. You can also hear from past Spark students and mentors in this video.

All over Chicago, students are struggling to connect why what they are learning in school is relevant for their futures. In many communities of Chicago, this can lead to a high school dropout rate of nearly 50%. Spark works to combat this by providing apprenticeships to students to motivate them to stay on track before they make these life-changing decisions. After talking with each student about their dreams, goals, and interests, Spark works to match them with mentors who have the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in high school and beyond. Would you consider providing that Spark?

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sam Milgrom, a program coordinator. You can reach him at or 312-470-4300 ext. 4501. Thank you for your consideration.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bridal Lounge at the James

I have been so anxious to share this exciting news with you. If you are in the Chicago area, mark your calendars for Thursday, January 17th! The James will be hosting a bridal event with an amazing group of wedding experts.

I would love to meet some of my fun + fabulous readers! xo

Friday, December 7, 2012

A True Gem of a Color!

Pantone has released the color of the year for 2013!  I am very excited for Emerald and have high hopes for this color to show up everywhere next year.  If you haven't ever heard of Pantone, the company is the leading authority on color.  

I haven't had time to do a full pinterest board but plan on working on that next week!  It's a busy weekend.  My husband's holiday party is tonight at Hotel 71. Then, I have my last wedding of the year tomorrow.  I am so excited to work at Room 1520!  On Sunday, we continue our family tradition of making coffee cake for friends.  

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Losing Weight, Part V

It's been almost a month since I have posted about losing weight.  To be honest, I have reverted back into weight maintenance rather than lost.  I think maintaining your weight around the holidays is especially hard so I am not pressuring myself to lose actual pounds.  Maintenance requires motivation and I've been turning to the thinspiration photos popping up everywhere and especially on Pinterest.

Now some of these photos are just plain weird.  I don't need to look at a woman's ass, even an amazing one, to motivate me to get into shape.  I prefer photos of a tone body with a motivational message.  But hey, if a woman's ass motivates you, then go for it.

My motivation is clothes so I really appreciated this pin.  I am baffled by the awful choice of the bathing suit behind the quote so don't judge.

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back into the normal swing of things on Monday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Neiman Marcus + Target Holiday Collection is genius!

Today was the big day for the Target and Neiman Marcus Collection! I was not disappointed.  I wrote about the collection in late October and it really lived up to my expectations.

I updated my Pinterest board with the winners and losers of the collection.  Overall, I would say that the entire collection is AMAZING. I really wish that I could have bought it all...although I came very close! 

Below are  three of my favorites of the day.
 Great Rag and Bone sweater for Men
I love this vest!  I plan to wear it all of the time!
My absolute favorite item of the day is this tray!
The quality is outstanding and looks very chic in my living room.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Honey Bee Weddings at the University of Chicago

Earlier this month, I was asked to speak at the Women in Business Conference at the University of Chicago.  It was such an amazing opportunity and I am so thrilled that I was able to participate.  I was on the panel for Careers in Creative Fields along with amazing group of women:

Julia Failey, owner of Julia Failey Jewelry
Cecelia Myers, CEO of Cakestyle
Kathleen Wright, Founder of Collaborative Group

Shelly Rothstein of Honey Bee Weddings served as the Panel Moderator.  Of course, she did an excellent job!

I spoke about my background, which was invigorating, because I definitely took the road less traveled to become a wedding planner!  The panel also discussed their typical day (there is no typical day was the same answer across the board!), our motivations, expectations, challenges, marketing, and advice for the crowd.

It's hard to promote yourself on your blog without feeling like you are bragging to the world.  But I recently read a motivational email that encouraged entrepreneurs to celebrate the small victories. So I am celebrating this one!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Turkey Day Sale at Erin Gallagher

One of my favorite shops for jewelry is Erin Galllagher.  The store has a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, and rings including a design your own bar, which is totally fabulous for bridesmaids.  They are having their annual Turkey Day Sale with 40% off everything including custom orders.  

Tukey Day Sale
November 23rd to 25th
Erin Gallagher
1013 W. Webster Street
online using code THANKS12

Since post earrings are having a moment, I am in love with these beauties!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote Smart

While you may have decided who to vote for President, there are a number of other elections that haven't received as much attention.  I suggest heading over to Project Vote Smart. It's a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing facts to voters so that they can vote informed. I volunteered at Project Vote Smart during my freshman year of college. It was an awesome experience that really opened my eyes to all there is to know about politics.

If you are from Illinois, they have a new tool on their website called VoteEasy.  I was pretty impressed because it makes it very easy to learn about candidates and where they stand on the issues.  If you have the time, please check it out.

Happy Election Day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Best mani + pedi in Chicago...forreal forreal!

If I have a bride that wants to take her maids out to get their nails done, I always recommend ZaZaZoo.  Ever since my first manicure a little over a year and a half ago (thanks Lindsay), I have been hooked.  The Bucktown shop is so pretty that it makes the experience a nice treat than the nail shop around the corner.  And of course, I wouldn't come back unless they do good work and leave my nails chip-free.  

Imagine my delight when I woke up to find out about the Gilt Groupe Chicago deal! They are offering a spa manicure and pedicure for $30!  I checked with Gilt and as long as there is space available, they will accept the deal for a group of girls.  ZaZaZoo takes reservations in advance so hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer.  Seriously girls, I haven't had a better manicure/pedicure in the city.  They really do a fantastic job.

If you haven't joined Gilt Groupe, you are, ahem, behind the times.  Join.  Immediately.  Click here for an invitation.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Annual Sample Sale at the Left Bank

I think that every post this week is going to be about sales.  And really, all sales and trunk shows are super fun but sample sales hold a special place in my heart.  The Left Bank, a beautiful little boutique in Lincoln Park, is having their annual sample sale with up to 80% off shoes, veils, and jewelry.

Sample Sale
Thursday, November 1st to Thursday, November 8th

The Left Bank
1155 West Webster Avenue

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anne Sportun Trunk Show at Virtu


Virtu is hosting a Anne Sportun trunk show this weekend at their Bucktown store.  The trunk show will be featuring the Anne Sportun Fall Bridal and studio lines. Any orders placed at the show will receive 10% off and will be available before the holidays!

Trunk Show
Friday, November 2nd 4-8PM
Saturday, November 3rd 11-6PM
Sunday 11-5PM

2034 N Damen Ave.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Moving on Up To the Top Sale with Sonia Roselli

Sonia Roselli is offering an amazing Moving Sale while they move into their new, larger space.  Book in the next 10 days and receive a free preview (trial).  Hurry!  The sales ends on Election Day.

Email to book now!

I cannot wait to see what she has planned for the new location!

Monday, October 29, 2012


In the last two months, I have three prospective clients ask me about inspiration.  It is a fascinating question, actually.  I don't have to necessarily go to an event to be inspired (although I was recently, and cannot wait to show you the photos!)  I often get it in the most unexpected places.

I was looking through my latest issue of W and was struck by these fabulous shoes.  They look like vessels (for you feet but also for flowers).  I have always liked the idea of dressing up the vase rather than plain, simple glass.  Can you picture these shoes as vessels?  I can and think they would look perfect in a very specific modern space, like Terzo Piano or the MCA.

Nothing bothers me more than white linens.. unless we're doing a white wedding.  Can't you see a linen similar to this gown?  It would be amazing!
(It would also be amazing to actually own this dress.)

Sometimes, I am drawn to a photo or image without a clear direction on why or how I want to use it.  I do adore this photo (can you feel the love between the two of them?) but have been looking at it again and again lately.  I'm not sure why exactly.  The dress is designed by Narcisco Rodriquez, who has a collection coming out next week for Kohl's. (What is it with the fashion set and Kohl's?  The store makes me shudder.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Losing Weight, Part IV

Gwyneth is keeping it real.  I need this because I'm entertaining my dear friend from the UK and we're going out for Chicago pizza tonight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Neiman Marcus + Target Holiday Collection. I want it all!

I am so not even close to tiring of these limited edition collections that designers are doing for stores.  But my all time favorite (can anything beat Missoni for Target?) might be arriving on December 1st.  Neiman Marcus is offering a Holiday Collection for Target.  Let me say that one more time:  

Neiman Marcus and Target, together!  

Both of these stores are loved equally in my heart.  Neiman Marcus is an exquisite department store with amazing customer service while Target seamlessly blends functionality and fashion together.  The collaboration of both stores is pure genius.

The 55 piece holiday collection, which you can see in it's entirety at Refinery 29, is AMAZING!  Seriously, I am trying to find a way to re-purpose the Oscar de la Renta pet bowl seeing as I don't own a pet.  And wrapping paper!  Oh, and I will also take a dress for me and a dress for my daughter.


I love each and every item because they are all oh- so- fabulous but also because the collection is curated in such a way that it reminds me of the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog.  If you aren't familiar with the holiday catalog,  you are missing out on a true voyeuristic pleasure.  I write voyeur because really, how many of "us" can afford the special edition McLaren offered this year?  Well, I can tell you:  A dozen as the car sold out within two hours.

36 days until I'm in line at my local Target at 9AM to stalk the shelves.  I hope to get ever single item on my wish list!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Anna Karenina Wardrobe

I haven't blogged in far too long.  I actually told myself that I would blog until my photo issues (if you look at past blog posts, some of the images have been removed) were resolved with Google.  The problem is still going on but I decided to start blogging again. It isn't as though Google cares if I stop blogging, right?! Sigh.

There are a ton of blog posts but I am most excited about the upcoming movie, Anna Karenina.  I haven't read the book yet (don't judge) but am going to start it tomorrow.  Given that I normally read 8 books at a time, I think I should be able to finish the book by the movie release date, November 16th.

The movie looks to be amazing period piece that is probably going to have me swoon.  After a good movie, I am always inspired.  Besides want to take all of the fabulous details and incorporate them into a wedding, I usually want to wear the costumes.  Well, it looks as though I am in luck as Banana Republic is doing a capsule collection inspired by the film.  I wish that I could share more but it appears that Banana isn't sharing everything online.   

Photo of the print ad showing the amazing lace box clutch 

InStyle Magazine has 12 looks but they don't share prices or details on the items.  Below are my three favorites.

Hopefully, Banana Republic will release more details about the collection!  I'm eager to add these items to my wish list!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Origami Perfection

This one shoulder silk dress by Carmen Marc is making me swoon.  I love the origami pleats on the bodice of the gown.  Although I tend to not like simple gowns (or flowers or anything, really!), I just love this dress.

Nordstrom has been doing an amazing job with The Wedding Suite.  I cannot wait to see what is being planned for 2013!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Francesca!  

I cannot believe that my little girl is two years old.  You are the love of my life.  

Kisses from Mama

Friday, October 5, 2012

Losing Weight, Part IV

I will be honest: I haven't done anything to lose any more weight since getting back from vacation.  I was just too exhausted to think about working out or eating super healthy.  I have started watching my eating but I really need to jump back into working out five days a week.

This weekend, I am working out for free!  On Saturday, luluemon is having an in-store workout at their Bucktown location with The Dailey Method.  On Sunday, I am taking advantage of a free pass at The Bar Method.  It's closer to my house than TDM so I wanted to see if I like it just as much.

My goal for next week: 
Wear lululemon while working out, not lounging.  (But man, those pants are so comfortable, I need at least one day a week where I do nothing but lounge in lulu).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Down with the Dengue.

Dengue Fever.  Have you ever heard of it?  I hadn't until I was diagnosed.  Seems a mosquito in the rain forest decided to leave me with a little treat on my last day in Panama.  I was out of commission, for the most part, for a little over two weeks.  Even a month later, I am not 100% better.  Dengue Fever makes the exhaustion from a newborn look like a piece of cake.

I really love taking a two week vacation, a habit that I picked up when I lived in Rome.  The trip is so much more relaxing than a long weekend or even week long trip.  I usually come back completely recharged.  This year was a completely different story.  I had to get back to work but could really only work for a few hours at a time.   The good news is that it just takes time and 

I am finally getting back to normal hours and will be back to regular blogging.

I have started looking into some assistance (besides Red Bull) to make it through the day.  I am starting acupuncture and Vitamin B12 supplements.  If you have any other advice, please share!  I'm up for anything.

Until tomorrow, here is a photo of me and my family in a rain forest in Boquete.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Your Day, Own It!

This is not actually a bridal portrait but from the bridal designer Rachel Gilbert.  Don't get me wrong, I like the dress but I just love the pose.  It's not the typical bride portrait and I find it quite alluring.  The model is giving off the impression of OWNING the day.  And that is something that I love: a bride that is neither nervous or upset, but feels like she owns her wedding day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let's dance!

I recently had a lovely bride that couldn't dance very well in her gown.  If only she had this frock, then she could have really been able to cut a rug.  I would like to point out that the model is 5'11" so most brides would get a tad more coverage.  The dress is available at bhldn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Calling All Cubs Fans

I know, I have been MIA.  But, I am trying to recover from dengue fever.  It's been rough.  

Until then, check out this video from Chris & Oliver of a wedding from this past Spring.

more than | katie + kevin from Chris & Oliver on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I love you Sarah Janks.

Sarah Janks has the most amazing collection of bridal gowns that I have seen in a very long time. I am swooning; these are simply gorgeous.  I have selected a few of my favorite gowns by this Sydney based designer.

Bow, lace, tulle equals fabulous.  I haven't seen anything like this and am in total love.

Can this come in blush?  Because this could become my new go-to frock.
I am loving that high neckline.

My name is Misse Daniel and I am obsessed with bows.  But what I am obsessed with is the skirt.  It suggests a casual elegance that would work perfectly for a certain type of wedding.  I could plan a wedding just around this gown.  I am actually dreaming up the wedding (down to the escort cards) based on this gown. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Nanny Photographer

I am obsessed with the nanny photographer, Vivian Maier. You can imagine my delight when I read that the Chicago History Museum is going to host an exhibit starting this Saturday, September 8th on her work.  

I'd love to buy some of her prints but am afraid that they are out of my budget.  Until they are, her book is on the top of my wishlist.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Losing Weight, Part III

These bitches are serious.

Before I begin, let me digress.  I hate classes.  Classes are great for people that have coordination.  But I tend to be turning left while everyone turns right, if you know what I mean.  I cannot move my arms and legs at the same time without falling down.  I have fallen off an elliptical. Twice.  I read Cosmopolitan in my 8th grade gym class. I have not a single bit of coordination.

So I tend to roll my eyes whenever anyone tells me about the fabulous workout they are getting by taking a class.  These are not my people.

So when I found out that I won a package of three months of unlimited classes at The Dailey Method, my immediate reaction was complete ingratitude.  There was no way that I was going to make use of this package.  When I went to the website, I found out that I could get childcare for as low as $5 a class and they had free parking.

Wasn't I just complaining about how I needed to amp up my weight loss?  I was a little over four months away from my daughter's second birthday.   I could no longer actually call these extra pounds baby weight.

So I decided to throw myself into The Dailey Method.  I scheduled myself up for three classes a week on top of my twice-weekly training sessions. Five times a week.  I hadn't regularly worked out five times a week since 2009.  But if I wanted my old body, then I was going to have to go back to my old ways.

I am in the middle of my 11th week and can say that I love it.  You don't need coordination to master The Dailey Method.  You do need the ability to give 100% focus during the 60 minute class so that you can practice your form and breathing.  I am in such great shape and my stamina is amazing.  I am so glad that I gave The Dailey Method a shot. 

PS. If you don't live near Bucktown, don't despair.  They are opening a second location in Lincoln Park this fall.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Losing Weight, Part II

So after starting with Body After Baby, I lost 7 pounds.  And then, the weight loss stopped.  I talked to my trainer, Jessica, and she asked me about my diet.  Jessica advocates a no sugar diet.  Jessica, who is an amazing trainer, is on crack.  

I eat cake for a living.

Which, I supposed that I could give up cake but isn't it my job to know about the latest bakeries and truffle shops and by the way, I live less than a block away from the best pie in the city.

She was right though.  I was going to have to change my diet from sustaining my weight to a diet aimed at weight loss.

The first big change was my cup of tea.  I drank a cup of English Breakfast with a splash of skim milk and a teaspoon of raw sugar.  It was my little treat every morning and every afternoon.

Jessica thought otherwise.  She suggested an artificial sweetner.  As a foodie, I balked at the suggestion. Then, she suggested Truvia, which is made from stevia.  Stevia is a natural plant that is uber sweet.  In fact, I went from using a teaspoon of sugar to one sixth of a packet of Truvia.  It's amazing how much sweetness can come from so few grains.  

Eventually, I am consuming a lot less sugar and treat fruit as a dessert.  I'm still partaking in wedding cake but try to limit myself to having only half a slice.  Well, only if it is mediocre wedding cake!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An American Baby in Paris, Part I

Planning a first birthday party turned out to be an absolute delight.  I love weddings - and always will - but my daugther's first birthday party was so much fun.  I don't really do themes for weddings so it was fun to get really cutesy and into children's parties.

Paper Goods: Courtney Callahan
Cake: TipsyCake
Food: Le Creperie 
Rentals: RevelLeft Bank

All Photos By: TK Photography.

A Welcome to Paris sign (in French) greeted guests as they arrived to Little Beans Cafe.

Since the venue has a sock only policy, I made a sign notifying guests.
It was near the name tags that said "Je m'appelle". I had name tags for the children because there were a lot of people meeting for the first time at the party!

Complimentary socks were available for the guests -  both children and adults- that happened to be sock-less that day!

The main room of Little Beans is huge and has these with gorgeous skylights.   To bring your eyes up, I tied balloons ties to each chair.  I also rented pink satin linen for the tables for more color!

Each table was decorated with giant Eiffel towers and bird cages.

The sweets table was a true labor of love.  The table was covered in pink linen and had a banner that said "Let them eat cake".  I used cake stands of varying height to display all of the treats.  The cake was a 3D Eiffel tower designed by Naomi from TipsyCake.  In the background, I hung pastel pink streamers.

Some of the pink treats for the guests.

Outside of the main room, is a little nook for a buffet.  I decorated the room with cards of the French alphabet.  There was also a dress form with a strand of pearls.

We served two different types of savory crepes for our hungry guests!

Who doesn't love a dress form?  I borrowed this lovely from my good friend Sonia Roselli.

The drinks table: punch and custom water bottles.   For the punch, we had sheer pink glasses with cute straws and straw flags.

The main room had long tables.  Since it was a children's party, I didn't want to use anything too delicate.  The Left Bank sells these lovely Eiffel Towers that I coupled with bird cages.

Never underestimate the power of balloons!

In the lounge area, I displayed Francesca's baby book.

The framed invitation was displayed on the coffee table.

Above the favors, I made a sign that translates to "Thank You, Kisses, Francesca".

The favors were a custom CD with French nursery songs.

For the older children, I bought individual favors that were more suitable to their age range.

A family photo in the playhouse.

I'll be posting more about the party tomorrow!
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