Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spend Less and Enjoy More-Honeymoon in France!

You've heard the old adage ,"and they lived happily ever after". How about taking a honeymoon where the countryside looks like the pages described in a storybook? The land is dotted with romantic castles and chateaus that you can actually stay in overnight! Look no further, consider a special honeymoon to the Loire Valley in France. Thanks to Fabrice at Chateaux De La Loire for this picture of Chateau de Chenonceau.

Take a close look at your wedding budget. Here are is a list of items to think about cutting costs on so that you can create the honeymoon that dreams are made of!

1.Wedding Rings
Why not purchase something cheaper for now then on down the road when you are well established and making more money for a special anniversary you could get each other a more expensive wedding ring.

2.Wedding Dress
Borrow, rent or buy a gently used dress that you could wear. Then add some accessories to make it a dress that feels like it is your style. (You can still look very nice and stylish without spending a lot and there is more money to go towards a once in a lifetime honeymoon!)

3. Wedding Invitations
Consider making your own wedding invitations. There are many easy options for making your own invitations.

4.Wedding Photography
Have a friend or family member use their photography talents and perhaps as their gift to you they could take digital pictures for you. Print them off on your computer and put one of these photos in with your invitations.

5. Wedding and Reception
Do it yourself! There are many wedding resources online and if you ask around friends and family would probably gladly help you come up with ways to decorate and create the wedding event to remember for a fraction of what it might cost you!

Recently while watching a travel show, I discovered the Loire Valley in France. There are so many fun things to do here while celebrating the fact that you are newly married! Visit some of the well known travel show online sites for tips on getting reasonable airfare and ideas for travel books that can save you time and money when planning your trip. Visit your local bookstore or library to find these books.

Checkout Chateaux De La Loire for a wealth of information about romantic Chateaus and gorgeous Castles to visit and spend the night in. (Click on the British Flag for the English translation.) You can lazily float down the Loire River on a boat then rent bicycles to tour the splendid picturesque countryside. Catch a tour bus or minivan for a look at the sites around this area. The train system in Europe is incredible so getting to and from destinations is great! As far as speaking the language, take along a guide book with survival French and many of the younger generation speak English.

Whatever fits your idea of site seeing and traveling to this part of France, plan it well and then go for it! Make sure you do your homework and research places to eat, stay, shop, and play. Also find ways to travel light like maybe only take a backpack with versatile clothes to mix and match and add a couple of accessories to dress an outfit up with. SHOES are your lifeline! They need to be comfortable and already broken in! Don't forget to get your passports. They take awhile so put this at the top of your to do list!

You can make this happen and have a honeymoon fit for a queen and king if you plan ahead and find ways to cut the cost of your wedding day. Perhaps you can "have your cake and eat it to". A simple yet elegant wedding day and then off to enjoy a memorable and romantic honeymoon in the Loire Valley in France.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flower Cookies for any Event!

Sugar cookies are so versatile! Here is a recipe for cookie success with these flower shaped sugar cookies. Use them for a bridal shower or serve them as part of a cookie bar at your wedding reception!

Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Cut out cookies in the shape of a flower and bake. Let cool. Then frost with the following cookie glaze.

In a mixing bowl combine:

1/4 cup milk
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar.

Add some more milk a little at a time until your glaze is ready to drizzle. Color the frosting glaze with your choice of food coloring. Put a piece of wax paper or parchment on a cookie sheet. Set a baking rack on the cookie sheet. Hold each cookie over the bowl of glaze and evenly smooth the glaze over the cookie until the top and sides are covered. Put a gummy candy or candy of your choice in the middle of each cookie flower. Then set each cookie on the the baking rack to let the glaze set.

Your cookies will turn out beautiful. If you want to use them as wedding decor or for a bridal or baby shower , stick a long sucker stick or a wooden dowel(you can purchase them for baking purposes) in the middle of the cookie before you bake it.

Glaze the cookies a variety of colors and set them in vases or in creative plant pots or containers. Fill your container with green paper basket grass and then arrange the cookies so they will stand up in the container. Tie a beautiful ribbon around your container. You could also make your flower cookies different sizes and shapes for visual appeal.

These would make cute favors to send home with guests at a party by packaging them in a small box with a ribbon tied around it and a flower tag attached to the top of the box. Or put it in a small see through bakery bag.

However you use these cute flower cookies, they are sure to delight your guests!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bride Courage

It's not often you see a bride wearing a cast on her wedding day. I came across these awesome photos taken by Jesse Chamberlin of Our Labor of Love Photography Studio and wanted to share them kind of a reminder to us all about what really counts on your wedding day.

Ok how many of us would reschedule or cancel that wedding because of the cosmetic look of the cast, the embarrassment, or the inconvenience? This beautiful bride took a negative thing and turned into a joyful memorable occasion in her life. This takes some bride courage! Apply this to all the downs we face in life. Take the high road and find someway to turn the negative into positive. Work it to your advantage!

Make your life happy and on your wedding day if things don't all turn out as planned take a deep breath, smile, and be flexible. It's all a part of your story and making it memorable! Laugh and "find the perfection"!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dreamy Topiary

With Spring here my thoughts turn to green and bringing some of that green stuff inside. I found a great topiary "how to" over at Design Sponge. It doesn't take a green thumb or an expert to put this simple but beautiful topiary together.

You could change out the container or add a wide satin ribbon on wire in the corner of the base of the plant for a lovely wedding table decoration. Group several for an inviting display. Would look great next to wedding photos, bridal portrait , or family pictures on a table at your wedding reception or in your new home. You could make some small ones and give as gifts to wedding attendants.

It takes only a few supplies:

muhlenbekia or angel vine (love angel vine!) plant
container of your choice
potting soil
wire hanger

Take a look at this great tutorial from Design Sponge and take some time to do it yourself!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Elegant Lemon & Cherry Parfait Dessert for Parties or Bridal Showers

Here is an elegant and tasty dessert you can fix to impress your guests or to serve at a wedding shower. You will need several Meyer lemons. These are different then regular lemons. They are thought to be a cross between a lemon and a tangerine.

Cut off a small slice at the end of the lemon so it will stand up. Then slice off the top of the lemon (enough that you can fill it with the parfait filling.) Hollow out the inside and juice the lemon. (I put the juice and the "flesh" of the lemon in glass jar to save for a lemon pie later and put it in the fridge or you could make some lemonade with it.)

Next I let the lemons sit out on a tray in a sunny place for a day to kind of dry out a bit. You will need the following to fill the lemons with the parfait mixture:

* Crushed Shortbread Cookies
* Cherry Pie filling
* Lemon Curd
* Real Whipping Cream whipped

Remember these are very small portions. Put some crushed Shortbread cookies in the bottom of the lemon. Next put a small portion of cherry pie filling. Top that with some lemon curd then a little whipped cream. Put a little bit of cherry pie filling on top or the cream and finish with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle more crushed cookies for garnish.

They have a festive party look to them and the taste is delicious and fruity! You don't have to be a gourmet cook to impress your guests with such an elegant parfait dessert!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quaint and Romantic Reception on the Farm

If you're looking for a beautiful, cozy, and romantic place for a wedding event, take a close look at Wadley Farms in Lindon, Utah. Surrounded by orchards, gardens, and a backdrop of the gorgeous rocky mountains makes for a breathtaking setting perfect for indoor or outdoor wedding events.

You can go rustic elegance with the Historic Barn at Wadley Farms. They offer a turn of the century setting in the Railroad Hall featuring hardwood floors, wraparound porch, and white bead board walls. Or stay outdoors under a canopy of tall trees and a wisteria covered gazebo in a peaceful beautifully landscaped garden setting. What an excellent choice for your special event that will have guests and family talking for years about their magical visit to Wadley Farms.

Not only do you have a choice of buildings on the farm to host your special wedding event, they offer some charming amenities. An old fashioned black carriage can hold your wedding gifts. It makes a darling display! As guests walk about the place, they will notice rock walls, welcoming flower beds, old world doors, and a rock covered tower, archways, and a three tiered fountain.

To say that it is a great place for wedding photos is an understatement! You can get very creative with the ambiance that the buildings and garden area portray. If you think outside the wedding box, Wadley Farms
can also host luncheons, dinners, anniversary celebrations, business meetings, etc...

Whichever site you choose, be it The Barn, The Railroad Hall, or the pristine Garden, you won't be disappointed. It will be a romantic setting reminiscent of something straight out of a fairytale

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Storybook" Pantry Bridal Shower

Last night was very busy as the shower I helped plan for my friend's daughter took place. We had a sort of "Alice in Wonderville" type theme. The table was set with a collectible doll to represent Alice. The "white rabbit" was displayed on the top of a garden container.

A silk flower bouquet was in the center of the table designed in red, orange, and yellow with a red and white fabric toile wrap around the stems. Red and yellow candies were displayed in glass goblets and fun flower shaped cookies were displayed on both sides of the fun display.

Teacups were stacked and a pomade of handmade paper roses sat on top of them. We served salads, rolls, cookies, and parfaits layered in Meyer lemons with cherry filling, lemon, curd, and cream whipped. Crushed shortbread cookies were on the bottom and sprinkled on the top.

It was very festive looking (sorry my photos don't do it justice.) The gifts were items the bride could put in her pantry along with recipes. I took a small guest signing book and dressed up the pages with scrapbooking paper, paper roses, leaves, ribbon roses, ribbon, buttons, etc... On one page I put a picture of the bride and groom along with their names which I used from their wedding invitation. Then as guests arrived they were invited to eat and mingle and write in the guest book. They could write words of advice, a fun date night idea, or good wishes to the bride and groom.

It was a "storybook" evening and we had a lot of fun! You could put your own decorating touch on a similar shower. Keep the evening simple and your guests can entertain themselves by talking with each other and enjoying each other's company not to mention making the bride feel important at this special time in her life!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bridal Shower Inspiration

I am currently planning a bridal shower for a friend's daughter and found great inspiration in this "Alice in Wonderlandia" theme I found over at Lollipops Events and Designs . They have such incredible ideas you should check out their site!

You could use this theme for baby, weddings, birthdays, many things you can do with this! I love the stacked teacups topped with flowers. The moss balls sitting in containers look very elegant. Or you could use topiaries. On the backs of the chairs, they tied aprons. Very creative!

The color scheme is bright and fanciful and draws your attention right in. Though it is in an outdoor setting, you could easily bring it indoors and make it just as fun! Wouldn't it be great to set a festive table using your china or pick up different pieces of china from a second hand store and make it a bit like the "mad hatter"!

Send out bright and colorful invitations add some refreshments and glass jars filled with candy to match and contrast with the table colors and your party is destined to succeed! Stay tuned as next week I will post pictures of the invitations, decor, and food that I use for the bridal shower I am planning inspired by these photos created by the girls at Lollipops Events and Designs !

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playing House...for Real!

You know how when you were young you had fun playing house? If you are ready to tie the knot and set up house for real, here are a few tips to consider to make the transition from I to we much smoother!

Here's your list of "to do" before you say "I do":

*Bank accounts?

You will need to decide where you will bank and you will need to order checks and debit cards with both of your names if you plan to join your finances.


Will you have a home phone or just use your cell phones? What about getting on the same cell phone plan? This may save you money by combining cell phone use. More and more couples are only using their cells as their main home phone.

*Hook up Utilities

Contact your local city department to make arrangements for water and garbage, and recycling pick up. Then have your gas and electricity hooked up. Decide if you will put it in one name or both on the bill.

*Health and Home Insurance Policies

Are you both covered by your current employers? Do you want to switch plans or health providers? What about life insurance? Good to talk this over before you get married.

Don't forget home owner's or renter's insurance.

These are things to discuss and take care of before you head off on the honeymoon. Then you can enjoy your wedding more knowing that you can return to home sweet home and be ready to "play house" for real!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Create A Cute Wedding Gift Thank You

Couldn't resist sharing this cute thank you for the wedding gift! The couple had a picture taken of them holding giant lollipops. The caption reads, "Thank you for making our wedding so sweet." Their names are on the bottom of the postcard size card.

Their thank you is handwritten on the back. Very important that you hand write a thank you for your wedding gifts! Cute and no envelope needed. You could easily design something like this using your own creative spin! Short and "sweet" and to the point.

Setting Up Home Sweet Home!

Most couples when they wed don't have a whole lot of money to spend on home decor. My sister in law is great at coming up with inexpensive ideas that makes her home decor pop with great taste!

Hang a "family" display. Find frames that you like and put vinyl lettering on the back so that it spells out family. (There are so many options as far as vinyl lettering out there!) Attach ribbon with hot glue to the back of each frame. Find some type of wrought iron pole or even a long tree branch (left au natural or spray it white for added home decor appeal) that you can tie each frame to.

What a beautiful wall display! You can use two different fonts like pictured here, make it shabby chic, country, or modern. Whatever your style! Shake it up with your own creativity!

You could also add all types of family photos, wedding photos, make a family tree of sorts to this wall. You are sure to get lots of great comments on your creativity and guests will love looking at all your photos.

Another thought: there are some great sayings that just hit home with each of us (oops no pun intended). How about hanging a sign that reminds you that your wedding can last forever if you really want it to! Hang a sign that says "families are forever". This was a purchased sign but you can use vinyl lettering or other creative ways to hang this sweet reminder in your home!