Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Are We Doing Enough?'

My husband and I saw an amazing movie last night. So amazing, in fact, that I can't get it out of my mind today. Truth is, it's made me realize that I'm not doing enough. I live an extremely comfortable life in the suburbs. I've got an amazing business, my husband has a fantastic job and our children go to private school. But is that enough?

We saw The Blind Side. And my husband really didn't want to go. I believe his exact quote was, 'What stupid movie are you dragging me to tonight?' He wasn't saying that after the credits rolled. Today I asked him, 'Do you feel like we're doing enough?' His response was, 'No.'

I've never made it a secret that I'm a Christian. And my family and I live by a different set of rules and values. But it's not enough to just say that. I need to show it in different ways, too. I need to be open for uncomfortable situations that I can respond to in a Christ-like way. Situations that take me outside of my comfort zone.

Tomorrow, I'm going to pick up the telephone and call an organization in town that's been on my heart for many years. And I'm going to offer some of my time to them. And I'm going to pray that my time makes a difference in someone's life.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

He's Arrived!

After 40 hours in labor and delivery, my amazing sister, whom I love with every ounce of my being, delivered a healthy beautiful baby boy this morning! Lucas William weighed in at 9lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches long. Not bad for a first baby! I can only imagine how much baby #2 is going to weigh!

Lucas is absolutely perfect! His skin was so pink and I was able to see him within 20 minutes of his birth. Kara saw both of my babies within 20 minutes of their birth, too. And it felt so special to be able to do the same for her.

{Disclaimer: I'm no Jen Kroll, but I did my best to capture this bundle of wonderfulness!}


Friday, November 20, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - The Official Launch of Our Wedding Website!

{Photo: Courtesy of WedShare}

Remember when I made a post a while back about creating a wedding website? Well, great news! After being under construction {for what seems like forever}, our wedding website is finally up!

Many months ago, I took time to scour the variety of templates available out there. And boy oh boy, there are a lot of options. Truthfully, it's almost overwhelming. But after hours of shopping around, we eventually narrowed it down. The final choice for our site came from Why? Well, for one thing their site templates are overflowing with feature options. WedShare was able to provide us with my "must-have" feature, a flash site {simply put, they just look impressive, don't they?} Another great thing is that the page design of our selected template, in my humble opinion, is just plain adorable.

And the final big selling point? Being able to customize the design with our wedding colors. When I said I want everything in my wedding to coordinate, I meant everything.

So, if you are planning on creating a website, I highly recommend this one. This particular site does have a small monthly fee, I should warn you. But there are many free templates our there if you can't bare the thought of putting money into a wedding website. Check out these other sites I found. The $14/month is more than worth it for me though.

Now, I welcome you to pop onto our new wedding website and take a gander! We still have some tweaks to do here and there. But I'd love for you to check out the progress we've made so far!

~ Jillian

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday What-Not's

Can you believe it's Wednesday already?! I returned home from Connecticut earlier this week and I've been playing some major catch-up; mostly as it relates to Gwyneth Paige. All 12 invitation suites are complete and on press right now! We will have everything in our hands right after Thanksgiving. Then, we will begin the task of assembling binders in preparation for NSS. And we'll also start sending out samples to our favorite bloggers and magazine editors. It's all so much fun!

In other news, we just had a pretty fancy little telephone system installed in the office. We're all pretty giddy about it over here. In addition to four lines, we also have a new toll-free number. And as soon as the voicemail boxes and the auto-attendant is up and fully running, we'll get those new numbers posted for you.

I also need to share my love for Paper Source with you. Oh yeah, and Midori. These two companies have amazing products that will be incorporated into the Gwyneth Paige invitation line. I'm so excited to be working with both of them and I can't wait to show you all of the goodness that we're using.
In case you missed the 'sneak peek' of the invitation line over on Gwyneth Paige's blog, I thought I would show you here, too.

What do you think? Of course, this is just a small sample of what we'll offer. These invites have some amazing coordinating pieces like custom envelope liners for the invitation and response card, amazing save-the-dates and more.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Crucial Lesson Learned

Dress shopping last weekend was everything a girl could ask for. Ultimate Bride was like being in a candy store. Only for an adult. An engaged adult. There were tons of beautiful gowns. And I had fun trying them on.

After trying on several dresses, I found my perfect dress. When I put on the ivory, Rivini gown, I lit up. My mom and girlfriends cried (yes, we got a little sappy), and I was completely content with my choice.

Well, then the next morning hit. Big difference from the day before. My mom went down to the hotel lobby to get Starbucks. That is about the time that I decided to lock myself in the hotel bathroom and sob. I was dead-set on buying an A-line dress but it didn't happen. When I tried on that style, it didn't work on me. I found a different cut that was much more flattering on my body type. It was a smart move. But I purchased a dress that was not my original vision. Stressed that I had bought the wrong dress, I had a private meltdown.

The reason for sharing this embarrassing story is because I learned a crucial lesson. Being stubborn about a dress that doesn't fit you well is a problem. If you are a bride, don't do this. Please, for your own sake, don't do this. Don't narrow your options. Go into dress shopping with an open mind.

You may have already heard this a million times. But now I can attest to how true that statement really is. You have no idea what is going to look best on you. You don't want to get so stuck on having a specific gown that you are too blinded to see what really looks fabulous. It's fine to narrow things down, but don't get so specific that you can't fully appreciate a gown that was truly "meant for you".

Now, it's been a couple days and I am thrilled about my dress. Honestly, I can't stop staring at the photos of it! But still, that morning after episode is not something I recommend for other brides to set themselves up for. You don't want to go there. Trust me.

~ Jillian

PS. I am dying to show you the photos of my dress! But, it can't happen. You will just have to wait until June 26th to see...

Greetings From Connecticut

Greetings from West Hartford, Connecticut! Yesterday morning, I left the great state of Michigan for the likes of quintessential New England. It's a short trip but a much needed one. My brother, Jeff, and his lovely wife Purvi live here. They're expecting their first baby on January 12 and I flew down with my mom for their baby shower.

Aside from the shower tomorrow afternoon in Manhattan, the trip is all about shopping, going out to great restaurants and antiquing. I can't remember the last time I've been this relaxed. I found myself dreaming about event design last night while dining at Besito. What a fantastic restaurant and the decor was so inspiring.

In just a few moments, we're heading to my sister-in-law's favorite couture stationery shop called Plimpton's. Can't wait to scope it out as a future site for Gwyneth Paige. Then, it's off to Louis Vuitton to buy the wallet I've had my eyes on for quite some time. And tonight, we're going to Gouveia Winery to taste all kinds of loveliness!

Have a wonderful weekend, all. Jillian's up next with her latest installment of 'Notes from the Future Mrs.' Until next week.....


Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet Our Newest Member

Introducing the newest member of the In Any Event team! She was purchased last week and I feel like one proud mama! If you see her around town, be sure to honk!


Swooning Over Ruffles

One of the hottest trends for Spring 2010 is ruffles. The frilly, girly kind. The kind that I love! The kind that, no matter what it's on, makes my hands reach and touch. So, in the spirit of all things ruffly, here are some inspirational photos that make me {swoon!}.

{photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5}

Friday, November 6, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs" - Dress Shopping this Weekend!


Wow, is it Friday already? This week I spent a lot of my time hiding under my covers. My #1 mission was to get rid of this annoying cold. And my second goal was to avoid the H1N1 virus, A.K.A the Swine Flu, which decided to grace Grand Rapids with it's horrible presence. Normally, I would try to plow right through my illness and forgo the rest, but this week was no time to be taking chances. This weekend is officially my dress shopping weekend. Wedding dress shopping, that is!

Back in July, I mentioned my plan to go dress hunting in late August. Well, I lied. Deciding to reschedule after we get through our busy season at work was a better idea. So here we are, in November, and I finally get to take a trip to Chicago and pick out my dress! The hotel room is booked. The dress fitting appointment is set. The champagne is purchased. My 'Something Blue' Lolita champagne glass is packed (courtesy of my MH). My mom has flown home. And my Matron of Honor is waiting patiently in Chicago for our arrival, along with my other bridesmaid Ashley. All the plans have been made and we are ready to go! And I cannot wait to finally meet the lovely Stephanie, my consultant, at Ultimate Bride!

So, let the dress shopping commence! Wish me luck.

~ Jillian

Thursday, November 5, 2009

MiraBella Confections

I've been hearing rumblings around town about 'the new pastry chef' for some time now. Truth be told, we were so busy in 2009 that I didn't have time to contact Ken at MiraBella Confections until a few weeks ago. But when I did, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was extremely impressed.

As a planner, a crucial part of my job is to know 'who's who' when it comes to vendors. I need to be able to present the best-of-the-best to my clients so that they can decide who they would like to work with. Each client has different needs and I need to meet those needs, not matter what they are. And that means being able to offer options.

Well, Ken is a new option! To say that he is one phenomenal pastry artist would be an understatement. His cake is absolutely fantastic. It's so melt-in-your-mouth moist that you can see the moisture on your fork! And his decorating skills? Let's just say he creates things you'd see come out of Chicago and NYC.

A couple of days before Seth's 6th birthday party last week, I called Ken and asked him to make a Scooby-Doo cake for his birthday party. I didn't give any direction other than Seth likes Scooby Doo. The photos you see above is what he presented to me! My husband, who's a pretty low-key guy and doesn't get too excited about a lot of things, was completely blown-away by this cake. And the party guests didn't believe it was even real until I cut into the cake in front of them!

Thanks, Ken, for a fantastic cake!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Etsy Find: Virginia Geiger Jewels

I recently stumbled upon the most wonderful shop on etsy! I was immediately captivated by not only this exquisite necklace, which might I add is so reasonably priced, but by the combination of the charcoal dress and the champagne pearls. I think this might be one of the most elegant color combinations I have seen. And I'm captivated by its timeless beauty. I keep dreaming of a winter wedding with a palette consisting of bright white, charcoal and champagne.

Happy Winter Thoughts!
{source: Virginia Geiger}