Friday, September 30, 2011

Wedded Bliss

Stetson Chapel was decked out in green and white flowers for Caroline and David's wedding last Saturday.

I loved the aisle flowers with mossy baskets and gorgeous sage green ribbon.

I held it together and didn't snap shots during the wedding. There were two photographers getting ever detail. But I did manage to get this lovely moment where the bride and groom are thanking, Caroline's parents. I love this twist on the receiving line. They greeted every one of their guests in the church.

Caroline looked stunning in her Carolina Herrera gown! I'm so glad I caught the train before it was bustled. 

The guests all waited outside of Stetson Chapel on the campus of Kalamazoo College and cheered as they exited. Her bouquet was stunning!

Eric and Joyce on our way to the reception.

The tent was incredibly romantic. The reception was held at the The Moors golf club. Her father helped developed the property which added a sentimental touch. 

There were fabulous passed hors d'oeuvres and stations with a beer tasting, cheese and fruit platters that looked like a Dutch Renaissance painting. Hanging lanterns led the way to the tent and Sarah designed an Adirondack chair area with fire pits outside of the tent as it got cooler in the evening for folks to smoke cigars. It didn't rain which was a MIRACLE as every forecast predicted rain. Dave's father said, "It's a God thing," in his toast. So true. 

Our sweet friends Sarah, Magnus and E. obliged for one photo. 

The crisp white linen overlay was draped over a lush green sage satin cloth that matched the ribbons in the church. The napkins had a very Caroline touch of sage green polka dotted edging.

We sat at Table 11. The clever little escort cards were golf course'esque flags with the number tucked into the fold. These simply fabulous alphabetized flags were placed in a mossy "green" for retrieval. We seriously LOVED our table.  The husbands all sat on one side and all the girls on the other. This is what marriage does to you I guess. 

Morgan Vandercuteness and Patty looked gorgeous in this shot even though the flash was a bit wonky. The bridesmaid's dresses were darling J. Crew black and navy cocktail dresses. I promised E. I wouldn't spend the whole night taking photos but managed to steal a few with his Instagram ap on his IPhone! I can always find a way to take photos. :) But I wish I had a cute shot of the three bridesmaids in their cute dresses. They looked so beautiful attending Caroline on the alter.

The tent was stunning inside. The green grass was such a gorgeous backdrop and the hanging chandelier was breathtaking over the dance floor. I told you Sarah has the best taste of anyone I know and this is proof!!!

The ambiance in the tent was charming beyond words.

The lightly dressed salad was wrapped like a bouquet with a cucumber ribbon and crouton base.

The filet with shrimp was perfectly cooked. Everyone couldn't stop talking about the corn pudding. It was such a great pairing with the tender beef and shrimp.

The bride and groom cut a small coconut cake and the cake table featured a variety of delicious cupcakes to choose from. It was a huge hit. 

E. went for the Chocolate Salted Caramel.

I stuck with the classic coconut cake which the Barefoot Contessa would have been swooning over!

I hate that my one photo of the bride and groom makes them look like zombies, but they are kind of trendy right now, so make it work, right? You all looked so happy and we were so happy to be there and celebrate with you. 

Cheers to you beautiful couple. May your lives together be filled with constant communication, love and faith in each other. Marriage isn't easy. It's work. Enjoy the best work of your lives. It is totally worth it.  Love you so!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Caroline

Last weekend we were in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan for a very special wedding. My sweet Caroline from this post got married! I was her baby sitter when her beautiful Momma was preggers with her. I've loved watching her grow up and find the man of her dreams.

During the luncheon Caroline's aunt sent me this photo from the morning after the engagement back in December. She stumbled upon it while walking the following morning. Sorry it is sideways, but you get the idea. This was Dave's handiwork. Shortly after we saw them Dave had help from a few folks to set this up at the country club. He asked Caroline to go for a walk on Christmas Eve after church. Of course she was game and the rest is history. I love that we were there the DAY they got engaged.

It was so fun seeing Little Morgan VanderCuteness. These precious girls were besties and lived next door to each other. I lived one block away and could pop over to babysit at the drop of a hat. Craziest story is that MY Momma was Morgan's babysitter in MEMPHIS! If that isn't the wildest small world story ever.

Caroline had three bridesmaids; Morgan, Dave's sister Karen and my other precious girl, Liney's sister Jessica. Oh how I love these girls. I've told them often that they were my experience in motherhood oh so many years ago. They are my spiritual children. Their 6'6" "little" brother Andrew is another one of my babes. I loved them like my own and remember listening to Andrew breath in his crib to make sure he was still ALIVE. I took my job very seriously. Sure there were other families that I worked for but Sarah trusted me to stay with them when she and Craig would go on weekend trips. We always had the best time and they are very special to me. I was there the day a swarm of bees decided to descend their chimney with brand new baby Andrew. It was terrifying. Now it is hysterical. 

Sarah is the most wonderful mother and has the best taste of any person I've ever met in real life. She's not only stylish but a huge role model for me and a devoted Christian. I only pray I could be half the mother she has been and supportive wife. I love you Sarah! Someone at our wedding asked, "Who is that gorgeous Jackie O?" 

I have so many memories of the Liner and many have to do with music. She loved to sing when she was little. I would teach her little French songs that she begged me to sing when I'd come over. And any time I hear the song Sweet Pea it takes me back to the KCC pool and Caroline dancing in her little swim suit. If only you could be in my brain right now, she was the most precious little lady. The luncheon was at the Kalamazoo Country Club, hosted by her beautiful grandmother. I grew up in Nana's backyard. 

Nana and Liney welcomed another dear friend of mine from Kazoo, another sweet Sarah. She is the mother of FIVE who I lovingly call the J.Crew. We wore matching Tori Burch flats to the luncheon. Great minds think alike. Love you too Sarah!

The luncheon was wonderful and since Liney is a fan of this blog I had to take photos of the meal. 

The sweet red onions and candied pecans were perfect over this delicious butter lettuce salad and light buttermilk dressing.

Liney's grandmother's were both in attendance.

I was happy to meet David's grandmother as well. I can't believe I didn't get a shot of his cute mother Kathy. I LOVED meeting her and was so lucky to be seated next to her. Mom, if you are reading, you and Kathy have worked together for years. Another small world scenario when it comes to my Momma. She has a two degrees of separation game.

I met Karen at Jess's wedding. We were on the dance floor together and became friends on Facebook. I was so tickled to put two and two together and realized she was going to be Caroline's sister-in-law! They have all known each other for years and years. It's a true love story that Caroline and Dave are together. 

We had a gorgeous chicken crepe with wild rice for the entree. Beautiful menu choice Joyce.

The strawberry sorbet was a light finish to the meal. Morgan's mom Patty and Sarah's sister Jane are in the background. As Liney's Aunt Dede said so well, I made it to the Mom's table! 

Her colors were green and white for the wedding flowers and table decor. I can't wait to show off wedding photos soon. It was incredible!!!

Patty gave the bride a Barbie just for fun. This led to many more stories about the little girls.

Jess told hilarious stories about her hair cut, Caroline's hair cut and Morgan's perfect bob. No joke, that child had the most perfect hair!

Jessie may have even mentioned the fact that she wouldn't let the little girls into her secret playroom. 


My little Sweet Pea is all grown up! Oh and there is cute Kathy in the background. I am so proud of the woman you've become Caroline. We love Dave and had the best time at the wedding, only wish is that we could have stayed longer to dance our feet off. As a gift to my husband I left my camera in the car so we could enjoy the evening together. Wouldn't you know he talked to the fellas at Table 11 all night long! So my wedding photos are a little lacking and can't wait to see what your great photographer snapped. Hope you are having a blast in Hawaii. We will be back for Christmas and look forward to seeing you all soon. Do you remember that you gave me a Christmas ornament with your precious school picture from about 1st or 2nd grade? I still have it. Love you sweet girl!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spro Hampden

Any given Saturday morning you can find Uncle Charlie down the street on The Avenue having coffee at Spro. It is "his" place. He should really be writing this post. It's not as much of a review as it is an introduction to the fact that they are now serving food.

Lauren and Adriana are now in the kitchen making delightful bites to pair with your espresso. Spro is a nickname for Espresso in the coffee culture club.

Brie French Toast

Spinach quiche

Biscuits, cream and figs, oh my. I have given up eating all of these treats. It's not as sad as it sounds. I feel so much better. But if you are still in the gluten zone, you will have lots to choose from.

They do offer some gluten free options which is awesome.

The quail egg sammie looked not only delicious but adorable and had a Bechamel sauce to finish it off. Good gracious that sounds amazing!

E. knows everyone in the place and this other regular Dave asked me who I was when I joined him one morning. 

While E. was getting his MoJava on with Dave I took a few photos and got a tour of the kitchen.

There is a great little back room now open with an outdoor space as well.

This may be my husband's favorite place in the whole city.

The owner Jay is a sweetheart. He knows all the top chefs in town and runs a tight ship. Eric's favorite thing is that they offer coffee from a variety from roasters which is very rare at coffee shops.

Apprentice barista's wear a gray shirt at Spro. Black is worn by the master barista. I'm not sure what qualifies the black shirt but assume there is a test with latte art competitions and a standard quality for the espresso shot. The term means bartender in Italian.

I loved getting a look at the kitchen. All of the homes in our neighborhood have stone somewhere and the exposed brick in the kitchen is a true sign that you are in the oldest part of Hampden.

Lauren was the chef across the street at Soups On!

Jay decided not to cover the stone with dry wall but to left it exposed. It's an historic badge of honor.

They pickle the watermelon rind.

Adriana was juicing the watermelon for the Agua Fresca they serve daily.

It is a small but efficient space.

I recently visiting the Julia Child exhibit at the National Museum of American History and loved seeing her pots and pans. Not much has changed with regards to cook wear, just a lot more stainless steel.

E had the watermelon muffin. Yes, the chef uses watermelon in the muffin. It looked very moist.

This lovely woman works at a hair salon down the street and also wanted me to mention she works at The Zone, a vintage shop on Charles where she found her fabulous mink beret.

We run into so many friends at Spro and their doggies. I enjoyed a glorious jasmine tea made in a French press. I've given up coffee as it does nothing but make me nervous and irritable. I don't miss the caffeine at all. After the detox I realized that it is the tradition of sitting down for coffee or tea that is the part I love best. I'm sure that is why Eric loves Spro so much. He gets away from everything and just has his own time to stop and sip something warm.

Thank for the tour Jay and to your team for always taking such good care of us, especially Eric.