December 31, 2009 I come!

I'm leaving 2009 in the dust, and welcoming 2010 with open arms! Lots of great things happening...and all because I've chosen to follow passion/love/art/home! Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2010!
Photo by Aaron Shintaku, flowers by JL Designs

December 29, 2009

heirloom shoes to-die-for!

I was recently turned on to a shoe company called Omelle (pronounced ähm' elle) by my new boss, and I have been oggling over their website all morning. Cherise Angelle and Nicole LaFav create the most amazing shoes with the most unique designs...mixing modern and antique elements to create one-of-a-kind, heirloom footwear. Check out some of my favorites:

mirror mirror, on the wall...

How Glamorous! I would like this amazing mirror from Wisteria in my home, please...stat. Wouldn't this make an amazing focal point in an entry hall or dining room? Stunning.

December 28, 2009

3 more days until the big 3-0

The holidays have come and gone, and yet again I find myself wondering how time can move so quickly. In three short days I turn 30...and another decade of my life will begin. Where have these last ten years gone? What have I accomplished? A master's degree...a couple amazing pupster Frankie...three trips to Europe; some truly great things have happened. Which makes me reflect why I still feel unsettled and anxious and want more from my life: more freedom, more time doing the things I love, more time with the PEOPLE I love. As the big move gets closer, I've really started to feel that I have an obligation to dedicate the next ten years to do more of the things I love, and less of the things I think people would love for me to do. My hope and belief is that next December I can say I am in the wedding and event design business....that I'm writing, and traveling, and enjoying time with friends. I will be in a new amazing place of my own, have a successful line of design products, and feel happy & healthy in all aspects of my life.

The picture below was taken by my friend Stacey who spent the last two months in Europe as the pre-empt to a career change and new's an amazing shot, one I know I will share one day with my husband on our honeymoon! I hope it will remind you (as much as it does me) to always follow your heart!
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! May you challenge yourself to live your dreams now, and become the person you want to be. :) See you in 2010!

December 22, 2009

i want these! Cheers again to

a day in the life of the Power of Intention

When I made the decision to quite my job and pursue a wedding life full-time, I really had no idea what I was doing. I mean...crazy, right?! At least my family thought (and probably still thinks) so. The only thing keeping me on this journey is the feeling I get when I close my eyes and imagine my life as a dream....the dream where I have the freedom to work creatively, in a free-flexible life, in a field I love. The feeling of that life, no matter how far off, is palpable when I'm in vision mode. I can only know and have faith that things are paying off! I mean...yesterday I got offered an internship/contracting opportunity with one of my favorite designers in Santa Barbara where I'll get to help grow a business, learn the things I don't know I don't know, and write & design! Then, my friend and I have decided on an amazing concept for a line of great wedding products. And finally, I have 2 trunk shows scheduled for Stella and Dot in January! Everything is coming together...and feels the same now as it does in my "future" life. Bottom line? Don't settle, and trust that everything will fall into place as you've dreamt it. Kiss the Groom couldn't have said it any better...just as in love, life can be anything you want it to be:

December 19, 2009


yes, I KNOW! It's been forever and a day since my last post. But, I promise it's been crazy enough to warrant a little vacation from my favorite topic in the world: wedding design. Thanks Halli for the swift kick in the pants. and...[drum roll], I'm bacK! and...[steel drum roll], I'm on a major holiday VACAY! so, as many of you know, vacation for me, means wedding bliss for you.

Speaking of...I'll be wedding blogging/design scoping and styleboard creating for a couple friends weddings, plus a million little tasks to prepare for the big move back down to Los Angeles...oye! Oh yeah, and did I mention that I have an awesome interview with one of my favorite planners for a possible part-time administrative position with her company in Santa Barbara? Yipee!! Is it no surprise then that this single gal is holed up at her parents house, doing laundry and watching a little Sex and the City before catching some much needed beauty sleep?

Sweet "wedding" dreams everyone! [I mean, who wouldn't on this dream bed I found on flickr!]

December 4, 2009

anthropologie does it again

As I alluded to earier...this week has been a tough week. Work has been intense, and all I want to do when I get home is drink a glass of wine and watch my Netflix. To top it off, the stress of the holiay financial weighed in, and the wedding inspiration sort of took it's own vacation this week. That is...of course...until Anthropologie came to the rescue.

For those of you who don't know, my birthday is in December...and this year I'm turning the big 3-0 (that's 3-0, on the 3-0!...golden birthday, here we come). On what was turning out to be a very down day early this week, I went to the post-office in my normal routine, and was blown away by a pre-birthday card/15% off coupon from Anthropologie. And...unlike most corporate cards, this one blew me out of the water! I mean...birthday candle necklace on perforated letterpress? To die-for! I am soo in love with this amazing store. Be prepared to be blown away too:

a modern Thanksgiving

So, one of my besties Halli, up in Seattle, happens to be this amazing designer...& often times I'm lucky enough to get sent some of her genious work. These photos of her own personal Thanksgiving tablescape truly exude her modern and contemporary style. From large typefaced dishware, to the guinea feather/wishbone napkin decor...I can only imagine the artistic and yummy food that joined the table later. Fantastical!

day-to-day reality

sOOO, in the day-to-day reality of a work life after Thanksgiving vacation, posting on the things I love have taken a back seat. I have so many fantastic inspirations to report on so please stay tuned. Until then, here's a cup of 'my favorite' from Open Salon to tied us all over:

November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving!

I'm in LA, and enjoying the holiday with family and friends...but not without spending a lot of my free time reading blogs, and getting inspired. I've always loved the idea of a family style dinner for weddings, simply because it evokes the warmth and family spirit of my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. I mean, how can you not love reception tablescapes that mimic the gorgeousness of a holiday table? Here's a few of my favorites:
This table, from BellPepper's in Nashville evokes a sense of country-chic. With mis-matched table, chair & cookware, fall colored tablecloth and wild berries and celery stalks in antique!
Modern meets holiday with this next spread from Fine Living. The warmth of modern glassware and cutlery, the simple clean lines...gorgeous. All that's missing is the merriment.
Love love love this next one by Savvy Houskeeping! This amazing centerpiece vase filled with pheasant feathers compliments the plum colored pattern of the dishware. With the white table base and warm golden color of the wood chairs, who wouldn't want to share a meal and give thanks!

Have a fantastic gobble gobble day everyone! Here's to you, your support and the gorgeous inspiration you provide to my life everyday :)

November 24, 2009

another dark day for wedding publications

As if modern and elegant bride weren't enough, another major magazine publication will be shutting its glossy pages for good: InStyle Weddings! Who would have thunk? One of the industry's premiere quarterlys...InStyle Weddings has been one of the biggest influences in my wedding design obsession over the years. The arrival of the magazine alone can turn even the most excrutiating of days into pure bliss...and many a boyfriend have been kicked-out of the apartment for the better morning of hot coffee, scone and Instyle Weddings flipping. I don't know where this closing of wedding icons plans to end...but pretty soon I'll have nothing left to touch and cut and glue. What's next...Martha Stewart? Ugg. This news makes this wait in the dentists office soo much worse, which was something I never thought possible. Thanks economy...I wish someone would close your doors!

cranberries, gold & chocolate brown

Lots of amazing things out on the blogs this morning...and just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Cranberry and Chocolate was all the talk this morning on Martha Stewart, and Style Me Pretty covered an amazing highlight reel of Bridal Fashion week 2009. One dress in particular from Amsale caught my eye...partly due to the gorgeous pop of cranberry colored lipstick of the model. It was an amazing compliment to ruched florals in the mermaid skirt of this amazing dress. As you can imagine...I immediately went into an inspirational tail spin!

November 22, 2009

sunday munday[ne]

Sunday always brings the's a battle to stay focused on the passion when you're worried about just how it's all going to come together. Sunday's are particularly hard when your single, and when you live on your own. It's the "family" night...and when your away from your family, and/or are a unit of 1, it's hard to ignore the fear when there's no one here to hold your hand and tell your doubt that it's crazy.

Then of course comes the thought that I am yet again in transition...and I hate being in transition. I'm not 100% connected at my current job, yet I'm still unsure of where my passions for weddings will take me. I don't just want to be a planner or photographer or writer...I want to be engrossed in it all. In an effort to make something happen, I'm reaching my arms and interests out in all directions of the industry, and sticking to those things that truly inspire my passion. But..I'm not quite sure if it's working or how it will turn out. And on Sunday's (especially this Sunday), that's a hard pill to swallow. I wish there was someone here...someone strong and loving, who would hold my hand and tell me everything is going to work out perfectly.

November 20, 2009


I'm all of a sudden obsessed with gloves....It's the cold, foggy, rainy Northern California weather that's surely making me nostaligic. Of course, I found a whole bunch of adorable gloves as I went to my inspirational savior, I've been on the quest ever since looking for this season's ultimate warm accessory. What a great gift for fall/winter wedding bridesmaids! Here are some of my favorites:

to maid or not to maid...that is the question

So I have to say that one of my pet peeves when it comes to friends/family getting married is when you're TOLD you're going to be a bridesmaid, and never asked. To me, there's nothing more honorable than standing by someone you love as they take one of the biggest steps of their life, and I've had the pleasure of doing just that on quite a few occasions (okay...not 27 like Katherine Heigl...but for a good 8 or so of my besties!). I always oblige and say yes (or go along if I'm not asked), simply because I love my friends and I'm obsessed with weddings, but I do believe a bride has the responsibility of asking her bridesmaids. After all, while we don't mind spending time/money on those we love...the fact is, we're still spending time & money. Asking should be required! But, while asking adheres to all things proper...asking your bMaids can also be fun & might just spark some creative DIY inspiration for the upcoming wedding.

Looking through the blogs this am, I found this amazing and touching way a bride can ask her crew to be by her side. Check out these great invitations by Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day!:

Here are few other creative and DIY ideas that I love:
  • Ask them in a customized fortune, such as the ones found in these fortune cookie favors at
  • Invite your future bridesmaids to lunch, and place a different individual flower at each setting. Attach a note, with: "Will you carry this special flower down the aisle as my bridesmaid?"
  • Plan a girl's movie night to watch My Best Friends Wedding, and give everyone a small bag of carmel corn with a tag that reads: "The best view in the house, is the view by my side: Will you be my bridesmaid?"
  • Send a personalized candle, with the phrase "Be my bMaid?". Find these amazing candles at
  • Nothing says warmth like a pair of gloves. Gift each of your bMaids a different pair of gloves with a handwritten note that read: "Will you hold my hand on my special day and be one of my bridesmaids?". Check out for their amazing collection!
  • Send a cd with songs that are special to the two of you, with a cover or tag that pops the big B-maid question.
  • Antique keys are rare, and inspire visions of secret gardens & locked doors. Send each of your bMaids a different key, reminding them that you need their keys to your sole, by your side on the big day.
  • Buy a two picture, picture frame. Place your favorite photo of the two of you on one side, and a note in the glass on the other with a message that says: "Reserved for future bride/bridesmaid picture. Will you be my bMaid?"

November 19, 2009

my latest SMP Invitation Challenge entry

My favorite blog is at it again...the 4th Style Me Pretty Inspiration Challenge has been posted, and I've decided to enter once again. My great-grandmother has been on my mind a lot lately, and when I saw this gorgeous ring below on a rose garden print tablecloth, I was immediately inspired to do a board that represented the two things I think of most when times get stressful: my great-grandmother's rose garden...&... the ocean. The pink, yellow, & coral elements blend effortlessly together and create an almost whimsical backdrop that would compliment any wedding celebration by the sea.

November 17, 2009

ugg...not having internet at home...stinks!

So000, I live in a cute little 600 sq. foot studio above someones personal garage. It was one of those amazing finds that defies possibility in Sonoma County....granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, crown molding, wood floors...FIREPLACE...+ utilities for $975. It's been amazing over the last year...except for one very MINOR problem: NO INTERNET!

For someone trying to start a business, research...and's nearly impossible to do anything except on the weekend at coffee shops and friends' houses. It's soo frustrating, especially when I've seen a picture online or had a conversation with a friend at work that sparks a little inspiration. I mean, how many nights a week can a stay late at work and pull-out my laptop? Especially when I have the most adorable Boston Terrier at home waiting for a walk and dinner! UGG!

Counting down the days till the big move.....

my love affair with lace

I have a love affair with Lace...the beautiful fabric that seems to be either sorely OUT, or majorly IN!

I'm confident that a huge part of my obsession stems from my great-grandmother, whose everyday kitchen table was covered with a gorgeous cream colored french lace tablecloth. I LOVED this tablecloth! And..more importantly, I loved all of the deep conversations we had & all the games of checkers she would win [ :) ],while we sat together at that gorgeous table covered in lace.

On a personal level, my great-grandmother has been the biggest inspiration in my life...not necessarily because she always got it right, but because when she got it wrong, she grew from the experience and became a better person. She taught me so much...she was the kind of woman who fought for independence, owned her own home at a time when that wasn't necessarily acceptable, and gave voice to the challenges and mistakes that she made along the way. She wasn't the best mother, but was a fantastic grandmother, and an even more amazing great-grandmother, proving that learning to love gets better with time.

My great-grandmother was also the woman who consistently reminded me of the personal power of choice: "If you want to do something, just do it! Don't wish, don't whine, just do it!" She must have taught the same lesson to my mother, who has always pushed me to pursue my dreams and to choose to do the things that make me happy.

When I think of my own wedding day, and what I will wear, it's always been about lace. And...the Melissa Sweet Hallie dress:

The intricate design and floral undertones remind me so much of my great-grandmother. It's been years since her passing, but I know that wearing this dress would instantly bring me right back to her side, sitting at that gorgeous table, playing a game of checkers and talking about all things life. It's amazing how a simple piece of fabric can provide such inspiration...truly, fabric is at the very core one of many "inspirational time-machine[s]" that can take us back to those we've cherished and loved.

Lace will always be my ultimate "inspirational time-machine". I'm curious...what brings you back?

November 12, 2009

connections, connections....connections

So...the more and more I continue to share the news on my career change, the more and more people/place/things seem to be connecting my way. Recently, an old high school friend got in contact with me to chat about all things life, and to plan our once-postponed trip to Mexico (darn Swine Flu!) I hadn't seen or talked with her in months, so she had no idea I was about to embark on a gigantic life change. Despite this, however, it wasn't really a huge surprise to her that I would want to become a wedding planner...After all, she was the one who gave me my first big break by recommending I be the day-of coordinator for her sister's wedding (For that, I will always be indebted to you Doreenie!). if it's her life mission to make my dreams possible, she yet again recommended that I contact a friend from high school, who lives near our home town and owns her own wedding planning business. So exciting! Not that anything job-wise is guaranteed to develop from this...but, at the very least, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to gain some insight into a wedding planner's journey, from a person that I know and respect. Thanks Doreen!

November 10, 2009


AS IF the day wasn't big enough...this morning I also received my first rejection email! My current focus as I'm preparing for moving down to Los Angeles is in researching the industry by contacting planners and wedding design consultants for informational interviews (I'm also asking if they offer internships/apprenticeships). Having travelled almost every weekend this month, and dealing with some all-to-frequent late nights at campus, I've only sent about 10 emails thus far (mostly to planners/designers that I either know or have a connection with). ALL of these companies are also recommended as vendors on some of my favorite and most respected blogs: Style Me Pretty and Junebug Weddings. To date...I've only heard replies from 2, one of which was this morning's "no thank you" reply.

Rejection emails are NEVER easy...but so far on this journey, I've been able to step away from the rejection and toward the possibility. For whatever reason, this company was not a good fit. But...there IS a designer/planner/company out there that WILL be a good fit. The world is abundant, love endures, and people get married everyday. As I tell my sorority women now, when they fear competition during formal recruitment from the local groups...there's a fit and a place for everyone!

it's a BIG day

Lots of big things are happening today, starting with the morning trip I took to the post office. In an attempt to earn some extra cash, and some free jewelry, I recently signed up to start selling Stella & Dot jewelry. I have to say that I've never been a fan of in-home selling, but the moment I saw these gorgeous pieces at a Trunk Show, I was instantly hooked. Each piece is a stunning example of quality costume jewelry, made from a company founded by two women entrepreuners from the bay area with a passion for practicality and style. I absolutely adore this company and this jewelry, and today, my first major shipment of sample pieces arrived in the mail! I decided to wear a couple sample pieces today to work...and I've been all smiles since. Check out some of my favorite pieces:

In addition to the is the day that I officially submit my resignation for January. Kinda Scared...not gonna lie...NO turning back at this point. I am officially putting out notice to the universe that I am choosing to follow my BIG DREAMS & work in a career that feels less like work, and more like a passion-filled hobby. Thankfully, through some great blog posts and a quick trip to, I'm staying in the flow and continue to feel blissfully happy, despite the magnitutde of the day. go BIG DREAMS!

November 9, 2009

love of all things BD!

Like Holly Golightly in Breakfast and Tiffany's, whenever the stress and fear of the what-ifs, hows, and whens start to creep in, I turn to my good friend Anthropologie. There's just something about the whimsy of this store that keeps all those burning questions of doubt from taking over my desire to turn vision into reality. I can go from "design-block" to "inspiration" in mere minutes, and with the help of, can find my bearings at any time of the day, no matter where I am.

Lately, I've been second-guessing how I'm going to sustain the financial resources to keep me going once the permanent paycheck runs out. The feeling that creeps in is palpable, and I come close each time to giving up. Today, I'm flying back to California after a short trip to Indiana to visit friends for a bridal shower. It's been so great to see my girlfriends from graduate school...but for most of the weekend, despite their unwavering arms of support, I've felt as if my decision to leave this career in student affairs is foolish. My friends...these amazing women who continue to accomplish so much in their respective departments/divisions of college life, are well on their way to becoming Directors and Dean's. By leaving and starting a new career, am I completely crazy to be starting over? At 29, it feels slightly foolish to do that.

Wanting to run-away and give up yet again, I turned to Anthropologie. And in just five minutes I'd found my inspiration...the bridesmaid dress. I'm not the hugest fan of the cookie-cutter bridesmaid, and prefer the color palette approach to the more traditional matching dress. Lately, I've been drawn to black and grey...partly due to the approach of winter, and partly due to the unlimited possibility to accessorize that a blank black or grey canvas brings to the bridal party. Here's a few of my favorites:

At the end of the day, I've got to believe that all this inspiration is a sign of something bigger than me...that when all is said and done, this is what I'm supposed to do! Would love to know what you guys do to stay inspired/motivated to keep going despite the odds...

inspiration in everything

I'm sitting in the lobby of my graduate school student union, listening to music and perusing the wedding blogs while I wait for my shuttle to the airport. One of my favorites...snippet & ink...recently posted a link to the blog Royal Apothetic. In it, Paulo Pinto took a picture and Jarbas Angelli chose to create music from the simplist of inspirations: Birds on a telephone wire. Without altering their placement, he replaced birds for notes, and WALA!...beautiful music. To me, it's just another indication that inspiration exists from someplace far beyond our comprehension...and that life is much more connected than we know. Check this out:

November 5, 2009

My latest inspiraton!

While I've always relished in the beauty of wedding photography, I never took the opportunity to create my own wedding inspirations until recently. In fact...I had never even heard of an inspiration board until 6 months ago, despite the fact that I've been creating collages from magazines the majority of my life. Thanks to some amazing designer friends (Guac xoxo), I'm getting great design advice, and developing an eye for styles/looks that I never thought possible. Here's my latest...created using a program from one of my favorite favorite FAVORITE blogs, StyleMePretty. Planned by one of my favorites, love and splendor, and held at the gorgeous 3 Stones in Napa, the majority of the pictures involved convey everything I love about weddings...passion, the incoporation of elements from nature, & absolutely gorgeous style! Let me know what you think:

October 30, 2009

Dad's on board

When your planning to leave your job and follow your dreams (with no idea as to the specifics or how it's all going to come together), telling your Dad becomes the most daunting task of the process. My father (an amazing man) just retired from his job at the same company he's been working for since July 1, 1970 (dad: "39 years & 16 days...but who's counting?!"). Both my parents, for that matter, have worked at the same job for 30+ years, and plan to retire and live out their glory days in the same house I grew up in....which we moved to at the ripe age of 4. Both relish in the dependability and comfort of the tradition and status quo, and grew up in a generation where all your major life decisions were made by the age of 24.

I've been dreading having the "follow my dreams" discussion with my parents, but more specifically my Dad. My Dad is simple man, who believes in hard work, an honest man's pay, and practical living. We've been at odds over the years for some of MY life choices, simply because many of them included moving, trying something new...and leaving a job/apartment/salary that was, in my father's eyes, honest and practical. I've moved 20 times since 1998, and this upcoming move will add another notch to that belt. After my last adventure of moving across the country and back, I'm sure he'd hoped that was done moving...forever!

At the end of the day, I think his change of heart came more from his own happiness from recent events, than a true desire to actually understand me. But...whatever it is...retirement, the new puppy my parents adopted...their upcoming trip to South America...or the fact that he believes in the choice I've made, I'll take it! Especially when, at the end of the day, you have your father sitting across from you with the biggest smile and wide, open-arms of support!

October 27, 2009

In the beginning...


“In this economy, you should be thanking your lucky stars you have a job…that you get a paycheck. Not everyone is soo lucky.”



November, 2009, in one of the worst economic periods our country (and even world) have ever experienced, I have decided to take on a challenge that many have said is stupid, crazy, and down-right INSANE! At the end of January, I Cynthia Beard I will leave my job in higher education, working with fraternities/sororoties, student organizations and leadership…to pursue my dreams with a career in the wedding industry. Since making such an enormous decision, I've experienced a myriad of emotions that seem to come and go at will, without any regard for my strong desire or passion in making this work. Some moments I've felt as if I’ve made the best decision of my life…pursuing a passion that’s been the cornerstone of my creative existence since I was 5 years old (I remember buying bridal magazines as soon as I was old enough to ask, and even then getting crazy looks from my parents, who were probably wondering what the heck a tiny 5 year would want with a 300 page bridal magazine).

Other moments, my insides are screaming…. “CRAZY!!!“ ….along with everybody else.

But…the journey WILL begin, and my job WILL be left. And, in an attempt to lasso in the universe for support, my journey WILL be shared here.

At the end of the day, we are forced to look ourselves in the mirror and answer to the choices we make day-in & day-out. This choice…the choice to pursue my dreams…becomes, at the end of THIS day, not so much a choice…but a solid answer to the utlimate question from the mirror: “What would you attempt to do today, if you knew you COULD NOT FAIL?” :