Diamonds are forever…

Diamond Soiree Birthday Celebration

When one hits a milestone in life….it calls for an appropriate celebration. Ginger and Sugar were lucky to throw a Diamond Soiree for a special birthday party. The Birthday Lady wanted a fancy celebration with good friends…80 of them to be exact. G&S wanted the Guest of Honor to feel like she was worth a million bucks and since diamonds are a girl’s best friend we chose a Diamond Soiree/ Old Hollywood theme.  Here is how we celebrated diamond-style…

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Happy Diamond Soiree Birthday from G&S!

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Diamond Soiree Treats

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Old Hollywood Vanity Dessert Table

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The perfect cakes…

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Diamond Tree Arrangement

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Old Hollywood Perfume Bottles

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Diamond Bar

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Punch and Champagne!

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Diamond Bar

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Diamond Bar Signage

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Diamond curtain

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Candy Cigarettes are a must…

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Every party needs props

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Casablanca playing in the background

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The perfect flower arrangements from Suzi’s Flowers

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A proper corsage for the Birthday Guest of Honor!

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Party Favors full of gourmet Nut and Chocolate mix

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“Diamond’s are a girls best friend, and so is the Birthday Girl” party favor tags!

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Until the next celebration…Cheers from G&S!

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Ginger&Sugar by Paco and Betty

Ginger and Sugar love to go up to San Francisco as much as we can. And there is nothing like having fun in the city and getting your picture taken by amazing photographers. We hung out with Paco and Betty and here is what went down…

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G&S want to thank Jennine from Miss Maes House of Beauty for doing our hair and make-up and for being a successful local woman business owner for 10 years in Santa Cruz, CA.

XOXO,

G&S

Little Man or Little Lady?

Right now we know SO many people who are pregnant! Since we like to party and celebrate all the fun things in life we were thrilled at the chance to throw a gender reveal party for some dear friends.

Gender reveal parties are a wonderful way to share the moment of learning the gender of your bundle of joy with your friends and family. There are endless ideas to personalize a gender reveal party so if you would like us to plan one for you – contact us: styling@gingerandsugar.com,!

We went with a little man or little lady theme with mustaches and bows. We also strayed from a traditional pink or blue and went with a coral, mustard, and grey color scheme. The most fun was opening the box to see which color balloons were going to emerge! Check out all the details!

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Guests took either a mustache or a bow depending on their guess of the gender.

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Each guest also filled out a little card for the baby and parents to be…

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poms in color scheme with bunting and lights

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Drinks to match color scheme and fun grey striped straws to complete the look…

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Goodie bags filled with heart confetti and candies for the guests to take home with them

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Grey pom flower

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Flower arrangement on burlap square as centerpiece on each bistro table

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IT’s A GIRL! Red heart balloons that emerged from the box the parents-to-be opened together!

Love….Where you are!

Sometimes life can be overwhelming and we can get caught up with “things” that we are “supposed” to be doing when we  just need to step back and appreciate all that we have and be ok with where we are at. Yesterday G&S did just that. We decided to chill and take a few snapshots of things we love, where we are!

We love our coffee and being able to hang out and enjoy a cup with friends to catch up.

We love our coffee and being able to hang out and enjoy a cup with friends to catch up.

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We love our beaches here in Santa Cruz! Especially Seabright Beach.

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We are blessed to be able to see this gorgeous scenery on our daily walks (and attempts to run, haha!).

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We love our old hood’s lighthouse!

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Obviously we love more love.

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We love the weird grass (Redwood Ice Plant??) that grows by the ocean.

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yep.

Champagne Dreams

IMG_5232Cava, Champagne, Sparkling wine, we LOVE it all! G & S don’t discriminate!
WE LOVE, love BUBBLES! Which is why one of our “must dos” while in Paris was to visit the Champagne region to learn more about our beloved bubbles!

Verzenay.
Charming hillside village that works together, all of the grapes are grown together without fences.  They believe in peace and unity even today after suffering immensely during the first world war. We stood among the vines for all the heavy hitters (that us Americans are so familiar with) – Louis Roederer (makers of Cristal), Veuve Clicquot, and Moet Chandon (makers of Dom Perignon). Did you know that “Veuve” means widow in French…so don’t just order “veuve” at the bar, the bartenders will laugh. Another interesting fact, many of the heavy hitters are just masters of marketing, which skyrockets the price of champagne. The French do not base their decisions on which bottle to buy based on the marketing, it is all about a personal experience, when they had it first and what memories it brings up. For instance if a bride and groom had a particular brand at their wedding they will drink that brand for the rest of their lives at family events since it brings up special memories. We LOVE that! The most random fact we learned was that the region started using the technique “sexual confusion” to ward off pests rather than using pesticides. Pheromones are chemical signals secreted in minute quantities by insects to communicate with each other. Their survival depends on it, because females use pheromones to indicate when they are ready to mate. Confuse the signals, and you create untold chaos for insects, keeping them away from crops or vines.  Our tour guide found this very interesting and would not stop saying sexual confusion, it was hilarious.

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Jean-Claude Mouzon.
A family owned and run Champagne house where the family works and lives. We learned the in’s and out’s of making champagne and of course got to partake! The owners were so kind and you could see how passionate they were about their champagne. Their lives revolved around champagne, not such a bad job.

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Tattinger.
The last champagne house we visited was a larger, more commercial house Tattinger. The neat thing about Tattinger was the caves under the building. These caves were originally used as chalk mines for the Romans in the early A.D’s and then later used by monks in the 1800’s to store their champagne. Present day Tattinger stores their wine in these caves and shares its rich history with visitors. We weren’t as impressed with their champagne but the history was well worth the visit!

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All in all it was a great day trip and we would highly recommend visiting the area if you are in France!

Santé!

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Ginger’s GOLDEN 30th!


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There is nothing like leaving the 20’s behind and entering into the THIRTIES! it is daunting, exciting, and thrilling all at the same time! THIRTY and THRIVING!

The 20’s was a time of growing, learning about my strengths and weaknesses, opening my eyes to different views and angles…and now as I enter the 30’s with (some) more confidence and maturity than my 20’s…I am excited for what the next 10 years has for me!

Everyone I talk to says that their 30’s were their best years…more confident years…that 30 is the new 20 (well everyone says that about their new decade…haha…anyways)…so I am ready for what is to come!!

SO to enter my fabulous 30s, for my Golden birthday( I turned 30 on Dec 30th) Ginger & Sugar of course had to throw a GOLD-Tastic party!   And here is how it went…

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Ginger and Sugar Golden-Style

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Golden Treats display!

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Bubbles Bar for the J Brand Champagne! yum!

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Golden drink ornaments!

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Chocolate drizzled Berry Skewers with Gold dust

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Chocolate cake with Chocolate Buttercream frosting topped with gold sparkler candles of course!

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Chocolate cupcakes with gold dust!

Party favor: Golden Stallion birthday candle holder!

Party favor: Golden Stallion birthday candle holder!

Barcelona Candy Walkabout

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Here at G&S we LOVE candy! Not only do we enjoy eating candy but we are also inspired by the artistry, creativity, and passion that some confectioners display in their sugary creations. Going to a beautiful or unique candy store is just as fun as going to cute fashion boutique. One thing that G&S likes to do when visiting a new city is to seek out the local candy boutiques. In Spain we were spoiled with two awesome candy stores – both very different and unique from each other.

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The first stop on our Barcelona candy walkabout was Happy Pills.  The store was hallways sized with clean white walls lined with containers of colorful gummies in all shapes and sizes.  The concept was simple; grab a pill bottle to fill with your prescription of candy goodness. Once you have stuffed it with all your goodies you choose a prescription label with fun sayings such as “pink clouds for grey days”, “for a bad hair day”, and “emergency kit”.  The gummies in the store were awesome, adorable tennis balls, fangs, hearts in all sizes and colors, fingers (strange!), fried eggs (super delicious), and puffs. They also had adorable pill packs so you can dole out your daily dose of sugary happiness!

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Take your daily dose of happiness!

Take your daily dose of happiness!

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The second store was PapaBubble. We had the pleasure of first hearing about PapaBubble when we visited NYC. We were delighted to have the opportunity to visit their Barcelona store. PapaBubble is unique as they create their candy masterpieces by using techniques similar to glass blowers. They create the candy before your eyes by cooking, flavoring, coloring, and stretching the candy while you watch. They make items such as colorful lollipops, rings, and hard candy pieces. When the confectioner is rolling the sugar they sometimes add filling inside the roll so that when they cut the pieces it will have designs in them such as hearts or with customized sayings. Wouldn’t the heart candies be adorable to give as a gift on Valentines Day?

Candy artist!

Candy artist!

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Freshly made!

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Vale! Vale! Barcelona!

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Barcelona! A city in Spain like no other. It has the nightlife, the beach, the mountains, the artistic culture, the eclectic food, the architecture, the passion that separates it from all other Spanish cities. It overflows with artistic and passionate creativity. Barcelona captures art and life and awakens you from anything dull or mundane.

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Our highlights…

The food.
There is nothing like food where you can taste the passion and the dedication put into it.  We had tapas to die for and other foods like Tuna Yakisoba that could bring you back to life. Every restaurant we ate at was magical, each place had its own story and detail that made you experience the food in a dynamic way. There is 2D eating and then there is 3D eating.  At Picnic, we chose our appetizer of meats and cheeses off a gingham lined menu as we watched the 2 women chefs at work 2 feet from our table. We drank sparkling Spanish wine and took in every detail. At Elsa y Fred, we were delighted to have a glass of wine, a gourmet hamburger with a potato puree, and fresh fruit or a café all for the price of 12E. Such a deal!  At Ristorante Meneghina we ate bolognese that melted in your mouth and of course Ginger indulged in the homemade tiramisu all by herself.  At Bar Mirilla we switched it up from regular tapas and ordered Tuna Yakisoba and beer! Each place different yet a delight and so enchanting…each dining moment a memory we wouldn’t forget!

Melt in your mouth Bolognese.

Melt in your mouth Bolognese & Tiramisu

Tuna Yakisoba

Tuna Yakisoba

Tapas!

Tapas!

Don't forget about cafe con leche!

Don’t forget about cafe con leche!

The sights.
Where to begin. Um, the cathedrals, wow la catedral! So ornate and like stepping back in time. Our favorite was La iglesia Santa Maria del Mar in the heart of the Gothic quarter. The windy streets of the Gothic Quarter that lead you to tiny boutiques and bars and bombonerias! The parks that feel like you stepped into a fairytale or a music video…which is what we walked into at La Cascada in Parc de Ciutadella! hA! We took in the St. Joseph Boqueria which is almost indescribable…a market with every food imaginable…jellyfish, sea urchins, pig legs, fresh fruit smoothies, chocolate!, walls of candies…..it was sensory overload! We also enjoyed the fountain show at Placa Espanya. Shooting water, music, lights…it took you out of your element…like we were in a dreamland! Even the train stations are worth hanging out in, we hung out and had beers for like 3 hours at the Estacion de Franca. We enjoyed all the sights from sipping espresso in the street cafes to indulging in chocolate samples at an actual Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata). mmm, so good.

La Catedral

La Catedral

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar

Parc de Ciutadella

Parc de Ciutadella

Placa Espanya

Placa Espanya

Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

The Art.
Gaudi, Picasso and everything in between. aahhh the arts and how they make you come alive. Whether it is a walk in Parc Guell or a stroll down Gracia by La Pedrera, just seeing the creativity makes your soul dance.  While strolling through the neighborhood we stayed in, El Born, we saw a local shopkeeper in his studio handcrafting a violin right there. We were truly surrounded by creativity. The pictures you see of La Sagrada Familia in magazines or online don’t do it justice. The fact that the construction has been going on for 89 years after Gaudi’s death is insane. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking. Gaudi wanted the columns to look as if you were amidst the great giant trees in a forest and that effect was achieved. The Picasso Museum was of course amazing. He donated work to the Barcelona museum even when he was alive. A lot of the art was from his younger years and was really cool to see how talented his work was and how diverse his painting scope really was. Barcelona and Art are like peanut butter and jelly – you can have them seperately but nothing else is quite like this combo.

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

Gaudi

Gaudi

Forest inside La Sagrada Familia

Forest inside La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

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Beautiful & dizzying staircase in La Sagrada Familia

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La Sagrada Familia

The experience.
It was Sugar’s first time in Barcelona and it took Ginger 9 years to get back to Barcelona and it was such a treat to take in one of the best cities in the world. We both fell and re-fell in love with a beautiful city. We ended the trip by attending a Flamenco y Opera at the Palau de Musica. It was the perfect way to say farewell, the dancers danced with every ounce of passion they had in their body, the live band bared their souls through their instruments, and the opera singers sung from the very pits of their souls. It gave us goosebumps and made us shed some tears. It was the perfect representation of what Barcelona is all about.

Roof of the Palau de la Musica

Roof of the Palau de la Musica

Day of the Doon…..Stuart Style

Sometimes there are things that you just can’t pass up; a killer dinner party is one of them. Our friend, who is a financial genius by day and a chef extraordinaire by night, had wanted to experiment with some new cooking techniques and presented us with the idea of partnering an eight-course (yes 8!!) meal with wines & champagne. He would provide the food if we would host. Um, YES! We were also lucky that is wife is a wonderful photographer who loves to shoot food, especially food made by her talented hubs.

Chef Stuart

It is our belief that delicious food should be paired with a beautiful setting. Actually, doesn’t it seem that any kind of food always tastes better when you set the table nicely? We were very lucky to be able to use a family members backyard, which was in bloom, and is perfect for events. We didn’t want the table to overpower the food so we used simple white tablecloth and added a splash of color with coral napkins, gold menus, dahlias, and a rad gold candelabra.

Everything the chef prepared was inventive and absolutely delicious. We were in a food coma for a few days after the meal. Everything was amazing and the desserts were out of this world, he carbonated grapefruit (yes carbonated!!) and wrapped them in a citron vodka gelee! Here are some of the other highlights of the meal:

Started off with bubbles of course! 2009 Bonny Doon Sparkling Moscato, Veuve Clicqout, and Schramsburg to wash down our first dish.

Trio of Tomato – one of the tomato items was an essence of tomato gelee wrapped around mozzarella with balsamic caviar

Beef carpaccio with arugula and fried capers

Rabbit with carrot puree and brussel sprout leaves

Sun-choke soup topped with a parmesan crisp!

Good food, good friends, does it get any better?

Ginger & Sugar signing out! XOXO!