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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

Friday Finds 6.29.12

June 29th, 2012

You know what my find is today? My bed. It is going to be so comfy later tonight! We are prepping for a wedding here. But not just any wedding… one of our very own got married this afternoon and is holding his reception with his lovely wife here tomorrow. Since he is the one who gets the grounds ready for your picture perfect backgrounds, that fell to me today. So after going non-stop since 10am this morning (not to mention my pre-work ritual at home!), I didn’t have time to post a find today. I am exhausted. And I will be back to do it all over again tomorrow. So with that said, I am sorry for the lack of inspiration, but my brain has officially stopped working for the day.

I hope you all stayed cool today and have some fun plans for the weekend! See you Monday!


Bridal Boot Camp: ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!

June 28th, 2012

Now that it is officially summer, the ring a ding ding of the ice cream trucks are a frequent sound in my neighborhood. They actually have a new tune for this summer – a fun little Caribbean tune! It makes me want ice cream so bad!!!! But in order to behave myself, I try to stay away.

So when I found this recipe, I was INCREDIBLY excited. If I can have my ice cream and eat it too, I will be one happy girl. This month’s issue of Self has a recipe for a homemade Fro Yo with all of my favorite flavors.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana Fro Yo – Serves 4

2 – 6 oz containers of nonfat vanilla Greek Yogurt, divided among ice cube tray sections and frozen

2 small ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and frozen

4 tsp natural peanut butter

4 tsp mini chocolate chips

Cinnamon (optional)

In a blender or food processor, blend yogurt cubes and bananas on high, scraping down sides every minute, until mixture holds together, 3 minutes. Add peanut butter; blend on high until mixture is creamy, like soft-serve ice cream. Stir in chips. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cinnamon, if desired.

When you try, please share your thoughts!!


Tuesday Shoesday, Year in Review

June 26th, 2012

Holy shamoly! I can’t believe it has been a year since I started writing Tuesday Shoesday!! So in order to properly give tribute to all of the amazingly gorgeous shoes, I have created a collage of each and every pair featured. I’ve learned a few things. I post a lot of blue (ish) shoes and I love BHLDN and Jimmy Choo.

Enjoy reminiscing!

Guiseppe Zanotti, Ivanka Trump, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Badgley Mischka, Badgley Mischka, Me Too, Artyce Custom Designs, Vera Wang, Lucchese, Matiko Verita, BHLDN, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, BHLDN, BHLDN, RSVP, Sam Edelman, Paul Smith, Paul Smith, Valentino, Glint, Tieks by Gavrieli, Vera Wang, Tabitha Simmons, DIY Heels, Just Fabulous, Nina, Kate Spade New York, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, H&M, Love Culture, Menbur, Gabrielle Rocha, Paris Hilton, Elle, Mojo Moxy, Jimmy Choo, SM, BHLDN, Asics, BHLDN, Rupert Sanderson, Michael Antonio, Martinez Valero, BHLDN, BHLDN, Jimmy Choo, Guess, Jimmy Choo


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 51

June 19th, 2012

Next week marks one year of shoes. So I will be doing a little something special in remembrance of such a wonderful year… But until then, here are your shoes for the day!

Now, I know you are all like me and want something cute and comfy. So this pair is the perfect blend. Dressy enough to wear out and about, but comfy enough to not have to bring along flip flops or ballet flats.

These sandals from Jimmy Choo are perfect for any event or every day. Oh, another bonus? They are on sale right now :) Enjoy!


Friday Finds 6.15.12

June 15th, 2012

We have recently had a ton of brides coming in saying that a majority of their friends and family will be coming in from out of town. One thing you do not want is to feel responsible for them while there are here. Let’s face it – as much as you want to be a tour guide for them, you will have a lot to do that weekend. After all, you ARE getting married. It’s kind of a big deal.

I love the idea of greeting all your out of town guests with a little treat to make them feel comfortable and give them an idea of what Pittsburgh is all about. Basket of Pittsburgh is an awesome company that can create a ton of different baskets with different themes for any occasion. I love this one in particular.

Called the Steel City Sampler, this one has a bit of everything Pittsburgh to really give them a true taste of Pittsburgh. Pair this with a letter from the two of you listing some of your favorite sights, restaurants (make sure all the Pittsburgh-y restaurants are on there!), a local map and the phone number for a taxi and they will be all set to fend for themselves while you are getting pampered and prepped!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 50

June 12th, 2012

WOW! Craziness!!! 50 pairs of shoes have been posted? With that said, I think it’s something that should be celebrated with a shiny pair of blue pumps!!

Big, Beautiful and Blue. The Guess Hondola pumps are perfect for the funky little bride looking to really show off her personality. I can only imagine the reaction when your guests see these peeking out of your dress. Need another place to wear them? Pairing these with a cute LBD (little black dress) is the perfect way to hit the town for a bachelorette party too!


A fresh perspective…

June 10th, 2012

So every now and then, we like to get a fresh perspective on things here at the Mansion. Our new intern, Jennifer, is the perfect person to do that for us. I asked her to write about her ideal wedding. I love her color choices and the creativity in choosing details. So let’s see what she had to say:

Wow! A wedding at the Mansion. Well let’s start off by saying if I could have my wedding at the Mansion, I would be ecstatic. An ideal wedding would be a late July wedding – just perfect with the warm weather and wonderful summer sunsets. I would plan on having around 150 guests. I would defiantly like to have a maid of honor and 3 other bridesmaids. Though I cannot say who those bridesmaids would be for sure, I know my sister would definitely be one.

My color scheme would be plum, apple green and white. For all of the cocktail tables, I would use a summer color of Iridescent Crush White topped with a Destiny Apple, which would be set up in the Library as well as maybe one or two on the patio. I would use a simple Iridescent Crush White again topped with a Destiny Plum for all of my dessert tables, which would be set up in the Dining Room. As for all my dinner tables in the tent, I would stick with the same colors but different linens. I’d alternate Bengaline Purple Moire with Apple Green Moire.

I would plan to have the DJ in the middle of the tent with dancing right on the pretty stone courtyard. My brother is a DJ so I would hire his company to do music and lighting. I know what they do and I love it! I am not sure what song I would choose as my wedding song as I will wait to choose that with my future groom. But, I know I would love to dance with my father to Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Also a little unusual (but hey it’s MY wedding day), I would love to have a dance with my mother to Kissed by a Rose by Seal. My mother has been playing that with me since I was a little girl.

Now that all my linens and tables are set, I need to think about flowers. I would love to have white traditional daisies with green button poms and some purple tulips. I would love to have these in a vase with small purple stones with water as my center pieces. As for my cocktail tables and dessert tables, I would do something very similar but smaller. (Think a combo of the two pics below!)


Everyone wants to enjoy a delicious meal at a wedding. Big Catering is perfect for providing a delicious and tasty meal. I would choose a sit-down option starting with a Caesar salad followed by a Roasted chicken and Green Lentil Soup. For the entree, guests would have a choice of Filet Mignon or the Park Farms Chicken. My cake would have three layers with a flower on the top. Of course, we will also offer a variety of cookies for the cookie table made by my loving friends and family!!

My escort cards, card box and guest book would be located right inside the front door of the Mansion in the foyer. I think would be really amazing if my card box was a wooden box with ribbon around it. As for the layout of my escort cards, I plan to have them on white paper with apple green and plum writing. I would love something homemade and simple designed by my mom for a guest book. I am not super picky about that!

I would love to add some family photos on the mantels in the library, dining room and living room with white candles in an apple green or plum colored jar. I think these small touches would be so nice for any wedding here!

For my favors, I plan to do a white scented candle with our wedding date on the front of the glass printed in a lime green or purple. The candles will be wrapped in a white tulle tied with a ribbon with a small lime green or purple flower in the center.

This is just the start of my ideal wedding. Let’s just hope my groom is not too picky and will love my ideas! I can’t wait to one day see all this laid out for a wedding day of my own.

And there you have it, folks. Jennifer’s ideal wedding. Hope you enjoyed the new perspective!



Friday Finds 6.8.12

June 9th, 2012

With Memorial Day weekend behind us and the warmer weather sneaking in, it is pretty safe to say that summer is here. Well, not officially. That technically happens in 12 days, but you get where I’m going.

What comes with summer? Picnics, parties, weddings, and ice cream.

I was discussing the wedding menu options with a couple recently and mentioned that they can have a sundae bar as a dessert option. Their faces immediately lit up and I knew I had just found the one thing that would truly make them happy on their wedding day. And why wouldn’t it? Almost everyone loves ice cream. There is something so calming about getting your favorite flavor of ice cream, sitting on a bench and enjoying it on a hot summer evening. There is a great little ice cream shop near my house and I love going there.

So when I found these awesome ice cream bowls, I knew I had to share them. Wouldn’t these be the cutest wedding favors?

Each guest could have their own bowl to fill with ice cream and top with whatever they want! I can’t think of a better way to end your reception!!


Bridal Boot Camp: Why Water?

June 6th, 2012

You have heard it a million times. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Your body is 70% water. Water is healthy for you. Etcetera, etcetera. And like a 4 year old, I want to know WHY?

I briefly touched on this in my 5 Simple Rules for Getting in Shape post. Today, I want to delve into that a bit more. So the first question is:

What does water do in the body?

Well, it does quite a bit actually. Water can dissolve almost anything. It is essential for digestion (because of the molecules that make up water and some other scientific stuff) and also helps to deliver the nutrients from your food to different parts of the body. Think of it as if the nutrients are ships floating to their destination via the Three Rivers (only WAY cleaner). Water also helps maintain your body temperature and is necessary for proper body function. We’ve all heard of the stories about people dying of dehydration. You know how you feel after a particularly indulgent night out at the bar, right? Headache, body aches, tired, dry mouth, nauseous… Now imagine actually dying from these symptoms. That’s what it feels like to die from dehydration. So I’m told.

How much water should I drink in one day?

You’ve probably heard a ton of different equations for how much water to drink in a day, but let’s face it. Everybody is different. Some are short, tall, fat, skinny, athletic, flabby, and the list goes on. Typically, your body will tell you when you need water. Now, if you are more like me, I used to feel like I never got thirsty. Hence why I rarely drank water and probably lived a good portion of my 20s being at least slightly dehydrated every single day. I am sure now, looking back, that is a contributing factor to why I always felt tired and sometimes foggy. I have gotten to a point where I crave water now. Still, there are days when I barely drink any.

So I use this simple rule of thumb to make sure I get enough water daily. Here’s what you do. Take your weight in pounds. Divide it in half. That number is how many ounces of water you should consume in one day. For example, let’s say you are 140 pounds. Half of that is 70, so you would want to drink at least 70 ounces of water per day. Invest in a good BPA free water bottle that has at least a 20 ounce capacity. Fill it up in the morning as you get ready for work and drink it before/with breakfast. When it’s gone, fill it up again and drink it before lunch. Fill it up a third time with lunch and drink it before dinner. With or after dinner, drink one more bottle. Yes, I know that is 80 ounces of water, but you can always round up! Plus, if you are doing a hard workout every day, you need to replace the water that you lose sweating during the workout! And if you aren’t sweating when you are working out, then we have another issue.

Don’t like water?

Me neither. So I dress it up. Rarely, do I drink plain water. I buy fresh lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, mint and keep it on hand. I slice them up before hand so I can just toss one in and go every morning. I usually only need to use one lemon slice for my entire day. Sometimes , I’ll add another slice after lunch. The point is that you should add these things to make water more appealing. A slice of orange and some mint… heaven!

While they do sell flavored water, sometimes these are not the best options. Take a look at the nutritional value on the back. If there are any artificial flavors or sweeteners in it, it isn’t “water” anymore. It should not have a high sugar or sodium content. Besides, it is just as cheap to buy fresh fruit for your water as it is to buy these flavored bottled water, if not cheaper. A whole lemon is $.79 for Pete’s sake and I space that out for at least 4 days!!

And the million dollar question – How can water help me lose weight?

Besides all of the stuff I mentioned above, water is pretty awesome because it can help you lose weight. Did you know that many people mistake thirst for hunger? Have you ever finished a meal and then a half hour later realized you are hungry again? You probably aren’t hungry. You’re probably thirsty. I KNOW this was a main cause for my weight gain originally because I never drank enough water.

Water will help to flush out the toxins and other bad stuff, quite literally. That is one unfortunate thing about increasing your water intake. You will be in the bathroom more, but once your body adjusts to the increased fluid, you will go less.

Water is going to make you feel full longer. Please do not mistake what I am saying. You should NOT replace food with water. But if you have planned out your meals and are eating properly and are still hungry, you should try drinking more water first. Then if you find you are still hungry 30 minutes later, you should eat more.

Ultimately, you need to learn to listen to you body. There isn’t some easy formula to follow that will help you get fit. You will play around with your diet, exercise and lifestyle to find out what works. One thing that is consistent is water. You NEED water. To lose weight. To feel good. To get healthy. To live.

All the facts from this blog were found in The Eat-Clean Diet: Recharged by Tosca Reno. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is really serious about getting healthy!!!


Tuesday Shoesday, Edition 49

June 5th, 2012

Can we PLEASE talk about these?!?! I am in love with these Jimmy Choo sandals!!!


The contrasting colors make a statement on their own, but adding the texture of the feathers and crystals make them undeniably gorgeous! I NEED these!!!