28 August, 2012

Goldiluxe, Out and About: Creative Picnic Contest

That's right.  A creative. picnic. contest.  Allison stumbled across this article mid-July and thought we should give it a whirl.  So, we put together a bangin' pinterest board and set to work.  We decided to go with a retro beach party theme.  Yes, yes I know.  More retro.  But, hey.  We had a chance to play to our strengths.  Allison designed some fabric and paper goods, I made some cake stands, sourced some vintage milk bottles, found some cute accessories, and we came up with a cute, small plate menu.  We also made adorable sun lanterns.  Bada bing!  We had an adorable concept and Beachy Keen was born!  Here are my favorite snappies of the process and event.

Here's a little concept composite I put together while I was working on sourcing some of our supplies.  I really wanted us to make a vibrant, festive statement without overwhelming the table or cluttering up the vision.  Keeping the colors and graphics with me in one, accessible place made my job that much easier.  Not to mention, my friends on Pick loved this photo!

 So cute!!  The lanterns turned out so well, I was really proud of them.  I love that we make so much of our own things.  Sure, we could buy everything ready-made, but where is the personal touch in that?  Can I just say how much I love those little flamingo drink stirrers? 

This one really shows off the fabric that Allison designed.  I was thrilled with it.  For us, this event just started out as a harmless, low key activity.  As we breathed life into Beachy Keen and everything started coming together, the more excited I became.  It really ignited my competitive spirit.  It was just so much fun!

This is my favorite picture of the night.  I really had a great time participating in this event and I wanted to share my exuberance.  So, I tarted up this little picture for consumption on Pick.  I thought you might like it, too!  Results?  Well, we didn't win (Congrats to Sun and her team!) but I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish.  The Goldiluxe name was out in public and I'm so happy that we put our best foot forward! 

20 August, 2012

24 Carat Finds: The Tomkat Studio

  At Goldiluxe, we are always on the hunt for the last word in party supplies.  Over the years, I have been lucky enough in my search to find some really great vendors.  Many of whom, I've written about here.  Lately, I've been searching for a new name to add to my little pink book, with little success.  I had begun to think I was running out of options.

Thank goodness for Pinterest...

I give you The Tomkat Studio!

Run by Kim Stoegbauer, The Tomkat Studio aims to bring it's customers the very best in party printables and supplies.  From the website:

 For over three years, I have been designing printable party collections and styling parties and  photo shoots to showcase my designs.
It has always been a dream of mine to open up an online shop filled with handpicked party products and supplies to coordinate with our party themes. We want to make it as easy as possible to order everything you need for your next event from one place!

I found The Tomkat Studio in a perfectly styled corner of Pinterest and just had to check them out.  I was not displeased.  I am often a harsh judge of party printables and seldom find any I like (which is how Goldi on the Go came about).  I just found myself falling in love with these designs and I'll tell you why:  I love a clear aesthetic and confident design.  The TomKat Sudio line has both is spades.  Here are my favorites (all photos by Vicki Lynn Photography):

Cute, right?  There's a heck of a lot more over there, I just didn't want to discourage you from exploring.  Oh, before I forget, here's a couple of my favorite party supplies:
I'll have you know I am totally obsessed with these!  So cute!

I'm a big fan of these.  I love mason jars.  Probably more than I should.  These cutie lids are perfect!

So, I think I've found a winner, y'all!  I encourage you to hop on over to the website, read the blog, and get your fill of party cuteness!

13 August, 2012

GoldiGems: Polished Nail Bar

It's no secret how much I love Milwaukee and all the amazing hidden gems it has to offer.  To chronicle my experiences with the best Milwaukee has to offer, I've come up with a new segment: GoldiGems.  In it, we'll explore the Cream City, looking for the shops that can make your amazing event even more memorable.  I'll do the leg work and you can reap the benefits.  A real win-win, yes?  I think so!  Enjoy!

This summer has been cray-cray for Goldiluxe!  We've been designing our little tushies off and Allison and I decided that after all the summer hoopla we would schedule a "Treat Yo'Self" day inspired by one of our favorite shows, Parks and Recreation.  Last Sunday, we finally got to have our fun.  We went to brunch at Trocadero (which was ah-MAH-zing, beeteedubs...) and then headed over to Polished Nail Bar for much needed manis. 

Sadly, I didn't get the chance to get any pics of our brunch, awful blogger that I am.  But, let me tell you, I had the breakfast tacos, a killer Kir Royale, and a fruit plate I shared with Allison.  The portion size was perfect.  I am a small plate fan, in general, so I was delighted that my tacos were sized as such. Our fruit plate was wonderfully fresh and flavorful.  We were given attentive service and the atmosphere of the restaurant was light, fun and relaxed.  A perfect place for a wedding day brunch!  I kept imaging a happy bridal party, adorned in smart outfits and stylish accessories sipping mimosas contentedly on the spacious patio.  Seriously, if you haven't been to Trocadero, check 'em out. 

From there, we took a short hop over to Polished.  From the outside it's pretty cute.  It sits upon what used to be a copy shop.  A nail bar, of course is a HUGE improvement in my book.

When we got there, we were immediately greeted, checked in and offered something to drink.  The young lady that greeted us also took the time to confirm our services.  I decided to get my first ever shellac manicure.  I'd heard a lot about them, but had never had one.  I did ask if the process was harsh on nails or leeched any creepy chemicals.  My fears were assuaged immediately.  BTW, the decor is amazing in there!  I managed to get a few snappies of some of my favorite details.

Pretty chandies, am I right?! 
After confirming our services we were sent over to pick out our colors.  The selection was HUGE!  Allison chose a traditional mani and I was shown to the shellac area.  So many colors to choose from....so many in fact it took me for-EVAH to pick something. A great problem to have, I think.  We weren't poked, prodded or otherwise rushed through the process...such a patient staff!

I was super happy to see they carried Essie.  It's one of my favorite brands. 
 My wonderful manicurist (who forbade me from taking a picture of her) was SUPAH awesome.  She answered all of my stupid questions, put up with me while I almost changed my mind on polish, was cute as a button, and most importantly-she did an AMAZING job on my nails.  Seriously, y'all.  She was fab.

More adorableness.  The light fixtures in that joint were KILLING me.
So, Polished is fab.  What does that mean for your bridal party?  Well, in addition to having some of the best prices in town (the 'cc' means that's the price you pay if you use a credit card...there is a slight discount for paying with cash) they've got some great ideas on how to make the big day a little more special.  For $250, you can rent out the entire space for two hours.  You can bring snackies, some champy and really make an event out of it.  Although the $250 doesn't cover the cost of your services, the Polished gang will make sure you're pampered and relaxed.  But don't think you have to pay extra to have a good time.  You can still bring the bubbly and munchies even if the idea of a private event isn't quite your scene.

As for the shellac?  I LOVE it! I'm over a week in and my nails look the same as on day one!  

Pretty great, right!  That coral polish really is the living end, isn't it?! A big thank you to Polished for allowing me to get all up in their biz.  I had a wonderful experience.  I do hope that, if you're in the market for a cute place and great staff, you'll give Polished a whirl.  Ooh, also, for more pictures of Polished cuteness, check out the gallery.

This post was not solicited or compensated by Polished in any way.  I had a really positive experience and thought I'd show a little love.

08 August, 2012

File This Under "Holy, Cow!": Liebster Blogging Award

So, yesterday I received a tweet letting me know that my friend Sun Torke had nominated me for a Liebster Blogging Award!  This award is meant for blogs that you love, that mean something to you.  This award is also intended for rising star blogs with a smaller readership.  Yay, Goldiblog! Nominees must answer 11 questions about themselves, add 11 facts about themselves, create 11 new questions and nominate 11 new blogs.  Then you link up with the person that nominated you.  Easy peasy!

 My friend Sun, as you know, writes for Eat. Host. Run. Style.  You'll remember her for the great post she did here!  Sun's post remains one of the most read on this blog! This is one of my favorite fitness blogs to read.  She makes fitness fun and accessible.  I never feel like I'm doing something wrong or like I should be ashamed of myself for not doing more, faster.  Or better.  Just a really great read.  Superb recipes, too!

Here goes!

Sun's questions for me, are:
  1. Why did you decide to start blogging?  I love parties and event design.  This blog started as a way for me to exchange ideas with people all over the world.  I really wanted this space to be an honest chronicle of my journey as an owner of a creatively based business as well as a testament to all the amazing things that inspire us. 
  2. How did you decide on your blog's name? This blog began as a wedding blog, but began to evolve as my business model evolved.  As Goldiluxe Events became busier, I wanted it to reflect my vision for my company.  I can look at it and be instantly reminded of what I'm aiming to do.
  3. What are your top five favorite foods? Miso soup, spaghetti squash, pancakes, rainier cherries, and spinach fritata.
  4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I would love the ability to stop time.
  5. What's the best gift you ever received? When I was in my very early 20s and moving into my first house with my best friend at the time, my grandma gave me a vacuum.  It made me feel so grown up, like my family finally saw me as a capable, responsible adult.  I was so happy, I burst into tears.

  6. Are there any current style trends that make you cringe? Yes.  Leggings as pants, rompers, and those headbands clearly inspired by Native American headdresses.  Cultural appropriation just isn't cute.
  7. Why do you workout and what's your current routine? I love working out because it focuses and clears my mind, relieves my stress and makes me feel strong.  I love being kind to myself.
  8. Who is your role model? My Mom and Dad. They have done and given everything to give me every opportunity I could ever want.  I also look up to anyone who lives their life boldly, without fear and without regret.
  9. What accomplishment are you most proud of? Graduating college. I learned so much in and out of the classroom.
  10. If you could participate in any Olympic sport, which would you pick? Figure skating.  Definitely.  Sparkly outfits, big hair, dancing....it's like they created a sport just for me.
  11. Where would you like to travel next? Colorado next spring and Japan for my birthday.
Now, for my 11 fun facts:

--> I read the Hunger Games trilogy in one weekend.  All three books.  One weekend.  It was awesome. 

--> I am obsessed with my Japanese photo sharing app, Pick.  I heard about it from a bloggy friend and it's been a great way to help me learn Japanese.  

See how cute it makes your pictures?! Couldn't you just choke on the whimsy?

--> I'm teaching myself Japanese.  It's super hard, but really rewarding.

--> I have a really visceral reaction to fonts.  I can't stand Comic Sans, Papyrus, Vivaldi or any font that looks like "kid" handwriting...I shudder to think.

--> With the exception of Law & Order: Los Angeles, I have not met a cop show I don't like.

--> I love to make up words.  So far my favorite is "romantiplans"

--> I would rather not eat or drink during an outing if it means I don't have to use a public restroom.

--> I want to have All The Antiques.

See?  I would have all of the everything if I could.  Also, more cuteness from Pick.

--> I love brunch.

--> I dislike Bloody Marys and I hate when they are listed as "Bloodies" on menus.

--> The meaner someone is to me; the nicer I am to them.  I like to see how mad they get when they can't get a reaction from me.

My 11 questions:
1.  What do you think is your best personality trait?
2.  When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?

3.  If you could live in any city in the world, which one would you choose and why? 
4.  What is your least favorite color combination?
5.  What is your favorite way to celebrate an accomplishment?
6.  How do you use social media to enhance your blogging life?
7.  Would you rather host a dinner party or contribute to one at someone else's home?
8.  What is your favorite recipe?
9.  If you could appear on any reality show, which would you choose?
10. What is the one thing in your beauty routine you could not live without?
11.  What is your favorite teen movie?

My nominations are:

Allison C Beilke: Illustrator, Artist


Lauren Bonk

Cream City Green

I'm afraid I can't quite make eleven.  All the smaller blogs I read have already been nominated.  I'll have to scour my blog roll, I know there are so many great bloggers out there!

A big, huge thanks to Sun for the nom.  I'm so grateful!


02 August, 2012

Living Authentically: If You Don't Blog It, Did it Really Happen?

I have written and rewritten this post at least 10 times.  It's been a reflective experience and I think I am finally to the place where this post makes sense.  

Wow, guys.  Have I had a hectic few weeks!  As most of you know, Country Wedding was on July 14th.  By all accounts, it was a success!  The set up was smooth, the couple loved it, and I made it into my bridesmaid's dress and down the aisle on time.  Best of all, I was surrounded by friends. Beautiful, wonderful, silly, zany friends.  It was literally the best weekend I have had in an immeasurable amount of time.  The only downside was, I keep feeling like I was missing something.  There were photos I didn't take, people I didn't tag, tweets missed, posts left untyped.  The whole time I was enjoying this blissful celebration of love, I found myself feeling guilty.  Guilty for not sharing it with all of you.  Can you believe?!  That got me thinking and asking myself a lot of important questions: When did social media become more important than our social lives?  Are you, my wonderfully loyal and amazingly talented readers entitled to the most precious parts of my life?  Where is the line?

A few of the aforementioned friends in a blurry picture taken in the midst of a belly laugh.

I find I still don't have the answers.  For instance, I did manage to snap this amazing picture of my friends during their first dance as husband as wife.  The lighting, their faces, guests looking on lovingly...le sigh.  As I jumped to post the picture to Instagram, I thought to myself, "Is this really my moment to share?"  I agonized over that little picture, desperately wanting to share with you the gravity and joy of the experience I was having, but ultimately, I decided to save it.  To protect that delicious little morsel from the interwebs.

As a blogger, I know these are not concepts I ponder alone.  I have read numerous posts from smart, accomplished women sharing their dilemmas and offering their advice. I often see myself in their words. There are many schools of thought...all of them valuable.  I have always chosen transparency for Goldiluxe, even when my truth is a bit dark.  I've never once regretted that choice. Maybe I'm feeling like I've opened up a floodgate?  Like now that we've established such honesty, I'm having trouble rebuilding my boundaries? Does that make sense?

 Blooms from my ultra sweet hubby.

I won't bore you with the gory details, but I will say that for me, this summer has been a season of reevaluation. After weeks of feeling guilty, I realized (with the support of some really great friends) that it is okay for me to take a step back, to get my shizz in order and enjoy myself once in awhile.  That I am still a devoted wife, a talented designer and a driven business woman, even if I don't blog everyday.  Even if I'm not tweeting ad nauseum.  Whew!  What a load off, amiright?!

 I want to live my life fully, unbound by the pressures of social media. So what does that mean for this space?  It means that I'll still be honest with you, I still may use a few naughty words here and there, I still may tell you more than you want to know sometimes.  You'll still see all the things you're used to seeing around here.  What this means is that I am giving myself permission to keep some of my moments, my treasures, my life to myself.  To immerse myself in those moments and experiences as they happen.  To enjoy my loved ones when they are standing right in front of me.  I encourage you to do the same.

Tell, me.  How do you cope when the pressures of social media become too much?