Monday, January 28, 2008

Macy's & Me

The upcoming week brings more …Me! As many of you have reminded me with snapshots of the downtown Macy's window, this Saturday (2/2) is the FREE Macy's Bridal Spectacular Event, and I'll be there with Jorge Perez from Waterford, chatting tabletop settings, registry and other such stuff. It's a day-long event for brides or anyone interested in housewares, party planning and decor. Did I mention it's free? So come on down!

Next week I'll be chatting all things bridal on About the Money with Christine Chen on KCTS-TV. That's Channel 9 for those in the 98101, at 7:30 p.m. on 2/11. It's sure to be a very fiscal Valentine's Day special. Tune in and, even better, invite me over to watch it. PBS is the one channel my downtown cable can never tune in and I wouldn't mind seeing my public television debut.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shuck & Swallow

There are two things I have in common with every other healthy American woman: I love to eat and I swoon for firefighters. So it was a no-brainer to agree to take part in the Shuck & Swallow Oyster Challenge at McCormick's Fish House tomorrow (1/24) for my second year in a row. And just to be clear: I like oysters, but I'm a counter, not a schucker, and definitely not a challenger! In the event, local chefs shuck oysters at record speed for iron-stomached firefighters while cheerleaders like me rally my team and count the number of oysters consumed. (Last year my firefighter ate something like 60 oysters in 10 minutes—and he came in, like, 5th. These guys are animals!) Best of all, the whole thing benefits Seattle's Bravest Charity, which provides assistance and scholarships for the families of fallen firefighters. Who doesn't want to support that? Maybe one of these days I'll get a DVR and put some video on this site, but in the meantime, Tivo or tune in to KING 5 Morning News on KONG tomorrow morning to see how it goes down (there's a rumor that they also might run highlights of the event throughout the evening on Northwest Cable News).

You can stop by the Fish House and see the action live and in person at 3:30 p.m., buy a beer, slurp some oysters, and donate toward the cause. It's a good crowd and a fun time whether you're an oysterphile or not: Imagine hoards of hottie firefighters and piping live music by way of The Seattle Firefighter's Pipes & Drums Band throughout the evening—in kilts!

Update! Firefighter Bobo beat his record from last year and swallowed 97 oysters in 10 minutes! But even crazier is what followed: the runner-up (a mere 90 oysters) challenged Bobo to a short challenge: who could eat 20 oysters the fastest—and then went on to eat 20 oysters in 21 seconds! It was mind-blowing and I haven't laughed so hard in ages... Click here can learn more about Seattle's Bravest Charity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Interview on A Full Plate

Writer, editor and busy mom Sarah Jio recently interviewed me and posted the results as a kind of "All About Ali" on her terrific blog, A Full Plate, where she dishes about writing, motherhood and what's for dinner. Sarah writes for top-notch publications, including O, Glamour, Health, SELF, and Fitness, among many others, so it's great to be affiliated with such esteemed company! Check it out at A Full Plate and then take a look at the rest of Sarah's blog. I especially like the food section, although I'm in awe that a woman raising a little one has time to make a gorgeous tray of Meyer lemon souffles, not to mention prune cake along with the rest of her Christmas feast. Who even knew you could buy Meyer lemons in December? Not me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ali at Macy's on February 2!

Well, um, this is kinda cool.
First of all, big thanks go to the creative and talented duo of fashion design students at the Art Institute of Seattle, who came up with the idea of making a dress entirely out of pages and covers of Seattle Bride magazine. (I know this dress is inexplicably sideways on this blog page—sorry 'bout that—but is it fierce or what?!?) I can't believe this gorgeous piece of couture is made of paper. Stop by the downtown Seattle Macy's to check it out for yourself and, come February, be sure to swing by and check out the big event. I'll be giving my own little chat on hot bridal trends and great budget-friendly ideas so you won't want to miss it!
And, as always, big props to the swell marketing team at Seattle Bride for getting exclusive partnering with Macy's!

Best New Vendor at the Wedding Show

Glam by Pam had the most amazing, sparkling, show-stopping booth I saw all day—and all the vendors pulled out all the stops this year! I can't remember if this is her first year at the Wedding Show (she may have had a booth last year) but we featured her for the first time in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue and I just think she is a true artist. The reason I'm only publishing one not-so-great image of her work rather than the dozens I could be publishing is that I want to save some of her new creations for possibly inclusion in upcoming editorial in Seattle Bride!
Pamela Claussen (the Pam in Glam by Pam) has thousands and thousands of vintage baubles, jewels, glassworks and stones in her personal collection, and she is a compulsive creator—she can't stop making headpieces, accessories, and jewelry from her vintage treasures. I especially love her headpieces but the whole booth is pure eye candy…

Adventures in copyrights at the Wedding Show

There are a ton of un-be-lievable dresses I want to take pictures of, but unfortunately some vendors have issues with it. You know, the whole copyright of the design thing. I explained it was just for personal blogging and, honestly, in this age of free information does Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier even have time to worry about their designs being ripped off from a blog? Just imagine lots of feathers and patchwork…
However! La Belle Reve, a newish, impossibly chic boutique had no problem with my snapping their dresses. This one was so lovely and simple: a fresh, flattering updated classic cut made in exquisite ivory-on-ivory rose print. It's by Manuel Moto and I want it for myself and I can't wait to go by the shop again and see what other treasures they're holding.
Those accessories, by the way, are by Glam by Pam, who is the Best New Wedding Vendor of 2007, in my opinion.

while we're talking bouquets...

John at Aria had another great bouquet idea: real cherries in bouquets. Is this red and green bouquet darling or what? I'm guessing these are Rainiers. He said he tried it out for the first time for the show and that they kept really well. I love them. He also had these great tea-stained bouquets I should have taken a picture of but didn't, because I'm officially labeling tea-stained bouquets hot-trend-number-three.

Hot Trend Two

Yellow! We are seriously time-traveling to the 70s, here, people! Brown tuxes are hot and yellow is the It accent color, hands-down. I see yellow bridesmaid dresses, ribbons, stationary, and here, two gorgeous yellow-toned bouquets from Aria Style (who debuted their line of dresses at the Wedding Show!) And, yes, those are kumquats in the bouquet. It all looked so fresh and clever but still classic—and I'm betting it smelled delish! I should have stuck my nose in it!

Seattle Wedding Show, Day Two

So in regards to yesterday's post about tuxedo trends, it's true: Brown tuxedos are the hot thing for grooms! It makes sense, being that chocolate is a big color in weddings (chocolate and robin's egg blue, chocolate and fern green, chocolate and chocolate-chocolate, blahblahblah.) And these styles are really sharp, nothing like the thick, nubby, poo-brown polyester tuxes from the 70s. The brown tux (top) even wore a declaration of cool—The Hottest Tux in Town!—in case you didn't notice the other half-dozen brown tuxes all around the show. The gorgeous striped one (my favorite) is Fubu from Brocklind's; the bottom one is an After 6 Brown Suit, modeled by a natty gent from the Tux Shop. Their booth was right next to the (very loud) fashion show and those poor guys had become seriously punchy from hearing The Righteous Brothers on an endless loop—I told them that punchy was an inevitable and classic wedding show malady!

So I concede that the brown tux is the most surprising trend this year, but in my book, classic black is always a strong contender. Won't these brown tuxedos look dated in five years, the way powder-blue 70s tuxedos do?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Seattle Wedding Show, Day One

Today kicked off the Seattle Wedding Show and despite the fact that the event overlapped with a Seahawks playoff home-game (they won; yay Hawks!), the convention center had an amazing turnout of brides and, yes, grooms (most of whom wore their Hawks jerseys, natch).

I worked the booth with Seattle Bride's fab marketing gal, Elizabeth (see above), and we sold a ton of magazines: Just $3 gets you the brand new issue of Seattle Bride magazine and a copy of the 2008 Seattle Bride Resource Guide—both cost $6 in stores so it's a great deal for Puget Sound–area couples. Everyone seemed excited about the new issue, especially the photography feature and the fashion shoots.

Tomorrow I'll blog from the event and report on the hottest new trends and vendors. Since there's no game to keep the couples away, I think the place will be packed. It's cool to see the hundreds and hundreds of happy couples, of all ages and styles, making their plans toward the altar. I even saw my ex-boyfriend there and his lovely fiancée (nope, no hard feelings; I love them both) reporting that brown(!) tuxes are this year's big wedding trend for grooms. I'll have to look into this further!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Seattle Bride—10 years and counting!

The new Seattle Bride magazine hit newsstands yesterday, celebrating our 10th anniversary! I think it's pretty stunning. You can get a preview here or swing by the Seattle Wedding Show this weekend and get a copy—we're selling them at a big discount only at the show. I'll be there, along with the fabulous Seattle Bride mag team. Come by, say hello and tell us what you think of the new ish!