And the 2015 Color of the Year is …… (drumroll please)

From the desk of: Amanda

As we get ready to really kick off the wedding season, I thought I’d keep you guys up to date on this season’s popular colors! After last year’s trend of pastels and muted tones, couples are still keeping it somewhat muted, but heading more toward earth tones this time.

The color of the year, according to the color experts over at Pantone, is Marsala. The wine?! That was my first thought, too. Not surprisingly, marsala is in the burgundy family, but it lends more toward a dusty shade, rather than the bold traditional color you’re used to seeing.

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_banner

The executive director of Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman, says “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in
to its embracing warmth.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Not sure what to pair this unique color with? Pantone offers up some suggestions on their page, but here’s a quick look at a couple of my favorites:

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Not feeling the darker colors? No worries. Marsala isn’t the ONLY color this year. Other colors that brides are leaning toward include:

Greens:

green orchid and white rose wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland

Vintage Pink:

pink peony and white calla lily wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland

 

Icy Blue:

blue hydrangea wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Amanda Buckland

 

and the lovely peachy apricot shades that our bride carried last weekend:

peach roses and white mum wedding bouquet

Photo taken by: Sean Purcell

What are some of YOUR favorite wedding color combos?

 

10346305_755492711170075_7337842460254858014_nWant to get to know us a little better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to connect with you!

 

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Local Spotlight – Allder School Berries

From the desk of: Amanda

For my next installment of my Local Spotlight series, I’ve got an utterly fascinating gentleman, Warren Howell. Warren is the owner of Allder School Berry Farm in Purcellville. I had an absolute blast chatting with him. He has so many interesting stories, I have a feeling he could fill book after book with them.

leesburg, roasted peppers, allder school,

Warren has been farming for a very long time. It was a little over 40 years ago that he started his first farm. He used to work as a freelance translator for the World Bank, which left him able to set his own schedule. Warren did all of his farming during the morning and early afternoon, leaving the hotter parts of the day to his translations.

As the years went on, things shifted slightly, and he spent the better part of his time doing something I didn’t even really know existed. Keeping with his love of farming, Warren opened Four Season Farm Services. This was a custom farming business that enabled people to keep their property zoned for agriculture without having to actually do the farming themselves.

Warren has also served with the Agriculture department of the EOC of Loudoun County, but in 2009 he went into “full” retirement. I have to put quotes around “full”, because even though he has left behind the traditional workforce, Warren is anything but retired. He spends his days tending to his glorious berry farm, and working on expanding his crops.

blackberries, local, virginia

It has actually been very difficult for me to grab photos of the berries that Warren grows, since he has such a huge fanbase, he’s typically sold out very early in the Market. Blackberries, blueberries, red raspberries and strawberries are among his most popular items, but last weekend, he started something new, that I suspect as soon as word gets around, will really take off…. roasting peppers.

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Sean and I had the privilege of taking photos of some of the very first peppers to be roasted right at the Farmer’s Market. I sampled one this past Wednesday, and lemme tell ya … they’re AWESOME.

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I definitely suggest stopping by Warren’s booth the next time you head to the Leesburg Farmer’s Market. Not only does he carry a superior product, but you’ll end up with a new friend, as well.

 Ways to keep up with Warren:
Wednesdays – Leesburg Farmer’s Market, from 2:30-6:30 (he is also the Market Manager)
Saturdays – Leesburg Farmer’s Market, from 8am-Noon.
Facebook, Email or Phone (540.338.6412)

Stay tuned for more post about some of the other great vendor’s I’ve met. And remember … SPP is very proud to offer a 10% discount on any of our services to those who support any of the Loudoun Farmer’s Markets.

Want to get to know us a little better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Local Spotlight – Don’s Dahlias

From the desk of: Amanda

My next featured vendor is one I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with for several months now. I also work for a local florist, and Don Dramstad, of Don’s Dahlias, Etc is one of our specialty suppliers.

Before I moved out to VA, I’d been following Don on Instagram, and was completely enthralled with his dahlias. Yeahh .. the photos don’t do them one bit of justice. They are more than just a flower, they’re an experience all unto themselves. Every week, when Don brings in our buckets of blooms, we all gather around and marvel at the brilliant colors, different shapes and sizes, and how incredibly perfect they are. Aug 16 Market-15

When Don made his delivery a few days ago, I spent some time chatting with him about his business. Just like everyone else involved with the Farmer’s Market, he has come a long way. He started growing dahlias 22 years ago, and only had four different varieties. The next year, he moved up to twelve. He gradually increased the size of his Purcellville farm, not only in number of dahlia varieties, but he’s also branched out into other flower types, as well. In recent years, he added hydrangeas, peonies, and what’s called a rose lily (or double lily) to his lineup. The rose lilies are absolutely incredible.Aug 16 Market-17They have the same fragrance and coloring of a standard stargazer lily, but far more petals, giving it an utterly unique look. But, back to the flagship flower. Today, Don and his wife have 525 different varieties of dahlias growing on their land, he has recently been bestowed with an incredible honor. He is flying out to Tacoma, WA next week, to be inaugurated as the President of American Dahlia Society. I always joked that he was a local celebrity, since everyone knows of Don’s Dahlias, and I think it’s really cool that he’s garnering nationwide recognition now, too.

 

His flowers are sought after by florists from New York to North Carolina for wedding work. His flower have even decorated the White House! This is one of the most popular wedding varieties he carries, and it’s one of my personal favorites:

All about Dahlias here!

A post shared by Don's Dahlias, Etc. (@donsdahliasetc) on

 

With all of these honors, and a booming business, I asked Don what his favorite part it all is. His face lit up as he answered, “The flowers”. Good answer, Don. They’re my favorite, too.Aug 16 Market-20You can find Don and his wife every Saturday at the Leesburg Farmer’s Market, but you’d better get there early. He’s been known to sell out in as little as two hours!!

Other ways to keep up with Don: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and His website

Stay tuned for more post about some of the other great vendor’s I’ve met. And remember … SPP is very proud to offer a 10% discount on any of our services to those who support any of the Loudoun Farmer’s Markets.

 

 

Want to get to know us a little    better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to meet you!

Local Spotlight – Noshy

From the desk of: Amanda

Continuing on my quest to introduce to you some of the awesome vendors of the Leesburg Farmer’s Market, next up, I’d like you to meet Julie from Noshy.

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Like Alicia, who I wrote about in my previous post, Julie is just getting going with her business. She proudly informed me that she is now in week 16 of Noshy. And considering that when I went to take photos of her booth last week, she was completely SOLD OUT, I’d say she’s off to a rocking start!

She makes cookies. And who doesn’t like cookies?

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Noshy got its start when Julie left her previous career in search of something new and different. She spent some time in what she called her “pre-retirement” before her friends and family encouraged her to start making money doing what she loved the most … baking.

Aug 20 Market-9Her amazing Gingerbread Butterscotch cookie is the one that started it all (and currently MY personal fave, you can read my review of it on our Facebook page) when her fiancé insisted that she could make a killing selling them. It’s currently her best seller, though several of her other flavors are developing quite a following. There is a gentleman who makes a point to visit her every Wednesday evening for a couple bags of her Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. I’ve had them, and I definitely can’t blame him. They ARE pretty awesome!

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One of the reasons Julie loves Noshy so much is because she likes knowing where her ingredients come from. She keeps it all local buy visiting various farmer’s markets in the area to pick up her supplies for the week. But her favorite part is seeing her customer’s reaction to her cookies. The look that comes across their face as they take their first bite is something she relishes.

Aug 20 Market-12Want to check out these amazing cookies for yourself? Here’s where you can find Julie:

Wednesdays, from 2:30-6:30 – Leesburg Farmer’s Market

The second half of the week, they’re at the East Meets West Yoga Studio

OR, you can order them online (an AWESOME thing for all of our out of area readers) here.

Other ways to connect with Julie: Get Noshy Facebook, TwitterInstagram

Stay tuned for more post about some of the other great vendor’s I’ve met. And remember … SPP is very proud to offer a 10% discount on any of our services to those who support any of the Loudoun Farmer’s Markets.

Want to get to know us a little better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Local Spotlight – Greenheart Granola

From the desk of: Amanda

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about my visit to the Wednesday Farmer’s Market here in Leesburg. I met a bunch of awesome people, and I promised you I’d showcase some of their amazing businesses.

It started out as a community awareness, supporting other local businesses venture, but the more I chatted with everyone, the more intrigued I was by their stories.

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I’m going to kick off this series with Alicia Swanstrom, from Greenheart Granola. Alicia is a delightful young woman who has some incredibly exciting goals set for herself. She is working toward being able to open her own organic café, and I have no doubts that she will achieve her dreams very quickly. She’s always loved being in the kitchen and while at Northwestern, attending grad school, she found great joy in making granola for her friends. Inspired by various events (that you can read about here), she moved back to Northern Virginia to pursue her dreams of opening a café.

She’s been doing this for only a few short months, and is already working on expanding her line. Her granola is her signature item, and has recently added almond milk to her lineup. All of her items are very popular at the markets – by the time I got to chat with her, she only had a few bags of granola left, and she was completely sold out of almond milk!

Aug 13 MarketI’ll include links to her sites, so that you can read more about Alicia and the products she offers. I definitely suggest that you stop by her booth at the Farmer’s Market. Her product is awesome, and her personality is sure to bring a smile to your face.

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Ways to find Alicia:

On the web: her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

In person: Wednesday afternoon, from 2:30-6:30– Leesburg Farmer’s Market

Saturday morning, from 7:00-12:00 – Charlottesville Farmer’s Market

Sunday morning, from 9:00-1:00pm – Cascade’s Sunday Market

Stay tuned for more post about some of the other great vendor’s I’ve met. And remember … SPP is very proud to offer a 10% discount on any of our services to those who support any of the Loudoun Farmer’s Markets.

Want to get to know us a little better?  Facebookers can find us here, Tweeters can find us here, or if you’re a pinner, our boards are here. If you’re looking for more of ME, don’t be shy. you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Amazing Proposal, Vol. 3

It’s been a few months, so I think we’re due for another elaborate public marriage proposal. Right? Right!

This proposal is very creative, fun, and sweet, all at once. I made it all the way to the 4-minute mark, but then I lost it and got a little blubbery. This guy had more than 60 friends and family members help pull this off. Talk about amazing.

Enjoy!

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

The Notebook Themed Engagement Session

from the desk of: Veronica

As you’re already well aware, I have a fondness for themes. Weddings, engagement sessions — you theme it, I’ll probably love it. So it’s no surprise that I was in love with this couple’s reenactment of The Notebook for their engagement photo session. (Note: I’ve never even read the book or seen the movie, but I still squealed with delight when I saw the side-by-side images. They’re that fun.)

Here’s one of the shots from their photographers and a still from the movie:

The Notebook Engagement Photos

Photo credit: Chelsea Gray and Roberto Ugarte of Blushing Bride Studio

Adorable, right?

If you want to see more side-by-side images, you can check out this post on Life & Style online, but if you want to see more of Blushing Bride Studio’s work, head to their website.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.