Written by: Tami

A Bat Mitzvah is a thirteen year old girl’s right of passage in the Jewish faith and definitely something kids of this age look forward to for a very long time. They study and prepare to read from the Torah in front of all of their friends. It is a day they will always remember usually followed by a party to celebrate this huge accomplishment. When Olivia and her family contacted us about being a part of this special event, we were so excited. Especially since we thoroughly enjoyed working with this family last year on their older daughter Lily’s Bat Mitzvah (as seen on our previous posts: Vintage Bat Mitzvah Luncheon and Vintage Raceway Bat Mitzvah Party). When I recently got the photos back from this event, I was even more excited! There were so many awesome ones to choose from. I decided to break this post into two parts and will be featuring the decor details from Olivia’s Vintage Disneyland Bat Mitzvah party on Wednesday. For now, please enjoy as I take you on a “ride” through the event itself and all that it entailed …

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Lauren and I have been extremely lucky to know this gorgeous girl since she was born thirteen years ago. Today, we recognize Olivia’s accomplishments as a Bat Mitzvah.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

She did an amazing job preparing for this day. She spoke eloquently and read from the Torah like an old pro.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

We know her family could not be more proud!

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Just like her older sister, Olivia had many ideas for how this day would go. She opted for a traditional party in a hotel ballroom with dinner, dancing, and lots of Disney details.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

A quick wardrobe change after the ceremony and her family was ready to party! These photos are just a few of my favorites by Karen Ard of Karen Ard Photography … and could you get a more photogenic family?

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Guests arrived and enjoyed appetizers at Olivia’s cocktail hour. The Hyatt Regency Westlake truly pulled out all of the stops with their menu for the night.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Each of Olivia’s family and friends were then prompted to grab their Disneyland Fast Pass seating card and write a note for the Bat Mitzvah girl.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Olivia was very vocal about wanting a henna tattoo artist at her party. She visited several times and so did all of her friends.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Pops of color made this space feel very Disney-esque. We added in some vintage touches, manicured flower arrangements, and classic movie posters to finish off the look.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

When guests entered the reception, they were immediately brought onto the dance floor for an extra long and energetic Hora. Olivia may not have felt comfortable up in the chair …

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

… but her dad sure did! In fact, I have never seen anyone surf a Hora chair quite like this!

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Before beginning the meal, Olivia invited her grandmother up to say the blessing over the challah.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Another first … throwing pieces of bread out into the crowd. It takes a very special type of family to get this into their Jewish traditions!

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Dinner was served buffet style. It consisted of a variety of Italian options including pastas, salmon, delicious vegetables, and large green salads.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

A photo booth was set up with lots of Disney inspired props and a pastel tissue paper background. Olivia’s friends loved taking home these small Polaroids as a memento.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Speeches were made by Olivia’s parents followed by an adorable video montage filled with photos of her life, friends, and family.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Father and daughter shared a special dance …

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

… Before everyone else was on their feet dancing again! We were extremely impressed with Sean and his team of DJ’s and Dancers from H2H The Perfect Element who kept the party going full steam ahead the entire time.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

A candle lighting ceremony is a time to honor all those in your life who have made you who you are. Olivia welcomed up thirteen groups of friends and family and then blew out all of her candles (including one for good luck).

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

Uncle Adam came up to help cut the cake and received some in the face from his brother, Ean. Not sure I have ever seen a more perfect theme cake than this one by Auntie Mia Cakes.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

An ice cream bar was set up for the kids …

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

… as well as a sweet and salty Disneyland  inspired concession stand.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

One of the best parts of the night was when all of the lights were turned out at the very end for what the DJ calls “Neon Fantasy Prime”. The kids were given a multitude of LED party favors to wear and dance with, and everyone got down to the funky beats.

View More: http://karenard.pass.us/okleiger

As Olivia’s former teacher (a story for another time), I feel so blessed to have been a part of this special girl’s day! It especially meant so much to both Lauren and I because not only have we known Olivia since she was born, but her grandmother is like a second mom to us, and her mom was our babysitter and someone we still look up to to this day. We even watched her and her sister a time or two. We are so proud of this beautiful and poised young lady! Of course, we couldn’t have done this all alone. Olivia and her parents were extremely involved in the planning, purchasing, and creating processes. The following vendors also left their special mark on this day. Thank you to Angela for enhancing all of the girls’ outer beauty, the staff at the Hyatt Regency Westlake for setting up the room to perfection and for their delicious food, Maria Barker for the stunning cake, Kayla at House of Magnolias for once again hitting it out of the (theme) park, Dreams America Linens for providing chair covers and organza bows that completely transformed the look of the room, another shout out to our DJ / Emcee / Everything Sean from H2H The Perfect Element, Vita Perfetta for their creative styling in henna tattoos, and Karen Ard Photography for capturing every last detail. This entire team could not have been more top notch!

All photos taken by Karen Ard Photography.


By taking one of the looks from this month’s Get Inspired boards, we are providing our readers with further information for where to purchase similar items with a range of price points (from super affordable to fancy and one of a kind).

august 3

This month has been all about the wedding preparations for us. Which is why it was super important to take a break and relax on our Bachelorette vacay! In our Get Inspired: August post, Lauren mentioned her slogan for the month … Along with this month’s T-shirt inspiration, we have prepared a list of five interior items and five items you can use in your own events in this month’s colors (gray and gold). We have also included a link for each item for your convenience in obtaining them. Enjoy!

Interior Items

august 4

1. Bertoia Diamond Chair – Knoll – $1,175

august 5

2. Natural Tree Stump Side Table – West Elm – on sale for $199

august 6

3. Faux Leather White Pouf – The Land of Nod – $79

august 7

4, Handmade Macrame Wall Hanging – Etsy (CreativeChicShop) – $49.99

august 8

5. Cowhide Rug / Toffee – Room & Board – $699

Event Items

august 9

1. MOH Gettin’Shit Done American Apparel Triblend Racerback Tank Top – Etsy (PerfShirts) – $20.50

august 10

2. Party Paper Napkins, 6.5″ 20 Pieces / Striped Gold – Just Artifacts – on sale for $3.48

august 11

3. Schott Zweisel Pure 4-Piece Champagne Flute Set – Pier 1 Imports – $51.80

august 12

4. Vanilla Square Box – Paper Source – $3.95 for small $5.95 for medium

august 13

5. Traditional Manilla Hang Tags – Paper Source – $3.95

This August, there’s more to gold than just in Olympic medals! Pair it with gray and you have a killer combo for the end of Summer … and don’t forget to “Get. Shit. Done”!

We love working Side by Side with all of our vendors. This post contains affiliate links, but the opinions are our own.


Written by: Lauren

It feels like the end of an era, as I have been working on this Tuscan Elegance home for over ten years now. It has been a great ride with lots of interesting design challenges along the way. The house is sold and the new owners will be moving in shortly, but I will always have fond memories and I know my clients will too. In preparation of putting the house on the market for sale, there was one last detail that needed to be done to make the house as desirable as possible. The whole place is filled with specialty finishes on the walls including wall paper, Venetian plaster, faux painting, and gorgeous murals. We knew we needed to up our game in the master suite to give it a traditionally Tuscan feel as well.

tuscan elegance 12

We came up with a unique concept for the bedroom walls where we added some washed color to the corners of the room to give them the authentic look we were after.

tuscan elegance 13

Our amazing painter, Angel, created a very large stencil with a Tuscan pattern that we used to give the feeling that the overall pattern on the wall had faded over time.

tuscan elegance 14

In the master bathroom, we used the same color way over a plaster texture to compliment the stone found throughout.

tuscan elegance 15

tuscan elegance 17

We created an ombre effect with this color way so the stone would tie in but the overall feeling of the room would not be too dark. It also helped give the worn feeling we were after.

tuscan elegance 18

tuscan elegance 19

This might be my favorite little corner of the whole house. The way the ombre finish we came up with looks with that incredible piece of art is stunning and has so much presence as you enter the master suite. Even the lighting on it is just right.

This Tuscan Elegance series may have come to its end, but I am more than excited to move onto this client’s new project with a completely new design style. You can check out all of these past posts from this series to get the full picture: Tuscan Elegance Wall Mural, Kitchen, Girl’s Bunk Room, Boy’s Bunk Room, Entry, and Powder Bathroom.



Written  by: Tami

We finally did it … we went cake tasting! Am I right in saying that everyone knows how important desserts are at a wedding? When you attend a wedding you look forward to something sweet at the end of the night. When you are the one getting married, you want to make sure you get good photos of you and your new spouse shoving cake in each other’s faces. According to Phil, cake tasting was the one aspect of wedding preparation he was looking forward to the most, and I am pretty sure he loved every second of it. As did Lauren, Scott, and Ava who joined us for this fun activity.

cake 6

Sweet and Saucy Shop in Newport Beach was the perfect location to try out cake flavors and mini treats as well. It just so happens they also specialize in customizing your order to fit your event perfectly, and that is exactly what we were looking for!

cake 9

cake 8

The shop itself has beautiful displays to inspire the design of many different types of desserts and large tiered cakes.

cake 1

We sampled several different flavors of cakes, butter creams, and fillings and settled on the perfect combination. Thank God Phil and I have similar taste and actually chose the exact same flavors!

cake 2

cake 4

We also sampled treats in all shapes and sizes. They were spectacular! However, as designers, what impressed Lauren and I the most was the wide variety of cupcake liners Sweet and Saucy Shop has to offer. We love for even the smallest of details to match our event!

cake 3

Ava could not have been more happy to give us her opinion … Sorry sweetie, I don’t think we will be having a pink cake with pink frosting though.

cake 5

Of course, I loved the gold foil options they had to offer. Who knows, maybe some gold foil will be found in our dessert display?

cake 7

Overall, we had a great time sampling sweets and can’t wait to share what Sweet and Saucy Shop has to offer at our upcoming wedding. Have a sweet weekend from Side by Side Design!


Written by: Lauren

When I set out to plan Tami’s bachelorette party (which I have been looking forward to planning for a very long time now), I knew I wanted to create a weekend away with lots of memorable details. I thought it would be fun to continue with the Garden Glam theme and chose sunny San Diego as our destination.

bachelorette 3

In the past, our fondest memories of these type of parties have been of spending all of our down time in a common space. I knew I wanted to rent a place for us all to stay together and turned to Airbnb for just the right location. This vibrant, sunny loft in La Jolla couldn’t have been better!

bachelorette 2

I made sure to include tons of personal touches that I knew Tami would like. Her bridesmaids / friends who were not able to make it for the weekend sent their own special gifts as well. Our sister, Rebecca created this “wine bottle of wishes” for all of the girls to sign and we love that Tami can later keep it on display in her home bar.

bachelorette 6

Even the wine, rose, and champagne bottles stuck with the color scheme, and we had a special bottle of tequila (Tami’s favorite) for shots.

bachelorette 8

bachelorette 41

My favorite detail were these embellished wine glasses. Each a little different and with a gold initial so the girls knew which was theirs all weekend long.

bachelorette 16

bachelorette 17

bachelorette 13

A little gift was left on each bed; champagne bubble candies and a small homemade tag of thanks.

bachelorette 18

bachelorette 19

To make the girls feel more at home, I included a tray in one of the bathrooms with some fun, pink necessities and a couple candles.

bachelorette 14

In the other bathroom, a bowl of everyone’s favorite lip balm was set out with some fresh flowers.

bachelorette 9

bachelorette 11

Before Tami’s arrival, I set the coffee table with all of the items needed for our first night activities. The night was spent eating, chatting, wine tasting, playing a fun drinking game of who knows Tami best, gift opening, and overall hanging with a great group of girls.

bachelorette 12

Even Tami’s gifts matched the theme and color scheme.

bachelorette 24

Upon Tami’s arrival, she was greeted with this gorgeous, fresh floral crown and a glass of pink wine of course. She was asked along with the other guests to go change into their chic sleepwear for a slumber party-esque evening in.

bachelorette 22

bachelorette 21

We sat down and enjoyed a light yet filling meal of sushi and this fabulous cheese display with lots of fun crackers and dried fruits.

bachelorette 25

bachelorette 26

We then moved over to the living area and put Tami on the spot. A little party to help her pack her suitcase for her honeymoon and the game was fun too!

bachelorette 10

The one who knew Tami best got something fun …

bachelorette 37

… and so did Tami!

bachelorette 23

bachelorette 33

We ended the night with this gorgeous naked cake. Thanks Ashlee for your fabulous work as always!

bachelorette 29

bachelorette 28

bachelorette 32

The next morning, the girls awoke to this breakfast spread; a mimosa bar, yogurt parfaits, and delicious toasts created by Maya. A gift was also given as a clue for the next activity.



We then made our way to the marina and boarded our very own catamaran, Tami in her new white cover-up.

bachelorette 42

I found these fun napkins at Michael’s and thought they would be a festive addition to our snacks on the boat. We enjoyed our afternoon; sailing, relaxing, meeting new friends, and sun bathing.

bachelorette 34

bachelorette 35

That evening, we had a fabulous dinner at Whisknladle in La Jolla. We loved our meals and the champagne sent to our table from one of Tami’s friends. Cheers to the beautiful Bride!

bachelorette 36

Our evening continued in downtown San Diego at a fun bar called Tipsy Crow … Fun memories were made, but I think this is the only picture we got!

bachelorette 39

bachelorette 40

We ended the trip with one last gift clue getting Tami ready for her new “lifey”. An off the shoulder shirt to wear that says “wifey”.

We really had a great weekend spent with great girls, and I hope it fit Tami’s standards! Thank you to everyone who came and helped especially to Maya! I couldn’t have done any of this without you! The wedding is just one month away, we are going cake tasting tonight, and we are just getting more and more excited for the big day.